Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Aliens and Robots Run Wild

Started a cooler, cloudy morning with Max & Ruby. Ruby is "Little Red Ruby Hood," who wants to deliver cookies to Grandma. The Big Max Wolf doesn't make that easy! "Max and the Beanstalk" has Ruby telling Max the story of the boy and the magic beans to get him to eat his green beans. Her brother has a different idea. Ruby and Louise are trying to figure out what fairy tale to perform. Max's favorite amphibian friend inspires them to do "The Froggy Prince."

Worked on my story for the rest of the morning. Palpatine arrives at the Royal box to announce the start of the Regatta. Leia overhears him hiring Solo Shipping to deliver the Death Star to Nabarrie Palace in time for the Diamond Gala Ball in a few weeks, which makes Leia question Henry's loyalties. She also sees Henry jump out of his seat, giving the lie to his injuries.

Luke's not having an easier time in the Regatta. Vader is running down every ship. His sharp-tipped poles cuts down Hera's sails and nearly takes out Wedge's ship the Rogue. He wins, to Luke and Wedge's frustration. Leia leaves the box to protest and to chew Henry out.

Did more Max & Ruby during lunch. Ruby and Louise go on "Ruby's Safari" in the back yard to find a bird to photograph for Bunny Scouts. Max would rather they photographed his toys. The girls are making their own line of "all-natural" cosmetics from fruit, but "Max's Mud Bath" may be the best natural cosmetic there is. "Max's Lost Lizard" is a chameleon that got out of its box. While the girls prepare its terrarium, Max watch it change color to fit whatever is around it.

Work was much busier than Wednesday usually is, probably because it's still the beginning of the month. Cleaned the bathrooms for the first hour, then went outside. There were a LOT of people who bought huge orders, then suddenly realized they didn't have enough to afford it all. I was a half-hour late on break putting cold items away from one such order. Spent the rest of the afternoon bagging.

When I got home, I made peanut butter pancakes for dinner (since I forgot to make them this morning) while watching two unusual sci-fi-themed Backyardigans episodes. "Pablor and the Acorns" has Pablo and Uniqua playing evil galactic warlords who are determined to find the Crystal of Power and take over the universe! Pablor demands that three Scout-like Acorns (Austin, Tasha, and Tyrone) take him to Buttercup Mountain, where the crystal has landed. He's clumsy and scared in this new world, until the Acorns show him how to help people and be brave.

Confusion is on the menu at "The Big Dipper Diner," an intergalactic greasy spoon run by Uniqua and Pablo. Tasha and Tyrone are space cops on the trail of the Blarg, a nasty little alien who shrinks everything it touches. It closely resembles Hugs, the sweet alien who has captured Uniqua and Pablo's hearts at the diner. In the end, Hugs is the one who teaches the kids a big lesson about the importance of the word "no."

Finished out the night with the less-adorable cult science fiction tale Westworld. Westworld is one of three expensive but popular theme parks, where adults can live out their every fantasy or wish in Ancient Rome, Medieval England, or the Wild West. The parks are mainly staffed by robots, who have been programmed to cater to their clientele and never harm them. The robots have been breaking down for weeks, but the owner's been ignoring the suggestion that they might have some kind of a virus. That proves to be an unwise move. The robots go rogue, killing every guest in sight. The last remaining guest is Peter (Richard Benjimin), a shy fellow who's been hanging out in Westworld with his buddy (James Brolin). When a rogue gunslinger robot (Yul Brunner) kills his buddy on sight, Peter knows this is no game...and he has to dodge this angry android, before he follows his programming and takes him out, too.

Wow, this was a weird one. You can tell Michael Crichton wrote and directed it. It's basically Jurassic Park with robots instead of dinosaurs and a darker ending. That tense final half-hour, with Benjamin doing everything he can to take out Brunner's circuits permanently, feels more like a typical thriller than sci-fi. Another great score here, too, especially once the chase is on.

Not for those who like their sci-fi on the lighter side, but if you enjoyed Jurassic Park or the TV version that debuted last year, it's worth checking out.

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