Last night my brother, alacrity, and I played the board game I'd given Damien, Order of the Stick: Dungeon of Dorukan. It was fun, but went long, and I qualify the "fun" rating with the feeling that I got a character with especially weak abilities (Elan, the bard) so I'd like to play again before making the call.
This evening Damien, my brother, my sister, her husband, and I went out for dinner and a movie at an Alamo Draft House. I thought the food was good and I had some "Red Rock Merlot" that I enjoyed, but the movie, well. We had spent a lot of time choosing the movie to see, and settled on Apocalypto, knowing it was supposed to be graphic but swayed by the large volume of positive reviews on IMDB and Fandango. Having now seen the movie, I think I will never understand how it received all these positive ratings. I found it basically a montage of violence, cruelty, and despair, almost nihilistic in psychological effect. The one possibility for a constructive theme that I could come up with was the idea that the Mayans -- even the protagonists -- were ragged, superstitious, violent people, whereas the Europeans (in their brief cameo shot at the end of the movie, coming to shore in landing boats) looked heroic and civilized. So maybe the message is that without European culture and Christianity, people are doomed to savagery and decadence? This seems silly, so I give up. The only other possible message I could find is "You might escape human sacrifice by a rival tribe, but you never know when they might try to capture you again, and eventually the Europeans are just going to wipe you out anyway. Oh, well."