Episode 319: The Hobbit: There and Crap Again

January 7, 2015


Featuring Matt Anderson and Ben De Bono</strong

In this episode, Ben and Matt dissect the final installment in “The Hobbit” trilogy, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.”

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5 comments on “Episode 319: The Hobbit: There and Crap Again

  1. Kenny Lasko Jan 7, 2015

    I actually really enjoyed the movie.

  2. Michael Jan 8, 2015

    Many of your criticisms are sound (especially the fact that the trilogy inexplicably put ALL of Bilbo’s character arc in the first film), but the movie is not the unmitigated disaster you make it out to be.

    I think it actually works fairly well as a standalone film: it’s not Shakespeare, but, like a Shakespearean play, it drops you in medias res into a situation where you watch a tragedy unfold (in this case, the tragedy of Thorin). It has the most streamlined plot of any of the 3 films, and is the shortest, so those are huge advantages. It doesn’t feel bloated like “Desolation of Smaug” did. Oh, well.

    The fact that the characters *don’t* treat Thorin as though he were will negates your criticism of how the film handles “dragon-sickness.” What, you don’t think dwarves can talk in metaphor? You are bound and determined to prove Jackson got this wrong when, in fact, it can be taken either way. I never once thought we were supposed to think Thorin was literally sick or enchanted.

    I’m not a raging champion of this film, BUT: They did NOT drop the framing device. “Unexpected Journey” started on the day of Bilbo’s 111th birthday party; that film’s sequence ended with Frodo leaving Bag End to go wait in the field for Gandalf while Bilbo kept reminiscing. “Battle” ended with Bilbo’s reverie ending as Gandalf shows up at Bag End — ON the freaking day of the PARTY! Ahem. C’mon, guys, the movie had flaws, and was by no means perfect — but the framing device wasn’t one of the problems.

    Also, I think Tolkien was a more masterful storyteller than to tack on what you dismiss as a two chapter coda to his book. If the battle weren’t an integral part of the story he wanted to tell — and it is, since it is the fulfillment of the dwarves’ quest and how it goes sour, and how Bilbo learns some harsher truths about the wider world — Tolkien would have left it out. The story is NOT over when Smaug dies. That is part of the whole point of the book.

    “Gundabad” is a name straight out of Tolkien’s text, So there. Fact check your reviews!!!

    I, Grumpy Old Mike, could go on, but I won’t. I will agree that Scary Galadriel is a huge disappointment and completely unnecessary. In that scene she should be stunningly beautiful more than ever, pure light beating back evil darkness. Oh well.

    PS. If this film actually does make Matt re-read “The Hobbit” and, I’m sure, atone for his initial, horrible Goodreads rating of it, it’s existence will have been justified!

    PPS. Best line of the episode: “…Elrond doing wire kung fu like he was in ‘The Matrix.’ Which, he was.” Don’t know if you scripted that, but it was great. 🙂

  3. Kandi Jan 8, 2015

    There were several things about the movie that I didn’t care for, but I thought it was just because I haven’t yet seen “The Hobbit,” and I fell asleep during part of the second film. However, much of what was discussed here resonated with me. Such a shame, because I truly enjoyed the LOTR trilogy. The best thing I can say about the movie is that I saw it with my son, so we were able to crack jokes during some of the more ludicrous scenes.
    BTW: Matt, how can you NOT know what semaphores are?!? Good grief, man. XD

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