Archive for March 24th, 2013

In the last couple of weeks I watched one new movie (“The Hobbit“) and two re-runs (“The Shoes of the Fisherman” and “Battle: Los Angeles“).
The Hobbit” is the prequel novel to the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.  Actually, LOTR was not a trilogy.  It was a single LONG novel.  The publisher didn’t believe there was a market for a fantasy of such length (don’t you love experts), so they had Tolkien break the story up into three books.  I don’t recall the books standing that well as independent novels, so I guess it was lucky they’ve always been sold as a trilogy.  Anyway, I’ve watched LOTR multiple times and I read the books (maybe) ten years ago.  I read “The Hobbit” MANY years ago, probably thirty-five or so.  I enjoyed the Hobbit so much I bought the LOTR immediately, but then never read them.  Over the years, I’ve had to repurchase them at least three times, because I’d move and lose them or I’d loan them out and never get them back.
Back to the movie…  I don’t remember the book much…  Hobbit, dragon, special shirt, blue sword, orcs and a ring (“the” ring).  I’m told by fans the movie doesn’t really follow the book.  It both adds new bits and expands other bits.  Yeah, I get it.  You’re an expert and you were not really pleased…  Sorry.  Don’t care.  I really enjoyed this movie.  It’s a bit long and probably a bit too intense for small children, but otherwise, I thought it was really good.  If I have one regret, it’s that I didn’t make more of an effort to see it on the big screen.
There’s action, battles, heroics, and humor.  The humor is both physical and spoken, so you’ve got to both watch and listen.  The acting is good and the special effects are very good on the small screen.  (By small screen, I mean on our 48-inch, high-def home TV.)  You will have to pause every now and then (or have an exceptional bladder), but otherwise, I highly recommend this movie and I will definitely make the effort to see parts two and three at the theater.
I last watchedThe Shoes of the Fisherman” back in April of 2010 (see that review here).  I got it off the shelf to get myself in the mood for a nice long papal conclave.  For those of you not up to snuff on Roman Catholicism, when we need a new Pope (usually because the prior one has died), we hold a meeting of Cardinals called a “conclave”.  There, any Cardinal of voting age (under 80 years old) can vote to elect the person they feel should be the next Pope.  The conclave may be long or short and there’s no way to tell in advance how the Holy Spirit will guide the meeting.  Anyway, this is a movie I’ve enjoyed watching several times (I’ve probably seen it no more than a half dozen times in my life) and it always reminds me that my faith is a way of viewing our place in the world and in history and that it is not the “institution” of the Church.  I highly recommend this film too / again.
In real life, the conclave did not last even a week, so there was hardly much suspense from multiple votes.  In fact, the real conclave was shorter than the one in the movie.
The second movie (“Battle: Los Angeles“) is a well done military action film – the U.S. Marines versus an alien invasion.  Setting aside the plausibility of humanity being able to defeat a civilization which is able to move from solar system to solar system, the point is, do you enjoy watching the film.  I did (do).  In all honesty, I’ve watched this several times since getting the DVD and doing my second review (here) back in January 2012.  I initially reviewed the film after returning from my trip to Liverpool back in 2011 (here).  It’s still a terrific little action film (Ooh-rah!!) and it’s still highly recommended.  I haven’t intended to do it, but I guess I’m kind of setting a precedent of not reviewing a movie more than once a year on this blog – even if I’ve seen it more than that during the period.
By the way, I reviewed the film’s ranking on Rotten Tomatoes – it got a 31 rating;  then I went to see it on Wikipedia.  According to Wiki, even though the film was roundly trashed by the critics, it did quite well at the box office and there is some discussion about making a sequel.  I can’t see how this really happens because the movie was borderline unbelievable, but if they can come up with a decent action movie, a Sci-Fi buff like me will normally shell out for the ticket.  I guess we’ll see…

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The object is to play so well so consistently that your opponent caves in.
    —    Bill Walsh
Former 49er Head Coach
As quoted in:  “The Genius“, by David Harris
[Happy Birthday Bro,
The same can be said about squeezing every drop of living out of life…
Love ya,
    —    KMAB]

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