Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Hobbit: A Movie Review








When I picked up a copy of “The Hobbit” from my school library in 1976 the book hadn’t been read in years. No one I knew had even heard of it. My classmates made fun of me for reading it and it would be three more years before the animated version of “The Lord Of The Rings” created a cult following that would one day become a mainstream smash hit monster.
I had a couple of hours to kill and really wanted to see “The Hobbit” so in I went. The movie seems to be on the very verge of taking off right in the beginning and that’s pretty much where it stayed for nearly three hours.

“The Hobbit” bored me.

This all started back in “Return of the Kong” actually, when they seemed to run out of ideas towards the end and the battle for Gondor was resolved with green ghosts saving the day all the way into the city. The elephant battle went on far too long and this was a reoccurring theme in ‘The Hobbit”. There were just some scenes that should have been left on the floor or at least shortened a bit.

And wow! Radagast The Brown. Did you see that one coming? A wizard with bird manure running down his beard? Trust me that was not in the book and the weirdness with the rabbits? Where in the hell did that come from?

The scene with the hill trolls seemed to drag on and it could have been made better by sticking with what happened in the book. But hell, the opening scene between Bilbo and Gandalf could have easily stayed word for word and we would have loved it. The scene of Bilbo being more or less hurried into going ought to have been kept.

Rivendell was a wonder but suddenly main characters from LOTR are discussing stuff anyone who has seen LOTR should already know. That trilogy has already been shown. It was good, very good, but this movie is slowly oozing towards “Aliens 3” territory which is the one sequel of all time that tainted two really good movies connected to it.

The Dwarves escaping from the den of the goblins looks and feels and sounds a lot like the scene in Moria from “The Two Towers”.  And it went on and on and on and on.
There is just so much you can do with Dwarves. In the movie “Snow White and the Huntsman” the sudden appearance of Dwarves nearly killed the movie and ‘The Hobbit” has to deal with them from the word go.  It’s difficult to get past the caricature of Dwarves and this movie doesn’t try hard enough. Instead of reinventing what we know we’re fed the same Hollywood type cast for most of them which makes those who are taken from that mold to seem less like Dwarves.

The Ring scene is held nearly true and for that small mercy I am grateful. Still, even that could have been done better. The Eagles scene, please, someone shoot me now, just getting there was an unexpected journey. And by the time it all ended, I had checked the clock three or four times.

Either this is a serious movie or it is not a serious movie. Either we are expected to suspend belief for the characters or we are not expected to, and it’s all about the show. But ‘The Hobbit” drifts back and forth between very serious scenes, downright goofiness, and all of it is wrapped in a setting that deserves so much more.

Take Care,
Mike

2 comments:

  1. Having read the Hobbit/Lord of the Rings over 40 years ago I figured this movie would be safe, simply because I don’t remember much more than reading a school book report would reveal.
    I knew beforehand things were stolen from the other books and some parts from whole cloth, so I could just take it as it came. I enjoyed it, but glad we chose not to see it in 3-D.

    However, my hearing is crap, one hearing aid is dead and the other limping, but I have to wonder if people with good hearing could follow the dialog. Not only this movie but in most films these days, it seems to me actors don’t talk to each other any more. They mutter, they whisper in conspiratorial tones, make remarks over their shoulder on exit, and holler over explosions/gunfire. I can’t remember real life conversations being like that… guess my life isn’t very dramatic.
    Seems the delivery is more important than communication, in the dialog. Add the English/New Zealand accent, and I found the dialog hard to follow.

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    1. That's part of my problem too, but I've learned most of the dialog can be ignored.

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