Sunday, December 30, 2012

Peter Jackson's The Hobbit

Since I've got almost exactly the same things to say about Peter Jackson's Hobbit as I said about his King Kong, I might as well start with excerpts from that review.
But there's a serious problem. The movie is too long. Way, way too's all spectacular. It's a visual treat...but there's just too much of it. There's not nearly enough story for a 3-hour movie. There are far too many scenes that don't do anything to move the narrative forward. At all. ...From start to finish, it takes longer to get from point A to point B than the story really warrants. ..The casting is all fine, the performances are all good, the visuals are virtually uniformly spectacular. It's just that every step the film takes after the opening is a ponderous step. Jackson's so in love with the images that he's putting on screen, that he can't actually use them to service a story.
That was my reaction to King Kong.  My reaction to The Hobbit?


It was, frankly, better than I expected up through the Rivendell scene.  I found it almost unwatchable after that. (Ok, that might be a bit strong, as the Bilbo-Gollum scene was well done.)  But the Goblin scene was (and I know, I've said this before) just Too.  Darned.  Long.  And far, far too visually busy.  It was the visual equivalent of white noise.

 The people in my house that know the source material (I've only read it 2 or 3 times, and the last one was 15 years ago) were bothered by changes that didn't bother me.

I thought it was very typical Peter Jackson - superbly made but just too long, too repetitive, and too visually busy. It reminded me of his King Kong. He falls in love with everything he can do, everything he films, and gives it to us, even when it doesn't advance the story in any way.

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