Saturday, March 23, 2013

Selma Ruins The Hobbit

A certain movie about dwarves and hobbits (and a surprisingly large number of elves and men) came out on DVD this week. Spoilers, obviously.

"I cannot remember a single one of your names."

The movie starts and heyyyyyyy is this the Lord of the Rings? Oh no, wait, Ancient Bilbo is here to exposit at us some. That's cool because there's lots of dwarf backstory and HEYYYYYY Thorin Oakenbaby is here to class up the joint.

A dragon! There's a dragon! It's awesome but it doesn't talk so we can't tell that it's Benedict Cumberbatch. This dragon is here to wreck yo castle and solve mysteries AND WE'RE ALL OUT OF MYSTERIES.

Elves are jerks, Thorin is bitter, this is getting to be a downer and why is that elf riding a giant elk?

It's the Shire! I can't tell if my nostalgia is for the book version or for the Lord of the Rings movies that came out these many 12 years ago, but either way, eeeee!

Gandalf shows up and vagues at Bilbo awhile, and Martin Freeman wonders if there's any actual reason he's getting drawn into this adventure... or... no? Well okay then. Dwarven unauthorized home entry! And nobody comments? I'm just saying, the Shire seems like the kind of place that would have a Neighborhood Watch.

The dwarves steal a lifetime's worth of hoarded food and eat it in front of Bilbo. These guys need some serious Charm School. Then they start singing and OMG IT IS MY CHILDHOOD and it's nothing, really, there's just something in my eye.

Bilbo: "... Can you please leave now?"
Thorin: "I have a map."
Bilbo: "OOH SHINY."

So Gandalf wants Bilbo on the Dwarven Revenge Squad, but Thorin is stealing all of Benedict Cumberbatch's disdain for this movie, and also Bilbo is scared. And... has no reason to leave? I'll be honest, this is one of the parts that fell pretty flat compared to the book. I understand they have time constraints when they make a movie and they can't put in everything, but the book just worked better here because we got to see the other hobbits in The Shire compared to Bilbo, and we understood that Bilbo really didn't quite fit in. This version is more like... Bilbo: "I don't want to go!" Dwarves: "And we don't want to take him!" Gandalf: "YEAH WELL TOO BAD."

But of course, the plot takes hold and Bilbo rushes after them all because idk, maybe Gandalf magicked him or something. And then they wander merrily damply along the Balin Will Explain To You What The Hell Thorin's Damage Is Trail.

Meanwhile, some character we don't know and don't care about has bird poop in his hair.

Back at the ranch... somewhat literally...

Kili: "Hey Bilbo! Ponies are missing! Go check it out, yeah?" *wink*
Bilbo: "Why are you so weirdly attractive?"
Kili: "Look, it worked for Lord of the Rings, okay? If we are going to have a grand total of ONE female character in this movie then we sure as hell better bring the pretty. And I sure as hell bring the pretty."
Bilbo: "Fair point, well made."

So Bilbo moseys off and nearly gets everyone eaten by trolls because the Peter Principle is at full effect in Dwarven adventuring groups. Good going, Bilbo.

Thorin: "Hey Gandalf, it's almost like THIS WAS A REALLY BAD IDEA."
Gandalf: "If it wasn't for the halfling, you'd have all lost your heads and not just in the metaphorical sense! All that panicking you were doing and you were upstaged by a hobbit. Ha! My ideas are the best ideas."
Thorin: "If it wasn't for the halfling, someone competent would've gone to get the ponies."

Running running, Bird Poop McGee shows up again on a weirdly creepy rabbit sled and draws off the attackers. Gotta say, these dwarves are not impressing me. Which in the book made sense, but here with Muscles leading things, it seems a little weird.

And then they misread a sign or two and end up taking the Ironic Route of escape which leads to Elrond's place!

Thorin: "I hate everybody."
Gandalf: "Shut up my elf girlfriend is here okay do you even know what the long distance and the whole marriage thing does to our relationship. Besides, elves are cool! I love elves! QUICK, EVERYBODY LIE TO ELROND."
Elrond: "Sup?"
Everybody: *lies*

Finally one of those mythical ladyfolks appears in the movie, and someone seems to have accidentally put her in rollerblades, or on one of those revolving platforms. Er, set designers? I do not think this is as dignified as you thought it would be.

Gandalf: "Bad stuff is happening for realz guys."
Saruman: "Oh Gandy, you worry too much."
Galadriel: ~meaningful staaaaaaaaaaaring~

Just when the audience has had it up to here with Gandalf being like "look bad stuff's happening" and Saruman being like "NO U", the dwarves escape into... a scene from the Neverending Story? There are rock giants and it's supposed to be super tense because everybody almost dies but instead, the audience just sits there in confusion trying to figure out what scene in the book this is supposed to be. (Answer: NONE OF THEM.)

And then Bilbo almost dies but Thorin saves him and at the apex of Martin Freeman's crush on the tall, dark, cranky detective dwarf, Thorin goes all I WISH THE GOBLINS WOULD COME AND TAKE YOU AWAY! RIGHT NOW!

Bilbo: "Is this like when Edward said he hated Bella for her own good?"
Bilbo: *lip quiver*

So then Bilbo decides to run away, and has a solid hobbit-to-dwarf brotalk with one of the dwarves in stupid hats, look, if the movie can't be bothered to remind us of their names then I have no freaking clue.

But just as Bilbo's about to hug his copy of He's Just Not That Into You tight to his chest and walk away, Jareth sends all of his goblins up from the Labyrinth, because Thorin knew the magic words. And then there's a lot of falling in caves, and Jabba the Hut Goblin can talk because the plot says so, and Bilbo gets his big scene with Gollum. Which is admittedly awesome.

Then everyone escapes and - wait, they only NOW realize that Bilbo isn't here? I call some bull on this one, you guys had to know he wasn't around!

Thorin: "It's all for the better that he ran away or died or whatevs, I never liked that guy anyway."
Bilbo: "Howdy."
Thorin: "...Well this is awkward."

Then the huge white orc of Hope You Guys Can Tell This One Apart Because He's Thematically Important to Stretching This Franchise Over Three Movies attacks! And it totally sucks because the tree scene is nothing like the ones in the books, which is my absolute favorite part. Booooo. Thorin is an idiot and almost gets Warged, but Bilbo jumps down from a tree to save him because... um... he's into guys that don't treat him right?

Everyone's getting their butts handed to them when EAGLES! EAGLES FOR EVERYONE! An eagle for you, and for you, and you...

And then the movie ends with a heartfelt (but not too heartfelt because of chomping) "I was wrong-ish" hug between Thorin and Bilbo.

The End... until the next two movies.


  1. Your parody is hilarious, despite the fact that I actually liked the movie. Though I do believe that the stone giant scene is an expansion of a single sentence in the books...

    1. Honestly I actually enjoyed the movie too! I thought it had a lot of flaws, but Martin Freeman was a wonderful choice as Bilbo and I loved the growing comradeship between the members of the party.