full life

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1. Kath and I raced home after work and watched the extendo-Two Towers DVD, which is - wait for it - scrumptrillescent. First, let me get this right out of the way: my favorite scene in the book (actually, in the whole trilogy) is when Frodo, nearing the end of his rope, randomly meets up with Faramir, and they have a great pow-wow and Frodo goes off to Mordor feeling a bit better about everything; in the theatrical release, Faramir is a huge dickhead and takes Frodo to GONDOR. In the extendo-DVD, Faramir has a much more in-depth backstory, and so he's a bit more sympathetic about his reasons for taking Frodo to Gondor. Anyway, the new version is as fantastic as you'd expect, and the new scenes (of which there appear to be a ton more than in FOTR) are wonderful and make the film feel truer to the spirit of the book than I'd thought after seeing the original version. We didn't get into any of the special features, but, I mean, the new version is nearly 4 hours long and we were pretty much spent afterwards.

2. Also, finished Dark Tower 5: Wolves of the Calla on Monday. On the whole, very enjoyable, and in the afterward SK acknowledges the obvious debts to Sergio Leone and Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai" (which I'm even more grateful to have finally seen, now). Of course, in the very last pages of the book, he throws in a plot twist so mind-boggling that I have absolutely no idea how he will reconcile. The only thing I can compare it to is one particular path from my absolute favorite Choose Your Own Adventure book, "Hyperspace", where the author (Edward Packard, I believe) enters the story and tells you that you're just a character in the book, but that he also has become a character in the book.
Oh my God. I totally forgot about that CYOA book twist. Now I'm having 4th grade flashbacks.

Apart from the standard CYOA series (the quality of which varied greatly), I liked the Time Machine books a lot. There was also a series called "Tenopia," where you explored an alien world and eventually the whole star system. Awesome stuff... at least, for a 10-year-old kid in the 80s.
There was no worse feeling, to my 10-year-old mind, than picking up a new CYOA book and realizing that it sucked. There was another blatant-CYOA-ripoff series that I remember accidentally checking out and being terribly annoyed with, and I'm sure I've blocked the name of the series on purpose.
every time you say/type "scrumtrillescent" i want to shake your hand, solemnly and respectfully.
I just finished Wolves of the Calla and came back to read your post. I found the ending a bit strange as well, and it will be interesting to see where he goes with this. Maybe we'll get the ultimate in Self-Indulgent Writer Syndrome, and Stephen King himself will be at the top of the Tower. He'll greet the gunslinger and his companions, tell them that it was all a figment of his imagination and that their lives were pointless. It will be like those Looney Tunes cartoons where the artist draws and erases things at will.

Who knows? I'm interested to see what that baby is though.