What's the new Hobbit film like?
The Guardian reports on the lack of reviews for the new Hobbit film:
For fans eager to get the first critical verdict on Peter Jackson's return to Middle-earth after The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey premiered in Wellington on Wednesday night, it has been a frustrating couple of days. With the new film trilogy tipped to surpass its blockbuster megalith predecessor The Lord of the Rings at the global box office, it seemed certain that at least a handful of critics would make the decision to defy studio embargoes and publish and be damned. Instead, the only verdicts handed down thus far have come from luminaries such as film-maker Bryan Singer, and little-known Kiwi blogger Kylie Klein, who, it seems, was so overwhelmed by getting a ticket that her critical faculties were slightly swept away.
Word is that we won't get to see any more reviews now until 5 December, when the embargo ends.
With this in mind there is a hilarious bit of trolling on the Telegraph website regarding the film. It's not a review, more a "piece of Sixth Form polemical rhetoric," according to one of the many hundreds of critical posts placed underneath. The full article is worth a read. However, a warning, if you're a fan of the Tolkien film conversions, don't expect to be any the wiser as to what the new film is going to be like.
A swift review of the highlights includes our troll putting people down because of their physical appearance and suggesting it's probably your fault if you don't look conventionally attractive:
Pale skin, hairy feet and short stature are fairly common among fantasy fans. If you spend your entire life living in your mum’s basement playing Xbox and eating Wotsits, then you’re unlikely to grow up looking like Daniel Craig.
This is of course great work. Right from the offset anyone who has been drawn in by the topic hoping for a review of the film gets insulted straight away. Excellent!
Of course, good trolls hide behind nice bold statements of the obvious, it helps disguise their attacks. A quick definition of something which people will agree on is a good trick. Here the troll explains that fiction is a retreat from reality:
If popular culture holds a mirror up to society, the success of these films can only reflect a retreat from reality.
Then the intended victims are told they're pandering to greed with their apparently innocent hobby:
At the root of all of this virtual reality is real greed. The Hobbit is a great example of how Hollywood has franchised fantasy and encouraged its fans to run away from real life. The book is relatively short, yet[...]
Also notice, we get a classic bit of trolling as the author uses an odd definition of the word "short". The Hobbit's quite a big book, getting a detail like that apparently wrong is an excellent way of ever so slightly irritating curious but informed readers. This is outstanding technique!
Now our troll goes in for the kill by comparing all fans of fantasy fiction to drug users:
[...]A 2008 study found that 10 per cent of Harry Potter readers experience the classic symptoms of substance abuse: loss of sleep and appetite, obsession with the material and withdrawal pains when they complete the last book of the series. A book acts as a gateway drug [...]
The hook is that tawdry lives are elevated by fantasy in the same way that alcohol convinces a man that he is bigger and better looking than he really is. “By day I deliver Domino’s pizzas. But by night, I am King of the Lizard people!”
Notice the brilliant implication here that the author is better than those he seeks to annoy. Their 'tawdry lives' may as well be ones of alcoholism and drug abuse. Reminding them of their implicitly pathetic jobs by comparison to his is a brave move as it almost gives the trolling game away. Fortunately he's back to stating the obvious soon after this bold display:
[...] it’s certainly not to my taste. I can’t stand the Tolkien movies. To me they are plodding and dull [...]
Then, in the awesome conclusion to the piece he decides that the film's "acolytes seem victims of arrested development – detaching themselves from the real world with its real people and its real challenges" and "[i]t’s only a matter of time before the Tolkien cult grows so big that we have to treat it like a serious part of our culture".
Imagine that! Treating Tolkien as a serious part of our culture? Awesome stuff.
At the time of writing my favourite response to this piece was the blunt but amusing, Lord_Kitcheners_Valet, who replies with:
"Miserable toffee-nosed git."