I was very excited to see Peter Jackson's return to middle earth in "The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey". Even more exciting was that I was going to see it in 48 frames per second. This helps give it a much more realistic look. This type of film making has been met with both scorn and praise by those in the film loving community, and while I enjoyed certain aspects of it. I don't think it's should be a replacement for the standard 24 frames that we are used to.
While I was hanging outside the theatre having a smoke. A young gentlemen who was dressed in really vintage clothes approached me. Immediately I thought he was just some hipster and was about to give him some Pabst Blue Ribbon so he would leave. However he informs me quickly that he is not a hipster, but instead a traveler from the early part of the century. He recognized that this was a movie house, but was confused that so many titles were available in one place.
Here is a short transcript of the conversation we had.
Note**** I forgot the time traveler's real name so for this section I'm going to refer to him as Chap.
Chap: "Good day sir. I am a bit lost, but I do believe that this is a place where moving pictures are shown."
Me: "Umm.... yeah."
Chap: "Oh good, because I have just seen the most amazing thing ever and wanted to share it with someone."
Me: "Umm OK cool, because I too some something that was kind of cool on the eyes as well."
Chap: "Splendid. Would you object to me telling you about my visual experience first?"
Me: "Oh not at all, man. Go right ahead."
Chap: "It was called A Trip to the Moon, and I have never seen anything like it before. It was like they took a photograph of real people and made them move. I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw this. Oh and get this., they also go in to space,can you believe that? I really don't think that there is going to be anything better than these moving pictures. It's really quite astounding.
Me: "It sounds interesting. What happens after they get to the moon?"
Chap: "Nothing much, they fight some creatures and return home. But My god, the look was incredible. I have never seen anything like it before. This is the future of..of...umm... what would you call these?....ummm...uhhh.."
Chap: "Movies?...Moving...pictures! I like that. Movies. So dear sir, what MOVIE did you take in today?"
Me: "Well, the one I saw was "The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey". This was the prequel to the Lord of the Rings saga where a young hobbit goes on a journey with other dwarfs through Middle Earth. The look of this movie was really crisp and sometimes it looked like I was really there.
Chap: " And other times?"
Me: "Like I was watching someones home videos"
Chap: "So what happens with this Hobbit?"
Me: "They walk around for almost three hours,get into a few battles, meet up with characters from the other trilogy who talk alot. Really not that much happens."
Chap: "How long is it?"
Me: "Well the first one is about three hours, and I think the other two..."
Chap begins coughing uncontrollably
Chap: "Three hours? Did you say three hours"
Me: "Hmmm well I guess with advertisements and trailers. It would be more like three and a half hours."
Chap's eyes grow big and he begins coughing some more. I pat his back a few times and give him some of my water to drink.
Chap: "What are these trailers you speak of?"
Me: "Oh, umm trailers are commercials for the movies. It's what studios use to get people interested in a particular title"
Chap: "Store merchants? You use store merchants to sell what is possibly the greatest invention ever made. No wonder you have movies about people walking all the time. You lost your originality."
Me: "Oh no these are considered to be among the greatest works of fantasy fiction ever written"
Chap: "The Hobbit?"
Me: "Well yeah, but mostly The Lord of the Rings"
Chap: "Is that the name of the second book? The Hobbit: The Lord of the Rings"
Me: "Oh No. The Lord of the Rings is it's own trilogy that has three separate books that go with it."
Chap: " And how many books are associated with The Hobbit?"
Me: "Just one."
Chap begins laughing as he begins packing tobacco into his pipe.
Chap: "They are turning one book into three movies. I can't wait to tell Jules Verne about this. He is going to have a good long laugh"
Me: "They are also going to add in the appendix stories that connect The Hobbit with The Lord of the Rings."
He finishes packing the pipe and lights up. Drawing in some of the smoke,he speaks.
Chap: So all the stuff the author did not include in the main story is going to be used to make the other movies. You're basically using the leftover waste that was originally deleted. Is that what I'm hearing?"
Me: "Sort of, I guess"
Chap: "Have you read From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne. It's not a short book, but they were able to condense that one down into just fifteen minutes. Your telling me they couldn't make this other story into just one movie"
Me: "Well yeah it could, but trilogies sell better"
Chap: "But this is just one book. Your telling me that in the future, audiences will want to see moving pictures that are over 3 hours long, just to watch the first half of a story."
Me: "Basically Yeah."
Chap: "What are you all, fucking stupid?"