Tag Archives: books

A Digital World

Obviously we live in a digital world. Our books are being bought through our tablets straight to our digital library. Our movies are being bought through Ultraviolet and being placed in a digital collection. Music has almost nearly become all digital through iTunes and Google Play Music. And is it a good thing?

I’ve been extremely torn on my view of the digital world that we’re coming to. When people tell me that they buy their movies online for their digital collections, I ask them, “what about hard copy?” They just tell me that they don’t use them anymore, and that disc cases take up space in the house. Before just recently, I didn’t know much about digital films.

I use Ultraviolet, but I only have two movies on it. Mostly because I’m not into spending a lot of money on films. I usually only buy movies that I saw in theatres, unless I rented it and loved it. But more and more, I’m looking towards digitalizing my film collection. Why? Sometimes I enjoy just sitting down with my Microsoft Surface (I advertised can I get paid now?) and relax with a good film or TV show. I use Hulu for my television, and I haven’t gotten Netflix on my Surface quite yet.  But I do like having a hard copy, not only to solidify my physical ownership of the movie, but to have a safe backup if anything were to happen to that digital library.

Now I did look at the FAQ and Terms of Ultraviolet, and the service is much better than expected. Like they should, they also want to solidify your ownership of the movie, and even will offer you a hard copy of the film you buy online, free of charge, to make sure you have the film on hand. Not only that, but if your provider (say VUDU or Flixster) were to discontinue their services, your files are not affected and another service is likely to offer you the backup for those files. Even if that were to happen, you can download the files onto your mobile device and even download it onto a disc, SD, or USB, to have multiple copies. You can do that at anytime and you are not limited. Why? UV understands that the movie is yours.

Now everyone knows what Ultraviolet is, most movies now are coming with Ultraviolet, unless you buy simply a DVD. But they even let you download that onto your collection for free (depending on what service you have). Ultraviolet is taking digital in the right direction in m opinion. They understand that hard copies are important to many people, and give them free access to do what they want with the file that they bought. They make sure that other services are there to protect you if your service happens to just discontinue its service or shutdown. This is the way digital should be done, and UV is doing it right. Many people like myself were afraid to go digital, for fear of not having true ownership of the content, and for fear of it being lost and irretrievable. I can take multiple precautions to protect my films and TV shows bought through my service (I use Flixster) to make sure I never lose the product I paid money for. As we’re moving into a more digitalized world, I hope that it’s done the way UV is doing it with entertainment. Digital ownership is a tough thing. Streaming is easy, you pay for the service and own nothing. But when you buy something, you want to keep it, and doing that digitally can be a challenging thing. While I think hard copies are still the best way to go, I can trust UV with my content, to make sure that it is always mine.


Rant #1: My Problem With Hobbit Haters

I told you guys that I would be doing a ranting post. And after you read this, you may find out that I love to go on rants. So I thought I’ll number my rants so you know what to expect out of these kinds of posts. I’ll also create a category on the blog also. So. Here. We. Go.

Like I said in my review of The Desolation of Smaug. I really enjoyed the first film as a whole. I thought that the action was placed in the movie very well to keep the movie going, and Peter Jackson did what he could to keep it interesting. The movie was the foray into Bilbo’s journey with the dwarves on their quest to reclaim the Dwarf Kingdom of Erabor from the evil dragon Smaug. In order to get the story right and to help the viewer understand everything that is going on, it was necessary for Peter Jackson to take his time. Wonderful reasoning for dividing the story up into three films.

Did I read the book? You bet I did. And I think that most people who watched the movie did not. Peter Jackson does a good job of sticking to the story he was given, but like any other producer/director he makes changes not only to accommodate the viewer but those who read the book as well. I think too many people went in there (the theater) and expected the movie to be almost exactly like the book. What people don’t realize is that it’s not going to make for a very good movie.

If you read the book (if you haven’t, I highly suggest that you do) you know that there are things that Tolkien did not go in depth with. Of course, we know Gandalf’s ulterior motives in joining the dwarves on their noble quest. Smaug had the potential (and likelihood) of being recruited by the Necromancer (Sauron) in joining his army. If Smaug had been recruited by Sauron, the war of the One Ring would have been a much different story. It would have been less of a war, and more of a slaughter. In the second movie, Jackson actually visualized what went down when Gandalf went to Dol Guldur. Jackson did this so those who did not read the book understand what is going on behind the scenes of this journey.

What I’m reading are complaints from viewers that Jackson took a wonderful book and ran it into the ground. That he’s dragging out the story into three installments for the sake of money. But I have to say that they are completely wrong. The book may not take long to read, but it takes a couple times of rereading it to understand the book in its entirety. This book is the reason for the epic story that is The Lord of the Rings. It’s a very good reason to divvy up the story into three films.

I’m also reading complaints that Jackson has been adding too much. One review I read, from Christopher Orr of The Atlantic, said that The Hobbit was bad fan fiction. Now I don’t care for Christopher Orr, I’ve read other reviews of his and I always feel like he’s missing the point. He seems like that critic that knows it’s a popular movie and wants to write a controversial review.

“Whether through ego, avarice, or unchecked enthusiasm, Jackson has entered deep into the realm of fan fiction. Indeed, having granted himself boundless license to reimagine, he seems to have begun reimagining even his own reimaginings.”

Mr. Orr, you couldn’t be more wrong. In a book, it’s easy to discuss and explain a back story, or make sense of what happened previously. It’s much harder in a film where most people aren’t going to understand. These “reimaginings” of Jackson’s are put there for the viewer to get what else is happening at the same time Thorin is attempting to retake his home.

The Hobbit has everything to do with the LOTR series. Had Bilbo not found the ring and stolen it from Gollum (I’m a believer in Bilbo’s theft of the ring) then everything would have been different. Bilbo may have died in the journey had he not made use of the ring’s cloaking abilities. The ring made use of Bilbo and put him in situations in which he would rely on the ring more and more, all with the goal of getting back to its master…Sauron.

You can hate on Jackson’s work all you want. I cannot stop you. It’s your opinion and you’re welcome to have it. But I just believe that if one is going to complain about the length Jackson has made these films, you should understand the purpose for doing so. And Christopher Orr calling it “bad fan fiction” is far from the truth. Jackson had the license to do what he wanted with story, and he could have thrown in lightsabers if he wanted to, but Jackson added in things that he believed would give the film’s viewers a back story that would only have been offered by the book had he not included the scenes.

So thank you guys for reading my first rant on this blog. There are plenty more to come, and if you liked it, I’d like to know what you liked about it and if you would enjoy more. Also, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter (it’s on the left sidebar of the blog) and be sure to add me to your Google+ circles, I add back! Thank you again for reading.

Why I Love The Classics

Yay! We made a milestone. Today is the first true post. I won’t be posting everyday because that makes my blog feel like a chore rather than a fun hobby. However, I will make sure to post often. Any who, here we go…

When I think of something that I’d like to read, it’s hard for me to think of a modern novel. I don’t know what it is, but I could never really get into a modern novel. Maybe I just haven’t tried hard enough, but why try to get into something that I don’t believe I’m going to enjoy? There’s just something about the classical novels that get my attention more than anything else.

Modern novels lack that clinching first line. They lack the amazing character development offered to you by Dickens, Mark Twain, Tolkien, and numerous other classical authors. Too many modernists focus on action, and using war as a constantly used topic. Classics offer a plot that is almost always original, giving you characters that you fall in love with, and a story that you know you’re going to want to read over and over because you know that the more you read, the more you will understand. Now, of course, I may be wrong. Feel free to point that out at any time. But hear me out, that the classics will always outdo modern novels in every single way.

I have read modern literature, however. Perhaps one of my favorites is Neil Gaiman’s Graveyard Book. The book to me is a modern classic. I could talk about that book all day because the writing is simply superb. I haven’t read much by Neil Gaiman except that book, but because I was able to read one of his more spectacular works, I’d be open to reading more by him. I also read a book called Cracker which is a book about a dog that has to go in Vietnam after her family can no longer care for her because they had to move to a place that doesn’t accept dogs. Cracker then goes to a training camp and is paired up with a young man who wants to get away from the family business. I loved that book as well. But many books that I’ve tried to read have not done it for me. I did not enjoy reading Harry Potter, in fact, I never finished the first book because I got bored with it. I’m open to trying Game of Thrones again, but I’m not sure I’ll get into it.

I love the classics because you can read them more than once and you just know you’ll love it every single time. I can read The Pickwick Papers and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn along with The Hobbit any day. I’ve read those books more than 3 times each, and I’ll read them again and again because the book has a timeless story. I look at today’s authors and they pump out book after book. Look at James Patterson. He has numerous amounts of books that he has written, and he has made millions of dollars off of those novels, but to me, that amount of writing makes the novel he writes less special. I don’t feel like Patterson is giving each book his all. Same with Stephen King (however I do enjoy reading some of his stuff), Jodi Picoult, among other modern authors.

The continuous pumping out story after story gets to a point where I not only can’t keep up, but the story doesn’t feel special. I know that when I’m reading a classic, the book is special. There’s always a little bit of author put into it. I can understand Charles Dickens without reading a biography just by reading his novels and essays. If I was an author, I’d put not only my heart and soul into the book, but I’d make sure that it will top any other book I have written. I’d try to perfect my writing, not just go with the flow.

Simply, that’s why the classics to me will always be the best. And I hope you guys enjoyed this post, seeing as it is the first among many more that I wish to share. If you liked the post, please hit the “like” button, and if you think that you’ll enjoy this blog just by reading this post, please hit the “follow” button. It all means a lot to me. Thank you.