cop car (john watts, 2015)

Robin wasn't feeling well, so I found the one channel that is in English on the TV (Paramount). One bad movie after another. I watched Cop Car with her. Kevin Bacon is a bad cop, Shea Whigham is a bad guy, and there are two young boys who are goofing around and take the titular cop car on a joy ride. The beginning, when the boys are having fun, is lightly entertaining, but once Kevin Bacon turns up, the tone fluctuates uneasily between fun and more serious matters. Since I'm writing this on my phone, and since the movie was nothing special, I'll keep this short. 6/10. 


and now we're in nerja

WiFi is touch and go, so these posts will come erratically. We're both under the weather today... Well, Robin has a cold, for sure.

We've eaten dinner at one of our favorite places, and even managed to approximate Spaniard norms... We didn't go out to eat until 8:30 or so. And we made the first of many trips for ice cream cones. We've also hit the mini-mart across the street two times in less than 24 hours.

Meanwhile, here is the view from where I am typing this:

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And the ice cream parlor:

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life in ronda

I have written a lot more during previous trips to Spain. There are two basic reasons why I'm writing less this time. The main reason is that I didn't bring a laptop on this trip, so any writing I do is done on my phone, which is not the easiest way to compose. For certain, I would write something about Grant Hart but that will have to wait. The other reason is that, having read through posts from earlier vacations, I realize I've told these stories before. That's what I get for always returning to the same places every holiday.

But there are a couple of variants so far in Ronda. I've written in the past about the Andalusian tendency to slur their way past the last syllables of words. We may have a new record in this regard, from a man who pronounced "de nada" as "naaa" (closest I can get). 

Our host in Ronda, José María, has actually let slip one or two entire sentences in English. One interesting note is that he says when Robin speaks English, he can't understand a word she says... too American. We don't know why this doesn't apply to me, although I try to stick to Spanish in our conversations. 

But mostly it's more of the same, exemplified by today's schedule (I'm writing this on Friday). We got up and stepped into the garden for breakfast around 11:00. We talked for some time with a man from Holland. Eventually Robin decided she was hungry, so we had lunch where we had just eaten breakfast. By the time we finished, it was past 2:00, which means siesta time. So now we're back in our room. We haven't left the Jardin de la Muralla yet today. And since José María has invited us for paella this evening, we may never leave this place until tomorrow when we will go to Nerja.

We are a thrill a minute.

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creature feature saturday

The Fly (Kurt Neumann, 1958). Long ago (the 70s?), we saw comedian Bobby Slayton open in a club for two different rock acts. The shows were close enough that Bobby's sets mostly contained the same material. One quickie joke was to open his jacket, revealing a big plastic fly on the inside, at which point, he would squeak, "Help me help me" and close the jacket. He was referring, of course, to this, the original Fly movie. Vincent Price tells a story about the filming of the iconic "Help me, help me" scene. "[E]very time that little voice [of the fly] would say ‘Help me! Help me!’ we would just scream with laughter. It was terrible. It took us about 20 takes to finally get it." The thing is, no matter how much humor can be extracted from the sound of a tiny fly with a man's head begging "help me!" as it is caught in a spider's web while the spider closes in for a meal, everyone who sees The Fly remembers that scene, not just as a joke, but as something truly unsettling. Well, everyone perhaps except David Hedison, who played the man/fly: "[P]eople do an imitation of it all the time: 'Help me!' They had me in the net, and they pasted me white. In the dailies, when I saw that scene it was horrific — the sound of a man who’s gonna be eaten by a spider — I mean, it’s terrible! But they chose to go with that effect — heighten my voice to make it sound like a chipmunk or something — which to me made no sense at all." It takes a special movie to still have a hold on viewers 60 years after it was made, especially when that movie is of the B-variety. There are things that lift The Fly a bit above the competition. Vincent Price helps a lot. Actually, all of the cast are good, consistently treating the material with a straightforward honesty that belies the outrageous plot. While you're watching, it's easy to ignore the multiple implausibilities. Toss in the color Cinemascope picture, and the stereo sound, and The Fly looks and sounds more expensive than the average cheapie. And, for folks who need trivia with their creature features, the script was the first effort by James Clavell, who went on to co-write The Great Escape and to write several novels, including Shogun. 7/10.