April 23, 2014 Leave a comment
In which an ending is reached, and just rewards gained all around.
April 22, 2014 2 Comments
No, this isn’t going to be a bunch of soul-searching woolgathering about my life and why things are they way the are. I’m in control of my circumstances, thank you very much, so bemoaning my fate would imply I believe things are up to fate, which I don’t.
This is, however, going to be a bunch of soul-searching woolgathering about my blog and why I’m still doing it. And whether I should be. Or even want to be.
When I started this, the idea was to have something to get me writing every day. To keep the literary muscles limbered up and in use, and thereby inspire me to get after the writing projects that have been sitting around dormant for far too long. Along the way, it turned into a means to work out some things, unload, share, experiment, and generally let people into my head, a few hundred words or so at a time.
Lately though, the whole thing has started to feel like a chore. This chunk of text looming over my day. Just another routine. And it’s got me wondering whether I’ve lost the purpose of the thing for the sake of its maintenance.
I’ve previously grumbled about naming this blog The Daily Rich, and the schedule that implies. But that’s been a self-imposed adherence; there’s nothing forcing me to post something every single day, just sheer stubbornness. Besides, I’ve already allowed myself a day or two a week where I give it a miss, and I’ve missed weeks due to vacation and illness and such. So the promise of the name has already been broken. And even if it weren’t, I see plenty of blogs whose posts consist of nothing more than a sentence or two on the days when nothing substantial is in the offing. No reason I couldn’t do that. Hell, it’s what I did yesterday. So I’ve got options if I’m feeling a little burned out.
I just don’t know if that’ll help. Sometimes I feel so wrapped up in what to write for this, that it swallows up the effort I’d like to put into other things. I’ve done almost 1,200 posts on this blog over the last four years. If you figure that as an average of even a paltry 300 words per post, that’s 360,000 words. That’s enough for three or four decent-length novels. Not that I can guarantee my work would have been put into that had I not been doing this blog, or that I regret not having done so, but it’s a sobering thought.
Well, some 400 words later, and I still don’t know how I feel. I guess if you see a post tomorrow, you’ll know what I decided. We’ll see.
April 20, 2014 Leave a comment
Yesterday, the plan was to get in a good walk, go to an early showing of Under the Skin, grab some lunch, and stop by my friendly neighborhood used book store.
What actually happened was me on various pieces of furniture in my apartment watching television and playing The Elder Scrolls Online until about 2 in the morning.
Well, to be fair, I did get the walk in, and I did have lunch, but everything else flew out the window. First, I got back from my walk a little too late to shower and make the original movie time I’d planned. So I pushed that back, and figured I’d switch some things around. But then I got caught up in watching the end of When the Lion Roared on Turner Classic Movies, and that started the death spiral. I fell asleep at one point, and by then was so gosh darn comfortable I didn’t want to leave the house, and that was that.
I didn’t feel too bad about abandoning my plans. Sometimes all the drive and energy in the world can’t overcome the lure of convenient entertainment being beamed directly into your home, without the need to reveal yourself to the public. I even summoned food to my door, and it was brought with much haste. It’s perfectly all right to give into the hermit urge every once in a while. Just as long as you’re not entering Howard Hughes territory. Although I’d need a lot more money before I reach that.
You’ll be relieved to know I did leave the house today though. Actually spent time around other people. I just made sure to keep the TV off this morning just in case.
April 18, 2014 Leave a comment
Easter isn’t really a big movie holiday like Memorial Day and 4th of July and Christmas. It usually falls around somebody’s spring break, so it’s not like the studios need to specifically target it, as they’ve been sprinkling spring releases all around it anyway. It’s also still relatively non-commercialized and non-secularized (but compared to Christmas, what isn’t), so a lot of people just don’t see it as a day to pack up the family and head to the multiplex. Not that there’s not a bevy of new releases today, but none of them are really going to pose a threat to holdovers The Winter Soldier and Rio 2.
One of them got an early start, opening on Wednesday, and it’s the one film actually somewhat related to the holiday. Heaven Is for Real pretty much says it all right there in the title, and really, the people that are going to see this are the ones who need the least convincing that its title’s assertion is true. They’re going to be told they’re right, and that’s fine, I guess, although you’d think they get enough of that affirmation every Sunday. Assuming, of course, they go to church every Sunday like they’re supposed to. In any case, this clearly isn’t a film meant for me or anybody who thinks like me, so I’m content to let these few lines in this paragraph be the extent of thought I put into it. I’ll figure out if Heaven is for real when I’m done experiencing things I can actually see.
Next up is a film that should make anyone legitimately question the existence of a kind and benevolent god. I didn’t think the first A Haunted House made enough money to make anyone think about a sequel, but I guess taking in $40 million on a $2.5 million budget is enough to give it another go. A Haunted House 2 only cost $500,000 more, so they sure are spending those profits wisely. Look, there’s no need for any kind of heavy scrutiny here. This thing is not even ninety minutes long, which means plenty of showings per day, and it’s aiming for a target so low that nothing short of the prints exploding into flames and burning down theaters is going to stop this from turning a profit. Besides, every generation needs to be subjected to its own Scary Movie franchise, so here you go.
A lot of people forget that Walt Disney had nearly as much success with his True-Life Adventures films as he did with his animated features. They won him eight Oscars, including three for Best Documentary Feature, and if he had to shove a bunch of innocent lemmings off a cliff to get the job done, well, who are we to question genius? In any case, it’s nice to see Disney attempt to honor that history of nature filmmaking with its Disneynature banner, and while their films haven’t met with the same award success as Uncle Walt’s films, they’ve been successful enough for Disney to keep making them. Which brings us the roundabout way to Bears, which promises gorgeously filmed images of cute little bears amid sweeping vistas and reassuringly narrated by John C. Reilly. If you don’t want your kids thinking about Heaven (or Hell, if A Haunted House 2 is on your radar for some reason), this is probably your go-to pick this weekend. Assuming the bears aren’t pushed off cliffs as well.
When’s the last time a Johnny Depp film crept into theaters? Because that’s sure what it feels like Transcendence has done. I haven’t seen a single theatrical trailer for this, and it only feels like the TV campaign has ramped up in the last week or so. It’s Johnny Depp and Morgan Freeman! These aren’t no-names! Well, the director is, unless you keep up with who Christopher Nolan’s go-to cinematographer is. But you’d still think Depp and Freeman would buy a little more buzz, unless the studio knows this isn’t very good and doesn’t want to sink good advertising money into polishing this thing up. Do minimal promotion and hope Depp’s enough to get you a decent opening weekend. Of course, this cost $100 million, so we’re not talking A Haunted House 2-style “just happy to be here” opening weekend being enough. Still, it’s the one release this weekend that’s perked even a bit of interest for me.
I might just go shove myself over a cliff instead.
April 16, 2014 Leave a comment