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That line is always good for a laugh ’round my house.

caspianLast evening, at the request of the youngest gel, we rented Prince Caspian (which I had never seen before).

Well, now.

Let me start by saying something positive:  I thought the whole idea of turning the Telmarines into a sort of lost tribe of Spanish Conquistadors actually rayther clever, emphasizing as it did the alien character of these invaders of Narnia.

Having said that, I thought most of the rest of the movie to be pure tommyrot. 

I believe that C.S. Lewis crafted the Pevensee children with certain assumptions about character and motivation in mind.  They belong to an age now long gone, a time when a boy who behaved poorly was just a little tick and a beast, and not someone struggling to overcome issues relating, say, to abandonment by his father.   To the extent that Lewis delved into the inner psyche at all, it was in the context of Aslan forcing the erring character to view him- or herself honestly and whole, to face up to his or her faults and weaknesses and to correct them.

Not so in the movie version, in which the writers seem unable to resist adding all manner of Freudian motivations.  Thus, for example, Peter comes across in this movie as having some kind of Napoleon complex.  Caspian seems consumed with his own Hamlet-like position more than with the good of Narnia.  Susan seems adrift in a sea of confused teenager hormones. 

 The other characters, meanwhile, seem to spend most of their time uttering sardonic zingers. 

Hardly what Aslan would have had in mind, I think.  Not that one had much of a sense of his presence until he pulled the obligatory deus ex lionesse at the end.  And what a pity that the movie could not have spent any time on Aslan’s shaking of the Telmarine peasantry out of their funk and drudgery, as recalled in the book.

As to the plot, well of course I thought the wholely gratuitous assault on Miraz’s castle uncalled for.  And as for the defense of Aslan’s Howe, if I were the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien, I’d be researching the minutiae of my copyright claims because the moovie producers seemed to have swiped the Huorns rigth out of Fangorn Forest without so much as a by-your-leave.     

One last small (ha!) point: Reepicheep.  For some reason, I’ve always imagined him as having an Italian accent, something to go along with his cavaliere ways.  But the voiceing here by Eddie Izzard? All wrong.  Too cutsie.  I shudder to think what Dawn Treader is going to be like when it comes out.

All in all, I fear that the Chronicles of Narnia are sliding down the same chute as the Lord of the Rings movies, going from bad to worse.

Hello, all!  Sorry for the lack of posting the past few days, but what with one thing and another…..

♦  I’ve already put down my thoughts about the concept of “Presidents’ Day” over at the Llamas. Go on over and give the ol’ camelid sitemeter a boost.

♦ Shouldn’t it be “The War Among the States”?

♦ I got to the Latin High Mass yesterday for the first time since before Christmas owing to conflicting softball brosigcommitments.  How wonderful it was to be back.  The musick was by a composer of whom I’ve never heard, one Moritz Brosig (1815-1887).  There really isn’t all that much on the fellah on the intertoobs.  The best the Classical Composer Database can give is:

 Silesian theorist and organist, pupil and, since 1842, successor of Franz Wolf at Breslau Cathedral, later Brosig was vice-director of the Institute for Church Music and lecturer at the University in Breslau, and also a member of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome. 

And there you have it. The musick itself wasn’t really bad (although it couldn’t compare with the Communion Motet Diffusa Est Gratia by Giovanni Maria Nanino (1544-1607)).  It was a fairly typical example of the 19th Century hyper-conservative Church style to which one needs to listen carefully for small clues in order to pin it down within 50 years or so.   I see it as mildly interesting from a historickal point of view rayther than particularly inspiring. 

♦ Speaking of inspiring, though, I would add that yesterday’s Gospel from Luke – Jesus’ parable about the sewn seeds – is one of those that routinely scares the willies out of me.  I haven’t yet decided whether my soul is the rock or the thorny patch, but I sure don’t think it’s the good soil.   Now you may tsk, tsk about this, but the fact of the matter is that I see such a fear as a healthy thing, as no doubt was intended by Him.   

♦ In the mens sana in corpore whatnot category, after having used it for about six weeks now, I have come to the conclusion that the Wii-Fit program really is pretty good, at least with respect to yoga and strength training.  The aerobic programs leave a good bit to be desired, but I’ve found that a little supplemental treadmill work makes up for that deficiency.  I recently saw an article somewhere about WiiFit that claimed the program was not, in fact, very effective because people tended to buy it but then…..not use it.  Well, duh.  Horse? Here’s some water.  Have a drink!

♦  Speaking of having a drink, I haven’t, dammit.  And further, I’ve discovered that the differences between what one might call the European assumptions about wine as a pleasant part of daily life and the Oprah-fied view of the world in terms of pop-psychology result in what one might call a failure to communicate.  I’d like to find the Johnny who came up with terms like “self-medicate” and horse-whip him.

♦ Speaking of pop-psychology, I’ve been perusing a softball-coaching for dummies book that I recently picked up and I have to say that although the tips on mechanical technique and play strategy are well worth the investment, I find myself rayther horrified at the amount of pure psycho-babble thrown in.  Most of it, of course, can be distilled down to a handful of common-sense bullet points, and for myself I am not particularly concerned.  But I can just see someone of a more neurotic bent getting hold of a tome like this and turning him- or herself (and his or her charges) into a complete nutbasket.  

 ♦  I was helping the eldest gel with a bird-watching project yesterday and couldn’t help noticing that some of the goldfinches are juuuust beginning to show a little of their summah coloring.  I also noticed yesterday both that the daffodils have started to break through and the peonies are showing red nubs just below the surface. I must admit that winter held absolutely no appeal for me this year and that I am eagerly anticipating the return of spring.

♦  Also speaking of birds, I fill up our feeder once a week.  The locals usually clean it out completely within 48 to 72 hours, leaving it empty for the latter part of the week.  I can’t help noticing that while we have something like fifteen different species come in on a regular basis, every time I refill it, the chickadees are teh first ones back.  Smart birds, those chickadees.


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February 2009