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For the past several years I’ve been listening to people griping/mocking/whatever about the The Hobbit being turned into three movies. Frankly, I think it’s ridiculous.

Shrek is a 32-page picture book that was turned into a two-hour movie. See also Where the Wild Things Are and The Iron Man (which became The Iron Giant).

The next Captain America movie will adapt Marvel’s Civil War crossover story, but how are they going to fit everything from dozens of issues into one movie?

Did you know that the screenwriter of the KULL THE CONQUEROR movie took advantage of his contractual right to create a novel version of the movie, which was closer to his original script? I haven’t read it, but he says he never wrote the stupid stuff about Kull being terrible with a sword, and he included the reason for the “madness” that drove the king to murder his children, along with other complexities cut from the film?

In other words, yeah, people adapt things. They condense them. They expand them. They change them significantly. They put happy endings on the end of Romeo & Juliet. They turn Stephen King’s vampire into a wordless nosferatu. Works high and low are altered in the adaptation, and I’m tired of hearing the same old gripes about Jackson’s Hobbit films.

Yeah, there’s profit-seeking in it (says the guy about to release a fantasy trilogy of his own) and can I say that I’m shocked, shocked, to find gambling going on in this establishment. Of course, the only way to stop movie-makers from splitting adaptations into more than one film is to turn them into flops. Having just taken my son to see MOCKINGJAY PART ONE, I’m not holding my breath.

Me, I haven’t seen any of THE HOBBIT films yet. Maybe they suck. Maybe they’re fine and people are shit-mouthing them because they feel ripped off.

In any event, I have a ticket to see all three films, in a marathon, on an IMAX screen, this Monday afternoon. It’s going to be a nine-hour event, starting at 1pm (watching all three LOTR films on my birthday took 13 hours) and I’m going to be there for the duration. Unfortunately, my wife and son aren’t bit on movie marathons, the poor dears, so I’m having a Me-day.

(Seattle-area folks: is anyone else going? Drop me a note on Twitter at @byharryconnolly and maybe we can arrange to meet up)

Certainly, some parts will be dumb, some will be entertaining, some will be both. I last read the book a few years back, when my kid was young enough that we could subject him to family read-aloud time, so I won’t notice minor changes and won’t care about large ones. In other words, fuck Tom Bombadil. I expect that the worst thing about it will be eating meals out of the concession stand.

If I get a shit ton of work done this weekend, I’ll even be ready to sign and mail out the paperbacks when they arrive the next day.

Seriously, though: if you’re going and want to meet up, let me know.

Mirrored from Harry Connolly. You can comment here but not there.



( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 11th, 2014 07:37 pm (UTC)
good luck at the big gulp of fantasy.. yeah, parts suck in the movies, the additional characters.. ect ect ect.. but, Smaug..

or you can giggle over Sherlock and Watson in different roles..
Dec. 11th, 2014 07:38 pm (UTC)
Honestly, I'm trying to forget those Sherlock movies. I liked the first season but couldn't stay in the same room while the third was on.
Dec. 12th, 2014 10:20 am (UTC)
I do think that its odd that no one has killed that character off..
Dec. 11th, 2014 08:23 pm (UTC)
Ah, the books are coming just in time to pay for the bladder replacement surgery, then?
Dec. 11th, 2014 09:12 pm (UTC)
I'm a bus commuter, I've held my bladder for longer than 3 hours.
Dec. 11th, 2014 08:53 pm (UTC)
They do suck. Most of what sucks about them is the stuff used to fill three movies.
Dec. 11th, 2014 09:13 pm (UTC)
Oh well. It wouldn't be the first time I've walked out of a movie.
Dec. 11th, 2014 09:25 pm (UTC)
Watch the first one. If you don't want to tear your eyes out of your head from boredom by the time it's over, watch the others. Personally, I couldn't get past the first one. And my eyes haven't grown back yet.
Dec. 12th, 2014 12:07 am (UTC)
I'll probably stick around long enough to see the dragon.
Dec. 12th, 2014 12:09 am (UTC)
He doesn't even show up until the second film.
Dec. 11th, 2014 08:57 pm (UTC)
Mr. Grumpy Pants!
Dec. 11th, 2014 09:14 pm (UTC)
I make a call for tolerance of rampant profit-seeking, and this is the treatment I get!
Dec. 11th, 2014 11:44 pm (UTC)
I always sneak in tasty food in my purse.
Dec. 12th, 2014 12:08 am (UTC)
Last time I went to a theater, they made me open my backpack before I could go inside. I'll have to be extra sneaky.
Dec. 12th, 2014 12:11 am (UTC)
Geez1 Maybe because I'm an old bat, they don't bother.
Dec. 12th, 2014 02:26 am (UTC)
You must give off an honest vibe.
Dec. 12th, 2014 02:27 am (UTC)
They aren't too bad. The Hobbit is written quite tersely, the narrative style notwthstanding. Just unpacking an incident for film that might occupy only a few pages, while adding dialogue and business to make it, so to speak, 'realistic' to modern viewers (which a book of that style can simply omit), does actually take quite a while on film. I didn't feel that they dragged at all. As always, some of the additions are interesting and insightful, and others are a pointless waste of time. It is up to the viewer to decide which are which.

They do retain the very high aesthetic standards of the LOTR films.
Dec. 12th, 2014 02:29 am (UTC)
Yeah, I'm really hoping for the LOTR-style eye candy.
Dec. 13th, 2014 05:11 am (UTC)
Are you seeing it in HFR? Some places projected the first two at 48fps instead of 24, looks better. I'd wanted to see that since I read about Douglas Trumbel's experiments with HFR (things are better up to 72fps) in the 1970s. I'd recommend it. Not sure about IMAX. Also, I bought 3D clip ons for my glasses, instead of the provided ones (there are at least 3 different polarized systems, I rather prefer the Real 3D circular polarized method, if the glasses are tilted, it doesn't fail as badly).

3D wise, I want to see Wim Wender's "Pina", and that's it. 3D is a waste, I found it distracted me from the movie (like, why can't I focus on that near tree branch that's framing the shot?).
Dec. 13th, 2014 05:03 pm (UTC)
This turns out to be a Real 3D version, which is too bad since I'm not a huge fan and my prescription is old enough that I'm concerned about headaches.

There's no HFR, though. At least, it's not advertised, and I'm sure it would be if it was on offer.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )