Wednesday, March 28, 2018

time for a binge?

Our family used to have a media-related Easter tradition: since Christian Easter, for most of Christendom, coincides with Jewish Passover, we would always sit down to watch "The Ten Commandments," starring Charlton Heston—an epic that would show up, without fail, every Passover. (We would only occasionally watch "The Greatest Story Ever Told.") It's been years since I engaged in that family ritual, but I'm thinking the time has come to replace "The Ten Commandments" with a nine-hour binge-watch of Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Hey, it's still an epic about some lord or other, right?


Charles said...

And you should watch the Hobbit trilogy during Lent as some sort of twisted act of penance. Flagellation of the eyes and mind, perhaps?

Kevin Kim said...

This cracked me up. I'd been wondering whether to mention that trilogy in my post, but I decided to keep things positive.

Have you seen the behind-the-scenes documentary about the making of the Hobbit trilogy? It was a real shit show almost from the beginning, as Jackson was desperately trying to stay a day ahead of actual filming. Unbelievable. So the project was suffering from a lack of leadership... it amazes me that the three films are as coherent as they are. It also amazes me that the people interviewed in the documentary were as frank about the production problems as they were, all while not seeming bitter about the hell they were being put through. Further, it was amazing to see how the set creators, costumers, and prop masters all came through no matter how random the demands placed upon them were. Unseen, unsung heroes.

Charles said...

I've seen parts of it, although I don't remember where. You are right. A lot of people very heroically suffered through a lot to get those films done. And for as harsh as I am when it come to the films, they did have their moments of brilliance. I thought the first film actually wasn't that bad (at least until Bilbo and the dwarves ran into the trolls, at which point the story went straight off the rails and into a ditch). The riddle game with Bilbo and Gollum was--dare I say it--pitch perfect. And, let's face it--Martin Freeman was born to play Bilbo. As for the other two films, Smaug was also pretty awesome, and pretty much every scene with just Bilbo and Smaug in it was great. But there was so much that was absolutely, soul-crushingly horrible.

I'm just angry and disappointed that we had such a perfect Bilbo, such a perfect Gollum, and such a perfect Gandalf--and they were squandered on that train wreck of a trilogy. It could have been a thing of beauty. It was never going to be, of course... but it could have been.