Monday, June 26, 2006

My Gleanings

Several mini-posts in one! It's like a bag of Halloween candy, or a rambling Victorian diary!

- I finished That Damn Book. Several plot threads came together satisfactorily at the ending, but the big twist had been obvious since about page four. It could be a good beach book if you're fond of florid prose and downright rococo subplots, or if you're very drunk. I think it is mainly a good guideline of What Not To Do for the discerning writer and translator. Tragedies are just not compelling if their principals could have stopped them by behaving reasonably.

I have been happily exorcizing this one with passages from the wonderfully astringent "Cold Comfort Farm," such as: "Flora sighed. It was curious that people who lived what the novelists call a rich emotional life always seemed to be a bit slow on the uptake." This would be a perfect epigram for "The Shadow of the Wind."

- The other night I took myself out to see "X-Men 3," the highlight of which was a preview of "Snakes on a Plane," which absolutely brought the house down. Look out! Snakes! "X-Men" was sort of a letdown after that, except for Ian McKellen's queeny purring of "I could smell your adamantine skeleton a mile away." Watch out, Boy from Oz!

The fair Kelly has already outlined the film's major pluses and minuses. We probably did need the thing with the Golden Gate Bridge, although the sequel needs to explain how it stayed in one big piece without any pilings. I have to say I was a little disappointed in Phoenix. Someone who has the power to destroy entire solar systems should get better action scenes, and not just stand around in a tacky red dress from Hot Topic. I also can't get behind the Wolverine-Jean thing. She's just never been that into him, and it's rather pathetic the way he's always nosing around her door. Making Jean into Wolverine's tragedy is hollow; she's Scott's tragedy, not to mention her own. Relationship-wise I'm much more interested in Wolverine-Rogue, but that gets pretty much no screen time here. And the Magneto-Mystique breakup, while wonderfully cold, needed some follow-through. I don't want my last shot of Raven to be an indirect one on a screen. I was expecting her to join Erich at the park in the final shot, although the way it ended up was pretty cool. And wasn't Angel supposed to be in this movie?

So my requests for number four, which I am sure we will get one day: Wolverine and Rogue are finally nicely set up to get together, so let's head that way. Better outfits, please - no more nancing around in dresses from Hot Topic. And quit giving Storm so many lines, as she has no conflicts and is not interesting. Ditto Kitty. Thank you!

- Current books: "Monster Festival: Classic Tales of the Macabre," illustrated by Edward Gorey (v. similar to "The Haunted Looking-Glass") and "The Wild Night Company: Irish Tales of Fantasy and Horror." Both most highly recommended. The latter opens with a short tale by none other than Giraldus Cambrensis, which will be a huge thrill to any of you who have read Dave Barry's Only Travel Guide You'll Ever Need ("Households Per Tricha Set: 100").


Kelly said...

Oh, good! You finally got to read my post!

I went back and reread it, and I realized that it didn't really capture the sense of dissatisfaction I had with the movie. Your post helped crystallize more of it for me.

The whole Dark Phoenix thing really was horribly done - possibly because the saga can't really be captured in one film if there is to be any other plot whatsoever. Everyone took far too short a time to conclude that the only option was killing her (even though, hello? The cure?).

And yes, it is odd to make it all about Wolverine (of course, I've never been that interested in him. Woooo, you're tormented and have a shadowy past - how very). I guess that's what happens when you're a fan favorite, but it does have the faint whiff of a nerdy writer imagining what it would be like if he were Wolverine, and that cute girl at the Starbucks whom he's never gotten the nerve to talk to were Jean Grey ...

But I do like Kitty! Perhaps she'll grate on me as time goes by and we see more of her. But in this film I adored how she was able to turn what you'd think would be a purely defensive power to her advantage in a fight, and how quickly she figured out what would happen with Leech and Juggernaut.

I hope that LA is treating you well and that you have not been mauled by the cats yet. When gentleman-caller gets there, tell him I said hello!

AE said...

Yes, the Phoenix plot was just way too vague. I kept thinking Scott would show up again; his death was a bit perfunctory. Would there have been any sort of problem with just giving Jean the cure? I thought perhaps I was missing something. Or disarming her by getting that random little boy to go stand right behind her? Oh well, that's what happens to girls who don't fall in love with their tormented fanboys.

Gentleman-caller is here and was very confused when I told him you said hi! We're seeing Superman tonight, so fingers are crossed. Hope all is well with you!

Kelly said...

Well, Scott had to die early; otherwise, how could James Marsden play the good guy in Superman Returns?

Hmm. Now that I type it, it is awfully strange to compare Superman to anyone else and have anyone else come out as the "good guy." Yet, from Lois' point of view, that's exactly the case, isn't it?

Hopefully I'll have a post up on Superman soon. In case I don't, the gist is: I liked it, but GOD is Lois dumb.