This weekend, as you all know, I went to visit my parents and little brother to decorate the Christmas tree as a family. Which meant Tom, my mom and myself putting all the ornaments on and my brother and father both volunteering to put the star on top after we’d finished it. BUT I discovered some really pretty red and green plaid ornaments. I love plaid. It might be the “spent half my childhood twenty minutes from Seattle” experience, or the fact that lumberjacks are kind of sexy… I married someone who looks a little like the original Brawny paper towels guy, after all. Well, my mom picked out the ornaments and I really love them. She’s always had really great taste in… everything in general? She gets my sense of style and she has great sensibility for what looks good in general. Decorating, clothing, wallpaper, floral arrangements, what smells good, etc. Anyway, it was a lot of fun to see the new things she bought last year. I don’t think I got to decorate the tree last year. Or that I was home for more than one night for Christmas. I was working at Macy’s and they had me working Christmas Eve and Boxing Day. No more!
Also we went to see The Hobbit. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I’m a bit of a poseur when it comes to Tolkien books. I love the movies, but I could not get through The Hobbit. I found the first 50 pages utterly exhausting. They were sitting around a table talking to dwarves the whole time! Blah. Great adventure stories, but I can’t get into his writing. I am, however, very familiar with the stories. My dad was really into them (he has the patience of a saint when it comes to books.) We watched the animated film growing up. A lot. And my father talked to us about the books. And then after I saw The Fellowship of the Ring, I read that book. Hard, painful, tiring. But I made it through. Then I got about 50 pages into The Two Towers and gave up. I admit this with my head hung penitently. That long, long explanation of the Riders of Rohan just about squished my brain. I never even attempted The Return of the King.
And yet, I have a tattoo of the Evenstar on my left hip/tummy area. I dressed up as Arwen this year for Halloween. Yeah. Again, I’m very penitent.
But the movie! The movie was both a bit disappointing and awesome. Peter Jackson took a lot of liberties with the story. (I made sure to ask Tom and my father, both of whom have actually read the books AND seen the animated film, before concluding that my suspicion in this area was correct.) The intention is, apparently, to stretch this one out into three movies, as well. Honestly, I could see taking two. Two 2-hour movies. Not three 3-hour movies. So the team added a LOT of stuff. I like it. It’s very exciting, the music is well done, and the visual effects are nice. The story flows. It makes a lot of sense, the writing is good, and the acting is up to par. HOWEVER, it’s kind of bloated. There’s a 30-minute intro that is completely unnecessary, the fight scenes can take a bit of time, and I swear, the conversations that some of the characters had took longer to say and act out than it would have taken to read that 75-page part in the book. A little bit like King Kong was. But overall, I must say, I respect it. It’s a good piece of film.