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

WHEN: May 6, 2014, 6:35pm. (Week 19, May 4-10.)

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

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

COMPANY: Venus, a friend that loves these movies, but other than The Hobbit, hasn’t read the books.

PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STATE: Eating pazzo bread and drinking a strawberry lemonade. Excited to have company. Cracked open some ice cream partway through.

So hey, I’ve found that when you’re required by science to watch the same movie each week, it helps to have a topic to focus on for every viewing. It holds your attention, and it tends to make your follow-up reports a better read. But… sometimes you gotta just flop on the couch with a pal and stuff your face.

“We’re listening.”

My companion for this evening’s slog through Fellowship was Venus, who certainly isn’t the biggest fan of Hobbit stuff that I know, but she definitely loves these movies. And once performed Fellowship‘s opening monologue for a festival… while wearing pointy ears. And has this forced perspective picture of her and her husband in Gandalf’s cart hanging on her wall.

Aw, they let him take his shoes off.

Anyway, me and this nerrrd plunked ourselves down to not really think too hard about the movie, but because I get so lonely and now have someone to talk to, I started in with questions pretty early. For starters, why isn’t Sauron invisible when he’s wearing the One Ring? We, having not yet read the books, both have the same theory: evil power or some shit, he can control it, whatever.

I’d kill to hear Peter Jackson say, “Oh yeah. Oops.”

Also, despite my incessant attempts to make the phrase “a bunch of fucking crows” a thing, I never noticed the crows behind Frodo and Sam as they leave the Shire until Venus pointed them out. She noted that they’re perched upon a scarecrow that totally sucks at his job. Are they spies of Saruman? I wonder.

Considering I’ve failed to notice them 19 times, they get an A for stealth.

To keep things interesting, Venus started looking up LOTR slashfic on her phone and occasionally read some of it aloud. I attempted to pay her no mind, but you try to ignore someone saying, “Ooh, Elrond finds a surprise in the tub!” No, I will not link to it.

This should tide you over.

Hey, you know what I realized? Despite watching this movie so many times, I still don’t know why the hell Aragorn is at the Prancing Pony in the first place. Is he looking for the Hobbits? Just taking a break from all that rangering? Hiding from Greedo?

Maybe I’ll care on my 20th viewing. Spoiler alert: nope.

When Arwen was getting chased by the Ringwraiths, I asked Venus to help me count them, because it seemed like all nine of them were present, which means a flaming torch through the fucking face doesn’t slow them down at all.

“Walk it off, Bob.”

Count the swords, Suck-a-Duck. Bob totally walked it off.

Wow, Venus is a genius. She points out that technology in Middle-earth hasn’t changed in approximately 3,000 years. Everybody uses swords and arrows at the beginning and they’re still using swords and arrows at the end. Take any two points in human history that are three millennia apart and you’re bound to notice some differences. Oh, man, when do Hobbits invent guns? Or phasers? Show me Middle-earth ten thousand years from now and I might be on board.

Wait, I already did that.

Speaking of old articles of mine, I completely missed the Balrog’s whip when I wrote about why each character’s weapon perfectly matches their personality, and it still applies. The Balrog’s a demon, he’s pretty much Satan’s stand-in, his weapon is a torture device made of fire. Yeah, he’s from Hell.

“Boise, actually.”

Unfortunately, Venus had to take off before the movie finished. I checked her time of departure and was surprised that we hadn’t been trapped in my living room for nine days; it was only 2:26:37. Well, thanks for dropping by, Venus! You made it not suck for me! Come back any time!


A scene where Elrond finds a surprise in the tub.

“Aww, a puppy!”