Friday, June 15, 2018

A Cockeyed Optimist

I was in bed reading The Truce at Bakura this morning when the phone rang. It was one of the managers at the Acme. Could I come in from 12 to 4? They had to move a bagger to cashiering. Sure, why not? It was only four hours and bagging, and I had been planning on going to the Acme to get my grocery shopping done anyway.

Had a really quick breakfast and got ready to go while watching The Lion Guard: Ready to Roar. Kion is Simba's son, and the younger brother of Kiara, the cub who first appeared in the direct-to-DVD sequel The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride. He's considered to be a bit of a goofball...until he lets out a tremendous roar to scare off hyenas who are trying to attack his friend Bunga. Rafiki reveals that the roar means he's the head of the Lion Guard, the defenders of the Pride Lands. Simba's not too sure about this. The last head of the Lion Guard was Scar, and he ended up disbanding the guard and losing his power when he used it for evil. There's also the fact that up until now, all the Guards have always been lions, but Kion rounds up a wide variety of animal friends to help him. Simba tells him he's not taking his new responsibilities seriously. Kion becomes determined to prove that lions aren't the only animals who can kick rear...and he can be just as responsible as the next Pride Lander.

I'm not the biggest fan of The Lion King. It's a beautiful movie that I like a lot, but I don't have the same attachment to it that many people, particularly those who grew up when it was huge in the mid-90's, do. That said, while this was no world-changer, it was cute and fun to watch. It actually reminded me a little bit of Sailor Moon, with it's multi-faceted group that revolves around different attributes. Bunga, the adopted nephew of Timon and Pumbaa, was especially funny.

Not too bad if you're a huge Lion King fan or have kids who are; pleasant time-waster for anyone else.

Work...was dead for most of the day. It got a little steady around 1, then went right back to being dead. The manager who called me in said it was packed this morning when everyone was leaving for their houses at the Shore, which is the other reason she called people in. It probably wasn't necessary. I spent almost the entire four hours shelving a full cart of candy. I finished the whole cart with few interruptions besides a break and shelving a couple of cold items, which should tell you how dead it was. At least it'll help my paycheck next week.

Speaking of next week, I'm not overly happy with my schedule. While I do have three days off in a row again, that first day isn't until Thursday. There's also another annoying 8 and 1/2 hour day on Wednesday and slightly less hours than I have been getting.

Grocery shopping went a little better. I had a good online coupon for the Acme's generic premium ice cream, and it was already on sale. I went with the light Mocha Almond Fudge. Used another online coupon to get the Belvita Breakfast Cookies a little cheaper; went with Cinnamon Brown Sugar.  Picked up a two-pound container of strawberries as part of a big weekend sale. Restocked skim milk, yogurt, bananas, flour, brown sugar, ground turkey, tuna, the Nature Valley sandwich cookies for snacks this week (it's going to get too hot to bake), diced tomatoes, and black beans.

Worked on a little bit of writing when I got home. When the others return to the hotel they're staying at, Harry tries testing a theory. He attempts to make a gate move with his mind...but when he does, he dismisses it as the wind, despite it not being windy.

They arrive at an abandoned hanger just outside of Coruscant City a few days later. Jeanne Erson and her lover and partner Cassian Andorez meet them there. They're members of the British and Spanish undergrounds respectively, and they and their team will help them get into Coruscant to find the Sword of Light.

Broke for dinner at 7. Had leftovers while playing more Lego Clone Wars. I'm still not getting too far. Got one more piece and a ton of studs on "Ambush!" and "Liberty on Ryloth." I really need to find the Bounty Hunter and Sith characters!

Finished the night with the 1958 version of South Pacific. Other than some of the music and scenes have been switched around, this is pretty much the same deal as the Broadway show. The planter de Becque (Rossano Brazzi) falls in love with Nellie Forbush, a nurse (Mitzi Gaynor), when they're stationed on a remote tropical island during World War II. Meanwhile, the much younger Lieutenant Joseph Cable (John Kerr) comes to love native beauty Liat (France Nuyen). Both romances are initially derailed due to Joe and Nellie's inborn southern prejudices. Nellie is able to overcome hers eventually. Cable is not, and is killed during a mission with de Becque.

This one has the opposite problem from Paint Your Wagon. For all that movie's poor casting and confusion over what it is, exactly, it was at least lively. South Pacific has every single song from the original show (and even restored a song for Cable that had been cut from the Broadway version, "My Girl Back Home") and beautiful, real tropical scenery, but it all feels stiff and dull. Gaynor and Ray Walston as one of the sailors were pretty much the only major cast members who weren't dubbed. For some reason, they even dubbed Juanita Hill, who played Bloody Mary just fine with her own voice onstage. And there's those infamous color filters director Joshua Logan used to supposedly "heighten" the effectiveness of the musical numbers that end up being a distraction instead.

Despite this topping the box office in 1958, it's my least-favorite Rogers and Hammerstein film (along with Carousel). If you really love their work or the cast, it's worth seeing once if you can ignore the filters and the stagy stiffness.

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