And we've always been totally NOT into the Guardian's Peter Bradshaw, what with his snarky snobbishness (and we disagreed with him on something, we just can't remember what anymore) and such. But who knew that the Guardian was hiding the hilarious and wonderful observations of a Mr. Joe Queenan within its thicket of Qur'an blogging and really interesting relationship advice. Mr. Queenan, where have you been all our life?!
First of all, he shares our belief that The Damned United was the best film of 2009 (THE BEST! BEST!) and that Michael Sheen is truly a major god in the pantheon of awesomeness.
Michael Sheen in full gloriousness in The Damned United, the best movie of 2009.
That's The Damned United. Best Film.
Of 2009. The Damned United
Do you people even listen to us?! The Damned United. THE BEST.
But Mr. Queenan also writes delightful commentaries, such as this one about men in skirts and men in Viking helmets:
There is one other major difference between the genres. Toward the end of Alexander, Anthony Hopkins, a gabby Macedonian general rapidly approaching death, apprises his listeners: "Alexander once said to me, 'We are most alone when we are with the myths.'" No one within earshot has any idea what this means. Earlier in the film, Val Kilmer, playing the one-eyed Philip of Macedon, tells the surprisingly peppy Colin Farrell (Alexander the Great), "A king must know how to hurt those he loves." Farrell merely looks confused.
But lack of clarity is not the point here. The point is that no one ever says stuff like this in Viking movies. No one ever says: "Women are far more dangerous than men." No one ever says: "Conquer your fear and I promise you will conquer death." No one ever says: "Men hate the gods. The only reason we worship any of them is because we fear worse." It's all too cerebral, too introspective, too preeningly sagacious, too wise. Far more typical dialogue in your basic Viking movie is a snippy remark like: "Troll, leave here, or stay and meet your doom."
We think we're in love.
And now, some gratuitous pictures:
We've already sung the delights of Sean Bean as Odysseus. And OMG Joe Queenan loves Troy too! We're not the only ones, after all!
Gerald Butler and Stellan Skarsgård, as Beowulf and (despite appearances) not-Grendel, in Beowulf & Grendel.