“There’s The Girl”

A bit of an “unserious” post at times. It’s Wednesday. A brief change of pace.

We sat through Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, on Sunday night.

I like science fiction. I like superheroes. I like being entertained.

But while watching too often I found myself asking: What the heck is going on?

The film is based on the characters from the famous comics, of course. As I watched, it dawned on me as well that lots of books today are also rooted in the supernatural or the essentially “unbelievable.” The number of indie authors alone who write fantasy – and often really good stuff, too – is enormous.

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The Most Serious Action Of All

Our Christmas house guests have returned to London. They landed at Heathrow several hours ago. Fortunately, they got on the upstate New York roads and down to Newark Airport yesterday before…the snow hit:

So we’re not really going anywhere today. And we have a few days of “peace” ahead here before we too have to return to England. Time to get into some presents:

Back on Monday we headed to the small Windham cinema and saw Rogue One with one of those house guests – my youngest nephew. He’s 14 and a Star Wars fanatic. I thought it was a better film overall, in my humble opinion, than Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

On Tuesday night, eight of us sitting in front of the tele, we happened to catch Bogart in The Maltese Falcon on TCM. I told that nephew that Falcon is THE detective film of all time. Every detective film since then pretty much owes its existence to The Maltese Falcon.

The Maltese Falcon on DVD. [Photo by me, 2016.]
The Maltese Falcon on DVD. [Photo by me, 2016.]

Unsurprisingly, he’d never seen the film. Afterwards, on another channel we watched a much more recently made Marvel Captain America. I don’t recall which film it was exactly; I admit I lose track. One scene I recall saw Scarlett Johansson running around on a bridge, guns in both hands, spraying bullets at bad guys amidst bystanders’ cars crashing and bursting into flame and people running for cover.

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The Holiday (Film)

What a ludicrous hour to be awake on a Sunday. We’re going to church early. Like many of you, we’ve been spending the weekend preparing for Christmas:

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“Retro-Fittings”: Not Creativity In My Book

We have learned that Star Trek’s “Sulu” is to be “re-imagined” as gay. Believing that to be “right…for our times,” Guardian writer Ryan Gilbey is clearly pleased by that writers’ decision. Interestingly, however, LGBT activist, and original “Sulu” actor, George Takei, is clearly not:

Screen capture of the Guardian, July 10, 2016.
Screen capture of the Guardian, July 10, 2016.

Mr. Takei’s disapproval obviously disappointed Mr. Gilbey and quite a few others:

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“Absolutely, Tom Cruise would be perfect!”

Tom Cruise playing the “Jack Reacher” character infuriated many devoted readers of the book series. I know about this mostly based on what I’ve read about the controversy. Also my wife loves those novels, and she explained why he wouldn’t have been her “first choice” for “Reacher” when she’d read initially that it was to be Mr. Cruise in the role.

The biggest (no pun intended) complaint regularly seen is that the relatively diminutive real-life Mr. Cruise in no way resembles “Reacher.” The character is apparently nearly 7 ft tall and consists of pure muscle. Some on “social media” were quick to point that out:

Screen capture of Facebook.
Screen capture of Facebook.

Yet in fairness to any filmmaker, casting a “superman” is always a challenge. When a fictional character is outlandish, trying to locate a human actor who largely resembles him/her on the pages, let alone one who can also ACT well enough, is naturally not easy. Making that task even tougher is when it’s also supposed to be the STAR of the potential film, for it’s then suddenly necessary also to try to find one from among a very small pool of actor possibilities who will hopefully also FILL cinemas.

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Love: From A Man’s Perspective

Hello from northeastern Pennsylvania! I had a good flight over to the U.S., to Newark, NJ (just across the river from Manhattan). It was – thankfully – a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which I find a much more comfortable plane than the older 777.

View from inside of Terminal 5, London Heathrow Airport. [Photo by me, 2016.]
View from inside of Terminal 5, London Heathrow Airport. [Photo by me, 2016.]

The one disappointment aboard were the movies weren’t a great choice. Knowing the visit to my dad’s might be a bit depressing, I thought I needed a laugh. I ended up going with a retread from YEARS ago. (So far so good, though. Dad’s been in a great mood.)

Yes, mid-Atlantic I actually watched the original Bridget Jones’s Diary, from 2001. If you’ve seen it, in spots it’s still hilarious. If you haven’t, and are reading this blog, you might enjoy it.

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Password Change “Specialist” Arrives

Like you, we’ve heard about the horrors in Brussels. We were sitting at London’s Gatwick Airport early on Tuesday when we read on the net what was happening in Belgium – minutes before boarding a flight of our own. However, since our departure, except for flashes courtesy of the expensive data on our phones, we had been without the Internet until late yesterday afternoon (UK time).

So in that respect I was not unhappy we were unable to access much news. Like in Paris last November. Like in London in July 2005 (when the Tube line we use regularly – the Piccadilly – was attacked). Like in Madrid in March 2004. Like four passenger planes being suicide-hijacked and crashed into skyscrapers by “religious” maniacs in September 2001, it’s too upsetting….

I’ve been to Brussels a couple of times and liked the city a lot. There’s nothing I can say someone else hasn’t already said, or won’t say better. So we’ll leave it and talk about something else here.

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It’s Not Just About Enjoying “Downton Abbey”

The other day, we had a vital Amazon delivery:

[Photo by me, 2016.]
[Photo by me, 2016.]

It arrived while I had been doing bits of work around the house. My London-born wife was out. That’s one of her preferred teas here in the U.S.

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Let’s Not Forget The Balcony Scene

We seem beset lately with academics being funded to study high-profile, fantasist entertainment. We’ve recently been informed that “Disney Princesses” are dangerous to young girls. Now, for older ones, it’s being widely reported that so are the likes of Love, Actually:

Screen capture of the Telegraph.
Screen capture of the Telegraph.

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“Disney Princesses”: An Existential Threat?

Whenever I see reports like this, I sit up and take notice. I wonder: how I am doing? I have quite a few women characters, so I take my portrayal of them seriously:

Screen capture of the Washington Post.
Screen capture of the Washington Post.

Its main argument is:

….The plot of “The Little Mermaid,” of course, involves Ariel literally losing her voice β€” but in the five Disney princess movies that followed, the women speak even less. On average in those films, men have three times as many lines as women.

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