After a long day at work all I wanted to do was go home and sleep; I had forgotten that my mom had bought us all tickets to the midnight showing of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I'd heard of this movie, there was a big name behind it; some guy who a few years back adapted a series of books known as The Lord of the Rings franchise into a movie trilogy. The plot basically involved a miniature humanoid with hairy feet who needed to drop a magic ring into a volcano to save the world; that's what I made of it, anyway; after weeding out all of that diluted fantasy. Dragons, elves, dwarfs, magic... I remember all that scientifically unfounded nonsense giving me a headache. And The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hailed as a prequel to The Lord of the Rings. What had I let myself into?
The theater lobby was crowded, as anyone can imagine. There were several people costumed after hobbits and wizards; I realize now that before subjecting myself to the midnight showing of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey my perception of what a geek was had been a misguided one, like I had asserted that I knew what it felt like to be in space before having ever been in space myself--if the theater was space and the geeks were the inherent icy weightlessness an astronaut experiences when he's floating haplessly around the exterior of the ISS when there's a structural issue to be addressed.
After what must have been an hour of waiting in line my family (and the couple of friends we'd dragged along) were finally able to acquire our 3D glasses and enter the theater room. After listening to the eardrum-herniating sound of a crowded auditorium full of people laughing at movie trailers that weren't funny, the movie finally started... The theater began to project the wrong movie. We came to see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, not Playing for Keeps blast it!
When they finally got the right movie projecting, everyone started cheering like a stable full of squealing pigs when the farmer comes by to fill their trough with feed. In the moment of quiet before the narrator began yapping, I was able to consciously regret not asking someone with the flu to cough in my face so I could have stayed home. My mind began to connect the dots: the inanely long waiting line, the fan cosplay, the cheering when the right movie started... This wasn't merely a midnight showing of a highly anticipated movie. This was a religious ceremony, a gathering of devout practitioners enveloping themselves in a fantasy-diluted cult. Their founder? J. R. R. Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. So there I was, sitting in on a Tolkienist ceremony.
For your personal safety I am going to avoid revealing explicit details regarding the nature of this Tolkienist ceremony, which is to say for those of you contorted enough to consider yourselves as anticipating seeing The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey for yourselves and don't want spoilers, I will be gracious enough to spare you of such misfortune. Of course, if by now you haven't figured out that this journal entry is entirely satirical then you really are contorted!
I experienced the midnight showing of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in 3D last night and it was amazing! It will certainly be a box office record-breaker. It was honestly a beautiful experience being amongst dedicated fans, with everybody cheering at the epic moments and laughing at the funny moments and gasping at the shocking moments. Such experiences help restore my faith in humanity, when a crowd of strangers who share nothing in common but their fandom can enjoy it together in mutual exertion of dedication and happiness. Movies, man.