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Peter Jackson’s version of The Hobbit, or True Confessions

Where Teresa once more says what she really thinks while risking the wrath of fandom everywhere, but for what it is worth …

I’m just not that into Peter Jackson as a filmmaker, and after some of the early reviews of Jackson’s version of The Hobbit, I’m even less into his work. It’s not that Jackson is incompetent as a director or filmmaker. Quite the opposite, his films are high on technique and innovation, which is what these early reviews extol. Kudos are given to 48 frames per second, but the story is described as bloated and “stretched thin.”

Don’t get me wrong. When Jackson brought The Lord of the Rings to film, I loved it, I really did. He shot some very poignant, lovely scenes that I still remember, and he spoon-fed the story to me so that my brain wasn’t cramping about genealogies and impossible-to-pronounce names. Even so, when I watched The Lord of the Rings, I realized that story was secondary to technique for Jackson. The emphasis was on the beauty of the settings, and not just with hobbits and elves, even the darker scenes with the orcs and Sauron were stylistically appealing.

And therein lies my particular difficulty with Jackson’s work—he is all about technique and The Hobbit, out of all of Tolkien’s works, is all about story. That was why I was so crushed to see Guillermo del Toro leave the project. Del Toro has an intimate grasp of story-structure and knows how to weave technique and story to bring a visually stunning and coherent piece of work to the screen.

Whereas Jackson brings us a lot of pretty eye candy, which can be nice, but like all sugary things, tends to rot the brain. Jackson is innovative in his art and I know he’ll bring new things to the films that he’s created; however, flash and glamor and 48 frames per second isn’t why I watch movies. I’m there for the story.

And while we’re into heresies, I’m just not that into Tolkien either.


I said it.

The Fellowship of the Ring held my attention, The Two Towers sent me into a coma, and I skipped the first two-thirds of The Return of the King just so I could get to the end. Out of all of his novels, I loved The Hobbit the best, primarily because it was so unpretentious. The themes were simple, and as I became older and developed a better understanding of what led Tolkien to write The Hobbit, I loved the story even more.

Hence, I’ll be skipping The Hobbit, and The Hobbit II, and The Hobbit III ... The Hobbit XX ... The Hobbit LXXXI ...

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Reader Comments (3)

Yeah, Jackson is not a film demigod (c.f. King Kong)
Gasp! Teresa! How could you! Traitor! Your treason....

Aw, I just don't have it in me. To be honest, I've only ever read The Hobbit, because the rest of his books put me to sleep as well. They're not my cup of tea, so I guess you and I can hang out at the punch bowl while all the other fantasy fans at the party get together for their Tolkien/Jackson lovefest. We'll talk about some other cool book or movie.
December 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMy Awful Reviews
You're dead on with that one, Paul.

Oh, how awesome that I'll not have to endure the sulk alone, My Awful Reviews! ;-)

I'll be watching the del Toro flicks myself. I can't wait to hear about your favorites.
December 7, 2012 | Registered CommenterT. Frohock
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