"Only I don't know how they got out dear..."
Well, I've decided to keep this day fairly pleasant, so I'm reserving all political discussion for tomorrow. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, I'll do the final election dance, talk about the violence among supporters of each candidate, and opine on the general hysteria that has surrounded this over-long campaign season. Lofty goals, hitting all these points. Yes, well. We do what we can.
In the meantime, today has a few key goals of its own. Here we go.
Chronicles of Riddick: I tried to keep my expectations reasonably low. I mean, it's the sequel to the truly awesome Pitch Black, so no matter how well it did, it would suffer by comparison. But, on its own, it's a pretty decent movie. Don't expect to see the logical backbone of everything involved. Just take it for what it is--a chance for Vin Diesel to be a badass as the greatest character he has or will ever play. Good times. The action effects are cool too.
Verdict: No prize-winner, but worth your two hours and five bucks.
13 Going on 30/Raising Helen: I'm doing these together, because it's just so embarrassing to do each separately. Yes, I'm a guy who likes romantic comedies. Nothing wrong with that. Move along. Both of these movies had the benefit of great casts. I adore Kate Hudson and Jennifer Garner. I really enjoy watching John Corbett and Mark Ruffalo work. The scripts are predictable but enjoyable. "13" is worth watching just for the "Thriller" dance scene, and seeing Andy Serkis as something other than Gollum. "Helen" has a better-than-average "cute kid" factor, and Joan Cusack as a neurotic soccer mom.
Verdict: Both are predictable and saccharine, but still worthwhile. Come on, you know you want to.
Wicked, by Gregory Macguire: This novel questions our assumptions about the nature of good and evil, by retelling the story of Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz from the "wicked" witch's point of view. Macguire raises the questions: is evil born or made? How are the good and the wicked judged? Do motives make a difference in these judgements? This is a beautifully written book, full of detail and rich description. The author takes us behind the curtain, and shows us that Oz was a land of social injustice and civil strife, and that those deemed "good" and "evil" are hardly so. (Sensitive readers should note that there are a few scandalous scenes in the book. FYI.)
Verdict: Brilliant and beautifully conceived. Highly recommended.
If Chins Could Kill, by Bruce Campbell: Hail to the king, baby. I'm about 3/4 of the way through this book. Hilarious. Bruce "Don't Call Me Ash" Campbell gives us an inside look at the life and struggles of a "B" movie actor. Great read, interesting detail, very much written in Campbell's self-deprecating, smart-assed style.
Verdict: Any BC/Evil-Dead/Army-of-Darkness fan must read this. Awesome.
If you aren't familiar with NaNoWriMo, go here. The goal is 50,000 words in a month. The trick is to not edit or over think. Just write like mad. I signed up for this in the past, but never followed through (there was that whole "teaching" thing I was doing at the time). But now that I have some semblance of a normal schedule, I'm ready to take a whack at it.
I won't be writing "the" book under these conditions. Instead, I'll be tackling another idea that I've kicked around for a while. And it all begins with a funeral. But that's all I'm saying about it. Any more would be stamping out my own fire. On Monday, we dive in. 1700 words a day. Bring it on.
I'll be updating the ol' links bar in the next day or so, so keep an eye out. Folks like Ginge and Trav (not to mention the illustrious Marty) will get some love. Others may get less love. So we'll see.
That's all I've got at the moment. Like I said, lots of one-sided political punditry tomorrow. Bring your sparring gloves.