Tuesday, October 27, 2015

[Not] Here at the end of all things (or WHY DID THE LAST EXTENDED EDITION HOBBIT FILM HAVE TO BE RATED R???)

Those of you who have been following this blog for a while may have guessed that I like Tolkien a bit.

You would be right.

Of all my posts on this blog, I think the one subject I've written the most on is Tolkien - his life, his work, and adaptations of his stories - especially the Hobbit movies.

Ah, the Hobbit movies.

I speak disparagingly of them but I have a rather fond affection for the films, even while I question some (or most) of the choices Peter Jackson and team made with them.

Parts of the films were fantastic.

If you've been following this blog for a while, you may also have noticed how closely I've followed the Hobbit movies, from the first trailers to the films themselves and extended editions thereafter. Despite my disappointment with the films, I've faithfully attended theaters (twice at midnight) to view Peter Jackson's Hobbit movies, always returning in spite of previous disappointments.

I psyche myself up until I'm super excited, go to the theater, watch the movie, come home feeling let down, mope around the house for a few days, and end up buying the extended edition.

All things considered, I think I'm a pretty loyal fan.

Imagine my reaction, then, when my brother called to relay some shocking news related to the final extended edition Hobbit film.

It's rated R.

I didn't believe him.

But when I did an online search and saw from multiple entertainment news sources that the extended edition of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies will, in fact, be an R-rated film, I had to believe it.

So why is this such a big deal? (You may ask.)

I don't watch R-rated films.

(Why not?)

For religious reasons and as a matter of principal, I choose not to view things that are significantly disturbing or inappropriate. This has led to a degree of disappointment over the years as I've heard time and time again about a movie that sounds exciting only to find out later that it's rated R. 

But I never thought the day would come when I'd have to skip out on a Lord of the Rings movie because of an R-rating.

I feel betrayed. 

Peter Jackson made three wonderful movies out of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, none of which were rated R. He proceeded to make three less wonderful but still enjoyable movies out of The Hobbit. None of these were rated R. Now, on the absolutely final movie - with the absolutely final release of that movie (the one thing I still could look forward to even though the official trilogy had come to an end) he pulls out an R-rating. "Disappointed" doesn't even cover it.

Yes, I could go see the movie anyway. After all, no one's holding a gun to my head forcing me not to watch R-rated movies. And I'm old enough to make these decisions for myself. But I've already made my decision, a long time ago, in fact, and I've only cemented it over the years. Here, at the end of all things, is one Tolkien movie I won't be seeing.

I wonder what Tolkien would say - but that's speculative and therefore irrelevant.

Thank you, Peter Jackson, for some wonderful movies and a fun (if rocky) ride. I'm sorry I can't be there at the end of all things. But I'm also sorry that you had to prevent me from coming. I'm sure we can still be friends.

My reaction on hearing that the extended edition of Battle of the Five Armies will be rated R

If you've finished reading this little complaint, I very much want to know what you think about the last extended edition Hobbit movie being rated R. Do you feel miffed with me? Or do you find my viewpoint rather extreme? A shire-farthing for your thoughts.

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