January is a depressing time of the year. The shiny, food packed thrills of Christmas and New Years have deserted us, like a hard bodied lover disappearing into the morning half light after a great one night stand. Empty bank accounts and dieting are depressing replacements. February doesn't help much with only the enforced love-in of Valentine's Day to "look forward" to. In need of a cheap pick-me-up at the end of the month my sister Rachel and I decided to make the Saturday before payday our movie marathon day. Cheap crisps and booze in hand we chose to dive in the deep end; our first marathon would be The Lord of the Rings Trilogy at the end of February.
The LOTR Extended Marathon; a true journey
Not wishing to do things half-assed we plumped for the extended editions. Novices out there might think that this three film stint would be a breeze but the extended editions split the films into two parts, each part stretching to a two hour running time apiece. So that's six full length films in total, more movie goodness than I've ever taken in during one sitting. Still, we both felt good when we sat down at 11.15am to kick things off.
Bilbo scares us shitless....again
The first two parts flew by, despite the odd phonecall and passing visitors, hearing of our movie daring-do and wanting to wish us well. But then disaster; at the start of The Two Towers we were yawning and feeling heavy eyed. Was this the end of our journey, not even at the halfway point? We lit some old tobey and its fragrant wafts lifted our spirits.
A nice drop of old tobey!
By 8.30pm we were ready to tackle The Return of the King, slipping part five into the dvd player. But we weren't nearly frightened enough. What we hadn't factored in was the sixth and final part being by far the longest; there was a foul voice on the air, it whispered "defeat". As the final disc started we drew in a deep breath and ploughed on. Frazzled by fatigue and copious crisp intake the finale was an emotional one when it finally arrived at twenty minutes past midnight.
Starting the final leg but feeling the strain...
We had been on the journey for over 12 hours, and even though both of us had seen the films a number of times before, watching them back-to-back was like seeing them for the first time all over again. Being a sceptical old sod I wasn't expecting the viewing experience to be any different but the complete Trilogy watch was truly touching. You felt the enormity of the task at hand, the staggering length of the journey. If you've never tackled the LOTR films in one sitting find a comfy chair and take yourself on the trek of a lifetime.