that was the large headline on the front of my entertainment section today (even though the online version says "Chore Of The Rings").
<<...First came the original trilogy, a popular success and critically acclaimed. Then, some years later, a second trilogy began, a prequel to the original, and the first installment of this second trilogy turned out to be awful. We saw this pattern play out once, with "Star Wars," and now, alas, it begins again, with "The Hobbit," a movie that is exactly one Jar Jar Binks away from being as bad as "The Phantom Menace."...>>
In “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” Peter Jackson’s adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien’s first Middle-earth fantasy novel, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) sets out with the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and a posse of dwarfs to battle a fearsome dragon. [Spoiler alert] they do not kill the dragon, although [spoiler alert] they eventually will, within the next 18 months or so, because [spoiler alert] this “Hobbit,” which is [migraine alert] 170 minutes, is the first installment in [film critic suicide-watch alert] a trilogy.
we discussed this earlier this year. As I said then, rather than lamenting that the original should have been longer, I say celebrate the fact that Jackson was able to create such a runaway success of remarkable length the first time around (and I still can't fathom how he sold a studio on that), and that has allowed him to do The Hobbit at what could be considered a "proper" length.
I'd love to envision LOTR done as a TV series, taking an hour on each chapter of the trilogy, running for years!
No, this new one doesn't incorporate The Silmarillion but Jackson has continued to take liberties with introducing new characters and also insert real people from LOTR into the Hobbit who were never there in the book.
(I guess I can make an exception for Evangeline Lilly )
read on, Macduff (wow! never thought I have such a perfect opening for a pun as bad as that!).
Several grafs later, the same piece notes <<...It should be remembered, after all, that in 1960, Tolkien abandoned the attempt to rewrite The Hobbit, partly because it was impractical, and partly because a friend who read what he had written told him that it was wonderful but, “it’s not The Hobbit.” He settled for minor revisions to the text (e.g., the mention of mithril) for the 1965 edition.>>
Between the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings the level of seriousness and violence etc increases. Within each book it does the same. Having defined and set out the setting and characters and drama on the more massive scale first, makes it hard to go back to an innocent start and develop it to a level of violence etc well below that of LOTR.
I find it an interesting idea, one I doubt I would have had otherwise, that gh brought up about having it as a TV series with a 'chapter a day' allowing the fuller and longer development of the story.
Saw the film tonight. I couldn't help but be reminded, everytime the dwarves went into free-fall and crash-landed on each other (which seemed quite often) of "Time Bandits"....
The best part was the 10-minute preview of the new Star Trek. Although, I must say, I was confused as to why the Enterprise was hiding underwater. "So the natives couldn't see it and their society contaminated, in violation of the Prime Directive!". Yes I understand. But if they're a spear-throwing society, as depicted, they probably won't see a starship in orbit above their planet, either... but they actually might see it rising out of the ocean.
Oh well, to be answered in May, I assume. But I digress...
Went to Denny's to eat Hobbit Food, then saw the movie. My girls loved it. That's good enough for me. For my part, I liked it. It is what it is, a slightly more childish view of Middle Earth. The Hobbit was, after all, written for Tolkien's kid.
Finally went to see it last night and had to force myself not to fall asleep in the first hour. It seems to have been made for the kiddies, but then the last hour is far too scary for young'ns. I may actually have to boycott the next two. It just proves that even a cinematic genius like Peter Jackson has to have SOME material to work with.
Saw it yesterday and found myself enchanted again, in spite of nothing new. Same old wonderful CGI, almost same old characters, same old unintelligible Gollum-who looked meaner-and most of all same old British accents. Too little of Cate, and a tad too many OrciTrolly monstrosities. I hope the Ents reappear and maybe more giant spiders!
Just got home from seeing it. My date thought it should be called "The Hobbit-like" since so much of it was made up for the movie and did not appear in the book. The chase/battle scenes reminded me of the worst Indiana Jones movie, with dwarves falling dozens to a hundred feet or more and barely getting a bruise. Giving the trolls quaint British accents and having them joke about seasoning the dwarves as they cook them? Way too silly. Something like "The Hobbit Meets Monthy Python's Holy Grail." Slow and tedious. The riddle scene with Gollum was the one redeeming part.
Watched it yesterday. It was the first movie I enjoyed watching in 3D. The extra clarity really helped in keeping my eyes fresh. For me, there is nothing sacred about the film blur, especially if it means juddering, tiring-to-the-eyes 3D. The so-called soap opera effect disappears once you get immersed to the movie - it is all in your mind, after all. So technically I really liked the movie, even if there were a few times where I got the feeling that the director and cameraman had not quite mastered the new format yet (I'm sure using 48fps requires updating many established movie-making skills).
The movie? I thought it had a decent story and excellent pacing after the first half hour or so. I even liked the use of some Tolkien songs - and I often pretty much skipped over them while reading the books. Instead of writing some hacky movie dialogue to fill gaps between scenes (something I thought the Lord of the Rings trilogy suffered from at times), the songs punctuated the movie nicely.
The story did suffer from being the first episode in a trilogy, it was more like the first episode of a miniseries than a movie that can stand on its own.
However, I don't really understand some critics' complaints of "tedium" - if anything, I think a couple of the action scenes were overdone and could have been cut a lot shorter.
But that is a common complaint I have about modern movies. Every time the heroes go into the superhero/video game mode of fighting hordes of enemies, surviving massive falls off cliffs, and performing multiple highly improbable feats of acrobatics in a row, my suspension of disbelief disappears. Less would be more.
After LOTR I on Saturday, LOTR II on Sunday an LOTR III yesterday, we're now fully ready for this afternoon's trek to the theater. Unfortunately, one of our party as motion-sickness issues, thus we can't do the IMAX version or 3D version.
I absolutely loved the thing, once I set aside my disdain for those who would tamper so mightily with a Tolkien product.
Having said that, had we seen Tolkien's never-effected reworking of The Hobbit after LOTR, I suspect that what Jackson and Co., is very much along the lines of where Tolkien would have gone. Hints of Saruman going bad 60 years earlier (a hiccup in Wiz time) make much sense.
(and one can never have too much Galadriel)
Martin Freeman was stunningly good as Bilbo (if you haven't seen his work in BBC's Sherlock Holmes series, you should catch it).
Some of the battle scenes raged on perhaps a bit too long,but the CGI work was stunning.
And I loved lots of the banter.
The only two characters that seemed off were Thorin, who for some reason is "handsome and manlike," whereas all the other dwarves are somewhat caricature-like. And the Orc king who spoke Etonian English just made no sense at all (and his similarity to Jabba The Hutt, I'm assuming, was no coincidence).
Recent reports from "The Hobbit" set in New Zealand put the cost of the new trilogy currently at $561 million
I don't see it as a cash-grab, as much as a paean to a much-beloved book, brought to the screen with no expense spared! Peter Jackson's directorial vision may be unsurpassed in modern cinema, which is not to say he's the best director (C Nolan has that locked down in my book), but that what he sees in his mind and then puts on the screen is AMAZING!
The Peter Jackson curmudgeon here. I saw it with the kids Friday and I will actually give it about a 7. Lots of good things about it. Bilbo's personality works pretty well. The spider scene is really creepy, which means it's good, as spiders should be creepy. Smaug is a great bit of computer animation. The scene between Bilbo and Smaug is excellent, till it drags on too long. And the dragging on too long is a frequent problem in this 3+ movie-hour book turned into three 2 1/2 hour movies. I almost fell asleep during the opening party scene in #1, and the chase-battle scenes in #1 and this one (the barrel scene) just go on and on and on with far too many implausible battle acrobatics. Finally, I won't get over Jackson taking too much artistic license, such as in creating new characters like Tauriel (though we do get this as a side-bene: "Tauriel is part of Lego set No. 79001 titled Escape from Mirkwood Spiders, together with minifigures of Legolas and the Dwarves Fíli and Kíli.")
That said, it was more enjoyable than the first movie, and the time was ripe for me to give each of my two kids their own four-book boxed set of The Hobbit and the LOTR for Xmas, along with a 32" map of Middle Earth so they can follow the adventures as they read.