Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Bare Necessities

Began another sunny and breezy day with more Rick Steves. This time, we headed west towards the Spanish peninsula and Barcelona, a city steeped in history, tapas bars, and truly amazing architecture. (Including a church so massive and intricate, it was started over 130 years ago and won't be finished for another decade or so.)

After breakfast, I tried calling Camden County. Still no luck, with either voice mail or their phone service. No one picks up. I've been calling these people for over two weeks. Don't they ever erase their voice mail box? No one called me on the day of my appointment, either, despite the two letters I got stating that someone would call me on the day of my appointment. I give up. I'll just let this lapse and try again next month when I've got my ID updated and more of this figured out. I was able to leave Rose a message telling her to get back to me about the rent agreement.

Decided I'd test my new bandages with a short trip to the laundromat. I'm glad I got it done early in the week this time. They were really quiet, with only a few people around. I didn't have much laundry to do at any rate. I worked on story ideas and listened to news and soap operas. I was in and out in less than an hour.

Put everything away, then had leftovers for lunch. Did another Rick Steves episode as I ate. We made a second trip to Vienna, this time focusing on the history of Marie Theresa, the Hapsburg empress whose 16 children and amazing business acumen allowed her empire to flourish. There was also a visit to a monastery and the Viennese Opera House.

Spent the rest of the afternoon doing various things on the computer. I looked up area psychiatrists to get a good idea of what's available. I did research on a couple of mental problems, notably General Anxiety Disorder and Social Anxiety Disorder, along with more on introversion and shyness. Rose called me back, told me she's working on a letter to address the rent raise as well as a few other things, and confirmed that Dad-Bruce's middle name is Charles. (Mom did get back to me, BTW - hers is Ann.) That allowed me to finish ordering my birth certificate. Called Dad and Jodie. Jodie said she's been sick (and was in the hospital for a while) and hasn't been able to talk to her friend's sister about that doctor. She'll get a hold of her this week.

I even managed to squeeze a little writing in before and after dinner. Ben explains why Han reacted so badly to Breha's comment. He was once a notorious pirate...until he had to jettison a shipment after being caught by the police. A gunshot wound in his right leg during that altercation shattered his leg and ended his career at sea.

Breha's not happy with him, but she is happy to see Luke and Leia getting on so well. She rather obviously tries to nudge Leia towards Luke. Leia protests. She barely knows him, and she only sees him as a friend. Besides, there's something...familiar...about him...

Broke for dinner around 5:30. I decided to try a tasty, simple recipe that was pretty much dark beans, light beans, and vegetables. Replaced the lemon juice with lime juice and the green peppers with celery. Used chick peas (I had a can that was almost expired) and dark red kidney beans; replaced the water with chicken broth. Oh, yum. Nice and tangy, and the chick peas gave it a chewy, nutty taste.

Did The Jungle Book as I ate, and later as I set up for going online. Pretty much the same deal as the animated version. The animals of the Indian jungles want to protect Mowgli (Neel Sethi) from a ferocious tiger that hates humans. They try to send him to the nearest village with Bagheera the black panther (Ben Kingsley), but Mowgli wants to stay in the jungle. He finds a good friend in lazy, laid-back Baloo the bear (Bill Murray)...and enemies in Kaa the python (Scarlet Johanssen) and King Louie the ape (Christopher Walken), the latter of whom is determined that Mowgli make fire for him. But it'll take a concentrated effort from all the animals in the jungle, including Mowgli and the stand-offish elephant herd, to stop Sher Khan for good.

I can see why a lot of people like this better than either the 1967 cartoon or Disney's earlier live-action Jungle Book from 1994. While still not a 100 percent accurate adaptation, it does get a little closer to the spirit of the Kipling books than the other two. Johanssan particular does well with her brief role, and even sings a rather nice "Trust In Me." Murray's "The Bare Necessities" with Sethi was fun, too. Walken does less well with an out-of-place mob boss spoof and a darker "I Wanna Be Like You." And I had no problem with them ditching the Beatles-esque vultures from the cartoon. As much as I like the song "That's What Friends are For," the British Invasion allusions date the animated film rather badly.

What people will really come for is the special effects. Wow. No wonder this got a Visual Effects nomination at this year's Oscars. Everything except for Mowgi was done with CGI...and very little of it looks fake. They even went easy on the motion capture so it wouldn't look too waxy or uncanny, like some of the motion capture animated movies from the 2000's tend to. Even the animals talking doesn't come off as fake.

While not as dark as it could be, it's still too violent for very young kids, despite the PG rating. Try them on the animated version first. For older kids who love animals or computer animation, give this one a whirl.

1 comment:

Tina said...