We interrupt this blog for a brief news announcement: my section of Water Street is blocked by fire engines, police and news trucks, because someone set the old Gardiner Paperboard mill on fire last night. It's a pretty major fire; flakes of ash as large as my hand have fallen on my front deck, everything smells like smoke, and I have no water pressure to speak of. I'm perfectly safe -- the mill is across the street and down the hill from me, with woods and a car dealership between us -- but it's just as well that both Dizzy and I are going away tomorrow for a couple of days. (The blog, however, will continue as usual.)
Monday was a long, busy day, but one that ended with the feeling (unusual for me) that I had done a good day's work, and I was happy with what I'd produced. So yesterday, after my usual Tuesday morning tutoring appointment, I gave myself a couple of hours off to use a free movie ticket that had been burning a hole in my pocket. I saw Julie & Julia, a charming movie that would have been twice as charming if it had been just Julia, and reinforced my belief that we are all powerless against Meryl Streep, no matter how much we'd like to resist.
Anyway, previews -- as I think I've mentioned before -- are always a highlight of my moviegoing experience, and yesterday Regal Cinemas obliged me with five, just so I could blog about them. Coming soon to a theater near me:
1. The Twilight Saga: New Moon, opening November 20. The second in the Twilight series, based on the book of the same name. A beautiful and fragile young woman has an intense romantic relationship with a tall, moody vampire, who sacrifices their love in order to protect her from vampire predators -- but in doing so leaves her vulnerable to the very monsters he wants to protect her from. Ho-hum . . . haven't read the books, didn't see the first movie, won't see this one. I am aware that this series has a cult following among women in my age group; I don't know what to say about that, except to refer them to my friend Sarah's blog.
2. It's Complicated, opening Christmas Day. The new film by Nancy Meyers, in which Meryl Streep plays a divorced woman who is having an affair with her ex-husband (Alec Baldwin) while being courted by a charming architect (Steve Martin). I have mixed feelings about being pandered to so blatantly, but I will not be able to stay away. Alec Baldwin! Steve Martin! How does Nancy Meyers know my secret daydreams? (Although apparently my thing for James Gandolfini remains my secret . . . oh, whoops.)
3. Amelia, opening October 23. Hilary Swank plays Amelia Earhart in a bio-pic directed by Mira Nair, with Richard Gere as Earhart's husband, publisher/promoter George P. Putnam. The cinematography looks gorgeous and Swank seems a good choice to play Amelia, but . . . meh. I'll probably wait for the video.
4. The Lovely Bones, opening December 11. Based on Alice Sebold's novel, directed by Peter Jackson. I read an advance copy of The Lovely Bones before it became a national phenomenon -- read it in a single sitting, in fact, one slow afternoon at The Mystery Bookstore, sobbing so hard it was lucky a customer didn't walk in. It was impossible for me to imagine how they could turn the book into a movie, given that the book is narrated by a ghost, but the preview shows a fascinating mix of live action and the kind of animation Jackson (and his wife/collaborator/screenwriter, Fran Walsh) used in Heavenly Creatures. Before seeing the trailer, I'd have said there was no way I'd see this movie, and now I feel I must. Good job, trailer makers!
5. 2012, opening November 13. Now, THIS is a movie: the end of the world, brought to you by Roland Emmerich and featuring John Cusack and some cute kids. Oliver Platt is in this movie as well, and I will watch Oliver Platt in anything . . . as if I weren't already going to see this. Admit it, you will too.