Library Distortion Field
Just as my Trekkie nature led me to watch What the Bleep?!, a film with a cameo by Quark, I've now been pulled in the direction of The Librarian. Commander William Riker directed the recent second film in this TNT series of action-adventure-comedy films, both of which are now available on DVD.
The underlying concept for these films is that every myth, legend, or rumor you ever heard, from King Arthur to King Midas, is true. The artifacts of these tales are stored in a high-security museum, and Noah Wyle's character, with his genius intellect and short attention span, is its new protector. In the first film, Hitler's Spear of Destiny is stolen; in the second, the storeroom of Solomon's biblical wisdom is revealed. In each, Wyle is sent overseas, where he meets a headstrong woman, wins her over with immature innocence, and beats the Bad Guys and their nefarious booby traps.
Yes, these films are as predictable as they sound; no, I can't say "But despite that, they're actually quite good." The series borrows from Indiana Jones, Casablanca, and everything in between, without doing any one thing better than its source — unsurprising, considering the quality company The Librarian is trying to keep.
But I can imagine these films being perfect for a younger audience. Wyle's character is enough of a caricature of an accidental hero to be entertaining; the plot is evenly paced between action and exposition; and there's no nudity, vulgarity, or violence beyond Power Ranger levels. Adults will enjoy the dry wit of Bob Newhart, Wyle's employer and mentor. So, for these reasons, the films warrant having been made, and I anticipate a third to close out the trilogy.
Coincidentally, I went from watching Wyle, best known in geek circles for his starring role in The Pirates of Silicon Valley, to watching the actual Steve Jobs deliver his MacWorld keynote speech. A recent hardware malfunction had me a week behind in such news, so I downloaded the entire 105-minute video from iTunes to get the scoop straight from the horse's mouth. I have no interest in either an iPhone or an Apple TV, but it was an entertaining presentation nonetheless. It makes me wonder: What would Apple be without Steve Jobs?