One of the few complains fans didn’t have with Peter Jackson‘s first Hobbit film, An Unexpected Journey, was “it’s too short.” Clocking in at about 2 hours and 50 minutes, it felt like the story of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) joining a group of dwarves on a journey to the Lonely Mountain barely even began by the time the credits rolled. To be fair though, fans probably said the same thing after Jackson’s first Middle-Earth film, The Fellowship of the Ring. Yet when Jackson revealed the Extended Edition of that film on DVD, the added time enhanced the drama and character in many ways.
Jackson and his team are currently finishing the second film, The Desolation of Smaug, as well as the Extended Edition of An Unexpected Journey. Empire Magazine has some quotes about what exactly has been added to the first film. Will it enhance the film or just make it feel longer? Read More »
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When The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is good, it’s really good. Throughout Peter Jackson‘s first film in the Hobbit trilogy, his camera sweeps through an epic battle, and Howard Shore’s score crescendos through the speakers as thirteen dwarves, one wizard and a hobbit fight for their lives. That’s what most audiences are paying to see, and the film provides that on a grand scale, again and again.
“Again and again” is also the film’s biggest issue. On a consistent basis, it’s almost as if Jackson forgets he has two more films to release and is forced to pump the brakes. Tangents pop out of nowhere, dialogue scenes are stretched into infinity, and a familiar structure of capture followed by rousing escape, is consistently repeated. Much of the film feels like it’s purposely attempting to stall the dwarves’ quest from progressing.
What we’re left with is a huge, beautiful piece of entertainment, the lows of which are slightly outweighed by its adrenaline pumping highs. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey works, but feels bloated, derived from the fact that it’s based on a child’s book, only stuffed and stretched beyond the bounds of J.R.R. Tolkien‘s original narrative. Still, its flaws and fun work hand in hand to provide a suitably rousing first act to the Hobbit trilogy. Read More »
Someone probably saw this coming, after his frustrated-sounding comments the other day (with respect to MGM’s troubles slowing down the films) but it is still a shock to see that Guillermo del Toro is no longer directing The Hobbit for producer Peter Jackson.
del Toro announced his departure via long-running LotR fansite The One Ring, and you can read his comments after the break. Read More »
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Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro have announced that writing has begun on The Hobbit and the announced Hobbit sequel. Jackson partner Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens have also been revealed as part of the writing team. Both Walsh and Boyens were part of the creative team behind the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Originally Jackson and del Toro were to oversee a writing team in penning both films. Jackson and del Toro made time in their schedules to become more involved in the process. This is great news because Jackson, Walsh and Boyens have an intimate knowledge of the Tolkien’s Middle Earth that would probably take months upon months of hardcore research for a new creative team. del Toro described the process as “something beautiful” while phoning in for a recent Hellboy II question and answer session.
The current plan is to begin shooting both films simultaneously in late-2009, with hopes of releasing The Hobbit in 2011, followed up the next year with the sequel. It does seem like they are rushing this a bit, but with a good creative team on board to pen the adaptations, I have a good feeling it will work out in the end. I’m still a bit hesitant about what exactly The Hobbit sequel will contain, and if it will be possible to create a narrative of the years in-between.
sources: OneRing, THR