The Desolation of Smaug, a Comedy of sorts…

… I don’t think Tolkien set out to write a comedy in The Hobbit. I also don’t think Peter Jackson had set out to film a comedy in The Desolation of Smaug. But my word… what an unintentionally hilarious movie it was. It was like Pirates of the Caribbean with Dwarves.

And similar to everything Hollywood touches, the book and movie have very little in common. It was a fun action film, I’ll give it that, but the love triangle between Legolas, a totally made up She-Elf, and Kili was completely pointless and unnecessary. And no one is buying for one single minute that Peter Jackson created the character Tauriel to give the “male-centric” stories of Tolkien “female energy”.

Just be honest; the boys wanted someone pretty to look at.

Personally I’m hoping in the next movie Gandalf will jump a shark tank in a Rhosgobel Rabbit drawn sled. #epic

About Katrina Fernandez

Mackerel Snapping Papist

  • Christie Martin

    Pirates of the Caribbean with giant spiders that MUST DIE! That part was no fun at all.

    • Karen Cain

      To be fair, the spiders were in the book. In fact, when I read The Hobbit as a child that was the scene that squicked me out the most, and rightfully so, as Tolkien did a masterful job of portraying the spiders as the icky, disgusting, evil creatures they are. But I think, after seeing his remake of King Kong, that Peter Jackson is just obsessed with giant, disgusting bugs overall, and spends way too much time in the film on them. Seriously, the scene on Skull Island with the giant bugs eating Andy Serkis nearly did me in.

      The Hobbit Part 2 was overall very disappointing. After a while I was wondering why Jackson just didn’t title his movie “Thorin and Company” because there was very little Hobbit in the film. And why are we mispronouncing Smaug all of a sudden? Ugh.

      • Esther O’Reilly

        Thorin & Company + Extra Elves Killing Things

        • Karen Cain

          My 13 year old said, afterwards, that the movie went like this: “Dwarves, dwarves, WIZARDS, elves, elves, eves, hobbit! Elves, elves, hobbit, dwarves, dwarves, men, DRAGON hobbit DRAGON.

  • http://www.geeklady.wordpress.com/ GeekLady

    In fairness, the elves are one of two places in the book where there are other people to be developed into characters and it made a lot of sense, if they were going to add a character, to add a woman. And no one was going to be happy no matter what external character development he did. If it was a male elf, he’d be scolded for not increasing the X chromosome concentration. If it was a female elf, she’s a token girl character.

    I think it’s just too bad he did such a $#*++¥ job of it. Why does she have to have a romantic subplot pinned on her just cause she’s a girl?

    Also, I understand WHY they brought Legolas back, but wow could have done without. I couldn’t stand Orlando Bloom the first (3) time(s).

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      “Why does she have to have a romantic subplot pinned on her just cause she’s a girl?”

      Exactly. She was such a stereotype… what with her She-fu and Waif-fu. Puh-lease.

  • Esther O’Reilly

    And I thought Part I took liberties. Oy.

  • Fr. Denis Lemieux

    I’m a card-carrying Tolkien geek from earliest childhood. The real ludicrosity in the film is the idea of an Elf-Dwarf romantic tension/triangle. That is so utterly alien to anything in Tolkien’s Middle Earth, I can’t think of anything Jackson could have done to more distance the franchise from Tolkien’s vision. And no, it is nothing the same as the human-Elf pairings that occur elsewhere in the canon. The reasons why would require a small dissertation on the origin and destiny of the various races of Middle Earth, which would probably strain the hospitality of our blog hostess here. But honestly – an elf and a dwarf getting all attracted to each other? Ridiculous.

  • Christine Hebert

    I didn’t waste my movie going money (which isn’t much, frankly) on the first abomination, and I don’t intend to waste any on Smaug. The LOTR movie series was visually breathtaking, but Peter Jackson took so much license that this book purist knew the Hobbit (2 movies for it, really??) would be destroyed by him.

    • Esther O’Reilly

      My dad and I saw movie one in theaters and still had a good time while recognizing its flaws. Movie two, I resolved not to spend a penny on, though the voyeuristic side of me did relent and watch a leaked online copy, just so I could enlarge upon how much of a train wreck it is.

    • Caroline Moreschi

      I don’t mind license – creating a play-by-play of Lord of the Rings would be pretty dull actually, because not all of it translates well to the screen. However, the difference between the LOTR movies and the Hobbit is technical laziness. Jackson relied too heavily on CGI in the Hobbit, and it shows. That’s why it’s so cartoonish.

  • Barbara Fryman

    My husband thinks I’m too uptight about it, but it’s not JUST entertainment, it’s rewriting someone else’s creation. It’s wrong, plains simple, and my kids will not see it until they’ve all read the book.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      It’s fanfic.

      • Esther O’Reilly

        BURN ALL THE FAN-FIC!

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

          I’ll get the matches.

  • Esther O’Reilly

    Also, my heart broke over the totally squandered opportunity of Beorn. Man, that could have been awesome, but they ruined his segment from scene one. And now that they’ve concocted this bizarre antagonism between Legolas and Bolg, I fear we might even be deprived of the cinematic manifestation of that glorious line in the Five Armies battle: “He scattered the bodyguard, and pulled down Bolg himself and crushed him.” Way to slap us in the face Jackson.

    • Karen Cain

      I said going in to the movie that if they didn’t do Beorn right, they’d lose me right there. Well, they lost me. Beorn was one of my favorite parts in the book, and my kids love it when we read that part. They turned Beorn into an emo Klingon. What the what, Peter Jackson?

      • Esther O’Reilly

        I was thinking Wolverine. Worf, Wolverine, whatevs…

  • Jas

    best movie I have ever seen !!! Beorn was the highlight for me, cant be bothered wasting my time reading the book, but can understand why book readers are pissed….bummer..

    • Karen Cain

      Seriously? Beorn was on-screen for maybe five minutes, tops, and was one of the more boring characters Peter Jackson has ever created, and he was the highlight? And it was the best movie you’ve ever seen? I feel sorry for you. You really should try reading the book, it’s a wonderful read.

      • Jas

        yip, seriously I would watch a movie just on Beorn (created by Peter Jackson). Although 5 minutes, in my opinion this character and the look of him was awesome.

    • Esther O’Reilly

      Well, judging by that comment, perhaps it really would take you a long time to read the book. I can understand why you wouldn’t want to block out half a year for that colossal endeavor, I mean srsly 200 pgs? OMG. You do have a life and work after all, assuming you’ve moved out of your parents’ basement of course…

      • Jas

        Actually in the real world I read real books based on real life factual events, these are usually 2000 page history reports…I went to the movie to spend some quality time with my son and we both loved every minute of it , which is why regarding your stupid half-assed attempt of a reply I couldn’t’ stop laughing….

        • Esther O’Reilly

          Well, I’m sorry, but to be honest your incoherent, ranting comments history doesn’t do much to buff up your desired reputation as a literate individual. But given that your area of expertise is indigenous rights activism, perhaps that’s not surprising. If you don’t want to be criticized, don’t use phrases like “cant [sic] be bothered wasting my time” reading an excellent short work of children’s fiction. It makes you look shallow.

          • Jas

            hhmmm….looks like we have a TROLL alert? no where did I mention indigenous rights activism, but I have mentioned that I am an indigenous rights advocate on the flickering Myth discussion in which there is no “Esther O’Reilly.” Apart from your mundane and misconstrued attempt of another feeble reply, it seems (by scrolling down) you have infested this entire discussion. I wont waste my time asking to reveal your self Mr troll because I cant be bothered. Instead I would advise all those in this discussion not to waste their time replying to you !! I read an article that trolls were individual psychotic looser’s who feed off power from human responses by creating intentional arguments. Therefore again I repeat to everybody don’t reply to this looser. Judging by his comment further down below, the troll is probably a male and still lives with his dad. -END.

  • Montague

    I used to hate Peter Jackson with a smoldering hatred, but now it’s more like an exasperated condescension. He makes fine movies, but he just has no idea of medievalism, so he can’t make half-decent adaptions of the books.

    • Esther O’Reilly

      “has no idea of medievalism”

      Perfect summing-up of the core problem with Jackson’s adaptations, even LOTR. Witness the painfully cheap, clunky, off-point realization of Tolkien’s romance between Aragorn and Arwen.

      • Montague

        I think the perfect example of how oblivious he must be to the origin of Tolkien’s worldbuilding is the name of the randomly-inserted hedgehog in the first Hobbit movie — Sabastian. It’s a GREEK PLACE-NAME. Seeing that Middle Earth was born from Tolkien’s fake languages, based around northern, NOT Greek, tongues (plus some semitic, but certainly not for Elvish tongues). So he managed, with only one insignificant, invented, irrelevant mammal, to put a hole in the ENTIRE FABRIC OF MIDDLE EARTH. Impressive, in all the wrong ways… and I entirely agree with you on the whole botched romance thingy.

  • dan hunter

    Thank you for this.
    I think I will pass on this nonsense.
    I also did not like the completely made up sequence where Arwen comes to Frodos rescue in the FOTR.
    It was Glorfindel a male elf who rescued Frodo,not Arwen.
    I understand the desire to sell more tickets, BUT BE RESPECTFUL OF THE AUTHOR AN FOLLOW HIS WORK, IF YOU ARE GOING TO CALL IT “THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING”.

  • faithandfamilyfirst

    I think the elf-dwarf pairing is an appropriate metaphor for our culture’s distorted view of the world, and why the creators of the movie see nothing wrong with such a match. Elves and dwarfs (or dwarves, I can never keep that straight) are separate species, not divisions of the same race. They come from completely different stock and therefore are not in any sense related. Unlike Men, the second born who could and did on two occasions marry elves, dwarfs were formed from the very earth itself and shared nothing in common with elves. A dwarf-elf pairing therefore is unnatural. It is akin to dogs mating with cats or penguins seeking elephants. It just doesn’t happen — not because I say so, or even because Tolkien says so, but because it is not natural for it to happen.
    However, in today’s world, the unnatural is celebrated. To get completely off-topic here, this is why I hate movies in which vampires and werewolves are depicted as good (or at worst mis-understood). Their nature is evil. That is what they are. To change that changes their nature entirely. Similarly, to show a pairing of one species (dwarf) with another species (elf) is to show the unnatural. That is the true error of the film.


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