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Monday, December 12, 2005

There's nothing you and I won't do


A busy, stressful weekend, full of minor downs and euphoric ups, with SuperGirlfriend and the SuperKids. Friday night we got the tree, Saturday we decorated it during the brief period the middle kid, Super Dependable Teen, was home (she went out for a birthday beauty bash with her aunt in the morning, came back to decorate, then went over to a friend's to study for several hours in the afternoon). Saturday evening SuperGirlfriend and the eldest, Super Drama Teen, went out shopping, leaving me and SuperDependable Teen to watch SuperAdorable Toddler and wrap SuperGirlfriend's presents from me.

Sunday, perhaps foolishly, I decided to try to shoehorn the Bucs game into an already packed schedule. The Bucs were kind enough to utterly crush the hated Panthers, for which I am duly grateful, and watching the game at the local Dundee Tavern with SuperGirlfriend and the SuperKids was fun... except SuperGirlfriend left in the middle to run a brief errand, which turned into a nightmare of epic proportions for her, which made me feel bad because I wasn't there to help her with any of it, I was happily watching Cadillac Williams run all over Carolina's front line. After that we trundled off to see CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, about which I could say many things, few of them good, but I will simply content myself with "Worst film adaptation of a great book ever" and... "GO READ THE BOOKS".

I still hate the idea that millions of people all over the world will only ever know LORD OF THE RINGS from the film trilogy... but at least the first chapter in the film trilogy really rocks hard, for all it leaves out. However, this particular adaptation mostly blows like a firehose. It makes me sad... but, in all honesty, as many times as I've read and loved the Narnia books, I've always been uneasily aware that a live action version would nearly have to suck, because no matter how one decorates English school children with swords and armor and bows and such, they're still going to look ridiculous fighting Mythological Evil. And, well, I was right.

After the movie we dropped the SuperKids off at the house, shooed Super Drama Teen's girlfriend out (we can't leave those two alone; the place would burn down), and SuperGirlfriend and I went off to do laundry... a prosaic enough chore, and one I mostly dreaded when I was single, but that I kind of enjoy doing with the love and light of my life, who makes livin' fun.

I will say this: the holidays are a great deal of work when you have three kids, especially if they come on you all of a sudden when you're middle aged. Still, one assumes the pay off on Christmas morning will have to be worth it.

Home, finally, from laundry, after a busy, hectic, tiring day, all I and SG wanted to do was tumble into bed... so, naturally, SuperDepenadable Teen suddenly came over all clammy and nauseous, and had to puke her guts out for most of two hours before finally managing to get her stomach settled enough to get back to sleep.

Then I was an idiot with the best commenter I've ever had on this or any blog, something for which I am utterly and woefully sorry. And, finally, off to bed. I got up early with the kids so SuperGirlfriend could get a little more sleep, but neither of us is exactly well rested today. I get no paid sick days and am still holding onto a vestigial hope of getting hired on permanently at my current job, so I can't take the day off no matter how punk I feel, and SuperGirlfriend took two paid sick days last week, so she can't take the day off, either. And we both have fairly horrific Mondays staring at us down their predatory snouts, too.

I seem to have picked up a few new commenters, at least, on the comics related stuff, and I'm grateful for that. No telling who, if any, will stick around, of course... commenters come and go; I've come and gone myself from enough blogs to know that. Still, welcome to everyone who's dropped by, and thanks for any attention you've spared my endless blathering.

Remember the old friend who sent me an email out of the blue last week? I was digging on that, but I guess it's run its course. It's just as well... a few more emails and we'd probably have found each other intolerable. Her rant about Hilary Clinton, in her last email, really had me wondering just how much prescription medicine she was supposed to take on a daily basis, and when was the last time she'd had a dose... but never mind that. It's sad, but I'm learning more and more, sometimes we have to let go of the past... especially when it's obvious that the past has long since let go of us.

I haven't said much about comics in this entry... actually, I don't think I've said anything -- so let me close with a conciliatory statement towards all the grubby young Modern Age fans I've alienated on various blogs and chat boards over the last three weeks:

Kyle Rayner STILL sucks, and Hal Jordan is STILL the One, True Green Lantern and the Greatest Green Lantern EVER. Geoff Johns may have made Kyle seem tolerably cool in REBIRTH, but that's just because Johns is a genius. Underneath it all, Kyle is still the same pitiful, pointless, posturing wank he always was and ever will be... a circulation stunt, pure and simple, designed for overstimulated and infantile adultolescents with MTV attention spans and VH-1 intellects. He's the Pop Up Box Green Lantern. You kids must just be so proud of him.

There. That's the kind of shrill, pointless, vitriol that geek blogging is all about, dammit -- and has the additional benefit of being largely true.

I'll stop the world and meld with you...


At 10:10 AM , Anonymous Nate said...

Thanks for the warning about Narnia. I expect I'll see it anyway at some point since my friends are dead set on seeing it, but at least my expectations are reasonably low now.

At 12:29 PM , Anonymous The always esteemed Scott said...

After that we trundled off to see CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, about which I could say many things, few of them good, but I will simply content myself with "Worst film adaptation of a great book ever" and... "GO READ THE BOOKS".

Yeah...I was afraid of that. I've been positively *dreading* the release of this movie, for many of the same reasons you've mentioned. My kids and I are re-reading the books (first time for my daughter, second for my son, millionth time for me) and I simply can't imagine these stories being done well by Hollywood (or anyone else for that matter).
Thankfully, they haven't exactly been clamouring to see the movie (and I'm not sure I would take them without seeing it first myself). I'm planning to watch it at some point, but I'm also prepared to be severely disappointed.
As for LOTR - we have two of the three movies on DVD, but I will absolutely not allow my kids to see them without first reading the books. They're way too young for the movies anyway (at least right now).
My verification word is 'mbyrjc', which, I believe is the sound someone makes when they're puking their guts out in the middle of the night...

At 8:45 AM , Blogger Highlander said...

As always, my opinion on NARNIA is unlikely to reflect that of the majority. The SuperKids all seemed to like it. The rest of the audience seemed to respond well. Me, I just kept grunting in a surly fashion every time I detected yet another place where excellent C.S. Lewis dialogue had been replaced, for no sane reason, with idiotic and insipid shit-babble.

It's probably at its absolute worst in the Santa Claus scene, though. The writers actually kept most of the original dialogue intact, but hired some drunken medieval re-enactor to play Father Christmas, and my GOD his delivery of his lines was painful. I got the distinct feeling watching the scene that they must have been on take 137 before they got something they could use, because this blithering bearded dolt probably kept falling on his ass and/or pissing his velvet trousers every previous time he'd managed to stumble halfway through his dialogue.

I have to imagine that when the crew finally managed to get him and the kids all the way through the scene once without this idiot knocking the sleigh over or getting kicked by a reindeer, they just wrapped for the day and promptly all went out and got hammered.

There's also just about the most absolutely retarded goddam scene I've ever witnessed in a film (and I've seen SUPERMAN IV: THE QUEST FOR PEACE) where the kids are crossing a frozen river and wolves are confronting them on either side and the river is melting and there's this huge cliff behind them that looks like a frozen waterfall except apparently it's just a huge frozen hill of water or something because now it's starting to melt because winter is finally over and Peter can see leaks springing in the wall of ice (like in the trailer for ICE AGE II) so he jams his sword into the ice at his feet and screams "HANG ON!" and Susan does and the huge hill of ice behind them breaks and there is this enormous rushing wall of water and they go tumbling down the river except Peter is clinging to his sword and Susan is clinging to Peter and the beavers can swim so THAT'S all right because we wouldn't want the BEAVERS to die oh NOOOOOO even though a couple of really charming and pleasant characters from the book have been transformed into these dreadful and appallingly obnoxious furry talking things in the movie and then when Peter and Susan and the beavers drag themselves out of the river a few miles away they don't know where Lucy is and Susan starts to berate Peter for his stupid plan because you know that's her characterization she's such a bitch and she blows these little things like letting their little sister DROWN all out of proportion but wait no there's Lucy she's already on the bank walking along soaking wet in the winter from a plunge in ice water and complaining that she's cold! So Peter drapes her now soaking wet fur coat around her shoulders and it's all nice again.

I swear just thinking about it is making me want to sob like a little girl.

I expected hate posts from at least one Kyle-fellater now, but I guess they're ignoring me. Oh, well.

At 9:02 AM , Anonymous Tammy said...

Just to give my two cents on NARNIA, I wanted to say that (in my trying to find the good in any situation way) the children looked mostly like I had expected them to look. The White Queen did as well. The scenes and the scenery, overall, were spectacular. Details like the wardrobe itself, Mr. Tumnus' house, the costumes, were very right. At least they were what I expected. Visually, I think it was good. But, unfortunately, while many of the actors had the right look, their delivery of the badly written dialogue was difficult to overlook. And variances from the original story were obvious. As Scott noted, though, it's difficult to imagine that Hollywood (or anyone else) could boil that book down into a two hour movie and not do some significant damage.

While at Hollywood Video last night, I picked up some "previously viewed VHS tapes". Hey, they were 5 for $10 and I thought it would give the kids some new stuff to watch. One of those I picked up is one I knew some of the girls had seen at the theatre. The, relatively, new CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. When my middle child (known here as Super Dependable Teen) saw it, I thought she'd be excited. Instead she turned her nose up and said she thought that Tim Burton had taken entirely too many liberties with Roald Dahl's original story. So...maybe there's hope for the next generation after all.....

At 12:04 PM , Anonymous The always esteemed Scott said...

I thought she'd be excited. Instead she turned her nose up and said she thought that Tim Burton had taken entirely too many liberties with Roald Dahl's original story.

Really? I just watched this on the weekend, and aside from the rather glaring (and completely uneccessary) subplot involving flashbacks to Willy Wonka's unhappy childhood, I thought the film was fairly true to the book.
The biggest problem with the movie, to me, was (and I can't believe I'm saying this) Johnny Depp. Depp plays Wonka as this sort of marginally effeminate socially awkward loser, which is a far from the literary personality of Wonka as I can imagine.

There's also just about the most absolutely retarded goddam scene I've ever witnessed in a film (description deleted)

Oh ick. This is just what I was afraid of - I just knew that Hollywood wouldn't be able to resist the urge to tart up the movie with all kinds of ridiculous 'action' sequences and battle scenes, because you know, kids today have no attention span or appreciation for storytelling that isn't interrupted every 5 minutes with something exploding. Bah.

it's difficult to imagine that Hollywood (or anyone else) could boil that book down into a two hour movie and not do some significant damage.

Actually, I think it *could* be done. It's not like (say) LOTR, where you've got these 500 page tomes to condense into something that runs at less than 4 hours long. The Narnia books don't have that problem, it's just that they differ markedly in *style* from what passes for children's entertainment today.
I think I remarked on this in an e-mail to the Highlander awhile back - the pace of the Narnia books is much slower than, for instance, the Harry Potter books. They're just not as flashy. Lewis is much more interested in character development than action sequences, and for the braindead suits that inhabit Hollywood, that just won't do.

My verification word is 'ductcx' - wasn't that one of the fauns in the first Narnia book?


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