July 27th, 2003

little review

Poem for Sunday

Collapse )

A month away and I had forgotten how unbearably hot and muggy Washington can be in the summer...the 120 degrees without humidity of the southwest is easier to breathe, though I must admit that being here and seeing all the different shades of green in the woods, I missed the deciduous trees.

Yesterday in the warm but tolerable afternoon we went to see the hugely fun Pirates of the Caribbean Collapse ) But it wins lots and lots of points for style and enthusiasm. (And the Hidalgo trailer was still attached! I'm such a sucker for movies where people talk to horses...plus, you know, Viggo.)

All four leads look like they are having the best time, there are lots of bits of imagery from the amusement park ride (which I've been on three times in two different Disney parks), the swordfighting and boat chases are beautifully done and the eye candy factor is, well, superb. I liked the women, which is unusual in historical action-adventure where usually there's some horrible stereotype or other being perpetrated, though of course no one had a living mother. Johnny Depp is so delightfully, shamelessly swishy! I'd slash Jack with Kevin Kline's Pirate King from The Pirates of Penzance if it weren't so utterly ridiculous on so many levels. As it is, I might have to write something about Jack and Anamaria teaching Will what women want.

Today the boys are clamoring to see Johnny English and since they hadn't seen a film in five weeks and it looks like rain, we may indulge them. I am sure Seabiscuit will still be around next weekend and it sounds like I can wait for T3 on DVD -- I don't want to watch the violence on the big screen anyway. Then I must get cracking on the book reviews I owe GMR before I check in with TT and say yeah, what have you got for me?

Pirate Ship and Settlement, Treasure Island, Las Vegas
little review


Through some miracle of negotiation, I talked my family into going to see Seabiscuit instead of Johnny English (which I wouldn't mind seeing, but in my limited theater-going movie time I would really rather go to movies I really want to see). It was wonderful. I haven't read the book -- am now wondering why I haven't read the book, as I love horse stories nearly as much as baseball stories (am having huge urge now to revisit Marguerite Henry's King of the Wind, a childhood favorite), so everything in the film was a surprise to me other than the endings of major races, and even though I knew when the horse was going to win I was biting my nails anyway.

Structurally the film reminded me so much of The Natural -- underdog with devastating injury, kindly mumbo-jumbo talking trainer, good guy manager who really deserves a win, villain who's way overweight, overdressed and obsessed with his wealth and position, kid in role of replacement son, reporter as catalyst, women all saints or whores, period setting, Randy Newman soundtrack swelling at appropriate moments, glorification of American heartland and American spirit -- not that I am complaining as I absolutely adore The Natural. I also adore Jeff Bridges, so even though he was playing a character quite similar to the one he played in Tucker I thought he was wonderful. And Tobey M. was a revelation, because I really didn't like Spider-Man all that much -- thought it was quite overrated.

I'm going to have to read the book now. Is Frank Hopkins' autobiography still available anywhere? I can't even track down the title. Meanwhile, got this from sangerin, made me quite happy:

Anne of Cleves
Which of Henry VIII's wives are you?
this quiz was made by the lycanthropes at Spookbot