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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

July 7, 2010 at 10:57 AM

“Mad Men” news, and a tale of two 600+-page books

Hope you all enjoyed the holiday; me, I went to Leavenworth for a couple of days, and all I can say is that over there “The Sound of Music” is a reality show. (Just kidding. It’s very pretty there; so much so that you wonder if the mountains have their own agents.) Anyway, back here in sticky Seattle, I’m seeing some “Mad Men” news this morning, and just in case it’s a spoiler for some people I’m going to link to this photo rather than embedding it. Let’s just say that AMC has released a stylish cast photo for Season 4, and there’s someone in the photo who is unexpected — which is to say, someone who is neither a family member of Don’s or a new employee of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, last we saw, and somebody I was thinking I might miss (particularly in light of this character’s interactions with another regular). Click here if you want to know. Mad Men Monday blogs will begin here July 26.
Meanwhile, I re-read Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl Who Played With Fire” this weekend, after seeing the movie on Friday (it’s good, though not quite as electric as the first movie) and was struck by what an enormous job of adaptation screenwriter Jonas Frykberg had. Unlike, say, “Eclipse” (which I also re-read in the past few weeks and which is also over 600 pages, so the comparison seems at least semi-fair), in which you can turn dozens — no, hundreds — of pages in which nothing happens except Bella gets whiny and Jacob and/or Edward get pouty, something happens on every single page of “The Girl Who Played With Fire.” In every paragraph, in fact, it seems as if some new character is being introduced (this book has countless cops, journalists, lawyers, doctors and underworld figures), some new crime and/or conspiracy is being uncovered, someone is being bashed over the head by a guy who feels no pain, someone is having casual sex with the very busy Mikael Blomkvist (who nonetheless manages to get an awful lot of research done), someone is shopping at IKEA (seriously, we get the actual shopping lists and product names), someone is having a flashback to something traumatic, someone is checking their email, and everyone is drinking coffee. Take out the IKEA trips and the coffee and the email and you still probably have something like a 600-page screenplay. If you’ve read the book, you know what I mean, and you have to hand it to Frykberg for even daring to take on the task. (How does he do it? He takes out most of it. What else can he do?) Anyway, the movie opens here Friday, and I have to get busy writing the review. More later.

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