Back home and all sorts of thoughts to catch up on. As well as roofing and nice things to eat, O. treated me to three movies – two of which I’d not seen before.
The Incredibles is great fun, though I was a bit spooked by how much its abolition-of-superheroism stuff reminded me of Watchmen. But it left me with all kinds of niggle.
Mr and Mrs Incredible live a tawdry suburban life and have put weight on in all the wrong places since the days when saving the world was still legal. And then a mad villain comes up with a plot which requires not just their combined wits to foil it. They also need to bring along their kids…
Slightly weirded out by the ending. The kids get to be heroes, and then immediately both consign themselves to mediocrity – not trying too hard against other children for fear of standing out and forgoing Goth for an Alice band. And this when the big lesson is hey, it’s okay to be different.
The clash of the amazing with the deadeningly ordinary does not sit entirely on the same seat. For all the family is full of kooky powers, it’s still very nuclear – a dull ideal like in an advert for gravy.
It seems it’s okay to be an individual so long as nobody else notices. In some ways it feels as if the kids’ extraordinariness is just an awkward phase they’re going through.
And though Mr I’s best mate is Samuel L Jackson, the Black-Ice Man appears only briefly and smacks a little of tokenism. This kind of thing has been better and more deeply handled – I thought especially of Tom Strong.
Then on to the Godfather Part 1, which was nothing like the patchwork of clips I’ve previously been exposed to. Long and slow and engrossing, I particularly liked the sequence of Pacino in Sicily, where we see where the five families came from and how their gangsterism came about.
Al Pacino brings a girl to his sister’s wedding and tries not to reveal too much about the family. People come to see Pacino’s dad to show respect and ask for favours. And the family teases Pacino for being above their mucky stuff. But when dad gets the disrespectful treatment and is shot while out buying veg, Al decides he’s gonna get his hands dirty…
Corleone’s insistence that family comes before any thought of morality reminded me of the noble Baroness, Lady Thatcher, declaring that there bain’t be no such wossname as society.
Her comments have been taken to mean an everyone-for-themselves kind of attitude, though she’s actually talking about how we all have social obligations to one another.
A decade before Mrs T became prime minister, Scorcese shows exactly why it’s no good just looking out for your own. The vicious greedy war that follows is a plague on everyone’s houses.
And then Mars Attacks!, which I now realise is a great lodestone to my scribbling.
It’s not just the funny and alien babble which I’ve pilfered as my own. Griffiths in the Time Travellers is clearly meant to be played by Pierce Brosnan.
Monday 21 May 1660
2 hours ago