For Whom the Bell Tolls

Hello boys and girls of BP! I’m sure all of my adoring fans have missed the presence of my column dearly… right?!? In any case, after a few weeks off to settle personal issues I am back. The above title (cheesy as it may be) is the title of my column. Every other week I plan on doing a review and the other weeks (as this is a weekly column) I will do an article in the vein of what I have been doing for the past couple of months. So enjoy the following review!

Literature Review: Running with Scissors, Augusten Burroughs

Running with Scissors is a jagged memoir of a boys search to find himself through the insanity of his family, friends and somewhat botched adolescence. An amazing read for both the dysfunctional raised and the well bred, Running with Scissors chronicles the life of a young boy trying to come to grips with the absurdity of his life. Raised for the first half of his life by his mother, a self-important poet, and his emotionally bereft father, Burroughs’ is sent to live with the family psychiatrist after his mother’s breakdown. The book explores the bizarre habits and thoughts of Dr. Finch and his family. His new and far to the left of strange life takes place in a filthy cockroach ridden Victorian home in New England, with a cast of characters too odd to be fictional. The book follows an ordinary boys journey into a world where rules are unheard of, patients live in the house and everyone pops Valium. There is no end to the absurdity, grotesqueness and hilarity of the antics of both the Finch family and Burroughs’s mother. Running with Scissors manages to illuminate the inner workings of the average American adolescence through the sheer impossibility of the author’s situation.

Movie Review: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Although possibly the longest movie of all time, Return of the King was an absolute masterpiece. Once again Peter Jackson amazes moviegoers and critics alike with his stunning battle scenes sweeping sets and careful attention to detail. Although I was disappointed at the departure from the novel in Jackson’s rendition of The Two Towers, all the pieces from the left over of book two were tied in nicely. Jackson’s greatest feat is the creation of some amazing monsters, character and villains. Gollum, as is evident from the previous movies, is amazing and he truly steals the show in the scenes he appears in. As well, Shelob is an incredible monster and the Witch King is by far the most bad- ass villain in the entire epic. Second on my list of the wonders of Peter Jackson and LOTR the movies: battle scenes! The fight at the Minas Tirith is incredible; I was literally squirming in my seat at every turn! But the most incredible thing I think Jackson has done with these movies is the ability to keep the audience alive. As a professed LOTR geek, I was amazed that despite my peeves with not following the books page by page, and the Hollywood concocted love story, Jackson managed to keep my attention, my praise and even a little bit of surprise. The only weakness in content was the touchy feely script between Frodo and Sam. However, for all its glories the extraneous ending of Tolkien was not meant for the screen. After an amazing three hours Jackson managed to suck every last bit of adrenaline the audience had. In a grueling twenty-minute ending, Jackson prolonged the completion of an amazing trilogy in a completely unnecessary manner. My vote is to end the movie with the bow scene, although it departs from the ending of the book (as does Jackson’s long ending) it is in keeping with the general spirit of the books/movies and would be in Hollywood’s best interest as the average American has the attention span of a three year old. Save it for the extended version! All in all, a wonderful movie. I applaud Peter Jackson and the entire cast for their efforts and amazing skill; I would sit through the movie a third time!

Well boys and girls, that’s all I have for today. Have a Happy Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah! I will see you all in week, a few pounds heavier and with more materialistic goods than a small country should have.

3 thoughts on “For Whom the Bell Tolls”

  1. hey bell! first off i have seen the movie 3 times as well. let me say this. great movie but the witch king sucked. he was in the movie for 5 mins and got his ass whopped by a chick and a hobbit. the ending was way too long but seeing sam with his kids was worth it, its nice they threw that in there to disspell the sam and frodo rumors. i love the name of ur article!

  2. “My vote is to end the movie with the bow scene, although it departs from the ending of the book (as does Jackson�s long ending) it is in keeping with the general spirit of the books/movies and would be in Hollywood�s best interest as the average American has the attention span of a three year old.

    I was talking to dan and you’re wrong, the book has all of the ending in it, the going off to the gray havens, sam getting the book and getting married… dan puled out the parts and read them to me.. (and yes, he is a loser, but it’s a given)

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