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Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Avian flu can't take the sky from me

Correction: Apparently I was reacting to a hypothetical flu outbreak yesterday, not the real thing. Sorry for the confusion.

I would like to take this opportunity to rescind my previous calls to welcome our new avian overlords and reaffirm my loyalty to this country and its human president.

Well you know, loyalty to a point.

Still reeling from Geek Christmas (the premieres of Joss Whedon’s Serenity and Neil Gaiman/Dave McKean’s Mirrormask) this last weekend. Oh my God. I mean, oh my God.

Serenity, as my co-worker Beth put it, made my toes curl. What an exciting, funny, scary, moving piece of mythmaking. And also a subtler, smarter, more powerful critique of our republic’s present governance than anything Michael Moore could come up with on his best day. It’s the kind of movie I just want to see over and over. It's not doing as well at the box office as it should, so please see it as a favor to me.

Mirrormask was also a piece of greatness, though not quite on the same level. Gaiman and McKean were commissioned to make a fantasy film in the vein of Dark Crystal and Labyrinth, like those films, both of which I love, it lies maddeningly on the cusp of true greatness, while…something, I’m not sure what, is missing. The mainstream critical rap, like with most fantasy movies, is that its beautiful to look at but the story is completely boring etc. Rubbish. Neil’s script is full of the brilliant verbal wit and wise, compassionate characterization that makes Neil Neil, but they do have a point that the narrative isn’t quite what it could be. The main conflict seems a bit rushed and anticlimactic, I wonder if some of that’s due to the film’s very low budget, which despite allowing them to depict wondrous visual images, probably limited the amount of “real world” filming they were able to do in some ways.

My play runs for two more weekends, I’m seeing it with a friend on Saturday. The Chicago Tribune reviewed it and said that it didn’t “have much to say”. Wasn’t overly bothered by that, it wasn’t nearly as bad as the wildly inaccurate ad hominem review Lysistrata 3000 got from the Chicago Reader. I would, however like to write something that gets a good review someday…from someone other than my friends. One review I would be content to receive: Not as good as Mirrormask or Serenity because hardly anything is.

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