Monday, July 31, 2017

It's the Natural Thing To Do

Started off a sunny but dry morning with breakfast and more Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. "Return of the Fly" brings back Baxter Stockman, who's out for revenge against the Turtles for leading to his transformation into a giant insect. The Turtles are more worried about dealing with Shredder's latest plans to steal water from an underground reservoir.

Concentrated on writing for the rest of the morning. Leia and Hank get a chance to talk after they shake off the Imperial Gang. Leia comments that they got off too easily. Hank doesn't think it's so easy and dismisses Leia's suggestion that they're being followed. She's worried about the tapes she turned over to Arturro. He doesn't care - he's still determined to pay his boss and leave. Leia storms off to talk to her uncle. Luke tries to play matchmaker and encourage Hank to see his sister in a different light.

As it turns out, Leia was right. Vader and the Imperial Gang, along with Tarkin, are hiding in reeds in a large speed boat, intending to follow the Falcon. Bobby Fett, a bounty hunter who has been hired to bring Hank Solo to local mob boss Jasper Hutt, is with them.

Did an episode of Garfield & Friends as I ate a quick lunch and got ready for work. Garfield kicks off by telling "The Legend of the Lake." A cave-cat is determined to get across a big lake and get to an island of lasagna trees, but he he didn't realize just how big the Odie puppies who lived on the island were. "Double Oh Orson" spoofs the James Bond series. Orson imagines himself as a spy who is trying to rescue a his fellow agent Bo from Pinfeather (Roy the Rooster). The fat cat gets into a "Health Feud" with the host of a local aerobics show when Jon starts taking all his advice, including only eating healthy food. Switching around his cue cards puts the dumb jock in his place.

Had time for one more quick US Acres short as I headed out. Orson's brothers are literal "Show Stoppers" when they come to the barnyard amateur hour and expect to have a good time. Their brother's bad jokes don't amuse them...but Wade insisting that he can bravely save his friend might do the trick.

Work wasn't really much of a problem. Though I did the outdoor trash and the baskets early on and bagged a little, I was mostly doing carts. It was a nice day for it. It was hot and sunny, in the upper 80's, but still not humid. I guess everyone decided to take advantage of the weather and head for the shore. The southbound traffic from about 4 to 5:30 was terrible.

When I got in, I had leftovers for dinner and caramel apple pie ice cream for dessert while watching Double or Nothing. We stay in 1937, but move back to the States to find Bing as "Lefty" Boylan, an out-of-work singer who brings a wallet back to an eccentric millionaire. It turns out his lawyer left three more wallets around, found by three other honest people. The man, who believed in the good of all people, left a million dollars to each of the finders of the wallets in his will. If they can double the million within 30 days by honest means, they all get to keep his entire estate. His family's incensed that they were left out and tries to foil the others' plans...except for their sweet daughter (Mary Carlisle), who falls for Lefty.

Interesting story that degenerates into a pile of unrelated specialty numbers towards the end, after Lefty gets his nightclub up and running. A decent score helps, including the hits "The Moon Got In Your Eyes" and "It's the Natural Thing To Do."

I squeezed in my shower between musical numbers. Did Jurassic Park III as I went online. Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neil) is back, this time taking a pair of rich American tourists (Tea Leoni and William H. Macy) on an aerial tour of the former Jurassic Park islands...or so he thinks. It turns out that the Kirbys are actually searching for their lost son Eric (Trevor Morgan), who was last seen in the vicinity of the islands. Grant doesn't want to go anywhere near the islands; three major deaths and two near ones bear this out. Even when they do find Eric, the Kirbys, Grant, and his assistant Billy (Alessandro Nivola) discover that there are dinosaurs out there even bigger and more fearsome than a Tyrannosaurus Rex...

To my surprise, this wasn't bad. While still not as good as the first movie, I didn't think it was horrible, either. It's actually a bit darker than the second movie, with a dinosaur fight that ends with no less than a T-Rex dead and several other gristly onscreen deaths. The kid is actually more useful than several of the adults this time, since he'd lived among the dinosaurs for a while. Neil's fine reprising his original role, and Nivola's not bad as his eager assistant with a bunch of big ideas that get him into trouble.

I wish the script and the rest of the actors had been at their level. Leoni does nothing but scream, and she and Macy aren't believable as a couple at all. The script feels arbitrary, a series of encounters between dinosaur attacks. While many of the dinosaur puppets and robotic creatures do work and look fairly realistic, some of the CGI is pretty bad.

If you're a fan of this series, this is a decent way to spend a half-hour. Everyone else is better off checking out the original and skipping the 90's and early 2000's sequels.

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