Well swell, guys, glad you appreciated by obnoxious holier-than-thou nerdism! How does one claim the tickets? And, more importantly, since I'm temporarily and indefinitely living in Kansas City, can I can I gift them to someone?
A common criticism of this film has been that, while LOTR was trimmed down, this film has been bloated with extra material. I'd like to remind people that, although the original film trilogy is great and deservedly beloved, it also threw in quite a bit of extra material and changed some events entirely while sacrificing important bits of story. The barrow wights and Tom Bombadil from Fellowship? Gone. Sam becoming a temporary Ring-bearer in Return? Gone. The Scouring of the Shire? Gone. Instead we had an over emphasis on the Aragorn-Arwen relationship, the Aragorn-Eowyn relationship, Frodo being brought to Osgiliath (never happened), Aragorn's near-death experience (never happened), and bloated battle scenes where Legolas does something cool. These could be considered detrimental to these films, but a lot of what was added was based on Tolkien material (appendices, notes, The Silmarillion) and ended up adding to the story and the emotional impact. Still, Jackson had his fun with silly moments of slapstick and battle shots that made you think "Cool!" the first time and want to slap yourself afterwards.
The difference with this film is that we're getting the whole story, no sacrifices, with all the elements from Tolkien's notes, appendices, and The Silmarillion. The Hobbit book is largely nonsensical by itself. Where does Gandalf go when he inexplicably leaved the group time and again. What is he up to? What's the deal with that Necromancer? What is everyone's real motive? Why the hell does a quest to slay a dragon and recover stolen treasure lead to the Battle of Five Armies? This movie adaptation is giving us these answers that have been clued in over years of Tolkien's writings, but were not in the original book. It is not "filler." It is not fucking "hamburger helper." Jackson and his team are giving us the whole picture of events that led up to Lord of the Rings in the span of The Hobbit's timeline.
And yes, they're having fun with it and putting in a little silliness here and there, just as they did with the original trilogy. That awful dwarf song about washing dishes, though...straight from the book. I read that scene for the first time while tripping on mushrooms. I laughed my ass off. I'd consider it an abomination for it to not be included.
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