First we had two police officers ambushed in downtown Seattle on October 31–one killed. Now, four officers, doing nothing more than drinking coffee and meeting at the start of their shift.

What is going on here?

See link.


A Christmas Carol

Is there even such a thing as a “spoiler” for a movie like A Christmas Carol? Is there anyone alive on the planet who doesn’t know the basic plot of the story? Well, if you believe yourself to be such a person, crawl back under your cozy rock now and retreat to the comforting arms of your fellow Flat Earth Society members. I have no patience with you. In fact, don’t stop reading. Here: in a nutshell, Scrooge is visited by four ghosts, all of whom are experts at the art of less-than-subtle emotional manipulation, and he Changes His Ways. He pulls a 180. He gets better. God bless us, everyone! Now, go cry bitter, deluded tears because I wrecked it for you. Wah, wah, wah.
Anyway, what I wanted to get around to saying is that, I saw the new Disney version of the Dicken’s classic in the theatre with my kids this week. We all basically agreed that this is not Uncle Scrooge McDuck stuff. No, no. This movie is remarkably faithful to the original novel. Much of the dialog is pulled directly from the dusty, Victorian pages. Now, there is a class of people who reject movies that aren’t 100% faithful to the books they are based on. Those people will be delighted with this movie. Then there are those of us who understand that a movie is not, and probably should not, be simply an animated walk-through of the original text. Movies are, after all, an entirely different medium, with different strengths and weaknesses than a written work. We believe that if you want an experience that is indistinguishable from the book, then go re-read the book. And those people, too, I think, will be delighted with this movie. It’s wondrously animated, skillfully voiced, and lots of fun. Even my 12-year-old boy, whose current level of literary appreciation includes only poetry that begins, “Here I sit, broken hearted…” gave it two thumbs up. You get the idea.
The only annoying thing (to him, at least) was the constant inclusion of scenes and gestures meant to take advantage of the 3D effect. Mind you, I don’t do 3D. I’m old and grumpy and 3D gives me a headache. So we watch the old-fashioned 2D version (at least we do when I’m paying). This is probably why I’m so clueless about elements of the movie that serve the special effects rather than the plot. So, if you are a fan of 3D, you might prefer that version.
Or, you might prefer to stay at home and not think about Christmas related activities until, oh I don’t know, December maybe? Yeah. I hear ya.