“Why is he splitting them up?”
“Why are they so long?”
“Why must he take something we love and ruin it?”
No these are not reviews for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. They were the assumed reaction of the tens of people who read Part 1 of my 2012 wrap up; where I dissected the year of Channing Tatum, had two Lincolns square off, and looked at one of the two live action Snow White adaptations. Part 2 will start with…
2 Films, 20 Dwarfs
Snow White and the Huntsman featured Chris Hemsworth as a hunter whose prey is apparently trees since his weapon of choice is an axe, and Kristen Stewart as a Snow White who went to the distinguished school of parted lip acting. There’s a love triangle that nobody cares about – and I’m not talking about director Rupert Sanders, K. Stew, and R. Patt – and Charlize Theron acting with as much subtly as a nuclear explosion. The dwarfs were entertaining but tragically underused.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was what I expected. It’s similar to The Lord of the Rings trilogy in a lot of ways but is not as good as any of them. Where we came to know and love every character in that series we only really get to know Bilbo, Gandalf, and Thorin in this. Meanwhile there are a mess of other dwarfs that are only distinguishable by variations of hair above the neck, and sometimes that doesn’t even do enough to make them stand out. Did it need to be a trilogy? No. Is the book being dragged through the mud? More like dropped in a puddle before quickly being grabbed and dried off quickly. As long as fans of The Lord of the Rings series don’t go into it expecting it to be world shattering they should enjoy themselves. I should mention I didn’t see it in 48fps but I heard mostly negative things about it.
And the Winner Is: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - even though Peter Jackson obviously thinks “dues ex machina” is Latin for giant eagles.
I’ve been a fan of the Alien film series since my first encounter of catching glimpses of Jim Cameron‘s sequel. Between finger-shielded eyes, transfixed from across the room, I was likely much too young to be watching these scary, vicious creatures on VHS. In the years to come, I’d find their genesis in Ridley Scott‘s original, Alien, and then eagerly anticipating the opening nights of Alien³ and Alien Resurrection. Even the Alien vs. Predator comic-fan mash-up detours have claimed their running times from my life. To this day, I’m a dedicated fan. I’m writing this review wearing a Weyland-Yutani t-shirt. I’ve poured through hours of commentaries and behind the scenes features; from the Special Edition Laserdisc, to the DVD Quadrilogy, and the latest Blu-ray Anthology.
The common thread through it all has been the horrific H.R. Giger creature design and its environments – from my impressionable young age to adulthood – striking me as beautiful and intricate as they are the origins of nightmares. As dedicated as ever, Scott’s love of visual storytelling in cinema bring these ghastly, yet gorgeous visions to our sight once again in Prometheus - but probably not in the way you’d expect.