I read Morrighan’s review of “Desolation of Smaug” this morning, and had to respond. I loved it. She said so many of the positive (and negative) things I had to say, and she said them so well.
I am a ranty person. I regret this about myself. I get carried away – and especially about Lord of the Rings, because when I was a little kid and not at all popular with the other little kids, I retreated into a universe of words. Tolkien’s words were, by far, the most important to me because of their soaring beauty and their song of grace and hope. In third grade I had to do a biography of my greatest hero and it was JRR Tolkien, so if that tells you anything… the inventor of antibiotics? Nope. Pioneers in science? Nope.
It was JRR Tolkien, who wrote about the courage of small people and the redemption of that which was thought lost – hope against despair, loyalty, and self-effacing love.
I like to think I’ve come to understand the importance of antibiotics a little better now, but — still. 😉
Morrighan’s comments on the movie are linked below. I’m linking because she really did write “my” ideal review. My comments follow. Also, a rant… and as I noted, part of it is because I’m built for ranting.
But part of it is because WTH was the ending bit there? I just sat through the whole Forge Disaster thinking, “who thought this sequence would scan?” and the less concise, “what in the Sam Hill is even supposed to be going on? None of this equipment even makes SENSE. It looks cool, but – are those water wheels, or – is that molten something, or – what do the buckets do? Is he about to throw up, or – oh, he’s angry? Wait. What?” and then, “WHY DOESN’T THAT MELT WHAT THE F@#$ IS GOING OH WAIT WHAT???!?!!!”
Apparently, my lack of Dwarvish smelting knowledge is a serious drawback in watching this movie. I’ll have to study up before I see it again. (looking deadpan)
OK. Here’s the link to, followed by my post from, Morrighan’s page:
“THIS. Thisthisthisthisthis. I’ve started typing thisthisthis so many times, and then either it sounds too curmedgeonly or not concise enough or I go off on a huuuuge Arwen rant (and by Arwen, I truly mean Arwen – she still pisses me off even after all this time. She was a Magical Aragorn Evisceration Machine and I just WON’T HAVE IT. Grrrrrrrr. But here I go again.) or a rant about the final act and don’t even start me.
* Bombur in the barrels!! Yes! 😀 ❤
* But [character] and ArwenOOPSTauriel? 😦 No feels for me there. Although the boy has game!
* Carnivale Lamé Smaug!! SO PRANCY! SO FANCY! Too sexy for your party. O.o
* But GORGEOUS, slithering sinister devastating genius I-can’t-even Smaug?
* Fashion Porn Thranduil – during his introduction, did I hear “I’m Sexy And I Know It?”
* But Thranduil OWNED that screen because Lee Pace is fierce as fierce can be. Oh my god. I love his work and have since forever.
Now that PJ is making the Lord of the Rings equivalent of fanfiction movies, could he make one about Thranduil? BECAUSE, SASSY and HIS NOSTRILS ARE MEANER THAN YOU and YES.
Now. I would like to lodge a complaint about the last act of the film, in which the ending of the Hobbit movie was apparently accidentally spliced with part of the upcoming Indiana Jones movie. Even my capacious ability to suspend disbelief was defeated by the, well, the big gold thing. What the what? And what was that even supposed to… wha…? Who built that and when? NOT EVEN SAM GAMGEE COULD HAVE BEEN CARRYING THAT SHIZZ AROUND IN HIS BAGS FOR THAT LONG. Who was supposed to have been transporting that frikking thing? Or did they just remember it as a public works item, “oh by the way, do you all remember that thing from over 100 years ago, around when all of our loved ones were horrifically slaughtered during our people’s worst cataclysm EVER, d’you remember that thing… ? Oh, yeah!” Not buying it. Wait. Perhaps Ori knitted it while the rest of them were busy (spoilers deleted), during which time THE LAWS OF PHYSICS WERE COMPLETELY SUSPENDED.
(Note: This is all after the dwarves, bless them, I love THEM, go rushing back into Erebor.
The high water mark of the movie, and the part where the snozzberries begin to taste like snozzberries and it all goes to hell, is: “If this is to end in fire, we shall all burn together.” (quiver: THAT IS THE BEST. You go on, Thorin Oakenshield, you flawed, magnificent bastard. That character is one huge improvement from the book. – Now, why do they all go running into the mountain to save the life of one hobbit whose life they weren’t going to save? No idea. Perhaps Balin flexed his bifurcated beard and beat some sense into Thorin. Woohaw! Go on, Balin!)
After that, it’s time to bring on the roller-skating aliens – and yes, I’m thinking of the episode of Robot Chicken where they’re lampooning the last Godzilla remake. UPDATE: link is here, because it’s just too too perfect.)
(breathing heavily) I am a book purist, yes. I am not a snob, and anyone who thinks so can go whisper about it to Gandalf’s moth friend. 😉 BUT REALLY, PJ? Really? That ending was just… you should have been drinking less caffeine, smoking less of whatever you and team were smoking, and FOR CERTAIN you should have
A good, stiff, dose of “Tell me the truth. Does any of this make any f$%^ing sense?” might have helped. You know – talking to, maybe, some snotty 14-year-olds. Because I think they would have asked the tough questions like: “Wait. What is that thing that he just jumped onto from, um, that other thing that we don’t know what it is either?” and “why did you do that? Because that’s kind of dumb.” and “in what way is this actually better than the book?”
But I’m ranting again.
The last act is as though he remade, say, Beowulf; and now suddenly the poem is “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” meets “Predator”, with a bad plot and some weird special effects, and the brilliant cast are laboring valiantly to make it all work.
Here is what I would like to say to Peter Jackson, if I had the chance: “Sir Peter, were you perhaps laboring under the delusion that you’d bought a more interesting book to adapt? BECAUSE THE HOBBIT, AND APPARENTLY YOU DID EVENTUALLY NOTICE THIS,
Yep. It’s a children’s book, and it’s set in Tolkien’s 1920’s/30’s-sensibilities universe, which is a Luddite creation in which he strives to create a world of beauty and manners that was already a trifle stuffy even by those standards. I’m pretty sure there were probably moments** where C.S. Lewis looked at him and said, “Dude. Lighten up. Could the Entwives, perhaps, show just a hint of extra twig for some sex appeal??” (**Not really.) But the fact remains that the Hobbit is the property you bought. The Hobbit is the book you chose to adapt. The Hobbit is the book you – ostensibly, at least – read. Sometime.
So why have you suddenly, now, chosen NOT to make the Hobbit?
It’s kind of like if I bought a red dress, knowing it was a red dress, tried it on, looked at it, paid money for a red dress; then got it home and decided that what I wanted was not actually a red dress at all but in fact a three-story cement banana complete with a water-skiing rhinoceros who could juggle flaming dill pickles, and then set out to wear that instead (to the utter surprise of everyone who was expecting a red dress).”
… So how do I end this, having now gone so far out on my grumpy limb as to call it bad fanfiction, than which insult I can not think of many worse? Sigh.
I have to say that, if you *know* ahead of time that you are going to see a movie that is NOT the book “The Hobbit” — if you understand ahead of time that you are going to see a work of fanfiction —
–it’s not too bad as a Hollywood blockbuster.
The performances are delightful.
The world is, as always, immersive and beautiful.
The direction of the final act makes no goddamn sense.
Peter Jackson, stop smoking the crack and deliver us a third piece that will justify and save this mess. Please.
OH AND PS YES PLEASE MORE GOLD-LEAF SMAUG AND SASSY FASHION THRANDY because although there’s no way they’re disco-dancing, I would totally go see THAT movie. In. A. Heartbeat.
The “Desolation Of Smaug” meets “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”??? SIGN. Me. UP. 😀 😀 😀