Drooling on the Pillow

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Elvin Hooves 

Colby Cosh gets it exactly right taking on the end of ROTK. I saw it last weekend. Taken as a whole I think LOTR is the most thrilling accomplishment in movies made during my life. Thrilling, as in weeping, cheering, laughing, screaming and recoiling. As in leaving the theatre with a stunned buzz that lasted hours. All that emotional investment and an unabashed polemic on behalf of western civilization.

But the ending of ROTK does drag. I doubt that, with half a billion in sales behind him, Jackson was getting any pressure for an upbeat ending, or would notice if he was. Perhaps it was simply a failure of nerve. It is asking a lot of a movie maker to put his characters through all that and have them return to a right scouring. The excellent point that Mr. Cosh makes is that without it the movie is missing a beat. A beat from which a more cinematic end note would have been easier. Four schmoos sitting around Moe's tavern having a beer while those around them little note nor long remember their sacrifice has nowhere to go but a rueful shrug and making babies. Tolkien gave us hope and renewal but also another reminder of the cost of failure, a bitter memo on the stakes freedom plays for.

The title of this post was an accident. I was going to write something else and wound up writing the name of an old acquaintance. A Colville indian I haven't thought about in probably twenty years. Yes, that was his name. Nice guy, big, smart and loyal. But cranky. A middle earth Shrek.

Monday, December 22, 2003

Level Blue 

As in skies. It's so much easier to face an "elevated threat level" while there are people in the government who are actually doing something about it. What was frightening during the 90s wasn't that there were people who wanted to kill me, but that the people in charge here were so transparently clueless about responding. Bad things will still happen, but we're not sitting here with our butts in the air going "Again, Sir. Harder."
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