- The reunion of Tolkien and Jackson, over a decade after the start of The Lord of the Rings, fails to live up to the achievement of its predecessor (heavy lies the crown sort of thing here with the expectations). This eight-hour film (broken up into three more commercially digestible chunks) would be a decent enough film by any other comparison (it is in the archives)—but compared to the promise of the 2001-2003 gargantuan masterpiece, it falls woefully short.
on its own (which is certainly how you should judge it)- The Hobbit is worthy of praise and study
- The similarities between the careers, the rise and fall, of Peter Jackson and George Lucas seems impossible to deny. They both had a promising start to their careers (films like Heavenly Creatures, American Graffiti), their big earth-shattering masterpiece (LOTR, Star Wars original trilogy), stumbled after that when trying to put their masterpiece behind them—and then tried again to reconnect with their best work (The Hobbit, Episodes 1-3) and ultimately falling short. On top of that- their obsession with technology (digital, high frame speed) seems to be as tragic as Gollum’s pull for gold/greed/ring or falling to the dark side. However, I won’t say it is quite as simple as that. Successful, sustainable (over decades) auteurs like Nolan, Cuaron, Ridley Scott, Fincher and others are obsessed with their cameras and nerd out on the technical aspects as well. Also others have made the change from film to digital quite successfully so I can’t say that change alone is the reason LOTR triumphs over The Hobbit.
- The Hobbit, like The Lord of the Rings, is a brilliant meditation on greed, the corruption of power- I’ll let others debate and discuss how much of Tolkien’s work is an allegory for The Great War, or the Jewish plight for their homeland (wandering without a home)
- The Hobbit is uneven—there are scenes like the unfortunate drawn-out dishwashing scene in the first section but that’s quickly followed by the artistically notable “Misty Mountains Cold” song and shot (a stunner)
the notable “Misty Mountains Cold” song and shot (a stunner)
- Though they are far fewer in number than LOTR – there are still remarkable frames in The Hobbit— the meeting of the White Council scene is absolutely spectacular for one
Though they are far fewer in number than LOTR – there are still remarkable frames in The Hobbit…
…the meeting of the White Council scene is absolutely spectacular for one
- Another highlight (here driven by the writing and acting) is the game of riddles between Martin Freeman’s Bilbo and Andy Serkis’ Gollum
Another highlight (here driven by the writing and acting) is the game of riddles between Martin Freeman’s Bilbo and Andy Serkis’ Gollum
- In Desolation of Smaug – again there are these magnificent long shots through the Mirkwood forest— but soon after you’re let down by the belabored video-game-like riverboat rafting gratuitous action sequence
- If you don’t want to blame Jackson’s penchant for relying on technology (this in sharp contrast to someone like Nolan) that’s fine—but you can’t argue with the end results. Ultimately this often looks more like Zemeckis’ Beowulf or Polar Express and less Jackson’s masterwork
- Recommend but the film wouldn’t land in the top 10 of any of the years of its release
All the images above are from Unexpected Journey and Desolation of Smaug. But the third one Battle of the five armies is unarchivable and not good enough for me. There is nothing redeemable in that film. That’s the problem with considering the three as one film where undeserving films also get added.
Agreed the film is a let down , Agreed it doesn’t deserve to be in top 10 of the year (or top 20 for that matter) but its way better than films like the iron lady, julie and Julia, florence foster Jenkins , into the woods, judy, ma Rainey’s black bottom (you know very well what kind of films I’m talking about). Instead of watching any one of those , I’ll perfer to watch the hobbit. It atleast has some ambition behind it not to mention an auteur’s vision (which falls shot).
I feel like saying it “” the least interesting work by peter jackson is better than some people’s so called best work.””
The first two hobbit films you mentioned are maybe more intriguing and better visually than the films you mentioned.But tell me a single redeemable thing in Battle of the five armies? Thought the 59 Rotten Tomatoes score was spot on.
@Drake-Out of the 3 sections of The Hobbit what section is the weakest in your opinion? And what is the best? And what did you think about the infamous Tauriel love story?
@Anderson- I try to view it as a whole but did find the final section/movie to the the weakest. I don’t have much on the Tauriel love story. Is it infamous?
@Drake-I think it is infamous actually among people who have seen these movies. Don’t get me wrong many people appreciate the inclusion of a female elf but the love story sub-plot is god awful. It gets worse in the end.
So do you consider the first section/movie to be the strongest? Considering 4 of the above 5 images(excluding the bear man which come in Desolation) come in that section including the meeting of the white council, misty mountains cold song and also the game of riddles between Gollum and Bilbo. Another thing I found quite suprising is there is nothing said about the dragon(Benedict Cumberbach’s vocal talents) in this review. I thought it was great.
@Anderson- this feels like a complaint of those who wanted a more faithful adaptation of Tolkien but not one that has much to do with Jackson’s end result
@Drake-Absolutely not. So I have The Hobbit book but I haven’t still read it. So I don’t know about the source material which these films are from. I don’t care much about those who say it should have been 2 films instead of 3 and say Jackson should have been more faithful to the book. For example when Coppola made Godfather Part 2 he took so many liberties. The Michael Corleone story in GF2 is a completely new addition. Only the Vito Corleone Don Fanucci storyline is in the book. So I have no problem with Jackson taking liberties from the book. That’s why I said the introduction of a female elf is a good thing. But the problem is this unnecessary love story. It just gets worse as the film goes by. It just felt desperate and came out of nowhere. To make it worse the person who played the dwarf had little to no charisma and is a relative non entity. This is a better film if they cut this whole sub plot out. This is an even better film if Jackson focused more on a story and gave us more great shots and sequences rather than relying on technology and repetitive action especially in the final section. Certainly this one had the potential to be greater than what it is and a top 10 of the year film at the very least.
@Anderson– ok- if you say you haven’t read it that’s fair- but it seems odd to isolate this issue in a film filled with similar flaws- I’m not sure the end result film supports that argument.
@Drake-I’m glad that you admitted this whole Tauriel love story sub plot is a flaw. The end result of the film certainly had the potential to be greater than what it is. And this is only just one of the flaws in the film. There are many others. Like the drawn out dishwashing segment and video game like riverboat rafting sequence you mentioned as well as the repetitive action especially in the last section. Maybe it sticked with me because of how annoying and desperate it is.
Moving on what did you think about the whole dragon thing and Benedict Cumberbach’s vocal talents voicing the dragon? I thought it was great. Maybe not on the same level as Andy Serkis and Gollum but still. It’s a bit odd that there is nothing in the review about this when so much of the first two sections of the film focuses on getting to the misty mountains and the dragon of course.
Here is Peter Traver’s review on Desloation of Smaug. And he does nothing other than praise the dragon.
@Anderson- I’m with you on Cumberbatch– good call out.
Do you think Peter Jackson is retired from filmmaking? And will you be eagerly anticipating it if he ever decide to make another film? I doubt he can’t finance his new films because these films made a ton of money.
@Malith- It sure looks like he’s focusing on the documentaries. I see he’s working on the Beatles- and then he finished that documentary on The Great War. I just finished my George Lucas study (pages coming soon) and the similarities are there. I think Jackson is done, personally. And sadly, I’m not sure I’d be extremely pumped if there was another project announced.
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@Drake-Is the last part of this film(Battle of the five Armies) archiveable if we consider it as a seperate film? My opinion is it is better not to watch it. All of the points and pictures you have taken for this page are from the first two parts.
@Malith- I could consider it part of the same film- but given your what if scenario here- sure- that makes sense. I am not going to be the one to argue in support of Battle of the Five Armies