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TV & movie check-in


I have 2 days left to gather my thoughts on the last...3? episodes of Survivor before it all ends, so here's where I'm at:

  • Never in my life have I seen everyone decide to vote a jerk so close to the end, and stick to that plan instead of one person deciding last minute that "hmmm no actually I want to take this jerk to the end so I can beat him." PUNISH THE JERKS. SO glad everyone shunned Jason prior to voting him out, too. Awesome.

  • Shame that he got to go to the animal sanctuary instead of Aubrey. That's the one reward I would have killed for this season.

  • I can't figure out how smart Tai actually is. He keeps screwing people over, but then he does his Sad/Apologetic Child routine and seems bewildered to be called out on it, and I am left confused as to whether it's a language issue or if he is really that childlike. I'm also left confused as to why I never feel like actually blaming him for switching alliances and backstabbing on a whim. I'm always like "OK, I see why you did that, no harm done."

  • Poor Joe being medically evacuated for eating too much steak coming off a starvation diet. Especially right after seeing him win that challenge in total epitome of "slow and steady wins the race"! And it was really great he got to enjoy it with the two awesome women, too.

  • Aubrey & Joe's mentor/mentee relationship (ordering deliberate) remained the sweetest thing all the way to the end

  • On the bright side, even before Joe left, we made it to a final five where I can't possibly hate the winner!! I mean, obviously I want it to be Aubry; that chick is head and shoulders above everyone else and she rocks. I'd rather it not be Michelle, just because she's still pretty boring. But Cydney would be an awesome second choice, and while I'm sure Tai can't win...see previous statements about being unable to dislike anything he does.

  • I am so happy it's a female majority at this point I almost can't think straight.


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Eight Below is a super wonderful movie omg.


The only thing that makes it better is watching the Making Of featurette, a.k.a. an excuse for Paul Walker to talk about how much he loves dogs/dog movies and loved working with the dogs.

I genuinely cannot express how attractive he is at this point in time. It's ridiculous. It may have helped that his character was wonderful. And had a cute girl to inevitably kiss. (also probably the most awkwardly tacked-on inevitable kiss ever. I could not stop laughing at its awkward placement. It was pretty and all, but there were like 60 seconds of movie left. There was no actual reason for it to happen except that they suddenly realized they were in a Disney movie, no one had kissed yet and there were heterosexual options for doing so).

And the dogs were AMAZING. I was really pleased to see 2006 Disney show restraint and not have the dogs "talk," but express everything with just vocalizing and looks. Those are the most expressive looks I have ever seen on dogs. They also had an excellent repertoire of tricks; I'm impressed by the trainers.

All in all, it's just a really classic live-action family-friendly movie, the kind that were so prevalent in the 90s, very feel-good but not, I don't think, too cheesy or saccharine.

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The Jungle Book is a....not-bad movie.


I don't have any attachment to the animated version, having never seen it (I may have read a novelized version at some point, though). I had an illustrated version of the original novel adapted for kids -- can't find it on Goodreads but here, a 1985 Random House publication adapted by Robin McKinley, Tales from the Jungle Book -- and that's pretty much my only attachment to it. I remembered plot points, but not their order or how the overall plot got from beginning to end/what the end actually was. I thought it was a pretty entertaining story. Thoughts:

  • It is a stunningly pretty film

  • Some of the animation was really wonderful (PANGOLIN! And Shere Khan. That is a terrifying face). Some of it made me flash back to how people complained about Zoo (the TV show) using real animals when "computer animation is so advanced these days it looks just like the real thing!" Um...no. (Baloo & Bagheera, in particular)

  • My minimal patience for children, particularly boy children, apparently extends to fictional versions with no adult relief. At times I got very bored with Mowgli's face/voice.

  • BUFFALO STAMPEDE!!  Amazing. All of the action sequences were really done.

  • I loathe the songs from the animated movie. They did not get better.

  • It drove me NUTS trying to place the voices of Shere Khan and Akeela until we got to the end credits. Idris Elba & Giancarlo Esposito, respectively.

  • I really liked all the wolf scenes

  • Why did I start crying p. much every time the mother wolf spoke

  • The porcupine is my favorite character ("This is my rock. This is my rock too. That's a stick, that's mine.")

  • The runt wolf pup is my other favorite

  • ...I know I don't know the animated version well, but I'm pretty sure King Louie did not look like that, holy hell. That's terrifying. In a good way. (and the monkey temple? also super neat)

  • A+ end credits

Overall: Was not enthralled while watching it, but an enjoyable way to pass the time; would recommend. I'm more excited to see the Alice in Wonderland sequel. Every single second of that trailer looked amazing and I cannot wait to get to it.

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Upfronts took forever to get here this year so now I'm saving my official check of the renew/cancel info until I'm done with the test-scoring project, but media news has a way of getting to my eyeballs in spite of my checks, so I found out that Castle got canceled. I AM SO HAPPY. That is the saddest thing that May 2015 Me could hear, but May 2015 Me didn't know this show was going to explode in a fireball of suckage and be poised to get worse in the future by firing Stana Katic (????), so thank god they're forced to abort mission and provide the happiest possible ending ASAP. I don't know what said ending is, but I assume it is positive. I heard someone say "time jump," and this is probs the only show where that is a good sound.

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