The new Hobbit was…

…a giant battle nearly from start to finish.   I’d like to coin this as the John Woo Hobbit film. I’m not sure if I liked the movie, but it did not suck goblin schwang like the second film did.   Stretching a small book into three films (though including a bunch of stuff from the Silmarillion) was a tough job but in this one the writers had no choice but to grease up and get fucking.

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Stuff I liked:

  • Huge battle with lots of crap going on everywhere.  There were scenes where dwarves, men, elves and orcs were all fighting like crazy.  For a fan of Warhammer Fantasy Battle and all that stuff since I was a little kid, it was sort of a fantasy battle orgasm, and it should have been.  Despite the original author’s rather denuded account of the battle in the book, it was a big show down in Middle Earth, one that had far reaching consequences for the LOTR wars.  This was much better than the cartoon movie…
  • While the tiny parts with Dol Guldor and the Necromancer were really well done, this should have been a MUCH larger part of the second film and had a massive battle going on to finish up– THEN deal with the dragon.  Really since it was three films, the Necromancer parts could have been the justification for the vast length– and really it didn’t amount to all that much in the third film.  Seeing Saurman and the two elder elf characters destroying the ring wraiths was pretty awesome though, but did they just come alone? Pretty odd that.
  • I liked the 1 on 1 battles that evolved during the fighting.  Since EVERY character had the power and skill of Legolas, it was neat to see the superheroic battles between the main characters. By this film, I knew going in that every goddamn thing was going to be way over the top wuxia so what the hell…

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Stuff I didn’t like:

  • Not enough about Beorn and the bear– that guy should have had more screen time kicking ass. Just one tiny scene? That’s it??
  • Everyone was Legolas– this was pretty ridiculous throughout the three films that all the dwarves were as spritely and had the combat prowess of legolas… but they decided to go with the superheroic version of the Hobbit, and there we have it. If they hadn’t would we have been bored? I don’t know. This is all part of the ‘if everything is fantastic, nothing is’ issue with many fantasy films.
  • The armored orks.  gone are the rabble-like hordes of orcs from LOTR that looked great, in the hobbit you basically had a generic but FULLY armored ork “bred for war” going on. They had little to no character compared to the LOTR versions, and it was unbelievable that human RABBLE and completely unarmored Dwarves should be able to cut a swath through them.
  • The dwarf/elf love story.  This is was preposterous to me.  Despite the fact that Evangeline Lilly is pretty and could just hog all the screen time between fight scenes for all I care, this was stretching the source material too far.  A human? Yes, or another elf that dies in the battle (like NOT have Legolas there, but another male elf).
  • No cool Gandalf spells.  He did few spells in the movies overall, I would have liked to see something other than him whipping his sword and staff around.  It’s not like the film of the Hobbit fits into the low-magic Sword and Sorcery genre with all the running up falling bricks and Aerial lycanthrope transformations…
  • No thrush–where was the bird?
  • This is really on the second film– the meeting of Bilbo and the Dragon was BETTER in the old cartoon movie than the new one!  How did that happen?

What this has inspired me to do is eventually have a marathon and watch the LOTR films back to back.  However I may skip over the last 40 minutes of the last film– if there is any point where people look to where the seed of these Hobbit films inevitably going to shit it was the last 40 minutes of LOTR.