In 2001, a friend invited me to go watch the first Lord of the Rings movie on opening night. As we sat there, taking in all 3 hours of dorkiosity, I fidgeted in my seat. What a piece of shit, I thought. Boring. Pointless. Way too much walking. And even worse, not even a complete movie. A three hour first act of a movie.
I kept looking over at my friend who seemed to be fidgeting in his seat as well. And I thought of the rest of the poor audience, suffering through 180 minutes of our lives that we would never get back.
Finally, mercifully, the movie ended. My friend and I walked outside, and I turned to him, "What a piece of crap, huh?" He looked back at me, "That's the best movie I've ever seen".
He wasn't kidding.
And neither was anyone else. And the rest is movie history.
11 years later, The Hobbit has come out. A prequel to the Lord of the Rings. Yes, somehow that 3 hour first act could've included 3 hours of garbage before it!
I never stuck around to watch The Two Towers and Return of the King, so I don't know how things worked out for those guys, but I assume it all came up roses. Nevertheless, for reasons that you don't need to know about, I was dragged to an opening night screening of The Hobbit.
But things were different this time around. Instead of critical praise, this movie was getting dumped on a little bit. It turns out, Peter Jackson can no longer do no wrong. The man made King Kong, for Christ's sake. And many critics have not been kind to The Hobbit, and none have have tongue kissed it the way they did the original trilogy.
So I'm like, damn, I thought the Lord of the Rings was bad, and this is supposed to be worse? This is gonna be rough. I better get an extra box of sour patch kids. But I was shocked at what I saw:
Despite the difference in critical reaction, The Hobbit seemed like the same exact shit I watched the first time around. No better, no worse, to me. I can't tell the difference!
You know how conservatives have some sort of mental block that does not allow them to understand facts or reason? That's how I am with these movies. I can't process them. I don't get it. It's not entertaining to me in anyway, and I can't tell when it's good or bad the way everyone else can.
To prove it, every critic is saying the first hour of The Hobbit is incredibly slow and bad. That first hour was my favorite part! I'm a Middle Earth-tard.
Just like the last one, this movie was only an act one. The stated goal at the beginning of the movie is not accomplished. You have to wait to number 3 to get there, or at least that's how it seems. So it's 3 hours, you have to pay for a full priced movie, and you don't get an ending. Sweet!
My confusion over these movies comes from the complete reliance on Deus Ex Machina.
Yes, I had to look it up, but I kinda knew. Anyway, here's the official definition of Deus Ex Machina: An unexpected power or event saving a hopeless situation, esp. as a plot device in a play or novel.
In case you don't know, Deus Ex Machinas are not good. They are things employed by writers who don't know what they are doing. Who have written themselves into a corner and need some magic bullshit to get themselves out.
And they are everything that the Lord of the Rings movies are about (and Harry Potter as well, which I hate just as much).
From the 6 hours I've watched, here is the formula for everything that happens in The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings:
People walk somewhere. Every 15 minutes, these people are attacked by monsters. Just as it looks like the monsters are going to kill them, they escape thanks to the help of some magical bullshit that was never previously setup.
I don't know how audiences are enjoying this kind of storytelling.
Maybe just the spectacle is enough. But man, it is predictable. And repetitive. And there's no build to anything. It's walking, walking, walking, attack, magical save, walking, walking, walking...
To get specific, I need to issue a:
Near the end of the movie, guess what happens? You guessed it, while they are walking they are attacked by some monsters. And just as it looks like they are going to die, Gandalf kissed a butterfly and summons a bunch of giant eagles that fly them out of harm's way.
I should mention that although Gandalf is probably a famous character to you, he isn't to me. I have no idea what magical abilities Gandalf has and neither does the movie. But suddenly, just when they need it, he can summon giant eagles. Okay...
Anyway, the giant eagles not only whisk them out of danger, they also fly the characters right up close to where they've been walking to all along.
Um, why didn't they just summon those fucking eagles at the beginning of the movie?! They could've avoided the whole dangerous journey. Wait, I know why: because the eagles were just some magical bullshit the writer needed to save the day.