Books to film, the growing hype train

In Opinion
Courtesy of MCT

We’ve got only a couple more days left for “the epic finale” for the sparkling vampires and the werewolves, who seem to be allergic to clothing, to unite to defend Bella’s demon baby. That’s right Breaking Dawn: Part 2 is hitting the theaters this Friday, Nov.16. It’s almost over!

On a better note, Dec. 14 is coming around the corner and all the hobbit-loving, dwarf-digging and pretty-boy elf-adoring fans will emerge from their lairs to form a line at their nearest theaters to go on another epic adventure to the Middle Earth to watch The Hobbit.

Second to the dead, beaten horse of 3D films, book to film adaptations have become the latest craze in Hollywood. It’s become a bloody battle on whose-book-did-better-on-screen.

The last installment of the Lord of the Rings was The Return of the King, which grossed up to $377 million domestic. Conversely, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 reached $281 million. These are just the basic monetary figures, however, and my mother taught me that money isn’t everything in this world. So what else sets The Hobbit apart from Breaking Dawn Part 2?

Three words: Hype, hype, hype.

It’s not unlike when you have that friend that keeps telling you about this allegedly hilarious YouTube video and how it’s, “Dude, seriously the funniest thing I’ve seen since the invention of Gangnam style.” When that friend finally shows off the video after hours of hyping it up, it’s never that great.

You know there’s something going wrong when even the lead actor of the Twilight series is open about his boredom with the whole franchise.

“It can get a little boring,” said Robert Pattinson in an interview with Irish Central. “The good news is that the whole thing is done in seven months.”

Ian McKellen is no stranger to his own novel to film franchise either. The Hobbit will be the fourth film he has done playing the beloved Gandalf the Grey.

“It’s been awesome… seeing the way the fans are expecting the film, it’s really exciting because you see the expectation and the love for the books and the trilogy, so it’s been great,” said McKellen in an MTV interview.

If the leading man isn’t into it, it’ll show through the performance. Maybe Edward Cullen’s infamous pout isn’t because he’s being mysterious and sexy; perhaps it’s just Pattinson being bored. The youthful Pattinson has not had the same opportunity to recuperate between installments as McKellen has had. The poor guy hasn’t had the chance to remove his vampire sparkles for a while.

The Twilight saga has been packed into a compact four years, while The Lord of the Rings trilogy took over eight years to film, edit, and release to the public.

The second aspect of hype is the marketing. There are Jamba Juice Twilight cups available, as well as totes, bandages, backpacks, Team Edward shirts, Team Jacob shirts, lip-gloss, perfume, lunch boxes and an Edward pillow for you to cuddle with.

The only Hobbit merchandise I’ve run into since I snagged a glorious swag bag with Bilbo on it from Comic Con is the little Lord of the Rings stand at Barnes and Noble, covered with books, picture books, a creepy Gollum plushy, and more books.

Interestingly enough, there were more people crowded around the Lord of the Rings stand than the Twilight one.

Originality is another element that’s keeping the Middle Earth fire ablaze, even after almost 10 years since the last Lord of the Rings installment; fans are as enthusiastic as ever.

As for Breaking Dawn, the producers have either gotten ridiculously lazy or they are really trying to win the long lost competition with Harry Potter. Using the similar hook phrase, “the epic conclusion” and changing it to “the epic finale” is not being original.

This is the filmmaking business! Think outside of the box!

In a recent trip to the movie theaters, I saw a Twilight cut out of the cast where the good vampires were facing off the bad vampires, exactly how the good wizards were facing the bad wizards when Harry Potter was still around.

Well, that’s awkward.

The vampires and werewolves can fight the good fight, but in the end, they hold nothing against the dwarves and hobbits.

Think of it like this, Lord of the Rings is that hipster kid that always wins the arguments, because he never got caught up on the cutthroat business of franchise to begin with. Instead, the hipster kid was working on his craft.

Peter Jackson is a clever man; Bill Condon should take notes from him. In the words of the great Gandalf, “You shall not pass!”

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