Serenity is a really good movie. Warren's campaign to get Denise and me to see
it paid off. I wasn't so psyched to see it, based on the pilot and the few episodes
I'd seen on Sci-Fi. The space/western idea didn't completely grab me. But there
were elements of the dialog that were intriguing.
The theater was packed, and we settled into our seats, Warren about to see
the film for the third time. I was fully engaged within the first few minutes
of the film. This was no big-screen adaptation/retread of a TV series that had run
out of steam and run its course. [Really, the series was murdered by Fox, but that's another story.]
The layering of the story structure, the pacing, and the character development
are all first-rate. It's a well-crafted drama, that happens to be science fiction.
Whedon made the right choice in toning down the western twang in the musical
score, too. There is lots of suspense, and a lot of surprises.
If you're a fan of great storytelling, see this movie. It's worth seeing,
even if you only like sci-fi a little bit.
... I was sitting here this morning, thinking about
Serenity when the movie ‘Armageddon’ popped into my head. [Actually, it was
the movie, since I never saw the flick.] The refrain was running through
my head, (...don't wanna close my eyes/ I don't wanna go to sleep,/ 'cause
miss you babe/ and I don't wanna miss a thang...) when I realized that it has
a very similar progression and feel to the refrain from ‘Faith of the Heart,’
the theme song from ‘Enterprise.’ The light went on — hey,
those are both Diane Warren songs, I thought...
little googling landed me on her wikipedia
page, which confirmed it. Interesting to see that ‘Faith of the Heart’
was used in the movie Patch Adams, too. I've always thought Russell Watson's
voice on the ‘Enterprise’ theme sounded a lot like Rod Stewart, and
look at that— Rod Stewart recorded the ‘Patch Adams’ version. I wonder what
contractual issues led to that.
While we're on the subject of movie scores, I think a jazz-based
score for a sci-fi movie would be a very intresting choice.
How The City Sank
This is an interesting article on how a loss of vision has contributed to the
undoing of America's great cities. The central premise:
For decades now, we have been witnessing the slow, ruthless dismantling of
the nation's urban infrastructure. The crumbling levees in New Orleans are
only the most conspicuous evidence of this decline: it's evident everywhere,
from Amtrak's aging track system to New York's decaying public school buildings.
Rather than confront the causes of that deterioration, we are encouraged
to overlook it, lost in a cloud of tourist distractions like casinos, convention
centers, spruced-up historic quarters and festival marketplaces.
The inadequacy of that vision has now become glaringly obvious. And the problem
cannot simply be repaired with reinforcement bars or dabs of cement. Instead,
our decision makers will have to face up to what our cities have become,
- NICOLAI OUROUSSOFF, NY Times Editorial 10/9/05
With Friends Like These...
I'm going through some of the old, laughable mail I've received in the last
year. It's amazing to see who considers me a friend:
Last year, when I served as President Bush's re-election campaign manager,
you were an essential part of our historic effort. Today, as chairman
of the Republican National Committee, I would like to welcome you back
team with this email. ...
The above is an excerpt from an e-mail I received from the RNC last month.
It goes on to blah-blah about how they used the web and e-mail to organize
an ‘unprecedented grassroots campaign.’ In other words they imitated what Howard
Dean did way before them.
I just don't get how I ended up on their list. It seems they think I'm part
of their team.
It's not the first correspondence I've gotten from the RNC. During the 2004
re-election campaign, I received a a letter dated ‘Wednesday Morning’ and signed
by Mercer Reynolds, Finance Chairman. It begins:
Dear Fellow Republican,
Party needs your help.
You are among a select group of people who are receiving the enclosed official
RNC-VICTORY 2004 CAMPAIGN ISSUES SURVEY. ...
Uh-huh. Right. Thanks for the entertainment, though.
Then, there's the endearing direct mail piece I received from CMP Optimize:
Confirm your eligibility by MIDNIGHT...to receive a complimentary, 12-issue
subscription to Optimize — the award winning publication that helps C-Level
Technology Executives maximize technology buying decisions...
C'mon! C-Level?! Why not just say ‘also-rans like you?’ Who wrote that copy?
It sounds like so much corporate gobbledygook.
I also got a letter from the United Lubavitcher Yeshivoth,
asking for money and wishing my family a happy and kosher Passover. I figure
they looked at my last name and assumed I was Jewish. Believe me, they don't
make that mistake when I walk into B&H, and they see my face.