Friday Notes

Qasem Soleimani was killed by an American drone strike last night.  Many people declared it to be the start of World War III.  Many of the same people who loved it when Obama would drone our enemies are outraged that Trump has done the same thing.  That’s partisanship for you.  It’s a hell of a drug.

It’s been about 22 hours since and World War III has not yet broken out.  If it does, I’ll be sure to update this post.

Seeing as how peace is fragile and war could break out any minute, Lisa and I decided to go to the movies today.  We saw two films at the Alamo Drafthouse, Uncut Gems and Rise of Skywalker.  Talk about mood whiplash!  Uncut Gems was gritty and claustrophobic while Rise of Skywalker was definitely not.

In fact, it’s hard to say what Rise of Skywalker was.  This weekend, I’ll probably review the movie over at Through The Shattered Lens, since no one else has done it yet.  For now, I’ll just say that, when I was growing up, there’s no way I wouldn’t have seen the new Star Wars movie the day that it opened.  With Rise of Skywalker, I waited two weeks because I instinctively knew it wasn’t going to anything special.  It’s not terrible but it is forgettable and that’s something that no Star Wars film should be.

The prequels were an obvious mistake from the minute the words “trade routes” appeared in Phantom Menace‘s opening crawl.  The sequels have turned out to be a mistake, though not on as huge a scale as the prequels.  To me, Star Wars is Rogue One, New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and the first season of The Mandalorian.  The rest of it can be forgotten.

I Skipped The Debate And I Regret Nothing

I didn’t watch last night’s Democratic debate but I had a good reason.  I was watching Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Star Wars instead.  They were both on TCM and I think I made the right decision in choosing them over Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, in particular, is always better than I remembered.  The first time that I ever watched Close Encounters was in a film class and, at the film’s conclusion, tears started to form in my eyes.  I assumed that it was just I was just moved by the end of the film, with Richard Dreyfuss going into space and Melinda Dillon being reunited with her son.  Later, I went back to my dorm room and discovered that I was running a fever and had a temperature of 101.  Whether you’re sick or not, watching Close Encounters is still an emotionally rewarding experience.  That scene where the aliens first arrive at Devil’s Tower still takes my breath away.

As for Star Wars, it’s still a great thrill ride.  I watch it and I’m a kid again.  Of course, while I’m watching it, I don’t worry about things like how Darth Vader could have built C3PO or Luke’s obvious crush on his sister.  I just sit back, relax, and have a blast.

For those two movies, I skipped last night’s debate and I regret nothing.