I’m a sci-fi and fantasy geek. I love a good flick that centers on magic and mythical creatures and eye-popping, epic fantasy-scapes. And yet–let’s just come out and say it. The entire pantheon of J.R.R. Tolkein-inspired, Peter Jackson-directed films are the cinematic equivalent to taking two giant cap-fuls of full-strength NyQuil.
I didn’t think this when I first watched the LOTR movies in the theater back in….dear god…2001-2003. But I can tell you that any time I’ve tried to watch them since…I have been unable to finish them out. I can’t quite even wrap my head around those who can stay awake for the Director’s Cut versions that are each a spritely 5 hours long….No, even just the regular cinematic release versions are just…not…finishable.
Recent case in point–my husband and I tried watching the Desolation of Smaug on demand this weekend. We had not prepared well–both of us having eating large dishes of hearty pasta before-hand, and unwisely opting to lay fully horizontal on our corresponding couches. Big Mistake. Huge.
The opening shots began, and the overbearing symphonic soundtrack began its lullabye….solemn, murmured, middle-earthy dialogue began, and my eyelids began to weigh several pounds. Soaring shots of guys in costumes running along rocky paths….Gandalf looking wizened and keen-eyed…some orcs being mad and orc-y….and ….that was it. We were done for. An anesthesiologist’s mask of gas would have been less effective.