OBJECTIVE: Watch The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring once per every week of 2014.

WHEN: March 15, 2014, 1:11 pm. (Week 11, Mar 9-15.)

WHERE: In the living room of my apartment in Portland, ME.

FORMAT: Blu-ray on a Vizio 32″ LED HDTV.

COMPANY: None.

PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STATE: Getting back into the Fellowship groove after finally watching The Two Towers and The Return of the King.

Well, I’ve just gotten around to seeing the second and third installments of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. How does that taint my perception of The Fellowship of the Ring? Hmm, I’d better rewatch it. Seeing as how that’s… what I do. So, here’s a well-structured and intelligent article on–nah, seriously, these long-ass movies burnt me out. Speed run.

Why is there a gigantic fart shockwave every time Sauron dies? Is that his soul? Is he doing something to his enemies? Or was Peter Jackson just really jealous of the Deathstar?

“Pull my fing–wait, it’s been cut off.”

I still enjoy the Shire, even if it’s one of the locations of the five million endings. I especially appreciate that there’s no Brad Dourif or that guy from Fringe for me to not give a shit about.

Ah, the part of the series with a manageable amount of characters.

I’ve previously expressed a desire to see Merry and Pippin stop being such wacky fuck-ups, and I’m disappointed that they do little more than stab a couple guys by the end. I was hoping at least one of them would turn into the Hobbit version of Conan the Barbarian, covered in Orc skulls, but alas, they really are just pains in the ass. Big surprise, eh, Gandalf, that the two knuckleknobs that fucked up your fireworks show fucked up your everything else?

Definitely don’t leave these two behind at Rivendell.

I’m glad Sam ends up with Rosie, especially because her character was so likable and well-written in Fellowship.

“I wanna be a nerd trophy!”

Every time I see the Ring now, I mentally cut to it melting in the lava and think, “Please hurry up and get rid of that thing.”

DUDE. Get going.

Boy, Saruman sure went on to do… some stuff.

“Hey, where’s my invitation to the Return of the King premiere?”

Now I’m constantly trying to pay attention to which Ringwraith eventually gets his Bad Guy Hat and becomes the Witch-king of Villain Legitimacy. How do the other Ringwraiths feel about his promotion, I wonder? At least let them express their individuality.

“Boss says we gotta follow the dress code.”

Oh, I’m also very pissed that none of this builds up to a new and improved Sauron. He just stays a big fucking useless eyeball the whole time. Now I can’t look forward to the Transformer made of swords that I assumed Sauron would turn into by the third act of The Return of the King.

At least build a cart you can wheel the guy around on.

Now I know that you can’t get in touch with an eagle unless you go through a moth first. I’m guessing this is a “know a guy who knows a guy” scenario.

“I was never here.”

I have always hated Arwen’s little “bind myself to you” plotline with Aragorn, but I was pretty impressed to see that Éowyn kinda moves in on her man and makes the whole “giving up your Elvish immortality for some cock” scenario more realistic. But, just when I was about to praise this as a legitimate satire of the institution of marriage, farrrt, Aragorn stays faithful. So I still hate this scene.

Monogamy: come for the STI-free sex, stay for the emotional guilt!

“The very air you breathe is a poisonous fume.” Yeah, was it? Did a single person choke and drop dead in Mordor? If so, I missed it.

You fucking liar.

Okay, Gandalf’s constant hurling of insults at Pippin really pisses me off now that I know the little bastard saves his life. What sort of working relationship is that? “Hey, shit-for-brains, fuck you.” “Golly gee, I’d better prove myself to such a nice guy!”

Fuckstick of a Took.

The cave troll is the closest Fellowship gets to the enormity of the battles in the films that follow it. But still, it’s one troll. In a small space. In the dark. It may be a highlight of this movie, but it’s boring by comparison.

Eh, it’s no giant elephant.

Any dignity Gandalf’s death had fell into the pit with him.

“You guys can’t see it, but I am hilariously kicking this thing’s ass!”

Hey, wait a minute, everybody’s always told me The Fellowship of the Ring is the weakest film of the LOTR trilogy. Now I can finally agree or disagree!

THE WEAKEST FILM OF THE LOTR TRILOGY:
I mentioned previously that I have a bro-ish love of the LOTR sequels, so if I’m approaching them like a battle-hungry bro, sure, Fellowship is weak. Or, um, weak sauce, dude, I think, is how one should say that. The combat scenes are grander in scope in The Two Towers and The Return of the King, but that also means that there’s more CGI and less of a focus on the actions of characters that we care about. When Legolas pulls off that stab/shoot arrow combo that I love in Fellowship, it feels more real than him Flintstoning his way down a cartoon pachyderm’s trunk.

Fuck yeah!

Fuck… yeah.

I also appreciate that the first movie centers around a small group of travelers with minimal cutting from location to location, whereas the sequels are quite literally all over the map. Granted, this can make Fellowship seem more yawnworthy when we’re always looking at the same stuff, but it’s an adventure that flows well and remains focused on its characters.

When they’re not too far away to see by helicopter, that is.

So, I think Fellowship is structurally tighter, but also smaller in scope, which, when coupled with its running time and pacing, bores the absolute shit out of me. Still, all the sequels really have going for them in the Bill Isn’t Asleep Right Now department are bigger battle scenes; also, most of the walking happens in the first one, and walking sucks. All three films I find too bloated with uninteresting characters and plot points, and I don’t enjoy any one film as a whole, but if you twisted my arm to pick a favorite, I choose The Two Towers solely because it has Helm’s Deep and Ents fucking shit up. After that, I like some pretty awesome chunks of The Return of the King, but I prefer The Fellowship of the Ring as a complete film.

Wow. I really put the Best Picture winner in last place. Hmm.

ONE THING THAT WOULD HAVE IMPROVED THE MOVIE:
More Ents and Heffalumps, please.

Ooh, and Gandalf has to fight ‘em with fireworks. I SHOULD MAKE MOVIES.