Heaven Can Wait waits again because today I saw Geostorm and I saw Happy Death Day again. Because, I could.
Some observations regarding Geostorm: 1) it's not quite as bad as I expected, but the bar was really, really, really low; 2) the visuals are awesome (except for the lightning and the running people freezing); 3) the plot is so very simple and doesn't really offer time to care about the pair of brothers at its center, or the one guy getting home to his daughter; 4) the film, like far too many films, begins and ends with entirely unnecessary voiceover narration that 5) doesn't actually fit the plot, and contradicts the marketing with that "SOME THINGS WERE NOT MEANT TO BE CONTROLLED" poster tagline, as 6) the film is absolutely not about how we shouldn't be controlling the weather, nor is it really digging in on the requisite global warming link into its story; it makes a slight effort toward the latter, but essentially spends its time supporting the notion of controlling the weather, you know, rather than fixing the problems that lead to "extreme weather" (the film never actually namechecks "global warming"); the film is a sabotage story, our "playing god" with the weather controlling satellites is only ever suggested to be bad by one character, and that's the guy responsible for sabotaging it; in the end, they're rebuilding everything that's been destroyed to get the weather control going again; 7) that lightning is lame, and I'm pretty sure unrealistic... which is a strange complaint in a movie like this, I know, but seriously, lightning operates a certain way; it strikes the highest conductive thing it can to have the shortest route to the ground, but here, there's a whole lot of lightning in one sequence, and it's just hitting all over the place, including the ground between and underneath metal poles, and it's just not as good a visual effect as so many of the rest; 8) the movie tells a story that has no real depth, and barely a point... it actually reminded me of an action movie from the 80s, but without the political subtext; it's attempt at subtext comes from the saboteur's motivation, to rid the world of our enemies, which is so unsubtle as to be silly.
Observations regarding Happy Death Day: 1) I want to know what 920 (or 923) is, because a) the opening shot of the film is the clocktower clock showing 9:20 (even though Tree's phone says it's 9:01 and the bell in that bell tower is ringing the hour); when Tree gets to her room at the sorority, and she's late for class, it is 9:20. Later at night, the blackout happens at 9:23; also, the film takes place (mostly) on 9/18; it feels like deliberate repetition, am to pm, but 920 doesn't seem to mean much; in police code, it means an adult is missing (which my daughter theorized means that Tree isn't actually repeating the day, rather she died and this is all happening after her death, her way of dealing with it); there's a 920 organization that promotes the use of psychedelic mushrooms, but that doesn't seem to link right; so I figure it must be a birthday of someone involved with the film... but the writer Scott Lobdell was born in August, and the director, Christopher Landon was born in February; so maybe a significant other; 2) the use of street signs, at least early in the film, is interesting; in Carter's room, for example, there is a ONE WAY sign pointing left (narratively, that's backwards) that is initially seen (or at least the first time I noticed it, in a mirror; Nick's room, where Nick is about to be killed and so is Tree (and that isn't really a SPOILER because of the nature of the film) there's a skull and crossbones on the outside of his door, on the beads dangling over his closet (or whatever space it is the killer emerges out of), and there is a DO NOT ENTER sign on the inside of his door, seen as Tree enters the room, and another ONE WAY sign pointing left.
Plus, of course, it's still a time loop film with a great lead, a better love interest in Carter than Rita ever was--
No, that's not quite right, but seriously, Rita is awful. She needs a good time loop to make her a bit nicer (and she gets one in Rubin's original script). Carter starts off nice. And, as my daughter pointed out today, in the final resumption in Happy Death Day he never really has to know the bad person version of Tree. He met her when she was drunk, and then he's there for (in the eventual, actual timeline) her to wake up, proclaim she killed someone, then leave in a hurry, but she's not rude, she's not demeaning, and later she tells him what's been going on and he still believes her. So, he's not only already a nice guy, he never really has to deal with the worst version of Tree.
And, I didn't really want to talk about either movie, today.
It's weird, but so many entries in this blog that started as something basic turned into moving personal screeds. (Today’s was going to be called “what gives this day meaning.”) But, sometimes, when I expect something personal, more mundane things distract... No, that's not quite right. I mean, mundane and personal are not inherently antithetical. But, it's day 1176. Inevitably, I'm going to either obsess about trivial (that's a better word) details, or I'm going to get into a political rant, or I'm going to start getting into personal stuff, and this many days in, I've said a lot of the personal stuff that I might ever say in this blog...
Nah, I'm fucking with you. There is plenty of personal shit still to ramble about. Plenty of self-help style stuff, too. And, plenty of politics. And, always, plenty of movies to nitpick