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Mon 01 Mar 2004

I just want to contrast similar scenes from two different movies that came out last year -- Holes and Return of the King.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD -- but not really...

Both involve scenes where two undersized characters are struggling up the side of a mountain. In both movies, one character ends up having to pick up and carry the other to the top. OK, fine. Far-fetched, yes, but so what; it's dramatic as all get out.

In Return of the King, (Note: I consider myself a serious fan of the books, so take what I say with a grain of salt) Jackson seriously made me want to puke. Frodo and Sam are climbing up the mountain, Frodo falls down. OK, so what happens? We get a dialogue -- "I can't do it, Sam!" "C'mon Mr. Frodo, we need to keep going!" "Ugh..." (sorry, can't remember it all) until the music dramatically swells, we cut to Sam's face for a Hero shot, wind blowing his hair, hold for a couple of seconds, then "Well I'll carry you!"

I guess the whole "carrying" thing just wasn't dramatic enough for Jackson. No, we've gotta bash the audience over the head, and say SAM! IS! A! HERO!!!!! Makes me weep. For me, what made Sam so dang heroic was just his matter-of-fact way of going about things. Oh, you can't climb anymore? Um, OK, I'll carry you then. Just does it, none of this hero-shot, music-swelling, dramatic-shout nonsense.

In contrast, in Holes, the whole carrying-up-the-mountain thing was as clearly telegraphed as it was in Return of the King, but for some reason, it just didn't come across as forced. Stanley didn't want to carry him up, but kinda had to. So he did. And that makes him so much more the hero. The intercut scenes with Eartha Kitt helped, too, I must admit.

And don't get me started on the Scouring of the Shire. Really, don't.
Posted around lunchtime/society/popculture ]

Boy, talk about a generic blog. What can I say, I'm not a design guy. My brother says he'll design a template for me if I want...

These are the sites that I read the most:

instapundit (like many, many other people)
Google News
OK, OK, so I'm biased. Big deal.

Arts & Letters Daily

The best dang writing on the web, period. (At least it was, when I set up this blog 4 years ago.)
Lileks (especially the Bleat)
Eject! Eject! Eject!

Dave Barry
Tim Blair
Worse Than Failure

Legal Stuff
How Appealing
Balkin (when I want to get mad)
Volokh & Co. (I like Phillipe the best) (where did he go, anyway?)
Some Harvard graduate who happens to be totally hilarious.

Other interesting political commentary
Colby Cosh
Impromptus (and what happened to him, too?)
Best of the Web

Baseball stuff
Hunt (What the heck happened to him, anyway?)
Viva El Birdos

Geek stuff

Sites I used to read all the time, but rarely visit anymore
Yahoo Money
Andrew Sullivan
New York Press

Marvelous ways to waste an afternoon
Travels with Samantha (rated PG-13)
The Institute of Official Cheer
The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit
Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics
The Tolkien Sarcasm Page
Wikipedia's BJAODN

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