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New Line, Tuckerman said, is planning ''at some point in time to add (additional footage at the end of Rings that) will be a lot longer than a trailer, but I don't know how much longer. We're going to give (moviegoers) a preview of (the second episode of Rings). We're going to change the last reel out and do a preview of Two [Towers] at the end of the last reel. (People) are screaming for it.''
From the Willamette Week website:
"Portland filmmaker made her directing debut in 1977 with Property, a docudrama about a neighborhood's battle against gentrification, followed in 1982 by Paydirt, an action film about three Oregon winemakers who resort to growing pot to pay the bills. Allen is now a free-lance writer living in Paris, where she recently discovered the long-forgotten grave site of early Portland feminist and John Reed protegée Louise Bryant."
I saw Property years ago at a New York film festival and have thought about it (off and on) ever since. As I recall, it's not really about a "neighborhood's battle against gentrification" but rather the efforts of a group of Portland bohemians to buy a block of Victorian houses where they've been living in semi-communal squalor. It's kind of an elegy for the '60s, depicting a moment when "hippie chicks" were turning to hooking rather "selling out," men were connecting with the drug underworld (and prison) for the same reason, and no one had any idea the Reagan era was right around the corner. It's not really a documentary, but it feels so real it might as well be. I found it incredibly wistful and romantic.
In retrospect, the movie was notable for launching the career of cinematographer Eric Alan Edwards, who has contributed his unmistakable handheld-verite style to a magnificent run of films, including My Own Private Idaho, To Die for, Kids, and Flirting with Disaster. It was also the first film of "little person" Cork Hubbert, who gave a standout performance and has since had a long and varied resumé (Where the Buffalo Roam, Legend, and countless TV roles). I don't think Property ever made it to videotape; there's probably a slim chance it'll be seen again. That's a shame: the film's time, place, and outsider point of view were unique, and in their own modest way, indispensable.
I decided to brave the holiday crowds and check out Lord of the Rings today. There is a lot of information, verbal and visual, blowing past you fairly quickly, but fortunately I had a teenager and his older sister sitting directly behind me, keeping a loud running commentary. In a scene where Sam comforts Frodo after a battle with the forces of darkness, the woman said, "Look at the little elf, huggin' his friend." After a furious limb-amputating fight between Aragorn and an Uruk-hai (half-man/half-Orc), the kid said "That shit was dope!" And at the end of the film, which leaves us with Sam and Frodo descending to the marshes on their fateful trip to Mordor, the woman announced to everyone within earshot. "This is so ghetto! I paid ten dollars to watch two hobbits walk down a hill!"
I enjoyed the movie, even though half of the dialogue sounds like it's coming from the gods of Asgard in Lee & Kirby's Mighty Thor comics. The monsters are great--real Ray Harryhausen stuff. The film actually does a better job of explaining the story's main hook: why Frodo must go to Mordor, and destroy the Ring, even with all these powerful men and supermen around. In the book, it seemed too obviously flattering to the adolescent reader to have the little guy be the center of the quest. In the movie, you're much more palpably aware of how corrupting the Ring is to men and even Wizards. Frodo's seeming genetic ability to resist makes the choice not just logical but inevitable.
Also, apropos of nothing, Orlando Bloom, who plays Legolas the Elf, could be the next Leonardo di Caprio, on the basis of matinee-idol looks alone. He was my personal favorite Quester (I know, I'm an arrested adolescent). In one scene he pulls several arrows in rapid succession from his quiver, firing them off so rapidly you can't figure out how he gets them in the bow. It isn't a special effects shot (could be a stunt double though); in any case, this human Gatling-gun routine has to be seen to be believed. (Maybe you already have seen it; I don't know if it's in the TV trailer or not).
In feeble defense of A Night on Earth, I thought Roberto Begnini's segment was very funny and I loved the guys from Finland. Jarmusch was still (partway) in his "people staring into space for long stretches of time" mode when he made that. I like Dead Man and Ghost Dog much better.
I don't really have much to say in defense of Winona Ryder, as an actress or star. I think I share a lot of guys' taste that she's cute, but also ironic and a little bit "off" and therefore more appealing than the usual bimbo sex symbol. But that's totally subjective and has little to do with acting ability.