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Motivations and Dimensionalizations

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So it seems things may be on track for the Hobbit to get back on . . . track. Erm, anyway, financing seems to have been sorted—at the moment—and Peter Jackson may have figured out a way to not piss off all the actors and their associations. Still, none of these hurdles have actually been cleared, it just looks as though they will be.

Good news, right?

Sure. I’m excited about this movie. I’m sure most of us are. Even with the loss of Guillermo del Toro as director, there is still hope for a good—if not ground-breaking—film. So now two things have happened, one that is neutral for me and one that kind of bugs me.

First, it’s pretty much official that Peter Jackson will direct the movies. That’s neutral to me. “But Fraser,” you say, speaking directly into my brain—which is both frightening and annoying, so just quit it—“he did such a good job with the Lord of the Rings movies, isn’t this excellent news?”

It’s good news if you want workmanlike success. Jackson is a good director, I will give him that, but at least for the LotR movies, there was nothing unique in his vision. Sure, the set design and costume design and all that, but that’s not what I mean. There was nothing about those movies that could not have been done by a bunch of other competent directors with Peter Jackson as producer.

Del Toro, though, he has a fucking vision. Check out Pan’s Labyrinth if you doubt me. Just look at his movies, even the commercial ones like the Hellboy movies and Mimic. They’ve got his fingerprints all over them.

With del Toro gone and Jackson back, we’ll get a good job, I am certain, but there won’t be much vision there.

Speaking of vision, it also seems that the movie will be shot in 3-D. Well, of course it is. What better way to maximize profits? It’s interesting, because back when del Toro was on board, and the 3-D fade was beginning to surface, we were told that these would be intimate movies, suited to 2-D, and we were happy with that. What in the story has changed to suddenly make 3-D imperative? My bet? Absolutely nothing.

Dividing the novel into two movies, the second of which is mostly entirely new or drawn from appendices or other sources than the novel itself or LotR, I could swallow. There could be story-telling and bridging considerations. Now, given the decision to go 3-D, I am wondering if it were not a totally mercenary choice.

I hate to be cynical, but I’m starting to lose interest in this movie. It looks like it is moving into cash grab territory.