March 20, 2006

V is for Old Fart

This weekend was supposed to be one of great partying and shenanigans with Grasshopper and Cricket, but instead since all of us had too many other irons in the fire and responsibilities, we called it off a while back. We were going to go to Austin for SxSW, maybe drive to Dallas for the NCAA's, party our asses off drinking green adult beverages and generally celebrate my naisance. well.... shit happens. Maybe we'll get to go camping this Summer....I doubt it at this point.

Instead, I spent Friday trying to get wild only to find that the majority of my friends have aged more than me and that my last arrest on St. Patty's Day made me a little gun shy (goddamn the police state). We crashed some nice friends' home uninvited, ate their corned beef and cabbage (they were right, it is like a roto-rooter for the soul), ordered Chinese and essentially kept them and their kids up. I realized I wasn't going to have a St. Patty's Day of yesteryear and called a cab leaving my other intruding friends alone to watch "Team America- Fuck Yeah!" I went home, walked my dog, grabbed some water and crashed. A fairly dull night despite my attempt to set a new shot record.

I awoke with no hangover a little before 6AM, but pissed at my badly behaving husband. Took the dog for an extra long walk and called a friend about meeting me for hashbrowns at the Waffle House. Walked to the local bar to pick up my car (I was responsible- yippee!) and made it for some yummy eggs over medium. My plan for the day was to go watch "V for Vendetta" on the giant screen downtown and I wasn't taking hubby after his night out on the town. I swore I wasn't about 15 times. Alas, I relented and his punishment instead was to be dragged thru Bass Pro.

Now, if you haven't been to Bass Pro it is the most god awful assortment of white trash regalia that has ever been collected in one place with the added bonuses of a live fish tank (oooooo!), mounted dead animals plastered on the walls, live cooking demonstrations (love them hushpuppies!), and shooting galleries for your littlest hunters in the family. My husband hated it, and I felt slightly vindicated in less than 10 minutes. Onward to the movie!

So we make our way through the constant deluge of rain, make it to the theater and grab primo seats. My best friend, true to form, is 10 minutes late for the start of the movie and sits elsewhere. Now, I have to preface the next part with the following: I love the graphic novel. I wrote a senior capstone paper on it in college. It was well cast, well directed, the domino montage is most excellent, Natalie Portman nailed the torture scenes almost frame by frame from the book, but the screenplay was disappointing. It got too much away from the book especially at the end.

It cut away from the stripper who kills Leader. It failed to get after the computer system called Fate. It focused more on Finch than Dominic. It lacked serious iambic pentameter in every scene in which V appears. It didn't mention Finch's LSD trip once and pretty much cut out the counterculture. It didn't focus enough on Evey's choice not to unmask V. And it made a love story bigger than it should have been.

In a sense, it was V, but in a more artistic sense- the sense of the graphic novel- it wasn't.

I still liked the movie and thought it had a powerful message. But it was a powerful message distilled for the dumbasses who inhabit the red states. Maybe, dumbasses need to be dumbed down to. I dunno. I never really thought of myself as a member of their flock.

Unfortunately, flocks don't see layers upon layers of subtext. They don't see irony, and symbolism and historical reference. They like blow 'em up action flicks and that's why they'll see this movie. A few will actually draw a correlation between the movie's government and our government. Some will simply paint V with the broad brush of being a terrorist. Others will see his humanity and his passion for his country and for free will.

I saw a good, almost great, movie, but I didn't see a masterpiece on par with the graphic novel.

Such was my weekend. It was good, but not great. It wasn't a masterpiece like Vegas. Like it was supposed to be. Like I planned for months it would be. It didn't appropriately welcome me further into the depths of middle age by giving my rapidly evaporating youth a fiery sendoff. I never puked, got hungover, wondered if my behavior was appropriate, acted impulsively or even passionately. It was safe and wouldn't get me expelled from the flock should I ever find myself becoming the herding type.

My name is The Raving Badger, and I am an old fart.


Blogger Emptyman said...

On St. Patrick's Day I helped throw one of my companions out of a bar for being obnoxious instead of joining in, and I wasn't hungover the next morning. You're right, we're getting old.

No commment on how Natalie Portman's English accent wandered back and forth across the Atlantic, pausing everywhere from New York to London to Yorkshire to Boston to Edinburgh to the Isle of Man?

I still have never seen the film adaptation of All The Pretty Horses because I loved the book too much to bear it.

9:52 AM  
Blogger Boy Wonder said...

Don't fret, all is not lost. Next year represents an opportunity to regroup and recapture that old sense of adventure. After a couple of tame St Patty's celebrations, this year's celebration of that greatest of heritage days took me back at least ten years. There was copious amounts of alcohol, spontaneous destruction of government property, gratuitous nudity, extended sessions of sexual perversion and even head long flights from the police of two nations. So don't worry, you will get another chance to revel in your wilder side. Sometimes all it takes is a change of scenery or circumstance.
Boy Wonder.

4:56 PM  

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