December 22nd, 2003

Looi Kin-Ming

"Your Reforged Shards of Narsil Style is most impressive...

...but no match for my All-Seeing Eye Style. Prepare to die. HAHAHAHA." I set aside my misgivings about possible subtitle issues and decided to see Return of the King in Hong Kong, with a bit of prodding from Heather (burntcopper) and hugsnkisses_ last night (Sunday). Turns out I needn't have worried. The Elvish bits had Chinese and English subs.

I'd have seen it earlier but my sister and mother also wanted to see it and the former is still working. BTW, RotK was on at 6 screens at 4 Central Hong Kong multiplexes we checked (thank God for the web). The best we could do was three central *front* row seats! BTW, I believe I heard my sister promise a friend of hers that I'd be happy to see it again with her... I did try to do a Q&A/briefing session on the way in but, you know those people who keep asking questions in a film, that's my relatives, that is...

Since so may other people have posted their thoughts and there wasn't an awful lot I'd take issue with, I won't do a detailed dissection. I'll just say I thought it was magnificent and a great end to the trilogy which, BTW, I now consider the best film series I've ever seen. Sorry, George Lucas, this displaces the original Star Wars trilogy - you blew it with the Ewoks. I especially loved the realisation of Gondor and its soldiers and the chaos of the fighting in and around Osgiliath and Minas Tirith. And as for Eowyn. Sigh... I keep doing this and do want to try to stop it but I can't help it.

And the 2003 Johnny Rico Award for Blind Dumbass Sonofabitch goes to Strider/Aragorn/Ellesar/etc. Do I need to spell it out for you? E-O-W-Y-N. WTF do you see in that bloodless China doll Arwen? Quite apart from that, as King of Gondor, do the advantages of a marriage with the Royal Family of Rohan not occur to you? Hell, even my mother commented on that one! Dumbass. Sigh.

Sorry about that... I did think that compared with the other two films, the bits trimmed from the books were rather more obvious and I found myself explaining a lot to my sister and mother afterwards, invariably starting with "Well, in the books..." ie "What was with the look between Eowyn and Faramir at the coronation?". My sister also made an interesting comment that the end of the film went on too long, that there were several points the film could have ended quite well. And that was before I told her about the Scouring of the Shire.

This did however get me thinking about how many years its been since I read Lord of the Rings. Added to my ever-lengthening New Year Resolution list - to re-read LotR and make another attempt to read The Silmarillion. Three attempts I've made so far, each unsuccessful. Problem is too many years of reading web pages and Powerpoint presentations suggests my next attempt may be even less successful.

Nonetheless, the films have been a magnificent achievement. When I first heard about the project, I was convinced it was going to suck ass. I'm pleased to say Peter Jackson and everyone else connected with it has proven me dead wrong so, my utmost respect to them.

Now, all we need is the Extended Edition DVD and we will be all set for the long-planned Terra Nostra marathon weekend.

Random thought: what happens if, in future, the humans start exploring out to sea to the West and re-encounter the Elves? Is this going to result in another inevitable clash of cultures and/or war?

A weird thought: I realised as we were leaving the cinema and discussing the film (especially me explaining/filling in gaps), that I was already trying to organise my thoughts for this journal entry. It's also not the first time. These things have got me mentally structuring and articulating anything of even moderate importance in case I want to write it up. Given the effects of things like Powerpoint on my thought processes, it'll be interesting to see where this leads.

My mother is a proto-slasher!

Dear God. We were discussing Return of the King over dinner and my mother asked "Are Merry and Pippin gay?"!!!! I vaguely alluded to the existence of slash but fortunately she didn't pursue this. Note to slashers: she doesn't see anything between Sam and Frodo.

Some further background: this is also a woman who:
  • Once asked if Richard Dean Anderson was gay because she'd observed a lack of romance in his TV roles
  • Once asked me what I was watching and, when I replied "Something called Babylon 5", asked if this was the one where they killed the President
  • Recognised Andrea Thomson in JAG before I did
  • Still has a thing about Mulder

My reality check just bounced.

Other news:
One thing I forgot about RotK. My sister made a comment on seeing Aragorn with the Rohirrim: "He could have taken a bath!" After the film she added that even the "horse guys" looked cleaner than him! My mother also remarked over dinner about Legolas' uncanny Elvish ability to never have a hair out of place. Both had and had lots more questions about the story like why Denethor appeared to be a nutter and why did Bilbo and Frodo also have to take that boat trip.

Jackie (ladydchaos) "casually" mentioned dates for Starfleet Ball. Subtle. But I admire your persistence. Only problem is it's one week after SG-7 and one week before the Tangent 21 party and thus looking increasingly infeasible. Not unless I fancy the prospect of collapsing from exhaustion and/or severe liver damage.

On wandering into a China Crafts shop in Wan Chai, I spotted this magnificent yellow Emperor's robe. Brilliant, I thought. It'd be a great Lord Yu costume for SG-7. Bet it's expensive though. Then I checked the price tag. Holy Crap: HK$23k or ~£1700. OK, it's nice but it ain't that nice...

Wandered into Kowloon for a bit. I used to think it was a madhouse but compared to Shenzhen, it now seems mild. I found a store selling CADPAT backpacks, bum bags and the like. End result: my Backpack of Conventioning, as Heather (burntcopper) refers to it, may be due for retirement or, at the very least, a significant lightening of workload. Not that I'm developing a Canadian digital camouflage fetish or anything... CADPAT... mmm... pixelly goodness...
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