Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
I liked it a lot. But when my girlfriend sent me a text message asking how it was, I had to reply that I liked it just as much as The Pacifier, Big Momma’s House, The Spy Next Door and Tooth Fairy. That would be my one reservation against it; creativity is being short-changed again.
Something is happening to the Doofus Dad movie; it is transforming into the Doofus Stepdad movie. The loner is talented in his own way, fun to watch, and selfish. An “instant family” happens along and hijinks ensue.
There is much more, because this genre is becoming extravagant, complicated and rigid. Something is happening to the children — or rather, to the configuration of children. It is solidifying. Three is becoming a popular number. The oldest is a girl, and there’s a side subplot wrapped up in here because the oldest is coping with the most daunting abandonment issues and she comes ’round last to the idea that New Daddy might be a cool guy. The middle child is more of an incorporation of the entire set, sort of a “straight man.” This could be a male, it really isn’t that important. And then the baby of the family is just plain adorable.
Maybe the three are supposed to be representing something from Freud’s Id, Ego and Superego?
As far as events, well we have New Daddy meeting up with adorable moppets while doing the right thing for the wrong reasons. This juxtaposition, seemingly innocent at first, brings on trouble and then a separation. The story of the separation is intertwined with some performance the little tykes are putting on, and they’ll be just devastated if New Daddy doesn’t show up to watch it. The separation happens before, during or after the performance…to which New Daddy is on time, late, or doesn’t show at all.
So the drama involving the performance takes on all kinds of forms, but it’s gotta be in there somewhere. And that means New Daddy’s attendance has to be an open question.
Be that as it may, it is also a constant that New Daddy’s life seems to be incompatible with the moppets, and/or he does something abysmally stupid that shows his selfish streak. The kids all decide the New Daddy sucks, especially the oldest one (the youngest accepts this only reluctantly or not at all). New Daddy is mad at himself and lonely. But he continues on with his mission, and there’s some madcap adventure at the end during which they’re all pushed back into each other’s arms while the adrenaline is pumping hard, and at the absolute climax the oldest one has to make a choice-that-isn’t-a-choice, finally overcoming her distrust and bonding with New Daddy.
The villain is a complete jackass. He isn’t killed, just badly humiliated. Oh, and also he kidnapped the kids about halfway through. That’s a given. New Daddy has to scowl at the camera and intone something to the effect that nobody but nobody messes with his kids!
Sorry, did I just review this movie or a whole bunch of other ones? I sorta lost track.
We need a word for this. “Trope” doesn’t do it, because a trope is a character trope or a plot trope or a theme trope — this is all three. Let’s call it a “template.” The “How I Became A Family Man” template. Because nobody can pay attention to a story that takes place across nine months anymore.
So now you know what the template is. This one implemented it extremely well. I’d like to see the template retired for good…but since it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, if you have to see one this is probably as good as any.
What makes it superior? The jokes that are aimed at the grown-ups are funnier than usual.
Also, it’s a little tougher for me to beat up on it. The constant in the “How I Became a Family Man” template, and in the Doofus-Dad template as well, is that whatever the father figure is doing when the kids are not, around he needs to stop doing right now. He needs to take on a new life that involves having the kids up his butt all the time, since Lord knows the women have been making do with that for thousands of years. So he needs to cease & desist all non-kid things. Even if that’s working at a job to provide for the family.
In this one, they went out of their way to make the non-kid activity bad stuff. Indeed, the entire project seems to be built around this objective. New Daddy has to stop doing his bad stuff. This is a message to little kids I can support. Although, at the end of the movie, it remains an open question what the world they’re all going to live on…but…that’s the part where you have to say hey, it’s a kid’s movie, don’t sweat the details.
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