things we said

Things we said while we watched Caprica

Lisa: So did this air on TV? Did we miss it?
Me: We might have missed it. We were so sick of the Battlestar Galactica franchise after that last season… Oh look, topless women dancing and making out!
Lisa: OK, I guess it didn’t air on TV. At least not this version. [Several minutes later:] Do you understand what’s going on?
Me: Not really, no. I mean, I’ve got no clue about the virtual twin thing. I think the teens-misbehaving-in-cyberspace thing is meant to show that Caprican society has become decadent.
Lisa: OK.
Me: Which can be a real problem on a planet with only one society.
Lisa: At least the climate is nice.
Me: Yeah. Caprica: the Pacific Northwest planet.

Lisa: Hey, it’s Bill Adama’s father.
Me: And he’s from Tauron, which is apparently the Hispanic planet. [Thinks.] Oh, of course. Tauron is the bull, and Spanish people fight bulls. Get it?
Lisa: Hmm, it looks like all the Taurons have neck and face tattoos. And are criminals.
Me: Make that the Hispanic prison gang planet.

Esai Morales (Bill Adama’s father): This is going to sound strange, but we don’t have flowers on Tauron.
Me: That doesn’t sound strange, it sounds ridiculous.
Esai Morales: When I got to Caprica and saw my first flower, I thought it was beautiful…
Me: Yes, flowers are beautiful. What a pity no one on Caprica ever thought to export seeds and bulbs to Tauron. Perhaps using the same technology with which they import Hispanic prison gangs.
Lisa: So I see the world-building hasn’t improved since Battlestar.

Esai Morales: We Taurons are a proud people, Willy. We work the land…
Me: Yes, we attempt to grow fruits and vegetables, on a planet without flowers. Which explains why we all have to moonlight as thieves and assassins.

Lisa: Oh, look. Eric Stoltz is going to download his dead daughter’s consciousness into the prototype Cylon.
Me: Wait a minute…
Lisa: His rebellious teenage daughter’s consciousness.
Me: No way.
Lisa: His fanatical monotheist teenage daughter’s consciousness.
Me: Oh, Jesus.
Lisa: So the explanation for the Cylon rebellion is—
Me: —they’re angry teenage girls.

Me: Hello, 1-800-TAURON? I’d like to take out a hit on Ron Moore.

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Lisa and I watched this over the weekend. We were hoping it would be enjoyably bad, but it didn’t inspire that much clever byplay. Mostly we kept cycling through variations on the same three riffs:

Me: Is the dialogue/plotting/character development in the book as awful as this?
Lisa: Yes, but you’re seeing everything through Bella’s eyes, so it works somehow, despite sucking.
Me: [Insert gruesome joke about including a pair of Bella’s eyes in the DVD package.]

Lisa: He [Edward Cullen, the boyfriend] is really unattractive.
Me: Are you referring to his physical appearance, or his habit of constantly informing Bella that he’d like to kill her?
Lisa: Both. In the book, he’s described as being unearthly beautiful.
Me: What about the death threats?
Lisa: He does that in the book, too, but…
Me: …you see it through Bella’s eyes. And she’s an idiot.

RIFF #3, Variant A
Lisa: One thing I don’t understand is why the vampires don’t pretend to be home-schooled. If I were immortal, the last I’d want to do is keep going to high school.
Me: Yes, but you’re not a pedophile.

RIFF #3, Variant B
Me: Oh look, she’s standing on his feet while they’re dancing together. Just like you would IF YOU WERE A LITTLE GIRL DANCING WITH HER FATHER.

There were some things we liked:

* Kristen Stewart. She actually made a good Bella, and the film would have been much better if she’d been paired with an Edward who could act and who she had real chemistry with (even real sick and twisted chemistry).

* Bella’s (real) dad.

* Edward’s vampire family. My favorite bit, and it hinted at a good-story-that-could-have-been. The introductory dinner party had real (but mostly unrealized) potential, and the thunderstorm baseball game was the best scene in the movie.

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Things we said while we watched The X-Files: I Want to Believe

Lisa: How long ago did the series end?
Me: Before we were born, feels like. This story really isn’t very compelling, is it?
Lisa: No, it’s not.

Lisa: Wait, they’re supposed to be living together?
Me: Apparently.
Lisa: I don’t buy them as a couple anymore. They don’t talk like a couple.
Me: No, they don’t. On the other hand, I’m beginning to wonder whether David Duchovny and Amanda Peet had an affair during the filming.
Lisa: There does seem to be some sparkage there.

Lisa: “Our son William?” They had a son? Was that in the series?
Me: I don’t remember. It was before I was born.

Me: Man, this is like a bad “monster of the week” episode.

Lisa: They killed Amanda Peet! Why did they do that?
Me: Vasquez must die.*

Lisa: He’s going in alone, with no cell phone and no weapon?
Me: Yeah, and of course he’s going to get caught by the bad guys, but don’t worry, Scully and Skinner will show up in the nick of time and save him.
Lisa: How are they going to find him?
Me: That’s just a detail.

Lisa: So wait, they’re going to put that guy’s head on a woman’s body?
Me: A really bad “monster of the week” episode.

Me: Yeah, that’s smart, chop up the corpse first, rather than the semi-conscious FBI agent… I predict Scully and Skinner will arrive just as the guy is raising his ax to kill Mulder… Yep.
Lisa: Instead of wrapping Mulder in a coat to keep him warm, shouldn’t they just move him indoors?
Me: You’re thinking too hard.

Lisa: Wow, that was really disappointing. Chris Carter, what happened to you?
Me: Yeah, it is pretty sad.
Lisa: You wait all these years to make another X-Files movie, and this is what you come up with?
Me: Yep.
Lisa: Maybe we should rewatch some of the early series episodes.
Me: Or not.

* [N.B. A reference to the Vasquez Always Dies TV trope, which states that “If two Action Girls are featured in the same film, invariably the tougher, more competent, more aggressive and less feminine character will die.” Upon reflection, this is actually not a good example of the trope, because Amanda Peet is, by Hollywood standards, more of a girly girl than Scully, and she demonstrates her incompetence by (a) getting separated from Mulder and (b) broadcasting her location to the bad guy they’re chasing by repeatedly shouting “Mulder! Where are you!” Since she still manages to be likable I’ll call her a Friendly Target instead.]

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Things we said while we watched The Happening

Lisa (during opening credits): So is M. Night Shyamalan’s career over?
Me: I don’t know. I guess we’re about to find out.

…several minutes later…

Me: Boy, this is some stupendously bad acting.
Lisa: The dialogue is pretty atrocious, too.

Me: Is Mark Wahlberg supposed to be playing a retarded science teacher?
Lisa: It seems like it. Especially when he talks about “science.”

Lisa: You know, it’s really inappropriate for a woman to confess her infidelity during an apocalypse. “Honey, before we die, I want you to know I cheated on you.”
Me: It would be inappropriate, if the woman saying it was a remotely believable character. But since this is just a bad line reading…
Lisa: That’s true. I have to say, this movie is giving me a whole new appreciation for Bruce Willis’ acting skills.

Lisa: Mark Wahlberg is talking to a potted plant.
Me: Watch, the punchline is going to be it’s a fake plant.
Mark Wahlberg: Plastic… I’m talking to a plastic plant… I’m still doing it…
Me: I think I know the answer to your question about M. Night Shyamalan’s career now.

Me: Hmm, kicking the front door of a house full of scared rural people. I predict this kid is about to get a shotgun blast to the chest.
Lisa: Ooh, good call!
Me: Interesting that they opened the door to shoot him. I expected them to shoot through the door. I wonder if that’s the surprise plot twist… Huh, they shot the other kid, too. I thought they’d only shoot one of them. I wonder if that’s the surprise plot twist.

Me: OK, if you want to leave your shelter so you can die with your husband, fine, it’s your choice. But you don’t drag a little girl with you. That’s just wrong.
Lisa: Or would be, if we cared about these characters.
Me: True.

Me: And the surprise ending is… It really was the plants? Huh?
Lisa: I am so glad we didn’t pay to see this in a theater.

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