Monthly Archives: January 2015

So Apparently Disney is Making a Live-Action Version of “Beauty and the Beast”

I’ve heard rumors of this for about a year, usually in the comments section of trailers for their live-action version of Cinderella, which is coming out on March 13. I never fully believed those rumors until a few days ago when I saw the announcement that British actress Emma Watson (best known for her role in the Harry Potter films) had been cast as Belle in Disney’s upcoming live-action version of Beauty and the Beast.

I freely admit this–I am excited for this movie. Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite Disney films, and to have it come back to theaters is something I never thought I would see. I really hope they include some of the songs from the Broadway musical; “If I Can’t Love Her”, “Home”, and “Me” deserve to have more exposure.

I don’t know why I’m bothering to be excited; I remember how my hopes and dreams were crushed with Les Miserables and The Hobbit trilogy. I guess I’m just hoping this time is different.

I’m also really hoping they’ll eventually do a live-action Hunchback of Notre Dame.

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“Resurrection”: What is Preacher James’s Angle? Why is Rachel’s Baby so Important?

Today I’ve decided to do a post on Resurrection, the ABC drama about a town that is seeing its inhabitants come back from the dead. It all started–at least the show started–with Jacob Langston, an eight-year-old boy who died in the 1970’s when he tried to save his aunt from drowning. Shortly after Jacob returned to his family, other people began coming back as well. Eventually we learned that this has happened before; there are records of the dead coming back to life going back centuries in the town of Arcadia, Missouri.

But this time is different; this time we had a pregnant woman return…and when she came back, her pregnancy continued as normal. Rachel hadn’t known she was pregnant when she drove her car off the bridge, but now that she’s back, it’s progressing far faster than the average pregnancy. And this clearly won’t be the average baby; we’ve already seen how he can control the minds of other Returned even though he hasn’t been born yet.

All of this leads Preacher James Goodman, another Returned, to declare that Rachel’s baby is the Anti-Christ. He claims it was “gestated in death” and “was never meant to be born” and plans, with the help of Jacob’s scheming grandmother Margaret (also Returned) to eliminate Rachel before she can give birth. (This has to be done by getting the Returned to lose the will to live; they can survive any other form of death–shootings, stabbings, hangings–but if they lose their will to live, they disappear and are never seen again.) They don’t have much time left, though, because Rachel’s labor has already begun.

It’s easy to see why some of the Returned are wary of Rachel’s baby, but the Preacher’s declaration that the baby is the Anti-Christ is a bit suspicious. The Preacher has long had his own motives, his own reasons for doing things, and he can’t exactly be trusted. It could be he has an entirely unrelated reason for getting the baby out of the way–Preacher James is fairly strong and is a leader among the Returned, but the baby can control even him. Perhaps he seeks to get rid of a rival before he poses a serious threat?

But is Rachel’s baby harmless? How can he control the minds of the other Returned? What role does he play in this ever-widening saga?

The short answer is that I don’t know. And I think that’s part of why I keep tuning in to Resurrection each week; its core is a mystery story.

Please note that this post is actually a brief summary of what’s happened so far–there’s actually been a whole lot more in the episodes, but I can only include so much in one post.

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Some Thoughts on “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” *Contains Spoilers*

It feels a bit weird, writing this post. Back when I first started this blog, we were just getting ready for the release of An Unexpected Journey, and I’ve written quite a bit about the Hobbit movies in general. They’ve been a big part of my blog from its very inception. To know that this is likely the last Hobbit post I will ever write…well, it’s sad. But as The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings have shown us, stories must end, and journeys must reach their destinations. So follow me one last time, dear readers, as we return to Erebor and fight in The Battle of the Five Armies.

Smaug is offed fairly early, which I was expecting since he wasn’t around for very long in the book (one of the rare things Peter Jackson didn’t fiddle with). Although the Bard vs. Smaug showdown didn’t transpire quite the way it did in the book, it was still awesome. I may not be happy with most of what Jackson has done to The Hobbit, but I will praise him for how he wrote Bard. I will give him that. It almost makes up for his character assassination of Faramir in The Two Towers–almost.

The White Council vs. the Necromancer was a little disappointing for me. Don’t get me wrong; it was very impressive…I guess I just always envisioned it going down a little differently. It seemed kind of short, and I thought there were more people on the White Council (I’m pretty sure Celeborn was supposed to be there, for one thing). Personally, I think it should have been longer. Yes, the movie was already long, but there were certain things that weren’t in the book that could have been left out and left plenty of room for an extended White Council scene.

The titular battle was everything we were promised–extravagant, impressive, full of awesome people doing awesome things. It impressed upon me the realization that I need my own personal Elf army and a war goat. And a curious thing happened to me during the battle–I found myself wishing that Thorin, Fili, and Kili would survive. I knew they had to die; I didn’t think Jackson would deviate that wildly from the book, but at the same time I didn’t want to see them go. Granted, their deaths didn’t transpire quite the way they did in the book, but I was still genuinely sad when they died.

And they included the auction scene at the end! After Jackson cut the Scouring of the Shire from The Return of the King, I thought the auction of Bag End might suffer a similar fate.

Those were the things I loved about the movie. But, of course, there were some changes I didn’t really like.

  • As impressive as the battle was, it felt as though the battle was 90% of the movie and that we didn’t have much of a plot because of that. I think the battle had a total of one chapter in the book; did it really need to be 90% of the movie? The lack of a more well-developed plot made parts of the movie feel disjointed.
  • I kind of wish they had shown Thorin’s funeral and Dain’s coronation as King under the Mountain. Ah, well, that’s what extended editions are for.
  • Kili/Tauriel: Because Kili is going to die, we’re going to make this as disgustingly mushy as possible!
  • Would it have killed Jackson to provide us with a decent resolution to Tauriel’s story line? Not that open-ended, “If this is love, I do not want it. Take it from me.” What the heck happened next!? Is this your way of trying to make another movie!?
  • What the–why is Legolas going off on his own little journey? That never happened! And why are you sending him after Aragorn; that never happened, either! You didn’t even get his name right; he was known as Strider only to the people of Bree! Among the Elves, he was known as Estel!
  • Bonus (this wasn’t annoying so much as something that struck me as amusing): Legolas is telling Tauriel how his mother died at Gundabar. Let’s see…she doesn’t have a grave…his father doesn’t like to talk about it…are we taking any bets she was turned into an Orc? It’s certainly the kind of thing Jackson would do, and after that exchange, I half-expected either Thranduil or Legolas to come face-to-face with an Orc during the battle and somehow discover the Orc used to be their wife/mother. Of course, if Legolas had discovered that, say, Bolg used to be his mother, he probably would have ridden off in search of therapy instead of Aragorn.

As the concluding leg of a film trilogy, The Return of the King is better by far. Out of all of the Hobbit films, I would say An Unexpected Journey is probably the best because it deviates the least from the book (there are embellishments, yes, but at least you can still recognize it as The Hobbit). But The Battle of the Five Armies is still enjoyable on its own account, and I’m glad I got the chance to see it in the theater. I’m also glad that I’ve had the chance to share it with others, and this journey of Hobbit posts and reviews is one I will never forget.

And we can all breathe a sigh of relief that the madness is over, and Peter Jackson can never, ever touch The Silmarillion.

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Happy New Year!

2015 is upon us! What will you make of it? Myself, I look forward to many more books, more amazing Doctor Who, maybe–if we’re lucky–a Sherlock Christmas special, and, of course, this:

Now that The Hobbit is winding down (sniff, sniff), I’ll have more time to devote to the upcoming Star Wars movies. Keep an eye out for posts concerning my hopes and doubts regarding the new movies, for I am skeptical but excited all at once. It’s been awhile since I’ve dabbled in the Star Wars fandom (go read my earlier post “Black Plot Holes” to understand why), so this should be an interesting experience all around.

Needless to say, I’m also looking forward to 2015 being another successful blogging year–this July will mark the third anniversary of “My Turn to Talk”! And what better way to mark the start of the third anniversary year than by posting this, my 250th blog post?

Happy New Year!

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