Movies and Finances

"For all we ought to have thought, and have not thought; all we ought to have said, and have not said; all we ought to have done, and have not done; I pray thee God for forgiveness." - Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan, 13th Warrior

I watched two DVDs while putting my finances in order yesterday evening: a movie I love, but had forgotten, The 13th Warrior, and a movie I never expected to see because of it's bad reputation, Battlefield Earth. A friend convinced me to borrow his copy and I let it sit around for a while before getting around to it. I have to say, if you look at it as a serious sci-fi flick, they're right, it's atrocious. BUT, if you see it for the comedy (intentional or not), it's delightful. I usually don't like John Travolta, but he did a good job with the fatally arrogant bad guy. I *do* like Barry Pepper, ever since The Green Mile and Saving Private Ryan, and I thought that though his character was basically unbelieveable (were any of them? Not really.) he was enjoyable to watch. Yes, it was laughably bad, but it was also astonishingly fun to watch.
And now my financial house tidy and that feels good too. Yay!


Stacey said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the movie. I feel the same way about Mamma Mia. It's not believable, but it's so much damn fun. I always feel better after seeing it on stage, in the movies or on my ipod. JR listens to it at his desk, but hasn't shared it with his officemate yet as I don't think he'd enjoy it as much.

Jim Wright said...

The 13th Warrior is without doubt my favorite movie of all time.

It got panned by critics and movie goers alike, but I think they're nuts.

I lived in Scandinavia for a number of years (Iceland, actually) and heard the heroic tale of Beowulf and Grendel told as an epic saga by Ms Augustdottir, then President of the Athling (Iceland's parliament). She was a skeld, a story teller and historian, and spoke the traditional viking sagas monthly at the Reykjavik Library. The 13th Warrior does justice to those stories and then some.

I love the subtle things in the movie - the vikings are warriors, but they're not mindless brutes. They value ibn Fadlan's insight and intelligence and consider those skills at least as important as sword work. The vikings are also incredibly intelligence in their own way, witness the duel (the power play where the lesson is the fear of unknown, which is the key to the whole movie). The best scene for me, is the brief flash of pain on Helgar the Joyous' face (Dennis Stori) during the retreat down the tunnel after Beowulf kills the mother, when Fadlan tells him that Herger has fallen. It's incredibly subtle, but speaks volumes about the who the vikings really are.

The death prayer that you quoted is amazingly powerful, and the final scene before the battle where it is spoken is incredible.

Most people miss that this is a coming of age story, Fadlan starts out as a fop, and ends as a man, respected by true warriors.

The cinematography is fantastic, and the musical score is even better.

Yeah, I could go on for hours.

But seriously, Battlefield Earth? It's not even good comedy. More like a car crash that you can't look away from.

Mummy Grabill said...

Ok - I'll be putting the 13th Warrior on my netflix list. :-) I do LOVE the feeling of getting your finances done. I was always one of those weirdos that liked balancing my checkbook.

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen "The 13th Warrior" - but I had to chime in and say I loved "The Green Mile." Barry Pepper was great- but the whole darn cast was great. Every time I watch that movie, it gets to me.