Hi. I’m in an experiment. No big deal. I just watched Top Gun (it’s okay) 52 times in 2012, Back to the Future (love it) 52 times in 2013, and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (hate it) 52 times in 2014. We all do stuff like this. Anyway, here’s how that affected me in December 2014, the last month of a three-year experiment, movie by movie.

On December 3rd, I overheard my boss say, “That’s logoless, right?” (As in, lacking a logo.) After hearing “logoless” a couple more times without any context, I thought he was talking about Legolas and just pronouncing it weirdly.

Logoless, with his friends Boron Ear and Jim Lee.

On December 13th, I finally finished reading The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, which I started back in November. Again, I mostly just wanted to finish what I started. I had already bought the book and knew if I didn’t read it this year, I would probably run out of steam. It was pretty boring, but had a few interesting moments. As much as everyone complains about how the movie takes forever to end, I really wish they’d kept in the part where the Hobbits get back to the Shire and some shady fucker named Sharkey has taken over. It went on a bit too long, but the reveal was awesome.

Is Sharkey a literal shark? You’ll have to read it to find out!

To piggyback off of my reluctant completion of the book, it should be noted that I purchased Lego The Lord of the Rings off of Steam several months ago and have yet to play it. It was on sale, five bucks, and I figured it might get me through the boredom of watching Fellowship every week. But now that the experiment is over, I may never crack it open. Even if Tom Bombadil is supposedly in it.

After three adaptations have failed me, finally, the sweet Tom I crave!

On December 25th, I watched Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl for no reason other than I wanted to, but it suddenly seemed very fitting to put Orlando Bloom back in his place in my mind as Will Turner. See, everybody knows everybody from Lord of the Rings as Lord of the Rings guys, but not me, because I was never a fan. So Sean Bean is Alec Trevelyan, Ian McKellen is Magneto, Elijah Wood is the kid from Radio Flyer… I think of their Middle-earth roles as fourth or fifth on their list of career highlights. And Orlando Bloom is now forever Will Turner again.

Yeah, this here’s my Bloom. You never forget your first.

Also, that night I had a dream about Orlando Bloom. I’m not obsessed with the guy, honest. Anyway, I dreamed I was in New Zealand as part of a game show or reality show or something where LOTR fans competed in outdoorsy physical challenges with cast members (archery, hatchet-throwing, shit like that). Orlando was on a team with Evangeline Lilly and he was pointing out to the producers that they shouldn’t be together because the other team will get mad that they don’t have any Elves. The only other cast member in the dream was Sean Astin, doofin’ around in the background.

What’s that? One last excuse to use this doofy picture? You got it.

Hey, remember when I watched Back to the Future on Flux Capacitor Day and couldn’t really get into it? I think I was just having an off day, because I watched it again this month as part of my Cinema 52 final viewing send-off and I had a real good time. It’s a fun flick, you guys. I’ve been going through a lot lately outside of the experiment and I’m thinking I was just really frazzled in November. Sorry, I can’t science it more than that.

Apologies, Doc.

Speaking of enjoying movies that used to feel like a hacksaw to the skull from overexposure, I also watched Top Gun before my last Fellowship viewing, and I thought it was pretty alright. Fun, even. I didn’t take any notes. I just watched. And it’s a simple but entertaining film, one that hasn’t felt that way for me since 2011.

My opinion, like Maverick, was inverted.