Jan. 15

Cedar’s at work, Ele’s at a friend’s house, and Diane and Leif are at Sherlock Holmes. I couldn’t bear to watch Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law and the Hollywood establishment massacre the work of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, so I stayed home to watch the Packers hopefully lose to the Giants.

Call me a fundamentalist, but I don’t think you should be allowed to take someone else’s work, decades after their death, and twist it into something entirely different.

Yesterday we saw War Horse, and honestly, I can’t say for sure they didn’t do the same thing with that story. I’m not usually a fan of war stories, but I’ve been reading and watching a lot of them lately. The horses were definitely the stars of this one, with the human characters fairly flat, and rotating out of the story often enough that they couldn’t be well developed.

Spielberg pulled out all the stops for sentimentality and dramatic effect. The music was loud and sometimes invasive, and I assumed (correctly) that it was John Williams. I thought at the end that it didn’t really have a strong melodic theme.

The cinemotography seemed to be imitating 1950s epics. I thought of Shane early in the movie, and the ending, with a surreal sunset, seemed to be another nod to that movie — although the hero was coming home instead of leaving. All-in-all, I liked it. I’ve always considered Spielberg movies over-the-top and predictable — everything wrong with Hollywood, but done with such technical precision that you have to like it.

Had a nice run this morning, then a walk with the camera. Nice warm day, and it seemed I could feel the sun getting a little hotter. Diane and I drank espressos sitting on lawn chairs in the manure of the horse paddock. It was the best place out of the wind in the direct sunlight.

My brother-in-law John Turula's sculpture in our back yard.


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