When I found out that Peter Jackson was planning on filming The Hobbit, the beloved prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy, it seemed out of order—the appetizer after the three-course entree.
But I was willing to play along. After all, the filmgoing public—and Jackson himself, obviously—has a great affinity for Tolkien’s characters and stories. Why not give us more?
That was before I found out that Jackson was planning on turning The Hobbit, a slim volume at best, into another film trilogy. What’s Elvish for “ripping people off”? (I’m just glad that Jackson didn’t have this extreme impulse toward gigantism 10 years ago, when he first started The Lord of the Rings trilogy—we’d probably be up to our 9th installment at this point.)
At the very least, you would expect that The Hobbit would be turned into three compact films. Wrong again! The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, clocks in at an orc-sized 166 minutes. Even Gandalf himself couldn’t get so much blood out of that stone.
For those who haven’t read the book, it focuses on Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), a modest Hobbit living a life of creature comforts and...