HoLOTR Marathon Part 2

June 14, 2022 at 9:39 am (Uncategorized)

Part 1

I should probably mentioning I’m assuming that anyone reading this has watched all of the movies at least three times. It’s possible that some people haven’t, but they ain’t no friends of mine*.

There’s quite a bit of exposition throughout these films, but as a rule it’s done well—for example, given by someone who might just attack you partway through the discussion.

Hello, spiders.

Hello, first sign of the ring’s corrupting influence on Bilbo.

Hello Legolas. Still so pretty, still so boring. My teenage self adored you.

Heh. In a million years, when my kids are old enough to watch this, they’re going to wonder what The Wasp is doing in this film.

Okay, I’ll be honest. Some elements of the romance are actually kind of cool. Especially overcoming cultural barriers (can you tell I like working with refugees?)

Barrel run! Dumb as anything, but/and fun.

Oh no! Something in my dodgy secondhand DVD player-only TV is not working!

Huh. A bunch of the barrel run got skipped. Odd.

Oh well…

Okay, so I was watching it on our super unreliable “TV” that can only play DVDs because today is a public holiday and the kids are home. Given that they consider “Mary Poppins” excessively violent, these movies are really not for them—yet.

The “TV” is on a pile of my clothing, on my desk, wedged into an old fridge drawer, with an extension cord plugging it into the bathroom.

Then Lizzie went to the bathroom, and I lost my place due to unplugging it so she could close the door. The “TV” can’t select scenes, so I threw the kids out of the living room and put it back on—starting from the barrel scene.

Which is super dumb in places, but also a GREAT scene. You clearly see their different fighting styles as well as their teamwork (chopping through a branch one by one as they pass by until it splits and the orcs can’t use it any more). And Legolas, just as freakishly coordinated as the dwarves, instead of fighting with them, uses them as props while he focuses on the orcs (literally standing on their heads).

So glad I didn’t miss this. And yeah, I don’t mind Legolas being inserted into the film. The woodland elves were legitimately important.

This marathon is going much slower than expected—it’s been almost 24 hours and I’m not even halfway through the first trilogy yet—but Chris and I both got migraines last night so it was clearly unwise to stay awake. Then I spent most of today doing the maths to figure out the profits from the ZamZam Foundation’s Australian Launch and Fundraiser—roughly $8000, after paying assorted costs (printing art, paying artists, registration of ZamZam Foundation as an association in the ACT, etc).

Given that, as the ZamZam Foundation Australia web site points out,

  • AU$35 feeds a family in Afghanistan for a week.
  • AU$150 feeds a family in Afghanistan for a month.
  • AU$280 pays for a semester of university fees.

that $8000 will dramatically change the lives of literally hundreds of families in Afghanistan.

Stephen Fry and his slimy offsider remind one of the film-makers’ love of gross-out humour.

Hello, Colbert.

Surely Bard and his son are super famous for other stuff? The opening scene of the third movie is possibly the greatest scene in this trilogy. They’re really really good.

Bard the Bowman is Luke Evans. He’s certainly still around, in several high-profile films. Here‘s his wiki page. His son Bain is played by the Scottish John Bell (not to be confused with the Australian actor of the same name), and his career is also doing just fine.

I need to write approximately ten grant applications by tomorrow. More “cut and paste and then edit” than truly writing, but still… a lot.

But right now I’m cooking dinner, so the grants will have to wait a bit longer. At least I’m in the second half of this movie now.

Oh, Thrain! I don’t remember your subplot at all. Perhaps you were only ever in the extended version, and I wasn’t super fascinated by dwarf genealogies at the time. But you matter too.

Richard Armitage does a great job of playing the exiled king, showing both the weight of his position and the seeds of the madness to come. Any billionaire goes through the same process, and calling it madness is cheap. Sorry Tolkien, but you could have done better.

Bilbo’s ability to defy the king, and to keep believing when the others give up, is certainly valuable, and the films do a good job of keeping him as the main character even in his position as the odd man out.

I’m eating dinner at present. When I make a roast (which I usually make with lamb chops) I eat it in stages. First I boil potatoes in their skins, and give them a good shake and some slashes with the side of a spoon so they have plenty of texture. Then I cover the potatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrot in a mix of oil, salt, and herbs (usually basil, often garlic) and start cooking. After 20 minutes I take out any small pieces or potato skins that are perfectly crispy and would burn if left longer, and eat them. Plus some of the carrot and sweet potato. So although I did roast some zucchini today, it’s not in this photo since it’s already been eaten. Ditto the sweet potato.

Today the lamb was marinated in a maple-mustard-apple cider thingy. VERY nice.

This is not a healthy meal, as such, but it’s delicious, full of iron, and has pretty much all the vegetables I can tolerate without getting sick (low-FODMAP and low-salicylate diet, which covers most human food). I have it with sour cream and soy sauce rather than gravy, since I’m somewhat intolerant of gravy and only a bit intolerant of sour cream (dairy) and presumably soy sauce (beans? anything fermented? I’m sure there’s something). It tastes amazing, I assure you. (The potatoes are boiled at the start so they don’t dry out, and the skins splitting off and cooking in their own gloriousness is a pleasant side effect).

But now Bilbo is creeping into the dragon’s lair! Oh nose!

Oh, this is a GOOD scene. The clink and clatter of coins. . .

HELLO Bossy-boots Crankypants! Always nice to see you and Martin Freeman working together.

Here are my cats, who don’t usually pose so nicely.

Hello, gratuitous Legolas scene.

Using the dragon to light your furnace is cool, but fighting a dragon with heat is… not smart.

A mighty ending.

Whatever else they did, the team nailed Smaug. Which was vital.

And that song in the credits is seriously amazing. It holds up perfectly. Well done, Ed Sheeran. This is genuinely one of your best songs.

*I tolerate SOME non-nerds among my crew due to their other sterling qualities.


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