Friday, January 02, 2004

Over the Christmas holiday, I saw the latest Lord of the Rings movie, thus completing the set -- which is something of a milestone because I so rarely bother watching either (a.) fantasy or (b.) action-adventure that it's extremely unusual for me to see even one such film voluntarily. I guess my take on it resembles Greg's more than anyone else's. I did find it somewhat enjoyable, as I did the second film. The first one elicited impatient foot-tapping in not only myself, but the much more Tolkien-aware Rick; however, both of us did like installments 2 and 3, and I might enjoy the first one more on second viewing, although revisiting it is not high on my to-do list right now. At the very least, the first film did inspire me to try hacking through Tolkien again after a few early failures to engage; during the parts where I got burned out on following the story, I just flipped to the linguistics and genealogy sections at the end of the last volume, and this entertained me for some hours.

So, for the obligatory comments:

* In the scene where Sam unwraps the Shelob-envenomated Frodo (very nice, arachnocentric spider action, BTW, except for the growling!), did anyone else besides me get the distinct impression that Elijah Wood was struggling very, very hard to not crack up laughing?

* And, speaking of Shelob: I frequently realize that I really, truly, married a keeper, and this event was no exception. Show me another man who won't flinch when, during movie scenes in which a gigantic man-eating spider stalks and attempts to devour one of the heroes, his wife makes creepy-crawly hand gestures on his leg in the movie theater!

* What gives with the movie's omission of the Faramir-Eowyn story? Sheesh, not only were they the two most likeable human characters in the books, but their pairing was crucial to closing a major story line. Even this portable curmudgeonette was looking forward to seeing them hook up instead of merely bowing and curtsying side by side as the king walked by. (Maybe I shouldn't complain about this, though. Most of the other trimming of the story has been well-planned. For example, the first film did at least eliminate Tolkien's most irritating character, Tom Bombadil.)

* Viggo Mortensen would probably look really good after having an actual shampoo.

* Orlando Bloom would probably look really good if the script allowed him to actually slow down enough so that you could see him once in a while. Do elves wash down their lembas with triple espressos?

* David Wenham looks really good any time, although he was cuter as the game warden in Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course.

* And, given what I wrote earlier about fantasy and adventure: If the above is really true of my tastes in entertainment, then why have I seen Finding Nemo at least four times in the last six weeks?

Processing all of this cognitive dissonance,


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