Fuse #8

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Breaking Out the Old Entertainment Weekly

Calling a tooth a wisdom tooth is a bit of a misnomer and no tooth has done more to show this to be true that the little fella currently residing in my mouth. About three days ago this tooth decided that the time was finally right to make a break for freedom. I only have one wisdom tooth (I'm a freak of nature) and until now it was content to hang around under the gum not going anywhere. Then, three days ago, it did some simple calculations and figured out exactly how to make its big debut. Now let's say my head is North and the soles of my feet are South. This tooth ignored the call of gravity (not to say logic) and decided that it wanted to go West. So right now I've a sharp little directionally-challenged tooth trying to claw his way out of my mouth via my cheek.

I tell you all this because no matter how painful this may be (smiling, eating, and sucking in my face to make myself look like a fish are all out of the question) I saw something even more agonizing in this week's Entertainment Weekly. I'll begin now by pointing out that I feel no shame where reading Entertainment Weekly is concerned. It's the closest thing I get to adult literature and it provides all kinds of tasty treats. This week we got an article entitled, "On Hollywood's Bookshelf". Sadly it is not only so I can't link you to it. The gist of the matter is that five apatations of child and teen works. Some sound tasty. Others akin to what it feels like to have a series of small white prongs continually jabbing at you.

The first is "Stormbreaker" by Anthony Horowitz. Not to long ago Mr. Horowitz was nominated as a potential Hot Man of Children's Literature. He is rather stunning, but I've a personal dislike of "Stormbreaker". Have any of you read it? It has a great conceit. The whole teen James Bond thing goes down beautifully. Unfortunately "Stormbreaker" is a good example of early xenophobic Bond rather than 21st century not-all-people-who-aren't-white-are-bad Bond.

Second on the list is Christopher Paolini's, "Eragon". I run a homeschooler bookgroup at my library (fun stories there) and sometimes I let the kids suggest future titles. So what do they all scream for unanimously each time I ask what they want? Eragon!!! Of course they've all read it already, so there's not much point in doing it again. That and the fact that I once sat down and counting seventeen-plus chapters that begin with the hero waking up. Everyone knows the problems with that book, so there's no need to dwell on it now. But did you know who was going to star in it? How about Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich, and Djimon Hounsou? As my husband put it, we're looking at "Dungeons and Dragons: The Movie" (also starring Jeremy Irons) Part Two.

At three we have Nancy Drew. This one looks interesting to me. It's starring the neice of Julia Roberts, Emma Robberts. Date of birth: 1991. I feel old. EW is a little shaky on the details on this film so I went to IMDB instead. There I discovered a true shocker. Oh we've got Nancy and Ned and George, all right. But where on earth is Bess???? Gone. Poor plump Bess is nowhere in sight. Guess that's Hollywood for you. Now I wonder if they're going to keep George gay or not.

Four is "The Spiderwick Chronicles". I owe a debt of gratitude to the series. Often panicked mothers come in saying that their boys like to read but that they read below their grade level. Do we have a series that's entertaining and won't talk down to them but isn't too hard to read? Lovely lovely "Spiderwick". How I adore thee. This film has the director of "Mean Girls" attached to it and you might think the logical thing to do would be to combine all five books into a single film. Then they wouldn't have to add any filler (see also: The dentist scenes in the most recent adaptation of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"). Unfortunately, and here's where it gets weird, they've only put the first three books together. Hunhuna? Guess we may have to deal with filler after all. I vote for a love interest for Thimbletack.

Finally at number five is the long awaited and increasingly worrisome "His Dark Materials". The director now? Anand Tucker from "Shopgirl".

So there we have it. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to locate a small file. If I can whittle this damnable tooth into submission then maybe I delay a trip to the dentist a little longer.

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