Monday, October 15, 2018

Games People and Cavemen Play

Began a rainy morning with breakfast and a spooky second season episode of Laverne & Shirley. On a suggestion from Carmine, Laverne says they should hit the about-to-be-demolished Ramsdale Manor to buy a couch cheap. Shirley insists that it's a "Haunted House," inhabited by the Ramsdale Hairy Thing. Laverne scoffs at her stories, until they hear noises while they're shopping at the manor, and Squiggy, Lenny, and a man from the demolition company vanish.

Headed out to work shortly after the episode ended. It was still raining, and I arrived a bit wet. The rain ended shortly after I got in, allowing me to gather carts and not get soaked. That was pretty much the most that happened all day. We were on-and-off steady. I spent the day doing returns and gathering carts and baskets.

I also spent the day nodding off. I'd been dead tired since yesterday. As soon as I got home and changed, I took a nap. It was a good day for it. The weather was a little bit warmer than it has been, but not as much as it was during the early part of last week. While the rain hasn't returned, it's still windy, damp, and dismal.

Did some writing when I rolled out of bed. Palpatine attacks Luke and Yoda, hoping to take control of the Alderaanian Weapon. He tried once before with Luke's father Andrew Skylark, who murdered the workers on his dig on Palpatine's orders to keep them from revealing the secret of the weapon. Yoda uses his magic to take Palpatine on, but he may be overmatched...

Broke for dinner at quarter of 7. Watched Early Man while I ate leftover stir fry on rice. Dug (Eddie Redmayne) is a caveman living in a tropical valley with his tribe and his pet wild boar Hognob (Nick Park). He wants to catch woolly mammoths, but his father the Chief (Timothy Spall) thinks it would be too difficult for their peaceful tribe. One day, during a rabbit hunt, they're invaded by a group of men riding armored mammoths. The invaders are from the Bronze City, lead by spoiled and obnoxious Lord Nooth (Tom Hiddleston). They're going to mine the valley for ore and use the tribe as slaves in the mine. After accidentally ending up in the city and discovering the Bronze people's love of football (soccer), he challenges their undefeated local team to a game. If Dug's tribe wins, they get to return to the valley. Turns out they literally have football in their veins - their ancestors invented the game. Goona (Maisie Williams), a Bronze City pot-seller who loves football, agrees to help Dug and his tribe learn to play. They may be savages, but they know how to work together, something Nooth and his self-centered team hasn't evolved well enough to figure out yet.

Like most Aardman productions, this was really cute, especially if you're a British football fan. It starts out pretty well, kind of a cross between The Croods and How to Train Your Dragon. Once Dug ends up in the football stadium, it turns into a standard sports movie that most people have seen a thousand times, making use of every cliche from a training montage to a last-minute goal. I really would have preferred they concentrated more on the characters and stone vs bronze setting and less on the sports spoofs. Fans of the real-life British football teams this is parodying may get a lot more out of it than I did.

Finished my evening online while watching Game Night. Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams) are big fans of competition, especially board and trivia games. They want a child badly, but are having problems conceiving. Max is more focused on trying to beat his bullying big brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler) than on making a family. Brooks invites the duo and their friends Ryan (Billy Magnussen) and married couple Kevin (Lamorne Lewis) and Michelle (Kylie Bunbury) to his house for a murder mystery-themed game night. When two men break into the house, they think it's part of the game and follow them to a dive bar. Turns out that this is no game. Brooks is involved with some shady activity, including the theft of a Faberge egg that holds valuable information. Max, Annie, and their friends, with help from their cuddly police detective neighbor Gary (Jesse Plemons), have to track down Brooks and make sure that neither he nor they wind up on the wrong side of a bad guy's gun.

This darkly humorous take on suburban competitiveness was a surprise hit last winter, and I have to admit, I enjoyed it myself. It's nothing world-changing, but it is an interesting premise performed by a cast of actors who definitely know how to handle the material, with a few unexpected twists towards the end. If you're a fan of dark or spooky comedies like Clue or anyone in the cast, this is one game night you'll definitely want to get in on.

No comments: