Just forget the words and sing along

Monday, October 23, 2017

Sunday Sick Day

I seem to have been neglecting this blog as of late, as it comes to chronicling my weekend adventures.  But that all changes today, as I'm fighting some manner of flu bug and have decided to spend Sunday just relaxing at home, focusing all energy on fighting this thing.  So, what better way to pass the time than by catching up on the blog? 

Well, that, and I haven't had a lot of weekend adventures in the city as of late.  August was a pretty quiet month.  I only went once in September, and once in October.  In September, it was with the primary purpose of seeing Kingsman: The Golden Circle.

Kingsman the Golden Circle Movie Poster

I loved the original Kingsman.  I mean, it's the creators of Kick-Ass doing to James Bond films what Kick-Ass did for superheroes.  And while I did love The Golden Circle, it tried just a little too hard to capture the coolness of the first film. For example, in the first Kingsman, there's that standout fight scene...the shootout in the church that's set to Freebird.  In The Golden Circle, there's not one, not two, but three attempts at doing a similar music montage/fight scene. 

The plot:  when the super-spy agency known as Kingsman is all but wiped out by a mysterious organization known as the Golden Circle, the remaining Kingsman agents are forced to team with their American counterparts, Statesman, to get to the bottom of things.  I did find Statesman to be a neat concept.  They're all cowboy-themed and their HQ is a bourbon distillery in Kentucky.

The villain was an interesting concept, but they had to throw in an extra plot twist too many.  As I said, they were trying too hard.  But still, I enjoyed it.  2.5 Nibs, full review on the website.

The only other thing of note from that September trip was paying my first visit to Sunrise Records in West Edmonton Mall.  For those just joining us, the last great Canadian record store chain -- HMV -- closed its doors and had its liquidation sale back in the spring.  However, the small Ontario-based record store chain Sunrise Records decide to acquire most of HMV's old locations, and finally expand their operation to nationwide.  Now, I knew of a few music geeks who were quite giddy at this development.  Apparently, in Ontario, Sunrise Records has developed the reputation for always having the rarities and oddities in stock.  It's where you go when you can't find it anywhere else.  So, their excitement has carried over to me.

And, well, my first impression of Sunrise Records is...meh.  I have no doubt that the music geeks are digging their selection and drooling over the expanded selection of vinyl.  But, I have always been more of a movie geek than a music geek, and I find that their selection of Blu-Rays and DVDs is still somewhat lacking.  For me, personally, I looked to HMV for the rarities and oddities, like the newest Criterion and Shout! Factory releases.  But Sunrise just doesn't have that yet.  So, yeah.  I'm still underwhelmed by their movie department.

Trip #2 was just last week.  Had to catch the latest chapter in the Lego Cinematic Universe, .
Lego Ninjago Movie poster
The Lego Ninjago Movie

For those who don't know, Ninjago is one of Lego's more popular in-house franchises.  It's a mash-up of ninjas and kung-fu and giant robots and pretty much every Asian pop culture artifact.  It's had a popular Saturday morning cartoon for some time.  In fact, a Lego Ninjago Movie was in development long before The Lego Movie became a giant hit.  When The Lego Movie hit, the creators of Lego Ninjago got new marching orders:  make The Lego Ninjago Movie more like The Lego Movie.  And here we are.

Ninjago City is always under threat of invasion from the evil warlord Garmadon.  But, Garmadon's forces are always defeated by a group of mysterious ninjas.  The Green Ninja holds a dark secret, though.  He is Lloyd Garmadon, Garmadon's estranged son.  Needless to say, Lloyd's civilian identity gets him a lot of hate and some serious daddy issues. 

During one skirmish, Lloyd decides to unleash the Ultimate Weapon, to be rid of Garmadon for good, but in doing so, he releases the great beast Meowthra.  And now, Garmadon and Lloyd must join forces to go on a quest to the find the Ultimate Ultimate Weapon and defeat Meowthra.

So, it's not quite as funny as The Lego Movie or The Lego Batman Movie, although I think Meowthra is the greatest "Lego world meets real world" gag since the third act twist of The Lego Movie.  SPOILER WARNING:  Meowthra is just a regular house cat, who wanders around, knocking over buildings.  But while the jokes aren't there, there is some surprisingly poignant father/son stuff between Lloyd and Garmadon.    A lot of heart in this film.

In the end, The Lego Ninjago Movie is the Cars of the Lego Cinematic Universe.  Not the best, but given the other films in the franchise, better than most other films.  2.5 Nibs, full review on the website.

And then, as always, a new fast food discovery for lunch.  Me and my morning guy recently did a bit about what businesses you'd like to see come to town, and we were both surprised that Edo Japan got a lot of votes.  So I started doing my research.  Edo Japan is a fast food chain, still largely only in Western Canada, serving up Japanese food.  In the past, they were centered mostly in food courts, but their recent expansion plans have included adding more standalone stores in power centres.  So after The Lego Ninjago Movie I decided to give them a go.

They call their combo meals "bento boxes," because of course.  To fill my bento, I had their sukiyaki beef with gyoza and tempura shrimp.  It was not too bad.  The shrimp was nice and crispy.  The beef was good.  The rice was good.  And the gyoza was way better than the frozen stuff I treat myself to from down at the grocery store.  I'll probably give it another go. 

Anyway, this is out of my system now, so I'm going to go back to the couch and keep being sick. 

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