I liked the Lord of the Rings movies. They seemed to improve as they went along, although I still can’t decide whether The Two Towers or The Return of the King was my favorite. I had a few quibbles here and there, but none of them based on a lack of faithfulness to the original text.
When I encountered some disappointments The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, none of them had to do with orthodoxy, either. In fact, I love the elevation of Azog (the white orc) to a main antagonist for Thorin. I thought it smart to make Thorin younger and hunky, and I was delighted that at least half of the dwarves had bigger, broader personalities.
Most of my disappointments had to do with humor or pacing. I didn’t mind the rabbit-drawn sleigh in principal, but it looked awfully cartoonish on the screen. Radagast’s poop-pasted hair made me wince, and the goblin king’s “comedy” sometimes left me feeling we’d slipped into an Adam Sandler movie.
The initial reviews for The Desolation of Smaug have me hopeful, but since most of what disappointed me in the first film were small details, I’m braced for more Kiwi humor misfiring for me. Still, it’s a much more action-oriented episode, and it has a dragon. I know it’ll end on a cliffhanger, but I don’t mind that the way some critics do.
I’d planned to see the movie in a group of about ten friends, but this year our cinema of choice sold out faster than I could act. Fortunately, Lindy stopped by another cinema and picked up two of the last remaining seats for a matinee today. Soon we brave the blizzard for date afternoon, and later this weekend I’ll post what we thought of the new movie.
After you’ve seen it, come back here and let’s compare notes in a spoiler post.