Jackson Very Terrible Try to Make Better

It’s that time again, where I watch the entire filmography of the director of the film I’ve been assigned for Cinema 52. Unlike Tony Scott or Robert Zemeckis, however, the director of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring can’t seem to ever release just one cut of his films. So, not only am I cramming twelve movies into one exhausting weekend, but specifically the longest available version of each film. That’s right, it’s not just the complete Peter Jackson… it’s COMPLETER JACKSON. Let’s do this.


IS THIS A PAINFULLY LONG PETER? Yep, he’s back to the “even more movie on home video” thing. The Extended Edition runs 182 minutes and does not appear to contain any bullshit fan credits. I have not seen the theatrical cut. I don’t want to see the theatrical cut. I want nothing to do with this movie ever again. I will probably watch the theatrical cut. Fuck.


These guys.

So a bunch of interchangeable Dwarves go bug Young Bilbo (Martin Freeman) to help them get their treasure back from a dragon. Along the way, things happen. Sometimes they’re things from the book.

Monstrous trolls!

But, because the book is so goddamned boring, they frequently crank the Action Movie Lever to full capacity. No longer does Gandalf cleverly throw his voice to keep the trolls arguing until the sun slowly rises and turns them to stone. Instead, ACTION GANDALF motherfucking MAGIC-PUNCHES a giant rock TO DEATH.

“Suck my shining sunbeams, shitheads!”

If you’re hoping for a faithful book adaptation, look elsewhere. This is a lot of throwing random pages of Tolkien against the screen and seeing what sticks, then padding it out with stupid.

Or shameless pandering to its target audience.

This feels more like a collection of scenes without a story than the original Rings trilogy, and that means a lot coming from a guy like me.

So, if An Unexpected Journey isn’t an adaptation, what is it? Sadly, a prequel, and a bad one at that. What makes it bad? Like most unbearable prequels, instead of crafting a new, engaging adventure, it spends all damn day digging in the nostalgia mine. Hands on buzzers, it’s time to play Hey, Remember That?



Wow, buzz.

He’s supposed to be here, but yeah, technically, buzz.

Nos 6

The sexy background guy? Holy shit, buzz.

Acceptable buzz.

Nos 8


Nos 9

Fucking what?! Buzz buzz buzz.

Nos 91


Nos 92

My buzzer broke, but that is the knife that stabs Frodo.

Nos 93

He’s in the book, this is fine. Still hate him, though.

Nos 94

Ding. (I found a bell.)

For bonus laughter, each old character is accompanied by their own music cue from the original films. Even Saruman, who’s all, “Yo, Gandy, how’s it hangin’, buddy?” OMINOUS NOTES. This is kinda why prequels don’t work; that’s weird as hell when watched in the proper story order. Anyway, this movie is all about setting up what happens in LotR instead of, you know, being its own thing. It’s irritating.

Oh, also, lots of songs. It’s almost a musical.

A singing goblin king? Seen it.

This is the greenest green screen that ever screened. This was shot on the same set as Revenge of the Sith and Avatar.

Also, the set for the next Superman, James Bond, probably Star Wars

“Oh, get over it, this is just how movies are made now,” you’re probably saying. Oh, you’re not? You agree with me that this is shitty? Oh, wow, that saved me a lot of hypothetical arguing. You’re the best. Let’s move on.

So since all the effects are CGI, do they look okay?


“Look” is probably not the right word. Do the wooden bits of that crumbling bridge look real? Sure. But do they feel real? Not particularly. It’s mostly due to the fact that we know none of this is really happening. The unbelievable cartoon physics are distracting at best.

I feel like I’m supposed to throw some more pictures of the CGI in here, but I don’t want to. It’s all the same shit. Gollum looks good, I guess.

Here’s a picture of him I already grabbed. Looks good, eh? *sigh*

This was just sad. Are you expecting me to say that even though I hate the Lord of the Rings movies, I now appreciate their artistry in comparison to this Hobbit garbage? Because that would be a safe guess. Still, you know what? I might almost prefer to watch this more than Fellowship for the… train wreckness of it all. God, what am I saying? I don’t know any more. You leave a bad taste in my mouth, Peter.

UP NEXT: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)