I had intended to do more posts over my time off, but failed miserably. So I'll start with what I read, and what I'm reading!
Friday I read Zen Attitude, the second book in the Rei Shimura Series & Shinju, which is the first book in the Sano Ichiro Series. Both were Christmas pressies from Jen, and both were great! I'm looking forward to reading the next in both series! She also got me The Honest Courtesan, but I haven't read it yet. Will give a full report when I do!
Yesterday, I read The Ghost & Mrs. Muir. The movie is probably one of my favorite films, and I've been wanting to read the novel it was based on for some time. Just like the movie, the book had me crying by the end! And good news on the DVD front! It's coming out on DVD in the spring!! If you like old movies, and haven't seen this one, I can't reccomend it enough. If all you ever saw was the old TV series based on the movie, don't let that keep you from seeing the film. The series and the movie are apples and oranges. Rex Harrison is perfect and Gene Tierney is luminous. I never tire of watching it.
In between all the books I've read, I'm still working on Carnage & Culture and I'm almost through J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century. If you're a Tolkien fan, go read this book! I'll post more about it once I've finished.
I think that covers my holiday reading activity. I'd hoped to read more, but being social just ruined my groove!
I've seen it twice, and I've been mulling it over. I really like this installment, but not as well as FotR. Can't quite put my finger on why though. I think it may be because this movie seems to stray much farther from the books than the first one did. I find Faramir's actions even more jarring than I did the way the movie presents Aragorn as casting aside and being totally against, being King. Of course, it may just be because I've had a year to deal with the stuff that bugs me in FotR and the stuff that bugs me in TTT is still fresh.
I'm not sure, but I think the reason PJ made so many changes, especially with Frodo and Faramir is because in the books, so much of what happens in showing how the Ring is affecting Frodo is done through thoughts and long descriptive passages. Since you can't show thoughts in a movie, you have to create action. And I think that's what PJ was doing. Why else haul Frodo and Sam to Osgiliath?
And then we have Elves at Helms Deep.... again, I think this was a way to show things to the audience. I heard so many people say, after the first movie, that Legolas was visibly shaken at the death of Gandalf and Boromir because Elves are Immortal and don't understand death. ARGH! I'm glad that PJ was able to illustrate to the viewers that have not read the books that this is absolutely not true! In fact, the total opposite. The "long sorrow of the Elves" is almost palpable in the books, and I hope some of that was picked up in the death scene of Haldir, in Elrond's foretelling to Arwen, and in the sorrow of Legolas. There is so much undercurrent in the books, that it's almost impossible to present it in a movie, but I do feel that Peter Jackson and company are at least trying.
Now of course, the reason that the Elves didn't come help in the books was that they were fighting the enemy themselves in their own lands. Mirkwood, where Legolas came from, was where Sauron's stronghold was before revealing himself and taking back Mordor. His fortress of Dol Guldur still existed and was still a danger to all those that lived in the north. Not to mention the Misty Mountains were crawling with Orcs. I wasn't all that happy with the movie giving the impression that the Elves just didn't care and that's why they didn't send help. Again, so much complicated history and no way to adequately present it. Yes, the Elves have their own problems and sorrows, but a lack of care for Middle Earth was never one of them.
A few "huh?" moments: Gandalf never said a word to Aragorn and the guys about Merry and Pippin. It was just like they forgot all about them. I know there a scene somewhere on the cutting room floor with that tid bit, but it was a bit jarring.
Eomer's horse troops running straight down that really steep hill straight into thousands of Orcs with pikes. Say what? I know Gandalf did a little spell type thing there right as they were ready to hit, but still!
I thought Saruman's thrall over Theoden was a little over done. Came off a bit heavy handed to me.
Aragorn going over the cliff. Seemed like the whole purpose was so they could insert some Arwen action. [bleah] Yes, I know he saw the Orcs coming on the way back, but they knew they were going to be attacked anyway. Whatever.
Things I liked: More Elves!! Yay!
Gollum. What a masterpiece! I was totally enthralled by the battle between Slinker and Stinker. I just wish the audiences I see it with would stop laughing at all his scenes. I didn't find his scenes funny, but pitiful and sad. All the laughter really ruins the experience for me.
The scene between Arwen and Elrond. I've really not liked the insertions of Arwen into the movie, but this scene worked. Probably because, for me, it's one of the most heart wrenching moments in the writings that make up the books. The scene, taken straight from the appendices, really got to me. and the fact that most of the scene was carried by Hugo Weaving helped. The man has a great voice.
That's it for now. Next up: wondering if they'll go for the cheap and easy happy ending for RotK, or if I'll get my emotional investment out of these movies with a realistic ending that sticks with the spirit of the books.
(Oh, and my official prediction for number three: Arwen will never make it to the Havens, instead going off to help Aragorn and replacing the roles of her brothers from the books.) (I'll grin and bear it I guess)
(lil update: CPO Sparkey has an interesting take on Two Towers)
I wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas. Not sure how much I'll post over the next few days, so wanted to get in a holiday greeting! I'm going to endeavor to try and not think of the troubles and dangers of the world for a few days. It'll be hard, but I'm going to try. I got out one huge rant on Gaggle, so I hope that will keep me from breaking my personal pledge [g]
We're not going to have our big dinner till Saturday as all my family works. So I'll be home by my lonesome on Xmas day. I am going to try out making something for dinner that night, so we'll see how it goes. The menu is lemon risotto and seared prawns.
Tonight, we open our gifts and eat much food. Tomorrow, I'm going to sleep in and maybe watch SG1 tapes before it's time to make dinner. I actually had a few extra vacation days this year, so I'm off till Tuesday. The break will be so nice!
Everyone have a great holiday!!
I got this from Jen
And I'm sending it on to Girls!
I know it's been awhile, but I haven't felt much like wrting the last week. So here's a big ol' recap!
Mum took Nin to Dland for her birthday last weekend, and of course, I went too! Would have been great, but that not so good feeling I'd been having turned into full blown sickness on Friday night/Sat morning. I spent much time throwing up in the bathroom, and managed not to wake anyone. But then I somehow managed to plug the toilet, so I had to wake Nin up so she could go get a plunger. Truly sucked!
Got my truck back and of course, it came in at the high end of the estimate.
Did all my Xmas shopping online, now just waiting for the boxes to show!
We do a Secret Santa thing on an email list I own, and I got the Ennis Sisters Christmas CD! Now I have all their CDs.
Saw Two Towers on Wednesday! It was great! Many more changes -- it seemed -- from the book than FotR, but nothing I out and out hated. I'll write more on it after I see it again Saturday.
Yesterday, I had a dentist appointment to get my crown set. They had just finished the injection, which is the part I hate most, and the power went out. Guess what? No crown. Need to do it all over after the holidays. Then our power at home went out and stayed out all night and most of today. It was COLD!!! when I got up this morning.
When I got home last night, there was a present for me from Roberta. She was bad and spent way too much money!! But I absolutely love the purse she got me. Something I would never get for myself, which makes it all the more special. Thank you!!
Since the power was out, we all went to see "Nemesis" last night. Good flick! I was expecting it to be horrible from what I'd been seeing around, but it wasn't.
The rest is spoilers, so beware if you click!
Data dies!! I had no idea he was being killed off. In fact, I'd gotten the idea somewhere that Troi died, so I was shocked. It was a very Spock/Wrath of Khan type death. [sniff]
Rachel is setting up a project -- Quiet Heroes -- to record the stories of WWII vets. I think it's a great thing, and I'm looking forward to watching it bloom and thrive. If anyone can get a project like this up and running, it's Rachel.
If you'd like to know more, check out the sidebar of her blog. You can even help support it if you feel so inclined.
Way back in August, Kel (she who is one of the Gaggle and a Girl!) sent a post to a list we were both on with the subject: For those of you who like Elves. It has sat in my folder ever since, and I just looked at the links. Now I'm going to share them with you!
First off is a USA Today article explaining the phenomena of "Figwit". And people think I'm obsessed by LotRs!!! Then we move on to "Figwit Lives", a site dedicate to the heretofore mentioned Elf. And last, but not least, "The Elf Porn Shack" (watch me get Googled for Elf/Dragon sex now!) They have some cute countdown clocks to Two Towers.
I have to admit that I think Haldir is kinda cute. From the book, it's Glorfindel, or Elladan. I've always had a thing for Elves! (that leaves the Hobbits for Ealasaid)
Amish Tech Support is holding a 'Death Pool". Really. No, I'm serious!
If you'd like to play, or just watch, you can find the information here.
Over on Daily Pundit, there's a discussion about the Christmas carol, "I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day" and the verse, "peace on earth goodwill to men". Apparently, it may be a mistaken translation, and the verse is actually "peace on earth to men of goodwill". If that's true, it certainly makes a radical change to the meaning of that passage in the Bible.
Back at work today. Tummy still has a cold, but it's better.
Buffy last week was WOW! It just keeps getting better.
I cried through the last two eps of "Monarch of the Glen". Need to go hunt for series four spoilers.
Made a Christmas list. Wasn't sure if we'd get a holiday bonus this year, but we did, so I can go buy pressies for my family and friends with no worries.
Watched the "Return to Middle Earth" special last night on WB. Can I say yet again that I can't wait for the 18th?? Even have my tickets pre Fandangoed!
Want to preorder the Two Towers soundtrack, should do it soon.
Got the LOTR daily calendar at Target when we were in Anaheim. The Target was HUGE!! You could have put two of ours in there.
Fantasy Xmas gift number two.
Fresh beignets and cafe au lait are the best! (even without trash on them!)
Chocolate martinis sure can be totally different from place to place!
I got home, we had a wonderful time, but I picked up Nin's stomach bug and am now home sick . [pout] I always think I'll post some wonderful long trip report, but alas, I never do. When I feel better, I'll try and put something together. Oh, and it's Nin's birthday! Hop over to her blog and wish her a good one!