Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Quentin's Review of The Hobbit

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Failure

By Quentin Walsh

I went to see The Hobbit with my family last weekend. That means my three brothers and Travis, plus Jason’s boyfriend Jake and my girlfriend Dakota.  With popcorn and drinks, it costs us well over $100.  But it’s worth it most of the time, because we love watching movies together. And it’s not like I’m footing the bill. Thanks, Ben.

We saw Lincoln a couple of weeks ago, and it was pretty much a master class in acting. What is it about Daniel Day Lewis that allows him to do that? I’m a big fan of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, don’t get me wrong, but in their scenes together as father and son, I could see Gordon-Levitt acting next to a guy who I actually thought was Abraham Lincoln. In fact, that was my biggest problem with the film. It seemed like Abraham Lincoln wandered onto the set of a movie about Abraham Lincoln. Oh, look, there’s James Spader and Sally Field and...Abraham Lincoln. Daniel Day Lewis’s mastery of naturalism made his American co-stars look theatrical by comparison. Put Sally Field in a period dress and she’s going to overact. She just can’t help herself. Why do actors think it’s a good idea to sit down on the floor in the middle of a scene? I've never understood that.

So then last Saturday we went to see The Hobbit. Why not, right? We liked the books; we liked the first three movies, extended cuts and all. What could go wrong? It’s sad, really. Because it all comes down to one word: greed. That’s what went wrong. This is not a film. This is one third of a film. And it is one third of a film that should never have been split into three parts. The Hobbit is a simple story. There and back again. That’s it. The little dude goes on an adventure, slays the dragon, and then heads home.  What can I say about the first two hours and forty-six minutes, during which he doesn't even get there? Forget about back again. When we leave our fellowship at the end of this movie, Bilbo hasn't even met the dragon yet. Jesus, are you kidding me? I wanted to throw my moronic 3D glasses at the IMAX screen. There was only one part I noticed in 3D, btw, and that was the subtitles. I’m not even getting into the whole 48fps thing.

Sure, there were parts I liked. I enjoyed seeing Elijah Wood as Frodo again. I’m glad they didn't treat the Dwarfs like Munchkins (they came off more like Klingons, actually). Martin Freeman was perfect as Bilbo, and I liked watching him become a hobbit of courage. But I still think the Elves are kind of cheesy and they light Galadriel like she’s Cher. And if you think I’m too young to know who Cher is, then you must have forgotten I’m surrounded by gay guys every day of my life.

And I also fell asleep during the movie. Twice.

Here’s a challenge for you, Peter Jackson. After the next two bloated films come out, why don’t you put them together and do some editing? Forge them into one great film that clocks in at less than three hours long. Honestly, we don’t need an extended version of this. Really, we don’t.

There and back again. Say it with me, Pete. There and back again.


  1. I thought Daniel Day Lewis was fabulous as Lincoln, but I enjoy watching the actors that are more theatrical because that style of acting is much more entertaining. If it weren't for the fact that DDL was bringing back to life a larger than life historical figure the performance would have been fairly dull. It was the theatrics of the actors around him that allowed Day Lewis to tone his performance back to such a natural degree. If all the actors had worked that way the film would have been like watching paint dry.

  2. And that is why I don't want to see The Hobbit. Yup, there and back again.