Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Hobbit: A Lazy Review

Went to see the long-anticipated The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey yesterday, and honestly my overall feeling is disappointment.  For the record, I was indeed expecting The Hobbit, which admittedly isn't quite the same caliber as Lord of the Rings, but it seemed to suffer from a worse case of "prequelitis" than I expected.  Some of it was unavoidable, some of it was just sloppy.  I could probably go on about it for quite a while, but unfortunately time is limited.

1)  Do we really have to keep using the Wilhelm scream?  Really?

2)  Can we please stop with the angsty close-ups of important characters screaming "NOOOOO!!!" when we all know nobody is really going to die?

3)  Can we stop dangling over cliffs for entirely too long waiting for "the nick of time?"

4)  Do excessively comical bad guys have to make slapstick comments right before they die?

5)  Why are there no obvious injuries after our heros fall from cartoonish heights?

6)  Why in the world is Thranduil riding an ELK?

Maybe it could have been cool, but at the time it was just jarring.  Will we ever live it down?  That remains to be seen.

By the way, Bilbo was awesome, Elrond was bad@$$, and Gollum was brilliant.


  1. Just a few thoughts:

    1) Yes please; how hard could it be to get some fresh sounds?

    2) Double yes! In fact, can we skip this even when someone *does* die? The ethos is meaningful, but there has to be a better way to express it that the same old shot.

    3) Again, double yes. The Hobbit was a 3 hour movie and there was a lot of content that couldn't/shouldn't be cut... but there was also a lot of dead time when heroes and/or villains just blinked at each other for a few minutes. That doesn't build up tension, especially not with something like The Hobbit where you can pretty much assume 50% or more of your viewers already know the story. Tightening it up a bit.

    5) Dwarves, according to legend, are carved from stone, and Gandalf is an angel. It makes sense, especially removed from the grittiness of The lord of the Rings, that they'd come through essentially unscathed. Martin Freeman, for his part, is much too pretty, and no one wants to watch him riddle Gollum with a bloody nose.

    6) Oh, uhm... huh. I guess that's not a thing? You know, elves, forests, elk?

    I agree with your final line, but I think you forgot Galadriel: I don't remember her from The Hobbit itself, but I think she got a better shake from this movie than her (rather strange) appearance in the last trilogy.

  2. Hahaha! All Laura and I could talk about was "What will Conquistadora think of Thranduil and his elk?"

  3. I really liked it. I wasn't expecting so much stuff from outside The Hobbit, but it made the movie much more epic and I liked seeing it. I particularly liked Radagast -- though I might have portrayed him just a *touch* different.

    But I do agree with you on much of your criticism. Especially #4 and #6. I had thought it was a moose, which is even funnier.

  4. I thought it was a moose, too, but the nerds on Google say it was actually an Irish elk, a critter I'd never heard of before this.

  5. *bwahahahahahahahaha!!* That picture is hysterical!!! I'll probably never be able to watch this movie with a straight face - first Gollum's karaoke, and now Thranduil's elk!!