I had been poisoned. I had just watched consecutive trailers for Bratz, Daddy Day Camp, and Mr. Bean Does Paris or whatever that abomination is called, and I could feel the cinematic venom seeping into my brain and beginning to dissolve my neural tissues with its incalculable horribleness, its unfathomable craptitude, its unspeakable inanity. Oh, Rowan Atkinson, what has become of you?!
Thankfully, Pixar swept in with an antidote for the dark poison. First there was the delightful short Lifted with a look at the other side of alien abduction. Then came Ratatouille. The movie is another collaboration between Brad Bird and Pixar, so you know that it is good, and oh, how it was. Sure, the plot is a variation on the Unlikely Buddies formula, but its subject is so unusual that it stands out. I mean, how are you supposed to react to rats handling your food? When a horde of rats swarms over the tiny car of a French health inspector, I'm with the health inspector. That's a scene out of a horror flick. And it's fortuitous that Ratatouille doesn't gloss over this discomfort with rats, or else it would feel way too Hollywood. But let's talk about animation. Ratatouille is gorgeous. The hair and water, especially in the storm sewer scene are masterful. The animation of the human faces picks right up where The Incredibles left off. Chef Skinner's facial expressions in particular are wonderful and feel real. The details of scenes are wonderful too. Pay attention to the office of Anton Ego and all the death-related details hidden in the scenes. The movie was quite good, though not quite up to The Incredibles standard.
After the movie, I went to Circuit City to pick up the radio I impulsively bought. After hearing on KCFR that they are now broadcasting in HD on the FM band, I checked out the Boston Acoustic Recepter Radio HD. Mom and Dad had sent a check to help me purchase a radio after I whined enough about my radio difficulties. I can't get good AM reception in my apartment, especially with my RadioShark away from the window, and the online streaming of the station is plagued by constant buffering in the middle of stories I'm interested in. So with the promise of static and buffering free NPR, I splurged and got the radio. It is currently flawlessly bringing me Weekend Edition Sunday. Yay!
After buying that, I went over to Isaac and Elsa's for Bekah's first birthday party. After cake, ice cream and a tasty mint julep, Isaac's brother Kevin broke out his Wii and I got my first taste of that nifty little system. I enjoy the Wiimote controls, but the games in the Wii Sports and Wii Play packs are pretty shallow. After playing for a little while, the novelty begins to wear off, but they are fun for what they are. I know they are meant really to just acclimate players to what the Wiimote can do. The tanks and ping pong games in Wii Play are pretty darn fun for the long term, and the cow racing and fishing are pretty nifty too. Heck, even just making your Mii is fun.
The Wii was followed up with s'mores over the barbecue out back while we read Trivial Pursuit questions. Good stuff. Thanks Isaac and Elsa! I need to have you folks over for some food and fun at my place. And that was Saturday.