A Column that Hardly Mentions Pirates at All

I had a hard time writing this week's column. I kept drifting into other projects; I wrote a poem about Emily Dickinson as a time traveling explorer and inventor, daydreamed about Captain Jack Sparrow, had a fierce argument about whether or not dinosaurs taste like chicken or chicken tastes like dinosaurs, tried to work out on paper how that crazy old pirate Blackbeard could put firecrackers in his beard while boarding ships and not blow his face up, wondered why in the world I don't have my own galleon and finally gave it all up as a bad job and called my best friend to ask him what to do. He told me that just because the entire world is obsessed with pirates for the opening of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest doesn't mean I have to be also and I should relax and write for the people who are looking for something else to do. For you folks I have a few words about The Devil Wears Prada, A Scanner Darkly, a couple of one sentence reviews, and, simply because I am so stubborn, a papercraft pirate ship from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride that also comes with a treasure map.

Several years ago I watched a movie starring Meryl Streep and when it was over I was over her. I had had enough; I felt I could cheerfully go the rest of my life without ever seeing her again. Imagine my surprise when I saw a trailer for The Devil Wears Prada and decided to go see it based solely on her performance as the boss from the seventh circle of hell, Miranda Priestly. Based on the best-selling novel of the same name, The Devil Wears Prada is about a girl called Andy, who gets the job a million girls would kill for, working as the second assistant to the editor of the most important fashion magazine in the world. Andy is much too serious to be interested in looking pretty, she's planning on being a real journalist but she believes if she can stand working for Miranda for one year she can get a job anywhere so she does whatever she has to survive the job. Ms. Streep is perfection in her role, playing the awful boss with a subtlety that is much more cutting and terrifying than any screaming, hysterical fit could ever be. This movie is extremely funny and despite being billed as a chick flick it played to a well-balanced audience of boys and girls of all ages at our showing.

If you're sad because you haven’t got your very own pirate ship you can cheer up now. This link will take you to a splendidly wonderful papercraft version of the Wicked Wench from the Disney Pirates of the Caribbean ride. And a teeny tiny fabulous treasure map because everybody needs a treasure map.

A Scanner Darkly is directed by Richard Linklater (Waking Life, School of Rock) and adapted from a story by the Philip K. Dick, who also wrote the source material for Blade Runner and Minority Report. This animated film has been getting quite a bit of attention from fans of the writer as this film is supposed to be the most faithful adaptation of any of his stories or books. Rumored to be based on some of his personal experiences of living in a house with meth amphetamine addicts, it is a dark, surreal look at the effects of drug abuse and what happens when a mind splinters. Keanu Reeves plays Fred, a nark who is hooked on Substance D, an extremely addictive drug that causes multiple personalities in its users. The movie is definitely not going to be a feel good School of Rock story; it's dark and frightening and complicated but it's also extremely interesting. The rotoscope animation used in Waking Life has radically improved in the intervening years and looks simply incredible.

This week we have two one-sentence reviews, one of a museum and one of two restaurants. Candlelight Tiger says, "The food at Hardees and Popeyes chicken gets better and better the further south you go." Christopher C. Van Doren says, "Cincinnati's Contemporary Arts Center current exhibition is a silly playground of ideas and interactive sculpture, a wondrous solution to housing and energy needs of the future, and an inspiring look into the past antics of a genius art colony." Have you got a one-sentence review you’d like to submit to Quality Time? Send it in to me at feedback@qualitytimeweekly.com and I'll run the best ones. You may focus on just about anything that fits a family entertainment format; games, movies, books, music - the sky is the limit.