Tuesday, July 29, 2014

trailer critic: Hobbit part 3

Chapters 14-17 of The Hobbit are the darkest, most serious part of the story, and since they'll obviously be the center of Hobbit III, The Battle of the Five Armies (why the Five Armies?), it'll be the opportunity Peter Jackson has been waiting for to do what he does best, or, more accurately, to do what he does most.

I find little to poke fun at in the Part 3 trailer, unlike my reactions to the last one, but what I do find is a lot of repeats of Jackson's Greatest Hits shots.

0.02. Film logos floating through space! OK, that may be new to Jackson, but it's a direct steal from George Lucas's classic "paragraphs in space."

0.15. The character-study shot with a battle going on in the background.

0.24. The scene that looks like a matte, whether it actually is or not.

0.28. The helicopter shot over people walking across a mountain.

0.28, simultaneously. The Tolkienian lyrics set to the dreariest, gloomiest tune possible.

0.33. The dimly-lit majestic interior.

0.42. The foot shot.

0.48. The majestic interior that's gloomy even though it's full of gold.

0.57. The army that looks and moves as if it's made of tin soldiers.

1.03. The auto race.

1.06. The really badly-done CGI critters.

1.14. The voice that echoes impressively even though there's no cause for it to echo.

1.16. The single-combat warrior.

1.19. The general exhorting his army from a height so far up they wouldn't be able to see him.

1.24. The appearance of a character who doesn't belong in this movie.

1.26. The ridiculous bridge.

1.32. The general exhorting his army in a voice so quiet they wouldn't be able to hear him.

It's true that The Lord of the Rings repeats much of the plot of The Hobbit, but I never get the feeling of "been there, done that" when reading the books. But that's all over this movie.


  1. Sad to say, the third movie will be just more soulless pose-copying mixed with other, more vulgar ravaging of art & mind as PJ attempts to once again toilet-bully any unsuspecting enjoyers of an actual atmospheric, coherent & unforgettable mythos (i.e., the works of Tolkien) for his odd malicious motives.

    1. And people call =me= the anti-Jackson extremist.

  2. "The Battle of _the_ Five Armies" is what the battle is called in LotR Appendix B (year 2941). In using this form the director is in no way departing from the spirit and/or the letter of J.R.R. Tolkien's writings. Furthermore, he has every legal right to use it when and how he pleases in the movie, appearing as it does in the body of LotR.
    --- P.J.

    1. Observe how a simple inquiry, which would have been sufficiently replied to by the first sentence of the above, has instead been treated as if it were an attack on Jackson's integrity and even, bizarrely, on his legal right to use those of Tolkien's works he has the legal right to.

      Note also the way in which Jackson's right to use this form from a different book is taken to answer the question of why he chose not to use the form from the book he was filming. Jackson had the right to do a lot of things he didn't do; that's no answer to the question of why he did this one.

      This comment is an example of the bristling hostility that those of us with the temerity not to love Jackson's films frequently receive from his prickly and defensive defenders.

    2. Well, no, it was only a joke, ironizing on the way the debate about PJ's (lack of) fidelity to the spirit of JRRT's work tends to escalate, and using for that the very minor point in nomenclature that you brought up, as if it had any bearing on the debate. I thought the point was so ridiculously trifling that it would make it obvious that the "bristling hostility" in the message was not in earnest.

      That is why it's signed "P[eter] J[ackson]" (which I'm not - but signing in with a real blogspot user name instead of anonymously would have killed the joke). The idea was to pose as Jackson seeing, as you say, an attack on his integrity, and pompously heaping disclaimers and arguments to the contrary. In my fantasy, PJ cunningly spoke of himself in the third person and, somewhat naively, signed his initials hoping you wouldn't notice. I'm sorry if it misfired. Or am I getting _you_ wrong and is the joke on me?

      As to _why_ PJ used that form I haven't the foggiest, unless it be carelessness or just indifference. Better men and women than PJ have used the name that way (e.g. Chance "Tolkien's Art" 66; several authors in Drout "Encyclopedia" 21, 384, 541; etc.) But I haven't seen this trailer (nor any of the Hobbit movies) so perhaps I'm in no position to tell.

    3. Comedy fail. Persons attempting humor should not produce pitch-perfect imitations of irritable cranks. An actual joke or two might help.

      Also worth noting: the initials P.J. are not trademarked by Mr Jackson; and writing in the third person is supposed to disguise identity, not reveal it.

  3. Personally I don't like the "The five Armies" as well, but not because it is different from the (Hobbit) book. But three "the"... THE Hobbit: THE Battle of THE five Armies... that is just no good use of language!