29 December 2011

Why I am not very excited about "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"

When the Lord of the Rings film trilogy was announced oh-so-long-ago, I (like other Tolkien fans) was hesitant yet excited about the release. I collected the character bookmarks from the high school library. I went to see the movies with my friends in theaters in December, had Lord of the Rings viewing parties, and at least once dragged all of my friends to see it in theaters again for my birthday in February.

I scoffed at the movie-star covers of the new sets of the LOTR books because I'd read my mom's old paperback copies with the broken spines and the older, charming artwork...but I didn't scoff very loudly because all this hubub was getting my friends to read the books: I had people to moan to about Tom Bombadil* being cut from the film and Arwen stealing Glorfindel's scene!**
*I was looking forward to him!
** I  hated all her scenes, even the ones she didn't steal.

Reading old books is fun!

To keep the Lord of the Rings high between film releases, I read everything Tolkien I could find: his books, an absurd amount of fanfiction, had scheduled evening AIM meetings* with a friend for live-action script-writing, and eventually wrote my own fanfiction.**
*They had to be scheduled because we had dial-up internet & our parents didn't like us tying up the phone line for hours.
**The pretense: my friends dropped into Middle Earth and joined the Fellowship. It was a Mary Sue masterpiece of epic proportions.

So why am I somewhat less-than-ecstatic to hear recently* about the 2012 release of the film prequel The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey?
*And repeatedly! Goodness, Internet, you don't have to tell me three million times!

I should be fan-girling out at this news. I really should. And yet, it just makes me feel tired.

It makes me feel tired.

I thought I should say that again, in case you missed it.

Sure, Peter Jackson did a bang-up job with the Lord of the Rings trilogy. And I'm sure The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be a lovely film — pure art and charm and everything beautiful of Tolkien through the eyes of Jackson.

But I thought we were done with Lord of the Rings. We did the whole LOTR madness years ago — for years and years.* And don't even get me started on the decade of the Eragon books and the Harry Potter franchise. I loved them all — I loved them all so hard. I looked forward to releases, read every book, watched every film. And the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise — watched them all, played the musical score in orchestra for years, love the spoofs.
*The Fellowship of the Ring was the first DVD I owned. Yes, I watched all the extra features, 
including the film with commentary, the extended scenes, and the hidden nugget.

I am starting to get burned out on being excited for things to be released.

And weirdly, I had liked the idea of Jackson stopping with the LOTR trilogy and leaving The Hobbit be. It was the first Tolkein book I read — I came home from school one day in junior high and found a brand-new copy lying on my pillow: I suspected it was my mom's way of getting me to read real literature, but it was always totally the best thing to come home to.

But no matter what I think of it, the film is being made — and in two parts, no less! So it'll be a mini-resurgence of the Tolkien film anticipation. Oh, joy.

Probably this time next year, I will gush about the film, all glowing and excited. It'll probably be good: Why wouldn't it be? I can admit the preview looks bad-ass. I didn't expect the dwarves to be so...well, pretty. But right now I just can't muster the excitement.

I must not be a very good Tolkien fan, after all.

Do you ever get tired of being excited about a franchise?