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« movie audiences: a rant | Main | lord of the rings! »
Thursday
Dec202001

more LOTR

LOTR lineup


For those that missed it, I posted my Lord of the Rings line party Blatherings here (and updated it with extra photos late last night), and my movie review here (WARNING: major spoilers in my review, so don't read it until after you've seen the movie). You can find the Electric Penguin general Lord of the Rings movie discussion boards here, and the board for posting reviews/discussing the movie here (spoiler warning again, including possible spoilers about Books II and III).

Jeff and I spent a quiet evening at home yesterday, our heads still in the movie. Both of us plan to see it again (for me, that's not so surprising...Jeff, on the other hand, rarely sees movies in the theatre more than once). After watching the Discovery channel's final instalment about Lord of the Rings (this time about Weta Digital and special effects!), we were channel-surfing a bit and caught a TVO show where someone was interviewing our friend Michelle about Lord of the Rings (!). She and Peter Howell (the Toronto Star movie critic) were discussing the book, with some references to the movie. Michelle's a fantasy writer whose books have been written under Michelle West and Michelle Sagara.

Wow, at IMDB, Lord of the Rings is currently rated an average of 9.7 out of 10 by users. I browsed the top-rated U.S. movies of all time in the IMDB database, and the #1 movie so far is Titanic (1997) with an average rating of 7.1 out of 10. Obviously, the more avid fans will have seen it on opening day (most of whom WANT to like it :)), so I suspect that LOTR's rating will drop gradually over the next while. I'm still curious, however, to see by how much.

A brief ranting



(Feel free to skip ahead to non-LOTR stuff)

I lined up to see the noon showing of Lord of the Rings yesterday, as you all know. The Dec. 19th premiere date was announced ages ago, and Jeff and I couldn't wait to get our tickets as soon as they were available. At the time we bought our tickets, the Dec. 19th noon show was going to be the first public showing of the movie. We were super-hyped, made line party plans with friends (some of whom arranged to take time off work to see the premiere). In the week or two before Dec. 19th, however, the theaters added two extra "sneak preview showings" for the public.

Jeff and I decided to stick with yesterday's showing because we had already made plans with friends, but also because the added showings made me a tad more cynical about the event in general. I was still keen on seeing the movie, of course, and my cynicism had nothing to do with my enjoyment of the Lord of the Rings books. I was also glad for people like Allison, who weren't able to see a noon showing, but were able to see one of the extra preview showings in the evening.

Still, I feel betrayed somehow. Not sure exactly why, and I admit this might just be a symptom of my general cynicism about the holiday season in general. I suppose that part of me feels it unfair to generate so much hype about a premiere date when it really isn't the premiere date at all. Tolkien fans get excited, some start making plans for the opening day (TheOneRing.net started some Line Party groups, for example). Changing the date takes a little steam out of these planned events.

In my Waiting For Frodo comic, I decided to stick with the original premiere date, to pretend that at least in Sam's world, there was no such thing as public sneak previews. Nevertheless, I received e-mail from people who went to see the movie the day before (some obviously e-mailed me as soon as they got home from the movie), telling me about the movie and what parts were their favourite, and saying how much I'd enjoy it.

I have to question exactly why the decision was made to add the two extra preview shows on the day before the "official" opening day. Avid Tolkien fans are going to see the movie multiple times anyway. The only reasons I can think of are:

-- They added extra "sneak preview" showings to pacify those who tried to get tickets on opening day but couldn't because they were all sold out. But then what's the point of announcing an official premiere date? Why not add extra showings on the "official" opening day, or show the movie on more screens instead? I can understand the special midnight show; that seems to be more commonplace these days, so people expect it. But adding a show at 10 pm the day BEFORE the official opening? In that case, why not add a bunch of shows on that day and make *Dec. 18th* the official opening day?!

-- They added extra "sneak preview" showings in hopes that avid Tolkien fans who have already bought tickets for opening day will be so keen on seeing the movie earlier (even a day earlier) that they'll shell out money for another ticket. I know, I know...I'll probably see the movie lots of times anyway, so why should it make a difference? Perhaps because of the intent; I don't mind buying tickets to see a great movie multiple times, but resent being intentionally manipulated into it.

Having said all this, however, I can't blame the LOTR execs for wanting to make as much money from the event as possible; they've worked hard for it. And they KNOW how enthusiastic Tolkien fans are. I also realize that most Tolkien fans were more than happy to buy tickets for the extra showing on the 18th and would, in fact, consider themselves lucky at having the chance to fork over money for extra tickets to see the movie a day early (and in fact would be grateful to New Line Cinemas for giving them the chance). So who am I to complain? Maybe I'll just admit defeat and let myself be manipulated next year. If I enjoy the movie anywhere near as much as I enjoyed the first, then it will be worth it.

Rant over.

Stuff actually not related to Lord of the Rings whatsoever....(well, except maybe the last sentence)



Jeff and I decided to make Christmas presents for each other instead of buying them this year. I like this, and plan to push for it to be a tradition from now on. Since Jeff sometimes reads my Blatherings, I can't tell you what I made him, at least not until after Christmas. But I can say that I finished it last night, yay!

So what are you all doing over the winter holiday? Feel free to post your answer here. Do you have any annual traditions? New traditions? :-)

Jeff and I are doing a ton of family stuff starting tomorrow and through until the New Year, plus our friend Scott Dixon is visiting from Ireland next week.

11 more days to publicly post your New Year's Resolutions! These postings are for your own benefit, not mine, by the way...I'm NOT planning to nag anyone about their resolutions next year (I'll be too busy nagging myself :)).

Getting together with Allison and Jodi tonight...we might see Lord of the Rings. :-)

Today's Blatherpics:

- Luisa's and Reid's son, Michael, reading the Waiting For Frodo compilation in line for the Lord of the Rings movie. Thanks to Scott for this photo.

Today's Poll:

Are you planning to see the Lord of the Rings movie more than once?

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