Friday 5: “Nine times?” “Nine times!”

you shoot a lot of photos before lucking into this.

From here.

  1. If you were to play hooky on your next regular work day with no negative consequences, and if you could only spend the day by yourself, what out-of-the-house fun activities would you pursue?
    Well it happens that I took a vacation day today.  My brain’s been a little fried at work lately, and I had a big deadline to take care of recently so I couldn’t take a day off when I really needed it.  Then I got these wheels, but the whether’s been terrible.  Even when the weather cleared up a bit, it was too soon after some serious rain, which means the near-shore waters were teeming with nasty little things that get washed out of the watersheds and down the streams into the Pacific.  It’s part of living on a small island.Thursday was the day.  Long enough from the big rain that the water was probably okay, and forecasted to be clear and sunny.  So first I slept in (that’s not an out-of-the-house activity, but I needed it!) then went to Ala Moana for a swim.  It was wonderful and exhausting.  Then I drove counter-clockwise around the island to try out the new wheels.  Stopped at Waimanalo, my favorite beach, and sat in the sand for a little while, playing with the camera on my phone.  I had a feeling I wouldn’t get to go in, and I was right.  Portuguese man o’ war flags were up.

    Then I stopped for brunch in Kailua at Boots & Kimo’s.  Their famous macadamia nut pancakes never really did it for me, but this time I had the blueberry macadamia nut pancakes and *ding* we had a winner.  Delicious.

    I was in need of a nap, so I found a shady spot in a park and slept about twenty minutes in my car.  It was warm.  The nap was partly to help me decide whether I wanted to continue around the island or call it a nice, fun day already.  I would have been fine going home, but I really wanted to get to the north shore and didn’t see myself taking another day off in the near future.  The car handled wonderfully on the twisty road to the north shore.  It’s pretty fun to drive.

    Dinner at Romy’s (I was the last customer before closing) was wonderful as always.  I continued through Kahuku and Waimea, then stopped at the beach in Haleiwa just to watch the ocean.  There were three young European women mimicking model poses in bikinis near a sand castle.  That was amusing for a while.

    I stopped at a boba cafe (after filling the tank and getting a car wash) to get some work done and do this meme.  I’m really tired, in one of those good ways.  I keep looking at the time because I’m used to having to get the bus home.  It’s preventing me from fully relaxing, but I imagine it won’t be long before I get over that.

  2. In the same situation, what stay-home fun activities would you pursue?
    Definitely reading and watching some of the movies that have been piling up.  I’m midway through Penelope Fitzgerald’s The Bookshop, on which a recent film is based.  The movie is rather wonderful (with one of my favorites, Bill Nighy the Acting Guy) and the book may be slightly better.  I still haven’t watched any of those earlier A Star Is Born films, so I would work at least one of those in as well.  And napping!  Napping is fun when it’s not escapist behavior, which for me it often is but wouldn’t be this week.   I mean not totally.
  3. If you played hooky specifically because someone else needed the time off, who in your life would be your accomplice and what would be first on the agenda?
    I’m going to say Grace needs it the most, even though she’s been only working part time.  She’s working a new(ish) IT help desk job and she’s been too tired to do anything fun.  Too tired to sit in a dark, air-conditioned movie theater, even.  Now that she has a co-worker I think she’s not quite as tired, but she’s still a good candidate.  So we’d see a movie and drive to a library and get lunch somewhere.  Grace collects visits to public libraries, and I know there are a few remote libraries she hasn’t seen yet.  Waimanalo, maybe.My friend Julie has a baby less than a year old.  If Grace begged out, Julie would probably be game.  I don’t think I’ve ever been out with just Julie, though, so I might have to steal Suzanne or Cindy to come along.
  4. When did you last visit a museum, and what item on exhibit impressed you?
    I took the day off from work on my birthday in January and spent some time at the Hawaii State Art museum.  There was an interesting piece by a guy who graduated from my high school about ten years before me.
  5. What’s something you’ve recently gotten away with?
    This is kind of a small thing, but between the evening when I purchased the new car and the time I registered it the next afternoon, I was driving an unregistered vehicle.  It would have been an uninsured vehicle too, but the guy I bought it from offered to keep it on his policy until mine kicked in at midnight the next day.
I think this is the painting.

Friday 5: Stay and Let Me Look at You

I’ve been crazy busy but things are calming down.  Sometime this weekend I’ll write about my new wheels, and what led to my being a bus commuter lo these past four years.

I hope to get an early start Friday morning, and it’s getting late Thursday night, so a quick Friday 5 from here.

  1. (Earth, Wind & Fire) Why are you dancing in September?
    I want to be more interesting than this, but honestly it’s really the beginning of the NFL season.  Despite my team sucking this year, I embrace the non-political conversations football brings with my friends and with my father.
  2. (Neil Diamond) September morning still can make you feel what way?
    It still fills me with tension about new school years even though I’ve been out of the classroom for some time.  I wake up Saturday mornings asking myself what I need to get done before Monday, a feeling I don’t need to have anymore but was a constant, eternal concern every Saturday morning for sixteen years teaching.
  3. (Green Day) What are some things you have to endure until September ends?
    The lunch spots on campus become noticeably less busy even during the lunch hour sometime in October.  Parking (woo!  I get to be concerned about parking again!) is also somewhat less competitive.  So, longer lines in the food court and longer lines into the parking structure.
  4. (Kool & the Gang) What place or thing is your September love?
    There was a time when Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes were a two-a-day habit.  I’m way, way down now, and almost never drink coffee, but I’m allowing myself a PSL here and there, and have had two so far since they showed up at the beginning of the month.  My September love this year is pumpkin spice lattes.
  5. (Willie Nelson) What is your September song for the rest of the month?
    So far, songs in the heaviest rotation have been Katherine Ho’s “Yellow” cover from the Crazy Rich Asians soundtrack, “Mama Africa” by Peter Tosh (really, the whole Mama Africa album, which I only recently discovered and am in love with), Elvis Costello’s “Pump It Up” (autumn always has me grooving on Elvis for some reason), and a bunch of John Mellencamp.  I recently picked up a bunch of his recent albums but I couldn’t spin them because I was doing this silly BTS experiment I’ll explain later.  I expect the second half of September to be tons of Mellencamp.

 

Labor

I’m three fourths of the way through the Labor Day weekend and just taking a few moments to write whatever pops into my head.

My mother’s birthday was Saturday, so half of my day was dedicated to hanging out with the family.  We had lunch together at Outback in Waipio, a family favorite mostly because it’s a couple of blocks from my sister’s house and therefore easier for half the family (counting niece, nephew, and sister’s boyfriend) to get to, but also because the food is quite good.  I had a lovely ribeye and we all had some pretty good conversation.

My mom was mostly pleased just to spend the time with her family.

Friday I worked a little late but also spent some time preparing for the annual fantasy football draft.  My high-school classmates and I have been playing for more than twenty years, and I have a feeling only a couple of us play seriously anymore, which is probably why I won the title two years in a row and then took second last year.  Everyone’s gotten married and had kids.  The guy who beat me for the title last year, Marshall, was a first-year empty-nester, which might explain that.

Sunday is my usual day to hang out with my folks.  I’m usually there from around 2:30 until 8:00, which means I get home kind of late, with just enough time to get things ready for the new work week and get to bed.  Because the fantasy draft is Monday afternoon and because I have deadlines for the side gigs Monday as well, I went over early this Sunday and got home early-ish.

Then crashed for nearly four hours.  Yikes.  I naively thought I might get the work done and have time for a late movie, but I woke up from my nap at 11 in the evening.

Which means I have to wake up early so I can get the work done and still get to the draft, which will be at Don’s condo in Kakaako.

It’s all a lot of socializing for me for a long weekend, which might explain the long nap.  I was feeling drained and the nap was a pretty good way to recharge.

I’ve said “explain” a lot in these past fifteen minutes.

I swear this is the last thing I’ll say about fantasy football for the next twenty-four hours at least.  I got permission at work to run an out-in-the-open, just-for-fun fantasy football league in the office.  Seven sign-ups so far, with at least one more for-sure going to play.  This would be best with at least ten participants, but eight will work, so I’m pretty excited.  I’m all about team-building at work, and this kind of thing can go a long way toward that!  I directly asked some of our C-level leadership to play, and I have at least one already signed up.

I have borrowing privileges at the library on the university campus where I work, and the a/v library had DVDs of all three versions of A Star is Born, none of which I’ve seen.  So I borrowed them all in anticipation of this new remake with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga.  I’m determined to make time for at least the 1937 Janet Gaynor / Fredric March version.

I’m up to chapter 13 in China Rich Girlfriend, which so far has managed to be funnier and more fun than Crazy Rich Asians.  I think it’s the familiarity with characters that does it (ha!  no “explain” there), especially the characters I like.  The setup also feels a bit fresher than in the first novel.

In fact I will wrap this up now so I can spend a little time with the book before bed.  It’s nearly two in the morning and I have to get up early!

Friday 5: Lyrical Gangsta

I’m not as prepared for this hurricane as I normally am for impending potential disaster.  For some idiotic reason, I’m just fairly convinced it’s going to veer west and just give us some bad wind and rain without being catastrophic.  Famous last words, I know.

Local governments have moved quickly to keep us informed and prepared.  The information flow has been steady and clear, and the local daily has lowered its paywall until this hurricane is no longer news.  It’s updated the hurricane story about once an hour.

After January’s false missile alarm, everyone, including our emergency response agencies and our governor, is making sure to present as transparently and clearly as possible.  Not a bad response to something that turned Hawaii into a punchline seven months ago.

The state shut down all schools and non-essential government offices on Hawaii Island Wednesday.  Then did the same for Maui and Oahu Thursday and Friday.  I work on the campus of a public university, so when they shut down school, my employer followed suit so we could all prepare ourselves and our homes, and to keep as many of us as possible off the streets.

I’m writing this in the wee hours of Friday morning, and it’s blustery but clear with no rain.  If the projections are accurate, the storm will get closest to me between 8 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday as it veers west.  Hurricanes are more predictable than they were thirty years ago, but they’re still not super predictable, so it could continue north instead without veering west, in which case this island is in for it.

My Kindle is charged up and loaded with new material (the second and third Kevin Kwan books), so I think I’m ready.

From here.

  1. What’s a stupid lyric from a song you like?
    I like a lot of songs with stupid lyrics, but how about “Wild Thing?”  “Wild thing I think you move me / but I wanna know for sure / come on and hold me tight / you move me.”
  2. What’s a pretty good lyric from a song you dislike?
    This is a pretty difficult question to answer.  If I’m familiar enough with it to remember its lyrics, I probably don’t dislike it, and if I dislike it, its lyrics are probably one of the reasons.  But okay, I just thought of one.  James Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful,” a song I really hate, actually has a decent premise, and I like “She smiled at me on the subway / She was with another man / But I won’t lose no sleep on that / ‘Cause I got a plan.”
  3. What’s a good non-Weird-Al-Yankovic lyric about food and drink?
    Talk about songs with stupid lyrics: Ehukai’s “Molokai Slide” should have come first to mind.  I looooove this song and once recorded myself singing and playing it for my grandmother as a birthday present, but boy are the lyrics terrible.  Still, one reason I like it is the way it waxes (not really) poetic about some of the food we love here.  “I like the fishes swimming around in the sea / I like to hop ’em on the grill and cook ’em up for me / with a big pan of butter / man it can’t get better than this.”  Thinking of my beloved islands on this really strange weekend as we wait for nature (most days a blessing around here) to have her way with us.
  4. What’s a good song lyric to describe your week?
    AC/DC’s “I’m a rolling thunder, a pouring rain / I’m comin’ on like a hurricane / My lightning’s flashing across the sky / You’re only young but you’re gonna die!” (“Hell’s Bells”)
  5. What’s a good song lyric about inclement weather?
    “Stormy Weather,” recorded by a million artists, always makes me think of my favorite TV show of all time, M*A*S*H, because the song pops up in a couple of episodes.  “Don’t know why there’s no sun up in the sky: stormy weather…”

Take me back, back to da kine
Take me back, back to da kine
All ova’ mo’ bettah, Molokai
I will return…

 

 

Friday 5 for August 17: Regionalism

From here.

  1. What regional colloquialism in your area would baffle people from elsewhere?
    It’s fading from usage, but everyone still knows what broke da mout means.  You use it to describe a meal that’s so good it actually breaks your mouth.
  2. What’s something you call by a name that differs from what most people in your region call it?
    There a lot of examples, but one that leaps to mind is ice cream, which many (if not most) people around here for some reason pronounce “aish cream.”  There’s also a huge segment of our population who calls milk “melk.”
  3. What’s a normal food in your region that people in other regions might be weirded out by?
    It would be easy to pick on Filipino food but I’ll stick closer to home and say natto.  It’s a rather polarizing food, even among my friends of Japanese ancestry.  It’s nasty, nasty stuff with an unappealing stickiness and a strongly petroleum flavor, but I’ve been told by people who love it that there’s a difference between good natto and run-of-the-mill natto.  Also Spam musubi, which almost all of us adore.  It might sound gross but it’s really really good!
  4. What’s something in your area with an official name almost nobody refers to it by?
    The flagship campus of our state university system is officially the University of Hawaii at Manoa, but everyone around here calls it UH.  This offends me, since I graduated from the University of Hawaii at Hilo, the real UH.  In collegiate athletics, people refer to UH Manoa as “Hawaii,” as in “Next week the Cougars are expected to lose to Hawaii.”  With four four-year universities in the system, UH Manoa has no rightful claim to “Hawaii.”
  5. What are the names of some convenience stores in your area?
    7-Eleven of course, but there are also Aloha Mini Mart, Nom Nom, Fastop, Whalers, ABC Stores, and Nanay Dela’s Lutong Bahai, where you can get a Spam musubi made with jasmine rice.

Review: Blindspotting

Blindspotting (2018)
Daveed Diggs, Rafael Casal, Janina Gavankar, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Wayne Knight. Written by Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal. Directed by Carlos Lopez Estrada.

It would take longer to describe the plot of Blindspotting than I want to take, and anything I’d write might fail to convince you to see this movie, which is what I really want. The writers (who also star) try to do a lot with this story, most of it successfully, but the accomplishment isn’t in the story; it’s in the development of these characters toward a face-off over issues so layered that it takes all these plot elements to get us ready for it.

Daveed Diggs plays Collin, a late-20s black man living in a halfway house. He has three days left on his probation after a prison sentence. For three days, he must stay completely out of trouble, but there are pitfalls all over the place in his hometown of Oakland. It’s tempting to think forces are amping up their game against him in these three days, but one gets the feeling after getting to know this man that it’s not these three days: it’s every day that a black man trying to stay clear must dodge problems.

Collin’s best friend since childhood is Miles, a white man who seems to think it necessary to prove in every waking moment that he’s as street as any of the black men and women he’s friends with. Miles doesn’t just walk the line; he takes daily steps over it, I guess because he can.

Collin’s loyalty to Miles may be wearing itself out, the way childhood friendship sometimes do, and it is the central tension in this film, but it’s only one of many tensions. Oakland is having an identity crisis as hipsters gentrify formerly decrepit neighborhoods, and its longtime residents have mixed reactions to the transformation. Police officers and black men have the problems police officers and black men have in many other American cities. And Collin can’t get his ex-girlfriend to warm up to him after his prison time.

Blindspotting has a lot to say, and it brilliantly says most of it through the lives of these characters. This is when it works. Sometimes it says it through the mouths of the characters, almost in Greek chorus-like fashion, and here is where it doesn’t quite work. I suspect there’s a cultural barrier here for me, as the characters repeatedly break out into spoken-word, freestyle verse of the sort that some call slam poetry. When it’s playful it’s cute and clever. When it’s dramatic, I have difficulty taking it seriously. And while I admire the device for its vision, creativity, and daring, it doesn’t quite click things into place the way it wants.

As a result, the film has two climaxes, one that’s amazing, moving, and beautiful, and one that’s strange, awkward, and contrived. I’m grateful for them both. A fifty percent success rate when you’re trying to do something nobody’s ever seen in a movie is tremendous.

Excellent acting and great dialogue make it worth a look all by themselves, but there’s so much more going on here, a reminder that people have a lot to say, and a reminder that film is one medium through which they can say it.

8/10
84/100

Friday 5: Great and Small

From here.

  1. What’s your favorite large, furry animal?
    I think polar bears.  I perceive them as being mostly solitary creatures, and what a rough existence they seem to have.  Plus they’re so cute while being so fascinatingly ferocious.
  2. What’s your favorite large sea creature?
    I like walruses and giant squids, although I get the feeling walruses aren’t as charming up close as they are from afar.
  3. What’s your favorite insect?
    I’m fascinated by praying mantises.  They’re so mysterious-looking and so scary, but they’re mostly human-friendly, right?  I mean, there’s no reason not to want them around, I think, and do they eat other bugs?  I used to know a thing or two about mantises but it’s been a long time.  Plus Mantis in Guardians of the Galaxy is such a great character.  A being whose super power is compassion.
  4. What are your favorite names for pets you’ve known?
    A friend’s neighbor had a dog named Budweiser.  That was pretty cute.  One night at Honolulu City Lights, some friends and I met a cat whose name was Manapua, which is only super funny if you’re from Hawaii.  It’s our word for char siu bao, or steamed pork-filled dumplings, and urban legend has it that the manapua wagons, which are like neighborhood food trucks crusing the neighborhoods, make their manapua out of feral cats.  It’s a disgusting legend, but we all grew up hearing it.  I never believed it, of course, and I had many, many manapuas in my day.  Plus the parents of one of my good friends owned a manapua wagon.
  5. Besides unicorns, what are some mythical beasts you wish were real?
    Griffins for sure.  Manticores.

Review: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (2018)
Fred Rogers. Directed by Morgan Neville.

Four personal memories of Mr. Rogers’s Neighborhood, my favorite TV show for most of my early childhood.

1.
Mr. Rogers shows a short film on his in-studio framed painting, whose name is Picture Picture. Mr. Rogers challenges us to guess what’s being produced in this film. We see machines leading yarn around and around through a maze of mechanical arms, spools, and belts. Something’s taking shape but it’s impossible to tell what it is. Suddenly the process is complete, and we’ve witnessed the automated production of socks.

2.
Mr. Rogers has a leaky wooden bucket. He takes us to the house of a neighbor who’s a woodworker. She repairs the bucket. I’m not sure, but I think she does it without glue or any kind of adhesive. Before Mr. Rogers leaves, he thanks his friend and says, “This is water-tight, right?” And the neighor says, “This should be water-tight.” Mr. Rogers takes the bucket back to his place and puts water in the bucket. It’s water-tight, and I’ve learned a new phrase at five years old.

3.
I have some kind of boo-boo, something bad enough to make me cry. My family is living on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay. My dad is at work; I don’t know where my sister is. My mom puts a Band-Aid on it, or kisses it, or does some kind of mom magic that makes me feel better. Then she gives me a Granny Goose Goos-Bar (it was our family’s preferred brand; I don’t remember having Otter Pops until I was almost out of elementary school, at some kind of school function) and puts me in front of the TV to watch Mr. Rogers.

4.
The kids in first and second grade liked Sesame Street. I liked Mr. Rogers. Still. None of the guys liked Mr. Rogers at all. Some of them said Mr. Rogers was gay. None of this was enough to make me change my mind. All of this is part of my first memory of being alienated from the other guys by liking something different, a state that never really went away.

Sesame Street was entertaining as heck, and I loved it. But Mr. Rogers stoked my curiosity and taught me how to ask meaningful questions, fueling a love for learning that has never left me and always made me an outsider, even at my college-prep private high school.

It’s a bit more trendy now to remember Mr. Rogers with fondness, and I want to feel good about it, but mostly I feel slightly resentful. I knew Mr. Rogers was awesome when I was three. Where were all these fans at seven and eight? I don’t need them now; I needed them then.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, a documentary by Morgan Neville (who directed the terrific 20 Feet from Stardom) is helping me get over it. I need a movie about kindness at this time when kindness in the media seems scarce, perhaps more than I needed common ground with my guy friends in the mid-1970s. I can’t pretend I’m over anything yet, but I can be reminded that kindness is a mission, that kindness is the high road, and that one of my childhood heroes looked a cynical congressman right in the eye, returned spite with kindness, and saved PBS.

For about as long as I can remember, I’ve admired rebels. See this movie and understand why.

8/10
81/100

Review: Incredibles 2

Incredibles 2 (2018)
Holly Hunter, Craig T. Nelson, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner, Samuel L. Jackson. Written and directed by Brad Bird.

Although I am a deep admirer of Pixar Studios and its amazing work, I didn’t love The Incredibles in 2004, even acknowledging that the characters were well imagined and the story pretty creative. Breakneck action just doesn’t do much for me most of the time, and even at its most creative, my brain can only handle so much before it starts counting down the minutes until the end credits, which was my experience with the new sequel, Incredibles 2.

I’m not complaining about too much action in an action movie any more than I’d complain about too much chocolate in a chocolate cake. I’m just noting that however good the action is, it turns me off after a point. Just like a too-chocolately chocolate cake.

The Incredibles are in hiding because public sentiment is against superheroes, but Winston Deavor, a wealthy benefactor with a thing for supers, has a plan. His new technology can follow a single superhero around as he or she does good deeds, broadcasting the exploits on nationwide television so opinion can be turned in supers’ favor.

Because Elastigirl’s work usually results in less collateral damage, Winston selects her for this project, leaving Mr. Incredible at home to take care of the kids.

The household mayhem is my second favorite part of this movie, and Mr. Incredible’s emotional journey is really the heart of this movie. Of course he’d rather be out there fighting evil, but here at home, he discovers a few super abilities he didn’t know he had, the stuff that Elastigirl as superhero and mom has been managing for years.

My favorite thing in this movie is Violet Parr, the teenaged daughter in the Incredibles family, and her dealing with identity issues related to two mutations: her super powers and her adolescence. If Pixar is interested in a spinoff, I would totally be there for a movie about Violet, set in Violet’s high school.

It’s a cute, fun movie. But those last twenty minutes are a bear for me to get through! Can we get instead a twenty-minute café scene where Elastigirl and Mr. Incredible have lunch and talk about the college literature class where they first met?

7/10
71/100

Review: Christopher Robin

Christopher Robin (2018)
Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, Jim Cummings, Brad Garrett. Written by Alex Ross Perry and Allison Schroeder. Directed by Marc Forster.

It’s been thirty years since Christopher Robin last visited the Hundred Acre Wood, and he is sorely missed by its denizens. He’s a man now, with a career as an efficiency manager for a luggage company in post-WWII London. He has a wife and a daughter, and if he ever thinks of his friends Pooh and Piglet, you wouldn’t be able to tell.

Christopher Robin is unhappy, despite a lovely family and a good job. His job is draining him, and his sense of duty has removed the joy from his family life.

Since Christopher Robin will not visit the Hundred Acre Wood, which has always been there for him, Winnie-the-Pooh comes looking for Christopher Robin, stumbling into London through the door where they used to meet.

The rest alternates from magically, nostalgically unexpected to disappointingly cliche. By the time it becomes the latter, however, some viewers will have bought into the whole thing. That’s what happened to me. Although I wasn’t once tempted to say “Awwwwww” the way everyone in the row behind me did several times, I admit to a few teary moments. Christopher Robin runs 104 minutes, and about 80 of them are quite sad.

Ewan McGregor is perfectly cast as middle-aged Christopher Robin, reminding me at times of his wonderful Alfred Jones character in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, only not as funny. Brad Garrett seems like a no-brainer to voice Eeyore (my favorite), but he’s kind of distractingly recognizable as Brad Garrett most of the time. Young people will probably not have this issue, as Everybody Loves Raymond has been off the air for thirteen years.

Another excellent decision was to represent the animal characters based on the original drawings by E. H. Shepard in the books, rather than on the Disney cartoons that have replaced them in many of our minds. However the animators managed to put these characters on the screen, the animals seem pretty real to me throughout the film, in both their and Christopher Robin’s realities. Which is rather perfect.

Although I admit I found most of the third act disappointing, I cannot deny the emotional effect the very existence of this film had on me, an enormous fan of the books by A. A. Milne. I did not have these books read to me as a child, and I came to them rather late, beginning in sixth grade and finishing in seventh. I don’t know what drew me to them then, but I hold tightly to them today for their utter lack of cynicism, for their pureness of spirit, and for their steadfast belief in the virtues of kindness, curiosity, imagination, and the specialness of certain relationships.

In a time where certain forces seem determined to erode my confidence in foundational institutions of government, religion, and culture, I’m willing to believe, at least for 104 minutes, that “wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the Forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.”

Small point deduction for not including some variation of that quote somewhere in the film.

8/10
80/100