By lex, on April 27th, 2006
At the top of the month I asked you * whether the upcoming movie release by United Artists entitled, “United 93,” ** and dramatizing the events of September 11, 2001, was too much, too soon.
I asked because I wondered whether the gravity of that day’s events needs any Hollywood dramatization to lend it weight, burned as it is into my memory, as it is in yours, as it is in all of ours.
Because the memories of those frozen moments when the minute hand refused to advance is with us still.
By Lex, on Sun – May 8, 2005
Haven’t seen the Kingdom of Heaven yet, but plan to.
With some trepidation.
Anything from Hollywood that goes looking at warfare between Christian crusaders and the forces of Sala a’din’s Islam has to deal with some fairly freighted context, given the current world situation. It doesn’t help when that context is also saddled with willful historical ignorance * – according to Kirk Honeycutt of the Hollywood Reporter,
” ‘Kingdom’ fulfills the requirements of grand-scale moviemaking while serving as a timely reminder that in the conflict between Christianity and Islam it was the Christians who picked the first fight.”
I bet it felt smugly superior to have typed that. I bet ol’ Kirk pushed himself away from the keyboard with a satisfied smirk. That’ll get ’em going in Jesusland, won’t it?
Well, yes. Yes, of course it will. And some of us here in California as well.
By lex, on November 6th, 2006
Saw the movie this weekend, went by myself. The Hobbit was up north with the Kat, celebrating regional championships at Six Flags, and the Biscuit was trying out for the girls’ rugby team, of all things.
I knew it wasn’t going to be a Sunday afternoon “feel good,” but I’ve gained an appreciation for Clint Eastwood’s skills as a director that Flags of Our Fathers does nothing to dilute. The story of the three young men – two Marines and their Navy corpsman – ripped from their comrades’ sides and the butchery of a Pacific combat zone and thrust into the national spotlight to stiffen a buckling national spine is not a new one, but the tale is woven seamlessly here.
By Lex, on Fri – August 12, 2005
You were aware, perhaps, that the Yellow Fever vaccine contained an actual live virus?
No? So then you didn’t know that, when checking into a shore command for the first time in seven years, and turning in your medical record to a young, fuzz-cheeked corpsman that was never even a glimmer in his own father’s eye when you were a full-bird by God lieutenant bringing the heat at 1.2 in max grunt on the tip of the spear, that all Yellow Fever vaccinations occurred only on Wednesdays between 1300 and 1430? Because, it being required every five years, no matter when the last time was that anyone ashore or at sea ever heard of man dropping down dead from the Yellow Fever (and you’re as likely to get struck by a bus, if not more so) but once the the jar is opened it’s all to be used, and that right quick? It being a live virus, you see.
Or the telling?
By Lex, on Sun – August 7, 2005
I’ve often wondered. Larry McMurtry writes what I believe to be wonderful westerns , even though I’m not a particular fan of the genre. He loves words, clearly, and uses them like precision instruments, and if you don’t find yourself falling (in a completely heterosexual way, if it do ya) for Captains Gus and Call of the Texas Rangers, then I don’t know what it might take. Colmac McCarthy has a new book out that I can’t wait to read – well, once it comes out in paperback that is – it’s not that he doesn’t deserve to have it read in hardback, it’s just that, well – I’m cheap, that way. His “All the Pretty Horses ” told another evocative tale of the American west, updated to the middle of the 20th century. The reading of it, and the falling in love with his talesmanship caused me to run through his entire back list a few years ago. I’ve read the late Patrick O’Brien’s Aubrey/Maturin series about the Royal Navy in the Napoleonic Wars straight through more times than I’d care to admit, and laughed at all the usual places every time. And right now, I’m running through Paul Johnson’s “Modern Times ,” and I’m loving every moment of it – except that, coming in at almost 900 pages, it has become obvious to me that Mr. Johnson has found a great deal more to write about in his chosen era – the period between the end of the First World War and the end of the Cold War – than I have found time in which to indulge him. And so I am occasionally distracted by Mark Helprin’s “The Pacific,” a collection of short stories suitable to modern attention spans (I do not exclude myself) having learned to love his writing in a book called, “A Soldier of the Great War ” – perhaps the greatest war novel I have ever read, and one I loved so dearly that for years I gave copies as gifts to the friends I loved the most.
By lex, on Fri – April 15, 2005
Here we are again.
(But it’s Saturday!)
Feh – he has a social life, you know.
Nobody cared for yesterday’s commute, eh? Did everyone click “read more?” You know that’s where the treasures are hid. There was some good human interest stuff in there – polio, WWII, the Holocaust, etc. Imagery too, if I’m not mistaken. No. Take that back – it’s short on imagery. Anyway.
Don’t tell me – I know what it is: Tell us more sea stories, Lex.
Gotcha. Give the audience what they want. Only, you had a pretty good run of sea stories last week, and there are only so many in a single lifetime.
Don’t get greedy.
It’s hard to impress me with a sci-fi series. Most, I think, lack some imagination. OK, I did like The Fifth Element. And who can forget the charming “Multipass” Leeloo?
Just finished a 10 part first season show on Netflix called Altered Carbon. You are introduced not to a universe where simply science has advanced along largely predictable lines (I’m talking about you Gene Roddenberry! – not that they didn’t have some excellent writing) , but a completely different universe with completely different terms.
It is a world where some people, called “Meths” are at the top of society and think of themselves as human gods.
Where people can die, cast off their old sleeve, and become needlecast into a new world and different body.
A universe in which there were a Envoys and Elders all in the past.
I don’t wish to have spoilers, but that isn’t my idea of Heaven.
If you have Netflix, I recommend it.