Your RDA of Irony

Sunday Sundry

Five Hours Of Mildred Pierce on HBO

My prayers have been answered.  After sitting through the two hour Joan Crawford melodrama, I was left with an insatiable gnawing hunger that could only be satisfied with an additional three hours of overripe histrionics or at least a slice of one of Mildred Pierce’s fortune-earning pies.    (For those of you unfamiliar with the plot of Mildred Pierce, imagine if Marie Callender had married Claus von Bulow and was mother of Lucretia Borgia.)  Well, those clairvoyants at HBO knew what I wanted, and it premieres tonight.

The series actually has received good reviews. The New York Times complimented the historical accuracy of the stars’ full frontal nudity.  I don’t think that we need to elaborate….However, that would be a scholarly contrast to Showtime’s “Spartacus” where most of the topless actress have tattoos of motorcycle  gangs.  (But in their nude scenes on Showtime’s Anne of Green Gables, Anne and Aunt Marilla could feasibly have Harley-Davidson tattoos; the company was founded in 1903.)

Hollywood History

It took me two tries to watch the latest version of “Robin Hood”. No, I didn’t gag at its notion that Robin (Russell Crowe) ghostwrote the Magna Carta.  I went into shock long before that–during the show’s first three minutes.  The film opens with this title card introduction:  “At the turn of the twelfth century…”  The next line should have read, “None of our characters had been born.  In fact, most of their parents hadn’t been born yet either.”  However, the introduction proceeds with an explanation of Richard the Lion Heart’s absence from England and his brother John’s misrule.  Then the action begins–with an attack on both a castle and narrative consistency– with the surtitle:  France, 1199.

This film cost over 100 million dollars to make.  Russell Crowe’s salary alone was $20 million–although that breaks down to $5 million an accent he mumbles throughout the film.  A week’s catering for  the extras cost more than most of us will make this year.  (Megan Barnes–three times champion on Jeopardy–is the glorious exception here.)  So how much more would it have cost to have a proofreader for the prologue, someone who might know when the 12th century actually occurred?

You’re right.  I am asking too much.

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