“I don’t remember that…?” (Part II)

To recap my post from last night, I didn’t hate this first The Hobbit movie, but as a huge Tolkien fan, I do have some major problems with it.  The accuracy of the stuff PJ and co. pulled from the appendices is lacking (I don’t know why I expected better, given what he pulled with LotR but I was HOPING) and there’s other stuff that was just straight up FABRICATED for no apparent reason (even though I kind of think I know what those reasons are and THEY DON’T MAKE ME VERY HAPPY).


So, in last night’s post, I had a footnote about how there were other things in the opening Erebor sequence that bothered me.

I can sum up the majority of the rest of my problems with that scene with one word.


What?  That doesn’t make sense?  Fine, let me explain.

Why the hell was he even there?  Why were there eleventy billion Mirkwood elves just KICKIN’ IT watching Smaug take over Erebor?  This doesn’t even MAKE ANY SENSE!  Not only does it not make any sense in this context, but it turns a since the DAWN OF TIME antipathy into a personal grudge match between Thorin and Thranduil.  I don’t even…

And let's not even talk about his giant elk steed.

And let’s not even talk about his giant elk steed.

This unnecessary meeting paves the way for Thorin’s mistrust of the elves, which goes SO FAR as to have him wanting to take the long way ’round just to avoid visiting Rivendell.

Of course, in the movie, they kind of HAVE TO go there because they’ve met Radagast, who has some MOST DIRE NEWS to tell them about how the Necromancer has taken over Dol Guldur and Greenwood is RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND turning into what will be known as Mirkwood.


It was kind of nice that PJ tried to appease us a tiny bit by having Radagast tell us that the giant spiders he followed were probably some offspring/descendants of Ungoliant, BUT TOO LITTLE TOO LATE.

Because I have quite a few problems here.

  1. Thráin was being held captive by the Necromancer (Sauron) in Dol Guldur and was being tortured out of his wits when GANDALF found him there, which is WHERE THE KEY AND THE EFFING MAP CAME FROM.  There was no explanation given in the film as to where Gandalf found Thorin’s father, just that he had been given the key to pass on.  This is all just so wrong, it makes my head hurt.
  2. I kind of glossed over the other reviews of the movie before I went because I wanted to go in as open-mindedly as possible.  This means I really only knew that Radagast rode a bunny-powered sleigh and was a bit eccentric, which I was totally cool with.  I was NOT aware that he was completely loonypants, ate too many mushrooms, is now a buffoon with birdshit dried on the side of his face.  Contrary to what many other people seem to be thinking, I actually kind of liked the bunnies.  They made me smile and seemed terribly appropriate.
  3. The White Council.  I don’t really have a problem with this stuff being included here.  What I DO have a problem with is the fact that I could HEAR PEOPLE MURMURING and even MY DAD leaned over to ask me if Saruman was really already working for Sauron at this point in time.  No.  No, he wasn’t.  He didn’t WANT them to raze Dol Guldur, but it’s because Saruman wanted that Ring for himself, and he hoped that if they left things alone, Sauron’s Will would draw the Ring out of hiding.  This was weird and confusing for a few reasons.  Gandalf and Galadriel had their little telepathic exchange, and it seemed even then that they were aware that Saruman was on the road to corruption.  Look, PJ, if you want to play it that way, that’s fine, but you’ve already contradicted your own films because Gandalf the Grey rode to Isengard to ASK FOR SARUMAN’S HELP!
  5. The Dwarves+Bilbo leaving Rivendell on their own (without so much as a faretheewell to Gandalf) is the SAME THING as Sam ACTUALLY LEAVING FRODO on the steps of Cirith Ungol.  It didn’t fucking happen and there’s NO REASON FOR IT TO HAVE HAPPENED.

Since this is already getting really long, I’m going to skip ahead a bit.  I don’t need to talk about the Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Stone Giants, just know that I didn’t like it.  Plus, I already saw that same scene in King Kong, but it was dinosaurs.  [shrug]

rock em sock em giants

Let’s talk about the Misty Mountains.

I already ranted a little about my feelings on the Great Goblin (see this post), but I had no idea how very much I would dislike him before last night.  I wasn’t a fan of the way the Misty Mountain caves and tunnels looked very much like the mines of Erebor, nor was I a fan of Jabba’s the Great Goblin’s little giggling version of Salacious Crumb.

The worst parts for me, though, involved Gollum.  I was actually looking forward to the Riddles in the Dark, because it was something I could see translating REALLY WELL to film.

Instead, I was embarrassed when the Ring went flying out of the LITTLE COIN PURSE Gollum had attached to HIS LOIN CLOTH, I was disgusted watching Gollum butchering a Goblin, and I was angry that Gollum realized IMMEDIATELY that the Ring was gone.  I was confused as to why he decided to start throwing rocks at Bilbo, when he already knew that Bagginses had the Precious, and I was ENRAGED when Bilbo spared Gollum’s life, only to KICK HIM IN THE FACE ON PURPOSE  when he jumped over his head to the exit.

I was kind of happy that the waistcoat buttons popped off, even if it happened far too soon.

Bilbo's Buttons

These are buttons at the breaking point.

From that point on, it’s pretty much a race to the temporary endpoint.  Instead of Bilbo sneaking up into the campsite, he meets up with the Dwarves and Gandalf after following them down the mountain, but first he overhears Thorin talking a bunch of smack about him.

Then there’s this whole battle with Azog on the edge of a stupid cliff (which IS set afire thanks to our Grey Wizard) and Gandalf Moth Whisperer is back to send his winged friend to ask the Giant Eagles to come rescue their asses.  But not before Thorin is almost killed by Azog, only to be saved by NEW AND IMPROVED BADASS BILBO BAGGINS.

Then the terrible CGI Eagles swoop in and save everyone from certain death before dropping them all off at the Carrock, no dallying at the Eyrie necessary.

Now, I know you’re likely getting the impression that I hated this movie, based on the last 2000 words of ranting.  I didn’t hate it, and I actually liked some parts of it, which is more than I can say for LotR.  I just don’t understand the changes that were made for no reason.

I probably won’t be talking about the things I liked because my mind isn’t letting me remember any of them right now.  Oops.

But I kind of loved Ori.  Like, seriously, I’m sad he dies in Moria cos he was the best part of the movie for me.  Although, since he’s changing everything else, maybe PJ will retcon it so that NEVER HAPPENS.

83 thoughts on ““I don’t remember that…?” (Part II)

    • I really didn’t know what else to call it! It was a leather pouch with a lid (?) and what looked like a button maybe? I don’t know, but it was SO WEIRD.

      • Sounds like a coin purse to me. But why? Didn’t he keep the Ring under a rock or something on his island and then lost it when he was wearing it one day? What’s wrong with that scenario, PJ?

        • That is EXACTLY what happened! But no! It falls out in front of Bilbo when Gollum is dragging the goblin off to kill, and that’s when Bilbo scoops it up. The only time we saw the island is when we were forced to watch Gollum kill the goblin he’d caught.

  1. Oh, man. It sounds a mess.

    Just this last night, I had a dream that I saw this movie. And in my dream, Aragorn (yes, I know, but work with me) burst through a portal at the outside corner of Middle Earth, and found himself in modern-day London, thus revealing that the entire movie wasn’t taking place in the dim and distant past, but right now, in some sort of parallel universe.

    I remember thinking, in the dream, that I had friends who would be devastated at this sacrilege, but it doesn’t sound so far from what Jackson’s been doing anyway.

  2. “It was kind of nice that PJ tried to appease us a tiny bit by having Radagast tell us that the giant spiders he followed were probably some offspring/descendants of Ungoliant, BUT TOO LITTLE TOO LATE.”

    Why’d it have to be spiders? Why couldn’t Radagast have followed the butterflies?

  3. Overall I really enjoyed the movie, although it was ok in 3-D. I think that the changes in the story are necessary for the 3rd movie, which is completely based off the indexes and Jackson own creative liberty. Bilbo leaving without his handkerchiefs stills irks me.

    • In the book, you mean? He was forced out in a hurry by Gandalf in the book, without even time for a handkerchief, and it was a source of constant whinging and a symbol of the comforts he was missing back at Bag End throughout the majority of the story.

      • Yes, in the book. It irked me that Bilbo’s symbol of home and comfort was not represented in the movie but made into a bad pun, when one of the dwarves ripped off part of their clothing to substitute for his handkerchief.

        • Oi, I’m so sorry, I totally misread your comment.

          I was really bothered by that too, and when Kate (who commented on the last post and said I’d convinced her to not see them) and I were talking earlier today, I described THE EXACT SCENE you just mentioned as a part of what was SO VERY WRONG with these movies. [sigh]

          It’s really too bad, because after the reviews I’d read of him taking TOO MANY things from the books, I assumed there was a chance I might actually enjoy this one. :(

  4. I actually really loved the film but it’s been a very long time since I read The Hobbit. I know what it’s like to watch a film and be relating it to the book so much that you just end up not being able to enjoy it. It’s also very annoying that so many things have been changed/missed out considering he has THREE FILMS to work this one book. NOTHING should be changed. This summer I’ll be rereading The Hobbit as well as the LotR Trilogy.

  5. Aww, but I liked the giant elk steed and the rock ‘em sock ‘em rock giants ^_^; But then, I was the same way as you with all the Harry Potter movies. I could see maybe why the directors made the choices they did (I could see why PJ did that whole dramatic elves-decide-to-be-snapebags-and-not-help-the-dwarves scene, because moviewise, it has more of an impact than just the-elves-and-dwarves-always-didn’t-like-each-other), but dammit Snape did NOT kick Harry out of Occlumency class because Harry finally succeeded in reading Snape’s mind! And Harry was supposed to be petrified while watching Snape kill Dumbledore! And what’s with the whole “Let’s end this now Tom Riddle” falling off the tower scene in DH pt 2?! And why didn’t they talk more about Arianna Dumbledore?!?!

    But I didn’t think Bilbo kicked Gollum in the face on purpose…I thought he just didn’t jump high enough. And probably PJ wanted Gollum to have some obvious indication that Bilbo was really getting away with the Ring (i.e. some invisible foot just bonked him on the head, ergo that someone has the Ring!…but wait, did Gollum know the Ring could make people invisible? I don’t think he did…um, nevermind)…though, of course, it would’ve all still made sense if Gollum never saw/heard/felt Bilbo again, because he already was sure the Bagginses had the ring, so…yeah.

    Anyhoo, what really bothered me about that scene was that Bilbo didn’t just randomly find the Ring and pick it up. He SAW GOLLUM LOSE IT and then he CLEARLY SAW HOW UPSET GOLLUM WAS WITHOUT IT, and he STILL TOOK IT! I mean, I know Bilbo’s supposed to be a burglar, but NO!

    • Oh, Nerija – you haven’t even had a chance to hear me rant about the Harry Potter movies. After the travesty that was HBP, my dad refused to go see them with me anymore.

        • I’m referring of course to the movie versions of Oppugno and the H/G kiss and Snape’s reaction (or non-reaction, movie-wise) to being called a coward. Srsly, did whatsisname director even read those scenes in the book?

  6. I’m happy people have enjoyed the films. It’s good to enjoy films. But here’s the thing. The films mess with your head, people. Because you get the bisensual stimulation, they “feel” more real. And so their version of the story has a tendency to take over your mind, even when it’s stupid. Which is why we are now doomed forever to listening people argue about whether Saruman was “already working for Sauron” during THE HOBBIT when… Bog blast it, he was NEVER working for Sauron. He wanted to supplant Sauron! But because PJ decided that it would somehow be “better” if he were, that’s how everyone remembers it now, and that’s how they interpret the books.

    This is why we get so ranty.

    • Oh my god, you said “bisensual stimulation.” *swoon* And you’re completely right. NOBODY UNDERSTANDS why I get so upset about sweeping changes in movie versions of books I love, but it’s exactly that — they rewrite what you see in your head. I love the HP movies as silly, fluffy things to watch while drunk on spiked eggnog during holidays, but I read the books so many times before the movies came out that they were etched. into my brain my way. (Hermione will NEVER have good hair. NEVER.) And even then there are some things that have crumbled around the edges due to the sheer force of the glitz and glam deployed by the films, mainly in how I see Hogwarts and so on.

      But the HP movies, even though they’re full of elaborate sets, are basically gingerbread, whereas LoTR and the Hobbit are like seven-course meals. There’s so much crammed in there that at a certain point it just becomes easier to see the movie scenery in your head than to imagine it yourself. Let’s face it, there’s a helluva lot more story and history in Tolkien, and it’s a helluva lot harder to keep track of what gets ruined in translation. And that’s what makes me mad — the way it rewrites my experience so I can’t just enjoy the books as books any more. That’s why I get shouty at people who just can’t understand why I’m so incapable of just enjoying the books for what they are and the movies for what they are.

      And yes, I would pay to see reveren61′s dream-movie.

  7. Susie and I went and saw this crazy movie last night. It featured wizards riding on sleds (being pulled by rabbits!) and elves riding on giant elks. It was a really cool movie with tons of new awesome modes of transportation that I can’t wait to try out, but I kinda wanted to see the Hobbit.

    In all seriousness, I understand that changes have to be made. I didn’t mind alot of the changes to the lotr, since as PJ said the books had to be updated to reflect modern taste. I get that, and I get that Tom Bombadil and that sort of thing can’t be a part of these movies.

    There’s two kinds of changes PJ has been making; character changes and plot changes. Of the two I think the character changes are by far more disturbing. Messing with Faramirs character just shouldn’t be allowed. That’s just going too far, and that’s where I stop enjoying the movies. Changing characters so you can end a movie on a cliffhanger or stick to a formula is wrong.

    At least I thought the character changes were the more disturbing of the two. Now I’m not so sure. When you make too many plot changes, and Bilbo transforms into a hero who kills orcs and goblins and saves Thorin…you’ve fundamentally changed your characters. All so you can have your climax and the dwarves can come to trust Bilbo.

    I know you hate the lotr, but I felt the movies were at least in the spirit of the books (there are certainly some scenes that are an exception). But I think this movie deviates from the spirit of the book. In a bid to stretch a 200 page children’s book into a 9 hour epic trilogy PJ has to invent about 5 hours of material. And what he’s inventing is changing the characters. Some parts were fine, and I enjoyed the idea of it, like the white council addition. I expected that, especially since it was in the appendix. But adding scenes that change the characters and story for the sake of stretching something out into three movies made this a very difficult movie for me to enjoy.

    It’s just unnecessary, unnecessary to the point where it feels like you’re not watching the Hobbit. You’re watching the Hobbit by someone who read it thirty years ago, doesn’t love it, and is trying to remember how it went. Someone who just wants to make a ton of money. And it’s sad, because even at 9 hours it still could have been awesome, if done correctly.

    • I totally agree with this comment. The plot changes don’t bother me as much as the character changes. I loved the original LOTR trilogy, but him changing Faramir’s basic nature always makes me mad whenever I rewatch.

    • I agree, it COULD HAVE been awesome (and honestly, after Heather hated it since she loved LotR, I kinda thought there was a chance I’d at least like it), but this isn’t The Hobbit. It’s not even close. It’s a movie that FEATURES A HOBBIT, but it’s not The Hobbit.

  8. I definitely see where you’re coming from with all of this, and I share most of your thoughts as well, but I found mostly I was able to enjoy myself. (It helps that I find Thorin deeply and strangely attractive, and am now referring to him as Sexy Dwarfbeast.) Still, just liking it is a pretty big come down from the PANTS DROPPING OBSESSION turned DEEP ABIDING LOVE I have for the Fellowship and Two Towers movies (I like RotK but I have to be in the right mood).

    With all of that said, I have to admit that I thought Thranduil’s giant elk steed was pretty baller. I kind of want one.

  9. Pingback: This Christmas, spare a thought for the goblinese « Dysatisfunctional.com

  10. The main trouble with The Hobbit, as a movie, quite apart from the fact that it completely fails as an adaption of the book, is that it didn’t go far enough in destroying the book in order to make its own story plausible. If you’re going to have 13 adventures tossed around by giant rock beings and running across about a couple of dozen imminently collapsing walkways, you have to kill some of those adventurers, or else you have just thrown suspension of disbelief right out of the window. Now granted, in the book nobody hitched a ride on the knees of brawling rock giants, and nobody tried to run across a single collapsing walkway, never mind a dozen. Thus it makes sense that all of the dwarves survived the much more mundane events depicted in that book. In the movie however it is insulting to any rational mind — they needed to either kill a dwarf or two, or else do the sensible thing and actually tell the story as originally conceived!

    P.S. I have to object to the ‘tiny hands’ comment in the previous post against Elijah Wood. It’s not his fault — he was born that way.

    • [gasp] Peter Jackson? SENSIBLE?! NEVAR!!!

      Also, I have a friend that loves Elijah Wood just because of his tiny hands, so every time he’s in anything, that’s all I see.

    • This was exactly my main problem with it. That, and a bunch of dwarves outrunning — on foot! — orcs riding wolves. Even visually it did not make sense.
      That said, I don’t have the same aversion to PJ or any other filmmaker changing things if it makes a good movie. I just think moments that violate real-world physics are something you can’t afford when you are carefully asking viewers to believe in dragons, magic, etc.

  11. I knew that true fans of JR’s works were going to be at the ready with scaples and microscopes on The Hobbit, but if I may interject, any movie based on previous material, be it a book, another movie, TV show, or even a poem, has to follow a narrative, a film narrative. You have to tell a story within the confines of a budget, and the studios projected running time for the movie. The bigger the name of the director, the more leeway he/she has with these 2 objectives. Obviously PJ has ALOT of pull here, so he has the resources to be lavish. Despite this, you obviously don’t think much of PJ as a filmmaker, but The Hobbit as well as TLOR were/are addaptions, despite how much money and resources they had at their disposal. Most filmamkers are not comfortable with showing an exact replica of the book or what have you without a single interjection of their own vision or take on the story, so all these: What?!? As IF! moments are to be expected. It would have been a complete surprise if the movie ran exactly as JR depicted. New scenes are written that were never in the book, or established scenes are re written to serve the visual story, the film story, to help people who will go see the film, who do not even know who JR is, to follow and understand the story, you have to impress them as well as the fans. You also have to serve the timing of the shot sequences, as they form a narrative. I have seen many scenes cut from other movies that if left in place would have helped make the character actions seem more plausible, or help us understand why something happened the way it did, but the scene was ousted in favor of the ‘pace ‘ of the movie. The inclusion of the informative scene would have slowed the storys progress down. I personally don’t buy into this ‘pacing ‘ thing, but if you want to work in hollywood you’d best acquaint yourself with it. These adaptions are done to serve the ‘pace’ or ‘timing’ of the story. I guess they feel peoples span of attention is at the kidnergarden level and you have to keep throwing things at them to help them stay involved. I dislike and disagree with that mentality, but, such is the world we live in. I liked the Hobbit, despite the sudden left turns PJ’s version provided, and I also liked the rock giants, but then again I’m a sucker for giant anything in the movies, and no I am not a kidnergardener.

    [edited to add SoD and to remind Mr Sid that he should not come onto others' blogs and leave rude comments like this. Spelling is also a useful skill.]

    • I can understand and appreciate everything you’ve said here, but it was my opinion that the square pegs PJ forced into round holes cost the narrative any forward momentum it might have had.

      Had he not made up ridiculous enmities/grudges, this monstrosity wouldn’t have had to drag on for almost three hours. This felt like an extended Director’s Cut instead of a theatrical release. It was all so unnecessary.

      ps. I never said I wanted to work in Hollywood, so your comment feels kind of invalid.

      • That was a general statement, (working in Hollywood) meaning that Jackson does, so he had to learn to jump thru those hoops. The directors cut feel is quite correct, due to his carte blanche budget. King Kong was a directors cut movie as well. Unless one of his films flop, all of them would be the same, his ‘vision’ and all.

    • I am sorry if my comments seemed rude, I was not trying to be. This blog has a serious critique of The Hobbit, which I simply wished to participate in. My grammer is in fact probably off, it was never my strong point. Again my apologies if my comments were not taken in the spirit of which they were intended. I studied film making at Concordia U, and have read enough journals, bios, etc. of directors/producers and their experiences in dealing with ‘bottom line’ objective uncreative studio exec’s. We want to see film making as this amazing creative process bringing together talents and crafts to enchant and bedazzle us with, but it is very much a business, which is what I was trying to point out. Business objectives will always clash with creative vision, and something often gets lost in translating vision into a workable finnished film, hence, people will often be disapointed.

      • I appreciate the apology, Sid.

        As a huge Tolkien fan (you can click on the tag down below this to see all the posts I’ve written about him), I was incredibly disappointed in how this film turned out, and can’t see how the next two will be much better.

        After seeing it, I went on to read many reviews and I think it’s telling that the majority agree that the best parts of the film were those taken almost verbatim from the book. It’s possible to make a good, FAITHFUL adaptation, but corporate greed won out and we didn’t end up getting that.

  12. Pingback: LotR Reread – A Long-Expected Party « Stewartry

  13. You may not hate this movie but after some of the points raised in the post (the Saruman one, for instance, which I hadn’t even considered) I hate it more than ever. I also despise, loathe and abhor it.

    • I think the Saruman thing bothers me more than most of the rest, since it fucks up the chronology he’d already set up for himself in the LotR films (which I DO actively hate).

      • I detest (need a another synonym for hate in here) the LotR movies too, but I think that they’re at least more restrained and show at least the illusion of respect for the source material. In TH, there is no hint of either restraint or respect, imho.

  14. Pingback: I’m Willing to Bet That We’ve Still Got Nothing In Common | snobbery

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