My Journey with Bilbo & Company
There are many movies I need to blog about including “Guardians of the Galaxy” but we’re just going to concentrate on this one today.
First off, for those of you who don’t know…I have never read a Tolkien story. I have 2 full copies of “Lord of the Rings” but they are unloved except by my husband who did read these books as a kid and, much to his credit, read them to me for a while as we lay in bed at night. I never grew out of falling asleep while someone was reading a story so…. Back in the Dark Ages (late 70s to mid 80s) these books were all the rage and I TRIED to read them. I really did. Mostly because everyone I knew told me how much I (especially!) would LOVE them. These friends had posters and art work dedicated to LOTR on their walls and dressers. I would look at them be captivated and then make the mistake of asking; “Who’s that?” I think I asked that question like three times before I learned to recognize the style of the works and just assume it was LOTR related. My friends would look at me say; “That’s GANDALF!” or “That’s BILBO!” Inevitably ask; “Haven’t you read “Lord of the Rings”? I’d just say; “No.”
I wouldn’t tell them that I TRIED to read “The Hobbit” but it gave me such a headache I had to put it down. Elves and Dwarves and Wizards…WTF? By then my preferred reading material was molding itself into my preferred writing style and consisted of Stephen King, Harold Robins, VC Andrews, Jacqueline Susan, Judith Rossner and many other Literary Greats. At that younger age I sort of felt like I was being asked to trade in all of that for…Middle Earth? Where the hell IS that exactly?
Then a movie came out. They loved it. More artwork. More posters. More little doo-dads. More people telling me how I (especially!) would LOVE this. So I watched it. All of it. Beginning to end and wondered what the fuck my friends were on that they found this cartoon-over-live-action crap entertaining.
I gave up. I kept my friends but whenever they talked about it I’d tune out and smile at appropriate places.
Skip ahead a few years and a game called Dungeons & Dragons came out. I didn’t understand this game but I watched people play it and they were having fun. It sounded cool as I listen to them battle dragons and orcs. I even tried it once or twice and found it fun but it kept going and going and going.
Skip ahead another few years and I’m married with my first child, hello Miss Nicole! A game called “Final Fantasy” came out. Oh! Hubby and I played and played and played into the wee hours of the morning. We wandered through dungeons, fought monsters, went off on quests, got treasure…died several times, of course…and did it all over again. So began my long love affair with Dungeons & Dragons on SNES (yes, Super Nintendo…shut up.) Generally speaking, my favorite character to play is a Chaotic-Neutral Elf/Mage. Over the years we played so many of those games I’m not going to list them for you because we’d be here all day.
In 2001 a little movie called “Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring” came out and I went; “Oh shit!”
I knew hubby would want to see it and when I found out how long it was I went; “Oh, double shit!”
But I love him and when you’re married and in love you do things for the other person to make them happy. So went to the movie. I did not get a headache and I was not bored or frustrated. Like Shakespeare, LOTR was a lot easier for me to understand and get into being able to SEE it and not having to conjured the images of elves, dwarves, orcs, wizards, ents, continually inside my head. By the end of the movie I was a little miffed and had thousands of questions. Hubby laughed and said I’d just have to wait for the next movie.
So I did with much anticipation. The same for the next and the next and the next. As we progressed, I realized that I’d be living, at least part time, in a Tolkien world obviously he’s the Grandfather of Dungeons & Dragons and all of the video games that came after it. Being able to make that connection made me appreciate the movies all the more. I came to understand that those long-ago friends were quite correct, I did love it, I just didn’t love READING it. Yes, we’ve gone to every Opening Weekend. Yes, we’ve bought every ‘regular edition’ and ‘extended edition’ on DVD/Blu-Ray. Yes, we’ve watched them over and over and over until I can recite almost all of the lines in all of the films.
So, you can imagine that for us and (especially!) for someone like me, this weekend was much anticipated. We made plans to go to “The Battle of the Five Armies” months ago. We went on Friday and…they were sold out. I felt so bad for hubby! I knew how much he wanted to see it so when we got home I purchased tickets online for last night. That was a good thing because they were almost sold out then. My theater has a new thing…Luxury Seating.
Yes, recliners that totally recline, real arm rests, and a little table. Oh! It’s WONDERFUL! The only thing that could make it better is if they gave you a little order pad and they brought you stuff during the movie🙂
We settled in very comfortably and even sat through all of the previews without caring. I can see we’ll be going to the movies more often.
There may be some SPOILERS coming…not sure but if you haven’t seen it yet maybe you want to stop reading now.
I’ve been advised there are several things ‘wrong’ with “The Hobbit” movies, mainly they don’t follow the books. The She-Elf doesn’t exist, Legolas isn’t in it, the barrel ride down the river is wrong (most people won’t shut up about that part) and so on and so on. Ok, the barrel scene was a little long and overdone, I’ll grant that. I like the She-Elf even if she was brought in to ‘appease the female audience’.
Lights dim…movie starts…
The ending of “The Desolation of Smaug” SUCKED! It was the most nail biting cliff hangar of all of the movies. I have to tell you that I LOVE Smaug. Whoever the team is that worked on that dragon should get a HUGE bonus. They did an awesome job and Cumberbatch did the voice so well. I was sad when he died. Don’t laugh. I was. The way he’s dispatched is pretty cool. I still don’t understand why anyone lived in Lake Town to begin with, what idiot builds a town in the middle of a freaking lake? Oh well. Maybe some day that will be revealed to me.
We’re off to the battle for the mountain and Thorin goes bonkers. I wish they’d done more with the curse on the gold but I guess the lesson is; Greed Ain’t So Good. Especially that kind of greed! That’s one hell of a Treasure Room although it still probably pales in comparison to the one the WalMart Heirs are nesting in. Anyway, nobody likes anybody and somewhere around 5,000 people are going to storm 13 lonely dwarves which seemed a bit unfair to me. Then, of course, the orcs come and everybody fights them and blah blah blah until we reach a not-so-happy ending.
I was pissed! I walked out of that flick with more questions than answers and feeling totally let down! Hubby tried to tell me to remember it wasn’t ‘the end’ of the story but really the beginning. The Happily Ever After is still 3 movies down the road.
I still cry foul! Foul! I understand killing off major characters and beloved characters but one only tends to do it to further a story or bring closure. These seem to be have been done for shits and giggles with the possible exception of Thorin’s death. I actually posted on FB for people who’d both read the story and seen the movie to verify the ending. They said ‘yes, those three died’.
I so wanted the She-Elf and Keeli to go off into the sunset. That was very disturbing and totally unappreciated.
Who the hell is going to be King Under the Mountain now the Royal Bloodline is dead? WTF?
I would have liked to have known more about Bard. I don’t really like that actor but I ended up loving him in this part. What about the Elf-King…little dick. Although, the actor is awesome in the part and in “Guardians of the Galaxy”…still…dick. Someone should have slapped him silly.
The Battle for Helms Deep will always be the best battle scene out of the six movies. The Battle for the Mountain kind of lacks I’d actually place it last out of all of the battle scenes in all of the movies. It came off as overly CG and uninspired.
Anyway, as we all know, Bilbo makes it ‘There and Back Again’ along with Gandalf but I would have liked to have seen some of the journey home.
Don’t get me wrong, I am very glad that I followed Peter Jackson ‘one last time’ and that I saw the entire thing. I guess I’m just an old softy at heart. Not every single book of mine might bring the reader a happy ending but at least there’s satisfaction and here there was none. If Mr. Jackson was going to deviate from the original story so much anyway and bring me the She-Elf the least he could have done was given our unlikely couple a chance at happiness. Just a chance. Just a sliver of hope, that’s all. Instead, it falls flat at the very end and that’s a shame. After all of that work that really is a shame.
While it won’t bring me satisfaction I am hoping the ‘extended edition’ answers a lot of my questions. A lot!