The Hobbit: Defending Jackson

Jeez I’m on fire this week. I’m blaming it on A Levels and a distinct need to procrastinate from revising for them. It’s okay. It’s only theatre…

Anyway. HAS EVERYONE SEEN THE TEASER TRAILER FOR THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG? Can we all just take a moment to get excited about this.

If you haven’t seen it already, then here’s a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-CIoVLX7YM. As a fan of the book, I’m extremely excited to see the whole thing come to life. I just think that Peter Jackson has absolutely mastered the look of Middle Earth, especially when it comes to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, not to mention the absolutely perfect casting! Anyway, I was talking to a good friend of mine the other day and we both came to an agreement that Jackson has made a somewhat unreadable book into a VERY watchable and enjoyable film. I felt very disappointed when I tried to tackle the Lord of the Rings books, seeing as I loved everything about the films and Middle Earth. But I just had a real problem with the pacing of the book as a whole. And the same goes with The Hobbit. If you have read the books, you would probably understand what I mean, otherwise it’s quite complicated to explain. Well let’s put it this way. I was perhaps about 30-40 pages into the story (over 300 in total) and I was already at the part with the trolls. Now, if it were the other way round and I had read the book before the film, I would begin to understand why some people think that Jackson is dragging out the story for all its worth. But, seeing as that isn’t the case, I’m going to have to disagree.

A lot of people had trouble with the pacing of the film, saying that it took too long to get to the action of the film, and that it was far to long in terms of what is actually covered from the book. But in my opinion, I think Peter Jackson has made a very important creative choice with the pacing and the depiction of the novel. See, as I just mentioned, when I first read The Hobbit, I was rather thrown off by the ridiculously fast pace of which the story is told. The whole Thunder Battle sequence is literally a throw away comment. I take my hat off to the special effects team that carried out the depiction of that battle: it was overwhelming and awesome. If he were to stay true to the book word for word, he would render the film practically unwatchable, and that’s what I think people need to understand.

As well as this, the ‘additional details’ is another aspect of Jackson’s adaptation that is leaving its target audience feeling spiky. Please do correct me if I am wrong, but I am under the impression that everything that is included that ‘isn’t in the book’ is however in Tolkein’s appendices of the books. This is why I believe Jackson has decided to include more background story on the Necromancer, or is at least building up to some form of battle in…the north I believe? Either way, there is a lot of the world of Middle Earth that has been left unexplored by Tolkein in The Hobbit that Jackson obviously feels there is cause to explore in the process of depicting the core of the story with Bilbo and Thorin and Co. This is the reason I believe he included the scene in which Radagast discovers a ‘dark and powerful magic’ working its way through the forest, giving the audience a well waited cheeky glimpse of the nexts film’s horrors: gigantic spiders. Eek!

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You can’t see it as well as I would have desired. But all the parts I have circled are the main places we see in The Hobbit. It’s barely anything really. (if you click, it will be made bigger and you can see the writing on the map)

A lot of people found the first of the trilogy boring and unfulfilling in terms of how epic the tale really is. But I think this is only because Jackson has managed to put all of the development of the characters and the narrative, everyone’s motives and potential threats in the first film, neatly out of the way, ready for everyone to tear shit up in the second and third films.

So please, if you are reading this, hang on in there! I have complete faith after seeing An Unexpected Journey and then seeing the Teaser Trailer for The Desolation of Smaug.
Things to specifically get hyped for?:
1. SMAUG. SMAUG SMAUG SMAUG. Voiced by the glorious Benny C. The teaser of his appearance at the end of the trailer left me knowing that the balance between being a classically epic dragon and being a character within his own right is juuuuust right
2. Lee Pace‘s eyebrows. There’s even a goddamn close up on 1min 10! I was very excited when I saw that it would be Lee Pace playing Thranduil. He is just brilliant!
3. Gigantic SpidersI won’t say much at all about this because I don’t want to spoil it. But this scene really will be awesome, and tense, and exciting.

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Lee Pace’s Eyebrow Appreciation Post.

To conclude, I think we should all cut Peter Jackson some slack. He has managed to bring to life one man’s imagination through his own passion of Tolkein’s work, and for that, I truly admire him. Bring on December!
P.S Watch this. It’s awesome. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQ1LCvs8Xcc

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The Hobbit: Defending Jackson

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