Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Looks like filming has begun on 'The Hobbit.' I've made it no secret that I'm only so-so with Jackson's Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Being a fan of the book, I understand that Tolkien's masterpiece brings certain difficulties with bringing it into the medium of film. I also know changes have to be made between text and movie. The important thing to remember is that the changes are supposed to utilize the medium and improve the text, at least insofar as its interpretation by film is concerned. Jackson's vision of Frodo and Sam escaping the fires of Mount Doom, when edited between his comrades realizing the danger that Frodo and Sam were now experiencing even as they rejoiced in their victory was an example of changing for the better. But far too many of Jacksons' changes did nothing at all, or made things worse. Incoherent plot lines, inconsistencies in story, plot holes big enough to sail ships through, dialogue and drama dumbed down for the sake of cool one liners or CGI graphics - these all hampered the overall effect. And while the eye candy was there, that was in part due to the use of artists who had already hammered out a vision of Middle Earth. As I've said in the past, each attempt to bring Tolkien's vision has had hits and misses. It almost seems doomed to be a mixed bag every time. I'm not the only one to notice this, as I've posted before. Hopefully this time around, Jackson will let Tolkien be Tolkien, and use the best of film to take the parts of the Hobbit where Tolkien envisioned it, not where Jackson thinks he should have gone.