Hey, Peter Jackson? You’re Doing It Wrong.

Dear PJ,

I sat down last night with a bottle and a half of wine (no, I didn’t drink it all, even though I wanted to) and Desolation of Smaug.  I knew I needed the wine to get through the movie.  I was right.

What this?  Oh, it's just me riding a zombicorn that's goring you RIGHT IN THE EAR.  Juan drew everything 'cept me.  Isn't he talented?

What this? Oh, it’s just me riding a zombicorn that’s goring you RIGHT IN THE EAR. Juan drew everything ‘cept me. Isn’t he talented?

Here’s the thing.

I have these damn books practically memorized.  I know that probably seems ridiculous to some, but it’s true.  I can tell you what happens when, and to whom.  I can tell you the colours of the dwarves cloaks and beards.  I can tell you about all this minutiae that you probably have no interest in.

So how is it that you make a movie that I cannot follow?

No, seriously.  I was completely lost for more than half the TWO HOUR AND FORTY ONE MINUTE RUN TIME of this monstrosity.

I can appreciate you wanting to tell the story of the razing of Dol Guldur.  I wouldn’t have minded seeing that happen THE WAY IT WAS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN.  But all of this extra Orc nonsense and the whole BRING ME HIS HEAD ON A PIKE bullshit just got in the way.

You seem to have an obsession with close ups of hands.  I guess that’s cool, we can’t all pick our fetishes.  I had a bit of a problem with how well manicured everyone was, though.  Y’know, Bilbo’s done some hard travelling.  I liked that you had the grime all rubbed in around his cuticles.  Nice touch.  But I could still see his perfectly shaped fingernails literally SHINING THROUGH.  Whaaaaaat?  My nails stop being shiny if I ignore them for a few days.  Who the hell was buffing this shit inbetween dirt baths?  I really want to know this.

AND WHO THE FUCK DESIGNED BEORN?!  That person should be taken out in a back alley somewhere and fucking shot.

Now, I’m not saying this is the worst thing I’ve ever seen.  But it’s kind of the worst thing I’ve ever seen.


This just ruined my childhood and I hate you for it.

It was this ridiculous Beorn, along with the COMPLETELY WRONG WAY THE PARTY ENTERED HIS HOUSE that made me realize this movie was WORSE than other people had led me to believe.

I’m not going to harp on sparkly Legolas or Tauriel’s super weird accent, just know that both bothered me.

The ONLY redeeming thing about this stupid movie was that you at least had the bird cracking open the snail in front of the hidden door.  But you couldn’t even do the hidden door right, could you?  You had to make it all suspenseful and let us believe they were TOO LATE, before having the keyhole lit up by FUCKING MOONLIGHT.  Wait, what?  YES.  Moonlight.

I don’t.


You are the worst.  I don’t understand what Tolkien ever did to you to make you want to treat his work like this, but it kind of breaks my heart.

Go ruin some other fandom (Except Doctor Who.  LEAVE THE DAMN DOCTOR ALONE!), please.


ps.  If you’re interested in reading my ranty tweets from last night, I storified them here.


Hey, you know what Middle-Earth needs?

I’m assuming those were the words that Peter Jackson was saying to himself as he decided which scenes needed to be included in the EXTENDED EDITION of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.


Now, because I’m a total asshole and a glutton for punishment, last night I sat down with a holiday themed bottle of wine and decided to get through as much of this travesty as I could for SCIENCE! you.


— Other!sj (@popqueenie) October 25, 2013

I knew going in that there was only thirteen minutes of new stuff (sidenote:  WHY RELEASE A WHOLE NEW EDITION WITH ONLY THIRTEEN MINUTES?!  I don’t think anyone would have walked out of the theatre if the damn movie was thirteen minutes longer, fuck), but wasn’t expecting a goodly portion of it to be at the very beginning.

We get a teeny bit more Erebor stuff, with Bilbo’s voiceover talking about the town of Dale, and how NO ONE KNOWS WHAT CAUSED THE DWARVES AND ELVES TO HATE EACH OTHER! (even though you’d know if you ever bothered to read the damn books) AND THEN we get to see that apparently what happened was Thror offering Thranduil a chest full of shiny jewels and then snapping it shut on his hand as he reaches for them.  PSYCH!  It was totally that scene at the opera in Pretty Woman, but Lee Pace is prettier than Julia Roberts.

This isn't a screenshot.  But I kind of wish it was.  Thanks, Susie!

This isn’t a screenshot. But I kind of wish it was. Thanks, Susie!

Well, now.  How could it possibly get worse?

Hmph, it’s like you don’t know me at all.

I’m not going to complain about the scene with Wee Bilbo Baggins meeting Gandalf for the first time, nor am I going to complain about Bilbo going shopping for fish in Hobbiton following Gandalf’s first visit.  These are scenes that I actually enjoyed and fail to understand why they didn’t make the original cut, so.

I kind of stopped paying attention for a while, mostly because I was busy replying to tweets and running downstairs to rant at my husband while he played CoD.

Honestly, it’s a better movie if you just kind of tune everything out.


I do so love Rivendell.  [sigh]

Anyway, there was more of the meal they shared upon first arriving, but with new and totally unnecessary things added, but the biggest problem I had was what caused me to walk away in disgust.

The band of dwarves are all sitting at the table with many elf maids and lads playing their harps and pipes and whatnot.  Kili winks at one of them and all of the surrounding dwarves glare at him for being a traitor to the entire species.

winkyHe tries to get out of it by saying he doesn’t find them attractive, not enough facial hair on the women, etc.  Then nods at another elf and mentions that that one isn’t bad.

At which point the entire table begins laughing uproariously because it’s a dude.


No big, right?  Everyone was wishing for more homophobia in Middle-Earth.  It was the ONE THING that was missing and now these are the best movies evar, right?  Ugh.

I walked away for a few minutes and when I came back to turn it off, this was the last thing I saw.


You can click on this one to embiggen.

So, um…it’s cool to make fun of someone for thinking an effeminate man is pretty, but then two seconds later go have a naked chicken fight in a fountain?


Y U No Read Tolkien, Bitches?

Fellowship Lego

I mean, I guess I get it. Tolkien is your stereotypical swords and horses fantasy, yeah? [yawn]


Here’s why:

Okay, so – swords and horses DO feature prominently, but I kind of hate fantasy that doesn’t have one or the other. What is the point?  Swords?  Good!  Horses?  Good!  Swords AND horses?  GOOOOOOD!

However, Tolkien is way more than the slash and hack you’re probably expecting.

1. Epic Fucking Romance – Beren and Lúthien. Poetry and shit. I say this as a woman who is a fan of neither romance nor poetry. Read the Lay of Leithien and tell me you don’t feel ANYTHING and I’ll call you a goddamn liar.

The leaves were long, the grass was green,
The hemlock-umbels tall and fair,
And in the glade a light was seen
Of stars in shadow shimmering.
Tinúviel was dancing there
To music of a pipe unseen,
And light of stars was in her hair,
And in her raiment glimmering.



2.  World Building to End All World Building – Whether you appreciate his work or not, you have to admire that the dude invented more than 20 languages during his lifetime.  MORE THAN TWENTY.  AND MAPS!  Oh, the maps.  Unlike so much of the other fantasy stories you’ll read, Middle-Earth is FULLY FUCKING REALIZED.  He thought of everything.  Everything.  You wanna know what grows on the south slopes of a particular mountain?  There’s an answer for that.  But it somehow manages to not bog everything down, it actually serves to LIFT IT UP.  You could do far worse than being inspired by Tolkien.  I read his work and am filled with joy and sadness in equal measure.  Joy because I get to live in a world where this work exists, and sadness because I know that no matter how good I eventually become, I can’t possibly hope to ever achieve this greatness.

I PORED over this map as a kid.  Yes, I scanned my copy.  What?

I PORED over this map as a kid. Yes, I scanned my copy. What?

3.  Friendship, Friendship, Friendship – Of all the things that piss me off regarding PJ’s fanfic adaptations of these books, the butchering of Samwise Gamgee’s character is perhaps the most egregious.  Everyone should be so lucky to have a friend as steadfast and kind as dear Sam.  He is (in my oh so very humble opinion) the true hero of Lord of the Rings.  But to tell you why would delve into spoiler territory, and I’m trying to convince you to read these, so I won’t tell you now.  I know, I totally suck.  But read it.  You will love him, too.  I promise.  He’s not a bumbling buffoon.  He’s true of heart and spirit, and you’ll close the book with a wistful sigh, wishing you had a Sam in your life.

This doesn't have much to do with anything, but it cracks me up.  [via]

This doesn’t have much to do with anything, but it cracks me up. [via]

4.  Turns of Phrase that Will Make Your Heart Ache – No, srsly.  When re-reading, I frequently have to stop to catch my breath because I read something that was just so breathtakingly beautiful I need a moment to process.  And I’ve read these more times than I can count.  MORE THAN I CAN COUNT.  They still have this impact on me.  Still.  After 25 years and countless readings and knowing certain passages by heart – I still find things that make me weep or grin or fall in love with what I’m reading anew.  You need to get in on this.  You need to.

There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tower high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.

5.  Because I Wrote 20,000+ Words About These Books Last Summer – And I’m pretty sure it’s some of the best writing I’ll ever do.  I want you to read the books and then go back and join in the conversations we had.  Who cares if they’re a year old?  I’m always down to discuss Tolkien, and I know so many other people are, too.

In fact – I think I’m going to read some of it this afternoon, just because.  The other books can wait.

Right in your ear, Peter Jackson. Right. In. Your. Ear.

I know, you guys.  I FUCKING KNOW, okay?  I know I need to stop looking at/reading/scoffing over news of the second (SECOND!) Hobbit movie.  I KNOW!

And yet, it’s totally one of those train wreck scenarios where I just can’t force myself to look away, and I can’t help it if it puts my blood pressure through the roof.  IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN ANYWAY, SO I MIGHT AS WELL BE PREPARED.

Like today.  I know this has been out for a few days, but I haven’t been online all that much and I am WOEFULLY behind on my blog reading so I just saw this earlier tonight.


hobbit-desolation-of-smaug-barrels-sceneAnd my immediate reaction was summed up on twitter.

Because, you guys?  WTF IS THIS SHIT?

No, srsly.

If you read The Hobbit with us last summer (shameless plug), or have EVER read it ON YOUR OWN, you’ll know that this bit of derring-do was an important character moment for Bilbo Baggins.  By helping the dwarves escape the clutches of Lee Pace’s eyebrows Thranduil, Bilbo secured the trust of Thorin and Company.  NOT JUST because they escaped, but because he MADE SURE that they were all secure in their little barrel boats before braving the rapids without any sort of protection.


What do we have here?

Well, initially we have this:


Susie is the best. She made this for me and I <3 her for it.

Because isn’t that what it looks like?

Someone (*cough*PeterJackson*cough*) just DROPPED A FUCKING THEME PARK IN THE MIDDLE OF MIDDLE-EARTH?!

Because it’s not enough that we’re bringing DEAD ORCS BACK TO LIFE, we have to add MOAR ACTION by making this some weird battle scene.


Allow me to draw your attention here:


There is ZERO REASON for these arrows to be in these motherfucking barrels.  UNLESS there is some sort of ESCAPE BATTLE with the elves of Mirkwood.

Which, let’s ignore the fact that it doesn’t even fit with the (RIDICULOUS) already established LotR!Film canon.  LET’S JUST TALK ABOUT HOW FUCKING UNNECESSARY THIS WHOLE THING IS.



What did I ever do to you?

And yet, with everything else that bothers me about this ONE SHOT, the thing I find most difficult to bear?

Look, Ma!  NO HANDS!

Look, Ma! NO HANDS!

If you’ll excuse me, I’ll just go cry myself to sleep.

Why Do You Hate Me, Peter Jackson?

You’ve seen this, right?

I got all worked up about it while my kids were having their snacks, so I couldn’t type out my frustration.  Probably a good thing, too – since I might have ruined my keyboard.

Here are my ranty notes:

Rant 1

Rant 2