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Monday, May 10, 2004

Hey, all you End-timers trying to immanentize the Eschaton...
Forget the Pope.
Kiss off Henry Kissinger.
Stress not over Skull and Bones.

Michael Eisner IS the Anti-Christ.

There. I said it. He and his miserific underlings at Disney have foisted yet another travesty upon the "family movie" faction. What's worse is that they had to import it from CANADA (and here I thought that the Sci Fi Channel was the holding tank for the Canadian tax-subsidized effluent that passes for programming now). What could drive me to such invective?

A Wrinkle In Time.

Madeline L'Engle approved the script, and all, but something got lost twixt script and screen. I know, big surprise. Meg is not mousy as in the book. She looks like she should be playing soccer or volleyball. She is less assertive...merely unpleasant. Charles Wallace is, OK, he's weird, like in the book, but also kind of HIP weird; not like the book, Using terms like "cool", rather than quoting from classical literature. The less said about Mrs. Who, Whatsit, and Which, the better. Alfre Woodard was charming, but the character was less like Broomhilda, and more like an afternoon chat host. That, and I couldn't get the fragging Borgs business out of my head. Shallow me.

And here's the kicker. The Happy Medium, an endearing, jolly WOMAN in the book, is played by a GUY. Apparently Canada has cross-dresser quotas in cinema, which fits with current Disney policy as well. Nicely played, but less dimensional than the book.

And I shout "HETEROPHOBES"! One of the sweetest moments in the book occurs when Calvin pulls Meg to him and kisses her before her last-ditch attempt to rescue Charles Wallace from IT's tendrils. Not in THIS version.

The best line in the whole book: "IT sometimes calls ITself the Happiest Sadist." Gone.

Jesus and the Buddha are lauded in the book as foes of the Dark Thing- almost like a Dr. Bronner's soap label. Not in THIS version. But they DID add Martin Luther King Jr. for the movie. As great a role as he played in the Civil Rights efforts of the 60's, MLK doesn't quite stack up to Jesus or Buddha.

Camazotz, the Bureaucratic Planet, came off well, but it had color. The Red-Eyed Man is like a possessed and tragically with-it Prof. Harold Hill. "IT" is more a system rather than a giant disembodied, bloated, pulsing brain, except, no, the whole PLANET is the giant brain: more gross than horrifying.

Oh, and there is a fair amount of marginal-at-best wire work for flying sequences.

Oh, OH. There is also CGI effects work. REBOOT was better. Much.

I have wanted a film version of A Wrinkle In Time.
A lot.
Billy Mumy would have been the PERFECT Charles Wallace. Alas.
If you want to see Wrinkle, fine.
See it in theater of your mind.
Read the book. I'm going to, again!

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