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December 18, 2007

Let’s all send Mr. Pullman a nice thank-you card

Bilbo Partly because of Philip Pullman, who has a disregard bordering on contempt for J. R. R. Tolkien's works , New Line is now moving ahead with the long awaited film adaptation of Tolkien's The Hobbit. In short, The Golden Compass (along with some other New Line films) bombed so badly that The Hobbit might now be necessary to save the chairman's job.

Have I mentioned that God has a sense of humor?

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Let's hope someone better than Peter Jackson is the director. Someone who understands how to film suspense rather than gore, and who is not hostile to Tolkien's worldview. Someone who doesn't think he's a better writer than Tolkien.

WETA can do the props, though.


Jackson as director would be all right with me. Though, if I had penchant to dream, I'd put Shyamalan behind the camera.

Diane Singer

It warms my heart to know that "The Golden Compass" is tanking at the box office! I also wonder about what is happening with all the marketing items associated with the film that seem to be everywhere. I'm waiting for the "fire sale" to begin on those items as well.


From BoxOfficeMojo:
Alvin and the Chipmunks - opening weekend:
Golden Compass - total gross:

Chipmunks rule!


An article I read this morning states Jackson is on board to produce a two-movie project based on "The Hobbit." No director has yet been named.

Steve (SBK)

Glad the movie's not doing well... though I'll likely read the first book (before I ever see the movie), at least, at some point (borrowed from Library).

I've delayed reading LOTR since the last movie came out: Partially because I've been busy (with many other books to read), partially because I wanted to see if, in time, my memory of the movies would be overpowered by my imagination (that should read: I was afraid of what I would imagine because of the movie influences). I think that some parts of the movies (especially the first) were wonderful , but they were not enough to fight off the increasing disappointment in the plot and drama flaws... Felt very much like a few defenders at Helm's Deep facing a sea of advancing orcs. The only difference being that Helm's Deep was successfully defended... with help. I'm hoping the re-read of the actual text will be the saving Trees and their Herders. All that to say, I hope Jackson doesn't direct the Hobbit. Actually, I could probably state that I wish certain books were never made into movies: but that's a tricky topic.

I did re-read the Silmarillion recently and loved it... partially because there were no cinematic influences.

I have enjoyed past cinematic renditions of Narnia though... with my favourite being the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe cartoon... but that's probably just Nostalgia now. Though I should emphasize to any concerned: Read the book first!
Speaking of which, to spawn another book-movie topic: I just read "The Children of Men" by P.D. James and really enjoyed it. Now I'm interested to see how the movie translated. Has anyone read this book? Other things by P.D. James? What's your take on her?

Thanks for the rant space.


Are you saying that Jackson is "...hostile to Tolkien's worldview"? If so, why do you say that? It certainly did not come through in the films, at least not in the dozen or so times that I have seen them.

Gina Dalfonzo

Steve -- yes, indeed, we had quite a few things to say about "The Children of Men" and its adaptation back when the film came out. I just made a nice collection of links for you, but TypePad has decided they look like spam and is refusing to play ball. So you'll need to go to the search box and type in "Children of Men" to see them. Sorry about that.



I thought Children of Men was extremely interesting, and enjoyed it. I admit I was very disappointed by the movie, which seemed to miss the point. Granted, the book wouldn't have translated well onto the screen, directly. But Cuaron seems to have taken a pass even on the indirect translation.

I too have nostalgic fondness for the animated The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Though I suspect it wasn't actually that great, I'm still convinced the music was magnificent (at least my childhood memory of it sure is!).


Gina wrote: "TypePad has decided they look like spam and is refusing to play ball."

Aha; I thought it had singled out only my email address. I'm relieved, sorta, to be in august company.

Steve (SBK)

This will likely be in parts to try and pass the SPAM (@!$$#!) filter:

Gina, Firinnteine,

Looking at those links, my first thought was: where was I when this was going on? (Then I remembered, I was away from a computer for most of January).

Steve (SBK)

Second thought: I have no hope for the movie, but will likely watch just to see a good book made into a 'shriekingly bad' film (ala Mark Steyn's words).

Third thought: It seems strange how there can be so many references to a topic/idea and then months/years later, we finally "see" what everyone was interested in. Any good examples anyone?
(The only example though that I can think of off the top of my head is certain foods: "Where were YOU all my life?" :) )

Steve (SBK)

I had no preconceptions going into this book (except the movie trailers). The book was chilling (a lot because of its uncanny predictions), with a high degree of Christian imagery / commentary... which I didn't expect. (I was expecting a 'thriller' (or light movie-like fluff), which I normally don't read so was pleasantly surprised, and which normally don't get into anything too thought provoking). Part of the enjoyment too is the way the book provided thought-games, in regard to our mortality and immortality, aging, what we value in life and why.

I thought this quote from a Steyn article was telling:
"Entirely accidentally, the ineptitude of Cuaron's movie makes James's point: a society without youth is so alien to our assumptions about ourselves that we can't even make a film about it."

Glad I finally joined the conversation...

(The animated Lion is probably a little cheesy/ridiculous, but, still, quite dear... perhaps like Mr. Tumnus :)

Steve (SBK)

Well that was strange. I could post the comments separately, but all together: Spam.

Gina Dalfonzo

It appears to be a widespread TypePad issue; I hear that both Boundless and Dave Barry's Blog are having similar troubles. Travis seems to have found a way to circumvent it. Let's hope it solves the problem permanently!


Steve (SBK) wrote: "Well that was strange. I could post the comments separately, but all together: Spam."

I figure it's some obscure link via Will Smith (who also starred in "I, Robot"); evidently VIKI is on to us.


Steve (SBK) uncharacteristically growled: "pass the SPAM (@!$$#!) filter"

At my job (and I do have one) I was recently asked if there was a way to automate the testing of comment-posting filters like the one Typepad is imposing on us, where you have to enter the obscured characters.

I pointed out that if it were possible, it would defeat the purpose of such systems.

But I'm getting tempted to try.

Steve (SBK)

"I pointed out that if it were possible, it would defeat the purpose of such systems."

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