Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Long of the Rings.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
2001, USA
Peter Jackson

Gay, long, and nerdier than Babylon 5 fan fiction. Let’s just get the standard complaints out of the way immediately, address them briefly, and then move on to more pressing matters.

1) The film is not gay. No matter how many elves or dwarves or fairies or whatever other kind of loser in a World of Warcraft costume they jam into the film, Lord of the Rings will never be gay. What it is, however, is miserably asexual, reminding the entire audience of how sitting in a Civic Center conference room listening to Marina Sirtis reminisce about playing Councilor Troy on Star Trek: TNG makes you feel like you’ll never get an erection again.

I'd make a joke, but they're already doing it for me.

2) The film is not long. At least not compared to the credits. The extended edition DVD actually lasts a full calendar year, three seasons of which are taken up by listing the entire Lord of the Rings online fan club. Why this is necessary, I can’t begin to fathom. But apparently it sells DVDs, so if I ever make another film remind me to thank the phone book.

3) Lord of the Rings is not nerdy. Nerds know stuff, and the people who made this film clearly didn’t know anything. For example, they didn’t know that showing me a gold ring in some midget’s palm accompanied by a Yanni synthesizer chord eight hundred times over the course of a three hour film would make me want to burn down a jewelry store. The movie is geeky, which is like nerdy but dumb and full of stats about hit points.

Yeah. That's not cool.

The Fellowship of The Ring is the first installment in Peter Jackson’s attempt to slow time down to the point where it actually stars moving backwards, so he can go back to his youth and remind his younger self not to eat cheese by the pound. It tells the story of Frodo Baggins, a hobbit who discovers a magic ring and gets wrapped up in one of those Magic: The Gathering tournaments that last entire weekends. Along the way, he joins a bunch of other B-level actors desperate to be immortalized by action figures before dying of a drug overdoses and getting buried in a pauper’s grave. Everybody has a name like the drummer in a bad Norwegian metal band, which is not cool unless you're twelve. And, all the dialogue is said as if the weight of the grim portents it contains were enough to excuse the fact that it sounds like it was taken from a Final Fantasy video game. Extra experience points are given for casting Christopher Lee and for realizing that Elijah Wood is too freakish looking to play a human, but taken away for using more computer animation than Toy Story. The film loses a bit of tension when it looks like Frodo could defeat the Ring Wraiths by hitting Control-Alt-Delete.


I won’t deny that the film is exciting when it’s moving, or that I didn’t wait in line to see the sequels like I was begging Triumph The Insult Comic Dog to put me on The Late Late Show with Conan O’Brien. But I will say that this film made me more ashamed than I’ve been in a long time, skulking around like a Nazi war criminal with a bag of gold fillings, fearful that others may discover that I’ve seen the film, and engage me in a long, long discussion of all the minute details in which the movie departs from the book. The problem, however, is that the film didn’t depart from the book enough. For an adaptation to be justified, it must in some way adapt to its new form, providing something new for the audience, instead of just animating the source material. And, to me, that’s where The Fellowship of the Ring failed. It stuck too closely to the novel, amounting to nothing more than the kind of dream you’d have if you read Tolkein and then fell asleep after eating hash and a bag of Sour Kids. I’ve already read the books, thank you very much. And while it took me longer to get through them than it did to watch the films, I preferred reading them than the eight months of credits.


Blogger Jerk Of All Trades 2.0 said...

Porn references.
Chopped up bodies.
Racial and Religious jokes.
All types of sick and twisted behavior.
Deviant, phuctup shit.
NONE of it offended me.

However, you've gone too far this time Ash.
Phuc you Ash, I hate you.
How DARE you sir!
I am sickened.
Please, no more Yanni.

9:48 a.m.  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

I always knew that one day, I'd go too far. I just figured it would be a link to White Pride World Wide that would do it.

10:06 a.m.  
Anonymous Jon Baum said...

Thanks Ash. I'm glad it won't be necessary to send the Elders around to your house.

2:14 p.m.  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

No problem, Jon. Happy to fill your request (at least a third of it), and to keep the Zionist Occupational Government away from my squalid apartment.

2:18 p.m.  
Anonymous broadzilla said...

But Jerk, Yanni has funhair!

2:22 a.m.  
Blogger Jerk Of All Trades 2.0 said...

NO....he does not.
Unless you're a big Brokeback Mountain fan or a chick who likes bangin guys with a strapon. NEITHER then-Q very much.

8:59 a.m.  
Blogger Sam Kahn said...

Yeah, Fellowship is boring. Especially the director's cut.

I completely agree with you adaptations. It's a conclusion that's difficult for most people to agree with, and I think it takes seeing a really brilliantly executed adaptation to see the truth in that.

2:07 a.m.  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

But then they just complain that it's not the same as the book/comic/video game. That's the problem everyone had with American Psycho, which I thought was a great adaptation.

1:46 p.m.  
Blogger Sam Kahn said...

I still need to read the novel, but yeah, American Psycho is fantastic.

12:00 a.m.  

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