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Dear Mr. Jackson,
I am writing to inform you that you have sufficiently proven yourself to be a gigantic turd and my left nut is now available. Really, quite dry...

You have embellished single line references into whole scenes, acts and subplots in your most recent film. Yes give Spike Jonze a run for his money; who turned a 48 page children's book into an 104 minute pile of garbage [I need a mathematician to verify the word to minute ratio but Jackson's additions probably contend with "Where the Wild Things Are"]

Yes for those who are still wondering what this post is about, it is my snarky rant against the Hobbit. I know it is a bit like telling people not to vote for Romney in late December but it has just starting burning up inside me such that I have no other option but to spray some serious commemorative vitriol all across the blogosphere.

OK, it was a well made movie, cinematographically, I'll give it that. And it's hard to fully hate anything that Ian McKellen is in. However it made a serious attempt to butcher one of the greatest fantasy children's books of all time. Perhaps the greatest. Before you go crying foul for a number of reasons hear my arguments from a life long Tolkien nerd...


Exhibit 1. Whereas The Return of the King suffered from too many endings, this suffered from too many beginnings. Really? After an egregiously long preamble where you essentially give away some of the juiciest parts of the plot (and show the dragon!) you have to throw Frodo in there for some anachronistic nostalgia moment? I almost walked out. Frodo has NO business in the Hobbit.

2. The dwarves were not wearing their colorful caps! [minor but hey...]

3. At every turn Bilbo was made into some sort of action hero. No, he did not play the central role in saving the dwarves from the troll misadventure. It was Gandalf! Bilbo almost got everyone killed several times over.

4. Radagast the Brown had absolutely NO business being in the Hobbit. He did less to advance the plot then Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars! Less then Ron Jeremy in The Chase! Less then your own damn cameo in the bloody film! This is the line from Chapter 7 "Queer Lodgings" That spawned all the nonsense:

continued Gandalf. "I have heard of you, if you have not heard of me; but perhaps you have heard of my good cousin Radagast who lives near the Southern borders of Mirkwood?"

"Yes; not a bad fellow as wizards go, I believe. I used to see him now and again," said Beorn.

Radagast is mentioned again only few times in LOTR. Through the cryptic nature of his referencing and his mystery he became one of my favorite obscure characters in LOTR. Jackson butchers this character again by turning him into an action hero, who single handedly attacks Dol Guldur [remind me to make Dol Guldur #5]. This totally goes against the little said about Radagast. In LOTR he is described by Gandalf as
"never a traveller, unless driven by great need"
... ahem, WTF? What's more, Radagast [now not only a warrior], becomes somewhat of an idiot with bird droppings dripping down his cheek. Ultimately the whole nonsense is a waste of time. This from a film maker who omitted another small character from LOTR with arguably a much more significant effect on the story, Tom Bombadil. Jackson justified this by saying that Bombadil was omitted because he does little to advance the story, and would make the film unnecessarily long [!]. So why Radagast? There is one and only one reason and I'll get to it at the end...

5. Dul Guldor, along with the council of Elrond and Saurman and everyone else talking about none other then Sauron was totally unwarranted in this story. Jackson has a tiny sliver of justification for this. If you read the LOTR appendices, technically these events are happening concurrently to the story of the Hobbit [and was ostensibly why Gandalf kept vanishing all the time]. However it really does not belong in the Hobbit at all.  

6. OK, so Jackson added, but wait! He also took away? Two of the best lines in the book don't even appear in the movie. "Who are these miserable persons?" Is the first line said by the Great Goblin. And I couldn't believe they changed Gollum's hilarious line, "Is it Scrumptiously Crunchable?”

7. The White Orc. Really? Another one liner turned into a ginormous subplot... He is referred to in a single remark of Gandalf's in The Hobbit:

"Your grandfather Thror was killed, you remember, in the mines of Moria by Azog the Goblin."

8. But what really burns is when Azog comes back to attack at the end of the film. Bilbo [of all people] has to come down from the tree and kill a warg! Seriously? Did Jackson even read this chapter "Out of the Frying Pan into the Fire"? Bilbo would never do that! So now Bilbo is some 12 year old kid's mini-Harry-Potter-fantasy... This is one of the worst things about the movie, how Bilbo goes from accidental adventurer to some sort of vertically challenged Conan the Barbarian. Tolkien is rolling over.

Which leads to the why? Well, it's the $$$, stupid. Three movies make more $ then one. And money seems to be all the gigantic turd named P. Jackson is after. Yes he is a bigger turd then Bono in South Park. A bigger turd then... oh what does it matter...

PS. And while I'm on the subject the Elves did NOT join the Rohirrim at Helms Deep. Harumph. So there.



OK So I ranted now it's your turn. The Hobbit . . .

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Comment Preferences

  •  And you're surprised because... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CanyonWren, OooSillyMe

    as I recall LOTR suffered from endless action sequences not in the book, a totally hoked-up Aragorn, a too-young Theoden, MANY omissions...
    The sets and Gollum were pretty good.

    •  I didn't mind the Theoden too much (6+ / 0-)

      but I was totally pissed at what Jackson did to Merry and Pippin -- made them more accidental travelers than intentional companions. I also didn't like the way he treated Elrond or Aragorn's characters -- everyone seemed way too hesitant to fight. And Faramir taking the hobbits to Osgiliath and almost falling under the temptation of the Ring? It was his ability to resist the Ring that set him apart from his brother.

      On the plus side, I loved Sam's character...and Sean Astin got totally robbed when he wasn't even nominated for Best Supporting Actor. And yes, Gollum was outstanding.

      Haven't seen The Hobbit yet; hoping to catch it next week.

      There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by Cali Scribe on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 12:56:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Beyond the gross imagery of sucking... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    markthshark, northsylvania

    there was a lot in The Hobbit to roll one's eyes at, but in general it was entertaining.  My husband and I are having a hard time figuring how three movies will be made...unless they get more and more ridiculous and made up.  I agree about Radagrast...he had no place in The Hobbit.

    Republicans...What a nice club...of liars, cheaters, adulterers, exaggerators, hypocrites and ignoramuses. Der Spiegel -6.62, -6.92

    by CanyonWren on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:13:26 PM PST

    •  Exactly my thoughts... (0+ / 0-)
      My husband and I are having a hard time figuring how three movies will be made
      I think at least one of the two planned Hobbit sequels could have been eliminated completely if Jackson would have made The Hobbit as a prequel to The Lord of the Rings -- the way in which it was intended -- instead of the other way around.

      And, Radagrast had no business in the Hobbit in the same way the character, Arwen Evenstar should have only been a cameo role in Lord of the Rings as opposed to one of the main characters.

      I mean poetic license is one thing but...

      "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

      by markthshark on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:42:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They are including material Tolkien wrote (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Allen

        in the massive appendix to Return of the King, and also Unfinished Tales. All of the off screen Council of the Wise material detailed by Tolkien, but not included in the Hobbit ( it was a children's book) will be included. Also many scenes are being adapted to make them work on screen, which means changing them or adding to them.

    •  Tra-la-la (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sixeight120bpm, entrelac

      in the valley...?

      It's about time I changed my signature.

      by Khun David on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 12:14:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  As a huge fan, I'll tell you why Jackson is... (13+ / 0-)

    ...cramming in as much of the extra material as possible:

    Because they're NEVER gonna let him make The Silmarillion.

    I don't care if The Hobbit movies make another $3 billion, or $5 billion or $50 billion; The Silmarillion is not gonna happen. Nor are any of the other supplementary works.

    In addition, let's face it, Ian McKellen and Christopher Lee aren't gonna be with us too much longer.

    Jackson knows that the Hobbit movies are the last chance to see the world of Middle Earth done up on the big screen, so I think he's trying to include as much of it as possible.

    Not saying that it's the right call, but I think that's his thought process.

    •  Not making The Silmarillion (7+ / 0-)

      is probably the greatest gift to filmdom that was ever given to filmdom.

      Look: I was a huge LOTR geek in high school.  When Silmarillion came out, I got a copy for Christmas.

      Un-fucking-readable.  One of the worst pieces of fiction -- I mean, it makes James Joyce's Ulysses look like light reading.

      Molly Bloom's soliloquy is simplicity itself compared to the Silmarillion.

      (Now I"m gonna go hide from the donuts, lol.)

      Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

      by Youffraita on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:24:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He could do (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Farmer Giles of Ham as a children's movie. That would be funny. Silmarillion? Meh.

        "We are monkeys with money and guns". Tom Waits

        by northsylvania on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 03:49:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  to be fair (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        IreGyre, James Allen

        the silmarillion was a hodgepodge of writing notes that someone managing the estate cobbled together and completed after tolkien's death.

        Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

        by Cedwyn on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 08:19:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  We might have to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        fight to the pain our hands tied together, battling with extremely tiny knives while listening to Michael Jackson's "Beat it" over that assessment.

        Of course, I considered Gregory of Tours History of the Franks only a moderately boring read, so I might be biased.

        Tolkien was going for an old testament feel to his work, he got it, even if it wasn't maybe the best choice for fiction. I know why, but still.

        But worst pieces of fiction? Have you ever read anything by Ann Rice after the 1st two of her vampire books?

    •  Having said that, I'll also say that... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...Aside from the unnecessary and over-long prologue, I loved it. I do agree that 3 movies seems to be stretching it, especially if all 3 turn out to be almost-3-hour-epics like the LotR films.

      When I heard he was going with 3 films, I figured that they would be "standard" 2-hour lengths each.

      Actually, you know what it felt like to me? You know how when LotR was released on DVD, it included the "extended versions" of each? Well, Unexpected Journey felt like they accidentally screened the DVD Extended Version instead of the theatrical version. Not bad, just oddly overlong.

  •  ROFL (4+ / 0-)

    Great rant!  Haven't seen the movie, don't intend to.

    But your rant really did make me LOL a Thank You.

    Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

    by Youffraita on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:17:51 PM PST

  •  Do they have Old Tom? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Old Tom sat on a seat of stone
    and munched and mumbled a bare old bone
    for many a year he gnawed it near
    for meat was hard to come by
    dum by
    gum by
    for many  ayear he gnawed it near
    for meat was hard to come by...
    That's not exactly right, but I remember me and my sister memorizing that when I was as teen.
  •  He totally fucked up King Kong. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    King Kong got maybe 5 1/2 minutes in what seemed like a 6-hour movie featuring a whole fucking CGI zoo of other animals.

    Boehner Just Wants Wife To Listen, Not Come Up With Alternative Debt-Reduction Ideas

    by dov12348 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:30:22 PM PST

  •  Neither. Fry is wrong either way. (8+ / 0-)

    The Hobbit didn't suck, despite some minor fanboi QQ that was surprisingly quieter than I expected when it was released.

    And no one was asleep, except maybe the diarist, because everyone who cares has already seen it and is waiting for the blu-ray release in March.

    My single complaint was they didn't do all the riddles. Wtf I'm there for 3 hours already just put all the damn riddles in, you missed like one.

    Diarist, no one wants to suck your nut, left or right. That's just gross.

    Are you also pitching a fit about JJ's Star Trek and will you also pitch a fit at JJ's Star Wars? And quite possibly JJ's Portal/Half Life? Just wondering.

  •  I thought it was terribly entertaining (4+ / 0-)

    I haven't read the book since I was 12, and don't particularly care if its the same.

    ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

    by James Allen on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:43:09 PM PST

  •  don't care for the imagery, to tell you the truth (0+ / 0-)
  •  I guess you didn't like it then. (5+ / 0-)

    My daughter loved it, and while I feel that three movies may be stretching it a bit, anyone who can keep Natalie sitting still for three hours must be doing something right :)

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    Who is twigg?

    by twigg on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:06:17 PM PST

  •  My mum (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wonderful world, Cedwyn

    imported both the Hobbit and LOTR from William George's bookshop in Bristol years before the books were released in the States. The Hobbit was one of the first books I read by myself during a horrible case of the mumps. I loved it, eventually loaned it out to my friends and they loved it, etc. etc.
    However, despite my own son's liking for the Narnia stories  and Terry Pratchett, he found the Hobbit boring. I will give Jackson the benefit of the doubt and suspect that he knows his audience. Myself, I'll probably just go reread the book for the umpteenth time.

    "We are monkeys with money and guns". Tom Waits

    by northsylvania on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 03:59:42 AM PST

  •  I just watched it last night, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wonderful world, Cedwyn

    and after a few minutes, I  accepted the fact that I was not really watching "The Hobbit", but rather,  just another Peter Jackson fantasy movie.

    "I was so easy to defeat, I was so easy to control, I didn't even know there was a war." -9.75, -8.41

    by RonV on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 04:33:32 AM PST

  •  Films are completely different animals than books (4+ / 0-)

    The book need be no more than a general suggestion of the film.

    "Heart of Darkness" and "Apocalypse Now" differ far more than do the book and film of "The Hobbit". Yet they are both great works. Ditto both King's and Kubrick's "The Shining". And McCarthy's and the Coens' "No Country For Old Men".

    People who can't handle vast differences from a beloved book just shouldn't see the film version.

    •  I'v never been able to figure out... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      why people would WANT the movie and the book to be the same. I mean, if you'v already read the book, then what does watching a movie that is simply a word for picture remake add?

      Never mind that it'll never be possible to have a movie accurately portray everything that happens in any book of any length or depth. The Hobbit is something new, however. Instead of cutting for time, Jackson is expanding and filling with additional content in the world. I haven't seen it yet, but I'm going to give it the benefit of the doubt until I do.

      As a fan of long form speculative fiction, I gave up long ago on getting good film adaptions of my beloved books. The films can only appreciated on their own merits, comparing them to the books that inspired them can only tarnish one's impression of the film.

      "There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible." -Henry Ford

      by sixeight120bpm on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 06:42:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  the shining is a great example (0+ / 0-)

      the Kubrick version is very different than the book, and a lot scarier with fantastic visuals. Stephen King never liked it, too attached to his own work to appreciate it. So years later he authorized a terrible TV movie that followed the book very precisely. It was a snooze fest.

  •  It is what it is... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brainwrap, James Allen

    and so is the book.

    Though I can argue all day about the 'mistakes' Jackson made, I can also acknowledge that he has taken his vision farther than most, more successfully than most -- and certainly beats the heck out of the cartoon version.

    Maybe in the future someone else will make a 'better' LOTR and/or Hobbit. But it also won't 'the book' no matter how closely they stick to the story or what details they put in or leave out.

    A weapon that is also a treasure is certain to be used.

    by wonderful world on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 05:57:37 AM PST

  •  I actually haven't seen it because (0+ / 0-)

    I had a feeling it was going to be just like what you're saying. How on earth do you turn The Hobbit into a trilogy, other than with massive amounts of padding?

    Please visit:

    by Noisy Democrat on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 06:50:27 AM PST

  •  I enjoyed it (0+ / 0-)

    the first third is too long, and that part follows the book the closest; but the rest, where he tried to make an actual movie, is a lot more fun.

  •  Wow... I havent seen QQ like this (0+ / 0-)

    outside of a World of Warcraft forum or youtube comments.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 08:01:29 AM PST

  •  The Silmarillion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I thought the added stuff in the Hobbit was a nod to the Silmarillion, which could never hold together in a movie.

    Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

    by lostboyjim on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:10:18 AM PST

  •  Someone get that man (Jackson) an editor (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Stone giants got a couple sentences in the book.

    "When he peeped out in the lightning-flashes, he saw that across the valley the stone-giants were out, and were hurling rocks at one another for a game, and catching them, and tossing them down into the darkness where they smashed among the trees far below, or splintered into little bits with a bang"

    There's also Gandalf mentioning he'll get a decent giant to plug up the goblin hole, and a scene where Thorin and Gandalf worry a bit about the giants. So the giants were real creatures. However, the movie couldn't just settle for a quick atmospheric distance shot. We got an unnecessary CGI-overload action sequence, with none of the heroes receiving any injury from their long tumbles on to jagged rocks, or from the massive boulder fragments flying everywhere.

    Action-overload continues in the dwarves-escape-goblin-king sequence, where the well-armed dwarves (in the book, the dwarves, being dirt-poor, had no weapons at all, aside from Orcrist and some little knives) easily roll over dozens of hapless orcs, as they then run through an obstacle course of the patented "we don't need no stinkin' railings" extra-fragile goblin construction type, which looks designed to be featured in an upcoming video game. They end that chase by falling a few hundred feet, again ending up completely unharmed.

    There's stretching believability a bit, and then there's busting it wide open. That stuff and a lot more was padding for a movie that had no need to be padded out to 2:50.

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