HoLOTR Marathon Part 1

June 13, 2022 at 3:04 pm (Uncategorized)

It’s 5:40pm on Sunday 12 June, and I have decided it is time to finally do the full extended Hobbit + extended Lord of The Ring marathon that all true Middle Earth movie nerds dream of.

Choosing the right food and snacks is of course vital for any major quest.

I have made a sandwich with fresh avo, freshly-squeezed lemon, freshly-grated carrot, a sweet potato & pumpkin patty, beetroot hommus, and Asian mayo.

And so it begins.

Naturally, I’ll be live-blogging the whole thing (and probably debriefing from the ZamZam Foundation’s Australian Launch & Fundraiser at the same time).

Here goes…

An opening voiceover. Very out of fashion these days, but the best path for true epics like LOTR (or Star Wars). And there are cozy visuals of Bilbo’s home quickly followed by the epic wealth of Erebor, showing off very respectable special effects.

Everyone hates the Hobbit series, and the extended commentary has been described as being Peter Jackson’s 9-hour apology…. but this is NOT a bad film. Many many pieces of genius are sprinkled through it.

And yes, it doesn’t compare to LOTR. But it is worth extending the famous 9-hour movie marathon to 18 hours. And I mean that as someone who literally gets injured from sitting in a chair too long (for a while it would take me days to recover from watching a single movie—I’m a million times better now, but will still need to be careful and do stretches and walk around. Stop laughing).

I’m very much looking forward to Martin Freeman’s perfect Bilbo, and the singing.

Not looking forward to the Goblin King. Ew.

Or the romance. Double ew.

Or that drama-class improv scene of the king going mad.

Aww! Itty bity baby Bilbo! I’d forgotten that beautiful few seconds. Love it.

And it seems I STILL have a crush on Elijah Wood. (To be fair, he seems a decent sort, and the first season of “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency”, while unrelated to the books, was truly fantastic. Among other works.)

The Britishness of the “Good Morning” scene, and the later callback from uh… Dwalin I think it is… amazing writing.

The look on Bilbo’s face as he’s juuuust settled down to a perfect meal and there’s a ring at the doorbell… yes, that is absolutely how I feel right now. Better not ask me to face humanity just yet, if you know what’s good for you.

And here we are in the “meet all the dwarves and remember what you can” scene, that famously traumatised Sir Ian McKellan, who was in a different set very careful dancing around a tennis ball. And yet his every moment is brilliant.

Is… Gandalf evil for pushing Bilbo into this? Bilbo very much is, as the dwarves put it “gentle folk”, and somewhat likely to be killed.

I suppose it’s Gandalf’s gift to see the warrior in the grown-up child.

Ah, that moment when Bilbo realises he didn’t pack a pocket handkerchief! That brings home that Bilbo is extraordinarily unprepared for all of this.

New Zealand is gorgeous, isn’t it!

Ah poop. We’ve had a fat joke and a gay joke, and we’re still on disc 1.

On the other hand, I love seeing the dwarves and elves together. Culture clash stuff fascinates me (you can see Gandalf actually respects the elves and they respect him, but the elves and dwarves will take some more work). I love seeing enemies working through their misunderstandings.

I am not convinced that having an open-air library behind a waterfall is a good idea. Or is this just the ‘unwelcome guests waiting room’? Super impressive, super uncomfortable.

End of disc 1!

Galadriel asks, “Why the halfling?”, as she well should. Gandalf says that he felt Bilbo was important because he has the strength of kindness and goodness, that is so often considered unimportant next to warrior-type skills.

“And… because I am afraid.”

I wonder if it’s the fear of corruption that makes him bring Bilbo.

The cats are watching “Goblin Town”. Girls, you picked the absolute worst part of the trilogy. I’m actually glad it’s happening now, because I wasn’t sure which movie this segment was in. Now I can get it over relatively quickly instead of dreading it for many hours.

Gollum, Bilbo, and riddles. A perfect scene.

The battle in Goblin Town is… really really good. I typically get bored in action scenes, and I’m so grossed out I can hardly bear to look at the goblin king… but this 3-D fight/chase scene is brilliant, kinetic, and loaded with clever Macgyver-ing.

There are lots of very immature jokes in here (another fat joke at Rivendell), reminding me that it was a kids’ story. I don’t know HOW, with such a bummer ending. But in the book the ending is a paragraph or two so it doesn’t feel nearly as bad.

I love that Gandalf is constantly losing track of all the dwarves, just like the rest of us.

Bye-bye eagles, thanks for the lift and for passive-aggressively leaving us on a ridiculously steep crag surrounded by impenetrable forest! We won’t ask YOU for another favour in a hurry (like, for example, carrying a wee gold ring to a volcano).

For a trilogy, this movie ends VERY well. The contempt for Bilbo is sorted (both from inside him and from outside), the company is working well together and has survived several battles—and we get that first glorious look at the dragon.

9 Comments

  1. benoitsmithfr said,

    While I still have some appreciation for the “LOTR” trilogy, there are some issues I find pretty hard to brush off, such as the somewhat demeaning treatment given to Gimli, son of Glóin. At that time, Jackson and his screenwriting team seemingly chose to put aside the dignity of the descendant of Durin and make him fodder for cheap jokes. I guess the “Hobbit” trilogy was partly inspired to make amends for that…

    • Nigel said,

      Hmm… Given the rollercoaster tone of The Hobbit films, with both The Unexpected Hotness Of Thorin Oakenshield and Yet More Stupid Attempts At Comic Relief, I really don’t think the Dwarves are served any better in these three than the LOTR ones.

      The children of Aulë deserve *much* better than they got in any movie. The Dwarves know how to handle dragons, and it isn’t by massing at a gate waiting for it to be blown in, or slapstick comedy.

  2. Felicity Banks said,

    One of my friends pointed out that when Legolas, Aragorn, and Gimli enter the haunted mountain in LOTR 3, Gimli is by far the bravest as he’s literally the only one who can actually die there. Yes, he was treated badly.

  3. HoLOTR Marathon Part 2 | Felicity Banks said,

    […] Part 1 […]

  4. HoLOTR Marathon Part 3 | Felicity Banks said,

    […] Part 1 […]

  5. HoLOTR Marathon Part 4 | Felicity Banks said,

    […] Hobbit trilogy: Part 1, Part 2, Part […]

  6. HoLOTR Marathon Part 5 | Felicity Banks said,

    […] Trilogy Part 1 Part 2 Part […]

  7. HoLOTR Marathon Part 6 | Felicity Banks said,

    […] Trilogy: Part 1 Part 2 Part […]

Leave a Reply to Nigel Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: