WHEN: January 4, 2014, 5:18 am. (Week 1, Jan 1-4.)
WHERE: In the living room of my apartment in Portland, ME.
FORMAT: DVD on a Vizio 32″ LED HDTV.
COMPANY: Cinemanaut Becca from an hour and 16 minutes onward.
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STATE: Eating rotini. Hoping a first-thing-in-the-morning viewing will fend off the boredom-induced sleepiness. Just finished watching the Fellowship trailer on iTunes.
WHAT THE TRAILER GETS RIGHT:
Something interesting happened as I was reluctantly downloading The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring to my phone. The iTunes page for the film also contained a link for the trailer, so I started to watch it out of curiosity, since I’d last seen (and thoroughly disliked) the movie when it was first available on home video. To my surprise… the trailer got me pretty pumped.
If you’re not familiar with the premise of our site, I’m supposed to be watching a movie I hate 52 times, and I picked Fellowship because I remembered being literally bored to sleep by it. And yet, this trailer did its job… it made me excited to watch the film it was advertising. Had my taste in movies changed? Or were the people that cut this promotion just really good at lying to me? I decided to watch it in its entirety right before my first Fellowship viewing, and I must admit, the film’s cinematography is breathtaking and it’s shown off very effectively in the ad.
Still, as the beautiful imagery of the trailer rolled on, there weren’t very many scenes that got me fired up. I made a short list of actual plot points that I couldn’t wait to see in the full movie. Here are all six of them.
1) A village on fire.
Holy shit, who did this to these poor families?
2) A hairy guy talking about his axe.
Holy shit, why is this burly rapscallion so poorly lit?
3) A big troll with a club.
Holy shit… a troll!
4) Scary tentacles.
Holy shit, how will they defeat this thing?
5) Badass Liv Tyler saying a badass line.
Holy shit, in what ways does she continue being badass?
6) Some huge lava monster thing?
Once again, holy shit, how will they defeat this thing?
WHAT THE MOVIE GETS WRONG:
Sweet fuck, is there a lot of padding between these six somewhat interesting moments. How boring does the movie dare to be? Here, enjoy a scene where Gandalf goes to the library. Oh, wait, excuse me, Gandalf goes to the library to look up information that the audience already knows.
Brace yourselves for this cinematic thrill ride!
Hell, take one of the scenes I listed from the trailer. Remember the scary octopus monster? You know what happens right before it attacks? They all just sit in front of a magic door, stumped by the easiest goddamn riddle I’ve ever heard, as Gandalf starts saying random elf shit that he thinks might be the password.
I can’t even remember if they killed the Monsterpus. There’s some swording or something. And don’t say I just have a bad memory for movies I don’t like; I fucking hated the brick of Ambien that is Field of Dreams, but I can still tell you everything that happened in it. The escape from Monsterpus occurred in the dark, wasn’t memorable, and then everybody ran through the door and blabbed about the next thing they were going to have to stab. That’s the pattern with this movie: Fight a thing. Take a break. Talk. Repeat.
Oh, except sometimes they don’t even fight a thing. Sometimes it just falls into a pit because it’s heavy and stupid.
You shall not pass an IQ test, zing, fart, I hate myself.
Seriously, what a waste of a lava monster. And we might as well knock out the rest of my disappointments on the list. The village was burned down by some Death-looking guys on horseback, who were kinda cool, but not the giant army of assholes I was hoping for. I didn’t learn a whole lot about the dwarf guy (or why he was so poorly lit). The troll fight happened in the dark and wasn’t a surprise because Sean Bean announced that there was a cave troll before we saw it. And Liv Tyler, who looks like she’s about to spill everybody’s guts in a ten-mile radius with her sword, summons some dumb magical water-horses and never does anything cool again. Boo.
Keep in mind that this is how I felt about action scenes. All the walking and talking and sitting is so boring that even Frodo looks like he’s going to fall asleep.
Maybe turn some lights on? Seriously, why is every other scene in the dark?!
Alright, let’s not use up all the loathing on the first viewing. Have some compliments, movie.
AWESOME SCENES THAT SOMEHOW DIDN’T END UP IN THE TRAILER:
How did I forget that Gandalf breakdances?! I know, it’s some dumb spinning spell that Dooku is throwing at him with his magic stick, but come on, these fresh moves should have been in all the ads.
Also, this guy in a cloak on fire!
Bahahaha, I think I just really like fire in movies.
And finally, I know you’re not supposed to give everything away in a trailer, but this kickass decapitation probably would have clinched my ticket purchase.
“This Christmas… Three Hours of Chopping Off Heads… Maybe…”
ONE THING THAT WOULD HAVE IMPROVED THE MOVIE:
The cast of Breakin’.
Brrr, stick ‘em, ha-ha-ha, stick ‘em!