Friday, December 26th, 2003
Idylls Of The King
Bravo ran the Ralph Bakshi animated Lord Of The Rings movie last night – it was really interesting to watch, as ambitious as Peter Jackson’s version in its own way, but ultimately a failure, trying to compress the first two books into a single 2.5 hour feature. That’s right – the first two. Return Of The King didn’t make it in at all, the film ends at Helm’s Deep. Kinda makes you wonder what the point was, really. Still, I give Bakshi props for trying and producing a mostly reverent adaptation (though this guy disagrees – vehemently). It’s also worth noting that while the bulk of the film was animated, a lot of the scenes – including the battles – were Rotoscoped – meaning that they actually had actors in costume playing out the parts. It comes out more weird than epic, but still. Points for ambition. What was particularly interesting, though, was how many similarities there were between Bakshi and Jackson’s versions – particularly in the cinematography of several scenes and the vocal characterizations of the characters (Sam and Gollum in particular. Anyone who thinks Andy Serkis came up with his Gollum-ness on his own, sorry). I don’t think the Bakshi version is the abomination some do – it’s sort of like an Icarus version. It tries to reach for the sky and ends up a charred, waxy mess.
June 15, 2004 will see the release of Wilco: Learning How To Die, a book on Wilco by Chicago Tribune music critic Greg Kot. Naturally, I’m intrigued but I wonder how much of a book you can write about a band that is still on the upswing of their career? Usually the post-crash-and-burn periods offer richer source material.
Boxing Day today! Expect reports of excessive spending.