Last weekend, the Yankee and Henry went to Upstate NY to visit family, while I stayed home to go to the big semi-annual children’s consignment sale. While the consignment sale was a bit of a bust (the fall version was much better), I did manage to have a lovely weekend, relaxing and running on my own time.
I was able to watch two movies at the theater. The first was Pacific Rim: Uprising. It was surprisingly funny, and I’ve decided that John Boyega is one of my favorite actors of this decade. Something I didn’t know is that Boyega dumped some of his Star Wars cash into producing this sequel in hopes of starting a franchise. I’m not sure PRU received enough bank to make that happen, but at least I know to keep an eye out for movies featuring Boyega. Some of the new characters were barely fleshed out, but the returning characters had interesting enough developments to make the movie feel fresh and not just rehashed. Then again, I like movies with stupid action, so I’m easy to please.
The other movie I saw was A Wrinkle in Time. This one gave me mixed feelings, mostly because of how much I love Madeleine L’Engle and this quartet (recently I read somewhere that it’s now considered a quintet, but those people are wrong). One of the minor to some but major to me changes that gave me pause was the location. In the book, the Murry house is located in New England. The cold autumn air, the rock deposited by retreating glaciers, and the crisp night sky are integral to setting the major opening scenes. Sunny, Southern California does little to make hot cocoa seem appropriate. There’s no Aunt Beast, there’s no mention of love as one of Meg’s strengths (only her contrariness, which they drove home over and over). They leave out Jesus as one of the fighters of evil, which is just weird and unnecessary. L’Engle’s ecumenical vision of religion is integral to her books. Did they leave him out because of some of the controversy surrounding having him in the same pantheon as Michelangelo and Einstein? Or merely to keep it secular.
“Who have our fighters been?” Calvin asked.
“Oh, you must know them, dear,” Mrs. Whatsit said.
Mrs. Who’s spectacles shone out at them triumphantly, “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”
“Jesus!” Charles Wallace said. “Why of course, Jesus!”
“Of course!” Mrs. Whatsit said. “Go on, Charles, love. There were others. All your great artists. They’ve been lights for us to see by.”
“Leonardo da Vinci?” Calvin suggested tentatively. “And Michelangelo?”
“And Shakespeare,” Charles Wallace called out, “and Bach! And Pasteur and Madame Curie and Einstein!”
Now Calvin’s voice rang with confidence. “And Schweitzer and Gandhi and Buddha and Beethoven and Rembrandt and St. Francis!”
“Now you, Meg,” Mrs. Whatsit ordered.
“Oh, Euclid, I suppose.” Meg was in such an agony of impatience that her voice grated irritably. “And Copernicus.”
Did they leave out Euclid and Copernicus because no one would know them?
Where are Sandy and Dennys? Calvin was so bland. WHAT WAS THAT TORNADO WEIRDNESS? Or the bizarre flirting between the Happy Medium and Mrs. Whatsit? And they turned Mr. Murry into a weak, selfish, broken man. I wanted to love this movie so, so much. I tried to go into it with low expectations, but every time I tried to ignore a strange divergence, they threw in another unnecessary change. There is so much love and wonder and strength in the book that they left out. I felt short-changed. Parts of it were good. The main actress (Storm Reid) pulled off Meg’s troubles and inability to “belong” well. If I were twelve and had never read the book or knew anything about Madeleine L’Engle, I might have liked this movie, but it was too problematic to love.