EDITORIAL: The Top 10 Dumbest Reasons for Not Liking the Hobbit

The Hobbit has been pretty divisive. Some folks think it is great, some think not. But running rampant among the naysayers are some very bad misconceptions about the Hobbit, Middle Earth, and J.R.R. Tolkien himself. Here are some of the best.

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By TheSchemer - 12/22/2012
As box office numbers show, I am not alone in having already seen the new Hobbit film more than once already. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey blew my mind. So much Middle Earth history explored, well written lines, great special effects, the 3D was decent. And most important (for me), it stuck very close to the source material even with things that aren’t in the novel. Of course, if you were paying attention, you knew that the reason Jackson and company made this a trilogy was so he could add things from The Lord of the Rings appendices, and The Silmarillion. Yes, surprising as it may seem, it wasn’t just to make more money.

The move to a trilogy was a great one, if the first film is any indication. The movie paces itself well and at the end of it, we’ve already been treated to the iconic “Riddles in the Dark” (worth the price of admission alone), the meeting at Bag End, seeing Saruman as a good guy, the screen debut of Radagast the Brown, and some great Middle Earth history.

I can’t wait for the next one, so it’s been surprising to say the least that there have been so many middling and negative reviews of this film. I’ve read a few of them, and I honestly can say I’ve never seen such fundamental misunderstanding and idiocy present in critical reviews for any film before. So, therefore, it is my duty as an internet blogger, to set the story straight. Here they are, the TOP 10 DUMBEST REASONS FOR NOT LIKING THE HOBBIT.

10) “The new film is…overlong.” – Bob Garver, Duluth News Tribune

So this one is semi-legit, but since Garver authored the worst movie review I’ve ever read, I think I have to include him as much as possible. Listen, Middle Earth is EPIC. And not in the overused, generic sense that it has become. When I say ‘epic,’ I’m thinking Beowulf, the Odyssey, that kind of stuff. This is not your typical film. You knew it was going to be long going in. That’s what this is about. Of course, Garver starts his review saying he doesn’t like Lord of the Rings in the first place, and that the entire franchise is “nonsensical, confusing, and overlong with poor special effects.” So bravo to his newspaper for even allowing someone who hates this kind of film so much to review the Hobbit. So much for journalism.

9) It was cartoony/the villains sing too much

I’ve seen this is quite a few places. But read the books. The Hobbit is lighthearted. The idea here is that in these days things are not quite as dire, not as serious. If you’re a wizard tasked with defending something, of course you are less serious when the threat is not dire. In the Lord of the Rings basically the world will end and all will be lost if the good guys lose. In the Hobbit, this isn’t the case.

And yes, someone brought up that you couldn’t take the villains seriously when they are “singing all the time,” which is interesting, because aside from Gollum, only one villain sings (the Goblin King), and Gollum’s singing voice is one of the scariest parts about him. Plus anyone that knows anything about Tolkien’s Middle Earth knows the importance of song in it.

8) “It is three hours worth of set-up for the next movie.” – Lori Hoffman, Atlantic City Weekly

Someone explain to this lady what a trilogy is.

7) “Jackson…crowds out a great story with such minor plot developments that carry no immediate importance to the movie or characters.” -Kirk Baird, Toledo Blade
How do you know? This is the epicness of a Tolkien work. Something that seems minor can have a huge impact later. After reading The Hobbit, without knowing anything about Middle Earth, how many people would say that Bilbo finding the ring is the most important part of the book? I daresay that something that seems as minor as a hedgehog being sick could be very significant down the road.

6) “I’m not sure why Gandalf would think that imposing hosting duties on Bilbo would entice him to join the journey.” – Bob Garver, Duluth News Tribune

Then you missed something. Something you don’t even need the book to know. Galdalf picks Bilbo because Gandalf knew Bilbo’s adventurous mother. Gandalf believes that if he breaks into Bilbo’s calm world and drops the scent of adventure in front of him, he will want to come. This obviously works, shown by Bilbo’s curiosity when the company is discussing their journey after dinner. And can’t you just feel it when Bilbo wakes up the next morning? The feeling that Bilbo has that he’s going to miss something big if he doesn’t go on? Well played Gandalf. There’s no way just showing up and asking for Bilbo’s help is working here.

5) “Given this vision of dwarves-as-ninjas, it’s not entirely clear why the expedition needed Bilbo along in the first place.” – Noah Berlatsky, the Atlantic

If by “not entirely clear,” you mean “crystal clear,” right? Because Thorin, from the start, doesn’t understand why Bilbo is such an asset. So Gandalf explains it, VERY CLEARLY. First of all, they don’t need another warrior. A company of dwarves can hold their ground. They need Bilbo to be a burglar, it says so on his contract! Hobbits can move without being seen, says Gandalf, and Smaug won’t recognize his smell, which could be beneficial. Seems pretty clear to me.

4) “The pale orc, Azog, who generously provides…movie-villain cliché bellowing, blustering, and gratuitous execution of minions, all of which Tolkien somehow failed to include in his text.” - Noah Berlatsky, the Atlantic

I’m very picky when it comes to tinkering with source material. But Jackson actually didn’t do that much here. In fact, Azog IS included in the text. Just not the Hobbit text. He’s certainly a Tolkien creation, mentioned in a LOTR appendix, and a key part of the Battle of Azanulbizar, shown in flashback in the movie. The only changes made by Jackson were that it is actually Azog’s son that pursues Thorin and company, and that his pack of orcs don’t actually show up until the Battle of Five Armies. I have no problem with that, as it drives the story in the film.

3) “I also could have done without the trolls, who do little more than behave grossly, and the goblins, who are about as interested in self-preservation as a slice of lemmings.” - Bob Garver, Duluth News Tribune

Oh, so, you would rather they just cut chunks out of the movie/book? You’d rather they skipped finding Sting, and Orcrist? And showing Bilbo being creative in defeating the trolls? To be fair, it could have done better. But cut it out? And even worse, cut out the goblins? This is from a guy who just said that the “riddles in the dark” scene was the best in the film. Yet he still wants to cut out the reason it happens. And so what if the goblins lack intelligence? They are supposed to, they are GOBLINS. The only reason the goblins were a threat was because there were so many.
So yeah, next time you don’t like a film, take the high road and just say to cut out key plot points, that will make things better.

2) “He’s simply added extra bonus carnage at every opportunity.” Basically, it is too violent, it’s supposed to be a message of peace: ‘True courage is knowing not when to take a life, but when to spare one.’” - Noah Berlatsky, the Atlantic.

Berlatsky comes up with some doozies. The biggest of which is that the film is too violent. Now if you’re saying that on a base level that goes along with the “movies are too violent these days” mentality, then we can have a conversation. But Berlatsky builds up a whole case that Tolkien hated violence (true), and some of his characters, like Gandalf and Frodo, say things that are pacifist or compassionate in nature (true), therefore, the fact that there is so much fighting in Middle Earth is indicative of Tolkien being confused about violence and his supposed “non-violent ethic” (false).
Tolkien fought in WWI, he had family in the military, of course he hated violence. Every sane person does. But nowhere in his Middle Earth myth does he present a case for non-violence. He presents the case for compassion, and makes it clear that sometimes it is the little things, and kindness, that are most effective. But he also makes it clear that sometimes force is needed to destroy evil. We miss that in our little pithy culture of acceptance. This is myth, this is legend. Here, there are some races that are always evil, that there is no negotiating with. The orcs will always kill and pillage, the dragons too, Sauron is evil and must be destroyed. Somehow Berlatsky completely ignores the prominence of Aragorn, Gimli, Faramir, Merry, Pippin, Thorin, Gandalf, and COUNTLESS others and their deeds of battle and war, and instead points to two quotes from two characters and says: “Why did you add the violence?!?!?”
Here’s news for you, the violence was there before Peter Jackson. In the course of the first film, ONE battle was added. It was the quick skirmish between the orcs and the dwarves when Radagast tries to draw them off. That was it. Everything else is in the book. And don’t insult Tolkien by telling me he’s confused about the place of violence in his own mythology.

1) “The Hobbit and the Dwarves encounter Orcs, Trolls, Elves and Goblins. All these offensive words for short people are represented as distinct races.” - Bob Garver, Duluth News Tribune

Or perhaps they are all names taken right out of myth and folklore? Hilariously awful journalism. Just pathetically funny.
To do a fact check, six races are mentioned here. In Middle Earth, only two are short in stature (one is actually huge). So, if anything, Tolkien takes away the “small” connotation that may be present in an elf or troll.
Well, there you have it. And this passes for journalism these days. Perhaps Garver wouldn’t have had so many entries if his paper would have had someone else review the film, and not someone who “consider[s] the “Lord of the Rings” series to be painful.”

You can find the original article on my blog: http://hauntedbyhumans.wordpress.com/2012/12/22/hobbit/
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31 Comments
Shua - 12/22/2012, 7:13 PM
This was a wonderful read :) I very much enjoyed it and completely agree with you!
Erik10101 - 12/22/2012, 7:16 PM
I respect this article, but I still think The Hobbit was a terrible movie.
Irohny - 12/22/2012, 7:22 PM
This was good stuff man, real good stuff. I've read a lot of editorials on here, and this is definitely in the top 3. It was fun to read and had me laughing quite a bit. You killed me with number 8, I was dying laughing.

I absolutely loved The Hobbit. My wife and I saw it in IMAX 3D. Easily one of my top 5 films of the year.
BlackCondor - 12/22/2012, 7:23 PM
The 48 fps format ruined the movie for me
Irohny - 12/22/2012, 7:27 PM
@BlackCondor I had NO desire to see the 48 fps once I saw the 48 fps trailer. Thats why I just stuck with IMAX 3D.
TheSchemer - 12/22/2012, 7:39 PM
I'll totally listen to people who didn't like the Hobbit's 48 fps or if they have a valid reason.

Sinestro, was the IMAX 3D worth it? I just saw it in regular 3D.
Irohny - 12/22/2012, 7:42 PM
@TheSchemer, definitely! I cant tell you how many times my wife and I had to jump out of the way of arrows. Plus we got to see the Man of Steel Trailer in IMAX 3D and the first 9 minutes of Star Trek Into Darkness in IMAX 3D. So worth it.
KeefNCookies - 12/22/2012, 8:00 PM
*Applause*
Going to see it tomorrow. 2D. No doubt.
Rhys - 12/22/2012, 8:29 PM
I haven't seen to movie yet, and I hope to enjoy it, but I hate this article.

You have terrible counter arguments. Some of these reasons are actually pretty dumb, but for the most part, they actually seem like valid arguments. But your retorts, on the other hand...

Like, for instance, the "explain what a trilogy is to her" response. That's just dumb. A trilogy is a set of stories that link together, but they still need to be able to stand on their own. If one gets bogged down by way too much set up, that is NOT a sign of a good film. The goal should ALWAYS be to make three really good films, not one good trilogy.
StingyFox - 12/22/2012, 10:28 PM
This is exactly like those many and annoying TDKR articles. Just a fanboy's outcry to defend a movie. Guess what? We all have opinions. Some of us liked this movie. Others (myself) didn't and thought it could of been better. Don't crucify someone for having an opinon other then your's. We're all entitled to them.

All this article is is you whining about everyone that thought it was bad and coming up with some stupid justification on why that person was wrong in the first place to make yourself and The Hobbit look better.
TheSchemer - 12/22/2012, 10:50 PM
So I should stop whining about someone else's opinion? What did you just do?

I have 'EDITORIAL' up there at the start of this page. You don't have to read it.
JPLeezzy - 12/22/2012, 11:14 PM
Ok so I just saw The Hobbit 48fps in 3D and I absolutely loved it. I can not understand all the negative feedback. I read an article on here not to long ago from someone who saw it in 48fps and he loved it as well and I can see why. THIS IS THE FUTURE OF MOVIES TRUST ME WHEN I TELL YOU! The Differences: The CG Looks amazingly crisp and clear in this formatas well as the 3d. if you think your watching 3d in 24fps .....your not. Ill never see a 3d movie again if its not 48fps. The pale orc Looks amazing and honestly Golem looks better then any cg character I've ever seen. Just seeing that scene alone was worth the money of my ticket and a complete experience on its own. In the beginning it took me a lil to get used to the look but after I accepted it fully which was like ten minutes in I dont wanna go back. The dwarves make up is supurb and award oscar worthy in my book. Thats the only thing it might take a lil more work and focus in the make up department when shooting to really pull fictional characters like this off. Just thinking of The Avengers being filmed like this just gives me a nerd boner lol really its great. I felt the exact opposite as some of the critics who said it took them out of the film because it totaly sucked me in to the movie and made it feel like more of an experience then just a movie. Its not perfect but in a lot of spots in the movie it felt REAL. Trust me dont cheat yourself by not seeing this movie how peter jackson intended and if you dont agree then you can watch it in normal format the same way yoo've been watching movies your whole life when it comes out on tv or bluray. Take a chance it might pay off
JPLeezzy - 12/22/2012, 11:17 PM
and im not really a lotr or hobbit fan either just took it for what it was...just my opinion enjoy
staypuffed - 12/22/2012, 11:26 PM
My interest in the Hobbit and LOTR is below zero, but the arguments made by some of these reviewers are just [frick]ing stupid.
loki668 - 12/22/2012, 11:29 PM
Just do what I do and ignore the imbecilic reviewers. They're just bitter because their foray through the "Buford School of Film and Taxidermy" didn't make them Oscar winning film writers and directors. They're just pop-culture regurgitating morons who can only achieve recognition by making ridiculous, outlandish, and intellectually insulting claims about films. They are complete wastes of carbon matter who have no more benefit to humanity than a wet fart.

Lord Loki has spoken
Bandido - 12/22/2012, 11:53 PM
@JPLeezzy: dude i just came back from watching it on 48 fps 3D as well and me and my gf (gotta say shes a trooper for not falling asleep lol) actually enjoyed it, it is pretty long and the beginning is pretty slow but once it gets going its a prettyy fun movie. I was very nervous about the 48 fps and while it does take a few mins to get used to i have to say it looked really nice and crisp, especially the te fights and gollum! Holy shit gollum looked so real!
JDUKE25 - 12/22/2012, 11:57 PM
One dumb reason I've heard is that people complain about him making parts of the movie so grand and epic, just to have it up there with LOTR, instead of it coming off as "kiddie". Lmao that's so freakin stupid. Making it grand and epic, makes the film.....wait for it.....GRAND AND EPIC.
RR51 - 12/23/2012, 12:34 AM
While I kind of liked the movie, most of your reasons are ironically dumb explanations.

Darth258 - 12/23/2012, 4:10 AM
Awesome editorial, really enjoyed reading it.

Darth258 - 12/23/2012, 4:19 AM
@RR51: I don't get if you're talking about the 10 reasons or his reply to those.
JPLeezzy - 12/23/2012, 7:25 AM
@bandido gollum looks amazing. I went with a couple of friends and my only boy who didnt like it was sleeping the whole time lol The movie by itself was really great it did drag at times but I accepted that just because its a peter jackson movie and thats how he does these things. The whole time i was in awe of how clear and crispy it looked. I did notice in the beginning of the movie that it said it was made with sony 4k tech and i also heard those are gonna be the next gen in hd tv's sony is just waiting for 3d and led's to die down a lil and Im sure we;ll have these new tv's available to us in a yr or two...cant wait
TheRaven20 - 12/23/2012, 9:37 AM
Excellent article. Couldn't agree more. If critics don't like the movie that's there problem. It was very in-keeping with the book. And actaully Azog is briefly mentioned for one sentence in the Hobbit. So while Jackosn takes some liberties, you're more than right that he didn't add anything, simply expanded upon.
DrDoom - 12/23/2012, 12:42 PM
Saw it in 24fps and I loved it. 48 fps can bite me.
xStarLordx - 12/23/2012, 12:50 PM
I LOVED THE MOVIE!!!! I saw it in imax on an extreme screen and I loved it!!!! I haven't read the books yet but I plan on getting the Hobbit soon( Probably not getting the other books for a while). I know I can't really say much about the complaints with books, but the things these critics are saying are completely dumb! I loved the fight sequences between the dwarves and the orcs. I know there is a LOT of violence in the movie but come on. Plus, the guy complaining about offensive names is just stupid.
Tainted87 - 12/23/2012, 5:58 PM
I thought it was alright. I'm a hard one to please. The movie draaaaaaaaagged. The Hobbit is, without a doubt, the fastest-paced book in the entire Middle Earth series - a lot happens. I can understand making two movies out of it, but three? I'm going to end up spending around $60 just to see the entire story (I buy the tickets).

The Moria scenes did drag on for far too long as well, and I perfectly understand the CONCERN about the violence. Some was a bit more gratuitous than others, and I daresay this was in fact, the most gruesome of the series. This is a book that I read in third grade. The carnage here is not meant for little ones of that age to see.

That said, I loved the trolls, I LOVED Riddles in the Dark (probably the best part of the series), and as unneeded as it was, Christopher Lee's cameo made me smile widely.

(What is it with that man and mushrooms?!)

;)
Facade - 12/24/2012, 6:42 AM
I liked it (HFR)...I also liked X3...sue me!
TheSchemer - 12/24/2012, 7:49 PM
@Murdock.

I think it will be more apparent by the end of the trilogy why it is "The Hobbit" that is important.

SPOILER: They need a burglar because their plan is for one person to sneak into the Lonely Mountain to see if Smaug is dead, or to bring back something from the cave without Smaug noticing.
Quasimodo - 12/24/2012, 8:36 PM
Great article. Especially loved number 2
AC1 - 12/25/2012, 3:48 PM
As a back-up for your final point about 'short people' insults or whatever the 'journalist' was arguing, dwarves are from many other mythologies, and I think Tolkien actually invented hobbits, including the actual word 'hobbit'.
AC1 - 12/25/2012, 4:09 PM
As for the point about the violence, presenting a pacifist message in a film doesn't mean not including violence, it means presenting violence as wrong, which I think this film does very well (as does the book). The characters only fight and/or kill when they have no other choice; they never actively seek violence and only act violent when they must. In fact, I don't remember Bilbo killing anyone in the movie, apart from that warg that was going to eat him. The only characters to instigate violence are the bad guys (orcs, goblins, trolls, wargs, etc), everything else is in self defense. What must also be taken into account is the fact that, even if it is unbeknownst to the main characters (good guys) apart from Gandalf, they are on the brink of war as Sauron/The Necromancer has returned to Middle-Earth and is commanding the forces of evil - such as the mountain trolls coming down into the forests, or the goblins knowing the dwarves were in Moria, or the Ring (which is pretty-much alive and trying to return to Sauron) purposely abandoning Gollum to join Bilbo as it was able to foresee a path to Sauron through him and later Frodo. War would have happened regardless of the good-guys' stance on violence, and so the film presents them as being forced into it, but not seeking it and always trying to avoid it.

@BattlinMurdock you can't really talk about Bilbo's necessity in this film as a stand-alone and mention that it is titled 'The Hobbit', because 'The Hobbit' is the name of the trilogy and the overarching story that belongs to it. This film is 'An Unexpected Journey', which is exactly what happens to Bilbo in this film.

This film is not a stand alone adventure at all, it is merely part of a story which itself belongs to a larger mythology. As the trilogy is adapted from a single book consisting of a single volume, it means each part of the trilogy merely represents a segment of the single story-arc, rather than a chapter in a saga like each Lord of the Rings film did (as the Lord of the Rings book was created in three volumes, each of which is the basis for one of the films and as such each one can work as a stand-alone). But in this instance, The Hobbit trilogy represent one singular story-line, and as such the title reflects the importance of the journey of self discovery (and the discovery of self importance) the title character goes on. So Bilbo may not seem to important now, but by the third film you should understand how integral he is.

And in terms of plot, they do explain why the dwarves need him, but they kind of skim it so it's easy to miss. Basically, Smaug the dragon knows the scent of dwarves, and dwarves aren't good at 'stealth', so they need a hobbit to break into the mountain that Smaug has stolen, as Smaug won't know a hobbit's scent and hobbits are very good and moving around undetected.

And this idea of Bilbo's sneakiness is actually a counter arguement against the point in the article that the troll scene is unneccesary, as it presents Bilbo an opportunity to demonstrate his sneakiness, and therefore his necessity to the mission (or at least a moment for him to practice sneaking.)
dezdigi - 12/28/2012, 10:18 AM
I thought the movie was great and yes I've read all the books. I don't see anything wrong with changing things up a bit. Some of you purists are so uptight!

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