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This was one of the most relaxing trans-Atlantic flights I've ever been on. The Lufthansa flight to Berlin may still beat it, but that's mostly because the stewardesses gave me a beer every time the drinks cart went by on that one, so I was feeling pretty good the whole time. This flight on BA, Mike and I were randomly upgraded to the Economy Plus class. We're guessing it's because the economy cabin was oversold (it sure looked packed) so we gut bumped up a class.



In my current impoverished state of grad student-ness, I don't think I could convince myself to cough up an extra $200 on a $1200 flight to get a seat that's a tiny bit wider and a significant whack of leg room. Once I'm working a real person job, though, I'm thinking a hell to the yeah. I have an outlet. For my laptop. And a foot rest. And a giant TV screen for movies. You'd be amazed how these little comforts add up on a 9 hour flight (or maybe you wouldn't).



Speaking of movies. These long flights are normally my chance to catch up on movies I wanted to see but didn't have the time for (often the case this year) or movies that I thought looked amusing but would be damned if I'd pay full price for.



Premium Rush - This was a fun little movie with bike messengers as the heroes trying to keep a delivery from a crooked, malevolent, yet wonderfully inept cop. The movie is not nearly so serious as the preview would have liked you to believe, which I think is for the best. It was just fun and I enjoyed it from the perspective of a cyclist who would never in a million years be that insane. Though I do appreciate that through it all the main characters were wearing their helmets - thanks guys. Also, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has the most adorable little evil giggle, which he uses every time he skunks either the crooked cop or the world's most unlucky bike cop, and it's impossible to not giggle along with him. I think my older brother would appreciate the fact that the main character (who is apparently the best bike messenger ever or something) rides a steel-frame single speed. Though he doesn't have brakes on his, which is a sure sign of insanity if the mischievous giggle didn't tip you off already. The music for the movie was excellent by the way - it begins and ends with Baba O'Reiley, and I feel like it earns that honor.


Lawless - I have some very uncertain feelings about this one. It was either good, or boring as shit, five minutes at a time. I loved Tom Hardy (Forest) in all his understated, casual menace, and his way of liking the Woman With a Past without ever changing his facial expression or tone; it was all body language and looks. Not so sure about Shia LeBouf, but he did a better job in this than in any other movie he's ever been in I've seen, which if I'm to be honest is not saying a whole lot. I swear I tried to go into this with an open mind, but there was nothing about his performance that convinced me, let alone grabbed me. The special agent from Chicago was appropriately creepy, and the Woman With a Past was a perfect match for Forest, where it was a love affair all in looks. Now, I did appreciate the way violence was handled. Someone got punched hard, they went down, and they bled. Someone got nailed in the side of the head with a shovel? Down and stayed down. Not the usual thing that you see in more action oriented movies. I liked about half the movie in those five minute chunks, the other half I wrote things like this during because it just didn't have my attention. A lot of those five minutes were the ones where Shia LeBouf was romancing his girl.


Snow White and the Huntsman - I actually had wanted to see this when it came out, but I was just too busy because grad school blah blah whine whine my life is so hard. Anyway, I ended up liking this far, far more than I thought I would. I'm still not entirely convinced by Kristen Stewart as an actress, but there was a fairly minimal number of times where she appeared visibly incoherent and she had some very good scenes. The movie was also just so goddamn pretty. I knew it would be pretty, but I didn't expect it to be that visually arresting. Charlize Theron just stole the entire show, though. I love Chris Hemsworth, but it was her I ended up watching the movie for. (Poor Chris Hemsworth, getting his thunder [hahaha] stolen by the villain again.) Every moment she was on screen she just had me by the throat, she was so angry and menacing even when she appeared entirely calm. Charlize Theron's speech about men using women right before she kills the king? She turned it up to eleven there and kept going for the entire movie. I think what amazed me the most about the character - and Theron's performance, since she sold it mightily - was that there was so much raw pain still in her, a ragged internal wound that she has obviously kept carefully open and bleeding, yet you never had any doubt for one second that this woman was evil. If I were less of a pathetic Tom Hiddleston fangirl, Loki might have some serious competition for my favorite villain ever.



[Obligatory Loki fangirling shut up I know I have a problem.]

Speaking of Loki, I think the reason I like both him and Ravenna so much as characters is because they each have such a clear internal framework of pain and perceived wrong-doing on the part of the world at large that their villainy makes sense. They're not being evil because nyahahaha evil is fun, they're evil because they believe bone deep that they have been wronged at the world deserves whatever it is they do. And because they are both played by such good actors, for a few seconds at a time they can even convince you to feel that raw internal wound even as you're appalled by what they then use it to justify. From the outside moral perspective there is no justification for their horrible acts, but it gives them a very human emotional core that makes them wonderfully complex as characters and so much more than boring one-note villains.



Really, I think Ravenna is where Loki will soon mentally end up once he's finished completely divorcing himself from reality as we know it. He's almost there, except for those few flashes of hesitation we so in The Avengers. Which does give me hope that he could still find redemption, which was plainly impossible for Ravenna since she was invested in her own narrative twenty life-times worth.



I think I just blew my own fangirl mind.

[/Obligatory Loki fangirling]


Favorite movie for the flight was definitely Snow White and the Huntsman. If the movie list doesn't change on the way back, I'm thinking I'll catch Ruby Sparks (I was super disappointed to miss that one in theaters) and then two out of the three of Men in Black III, The Campaign, and The Watch. If I'm not entirely done with comedies by that point.



Mike, I will note, watched Battleship, and then Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. He actually liked the former better, which shocked me. Though it sounds like it wasn't gleefully bad in the same way. I don't think I'm curious enough to make myself watch it though.

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