6:18 pm - 01/04/2013

If you disliked changes to The Hobbit, maybe you should brush up on your Tolkien (says guy)

Why Critics Will Come to Regret Their Relentless Savaging of the New Film (I mean, probably not, but w/e)

Despite tentatively positive reviews from The Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone, National Public Radio, The New Yorker, Entertainment Weekly, and several smaller urban newspapers, if you've heard much about the first entry in Peter Jackson's much-hyped Hobbit trilogy, it's probably that, well, it isn't very good. Right now the nearly three-hour demi-epic, controversially shot at double the frame-rate of most Hollywood features, is sporting a dispiriting 42% on Rotten Tomatoes, the movie-review aggregator that certifies movies as "fresh" or, as in the case of Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, rotten. (But it's at 65%, unless I'm missing something...?)

What's odd about the naysayers is not their opinions--movie-reviewing, like movie-making, is an artform rife with necessary subjectivities--but how they've gone about substantiating them. If there's one biographical fact avid moviegoers have considered sacrosanct these past few years, it's that Peter Jackson was and is a nerd-king of historic dimensions whose genuine love for all things Tolkien was and is the animating principle behind the Lord of the Rings trilogy and its now-three-part Hobbit companion. Not so, say those scions of the movie-reviewing circuit who've heaped calumny upon The Hobbit; in fact, Jackson's decision to bloat the 310-page children's book into a trilogy on par, in length and cinematic scope, to Tolkien's 1,500-page (in manuscript form, 9,250-page) Lord of the Rings trilogy was entirely a "mercenary" one, according to CNN.

What these critics don't know, and what Jackson most certainly does, is the history of The Hobbit as a text, and of Middle Earth as a holistic construction. While knowledge of the literature behind the film doesn't necessarily imbue the film with automatic cinematic bona fides, it does suggest that, in the long run, critics of The Hobbit will be made to feel rather foolish for their circumspection and (in many instances) their open hostility toward both Jackson and his creation. If there's a reason most critics panning the film don't also encourage moviegoers to avoid it, it's likely that they sense--as they ought to--that future generations will view the effort considerably more kindly, and that therefore The Hobbit is worth seeing now, whatever its infelicities.

More behind the cut - WARNING: after the timeline there's a huge spoiler about Thorin's story arcCollapse )

onmyshore Naughty Dwarf Calendar5th-Jan-2013 02:37 am (UTC)
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joyeuxcherie Re: Naughty Dwarf Calendar5th-Jan-2013 02:44 am (UTC)
I want this to leak so badly...more than I wanted anything.
onmyshore Re: Naughty Dwarf Calendar5th-Jan-2013 02:57 am (UTC)
Me too. ME TOO.
indra2013 Re: Naughty Dwarf Calendar5th-Jan-2013 02:46 am (UTC)
I love how this calendar was Graham McTavish's idea. He's too awesome.
bodyline 5th-Jan-2013 02:38 am (UTC)
someone remake this set replacing Tumblr with ONTD plz

foryoursake08 5th-Jan-2013 02:39 am (UTC)
omg lol
dizzy879 5th-Jan-2013 02:51 am (UTC)
missedith17 5th-Jan-2013 03:48 am (UTC)
lol, all this majestic stuff. I love it
foryoursake08 5th-Jan-2013 02:38 am (UTC)
thaumos 5th-Jan-2013 02:42 am (UTC)
ebenetwo 5th-Jan-2013 02:52 am (UTC)
lol W T F
indra2013 5th-Jan-2013 02:39 am (UTC)

Edited at 2013-01-05 02:39 am (UTC)
foryoursake08 5th-Jan-2013 02:46 am (UTC)
bienenkiste 5th-Jan-2013 02:55 am (UTC)
LMAO @ Adam i love him
cuteej4 5th-Jan-2013 02:41 am (UTC)
Continually missing these posts for no good reason!

bodyline 5th-Jan-2013 02:47 am (UTC)
venus_orbiting 5th-Jan-2013 02:42 am (UTC)
I grew up on the book because my mom read it to me all the time when I was little. So of course I had to go home and visit to see it with her! The moment we heard "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit..." we grabbed each other's hands and started crying :') Dorky but I don't even care.

I need to see it again, though. I was so overwhelmed with ~feelings~ the first time, and I feel like I didn't really take the whole thing in because of it.
bienenkiste 5th-Jan-2013 02:46 am (UTC)
aww <3
shortliljackers 5th-Jan-2013 02:50 am (UTC)
that line in the movie made me smile!!
interpol15 5th-Jan-2013 02:58 am (UTC)
Hah, the same for me and my mom! She's had her copies of all the books since the 70's and she read them all to me growing up.

So when the movie started we both just lost it with excitement.
modernelegance 5th-Jan-2013 03:13 am (UTC)
I started crying when the logo popped up. Beforehand I would have told you I was indifferent to the movie, but apparently I was repressing my fangirlness from the original movies and it all erupted at that moment.
joyeuxcherie 5th-Jan-2013 02:42 am (UTC)

onmyshore 5th-Jan-2013 03:00 am (UTC)
Dori is the mother hen of the group. I love it.
tiffsta31 5th-Jan-2013 03:56 am (UTC)
So polite and bossy at the same time lol
cuteej4 5th-Jan-2013 02:43 am (UTC)
adlanth 5th-Jan-2013 02:48 am (UTC)
infinitycluster 5th-Jan-2013 02:43 am (UTC)
This post has made me very excited that I'm finally seeing this tomorrow.
cuteej4 5th-Jan-2013 02:45 am (UTC)
I've seen it three times!
infinitycluster 5th-Jan-2013 02:50 am (UTC)
I can't wait. Is the Elijah scene a decent length?
etoile_du_soir 5th-Jan-2013 02:48 am (UTC)
Hope you're going to enjoy it!
archangelsmack 5th-Jan-2013 02:43 am (UTC)

ebenetwo 5th-Jan-2013 02:54 am (UTC)
ok but fuck first
marry after
cuteej4 5th-Jan-2013 02:45 am (UTC)

joyeuxcherie 5th-Jan-2013 02:47 am (UTC)
dem hobbits love to eat
ladysherlock 5th-Jan-2013 05:35 am (UTC)
nah girl, they want that good pipe weed
wicked_jade 5th-Jan-2013 03:31 am (UTC)
Forever my favorite hobbits. <3 Merry and Pippin are the Harold and Kumar of Middle Earth.
missedith17 5th-Jan-2013 04:20 am (UTC)
The smaller they are, the more they like to eat it seems in Middle Earth
bodyline 5th-Jan-2013 02:45 am (UTC)
cuteej4 5th-Jan-2013 02:46 am (UTC)
Such clumsy hobbits
pastelstar 5th-Jan-2013 02:53 am (UTC)
joyeuxcherie 5th-Jan-2013 02:47 am (UTC)

thaumos 5th-Jan-2013 02:49 am (UTC)
cuteej4 5th-Jan-2013 02:49 am (UTC)
I cackled
dizzy879 5th-Jan-2013 02:52 am (UTC)
Omg, lol.
bienenkiste 5th-Jan-2013 02:56 am (UTC)
interpol15 5th-Jan-2013 03:03 am (UTC)
Lol, saving this.
missedith17 5th-Jan-2013 04:20 am (UTC)
ruby_winchester 5th-Jan-2013 08:34 am (UTC)
shortliljackers 5th-Jan-2013 02:48 am (UTC)
middle earth years are so confusing to me.
etoile_du_soir 5th-Jan-2013 02:53 am (UTC)
I'm pretty sure they're the same length as our human years, it's just that every race in Middle Earth tend to live longer than we do so someone can be part of a battle one year and yet still be there a hundred years later to tell the tale.
anolinde 5th-Jan-2013 03:09 am (UTC)
Yeah, Elves live forever and Hobbits are, like, what, a 100 years?Then you've got the descendants of the Numenoreans (aka Aragorn) running around, kicking the bucket between 100-200 years... and I forget how long Dwarves live, but isn't it at least a couple of centuries?
bodyline 5th-Jan-2013 02:49 am (UTC)

Edited at 2013-01-05 02:49 am (UTC)
caketime 5th-Jan-2013 08:32 pm (UTC)
lol, orlando's sassy. is this the commentary for the dvds?
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