Hollywood hates you.

It doesn’t care about you or your family. To Hollywood, you’re just a chump. A rube. A mark. And The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is Exhibit A of its shameless guilt.

I proclaim this without having even seen The Hobbit, yet I feel Hollywood’s hate oozing from it like puss from an infected eyeball. It bloomed in festering maturation the moment some studio executive took Peter Jackson aside and whispered in his best Gollum voice, “We want three Hobbit movies.”

Three! The magic number created by George Lucas a long, long time ago with three Star Wars movies. (Later, of course, George punished us all with three more.) Why enjoy the spoils of one good movie when you can force your audience to fork over admission three times for the same damn story? It’s brilliant.

And it made artistic sense, at least, when the material warranted the extra film. After all, The Lord of the Rings is an encyclopedic work later trumped by the seven volume Harry Potter, which revealed to studios that three is just a starting point. And even then, seven wasn’t enough for Hollywood! Oh, no! Split the last book in two for a final pay day! Wheeee! 

The film industry isn’t the only one squeezing us for every dime. Did we really need three Hunger Games books? Or more than one 50 Shades of Grey? Honestly, add thirty additional pages to the first Hunger Games, and you could have wrapped up the tale in one tight volume. Instead, publishers saw an opportunity for two additional cash grabs.

Can you even publish a novel anymore without promising your agent that “two more” are to come?

From what I can gather, The Hobbit is around 200 pages of wee-people getting into wacky adventures, and yet Peter Jackson is somehow going to stretch the thin material, like butter across too much bread, for two more fucking movies. Why not make The Catcher in the Rye a 10-week mini-series?

Hollywood – and the publishing industry that feeds it – hates you. It can’t stand you. To it, you’re just a wallet with legs. In ten years, you’ll be forced to buy an anniversary BluRay edition of The Hobbit, followed five years later with another anniversary edition with “bonus” material you don’t want and won’t watch.

It doesn’t stop there. Recently, Hollywood re-released The Phantom Menace and Titanic – two movies already leveraged for every penny – and converted them to headache-inducing 3D. Now we’re paying for Hollywood’s old crap! Which is even worse than Hollywood remaking a movie we already liked ten years ago – which they gladly did with The Amazing Spider-Man. We’re paying for the year 2002 movies at 2012 prices!

Of course, as long as we keep forking over the $12 per ticket, Hollywood is just going to keep on treating us like a rented Ford Contour. They beat us down, and we come back for more. Well forget it, Peter Jackson. I’m not watching a single frame the movie you made as unnecessarily long as the second “R” in JRR Tolkien. I’m prying myself free of this abusive relationship.

At least until the next Spider-Man comes out.

 

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