I took the dogs hiking in Georgia Pass today. The pass is about ninety minutes west of Denver on US 285. We have hiked the area before but it is close enough to home to be an easy drive, especially with good weather.
Our target today was a ridge opposite Mt. Guyot that I have been unable to ascend in the past — a sprained ankle and impending thunderstorm prevented climbing it in the past.
At the top of the ridge we were at about 12,400 feet elevation. Sadly the wildfires in the Pacific northwest were sending a large amount of smoke our direction which prevented the glorious views we would normally see.
I didn’t intend to hike more than five miles but once back at the truck my GPS app registered 7.6 miles. Surprisingly both dogs handled the distance well, at least until Sunday morning when Lucy was sore and unable to walk more than a couple blocks. She recovered by Monday, though.
Unfortunately on the drive back down the hill from the pass I hit a sharp rock on the gravel road and ended up with a flat tire. The flat was complicated by the fact that Discount Tire decided to over-torque the lug nuts to the point where I literally twisted my lug wrench ninety degrees. I was worried I would snap the top of it off and not have a means of tightening the lugs on the spare.
Needless to say on Monday morning I had a conversation with the guys at the tire shop about not torquing the lug so tightly. I also picked up a heavy-duty lug wrench at AutoZone… hopefully I won’t have to test it out any time soon.
I loved Stephen King’s Dark Tower series of novels when I was younger. I was excited to see an attempt at adapting them to the big screen and hoped that big-name actors such as Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey would end up presenting a good, if not great, film.
Unfortunately the studio, director and writers decided to cram as much of several of the books into a single 98 minute film. Time was spent on details that would only please the hardcore book nerds at the expense of the overall story. For example, there is a reference to the Crimson King but nothing is made of it.
I think the biggest mistake was trying to make the film the story of Jake, probably for the YA audience demographic, instead of focusing on Roland. Other characters were missing (Oy, the billy-bummer) yet still alluded to.
If you had not read any of the Dark Tower series the film is not bad in itself. It’s just not the story I grew up reading and that’s a difficult thing to ignore.
We attempted to hike up near Eldora on Saturday morning where I thought that the forecast was not calling for rain. We hiked for about an hour through some light rain until the floodgates opened wide. Luckily there is a brewery in Nederland (seriously, in most places in Colorado there is likely to be at least one brewery nearby). I’ve always wanted to stop at Very Nice Brewing Company but rarely found myself in the area. With the rainy day we had the perfect opportunity to try out this extremely dog friendly spot. The taproom is certainly no-frills but is backed by very good beers. My favorite of the day was the Logical Fallacy, a black IPA that was served with a shot of espresso.
I also had a nice conversation about rugby with one of the patrons who noticed my Canada Sevens hat, and said hello to numerous pups.
If you like sci-fi monkey movies this one’s for you.
Despite great performances from motion-captured actors like Andy Serkis and Steve Zahn, it’s still CG. The violence against “animals” (and people) is easy enough to dismiss as fake but it still makes one question why we can’t all just get along and need to bring guns in as a solution. I suppose that’s the point of a “War” film, though, and I guess you have to write to the most common denominator in your audience demographic.
At least the writers tried to make the script interesting and I admit I didn’t see the twist with Woody Harelson’s character coming until right as it occurred. That twist does attempt to explain a certain aspect of the films (both this new trilogy series and the original series from the seventies). I appreciate attention to details when it doesn’t hit you over the head.
Harelson’s Colonel character is one of the few non-CG actors in the film, although his scenes try too hard to paint him as crazed and “off the rails” and the dialogue falls flat. The script does tie up this whole Planet trilogy to a point where there doesn’t need to be another film (or series of films)… but you know Hollywood: there will be at least three more.
Bottom line: good summer entertainment as long as you are not expecting more than CG apes blowing shit up.
I wasn’t sure the world needed another Spider-Man reboot… but was I wrong. Marvel has pulled Peter Parker into their Cinematic Universe with the assistance of cross-over appearances by Tony Stark, Pepper Pots, Happy Hogan and even Steve Rodgers. Peter Parker does exactly what any other fifteen year old boy would do when given supernatural strength and reflexes (as well as the ability to climb walls and ceilings… somehow): worry about impressing his crush.
While the origin of Spider-Man is implied and only mentioned briefly during conversation, Tom Holland’s Peter Parker is young, sassy, impetuous and nervous — exactly the right combination for a Spider-Man feature film. You care about the boy and his journey into becoming a super hero, with all the responsibilities that entails.
There’s humor through most of the film in the vein of most of the recent Marvel films and it certainly helps the audience enjoy the journey. One of the Marvel execs recently told a reporter that humor is their hook into the audience’s attention, which they’ve successfully done here.
Marvel is firing on all cylinders lately and this latest entry doesn’t disappoint. I predict this will be one of the more successful summer movies of the year, especially given some of the competition (Wonder Woman, for example, and the excellent Baby Driver).
True Spider-Man comic nerds will appreciate the hidden (and sometimes obscure) references in the script to future villains and other characters in the Spider-Man history. And in true Marvel film spirit there are two post-credits “bonus” scenes. It pays to have patience…