Evil Dead III.
Friday was an alright day; I got a ton of work done, I went on the roof & saw a spaceship, Terra & I went to a pizza party with the Tor.com people, & then I grabbed a beer with Matt, Jocelyn & Brian. I was headed to meet Jenny at work for a lecture series, so we went to the Bleeker Street Bar & I knocked back a Delirium Tremens, since it was on the way. Lee Maschmeyer gave the lecture, & fordmadoxfraud came too. It largely concerned the Dadaist & communalist ideological roots of the internet, & while I think it was a bit heavy with platitudes on how the internet is changing sharing culture while ignoring the sad reality that the overwhelming majority of people will happily go into not just a walled garden but a locked garden like Facebooks & iOS, it was also engaging. The commune stuff really reminded me of J.C. Hallman's In Utopia, in that I both admire the commune as an idea & am annoyed by them in practice. I'm less interested in Stewart Brand than I am in Buckminster Fuller, I'd rather the futurist than the artist. You can tell that Lore is striving for a sort of salon-style atmosphere. I left with David & without Jenny & she ended up having to stay really late to work. I waited up for her & when she came home we watched Parks & Recreation & the live episode of 30 Rock. In summary, the former was delightful because Amy Poehler is perfect, & the latter made me convinced that 30 Rock should be live from now on; I think the show is treading water, even when they act like it is going to go in a new direction, & they need something big to make it relevant again.
Yesterday I watched The Legend of Korra & then I went to the gym for a nice big fat hour & forty five minutes. My workouts earlier in the week had been pretty light-- having the influenza last week really took a lot out of me-- but I think I made up for some of it yesterday. I came in shy of my "four hours" weekly goal, but by only ten minutes, which is better than I predicted. Back on the horse! Then Jenny & I went out on a date to my favorite place, Beer Table. We started with Professor Fritz Briem Grut-- our favorite beer, basically-- & Beer Table Table Beer/Strumke, which was a nice drinkable saison. First food course was fennel salad with greens, mango & chilis & pork terrine with onions, egg & watercress & the second course was a duck sandwich with jalapeños & porchetta with figs & potatoes. The next round of beer was JW Lees Harvest Ale '10 Lagavulin-- which smelled like figs & peat, just lovely-- & Yeastie Boys Pot Kettle Black. We finished up by splitting an Einbecker Mai Ur-Bock-- it tasted like grass, & was ridiculously cheap-- & then we went to go see Cabin in the Woods.
You should go see Cabin in the Woods; it is sort of adorable & really probably should become a cultural touchstone. It is Joss Whedon at his Whedonist; the movie is dripping with quips & is fundamentally a self-critique & a structural dissection of slasher films. When I wrote about Community subverting genre I mentioned Buffy the Vampire Slayer as its nearest comparison & Cabin in the Woods is definitely an heir to that legacy. Cabin is a Buffy story...without a Slayer. I knew a little bit about it going in, but just what I'd gleaned from the trailers-- I consider that fair game, I don't consider trailers to be spoilers-- & the movie got a lot of that out of the way up front. It isn't a "twist" flick, so the spoilers being danced around are all narrative ones, which is to its credit. In a nutshell, the movie is Friday the Thirteenth with an added metaplot of Angel's Wolfram & Hart on top of it, set at the exact same cabin as Ash was trapped in during the Evil Dead movies. It is an examination of tropes & archetypes both within the story & outside of the narrative-- which, can I rant for a second?
This may be a mild spoiler, but it is bugging me. Maybe it is just because the Tarot is something I'm drawing from thematically in my current campaign, but I don't think Marty counted as The Fool after a certain point. I mean, The Fool becomes The Magician becomes The Hanged Man, right? & by the time your Fool has seen through your surveillance, beaten up your Zombie Redneck Torture Family & hacked into the guts of your high tech magical ritual, I think he's moved on to The Magician. The whole thing was debunked from there. I think my favorite parts of the movie are handled in the background-- all the thing in The Cellar map out onto what we see later, for instance-- but my favorite scene? Probably the mash-up of Battle Royale & The Ring going on at the Japanese office, & the "What a Friend We Have in Shinto" quip. I want to know what was going on in all the other failed rituals; I would really like to see those as deleted scenes or something; more micro-post-modern story fragments! & I assume the demolition was sabotaged by a True Believer-- that is the one plot hole in the film, & I wonder about it quite a bit.