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This Day in My History


Happiness is your dentist telling you it won't hurt and then having him catch his hand in the drill.

- Johnny Carson

Yesterday's Entries

2000:  Whistle While You Work
2001:  Sunrise, Sunset
2002:  Back in the Saddle Again


Angels and Demons by Dan Brown


Wet, cold, yucky


(NB:   Weigh-in report in tomorrow's entry...)


30 December 2003

Middle Earth needs a good dentist.

I remember back when I was a kid and going to movies. You knew the good guys because they wore white hats; the bad guys wore black hats.

Now the good guys have good teeth; the bad guys have bad teeth. Pointed fangs, missing teeth, blackened teeth. You can always tell a bad guy by how bad his teeth are.

We took off yesterday afternoon and went to see Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King. It was a good day to go as it was pouring rain and there was such a high wind that it blew down a branch of a tree limb onto our garage roof. I was at work when that happened and didn’t realize it until I’d been home about half an hour and Walt came in, dripping wet. He’d been up on the roof chopping up the tree limb so he could move it.

We also were waiting for the power company to come and remove a refrigerator which had been sitting in our carport for years. They came and took it away and actually paid us for it ($35).

Once it was gone, we had the whole stormy afternoon free, so what better thing to do than to go see Lord of the Rings. We had watched The Two Towers on video yesterday, so the two movies kind of blend together in my mind, but I do have some comment to make on the movies.

Now in support of all the Orcs and Trolls and other ugly things with bad teeth, you have to feel sorry for them. I mean, if I went around with skin that looked like dried silly putty, facial features that were askew (or missing), and those blackened teeth, I might be a bit puckish myself.  Nobody's going to invite them to the prom.   They're surely the ones who get beaten up in gym class.  Other kids snicker and point when they walk down the corridors in school.  No wonder they’re ready to fight the Elves and the humans at the drop of a hat.

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And what’s with Gandalf? He battles thousands of soldiers, stabs a lot of them, rushes around up and down ramps, rides horses, engages in hand to hand combat, and yet he never smudges his clothes and his white hair is never mussed. I want whatever is in his mousse.

Then there is Legolas, who follows Aragorn around everywhere. Aragorn makes Don Johnson look clean shaven. His hair is always in his eyes and he’s covered with dirt and grime, while Legolas always looks clean scrubbed. Is it something with Elven skin that it has a kind of teflon coating that dirt doesn’t stick to?  Or does Legolas have the 5 Queer Eyes guys giving him grooming tips?

Most of the male figures in the story are covered in grime at all times and yet all the women have clear, translucent skin, and perfectly manacured nails–even Eowyn, who rides into battle with her uncle and has my favorite line in the whole movie (go see it–you’ll recognize it).

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(see?  and look at those teeth!  Obviously a good guy)

We noted that in the credits there is a "Tolkein linguist," who presumably helped the Elves with the proper pronunciation of the bits that were in Elvish (lol...sounds like a drunken rock singer). Elvish must have its roots in romance languages because it’s much more pleasant to listen to than, say, Klingon.  (I wonder if there’s an Elvish-Klingon dictionary somewhere...)

I suppose when you’re filming an epic that will cover, if strung together end to end, some 10 hours of film, it’s natural that you’ll borrow from anybody you can. So I couldn’t help but wait for Treebeard to start tossing apples at the hobbits when they first meet (in #2) and I expected the pteradactyl-like creatures circling Minas Tirith (#3) to start spelling out "Surrender Frodo." And is there anybody...anywhere...who did not to him/herself quietly sing "yoEEohh YOohh" when Frodo, Sam, and Gollum peaked over the rocks at the soldiers marching into the castle (#2).

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To say nothing of the "there's no place like home" moment when Frodo wakes up in his bed to find all the friends from his adventure smiling at him. You half way expect Gandalf to say "Remember me? Your ol' pal Gandalf?"

Getting back to my favorite line of Eowyn, it’s straight out of MacBeth, as are the marching trees (Birnam Woods coming to Dunsinane).

The ghosts coming down from their places in the cave and following Aragorn into battle is a twist on Gilbert & Sullivan’s Ruddygore, as is a lot of the dialog with the ghosts (...I also noticed that the bad ghost suddenly developed good teeth once he had agreed to help Aragorn). And then there's the fairy who wanted to marry a mortal, right out of Iolanthe.

The mark of a good movie, for me, is how much I sleep in it. At my age, getting me immobile in a dark theatre almost certainly guarantees that I will doze off. And yes, I dozed off, but only toward the beginning of the movie. The last two hours or so held my interest. I think that a lot of battle scenes could have been trimmed a bit and there were, by my count, five places where it was logical to end, but it definitely tied up every possible loose end and there will be no sequels.

But if there are any dentists out there looking for a real challenging career, I suggest a relocation to Middle Earth might be just the very thing.



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OK...maybe it got a LITTLE mussed...but where's the blood?


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Created 12/28/03