Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Hobbit is not too long

Mt daughter and I went to the midnight showing of The Hobbit.
Over the course of the day (I had to remind myself that I'm talking about the same day, not the next day!) a few people asked me if it wasn't....long. Not as far as run time, although I guess 2 hours, 49 minutes is long compared to the typical American movie. No, what people meant is, "Is the movie boring?"

No, no, a thousand times no!

What others are calling long and drawn out, I saw as attention to detail. You see, when a director makes a film from a book, and wishes it to be commercially successful, they have to make a lot of compromises. They have to leave out much of the book, combine characters and events, and condense what may have been one of the greatest speeches of a novel into one line (Anyone want to guess what I'm talking about here?) If the director is very clever, they will make a movie that satisfies "the moviegoing audience" (ie, those who couldn't be bothered to actually read the book) while merely making fans of the book sigh and say, "I'm disappointed, but I see why the director made those concessions" rather than calling for the director's blood.

I think, for the most part,that Peter Jackson did that with the LotR Trilogy. Not just because he *is* very clever, but because you can tell he LOVES these books. He did his very best, within the constraints the movie industry placed on him, to make a book he,the fan, would enjoy,and they still stand as some of my favourite movies. With the success of those, he had the chance to switch things around. He was able to make the movie(s) that we, the fans of the books (including Jackson himself) want to see,while making them engaging enough to still draw in the average moviegoer. If "An Unexpected Journey" is any indication, he's succeeding.


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