Wednesday, March 19, 2003

So we're going to war in a few days. I'm tired of all the media discussion and the arguments of the various governments. I just hope it's over quickly with as little loss of life as possible. The nation is back on orange alert, so I made sure we had plenty of food and water. That's all I'm prepared to do in case of terrorist attack. Sealing our apartment with duct tape and plastic is virtually impossible, so I'm rolling the dice that any mischief that happens is conventional (and that it happens far away from me.)

I've watched some great movies lately. Last week we rented The Count of Monte Cristo which was one hell of a fun time. This movie has everything: a great story, good performances, swordplay, political intrigue, and lots of cleavage. It's the ultimate revenge fantasy played out in fantastic fashion. Liz didn't think much of the movie, but I liked it enough that I'm tempted to buy it. It's that good.

I just finished watching Children of Dune on the Sci-Fi Network. I enjoyed the network's production of Dune from 2000, but thought that the sets looked a little too fake and not up to the epic standards of the novel, or even the David Lynch version of the story. This new film, of the second and third books in Frank Herbert's saga, outdoes the original movie in production values, acting, and story. I didn't mind the changes to the story (the children are 17 instead of 10 years old, Wensicia is older than her sister Irulan, who was the first born in the novels, no metallic eyes for Duncan Idaho) and I thought that the screenwriter stayed close to the spirit of the novels, similar to the way Peter Jackson has stayed true to the spirit of the Lord of the Rings. Speaking of which, the director even cribbed some details from the end of Fellowship of the Ring at the end of Children, with slo-mo camera work for a main character's death, with dramatic music playing as another character brutally stabs an assassin. And Susan Sarandon tries hard, but her Wensicia comes across as more evil than I remember from the book. And my final complaint is that I only had a clue what was going on because I've read the books several times. Without that, I'd have been completely lost. Even so, I'm still not clear as to why Leto thinks the "Golden Path" is the only way out of the imperial crisis of the story, and the movie didn't help explain it at all. I hope they make a movie of God Emperor of Dune, but I'm not sure the world is ready for a fifteen-foot worm with a human face. And the last two novels are extremely sexual, so those might be even harder to adapt. Still, they've done excellent work so far, and I'm sure future endeavors will be well done and well received.

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