Seriously? The silly
bastards and bitches, braindamaged incompet over emoting, useless meat sacks are starting to bore the hell out of me. They still annoy me though. What they on about this time? diversity and gender equality in the movie The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies.
*is sitting with head cocked to one side, staring at the screen thinking..”seriously? what fucking drugs are these people on? Or NOT on that they SHOULD be on?”
What follows is my floggery of the fuckery that is the following “what the fucking fuck?” article. As usual article I’m flogging in regular font, my response in italics..
The Final Hobbit Film: One Kickass Chick Among the Sausagefest
It’s a film about WAR. A war between massive armies. What are you bitching about lady? I mean unless you personally want to put your ass on the front lines and risk death, torture and rape in a war like this…quit whining like a child. It’s annoying as hell and accomplishes fuck all. Well…accomplishes fuck all except making you look like the Iridescent Vaginally Privileged dilletante you are.
You like battle scenes? You’ll probably like The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, the last of director Peter Jackson’s six films based on the work of J.R.R. Tolkien. Battle scenes make up the majority of the 144-minute film—and that doesn’t even count preparing for battles and talking about battles. Though there are some great scenes with the dragon Smaug at the outset, one very impressive scene with the elf woman Galadriel and a smattering of wonderful moments with the wood elf Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly), this film is one big battle cry.
It’s a film about War. A war set in a fantasy land that doesn’t actually exist, more is the pity because it might be fun to try and make Smaug my newest mount to ride to and fro. Don’t ya’ll look at me that way…you can’t tell me it hasn’t crossed at least a FEW of your minds…but I digress. Duhhh so it’s one big battle cry. So what? If you wanted sparkly and angsty over emotional bullshit go watch Twilight or something. You’re meowing up the wrong tree with this film if THAT is what you are looking for.
To make matters worse for those of us who want more than just swords and blood, the brief screen time of Tauriel was marred for me when news spread of Lilly’s ill-informed, anti-feminist commentary. Speaking to the Huffington Post, she shared that while she loves playing “kick-ass chicks,” she worries about compromising her “womanhood” in doing so:
“I’m very proud of being a woman, and as a woman I don’t even like the word feminism, because when I hear that word I associate it with women trying to pretend to be men, and I’m not interested in trying to pretend to be a man”
1. *yaaaaaawwwnnnnnn* Again with the whining about swords and blood? I think your mind needs to be defragged because there is obviously a file and tracking errors in the harddrive that is your mind.
2. She doesn’t want to try and be a man. Nope she never seemed to want to do that to me either. That and the fact she’s flat out gorgeous, witty and entertaining is one of the reasons I’m fond of Evangeline Lilly.
Not only do her words grossly misrepresent feminism, she also problematically suggests that being strong (or “kick-ass”) brings with it the danger of being viewed as embracing manhood—as if strength is an inherently male trait. This intimation of a strict, unchanging gender binary of strong men and weak women smacks all too much of Tolkien’s worldview as evidenced in The Hobbit. In Tolkien-land, men fight, women stay home at the shire, are taken to a safe space in Lake-town along with the children or, on rare occasion, get to be magically pure and powerful like Galadriel. Yes, there are strong characters in his work such as The Lord of the Rings, but The Hobbit is entirely populated by males.
Oh boohoo…so people hold a different viewpoint than you. Big deal. cry me a river so I can laugh at you some more.
Tolkien’s lack of gender diversity is more understandable given his milieu, but I expected more from Lilly: she who played uber-strong, complex Kate from Lost. In fact, in a year when so many well-known figures have proudly proclaimed feminism and worked to dispel myths about it (such as Emma Watson, Beyoncé, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, et al), for the actress who plays Tauriel—the character who finally gives us a strong woman in The Hobbit—to not only denounce the word but to spread the very misconceptions we are just starting to chip away at, is disappointing, to say the least.
*yaaawwnnn* Oh boohoo there wasn’t gender diversity. What the hell lady? Are you so illiterate, ignorant, and intellectually dishonest that you can’t fathom that concepts such as “gender diversity” were unheard of in 1937 when the book was released? You perhaps wanted Jackson to so twist and distort the fabric of the source material, simply to make YOU happy?
Damn…talk about self aggrandizing, egotistical crap.
It is also unsatisfying that Tauriel is again placed at the apex of a love triangle between the elf Legolas and the dwarf Kili—especially as Lilly initially had set a condition before agreeing to the role that her character not be involved in a love triangle (for more on this, see my review of the second film here.) Though the love triangle motif was not as prevalent in this film, neither is her role; she is on screen only a few times. Sadly, she does seem to be even more of a “Mary Sue” character, filling a token spot as the one woman of the film. (For a lively debate on her character in this vein, see the comments thread of my previous review.)
Blah blah blah meh meh..puke
As for the rest of movie? Also disappointing. While the second installment of the trilogy gave us many different types of scenes and several narrative arcs, the third installment consists mainly of swords, deaths and very little else. In other words, it’s full of the chest-thumping, fist-pumping, violent bravado that Lilly associates with manhood.
oO..*yawwwwn* Oh boy the characters in this book and movie are inherently and obviously male. Oh no, oh drat. Oh such a travesty. Sigh..Again..I’ll point out the book was released in 1937. Worldviews were different then and informed how the book was written. If you are upset by this…too bad, so sad. ,it’s historical fact..deal with it.
Granted, the underlying critique of greed, displayed most obviously in Thorin’s “dragon sickness”—or lust for gold and riches—has merit. The entire battle is driven by greed, a fact that certainly has much resonance in our modern world. And, by film’s end, this greed is condemned by he who suffered from it most. Dying, the warrior Thorin says to Bilbo,
“Go back to your books, your fireplace. Plant your trees, watch them grow. If more of us valued home above gold, it would be a merrier world.”
Which is a pretty sentiment. And yes overwheening greed is bad. But when you conflate success and pride in success with greed as so many do..it lumps it ALL into the bad column and that isn’t good. But who judges what is overwhelming greed? Everyone has their own measuring stick. Yours is almost guaranteed not to be the same as mine. Actually if I was well off enough where I didn’t have to work at all, ever..I’d sit in a house in the hills on a nice plot of land…and spend most of my time in a library built along the lines of say…the studies/libraries you see in houses in old movies. And that library would have a fireplace akin to the monstrosity in The Haunting in size…but without all those bloody cherubs and other crap. Is that…greedy? You might find it so because it’d take a fair amount of money…because along with that I need my gadgets and toys…and you’d most assuredly what I would think of as toys and the price of them….as greed.
Indeed. And it would be a merrier movie if this message were further driven home. Instead, the franchise itself is greedy with dragon sickness, thus undercutting the critique of greed inherent in the text. The Guardian review hints at this, noting Jackson’s “outrageously steroidal inflation of Tolkien’s Hobbit” while the Screencrush review argues the “bloated adaptation” is a “huge missed opportunity, one that stretched out its source material way past its breaking point for the sake of a huge financial windfall.”
*shrug* I personally think most books…at least the ones I like are worthy of a 2 movie adaptation. Forex…several of the other Potter books besides Deathly Hollows…should have been double movie adaptations. Or much longer than the 90min bare bones adaptations we generally get. Don’t get me wrong..the Potter movies were well done and I own and enjoy all of them…but the movies either could have either been longer or split into two films per. Now..seriously stop and think about it. Are you a rabid fan of the books and/or the movies as well? Then THINK about just how much material was left out to fit into film script format. What you call bloating in this case…is simply including more material that would not necessarily have made it into a Hobbit film had someone else done it. Why isn’t this the case though? Because folks like you would scream about bloating to be greedy. THAT’s why.
Maryann Johanson, in her review, pointedly links Jackson to Thorin’s dragon sickness, claiming Jackson “has been suffering from a similar compulsion for the past decade: ‘blockbuster sickness.’”
Is it “blockbuster” sickness or is it because he’s a fan of the books. You DO remember what FAN is short for in this usage of it don’t you? If you’ve forgotten let me illuminate you. It’s short for FANATIC.
To its credit, the film does depict the futility of battle, especially battle that has wealth and power as its motivating factors. Thorin, chaneling any number of modern-day warmongers, says at one point, “Treasure such as this cannot be counted in lives lost.” However, as lamented by Johanson,
“There is no resonance for those of us watching, and there’s no reason why there couldn’t have been: The world is being ruined by a lust for money and the power that money represents, and yet instead of this Hobbit feeling in any way meaningful, it feels like we’re watching a videogame.”
Kind of misses the point that most wars nowadays are fought to seize or keep power and most importantly.. control.. For having a specific Ideology having reign over everything and everyone else. As far as the rest of Maryann’s opinion..*shrug* opinions vary. We now interrupt this flogging briefly to go do something FUN. IOW..decorate the christmas tree.
Indeed, what she calls the “dragon holocaust of Lake-town” is also largely devoid of pathos; instead, the destruction looks like yet another shock-and-awe blitz, a war we are not immersed in but removed from. It’s much like the way mainstream media frames battle—as something we might want to look at once in awhile but not really feel the pain of, not see the bodies, not let the devastation deter us from holiday shopping.
Ah sorry. that break was a little longer than I intended…now, where was I? ah yes. Wait…did you actually say something I agree with in here? Excuse me, gotta roll a sanchk.
*dice roll* Odd I’m sane still. Okay.
Another low-point of the film is the character Alfred, who Screencrush aptly refers to as “a woefully unfunny comic relief figure.” Alfred is a despicable figure from Lake-town, attacking women one minute (which the audience is encouraged to condemn him for), and stuffing gold coins into his bra while disguised as a woman in another (which the audience is encouraged to view as funny). Yet Alfred’s attempts at performing femininity fall into the trap of upholding damaging stereotypes (women as gold diggers) and showing gendered disruptions as pathetically funny. Sadly, trotting out this tired trope brought the only audible laughs from the audience.
Funny? Yes and No. Ironic…oh my yes. It’s not upholding damaging stereotypes. It’s making a statement that most especially in this case…his greed is stupid and his dressing up is ironic…and moronic.
In summation? A sausagefest with swords. Bearded dudes with swords. Pretty-elf dudes with swords. Dwarf men with swords. Men riding warthogs and elks and wielding swords.
Again whining and calling it a sausagefest. Stop looking through modern eyes and see the story as it was written…in the mores and thought patterns of the TIME it was written. If you can’t do that..I don’t know WHY you bother lady. Because in that case…everything is gonna be bloody offensive to you.
Given that there are five massive armies, couldn’t the casting have been a tad more diverse? Why not mixed-gender armies, racially diverse armies, armies that had people of different body size and ability? Yes, we have Tauriel, seemingly the lone key female fighter. And in one scene the women from Lake-town plan to arm themselves, saying there is no reason they can’t fight as well (though we never see them do so).
Oh pish posh. How in the hell do you know that none of the dwarves in the armies were female. It’s fantasy canon after all that Dwarven women are hard to tell apart from the men. How do you know that some of those elves you assume are all male…aren’t just really flat chested females hmmmm? Diversity? Gimme a break. 5 Armies. How many different sub genus of human are in that mess along with entirely different species like the magic created orcs and the trolls, etc etc.
There are small moments where emotion and empathy cut through the battle-weary saga. Bilbo breaks into tears when Thorin dies. Tauriel similarly mourns the death of her dwarf love, Kili, capturing the anguish of losing a love that was denied her due to its “abnormality” (elves are not meant to love dwarfs, a taboo that resonates with modern audiences’ awareness of normative love codes, heteromonogamy chief among them). But this narrative arc ultimately intimates such love is doomed, or as one reviewer argues, making Tauriel and Kili akin to “the Romeo and Juliet of Middle Earth.” Further, it once again places women as primary only in relation to the men who love them.
Bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch. You see men putting women ‘in their place’ as it were. I see it as men protecting the survival of the genome. Protecting those women they care for. Although the description of Tauriel and Kili’s love is probably pretty apt as far as it goes. As their love was taboo…probably as much as it relates to how any “bastard mix” of the two species would be treated.
While the same critic has raved about the “chain-mail punch” of the film, noting that “Jackson’s pumped-up final hobbit movie really works: It’s exciting, spectacular, genial and rousing,” I would argue that it’s far, far from spectacular. The close of the film, set back in the shire, allows us to glimpse a portrait of Bilbo’s mother hanging above his fireplace. Earlier, Thranduil told Legolas that his mother loved him “more than life.” I would like to see a Tolkien adaptation that put such mothers, and other women, front and center. One that had an all-, or mostly female cast. Perhaps like the forthcoming female Ghostbusters, we will one day have a grand epic saga that is female-driven. Perhaps Jackson will one day recover from “dragon sickness” and return to his roots—to the likes of Heavenly Creatures, with Kate Winslet in a breathtaking early role.
And such a movie would break from the canon and the actual meat of the books. You want to twist it to suit your own prejudices. Sorry…that kinda crap annoys me. OTOH…if you want to write a fanfic set in the Hobbit-verse and tell such a story, and manage to sell such a fanfic to one of the big film companies…you go right ahead. I doubt you’d succeed…but stranger things HAVE been known to happen.