Long title, huh?
For the past four years, I’ve indulged in what I can only consider a perfect confluence of nerdity: Watching all three Lord of the Rings movies (extended editions) back-to-back-to-back. I do it on New Year’s Eve (a holiday I’m not super-keen on) at my parents house on Long Island, ensconcing myself into a couch, wrapping myself in a blanket, and girding my fortitude with copious amounts of caffeine.
I pretty much lay it out for you all here.
This year, we got started a bit late, due to a slight weather snafu involving a little too much traffic on the Northern State Parkway. But once we got set up and got rolling–around 2:30 in the afternoon–we were set for the almost 13 hours that constitutes watching the movie and the various (and necessary) breaks).
About a half-hour in, my dad starts snoring.
A few pokes from my mom (and a few verbal jabs from myself) and we were back on track, following the hobbits out of the Shire, seeing the Fellowship form, watching Sean Bean being awesome as Boromir (I won’t lie–I have a huge man-crush on Sean Bean. What? You don’t?), wondering why Legolas is basically Middle-Earth’s version of Wikipedia (hmm, I think we need a bit more exposition about this monster we’re about to face…Legolas?), Andy Serkis doing a vastly underrated job as Gollum (because it’s CGI, and that, apparently, isn’t “real acting”), and basically watching some awesome action wrapped around one of the great stories of our time.
Again, my only complaint about these movies (and I know I’m not the only one–nor the first one), is the way Peter Jackson didn’t know how to end it. Since there wasn’t going to be a Scouring of the Shire, it actually didn’t seem important that they go back to the Shire, and the movie could have easily ended when Aragorn says “You bow to know man,” and all of Gondor bows to the hobbits and the tears fall from my eyes.
Yeah–I cry every time I see that scene.
Or, at the very least, once the boat sails off into the sunset. Not as powerful, perhaps, but still a good place to end it.
Next year, I plan to start taking notes, to ultimately make up a movie guide for these three movies. My other holiday tradition involving movies for the past four years has been writing such guides for bad teen comedies from the late 90s/early Oughts (including Drive Me Crazy, She’s All That, the rarely heard-of Trojan War,, and this year’s Center Stage,) that my friends and I then read while watching the movies (and drinking–can’t forget the drinking) and I figure it’s time to use that creative energy for LOTR–movies that I’d never consider bad, but certainly hold enough material to make adequate MST3K-like fodder. So–I have that to look forward to.
Seriously, though, one of the main reasons I love doing this each New Year’s is, besides getting to hang out with my parents and doing something we all enjoy together, is that there is always something new I notice, always something I had forgotten about in these movies, and these little flashes show how much depth the trilogy actually has.
And also, it’s usually really cold outside, so it’s a good excuse to remain indoors.