My unfortunate tendonitis, and an amazing Tarzan

by Rob Tiller

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I got a severe case of tendonitis in my left forearm, probably from trying too hard to improve my golf swing. I can handle ordinary pain without getting too alarmed, which may have led me to ignore warning signs when I should have stopped practicing. But I felt like I was on the threshold of grooving in the new, purer swing plane. From there, who knows!

Anyhow, last week my body spoke up unmistakably, and said, No mas! It was getting hard to pick up ordinary objects and pull things out of my pockets. So my golf improvement program is temporarily on pause, and I’m doing lots of resting, icing, and Advil.
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We had our greatest ever dinner-and-a-movie experience last week at the Cinemark Movie Bistro theatre in Cary. It exceeded expectations in every way. The seats are enormous and plush, electronically adjustable, with unlimited leg room, and tables on the front and glass holders on the side. Our server was sweet and smart, and our food came without a glitch. The veggie burgers were delicious! Also, with our bottle of pretty good Chardonnay, they brought out a free-standing ice bucket!

Our movie was The Legend of Tarzan. It, too, exceeded all expectations, and earned a place on my list of best-ever action-and-adventure movies. Africa has never seemed more sensual and thrilling. There were all the usual excitements of an action pic – chases, shoot-outs, explosions – and of course excellent vine-swinging. But there was something a little deeper, in the loving and respectful depictions of the big animals, and of village life.
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Unlike in so many action pics, Tarzan has believable high stakes. The background of this story is real history – the late 19th century genocidal colonialist exploitation of the Congo by King Leopold II of Belgium – and several of the characters were based on real people. Unfortunately – reverse spoiler alert — the real-life depredations of Leopold on the Congo were unspeakably worse. See King Leopold’s Ghost, by Adam Hochschold. Joseph Conrad personally witnessed this horror and turned it into immortal fiction in The Heart of Darkness, which I’m re-reading.

As Tarzan, Alexander Skarsgard manages to be both superhuman and appealingly understated. Margot Robbie is lovely and feisty as Jane. They’ve got chemistry. Christoph Waltz is a bone-chilling force of evil. The apes, wildebeests, ostriches, elephants, crocodiles, and other animals are fantastic!