July and August were a blur of art work and traveling followed by a short period of decompression. I basically read/watched/played nothing in July and then overcompensated by doing nothing but those things for about a week and half in August. So here is a combo run-down of some things I enjoyed this summer...
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT
The word that keeps coming to mind when I try to describe this movie is BONKERS. In usual MI fashion, the plot is basically just a flimsy delivery device for super cool action sequences, and they really outdid themselves with Fallout. The finale involves a fight with/in/around helicopters while in mid-air. As soon as I left the theatre I was animatedly recounting the insanity and utter bonkers-ness of this sequence in particular. Plus, it's one of the few movies where Henry Cavill seemed appropriately cast. So I definitely recommend seeing this if you are in the mood for some spy nonsense and rad stunts.
Other highlights include LOVE, SIMON which had me happy-sobbing, CHRISTOPHER ROBIN which was so god damn cute, and TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE which was fluffy and sweet. I also had a chance to see all three extended edition Lord of the Rings films in the theatre with my mom and dad, which was really wonderful.
Since I've been so busy with art/life stuff, I haven't had much time to really dig into any games this summer. But I did occasionally find myself with 15 minutes where I needed an art break and I used that time to finally finish Runner 2. I love this series to bits and always get a great sense of accomplishment when I'm able to perfectly dance my way through a particularly hard level.
I've never considered myself to be a particularly skilled gamer; I resort to button mashing more than I'd like to admit. But for some reason, I decided to try out Bloodborne and....I like it? Yeah man, I'm surprised too. I've only made it through the first three bosses so far but I think I might play more when I have free time again.
I ended up reading two long-ish books in July and August that I didn't particularly like, which meant less time for books that I would actually recommend. On the plus side, I've recently gone on a bit of a romance bender (as I tend to do when I am stressed), so I will definitely have lots of good recommendations to share next month.
Mortal Engines is a surprisingly dark adventure/coming of age story set in a grimy future where the big cities of the world have become giant, roaming monstrosities that move around and swallow up smaller townships and settlements. I'm not sure if I'll sit down and read any of the other books in the series, but this one was good.
I would also recommend the romances A GENTLEMAN NEVER KEEPS SCORE by Cat Sebastian and THE LION AND THE CROW by Eli Easton. Gentleman is a fun period romance which pairs up a socially outcast, emotionally scarred victorian dandy and an ex-prize fighter as they try to find a missing painting. The Lion and The Crow is a weird one for me; I didn't love the writing but found myself becoming rather invested in the characters anyway. What made this one memorable is that it follows the romance/relationship from beginning to literal end. Where most romance stories end with "and then they lived happily ever after", The Lion and The Crow actually follows the two main characters through old age and contented death. Yeah, obviously it made me cry.
The big exciting news from the art front was my August group show at Gallery1988 in Los Angeles. I was able to attend the opening and meet lots of great people. Plus, after the reception I went to dinner with a bunch of good friends and drank margaritas while being serenaded by a mariachi band in a room decorated with twinkle lights, painted portraits of celebrities, and a whole wall of dusty wine bottles. It was a memorable evening.
I am now well into another crazy busy month of art as I prepare for the LINCOLN ARTS FESTIVAL (September 22 & 23) and a two person show at Gallery 9 which opens in October. I'll have more details soon!