I am becoming reluctant to continue this journal. I'm not entirely sure why. It's become a valuable (valuable to me) means of keeping up with any number of things, and, also, I've come to rely upon it as a means of communicating news to readers. Partly, I suspect, my desire to end it may arise simply from the slow death that LiveJournal seems to be suffering. I've tried transitioning to Twitter and Facebook. But I've already given up on Twitter, and I strongly dislike Facebook. MySpace was never an option. I cannot understand why people have fled Blogger and LiveJournal for Twitter and Facebook. It's like giving up oranges for gummy bears. That is, there is nothing like a one-to-one correspondence. And Twitter and Facebook are unsuitable for my needs. So, I don't know what's going to happen. If I do eventually stop keeping this journal, I'll also stop posting to Facebook (I only post there now because the LJ is mirrored there). I suppose I will wait and see.
Spooky just called Sméagol "Mr. Muzzle." I do hope it's an appellation that doesn't stick.
Yesterday, we ventured out into the Deluges of March to see Miguel Sapochnik's Repo Men. It was not our first choice. We'd intended to see Floria Sigismondi's The Runaways, not realizing it isn't yet in general release. But I was sort of interested in Repo Men. It caused me a great deal of confusion a few weeks ago when I learned of the film. My first assumption, it was a big-budget, non-musical remake of Repo! The Genetic Opera. The premises are, essentially, identical. How could it be anything else? But, of course, I was wrong, as Repo Men is based on Eric Garcia's novel, The Repossession Mambo (2009, apparently based on a short story by Garcia that, he claims, has an origin that can be traced back to 1997). Apparently, the novel was being written while the screenplay for the film was being written by Garcia. This all gets very confusing, and questions of copyright infringement cannot help but arise. Repo! The Genetic Opera was first released on November 7, 2008, and the origins of the play that inspired the film date back to 1996.
Anyway, I tried to go into Repo Men with an open mind. And, well...it's sort of a mess. The first half of the film is a sprawling, unfocused disaster. The pacing's off. The story's a rehash of themes and images from Repo! The Genetic Opera, and the generally excellent cast feels wasted. There's a lot of annoying suburbia/family crap that feels like padding and/or a weak attempt to dishonestly cajole the audience into having sympathy for a character who is, of course, a legal serial killer. Indeed, I think the first half of the film could have been pared down by at least half an hour or so (the film has a 111 minute running time), and it would only have helped matters. However, the second half of the film— which is concerned with a repo man's (Remy, played by Jude Law) attempt to escape having his heart repossessed by his former employer —sort of redeems the first half. I actually enjoyed the second half. It caught my attention and held it. No, the second half of Repo Men is nowhere near as smart or cool or sexy as Repo! The Genetic Opera, but it made for a decent bit of futuristic action film, and the ending didn't take the easy way out. Still, I'd say wait for the DVD, and I'm glad we only paid matinée prices. But it's worth a look. The cast is strong, even if the script is wobbly and the direction uneven. I very much liked Alice Braga, and there are some nice visuals, and the soundtrack is very good. But I'm still waiting to find out exactly how (or if) Universal Pictures has avoided a lawsuit from Lion's Gate or Twisted Pictures (or any other party concerned with the creation of Repo! The Genetic Opera).
I didn't get much work done yesterday. I sat down to proofread a story that I've just sold reprint rights on, something I wrote in 2001. And I couldn't read more than the first couple of pages. I'm afraid I'm going to have to start refusing to permit reprints of anything I wrote before, say, 2003 or 2004. I've simply changed too much as an author, and I'm no longer fond of most of my earlier work (say 1992 to 2001). It's dispiriting to read a story I wrote nine years ago, and not be able to get through it. It's even more dispiriting to think that someone might encounter me for the first time through one of those earlier stories (or novels) and judge the writer I am now by them.
"Smile, folks. It only gets worse," said the Platypus to the clams.