November 1st, 2014

bilbo

(no subject)

There's been a bit of back-and-forth news re: the Hobbit movies the last few days. It seems that a lot of the dwarf actors weren't getting flown out to the London premiere of the final movie and the list of attendees were released to the media and journalists went to Oin's actor and got a distraught reaction out of him. Apparently it was a miscommunication and the whole company is going to the final premiere, in LA. Or maybe that was New Line's or whomever's way of avoiding the PR problem. You can read the details here and make of them what you will.

But the whole thing has me thinking about the Hobbit movies and particularly how long-term fans of the book view them. I don't just mean are there parts that drive us up the wall or parts that are particularly moving or well-done, but at a more fundamental level, how do we feel about them as Tolkien (as opposed to Jackson) fans. Are we glad they were made, and if so for whatever reason - because it's a reasonably faithful adaptation, or because it practically kept people interested in Tolkien, or what? Can we enjoy it outside of Tolkien, as just a good adventure story? I'd be interested in hearing from people who were fans of the books before the movies came out (which is I think most people reading this, but I don't want to assume). Are you glad these movies were made or not, and why or why not?

Speaking for myself, I had my qualms about the first movie but found it reasonably convincing as a telling of that book. The second movie, though, was just... I'm having a hard time explaining it but it just wasn't Middle-earth. Too much violence, too much revenge and trickery from "good guy" characters, and just too ... low-brow, I guess? Also too much of trying to make this a battle-for-the-fate-of-the-world like LOTR (the parallels were almost funny at times), when the real beauty of the story for me reading it was that this was only one of many such skirmishes in the lead-up to the Ring War, that heroic men like Thorin and Bilbo and Bard were having to make stands like this all the time (and that they did). It felt like twisting something I loved deeply, and while there were bits I am so glad I got to see (pretty much everything with Bilbo and Bard and Gollum, and some of the flashbacks into Dwarvish history), as a whole I find myself wishing it wasn't made at all. It was okay as an adventure story and when I've rewatched, if I forgot it was The Hobbit I could enjoy it at that level, but that hardly seems like a good standard.

If anyone else has thoughts on the movies, I'd be interested to hear it.
granada holmes

the deleted Sherlock scene

I know I "owe" several of you replies on the Hobbit movies. I've loved reading everyone's experiences because they're so varied, both from each other and my own. It both gives me permission to be frustrated and makes me think they're maybe not quite as damaging as I think when I'm stuck in my own head. I really do mean to reply individually but just wanted to thank drinkingcocoa, frenchpony, lindahoyland, dreamflower02, and lin4gondor. DrinkingCocoa in particular. I know it's never easy to stick your neck out when it's not really the fannish circle you run in, but I found that "outsiders'" perspective to be particularly interesting.

On a completely unrelated note: acd_holmesfest has begun posting their entries. I haven't sat down to read any, but I always enjoy them and am looking forward to it. You can do worse than reading the art and fic that uber-talented group usually produces.

And on a different note, the BBC Sherlock fandom has gone predictably off the rails (in a good way) because they released a special DVD of series three, with a deleted scene of about two minutes. I typed up some thoughts on it for Tumblr earlier today but I'd love peoples' thoughts here if you're interested in that kind of thing. As it's spoilerish and a bit long, I'll put it under a cut.

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Now I'm off to the grocery store before it closes. If I don't get there I won't even have bread, and peanut butter half sandwiches have been my snack of choice as it's much cheaper and even a bit healthier for a diabetic like me than most other options. I'm making progress with the Sherlock story that was supposed to be ready by Halloweenbut didn't make that cut, but hey, progress is progress.