It is supposed to be warmer tomorrow. But there's also going to be clouds, rain, and fog. Which means tomorrow will, in actuality, be worse than today.
2. I didn't write yesterday, not really. Day before yesterday, I didn't write. And on Wednesday I did not write. I sat here yesterday and read aloud to myself what I've written on "Oranges from Africa," 2,768 words since I began it on the 15th. After I'd read the first seven pages aloud and marked them up so much that they'd ceased to be legible I finally admitted to myself that it's a mess, and that it's a mess I do not currently have time to clean up. On the bottom of pg. 10 I wrote, "I don't think I can fix this." And the date. And the story has gone to live in the filing cabinet. This is my fault for having begun anything so ambitious and, more importantly, personal right now.
3. Truthfully, I have little to write about – that I have any business writing about here – except movies and television. My life dissolves in front of screens: iMac, iPad, the TV, and theater screens.
4. On Thursday we saw The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. I thought it was a great improvement over the first installment of the trilogy. The 3D gimmickry was still there, but it, to me, felt less intrusive. The film was better paced and better edited, and it didn't seem so painfully over lit. I don't mind the addition of the story of Gandalf's quest to Dol Guldur. I don't mind the peculiar triangle of romantic tension between Legolas, Tauriel, and Kíli. No, it doesn't bother me that Tauriel was created by the screenwriters. She works, and we are reminded, however marginally, that there are vaginas in Middle Earth. I was pleased that Beorn wasn't skipped over, impressed by Lee Pace as a menacing, calculating Thranduil, and very much approved of Lake-town. But there's no denying that the star is, rightly, Benedict Cumberbatch's Smaug. Wow. Perfect. What a gloriously terrifying beast, with just the right measure of egotism, grandeur, fury, and vanity.
I think I prefer the non-CGI orcs from LotR. But I love old-school makeup SFX, and Weta excels at it.
That said, the whole thing certainly could have been handled without the video game interludes, and it's a shame the film was shot 48fps and in 3D. For all its merit, so far Peter Jackson's The Hobbit lags well behind his The Lord of the Rings, and this is primarily because of the former's compromised cinematography. I should note that, currently, at the theater we attended The Desolation of Smaug, the film is showing on four screens, but only one of them is 3D, and the one that's 3D is in a broom closet. This is a good thing, and I hope it reflects, to some degree, waning interest in an artless, unfortunate, costly fad.
Still, honestly, the absolute worst thing about the film was the horrid Ed Sheeran song that's yodeled over the end credits. Think Boys to Men do the Chieftains. Only it's actually worse than that. I'd never heard of Sheeran, and I cannot imagine what the fuck Jackson was thinking. Each third of LotR closes with a beautiful, haunting song. And the song that closed out An Unexpected Journey wasn't bad. But this? Seriously? If you see the film, the moment the screen goes to black (you'll know when I mean) get up and fucking run to the nearest exit.
5. The sunlight is so weak.