Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Ian McKellan as Holmes

Summer TV is so awful. I used to care about the TCA press tour and follow all the news announcements, but now I'm not interested in each network trying to shill and create buzz for their shows. Not many of the pilots excited me, and I'm waiting on midseason for anything creative and different.

So I went to see the Mr. Holmes movie after all. I read the book years ago and hated it, so I wasn't planning to see this adaptation. However, I read a review from someone else who did read the book, and they told me that things had been changed, which explained why the filmmakers made the title change; it's not exactly faithful. So I went to see it, since it came to a movie theatre that was convenient to me. It was an okay movie, if you like retired, beekeeping Holmes. I personally don't enjoy Holmes as a hermit without Watson. Audiences seem to connect to it, though, with Holmes struggling through his senility and connecting with the boy Roger. The movie is doing relatively well for its small release.

I hated the book for some annoying writing conventions that the author insisted on foisting upon readers. He would start a flashback scene, show half of it, stop it to digress to another plot, then return to the exact same scene a long time later, repeating pages upon pages of stuff I ALREADY READ and DIDN'T NEED REMINDING OF, then finally show me the other half of the flashback. However, that was a lie; there's actually a third or fourth part of the scene which he has withheld from us, and will return us to later, while unnecessarily REPEATING EVERYTHING ELSE AGAIN! Fuck him and his editor who let that get published that way. Thankfully, the movie doesn't try to visually replicate that insane repetition, so that's was a relief. The characters had funny moments, and the ending was much improved, so those problems were fixed too.

Also, there's a scene where Holmes attends a fictional movie based on one of his cases, and Nicholas Rowe plays the fictional Holmes in that film. It's not that Hollywood rewrote the case, though; Watson was responsible for the inaccuracy because he deliberately changed the mystery to make Holmes into a hero instead of a failure. To save his reputation (and to hell with what the real client thought?) and perhaps help Holmes get over the tragedy. One of the themes of the movie is that people tell well meaning lies to protect other people and soothe their pain. It's interesting for me to see that Watson lies so much in the movie, almost constructing a false Holmes persona like in Without a Clue. I have often asserted that Watson lies in the stories myself.


Summer Blues

We're in for triple-digit heat all this week, and it's making me miserable. I've also been down about all the bad news lately, including the horrific arson attack in Israel, where terrorists burned down a house full of people and killed a baby. I don't know when will be enough for Israel to really change.

But today I read that a federal appeals court struck down the voter ID law in Texas, so that's good for the next election. We still have horrible politicians in Texas, though, and we're so gerrymandered it's not funny. I really hope Hillary Clinton means it when she says she's pursuing a 50-state strategy to improve Democratic chances even in red states like Texas.

Comedians love to snark, but I haven't really been amused by Trump's antics nor do I care to watch the Republican candidates debate anything. I'm apathetic and tired of the circus atmosphere. It's bad enough we need to defend Planned Parenthood from these anti-abortion zealots, but they keep threatening to shut down the government like they haven't learned a thing. Lately, Daily Kos has turned into a nonstop Bernie Sanders cheerleading site, having stupid pie fights constantly about him and Clinton. Even yelling at the founder Kos for not supporting Bernie. I hate those navel-gazing progressives who can't stop flaming each other over every damn thing, and yet it's hard to find any other political news site that's worth following. Liberals are supposed to be big tent, include everybody, but they're so divisive.