Sunday, December 30, 2012

One MacGuffin to rule them all...

Listen, I have a confession to make and it's not going to be easy for me to say. Ready? Here goes: I fell asleep during The Hobbit. I know, I know, I'm the worst.
I don't think I'm alone on this.
-Bilbo, burgling the 
shit out of Gollum's ring
Look, in my defense I was really jet lagged and went to see a really late show. Oh, and there were like 15 trailers before it started and the movie was long. I mean really long. In fact, with a running time of just under 86 hours I think it's down right amazing that I only nodded off for a few minutes. Of course, those few minutes were during the Riddles in the Dark scene which is my favorite part of the book. If you're unfamiliar with the scene, it's the pivotal moment where our hero, Bilbo, heroically robs a deranged, fish-eating recluse living in a cave of his only worldly possession.

That worldly possession as you've probably guessed is the magic ring which Tolkien later retconned into the single most dangerous MacGuffin in Middle Earth which Frodo then spends three, three-hour movies trying to get rid of.
Clearly, Frodo has never heard of Craigslist.
Above: A battle scene from The
...or maybe Narnia, hell this
could be Avatar for all I know.
But anyway, the movie itself was a little bit of a let down. Don't get me wrong, I can deal with deviations from the book, it's just that all the extra stuff felt like Jackson was trying to stretch it out (which he is). There were half a dozen samey epic battle scenes which I'm pretty sure weren't in the book, Saruman drops by for a pow-wow, Kate Blanchett's there for some reason and we spend like twenty minutes watching the birdshit-caked Radagast the Brown truck around on his bunny sled and somehow there're two more movies to go.

Look, I'll take all the Middle Eathiness I can get in DVD deleted scenes, but in the theater when I haven't slept I just want them to get to the bloody point. Yes, there's probably a really good movie buried under all the padding but holy shit. The only comfort I take is knowing that every sequel and prequel Peter Jackson can milk out of Tolkien's work is another few years of keeping New Zealand's economy afloat.
Like seriously, before these movies, all those sheep-herding kiwis had to
rely on for tourist dollars was the stunning natural beauty of their islands.

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