Walter Mencken 10:48 a.m., May 22
A closer look at the trailer for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
When you're taking a children's book and stretching it into a nine-hour film, you naturally want to avoid the kind of ponderous seriousness that bogs things down. Happily, you've got a natural source of comic relief in dwarves. Sure, the leader has to be all serious and heroic, but there are 12 others that you can bring to whimsical bear on the matter. I mean, just look at this crowd:
Monkeyface Jesus would fit right in there at the back, don't you think?
So, without further ado, the dwarvish revue:
:28 - Synchronized bowing and greeting!
:31 - Friendly head-butting!
:32 - Beard-pulling!
:34 - Food tossing!
1:22 - Rabbit sled! Because dwarves are smallish!
All this is not to say that Bilbo "Barcalounger" Baggins is bereft of bon mots. This exchange at 1:44 with Gollum...
"If Baggins loses, we eats it whole."
...recalls classic Monty Python! (Forward to 5:14 if you're in a hurry.) Ho ho - such sanguinity in the face of being eaten whole! How very English!
Moving along, then, to the trailer's end, the parting shot, the final image, the lingering last impression...our heroes are half-buried in rubble, groaning in pain. Just then, one of them muses, "Well, that could have been worse."
Aaaaand cue the falling corpse of a bisected giant.
Cut to credits, over which can be heard the growled exclamation, "You have got to be joking!"