Milk and Cigarettes

Rambles about stuff I like.

Why make the ring in the first place?

So I’m continuing on with my Tolkien kick. I downloaded the Lord of the Rings movies – but not just any version, the super-duper expanded directors cut “let’s keep ALL the scenes” edition. First movie is 3 hours and 20 minutes long. 2nd flick is 3 and a half hours, and the final one is 4 goddamn hours.

The thing is, though, is that I love HATING these movies. Guh. They’re so slow-paced and meandering. It takes 10 hours to throw the ring in the fire? Really? Come on!

Plus, the music is super loud, and Viggo Mortensen does nothing but mumble, so I’m constantly turning the sound up and down. Not to mention all the glaring plot holes strewn throughout the book.

First of all, why did anyone make this ring in the first place? The first thing we hear is that there were a bunch of rings of power made – some were given to elves, some were given to dwarves, and some were given to man. But the most powerful of all was saved for the evilest man who ever existed.

Christ – where’s the ring-makers union in the Tolkien verse? You make rings of power, but then make one that’s even more powerful than all the others and then give it to the baddest badguy in the land? Ridiculous! Plus, we never hear any more about the other rings of power. Maybe they could have helped a bit?

Oh, not to mention all the casual racism that’s thrown about. There’s a bunch of races in the Tolkienverse, including elves, dwarves, men, hobbits, wizards, orcs, etc… And almost every race is racist against all the other races. Dwarves don’t like elves, elves don’t like dwarves, wizards think they’re all pretty damn superior… You may not notice it, but there’s a shitload of racism in these movies.

The worst (or maybe laziest) plot hole is when Gandalf turns from grey to white, that is, Gandalf doesn’t die after falling 4 miles into water while fighting a fire monster, no, he turns “white” – and note that “white” is now a better state to be in, see what I mean about racism?

But man, are these movies pretty to look at. Just look at how cool that fire monster is!

Image

I’m 20 feet tall and made of fire, but I get beaten by a 70 year old with a stick

Anyhoo, there’s more plot points than that, but the thing that caught my eye recently, was a story about how Tolkien was snubbed by the Nobel Prize committee for being a poor storyteller. Well, at least the Nobel prize committee has some sense when it comes to the literature prize…

Welp, I’m almost done The Hobbit book now. Bilbo and the dwarves are in Smaug’s cave and Bilbo’s swiped the Arkenstone (which Tolkien mentions after 212 pages into this 270 page book) and they’re hustling to get out. I have a feeling that Smaug will come back and there’ll be an epic fight and everyone will live happily ever after. (I read the book when I was 10 or so, so I’ve forgotten most of the important plot points, but I feel pretty confident about that one.)

So, to sum up: Lord of the Rings – pretty movies, but poor stories. Sounds about right.

Advertisements

January 8, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Hobbit movies take a long time to not say very much.

Well, I hope everyone had a fun Christmas break. I’m sick of this break, finally I can get back to work.

So I watched the 2nd Hobbit movie. Man, does that movie take a long time to not say very much. The movie is 2 hours and 41 minutes long – 161 minutes! That’s fucking crazy! Especially since this is what happens: They get into a fight with some orcs, they show up at Stephen Fry’s village, they go fight the dragon, they let the dragon loose. That’s about 75 pages of the entire book! And we’re taking over 2 and a half hours to say so!? Christ. Talk about milking a story… 

Anyhoo, inspired by the extreme length of the movie, I decided to reread The Hobbit to see what actually happens. I read the first couple chapters last night, which refreshed my memory about the utterly forgettable first movie.

In the first chapter, Bilbo meets Gandalf, then a bunch of dwarves. They eat and sing and then everyone leaves to take on the dragon Smaug and his fabulous treasure. That’s one chapter, about 30 pages or so. Took me maybe 30-35 minutes to read. I swear, that’s like the first hour and 15 minutes of the first movie. (I just checked, the 1st movie is 2 hours and 49 minutes long!) 

Next chapter, Bilbo and the dwarves run into some trolls. The trolls are about to eat them but then Gandalf outsmarts them and so they don’t. 15 pages. This is a huge deal in the movie, but we probably don’t get to the trolls until after a shirtload [sic] of expository dialogue. Y’know, I’m thinking I’ll probably finish reading the actual book tonight – then I’ll have to watch the 1st movie again to see why it took them almost 3 hours to say what Tolkien took 100 pages to say. 

I’m guessing there’s a lot of “fluff” and unnecessary backstory lifted from “The Silmarillion.” 

Anyhoo, yeah. That Peter Jackson is determined to take 9 hours to tell 250 pages of story. That’s 10 bucks a movie – so yeah, he’ll be making his budget back and then some.

Doublehoo – I am stoked about the new Sherlock episode. I downloaded it yesterday, and will watch it some time today. I’m super-curious to see how he managed to fake his own death. Guh, I think it’s been over a year since the last Sherlock episode was released. That’s way too long to wait! 

Welp, I’m still on vacation, and will be for probably another week. I imagine school starts next week, but tutorials don’t start until the week after that, so next week is gonna be a lot of me puttering around in my sweatpants all day.

Did everyone have a good Christmas? I got a bunch of awesome stuff – new slippers to keep my feets warm, lots of books, a new suit, some Christmas sweaters, plenty of candy (which is all gone) and some gift cards for coffee which I will almost certainly use within the first week back at school.

One of the books I got is called, “Ratline”, by Peter Levenda. This book deals with the idea that Hitler escaped after WWII to somewhere in Indonesia. The story goes, after WWII, Hitler and Eva Braun were smuggled out of the bunker to a U-boat, then they disappeared for a bit. (To where exactly is a bit of a debate.) But eventually, around 1954, they change their names to George Anton Poch and Hella Poch and land in Indonesia, where they set up shop as doctors and live out their days. 

Aside: There was actually a German broad named Hella, and I think that name is hella-cool.

Anyhoo, Levenda puts forth an interesting case. First he argues that it’s not unfeasible that Hitler survived, since that’s what Stalin and the US intelligence communities thought, and DNA evidence on the alleged Hitler skull that was kept in the Kremlin was found to be of a young girl. Next, he examines the known escape route of other infamous Nazis, such as Otto Skorzeny, Klaus Barbie and Josef Mengele. In the last chapter I read, Levenda details the amount of Pro-Nazi sympathies that lie in Indonesia, and how some Nazis escaped with the help of various fundamentalist Muslim groups (turns out that Anti-semites tend to band together. Who knew?!)

January 2, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment