Gather round, sit, have a Christmas cookie, and of course I'll talk to you about movies - even some television too, yes, and your comments are welcome - when I am done!! Hang on, we're time traveling quickly, from the 1800s to the 1950s to the world within a child's mind to the war in Iraq. (Oh is this gonna be good.)
First, back in the 1950s, theologist C.S Lewis began publishing a series of books, beginning with "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe," a parable/fantasy about Christianity and the battle between Good and Evil. Now with the success of "Lord of The Rings," (of course Lewis and Tolkien were friends) and the Harry Potter series, we get the CGI-heavy "Chronicles of Narnia". Personally, of Lewis' writings, I always liked his science fiction trilogy better (it was really powerful and scary and thougtful) and the satiric "Screwtape Letters" wherein Satan advises an upwardly-mobile demon on how best to tempt a human and steal his soul.
An interesting blog, Hollywood Jesus, following the making of the movie is here, produced by the same makers of the movies "Holes" and "Because of Winn-Dixie," Walden Media and their plans to improve movies in America. Will the Lion, Aslan, entertain audiences on the big screen? Time will tell.
And Time moves to the Present now and almost the Future in a vivid indictment of all things related to the War in Iraq in the horror epsiode of Showtime's Masters of Horror with the recent "Homecoming" installment. Here, undead soldiers from the un-named but certainly Iraq War, return to America intent on voting out the politicians who sent them to war. This one-hour event is so up-to-the-minute fresh - including an Ann Coulter clone who is as pricky-evil as can be - I was stunned Fox News didn't break in the movie to debunk it.
Director Joe Dante makes zombies rise up to chase George Bush from office and as one writer for Slate notes:
"What's shocking about Dante's Homecoming is that he dispenses with the usual horror subtext completely. Pundits go on TV to defend the living dead's right to vote until they find out they're not voting Republican. Zombies rise from the grave, wrapped in the American flag. There's even a Cindy Sheehan stand-in with a zombie son. Nothing is too recent or too raw."
The entire Slate article is here.
Now let's jump back in the Time Machine and land in the Old West. I love Westerns, no doubt and I am a bona fide Sam Peckinpah fan too and was delighted to read this week about the January 2006 release of a restored version of "Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid." As usual, critics of the day hated the movie, but time itself has returned to show favor to Peckinpah's story of dying cowboys and shattered American heroes. This new two-disc set has much new commentary and runs 115 minutes, and not for every taste, it still presents Peckinpah's vision intact. James Coburn, Kris Kristofferson and Bob Dylan (in a nearly wordless role) star in the film. And another star is Dylan's soundtrack - still one of my favorites ever.
Some other notable DVDs released or on their way can be found here.
Ah, yes, one more item, somewhere outstide of Time: What if Katie Couric were to anchor the CBS Evening News??? What would that be like?
"Another car bomb went off in downtown Baghdad today, marking a further escalation in the violence that has plagued Iraq over the past two and a half years. There is still no official word on how survivors of the bombing feel about the upcoming Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes baby."
The rest of Katie's newscast is here.