Desolation, that's what I feel now that I've witnessed the first two parts of Bilbo Baggins' unexpected journey.
I was incredibly excited to see the new Hobbit film, and I'm very glad I had the chance to do so at the theater while it was still playing in 3D. However, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" left me unbelieveably unsatisfied. Yet, when December rolls around, there's no doubt in my mind I'll be there, and back again, to see the newest installment.
I've written about "The Hobbit" twice now, and the first time was a positive review of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" in December of 2012. The second time was meant to preview a number of upcoming big blockbuster holiday film releases, including "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug."
In the preview, I mentioned just how well the unexpected journey managed to draw in non-Tolkien fans, and I'm sticking to that belief - even for desolation. My wife, who has only seen the two Hobbit films, and none of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, nor read the books, was completely enthralled by both "Unexpected Journey" and "Desolation." And, to be honest, I think she may even have been more unsatisfied by "Desolation" than I was.
Although I've made my dissatisfaction abundantly clear, I haven't yet distinguished why. "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" is by no means a film unworthy of praise, rather it's a spectacular ride that's unforgettable from start to finish - and therin lies my abhorrence.
Whereas Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" films were built to stand alone, as was each respective "Lord of the Rings" book, "The Hobbit" films were obviously intended to elongate a single body of work. And, not to say "The Hobbit," or "There And Back Again," isn't a project inherently significant enough to demand a trilogy, instead the conclusion I've come to is that film itself cannot possibly offer due diligence to the work of Tolkien.
But, oh how Hollywood has tried, so very hard, to illuminate the imagination of a man whose mind couldn't even be captured by the pen and paper which attempted to contain it as he wrote it. If you choose to see "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," you will no doubt enjoy every moment of it. Oh how we love to hate the things we love.
As per usual, here are the highlights and happenings going on in the area.
Reg Lenna Center For The Arts Presents Last Movie Series To Be Projected From Film: The last series of movies to be projected from celluloid film at the Reg Lenna Center For The Arts is scheduled to begin with "Enough Said" today and Saturday.
Starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and the late James Gandolfini, "Enough Said" is a sharp, insightful comedy that tells the story of two divorcees who jump back into the dating game with each other. Director Nicole Holofcener also created the films "Walking And Talking" and "Please Give."
The series continues with "Philomena," starring Judi Dench, on Thursday, Jan. 23, and Saturday, Jan. 25. "Descendants" director, Alexander Payne's "Nebraska," starring Bruce Dern, is set for Thursday, Jan. 30, and Saturday, Feb. 1. And, a romantic comedy from Richard Curtis, the writer of "Four Weddings And A Funeral" entitled "About Time," is set for Thursday, Feb. 6, and Saturday, Feb. 8.
A new digital projection system will be installed in February with a movie series scheduled to begin in early spring. The conversion to digital projection is made possible by a 2013 Regional Economic Development Council award through New York State Council On The Arts and support from Gebbie Foundation and a community fundraising campaign. Movies At The Center is sponsored by Jamestown Renaissance Corporation.
Movies At The Center begin at 8 p.m. All seats are $5, and can be purchased at the box office beginning one hour before the showing.
The Reg Lenna Center For The Arts is located at 116 E. Third St. in Jamestown. For film ratings, descriptions, running times and more, visit www.reglenna.com or call 484-7070.
Kellie Pickler To Play Jamestown Savings Bank Arena Jan. 23: Country music star, Kellie Pickler, is set to perform at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena on Thursday, Jan. 23, at 7:30 p.m.
Pickler, who competed in American Idol in 2005, has produced four albums, has sold more than 1 million records, and has been nominated for eight CMT Music Awards, winning three of them in 2008 for her single, "I Wonder."
Tickets, which range from $25 up to $50, are available online at www.jamestownarena.com, by phone at 484-2624 or at the Arena Box Office located at 319 W. Third St. in Jamestown.
'Rolling Hills Radio' Set To Feature Local Musicians: Episode No. 29 of "Rolling Hills Radio" with host Ken Hardley is set to feature Sean Patrick McGraw and Bumpy Peterson. The show is set for Thursday, Jan. 30, at 7 p.m. at the Reg Lenna Studio Theater, 108 E. Third St. in Jamestown.
For more information, search for "Rolling Hills Radio" on Facebook, or visit wrfalp.wordpress.com/rolling-hills-radio to purchase tickets, stream WRFA's broadcast debut of each show or listen to previous performances.
Jim Brickman To Perform At The Reg Lenna Center For The Arts In February: The Reg Lenna Center for the Arts is set to present pianist Jim Brickman, as part of his The Love Tour, at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 7.
An award-winning hit-maker, pianist and recording artist, Brickman will bring hits such as "Valentine," "If You Believe," "Love of My Life" and more.
Tickets may be purchased at the box office located at 116 E. Third St. in Jamestown, or online at www.reglenna.com. For more information, call 484-7070.
To include an upcoming show or event in this column, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 487-1111, ext. 253 by Monday.
Blue Grass Jam: 7-10 p.m., Celoron Legion, 26 Jackson Ave. in Celoron.
Shaky Ray And The Cobalt Blues Band: 8 p.m. to midnight, Seneca Allegany Events Center, 777 Seneca Allegany Blvd. in Salamanca.
Rick Magee And Roadhouse Rockers: 8 p.m., Chautauqua Suites, 215 W. Lake Road (Route 394) in Mayville.
Robert 'Freightrain' Parker: 4:30-8:30 p.m., Seneca Allegany Events Center, 777 Seneca Allegany Blvd. in Salamanca.
Soup And Song: 6 p.m., St. Susan Center, 31 Water St. in Jamestown. Featuring Bill Ward Band, Amanda Barton and Infinity students.
Big Tone: 7-11 p.m., Lakewood Legion Post 1286, 174 Chautauqua Ave. in Lakewood.
Matt Homan And The Bluegrass Disciples: 8 p.m., Pine Junction, 9757 Bailey Hill Road in Findley Lake.
Honey Spine: 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., Celoron Legion, 26 Jackson Ave. in Celoron.
Miss Ray And Friends: 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., Seneca Allegany Events Center, 777 Seneca Allegany Blvd. in Salamanca.
Buck Wild: 9:30 p.m., Chautauqua Suites, 215 W. Lake Road (Route 394) in Mayville.