June 5th, 2004

little review

Poem for Saturday

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The above poem is, needless to say, in honor of Sirius Black. And Remus Lupin because the imagery reminded me of him in a field at night. (I'd promise to stop sometime soon but I'm not sure I will.)

It's pouring, the baseball and soccer have both been called off, the kids have a bowling party from 4-6 and we are considering braving the HP crowds to go see Shrek 2 since we already have HP tickets for the family for Tuesday afternoon. Am hoping the party will break up in time for us to watch the Belmont, even though, officially, I do not approve of that sort of horse racing. What a loser I am.
little review

Saturday Night Blather

The pissing rain continued all morning and into the afternoon, so since all sporting events were cancelled we took the boys to Shrek 2. I did not expect to be in the mood for this movie, having seen POA yesterday, and I did not expect to like it as much as the first one. I am delighted to have been wrong. The theater was absolutely packed -- I think a lot of people who arrived too late to get HP tickets decided to go see Shrek -- and it was a fun crowd that howled and applauded at all the funny scenes, which were many, and it so greatly improves any comedy to see it with a really appreciative audience. I missed everything that was said after Collapse ). My kids, who have better eyes than I do, read me all the fake store names (Old Knavery, Baskin Robinhood, etc.) and I can't decide whether this should count as evil product placement or all in good fun.

I love the fact that we see much more of ogre!Fiona in this one, and that she likes both herself and Shrek so much better as ogres. And I really love the contempt for the whole notion of fairy godmothers and magic potions and the sort of prince-and-princessdom that even in my post-hippie youth, it was strongly implied that we were meant to aspire towards. (Plus I love Julie Andrews jumping over from The Princess Diaries; her very presence helps subvert the ickier aspects of that franchise, though of course I've only seen previews for PD2 so I shouldn't really talk.) And I find it amusing that Prince Charming is played by the very gay Rupert Everett. Everyone here knows to stay into the credits, right?

Anyway, this is my third incoherent movie review in two days -- brain, brain, what is brain, is it not Controller? After the film we stopped at home for a little while, where I wrote my requisite two articles on The Lion In Winter's Emmy and TCA awards, then took the boys to a birthday party at a bowling alley that seems designed to induce seizures -- red flashing lights between the lanes, lasers on the ceiling, blacklight, and six enormous screens showing everything from Nickleodeon to the Sci Fi Channel to the hour and a half of pre-Belmont coverage. I would like to know what jerk at NBC elected not to run a scrolling note about Reagan's death for those people watching with the sound off waiting for the actual race to start; I'm sure they assumed, rightly, that we would all have switched to other channels for the news coverage for awhile. I finally found out about two minutes before post time, and watched the race with an odd sense of melancholy even before the Triple Crown was lost.

When Reagan was elected, I was in junior high school and honestly believed it was the beginning of the end of the world -- that we were on a certain path to nuclear was with the Soviet Union. Then Brezhnev died, and everything changed. What's funny is that some of my clearest memories of Reagan are from things he said during the Iran-Contra hearings -- I was interning downtown at a think tank that was far more conservative than I would have liked, but a college internship at a prestigious publisher was not to be turned down -- it was 1987, the last time the cicadas took over D.C. So I have had Reagan on my mind rather more this year than I had for a long time before. I feel sorry for his family, but the man was 93 years old and seems to have had a very good life; I wonder whether perhaps it is a relief, after watching him decline with Alzheimer's.

Anyway, for awhile while the kids were bowling we got out of the insane light show and wandered into a used bookstore where I found a copy of a biography of N.C. Wyeth with gorgeous color illustrations, but it was nearly $20 so I behaved so I can get the rest of the Hornblowers if I want later in the month, then for a little while I read more of The Surgeon's Mate and Stephen contemplating stealing Jack's weevil jokes, and both kids bowled pretty well (better than I do anyway -- ozfille, take note), and we all watched the Belmont together, and they ate dinner at the party, and we made chicken salad with the leftovers from Popeye's from the other night, and I am now greasy and full and content, which is all anyone can ever ask of a Saturday I think.