Movie Review

What do you get when you take a generous helping of The Fifth Element, a bit of Jupiter Ascending, and throw in a dash of just about every SciFi/Fantasy flick of the last twenty years? You get Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. And I don’t mean that to be derogatory in any way. For years I’ve been lamenting that Hollywood never does anything new and with Valerian it has. I was truly and completely captivated and entertained by this flick and felt it was very much worth the price of admission. How often can you really say that these days?

Certain reviews have labeled it a hot mess, and yes, it’s heavy on special effects—at times almost to the point of being overwhelming—but unlike certain other films (cough, Star Wars prequels, cough) I didn’t feel they detracted from the story. I couldn’t tell were CGI left off and practical effects began; a testament to the degree of technical expertise exhibited in the film. The aliens—as in The Fifth Element—were amazing. The actors’ performances—while not exemplary—were at least convincing, and that’s more than be said for a lot of recent films. This is really one of those movies that deserves to be seen on the big screen—as increasingly unpleasant as that experience has become.

And the soundtrack ain’t bad either…

Quote of the Day

Most significantly, these first six months have revealed a central weakness of our system: its dependence on leadership that honors the norms and traditions of our political institutions and understands the necessity of at least appearing to adhere to common values of decency and honesty. President Trump and the Republicans in Congress have shown no respect for any of that. It’s a harsh lesson for our country and it may get harsher still. But at least we know now who they really are and what they really believe in: nothing.” ~ Heather Digby Parton, Salon

“Houston, Tranquility Base Here…

…the Eagle has landed.”

It’s been 48 years since those immortal words were uttered, and sadly, I doubt that humanity will put another man (or woman!) on the moon until after I’m long gone from this plane of existence…if even then. And I doubt even more that the United States will be the one to do it. As a nation, it seems we’ve lost our way; lost our will to explore and to truly lead. Nevermind the active dumbing down of the population over the last generation—something that was brought into laser-sharp focus this afternoon as I fell down the rabbit hole of YouTube videos.

I started out innocently enough with upcoming movie trailers (there’s some good stuff coming out over the next year) and then I got sucked into “You won’t believe what this woman found in her attic” clickbait, and then somehow fell into Area 51 UFO conspiracies. I finally had to step away when I stumbled upon the religious yahoos claiming that the August total eclipse is proof positive of the End Times (it’s in Revelation!) and/or not an eclipse at all, but rather the planet Nibiru finally careening in from the outer solar system, completely destroying all life on Earth…and the government has been hiding the truth from us for years! (Hey, even though we can’t see this supposedly huge object in the night sky that’s less than a month from destroying civilization, the ancient Sumarians believed in it, so it must be true!)

He Would’ve Turned 60 Today

And I find that harder to wrap my head around than the fact that he’s now been gone for more years than he’d been alive when we met.

Steve Golden, 7/18/57 – 1/23/90

I’m a part of that subset of Boomers who didn’t have to go to war. Too young for Vietnam, too old for the Gulf. Hell, we didn’t even have to register for the draft when I came of age.

But that doesn’t mean we didn’t still suffer the loss of war; a silent, yet deadly war we fought in the streets, in hospitals and the halls of Congress that easily ripped as many of our finest from us as armed combat on foreign soil.