With the Extended Edition of The Battle of the Five Armies now releasing on DVD and Blu-ray in most markets (about a month after the digital release and some six weeks or so after its one-night theatrical release Stateside), Peter Jackson’s second Middle-earth trilogy is at long last complete in (what is likely to be) it’s final form. The event has been more whimper than bang, as they say, for most of the fandom. I personally have all but exhausted my store of things to say about The Hobbit, but I did find a few final words to mark this occasion and fill in the last gap of the last section of the old purist essays that were the original core of this site.
While the responses I wrote to each film are unpolished, I have found that I still agree with the criticisms I laid out in them. Of course, they do not reflect the changes in the Extended Editions, and to be fair, I do think that the first two films in the trilogy were improved by those edits, although I would have cut out much that was included in the theatrical edits in order to bring the overall running time of the trilogy down. (The Battle of the Five Armies, on the other hand, I did not think was notably improved by its EE.) My initial predictions essay, while almost four years older than anything else in this section, is also something I still stand behind. I believe the basic flaw I saw then – of trying to warp The Hobbit to make it more like LOTR – ended up being one of the biggest problems with the finished trilogy, alongside the then-unforeseen decision to make it a trilogy at all. What I did not foresee in 2009 was that, besides being an unfaithful adaptation (something that not even PJ really bothers to dispute anymore), the films were also disappointments as entertainment, in my opinion.
Read more at the Hobbit Changes page, under the “Analysis” header near the bottom of the page.
…And with that, I can finally repeat the “I’m done” message I posted (and almost immediately edited) back in October 2009. Although this time I know better than to promise anything regarding this site, I do plan to continue to be active on Forumshire, the Tolkien forum I’ve run for the past five years, though talking mainly about things other than The Hobbit. 😛