I watched a couple of movies from the Redbox last night, but mostly I’ve been barely finding the time to watch clips of Passport to Europe with Samantha Brown. So what did I see? The feature rentals were Smile and Skyscraper. I said there was no way I would see Smile when it first came into my awareness as a new release. Finally I thought it wouldn’t hurt to check out another thriller after the presence was hanging on my mind as another, “Can’t believe they presented this movie like this!” “I think I already know what this is about,” feeling. Also there is no way I want any more bad associations with a smile. One of my biggest criticisms is that the actress on the cover is killed off in one of the first scenes. The second is the first end credits song. Starring Sosie Bacon who is the daughter of Kevin Bacon, surprise and several other camouflage-type talent. The acting is really good, but they scream more than all Scream movies combined. My favorite part was the sound design and film scoring. Overall all things audio put this movie on the cutting edge of technology, still somewhat minimal enough that it could have gone unnoticed. On Rotten Tomatoes Smile got a good balance of fair approvals from the critics and the audience, so this director’s debut should be feeling pretty good. Not to mention they profited about 200 million on the box office. Do I see a sequel in the future? It’s possible since the just-under-two-hour-horror felt like only an hour and they set up a fairly loud theme that could easily be repeated. Also since the popularity almost guarantees more profit and return theater goers, it’s a no-brainer. My feeling though is that this was an all-in artwork and couldn’t be done in the same manner with the same feeling of quality necessarily. At least not without some new inspiration for a different type of success. Smile stands alone as a complete thing and to add a Smile 2 or something, might end up corrupting it’s simple short, but sweet (and loud) fright.

The other movie I saw was Skyscraper. This movie is from 2018 I see looking it up on IMDb. Starring one of our favorite hero actors with a “modest joe” sense of humor, Dwayne Johnson and Neve Campbell. It was on a “1$ Redbox Deal” and I knew I was pushing it with time, so I quickly picked it. I don’t remember seeing it as a selection before and really it would have been an obvious choice at any price. However I doubly-justified it in case I didn’t have time. Skyscraper is way over the top, but what I like about these two stars is that they don’t make anything, when it comes to good-guy/bad-guy-movie-action-stuff, feel too cheesy. There is one scene at the end where Dwayne’s character is desperately looking for Neve’s character and it went past my limit, but it planed off quickly to a strong, level finish.

Okay. Well the next part of this post is an update. Two celebrity deaths upon us. Elvis’ only daughter with the surviving Pricillia, Lisa Marie. The other is son of Evil Knievel, Robbie II or Kaptain Robbie Knievel. Singer/Songwriter and Daredevil. Peace be with you.

The final part is a list of movies, albums and TV shows I’ll be travelling with to start on the trip to Asia. Go ahead and watch or join me around when I depart! I may be finding some magazines to read in the airport shops or people-watching. It’s still a lot of time and I thought I’d better be prepared.

Movies:
Crimes of the Future
The Post
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
I Give It a Year
In the Heights
Cocktail
Wicker Park

TV:
Survivor Season 40

Music Albums:
Midnights (3am Edition) [Edited – Clean] – Taylor Swift
Apart – Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johansson
Hawaii – Pete Yorn
Gold in a Brass Age – David Gray
Skellig – David Gray
Let’s Rock – The Black Keys
Look Alive – Guster
Hold the Girl – Rina Sawayama
Crybaby – Tegan and Sara
Relistening to Earthling – Eddie Vedder
Relistening to Crash (Deluxe) – Charli XCX

As you can see I bought two of the albums from the “top 5” of last year’s album list on Year Summary (2022). I did buy all five. One was in a boxset from Alison Wonderland’s website, including a signed album cover artwork card from Loner and a bucket hat. I also bought a boxset of Blackpink’s Born Pink including photo cards, a poster and other photo items. Others may be added, but I was planning on keeping this a DSLR camera-focused trip with mostly hard-copy media found on the way, so I’m going to see how that goes with patience. I do have people to see in each country as well as one event to go to, so time will be somewhat limited (except for the long transit periods). Stay with me as I can now expect to be able to update reliably from my speedy, Google phone.