January 7th, 2012

NCC-1701 Nebula 1

I'm going to have John Williams's score in my head for WEEKS. Here's why.

It's E.T. It's worth staying up for it. I did -- I had way too much caffeine last night -- and so did a decent turnout of Portlanders at the Bagdad. To clown on the fact that the print they showed is the film's 2002 re-edit where the government agents no longer carry guns but carry walkie-talkies instead, our hosts Cort and Fatboy walked up to the stage carrying prop shotguns...only to have our mutual friend Andrew Hill walk up to them, take the guns away, and hand them walkie-talkies and cell phones.

The decent turnout, at least beforehand, included a couple I'm fond of, Dawn Taylor and Patrick Hurley, a welcome sight after his scarifying hospital emergencies. He's home now, thank goodness, instead of in the hospital or in adult care. I visited with them briefly at their dinner, then let them sit together by themselves again. Dawn said that it felt like they were having a date. I didn't want to be an overbearing chaperone. *grins*

A mostly good audience (a few over-talkers a row or two behind me, but I didn't get annoyed enough to ask them to stop, and they were less annoying as the film went on): we even cheered a moment I was sure would get laughs, at the end when the alien ship basically farts out a rainbow. The moment earlier where the men in full-on NASA spacesuits invade Elliott's family home, such a wrong and disturbing moment for me, got laughs, but reactions like that were rare. This audience got into the earnestness of it, and accepted the manipulations of it. This film's a reminder that manipulation does not have to be a bad thing.

You might appreciate the Cort and Fatboy movie commentary about the film. And if you're in a horror mood, you can watch this kind of bloody trailer for an E.T. horror sequel. Fatboy did, and it played like gangbusters. So did Henry Thomas's tear-filled audition for the role of Elliott, which ends with Steven Spielberg saying "OK, kid, you got the job."

Also, in a nicely hey-we-can-learn-something-neat-from-this addition, the pre-film clip show included this: The Spielberg Face, Kevin B. Lee's video essay on how Spielberg uses that shot where the camera pulls in slowly, slowly, slowly on an actor's face. It's a tool, and a surprisingly versatile one that Spielberg plays variations on and even subverts. (You can read a transcript of what Lee said, too.)

And the next Midnight Movie, happening Friday, Feb. 10th at the Bagdad as usual, will be John Hughes's The Breakfast Club.

Next for me? More bed time. I hope more sleep time. Not enough of it last night. But think about this: does E.T. actually need to sleep?
I listen

Domestic Man is Accomplished

Yes! The vacuum I was denied last week has appeared. It has been used. My apartment's carpet has been sucked clean. Cleaner, because I'm not springing for the sort of deep cleaning that carpets could get, but cleaner.

And before that, I went driving -- up to Mount Tabor, then to the library, because I was in the mood to drive -- and finally, after having it for ages, cashed in a "free car wash" card at an automated car wash. I've found that my car is not held together by the dirt on it. Yeah, it's been a while since I've taken it to a car wash.
Oregon Coast 1

A reason to write a Geek Trivia question

To have a reason/excuse to use this picture:


Eruption of Mt. St. Helens as seen from Toledo, WA, May 18th, 1980



I saw this picture -- one I hadn't previously seen of the May 18th, 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens as seen from Toledo, WA northwest of the volcano -- several months ago when I was researching possible Geek Trivia questions. I came up with a multiple-choice question, once again trying to sound a little like how Cort Webber and Bobby "Fatboy" Roberts write their questions:

On May 18th, 1980, Portland's skyline exploded. Mt. St. Helens, in action not yet even seen in a Michael Bay film, collapsed in on itself, then vomited rock, ash and superheated mud across 230 square miles of wilderness, scouring some land down to the bedrock. As truly awesome and awful as the destruction was on that day, we were lucky that the human death toll was in fact far less than it could've been. How many people died in Mt. St. Helens's eruption? 38, 46, 57 [the correct answer], or 65.

Soon I'm going to do a Geek Trivia, Chris Edition blog entry, so you can play at home. But you all are good at playing in general, aren't you?