October 23, 2015: 80s Throwback Carnival

Friday’s Festivities:

Of course “Beat It” was playing when I walked in.

And the breezeway had become a roller-skating rink.

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Pictured: fun.

On the far left in that picture, you can see students with parents who had arrived for UF family weekend being spirited away (heh) on a ghost tour.

This was a top-heavy Friday; the rest of the attractions had been crammed into the Grand Ballroom on the second floor.  Tina Turner was up on the projector screen singing “Let’s Stay Together” while guests tried their luck and skill at carnival games.  Bottle-shooting, ball-throwing, horseshoes, they had it all.   Well, some.

Trying skee-ball, I actually sank a 100-pointer.  Not bad.

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Minus carnies or the chance of food poisoning.

The arcade machines lining a wall of the ballroom provided ample nostalgia for anyone lucky enough to grow up near a real arcade.  I didn’t indulge myself beyond “Centipede” and “Pac-Man,” but the machines had dozens of games.

There was a drum kit set up for a band called WD Han, which I had no intention of waiting for or sitting through.

There was the movie to catch.

The Second Floor Screen:

You don’t need me to try and summarize the plot of a Mission: Impossible movie, do you?  It’s understood, I think, that the plot is perfunctory, secondary to the stunts and action set-pieces.

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation has plenty of those, and they’d be nice enough — writer/director Christopher McQuarrie, Hollywood scribe behind such winning screenplays as those for Edge of Tomorrow and The Usual Suspects, has a good eye for action, and in Tom Cruise he has a charismatic lead willing to do his own stunts — if it weren’t for the editing.

Even when divorced from needless use of shaky camerawork, the use of excessive cutting to build momentum in action sequences has been the bane of the film industry for years.  Editor Eddie Hamilton managed to suck too much of the fun out of the movie’s solid choreography and action staging with his hyperactive work.  When things stand still, you can focus long enough to see an excellent action movie trying to escape.

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