Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I Fell Asleep During The "The Hobbit"


It was about 45 minutes in and I just couldn't keep my eyes open any longer. This wasn't at a midnight showing, but in the afternoon, so that wasn't the reason. The reason was that what started off as fun and engaging turned in to slow and a little boring. (Spoiler Free)


The idea that a movie full of dwarves and elves and dragons and orcs and spiders and swords could be boring seems completely impossible. A movie with all of those things should be exciting! It should be one where you desperately try not to take a bathroom break because you know, just know, you're going to miss something amazing.

I read the book so long ago that the details had faded from my memory and I thought about reading it again before the film. I decided that I didn't want to read it, not until I'd seen at least the first movie, because I wanted to be a little surprised.

As scenes from the book played out in front of me I had those wonderful "Oh, yeah!" moments when I remembered pieces of the story that I'd completely forgotten. Those moments were great, but they were connected with long, meandering scenes that did nothing to advance the story or engage me as a viewer.


I know a lot of people like the vast, expansive world that Tolkien created and want to see every last detail of it rendered on the big screen. I am not one of those people. I appreciated the beauty and epic scale of the movie, but no matter how pretty it all is, in the end what I want is a story.

Part of the problem was that this very short book has been turned into three very long films. If you're not even telling a whole story beginning to end, and you've got nearly three hours of time to fill, there are going to be some slow spots. Unfortunately, there were just too many.

I loved the Dwarves. They were just as fun and goofy and oddly lovable as they were in the book. They were perfection. The first scenes where they meet Bilbo were the best parts of the whole film. I could watch those bits over and over, and just forget the rest.

I know, I know, there was some cool stuff in the book that, if you haven't seen the movie yet, you just can't imagine wouldn't be awesome to see in a movie. You're right. But that was part of the problem.


It was all awesome to see. It was pretty. It was sweeping. It was epic. It was grand and impressive and there were moments when the look of it all took your breath away. But what about the story? The story did not take my breath away.

It was drawn out, unnecessarily, to the point that not only did I miss nothing during my bathroom break, but even a brief nap had me waking up and wondering, "Is this over yet?"

Two more movies. Yes, I'll see them and I hope that I'll love them, but this first makes me think I might want to bring a pillow and a blanket, just in case.

21 comments:

  1. I couldn't disagree with you more! I saw this last night and when it ended, I could've sat there for another 3 hours to see the movie unfold more.

    I do agree there were a few slow parts and I wish they hadn't stretched it to 3 movies (2 I could understand, but 3?), but the entire scene with the Goblin King was great. The battle on the edge of the cliff had me going. And it's worth the entire 9 hours of this entire trilogy just to see the entire Gollum scene!!! (Despite them changing the way one of the riddles was handled)

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    1. I know people loved it, I know! I wanted to be one of those people, but it was just too slow. It was the pace of it all. Individually there were great moments, but altogether it just fell flat for me.

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  2. Well this generally happens to tards that go to midnight showings...just saying.

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    1. What about people with limited vocabularies who don't even read the second sentence?

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    2. Limited vocabularies? Mmm. You're being kind. I'm thinking "too lazy to put the two requisite letters before a socially inappropriate slur that is still recognizable and says far more about the initial poster's intelligence and ethos than his lack of reading diligence." Plus, he forgot the comma between "well" and "this."

      Sorry - that last part was jut plain mean. ;-)

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  3. Thanks for no spoilers! I have a better idea what to expect, and what my partner will do (I'll bring a pillow - she also fell asleep in the last LOTR movie)

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  4. @Jason, you didn't even read the article did you? First paragraph "This wasn't at a midnight showing, but in the afternoon, so that wasn't the reason."

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    1. He was too sleepy from the midnight showing he attended to read the whole post ;)

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  5. I was quite meh on the film. I loved the dwarves, and a few fighting scenes were pretty cool, but I couldn't get past the changes made to the story. I'm not talking about the additional stuff with the Necromancer either. I'm talking about the way they changed the riddle and the ring scenes, the trolls, the escape from the goblins, and more. I wasn't blown away by this film, I was up and down as was the story.

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    1. I know a lot of people were upset with the changes, but where it'd been awhile since I'd read the book, they didn't throw me as much. The changes were pretty big, though, and it was a definite drawback for many.

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  6. Sorry, I agree with the post here. I wasn't blown away this. Enough of the helicopter shots Peter, we get, it is grand and they walk through a lot of beautiful scenery.

    What I really couldn't get past was the changes to original story. I'm not talking about the added bits about the Necromancer either. I'm talking about changes to the riddle and the ring scenes, the trolls, the escape from the goblins, too much that was changed for reasons I can't understand.

    I loved some parts of the movie, but I was bored almost comatose by others. Maybe it's me, I've read everything Tolkien ever wrote and then some, maybe my hopes were to high

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  7. Learn to read. She went to an afternoon showing. Just saying.

    Fans deserved better than this bloated moneygrab. The Hobbit is around 300 pages while LOTR is closer to 1200. In the book, Bilbo is pretty timid until the end. In the first movie which is about 50 pages of the book, Bilbo is a hero.

    When you make a movie from a book you usually have to pare down the content which is good because the mediums are so different. That helped LOTR because Jackson had many choices where to take the story. In the 1st Hobbit, Jackson had to make up things as Bilbo's fear wasn't enough of an antagonist.

    I will watch the next 2 because that's what fans do but the Hollywood needs to realize take a hint from the Detroit auto companies that got into trouble when they put making money over the quality of the product. Once a viable alternative is available we won't forget.

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    1. Exactly! Usually you go into a book-based movie hoping your favorite parts won't be cut, not wondering what other stuff they've added. I think, for superfans, this might be a good movie because it just gives more of the same. More of the universe, the characters, and even new stuff. For the rest of us, it just feels off. Especially three films on this one small book. Why? Unless it's in hopes of accumulating more gold than Smaug?

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  8. I'd have to disagree Nicole. The Hobbit was the first fantasy novel I ever read and would suck me into a 16 year and counting relationship with fantasy and scifi epics that would include but not be limited to the lord of the rings (of course), the dragonlance chronicles, the wheel of time, a song of ice and fire, Dune, etc. Unlike the above epics (though i think most deserve it) the hobbit is commonly referred to as "literature" and is hailed as a classic by not only fantasyphiles but real literature authorities. The next comparable example is Harry Potter who may not have been possible without Tolkien's work.

    While the pace of the first movie was deliberate I have to salute the approach taken in the filming. It is important that the Hobbit is done justice. Perhaps it would be more enjoyable if the book were fresh in your mind. Seeing the dwarves invade bag end and bilbos encounters with the trolls and Gollum brought the book alive in vivid "liemax" color. I am dubious as to how he plans to make two more movies, I thought the pacing was excellent for there to be a sequel that would tie this up next year. Going down this line of thought perhaps it is this knowledge that gave you a preconcieved notion going into the film. Anyways, great work Nicole keep up the great work.
    -Art

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  9. Hey Art,
    I am going to go back and read the book again before I see the next two films. I wanted the surprises to be surprises and not really know what was coming in this one, which was part of why I held off a bit.

    It was actually fun to see it unfold and remember what was about to happen, and as usual, Jackson did a fabulous job of pulling the images right out of my head and making them real. Still, this was too slowly paced.

    We've seen three movies in this world. We know how beautiful it is, and it's great to see it again, but it seemed as though he was filming as though it was all new when it's not. Sweeping vistas are pretty, to a point, but they just don't add to the film anymore. They're the same old same old and not entertaining.

    I am very nervous about the next two, but wonder, hope really, that the pace will suddenly pick up as things get to the end. It really could go either way.

    Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!
    Nicole

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  10. I am a huge fan of the hobbit book. But am every skeptical about the movie. Jackson was suppose to make this movie in 1 shot. Then he turned it into 2 movies. Finally we have 3. The reason he did this was because he thought the characters needed more background. For me he is trying to make LOTR trilogy all over again. I don't think he will get that success with this. But we shall see.

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  11. Glad to see that I'm not the only one who came away a bit nonplussed. I was truly looking forward to this, and quite vocally at that - to the point that my seven year old son has been wandering about the house singing his own version of the Misty Mountain song - and found myself scratching my head a bit at parts.

    I understand the additions to the plot. I don't particularly find them necessary, but they do give Thorin's character a bit of depth and spirit that was missing in the book, and the roots of elf/ dwarf antipathy was ear-perking. The whole "pale orc" bit seemed geared at the target audience young'uns (by this I mean eightteen-to-twentysomethings, not tweens - I'm old!) who may not have read the book - or been passionate about the book - and who are used to more visual action in their film narratives.

    I could have done without the bird poo in Radagast's hair, though. There's such a thing as too much detail, sometimes...

    I didn't exactly fall asleep, but we were at an early show and my husband kept poking me and going, "THAT wasn't in the book, was it?"

    And, in a purely fangirl squeal, Kili is pretty hot for a dwarf. That was some compensation for the less plausible parts, at least. :)

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  12. Phew, i thought i was the odd duck not finding this movie all that interesting.

    Sure New Zealand is pretty and awesome, i liked the dwarves and Martin Freeman did an awesome job as Bilbo. But the movie moved at too slow a pace.

    Also thought the HFR 3d made the film look cheaply made. It was just too clean and hidef for me, like someone forgot to add some filters or something.

    And the escape from goblin town was too goofy for me to enjoy...

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  13. Consider the factor of sensory overload with 48fps:
    http://thehobbitmovieblog.blogspot.com/2012/12/why-48fps-fails.html

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  14. I found the movie was good but had some slow parts. And the way it was filmed gave the impression of a las vegas Theatrical Play. That was my first impression. Then about 45 minutes in the movie i fell asleep and was snoring logs and my friend had to hit me in the arm and tell me im snoring...lol... looking back on it now that must have been hilarious from an outsiders point of view. If they cut out the slow parts it would have been awesome.

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