Ringers Premiere

Last night was the West Coast Premiere of Ringers: Lord of the Fans at the Newport Beach Film Festival. I went with Jill and her parents. We knew there was going to be a line party before the movie, so we decided to show up early to both see the people in line and to make sure we got a fairly good seat in the theater.

When we got there the line was already good sized, and only continued to grow. People might not have been lined up for this movie for six weeks, but the size of the line makes this one far superior to LA’s puny little line of nerds. There were a number of people in costume, which I found really funny. Some of them were quite good, others, not so much. There were people with “Honk if you love Hobbits” signs, and a constant stream of people driving by honking. (I think I saw the same Lexus drive by a half dozen times.)

A few minutes before the movie was scheduled to start, Billy Boyd showed up and walked up the line signing autographs and taking pictures. I thought this was really cool of him. He could have easily just shown up and whisked into the theater, but instead he decided to take some time with the fans.

Once in the theater they did some introductions, thanked the Film Festival’s sponsors, and started the movie. The movie itself was very disjointed and felt very amateurish, especially comparing it to Dogtown and Z-Boys, which I had rented the night before. The movie jumped all over the place, trying to tract Lord of the Rings fans since books were first published. It talked about Tolkin’s influence on the hippy movement in the Sixties to rock in the Seventies and Eighties. But it all seemed like a stretch, like they were looking at isolated groups of fans and trying to show that it was a global phenomenon.

After the movie, they showed a short that Billy Boyd was in, called Instant Credit. To me, this short felt like a half hour Mentos ad. The way the movie was shot felt very much like an advertisement, with only one camera and slightly over-exposed. Not to mention nary a word could be understood, since all the actors had a heavy Scottish accent.

After both film had been shown, Billy Boyd and the film makers held a brief Q and A, which turned into a thank you speech from the Ringers director. This was all fine and well, but I just didn’t care. I know that the fan community for Lord of the Rings is fairly close knit, and if I was one of them I might have cared. But as an outsider, the movie and everything else was just kind of boring. Even the party afterwards at the Hard Rock Caf

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