A sunless Sunday

The cold and dreary weather notwithstanding, today was an okay day. I did the Sunday crossword, and I watched a couple of Red Dwarf episodes. (The later seasons, when they lose Holly, just aren’t as good.)

After that, it was my weekly writing group. One of the writing prompts we had to work with was “supermodel pregnant with second child,” taken from some headline or other. Only, I misread this and…well, just see for yourself:


It’s at times like this that I like to remember Harlan Ellison’s advice about mishearing conversations, and how one of his best stories, “Jeffty Is Five,” came about from just such a mistake.

After writing, we went to see Haywire. It was okay, but really quite forgettable. Steven Soderbergh does bring an unconventional take to the action movie, which is what a lot of reviewers and fans were saying in advance of the movie: he makes genre movies but doesn’t pay attention to the established rules of those genres. That can make for some brave and interesting film-making, but can just as often backfire. Sometimes those conventions and rules exist for a reason. What I really wanted from was something much more clever and intricate, completely unconventional, or something more edge-of-the-seat, pulse-pounding action. I got drips of both. Even Gina Carano’s physicality, much touted, feels underused. Yes, as a former MMA fighter, she can do all her own stunts, and quite well, but she’s most often fighting against other actors who can’t. So even if you gain an actress who can do all her own stunts, you’ve still got actors in the scene with her who can’t. (Carano isn’t a great actor, but she’s passable for what the role demands of her. She’s also quite attractive for a woman who could almost certainly crush my skull with her bare hands.)

Basically, Haywire has a lot of good moments — I particularly liked the line “The motive is money. The motive is always money.” — but it’s just not enough.