“Don’t look at them.”
“What are they?”
“Don’t LOOK AT THEM. They’re not real, OK?”
“Wha…what is going on?”
“Nothing. It’s OK. We’re safe now. It’s OK.”
“Nina. What the fuck just happened? Who were those people? What were those THINGS? What were those things–that came into my house—and killed my dogs?”
“They don’t exist. They’re not real. You gotta listen to me. They’re not real. God…oh God. They’re NOT REAL. They hate reality, they hate us, and they come when they’re called. Do you understand? They can only come in if they’re called!”
– Breakdown (1997): Kurt Russell and his wife are traveling through Hillbilly Country, USA in a brand-new Jeep Grand Cherokee with City Folk licence plates. They have a confrontation with a guy with a truck and cowboy facial hair. Then their car breaks down. And then the wife goes missing after having accepted a ride with a passing trucker. And then nobody wants to help….at all.
They really don’t make movies like this anymore: low to modestly budgeted, with one or two really bankable stars, and a simple concept with 100% of the runtime dedicated to that concept.
It’s not great–I’m personally growing less and less fond of the “evil hillbillies” trope as I spend more time driving around the Ozarks. (Let me tell you about the shade tree tire shop that repaired my fourth flat tire and then inquired about my brother’s horses’ wellbeing [they’re fine] and possible Coronavirus cures [whiskey and energy drinks]. OTOH, I am not driving a Jeep.)
But it’s, ehhhh, watchable.
– Soldier (1998): TBR. The script was a lot better than the movie ended up being.
– Predator 2 (1990?): I was inspired by listening to the first part of Critical Drinker’s discussion of it on Youtube. (Driving!) They concluded that it’s a solid, good movie!
It’s not…not great.
It is OK, don’t get me wrong, the concept is there and it’s a good concept–but there are quite a few lines and moments that are just plain clumsy, not to mention contrived situations and meaningless character decisions.
But, I guess, that’s what passes for marvelous artistry these days.
– Magicians of the Gods, Graham Hancock: So I was *also* listening to the Joe Rogan podcast and this guy was on several times. His theory is: Catastrophism. The Younger Dryas cold spike, 9,600 years ago, was ended by an airburst meteor or comet, and that human civilization a) existed, b) was all but wiped out almost instantaneously, and, c) traces of this ancient and advanced civilization can be found at megalithic sites worldwide–from Indonesia to Turkey.
It’s an interesting theory. (I note that Wikipedia takes pains to dismiss Hancock as a pseudoscientist…multiple times).
The book is less so; it’s written less as a book and more as though it’s a long-form journal article/interview, a format which I find intensely irritating.
Still. It’s an interesting theory.
– The Faithful Executioner: Life and Death, Honor and Shame in the Sixteenth Century, Joel Harrington: This is the biography of an executioner in 1500s Germany and examines the social implications of his job and how Hans Schmidt managed to be both a diligent executioner/torturer and eventually escape to become a respected member of the community.
– Peace Talks, Jim Butcher: again.