Sunday, December 2, 2007

A hollow victory...

Our seventh anniversary was last Monday. As He Who Looks Hot in Jeans (HWHiJ, for the nonce, he will get much mention in this entry) works nights, and as we had just returned from Family Stuff in Michigan on Sunday, we hadn't pulled anything together for the date itself.

But I was poontling around in Neil Gaiman's blog at work on Monday (this is because my thyroid meds are off and all I can manage at work right now is poontling around in Neil Gaiman's blog. Fortunately, it's a fairly old blog with lots and lots of stuff to poontle. Yes, it's a word, goddamnit, because I say it is). Anyway, various reviews of Beowulf were intriguing me, so I called up my man and said, "I know what I want for our anniversary, I want to go see Beowulf."

"That's sounds cool," said my beloved, "Except I want to see The Mist."

I gave this some thought, and figured, well, if Beowulf, Mr. Magorium's Magic Emporium, Enchanted, and No Country for Old Men weren't out, well, heck, I'd want to see The Mist too. So I said We'll see, and set about securing a babysitter.

[Totally unrelated babysitter commentary:] When I called the secured babysitter on Thursday to finalize the start time -- which HWLHiJ and I had determined needed to be no later than 5:00 to make dinner and the movie -- she said, "Can't it be at 5:30?"

"I thought you got home from school at 3:15?"

"No, 4:15."

I did some difficult mental math, resulting in the fact that there were still 45 minutes here to work with. I hazarded a guess, "If dinner's the issue, I'm getting y'all a pizza."

"No, it's not dinner. I just need some time to relax after I get home from school."

Mind you, this kid's in the eighth grade, not med school. Am I a horrible evil bitch for having been utterly put off by this conversation?

Anyway, we compromised on 5:15, and I informed HWLHiJ, steeling myself for a whinefest, since he does not do well with having his plans dicked with (yes, even by fifteen minutes) and he said, "Oh that's okay, I've got a tutoring appointment until 5:00 and won't be home until 5:15."

So there ya go. [End unrelated babysitter commentary.]

I really wasn't opposed to seeing The Mist, but dinner was indeed a close shave and the first theater we went to, Beowulf was well underway and The Mist wasn't even showing. I was beginning to boil here, because all I had asked for was to see Beowulf, and now it was shaping up that I was going to get to eat Indian food and go home. Yay. However, we tried one more theater, where we had missed The Mist by 20 minutes, but Beowulf was just about to start.

I would say, hey, it's not my fault that we didn't go see The Mist, but you and I both know we could have walked into the Stephen King movie 20 minutes late and still have gotten to see five minutes of trailers. HWLHiJ never seemed to work this out, and I, by my silence, became a passive-aggressive conspirator in forcing him to watch the movie I wanted to see all along. I'm admitting this to you, Inconstant Reader. I don't think HWLHiJ will ever figure it out.

Well, I knew I was in trouble as the action got started and HWLHiJ leaned over and hissed, "You didn't tell me this was animated!!"

HWLHiJ and his heavy sighs aside, I loved the movie. Yes the eyes were weird and yes the horsed SUCKED, but that is the sum total of my complaints. As I mentioned, I've read many reviews that liked the movie for a plethora of reasons. I flatter myself that my reasons are a little different:

1) The Storytelling: With an impatient man who now hates Harry Potter like DEATH because of the butchery of the first HP movie, I was worried as hell that I'd lose him to boggy plot points. (Little did I know that, upon realization that the movie was animated, I'd lost him, period, the end, no take-backs.) But anyway, if he hadn't been such a noodge about the fact that No, Virginia, they're not real people, the plot would have given him no cause for complaint.

It was clear, it moved at a fantastic pace. I found it interesting, intriguing and affecting. And anyone who knows me knows I did not read Beowulf in high school, I merely jumped up and down on the book, bullshat my way through class discussions, then went home and read Robert Asprin. But I got a huge kick out of the story and the best part was, here's this ancient epic that millions, perhaps billions of teenagers have slept through over the centuries and Gaiman and Avary never once let the story slow down. There was no room for sleeping.

2) The Language: I never expected HWLHiJ, author of the statement, "Why the hell would you want to say 'auspicious' when 'promising' says just the same thing?", to get off on the language.

As a linguistics dork, myself, I loved it. I loved the language, barely understandable to modern ears, shared by Grendel and his mom. I loved that a bard stood up and recited from the original poem, in the original language, as the fight between Beowulf and Grendel was reenacted. While the main portion of the movie was dedicated to making the story digestible to modern audiences, these shout-outs to the ancient originators were perfect touches.

Yes, I know, I am a dork.

So, my darling husband hated it. That makes me sad. I hope I don't do that to him -- I do try to be interested in what he's interested in. Even if I can't stand it, I give it a fair shake, and I've learned to like a few things along the way -- Electric Light Orchestra and epic fantasies being two examples that jump to mind. Possibly even zombie movies. Granted, I believe I can take the credit for his obsession with Great Danes and irises, but still...

It's always disappointing to try to share something you dig and have it be rejected out of hand. Especially over something as stupid as whether or not it's animated. I mean, for what it's worth, the animation (barring horses and eyes, yes) was AMAZING. What has been accomplished over the past two decades with CGI just BOGGLES MY MIND.

(My one question to the artists though, is why not just go a little Manga with the eyes? Give up on making them look real, it's not working. Just go big and limpid and at least they'll be pretty, and possible less distractlingly creepy. Anyone?)

And I don't often regret that I was robbed of all depth perception by an extreme case of strabismus, but I did in this case (and when I'm backing into a parking spot). We watched the 2D version -- and I could have physically seen the 3D version, but it would have looked just like the 2D version. As neat as the 2D version was for me, I wonder how cool having blood and spears fly out of the screen at you would have been. Perhaps my man would have enjoyed it more...

My next pathetic attempt will be to get him to see The Golden Compass. He's already up in arms because some moron on the internet said something about how the book does nothing but bash Catholics. I said, Dude, read the fucking book and then get worked up about it, and he said, I don't have to read the fucking book if I don't want to, and I said...

Seven years. Hard to believe, I know.

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