The Hobbit Reviews Are Unjustified

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So critics are disliking the hobbit? must be those critics i already marked to ignore for stupidity.

M-E-D The Poet:
Now for days I've been wondering why reviewers have been so stuck up their behinds about the hobbit.

Amongst several reasons :
- They named excessive padding and story addition (as a contrary remark to The Lord Of The Rings being bad for cutting too much things out)
- They thought movie was supposedly too long (As a contrary remark to The Lord Of The Rings being too short)
- Too little action (It's nowhere near the scale of the lord of the rings they say)
- Too much action elsewhere (That wasn't an action scene in the book!)
- Too much hollywood moments (The Azog/Bilbo stare off given as an example)

Then I realized a few things

1. People seem to be forgetting that these are 3 movies based on one book and even that one book was a lot shorter than each of the Lord Of The Rings books.

The fact that we are getting 3 movies that tell the tale would equate into The Lord of the rings having been released as a series much like George R.R Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice is being released as the Game Of Thrones series.

That's not an answer. Why are we even getting three films? Everyone up to and including Peter Jackson himself had told us that up until the middle of last year (when filming ended) that The Hobbit was going to be two films. What reason is there to suddenly bump it up to three? Surely if PJ had seriously wanted to make three films, he's had planned them out as such when he wrote the screenplay years ago. He's had years and years of pre-production to sort out how he wants the films to turn out, and it was only last year, after all the filming was done[ that he felt it should be made a trilogy?

It's quite clear what went on: Warner Bros decided they wanted more money, and that trilogies are easier to market, so they forced Jackson to turn it into a three-parter at the last minute. Hence why stuff that should have been left on the cutting-room floor has been left in to pad out the running time.

Seriously, there is no reason for the Hobbit to need three films. Even with all the stuff from the LOTR appendices, it's a two-parter at best. The fact that PJ then had to extensively ret-con and re-write existing stuff from the Hobbit just to pad it out even further shows how little suited the book is for the multi-part 'epic' treatment. Which is exactly what critics are criticising it for.

2. People are comparing The Hobbit too much to The Lord Of The Rings and are forgetting that it is and always has been a book for children originally so in many ways it really should differ from the Lord Of the Rings.

Where in some spots it lacks for action it makes up with good storytelling a few life lessons and in between a constructed view Tolkien had of the world (One must remember that both The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings were born in one of the World Wars and that there are many parallels to be drawn between them)

Firstly, on the parallels between LOTR/the Hobbit and World War I: No. Tolkien himself explicitly deinied any sort of allegorical meaning in his stories regarding either of the Wars. While his experiences in WWI no doubt affected his view on war and conflict, and the portrayal of thus in both Hobbit and LOTR, to say there are many parallels to be drawn goes against what the author himself had to say on the subject. You can apply certain morals and themes from Tolkien's works to World War I, but you can't say that there are parallels to be drawn.

Secondly- if the Hobbit is meant to be an adventure romp for children, why is the tone so inconsistent in the film? One minute it's comedy dwarves breaking into song, the next it's decapitations and evil orcs with spikes shoved through their arms. The whole thing is just uneven tonally- the funny moments aren't all that funny, and the violent moments are way beyond what Tolkien presented in the novel, and what you'd expect from a childish romp. It's quite clear the production team couldn't decide whether they wanted it to feel like LOTR or not, and the result is that the film has an uneven, schizophreinc tone to it.

3. When people complain there is too much action it is because the views that are explained in 2 are tried to be squared out in meaningful story moments.
So for the lack of a great battle the small encounters with for example Azog are emphasized on more thoroughly.

Why the fuck is Azog even in the film? In the novel, the Dwarves don't encounter any orcs until the Misty Mountains, and after that and the incident with the Wargs they manage to elude them until right to the end of the film. Why did they feel the need to turn the entire first act into some sort of chase sequence with orcs up the wazoo? What was the point? The Dwarves already had a clear objective: make it to the Lonely Mountain. What the fuck did adding another objective of avoiding Azog bring to the story? Nothing. It was just yet more padding and rewriting of stuff that didn't need to be rewritten.

This also explains why Azog was even brought in to the movies in the first place, he is indeed a torchbearer as a secondary antagonist because the first part of the story/movie would have otherwise dearly lacked the antagonist so usual in movies today.

Since when did good storytelling in film revolve around whether or not there are enough antagonists? How is that a mark of quality storytelling? Surely by that logic, Batman Returns should be the best superhero film ever, as it has practically more antagonists than all the other characters combined (slight hyperbole).

The Hobbit is a great story despite not having a clear antagonist until the end. It's the story of a bunch of everymen getting caught in a standard heroic quest (kill the dragon, reclaim the treasure) and all the ways they manage to cock things up along the way. It's as much a subversion of heroic storytelling as anything else. What on earth does making everything 'darker' and 'more epic' have to do with that? Why not just make a couple of films that carry the spirit of the novels, and gently poke fun at all the conventions of heroic literature? Surely that would have been more unique than sticking in more bad-guys, and trying to make it all some kind of second LOTR trilogy.

What are your views about the movie and do you think it will look good as a whole tale when tied up in those 3 movies in the end?

I think the film suffered extensively for the same reasons that plagued the LOTR films: the combined ego of Jackson, Fran Walsh and Phillipa Boyens.

The quality of the LOTR films suffered a lot (IMO) from those three taking it upon themselves to extensively re-write parts of the story, for no other reason than because they could. I'm not talking about stuff that got left out of the books, like Bombadil. I'm talking about the complete character rewrites they did, as with Aragorn and Theoden, and the total character assassination of Faramir and Smeagol. Or the way that in re-writing characters, they made them look like total idiots, as with Gandalf in The Two Towers.

The Hobbit suffers from this even more. While I can get behind Jackson and co wanting to bring some of the stuff from the appendices into the story, that does not excuse the extensive rewrites of stuff that was just fine as is in the book.

My other problem is with the CGIification. This film suffered from exactly the same problem as the Star Wars prequels in that regard. I think the problem is that because WETA worked on Avatar, they're now under the assumption that they can use CGI for whatever they feel like, regardless of how well it fits.

The Goblins did not need to be CGI. The Moria Goblins in Fellowship were created using prosthetics, and they looked perfect. They were ugly and scary while still having the tangibility that only real effects can provide. The new goblins just look... ugh...

Compare that to:

WETA essentially spent $200 million for the privilege of making the goblins and orcs look less believable than they did a decade ago. That's really quite an achievement. And this is something that plagues the whole film: CGI elements foisted in at any opportune moment, such as with *shudder* Radagast's rabbit sled.

For all my criticisms of them, the Lord Of The Rings films at least looked like they were designed by people with a lot of love and respect for the books. The Hobbit just looks like it was designed by a bunch of concept artists sitting around going "Hey, wouldn't it be cool and awesome if we gave this character a prosthetic hand/a rabbit sled/designed him to look a like a bit fat collection of warts?" Which is exactly the same problem the Star Wars prequels had- giving too much free reign to allowing concept artists and CGI technicians to fellate themselves, and not focusing more on creating an aesthetic which follows the tone of the book, and is as conceivable and realistic as what was achieved with LOTR.

I thought the movie was fine, a bit stretched out in places but overall worth seeing. I just hope this isn't another Star Wars prequel situation where people will be still be whining about it online in a decade's time.

Oh this please. I can put up the moaning short term but lets all get the sand out of our vaginas at least before the next movie comes out?

The movie didn't have any major issues with it but as has been said before ITS A KIDS MOVIE. And I don't have any issues with the tonal shifts; look at any Disney move. Tonal shifts aplenty. Still very watchable films


I thought the movie was fine, a bit stretched out in places but overall worth seeing. I just hope this isn't another Star Wars prequel situation where people will be still be whining about it online in a decade's time.

Oh this please. I can put up the moaning short term but lets all get the sand out of our vaginas at least before the next movie comes out?

The movie didn't have any major issues with it but as has been said before ITS A KIDS MOVIE. And I don't have any issues with the tonal shifts; look at any Disney move. Tonal shifts aplenty. Still very watchable films

The difference is that Disney are actually good at tonal shifts. With films like Bambi and The Lion King, they manage to make horrific events like the death of a mother/father seem like part of the story as a whole. While those scenes change the tone, they don't throw the entire feel off. Disney's writers are good enough to know how to balance upbeat scenes of whimsy and comedy with downbeat scenes of death and tragedy. There's a masterful example in Mulan where they do just that: cut straight from an upbeat number to a scene of a burned out village and a massacred army. The reason the scene works so well is because of the contrast with what happened prior.

With the Hobbit, sadly such is not the case. The scenes change from dramatic to whimsical to violent with very little consideration made to pacing or plotting. One minute we're seeing dwarves getting decapitated, the next we're seeing snot jokes. Disney manage to do tonal shift in a way that feels natural, like a unified piece of storytelling. The Hobbit just feels like two completely different films stitched together.


Hey man it's a good movie for me and my friends so that'll be enough for me. I'm not even gonna try to deconstruct the logic of people that are displeased with the movie. *shrugs* Haters gonna hate.

This guy has the right idea. Do we really have to deconstruct every movie and game that is released these days? Shut the fuck up and take the movie for what it is, the internet doesn't need your short novel on why you didn't like it.

You know what, you're right. I'm never going to express my feelings toward a piece of art or entertainment ever again, regardless of its craftsmanship -- that's just dumb. It's not like it's an amazing ability to be able to express our own opinions of what is well-made, beautiful, or stimulating; any creature can do that. And what's more, expressing detailed opinions is just stupid anyway because no one really cares and we should just take everything at face value. No need to deconstruct when there's only one interpretation for everything. Thank you for having me realize that I need to just stop opening my mind -- it'll be so much easier this way.


I don't think anyone would say that the theatre release was bad because it didn't have Tom Bombadil in it.

I dont know hey, I for one was terribly disappointed that Tom Bombadil was not in the movie. Now the fact that I basically skipped all the pages where he was in... is besides the point.

In essence, Peter Jackson's directing reminds me quite alot of George Lucas' directing. Both their respective movies (all of them, including King Kong) would have been amazing had there not been a chop involved at several key stages in the process, ie. the directing.

Am I really the only one. I have lamented the loss of Bombadil in the movies. I was hoping to see him in the extended cut, but alas it was not to be. I actually liked the fact that Tolkien goes out of his way to show us that there are things in middle earth older and far more powerful than the power monger that is Sauron. Bombadil was only the first in the Lord of the Rings series to show us that. The Hobbit (I haven't seen the movie yet) sets this up with Beorn and the Steppes, and the Ents are also a part of that world. This is my only gripe with the LoTR movies. They have excluded a whole faction from the movies. I understand why though, so i still enjoyed them, but I will always lament the loss of Bombadil

Just saw it last night , have to say i was happily surprised at how good it was

padded? for myself PJ can take as broad a trip through middle earth as he wants now . if you are a fan of the lore and setting its just more of a good thing to me.

The cgi looked pretty good on the screen i saw and the film looked really good cinematography wise.

I think they got the feel and tone right , it retains a lot of the light hearted half comedy of the childs book it was written in but doesn't clash too badly with the existing lotr films so it felt cohesive to me, hell even Tolkien wroye himself into some dead ends and had to ret con the hobbit later.

Looking forward to the next part.

I saw the Hobbit for a second time last night and I was BORED. Not because it's badly made, not because it's very long and not because the content is inherently boring because none of those things are true. What makes the film so insufferable is all the knowing winks and the constant allusions to the previously-made-but-yet-to-have-happened LOTR trilogy.

The White Council, Radaghast the Brown, the Necromancer at Dol Guldur, the stone giants; none of those scenes needed to be in the film, it was padding and shameless self reference. Some have said that the film's detail appeals to Tolkien fans, that you get more out of it if you know the lore better. I am a fan, I read the Silmarilion, but these added "details" are just distracting. There are enough flashbacks as it is and those are actually necessary scenes.

It's called The Hobbit, but how much screen time does Bilbo Baggins actually get? I approve of Azog and his involvement in Thorin's development, despite the fact that he gained a mere mention in the book and was long dead before the events described therein. Thorin was pretty much the same as all the other Dwarves in the book so it's nice to see him built up a bit. But Bilbo's little redemption scene at the end felt forced, as if someone suddenly remembered he was part of the film and decided his presence needed some validation quick.

I don't know... as a Tolkien fan, parts of this film bug me. As a movie fan, parts of this film bug me. I can't find an angle in which to view it that doesn't present a problem. Jackson treats the lore with the utmost respect, that's for sure, but sadly he's missed the mark with this one.

[quote="grey_space" post="18.397743.16245288"][quote="JoJo" post="18.397743.16244243"]Disney manage to do tonal shift in a way that feels natural, like a unified piece of storytelling. The Hobbit just feels like two completely different films stitched together.

I think that might just sum up my thoughts on the matter. The Hobbit was a children's book, a completely different tone to that of LOTR and yet when we see that whimsical and childlike nature in the film it just feels jarring and so out of place. PJ should never have tried so hard to link The Hobbit to LOTR; the serious foreboding of Sauron's inevitable return only serves to destroy the light-hearted nature of Bilbo's adventure.


The difference is that Disney are actually good at tonal shifts. With films like Bambi and The Lion King, they manage to make horrific events like the death of a mother/father seem like part of the story as a whole.

Lion King? Yes. Bambi? Hell no.

Lovely Mixture:
Lion King? Yes. Bambi? Hell no.

Bambi, when you think about it, actually has an incredibly simple story. It's a generic male coming of age story about a fawn growing into a stag. That's really it.

The death of Bambi's mum is a huge transition point in the film. Almost all the preceding scenes are just random cutseyness centred around the infant Bambi, with the occasional bit of foreshadowing to suggest that maybe this isn't all there is. All the subsequent scenes are far more about progressing the narrative and showing Bambi's maturation. The tonal shift isn't just there to get the required amount of maternal slaughter in there, it's the emotional heart of the whole story. It's the thing which forces Bambi (and by extension the audience) to step out of his idyllic childhood existence and become an adult.

Weirdly, I never thought about how similar the narratives of Bambi and the Lion King actually are, in that they're both coming of age stories which use parental death as a catalyst. I think the Lion King is the stronger narrative because it has a proper refusal, Simba doesn't instantly "man up" in the face of tragedy and I think to a modern audience that's much more sympathetic.

The issue with the Hobbit movie is that you'll have these whimsical or silly scenes like the Dwarves singing or Radagast being "quirky" or cute CGI animals or the trolls being dumb, and then suddenly we're in a random battle scene.. and some of the battle scenes here are graphic compared to Lord of the Rings. There's an awful lot of slow motion and some pretty weighty gore for a "kids film". Not to mention the weird nausea-inducing Michael Bay style editing on some scenes where it cuts very quickly between different action shots in succession. It makes what violence there is look much more serious and intense than in Lord of the Rings where it was basically a bunch of guys swinging fake swords around like lightsabers.

Another example would be the meeting of the white council where suddenly we've gone from a little story about some amateurish adventurers to these horrendously over the top "epic" performances and lingering close up shots of actors with caked foundation[1], and it just doesn't go anywhere or progress the narrative and, again, we're back where we started. Those are merely examples, the emotional and visual tone of the film is incredibly scattered throughout. It's not a narrative trajectory like Bambi or the Lion King, it's just a weird mix of tones and plot points.

Is it a bad film? Hell no, I enjoyed a lot of it (or bits of it, at least). But it would have had more of an emotional impact on me and got me more psyched for the next film had it been more of a coherent story and emotional arc instead of this weird scattergun of random scenes with very different tones, stakes and scales.

[1] That was another thing I noticed way too often. I don't know if it's the frame-rate or some other feature of the camera, but the makeup in this film was really obvious on the close-ups. I don't think it was badly applied, so I suspect it's a picture quality thing.

Lovely Mixture:

-There was not a lot of characterization of the dwarves (outside Thorin), but this is understandable considering how much the movie had in it. And two more movies is plenty of time to add more.

I've heard this one alot, but really telling the dwarves apart (other than Thorin) in the book without multiple re-reads was one hell of a feat. (Or well, there was the fat goof one too)

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