My mother wants us to come to Leeds today. I don't yet know whether or not that will happen. I don't want to deal with the sun or the traffic. I don't want to leave the Perimeter, and I surely don't want to be in Alabama. All my clothes are dirty. There's a mountain of work. See? I have a zillion excuses.
Most of my writing time yesterday was spent dithering about with the Bradbury introduction. Finally, I realized I was only rearranging words, which should never be confused with actual writing or even revision, so I e-mailed it to Neil.
This morning, I'm in one of those moods.
Last night, I stir-fried string beans with red peppers, garlic, porta bellas, fresh basil leaves, lime, and thai chilies, and made a pot of jasmine rice. We had another bottle of the nice Syrah. We took Hubero out on Sophie's old leash and determined that he needs a better harness.
And then we made the mistake of watching Poseidon, Wolfgang Petersen's 2006 remake of The Poseidon Adventure. It's not so much that this is a bad movie. I mean, yes, it certainly is a bad movie, a very bad movie. But I expected that. The real crime here is that it's a dull bad movie. How anyone can take a story wherein a one-hundred-foot wave capsizes an ocean liner, forcing those trapped inside to find their way through the bowels of the inverted ship to the surface — and then make it dull is entirely beyond me. I've always had a soft spot for the original 1972 film. Of all those '70s disaster films, The Poseidon Adventure is probably the best. It has Gene Hackman, Red Buttons, Shelly Winters, Roddy McDowall, and Ernest fucking Borgnine. It has characters. It even has a subtext. By comparison, Poseidon has Kurt Russell and Richard Dreyfuss (both of whom deliver their flattest performances ever), plus a bunch of interchangeable, blandly pretty people. This film isn't so much weighted down by the water filling a sinking ship as by what setsuled has called "the glamour of dull." Honestly, other than Russell and Dreyfuss, I found it almost impossible to tell one character from another. Everywhere the original film succeeds, the remake fails. The upside-down hell of The Poseidon Adventure is here replaced by a purgatorial slog. Some of the SFX are pretty, but, surprisingly, not that much more impressive than the original. And instead of Hackman's bitter, agnostic priest, pitted against his god in his struggle to save a handful of survivors, we get Russell fretting about the pretty boy his daughter's sleeping with, doing noble things whenever the story calls for him to do noble things, because, you know, it's in the script. Everywhere the original felt epic, the remake feels somehow cramped and rushed. I was amazed that I could come to a film with such low expectations and still be disappointed. Please, tell me it tanked at the box office.
Afterwards, we watched the last two episodes of Serenity, "Heart of Gold" and the especially superb "Objects in Space," which managed to sweep away the haze of that dull, dull movie.
Mostly, I'm thinking it's time I read a little more and watch a whole lot less.
As for today, well, here it comes. We shall see.