Holiday wrap-up.

Finished Lord of the Rings right before Christmas, and was somewhat surprised to find that most of the things I thought Jackson got wrong to some degree were actually pretty much spot-on. I've seen it 4 times now, and can readily identify the bits I know are going to be added on the extended edition, so I'm wondering if I should even bother with the theatrical release of this one (I do have the other two, and I hate a partial set.)

Saw Peter Pan Wednesday and felt...I don't know...rewarded by the whole experience, I guess. I had reservations--general dislike of child actors, lukewarm memories of the Mary Martin live action version from the sixties (a grown woman cannot pass for a pre-teen boy, I don't care if she's Sarah freakin' Bernhardt, that just gives the whole story a very weird vibe), and the Disney cartoon made Neverland look too appealing, without any hint of real danger (why do you think Michael Jackson named his Freak Farm after it?). So I wasn't sure what I was going to get, aside from possible kick-butt eye candy in the fx department.

There was eye candy, but more importantly, this version strips off some of the mawkish sentiment that makes the Martin version so unwatchable (some, not all), and adds some very dark undertones. Hook is geniunely menacing, for a change (Jason Isaacs is an utterly ruthless pirate.) Peter is not altogether likeable, as he shouldn't be, and completely self-centered. There's been a buzz in some quarters about inappropriate sexual tension between Peter and Wendy, but that's essentially the main theme of the story as originally written. I thought it was both tasteful and evocative. Basically the movie is screwed by timing--coming out anywhere near a boxoffice behemoth like ROTK means it's going to be seen by a far smaller audience than it deserves, and it's a pity.

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