Or some other damn kind of virus. Sore throat, splitting headache, constant cough, sleepless nights, general misery.
And this just after I'd given the tax stuff to the accountant and was ready for some fun.
Instead I'm housebound watching videos, because my head hurts too much when I try to read.
Here's what I've seen.
Casino Royale. I've spent decades being mad at James Bond movies because they showed Hollywood that if you throw together enough chase scenes and skin shots, along with a plot that makes no sense, you can make hundreds of millions of dollars. So I was prepared to hate this.
To my surprise, I enjoyed it. Perhaps the fact that I was unable to give it my complete attention helped.
Daniel Craig is a good Bond. The plot seemed to make sense, sort of, and the action scenes were well staged except for the last one, which seemed to involve Bond shooting a bunch of rubber rafts in the bottom of a Venetian palazzo and somehow causing it to fall into the Grand Canal. Maybe that scene would have been more comprehensible on the big screen, I dunno.
Bright Young Things, directed by Stephen Fry and based on the novel Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh, the classic novel of the young and rich tearing up London during the Roaring Twenties. (I haven't read the novel, so this note deals almost entirely with the movie.)
It's all about style, drug use, conspicuous consumption, polymorphous perversity, money, and celebrity journalism--- nothing like today, of course. The cast are mainly talented young unknowns, but the number of established names taking on small parts was impressive: Stockard Channing, Dan Aykroyd, Richard E. Grant, Simon Callow, Peter O'Toole as a dadaist colonel, and John Mills as an old duffer snorting cocaine at a costume ball honoring the American evangelist, Mrs. Ape, who leads her choir in the hymn "There Ain't No Flies on the Lamb of God." (Waugh's satire was not always subtle.)
The younger members of the cast hold up well against this established group of scene-stealers, particularly Fenella Woolgar--- a Waughian name if ever there was one--- as a high-society dame who, like Mr Toad, goes completely insane the second she gets behind the wheel of a motorcar.
The end of the movie jumps straight from the Roaring Twenties into World War II without bothering to go through the 1930s or the Depression, so I felt it was tacked on--- but I looked it up and found out that Waugh did in fact end his novel, written in the Twenties, with a surreal war scene. Prescient, in its way.
Though I haven't read this particular novel, I've read a fair amount of Waugh, and the film adaptations tend to suffer from a lack of the proper viciousness. Waugh is never afraid to go for the jugular--- or any other organ you care to name--- and I suspect Fry's adaptation of Vile Bodies suffers from the writer/director's underlying decency.
Weeds: This Showtime series stars Mary Louise Parker as an upper-middle-class suburban housewife who, on the death of her husband, becomes a pot dealer in order to make ends meet. (Trading in the Range Rover and selling the McMansion, or dropping the soccer lessons her kids don't want to take anyway, are options that never seem to cross her radar.) I've only seen a few episodes, but so far it's promising, and Elizabeth Perkins is wonderful as the Suburban Mom from Hell.
Sword of Honor: Two submotifs in this post combine as current James Bond Daniel Craig stars as the hapless Guy Crouchback, the protagonist of Evelyn Waugh's war trilogy (which I have read, by the way). This is another adaptation that fails the viciousness test, though it has its moments. And come to think of it, it has the same ending as Bright Young Things.
Revolutionary Girl Utena, viewed for the third or fourth time because it's the best TV series ever made. So there.