24 July 2008
21 July 2008
19 July 2008
Of course I never found her. I don't know how long the dream lasted after that, but I was like Burgess Meredith in that old Twilight Zone episode, wandering, just part of a destroyed landscape, looking for the One That Got Away.
If you can accept a movie only 70 years old as mythology, and I think you can, I would probably compare myself to all 4 of the travelers on the Yellow Brick Road. Like Dorothy, I often feel like I'm not where I belong, like I've lost something, something I'm desperate to get back to. Like the Lion, I wish I was braver. Like the Scarecrow, my head is fulla stuffin'. And like the Tin Man, sometimes I have a cold spot in my heart, a place of anger and sadness and loss. We know now that each of them had what they needed all along, and what they really needed was just to walk the path, to take the journey and do the best they can
Mikhail sat alone in The Flame, lost in memories of old wars and new rumors of war. He looked out the window and saw a boy, a black boy about 10 years old. The boy was soaking wet and looked like he was whispering to himself. Mikhail got his gun and went to the door. He yelled out, asked the boy who he was. The boy looked right through the grizzled Russian. Mikhail opened the door and the boy was gone. He turned around to go back inside and the boy was in front of him. "They want your eye." said the boy, and as Mikhail took a step towards him, the boy became a tall column of swirling black smoke and blew past him out into the jungle.
14 July 2008
08 July 2008
The Running Man was made into a movie a little while after I read it. I was of two minds: I was a big fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger, (youthful indiscretion on my part) but it wasn't the movie I wanted. It was a popcorn flick, lots of action, comic-book villains, light on social comment. They changed the story entirely; all they really kept was the basic idea of a game show where you fight for your life. I really enjoyed it at first, but I watched it again recently and it's terrible. Arnold should never have been the hero of that movie; at that time (1987) any movie with Arnold was an Arnold movie first and foremost, and the public expected certain things from his movies. (This was even a year before Twins, Arnold's first comedy.)
All the substance was replaced by style, the characters replaced with cardboard cutouts.
I saw the first 4 Harry Potter movies before I read the books, and I thought they were great, at the time. They were exciting, and touching, and suspenseful, particularly the 3rd chapter, The Prisoner of Azkaban. Having now read all the books, I saw the 5th movie, Order of the Phoenix, and it was dreadful. Granted, book 5 is a long, complicated tale, but to see it butchered like that was painful. The actors didn't seem to like it very much, either, as most of them phoned in their performances. Last night, I caught about an hour of the 4th movie, Goblet of Fire, on tv, a movie I enjoyed immensely before I read the book, and I hated every minute of it. They made up scenes, combined characters, lost so many plotlines and fine details, all in th name of profitability. There are not enough Harry Potter fans to make a movie just for them, they have to appeal to as broad an audience as possible, which is the problem with most mass-produced entertainment today. There have been a few movies that have been faithful to the books and have been successful: The Green Mile, The Godfather, The Virgin Suicides. While these movies were literally faithful to the book, they also retained the tone and the flavor of the book. Even Contact, with Jodie Foster, was a good adaptation. Carl Sagan adapted the screenplay himself before he died, and while much of the story was changed, it retained a lot of the sense of wonder, and it had something to say. But these are few and far between, most adaptations are garbage.