Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

December 13, 2013

VINCENT DAVIS: To Hobbit or not to Hobbit?

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — If you’ve been watching the news you know the world is in a shaky place. The deaths of world leader Nelson Mandela and Paul Walker, the heart and soul of the “Fast and Furious” franchise, and civil unrest in the Ukraine, should weigh on the mind.

But this Friday the 13th I find myself dealing with a tough issue that hits much closer to home. “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” is coming out today and I can’t decide whether I should see it.

It may seem petty to put so much thought into how I should spend $10 on a Friday, but let me ask you this: When your car gets a flat tire on your way to work, are you upset about oppressive work conditions in Taiwanese factories? 

Anyone who’s honest will tell you that the “biggest problem in the world” is the one you have to deal with. My biggest struggle with the Smaug issue is I never saw the first “Hobbit” movie. I read the book, but I was so young that by the time I got to the end of it, I couldn’t remember how it started.

Even after admitting that, I still I feel like there weren’t enough sword fights and plot lines to stretch that book into three movies worth seeing. Maybe I should wait for all three of them to come out, then five to 10 years later, buy the special edition re-release in which they’re edited into one awesome movie, they like they did with the “Godfather” series.

It’s not that I have anything against fantasy. I’ve seen all of the different versions of all the Lord of the Rings movies, meaning I’ve already dedicated more than 24 hours of my life to this series. At this point I’m in so deep, I should just take the plunge and watch both Hobbits back-to-back this weekend, yet here I am wondering if a pop-punk band from my childhood is playing a reunion show nearby tonight. They would probably appreciate my money more than filmmaker Peter Jackson.

At 2 hours, 41 minutes, “The Desolation of Smaug” takes up considerable real estate in my day. If I miss the earliest screening, my party schedule will be pushed into ‘wee hours of the morning’ territory and I don’t know if I’m prepared to go there. I could watch three episodes of Sons of Anarchy in that time I finally dove into season one through Netflix last week and I’m dying to see what happens to Jax and the boys in season 2. 

In times like these, it’s often helpful to look to the stories of great men of history to find guidance, but what would Nelson Mandela do? I’m pretty sure that once you’ve had Morgan Freeman play you in a movie opposite Matt Damon (Invictus) that’s the only movie you watch.

When I take a step back I wonder if maybe I’m over-thinking this.

“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” will still be out tomorrow, with the same long name and even longer runtime. As much as my hard-earned movie ticket fee would be appreciated by the movie industry, the film is going to make millions of dollars on toy and memorabilia sales alone and the world will continue to turn whether I see the Hobbit or not.

Sometimes I wonder if I should give up on cinema altogether and start watching “Dr. Who.” There are so many episodes, I’d never have to wonder what to watch again.

Vincent Davis II is a Cornell graduate, DJ, and market development specialist in the IT industry. He can be contacted at vincedavis06@gmail.com.