Friday, January 19, 2018

Winter Sunshine

Got a late start and had just enough time to eat and clean up from breakfast and get organized before work. Ran a couple of DC Comics-based items before I headed off, starting with the 70's Wonder Woman. "The Man Who Made Volcanoes" was a slight reboot of the series mid-way through its second season. Steve Trevor is moved from Diana's partner to her boss, the opening credits are now regular clips rather than comic strip animation, and she mostly ditches the glasses for the remainder of the series. She's still solving mysteries, though, in this case trying to figure out who is making volcanoes in China and Russia blow their tops on cue.

Wonder Woman wasn't the only superhero in the DCU to deal with volcanoes. Superman also had to stop a "Volcano" from erupting and damaging a city. Lois Lane steals Clark Kent's press pass in order to get the scoop before him. She ends up in a pretty hot situation when she's almost boiled by the lava. Superman has to rescue her, then make sure the explosives to block the lava go off.

Work was on-and-off steady, and mostly pretty simple. I dodged workers in the back who were repairing a closet near the back room when I arrived. The spigots to fill our buckets are right behind that closet. Workers and their things were everywhere. After that, there were no problems. I bagged, did returns and inside trash, and gathered baskets and carts. (And it was a lovely day for the latter, sunny and windless, probably in the lower-mid 40's.)

My schedule for next week is really weird. I work from Sunday through Wednesday. The first three days are normal four-hour, afternoon shifts...but Wednesday, for some strange reason, is an 8-hour day. This was more understandable during the holidays, when there was a lot going on. The only thing going on right now is football. Other than some rain, we're not even supposed to get bad weather this week. I'm off for the remaining three days after Wednesday, though.

I was starved after a lot of moving around at work. Headed straight to Arby's after I finished. Along with a turkey club sandwich, curly fries, and Mountain Dew "Game Fuel" (cherry-citrus), I thought I'd try their new Oreo bites. Oooh yum, they were tasty! Basically soft mini chocolate donuts rolled in sugar, with a cream filling. Just sweet and rich enough.

Went home and worked on writing for a little while after dinner. The moment Luke the Toymaker disappears, Santa Claus arrives. Not only does he know a lot about BB, but she realizes that he looks awfully familiar...kind of like the Toymaker...

Ended the night with Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. The kids are safely in WKCD...but Thomas is still curious. His searching reveals that the head of the group, Ava (Patricia Clarkson), is still very much alive and has plans to use their immunity to the "Flare Virus" that threatens the outside world. Thomas finally manages to get not only his friends out, but the first Maze Runner to have arrived at WKCD (Jacob Lofland). They search the Scorch - the wastelands and remains of the city - for the "Right Arm," the local resistance group. They run across Jorge (Giancarlo Esposito) and Brenda (Rosa Salazar), who lead another group of survivors, but ultimately decide to help them out. Thomas and Brenda seek out Marcus (Alan Tudyk), a sleazy local who may know where the Right Arm is. Even after they find them, they still have to help Brenda, who was infected by a zombie, and fend off WCKD from trying to snare the remaining survivors for the cure.

Dark, dreary, and not a lot of fun, this one feels even more like a Hunger Games/Divergent imitation than the previous film. It still has some virtues, including some intense performances from O'Brian and Salazar, Clarkson as a decent villain, and a lot of well-shot tension, especially in the first half. Once the kids get into the city, a lot of the mystery and tension dissipates, leaving a rather depressing action-horror tale.

Once again, if you're a fan of The Hunger Games or similar young adult novel adaptations based around dark futures, you'll want to take a look at this series. Anyone else can easily skip this (and the Divergent series as well).

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