>> Monday, January 14, 2013
It is a curious trend I notice springing up in most literature, especially YA. The "good guys" are grey and fighting against a even worse threat.
I'm not saying antiheroes are bad, but at least there was a time when these anti-heroes learned their lesson and changed themselves and their world for the better. That is becoming increasingly rare.
Nowadays books are not so strict on the distinction between light and dark.
What are they telling us?
"It's okay to kill fellow children if you're trying to survive."
"Doomed souls like vampires and fallen angels make good romantic companions."
Now, many good books I know have characters that do take a brief walk on the dark side. But once the lesson is learned they turn towards the light and abandon the dark--they even defeat the dark with their new-found light.
Where did that all go?
You remember the old books? I mean, look at The Dark is Rising! The entire series is a literal Light vs. Dark!
Believe me, if Tolkien had never written The Lord of the Rings, and if it were written today, it's be some story of how a hobbit fought evil with the aid a possessive ring. It'd be grey vs. black.
Tolkien avoided that. The ring cannot be used by anyone. It is evil and cannot be used for good in any manner, shape, or form.
I suppose what I'm saying is that I wish that books nowadays didn't focus so much on fighting fire with fire (although I do see the need to defend yourself from evil by fighting.)
I just wish there were books nowadays where love, compassion, and truth could conquer overwhelming darkness.
Give me less darkness. I want light.
>> Tuesday, January 8, 2013
"We may meet again before all is over, and then again of course we may not. That depends on your luck and on your courage and sense; and I am sending Mr Baggins with you."
The others laughed. "You were quite right," they said, "the meat's alive and kicking!"
"I'll soon put an end to that," hissed the angry spider climbing back onto the branch.
Under sunlight, under day!/South away! and South away!/Down the swift dark stream you go/Back to lands you once did know!
They knew that they were drawing near to the end of their journey, and that it might be a very horrible end.
"You have nice manners for a thief and a liar," said the dragon.
"I am the clue-finder, the web-cutter, the sting fly. I was chosen for the lucky number."
"Lovely titles!" sneered the dragon. "But lucky numbers don't always come off."
"I am he that buries his friends alive and drowns them and draws them alive again from the water. I came from the end of a bag, but no bag went over me."
"These don't sound so creditable," scoffed Smaug.
"I am the friend of bears and the guest of eagles. I am Ring-winner and Luckwearer; and I am Barrel-rider," went on Bilbo beginning to be pleased with his riddling.
"That's better!" said Smaug. "But don't let your imagination run away with you!"
"I kill where I wish and none dare resist."
The fire is more shining/On hearth in the gloaming/Than gold won by mining/So why go a-roaming?
"But our back is to legends and we are coming home. I suppose this is the first taste of it."
"There is a long road yet," said Gandalf.
"But it is the last road," said Bilbo.
>> Tuesday, January 1, 2013
A Summary of Every Movie I Saw This Year and My Thoughts
2016: Obama's America: A documentary that did more informing than bashing. Despite all that has happened, there can be no doubt that this film was a part of the election.
The Avengers: A character-driven and practically flawless film that raised the bar for Superhero movies.
The Odd Life of Timothy Green: If you have a family and a heart, you'll love it. If you prefer movies like Death Race and Bladerunner, you'll hate it.
Wreck-It Ralph: Despite some crudeness, a clever film with surprising emotional depth. Extremely fun.
Saints and Soldiers 2: Airborne Creed: Not as good as the first, but I didn't expect it to be. Intense WWII drama would be forgettable if not for the German officer's redemption story.
Brave: There was so much potential, but the story was lackluster and ultimately fell flat. The most to recommend the movie was the Scottish setting.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: Overly bloated with scenes and characters that would have felt more at place in an extended edition, the movie suffered from a lack of pacing and bad CGI. An explosion of a movie that lost the heart of the story amid the debris.
The Hunger Games: Since seeing it, I've had to revise my opinion that I have nothing against it. I do. Kids killing kids--highly disturbing and left me with a dark, uninspired feeling.
Rise of the Guardians: Yet to be seen.
Iconic Movie Moments of 2012:
"I want tah change mah fate!"
"Pretend I'm Merida."
"I'm always angry."
Creepiest Villains: Loki. Hands down, Loki.
Merida from Brave
Loki from The Avengers
Vanellope from Wreck-It Ralph
Best Special Effects: The Avengers
Bruce Banner from The Avengers
The German Officer from Saints and Soldiers 2: Airborne Creed
A Promise by Alan Silvestri from The Avengers