“SHIT LeBRAIN’S DAD SAYS” presents…
GETTING MORE TALE #472: The Fellowship of the Ring
My old man took me to a lot of movies as a kid. The tradition was, I had to see every Star Wars movie in the theater three times. That also went for Raiders of the Lost Ark. When those movies were new, you couldn’t just wait for them to come to home video. You had to see them in the theater and memorize every moment. As he got older, my dad liked going to movies less and less. Actually, he liked going anywhere less and less. He’s also not fond of the loud volume level at a modern movie theater. We can’t drag him out to movies too often. My sister managed to get him to see The Force Awakens. Before that, my last success getting him into a movie theater seat was Avatar.
Now, let’s go back in time 15 years. Peter Jackson’s incredible Lord of the Rings trilogy had finally begun, with Fellowship of the Ring. My dad wasn’t familiar with Tolkien. I was just starting to read his books, starting with Fellowship of the Ring. The movie was obviously going to be a must-see, and it had several actors he liked: Sean Astin, Ian Holm, and especially John Rys Davies. I know we didn’t go opening weekend, so we probably went to see it the following weekend. The theater was busy, packed full of nerds waiting to whip out their preciouses. My dad doesn’t like crowds much so that didn’t help his mood. My mom and I dragged him out, and he was definitely letting us know he wasn’t going willingly.
We got our tickets, found three seats together, and sat directly behind some Tolkien fans who were more excited about it than my dad. Continuing with the complaints, he asked the first question of the night. “How long is this movie?”
I answered casually, “About three hours.”
“Oh dear God. Oh Jesus Christ,” he responded with his head in his hands. “Three hours. Dear Jesus.” He didn’t seem that enthused as he muttered loudly. I could feel people staring at the back of our heads.
He complained through the trailers, but a strange thing happened over the course of the movie. He started to like it. It’s undeniable that Sir Ian McKellan was the Gandalf that everybody wanted to see. He liked seeing old guys like Christopher Lee still on the screen. He liked Frodo. He liked Sean Bean and Viggo Mortensen. But he didn’t know one little minor detail about the film….
We neared the end. The final Orc battle was impressive; expertly orchestrated and shot. It was a marvel to behold at the time. Unfortunately, the Fellowship was now fractured. Boromir was dead. Frodo and Samwise were all alone. Merry and Pippen had been captured by Orcs. All seemed lost. Roll credits.
“That’s it?!” my dad howled. “Why didn’t he just throw the goddamn ring into the fire?!” Now, two girls in the row in front of us were staring him down. “What kind of ending is that? I thought they had to throw the ring in the fire!”
I exlaimed, “They’re still going to throw it in the fire! There’s two more movies still! It’s a trilogy.”
And then, his final complaint. “Two more movies? Oh dear God. Oh Jesus Christ. I have to do this two more times just to see him throw the damn ring into the fire? Why the hell didn’t they just go there and throw it in? I was expecting him to throw it in the fire and that’s it!”
If eyes could shoot daggers, then at least 20 daggers were fired in his direction. I awaited popcorn missiles. We managed to get to the minivan without being attacked by swarms of Elves or even worse, Cave Trolls.
The really amusing denouement is, my dad actually loves Lord of the Rings today. But he loves it right where he likes it: On his widescreen TV, in surround sound, in front of his favourite chair. And that’s alright by me.
COMING SOON…Shit LeBrain’s Mom Says…at mikeladano.com.