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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
The hypocrisy and narrow thinking of critics who complain of the length of Shire time and other "down" moments in The Hobbit.


Dec 11 2012, 1:29am

Post #1 of 5 (840 views)
     The hypocrisy and narrow thinking of critics who complain of the length of Shire time and other "down" moments in The Hobbit.  

Now, I am far from a rabid apologist for all things Jacson & Company. I know going in that there are at least several things in the upcoming film that I am not going to like a damned bit, most of them dealing with significant alterations to the historical events of The Legendarium (aspects of the Dwarves v. Goblins war in particular). There are, however, some early criticisms which I think miss the mark, or walk a bridge too far. One of the more silly, to me, is the notion that too much time is spent dealing in non-action oriented, character interaction driven humour and/or drama

. I hear these condemnations about "too much time" trading antics and sharing raucous or quiet moments in The Shire or Rivendell, and I cannot help thinking. . . I very much doubt any critic would say the same of similar time spent in a similar, non-action manner, in another type of film (indeed, in the very type of film that critics generally show more favour to). Who here can imagine some critic complaining that Steel Magnolias spent too much time showing, admittedly hilarious and touching, scenes of Shirley Maclaine and Olympia Dukakis interacting with the film's other characters in quiet suburban settings, as opposed to showing more scenes of the ladies in action chasing off raccoons? Scenes like those in The Shire provide both essential background and set up, as well as fulfilling the important role of filling out the story so that there is cozy humour and relatable intimate and interpersonal moments "on the homefront", to contrast with and to compliment the sweeping drama of the adventures in the wild and epic battles with dire and dreadful enemies. It never fails to annoy me when the very critics who often pan genre movies for not being properly multi-dimensional, turn around and give those genre movies that do introduce more dimensions a hard time for doing so, complaining that all the added layers are superfluous, and that the films should have wasted less time in getting down to the meat of skirmishes, chases, monsters, and spell activated explosions. It is narrow minded and inconsistent criticism at best, and plain hypocrisy at worst.

I for one am very glad at the news that the movies will not simply dive along into the action, forgetting the set up and the important "quiet" moments of the film. It is one of the things I feel Peter et al have decidedly gotten right. I look forward to laughing and. . . well, if not learning, being reminded of things I knew, in The Shire and in Rivendell, and to getting to know the characters in familiar settings, before seeing their mettle tested in the dread and dangerous wilderness.

"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."

Aragorn the Elfstone
Tol Eressea

Dec 11 2012, 1:35am

Post #2 of 5 (457 views)
     While I think it's too easy... [In reply to]  

...to criticize critics who aren't thrilled with "our" movie (particularly when we haven't yet seen it ourselves) - I do think you have a point.

Think of the number of critics who swooned over "The Tree of Life" - a film that has pacing far beyond "deliberate" (I say this even as an admirer of the film). I do think many of them tend to look down on genre pictures, and apply different standards to their structure, tone, and pacing.

Still, I'd rather not go too far down this line of conversation until after I have a chance to see the film for myself.

"All men dream; but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds awake to find that it was vanity; But the dreamers of day are dangerous men. That they may act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible."
- T.E. Lawrence

(This post was edited by Aragorn the Elfstone on Dec 11 2012, 1:37am)

Intergalactic Lawman

Dec 11 2012, 1:56am

Post #3 of 5 (407 views)
     I'm with you. However... [In reply to]  

It could be a case of "Let's get this show on the road "

The first time we see it we will be loving every second of it no doubt (being massive fans) ...but how will we feel about these scenes after the 2nd, 3rd or 4th time?? Who knows.

I will say this... There are moments in the LOTR's that I fast forward *cough* ents *cough* Cool

Grey Havens

Dec 11 2012, 2:11am

Post #4 of 5 (361 views)
     Loaded [In reply to]  

Why, no, I don't think the thread title is a loaded statement at all, why do you ask? ;)

I blame mobile technology and the instant gratification of the internet. It would be interesting to find out whether the critics break down along generational lines of being able to tolerate the silence of being alone, quietly with one's own peaceful mind for long periods of time - the Greatest Generation and their children - or more recent graduates of the ADD quick-cut culture where The Hobbit would be written as a five-minute Three Act play:

1. Let's kill the dragon!
2. I killed the dragon!
3. Party! (not so unexpected)

Disclaimer: My degree and profession is in computer technologies, but I neither own nor use mobile devices.

Superuser / Moderator

Dec 11 2012, 3:33am

Post #5 of 5 (300 views)
     Please re-post in the active thread about reviews and critics below. Thanks! [In reply to]  


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.

"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase

(This post was edited by Ataahua on Dec 11 2012, 3:57am)


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