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Saturday, December 07, 2013

The scouring of The Hobbit

This review of the second part of Peter Jackson's second trilogy does not sound at all promising:
There is, in short, an awful lot of Desolation to wade through before we arrive, weary and panting, on Smaug’s rocky porch. But that was always going to be the drawback of spinning out a 276-page children’s story into more than eight hours of blockbuster movie, particularly when the director is keener to build a prequel trilogy to his own operatic Lord of the Rings films than do justice to Tolkien’s original playful, uncluttered vision.

The tone is one hundred percent Jackson – a kind of thundering gloominess, cut with the occasional glint of Discworld mischief. Jackson and his co-writers, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, have decapitated bodies twitching on the ground, and a captured dwarf leering at a female elf: “Aren’t you going to search me? I could have anything down my trousers.” Maybe this really is what a lot of people want to see from a film version of The Hobbit, but let’s at least accept that Tolkien would probably not have been among them....

There is also an extended cameo for Orlando Bloom’s Legolas, with jokes foreshadowing his Lord of the Rings role, and the creation of a new, female elf warrior called Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly), whose main purpose is to be the third leg in an inter-species love triangle. Will she end up with the dishy elf or the hunky dwarf?
Ye cats. It is becoming abundantly clear that Jackson's biggest blunder was choosing his co-writers. Seriously, he couldn't find anyone better than HIS FREAKING WIFE AND HER FRIEND?

This is rapidly approaching Star Wars prequel-levels of absurdity. Permitting Pink SF to invade MIDDLE EARTH is a crime against literature. It's a crime against HUMANITY. I wasn't exaggerating when I said Pink SF is a cancer. It is an infectious disease that ruins everything it touches. Defiling the literary grave of Tolkien goes well beyond girls doing their usual shitting in the boys' sandbox, this is the Pink SF equivalent of suicide bombers.

Why not throw in an orc-human romance while he's at it? Why not lasers and lectures on global warming? Or, even better, an UNDEAD ORC-human-werewarg love triangle!

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111 Comments:

Anonymous MIchael Maier December 07, 2013 9:07 AM  

I said it upon watching it: the first installment of The Hobbit was more of a cartoon than the 70s Rankin/ Bass version.

It's everything bad about the LOTR films, but far moreso. Peter Jackson SUCKS. I wouldn't piss on him were he on fire.

I suppose I should thank God the Halo movie never happened. One shudders to think of the moronosity (sic) that could have been.

Anonymous LLC December 07, 2013 9:15 AM  

I was nervous when I saw Legolas in the preview. I'm going to reserve the slide into despair until I've actually seen the movie.

Anonymous Godfrey December 07, 2013 9:17 AM  

Didn't see the first one. Won't see the second.

My wife and I love to go to the movies, but we seldom go. We go once a year at best. The PC propaganda is too much to endure. We stay home and watch old movies. We enjoy film noirs which are usually about a flawed but virtuous person in a corrupt world. Redemption or self-destruction? That's the play of life.

Anonymous vryedenker December 07, 2013 9:20 AM  

It's pretty easy to turn a great book into a screenplay. You just go "basically all the action in the book, add some pop culture references and dick jokes, have the strong and independent princess transform the bad boy into a metrosexual and then they fuck".

Anonymous Godfrey December 07, 2013 9:27 AM  

@vryedenker December 07, 2013 9:20 AM
"It's pretty easy to turn a great book into a screenplay. You just go "basically all the action in the book, add some pop culture references and dick jokes, have the strong and independent princess transform the bad boy into a metrosexual and then they fuck."


You forgot to add a few things to actually get financing and get into production. You have to add a funny well-adjusted homosexual character and a stupid immoral religious - usually evangelical Christian or Roman Catholic - character.

Anonymous Krul December 07, 2013 9:28 AM  

The Hobbit is a short, simple, fun and creative adventure story for children that only hints at a bigger and darker world.

Jackson and Co. unwisely decided to turn it into a trilogy of ~3 hour films. Given this initial error, they had no choice except to depart significantly from the source material. They could have gone in two directions: either make it more silly and kid friendly with low brow slapstick humor and so forth, or make it more serious and adult by including and emphasizing more of the mature and complex world of Middle Earth.

Now their second error was to try to take the movies in BOTH directions. Compounding this error exponentially is Jackson's famous lack of restraint, meaning that he went ALL OUT in both directions. We therefore have the dark violence of Azog and the serious pontificating of Gandalf and Galadriel along side the cringe-inducing silliness of Radagast and his jackalope-sleigh.

The resulting clash is as jarring as the contrast between Jar Jar's antics and Anikan Skywalker murdering his wife before being dismembered and burned alive.

Anonymous Carlotta December 07, 2013 9:31 AM  

I refuse to see these.
Grew up with the books and the second I heard about the girl power warrior I was done. As if the very capable warriors of that age would need to have her along. As if the gentle, dignified ladies would have insulted those men by their insistence in coming.

He killed much of the reality of war in the LOTR movies to give those female characters girl power and all the really did was insult everyone.

Better to watch the Marine grrl knockout.

Anonymous Susan December 07, 2013 9:33 AM  

I am not big into SF, but even I know from the other genre that you just don't mess with the master's work. All the old school directors knew this. Why on earth do the newbies not grasp this simple concept?

Instead they take classic literature and other concepts that we love and turn them into total cinematic dooky. All in the name of their own egos and legacy.

Anonymous Carlotta December 07, 2013 9:34 AM  

The resulting clash is as jarring as the contrast between Jar Jar's antics and Anikan Skywalker murdering his wife before being dismembered and burned alive.


But this is what audiences want now. How horrifying. If you ask anyone about LOTRs they only think it was movies now.

Anonymous jack December 07, 2013 9:35 AM  

Gawd...MORE added feminine energy is it? I did see the first Hobbit movie and tried to enjoy it; and, even succeeded a bit. Sounds like the second installment will be a no show. [pun intended].

Tolkien is probably in Heaven begging to be allowed one more life on earth as an movie maker destroying demon.

Anonymous Carlotta December 07, 2013 9:35 AM  

You forgot to add a few things to actually get financing and get into production. You have to add a funny well-adjusted homosexual character and a stupid immoral religious - usually evangelical Christian or Roman Catholic - character.


Lol.

Anonymous Porky December 07, 2013 9:48 AM  

Fell asleep during Hobbit 1. God it was awful.

Anonymous Krul December 07, 2013 9:51 AM  

The decision to add a female character is foolish, but unsurprising. It betokens a certain lack of creativity on the part of the screen writers. They are very inthebox.

You'd think they would know by now that it's possible to make a a good movie with an all male cast.

Anonymous Porky December 07, 2013 9:54 AM  

Young boys tend to love these awful movies, though. It's important to point out to them exactly why they suck.

Anonymous Krul December 07, 2013 9:58 AM  

Porky - It's important to point out to them exactly why they suck.

No. Snob.

Anonymous Azimus December 07, 2013 9:58 AM  

My only question is, is Evangeline Lilly the poor man's Liv Tyler, or is Liv Tyler the poor man's Evangeline Lilly?

Blogger buzzardist December 07, 2013 10:09 AM  

The Hobbit needed to be a quick, playful adventure film. Jackson is trying to create an epic, and it just doesn't work.

And now the Jackson team has become so full of themselves that they feel bold in departing from the novel in order to tell the story they want, and it's increasingly clear that they are utterly tone-deaf creatively. Where LOTR worked best, Jackson's team left the story alone. In the Hobbit they are leaving precious little alone. The result is a train wreck.

But, hey, at least it leaves room for another generation of filmmakers to try to put out a more definitive version of the story. The Hobbit a supremely filmable book, more so than the LOTR, I think, and the fact that Jackson can't remotely pull off a decent Hobbit creates a lot of opportunity and motivation for others to try. It will be twenty years or more before anyone can get the financing, and what copyright law in two decades will do with the rights is anyone's guess. But a bar set so low with material so good and profit potential so high begs filmmakers to give it a try.

Blogger Nate December 07, 2013 10:13 AM  

Drama queens. The first was fun. The second will be fun. The girl elf will be stupid and will be ignored.

Anonymous VD December 07, 2013 10:22 AM  

But, hey, at least it leaves room for another generation of filmmakers to try to put out a more definitive version of the story.

Shades of Dune and HBO Dune. Although they haven't gotten that one right either. Still, how do you screw up THE HOBBIT? I mean, it's not even close to being as good as the animated one was.

Blogger tz December 07, 2013 10:22 AM  

Cancer is degenerative, not infectious.

This great battle: Vox v.s. the Pink Pox.

Where are the orcesses and goblinettes wielding their bits of scrap metal?

(And why do female characters use weapons that require upper body strength - swords and longbows? Are none aware of the anatomical differences -oh, but they are gammas.

At least the entwives have long disappeared by the time of the story, lest things get even seedier.

This is Monty Python's "Scott of the Saharah", but made real.

Blogger JACIII December 07, 2013 10:28 AM  

OT:

Check out the Conan clip where Evangeline bragcomplains about her women's health cover with the headline "Best Butt Ever". If there was ever a display of bragcomplaining this is it.

Anonymous Krul December 07, 2013 10:30 AM  

Hey! I like David Lynch's Dune!

Blogger tz December 07, 2013 10:33 AM  

how do you screw up the hobbit?

By adding fluff. The same way they add HFCS to everything in fast food. The burger may be like steak, but no matter, they immerse it in some cloying sugary composition. Imagine the last real dinner you had smothered in ketchup or any mcnuggets sauce.

I'm aghast at Radagast the ruler of the rapid rabbits. The underground chase scene complete with collapsing walkways should cause a retitling - India Jones and the one ring.

The circus of dinnerware was ancillary, but not excessive, had Jackson stopped there - just some gentle humor - it would be ok.

The Hobbit is an amalgam - one hour Tolkien, half hour mutated tolkien, one hour Jackson trash.

That is how you take something that is nice, entertaining, and concise, and get something nasty, brutish, and long.

Anonymous Laz December 07, 2013 10:44 AM  

We're talking about an elf here. Elves are stronger, faster and more agile than humans. It's not inconceivable for her to be able to work a weapon better than human men.

As to going off track from the original book it seems kinda sketchy to me. After all, you don't fix something that isn't broke.

btw: Dad and I both liked the first movie. I'll hold judgement on the second film until I see it.

Anonymous The other skeptic December 07, 2013 10:56 AM  

If a prosecutor can get into trouble for stating the obvious [1] then anything is possible.

[1] That blacks are more into random, vibrant, murderous violence than whites. (Although, in the case in question it was black on black violence based on the name of the victim.)

Anonymous Stickwick December 07, 2013 10:57 AM  

Nate: Drama queens. The first was fun. The second will be fun. The girl elf will be stupid and will be ignored.

I'm (mostly) with you, Nate.

In the first movie, the character of Bilbo was much more authentically a Hobbit than Frodo and Sam were in The LOTR movies. And aside, perhaps, from the obvious pandering with Thorin's attractiveness -- one doesn't get a sense from the books that Middle Earth dwarves are supposed to be smolderingly handsome -- the rest of the characters also seemed about right. If you ignore Jackson's over-the-top action sequences and the hug-it-out-bro business at the end, it's a fun movie that more-or-less sticks to the source material.

However, the stupid warrior elf princess and the hints at Twilight-esque inter-species love-triangle in the second one are cause for great concern and have the potential to ruin it. Sounds like this is where the broads in the writing group just couldn't help themselves. And here's the interesting thing. From Philippa Boyens' bio, she was apparently as enraptured with Middle Earth as anyone could be, and she still managed to ruin essential parts of the story. Personally, I have loathed her ever since I heard her explain that she had to change the character of Faramir to introduce some drama into that part of the story. But then again who's to say a woman with a BA in literature wouldn't know more about drama than a distinguished Oxford professor who wrote the most beloved epic novel of all time.

Anonymous Jolly Lon December 07, 2013 10:57 AM  

All the pink stuff wasn't actually that bad, it was the flipping barrel battle that was freaking ridiculous. Sometimes blue is as bad as pink.

Anonymous dw December 07, 2013 10:59 AM  

"Drama queens. The first was fun. The second will be fun. The girl elf will be stupid and will be ignored."

Agreed.

Anonymous DonReynolds December 07, 2013 11:03 AM  

This is sad and we have all seen this before with other favorites. I am not sure which is worse.....to take a wonderful children's story and make it into a depraved pornographic romp....or to update that story with preachy emotional babble about whimpering American Indians, bludgeoned baby seals, talking subspecies who wear clothes (sorta), and your little dog too. All that remains is to add the black alpha warrior and his trusty sometimes fuck, the white blonde warrior Amazon, and her lesbian lover, the edgy overly-aggressive Hispanic, who kills more evil white guys than the other two combined. All bets are off on which of the females have the biggest tits, because there will already be complaints that these idealized male versions of horseflesh make the rest of the women feel a bit self-conscious and inadequate. Once again.....Hollywood imitates itself.

Anonymous bob k. mando December 07, 2013 11:13 AM  

Azimus December 07, 2013 9:58 AM
is Evangeline Lilly the poor man's Liv Tyler, or is Liv Tyler the poor man's Evangeline Lilly?



the older Liv gets, the more she's going to look like Steve.

you don't really need me to finish this extrapolation, do you?

and Lilly is from rural Canada. hopefully she's not as showbiz insane as somebody raised inside the Hollywood bubble.


as for the Hobbit movies, i didn't bother to see the first one. i watched LotR in the theater, you see, and knew it was going to be a waste of time.

but the previews of Smaug ... have me intrigued. i suspect that Smaug is going to be like the Balrog, but with a lot more screen time.




tz December 07, 2013 10:22 AM
Where are the orcesses and goblinettes wielding their bits of scrap metal?



as always, affirmative action policies only apply to those positions that women WANT to be in.

orcs are, by definition, ugly. no woman wants to be ugly. therefore, no female orcs nor any demand for them.

Anonymous DonReynolds December 07, 2013 11:17 AM  

Porky....."Fell asleep during Hobbit 1. God it was awful."

I know exactly how you feel. Not being SF freaks, my wife and I rented all three of the Lord of the Rings movies to watch over the weekend. Obviously, this is much more of a treat for those who have read the book(s) beforehand. We sat quietly through the first movie, staring at the screen to find something amusing or interesting, but there was little dialog, mostly outdoor landscapes. With the second movie, we decided to fast forward through the landscape scenes, particularly those landscapes we had seen so many times already. Then we forced ourselves pay attention to the third movie, which we completely scanned in the fast forward mode. We were not impressed.

Anonymous bob k. mando December 07, 2013 11:21 AM  

the first two LotR movies were complete crap. Return of the King is significantly better, but still barely rises to the level of mediocre.

as far as female sportscasters goes, for all their detriments, they've usually got two good points. and for the mass of deltas / gammas, that's all they need.

Anonymous Ras Al Ghul December 07, 2013 11:25 AM  

I think the romance everyone I forgetting is the homoerotic one between Thorin and the white orc. That white orc wouldn't obsess over Thorin so much if there wasn't something more going on there.

Expect the big reveal in the third film

Anonymous Unicorn Dick December 07, 2013 11:29 AM  

I had a Denny's Smaug's Fie Burger last night... pretty legit. The Hobbit/Denny's menu tie makes the whole movie worth it for me.

Blogger LibertyPortraits December 07, 2013 11:33 AM  

This is truly sad, why on earth do this to the Hobbit. I wonder how corrupted Jackson's mind is from money and fame. He may have reached a level where everything he does he thinks is marvelous.

Anonymous Rigel Kent December 07, 2013 11:37 AM  

I remember when I first heard they were stretching The Hobbit to include another movie. I knew about the project of course, but I hadn't been paying much attention to it.

I thought "There isn't enough materiel to justify two movies. There's gonna be a lot of padding." Then I realized they meant they were going from two to three movies and I thought "This is gonna suck." Then I heard about female elf character.

"$@%$$&^%&*^&*(*(*^*&!"

I'm not opposed to female characters of course, or even female warrior characters (provided they're justified in some way, i.e. magic), nor am I opposed to inter-species love triangles. But absolutely none of that has any place in The Hobbit.

From a creative standpoint there is NO good reason to put a female character into The Hobbit. The only reason is to satisfy PC sensibilities. And if there is something more contrary to creating good fiction than PC sensibilities I can't think of it.

Anonymous Josh December 07, 2013 11:52 AM  

I'm going to predict that the female elf gets relatively little screen time in the movie compared to what the previews and marketing campaign imply.

Jackson isn't that stupid. Yes, it would have been much better to make the Hobbit into one movie. However, the first one was good, especially the opening scenes.

And anyone who says the LOTR movies sucked needs to be hit on the head with a hammer.

Blogger Durendal Almace December 07, 2013 12:07 PM  

@ Vox - Didn't you post before the first movie came out last year, an interview with the two women working with Jackson? I remember in the article she talked about how there were not enough female action characters (oh no! Quick, feminism to the rescue!) and that's why they added Tauriel/Lilly. I find it hilarious and predictable that in adding her into the story, we now have a love triangle with the character. It's like women want ever sci-fi/fantasy novel to boil down into a strong woman - love triangle plot EVERY SINGLE TIME!. Vampire or werewolf, Dwarf or Elf, alive or undead, etc. etc.

No wonder Christopher Tolkien is so pissed off at Jackson. It's justified rage at Jackson's desecration.

Anonymous bob k. mando December 07, 2013 12:20 PM  

Josh December 07, 2013 11:52 AM
And anyone who says the LOTR movies sucked needs to be hit on the head with a hammer.



anyone who liked the LotR movies probably thought Ep 1-3 of Star Wars was high cinema.

and, just as a tactical matter, it's not a good idea to hit me in the head. i've got a lot of PennDutch farmer on both sides of the family ( all four grands grew up speaking it ). i'm REALLY damn hard headed, in both the figurative and literal senses.

Anonymous VD December 07, 2013 12:21 PM  

Didn't you post before the first movie came out last year, an interview with the two women working with Jackson?

Yep.

It's like women want ever sci-fi/fantasy novel to boil down into a strong woman - love triangle plot EVERY SINGLE TIME!

Yep. It's the same old Pillow Book story. Nothing new in over 1,000 years of chick lit.

OpenID cailcorishev December 07, 2013 12:21 PM  

So Ender's Game, a packed story with some pretty adult themes that could have filled several hours of screen time if not an entire TV season, gets huge parts cut out, including some critical plot points, to get it down under two hours, resulting in a nice little action movie for kids. The Hobbit, a nice little kids' story which would fit nicely into a 2-hour movie without changing much, gets stretched into three long movies, necessitating entirely new characters and story lines.

There's no justice. Or maybe just no common sense. Really, what could be easier, and more sure to meet with success, than taking a story that's beloved by millions of people and acting it out as true to the beloved original as possible?

Anonymous Noah B. December 07, 2013 12:22 PM  

What the new Hobbit movie needed was better music. If they had stuck to using only Bob Dylan songs, they could have played Blowin' In the Wind every few minutes. Then if only they could have gotten Kris Kristofferson to play Bilbo... it would have been just perfect.

OpenID cailcorishev December 07, 2013 12:33 PM  

anyone who liked the LotR movies probably thought Ep 1-3 of Star Wars was high cinema.

I haven't seen them, but everyone seems to agree that the Star Wars prequels were somewhere between mediocre and horrible. They were also ridiculously profitable. As long as people keep paying to see movies that they know are a cynical exercise in squeezing money out of a franchise, and that they've already heard are pretty bad, Hollywood will surely keep producing them. How many people will go see Hobbit 2, already knowing that they're going to be disappointed, simply because they saw the first one and nothing else that's in theaters now looks good?

Anonymous Michael Maier December 07, 2013 12:39 PM  

"Jackson isn't that stupid."

Wanna bet?

Anonymous VD December 07, 2013 12:40 PM  

How many people will go see Hobbit 2, already knowing that they're going to be disappointed, simply because they saw the first one and nothing else that's in theaters now looks good?

Yep. If you don't support it, DON'T FINANCIALLY SUPPORT IT. Conversely, if you do, then do something about it.

Anonymous Christian in Hollyweird December 07, 2013 12:49 PM  

Every beloved children's tale needs a love triangle and a female warrior. There is no adventure without steamy romance!

OpenID cailcorishev December 07, 2013 1:01 PM  

Lest I look like a total hypocrite: I did go see Ender's Game (my first trip to the theater in almost five years), despite being confident that it could never live up to the book. And it didn't. But in that case, I saw nothing in the trailers or reviews that made me think they had violated the book or that the movie would be bad. I also liked the idea of supporting a movie that had so many liberal panties bunched up because the book's author strays off the plantation on one ridiculous issue. So there were a couple reasons to see it, and no reasons not to (except the ridiculous theater prices).

But if early reviews had told me that they'd turned Bean into a girl and added a love triangle between her, Ender, and the hive queen, I'm pretty sure I would've passed.

As an aside, during the previews at Ender's Game, I was struck by how much the Boomers still influence our entertainment. One was about Rocky (Stallone) coming out of retirement to fight another old guy (DeNiro?), so lots of guy humor, especially old-guy humor. Looked pretty funny, actually, but it felt like there was a meta-story there about how we're going to watch the same actors play the same parts they played when the Boomers were growing up until they're all dead. It was followed by one with Clooney and some other old soldiers going after Nazi treasures or something -- more of that same humor about how we're all old now but we're not ready to lie down yet.

Blogger L. Beau December 07, 2013 1:10 PM  

Okay, Krul, Lynch's Dune had several good moments (I especially liked Sian Phillips as the Reverend Mother), but I cannot imagine trying to follow the film without having read the book first.

Too bad Hollywood didn't want to give us one decent kids' movie out of The Hobbit. Wherefore art thou, Guillermo del Toro?

Anonymous Godfrey December 07, 2013 1:14 PM  

The book The Hobbit was about... here it comes... here comes the big surprise... it's about the Hobbit. It was about the maturation of the Hobbit.

The Hobbit leaves his safe little hole and goes out into the world on a quest. And it isn't a quest he chose. He's forced to come out of himself to encounter good and evil. He has to make hard choices. He is tested and he is fundamentally changed as a result. He grows as a living being.

Now how can we expect Hollywood types to write about a process they've never experienced nor understand? How can we expect them to write about adult things? How can we expect them to write about deep eternal things?

Anonymous Godfrey December 07, 2013 1:19 PM  

No, instead we get a female warrioress elf in a bikini. And the deep eternal question is... will she screw the dwarf?

Anonymous Bastiat December 07, 2013 1:20 PM  

"We're talking about an elf here. Elves are stronger, faster and more agile than humans. It's not inconceivable for her to be able to work a weapon better than human men." -Laz

Have you even read any of Tolkien's writings?

Summary: yes it is inconceivable. Unless we're talking about Brandir.

Anonymous DonReynolds December 07, 2013 1:24 PM  

Josh......"And anyone who says the LOTR movies sucked needs to be hit on the head with a hammer."

I did not say they sucked, but they were a frightful bore. Bring your hammer and we can discuss it.

Anonymous Mike M. December 07, 2013 2:16 PM  

I feared it would be so.

The Hobbit just isn't in the same league as LOTR as a book. It's a pleasant story - but if you read The Fellowship of the Ring, you can see where Tolkien started writing Hobbit II...and switched to something far bigger.

There just isn't enough meat in The Hobbit for a trilogy.

Anonymous Krul December 07, 2013 2:20 PM  

L. Beau - Okay, Krul, Lynch's Dune had several good moments (I especially liked Sian Phillips as the Reverend Mother), but I cannot imagine trying to follow the film without having read the book first.

Hey, I didn't say I could follow it. I said I like it.

The first time I saw it I really enjoyed it, despite the fact that not having read the book by that time, I had very little idea what was going on. I subsequently read the book and liked it, but it's the movie that really stands out for me as a cinematic masterpiece.

The fact is that movies don't need to be comprehensible to be good - it's the nature of the medium. Plot is less important than visuals.

Blogger Brad Andrews December 07, 2013 2:32 PM  

I wondered who the heck that female elf was when I saw a commercial for it the other day. Now I wish I hadn't just bought the first one on Blu-Ray.

Blogger Brad Andrews December 07, 2013 2:37 PM  

Speaking of Star Wars, has anyone seen the Lego Star Wars episodes? I finally watched parts of one and they seem to have a nice spattering of humor.

Anonymous pseudotsuga December 07, 2013 3:31 PM  

Peter Jackson has caught the George Lucas disease--who's going to tell him "NO, Pete, that's a stupid idea?" The cash cow is being milked, but also stripped of its essential substance, so that when the consumer looks at the produced processed meat patty, the consumer can no longer tell just what kind of animal produced that meat, nor which part of the animal produced said meat. I didn't see the Hobbit in the theater, but I recently got the extended edition DVD set (hey, I like the apparatus and the how-to stuff.) I could feel Prof. Tolkien spinning in his grave quite a few times, and I never got the sense that the filmmakers actually respected the original material enough to leave it alone.
The Hobbit should not have been s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d into 3 films. I suspect two would have been just fine.

Anonymous pseudotsuga December 07, 2013 3:33 PM  

Oh..and I wonder how much credit/blame can be assigned to Saul Zaentz and Co.

Anonymous WaterBoy December 07, 2013 3:37 PM  

Vox: "Seriously, he couldn't find anyone better than HIS FREAKING WIFE AND HER FRIEND?"

Better? Yes.

But I think you asked the wrong question. The answer makes more sense when the question is phrased thusly:

Seriously, he couldn't find anyone to whom he would rather give the money and writing credits than HIS FREAKING WIFE AND HER FRIEND?

Nepotism is alive and well.

Blogger Nate December 07, 2013 3:48 PM  

Frankenstein.

Blogger Nate December 07, 2013 3:49 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous Krul December 07, 2013 4:03 PM  

Frankenstein. Frankenstein?

Blogger Markku December 07, 2013 4:19 PM  

Peter Jackson's ~The Hobbit...

Anonymous Krul December 07, 2013 4:21 PM  

Speaking of movies, I really like Pacific Rim for some reason. I'm not sure why.

Blogger Nate December 07, 2013 4:43 PM  

Frankenstein. Something new in chick lit.

Anonymous Mike LaRoche December 07, 2013 4:43 PM  

Nate and Josh are right.

Anonymous The CronoLink December 07, 2013 5:05 PM  

Hobbit 1 was ok, aside from the overly-dramatic "noble posturing" of Thorin and somewhat wacky Radaghast, it was a really fun movie and great acting from Freeman and McKellen and Serkis.

Anonymous ENthePeasant December 07, 2013 5:08 PM  

I saw this all happen earlier this year. One of my favorite shows was Dexter. In keeping with the tradition of letting women ruin everything, for the final season the head writer was a woman. The next thing you know Dexter, and everything else that made the show successful, was taking a back seat to the women in the series. I didn't even bother watching the last two episodes, the rest of the season had been so awful.

Anonymous Joe Author December 07, 2013 6:00 PM  

There is conflict within sci-fi
A community up in arms
The blueshirts wield their mighty pen
When the pinkshirts sound the alarm

At issue with all the blueshirts
They know for certain what was meant
They bemoan the pinkshirts are turncoats
With the past works they must reinvent

How dare that readers are smitten
New spin on classics read as a child
The damsel in distress is now a man
And the chick rugged and never beguiled

So man up you bitch ass gammas
You shan't ignore the gatekeepers call
But when the customer is always right
Who in the end gives a fuck at all


"Hot funk, cool punk, even if it's old junk, it's still rock and roll to me"

Anonymous kfg December 07, 2013 6:02 PM  

It has been said that Lord Byron was the first rock star. That would make Mary Shelley the first pampered, upper class, emo, hipster chic groupie.

I don't think of Frankenstein as something new in chic lit so much as I think of it as the birth of emo lit.

Anonymous JRL December 07, 2013 6:08 PM  

Didn't enjoy the first, won't be seeing the rest. A frickin trilogy? The man has no sense of proportion.

Anonymous JRL December 07, 2013 6:14 PM  

instead we get a female warrioress elf in a bikini

On second thought, I will issue judgement on his sense of proportion after I see the bikini babe.

Blogger Whiskey December 07, 2013 6:17 PM  

The thing about Jackson is that as a former fat guy, he doesn't have the stones to tell his wife "No" and find a good writing partner to do the story. Thus, it sucks. Because Jackson wants to please his wife.

Blogger CorkyAgain December 07, 2013 6:30 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous Jeigh Di December 07, 2013 7:25 PM  

If you think Jackson's version of The Hobbit is bad, try the Russian version:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sl7w2Z0vGpA

Anonymous FUBAR Nation Ben December 07, 2013 8:12 PM  

I think the movie will be good despite the introduction of characters like Tauriel, but I do agree with you Vox that what we're seeing is more of the same pink SF bs. Regardless, look at the good in the movie. The scene with Bilbo and Smaug looks well done just like the scene with Bilbo and Gollum.

Also, maybe the scene with Beorn will be done well.

You have to be George Lucas to completely fuck up a popular trilogy. Jackson if more talented so he throws some bones to the feminists.

Anonymous bob k. mando December 07, 2013 8:22 PM  

Joe Author December 07, 2013 6:00 PM
How dare that readers are smitten



i love how stupid you are. promise me you'll never change.



Anonymous Mudz December 07, 2013 8:26 PM  

Well, the good news is that was has been remade once, can be remade again.

Next time they do The Hobbit, we'll all remind them that it's a fable, not an epic. Which means Seven Dwarves trudging over logs in the sunset singing about gold-digging, with a great narrator over top (who would presumably be Bilbo).

Snow White + Treasure Planet (the part with the Living Book) + Princess Bride. (Or 'The Hobbit' if you must be clever. :D)

*

In the mean-time, I admit I like watching it purely as a B-movie epic. (Haven't seen pt. 2 yet though). Once you're firmly convinced in your own mind that what you are watching bears no relation to the book it's presumably based on, escaping diabolical hordes on a bunny sled, and the mashing of LOTR serious into Hobbit charm, doesn't hurt so much.

I'm actually quite impressed how they managed to work in the golf quote, under their hybrid narrative. I think they're managing to accomplish their goal of megafusion to an admirable degree, I just think that they shouldn't have been going for that in the first place.

OpenID herenvardo December 07, 2013 8:42 PM  

They keep deleting old comments on that link.

"an interspecies love triangle"??? What the WTF??

There's a reason why all great epic tales were written by men. This shows what happens when you let a Doris into the Gentlemen's Club. Sex and relationships have to be dragged in, kicking and screaming, pounded into a round hole like a square peg, and labelled Cute Feminine Energy. Then the Right People clap effeminately, congratulating her on her grrl power.

'Scuse me while I spew.

OpenID herenvardo December 07, 2013 8:44 PM  

And the first movie was just as bad, with Radagast and his guano-face. Seen in close-up on a cinema screen, that was beyond insulting.

At least I'm unemployed and can justify not taking the kids to see this one.

Anonymous DT December 07, 2013 9:06 PM  

I realize I might be skewered by the Ilk, but...I loved the Lord of the Rings movies. I don't see how the extended editions could have been much better. And departures from the books do not bother me nearly as much as they do some people. Film and book are two radically different formats. I never expected the movies to be 100% faithful to the original material.

I wasn't nearly as impressed with the first installment of The Hobbit. I didn't hate it, though I did cringe at some of the scenes. And I didn't pay to see it more then once. I saw each of the LOTR movies twice at the theater.

I think the previews for the second movie look good. It's obvious this is really The Hobbit mixed with LOTR prequel material, but I'm OK with that because, again, these are movies. I think there's room and reason to expand upon the LOTR films here. But I have no idea what to make of the tone or love triangle. I hope the reviewer is wrong, but not excited to hear that Jackson may have overdone it.

It will have to be really bad for me to think it deserves the scorn Vox is giving it. I get that there may be too much female influence. But I doubt it will sink to the level of Twilight. We will see.

Anonymous DT December 07, 2013 9:08 PM  

There's a reason why all great epic tales were written by men. This shows what happens when you let a Doris into the Gentlemen's Club. Sex and relationships have to be dragged in, kicking and screaming, pounded into a round hole like a square peg, and labelled Cute Feminine Energy.

It amazes me how men are always blamed for sexual content in film. Woman are more fixated on sex, and more perverted about it, then men can begin to imagine. They just want all the relationship drama to go with it.

Anonymous TWS December 07, 2013 9:31 PM  

The Wile E Coyote scene in Goblin Town was an abomination. The cartoon orcs were an insult. Their was no need to cgi the orcs Radagast was awful. Why Azog? His son Bolg is alive. Why not two movies plus a third focused on the actions with the necromancer. They could go more serious on the White Council one and legitimately bring in Galadriel Legolas et al.

Anonymous Mudz December 07, 2013 9:34 PM  

I can't remember how I came across this link, so forgive me if I'm linking what someone else already did, but check this out:

http://leogrin.com/CimmerianBlog/the-hobbit-or-the-lord-of-the-rings-tolkien-artists-reflect/

I love the art direction of the movies, but I gotta say, I really love this rendering of the Siege of Minas Tirith. Especially Grond, it's seriously a great style. Iron wheels. There's something archaically Russian/Mongolian and darkly poignant about it. (Even though I think the film was probably more technically accurate. It just has a great look as a wicked siege engine.)

Anonymous Porky December 07, 2013 9:40 PM  

@Krul: "No. Snob."

You don't have to be snobby about it.

Just watch Phantom Menace with a ten year old. He will say "That was awesome!".

Then ask him "What was it about?"

Blogger mmaier2112 December 07, 2013 10:04 PM  

TWS: exactly.

Folk, I get into movies free of charge WITH 1/2 price drinks/snacks and I'm STILL going to have to force myself to see the 2nd part of this film abortion.

Blogger pilgrim4life December 07, 2013 10:05 PM  

"Film and book are two radically different formats. I never expected the movies to be 100% faithful to the original material."

This is one of my pet peeves. There are many movies I enjoy that were originally books. Many details can be altered while still doing justice to the original story and characters. When 500 pages becomes 2 hours, much will need to be eliminated or shortened in the script.

Having said that, what was done to the Lord of the Rings is an abomination. Aragorn has been transformed from a great king who longs to return from exile to rule his people, to an indecisive, emotional rag hiding in the wilderness because he isn't man enough to face his responsibilities. Eowyn is hardly convincing as a hardened sword-maiden, nor is her hardness presented as a flaw later to be corrected by her love for Faramir.

Many decisions made by major characters are the opposite of what they were in the original story. I don't have a problem with the events that were left out, but the characters needed to remain true to themselves.

"For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach."

Tolkien's writings remind us of light and darkness. He writes of how great evil can be overcome by truth, courage, and sacrifice. He gives us a glimpse of how far creation has fallen and what might have been.

Some of these elements remain in the movies. But when Gandalf (for instance) advises Pippin to lie to Lord Denethor and not tell him that his son Boromir is dead, instead of being direct and honest as he was in the book, something has gone terribly wrong. Faramir tries to force Frodo to return with him to Gondor instead of helping him along his way. Instead of honesty and integrity without regard to the cost, Gandalf and the other "good" characters have embraced moral relativism.

Many elements in the movies were excellent. I enjoyed the music and cinematography. But it is not the same story or the same characters. Whatever the movies are, they are NOT Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.

Anonymous Krul December 07, 2013 10:12 PM  

Porky - Just watch Phantom Menace with a ten year old. He will say "That was awesome!".

Then ask him "What was it about?"


...with the purpose of killing his sincere joy in something that he likes, only because you don't also happen to like it. Snob.

Anonymous Joe Author December 07, 2013 10:47 PM  

Bob M--"i love how stupid you are. promise me you'll never change."

Hearts with arrows to you as well, sweetie!


My poem was in reference to VD's statement "Permitting Pink SF to invade MIDDLE EARTH is a crime against literature. It's a crime against HUMANITY."


Writers gonna write and readers gonna read, niggas!


Anonymous dh December 08, 2013 12:39 AM  

Krul-- Pacific Rim was just a really great monster movie. It wasn't anything at all except what it is. A monster movie.

Of course it was ridiculous and silly and stupid and nonsensical, but still, a great monster movie.

Anonymous Stickwick December 08, 2013 1:02 AM  

Well said, pilgrim4life.

"For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach."

This was part of the most heartbreakingly beautiful passage in the entire book, and it gets to the very Christian heart of The LOTR. We're stuck in this fallen world ruled by evil, but it is a transitory thing and there is goodness forever beyond its reach. I don't think Jackson understood this at all. He said he wanted to create a "solid action-adventure movie," which he did, and in doing so he missed a great deal of what it is about Tolkien's story that appeals to people, even those who are not overtly religious. Maybe someone, someday will come along who understands this and make a LOTR film that is true to its essence.

Anonymous Stickwick December 08, 2013 1:05 AM  

dh: Krul-- Pacific Rim was just a really great monster movie. It wasn't anything at all except what it is. A monster movie.

Just about any movie with giant robots beating up dinosaur-monsters from another dimension is gonna be good. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed Pacific Rim.

Anonymous A. Nonymous December 08, 2013 1:24 AM  

if early reviews had told me that they'd turned Bean into a girl and added a love triangle between her, Ender, and the hive queen, I'm pretty sure I would've passed.

Oddly enough, that's more or less what Paul Verhoeven and Edward Neumeier did to Starship Troopers (albeit the third party was, mercifully, Denise Richards, rather than a bugger queen).

Anonymous J December 08, 2013 4:32 AM  

Jackson made a complete hash of LOTR. Everything over the top (acting, action, music, scenery shots). I won't bother seeing the Hobbit because it was my favorite book of childhood and it's clear that he butchered it as everything else.

How low have we gone that a man who makes such heavy-handed, crude movies can be so successful?

I am sure Tolkien would be aghast.

The Narnia movies were nowhere NEAR so badly done, by comparison.

Anonymous J December 08, 2013 4:36 AM  

Meant to say also that the introduction of contemporary crassness / 'jokes' is one of Jackson's worst sins. Why oh why can't he leave them out? He's not the only culprit, but one of the most egregious.

Jackson found his niche with Bad Taste (I think?) blowing up sheep and throwing gore around the place. He has never matured beyond that.

OpenID cailcorishev December 08, 2013 5:56 AM  

There are many movies I enjoy that were originally books. Many details can be altered while still doing justice to the original story and characters.

Yes. While it's true that film and book are different media so some things don't translate perfectly, and time constraints come into play, too often this becomes an excuse for filmmakers who simply A) don't understand what's good about the book; B) don't like the book in the first place, so try to "improve" it; or C) have other stories they'd rather be telling, so they insert them.

I've been watching All Creatures Great and Small, a British show based on the excellent series of books by James Herriot about the life of a small-town veterinarian. They made a few small changes -- the love interest is brunette, not blonde -- but basically they took the stories from the books and filmed them, using much of the same plots and dialogue. The result is a show that has very much the same heart as the books; if you enjoy one, you'll enjoy the other. It is possible to put a book on film without changing so much that you offend the readers, no matter what directors say.

Anonymous Rosalys December 08, 2013 7:36 AM  

Oh dear Lord! I am probably going to see this movie because I will be drawn to it like a moth the flame despite the danger - but it looks like I am going to regret doing so.

Anonymous vryedenker December 08, 2013 8:30 AM  

I remember saying last year that I wish Jackson would make a Silmarillion movie. I take that back.

Anonymous bob k. mando December 08, 2013 9:38 AM  

cailcorishev December 07, 2013 1:01 PM
But if early reviews had told me that they'd turned Bean into a girl ...



huh, wut?

dude, no.

Bean was male and he was in the movie. the 'problem' with Bean's character was the same as the problem with pretty much every other character in Battle School; so much of the action that took place in Battle / Command Schools had to be excised that he didn't hardly have any screen time.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aramis_Knight

the character Ender was following in the mind game resembled his *sister*, Valentine.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abigail_Breslin

the 'near romance' that Ender had from Battle School to the end of the movie was with Petra.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hailee_Steinfeld

EG ( the novel ) should have been a trilogy of movies. EG ( the novella ) should have been the first movie.




Joe Author December 07, 2013 10:47 PM
My poem was in reference



we know what your poem was in reference too, schmuck.

as i already pointed out, scifi is not only by far the smallest genre broken out, in 2012 it also showed one of the greatest year over year sales DECLINES.

you keep telling us that pink syfy is doing fine when the facts from 2012 demonstrate that it is NOT.

i dunno, maybe Redshirts will sell 300k this year and prove me wrong. no trendline slope extends forever.

but your ranting and raving about how fantastic syfy is, when the sales numbers say otherwise, is just amusing.

Blogger Markku December 08, 2013 9:44 AM  

I think there is also another reason for the decline, though: In the eighties, the future was something I would have liked to be in. Now it is something I would give anything to stop from arriving.

Or, the future ain't what it used to be.

So, I have no particular interest in reading sci-fi. Give me something to forget about the future, not remind of it!

Blogger Markku December 08, 2013 9:51 AM  

I think pink sci-fi has actually found a clever way around this fundamental problem: "Hey, at least there'll be gina tingles in the future!"

Anonymous bob k. mando December 08, 2013 10:04 AM  

Markku December 08, 2013 9:44 AM
So, I have no particular interest in reading sci-fi.



the problem with this analysis being that 'Fantasy' sales are grouped with 'Science Fiction' sales. so you can read 20 different flavors of Robin Hood or 30 different scents of King Arthur or 50 different shades of Tolkien or the esoteric histories of Tim Powers and all of those sales are accounted to the 'scifi' genre.

sf&f captures the sales to both those who are looking to the far future that-never-will-be AND those who are looking to the far past-that-never-was.

amusing side note:
don't forget that Star Wars took place "a long time ago". SW was never anything but swashbuckling fantasy with scifi costuming.

OpenID cailcorishev December 08, 2013 11:06 AM  

Bean was male and he was in the movie.

I know that. I said IF he had been turned into a girl, that would have been a good sign that I shouldn't see the movie.

Anonymous bob k. mando December 08, 2013 11:38 AM  

heh.

yeah, can't argue that.

Anonymous zapbrannigan1 December 08, 2013 1:16 PM  

I'd read that New Line Cinema was sucking wind after a series of financial losses stemming from their other, non-Tolkien movies, and that was the impetus behind extending The Hobbit from two movies to three. A blatant cash-grab.

Blogger Laguna Beach Fogey December 08, 2013 1:30 PM  

Well, there's always Anchorman 2.

Anonymous Joe Author December 08, 2013 3:37 PM  

Bob M...

“we know what your poem was in reference too, schmuck.”

You had no clue until you were informed.


“in 2012 it also showed one of the greatest year over year sales DECLINES.”

Which I had already acknowledged.


“you keep telling us that pink syfy is doing fine...”



Dude, writers gonna write and readers gonna read. It really is that simple to comprehend. Apparently you've been playing with your Jar-Jar action figure collection again.


“but your ranting and raving about how fantastic syfy is, when the sales numbers say otherwise, is just amusing.”



Expect one of the three little pigs to come knocking on your door; you can make a killing with your strawman.

Anonymous Mudz December 08, 2013 7:56 PM  

Or, the future ain't what it used to be.

Just watched a relevant Babylon 5 episode.

'They should have said: The future. Some assembly required.'

Anonymous bob k. mando December 09, 2013 1:42 AM  

Joe Author December 08, 2013 3:37 PM
...readers gonna read.



except when they stop.



Joe Author December 08, 2013 3:37 PM
Expect one of the three little pigs to come knocking on your door; you can make a killing with your strawman.



you heard it here first, folks.

real, historical sales data == strawman argument

i can't wait for the 2013 year end numbers to come in.

Anonymous mattos December 09, 2013 4:33 PM  

We rented the first hobbit and I didn't even bother to finish it. I can't think of another movie I rented and didn't finish. I finished battlefield earth.

Second the comment that it took everything that was done wrong in LOTR and doubled down.

Zero chance I'll see or rent this one.

Anonymous Anonymous December 09, 2013 10:56 PM  

Vox....it's worse than you thought....worse than any of us thought

http://www.theonion.com/articles/grisly-remains-of-15-hobbits-discovered-in-peter-j,34754/

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