August 17th, 2014



We haven't gone out to a movie in the middle of the week in a long time. Except last weekend we spent part of a weekend getting an MRI. Worthwhile, of course, but does nothing for our summer entertainment or making Hollywood zillionaires richer. Besides, we've been waiting for this movie. So Wednesday we made a date night.

First, though, we needed some supper. So on the way to Holland we stopped at the A & L Farm Market and Restaurant on M-45. Great Mexican fare.

Then a quick stop to get new batteries for our cellphones. Mrs. Dr. Phil's wasn't holding a charge. And mine was needing more frequent charging. This is our second set of replacement batteries. Not unusual, people buy new cellphone batteries all the time. But then people seem to be buying whole new phones all the time. Our pair of Motorola Razr V3a units are from 16 February 2008 -- 6½ years ago. (grin) Still going strong -- in fact the only reason we replaced the previous five year old Motorola V60i's was because the FCC said we had to retire our analog-digital phones and go all digital. (double-grin)

Then on to the other Holland movie theatre.

The Hundred-Foot Journey [PG]
Holland 8 Theatre #4 7:00pm 2x$6.75

An Indian family loses their restaurant and leaves India. They end up in a small town in France. They set up shop across the road -- one hundred feet, the father measured -- from a Michelin starred restaurant. I've skipped a lot of details but that's the initial setup. From there it gets complicated.

Helen Mirren plays the French madame who runs her restaurant with an iron will and a devotion to the classical French cuisine. And defender against these Indian upstarts. But it gets out of hand and she begins to soften in the war against the determined father. Then there's his brilliant son the chef and the charming French woman sous chef who helps him. Of course our young hero eventually goes to work at the French restaurant. And then it gets complicated.

I know some reviews have beaten this movie up -- one complained that Mirren showed no emotion. Of course! That's her character. It's called acting. And Helen Mirren is genius and pulls it off perfectly. I swear, some people shouldn't be paid to put reviews in print. I mean, Stephen Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey paired up to produce this -- they tend not to make crap -- and we'll probably have to read the novel.

In my review of Chef I talked about the glorious food porn filming. Here the food prep is even more lovingly filmed, though we don't follow whole dishes here from start to finish. No matter. This is Rattatouille made flesh.

Om Puri is easily Mirren's equal as the stubborn father. Manish Dayal and Charlotte Le Bon are our beautiful young chefs. This is a joyous film celebrating life overcoming adversity. And they could have hamfisted beaten us over the head with at least two plot points, but they let us connect the dots ourselves. Some things don't need to be said.

This is a lovely, light summer foodie movie. Thankfully we didn't have to taint it with popcorn.


Trailers: The Second Most Exotic Marigold Hotel is the much anticipated sequel to the glorious original. The cast mainly of codgers and witty British dialogue. This time, our young hotelier cheerfully calls morning roll call to see of any of the seniors are dead yet. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I, our first look at the third installment. Looks awesome. Cinderella, nothing but an animated glass high heeled shoe -- at least 5" heels -- and a butterfly, which becomes a glass bow on the shoe. A lovely bit of advertising that tells us nothing of Disney's new version? Unbroken looks really interesting. 1936 Olympics, WW II bomber, shot down in the Pacific, Japanese POW camp. Opens Christmas? Into The Woods, another first look at a movie due at Christmas. This one is the Sondheim play we've seen several times. Killer cast.

Dr. Phil

WorldCons 2015, 2016, 2017...

As Loncon 3, the 2014 WorldCon in London, continues this weekend, word I've heard is that it is a big success. And, around noon EDT, I learned via...

Congratulations to Kansas City for picking up the 74th World Science Fiction Convention.

Dubbed MidAmeriCon II, it will be held in Kansas City, MO on August 17-21, 2016

So, the schedule is set for the next two years:

2015: Sasquan, the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention, Spokane, Washington, Wednesday 19 August 2015 - Sunday 23 August 2015.

2016: MidAmeriCon II, the 74th World Science Fiction Convention, Kansas City, Missouri, Wednesday 17 August 2016 - Sunday 21 August 2016.

Both of those are North American/United States venues. I've previously expressed support for Helsinki in 2017, Wednesday 9 August to Sunday 13 August 2017, voted at Spokane next summer.

There is a minor hitch, though. Summer of 2017 includes a North American total solar eclipse on Monday 21 August 2017. That would be one week after Helsinki -- there is talk of a 2017 Solar Eclipse WorldCon bid. Hell, I even brought up the topic the other year. I've never seen a total solar eclipse. The best I've had was a 96% annular total eclipse in 1994. But I want to go back to Helsinki! How's a mother to choose?

My theory: Given weather, give Helsinki the win and then scramble the next week to fight a viewing site based on forecasts, not two year old schedules. Everybody wins!

Dr. Phil

There Is Justice In The Universe

Just caught from Scalzi's blog that Randall Munroe's "Time" from xkcd won the Hugo for BEST GRAPHIC STORY.

I am so glad that the Hugo nominators and voters recognized that this was one stirling example of a piece.

I fully expect that Black Hat will make a snarky appearance on xkcd this week.

Dr. Phil