Thursday, January 19, 2006

Tear Stained Eye

Nice guy. Glad I don't live next to this lovely human being.

If this doesn't scare you, then you probably agree with the stance. But then think, how would you feel if they were going after the other side? It's University, where you're supposed to learn to think critically. Why be afraid of that?

Really boring rant next:

Why oh why do people insist on making movies from books and then NOT FOLLOWING THE BOOK??? And I can't even blame Hollywood this time, as it was an English movie based in Spain. Let me back up. I watched Uncovered last night. It's "based" on The Flanders Panel by Arturo Perez-Reverte, and was his first book translated into English (it might also have been his first book). I read the book back in 2001 and really liked it and have subsequently bought all of his books. My issues with the movie are myriad and I don't think I’m being nitpicky. Examples of me not being nitpicky: The book was based in Madrid, Spain, but the movie took place in Barcelona. I can understand this as Barcelona is infinitely more interesting as background with all of its Gaudí influenced architecture. I can understand combining two characters into one – even though it significantly changed some of the plot – because it could have gotten a bit unwieldy. But what oh what was the reason behind making Julia, the lead (Kate Beckinsale – I was NOT impressed with her acting, I have to say), sneeze any time a male person of the opposite sex tried to kiss her? NOT IN THE BOOK! A stupid addition and really annoying.

I got out my copy of the book and kept stopping the movie and speed-reading to see how it compared. Yes, I know that means that it's my fault that I was noticing all these differences, but I just don't approve. Another difference: in the book they find a chess expert who is in his 40s, described as diffident, and even though he's the best chess player the chess club guy/proprietor/whatever has seen, he never wins a match. In the movie, he's a young, cocky Gypsy (they made a big point of making sure we knew this) who plays in the parks to make money, and therefore, wins. I guess they wanted a love interest for Kate Beckinsale. I finally had to stop reading the book and just watch the movie, because I had to go to bed, but I'm going to finish the book and find out if the ending was the same.

I read a review somewhere that had someone saying that it wasn't a very well done mystery as they figured it out halfway through. I have to defend the book and say that it was much better written and it was not as obvious (at all) as it was in the movie. If I were an author of the stature of Perez-Reverte, I would not be pleased with the treatment my book received at the hands of the movie people.

The highlight of the movie for me: Peter Wingfield. Although I had to drop him from my List of Five, I don't have to stop ogling him whenever possible. And yes, he's the reason I put the movie on my list – without realising that it was a not so brilliantly done movie of a book I enjoyed. In Highlander they always made him look thin and a bit wimpy, but in the movie (and it was the same year he started in Highlander) he was the stud, so he was dressed in tight shirts and acting all sexy and hot. Although that type of guy always makes me laugh, it was interesting to see him acting like that. I may be biased, but I think he did a good job.

I finished reading the first book in the Queen of Freedom trilogy by Christian Jacq and started the second one, The War of the Crowns (finding one in a Detroit area bookstore was an adventure which took most of Sunday) Monday while waiting for my dentist appt. I'm more than halfway through it and can't wait to get to the third and last book, The Flaming Sword. If you are the least bit interested in Ancient Egypt, I would recommend Christian Jacq. A few years ago I read his five-volume set on Ramses and it was utterly fascinating. He has another trilogy out and it's going to be darn hard not picking that up when I'm done with this one.

If you were to ask me if I liked historical fiction, I'd probably say No, because I immediately think of bodice ripper Victorian romance novels. But I've read some books that are probably best described as historical fiction are the Aztec series by Gary Jennings (Aztec, Aztec Blood and Aztec Autumn) and the Egyptian series by Christian Jacq. And I loved those books. The first Aztec book was about a million pages long (or a thousand) and I generally find books that long hard to get into because you read the equivalent of one book (say, 300 pages) and you're not anywhere near the halfway point (or so it seems), and then you get a little discouraged. In the end though, it was well worth the time invested in it.

I'm conning myself into going to the gym with promises that I can read there. Yesterday I ellipticalled for a full hour, so I felt pretty good about myself. Now to make myself go more than once a week. *sigh* I'm so lame.

No real news here, but please please please send prayers, thoughts, good vibes this way. My company is announcing lay-offs on Monday and I have to say that I'm more than a little nervous.


At Thursday, 19 January, 2006, Blogger Jason said...

Good luck on Monday! The whole town is nervous. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

At Thursday, 19 January, 2006, Blogger mr. schprock said...

"If you were to ask me if I liked historical fiction, I'd probably say No, because I immediately think of bodice ripper Victorian romance novels."

Ha ha! "Bodice ripper!" That's funny! I do like historical fiction, along the lines of, say, Shogun, that sort of thing. I have to say I'm very impressed by how well-read you are.

Okay, here we go: 1.21 gigawatts of good vibes coming your way!

At Friday, 20 January, 2006, Anonymous Smed said...

Good luck! Liz went through four rounds of layoffs at her old company before she decided to jump ship.

BTW - That Furs song was on their first album.

At Friday, 20 January, 2006, Blogger Kathleen said...

Jason - Thanks. I'm positive I'll get no sleep Sunday night.

Mr. Schprock - Woohoo! Got you fooled, thinking I'm well-read. ;-) Thanks for the good vibes.

Smed - I think I'm on year 3 of near constant lay-off announcements. I hope (but don't really believe) that this will be the last round for a while.


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