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April 2017

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whatever happens

More movie stuff.

First, a confession. I love the Tinkerbell/Pixie Hollow movies. It's embarrassing. I have never liked Tink in any Peter Pan movie I've seen, but I am addicted to those silly movies. I own every one. I'm probably shredding every bit of respect I've accumulated by admitting this!

Second, I finally got to see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. The Hobbit is not one of my favorite books, but I'm still having to deal with the way PJ changed the text. No problem, I had the same problem with all three of The Lord of the Rings movies. I usually have to see it a second time, once I've accepted the changes. I really should see this one again before reacting, since my overall impression is that much of the additional material is there to bloat the story into a trilogy and rake in the money. I drove my roomie crazy today: "The orcs at the river? Not in the book. The dwarves fighting Smaug in the caves? They didn't get anywhere near him! Legolas? Not even mentioned in the book. Thranduil? Mentioned, but not even named until The Lord of the Rings." And so on. At one point my roomie looked at me and said, "You just read the book recently, didn't you? Because your memory is just not that good." (I admitted I read it about 4 or 5 months ago.)

However, I'm not entirely down on the additions. Opinions:

  • I always thought it was a shame that we never saw the battle of Dol Guldur in the book, although I understand (as a writer) why Tolkien had it all take place "off stage". So I'm happy with the Dol Guldur stuff being written in, even if PJ - who is still such a little boy! - had to make it so creepy a place that it resembled a horror comic book.

  • The extra time spent with the dwarves, showing their history and emotions, was - IMO - an improvement over Tolkien's version. The Hobbit is essentially a children's book, so the dwarves could be silly and cowardly, but I'm glad they were brave and had deep feelings in the movie.

  • The addition of the orc hunting party, I didn't care for. It was well done as always, but I felt it was added just to give little-boy-Pete an excuse a reason to film yet another battle.

  • Ditto the whole Bard story - I liked having his character filled out, but making him a smuggler-revolutionary-whatever? I dunno.

  • I thought it was, again, little-boy-Pete doing the Smaug chase scene, but the dragon was so damned cool that it would have been a shame to waste him for the few minutes he appeared in the books, so I forgive Pete for that one. Especially since he got Cumberbatch to do the voice.

  • The Legolas-Tauriel-Kili thing ? It was lovely seeing Legolas again. It was like seeing an old friend. And I could choke down the idea of an elf maiden and a dwarf falling in love (mostly because Kili is so cute, who can resist him?). What bothered me, and this is the one thing in the movie that I dislike utterly, is the scene where Thranduil warned Tauriel off Legolas. Nowhere in Tolkien is there the least indication of a class system among the elves, at least as far as I know. They have lords, but no other hierarchical rank is mentioned, that I recall. Also, the only elven "royalty" in Middle Earth are Elrond, Thranduil, and Galadriel, so if you have the typical medieval European class system that scene indicated, poor ol' Legolas isn't getting married, because there simply isn't a big enough gene pool. Sorry, PJ, but that was a cheap device to create star-crossed lovers, and rather than tug at my heart strings, it irritated the shite out of me. Grow up, Pete.



Overall, I really enjoyed the movie, and I fully expect that when I watch it a second time, and can avoid going "Not in the book", I will love it all except the star-crossed romance triangle.

Comments

I am sitting here grinning from ear to ear. Thanks for taking the time to write all that! I enjoyed it SO much! I agree with you on all.

OK, except for H1, which I liked from the first viewing.

I had not thought of the whole Kili-as-lady-in-distress, but you are RIGHT, he IS, and it's HILARIOUS now that I see it! I won't be able to watch the movie a second time with quite the same eyes. My roomie is going to wonder about my giggling - and I'll tell her why, too. hee!

I also hadn't thought about the Legolas-growing-up thing, but that, too, makes sense. And yes, you're quite right, it does add depth to the elves, and not only that, it's totally fitting, since the wood elves were supposed to be simpler folk, so an explanation of Legolas' relatively open mind is nice.

Didn't you smile when Gloin showed his Gimli baby picture?

And now every time I see Thranduil, I'll see nothing but brows. LOL!
eee! Must have that book! That's just the kind of stuff I love to see!!