December 16th, 2013

elvish

my Sunday feeling

Good day today. Wrenn went off to do a day at the Metropolitan Museum and the Cloisters with an old friend and the old friend's niece, while I had lunch with alorarose. Then this evening, me, Wrenn, Dale, and Laura Anne all went to see The Hobbit 2: Electric Bugaloo, which I actually enjoyed more than the first one. Yes, it was ridiculously padded with excess stuff Peter Jackson dug out from the shit Tolkien wrote on cocktail napkins and such, but the pacing was better, the lengthy chase scenes felt less constructed (though still agonizingly long), and events flowed a bit more naturally. Plus, of course, the acting was top-notch, the scenery was superb, and holy shit the dragon....

Just as the riddles-in-the-dark bit with Gollum was the heart of An Unexpected Journey, the heart of The Desolation of Smaug was the similar conversation between Bilbo and Smaug in Erebor. (The fact that it was Sherlock Holmes and John Watson talking just made it more fun.) It was fun to see Orlando Bloom back in the saddle, as it were, and Evangeline Lilly kept up nicely with him. Stephen Fry was superb as the head of Laketown, and Lee Pace just owned the movie as the elf king.

Having said that, the movie was still too long. Peter Jackson is proving himself to be the master of making a movie longer than it really really needs to be, an issue he's had since he took King Kong, a movie that dragged heavily in spots and barely was able to fill 100 minutes, and added an hour and a half of running time to it. In this particular case -- as magnificent as Ian McKellan and Sylvester McCoy and Manu Bennett all are -- all the stuff with Gandalf and Radegast and Azok was wasteful filler.

Also got some work done on the mystery today, though mostly it was noodling and realizing what's wrong with what I've written so far. Tomorrow is the rewatch and a visit from a friend, and I'm also helping teach at the dojo all week, but I will fix this thing.....................
  • Current Music
    "Eyes on the Prize" by Bruce Springsteen
christmas

Monday music: "Carol of the Bells" Part 1

The first two of several versions of one of my favorite Christmas carols, "Carol of the Bells." First we have this one by the Boston Pops, in English:




And then one by Bel Canto Choir Vilnius in the original Ukrainian:

  • Current Music
    "Shchedryk (Carol of the Bells)" by Bel Canto Choir Vilnius