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Amazon, please don’t make a TV series about Tolkien’s Middle-Earth

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I just finished reading “The Hobbit” to my 8-year-old boy. He enjoyed it thoroughly, and probably could have read it himself except for some difficult wording and arcane language (Tolkien, for example, had a habit of using the word “queer” in its correct definition).

He didn’t want to watch the film version until he had read the book. And that’s the proper way to do it with timeless literature like Tolkien.

There’s an entire universe of lore associated with Middle-Earth, based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s prolific writing. Hollywood has already hacked this up pretty well, changing key characters and storylines in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, offending many devoted readers. I won’t even get into how badly “The Hobbit” was botched (LOTR was not botched, only marred).

Now Amazon wants to capitalize on the Tolkien universe by turning it into a Game of Thrones killer. It’s an awful, terrible idea, akin to making Dungeons and Dragons into a movie. Oh, yes–that was done, and tanked horribly at the box office.

Of course, Amazon new series won’t be the first new narrative set in Middle-earth. The most recent example is the 2014 video game Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (and its newly-released sequel). The game drew players in by using the familiar setting of Mordor, a familiar timeframe (between the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings), iconic characters like Gollum and crucial elements like the Rings of Power. But it also starred entirely new characters, expanded Tolkien’s mythology and told an entirely new story.

Two things here.

First, making a movie is different than making a video game. Making movies based on video games generally results in bad movies (“Mortal Kombat,” “Warcraft,” “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” “Super Mario Brothers,” “Resident Evil,” shall I go on?). Making a TV series based on a richly explored mythology described in literature of which movies have already been based is even worse than making a movie based on the video game.

I guarantee whatever Amazon comes up with will be terrible.

Second, Tolkien would spin in his grave. He’s already spinning, after what Peter Jackson did with “The Hobbit,” but he’d spin even faster.

If Amazon wants to mess with Middle-Earth, why don’t they just create a whole new place and populate it with dwarves, elves, orcs, and hobbits. They can come up with a dark lord like Sauron and play it out like a good Dungeon-master.

But Amazon, please don’t make it the Middle-Earth that Tolkien created in painstaking detail (read “The Silmarillion”), and don’t use characters in LOTR.

I don’t want my grandchildren learning about Bilbo and Frodo like it was Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble.

Amazon’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ prequel will need to forge its own identity

https://www.engadget.com/2017/11/14/amazon-lord-of-the-rings-prequel-not-for-purists/When rumors broke that Amazon was hoping to turn J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings into a TV series, many felt that CEO Jeff Bezos had found his own Game of Thrones. We’re still many years out from seeing a final product, but the first steps were taken today: Amazon just announced that it is producing a multi-season series based in Tolkien’s Middle-earth. But if Bezos really wants to emulate HBO’s wildly popular adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Amazon’s series will likely end up feeling rather foreign to Tolkien devotees.

Managing Editor of NOQ Report. Serial entrepreneur. Faith, family, federal republic. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

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Entertainment and Sports

These women are not brave

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These women are not brave

Look at all the brave women who chose to take a stand on that stage at the Golden Globes! They were bold, fierce, empowered, and they’re not gonna take it anymore! They spoke of their responsibility to create a different world for young women. They stood with new fervor, big actress tears streaming down their faces, and spoke of correcting the power imbalance and abuse that they just had no idea existed.

Except they did know. They knew it in 1997 when Kathleen Willey came forward about Bill Clinton. The New Yorker knew it in 1997 when Asia Argento told them Harvey Weinstein assaulted her. The LA Times knew in 2013 that Weinstein raped a woman. Playboy knew about Bill Cosby in 1996.

I’m sorry, but standing on a stage to proclaim with fire and fury that you’re not gonna take it anymore decades after the incidents were revealed is not bravery. Bravery would be writing an article in the New York Times about a sitting Democratic president who should be removed from office for abusing women. Real courage would be condemning Roman Polanski in 2003 after he won Best Director; or at least, booing him instead of the standing ovation he received. Bravery is being the first to stand up when nobody else is. Better yet, bravery is being the first to refuse to give up her seat on the bus.

Kathleen Willey was brave. Paula Jones was brave. Juanita Broaddrick was brave. Hollywood and the liberal media diminished and abandoned them, while continuing to support and champion their abuser. There was no soap box drama at the 1998 Golden Globes when the pattern of Clinton’s abuse had become evident. But there wouldn’t be, would there? Not with an election on the line.

Hollywood, you abetted the behavior of a man in power and in doing so enabled the next 20 years of male power abuse to continue. Liberal media, you are responsible for having taught abused women all over the country that it is senseless to fight against a man who takes advantage of his position, because the bigger picture is more important. The ends justify the means. The ends of your ambitions of fame, and the ends of Clinton remaining in power justified the means of your looking the other way. You made this bed of tears, now you must lie in it.

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Hollywood icon Stan Lee accused of groping, harassment of young nurses

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Hollywood icon Stan Lee accused of groping harassment of young nurses

Comic book and Marvel movie fans who adore creator Stan Lee now have to contend with allegations of sexual misconduct from he 95-year-old. Allegedly, Lee has an affinity for the young nurses who take care of him, asking them for oral sex and groping some of them, according to a legal dispute against the icon.

Marvel creator Stan Lee accused of sexual harassment

https://pagesix.com/2018/01/09/marvel-creator-stan-lee-accused-of-sexual-harassment/“He doesn’t seem to care what people think of him, he’s lost his filter,” a source told the tabloid. “There has been a stream of young nurses coming to his house in West Hollywood and he has been sexually harassing them. He finds it funny.”

The source added, “He’s also very handsy and has groped some of the women, it’s unacceptable behavior, especially from an icon like Stan.”

My Take

I may not be a big fan of Marvel movies, but I’ve always liked Lee. From his quirky cameos in all Marvel movies to his brilliant creations that increased exposure for the comic book world and gave birth to the mega-movie franchise, Lee has always been someone I hoped was above the sexual misconduct fray in Hollywood.

If these reports are true, he may be categorized with the worst of them – feeling above the law with no filter or regard for how it affects the women he victimizes. While no accusations have been made of major sexual abuse, his alleged attitude is disturbing.

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Entertainment and Sports

Hollywood: Forget our hypocrisy

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Hollywood Forget our hypocrisy

At the Golden Globe, Hollywood took a stand against sexual harassment and gender pay gaps wanting you to forget that they are among the worst offenders in both categories. Natalie Portman thought is necessary to highlight the all male categories for Best Director, thus undermining the winner of the award whoever that was. Many wore black for their new “Times Up” campaign in demand of equal pay. Poverty is apparently sexist. Oprah stole the show teasing a presidential run. And more “activism” against sexual harassment persisted. All the while, for one night, Hollywood pretended that they weren’t the perpetrators of that which they protest against. They want us to solve an industry problem they face because this is the easiest way to deny personal responsibility.

All Male Directors

Natalie Portman felt the need to emphasize the nominees’ genders. This was an immature and cowardly move. It’s not their fault females weren’t nominated. And it’s also not their fault that fewer women are directing movies in Hollywood than men. If Natalie Portman wants to solve this problem instead of shaming people, she should direct a movie herself. She has a reputation. She can win backers. But this sounds like actual work. Instead she would rather undermine the directors who did put in work just because a female director wasn’t chosen to be among them. This also perpetuates the Hollywood mentality that being nominated for something has significant value. In the words of Ricky Bobby, “First or last.” Celebrating being nominated for something is as valid as celebrating a participation trophy.

Natalie Portman could write, direct, and produce her own movie, or at least two of those things. It’s not like women are incapable. To say that women need special encouragement to take more leading roles is ridiculous, especially when Hollywood. Natalie Portman is both lazy and childish. Instead of trying to score with the media, she should take constructive steps to solve the problem.

Time’s Up: Hollywood pay gap

Hollywood has one of the most persistent wage gaps in the US. However there are valid reasons for this. Many of the highest paid actors are true hustlers. How many movies was Dwayne Johnson in? The other thing is the market for talent. It’s the same reason why quarterbacks in the NFL make more than running backs or receivers. Now there have been valid concerns of an unfair wage gap in Hollywood. For instance two equally talented stars should make about the same amount of money if they have the same level of reputation. For instance, I wouldn’t deny sexism if Lena Headley on Game of Throne was making less than Kit Harrington. But the fault is Hollywood’s, not ours. Normal people have nothing to do with Hollywood wage differences in movies where male and female actors of equal reputation make a different wage. Hollywood needs to take the tree out of its own eye before demanding legislation that already exists. Or perhaps butthurt over economics drives the Time’s Up movement.

Poverty Is Sexist

I don’t think I need to explain this one a whole lot.

And for the record, it’s ugly.

Me Too

Terry Crews remains one of the most believable voices to come out since Me Too. Why? Because he’s actually interested in solving the issue and is headed to court. He wants to resolve the problem. Many other voices just want to be heard which is why normal people think they just want attention. Also, normal people also don’t sympathize with people who used sex to get movie roles. But again we, normal males, are the problem. To us it seems like Hollywood is trying to cover up for the bad PR Harvey Weinstein brought. But lets not forget the infamous photo of Oprah kissing Harvey and the standing ovations for Roman Polanski. And Woody Allen wasn’t booted from the industry either. James Franco is still in the business too.Hollywood perpetuates their hypocrisy by protecting their own until it’s too late. They all knew what Weinstein was and did little. I suppose being strong is easier on screen than when it really matters.

The other hypocrisy is the condemnation of men not joining the women in the MeToo speeches. Damned if they do, damned if they don’t. This is what I call a PC pretzel. If men don’t speak about a topic, they are contributing to the problem and warrant condemnation. If they do speak about something, they are “mansplaining” and warrant condemnation. There is no winning in a PC world.

Takeaway

Hollywood can expect to lose relevance as they become more focused on activism. The American people see right through their sad facade. We are tired of their insistence that we are responsible for their industry, their culture. We are tired of hypocrites who buy a $380 sweatshirt to preach on poverty, and we are tired of people who enabled sexual misconduct telling us that we are the problem. The last couple of months weren’t some Bill Cosby cocktail party. We still remember that pedophiles and sleezebags roam Hollywood and go unchallenged by those who know. We won’t forget so easily.

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