Monthly Archives: December 2001

The Lord of the Rings

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Let me tell you all about it. First: I didn’t sleep until about 4am. After that, actually. Don’t know why, bad rhythms or something. And then I got up at 8:45 or so, because I needed to meet emma at yonge and eglinton at 10am. Bah. 10am! Why so early? I was following her to work from there (I’d get lost trying to find the actual place, and hell, I got lost trying to find the damn starbucks) where we got a lifft at noon, to go see Lord of the Rings at 1pm up at Yorkdale. So off we go, with a group from her work.

So we get to the movie. It has about 15 years of previews, of course. And then it starts. Spoilers? Well, if you don’t want to know, don’t read this. But I don’t think anything I can say will surprise you. It starts with a sequence narrated by Cate Blanchett. That sequence explains the history of the ring. Which does kind of spoil the surprise of finding out when Frodo does, but it probably helps people who don’t know anything about the Lord of the Rings (who are those people?). The sequences with Sauron are BEAUTIFUL. He does stuff that isn’t in the book precisely, but makes perfect sense. We see the war 3000 years before, when Aragorn’s ancestor cuts the ring from Sauron’s hand. We see it being found. We see Bilbo stumbling on it in the dark. And the movie then starts with the party, just as it should. And Bilbo gives his speak just as he should. Perfect.

I wondered about Elijah Wood as Frodo, but in the film I couldn’t take my eyes off him. He really is beautiful, and such a perfect Frodo. His eyes….he gives off this sense of innocence that really works as Frodo. Sean Austin does a great job as Sam. (I was a bit surprised, though, because everyone kept calling him Sam GAM gee, like, aw, gee, GEE. I always said it myself with a hard G. But I know they’re probably right on all that stuff. Don’t know why that never occured to me before.) he’s a great sam, but my shock at how good Frodo was kind of overshadowed him. Merry and Pippin are hilarious. Pippin has an outrageous Scottish accent which works perfectly with the film. They’re lovely, though they’re really buffoonish. They added a scene where Boromir teaches the two of them to fight, and accidentally hits Pippin, and then Merry and Pippin both start wrestling him to the ground for it. That was cute. We don’t get to see them as schemers, though. They accidentally end up on this little mission.

They took out the songs, except one:

The road goes ever on and on
Down from the road where it began
Now far ahead the road has gone
And I must follow, if I can
Persuing it with eager feet
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And wither then? I cannot say.

The scenes are Bree as lovely. Aragorn is perfect; not what I imagined, but perfectly great. He’s tall and wiry, not bulky or needlessly good looking. They took out Tom Bombadil. Weathertop was really cool, but I wasn’t sure about their details. I had thought there were 6 who attacked on Weathertop, and I thought Frodo got a good slash in there. Frodo is far more ill after getting stabbed than he is in the book. Liv Tyler as Arwen is lovely, articulate, wonderful. I love that they beefed up her role, they really delved into the appendixes and brought out a side of Aragorn and her that we don’t see in the book, which I think is called for. It will make us more interested in book three, for sure.

Cate Blanchett’s Galadriel is lovely. They make her beautiful, wise, and terrible all at once. We understand that she is good, if there is such a thing as good, but she is also frightening, dangerous. I love that. Lovely, wonderful job.

Elrond is terrifying-looking. Very stern and serious. At first I wondered about this, but it’s bang on. Elves aren’t flitty little things, they’re solid and serious, though light and beautiful. Legolas was stunning. He was incredible, honestly. I never paid much attention to him before, but he was really wonderful in the film. They did good work on bringing out the conflicts between the races; Elrond comes off being blatantly and understandibly racist against men, which we understand, after his experiences in war with men. And this is true; he doesn’t want his daughter (Arwen) getting involved with a man. And we have Gimli being racist against elves, which of course makes sense. Gimli is beautiful as a dwarf, but his character doesn’t get as much development as we’d like. Hell, it’s only a 3 hour movie. But he looks great, and acts great. We just want to see more.

Gandalf of course is great. They added a lot of material here that is only referred to in the book; his confrontation with Sarumann..the niggling feeling that Sarumann isn’t just a traitor, but an attempted usurper. The orcs are fabulous. The white hand of Sarumann on their faces is spectacular. Gandalf: he comes across as more kindly in the movie than he does in the book. The first book, at least. There are a few FABULOUS scenes of Gandalf stuck up on the tower at Isengaard, left to died, tortured by Sarumann, and you can see all around him the Orcs pulling down the trees. (Foreshadowing my friend Treebeard!) Those scenes were perfect and beautiful to watch, I just shook my head and whispered ‘yessssss’ when I saw them.

It ends just when it should, though they made Frodo’s departure approved instead of unknown to Aragorn. Don’t know how I feel about that.

All in all…I loved it. Someone said that if Harry Potter was a 10/10, Lord of the Rings is a 20/10. I agree that it’s good, but Harry Potter is actually closer to it’s book than Lord of the Rings is. there are few plot diversions in Harry, but not as many. Granted, Fellowship had a lot more material to shove in. I loved Lord of the Rings. But I’ll probably see Harry more times. Don’t know why. Harry is easier to watch; Lord of the Rings made me cry. Twice. Not that that’s a bad thing.

Go see it. It’s worth it, even for the extravagant cost of movies these days.

Miso Soup for One

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Miso Soup for One
Ingredients:
-two green onions, or three or four thin slices of white or red onion
-two or three mushrooms, sliced into strips (bite size!)
-olive oil
-one or two slices of bacon, precooked (you can buy it that way, thank god)
-two to three cups of water
-snowpeas, chopped (again with the bite sized)
-spinach (get a bag, you’ll want to do this again.)
-miso (So far I’ve tried yellow and white, both are good.)

Directions:
-throw your onions and mushrooms into a saucepan with a drop or two of olive oil. You know, just to make sure nothing burns. Sautee them over medium to lowish heat.
-when that smells sort of doneish (What? You wanted precise language? Phsaw.), throw in the pre-cooked bacon. It’s already cooked, after all. But let it get it’s groove on in there for a while. Stir a lot.
-Add water. Turn the heat up toward high, we’re aiming for a boil here. Throw in the snowpeas, and rip up your spinach. Try to keep as many stems out of there as possible. Fill up the rest of the pot with spinach until you think the lid might not fit on anymore. Press the spinach down a bit. See? The lid will still fit on. Put the lid on. Go watch tv for a bit, maybe 10 minutes tops.
-take off the lid. Wow! Look how little spinach that actually was. Cool. Now, turn the heat off. Stir it around a bit. Take out your miso. Put a tablespoon of miso in there, and maybe another half a tablespoon, another whole tablespoon if you’re like me and really like your miso. It might stick to the spoon, but swoosh it around in the water to get it off. Stir. Put the lid on again.
-pop a bagel in the toaster. When it pops up, put a little ‘I can’t believe it’s not butter’ on it. Slice the bagel slices. Put them on a pretty plate. Have another look at your soup. Stir it again. Doesn’t it smell nice? Pour it into a bowl, and grab a spoon.
-remember to thank me.

Dreaming

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I’ve been dreaming again. Not that this is necessarily new. I’m always dreaming, right? But not these dreams. These are familiar dreams, but taking new forms. I’m not a victim in them anymore, and the outcome isn’t clear. When you get past the point of knowing exactly what you want (since, that is a bit of a phase, isn’t it?), the dream has no real goal anymore, not in the same way. Now the dream is a bunch of stopping and starting, random miscue conversation, big skies. For some reason the sky is always particularly arched in these dreams, as if the whole world is condensed into them. The world is less round, and taller, I’m hemmed in by mountains, I can only decend into this world in an airplane. So I’m standing there, head filled with the space I have to grow into, mountains curving toward me, angled precariously by the edge of my lenses, and the conversation continues. It goes it circles. I’m bitter and annoyed but mostly it’s a front, because I’m not really used to feeling anything else toward you at the moment. And you are just human. Nothing else. You don’t even have the power to be mean or frightening or even kind in the dreams anymore. You’re a lump of meatspace, like every other lump of meatspace, and I’m not sure how acknowledge my understanding of that. Is it that I’m prepared to forgive you? Is it that I want to? (Do I?) I don’t know.

I’ve run out of shampoo. Can you believe that? I used to have 1500 bottles of shampoo lying around because I get so bored of the smell of whatever I’m using. Now I’m down to the dregs of two different shampoos, and it’s highly unsatisfactory. Yesterday I accidentally tried to wash my hair with conditioner. (When will these people understand that the blind need differently shaped bottles in order to avoid that mistake?)