Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Back In Business

Kicked off a sunny morning with an episode of the original She-Ra. Bow and Adora find themselves in an "Enchanted Castle" after they save a kindly old woman in the woods. The castle is run by a wicked sorceress who intends to enslave them. They have to figure out how to escape and eliminate her magic, with the help of the mysterious older woman they helped out earlier.

Work was quiet the entire day. First of all, it's the day after one of the biggest holidays of the year. Second, many people are likely waiting for their beginning-of-the-month money next week. Third, it was just too nice to be shopping. Once again, the weather was gorgeous, sunny, breezy, and clear. I gathered inside and outside trash and did the carts during the first half of my shift, but I was mainly shelving four full carts of returns likely leftover from Christmas Eve and the day before. I got most of three done before I headed out for the day.

Stopped quickly at the Audubon Municipal Building on my way home to drop off those cookies with the cops. This time, they were open. In fact, one of the cops who brought my bicycle came strolling around the corner as I walked in. I was able to give him the cookies and tell him my bike was working fine.

Since I was going in that direction, I took the long way home down Nicholson Road. It was a little busy around the entrance to the Audubon Crossings Shopping Center by quarter of 2. Otherwise, I had no trouble. It was a beautiful day for a ride. The leaves are gone from the trees here now; the brush along the side of the road are branches that glowed gold against the late afternoon sun.

Did a second She-Ra episode while I got organized. When "Horde Prime Takes a Holiday," Hordak takes advantage of this to use his warship to try to take over Eternia and Etherea. Skeletor gets word, decides it's a good idea, and try to steal the ship for himself. Meanwhile, She-Ra and He-Man have to divert the ship's ice beam from freezing the Whispering Woods.

Worked on writing after the cartoon ended. Leia's not overly fond of the chilly ride to find Luke. She talks about Alderaan and how it would have been spring there by then. Han insists that he left Corellia and never looked back (although Chewie does remind him of Qi'da). Leia notices an unusual road that branches off the main one. It's clearer than the others, and there's flowers poking through the snow. Han doesn't trust the road, but Leia says they should try it...

Broke for dinner at quarter of 6. Watched Noises Off! while eating an Italian hoagie from Sunday and making Christmas Honey Wafers (without nuts - I have none) from Pooh's Cook Book. The movie follows the evolution of a sex farce touring the mid-west and south on its way to Broadway. The director, Lloyd (Michael Caine), is dating his assistant Poppy (Julie Haggarty), but is seeing ingenue Brooke (Nicolette Sheridan) on the side, all while forcing his stage manager Tim (Mark Linn-Baker) to work on no sleep. Meanwhile, the leading lady and one of the play's backers, Dotty (Carol Burnett) is seeing stuttering leading man #1 Gary (John Ritter), while leading man #2, Fredrick (Christopher Reeve) gets nose bleeds every time anyone so much as mentions violence. Cheerful Belinda (Marilou Henner) is just trying to keep everything together and ignore the chaos. The chaos gets worse and worse with every destination. By the time they hit Cleveland, they're all so fed up with each other, the end up ad-libbing most of the first act. Will this crazy crew ever manage to make the show come together?

I'm first going to admit that, while I've heard of the British play this was based off of, I've never seen it. That and I have done stage shows in high school may be why I get such a kick out of this movie. A terrific cast that knows a lot about handling pratfalls has a blast with the door-slamming antics. I will admit that the critics have a point that the premise isn't terribly cinematic, but the cast and some genuine laughs more than make up for the occasional feeling of stiffness.

If you're a fan of farce, wacky comedy, real-life plays, or the cast, you can do far worse than this bit of stage-bound lunacy.

Finished out the night with Dick Tracy while I chatted with Lauren. We move from stage-based lunacy to comics-based lunacy in this unusual action film inspired by the comic of the same name. Tracy (Warren Beatty) is a no-nonsense cop fighting gangsters and corruption in the big city in 1938. His girlfriend Tess Trueheart (Glenn Headly) wishes he'd settle down and take a desk job, but he's too obsessed with capturing Big Boy Caprice (Al Pacino) to pay attention. He gets some unexpected help from The Kid (Charlie Korsmo), a nameless orphan who follows him on several occasions and even rescues him from an explosion.

Tracy is hoping that Caprice's moll Breathless Mahoney (Madonna) will testify against him, but she's more interested in trading quips with Tracy. Tracy comes close to getting the goods on Caprice...but then a masked figure called The Blank frames Tracy for killing the corrupt DA (Dick Van Dyke) and Caprice for kidnapping Tess. Tracy and the Kid have to figure out who's really behind both crimes, leading to an explosive confrontation on New Year's Eve.

It's the eye candy that's the thing here. Tracy's stylized, colorful, period-accurate world won an Oscar, as did the makeup for all those wildly grotesque mobsters and the Stephan Sondheim song "Sooner or Later." Pacino and Madonna are having the most fun as the scenery-chewing mobster and his ambitious moll who wishes Tracy would look at her as more than a gangster's girl. If you're a fan of other stylized action movies of the late 80's-early 90's like the Tim Burton Batman, you'll want to hop on the back of a mobster's car and take a look at this one.

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