Saturday, May 26, 2018

Adventures on a Holiday Weekend

It was cool enough this morning for me to make Raspberry Banana Muffins for lunch this week after breakfast. Watched the Looney Tunes wartime shorts on Disc 2 of the Golden Collection Vol 6 as I baked. Termite Terrace seems to have put out three types of shorts during World War II - sketch comedies parodying life in the barracks and on the home front, allegories about how the US got into the war and planned on winning it, and character shorts featuring either the regular Toons or a one-off. My favorite of the revues is "Weekly Reporter," which depicts home front life in the cities and suburbs. (I love the woman who fixes an entire factory with her one bobby pin.) "The Ducknators," which uses farmyard ducks, geese, and doves to depict the Axis' rise to power, is the best of the allegories.

Headed out to work shortly after the muffins were out of the oven. Work was busier than yesterday, but it still wasn't overwhelming, or even as bad as I thought it would be. Shelved loose items for the first hour and a half, then spent most of the rest of the day outside doing carts. Whew! It was hot by 11, in the upper 80's and insufferably humid for May, but there was only one other guy outside doing carts, and he needed help.

I had a few things that I needed after work that I forgot on Friday. They finally got the small cans of tomato sauce in that you can get for free with a Monopoly coupon. I got one of the last ones on the shelf. Restocked brown sugar and mouthwash. Used another Monopoly coupon to get the new Peppridge Farm Whole Wheat Goldfish Graham Crackers cheap. Had a dollar cookie pack and a bottle of orange sparkling water for a snack.

I was so sweaty when I got home, I went straight in the shower. Did some writing for a while after I got out. Leia manages to attack Unkar Plutt, but he's ready to have her arrested for wrecking his property. The others use him as a "distraction" to keep the guards at bay while Leia gets to Solo Castle. Unfortunately, the guards realize that Luke is a unicorn...the very unicorn that Palpatine has ordered to be brought to him. Two of them manage to capture Luke before Leia can get to them. She's about to go after him, but she has help...

Broke for dinner at quarter of 7. Had turkey bacon and a spring salad for dinner while watching the remaining Looney Tunes shorts on the disc, plus three more from Disc 4 of Vol 3. Bugs becomes "Super Rabbit" after being given a carrot that bestows him with strength and flight. A cowboy who hates rabbits chases him, until he claims he's going to become a real hero - a marine officer. Daffy just can't shake that Little Man from the Draft Board in "Draftee Daffy."

My favorite of the wartime character shorts is "Falling Hare." For once, Bugs goes up against an antagonist who gives as good as they get when he discovers a gremlin sabotaging planes. He tries to get rid of the little guy, but this critter is no dope and manages to outsmart him every time.

Moved on to Lego Indiana Jones after dinner. Neither "Shanghai Showdown" nor "Pangkok Secrets" proved to be difficult in Free Play mode. I'd already gotten most of the pieces for "Pangkok" in the regular store mode anyway. I just needed to get two pieces that could only be found by characters with a certain tool or ability and the parcel. (Which took forever. I couldn't get Elsa to jump off the barrel in the right way, and then I couldn't find the Thuggee statue that hid the mailbox.) Completed "Pangkok"; got all but one piece on "Shanghai."

Finished the night with The Mummy Returns. Ten years after the original movie took place, Evie (Rachel Weiz) and Rick O'Connell (Brendan Fraiser) now have a son, Alex (Freddie Boath). They're still searching for lost Egyptian treasures, this time in the ancient city of Thebes. Alex finds a bracelet that attaches itself to him when they're at home in London. The boy has a vision of the oasis that is the final resting place of the Scorpion King (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson). If they don't get the boy and the bracelet to the oasis in a week, he'll die. And they're not the only ones interested in the Scorpion King and his army. A cult grabs Evie and resurrects Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo) from the previous film, hoping that he'll kill the King and take over his army. The reincarnation of his lover from Egypt (Patricia Velesquez) is a member of the cult, hoping to keep him alive this time. The cult kidnaps Alex, hoping to use the bracelet to take over the world. His parents follow in their friend Izzy's (Shaun Parkes) dirigible. Evie has been having visions of a possible past life. Rick thinks it's nonsense, but Evie wonders if there's a reason she was able to resurrect the Mummy before, and that she and Rick ended up together. They use the visions to find their son...and to keep the cult from bringing back a second supernatural Egyptian menace.

I actually ended up liking this a bit more than the first. The family angle is unique, Evie gets more in on the action, and the Scorpion King, for as little screen time as he has, is a far more interesting villain than Imhotep. Some of the CGI effects haven't dated as well, though, including the rather "uncanny valley" Scorpion King in the finale.

While it wasn't quite as big of a hit as the original, it did well enough during the summer of 2001 to spawn a cartoon, a prequel focusing on the Scorpion King, and a belated sequel in 2008. I suspect that the first two films will be more than enough for all but the most ardent Rock fans. If you love the cast, supernatural adventures, or the original film, this one is equally worth checking out.

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