Spawn of Mars
Blog of Fictioneer David Skinner
Getting the Extended Edition of the Movie Trilogy
Tuesday, July 5, 2022 1:12 am
I never got more than a few pages into The Lord of the Rings. I thought the movies were, in the end, boring. Over the years I have acquired a lot of cultural knowledge about Tolkien's intent and craft and, thus intrigued, I have always wished his work would simply attract me, if only so I wasn't the odd man out among my fellow odd men out.
Well, I'm still not planning on reading the book, but on a whim I bought the extended edition of the movie trilogy, and... it's not boring. It may be an unremarkable thing to say, but Lord of the Rings needed the miniseries feel of the extended films. Even though I had never read the books, the theatrical versions had seemed a collection of steps, of scenes, of highlights from something greater.
Now, I have no idea if the extended versions truly represent the books better (aye, there's still no Tom Bombadil, haha), but they at least represent the movies better. There is an epic feel at last, and somehow the human (hobbit, elf, whatever) moments are better grounded.
Favor the Heart Over the Tail
Hacksaw Ridge Is an Amazing 40 Minutes
Tuesday, November 28, 2017 9:14 pm
Beware! Spoilers follow.
For its first hour or so, Hacksaw Ridge
is very disappointing. For another half hour it is active
, if not exciting. And then there is a scene that is transcendent; and the remainder of the movie is wonderful.
That's Where You'll Find Me
Maybe Dorothy Sings About the Wrong Thing
Saturday, August 12, 2017 12:19 pm
There's a misalignment in The Wizard of Oz
What is its moral? "There's no place like home." Dorothy has found herself in a land over the rainbow, and yet her ultimate desire — the fulfillment of which she asks of the Wizard — is to return to Kansas. Near the end, Glinda prompts Dorothy to articulate the lesson that she, Dorothy, has learned; and Dorothy replies:
If I ever go looking for my heart's desire, I won't look any futher than my own backyard. Because if it's not there I never lost it to begin with.
This lesson, of course, accords with the narrative facts that the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion each already had the thing he sought. The Scarecrow was already brainy; the Tin Man, full of heart; the Lion, courageous. And Dorothy, in Kansas, already had the place most free of trouble: her home with Aunt Em and Uncle Henry.
Deckard Is Not a Replicant
No Matter What Ridley Scott Thinks
Saturday, May 24, 2008 6:00 pm
Blade Runner is about memory and mortality: memory as the fountain of genuine life; mortality as the completion of memory.
A Bourne Rumination
On the Last of the Trilogy
Sunday, January 13, 2008 3:52 pm
Beware! Spoilers follow.
I can watch the first two Bourne movies repeatedly and still enjoy them. They really do succeed. In general I am annoyed that they, like too much out of Hollywood, find the greatest criminality among American spies; but hey, they are exciting and they aren't cartoons. Having heard that The Bourne Ultimatum was even more anti-American, I wasn't so sure I wanted to bother with it; yet I had also heard it was very good, and so I got it.
Yes, yes, one could argue that it's not anti-American as such but only anti-CIA; but, in the end, it is Americans who are the bad guys, so it's a bit sour. It also spins its wheels a bit, as far as the action goes; the variations on a theme were sometimes not so variant. Still, I really liked it — and unlike, say, Spider-Man 3, it doesn't crater and ruin its trilogy, but finishes things very well.
Now, two observations.
"Unholy and Evil"
When the Culture Could Be Honest
Monday, May 16, 2005 2:16 am
Beware! Spoilers follow.
I was watching The Godfather: Part II the other day. I had not seen it in many years. I knew how the story would go; I was prepared for the powerful scenes. I had not, however, remembered the dialogue as such — and I was struck by what Kay says
Marriage, Once Upon a Time
A Screwball Comedy Hints at Better Days
Saturday, July 10, 2004 2:51 am
In very old movies a married couple is usually seen to sleep separately, husband in one twin bed and wife in the other. Nowadays we snicker at this — and rightly so. Though the motive to this contrivance may have been modesty, the effect of it is prudery. The marriage bed, after all, is the proper place for sex. By showing one bed we would affirm what is right; by showing twin beds, on the other hand, we clumsily imply that sex has no fit role in a good clean world.
Sometimes, however, an old movie can be not prudish but simply naive, and naive in a way that does affirm what is right. Case in point: My Favorite Wife. This movie, having been made in 1940, does have that silly nonsense with the twin beds; but it also has a particularly wonderful moment of sense.