Monday, November 14, 2005


That Things I Should’ve Done file keeps getting bigger.

That can’t be good, can it?

I don’t buy every Simpsons book that they wave in front of me. You know, Philosophy and The Simpsons, Religion and The Simpsons, Wall-To-Wall Carpeting and The Simpsons, etc. There’s quite a few of them now.

I finally picked up Chris Turner’s Planet Simpson: How A Cartoon Masterpiece Defined A Generation today, now that it’s in paper.

When I first saw it earlier in the year, I flipped through it and was met by a deluge of funny and interesting footnotes, all having to do with Simpson minutiae. The book itself seemed fairly ordinary, but just the fact that the author had tried to write a sort of cultural history around the phenomenon of the show while trying to stuff as much of the show into it as possible made me jealous.

In the two Simpsons Collectibles books I’d done, I had the most fun writing the footnotes. Some were serious, some were just comic riffs, but to me they were the icing on the cake and validated the effort put into the books. Part of me wished that I’d done something that had more text than pictures about the subject.

This is the second book that’s made me wish I’d put forth a little more effort. The first, Garry Mulholland’s This Is Uncool: The 500 Greatest Singles Since Punk And Disco, I wrote about in a previous column.

Now not everyone’s in love with Turner’s book. If the reviews on Amazon are any indication, a few folks agreed that at times it belabors the obvious and doesn’t add much fresh or new to the discussion.

But, once again, could I have done it? No.

Should I have tried?

I don’t know. I do know I’d like to devote more time to creating something that expresses more of me than talk about somebody else’s playground at this stage of the game. So maybe it’s not so bad as all that.


Capote and Good Night, And Good Luck have come to the local theater, so what do I go out to see?

Chicken Little in 3-D.

I’m sorry, I’m just a sucker for it, I guess. I’ll go see any movie that requires that you wear special glasses. And I’m always particularly interested when someone is proclaiming that this is a new process that improves on what you’ve seen before.

The Chicken Little glasses are cool, polarized numbers, not the old style red-and-blue deal, and they’re made to look like the hero’s. I still remember the polarized glasses you got when you went to see Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein during its original run and I always thought those were some of the best 3-D effects I’d ever seen. So I had high hopes for the Chicken, especially after the relative disappointment of Shark Boy and Lava Girl.

Long story short, certainly much better than the average 3-D affair, though sometimes it feels as though the effects are just a step up from a View-Master with 2 or 3 planes of depth.

But when it’s good, it’s great. The ending, especially, made great use of it and the movie itself, though I wouldn’t tell anyone to run out and see the regular version, is amusing enough, despite the plethora of bad reviews.

Still, the one to beat is The Polar Express in IMAX 3-D. There were parts of that I had to cover my eyes during. Really. If it comes back for Christmas, try and see it.

And lastly, Happy Birthday to the world’s bravest, most long-suffering wife and typo fairy. May you have a wonderful, marvelous day. I know that England will love you as I do.


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