It's hard to believe that Peter Jackson's first "Lord of the Rings" movie opened more than a decade ago. Even though I hadn't read any of J.R.R. Tolkien's books (and admittedly, still haven't), I wanted to see every movie in the trilogy, in the theater. Don't ask me why, I just wanted to experience them on the big screen.
So in 2001, it was "The Fellowship of the Ring." It's a change from my usual fare as I'm not really into fantasy novels or adventure movies. And of course, this flick has both. There's hobbits and elves and a wizard in a place called Middle Earth. And these movies are centered around this little golden ring. I'll also admit that I wasn't sure most of the time what was going on, but I appreciated the beauty of New Zealand, the action of the battles and the loyalty of Sam to Frodo. It was an amazingly visual trilogy. And Orlando Bloom as Legolas and Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn weren't too bad to look at either!
In 2002, for "The Two Towers," I procrastinated a bit about seeing it. By the time I decided to go, it had left the Marshall 6. Fortunately, it was still playing at the Canby movie theater. So one Saturday night after church was the one and only time I visited the movie theater in Canby. Sure it's an older theater, but it was still fun to be among other LOTR fans taking in the continuing story.
Then came "Return of the King" in 2003. When that movie came out, I was recovering from my open-heart surgery. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to complete my goal of seeing all three movies in the theater. Since my brother didn't have an interest in seeing them, I had to wait until after I returned to Marshall in January of 2004. I was hoping for the best that the movie would still be in the theater. And it was! A pleasant end to a journey. And it was great to see all the Academy Awards "Return of the King" swept up.
So it's 2012, and "The Hobbit" finally hit the screen. Ross and I went to see it this past Saturday. Unlike the first three movies, one can see "The Hobbit" in 2-D or 3-D. We opted for the 3-D, which made it a whole new experience, seeing birds and other things flying at us. And I was introduced to a new set of characters - Thorin and the dwarfs, Radasgast the Brown, as well as a younger Bilbo Baggins. I'm not always one for long movies, but even though "The Hobbit" was nearly three hours long, my interest was held. Well there's plenty of action, with battles against goblins, trolls, orcs and a "riddles" battle pitting Bilbo against Gollum. I always admire Andy Serkis' portrayal of this unusual character.
So now we have to wait for the next two parts of "The Hobbit" - "The Desolation of Smaug" in 2013 and "There and Back Again" in 2014. How one can divide a relatively short novel into three parts is beyond me, but it provides for some great entertainment.