Ugh. What a splendidly terrible morning. Up too early again, hungover, an hour or so of iBook drama, and so on and so forth, etcetera, etcetera. And now I'm trying to clear my head for the day ahead. What of yesterday? I got most everything done I was supposed to get done. I'm in love with Chapter Five. I rarely ever say that about anything I've written. I might occasionally say that I like something I've done, but rarely am I so pleased to say that I actually love it. I think the last time I was this happy with a bit of one of my novels was Chapter Three of Low Red Moon ("Haunted"), which I believe I wrote early in 2002. Chapter Five of Daughter of Hounds is just right, and it bodes well for the YA novel. So, yes, we read through it yesterday, and started the proofreading on To Charles Fort, With Love. I managed to deal with all th backed-up email. I looked over my notes for Chapter Six of DoH, though we didn't get to Seven and Eight, as I'd hoped. I'm just going to wait untl Six is written, which is more natural anyway. And the first half of the novel has been sent away to my editor and agent, which is nice, because now I will be paid the next bit of the advance.
My thoughts on Batman Begins, before I run out of time (tick, tick, tick): Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed the film, but no, I don't think it's the best Batman film so far. That's still Batman Returns (1992). But this film does have a lot of good things going for it. Christian Bale is always good ; Michael Caine was nice (though I still prefer Michael Gough's Alfred); Gary Oldman was superb; and Liam Neeson stole the show. Really, this was the Liam Neeson we should have seen in Star Wars: Episode One. In some ways, his was the most sympathetic character in the film, and I had a hard time not believing that maybe he was right about Gotham. Katie Holmes was annoying and utterly disposable, but maybe that was on purpose. Cillian Murphy was quite nice as Crane, but all I could think was, Johhny Depp could have done this better. It was nice to see Rutger Hauer in something this good. The hallucinatory shots of Batman were wonderful. So, what are my complaints. The script, for one. At his best (Dark City), David Goyer is a delight. At his worst (Blade: Trinity), he's intolerable. This script was somewhere in between. Too many dumb one-liners, too many jokes that fell flat. One or two truly memorable lines. And Morgan Freeman should really aspire to play someone other than Morgan Freeman. I thought that the death of Bruce Wayne's parents has been handled better in earlier films, and I was also disappointed to see that the director failed so entirely to make Gotham itself a proper character, as Burton managed to do so wonderfully. It was just a big city with a nasty, Blade-Runneresque underbelly. Really, it looked like it belonged in a Superman movie, not a Batman movie. Even Arkham Asylum was visually disappointing. The maggoty Scarecrow mask was shocking for, oh, about five seconds, yet it was an image used again and again and again. All in all, I loved the first half hour or forty-five minutes, but the movie seemed to lose a lot of what it had going for it once it started actually being a Batman film. It could have been better, but it surely could have been much worse.
Last night, post-writing, I spent the whole evening with TCM, watching Soylent Green, Westworld, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. I wanted to stay up for Logan's Run and No Blade of Grass, but we all must have nightmares sometime.
And before I go, a thank you to sclerotic_rings for turning me on to Palaeoblog, which surely is my new favourite blog.