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Happy New Year!

The Party's Over

The Party’s Over

Please receive this missive with my best wishes that you enjoyed your Hannukah, Christmas, Ramadan, Kwanzaaaa, Festivus for the Rest of us and New Year. This, by the way, will be the last such issue to make reference to those Holidays.

It’s a beautiful morning for January 7th. Brisk. Bracing. Sunny but not too windy. Apollo’s chariot is high in the sky over DaRat’sNetsOnMango as I type this. Here’s something y’all may have guessed…or not. According to SkillfulTomSkilling, last year, 2012, was the warmest year in ChiTown and surrounding ‘BurbLand, EVER! Well, at least since they started keeping the records we just broke. Also, we’ve had, I think, 1.6 or 1.7-inches of measurable snow this winter. We’re still gonna get thwacked, yet, I am sure. What it says, though, is we are still suffering from drought-conditions. That said, that I haven’t had to fire-up old Bessie to clear my walks, etc., doesn’t make me angry, neither.

OK, let’s get started.

Part of the reason I took my sabbatical was the anger I experienced – just about – every time I thought about all things political and I wanted to enjoy myself through the Holidays. So, instead of commenting on “The Fiscal Cliff” silliness, etc., I decided to leave it lie. I refer to D.C.’s “silliness” as “silliness” as it is. If a Dem proposes something; DaGOPers’ll refuse and vicey-versey. It doesn’t matter. No? Take a look at the “Sandy” funding bill. DaGOPers refused to vote for a bill which should have been done months ago because there were $200-million in “pork” added to it. I’m not saying it’s OK to do that, as it isn’t…but that’s biz as usual in D.C. That said, the bill was for $10-billion in aid. So, we have someone getting all righteous over $2 hundred-million out of a $10-thousand-million-bill.

So, I’ll make comments but have to say, I am enjoying myself much more since I haven’t spent my whole day watching arcane news stories about D.C./EllaNoise/ChiTown-politics.

I’ll tellya how bad things had gotten at this here keyboard. I began typing last week’s FEEL-GOOD FRIDAY but had to dump it. In other words, if sex felt as “good” as that item, there’d be zero-population-growth in a year.

 

I will make comments from time to time. I can’t help that. But I’m going to try to focus more on the absurdities of our politicians, etc.

 

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THE HOBBIT.

-Finally saw it and thoroughly enjoyed myself as did DQN. I use that phraseology to make my point. Having read TLOR, (even taught it), and The Hobbit, my point-of-view was quite different from DQN’s. I’ll break this down for you.

 

 

I. Technical

-We saw it in IMAX-3D, as there was no 2-D-IMAX. They also had it in 2-D and REAL-3D, the former not what we wanted and the latter, well, we’d never heard of it. This is a film which should be viewed in 2-D-IMAX, at the least. The cinematography was as good, make that better than TLOR. It may be the best travelogue the New Zealand Chamber of Commerce could request and Peter Jackson deserves some kind of commission as I am sure many who never would have thought of taking a trip there, may after seeing this film.

-The CGI was nearly seamless. There is a scene inside the mountain which is breathtaking. What we see of Smaug does enough to provide a true sense of foreboding.

-The action and battle-scenes are truly magnificent.

 

II. Story

-If, as moi, you had read the book, do not go expecting to see it – vebatim – pretty much as Jackson had done with the TOLR-trilogy. While there are scenes which are “right out of the book”, the film has been adapted to allow for yet another trilogy. As I had mentioned previously, it is only 286.1 pages long. Their exposition is completely different than the book…but that’s OK. For readers, they get up to and through the chapter titled: “Out Of the Frying Pan; Into the Fire”.

There’s some criticism of a couple scenes, namely the introduction of the dwarves; their personalities, etc. Yes, ’twas a tad draggy. (I skimmed that chapter.) and the “Riddlegame” between Bilbo and Gollum. This scene is necessary to the rest of the story…not necessarily just to this film.

Smaug, the dragon, makes brief appearances. Recall, this is the first film of a trilogy.

 

I am so very thankful that the director, Peter Jackson, was able to have had such success with the TOLR-films as it would be seriously doubtful that he’d be able to continue providing these wonderful adaptations of some of the finest works of literature of the 20th Century.

Once again, we are presented with the (seemingly) constant “good vs evil” conflict, with a flawed protagonist/hero. The definition of a hero is a regular person, who responds extraordianlly to extraordinary circumstances.

Tolkien’s stories are based on his much-detested, trench-warfare experiences of WWI’s mechanized warfare and how good must stand up against evil or suffer its dominion.

 

There was a ridge which had to have been threaded like a mountain goat of possible audiences, which break down as those who are Tolkien-afficiandos, i.e., Trekkies, “Tolkies”, if you will, who read the books and saw the TOLR-trilogy; TOLR-trilogy-viewers, only, and then Non-previous viewers or readers. They excelled at this, providing enough for the Tolkies with enough exposition and explanation woven throughout the film to keep even the Nonnies interested.

III. Characters.

-Bilbo. Martin Freeman was, at once, engaging; resistant; flummoxed; heroic and humble, as Bilbo.

-Gandalf. Ian McKellen’s performance is as spot-on in this as it was in the TOLR-films.

-Gollum. Andy Zerkis deserves some kind of award for his performance. I know. They use the same technology as in CGI for Gollum by attaching electrodes to him while he’s in a body suit; film him; them superimpose the Gollum-CGI. Yes. But, the voice and movements are all Zerkis. He really did a great job.

-Thorin and the rest of the dwarves are key to the story; done extremely well but naming the actors would be the similar to reading the graduates list from a school you had not attended.

IV. Summary.

-I give this film 3.333Stars. Which while not perfect, it is well-worth the price of admission. Pure enjoyment for Tolkies as well as the casual-viewer.

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AND NOW…SPORT

-THE NHL IS BACK!

Please excuse moi if I don’t have a pee-stain in the front of my pants. I look at this as something to watch if there’s nothing else on the tube or to do. Don’t get me wrong. I’ll be glad to see the Hawks but still, I’ve about had it with organizations that can’t run themselves well enough…NHL; blame their employees and then take their product away from the fans because of that.

 

-DaBears

The Buffalo Bills just announced their new coach. Phil Emeryboard’s still trying to make appointments with prospects. Recalling his press conference; after that, he’s going to do his interviews; sort them out; then re-interview the newly-made short list; then have them interview with George McClouseau and TeddyBear Phillips. Let’s face it, that’s what Jerry Angelo called “…doing his due-diligence..” and look what that got you!

For you guys directly, I hope they – finally – do this right. For moi, if for no other reason than I’d like to watch some real, NFL-style football every Sunday.

I’ll give “Nails”, (you know, the “emeryboard” reference), this much. I hated Ted Thompson when he took over in Green Bay. I don’t now. I wish you guys that type of success…just not quite as much. After all, I am a Packehs fan. ;-)

-DaPack

Wella-wella, they played fairly well, Saturday night. I’d like to know who th geniass was who thought it’d be a good idea to play a night game; in Green Bay; on January 5th. Yes, it was somewhat “balmy” for Green Bay…27-degrees at kickoff. But still.

 

Its rather difficult to assess the impact Chrales Woodson had on their “D”, as even if Christian Ponder had played, he’s about as bad a starting QB as I’ve seen in the playoffs. So his sub, Joe Webb, who made former Bear’s QB-Jim Harbaugh look like Aaron Rodgers made that difficult. That said, I did hear on NFL Netowrk that Woodson’s the QB of the “D”. Kinda like Urlacher to the Bears. Whatever/whichever, I am glad he’s back.

 

The offense looked pretty good. They ran the ball more and it seems to be helping. The “O” did well, especially in that cold. All’s they need to do is take a trip tp the Bay Area and win against NesterBill’s Niners. No small feat there. It should be a good game and I am hoping The Pack will “return the favor” to the Niners who beat them; in Lambeau; on Week I and send them home. Sorry, Bill.

OK, gonna sign off for now.

Hope all is well with you and remember, no matter how schitty things may seem, at least we won’t get smallpox today. (Lewis Black)

FatRats

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