It seemed like it was going to be an OK day. Yeah, we had some snow and bitter cold, but the online road reports said the highways were OK. But it didn't warn me about those city streets. Nothing more frightening than being in bumper-to-bumper traffic and your turn's coming up, so you start hitting the breaks and turning the steering wheel, but you don't slow down or turn. But I made it through the city in one piece.
What was so important that I had to brave such city streets? Well, the first weekend in January is the traditional end of the whole Christmas vacation season, so I was hot to spend some gift cards. Movie geek that I am, one of my gift cards was for Cineplex, so I figured it was finally time to see The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.
The Hobbit was pretty good. I have the same general complaint that I have with the entire Hobbit trilogy, and that is, when they expanded a single novel into a trilogy, you can really feel the padding. At 2.5 hours, The Battle of the Five Armies is the shortest of the trilogy, but I was still checking my watch a few times wondering when they'd get one with it. I remember coming out of the theatre after the second film and thinking, "But what's left? Bard the Bowman kills Smaug, we have the Battle of the Five Armies, and that's it!" And that's pretty much what happens in the film. I'm a little miffed that Bard killing Smaug kind of becomes a James Bond-style pre-credits sequence, when it would have made a much better end to the second film, but whatever.
As I'm sure I've blogged before, I love The Hobbit and have read it several times, but have never been able to plow through the incredibly-dense The Lord of the Rings. So when I saw some of the large scale battles in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films, I was always thinking, "Oh, I hope we get to see the Battle of the Five Armies done like this someday." And we did. And it was magnificent.
I give it a solid 3 out of 4. As always, the complete review is over on the main site.
Didn't do much else in the city besides see the movie. I wanted to spend some Christmas cash on a new Otter Box for my iPhone. For those not in the know, an Otter Box is a protective case to keep the phone from getting damaged. Otter Box has the reputation as being the most durable in the world. A co-worker actually ran over his iPhone with his car. The Otter Box was destroyed, but it did its job and the phone was fine.
I must have dropped my iPhone one too many times as my Otter Box was starting to get pretty beat up and most of the little trap doors that cover the headphone jack and such had snapped off. The hope is to save my pennies and when my cellphone contract is up this fall, I'll upgrade my 4S to a shiny new 6. Or, since Apple seems to announce the new iPhones in the fall, maybe by the time my money is saved up and my contract is done, they'll have unleashed the 6B or whatever on the world.
And, of course, one of my gift cards was for Best Buy, so it was time for new Blu-Rays. I picked up the latest movie version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Yeah, the movie sucked, but I love TMNT. As many other critics pointed out, about the only thing they got right in the film was the Turtles themselves. Well, at least their personalities. Still not crazy about their hulking new design.
And that was it. Headed straight home after that. After slip-sliding around one too many street corners in the city, I was thoroughly and completely done. Bring on the new year!