Butter Battle

The_Hobbit_-_The_Battle_of_the_Five_Armies“Butter Battle” – not a reference to Dr Seuss’s little known, but excellent Cold War allegory, but my two word review of Peter Jackson’s third movie in The Hobbit saga, “The Battle of the Five Armies”.

Firstly, “Battle” – because that just about sums up the movie – not much else happens. The actual battle of five armies in Tolkien’s book takes up only 5 pages, but Peter Jackson somehow spins it out to encompass most of the 2hrs and 20mins of the movie. The scenes between the battle scenes, seem cursory, superfluous to the plot, with many of them additions not in the original story, added merely to give the viewer some respite before plunging into yet another predictable battle scene, with many of these also additions to the original story.

Secondly “Butter” – because to borrow words from a rather erudite author, adapting¬† just 50 pages of original story into a 2.5hr movie “feels all thin, sort of stretched, if you know what I mean: like butter that has been scraped over too much bread.”

Disappointed by

Currently disappointed by …

Peter Jackson’s first installment of “The Hobbit” movies. In summary: indulgent, over-long and over-the-top.

The whole plot line and pacing seems to have built on the premise that every 15 minutes there needs to be some epic battle/action sequence regardless of whether it exists in the book. This formulaic repetition is not helped by frequent use of tired Hollywood cliches like “the hero dangling over a precipice hanging by the fingertips” or “the heroes falling hundreds of metres down a chasm amongst crashing wooden structures and then getting up with apparently no injuries at all”.

There are many other disappointments with this film, but the one that confirmed in my mind its sub par rating is Rivendell. In the novel Rivendell is a place of joy, peace, healing and friendship from which the dwarves leave “amid songs of farewell and good speed” – the movie portrays Rivendell as a place of suspicion, fear, doubts, and enmity from which the dwarves have to sneak out in secrecy.

I’ll still see parts 2 and 3 when they come out, but sadly I won’t be looking forward to it in the same way I was looking forward to this first movie.

[This content was originally posted to Google+]

Windows 8

From what I had read, and the few screenshots I had seen of Windows 8, my initial impressions were that it is ugly and confusing. I decided on the weekend to put my preconceptions aside, download the community preview of Windows 8 and give it a try. My conclusion? Windows 8 is ugly and confusing.

Update 7 Feb 2015: Three years on, and my thoughts on Windows 8 are unchanged – ugly and confusing.

[This content was originally posted to Google+]

Google + or –

Had a look at Google+. I’m giving it a Google- and I’m deleting my Google+ profile.

It was all too much like going into one of those fancy department stores. I wandered around, lost and confused, didn’t see anything that interested me, then found it hard to find the exit.

Update 20 Feb 2015: Its interesting that my initial negative impression of Google Buzz got turned around and I ended up quite liking it, but my initial negative impression of Google+ never changed much.

[This content was originally posted to Google Buzz, #176]