As I mentioned in my previous post, my fiance's recent surgery has resulted in many, many, many hours of movie viewing. We started with Star Wars episodes I through VI, followed that up with a little Pacific Rim, and then moved on to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. He'd never seen the extended edition, which made for a great time on my part, getting to introduce him to all the extra hours of footage I find so phenomenal. Of course, as with any book to film adaptation there are going to be some liberties taken that hardcore fans are going to take exception too; but the truth is the Lord of the Rings film trilogy is a masterpiece, one which manages to pick and choose which scenes to take from the novels, which scenes to alter for the sake of pacing, all the while still honoring the original source.
Which got me thinking about Peter Jackson's latest project. I still find it somewhat hard to believe that the man who was so respectful of Tolkien's vision for The Lord of the Rings, could then go and create the travesty that is The Hobbit "trilogy". I just don't understand. From the moment they start talking about the growing evil in Middle Earth (something blatantly ripped out of the LOTR series and shoved unnecessarily into The Hobbit), to the introduction of the Tauriel (the redheaded elf Peter Jackson created with absolutely no literary basis), I knew the series was going to be awful.
And boy was I right. He has become one of the biggest disappointments in cinematic history.
Which makes me wonder, is Peter Jackson the new George Lucas? It is my personal opition that both Jackson and Lucas sold-out, tarnishing the reputations they earned honestly in the name of money. )Or maybe it was prestige they were after, but I'm inclined to think it was money.)
One of the few things I can say in favor of George Lucas was at least the series he destroyed was his own. He created Star Wars from start to finish, and if he made the decision to ruin that with a prequel trilogy, that is his right. Disappointing to fans everywhere. But his right none the less. Peter Jackson on the other hand did NOT create The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, or anything associated with Middle Earth. As a filmmaker, he is allowed a certain amount of creative license, which he used to great effect in The Lord of the Rings.
But when he adds new and unnecessary characters, creates romance between and elf and a dwarf (seriously, are you kidding me?), and in general ignores the very essence of the story in an effort to make it tie in with his previous series and thus draw in the fans he'd accumulated along the way . . . THAT is unacceptable. And heartbreaking.
So is Peter Jackson the new George Lucas? It's hard to say. He certainly followed Lucas's footsteps, ruining an amazing trilogy with an obscenely horrible prequel trilogy. And I might even argue that all the new advancements in CGI actually hindered the story in both cases (they filming tricks they used in their original trilogies felt infinitely more realistic than the gross overuse of visual graphics in the prequels).
All I know if these two filmmakers I once had such faith in have disappointed me to the extreme and I no longer trust them or their visions.