May 15th, 2005

little review

Poem for Sunday

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It was younger son's last day of Hebrew school and he had a soccer game in the early afternoon, so we had a relatively mundane Saturday -- we all went to the game (they won), then we stopped by the studio where he takes violin lessons to get his new violin tuned because none of us do it very well and his teacher had promised a lesson, and then we were going to get haircuts but both kids balked at this so instead we stopped by the food store and ended up racing home to beat the thunderstorms that kept me offline for several hours.

In the evening we watched the first half of Longitude, which is phenomenal. Michael Gambon plays a carpenter who spent his life trying to invent a clock that would allow navigation at sea, and Jeremy Irons plays a veteran obsessed with restoring his machines. I'd been told that it was a rather dry story but that couldn't be more wrong; the scientific obsession is quite riveting even to someone like me who has trouble following the most basic information about maps and vectors, and both main characters are emotional, fanatical sorts who are very compelling to watch, though I'm not thrilled with the dichotomy between Gambon's character's supportive wife and the witch they've made Irons' character's wife out to be for wanting outrageous things like a husband bringing in an income and a sex life. It may be based on reality, but they could have given both characters more depth than they bothered with in the screenplay.

Here is my Russell Crowe squee for the day, mitigated by the fact that Nicole Kidman is involved -- you know, it's a pain in the ass intensely disliking Kidman and Paltrow while only being lukewarm on Zellwegger, considering that they seem to get dibs on every major script out there, while really talented people like Winslet, Blanchett, Theron, Connelly and Linney end up in smaller movies and smaller roles, which perhaps is partly their choice but one rarely hears that they were considered for parts in which Kidman ends up miscast like The Human Stain or The Hours. Even Hilary Swank, who keeps taking roles I dislike but whose talent is undeniable. Even Sarah Michelle Gellar, who makes me want to vomit in every interview I read with her but who has consistently impressed me with what she can do when she's not doing Scooby-Doo -- I don't see why she should stop, though, when she can make a cool million for goofing off with her husband instead of doing some tiny independent film. Miranda Otto's from Australia, isn't she? Let her play a lead role opposite Crowe in a big Aussie movie.

Collapse ) Sunday we are going downtown to the Asian games exhibit -- I am not sure yet whether this will be with or without my parents. Hopefully the rain spent itself earlier -- at least the pollen count has dropped!

Effigies of Knights, Temple Church. (Kingdom of Heaven made me realize I hadn't posted any photos of the knights, though the Templars were scapegoats in the film -- murderous Christian fanatics and hypocrites, so that the bulk of Christians could be portrayed as noble, honest folk who didn't really want to be fighting the equally noble Muslims for the city.)