Tag Archives: lotr

Returning to Middle Earth: Getting Stoked for The Hobbit

2 Dec

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is coming out here in the states in twelve days. This is a cause for much joyous celebration, obviously, as it’s been nine years since we last got a Tolkien film directed by one Mr. Peter Jackson. The fans all seem to be excited for this film. I should know, as I am one of them.

As a teenager, the Lord of the Rings series were a big part of my life. When I say that, I’m not talking about the books. I mean the movies. I’m ashamed to admit I still haven’t read the book series in its entirety (though, to be fair, I haven’t attempted since I was fourteen, so I assume I would be able to get through the books if I were to try now. It’s not my fault I could never make it passed Bree. Blame Tom fucking Bombadil and his boring ass chapters. I don’t care if he’s supposed to symbolize God or Satan or Christ or whatever theory you abide by, that doesn’t excuse the fact that he’s a sucky character). I did read The Hobbit in middle school though and then twice more in high school, and oh how I loved it.

https://i2.wp.com/ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61GvwuyTa4L._SL500_AA300_.jpgBut the films are what became an important part of my youth. I wasn’t allowed to see Fellowship in theaters, because my parents deemed it “too scary” for an eleven year old. I suppose that was a reasonable worry, but at the time this left me feeling upset with them. All my friends had seen it in theaters (and by that I mean my four closest gal pals), and they would talk about who they were in love with and who their favorite character was, while I just sat there not understanding the concept of a Ringwrath no matter how many times they tried to explain it to me. Finally, the film came out on DVD. My parents sat my brother and myself down to watch it with them, prepping us for Orcs and Ringwraths and anything that might scare us. During the entire film there was only one part that truly freaked me out: that scene where Bilbo’s eyes bug out and he looks like he’s about to eat Frodo’s soul. Fucking creepy, man.

Look, it's seventeen year old me with my Frodo cardboard cutout and we're both wearing pirates hat! Because NERD.

Look, it’s seventeen year old me with my Frodo cardboard cutout and we’re both wearing pirates hat! Because NERD.

It was all uphill after that. I saw the second and third films in theaters (each three times), I convinced my mom to buy me the Frodo life size cardboard cutout from the local comic book store (which, to this day, I still have), I began writing (shitty) Lord of the Rings fan fiction, I claimed Frodo as the love of my life, I went as Galadriel for Halloween in the seventh grade, my friends and I attempted to make our own Lord of the Rings movie (pretty sure we got as far as the three elves in the prologue), and I broke the One Ring off of the bookmark my dad gave me so I could wear it everywhere I went. Yeah, Lord of the Rings was kind of a big deal for me (though it still comes in second for middle school obsessions, right after Newsies). Not to mention my senior quote in the yearbook was “Home is behind, the world ahead and there are many paths to tred.”

As I’ve aged, the Lord of the Rings films have remained a sacred thing to me. I do an annual Lord of the Rings marathon once a year, where I’ll hole up in the sanctuary of my bedroom and watch all eleven hours of the uncut DVDs in a row. The first time I did my marathon back during freshman year I invited other people to watch with me, but I quickly wised up after that, seeing as no one would shut up and I had to keep telling everyone to be quiet. Normally I don’t mind silly banter while watching movies, but for Lord of the Rings it’s different. I hate to say it, and I don’t mean to offend anyone, but watching those films is just about the closest thing I have to a religious experience nowadays. It’s ridiculous how much I’m not exaggerating right now.

Look! It’s John Watson! … I mean Arthur Dent… or… that pornography stand in from Love Actually… uh… the police chief from Hot Fuzz… um… shit, I’m sorry, who is Martin Freeman playing again?

It should come as no surprise that when I found out Peter Jackson had finally gotten the rights to make The Hobbit a reality, I was ECSTATIC. I remember finding out that Martin Freeman had been cast as Bilbo while I was at work, and literally jumping out of my chair in order to repeatedly fist pump the air. I also remember sitting in the car with my father around Christmas time last year when the first ever Hobbit trailer was released. I made him shut off the music so I could watch the trailer on my measly iPhone and, by the end, I was in tears (I also seem to recall my dad telling me I was weird, but whatever). Needless to say, I’ve been waiting a long time for these films to be made and I have a lot of feelings about them.

So it’s weird that for the last couple months my excitement for this film has been, shall we say, pretty non-existent. Despite doing a Lord of the Rings marathon only three months ago, I just really wasn’t feeling the enthrall of it all. Of course I still intended on seeing the film, but I clearly remember a week or two ago thinking to myself, “Well, I’ll just see it a day or two after it comes out. I can wait. No big deal.” If twelve year old me had a TARDIS you bet your sweet bippy that she’d travel into the future to slap two-weeks-ago-me in the fucking face for being such a terrible fan.

I think, for the most part, I can chalk up my lack of enthusiasm to this rough term. Not that the term’s been rough because of school (though I have a hell of a bad case of Senioritis, and I fear the disease is growing steadily worse), just the mood I’ve been in. I’ve touched on before on this blog, but I’ve been going through a bit of a depression and I’ve been having one major existential crisis. I’ve been drained of any drive whatsoever as of late, and it’s really sucked. A lot. Though, recently, I seem to be getting better, or at least my thoughts aren’t as dismal as they were several weeks ago. So… yay?

But then something wonderful happened. This last Tuesday I wrote up an article for Buzz Patrol about the world premiere of The Hobbit over in New Zealand. Writing this article led to me looking at many pictures and videos of the premiere, as well as stumbling across this Hobbit parody video (I’m sure Rachel has wondered by now why the song “Shots” has been playing on repeat in my bedroom for the last four days straight. Whoops). Before I knew it, I was posting a Facebook status asking Portland friends to go see the midnight premiere with me, and within a couple hours Valerie and I had teamed up to head a Hobbit viewing party/sleepover.

This whole getting excited for The Hobbit totally has nothing to do with this sudden attraction to Bofur. What? Who said that? Not me. Shut up.

This whole getting excited for The Hobbit thing totally has nothing to do with this sudden attraction to Bofur. What? Who said that? Not me. Shut up.

And now, suddenly, I’m super excited. I’m reminded how much I love the Tolkien franchise in general and Jackson’s films. I’ve remembered how awesome it is to be a fan and get excited over new shit being released. Hell, I already have a favorite dwarf picked out from promotional pictures alone (hint: it’s Bofur).

Then today, for one reason or another, I decided to start rereading The Hobbit. A tumblr friend just finished going through the book for the first time, and I’m pretty sure all of her entries about reading it were what persuaded me to start it up as well. I had sort of resigned to the fact that I wasn’t going to pick up the book until after I see Unexpected Journey, but this morning I grabbed my annotated copy of the book and hauled ass to work. I’m normally a slow reader, so a part of me was worried I wouldn’t be able to get through all of it before Wednesday evening, but seeing as I’m already four chapters in I don’t think I have anything to worry about.

As I was reading The Hobbit in my freezing cold office, grateful that Sunday mornings at the motel are always non-eventful, I started to cry.

I’m so fucking thankful that Peter Jackson’s directing this second trilogy. A while back Guillermo del Toro was set up to direct these films, and while I love del Toro’s work (especially Pan’s Labyrinth), I was saddened to think that the entire feeling of the films would be different than the first trilogy… but that changed. Thank goodness that it changed. We get Jackson again. We get to return to the world of Middle Earth; the same world Jackson established over ten years ago. It’s the same Shire, the same landscape, the same style of costumes and weapons, the same actors returning to reprise roles, and it’s just so fucking wonderful. I’m invigorated with the knowledge that I get to go back to that feeling I had when I was twelve years old and sat down to watch The Fellowship of the Ring for the first time, and so thankful that I get to experience it all over again three more times.

I can’t hardly wait for the fourteenth.

https://i2.wp.com/static.moviefanatic.com/images/gallery/martin-freeman-stars-as-bilbo-baggins-in-the-hobbit_500x333.jpg

fan girl till the day I die.

21 Aug

I can watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy a million and one times, but even so nothing gets my heart pumping like the battle of Helms Deep or my eyes teary like Sam’s speech. These are, to me, the most well made movies that have ever been. Someday I’ll read the books, and I’m sure I’ll love them, but these movies… These movies have been there for me since I was eleven. They were there for me the hardest year of my life. They are beautiful and wonderful.