Setter’s ‘Spectives: Criticizing ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ … a Lot

Setter Drawing for Blog 082613Somehow I knew The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies wasn’t going to be good.

Oh, sure, I hoped it would be magnificent. Better than its predecessors. A real winner.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t. It was a mess. And it had none of the soul that director Peter Jackson’s previous installments in the series featured, despite its sizable length and myriad characters.

It’s a shame. I would’ve liked a greater film. But I expected this, sadly. Drawing out the last part of J.R.R. Tolkien’s book didn’t seem like a good idea to me, and the picture felt bloated, padded. It didn’t feel real.

The battle scenes had little excitement. The dialogue seemed stilted. And there was the introduction of a fight to save the wizard Gandalf that smacked of falseness, artificiality. It didn’t work.

Too bad. I wanted it to succeed. I like Jackson’s work a lot. I just didn’t like this one.

And that makes me sad. I don’t know why, but it does.

Will I see it again? Who knows. Maybe it’ll be more interesting on second viewing. I doubt it, though. The idea of that doesn’t appeal to me.

I wish it did.

Skip’s Quips: Not Getting Excited for ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’

Blog Sketch 082813Have I lost that lovin’ feeling for the characters of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth?

I just can’t seem to get too psyched over the prospect of seeing The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies in the theater today, and I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because the last film in the series, The Desolation of Smaug, has some sloppy filmmaking moments in it. To be sure, they are countered by strong sections and some terrific sequences, but overall, I feel like director Peter Jackson’s Hobbit installments don’t have the immediacy of his previous Lord of the Rings pictures.

I miss that. Yet there’s no way to go back and recover it.

The subject matter is part of the problem. The Hobbit is the precursor to the LOTR books, and so we already know what’s going to happen. I also think Jackson’s Hobbit films feel stretched out in being spread over three films … a quality his LOTR movies didn’t have.

I think I’ll have to be content with the fact that Jackson made three terrific LOTR flicks, and that they can’t be replicated. Not even with many of the same characters from Middle-earth. It’s sad to think about, but it’s also truthful. And in this case, I have to face the truth.

So it goes.