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Inspirational Reads

Nerd-vana

April 7, 2008

One thing about my April Fool's post where I claimed I was tired was that almost all of that was true: I do have a lot of work ahead of me, or to do, or on my plate, whichever cliche you'd like to us. I did a lot of that this weekend, specifically on Saturday. Thusly, I rewarded myself on Saturday and Sunday nights.

How? you might ask. Well, I laid on my bed and/or couch and flipped back and forth between the Lord of the Rings movies on TNT and the Star Wars prequels on Spike (with a little bit of Kansas beating the shit out of Carolina on Saturday night, just for the sheer joy that it brought me). To add to that, I also threw in a healthy dose of Final Fantasy XII and, in case I didn't get me enough Tolkien with the movies, I was reading Children of Húrin.

Yes, I had reached a state of Nerd-vana. The only way I could go further would have been to have a stack of old X-Men comics at my side so that I could read up on the whacky adventures of Wolverine and Jubilee. *shudder*

One thing that stood out for me, though, whilst viewing these two trilogies: as good as the Lord of the Rings movies were (and I have some serious issues with the Two Towers...I don't consider myself a Tolkien purist, but there was just some bad series of events that went on in the second movie), the Star Wars movies were that bad.

I realize that Lucas could never connect with the awesome power of the original three stories (episodes IV through VI, if you will), since we all already knew what would happen to Annakin Skywalker. But, come on. Let someone read through your script and be like "Wow, this dialogue sucks, dude." For all the sweeping camera angles, immense battle scenes, and close ups of the characters so that you couldn't tell they were standing on their knees, the cinematography of the Lord of the Rings movies was incredible. Not so with the Star Wars movies. Oh, here, let's zoom in on a couple of Clone Troopers pointing to a target. That's not awkward or anything. While Peter Jackson masterfully wove together the two or three major story elements that were going on (depending on where the story stood) by putting together long scenes filled with character and plot development, Lucas hashed together several short, disjointed scenes that did not forward the story at all, but rather simply gave us one more thing to guess at (wait, why was this guy doing this?).

While neither series was perfect (though, in my opinion, Return of the King was about as perfect as you could get), the flaws of one movie series were enough that it detracted from the story overall. Though there were several instances of very "un-Tolkien-like" dialogue in the Lord of the Rings ("No one tosses a Dwarf!" or "This...is a pint!"), the dialogue at least worked well with the characters. Not so with Star Wars. Lines such as "I killed them...I killed them all!" should have been character-defining moments; instead, they were insipidly delivered, invoking a groan and a rolling of the eyes from the audience rather than empathy and compassion and a glimpse into the defining soul of the character.

If nothing else, I can take from this a more rounded critical eye that I can apply to my own works. One thing that I've heard over and again is that I have none of these dialogue issues; however, the delivery of some of the words and lines need to be more fine tuned (again, thanks to Julie, who originally wrote that down for me in some of my earliest editorial comments). With this in mind, I have more comfort and more confidence in pushing forward and getting these things cleaned up and ready to go. That is, of course, unless there's another marathon of movies on that I want to watch (despite the fact that I own the DVDs...).

Note: I learned while searching for pictures that there are a lot of people out there that have named their cats Eowyn. And taken pictures of them. And shown them on the internet. Yeesh.

2 comments:

Chemgeek said...

Dear blog writer,

I am torn. I was unable to watch the Kansas/NC basketball game because MY WIFE was flipping between the LOTR's and Star Wars prequel.

I was prevented from watching basketball, but my wife was (by her own freewill) enjoying both the LOTR and Star Wars.

Should I be upset about this, excited or just freaked out?

Confused in Minnesota.


PS, I realize my first mistake was allowing a woman-folk to control the remote, but she beat me to the TV.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Dear Confused:

First off: man up and wrest that thing away from her. As a man, it is your duty to spray that remote with musk or whatever else you must do to mark it as your territory and your territory alone. The same goes for the recliner.

Second: you've clearly made inroads with this woman. Work with that. Expand upon your burgeoning common sci-fi/fantasy interests. However, do not do anything stupid, like ask her to wear elf-ears or call her "Padme" in bed.

Third: You didn't miss much, just a total beat-down ass-whooping put up by the Jayhawks. It was five years worth of "Oh no he din't!" played out on a hardwood floor for 40 minutes.

Fourth: my books (when they get published) could be excellent anniversary and/or birthday presents. Buy them, buy them on tape, buy them in large print, whichever the little lady likes.

Wow, I suddenly feel like Dr. Phil.