I just saw the second movie in the Hobbit "trilogy".
The movie itself is a series of pointless sword fighting and action scenes with a cast of a dozen or so flat characters whose stories go nowhere. I guess if you like Michael Bay movies, go see the Hobbit; you'll love it.
There is precisely one interesting character in the movie, and that is Tauriel. This is a Peter Jackson original character. And I'm saying a lot here when I say that Bilbo, Gandalf, and Smaug, the three characters who near single-handedly enchanted my childhood, do not come across as as interesting as some random elf lady practically from legolas by laura, thrown in to appease focus groups.
I've determined that the only way to make sense of the movies is to perceive them as fan fiction. Extremely expensive, high budget fan fiction. Peter Jackson is telling his own made-up story using the characters and elements of Middle Earth, and it just happens to vaguely correspond somewhat to the series of events in the Hobbit. And it's great if Peter Jackson wants to write fan fiction and spend billions turning it in to a movie, but I'm sorry to say that Peter Jackson isn't as good of an author or story teller as J.R.R. Tolkien.
So why is the cinema making the movie about Peter Jackson's fan fiction, and not about Tolkien's story, the one that sold all the millions of copies and inspired all the millions of authors?
Saturday, December 28, 2013
Monday, December 24, 2012
For as long as I can remember, every Christmas, I have been confused by what exactly Santa Claus is.
Historically, Santa Claus is St. Nicholas of Myra, a Christian archbishop in modern-day Turkey who lived during the Roman persecution of the Church and was present at the Council of Nicea. He was claimed to be a wonder-worker, and was also well-known for his anonymous gifts to the needy. He has historically been honored on the 6th of December, and because of his generous reputation convents and monasteries began a tradition of sneaking out at night and delivering gifts to the poor. (see here, here, and here for references, the middle one being especially fantastic)
Among the hundred or so other things of which he was patron saint, one of them was sailors. For this reason, sailors would often find themselves back home on the 6th, and be able to give a present obtained at sea to their children "from St. Nicholas".
That all makes sense to me. Santa was a really cool guy who loved the poor and Jesus, and he was such a great guy we still do nice things for children and the poor because of him. "Here's an extra toy, son, in honor of this really great guy." Awesome, sign me up!
What doesn't make sense, though, is the weird Santa of American folklore, the guy who lives at the North Pole with a cadre of elves, who flies around in a sleigh pulled by magic reindeer and sneaks in to your chimney to deliver gifts to all the kids all over the world.
I mean, what is he?
|goblin --> elf, Great Goblin |-> Santa
This is literally how I understood
this as a child
Saturday, December 15, 2012
I just saw the new Hobbit movie.
I liked it. It was good and enjoyable and done very well. The story was wonderful, the animation was wonderful, and most thankfully of all the hobbit protagonist was an actual masculine hero and not a mincing whiner crying all over himself for three solid hours. You should go see it, too. It's well worth the ticket price.
But then after you've seen it and gotten over how awesome it is, come back and I have to ask a question.