The Hobbit (The Revenge)

Well, here we are again. Just think. When I wrote about about these movies the first time, the third Hobbit movie had not yet been released, I was not plagued by a nitwit spouting stupid fan theories, and Fallout 4 wasn’t advertised everywhere…

Yeah, things have gone a bit downhill since then….

But no matter! Because we’re not talking about something awful or stupid. We’re talking about The Hobbit!

(And no, that’s not sarcasm.)

Now, all three parts have been released, as well as their respective extended editions.

I watched the third movie on release, and much like the two before it, I really liked it. People may complain about the length or the additions to the story, but as I’ve said before, I have no problem with these movies. They were funny, the acting was great, the characters were good and the movie overall was very beautiful.

And with the extended version of the third movie, I got pretty much everything I wanted, with two exceptions.

Radagast didn’t get much of a sendoff, and we never got to see Bilbo dig up the chest in the troll cave on the way home.

But the things I got, which I wanted: I got to hear Bombur speak, Alfrid got his comeuppance in a very fitting display of comedic irony, the scenes shown in an early trailer, with a cart on an icy river were included…

All of this, coupled with the additional scenes I didn’t even know I wanted, has reinforced my belief that the extended versions are the “real” versions.

So with all this, I’d like to address a complaint I’ve come across with these movies, which I not only disagree with, but find absolutely laughable.

See, recently, an article was released where Peter Jackson revealed he was basically improvising throughout the making of the trilogy.

The story goes, that originally Guillermo del Toro was supposed to be the director, but when he left the project, Jackson was put in the directors chair.

However, Jackson did not have the same preparation time he had when making The Lord of The Rings, where he had years to plan how to do it. This meant that he had to wing it.

Jackson himself was quoted as saying “I didn’t know what the hell I was doing” in an interview.

Now, the thing that really confuses me about this revelation isn’t the details surrounding it, or even the revelation itself.

Rather, it’s the public reaction to it, with people using it to justify denouncing the Hobbit, or Peter Jackson as a director.

Ex-fucking-scuse me?!

Maybe I’ve missed something, but if Peter Jackson was improvising when he made the Hobbit, if all of it is just him winging it, people should not moan and complain.

They should be FUCKING APPLAUDING!

Because the Hobbit trilogy is not, nor has it ever been, a bad movie series. Is it as good as the Lord of the Rings? Well, no, because The Lord of the Rings was a bona fide fantasy epic, spanning three books, whereas The Hobbit was one novel, written for children.

Is it as good as it could have been? Probably not. A project given the proper preparation will almost certainly be better than a project that is improvised.

But that does not make it bad, by any stretch! The core of the story remains! The characters, ALL OF THE CHARACTERS, are more fleshed out and three dimensional. Think about it. Can you name a single word Bofur said in the book? Describe Dwalins personality. What was Kilis hair colour?!

In the book, all the dwarves except Thorin were defined by the colour of their hoods. That’s it!

Here, they’re fucking INDIVIDUALS!

And all of this was done by a guy who “Didn’t know what he was doing”!?

People shouldn’t see that as “Well, that explains a lot” and use it to criticise Jackson. They should see the Hobbit as a shining fucking example of his skill as a director!

Hm… It’s a somewhat unfamiliar feeling, gushing over something and defending it, instead of nitpicking and criticising…

I feel weird now. I think I’ll to go watch some bad movies so I’ll feel comfortable again….

 

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WTFAW: Titanic

Ah, Valentines Day. Love is in the air and chocolate boxes abound. What a great opportunity, then, to write about a romantic topic.

Specifically, one of the most well known romantic movies ever made: Titanic.

(Because nothing says “True Love” like a 1912 shipwreck wherein roughly 1500 people died)

As you might gather from the title, we’re dealing with fan theories about this movie. Dave?

Dave: Alright, I have a few fan theories. Firstly: Jack Dawson is a time traveller!

And right out of the gate, we’ve got insanity. Please elaborate, he said with a sudden twinge of trepidation and dread…

Dave: Jack travelled back in time to stop Rose from killing herself.

Alright, but why would he do that? Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want people to commit suicide, but why is Rose so important Jack has to bitchslap the space-time continuum to save her?

Dave: If she had jumped, they would’ve had to stop and look for her, which would’ve meant they wouldn’t have hit the iceberg.

I see…. I’ll get back to you on that. Let’s hear the arguments first…

Dave: Well, in the movie, Jack mentions fishing in Lake Wissota and suggests to Rose that they ride the rollercoaster at the Santa Monica pier.

Right…?

Dave: The Titanic sank in 1912. That lake wasn’t formed until 1917, and the rollercoaster wasn’t on the Santa Monica pier until 1916.

Ah, I see. Is that all?

Dave: I think so, yes.

Good. First off, I agree that the anachronisms are valid. It is strange that Jack would know of things that don’t exist until after the Titanic sank.

Dave: You see?

But couldn’t that just be a factual error on the part of the writers? I mean, they made several other mistakes in the movie, not the least of which being the portrayal of First Officer William McMaster Murdoch, who in the movie accepts a bribe, shoots a passenger and then kills himself, whereas the real Murdoch was reported as saving many, and dying when the ship sank.

(The studio had to issue an official apology for that, might I add)

Dave: Well, possibly, but that’s a meta explanation. Within the logic of the movie, it makes sense.

Ok, if we’re going by in movie logic, there’s a much more rational explanation to the anachronism.

Dave: Yeah? What’s that?

Simple. Rose got it wrong.

Dave: What?!

The opening of the movie takes place in 1996. The ship, as you said, sank in 1912. Rose was 17 in 1912. That would make her 101 years old in ´96!

This story is told to us by a woman who lived through two world wars! She is a century old! Don’t you think that in the 84 year interrim, she might have gotten some details wrong? Remembered the wrong lake, said the wrong pier? Gotten SOME minor details wrong in the small talk she had with someone 84 years ago?

Doesn’t that sound more likely than “Jack is a time traveller”?

Dave: Uhm…

And furthermore, let’s say you’re right. Let’s say Jack IS a time traveller here to save Rose. But why would that mean the ship wouldn’t hit the iceberg? Nobody knew where Rose was, except Jack. Nobody would have known she jumped overboard.

Not to mention that even if they did realize that she went overboard, I doubt the ship would be brought to a stop just so they could retrieve her body, which probably would have sunk into the ocean. More likely, the captain would go “There’s nothing we can do for her now”, so chances are the ship would have proceded unhindered, with nothing having been altered except for a dead socialite.

Dave: Well, they MIGHT have stopped the ship. Cal Hockley and Ruth Dewitt were both fairly influential, so they might convince the captain to stop.

Alright, maybe. But if that’s the case, talk me through the logic here… Jack goes backwards in time and keeps Rose from committing suicide… which means that the Titanic WILL hit the iceberg…

Dave: That’s right.

By saving her, he effectively killed more than 1500 men, women and children.

Dave: Yes!

I see… Then answer me this. Why would he do that? Why would he want the ship to crash? See, ensuring the ship hits the iceberg is a means, not an end. Why did the ship have to crash?

Dave: Uhm… Well….

The way I see it, if the ship crashing is an end in itself, then that would mean Jack is a confirmed mass murderer, who orchestrated events to make sure 1500 people died for no reason.

Dave: uh… maybe it was to protect the timeline? If the Titanic doesn’t sink, it would alter history, and Jack had to make sure that didn’t happen.

That would mean something else had previously contaminated the timeline to necessitate that need to maintain it. And if it isn’t Rose, then she could have jumped and nothing would have changed since she’s already part of the established timeline.

That means that by saving someone who was supposed to die, Jack is actually damaging the timeline in unpredictable ways, making the whole protecting the timeline selfdefeating anyway.

And if it IS Rose, that would either mean that she herself is a time traveller (which she isn’t), or you’re suggesting someone else intentionally pushed her towards suicide, to make sure the Titanic doesn’t sink, in which case it’s the most convoluted plan in history.

Dave: Hmph. Fine, but I’ve got more fan theories! This is not over yet!

Oh joy… Ok, what else do you have?

Dave: Jack didn’t exist at all!

Aha… And what leads you to that conclusion?

Dave: There are no records of Jack being on the ship, and we see the movie only through Rose’s point of view. Maybe Jack is just a figment of her fractured psyche, to help her cope with emotional distress, like an arranged marriage, her own doubts and finally the sinking of the Titanic itself? Jack saves Rose from her suicide attempt. Perhaps he is just the voice in her head urging her to cling to life?

Ok, and what are the arguments?

Dave: Uh… well, Rose tries to commit suicide, so she might be a bit mentally unstable…

I see…. Where to start with this one…

First off, we see MOST of the movie through Rose’s point of view, but not all of it. There are many scenes, such as the gambling scene in the beginning, or perhaps one of the most famous scenes in the movie, with Jack declaring “I’m king of the world!” where Rose isn’t around.

Second, several characters except Rose interracts with Jack on several occasions.

Margaret Brown loans Jack a dinner jacket, and Cal has Jack chained up in a cabin below decks.

Dave: Uhm….

Oh, and of course, there was something else… what was it…

Oh, right!

Sketch
THE FUCKING SKETCH

Remember that? The whole reason Rose was brought in to tell the story to begin with? The sketch Jack FUCKING PAINTED AND SIGNED!?

If Jack is just a figment of Rose’s imagination, then where the fuck did the painting come from?!

Dave: Ok, fine! Maybe that theory doesn’t work. But I’ve got one more for you!

Fine, one more, then. What is it? Jack survived drowning and became the Wolf of Wall Street, despite somehow not aging between 1912 and 1987? Or maybe he washed up on the shore of inception, again somehow not aging at all?

Dave: Don’t be stupid! Jack is Jay Gatsby!

I see… This doesn’t change the fact that he somehow survived the whole freezing to death and sinking in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Dave: Aha, that’s because he DIDN’T die in the North Atlantic.

What?

Dave: The theory is that in a parallel universe, Both Rose and Jack survived the sinking of the Titanic, but later split up. Jack decided he wanted to live the high life, and changed his name from Jack Dawson to J. (Jay) Gatsby.

I see. And what evidence do you have to support this?

Dave: uhm… They’re both played by Leonardo DiCaprio…?

That’s it?

Dave: Yes, it is…

Well, then, this should be easy. See, you claim that Jay Gatsby is formerly Jack Dawson.

Dave: Yes!

This despite the fact that if we know that Jay Gatsby is formerly James “Jimmy” Gatz, from a farming family in north dakota. We KNOW his backstory! We know how he made his money and that at no point did he go on the fucking Titanic!

Dave: Well, this has to do with multiverse theory and…

NO!

Just accept that the theory does not add up! Don’t come dragging fucking Multiverse theory into this in a vain attempt to justify it.

If we do that, why not just say that Jack Dawson is actually the son of Amsterdam Vallon from “Gangs of New York”, and he decided to travel the world and at one point ended up in Southhampton and won a ticket for the Titanic in a poker game?

Dave: …Actually, that’s really good. Could we-

No, we fucking couldn’t! I don’t want to deal with Titanic theories anymore!

Dave: Why not?

Why not?! Because among these theories, you’ve actually suggested that the entire Titanic Disaster, the actual 1912 shipwreck, wherein more than 1500 men, women and children died, was all orchestrated by a time traveller.

Have you gone fucking insane!?

Any more fan theories, and I’m liable to get really into the spirit of St. Valentines day.

In other words, I’ll dress up like a police officer, line you up against a brick wall and shoot you to death with a fucking tommy gun!

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Star Wars (Again)

Well, the entire world is (unsurprisingly) buzzing about Star Wars nowadays. So I figured I’d get in on the action as well.

Now, before you panic and flee, don’t worry. I will not spoil The Force Awakens. In fact, I will not even discuss it at this time. Partly because spoiling it is a dick move. Partly because I’ve not actually seen it yet.

Instead, I’d like to go over a few things about Star Wars in general that don’t add up to me. Not only the prequels, but the original trilogy as well.

After all, let’s not kid ourselves and believe that the original trilogy was flawless. I’m not saying it was bad or anything, but it wasn’t perfect.

And if people can complain about the prequels, and go on and on for hours about how they are crimes against cinema, then surely I can make an article nitpicking the original trilogy.

So let’s begin.

First off, I have to wonder about C-3PO. Now, I’m not going into some dicussion about whether or not he’s a gay stereotype. It’s not very interesting, and I don’t think I am qualified to make a judgement call on that.

No, my issue with him is simply that he’s prone to panic.

This might not seem like such a strange thing, but consider this: He’s a robot. His personality is not real. He was programmed on purpose to be pessimistic and neurotic. So here’s my question:

Why the fuck would you do that!? Why would you ever program a robot to be prone to panic? What possible use is a diplomatic robot that will lose its shit at the drop of a hat?!

There was a reason Asimov wrote Daneel Olivaw as calm and collected even in stressful situations! Because designing a robot to not only being able to recognise fear in others, but also being able to experience it is completely pointless!

I guess that’s one good thing about The Phantom Menace, since we’re shown that Anakin built C-3PO, so it’s understandable he’d make some mistakes apart from limited mobility…

But that brings me neatly to another issue I have with the original trilogy. That being that their technology is incredibly uneven!

Think about it. They have constructed robots with artificial intelligence, mastered interstellar travel, sophisticated energy weaponry capable of blowing up planets…

And yet, they haven’t figured out automated weapons technology. In the prequels, they got around that in a backwards fashion, by making robots to man the cannons…. Because that makes much more sense than making the cannons capable of aiming and firing on their own…

But in the original trilogy, they don’t even have that! They didn’t even bother to make it semi-automated by way of droids.

Because clearly, the best solution for when you’re being attacked by TIE fighters, and need a defense, is not to have some sort of on board automated weapons tracking, but instead rely on human reflexes and hope that your status as a main character will see you through…

This, of course, is just the appetizer to the big issue I have.

See, appearantly, in this galaxy, where people fly between solar systems on a whim and have mastered technology allowing the creation of lightsabers… NOBODY HAS FIGURED OUT THE CONCEPT OF A SENSOR!

You know, that device that goes “Beep” when there’s stuff around you, like rogue asteroids, other ships, comets, supernovas, black holes and all the other things you’re likely to run into while cruising the infinite majesty of the universe.

The Enterprise had sensors. All the ships in Stargate had sensors. The Doctors TARDiS has sensors. I think even the Serenity from Firefly had sensors, and that ship was a pile of junk held together by duct tape, bad welding and prayers!

The ships in Star Wars, however, rely on a slightly more analogue method of LOOKING OUT THE FUCKING WINDOW! You know, the things almost none of the ships have more than a handful of?! What kind of idiots live in this galaxy?!

Actually, I’m a bit unfair. They have sensors SOMETIMES. They’re just mostly used for trying to aim at enemy ships.

Which of course does not change the fact that they are morons. Either they’re morons for not inventing a more effective sensor for their ships, or they’re idiots for having sensors, but never think of using them. Let’s give the characters the benefit of doubt and say they just don’t have sensors.

It’s a good thing then, that this lack of sensors never comes back to bite them in the ass.

Oh wait, that’s right, IT HAPPENS ALL THE FUCKING TIME!

In A New Hope, the reason they got caught by the Death Star tractor beam was because they had to get so close to figure out “Hey, that isn’t a moon!”. Something any other Sci-Fi show could have figured out by doing a basic sensor sweep. True, they got Leia out, but that was not part of the plan, and Obi Wan died in the process.

In The Empire Strikes Back, they’ve evaded capture by the Empire and make their way to Bespin. Now, in any other Sci-Fi, they’d check if they were followed by anyone. But no, here they just go on their merry way, and wouldn’t you know it? They were followed by Boba Fett, probably the most overrated character in Science Fiction!

Oh, and before you say something about his ship being immune to sensors. He’s driving one of the most distinct looking ships in the galaxy. He’d better have a Klingon cloaking device on that thing if you want me to believe it’s invisible to sensors.

Now, you might say that these are extreme circumstances. Perhaps you’re right. Maybe I’m just being silly. I mean, it’s not like sensors would be necessary in any other way.

That is, of course, unless you consider that you actually have to rely on sensors for survival. I don’t mean just to inform you of imminent dangers like asteroid belts or solar flares. I mean that without sensors, you are pretty much doomed to getting lost in space.

If you don’t see the reasoning, here’s an experiment. Walk to Moscow while wearing a blindfold. Except here, Moscow is moving in a random direction at about 5000 miles per hour, and you’re walking through a forest where people try to mug you, stones are flying through the air and trees explode for no reason.

In Sci-Fi, sensors are on par with life support when it comes to how important it is!

See, sensors are a vital part of a navigational system, since they serve to give you information about your surroundings and by extension where you are. Without sensors, you can’t plot a course for jumps through hyperspace and you can’t navigate trajectories or distances, meaning that you’re likely to crash or blow yourself up whenever you try to land on a planet, even IF you manage to find one.

I’d say this is equivalent to flying blind, except that would mean you’re relying on instruments alone. This is like trying to fly an airplane where you didn’t install instruments to begin with, because you’ve decided instead to rely on dumb luck!

Gah!

Oh, and to finish off, I believe George Lucas likened selling the rights to Star Wars as “Selling his child to white slavers”.

To which I’d like to say this, Mr. Lucas…

Disney has a century long pedigree of beloved movies for all ages with the most recent being, among others, Tangled, Frozen and Inside Out. Meanwhile, your legacy lately is Jar-Jar Binks.

This is not like selling your child to slavers. This is like having your child taken into protective custody because you’re an abusive father.