Posts Tagged ‘movies’

The Hobbit: Legos, Movie, and Current Culture

LOTR books

My husband and I have a few books that we reread every now and then, and among these are Tolkein’s The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings series. Without going into too much, I will say that I love these books, and find them not only to be a thoroughly enchanting read, but also to have great personal value. When the Peter Jackson movies arrived, I felt generally positive about them, in spite of some screenplay irritations (Why did we need all that Arwen and Aragorn stuff? WHY did we need Frodo and Sam to have a fight?), but by and large, it’s an “adaptation,” not a “transliteration.” The two media are too different for audiences to reasonably expect perfect fidelity. That’s just my feeling. My brother disagrees on this, and his thoughts are worth reading. Anyway, I’m only trying to say that I think I have a pretty open mind about necessary book-to-screenplay adjustments. Necessary ones. They are painful, but I can accept them.

frodo elija wood

But then there was The Hobbit. For this movie, it’s actually a good thing he took such initiative to move beyond the “necessary changes” idea and just hacked away, because The Hobbit wasn’t a very good book and that’s why nobody liked it very much. Right. That’s why no one ever reads it.

hobbit movie poster

Stuff like this makes me scratch my head. How could such a good director let such a big project go so badly? Did screenwriters really think they were improving? Did everyone really think moviegoers wouldn’t mind that they all but discarded the original story? I suspect they thought neither of those things, but knew we would buy tickets anyway. It’s sad, but it happens. It’s the Citizen Kane syndrome: a small-time creator with big dreams of crushing the man makes something big happen, turns heads, becomes a force to be reckoned with, and slowly yields to the compromise that he initially spoke out against. I understand they wished to tie it in with the LOTR movie set, but the effort was really unnecessary, and the resulting final product is disappointing. I won’t detail my specific problems with it, aside from one pertinant change that my husband pointed out. The dwarves in the movie are reclaiming their home, as opposed to the ones in the book who are pursuing stolen gold. Doesn’t that make sense? Why not draw a little attention away from the pitfalls of greed? The entire movie is the child of gold mongering, and I find nothing surprising about the producers wanting to avoid the subject. Maybe they would have been better off doing so- is it better to admit you’re greedy and selfish or try to pretend you’re telling a pleasant little tale of lost orphans who want to go home and risk sounding vapid instead?
What do you think? Did you see the movie? If so, am I overreacting, or do you agree?

Anyhow, however the movie turned out, at least I got some good legos out of it. Hunny bought me Bilbo’s House a few days back as a present, and I share it below, just so that I can close this post on a positive note and also because I like talking about legos:

Bilbos House exterior

bilbos house interior

The design has a great balance of house and hill. It looks as cozy as Bag-End is supposed to be, complete with careful detail to the kitchen, of course. (There is a lot of food with this set.) This little kitchen stove and chimney are pretty cute, no?

interior detail

My favorite detail, though, is this front window.

window complete

I love lego structures that are made up of creatively arranged standard pieces.

window deconstruct 1

window deconstruct 2

window deconstruct 3

Yeah, that’s a cool window. This little bit of carefully organized plastic is altogether more appealing to me than the movie’s heart and soul, I’m sorry to say. If it weren’t for this acquisition, I would have ended my post telling you that I found virtually nothing of value in that movie. So very sad.

SPOILERS! NO NO NO NO NONONONONO!!!!!!

damian wayne

AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH! So wrong. So. So, so wrong. Spoilers drive me so crazy like nothing else can. It’s probably some kind of illness, but I don’t care. Keep it to yourself, people! I wanted to be surprised. People who give away spoilers should be held legally accountable. Personally, I have the policy that if you tell me the end of a movie I wanna watch, I will spray paint your car and cut holes in all your umbrellas. But HOW can this be maintained with the internet (aside from staying off the internet, I mean- that’s obviously not an option)? My husband tells me I’m alone in my feelings here, but I don’t know about that. I’ve started a petition to the President, asking him to stamp out this antisocial behavior, or at least raise public awareness of it.

Please help my cause by clicking below:

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/take-definitive-action-against-spoilers/LbrWNbCM

Seriously, people. This is a social ill that has long been ignored and must be stopped. It must, and I’m not the only person who thinks so, I’m sure.

commentary on how i feel

I’m not crazy. I just think it’s a crime against humanity and possibly the cause of all human suffering to spoil a surprise ending and I’ll attack you with a dull axe if you ruin a movie for me. It’s as simple as that.

Rear Window Timelapse

I was planning to blog the clothes I’m making today, but they’re not far along enough to get blogged. In the meantime, I give you this:

Rear Window Timelapse from Jeff Desom on Vimeo.

It’s a timelapse video compilation of all the activity that went on in the courtyard from the Hitchcock movie Rear Window.

The Pianist and the Chopin Ballade No 1 Op 23

Every now and again, I need to watch this scene. The Nazi officer catching Szpilman trying to pry open a can of food, the lighting, the rubble, and the stunned look on the officer’s face at the end. The clip above is just the music, but here’s a link to the whole scene.

The Hunger Games, Roger Corman, and a Brief Reaction to the Movie

Hubby and I went out and dutifully watched The Hunger Games this weekend. My overall impression was quite favorable. Jennifer Lawrence was remarkable, the costumes were brilliant, and the script was faithful to the book. On the negative side, the other tributes’ acting was a little thin. They didn’t seem very tramautized by the situation they found themselves in, and the emotional pacing zipped right by. I found the shaky camerawork distracting, and the digital transfer quality was surprisingly grainy. The storytelling was enjoyable, but because of the technical awkwardness, I would give it 6-7 stars out of 10, with the recommendation that you watch it.

I enjoyed it enough that I have been reading random Hunger Games news items for fun since then and rereading the books and doing general nerdy stuff like that, which brings me to the picture on this post. Maybe you have to be one of those nutcases (like me) who really likes crappy movies, but I have watched more than my share of Roger Corman masterpieces. EW.com posted a set of movie posters for The Hunger Games, as they would appear in the hands of a different director. They are awesome, but the best one was the Roger Corman poster. It’s making me want to go and make Cormanesque posters of other popular movies.

“She-Devil Deathmatch in the Blood Arena!” Seriously- just try saying that out loud without laughing.

Hunger Games Trailer in Lego

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Hobbyists are really weird people. I just wish I had thought of to do this first.

Stone Octopi (and some other less weighty stuff)

This beautiful octopus was created by Canadian artistJason Nelson, a minimalist sculptor with an amazing collection.

He has a set of gorgeous handmade stone bowls here. Click here to browse his gallery and before you leave, vote for him in the Artists Wanted contest.

After my last (depressing) post (sorry to be so dreary), I thought I should probably lighten up a bit, so here is a bunch of totally brainless crap that you would only care about if you had nothing important going on in your life at all. Or if you wanted pretend like there’s nothing of consequence to occupy your braincells with.

  • Kate Gosselin is promoting some new gig in a tacky dress. She’s got such a strange face- she’d be beautiful if she didn’t look like a brick disguised as a woman or something. Parent pimps make me so sick that I’m not sorry for being snarky at all, but really- that dress was designed for a hormonal fifteen year old who wants to look trashy. A few more inches in the hemline would really have been welcome.
  • This is a cool list of movie monologues that I found on IMDB.
  • The new Keifer Sutherland show looks pretty cool. Man, I watched a lotta his movies when I was a teen.
  • Daniel Radcliffe, in exercising his skill of declaring things he probably shouldn’t declare, has announced the date of when he… um… considers his current relationship to have… um… commenced (10 minutes in). It’s pretty darn funny. I kind of hope she slapped him after the interview. Also, I think I talk too much about him, but I’m definitely seeing The Woman in Black when it comes out.
  • I don’t get the appeal for Nikki Minaj. She just released a little ditty entitled “Stupid Hoe”. I could talk about her costumes, lyrics, and the silly voice she uses, but I won’t. Well, at least she goes around proudly anouncing that she never sold drugs to get ahead in her career. That’s good, at least. BTW, I linked to the song, but I’ve never listened to more than thirty seconds of it- I would not expect the rest of the song to be any better than the title, so click at your own risk.
  • Oprah just graduated a buncha girls from her leadership academy. Good work, ladies. <3

Non-fiction Book to Movie Ideas: Awful or Acceptable?

I’m voting awful. Granted, I tend to be a little harsh with my judgement, so maybe I should just lighten up, but I just saw the trailer for What to Expect When You’re Expecting, and I wanna slap the producer for reasons which I can’t even explain. In the interest of forthrightness, I must admit I haven’t seen any of these (and I probably never will), but I hear the title and it makes me cringe:

  • Super Size Me
    Hey everyone, let’s all be shocked- McDonald’s is really bad for your health! I guess it was ultimately a valuable movie since it raised so much negative publicity for the trash they were peddling as food, and now we do have slightly more healthful options in fast food… but really. As if capitalizing on a thing like that and getting haled as a hero afterward wasn’t enough, they turned it into a movie. Barf.

  • The Darwin Awards
    This was supposed to be based more on the concept of the idea behind the Darwin Awards, but, I think I’m safe in calling it a thinly disguised effort to cash in on the title.

  • Fast Food Nation
    See fast-food movie rant above. (By the way, I’m no fan of the fast food industry, I just think it’s like hunting down a rat, telling everyone how ratty your rat is, and then being honored for your boldness in blowing the whistle on it. It’s junk food- don’t expect me to be impressed when you tell me it’s bad to eat.)

  • Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex *but were afraid to ask
    LOL! A movie based on a title like that… leave it to Woody Allen…
    nuff said.

Am I being obnoxious? Am I wrong? Business is business, but do these things really deserve to be made into movies?

Some Batman Stuff

I’ve had Batman on the brain lately. Today I got a Batman movie collection at a second-hand dvd/video game shop and thought I would devote a post to all the Batman crappola I have.

So here are some rather random Batman related thoughts on my Batman stuff. Let me point out that there are two faces of the Dark Knight: camp Batman and goth Batman, and both are represented in the fine compilation I purchased today. We just watched the 1989 Tim Burton Batman, the first one in the set. Good stuff; Jack Nicholson was a terrific Joker. Maybe next I’ll watch the awful, wretched Batman & Robin from 1997 (where Arnold Schwarzenegger was Mr. Freeze).

I like both sides. Hubby and I found the wonderful Scooby-Doo Meets Batman Hanna Barbera Batman and Scooby Doo movies or episodes or whatever you wanna call them. They are every bit as good as you’re thinking they are. It’s just like watching the old Adam West tv show as a cartoon with Shaggy and Scooby added in.

We found the Lego Batman video game for PC in a store and have been playing it at home a good bit. It’s hilarious and decently difficult, and I think the biggest appeal for me is that it kind of combines the two aspects of cheesy and dark-ish without taking itself too seriously.

On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve recently found issue #2 of the Gates of Gotham miniseries- I had all the others, but I couldn’t find issue two. It’s kind of got a steampunk flare to it, being the story of Gotham’s founding families complete with sepia-toned flashbacks and Victorian-looking clockwork machinery and yadda yadda. I like the issues that aren’t as dark and gory, but I do love me some gothic Batman.

Jai Ho

The dance scene from Slumdog Millionaire. Click here for a better quality. Great number, great music. With as many Indian friends and acquaintances as I have, it’s kind of surprising that I actually have no idea what this song is about. Seriously though… Frieda Pinto and Dev Patel… aren’t they cuuute?

« Previous entries
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 158 other followers

%d bloggers like this: