The Hobbit Trailer Review, Fueled by NerdRage
Posted by Alan Edwards
I watched the trailer for The Hobbit yesterday. It was all over my Facebook feed, since many of my friends are hardcore nerds like me. The people who posted about it were excited and seemed to really like it. I was apprehensive. I’d seen some stills of the dwarves before, and I wasn’t particularly wowed by them. It looked like someone had set up a Glamour Shots in the Shire’s newest mini-mall. But I was still somewhat hopeful, but I have to admit that most of my dreams of a great adaptation of one of my favorite books went bye-bye when I learned that Peter Jackson was behind it.
Blasphemy! you say. Peter Jackson made the most awesomest wickedest LOTR films ever! He brought them to a mainstream audience! HE IS OUR NEW GEORGE LUCAS!
I know. I get it. I really liked the films when they came out. The things that were right were so amazing that I couldn’t believe they could bring them to life in the manner that they did. I was able to dismiss my reservations at the changes they made. At first. But something odd has happened since. I like the movies less with each passing day. The changes, some small, some huge, some so fucking preposterously monstrous that they make Ancalagon the Black look like the Geico Gecko (aww yeah, flashin’ my nerd cred all offhand like. I’m so not kewl), have gotten larger and larger in my mind that I can’t even see the good parts anymore. Instead I see Liv Tyler taking the place of Glorfindel, Aragorn’s ridiculous ass-kicking of the Nazgul at Weathertop, Elrond saying “You shall be the Fellowship of the Ring” which comes across as the worst fucking statement ever, Faramir falling victim to the Ring, fucking Elves at fucking Helms Deep, Elrond acting like Aragorn was a piece of shit when he raised the fucking guy for crying out loud, I mean seriously, fucking Elves at fucking Helm’s Deep, what the fuck, man, Legolas surfing on a fucking shield GAHHHH I can’t take anymore!!!!
/watches Rankin/Bass Hobbit movie, sucks on thumb
You see, these changes weigh on me because it was Peter Jackson’s choice to make them. He took a look at the books and apparently was like You know, if I change a whole bunch of this I could make a decent story out of it. Nevermind the fact that it was already one of the most beloved stories already. Fucking Peter Jackson decided it wasn’t good enough. I LOVE the Middle-Earth stories. I read The Hobbit in 1982. I loved it. I went on to the next book I could find, which was The Two Towers and made for a pretty confusing reading before I found Fellowship. I read all 4 of those books every year from 1983 forward. A couple years later, I added The Silmarillion to the mix, my favorite of them all, and when I finished Return of the King I’d start over with the Silmarils all over again. I did this for decades. When I got married and discovered that my wife had never read them, I read them aloud to her, a little bit every night when we went to bed. These stories were more important to me than any piece of literature ever created before or since.
Now, I’m not saying this so I can come across as some kind of expert (although I’ll happily play Drinking Trivia about them anytime) or anything like that. I’m saying it so that you know why I’m about to turn into a whiny little nitpicky bitch, because I watched The Hobbit trailer and I fucking hated it.
It starts innocently enough. The Old Bilbo (Ian Holm) is apparently talking to Frodo. For some reason. I have no idea why Frodo is in this one at all. We don’t really need this, do we? Right? Whatever. Anyway, it shifts to the year 2941 T.A., some 77 years before the War of the Ring, and we get our first look at young(er) Bilbo. I have no problems with how he looks. He looks like Bilbo. He’s a fine actor. OK, so far so good. There’s Gandalf, played again by Ian MacKellen, OK, no problem with that. I thought he did a great job with it the first time through. Here’s Bilbo on a pony, cool, I remember the ponies fondly. We see Bilbo being solid and practical. OK.
Then the dwarves show up.
Fili and Kili are first. Fili’s…OK. A little, I dunno, handsomer than a typical dwarf. Kili on the other hand… OK, I’ve never heard of a Don Johnson dwarf before, sporting a five-o’clock shadow instead of a beard. He looks like Faramir. Seriously. The dwarf looks like a fucking Dunadan. At the 0:52 second mark of the trailer, it looks like fucking Faramir is standing on the right side of the screen. That’s supposed to be a dwarf. Huh. I guess Peter Jackson didn’t feel like there was enough Hot Dudes in The Hobbit for his liking. Whatever. The next run of dwarves look OK. Bofur looks like he’s an escaped midget from the Mongol Horde, for some reason. Bombur breaks a chair because HAHA LOOK HE’S A FATTY AND FAT PEOPLE BREAK CHAIRS. Nori and Ori just look fucking weird. Then there’s Thorin.
OK. I fucking loved John Rhys-Davies at Gimli in LOTR. Yes, he’s as hammy an actor as has ever lived, and SyFy can’t make a shitty enough film that he won’t star in, but I thought he killed it. Compare Gimli to Thorin in the fucking trailer. Thorin has a fucking goatee. Not a full, thick beard that the dwarves pride themselves on. Nope, he’s too fucking hip for that. Like Kili, he doesn’t even fucking remotely resemble a dwarf. Dwarf women supposedly sport thick beards, but Thorin and Kili are fucking manscapers. OK.
They start in on the Dwarf Song from the early part of the book, and it looks pretty meh. I don’t get the feeling of them sitting in the dark while Bilbo nods off and dreams of dragons in the Shire. If I was Bilbo, I’d just be wondering what the fuck these hairy Glee refugees were doing in my house.
Then it shifts to Gandalf in the ruins. Alone. See, this is going to be one of those things that gets my goat. See, the book was called The Hobbit, because it pretty much was about…. the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins. Gandalf would go wandering off and leave the fucking story because it’s a story told by and about… the fucking hobbit. So where does this Solo Gandalf Action come from?
Next comes my least favorite part of the whole fucking trailer. Bilbo is wandering in Rivendell and comes across the shards of Narsil. Why? What the fuck for? It made me instantly think of the fact that C3PO and R2D2 were in the Star Wars prequels, walking around on Tatooine. Why? Why deliberately make the world seem smaller by insinuating that the only fucking interesting things to see in the world is the shit we’ve already seen? Do we really need a fucking bridge to say By the Way, This Story Is Related to the Lord of the Rings, Which You May Have Seen? There’s something that DOES bridge those stories…. what could it be? Golly, I can’t remember!
Then we see Peter Jackson’s name, which I give the finger to, before moving on to… Gandalf and Galadriel. Seriously. Why the fuck is she in this thing at all? Why is she gently brushing hair away from Gandalf’s face? WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING HERE? We don’t need this part of the story. It’s Bilbo’s fucking story, and Gandalf leaves him behind ON PURPOSE so that he can learn and grow into the hobbit that Gandalf knew he’d become. For some reason. Never really sure what his motivations were. Anyway, I just don’t see the purpose for the White Council to actually be a part of this movie at all. Let alone brushing hair from faces. It kinda creeps me out. Then we see more solo Gandalf action.
Then they show Bilbo finding Sting, which was actually technically a dagger, but it’s a wee bit bigger than that but whatever. Then Thorin is whispering all hard-ass shit in Gandalf’s ear, which Thorin was dwarf enough to say to Bilbo’s face in the book. Now it’s quick-cut time. Elves riding around the dwarves menacingly in a slightly different interpretation of the silly singing that greeted them in the book. More solo Gandalf and Galadriel (I think Cate Blanchett is fucking awesome as Galadriel, but she still shouldn’t be here). Then a fight scene. Then Gandalf making magic by thumping his staff on the ground, which seems to me by this point to look like the equivalent of a dude thumping the side of his TV to make it work. It never seems to do anything otherwise. Then all the dwarves falling in through Bilbo’s door, HAHA FUNNY SIGHT GAG, only it’s supposed to be 4 since they staggered out their arrival but THANK GOD PETER JACKSON KNOWS BEST. Then it’s Bilbo and Gandalf talking.
Oh! That’s right! I KNEW there was something that bridged the two stories! I couldn’t remember until they showed it to us! The fucking Ring of Power and the whole fucking reason behind the goddamn trilogy in the first place. We get a glimpse of Gollum (and I can’t say enough good things about Andy Serkis. All the hate and vitriol I spew about Peter Jackson is offset by the tremendous admiration for the skills Serkis brings to every role he’s in. He’s the best actor I’ve ever seen.) and that’s the end of the trailer.
I hate it. I fucking hate it so much. I know they are going to fuck this thing up. It’s a given. I’m not even sure why it’s two movies, either. I guess it’s so we can fluff out all the White Council bullshit and Narsil-finding and other pointless horseshit that Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson feel make for a better story than what a real fucking storyteller put together. I guarantee you one thing:
Nothing they do will top the Goblin Song from the Rankin/Bass Hobbit movie. Not one fucking thing. Ho ho my lad, indeed.