Saturday, January 15, 2005

Peter Jackson did a fine job, indeed!

Peter Jackson, the much vaunted, much maligned director of the films based on J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Fellowship of the Rings" et al did a wonderful job translating the complex, multilingual story to film. I only just realized this today, having watched the special extended version on DVD and comparing it to the theatrical release. The DVD version certainly answers questions that the theatrical version left out (e.g. what happened to Sauroman, the wizard?), and it lengthens some of the dialogue between Frodo, Samwise and Gollum/Smeagol. But on the whole, the theatrical version is better than this extended version, given the editing and the rational that went on behind the scenes to determine which takes to leave out, which takes to leave in.

Nevertheless, if you get a chance to see the "full-length" version of "The Return of the King" by all means take it. The 4-plus hours you'll spend noticing the multiple differences between what you saw in the theater and what you see on the small screen enhance the film greatly. I think it's a vastly different telling, improved in spots, just over-long in spots.

But well worth the time (if you love film, and particularly if you loved Tolkien's tale of magic, greed, malevolence and horror, and at its base, the theme of man's susceptibility to evil and all its seductive power.

The war in Iraq goes on; our soldiers keep dying; and the friggin' president shrugs and implies an addle-brained "oops" by ending the search for weapons of mass destruction. The rational the administration used to get us into the war with Iraq has proven false on every count. I repeat, false on EVERY COUNT!

And yet the American public (other than the survivors of dead soldiers) haven't demonstrated any measure of anger, doubt or reasonable challenge to the president's phony war. It's sad, it's ridiculous, and I think it bodes an ill-wind for our nation that we're willing to accept such a monumental snafu as the one that brought us to war in Iraq without so much as a request for explanation from the people at the heart of the administration.

Everyone's getting off without even a slap on the hand. In fact, Bush is giving out medals to guys who were proven to be inept at best, downright liars at worst.

This is so f*#!ed up I find it hard not to puke.

And so it goes.

Got to go. It's past time for work and I'm playing a dangerous game by wasting time (so to speak) doing this.

Best wishes to all who love life, respect love, and carry their principles close to their hearts.