The most notable thing for me to tell you about today is that last night I took myself to see hated. Well, I hated most of it. To a slight degree, I'm conflicted about it -- which would be why I was generous enough to give it a C+ rather than something lower, which you might expect of something I hated. Hopefully I made my case well enough in my review.
My overall grades are always an average of five or six separate grades I give a movie: in this case (and in most cases) directing, acting, writing, cinematography and editing. There are other things that one could argue should always be included -- music or score; production design -- and some things I do include occasionally where appropriate (music for musicals or music biopics; special effects). It's this system that often results in an overall grade resulting in something higher than you might expect from much of what I have to say about a movie. In the case of Instant Family, the editing and the writing were both mostly dreadful, but still had moments of pseudo-redemption deep into the story. And I really can't fault the actors, who were quite nice all around; not a single particularly bad performance. So, things like fairly solid acting under the circumstances, and perfectly serviceable cinematography bring the average up.
It must be said, therefore, that a C+ is a pretty bad grade from me. Not in a million years would I insist anyone see this movie. On the other hand, I also acknowledge that I know plenty of people who would watch this turd of a movie (which still has its heart in the right place) and think I was crazy for hating it. Part of it is that I've been too steeped into cinema criticism for too long, and depending on the viewing audience, there is a difference between quality cinema and heartwarming entertainment. From my perspective, this is a movie that sacrifices quality by trying way too hard to be heartwarming entertainment, to the point of genuine ridiculousness.
At least I didn't pay anything extra for that movie, using my AMC Stubbs A-list monthly membership to get my ticket at Pacific Place downtown -- leaving work ten minutes early and making the very unusual November choice of grabbing a LimeBike to make it in time for a downtown 4:45 showing, rather than going to the U District for a 5:20 showing. It would have taken me much longer to get home from three times as far away, and this way I maximized the overlap between my being at a movie and Shobhit being at work for a shift that did not end until 6:15.
I still took up most of the rest of the evening writing my review, although I did wait until after dinner and watching the final show of 2018 for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, which made inspired use of Russel Crowe as its final punch line.
. . . Well, isn’t this funny? I could have posted this entry at the more usual time of 12:30, but I came back to my desk and spaced this draft ready to post and got distracted with work emails. I have a lot on my plate this week in terms of work load, which I suppose is a good thing. I was asked by Rosie in the kitchen today if most people in Merchandising are working at the stores -- indeed, they are. Kevin and Kibby, who now both worth in Category Management, are here, but besides me that's about it. Steven, the new guy now in Kibby's old position, is not in the office and it only occurred to me literally as I was writing this paragraph what likelihood there is that he did volunteer to bag groceries at one of the stores this week before Thanksgiving.
This has long been a tradition here, any office staff who is available and able volunteers to help out at the stores, which get extremely busy between Monday and Wednesday on Thanksgiving week. As I told Rosie today, though, "One of the many weird things I have pride in is that after sixteen years, I have always gotten out of working at the stores on Thanksgiving week. I've never done it." Rosie countered, "Well, someone has to hold down the fort, right?" Exactly! As I then also added, I do have a lot that needs to get done and cannot be ignored this week. In fact I'm legitimately behind at the moment.
--Damn it! I just got distracted by another email. Stupid "Reindeer Box" of truffle chocolates the vendor told me in April was discontinued. What, until the next Christmas, apparently! The Burien store has six cases of the damned thing today and it isn't scanning. Why didn't the vendor tell me this was seasonal so I could mark it as such and not have to be dealing with this bullshit? Anyway I guess I should post this so I can really focus on work for the rest of the day.
[posted 12:54 pm]