April 13th, 2005


splashes of red

I was awake at frelling 7 a.m. this morning, tumbling out of some nightmare, leaving some place where something will go forever unfinished because I woke up. This is night five or six of lousy sleep and the Special Bad Dreams. I'm waiting for the Ambien to build up again. At least then, I won't remember the dreams.

Did I write yesterday? No. I did not. My mind was too distracted, my mood too black, so Spooky took me to Fernbank to see the dinosaurs and the frogs, and that helped a great deal. It also helped that the rain we were promised didn't come (until last night). The dinosaurs make things better, help me get back into myself. We walked around spotting fossils in the Jurassic-age Solnhofen tiles that make up the museum's floor: bryozoans, sponges, bivalves, the "pens" of belemnites, ammonites.

Afterwards, we took in a matinee of Sin City. The film left me with mixed feelings. It is, visually, a wondrous thing. There's not much denying that. I was especially impressed that white blood is somehow more disturbing than red blood. It was like bodies were gushing semen or something equally vile. The Mickey Rourke character, Marv, was brilliant and easily stole the show. Likewise, Elijah Wood's cannibal serial-killer was a nice touch. Indeed, I'm quite certain it would have been a much better film if Miller and Rodriguez had settled on this single narrative thread, instead of attempting the complex Pulp-Fictionesque narrative web (which I'm not sure they pulled off). Marv felt like the film's soul, and when he was gone, my interest quickly began to wane. The Dwight/Gail/Jackie Boy/War of the Whores story was almost as engaging (and hey, anything that mixes dinosaurs, tarpits, rougue IRA, and Benicio Del Toro as an undead Pez dispenser is undoubtedly some sort of cool). But by the time we got back around to the Hartigan/Nancy story, the film had lost me, though I was amused by the "yellow bastard" (even though he looked like a jaundiced Ferengi). All in all, I honestly think this movie should have stuck to a single storyline, Marv's. It would have been a better, more solid film. Also, I wish it had worked harder to be genuine noir, a genre I'm very familiar with, rather than a noir pastiche. So, yes, Sin City is a good film, to be sure, but I don't believe that it's a great film, by any means. Certainly, it's not Robert Rodriguez's best film — that's still Once Upon a Time in Mexico. And it could easily have survived losing about half an hour somewhere along the way.

And once more, a film has left me asking why the hell so many genre/comics readers have trouble finding my characters "sympathetic," yet have no problem at all with far more unpleasant people, so long as they are presented in film. There's something important in this contradiction, but my mind is presently to sleep deprived to get at it properly.

Okay. I've got to find some way to wake up. There's not enough coffee and Red Bull in whole frelling world. I'll probably work on the Marvel thing today, if I can achieve consciousness. Poor Chapter Four. Anyway, I'll leave you with a photo I snapped at Fernbank yesterday, looking down on the Giganotosaurus stalking across the Great Atrium:

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