Tuesday, January 8, 2013

More Hobbit

"Coxon reminds me of a former friend of mine who couldn't understand why people would spend hours arguing about some obscure (to her) plot point, such as "Who is John Connor's real father?" (That question was answered on this blog, by the way.) But the catch was that she perceived our discussions as something we would do instead of "just enjoying the movie." So she was taken aback when we replied, practically in chorus, "What do you think we're doing???"

Discussing a movie, even to the point of heated argument, has become a legitimate way to enjoy that movie. And filming a live concert and uploading it later for others' comments has become a legitimate way to enjoy that concert." --Enbrethiliel at Shredded Cheddar who should post more Catholic punk thoughts.

I totally agree with, "Discussing a movie, even to the point of heated argument, has become a legitimate way to enjoy that movie".

I'm not so sure about, "And filming a live concert and uploading it later for others' comments has become a legitimate way to enjoy that concert."

But that's just me.

Which reminds me. I have not fully exhausted my wrath concerning The Hobbit. What a horrendous piece of hack work.

The city of Dale in the days before the coming of the dragon in the prologue looks ridiculous. A compacted CGI set jostling with way too many extras.

The halls of the dwarves under the Lonely Mountain look ridiculous. Cold, Vulcan and alien. The treasure hoard looks ridiculous: it's supposed to be a great huge treasure hoard - not freaking CGI infinity.

There's one point in the film when the dwarves are sitting around Baggins table and it's painfully clear that you're watching some actors not even trying to act like dwarves. They look and feel like some guys who have been partying it up because they're in a big Peter Jackson film.

Did I mention that Thorin does not have a beard? Oh, what's that? No, that's not a beard, sorry. Big beards are synonymous with dwarves, and Thorin in the film does not even have a beard.

Galadriel - that is, the true Galadriel - does not use telepathy. People have their minds "read" by her because of her humility. To the transparent, others will be transparent. I'm too lazy to open up The Fellowship of the Ring right now, but there are a number of evocative references to this about Galadriel.

Other writers have said Galadriel in The Hobbit is more akin to the Mary figure of the book than previously seen in the The Fellowship. I disagree.

The riddling scene between Bilbo and Gollum is just so...I don't know. It brings to mind what bugs me most about Jackson's LOTR work: there's no sense of an inner dynamic, an inner logic that unfolds something of the book, which is not concerned only with plot and characters. The Fellowship had a sense of it. For all of its foreshortening, it spoke something of the inner logic of the story.

Then with the next two they became self-aware.

So yeah, I'll go to see the next installment of The Hobbit.


Enbrethiliel said...


Actually, Stilwell, I was being ironic about debating over movies being a legitimate form of film enjoyment. =P The debates themselves are indeed enjoyable, but it does not follow that the filmmakers should intend them.

I'm starting to wonder if these folk deliberately inject controversial elements that they know people will argue over, in order to trigger the mental association between argument and enjoyment. At the very least, there is no incentive for them to make a movie that is not controversial and that people can enjoy without sparring with each other afterwards.

That is, I think the "culture of discussion" is not merely fed by the new adaptation of The Hobbit, but actually helped to pave the way for it. This makes movies a little less "honest," if you know what I mean. And I think you do! George Lucas's unfortunate Jar Jar Binks may have been an inspired character that Lucas really believed would add something to the story. You can't even say as much about Peter Jackson's version of Radagast. He didn't want Radagast to impress us as much as he wanted Radagast to get us talking . . . and arguing . . . and blogging. The audience of The Hobbit is as manipulated as the people who watch concert DVDs at home.

I only feel safe arguing about movies that came out before the Internet became popular--and even then I'm on shaky ground! =P

Enbrethiliel said...


To refine the point some more . . .

Yes, arguing about a movie is a legitimate way to enjoy it. But what we have here are people who make a movie that we will argue about in order to make us think we actually enjoyed it.

Now where is my tinfoil hat? ;-)

Paul Stilwell said...

I'll bet you're right.

They are like the international conspirators in that they cannot actually create - only manipulate.

Paul Stilwell said...

But there was and is no way that argument over The Hobbit equates enjoyment for me. I was joking somewhat. I wanted to leave the theater as soon as the first dwarf came barging into Bilbo's hole and rudely threw his coat at him.

jvc said...

Funny, I think it was when I got a look at the first "dwarf" entering Bilbo's home that I thought, "Oh, no..."

Paul Stilwell said...

Heh, now that I think about it, from the book standpoint it's a "pivotal" scene - the one that first carries the reader into the adventure. In the book the scene has life and charm and a certain cadence. They should have realized that potential for the movie, and that for a film it would be even more important to get that part just right, but they blew it.