Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Fun in the Rain in L.A.

Last night, my husband and I braved the rain and headed across the valley to catch a screening of The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank. We left hours early because we knew the traffic would be awful, and it was. A trip we could do in about 20 minutes on a Saturday took us over an hour, but because we left early, we had time to catch a nice dinner at a place called Mo's and got to the studio an hour before the screening started.

These things happen a lot, but I still find it amusing: the security guard went all fan-boy on Len when we gave his name. "Len Wein of Marvel fame?" he asked. I pointed out he had plenty of DC cred as well (a part of Warner Bros.) but the guy was just THRILLED to me the writer of his favorite run on The Hulk, which pleased Len a lot, because it is one of Len's favorite runs on any book (rivaled by his stint on Batman.) It was a pleasant interlude in the evening.

We parked and walked to our building, which I realized was the first building I ever visited at Warner Bros. when I had a meeting with Barry Meyer who later went on to lead the company. Barry had graduated from my law school, so I contacted him when I was looking for a summer clerkship after my first year. He was lovely, the head of legal not so much, so it didn't work out. But I remember wanting to take the huge still from The Adventures of Robin Hood with me when I left. There was one hanging in the entrance last night, which Len said I could not take home. Sniff.

We liked the movie, but it has too many orcs and I don't recall sand worms being a part of the original story. These looked a lot like the ones on my original paperback of Dune. A mistake. Other than that, the material picked up from the appendices of The Lord of the Rings played out well, there was good use of the 3-D material, and I needed the tissues I brought with me. At less than 2.5 hours, it's the shortest of any of the films, all to the good. I look forward to the edit (which will not come from Peter Jackson, I am sure) which turns the three films into one lean 3-hour movie, which is what should have happened in the first place.

The Hobbit Part 3 opens in two weeks. I plan to see it and enjoy popcorn.

And, in a little bit of circular story-telling, we got home last night to find Len's complementary copy of Len Wein's Tales of the Batman had arrived. This hardback collects many of the Batman stories Len wrote which are much beloved of the youngsters who grew up on his work. He's pretty proud of the collection. The book releases on December 24 and will make an excellent Christmas gift for the comic book fan in your life.