I’m getting a little twitchy, and it may be the caffeine, but I think it may be the mess that is my apartment. I realized tonight that I had lunch out every day this week (including what has become the ritual Saturday afternoon trip to Papa Keno’s for some Don Ho (pizza with spinach, broccoli, pineapple, sliced almonds, and ricotta) and diet Pepsi and dinner out almost as often. When did I realize this? When submitting my student loan payment, but of course.
Today I strolled Mass from one end to the other, during the game when things were fabulously dead. I bought only a tiny blue bunny for my new nephew (labor to be induced on Feb. 6) and two cute cards. I also realized that despite living in Lawrence for 3.75 years now (is that really possible?), I have yet to do many of the things that both locals and alumni (there’s a wide difference) would swear by. I have never been to the Bottleneck or the Jazzhaus; I have never been upstairs at Henry’s or, come to think of it, have I been to any bar on Mass; I haven’t attended a concert at Liberty Hall or at the Granada (unless you count The Sellouts); I’ve never eaten at Teller’s (though I’ve been to the bar, but only for the Italian Tavolo); and I’ve never been to a Jayhawk basketball game.
But I do have favorite coffee places and favorite restaurants, a favorite park, a favorite bookstore, a soft spot for Sylas and Maddy’s, etc. I have been to Starbucks (- 20 Lawrence points) but I felt guilty about it (+10) though I couldn’t tell you why (-5). On and on and the point is, I still like it here.
Speaking of things I ended up liking that I wasn’t sure I would, last night I saw film #3. Tristan and Isolde with and her husband. The crowd looked to be about what the movie was originally aiming for — teen and pre-teen, majority female and reluctant males. Roger Ebert gave this movie a surprisingly positive review, and I find that I agree with him. I was expecting much worse — dressy, showy costumes, much more drippy dialogue, incongruous character actions, etc. Instead the film did a good job of staying pretty grounded: though Tristan, as the favored “son” of Lord Marke, did get dressed up in neat war outfits, the colors were always drab and he also always had dirty fingernails. The rooms and the castles and (this is my favorite detail) the boats were small and dark, not at all luxurious, and gold never really seemed to flow. I even liked the tournament scene, where Tristan fights with his fellow Britons to win the hand of the Irish princess, because it wasn’t a grand splashy affair with men wielding shimmering swords and winning golden trinkets (though I did feel a bit like I was getting hit over the head with the boxing references — oh, is this like modern day boxing? Really? With the spitting in the buckets and the corners and the cutmen-friends and everything?) I wasn’t troubled by the performances — solid, non-star-making work. I expected James Franco to be worse than he was, and the only thing I really hold against him here is a tiny death groan at the end that pulled me right out of what was otherwise a good scene (OK, that and . He somehow pulled off the “I’m an excellent warrior who goes all soft around this woman” thing — case in point, delivering the line “they would say ours was the love that brought down a kingdom” without making me laugh. Sophia Myles played Isolde as an emotional but also thoughtful woman, without resorting to either weepiness or, for lack of a better term, frigidity. The script helps, here, because she’s never called on to collapse helpless at anyone’s feet.
In fact, I expected this movie to be more about the dramatic “love will save us” type speeches, and it really wasn’t. Mostly good restraint all around. Best example: the scene in the dungeon jail between a silent Tristan and a raging King Marke (and the follow-up scene with Marke confronting Isolde, and then hearing the full story from her and reacting only subtly, very good acting by Rufus Sewell). The few parts that I didn’t enjoy were the parts thrown in almost as a necessary nod to the genre (tragic teen romance movie) that the movie was aiming for: keeping Tristan’s shirt off during most of his early scenes with Isolde and the elaborate wedding dress and celebration (as I’m sure will note). All-in-all, though, not a bad film.
Now I’m trying to psych myself up to see King Kong, and so far, I haven’t succeeded.