I haven't been able to update because my boss went on vacation and the rest of us have had to fill in for him at work. I came home every day and was so mentally exhausted that I couldn't possibly even attempt putting words together on a computer screen. The last few days I've been eating items off Taco Bell's 99 cent menu and falling asleep on the couch while watching classic episodes of Unsolved Mysteries on Amazon Prime. I'm talking about the old school episodes with the creepy theme music and Robert Stack standing in front of bookshelves.
I was also able to see Dunkirk last weekend. It was a really good movie that I have no intention of watching again any time soon. This isn't because it wasn't good, it's because I've seen it already, and the suspense just won't be there upon a second viewing. Perhaps in the future I'll give it another watch, but for now I'll just stick with what I saw the first time. I can't say much about the movie that others haven't already said. Tom Hardy does such an amazing job in this film, and he barely says three things. Also, his face is obscured throughout 90% of his time on screen. He knocked this performance out of the park with just his eyes, it seems like.
The film is about one of England's biggest failures in World War II, that they were able to turn into a positive. After being run off by the German army, England and some other allied countries were waiting on the beach at Dunkirk for extraction. German gunners swooped in and started picking these soldiers off, and they also sank the British ships that were sent to rescue the men. The movie is slow in its pacing, and it comes off as a bit of a shock to modern audiences who are used to the high energy, high action films. As I was telling a friend, if you have ADHD, this is not the movie for you.
I had a rare Sunday off today. I was able to finally indulge in a thing I love, Sunday brunch at Bird Cafe, my favorite restaurant. I stuck with my usual default when I come to brunch, the Mother & Child Reunion. It's two eggs on top of a chicken breast with jalapeño gravy on top. It comes with grits, but I always substitute potatoes. It's a real treat, and I love it so much. It's the main reason I eat brunch there.
Game of Thrones, Insecure, and Ballers are back, and I have my Sunday night viewings already set. I usually like to live tweet the shows, but this season I've chosen to just watch on my own. It makes for better viewing, because I don't find myself taking my eyes off the TV so I can get off one or two really clever tweets. It's then that I look up and notice that something has happened while I was busy tweeting. Well, I won't be doing that this season.
I had an early shift at work yesterday, so I knew I needed an unhealthy amount of coffee to help me get through the day. There are some days that I can get through a morning caffeine free. There are other days where I turn into Lorelai Gilmore and I need several cups right after another. This was supposed to be one of those days. I started it off with a 6am wakeup, and made a caramel cappuccino with my Keurig (I like it because it's convenient). After that, I made my breakfast and my lunch and then got ready for the day. Before I left I made a giant cup that I poured into my M&M travel mug. As I got to work I realized I had left it on the porch. Bah humbug! It got up to 101 degrees outside today. There were no surprises when I made it home and grabbed my cup and it was just as hot as it was when I left eight hours earlier. Don't judge me, but I'm currently drinking the same giant cup as I type this up before bed. When I have coffee at night it has the adverse affect on me, it relaxes me and helps me sleep. My mother is the same way, oddly enough.
I made it into work an hour early so I could have some distraction free writing time with my laptop. I'm currently writing the paranormal story that I've had tucked away in my brain for the last few years. The problem here is that I'm really superstitious, and I believe that if you even dabble in the dark stuff you're opening yourself up to all sorts of bad karma. Also, I'm trying to just write it in the day time, since I've scared myself twice trying to write it at night.
Yesterday was my weekly "catch up on podcasts" day. I usually listen to one on the way to work, but lately, since my schedule has been all over the place, and I had a family emergency that took up an entire week to sort out, I put them aside for the most part. The podcast with my highest priority are as follows:
What podcasts are in your rotation? I might go into town and see a movie today. I'll give my critique on it tomorrow.
These days I don’t find too much on Netflix that I want to watch. Aside from the Marvel shows and some random documentaries, I don’t get much use out of the service. One of those documentaries was the PBS one about the Oklahoma City bombing. It was very detailed and told Timothy McVeigh’s story about how he got disillusioned with the United States government after his participation in the Gulf War. That, along with Ruby Ridge, and the Waco tragedy, really fueled his anti-government sentiments. It ultimately led to him parking a Ryder truck in front of the federal building in Oklahoma City and setting off his bomb.
The filmmakers pointed out how many white nationalist groups were out and about during that period. Oddly enough, growing up in Texas, I didn’t see any of those sorts of thing. This could have simply been childhood naiveté, as I was probably shielded from the horrors of such close-mindedness. I do remember going to the indoor flea market in town and looking at one man’s display of old-timey photographs. While some of these were simple ones, like old baseball players and old soldiers, a few of them were group photos of KKK members. Believe it or not, I saw more racism at the antique mall. Some of the items on display included ceramic mammys and seemingly innocent photos from blackface productions.
Be that as it may, racism was very much alive and well in the south during this era, and Timothy McVeigh and his actions are living proof. I was in junior high school when I first heard about the bombing. I think I was coming out of shop class when this really annoying kid named Mark declared to all of us as we exited the shop room, “There has been an explosion in Oklahoma City!” I didn’t think very much of it and went about my day. It wasn’t until a little while later that I saw the magnitude of what had happened. All of the news channels were featuring on-location reports of the incident, and it made front-page headlines in the newspaper the next morning. I guess it was a big deal.
Years later, in early 2003, I lived in a small town in Oklahoma, just north of OkC. At my job I heard a lot of stories from survivors and people who had family in the Murrah Building that day. For the first time I was finally able to put actual faces to the Oklahoma City bombing. Not that it wasn't real to me before then, but talking to the people made the tragedy more tangible to me, and less abstract.
The documentary gave a lot of insight into the ordeal, and even included small clips from some of the fanatic, fringe documentaries that came out a little bit after the Waco tragedy. I used to frequent a mom and pop video store in my neighborhood, and I remember soaking up all these crazy documentaries. While I was never sure what to believe, I do remember thinking that some of these crackpot ideas were way out of left field.
This PBS documentary was really good, and it shed a lot of light on a subject that some thought had happened so long in the past that we had either put it out of our minds, or no longer put the weight on it that it deserves. Oklahoma City deserves to be more than just a mere footnote in the history of our country. It is the ultimate act of domestic terrorism, and it shouldn’t be ignored just because it happened so long ago.
I've never really seen myself as much of a film buff. Sure, I studied film in college, and I've seen enough movies to in my lifetime, but I am no expert. I've seen most of Quinten Tarantino's movies. I won't say I'm as enamored with him as a lot of people are, but the man does good work. The first time I saw Reservoirs Dogs I was completely shocked at the over the top violence. I was also taken aback by the fact that these were awful people, and here I was rooting for them to escape. The same could be said for Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown. While the title character of Tarantino's 1997 film was in a dire situation, she wasn't completely clean, or a damsel in distress. Jackie was a tough as nails lady who had fallen in with some bad people who were making her do bad things. While it took me a long time to see Kill Bill, I realized very quickly that the protagonist was a former member of an assassination team. My reservations about seeing that movie came from the trailer that I saw where Uma Thurman was wearing Bruce Lee's jumpsuit from Game of Death, an honor I didn't think she'd earned.
The point I'm trying to make is that Tarantino has done his part in pushing along the anti-hero trope. In some way, these once bad people had been wronged, and now they must make it right. This, however, is not the case when it comes to the heroes in Inglourious Basterds. Morality of war aside, these are people who are fighting for the side of good. The Basterds hunt nazis, and they're very good at it. Shosanna wants revenge for the death of her family at the hands of Hans Landa.
I really enjoyed the film. I don't know what took me so long to see it. Perhaps it was because I figured it would just be your standard Tarantino blood fest. When I saw Eli Roth's name attached to it, I was sure this was going to be a gory film. I always had chances to see it, but never did.
I'm glad to see that Quinten Tarantino's style has matured over the years. He still can't help himself when it comes to his usual Tarantino tropes. There is usually a long, drawn out opening scene. Heroes can and will die at a whim (Michael Fassbender). Lots of blood, lots of death. Plenty of oddly, overly emotional tense moments. My personal favorite, however, is the affable enemy. In previous films there was Bill, Jules Winfield, Mr. White, and Ordell Robbie. In Inglourious Basterds, we have Hans Landa.
While I won't spoil the ending, I will say that if you want some historical accuracy, this is not the film for you. You should go watch Band of Brothers or The Pacific, if you want a painstakingly detailed depiction of World War II. If you want an over the top and very, very, very loose portrayal of the war against nazi Germany, look no further.