Frodo_for_President writes: Well, since I can now count myself as one of the lucky few LOTR fans who have had the opportunity to see ‘Ringers: Lord of the Fans’ on the big screen, I figure that it is my civic duty to write up a report for TORn! I had a wonderful time, and of course can’t remember much, but here are some highlights:
I had the pleasure of attending the screening at the Regency Lido Theater during the Newport Beach Film Festival this past Saturday night. The day started out with a wonderful line party conducted in traditional TORn style. There was trivia, a costume contest, and candy for everyone! All the participants in the costume contest received a ‘Ringers’ t-shirt, kindly donated by Sideshow/Weta Collectibles. The winners of the costume contest (including categories such as ‘Most Lived-In’, ‘Purple is my Color’, and ‘Ithilien Rangers I’d Most Like to Get Lost in the Woods With’ – in addition to the typical ‘Best in Show’ of course) received ‘Ringers’ pint-sized mugs and a LOTR trivia game. Trivia winners received raffle tickets that were later drawn for another LOTR trivia game. More ‘Ringers’ t-shirts (donated by the Ringers crew) were handed out in the theater. And the Line Party ended in grand hoopla with the arrival of Billy Boyd, who took his time walking down the line, pausing here and there for photo-ops (which I unfortunately missed, as I was in the theater helping set up for the costume contest awards at that time maybe someone else can post pictures of Mr. Boyd with his adoring public!). As everyone took their seats, the heads of the Newport Beach Film Festival gave a short speech, during which we found out that they are also died-in-the-wool LOTR fans! What a great way to start the show. Carlene Cordova (‘Ringers’ director and co-writer) gave a quick intro, encouraging everyone to ‘give a shout out’ when they saw themselves on the screen (and let me just say that she didn’t have to ask twice with this crowd in fact, she probably didn’t even need to ask at all!), and the lights dimmed’
*Cue hootin’ and hollerin’ from 600+ LOTR fans*
Let me just say that this film is pure joy for all LOTR fans. There wasn’t a part of it that didn’t hold my attention. There are naturally small problems with technicalities and flow occasionally no movie is perfect but it definitely delivers on all its promises. (You all remember how it feels to come to the end of the Appendices and realize that there is no more? That’s how I felt when this movie ended.). Now, there’s not really much I can write about this film that others have not written before me, but I can point out a few things that really stood out for me personally:
The wonderful use of humor along with heart-wrenching joy and love for fandom was perfectly balanced. The way it followed Tolkien’s influence through the decades was very unique and informative. I learned new trivia facts, I met new people (and was quite honestly scared by some of them!), and I recognized familiar faces. It didn’t take itself too seriously, but also did not make fun of fans again, a perfect balance. Of course I have to give a shout-out to the Terry Gilliam-esque animation sequences that we’ve heard so much about, although my personal favorite segment was the mariachi flavor of the ‘collectibles sing-a-long’, which was total random fun. And then there was the brilliantly hilarious blurb of a rabid fangirl yelling complete nonsense at Elijah during an outdoor even of some kind, with Elijah just nodding and smiling in his incredibly patient way. Oh, and one of TORn’s founders, Chris (aka Calisuri), had one of the funniest lines in the whole film. It went something like this: ‘And my fiance’s like, ‘What are you doing throwing a birthday party for a FICTIONAL character??” And we can totally understand the complete bafflement on his fiance’s part, as we have all been exposed to it in some way or another during our everyday lives, whether from family members, co-workers, friends, or complete strangers wondering why we’re wearing elf ears.
‘And I could go on, but I’ll spare you’
After a standing ovation was given to ‘Ringers’ and its crew, Michael Hines, director of ‘Instant Credit’, took the mike to introduce the short film, starring Billy Boyd. He did warn us that the actors speak Scotch-English throughout the film, but I was still completely surprised to find that I could not understand a WORD of the opening scene! But I started picking up words here and there as I got a more comfortable with the dialect, and it turned out to be a very cute and funny short. It contained some classic Billy facial expressions, which of course received many ‘awwwws’ from all the females in the audience!
After ‘Instant Credit’ finished, Carlene, Cliff, Billy, and Michael took the mike for a Q and A, which had to be quick because we were running WAAAAY behind schedule, pushing all the other films to be screened that night even further back. I must admit that I took a bathroom break during the Q and A – *blushes* – so I don’t know what was talked about. I’m sure it was fascinating though!
On to the after party at the Hard Rock Cafi, Fashion Island. The place was PACKED to the gills with all types: costumed LOTR characters, fashionably hip younger people, chill older folks, and boringly normal late-twentysomethings (me). One thing we had in common we were all bonded by LOTR-love! (and free drinks) Much mingling and dancing ensued’ and continued until two in the morning, when the restaurant staff forcibly kicked us out. We geeks sure know how to party. Things I will remember from the party: dancing Aragorn, dancing costume-less Singing Gandalf, Billy getting chased to the bathroom ONCE AGAIN (poor guy), seeing familiar faces, and getting re-acquainted with quite a few online friends, which was by far the highlight of the day. Community is one of the things that makes this fandom so great, and it is completely celebrated through ‘Ringers’ – by the people who worked on it, the people who are in it, and the people who watch it. What more could you ask for in a film made by the fans, for the fans?