May 26th, 2008

wart

A Series of Textually Inaccurate Events

Happy Memorial Day, everybody! Wait, is Memorial Day supposed to be happy? Probably not. I will say that postal holidays are annoying when you're expecting something in the mail. I mean, it probably wouldn't have come today anyway, but if there's no mail then there isn't even the CHANCE that it would. At least I got one of the things I ordered (Dennis Anfuso's The Winged Monkeys of Oz) on Saturday.

They recently opened a miniature golf course at the nearby Nifty Fifty's, so bethje and I went there last night to try it out. We hadn't played miniature golf in a long time, and it was pretty fun. There weren't any windmills, pink elephants, or clowns on the course. They did, however, have some fake mountains to climb, and one green was inside a cave (Beth said it reminded her of Skull Mountain at Great Adventure). One thing that kind of bothered me is that the holes all had flags in them, which we had to take out before playing them. I know that's how it works at a regular golf course, but there you probably don't have to pull them out yourselves. Some of the flags had already come off their poles, which is probably a good indication that making the public take them in and out themselves isn't such a good idea.

Also last night, we watched the Lemony Snicket movie, which neither of us had seen before. While I didn't think it was particularly good, I have to say that, with a few significant exceptions, I couldn't think of any ways in which it could have been better. Some books just don't translate that well to film. Combining three books into one movie meant they sped through a lot, and underscored how formulaic the first few books in the series are. I don't think they could have stretched just the first book into a feature film, though. Some of the sets were good, and I did like the bizarre cars that Mr. Poe and Count Olaf drove. There were also some new jokes that I found to be in the spirit of the books, like the "Littlest Elf" fake beginning and the narrator's suggestion to exit the theater, living room, or airplane in which you were watching the movie. On the negative side, however, there were so many things that they got wrong for no apparent reason. Klaus only wore glasses in one scene, Mr. Poe didn't cough, and the powder-faced women didn't have powdery faces. Also, wasn't Captain Sham's cap supposed to have been specifically placed to cover Olaf's unibrow? I'm not totally sure on that last one, as it was a long time ago that I read the book. In addition, I felt that there were too many instances in which they replaced the problem-solving segments of the books with new ones that weren't as interesting. I guess the train scene was basically in keeping with the general style of the books. The magnifying glass bit, on the other hand, not only came across as a bit over-the-top even for A Series of Unfortunate Events, but also contradicted the first book's much more clever explanation as to why Olaf and Violet's marriage wasn't legal. So, overall, not too great, but I have to admit that I was expecting worse.