Friday, January 11, 2002

LOTR Review

Apologies to those of you who are left hanging by yesterday's entry. I can't really talk about what's going on. Suffice to say it is work related, many people I work with read this, and to be painfully honest, not a single one of us knows what the hell is going on.

So there isn't anything really to SAY except that there is this immense and foreboding sense of doom upon us all.

Many people are behind closed doors.

Many people are openly discussing things but have info that they pulled straight out of their asses.

Many people are just nice and grown up about stuff and are openly discussing things... but I have no idea if what they are saying is gospel or myth.

Be that as it may, all I have to say is that we're all going out drinkin' after work.


Handle stress by getting a couple good pals together to smack billiards and suck down brewskis. It won't be the funnest time out as a group. But it's a time out, goddamnit. And we'll make the best of it.

I have got to say that over time I've grown to love the people I work with. And that's all that matters, and all I can say right now until I know more.

Pins & Needles, boys & girls... we're sittin' on 'em.

Geoff's had a fever since Tuesday. He stayed home from school for three days. Doug says he's starting to come around (Doug stayed home today and yesterday to be with him, I stayed home on Wednesday).

My sister Linda is coming up to spend the weekend, so I am hoping he's better so we can go do something FUN with him. Sitting around the house with a feverish five year old is kind of a drag.

And the possibility of getting together with Bonnie and Chloe are there also... so it could be an all around fun time!

Well I suppose now is as good a time as ever to write my Lord of the Rings opinion. I've been sitting on these thoughts for a while. If you've already heard too much about this movie and you're sick of it, you can just close the browser now. If you haven't seen it, there are "spoilers" in here, so you may want to turn away now if you are a purist and demand to not know the outcome of things.

I was reading Penn Jillette's webpage today and he said LOTR was the worst movie he'd seen all year in a list of bad movies including A.I. Traffic, Glitter, Planet of the Apes, Moulin Rouge, Harry Potter. He didn't elaborate. I hate when people do that ... they tell you a flat out opinion on something but don't back it, telling WHY. Normally he's a pretty open writer, letting you know exactly why he thinks/feels a certain way. Not this time. It was an entry of lists. He did, however, like Memento...

I am not Penn, though. I am glad of that except for the two things he has that I don't have -- scads of money and a WICKED cool house. The Slammer is awesome. But I digress.


As opposed to the very educated and opinionated Mr. Jillette, I liked this movie very much.

Aside from getting a horrible stomach ache when Arwen and Aragorn do their love thing on the bridge (barf, retch) and rolling my eyes and sighing heavily because it pissed me off ever so, I give this movie two enthusiastic thumbs up.


Well. it is better BY FAR than ANY action/adventure movie that has come out since the original Star Wars.

Dialog steeped in the rich accents and wonderful poetry of Tolkien is so refreshing (except where they deviate for brevity or girling-it-up sake, something I refer to as the "Titanic" or "Pearl Harbor 2001" syndrome). Scenery and sets that brought so much of these books to light, even when the scenery falls short it's better than most anything I expected. The sense of adventure, fellowship and brotherhood that came through was great. I think the message Tolkien was looking to communicate here comes right through.

I think that it was very good even though it wasn't 100% true to the book, because it was just good.

Better than good.

It was much better than "Independence Day," with it's jive talkin' poorly written script ("I just want to kick ET's ass, sir!" -- Will Smith's lines throughout that movie suck. And the dialog written for third graders [stupid 3rd graders] made that movie so horrible compared to what it could have been if someone with three braincells and a thesaurus wrote the script, but again I digress). Better than the Indiana Jones movies, which are decent. The dialog a step above the average bear's, but they are at times SO incredibly far fetched at points that you just yell "PUH-LEASE!" and throw things at the screen.

So LOTR was necessary to make. I think the film redeems the sci fi/fantasy film as a genre. It brings us back to a place where language matters, where intelligence shines, where bravery is brave not because someone's gonna get a paycheck at the end of things, but because they recognize that what must be done MUST be done.

And it just was good. A good, good movie.

It had flaws for darn certain, but hey. Compared to anything else, this was a great movie.

Rivendell and Lothlorien couldn't ever be pictured on a movie screen though, what Peter Jackson has contrived is not as beautiful by half. but, it still kicked. I think everyone except Elrond was perfectly cast. Sir Ian impressed me so deeply with his Gandalf, except that the width of his nose kept changing. What's up with that! And I loved the Hobbits. Legolas was voted hottest guy in the fellowship by my friend Michelle and me.

And ... I loved the men...Aragorn and Boromir were so perfectly cast. I LOVE the guy who plays Boromir (Sean Bean, a BIG brit-tv star), and while I have only seen one movie with Viggo Mortensen in it (and I didn't like it) he was spot on as Strider here. Beautiful eyes, expressive, serious. When he kneels before Frodo and folds the hobbity hand around the ring and pushes it back into his chest... the look on his face - so full of sincerity and honesty, it melted my heart.

I usually hate when extra dialog is written to abridge or explain the story due to the nature of the narrative. But strangely enough I actually liked the additional dialog where mortally wounded Boromir confesses to Aragorn that he tried to take the ring, is a weak and worthless man, and gives the heir of Gondor recognition as his king. It made me cry, I sat there weeping (and I'm getting moist in the lids here just remembering it...).

The Nazgul scared the dickens out of me.

The special effects around the wearing of the ring and what frodo sees amazed me. The conte crayon on canvas digitized with glowing photoshop-style edges impressed me as someone who pretends to know how to do graphic art. There were only two parts where the technology and computer animation stood out so strongly that I cringed, but they were both over very quickly and the live action was back in a flash.

All these things taken into account, and the Arwen/Aragorn thing forgiven - I thought this was a great movie.

I'm incredibly irritated though that the production company has chosen to release these films one a year. I think that this story, centered around the concept that a few can make a great difference, is good for the heart of this nation. A Christmas 2001 release for this film followed 6 months out by a June 2002 release of "The Two Towers," capped with a Christmas 2002 release of "Return of the King" would have made me more happy.

All three films are 100% "in the can" to use film talk, and I think a year release for the trilogy would have been so much better. But that's just my opinion.

The story is very timely for people who are in need of a hero. And who better than an unassuming but brave little halfling named Frodo.

If you haven't seen it yet, go. You don't have to know the story, but it helps. If you have any questions for this queen of all the nerds, let me know. I'll fill you in on what happens. I just finished reading the four books (Hobbit plus the trilogy) and it's all still pretty fresh in my mind. I could go on and on about how the movie falls short of the actual book. I could whine about how abrupt the ending was on screen. But I won't. I encourage you to read the books (if you already have, read 'em again) and start with the Hobbit to ease yourself in. These stories are simply beautiful examples of bravery in the face of the ultimate evil... and they are just wonderful tales.

I've written earlier about the impact of the One Ring, how it is like heroin... how evil can overtake the one who expects it least. I think the books, though at times kind of hard to read, sum up a lot of what it means to take responsibility for the world around you, to stand up for good, to stand against evil... Tolkien stated during his lifetime that he didn't intend for the fellowship to represent England as it stood up to Nazi Germany, but the analogy holds strong for me. Go see it. Okay?

Anyway. I think it is time to go drink something other than tea or water. Have a great weekend. We'll see you Monday.

No comments:

Post a Comment