Pixel Scroll 7/17/21 Part Pixel. Part Scroll. All File 770

(1) DRAGON AWARDS DEADLINE. Red Panda Fraction reminds everyone that July 19 the deadline to nominate for the Dragon Awards. The award has a unique eligibility period – the works must be released between 7/1/2020 and 6/30/2021 – and to help deal with it RPF has created an eligible works spreadsheet compiled by volunteers (inspired by Renay’s Hugo Awards spreadsheet) in a Google Doc located here. Dragon Awards nominations can be submitted here

(2) A TOMORROW WAR MAKEOVER. Camestros Felapton wasn’t content to “Review: The Tomorrow War (Amazon)” – now he’s come up with a plan for “Fixing The Tomorrow WarBEWARE SPOILERS as they say.

Sorry, it’s just that this daft film is bugging me. If you are going to have a time travel plot then do something with it. Terminator 1 and 2 managed to be exciting, daft movies and still have some interesting things to say about determinism and time travel. The Tomorrow War pulled one emotional beat out of the set-up but otherwise the time travel aspect just lead to an absurd situation in which Chris Pratt and only Chris Pratt could work out what to do in the past to help the future. It didn’t help that Pratt is not good at conveying the idea that his character is a particularly insightful thinker….

(3) BIG BUCKS. Somebody got paid: “‘Walking Dead’ Lawsuit Settled For $200M Between Frank Darabont, CAA & AMC” reports Deadline.

Less than a month before The Walking Dead kicks off its 11th and final season, the long and bitter legal war between former showrunner Frank DarabontCAA and AMC is over.

In the dictionary definition of a strategic whimper not a bang, the cabler just filed paperwork with the SEC declaring that they have paid out $200 million to the Shawshank Redemption director and the uberagency to end the dispute.

“The Settlement Agreement provides for a cash payment of $200 million (the “Settlement Payment”) to the plaintiffs and future revenue sharing related to certain future streaming exhibition of The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead,” says the understated filing (read it here).

“With regard to the Settlement Payment, the Company has taken a charge of approximately $143 million in the quarter ended June 30, 2021 in consideration for the extinguishment of Plaintiffs’ rights to any compensation in connection with The Walking Dead and any related programs and the dismissal of the actions with prejudice, which amount is net of
approximately $57 million of ordinary course accrued participations,” the 3-page document continues.

… All of which means almost 10 years since TWD‘s Halloween 2011 premiere under Darabont’s tutorage, this legal saga is done like a walker with a knife through the head.

(4) LEVAR BURTON READS HIS OWN BOOK. Entertainment Weekly invites everyone to “Hear LeVar Burton read his novel Aftermath for the first time”. Audio at the link.

Book aficionado, actor, director, and novelist LeVar Burton is doing something new with one of his old projects.

He’s taking Aftermath, his speculative fiction novel from 1997, and turning it into a new audiobook — and EW has your first listen.

When Burton released the book in the late ’90s, it was set in the future — 2019. It followed a group of people that just might be able to save humanity following catastrophic events, including a destructive earthquake, racial strife (the fictional Black president was assassinated in 2012), and war.

EW’s sneak peek from Aftermath is Burton’s new author’s note, where he comments on some of the themes and offers reflection on recent historical events. Looking back on his novel, Burton said he was “astonished by similarities between” his “timeline and unfolding events.” He also notes he wrote the book as “a cautionary tale.”…

(5) A DIM VIEW. Gavia Baker-Whitelaw critiques the cinematography of Marvel movies in “Why the MCU’s Lighting Sucks—Including ‘Loki’ and ‘Avengers: Endgame’” at Daily Dot.

Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) fandom is a fount of strong opinions, some of which I find wholly understandable (Tilda Swinton’s role was a fiasco; Sebastian Stan is an underrated gem) while others are a little more… puzzling. In the latter category, it’s always bizarre to see people praise the MCU’s lighting. Unlike the artistic vigor of the comics, Disney’s Marvel franchise delivers film after film that can best be described as “murky.” And that includes the popular technique of just blasting a scene with a single color.

This week saw the release of Black Widow and the Loki finale, both involving a similarly lackluster lighting strategy. Black Widow‘s final sequence includes flashes of red to break up the grey undertones of a traditional Marvel battle, while Loki concludes in a purple castle—after fighting a purple CGI behemoth in episode 5. In both examples, the result is deceptively monotonous. While Loki‘s purple color scheme is initially eye-catching, the low-contrast lighting makes it hard to make out the characters’ facial expressions. The same goes for many other scenes in the show, as evidenced by this official promo image…

There’s nothing wrong with filming in monochrome, of course. The film industry did it for the first forty years of its existence. But Marvel’s “paint it all purple” (or brown, or red) technique ignores the shadows, reflections, and highlights utilized in traditional black-and-white films. So we’re neither benefiting from evocative lighting choices or from the vibrant color palette in blockbusters like Superman (1978). (For a classic superhero movie that probably would work in black and white, Tim Burton’s Batman is full of stark, noir-style contrasts.)…

(6) GOT TO BE HERE SOMEWHERE. Austin Gilkeson examines “The Fellowship of the Ring and the Memes of Middle-earth” at Tor.com, including a famous one that doesn’t come from Tolkien’s books.

The other day, I opened Facebook and saw a Boromir meme. You know the one. Fingers and thumb forming a circle, golden light about him, the words “One does not simply [something something]” embossed over the image. This one has the Center for Disease Control logo below that, with the PR announcement, “Fully vaccinated people may now simply walk into Mordor.” Below that, Boromir rubs his temple in frustration. Twenty years on from the debut of The Fellowship of the Ring, and that line from Sean Bean’s Boromir, and I think we can safely say that the “One does not simply” meme is, like the Eldar, immortal….

(7) JOE MCKINNEY (1968-2021). Author Joe McKinney, writer of 13 novels in many genres, including horror, ghost stories, virus thrillers, crime and science fiction, died July 13. He was an 8-time Bram Stoker Award nominee, winning twice, for his novel The Flesh Eaters (2012) and his young adult novel Dog Days (2014).

In addition, he was a sergeant with the San Antonio Police Department, Patrol Supervisor, and before that a homicide detective, disaster mitigation specialist, and he’d helped run the city’s 911 Dispatch Center.

The San Antonio Current paid tribute here, and quotes two writers connected with the Horror Writers Association who eulogized McKinney on Facebook.

“I am terribly saddened to hear that a good friend and great writer, Joe McKinney, has passed away suddenly,” horror author and HWA board member JG Faherty posted on Facebook Thursday. “I will miss the chats we used to have every few months. He was always there to help me when I needed some factual assistance with police procedure, or to just bullshit about things.”

On Thursday, horror author Lisa Morton, a six-time Bram Stoker Award winner, posted a Facebook remembrance of McKinney. She met the San Antonio author in 2006 after being asked to write a blurb for Dead City.

“I became both a fan of Joe’s work and a friend,” Morton wrote. “At some point we both wound up serving as HWA officers and trustees, and Joe was always a trusted voice of wisdom. Even after he left office (he served lastly as HWA’s secretary), we stayed in touch, talking about an amazing crime novel he wanted to write, based on some uncomfortable truths he’d learned while serving within the San Antonio Police Department.”

(8) MEMORY LANE.

  • 1996 – Twenty-five years ago the Deadly Games series ended its run on UPN after just one season. So why am I bringing it to your attention? Because Leonard Nimoy was one of the executive producers (along with Jim Charleston, Christopher Hibler and Christian I. Nyby II), along with being a creative consultant and he directed the pilot for the series. He was not one of the creators as that was Paul Bernbaum, S.S. Schweitzer and Anthony Spinner. (Only the latter with work on The Invaders and The Man from U.N.C.LE. had any extensive genre work. Well, and he wrote for The Banana Splits Adventure Hour.)  Its principal cast was James Calvert, Christopher Lloyd, Cynthia Gibb and Stephen T. Kay. The plot? Evil VR characters escape into reality. Really, would I kid you? The network contracted for an initial thirteen episodes and cancelled it before all of them even aired due to really poor ratings. There’s no audience rating at Rotten Tomatoes but the aggregate critical rating there is fifty percent. 

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born July 17, 1889 Erle Stanley Gardner. Though best remembered for the Perry Mason detective stories, he did write a handful of SF stories, all of which are collected in The Human Zero: The Science Fiction Stories of Erle Stanley Gardner. It is not available from the usual digital suspects but Amazon has copies of the original hardcover edition at reasonable prices. (Died 1970.)
  • Born July 17, 1954 J. Michael Straczynski, 67. Best known rather obviously for creating and writing most of  Babylon 5 and its all too short-lived sequel Crusade. He’s also responsible for as well as the Jeremiah and Sense8 series. On the comics sides, he’s written The Amazing Spider-Man, Thor and Fantastic Four. Over at DC, he did the Superman: Earth One trilogy of graphic novels, and has also written SupermanWonder Woman, and Before Watchmen titles. I wonder how his Dangerous Visions anthology project is coming along. 
  • Born July 17, 1956 Timothy D. Rose, 65. Puppeteer and actor. He was the Head Operator of Howard the Duck in that film, but also was in The Dark Crystal, Return to EwokReturn of The JediReturn to OzThe Muppet Christmas CarolThe Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. He voiced Admiral Ackbar in the latter two and in The Return of The Jedi as well. 
  • Born July 17, 1965 Alex Winter, 56. Bill in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and its sequels Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey and Bill & Ted Face the Music. And though I didn’t realise it, he was Marko in The Lost Boys. He directed two Ben 10 films, Ben 10: Race Against Time and Ben 10: Alien Swarm. He also directed Quantum Is Calling, a short film that has cast members Keanu Reeves, Simon Pegg, John Cho, and Paul Rudd. 
  • Born July 17, 1967 Kelly Robson, 54. She finally has a collection out, nearly five hundred pages of fiction, Alias Space and Other Stories. It’s available at the usual suspects for four dollars and ninety-nine cents. Bliss! It contains “A Human Stain” for which she won a Nebula, and two Aurora winners, “Waters of Versailles” and “Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach”. 
  • Born July 17, 1976 Brian K. Vaughan, 45. Wow. Author of  Ex Machina, Pride of Baghdad, Runaways, Saga (which has won a BFA and a Dragon), Y: The Last Man, and his newest undertaking, Paper Girls. And he’s won a Hugo Award at LoneStarCon 3 for Saga, Volume One. You could spend an entire summer just reading those series. In his spare time, he was a writer, story editor and producer of Lost during seasons three through five, and he was the showrunner and executive producer of the Under the Dome series.
  • Born July 17, 1992 Billie Lourd, 29. Lourd is the only child of actress Carrie Fisher.  She appeared as Lieutenant Connix in the Star Wars sequel trilogy as Lieutenant Kaydel Ko Connix.  She also has been a regular cast member on American Horror Story for the five seasons. 

(10) COMICS SECTION.

  • Prickly City has the passive-aggressive UFO take on Earth people.
  • Lio’s lost pet poster leaves out one important fact.

(11) BIG PRICE TAGS. The New York Times includes photos of several of these unique items in “Toymakers Create Their Dream Projects (but Ask for Money Upfront)”.

… Other collectors are opening their wallets to buy exclusive products like a $575 Transformers action figure from Hasbro, a $350 Star Wars gunship from Lego, a $75 Magic 8 Ball from Mattel and a $250 Bear Walker skateboard from Pokémon.

The strategy is part of an effort by toy companies to form stronger bonds with fans by offering them once-in-a-lifetime toys. Many companies have beefed up their e-commerce presence to sell limited-edition items that are not found at Walmart or Target.

After slipping 4 percent in 2019, U.S. toy sales roared back last year, rising 16 percent to $25.1 billion, according to the NPD Group, a research firm. “2020 was an unprecedented year for the U.S. toy industry,” Juli Lennett, vice president and industry adviser for NPD’s U.S. toy division, said in a statement.

Much of the expansion was driven by pandemic-induced lockdowns that led consumers to shop online for entertainment options. In the first three quarters of 2020, overall online toy sales jumped 75 percent from a year earlier, NPD said.

Taking advantage of the online growth, executives at big toymakers like Hasbro and Mattel are ramping up their efforts to create dream projects. And digital strategies like crowdfunding allow smaller companies to bypass the hurdles of selling a concept to established retailers, which might balk at giving valuable shelf space to a large, expensive toy or an untested product.

(12) SCHMIGADOON. I don’t think I could actually stand to watch this show, but in small doses it’s morbidly fascinating. Consider the Carousel-esque “You Can’t Tame Me” clip. Which can’t be embedded here.

The six-part series follows a couple, played by Cecily Strong and Keegan-Michael Key, who stumble on a magical town that lives in a 1940s musical. From there, the pair have to try and find true love.

(13) DON’T SPARE THE ROD.  “Submitted for your approval, the ten episodes that broke the bank…in the Twilight Zone.”The Richest calls these “The Ten Most Expensive Twilight Zone Episodes”.

8/10 Once Upon A Time, $67,250.76

The expensive budget behind this no-dialogue episode was in part due to the appearance of silent-film star Buster Keaton. The episode was written as an homage to some of Keaton’s most iconic performances and still retains the Twilight Zone’s iconic twist.

Centered around two men who are unhappy with their current existence, a time traveling helmet provides both a glimpse into how true satisfaction comes from acknowledging that the grass on the other side of the fence is not actually greener.

(14) WOMEN IN SPACE. “What does it take to do a spacewalk? Skill, courage, and being able to wear a men’s size medium” says The Conversation.

On June 25, astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet successfully completed an almost seven-hour EVA (extravehicular activity, or spacewalk) to install solar panels on the International Space Station. What does it take to don a spacesuit and venture out on such a technical and dangerous mission? Surprisingly, one of the main criteria (besides the years of astronaut training) is body size.

EVA capabilities blossomed during the era of NASA’s space shuttle. Astronauts rode robotic arms, floated tetherless through the void using jetpacks to steer, corralled satellites by hand, and built the International Space Station (ISS). They’ve done it all while wearing spacesuits based on the design first developed for the Apollo missions in the 1960s.

Each suit is a human-shaped spacecraft, featuring a backpack that houses a primary life support system; a layered, pressurised outer garment to protect astronauts from the space environment; and a “long john” undergarment that circulates chilled water via tubes over the body to stop the astronauts getting too hot inside their suit.

When designing these “next-gen” spacesuits in 1974, NASA opted for a modular “tuxedo” approach, in which the various components (upper torso, lower torso, helmet, arms and gloves) could be mixed and matched to fit individual astronauts. The suits came in five sizes, from extra small to extra large, and were based primarily on male body shapes — females were not eligible for NASA’s astronaut program until 1978….

… This means that to be selected for an ISS spacewalk, an astronaut must fit one of the two remaining available sizes: men’s medium, or men’s large. The first all-female EVA, planned for March 2019, had to be postponed because only one medium-sized suit was available. Another medium suit was eventually cobbled together from spares, and astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir successfully performed their groundbreaking spacewalk on October 18 2019.

(15) INCOMING. This dragon-killing movie is coming to Netflix next month: Monster Hunter: Legends of the Guild

(16) VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In this video, the Royal Ocean Film Society celebrates the work of director Joe Johnston and his film The Rocketeer, and says Johnston’s films are “cheesy, but the best kind of cheese.”  He notes that Johnston’s films are small, efficient tributes to the American dream, and says that fans of Johnston’s Captain America: The First Avenger will like Johnston’s earlier film.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Red Panda Fraction, Michael Toman, John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, and Mike Kennedy for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to contributing editor of the day Jon Meltzer.]

48 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/17/21 Part Pixel. Part Scroll. All File 770

  1. First!

    I’m going skip voting in the Dragon Awards as I’m still reading my way through all of the Hugo packet. One set of Awards at a time is quite enough.

    Still listening to Gareth Powell’s Macaque Attack

  2. Listening to L E Modesitt’s EMPRESS OF ETERNITY.

    I saw Tomorrow War and it’s got its issues for sure., even here in 6835.

  3. Paul Weimer says Listening to L E Modesitt’s EMPRESS OF ETERNITY.

    So how is it? Not an author that I’ve read much of, so I’m interested in what you think of both the novel and the narrator.

  4. Second fifth!

    I’m not sure The Rocketeer is a good movie, but it’s sure as hell a fun movie.

  5. I do like his work,. he’s far better known for his fantasy (e.g. Recluce) than his science fiction. I am enjoying it thus far, but at this point I can recognize some “Modesitt touches” which sometimes can be a bit mannered.

  6. 9) I really liked Kelly Robson’s “Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach”. I must get hold of a copy and read it again. Interesting story.

  7. Acoustic Rob says I’m not sure The Rocketeer is a good movie, but it’s sure as hell a fun movie.

    I actually think that it is both but that’s based in large part because I think that they did an absolutely amazing job of staying true to what Steven’s did in his graphic story. And it is always extremely hard to translate a story successfully from one medium to another.

  8. StephenfromOttawa says I really liked Kelly Robson’s “Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach”. I must get hold of a copy and read it again. Interesting story.

    As I said, it’s in Alias Space and Other Stories. And I agree with you that’s an interesting story, one of the best I’ve ever read.

  9. “murky”? Even the night scenes had brightly lit neon so we could see what was going on, and there was lots of daylight. Far too many shows never turn the lights on at all – looking at you, DCU and The Expanse. Or rather giving up on looking at you because I can’t tell what’s going on.

  10. Yeah, whining about Marvel being murky instead of comic book bright and not mentioning the DCCU is a whole lot of “pay no attention to the pachyderm occupying the sofa”.

    Also, he’s expecting fluorescent light in a citadel carved out of an asteroid at the end of time by a guy who is alone and literally too old for this shit?

  11. Cat,
    Regarding Kelly Robson’s Alias Space, neither Amazon, the Subterranean Press listing or ISFDB list Gods, Monsters and the Lucky Peach as included in the Alias Space collection.

  12. 14) Would it kill them to, I don’t know, make up a few new sets of parts?

  13. Went to memorial services for long-time fan Miriam “Rebelgirl” Lloyd today. (Miriam has appeared on the birthday lists here before.) Anyway, as a result, I’m feeling a bit verklempt. Also, it was my first public gathering since the Before Times, so I’m also feeling a bit overwhelmed, albeit in a mostly good way. All of which is why I can’t really think of anything relevant to say right now. But I may try again later. At least the box is ticked. Or will be if I remember to tick it before posting. 🙂

  14. Roger says Regarding Kelly Robson’s Alias Space, neither Amazon, the Subterranean Press listing or ISFDB list Gods, Monsters and the Lucky Peach as included in the Alias Space collection.

    You’re right. My bad. It is available as a stand alone purchase.

  15. (8) Was just thinking about Deadly Gsmes the other day. I think I watched all 13 episodes.

  16. (8) July 17, 2006 – Twenty five years ago on this date

    Unless we’ve skipped a decade, I think 2006 was fifteen years ago, not twenty-five …?

  17. Christian Brunschen says (8) July 17, 2006 – Twenty five years ago on this date

    Unless we’ve skipped a decade, I think 2006 was fifteen years ago, not twenty-five …?

    You would be, but it came out in 1996. One of us missed this when proofing last night and I’ll have Mike fix it. Thanks for pointing it out.

  18. 5) Bad writing and bad arguments.
    “a similarly lackluster lighting strategy.” This would be quite a clever phrase if it were written on purpose, but I’m pretty sure it’s not.
    “but the overall tone is dark and murky” murky means either ‘dark’ or ‘obscured due to dirt or fog etc’. The first meaning is redundant, the second meaning doesn’t apply to any of the examples cited, which are pin-sharp.
    “the result is deceptively monotonous” I have no idea how monotonous can be deceptive.

    “And that includes the popular technique of just blasting a scene with a single color.” And yet when you watch the link clip, it’s pretty apparent there are three key colours involved.

    “Loki concludes in a purple castle—after fighting a purple CGI behemoth in episode 5.” Maybe the echoing of purple between the guard and castle is not a coincidence?

    “But Marvel’s “paint it all purple” (or brown, or red) technique ignores the shadows, reflections, and highlights utilized in traditional black-and-white films.” First, a highlight is a reflection. Second: you can see both highlights and shadows in the clip the author links to:

    “but the overall tone is dark and murky. This makes it easier to edit the color scheme in post-production—and incorporate CG elements.” Maybe the author is forgetting what she is seeing is actually the result of post-production colour editing, not the input? A restricted palette doesn’t make colour manipulation or CGI element blending any easier. Witness the brightly-coloured Transformers movies, or even MCU’s SpiderMan: A Long Way From Home or the first Avengers movie. Also, it’s simply not true that directors/lighters/DPs choose colour schemes to help CGI artists. If anything, CGI artists and technicians scramble to keep up with the artistic visions of the director and DP. The palettes of each sequence are chosen well in advance to convey particular meanings.

    “A lot of blockbusters farm out their VFX work to underpaid contractors”. Pretty much every movie production involves farming out all sorts of work to contractors. The only vfx exception that comes to mind is Lucasfilm, which owns ILM.

    “Overseas contractors also pose a temptingly cheap option for studios, circumventing the need for unionized labor back home.” London and Vancouver have been offering tax breaks for movies made there for some time now, which has indeed led to the demise of California’s pre-eminince in the field. And it’s also true that vfx studios further afield are becoming more heavily used. But the vfx industry is decidedly not unionised in the US.

    “The greatest trick Marvel ever pulled was convincing its fanbase that this is ‘good lighting.'”. I’d be amazed if the vast majority of MCU fans care at all about “good lighting”, which diminishes the grandeur of this particular Marvel trick.

    It seems like the author wishes the movies were more informed by the colour choices of the comics. I’d speculate that the differences are quite intentional, and intended to make the the movies have a broader appeal.

  19. Cliff says It seems like the author wishes the movies were more informed by the colour choices of the comics. I’d speculate that the differences are quite intentional, and intended to make the the movies have a broader appeal.

    The color palette of comics is not the color palette of video. It just can’t be. One is a one dimensional visual reality on paper versus an electronic reality that is equally one dimensional but in a different manner as the brain perceives it quite differently. And so we see the colors, the shadings differently as well.

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  21. 6) Not only is the movie’s line about not simply walking into Mordor not in the book (although the point it makes is in the book), the other movie meme line most emphasized in the article, “You shall not pass,” isn’t what the book says either. It’s “You cannot pass.”

  22. 6) I notice that the animated Lord of the Rings used the original line. (Yes, I pulled out the DVD to check.)

  23. There was an episode of Legends of Tomorrow where the Legends traveled to the battle of the Somme and encountered Tolkien. As often happens in episodes where they encounter a historical figure, dialogue and events happen that show up in the figure’s work (meet George Lucas, get trapped in a trash compactor…). But nearly all the dialogue was dialogue that was in the movies and not in the book.

  24. I think I get the one line confused with the Monty Python and the Holy Grail‘s “NONE SHALL PASS” bit. I’ve seen MPatHG more times than any individual Lord of the Rings movie.

  25. David Shallcross says
    I think I get the one line confused with the Monty Python and the Holy Grail‘s “NONE SHALL PASS” bit. I’ve seen MPatHG more times than any individual Lord of the Rings movie.

    Well that makes two of us. I watched the first Lord of the Rings film, wasn’t that impressed by it and decided not to bother watching the next two. I love the novels and am looking forward to the Serkis audiobook versions.

  26. Don’t get me wrong — I liked them well enough to watch them as they came out in the theaters, just not enough to make an effort to re-watch. Each had bits I liked, and bits I didn’t. Maybe someday I’ll pick up copies on the latest distribution medium, and watch the good parts.

    And the world could do with multiple fan-made videos of the Old Forest episode — Bombadil and all.

  27. David Shallcross says Don’t get me wrong — I liked them well enough to watch them as they came out in the theaters, just not enough to make an effort to re-watch. Each had bits I liked, and bits I didn’t. Maybe someday I’ll pick up copies on the latest distribution medium, and watch the good parts.

    It wasn’t that The Fellowship of The Ring as a film was bad per se as it wasn’t but by the time I saw the film I’d read the novel at least a half dozen times, more than any more novel save Dune. My brain had indelible images of almost everything in the novel and I couldn’t get ride of them when watching the film. (Dune will pose the same problem. It’s why I like audiobooks.) So that’s why I didn’t bother to watch the next two trilogy films, or watch the later Hobbit films.

  28. I don’t enjoy the heavy blue-and-orange-and-muted-everything-else colour grading that was flippin’ everywhere in blockbusters during the main body of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, but since they really weren’t the only films doing it I’m not going to single out their participation.

  29. @David Shallcross: And the world could do with multiple fan-made videos of the Old Forest episode — Bombadil and all.

    The only way I could stand that would be if Tom Bombadill was played be PeeWee Herman. Not Paul Reubens, but PeeWee playing Bombadill

    As I understand it, Tom Bombadill and Jar Jar Binks have parallel origins in that they were both inspired by a young relative. That probably is why they seem so similarly annoying to me.

  30. ” I’ve seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail more times than any individual Lord of the Rings movie.”
    Well, I’ve seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail more times than I’ve seen every single Tolkien-based movie put together. That includes all 6 Jackson flicks, Bakshi, Rankin-Bass, and the recent biopic. And I like it better than all those put together too.
    I’ve also read Tolkien’s book more times than I’ve seen all of those movies put together, too.

  31. I know this is a minority opinion, but I actually think that LoTR is one of the very rare cases where the movies are better than the books. Though both are good, and neither is perfect or flawless.

  32. Definitely minority. If you filed off the serial numbers, they made decent generic fantasy movies. As recreations of LotR, they were abysmal.

  33. Xtifr says I know this is a minority opinion, but I actually think that LoTR is one of the very rare cases where the movies are better than the books. Though both are good, and neither is perfect or flawless.

    I’m puzzled. The trilogy does exactly what it sets out to do — tell Tolkien’s story in the way he wants it told. The films are Jackson’s badly done takes upon that work including altering dialogue and whole chunks of the story as he saw fit. I really don’t see how they can be better.

  34. Cat Eldridge: I’m puzzled. The trilogy does exactly what it sets out to do — tell Tolkien’s story in the way he wants it told. The films are Jackson’s badly done takes upon that work including altering dialogue and whole chunks of the story as he saw fit. I really don’t see how they can be better.

    If you consider the Tolkien books to be supremely perfect, sure. But a lot of people like me find the Tolkien books overblown and flawed, and in some ways, the movies correct for those flaws (and in other ways, the movies have their own flaws). I agree with Xtifr; both the books and the movies have their positive and negative aspects, and neither is flawless.

    I read the books once. I saw the movies once. I feel absolutely no need to experience either again, neither of them were that good for me.

  35. Seeing anyone say reading Tolkien once was enough reminds me of a saying attributed to Elizabeth I: “I’ve had a bath once in my life and I don’t see what good it did me.”

  36. @Cat Eldridge

    The films are Jackson’s badly done takes upon that work including altering dialogue and whole chunks of the story as he saw fit. I really don’t see how they can be better.

    The fact that the films have differences from the novels is not necessarily evidence that the films are worse. Film is a different storytelling medium. It doesn’t follow the same rules.

  37. JJ:

    I read the books once. I saw the movies once. I feel absolutely no need to experience either again, neither of them were that good for me.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one. I liked both the movies and the books well enough at the time I was experiencing them, and I just have felt no need to reread / rewatch them since. Tolkien just doesn’t speak to me the way his works speak to so many others; I can’t explain why. Sometimes it makes me feel very much like a misfit among genre fans.

  38. Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little: Tolkien just doesn’t speak to me the way his works speak to so many others; I can’t explain why. Sometimes it makes me feel very much like a misfit among genre fans.

    Exactly! They just don’t speak to me. For many years my compulsive re-reads were a series about the descendents of a lost space colony, which really did speak to me, but which I am sadly no longer able to read. 🙁

  39. @JJ: I take it red-haired psychic Celt lords wielding blue gems were involved?

  40. @JJ it sucks when talented creators turn out to be truly horrible people, doesn’t it? sigh

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