Right folks, I am finally doing it. For months and months I have been blabbering on about watching all LOTR films back-to-back and today I SHALL DO IT. Naturally, the Director's Cut boxed set that has been in our house for years and years has gone missing but my lovely, long-suffering wife has gone out to buy me the boggo one for a very reasonable £15 from HMV. I'm not to going to lie though. They are just the standard films and run at slightly over three hours each. This means I am a fucking cowardly mountain of human flesh and I do not dispute this.You may be wondering how I feel at the moment. I am about to embark on eleven hours of watching sodding Orcs shooting Wizards in the mouth with crossbows and such. So, to answer your question, I am scared. I am worried what this might do to me. I don't think I've ever spent eleven hours doing ANYTHING in one sitting other than sleeping. A lot of preparation has gone in to this and I was less nervous getting married.
The purpose of this blog is to give you some insight in to my thoughts and draw your attention to mad shit that often goes unnoticed in these films. I'm sure at one point there is a fucking aluminum stepladder right in the middle of a battle scene, not to mention Legolas' huge erection when he leaves the Shire for the first time. Mark my words, it's there.
Okay, 1pm on Sunday afternoon. The first disc goes in and I hit play...
Here are my thoughts in chronological order, as they happened:
Apparently Sauron put all his malice and evil in to the first ring. It's funny that because I have always taken this approach to fashioning Christmas cards.
Oh look! The ring has just been found by Gollum. He seems quite keen to keep hold of it. My father has got a friend who sort of reminds me of Gollum. He's very racist. Lives in Culceth.
Holy hell, the ring just got picked up by Bilbo Baggins. I've never trusted that bastard. Never. Something about his eyes that says "I have done many drugs."
Oh look how delightful the Shire is. Utter bliss. I'd happily sell up and move there. I could sit under trees all day chewing straw and listening to Elgar on my Ipod. Might drink mulled wine too.
Gandalf is very tall. Possibly even taller than Jeremy Clarkson. This is where the similarities end though my friends. Actually how good would it be seeing Clarkson doing a handbrake turn in a modded Ford Focus at the Gates of Mordor?
Bugger me these Shire houses look like something from Grand Designs. I keep expecting Kevin McLoud to pop up and get all passionate about importing massive eco-windows from Bologna.
These guys in the Shire are clearly using top-end washing powder. Not a spot of dirt on them rags, despite living in filth. Maybe they've got a quality laundrette? Either way, clearly got more money than me.
Circular doors to the houses. Can parallels be drawn between this and the pod-bay doors on 2001: A Space Odyssey? Maybe Soromon is actually Hal 9000? Will Soromon let him back in?
Gandalf just banged his head on the doorway in Baggins' flat. Stupid twat. Use your eyes jackass! You should sit on the street corner playing an accordion wearing sunglasses.
Does homosexuality exist in the Shire? Would there be a spell to 'cure' it?
Love the way they make the Shire sound like utter perfection. What about refuse collection? And flooding? Not to mention chronic dog-fouling.
Gandalf and Bilbo are smoking chronic on a hill now. Must be good shit because the smoke has formed the shape of a dragon. Can I have some please? I need to catch up on my chonging.
Gandalf is setting fireworks off. Irresponsible.
Baggins is clearly being influenced by the ring. He needs to belt up and tell it to fuck off. It's his life, don't need no piece of jewellery telling him what's what, eh? He's getting bollocked by Gandalf now. Just hand it over Baggins you big tart.
Oooof. There goes Baggins. Frodo gets possession of the ring. The plot thickens.
First glimpse of the big tower where Soromon lives. Nice place. I once stayed somewhere like that near Hove. Blocked the toilet on the first night.
The ring looks worryingly like my wedding ring. Mine doesn't have Elvish writing round the edge though, although it WAS forged by Sauron personally.
Gandalf reminds me of Marco Pierre White a tad. I don't know if Gandalf uses Knorr though.
First glimpse of Sauron's eye. Worryingly vagina-esque.
Frodo sort of reminds me of Brian May. Clogs and all. Wonder if he's got a Red Special?
Here come those nasty bastards on horseback. The ones dressed in black. Kind of like Johnny Cash but festooned in armour and with red eyes. I wonder how Lenny 'The Guvnor' McLean would handle them? 4,000 cobble fights undefeated. Bosh! Number One.
Frodo seems to fall asleep and arrive in some kind of weird ethereal universe sometimes. He really should ring NHS Direct about that.
Love to see an episode of Coast dedicated to Middle Earth. Imagine Neil Oliver fighting the wind at the edge of that forest with the walking and talking trees. He'd wear his red North Face coat and carry that black messenger bag with dildos hidden inside, hungrily waiting for an opportunity to use them in private.
I have now been watching for one hour and am still going strong.
Frodo just took a blade! How harsh is that. It's okay though because everything has gone on fire.
Here come the Orcs. Proper. Bad. Lads. My fave is that massive one that emerges from the slime. How does one create and Orc? I reckon if I daub Lennox Lewis from head-to-toe in thick mud he could find work as a doorman in Mordor.
Frodo seems to have healed up nicely. I hope he wrote a note of praise for those on the ward to his local gazette.
Everyone calm down, Legolas is here.
Apparently the ring can only be destroyed by tossing it back in to the firey chasm from whence it came. I disagree. Give me an afternoon, some goggles, an angle-grinder and a Black And Decker Workmate and you'll see I'm right.
Baggins keeps apologising to Frodo for giving him the burden of the ring. Fuck that. In 1992 my Father had to carry my sister's bike on the handlebars of HIS bike for ten miles when the chain broke in the middle of the East Anglia. I'm sure he would gladly have traded that for a piece of enchanted jewellery.
They're about to enter some weird mines on the side of a mountain. I remember me and Peter Connolly once discovered a mine shaft near our holiday home in South Wales, circa 1994. We found a discarded cheese sandwich then turned back satisfied.
Frodo has taken a blade again. Wow this fight is turning into a right a melee. Orcs, cave trolls, the lot. I once saw footage of a prison riot that looked something like this on Quest.
Two hours in and I am dire need of lemonade. I can smell cooking coming from the kitchen. Is my wife baking bread? Is this what wives do when their husbands are watching LOTR? For some reason I feel utterly lethargic and am craving sugar.
Starting to seriously doubt if I can do this. I'm not even at the end of the first film and I'm already fucked. Starting to wonder how long the interlude will be between films. Ten minutes? Thirty? How am I going to blog whilst I'm eating my dinner?
This film is turning in to a right gypsy's wedding. Fight after fight after fight. Borrowmere just sliced the head clean off the shoulders of a massive Orc. Well done lad! He's now prattling on about the 'little ones'. The guy is clearly delirious and in need of a gin & tonic and a lie down.
Weird flamey creature with a whip terrorising them now. Bit kinky. Luckily the whips don't have hammers on the end.
End of first film. I am tired but will keep going. I may have a ten minute interlude to quaff some lemonade.
In goes the second disc...
They're now encouraging Gollum to lead them to Mordor. What a fatal error. It's like asking me to build you a nice shelving unit. NOT A GOOD IDEA.
I'm actually feeling quite fresh considering this is hour number four. This can all change.
It's fair to say the Dwarves add fuck all to Middle Earth. All talk. Much better to be an Elf or even, dare I say it, an Orc.
Why do these types of films always feature a pale-skinned, long-haired king losing his mind?
"I'm starvin'. We ain't 'ad nathin but maggoty meat for three stinkin' days." says an Orc in a cockney accent. Seriously.
Here comes the epic battle scene with about thirty thousand film extras. I always wonder what goes on in these scenes that doesn't get picked up by the cameras. It must be chaos.
I am actually starting to feel weird now. Not even half way through! Curious urge to fashion a sword from pig iron and don an enchanted glove.
For some reason it has popped in to my had that I went to primary school with a lad nicknamed 'Bondage'.
Can't help but wonder if it's wise to let Gollum lead one through a swamp. Sort of like allowing me to manufacture your parachute.
I tell you one invention that would make life easier for these guys: hiking boots. Decent quality Gore-Tex hiking boots with leather uppers teamed with seamless walking socks. They must be averaging 20/25 miles a day at least. I'd also consider getting an Ipod to take away the boredom of hour after hour of solitary walking too. Maybe download some Radio 4 podcasts.
Frodo keeps having these 'attacks' where he sees visions of ghostly skeletal Black Knights coming to get him on horseback. I sometimes get this after a particularly hard day at work.
Why is nobody using fucking guns? Would the LOTR charm really be lost if Legolas was toting an M-16 instead of a bow and arrow? What about Erador aggressively firing a bazooka at advancing berzerkers? Fuck it, lazers and gangster-style open razors.
Loads of catapults in this here castle but nobody is bloody using them. Why? Find some boulders, wind it back dangerously and let rip man!
Life would be so much easier for these bastards if they had a Landrover Discovery with adaptive suspension. Beats a horse. You could simply rock back drinking a can of Tizer and waft your way to Cyrodil safe in the knowledge that you own the best 4wd on the market.
My Dad would simply not understand these films. He lives on a diet of Monty Python, Bob Dylan and the Guardian. He once asked where the cutlery is in McDonalds.
Jesus this king looks better now he's had the evil spirit of Soromon banished from him. Colour back in his cheeks. I must remember to expunge Soromon next time I'm feeling a bit peaky.
It's gone all soppy and romantic now. I don't want this. I want to see Orcs get brutally dispatched with axes buried in their spinal columns. I want to see Cave Trolls getting shot in the face with arrows by arrogant archers.
They seem to be riding dinosaurs now. Isn't that cheating?
Nothing more heartwarming than seeing a Dwarf brutally snapping the neck of an Orc with his bare hands.
Not enough sex in these films. Need to 'sauce it up' a bit. Possibly a bit of Carry-On style slapstick? Barbara Winsor in her bra and undies jumping up and down giggling in a campsite.
I have decided that my new watch was a stupid impulse purchase that was way too expensive. Plus it's fucking massive. This is my sixth watch. This has no relevance AT ALL to LOTR.
These bastards are getting a lift on a walking talking tree. How good is that! It's fucking massive and talks shit. Ideal.
I've got to be honest, I am actually enjoying these films. A bit of escapism you don't often get in cinema.
Part of Middle Earth is called Rohan. I wonder how much money the aforementioned outdoor clothing company paid for this little addition? It's a bit obtuse though isn't it. I mean I can't see any of the Hobbits wearing £200 well-fitted windcheaters with a removable inner shell. Maybe the cheapo Regatta stuff though.
Feel sorry for Gollum. He doesn't half get a lot of abuse. I don't feel sorry for Sam, he's fucking useless. Really gets on my tits.
Eragon is bit of a hunk isn't he. I'd feel really safe in those arms.
They keep talking about 'blowing horns' and it's making me laugh. Why oh why oh why did I start this challenge? I haven't regretted anything this much since I tried to eat all them fish fingers last year. I reckon I'm slightly over half way through and it feels like a kind of creeping death has set in. A growing insanity that is slowly edging its way through every inch of my being. Still, better than Strictly.
I have resorted to beer. Is this cheating?
No battle scene is complete unless it is at night and in the pouring rain.
Oh the light-hearted humour of seeing an Orc get hit in the bollocks with a sledgehammer as he climbs a ladder.
Oh fuck me this is getting hard now. I'm 5hrs 30 mins and I feel totally LOTR'd out. I can't even bring myself to write anything witty. I will feel better when I'm on the third film. So much violence, so much bloodshed...oh wait it's not real.
I actually feel sick and have got a headache.
Is it worrying that I'm actually empathising with the bloody characters now? I just punched the air when the tree-men broke down the dam. I've become everything I hate.
End of film two. I feel like something inside me has changed forever. I need to get my head together and then I will hit number three. I've lost all emotions and am thinking irrationally.
Disc number three goes in. Come on Paul, just see it through. You've come too far to turn back now. Have a beer and relax.
Ooooh it's a flashback to when Gollum wasn't Gollum. Ah yes. Details about how he came to be in possession of the ring. I won't spoil it. Bloody hell this ring really does bring out the worst in people. No doubt there.
My wife is in the bath listening to ska music. Curious juxtaposition or stimulus going on here. LOTR and Bad Manners. Weird.
Treebeard has taken over management of Isengard. Good on you badlad. Proud of your woody ass.
Pippin has just found a crystal ball in the water and Gandalf seems eager to take possession of it. Clearly he knows things we don't.
I'm really suffering now. My head is pounding and I'm not even taking in the events unfolding in front of me. I don't know how much more I can write but I will continue watching. I actually feel like I've entrusted with the ring itself. My wife has gone to bed in disgust. How far can I take this?
That's it folks. Eleven hours of fucking misery over. I do like these films but I currently feel like somebody has driven a JCB through my bloody head. I now think in terms of LOTR.
So have I gained anything from this experience? Probably not. I've done a hell of a lot of introspection over the last eleven hours and have probably managed to reduce my mental capacity a little bit.
Next task: all nineteen Police Academy films. If anyone is looking for me I am currently under close scrutiny in Rampon Secure Psychiatric Unit.
Thanks for reading and g'night.