This week, I watched all of The Crown while I was knitting. I didn’t mean to watch it all in one week, but once I got started I couldn’t stop. It’s a Netflix series and Netflix makes it very easy to binge watch, even with the “Are you still watching?” query every 3 hours or so. Claire Foy is the newly married Queen Elizabeth II and the series is supposed to follow her story to the present day, though the last episode of the first season is set in 1955ish. Standout performances for me, in addition to Claire Foy, are John Lithgow playing Winston Churchill and Jared Harris as King George VI. And I suppose Matt Smith playing Philip, but I have to say: what a jerk he was, which is probably part of the point – it took him a while to “settle down” as they say. Good news for me (and you): Netflix has ordered a second season and rehearsals have begun. Until then, I should probably watch it all again to pick up all the things I’m sure I missed in the first go.
Yesterday afternoon, I took myself to the movies for a 12:40 showing of Dr. Strange. I went to the Alamo Drafthouse, which has reserved seating with tables (really it’s a long counter) and full service, including a bar (that I don’t take advantage of) and full meals. I got coffee and fresh baked (warm!) chocolate chip cookies. The pre-show is tailored for each movie and unique to the Alamo; the pre-show for Dr. Strange had trivia, clips from other productions of the story (live action and cartoon), and more. Another great thing: they have very subtle downlighting under the tables, so that makes it easy to knit during the movie. I took Henry’s hat with me and knit about 3 inches of it in the dark.
The greatest thing of all about the Alamo: they don’t tolerate talking, texting, cell phones at all; you write your food order or your complaint about the noisy people in the next row on a sheet of paper (pen & paper provided), stick it in this slot in the table/counter so it sticks up so the waiter can see it, and voila: your wish is their command. If you make a noise complaint, the manager will boot out the offending party without a warning. Or that’s the threat anyway – I have yet to witness anyone being thrown out and everyone has been blessedly quiet, unlike most of the other local theaters.
The movie itself was good but unsurprising for the genre. Benedict Cumberbatch has an American accent, and it’s very good, but I’m used to hearing his British accent so that was kind of a let down. He’s still pretty great as an egotistical neurosurgeon turned sorcerer/dimension manipulator. Tilda Swinton is in it as well, and the main reason I wanted to see the movie – she generally chooses interesting projects to work on. And she got to keep her accent. Other standouts: Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mordo, the eye makeup on Kaecilius and his buddies, the special effects (reminiscent of Inception and Dark City), and the sassy, snappy