Destroy All Monsters: DIVERGENT Adaptations

In which I talk Game of Thrones, Divergent, The Hobbit, Hannibal, Watchmen, and all things related to adapting from previous work. Read more

Review - The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

"…those who didn’t like The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (or, heaven forfend, The Lord of the Rings) won’t find anything in The Desolation of Smaug to curb their distaste. It’s long as fuck. It’s a wholesale embellishment upon a relatively slender tale. It lacks the clear(er) narrative thrust of, well, a trilogy made out of an existing trilogy."

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The daffy mess of Howard Shore’s Unexpected Journey


Like most fans of movie music (or of hobbits) I’m quite fond of Howard Shore’s gargantuan work for The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which really is as close to a composer writing a twelve-hour symphony to accompany a movie as we’ve likely ever had in the medium. As such, I await each new installment in his follow-up work on The Hobbit trilogy with quite a bit of glee (my Desolation expanded score arrives today), and in general terms, when the expanded score for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey arrived last year, I wasn’t disappointed. It doesn’t raise the game, musically, but it works comfortably within the rule set that Shore established on the other trilogy. And there are some dandy bits of motif-building, too; the progressive six-tone Dwarven theme being my favourite.

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'Hobbit' Director Peter Jackson On The Movie's Controversial Frame Rate

Things we’ve learned in this interview with the Peej:

  • Warner Brothers and Jackson realize that previewing An Unexpected Journey in HFR meant the frame format dominated conversations about the film, and didn’t repeat the mistake for The Desolation of Smaug
  • Further, he’s trying to move the look of the film away from the “Masterpiece Theatre” criticisms from Film 1
  • 750 HFR screens this time (up from 450)
  • Jackson’s Desolation cameo is related to one of the original trilogy cameos - I’m hoping it’s carrot-eater’s grandfather, who eats turnips

THE HOBBIT production diary #13.


…You don’t care like I do, do you.

Go away. #dragon #desolation #smaug #whee

Watched: Sorry guys. More Hobbit.


I know, I know. It’s been a lot of this stuff lately. (And let’s be candid: it ain’t stopping anytime soon. It’s going to be all-Hobbit all-the-time on till the new year.) The problem with last week’s Watched post is that I put it together on the fly, having watched the extended cut of An Unexpected Journey but none of the expansive (like, nine hours and a 3-hour commentary) special features on the blu-ray. I spent such a lovely week doing the latter part - and building Bag End out of Lego while I was at it, which is as perfect a meditative exercise as anything I can think of. And naturally, while stewing myself in all of these things, I a) did not have time to watch anything else, and b) thought of more stuff.

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Watched: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Extended Edition)

We met yesterday as per the original plan and watched the Extended Edition of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, an event which demonstrated in one shot how far we’ve come while staying largely the same. “We” in this case was Steve, Dave, Chris (who actually owned the house in which we watched this thing, a terrifying thought) and Daniel (who I, when Gandalf interrogated Bilbo’s “good morning” with seven variants of what that comment could possibly mean, turned to and said “this is what it’s like talking to you”).

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Destroy All Monsters: An Underappreciated Hobbit

In which I argue that we’ve seriously undervauled An Unexpected Journey, and try to explain why embellishment is a good thing. Read more

THE HOBBIT production diary 12. Here we go…

Gandalf and Radagast swearing violently is perhaps my favourite thing.

Oh right this