Books and Movies

Tuesday morning, G got up early and caught the shuttle to the airport to head out for her trip. I debated staying at the hotel and snoozing a bit longer, but decided to head on home, so was on the road a bit after 6 a.m. and home by about 8:30. I returned a couple of phone calls, got unpacked, picked up Peaches from our friend’s house, came home and took her for a walk. Then I went to see “The King’s Speech” for the 2nd time with some friends. It was even better on re-watching. It is one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time. Can’t recommend it highly enough. Go see it!

Yesterday, I had a complete and total day off.  I slept till nearly 8 a.m., unheard of for me. Well, I woke up at 4:20, but managed to fall back asleep after letting the dog out. Then I got up, made coffee, walked around the yard in the glorious, WARM weather (50s) and fixed breakfast and decided to take the dog for a walk around the riverwalk where I ran into a former co-worker and we had to catch up. Then it was home to catch up on Glee via Hulu, then I headed out to see “The Eagle”.

I am a complete sucker for anything that’s Roman and/or ancient Britain. This was both so I HAD to see it. As the credits rolled, I realized it was based on a book by one of my very favorite authors–Rosemary Sutcliff.  If you’ve never read any of her fiction, run do not walk, and find some.  Often, they will be listed under “Juvenile” or “Youth” in the library but her subjects are quite adult. I first encountered her via an excerpt of her book “Warrior Scarlet” which was in my 7th grade reading book and I was entranced by the story and her writing.

The movie is well-acted and about as historically accurate as you’d want.  It’s set in Roman Britain just a few years AD, but manages to maintain an interesting contemporary feel to it–soldiers and their jobs haven’t changed much in two millennia, despite advances in weaponry and technology. The onslaught of Rome into northern England and the resistance of the native people bears a strange similarity to what’s going on in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Still, the story sucked me in immediately and the cast was all excellent. The movie was filmed in Hungary and Scotland and the scenery is a feast for the eyes.  The battles are intense and close up, giving a good feel for how hand-to-hand, or sword-to-shield combat might look, but the gore is downplayed, leaving many of the goriest events either to the imagination or revealed in the reactions of those observing which is often more effective than lots of splatter.

Overall, I thought this was a classy, well-acted and well directed film with a lot of respect for the book on which it was drawn and for the history of the time.  I’d definitely see it again in the theater.

After that it was to the library for more light reading, then home to catch up on a couple of episodes of NCIS and Harry’s Law.

Yes, I was a total couch potato yesterday and it was perfect!


6 thoughts on “Books and Movies

  1. That sounds DELIGHTFUL. I love those sword/sandals shows, I need to go add that one to my queueueueueueue for when it comes out on Netflix.

    Naps. Awesome. Friends. Awesome. A day off. AWESOMEST EVAH.

  2. It was COMPLETELY delightful and very rejuvenating! Definitely reserve The Eagle on Netflix and in the meantime, maybe you can find the book, “The Eagle of the 9th” in the library.


  3. I’m not that well versed in ancient British history, but as a youngster growing up in Edinburgh, we were all taught that the Scots were such a pain in the ass to the Romans, they had to build a wall (Hadrian’s) to keep us out. A fact we Scots are quite pride of!

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