Which is not to say the quality’s improved—SECRET OF MOONACRE (2006) is an adaptation of Elizabeth Goudge’s The Little White Horse which I loved as a kid, the story of a young girl in Olden Times (1700s I think) who moves to her family’s ancestral estate and attempts to heal a rift between her clan and its local rivals (Ioan Griffudd and Tim Curry play the respective clan leaders). I’m not sure whether my lack of interest indicates the original novel wouldn’t live up to my memory or just that the adapters did a poor job—I know they dropped at least one detail, the protagonist’s imaginary friend who turns out to be real.“When the curse comes true, we shall rule this valley.”
BIANCANIEVES (2012) is a disappointing film from Spain, a b&w silent reinvention of SNOW WHITE wherein the heroine is now the daughter of a widowed bullfighter who finds refuge from her psycho step-mother with seven dwarf bullfighters. A dull, moderately arty drama I couldn’t be bothered to finish.
Now stuff that might have qualified for the time-travel book— RESIDUE is three episodes of a new Netflix series intended as a pilot but never straying beyond recycled X-Files: a photojournalist and a government PR flack begin investigating why the government is so cagey about a recent explosion of some subterranean depot, and what these weird images are the journalist keeps seeing … I’d wondered if the images might indicate time travel, but as it stands, no. And this was dull enough I frankly hope it doesn’t go to series so I don’t have to check out more of it.
Rod Steiger is THE ILLUSTRATED MAN (1969) —all rights to cover image with current holder—whose tattoos give mysterious visions to anyone looking at them. In flashback, the brutal Steiger blames this on ex-lover and tattoo artist Claire Bloom being a time-traveler, but this is so ambiguous I’m not sure it even qualifies for the appendix. While Steiger is good in the framing sequence, he feels mismatched to Bradbury’s work in “The Veldt,” “The Long Rain” and “Last Night of the World,” all of which are triggered by someone looking at his “skin illustrations.” So not a success for me, and I can’t imagine what Gen X or Y would make of this now that it’s common to have this much skin art. “Each person who tries to see beyond his own name must face questions to which there cannot be proven answers.”
THE NUMBER 23 (2007) stars Jim Carrey as a man convinced that the Number 23 is a Nostradamus-like pattern controlling his entire life and entwined with a string or murders before learning the Terrible Secret, which I won’t reveal but certainly isn’t much of a twist when you’ve watched as many movies as I have (it reminded me of the film Dark Angel, among others) With Rhona Mitri as a victim and Virginia Madsen as Carrey’s wife. “You aren’t a bad man who became good, you’re a sick man who got better.”