Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

Give me reasons to FEEL (my reactions to "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies")

It was decent. Damnit, I wish my reaction to Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy was stronger.

Tellingly, I think, I saw An Unexpected Journey using a free pass, then paid full price for a ticket to only the second one, The Desolation of Smaug, then never got to a theater at all for The Battle of the Five Armies and instead borrowed the DVD from my county library. I simply never felt passionate about getting to each film; I didn't see the listings and reviews for them and be all "Shut up and take my money!" And I really like Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Guillermo del Toro as writers and filmmakers, so it's not personal animosity. I mainly felt unsure about investing 10-some film-viewing hours in a trilogy based on the shortest, simplest book in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings writings.

I'd almost feel better if the filmmaking were bad, but jeez Louise, these were handsome, earnest films. But except for some emotional moments, my strongest reactions to each film was usually "Ah. That's clever." And I wanted more of the emotional moments. I wanted to feel more from the experience. I knew these films almost certainly would never match the emotional punch of Jackson and Co.'s LotR films; I'm still kind of bothered that Roger Ebert's reaction to the first trilogy boiled down to These shouldn't have been made in the first place, which Ebert never flat-out said but which he strongly implied. (He was even dismissive, I felt, to The Return of the King, which he claimed to like and which he reviewed the most positively of the three.) I'd hate to have my reaction to any films by Jackson be These shouldn't have been made in the first place: that's my reaction to Transformers and Uwe Boll films. (So I'll be honest, I'm avoiding Jackson's version of The Lovely Bones, a film that angered people I trust.)

And there were still emotional, heart-in-my-throat moments in the Hobbit films. I won't deny they exist. But I am now far, far more likely to pop in the DVDs of the LotR films, to revisit their emotional, heart-in-my-throat moments, because ultimately I feel much better about them as an overall experience.

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