Random thoughts of the night

Talli and I, for months, have been working our way through the special features of the Lord of the Rings movies (you know, the appendices to the special extended editions, that show how they made the movies. I’VE watched them all, of course, but it’s a good bonding experience to watch them again WITH her.) We watched another 15 minutes or so tonight, about the scoring of the music for the Two Towers. Every time I watch, I’m blown away again by the level of excellence that all of these people achieved with this movie. I would love to be the kind of person who could draw that sort of collaborative effort toward excellence out of a team of people.

But it made me remember that tonight, Peter Jackson’s new movie, King Kong, is opening. I don’t know if I’ll see this one; the story doesn’t really draw me. It sounds like he’s used many of the same people to achieve excellence again.

And THAT made me remember that four years ago, Shawn McConaughey and Steve Fawver and I sat in a movie theater in Boise, Idaho at midnight to watch what I’d been waiting for since I was a kid…to see the Lord of the Rings come to life on screen. For three Decembers (and the following two Novembers and May of 2004, when the extended editions came out) I had something I was anticipating with excitement. I don’t have anything quite like that this December.

I wasn’t all hyped up for Narnia, and I’m glad I wasn’t. It was fine…but not outstanding. My verdict is that since The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is relatively short, they had to stretch. And the way they seemed to stretch was long, slow shots of the children’s faces as they reacted to things. When Edmund is healed at the end of the battle with the White Witch, the four children are hugging on the field. We see Edmund’s face react with joy, as he obviously sees Aslan. Then we see Lucy’s reaction, then Peter’s, then Susan’s, then back to Edmund, and I felt myself wanting to scream, “Just turn the stupid camera so we can see Aslan, already!”

But the best critique I’ve read of the movie came on Amy Loves Books, a blog I started following months ago. It’s worth reading, which you can do here.

Finally, have any of you who blog thought of a creative way to tie in your annual Christmas letter with your blog? Obviously, I can write in the letter about the blog, and refer to more details on stuff that’s happened this year. But it seems like there could be something else really creative that’s possible. So give me your great ideas in the comments, and then I’ll steal them. 😉

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