Extended Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey

The additional scenes in The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey are fairly low-key. Rather than entire scenes of new information/action, they are mostly extensions of extant scenes. They don't alter the film overall; the cuts focus mostly on tightening the action (rather than fixing plot problems).

Rivendell and Bilbo:

The few additions that make an impact--in Rivendell, for example--underscore the dwarfs as the boisterous, low-culture boys' club that they are. I rather love this. Sure, I'd rather live in Rivendell with the elves. But I get a kick out of the anti-opera, anti-vegetarian aspect of the dwarfs.

The dwarfs in frat-boy party mode.
Overall, Rivendell contains the best of the extra scenes, including two neat thematic points: Bilbo's discussion with Elrond that emphasizes his choice between the comforts of home and commitment to Thorin & Company; the conversation between Gandalf and Elrond that hints at Thorin's grandfather's madness.

I regret the first cut more than the second. The second scene isn't paid off until the end of the trilogy; understandably, Jackson didn't want the audience to have to wait that long. The first scene, however, includes a nice allusion to The Lord of the Rings. Generally speaking, I wish The Hobbit trilogy had contained more of these.

The first scene is also beautifully paid off towards the end of the movie with Bilbo's speech.

Of course, rewatching the movie served to remind me once again of Martin Freeman's impressive ability to convey emotion and humor with his utterly mobile face and easy body language. He doesn't simply recite words. He twists his mouth, ducks his head, avoids eye contact, then makes it--not always obviously, quite subtly in some cases, but the everyman humanity is there.

I can never say enough good things.

Orcs and Goblins: 

Other expanded scenes include the very funny under-the-mountain goblin additions, which are surprisingly close to the tone and plotting of the original text. One of the funniest lines comes here when the Goblin King says of a Rivendell nick-knack, “Bah – Second Age, couldn’t give it away!”

And if you think Tolkien wouldn't have approved, keep in mind that Tolkien is the one who invented Gandalf's golf line at the beginning of the book/movie: "[The goblin's head] sailed a hundred yards through the air and went down a rabbit hole and in this way the battle was won and the game of Golf invented at the same moment."

Love the White Warg!
Rewatching the film did remind me of something that always puzzles me with this genre: why do bad guys (the orcs) keep following a leader who kills them when they don't get him what he wants?

I have to admit, though, that people do this in real life! Look at Henry VIII. If a wife disappointed, he didn't just divorce or end her life; he ended the careers and lives of people connected to her: supporters, family members, advisors who recommended her . . .

And yet people kept trying to curry favor with Henry VIII by suggesting new wives.

People who covet power always think that THEIR bid for power will be different from all those other people who didn't quite make it.

No comments:

Post a Comment