Peter Jackson, this time you’ve gone too far! His adaptations of Tolkien’s work tend to be a mixed bag. Some of it is absolutely magnificent, occasionally even better than what I’d pictured in my head, but there’s also some mangling of the original narrative and worse, adding things that weren’t there to begin with for a good reason. I wish people would accord J.R.R. Tolkien the same honor as Shakespeare and stop tampering with what is already a masterpiece. No one would dream of changing dialogue the Bard himself wrote! I can understand making cuts for the sake of run time and to speed up the story, but there is no excuse for adding material (e.g. the character of Tauriel). I liked the idea of weaving in some of the behind-the scenes stuff from Tolkien’s other books, but are not part of The Hobbit per se. Since the audience has already presumably seen the other Lord of the Rings movies, it makes sense to capitalize on that and have some fun with what Gandalf was getting up to on his own and letting us meet Radagast, who is only mentioned a few times, once by Gandalf speaking to Beorn in The Hobbit, and referenced twice in The Fellowship of the Ring. But I think the power went to Jackson’s head and he went nuts adding way too much stuff while eliminating or undermining many crucial elements in the story. For instance, the scene of Bilbo finding his courage walking down the tunnel into the Lonely Mountain knowing there was a dragon at the other end of it is one of my absolute favorites and Jackson completely ruined it. I love the books and to see The Hobbit trampled in such a way makes me want to scream and cry all at the same time. I won’t bother to enumerate all the ways in which this terrible movie departs from the book (i.e. everything wrong with it) as such a list would be 50 pages long. I wound up yelling and throwing things at the screen, then sank into a resigned semi-comatose state waiting for the horror to stop. It made me physically sick and then righteous anger set in. It makes my blood boil to see such lack of respect for a spectacularly nuanced book that was just perfect the way it was and needed no “improvement”. The Desolation of Smaug is more The Desecration of Smaug. Peter Jackson, I just lost all respect I might have ever had for you for perpetrating this abomination on the world. How dare you! – BETHANY
The butterflies of Mirkwood (except they were black)
Now if you only saw this picture and didn’t know what else was going on in the movie, you might think ‘Hey, that looks a lot like I imagined it.’ So maybe just stick with looking at the picture.
Since when are their Orcs in The Hobbit? Goblins, yes. Orcs, no.
The Woodland Elves’ home in Mirkwood
?!?!?!?!?!?!? This one image might just represent the sequence I hated most in the film.
Photos courtesy of New Lince Cinema, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, WingNut Films and Warner Bros. Picture