Many years ago, I still remember very clearly, my almost-brand-new anoppi (mother-in-law) drove a bunch of us out to the movie theatre close to midnight to watch the first Lord of the Rings movie, The Fellowship of the Ring. Actually, it may have been appi (father-in-law) who drove, since anoppi has an issue with driving in Helsinki … but they were there for us.
We were geeky twenty-somethings, all dressed up – Mrs. Hatboy was dressed as Shelob, who was destined to not really appear on the big screen for another couple of years; Bella was dressed as an Elf; and I was dressed as a generic Orc with a Hobbit: The Other White Meat T-shirt – and ready to see whether this new take on Tolkien’s classic would be a step in the right direction after the weird animated versions we had previously enjoyed.
I think, after the show at about 04:00, anoppi and appi may also have picked us up from the cinema and taken us home again. I remember it was snowing. I remember still being captivated by that. It was only my second winter in Finland.
Last night, anoppi didn’t drop us anywhere, although we did borrow the car she shares with Da Äijä (aka. appi, sorry if this is getting confusing). Too many baby seats in ours to fit passengers, see. Anoppi did, however, look after our chicken-pox-suffering four-year-old Wump and our probably-catching-chicken-pox ten-month-old Toop, and also Bella’s little Walder. Times change. Now instead of driving a bunch of geeky kids out into the howling snow, she’s looking after the offspring of said geeky kids, while the geeky kids geek out as usual. In the drizzling rain.
And I don’t know if this is the end of the story. Certainly there’s plenty more stuff Jackson could make movies out of here, especially if he keeps on … embellishing … the stories with cinematic extras.
Not that I’m complaining. Well, not like so many morons on the Internet enjoy complaining. And Where the Wild Thing Are was a rather pointless adaptation, although it was certainly an interesting movie.
No, if Jackson has the energy to make more movies, and the movie-going public don’t totally lose their minds each time he tries, I’m sure there can be more trips to this well. I think the prequel trilogy failed to break any new ground, perhaps, that the original trilogy did, and it certainly didn’t seem to enjoy the popularity and hype of the original trilogy. But I’ll write up a proper review for tomorrow.
Now whether that translates into box office failure (I doubt it) or box office not-quite-managing-to-meet-expectations and thus a cancellation of future plans, I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
But still, this feels like the end to an era. Certainly it’s the end to a solid decade-and-change of a movie-going institution. It’s been a pretty big deal, and – for me at least – it’s been a lot of fun. Wow, a lot has changed since the first movie came out. More, I think, than we ever could have expected, although let’s be honest. We got older, we had kids, we drifted apart and came back together, the world got a little bit shittier around us, and we remained idealistic nerds.
Was that really so unexpected?
The Fellowship, December 2001.
Thanks again, anoppi. You’ve given us a lift through the last thirteen years the way you gave us a lift to that movie back in Aught One: with a smile, a laugh, a disbelieving glance back at us through the rearview mirror, and a fond shake of the head. My weird kids.
Here’s to the next thirteen years!