In the late afternoon my husband came home early so we could take our younger son to his violin lesson, then drive straight to the movies in Bethesda where I had won tickets to Ella Enchanted. (This is rather a nice story: I had entered a Capitol Children's Museum contest to win tickets to the official movie premiere in DC tonight, and they had run out, but the woman who runs their promotions wrote to me to tell me she had a few tickets from a local radio station to the screening in Bethesda, did I want a family four-pack? Heck yes.) The kids were initially reluctant as it is "a girl's story" but as I figured, once the movie started they were quite into it, the film having ogres, giants, elves, ninjas, etc. It also has rather pointed politics, which pleased me both in their bias and their often witty subtlety in the story.
I have many predictable feminist qualms with something billed as a post-feminist fairy tale (all the girls except the heroine must be portrayed as bitches or losers, etc.) And I did not read the book, so I can't make comparisons. But the film has very lovely scenery and costumes, an enjoyable soundtrack and lots of visual references to more traditional fairy tale movies -- think Shrek combined with Ever After. Hugh Dancy would be cute were he not ridiculously young and Cary Elwes is great fun as the evil regent. I didn't see Anne Hathaway's previous princess outing, so I didn't have that to hold against her, and no idea how derivative this might seem to someone who did see it, but I found her generally appealing as Ella when the role wasn't irking my sensibilities in general.
Found a copy of Heart of Oak: A Sailor's Life in Nelson's Navy for a ridiculously cheap price, and am about halfway through The Mauritius Command in which I miss the women and life on land somewhat but am enjoying Stephen and Jack's banter a lot. Will read more tomorrow on the trek to the in-laws. I must close on an M&C note with this quote from today's Washington Post sports section, Tony Kornheiser's column, arguing that D.C. United's decision not to start 14-year-old Freddy Adu was pathetic. "Every single person who turned on a TV set to the game did so to see Freddy Adu," Kornheiser wrote. "Do you think people who bought a ticket to 'Master And Commander' would have been pleased if Russell Crowe showed up after the battle scenes and did a cameo on that island looking for the penguins?"
Which reminds me...the nice guys in Suncoast in the mall gave me and vertigo66 (to whom I must apologize for abandoning between floors!) buttons advertising the upcoming May release of Peter Pan on DVD. I asked them if they had any M&C paraphernalia, and they said they had not received anything at all. Which says to me that Fox is doing as pathetic a job marketing the DVD (awesome web site notwithstanding) as they did with the film itself, and they are still looking for ways to make it look unsuccessful even though it's crossed the $200 million mark at the global box office and they must have made money on it. Grr.