thank you Helen for drawing this

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Welcome to Ali's blog. A blog that has absolutely nothing to do with juggling monkeys. It doesn't really have anything to do with much, just me rambling on about random things.

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Friday, January 17, 2003
You know, it occurred to me that I never actually did my Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers rant here. I think kind of hinted at not liking the film, particularly in my mention of the book in the sidebar, but I don't think I actually ever sat down and whinged about it here. Which is odd, because I've done so pretty much everywhere else, well, okay, not at my other websites, but irl I've moaned about it a lot and on my list and one other list that I'm on (both Stargate lists) I've ranted quite a bit, so really I should rant here. I mean what is this site for if it isn't a place for me to vent my feelings and ramble on about the things I'm thinking about lately?

Right then, The Two Towers and why I don't like the film... It's not that I'm saying it's a bad film. Taken as just a film I'm sure it is great, the problem of course is that it is a film of a book. A film of a very good book. When I go to watch a film that is new then fine I expect to be surprised, I like to not predict what will happen. However, when I go to see a film and I already know the story because I have read and enjoyed the book, I do not expect those same feelings of "What will happen next?" I expect to be secure in the knowledge that there will be no surprises and that I will see a great story with great characters that I know and love. Peter Jackson didn't supply this. He clearly felt that he was a better writer than Tolkein and that Tolkein needed his help to improve the storyline, I'm not sure what the purpose of that was, to make it better cinematically (is that a word?) or something.

I can understand the need for someone making a film of such a long book to make omissions, I liked the first film, even though there were a lot of changes from the book, because, in the main you could understand why those changes had been made, for reasons of time etc. things had to be cut out. The only things I really didn't like in the first film were the fact that Aragorn didn't take his sword, that made no sense and altered the plot and character. And Rivendell and I don't mind Rivendell now, it just wasn't how I imagined it. I didn't mind the omission of Tom Bombadil or the other stuff at the beginning, I kind of understood that it needed to be done or the film would be about 8 hours long. The problems I have are with changes that don't need to be made. Which is what The Two Towers was filled with from start to finish.

There's no way that I can cover absolutely every detail in the film that was altered, I don't feel it's necessary to either, but I'm going to focus on the ones that really aggrieved me. One thing felt was that the Battle of Helms Deep seemed to take up most of the film, why did it need to be quite so long, it meant a lot of other stuff got missed, and what on earth were the elves doing there? Or the civilians? Has he read the book?

The portrayal of Gimli annoyed me, he was turned into this comical character that children burst out laughing at every time he's on screen. The most heinous crime of Peter Jackson in character defamation I am leaving to the end. Other fans of the book will probably know which character we'll be coming back to. Plus I was disappointed that the friendship between Gimli and Legolas wasn't anywhere near as pronounced as in the books. I'm not sure it was really in existence at all in the film.

The things I find odd are, so much is missed out of the books and it is such a long film, why are things added that don't need to be? Like Aragorn being thought dead? Or the Ents deciding not to join them. Ents would never make such a spontaneous decision as they did, and they would have known about the trees being destroyed, that scene made no sense. I was so confused when they decided not to fight, it made me wonder if the books were going to end completely differently.

In the beginning of the film I wasn't so annoyed by the changes, I was thinking it was okay, there were bits I didn't really like, but the point at which I got most annoyed and wanted to get up and leave the cinema was that act of character defamation to which I alluded earlier, that of course was Faramir. Peter Jackson has taken what should be an honest, heroic character, and turned him into another Boromir, but of less interest. When we saw Faramir and he insisted that they take the ring to Gondor, that was the point at which, in the words of one of my companions, "I felt betrayed". In the books Faramir and Boromir have very contrasting characters, Faramir is the one that could not be corrupted. He is the one who makes the right decisions, yet here we see him as weak. Peter Jackson turned Faramir's character upside down making him seem to be bordering on evil, the complete opposite of the character of the book. Yes, if this was a film not based on books the plot and characters would be fine, but you can't take someone else's character and twist them out of all recognition, but maintaining there name and some of their actions. It would be like someone writing a story of your life but altering one of your friends, who had had a great impact on you and instead making them into a bully or something.

The explanation that some of my friends came up with was something along the lines of it being true to the story if someone had read the book, given a summary of it to a friend, who'd then translated it into Esperanto and back before making the film of it.

Okay, so that is the gist of my opinion on The Two Towers not a film that I'll be buying, though I'll probably watch it again if a friend has it. I do know people who've managed to distance the film from the book and have therefore enjoyed the film. Taking it as a completely separate thing. If you do that, then yes, you can see it as a good fantasy film, but I shouldn't have to do that. Why make a film of a book if you don't use the story and characters as given in the book? Plus I don't know that it was that great, sitting for 3 hours is a long time, I was restless, though that could have just been 'cos I wanted it to end as I didn't want them to keep changing the story.

I've been feeling really tired the last few days. I guess that's 'cos I haven't been sleeping properly, but I still feel shattered today despite sleeping for hours. Oh well, guess it takes a while to catch up, plus I think I might be coming down with something. Anyway, makes it hard to be coherant or anything, so sorry about that.

We have broadband now, well, okay, not proper full on fast broadband. NTL's cheapest version of broadband, only 128K, but it's still way faster than dial-up. It's great. Yesterday I watched loads of Stargate music videos, just because I wanted to do something that required a fast connection. It was fantastic, they downloaded loads quicker than they could play. Wahoo for the broadband. I keep wanting to say "Broadband has landed" but then I'm quoting adverts, which I do have a tendancy to do, but am trying to stop. Although quoting BTs advert in relation to an NTL product could be some sort of subversion of the advertising concept.

Right, I'm going to now make some of the next paragraph redundant, where I apologise if I'm spoling anyone, by saying that I am going to talk in fairly vague terms about Buffy series 7 and Angel series, erm, which series is it? 3? 4? Whichever series runs alongside Buffy series 7. I'm not really spoiling for those series, but if you haven't seen the series before then it might not be wise to read, though I'm still being quite vague.

I watched the new series of Buffy last night, well obviosuly not the whole series, had I done that that would explain my fatigue, no,
just the first episode. It wasn't a fantastic episode, but it did open the series quite well I think by setting up questions, mainly what's going on with Spike. I hope that's vague enough not to be considered a spoiler to anyone that hasn't seen it, if you think that's a spoiler then I guess you'll have to never read any magazines or internet posts. After Buffy there was an advert for Angel, not quite as annoying as the one that completely spoiled the Buffy season 5 finale, but in a similar league. I spend months wondering what's going to happen after the end of series cliff-hanger and they show an advert telling me, it sadly looks like they didn't do my plan of leaving Angel trapped underwater for a few centuries, to have him found by some futuristic archaeologists, so that the next series of Angel was some sort of Angel:The Next Generation, with him in the future, trying to make amends to his descendants or something. Anyway, next week I get to see what happens in Angel, hopefully it'll be good and the advert won't have ruined the surprise too much, I mean, I knew he'd be rescued or break out, it's just that the advert showed me how which is annoying. I hope I'm not being too spoilery for last season of Angel, I think I'm being quite vague though, maybe I should go and stick a spoiler warning up the page. Right, done that now, so I could delete this comment, but I'm not going to, why not have vast passages of pointless text?

I'm supposed to be doing work for ECDL (European Computer Driving License), but it's so ridiculously easy that I find it hard to get motivated and bother to do anything. Plus a lot of the stuff in these booklets that I'm supposed to be learning seems to be pretty out of date. The directions for doing stuff in Word seem to be for word 6 or something. I've passed the internet module already without doing any preparation for it, except for showing some other people how to do stuff. I'm being tested on Word and the introductory module next Tuesday, I might do managing files then as well if there's time, just to get another one out of the way.

Helen has just entered the room, said "monkeys" and handed me a disk. I presume monkeys was in reference to my blog, I'm not sure. Apparently the disk has a story on it (judging from the answer "story" when I asked what was on the disk, I wonder if Helen's in a monosyllabic mood today, oh, apparently not, she just said she thought I was doing work). Anyway, I'm going to go and read this story now then. Bye

Wednesday, January 15, 2003
Well, it's my break at work and I figured I wouldn't have time to blog at home tonight, since it's Stargate night and everything, so I thought I might as well come online. It's a bit weird sitting at the library in opening times using the public computers, I feel like I'm doing something wrong, but no-one else is using this PC, so hey.

Anyway, I did order a camcorder, just in case you were wondering. It's a Panasonic one, £358 for a digital camcorder, figured that's not bad and it had good ratings. Can't think of anything exciting to say now, maybe I'll think of something else to do with my break, I don't really need a break, 'cos I don't have anything to do, I guess I could read. Anyway, going now. This is really boring, I should really try to be more entertaining. Maybe I should think of interesting observations on life or something. Dunno, can't be bothered.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003
Nothing much going on at the moment. I seem to keep making videos. That's quite fun, they aren't great though. I made a Peter Deluise Music Video for my Peter DeLuise site I'm not sure if it's any good, never mind. The other videos I'm making involve me being filmed, I don't really like that, I can be silly, but as soon as the camera turns on me I get self conscious, what's with that? I've managed to do some silly stuff on camera when it hasn't involved talking. I don't know if we'll ever be able to film this sketch that we wanted to do as I feel silly and end up not shouting and being all violent like I'm meant to. I'm filming with my mate Will, he just seems to be able to act stupidly and do silly voices on camera really easily. I found making a music video using footage I'd shot a while back quite entertaining. I'm trying to decide whether to buy a digital camcorder. I really want one, but I don't really need one. I guess that if you look at it that way I don't need anything other than clothes and food, so I could just get it, my parents have given me enough christmas money to get a very cheap one. Think of the things I could do. Hmm, if I don't get one, then I haven't really had a christmas present, just spent the money on necessities, that's boring, though technically I should be saving, I only work part time after all. I think I'm talking myself in to getting it though. If you're wondering and thinking that I must have a camcorder, so then I'd have two and that's just silly, well I don't, it's my parents' I've got it on an extended loan at the moment and I am using it a lot, it'd be great to have one of my own and be able to edit stuff on the computer and still get it back onto video. I think I'll go now and research cameras a bit more, instead of just rambling here.

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