Thursday, February 26, 2015

Super Princesses

Started a sunny morning with the rest of Sofia the First. Sofia's magical amulet that allows her to talk to animals figures in to two more stories on the set. In "The Amulet of Avalor," Sofia's amulet, along with several other golden or shiny objects in the castle, go missing right before a ball. Sofia has to find it without the help of her animal friends, who can't communicate with her. Amber is "Princess Butterfly" when she asks Cedric for help in making an All Hallow's Eve costume. As usual, Cedric's spell backfires, turning Amber into a real butterfly. Amber thinks that she needs Sofia's amulet to make things right.

My favorite episode was "The Emerald Key," a version of The Princess and the Pea. Two bedraggled princesses from a Hawaiian-style country appear at the castle doorstep on the same rainy night. Both are looking for the Emerald Key, which will allow them to return to their island home. One wears a simple flower crown and dances the hula, which looks strange to the royal family....but she's kind and sweet and well-mannered. The other may dress well and dance a European-style waltz, but she's also rude and boorish. King Roland gives the two girls a Princess Test to try to figure out which one is the real princess.

Moved on to 80's music as I cleaned the bathroom. It needed to be done. I've put it off for the last few days. It was getting fairly bad. I need to buy Drano again tomorrow. For some reason, the sink in the bathroom always has problems with running slow.

I had a quick lunch, then headed off to work. I got there on time; I could have been infinitely late. No wonder my hours this week were so bad. We were pin-drop quiet for most of the afternoon. The lines got a little long twice, but nothing abnormal. We had more problems with cranky customers and being out of plastic bags again for the third time in less than a month than with lines. My relief was right on time, and I was in and out.

When I got home, I made Banana-Chocolate Chip Muffins while watching Superman III. The Man of Steel (Christopher Reeve) heads to Smallville for a class reunion and to reconnect with sweet Lana Lang (Annette O'Toole), whom he had a crush on in high school. There's bigger problems out there than his love life, though. A computer genius (Richard Pryor) comes up with a way to swindle the data processing company he's working for out of thousands of dollars. The company's owner (Robert Vaughn) hires him to use his computer skills to first allow him to dominate the coffee crop, then the oil industry. He also has him bring out a synthetic Kryptonite that twists Superman's powers until they're dark and angry. While Superman fights a battle with himself, the computer hacker comes up with an amazing computer that can do anything...including take on Superman himself.

I've always had a soft spot for this one. It used to run on cable a lot during the mid-late 80's. Too bad that Prior's comic relief clashes rather badly with the epic tone, and that the plot is too bizarre, even for a comic book-based movie. Reeve and O'Toole do what they can with the strange material; O'Toole in particular is nice as the down-home country girl who is beginning to wonder if there might be something better out there for her. It's worth seeing for Reeves' incredibly intense fight with himself when he's trying to get the dark Kryptonite out.

Although I get a kick out of it, this is really only for major Superman fans or comic book fans. All others will want to stick to the first two Reeve movies or the more recent Man of Steel.

I finished the night with Chicken with Lemon and Orzo soup and more Superman. Paramount put out a series of cartoons in the early 40's, when Superman's initial popularity was at its height. These were the first real action cartoons, with lush animation and surprisingly dark characterization. "The Arctic Giant" introduces a giant dinosaur that threatens a city a decade before Godzilla took a bite out of Tokyo. "The Mad Scientist" introduces Superman and Lois in a fairly simple story about the afore-mentioned scientist and his destruction-creating ray. Superman has to stop the "Billion Dollar Limited" before the train and its cargo of gold runs off the rails.

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