Monday, December 17, 2012

Computer Gremlins and The Hobbit

You know that time tested excuse, "Gremlins Ate My Homework" that your teacher always gave you funny looks for? Turns out it wasn't just your overactive imagination coming up with an awesome reason for not turning stuff in on time. I'm afraid those pesky computer gremlins got the midnight munchies and ate all of the things on my sidebar. (Note the dark blue nothingness that once contained all that identified me. Sad, really.) I have yet to find out where exactly all the about me, badges, and links went. Ah, well, I shall try to keep up with blogging despite the sudden emptiness in my cyber identity. 

On to bigger and better things. Last Thursday, my husband and I thought it would be fun to go to the midnight premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey with a bunch of friends.

                                                                    (Love this!)

My impressions of the movie are very mixed. I thought the actors were all phenomenal. I love Martin Freeman (Bilbo), Richard Armitage (Thorin), and, of course, Ian McKellen (Gandalf). They all did a great job with their characters, especially Martin Freeman. I loved the return to the stunning setting of Middle Earth, and being able to reconnect with familiar characters from The Lord of the Rings trilogy. 

However, if you are expecting more of the same from Peter Jackson's film adaptations of the trilogy, you will be a bit disappointed. The tone of The Hobbit is much lighter and humorous. There are still awesome battle scenes, and some epic moments of beautiful cinematography, but overall you will find yourself moved more to laugh than any other deep emotional connection. That was my reaction. Even parts that I'm sure were meant to be serious struck me as amusing. Scenes that didn't need to be drawn out, were. Scenes that made little sense were forced in, and scenes that were obviously added just to create some sort of conflict in the plot were thrust awkwardly into the midst of everything. I feel Tolkien's story has enough plot and character growth to not need much tweaking, but apparently Jackson disagrees. The result is a somewhat long, dragged out storyline that has scenes that don't quite fit. 

Overall, I really did enjoy the movie. Just go into without expecting it to be The Hobbit you've read.

Book of the Week:
This week I'm featuring the first in a stunning trilogy by bestselling author, Brandon Sanderson. I could not put this book down. The magic system is complex, the world vivid, and the plot fresh and gripping.

Mistborn: The Final Empire
 Back Cover:
 Brandon Sanderson, fantasy's newest master tale spinner, author of the acclaimed debut Elantris, dares to turn a genre on its head by asking a simple question: What if the hero of prophecy fails? What kind of world results when the Dark Lord is in charge? The answer will be found in the Mistborn Trilogy, a saga of surprises and magical martial-arts action that begins in Mistborn.

For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the "Sliver of Infinity," reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler's most hellish prison. Kelsier "snapped" and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark.

Kelsier recruited the underworld's elite, the smartest and most trustworthy allomancers, each of whom shares one of his many powers, and all of whom relish a high-stakes challenge. Only then does he reveal his ultimate dream, not just the greatest heist in history, but the downfall of the divine despot.

But even with the best criminal crew ever assembled, Kel's plan looks more like the ultimate long shot, until luck brings a ragged girl named Vin into his life. Like him, she's a half-Skaa orphan, but she's lived a much harsher life. Vin has learned to expect betrayal from everyone she meets, and gotten it. She will have to learn to trust, if Kel is to help her master powers of which she never dreamed.

Readers of Elantris thought they'd discovered someone special in Brandon Sanderson. Mistborn proves they were right.

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