Ringers / Lord of the Fans : 2 of 5
I'm not sure when I put this documentary in my Netflix queue, but it was probably a suggestion based on other geek documentaries that I've enjoyed in the past. Ringers covers the history of fans of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings (capitalizing on the success of the movies, of course), but unfortunately spends too much time trying to be funny and not enough time showing the fans themselves! The film begins with a long background on the writing of the books and their initial reception, all presented in cut-out cartoon Monty Python style, which is interesting for about five minutes, but terrible when you realize that this method of expression is used for most of the movie. There are lots of short interview segments, of course, but along with Tolkien scholars, Peter Jackson and his actors, other celebrities are included that seem to have nothing to do with Lord of the Rings (Why are we supposed to care about what David Carradine has to say about Tolkien?). There are also some truly overblown generalizations, including that 60s hippies were all into three things: flower power, LSD, and Lord of the Rings (and this is "demonstrated" with some hilarious reenactments of hippie kids hanging out and reading The Hobbit out loud)! To be fair, some of the movie is really interesting, and it was easy to sit through the whole thing (watching with my pals). I enjoyed the "Tolkien confessional" booth where fans expressed their feelings alone with a camera, so at least I saw a sampling of the kind of fans I like to watch. Overall, I wouldn't really recommended Ringers, but if you've watched your Extended Editions too many times and want to see something new, I suppose it's OK.