Cover photo by Sam Howzit, used under Creative Commons license

“I’m not afraid of death. I’m an old physicist — I’m afraid of time.”

I watched two long movies this weekend: The Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armies (imdb | rotten tomatoes), a 2.5-hour movie in which not very much at all happens, and Interstellar (imdb | rotten tomatoes), a 2.5-hour movie in which almost too much happens.

I get why a some people didn’t like Interstellar. It had its issues. But the issues were more than outweighed by the joys of it, I thought. The scale. The adventure. The robots. It was worth the warts.


Cover photo by Sam Howzit, used under Creative Commons license

Photo by erjkprunczýk, used under Creative Commons license

“Is he a very great wizard, or is he more like you?”

J.R.R. Tolkien’s book The Hobbit is almost a part of my family. I’d had it read to me, in parts, multiple times when I was very little and would get sick. I don’t remember, but suspect I was whining that I wanted someone to read to me, and my dad decided that if he was going to read something it’d be something good. I read it myself later, but forgot most of it. I read it again shortly after I moved to Toronto, not long before Peter Jackson began making his Lord Of The Rings trilogy. I rediscovered those books as well, and fell in love with Jackson’s films. So I was more than a little excited when he announced he’d be making a film version of The Hobbit (imdb | rotten tomatoes) as well.

I’ll admit, though, that a crazy schedule kept me from going the first few weekends after its release, after which middling reviews (of the film, and of the 3Dish technology in which it was displayed) discouraged me further. But once again, family intervened: my brother told me the middling reviews centered mainly around the difference in tone of the film vs. the LOTR trilogy…which shouldn’t have surprised anyone, given the difference in tone between the books. So, armed with that knowledge, the convenience of on-demand TV, and a long weekend we settled in to watch it.

And it was pretty good. Not amazing, mind you…just pretty good. It’s suffering a bit from Jackson’s (or the studio’s?) desire to stretch a small book over three long films, but Tolkien packed a lot in those pages. And while I knew Dwarf songs were coming, that doesn’t mean I liked it. It also felt a little like they’ve fallen a bit too in love with the CGI, but not disastrously so.

I’m quite looking forward to the next adventure now though, so…mission accomplished.


Photo by erjkprunczýk, used under Creative Commons license