Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Thoughts on the way back from the video store

-It's getting ridiculous that a late fee from a video store can sometimes end up less than the cost of gas to deliver the DVD on a dedicated trip.

-The movie was The Golden Compass, the subject of this blog's first post. Nicole Kidman is to be credited with a good portrayal of one of the more elegantly conceived characters I've come across. The ending is foolish but necessary from a Hollywood perspective, and falls short of the book's. And Hollywood's decision to remove religion from the story in any significant way -- recasting the Dobsonesque theocracy called the Magisterium as a simple tyranny, and slipping only one oblique mention of God -- rather neuters the story. Still a good story, but not what it truly is -- imagine The Hunt For Red October without the fact that the Soviets and Americans were bitter enemies. I have no idea if they can keep that up for the rest of the story arc without kneecapping the richness of the narrative.

-It's funny that the symbol for Christianity is a painful method of execution, for Judaism a military shield, and for Islam a serene astronomical scene.

-John Meyer has about as much business singing "Free Fallin'" as Osama bin Laden would have singing "Hava Nagila". Combined with Kid Rock's Frankensteinian hybridization of "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Werewolves of London", this is a bad summer for remakes. Not that remakes are all bad, mind you: Billy Idol did a great "Mony, Mony", Celine Dion's English career was launched with her remake of Jennifer Rush's "The Power of Love". But the ultimate remake is so well-known, that few people realize that it is a remake:

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