Lookit that f’in raccoon!

Just look at that thing. What he hell is it doing?

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I came across this scene walking home from the bus after work the other day. Four raccoons were digging around in the grass in front of a house a couple doors down from ours, then this one plopped down and sat on his ass like a polar bear. Not sure if he was resting or what. None of them seemed to care that I was standing five feet away.

Arrival

I want to thank the studio for showing restraint in their trailers for this one. They showed just enough to be intriguing, but not enough to give up any major plot points. In fact, they pretty much get through all the trailer parts in the first 10 minutes of the movie or so, so you were sufficiently in the dark enough to let the story unfold without distraction.

There is a sort of reveal, or at the very least a couple specific words I could say about the plot that would ruin it for you, or at least put you in a state of mind to figure out what’s going on before the film wants you to figure it out, so I have to be a little vague here.

At first I was sorta not on board with the conclusion, I thought that I liked the big ideas around the story, but not the device (aliens) used to deliver it. Then my wife basically told me I was stupid, and the more I thought about it, the less easily I was able to think of a different literary device that would have worked as well. That’s why making movies is left to the professionals, folks.

Plus, I read this exhaustive treatise on the science in the film, and it made me appreciate the dilemma of language and expressing thoughts to an alien race:

http://blog.stephenwolfram.com/2016/11/quick-how-might-the-alien-spacecraft-work/

Anyway, if you liked Interstellar you’ll like this. It’s all science-y but then there’s a human element to it that really makes it work. This will probably be in my top five of the year.

Moonlight

This one has been getting a lot of buzz for a long time, the word ‘masterpiece’ has been bandied about, but it just didn’t really do it for me.

It was well made, the cinematography was unique but not distracting, good acting, etc., but maybe I just didn’t relate? Not sure. It was sorta boring for me. Maybe on another day I’d have liked it better.

Miscellaneous photos

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Spot the dragon fly!

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Redwood grove in the botanical garden. One of the coolest places in the city, literally and figuratively.

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Another favorite, the tower at the DeYoung museum. Hard to make out but there are some swirly cloud lookin’ things toward the left side of the horizon. That’s because the Blue Angels were in town and this is where we watched them from.

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The dahlia is the official flower of San Francisco. We found a place down the coast that has a pick-your-own dahlia field. Pretty neat, eh?

The Accountant

Not bad! This was sort of a mashup of Rainman and John Wick but somehow it pretty much worked. It was dumb and violent and far-fetched but it didn’t take itself too seriously so it all turned out pretty entertaining in the end. That’s about all I feel like saying about that.

In Order of Disappearance

What a surprisingly decent Norwegian black comedy this turned out to be. The story centers around a snowplow driver who’s son is mistakenly murdered by a drug lord, and said snowplow driver’s quest for revenge as he climbs his way to the top of the criminal food chain, one murder at a time.

Maybe Liam Neeson wasn’t available but Stellan Skarsgård did a fine job as the wronged father, and he played it in an oddly effective understated way. As if suddenly murdering a bunch of people was no big deal to him.

The film was full of great characters, including the drug kingpin whose personal life is in shambles, the retired criminal brother with an inexplicably surly girlfriend, the kingpin’s young son who’s clearly had enough of this shit, and two Fargo-esque parking enforcement officers.

Quite an enjoyable romp, I must say.