Started with Plan A, saw the 10:30 matinée of Maleficent in 3D at the Mountain View theater. If it was long, I would stay there for the 2:15 3D Train Your Dragon 2, if it was short maybe go to The Milk Pail and buy some cheese and return for the 2nd movie.
Saw Maleficent, stayed through the lengthy ugly white on black credits, it was only 12:30. So Plan A-, I drove to the Santa Clara theater for the 1:15 Dragon 2. Much nicer theater, that, and 3x bigger.
Then up to Costco, where poster prints I had ordered last night were already ready for pickup. Also bought $70 in groc and $20 for a car wash attachment for the hose. One more thing I can do with a house that I couldn't in an apartment.
Then back to MV and The Milk Pail which had lots of my favorite expensive sheep cheese. And I picked up some others I like and one on special to experiment with.
Home from there. Almost did the gas fill up thing at Costco, but the dial is still at 1/4.
Email from Toyota that my car is due for its 30k check. Went online and was surprised to find appointments available for tomorrow. So I picked 10 am.
Appetizer was experimental cheese on water crackers. Too sharp, like a very aged blue cheese. After 4 crackers, consigned it to cheese heaven. Finished one small block of the sheep of Argental cheese (I bought 3) with the rest of the crackers. Then heated up a pot roast frozen dinner, and mint chocolate chip ice cream chaser with Magic Shell drizzled on top.
Quicken over the last three days reminded me that refunds and such were applied, and I could now pay off my Discover and Visa cards. Amex doesn't have enough of a balance to worry about.
Very well done, all three Maleficents were magnificent. Isobelle Molloy as the young one, Ella Purnell as the teen one and of course Angelina Jolie as the adult. There was a boatload of CGI for all three to act with, and it was seamless to my eye. Elle Fanning is not the actress her big sister is, but she did well enough as Aurora, the ultimate blonde. Kenneth Cranham as the old King and Brenton Thwaites as Aurora's prince both filled out their small parts well. Not so much Michael Higgins as young Stephan or Jackson Bews as teen Stephan. Neither had any chemistry with their opposites, nor did they look the part of Yuppie Commoner.
It was sad to see a talent like Imelda Staunton wasted as the elder of the three nanny fairies. Those parts were throw-aways, and the writing and directing around them was poorly executed slapstick.
I don't know if it was the writing, acting or directing, but Sharlto Copley's Stephan made no sense to me. Part of it, I think, is the major WTF of sending your daughter away to be raised in a far-away cottage instead of in the castle under lock and key where you know she won't be near a spinning wheel, pricking fingers or vice versa. Copley doesn't do despair very well, or talking-to-his-invisible-friend.
I enjoyed the twist in the plot, but it's telegraphed about 15 minutes before it happens, maybe earlier.
What else was good? All the effects, stunts, CGI, cinematography, costumes. Dialog was a little stilted, but that's what you get for following the original closely.
What else was bad? Audio mixing was disgraceful. I couldn't hear the opening narration until the last few words, and those only because I'd heard them in the trailers. Jolie was the only voice I consistently heard. Okay, maybe add Thwaites' six lines.
And the closing credits were painful. White on black, forgettable music, and no Easter egg.
How To Train Your Dragon 2
Still not buying the shape of the black dragon's face. In this one everyone has a dragon. It was the usual stock CGI until the big battle at the end. There is a Big Surprise about 1/3 of the way in which sets the stage for the rest of the movie. Lip sync was out in several places, and the choice of Jay Baruchel to voice the main character was iffy. He never grows into the part. Same kid's voice as ever. Cate Blanchett's Valka is very soft for such a strong character. Gerard Butler nails the part of Stoik. America Ferrera once again amazes me at her spot-on Astrid, a very different character than we're used to seeing her play in "real" life.
Way too much violence, the ending calls for a sequel which is bound to earn $11.95 at the box office.
Again sat through the credits to find no Easter egg, but at least this time they were artistic, and the music behind them was listenable.
Plans for tomorow: