A little Ragnar to balance out Adaline: That’s fair, right?

I didn’t watch “The Age of Adaline,” but since the Amazon Prime account is in my name (it was a Christmas gift), Jeff Bezos et al. asked me to rate it.51jk64xwsjl-_ss300_

So I asked my wife, and she suggested 4 stars. I considered protesting — you’re sure that’s not overly generous? In my book, 4 stars is semi-awesome, like “Vertigo” or “Conan the Barbarian” or “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” (the movie version — the Alec Guinness TV version is 5 stars).

After all, I only gave the first season of “Vikingsthree stars.

I don’t really know anything about “The Age of Adaline,” but the image with it scares me a bit. Starry-eyed young woman in extreme closeup with handsome young man with neatly trimmed beard? It’s got Hallmark-channel romance written all over it. Even with the sci-fi premise, do I want Amazon throwing a whole lot of these at me?51yatcl-w3l-_ss300_

But I want my wife to find movies she wants to see, too — I’m not a selfish monster, or at least not that much of a selfish monster — so I went ahead and gave it 4 stars.

Then, I went back and upgraded “Vikings” to 4 stars, too. Just to balance things out, make sure Amazon suggests stuff I like as well. “Vikings” has young men with beards, too, but the beards are wild and weird and blood-encrusted and tied into bunches for scaring those wimpy Saxons. Proper beards.

So more Ages of Adalines will come our way, but there will be leavening — with battleaxes!

12 thoughts on “A little Ragnar to balance out Adaline: That’s fair, right?

  1. Burl Burlingame

    “Adaline” is OK. Better than I thought it would be. The major effect on me is that for the first time I thought Blake Lively was a real actress.

  2. Brad Warthen Post author

    What I’d really like, better than more shows like “Vikings,” is to find more movies that my wife and I can both thoroughly enjoy. Those are the best kind.

    And we do find those. The most recent such find was “Elvis and Nixon.” And we both recently enjoyed three different movies dealing with Winston and Clemmie Churchill and clan — “The Gathering Storm,” “Into the Storm” and the one they just aired on PBS, “Churchill’s Secret.”

    More on the thriller front, we really enjoyed “Bridge of Spies.” And we’ve been watching, off and on, the Norwegian speculative fiction show “Occupied.”

    Personally, I could give up the movies and shows that I make a point of watching alone because I know she won’t enjoy them (most recent example, “Black Mass,” which I wanted to see but frankly wasn’t all that great), if we could just find more that we both like.

    1. Norm Ivey

      Discovery’s Harley and the Davidsons was engaging, though the acting was iffy at points. The Heineken Kidnapping was fun if you can tolerate subtitles. I saw a short little documentary about the federal duck stamp art contest that I thoroughly enjoyed–Million Dollar Duck, and I Saw the Light was good, but lacked depth musically.

      My wife and I both enjoyed Hello, My Name is Doris with Sally Field. We also both enjoyed Southside with You.

      Things to avoid: Now You See Me 2 and Traded.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Speaking of subtitles…

        I’m pretty dependent on them these days with my bad ear, especially if there are accents involved. (Which is a tough blow. When I was younger, I was always the guy who could understand people regardless of accent. Now, I’m just not QUITE getting enough info through my ears to intuit their meaning.)

        Which makes watching “Occupied” frustrating. Oh, it provides subtitles — when people are speaking Norwegian. But about half the time, they’re speaking English — when they’re speaking to Russians or other foreign nationals, and occasionally even to each other. For some reason, when a TV is on showing a news report, it’s generally in English.

        Anyway, there’ll be this conversation between a Norwegian and a Russian in “English,” and there are no subtitles. So I miss a good bit of what they’re saying…

  3. Brad Warthen Post author

    As I mentioned recently, one reason I enjoy “Vikings” is that my genealogical research tells me I’m directly descended from Ragnar Lothbrok, the protagonist on that show.

    Of course, any one of more than 30 generations of data could be wildly, laughably wrong. But there’s no one alive today who knows for sure one way or the other.

    And Ragnar himself may not have existed, but could be a composite of several different Norse figures. But historians agree that the men tradition says were his sons are historical, and my researches indicate I’m descended from one of them.

    I’ll say again, it could all be a lie, but it’s fun not only to find that you’re descended from Vikings (which I never suspected before hitting a particularly rich vein on genealogical databases recently), but from one who has his own TV show.

    Oh, by the way, for those of you who watch “Vikings” — you know King Ælla of Northumbria from the show? Also an ancestor, since I’m supposedly descended from his daughter Helena and Ragnar’s son Sigurd.

    Quite likely all a silly fantasy, but it’s fun…

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Sigurd and his brothers led something called the Great Heathen Army — for sheer cool, I’ll put that up against anything in “Game of Thrones” — which conquered nearly all of England, except Wessex. Which is what another show I’ve enjoyed recently, “The Last Kingdom,” is about…

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Hedging… the Great Heathen Army was real. Ragnar’s sons leading it may be more the stuff of legend. We’re talking a long time ago, and details are sparse…

    2. Claus

      You do realize that from the first show when they attacked the monastery (793) to the time they attacked Paris (845), Ragnar would have been dead or likely not even born for both events. He’s sort of like Jesus, there’s word of his existence but there has been no indisputable proof the man existed. The lifespan of a male back in the 9th century was about 30-35 years, women even less. Birth and death records were almost non-existent during the Viking era.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        I haven’t gotten that far; I’m just finishing the first season.

        Of course, I already know how both Ragnar and Ælla died. If the show is true to the stories, I’m in for some grim viewing…

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