Peter Suderman Reviews The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies


Warner Bros. / New Line

I reviewed The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, the final film in director Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy.

The short version? It's too damn long—not just this movie, but the entire three-film project. From my review:

At 144 minutes, "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" is the shortest of director Peter Jackson's six Middle Earth movies yet, and yet it still feels endless. The finale to a trilogy at least two films too long, it plays like an extended third act that lacks the traditional rhythms of a feature film. It's exhausting and interminable, a big-budget, high-fantasy slog that will test the patience and endurance of even the most devoted fans of the source material.

Like its two predecessors, "The Battle of the Five Armies" is an adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's children's fantasy, "The Hobbit." Mr. Jackson has taken that slender, 300-page prequel novel about hobbits, dwarves, and dragons and expanded it into a pummeling, garish, noisy blockbuster — or, rather, into three of them.

With a total running time of roughly eight hours, not including the extra hour's worth of bonus material on Jackson's extended editions, the movie trilogy will take most people longer to watch than the book will to read.

Mr. Jackson is no stranger to Mr. Tolkien's fantasy world. A little more than a decade ago, he adapted "The Lord of the Rings," a trilogy of novels about an epic journey through the land of Middle Earth to destroy a ring of great power, one that inevitably tempted its bearers to evil, slowly chipping away at their souls.

Mr. Jackson's take on that series was glorious, a giant-sized passion project from a director deliriously in love with the books. It had scale and scope, bombast and bravado. It was also a massive commercial success.

With the prequel trilogy Mr. Jackson has tried to conjure up a similarly grand sense of adventure, but neither he nor the material are up to it. 

Read the entire review at The Washington Times. 

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  1. I can see Suderman now. Loading up on three pots of coffee and then fidgeting in his seat for two and a half hours.

  2. I have liked both of the Hobbit movies better than any of the LOTR movies mostly because the actor who plays Bilbo is so much better than the one who played Frodo. The more time passes the more obvious what a horrible actor Elijah Wood is. He was just painful in those movies. And Sean Astin wasn’t much better. The scenes that don’t involve those two are generally outstanding. Vigo Mortenson and Ian McKellen and Kate Blanchett and Orlando Bloom are all real movie stars and quality actors. Astin and Wood are fucking awful and in retrospect damn near ruin the entire series.

      1. Please defend Wood and Astin’s whinny ass performances in those movies. I would be curious to hear it.

        1. I agree that it’s a whiny performance, but that’s probably exactly what Jackson wanted out of them.

          When I read the books, I didn’t interpret those characters as anywhere near that emotional. All the characters were a bit off for me – Strider, Legolas, etc.

          1. You are correct that Jackson may be the culprit. I don’t agree with a lot of the bitching about Jackson. I think he overall did a good job filming an unfilmable book.

            The one place where I think the criticism of Jackson is justified is what he did to the Frodo and Samwise Characters. The rewrite of the scene getting into Mordor was inexcusable. Given that Jackson did that, it is likely he directed them to be the whinny ass characters they were.

          2. Sam and Frodo were WAY more homosexual in the book- to put a human label on hobbits.

            Strider was more badass, less sorrowful. Legolas was also more badass, less… well… orlando bloom.

            Still, way better than the hobbit with added junk and silly makeup and rambling storyline.

            Though, I will give you Martin Freeman is MUCH better at everything, I would gather, than Elijah wood.

            1. I never got the homo vibe in the book nearly as much as I did in the movie. Maybe it was there in the book and I never noticed it because it wasn’t a whinny, annoying bitch sort of homodom.

              1. Every sentence spoken by a hobbit ends in an exclamation point. It came across as so drama-queeny I couldn’t finish the books.

                1. That’s just proper use of exclamation points. Hobbit just happen to do a lot of exclaiming.

          3. Tolkien wrote a rig on a 7th Century Eddic Saga, in Edwardian English. I’m hardly an Eddic scholar, but it has always been my impression that they tended to be short on Character development and emotional interaction, and long on exposition, description, and action. TLOTR, as written, has almost NO character development. Pippin and Merry change, just a little bit, but pretty much everybody else is a cardboard archetype.

            It is possible to make a film in which the central characters are cardboard, but it us almost always a bad idea. Jackson put character development into characters that had never had any. Frankly, he did a damn good job, even if he did cut the Scouring of the Shire (which is one of my favorite parts).

            TLOTR as written is probably unfilmable, or it film able the results would be unwatchable. Tolkien was writing for readers, not viewers, and those are two VERY different skill sets.

            1. All very good points. Filming LOTR is like trying to film War and Peace or the Brothers Karamozov. What makes all three of those books great is the long expositions, which simply cannot be translated to film.

        2. Frodo was definitely a little whinier than I remembered him being in the books, but I thought he was whiny in those too.

          Elijah Wood was ok as Frodo. That’s it to me, just ok.

      2. I just assume every word in his post is a bizarre misspelling.

        1. Rewatch the movies sometime. Tell me that the Frodo and Sam scenes are not awful and don’t get more painful with each movie. They were not bad in the Fellowship of the Ring. They got worse in the The Two Towers and by the middle of the third movie you want them to give the ring to Sarun in return for his recognition of their pending gay marriage and just get it over with already.

          1. McKellen was reportedly amused by how uncomfortable Wood and Astin were playing scenes close to teh ghey.

            1. I mean with each other (not McKellen). No gay.

          2. I’ve seen each LOTR movie a few times. The third movie does get repetitive and everything is too weepy, but the Faramir detour in the second and Gollum’s hijinks in the third keep things interesting. Sam carrying Frodo, and Frodo choosing the ring, are still great moments. I also really like Sam saving Frodo at the end of the second film. Astin is great there, as he is at the end of the first film.

            And they’re both fine actors for the roles. I used to be a bit of a Wood hater, but I think it’s largely because he’s such a weird pretty boy. He is quite good, and a generous actor willing to do weird projects. He and Astin don’t have great range, but they’re not bad.

            The Hobbit films, meanwhile, have largely been a mess of boring CGI setpieces. They only come alive when Bilbo is the center of attention.

            1. I still laugh thinking about seeing The Return of the King in the theatre with my then very pregnant wife. She happily sighed and started gathering her things when Gollum and the ring went into the lava. I leaned over and told her there were about 45 minutes left…

              1. …and that was with cutting The Scouring of the Shire.

            2. This is the correct opinion.

          3. They are dealing with some heavy shit. The acting could have been better, I agree, but I’d imagine that fighting off the influence of the dark lord and walking toward what seems like certain doom might make you a bit emotional and run down.

            And can’t two men love each other deeply without being gay? Come on.

            1. This.

              Sam was my favorite character.

              Acting ability? Whatever. I’m sure some could have done better and many more worse. It’s not an actor’s movie.

              You want an actor’s movie (series), watch True Detective.

              1. True Detective was great.

                I thought Astin was great as Sam, and Woods not so much.

                Someone said above about the third movie being repetetive… So was the book. 2nd book, like 2nd movie, were the best.

                1. And until Abrams does the next trilogy, the first movie of the 2nd trilogy will always be the worst.

                  /Appears to be a law…

            2. Frodo’s conflict in the story is a struggle against despair, and the impossibility of his task. It is difficult to portray that without the characters coming off as whiny.

    1. I hated the first part of the The Hobbit. Mainly because they made the dwarfs act like Cossacks. They spent the entire film bumbling through acrobatics and standing on each other’s shoulders.

      And then the entire trilogy is ruined by adding extra plot lines to fill the time to make it a trilogy.

      I must say the second film was much better than the first – still long, but much better.

      1. I have never read the book. So, the extra plot lines don’t bother me. And I liked the Dwarfs acting like Cossacks.

        1. Ever since the Star Wars prequels I’ve been against directors trying to take an obviously adult plot line and trying to make it appeal to children, i.e. why else would movies that involve decapitations, amputations, death in child birth, struggling between good and evil, slaughtering defenseless children, slavery, etc also feature characters like Jar Jar Binks, a goofy young Anakin, and bumbling robots that try to provide painful comic relief.

          I guess I see the dwarfs doing acrobatics in the same light.

          1. The hobbit is a kids book.

            1. Stop ruining the narrative.

            2. But it also has witch kings, orcs, sorcery, dragons scorching people alive, etc. There’s a pile of dwarf corpses in the second film…

              This is all perfectly fine for a kid about 12. (In my opinion…)

              But the comic relief seems aimed at kids much younger than that. Maybe the comic relief just dumbs it down?

              1. Go read the scene with the trolls. It’s pretty comic. The dwarves were also portrayed as a lot sillier in the Hobbit than in LOTR.

                I’d say some comic relief was appropriate for the Hobbit. But not for LOTR, except maybe at the party in the beginning.

            3. I guess in more general terms, you don’t want a film being 100% heavy material, especially 2+ hours of it. So comic relief is necessary, but you’d want the comic relief to match the other material in the movie.

              Slapstick doesn’t provide a good comic relief for heavy material – such as allegories of the human condition, characters on journeys of self discovery, etc. It takes the audience through two different extremes, and it’s tiresome going back and forth between one and the other.

          2. bumbling robots that try to provide painful comic relief.

            Kurosawa did it first in The Hidden Fortress. I blame him.

          3. I think the hobbit has fewer of those kinds of scenes than the LOTR did. I agree with you they are annoying. But there was plenty of that, and I think more actually, going on in the LOTR.

            1. Your memory sucks.

              1. Noting childish about an elf using a sword like a snow board and surfing down a ramp killing Orcs. Nope, not at all. There was nothing childish in the LOTR movies.

        2. Ah, the innocence of ignorance. Had I not read the book perhaps I would find this more palatable as well.

          As it is, though, trust me that it’s shitty mediocrity.

        3. But you should know what was added and more accurately, why it was.

          The entire Tauriel character was made-up by Peter Jackson. While some will say this was to fill time and create a love story/triangle, it strikes me as part of the feminist imperative that they manufacture this character that is a bad-ass fighting chick who is doubleplusbonus hot as hell (I’ve had a mild celebrity crush on Evangline Lilly since Lost).

          1. Evangeline Lilly makes Liv Tyler look like a homely step sister. She is one of the sexiest women on film. Just fucking epically hot.

            1. I finally watched the Desolation of Smaug two nights ago. I concur with your overall thesis. Twas better than the first hobbit movie (which was tediously boring) and largely enjoyable, even if deviations from the book upset me. I’ll watch the third one too. But might wait for it to come to video.

            2. Miranda Otto put them all to shame.

          2. I, for one, am all in favor of the bad-ass fighting chick who is doubleplusbonus hot as hell.

          3. I will always be in favor of seeing a redhead Evangeline Lilly kick ass in IMAX resolution, but fuck me, did this 8 hour film series need a stupid new love story between an elf and a dwarf? The second film was moving along rather nicely, and then it stopped to have the two charm each other and play footsie. Come on, Jackson!

      2. The Hobbit was a childhood favorite of mine – and is still one of those books I read ever 2-3 years.

        I know the story backwards and forwards, and seeing the wholesale changes to the plot and the characters did not make me happy.

        1. Being a serious fan of a book completely changes how you look at the movie. I have read LOTR but never the Hobbit, which no doubt makes enjoying the movie much easier.

          1. ^^^This!

            The book version of DOOM was much better than the movie!

            /Whatta ya mean, video game?

        2. The fact that only about 15 minutes of the second movie was actually IN THE BOOK was especially irksome.

      3. If I remember correctly, many of the plot changes in the movie are actually based on revisions planned by Tolkien himself. He already revised The Hobbit a little when he was writing Lord of the Rings. Apparently he was going to revise it much further in the 1960’s and wrote a bunch of new stuff, but never put it all together and published it.

      4. This opinion is mostly wrong. The Hobbit had a lot of problems but at least it was watchable. Aside from Smaug (who was awesome), The Desolation was awful.

    2. I can’t stand Orlando Bloom, but otherwise I thought the LOTR movies were much better. Why does anyone like Bloom? Or any straight man, anyway? He is completely terrible as an actor. Up there with Keanu Reeves. Compared to him Elijah wood is fucking Lawrence Olivier.

      I do agree that the lead actor is better in the Hobbit, though.

      1. LOTR was the first thing I saw him in. Wasn’t a fan.

        I liked him a little better in Pirates of the Caribbean, and a lot more in Kingdom of Heaven.

      2. Dude. Stop. Point Break.

        That is all.

    3. I thought those two actors did a good job but I agree with those below that Jackson had them crying and acting like children a lot more than in the book.

    4. I don’t like the Hobbit better than the LOTR movies, but I do agree that Martin Freeman and Ian Holm are awesome. Elijah Wood is annoying and whiny but, like others said, that kind of fit the character.

    5. Your tastes suck.

      1. To an idiot, I am sure they do.

  3. Yep. I haven’t seen it and I barely made my way through the others. Severely disappointed. The old animated version is infinitely better than this obvious ploy to squeeze as much cash as possible to the detriment of quality.

    1. I think I must be the only one who has liked them. I liked both of them a lot.

      1. John, it’s ok to like shitty things. The best of us do it. the problem comes when we convince ourselves that, because we like them, they must be good.

        Embrace your enjoyment of 6 hours of shit and mediocrity. it’s ok. It really is.

        1. They are not shitty mediocrity. Shitty mediocrity is something like Oceans 11, a dumb movie that is somehow still fun to watch. They are not the best movies but they are good. Like I said, I like the better than the LOTR movies because there is no Elijah Wood, Sean Astin and very little Golumn.

          1. “They are not shitty mediocrity. Shitty mediocrity is something like Oceans 11, a dumb movie that is somehow still fun to watch. They are not the best movies but they are good. Like I said, I like the better than the LOTR movies because there is no Elijah Wood, Sean Astin and very little Golumn.”

            John, now you’re just high. I’m no fan of Elijah Wood, and Martin Freeman is certainly a better actor, but the Hobbit movies also don’t have Viggo Mortenson or Sean Bean and Christopher Lee has a much smaller role. They more than make up for Elijah Wood in LOTR.

            Secondly, the action sequences in LOTR are vastly better than in the Hobbit and there isn’t nearly as much needless filler. Stretching the Hobbit to three movies basically resulted in hours of unnecessary film that they have to fill with Orlando Bloom gloomily wandering about with the total lack of emotion or acting talent we’ve come to expect from him.

            1. This. John’s opinions are cancer.

              1. To the stupid, yes they probably are.

        2. Everyone gives me a hard time because I like Heineken. But that doesn’t stop me from enjoying it.

          Not everyone likes IPA although I guess it’s some sort of unspoken badge of honor if you do and automatically makes you super cool and manly.

          1. There is nothing manly about liking IPA. Liking IPAs is the same thing as liking spam or bully beef. Not sure what it is, but it is not manly.

            1. I love SPAM. I do not like IPA. At all.

              That is all.

              1. I would take salty pork over bitter over hopped beer any day. The problem with IPA is that they have gone too far. There are too many of them and people have decided bitter and shitty is some kind of cool taste pallet.

                1. The more bitter and heavy, the better. Or so the beer snobs think. There are a few good ones, but some are truly awful.

                  I think the beer snobs want to outdo the wine tasters. And there is nothing more vile and repulsive than a bunch of pretentious wine tasters standing around a counter at one of the local liquor stores trying to act like they are so sophisticated and high class. *barf*

                  1. My test for any alcoholic beverage:

                    1. Taste good?
                    2. Have alcohol?
                    3. Affordable?

                    I don’t care if it is Two Buck Chuck or Rhinelander Beer (RIP) if it works, I will take it – someone else can sniff and preen and look down their noses while I just drink and smile (I am a happy drunk).

                  2. I think you are putting too much down to snobbery. People actually like well hopped beers. You don’t have to, but a lot of people do. There are plenty of fancy, craft beers that aren’t IPAs.

                    And I think that beer enthusiasts will always be less silly than wine people. Any normal person can actually tell the difference between different beers and easily figure out what he likes.
                    I’m not bashing wine. I like wine. But it’s all just grape juice.

              2. There is nothing wrong with liking or not liking spam, or IPA, or bully beef,

                but liking heini-kin is as wrong as banging your house cat.

            2. IPA is hoppy. Hoppy is fucking manly. IPA is manly.

              it all is perfectly logical. IPA- like any acquired taste, such as scotch, coffee, etc.- shows an ability to overcome some off putting flavors to enjoy them. That is manly. Much like getting married.

              1. I’m losing my taste for IPA. No gay.

              2. No wonder I didn’t like being married. Apparently it was full of hops.

                1. My God! It’s full of hops!

                    1. And Star Child grew up to take the name…Adolphus Busch. And now you know…The Rest of The Story.

                2. definitely embittering.

              3. Your answer to the great question is illogical! I shall crush your skull on my tummy!

              4. Hops are the easy button for beer. You can take an inferior beer and load it up with so many hops that you can’t taste anything else and then sell it off to hipsters.

          2. Blech. Why would you drink an IPA when you could have a real beer? Of course, I mean a porter or a stout.

            1. You seem to always provide a reason to like you Riven.

              1. What can I say? I didn’t choose the thug lyfe.

              2. Living in Michigan is great with all of our breweries. IPAs and ales when it’s warm. Session IPAs when it’s hot. Stouts and Porters the other eight months of the year. Just had an Oddside Mayan Mocha Stout. Chocolate, coffee, and the back end with a little habanero. Fan-fucking-tastic.

                1. I thought you guys were still drinking Strohs and considered Molson and Labatt’s to be craft brews.

            2. or tirpel or quad

            3. Or you could not limit yourself at all and enjoy all varieties.

              1. yes. I like a good saison. I like IPA. I like stout. I like porter. (I don’t like coffee or nut beers). I like lager. I like ale. I like black IPA. I like some lambic. I like barley wine. I have even been known to drink a keystone or two in my teen years when the harvest was lean.

                I do not, however, like Guinness. it is over rated and has a watery mouth feel.

                1. I do not, however, like Guinness. it is over rated and has a watery mouth feel.

                  This is easily the dumbest thing I’ve ever read on these here comments. And that includes the Plug’s rantings.

                  1. guiness is the beer people talk about loving, but it’s all reputation. Guiness is swill. It is too thin for it’s flavor profile. It really doesn’t work except for the irish.

                    1. Guiness is swill. It is too thin for it’s flavor profile.

                      This. Okay on draft, but something’s missing compared to just about any other stout.

                  2. I do not, however, like Guinness. it is over rated and has a watery mouth feel

                    I think this is actually true. It’s not nearly as good as many other stouts.

                    1. Guiness is actually a light beer.

                      Look at the calorie count, sometimes.

                      But it still manages to taste like you’ve eaten a loaf of dark bread.

                2. THIS SO MUCH

                  1. You know how you recognize a beer hipster? It’s someone who claims Guinness is swill. Maybe you’d prefer a PBR there, pal?

                    1. Nope. I like all kinds of beer- PBR is shit too. Guiness and PRB are both shit. For different reasons. If I had to choose, PBR is much shittier. It’s worse than coors light.

                    2. If I had to choose, PBR is much shittier. It’s worse than coors light.

                      At least Coors Light has the common courtesy not to taste like anything. PBR is awful.

                    3. CN, I have claimed Guiness was swill ever since I moved to Colorado in the early 90s and discovered what REAL stouts should taste like. And for the record I always preferred Young’s over Guiness anyway.

                3. I used to love Guinness – until I had some better stouts/porters/dark beers.

              2. I’ll drink just about any kind of beer–except IPAs. Every time I have one, I immediately regret my decision.

                I’ll finish the pint–not doing so is basically alcohol abuse–but I won’t enjoy it.

            4. Almost all beer is better than no beer.

              1. I’ll agree on that. Even Nattybo is ok if you don’t have anything else and want a beer.

            5. You have to drink that warm.

              I like a lot of those heavier beers at certain times of the year. Specifically when it’s colder outside. But in the summer, I’ll take a good lager or pilsner. I don’t mean no shitty Budweiser, but something that doesn’t taste like water with rubbing alcohol poured in it. Heineken, Stella, etc. American companies, even micros, cannot seem to make those beers, all domestic lagers taste awful.

              1. you’re right! My friends on a brewery in brenham, tx. They say there’s a company up the road that does good mirco lager. I asked them why no one seems to make good lager and their answer was… “We don’t know.”

                1. I asked them why no one seems to make good lager and their answer was… “We don’t know.”

                  I know. Lagers are a harder style to make. Say what you will about the authenticity of American brewers’ IPAs, but the style is actually fairly easy to make because the hop flavor and bitterness overpowers any impurities in the base beer rendering it an easy beer to make. Lagers are so crisp and clean that any slight imperfection is noticeable to a trained drinker. Also worth noting that lagering involves cold fermentation and lagering which can be prohibitevely expensive in some areas for new brewers.

                  1. Lagers also take longer to make, which throws in another cost. You can produce 10 batches of an ale in the time it takes to produce 6-8 batches of lager.

                    Victory in PA has always done a lot of good lagers, though.

                2. Is it Guns & Oil? It’s delicious.

              2. Heineken

                …is fucking garbage.

                I used to think that the stale, gone bad taste was because of the green bottles and what have you, but after having done a tasting at the plant in Zoeterwoude I realized that it’s actually brewed that way on purpose.

                Bud makes a better lager than fucking Heineken.

                American companies, even micros, cannot seem to make those beers, all domestic lagers taste awful.

                You simply don’t know what a decent beer is. Heineken is swill, it’s the overpriced Eurotrash version of PBR.

            6. I love a good porter or stout when its cold outside. Too hot down here for most of the year though. I’ll stick with IPAs, pale ales, and amber lagers.

              1. This.

                I love me a solid barrel aged stout (just picked up a Black Tuesday from The Bruery this week). But it’s hard to make stouts a go-to for me because of SoCal’s generally mild climate. IIPA is my go-to golf beer and quenches thirst on a warm day.

            7. No, my preferences are the correct ones! IPA’s rule!

              I like most all styles of beer. Except the pumpkin spice stuff and sweet fruit flavored beer.

              Why can’t we all just get along?

            1. Yes, yes it does.

            2. Not true. When they go overboard and try to make it bitter enough to strip paint, then yes. That stuff sucks. But Red Hook and a few others are pretty good. I like Stone Coast’s 420 IPA, even if it’s cannabis free.

              1. even if it’s cannabis free.

                Not when I get done with it.

                1. I like Stone Coast’s 420 IPA, even if it’s cannabis free

                  Not when I get done with it.

                  Have you guys tried Uinta’s Dubhe Imperial Black IPA?

                  1. Also, I’ve been noticing more pilsners on the shelves lately – a very nice trend.

            3. Some IPAs are good in the right context, and others are not!

              YEAH, YOU HEARD ME!!

            4. I used to be on the anti-IPA bandwagon, but I’ve started to like them.

              I started with Perrin Grapefruit IPA – sweetness of the fruit seemed to help with the bitterness of the hop. And then I brewed a batch of Citric IPA… and then some Black IPA.

              Now I can drink moderately strong hoppy beers without the distaste I once had.

              1. Such a bummer we can only get Perrin on tap. Waiting for some distribution to the east side of the state.

            5. I’m from Texas. The only beer we’re allowed to drink is Shiner or Zeigenbock. I think there’s a law or something.

              1. Brazos Valley Brewery.

                Or, come to the craft brew and que on father’s day weekend that I help plan and put on.

                Plenty more beers in texas than those two.

              2. Speak for yourself. I love me some Shiner but Saint Arnold, Karbach and Southern Star all have some really good stuff.

              3. Dude, Texas has tons of awesome craft beers.

                Lakewood Temptress, for starters.

                1. Officially bookmarking this thread so I can return to it when I’m hankering for something new.

                  Thanks y’all.

            6. No, you suck!

              I know no one is being terribly serious, but is it really so hard to just accept that tastes vary and the proliferation of IPAs might not be a vast hipster conspiracy, but actually reflects the tastes of a lot of beer drinkers?

              1. Does anyone else get severely congested when drinking certain IPAs or am I just weird (possibly unrelated)? I’m trying to figure out if it’s different hop strains that do it. I can drink a Green Flash no problem but with a lot of others I get a few sips in and I need a Benadryl…which of course means that by beer four I’m drooling on myself.

                1. I wonder Catatafish, if the hoppy beers that give you congestion are fresh hopped? If you have seasonal allergies and a fresh hop as opposed to a dry hop is added to the beer then could any seasonal allergic effects be transferred to the beer as well? The only thing that would sink this hypothesis is if after a beer is fresh hopped is it then pasteurized, which would/should eliminate any residual seasonal allergy effects. I defer to the far superior knowledge of others here in all things beer brewing.

            7. Yards has a good IPA.

          3. I’m not a big fan of IPAs, but a local microbrewery featured a species oaked in tequila that really mellowed out the hoppiness and added crucial character to the flavor that I usually find missing in IPAs.

      2. NOpe, my son and I are with you, John. We’re going to see this one Saturday – Christmas tradition 🙂

        In fact, my wife and I just rewatched “Smaug” the other night – I forget what movie channel it’s on.

        If someone else finds it interminable – well, I find it a little long, but hardly interminable.

        1. I really like Martin Freeman. Most of the first two movies is Martin Freeman and Ian McKeller and I find both of them very good actors and the scenes with them enjoyable.

          1. Did you see “fargo” TV series with him? He was fokin’ BRILLIANT! Definitely a fan.

            1. No I didn’t. I will have to check that out.

            2. Billy Bob was good in that too.

          2. Freeman is great in Sherlock, a show I greatly enjoyed and hope to see back on soon.

        2. It’s on Cinemax. I watched 1&2 back to back last night.

          It’s not LotR, but it’s fun.

      3. You’re not alone John.

        And they aren’t mediocre by any means. You want to talk mediocre fantasy movies? Let’s talk Legend.

        1. yes. but does anyone even like that one?

          1. Hey! Legend is a national treasure!

            1. I know a movie with Tim Curry in make up that’s better- and I don’t even like it either.

        2. I liked Legend.

          Mediocre, sure. Still enjoyable.


          …Mia Sara.

          1. Oh definitely enjoyable.

            And Tim Curry is the shit, as always.

  4. Re: Alt Text, I think a tv series based on The Silmarillion could be cool.

    1. Disjointed, unintelligible, airs of self importance, would be a wildly ambitious project anyway…sounds like Michal Bay to me.

      1. explosions in middle earth!

        1. Well, better than lens flares.

          1. those too. and lots of close up, choppy action scenes so we can’t see how shitty the special effects really are.

        2. I present to you.. Lord of the Rings, directed by Michael Bay

    2. I’d rather read the Bible.

    3. I just got done re-reading The Silmarillion. I really like it, and I do think it could be cool to see it brought to life. But I just don’t think you could do the story well. I would honestly rather see a series of paintings or other illustrations to accompany it.

      But assuming The Silmarillion was made, who would be your choice to play Luthien? Keep in mind she is supposed to be the fairest being to ever live. But she could also hold her own against Sauron and Morgoth, though not in physical combat.

      1. Only the REAL Nerds got into the Silmarillion that deeply Lynch.

        Also, I am no on a NEW Diplomacy site on which I haven’t had a cage match with an idiot admin. SO, if you and others are still interested I will set it up AGAIN and see if we cant get a game going.

        1. I read Unfinished Tails, too, but only once. So I guess I’m guilty as charged.

          I have no idea what diplomacy games entail, but I’m up for trying it out. I’ll probably get my ass handed to me like I always do in Risk.

          1. Oops, Tales. Sheesh.

            1. Awww, I thought you were referring to the Lost Book of Mousekowitz.

          2. there is no element of chance. It is all negotiation. It is an excellent way to take 7 friends and make them life long enemies.

      2. I’ve read The Silmarillion twice since the LOTR movies came out. I think it is my favorite but I do like that kind of mythological stuff.

        As cool as it would be to see it on the big screen, it might be harder to pull off and sell than LOTR. Much harder.

        1. It’s not a character drive drama. The Silmarillion is captivating for it’s descriptions of great beauty, power, and courage, and their destruction. I don’t think you could translate it to TV without adding a lot. Which may be OK, but it would require a really skilled storyteller.

      3. Eva Green.

        1. This. Eva Green is easily the most beautiful woman working in film today.

    4. A 10 part, HBO mini-series based on The Sil would be epic.

  5. Freeman and Cumberbatch should do Watson and Holmes as Bilbo and Smaug. Or maybe Saturday Night Live has already done it.

    1. I love them both. I think Sherlock is some of the best acting TV has seen in a long time. Too bad it is BBC.

  6. The Hobbit movies are goddamn terrible. Even the action sequences are awful. The action scenes in Lord of the Rings at least seemed like they were really happening – they had a sort of physicality to them that made you think you were witnessing actual violence.

    On the other hand, the action scenes in the Hobbit are basically video game cutscenes. They’re 100% CGI and it isn’t even particularly good looking CGI.

    1. How can you do physical scenes when your main character is about 100?

      They should have recast Gandalf with a younger actor. Ian McKellen is great, but way too old for that part.

      1. Gandalf isn’t a Middle-earth human.

          1. He is from Middle-earth?

    2. Because they had to sell Tauriel and the feminist myth of being equally capable fighters.

      1. It’s the comments section of a movie review. There’s another article right under this one about cops if you’re going to be a bitch when people talk about the actual movie.

        1. Don’t get your panties in a bunch.

          Movie critics, in general, are a joke. There is one measure of a good movie. If you can get up from your seat and say you were entertained. The more I was entertained, the better the movie.

          If you judge a movie by the number of lens flares…you are just a dick.

          1. You’re not actually…defending those moving abortions we call Abrams’s “Star Trek” movies, are you?

            Because…damn dude.

            1. Hey…Spock vs. a giant volcano! Spock vs. Khan!

              SMACK! BAM! POW!

              What’s the problem?

            2. Yes, I most definitely am. The first one was nothing short of awesome. The second was very good.

              1. I actually enjoyed them as well. I didn’t realize there was such a vehement undercurrent of dislike. Is it because they don’t hold to the more traditionalist campiness of the show?

                1. It’s because you have the audacity to not only NOT lap up and love Shatner’s terrible acting but worse favor good cinematography and non-boring screenplay. This makes you an apostate.

            3. You’re not actually…still pretending Abram’s Star Trek movies were bad are you? Get over it: old Trek sucked. New Trek has competent acting and a plot we actually care about.

              FDA should be faulted for liking Man of Steel. That is a bad movie.

              1. Old Star Trek sucked, as does new Star Trek.

                New Star Trek adds an entirely new dimension of suckiness to the equation though, shitty plot covered by stupid over-the-top special effects.

                JJ Abrams is Michael Bay with better actors.

  7. I’ll wait until it’s at Red Box.

    As far as the deviations from the book go, it’s Peter Jackson. What do you expect?

  8. Gotta say, I really question the opinion of someone who refers to The Hobbit as a “prequel novel”. That one line kills any criticism being taken seriously.

    I mind Tauriel. I don’t mind the adding in of the White Council’s battle with the Necromancer at Dol Guldur. I mind Azog not just being alive, but looking like an uruk-hai reject–Azog is a ‘moria orc’. I don’t mind the dwarves physicality. I mind Beorn being made into a ‘last of his kind’. I don’t mind the fan-service in the songs and odd scenes–we complained about the lack of Bombadil, the Old forest, the Barrow-downs, the Scouring, etc–we shouldn’t complain when the stuff is left in.

    The Hobbit is not as good as The Lord of the Rings. But it is not awful.

  9. The Hobbit, Part IV: Bilbo goes back home

    The Hobbit, Part V: The judicial proceedings between Bilbo and the Sackville Bagginses about getting his property back

    The Hobbit, Part VI: Bilbo writes the book about his adventures – hassles with publishers, wrestling with deadlines, etc.

    1. The Hobbit, part VII: Bilbo spends a day in Dublin and meets Leopold Bloom

      1. I’ll wait for the book to come out.

  10. I really don’t like Peter Jackson’s cinematography. He relies a lot on long close ups, amateurish slow motion sequences, and sometimes has the camera focus on something totally useless. I confirmed this while half-watching the LOTR on TV this weekend. When he does the sweeping shots of battles or scenery, it looks awesome, but he seems to confuse silly camera angles and slow motion for actual character driven drama sometimes. I noticed the same things in the bits of King Kong that I’ve seen.

  11. Which army is more fearsome? The monstrous Orcs, who never seem to be able to kill any dwarves, or the Storm Troopers, who can’t shoot straight?

    1. Orcs. I mean, dwarves are hard to kill, especially if you don’t have laser pistols.

      What excuse do the storm-troopers have for not being able to kill un-armored people?

      Plus, orcs will cut your head off and catapault it into the city they’re besieging. That’s hard-core, man.

      1. FWIW, Dwarves (at least in the First Age) were the only ones really able to withstand dragon fire. They are very hardy.

        1. +3 nerd mana

          (very impressive)

      2. unless a central character is the victim

    2. To my knowledge, Orcs never lost to an army of teddy bears.

    3. Apparently you didn’t watch the first Hobbit movie and see the carnage from the fight at the gates of Moria, where many dwarves died, but OK.

    4. This is odd. It’s like people aren’t noticing.

      Orcs killed all the dwarves in Moria.

      Rohan retreats into Helm’s Deep. Why? Because the Uruk-hai have taken the rest of Rohan.

      Minas Tirith is all that remains of Gondor.

      I’d say the orcs were pretty good at killing

      And if you pay close attention in the Hobbit movies, you’ll notice that quite a few orcs are wearing dwarfskin clothing.

  12. I like tweaking the nerds because I think all of these movies are hot garbage. The third LOTR cemented that opinion for me – talk about no tension or drama. Oh, we’re losing a war? INVINCIBLE PIRATE GHOSTS. They tossed the ring in the volcano? LET’S HAVE 16 MORE ENDINGS FOR ANOTHER HOUR.

    1. But… invisible pirate ghosts is exactly what happened in the book…

      1. Sh. He’s stupid.

    2. Your tastes are shit. You just hate any movie that has anything interesting in it happen.

  13. As an almost life-long fan of Tolkien and his works, I have very much enjoyed seeing Middle-earth and all the characters brought to life on the big screen. I honestly did not think it was possible to pull it off, not even remotely, in terms of finding a place on earth to film that was appropriate and condensing the story into (an admittedly) long series of films.

    Are they perfect? No. Do they deviate from the orthodoxy? Yes. Does Jackson inject his own artistic vision? Yes. Even with all that, still highly enjoyable and a feat that was not considered remotely possible. Many thanks to you, Peter Jackson.

    1. Much-needed perspective. Jackson did something which needed doing, and made the world a better place.

      Doesn’t mean his Hobbit series shouldn’t be mocked when needed.

      In a good-natured way, of course.

  14. By the way, if you really like being able to just sit back and enjoy TV and movies, don’t take a film theory class.

    Afterwards, it’s difficult to just sit back and enjoy it because you’re constantly deconstructing scenes and camera angles. Also, the class I took was taught from a very feminist perspective. We were reading Susan Sontag, Zizek, etc. Don’t know if every class is taught that way, but this one definitely was and they weren’t up front about it.

    I was reading Zizek and thinking “This guy seems fairly smart but I’m not buying everything he’s trying to sell me.” Then, I started looking him up and learned he was a socialist. I guess that’s how people start getting indoctrinated in college – they just read the material without knowing the context in which it was written.

    1. My TA for the film theory class I took was focusing on porn in the 70s.

      So… my experience wasn’t awful.

      1. Sounds rather hairy though

  15. That dude is jsut cool and he knows it, so clap your hands.

    1. Hey, Anon Bot went to the same summer camp I did as a kid!

  16. I agree that Pauline `s storry is shocking… last week I bought a gorgeous Ford Focus after I been earnin $6233 this past month and over 10/k this past-munth . this is definitely the nicest-job Ive had . I actually started 3 months ago and pretty much immediately startad making minimum $71 p/h .
    Am join this way but you can join now————-

  17. Jackson’s LOTR was wicked pissah, as are most of his projects, but his Hobbit trilogy really is bloated and at times ridiculous. Some of the cat/mouse antics with the dwarves riding those rail cars in a river of molten gold etc. in Smaug’s lair were just stupid filler, to put it mildly.

    The Hobbit has such a connection to my childhood, having read it a dozen times, performed in a Hobbit play, etc. it’s of course going to be difficult to make a movie that lives up to our love for the book, but he did an AMAZING job with LOTR.

    I don’t know if it all just went to his head or what, and we aren’t talking Ishtar here, and sure it’s “fun” at times, but it really is pretty disrespectful to Tolkien’s legacy (and family) and could do with SOMEBODY in his inner circle having the balls to tell him – “Peter, this is a bloated tedious mess. Let’s cut the fat!”

    1. Can’t wait for Topher Grace to make a consolidated trilogy.

  18. There is no better feeling that admitting to yourself that the new Hobbit Trilogy is bad. It’s bad, and the second one is worse even than the first. I don’t mind all of the changes. Some were improvements on the book, especially the introduction to Beorn which in the book is unfilmable and kind of stupid. The Hobbit needed two movies one would have been too rushed but fuck me this filler is terrible. A love triangle and having orcs in the Forest were awful. Just terrible changes. Then there was that entire stupid awful sequences in the Lonely Mountain with the furnaces and riding the molten metal and trying to bury Smaug in molten gold OH GOD WHY. Burn this fucker to the ground.

    1. And it could have done without the elf chorus line singing “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

  19. Mr. Jackson has taken that slender, 300-page prequel novel about hobbits, dwarves, and dragons
    “Prequel”? I thought that word referred to sequels that take place earlier in time than the books they follow. The Hobbit was written first, it can’t be a prequel.

  20. I’ve skipped the first two movies when they came out. I wasn’t impressed with the news that Jackson was going to pad the story to get three films.

    I watched the Red Letter Media reviews of the first two movies, and decided that once all three are on DVD, I’ll find a place to pick them up on the cheap so I can give them a try.

  21. Peter Jackson is a very clever director and he has made many famous movies .there are so many people like him especially The Hobbit

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