Thursday, February 25, 2010

Movie Stuff

Weird being near TV's. In the hotel lobby in Carolina, the clerk was watching this sitcom about some kids in Hawaii. Sitcom overacting is just boggling to watch when you catch it out of context like that. It's like watching giant Muppets, but with less personality.

In this particular episode, some evil businessman was trying to buy up property to build a hotel, and was complaining that his opponents were standing in the way of progress. But the kids look like they're going to be the conscience of this show and save the pristine Hawaiian environment from rapacious developers. However long it takes to get a cup of coffee - maybe a minute - and already you can tell it's going to be one of those "I would have succeeded if it hadn't been for those darn kids!" But the moral lines being drawn - it's "Avatar," except for no cool special effects. The big movie of the year is a sitcom made serious. I asked the clerk what the show was: "Saved By The Bell." So that will be the sequel. Avatar:Saved By The Bell.

Kyle was watching "Son of The Mask" (I think that's what he said). There was something compelling about it, even though you are thinking at every moment "this is amazingly stupid. Are the actors dragging down a mediocre script, or are they pulling an abysmal script up to mere badness?" No matter. What struck me was how one scene fits in with my recent Wyrd and Providence series. At one point Loki, who has lost his powers somehow, is trying to summon a god through some rituals, writing, incantation - and you just know instantly "This isn't Norse. They didn't do things like this." A spectral Odin appears, and it's just wrong. Those rules don't work here.

By the way, I kept seeing TV and print ads about ghosts and hauntings when I was in NC and VA - more than I am used to seeing in New England. My theory is that supposed ghosts don't start appearing in Puritan New England until quite late, and they are more of a Southern phenomenon - possibly Mid-Atlantic as well. Half an hour with a search engine seems to confirm this theory. New England ghost stories don't show up until the 19th C, though I'll bet some 18th C ones could be found. Sometimes the purported ghost is from the 17th C, but the story about it doesn't appear until later. I suspect that particular belief was not common among the Puritans, for reasons the reader may guess if you have been following my recent series.

Counter-evidence welcome.


Ben Wyman said...

1. Keep Kyle away from Jamie Kennedy movies, please.

2. It is impressive that you managed to watch a 20-year old sitcom and it seemed new to you. You are truly out of touch with the cultural zeitgest. If I know you, you'll derive a quiet satisfaction from that.

Erin said...

Ben re: #2, you beat me to it!

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Hey, I never said it was new! Although admittedly, I would have guessed about 10 years, not 20.

So that makes Avatar even worse. Not only a sitcom plot, but a hackneyed sitcom plot.

Anonymous said...

Here is a book of ghost stories from MD first published in the 1880s. Two brothers from the Zittle family that spead many of the ghost tales married two of my great grandfathers's aunts. Anyway, you can check out the table of contents.

Also, Blair Witch Project was filmed not far from South Mountain.


karrde said...

I've met one local ghost story in my lifetime. (It's a tale of the ghost of a lost train-conductor along what might be an old train right-of-way. The region was the Copper Country of northern Michigan.)

I never really thought about the history of ghost stories, though.