Game of Thrones: The good parts version

17-Mar-13 1:27 PM by
Filed under Films, Television; Comments Off on Game of Thrones: The good parts version

I read George R. R. Martin's maiden voyage into his Song of Ice and Fire franchise, and though I enjoyed the detailed and political world he crafted, I was not swept away. As a result, I've not found myself riveted to the television show or reading the rest of the series' novels.

A fantasy world that was also adapted to live action but which has entranced me is The Princess Bride. William Goldman's 1973 adaptation of S. Morgernstern's classic tale (the original of which I've still not found… huh) is as wonderful, whimsical, and dashing in literature as it is starring Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, Wallace Shawn, and André the Giant.

The Princess Bride reunion photo

The magical cast, 25 years later.

So timeless, so enduring is that fairy tale that I can't help but wonder how much more successful the already flourishing Game of Thrones series would be if it adapted some of Goldman's more creative literary devices. Namely: What if the book Peter Falk read to Fred Savage was Martin's?

Having read the first book (the equivalent of seeing the show's first season), I encountered no spoilers in this video, only delight — and inspiration. My nephew recently turned five; how long before I can start reading my version of Martin's epic battle scenes to him? But, ah, kids these days — maybe the video game would be more his speed.

(Hat tip to Lauren Davis)

Seduction of the Innocent

30-Jul-07 4:14 PM by
Filed under Reviews; 1 comment.

I popped The Notorious Bettie Page into my DVD player without knowing anything about its plot or cast. I didn't even know enough to recognize the title of this HBO film: Bettie Page was an iconic model of the Fifties. This film is the story of her life from ages 12 to 34.

Not knowing what to expect, I was heartened by an opening scene featuring David Strathairn, who continues to represent the decade he symbolized in Good Night, and Good Luck. In Bettie Page, he chairs that era's Senate hearings on juvenile delinquency, perhaps best known infamously demonizing comic books. Given my familiarity with this subject, I was disappointed that this investigation is the story's frame, not its focus.

From this point, the plot backtracks to Bettie's youth in Tennessee. Having not consulted her other biographies, I can't confirm that the baseness she encountered at this time was actual. But unlike in Veronica Mars, where I found such social ailments unnecessary, here they're undeniably real and cruel elements of society. I'm not for glossing over reality, especially when it's essential to understanding the character of Bettie Page.