(h/t commentor spudvol)
Still haven’t watched the first Hobbit movie, but I may have to be more diligent about catching this one while it’s still in theatres, because Benedict Cumberbach plays my favorite character in the original novel.
What’s on the agenda for today?
I am gritting my teeth at that trailer, even though SMAAAAUUUUUUUUUGGGGG!
Because of course Peter Jackson is going to rurn the barrel ride down river into a gag-a-minute, action-packed thrill ride. Of course he is. I’ll bet anyone $50 that the line “Not the beard!” appears prominently in said Cirque de Bareill set piece. Because Peter Jackson is a MONSTER.
On the road in a hotel that has MSNBC ( which I no longer get at home), and I’m having the opportunity to remind myself once again why I don’t miss Joe and Mika one little bit. Vapid, smug, and credulous is not an attractive combination.
What a piece of crap.
Osama bin Smaugen.
I’ll pass, thanks.
“Still haven’t watched the first Hobbit movie….” Lucky you.
Tuesday morning I awoke at 1;30, worked until the humidity drove me in around lunch time. Ate, tried to nap, gave up at 1430 and went back to work. Last nite my step daughter came over for dindin (grinders, yum yum) so I had a couple cups of coffee so that I wouldn’t fall asleep with my head in my plate. This morn I awoke at 12:30… Charlie horses at 1:30… Gave up and got up at 2;30. So what’s on my agenda for today?
And I just looked out my window and I have caught my 3rd coon in less than a week. I had a feeling I had a family raiding the bird feeders.
One more thing noticed from the steaming pile of trailer:
Umpty-ump millions of dollars available and they can’t afford to dye the elves’ eyebrows to match their hair?
Road trip! Going to Philadelphia with a friend today to pick up a painting. Will have lunch at Nick’s in South Philly (juicy beef sandwiches on Italian rolls with “gravy fries”), also hit the nearby bakery and maybe a few other places. Mainly an excuse to get out on the road, catch up with my friend and listen to tunes on the Sirius box.
Need to leave in about half an hour to pick her up in Bethesda. Yay, rush-hour Beltway traffic!
Mornin’ Ho is touting a Gallup poll that has Dubbya at a 49 percent approval rating? I know it’s a Gallup poll which tend to overweight wingnuts and old white farts but jeebus are Americans that stupid? This is five years ago, not five decades ago.
I’m not sure what an approval rating for an ex- president is supposed to reflect. For instance, I approve of W’s decision to stay out of the public eye and paint his demons away.
I have Norton security on my PC (yeah, I know), and the feckers updated the app and added scads of thinly veiled advertisements everywhere, including a security ribbon up top (got rid of that immediately), plus stupid little “Norton Safe” tags next to the links that turn up when I do a search. They also pestered me with a popup to make “Norton search” my home page. The fuck?
@Betty Cracker: What version of Windows are you using? For XP through 7, ditch Norton and install Microsoft’s own security package, Microsoft Security Essentials. I think it comes built-in with 8. It covers the necessities without being a steaming pile of crap like Norton. And is free.
They should have hired Daenerys Stormborn, Mother of Dragons.
…and used the TARDIS to jump between ‘Verses, naturally.
Get rid of that bloated monstrosity. Your PC will thank you and run faster and better.
Download, install and use Microsoft Security Essentials instead.
One of the very few things from Microsoft (plus, free!) which can recommend without reservation.
Also, if you don’t already have and use it, Malwarebytes is must-have software (use the free version). Run it (and keep it updated) once in a while to look for and quash nasties that might slip through Norton, MSE, or any other always-on security program.
I’ll just leave this here.
Thanks! I’m running Windows 7. I think I got Norton free with it (Samsung laptop) and then foolishly renewed the subscription. I use a PC 14 hours a day M-F, but I am hopelessly stupid about tech issues.
Don’t listen to the other commenters, Betty. Your computer has been irredeemably defouled. Toss it out and buy yourself a fancy new one.
I’m off for the road.
Norton: the virus protection system that acts like a virus!
Stayed up overnight to do some household chores. I’m now reinstalling software — a couple of weeks ago I had to have Windows XP reinstalled on the netbook by the computer guy and it wiped all my software. This time I’m writing down what I’m loading, cause I didn’t do that before and I don’t remember all the stuff I had on the machine. (Yes, I’m still using XP, overall it’s been stable for me and I use a lot of older programs that probably aren’t compatible with Win7.)
Betty: I use Avast Internet Security and have been pleased with it. Initially I used the free version of the anti-virus but now I buy the security package.
Don’t know how long I’ll be able to stay up; I’ll see what else I do today depending on if I can stay awake.
Would you recommend it over AVAST? Because I’m getting really sick of AVAST’s “reminder” pop up sliders.
ACLU Suing Obama Administration Over Phone Records Gathering
“Even the liberal ACLU” in 3, 2, …
Um, wtf is Legolas doing in the Hobbit? I’ll go see it, because…shut up! That’s why! I actually mostly enjoyed the first one, even if I did spend some time going “what the hell is this? this isn’t even close to anything that was in the book”
Meh. That’s their job.
I quit expecting the movies to follow the books when Aragorn went over the cliff and had to be revived by his horse.
A better question would be “who is that foxy elf-chick?”
Of course it is, and good for them. I’m referring to (hoping for) wingnut heads ‘sploding.
Got it. That is something to be wished for.
If I may, Avast! is a perfectly decent and capable program (so too with Avira’s Anti-Vir).
MSE does what they do comparably well, but less intrusively.
The first Hobbit movie was awesome! John Huston and Brother Theodore in particular turned in fine performances.
@JD Rhoades: I’ve never used Avast so can’t offer any intelligent assessment. Norton is evil though, and should be torn out root and branch and the relevant sectors of the hard drive sown with salt.
@Ron: Legolas is the son of Thranduil, king of the wood-elves. Or at least he was once LOTR was written. Given his age (umpteen hundred years), it’s not unreasonable for him to be around when Bilbo et al. pass through the Elvish territory.
(random side-note: My spell checker is happy to accept ‘Legolas’, but doesn’t like ‘Thranduil’. Obviously, Apple needs to add more elves to their dictionary.)
Legolas was a prince in Mirkwood/the Greenwood, so his appearance is only mysterious if you… wanted something that was only the book. Of course, that movie could be ten hours long, too. Enjoy the many courses of the feast with Beorn! Watch three hours of the Battle of Four Armies before that Fifth Army appears! Have hours of traveling through Mirkwood! The Elves could sing songs as Thorin and Company reach Rivendell! I love the Hobbit as much as anybody, but it’s a book. Books to movies without different scripts tend to be… better as books. I love the Lord of the Rings twice now: the books are great, and so are the movies.
Almost every change made by Jackson has been picked at to death, but almost every single one of them has made the movies better than the books. Aside from the Scrubbing Bubble Army of the Dead, I’ve at least seen the value of them. (Making an unbeatable army is Voltron bullshit. Glad they left as fast as they arrived, but making them fast zombies rather than Pretties of the Lost Ark would have been better.) Radagast is a bit much at times (haha! he’s high as a kite! harharguffawyawn!), but I like eccentric wizards rather than stodgy Sauruman types. And Tom Bombadil sucks. And the Scouring of the Shire was anticlimactic in a movie that already had enough endings (maybe too many.) I wanted the Man in the Moon song, but that’s about it.
And while I deeply love the Hobbit cartoon movie, I can’t exactly recommend that one. The greaaaaatest adventure! it is, but it’s been bettered.
LMAO! That’s a keeper. And I agree 100% with everything else you said.
Paul in KY
@Bob: I liked the movie. Not entirely canonical, of course, but well done (considering Jackson is directing, etc.).
Paul in KY
@PaulW: Smaug is a different sort of dragon than what Danaerys has.
Paul in KY
@Ron: Legolas is a son of Tharanduil, who catches & imprisons the Dwarves for awhile. He was presumably present during that part of ‘The Hobbit’, but was never mentioned or alluded to in the book.
Paul in KY
@JD Rhoades: No idea who she was (and I’m pretty good with the LOTR stuff).
Could just could be Jane-Sindarian elf-girl (never mentioned by Prof. Tolkien)?
Paul in KY
@jon: Never liked The Scouring of the Shire. LOTR (for me) ends when they get the Ring into the fire & the eagles rescue them.
@Paul in KY: Then you’ll want to see this. Sorry about the pre-roll ad, but it’s totally worth it…
They shoulda had that Leonard Nimoy song in the first Hobbit movie.
OMG holy shit I cannot disagree more.
But just to take one instance, yes Legolas would have been somewhere in Mirkwood, but to have him (and everyone else from LOTR) pop up in The Hobbit has one effect & one effect only: it makes Tolkien’s universe seem smaller and faker. You’d think Jackson might have learned the rule from the Star Wars prequels, or from Kevin Smith’s shabby ouvre: This endless trotting out of characters from other contexts, like the need to explain the origin of absolutely everything, does not render a fictional world believable, because the result is a tiny, recursive, monotonous broom-closet of a setting, and the world is not like that. Only the mind of a (mediocre) filmmaker is like that.
Also: Am I the only LOTR reader who loves Tom Bombadil, & thinks he was an almost completely successful rendering of a larger-than-life earth spirit who could barely be contained by his physical form? He is brilliant; everything about him is brilliant. And his “separateness” from the rest of the plot — his what you would almost call irrelevance — strikes EXACTLY the right note. The world of Middle Earth would be lacking in something essential if he weren’t included.
I hate to show bad temper, but I am in complete agreement with John Dolan here.
Paul in KY
@Betty Cracker: Cute. IMO, wouldn’t have worked as Ring could have/would have worked on sentinent eagle carrying it & then they would have been fucked, as the eagle-with-ring would have been hella hard to catch & now they can’t throw it in fire & Sauron wins (as all he needs is continued existence of Ring to win).
Since the movies are a commercial endeavor, it had at least one other effect: Featuring hunky Legolas in The Hobbit will undoubtedly put more butts in seats.
Nope. I remember much wailing and gnashing of teeth when Bombadil was excised from Jackson’s LOTR trilogy. Myself, I thought it made sense and didn’t harm the story line one iota.
Paul in KY
@Rex Everything: I think having some LOTR characters ‘pop up’ in Hobbit movies shows that ‘The Hobbit’ story is only a small portion of the larger saga that was LOTR or ‘Events that Happened at End of 3rd Age’.
Various appendices in LOTR recounf & list things that happened while Dwarves/Bilbo were heading towards Erebor. Have no problem with some of them shown.
Do not agree with Jackson making it seem like they have no idea Necromancer is Sauron. In books, they knew by then.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
@Paul in KY: That kind of depends on who you think is the central character in the LOTR books. When you realize that Sam’s growth was the purpose of the books, then his rescuing the Shire makes more sense, which is why I thought it needed to be in.
@Paul in KY: Even if the eagle was holding Frodo, who was holding the ring? I thought Frodo could act as an insulator for e-ville.
Also, how could a swallow carry a coconut? It could grip it by the husk!
Paul in KY
@Rex Everything: I personally am not much of a Bombadil fan. Understand what he & Goldberry are, yet I don’t think they add much if anything to story (except rescuing Hobbits from Old Man Willow).
Paul in KY
@Belafon (formerly anonevent): The main character in LOTR is Sauron. That’s one of the reasons the book is so interesting. You never really meet the main character (only thru Pippens retelling of what happened when he looked into the Palantir).
Oh, actually I thought Jackson made the right choice there. I agree that Bombadil wouldn’t have worked in a movie.
What I wrote was a response to the statement “Tom Bombadil sucks,” which I feel like I’ve been reading everywhere lately. Not “Tom Bombadil wouldn’t fit into a 2 or 3 hour film,” but that he “sucks.” That that part of the book sucks. I can’t understand how someone who actually likes Tolkien’s work much at all would feel that way.
Paul in KY
@Betty Cracker: The eagle (once seduced by Ring) would kill easily kill Frodo & take Ring.
Tried watching The Hobbit.
After the Jar Jar Binks-ing of Radagast, with his beard full of bird shit, and sled pulled by rabbits, that was about all I could take.
@Cacti: It works better with Special Brownies. **wink-wink**
The dumbest thing ever written on Balloon Juice.
The LOTR movies were an insult to the books, with needless changes that accomplished nothing and distorted the characters.
@Paul in KY: Yeah, but wouldn’t Frodo insulate the eagle from the evil — keep the ring from conducting its evil current? Remember Sam’s line to Frodo on Mount Doom — “I may not be able to carry the ring, but I can carry you.” But yeah, if the ring got to the eagle, that would be a clusterfuck alright…
What, you didn’t think it was an improvement when Merry and Pippin had to trick the Ents into fighting Saruman?
I like how Jackson turned them from slow and deliberate but also some of the wisest beings in Middle Earth, into a bunch of two-dimensional plodding dullards.
Paul in KY
@Cacti: If you’d been stoned for 1900 years, hair with birdshit might you have too.
Paul in KY
@Betty Cracker: The Ring worked on Boromir, without him ever touching it.
Paul in KY
@Cacti: You are quite rightly pointing out some of the more egregious shortcomings of having Peter Jackson direct your LOTR movies.
My big objection to the movies was that, with Tolkein, one of the greatest writers in the history of the English language, writing reams of poetry to accompany the books (even putting out recordings of some) the filmmakers had to put their own lousy lyrics into the pictures, and show how clever they were by writing their own words in dwarven and Numenoran.
Really could have used more poetry, even if just in the background music.
@Paul in KY:
Yeah, but LOTR is much more than its “story.” It’s also an evocation of this whole world that Tolkien made up. There are all these things that happen that would be terrible choices if he was just trying to write a streamlined, film-adaptation-ready story; but make complete sense when you take LOTR as a rendering, or (in the context of the works Tolkien didn’t publish) an iteration, of Middle Earth. Not just Bombadil, not just the scouring, but also the whole Caradhras episode, the Druedain, probably everything involving Faramir, and lots more.
I don’t understand why a filmmaker like Jackson was drawn to LOTR, or why people who want a tight page-turner read it. It seems like they should be reading John Grisham. That’s not a diss: John Grisham is far better than Tolkien at writing the kind of book they seem to want LOTR to be. Why fuck with Tolkien, who was not even attempting to write that kind of book?
LOTR Movies > the books
Nu Trek > all of them
@gene108: Given his prior remarks in that same post, I took his comment to mean the changes made the movies better as movies because books don’t work as scripts. But in any case, it doesn’t even make the top 1,000 dumbest things written on Balloon Juice.
@gene108: THANK YOU. I don’t care where you stand on Glenn Greenwald; you are my comrade.
@Rex Everything: ^(should amend to: I don’t know or care where you stand on GG…)
That’s Evangeline Lilly who was in the Lost series. Never saw it when it aired but got a great DVD deal and am running through that now. Amazing how you can be stranded on an island and always find torches to light your way through a dark scary forest.
@Rex Everything: I can’t keep everyone’s stance on GG straight, but I wish I could. It seems to provide an interesting insight into a person’s character, much like Beetles or Stones, Martha or Mary, etc.
Paul in KY
@Rex Everything: I think Jacson saw alot of action scenes (that are only alluded to by Prof. Tolkien) that he thought would be fun (and profitable) to bring to the big screen.
LOTR was one of the biggest sellers that had never had a live action movie made of it. Think that was a draw for him.
Paul in KY
@maya: What character is she portraying, though?
@Betty Cracker: I think — I’m not certain — that there are only a few pro-GG regulars here: McLaren, of course, Corner Stone, who does the real heavy lifting, El Tiburon, and probably T&H. I would be one, but I can hardly be called a regular. (Although I have achieved a rapport of sorts with eemom wherein she maligns me for a 12-year-old up past his bedtime and I call her “taint face.”)
What about Beatles vs Elvis? I don’t feel that the Stones quite rate…
Here’s the test: was Life of Pi another Rashomon, or did Martell intend the tiger story to come across as the only possible true story? I say without doubt it was the latter…
Oh looks awesome. I’m sure it will piss off all the Tolkein purists, but I don’t care, I will be entertained.
I always preferred the Who over both the Beatles and the Stones. But I think my opinion doesn’t count in that metric because I was a year old when the Beatles broke up anyway.
Oh, and I read GG a few times in the Bush years, but his style and manner of interpreting politician’s feelings turned me off, so I never really got into him. In this metric, is GG Radiohead or Flaming Lips?
Aaaannnd now you’re dead to me. Good day, sir.
@Betty Cracker: That made me lol. But although I will believe to my dying day that The Beatles are untouchable, I’ll say this in support of the Stones: Elvis was a rock star, and Mick & Keith are rock stars, but no one in The Beatles was a rock star, which is a bit odd when you think about it.
@Mnemosyne: Sure it counts! I was alive when the Beatles broke up, but too young to remember it, and Beethoven and Mozart were both dead well before any of us arrived on the scene. Nonetheless, preferences can still tell us something about each other. RE: GG — Flaming Lips, I think?
@Paul in KY: Tauriel
@Rex Everything: You two can argue about Beatles vs Stones, but these guys rock.
@maya: Love the Monkees!
@Betty Cracker: The stones had a few decent Willie Dixon covers. That is about it.
I still haven’t seen the first movie, and highly doubt that I will watch any of them. Based on everything I’ve read, and his previous work, Peter Jackson seems to not know that padding a movie out too much (King Kong, for instance) actually makes it worse.
Love the book, and I’ll admit that the LotR trilogy was pretty well done, but that was 3 books to start with. IMHO, 2 movies out of The Hobbit would have been quite enough, thank you.
Primary objection wasf Aragorn acting like a confused 30-something, when he was actually self-assured 65 year old Numenorian.
And Elrond treating Aragorn like a good for nothing, who may not be the man he could be, when Elrond fucking fostered Aragorn, since he was 2 and was his stepfather and trusted him completely, even consenting to the marriage with his daughter, if Sauron is defeated.
And Arwen being some sort of sword wielding chick, when she was nothing of the kind.
And her sending elves to the battle of Helms Deep.
And orcs running amok in Minas Tirith, after the Witch King knocked the front gates down.
Bah…the list of stupid, pointless changes could go on and on and on and on.
I think Glen would care. I’m fat.
@jon: Bite your tongue regarding the scouring, but otherwise, yeah.
@Rex Everything: You’re not. I adore Tom Bombadil. Wished he had been in but I knew it’s time, budget and story where films need to be kept in line.
A faithful, by-the-book, unabridged adaptation of the Lord of the Rings trilogy would probably last 80 or 90 hours. I’d love to see it, but I doubt the Kickstarter would get it funded even if the Tolkien estate loves the idea and grants the rights.
I think Peter Jackson would make a good Farmer Giles of Ham or Mr Bliss, too. The first as an actor. The second as a director.
My opinion definitely doesn’t count because I was born at the height of Watergate when The Beatles were just a memory, but I would have to say that if the Beatles are Joel Coen and the Stones are Q. Tarantino, then the Monkees are Michael Bay.
(And I say the following as a supposed GG worshipper and a merely lukewarm fan of Radiohead: Glenn Greenwald is nowhere near good enough to be Radiohead.)
Us Chaotics love Bombadil, but the Lawfuls find him… unnerving. I don’t think Tolkien did him “perfectly” but points to him for knowing that any functional universe has Something standing just outside the feeble firelight at the cave entrance, waiting.
@Anne Laurie: Whoa. Good stuff.
I think you may have nailed the whole problem with Peter Jackson. Dude is too much of a fucking Lawful.
@maya: One of us! One of us! What do you think of Lost?
Also, since Kate is in the movie, shit’s sure to go South.
@jon: Yeah, with the difference that Jackson tends to let the effects and the action sequences take over — screws up the pacing and momentum something awful. (I was gratified to see in the first Hobbit movie, however, that Cate Blanchett chose to play Galadriel as if she were NOT high as a kite; worked better.)
My own feeling is that a novel has too much information to translate into a film without serious revision/cutting. I don’t know why I think that, because it’s totally counterintuitive, but it seems to work out that way. Best adaptation I can remember is Brokeback Mountain, from a 17-page story, and that got flabby in the middle (don’t we all?) where the writers decided to pad it a little.
That said, of course I’m going to see it, because Benedict Cumberbatch (one of those British actors who is sexy as hell, and shouldn’t be.) And I don’t care if we never actually see his own body.