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Polar Express and National Treasure (Monday, November 22, 2004)

Well, I had a busy weekend, and no doubt about it. Among the highlights, Claire and I saw "The Polar Express" and "National Treasure". Polar Express is a delightful movie with pretty much the best animation I've ever seen. I love the snow. And the fog and the steam. It was really remarkable. Tom Hanks plays most of the adult cast, but it comes across like he's reading a story and playing the different parts, so it works. And he's just that good. And the snow was amazing. The music was excellent. In many ways the movie was reminiscent of Spirited Away. I commented that the only way the movie could have been better, is if it had been directed by Miyazaki and had the music composed by Hisaishi. And that makes it pretty damned good. It's a definite addition to my collection.

National Treasure was also a lot of fun. Fans of the DaVinci Code, and other Knights Templar / Freemasons / History conspiracy theories will enjoy it. The claims are pretty outlandish, but its easy to suspend disbelief for the two hours the movie races along. Nick Cage is perfectly believable as a quack historian and treasure hunter, though his side-kick is a little too airheaded for my taste. But I suppose he brings an otherwise very dorky movie back into the realm of comedy for people who are uncomfortable with all the history. Speaking of which, I found the blend of fact and fiction to be extremely well done, though I noticed that movie began with the characters planning well and taking obsessive care with their task, which was more believable than what came later, with caution thrown to the wind. I grinned at the care being taken with the historical artifacts in the first half of the movie, but as it progressed, I found myself cringing more and more frequently at their behaviour. But it's fun, in a Pirates of the Caribbean sort of way — which is definitely a good thing.

Picture of Thanksgiving Dinner The other bit of excitement for the weekend was dinner on Saturday. Claire and I aren't going to be together for Thanksgiving this year, because we'll be traveling with our families. So I decided to prepare a Thanksgiving fest just for the two of us. I prepared an elaborate menu of honey glazed ham (because we'll get enough turkey later in the week), candied sweet potatoes, potato pancakes, garlic sauteed spinach with sausages, cranberry sauce, bread, and cranberry wine. We even ate at the table!

—Brian (11/22/2004 10:26 PM)
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