Chaos Attraction

Moana and Rogue One

2017-01-01, 10:05 p.m.

I spent actual New Year’s Eve Day just packing up all the stuff we had at Pat’s house and cleaning it before they arrived--let’s just say we left juuuuuust before their arrival, with Mom insisting on like, making them cake first and leaving them booze. And like five presents and thank you notes and cards.

As for NYE, after a few years of being off from the usual tradition of watching movies and trying to forget it’s NYE, Mom and I did a double feature tonight of Moana and Rogue One.

I haven’t been to our local theater in...quite awhile, apparently, because they have totally converted the joint. A LOT less seats, basically everyone gets custom Barcalounger recliners with a table and cupholder...but the rows only hold like what, 7-9 people and there’s only about 6 rows per theater. Of course, that’s a lot less people for more cost, right? I didn’t really know this had happened and was all, “wait, what, we’re getting the last two tickets for Moana?!” Sure, if it’s a damn small theater with huge chairs, you are. So weird. Also makes it harder to talk when Mom wanted to know what was going on in Rogue One. Though I can say the following for this setup:

(a) you have somewhere to put your food
(b) reclining in the movies
(c) even in the very front row, it really wasn’t too hard to watch (Moana showing)
(d) There was nobody in our row in the slightly bigger theater for Rogue One and it wasn’t full and the seating was so deep you could barely tell anyone else was in the, between having nobody even closer and a table setup, I could use my phone as a flashlight to check my knitting under the table, because I managed to knit about 100 yards of a tiny cowl for 4 hours. Go me.

As for the movies....

Moana was very good. I fear it’s not as memorable as Frozen with no “Let It Go”-type stuff (sorry, Lin-Manuel Miranda! Even though I liked Moana’s “I want” song and Maui’s “You’re Welcome” and the “Shiny” villain song), but Moana herself is a lovely kickass heroine and teams up well with Maui the demigod. The plot of it is that Maui the shapeshifting demigod liked to help out humans and he got the idea to steal the shiny stone heart of an island goddess--which has caused Maui to lose the heart and his magical fishhook that enabled his shapeshifting, and is causing some kind of eventual blighting of the Polynesian islands.

Little Moana has a super awesome magical moment at the start of the movie when she helps baby Squirt from Finding Nemo make it to the ocean, and the ocean in return gives her a shell and a heart and obviously really really likes her. Moana grows up to have this screaming urge inside her to sail away from home even though she’s the chief’s daughter and thanks to the whole blight/curse thing, her dad’s forbidden anyone from sailing away. (Also, when he tried it his best friend died.)

When her grandmother, the island crazy woman, is dying, she gives Moana the heart, as well as letting her know where their ancestors hid the ships and tells her how to solve the blight problem. Find Maui, return the heart. Moana’s mom, who is still alive and very nice and supportive, helps her pack and go. Moana finds Maui, who is really not into this idea but does want to find his lost fishhook, and it takes her awhile to get him on board with the idea. Overall, I liked it a lot, though I sadly don’t think it’s going to be huge in Disney canon. It’s well done, though. (Also, Pamie of long ago Internet fame helped write it, so that’s cool.)

Rogue One was good. I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite of the movies due to ah, plot reasons of it being not an upper, but it does excellently set up a lot of things like “really, the Death Star had such an easy secret self-destruct button?” I still want to know what happened with the Bothans, though--didn’t a lot of them die to bring them that information?

The visuals were pretty cool--I liked the former Jedi planet (there’s like, one brief scene where it looks like there’s a giant Jedi master shape in the rocks, and Jedha(?) City is up on a giant mesa. And the final planet is an island archipelago that was quite beautiful before everything got blowed up. I also really enjoyed the blind guy and his Daredevil-esque fighting scene, that may be my favorite fight scene ever.

And I have to say this: I am normally pretty against the idea of bringing back people who are dead IRL in film because so far it’s been hitting Uncanny Valley territory. Heck, a few months ago I was watching Hawaii 5-0 and for whatever crackassed reasons, the people who made the show thought it’d be a good gag to bring back Jack Lord in a scene talking to modern-day Steve McGarret. And it was CREEPY. He looked like a dead and gone creepy vampire and it was terrible. Well, clearly Disney has a lot more money to pull that off, because they brought back several people (most notably Grand Moff Tarkin) and holy shit, I wouldn’t have known the difference watching had I not known Peter Cushing was dead. Daaaaaaaaaaaaamn. Good job. Gooooood job.

And yes, that makes one wonder if Princess General Leia will be living on to episode 9 after all. I honestly don’t know how I feel about this, because they really could actually pull it off without it being awful. I guess we’ll see in three years.

And after that, 2016 is finally over. And like I said, I’d be delighted about that except for the fact that 2017 may be a Death Star kinda year.

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