Wednesday, 21 December 2011
I truly wish I could enjoy this...
See, I loved The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring when it came out. I was just so blown away to see an adaptation that actually stuck to the books to a degree most supposed adaptations dismiss as "unnecessary," "unfilmable" or otherwise "undesireable," that I ranted and raved about it for ages. Then The Two Towers came out, and I started to pick at the threads. I started to become bothered by the changes. By the time of The Return of the King, most of my enthusiasm for the franchise was replaced with a nagging preoccupation with a little voice saying "no, this isn't the best possible adaptation of The Lord of the Rings we could hope for." Best we could get given Hollywood's boundless stupidity and soulless money-oriented goals? Perhaps. Best we could hope for, though?
So the trailer for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Two Parter hit the 'net, and the Tolkien fandom rejoiced. And why not? Everything I saw in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy was plain in evidence, in all the good and bad it entails. Lots of gorgeous scenery, astounding attention to detail in the costuming, props and sets, sweeping catchy orchestral score, the occasional direct quote from Tolkien that gets me grinning madly, tempered by maudlin melodrama like Galadriel brushing away Gandalf's hair, lots of cod-Bergman staring-into-the-middle-distance, and needless tie-ins to the previous films.
I just feel like such a Grinch, you know? So many people are looking forward to this, and I'm almost positive that those people are not going to be disappointed. Everything from the Jackson trilogy is probably going to be in this, and while everyone dismisses the stupid alterations and redundant additions as "necessary to the process of adaptation" while they enjoy themselves, I'm just going to be stuck in a huff. There are few upcoming films I wish I could be excited about. I wish I could watch a trailer for The freaking Hobbit and feel the same convulsions of joy I did on seeing, say, the trailer for Jurassic Park. But I can't.
To be frank, I'm feeling something of a malaise. I haven't seen a single trailer that engenders any degree of enthusiasm or excitement in me for any upcoming film, be it anticipated blockbusters like The Avengers or The Dark Knight Rises, appeals to my Scottish sensibilities like Brave, or pleasant surprises like The Wicker Tree. Even the initial "that doesn't actually look that bad" optimism from John Carter and Wrath of the Titans (I'm surprised as you are) is dampened by cynicism. Have I truly become a cynical old grump at last? Did Conan the Barbarian break something in my brain, shorting the Optimism fuse for ever? Or will the anticipated Prometheus trailer restore some sense of excitement?