The Hobbit Movie: Article and Documentary

Here   is the article. Below are the  two parts of the documentary, A Long Expected Autopsy and The Battle of the Five Studios. 

Much of what is covered in in this documentary has been  analyzed, discussed, complained about and defended when the films were released, such as the difficulty in transforming what is essentially a children’s book and turning it into a tonal match to LOTR. Still, as someone who was not a Tolkien fan and had no stake in the filming of The Hobbit, aside from Richard Armitage, I think the documentary maker echoed many of the criticisms I found in the trilogy. There are some good interviews ( especially with Guillermo Del Toro), scenes from the films ( including LOTR), behind the scenes Vlogs and even some of the snark which ( lots of Legolas bashing and Tauriel questions) are fun as well as illuminating.

Near the end of part 2, there’s a neat discussion about the structuring of the relationship between Thorin and Bilbo, how the two ending death scenes were perhaps, in the wrong order, and an homage to Baggenshield.

The documentary maker, Lindsay Ellis, knows LOTR well, is a prolific You Tuber offering criticism of genre movies, and has done her research.

The only real mention of Richard Armitage is subsumed in a statement that The Hobbit had a brilliant cast  ( aside from the returning cast fro LOTR)

Degrees of Separation: Ashley Judd as Tauriel?

I think it definite that many Richard Armitage fans have been following the Harvey Weinstein sex abuse scandal if for no other reason, than because Berlin Station co-star, Ashley Judd, is one of Weinstein’s most vocal accusers. Circumstantial evidence supports Ashley Judd’s claims, and she was featured as one of the Silence Breakers  on the Time Person of the Year, cover for 2017.


Yesterday, the news became a little more personal for Peter Jackson fans, and by extension, many Richard Armitage fans. It started at about mid-morning yesterday – I found a link on  Servetus’s post.

In the wake of some specific statements that Ashley Judd, Mira Sorvino and other Weinstein victims suffered real career damage through adverse action, director Peter Jackson conceded he blackballed Judd and Sorvino for roles in The Lord of the Rings, because Weinstein badmouthed them. Here. The Hollywood Reporter and Vulture have been updating their posts as responses and replies fly back and forth between Jackson and Weinstein. Mira Sorvino has tweeted about it.

It’s a fact that Peter Jackson pursued both actresses (perhaps with no specific role in mind). He says that he and Fran Walsh were very enthusiastic about Ashley Judd, but Weinstein warned him off.

Weinstein denies it, claiming inter alia that he didn’t have the power because,

“no one could have blacklisted or derailed the career of Ms. Sorvino, who had recently won both an Academy and a Golden Globe award and was being courted for leading roles by all seven studios and every major broadcast network,” and further claimed that Jackson was so “powerful” following the success of Rings that “he could have cast anyone he wanted in the Hobbit. Neither Ms. Judd nor Ms. Sorvino had roles in the film.”

The first part seems like a good argument, except Mira Sorvino won her awards in 2005, probably 5 years before Peter Jackson started casting for The Lord of the Rings and her career went basically nowhere. (Correction: Sorvino won an Oscar in 1995 as well as Golden Globe in 2005)

The second part is also ridiculous. It’s facetious, even.

As we know, there were no female characters in The Hobbit until Peter Jackson put one there. That would be Tauriel, played by Evangeline Lilly who was 33 at the time of casting, 2012.

In 2012, Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino were 44 and 45 respectively. Thus, even if there were no blackball issue, Peter Jackson could not really have given either actress a key  part in The Hobbit because there was none.

Trust it that Harvey Weinstein, who sued Peter Jackson over profits from The Hobbit trilogy,  is well aware of the plot and characters. He would’ve followed entertainment news as part of his job and was likely aware of the controversy over the inclusion of Tauriel, a non-Tolkien character. When he issued the above statement, Weinstein knew that there were no female roles in The Hobbit for Judd or Sorvino and the suggestion 5 years later that one could have been offered, is false and facetious.

Like a lot of other crap out there, it doesn’t survive even a simple fact-check.
























 Weinstein replies

And Now, Perry’s Oscar Rant ( with help from The New York Times)

It’s pointless and frustrating to bemoan the exclusion of The Hobbit: the Battle of the Five Armies from almost any recognition from The Academy Awards. There are reasons – there are reasons – we know. But last night, I got a little angry, because there was no reason that it, or more accurately, Lord of the Rings,  should have been excluded from the opening musical number, which seemed to be a hodgepodge of  clips and live dancing and singing  by “characters” from past popular and important movies – I mean they had Star Wars, The Hulk, – they couldn’t include Middle Earth? They should have included Middle Earth and Peter Jackson’s achievements. Talk about popular movies.

And then, to make matters worse, The Hobbit became the set-up for a joke, the punchline delivered by David Oyelowo.

As to the nominees, although I didn’t see all the movies nominated for very category, after looking at the clips, it seemed to me that The Hobbit should have been included in make-up and hair, production design and a few other categories.

So basically, I was more pissed watching the actual Oscars than I was when the nominations were announced and BOTFA was only nominated for one technical award.

Read this NY Time article about how the academy sees audiences. and some critique of the Academy’s performance this year.

I think it’s wonderful that there were so many original, fantastic, smaller movies this year to get recognition, and we need even more of those.  Those are actually the kind of movies I like to see. But, when determining awards, the Academy ought to be as cognizant of what audiences want and are paying money to see. Then perhaps, more people would care about the Oscars. ( Viewership was way down this year).