There and not back again

This article provides a nice roundup of a bit of information that, somehow eluded me for nearly a month. Namely, that New Line and Peter Jackson are not playing nice and that one or more future movies set in Middle-earth will not involve Jackson as director. Here is the open letter from Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh about there rift with Newline over the accounting on the Lord of the Rings films and how it has basically led to New Line telling Peter Jackson to fuck off, in regards to any future projects.

I for one really want the Hobbit to be made, but I would rather have it not made than done poorly. Sorry but I just don’t see Sam Raimi doing this and god forbid, Lucas should get to ruin yet another fantasy saga. Some have speculated that they may cut this story into two parts and then add an additional prequel to make for a second trilogy – a path I would love to see taken, if Jackson were at the helm. My desire would be for Jackson and Newline (and MGM) to understand that there is more than $1 billion to be made, resolve their differences, and get going on these projects while Sir Ian McKellan can still hold up his, ahem, staff.

Over 56,000 people have signed this petition to the parties involved to get their act together and get Peter Jackson on board. You can too.


OK I promise this will be the last post about the Lord of the Rings for a while. But after seeing the film for the third time I can say without a doubt, that it gets better with each viewing. When I saw it for the second time, I was able to relax and let the film wash over me without being all swept up in it like the first viewing. The third time (I had to bring my Dad and my wife’s parents) I was able to see many details that show how much love went into the film despite the alleged 37 errors found in the film.

I keep expecting to be tired of the movie or to be satisfied but I am not. I could see it again! During this third viewing, I was able to check out some of the supposed errors in the film. Many people say, for example, that they could see cars driving in the distance. Cars in the distance? I didn’t see any cars but I did look for some of the other so-called-errors and verified some while others seem less like mistakes and more like misconceptions.

The AFI just named The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings as its Best Picture of 2001. If it wins the Best Motion Picture – Drama Golden Globe that it has been nominated for, it will have a very strong chance of winning the Best Picture Oscar.

Because of the timing of its release and its recent nominations and awards, I look for this first Lord of the Rings movie to be very successful at the box office. How successful? When all is said and done (which might not be until the 2nd movie releases – or even beyond that) I expect The Fellowship of the Rings to come in 6th or 7th all-time, or just over $300 million. As a franchise and in the very long run the movie could do as well as Titanic’s $600 million, but I won’t be holding my breath. Here is a site that is watching LOTR’s progress vs. Titanic. Maybe if I see it a couple more times…

There’s some good news for fans disappointed by some of LOTR’s omissions (they had to cut something – it was already 3 hours). “The DVD, being released later this year, should have an extra thirty to forty minutes of footage on it. The additions would include some more interaction and development among the members of the Fellowship. Another addition would include the sequence in which Gimli falls for Galadriel, a turning point for his distrust of Elves.” I really hope that the additional footage is in added right into the movie as it runs, or there is an option to do so, rather than in some extra features or deleted scenes.

Finally, my favorite quote from someone reviewing the Lord of the Rings movie:

“The movie’s length is its only possible deterrent: I really wanted it to be longer.”

– Brendan L. Agnew

The Fellowship of the Ring

The Fellowship of the Ring now ranks as the top movie in the Internet Movie Database’s Top 250 movies as voted by users. Previously The Godfather had been number 1, as the only other movie to garner an overall rating of 9 or better. But at 2/10’s of a percent better than The Godfather, it is possible the movie could stay there (it does have nearly 14,000 votes at the time I am writing this).

Do I think it should be there at number 1? I will wait to answer that.

One ring to rule the box office

Lord of the Rings: A beautiful movie, with good casting (except for Elrond being played by Agent Smith), and compelling story. Any pacing problems that I thought the movie had were likely a result of it being 2:30 this morning at the time. Aside from a few nitpick-type criticisms I thought it was a very good movie. I will let you know more after tonight’s viewing.

Lord of the Rings news

I came across some interesting facts lately about the upcoming Lord of the Rings movies:

The crew for the shoot “consisted of 2400 people from all over the world, (was) shot in over 100 locations and on 350 sets. The three films featured a whopping 77 speaking roles, and 26,660 extras were employed to fill out the epic battle scenes.” It was also the longest shoot since Apocalypse Now at a whopping 274 days. Wow!

“Because of the intense working relationship, the Fellowship of the Ring cast members bonded to an unusual degree.” The main cast members even got matching tattoos at the end of shooting. The tattoos say (in Elf script) ‘The Nine.’ Everyone got them in different places. Sean Astin got his on his ankle and has this to say: “Mine’s on my ankle — the Hobbit foot — because Billy Boyd, who plays Pippin, got his on his ankle and I thought it was very appropriate given that we were Hobbits.” I think maybe these guys have been shooting this movie too long. Does Sean realize that he isn’t, in fact, a hobbit?

Christopher Lee, who plays Saruman, “had read The Lord of the Rings each year for the last 20 years before he was hired to be in the production.” Do you think he was qualified as a fan?


It also seems that the first movie due out December 19th in the U.S. will do very well. Especially if European advanced tickets sales are any indication (as this article at CNN seems to indicate. “Swedish “Fellowship” tickets went on sale only Monday — much to the relief of the fans who had been waiting in line for as long as five days in temperatures that dipped below the freezing point. ‘Star Wars: The Phantom Menace’ was the last time people queued up outside theaters, but it’s never been anything like this.”

Other tidbits:

The runtime has been confirmed at 2 hours and 58 minutes and it is shooting for a PG rating in the U.S.

You can now listen to the entire original score for the movie as well as one of the two new songs by Enya featured in the film at the official site.

Check out the Lord of the Rings movie trailer when you have an hour to kill while downloading it.

Ok, so after several days of use I can, with clear conscience state that I hate the current release of Netscape 6 and I do not believe that is it any threat to Internet Explorer’s dominance in its current form. (I must say I am impressed with the adherence to standards, and applaud Netscape for this)

Here’s why:

  • Try entering a path in a directory or a local path. Nu-uh.
  • Try dragging a file into the browser window to open it. Nope.
  • The interface is horrible. There are so many things wrong with it I cannot begin.
  • Ok so I’ll try, first you can’t right click copy or paste from the address field (or anywhere else within the interface) Even cutting and pasting using keyboard shortcuts or menus is inconsistent.
  • The thing just doesn’t seem stable. I am not convinced that a Java application can be. I have had only bad experiences with client-side programs created in Java. Being cross-platform is great but not at the expense on function and reliability.
  • Try bookmarking a page. Haha.
  • The preferences screens are slow to change.
  • It may be fast to render pages once it gets them but it often isn’t fast about requesting pages.
  • Sometimes simply scrolling down in a page can cause the top of the page to get “all jumbled up” at the top.

Here’s another rant:

When you are at a play, musical, opera, wherever you may see a live event, don’t give a standing ovation unless it was really, really good. You should have been moved to tears, or laughing hysterically the whole time for a show to receive this honor.

I am sick of people giving “courtesy ovations” when a show is simply done well. Maybe the people who do this only go to the theater once a year and really think the performance was that good. Maybe the friends of the folks in the play want to be nice to them and start it off. These things have a sort of guilt-stupidity-lemming-like momentum thing going on – when someone stands up and you don’t you may feel guilty or feel bad for the actors or those already standing or you maybe think you may not be a good judge and didn’t realize the play was so good. Well, you will likely only see a couple dozen performances in your life (if you’re lucky) that deserve that kind of praise. Don’t cheapen yourself or the practice. You are really cheating the actors themselves from receiving sincere praise when they are superb, as well as, your fellow theatergoers by letting the actors think that’s all they have to do to get such accolades; they don’t have to excel. My advice, sit down, the performers know they shouldn’t get a standing ovation. You should too.

Something that does deserve accolades, however, is a site, just launched by a friend of mine. The best things about this site, for me, are the subtleties like: draggable layers, movable blocks, and customizable background colors that “alter” the title image’s appearance. It is this attention to detail that is so impressive and he did all the DHTML by hand and on his own (also impressive)… now if he can only get it to work in Netscape 6 ;-)