Long flight

I was already exhausted because we left so early on the 19th from Sanming to Fuzhou for Donna's bloodwork at the hospital. Slept for an hour or two, then took the 5:30am bus to the airport. Arrived FOC at 6:10am for a 7:55am flight. Got some McDonald's (ice cream coffee?) breakfast.

In Shanghai, I discovered that there is a Priority Pass lounge, spent 45 minutes there munching on dumplings and noodles and downing a few beers. Re-boarded the China Eastern MU587 to JFK.

So I read a bit of Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom but spent most of the flight trying to nod off and watching dumb movies.

The Lego Movie 2

Mostly in line, quality-wise, with the first one. Teared up a little bit. The songs, however, were fucking excellent. I need to look up the OST once I get off the flight. The 'I'm not an evil queen' song, in particular, was awesome/hilarious.

Bumblebee

Meh. I probably agree with the reviewers who list this as the top Transformers film, but that isn't saying much. I just had no idea going in that I was going to see 3d recreations of the character designs of all these Transformers from the original toys/cartoon. Seeing big old truck Optimus and Shockwave and Soundwave, etc, was a treat.

Green Book

This was better than I was expecting. I'd say it's still guilty of being a movie for white people to feel better about their lack of overt racism, but it wasn't quite as obnoxious about it as I'd thought it would be, and had some fantastic performances by the leads. Teared up a little. An additional criticism is its distinct lack of structure - it's more a series of encounters bringing the two leads to a better mutual understanding of one another rather than the major conflict-centered three-act structure we expect. I think that's a bit of a cheat. They wanted a 'feel good' movie where two characters we like just overcome challenge after challenge.

Mortal Engines

Wow. This was a bad movie, but so fucking batshit insane crazily creative. Why the fuck are cities on wheels? No explanation. Why are there magical airships? No explanation for anything except why 'modern' technology doesn't exist anymore ('quantum warfare'). But seriously, few films strive for as singular and new a mythology. Feels like the creators were shooting for a new Star Wars, but failed to hit the mark by a long shot. Even with the 'I am your father' moment and Death Star run moments at the film's climax. I mean, the bad guy literally holds out his hand to the main hero as he reveals that he's the father (although it was very very clearly telegraphed earlier in the film).

I also re-watched a bit fo the mid-2000s remake of 'Fame' with Kay Panabaker. Such a beautifully shot film and some pretty good performances (mostly from the teachers, including Kelsey Grammar, Bebe Neuwirth, Megan Mullaly and Charles S. Dutton). But such a bad movie, and it reminds me of just how many more risks the original film was willing to take to try to accurately portray teenage 'coming of age'.

blog/second