I was recently subjected to the latest installment of the Hobbit movie franchise by an individual who shall remain nameless, as I’m pretty sure they could be tried in court for this sort of thing (Liz!). Needless to say, I was not a fan of the film. Watching the first bits of The Desolation of Smaug, it seemed like the studio decided to spit on the concept, but a little over a third of the way in, it became clear that they’d simply lost half the pages in the novel and decided to make a bunch of things up rather than get themselves a fresh copy. I mean, who can blame them? Making awful film adapations of wonderful novels is a busy lifestyle, I’m sure.

Okay, so I’m being a little hyperbolic. The movie wasn’t really an atrocity if you take it as its own thing. Trumped up Hollywood crap certainly makes up a good portion of the film and quite bit of it seems to just be taken from someone’s fan fiction journal, but there are glimmers of the original writing in it and those moments are quite nice. Still, it’s a difficult thing to see a story you care quite a bit about mucked about with in such a way, especially when so many of the changes are utterly unnecessary. The scene mentioned in today’s strip, where the dwarves are headed down the river in their barrels, definitely springs to mind. All the bits with that one dwarf and the lady guard of the elves were also extremely goofy. Oh, and about 80% of those scenes with the CGI orcs…

I guess there was rather a lot I found unnecessary.

The pacing in the movie was probably the most awkward thing about it. The film’s creators seemed to rush through everything that was actually in the book and linger on all the unnecessary crap they decided to add to it. What was the deal with that?

All that said, Ian McKellan’s Gandalf was absolutely amazing, as usual, and was the only thing that made parts of the movie watchable. Most scenes only provoked an irritated buzzing in my brain that simply wouldn’t quit, a buzzing that was reduced noticeably whenever McKellan had some interesting bit of acting to do, thankfully. It was almost as if his presence anchored the movie. When the fellow disappeared, they suddenly found themselves with footage full of Legolas leaping around like a goddamn parkour champion while he kills orcs that were never supposed to be there in the first place.

Anyway, this blog turned into a bit of a rant and I apologize for that. Quite a lot of people seemed to enjoy the film so I’m probably in the minority but as a fan of the original work, it is difficult for me to keep quiet about it. The Hobbit, as many of you know, was one of the first books I ever read and was certainly the first novel I ever read and one that I’ve returned to many times. While it’s not a perfect story, it is a wonderful work with a lot of character and a lot of charm, one that really doesn’t need a lot of embellishment to make a good and exciting film.

There will be another comic on Friday, I’ve already got one written so prepare yourselves! We will be returning to the mythology well, as we should!