Ah, such a relaxing weekend! The world freezes outside, and a gentle snow greeted me on my way to church this morning, consigning Thor to the garage in favor of the Pup's winter tires and FWD traction.

Whitney came down this weekend and we had great times at Ruby Tuesday's, going to watch "The Aviator", and then watching "King Arthur" off her Netflix queue. :-) Went bowling today and cracked 100, which is decent for me.

Movie reviews:

The Aviator In Scorsese's long homage to mad genius billionaire Howard Hughes, we see Leonardo DiCaprio star as Hughes taking us through periods of hubris, height, and humiliation on his way to a showdown with Juan Trippe and (it would seem) the entire United States government. (Really, what's $56 million between friends?)

The movie's uneven. The planes shimmer, wondrous CGI so real you can practially smell their exhaust. In his quest for detail and completeness, Scorsese misses that some parts of the film are dull. Do we care about his jailbait concubines? In particular, scenes depicting Hughes's madness drag-on. After 5 minutes of a long-fingernailed, naked Leo babbling and urinating into milk bottles, you just want to scream "We get it! He's nuts!"

Still, Hughes's relationship with Katherine Hepburn shines, blazingly human and tender amid the cold aluminum monocoque of his planes. Their relationship would make a great 90 minute movie, and both DiCaprio and Cate Blanchett's Hepburn are sympathetic neurotics, giving career-defining performances.

In the end the measure of a true epic is whether you'd recommend to your friends, "You HAVE to see this in the theatre". My recommendation: Wait for video.

* * *

King Arthur This would be a great, ground-breaking movie, EXCEPT for battle scenes straight from Gladiator and Braveheart, combined with visuals straight out of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy. The movie imagines how Arthur, fabled son of Uthur Pendragon could've risen from the waning Roman garrison to lead native resistence of the Germanic Angle/Saxon/Jute invasion.

Unlike The Aviator the world we're given here is comfortably small, centering around a man and his cadre of 6 indentured-servant knights, blinded by idealism and religion. We're given time to learn the characters, laugh with them, and appreciate their motivation.

Overall, I liked it.

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