Wednesday, December 26, 2007

unusual Christmasiness this year: we watched a lot of movies. okay, 1st, the solstice, Beth and I celebrated our 7th anniversary. we ate at the Colonial Inn, which belonged to the Thoreau family back in the day. a festive 19th century New England atmosphere to the dining room. afterwards we sought out the solstice drum circle by the river. it was too cold, dressed (nicely) as we were, so we passed on. saturday following, our Christmas party. Beth loves to cook for crowds. I help but Beth does the heavy lifting. essentially every dish in the house gets used, and that's what I did sunday, cleaning them, that is. on the 24th, we did a little food shopping, then visited a nearby gallery that we like. and so on, Christmas. a roast with Yorkshire pudding. I've had 3 versions of Yorkshire pudding: my mother's mine, and Beth's, all derived from Fannie Farmer, whatever edition current when my parents married in 1944. eggs, flour, water, and salt. usually throw it in the pan with the roast and potatoes. this time, more like a popover, baked in a cast iron pan. our nucular Christmas tradition. so anyway, the things we watched:

Hogsfather, presumably a BBC production, of one of Terry Pratchett's books. I read the 1st 20 Disc World novels pretty much as they came out, now I'm way behind. I turned Beth onto them, and she has read every one, most of them multiple times. now Erin has begun reading them. the production had the usual low rent special effects typical of British tv, but also the solid acting. Death, who has temporarily replaced Hogsfather (read Santa Claus), is a wonderful character. most adjustments from the book made sense, like the absence of the Death of Mice, a little rodent Reaper. surely the cgi for that would have killed the budget, as would making Death's jaws move.

Pirates of the Caribbean--seen it maybe 4 times and still love it. Depp and Rush have great fun with their roles, scenery is great, special effects, swordplay, etc. all lost in the ensuing crap. the 3rd one both put me to sleep and angered me. surely a 4th is due, whether they can scrouge up Depp for it or not. it can be the Keira Knightly show.

Fellowship of the Ring/The Two Towers. lots of issues with this but it still holds up okay. the stalwartly heroic Aragorn was a linchpin in the books and Viggo (who I want to be, someday) does the same for the movies. when he sends Frodo off, so that he can meet the oncoming orcs, you think, poor orcs. it's not that I have anything against Liv Tyler but any scene with her in it was bereft of energy. absolutely useless plot addition. Cate Blanchett was ridiculous, too, as the hey look at me Elf. so went all the Elves, really, except Orlando Hottie and, perhaps, Mr Smith. Jackson just didn't have a way to deal with these timeless creatures. Merry and Pippin were too Bowery Boys for my taste. the homoerotic theme certainly filled the book but it becomes oppressive in the movie, all that male weeping and hugging. it's funny to think that this movie may be what people know of LOTR. not that it aint being read (when the new Harry Potter is finished), but that Elijah Woods IS Frodo, etc. New Zealand looks like home to me.
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