So today I spent the morning at the auto dealer having them fix a recall on my car. They tell you it will be a short wait but this isn’t your first visit to the dealer and you have brought plenty of the latest grocery and department store ads to read in order to finish preparing for Christmas. Then you get through reading those and are stuck. You could go on line in their waiting room but the sites are so restricted you can’t read even about your favorite sports team. That left me with the newspaper as someone else was watching a boring program on television. I skimmed the main section and there was nothing much of interest. Then I came to the “Living” section. One of their writers had gone to a local movie theater where they were showing all three Hobbit movies in a row. I was excited to read the article. He began by saying he had no love of epic fantasy. It was something he was indifferent to or to use his words, “I do not hate the fantasy genre, I’m just generally unaware of it, like I’m unaware of NHL hockey or the geography of Eastern Europe.” As an epic fantasy writer that is an ice pick through the heart. He was only going to the 9 and ½ hour viewing because a friend asked him to go along. The writer admitted to never reading or watching any of the Hobbit or Lord of the Rings before. So why go now and write an article tearing down what anyone outside ISIS knows has been at the very least a popular series? I don’t like sushi. So do you know what I do? I don’t go to sushi restaurants; even if friends ask. The concept is not that hard. And to put it in comparison, I would not go to an all-day sushi buffet. Still this person, who is not even a movie critic for the paper went and watched the movies and hated them. He even disliked the crowd, “At various points, I was repulsed by the other audience members, and also felt strangely close to them, like we were A Band of Nerd Brothers.” How quaint. He went on to ridicule someone dressed as Gandalf eating nachos. He wasn’t finished with the audience, however. “There were hundreds of people who had decided to spend an entire Monday watching all three “Hobbit” movies instead of volunteering at a soup kitchen or petting a sick puppy.” Really? He had to go there? It took ¾ of the article just to get to the points about the movie. He said the movies plodded along too slowly but then said the final one had too much action. Imagine that with a name like “Battle of the Five Armies.” He wrote that the viewer never became emotionally attached to any of the characters and therefore was not concerned if they lived or died. In connecting the movies, he says there are no flashbacks to help people who did not watch the previous movies become adjusted. It’s a series. Harry Potter never needed to bring you up to speed. Neither did Twilight or the Hunger Games yet patrons seemed to follow along. And why did he care? He was watching a marathon. I freely admit that Tolkien’s writing has been a source of inspiration to me and millions more like me. One uneducated person’s opinion should not bother me so but he had a page and a half in the newspaper devoted to his ramblings. As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, I plan to see the last installment of the Hobbit around Christmas. I’m sure I will not be disappointed. It’s not the fans I worry about. It’s the fence sitters who wonder if this genre is worth looking at more closely. Writers like this man do a disservice to all fantasy writers when they focus more on what Gandalf is eating than what he is doing.
Fantasy fiction is my passion. This series embodies my love for a good story and action. You will find it to be many things, but not boring! Read what you love and love what you read...