So, guess what comes out today and what I am going to go buy as soon as my last class is over?
Yeah... My original plan was to wait until the extended editions come out in October or November, but it should be little surprise that my patience cannot tolerate that long of a wait. I think my laptop can play a Blu-Ray (I have never had it explained to me how a Blu-Ray is different in its operating system than a DVD, especially as they are outwardly similar), but I'm not going to bother chancing it just in case. So we'll save that for the EE and just get the DVD for now. Plus, it's cheaper.
I did consider the special Target version, which comes with a LEGO minifigure of Bilbo. Then I figured that it's not worth the extra $5 just to get a mini of Bilbo when he doesn't even actually wear a blue jacket with a red waistcoat as far as I can remember. However, stills from the set indicate that he may get a blue coat in Laketown. That will, of course, send the Bagginshield shippers wild as up till now blue has been pretty much a Durin color (Thorin and Kili, in other words).
Someday I need to post my thoughts on Why Fanatical Shipping Is Evil. Now, I recognize that deep down in her heart every fangirl is a shipper, but I prefer to ship Canon and Sanity. (This becomes hard with fandoms like Fire Emblem, where in many cases there is no official pairing. And so it degenerates into squabbles over which character is a better tactical unit and which support is best.)
The only fandom I can think right off the bat in which I do not ship Canon is Avatar: The Last Airbender. And that is because I ship Sanity before Canon. I'm sorry, but Kataang scares me. Aang is 12 and not mature enough.
YES, I'M A ZUTARAN AND I'M NOT EVEN SORRY, LALALALALA...
Anyway. Now that we have composed ourselves like gentlemen (or gentleladies... is that actually a word? Huh... I don't guess it is. But I don't care! It should be!)
Of course, I am still a tad upset that UNA did not show The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey for its movie night. (Even if I think Brave is better than most of Disney's latest offerings.) However, since this has forced me to get the movie in order to sate my cravings for Majestic!Thorin and Wannabe Majestic!Kili and the bravest little hobbit of them all, Bilbo. So I suppose I should be thankful.
I really think that all the initial negative media reception for The Hobbit is reponsible for the lack of interest. On the other hand, however much the critics complained about Radagast (personally, I believe he is the epitome of Crazy Awesome), 48 frames per second (I would love to see this), and 3D (which was sort of a let-down for me- I think 48 fps would remedy that- but which I see no need to complain about if you can view it in both 2D and 3D anyway), Azog, and various other issues, the fans seem to love it.
If I can escape being bashed with a one-volume edition of LOTR (and that's over 1000 pages, mind you), I would actually venture to say that TH: AUJ was better than the LOTR films in some respects. I actually appreciate the lighter tone. (Leaving aside my whole beef that The Hobbit as a book suffers in some respects by being insistently marketed as a children's book. Sure, children can love it, but I appreciate it more now than I ever did when I first read it five or so years ago.) The 13 Dwarves are infinitely more entertaining and loveable than the Fellowship was. (Don't get me wrong. I was a huge fan of Aragorn and Legolas. I'm gaining a new appreciation for hobbits and for Gimli. I am starting to admire Gandalf. And the movie changed me from someone who didn't care about Boromir to someone who considers his death probably the most moving scene in the trilogy.)
But the thing is- I really don't mind so much what they do to the plot was what they do to the characters!
Books, I think, should have plots that grow naturally out of the characters' personalities and decisions rather than plots that just happen via random circumstances, to which the characters take a back seat. So I don't mind so much that Faramir took Frodo, Sam, and Gollum to Osgiliath in TTT as I do the fact that Frodo and Sam lie to Faramir ("There was no other."). I don't mind the fact that the people of the Riddermark take refuge at Helm's Deep rather than Dunharrow as much as the fact that Theoden went on a spiel about how Rohan shouldn't help Gondor because Gondor didn't help them. I want to scream at the screen every time: "HELLO! Your ancestors swore ON THE PAINS OF HELL to aid Gondor in its hour of need! And the Steward of Gondor swore BY GOD to do the same for you! You had better get your butt and 6,000 Riders to Anorien pronto!"
So, yeah. I don't mind the plot changes so much because I know that some things have to be sacrificed for simplification in a cinematic adapation. What I do mind is when the characters' personalities get mangled. Then I'm up in arms.
Sad to say, the LOTR films mangled several personalities. Elrond was grumpy, not "as kind as summer" and seemed to dislike Aragorn (remedied somewhat in the EE's) instead of considering him as another son. Aragorn is more doubtful. Eomer is neglected. (As I am a proud member of Team Eomer - Since When Did Jacob or Edward Ever Bring Down An Oliphaunt Single-Handedly?, this really rankles with me.) Etc., etc.
TH:AUJ didn't do that. In fact, since pretty much only Gandalf, Thorin, and Bilbo had personalities in the book, there was little they could do wrong. It was, as (I think) John Callen, who plays Oin, said: "We could look at it in either of two ways: 'Egads, we've got nothing to work with!' or 'Egads, we've got carte blanche!'" And so they created 13 Dwarves that we have all fallen in love with and actually care about.
Who cares about whether or not Azog should be alive or whether Radagast should have a bunny sled or not when Elrond is nice and Gandalf is perfect and Bilbo is amazing and Thorin... and gah, with Thorin stealing the show?!
So, as a conclusion, I'd like to share this thing I found on Deviantart by ~yourparodies:
Okay, it's too tiny to read. So click on it instead, and it will lead you to the person's Deviantart page. Once you're there, click on the picture again and it will expand big enough for you to read. Enjoy!
In Pace Christi,