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29 December 2015 @ 11:23 pm
I finally watched the Hobbit!  
Today, softlykarou, drydem, and his wife sat down and watched the Tolkien Editor recut of the Hobbit movies into a single movie. I hadn't seen any of the Hobbit movies before now. I don't usually see movies for a variety of reasons, and while this has been on my computer for a while I haven't previously made the time to watch it, because it's four and a half hours long. But I have two weeks off over New Year's, so why not?

And it was good! A lot of the complaints I've heard about the Hobbit movies--that the action scenes go on for too long, that there are too many extraneous plot threads, that there are too many stupid plot threads--didn't really apply to this version. Though even here, I felt that some of the action scenes went on a little too long. I probably would have cut the last battle out almost entirely. Just fade to black when Bilbo gets knocked out and start again when he wakes up. You know, like the book. And I'd have cut out the reappearance of the goblin king and most of the escape from the mines, as well as the stone giants fighting each other. But those are minor quibbles, and probably just because I have a slight headache from watching four and a half hours of movie. It's a way better length than the nine hours the uncut version runs.

One thing drydem noticed is that the groups here are basically Warhammer factions in a classic case of the children influencing the parents. The dwarves fight well in groups, have Scottish accents for no adequately-explained reason (if we're going from the source material, they should have Eastern European accents), are incredibly stubborn, and bear grudges forever, though Tolkien did write, "No friend ever did a Dwarf a favor, and no enemy a wrong, without being repaid in full," so. The elves are condescending assholes to everyone, are inhumanly skilled ninjas who can shoot an orc in the eye from thirty paces away while backflipping between arm-thin tree branches (thankfully cut in this version), are always pretty and never get dirty, and are Better Than You. Humans are dirty, corruptable, greedy, and good with improvised weapons, but have individual members who can show striking courage and strength of spirit. And orcs wear skulls on their groins.

It's hard for me to offer too much criticism because I haven't seen the original, but I thought this was a good movie on its own merits. There were some minor bits of continuity that only make sense in the context of the original--for example, Kili's wound just gets healed because Tauriel has one line and a couple brief shots in the boat at Laketown, and Smaug burst out of Erebor with a mysterious coat of gold because the gold-surfing is cut--but it's much better than having to sit through the original scenes, which I thought were silly even in the brief shots I've seen of them on YouTube.

So yeah, I recommend it!
Current Mood: happy
Current Music: Clamavi De Profundis - Far Over the Misty Mountains Cold (Extended Cover)
marianlhmarianlh on January 3rd, 2016 06:59 am (UTC)
I'll have to check that edit out. I was increasingly disappointed with each installment of the Hobbit trilogy.
dorchadasdorchadas on January 3rd, 2016 04:11 pm (UTC)
If 4.5 hours still seems too long, after we watched it I was made aware of There and Back Again: A Hobbit's Cut, which is three hours and cuts even more stuff that was added. But I haven't seen that one and can't personally recommend it.
marianlhmarianlh on January 3rd, 2016 07:42 pm (UTC)
I'm actually fine with long movies if they use the time well. Which ten minutes of running through caverns whacking goblins on the way is not an example of =P
dorchadasdorchadas on January 4th, 2016 02:47 am (UTC)
The Tolkien Editor cut has three or four minutes of it, and even that I thought was pushing it. I boggled when drydem told me it was three times as long in the theatrical version.  photo emot-stare.gif