theengineer

The Engineer

The Life and Times of Donald F. Simmons


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theengineer

Return of the King (with Christopher Lee in it)

Put on the extended version of Return of the King last night. Overall I approve, with exceptions.



The scene right at the beginning with Gandalf and the others confronting Saruman was absolutely vital, and should have been in the theatrical release, length of the movie be damned, if only to make sure Christopher Lee was in the final credit sequence where he belonged. Jackson mixed together from the book both this confrontation scene (with Gandalf breaking Saruman's staff) and Wormtongue fatally stabbing Saruman, thus bringing complete closure to Saruman's story, which I felt was lacking from the theatrical version.

One thing I really liked here was that it was Theoden who offered Wormtongue a chance to leave Saruman, since he was once a Rider as well. This makes a lot more sense to me than Frodo doing it in the book, as he had only met Wormtongue in passing when they were returning to the Shire.

The other essential additions are a lot more with Faramir (additional scenes with his father, and a nice one with Merry), and more with both he and Eowyn in the aftermath of the battle and in the Houses of Healing, which help bring closure to their characters. Aragorn confronting Sauron thru the planteir (sp?) was also good, and good strategy as well (made sure Sauron would focus his attention on them and not Frodo).

The additional Paths of the Dead scenes didn't work so well with me. I don't think they added anything of substance (although the Avalanche of Skulls was cool, you got the feeling the Dead had been waiting so long to use it they just had to spring it before agreeing to help Aragorn) while removing dramatic tension. The drinking game between Gimli and Legolas just make Gimli look silly (which happened too often). The additional scenes with the orc leader at the battle at Minas Trinth (the white-headed tumour guy) weren't bad, but having Aragorn kill him in passing while he was going for Eowyn (and Aragorn not noticing) just seemed goofy.

The Mouth of Sauron was executed perfectly (the guy's mouth was more like a pulsing maw), but I'm a little miffed that Aragorn chopped his head off. Killing the messenger is just bad form.



Like The Two Towers, I can't quite rate the extended version of Return above the theatrical one, as both versions added both necessary and unnecessary elements. The best film of the three (six, really), is still the extended Fellowship, which is just about seamless.

As a change of pace, also saw a couple of episodes of the original Jonny Quest animated series, thanks to my brother and his DVD set. This show had the best opening credits ever (Dinosaurs! Robots! Mummies! Machine Guns! Lizard Men!). And I like the fact that the kids rarely save the day all by themselves, it's the adults who are involved in most of the action. That helps elevate it to more of an SF show, then straight up kiddy adventure.

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You've seen the Jonny Quest parody in Freakzoid!, right?

"I'll throw a barrel at it!"

Nope, missed that one.

I did see one episode of the New Adventures of Jonny Quest. What a mockery of a great show.

Yes, New Adventures was my introduction to the franchise. Man, was that some bad computer animation.

Nope, missed that one.

How about the custody battle episode of Harvey Birdman?


BTW, are you using DOSbox to run X-Com in XP?

The Harvey Birdman episode with the Quest's was beyond brilliant.

BTW, are you using DOSbox to run X-Com in XP?

I'm going to have to get back to you on that. I got DOSbox and started running X-Com on it, and then managed to get it running fine in XP alone, because the version of X-Com was the collector's edition meant to run in Windows, but before I left that started running oddly. I'm going to have to see what runs the best.

What about The Witch King vs. Gandalf? WTF ;-)

Forgot about that one! What's with the Witch King breaking Gandalf's staff?!? In the book they glare at each other, and then the Witch King flies off to deal with the Riders. He certainly doesn't push Gandalf around.

Thank you for all the spoilers! I've been pining away for some, and no one else has posted any, not among the LJs I read anyways. I was especially glad to know about the Wormtongue scene. I knew Saruman was back in, but not how the new movie version closed that plot arc.

Let's just say Treebeard's line "The filth of Saruman is washing away." takes on a lot of new meaning.

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