In a fit of escapist zeal, Matthew and I went to see Constantine, then came home and watched Alien vs Predator and Garden State to round things out.
Constantine was pretty. It actually had an engaging storyline, and Keanu Reeve’s *ahem* “acting” didn’t detract from the film. The CGI wings were swoofy too–best done wings I’ve seen. I do think the writerly/directing influences from both Exorcist and Prophecy were exceedingly blatant. There was also a rather pronounced sense of “short shrift” given to even a suggestion of character development, making it difficult to become emotionally vested in the life-and-death activities happening to both good guys and bad. That, paired with some slow moments in the middle, made for a flawed production. But overall, Constantine gets Eugie’s gold star of shiny fun. And, alerted by various and sundry, we knew to stay until the end of the credits. If you see Constantine, don’t leave the theater until after the credits are over!
Alien vs Predator was much better than I expected. Yes, the first half of it didn’t have space monsters duking it out, but once past that bit, it was full of acid blood splashes, tail spikes through chests, and dread-locked predators being all fierce and Klingon-esque. More shiny fun. As Matthew pointed out, the gestation and development cycle of aliens appears to have been significantly accelerated compared to how long it took in Alien, but I was willing to overlook silly details like that. I mean it’s supposed to be all about the monster carnage, right?
And Garden State was the meaningful film of the trio. I suspect Natalie Portman’s character was described in the screenplay as “spaz.” But she pulls off “spaz” enchantingly. There were quirky bits; I like quirk, and some very good writing. I thought it sagged in the middle, but generally was satisfying.
Wrote a Tangent review for Strange Horizons, for a two-parter novelette and flash piece.
And I’m getting myself back on track on the writing front. Not launching back into the Novel™ just yet, as I haven’t produced new wordage in ages and I don’t want to embark on it until I’m sure I’ve got my writing legs (should that be fingers?) back. So I’ve started doing fairy tale research as I’ve actually exhausted my backlog of Cricket manuscripts. That last sale of “The Tanuki-Kettle” came a lot faster than I’ve become accustomed to them responding–not that I’m complaining. And I’ve started a new short story from some imagery that popped into existence out of the ether–courtesy muse-o-mine.
Sigh. Starting over.