Thoughts on Lord of the Rings

I really enjoyed Lord of the Rings yesterday, eventhough I had set myself to be disappointed. One thing that worried me going in was my lack of familiarity with the stories. I've only read The Hobbit, and that was nearly twenty years ago. I worried if I'd be able to follow the film, or if I'd lose interest somehow, not knowing it intimately. But no worries there, they did an excellent job of making a coherent tale out of it all, though I'm sure some die hard fans will object to the reorganization of the narrative that resulted in doing so. The acting was excellent, the scenary and effects naerly top notch, and just about everything was done well. What a relief! (And so much better than Harry Potter.)

I keep forgetting they're playing commercials at the movies now before the previews (yes, commercials, like you see on TV, in case you're not being subjected to this). What kills me is that everyone quiets down and pays attention, as if it were a preview or the actual film. But it's a goddamn commercial! I'm paying to to be advertised to. From now on, I want more civil disobedience. I try to talk right through then and then turn my attention to the screen once the actual "movie" content begins. I encourage you to do the same, just talk right through those commercials as if nothing's started playing yet. We shouldn't have to pay to watch commercials, it's ridiculous. (FYI: this is happening at the Sony Metreon in San Francisco.)

Jason pointed out something interesting about this to me: the movie theatres must be hurting for money if they've resorted to advertising to their captive audience. Possibly, or they're greedier than I ever suspected. And if they need money, I just have to wonder what the heck is going on. $10 a ticket, $4.75 for popcorn, $3.75 for soda. Where's it all going? To recoup the costs of making those stupid blockbusters like Pearl Harbor? It looks like the Industry may be a victim of its own greed.

Viewing the dirctor’s cut of Dances with Wolves

Last week I watched the director's cut of Dances with Wolves on Bravo. (Unfortunately, the director's cut doesn't seem to be available on DVD.) I haven't seen too many "director's cut" versions of movies with which I am so familiar, so this was an interesting experience. I was acutely aware of all the new scenes and dialogue, and it was amazing how just a few scenes changed the whole movie for me.

If you remember the movie, you'll recall that when Lt. Dunbar (Kevin Costner) arrives at the fort, it's abandoned and he doesn't know why. I always found that particularly creepy, wondering what had happened to the men, and wondering if a similar fate would befall Lt. Dunbar. (Did they starve? Desert? Get killed by native Americans?) In the director's cut there's an additional scene showing men at the fort who pack up and desert because their reinforcements never arrive. The addition of that one scene changed the balance of the film for me. Now I as the viewer had more knowledge than Costner's character, so I wasn't equal with him. I couldn't share in his fear nearly as much. And that changed the experience of viewing the film for me, if that makes sense, which it may not since I seem to be sucky at writing these days and unable to express myself effectively. My apologies.

Living other lives elsewhere

There are several sites whose authors possess the lives I would like to live. Dean Allen's Textism is one of them. France? Snow? Glace de Viande? Everything he writes makes his life in France sound so magical, so counter to my own dull existence. It all sounds so delicious to me that I'll even put up with the vegetarian slights. If I were to move to the South of France, would my life be as dreamy? Perhaps it's all in the telling of the tale.

Party megway

I went to this ridiculous (but fun) party on Saturday night that was something straight out of 90210. We started by asking a man wearing a baseball hat, on the corner of Mission and 5th, where the "holiday party" was. He sent us to another man in front of the Gap at the cable car turnaround at Powell and Mission. Once we gave the Gap guy the password ("sick" or maybe it was "Sikh"?), he directed us down the street to a third location, where we found an abandoned-looking door. Once opened, it revealed a "happening" party within, complete with DJ's and lights. I haven't felt so silly in a very long time. The party wasn't too bad though, and the highlight of the evening occurred as my friend Sylvia and I made our way through the crowd. Some guys stops me and says,

"Don't I know you?"

I look at Syl, who rolls her eyes.

"Um, I don't think so," I say (as if this wholly unoriginal pick-up line is actually going to work.)

"No really, I think I do. Your name is Meg."

Odd. I don't recognize him at all. How could he know me?

"Huh, you don't look familiar to me," I say.

Suddenly his eyebrows raise and he smiles.

"Megway! You're the Megway!"

Oh. Good. Lord.