Tags

, , , , ,


I can’t figure out if I should write every day and publish it even if it’s kind of short, or to hold on to stuff until I have a lot to write about.

Back in those heady days of having a job grocery shopping was a lot more interesting. If, for example, I saw a small package of lobster
and Pule tortellini I could grab it, along with octopus ink pasta sauce. I could take a bite, gag, and throw it away and then order a pizza. A supreme pizza.
These days I have to be careful. Instead of getting Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, I get the off-brand: Macaroons & Cheeze. I’ve thought about using coupons but I can’t count the amount of times I’ve brought coupons up to the register and then forgot to use them. I think I’ll put them on the belt with the items but I forget to even pull them out of my pocket. 
That’s why using something like Apple Pay seems pretty interesting to me. Randall’s, I think, allows you to use the website to attach coupons to your Randall’s member card (sure, I could check but I don’t want to). If that’s true, it would be incredible for me because I could just attach coupons to my card and when I use it to get the lower prices, anyway, the coupons would be applied. Maybe I can’t do all that hardcore coupon-ing stacking that the professionals do, but at least I could use one or two. So, I hope this becomes a thing.
If there was one thing I could have wanted for Christmas it would have been an Oculus Rfit  Unfortunately, they still aren’t available. While I know it would not replace a holodeck it would still, I think, be fun on the bun. Of course I wouldn’t be able to stop at just the Rift; I’d also need one of them new space sim games and a flight joystick to go with them. And maybe a groovy racing game. Either one seems like a good use of a head mounted, 3D, monitor. Being able to turn my head to look out the windows would be a huge boon.
It’s not just the games, either. Having a virtual cinema would be pretty cool. Someone is already working on a virtual arcade with classic, playable, arcade machines. 
Sadly, it isn’t out yet. The Samsung Gear VR is, but that’s not quite the market I’m in. At least, I don’t think so. I think I would need a Samsung Note 4 to use it and I don’t need one of those.

I’m having trouble dropping the subject of The Hobbit trilogy. I don’t like harping on it because I don’t want to look like I’m hating on it, which I’m not. On the other hand, I just don’t feel like I’ve gotten my reasoning across with accuracy. So I’m going to try again.
A few years ago there was an online game called Motor City Online (I’m not changing the subject, honest). It was different from most racing games at the time because the cars were all real cars. It was also unusual because the cars it concentrated on were older American cars: 1955 Ford Thunderbird, 1957 Chevy Bel Air, 1969 AMC AMX and the like. It also differed from most racing games at the time in that you could purchase (using game money, not real money) parts for your car. I don’t mean you could select “Upgraded Suspension Package” and be on your way, I mean you had your choice of different specifications of shock absorbers made by different, real world, companies. And the list of parts was huge. If you wanted to install Edelbrock headers, you could do that.
Motor City Online didn’t last too long. It had some issues. Perhaps worse for Electronic Arts, it gave them a completely new user base. You see, many people who played Motor City Online weren’t your typical gamer. They were older and, more to the point, not gamers. These were people who, at one time or another, probably owned an AMC AMX, or a Mustang Boss 302, or a Charger R/T. These people not only owned these cars but they also worked on them. 
The reason why this was a problem is because no one knew how to deal with them. These were people who got upset when a Corvette went up for auction for several million dollars because the economy was highly inflated. These were people who knew that it was a few seconds work to drop a Chrysler Hemi engine in a Chevy Camaro engine bay, something you could do with virtually no penalties in the game. These were people who loved cars, loved working on cars, and were pleased as punch when a game came out that, they thought, catered to them.
  I bring this up because it reminds me of Tolkein fans. People who pored over the books, who traced the family lineages, who filled out timelines, who bring new levels to word ‘fan.’ People tend to get very attached. At this point you’re not just dealing with a person who is interested in a ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’ response to a movie. Consciously or not they’ll hold it up to higher standards.
As I mentioned yesterday, Peter Jackson appears to dislike Bilbo. Dislike him to the point where he’s willing to discredit the character and try and cut him out of the movie that wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for that particular character. 
If this were a generic fantasy film, this wouldn’t be a big deal. There would be no frame of reference and it would just be a movie. But anyone having even a passing knowledge of The Hobbit will wonder what’s going on. Imagine if the Harry Potter movies didn’t have Harry Potter in them. That’s what you’re working with here.
To me, that’s pretty bad. But it got even worse to me to know that the Hobbit trilogy is really a six hour long commercial for The Lord of the Rings trilogy. There are references to the LOTR movies that shouldn’t be there. There are characters that shouldn’t be in The Hobbit but are because they were in LOTR.
When a dam gets a crack it’s hard to keep the water at bay and once you’ve find some problems with the movies, well, everything is about to be flooded. There are huge amounts of problems with The Hobbit trilogy that could probably be overlooked if it weren’t for all the issues that are pretty obvious. CGI that just looks bad, for instance. Hell, I wasn’t even trying to spot bad effects but they’re in there. Dwarves that are in full battle dress when in the safety of a stronghold but are suddenly without armor or helmets when running out on to the battle ground. Little things like that.
As far as the romance between Fili and the totally made Tauriel goes, at first I didn’t have a problem with it. When the credits rolled on the last movie, though, I realized that it added nothing to the story. Nothing to the movie. The entire purpose was to fill up time. You could edit out the entire romance and still be left with a cohesive story. A better, more concentrated story, in fact. It wasn’t even an entertaining side story because, as has been pointed out by cynics larger than I, their deep, deep, deep love for each other came about because they had a couple of conversations. A couple. Not even a few. Maybe fifteen minutes worth of words passed between them. 
But, again, if they had changed all the names it would have been a fairly decent fantasy story about a group of dwarves on their way to a mountain and the pair of elves that come out of nowhere to save their asses.
You would be hard pressed to find anyone that would call the Rankin-Bass production of The Hobbit, made in 1977, a cinematic masterpiece and, yet, it is the superior film because it tells the story better. When I think of that movie, the first thing that comes to mind is Bilbo, not Legolas and not the dwarves.
This is, of course, the way I feel. Other people feel differently and would be baffled as to why I keep going on about it.   

Advertisements