Time to hit pause

This movie blog was many things.

A writing exercise in which I was limited by my own self-imposed 100-word limit.

A throwback to my decade-and-half of video store life.

A way to fill up some time as the pandemic put my main writing gig — covering prep sports in a small town on a rock in the middle of the water in the Pacific Northwest — on hold.

But now, with athletics steadily ramping back up, I’m back to pumping out 3-5 stories a day over at Coupeville Sports | First on the story! Last to know when to shut up!! , and don’t have as much time to fritter.

So, after 6.5 months and 989 articles, I’m hitting pause on this venture.

Will it kick back into gear at some point?

As we all know by now in the Age of Coronavirus, no one knows anything. So, maybe.

And yes, I know this is more than 100 words. Whatcha gonna do?

Bigger, Stronger, Faster

Fake muscles, real rage.

Director Chris Bell traces the rise of steroids in athletics, with a personal twist.

A weightlifter who grew up in the ’80s world of comically-inflated supermen like Arnold, Sly, and the Hulkster, he chose purity in training. His brothers did not.

Injecting the ol’ Jose Canseco Sauce, they tangle with a world of roid rage, shrunken testicles, and talking about yourself in the third person.

Mixing humor with harsh reality, this doc dispels some horrifying myths about steroid abuse, while also never shying away from the dark side of wanting to get big and bad, super-quick.

Smokin’ Aces

No brains, but tons of bullets.

Director Joe Carnahan, a noted master of disaster, lets his cast unload all their holsters, and then some, in this wild ‘n woolly Vegas-set shoot-em-up.

The big names are aplenty, but there’s no guarantee of making it out alive, even if you sit atop the marquee.

The plot, or what there is of one, centers on a mad scramble to either kill, or protect a magician who’s about to go stool pigeon on the Mafia.

The coocoo bird has plenty of tales to tell once he starts singing, unless he gets plugged first.

 

Monster Camp

Release your inner Aragon.

This Seattle-shot doc follows a batch of men and women — well, mainly men — who take their love of all things Lord of the Rings and Dungeons and Dragons to the next level.

Participating in Live Action Role-Playing, they replace Viggo laying waste to Orcs with a Microsoft tech guy chasing a Safeway clerk through the underbrush, bellowing “Magic 15! Magic 15!”

Pulling back billowing curtains to reveal everyday people who revel in the descent into fantasy, it captures a nice mix of the mundane and absurd.

Plus, it’s more entertaining than anything the butt-numbing LOTR movies gave us.

Renaissance

Style for days.

This gorgeous black-and-white animated film, aimed squarely at adults and not kiddos, is a swirling mix of eye-popping images and brain-shattering plot twists.

Set in 2054 Paris, it follows a police captain trying to untangle a mystery revolving around the kidnapping of a young scientist who was hot on the heels of a cure for a rare genetic condition.

Shady people are everywhere, evil corporations rule from on high, and our main cop, a man of great principle, but flexible ethics, sinks ever-deeper into a world which ignores his pleas for help.

A true hidden gem.