I didn’t expect to like Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit all that much. Not because I didn’t like the book or because I didn’t have faith in Peter Jackson, but because The Lord of The Rings film trilogy was one of the most impressive, massive undertakings in film history – like Jurassic Park 3. Tolkien’s The Hobbit was great, but there was no way anything An Unexpected Journey could turn out would match the epic conclusion of The Fellowship of the Ring or the jaw-dropping spectacle of Helm’s Deep.
But then an Unexpected Journey was amazing and I loved it. Apparently dwarves are really awesome sometimes and there are one armed albino orcs and Ian McKellen’s Gandalf is one of the finest, most endearing performances of all time? Who knew?
So of course after paying to see it in a regular old movie theater I had to see what all the rage over the IMAX 3-D High Frame Rate version was about. Luckily I was able to go to the theater and pay a few extra dollars to see it again in the enhanced format. It was awesome.
Fast-forward four months to this past Tuesday and you can bet I bought the shit out of The Hobbit on Blu-ray. It was great; I went to the store, I picked up the Blu-Ray + DVD + Ultraviolet Combo Pack, I paid money – what more could a little fellah ask for?
Unfortunately, upon buying the disc all of my passion for The Hobbit was almost immediately vanquished. I mean, yeah I bought The Hobbit on Blu-Ray + DVD + Ultraviolet Combo Pack, but now what? It’s not like I can buy it again and if I can’t continually throw money into a bottomless well of a franchise then why even pretend that I like it?
Then I remembered something. Wasn’t there an extended cut of every Lord of the Rings movie with a boatload of extra footage that I could pay more money to see? And wasn’t there supposed to be an extended cut of An Unexpected Journey as well?
Yep. Turns out a cut with over twenty minutes of additional footage is out there – to be release at a later date thank God. I wouldn’t want to be tempted to buy just one version of The Hobbit after all!
Just when I thought the only thing I had to look forward to was a noose, it turns out that I’ll have the opportunity to throw some money at The Hobbit again! And they’ll probably release separate standard and extended cuts of the next two Hobbit films as well! And they’ll probably release a box set of all three of The Hobbit movies! And a box set of all three extended cuts of The Hobbit movies! And a box set of the cumulative six Tolkien movies! And a box set of the extended cuts of all six of the films! And a box set containing both cuts of all six of them!
Get off that bridge, psycho! It’s a wonderful life!
I write this blog post not to stand on a soapbox and preach to the masses, but to stand on a soapbox and inform the masses of some personal views that I personally believe should be loudly and forcefully imposed on the world.
Do you understand just how lucky we are to be given so many opportunities to pay tribute (money) to Warner Bros or Universal or MGM or Columbia or Fox or Disney or Paramount? People in Yugoslavia don’t even get to by Batman Begins on VHS. Here in America we get to buy Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises as DVD’s or Blu-Rays or Blu-Ray Combo Packs or digital downloads or steelbooks or in a box set or in a commemorative box set or in a limited edition anniversary box set.
We owe it to Yugoslavia to buy them all.
But our good fortune doesn’t stop there – just think of the comic books!
People in Yugoslavia (probably) have to read leftover Garfield comics they (probably) have airdropped in by the UN, and you can bet your ass that each of those Garfield books has one boring cover. But here in America the first issue of DC Comic’s Justice League of America just shipped with a liberty-and-justice-for-all-inducing fifty-one different covers! Of the same book!
I just wish there were a way we as consumers could show our thanks to the entertainment industry for the privilege it is to continually pay to consume its work over and over again in nearly identical mediums. I can only hope that within the next year every single one of my favorite movies, albums and books are rereleased as a Hardcover 8-Disc Limited Edition “You Are Welcome For Letting You Buy Me” Commemorative HD Re-release Anniversary Edition Blu-Ray + DVD + VHS + Laserdisc + Digital Copy + Digital Comic Steel Book Retailer Exclusive Variant Edition Editions.
It would only be fair.
On an entirely unrelated note: Satire aside I fall into these marketing ploys on almost a weekly basis. I have a problem.
God help me…