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December 30, 2012


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I thought the Hobbit movie was an entertaining movie. At first I was pretty annoyed about the extra goblin action, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the book is incredibly weak. It's very much a kid's book, without a strong story arc - just random stuff that happens to Bilbo etc, and it turns out that one of those random encounters leads to saving the whole of Middle Earth. If you didn't already know and love the book, that's a crappy movie. The Thorin backstory / orc stalker storyline, weak as it is, really does give a nice little structure to the movie.

For the record, I am deeply disappointed that Peter Jackson cut "fifteen birds in five fir trees," because that's the best Tolkien song ever!

You know, I've never seen Lawrence of Arabia. I've read some wonderful biographies about him and never wanted to spoil the image in my head with a movie adaptation ;)

White Horse Pilgrim

That's a good point - the book is fairly slim and doesn't have a strong story arc. I can accept the extra orcs, though that makes it "based on" Tolkien's book rather than a pure and simple film adaptation. Probably I am being a bit of a purist.

But I do think that Jackson might have relied more on acting and less on enormous CGI tableaux such as the vast caverns where the dwarves seemed to fall for ever. The sheer odds seem a bit off too - tens of thousands of orcs against a dozen - meaning that orcs have to be really stupid and easy to defeat. (Now if the big orc had mated and produced some worthy sons then the dwarves would not have had it so easy.)

The best biography of Lawrence, for my money, is Mack's "A Prince of our Disorder". This explores his mind with insight and perception. The film is an excellent piece of cinema and well worth watching, just don't use it as a historically accurate frame of reference.

The Ashmolean museum in Oxford has Lawrence's bedouin robes on display. That's the museum where he gained his love of archaeology. The house where he grew up is still there in Oxford too.

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