Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Jungle Adventures

Began a sunny, hazy morning with breakfast and more Lost In Boston, this time the first one.  Johnathan Freeman kicks things off with the rousing "An English Music Hall," the opening number that was dropped from Rupert Holmes' Mystery of Edwin Drood. Other good ones include "Just Fine," "Sweetriver," and "Flibbertgibbet" from 110 In the Shade, the deliciously cynical "Ten Percent" from Chicago, and the touchingly sad "When I Went Home" from the Mary Martin Peter Pan.

Did a little bit of writing for the rest of the morning. Leia's trying to persuade Harry to join her expedition to Guatemala, but he still needs to pay Yasmin Hutt. As they glide across the parquet floor in the Paradise Club, Harry spots a familiar figure in a green suit, carrying a military-grade pistol. Roberto Fettara found them. The panicked pilot drags Leia out of the club and upstairs to pack.

Broke for a quick and early lunch at 11. Did a random episode of Tiny Toon Adventures while I ate. Since we're now knee-deep in the summer movie season, I thought "Cinemaniacs!" from the first season was appropriate. Babs and Buster "theater hop" to see three "movies," aka shorts that parody various popular franchises. Babs is the Girl of Steel who stops Wex Wuthor (Montana Max) from destroying Acme Acres in "Super Babs." Plucky, Hamton, and Furball have a hairy adventure on the final frontier in "Duck Trek." Monty's back in "Pasadena Jones," this time with Buster as the title character. The two race to find the Secret of Life...which turns out to not be as monumental as Buster expects.

Headed off to work shortly after the episode ended. Work was more-or-less the same as yesterday...which is to say, quiet as can be. A lot of folks thought it would be busier, given that today is the first day of the month. First of all, the weather is still iffy. It showered heavily around 12:30...for all of ten minutes. To my knowledge, it hasn't rained since then, but it remains hot and humid. Second, it's the middle of the week. Many folks may be waiting for weekend sales. Third, a lot of people are probably still on vacation. I did end up in the register a few times. Otherwise, I once again finished most everything that needed to be done within two hours and spent the rest of the day bagging, doing a few returns, gathering baskets, and trying to look busy.

Read a few chapters of The Silver Crown when I got home, then ate dinner and did a few things around the apartment. I'd been meaning to replace one of the light bulbs in the ceiling lamp in my bedroom, but I need to stand on a chair to reach it. I finally got around to that, chair and all. Went through all the junk on my desk and rounded up all of my correspondence and leases from Willa that I could find. I even dug out my original lease with Miss Ellie from 2006.

Finished the night with The Lost City of Z, my third biographical movie in a row. Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) is a British officer and cartographer who is initially sent to do some work in Brazil. Joined by fellow explorer Corporal Henry Costlin (Robert Pattison), he ignores admonishments to not explore further into the jungle and does so anyway. While he does make the survey, he discovers something even more interesting. One of his native guides tells him the story of a fantastic city of gold that's still occupied found deep within the jungle. Fawcett doesn't believe this, until he finds advanced pottery shards and a few statues that make him change his mind. He spends the next twenty years of his life searching for the "lost city of Z," as he calls it, but his first expedition is bogged down when biologist James Murray (Angus Macfadyen) gets hurt, has to be sent off with a native, and destroys their supplies. Fawcett is injured in World War I and gives up exploring, but a renewed interest in the Amazon and exploring in the US encourages him and his oldest son Jack (Tom Holland) to give the jungle one more try. Whether they did find the lost city is unknown to this day, as they never came back...but Percy's devoted wife Nina (Sienna Miller) believes they did finally make it.

Slow-moving drama is bogged down by murky cinematography in the jungle sequences and too much talk and not enough action. While Hunnam is a bit stiff as Fawcett, the rest of the cast does much better, including Holland as his estranged son who eventually starts to understand his father's obsession, Miller as his loving wife, and Macfadyen as Murray, who is happier in his labs and is in way over his head in the jungle.

Most critics were more impressed with this than I was, with quite a few putting it on their best of the year lists. I didn't hate this, but I wouldn't go that far, either. If you enjoy real-life adventure stories with less pulp fiction and more actual exploring, you may find more in this jungle tale than I did.

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