"I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history." -Cardinal Francis George

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Hobbit Movie: My Review

...Well to be more precise, a ditto of a review Devin Rose did and a couple additional thoughts of my own. I am too lazy to do my own review so I though I would just ride on Devin's coattails and blithely puff a bowl of the southfarthings finest longbottom leaf. Here is a comment I left on his blog which sums up my feelings:

My thoughts exactly.

Steven Greydonus, who is the best film reviewer now alive, said:

“There is an early moment in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey that captures the evocative poetry of Tolkien’s songs — something that The Lord of the Rings films, for all their achievements, never did. By the time the credits roll, that moment feels like it belonged in a very different film.”

This film is forgettable. Tolkiens book is anything but forgettable. So Jackson failed. Period. He really should have just left it alone if he wasn't ready to do it well, and I wish he had.
You said it best when you said:

“Hint to Peter Jackson: More of Tolkien’s genius and less of your discombobulation.”

I was excited when I heard he would do the Hobbit. Less so when I heard it would be 2 installments. Then I was very sceptical when I heard it was going to be 3. Can he really credibly claim that it is not about the bling? I understand wanting to stretch them out to include more of the book. Cool. But when much of the “stretching” is stuff not even in the book, and done in a swashbuckling goofy way that is uncharacteristic of the book, it is hard to not think there is some other goal than to just put Tokien’s vision on the screen.

I might watch this again with the kids someday, but it is not like Jackson’s earlier trilogy where I would watch them a few additional times and even wait with baited breath for the extended version.

Also I am sick and tired of adults ruining tales which children should be invited to enjoy also. There is no reason for many of the intense scenes to be in this movie. As The Incredibles showed, adults and kids CAN watch the same movie and enjoy it without needing “mature” material like violence and super scary scenes. I just don't get it
I was pleased to see Kate Blanchett reprise her role as the Virgin Mar... uh... I mean Galadriel.

I am the type to find symbols where there are none in movies, but I can't help but wonder if the moon behind Galadriel was not intentional here. Tolkien was a Catholic, and many things in the LOTR books are very tempting to see as allusions to Catholic spirituality. The Lembas bread as Eucharist is a big one, and Galadriel as Mary is another. The moon is associated with the Mother of God because of Revelation 12 where she has the moon under her feet, and also because she reflects the light of Christ to us in the darkness. I doubt Peter Jackson did this purposely, but did someone on his team?
And of all the odd additions to the film, I really did like Radagast the brown. I thought he was interesting and filled out the picture of who the angel-like 'race' are in the LOTR, who before we only knew of through Saruman and Gandalf. Radagast fills out that picture... interestingly.