Wednesday, December 05, 2012

The Words Relax

The negative reviews for the first Hobbit movie are actually one of the first items to give me hope about them. I love how so many of these reviews come from the ostensive point of view of someone familiar with the book but who reveals in their opinion a lack of familiarity. Like Mr. Beaks' review on AICN; "It could be that Jackson's trying to introduce too many characters at once, but he commits the double sin of failing to make the most important members of the crew memorable or vital to the story. Balin, Fili, Kili, Dwalin... unless you know the story well, they barely register." You know, exactly as they do in the book, something one need hardly look past the similarity of their names to see it was something Tolkien did intentionally.

People are also complaining about the slower, more relaxed pace of at least the beginning of the film as though this were a negative thing. This is actually really exciting for me as the Lord of the Rings movies are feeling increasingly over-caffeinated to me. And is it so crazy to like the travelogue tone of the books everyone's complaining about? So kill me if I want to linger in contemplation of beauty.

Yesterday I realised that with the help of Librivox, I could listen to Washington Irving's The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon and play Zelda at the same time, which is just what I did. I wouldn't recommend it for all the stories, but for the sentimental stories or lists of points of interest for nineteenth century Americans curious about England, like "The Widow and her Son" or "Rural Funerals", it's a good route. The readers vary in quality, from Serial Killer to Type Writer. The guy reading "The Spectre Bridegroom" sounds like a guy in charge of a computer lab. There are two versions of the Christmas stories, one from the Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon section and another in its own Old Christmas section. For the first essay, "Christmas", one can choose between a woman reading in clipped monotone in the Geoffrey Crayon section or a guy, in the Old Christmas section, speaking in an oddly hushed and effusive tone, almost a whisper, like a guy on death row supplicating to an uncaring god in the dead of night. But the two women reading in the Old Christmas section have pretty adorable voices and sound remarkably as though they actually care about what they're reading. In particular, I'd recommend the reading of "Christmas Eve" by Kristen McQuillin.

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