So this week, when AMC theaters offered a "The Hobbit" marathon, I figured I'd indulge, and get them all done at the same time. I prefer to rip off the Band-Aid quickly, rather then a slow peel.
I'll skip over the first two parts as they have been out for one/two years, respectively. As I credits rolled for the last one, I seriously thought Peter Jackson must have lost his gosh darn mind.
This movie is a non-stop action piece that is on par with a Michael Bay production. The only time it slows down is when anyone is moping. There is no real story arc to this one as it has the dubious duty to wrap up all the subplots. Which unsatisfyingly all end up in a battle, fight, or death. When all the blood has split and smoke has cleared, there are a few scant scenes of love and friendship and redemption. But it is treated like an inconvenience. This disappointed me, as the friendship theme is the entire point of the book, IMO.
The problem with these films is that they do not stand alone like "The Lord of the Rings" films. Each of those films has a set of stakes, goals and strong structure. "The Hobbit" films just feel like one long movie, arbitrarily broken into three parts. "The Hobbit," kind of works, when you sit down and ingest nine-hours of it at once. But who has time to do that? I like that I can watch a single LOTR film after Thanksgiving dinner and feel satisfied. This 'random cutting point to make multiple parts' is a growing trend with movies as we've seen in the "Twilight," "Harry Potter," and "Hunger Games" movies, and now it seems, "The Hobbit" has followed suit.
Technically, the films are nice. I saw it at an IMAX theater in the HFR. The (HFR) helps to brighten the image on screen so more detail can be seen. The special effects are well done and the sound mix was nice. Peter Jackson is good at making you feel you are in the world. I just wish had spent more time on the script.
In conclusion, "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies," is like eating a big bowl of candy. It's good for a while, but later, leaves you feeling sick and full of regret. The film is pretty to look at, and makes you feel like you are in Middle-Earth, but when the lights come up, your asking yourself, 'what was the point?'
In a few years I may see this series as a guilty pleasure that I watch in bed while battling a winter cold, but for now I'll prefer to take in my holiday season with a far more superior "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.
Although, "The Hobbit" series did not live up to my expectations, I find myself a bit blue as I write this as "The Battle of the Five Armies" marks the end of Middle Earth though Peter Jackson's vision. I admire him greatly for delivering us fans a mostly true interpretation of Mr. Tolkien's world and the love and care Peter Jackson has for the world it visible in every frame from "Fellowship" to "Battle." Kudos Mr. Jackson, now go make one of those Star Wars movies for us.
The Phoebe Quality Rating:
[ ] The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
[x] Snow White and the Huntsman
[ ] Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
[ ] Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
[ ] The Princess Bride
If you need to brush up on your Tolkien, refresh yourself with this fun video.