Archive for June 27th, 2010

the Pandorica looms

by Allan Fish

It’s been finished 180 minutes as I put keys to keyboard.  Three little hours.  What is time, though?  We’ve been counting down to it from the start, from the start of this series this is.  So has the universe if what we’re told is correct, the base code of the universe is 26062010.  Who’d have thought it, if you excuse the pun.  (Personally, I think it’s 171,072, but that’s another story.)

It was only a few months ago I wrote a piece on the rebirth of Doctor Who.  It was welcomed with the enthusiasm of a nonce entering a primary school dressed in trademark string vest, Y-fronts and spectacles.  But I expected no different, the vast majority of people on this site are Americans and they, for no fault of their own, wouldn’t know Doctor Who from Doctor Shipman.  Who?  I hear you say.  Case proved.  This is for the handful of Brits who may be passing through.    (more…)

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by Allan Fish

(New Zealand/USA 2003/2004 249m) DVD1/2

One film to end them all

p  Peter Jackson, Barrie M.Osborne, Frances Walsh  d  Peter Jackson  w  Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Frances Walsh, Stephen Sinclair  novel  J.R.R.Tolkien  ph  Andrew Lesnie  ed  Annie Collins, Jamie Selkirk  m  Howard Shore  m/ly  Annie Lennox, Frances Walsh  art  Grant Major  cos  Richard Taylor, Ngila Dickson  fight ch  Bob Anderson

Elijah Wood (Frodo), Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn), Ian McKellen (Gandalf), John Rhys Davies (Gimli/Treebeard), Sean Astin (Sam), Billy Boyd (Pippin), Orlando Bloom (Legolas), Dominic Monaghan (Merry), Miranda Otto (Éowyn), Andy Serkis (Gollum), Bernard Hill (Théoden), Hugo Weaving (Elrond), Liv Tyler (Arwen), Cate Blanchett (Galadriel), David Wenham (Faramir), Karl Urban (Éomer), John Noble (Denethor), Ian Holm (Bilbo), Christopher Lee (Saruman), Brad Dourif (Grima Wormtongue),

Coming out of the cinema in December 2003, having watched the theatrical release of Jackson’s final Tolkien instalment, it’s fair to say that emotions were mixed.  On the one hand there was the ecstasy at having seen something beyond your wildest dreams, a film to, as many critics said, totally reinvent both fantasy and epic cinema; a film that topped the previous instalments, which had to be content with being mere masterworks of the seventh art.  And yet, through all this handing out of garlands and superlatives to its director, and hoping that he would finally win the Oscar he lost to such unworthies as A Beautiful Mind and Chicago, there was a nagging feeling.  After watching Fellowship and Towers, one didn’t feel cheated at the cinema, but when the extended versions came out they embellished the tale.  With King, you really could see the cracks, you almost imagined in your head the sequences that were transparently missing – Saruman’s death, the capture of the Black Ships, Faramir’s romance with Éowyn and the avalanche of skulls in the mountain dwelling – and yet still it was a film for which the term magnificent was unworthy.  So would the glaring omissions be worthy of the film?  Silly question; with the single exception of Sam and Frodo briefly joining the orc armies, each scene enhanced the plot and all the cracks were filled and all doubts put firmly to rest. (more…)

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