Friday, February 27, 2015


Farewell, Leonard Nimoy.

One summer, I spent a multi-day car trip learning to raise my eyebrows independently of each other just so I could raise one like Spock.  I geeked out when I learned Leonard Nimoy was in an episode of my absolute favorite show, Combat!  My brother and I spent so many hours pretending we were Spock and Kirk that the name "Spock" conjures up my brother's face about as often as Nimoy's.

Although I fangirled over Captain Kirk as an adolescent, I now appreciate Mr. Spock's calmness and wisdom in ways I never could then.  I plan to cancel my previous choice for our Friday night movie and watch a couple of my favorite Star Trek eps instead.  I'm thinking "Journey to Babel" and maybe "City on the Edge of Forever."  Or possibly the Combat! episode he guests in, "The Wounded Don't Cry."

Thursday, February 26, 2015

MEMM Day 11 - Favorite moment/line in "The Return of the King"

I have had the same favorite moment in this movie since the first time I saw it, a dozen years ago.  In fact, it is my favorite moment in the entire trilogy.  It makes me cry and cheer at the same time, and I cannot think right now of any other scene in any movie that affects me in quite the same way.  No other moment that is that same blend of all that is triumphant and heroic and sacrificial and brave.

I am, of course, talking about this moment:

"I can't carry it, Mr. Frodo.  But I can carry you!"

Just typing that line brings tears to my eyes.  Samwise Gamgee, you're my hero.

Monday, February 23, 2015

MEMM Day 10 - "Lord of the Rings" character you relate to the most

(Please note that this is specifically for LOTR.  There's another day set aside in this meme for a certain TH character to get his moment in the spotlight.)

Who but Samwise Gamgee?  He loves flowers and plants, digging in the dirt and helping things grow.  So do I.

He rarely ventures far from home.  I like staying home best myself.  An adventure now and then is okay, but there's nothing, after all, like staying home for real comfort.

He's goggle-eyed around elves.  I would be too.

He's endlessly loyal and helpful.  I know I'm loyal, and I try to be helpful.

He kills spiders.  So do I.  Though I'd rather have someone else kill them for me.  I expect Sam felt the same.

And by the end of the story, he gets to marry the person he loves and be happy.  Me too!

Friday, February 20, 2015

MEMM Day 09 - Scenes/things you laugh at

I laugh at a LOT of places in these movies.  I'm going to break this down by movie and try to list just two for each so this post doesn't go on for pages and pages :-)

I tend to laugh over things that delight me, surprise me in a good way, unexpected-but-perfect word choices (mostly a book thing), and characters behaving in a way that sort of typifies exactly who they are and what they're like.  And complete absurdity, that'll set me off too.

The Fellowship of the Ring

Pippin's smart-alecky face when he says, "We've had one yes.  But what about second breakfast?"  He's so confident that Aragorn will be like, "Oh!  Yes, I forgot about second breakfast.  By all means, let's stop, build a fire, and cook another meal.  My bad."

When the Council of Elrond has agreed that Frodo will take the Ring into Mordor, Sam jumps out of hiding and says he's going too, and Elrond is like, "Aren't you sweet."  But then Merry and Pippin pop out too and run past him, and Elrond has this expression of, "Gah!  My city is overrun by these Hobbits!"  Cracks me up.

The Two Towers

Gimli's grousing about being a natural sprinter, when he and Legolas and Strider are doing their awe-inspiring run to the rescue.  Really never gets old.  It's totally just there to be funny, and I usually don't like jokes-for-the-sake-of-jokes, but that one does amuse me.

Merry and Pippin's expressions at various times during their time with Treebeard also make me laugh, but not always the same ones -- guess it depends on my mood.

The Return of the King

Merry and Pippin and Gimli again, this time when everyone arrives at Isengard and get greeted by two jolly hobbits.  That whole section cracks me up.

The drinking contest between Gimli and Legolas is also quite amusing, and I definitely laugh when Legolas says, "I think it's beginning to affect me," and then Gimli falls over.

An Unexpected Journey

Bombur catching an egg in his mouth, and everyone's reaction to it.  Especially since I know now that that was the first take, and no one expected him to be able to do it!  I mostly dislike the whole dwarves-invade-Bag-End-and-mess-everything-up sequence, but that part is very funny.

I laugh at all the dwarves splashing around in the fountain at Rivendell in the extended version.  Well, mostly I laugh at how discomfited the elves are by this -- I sympathize, but at the same time, it's hilarious.

The Desolation of Smaug

Kili telling Tauriel a scary story about how his rune stone will curse anyone who's not a dwarf if they look at it.  He's such a teenage boy there, and I love her reaction -- this look of, "Oooookay, let's just walk away from the crazy dwarf, then."

When all the dwarves are coming up out of the toilet into Bard's house, and little Tilda asks, "Will they bring us luck?"  I laugh because it's a perfect little-kid thing to ask, and also because yes, they will.  Thanks to everything that goes down once those dwarves reach the mountain, your Da is going to be King of Dale in a couple years, kiddo.  Lucky dwarves, indeed.

The Battle of the Five Armies

When Thranduil asks Bilbo if he's the one who helped the dwarves escape, and Bilbo does his nose-twitch thing and says, "Errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrm, yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees."  Who could help laughing there?

Alfrid readjusting the gold stashed in his dress while he's preparing to scuttle off for good.  I laugh because it makes me think of Little John in Disney's animated Robin Hood, also buxom with stolen gold.  Also, Alfrid's trying to be so smart, but he looks ridiculous, and he's trying hard not to acknowledge that he looks ridiculous, and so, yup, it's funny.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Happy Birthday, Dear Sawyer!

According to the internet, today is the 47th birthday of James "Sawyer" Ford.

I can still remember watching my very first episode of Lost, "The Pilot," in my brother and sister-in-law's apartment when they lived in Boston.  That was almost 6 years ago, which is a bit mind-boggling.  I remember after the first couple of episodes, they asked me what I thought of the show, and if I liked any of the characters.  I was like, "Well, I think I'm supposed to like Jack.  And Kate is really cool.  But that Sawyer guy -- what's up with him?"  I was already trying to figure him out.

By the time I finished episode 8, "Confidence Man," I realized I was watching the show because I liked Sawyer, not so much because I liked the show.  If you go far enough back on my Facebook wall, you'll find a post from when I had that realization.  It says something like, "Not since Han Solo have I fallen for a scoundrel this hard or this fast."  That pretty well sums it up.

Why do I love Sawyer?  I think initially, I liked him because he was insistent that nobody should like him.  I was sad for him, and wanted to know more and more about why he pushed everyone away so determinedly.  Now, well, he adheres to all the things I Need in a character:  he's helpful, he's nice, and he's practical.  And if you've watched Lost and are scratching your head over those first two, well, yes, I see him as both helpful and nice.  He might not want to help, but he generally does, unless people are being mean to him, in which case he'll push back.  And inside, he is nice.  As the series goes on, his niceness becomes more and more apparent, as does his helpfulness.

He reads a lot.  He likes learning new things.  He makes do with what he's got, lives by his wits.  He's a con artist, and I am endlessly fascinated with con artists.  I think it's because they can talk people into doing what they want them to, and I'm fairly bad at that, so I kind of wish I could do what they do.  But use my powers for good, hee.  Which Sawyer eventually does.

And yeah, his name is actually James Ford, but to me he'll always and forever be Sawyer.  Because that's the name he chose for himself, and over the course of the series he changes more than any other character, going from a bitter loner to a caring leader.  If he can reinvent himself, he can rename himself too.  Actually, renames himself again later on, but by then he was cemented in my mind as Sawyer, and thus he remains.

So happy birthday, dear Sawyer!  I'm going to watch my favorite Lost ep, "The Long Con," tonight to celebrate your birthday.

(This is totally a Josh Holloway smile, not a Sawyer smile,
but it's so stinkin'  cute I couldn't not include it.)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

MEMM Day 08 - Favorite costumes

I was going to do a top ten for this one, but I've stopped at eight because otherwise we'd be here all winter.  There are so few costumes in these movies that I don't like!  And so very many that I adore.  Here are my top eight:

1.  Eowyn's white dress.  The one she's wearing when we first meet her.  Whenever I think of LOTR costumes, this is the first one that springs to my mind.  I love the swooshy sleeves, the drop-waist belt, how simple and elegant and, well, princess-like it is.

Sadly, it's kind of hard to get a clear, full-length shot of it from the front.  Which is annoying, because one of my favorite things about it is the long, intricate belt that hangs down the front.

I also like the neckline.  I don't like V-necks usually, but this one is so wide it's pretty instead of sporty, and the embroidery around it is gorgeous.

2.  Boromir's everything.  I completely adore his entire outfit.  And there's a lot to it!  Big boots and some kind of pants we don't see much of, chain mail, and a beautiful, princely, burgundy... surcoat?  I'm really bad with names of clothing, especially period stuff, sorry.  And over all that, a long, sleeveless, leather coat thing that looks so supple and yet tough.  And when he arrives in Rivendell, he's wearing a very luxurious fur cloak.  Plus his wonderful leather gauntlets, leather gloves... there's no piece of this costume I don't find amazing.  I wonder how much that costume weighed?  It certainly bulks Sean Bean up a lot -- he looks quite beefy and stalwart, when I know from other movies that he's actually kind of... not beefy.


When he's in Lothlorien, he trades the fur cloak for a grey Elvish one like the rest of the Fellowship.  Here's some detail on his sleeves, all embroidered and fancy.

Hand-stitched gloves, with a nifty buckle closure.  Mmmm, I love those gloves.  I have a thing for gloves, though.

I don't know if you've ever noticed this, but after Boromir dies, Aragorn keeps his gauntlets and wears them from then on.

3.  Bard's gloves and coat.  The coat is awesome -- it's so unfinished!  The edges aren't finished in any way, the sleeves are too long, and altogether it's screaming "this is good enough, and it's all I've got."  It also looks warm and comfy.  I want one.

I positively adore how he's cut slits behind the sleeves to give himself better range of movement.  So practical.  That's one of the things that makes me love Bard:  he's always very practical.

And then there are his fingerless "gloves."  Which I think are almost just fur pelts turned fur-side in, with holes cut for the thumbs and something to keep them closed.  Again, crazy practical, with a "best I can do" aura.  I want these too.

4.  Galadriel's shimmery dress.  The one she wears when we first meet her in Lothlorien in FOTR.  It's so ethereal, like wearing starlight.  And it has a train/cape thing, which seems to be detachable.

See?  No train/cape thing later on:

Look at all the intricate detail on this fabric!  Do you think that's beading?  Are they supposed to be Elanor or Mallorn flowers, do you think?  They make me think of snowflakes.

5.  Strider's Ranger clothes.  In the movies, I prefer Aragorn when he's all grunged up, in his Strider look, rough and ready.  Everything he wears here has a practical purpose.  (Yeah, I've come to realize I love practical people and things.  Bard's responsible for that realization.  Thanks, Bard!)

Also, long black coat.  I am a huge sucker for long coats, especially black ones.  Love them on almost anyone.

6.  Thranduil's cape.  I really wish I had a good picture of him arriving on his elk, with his cape thrown back over the elk, looking so regal and fabulous.  You can see it a little here, which is the best pic I could find online.


7.  Tauriel's green jerkin/coat/thing.  It's the most gorgeous color ever.  Also, it looks like it would be kind of fun to wear.  And it makes me think of Robin Hood.


8.  Arwen's red dress.  We don't get to see it much in ROTK, and I ran out of time to find that one scene and screencap it, so we must make do with something snurched off the internet:


Those sleeves!  The embroidery!  The color!  Delicious.

(Runners up would be Bilbo's cape at the very end of TBOTFA when he returns to the shire, Elrond's armor in TBOTFA, and Bofur's hat.  But this is really long, so I'll quit here.)

Friday, February 13, 2015

MEMM Day 07 - Lines you quote most often in real life

I'm having a slightly hard time not including quotes from the books because they keep popping into my head, and then as I write them down, I'll be like, "Wait!  I don't think that's in the movies!  Oops."  But here are a bunch of lines I say with great regularity:

"What's taters, Precious?"  (I happen to hate potatoes, so I says this with appropriate scorn.)

"It's mine!  My own!  My prrrrrrrrrrreciousssssssssssssssss!"  (My kids even say this now.)

"Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will tell you both 'no' and 'yes'."  (I use this to tell Cowboy he's been less than helpful when I've asked him a question, such as, "Should I go see TBOTFA again?")

"I'm going on an adventure!!!!"  (Excellent even for small adventures like getting the mail.)

"Fat hobbit is always so polite."  (Only said when someone is being terribly impolite, of course.  But usually I don't say "fat hobbit," I say, "little mouse" because we call our kids mice.)

"A day may come when (insert something that might happen, such as, "Mommy runs out of coffee"), but it is not this day!"  (Endlessly useful.)

"We've had one, yes.  But what about second breakfast?"  (This has to be said with Pip's accent and the appropriate drawing-out of the word "second" so it sounds like "sayyyycond.")

"Tomatoes, sausages, nice crispy bacon."  (Pretty much I say this whenever we have bacon.  Which is often, but not often enough.)

"It comes in pints?  I'm getting one!"  "But you've had a whole half already!"  (Generally useful any time I discover there are larger sizes of something I like.  Even shampoo -- doesn't have to be an edible thing.)

"Look's like meat's back on the menu, boys!"  (Almost always used in inappropriate circumstances, like when we see some roadkill, or Cowboy kills a particularly large spider.)

"I'm looking for someone to share an adventure."  (This is great for springing an unexpected journey on my kids, like a trip to the grocery store because I just discovered we're out of milk.)

"That road there... where does that lead?"  (Makes jaunting off into new places seem more exciting and mysterious.  Even when it's just a road that we haven't driven on before, but we know right where it goes.)

"Now here is a thing unheard of!"  (Mostly directed at my kids when one of them suddenly announces they hate doing something they formerly loved.  Or vice-versa.)

"You!  Shall!  Not!  Pass!!!"  (Especially if you have sticky hands and need to be cleaned up.)

"Keep it secret!  Keep it safe!"  (Particularly if it's chocolate.)

"Will you have peace, or war?"  (Generally I'm offering a choice between less momentous things, like do you want Cheetos or ice cream for your dessert, but this sounds much cooler.)

And Cowboy and I used to quote the last bubble of this a lot, back when FOTR first came out, so I thought I'd include it just because it amuses me still:

Thursday, February 12, 2015

MEMM Day 06 - Favorite moment/line in "The Two Towers"

I actually have two favorite moments from The Two Towers, and I can't decide between them.  One is Aragorn returning to Helm's Deep after he's been presumed dead.  When he pushes those doors open -- zowie!  If I'd been writing this story, that would have been a Moment I looked forward to and wrote toward with great eagerness.

The other moment is also a return to Helm's Deep, but Gandalf's instead.  That sunshine floods in, and there he is on Shadowfax, and I'm getting all goosebumpy just remembering it.  Beautiful.

As for a favorite line, I dearly love it when Boromir calls Faramir "little brother" in one of the flashbacks in the extended editions  This is purely because I absolutely adore it whenever Sean Bean says the phrase "little brother" because of Reasons, and having him use it here was so joy-inducing the first time I saw the extended edition because I'd been hoping and hoping it would happen, but didn't expect it would because why on earth would Peter Jackson know I wanted to hear Sean Bean say that?

(And now I'm starting think that might be in a flashback from ROTK instead.  Hmph.  I need to refresh my memory, clearly.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

MEMM Day 05 - Favorite soundtrack

No contest.  When I want to listen to some Middle Earth music, I pull out the soundtrack for The Fellowship of the Ring.  I have to remind myself that there's good music on the other five soundtracks too, and make myself listen to them sometimes too.  I've been making a conscious effort to listen to the others right now, and I'll admit that The Battle of the Five Armies has been getting pretty heavy rotation lately, but still, The Fellowship of the Ring remains my clear favorite.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

"Inkheart" (2008) -- Initial Thoughts

I'd had two friends telling me I needed to see this for years.  But I read the book a couple years ago and didn't care for it, so I kind of dragged my feet on seeing the movie.  I finally did, and I'm glad I gave it a chance!  Because it suited my tastes much better than the book.

Meggie (Eliza Bennett) travels around Europe with her father, Mo (Brendan Fraser), who repairs rare books.  When a guy named Dustfinger (Paul Bettany) shows up, Mo and Meggie go on the run, trying to escape a baddie named Capricorn (Andy Serkis).  Meggie starts discovering the truth about why her father won't read aloud to her and why her mother disappeared when Meggie was very small.

Mo (Brendan Fraser) has a magical ability to read things and people out of books.  As in, if he reads a story out loud, something or someone from the book will appear in the real world.  But in exchange, something or someone from the real world goes into the book.  This can be funny and innocuous, but it can also be sad or scary.

In both the book and the movie, Dustfinger is definitely my favorite character.  In both, he's sad and lonely, lost in a world he desperately wants out of.  He's much more helpful and kind in the movie than the book, and they cut out a subplot that bothered me a bit.  Win!

In the movie, Mo runs Dustfinger a pretty close second for my interest.  Mo here is a caring and protective father who makes his daughter his priority; Mo in the book was distant and closed-off.

Meggie in the movie is curious, but not meddlesome or reckless.  She's affectionate and nice, and I liked her a lot.  Book Meggie bothered me because she was sulky and selfish, and wished desperately that she could read things and people out of books like Mo, even though she could clearly see that this was a source of trouble and sorrow, not fun.

Capricorn was more fun in the movie, simply because he's played by Andy Serkis.  When is Andy Serkis not delightful?

And I want to quick mention Helen Mirren as Elinor and Jim Broadbent as Fenoglio -- they both made me laugh a lot.  Elinor loves books, and Fenoglio writes them, and I saw bits of myself in both of them :-)  Both were also far nicer and more helpful in the movie than the book.

So it's true -- sometimes, Hamlette likes a movie, but not the book it's based on.  Sometimes, movies are an improvement.  This is definitely one such.

Is this movie family-friendly?  Only for older children, like ten and up maybe?  There are a couple of bad words and some scary moments, especially at the end.

Monday, February 09, 2015

MEMM Day 04 -- Favorite sword

I've been puzzling over this one for a while, and I've come to the conclusion that my favorite sword is Glamdring, Gandalf's sword.  It sort of fulfills my ideal of Swordness -- elegant, but powerful, with a nice hilt and pommel, but not overly fancy.  Also, "Glamdring" is fun to say :-)

(From here)
(From here)