Monday, December 17, 2007

warping a new generation

Last night the Goonybird and I sat up until way late and watched all three Lord of the Ring movies. Not only did he sit relatively still, he did really well, too. Once I explained to him that the monsters were just cartoons made by people who could draw really, really well he had not one problem with the scary stuff or the action. In fact he got right into the spirit of the thing and helped defend the Hornburg by running back and forth smacking orcs with his toy dog.

I'm really glad I didn't spend money going to see these movies when they were out in the theaters. As it was I drove the Biker out of the room by the end of the first one pointing out all the mistakes and correcting the backstory on everything. I do have to admit, though, when they got it right, they REALLY got it right. The Riddermark? Hobbiton? Orthanc? Gondor? The Ringwraiths? Oh HELL yeah. Not to mention Mordor, the Orcs, or particularly Sauron. Or casting Sir Ian McKellan as Gandalf. Genius!!!!

Why, why, why, though, did they have to ruin the Ents??? The Ents could have been so much better. They could have taken 3/4 of the budget they spent on the oliphaunts (which I admit were cool as fuck and kicked serious ass) and redirected it towards making the damn Ents halfway decent. After all they are kind of an important story element. And for the love of fuck why do we have Legolas skateboarding down the steps of Helms Deep? What the fuck is that? Why?

Yes I am a Tolkein nerd. I own everything. Even the scholarly stuff. In different editions.
Ok, geek, even.
Fine, 'tard.
Ok, yes, I threw a huge screaming baby fit until my mother promised to go stand in line out in front of B. Dalton in the cold on the first day the Silmarillion was released in order to get a first edition in hardcover.

Why? Because I couldn't.

Why? Because I was competing in a debate tournament.

We placed.


Meanwhile, it was really great to see the Goonybird get into the story. He really liked Frodo and Sam and Gollum. He 'got' that whole part of the story right away. We both woke up grandpa cheering when Eowyn cut the head off the Nazgul and killed the Ringwraith. He caught on to Theoden being nuts and Pippin feeling sorry for him. Not too damn bad for a three-year-old kid.

I have three days left before his mommy and daddy get back. I figure by that time I should have laid in a good, elementary groundwork in geek lore. And just think! Once he gets old enough to handle fireworks and ride a motorcycle...!

God help this child.


  1. If you think THAT's bad, you should try to compare the "I am Legend" film to the story by the same name. Ugh!

    Like I've said time and again, books ruin movies.

  2. nice! plop that boy on a dirtbike now!!! get him riding before hes done crapping in his diaper!!!! wait is he still crapping in a diaper? no bother! yeah, im with you on the ripping movies apart. its hard to sit with me through a movie....

  3. and why did they cast such ugly f*ckers in the leading roles?

    Where are the wedding photos?????

  4. 'shot: isn't that Omega Man?

    voices: oh hell yeah. we already have our eyes on one of the little 'mini' riders at Skagit Harley!

    ziggi: they're stranded at an airport in New York. yeah.

  5. Yes, the Ents were deeply crap. And there was no Tom Bombadil.

    No, I still can't be doing with Led Zep songs about Ringwraiths and May Queens with a bustle in their hedgerow.

  6. Omega Man was another take on the story, yeah...and I hear they're remaking Omega Man as well.

  7. I could got get into the 3 movies. I bought them and tried to watch. I kept falling asleep. I thought everything was very pretty....hanging my head in shame.

  8. sounds exaclty like what my parents did with my brother and Star Wars when he was a tot. He turned into a sci-fi geek and an engineer. Big surprise.



  10. something about not trying to be rational with an irrational person comes to mind, but I couldn't tell you why.

  11. Anonymous1:03 PM

    Completely agree with you re the Ents, they're one of my favourite parts of the book. Me, I watched the films once but Liv Tyler and the liberties they took with the story have stopped me from ever wanting to watch it again.

    ...and the skateboarding down the steps of Helms Deep. WTF indeed!

    I'm with CB on the whole Faramir thing, he's one of my favourite characters.

    Yes, I too am a Tolkien nerd...

  12. Books ruin movies.

  13. garfy: hey, it was all part of that english folk crapola. i can overlook that. meanwhile you're STILL stuck with the Smiths. i'd be bitter too, I guess.

    'shot: gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

    gale: the thing that kept my attention was watching for mistakes, i'm sorry to say. geeeeeeek, geekgeekgeek geeek!

    cb: no shit! they would have lost nothing in the way of narrative momentum had they simply stuck to that subplot, either. and what about the way they butchered the dynamics of the sam-frodo-gollum situation? that frosted me!

    'shot: well poop.

    hendrix: oh GAAAAAAAAH Liv Tyler! wft was that? they had to dip into the Silmarillion to justify that whole subplot and it added nothing!!! thay could have saved the money they spent on the formaldehyde she was floating around in between takes and MADE THE ENTS BETTER!!!

    'shot: except for To Kill A Mockingbird.

  14. Damn, you are THE BEST GRAN EVER!!!!

    Seriously you rock and I'm considering sending my son to you via the same route those sketches were SUPPOSED to take.....he'd come back speaking latin, telling me how to construct a motorbike using only fireworks and be able to explain quadratic equations through the use of hand puppets.....will you adopt me.......only for the motorbike usage ofcourse?

    Seriously though, I love the way you treat the Gooneybird, lass, if only more grandparents this side of the water had as much imagination, patience and time for the wee ones.

    Now, where were we on that adoption thing?

    Ps: Having finally managed to nail the dude that took the precious package of sketches from my dainty wee paw and promised me they would arrive withn the MONTH, in one place, I have discovered that....wait for it......due to his incompetence and my lack of putting a return address on them (blush) they have been sitting in the freaking post office ALL THIS TIME!
    They will arrive within a month sweetie, I PROMISE; the mail dude PROMISES and this country has promised on bended knee due to the fact that I threatened to raze it to the ground if I didn't get my way!

  15. Pps, I never read Tolkien, and I loved the movies, but husband agrees that the Ents were visually and literally massacred story wise...he was not a happy bunny!

  16. Yes, what a horror that the pretend talking trees didn't look ... real?

    After discussing this with several experts in what a talking tree-like creature actually looks like, it was determined that they do, in fact look just as they were portrayed in the

  17. Rimshot: this is not a discussion about reality, it is a discussion about art and literature. If you would like to participate, please be prepared to do so with the appropriate minimum number of exclamation points. (4)

    FN: too right about TKAM! Gregory Peck is The Man.

  18. punkie: oh THANK GOD. we've been bugging the post office here every week. of course they don't give a hoot in hell so its not like it registered as irritation, but i'm just glad to know that they didn't get losted. meanwhile i made a goofyass thing to send back to you, so excellent. WHEW! i was looking forward to those, dammit!

    'shot: know that i have the book right here on the desk in front of me-The Two Towers. *a twitch begins at the corner of one eye* feel lucky, punk? well, do ya?

  19. I'm quite aware that the discussion is about art and/or literature.

    That's why I find it entirely laughable that a film is being critiqued based on it's adherence to a novel.

    The genres are quite disparate and the goals of the two (big production company film-maker and weirdo elf dude writer) are not even in the same realm.

    One does not blame the orange for not tasting like an apple.

    FN: Any time, my dear...:-)

  20. cb: ya snook in under the wire there.
    this stuff is important! really! if you have that kind of cgi capability then it damn well behooves you to get the major players right! the oliphaunts get four minor mentions throughout the entire series of books yet theres 30 of them running full-bore batshit all over the last quarter of The Two Towers? wtf!
    and I really do have the book on the desk in front of me. because i am a dork, and have no life.

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  22. 'shot: have you read it? Its not solving the energy crisis but I actually am making a pretty good point here about the Ents. (chapter 4, pages 80-115 in the Balantine paperback edition.) it's not like the omission of Tom Bombadil or or the Barrow Downs or the Eagles rescuing Gandalf or the substitution of Arwen for Glorfindel at the ford or any one of a hundred other things that don't really move the plot along, or a detail of dress or hair color or something. The Ents are described pretty clearly and they play a pretty important role. *twitch spreads to left half of face, foam appears in corner of mouth*

  23. Books ruin movies.

    The film is not the novel. The Ents played exactly the role the producer and director wanted them to play.

    Tolkien stole the whole Ent march thing from Macbeth anyway.

  24. 'shot: that'd be a NO, then.

  25. Man! Now I know why the Ents eventually gave up the search for the Ent-wifes after they disappeared! (that's two)...

    All this hub-bub over an overrated piece of fiction!

  26. I've read the book (since it actually is one book, broken into three parts by the publisher) several time.

  27. The Smiths went danga danga danga danga danga danga twang, often.

    Now that's what I call rock 'n' roll.

  28. ...I don't suppose anyone wants to join Rimshot, Garfer and FirstNations in a rousing chorus of the 'Lumberjack' song?



  29. I cut down trees. I eat my lunch.
    I go to the lavatory.
    On Wednesdays I go shoppin'
    And have buttered scones for tea.

    *singing VERY loudly*

  30. I cut down trees, I wear high heels
    Suspenders and a bra.
    I wish I'd been a girlie, just like my dear Papa!!

  31. Anonymous8:01 PM

    i admit i only watched the movie b/c i thought viggo mortenson was hot as aragorn. i now watch it b/c i thought viggo was hot and b/c legolas is hot. i didn't get into orlando bloom until pirates of the caribbean. aye carumba! what? i liked his earring.