Things Sophie and I Tweeted While Watching Lord Of The Rings

I think the title speaks for itself here. My personal twitterspace is @frogcynic, and Sophie's is @sophienotemily, and together we DOMINATED the #LOTR tag for a solid week, off and on.

These are our random missives during all three extended editions.

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The Fellowship Of The Ring

-Lord Of The Rings! Hobbit-five, everybody!

@sophienotemily: Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring is rated PG-13 for "EPIC battle sequences." That's what it says! Even the MPAA loves this shit.

-So when Bilbo writes "Concerning Hobbits," who is he writing it for? Future non-hobbit races that take an interest in his memoirs?

-Why can't we make fireworks like Gandalf's? Ours plateaued some years ago at fizzling and changing colors ONCE. What gives?

-Where's the "Gaffer's Home Brew" tie-in beer? It could be something hearty and hobbity, like an ale. Or a lager.

-"Proudfeet!" Get it right!

-"Do not take me for some conjurer of cheap tricks!" say Gandalf, while conjuring a cheap trick to appear taller and shinier.

-The One Ring: Now with built-in Anti-Theft Fire-Eye!

-"Shire! Baggins!" is also all I can scream when tortured.

-The One Ring: Re-Sizable and Completely Indestructible, it's the only Horcrux you'll ever need! Call now!

-"Shire! Baggins! But that will lead them to Bagginshire!" #fakemoviequotes

-"A palantir is a dangerous tool, Saruman." "YOU'RE a dangerous tool!" #fakemoviequotes

-Nazgul are SO easily distracted. Frodo should just pretend to throw the ring, and they'd totally run as if he had, like a dog.

-I bet, after all this was over, Aragorn and Arwen must've gotten SO SICK of the Beren and Luthien comparisons.

-White horses always outrun black horses, because they're naturally more energy-efficient.

-I love the heart of Mount Doom. How do you forge a ring from that platform? Really long tongs?

-Lousy Extended edition and its break in-between discs reminding me not to stay up for the next nine hours. More #LOTR later!

-I miss "Saruman of Many Colours" from the books. Wearing white down in the Uruk-hai pits is a major faux pas.

-Gandalf only calls him "Peregrin Took" when he's angry.

-Yeah, Gimli. I'm sure you haven't heard from Balin and co. in Moria for TEN YEARS because they were too busy partying.

-It's Gollum! In early-CGI blackface!

-I like how whenever something crazy dramatic happens (i.e. cave troll stabbing Frodo), we get eighties-rock-video shakicam closeups

-Lothlorien Elves do everything in slow motion, for some reason.

@sophienotemily: Frodo keeps breaking that chain. How does he fix it? Does he carry pliers? Are replacement chains really that easy to come by?

-Aw snap- Hobbits be eatin' things!

-For the record, Boromir kills 17 Orcs all by himself at the end (including 5 after getting arrows buried in his chest!).

@sophienotemily: Anachronistic #LOTR lines: "let's hunt some Orc!" Really? Orc? "Orcs," I would accept.

The Two Towers

-Two Towers time! My question: do Elven shoe-laces untie themselves?

-'Man-Flesh'? The gay bar down by the airport?

-No, not THOSE two towers, Saruman. Haven't you read the books? It's not called "Whichever Pair Of Towers You Fancy."

@sophienotemily: "So an elf, a man, and a dwarf walk into the Riddermark..."

-That random Rohan mom should be on a list of "Most Improbably Still Alive Later" characters, with the son from War Of The Worlds.

-@sophienotemily on Theodred: "He's pretty hot, in a dying sort of way.

-You'd think maggoty bread would be an Orc's favorite sort of bread

@sophienotemily: Anachronistic #LOTR lines: "Meat's back on the menu, boys!" "menu" meaning "list of things to eat" = first used 1837. Also it sounds weird.

-Aragorn's tracker skills are nuts! "A hobbit lay here. His hands were bound. He had a smudge on his left cheek, and was a little hungry."

-Legolas, the magnificent ObviousElf! "The trees are speaking to each other! My hair is blond! That's a bird!"

-"Tree-infested"? Trees are not an infestation, Gimli.

-My new place holders (instead of "uh" and "er") are going to be Ent-noises like "Brrharroom."

-Poor Theodin-King. "I'm free! My beard is colorful! Up top for a high-five, Theodred! ...Theodred?"

-Still aghast that this funeral scene was cut from the theatrical version.

@sophienotemily: @frogcynic there's no time for MOURNING when there is KILLING to be done.

@sophienotemily: "What do you fear, my lady?" "A cage." I forgot how awesome Eowyn is.

-The first time I saw TTT, the Gollum double-speak scene caused some lady to be all "so are there two of them?" Still kills me.

-It wouldn't be an epic without at least one Braveheart-style running battleclash. Wargs ho!

-Brego! You make so much sense in the Extended Edition! Don't get me wrong, if I were a random wandering horse I'd save Aragorn, too

-Faramir and co. battle plan with the ridiculously simple map! It's like using a globe to plan a trip to Martha's Vineyard!

-Faramir's flashback somehow includes a whole scene where he's not within earshot..

-I want a whole short film of Gollum and that fish.

-Where was GONDOR when I couldn't sleep and I need someone to talk to?!?!

-@sophienotemily: "Where was GONDOR when the Titanic sank!?!"

@sophienotemily: I was going to wait until we got to this part in the movie, but I'm impatient:

@sophienotemily: WHERE WAS GON--

-"This is all they have? They didn't even bring a heretofore unheard of explosive to blow a hole in the...oh."

@sophienotemily: Anachronistic #LOTR lines: "...embedded in his nervous system!" That one's just wrong. Is there a Middle-Earth Academy of Medical Science?

-Frodo! We thinks you have the crazy-eye!

-Frodo's an old hand at holding swords to throats by now.

The Return Of The King

-It's part 3 of my #LOTR tweetathon! You're gonna be all like "I liked the first two parts okay, but I want to give THIS part 11 Oscars!"

-Research revealed last night that it was, in fact, Smeagol's birthday, but Deagol already got him a present. Just so we're clear.

@sophienotemily: Deagol: *mine mine mine* Smeagol: nooooo it are my birthday

-The days aren't grower darker, Frodo. It's just Daylight Savings Death-Cloud Time.

-How can they hear each other from THE TOP OF ORHTANC? This scene is good to include, but that kills me.

-"Saruman, your staff is broken! And your eyebrows look weird."

-Theoden: "He's prefect for you!" Eowyn: "Dad we're just friends oh my god!"

-"What does your heart tell you?" "Mostly a series of rhythmic thumping."

-If there's one thing I don't like about movie Sauron, it's his tendency to say "I see you!" like a lame peeping tom.

-So Arwen wants to leave until she sees that she might have an androgynous son? Whatevs.

-Arwen: "Reforge the sword!" Elrond: "Didn't we do that already? Like two books ago? Huh."

@sophienotemily: Anachronistic #LOTR lines: " the Nazgul flies." "As the crow flies" origin: Pennsylvania.

-How does Gandalf know they've just passed into Gondor? Was there a sign? "Welcome to GONDOR! Home of the White City!"

-So if Sauron had won, what was his plan? Get into textiles manufacturing?

@sophienotemily: Anachronistic #LOTR lines: "Game over." (Legolas/Gimli drinking game, ROTK:EE.) Origin of phrase: pinball machines.

-Funny how Frodo's wound could sense the Witch-King's proximity, but the Witch-King didn't sense the ring nearby.

-Poor Osgilliath, always captured and then recaptured. It's like the Gaza Strip of the War of The Ring

-"So what do you do?" "I live on top of a mountain to light a Beacon in case Gondor needs help." "When were they lit last?" "600 years ago."

@sophienotemily: Merry and Pippin are always cool, but they take awesome to a whole notha leva in ROTK

-Kings have table manners. Stewards apparently do not. Use a napkin, Denethor- sheesh.

@sophienotemily: Weird things Denethor does: has visions of Boromir, makes Pippin kiss his ring, eats random cherry tomatoes...?

-Gimli's straight of out Scooby-Doo during this whole Paths of the Dead part.

-What a classic, avalanche-of-millions-of-skulls gag! I wonder how long the dead army spent setting that up?

@sophienotemily: Crumbs on his jacketses?!

-Classic #LOTR line: "What is it? It's sticky!"

-Peter Jackson = arachnophobic, thus Shelob = hella frightening! I move all horror movies be made by people similarly afflicted by the topic

-What did Gollum think they were doing? Heading for a stay in the Mount Doom Bed and Breakfast? (Great pancakes at that place, btw)

@sophienotemily: Sam: "Let him go, you FILTH!" Ah, I remember making swoony LJ icons about how Sean Astin should be considered for an Oscar for that.

@sophienotemily: As I recall, they involved Sam holding an Academy Award statuette instead of the Light of Earendil. *cough* #LOTR #dorkiness

@sophienotemily: Nobody does grief like Sean Astin, I am just saying.

-Denethor only loves his son once he succumbs to despair? What a foulweather parent.

@sophienotemily: Classic #LOTR line: "BRING WOOD AND OIL!" Elijah Wood, perhaps? Wink wink, saynomore, etc

-Never have more people yelled in the theater than when Shelob is behind Frodo all of a sudden.


@sophienotemily: Theoden: DEATH!!!! Rohirrim: DEATH!!!!! Audience: Uh, death? Yay?

-The part where Eowyn and Merry take down an Oliphaunt always reminds me of The Empire Strikes Back.

-Death = just like sailing to Valinor?

-Those Oliphaunts must be annoyed. "Ow! Why are we here? YOU PROMISED ME COMICALLY OVERSIZED PEANUTS!!"

@sophienotemily: Eowyn: "I AM NO MAN!" Witch-King of Angmar: "Well, shit!" *implodes*

-If only the Witch King had been better at riddles. Apparently he was vacuum-sealed. Huh

-I love the Orcs that just see a guy falling and are like RIOT TIME!!!!! AWESOME!

@sophienotemily: Naked, tied-up Elijah Wood time! #LOTR #pervyhobbitfancier

-ObviousElf's proudest moment! "A diversion!" Only ten minutes too late.

@sophienotemily: "A diversion!" I feel like Legolas just zoned out for awhile, like he was thinking about palantir bowling or something.

@sophienotemily: Eowyn: "Woe, I am depressed. The sun has no warmth. Does anyone have any Lexapro?" Faramir: "I will heal you... with loooove."

@sophienotemily: aaagh digitally enlarged creepy mouth (of Sauron)

@sophienotemily: Mouth of Sauron: "It takes more to make a King than a broken Elvish blade!" Aragorn: "Elvish blade THIS!" *chop*

@sophienotemily: I don't think I've borrowed any other line from #LOTR more than "but it is not this day." There may come a day when I do my laundry...

@sophienotemily: Badass Sam moment # 4: "But I can carry you!"

@sophienotemily: aaagh what happened to all their horses??!?! CONTINUITY ERROR!

@sophinotemily: Hey! Eagles! Nice of you to show up, finally. Where were you, shopping for... iPhones? What do Eagles shop for?

@sophienotemily: Thank you for riding Eagle Airlines. Now boarding express service to Gondor.

-Look: Eagles can't fly past fell beasts, arrows, and the lidless eye. You can't just walk into Mordor, and you can't just fly either.

@sophinotemily: Sam: "Don't leave!" Frodo: "Sam, I have really bad PTSD, and they have great drugs in Valinor. You understand."

This Week In Actual Movie Taglines

A look at the taglines for this week's major releases. How do studios try to hook us when they only have a sentence?

Michael Jackson's This Is It

Actual tagline: Like You've Never Seen Him Before

This is the only wide release this week? Again? Get it together, October. Anyway, might I politely suggest that this should be titled This Would've Been It?

And I really don't get "Like You've Never Seen Him Before" at all- it's just interviews and rehearsal footage. We've pretty much seen him like this for the last four decades or so. Unless the aspect they're trumpeting is "On The Verge Of Death"?

This Week In Actual Movie Taglines

A look at the taglines for this week's major releases. How do studios try to hook us when they only have a sentence?

Saw VI

Actual tagline: The Game Comes Full Circle

Does it? Does it come full circle? Can you promise me that, with your stupid game of lame torture-porn every year having come "Full Circle," that there won't be a Saw VII?

Somehow I doubt it. Happy Halloween, folks.

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant

Actual tagline: Meet Darren. He's sixteen going on immortal.

Darren is no realtion to Edward Cullen, who is seventeen going on immortal, and not in a circus or anything, so there's no way this film, directed by the brother of the director of the Twilight sequel, is a lame attempt to exploit the vampyrsplotation craze that those books/films launched.


Actual tagline: Defying The Impossible. Living The Dream.

I'm all for living the dream, to be sure, but I'm a little confused by the seeming double-negative of "defying the impossible." Couldn't that also be stated as "Obeying The Possible"?

Astro Boy

Actual tagline: Have A Blast.

OR: Built For Adventure.

'Cause there's a robot, I guess. The kind of middling slogan-work that just makes me feel sleepy.

This Week In Actual Movie Taglines

A look at the taglines for this week's major releases. How do studios try to hook us when they only have a sentence?

The Stepfather

Actual tagline: This Fall...Daddy's Home

OR: This Fall... Do You Know Who Your Family Is?

Just so you know kids, stepfathers, in addition to being not your real dad are also murderous killers! Or at least they are this fall!

This should be part of a mini-film festival confirming children's worst fears about people they allready distrusted, along with The Faculty (Teachers are evil aliens!), The Good Son (adopted siblings are psychopaths!), Disturbia (your neighbor is a serial killer!), and The Guardian (babysitters are evil druids that want to sacrifice you!).

Where The Wild Things Are

Actual tagline: There's One In All Of Us

I'd be snarky about this film, but I'd be immediately disciplined by the Hipster Police (a coalition of agents from Urban Outfitters, McSweeney's,, and all non-Starbucks coffee shops).

I'm stoked for the film, being a hip twentysomething, but has there ever before been a movie made from a children's picture book marketed seemingly exclusively to hip twenty-somethings that were fans of the book long ago?

Law Abiding Citizen

Actual tagline: The System Must Pay

OR: Justice At Any Cost

OR: How do you stop a killer who is already behind bars?

OR: The Man Who Has Lost Everything is Capable of Anything

The rule is thus: the more generic your title, the greater number of taglines you will need. Law Abiding Citizen needed four to get us beyond the boilerplate reference in its moniker- though that poster doesn't make it terribly clear that Jaime Foxx is the person being hounded by "the man who has lost everything," and not the character seeking "justice at any cost."

This Week In Actual Movie Taglines

A look at the taglines for this week's major releases. How do studios try to hook us when they only have a sentence?

Couples Retreat

Actual tagline: It May Be Paradise... But It's No Vacation

This tagline is pretty bland, but sweet sassy molassy what is going on with the title of this movie?

Look at it again "Couples Retreat." Not "Couple's Retreat," implying a retreat for couples (which the film is literally about), but "Couples Retreat," implying that couples tend to retreat (in the face, presumably, of Confederate musket-fire, or perhaps their own myriad communication problems).

This is either an egregious grammatical oversight that made it past several rounds of proofing, or one of the lamest titular puns in recent memory: "No, see, it's about "couples" that "retreat" from one another. It's very artistic and interpretive...especially the part with that dude's ass in Jason Bateman's face!"

Only one wide release this week? Huh.

IMDB #206 Bringing Up Baby

I'm calling an audible on today's entry because of availability issues, and inserting 1938's Bringing Up Baby into spot #206 (even though it's presently at #242), because I couldn't get a copy of The Ox-Bow Incident. How do I justify this seeming compromise of my list-following ethics? Simple: I'm not being paid, and His Girl Friday was one of my favorites so far.

Plus, leopards!

The Key Players:

What's really beautiful about this entry is that I've already introduced director Howard Hawks as well as stars Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn on previous films! Laziness five!

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The Story:

Grant stars as paleontologist David Huxley, a bumbling man engaged to his humorless colleague Alice Swallow- why take a honeymoon after they get married the next day when there's so much work to do, she asks.

That work involves finishing a one-of-a-kind brontosaurus skeleton, which awaits the arrival of an "intercostal clavicle" in the mail (googling informs me that this is not a real thing, since we don't have clavicles, or collar bones, in between our ribs ("intercostal") and neither did brontosauri). It also involves David playing a round of golf with an Alexander Peabody, lawyer to a wealthy client that may donate $1 Million to the Museum (which is like $15 Million in today-money).

His golf-game and subsequent donor's lawyer-impressing goes humorously awry when socialite Susan Vance (Hepburn) crashes it by mistaking David's golf ball and then his car for her own. Later that night, she bumps into him again at the restaurant where David is meeting Peabody to make amends- those plans are forgotten when she accidentally rips his suit jacket, and then he tears her skirt by standing on it.

The next day she somehow has gotten ahold of his phone number, and pretends to get attacked by a leopard in order to get him over to her house. The leopard, though real, is tame- it's the titular "Baby"- and Susan just wants David's help transporting it to her aunt's house, as she's mistaken him for a zoologist.

Hi-jinks after hi-jinks follow as Susan contrives to make David late for his wedding, having decided she's in love with him. They steal a car, David wears a nightgown after Susan steals his clothes, a dog buries the intercostal clavicle (which David has inexplicably brought with him) and they need to follow him around until he unburies it...

Also there's another, much less tame leopard that's escaped from the circus.

The Artistry:

Man, do I love these movies. The lines never stop, and the pace never slows down. This movie just took everything I loved about His Girl Friday and added other things I love, like dinosaurs, leopards, and a stronger female lead (sorry, Rosalind Russell, but we can't all be Katherine Hepburn).

The chemistry between Hepburn and Grant isn't really that great, but it doesn't exactly have that much time to blossom between the constant action- besides, it only had to beat that of Grant and his shrewish fiancee anyway. And sure, Hepburn's character is basically stalking Grant's for a while, but funny makes up for a lot. And now, some quotes:

-"When a man is wrestling a leopard in the middle of a pond, he's in no position to run."

-DAVID (After seeing a leopard): "Susan, you have to get out of this apartment!"
SUSAN: "I can't, I have a lease."

-"'He's three years old, gentle as a kitten, and likes dogs.' I wonder whether Mark means that he eats dogs or is fond of them?"

-SUSAN: "Now, certainly you can't think I did that intentionally!"
DAVID: "Well, if I could think, I'd have run when I saw you!"

There's also no end to pratfalls and sight gags in this movie. Of all the classic movie stars I've seen for this countdown, I've become the biggest fan of Cary Grant's sense of timing and put-upon harried-ness: the dinner scene- where, livid at the loss of his dinosaur bone, he spends the entire meal staring at the dog and following it from the room abruptly whenever it left- just killed me.


After falling in a river, chasing leopards through the woods and ending up in jail, David saves Susan from the untamed leopard and finally makes it home.

His fiance storms out on him, fed up with his crazy shenanigans, but he seems hardly bothered. When Susan shows up, having finally found the intercostal clavicle, he soon admits that he had the most fun of his life with her.

Susan promptly knocks over the entire brontosaurus skeleton. But hey, love is a fine consolation.



The Verdict: Higher!

Well, I've included it in this countdown a full thirty or so spots higher than it is at the moment, so...

The Legacy:

NFR inclusion, AFI lists galore, a reputation as Howard Hawks' best film, now one of mine... pretty much the exact opposite of the film's reception upon release: Bringing Up Baby was a box-office-bomb, Hawks was fired from his next RKO picture, and Hepburn had to buy out her contract with the studio and eventually produce a film herself as a comeback vehicle.

The Best Video Of It On YouTube:

"But why are you wearing these clothes?"

This was apparently the first use of the word "gay" on film- in the modern, orientation implying sense of the word. I like how he jumps about three feet in the air on that line, which was apparently ad-libbed.

Leftover Thoughts:

-If you enjoyed Bringing Up Baby, IMDB thinks you would also enjoy (scroll down to the bottom) American Psycho.

-Sorry for the late, special Saturday edition of the countdown. I always do intend to do two of these a week.

Coming Up...

Tuesday, October 6th: The Battle of Algiers

Thursday, October 8th: The Adventures of Robin Hood

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