MonthDecember 2002

In Fact, I May Go Home For The Day

I went to see Bowling for Columbine today, and enjoyed it quite a lot. However, even though it was quite a fun watch, with many laughs, and much cringing, it was a quite muddled film. Mike Moore didn’t seem to have as solid a focus as he did in Roger and Me.

Who’d be a Public Relations agent in any country that Mike Moore lives in, anyway? Not me.

“Mr Russell? There’s a guy down at the front desk, he says his name’s Mike Moore, he’s got a film crew, and he’s got a couple of handicapped kids, and a guy in a chicken suit, and a black guy in a KKK outfit, and a guy dressed as Death except instead of a scythe he’s got one of our companies products on a pole. He wants someone to talk to him.”

“Tell him I’m on  break.”

The Two Towers

I’ve just returned from Wellington, where I saw the cast and crew screening of the second movie in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Two Towers. And it’s _all class_. Another lengthy offering from Peter Jackson, this one clocks in at 3hours. But I didn’t notice the length, because I was thoroughly engrossed in the film. Is is, in my opinion, superior to the first movie in many places, groundbreakingly excellent in many other places … and a little bit painful in some places. I can’t go into any real detail, due to pesky non-disclosure agreements, as well as a promise to a friend. However…

Gollum is The Shit. Forget Yoda. Forget Jar-Jar fucking Binks. Forget Wibbly or Nibbly or Wobbly or whatever the Harry Potter House Elf is called. Gollum, a 100% CGI creature, _IS_ a supporting character in this film, and he is _excellent_. You forget he’s CG, and that’s something I never did with any of the previously mentioned constructs. Gollum alone deserves an oscar.

Helms Deep. This is _the_ best large-scale fight scene I have ever seen. Hell yes. I can’t wait to see the stuff in the third movie at Minas Tirith.

The Ents are great.

Ah hell, you know what, it’s ALL great.

However.

Tolkien purists are going to _spit_ over this movie. Fellowship stayed pretty true to the story, with the exception of deleting some parts (and rightly so in my opinion … so long Bombadil, you god-damn hippie) however in The Two Towers Jackson and the other writers make considerable changes from the source material …Including some outright shifts in the temprament of at least one character that I didn’t really like, and a LOT of changes to the story. You’ll know which bits I mean when you see it.

And after the movie, off I go to Weta Digital, where I finally get to see … a bunch of stuff that I REALLY can’t tell you about, for more pesky non-disclosure reasons. However, I’d work there in a heartbeat, just to get “Weta Digital” on my C.V.

A good day.

Oh, and the cast and crew watching the movie broke into spontaneous applause in at least two places that I remember – The Bit Where Legolas Does That Thing Getting On The Horse, and after Gollum’s argument with himself. Watch for these bits. 🙂

Heat Vision and Jack

So, I recently watched the unaired pilot for a show called Heat Vision and Jack.

It’s about a astronaut named Jack Austin (Played by Jack Black, the singing half of Tenacious D) whose spacecraft passes too close to the sun, and as a result now becomes superhumanly intelligent whenever the sun is up. Accompanying him is Heat Vision, a talking motorcycle with the mind of his unemployed former roommate. The roommate was merged with his bike while trying to help Jack escape from NASA, who have sent well-known actor Ron Silver (played by himself) to catch him.

I swear, I’m not making this up.

They wander America, eluding Ron, and fighting crime and helping the helpless wherever they can. It’s Knight Rider, meets The Six million Dollar Man, meets Renegade, meets .. ah hell, meets a whole bunch of mid-80’s shows, and just to drive the point home, it’s soundtrack is chock-full of mid-80s music.

It’s the best thing I’ve seen for weeks. I shall be quoting from it.

 

And in the darkness bind them….

A kind friend who works for Weta Digital has just offered me a ticket to the cast and crew pre-release screening of The Two Towers, on the 16th of this month.

Life is good!