Sunday, December 16, 2012

Divided Movies

I remember hearing that Quentin Tarantino was going to make a film called Kill Bill.  Then I remember the day I heard that he decided to divide the movie into two movies.  I did not like that the film was going to be divided.  In hindsight, it was a good decision because the film would have been over 4 hours in length otherwise.  I do not feel that there would have been enough scenes that should have been cut from the films to combine them into one film and keep the length under three hours.

In the years since Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2, there have been several other films that have been divided into two films.  After making six successful Harry Potter films, the final book was divided into two movies.  This meant that seven books were turned into eight movies.  The final book in the Twilight series has been turned into two movies as well.  Therefore, four Twilight books have been turned into five movies.

When Peter Jackson decided to turn the Lord of the Rings trilogy into movies, he made one movie for each of the books.  Now he has decided to take The Hobbit and turn it into movies.  Yes, I said movies.  More than one.  Did he decide to divide The Hobbit into two movies like the final books in the Harry Potter or Twilight series?  No.  He has decided to take one book and turn it into three movies.

When I looked up The Hobbit on, I am seeing a hardcover book with 319 pages.  The first Hobbit movie is 2 hours and 49 minutes.  I do not expect either of the sequels to be shorter in length.

When Mel Brooks made the movie Spaceballs, he joked within the movie that the sequel would be called, “Spaceballs: The Search For More Money.”  This leads me to an important question.  Are some of these books turned into multiple movies for the sake of making more money or do the filmmakers feel that the books have so many details that the movies must be made into two (or even three) movies?

Had Peter Jackson taken The Hobbit and turned it into two movies, I would probably give him a pass on this one.  He is a very talented director.  I feel that he did an amazing job making the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  But I truly feel that taking a 319 page book and turning it into three movies feels like overkill to me.  I saw all three Lord of the Rings movies in the theater.  I have decided to wait until The Hobbit movies are on DVD before I rent them.  I truly do want to see these films, but I do not want to spend possibly over nine hours in the theater to see them.

Was it truly worth taking one book and turning it into three movies?  I do not know yet.  On the financial side, that will depend on how much money the three movies make.  If the decision to make three movies (instead of two) allows the filmmakers an additional $100 million, I have no financial argument against filmmakers making a living.  I will never argue that filmmakers should give up financial gain for the sake of pleasing me.

My final argument will be based on whether or not making three films was necessary for the telling of The Hobbit.  Putting money aside, my question will be simple.  Will the audience believe that The Hobbit is worth turning into three movies at a length of over nine hours or should it have been limited to two movies with a length of six hours?  It is up to the audience to decide, whether in the theater or from their homes while watching the movies on DVD.

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