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Fun with Franchises: The Lord of the Rings — The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), Part I — “I Want to Pour My Cruelty and Malice Into Something”

Today we begin another franchise in our Fun with Franchises series, The Lord of the Rings. We start with The Fellowship of the Ring.

In case you don’t know how this works — a while back, I decided to rank my favorite Disney movies and rank my favorite James Bond movies. And the Disney ones were mostly straight synopses and not too much fun, but when I got to Bond, I enlisted the help of my friend Colin (whose blog is TokyoRemix.com. Fuck yeah, promotion!), who knows everything about the Bond franchise that I do not, for those articles, and along the way, learned how to have fun with it. And, by the end of the Bond articles, we were having so much fun that I said, “Man, we have to do this again with other stuff.” Because I spent about a straight month and a half putting together those articles. That’s how much time and effort actually goes into something like that. And not once did it feel like work. It was so much fun that I knew, as long as we were doing it for comedy purposes and able to riff off of each other — we could do pretty much any film and it would work.

And very quickly, the first ones you come up with are the major franchises, because those are not only the most fun, but also the most universally known. Everyone’s gonna understand all the jokes we make (well… most of them. Some of them might be limited to three people) about them. So that’s what we’re doing. And if you’re gonna have fun with franchises, it wouldn’t be right if you didn’t franchise it. Also, just so we’re clear, this is all for parody. We’re just messing with them because we love them.

And that’s Fun with Franchises. Right now, we’re doing the Lord of the Rings franchise, and today is the first part of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring:

The Lord of the Rings - Title Card

The Fellowship of the Ring - Title Card

Brought to you by New Line.

New Line Logo

Thanks, New Line!

We begin with the opening narration:

Colin:

What the hell language is this? Aw, shit, are there gonna be subtitles?

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“The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it.”

Colin:

 Oh, never mind. Simultaneous translation. Well, we dodged a bullet there.

Ever go around smelling air and think, “Man… shit has changed”?

I do.

Colin:

Ever pee at a vegan restaurant? Those people and their asparagus. 

I often want to pee on vegan restaurants, not in them.

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“It began with the forging of the Great Rings.”

Colin:

God, I can hardly understand this chick through the sound of the granola crunching. Probably one of those tree huggers.

What happened before the rings? I feel like this event wasn’t the beginning of everything, just the beginning of the story.

Oh, she’s saying the beginning of the change happened with the forging of the rings.

Maybe she’s smelling the liquid metal?

Or… smelting?

Colin:

I spend all of my free time fretting over how the mold makes a perfectly shaped ring, rather than it having two raised bumps where the gold was poured in. Do they have to file that part down? Is it filed and polished? Can you file and polish a ring of power? This is why I never get anything done.

Does Middle Earth have magic mood rings?

I bet Middle Earth Macaulay Culkin would still get killed by bees.

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“Three were given to the Elves; immortal, wisest and fairest of all beings.”

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Kind of fucked up that she’s saying this about herself.

Colin:

Elves. Immortal, wisest, and fairest. So, I guess fuck all the rest of you. The elves just got everything going for them. Maybe they have tiny dicks. Let’s go with that.

How come she gets a girly ring? Seems kinda weird that she got a gender-specific ring from whoever made them.

By the way, who did make these rings? And why did they just take them? Like, “Oh, hey, something shiny!”

I bet she sucked a mean dick after she got that thing.

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“Seven to the Dwarf Lords, great miners and craftsmen of the mountain halls.”

Colin:

The dwarves are great miners. Well, bully for them! You’re really good at digging up shit. Way to go, short stuffs.

Dwarves don’t dig on the heigh ho-ly days.

Colin:

I like how they’re all raising the rings like they’re going to drink. More things should be booze-themed.

Imagine playing quarters with rings of power.

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“And nine, nine rings were gifted to the race of Men, who above all else desire power.”

That’s kind of a sweeping generalization to make.

Colin:

Isn’t it interesting how men are supposedly the ones who desire power above all else, and yet they’re the race with the largest number of leaders, suggesting that they’ve consolidated power the least? If there are nine different kingdoms whose kings can all show up to a ring party without getting into a fight, I’d say we’re doing better than those creepy, authoritarian elves.

What I think is weird is that every major race in Middle Earth is given rings of power, all at the same time, and no one questions it.

Especially Sauron, since presumably he’s the one who gave them to everyone. So imagine a shifty motherfucker comes over and gives every major person a gift. Wouldn’t you be just a little bit suspicious? I wouldn’t wear that shit ever. I’d think it had poison in it, was gonna explode or something. You don’t trust that shit at all. This is some Michael Corleone shit.

Colin:

Sauron’s in the church at a baptism. Oh, please do that prequel.

“Samuel, why don’t you tell that nice girl that you love her? I love-a you with all-a my heart, if I don’t see you again soon Imma gonna die.”

“Leave the gun, take the lembas bread.”

Damn shame, though, what they did to Shadowfax.

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“For within these rings was bound the strength and will to govern each race. But they were all of them deceived – for another ring was made.”

So someone gives you a ring and says, “This ring will help you control everyone,” and you’re not immediately suspicious? I’d be like, “Hey man — how come all these other people got one too?” This whole thing is really suspect in so many ways. I can’t believe everyone just took these rings without question.

Colin:

I love maps with sea monsters on them randomly. There are never monsters drawn on the land, even though some of the land monsters might be nastier than the sea monsters. But there’s always a sea serpent or something, just to scare you a little bit.

I’m going to tweet that. “I love maps with sea monsters on them.” That’s such a great line. That’s a subtitle, that line.

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“In the land of Mordor –”

I love a good map.

Also, “Mountains of Shadow.” Great name.

And if you look quickly enough, Ithilien looks a lot like “chicken.”

And I like chicken.

Colin:

Just like it said in the encyclopedia.

That would be a great thing to see in Tolkien’s encyclopedia.

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“In the fires of Mount Doom –”

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“The Dark Lord Sauron forged, in secret, a master ring to control all others.”

Apparently that’s a thing?

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“And into this ring he poured his cruelty, his malice and his will to dominate all life.”

Colin:

I want to pour my cruelty and malice into something.

I think you just figured out your wedding vows.

(Also, subtitle.)

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“One ring to rule them all.”

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Now… let’s stop for a moment, because I have to ask… what exactly do these rings do? They just say that they’re Great Rings. Never do we actually find out what they do.

Apparently they give the bearer the strength and will to govern their races. And there’s this other ring that supercedes all the other ones. So basically it’s like the Master Ball of rings.

How the fuck did anyone go for this? How did everyone fall for the old Ivan Ooze gag?

Colin:

Isn’t it weird how we never hear about the lesser rings? It says that they have the power to rule the races, but how does that make sense? First, how does a ring grant you sovereignty over a race of people? Second, they were given to EXISTING leaders of all three races, meaning that they had already succeeding in the whole ‘ruling’ thing. Like, if you approached Kim Jong Un and tried to give him a ring that would let him rule the North Korean people, he’d be like, “You think I need your pathetic little ring to do that? I got this shit on lock, son!” I mean, he’d take it anyway, because he’s a grubby little bastard. But I doubt he could fit it on his pudgy fingers.

But especially the elves, who supposedly don’t covet power and seem to have well-established leaders as it is – they don’t seem like they’d be clamoring to get their hands on rings from Sauron, who was practically handing them out from the back of an unmarked van.

Of course, I’m a lot more accepting of this sort of setup than I am of the Star Wars opening title crawls, for example, because this is some shit that went down way in the past and it’s just a pretense for the actual story to begin. It doesn’t even matter that much. It’s sort of just the minimum required amount of background for us to start the film.

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“One by one, the Free Lands of Middle-Earth fell to the power of the Ring. But there were some who resisted.”

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“A last alliance of men and elves marched against the armies of Mordor.”

Colin:

Men and elves? Fuck you, too, dwarves. Remember how half of The Hobbit is the dwarves being pissed at the elves for not helping to defend their treasure? Looks like the dwarves were the ones who didn’t show up to help at the battle to decide the fate of the world. So in perspective…y’all need to shut the fuck up.

They don’t roll on Shabbos.

But that is pretty funny. They’re so upset at the elves for those events that they didn’t even bother to show up for the potential end of the world.

Colin:

Also, how much better is it when there’s actual people in costumes and shit? Oh, and this happened WAY before the elves didn’t help them in The Hobbit, so the dwarves were wrong first. But then, this is like the argument between Japan and Korea. Who did what how many hundred years ago. And we’re all like, stop fighting and keep making porn.

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“And on the slopes of Mount Doom, they fought for the freedom of Middle-Earth.”

The “slopes” of Mount Doom.

We’re all picturing it. You know we are.

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War.

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What do you think craft services was like for this war?

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I picture Hugo Weaving like this being at every war.

Kind of like Lieutenant Dan and his family.

Colin:

AND HUGO WEAVING! I always enjoy Hugo Weaving. But fuck all of you nerd girls who immediately think of V for Vendetta, cause that movie’s cult following is annoying as hell. I wait for November 5th every year, so I can read the Facebook statuses and let that determine who gets unfriended.

Co. Rect. My annual post for November 5th is, “Fuck all of your V for Vendetta posts today.”

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This is pretty great, the wave of swords coming up.

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“Victory was near –”

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“But the power of the ring could not be undone.”

Apparently it could, because what the fuck are we about to watch for nine hours?

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He’s got that motherfuckin’ glow.

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It’s more of a promise ring than anything.

Colin:

Notice how it doesn’t make him invisible.

What does it do for him? And if he poured his cruelty and malice into it, why did he have to make it and wear it in the first place? Wasn’t all that evil and power within him to begin with? Or maybe it’s like blood doping, where you draw a lot of blood, let your body replace the blood you took out and then add the blood back later so you have extra red cells?

Did he pour his cruelty and malice into the ring, then let his body top off the cruelty and malice tanks again and THEN put the ring on so now he’s got double cruelty and malice? I just never got how he got extra power from this ring, since it was his own power that created it in the first place. The only thing that I do see as a possibility is that it’s like a horcrux, since even after he died, his soul was tied to it.

Double cruelty and double malice.

Sauron used Nasty Plot.

But you know that’s not really his style. He’s definitely one to follow my strategy. “What? Double Team six times? Whatever. Dead.”

But that is a good point. The ring does things differently for him than it does for everyone else. I think it’s because, for him, it works for him, so it makes him powerful and harnesses all the power to take over the other races, whereas, with everyone else, it makes them invisible and singles them out in the shadow world (since he was a necromancer at one point) and makes them easier to find by Sauron. So when someone puts it on, then he’s like, “Aha! Gotcha, bitch!” So I think that’s why it works that way for everyone else.

Don’t get why he’d need to wear it, though. Don’t really get how it holds power, either. But I guess that’s just one of those things you go with.

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Does he wear chain mail all the time?

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Just taking a dozen people out with every swing.

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Just launching motherfuckers.

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“It was in this moment, when all hope had faded, that Isildur, son of the king, took up his father’s sword –”

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Colin:

Yeah, take off your helmet so you can be with your father. What the hell is the point there?

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Crunch.

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In Middle Earth they call that an uruk knife.

Colin:

In Connecticut, we call that a shiv.

Squalay.

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Evil people always reach for things in slow motion.

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Now that’s true evil, when you’re so evil smoke comes out when someone cuts off your fingers.

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Weird that Sauron doesn’t scramble to pick it up or anything.

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And how he just looks at it like an idiot. PICK UP THE FUCKING THING!

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Just like General Grievous.

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Boom.

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Colin:

That was basically a nuclear bomb. I never got how this works. Is it like in a video game, where you defeat the boss and all the minions get killed automatically? Like in Mario, how if you finish the level, any guys left on the screen turn into points? Did that blast just kill only the bad guys? Is that how that works?

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“Sauron, the enemy of the free peoples of Middle-Earth, was defeated.”

So, I don’t get it… why was he destroyed when the ring was cut off? I thought only his cruelty and malice were put into it. Shouldn’t the cutting off of the ring make him nicer? Or safer? Like Sephiroth?

This is some Voldemort shit. Motherfucker obvious has some horcruxes too. Evil gets disembodied way too easily.

Colin:

We’re clearly on the same page. But I guess you just go with it. Like Sandler and Aniston. Great movie, that.

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I’d be more interested in the finger I was holding than that ring.

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“The Ring passed to Isildur, who had this one chance to destroy evil forever.”

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“But the hearts of men are easily corrupted.”

Colin:

Why does this tree hugging narrator hate men so much? I think it’s safe to assume she’s a lesbian.

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“And the ring of power has a will of its own.”

Colin:

Must suck being the ring. It has its own will, but it can’t do anything cause it’s just a ring. I bet it wants to play Xbox or whatever, but it can’t because it’s only a ring.

Cut to a montage of the ring wanting to do lots of things, but being unable to, because it’s just a ring.

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Surprise tally ho!

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It’s always funny when people come out of nowhere and tackle somebody.

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Weird how he had the ring all this time and not once thought to put it on.

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Wow, amazing how it can just slip off your finger like that.

But then I realized — Sauron was fucking gigantic in that opening scene. What was his ring size? No wonder it slipped right off Isildur’s hand.

Which then begs the question — how the fuck did it fit on Frodo, Bilbo and Gollum’s hands so easily? Is this a one-size-fits-all ring, or do they all magically have the same exact size fingers?

Colin:

It shrinks to the size of the ring bearer’s finger. You actually see it shrink in Isildur’s hand when Sauron’s finger disintegrates. They do it in a shot where the angle changes, so it’s hard to tell at first, but it clearly shrinks.

Oh. So yeah. That’s… weird. Weird that his cruelty and malice led to that ability.

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Just like Kate Winslet.

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“It betrayed Isildur, to his death.”

That’s how I’m gonna go.

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“And some things that should not have been forgotten were lost.”

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“History became legend. Legend became myth. And for two and a half thousand years, the ring passed out of all knowledge.”

Colin:

That’s always fun, when crazy amounts of time get thrown out there. Like, putting that in perspective – 2500 years ago now, Confucius was writing and Lucretia was being raped.

Ah, Thursday.

Colin:

The Roman Republic hadn’t even been founded yet. It’s pretty interesting how Middle Earth doesn’t change AT ALL during this time, either. They’re just in a perpetual Middle Age during all this. How about someone inventing the printing press and getting Renaissanced?

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“Until, when chance came, it ensnared a new bearer.”

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What if it was Paul Bearer? That would be a twist.

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“My Precious.”

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“The ring came to the creature Gollum, who took it deep into the tunnels of the Misty Mountains.”

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“And there it consumed him.”

Colin:

Oh boy. Gollum crouching on a rock, bathed in dim light. That brings back memories.

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“The ring brought to Gollum unnatural long life. For 500 years, it poisoned his mind. And in the gloom of Gollum’s cave, it waited.”

Colin:

Oh, okay, Gollum’s got it for another 500 years. So that war was 3000 years ago. So for us, that’s when David became king of Israel, iron was invented, and rice was first cultivated in Japan. That’s how different the world was 3000 years ago. The Japanese were all like, “WTF is rice?”

That photo is what we all looked like when we were 12 and trying to jerk off before someone walked into the room.

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“Darkness crept back into the forests of the world. Rumor grew of a shadow in the East – whispers of a nameless fear. And the Ring of Power perceived its time had now come.”

Colin:

A shadow in the East? A nameless fear? No, no, it has a name. (China)

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“It abandoned Gollum.”

Real bad breakup. Nasty court battles.

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“But something happened then the Ring did not intend.”

It went gay for a little while.

Colin:

I like the random fish bones.

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“It was picked up by the most unlikely creature imaginable.”

A marmot? Because that would be pretty random.

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“A hobbit, Bilbo Baggins of the Shire.”

Colin:

Okay, the ring didn’t intend to get picked up by Bilbo, but who DID it intend to be picked up by? Cause this isn’t exactly the fucking Champs Élysées, there Ringy. If you can get Gollum to just throw you away without realizing it, wouldn’t you have him take you somewhere more populous first? Unless you planned on sitting on a cave floor for like 30,000 years. At which point you’d be featured in a documentary film by Middle Earth’s Werner Herzog.

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“For the time will soon come when hobbits will shape the fortunes of all…”

And that’s where we begin…

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Colin:

Did they really need the title to tell us where and when this is set?

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Concerning Hobbits.

Colin:

This place is too green. I’m not attacking the film – I’m attacking their choice of habitat.

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Hark — what’s that yonder?

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Gandalf.

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If I were an opium dealer, this is how I would show up to places. Exactly like this.

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“You’re late.”

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You’re… disproportionate.

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“A wizard is never late, Frodo Baggins. Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to.”

This is my defense whenever I ejaculate without warning first.

They always close their legs and say I can’t pass…

Colin:

A wizard is never late. Yeah I know who you are, you punk bitch. Thought you was all badass sneaking up on me, huh. I saw you coming. I saw you before you even got up this morning. Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to.

What’s funny is that he’ll be telling a different story in a few months.

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Ha ha ha. Let us laugh at this little funny.

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Grace personified.

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Colin:

This went gay way faster than Star Wars did.

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“Hey kid… wanna buy some drugs?”

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It’s Bilbo’s birthday.

(And apparently a heroin farm.)

Colin:

We’re going to meet Flaming Dragon at the party later.

We already did meet Gan… oh, you mean the firework.

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Frodo wants to know all about the outside world, and Gandalf says a bunch of shit is going on that hobbits needn’t concern themselves with. “For which I am very thankful.”

Which I like as a line, because it establishes Gandalf as a cool character right off the bat. Here’s this badass wizard dude who goes all over the world, involved in the “comings and goings” of things, but he also likes to get away when he can and come to this little hole in the wall (quite literally), where he gets to hang with these hobbits, the kind of people most in Middle Earth completely ignore. (They don’t even know what the fuck they ARE!)

It’s pretty cool that a dude can be like, “Yeah, shit’s cool being a badass, but I like going to hang over here.” Plus it’s a place that’s cool and untainted, that no one else knows about. I also like that everywhere else, he gets to be Gandalf, and Mithrandir, and Olyrin, G-Hova, the Gandy Man, and Gandalfini, but here he gets to be the cooky old man with the fireworks.

Colin:

I imagine he also likes it cause he keeps some side ho…bbits to creep on when he comes through.

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I want to be the cooky old man with the fireworks.

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Look at that fucking pig anus.

Colin:

That’s a midget pulling on a pig’s leash. That’s a whole movie right there. And that one! He’s really grabbing the goat by the horns.

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I love that it’s Bilbo’s birthday, but everyone in the town is going to work on it. I can’t tell if that says something positive, or negative, or both, about Bilbo and about them.

Colin:

Oh no. Old hobbit wenches. Whatever’s under those dresses is just as gross as old ladies, just a whole lot closer to the ground already.

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I like how there aren’t really roads in some places, just sections of hill that were dug out.

It looks like Machop designed the infrastructure to this place.

Colin:

It was so sad that the guy you meet in Vermillion City in Red, Blue and Yellow who’s having his Machop pound the ground to make a foundation for his new place never ends up building it. In Gold, Silver and Crystal, you come back and he’s still there with no building, and he tells you he just never came up with the cash. Shame.

I guess the Pokéconomy was really bad for small businessmen.

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I like that they have food prepared for the tent set up. “You can’t expect me to put up a tent without second breakfast, could you?”

Colin:

Watching midgets doing manual labor is one of my favorite pastimes.

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Colin:

“How is the old rascal?”

Were you expecting ‘bastard?’

Cause I was expecting ‘bastard.’

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If you don’t smoke weed in that, you’re not really cool.

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Colin:

A party of “special magnificence?” What does that mean? Is that a drug thing? You can always trust the Tooks to come through with the Molly. I learned on 90210 that the guy at the party with a number 4 jersey is selling euphoria.

did you ever notice how MDMA is an anagram for DAMM!!

I also love how, during this conversation about the party, Frodo says that “half the Shire’s been invited.”

So… the Shire seems like a pretty small place. Considering the ENTIRE PLACE is preparing for this party. And… only half of them have been invited? So does the other half sit in their little hill houses, watching Wheel of Fortune, while everyone else is outside screaming and having a good time? Because they’re literally outside in the street. It’s like an entire street having a block party, and one family sitting in their house, trying to ignore what’s going on. Only this is worse – this is them not even being INVITED.

The politics of the Shire must be interesting as hell.

Colin:

I bet game shows SUCKED in the Middle Ages. Family Feudalism. Your Life is in Jeopardy. Meal or No Meal?

Also, we find out Bilbo is “up to something.”

Colin:

All of this is so much better if you take it as innuendo. Which goes for most things.

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Anyway, we find out that Gandalf was labeled a “disturber of the peace” in these parts because of “the incident with the dragon.”

I want to have “an incident with the dragon” on my resume from the past that people refer to.

I love when people have this past even that everyone thinks of and remembers as some wild shit. Like, “Remember that incident in Des Moines?” “Wait, that was you?”

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Frodo want some of that sticky green.

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He be trippin’ balls right now.

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He doesn’t like them kids and their jazz cigarettes.

Colin:

Isn’t it funny how just as Frodo tells Gandalf he’s a “disturber of the peace,” they come across a guy who fucking hates Gandalf? What about all those wenches from before? They were all waving.

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Jesus, he’s so far gone.

We were somewhere around Hobbiton, on the edge of the Shire, when the drugs began to take hold.

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Why is that kid climbing over that fence? You can literally hop down from that other part, where there is no fence.

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He is the Uncle Vernon of the Shire.

Colin:

I do love this old hobbit, though. He makes such a sour face when the children run by. It’s hard to come up with something more pathetic and amusing than an older person who seems visibly offended by the mere existence of children. Everyone loves a cantankerous old fuck.

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“I could have been in that franchise…”

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They wanna see some fireworks.

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That’s right… make the kids happy. They’ll all probably be dead soon anyway.

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I bet these are the same kids who played the hobbits in wide shots.

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Colin:

There’s nothing weird between Gandalf and the kids. That’s ignorant, that’s just ignorant.

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Love this series of shots:

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He really is the Uncle Vernon of the Shire.

Colin:

We see that the old hobbit is only a douche because of his wife. They always say that behind every great man is a great woman, but nobody has anything to say about what’s behind a miserable, old chunk of coal. It’s also a woman.

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“Gandalf… I’m glad you’re back.”

“So am I, dear boy.”

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Why are you waving like that? Motherfucker’s gonna be like thirty feet from you at all times.

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This shit looks like The Quiet Man.

Colin:

How badly do you want to see that bar fight between Wayne and O’Hara’s brother, but with midgets? How badly do you want to see anything, but with midgets?

Speaking of game shows…

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Bag End.

What an awesome place to live. In the side of a hill. That’s so cool.

Colin:

I bet Mike’s gonna have something about how much he wants to live underground. I’ve known him for six years now and it’s a topic that comes up just often enough that I’m conscious of it being one of his dreams, or something he’d like eventually. It certainly appeals to me as well; I hate the sun and prefer cool, dark places. I’m also a huge fan of clever architecture, though, which sort of ruins it if you’re looking for a sexy exterior. But how sweet would it be to have a super nice, modern house above ground, and then the rest is a complex underground? Like a Bond lair or something. Now I want to live underground, too. And I’m willing to bet that if Mike hasn’t mentioned it yet, he will soon, or he will now because I just did.

But yeah, Bag End. It’s awesome.

The best part about that comment is that he was correct all around.

That is something I want, and I did mention it during the articles, but not in this film specifically, but I did just mention it because he did, without even reading the part where he said, “he will now because I just did.”

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This shot makes me feel at home.

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So what’s the QED on those three dots up there? There’s a short ‘a’ in party as well, so it’s not that. Is it just to look cool?

Also, you think they had a sign like this outside of the Reichstag?

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I love that he can just bang on the door with his stick. Wouldn’t you do that?

Colin:

I want a cane for hitting doors. And people. And droids.

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Bilbo don’t want to take a minute to hear about Jesus Christ.

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“And what about very old friends?’

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Bilbo Baggins.

(Best choreography ever.)

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Is that your staff or are you just happy to see me?

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“You haven’t aged a day.”

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He takes his hat off. That’s considerate.

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Love the inside of this place.

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Is there anything funnier than a hobbit run?

(Also, love the circular design. More of that in architecture.)

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Colin:

I have to say, I’ve never been a huge fan of the point-of-view camera outside a horror flick. When used correctly, I suppose, but what’s the purpose of it here? Why do we have to see what Gandalf sees? Couldn’t you have done some cool framing instead, using all of Bag End’s weird interior angles?

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I like that they never really go over the “Hobbit” stuff here, and don’t waste time expositing about it.

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“I can make you some eggs if you like.”

Or some sandwiches.

Colin:

I love that Bilbo brings him in, offers him tea and then starts rambling about booze. This guy has his story straight.

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“Just tea, thank you.”

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That’s serial killer-y.

Then there’s a knock at the door.

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“I’m not at home!”

Colin:

The way he jumps at the knock at the door, you’d think he was cooking up a bunch of meth.

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He can’t stand his fucking relatives.

Colin:

I hear you, man! FUCK the Bracegirdles from Hardbottle!

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Bilbo also plans to get the fuck out of here after the party.

But what about Frodo?

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He’s not gonna tell Frodo.

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He thinks Frodo’s still in love with the Shire.

Colin:

What is it about fantasy dialogue and saying shit that no straight guy would ever say to another straight guy? “I think in his heart, Frodo’s still in love with The Shire.” “Uh…right. Changing the subject…”

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“I’m old, Gandalf. I know I don’t look it, but I’m beginning to feel it in my heart.”

Colin:

Like butter scraped over too much bread. Or a salad that’s been tossed too many times.

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Nice vest.

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“I need a holiday. A very long holiday. And I don’t expect I shall return. In fact, I mean not to.”

Colin:

Bilbo’s going on a long holiday that he doesn’t mean to return from. On the Nostromo, I gather.

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They be smoking that good stuff.

This is the proper way to prepare for a party being thrown in your honor.

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“The finest weed in the south Farthing.”

Colin:

The finest weed in the South Farthing! I have to express my approval that (unlike Tolkien) they decided not to elaborate about how “pipe weed” is tobacco. Jackson just lets it be weed, so we can watch a wizard and a midget get slo-mo on that sticky icky icky.

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That is the actual trippin’ balls face. There’s happy tripping, like Gandalf earlier, then there’s the “looking at someone’s face, wondering why all that hair is talking to you.

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I like how Gandalf just one-ups him and pretends like, “Nah, I was just adding to what you did.”

Also, this is exactly how Peter Pan ended.

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“Gandalf, my old friend, this will be a night to remember.”

That’s what they said about the Titanic.

Colin:

Bilbo, watching Gandalf’s smoke ship sail away, remarks that it will be, “a night to remember.”

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Fireworks are a good way to start a scene.

Colin:

“I’m Troy McClure! You may remember me from such educational films as, ‘Two Minus Three Equals Negative Fun,’ and, ‘Firecrackers: The Silent Killer!'”

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Remember, hobbits. There is no sex, in the champagne tent.

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Look at the size of that fucking cake.

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Frodo’s gonna get some in the fields later.

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Pop and lock, baby.

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I found my doppleganger in this universe.

Colin:

This is probably my favorite part of the franchise. Just a whole town of midgets getting fucking HAMMERED. They all have like ten drinks, and then they talk about the war that’s coming and who gets the Vietnamese.

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Samwise Gamgee.

How many strains of weed do you think southern California has named after this guy?

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He got a thing for Rosie Cotton.

Hope she ain’t ridin’ the cotton hippogriff right now.

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“Go on, Sam. Ask Rosie for a dance.”

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“I think I’ll just have another ale.”

That would be badass if he weren’t so closeted for Frodo.

Colin:

“Uh…I think I’ll just have another ale.” Yes. Do that. That’s the right answer. Frodo’s boozeblocking. Rosie’s dancing by herself like a skank, so he has plenty of time to get tipsy before she gets to twerking. Bend over to the front and touch her toes.

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So what does Frodo do, like any good wingman? Pushes him into her.

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This is my ejaculation face.

I arrive precisely when I mean to.

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Wow… the other half of the Shire must be really pissed right now.

This reminds me of New Year’s Eve… must be circa… 2003 or something. It’s midnight on New Year’s, maybe 12:15, 12:20, and my neighbor historically lights off a bunch of fireworks to ring in the new year. And my next door neighbor, who lived directly across the street from the neighbor lighting off fireworks, comes outside at 12:20, on New Year’s Eve (now Day), and tells the dude he’s trying to sleep and gets all pissed off about it.

Norm

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“Then we will drink in the shade.”

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But really, imagine not being invited to this party and having to watch it out your window.

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Look at that dance.

Either that or he’s pulling two double barrels out of his robe.

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This’ll be me, one day. Senile, rambling to children about movies.

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“And there I was, drunk as hell, going down on her… and I look up, and behold the MONSTROUS SIGHT!! She didn’t even have any teeth!”

Colin:

We did Star Wars too recently. I’m just imagining Anakin Skywalker murdering all these hobbit children.

You say that about every movie.

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“WOOOOWWWW!!!”

Colin:

What children are shocked at an old man going ‘pfft?’ Also, how great is it that all of them look marginally excited, except for the one in the back on the right, who’s like, “I can’t believe I’m missing The Brothers Garcia for this bullshit.”

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Does that one create a mushroom cloud?

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Keep the face and the laugh he makes, and replace the fireworks with bottles of booze, and that’s me.

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Sneaky sneaky.

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Merry and Pippin. The way to tell them apart – Merry is always in Red and Pippin is always in green.

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Pippin is also the one who looks borderline autistic.

(Also, check out that firework that looks like a shiftily-wrapped “package” that you give to people. I’m gonna wrap all my presents that way. They need to look as suspicious as possible.)

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That’s always good. Set of M-80s in front of small children.

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Yes… catch the butterflies that are made out of FIREWORKS.

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You know where they’re gonna stick that…

Here’s a question – why steal this thing? You know Gandalf is gonna light it at some point. If you want to do it, just ask him if you can light it. He’s not an asshole. You’re clearly of age. He’ll let you do it. This never made any sense to me. It’s like getting into mischief for the sake of getting into mischief.

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“That’s right, bitches. We real gangstas.”

Colin:

Apples have helped rapscallions feign innocence for centuries.

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I’m a ghost ghost ghost ghost ghost.

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Seriously… what was the end game here? And you’re doing it in this tent? With the clean dishes and stuff? The only thing this is going to accomplish is fucking up the rest of an already great party.

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I like how backwoods these people are. This is like the early Lumiere films, with the train coming at the audience and people freaking out.

Colin:

Hobbits are basically white trash. I figured it out.

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“Dragons? Are you fucking kidding me? There ain’t no dragons around here. That’s a Chinese myth dragon!”

(Note: That actually IS a Chinese myth dragon. They make fireworks.)

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They wanna get fucked.

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Why do they look like Doc Brown?

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Colin:

This isn’t a thing. Holding people by the ear doesn’t work that way. I thought Europeans punished troublemakers with a swift fong in the arse.

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“Meriadoc Brandybuck. And Peregrin Took. I might have known.”

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That’s the punishment? That’s nothing!

Colin:

Why is Gandalf in charge of the dishes?

Now, I’m curious — was that supposed to be his big finisher, that firework? Or is he just pissed that they lit it under his nose?

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Time for Bilbo to make his speech.

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“My dear Bagginses and Boffins, Tooks and Brandybucks, Grubbs, Chubbs, Hornblowers, Bolgers, Bracegirdles and Proudfoots.”

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Man knows how to work a crowd.

Colin:

He’s SHITFACED.

What’s a Chubb?

Colin:

I got a site, I’ll send you the link later.

Oh, good. I hope that link has Boffins and Hornblowers on there too!

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“Proudfeet!”

I wanna be that guy one day. The guy who shows up and has one line, but it’s the one line you remember.

(Which — THAT’S THE GUY FROM BEFORE! That’s the guy who grimaced at the kids! Holy shit, this motherfucker is my hero! He’s the best guy in this entire franchise!)

(Well, second best. But still. I never made that connection before! That’s awesome!)

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“Today is my 111th birthday!”

(He really is shitfaced. Or having a stroke.)

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“Alas, eleventy one years is far too short to live amongst such excellent and admirable hobbits. I don’t know half of you as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”

Yeah… that’ll be me. I’d be the one to say that.

Colin:

I know that Tolkien’s word for 111st is ‘eleventy-first,’ but even though Bilbo says it the normal way the first time here, there are still like three too many syllables. Which, again – he’s shitfaced or stroking out.

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I love that. “Did he just insult us?”

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Colin:

I’m not drinking right now, and that line – while easily decipherable – is still annoying. They have to cut to Gandalf, who narrows his eyes and glances around, as though to say, “Yeah, we’re both in the Smart Guy Club. None of you can join.”

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“I, uhh, I have things to do.”

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“I’ve put this off for far too long.”

Colin:

Now that he’s stopped talking and gone all still, with a creepy look on his face, the guests probably think he actually is stroking out.

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“I regret to announce, this is the end. I’m going now. I bid you all a very fond farewell.”

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“Goodbye.”

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Colin:

Whatever, David Blaine did it better.

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I like how he cackles all the way inside.

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“Those motherfuckers are so STUPID.”

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“I suppose you think that was terribly clever.”

Colin:

OH WASSUP MOTHERFUCKER?! Forgot you weren’t the only one in the Smart Guy Club, eh? Maybe it makes sense that after disappearing, you’d show up at your house to pick up shit.

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“Come on Gandalf! Did you see their faces?”

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“There are many magic rings in this world, Bilbo, and none of them should be used lightly.”

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He’s just having a big of fun. He’s gonna give the ring to Frodo. Only…

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Colin:

I don’t get how Gandalf was taken in by this, or how any of the audience should be. After we (and Gandalf) watch him walk in, he does the crazy coin toss thing (you ain’t no George Raft) and puts it in his pocket. Does Gandalf not see this? Even if not, he was in that room the whole time and would have seen Bilbo put the envelope on the mantle at some point AFTER coming in, having used the ring. But since we’ve been in the room for like 10 seconds and nothing like that has happened…no.

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Driver’s license photo.

Colin:

Ian Holm is a fucking freaky dude when he wants to be. He could be the doctor in Hobbit Centipede.

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Gandalf’s like, “Why not just leave it behind? Is that so hard?”

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“Well… no.”

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“… and yes.”

New goal: Phrase something exactly like this, complete with the facial expressions.

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“My precious.”

He looks like Mozart.

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“Precious? It’s been called that before.”

So you know what it is already? You know who had it before? You’re saying you don’t need to go away for 20 years and do all the research you’re about to do?

“I think you’ve had that ring quite long enough.”

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Is he gonna fight him for it?

Colin:

“Try to take the thing that he’s psychosomatically attached to – THAT’S what Bilbo Baggins hates!”

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“Do not take me for some conjurer of cheap tricks!”

Colin:

There’s something fascinating about people who get angry out of nowhere and get worked up. Cause on one level you’re nervous that they’re unstable, but you’re also kinda interested because they’re unstable.

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“I am not trying to rob you.”

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I want to be able to do that. Make lights go down when I yell at people.

Colin:

Good, good. This guy can make it dark by getting irritated with tiny people. If I had that power, it’d be pitch black 24/7. But he’s like, “Motherfucker, you think fireworks are my day job? That’s just some side shit I started to put myself through culinary arts school. I’m actually a bomb-ass wizard and you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.”

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“I’m trying to help you.”

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“With my dick.”

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Colin:

It’s uncomfortable seeing a grown man’s head pressed into another grown man’s torso during a hug. In fact, even if it were a woman, it’d still be pretty weird.

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“It won’t hurt, I promise.”

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Colin:

This is like in The Royal Tenenbaums when Luke Wilson and Gene Hackman go to stage an intervention for Owen Wilson, and he acts all touched and ready to get help and shit, and when he goes to pack for rehab, he makes a break for it out the window. Bilbo’s agreeing with Gandalf and getting all weepy, and TIME TO GO! Classic misdirection.

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“It’s late. The road is long. Yes, it is time.”

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Weird that not once does Frodo come back to look for Bilbo back at the house.

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Nice shot.

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“Motherfucker, the ring is still in your pocket.”

Colin:

But really, this is the point where you just put the ring on again and squalay.

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You could just put it in the envelope, you know.

Like, “Hey, your house key is still on your keys,” as you’re moving out, and you go, “Oh…” and just throw it onto the floor.

Colin:

Good weight to that ring. I like a hefty weight to my metals. Japanese one yen coins are 1 gram of pure aluminum, which – in comparison, a US penny weighs 2.5 grams. It’s so light that if you place a yen coin on some water, it won’t break the surface. It just sits on top of the water. This is distressing to me.

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“I thought up an ending for my book.”

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“And he lived happily ever after, to the end of his days.”

Colin:

Great ending to your book, dick.

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“And I’m sure you will, my dear friend.”

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Again… weird how no one sees this. They must have all just freaked out, then went, “Oh… well… he’s gone,” and then went on about their business. They must still be partying, because how come Frodo hasn’t come back yet?

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He must actually be fucking that chick out in the fields.

Colin:

Remember when people had songs for all occasions? Because songs were ABOUT shit. The world used to be like Barney; there were songs for anything you did. Now, you go on a road trip, but you’re still listening to Rick Ross rap about rosé. I’m actually pleased about that. I hate the idea of starting off on a journey while singing a song about starting off on a journey. That’s a little too much for me.

I like that song, though. “The Road Goes Ever On and On.”

What’s more enjoyable to me is that it’s classified as a Tolkien “walking song.”

This universe has a lot of walking songs.

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I love those tiles.

Is that weird?

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Did the floor just change?

Colin:

No glare at this angle.

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This is my relationship with gin.

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My exact relationship with gin.

… said Harry, remembering where his life went wrong after the Department of Mysteries battle.

Coin:

This whole sequence is totally horror, though, now that I think about it. The eye popping up for a second when he touches the ring. It’s quite the change after all the flute music.

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Colin:

Can’t touch it. Might as well blaze up another spliff and talk to myself.

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And here comes dumbass Frodo Baggins.

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He must have been getting a handy. Because what else would explain the time difference?

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“He’s gone, isn’t he?”

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“Ay yo, I’m talking to you, motherfucker.”

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This motherfucker’s gone loopy.

“Oh… Bilbo’s ring.”

Colin:

How great is this? Gandalf really is high as fuck. Frodo starts talking and he just looks around, like, “Something’s talking at me. Maybe if I stay still, it’ll leave.” And then when Frodo comes over and says his name, Gandalf practically winces and finally turns to look at him. “Just be cool. Just be cool.”

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“He’s gone to stay with the elves. He’s left you Bag End.”

Now you can bang chicks INSIDE.

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I want one of those.

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This is how they should tell you you’ve been accepted to college.

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Gandalf is leaving. Frodo doesn’t understand.

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“Neither do I.”

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Very Hannibal Lecter.

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“Keep it secret. Keep it safe.”

That should be the tagline for our buttholes.

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Also, try doing that – go right up to someone, say that line, and then leave without another word.

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Mordor.

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Lots of complex camera movements in this film.

Colin:

Uhh…this place. Yes. Barad-dur is a crazy tower. The thing’s 5,000 feet tall. This is a nine-foot scale model, which – thank you for taking a hint and using models instead of CGI.

Also… who lights those candles every day? That must be a thankless job.

I want to see that person, walking around, with a lighter, mumbling to himself about shit, walking up all those stairs to light candles everywhere. Then we see him, near the top, look out over the edge and see a candle way down at the bottom go out.

And he sighs.

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“SHIRE! BAGGINS!”

Dare: Say that next time you ejaculate.

Colin:

I love how Gollum spills the beans and the volcano jizzes.

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I love the little mouse hole on the left.

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It’s like the Megazords being called.

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Colin:

By the way, New Zealand looks nice. My Australian coworker constantly makes fun of it and how New Zealanders fuck sheep. Can’t say, cause I’ve never been there. But Jango Fett’s probably from one of these towns. Maybe Osgiliath. He’s definitely not a Rohan.

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Minas Tirith.

Colin:

Minas Tirith is one of my favorite locations in the franchise. The city built up the side of a mountain like that, it’s wickedly cool. Not to mention that once again, it’s a model.

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Gotta respect a dude who can tell which way the wind is blowing by the sway of his beard.

Colin:

He’s 2000 years old. He can tell which way the wind is blowing by the sway of his balls.

Does he just ejaculate dust by this point?

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No one noticed this before?

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This looks like some of those exterior Hogwarts shots.

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This is creepy. An old man in robes with his hands in his pockets.

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This is what a library should be like.

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Don’t they have people to recopy shit on newer paper? I feel like that should be somebody’s job.

Colin:

Does paper just…hold up like that for 3000 years? Cause I’m pretty sure it doesn’t.

Also, should you be hanging around all that old paper with that much fire?

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What if he spilled that on there?

I also just like how he’s drinking and reading books.

That’s the life.

That and a swivel chair in space.

You guys are watching me concoct my old age plan right before your very eyes.

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He finds the story of Isildur.

No explanation as to how those three candles are lighting that entire room.

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How do you forget something like that? You seem to know what the ring is, so how exactly are you gonna get confirmation of that from this? You even know WHAT IT WAS CALLED!

Colin:

I like that the ring change its size based on who’s got it. They should really get on that. Cause how are you supposed to know a girl’s ring size?

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I always really loved this shot choice. Showing you the hands before the face.

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“Shire – Baggins.”

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The guy points him toward Bag End. He says he’s “Up in Hobbiton.”

Colin:

Oh, buddy. Snitches get stiches.

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You know she a freak in bed.

Colin:

Rosie! She’s dat pub ho dat err’body know!

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What a great existence. They just go around and eat and drink all day.

Colin:

More drunk midgets!

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Great shot.

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This is why you always keep a shotgun at the ready.

Colin:

This is some shit out of The Strangers. Why’d Gandalf have to leave the lights off and grab him and shit? Speaking of which, The Strangers was scary as FUCK. I saw it with some friends in Hartford, and it’s the only time I’ve ever experienced that stereotype of black people yelling at the screen. “No, Liv Tyler, you can’t kill him with that! That’s a paring knife!”

As for the shotgun — I don’t particularly like guys and couldn’t care less about the Second Amendment, but I will always fondly remember my grandfather’s shotgun that he bought once he moved up to Maine. It was mostly in case bears got too close to the house or came onto the porch. But he called it his 12-gauge Burglar Alarm. 

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“Is it secret? Is it safe?”

Colin:

Gandalf clearly thinks bad guys are gonna show up at any moment. Which they should. This is like how we’ve talked about how every 1 out of 1000 new Pokemon games you start, you should walk into the tall grass for the first time and get eaten by a Rayquaza instantly. Sometimes the bad guys DON’T get progressively harder as you move on. Sometimes the really bad ones show up when you’re defenseless. And you know Rayquaza could eat you. I’m imagining the Pokemon version of Jurassic Park where they lower a whole Miltank into the pen and listen as it gets torn up.

Oh right. Back to Middle Earth.

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Take a look at that pig anus indeed.

(I also like the random flowers. You don’t think about it much, but there’s a real absence of purple in these movies. A real absence of a lot of color, actually.)

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This motherfucker is ON POINT!

Throws that shit right in the fire.

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And puts it right in Frodo’s hand. This is some Robert Paulson shit right here.

Colin:

He trusts Gandalf too much. It’s quite cool? You touch it then, asshole. This is like a frat prank.

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“There’s nothing…. wait…”

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Driver’s license photo.

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It’s some kind of Elvish. He can’t understand it. There are few who can. Naturally, Gandalf is one of those few.

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Nice shot.

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“One ring to rule them all. One ring to find them. One ring to bring them all, and in the darkness, bind them.”

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This is the One Ring.

And an IKEA table.

Colin:

So, let’s get this straight. You came all this way to put it in the fire and confirm that this was the Ring of Power – but you put it in the flames and then told Frodo that it was still cool, which is based on the assumption that it IS the Ring of Power. If you were sure enough to risk burning a midget, why’d you have to come all this way? I guess we know one thing about Gandalf. He thinks nothing of burning midgets.

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Naturally they must discuss this over tea and weed.

Colin:

Do hobbits go to school? This is some shit that happened 3000 years ago, and I’m wondering what person with a feudal upbringing, no formal education and no internet could follow history like that.

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“It’s heard its master’s call.”

Colin:

Bullshit. That ring ain’t got ears.

Basically, if Sauron gets this ring back, we’re all fucked. I just saved you a bunch of exposition.

Sauron must never find it.

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So Frodo looks around the house for where he can hide it. Which is always great. “The epitome of evil is coming for this ring.” “Maybe I can hide it in the cabinet next to the Spam and they won’t find it.”

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“No one knows it’s here, do they?”

Do they, Gandalf?

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“See… what had happened was…”

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Colin:

What the hell kind of torture device is that? It looks like it has gears and waterboarding and burning and all kinds of crazy shit. Say what you want about the Middle Ages, but they were on a whole different level with the torture thing.

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Gollum snitched.

Colin:

Gollum’s doing the Christopher Lee hands! Actually, they remind me of our elementary school’s librarian, who had double-jointed thumbs and used to pop them out to freak us all out. But I’m almost certain she’s dead now, so we need not fear her any longer.

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“Shire? Baggins? But that would lead them here!”

Well fucking really.

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“Who goes there?”

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A big fucking knife, that’s who.

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Frodo tries to pawn it off on Gandalf, but Gandalf dare not take it.

Colin:

He’s like a fat chick turning down a chocolate. “Don’t tempt me! Save me from myself! Euhhhh!”

But by saying that through you it would wield a power too great and powerful to imagine, you’re saying that YOU’RE a power too great and powerful to imagine. Cause when you wield something, it’s just…that thing. I can wield a pen. It’s still a pen. So basically what Gandalf is saying is that he’s the most powerful shit you ever seen in your motherfuckin’ life.

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Frodo’s gotta break out.

Colin:

Frodo sure has a lot of puffy shirts.

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Gandalf’s gonna meet him in Bree. After he goes to talk to the head of his Order.

“He’ll know what to do,” he says. Which is weird, since the Saruman turn is supposed to be this big thing that he doesn’t see coming, meanwhile later, when we see it, there’s really no way he’s not evil.

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Oh, also, Frodo is gonna take up the name Underhill.

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“My dear Frodo – hobbits really are amazing creatures. You could learn all that there is to know about there ways in a month, and yet, after a hundred years, they could still surprise you.”

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Squirrel!

(This is almost exactly like that Hermione shot in Chamber of Secrets.)

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“Get down.”

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He fucking got down!

That’s how you survive shit.

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Let’s pause to reflect – Gandalf just picked this motherfucker up with one arm and pulled him through a window. That’s pretty badass.

Colin:

I want to do that sometime. Pick someone up by the chest and slam them down on a table.

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Why you hidin’ below the window, Samwise?

(Is that coke on the table?)

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Dude, Samwise, stab him in the eye with a candle. He’s crazy.

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Sam didn’t hear nothing. Just some shit about a ring, a dark lord, and the end of the world.

You know… Tuesday.

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“Please, don’t hurt me. Don’t turn me into anything… unnatural.”

Like a dildo? What’s unnatural?

Colin:

That’s a great concession. “Don’t turn me into anything! Or, if you are, preferably something that doesn’t suck completely.”

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Reaction shots are the key to comedy.

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Gandalf has thought of a better use for him.

And that’s where we’ll END PART I.

– – – – – – – – – –

Tomorrow is Part II, and Frodo getting stabbed, Christopher Lee, ranger danger, and nice crispy bacon.

(See the rest of the Fun with Franchises articles here.)

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