Indy, Happening, Hulk, Midsommar, and more

I just don't feel like going to bed tonight, so I shall blog instead.

My family is having a good Summer so far, and I'm pleased about that. Here we are a week ago at the Midsommar celebration at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis.

I've had the opportunity to take in some of the Summer Blockbusters, and I'd like to share my thoughts:

Enjoyed the experience while in the moment, but found a lot very wrong with this movie. A couple weeks after seeing it, I remember almost nothing about it, except for a general feeling of bleah. Ford was very good. I don't understand the appeal of Shia LeBeouf at all...a casting failure in this film. I usually love Cate Blanchett, but she had nothing to work with here. She didn't even look cool/good/beautiful. The plot made no sense and went nowhere. And the final half of the movie was so leaden with CGI that I felt like I was watching some ILM demo reel or something. All that being said, the opening sequence in Arizona had some tasty moments. I'd like to give this film a rating of "Olive Garden"...tastes great when you're there, but the minute you leave (and for days after) you feel gross.

This is the new one from director M. Night Shyamalanalotaltolaotalonala. After I saw the movie I came home and checked all the reviews up on and realized that the critics HATE this movie. Really hate it. Like, it averaged a D+ or something. Yikes. I'll have you know, I liked it better than Indiana Jones. The movie is just a glorified Twilight Zone episode and nothing really happens in it, plot-wise (which is extra ironic, judging from the film's title). But that's why I enjoyed it so much. It's quiet, unfolding almost in real time, and the people in the movie act weird, which is probably exactly how everyone would act in such a situation. Mark Wahlberg acted weird, but it didn't bother me. I enjoyed watching Zooey Deschanel, just cause she's kinda of a weird looking chick, in a beautiful way. The opening scenes in the film are very gave me the same vibe I got when watching Spielberg's "War of the Worlds," although this movie's quiet approach almost made the situation more creepy.

THE INCREDIBLE HULK this is a great Summer superhero movie. I may have liked it even better than Iron Man, which I truly enjoyed. For those of us who tuned into the Bill Bixby TV series in the 1970s, this movie is loaded with sneaky and fun references. Ed Norton is awesome as always, and I like Liv Tyler in anything (although Dawn didn't like her in this one, for some reason). The opening sequence in this film (taking place in the slums of Rio) is one of the most exciting and fulfilling kick-offs I've ever seen in a popcorn flick. In fact, the opening, before Norton Hulks-out for the first time, is sooooo great, I might have preferred he never went green at all. By the end, the big finale is kind of exhausting, but getting there is more than half the fun.

I took Paavo to swim lessons at the YMCA these past couple weeks. Today was his last day of class, and during open swim at the end of the session, sure enough, he took a deep breath, plunged his head underwater, and started kicking and paddling...swimming for real for the first time. It was an awesome sight.

After a bitter, depressing Winter, and a long, cold, dark, depressing Spring, I'm finally starting to believe that Summer is here. Crank up the Def Leppard.


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