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December 30, 2001
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The Fellowship Of The Ring

Cathie and Walt took care of Jet while John and I got to watch The Fellowship of the Ring. We tried to get to a noon showing, but by the time we got there the show had already sold out. So we bought tickets for the one o'clock showing and went next door for lunch. There was a new Japanese Habachi restaurant right there.

There was a whole mall setup around the theater that included several restaurants. There's a Dave and Buster's, a Thai restaurant, a cold marble slab ice cream lace, a steak house, and a bunch of other things. The habachi restaurant kind of drew me because I really wanted some noodle soup. They didn't have noodle soup, but they did have sushi at 20% off during lunch time, and habachi scallops for only about nine bucks. John and I decided to share a scallop lunch and some a la cart sushi.

They did the whole job of lighting the habachi, cooking vegetables, frying rice, and John and I each got an equal portion of everything. I was amazed. I basically got the bulk of a lunch special with only half the scallops. With the four pieces of sushi, it was more than enough for a really hearty, hot lunch. Sitting by the hibachi was wonderful on this cold, snowy, grey day, because it warmed me all the way through. I really enjoyed that. All the sushi for the two of us cost twice as much as the scallop lunch, so they got their money's worth anyway.

From there, we walked the half block back to the theater, and went in and they were already seating the movie. We found some nice seats about halfway up the stadium seating and settled in for the small wait. It was nice to just sit there, full and happy and not be tempted, at all, by movie food. We cheerfully watched the slides, the ads, and then the previews. During the previews, I snuck off to use the restroom, with a three hour movie I didn't want to miss anything, and it was better to be prepared.

It was worth going to. I really, really enjoyed it a lot. In some ways I half wished I hadn't read the book just before seeing the movie. I was glad to have, fresh in memory, the general outline of the plot. I wasn't happy remembering the details of the book and comparing them with the reality of the movie. It made, very clear, the point that what goes on in ones mind while reading a book cannot be matched by the visual medium of a movie. There are no trees that could match the trees and forests of the books. There are no mountains that could show the feelings evoked by the words.

Of course, with the forest that was all of pale bark and golden leaves, I had actually imaged trembling aspens on dark mountains in the snow as they are in Colorado. There were no aspens to be seen in the movie. Also, in the book, the trees had wide branches that could support dwellings, and there is no aspen that could do that. Besides aspens aren't an Old World tree.

Which isn't to say that it was a bad movie. I enjoyed it greatly. And the points where the plot and/or communication and/or timing differed, it was clearly to the betterment of the movie *as* a movie. I really liked that. I also agreed with Singer, that the architecture of the elven areas really brought to mind the architecture of the 1910's and the whole feeling of an age that was lost after two times of darkness over the world. I think all the actors were really, really well chosen, and nearly all of them matched my head space for the characters. The elves, all but Legolas, weren't quite right, though I loved seeing Legolas walking on the snow the others were plowing through, that was one of those details that I had delighted in in the book and it delighted me to see it in the movie as it was a very cool visual. It was also fresh in my head because of cross-country skiing happening tomorrow, and remembering past trips when I might step off a ski into thigh high snow.

I actually liked the modern representation of the monsters. I loved the spectacular scenery. I enjoyed all the combat sequences, as they were well done and solid enough for me to believe the battles that were in the book. That was very good.

So, all in all, I'm very, very glad we went and I would recommend the movie, very much, for anyone that is a fan of Tolkien. I'm very grateful to Walt and Cathie taking care of Jet for all the hours we were away with that long a movie and a meal beforehand. Yay!

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Copyright 2001 Liralen Li. All Rights Reserved.