Bad Movie, Good Book, Slumming Writer
Sunday, the mother of one of our sons' friends called and wanted the boys to come over to play for a couple of hours. We hadn't planned on this and thought it might be an opportunity to drop the boys off and see a movie. The only film starting when we arrived at the Multiplex was Never Back Down, one we knew nothing about, but how bad could it be?
It turned out that the film was about beautiful, 20-something "high school students" repeatedly beating each other to a pulp at "parties" held at their parents' multimillion dollar homes in Orlando. Don't ask us how it ends (though one assumes that the hero won the final "beatdown" or whatever it was called). We walked out, something we haven't done since the second reel of Carlito's Way in 1993.
The sole redeeming scene was one in which a high school teacher tried to teach his "students" about the Iliad, using the Robert Fagles translation. There was an interesting in-class reference to the shield of Achilles, and how the bronzework on the shield (domestic and agricultural scenes of ancient Greece) offered an alternative view of what life could be like in the absence of warfare.
Somewhere, a once-promising classics student managed to cash his check.