December 14, 2012, - 4:40 pm

Weekend Box Office: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Central Park Five

By Debbie Schlussel

It’s another weekend of not-so-thrilling new movies at theaters:

* “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey“: I was so bored during this nearly-three-hours-long “prequel” to the “Lord of the Rings” movies that while I was watching I made up a rap song for my review:


Bilbo Baggins,
Your story is saggin’;

Great special effects,
But this movie is as thrilling as counting to googolplex;

Way too violent for kids,
Beheadings, dismemberments, and mutilations–gee whiz.

There was much more to my rap (I had almost three hours to compose it), but you get the point. I wasn’t sure what the point of this movie was, other than to make a gazillion more dollars for filmmakers. The movie got much better in the last hour or so, but up to that point, it was a long, slow, boring slog and very desperately in need of editing down to half its time. Dwarves who fight off dog-like, bald, human-beast giants who ride giant dogs, monsters, and so on and so forth. Terrific special effects and computer-generated images. If you’ve seen the other Hobbit/Lord of the Rings movies (which I haven’t seen but am told are better than this), you know what to expect.

However, I thought this movie was incredibly violent for the kids at whom it’s aimed. And it’s full of beheadings–with the heads being shown and thrown around–and dismemberments. Is this really the fare they serve up for young kids nowadays? Sadly, yes, and it’s long been official that there is no childhood anymore. In any event, if I had kids, they would not be allowed to see this movie until their mid-teens, given the graphic violence. I’m being extremely generous in giving this movie . . .


Watch the trailer . . .

* “The Central Park Five“: This is excessively-hailed documentarian Ken Burns’ excessively-hailed documentary on the five Black and Hispanic men–Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Kharey Wise, Raymond Santana, Jr., and Yusef Salaam–who were originally convicted of the Central Park “wilding” of 1989, in which a jogger (known as the “Central Park jogger”) and Wall Street investment banker, Trisha Meili, was gang-raped and brutally beaten to near-death. The documentary wants us to believe that the men were wrongfully convicted and were innocent victims in all this. But, while they may or may not have perpetrated this brutal, unspeakable crime, they weren’t exactly angels, something the movie whitewashes and glosses over. And I don’t feel bad for them for a single nanosecond, despite Burns non-stop attempts to paint them as innocent victims of institutional, widespread racism. They are no such thing.

Toward the beginning of the movie, the five men brag about how they watched “another group of kids” like them beat the crap out of a White man in Central Park. They talk about it like they enjoyed watching it, and of course, they did. None of them did a single thing to stop that. Later, we find out, that in fact–as I suspected, they, themselves, were beating the crap out of various White people in Central Park. A New York Times reporter sympathetic to them whines about the fact that their lawyers didn’t use this as a defense at trial: that they couldn’t have raped and beaten this woman nearly to death because they were too busy doing it to other people. While it got a lot of sympathy (and typical grandstanding) out of the-then corpulent and less-accepted (the way it still should be) Al Sharpton, it doesn’t get a lot of sympathy out of me that these savages served (not nearly enough) time.

The tragedy in all of this is that the men were released and their convictions were overturned when another man said he did the crime and gave explicit details. In fact, the Central Park Five had all confessed to the crime and given lengthy, explicit details about who did the raping and the beating and the holding down of the victim. They were just as evil as the man who later claimed credit. And I couldn’t care less about them, whether they actually did this brutal rape and beating or merely did other brutal beatings of other White people in Central Park, which it’s been admitted they DID do.

Mainstream liberal movie critics are gushing all over this film, which they see as a classic “Whites Frame the Innocent Black Guys” guilt-inducing flick. That’s not reality. That Ken Burns cares so deeply about these animals who savagely beat random White people in Central Park should tell you a lot about him. And it should color your views of all his documentaries, whether they are on PBS or anywhere else. He has sympathy for these monsters more than he has for their victims . . . or for you. This movie made it official for me: Ken Burns isn’t a documentarian.

He’s a far-left propagandist who has endless sympathy for the devil.

The Central Park Five are no victims. They are perpetrators.


Watch the trailer . . .

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37 Responses

I heard Ken Turan’s review and was horrified by his description of this desecration of the Hobbit; that was the first I had heard that it was going to be a trilogy, I boggled. To attempt to turn a relatively short YA book into a nine hour -whatever- is horrific. Like he said, and you basically also said, there ain’t enough anything there for that much film.

There has never been a good movie made of the Hobbit.

lane on December 15, 2012 at 8:30 am

    Tolkien is difficult to film – his is a rich world and it takes a very talented filmmaker to show it the way the author described it. Whether Jackson can repeat the tour d’force he accomplished with LOTR – a cinematic masterwork – I think he set the bar very high.

    NormanF on December 15, 2012 at 8:43 am

      Norman, agreed regarding LOTR, though I was disgusted by the ending of Return, where he excises one of the most innovative and incisive conclusions in fantasy literature.

      Almost certainly, The Hobbit will fail. It is simply a smaller piece–and not only in length. I also don’t think the material is nearly as compelling for adults.

      skzion on December 15, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Peter Jackson’s adaption of J.R.R Tolkien’s beloved LOTR is the greatest fantasy trilogy ever made – particularly, “The Return Of The King,” which won all of its deserved Oscars. This won’t be the definitive first “Hobbit” release and I have to disagree with your call! I’ll wait til the “Extended Edition” (like on LOTR) on DVD and it’ll be tons better than the theatrical release. At 3 1/2 hours, something had to be left out to fit the theatrical running time and its not the complete story. As this trilogy progresses, as Peter Jackson does with the prequel here, the best will surely be saved for last!

NormanF on December 15, 2012 at 8:38 am

On the other hand, while I’m biased towards classic fantasy films and give the “The Hobbit” a pass since I do think it’ll get once an hour or so is added to the running time once New Zealand WETA workshop starts work on it in the next few months, I do concur wholeheartedly with Debbie that this is not Ken Burns’ best work.

“The Civil War” was riveting but “The Central Park Five” is pure leftist propaganda and an explicit Hollywood endorsement of anti-white racism that’s PC in America these days. I see nothing redeeming or noble about it. Given what these guys did, it wasted on me. And quite frankly, we need documentaries of this nature like we need a bad tooth extraction at the dentist’s office.

NormanF on December 15, 2012 at 9:08 am


I am not sure what movie you saw, but it certainly was not “The Hobbit”. Peter Jackson pulled this off stunningly and brilliantly, and fans of the previous films and the book will be delighted and enchanted. The Hobbit is funnier, lighter in tone, faster paced and beautifully filmed, and more so than the previous films. The story is faithful to the book more than the previous films were, and there are several added surprises for fans that I would never want to give away.

Your pitiful review, if you could even call it that, appears to parrot several so-called pre-screening reviews of which some actually did not even see the film. By your lack of review it would appear as though you did not actually see the film either because nothing you stated is very accurate. By your own admission you did not see the other films which shows you certainly are not a Tolkien fan and I doubt you have read the books either. For those that have read the books, seen and enjoyed the other films, you will not be disappointed in the Hobbit.

Debbie, may I suggest you actually learn about film making and also how to properly review movies. In an age of movies mimicking video games and senseless remakes, Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” films and “The Hobbit” are a breath a fresh air in an otherwise stagnant, unimaginative and immoral Hollywood. The Hobbit is epic, funny, and touching while being faithful to book, and the new 48-fps process is breathtaking. Rating this wonderful film a one marx demonstrates and utter lack of film making/reviewing knowledge, and a complete lack of understanding of the source material. Stick to politics where we agree more often than not.

Jeff on December 15, 2012 at 9:24 am

    Jeffey, you have no credibility here because you have not earned any. Your comments insinuate that Debbie has not even seen the film, which is not only generically false (because Debbie has integrity) but demonstrably false here because of the details she offers.

    Debbie, I think you should read the books. LOTR is magnificent. It poses as fantasy, but it is much more. I am told by a Catholic (whose opinion I trust) that it is suffused with Xtian themes. Well, that is more compelling to him than to me, but, after all, Western civilization is built in part (only in part) on such themes, which I suppose is why I found zero to object to. It is an essay on manhood, bold evil, and evil duplicity. It’s also a grand “road trip” tale. I think you would appreciate it.

    As for The Hobbit, well, it pleased me more when I was in junior high than when I read it 20 years later. It is still worthwhile, though.

    skzion on December 15, 2012 at 8:18 pm

The Civil War was probably one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen but unfortunately Ken Burns is now little more than a political hack.
One of these guys who believes there’s a magical key to unlocking all of human potential if only government could find it.
Guilt or innocence is largely irrelevant to the The Central Park Five’s target audience. What’s essential is that they get a demonstration of institutionalized racism because if you believe that government can solve all problems then that’s much more important than any compassion you might feel for the white victims or anybody else for that matter.

Frankz on December 15, 2012 at 9:48 am

    I agree with you – I thought “The Civil War” was one of the greatest documentaries on a critical time in American history in the 1980s. Just beautiful work and I think Burns did something very moving and remarkable in showing how the seminal American conflict of the mid 19th Century remade our country.

    “The Central Park Five” is just not in the same league! Government can’t solve human nature and make us live all happily ever after. It can’t remove evil from the human heart. And there is plenty of injustice to go around – life isn’t fair and all of us have been one point or another in our lives been short-changed. Burns is not going to wave a magic wand and make it all go away and his last film doesn’t even offer one. That’s where his documentary about the fate of five guys in New York City falls short.

    NormanF on December 15, 2012 at 10:05 am

I am a Tolkien fan – the books are really extraordinary and no one writes like that any more. The “Middle Earth” saga is a classic and timeless conflict of good vs evil and its about a world with men and strange and unusual creatures that don’t exist in our world. Its informed by Norse mythology, Christian theology and invented languages – but don’t let that stop you from enjoying it – its great story telling and at the end you feel like you never want it to end. Tolkien is superb at his craft to the point he is essentially unfilmable. Its great literature – just very difficult to translate to the big movie screen. No wonder filmmakers haven’t been able to equal the power and immensity of Tolkien’s writing – which has the standard for fantasy literature for the past century.

NormanF on December 15, 2012 at 9:52 am

The Central Park jogger rape was one of the worse crimes to make it to mass media outlets involving a “hate crime”. Not surprised the hollywierd version will make these scum bags(who would’ve benefitted from lead poisoning a long time ago)into some kind of martyrs. Finding out the scum were overjoyed at witnessing another black on white crime is also predictable. I bet Ken Burns wishes he were able to knock on the mosque door of the Nation and apologize without getting beaten to death first. I think he should take one for the team and try to apologize anyway. Maybe then he’ll have a better understanding of the “plight” of the black man in the most diverse, affirmative action, rainbow coalition, community activist country in the world. Kenny can do a movie about Tookie next. Maybe leave out the whole murdering an innocent family thing. Not real flattering.

samurai on December 15, 2012 at 11:14 am

DS I enjoyed very much your review on the Central Park Jogger. I will make sure I will NOT see it. I am sick of craven, white Liberals and I will NOT support their bias work. I’d feel the same way you did if I watched it.

I had the feeling it was going to be just as you said…and of course you’re the only one to state the truth plainly. I knew that too.

When one watched the docos on the West Memphis 3 you KNEW those kids were being railroaded. I saw two of the 3 docos and never doubted it.

With this crapola thou’…I knew something was rotten. I saw the fawning interviews last month on CNN (Boston cafes and restaurants and gyms have TVs that play CNN & MSNBC en masse) and I wasn’t buying what they were selling.

Skunky on December 15, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Ken Burns. Isn’t he the All American person who composes documentaries about baseball??? And doesn’t NPR promote all those documentaries?

Well, all those documentaries are just a facade to create the image (perhaps for those who appropriate money for NPR) that NPR and Burns are pro-American and have the same interests as people who do not hate their country and traditional Western values.

This may not be true of 100% of the people who listen to Burns, but it is true of most of them. Why do they flock to supposedly apolitical documentaries of those who hate our overall culture? It is just an act, just like if Communist or Muslim groups have softball games. To create a false impression that they are normal, and have normal interests.

Little Al on December 15, 2012 at 12:34 pm

The LOTR trilogy was the most bloated, pretentious and boring set of movies I ever saw that only fanboys can appreciate. My son who was a teenager when they came out thought they were awesome but now that he’s matured agrees with my opinion. So going to see this new one didn’t interest me.

I saw a recent Kens Burns interview and was totally turned off by his nonsense. To be honest none of his earlier documentaries really impressed me even with the endless critic adulation. My experience is the more left leaning the documentary the higher the critic’s praises.

I have to laugh at one commenter here who states that Debbie needs to learn about movie making when in fact he could use some serious instruction. Generally a good rule of thumb for me is the higher the “Rotten Tomatoes” score the worse the movie is.

Richard on December 15, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Having only read the first twenty pages of Hobbit when I was twelve, I have no fan boy leanings on Tolkien adaptations, but I did enjoy this as well as the first two LOTR movies that I’ve revisited. Being moderately deaf and not having captions when I was subjected to the extended editions nine years ago, I was tremendously bored by what was a lot of dirty hobbits and company walking around Middle Earth with battle scenes interspersed. Subtitles greatly improved my enjoyment of what was on the screen. Though I have my doubts about how well one Young Adult novel (plus additional Tolkien content and Jackson’s creative liberties) can be made into nine hours of trilogy.

Robert on December 15, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    So, Robert, it turned out that you liked 2/3 of the LOTR movies?

    You know, I do not expect a movie to capture the eloquence of a magisterially written book. For me, the issue is whether such a movie adds anything. Given how atmospheric Tolkien is, I was willing to put up with certain directorial decisions given how artful the productions were. As I said before, my main gripe was with The Return of the King’s ending, which was a terrible artistic lapse.

    skzion on December 15, 2012 at 8:24 pm

      I just haven’t had a chance to watch RotK this week. Our theatre was so busy getting ready for what turned out to be a bust attendance wise that I’ve only managed Fellowship, Towers, and screening Hobbit early this week. But as im not familiar with the original RotK ending, I’m not expecting to be disappointed…until I manage to cram in reading the Tolkien originals.

      Robert on December 16, 2012 at 2:08 am

Re. The Central Park Five: I’ve been noticing that the media’s (and the Left’s) fascination with violent criminals and other dregs of society has been in evidence for quite a few centuries. Back in the late 19th century, for example, quite a few media outlets in many parts of the country were hailing mass-murdering bank robber Jesse James as a “modern-day Robin Hood” and simultaneously pushing class warfare against railroads and banks – and went so far as to call him and his gang “poor, put-upon victims” (or words to that effect) when law enforcement began to catch up with them. Then there was the massive crime wave of 1933-34 when the media was glorifying – and whitewashing the atrocities of – such “public enemies” as John Dillinger, Bonnie & Clyde, Alvin Karpis, Ma Barker, etc. – and justifying their crimes by citing the banks’ foreclosures of the period – once again using crypto-Marxist “class warfare”-style talking points at the height of the Depression to manipulate the public into supporting such open lawlessness, with Dillinger in particular being a major favorite. In short, nothing new under the sun. But that historical background makes this latest instance no less disgusting or repulsive.

ConcernedPatriot on December 15, 2012 at 6:52 pm

I’m not surprised. You cannot film an Anglo-Saxon epic. It’s meant to be a story told round the fire, passed down from generation to generation.

Michelle on December 15, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Debbie– you are as usual 100% correct. Ken Burns’ whitewash of these kids is pure false propaganda.

Steve G. on December 15, 2012 at 9:26 pm

The only thing that matters to the left is that they propagate the fantasy of institutionalized racism in America.

Never mind that it doesn’t exist, that the very idea of it is an open insult to blacks that are part of the criminal justice system, and that it requires a total dismissal of reality to accept that such a conspiracy is adhered to lockstep.

Forget about the damage done by lies like this. In minority communities rife with losers who never wish to accept any responsibility for their lot in life, as well as the innocent white (and black) victims set upon by these criminal beasts.

People as individuals don’t matter to the left. Only group think and liberalism matter. Ken Burns is doing his job, end of. Using film media to twist and distort reality. It’s the only way leftist ideas can exist, since they fail on merit. Even cursory thought annihilates them.

PitandPen on December 16, 2012 at 12:09 am

Do you think Adam Lanza saw “The Hobbit” before Friday?

Andrew on December 16, 2012 at 2:41 am

    Having opened Friday, one seriously doubts it. At any rate, even if the late Mr. Lanza — an extreme case of Asperger’s Syndrone, by the way — had seen the film, it did not cause him to kill.

    The notion that movies act as a trigger for copycat thought and behavior is balderdash. The “research” that allegedly proves the behavioral links to film is questionable, misquoted or outright preposterous. More specifically, tens of millions of people have watched any or all of Peter Jackson’s LOTR films, to apparently no ill effect on their own lives or those of others.

    Seek on December 17, 2012 at 11:34 am

Even vicious thugs with records a mile long should do time for crimes they DID commit.

Miranda Rose Smith on December 16, 2012 at 5:46 am

Like Jeff, I’m wondering what Hobbit movie DS was watching – because her review seems waaaay off.

I will say this:

If you are someone who wants to be entertained AND have not read the book – you’ll probably be a little bored at the beginning and get a little tired. It is rather long.

However, if you are someone who likes a good story or epic and has read the book – then you’ll definitely like this movie.

I certainly did. Even moreso, I thought Peter Jackson’s cutoff for this movie when the dwarves see the mountain in the distance and we see the Dragon again was perfect.

Can wait for installment #2…


mrrabbit on December 16, 2012 at 6:56 pm

I remember that at the time the perps were stunned that she survived-THEY LEFT HER FOR DEAD-and meant to leave her that way, that they were free and clear. Somehow she lived. I have no sympathy for them and only contempt for Burns. It is beyond comprehension how liberals can willingly go through such mental gymnastics to gush and fawn over these monsters who in any other societal arrangement in history would have been rightly disposed of and never given another thought.Thanks Debbie, as soon as I first heard of this doc and who was behind it I got queasy. You are the best.

civilwarvet on December 16, 2012 at 11:48 pm

Debbie, I might just disagree repectfully with your criticism of the Hobbit by saying I enjoyed the previous Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Ring movies. I did like Peter Jackson’s interpretation of the Lord of the Rings movies. If you find this movie long then get ready for watching LOTR because they are long especially Return of the King.

Now about Ken Burns obvious leftism: I only watch a 10 minutes of the Civil War when I was a teenager and it did not look bad but at the time I was not into documentaries that I am now. I might just watch the entire series to see what everyone is talking about. I also heard Ken Burns made a good baseball documentary too which I also heard good things about. However from what you wrote, Debbie, that this is another “white-bad, evil, black-good innocent” I immediately get in the mindset another CURRENT TV where the criminals are portrayed as humans and every one else including the ACTUAL victims are shown as pawns of an evil power structure. I have yet to see a lefty documentary that shows victims as true victims and not just another set of voices for their undermining America agenda.

Mario on December 17, 2012 at 3:26 am


though the Tribune refuses the name the suspect, this is the newest Chicago area muslim honor attack:,0,133873.story

Nick Fury on December 17, 2012 at 10:54 am

Of course Ken Burns will do his next movie about the Duke lacrosse case where white men were falsely charged with raping a black woman.
And in that case there isn’t any shadow of a doubt the men are innocent.

Oh, I forgot, if you’re a white man you can never be a victim of anything.
I suppose Ken Burns will do a movie showing that the Duke boys really were guilty and they just got away with it because they are white and rich.

This follows Burns’ pattern. In his series on the Dust Bowl he blames the farmers for the drought and praises Franklin Roosevelt as if he was God himself for saving America.

steve g on December 18, 2012 at 2:34 pm

I know that movies are a waste of money and trash.

I know that many, if not most, of the over worshipped celebrity actors are leftist, disrespectful, malicious, vicious, pervert and perversion supporting and promoting malcontents.

I know that the billions of dollars the movie industry gets from viewers goes mostly to leftist causes and candates, many of whom mock US citizens who pay exorbitant fees to see their movies, helping make the boorish snobs filthy rich.

I know that many of the movies are propaganda pieces for leftist causes, many pushing deviant behavior, disorder, anarchy, and so on, such as movies pushing homosexuality, abortion, lesbianism, Islam, racism, and more.

For these reasons, and others, we save our money and we don’t waste it on movies such as these.

William on December 18, 2012 at 4:28 pm

You haven’t seen LOTR Debbie? I’m surprised. It’s a great, fun series with family themes. I thought everybody’s seen them.
This movie’s going to get good reviews from other conservatives, because I haven’t seen it yet although I’m intending to but am guessing it’s a continuation of the themes and story of the other movies in the series.
The decapitations aren’t graphic. The Orcs don’t look human at all.

Joey on December 19, 2012 at 12:42 am

You are dead-on right about Ken Burns. Big-time PBS propagandist. While I thought The Civil War was good I also thought it’s productions values were pretty low. Maybe its just me but I thought it could have been better. Looked to me like it was produced on a shoe-string budget. His documentary, The Statue of Liberty, had kind of a left-wing bent to it. And when you compare Obama to Lincoln you are pretty much persona non grata in by book. I wouldn’t waste my time associating with anyone who lives in that kind of alternative universe.

Daniel Middleman on December 26, 2012 at 5:28 am

I am also surprised you haven’t seen any of the Lord of the Rings movies. I read the books in high school so I guess I am sort of a fan-boy. My favorite of the three movies was The Two Towers. To my mind it is one of the greatest war movies I’ve ever seen. And the guy who did the score, Howard Shore, is a genius in my opinion. Such moving and powerful pieces of music. Have no car at the moment so I have no way to get out and see The Hobbit. Wish I could see it in 48fps. I am really curious to see how the two different frame rates compare to one another.

Daniel Middleman on December 26, 2012 at 5:41 am

What makes you think the Hobbit is aimed at children? You’re either sadly misinformed or slightly delusional.

Calev PS you're an idiot on December 26, 2012 at 6:06 pm

With all due respect I can no longer take your movie reviews seriously. I agree with your politics more often than not, but after reading your take on the Hobbit you have lost all credibility as a critic. It is obvious you have never read the books, you admit to having never seen the previous films, and while I believe you were present at the showing of the Hobbit your lack of relative information about the actual film tells me you barely skimmed the surface.
Furthermore, your entire review consists a poorly written “rap song”, complaints about the length, and complaints about the violence. You do realize you were watching a prequel to the very lengthy and violent LOTR films, right? They are not kids movies, nor are they for the casual movie goer who gets upset if a movie goes beyond the hour and twenty mark.

Seth on January 4, 2013 at 6:49 pm

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