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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 13 2013, 10:19pm

Post #51 of 205 (1137 views)
Agreed [In reply to] Can't Post

There is no need to feel sorry for liking it and screaming from the highest point. I know I'm not going to make any apologies to anyone for liking the film and how it represents Middle-earth. I disagree with the OP but I will say that the posts have been at least respectful. Which is nice to see on the Internet.

Captain Salt
Justice League

Aug 13 2013, 10:24pm

Post #52 of 205 (1102 views)
The point remains however that very often, box office gross and quality [In reply to] Can't Post

are mutually exclusive - one is not a barometer of the other. There are of course exceptions to the rule ALA "Gone with the Wind". Then again, I don't believe films such as "Casablanca" or "Citizen" Kane top the BO lists (in fact, at screenings of both films I attended in LA a couple years ago some of the audience got bored and walked out before either film ended)!

As an aside, every time I used to go to an old barber, I'd ask "have you gone to any good movies lately"? He'd reply with the title of whatever popular film he'd last gone to...then I'd follow-up with, "how was it"? - and he'd eternally reply "well, it made a lot of money". I could never figure that one out. TongueBlush

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!!!!!

(This post was edited by Captain Salt on Aug 13 2013, 10:25pm)


Aug 13 2013, 10:55pm

Post #53 of 205 (1100 views)
It's a touchy subject to be sure [In reply to] Can't Post

After all, everybody paints their own picture when reading a book. That's one of the great joys of the medium. As simple and succinct as his description may be, your image of Beorn may be very different from mine. Jackson could have gone by the book word-for-word, and I'd still end up watching The Hobbit as he himself envisioned it.

All the same, I do understand and to a certain extent agree with the spirit of what you're saying. Tolkien's work is beautiful amalgamation of influences from various languages and cultures. Those cultures should very much inspire the design process of the films' locations and characters. In that regard, Jackson and his team have been hit and miss, for both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

For instance, they nailed the Rohirrim culture in LotR, which was very appropriately of Norse influence. It may not have been a carbon-copy of what the text described, but it was in the spirit of what inspired Tolkien. On the opposite end of the spectrum, as beautiful of a design as it may have been in its own right, I didn't care much for the film version of Dale. A Mediterranean influence just didn't fit with a Northern aesthetic, nor was their any basis for it in the text.

I don't care for this Beorn, not only because they made some radical choices with an otherwise simple description, but because I'm not getting the Norse/Saxon vibe that I think should be inherent in the look of the character. It may not be a bad design in its own right, but it doesn't scream "Beorn" to me, and making him look like some kind of man/beard hybrid right off the bat kind of misses the point in my eyes.


Aug 13 2013, 11:15pm

Post #54 of 205 (1064 views)
Re [In reply to] Can't Post

I have some fairly "realized" images in my head when I read something. But the reason I was so drawn to Tolkien's writing style is how ambiguous he left things.

Nothing I ever imagined has the detail and artfulness given it by Weta's concept artists and fabricators. In very few cases has that been to the detriment of the films (honestly the only things that come to mind are the overblown Balrog and Eye of Sauron designs.)

I'm an artist, the reason I loved Tolkien's descriptions are because I could glean as much detail as humanly possible from re-reads, then turn around and put my spin on them as drawings. And my interpretation could then by and large be insanely different from another person's.

In some cases they line up with the films. Gollum, virtually identical from mind-to-film. The Black Riders. Hobbiton, for that matter, much how I pictured it. Specifically in regards to The Hobbit novel, the thing Tolkien captures so well in his writing for me tends to be the local paths he was walking, and how they then transformed into the local paths, woods, fields and creeks from my own neck of the woods.

Mirkwood was always going to look more fantastical and grandiose in scale than in my head, because I always picture it as my own 100 acres of woods. Some things are because when you read the book you forget to account for scale; I never thought of Bilbo and the Company scaled to Beorn's Halls, for instance. You almost have to be staging a scene to come across these realizations, for a painting, an adaptation or just really, really going into crazy analysis.

My Elvenking's Halls are vague impressions. My Forest River runs right through my back yard. My halls of Erebor accounted for the pile of gold and the dragon, but none of the architecture.

The art teams in this movie might not match my vision, but their level of study and interpretation pretty much inspired me to affirm myself as an artist.


Aug 13 2013, 11:30pm

Post #55 of 205 (1087 views)
Speaking only for myself...no, I'm not sick of hearing people praise the LOTR films. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm happy that there are so many things that people love about them.

Heck, sometimes I even love the same things.

The only thing I get tired of is the backlash whenever someone expresses an opinion that someone else doesn't like. And that goes for both those who harp about too much praise and those who harp about too much criticism. Everyone's opinion is valid, and everyone should feel comfortable expressing that opinion.

"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)

Justice League

Aug 13 2013, 11:51pm

Post #56 of 205 (1059 views)
Adjusted doesn't count. ;) [In reply to] Can't Post

Different times.


Aug 14 2013, 3:55am

Post #57 of 205 (1035 views)
... [In reply to] Can't Post

I remember this same thread a decade ago when people saw a photograph of Saruman impaled on a spikey wheel.

That was the tipping point. PJ had just gone too far. He had cut out Bombadil, he had created all this extra crap for Arwen, he had brought Elves to Helms Deep, he had created that dumb Warg fight that nearly killed Aragorn, he had made Legolas shield surf... and now he was going to kill Saruman by impaling him??!! It was just too much. PJ had officially ruined the trilogy.

Now a decade later everyone acts like the trilogy is perfect and PJ is screwing up this new trilogy. You guys are too funny.


Aug 14 2013, 4:09am

Post #58 of 205 (1013 views)
Exactly! [In reply to] Can't Post

Well said. That's what normally happens, though. Game Of Thrones, for example. People said season 2 deviated far from the books for season 1 and wasn't perfect. Then season 3 comes along and people say season 2 was miles better and more faithful than season 3. It's just people looking to complain. Not saying any of you want to complain, I'm saying people in general when it comes to things like this,

Lover of Medieval Fantasy
"I know what I must do. It's just... I'm afraid to do it."


Aug 14 2013, 4:43am

Post #59 of 205 (1037 views)
The Book really isn't that good... [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry, but PJ's version with Howard's music is a lot more enjoyable to me. Too many of you treat Tolkien as a literary God incapable of boring someone to death... The music alone makes the films a much more enjoyable experience and that's not including all of the artists who worked on the films...


Aug 14 2013, 5:04am

Post #60 of 205 (1019 views)
Well that's a little too far :P [In reply to] Can't Post

Tolkien has his faults, as does every author, but he has created a great tale and adventure with The Hobbit, and I have to agree that the book word for word, scene to scene, would be pretty... odd. The book works as the book, but the book as a direct adaption as a movie just wouldn't work for me. And when adapting the book of course the director will have to add stuff, as a lot of the book is basically long descriptions of things and events without any dialogue whatsoever, only from Bilbo, Thorin, and Gandalf mainly.

Lover of Medieval Fantasy
"I know what I must do. It's just... I'm afraid to do it."

Old Toby

Aug 14 2013, 5:45am

Post #61 of 205 (1026 views)
For me, the book has indeed come to life [In reply to] Can't Post

and in a much different and, in my eyes, grander way than I had imagined while reading and re-reading the book. Is the film as I imagined everything in the book to be? No. There are descriptions of things - places, people, creatures - that Tolkien really brought to my imagination in a way other writers had never done. But my own ideas, my own visualizations, about what those descriptions in the book looked like in my own mind may or may not have been similar, let alone identical, to what PJ and crew have given us. Do I care? No.

There are enough similarities by far for me, and I feel the spirit of the film (or films if you count LOTR) mirrors the spirit of the book (or books). I absolutely love the vision of Middle-earth that PJ and crew have given us, and I'm gladly - or rather, ecstatically - going along for the ride. I realize there are those who feel that too many blatant deviations from the story as Tolkien wrote it crosses a line somewhere, and then the films not only do not become enjoyable, but a source of anger and disdain. I'm not there, and I think no matter what or how anyone depicts their version of Middle-earth and Tolkien's stories, I never will be standing in that place. And that's certainly not because I don't respect Tolkien. He's my favorite author! But I think everyone deserves a vision of their very own whether or not I agree with it.

(BTW I personally think, just from the all-too-brief glimpse we have of Beorn in human form, that his hair is just so...David Bowie. Truth be told, I always imagined him a Hagrid-clone, so I'm really glad they went in another direction. It's just not one I expected. Yes, I think he looks a bit strange...but then, he is a shapeshifter! I think I'll really like him once I see him on the Big Screen.)

"Age is always advancing and I'm fairly sure it's up to no good." Harry Dresden (Jim Butcher)

Justice League

Aug 14 2013, 6:38am

Post #62 of 205 (986 views)
Comments like this are not true or helpful in the least... [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To

Now a decade later everyone acts like the trilogy is perfect and PJ is screwing up this new trilogy. You guys are too funny.

Nowhere have I seen this stated. What you will see is posters who are fans of the original trilogy who are always careful to state that they liked/loved the films despite their flaws. They also usually go on to explain in detail how they find the changes/additions in TH are at a different level to those in LotR.

If anything, it is the "ultras" in the positive camp that give the impression that The Hobbit is perfect and anyone who dares find fault is simply nit-picking! Oh, and while we're at it, that sort of statement is usually followed by the caveat that it's because "you hated LotR anyway so you're not going to like TH."

Sorry, but you can't have it both ways! Wink

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

Fantastic Four

Aug 14 2013, 6:52am

Post #63 of 205 (966 views)
Don't want to get off topic here but... [In reply to] Can't Post

who says season 2 was better than 3?

Justice League

Aug 14 2013, 7:06am

Post #64 of 205 (951 views)
did.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Michael Bay win best director or best picture for one of those films...? Your argument is very flawed.

take me down to the woodland realm where the trees are green and the elf women are pretty....Oh will you please take me home!!

Justice League

Aug 14 2013, 7:07am

Post #65 of 205 (971 views)
AND... [In reply to] Can't Post

i'm entitled to dispute what he thinks.

take me down to the woodland realm where the trees are green and the elf women are pretty....Oh will you please take me home!!


Aug 14 2013, 7:11am

Post #66 of 205 (1006 views)
Represent middle earth... [In reply to] Can't Post

With all due respect, if you think these movies are good representations of middle earth you are misguided. All the problems with these movies can be boiled down to three:

-Action over substance (If it looks cool it sells)
-Too much digital (Seems like jackson prefer digital nature to nature itself, little on location shooting)
-How exactly does these movies reflect a cold temperate nordic culture? (The look of the movie)

People seem to forget, including a lot of the fans that Tolkien when writing his books drew upon established cultures that although were dying when he was growing up did at one point exist. That is one reason he wrote them to escape from what was coming. (Our culture)

Instead of reflecting that culture that existed throughout europe once, jackon and co have instead chosen to reflect our current degenerate multicultural society into these movies. These movies are made consciously to appeal to the masses and not to the few who actually grasp what Tolkien's all about. This is why Christopher Tolkien, Tolkien's son refuses to have anything to do with the movies or even watch them. They're an insult to the author and art in general.

In no way do they represent middle earth, I thought personally that since they had Alan Lee onboard that there was hope for these movies. That they'd at least make an entertaining good looking movie for the cinema. (Like lord of the rings) But Jackson didn't even manage to live up to his former movie trilogy. I guess sucking up to the world of warcraft generation has it's disadvantages. It's all about money and making every little "cool" worshipping nut out there pleased. That is why these movies are bad and will never be good, it doesn't matter how much you try to make it tolkien, it's not.

This photo I took this weekend looks better than the hobbit movie ever could.

And I didn't even have a budget when I took that picture, why not put Beorn in that image instead. It'd be more believable and less plastic and holywoodish and shiny to appeal to all the nuts out there ewww. The hobbit movies reflect everything that is bad about our culture today, butchered the charm that the hobbit has!

Justice League

Aug 14 2013, 7:15am

Post #67 of 205 (978 views)
yes, and welcome to TORN! [In reply to] Can't Post

where people sit around watching the LOTR's and AUJ theatrical editions and in-between their breaks they go on here and then they start rewatching the extended versions...and the process repeats itself...

take me down to the woodland realm where the trees are green and the elf women are pretty....Oh will you please take me home!!

(This post was edited by entmaiden on Aug 14 2013, 4:02pm)


Aug 14 2013, 7:35am

Post #68 of 205 (945 views)
Doesn't matter [In reply to] Can't Post

That what you imagined as you read the book is unique to you and you alone. Millions have read this book and each vision is unique. So when you say "seeing what you imagined while reading come to life" you must emphasize the "YOU". Many of us might have formed very different visions and to condemn the movie for not conforming to YOUR imagined vision is a personal not a universal viewpoint.

It doesn't really matter what people think, what matters isn't what we think we're reading but what the author thought of when he wrote it. When one is making an adaption of any work one should have the original author's preferences at the back of ones mind at all times. What Jackson and co have tried to do is to appeal to what the average joe or cosplaying manga fan thinks of when he/she is reading a book like the hobbit. Since the author isn't alive, they can't know what he thought exactly, but there are lots of clues!

It is a children's book, but that isn't an excuse.

(This post was edited by Cul on Aug 14 2013, 7:39am)

Justice League

Aug 14 2013, 10:33am

Post #69 of 205 (940 views)
Well, I hear Sauron had a go [In reply to] Can't Post

at bringing it to life via necromancy, but since it wasn't alive to begin with, he didn't have much luck. Tongue

Not really sure I can discriminate the finer points of respect versus lack thereof for source material, but I do think PJ & Co have put remarkable effort into doing justice to the book. The Weta Chronicles books are nothing short of impressive, and that level of interest in detail to me seems like a great deal of respect for the source.

No film adaptation is ever going to be perfectly true to the book source, so I don't see why PJ should be held to loftier standards than any other director. If I wanted to see my own vision come to life, I suppose I could have gone out and filmed it myself. Isn't it worthwhile to expand our horizons a bit, have our minds stretched, and occasionally think, "Wow! I never thought of it like that before!" Whether we like that new way of looking at it or not. I think it's rather futile to hold out for a perfectly true adaptation, as it's pretty unlikely to happen. And as I've pointed out before, there's plenty of things in The Hobbit that I'm perfectly glad PJ has changed. Blue beards? Elves singing tra-la-la-lally? If you want descriptions to be followed perfectly, you'd have to have those things, too.

Have you forgotten all the major changes PJ made in the LOTR movies? Aragorn falling over a cliff, anyone? Elves at Helm's Deep? Frodo sending Sam home near Minas Morgul? He's got a track record for changing storylines, and I think by now we ought to have learned to expect this.

And I really don't see the point of getting worked up yet about Beorn's look. What we've seen so far isn't exactly all that informative. I think we're better off waiting til we see a lot more. Why waste time fretting about it? This is supposed to be fun, anticipating the opening of the next film, and if it's not fun, I suspect there's probably better things to be doing over the next four months.


Aug 14 2013, 11:38am

Post #70 of 205 (903 views)
hi [In reply to] Can't Post

hi cul, mae govannen, and welcome to torn --

just to ask, what exactly do you mean when you say "degenerate multicultural society"?


"Instead of reflecting that culture that existed throughout europe once, jackon and co have instead chosen to reflect our current degenerate multicultural society into these movies. "

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


Aug 14 2013, 11:48am

Post #71 of 205 (860 views)
That's your opinion [In reply to] Can't Post

And your welcomed to it. Cool

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

Aug 14 2013, 12:09pm

Post #72 of 205 (822 views)
Entmaiden, you said it for me. The book did come to life for me, in a good way. [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
I don't need to replicate the book with a movie, and neither does the movie adaptation need to replicate my visual images that I get from the books. For me, that's not the point because I will never lose my images that have been formed over the years of reading The Hobbit and LOTR.

I like the movies precisely because they are different from what I imagined. It's fun when some of the scenes, or characters, or dialogue, conforms with my expectations, but I find equal joy when a piece of dialogue is spoken by a different character, or in a different situation, or when a character looks different. I might not always agree with the changes, but watching another person's vision of Tolkien come to life is what I enjoy the most. It's not necessary for the movies to validate my imagination because that will always be with me.

Old Toby and Roheryn at the bottom of this thread as well. Thank you.

Also, knowing PJ's style from seeing his LotR, I fully expected silly humour, lots of CGI and green screen and over-the-top action sequences in addition to the preponderance of great stuff that makes me love these movies.

(This post was edited by Noria on Aug 14 2013, 12:10pm)

Guardian of the Galaxy / Moderator

Aug 14 2013, 12:44pm

Post #73 of 205 (811 views)
There are no camps here [In reply to] Can't Post

It's just fans expressing their opinion, and we welcome all opinions as long as they are civilly stated and keep within our Terms of Service.

Let's not attempt to divide the message board members into groups that have no basis in reality. We are all people here, with our own personalities and opinions.

Guardian of the Galaxy / Moderator

Aug 14 2013, 12:48pm

Post #74 of 205 (964 views)
Even though the impression was blurred [In reply to] Can't Post

I think Beorn was hot. Cool There, I said it. Smile


Aug 14 2013, 12:56pm

Post #75 of 205 (979 views)
Elaborate [In reply to] Can't Post

That'd be a culture based solely on consumption, we live to buy stuff, it wasn't always so. I think many of us here on the forum to some degree understands where Tolkien is coming from when he wrote his books. At least those of us who are from the northern hemisphere and Europe. Europe has had thriving cultures but it all came to an end at the start of the industrialisation. That is why Tolkien is such a gem, he very much appreicated the northern cultures that existed before mass communication and everything we got today.

Here I made an illustration for you:

Now look where Tolkien and early Disney took their inspiration from, european folklore and mythology. Where is jackson and co taking their inspiration from, in the lord of the rings movies I think they managed to create some decent movies. I'd say they took inspiration from Tolkien when making those and one could tell they were suppose to be movies based on the lord of the rings. They still missed out on a lot but they were entertaining and decent. But this time around they went directly for POP and for the money, you have no idea how popular twilight and all these teen fantasy flick movies are. It's secure money, they know if they put hot dwarves and stupid humour and cool action sequences into the hobbit that it will sell and it does.

They are sucking up to the Dungeon and Dragons people, the geeks and to pop culture. All the pony lovers and cosplayers out there, I know it's all about money but I can't help but to feel that Jackson and co have given in to what this deranged culture wants and not what it needs. Anyway I hate ranting in anything that isn't my own native language so I'll end it here.

(This post was edited by Altaira on Aug 14 2013, 4:13pm)

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