Six films. Twenty-two hours. One cinema. Sounds crazy? Well … yeah, it is. But that didn’t stop us.
The CINEPLEX in Münster was doing a Middle Earth Marathon – a showing of all three Hobbit films and all three Lord of the Rings films. My friend Anna and I and several hundred other people were fearless (or rather stupid) enough to take on the challenge and plunge into a whole day of hobbits, dwarves and dragons.
We received some ultra-special festival wristbands, which I was especially excited about, because I’ve never been to a music festival, so there’s a severe lack of wristbands in my life. Now I’m in with the cool crowd. Obviously. But seriously, what an awesome idea!
The whole thing was supposed to start at 16:30 (or 16:45, according to the official schedule that was posted next to the screening room) and end at around 14:00 the following day. Anna and I packed blankets, pillows and lots of snacks, most of which we didn’t even look at in the end, because halfway through we were just completely sick of anything sweet (or at least I was). The CINEPLEX had lots of food on offer as well, beyond the common cinema snacks; they had hot dogs, donuts, potato salad, soup, and amazing pretzels that were filled with salted butter. They also offered a coffee flatrate for 8€, or alternatively single cups of coffee for 50 ct each.
For breakfast at 5:30 they sold a choice of a sweet breakfast with croissants and jam, an English breakfast with scrambled eggs and baked beans, or a healthy breakfast with weetabix and fruit salad. So really, everything you could hope for in the food department was taken care of.
I’ll make it easy on your eyes and only show you a before picture. Just imagine this a few hours later with huge bags under the eyes and the eyeliner completely rubbed off or cried away. God, I already look tired in this shot. I swear I was super-stoked though!
I loved watching the Hobbit films again. Unfortunately, I don’t think they are that great after all; Peter Jackson tried to make a children’s book seem like this epic tale that is even grander than Lord of the Rings, which just didn’t fit. And you can tell.
The Battle of Five Armies, which I saw for the first time, is my least favourite of the trilogy. That’s not just because (SPOILERS *cough*) Smaug dies within the first ten minutes, my poor baby, but overall it just actually made me roll my eyes several times over. What I especially won’t forgive (which counts for all three of them), is that they constantly rip off their own franchise in terms of word-for-word dialogue. That’s just really lazy screenwriting. Maybe it was also a weak attempt at drawing analogies to the LotR films, but even if, it was poorly done.
The change between the two trilogies was fascinating. The digital Hobbits with the 48 fps and 3D and then the analogue Lord of the Rings, which had none of that, was a massive step down in quality, footage-wise. I still can’t quite grasp that so much changed in ten years, that they really look so old on the big screen compared to a recent release. It’s amazing.
This has also been the first time that I have seen all three LotR in cinema; so far I’d stayed away from all sorts of triple specials. For the Two Towers, it was actually the first time I’d ever seen it on the big screen ever. So yay, I can cross that off on my bucket list as well!
I missed those movies so much. I’d forgotten how much I loved them, so much so that I still remembered almost every line, even though I’ve sort of abandoned my annual rewatch. I should do those again.
When The Fellowship of the Ring started, I’d reached a point where I felt really tired. I closed my eyes during a couple of scenes (especially towards the beginning – goddd they take so long to finally leave the Shire), but it wasn’t until The Two Towers that I actually dozed off for a couple of minutes. The only problem I really had was that I couldn’t stretch out my legs enough and my knees started to hurt like hell. My legs are too long. :c
For the last film, we switched screening rooms though (mainly because the cinema staff wanted to clean the old one and prepare it for the general public), and we managed to snatch up to couple seats next to each other – you know, two seat next to each other without an armrest in between, so that couples don’t have to spend those three armrest inches away from each other for three whole hours – so we basically just lay there sprawled across our seats for the last four and a half hours.
Yes. Four and a half hours. That’s how long the Extended Edition of Return of the King is. I had actually no idea myself. I’ve watched it so many times without actually realising that. Jeez.
There were actually some people who gave up somewhere in between. Granted, some of them probably had to go to work or something – for those, kudos to you for going to work without a minute of sleep! – but some were just weak. (Muahahah.)
For the not-quite-so-weak ones, the cinema sold t-shirts to commemorate the occasion. Of course I couldn’t resist:
I don’t regret a single thing. Well, maybe I should have bought a different breakfast, because the weetabix I had just tasted like wet cardboard. To me, at least. The CINEPLEX are doing a repeat of this whole shebang in January. If I had another 40€ to spare I … probably still wouldn’t do it again. Not this soon. Next season maybe. Though next November it’s time for a Hunger Games marathon first …
Massive props to the staff at CINEPLEX by the way, everything went incredibly smoothly (weeeell … the Lord of the Rings movies didn’t have subtitles for the Elvish dialogue) and the host managed to stay eerily energetic throughout (though I bet he didn’t watch the films and instead took a nap in the projector’s room or something, nobody can be THAT cheerful on caffeine only)!