Out to Massachusetts this weekend for a family holiday barbeque. We had to take the dog, because all the local boarders were full, but it went better than we feared—she does not like other dogs, but when outdoors and a reasonable distance away from the other two dogs (my parents' and my cousins') and kept company by at least one person, she was pretty calm. She didn't sleep in our room this time, and yelped for about ten minutes intermittently when she was put to bed, but after that she was okay. The barbeque itself was very nice. We met my new first cousin once removed, who is four months old and looks extremely concerned all the time; apparently he's the spitting image of his dad at that age, so he won't necessarily grow up to be a horrible pessimist just because he looks that way now.
Occasionally it was pitched too high, and on rewatching the lack of subtlety in those places will probably make me wince. But overall it just made me happy: the characters and acting kept me engaged, the look was brilliant, and it was tight and fast. I was fascinated by Doc Ock's arms, the way they looked and moved—they had personality. About the first thing I said after was, "I want arms like that, only not evil."
(Actually, the very first thing I said, as we walked out during the credits, was, "How would you like to be credited as a Scientific Consultant on that?" Even I could tell that the physics was deeply wonky, though at least I didn't notice any objects free-falling at different speeds this time.)
(Speaking of physics, Peter Parker does not have good luck with mentor figures. If I were him, I'd stop trying.)
As for the Spiderman-Peter-MJ triangle: well, I suppose pyschosomatic superpower problems are no less implausible than genetically-engineered spiders or whatever. I loved the shot of Peter walking away from the costume in the trash: the costume's eyes were the last thing to fade out, down at the bottom right corner of the screen. And I wanted to cheer Mary Jane when she told Peter that it being too dangerous wasn't his decision to make: I hate that romance plot.
Speaking of cheering: Aunt May smacking Doc Ock with an umbrella from behind, and then him learning from that—you notice that it didn't work for MJ late in the movie? Chad's theory about Aunt May, by the way, is that she knows Peter is Spiderman, and her awkward big speech was intended by her, as well as by the writers, to motivate Peter. I liked this very much and adopted it immediately.
The look of the movie was wonderful, I thought, from the very clever opening credits to the sequence in the trailers, that shifts from Spidey swinging down the street, to his reflection in Doc Ock's sunglasses, to Doc Ock swarming up the clock tower. Did I mention I want arms like that (only not evil)?
Maguire and Dunst are signed on for three movies, and the end of this one certainly suggests that the three are going to be a loose trilogy, both plot-wise with the Osborn family and thematically, as suggested at Crooked Timber. I've seen a bunch of people commenting that they recognized some high number of important characters from the comic books. I know squat about the canon, but MJ's ex-fiance, astronaut-boy, smells like a future important character to me—might as well add another to the collection of men upset that Peter/Spiderman "took" MJ from them. Other than that, I have no idea—spoil me! It'll pass the very long wait until the next one.
I suppose, while we're talking about superhero movies, I should drop in this personality quiz result. After a fast pass at it, apparently
You are an SEDF--Sober Emotional Destructive Follower. This makes you an evil genius. You are extremely focused and difficult to distract from your tasks. With luck, you have learned to channel your energies into improving your intellect, rather than destroying the weak and unsuspecting.
Your friends may find you remote and a hard nut to crack. Few of your peers know you very well--even those you have known a long time--because you have expert control of the face you put forth to the world. You prefer to observe, calculate, discern and decide. Your decisions are final, and your desire to be right is impenetrable.
You are not to be messed with. You may explode.
What's more, I'm on the far end of the scale:
I don't know what I think of this—focused, sure; remote, okay, but out of awkwardness as well as reserve; and I like to think of myself as too nice to be an evil genius. Oh well.
Today we went furniture shopping, and found a TV stand that should let us save some space and remove the stereo equipment from its current rickety shelving. Finding the right piece was surprisingly easy; figuring out the best place to put it is surprisingly hard, but will probably be apparent once we get the thing and try out the various options. Oh, and we bought books, of course. And early this week Chad's new computer will be delivered, and I'll attempt to connect it to his old one and transfer his files over. Wish me luck . . .
(I have already had more computer luck than I expected this week. I had to upgrade Eudora because 3.0.6 doesn't support SMTP authentication—go figure—which I hadn't wanted to do because a 4.x or 5.x that I'd tried had saved my mailboxes in HTML ( all over the place, like that) for no apparent reason. Eudora 6.1, I am pleased to say, does no such thing. I don't known whether this means I'm on a roll with computers or I'm out of luck.)