The whole week, The audiovisual club marked the first of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power with a series of stories on all things Tolkien, from a second age collapse to a list of the weirdest video games based on LOTR has a Incredibly comprehensive recap of the first two eps of Prime Video’s very expensive new show by Matt Schimkowitz. But how on earth could we wrap up such a celebration without mentioning everyone’s favorite movie buff, Gregg Turkington, and his unwavering admiration and encouragement for The Hobbit trilogy? We could not. Not if we want to get some sleep.
But wait. For those who do not yet know the At the movie theater universe, essentially, On the cinema in the cinema is a Siskel and Ebert-type show in which Tim Heidecker and Gregg Turkington, playing the characters Tim Heidecker and Gregg Turkington, discuss upcoming films. Gregg considers himself the “REAL Mister Movie” and greatest reviewer of all time (although he’s none of that, and tends to talk more about runtimes and bad 90s obscure movies which he owns on VHS), and Tim covers everything but movies, which tends to be the fad he’s gotten himself into: conspiracy theories or instant loans or vaping or very alternative medicine or any of his terrible musical projects. Episodes of the series aired on the Adult Swim website until last year when the show moved to the HEI network– yes, the “Tim’s” network – where it’s entirely subscriber funded and spin-off series on said shitty bands and conspiracy theories and even feature films, like Gregg’s functionality that has just been created, deck of cardsare available for streaming.
Sounds like a lot – the universe has also bloated to include political doc ‘Tim’ mr americaas well as one after his trial for the poisoning/murder of 20 youths at an electronic music festival he started, but that’s the kind of world you can deep dive into or just dip your toes in here and there and check up until, say, their always-disastrous annual Oscar special, or the next season of At the movie theater. But in short, know that Tim and Gregg are awful men in their own way, although one has killed more people and ruined more lives. And for our money, their chemistry together and clear disdain for each other on screen, even in such a frothy movie preview format, never tires.
Which brings us, finally, to Gregg and his love of The Hobbit. In his review of the franchise’s first installment, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journeywhich would unsurprisingly become REAL Mister Movie’s favorite film of all time, after he said he literally marked the days on a calendar until its premiere and felt existentially lost afterwards. LOTR wrapped up, Turkington, dizzily, gives some choice ideas, like, “Bilbo Baggins, the Hobbit himself […] makes this movie rock and roll. He’s kind of a personal hero of mine and to see him fully realized like this makes your heart race, it really does. And then, he even launches a kind of burn: “If you haven’t read The Hobbit but in what hole have you lived? The Hobbit hole? Tim, who probably hasn’t seen the movie – he never does – adds: “So I’m saying this now, and everyone better listen: it’s the best movie of the year; it’s going to win an Oscar. It will win the prize for best film. There’s no doubt about it, because Jackson has done it again. If Michael Jackson is the King of Pop, then I would say Peter Jackson is the King of Movies.”
Gregg tripled on that idea on Oscar night, saying that while he didn’t get any of the nominations for those categories, the first Hobbit film would get written wins for Best Supporting Actor, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Picture and Best Director. On the latter, he posits, “It’s another red herring. Of course, Peter Jackson for The Hobbit going to be the written favorite. Ang Lee is… they won’t give the Oscar to a woman. We will see Hillary Clinton be president before we see a woman get the Oscar. Spielberg has done a good job, but he’s a science fiction director. He’s not gonna win for something like lincoln.” In summary, he concludes: “If you are a bettor, put your money on The Hobbit and get ready to reap your rewards.
The self-proclaimed expert, being completely out of his depth and blindly alleviating to the biggest and most expensive thing and offering a completely empty awards analysis, is, indeed, very funny, but he also taps into the why At the movie theater exists in the first place. Before our critics got on camera, they hosted a podcast version in 2011, satirizing the phenomenon of two guys with bad mics and no idea making a show about movies. (Example taken on ghost hunters: “This movie is a classic, by the way.”).
But whatever. We’re only scratching the surface of by Gregg Hobbit obsession (his other ride-or-die franchise is Obligationwhich he says will sweep the Oscars every time a new episode comes out), but we’ll leave you with the moment below, in which our movie expert releases a copy of The Silmarillion, the posthumously published collection of JRR Tolkien, to predict that there will be “between 50 and 150 new Peter Jackson/JRR Tolkien films in the next 30 to 40 years”. Of course, that’s ridiculous. But also, of course, Gregg, in spirit, was…nice, wasn’t he?