I used to think A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin was the worst book I’d ever have the displeasure of reading. That was before I was introduced to Fifty Shades of Grey by Snowqueens Icedragon (yes, that’s really her pseudonym). This fan-fiction based on Stephanie Meyer’s laughable The Twilight Saga makes Meyer look like a modern day Tolkien, and even writers like George R. R. Martin and Tara “XXXbloodyrists666XXX” Gilesbie seem competent by comparison. As someone discussing Troll 2 once said of movies: with some bad books it seems like the writer didn’t know how to write a book; with some it’s more like they did know how to write a book but got hit very hard on the head. Fifty Shades is more like if the embodiment of pure evil in the universe didn’t know how to write a book and got hit very hard on the head.
Continue reading “Fifty Shades of Grey” Book Review
Last year I reviewed the 1977 Rankin/Bass cartoon adaptation of The Hobbit. Today I’ll be taking a look at another such cartoon: Ralph Bakshi’s 1978 attempt to bring The Lord of the Rings to the screen. As I did with the Hobbit cartoon—and as I’m planning to do with the final instalment in the cartoon trilogy—I began by live-tweeting as I watched Bakshi’s film, the highlights of which can be found here. As I had feared going into this, Bakshi largely failed to capture quite what he needed to capture with this one.
Continue reading Review of Ralph Bakshi’s “The Lord of the Rings” (1978)
If you ask me what I think of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, my answer will likely depend on what day you ask me. Some days I’ll say I liked it; some days I’ll hate it. In all honesty, however, my feelings towards Harry Potter are best described as “confused,” because there are a lot of things I really like about the series and a lot of things I really hate. All things considered, I usually wind up mostly ambivalent towards Rowling’s best-known work.
Continue reading “Harry Potter” Book Series Review
With my review of Ralph Bakshi’s The Lord of the Rings cartoon still a while off, I’ve decided to review something else in the meantime. For the past little while, I’ve been working on a review of J. K. Rowling’s wildly successful Harry Potter series. Let’s get this out of the way for those who might be worried—I don’t dislike the Harry Potter series, so you can expect a more positive review than most of the stuff I’ve been posting recently. Hooray!
I’ll be reviewing all seven books in a single article, which should explain why it’s taken me so long (despite only beginning to write the review over the weekend, I had been planning it for a long time before that). So now you know what my next few big projects are! I hope you’re as excited as I am about this, and if so, then you can expect to see a new review up within the next few weeks.
I wanted to briefly write down some thoughts on a book I just finished called “The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾” by Sue Townsend. As the title suggests, the story is told through the journal of the gawkish Adrian Mole. I don’t want to go into too much detail, as you really should read it for yourself without spoilers. It’s a short read, in any case.
Continue reading “The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾” Review
On Saturday I watched Ralph Bakshi’s adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, and it wasn’t exactly bad—although it wasn’t good either! Instead, I would define the Bakshi version as “precisely what you’d expect from a ’70s cartoon that tried to adapt a masterpiece.” In short, it was doomed to fail. That doesn’t mean, however, that it wasn’t fun to tear it to pieces, so here are some of the highlights from the live-tweeting session!
Continue reading Bakshi “The Lord of the Rings” Twitter Highlights
This is the last of many reminders! The day has finally come; at noon (Pacific Time), I will tweet my thoughts on Ralph Bakshi’s “The Lord of the Rings” cartoon at twitter.com/hashtag/lotr78. I happily invite you to tweet along with me if you’re interested in making your thoughts known about this cartoon!
In the first article I ever wrote for this site, I reviewed a 1966 cartoon loosely derived from The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien. Now, this cartoon was actually calculated to be as faithless an adaptation as possible for use as a tool of blackmail, and this eventually led to the existence of a second attempt to adapt The Hobbit to the screen eleven years later, this time by Rankin/Bass, a studio famous for its holiday specials. Many of their other works are really good, but they’re really out of their league here. This, along with two later cartoons, are often considered to make up a sort of half-formed trilogy, and I’ll eventually get around to reviewing the other two.
Continue reading Review of Rankin/Bass’ The Hobbit (1977)
I’d like to shed some light on a misconception concerning the genres of Epic Fantasy and Sword and Sorcery. For those who don’t know, the genre of Sword and Sorcery was created primarily by Robert E. Howard and thrived for many years in pulp magazines. Epic Fantasy, on the other hand, was created by Tolkien with works such as The Hobbit after World War I and The Lord of the Rings after World War II.
Continue reading Epic Fantasy vs. “Sword and Sorcery”
My birthday, being on the fifth of January, falls upon this day. By coincidence, Tolkien’s birthday is on the third of the same month, and therefore several days ago I celebrated the birthday of my favourite author by watching the “special extended edition” of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies for the first time, which I had been saving for just that occasion. In all honesty, the “extended edition” is a bit of a misnomer, for it really isn’t that it is extended, but that the theatrical is somewhat abridged for the theatres. Unfortunately, few theatres would be willing to show a film as long as these are in their entirety, and so it becomes necessary to cut down the finished film for this purpose. The full movie is, in fact, the extended edition, which should more appropriately be dubbed the “unabridged edition.” Continue reading The Battle of the Five Armies – Extended Edition