Wassail, traveler, and welcome to The Gable Grey -- a place of retreat, of renewal, and of resistance: a tree-shaded refuge in Dark Times. Now pass the threshold, and rest from journeys! For a cold wind is blowing; and here, if you wish, you may hear tidings of the world without...

Monday, June 8, 2009


I've been fortunate enough to squeeze in three movies over the past couple of weeks (between marathons of Star Trek: Voyager with the wife). I hope to watch The Wrestler soon, but since I began a three-week teacher training course today, it will be difficult. Anyway...

Defiance was pretty good. Very inspiring. Some things seemed a bit unclear to me at first, namely the Bielski brothers' motivation and background. But it's a good, true story, and Daniel Craig's fine acting job is outshined, in my opinion, by Liev Shreiber's performance as Zus (pronounced "Zoosh").

Gran Torino was a must-watch for me, as I enjoy old actors playing mean old men. And Eastwood's Walt is mean. The movie was a little predictable, but it was still enjoyable to watch, though if it had been anybody but Eastwood I would not have watched it. Clint's still got a bit of The Man with No Name and Dirty Harry in him, thankfully. Maybe we need that in these hyper-P.C. times.

As far as I know, Outlander went straight to DVD. It's "Beowulf meets Predator," according to the coverbox art, and that's a pretty accurate label. I usually hate those kinds of labels, but here it's perfectly applicable. Good casting, with Jim Caviezel as a kind of Space Marine-slash-planetary colonizer, John Hurt as the Viking cheiftain (who'd make a magnificent Gandalf!), and Ron Perlman playing one of the meanest Vikings you'll ever see. The special effects are good, with a couple of exceptions; and the script is straightforward, lean, though a little overly sentimental at times. The great thing about this film is the plot itself; it's so well-thought-out, and the story so well-executed, that it almost cannot help but be a good movie, casting and special effects aside. The worst thing was some of the character naming... "Boromir?" I mean, really.

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Whiles carried o'er the iron road,
We hurry by some fair abode;
The garden bright amidst the hay,
The yellow wain upon the way,
The dining men, the wind that sweeps
Light locks from off the sun-sweet heaps --
The gable grey, the hoary roof,
Here now -- and now so far aloof.
How sorely then we long to stay
And midst its sweetness wear the day,
And 'neath its changing shadows sit,
And feel ourselves a part of it.
Such rest, such stay, I strove to win
With these same leaves that lie herein.

-- William Morris, from
"The Roots of the Mountains"