Monday, May 12, 2008

Gladiators and Hobbits and Stuff

After Bachelor at Wellington's post regarding film scores, I looked at the movies on my shelves, picking out a few with my favorite movie music, which led to me re-watching some of them.

I've just finished Gladiator, a disaster for the historical purists, but a great story for the rest of us. Emperor Commodus (portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix) was even more vile than he is presented in the film, and he had his sister killed. He really did play at being a gladiator, but with poor skill. After a failed poisoning attempt by one of his concubines, Commodus was killed later that night by his wrestling partner. If the facts had been presented on film, they would have made for a compelling story, but I like the movie, too. In fact, there are parts of it that remind me of another of my favorite stories, Eagle in the Snow by Wallace Breem. 

A film that I did not list in my favorite movie scores is The Lord of the Rings (The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King). Howard Shore's music is awesome.

It's nearly 11:00 p.m., and I'll be awake for a few more hours, so I think I'll start watching LOTR from the beginning. If I viewed all three films back-to-back, I'd finish them around 11:00 a.m. tomorrow morning! 


Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

FIrst things first. What or who is Caspian?

Secondly; Gladiator ranks right up there for fantastic movie scores. I even bought the CD---I think that was the first time I ever did that. (Besides the cd for Austin Powers..."yeah baby yeah!")

Haven't seen any of the Lord of the Rings films, so can't offer an opinion. I did like the Harry Potter music.

I can't watch tv late at night; it puts me out like a light. Have you ever noticed that the best old movies, the ones rarely shown on television, all seem to start at 2:30 a.m.? Scratching my head over that. It's happened countless times, and I don't know how to program my vcr....d'oh!

Eaglewing said...

That'd be a great LOTR marathon, all night long.

Music is always important to me in a movie, but I veer more towards soundtracks than scores (Firefly being the exception. bought that one.) Few do soundtracks better than Michael Mann in his movies though. Really creates the atmosphere.

And Lavinia is right. Great old movies always seem to come on late at night, when you know you should be sleeping but have to watch anyway.

For The People said...

Nice blog!

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

Eaglewing, I try to watch, but I can't keep the curtains (my eyelids) from lowering.....:)


Lavinia - Prince Caspian is a character/a book in the Narnia series, and the movie just came out. It was supposed to be released (originally) late last year, but then it was delayed till March then April then May 16, and then it came out a week before then. I promised the kids at work that I'd take them to the movie on Christmas break, but we went to see The Waterhorse instead. They liked that one, too, but they've been waiting for Caspian.

When the three files were released, The Lord of the Rings series appealed to people who weren't really interested in fantasy, and sales of Tolkien's books soared. As a reader, I was pleased with the renewed interest in his work.

I know what you mean about the good stuff coming on television at all the wrong times.


Eagle - I have done LOTR marathons before (I own the extended editions), usually on a Saturday when I have stuff to do inside the house and need distraction while doing boring stuff, like sweeping the wood floors or (ugh) folding laundry, or when I'm writing. Like playing music in the background, the films help establish a creative atmosphere.