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Look, I know the Hobbit is a book written for children. It is less dramatic than the Lord of the Rings trilogy and has a lot more whimsical content. Fine. The problem with Peter Jackson’s new movie is not the source material, it’s what he has chosen to do with it. Follow below the orange dwarvish hair fillip to read more.

As more than one person has already noted, the Hobbit is a relatively short novel. Shorter than any single book in LOTR. It probably deserved a reasonably short movie. At best two movies at around four hours, total. So how exactly does it result in a three movie series, with the first movie reaching a ponderous 166 minutes? (That’s two hours and forty six minutes for us normal time-y folks.) I can only assume the other two will be every bit as ponderous. How does such a little movie do it?

Big Feet. Yes, big feet. No, not Hobbit feet. Not feet which “grow natural leathery soles and thick warm brown hair like the stuff on their heads (which is curly). Nor am I referring to troll feet (though there are those in the movie). I’m talking about big feet clad in the finest Italian leather, probably with wing tips. I’m talking about the clomping, stomping, tromping mud into the carpet, leave foot prints wherever they go, gigantic feet of marketing people.

Seriously, this movie has two parts. No not two separate episodes (and, besides, it has three of those). No, it has two distinct parts: The tale told in The Hobbit (the book), which makes a clear and well-done story, but actually felt, somehow, like Jackson’s heart really wasn’t in it. And the parts that were clearly arrived at by long, fervent discussions among people in expensive suits gathered in glass-walled conference rooms on the forty-second floor –- the people who cannot look at a movie without seeing action figures, video games, underwear, bed sheets, “graphic novels,” Happy Meals, and toys, toys, toys, toys.

It seems Peter Jackson has finally competed his transmogrification into Steven Spielberg. The Hobbit feels very much like the second Indiana Jones movie, or the second Ghostbusters movie. Or the second set of Star Wars movies. All of them based on successful movies which, upon a second installment were little more than blatant two-hour-plus commercials for the associated product lines. Mere excuses to sell “stuff” to children (and adult “collectors”).

There were so many chases and action sequences that were clearly there for no better reason than to have tie-ins to the video game. Way, way too much CGI, way, way too little character and plot.

Even the main characters in the film seem clearly there more for purposes of selling action figures than as characters in a serious movie. You can tell from the dwarves’ hair styles, which are more designed to make the action figures easy to identify on a child’s book shelf than for any reason having to do with some reasoned cultural design (and how do they keep those elaborate flips and fillips so neat travelling through the wilderness? Are there hair salons under every forest tree? There really should have been a scene with the dwarves carefully running curling irons, straight from the fire, through their hair and beards).

And that sensibility carries over into even established characters. Gandalf’s beard, in this film, which was so realistic in LOTR, seems ever ready to pop a wire off his ear and hang there like the cheap costume shop beard it appears to be. And don’t get me started on Saruman’s beard.

And then we come to the makeups. I swear, the Gandalf that appears in the initial scene in front of Bag End is another actor entirely dressed up in an Ian McKellan suit with the voice looped in later. The makeup is that bad (and so is the acting in that scene. I really have no idea what happened. Or why they didn’t re-shoot it). And Ian Holm’s makeup as “old Bilbo,” frankly makes him look like one of the plastic-skinned characters from The Incredibles. In fact, it appears that most of the makeups in this film were done to make the characters look as plastic as possible. I wonder if that has anything to do with the high frame rate (HFR) tech they used to shoot it. I wonder if they had to do full-face silicon because the edges were too visible. But it mostly looks like crap.

And the creature design. Augh. The orcs look terrible. Nothing like the orcs in the LOTR trilogy. Not to mention the main orc who has the same plastic “Incredibles” look as Ian Holm. There’s no excuse for that in a movie that also has Andy Serkis’ Gollum. The rest of the creatures also seem far more suited to a children’s movie (and the associated toy marketing) than a LOTR sequel. The goblin king is just gross enough to make the kiddies giggle, but not gross enough to scare them. Which makes him look foolish and cartoon-y. And on and on.

Look, it’s not a terrible movie, but I must admit that by about the two hour mark, I was ready to cash out and walk away. The riddle game between Gollum and Bilbo is magical. If the rest of the film had been that good I would be slavering with joy. Cate Blanchett is beauty personified and Hugo Weaving is, again, a perfect Elrond. And Sylvester McCoy (Doctor Who! LOL) is fun, though a bit out of place, as Radagast the Brown.

I must have read all four books on at least a yearly basis from the time I was 13 to my mid-twenties. I was ready to accept that Jackson’s first trilogy needed to trim some fat (even if it was un-trimmable to a heart and soul fan: Where were Bombadil and Goldberry? An old, old complaint). But this film should have been concise and complete. Tell the whole tale, take two movies to do it and be done with it. More than enough time to do that.

Watching the massive padding and marketing efforts was almost painful. I’m looking forward to the next two films. But just barely. If the second one is this hard to watch, I’ll probably wait for number three from Netflix.

Originally posted to Captain Frogbert on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 02:14 PM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Might be fighting words... (22+ / 0-)

    ...but I always thought Bombadil and Goldberry didn't belong in the book, much less any film adaptation thereof.

    Bombadil and Goldberry would make a perfectly nice standalone short story about an adventure some Hobbits got up to while lost in the woods. It's a fine story. It just doesn't belong where it is.

    Sorry to hear that the reality of the Hobbit film(s) (!) confirms my worst expectations.

    Visit Lacking All Conviction, your patch of grey on those too-sunny days.

    by eataTREE on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 02:24:11 PM PST

    •  Funny you mention that. The first time I read (6+ / 0-)

      LOTR, I couldn't make that work, and just skipped ahead. I was able to read on the re-readings though.



      Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

      by Wee Mama on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 04:22:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bombadil didn't belong in the film (34+ / 0-)

      He would have slowed down what was already a very slow part of the story.

      But, he was essential for the novel. The great thing about Middle Earth is all the layers Tolkien build into it. There's no other fictional world from the 20th Century with that depth, because there wasn't any other fictive reality that was worked on for 20-odd years before being written into a cohesive narrative.

      Tolkien got his ideas of how to tell a story from reading myths and legends in Anglo-Saxon, and those are full of layers, with bits and jumbles that don't  fit nicely together. The Angle-Saxons themselves were a culture that was the Saxon /Viking on top of Celtic on top of Roman on top of Pictish, with ruins from all these cultures sticking out of the ground as they walked around the Wessex countryside.

      Go read Beowulf, or Illiad, or the Icelandic Sagas; they all have side-journeys and characters who appear and disappear without explanation. That's what LotR should be compared to, not a Robert Ludlum thriller.

      Radarlady, who read these books too many times for her own good.

      •  I don't think Bombadil is essential. (9+ / 0-)

        His ambiguity distracts from the story of the Ring. Even now with all the intervening years and time Tolkien had to explain Bombadil, we still don't really know who he is.  The Ring had no effect on, he's older than the world, but he's not God. He's too miscellaneous and too silly. His essence, ie what is he, is so different than all the other beings in the story, so that then requires him to be defined, but his definition is left to be vague. He could easily be edited out of the books and it would not impact the story at all. The Bombadil chapters are isolated; the events of those chapters have no impact on the book's story.

        •  Disagree (16+ / 0-)

          Bombadil is mysterious - no argument - but he fulfills the prophesy that is always running through the stories: "you will find friends in unexpected places".

          All through LOTR and the Silmarillion, the evil of Morgoth worked it's harm, but the light of Illuvatar also has it's powers. And when Frodo and friends needed help in a dire situation, that light came to their aid in the form of Bombadil, un-touched by Morgoth's evil.  That's how I read the character's inclusion in LOTR.

          Evolution IS Intelligent Design!

          by msirt on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 10:12:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree with this and also (12+ / 0-)

            Bombadil is the exact opposite of Sauron; whereas Sauron is ancient and seeks total control over all, Bombadil is even more ancient and seeks no power at all, but to live in peace.

            I like him in the book because the Lord of the Rings was as much about immersion in a meta-mythical world as it is about the narrative. Otherwise, we also would have no use for the poems and songs, and the actual languages Tolkien invented. None of that is necessary to advance the plot, which is one of the reasons Tolkien is miles above any other fantasy author.

            •  But we know what Sauron is. (3+ / 0-)

              Even if it's not in LotR directly, we know that Sauron is a maiar, like Gandalf, Saruman, Radagast, the other two barely mentioned wizards, and the Balrog. Sauron has a definitive place within the story. Nothing like that is known about Bombadil. He is just this weird, out-of-place, ancient being that's not connected to the otherwise manufactured storyworld.

              •  actually, there's not really any doubt that (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                msirt, Kevskos, radarlady

                he's a maia as well. what else could he be? he's just a maia who came into middle earth along with many others in the beginning of the world, to do the things they were sent there to do, and he was perfectly happy there.

                To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                by UntimelyRippd on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 02:12:22 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  What else? How about the Spirit of Arda Unmarred? (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  msirt, Deward Hastings, Kevskos, radarlady

                  That is, he represents the primal nature of the Earth as it was originally intended to be, before Melkor messed around with it, and because of that primeval innocence, not only can evil not affect him in any way, but he has great difficulty even comprehending what it is - unless it is in some way directly and immediately menacing him or someone he is responsible for (like four Hobbits who have strayed into his territory).

                  Bombadil seems to me to be too integral a part of Middle-Earth to have come to it from Outside.

                  If it's
                  Not your body,
                  Then it's
                  Not your choice
                  And it's
                  None of your damn business!

                  by TheOtherMaven on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 03:27:02 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  there is simply no suggestion anywhere in any (0+ / 0-)

                    of tolkien's other writing that there are "spirits" outside of the framework of valar and maiar.

                    at least, none that i know.

                    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                    by UntimelyRippd on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 09:15:51 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Like Tolkien explained *everything*? (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      vacantlook, radarlady

                      He sketched in what he wanted to, and left vast blank areas outside his outlines. His whole "Legendarium" was a lifelong work in progress, never finished, full of gaps and uncertainties and places where he changed his mind - and sometimes changed it again, and again.

                      We only ever got one direct answer about Bombadil: no he isn't Iluvatar (God) in disguise. And another reader's question got this response: "Even in a mythical Age there must be some enigmas, as there always are. Tom Bombadil is one (intentionally). "

                      It should also be noted that the Maiar are quite familiar with the nature of evil, and are vulnerable to temptation by it (Sauron, Saruman - even Gandalf was bloody terrified of what that Ring would do to him if he took it).

                      Bombadil? He Just Doesn't Get It, any more than Glinda the Good (in the 1939 movie) had any real sense that the Wicked Witch of the West might actually be dangerous.

                      He is at least Gandalf's equal - but completely different from him.

                      If it's
                      Not your body,
                      Then it's
                      Not your choice
                      And it's
                      None of your damn business!

                      by TheOtherMaven on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 12:41:12 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

            •  "...other fantasy author" ... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              radarlady

              ...such as Robert Jordan (Wheel of Time), who when he waxes endlessly on non essential, non-plot advancing filler, it's all about the ladies' clothing choices.

              Evolution IS Intelligent Design!

              by msirt on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:43:04 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  I like the Bombadil part (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          radarlady

          It is good that not everything find an explanation. To me Bombadil belongs with primaeval times, the times when Yavanna walked over the young earth and flowers and trees grew in her wake.

          Obama - POTUS quondam, POTUS futurus The Once and Future President

          by French Imp on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 03:09:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Bombadil might not be essential, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BlueStateRedhead, radarlady

          but I would have liked to see him. (Also, Bombadil rescues them from the evil Oak tree -- which foreshadows the Ents and Bombadil rescues them from the barrow wights -- which explains how Frodo got the mithril coat, which later saved him from Shelob).

          What I really missed (most of all) in the movie was the Scouring of the Shire (the last gasp and defeat of Saruman and Sharkey).

          Radagast the Brown was an important character, too. He got the message to the eagles, who rescued Gandalf from Saruman's tower.

          Plus, the ents came to the rescue at Helm's Deep. Not a bunch of elves.

          I loved the movie, but all the way through, I was thinking, "No -- it didn't happen that way."

          “If you misspell some words, it’s not plagiarism.” – Some Writer

          by Dbug on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:39:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  God, we really HATE ambiguity these days (0+ / 0-)

          More or less every argument I ever hear against Tom Bombadil boils down to one of two things.

          Number one: he's too 'nice'. People that nice don't exist in the real world, and they don't belong in fiction because they're boring. I think the former is wrong, and the latter, well, boring is in the eye of the beholder. But this reason doesn't bother me... I can understand people who want a sustained tone of panic and despair running through their fiction at all times. (These people tend to hate the elven interludes too.)

          Number two: he's too cryptic. And that's the one that just bugs the hell out of me.

          If you aren't willing to let there be some mysteries left in your world, what the hell are you doing reading fantasy? At least some of us quite appreciate the fact that he's something that both you and the main characters are left to speculate about.

      •  Tom Bombadil IS absolutely essential, because... (15+ / 0-)

        While the LOTR is not necessarily allegory in the political sense from when it was written, it is very political in a very modern sense.

        Throughout the books is the constant battle between nature and man, between arms and thought, between instinct and reason.

        Tom Bombadil is the embodiment of nature. Like Treebeard, he is oldest, and represents a layer of existence that goes deeper than the mechanations of elves, dwarves, men, or even hobbits. And there's a hierarchy of each race on each of the scales above.

        Bombadil is the essence of nature of the earth. He can control it, and it is interesting that he often does so with rhyme, much like the wiccans and pagans of old. And the ring, that tempts so many, has absolutely no hold on him whatsoever. To him, all the fussle and futzing is just a playful toy.

        That's power. And that's one of the main themes of the book, that nature has power beyond the mere tinkerings of men, elves, or whoever.

        That is also the main reason why I was so offended when Jackson had Pippin force Treebeard to attack Orthanc. No, no, no! The trees, nature, were coming to life to overthrow the evil machinery of Orthanc. That was important. Tolkien would have been livid.

        What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

        by equern on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 01:26:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Pippin didn't force Treebeard to attack. (9+ / 0-)

          Pippin used some cleverness and wisdom to show Treebeard what Orthanc was actually doing to the world around it. Once Treebeard saw the devestation, Treebeard changed his mind and called the other ents to action.  The way it is in the book, the hobbits are just observers watching the ents do their thing, but in the film, Pippin goes from thinking they should give up, being convinced by Merry to consider the problem from the perspective of the Shire being destroyed, to finding a solution to the problem, the same solution Merry used on him: make the situation real. For Pippin, prior to Merry getting him to think of it in terms of the Shire being destoryed, the war was still a distant thing happening elsewhere to Pippin. But once the war became real, he understood it. That's what Pippin did with Treebeard. By showing Treebeard the devestation first-hand, he made the war real to Treebeard. And that led to Treebeard changing his mind about directly intervening in the war. Whereas in the book the hobbits just sit around watching things happen, the movie gave Pipping character development. And that's something that I really like.

          •  i think it was one of the lamest, stupidest (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wasatch, radarlady

            bits in the adaptation. tree beard, one of the oldest, most thoughtful sentient beings in middle earth, needs to be tricked by a barely-adult hobbit into seeing what's going on? puh-leeze.

            To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

            by UntimelyRippd on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 02:14:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ents take a long time to do anything or agree (4+ / 0-)

              on anything... Hobbits and men etc. are too hasty. The Ent moot seemed to take forever to the Hobbits but it was actually lightning fast in Ent terms... and the whole film version of this is still in keeping with Treebeard realizing the need for "hastiness"... that doing something immediately was was what he had to do... not because Pippen told him but because Treebeard is wise enough to see when to not do things the usual way of the Ents.

              Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

              by IreGyre on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 02:28:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  It would only be essential if there weren't other (3+ / 0-)

          examples of that in the book.

          There are other examples in the book, better examples, and examples that are highly relevant to the story itself.

          You mention Treebeard, and that's a perfect example that also is imperative to the plot of the book. Orthanc and the Ents are representative of the conflict in the book, and move the story forward.

          That's what you want to keep.

          Things that don't move the story forward are what you want to cut, or at least rewrite to bring it into the greater story. Bombadil could have worked as an addendum -- I love Tolkien's notes and addendums -- or he could have worked if Bombadil was given a greater part of the story, but he doesn't the way he's written.

          Anyone could entirely skip the Bombadil chapters and be none the worse for the wear in terms of reading and understanding the book. That's a TERRIBLE thing given those are chapters not just a couple pages or paragraphs of a random happenstance.

          •  But that is not Tolkien (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kevskos, radarlady

            Yes, I agree with you 100% from a modern, screenwriting perspective in which the writer assumes everyone has ADD.

            But Tolkien was writing a book reflective of a different time. A time when people would sit around telling stories, and side-stories that really didn't do much to further the plot were welcome diversions.

            Tolkien's sources were Beowulf and the Elder Eddas. He wanted to write the English equivalent of the Kalevala of Finland. That's what the Lord of the Rings was supposed to be.

            But I remain steadfast, Tom Bombadillo was the very embodiment of the magic of nature. Something we urbanites have mostly forgotten, but people of an older time did not.

            Keep in mind too, that if "worship" is too strong a word, Tolkien had a strong psychic bond with trees and nature. He wooed his wife under one, got married under the same tree, and retook vows with her under the same tree years later, if memory serves. He definitely was a "tree hugger" long before it became popular.

            What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

            by equern on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 04:22:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Personally I think the books are boring... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              radarlady

              And it's not just because everyone has ADD now.  The pacing is just way too slow.  I think the books may create a world with a lot of depth, but they by and large are not an example of good storytelling.  They're simply too plodding and unfocused.  

              The Hobbit was by far the best of Tolkien's books precisely because it was the shortest.  I'm sure I'll get flamed because there are a lot of people who seem to worship Tolkien, but from a storytelling standpoint they have significant flaws.  

              Then again, most Fantasy novels today seem to be largely garbage, so it's hard to be that critical about Tolkien's work.  There certainly has been much worse published since then.  Including Wheel of Time where after a good start, Robert Jordan got so bogged down with pointless characters that no one cared about that it took him 20+ years to write the series and he actually ended up dying before finishing.  It's amazing (and dispiriting) to see a series go from amazing and gripping to exceptionally poor and boring over the course of several novels.  

              Of course, it didn't help that 90% of Jordan's innumerable characters shared one of two personalities: bitchy, controlling woman, or whiny man.  

        •  What??? No Tom Bombadil???? (0+ / 0-)

          Oh no...I really was looking forward to that part.

          I had heard that it was going to be 3 parts and figured it would be overly long on the battle scenes...but to leave something OUT of a short and easy read book???? Sacrilege!

          Character is what you are in the dark. Emilio Lizardo in Buckaroo Bonzai

          by Temmoku on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:28:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Bombadill probably would have been better left (7+ / 0-)

        in the addendums, to be honest. While a fascinating character and concept (like much of the addendum and other notes he wrote), he didn't have anything whatsoever to do with the greater story, other than being the source of how Frodo found a glowy sword.

        Tolkein certainly did much to create and establish the fantasy genre, especially those epic in scope, but let's not kid ourselves into thinking that he perfected it -- and like Jackson, as a director and storyteller, Tolkien would have benefited greatly from someone who was there to edit him.

        (Seriously, Jackson has no ability to look at his own work and think to himself, "gee.... maybe the pace is off with this and I've let this go too long. I should cut some here." That's very hard to do as a director, and that's why I no longer consider him one of the great ones out there today. He's getting worse at that as he's gained more stature and control, not better.)

        •  I kind of agree (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          radarlady, kurt, Asak

          It's endemic in mass media, unfortunately. Too big to fail has its corollary in "too big to be edited."

          Just like Spielberg and Lucas. Just like Anne Rice and J. K. Rowling, all of whose work "grew in the telling" but, unlike Tolkien, got worse as it got longer and longer and longer.

          It's another failure of the marketers. Just as they insist on all the gew-gaws and gimcracks to sell injection-molded plastic to children. They have no taste or creativity to understand when enough is enough.

          There is no art or beauty in marketing, there is only more and more. And that is the primary failure of this version of the Hobbit.

        •  jackson likes action scenes, and not much else. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Deward Hastings, radarlady

          i find most of the modifications made by the writing trio to dull-witted and formulaic -- they just can't imagine that Tolkien knew more about how to tell a story than their film-school professors, or perhaps the studio execs with whom they deal. so they contrive the entire business with aragorn falling off the cliff. why? because their formula says, "and then we need a sequence where blah blah blah," and tolkien's story possesses no such sequence.

          the changes they made make it quite clear that either they simply did not understand tolkien's story, or they simply did not care.

          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

          by UntimelyRippd on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 02:17:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  really. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            radarlady

            The omissions (to tighten the story line) I can understand, even where I disagree.  But the gratuitous addition of stuff that wasn't in the books to begin with (like that Aragorn scene) really annoyed me . . .

            Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

            by Deward Hastings on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:09:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  That kind of leisurely storytelling with multiple (5+ / 0-)

        detours makes makes sense for myths and legends with antecedents in the oral storytelling tradition. There, your audience has plenty of time to kill (there is pretty much nothing else for entertainment, after all). Our modern attention span is so much shorter.

        •  contempt for the audience is never a good place (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          radarlady

          to start if one wants to create transcendent art.

          on the other hand, if one wants to create a marketing phenomenon, well, then it's a very good place to start.

          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

          by UntimelyRippd on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 02:18:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's not contempt for the audience... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            radarlady

            It's respect for them.  People don't want to read plodding and aimless stories.  To make a truly good story you need to tailor it to what people want and expect.  That doesn't mean dumbing everything down and throwing away all artistic expression, but it does mean your work needs to reflect the modern perception of the world.  

            Then again, some people still do watch soap operas, so maybe some people still like plodding and aimless stories.  

      •  How was he essential? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vacantlook, A Citizen, radarlady

        He never appears again, is mentioned only during the Council of Elrond and a couple of places in passing, and his ability to resist the Ring has no bearing at all on the rest of the story.  He's charming in a very twee and English way, but essential?  

        •  Up through Council of Elrond, Bilbo is the author (4+ / 0-)

          of LotR. After that, the writing is by Frodo. He has a much more serious style.

          Tolkien almost never wrote a text about his creation directly. His conceit is always that he was a translator, and there's always a note about who wrote the text and where they got their information. One of Tolkien's fragments is about how Isildur died, the details were known because one of the party was able to escape prior to Isildur's death. One of the footnotes in essence apologizes for including Isildur's dying thoughts in the narrative, which were -- of course -- surmised since their could have been no witness.

          Once I realized the different writing styles, and since I like Frodo's writing style better, my rereadings almost always skipped the Hobbit and sometimes started with the Council, though I always like the Bree and Weathertop sections.  

          Giving birth (giving life) should be a gift not an obligation or women and poor people are 2nd class by definition

          by julifolo on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:03:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  agree (5+ / 0-)

        I don't think Tolkien could plot a narrative arc to save his life (which is one of the reasons why I think the Jackson team did such a remarkable job, in LOTR, of pulling out a righteous narrative) but I also don't think he particularly cared. Agree that he was trying to "reverse-engineer" from the story to a whole world of myth & folklore in this imagined setting.

      •  One thing I find kind of funny about LOTR... (6+ / 0-)

        is that reading it nowadays you're struck by how cliche a lot of it seems.  But then after a while it occurs to you that it wasn't cliche when it was written; it's cliche because so many people have copied the tropes that Tolkein laid out.

    •  I totally agree. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nulwee, eataTREE, Cartoon Peril, Asak

      I read the books after I saw the films, so I knew well the contention over Bombadil's exclusion from the film. But when I finally read the books, I was glad he wasn't in it. I do not even slightly like Bombadil. The character is so unexplained and disconnected from everything that happens in the story. He just does not do it for me at all.

    •  I agree (5+ / 0-)

      but it would be and was fighting words among my friends

      I never cared for that short story, it didn't belong there and was better left out.

    •  Watch out for the Bombadilistas around here! (6+ / 0-)

      I said the same thing a while back and I was almost sent to the Tower of Cirith Ungol!

      You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

      by Cartoon Peril on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 02:59:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  LOL Yes! Bombadil forever! (7+ / 0-)

        I think the point of Bombadil, as has been pointed out earlier in this thread, is complex and necessary to the book.

        Bombadil is the Hobbits' first introduction to the mystery and power of the world outside the Shire. He is the first true magic in the book, over and above the power of the one ring which seems just a magical trick to them up to that point.

        Until the Hobbits get to the Old Forest, their journey to Bree is a holiday and pleasant, outside the shortcut to mushrooms and the common, familiar terrors of farmer Maggot and his dogs.

        Bombadil is the first hint that LOTR won't be The Hobbit. That there is depth and power in Middle Earth. And ghoulies and ghosties as well.

        And that's the difference between a great novel and a movie. A novel can, and should, have asides and recursions. Foreshadowing and dead ends. That's what life is like. That's what the tales we tell ourselves should reflect.

        A movie, due to its limited scope and nature, largely requires a strong three act structure. While, yes, you can allow it to find its own way, to wander and wallow, stall and race like a poorly tuned engine, in doing so you risk, in the hands of a lesser director, finding yourself with something less than a movie, and more of a muddled mish-mash.

        This is what has happened with the Hobbit. By tossing the story into a blender with one part Hobbit, one part Silmarillion, and four parts marketing, they have arrived at a poor movie. Not a terrible movie, the source material is strong enough  to prevent that as long as they kept to the bare bones. But a weak movie. And one that could have been far, far better.

        •  Bombadil is a singer, or should I say Singer. (5+ / 0-)

          One of the original creators of MiddleEarth.

        •  I so so so disagree. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          A Citizen, Cartoon Peril

          If one doesn't read the Bombadil chapters, one doesn't miss anything.

          He's immune to the Ring, but everyone is subject to the Ring, even Gandalf, so without any explanation in the story as to why Bombadil is immune, it's just strange. It doesn't expand our understanding of the nature of the Ring or of Bombadil because there's no explanation, it just is.

          To me, Bombadil seems like an artifact left over from The Hobbit, which is full of silliness like the names of the three trolls that is so out of place in LotR. Bombadil seems more like it was written before Tolkien had really decided on what he was going to do with the story of LotR, like he was still in the mindset that made him think having a main character named Trotter was a good idea.

      •  I have to admit I thought TB rather silly (in the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cartoon Peril, trueblueliberal

        best English usage of the word). I liked Tim Benzedrino (from "Bored of the Rings") better.

    •  I loved Bombadil in the book ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Heart n Mind, javan

      And I think it should have been in TLOTR movie.

  •  The problem (12+ / 0-)

    I think arises from adding in the Lost Tales and other items from the LOTR Appendices. That is supposed to make it a better prequel.

    I, for one, love the tale that Gandalf and Frodo have about Bilbo's adventure and how getting rid of Smaug was critical in the big picture. But it was a short story.

    I will still see the films, but my first love will always be with Rings and the pursuit by the Riders in Fellowship.

    The Spice must Flow!

    by Texdude50 on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 02:31:04 PM PST

  •  I have a slightly different take, which is (23+ / 0-)

    that the problem wasn't corporate involvement, but Jackson's own carte-blanche.  He's the one who wanted to add in all kinds of characters, subplots, and mythology from the larger world of Tolkienania, which bogs down the main plot considerably.  And he turned the action sequences into barely believable video games.

    Tolkien tried to rewrite The Hobbit to give it the same serious, epic tone as LOTR.  He gave up because it sucked.  This is the movie version of that attempt, and its weaknesses stem from the same problem Tolkien faced.  It's a bloated, tonally inconsistent mess.

    I did love Freeman as Bilbo, though.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 02:35:14 PM PST

    •  Even the best writers (13+ / 0-)

      need editors. And the best directors need a strong producer to tell them to rein it in.

      The Spice must Flow!

      by Texdude50 on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 03:00:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I suspect that Jackson (7+ / 0-)

      Wanted to make the Silmarillion or something along that line, but feared that the Hobbit was going to be his last time in Middle Earth, so he chucked everything into the mix. I FEAR that Jackson fell victim to the marketers who just kept telling him they needed more hooks to sell toys.

      Either way, it turned what could have been something wonderful into something cheap and difficult to watch.

      There are Star Wars fans in their teens and twenties whose experience of Star Wars is the second set of films and the cartoons. For those people those experiences ARE Star Wars. People who look at the first set as cheesy movies their parents (or grand parents) watch and that have crappy special effects and bad haircuts.

      It took a generation for that dichotomy to emerge.

      Nine years just isn't enough. Everyone who is going to see these movies saw the first three as well. I suspect these will not be many people's favorite Tolkien films. Even the kids they seem targeted to.

      Jackson dropped the ball. Big time.

    •  I *completely agree* (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt, pico

      With each and every LOTR film, it became clear Jackson got more and more control in the editing room -- and the films suffered because of it.

      The Hobbit only happened because of Jackson, and I'm sure he had enormous control over the entire project, particularly after del Toro dropped out.

      Jackson has gone out of his way to say that it was his idea to make the third Hobbit movie, and that he had to fight to convince the studio that it was even possible to do, story wise.

      I take him at his word: he was the one with the control, and these are his babies.

      It's a perfect example that some people who were once heavily edited, but gain fame and stature enough to gain control in the edits, can have weaknesses fester up and not be fixed because there's no one there to say, "this isn't a good idea, fix it."

      He's certainly not alone. The great artists out there are the ones who can realize they've slipped and address it. Hopefully, Hobbit 2 will be better, if it can be better (because it should have only been one movie to begin with).

      •  James Michener said... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RASalvatore, AshesAllFallDown
        "I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter." - James A. Michenner
        Every great writer, every artist, needs to be a cold and heartless editor of their own work, or find someone else to perform that task. Unfortunately, in popular media, that function falls by the wayside as the marketing department cowers before the dollar signs and is incapable of knowing what is good and what is bad. Everything might be profitable, so why take anything out?

        Artists have their egos fluffed and coddled by the sycophants and marketers, and they are told they are great artists who cannot fail. And the result is failure.

      •  Jackson knows what he's doing (0+ / 0-)

        and he knows he doesn't have to make a good, even watchable movie. Re-read the original poster's last paragraph.

    •  This happens so many times (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt, pico

      I've seen writer after writer hit it big and then produce bloated, wretched, self-indulgent books because s/he could now tell the editors to pound sand.  I've had this awful feeling that this would happen to Peter Jackson ever since I heard that the Hobbit would be two movies, not one, and the sheer number of reviews saying the same thing over and over again (it's too long, it's too detailed, the story won't support the weight of all this stuff) leads me to be very glad I didn't go yesterday.

  •  An interesting movie-making dilemma, though (9+ / 0-)

    The orcs in Lord of the Rings are wholly different creatures that the orcs/gobblins in the Hobbit.

    Gollum is an entirely different creature too. And Gandalf.

    What does a moviemaker do: is it one consistent world, or two different ones?

  •  Oh, Dear (9+ / 0-)

    I'm being dragged out to this tomorrow.  I'll get the large popcorn and entertain myself with that.

    (-6.25, -6.77) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

    by Lonely Liberal in PA on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 02:56:56 PM PST

  •  Honestly, at this point I may just (7+ / 0-)

    forgo Peter Jackson's latest and instead re-watch my copy of the 1977 animated version of the movie, which I grew up with and love to this day.

  •  Well, look what he did to 'King Kong' (6+ / 0-)

    That was a preview of what he does if given too much control, and clearly the pattern is being repeated.

    "Marco Rubio es un pañuelo Rosa!" - Montgomery Burns

    by Fordmandalay on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 05:12:10 PM PST

  •  Did he use WETA or did they use someone else? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 06:40:10 PM PST

  •  "If the second one is this hard to watch... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee, 207wickedgood, DuzT

    I’ll probably wait for number three from Netflix."

    No you won't!  And you know it! LOL

  •  My feeling was exactly the same. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee, Black Max, Cartoon Peril

    We're being played for marketing purposes and to maximize profit. You're right, the book does not warrant three movies.

    For that reason I won't be seeing this movie--at least not in the theater, though I'm sure it will be ubiquitous on cable in the next few years.

  •  I Loved It.....Just Saw It Today. (11+ / 0-)

    But, then I only read part of the first book.  I didn't have expectations.  None of the action seemed padded to me.

    How would I know?  I just took it as I saw it.  Definitely better to be uninformed & not a purist in this instance.

    I'd see it again.  Mr Snapples has read every word of every book.  He thought it was padded too.  

  •  I really wish Del Toro was able to finish the proj (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee, Cartoon Peril, Amayi

    I've not seen it, but I'm not terribly interested. As soon as Jackson was involved, my interest die. I knew it would become meandering and, honestly, every view of it I've had makes it look like it's practically the same approach as was done for LOTR. I feel like this should have been handled differently.

    I really wish Del Toro was able to finish the project instead. It needed a different vision.

    •  Yeah that is another problem with it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geenius at Wrok

      There's nothing new. Every single image, I felt, I had seen before. The goblin caves were the pits of Isengard, the hills of New Zealand were the hills of New Zealand. Even Radagasts's forest, which was new, felt like a repeat (possibly from Avatar or World of Warcraft).

      I admit I was looking forward to the Hobbit in order to return to the world that Jackson created in the original LOTR. I just didn't think it was going to be such a complete repeat.

    •  Del Toro (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      softserve

      needs to be a bigger name here than he is.  He's one of the best filmmakers out there, especially when it comes to stories like this or Pan's Labyrinth.  Or the Devil's Backbone.

      Hopefully Pacific Rim ends up being a breakout movie for him in the US.  And hopefully this doesn't lead to a decline in the quality of his films.

  •  depressing to hear. as a fellow Tolkien fan. (7+ / 0-)

    (I also used to do an annual read of all 4 books, but haven't done so in about a decade).
    I have a good friend who has read the books even more than I have and he, his wife and I all went to the Return of the King together. Throughout the movie he would whisper "that wasn't in the book," "that wasn't in the book," and so on. He was always right, of course. You'd think it would have irritated me but I actually liked his adherence to the true story. (But he did like those films. I wonder what he'll think of the Hobbit).

    We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

    by Tamar on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:03:56 PM PST

    •  Mr. Light and I said to each other all through (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Anna M, UntimelyRippd

      the three LOTR movies, "That isn't right! That wasn't in the book!". We were especially disappointed in Jackson's re-write of the events with Faramir, and really hate that part in the movie. If we go see the Hobbit (we may not), we'll have to stop ourselves from making those comments, I know it's bad form to talk during a movie in the theatre.  

      What really upsets me is that if the movies can get someone to at last read the books, they will be disappointed and say, "THAT wasn't in the movie!" and put the book down.  

      When the trilogy movies are on a cable channel, we'll watch them again, but we notice the sound is really loud in parts and then really soft in others, so we have to keep the remote handy to turn up or down as needed.

      -6.50/-5.23 "Don't find fault, find a remedy." - Henry Ford

      by Merry Light on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:32:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Few things more annoying (10+ / 0-)

      than people who expect two different art forms to perfectly mirror each other.

      A book and movie will never mirror each other perfectly, and those who expect that are doomed to be disappointed every single time.

      Me, I love the LoTR trilogy in book form, and I love it in movie form (the super extended extra long edition, no less).

      And my kid and I can't wait to go see the Hobbit and will likely love it as well. "There are too many battle scenes" has never been a negative argument for me, lol. I'd be more worried about the opposite.

      •  Actually, my friend also liked both. But he's a (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        IreGyre, mythatsme

        detailed-oriented guy and so he just had to "officially" note which parts weren't original to the book. (His wife, who never read the books, didn't really care about which parts were book, which weren't, but she's very good-natured about his little idiosyncrasies.)
        My friend liked the movie's greater development of Arwen's character. I was taken aback by that at first, but ended up liking it also.
        I bought the extended version of the movies as soon as the set came out on DVDs.

        We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

        by Tamar on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 10:31:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  True. (0+ / 0-)

        But there are definite flaws in what Jackson did in LotR, things could have been made better for film if they'd been kept closer to the book.

        However lest you think I demand slavish purity, if I were doing the Hobbit I'd have cut 4-5 of the Dwarves right off.

  •  If I remember correctly... (4+ / 0-)

    ...one of them during their respective interview on The Colbert Report said that the Bilbo-Gollum bit was the first thing they filmed for these films. I wonder if it being the first accounts for the better quality of the scene you describe.

  •  Jackson is going the way of Lucas (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee, Cartoon Peril, sneakers563

    Time to get back to his Heavenly Creatures roots.

    "It strikes me as gruesome and comical that in our culture we have an expectation that a man can always solve his problems" - Kurt Vonnegut

    by jazzence on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:30:36 PM PST

    •  Absolutely agree on both counts (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mythatsme, jazzence

      The opening sequence of Heavenly Creatures still sends chills up my spine.  The gradual cut from the newsreel idealizing Christchurch, "New Zealand's City of the Plains" to the running legs of the girls, the transformation of the girls' laughter to screams, the glimpse of blood on the legs, ending with the horror of the girls finally coming fully into view.

      I remember watching that with a group of friends.  As the scene progressed people got quieter and quieter until the room was dead silent, finally interrupted by a simply uttered "fuck" from the back of the room.

      To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

      by sneakers563 on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 01:09:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Unforgivable... (13+ / 0-)

    Leaving out "The Scouring of the Shire" was the omission I could not get around. I loved Tom and Goldberry, but they were not essential. Scouring was the culminating moment in the hero's journey, a shining moment and the pinnacle of the faithful four's character development. I was really looking forward to two moments in those movies. Helms Deep and Scouring. Helms Deep was amazing, but Scouring was sorely missed.

    Don't confuse my lack of religion for a lack of spirituality.

    by Mxwll on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:48:21 PM PST

    •  Yes! I am so with you on that. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yoduuuh do or do not

      I can see Canada from my house. No, really, I can.

      by DuzT on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 04:27:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Helm's Deep was the pinnacle (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mythatsme

      of the three films to me.  It was immersive in a way that Jackson never achieved at any other point in the trilogy, IMHO.  I really felt the plight of the people huddling in the caves, the kids being pressed into service on the walls, the sense of nowhere left to run.  After that, RotK felt kind of mechanical and was a bit of a letdown for me.  I was shocked later to discover that the second film is often regarded as the weakest of the three.  Then again I haven't read the books for 20+ years, so I wasn't in a position to nitpick the details of the final cavalry charge and all that.

      Anyway, I'll probably be dragged to the Hobbit next week.  Hopefully it will at least be entertaining enough to pass the three hours without too much pain.

  •  I want to say first (5+ / 0-)

    that I haven't had time to watch the movie yet and won't till monday (partly becaue of work partly I have no wish to ruin my experience fighting crowds)

    That said I think my biggest fear for this go around is expectations. No one really expected LotRs to do well and it not only did well but incredibly well. Thus people don't remember that Followship is really a ponderous first entry, it's slow but it manages to still be interesting as it sets up the next two movies.

    Thus I am afraid like the 2nd star wars triology, the hobbit might be doomed by the success of what came before it.

    Further I am hearing taht while 48 fps might be the future it is also polarizing people. Thus I have to wonder just how wise it was to go all in on it here.

    Overall I look forward to the trilogy and the story but I am not surprised if people are being disappointed. Frankly I would have been amazed if the reviews were as good as LotRs

  •  People are giving Peter Jackson a hard time (4+ / 0-)

    Look, Peter Jackson is a die hard Lord of the Rings fan, has been long before the films have been released so I think if there not a single director out there in the world that could make a better Hobbit film than him, unless we're talking about Christopher Nolan or Alfonso Cuaron.

    I remember when Jackson himself went on Ain't It Cool News and held a Q&A Session with film geeks on there about what they want to see in the LOTR films.  This was well over a year and a half before filming started commencing.  This goes to show Jackson knows what LOTR fans want.

    But the Hobbit is a different case I suppose.

    •  Not Nolan. (0+ / 0-)

      shudder

      Curon would have been... interesting. Like a more mature if less whimsical Del Toro. Curon after all, set the tone for the Harry Potter franchise (which I do not like except in relation to Twilight but I can appreciate the tone).

      •  Nolan can direct anything (0+ / 0-)

        If Christopher Nolan can go from making a surreal experimental film like Memento to making a three-film trilogy Batman series that is the top grossing comic book film series in history, surely he can handle the LOTR films.

        Experimental filmmaking is Nolan's specialty.  It's harder to understand than the LOTR franchise.  Therefore, making the Hobbit would be a walk in the park for him.

        On the other hand, the LOTR and Hobbit books are literary whereas Nolan and his brother Jonathan write completely original screenplays.  Maybe my idea of Nolan directing the Hobbit is far-fetched.  On the other hand, he hasn't made a single dull film.

        Alfonso Cuaron is very underrated and underused as a director.  He's also to be admired because the contract he had with Warner Brothers in making the Harry Potter Prisoner of Askaban film was to make Children of Men, which I thought was a unique and interesting film.

  •  "Mere excuses to sell 'stuff' to children" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee, Black Max, PHScott, Cartoon Peril

    Yepper.   On my daughter's wish list are two, not one, but two!  Lego sets based on The Hobbit.  And how many total Lego kits are there?  Apparently six.

    Fortunately, she read all the books before she watched any of the movies (she'll be seeing The Hobbit tomorrow), but I expect her long-term memory will be imprinted with the movie version of the stories, not the literary version.  That's a loss.

  •  Well, I saw it (13+ / 0-)

    I quite enjoyed it.

    Driving home I finally identified the vague, half-familiar feeling of ambivalence it left me with. It was exactly the same as I felt reading The Silmarillion all those years ago. And the same as I felt every time I read or tried to read another in the long saga produced by Christopher Tolkien from his father's drafts and notes. It isn't the jewel; it is messy, like history. And of course, it isn't The Hobbit, the book I've read time and again. It is more. And less.  

    I haven't had time to follow all the breathless fannish news and form expectations. This time it wasn't a 35 year wait while two generations of actors aged out from the "Who would you cast in LotR movie?" game. I had no idea what I was going to see.

    I quite enjoyed it.

  •  This is NOT a children's movie. (7+ / 0-)

    As a pre-school teacher, there are few things I find more troubling that children in movies that are not appropriate for them. This film was fine for my twelve year old, but there is no way I would let my nine year old see it. It's too intense. Please, see it for yourself before taking your kids.

    Other than that, I liked it. It was not LoTR's standard, but no one expected it to be. The fight scenes were ridiculous, but that's common in movies nowadays. But the cast did well. Freeman and the Dwarves were fantastic. It was a decent escape from reality, and that was something that I badly needed today.

    "The Democrats are the lesser evil and that has to count for something. Good and evil aren't binary states. All of us are both good and evil. Being less evil is the trajectory of morality." --SC

    by tb92 on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 11:34:09 PM PST

    •  My son (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LinSea, DruidQueen

      watched the original LoTR trilogy when he was six. Every kid is different.

      •   (0+ / 0-)

        Of course they are. But, we think of the Hobbit as a fairly gentle story. The movie is not. All I ask is that parents see the film first, so that they can make an informed decision.

        "The Democrats are the lesser evil and that has to count for something. Good and evil aren't binary states. All of us are both good and evil. Being less evil is the trajectory of morality." --SC

        by tb92 on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 12:13:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  A "gentle" story? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          IreGyre

          Repeated threats of cannibalism (the trolls, the goblins, Gollum), a whole woodful of frickin' poisonous GIANT SPIDERS, a muckin' big battle in which some of the lead characters actually die - and of course THE DRAGON!!!

          The book is pretty intense too, thinly disguised by a light and playful tone.

          If it's
          Not your body,
          Then it's
          Not your choice
          And it's
          None of your damn business!

          by TheOtherMaven on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 02:05:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  And yet, people do think of it as a gentle story, (0+ / 0-)

            and it is clearly accepted as a children's tale. When my husband read it to our son, he was amazed at the violence. He doesn't remember that from his childhood. That "light and playful tone" is what people think of. The advantage to reading a book out loud to your child is that you can mellow the message with a calm tone of voice. The movie doesn't have that option. It is dark and intense. My entire point was to warn people that they should not assume that the movie is safe for their kids just because the book was. Movies are always more intense by virtue of their size and loudness. This one has been deliberately made more adult. Please be careful. Children, as we all know, should be protected.

            "The Democrats are the lesser evil and that has to count for something. Good and evil aren't binary states. All of us are both good and evil. Being less evil is the trajectory of morality." --SC

            by tb92 on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:01:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Same as it always was (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tb92

              I remember being scared into screaming and hiding under my seat by the Witch in Disney's Snow White. Never had that problem with the written Grimm version, even though it's actually much darker.

              Another good example is The Wizard of Oz - the 1939 movie is much more intense and scarier (thank you Margaret Hamilton and Frank Morgan, and all the rest of the cast).

              So yeah - if in doubt, check it out first.

              If it's
              Not your body,
              Then it's
              Not your choice
              And it's
              None of your damn business!

              by TheOtherMaven on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:30:49 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  6!!! (0+ / 0-)

        Quite the household you have there.

        Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day light such a candle by God's grace in England as shall never be put out.

        by Bollox Ref on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:23:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  only thing we regretted about the original trilogy (3+ / 0-)

    was the decision to leave out the Harrowing of the Shire, where the returning Hobbits act on their own behalf, as adults, in cleaning up the mess that percolated during their absence. That's a great part of the ending, and Jackson thought it was "boring" or something, so he just left it out.

    Marketing, yeah. We were in our local bricks-n-mortar B&N a few days ago. Yeah, there's big-time merchandising going on.

    We're real good at suspending the disbelief, though, 8-), and more into story-telling than artsy-farts, so maybe we'll be able to enjoy it anyway.

    "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

    by chimene on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 11:53:14 PM PST

    •  Jackson thought that the Scouring... (5+ / 0-)

      ...wouldn't work in a film format; that the audience would have a problem with it given the defeat of the big villain. I'm torn on the issue; I can see both ways. I like the idea of the hobbits having to deal with an issue on their own, displaying all that they've learned and matured over the course of the story. But on the other hand, I do understand a film being a differnet medium, and having to ramp viewers tension back up after it was deflated in relief with the destruction of the ring and the defeat of Sauron is a difficult thing for a film. Jackson wasn't flippant over leaving out the Scouring; it was a very deliberated decision.

  •  I loved it. (14+ / 0-)

    Backstory: I was a D&D playing guy who read The Hobbit and the trilogy every year for nigh on twenty years straight, and occasionally read my favorite parts of The Silmarillion.

    I think the whole thing could have a much better title: Of The Third Age and The Rings of Power. Jackson could never use that, because it's from the Silmarrilion, but this is the story he is piecing together from The Hobbit plus stuff from the LotR.

    Unlike the trilogy, where the battle scenes had great importance, these are played lightheartedly. The weightier matters in this story are what the Wise are up to as well as the themes of courage and loyalty.

    For me, if I had to choose between a movie based strictly on the Hobbit or what we are getting - a "Third Age and the Ring of Power Trilogy," I'll take the trilogy in a heartbeat.

    I do not sense this is a cash-in. I think it is an attempt to tell the whole story of the One Ring and the end of the Third Age, something most Tolkien die-hards never dreamed could appear on the silver screen, at any frames-per-second.

    •  Yeah (7+ / 0-)

      people are not understanding that this isn't just The Hobbit. It's the collected mythology from that time period, drawing from several sources.

      The hobbit, by itself, features a rather mundane quest -- some dwarves want their gold back. Given the existential stakes in LoTR, who gives a shit about some dwarves' stupid gold? Well, there's more going on, and I'm glad Jackson decided to explore THAT instead.

      That wasn't a one-movie task. Could he have done it in the original two-movie time frame? That remains to be seen.

      Incidentally, I'm more annoyed by the release dates than anything. I wish they were being rolled out every six months instead.

      •  Exactly. And even more to that point (5+ / 0-)

        is the fact that Gandalf himself initiated the quest in his meeting with Thorin in Bree for the purpose of getting rid of Smaug, so that the dragon would be a dangerous chess piece removed from any future battles with Sauron. Thus, Jackson is putting The Hobbit in the context in which Tolkien himself ultimately placed the story.

  •  It should have been *one* movie (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elmo, ConfusedSkyes, Noisy Democrat

    If ever there was a book that could have been a single film, it was The Hobbit.

    Keep up the goofy appeal and charm, know exactly what the source material is (and isn't), keep up the pace, and it could have been a great little film.

    I'm sensing a certain other prominent director who was once involved in the project may have seen the writing on the wall and bailed, but it's ironic, because he probably would have been the better fit to do it -- if he had creative control, anyway.

    Thankfully, this should be the last we see of the franchise for a long time to come. The family has the rights to the other books and stories that aren't LOTR and The Hobbit and aren't keen on selling them, thankfully.

    •  How to film the others? as documentaries? (0+ / 0-)

      they are not stories in the sense that the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings are... they are more like histories, chronicles. Anyone allowed to make them into movies would have to invent a lot more storyline details and create a lot of dialogue etc to flesh them out.... too much would have to be added. They are fascinating dazzling rich histories and moreover cover a grander scale and longer timeframe. There are shorter self contained stories within them but even then they are all more like a bard would narrate them and a movie with a voice over for most of the film would just not work as a movie.

      Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

      by IreGyre on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 02:50:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another trilogy overdue for filming (0+ / 0-)

    When are they going to turn the Illuminatus! trilogy into movies?

    Hey am I the only person (I haven't read the previous comments yet) who remembers the Rankin-Bass animated TV version of The Hobbit? Told the whole story in seventy-something minutes (are you listening Jackson?) and had a maniac monologist named "Brother Theodore" doing Gollum's voice

    Hey righties: Haah-ha!

    by Miscweant on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 04:05:55 AM PST

    •  Thank god (5+ / 0-)

      Jackson didn't listen to that.

      I don't know why so many of you are in a hurry to be done watching this tale. If you are so strapped for time, skip it altogether. For my part, I savor every second I get to spend in Jackson's Middle Earth.

      •  I recall people dissing Fellowship, vowing to skip (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LaurenMonica

        the rest... some who had read the books and some who hadn't. I told them all that they needed to see them all and then make a judgement... and later I would have said see the EXTENDED DVD and then see what they thought..

        For the ones who had not read the book I said this is just the first third. They were acting like a person who only reads part of a book and then says they are disappointed that it did not have a wrapped up plot.

        Give it a chance. See them all and then judge the whole work. For me, seeing all three Hobbits in the extended DVD version someday will be amazing, I am certain of that!

        Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

        by IreGyre on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 02:55:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I've always thought they should film Illuminatus! (0+ / 0-)

      It could be amazing in the right director's hands. Of course, it's nowhere near LOTR in terms of popularity, so I doubt it's on anyone's radar.

  •  re: people who cannot look at a movie without (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina

    seeing action figures, video games, underwear, bed sheets, “graphic novels,” Happy Meals, and toys, toys, toys, toys....

    Well I must say I loved The Hobbit, or there and back again but as soon as I saw the movie had misused the subtitle I knew it was not my Hobbit. And where I saw that was in the Denny's commercial where the idiot Mom looks around the room seeing characters and says something like "Hey, they built a whole movie around the menu!"

    That did it for me. I'll spend my money on another used hard-copy of the old standard version, thanks. Saving the real stuff to read to the grandkids as a bedtime story, as it should be.

  •  Loved it. Hope Peter Jackson will also be part of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    goObama, Loquatrix, DruidQueen

    The Silmarillion project if they ever decide to do the movie about Sauron and Melkor.

    "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

    by LaurenMonica on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 04:34:10 AM PST

  •  When Denny's sells a "Hobbit Slam" (0+ / 0-)

    as they now do, along with other Hobbit themed menu items, it's clear that this movie is a vehicle for merchandising. Too bad.  As a high schooler, I was in our "Tolkein Society". Even as a Cassandra, I could not foresee this.

    Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

    by cassandracarolina on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 04:51:23 AM PST

  •  I dont have kids so I didnt have issue with it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IreGyre

    And I checked, The movie is PG13 so I doubt it was supposed to reach the same audience as let say a Harry Potter movie.

    "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

    by LaurenMonica on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 05:26:45 AM PST

  •  Totally Disagree! (10+ / 0-)

    (caveat - based on IMAX/3D/32fps viewing)...
    The Hobbit totally too me back to Middle-Earth the same way the LOTR did. I was just too sad to be going to the movie yesterday but they were pre-paid tickets.  It was a relief after all to leave this earth and enter the world of The Hobbit (for 3 hrs). Thanks Peter Jackson!

    •  re: actions scenes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      artmartin

      There were a little too long and one or two too many....but (as an old guy) I think that about every action movie. LOTR had the same faults. But they were well done and exciting. One in particular took my breath away!

  •  As soon as I learned it was going to be (0+ / 0-)

    turned into a three-parter, I figured it wasn't going to be worth my time and money, alas. One movie would have been sufficient — and it looks like a lot of reviewers agree.

  •  I wonder, after the 3rd movie comes out, (0+ / 0-)

    whether it will be possible to cut&paste together one good movie.

    I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

    by tle on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:27:46 AM PST

  •  what about Tolkeins nonLOTR stories? (0+ / 0-)

    years ago I discovered his other stores "farmer giles of ham" and other short stories....

    other than finding that book somewhere, I have never heard anyone mention them...they were great stories & with all the interest in Tolkein I'm kind of surprised they don't seem popular

    and what about the Silmarillion (sp?)...I don't think I ever even finished it....

    anyway...there's such an interest in Tolkein I wonder when people will explore his less well known work

    PLEASE donate to a global children's PEACE project: Chalk 4 Peace

    by RumsfeldResign on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:16:56 AM PST

  •  the hobbit (7+ / 0-)

    The movie was awesome! Exactly what a real aficionado of Tolkin's "the greatest story ever told" may desire. I enjoyed every second of it last night and today I am going to see it again, this time in 3D. Jackson's over the top style is a perfect match for this epic quest. For the ones who do not like it, well, they always can watch the replays of Titanic and Lincoln.

    •  I'm with you. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LaurenMonica, javan, DruidQueen

      I thought this was an amazing movie.  It appears many people are so stuck on the subject matter that they can't see how amazing this movie is.  
      The HFR/3D version takes a bit of getting used to.  With normal frame rates, your brain fills in a lot of the picture. With HFR, the picture is so much clearer but it also less forgiving in the details.
      I suggest everyone see this movie.  Leave your prejudices and preconceptions at the door and just enjoy it.  It may not follow your desires of what it should be, but that doesn't stop it from being amazing.

      Look at it this way, what did we get this year that had the potential to blow us away like this movie?  Total Recall? Resident Evil? Ghost rider? Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter?

      We should just be grateful when a movie is at least watchable.

      Never argue with a fool, they will lower you to their level and then beat you with experience.

      by God loves goats on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 12:03:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Honestly, I can't help but think most folks (9+ / 0-)

    who are carrying on about how horrid this movie is are stroking their own ego more than anything else!

    My husband's seen it and says it was totally brilliant, but then again he's not afraid to be seen to enjoy something culturally mainstream, or something made for fans.  I'm seeing it on Monday and cannot wait to be transported back to Middle Earth for literally as many hours and days as Peter Jackson wants to keep producing the footage.  Anything from the cutting room floor, throw that back in too, please, Peter!  Never mind the naysayers -- we all know they're not the people you made the movies for.

  •  I saw it yesterday (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Temmoku, Garrett

    I loved the parts that were (fairly) true to the book - the hobbit village, the unexpected party, Rivendell, the scene with Gollum, the soaring landscapes.  Even the trolls were well done.

     I definitely agree with you about all those CGI battle scenes however - talk about sensory overload!  Way overdone. Not everybody is a teenage boy who wants to see video-game battles.  I actually had a headache after I left.

    I think Peter Jackson changed too many little things for the worse.  In the book the hobbit didn't become a "hero" till towards the end of the book - with dealing with Smaug.  He sort of "developed" courage over time.  In this movie he signed on to go willingly and acted heroically almost from the start - saving Thorin?  What was that?  And that whole bit with Saruman and Galadriel at Rivendell?  I guess Peter Jackson had to get a female character in there somewhere (The Hobbit book has no female characters).

    I felt it was worth going to see, but still I was definitely disappointed with many parts.

  •  You can sell (11+ / 0-)

    just as many toys with a shorter movie than a longer one.

    Not sure why "it's really long" has to mean "they're trying to sell toys". Disney has sold plenty of merchandise based on The Incredibles, to name just one of their one-off movies.

    As I mention upthread, too many people seem to believe that the movie The Hobbit is supposed to cover just the book of that same name. It's not. It's a much more ambitious project that pulls in from much of the broader mythology of that time period as detailed in other Tolkien pieces. And that's a good thing, because the Hobbit itself, while perhaps a delightful little tale, is quite a trite story compared to the epicness of LoTR.

    Who gives a shit that some dwarves want their gold back, when in three generations entire dwarf nations will be wiped out, not to mention the fate of the world will hang in the balance. Well, turns out there was more going on, and Jackson is making sure we know it.

    •  Well put. This trilogy is much more ambitious... (7+ / 0-)

      ...then just about some dwarves trying to get their version of Scrooge McDuck's money bin back. This is about the lead-up to the epic war of the orginal trilogy and the events that set that into motion (Sauron's return to Morder, the finding of the Ring, etc.).

      Personally, I really liked the film and wasn't bored by it at any moment. And the riddle game between Bilbo and Gollum (my favorite part of the book) was as fantastic as I hoped it would be. Gollum looks better than ever and Andy Serkis and company really have his split personality down cold. Like this exchange:

      "Oh, we knows the way out! Safe passage in the dark - Shut up!"

      "I didn't say anything."

      "Wasn't talking to you!"

    •  You probably have much better luck.. (0+ / 0-)

      selling toys if you keep you movie down to around 80 minutes because that is about the maximum attention span of the kids who still want toys.

      Never argue with a fool, they will lower you to their level and then beat you with experience.

      by God loves goats on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 12:08:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This. (0+ / 0-)

      I'm amazed at how many people aren't understanding that the movies aren't just about the kid's book called "The Hobbit." It's about a whole lot more.

  •  Going to see it this afternoon. 2D. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    artmartin, LinSea, kurious, Anna M

    We'll love it.

    It is what it is. I'd watch these characters do a cooking show.

  •  I loved the HFR aspect (4+ / 0-)

    As a film geek and lover of movies for over fifty years, I absolutely loved the HFR 3D presentation of this movie. I was dumbfounded how gorgeous and realistic it looked. Sure it showed flaws in the makeup and special effects, but I could not shake the idea that I was present in these scenes watching them like a live play. I could only think how I would love to see some of my favorite movies in this format. A nature movie with less special effects might be perfect. The HFR greatly improved the 3D, no doubt about it.

    Everything I write is within a margin of error of precisely 100%.

    by Bailey Savings and Loan on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:49:14 AM PST

  •  Things I *liked* (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Anna M

    Under the Mountain dark and tall
    the King has come unto his hall
    his foe is dead, the worm of dread
    and ever more his foes shall fall

    I remember that from the the cartoon 35 years ago! I still can remember the wistful baritone chorus singing that.

    Jackson tried to bring back the musical tenor to the Hobit.  In particular, the dwarvish music in the hobbit hole was fairly interesting.  It was fun, and honestly a throwaway minute, but it set more of the stage than exposition any day.

    They didn't get the birds in a tree song during the orc chase, which I do regret...

    And of course, things I disliked:
    I'm with the OP on almost all of his critique.  In particular the storm giant battle seemed nothign as much as a video game and showing off what they could do with their monstorous graphics engines.

    The idea of an "orc leader" (particularly one crippled, which I would think would make him likely to be deposed), holding a long-term grudge for a particular dwarf seemed like a modern contrivance, and played totally against the chaotic nature of the orcs.    Unnecessary, and distracting.

    I agree that Jackson is trying to cram the Silmarrion in here...which suprpises me..if Hobbit was a blockbuster like LOTRO, of course he could also make Sil.  If he muddles them together like he's doing, then neither one gets the focus and attention it deserves.

    Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

    by lostboyjim on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:57:16 AM PST

    •  Azog did indeed have a history with Thorin's (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dehrha02, IreGyre, DruidQueen

      family.
      The LOTR wiki is linked here
      http://lotr.wikia.com/...
      Azog was indeed killed by Dain (Thorin's second cousin) in the battle shown in the movie (where he loses his hand).
      In the real timeline he Azog lost his head in that battle.

      So, it's a contrivance that he lived, but the Orcs had a  society, and they had brains, so this is a nice touch.

      I imagine we will see Azog as one of the Orc leaders at the battle of the 5 armies where he will finally part company with his cranium.

      Take back the House in 2014!!!!!!!!!!!! (50 state strategy needed)

      by mungley on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 11:36:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think I see why Jackson did that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mungley, dehrha02

        He had established in LOTR that Orcs are spawned out of mud and slime, and to have a character called "Bolg son of Azog" would go directly against that.

        Not to mention it never quite fit even in the books with what Orc society was shown to be like. (For one thing, either we never see any female Orcs...or the difference is only noticeable to another Orc.)

        If it's
        Not your body,
        Then it's
        Not your choice
        And it's
        None of your damn business!

        by TheOtherMaven on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 12:22:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Right. I think Uruk-Hai of Saruman were the ones (0+ / 0-)

          shown in Lord of The Rings springing from mud.

          That was probably a bit of visual license that was a poor choice in hindsight.

          Take back the House in 2014!!!!!!!!!!!! (50 state strategy needed)

          by mungley on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 12:41:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually that was one of Tolkien's first ideas (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            IreGyre, Deward Hastings

            about Orcs, but he soon discarded it in favor of having them reproduce in the usual way (sexually, or "after the manner of the Children of Iluvatar). Then again, he never settled to his own satisfaction just exactly what Orcs were, and whether they were "irredeemably evil" or merely too corrupted by their cruel and violent upbringing to fit into the World of Men. (He wasn't happy with either concept.)

            What they really are, of course, is "Monsters from the Id" - specifically, the human Id. Tolkien came near to grasping this more than once, but never quite got there.

            If it's
            Not your body,
            Then it's
            Not your choice
            And it's
            None of your damn business!

            by TheOtherMaven on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 02:13:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  And then of course, as far as (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Anna M, artmartin

          Female dwarfs, we find out in one of the LTHR series, that we might be looking at female dwarfs, only we don't know it - they do have beards, you see, just like the men.

          Offer your heart some Joy every day of your life, and spread it along to others.

          by Truedelphi on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 01:09:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, any Dwarf you actually see above ground (0+ / 0-)

            is probably male - their women-folk were intensively and heavily protected, and small wonder, since there were so few of them (not more than one in three, per Tolkien).

            As to the idea of bearded female Dwarves - Terry Pratchett took that idea and blasted off into the far reaches of the Galaxy with it, to hilarious effect. (Cheery "Cheri" Littlebottom in the later Watch novels of the Discworld series is definitely a Dwarf, definitely bearded - and "comes out" as very, very female. In a Dwarvish manner, of course.)

            If it's
            Not your body,
            Then it's
            Not your choice
            And it's
            None of your damn business!

            by TheOtherMaven on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 02:22:48 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I loved it. Super exciting. Way fun (9+ / 0-)

    Just go see it.
    If you happen to have something to put in your hobbit pipe before hand, you will enjoy this.

    It's great either way.

    " With religion you can't get just a little pregnant"

    by EarTo44 on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 11:13:47 AM PST

  •  I think The Hobbit could still make a good (0+ / 0-)

    stageplay, in the vein of Peter Pan.  I don't think it NEEDS to many special effects.  They stage Wagner's Ring Cycle (which is remarkably similar to LOTR) with more impressive stage effects than were used in Peter Jackson's LOTR.

    Yeah, I hated the Peter Jackson LOTR on too many levels to count.  Part of the offense is that I was already so familiar with the books.  IT wasn't the alterations to the story -- that was necessary.  It was the alteration of THE TONE.  Modern fantasy lit fiction has a different, more action-ish tone than older fantasy like LOTR, which tends to be more fanciful and poetic.  

    •  Some gratuitous Wagner... (0+ / 0-)

      the final scene, Brunhilde's self-immolation with the cursed ring, which brings about the collapse of Valhalla and the death of the gods, and the beginning of a new age of man (sound a little familiar?)  The creepy guy hovering around behind her is Elberich, the Gollum equivalent.  Of course, if this weren't an opera, he wouldn't stand there patiently while she sings.

        •  I thought that was Hagen (Alberich's son) (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dumbo

          He hangs around the set plotting, scheming and doing dastardly deeds (like tricking Siegfried into bigamy in order to set him up to be murdered) until the Rhinemaidens take and drown him at the very end.

          If it's
          Not your body,
          Then it's
          Not your choice
          And it's
          None of your damn business!

          by TheOtherMaven on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 02:25:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're probably right. (0+ / 0-)

            I never paid THAT much attention to it.  I listen to the chords and watch things burn up and fall down.  But if you're into Tolkien, I'm just saying, The Ring cycle stage adaptations show how it could be done well and on a smaller budget.  Imagine: Hobbit -- the Broadway Play!  

  •  I enjoyed it, though I agree it was long. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dehrha02, Truedelphi, IreGyre, artmartin

    But please recognize that I almost always fall asleep when we watch "The Two Towers."
    Plus my son was sitting on my lap for at least 90 minutes.

    On the flip side my daughter and 5 of her teenage friends were in the theater with us, and they loved it.

    Take back the House in 2014!!!!!!!!!!!! (50 state strategy needed)

    by mungley on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 11:27:22 AM PST

  •  waiting for (0+ / 0-)

    "Silmarillion: What Lucas Did to Star Wars with Jar Jar Binks, but More So"

    might need to tighten up the title, though.

    "Silmarillion: The Ainur Get Their Freak On"?

    drone strikes in Pakistan: Sandy Hook Elementary x10.

    by bnasley on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 12:29:28 PM PST

  •  Okay, I understand what you are saying. (0+ / 0-)

    I won't be able to comment about whether I agree or not until I get to see it.

    It is raining freezing rain today, (And this is northern Calif!,) so until the sleet subsides, I am home watching DVD's.

    But let me point out, there are a gazillion films made every year that you won't want your kids to see. A whole series of films in which one demented man kidnaps people and shoots them and tortures them while they are still alive.

    So to have a series of films in which the story telling drags, but the kids aren't exposed to sadism and masochism and cruel events that would give a serial killer nightmares - well, yeah, it would be better if the three Hobbit films were totally to the standard of the LOTR series, but I'll take what I can get. Even if what we get is a bit, or even a lot, schlockier than what we'd like.

    Offer your heart some Joy every day of your life, and spread it along to others.

    by Truedelphi on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 01:06:22 PM PST

  •  Recap of seeing the movie (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LinSea

    Mr. Gene--he's my partner--and I went to see the Hobbit movie today.  I thought about writing a review but..well...this recap will explain why I can't.

    Opening credits.  Tedious voiceover infodump, followed by...
    me:  zzzzzzzz
    Mr Gene nudges me: Wake up.
    me: Wha'? Is it over?
    Mr Gene: Does Cate Blanchett's accent sound like her character's in "Indiana Jones?"
    me: zzzzzzzz
    Mr Gene nudges me: Wake up.
    me: What about now?  Can we leave yet?
    Mr Gene:  Trolls eat snot soup...gag...Let me by...I gotta go hurl...
    me: zzzzzzzz
    Mr Gene nudges me:  Wake up.  
    me: Was I snoring?
    Mr. Gene:  Why does Golem remind me of Niles from "Frasier?"
    me: OMG, how much longer can this go on?
    ...an endless time later...
    me: zzzzzzzz
    Mr Gene nudges me:  Wake up.  
    me: If it's not over, just kill me now.
    Mr. Gene:  Time to go home.
    me:  At last!

    That's 136 minutes of my life I'll never get back.  

    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. -- Arthur C. Clarke

    by mathGuyNTulsa on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 03:12:58 PM PST

  •  I have not yet seen the movie but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cliss, Anna M

    "The Hobbit" was always my favorite book of the series. Much smaller scale. Hard to believe they are stretching it out over 3 movies.

    I've read "The Hobbit" twice and immensely enjoyed it both times and encouraged my teenage son to read it. Hard to find good books for teenagers raised on immediate gratification.

  •  Hey, don't bash Temple of Doom! (0+ / 0-)

    OK, it's considered the least of the original Indiana Jones movies (I refuse to acknowledge the fourth exists) but it's my personal favorite. Mine cart chases, creepy-crawlies, Shanghai nightclubs, ripping the beating heart out of a poor villager in an arcane ritual... this film was a refreshing change of pace from the Middle-East adventures in Raiders, IMHO.

    As commerce-driven as the decision to expand the Hobbit is, I'm kind of excited about what Jackson does with the source material. As Wikipedia says, commerce is not inherently evil.

    Romney flip-flopped far more than Kerry ever did.

    by tojojo on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 04:01:05 PM PST

  •  It seems like they have gone to great lengths (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cliss

    to preserve all of the elements from Lord of the Rings - the same characters, epic tone, huge CGI battle scenes, and nine hour length.

    I know Jackson insists it was his decision to pad The Hobbit with material from Tolkein's appendices and stretch the story out into three films - but the whole enterprise really smacks of crafting a product to be marketed (LOTR V 2!), rather than creating a film from a director's vision. And what do you expect really, when there are billions of dollars on the line?

  •  I can guarantee... (0+ / 0-)

    ....people in suits in a glass walled conference room are not to blame at all. Jackson, Boyens and Walsh will stand or fall with the film. I think Jackson has just gotten increasingly self-indulgent. You could see it in the endings of RotK and it got worse in King-Kong. The studio is not going to tell him what to do.

    That said I haven't seen the movie yet.

  •  'Whimsical"? (0+ / 0-)

    There's nothing whimsical in Tolkien's The Hobbit.  Anyone who perceives even portions of it as whimsy, is someone who can't take life straight, with no chaser.  It's the essence of a modest soul's progress, from insular and apart, to extrovert and of the world.  Bilbo passes through the fire (in truth and in metaphor) and comes back a changed person.  If you want whimsy, watch a Tarantino movie or something by Christopher Nolan -- films like that are a wallow in male blunt force and self-pity, and Jackson has the same sensibility with different subject matter.  The film of The Hobbit is a travesty.

  •  I bet ten million bucks (0+ / 0-)

    That you saw it at the new, faster 48 FPS frame rate.  Everyone who saw that said that it made the proppish nature of prosthetics and make-up much more obvious.  Not having seen the film, I predict that you will like it more at 24 FPS.  

    Speaking as someone who enjoyed the LOTR films but thinks in general that Tolkien relies far too much on Manichaean dichotomies and nakedly racial definitions of good and evil.  

    Tom Frank was a pseudo that I coined before I found out about that guy who writes books.

    by Tom Frank on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:35:47 PM PST

  •   I saw the 2D, not the zippity do da version... (0+ / 0-)

    and the only thing that bothered me was the the fact that the "quest crew" gets roasted by trolls, chased by whatever those huge wolf/hyena things were, slammed around by wrestling mountains and chased, attacked and incessantly clobbered by orcs by the semi-millions (including falling a thousand feet down a chasm on an orc-bridge surfboard) then more clobbering by more orcs....and at the end of the movie, the whole lot of them have a few cuts and scratches, period. Not a broken limb, sliced off ear, eviscerated gut between the lot of them.  They don't even say, "Damn, let's rest up for a week or two!" Nope, it's off to the Lonely Mountain and Smaug. Piece of cake.

    Sure.

    Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

    by Sirenus on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:30:35 PM PST

  •  The movie was fantstic (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fbiots, DruidQueen, Anna M, delphine

    I loved every minute of it. Saw it at a midnight showing by myself in the middle of the 2D premier. Loved all the stuff and elements they added.

    http://callatimeout.blogspot.com/

    by DAISHI on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:38:26 PM PST

  •  You are missing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DruidQueen, delphine

    the fact that Jackson is trying to add from the appendages etc. to give more of the world, not just The Hobbit. He is trying to bring more of the Middle Earth to light. The world is vast, with many stories that could be told.

    For today August 9 I found a signature. I am a badger in heart today. Fight on Wisconsin.

    by the mom in the middle on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:42:56 PM PST

  •  And here's a video from Air New Zealand (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LinSea

    Stow your luggage, fasten your seat belts, put your oxygen mask on before you put it on your child (typical airline safety video)....

    But it has hobbits and elves and dwarves!

    “If you misspell some words, it’s not plagiarism.” – Some Writer

    by Dbug on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:44:22 PM PST

  •  this is a community spotlight diary? seriously? (0+ / 0-)

    i walked out of The Hobbit and watched little kids jumping up and down excited talking with their parents about the wonderful experience they had just been treated to and i thought about the kids who had died just that morning and the parents who were grieving and i looked over at my wife and my brother and my 2 friends who were with me and i felt grateful that we had been able to enjoy something together.  

    i'm so sorry that you were dissapointed with the movie.  but i don't begin to understand why you thought it was appropriate to complain about being dissapointed by a kids movie in a diary and i really don't understand why it's in the community spotlight.  

    i swear to god... i would have felt i had died and gone to heaven if i had seen this movie as a kid.  i felt that way about the cartoon i saw with all the kids in my elementary school.  we were sat down in rows in the cafeteria to watch it.  i was transported.  this movie most certainly is doing that to kids today.  

    but not to you, so, you know, you just had to write a diary to complain about it and make personal potshots at the people who worked their heart and soul to make it, but didn't quite manage to blow your skirt up with it.

    i expect this on movie review websites that are filled with selfish self centered entitled brats, but not here on daily kos

    so long and thanks for all the fish

    by Anton Bursch on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 01:30:18 AM PST

    •  I liked it too (0+ / 0-)

      The part about Ian Holm reminded me of one of the initial reviews of the first film, saying that Gandalf's nose was appropriately bulbous or whatever - it's not makeup, lol.

      Anyway, Ian Holm wasn't playing "old" Bilbo.  He was playing Bilbo at Ian Holm's age, if you get what I'm saying.  He just had that stupid airbrush makeup on.   I saw it in IMAX 3D, and I didn't trip on any of the makeup, at ALL.

      It's a more whimsical story, so we have warty old goblins and quasi-silly chase scenes.  

      I enjoyed the film.  I don't know that we need so much more of it (3 films?), but I didn't have any sort of feeling like the diarist.

      (I was going to rec you but you got sort of un-called-for mean towards the end.)

      Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. Barack Obama

      by delphine on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 07:04:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  i'm just pissed at people whining about this movie (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        delphine

        they went to see it after just finding out 20 kids were murdered and instead of walking out feeling grateful they are complaining about it like it even matters.  i would have just rolled my eyes, but they took a personal pot shot at the director and it's on the community spotlight and it just seems like such bad form to me all around.  if i wasn't so emotional about the kids dying i probably would have just ignored this.  

        so long and thanks for all the fish

        by Anton Bursch on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:34:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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