And You Thought It Was Safe(?)


The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

Our review of Peter Jackson’s fourth Tolkien-inspired movie, a prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy and first part of a new trilogy, based on The Hobbit…a much, much, much shorter book.

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I confess, I loved the movie (about as much as the originals) but the blatant cash-in element of making them a trilogy kind of deflated my enthusiasm. I can’t help but think this movie could have been just as enjoyable with the entirety of the story in one two and a half hour movie. Maybe I’m asking too much for story tightness and I’m not saying no to Christopher Lee and Sylvester McCoy (7th Doctor FTW!) but it just seems to be a “Fat” Project.

Oh well, better to be bitching about too much of stuff you like than not enough. Take a look at the Slasher Genre.

Comment by Charles Phipps

I enjoyed this lighter, sillier version of Middle Earth. THE HOBBIT is a lighter, sillier novel than LORD OF THE RINGS. It made me think that Jackson probably could have pulled off a version of Tom Bombadil that I would have enjoyed. I’m still glad he left him out of RINGS but now I’m curious as to what he would have been like.

Could this have been shorter? Hell yes. Was I annoyed while I was in the theatre? Nah. I do think it would be fun if, when this trilogy is done, some fan comes along and edits it down to a nice, tight 3 or 4 hour version.

Comment by David Lee Ingersoll

If I live as long as Elrond, I will never understand this obsession with Tom Bombadil.

On the other hand, I would watch the hell out of Hypothetical Fan Edit Hobbit. Totally with you there.

Comment by David DeMoss

Oh my, David. You managed to slip in a reference to the beyond awful new Hitman game (a game franchise now ruined. Thanks IO!) and the whole Latex Nuns debacle. Is that thin foreshadowing that you’re going to review that awful Hitman movie adaptation? I agree that is questionable to extend “The Hobbit” novel into a trilogy of films. “The Hobbit” is like, what, 300 pages or so? I love the novel dearly, but to see it spread out like that. I don’t know. I’ll probably check the movie out when it hits DVD/Blu-Ray.

Comment by Choronzon

Not so much “thin foreshadowing” (though, as a movie critic on the internet, I am going to have to talk about more video game adaptions eventually) as a thin excuse to add some visual flair. For obvious reasons, trailers are my only source of footage for these New Release reviews. But because of that, some small part of me always feels like I’m cheating you guys out of the full AYTIWS monty.

My copy clocks in at three hundred and five pages – page 306 being just a “would you like to know more about Hobbits?” plug for The Lord of the Rings trilogy. In other words, it’s about two-thirds the size of Fellowship. Meaning PJ could’ve crammed it all into one, two hour and forty-five minute movie if he so desired…and if he wanted the pacing to move at point five, past light speed.

But you want to know my real fear? That in three months, we’ll all be right back here, discussing the “Super-Mega-Ultra-Awesome Extended Edition Blu-ray/DVD/Ultraviolet/Whatever Combo pack of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” It’ll be even longer, with even more prequelitis…but it’ll also be the entire film, presented in one go, and I’ll be left wondering, “Why the fuck wasn’t that in theaters?” Even though I’ll know the answer (“A movie that’s exactly two hours and forty-five minutes long can have fifteen minutes of trailers stapled to the front and become a 3 hour program block. So you can show it x times per theater per day, making x amount more per theater than if it were, say, a 3 hour and ten minute movie.”)

Comment by David DeMoss

I’ll probably see it eventually, but… as David Lee Ingersoll suggests, if nobody else does it, I’m going to try to edit the trilogy into a “lean” version that packs the whole book into about three hours.

The Fellowship of the Ring did indeed change the game for epic fantasy films. Unfortunately, it seems that this film doesn’t.

Comment by RogerBW

You surprise me, Mr. DeMoss… I deliberately avoided even coming back to AYTIWS for several days after seeing your review of the animated Hobbit film, thinking, “He’s going to pile on this film like an opposing defense on the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback.” I’ve had this film on my to-see list since roughly September, and this review does nothing to dislodge it.

(BTW–I’m fairly sure it’s “nunsploitation” with an S, not an X…) ;)

Comment by Michael O.

I saw no need to “pile on” this Hobbit and only hope the surprise was a pleasant one. (And you’re right, but I prefer to use the X whenever I have the option.)

Comment by David DeMoss




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