Monday, October 18, 2010

Just Watched: Robin Hood

Just Watched: Robin Hood

Do not be fooled.  This film is not about Robin Hood.  It has borrowed a few names and the setting but other than that it's a much different story.

I don't mind people reinventing a classic but it's not usually a good plan to start out by eviscerating the beast and then hanging a plot into the limp carcass.  I was not a big fan of Antoine Fuqua's King Arthur but at least that reinvention went whole-hog and changed everything.

In this version we have Robin (who is not actually Robin),  returning to England and dishing out social justice, not in the classic mode of stealing from the rich and giving to the poor but rather by championing a Magna Carta like document his father had written.   I'll admit this Robin's actions are more morally grounded but that's not the ticket I bought when I sat down to see this film and it certainly doesn't make for an improved story.

However, it wasn't until the climatic battle at the end of the film that I really made up my mind that I hated this film.   The final straw was a disguised Marion leading a rag-tag band of forest urchins into battle, in a scene that seemed directly plucked from LoTR, and Robin saving her in the crashing surf  (in what would have appeared to all observers in the battle as a homo-erotic encounter).    It was silly.

Not a good movie.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fuck Sony Entertainment - Sid der Liedermacher

I'm not mad at Sony and my German is not good enough to explain why Sid is but it's a catchy tune. How I found this is a whole other story.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Just Read: The Soldier Son Trilogy

The Soldier Son Trilogy by Robin Hobb

 This was a very unusual series of novels.  Though ostensibly a 'fantasy novel' there's little in the way of traditional fantasy going on here.  There is magic but people don't so much control it as much as it controls them.

The novels take place in a land reminiscent of the early colonial Americas and the antagonists culturally bear a strong resemblance to native Americans.   The hero is the second son of a colonial noble family and by tradition is destined to be the 'Soldier Son' who pursues a military career in the colonial wars.  Things, of course, don't go as planned.

Mostly this is a novel of culture clashes.  At times it's deliciously deviant in the way it contrasts the sexual and gluttonous behaviors of the natives against the more rigid lifestyles of the colonials.  At other times it is excruciatingly painful as the hero is buffeted with indignation after indignation.  It's a very thin veil over our own culture wars though one whose final moral seems stretched so it offends neither liberal or conservative.

As with a lot of fantasy series I found it way too long.  The material would have been a lot better in 1 or perhaps 2 volumes.  Stretching it to 3 was just not needed.

If you're looking for something different you might like it more than I did.

Friday, October 08, 2010

The Out Campaign: Scarlet Letter of Atheism