I got some cool stuff for Father’s Day, but at the risk of sounding soppy here are some recentish photos of the two best gifts I ever got (Nicholas on the left, Jessika on the right).
They obliged me tonight by going to the new Fantastic Four movie, which they both proclaimed (on leaving) as one of the worst movies ever made. I mentioned the first FF movie from a couple years ago, and they grumpily allowed that maybe that was a little worse. My standards must be slipping: I thought this one was okay. But it does have a lot of strikes against it: two-count-em-two fake deaths (or is it three, or maybe even four?), lots of boilerplate superhero emo (Oh, How My Powers Set Me Apart From Others), the pain of watching Jessica Alba almost master the actorly discipline of a third expression, etc.
Jessika (my daughter, not the somewhat gifted thespian) slew me at one point in the movie. (I don’t think the following bit is spoilerish, but it does refer to stuff in the plot, so…) The intrepid Ms. Storm had snuck her way into the secret prison where the Surfer was being tortured by the government (some well-intentioned but ham-handed social content here) and was asking the Surfer why he was intent on destroying the world. The Surfer explained he was operating at the behest of his “master.” Sue naturally asks, “Who is your master?” And at that point Jessika leans over and whispers to me, “Mister Snoogles!” Her comment briefly disrupted the ritual solemnity appropriate to watching a movie of this magnitude and thematic heft and FX budget.
Nick, who almost never talks during movies, said afterward that the FF universe was “full of hypocrisy” because there were so many parts that contradicted each other. (The Surfer’s “energy,” for instance, introduced “molecular changes” in some people, not in others, quite arbitrarily.) I’d never heard a world-building critique like that before, and it struck me as pretty shrewd. Writers who tolerate these convenient inconsistencies are making their world untrustworthy, like a shifty politician who can’t keep his story straight.
On the meme front, I thought I’d post this same sentence in my journal.
“If there are one or more people on your friends list who make your world a better place just because they exist, and whom you would not have met (in real life or not) without the internet, then post this same sentence in your journal.”