I write fantasy. I read fantasy. I love Tolkien and I loved Jackson’s representation of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The reaction to An Unexpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug has been interesting to me because, for all intents and purposes, Jackson actually made fewer character changes in The Hobbit series—and none that damaged the integrity of the original story—than he did in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but the former is being called fan fiction and the latter is hailed as genius by Tolkien fans everywhere.
Okay, lame title for a blog post, but these aren’t exactly reviews, and I didn’t want to mislead anyone. I’m running shy of time on winter break, after all, and I have to limit my frivolous commentary. I also wanted to do some self-reflection, though, and keep a bit of a record of things that inspired, moved, or entertained me in 2013. In include both rentals and theater releases. Tomorrow will be books. New Year’s Eve will be news stories. In short, my next three blog posts will be for me, and not so much for you the reader, but thanks for reading anyway!
Movies discussed: Cloud Atlas, Django Unchained, Warm Bodies, The World’s End, Stand Up Guys, and Ender’s Game.
Yes, I am a geek. I am proud to be a geek. I’m really okay with being a fantasy geek. I’ve almost convinced myself that it isn’t the best genre for me to write, but for reading, there are few genres that I enjoy as much. The Lord of the Rings trilogy wasn’t my first foray into fantasy (that honor belongs to the Incarnations of Immortality series by Piers Anthony, which, in retrospect, is just plain awful), but it was the first trilogy that I remember taking my breath away.
The first full length novel I remember reading was Watership Down. I was in the third grade and my father bought it for me. The weekend after I’d finished it, we drove out to Elbe to a little greasy spoon restaurant (my dad’s favorite kind) and talked about the book over a french dip sandwich. It was my first experience with a grown-up literary conversation and it went something like this:
Dad: Did you like the book?
Me: The rabbit book?
Dad: Are you sure it was about rabbits?
Me: It said it was about rabbits.
I don’t really like Alec Baldwin. But then, I don’t really like the Oscars anymore. 2009 was the first time they were entertaining since Whoopie Goldberg hosted back before fantasy was considered a legitimate film genre (i.e. before movie-goers told Hollywood where to stick their artsy high horse). It’s a rare occasion that a worthy film wins an award. Rarer that a worthy film wins several. Talent often goes unnoticed. Awards are handed out through popularity or politics. Maybe I’m a bit jaded.