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I went to see Mockingjay Part 1 today (very good movie, even if I'd forgotten just how long the commercials go on before movies in Europe). One of the trailers at the beginning was for Battle of the Five Armies, and you could tell right away what was going to go wrong from the fact that they actually had Richard Armitage sitting in a chair announcing that you were about to see this trailer. I do hope that little job paid him enough to cover his shame therapy.

So here's a trailer for a three-hour movie covering possibly about the last quarter of a not-very-long, not-very-complicated kids' book. The trailer promises filler, filler, and more filler, along with posturing, Captain Obvious-ing, Thranduil's moose (which will never not be hilarious), and idiotic battle tactics. PJ & Co. also appear to have kept the cast on a slimming diet consisting of nothing but scenery, since they all had to keep picking bits of it out of their teeth. Even Martin Freeman, which is saying something, because his basic shtik is very much not chewing the scenery, even when everyone around him is nibbling away.

I guess this is what happens when you take as the title of your climactic film an event that's pretty much missing from the book, since the protagonist is conveniently unconscious while it happens (way to drop the narrative ball there, Johnny R. R.!), but still. I presume that PJ actually read The Hobbit before trying to make it into the Three Epic Films of Epicness, and therefore I absolve him of no blame whatsoever. Probably the best course of action is just to watch the movie and pretend that it actually has nothing at all to do with Tolkien, but is an independent fantasy movie with a remarkable coincidence of character names. What say you to that?

In other news, I made tonight Pheasant Night! I roasted a pheasant (which you can just walk into a butcher shop and buy, just like that!) with an apple-onion-sage stuffing. Turned out tasty and flavorful, although next time I'm going to make only about a quarter of the stuffing, since I had way too much left over to cook in another pan. But, yeah. Pheasant turns out to cook up pretty much like chicken, except with more flavor, and it's a smaller bird, so there aren't as many meals on it. But I bet the carcass will make an interesting variation on egg-and-lemon soup . . .

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
dawtheminstrel
Dec. 3rd, 2014 09:52 pm (UTC)
So I take it you don't expect to be a Five Armies fan? LOL. I'll love it anyway. PJ has to really work to alienate me.

Pheasant sounds good. Also it sounds like you're cooking up a storm.
frenchpony
Dec. 3rd, 2014 10:06 pm (UTC)
I like PJ's work when he's actually filming Tolkien. He's really good at that. Unfortunately, in order to stretch a work as short as The Hobbit into nine hours of film, he has to make it nearly all filler. He turns out to be not nearly as good a fantasy writer as Tolkien, and it shows here. I wonder if a nine-hour Hobbit would have fared better with Dennis McKiernan writing it.

Pheasant is pretty tasty. The Corpus chefs sometimes do pheasant for High Table, and that was what gave me the idea to try cooking it. I dug out a sheet of pheasant recipes that I got long ago in Wisconsin, and I did the simplest one, which was just roasting the bird with stuffing. Egg-and-lemon soup is just something that I like to do with poultry carcasses, and it's an especially good idea here. My fridge is about the size of a dorm fridge (I'm told this is normal for England), and there isn't much room in the freezer portion to keep frozen chunks of pheasant stock around, so you just make the stock, cook rice in it, thicken it with egg, and flavor it with lemon, and it makes a tasty soup that you can eat with whole-grain bread.
dot_o_choillmor
Dec. 3rd, 2014 10:34 pm (UTC)
I forgot about the damn moose!
frenchpony
Dec. 4th, 2014 08:14 am (UTC)
Sorry about that. Yes, the moose was pretty prominent in the trailer. I've decided to call him Bullwinkle. Thranduil great King of the Elves of Mirkwood, boldly commanding the Sindar Army, riding forth upon his steed . . . Bullwinkle.

Does that make things any better?
lcohen
Dec. 3rd, 2014 11:13 pm (UTC)
there are that many commelrcials before US movies, too--i swear there are wall-to-wall commercials between showings!

i will probably go see "the hobbit part 3: the thickening" because why not? but i didn't see "the two towers" until about four years after i saw the other two parts, so not necessarily in the theater. did you think that the whole "sliding on molten gold" sequence in part 2 was a setup for a ride at some amusement park--cause that's all i could think of.
frenchpony
Dec. 4th, 2014 08:16 am (UTC)
The difference is that US movie commercials start showing before the official movie start time. You walk into the theater, and the commercials are already playing. European theaters wait until the official movie start time to start the commercials, so that the actual movie starts twenty minutes after you think it will.

I thought that the "sliding on molten gold" sequence was kind of where the magic mushrooms really got to PJ's brain, but, now that I think about it, it would make an excellent amusement park ride!
perelleth
Dec. 4th, 2014 09:42 am (UTC)
Yes, turning The Hobbit into a three movie could only lead to this pile of ridiculous fillers taking over the Tolkien. Changing the title in the third installment from "There and Back again" to "The Battle of the Five Armies" shows where the author`s focus is. Since what I love of The Hobbit is how it focus is on BIlbo, rather than on dwarves with daddy issues...

But then, I approached The Hobbit with very low standards, so I'm ok.

Also, Bullwinkle sounds perfect to me.
frenchpony
Dec. 4th, 2014 10:30 am (UTC)
Changing the title in the third installment from "There and Back again" to "The Battle of the Five Armies" shows where the author`s focus is.

Of course, it does play to one of PJ's great strengths. He's absolutely a genius at war movies, see Return of the King, and I just love how the things that happen in his epic movies have a real sense of weight to them. You can tell that the trolls have mass, that the walls are made of stone, that impacts actually have force. It worked brilliantly for LOTR, very well in King Kong. Less so in The Hobbit, since that story really doesn't need the weight, but still, he is doing what he's good at.
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