Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Of Rogues and Spaceballs

Started the day with early work. There was a bit of excitement when I arrived. A woman had slipped on what she apparently claimed was water in the bathroom and had to be carried out in a stretcher. I went in there about 10 minutes after they got her out of there, and the only water I saw came off my shoes after filling a bucket with water to mop the floor. Have no idea what happened there. (I actually felt a little sorry for the front end manager.)

Ironically, after all that fuss, we were dead for most of the morning. I did go out and do carts...but I wouldn't have stayed out for very long under any circumstances. They took me a little over 20 minutes. The carts just weren't that bad. By the time the crowds did start to appear, another bagger had arrived to do the carts. I spent most of the day doing returns.

Dad dropped me off and picked me up this morning and afternoon. While it's still frigid here, it had warmed up enough for me to get my bike out of Dad's garage. I took it home, changed, put away a few Christmas things that had been sitting on my table, grabbed my laundry, and went back out again. I had to get my fair-sized load done before the weather gets bad later this week.

The laundromat was very busy when I arrived. Actually, the families were kind of fun. The one woman playing games with her children was too cute. And there was a bit of excitement here, too. A pair of sparrows somehow got in the room. As someone pointed out, it was too cold, even for them! They still hadn't shooed them out the door when I left.

Did some writing when I got home. There's trolls guarding the back of the Crooked Castle. Rey, Poe, and the others attack them. They manage to get those down, but they attract the attention of several more. Maz sends BB and Chewbacca the dog off to get help. BB finds a secret door in the wall of the castle. Chewie goes in first, sniffing like he smells something familiar...

Broke at 7 to have leftovers for dinner. Finally used the cream from the New Year's Eve Whipped Syllabub to turn the failed fudge from a few weeks ago into glaze for the Sweet Vanilla Cake. Ran Rogue One to continue my Star Wars marathon as I worked. Rebel spy Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and criminal Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) round up a group of misfits and oddballs - former Imperial pilot Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed) who has defected to the Rebels, former monk Chirrut (Donnie Yen) and guard Baze (Jiang Wen) Baze, and sassy droid K2 (Alan Tudyk) - to retrieve the plans for the Death Star built by Jyn's father (Mads Mikkleson). When the heads of the Rebellion refuse to attack the Empire and the head of the Death Star Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn), Jyn and Cassian lead their group to Scarif to get the plans themselves and send them out at any cost...even their own lives.

What I like about Rogue One are the creative characters, especially K2, the galaxy's sassiest droid, and Force-admiring monk Chirrut. The variety of locations, from the war-torn city of Jedha to the desert plains of Scarif, are also nice. On the other hand, this is very dark and violent for a Star Wars movie - even the droid doesn't make it out alive - and the plot can be murky in the first half. Not the best choice for families with young kids or for newcomers, but if you're a fan of the darker aspects of this series, jump right on this battle cruiser.

Ended the night with Spaceballs while shivering on the couch. (I'll hold off on the prequels for another time.) Mel Brooks parodies the Original Trilogy in this wacky spoof from 1987. Lone Star (Bill Pullman) and his dog-man buddy Barf (John Candy) have to rescue Princess Vespa (Daphne Zuniga) and her droid Dot Matrix (Joan Rivers) from the evil Spaceballs, including nerdy Darth Helmet (Rick Moranis) and his aid Colonel Sandurz (George Wyner). Lone Star and the others take refuge with goofy sage Yogurt (Mel Brooks) while their ship is being repaired...but when Helmet follows them and captures the princess, the guys end up going after them.

I grew up on this hilarious homage to not just Star Wars, but sci-fi and fantasy in general. (Look for references to Alien and the original Planet of the Apes as well.) It was a favorite in my family, to the point where we could all quote the dialogue at each other. If you love Brooks' style of humor, the cast, or are a sci-fi fan, you might have a lot of fun with this.

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