GOLLUM! (I feel the need to say it in caps. It deserves caps)
But jeesh, you don't need popcorn in that movie, you need a catheter.
I spent the entire last half hour muttering "Yeah yeah, boohoo, terrible death toll, great battle for Middle Earth, yadda yadda yadda, would you please just defeat the sodding forces of bloody Isengard and Mordor so I can go to the bog?"
The moment when the Ents decided to breach the dam was one of peculiar discomfort. All that rushing water, see? Peter Jackson is a cruel cruel man.
I was also transfixed by the number of bum-chinned actors in The Two Towers. Does Tolkien say that bum-chinnedness is a dominant genetic trait in Middle Earth? Faramir in particular looks like the bastard lovechild of Kevin Keegan and that was just disturbing on many levels.
Incidentally, it was very amusing to see that many of the Uruk-Hai speak with London accents.
Some of them even look as if they have a house out in, say, Dagenham, and probably spend their Sunday afternoons walking the pit bull across the common and drinking Tennants Special Brew. I think the Uruk-Hai's teeth are slightly less crooked though.
I'm sure I've seen some of those ugly buggers down the Goldengrove in Stratford of a Thursday afternoon, usually trying to sell cigarettes that fell off the back of a ferry or hookey Irish petrol that's had the green dye taken out of it.
"Grrrrrrr, snaaaaaaarlllll, wanna buy a carton of fags? Best French cigarettes here, pal" ::::droolingsnarl::: "Only fifteen quid to you, guv'nor ... tell you what, a tenner if you're a mate of Saruman's"
Actually, I found it less engaging than The Fellowship of the Ring, but then I found FotR less engaging on first viewing than I did subsequently watching it on DVD, when thankfully I could pause the wretched thing to go to the bog.
There was nothing as jaw-dropping as the approach to the bloody big statues (as you can tell, I haven't read the books) this time, but then I think that's because I expect jaw-dropping now and I wasn't disappointed.
The moments I loved best were those where the characters actually spoke to each other, where they interacted with each other. Arwen and Elrond, Gimli, Legolas and Aragorn, Sam and Frodo. I do hope Orlando Bloom was not being paid by the line because the poor boy got sod all to say in comparison to most of the others.
Bernard Hill made me cry, but then he often does that. So underrated as an actor.
I spoiled myself stupid by reading other people's reviews and I must say that neither Aragorn being flung off a cliff nor Faramir's temptation bothered me particularly.
I would like to bet that the two-part DVD that will be released in time for next Christmas, the first part will halt at where Aragorn is thrown from the cliff. It comes about halfway through the movie, and -- if the writers were following the old screenwriters' formula -- it represents the point where all seems most lost for the characters-of-greatest-identification for the audience, who are now the humans, rather than Frodo, as it was in the first movie.
So far as the hobbits go, our identification is being drawn away from Frodo in TTT, and moved towards Sam, as Frodo falls more and more under the influence of the ring. Merry and Pippin don't really have enough to do to be more than a subplot.
We're meant to be looking at the affairs of men, I think, in TTT, and the loss of Aragorn is like the loss of hope, because Theoden won't fling himself into the fight and no one else has the strength and steadiness to inspire others to defeat the massed forces of darkness. But yes, otherwise, it was fairly pointless.
As for Faramir, dramatically and thematically it made more sense that he was tempted by the ring and then let the hobbits go. What value does his letting the hobbits go have, unless it comes after he has defeated the hideous temptation of the ring and while the fate of men still looks bleak?
It also plays a vital part in Smeagol's character arc (or I hope it does), in letting the Gollum part of him take over. Oh, GOLLUM! (see, there I go again)
However, I do appreciate that in the wider context, it was probably upsetting for those who loved the book to see his character so fundamentally changed. </i>
* * *
New Year's Eve continued in the great infinitemonkeys New Year tradition by being an utter sack of shite.
One year, just one, I would like to be at a big party with people I like, and see in the New Year in a proper fashion: to whit, getting pissed but not embarrassingly so, snogging someone luscious at midnight under the stars, and telling semi-strangers who are similarly pissed as newts:
"I love you, mate. And if I knew ya better, I'd really love you, you know what I mean, because love is as old as the stars and we're made of cosmological smatter ourselves, you and me, so we were once stars (well, except that cow over there, she was a black hole) so we're like, practically the same, in fact we are, like, almost one person if you really really think about it, and I really love you, mate"
Then I would happily fall asleep and be brushed up with the empty beer bottles early in the morning, then ride the tube home in the cosy silence that comes of having a train car full of seriously hungover people. It really isn't too much to bloody ask, is it?
I called my parents at midnight-fifteen and they had just argued about fuck all. As usual. I drove home through the hordes of happily drunk people and contemplated my life, navel and other things.
It was not good.
On New Year's day I got sent home from work four hours early. Two hours early is a pleasant break from the norm. Four hours early is "oh dear god, I really am totally dispensible."
I must look keener than usual at work tomorrow. *g*
* * *
I have cleared out the last of the boxes (only 16 months since I first moved in too!) and have some stuff which people are we lcome to have. If you want something, email me:
(1) Promotional CDs given out to publicise LOTR: Fellowship, featuring three trailers, behind the scenes bollocks, two Enya songs, two screensavers and two wallpapers, one of which is pants and the other of which is Nazgul. I have several of these
(2) SFX Special edition on Vampires which, naturally, is Angel/Buffycentric.
* * *
I'd rather these books were read than left on my shelves. A book unread, stuffed on a shelf, is a dead book.
Of course, if I'm not keeping them, they're probably a bit shite. However, they are nicely kept and are often covered with waterproof backing (for better reading in the bath)
(1) AMERICAN PSYCHO Bret Easton Ellis because I really, really c annot be arsed with a litany of obscene violence and 80s label culture
(2) THE STAR'S TENNIS BALLS Stephen Fry. Because it's pants.
(3) THE ROUGH GUIDE TO TOKYO
(4) ADRIAN MOLE: THE CAPPUCCINO YEARS Sue Townsend. Not crap but I wo n't read it again
(5) INTRODUCING VEGETARIAN COOKERY Alison Westcott. Because me, cooking? Not so much.
(6) ARTEMIS FOWL Eoin Colfer. Words cannot express how much I loathed this book. To summarize: a wanker eyes up JK Rowling's pile of loot, thinks "I can make a wad here" and writes thoroughly charmless, cynical and nasty load of arse about leprechauns and a small criminal.
(7) DEAD FAMOUS Ben Elton. Whodunnit, set in Big Brother-like programme. Funny, but I won't read it again
(8) PETER COOK REMEMBERED Rendered completely superfluous by Harry Thompson's masterly biography and Cook's own collected works in "Tragically I Was an Only Twin"
(9) DEMOLITION ANGEL Robert Crais. Can't be arsed to read it
(10) USA BY RAIL Been there, done that
(11) SHAFT; ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY Look, I got it free, all right?
(12) ANGEL: REDEMPTION Mel Odum See above *g*
(13) COLONY Rob Grant A sci-fi novel by one half of the writing team for Red Dwarf. About half as funny as it thinks it is. It thinks that it's the funniest novel ever.
(14) FLINT Paul Eddy The publisher's blurb compares the heroine to Clarice Starling. They bloody wish
(15) SLEEPYHEAD Mark Billingham They're really tr ying to push this man as the future of British crime writing. It's all right but it didn't make me sit up and take notice. I am so very fed up of tortured male police officers who are dogged by their demons. Just once, I would like a bouncy, jolly hero wi th no demons whatsoever. It would be a nice change.
(16) ANGELA'S ASHES Frank McCourt Life is too short to be that fucking miserable, even vicariously
(17) THE BELL JAR Sylvia Plath I really cannot be arsed
(18) WHISTLING FOR ELEPHANT S Sandi Toksvig Funny but not funny enough to read again
(19) BLACKBERRY WINE Joanne "I wrote Chocolat, me" Harris
(20) FORTY WORDS FOR SORROW Giles Blunt. I actually liked this one a lot. Creepy crime novel set in northern Canada.
(21) DS9: AVATAR, Bks I and II S.D. Perry. Oh shut up *g*
Free to whoever wants 'em[