Well, happy birthday to me. Last night I watched two movies: Seeker: The Dark is Rising (at the cinema), and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. I’ll reveal the older movie first.
Rise of the Silver Surfer was not as bad as I had been led to believe. The Army personnel were not in Army uniforms, but to be honest, given certain other details of the movie, I’m just as glad that they weren’t. Galactus as a big space-cloud actually worked for me; I think a giant with a big helmet would have been a little cheesy. I really could have done without all of the wedding preparation–I think the movie would have been much better starting with a crashed wedding and adding 30 minutes of action.
That’s a relatively minor gripe, though.
The big thing, and it is big, is that the U.S. Army is shown quite GLEEFULLY torturing a prisoner (“There are certain things I can’t do because they’re human rights violations. Luckily, you aren’t human.”) This, I suppose is what amounts to “non-partisan” in Hollywood: they won’t say that the military DOES torture prisoners–but we obviously WANT to. I mean, we’re the military, right? We’re all a bunch of slavering, inhuman rapists. Obviously, we spent our youths torturing small animals with hack-saws.
Did I mention that Marvel Comics killed off Captain America earlier this year? Anyway:
The Dark is Rising is one of my all-time favorite series of books. I probably read the entire pentalogy a dozen times in junior high school and high school. Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, this isn’t it. I mean, it’s not Starship Troopers bad, or Brahm Stoker’s Dracula bad, or Earthsea bad… But it ain’t good.
As much as I have read the series, it has been many years since my last perusal–so I really can’t comment on how exactly the movie follows the book (although I can certainly estimate). For me watching, the worst part was the villain: although the split personality would have been interesting had there actually been a dichotomy between the Rider persona and the Doctor persona, there wasn’t: the Rider simply had no menace at all. His line delivery was completely bland, thus removing any potential tension from his scenes.