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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
What ever happened to making the book come to life?
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Aug 15 2013, 2:58pm

Post #126 of 205 (678 views)
Connecting with characters... [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
People nowadays are just too used to the tried and true character types and relationships of 90-minute modern Hollywood films.

The way Tolkien wrote characters and relationship is MATURE. Go back read older books and look at older films: characters' action don't fit neatly into the modern paradigm that everyone is so used to nowadays. Characters were complex, unique, and not always "likable". They had different perspectives and not always comfortable ones.

I'm so annoyed at this level or rote storytelling nowadays. Just the idea that "Thorin needs to be more sympathetic in order to get audiences to 'connect'" is demographic screenwriting 101. Does not challenge the audience in any way, shape or form to think about differences in characters, motives, or actions....UGH!!!!!

I don't need to go back and read older books or look at older films - I do that all the time anyway. If The Hobbit were translated to film the way many people on here seem to desire, I believe the audience wouldn't get to know any of the dwarves in any real way, they would have to adjust to a massive tone shift mid-way through the film, and they would be totally confused and put-off by the climax of the book happening off screen while Bilbo was unconscious. And before I get accused of being a book hater, I'm not. I love The Hobbit, and it works on page, but it would be awful if it were adapted too slavishly.

You have a right to your opinion, but don't denegrate my opinion simply because it doesn't match yours.

Guardian of the Galaxy / Moderator

Aug 15 2013, 3:28pm

Post #127 of 205 (653 views)
Thank goodness I've had my coffee [In reply to] Can't Post

before I saw that abomination. Wink

Guardian of the Galaxy / Moderator

Aug 15 2013, 3:44pm

Post #128 of 205 (683 views)
I saw a post by Doug Adams, I think, a few weeks ago [In reply to] Can't Post

where he talked about the music in the first movie vs music in the next two. Recycling themes was a deliberate decision by Shore because he's introducing the characters "for the first time". I put that in quotes because for us, who saw LOTR first, we think the themes are redundant, but in future years, most people will see The Hobbit first, and then LOTR. So it was necessary to re-use some of the music as if it was being heard for the first time.

Doug said that the next two movies will have substantially different music, so there should not be as much redundancy as we had in AUJ.

Justice League

Aug 15 2013, 3:46pm

Post #129 of 205 (656 views)
oh come on... They got a few parts right [In reply to] Can't Post

A very few parts, way less than they screwed up IMHO.... I completely agree the book isn't coming to life at all. What we are getting is some butchered version which takes events and characters out of context, and makes things NOT what the Hobbit was about. "The Hobbit" was about Bilbo and HIS journey there and back again, Now if the would have called the movie the "Quest for Erobor" I would feel drastically different about the films so far. Since they are more about Thorin, Gandalf and the White Council fighting the Necromancer, with bits of Bilbo sprinkled throughout.. Now where the films were close enough to the book like Baggend, and Riddles in the Dark, I loved what Jackson and company did. I even liked the change of Thorin arriving late by himself, and the part of the troll scene where the dwarfs come to Bilbo's rescue...Things like the changing of the troll scene, other than the above mentioned part, the rock-em-sock-em stone giants amusement park ride, the needless made up hatred and conflict between Thorin and the elves, The constant OTT falls, and unrealistic stunts, the over use of CGI just make the films so far, not even close to as good as LOTR.

the grainy picture of Beorn is just yet another sad reminder of how bad Peter Jackson is doing with the Hobbit in comparison to LOTR IMO. At least LOTR had that historically realistic feel to it. The characters were, for the most part (minus Legolas's OTT stunts, which were only a few) put into realistic situations, were bruised and battered, and persevered thru them. The Hobbit thus far has had ridiculous looking characters who look cartoonish, and would not fit into the same world Jackson himself created with LOTR, put into situations that could never happen in the same realistic world of the LOTR trilogy.

I know the source material is different and has a different tone then LOTR but the world created by Jackson in the previous trilogy would have worked to make the Hobbit more mature and fit better (IMO) with LOTR. Where when all films are done they should flow together into one seamless piece of work but from what we have gotten with AUJ to me there is no chance of that now. Jackson has altered the rules of physics too greatly from the earlier trilogy mesh well with his new HFR, 3D, world were the rules of physics do not apply, extravaganza that has been the Hobbit so far. Not saying there shouldn't be elements of the more light hearted tone of the book in the film. I definitely think there should be some.

Beorn was described in enough detail by Tolkien that all Jackson had to do was follow instructions to create a great character, the look so far to me matches NONE of them. I mean really does Jackson think people want to see a mullet on the character? Maybe he should have just hired Billy Ray Cyrus back in 1990 and he could have saved a fortune on that horrible wig we see in the picture. I know there are things like creative license, but if your gonna adapt a book you should at least IMO opinion make the characters resemble something from the tale you are telling. So far we have a mullet mountain man with Beorn in human form and "Fluffy" from Harry Potter with him in Bear form. Both look horrible to me so far. So what is the point? If Jackson wanted to create new characters maybe he should have wrote an original screen play instead of claiming to be adapting the Hobbit. I see Jackson's tinkering as more of trying to rewrite the Hobbit instead of adapt it. Horrible Horrible idea. Even Tolkien realized that and abandoned a total rewrite. Also Jackson's claims of using the appendices are less than honest, there are NOT 125 pages relating to the Hobbit (more like 11 or 12 in reality) plus he took what was in them and totally botched what they were. NOTHING in Jackson's AUJ resembles what was in the appendices. Hopefully the films will be ok, since now I have no expectations of them being great films like LOTR (which in truth had some faults as well but nothing in comparison to the Hobbit) or even being good adaptations of the Book that I truly love.

Had they called the films the "Quest for Erobor" or something other than the hobbit most of the changes story wise I could probably live with, If they weren't pushing them so hard as being prequels to LOTR I could probably accept the style difference. But IMO it seems like they are riding both sides of the fence. Wanting to make these films something of their own while feeding off the popularity of LOTR. If Jackson had done the first option and made these films stand alone films without promising something along the lines of LOTR maybe more fans of those films that do not like the Hobbit so far would be more accepting of Jackson's tinkering. It seems to me that Jackson wants his cake and wants to eat it too but IMO you can't have it both ways. Personaly I think he should have stuck with the style of LOTR, called the films the "Quest for Erobor" or something other than the Hobbit and expanded the story till his hearts content. I would have been totally fine with that.

Justice League

Aug 15 2013, 3:54pm

Post #130 of 205 (627 views)
Great post Ziggy // [In reply to] Can't Post


Justice League

Aug 15 2013, 4:08pm

Post #131 of 205 (625 views)
Great post Cul [In reply to] Can't Post

and welcome to TORn Smile

Justice League

Aug 15 2013, 4:23pm

Post #132 of 205 (622 views)
Agree 100% [In reply to] Can't Post

maybe had they kept the same qualities that the LOTR films had and not tried to rewrite the story that was given to us by Tolkien. Jackson proved with LOTR and the Hobbit IMO that his films are their strongest when he sticks to the material that Tolkien wrote... but like I said that's purely opinion Wink

Ziggy Stardust
Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Aug 15 2013, 5:00pm

Post #133 of 205 (601 views)
Thanks [In reply to] Can't Post

I've felt so misunderstood lately. Unsure

Ziggy Stardust
Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Aug 15 2013, 5:10pm

Post #134 of 205 (606 views)
Good thoughts, Eleniel [In reply to] Can't Post

I never liked The Wizard of Oz film, and because of that, I never read the book. Another good example of film adaptations that missed the mark of the book are the 1930 Frankenstein and 1931 Dracula films. Both are nothing like the books, (which are way better.) The redeeming factor of the 1931 Dracula film is Bela Lugosi's acting. Even if that wasn't the Dracula of the novel, he still did a good performance. Otherwise, the films made some changes that were rather radical. The monster in Frankenstein was supposed to be sympathetic and he could talk really well. The film made him dumb, and only grunted. And that Igor was an insult. That's one of the things I worry for DoS. Not only is Tauriel a mary sue, but that Alfrid could turn out to be another Igor! Crazy Cease and desist!

Captain Salt
Justice League

Aug 15 2013, 5:15pm

Post #135 of 205 (587 views)
Again... [In reply to] Can't Post

LotR and TH aren't the same set of films, so labeling them as such is a straw-man; additionally, yes, seriously, no matter how much money a film makes or how many awards it wins - there will be those who didn't enjoy it and/or thought it was a downright creative failure - and their personal opinion is just as valid as yours or mine.

My Top 5 Wish List for "The Hobbit"
5. Legolas will surf down Smaug's neck
4. Bilbo will be revealed to a Robot
3. Naked PJ cameo as Ghan-Buri-Ghan
2. Use of not only 3D, but smell-o-vision, plus the inclusion of axes coming out of the seats and poking the audience when appropriate
1. Not only keep the claim that Thorin & Co. ran amok in Mirkwood "molesting people", but depict said incident in vivid detail!!!!!

Justice League

Aug 15 2013, 5:26pm

Post #136 of 205 (620 views)
IMO opinion Peter Jackson has no restraint [In reply to] Can't Post

I really don;t think he can help himself. Which is sad because I find when he stuck to the material Tolkien wrote for him the scenes were SO much better for me. Jackson has proven that he can't leave well enough alone this time around. Every bit of great dialogue Tolkien gave us in the book has been altered in some way or another. whether it being totally changed, words left out, or words added. Prime examples are instead of the opening dialogue ending where is should have with the simple word comfort, Jackson had to put "comfortS of home" Why?, what did that add other than an unnecessary change in dialogue? Then we have the Time answer in the riddle game. Bilbo inadvertently tells Gollum he needs more time, instead we get Gollum telling Bilbo "time's up" to which Bilbo pieces it together. Another needless change in dialogue that to me makes no sense, and the list goes on and on since there is no unaltered Tolkien dialogue in the film. Jackson obviously can't help himself. He feels the need to change things just for the sake of changing them. I'm sure Smaug's encounter with Bilbo in DOS will be no different, along with the added characters not fitting into anything Tolkien would have wrote... I can see making slight adaptions but outright changes esp in good dialogue or good scenes from the book are just completely unnecessary

(This post was edited by sinister71 on Aug 15 2013, 5:27pm)

Justice League

Aug 15 2013, 5:32pm

Post #137 of 205 (610 views)
I think it may perhaps boil down to what one considers the role of the Director to be... [In reply to] Can't Post

Do we consider the Director to be an artist, where he is creating his own personal vision of something, so re-interpreting someone else's creation is not only acceptable, but should be encouraged?

Or should a Director simply be responsible for bringing someone else's creation to life on screen, to the best of their ability - i.e., serving the author's vision?

With LotR it seemed more as though PJ and the team were, for the most part, serving Tolkien's vision with a great deal of respect, even reverence, for the source material. The famous quote that the closer they stayed to the book the better it worked speaks for itself. This time around Jackson himself has stated that he is making the Hobbit films he wants to see, which indicates that the boundaries have moved somewhat, certainly in terms of ego and artistic license.

It should also be pointed out that Weta and the production team, along with Howard Shore's music, continue to bring Tolkien's vision to life most faithfully and with incredible passion - that is beyond doubt. It is the strength of the script and, ultimately, the direction that is debatable.

"Choosing Trust over Doubt gets me burned once in a while, but I'd rather be singed than hardened."
Victoria Monfort

(This post was edited by Eleniel on Aug 15 2013, 5:35pm)

Fantastic Four

Aug 15 2013, 5:44pm

Post #138 of 205 (586 views)
Excellent advice...// [In reply to] Can't Post


 photo Desolation-of-Smaug2_zpsc1584ee1.jpg
Tauriel: So let me get this straight sir, this Elwen girl is back on something called TORn, and rather than just tell her to stop stalking you, you'd like me to show up in a movie I have no business being in as a ploy to distract her, and nevermind the wrath of countless Tolkien fans who will be calling for my destruction?

Legolas: That about sums it up. Besides, some people might like you. Oh, and to be on the safe side, can we pretend to be a couple too?

Fantastic Four

Aug 15 2013, 5:54pm

Post #139 of 205 (588 views)
On tipping points... [In reply to] Can't Post

Sometimes I think they shift. There were times I thought I'd reached my breaking point and was drawn back. (Either that or I said, "That's the last straw," only to be unpleasantly surprised 30 minutes later by an even worse one.)

Truthfully, I've only seen AUJ three times. I just can't bring myself to watch it again yet. However, I'll probably still plunk down my $10 to see DOS, unless this place lights up the day after the release.

 photo Desolation-of-Smaug2_zpsc1584ee1.jpg
Tauriel: So let me get this straight sir, this Elwen girl is back on something called TORn, and rather than just tell her to stop stalking you, you'd like me to show up in a movie I have no business being in as a ploy to distract her, and nevermind the wrath of countless Tolkien fans who will be calling for my destruction?

Legolas: That about sums it up. Besides, some people might like you. Oh, and to be on the safe side, can we pretend to be a couple too?


Aug 15 2013, 6:13pm

Post #140 of 205 (588 views)
Tauriel isn't anything yet.... [In reply to] Can't Post

...and your anxiety about Alfrid has me baffled.

We know nothing at all about Alfrid except the name of the actor playing him. And that he is the Master of Laketown's man. So can you explain, please - because I'm really confused by this one - what do you find intrinsically wrong with a corrupt civic official having an underling to carry out his orders? So wrong that you would object to the role on principal, knowing nothing at all about the character and how he's to be played. Is it that you think a man in the Master's position would do everything himself? He wouldn't have assistants or servants? Or that you think it's wrong in principal to add minor characters in an adaptation. Did you object to Gamling in the previous films?

What is it that you'd like them to cease and desist from? Far as I can see, they haven't done anything yet.


Aug 15 2013, 6:46pm

Post #141 of 205 (555 views)
Well when I find a film unwatchable [In reply to] Can't Post

I walk away from it. I don't go see sequels. I don't understand the, what appears to me, to be the obsessive condemnation of AUJ over and over. And the condemnation of two films that nobody has seen yet based on a couple of pictures. If you hate them.....don't go see them......But PLEASE allow me the right to see and enjoy the films without being condemned as some horrible person who doesn't understand or appreciate Tolkien. I have been reading his books for almost 50 years. I love him and I love the movies.


Aug 15 2013, 6:51pm

Post #142 of 205 (549 views)
What a gross simplification [In reply to] Can't Post

You can make a lot of money with great art.

Justice League

Aug 15 2013, 6:56pm

Post #143 of 205 (537 views)
I say option B [In reply to] Can't Post

if its a well written story like the Hobbit, the ONLY thing the director should do is figure out what will and will not work on film, and merely tweak the scenes that need tweaking and tell the story the author told us in the book. Anything else is simply trying to rewrite the story because the director feels he can do better or doesn't have enough vision to make those scenes work IMO which means he truly does not care about the actual story the author told.

Stuff that wasn't in the story like the necromancer subplot IMO would work better if they were left fairly vague, giving us enough on film to fill in some gaps but not tell us everything. Leaving enough mystery to leave the viewer wanting more of the original authors work. We know some details about that subplot and Jackson could have just expanded just enough to make it work without having to make up hours of fanfiction material when 20 minutes of it on film IMO would have been enough

But to me an adaptation should always serve the original authors work, not the directors own. The strongest parts of LOTR and the Hobbit are when Jackson stuck to what Tolkien wrote IMO. I find his made up content weak in comparison to the material straight from the source in both stories so far. Now if the director wants to rewrite the tale like Jackson is obviously doing with the Hobbit I feel he should have named it something else ( say the Quest for Erobor )and let the audience decide if they were good films instead of riding on Tolkien's coattail by using the name "the Hobbit" and insisting that these films are prequels to LOTR, when it fails to match the style, or tone of the original trilogy. When I think adaptation I think of seeing the story moved from one medium to another which with the Hobbit would have worked with some minor tweaking. Not some 50/50 hybrid of made up fanfiction and source material. THAT was a choice Jackson made one which saddens me greatly considering what COULD have been. Because the made up material Jackson wrote simply isn't up to par with what Tolkien wrote, not even close.

I think Weta is doing a great job with the effects (though too many are CGI for my tastes), the score for the most part, and all the production is top notch. Now Jackson's script on the other hand seems poorly written when deviating away from Tolkien's work, his additions make no sense to anyone who knows the details of Tolkien's work. Which IMO seem to cater to the people who are just general film audiences instead of making the films great adaptations of the book and giving that general audience a glimpse into what the source material is about. I'm sorry but a director should not make the film HE wants to see when it comes to adapting a book. Original material sure go for it but not a book that has been around since 1937 and is loved by millions or billions of people around the world changes like that boil down to ego IMO

Justice League

Aug 15 2013, 7:16pm

Post #144 of 205 (540 views)
by all means [In reply to] Can't Post

go see them and watch them, love them. it really doesn't matter what other people think about the films to me. For me I can certainly afford 5 bucks to go see the film at the matinee (which Is what i'll do) I might like it I might not but that's my prerogative If I don't like it I wont waste another dime on it .

I have said time and again that I have enjoyed the parts that were the Hobbit in the film. The parts that stuck to the book, without all the made up stuff that really didn't need to be in there IMO. Bt people seem to forget those comments. Azog, Radagast, all the made up stuff I could have lived without. The stuff from the appendices if it had stuck to them would have been killer but what we got was bogus for me... There just wasn't enough of the Hobbit, without the story being manipulated into something it isn't for me. Bit that is personal taste.... I find it enlightening to find out that many people have the same views I do when they watched AUJ and realize I'm not alone in my displeasure with much of the film. Sorry if people don't like the negativity but I personally think it mostly could have been avoided if Jackson had shown the same love and care for the source material that he did with LOTR and not tried to turn the Hobbit into some grand experiment to bring people back to the cinema by catering to the current trend of 3D or pushing the envelope with HFR. Maybe so many people are condemning the films because they really weren't all that good considering they are supposed to be comparable to LOTR. So the reality for myself and many others is the new films fall way short of LOTR in too many ways. I for one have never, ever said I hated the film, parts of it yes but those are the parts that deviate too far away from the Hobbit story as IMO it should have been, something similar to the book.

For those like you who actually genuinely liked it I'm happy for you, I hope your just as excited for the next 2 films. I personally feel they can't get any worse than AUJ so there is no place to go but up from here.Wink

Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Aug 15 2013, 7:20pm

Post #145 of 205 (522 views)
I'm not sure that 's true Eleniel. [In reply to] Can't Post

I can remember Peter Jackson saying years ago (where I can't recall) about the LotR movies, that he can only make movies that he would like to see. That approach is not anything new for him, I believe.

I believe that a director is an artist who should put their own stamp on their work, even if it is an adaptation of a great novel. It seems to me that few directors, especially not one as independent as PJ, would be willing to make any movie that didn't reflect their own personal vision.

The difference between LotR and TH trilogy is that The Hobbit not a huge book and many of its characters and plot points are only sketchily described by Tolkien. I think that even a single movie focusing only on Bilbo's story would still have had a lot of invented dialogue and situations.

Yet the deal was for PJ to make two epic movies (then three), requiring even more additional material. So there is more for people to dislike.

Everybody has their own vision of these books and it's too bad that PJ's adaptation strays so far from those of some unhappy fans, who can't let go. I'm doubly sorry, because I'm pretty sure that DoS and TaBA will be just as disappointing for them.

Like Entmaiden, I enjoy the differences between book and film as much as I enjoy the similarities.

Guardian of the Galaxy / Moderator

Aug 15 2013, 7:21pm

Post #146 of 205 (528 views)
No one is condemning your choices [In reply to] Can't Post

There was nothing in sinister's post about how other people should think and feel. You have every right to love the films, just as sinister has every right to dislike them. No need to reply to a post if you disagree. Just read, and move on.

Michelle Johnston

Aug 15 2013, 9:45pm

Post #147 of 205 (553 views)
What kind of "life" are we looking for. [In reply to] Can't Post

JRRT was a profoundly melancholy man who lost much in the way of kinship through the first world war and saw much of his beloved England put to the spade.

The great themes of the LOTR are about kinship, loss, sacrifice and a polarised political back drop where war is waged between an en lighted free spirited agricultural society and a harsh unsentimental mechanistic impersonal wicked tyrant who wanted order and industry with such single minded obsessiveness that he would take an utterly chaotic and destructive path to achieve it. There is through out a real sense of danger we are participating in a cliff hanger.

Once the LOTR had been written the Hobbit seemed to my generation like an early rehearsal of the former. If you either rewrite the book or make a serious film about it, you have only one option to show how the key protagonists in the LOTR got where they did, what shaped them. By the time the three movies have been released I have a hunch we will understand better how individuals were shaped (Bilbo, Gandalf, Gollum even Legolas ) and see the beginnings of what was potentially the great catastrophe of the 3rd age Sauron, and Sarumans war against the West.

For me the Hobbit is bringing alive those journeys as well as telling the Tale of the Quest for Erebor and it is in this quest that the real pay off is. Instead of the one dimensional emotionally stunted and undeveloped Dwarves of the book we are getting rounded characterisation which reaches its zenith in Thorin who has seen the loss of home through holocaust the loss of parent and grand parent through unspeakable cruelty and the loss of his inheritance. He is a complex man uncertain and obsessive and uncaring and dismissive in his early attitude towards this bumptious self important Hobbit and realises his own hubris and vanity when Bilbo saves his life.

When I watch a movie a play or read a book I need to care about the character and be concerned about the outcome it begins and ends there. I am fascinated by Bilbo's dual personality and how they manifest themselves, Gandalf's selfless desire to fulfil the enormous burden placed upon him by Manwe and watch how Thorin punches his way to Erebor. Far more of the latter two are on display in these movies than in the book their stories come alive.

I love the paintly CGI, I thought the Warg chase was over fussy and badly executed and the Stone Giants stereo typical imagery but those are side shows in terms of my deep pleasure and enjoyment of the film and the wonderful performance of Martin, Sir Ian and Richard who bring their characters alive and I can not wait for the next instalment and finally seeing Gandalf in the Prancing Pony in 16 weeks time.

My Dear Bilbo something is the matter with you! you are not the same hobbit that you were.


Aug 15 2013, 9:46pm

Post #148 of 205 (483 views)
I'm glad to hear this. [In reply to] Can't Post

Because I wanted to love the AUJ score as much as I love the LOTR scores, but it wa so much of the same stuff that I felt like it basically was the LOTR score. I look forward to the upcoming scores then!

"BOTH [political] extremes are dangerous. But more dangerous are team fanboys who think all the extremists are on the OTHER side." (CNN reader comment)

It is always those with the fewest sensible things to say who make the loudest noise in saying them. --Precious Ramotswe (Alexander McCall Smith)


Aug 15 2013, 9:48pm

Post #149 of 205 (494 views)
beautifully said [In reply to] Can't Post

+beautifully said+, michelle johnston! quite beautifully said.

(and i agree.)

cheers --


aka. fili orc-enshield
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo

Fantastic Four

Aug 15 2013, 9:50pm

Post #150 of 205 (481 views)
Do you think you can find the source of that post? [In reply to] Can't Post

It's not like i don't believe you or anything, i just love reading everything related to the music of these movies and i don't think i've seen that post which you're referring to.

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