Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Couple of Cheap Shots at Big Movies. Because I'm So Smart.

I just went to see the new Batman movie, which was so long that I am still watching it. It's about a guy named Bane with a weird accent and a bunch of issues, who is only defeated when the good guys finally manage to figure out his secret weakness. (Spoiler: It's bullets.)

Since it's a Big Hollywood Movie, it was preceded by trailers for all the other upcoming Big Hollywood Movies. Two of them attracted my notice ...


Jack Reacher (Trailer here. It is worth watching, as this movie will be genuinely terrible.)

This is about a violent gun guy who goes on adventures and beats people up and "doesn't care about proof, doesn't care about the law. He only cares about what's right." Which all sounds great until you find out he's Tom Cruise.

I'm sorry, but is there one single person here on God's Green Earth (besides Tom Cruise) who thinks it's a good idea to give Tom Cruise arbitrary power over anything bigger than a Hot Dog On a Stick franchise?

"Remember, you wanted this."

NO! I REALLY DIDN'T!



The Hobbit (Trailer here. Watch it before they split it into three parts.)

I can't say much about the upcoming Hobbit movies, though I hear the the novelization of the film by J.R.R.R. Tolkineinin is above average. I know that the world created in the prequels by Peter Jackson is an interesting one, though overly dependent on tired fantasy tropes.

I do, however, have some qualms with the decision to split the book up into three (THREE!) movies. I'm sorry, but you cannot do this with any book whose big, dramatic high point is a RIDDLE CONTEST.

Seriously, when I was a kid, they could wrap this crap up in 77 minutes, and that version even found time to put in Tom Bombadil.

I was really looking forward to it until I saw this trailer, with its wacky dwarves, interminable pacing, and refreshing lack of action or incident. Three movies? Dear God. This adaption will be so long that I'm already watching it.

40 comments:

  1. I love the humour in this post. Thank you.

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  2. I dunno, Jeff. I think the whole meeting with and Battle against Smaug (the Battle of Lake Town) is another High Point in the book myself. I can ALMOST see the three movies- one being the High Point of the Riddle Contest, one with the fight against Smaug and the Battle of Lake Town, and the last ending with the Battle of the Dwarves and the Humans. But, and this is a big BUT... Three movies? Seriously? Eeesh.

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  3. Having just started reading The Hobbit to the kids, clearly the first chapter goes on for about twenty years, but it really picks up the pace after that.

    In a very short space we've got trolls, storms, goblins, gollum, goblins again, wargs, goblins for a third time, then eagles. And that's just crossing the misty mountains.

    There are too many riddles, but there's a lot of action packed in there once the dwarves stop singing about washing-up and start singing about gold!

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  4. From what I understand the three movies do not just cover the single book but also fill in a lot of the gap between the hobbit and TLotRs.

    And is TLotR dependant one fantasy tropes or did it create these tropes to begin with (or at least popularize them)??

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    1. JRRT helped himself to a bunch of European folklore and kicked over his tracks. Years later people will tell you to your face that he invented it all.

      See Poul Anderson's Broken Sword for a similar re-imagining of European lore that isn't ashamed of its roots and is arguably more grown up and more interesting to boot. IMO.

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    2. I see what you are saying, and I don't
      disagree.
      But he made all of these borrowed things his own, incorporated them together in his own way, and did invent some other things.

      Vampires existed before Dracula, but they were not modern vampires. I would argue this is exactly analogous to the modern epic fantasy tale as well as orcs, elves, and dwarfs, Dragons, and hobbits.

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    3. And ultimate all of these things very well may of existed in their exact form for all it mattered to my original point. Tolkien still made them into fantasy tropes.

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  5. Yes, the film of the book was always going to be 2 films long, this is not changing, they are just adding another film based on extra details that Tolkien wrote up but never included in any full book.

    And spent a little time researching the history of the fantasy genre and its tropes and TLotR is very prominent. It popularized fantasy and created the sub genre epic fantasy. You only think it is fill of tropes because everyone since then has copied it.

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  6. I re-read the Hobbit a few months back. Hadn't read it for, oh, 35 years or so. It's tolerable - certainly enough for three Hollywood movies once everyone has been given a romantic sub-plot. Started into the LOTR straight after but soon gave up.

    Back when I was a kid I loved those books but I think Jack Vance, Fritz Leiber and Terry Pratchett have ruined old school Fantasy for me. I hear the Sandkings author has dabbled in Fantasy so I may have to look those up as well.

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  15. I just watched the Hobbit the other week , just after it came out.I thought it was really good..:D I have tried to read the hobbit several times, but I just never could get into it, but have always really wanted to finish it..rofl I think the furthest I ever got was like chapter 3... at the most.. So yeh, I am veeery glad they made this film..lol I am sure people who have read the book will comment on how bad the film is, they always do in book vs film related things.. But like I said, " I thought it was good!..." And in my humble opinion.."Its well worth a watch!"..

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