Three Reviews of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”

This one has me feeling slightly depressed.

It’s astonishing, given the brevity of Tolkien’s story and the hours of screen time expended, how many of the novel’s memorable incidents are nevertheless omitted, abbreviated or conflated. The story flies as quickly as possible past Beorn and the horrors of Mirkwood, presumably on the theory that the sooner Bloom and Lily are onscreen the better.

The best review I found, written by…..someone who never read the book:

This second Hobbit movie was for me not just a pleasure, but a revelation. For the first time, I “got” the JRR Tolkien/Peter Jackson experience. I tuned into the frequency. I tasted the fusion cuisine. I heard the eccentric but weirdly rousing choral harmonies. And this is despite – or more probably because of – never having been a Tolkien fan and being agnostic about the myth-making and, indeed, the prose quality.

And then there’s this:

There has been a fair amount of outrage already spilled on the Internet about how Bilbo has been reduced to a secondary character and how the action sequences go on for far too long. But honestly, I didn’t have a problem with either aspect of the movie. Unlike the first “Hobbit,” which spent an undue amount of time trying to develop characters that we never would really care about, this one is more interested in the chase.

So do you care whether or not the movie remains true to the general character of the book, or are you just looking for some Middle Earth in your life and you’ll take it any way you can get it?

2 Replies to “Three Reviews of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug””

  1. I am a long time reader of Tolkien. We won’t say how many times I have read LOTR, it might give the impression that I am obsessive…and we wouldn’t want to do that. If Peter Jackson had messed greatly with that story, well my head might have exploded in rage. And that wouldn’t be good for so many reasons, one of which would be that my husband would have to clean. But I really haven’t had a problem with whether Jackson is true to this book or not. I can see what he is doing, bringing in other aspects of the storyline from other Tolkien works, in order to make the 6 movies (SIX! Really PJ? SIX!) more seamless. But Oh My Gosh it is going to be a lot of popcorn and beer when I sit down to finally do a Hobbit/LOTR marathon.

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