Sunday, June 19, 2016

And Now, The Third One

As often happens, life intrudes and the result is a combination of little free time for blogging plus an exhausted cerebellum.  

So I'm taking advantage of the rare quiet weekend to finally get onto the 'Net the last of the "bad" movies about which I will write.  For now.  

What's the third entertaining-bad movie?  It's 2015's San Andreas.  

I wasn't even aware of this movie until I sat through previews on a couple of recent Netflix DVD rentals.  I checked IMDB and learned this movie already had come and gone.  

Since I hadn't even heard of it I reasoned it didn't do well at the box office.  Not so.  While not a blockbuster it made back its costs about four times over and curiously enough it did a whole lot better internationally than in the good ol' USA.  Maybe foreigners just liked seeing the ugly arrogant Americans get wiped out via a serious of natural disasters.  

I didn't see this flick in the theater (obviously) nor did I watch it on DVD.  Rather I saw it courtesy of our local cable provider who had a free HBO-Cinemax weekend a short while back.  

I was home by myself and noticed this was showing.  So I joined it about 30 minutes in but it didn't take me long to figure out the plot.  

Dewayne ("The Rock") Johnson is a divorced guy with at least one grown daughter.  When I joined this film in progress our hero is flying a single-engine plane over the Bay Area, which was hit by a quake the magnitude of which makes the 1906 and 1989 tremors look like child's play.  With him is his ex (or maybe soon-to-be ex) and they are on the search for their daughter.  Meanwhile we're treated to significant footage of various extras meeting their ultimate fate courtesy of the quake's aftereffects.  

Why do I label this movie as entertainingly bad?  First, it's very predictable.  Seems like everything offered here already has appeared in numerous other disaster flicks.  

Second, none of the characters seem endearing.  You're clearly supposed to be rooting for The Rock (oh, excuse me.. he's to be referred to as Dewayne Johnson, according to my daughter) and his family yet anyone with just a bit of brain power will realize all of these folks live to see the end of the movie.  Why?  They clearly have that indomitable Will To Survive that none of the aforementioned extras seem to possess.  However the main characters appear so vapid I wouldn't want to invite any of them to my backyard barbecue.  

Third, the overuse of CGI.  I realize the technology is here to stay yet to quote Lisa Simpson:  "Better effects don't make for better storytelling."  

Since I was alone at the time of my viewing I decided to start making Mystery Science Theater 3000-esque comments to the screen.  I'm not sure if my solitude impaired some of my snark or added to it.  Either way I laughed out loud at some of my off-the-cuff remarks.  

As with any of these movies, feel free to watch them yourself and draw your own conclusions.  

I also saw, in preparation for today's piece, a notation in which shows a project titled "San Andreas 2."  

Oh, Lord......

Sunday, June 05, 2016

A Quick Interlude

I promise I will write about the third "bad" movie to follow my two prior posts.  However this weekend I decided to do something just a bit different.  

I live in Norton and one asset of this area is a state park barely three miles from town.  It's far enough away that you feel the experience of the outdoors but don't have to venture far from your domicile.  

In this post from early February I snapped a few pics of snowdrifts left behind by the first blizzard I've experienced since moving here eight years prior.  At that time I looked wistfully at the dump station and felt quite the longing to camp.

Fast forward a few months.  We're now in June and the camper is dewinterized and ready for a season.  Last Monday I got a flash of inspiration and took Geoana to the park and we walked the nature trail.  I'm ashamed to say in all the years we've resided here none of us ever walked this path before.  However I took advantage of the Memorial Day holiday and got the two of us out into the sunshine and fresh air.  

Just for fun I drove us by one of the campgrounds on our way out.  Not too many folks left (not a big surprise since it was the tail end of a holiday weekend) but the ones we saw appeared to have plenty of fun.  

Child and I returned home and talked to Geogal, who had to work that day.  Made a decision:  Let's take the camper out there the following weekend.  I got online and made the campsite reservations.  

Friday comes and I drive the rig out to the site and get her situated.  (I wanted to get it there before the little league baseball and softball games started that night as that would mean vehicles parked up and down our street giving me no room to manuever the truck and camper.)  

I learned several things this weekend.  I used to tease my friends and acquaintances who camped at the lake even though their home was barely a five-minute drive away.  Not anymore.  

Even when the park is busy it is still very peaceful.  This particular campground has the sites lined up front-to-rear rather than side-to-side as most parks do.  That means more room, whether you need it for boats, visitors, or most anything else within the rules of the park.  

I like the elbow room.

I snapped this picture then texted Geogal that I had our "lake house" up and going.  

The next day I am compelled to snap the requisite photo with antenna up and awning open.  

My timing wasn't the best.  Yesterday was the annual "OK Kids Day" in which the park staff and other outdoor organizations host the young folks and give them opportunities to fish, shoot a bow and arrow, trap shoot and other outdoor-related activities.  My child's done it in years past but since she's now 15 she stays home and allows the younger kids to have their fun.  

But even with the crowds the park still didn't feel overrun with humans.  I took this picture just a bit up the road from my campsite, gives you a good perspective.  My truck and camper are second from the right, just a little off the center of the shot.  

Why will I no longer poke fun at the locals who camp here?  It's peaceful, you can hear plenty of the sounds of nature, it's nice to be in a place that is not your house (mine sometimes has too many stressors) and you have all the features of camping that aren't allowed in town.  Open fires, plenty of space, starry night skies and water-related activities if you're into that kind of thing.  

We'll be coming out here more often, me thinks.