Henry and Kristl enter the Mists of Avalon (2001)

“So ever read the book?” Henry asked, “Seems like the kind of book you would have read, in your days…”

Kristl frowned, “My days? Sounds like I have outlived my shelf live. “

“Eh.. Well I mean, from when you were younger. When you read these books. Fantasy and such.”

Kristl gave Henry a look, “Gosh, you are starting to scare me.”

“Scare you?”

“Well, you are actually right, I have not read much fantasy for a long time. I got a bit tired with the copy and paste books that flooded the market. And we did not have the internet then to figure out the good from the bad. Or even the mediocre from the bad. You had to read the blurb and page through the book. Hundreds of them.”

“See.. I can listen,” Henry smiled sanguinely.

“Oh.. ah.. Well, we might even make a good woman out of you yet.”

“Let’s not go overboard now.”

“But the answer is no. I picked it up once as it had intriguing coverof a woman riding a horse and holding something up. A staff I think. Like a magic user.”

“And?”

“I gave it a try but never got past the first few pages. Perhaps I had lost interest in the whole Arthur legend at that time. The Arthur legend was another dead horse that was beaten ad nausea.”

“But did you read it , Henry?” Kristl asked.

“Nuu.. Fantasy is not my kind of thing.”

“So what do you think of this women movie.”

“Well.. it is a bit quaint.”

“Quaint?” Kristl said.

“Well it was nice to see eh the woman side of it all, but it was kind

of uneventful.”

“No kick ass girls in this one.”

“And full of ‘functional’ sex and even incest. I mean. It was as if the whole woman side of the Arthur legend consisted of scheming, backstabbing, incest and sex.”

“Apparently.”

“I wonder if it was written by a man.. a misogynistic one, ” Henry said.

Kristl laughed, “I was told Marion Zimmer Bradley was a woman. Perhaps the book gives a more favorable angle on the story. Turning a book into a movie usually means that the story has to be condensed and suffer.”

“Yeah.”

“I wonder if you can follow the story if you do not have some background information. Like it is never quite explained why Lot hates Arthur.”

“Some things are also strange. Like when Uther Pendragon sneaks into the castle of Gorlois, disguised as Gorlois, and beds Igraine she gets knocked up and then marries Pendragon, ” Henry said.

“Hmm,” Kristl said.

“Strange is also the decision of Morgause to spare Mordred. She first wants to kill him when he is a newborn baby but when the delirious Morgaine blurts out he is actually Arthur’s son, she spares him..But why? They say that when Arthur has no sons, they are next in line for the throne. So why let Mordred live?”

“I got the feeling that much what was in the book could not be put into the movie and thus we lack events that probably would make the storymore ‘sensible’,” Kristl said.

“Another strange thing is the passivity of Morgaine. I mean it seems like almost everything is happening to her and she is a bit helpless in the face of it. Like oh, right I am taken away to this Island to become a priestess. Oh right, I have to have sex with this guy in some ancientritual. Oh right, I am to be married off to king Uriens.”

“Oh wow, that was one of the dumbest scene ever. Arthur discussing with Uriens to arrange for a wedding and then when they ask Morgaine if she wants to marry this ‘royal person’ from Wales, they forget to mention

that is was the father Uriens they meant and not his son. That was solame. As if such political decisions were done in such a offhand manner. I would grant that Morgaine would probably have had no choice, but the movie suggests it was a mistake and that she could not back out after it had been arranged for fear of Uriens losing face.”

“So?” Henry said.

“To wrap it up?” Krisl queried.

“Still a reasonable movie to watch, I think. Just for the story line.”

“And the acting is decent. Not very good, but passable.”

“Yeah. But the fighting and magic is lame. It is as if people are afraid of hurting each other. And that absurd way of fighting of Mordred. Did he travel to China to learn that tactic?” Henry said and continued, “And did it not strike you as odd that Morgaine at one time suddenly became this killer fighter? Throughout the whole movie we see her never touch a sword and then when she gets ambushed she kills half a dozen of these Saxon raiders. Wow. Way to go girl.”

“I think fighting came natural to women in those days. Men had to work hard for it,” Kristl smiled.

“Yeah.. right. As ‘natural’ as in that women always hit something when they park their cars backwards.”

“Not much of a ‘skill’. And not true at all. A fable. A persistent recurring one. I wonder if we are still claimed to bump into things while parking when flying spacecrafts.”

“Well fables tend to linger on.. so I guess you are stuck with it one way or another. It just morphs into something new.”

“And no doubt we will be seeing another Arthur legend.. maybe next time it will be about gay relations.”

“Or aliens.”

“Or gay aliens.”

“Now there is an idea…”

 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0244353/

Henry and Kristl dwell on Dune(2000)

“So that was Dune.” Henry said with a wry smile. Halfway through the movie they had started a game of backgammon and followed the series in a half hearted way. Then they had enjoyed a Chinese- Indonesian take out diner. Kristl had suggested to order it as it was her time to cook and she had given up on cooking some years ago because she her interpretation of a meal seemed to differ from the tastes of others.
Kristl nodded.
“It was funny. I mean it almost looked like the movie of Lynch, but with lesser actors, lame dialog and fake landscapes. It was funny but because there is already a movie the series seems a bit superfluous.”

“Yes.. it is.” Kristl said.

“But we watched it.” Henry said.

“Some movies are very nice as background imagery. You just can follow the whole thing even if you fail to see parts of it. Dune is like that.” Kristl nodded.

“So what is this?” Henry pointed at a white plastic container.

“It is called babi pangang. Just eat it. I’ll mention what was in it after wards.”

“Not something like monkey flesh or insect bodies?” Henry shuddered.

“No, it’s mundane.” Kristl shook her head.

“Anyway, what was your favorite scene?” Henry asked.

“Not so much a scene.. more I found the clothes the princess was dressed in pretty. She had the proper figure for these fashion dresses. Same with the emperor. So it’s not a particular scene, but more how they were dressed.”

“Strange to hear that from you. I would not have figured looks were something that interested you.” Henry looked Kristl up and down. What he saw was a woman in her mid forties wearing fade jeans trouser, heavy combat boots and a leather jacket that resembled one of those that were the fashion in the eights. Kristl, so Henry thought, has never gone beyond the punk of the eighties.. Fashion wise she was frozen or retro, because everything became retro after a while.

“The fact I look like left over punker from the eighties, does not mean I have no eye for beauty and fashion. I can not wear it, but I can enjoy looking at it.” Kristl laughed, “But what was your memorable scene?”

“The moment the Harkonnen baron was poisoned by that little girl. It was funny to see the surprised look on his face.” Henry laughed and then made gargled sounds.

“It is interesting you mention a girl doing that. Because I was not really impressed with the story and specifically with the role of women in the movie.”

“Ah. Not impressed means usually that you were offended.”

“That is a good description. The women in the movie have about two roles. Women either are helpless creatures good for breeding or they are backstabbing schemers not above sleeping with someone just to gain an advancement.“

“Ah.”

“So, no I was not impressed by the whole. But how did you like the story, Henry?” Kristl said
“It was okay, nothing remarkable. I liked the idea of the spice. If I am correct that spice is important because space travel over vast distances at great speed can only be accomplished by using spice because it allows you to see into the future. That is something I remember. It is actually not really mentioned in that series, only that without it you can’t travel in space. What do you think?”

“I think that if the story of the books resembles that of the movie in general outlook then it is a tacky badly written story. Let’s take the overall idea: there is an emperor that for reasons unknown puts the noble house Atreides in charge of the single most important planet in the universe, yet he fears the growing influence of those same Atreides to the point that he helps the Harkonnen in regaining the planet through bloody murder and open warfare. What is even more surprising is that the influence and respect that the Atreides have among the houses seems not to translate itself into any noticeable form of power.

And then this whole Harkonnen plot is visibly condoned by the emperor and secretly supported by him, but that does not seem to have any repercussion for him or for the Harkonnen.
Everything is contrived and would not work in reality. And while I can accept a certainly liberty for a story, it remains reality that determines what is likely to work or not. Fantasy, however pushed it its limits, is limited by reality.”

“But everything is just unbelievable. The good guys are very good and the bad guys are very bad. And then these fremen are so nonsensical with their system of killing each other of to establish a ruler. It is utter nonsense because no system like that can work. There has never been a society like that because such a society would rip itself apart and the fact that someone is good in fighting does not mean that he(it is always a he) is also good in making decisions or in any other skill that you require to lead a community. Therefore it is overall a badly written nonsensical story.”

“Hmm.. Lucky it is just a story.” Henry said

“Yes, it is.”

“And this series is just superfluous?”

“Yes, you can watch the movie instead.. it is a lot shorter and better acted and so on and as nonsensical as this series. “

“Hah”

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0142032/?ref_=fn_al_tt_2