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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Azog's Original Barrel Ride

skyofcoffeebeans
Lorien

Apr 4, 1:38pm

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Azog's Original Barrel Ride Can't Post

Does anyone know Azog's original role in AUJ's barrel climax in the two film structure? We know he was present, and that the whole film would have built up to some confrontation between him and Thorin, but was something similar to Thorin's flaming tree charge originally planned for the barrel chase?


Chen G.
Rohan

Apr 4, 5:22pm

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I don't know [In reply to] Can't Post

That the first film of the two-film version would have ended with a confrontation with Azog. I mean, he was going to be present during the barrel chase, but his confrontation with Thorin would still have been on the slopes of the Misty Mountains.

Its partially why the climax of the first film in the two-film version sounds so anti-climactic. That, and the stinger with Bard.


Paulo Gabriel
Lorien

Apr 5, 11:21pm

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What? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
That, and the stinger with Bard.


Stinger wIth Bard?


Chen G.
Rohan

Apr 5, 11:38pm

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In the two film version [In reply to] Can't Post

The first film would end with the sillhuette of Bard aiming his bow at the company. It IS a cliffhanger, but unlike the cliffhanger we got at the end of The Desolation of Smaug, its more of a stinger.

The cliffhanger of The Desolation of Smaug is a direct outcome of the climax of the movie: the company tries to slay Smaug and fail and there's your cliffhanger.

The cliffhanger of the original An Unexpected Journey, back when it was two films, was the company escaping Azog and the Silvan Elves in barrels. They succeed, and then the character of Bard, completely unrelated to this event, stumbles into them.

That's what I call a stinger, and in my mind it is inherently a less compelling form of a cliffhanger ending, because the film does have an ending and even a coda, and then you get a cliffhanger on-top of that. The Desolation of Smaug took the cliffhanger concept to the extreme, and I love that.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Apr 5, 11:43pm)


Noria
Gondor

Apr 11, 1:20pm

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Ah yes, the disappearing Azog [In reply to] Can't Post

LOL, I remember the DOS trailer in which Azog leapt up onto the wall at the Woodland river gate and then was replaced by a random Orc in the actual movie. Is there any reason to suppose that the sequence would have played out too much differently if Bolg had not replaced Azog?

I think the original ending of AUJ in the two-movie adaptation would have worked OK. Barrels Out of Bond would have been the big action climax with the riverbank scene as the denouement and Bardís split second appearance at the very as a teaser or stinger as Chen calls it. But for me the way in which these events played out in the three-movie version is much better. After the action sequence Out of the Frying Pan, the emotional climax of AUJ is Bilboís heroic attempt to defend Thorin and the reconciliation and avowal of friendship between Thorin and Bilbo. Then the Companyís relief and optimism are leavened for the audience by a foreboding glimpse of the sleeping dragon Ė is that a stinger?

I think too that DOS plays better as a stand-alone movie. Itís difficult for me to see how Smaugís attack on Laketown and, more importantly, his death would have worked in There and Back Again, the original second film. Itís such a significant event, the thing that kicks off the entire climatic section of the story, that I don't see it working in the middle of a movie.

PJ could have had ended DOS with the attack on Esgaroth simply as the result of the Dwarvesí incursion into Erebor, as in the book. But he chose instead to have these fighting Dwarves try to kill Smaug themselves instead of cowering in hiding while he wreaked havoc on the town, IMO the correct decision. I feel that the emotional climax of DOS is the face-off between Thorin and Smaug and then Bilboís vain effort to keep Smaug from attacking Laketown. Of course Smaug heading off for Esgaroth is the cliffhanger, a great one.


skyofcoffeebeans
Lorien

Apr 13, 6:26am

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Yes [In reply to] Can't Post

Because in its original construction, the barrels sequence acted as the climax for three hours of story, not the end of act 1 of a second story, There is every reason to suppose that some physical / emotional climax between Azog and the line of Durin would be reached. It could be as simple as Azog firing the arrow that hits Kili, but I imagine there was more to it than that.

Smaugís attack in a 2-film structure would act as a dramatic fulcrum, the culmination of everything before it and the causation of everything after. In this light, he functions rather like Titanicís iceberg. He occupies a similar function in the book, so I see no reason why he couldnít in a film duology. The Hobbit is a very interesting book, structurally- one could make a dramatic argument for a single adaptation, or a duology, a trilogy, even four films, and there is enough structural division in the text to support any of those dramatic choices.


Paulo Gabriel
Lorien

Apr 15, 4:56pm

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I once suggested four films... [In reply to] Can't Post

but don't you think that 4 films would have been quite difficult to do if at least some of the material wasn't pulled from additional sources, like LOTR's Appendices or other supplementary material? I can see The Hobbit itself being pushed to three movies at the most, but not four. Crazy


Solicitr
Gondor


Apr 15, 5:47pm

Post #8 of 255 (2261 views)
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What [In reply to] Can't Post

would have been wrong with one film?


skyofcoffeebeans
Lorien

Apr 15, 6:09pm

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In my mind [In reply to] Can't Post

Nothing is wrong with one film, though there isn't really room for Rivendell, the Eagles, or Beorn if you want to fully flesh out Bilbo's story and maintain a solid sense of pace and movement.

I also think nothing is inherently wrong with a four film structure, or perhaps an eight episode miniseries. As they exist, the films already have enough material for nearly four films, with the only gaps existing with a lack of content for Beorn, Mirkwood, and Thranduil's halls. Ultimately, this all boils down to structure, the execution of the writing, and the talent that the production brings. I don't believe that three hundred pages of story necessarily means it's well suited for one hundred and fifty minutes of film, and I don't believe that the only reason one might want to make multiple movies out of one book is because it's a cash grab (even though, from the studio's perspective, of course it is).

To Paulo's point, Jackson's trilogy is half-baked with lore and world-building. If those elements were brought to the surface and the geo-political subplots that exist in Laketown, Mirkwood, and Dol Guldor were carried to their logical conclusion, you'd have a solid structure for 4 films, though it is probably fair to say that it's no longer The Hobbit as Tolkien wrote, but something much closer to the tone and scale of The Lord of the Rings, which would no doubt bring many objections. If I were in that writer's room, I would be asking this question every day: How can we bring Bilbo into the story in a way that makes sense for his character? For Gandalf and the White Council, that answer is almost always, "You can't," but in pretty much every other subplot, there are ways to expand Bilbo's story in a way that's true to Tolkien's character as written.

None of this has anything to do, really, with what Azog's role in the absurd barrel chase was, but that's fine. :P


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 15, 6:40pm

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The LotR Appendices [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
...don't you think that 4 films would have been quite difficult to do if at least some of the material wasn't pulled from additional sources, like LOTR's Appendices or other supplementary material? I can see The Hobbit itself being pushed to three movies at the most, but not four. Crazy


Well, I'd say that Peter Jackson did draw extensively from the appendices, though he also took many liberties with completely original additions. Even so, I think that four Hobbit movies would have felt needlessly padded out (we might say the same for the three we got).

#FidelityToTolkien


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 15, 6:44pm

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One Movie [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Nothing is wrong with one film, though there isn't really room for Rivendell, the Eagles, or Beorn if you want to fully flesh out Bilbo's story and maintain a solid sense of pace and movement.


Oh, I think a single film could have included all of the major plot-points, locations and events of the book, though it doubtless would have still felt rushed. What the Rankin/Bass adaptation left out could have been included with a longer running time (it was only meant to be broadcast in a 90-minute time slot), but it would have still felt like a Reader's Digest retelling of the story.

#FidelityToTolkien


skyofcoffeebeans
Lorien

Apr 15, 7:02pm

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Exactly [In reply to] Can't Post

When I say there isnít room for Rivendell, the Eagles or Beorn- these are natural cutting points for a writer interested in telling the full breadth of the text when there isnít time for more extraneous elements of it.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 16, 12:25am

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In Reply To
When I say there isnít room for Rivendell, the Eagles or Beorn- these are natural cutting points for a writer interested in telling the full breadth of the text when there isnít time for more extraneous elements of it.


...I'll note that the Rankin/Bass adaption excluded neither Rivendell nor the Eagles (though it did cut out Beorn, the feast of the Wood-elves, and the entire subplot of the Arkenstone). Of course in eliminating Beorn, the animated special also creates a plot hole by not giving the company a chance to resupply before entering Mirkwood Forest.

#FidelityToTolkien


Solicitr
Gondor


Apr 16, 1:04am

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The [In reply to] Can't Post

Rankin-Bass was a mere 78 minutes long, half or less a PJ run time.


skyofcoffeebeans
Lorien

Apr 16, 2:16am

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And it was hardly a CliffNotes. The Hobbit is already brisk and episodic. Rankin-Bass is running on a treadmill. Itís almost as if a musical artist adapted it for a record.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 16, 12:46pm

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In Reply To
[The] Rankin-Bass was a mere 78 minutes long, half or less a PJ run time.


Yes, but I'm not sure what point you're trying to make. If the special had been 94 minutes long (to fill a 2-hour time slot) it could have included most or all of the missing scenes and sub-plots, albeit at a break-neck pace. If Rankin/Bass could accomplish that in less than 2 hours then a longer movie (120 minutes? 2 1/2 hours? 3 hours?) could have done so at a more reasonable pace. The question is, if you are adapting The Hobbit with the intention of having a family-friendly PG rating, do you really want a running time in excess of 2 hours or do you streamline the story to shorten it? That said, Guillermo del Toro determined, after breaking down the events of the book, that he would have wanted to adapt The Hobbit in two parts even without adding new material from the appendices of The Lord of the Rings.

#FidelityToTolkien

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Apr 16, 12:57pm)


skyofcoffeebeans
Lorien

Apr 16, 2:14pm

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Would not have been much more reasonable. There are cuts of PJís Hobbit trilogy that run at 2 hours, and some at 3. You can test the runtimes for yourself, and see what chapters run at what lengths, and what cuts are made so that it feels like a story being told, not run on a treadmill. I agree with del Toro- if you want to adapt in full and have the leisure to make original connections between story threads and tell the broader story of Middle-earth in that time period, two films is the way to go. But you can certainly tell Bilboís story in one.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 16, 2:49pm

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Pacing. [In reply to] Can't Post

If you're referring to the Rankin/Bass Hobbit then I completely agree (and said as much). A longer version would have still skimmed through events, barely touching on many of them. But it might still have felt a bit more complete.

However, I would not use Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy as any kind of arbiter for what a one-film adaptation might have been like. Jackson not only did incorporate much from the LotR appendices, he also included much entirely new material and made some massive diversions from Tolkien's legendarium. I have no objection to including the appendices material, or even to rounding out the world with some new supporting characters and environments that didn't show up in the book. My point is that a simpler approach that stuck just to the book could have made for a shorter adaptation (or not; the Mind's Eye radio drama adaptation runs at a length of something like six hours or more).

#FidelityToTolkien

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Apr 16, 2:51pm)


Paulo Gabriel
Lorien

Apr 16, 8:26pm

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In Reply To
[What] would have been wrong with one film?


In theory, nothing. But in reality, one movie would have to trim down the story and cut various lines and events, and thus would not have pleased purists such as yourself anyway.

May I ask in return, what is inherently wrong with TWO films?


(This post was edited by Paulo Gabriel on Apr 16, 8:27pm)


Chen G.
Rohan

Apr 16, 11:29pm

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In Reply To
What the Rankin/Bass adaptation left out could have been included with a longer running time (it was only meant to be broadcast in a 90-minute time slot), but it would have still felt like a Reader's Digest retelling of the story.


An early script for the Rankin/Bass TV special did include everything, but it was deemed too much. Rankin wanted to cut out the spiders, but was convinced to excise Beorn instead.

I think its wrong to compare the way an animated TV special is paced with the way a live-action movie is or should. The way the Rankin/Bass TV special (which, I must say, upon rewatch is insufferably twee) is structured would have felt very rushed in live-action, and I'm not even fond of it within the context of the special.

In general, I don't think every story should be the shortest version of itself that's humany possible. That's a very reductive approach to narrative. By that approach, Lawrence of Arabia should have been around two-and-a-half hours, which is to say nothing of Titanic.

Heck, the Lord of the Rings was originally pitched as two two-and-a-half-hour movies, and Jackson even considered doing a single, four-hour film.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Apr 16, 11:31pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 17, 1:30am

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In Reply To
An early script for the Rankin/Bass TV special did include everything, but it was deemed too much. Rankin wanted to cut out the spiders, but was convinced to excise Beorn instead.

I think its wrong to compare the way an animated TV special is paced with the way a live-action movie is or should. The way the Rankin/Bass TV special (which, I must say, upon rewatch is insufferably twee) is structured would have felt very rushed in live-action, and I'm not even fond of it within the context of the special.

In general, I don't think every story should be the shortest version of itself that's humany possible. That's a very reductive approach to narrative. By that approach, Lawrence of Arabia should have been around two-and-a-half hours, which is to say nothing of Titanic.


You're right, a live-action film--even one deliberately setting out to be child-friendly--is a very different beast than an animated adaptation. Though, if the Rankin/Bass Hobbit is insufferably twee, it gets some of that from the original book.

Generally, I don't think that such an adaptation should be "the shortest version of itself that's [humanly] possible" unless that serves the story as the filmmaker wants to tell it. Even so, we can see how poorly that worked with the 1966 animated short version of The Hobbit (granted, that was actually meant to be proof-of-concept for an animated feature-length film that was never made). Personally, I think that a 2-film adaptation without much of the extra stuff that Peter Jackson added (though I would still have borrowed from the LotR appendices) would have been ideal. Getting back to the book itself, the middle of the narrative comes in with either the rescue of the company by the Eagles or with their arrival at Beorn's house. Structurally, it would probably be better to end the first of two films with the rescue, and begin the second part with the introduction of Beorn.

#FidelityToTolkien

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Apr 17, 1:38am)


Chen G.
Rohan

Apr 17, 2:18pm

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My issue is Rankin's aversion of onscreen violence [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
if the Rankin/Bass Hobbit is insufferably twee, it gets some of that from the original book.


Not really. Tolkien had resented Rayner Unwin's estimation that The Hobbit should appeal to children aged 5-9, saying it was more appropriate for 10-12 year olds. The novel has macabre interludes and obviously, at the end, adventure gives way so sullen politics and greed, and eventually to the death of several main characters.

By contrast, Rankin/Bass were so worried about showing violence in their TV special: you can see it in the awful cuts when Bilbo is hacking at the spiders, or at how Glamdring flies around and seems to repel the Great Goblin rather than injure him. Of course, their solution to the climactic battle, too, was to cut away to a wideshot, all while the main character performs an act of desertion and takes a nap! Its the same with their Return of the King, for the most part.

I harp on this because, even in an animated kids film, I think the ones that stick out for kids are the ones that don't pull punches: e.g. The Lion King and some of the better vintage Disney works and, nowadays, Pixar.


In Reply To
we can see how poorly that worked with the 1966 animated short version of The Hobbit (granted, that was actually meant to be proof-of-concept for an animated feature-length film that was never made).


Not quite. It was a cannibalization of a feature-length animated film made in 1967 when time was running out on the lease to the rights. But I doubt you would have enjoyed an unabridged version, because some of the changes present in the short (namely, having a princess join the quest and marry Bilbo) were still present.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 17, 3:02pm

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In Reply To
Tolkien had resented Rayner Unwin's estimation that The Hobbit should appeal to children aged 5-9, saying it was more appropriate for 10-12 year olds. The novel has macabre interludes and obviously, at the end, adventure gives way so sullen politics and greed, and eventually to the death of several main characters.


That may well be so. However, Tolkien also in a letter lamented some of the more twee elements of his book and might have toned them down if he had it to do over.


In Reply To
By contrast, Rankin/Bass were so worried about showing violence in their TV special: you can see it in the awful cuts when Bilbo is hacking at the spiders, or at how Glamdring flies around and seems to repel the Great Goblin rather than injure him. Of course, their solution to the climactic battle, too, was to cut away to a wideshot, all while the main character performs an act of desertion and takes a nap! Its the same with their Return of the King, for the most part.

I harp on this because, even in an animated kids film, I think the ones that stick out for kids are the ones that don't pull punches: e.g. The Lion King and some of the better vintage Disney works and, nowadays, Pixar.


Oh, I wholeheartedly agree!


In Reply To
Not quite. It was a cannibalization of a feature-length animated film made in 1967 when time was running out on the lease to the rights. But I doubt you would have enjoyed an unabridged version, because some of the changes present in the short (namely, having a princess join the quest and marry Bilbo) were still present.


That may be correct, but, to the best of my knowledge, the feature-length version was never completed. And I'm sure that I would have hated it. I never much liked Gene Deitch's Tom & Jerry shorts either.

#FidelityToTolkien

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Apr 17, 3:03pm)


Solicitr
Gondor


Apr 17, 3:15pm

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To me [In reply to] Can't Post

the ideal length would be "That amount of screentime required to present Tolkien's story, without rushing or dragging, and certainly without padding or extraneous material." Of course, that's incredibly vague; how does one work out the "right" length of time to spend on, say, the spider fight, or Smaug's attack on Lake Town? And what is "rushed" vs "draggy," given different tastes and attention spans? Nonetheless, it seems to me that the runtime would fall somewhere between 3 and 3-1/2 hours: one looong movie, or two normal to shortish ones.

---------------------

"Twee:"

As is well-known, ca 1960 Tolkien began and abandoned a rewritten "Hobbit," one which was somewhat more Lord of the Rings-ish, at least in terms of a day's-march-by-campsite narrative as opposed to the original's jumping from adventure to adventure, conformed the geography to LR's, and which cut back on the authorial asides. However, he stopped largely because a (nameless) friend who read it said, "But it's just not The Hobbit!"

(It seems that in netlore this version is conceived of as being wholly, radically different from the original. It's actually not all that different)


(This post was edited by Solicitr on Apr 17, 3:16pm)


Chen G.
Rohan

Apr 17, 3:32pm

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The 1960s The Hobbit [In reply to] Can't Post

We don't really know why that was abandoned, whether it was that famous remark, or rather the professor's general tendency to leave his project incomplete.

Like Otaku-sempai said, in a letter to WH Auden Tolkien certainly regretted the mode in which The Hobbit was written. Certainly, the description of the Rivendell Elves was anything and everything that Tolkien tried to dissociate his Elves from being; ditto his Dwarves.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 17, 3:40pm

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Yes. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
"Twee:"

As is well-known, ca 1960 Tolkien began and abandoned a rewritten "Hobbit," one which was somewhat more Lord of the Rings-ish, at least in terms of a day's-march-by-campsite narrative as opposed to the original's jumping from adventure to adventure, conformed the geography to LR's, and which cut back on the authorial asides. However, he stopped largely because a (nameless) friend who read it said, "But it's just not The Hobbit!"

(It seems that in netlore this version is conceived of as being wholly, radically different from the original. It's actually not all that different)


Yup. Tolkien did abandon his 1960 rewrite. Even so, he agreed that some elements of the original book were a bit overly precious or patronizing, and he expressed some regret about that (see Letters 218, 297-8, 310; Houghton Mifflin; 1981. Or: Letter 165, Letter 215 and Letter234).

#FidelityToTolkien

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Apr 17, 3:43pm)


Solicitr
Gondor


Apr 17, 5:36pm

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What [In reply to] Can't Post

Tolkien actually wrote to Auden was

Quote
It was unhappily really
meant, as far as I was conscious, as a 'children's story', and as I had not learned sense then, and my
children were not quite old enough to correct me, it has some of the sillinesses of manner caught
unthinkingly from the kind of stuff I had had served to me, as Chaucer may catch a minstrel tag. I
deeply regret them. So do intelligent children.


What did he mean by "silliness of manner?" Some of his avuncular bedtime-story asides (funny as some of them are), and probably the Rivendell Elves.. but what else? What we have of the revision does not turn it into a proto-LR or a bombastic PJ-esque "epic;" it simply tones down the more egregious juvenility (and adds a rather overlong river-crossing sequence)

In particular, the Unexpected Party is essentially unchanged, comic dwarves and all; the last contingent with Bombur still fall on top of Thorin, and "confusticate and bebother these Dwarves!" remains in place.


(This post was edited by Solicitr on Apr 17, 5:38pm)


VoronwŽ_the_Faithful
Valinor

Apr 17, 8:19pm

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Quite true [In reply to] Can't Post

I have also observed this tendency to looked at the aborted 1960 Hobbit as some kind of radical rewrite "in the style of LOTR". I was pretty surprised, when I finally got the opportunity to read it myself, to see how little it really was changed.

Honestly, to my eye at least, it still was "The Hobbit" (contrary to the reputed opinion of Tolkien's reputed female friend who reputedly talked him into abandoning the rewrite). My own opinion (which is worth as much as the paper it is written on, which is to say, not much, since it isn't written on paper), is that the real reason Tolkien abandoned the rewrite was precisely because he realized that it was "The Hobbit" and it always was going to be "The Hobbit" and never was going to be on the level of The Lord of the Rings (which is not to say that The Hobbit doesn't have its own charm and value; it most definitely does). But Tolkien had learned some lessons between the time that he came up with The Hobbit and the time that he wrote The Lord of the Rings that made them fundamentally different works. In their Introduction to Tolkien On Fairy-stories (their expanded edition of Tolkien's famous essay) Verlyn Flieger and Doug Anderson talk about how the very talk of writing that essay served to improve his craft, as seen in the advances from The Hobbit to The Lord of the Rings. They state, "All of these improvements can be subsumed under the heading of the most potent phrase in Tolkien's essay, "the inner consistency of reality." The Lord of the Rings has it; The Hobbit has it intermittently, but not consistently" (OFS 18). No rewrite was going to change that fundamental fact.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire

(This post was edited by VoronwŽ_the_Faithful on Apr 17, 8:21pm)


Solicitr
Gondor


Apr 17, 8:33pm

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Yes [In reply to] Can't Post

In fact Tolkien said so explicitly, in his letter to Jane Neave (No. 234, 22 Nov 1961)


Quote
I am not interested in the 'child' as such, modern or otherwise,
and certainly have no intention of meeting him/her half way, or a quarter of the way. It is a
mistaken thing to do anyway, either useless (when applied to the stupid) or pernicious (when
inflicted on the gifted). I have only once made the mistake of trying to do it, to my lasting regret,
and (I am glad to say) with the disapproval of intelligent children: in the earlier part of The Hobbit.
But I had not then given any serious thought to the matter: I had not freed myself from the
contemporary delusions about 'fairy-stories' and children.

I had to think about it, however, before I gave an 'Andrew Lang' lecture at St Andrews on
Fairy-stories; and I must say I think the result was entirely beneficial to The Lord of the Rings,
which was a practical demonstration of the views that I expressed.



VoronwŽ_the_Faithful
Valinor

Apr 17, 8:39pm

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I have nothing to add to that [In reply to] Can't Post

But since we don't have a "like" button, I had to at least acknowledge your post. Heart

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


Chen G.
Rohan

Apr 17, 9:42pm

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In Reply To
I have also observed this tendency to looked at the aborted 1960 Hobbit as some kind of radical rewrite "in the style of LOTR". I was pretty surprised, when I finally got the opportunity to read it myself, to see how little it really was changed.


Yeah, it was mostly fixed to be in continuity with The Lord of the Rings (i.e. mention of Rangers, etc...) and have a more robust chronology and the same florid style (read: LOOONG) that The Lord of the Rings has, but in terms of tone its still very much The Hobbit.

That doesn't mean that a filmmaker can't re-interperate it for himself as an adult enterprise, especially when that filmmakers changed the focal point of the work (from A Hobbit's Tale to a Dwarvish one, ostensibly) and the tone just follows suit.


Noria
Gondor

Apr 18, 12:37pm

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I agree that whoever made them, two films would be required to really do justice to The Hobbit. Even leaving out all the PJ additions - Azog, Legolas, Tauriel, Bardís family, the Dwarves left in Laketown, the battle between Smaug and the Dwarves and so on - there is still quite a bit of story to be told.

A movie aimed at a wider audience than six-year olds and nostalgic adults would need to have something more in the way of characterization and coherent world building than the novel provides, for Bard for instance.

IMO the White Council subplot, with at least the most important members Elrond, Galadriel and Saruman, should be included, because Gandalfís comings and goings would otherwise be too random and ďdeux ex machineĒ. We need to see what he is up to. His story is contemporaneous with Bilboís but plays into LotR and besides, itís just interesting. More Gandalf, Elrond etc. is good.

Iíve only seen the Rankin-Bass cartoon once but I remember it as rushed, simplistic, ugly and unappealing, never mind the omissions. Hardly a standard to which to aspire.


Noria
Gondor

Apr 18, 1:57pm

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Itís interesting to me that some of the elements I donít care for in The Hobbit Ė some of the ďprecious or patronizingĒ ďDear ReaderĒ bits and the Tra-lally Elves - are ones that Tolkien seems to have had some second thoughts about. I had figured that he just thought that was how children should be addressed eighty odd years ago.

Decades ago when TH and LotR were pretty much all of Tolkien that I knew, I think I had assumed that TH, set in a rather nebulous and unformed world, was just Tolkienís first published stab at fantasy. LotR seemed to be the result of more thought and world building and was a much more complex and deep second foray into the same world, as well as being aimed at an older readership. Then The Silmarillion was released as well as Unfinished Tales etc., and I learned about Tolkienís long existing and much more fully realized alternate world. It seemed to me then that TH was a fairy tale-like story for kids somewhat loosely set in Middle-earth, a tale that Tolkien had created partly by drawing in elements of his existing fantasy world, like Thranduil resembling Thingol. On the other hand, LotR was both firmly set in that world and went to new places, literally and thematically.

TH novel is more than fine as it is but for me it will always be a kind of sweet prologue to the real stuff of LotR and The Silmarillion.


Chen G.
Rohan

Apr 18, 2:20pm

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In Reply To
the White Council subplot, with at least the most important members Elrond, Galadriel and Saruman, should be included, because Gandalfís comings and goings would otherwise be too random and ďdeux ex machineĒ. We need to see what he is up to. His story is contemporaneous with Bilboís but plays into LotR and besides, itís just interesting. More Gandalf, Elrond etc. is good.


Its also been quite effectivelly well knit into the story of the quest itself. The very impetus of the quest is Gandalf intercepting a message to assasinate Thorin and fearing that "darker minds will turn towards Erebor." Then, he ties the Trolls coming down from the Ettenmoors to a rising evil.

Azog and his Orc Riders are soon thereafter shown to be working for Sauron, and we later learn that besides Azog's thirst for revenge, Sauron had sent them to hunt the company down.

We also learn that the Orc population of the Anduin Vales is on the rise, and of course Mirkwood itslef (a huge obstacle for the company) AND the spiders that waylay them are the result of Sauron's presence in the forest, and even some of Thranduil's isolationistic policy has to do with the wood itself growing dangerous around his people; and of course we have everything to do with Thrain and his Ring, not to mention the finding of the One Ring, which Tolkien explicitly links to Sauron's rising power in Mirkwood.

Eventually, we find that Smaug had been informed by Sauron of the company's arrival and the battle of the Five Armies is initiated at Sauron's behest to conquer the mountain.

It should be said, a lot of this has its roots in Tolkien. In the Quest of Erebor, Tolkien makes it clear that a) The Necromancer had already stopped an earlier quest by Thrain out of his interest in Erebor; b) that, had the council not banished Sauron, he would have stopped the company and/or made a pact with Smaug; c) that, while the Battle of the Five Armies wasn't initiated by Sauron, had the Orcs been victorious, it would have served his purpose all the same.

That Sauron intends to secure Erebor so as to secure the flank of Angmar against the Iron Hill Dwarves is explicit in the Quest of Erebor, or even just in its redacted form found in Durin's Folk.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Apr 18, 2:22pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 18, 2:49pm

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It should be said, a lot of this has its roots in Tolkien. In the Quest of Erebor, Tolkien makes it clear that a) The Necromancer had already stopped an earlier quest by Thrain out of his interest in Erebor; b) that, had the council not banished Sauron, he would have stopped the company and/or made a pact with Smaug; c) that, while the Battle of the Five Armies wasn't initiated by Sauron, had the Orcs been victorious, it would have served his purpose all the same.

That Sauron intends to secure Erebor so as to secure the flank of Angmar against the Iron Hill Dwarves is explicit in the Quest of Erebor, or even just in its redacted form found in Durin's Folk.


a) Was Thrain captured because of his attempt to reclaim Erebor? Or to regain his Ring? My impression has been that Sauron was at that time more interested in the Dwarven Ring. It's not as though Thrain had any chance of reclaiming Erebor with just a handful of companions.

b) At what point did the White Council even attempt to banish Sauron, much less succeed? If anything, Saruman vetoed any such attempt.

c) Okay, I agree with you on this point.

#FidelityToTolkien


Solicitr
Gondor


Apr 18, 3:28pm

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IMO the White Council subplot, with at least the most important members Elrond, Galadriel and Saruman, should be included


And there I disagree, because any such attempt would have to be invented from whole cloth: in other words, just fan-fic. Even if not as horribly bad as what we got (Nazgul tombs, anyone? Gandalf and Galadriel acting like schoolchildren passing notes in class?), it would still be spurious invention, not Tolkien.

---------------------------------

The Quest of Erebor, in all its versions, never provides Sauron with a motivation, aside from Gandalf's speculation that he could have found a use for Smaug when the war came... and the threat was to Rivendell, not the Iron Hills. We do learn that Sauron sent out his minions to hunt Thrain, for the sake of his Ring. But that was well after Erebor had fallen, of course.

To my mind, the only real place that QoE material would be useful in a Hobbit adaptation is the matter of Gandalf having to persuade (strongarm) Thorin into taking that ridiculous Halfling along.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 19, 12:43am

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It's interesting that you reply to my post when you are actually responding to Chen G's points. That said, the introduction of the White Council into the story is rooted in Tolkien's own legendarium through "The Quest of Erebor" and "The Council of Elrond" in The Lord of the Rings. It is not "invented from whole cloth".

#FidelityToTolkien


Solicitr
Gondor


Apr 19, 1:49am

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sorry, [In reply to] Can't Post

I must have clicked on the wrong link.

But to me, "rooted in" has all the substance of a Hollywood piece "inspired by real events." The fact is, the Quest of Erebor gives us a fair amount of material on Gandalf and Thorin before the quest begins. It tells us nothing about the White Council (aside from reiterating the point already made elsewhere, that Saruman had vetoed an attack on DG some years before). The Hobbit tells us that Gandalf splits at the edge of Mirkwood, and then after the fact reports that the "white wizards" have driven the N out of Mirkwood. That's it. And the QoE adds nothing of substance to that.

On what would our screenwriter base an account of the WC's meeting and deliberations? On what would he base the Action Scene of the WC driving the Necromancer out? Nothing; it isn't there. It would have to be made up.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 19, 2:21am

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On what would our screenwriter base an account of the WC's meeting and deliberations? On what would he base the Action Scene of the WC driving the Necromancer out? Nothing; it isn't there. It would have to be made up.


We do learn from "The Council of Elrond" that the event happened. Unfortunately we are given no details about it. Strike that; we learn that Sauron somehow anticipated the Council and deliberately withdrew to Mordor.

#FidelityToTolkien


Solicitr
Gondor


Apr 19, 3:06am

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Imagine [In reply to] Can't Post

for a moment, filming The Lord of the Rings, but with no source material except for "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age."


Chen G.
Rohan

Apr 19, 9:12am

Post #41 of 255 (1023 views)
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We do know how the Council itself went [In reply to] Can't Post

We have a few details that give us a sense of the dynamic within the council in terms of broad-brushstrokes.

We know that Saruman argued against action and tried to tell everyone that Sauron's Ring had been lost indefinitely - which is what happens in the film.

We know that Galadriel, having established the council, wanted Gandalf to head it; so its reasonable to assume that she would have been on Gandalf's side of the argument, as she is in the film.

We know that during the council, Gandalf appeared to Saruman to be absent minded and was repproached for this. With the exception of the specifics (that being, that Gandalf was smoking), this is what happens in the film.

The subjects on the itinerary of the council seem pertinent to the books, too: they're mostly talking about Thrain, Smaug, Angmar and the Necromancer.

The filmmakers clearly couldn't use the material from the Unfinished Tales, but its evident they knew it and were inspired by it (same goes for Thrain and for the Blue Wizards). Maybe they were working off of th e annotated The Hobbit during production: I know Howard Shore was.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Apr 19, 9:15am)


Noria
Gondor

Apr 19, 12:38pm

Post #42 of 255 (1008 views)
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In Reply To

In Reply To
the White Council subplot, with at least the most important members Elrond, Galadriel and Saruman, should be included, because Gandalfís comings and goings would otherwise be too random and ďdeux ex machineĒ. We need to see what he is up to. His story is contemporaneous with Bilboís but plays into LotR and besides, itís just interesting. More Gandalf, Elrond etc. is good.


Its also been quite effectivelly well knit into the story of the quest itself. The very impetus of the quest is Gandalf intercepting a message to assasinate Thorin and fearing that "darker minds will turn towards Erebor." Then, he ties the Trolls coming down from the Ettenmoors to a rising evil.

Azog and his Orc Riders are soon thereafter shown to be working for Sauron, and we later learn that besides Azog's thirst for revenge, Sauron had sent them to hunt the company down.

We also learn that the Orc population of the Anduin Vales is on the rise, and of course Mirkwood itslef (a huge obstacle for the company) AND the spiders that waylay them are the result of Sauron's presence in the forest, and even some of Thranduil's isolationistic policy has to do with the wood itself growing dangerous around his people; and of course we have everything to do with Thrain and his Ring, not to mention the finding of the One Ring, which Tolkien explicitly links to Sauron's rising power in Mirkwood.

Eventually, we find that Smaug had been informed by Sauron of the company's arrival and the battle of the Five Armies is initiated at Sauron's behest to conquer the mountain.

It should be said, a lot of this has its roots in Tolkien. In the Quest of Erebor, Tolkien makes it clear that a) The Necromancer had already stopped an earlier quest by Thrain out of his interest in Erebor; b) that, had the council not banished Sauron, he would have stopped the company and/or made a pact with Smaug; c) that, while the Battle of the Five Armies wasn't initiated by Sauron, had the Orcs been victorious, it would have served his purpose all the same.

That Sauron intends to secure Erebor so as to secure the flank of Angmar against the Iron Hill Dwarves is explicit in the Quest of Erebor, or even just in its redacted form found in Durin's Folk.


I very much agree with this in terms of PJ's The Hobbit. The whole White Council subplot is effectively woven through the fabric of the trilogy.

I was trying to imagine what another version of TH, by some other film maker, could be like. IMO Gandalf's story should be part of any Hobbit adaptation.


Noria
Gondor

Apr 19, 1:03pm

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As Chen says below (?), we do know broadly what happened at the White Council.

While this is an extreme example, any adaptation involves a certain amount of re-imagining.

There's going to be a great deal more of that in the Amazon series.


Solicitr
Gondor


Apr 19, 1:32pm

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Its also been quite effectivelly well knit into the story of the quest itself. The very impetus of the quest is Gandalf intercepting a message to assasinate Thorin and fearing that "darker minds will turn towards Erebor." Then, he ties the Trolls coming down from the Ettenmoors to a rising evil.

Azog and his Orc Riders are soon thereafter shown to be working for Sauron, and we later learn that besides Azog's thirst for revenge, Sauron had sent them to hunt the company down.


And you can't recognize all of that as spurious fan-fic?


Solicitr
Gondor


Apr 19, 1:35pm

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The subjects on the itinerary of the council seem pertinent to the books, too: they're mostly talking about Thrain, Smaug, Angmar and the Necromancer.


Angmar? Angmar??? Why in the world would the Council have been discussing a depopulated region whose existence as an evil kingdom was over a thousand years in the past?

Apparently PBJ missed that bit in the appendix-- just like they missed the fact that Azog was dead.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 19, 1:53pm

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[Imagine] for a moment, filming The Lord of the Rings, but with no source material except for "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age."


That's not the same thing. We still have the book of The Hobbit just as we have the book of The Lord of the Rings. It does mean, though, that the filmmaker has a lot of latitude in regards to exactly how the White Council was involved in the events of The Hobbit. We already know how this plays out in Peter Jackson's adaptation.

#FidelityToTolkien


Solicitr
Gondor


Apr 19, 2:07pm

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except [In reply to] Can't Post

that it is the same thing, with regard to the White Council/Dol Guldur threads. We do have Tolkien's book- but that tells of Bilbo's adventure, not the political backdrop.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 19, 2:13pm

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We do know how the Council itself went
We have a few details that give us a sense of the dynamic within the council in terms of broad-brushstrokes.

We know that Saruman argued against action and tried to tell everyone that Sauron's Ring had been lost indefinitely - which is what happens in the film.

We know that Galadriel, having established the council, wanted Gandalf to head it; so its reasonable to assume that she would have been on Gandalf's side of the argument, as she is in the film.

We know that during the council, Gandalf appeared to Saruman to be absent minded and was repproached for this. With the exception of the specifics (that being, that Gandalf was smoking), this is what happens in the film.

The subjects on the itinerary of the council seem pertinent to the books, too: they're mostly talking about Thrain, Smaug, Angmar and the Necromancer.

The filmmakers clearly couldn't use the material from the Unfinished Tales, but its evident they knew it and were inspired by it (same goes for Thrain and for the Blue Wizards). Maybe they were working off of th e annotated The Hobbit during production: I know Howard Shore was.


True, but I was referring to what we know from Tolkien's legendarium, not the films. All Bilbo discovers on the journey home from the Lonely Mountain is that Gandalf was one of a council of white wizards that drove the Necromancer out of southern Mirkwood. It's not until the Council of Elrond that we actually learn anything more about the White Council. We finally find out how Gandalf infiltrated Dol Guldur and discovered that the Necromancer was actually the Dark Lord Sauron (who had presumably regained Thrain's Ring of Power), and how Saruman in the year 2851 vetoed the Grey Wizard's proposal to take immediate action against Sauron, instead advising the Council to bide its time. It wasn't until the White Council of 2941 that Saruman agreed to move against Dol Guldur. And it wasn't until the final meeting of the White Council in 2953 that Saruman dismissed concerns about the One Ring, assuring the Wise that the Ring had been washed down the Anduin into the Sea.

#FidelityToTolkien


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 19, 2:19pm

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Weeell... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To

Its also been quite effectivelly well knit into the story of the quest itself. The very impetus of the quest is Gandalf intercepting a message to assasinate Thorin and fearing that "darker minds will turn towards Erebor." Then, he ties the Trolls coming down from the Ettenmoors to a rising evil.

Azog and his Orc Riders are soon thereafter shown to be working for Sauron, and we later learn that besides Azog's thirst for revenge, Sauron had sent them to hunt the company down.


And you can't recognize all of that as spurious fan-fic?


The bit about "darker minds will turn towards Erebor" can be traced to Gandalf's fears as voiced in "The Quest of Erebor". The rest is all Peter Jackson.

#FidelityToTolkien


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 19, 2:22pm

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[Except] that it is the same thing, with regard to the White Council/Dol Guldur threads. We do have Tolkien's book- but that tells of Bilbo's adventure, not the political backdrop.


...but ONLY in regard to that subplot. A better comparison would be attempting to film a detailed movie about the entire life of Aragorn based only on "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen" in LotR, Appendix A. At the same time, it might be interesting to see someone attempt such a film. I've even suggested it myself.

#FidelityToTolkien

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Apr 19, 2:24pm)


Chen G.
Rohan

Apr 19, 2:34pm

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In Reply To

In Reply To
The subjects on the itinerary of the council seem pertinent to the books, too: they're mostly talking about Thrain, Smaug, Angmar and the Necromancer.


Angmar? Angmar??? Why in the world would the Council have been discussing a depopulated region whose existence as an evil kingdom was over a thousand years in the past?


I mean in the sense that Gandalf figured that Sauron would have reclaimed Angmar to launch an attack on Rivendell and Lorien, which is quite explicit in both The Quest of Erebor and Durin's Folk.


In Reply To
The bit about "darker minds will turn towards Erebor" can be traced to Gandalf's fears as voiced in "The Quest of Erebor".


Yep.

The idea of tying the Trolls, Orcs (here in lieu of the Goblins) and Spiders back to Dol Guldur was an original invention, by comparison, but one which succesful at tying those otherwise disparate, episodic adventures back into the main story, which is important for a movie. Its a device Jackson imployed with Caradhras, where he has the storm be the result of Saruman's doing.

Granted, its a device Tolkien once riled against (when a radio adaptation made Old-Man Willow out to be allied with Mordor) but also one he imployed himself, with the likes of The Watcher in the Water (pointing that he went for Frodo), with the Easterlings of the early third age (saying that servants of Sauron turned them against Gondor), etcetra...


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Apr 19, 2:45pm)


Solicitr
Gondor


Apr 19, 2:54pm

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The idea of tying the Trolls, Orcs (here in lieu of the Goblins) and Spiders back to Dol Guldur was an original invention, by comparison, but one which succesful at tying those otherwise disparate, episodic adventures back into the main story, which is important for a movie. Its a device Jackson imployed with Caradhras, where he has the storm be the result of Saruman's doing.


Which was also a bad idea (and contradicted the source)

I would also point out that the Watcher singling out Frodo does not imply that it was "working for Sauron," simply that the Ring tended to attract evil creatures.


Chen G.
Rohan

Apr 19, 3:10pm

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If you look at it without bias, it does work.

All the obstacles encountered by the company (with the possible exception of the Goblins) tie back to the "big bad", and NOT in a way that comes off as a last-minute retcon (The Rise of Skywalker and Spectre come to mind). The Spiders are introduced in association with Dol Guldur from the start, and Gandalf almost immediately associates the Trolls with "a darker power."

Curiously, Azog is only revealed as allegiant to Sauron quite late in the game, but since Gandalf already cites the Orc attack as a sign of some kind of rising evil, the set-up is clearly there, and Howard Shore comes in and smears that hint a mile wide all over Azog.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Apr 19, 3:17pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 20, 2:56am

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I mean in the sense that Gandalf figured that Sauron would have reclaimed Angmar to launch an attack on Rivendell and Lorien, which is quite explicit in both The Quest of Erebor and Durin's Folk.


You're right; it's right there in LotR, Appendix A.III. "Durin's Folk" (bolded for emphasis):

Quote
Among many cares [Gandalf] was troubled by in mind by the perilous state of the North; because he knew then already that Sauron was plotting war, and intended, as soon as he felt strong enough, to attack Rivendell. But to resist any attempt from the East to regain the lands of Angmar and the northern passes in the mountains there were now only the Dwarves of the Iron Hills. And beyond them lay the desolation of the Dragon. The Dragon Sauron might use with terrible effect. How then could the end of Smaug be achieved?


We don't even need to check with "The Quest of Erebor" (of which there is several versions). It is reasonable to conclude that Gandalf would bring up such concerns in Council.

#FidelityToTolkien

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Apr 20, 3:00am)


lurtz2010
Rohan

Apr 20, 5:39am

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An early script for the Rankin/Bass TV special did include everything, but it was deemed too much. Rankin wanted to cut out the spiders, but was convinced to excise Beorn instead.

I think its wrong to compare the way an animated TV special is paced with the way a live-action movie is or should. The way the Rankin/Bass TV special (which, I must say, upon rewatch is insufferably twee) is structured would have felt very rushed in live-action, and I'm not even fond of it within the context of the special.

In general, I don't think every story should be the shortest version of itself that's humany possible. That's a very reductive approach to narrative. By that approach, Lawrence of Arabia should have been around two-and-a-half hours, which is to say nothing of Titanic.


You're right, a live-action film--even one deliberately setting out to be child-friendly--is a very different beast than an animated adaptation. Though, if the Rankin/Bass Hobbit is insufferably twee, it gets some of that from the original book.

Generally, I don't think that such an adaptation should be "the shortest version of itself that's [humanly] possible" unless that serves the story as the filmmaker wants to tell it. Even so, we can see how poorly that worked with the 1966 animated short version of The Hobbit (granted, that was actually meant to be proof-of-concept for an animated feature-length film that was never made). Personally, I think that a 2-film adaptation without much of the extra stuff that Peter Jackson added (though I would still have borrowed from the LotR appendices) would have been ideal. Getting back to the book itself, the middle of the narrative comes in with either the rescue of the company by the Eagles or with their arrival at Beorn's house. Structurally, it would probably be better to end the first of two films with the rescue, and begin the second part with the introduction of Beorn.

If you were to end part 1 of 2 as early as the eagle rescue just like AUJ did then that leaves only a small part of the story to fill up that first film. How would that film work without the Azog subplot? To me AUJ only worked as a film in itself because they added in that extra (made up) subplot. What would be the over arching story for that first film without any major additions that werenít in the book?

Then part 2 would have to deal with a whole lot more. Start with Beorn then everything up to going back to Bag End, thatís a lot to cover. How would that work?

I think the barrel escape is the best ending for a film 1 of 2 but even then for obvious ďmovieĒ reasons it would have to be an action scene.


lurtz2010
Rohan

Apr 20, 6:41am

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In Reply To
IMO the White Council subplot, with at least the most important members Elrond, Galadriel and Saruman, should be included


And there I disagree, because any such attempt would have to be invented from whole cloth: in other words, just fan-fic. Even if not as horribly bad as what we got (Nazgul tombs, anyone? Gandalf and Galadriel acting like schoolchildren passing notes in class?), it would still be spurious invention, not Tolkien.

---------------------------------

The Quest of Erebor, in all its versions, never provides Sauron with a motivation, aside from Gandalf's speculation that he could have found a use for Smaug when the war came... and the threat was to Rivendell, not the Iron Hills. We do learn that Sauron sent out his minions to hunt Thrain, for the sake of his Ring. But that was well after Erebor had fallen, of course.

To my mind, the only real place that QoE material would be useful in a Hobbit adaptation is the matter of Gandalf having to persuade (strongarm) Thorin into taking that ridiculous Halfling along.

so would your ideal Hobbit film/s not include the white council or dol guldur subplot at all? Just have Gandalf disappear for a large chunk of the story with only a couple of lines of dialogue explaining where heís been? I donít know how well that would work for most audiences.

Personally I liked the way they did it in the films with the Nazgul and the High Fells even if it does kind of contradict what Aragorn says about them in FOTR. I especially liked how they introduced the subplot with Radagast and the Greenwood becoming infected. I really wish they had included Gandalfís vision of Smaug in the palantir at Dol Guldur.


Chen G.
Rohan

Apr 20, 9:23am

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Personally I liked the way they did it in the films with the Nazgul and the High Fells.


The High Fells bit clearly has to do with the fact that they play out Dol Guldur subplot as a mystery/detective story.

In a mystery story, you can't have the detective's first stop be his only one: he needs to piece together some clues and pass through a least one more place on the way.


lurtz2010
Rohan

Apr 20, 10:27am

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I said I liked the High Fells [In reply to] Can't Post

And I agree it makes for a good mystery/detective story. Plus the Nazgul being raised from the dead also gives reason for Sauron to be called the Necromancer at this point. As I said though, there is the fact that Aragorn says they were once men who fell into darkness from the power of their rings and became the wraiths. That makes it sound like they never actually died but that doesnít matter to me too much.


Chen G.
Rohan

Apr 20, 12:13pm

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The idea [In reply to] Can't Post

isn't that they died, but that they were entombed in the High Fells. At no point do the members of the White Council express any astonishment that the Nine may be back: they express astonishment over the idea that the tombs were breached: "a powerful spell lies on those tombs."

That such spells were needed, not to mention that its described as "a tomb so dark, it'll never come to light", implies that the Nazgul weren't really dead.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Apr 20, 12:24pm)


Solicitr
Gondor


Apr 20, 1:40pm

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Yup. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To

In Reply To
IMO the White Council subplot, with at least the most important members Elrond, Galadriel and Saruman, should be included


And there I disagree, because any such attempt would have to be invented from whole cloth: in other words, just fan-fic. Even if not as horribly bad as what we got (Nazgul tombs, anyone? Gandalf and Galadriel acting like schoolchildren passing notes in class?), it would still be spurious invention, not Tolkien.

---------------------------------

The Quest of Erebor, in all its versions, never provides Sauron with a motivation, aside from Gandalf's speculation that he could have found a use for Smaug when the war came... and the threat was to Rivendell, not the Iron Hills. We do learn that Sauron sent out his minions to hunt Thrain, for the sake of his Ring. But that was well after Erebor had fallen, of course.

To my mind, the only real place that QoE material would be useful in a Hobbit adaptation is the matter of Gandalf having to persuade (strongarm) Thorin into taking that ridiculous Halfling along.

so would your ideal Hobbit film/s not include the white council or dol guldur subplot at all?


Precisely. Film the book Tolkien wrote, not the one he didn't write.


Solicitr
Gondor


Apr 20, 1:44pm

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Subject [In reply to] Can't Post


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If you were to end part 1 of 2 as early as the eagle rescue just like AUJ did then that leaves only a small part of the story to fill up that first film. How would that film work without the Azog subplot? To me AUJ only worked as a film in itself because they added in that extra (made up) subplot. What would be the over arching story for that first film without any major additions that werenít in the book?


Um, Thorin & Co's journey eastward to Erebor? That's plenty. Not all movies have to have a "villain" to drive the action. Just to name a couple of reasonably recent "road movies," consider Rain Man, or Thelma and Louise: no pursuing baddie in sight. Simply laying out a journey with a goal is enough, overcoming obstacles along the way. A slightly different example: Shackleton.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 20, 2:02pm

Post #62 of 255 (1149 views)
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The Hobbit, Part 1 (of 2) [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
If you were to end part 1 of 2 as early as the eagle rescue just like AUJ did then that leaves only a small part of the story to fill up that first film. How would that film work without the Azog subplot? To me AUJ only worked as a film in itself because they added in that extra (made up) subplot. What would be the over arching story for that first film without any major additions that werenít in the book?

Then part 2 would have to deal with a whole lot more. Start with Beorn then everything up to going back to Bag End, thatís a lot to cover. How would that work?

I think the barrel escape is the best ending for a film 1 of 2 but even then for obvious ďmovieĒ reasons it would have to be an action scene.


I think there are enough plot developments in the first half of the book to end at the rescue by the Eagles, though I can understand why there might be doubts. Quite a bit actually does happen:
- An Unexpected Party
- The Trolls
- Rivendell
- The Giants in the High Pass
- Capture by the Goblins
- Escape
- Riddles in the Dark
- Pursuit
- Fifteen birds rescued by Eagles

Don't forget that we could fill the film out with elements taken from the appendices.
- A prologue with Gandalf and Thorin in Bree (perhaps continued at the Halls of Thorin).
- Perhaps a sequence in Bree.
- White Council business between Gandalf and Elrond in Rivendell (the full White Council meeting and debate would be in Part 2).

For Part 2, we don't have to spend a lot of screen time in Mirkwood or with the Wood-elves, we just need to establish that a significant amount of time passes in those locations. Lake-town is a relatively brief stopover, the movie could take a moment to give Bard a proper introduction. There is a bit of a passage of time searching for the Secret Door and waiting for Durin's Day, but much of that could be glossed over--though maybe not as severely as was done in Peter Jackson's adaptation. Much the same for the period between Smaug's attack on Lake-town and the besieging of the Lonely Mountain. We certainly don't need to see every detail of the return journey.

#FidelityToTolkien

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Apr 20, 2:17pm)


Noria
Gondor

Apr 20, 2:08pm

Post #63 of 255 (1146 views)
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Neither spurious nor fan-fic [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To

Its also been quite effectivelly well knit into the story of the quest itself. The very impetus of the quest is Gandalf intercepting a message to assasinate Thorin and fearing that "darker minds will turn towards Erebor." Then, he ties the Trolls coming down from the Ettenmoors to a rising evil.

Azog and his Orc Riders are soon thereafter shown to be working for Sauron, and we later learn that besides Azog's thirst for revenge, Sauron had sent them to hunt the company down.


And you can't recognize all of that as spurious fan-fic?


I donít regard the choices that Walsh, Boyens and Jackson made in writing their adaptation as either spurious or as fan-fic. I do regard the term fan-fic as nothing more than a cheap and facile personal insult against the film makers.

In the case of TH, I see the added material as embellishments to the basic story made in order to expand upon and explore the story and themes of the novel and movies. As holders (through WB) of the right and obligation to adapt the novel, the film makers made decisions that they thought would make better movies. Nobody has to agree with them.

Can you not see that other people see TH movies differently than you do and have their reasons for doing so just as you do for your opinion?


Solicitr
Gondor


Apr 20, 2:14pm

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I do regard the term fan-fic as nothing more than a cheap and facile personal insult against the film makers.


As was its intent.


lurtz2010
Rohan

Apr 21, 2:02am

Post #65 of 255 (1113 views)
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Part 1 would still need to stand on its own though [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To
If you were to end part 1 of 2 as early as the eagle rescue just like AUJ did then that leaves only a small part of the story to fill up that first film. How would that film work without the Azog subplot? To me AUJ only worked as a film in itself because they added in that extra (made up) subplot. What would be the over arching story for that first film without any major additions that werenít in the book?

Then part 2 would have to deal with a whole lot more. Start with Beorn then everything up to going back to Bag End, thatís a lot to cover. How would that work?

I think the barrel escape is the best ending for a film 1 of 2 but even then for obvious ďmovieĒ reasons it would have to be an action scene.


I think there are enough plot developments in the first half of the book to end at the rescue by the Eagles, though I can understand why there might be doubts. Quite a bit actually does happen:
- An Unexpected Party
- The Trolls
- Rivendell
- The Giants in the High Pass
- Capture by the Goblins
- Escape
- Riddles in the Dark
- Pursuit
- Fifteen birds rescued by Eagles

Don't forget that we could fill the film out with elements taken from the appendices.
- A prologue with Gandalf and Thorin in Bree (perhaps continued at the Halls of Thorin).
- Perhaps a sequence in Bree.
- White Council business between Gandalf and Elrond in Rivendell (the full White Council meeting and debate would be in Part 2).

For Part 2, we don't have to spend a lot of screen time in Mirkwood or with the Wood-elves, we just need to establish that a significant amount of time passes in those locations. Lake-town is a relatively brief stopover, the movie could take a moment to give Bard a proper introduction. There is a bit of a passage of time searching for the Secret Door and waiting for Durin's Day, but much of that could be glossed over--though maybe not as severely as was done in Peter Jackson's adaptation. Much the same for the period between Smaug's attack on Lake-town and the besieging of the Lonely Mountain. We certainly don't need to see every detail of the return journey.

Following just the book with added white council stuff would still make it feel like Act1 and I bet general audiences wouldnít accept it very well. There wouldnít be anything in the film that comes full circle or any kind of proper resolution. Thorinís showdown with Azog and Bilbo saving his life were invented material but it worked to give the film some kind of arc. I donít think Bilbo just finding the ring then giving a nice speech to the company about being willing to help the dwarves reclaim their homeland would be enough to end part 1 satisfactorily. The whole film would just be a series of adventures with a sudden ďto be continuedĒ type ending with no arc whatsoever to make the film stand on its own.


skyofcoffeebeans
Lorien

Apr 21, 2:45am

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Agreed [In reply to] Can't Post

The White Council subplot got an extreme payoff in the form of Sauronís appearance in Jacksonís two-film treatment.

What bothers me more is that I suspect a second film starting with Beorn would involve over an hour and a half of repetitive character introductions followed by swift dismissals. Furthermore, how does that divide contribute to the telling of Bilboís story? He doesnít fully gain the confidence of the company until the spiders and barrels. Youíve also got a pretty simple set up and payoff with Sting.


Chen G.
Rohan

Apr 21, 9:17am

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But...but.... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Lake-town is a relatively brief stopover, the movie could take a moment to give Bard a proper introduction.


But, its essential that the storytelling slows down with the introduction of Laketown, both in the sense of the deep breath before the plunge, as well as in the sense that we the audience need to become invested in Laketown so that a) its conflageration means something to us and b) so that, in the later parts of the story, we sympathize with the People of Laketown more than with the Dwarves, which adds a complexity to the story.



In Reply To
I donít think Bilbo just finding the ring then giving a nice speech to the company about being willing to help the dwarves reclaim their homeland would be enough to end part 1 satisfactorily. The whole film would just be a series of adventures with a sudden ďto be continuedĒ type ending with no arc whatsoever to make the film stand on its own.


The idea in the two-film cut was that Bilbo's ingenuity to get the Dwarves to the barrels was what earned Thorin's appreciation. You can still catch the buildup to the climax that never was in how Thorin comes to trust Bilbo when he tells the others to "do what he says."

So there is some payoff there.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Apr 21, 9:21am)


lurtz2010
Rohan

Apr 21, 9:54am

Post #68 of 255 (1061 views)
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Youíre right but I was referring to an eagles rescue ending [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To
I donít think Bilbo just finding the ring then giving a nice speech to the company about being willing to help the dwarves reclaim their homeland would be enough to end part 1 satisfactorily. The whole film would just be a series of adventures with a sudden ďto be continuedĒ type ending with no arc whatsoever to make the film stand on its own.


The idea in the two-film cut was that Bilbo's ingenuity to get the Dwarves to the barrels was what earned Thorin's appreciation. You can still catch the buildup to the climax that never was in how Thorin comes to trust Bilbo when he tells the others to "do what he says."

So there is some payoff there.

Otaku was suggesting part 1 end with Out of the Frying Pan and I was saying there might not be enough payoff there without any made up additions.

As Iíve said I think the barrel escape would be the best ending and a would make for a better point for Thorin to appreciate Bilbo. Perhaps there was a scene on the river side similar to the Carrock scene in AUJ where Thorin admits to Bilbo that he shouldnít have doubted him?

I also think barrels is the best breaking point because of the differences in the environments before and after this section that would make the two films distinct from each other. Film 1 would be all green and lush then film 2 will be grey and desolate.


Chen G.
Rohan

Apr 21, 10:37am

Post #69 of 255 (1055 views)
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In terms of scenery [In reply to] Can't Post

We have a very dramatic change between An Unexpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug as it is.

An Unexpected Journey takes place in Eriador, and its not only generally lush and vibrant (as well as comical in tone) but also very nostalgic in terms of locations revisited from The Lord of the Rings.

In The Desolation of Smaug, while the design aesthetic is still recognisably Middle Earth, everything is new. There's nothing in The Lord of the Rings quite like Beorn and even his house - this outsized, story-book-type thatched lodging in the middle of the wilderness - is a very new visual for this series. Mirkwood is also very, very unique, as is the Dickensian Laketown.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 21, 12:12pm

Post #70 of 255 (1047 views)
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Too Little or Too Much? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Following just the book with added white council stuff would still make it feel like Act1 and I bet general audiences wouldnít accept it very well. There wouldnít be anything in the film that comes full circle or any kind of proper resolution. Thorinís showdown with Azog and Bilbo saving his life were invented material but it worked to give the film some kind of arc. I donít think Bilbo just finding the ring then giving a nice speech to the company about being willing to help the dwarves reclaim their homeland would be enough to end part 1 satisfactorily. The whole film would just be a series of adventures with a sudden ďto be continuedĒ type ending with no arc whatsoever to make the film stand on its own.


Given that we are discussing a 2-part adaptation that is more faithful to Tolkien, I have concerns with taking Part 1 all the way to the Woodland Realm and the barrel escape. I'm not sure that leaves enough story for Part 2 without feeling like we have to add padding. A compromise might be to take Part 1 into Mirkwood and end with the fight with the spiders. This does let Bilbo reach one of his personal milestones. We might end with the cliffhanger of "Where's Thorin?"

#FidelityToTolkien

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Apr 21, 12:13pm)


lurtz2010
Rohan

Apr 21, 12:44pm

Post #71 of 255 (1042 views)
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No way does it not leave much for film 2 [In reply to] Can't Post

Establish the world of men at lake town and the characters of bard and the master.
Journey through Dale and to the mountain
Bilbo and Smaug
Attack on Laketown
Aftermath and politics etc
Dol guldur scenes
The battle

Itís basically the second half of DOS and all of BOFA but without the unnecessary additions, there is a lot there.

Ending part1 after the spider battle could work but imo it would be abit of a dull cliffhanger compared to the company actually escaping prison with their destination in sight.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 21, 1:02pm

Post #72 of 255 (1031 views)
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Well... [In reply to] Can't Post

...some of that should not take up much screen time. Other elements could stand to be expanded upon (introducing Bard while the company is still in Esgaroth comes to mind).

It's probably debatable whether the White Council acted against Dol Guldur before or after the company arrived at Lake-town, but it was right around that time and the movie could play with that a bit. In either case, Gandalf might not have departed for Erebor for a few days yet. If we start Part 2 at Lake-town, do we have Sauron (as the Necromancer) withdraw from Dol Guldur at about the same time the company is escaping from the Wood-elves? That seems to be just about when Gandalf and his council of wizards (actually the White Council, naturally) take action in the book (and another reason why your version of Part 1 might feel a bit crowded--unless you propose not including the White Council subplot).

#FidelityToTolkien

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Apr 21, 1:04pm)


lurtz2010
Rohan

Apr 21, 1:28pm

Post #73 of 255 (1024 views)
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I would set up the White Council in film 1 [In reply to] Can't Post

But not have the attack on Dol Guldur until 2.

I wouldnít be too fussed the timeline of those events,
Iím even fine with showing the Greenwood becoming Mirkwood even though that happened many years before in the book and I think Gandalf finding Thrain in Dol Guldur during this story works well instead of before the quest like in the book.


Solicitr
Gondor


Apr 21, 1:50pm

Post #74 of 255 (1019 views)
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Or [In reply to] Can't Post

One could just leave out the White Council and attack on Dol Guldur entirely. Along with Azog.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 21, 2:03pm

Post #75 of 255 (1017 views)
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I agree about Azog. [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think it works on film to just have Gandalf drop out of the picture for an extended period of time with no explanation (except at the very end). I have no objection to including the White Council, though I don't think I would have structured it as Peter Jackson did. I also would have kept the corruption of the Greenwood and Gandalf's discovery of Thrain in the past. If everyone was so certain that Sauron wouldn't return, why send the Istari to Middle-earth at all? That's a major plot hole in Jackson's Hobbit.

#FidelityToTolkien


Solicitr
Gondor


Apr 21, 2:41pm

Post #76 of 255 (1746 views)
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I [In reply to] Can't Post

really don't see that the Grand Strategy and Great Power Politics need to intrude into Bilbo's little adventure any more than they did in the book.

Not every WW2 film includes the Tehran Conference, D-Day and Midway. They are understood to be in the background of whatever small facet of the war (real or fictional) the movie is about.


Chen G.
Rohan

Apr 21, 2:59pm

Post #77 of 255 (1742 views)
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But that removes any sense of urgency [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I also would have kept the corruption of the Greenwood and Gandalf's discovery of Thrain in the past. If everyone was so certain that Sauron wouldn't return, why send the Istari to Middle-earth at all? That's a major plot hole in Jackson's Hobbit.


Yes, you're right that the existence of the Council is at odds with how complecent so many of its members seems to be, but I'm willing to take that kind of conceit I'm willing to abide.

However, the idea that Sauron (under the pseudonym of The Necromancer) has been long around just takes any urgency away from his threat. Tolkien, interestingly, does it for the sake reason, in the sake of realism. But in movies it doesn't work.


Noria
Gondor

Apr 21, 3:34pm

Post #78 of 255 (1742 views)
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OK - you choose to go low. [In reply to] Can't Post

Got it.

Thanks for being honest about it.


skyofcoffeebeans
Lorien

Apr 21, 4:24pm

Post #79 of 255 (1728 views)
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The spiders cliffhanger actually make sense [In reply to] Can't Post

It also makes sense to introduce the Elven-king in Part 2, along with Laketown and Bard.

Knowing that the dwarves were captured would also contribute to this cliffhanger.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 21, 7:41pm

Post #80 of 255 (1713 views)
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Concerns [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Yes, you're right that the existence of the Council is at odds with how complecent so many of its members seems to be, but I'm willing to take that kind of conceit I'm willing to abide.


Yes, but arguably that's an issue within the legendarium as well. It is partially explained by Saruman's own agenda, wanting to seek out the Ring without involving the rest of the Council. His actions were sketchy even before he turned fully to evil.


In Reply To
However, the idea that Sauron (under the pseudonym of The Necromancer) has been long around just takes any urgency away from his threat. Tolkien, interestingly, does it for the sake reason, in the sake of realism. But in movies it doesn't work.


It can work if hints are dropped that wheels are in motion that might soon produce dire consequences: increased activity of spiders and Orcs in Mirkwood; discontent among the Dunlendings; rumors of cults springing up among the Woodmen and/or the Lake-men; Easterlings and Haradrim sighted near or entering Mordor; etc.

#FidelityToTolkien


lurtz2010
Rohan

Apr 22, 1:54am

Post #81 of 255 (1680 views)
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Going back to the eagle ending for film1 [In reply to] Can't Post

Iím still wondering what the overarching storyline would be for that film if it were to end that early into the adventure? Iíve always been interested in what AUJ wouldíve been like without the Azog subplot and how it might work. How would you make a satisfying movie out of only the first 6 chapters in the story?


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 22, 2:50am

Post #82 of 255 (1671 views)
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First... [In reply to] Can't Post

...you bring up a good point: In terms of chapters, the midpoint of the story comes with "Barrels Out of Bond"/"A Warm Welcome". I chose the Eagles as a climax largely because the introduction of Beorn makes for a good beginning for Part 2. The arrival at Lake-town could serve the same purpose.

However, to your question: The Hobbit as written by Tolkien is inherently an episodic tale for the most part. That might not tally with modern film theory, but that doesn't mean that the same approach cannot be made to work on film. The rescue is a definitive climax for that particular part of the story, though we can say the same for the escape from the Woodland Realm for that respective episode (the same for the fight with the spiders as it relates to the journey through Mirkwood). Actually, given the structure of the book, a miniseries might be the ideal format for an adaptation, rather than a movie (whether done-in-one or in two or more parts).

#FidelityToTolkien


Solicitr
Gondor


Apr 22, 2:54pm

Post #83 of 255 (1606 views)
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Yes [In reply to] Can't Post

The Hobbit, in film terms, is a road movie- an age-old and successful format. A road movie doesn't require the intrusion of a pursuing nemesis to give it momentum; progress toward the goal is sufficient.

Note that the Frodo/Sam part of the LR is a road movie; they're not running from any pursuer, simply moving as best they can towards Mt Doom, overcoming obstacles along the way.


lurtz2010
Rohan

Apr 22, 11:00pm

Post #84 of 255 (1559 views)
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Frodo and Samís road movie only worked because it was intercut [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
The Hobbit, in film terms, is a road movie- an age-old and successful format. A road movie doesn't require the intrusion of a pursuing nemesis to give it momentum; progress toward the goal is sufficient.

Note that the Frodo/Sam part of the LR is a road movie; they're not running from any pursuer, simply moving as best they can towards Mt Doom, overcoming obstacles along the way.

with Aragornís story. The simple episodic road journey would only work if it was one movie with the complete journey that actually had an ending. Films have to stand on their own in some way and I just canít see how ending with the eagles would do that. Book lovers would be fine with it but film scholars would destroy it. But what do I know really? Maybe it could work.

I also think if the eagles rescue was the ending of part1 then it wound need to be a trilogy because thereís just too much to cover from Beorn onwards compared to so little before Beorn. If youíre going to drag out Bag End to the Eagles rescue then you may as well drag out the rest of the story with two more films. End part2 with the death of Smaug or like DOS end with Smaug flying towards Laketown.


Solicitr
Gondor


Apr 22, 11:15pm

Post #85 of 255 (1557 views)
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Maybe [In reply to] Can't Post

we can look at this mathematically. PJ's trilogy (theatrical cuts) runs 474 minutes. What percentage of that is left after we subtract out the White Council, Dol Goldur, Azog, bunny-sled, Bard's family and other non-Tolkien material? Is there enough remaining to support three "normal" pictures of ~360 minutes? That seems unlikely.


lurtz2010
Rohan

Apr 22, 11:40pm

Post #86 of 255 (1550 views)
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I was including the white council storyline [In reply to] Can't Post

But if it was only the books tale then yes only two movies would be needed but Part1 couldnít end as early as the eagles.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 23, 12:47am

Post #87 of 255 (1537 views)
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Guillermo del Toro's Vision [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
But if it was only the books tale then yes only two movies would be needed but Part1 couldnít end as early as the eagles.


That does make me wonder how GdT's treatment would have split the story. We know that he saw The Hobbit as a duology.

#FidelityToTolkien


skyofcoffeebeans
Lorien

Apr 23, 2:28am

Post #88 of 255 (1528 views)
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AFAIK PJ is operating essentially with GDTíS structural blueprint [In reply to] Can't Post

Meaning GDT also came to see the barrels as a divider.


lurtz2010
Rohan

Apr 23, 2:49am

Post #89 of 255 (1517 views)
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Yeah they already had the 2 film scripts [In reply to] Can't Post

Iím pretty sure the barrel escape was always the planned ending from the start.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 23, 12:38pm

Post #90 of 255 (1467 views)
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Same frame; different house? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
AFAIK PJ is operating essentially with GDTíS structural blueprint


More or less;Guillermo del Toro is given credit on the scripting.


In Reply To
Meaning GDT also came to see the barrels as a divider.


Perhaps, perhaps not. GdT had his ideas on how to proceed, but when Peter Jackson took over the directing duties he had his own notions about the movies. And the studio had its own input.

#FidelityToTolkien


skyofcoffeebeans
Lorien

Apr 23, 8:57pm

Post #91 of 255 (1438 views)
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Not always [In reply to] Can't Post

There was talk about a bridge film for some period of time under GDT's development.

I just have trouble believing that many script adjustments could be made on the fly given the time crunch they were on. Supposedly one of the biggest reasons why it went from 2 films to 3 was they felt the structure wasn't quite working, which would imply they didn't have enough time to really nail down the original shooting script.


Chen G.
Rohan

Apr 23, 11:04pm

Post #92 of 255 (1432 views)
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The "Bridge" film [In reply to] Can't Post

was a concept that was brought up numerous times. Obviously, The Hobbit was always on the filmmakers mind to some extent, because it was part of their original pitch and they actually started some early development on it before even touching The Lord of the Rings. The idea of a Bridge film came up later.

During preporduction on The Lord of the Rings, Jackson first brought up the idea of shooting some of the "interstitial" material and possibly adding it into The Lord of the Rings:


Quote
One idea I've got (if the trilogy is successful) would be to gather the cast together again and shoot another couple of hours worth of scenes to flesh out The Lord of the Rings as a more complete "Special Edition". In other words, we would write and shoot the Tom Bombadil stuff, or scenes involving Gandalf and Aragorn hunting Gollum, and his capture by Orcs ... and any number of other bits of business that we can't fit https://www.herr-der-ringe-film.de/v3/de/news/tolkienfilme/news_19958.php


Then, in early development of The Hobbit at the tail end of The Lord of the Rings, Jackson and New Line talked about doing one The Hobbit film and one "Lord of the Rings prequel". In late 2006, Jackson spoke about talking about this with Mark Ordesky "several years ago."
https://www.theonering.net/torwp/2006/11/19/24053-peter-jackson-and-fran-walsh-talk-the-hobbit-2/

Then Del Toro mentioned it at some point, but I don't think it ever got beyond abstract discussions. Del Toro very quickly moved from this train of thought to a two-film version of The Hobbit. Knee-points considered were the opening of the Bard's appearance, the Hidden Door or Smaug leaving the mountain: all three of which form a cliffhanger of some sort.

Jackson, once he took over, did originally want to incorporate more of the "interstitial" material into The Battle of the Five Armies, as in the commentary he talks about having considered incorporating Viggo and Liv into the epilogue, etcetra. But he wisely chose against it.

The bridge film isn't a bad idea - it could work to the effect of an intermezzo - but it was easier to string the relevant appendices material where it was concurrent with and pertient to the events of The Hobbit, moreso than the events that take place in the interim of the two works.

That said, that there are gaps between the two trilogies isn't necessarily bad. Even within a single movie, there are often time-jumps during which we the audience miss out on some developments and have to catch up.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Apr 23, 11:16pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 24, 1:44am

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Conceptually, the 'bridge" film was part of the original two-film structure before Guillermo del Toro decided that splitting the original story into two films was a better way to go. The first movie would be a fairly straightforward adaptation of The Hobbit itself while the follow-up would fill in the gaps between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, possibly including such things as the hunt for Gollum and the betrothing of Aragorn & Arwen.

#FidelityToTolkien

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Apr 24, 1:48am)


lurtz2010
Rohan

Apr 24, 3:34am

Post #94 of 255 (1392 views)
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Thanks for that link [In reply to] Can't Post

I hadnít seen that email before and luckily I wasnít around during those years because I always had slow internet back then so I didnít bother looking into updates. I didnít even learn about the hobbit being made till late 2008 when I came across that live Q&A that PJ and GDT did online together.

I wonder if the bridge film was going to show the attack on Dol Guldur as if it happened after the hobbit or would it overlap the hobbit story just showing Gandalfís point of view?


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 24, 4:19am

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The White Council, Dol Guldur and the "Bridge" Film [In reply to] Can't Post

I have always assumed that the White Council's assault on Dol Guldur would have most likely been part of the "bridge" film, if it had been made. Including it as a subplot within the main narrative of The Hobbit would have made it much more difficult to tell within the runtime of a single movie. As we've discussed, any single-film adaptation of The Hobbit would probably feel rushed unless some elements of the story were cut.

#FidelityToTolkien

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Apr 24, 4:20am)


FrogmortonJustice65
Lorien


Apr 24, 10:45pm

Post #96 of 255 (1317 views)
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I think two movies would suffice for a Hobbit adaptation. [In reply to] Can't Post

Two fairly regular length movies - certainly not LOTR length.

I base this argument on two principles:

(1) Faithfully adapting the Professor's work is an unadulterated good. See: the high points of the LOTR trilogy but also the high points of the Hobbit trilogy: the Unexpected Party, Riddles in the Dark, Inside Information.

(2) Including material not explicitly adapted from the Professor is risky. Sometimes it is not too big of a distraction, as was largely the case in the LOTR film trilogy. Other times it is a distraction. See, the low points of the Hobbit trilogy: elf/dwarf romance, Nazgul detours, etc. The less we are explicitly adapting the Professor's writing and borrowing his dialogue, the more we are left to rely on the inventions of the filmmakers. I think the company behind writing the LOTR and Hobbit films are great writers in their own right, but they can't compete with Tolkien himself. The further we stray from Tolkien, the further we inch towards fan fiction.

I think there is enough material in the Hobbit and enough unique locales worth bringing to life through the magic of film --- Rivendell, Goblintown, Beorn, Mirkwood, Laketown, Erebor, etc --- that two films are warranted to prevent some of the Professor's material from being unduly excised. I think an adaptation of the Hobbit would suffer more from having one of these episodes cut than an adaptation of LOTR would suffer from having, say, Tom Bombadil cut.

But three films were clearly excessive. As has been pointed out in this thread, it's true that the LOTR trilogy cut back and forth from Frodo and Sam's journey (featuring no chase scenes, big baddy Orc hunting them to amp up suspense etc.) and Aragorn's more action-packed plotline. But this works because both Frodo and Aragorn's narrative are part of the same plot and intrinsically connected. You can't resolve one plot line without the other. If Frodo and Sam don't succeed, Aragorn never becomes king. If Aragorn doesn't muster the forces of good to confront Sauron and create a diversion, Frodo and Sam can't succeed.

Gandalf's business with the White Council is considerably more tangential to Bilbo's humble adventure, despite the writers' best attempts to portray these narratives as interlinked, so cutting back and forth between those plotlines feels more like a sidequest than a plot arc intrinsic to the story of THE HOBBIT.

As it is, we have a three film adaptation of the Hobbit with amazing highs but some material that is extraneous or irritating. There is definitely a higher quality set of two films in there somewhere, had the filmmakers had a bit more discipline. I would start by cutting out much of the Gandalf solo material (breaks my heart because McKellen is nothing less than a treasure) to center the narrative firmly around the dynamic between Bilbo and Thorin, which is the heart of the films and the book IMO. Eliminate some cringey dialogue and pare back some of the LOTR fan service, and you'd have a quality film.

The biggest challenge, IMO, in fixing the Hobbit trilogy lies in dealing with Azog. I do think it helps to introduce a clearer antagonist when writing a film that is meant to be mass entertainment, but I'm unsure how I'd execute it.


(This post was edited by FrogmortonJustice65 on Apr 24, 10:47pm)


Solicitr
Gondor


Apr 24, 11:40pm

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Two thumbs way, way up [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 24, 11:56pm

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Well... [In reply to] Can't Post

...I wouldn't want to cut up and rework Jackson's Hobbit. Better to start from scratch and author an entirely new adaptation using the two film structure. I do think it would be essential to include the White Council subplot rather than leave Gandalf's disappearance at the eaves of Mirkwood unexplained. And maybe some other references to the greater legendarium could be worked in. But no Azog. No tombs deep in the mountains. No half-baked love story (if you're going to invent a love story at all, why not between Bard and his future wife? Yes, I'm discounted the possibility that he's a widower).

#FidelityToTolkien

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Apr 25, 12:00am)


Chen G.
Rohan

Apr 25, 8:24am

Post #99 of 255 (1261 views)
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Thorin and Bilbo [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I would start by cutting out much of the Gandalf solo material (breaks my heart because McKellen is nothing less than a treasure) to center the narrative firmly around the dynamic between Bilbo and Thorin, which is the heart of the films and the book IMO. Eliminate some cringey dialogue and pare back some of the LOTR fan service, and you'd have a quality film.

The biggest challenge, IMO, in fixing the Hobbit trilogy lies in dealing with Azog. I do think it helps to introduce a clearer antagonist when writing a film that is meant to be mass entertainment, but I'm unsure how I'd execute it.


In the film, the Dol Guldur material is quite intristically wedded into the Quest itself. It impacts it in more ways than one and is essential to its success.

Also, to say that "the dynamic between Bilbo and Thorin, which is the heart of the films" is to fundementally miss the point, I think. Its the equivalent of saying that the heart of Lawrence of Arabia is the relationship between Lawrence and Ali. It isn't. The heart of Lawrence of Arabia is the relationship between Lawrence and...Lawrence. To see how he deals with his own megalomania, his own recklessness, his bloodlust and sadism.

The same is true of Thorin. His relationship with Bilbo is just one facet of an incredibly complex and challenging character, one who is hiding a lot of pain and anxiety under a shell of arrogance and resentment. To see him deal with that, to grapple with the heritage of his forefathers, to see what means he will find justifiable for his end - that's what's truly fascinating here. Straight out of Aristoteles.

Easily the best character of all six films.
EASILY.


In Reply To
No half-baked love story (if you're going to invent a love story at all, why not between Bard and his future wife? Yes, I'm discounted the possibility that he's a widower).


I will say, that Tauriel loses Kili with their love entirely unconsummated (not even a kiss!) does fit the tragic sweep of The Battle of the Five Armies, in a way that having it be Bard and his wife wouldn't.

Reminds me Layla and Majnun and those kinds of "virgin love" stories. When people say that "it went nowhere" they are, again, fundementally missing the point.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Apr 25, 8:33am)


VoronwŽ_the_Faithful
Valinor

Apr 25, 4:41pm

Post #100 of 255 (1189 views)
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Therein lies the problem [In reply to] Can't Post

Lawrence of Arabia is called what it is called because it is, as you say, a movie that is primarily about Ö Lawrence of Arabia. The Hobbit is called what it is called because it is, in fact, a book that is primarily about a hobbit. While a filmmaker adapting a book has wide latitude to take from the book what most moves them, his or her job is still to capture the primary spirit of the book. Otherwise they should be making some other movie. The primary title of each of the three films of the trilogy is not "Thorin of Erebor" or "The Dwarf". It is "The Hobbit." There is much that I love about the films, and much that I love about the portrayal of Thorin (though I think it misses the boat in several fundamental ways), but the primary place that the filmmakers lost their way, is in making Thorin the primary character rather than Bilbo.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


skyofcoffeebeans
Lorien

Apr 25, 5:01pm

Post #101 of 255 (1862 views)
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Agreed [In reply to] Can't Post

óóó-


Solicitr
Gondor


Apr 25, 6:02pm

Post #102 of 255 (1858 views)
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Quite so [In reply to] Can't Post

Alternatively, you could just cut out Bilbo entirely along with all that other rubbish from some forgotten English kiddie book, and make the epic "Thorin the Great and the Nazgul Tombs." Or maybe, "Mountainheart."


(This post was edited by Solicitr on Apr 25, 6:09pm)


Chen G.
Rohan

Apr 25, 6:22pm

Post #103 of 255 (1853 views)
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So, that's the difference? [In reply to] Can't Post

Had all of five letters been different ("Dwarf" instead of "Hobbit"), your whole assesment of the film would have been different? Does that sound reasonable to you? What if someone happened to catch it on TV and didn't quite catch the title? Is he to abstain from passing judgmenet on the film, because he lacks the context provided by the title?

Or maybe - just maybe - movie titles don't really matter, to begin with? Maybe they're more about sounding intriguing or helping the brand of the movie than they are intended to actually be a statement of the film's content and focus? Maybe one should be able to infer what a movie is about simply through watching it? The prologue of An Unexpected Journey is enough for one to grasp who's story the films are truly about.

An non-exhaustive assortment of movie titles that don't offer a true encapsulation of the film: The Silence of the Lambs, The Bridge over the River Kwai, The Lord of the Rings, Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, Chimes at Midnight, Summertime, Infinity War, Star Wars, The Two Towers, The Robe, Doctor Strangelove, Dune.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Apr 25, 6:34pm)


Solicitr
Gondor


Apr 25, 7:35pm

Post #104 of 255 (1833 views)
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Way to miss the point [In reply to] Can't Post

 


The Dude
Bree

Apr 25, 7:45pm

Post #105 of 255 (1832 views)
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There are plenty of reasons why splitting "The Hobbit" into three films did not work but one stands out. [In reply to] Can't Post

From the beginning of the production, one of the main justifications for splitting the book into several films was that the films would offer a more in depth-characterization of the dwarves. In the book, after all, most of them are mentioned by name and that's about it. Now, there is a good explanation for why Tolkien wrote them that way, and there is plenty of evidence to believe that the filmmakers should have followed his approach. But let us put that aside for the moment...

From the design of the dwarves, and the way those designs were publicized, it is clear that Jackson and Co. did not want a group of interchangeable bearded faces as their secondary characters. They specifically intended to give each and every dwarf his own backstory and unique design. Merchandising considerations might have played a role in this decision as well, but honestly, I doubt this was Jackson's main objective. Originally, I believe, he really wanted to create a second fellowship.

And yet, most of the dwarves are nothing but glorified extras in the films. The only truly fleshed out characters are Thorin, KŪli, and Balin. Then come thinly sketched characters like Bofur, Dwalin, and FŪli. The rest of the dwarves are utterly forgettable. And this gets worse over the course of the three films. When Tauriel and Legolas show up, most efforts to personalize the dwarves are thrown out the window. Hardly the first time this is mentioned, but when Bilbo says good-bye to the dwarves near the end of the third film, most viewers probably struggled to identify two thirds of the dwarves. Azog or no Azog, if a 474-minute-long adaptation of a relatively short book does not manage to flesh out most of its characters, if Gamling in the "Two Towers" is a more memorable character than two thirds of Thorin's company, something went wrong. That is perhaps not the fundamental but the most obvious flaw of the three film adaption.

(replying to you at random)


(This post was edited by The Dude on Apr 25, 7:47pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 25, 8:02pm

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In Reply To
From the beginning of the production, one of the main justifications for splitting the book into several films was that the films would offer a more in depth-characterization of the dwarves.


And, more generally, to allow the story room to breathe. And, to your later point, Peter Jackson largely fails at giving most of the company well-rounded personalities. There is just too much extraneous material--not just from outside of the book, but outside of Tolkien's entire legendarium. Even with adding content from the LotR appendices, a two-part adaptation of The Hobbit should have been more then enough to do justice to the book.

As I've stated often before, I do like Jackson's Hobbit trilogy, but I can never love it wholeheartedly.

#FidelityToTolkien

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Apr 25, 8:02pm)


Chen G.
Rohan

Apr 25, 8:03pm

Post #107 of 255 (1822 views)
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A second Fellowship [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd say Jackson wisely chose AGAINST flesing out ALL thirteen Dwarves. Even for three three-hour films that would have been too much. Instead, he focused on seven of them: Thorin, Balin, Dwalin, Kili, Fili and Bofur.

Its not accident that, other than Bofur, all of them arrive separately from the main group. Fili is certainly the least fleshed-out, but I disagree about Bofur and Dwalin, who are actually quite well-defined. Dwalin even gets a character arc which proves quite significant in bringing the story to completion. Heís a more refined personality than either Legolas or Gimli have in The Lord of the Rings.

I also think there are some inherent differences compared to The Fellowship. All the Dwarves know each other before the quest has begun and while this sometimes makes it hard to separate them, it allows them to operate as facets of the company, which is a character unto itself. The Fellowship isn't a character, but the company is: it has a personality, which is at once raucous and somber, uncouth but dignified, mercenary and yet human.

Would I have liked more individual moments with the Dwarves? Absolutely. But its hardly some major failing of the trilogy as a whole.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Apr 25, 8:12pm)


The Dude
Bree

Apr 25, 9:26pm

Post #108 of 255 (1801 views)
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Bad middle of the road approach. [In reply to] Can't Post

I would wager Jackson decision to essentially abandon most of the dwarves came relatively late in the production process, and probably involved some pressure from the studio (although I would be hesitant to blame them entirely). I also think Jackson knew there were "inherent differences" between Thorin's company and the Fellowship, but he clumsily tried to walk a fine line between fleshing out some of them (the core Fellowship 2.0) and totally ignoring others. This created a weird effect in the films, where one could safely dismiss most of the dwarves as mere extras. It is not so much that these characters are not fleshed out, they could have been called Dwarf #12 and Dwarf #13 too. And as a group they are mostly presented as a bunch of buffoonish yet invincible warriors who switch to a faux-heroic gaze whenever one of the actually important characters gives a monologue. Again 474 minutes of film, and instead of a deep portrayal of dwarven culture, we got seemingly never-ending scenes of weightless slapstick action.


As mentioned above, the only truly fleshed out dwarven characters are Thorin, KŪli, and Balin. There is much to criticize about how these three characters turned out in the final cut of the films, but I would not deny that they are full-fledged characters. Meanwhile, the only thing I can recall about FŪli is that he carried a lot of hidden knives, I guess. They originally tried to give a more prominent role to Bofur, but eventually Nesbitt's own daughters somewhat eclipsed him. I also do not see how you could call Dwalin a "more refined personality" than Legolas or Gimli, unless you merely assess this through so-called character arcs. Sure, he has his character moment in the third film, when he confronts Thorin, but prior to that I only remember him as "angry, rude warrior dwarf". Gimli's desire to visit Moria and his realization that his kin have all been killed is a far more interesting and haunting story, in my book.

(Of course the best path forward would have been to make one, or if the producers insisted two, films (1), focus on Bilbo entirely (2), truly flesh out only Thorin but only vis-a-vis his interactions with Bilbo (3), do the same on a much smaller scale with Balin and maybe FŪli and KŪli (4), and present the dwarves as a homogeneous group of ostensibly indistinguishable bearded faces (5), i.e., viewers would have learned much about their alien and barely decipherable culture and fairly little about the individual characters. But that would have a required a bold break with audience expectations...)


Solicitr
Gondor


Apr 26, 2:16am

Post #109 of 255 (1768 views)
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Y'know [In reply to] Can't Post

for all the countless hours of Star Trek that have been filmed, they only managed to flesh out maybe a half-dozen Klingon characters. Character development takes screentime, lots of it.


The Dude
Bree

Apr 26, 1:38pm

Post #110 of 255 (1700 views)
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I would not cite "Star Trek" as a positive example for anything... ^^ [In reply to] Can't Post

..but that is maybe a story for another hour (I would say though that the recent Star Trek shows/films have achieved the impossible by making that franchise even duller and sillier than what came before.).

Nevertheless, you are right "true character development" (emphasis on "development") takes a lot of time. But turning secondary characters into interesting sketches does not. "Ocean's Eleven" is by no means Soderbergh's best film, but he managed to do in 117 minutes what Jackson failed at in nearly 8 hours.

As I mentioned above, I would have preferred a shorter adaptation that solely focused on Bilbo and explored the dwarves through his eyes alone. Turning "The Hobbit" into a trilogy was always a bad idea, but the negative effects of that decision would have been mitigated to a small degree if the films had focused on Bilbo and the dwarves. Sure that is not "The Hobbit" but it is better than what we got: a disjointed story about Thorin, Bilbo, KŪli/Tauriel/Legolas, and Gandalf.

The thought process probably went something like this:

A,) We can't just make a trilogy about one hobbit...
B.) So we will focus on the dwarves too, especially Thorin...
C.) But wait a moment...in the end they all look alike...there is no romantic subplot here...no elves...let us instead focus on one or two dwarves, some new characters, oh, and wait, Bilbo.

I would not call "An Unexpected Journey" a good film, but it is clearly the best out of the three films, partly because it sticks closely to Option B.). Again, they should have gone with something along the lines of Option A.) from the start, but if push comes to shove, I would have preferred B.) over C.).


Noria
Gondor

Apr 26, 1:43pm

Post #111 of 255 (1696 views)
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Thirteen Dwarves [In reply to] Can't Post

Before filming of The Hobbit began, I remember reading the suggestion by at least one book fan that the number of Dwarves should be cut to just a handful because most of them are just background characters, nothing more than names and hoods, in the book.

I also recall Jackson saying that one of the things that he found off-putting when he contemplated filming The Hobbit was what to do with all those Dwarves. His solution was to keep the iconic thirteen intact, feature just a few of them and make the rest minor characters, each made visually distinctive and receiving a few moments in the sun now and again when required.

One of the reasons the Unexpected Party sequence is so long in the films is that we are given the opportunity to get to know the Dwarves somewhat as individuals, most of them as much as we need to for the purposes of the movies. Other than that, the role of the less prominent Dwarves is primarily is to make up the Company of Thorin Oakenshield and provide an occasional bit of colour. I agree with Chen that the Company itself is, in a sense, a character.

IMO the character who got short-changed in TH movies was Fili and I suspect that was due at least in part to the change of actor part way through the shoot.


Chen G.
Rohan

Apr 26, 5:21pm

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I think he was partially reacting to audience feedback [In reply to] Can't Post

This trilogy, like The Lord of the Rings, doesn't contain any major course-corrections or retcons a-la the various Star Wars trilogies, but it does contain little variations that seem based on audience feedback.

In the audio commentary to An Unexpected Journey, Jackson shows that he is aware of the complains of glacial pacing, and I think the faster pace of The Desolation of Smaug (which I love) is partially a reaction to this.

Likewise, that Tauriel doesn't have a lot of screentime in The Battle of the Five Armies also appears to me to be a result of fan-reaction, and its part of why her story feels so much less compelling in that film. Although again, its nothing too major since the essential beats of Tauriel's story are still in there (unlike, to return to Star Wars, Jar-Jar or Rose).

It seems that in the attempts to cut the other two films to be more lean (particularly for theaters) much of the individual moments of the anchillary Dwarves got left on the cutting room floor. In the Battle of the Five Armies some of those got re-inserted into the movie for the extended cut.

Its a missed opportunity, but not an outright flaw.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Apr 26, 5:27pm)


Noria
Gondor

Apr 27, 1:19pm

Post #113 of 255 (1571 views)
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Maybe [In reply to] Can't Post

DOS especially is certainly faster paced than AUJ, but one could argue that that the set-up of world, characters and situation had largely been done in the latter.

Still, it seems that Jackson can be pretty determined when he chooses. I enjoy his occasional apologies in the commentaries for both trilogies, when he basically says sorry some of you viewers donít like such and such but I (PJ) do so too bad.

Myself, I loved pretty much every second of the Unexpected Party. Bilbo, Gandalf, Thorin, Balin and Dwalin and the rest, Bag End Ė the Hobbit fan in me ate it up. Plus, as I said previously, the sequence establishes a lot about the characters individually, the Company itself and the quest.

On another note, and I know Iím in the minority here, I donít feel that Thorin is the main protagonist of the movies, or at least not the sole main protagonist, though his role is tremendously more substantial in the movies than it is in the book. I see Bilbo as equally important, and the relationship between Bilbo and Thorin as perhaps the most significant in the trilogy. Bilboís personal story is simpler Ė the rise of an everyman to hero Ė and less spectacular than Thorinís tragic fall and rise and fall. To some extent, I suspect that our perceptions of these matters depend upon where our eyes drawn, as in to look at Bilbo or at Thorin. I tend to look at Bilbo.

As far as Iím concerned, the EE of BOTFA, with its character moments, the funeral and such should have been the theatrical release and more goodies added to make a another EE version. As with RotK, I much prefer the EE.


VoronwŽ_the_Faithful
Valinor

Apr 27, 4:32pm

Post #114 of 255 (1545 views)
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As with ROTK [In reply to] Can't Post

There are sublime moments that greatly add to the film of BOTFA, but there are also ridiculous moments that greatly take away from it (e.g., the skulls in the paths of the dead in ROTK, and Alfrid's death in BOTFA, among other things).

Like you, I think the first hour of AUJ is almost perfect, and might be my favorite part of all six Peter Jackson M-e films.

And I don't disagree with you about Bilbo's role in the films (and Martin Freeman is extraordinary in the role), but I do think that the push the emphasis on Thorin too far.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


Solicitr
Gondor


Apr 27, 5:15pm

Post #115 of 255 (1541 views)
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Well, [In reply to] Can't Post

De gustibus non est disputandum, but to me the EE of RK is vastly inferior to the theatrical cut; unlike FR, which is improved by the restored material, almost everything cut from RK deserved to be cut and should have been left on the floor. The cascading skulls was perhaps the most egregious, but there is also the completely bollixed Voice of Saruman sequence (which also is in the wrong movie- that's not just a purist point, but a filmic one, since Saruman is the Big Bad of TT and his arc needed to be closed there) - and the horrible, terrible, very bad Gandalf-Witch King confrontation, just to name a few of the lowlights.


skyofcoffeebeans
Lorien

Apr 27, 6:38pm

Post #116 of 255 (1534 views)
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In retrospect [In reply to] Can't Post

They should have written the confrontation between Saruman, Grima, and the company to occur at Helmís Deep, something like the parlay between Aragorn and the orca somewhere in the books. I understand the structural decisions that led them to cut Sarumanís scene out of Film 2, as a physical journey to Isengard after the emotional climax of Helmís Deep and Osgiliath wouldnít make sense in the way they had built their version of TTT. And I also understand their reasoning for cutting the scene in Film 3 for the reasons they stated.

Of course, they could have just not have a warg attack on the plains of Rohan for the purposes of a fake-out death scene just so Aragorn could see the army coming their way, but cílest la vie.


Noria
Gondor

Apr 28, 12:33pm

Post #117 of 255 (1449 views)
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Hi VoronwĀ0ä5 [In reply to] Can't Post

I completely agree about the skulls and the avalanche. I dislike even more what I call Pirates of the Anduin, that cluster of silly and gratuitous cameos, but at least that is short. It°Įs as if at the end of the long and arduous process of filming and post-production for three films and three EEs, PJ lost perspective and went a bit nuts, more than usual I mean,

But the good of the RotK EE, like Eowyn and Merry, Eowyn and Faramir, the Houses of Healing and so on, even Saruman°Įs demise, far outweighs the bad to my mind. (Like it or not, at least his final scene completes Saruman°Įs story, one movie too late).

Similarly, most of the additions to the BotFA EE really enhance it fnd for me are worth the price of having to watch Alfrid being munched by an ogre.

Full disclosure: I love the chariot chase scene in BotFA, especially the °įjam bags°Ī. It°Įs silly, thrilling, impossible, gory, heroic and just fun.


Chen G.
Rohan

Apr 28, 2:25pm

Post #118 of 255 (1442 views)
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I love it [In reply to] Can't Post

The Return of the King is actually my all-time favourite movie. I love those ludicrous moments like the skull avalanche: its just fun.

There's not a moment in cinema history as numinous as Sam carrying Frodo on his shoulders. Emotionally, it confused the hell out of my sixteen year-old mind at the time!

The Battle of the Five Armies is a different case. While its clearly not as good a movie as The Desolation of Smaug, it IS a much more powerful viewing experience, because the climax is there. It works for me, and the chariot race is a nice, more-swashbuckling interlude in what's overall quite a grim movie.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Apr 28, 2:26pm)


lurtz2010
Rohan

Apr 29, 2:57am

Post #119 of 255 (1371 views)
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BOFA is the best hobbit movie imo [In reply to] Can't Post

It was the only one that didnít leave me confused about my feelings when I saw it the first time. I thought it was completely solid and the only thing that didnít really work for me was the Tauriel and KŪli love story. I never understood why so many think itís the weakest of the three and the EE makes it 10x better.

I also donít get the hate towards the skull avalanche in ROTK, I think itís visually well done and fits the paths of the dead sequence perfectly.


Paulo Gabriel
Lorien

Apr 29, 7:23am

Post #120 of 255 (1336 views)
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Not related to this post in particular... [In reply to] Can't Post

but what do you mean by ''JPB''? Jackson-Phillipa Boyens?

But don't people usually refer to the writing team as ''J/B/W'' (Jackson-Boyens-Walsh)?


Paulo Gabriel
Lorien

Apr 29, 7:25am

Post #121 of 255 (1338 views)
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Well... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
It was the only one that didnít leave me confused about my feelings when I saw it the first time. I thought it was completely solid and the only thing that didnít really work for me was the Tauriel and KŪli love story. I never understood why so many think itís the weakest of the three and the EE makes it 10x better.

I also donít get the hate towards the skull avalanche in ROTK, I think itís visually well done and fits the paths of the dead sequence perfectly.


all I can say is that I agree 100% with this.


Noria
Gondor

Apr 29, 1:53pm

Post #122 of 255 (1289 views)
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Paths of the Dead [In reply to] Can't Post

For me, the Paths of the Dead should be quiet and eerie and frightening, not funny. Itís that comedic slant of the scene, with Gimli tiptoeing and crunching his way over the bones, that bothers me, a choice PJ made with which I disagree. The avalanche, which admittedly looks great, is just the icing on that cake. Hey, I can be puristy too. Anyway, who piled up those thousands of skulls?

PJ apparently started out making extremely gory comedy-horror films and I get that itís that part of him on display in the Paths of the Dead. It just doesnít really work for me, but certainly doesnít significantly detract from my love of RotK.

Now that I think of it, RotK and BotFA are each my least favourite of their respective trilogies, not because I think they are bad movies but because Iím not as invested in big battles as I am in the rest of the story. I was middle-aged when RotK was released and Iím old now, so why would I be? But the overall story in both movies is so powerful, so satisfying, that the my battle quibble is less thanminor.

And when I say my least favourite, I mean something like 98% compared to my 99% love for the other four films. I love all six movies.


VoronwŽ_the_Faithful
Valinor

Apr 29, 3:25pm

Post #123 of 255 (1285 views)
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I mostly agree with you [In reply to] Can't Post

While I would say that I am someplace in between you and solicitr, I am much closer to your position than his.

(recin hcum era uoy dna.)

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


Solicitr
Gondor


Apr 29, 4:28pm

Post #124 of 255 (1275 views)
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and [In reply to] Can't Post

one wonders- apparently the Men of Dwimorberg were boneless? Skulls but no skeletons? Maybe they were cartilageneous like sharks?


Paulo Gabriel
Lorien

Apr 30, 11:35pm

Post #125 of 255 (1179 views)
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Sorry... [In reply to] Can't Post

I meant ''PBJ''.


Paulo Gabriel
Lorien

Apr 30, 11:38pm

Post #126 of 255 (1662 views)
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Weren't those... [In reply to] Can't Post

the Dead of Erech? Not Dwimorberg?


Solicitr
Gondor


May 1, 2:17am

Post #127 of 255 (1650 views)
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No, [In reply to] Can't Post

Dwimorberg, the Haunted Mountain under which the Paths of the Dead ran. (Dunharrow nestled in its lap on the northern side; Morthond or Blackroot emerged from the south side with the Paths) Erech was some hours' hard riding from the exit from the Paths, and it took the Grey Company until midnight to reach


Paulo Gabriel
Lorien

May 1, 5:27am

Post #128 of 255 (1621 views)
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Ok. [In reply to] Can't Post

Will have to check the book again to confirm this...


Paulo Gabriel
Lorien

May 1, 6:01am

Post #129 of 255 (1618 views)
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Or maybe not... [In reply to] Can't Post

because I would have to have access to the original in English, which I don't have a physical copy (nor a digital one)...


(This post was edited by Paulo Gabriel on May 1, 6:02am)


Noria
Gondor

May 1, 1:06pm

Post #130 of 255 (1568 views)
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LOL [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
one wonders- apparently the Men of Dwimorberg were boneless? Skulls but no skeletons? Maybe they were cartilageneous like sharks?


Maybe the Dead stored their skeletons elsewhere, in order to make this trap? Wink

Where was that actually done? Not the trap, the bone storage by type of bone. Was it the catacombs of Paris?

For 20 years I have kept this image out of my mind but now I am imagining the ghostly Dead trying to somehow grasp and drag their dry bones to the appropriate storage location in order to tidy up the place.


kzer_za
Lorien

May 1, 6:52pm

Post #131 of 255 (1548 views)
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BotFA is a strange movie [In reply to] Can't Post

Even more than most Jackson films, one of extremes. On one hand, it has some absolutely stupid and ridiculous stuff and over-relies on CG (though I'll cut PJ a little slack for the chaotic production difficulties on the latter).

On the other hand, scenes like Bilbo's acorn and Gandalf and Bilbo sitting together after the battle are among the finest scenes PJ has ever filmed. While Bilbo gets sidelined at times, he has great scenes and I do think his overall arc in the movie shows a good understanding of the heart of the story. Thorin's arc is done well too. When I watched the extended trilogy for the first time last year it stood out as my favorite with , which I know is an unpopular opinion. Yes it has major flaws (for me Legolas is the worst one), but none of them stick out quite as bad as the Smaug chase + Laketown attack in DoS or the dreadful middle third of AUJ. That might change if/when I go through it again though.

I will say I can enjoy most of the silly B5A EE stuff. The chariot chase and twirlie whirlies are absurd, but I can like that stuff for what it is in all its Mad Max insanity and it feels like less of a tonal clash than, say, the cocoa puff skullvalanche. Alfrid's death is the exception, that's just awful.

RotK EE is the weakest LotR EE for sure, some really dumb scenes and I'll note the beheading as just dreadfully un-Tolkien, and that's coming from someone mostly OK with movie Aragorn. However there are still some very nice additions like everything with Faramir (he really needs those scenes), so I can't just discard it even if the TE might be "objectively" better, at least for casual fans. Voice of Saruman is awkward in a lot of ways but Hill and Lee's dialog is fantastic and sells the scene for me.


(This post was edited by kzer_za on May 1, 6:55pm)


Solicitr
Gondor


May 1, 8:33pm

Post #132 of 255 (1530 views)
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because I would have to have access to the original in English, which I don't have a physical copy (nor a digital one)...



Quote
The Company came at last out of the ravine, as suddenly as it they had issued from a crack in a wall; and there lay the uplands of a great vale before them, and the stream beside them went down with a cold voice over many falls.

ĎWhere in Middle-earth are we?í said Gimli; and Elladan answered: ĎWe have descended from the uprising of the Morthond, the long chill river that flows at last to the sea that washes the walls of Dol Amroth. You will not need to ask hereafter how comes its name: Blackroot men call it.í

The Morthond Vale made a great bay that beat up against the sheer southern faces of the mountains. Its steep slopes were grass-grown; but all was grey in that hour, for the sun had gone, and far below lights twinkled in the homes of Men. The vale was rich and many folk dwelt there.

Then without turning Aragorn cried aloud so that all could hear: ĎFriends, forget your weariness! Ride now, ride! We must come to the Stone of Erech ere this day passes, and long still is the way.í So without looking back they rode the mountain-fields, until they came to a bridge over the growing torrent and found a road that went down into the land.

Lights went out in house and hamlet as they came, and doors were shut, and folk that were afield cried in terror and ran wild like hunted deer. Ever there rose the same cry in the gathering night: ĎThe King of the Dead! The King of the Dead is come upon us!í

Bells were ringing far below, and all men fled before the face of Aragorn; but the Grey Company in their haste rode like hunters, until their horses were stumbling with weariness. And thus, just ere midnight, and in a darkness as black as the caverns in the mountains, they came at last to the Hill of Erech.



Paulo Gabriel
Lorien

May 2, 2:24am

Post #133 of 255 (1501 views)
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What chapter is this in? // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Solicitr
Gondor


May 2, 3:23am

Post #134 of 255 (1499 views)
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Subject [In reply to] Can't Post

The Passing of the Grey Company


Noria
Gondor

May 2, 2:37pm

Post #135 of 255 (1431 views)
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Very glad to hear that you enjoyed TH movies to some extent at least. [In reply to] Can't Post

One of the things I find interesting about PJ is that he is the creator of both scenes like Bilbo and Gandalf after Thorinís demise and scenes like Alfidís death, and thatís how itís been since FotR.

Like you, I have always disliked the beheading of the Mouth of Sauron in RotK, but Iíve never been sure whether PJ simply didnít grasp the concept of honour that Aragorn embodies or if his love of the visual image trumped it. PJ definitely loves his visual images, even ďimpossibleĒ ones, as in flambť Denethor or Beorn dropping from the eagle. Gandalf knocking out Denethor is similar. It may be emotionally satisfying to see those annoying characters get their comeuppance but in IMO both the MoS and the latter Denethor scenes are out of character and un-Tolkien.

It seems unlikely to me that the use of CGI in The Hobbit movies had much to do with the chaotic start to production. I remember PJ saying (in a Hobbit commentary?) that if he had had the ability to have digital Orcs in LotR, they would have been digital because people-in-suits Orcs were too human-like and constraining. IIRC, Weta started making models for TH and material was shot with practical Orcs but the production changed course. PJ started out as a special effects guy and CGI is just another tool to him, one that enables him to create the visuals and tell the story he wants to tell. If ever he makes another big fantasy movie, I expect that he will utilize whatever new special effects technology is available then.

I too have always thought that the movies did a good job with Bilboís own story, the journey of an everyman from a slightly ridiculous ďgrocerĒ to a true hero. In these movies, that tale is one strand in the tapestry that includes others woven from the stories of Thorin, Gandalf, Thranduil and the others. Even so, Bilbo is often present in scenes that arenít all about him and the camera always goes back to Bilbo for reactions even when he simply the same observer he was in the book.

The tone of TH novel makes a pretty abrupt turn from comedic or nearly so to increasingly dark and tragic once the Dwarves reach Erebor. The movies gradually darken from the light and wild tone of AUJ to the tragedy of BotFA, but that wildness, that berserker quality, never goes away. The marriage of tones is sometimes uneasy but IMO works well enough.

I do think that the TEs of all six movies are leaner and tighter and in most of the EEs there is some material which I wish had been omitted. But for me the good far, far outweighs the bad and the EEs are my preferred versions.


Solicitr
Gondor


May 2, 4:53pm

Post #136 of 255 (1414 views)
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Jackson [In reply to] Can't Post

has unquestionable virtues as a director. Sadly, he cannot seem to control his inner little boy, the one that thinks fart jokes are funny and spinning fat-dwarf-axe-barrels are neato-keen. Nor, more damagingly, can he resist a temptation to make everything "bigger" (e.g. the infamous Witch-king's flail)- his favorite phrase in the commentaries is "ratchet up the tension," which leads to Elves at Helm's Deep, or yield to a sort of rule of cool thinking responsible for everything from the Mouth beheading to the pointless King of the Dead swordfight to the preposterous Teetering Staircase. Why, after Gollum falls into the fire with the Ring, did he find it necessary to tack on the hoariest of all film cliches, a literal cliffhanger?

If only he had some self-control! The biggest reason the Hobbit films were on the whole failures was because there was nobody or nothing to rein in his self-indulgence, especially when half the available screentime was effectively a blank canvas he could fill with stuff of his own invention- like bunny sleds. LR was better because for most of it he stuck to Tolkien, and the best parts of that trilogy, beyond any doubt in my view, are the scenes he filmed effectively as written, and where he used actual Tolkien dialogue the entire plane of the film was temporarily raised to a higher level.


(This post was edited by Solicitr on May 2, 4:57pm)


Chen G.
Rohan

May 2, 6:09pm

Post #137 of 255 (1402 views)
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As opposed to...? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
The biggest reason the Hobbit films were on the whole failures was because there was nobody or nothing to rein in his self-indulgence.


As opposed to The Lord of the Rings when...who exactly was in a position to rein him in?

I loathe this sort of narrative, whereby the films were only good in spite of the filmmaker. Its been said of George Lucas and its now sometimes being applied to Pete Jackson, and I don't think its true in the slightest. There's certainly nothing beyond circumstancial proof to back it up. Utter nonesense.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on May 2, 6:11pm)


skyofcoffeebeans
Lorien

May 2, 7:42pm

Post #138 of 255 (1382 views)
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Itís completely true in Jacksonís case [In reply to] Can't Post

I donít really like the narrative either (nor how you frame it: I donít think LOTR succeeded in spite of Jackson), but the production drama behind LOTR and the Hobbit are not remotely comparable. In the case of LOTR, Jackson was being given money he had never had before to film three movies at once, an unheard of venture. There was every incentive for him to rein in his own ideas because he didnít yet wield the power to exert his own indulgences on a film of this scale. By King Kong, he had won God knows how many Oscars, and the differences between FOTR and King Kong couldnít be more striking. The evidence is just on the screen.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


May 2, 7:59pm

Post #139 of 255 (1376 views)
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LotR Films vs. TH Trilogy [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
[As opposed to The Lord of the Rings when...who exactly was in a position to rein him in?

I loathe this sort of narrative, whereby the films were only good in spite of the filmmaker. Its been said of George Lucas and its now sometimes being applied to Pete Jackson, and I don't think its true in the slightest. There's certainly nothing beyond circumstancial proof to back it up. Utter nonesense.


The difference is that with The Lord of the Rings Jackson was adapting a work of much greater scale than that of The Hobbit and had less room for self-indulgence. The latter was a shorter work that needed to be expanded into at least two films to give the narrative room to breathe. Three movies were arguably one too many and allowed Peter plenty of space for his excesses.

#FidelityToTolkien


Chen G.
Rohan

May 2, 9:46pm

Post #140 of 255 (1358 views)
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It is not [In reply to] Can't Post

When I watch The Lord of the Rings I see 100% uninhibited Peter Jackson, just like when I watch The Hobbit. If anything, over time certain aspects of Jackson's technique like the use of slow-motion, fake-killing characters to create tension, etcetra.

The most self-indulgent Peter Jackson movie is still King Kong.


Solicitr
Gondor


May 2, 10:08pm

Post #141 of 255 (1348 views)
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I wouldn't [In reply to] Can't Post

say that the LR films succeeded in spite of Jackson. They succeeded because of Good Jackson, a director with considerable talents, who was either able or compelled to keep Bad Jackson on a leash much of the time.

In general Gollum-PJ wins out over Smeagol-PJ where PJ is given or seizes the opportunity to write his own material (not always- the Giant Flail was purely directorial hubris, as was Nuclear Galadriel). "Aragorn goes over a cliff, nearly drowns and is rescued by Brego the Wonder Horse" isn't terrible just because it deviates from Tolkien's book, but because it's simply terrible in its own right; and this is the sort of screenplay device Jackson is prone to when not constrained.

Think over every cringeworthy, throw-stuff-at-the-screen moment in all six films, and I suspect you'll find a near 100% correlation with material Jackson invented.


The Dude
Bree

May 2, 11:55pm

Post #142 of 255 (1329 views)
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In my opinion, it was their decision to make three films... [In reply to] Can't Post

...which cannot be blamed on Jackson alone (though he certainly played a major part in this decision). If there had been two films, I doubt they would have reached anywhere near the same quality as LotR, but we might have gotten passable films instead of failures.

Overall, the most fundamental error of the Hobbit films is that, from the start, the producers wanted to turn Tolkien's lovely and episodic tale about a Hobbit into a simulacrum of the original trilogy, a metaphysical battle between good and evil, full of grand battles, unique cultures, and rich history. Such a project was doomed to fail, it ran counter to the very nature of the source material, and it would have failed even with another director. If del Toro had directed the films, I would venture we would have gotten an imitation of LotR as well, although it might have included more interesting designs than the final product.*

Of course, there are other reasons which could be listed here as well. The films probably would have been better if Jackson had been given more time, i.e., if he had not taken over the production in summer of 2010. Some, but hardly all, of the terrible writing decisions can be blamed on the speed of the production. After all, there were plenty of positive last-minute changes in the original trilogy (Arwen in Helm's Deep, Sauron in the Battle of the Black Gate).

It is also often difficult to say in what instances the blame lies with Jackson, Boyens, Walsh, all three, or the producers. While I would agree with you Solicitr, that the LotR films tend to excel when they stick to Tolkien, there are indeed a handful of original film scenes which prove otherwise, e.g., the funeral of Thťodred, Boromir's training with the hobbits, Arwen's departure. I cannot recall anything of the same level in the Hobbit trilogy.

One thing that can be squarely blamed on Jackson is that the Hobbit films barely contain any good action scenes. This might seem superficial at first, but even if one ignores all other criticisms, the Hobbit films are just really lackluster when it comes to building up tension, choreography, pacing (!!!), setting up the stakes, etc. And this matters, aplenty, in a cinematic project like the Hobbit. Even the harshest critics of Jackson probably would admit that in LotR he often had a spectacularly good eye for these things. There is an overwhelming beauty and clarity of vision in certain action scenes, unmatched in virtually all of contemporary mainstream action cinema. In the Hobbit films, meanwhile, there are probably, and I am not exaggerating, 10-15 seconds in total that anywhere come close to this. An unbearable lightness and hackneyed playfulness under-girds most of the "Hobbit" action scenes. No stakes exist - unless the screenwriters abruptly force them upon the viewers. Nearly everything is closer to Legolas' slaying of the Oliphaunt than the Battle of Helm's Deep or the Bridge of Khazad-dŻm.

Just compare the stair-case scene in FotR with the Company's escape of Goblin-town in AUJ:

.) The first scene has tension; a dwarven choir in the background; an approaching but yet unseen threat with the Balrog; a clear sense of space,...
.) The second scene has no weight whatsoever; it seems more like a short vignette-intro to the absurd fighting styles of each dwarf; the violence is comical at best; at no point in time is one concerned for the characters.

Jackson probably thought the "child-friendly" source material would warrant such a whimsy approach; but the "Hobbit" is a fairy-story, partly intended for "intelligent children", and not a Disney theme park ride/pulpy Indiana Jones homage.


* While he has his supporters, I have never seen a film by Guillermo del Toro that was not pulpy or severely overrated.


Solicitr
Gondor


May 3, 12:32am

Post #143 of 255 (1320 views)
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Right on, Dude [In reply to] Can't Post

I would also suggest as a straightforward and direct comparison the FR prologue, with the battle of Orodruin laid out with clarity and drama, and the AUJ prologue, Azanulbizar, which was a shapeless mess of teeming, weightless CGI bodies which conveyed to the viewer pretty much nothing except "battle."


Paulo Gabriel
Lorien

May 6, 3:48am

Post #144 of 255 (1149 views)
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So... [In reply to] Can't Post

it looks to me like they have reached Erech, not Dwimorberg, as you claimed before.


(This post was edited by Paulo Gabriel on May 6, 3:49am)


Solicitr
Gondor


May 6, 4:04pm

Post #145 of 255 (1081 views)
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In Reply To
it looks to me like they have reached Erech, not Dwimorberg, as you claimed before.


The Grey Company arrived at Erech after several hours hard riding, with the Dead following; but the Dead Men didn't "live" there; they haunted the tunnels under the mountain the Rohirrim called the Dwimorberg, whose north entrance was at Dunharrow and whose south entrance was the ravine where Morthond arose. This was where they had actually lived, before Isildur; and the closed door before which Baldor's bones lay was the entrance to their temple.


Quote
At last the kingís company came to a sharp brink, and the climbing road passed into a cutting between walls of rock, and so went up a short slope and out on to a wide upland. The Firienfeld men called it, a green mountain-field of grass and heath, high above the deep-delved courses of the Snowbourn, laid upon the lap of the great mountains behind: the Starkhorn southwards, and northwards the saw-toothed mass of Irensaga, between which there faced the riders, the grim black wall of the Dwimorberg, the Haunted Mountain rising out of steep slopes of sombre pines. Dividing the upland into two there marched a double line of unshaped standing stones that dwindled into the dusk and vanished in the trees. Those who dared to follow that road came soon to the black Dimholt under Dwimorberg, and the menace of the pillar of stone, and the yawning shadow of the forbidden door.

Such was the dark Dunharrow, the work of long-forgotten men. Their name was lost and no song or legend remembered it. For what purpose they had made this place, as a town or secret temple or a tomb of kings, none could say. Here they laboured in the Dark Years, before ever a ship came to the western shores, or Gondor of the Dķnedain was built; and now they had vanished, and only the old Pķkel-men were left, still sitting at the turnings of the road.

Merry stared at the lines of marching stones: they were worn and black; some were leaning, some were fallen, some cracked or broken; they looked like rows of old and hungry teeth. He wondered what they could be, and he hoped that the king was not going to follow them into the darkness beyond



(This post was edited by Solicitr on May 6, 4:15pm)


Solicitr
Gondor


May 6, 4:21pm

Post #146 of 255 (1076 views)
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Quote
Merry asked the question that was tormenting him.

ĎTwice now, lord, I have heard of the Paths of the Dead,í he said. ĎWhat are they? And where has Strider, I mean the Lord Aragorn where has he gone?í

The king sighed, but no one answered, until at last …omer spoke. ĎWe do not know, and our hearts are heavy,í he said. ĎBut as for the Paths of the Dead, you have yourself walked on their first steps. Nay. I speak no words of ill omen! The road that we have climbed is the approach to the Door, yonder in the Dimholt. But what lies beyond no man knows.í

ĎNo man knows,í said Thťoden: Ďyet ancient legend, now seldom spoken, has somewhat to report. If these old tales speak true that have come down from father to son in the House of Eorl, then the Door under Dwimorberg leads to a secret way that goes beneath the mountain to some forgotten end. But none have ever ventured in to search its secrets, since Baldor, son of Brego, passed the Door and was never seen among men again. A rash vow he spoke, as he drained the horn at that feast which Brego made to hallow new-built Meduseld, and he came never to the high seat of which he was the heir.

ĎFolk say that Dead Men out of the Dark Years guard the way and will suffer no living man to come to their hidden halls; but at whiles they may themselves be seen passing out of the door like shadows and down the stony road. Then the people of Harrowdale shut fast their doors and shroud their windows and are afraid. But the Dead come seldom forth and only at times of great unquiet and coming death.í



(This post was edited by Solicitr on May 6, 4:22pm)


Solicitr
Gondor


May 6, 4:25pm

Post #147 of 255 (1072 views)
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Paulo, you're giving me carpal tunnel! [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Nonetheless he drew near, and saw Aragorn kneeling, while Elladan held aloft both torches. Before him were the bones of a mighty man. He had been clad in mail, and still his harness lay there whole; for the cavernís air was as dry as dust, and his hauberk was gilded. His belt was of gold and garnets, and rich with gold was the helm upon his bony head face downward on the floor. He had fallen near the far wall of the cave, as now could be seen, and before him stood a stony door closed fast: his finger-bones were still clawing at the cracks. A notched and broken sword lay by him, as if he had hewn at the rock in his last despair.

Aragorn did not touch him, but after gazing silently for a while he rose and sighed. ĎHither shall the flowers of simbelmynŽ come never unto worldís end,í he murmured. ĎNine mounds and seven there are now green with grass, and through all the long years he has lain at the door that he could not unlock. Whither does it lead? Why would he pass? None shall ever know!

ĎFor that is not my errand!í he cried, turning back and speaking to the whispering darkness behind. ĎKeep your hoards and your secrets hidden in the Accursed Years! Speed only we ask. Let us pass, and then come! I summon you to the Stone of Erech!í

There was no answer, unless it were an utter silence more dreadful than the whispers before; and then a chill blast came in which the torches flickered and went out, and could not be rekindled. Of the time that followed, one hour or many, Gimli remembered little. The others pressed on, but he was ever hindmost, pursued by a groping horror that seemed always just about to seize him; and a rumour came after him like the shadow-sound of many feet. He stumbled on until he was crawling like a beast on the ground and felt that he could endure no more: he must either find an ending and escape or run back in madness to meet the following fear.

Suddenly he heard the tinkle of water, a sound hard and clear as a stone falling into a dream of dark shadow. Light grew, and lo! the company passed through another gateway, high-arched and broad, and a rill ran out beside them; and beyond, going steeply down, was a road between sheer cliffs, knife-edged against the sky far above. So deep and narrow was that chasm that the sky was dark, and in it small stars glinted. Yet as Gimli after learned it was still two hours ere sunset of the day on which they had set out from Dunharrow; though for all that he could then tell it might have been twilight in some later year, or in some other world.

The Company now mounted again, and Gimli returned to Legolas. They rode in file, and evening came on and a deep blue dusk; and still fear pursued them. Legolas turning to speak to Gimli looked back and the Dwarf saw before his face the glitter in the Elfís bright eyes. Behind them rode Elladan, last of the Company, but not the last of those that took the downward road.

ĎThe Dead are following,í said Legolas. ĎI see shapes of Men and of horses, and pale banners like shreds of cloud, and spears like winter-thickets on a misty night. The Dead are following.í

ĎYes, the Dead ride behind. They have been summoned,í said Elladan.



Noria
Gondor

May 7, 12:03am

Post #148 of 255 (1043 views)
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The Hobbit films are not failures in everybodyís eyes, [In reply to] Can't Post

certainly not in mine. IMO they are not as great as the LotR trilogy, in part because LotR is simply the greater story, but I am among the millions who like TH movies.

Obviously these movies are not a straightforward adaptation of the childrenís novel, though Bilboís story and the events in which he participates and/or witnesses, are the core of the films.

TH movies are more than that. Rather than being set in the nebulous fairy-tale like world of the novel, they were placed firmly in the Middle-earth of The Lord of the Rings, with all its breadth and depth, itís geopolitical, historical and social complexity. The story and the characters were adapted and enlarged to create a broader and more complex saga.

Though I disliked the Rankin Bass cartoon version, I have little doubt that a high quality, simpler and more direct version of TH than PJ gave us, focusing for the most part on Bilboís story, was achievable. But it was never going to be allowed to happen, not after the LotR films.

Whether or not it was a mistake to try to turn TH movies into a simulacrum of their predecessors, something of that ilk was inevitable because LotR was too successful. Thatís what happens in the movie business. That was the hand that was dealt to Jackson, Walsh, Boyens and de Toro - to replicate the success of LotR via The Hobbit and adapt the novel accordingly. Iím not saying that they didnít embrace the concept of a "big" Hobbit and run with it, sometimes in surprising directions.

TH movie trilogy, though its core is the original tale, paired Bilboís story with a more fully developed version of Thorinís tragic fall, using the latter to also further Bilboís own development. More detailed subplots for Thranduil, Bard, and Gandalf and the White Council came together with the main stories in the culmination that is BotFA.

As for the tone, instead of trying to recreate the gravitas and historical feeling of LotR, Jackson opted for a lighter, more fantastical, semi-comedic quality that gradually darkens through the movies to the tragic conclusion, but never entirely goes away. The novel is pretty funny and perhaps he felt a lighter tone suited it better. The same applies to the action sequences, which are meant to be less weighty in the earlier movies, though I do agree that the Goblin tunnel chase feels too light. LOL, the Moria stairs scene, though well done, still makes me roll my eyes at its implausibility.

The Hobbit movies do contain great, sometimes subtle and sometimes beautiful original scenes. Hereís just a few off the top of my head:

Bilbo and Elrond at Rivendell
A Feast of Starlight
Bilbo, Thorin and the acorn
The oft mentioned Bilbo and Gandalf grieving scene

As far as I am aware, the decision to go from two to three movies was Jackson's and his team's.


The Dude
Bree

May 7, 2:49pm

Post #149 of 255 (961 views)
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It goes without saying that they were not failures in everybody's eyes... [In reply to] Can't Post

...and I guess everyone is entitled to his opinion. But when you produce a poor man's imitation of a massive pop cultural phenomenon some people are bound to like it. After all, that is Disney's entire shtick: Every quarter they roll out those nostalgia theme park rides disguised as movies and people, for the most part, eat it up.

What is interesting about the "Hobbit" films is that they had no pop-cultural impact whatsoever. I am not saying this matters a lot; on a broader scale this applies to nearly all of Hollywood's current output. I am pretty sure all individual Marvel films will fade out of the public consciousness in the next twenty years. But the half-life period of the Hobbit films was striking: They were released, general audiences watched them, and immediatly forgot about them. When the third film came out, someone on Twitter compared them to the TV series Navy CIS - equally huge audiences but hardly anyone (apart from original LotR fans) truly loved or hated them - just bland nothingsness.

I am also not so certain about your argument that, after the success of the LotR films, "a simpler and more direct version of TH" would have never happened. Would there always have been homages to the original trilogy? Sure. Would the movies, in some form or another, aped the cinematography, character design, or music of LotR? Yes. But that is where the certainties end. Jackson et al. could have argued for two instead of three films; to please the producers, they could have made a film about The Hobbit and a bridge film - then at least we might have gotten one true-to-the-source film and could have ignored the other one.

Yes, Jackson opted for a "lighter tone" in the Hobbit films; but for him, a "lighter tone" entails things like lots of slapstick humor; (bad) sexually suggestive jokes; fart jokes; facetious, comic-book-like character designs, and some actions scenes with the same gravitas as 1980s Super Mario games. Jackson and his co-writers apparently never read "The Hobbit" properly and therefore did not understand that Tolkien's idea of a lighter tone was somewhat more intelligent than theirs. All of that would be bad in itself, but they simultaneously tried to turn The Hobbit into an imitation of LotR (read: grand speeches about the world, good and evil, etc.), which lead to a weird tone-deaf mix of whimsy and faux-gravitas, occasionally coming close to self-parody.

I would not call any one the four scenes which you mentioned particularly good cinema. Yes, for the most part, they are far better than the noise that surrounds them but that's about it. Bilbo's scene with Gandalf after the Battle of the Five Armies has a nice touch (if one ignores the obvious green-screen effect in the background) but I think the main reason why people like it is because after two hours of interminable and incoherent nonsense they finally got a quiet scene between two characters where the actors were allowed to breath, and well, act.

Addendum: While the stair-case scene is not the most realistic action scene in the original trilogy, I find it implausible how one can roll one's eyes "at its implausibility" and voluntarily watch The Hobbit films at the same time. By that logic, the latter could induce severe ophthalmological issues. Relatively speaking and compared to what happens in Goblin-town - or Azog's ambush near the end of AUJ, the Mirkwood spiders, the barrel ride, the fight between the dwarves and Smaug, the entirety of the Battle of the Five Srmies, you name it - the stair-case scene is a textbook example of architectural and physical realism.



(This post was edited by The Dude on May 7, 2:49pm)


Paulo Gabriel
Lorien

May 10, 4:36am

Post #150 of 255 (820 views)
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Some counterpoints. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
What is interesting about the "Hobbit" films is that they had no pop-cultural impact whatsoever. I am not saying this matters a lot; on a broader scale this applies to nearly all of Hollywood's current output. I am pretty sure all individual Marvel films will fade out of the public consciousness in the next twenty years. But the half-life period of the Hobbit films was striking: They were released, general audiences watched them, and immediatly forgot about them. When the third film came out, someone on Twitter compared them to the TV series Navy CIS - equally huge audiences but hardly anyone (apart from original LotR fans) truly loved or hated them - just bland nothingsness.


It does not ''matters little''; it matters nothing. The sucess a movie makes (especially among mass audicences) is not indicative of it's merits or faults.


In Reply To
I would not call any one the four scenes which you mentioned particularly good cinema. Yes, for the most part, they are far better than the noise that surrounds them but that's about it. Bilbo's scene with Gandalf after the Battle of the Five Armies has a nice touch (if one ignores the obvious green-screen effect in the background) but I think the main reason why people like it is because after two hours of interminable and incoherent nonsense they finally got a quiet scene between two characters where the actors were allowed to breath, and well, act.


The exact same could be said of the 'so-beloved' LOTR trilogy:

In regards to ''The Two Towers'': ''That means (unless JRRT was totally clueless as a storyteller and critic -- and the fact that the books are and have been bestsellers for decades and his analysis of the problematic nature of SFX in "On Fairy Stories" both spot on and years ahead of his time leads me to think otherwise) that all that expenditure of time and storyspace and money on doing the battle scene, to the expense of everything else, was just a waste on Jackson's part. Instead of LOTR, we got Peter Jackson playing soldiers with more toys and bigger than anyone else has, indulging his well-known hobby on screen. I'd rather have had a few more minutes of Sam introspecting over the fallen invader at Ithilien, or the intrigue between the rival enemy factions during the pursuit through Rohan, or some of the poetry which J/B/W so publicly despise (which says again a lot about them) and a little more of the richness of Middle-earth, in place of all the incoherent wargaming and reveling in the spectacle of ugliness there. -- Some of the internal history and mythic resonance which makes Middle-earth more than just another Generic Fantasyland. In short, I'd like some TTT, please''.


In Reply To
Addendum: While the stair-case scene is not the most realistic action scene in the original trilogy, I find it implausible how one can roll one's eyes "at its implausibility" and voluntarily watch The Hobbit films at the same time. By that logic, the latter could induce severe ophthalmological issues. Relatively speaking and compared to what happens in Goblin-town - or Azog's ambush near the end of AUJ, the Mirkwood spiders, the barrel ride, the fight between the dwarves and Smaug, the entirety of the Battle of the Five Srmies, you name it - the stair-case scene is a textbook example of architectural and physical realism.


And that's EXACTLY why those who ''hate'' The Hobbit trilogy should also hate the LOTR movies as well. You know, for consistency sake. If you hate Hobbit because of physical irrealism, then you hate LOTR for the same reason -- both were implusible (physically speaking).


(This post was edited by Paulo Gabriel on May 10, 4:43am)


Paulo Gabriel
Lorien

May 10, 4:51am

Post #151 of 255 (1394 views)
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LOTR was also full of CGI and physical irrealism. [In reply to] Can't Post

Regarding ''The Return of the King'': ''For what would really have happened to Filmamir if he had been brought home in the implausible fashion of the movie, and why it's one of the more miraculous events in a whole three hours of improbables, read:
http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/11/20/1069027263353.html?from=storyrhs
and
http://www.neosoft.com/~iaep/pages/protected/jissues/j1805/j1805p289.html
But they had to excise Imrahil and all the other "non-essential" characters of the book, in order to give Viggo and CGI more screentime, so they had to get him home somehow, I guess.''

http://web.archive.org/web/20090614045920/http://oddlots.digitalspace.net/arthedain/promises/promises_kept.html


(This post was edited by Paulo Gabriel on May 10, 4:52am)


Paulo Gabriel
Lorien

May 10, 5:12am

Post #152 of 255 (1391 views)
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So, bottom line, is it wrong... [In reply to] Can't Post

to call them ''The Dead Men of Erech'', like Joan Barger does?

Also, did you really write down manually all those book passages? Wink


Chen G.
Rohan

May 10, 11:08am

Post #153 of 255 (1357 views)
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True [In reply to] Can't Post

Even the most grounded action films occasionally slip into the realm of physical implausibility. In Nolan's The Dark Knight, Bruce really, REALLY shouldn't have survived gliding down unto the roof of a car, which is to say nothing of Rachel. In Apocalypto, Jaguar Paw really shouldn't be capable of sprinting as he does after taking an arrow to the ribs.

Its fine because it happens relativelly infrequently over the course of the films.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on May 10, 11:08am)


Solicitr
Gondor


May 10, 11:17am

Post #154 of 255 (1356 views)
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Subject [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been transcribing a lot of Tolkien lately. Unsure


Solicitr
Gondor


May 10, 12:59pm

Post #155 of 255 (1347 views)
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Um, [In reply to] Can't Post

The Dark Knight is "grounded?" Now, I'm as much a Nolan fan as the next guy, but "realism" is not exactly his hallmark.


Solicitr
Gondor


May 10, 1:06pm

Post #156 of 255 (1344 views)
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Subject [In reply to] Can't Post

Isn't that a bit all-or-nothing, Paulo? I mean, it's valid for example to point out that Dog Food A contains 50% filler but Dog Food B only contains 25%. Across equivalent runtimes, Jackson's LR contains far fewer teetering staircases than TH does.

I do think that that wasn't precisely the Dude's point when he brought it up, though: in comparing two silly and physics-defying scenes he was observing that the Teetering Stair was pulled off with more aplomb and at least the feel of (spurious) realism, the thing had mass and inertia, as opposed to Goblin-Town, which had all the physical heft of a Roadrunner cartoon.


Chen G.
Rohan

May 10, 11:04pm

Post #157 of 255 (1289 views)
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You really don't like things, do you? [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Solicitr
Gondor


May 11, 12:14am

Post #158 of 255 (1286 views)
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Well, [In reply to] Can't Post

my idol is H L Mencken.

But I did point out that I AM a Nolan fan. I like just about every picture he's done. But his ouvre leans towards 'magical realism,' not gritty Mean Streets capital-R Realism.


(This post was edited by Solicitr on May 11, 12:16am)


VoronwŽ_the_Faithful
Valinor

May 11, 4:44am

Post #159 of 255 (1250 views)
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That explains a lot // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


The Dude
Bree

May 11, 2:58pm

Post #160 of 255 (1193 views)
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False dichotomies and the scale of plausability. [In reply to] Can't Post

Solicitr already summed up what I am about to say:

It is a little bit silly to argue that there exists a clear-cut dichotomy between realistic and unrealistic films, and therefore, if a film contains implausible scenes it must belong to the latter category and that's the end of the discussion. This sort of reminds me of the reductio ad absurdum that LotR is a story about elves and giant eagles and, as such, one cannot complain about any implausible or historically-absurd scenes in the films...because it is just fantasy, right?

There is, of course, in every film a sliding scale of plausibility. And the same goes for real life. If I were to tell you three implausible stories - I recently had a fist-fight with Mike Tyson (1), the Queen of England (2), and I grew wings and flew to the moon (3) - would you consider them all implausible in the same way, or would you not say that one of them is even more implausible that the others?

That is part of the reason why I brought up the staircairs scene in FotR: Is it implausible that a staircase would collapse and descend like that? Sure. But how on earth is that scene as implausible as Thorin's company surfing down into a chasm, at least 600 feet deep, on a wooden framework?

Addendum: I would not say that I hate the Hobbit films. If I were to use an adjective to describe my feelings it would be indifferent. I sometimes wonder what is worse...


Noria
Gondor

May 12, 1:48pm

Post #161 of 255 (1151 views)
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Five days later [In reply to] Can't Post

I donít disagree that The Hobbit movies had nothing of the cultural and cinematic impact of the LotR trilogy. How could they? Why should they? That ground was already broken and by the time TH films were made, LotR was a thing of the past, a part of cinematic history. To the non-Tolkien reading public, Tolkien and Middle-earth were no longer new, exciting and trendy. I doubt that it was ever really going to matter what PJ made of The Hobbit as far as the media were concerned. He was no longer the unknown director, the wunderkind from New Zealand and there was much talk of him going back to the same well and so on. So TH trilogy turned out to be a set of very commercially successful movies that a lot of people enjoyed and there is nothing wrong with that.

That is not to say that another lot of people were not genuinely disappointed with TH movies, whether it was because they wanted to see something more like TH book , more like the LotR trilogy or something else.

As for the possibility of a smaller and more literal adaptation of TH, we will have to agree to disagree. I have always been quite convinced that, given the immense popularity of LotR and the huge amount of money that it made, it only makes sense that Warner Brothers must have wanted to duplicate that success. Thatís what Hollywood does. The studio put up a ton of money to get these movies made and needed to recoup that and make a profit. The original concept of a bridge film and a single Hobbit movie had been replaced by a plan for two Hobbit movies before del Toro left the project, but I donít know why or what that Hobbit movie would have been like.

Also, anyone who had seen LotR must have realized that when PJ returned to Middle-earth there would surely be over-the-top action sequences, juvenile humour, extensive use of special effects, characters and scenes devised by the writers, occasionally awkward dialogue and so on. Just like there was in LotR. So no surprises there.

As with LotR, in addition to all the attributes that I love, there are things about TH movies that I donít care for, choices made by the film makers with which I disagree. But to be honest, some of the changes to LotR bothered me more than the revamped Hobbit. Maybe you found the TH movies interminable and full of noise, but I did not.

But overall, I love the prequels in part because while they are of the same family as LotR, they are their own movies with their own distinct tone. In them, the little book (which is great in itself) became a marvellous and marvel-filled journey back into Middle-earth. While I probably would have enjoyed it, I canít regret that little movie version of TH that was never to be.


FrogmortonJustice65
Lorien


May 12, 6:38pm

Post #162 of 255 (1136 views)
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I have made peace with the Hobbit films. [In reply to] Can't Post

It's true they didn't have the cultural impact of the LOTR films - but the LOTR films were a once in a generation phenom akin to Star Wars 1977 in terms of the cultural impact, so that was to be expected. Although they lack cultural impact, I don't think they are akin to something like the Marvel films which I think will also prove to have a short shelf-life. There is nothing as sublime as Freeman/Serkis' Riddles in the Dark performance, or the Lonely Mountain song, or Armitage's performance in BOTFA in those films. This is my bias as a Tolkien fan, but as flawed as PJ's Hobbit films are, I would rather watch them than 95% of their peers in the fantasy/action/science fiction genre.

There are aspects of TH trilogy that frustrate me, there are aspects I love. It's not as good as PJ's LOTR trilogy, but that comparison was always going to set up TH trilogy to fail. TH film trilogy is also inferior to Tolkien's original work, but it's also a separate experience that takes nothing away from what I love about the book. I anticipate myself rewatching TH much less than LOTR over the years, but, on the whole I'm glad they exist and that we were given an opportunity to revisit Middle Earth on film, even if it should have been through 2 films instead of 3. I hope Amazon takes notes on what worked and what didn't with PJ's TH trilogy.


Chen G.
Rohan

May 12, 7:11pm

Post #163 of 255 (1131 views)
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This [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I don't think they are akin to something like the Marvel films which I think will also prove to have a short shelf-life. There is nothing as sublime as Freeman/Serkis' Riddles in the Dark performance, or the Lonely Mountain song, or Armitage's performance in BOTFA in those films.


This.

I like MCU films only insofar as they're outright comedies. When they're not, the lighthearted, sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek tone isn't something I appreciate in movies.

The Middle Earth films are, if nothing else, earnst.


Solicitr
Gondor


May 12, 7:59pm

Post #164 of 255 (1125 views)
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Which [In reply to] Can't Post

is why the best of them all isn't even MCU: Deadpool


VoronwŽ_the_Faithful
Valinor

May 13, 3:44am

Post #165 of 255 (1076 views)
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Black Panther was a cultural phenomenom in a different way [In reply to] Can't Post

Otherwise I agree with you about the Marvel films.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


Noria
Gondor

May 13, 2:11pm

Post #166 of 255 (1019 views)
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Frogmorton, I mostly agree with you. [In reply to] Can't Post

Iím glad that you are able to enjoy TH movies though unlike you, I expect to watch them as often as I do LotR going forward. For me, even more so with The Hobbit than LotR, the book is the book, the movies are the movies and I can appreciate both.


More generally, as for the MCU movies, in my world there is a place for well-executed films that are simply entertaining and not intended to be anything else, and also for well-made and acted movies that have something more serious to convey in a straightforward way. Not every human being, even if intelligent, is an intellectual or desires to be, and not every film needs to be an esoteric piece of art. I have always disliked James Bond but donít deny that they are good entertainment for those who do appreciate them.

On my own, I never would have gone to see a MCU movie but my husband (despite his three univerity degrees) had a nostalgic interest from his days of reading Marvel comics as a child. So we saw Ironman and somewhat to my surprise, I enjoyed it as I have most of the MCU films that Iíve seen since. The pyrotechnics become old but there are human stories being told there too. With the conclusion of whatever phase ended with Endgame, I think I am done though.

I agree with Voronwe that Black Panther was as much a cultural phenomenon as a movie, a little like the vastly superior LotR. But my favourite may actually be Dr. Strange with Benedict Cumberbatch, because it was, well, so strange. I also rather liked the crazy energy of Thor: Ragnarok, directed by the new wunderkind from New Zealand, Taika Waititi, who also memorably voiced a minor character. Time will tell if the MCU movie have a ďshelf lifeĒ of any duration.

Has every well regarded actor working today been in a MCU movie yet, as has been predicted in the media? Laugh A number of LotR/Hobbit actors have appeared, including Cate Blanchett, Martin Freeman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Andy Serkis, Evangeline Lilly, Hugo Weaving, Lee Pace and Karl Urban, to name a few,


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


May 13, 3:34pm

Post #167 of 255 (1018 views)
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Jackson's 'Hobbit' as Its Own Thing [In reply to] Can't Post

I do like the Hobbit films, but I also have some trouble separating them from the book. Even looking at them as a stand-alone trilogy, my enjoyment is hindered somewhat by the kind of lazy shortcuts common in action films as well as the cartoon physics displayed in sequences such as the escape from Goblin-town. I never like it when a filmmaker disrespects the intelligence of the viewer.

#FidelityToTolkien

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on May 13, 3:35pm)


Solicitr
Gondor


May 13, 4:40pm

Post #168 of 255 (1011 views)
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This [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I never like it when a filmmaker disrespects the intelligence of the viewer.


Exactly. I don't like being treated like I'm stupid.


VoronwŽ_the_Faithful
Valinor

May 14, 3:18am

Post #169 of 255 (967 views)
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Me too [In reply to] Can't Post

Jackson's Hobbit films just aren't what I would have done with the book, with the exception of the Good Morning and (for the most part) Riddles scenes (and the fact that Martin Freeman is definitely "MY" Bilbo. I think a single film, very faithful to the book (more so than the LOTR films) with only slight allusions to the Dol Guldur plotline, could have been an extraordinary masterpiece, at least in my eyes. Instead we go three films that have many scenes that I love (including the single best "invented" scene in the six films, the Feast of Starlight), but much that I just roll my eyes at (the cheesy parts of the Tauriel-Kili love story as much as cartoon physics that you reference).

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


Paulo Gabriel
Lorien

May 14, 10:12pm

Post #170 of 255 (874 views)
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I don't know why... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
but my husband (despite his three univerity degrees)


...but I always pictured you as a guy. Shocked

Guess this habit will have to change.


Paulo Gabriel
Lorien

May 15, 12:24pm

Post #171 of 255 (807 views)
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But... [In reply to] Can't Post

PJ's Hobbit is a very intelligent movie. So is LOTR.


Noria
Gondor

May 15, 2:07pm

Post #172 of 255 (787 views)
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LOL [In reply to] Can't Post

I could be a guy and still have a husband.

But as it happens, I am a woman who first read and fell in love with LotR and The Hobbit just over fifty years ago, so an old woman


Solicitr
Gondor


May 15, 2:32pm

Post #173 of 255 (786 views)
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Yes [In reply to] Can't Post

PJ's LR treats the audience' intelligence with such respect, he doesn't think they can handle Saruman's actual motivations and plots - that would be too complicated for our little monkey brains - and reduces him to a mere minion of Sauron. It treats us with such respect that we can't handle Rohan having as many as three settlements, and since Dunharrow has been erased we're supposed to swallow Theoden evacuating his civilian population towards the Fords and Isengard. We are also supposed to buy that the Steward of Gondor is such a dribbling idiot that he refuses to light his long-prepared and expensively-maintained war-beacons or call for (sworn) aid. After Entmoot has found no reason to march, Treebeard does a volte-face through a silly and illogical trick by Pippin (added to the beacons, that's twice the young Took overcomes ally-stupidity to bring in allies)*. Since the audience can't be expected to swallow mercy, morality or the implications of an incarnate Ainu, Gandalf stops Legolas shooting Saruman simply because "we need information" (not that this "information" was anything anyone with the brains Eru gave a rabbit wouldn't have known anyway). Aragorn looks into the Palantir- not to challenge Sauron, or draw him out, or goad him into a premature attack (already ruined by another dumb scene) or even to gather intelligence, but apparently for no reason save to get his bling broken. Yeah, the Dark Lord's response to the re-appearance of the Heir of Elendil and his Sword after three thousand years is to diss his girlfriend.**

We are then supposed to swallow Elrond traveling 900 miles in 48 hours, and this as a consequence of the biggest insult of them all, the "Arwen is dying" blather and the "vision of my kid"- PJ is addicted to instantaneous changes of mind based on the most trivial of "revelations." Apparently Arwen is just as dumb as Treebeard- she seriously never considered that getting married carried with it significant odds of childbearing? Really?

And that's even before the Osgiliation, and Faramir's inexplicable reversal of position based on his sudden discovery that Frodo (a) has serious sanity issues and (b) will likely hand over the Ring to the first Evil Minion he comes across.

Yes- a very great deal of PJ's monkeying with the plot was precisely to dumb it down , on the apparent assumption that his audience rode the short bus to the theater. He insulted me and he insulted every one of you.

_____________________________

*Actually, this is principally due to the paint-by-numbers screenwriting dictum, "our heroes must overcome obstacles at every turn." Ergo, Treebeard, Denethor and Faramir are all recast as stumbling blocks who need to be made to "see the light" by a Principal Cast Member. To that list add Elrond and Theoden.

**About whom Sauron would have known nothing anyway- but then, everybody's knowing about everything (except when PJ's plot requires they don't) is another area where he assumes we all left our thinking caps at home.


Noria
Gondor

May 15, 2:35pm

Post #174 of 255 (784 views)
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Cartoon physics [In reply to] Can't Post

If not for the heavy overshadowing effect of the LotR movies, I have no doubt that a wonderful, more literal adaptation of TH could have been made, maybe even by Peter Jackson. I would have wanted the White Council though.

I also agree about the Feast of Starlight scene and the subsequent romance. My objection to the latter is more about how Tauriel, who started out as a rebel against Thranduil°Įs isolationism, became only about the romance with Kili.

As for the physics of TH movies, I can°Įt recall his name but do you or anyone else remember the long vanished poster who was a physicist or an engineer? He wrote several very interesting posts demonstrating in considerable detail that that the Dwarves fall into the chasm in Goblintown, as well as some other controversial bits of action in TH movies, were actually within the realm of the possible.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


May 15, 3:12pm

Post #175 of 255 (773 views)
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Except when it isn't. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
PJ's Hobbit is a very intelligent movie.


Maybe, but not consistantly. Gags like smoke coming out of Radagast's ears might play well in a Loony Tune, but not so well in a live-action movie that isn't an outright parody. We also have characters surviving without serious injury falls that should have killed the hardiest Dwarf. Then there is Jackson's fast-and-loose attitude for matters of time and distance, with characters seemingly taking only a couple of days to make journeys that should take weeks (I'm looking at YOU, Legolas and Tauriel).

To Noria: Yeah, maybe the Goblin-town stunts were survivable, but they were about as narratively plausible as Indiana Jones' survival of an atomic bomb by sheltering in a refrigerator.

#FidelityToTolkien

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on May 15, 3:17pm)


Chen G.
Rohan

May 15, 4:14pm

Post #176 of 255 (1640 views)
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But the narrative [In reply to] Can't Post

I think you're missing the forest for the trees. Yes, some of the action setpieces stretch credulity, but the narrative on the whole is a) earnst and b) doesn't under-estimates the audience's ability to follow a complex plot.

By keeping so many of Tolkien's moving pieces - characters, setpieces, subplots, references - Jackson certainly isn't making films that insults its audience's intelligence, at least in the sense that he trusts his audience to keep track of a whole lot of stuff; much more than any other film I can recall.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on May 15, 4:16pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


May 15, 4:34pm

Post #177 of 255 (1628 views)
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Well, that's why I stated it was 'inconsistent'. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I think you're missing the forest for the trees. Yes, some of the action setpieces stretch credulity, but the narrative on the whole is a) earnst and b) doesn't under-estimates the audience's ability to follow a complex plot.

By keeping so many of Tolkien's moving pieces - characters, setpieces, subplots, references - Jackson certainly isn't making films that insults its audience's intelligence, at least in the sense that he trusts his audience to keep track of a whole lot of stuff; much more than any other film I can recall.


Sure, it does all that, but there are also the issues that I and others have mentioned. It depends on your perspective and on what elements of the movies are the most important to you. Some would even say that Jackson over-complicated the films' narrative structure. We certainly didn't need such inventions as the tombs of the NazgŻl or an unrequited romance between a Wood-elf and a Dwarf. The tombs even blatantly disregard important events in the history of Middle-earth such as the fate of the last king of Gondor.

#FidelityToTolkien


Chen G.
Rohan

May 15, 4:40pm

Post #178 of 255 (1624 views)
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The Tombs [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
The tombs even blatantly disregard important events in the history of Middle-earth such as the fate of the last king of Gondor.


I've thought about this recently, and they don't really. Angmar could still be defeated at the Battle of Fornost, the Witch King could have went to Minas Morgul, taunted Earnur and still have the time to be driven, along with the others, to Carn Dum where they were eventually overcome and entombed.

As far as any future Tolkien property that might explore these events onscreen, the High-Fells incident could be an offscreen one.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on May 15, 4:45pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


May 15, 6:22pm

Post #179 of 255 (1607 views)
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I'll give you that one. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I've thought about this recently, and they don't really. Angmar could still be defeated at the Battle of Fornost, the Witch King could have went to Minas Morgul, taunted Earnur and still have the time to be driven, along with the others, to Carn Dum where they were eventually overcome and entombed.


Granted, King Ešrnur should have met his end roughly 500 years before the beginning of Jackson's Watchful Peace (presumably, this was when the NazgŻl were defeated and entombed). This is still a major and unnecessary departure from Tolkien's legendarium where the Nine remained active in other regions of Middle-earth.


In Reply To
As far as any future Tolkien property that might explore these events onscreen, the High-Fells incident could be an offscreen one.


Or it cold be ignored entirely. At this point I've just come to accept that the High Fells is likely just another name for the region otherwise known as the Coldfells. Even so, the tombs are only canon to Jackson's Middle-earth.

#FidelityToTolkien

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on May 15, 6:25pm)


Chen G.
Rohan

May 15, 7:38pm

Post #180 of 255 (1595 views)
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That's what I meant, kinda [In reply to] Can't Post

Assuming we'll eventually get a Third Age show, it could conclude the Angmar War with the Battle of Fornost, ignoring the High Fells and yet it still wouldn't have to deny the concept of them, rather leaving audiences to put the pieces together at their choosing.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on May 15, 7:40pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


May 15, 8:47pm

Post #181 of 255 (1584 views)
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The Fall of Angmar [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Assuming we'll eventually get a Third Age show, it could conclude the Angmar War with the Battle of Fornost, ignoring the High Fells and yet it still wouldn't have to deny the concept of them, rather leaving audiences to put the pieces together at their choosing.


I have been assuming that Angmar outlives the fall of Arthedain by an extra 500 years in Jackson's continuity. Alternately, both might have continued for much longer than they did in the legendarium.

#FidelityToTolkien


VoronwŽ_the_Faithful
Valinor

May 15, 11:27pm

Post #182 of 255 (1567 views)
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For whatever reason, I never had any doubt that you were a woman [In reply to] Can't Post

I would have been very surprised to find out that I was wrong (which I wasn't). I'm not even sure why!

And you ain't old, just experienced!

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


Starling
Half-elven


May 16, 3:39am

Post #183 of 255 (1534 views)
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Dweller in Dale? // [In reply to] Can't Post

 




Noria
Gondor

May 16, 2:03pm

Post #184 of 255 (1466 views)
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Yes, thank you Starling [In reply to] Can't Post

DwellerInDale - that was the person. I remember now that he wrote one or more essays analyzing various action scenes in TH movies that had been criticized for being impossible.

I was interested because in several cases, like the fall of Bilbo and his Goblin attacker into the chasm and later the sliding fall of the bridge carrying the Dwarves, his analysis confirmed what I had felt intuitively based on the way those scenes were filmed, and that is that they were entirely possible. But, as my background is social sciences, I lacked the ability to accurately judge.

I mean, DwellerInDale even provided formulae and calculations which I didn't entirely understand but were impressive. Wink


Noria
Gondor

May 16, 2:14pm

Post #185 of 255 (1465 views)
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Hi Voronwe. [In reply to] Can't Post

We°Įve both been posting on this site a long time. It°Įs possible that at some point over the years that I said something else that identified me as female, even if neither I nor anyone else consciously remembers it. Or maybe there is something about my writing style.

I wasn°Įt bothered by being thought a man - it's the internet and it°Įs not as if I posted a picture of myself. So no worries.

I'm also resigned to being old, and don't really mind except for the annoying associated health issues.


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


May 16, 4:28pm

Post #186 of 255 (1451 views)
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Here's a couple of his posts. [In reply to] Can't Post

The fall/slide in GoblinTown:

http://newboards.theonering.net/...rum.cgi?post=617010;

Legolas running up the falling blocks:

http://newboards.theonering.net/...rum.cgi?post=854565;


Whether or not one agrees with his analyses, it's fascinating stuff!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"


Solicitr
Gondor


May 16, 7:48pm

Post #187 of 255 (1431 views)
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The issue [In reply to] Can't Post

isn't whether one can construct an elaborate physical model to interpret the scene as "plausible"- that's Mythbusters stuff - but whether the viewer, in the moment, rolls his eyes. If he does, then his suspended disbelief has just done a Hindenburg.


Paulo Gabriel
Lorien

May 16, 11:32pm

Post #188 of 255 (1393 views)
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Then we have no quarrel... [In reply to] Can't Post

as long as you admit that the LOTR's (or ''LRs'' as you call them) were also full of ''suspension of disbelief''. And no, the degree isn't different; it's the same. Both can be said to depict ''Roadnunner''-level physics. Here is one quote showing this:

''Don't say "it's fantasy" as if that justifies all impossibles. That reduces LOTR to the level of a Roadrunner cartoon. Why not have "Gimli" run on the air for a little bit before doing a pratfall then? Why not have little birds and bells circling in the air over any character who gets hit, or little hearts over "Arwen" and Viggo at the coronation? Why not have the impossible catapults flip over and flatten their own crews, with ACME stamped on the side? I assure you, none of those would be any more out of place, or any more impossible, than the things which did happen in ROTK-M.

Here is a signal example, that of the in/famous "Beacon Scene." Some pretty pictures, rendered completely meaningless, by their impossibility. The scene in the books was apparently not exciting enough, when Gandalf, racing through the dark to Gondor, is spurred on to even more urgency by the line of beacons bursting into flame one by one in a lengthening chain down the opposite direction, followed almost immediately after by a group of couriers bringing the Red Arrow to Thťoden. The beacons, as in the Primary World, are set on hills ó not mountaintops, not peaks as of the Himalayas or the Swiss Alps, whereupon in broad daylight vast blossoms of gas-jet flame leap up instantaneously from piles of logs.

This is ROTK-M's version of the impossible Argonath statues, where the realistic upraised arms of the Kings are replaced with utterly impossible extended arms. (Look at any decent art book, you will find plenty of statues of figures with arms raised up to the shoulder, but few (surviving unrepaired at least) with extended arms, for a very good reason called gravity, and another very good reason called breakability. Stone is quite brittle, compared to wood or plastic.) In order to make the "drama" greater, the scene has been reduced to irrationality, rather than remaining a believable fantasy. We are even shown one beacon igniting above the clouds! How, pray tell, is that supposed to do any good to those below, and be visible to the people it is meant to summon? Let alone how it can burn, how its keepers can survive, in a zone of low oxygen and lower temperatures? (The situation, in which Pippin is obliged to scale a tower to light the beacon, is moreover one of laughable implausibility both in its execution and its setup. Definitely an Honorable Mention for the Aristotelian Improbability Award, if not a Bronze.)

But ó it's all magic, it's fantasy, it's irrational, just the way stupid science fiction is dismissed by reviewers as "it's sci-fi, what do you expect?" Only it isn't supposed to be ó this was billed to us after all as Lord of the Rings, not Dungeons & Dragons, or Indiana Jones, or Tarzan of the Apes, and in Middle-earth, miles are after all real miles, objects have to be carried by someone across a given distance, there are no teleport devices or Magic Bags of Holding, resources are limited to what is available and practicality dominates over histrionics ó to the overall increase of drama, imo.

But there's an even less plausible scene, incredibly ó one that violates biology and physics in a much more obvious and egregious way ó ROTK-M's version of the Moria Orcs Swarming The Walls/Tottering Stair scenes in FOTR-M (something else which in retrospect should have been taken as a warning, not excused) and the infamous Ski-Slope Cavalry Charge Into Pikes of TTT-M. Or didn't you know, Frodo and Sam both have Mutant X superpowers? At least, they ó unlike ordinary human beings, child-size or otherwise ó can cling by one blood-slippery hand to a rock over toxic fumes, and haul by one hand, with nothing to anchor the lifter's body, a body of equal size up from that rock. A classic H'wood excess and exaggeration of the possible, amplified beyond all plausibility and possibility, turning what should be a terribly moving situation into a farce.

I'm not willing to hang, draw, and quarter my disbelief, I'm afraid''.

Wink


Noria
Gondor

May 17, 12:55pm

Post #189 of 255 (1300 views)
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Thanks dernwyn - fascinating stuff for sure// [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Noria
Gondor

May 17, 1:13pm

Post #190 of 255 (1297 views)
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But my eyes didnít roll in disbelief [In reply to] Can't Post

Dweller's posts only confirmed for me that what I had perceived was possible, if fantastical. It's just Indiana Jones stuff. After seeing the LotR trilogy, I expected over-the-top action. The first time I saw AUJ, by the time the Company got to Goblintown I had realized and accepted that this was going to be a rollicking ride.

As for Legolas, though I'm not a particular fan girl, nothing he does in the movies bothers me much (except itís often too long). I have lots of experience of snow, deep winter-long snow, and for me any being that can walk on top of snow without snowshoes is pretty impressive and can probably do just about anything. Wink More seriously, Tolkien's Elves donít conform to the laws of physics and biology that we know in either books or movies,


Chen G.
Rohan

May 17, 1:46pm

Post #191 of 255 (1296 views)
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I agree, but [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
but whether the viewer, in the moment, rolls his eyes. If he does, then his suspended disbelief has just done a Hindenburg.


Its very simplistic to think of suspension of disbelief as a constant throughout the viewing experience. What I'm saying is physics-defying acts are totally fine in movies, when they're delivered in moderation.

An Unexpected Journey does quite a few of them, but its the one of the series that has the lightest, most swashbuckler touch of the lot, anyway. The others also have some of that, but less.

As long as its more plausible than Attack of the Clones - where every single action setpieces involves the characters falling down the height of skyscrapers to no discernable harm - I'm good.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on May 17, 1:47pm)


skyofcoffeebeans
Lorien

May 17, 4:20pm

Post #192 of 255 (1279 views)
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Weight [In reply to] Can't Post

Surprisingly enough, I believe thereís actually more weight to the worst of the AOTC set pieces than the worst of AUJ. When Anakin is falling down the Blade Runner landscape, I feel the viscerality of the stunt, whereas in Goblin-town, I feel like Iím in a Super Mario game.

Even the droid factory scene has more weight and danger to the characters than the worst of the Hobbit action sequences.


Hamfast Gamgee
Grey Havens

May 18, 8:23pm

Post #193 of 255 (1091 views)
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Am I alone in beginning to find this thread a little hard to follow? [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Chen G.
Rohan

May 18, 8:55pm

Post #194 of 255 (1086 views)
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You're not [In reply to] Can't Post

Its seemingly become an outlet for all manner of sentiments, from Solicitr's belly-aching (and others issues with it), to Otaku-sempai's issues with the inclusion of the High Fells, to discussions of action choreography, to the usual discussion of fidelty to Tolkien, etcetra - all quite besides the original topic of how the original An Unexpected Journey would have ended.

Personally, I don't mind threads developing organically and changing subject as they go along - and maybe this thread will prove useful for some in laying-off steam, but I myself do find some of the negativity tiresome. I'm all for a civilized discussion of opposing points-of-view, but I also don't wish to mince words when I say that some of the critiques here come across as pedantic and more than a bit mean-spirited.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on May 18, 9:01pm)


skyofcoffeebeans
Lorien

May 18, 9:12pm

Post #195 of 255 (1074 views)
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I agree [In reply to] Can't Post

that negativity towards these films is a bit tired after all these years, and I'm often guilty of it.

But I have appreciated the level of discussion that's went into this thread, though, even as I still don't know what Azog's original role in the barrel sequence would be (except maybe to shoot Kili).


Chen G.
Rohan

May 18, 9:22pm

Post #196 of 255 (1072 views)
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Shooting Kili [In reply to] Can't Post

was clearly intended as one of the open threads leading into "There and Back Again." You had:
1. The shadowy, surprising, unknown threat of Bard over the company
2. The potential of Thorin going unhinged as he gets closer to his goal.
3. Gandalf captured in Dol Guldur
4. Kili wounded.


Paulo Gabriel
Lorien

May 21, 6:48am

Post #197 of 255 (796 views)
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Tired of negativity [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
negativity towards these films is a bit tired after all these years, and I'm often guilty of it.


I have been like this since 2016, at least.


Chen G.
Rohan

May 21, 7:55am

Post #198 of 255 (785 views)
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Negativity I can deal with [In reply to] Can't Post

But when it devolves to calling the filmmakers names, that's where I think it gets too far for me.


Paulo Gabriel
Lorien

May 21, 1:32pm

Post #199 of 255 (750 views)
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I agree. [In reply to] Can't Post

That's like saying Michael Bay is somehow immoral just because he made a movie you didn't like! It's absurd!


Solicitr
Gondor


May 21, 2:08pm

Post #200 of 255 (744 views)
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Subject [In reply to] Can't Post

Michael Bay, immoral? No (at least that I've heard). But a bad filmmaker? Absolutely; and it is beyond me why that should be a verboten viewpoint.


Chen G.
Rohan

May 21, 2:23pm

Post #201 of 255 (2062 views)
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Nothing is verboten, but some things aren't looked favourably upon [In reply to] Can't Post

Belittling acclaimed filmmakers is one of them.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on May 21, 2:26pm)


Solicitr
Gondor


May 21, 2:31pm

Post #202 of 255 (2058 views)
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Subject [In reply to] Can't Post

Michael Bay is "acclaimed"? Wink


Paulo Gabriel
Lorien

May 21, 3:08pm

Post #203 of 255 (2054 views)
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He was obviously referring to PJ. [In reply to] Can't Post

 


(This post was edited by Paulo Gabriel on May 21, 3:09pm)


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


May 21, 4:31pm

Post #204 of 255 (2048 views)
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Okay, folks, let's stop this sub-thread right here. [In reply to] Can't Post

Before it devolves further.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"


Paulo Gabriel
Lorien

May 21, 11:12pm

Post #205 of 255 (2008 views)
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I agree. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Paulo Gabriel
Lorien

May 25, 11:10pm

Post #206 of 255 (1544 views)
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Well... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To
PJ's Hobbit is a very intelligent movie.


Maybe, but not consistantly. Gags like smoke coming out of Radagast's ears might play well in a Loony Tune, but not so well in a live-action movie that isn't an outright parody. We also have characters surviving without serious injury falls that should have killed the hardiest Dwarf. Then there is Jackson's fast-and-loose attitude for matters of time and distance, with characters seemingly taking only a couple of days to make journeys that should take weeks (I'm looking at YOU, Legolas and Tauriel).


I think those are rather minor points, but you are free to think differently...


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


May 26, 1:01am

Post #207 of 255 (1538 views)
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Well, indeed. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I think those are rather minor points, but you are free to think differently...


I wouldn't call characters pulling off stunts that would be impossible without teleportation (or at least the power of rapid flight) a minor point, but to each his own.

#FidelityToTolkien


Paulo Gabriel
Lorien

May 29, 3:52am

Post #208 of 255 (1274 views)
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Just ask yourself... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To
I think those are rather minor points, but you are free to think differently...


I wouldn't call characters pulling off stunts that would be impossible without teleportation (or at least the power of rapid flight) a minor point, but to each his own.


...how many in the general audience would care or notice such things. People like Transformers, they don't care about physical plausibility, let alone geographical plausibility (of a fictional land, nonetheless). And Elrond already did this in ROTK when he travelled from Rivendell to Gondor in a relatively short amount of time. Do you take issue with this Elrond thing as well?


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


May 29, 2:41pm

Post #209 of 255 (1214 views)
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Ya know? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
...how many in the general audience would care or notice such things. People like Transformers, they don't care about physical plausibility, let alone geographical plausibility (of a fictional land, nonetheless). And Elrond already did this in ROTK when he travelled from Rivendell to Gondor in a relatively short amount of time. Do you take issue with this Elrond thing as well?


It doesn't matter to me what the general audience can be expected to know; it's enough that I know and I find it a bit insulting that Peter expects me to just accept this. At least with Elrond, we don't have a clear idea of when he left from Rivendell (for Rohan, not Gondor--though he doesn't seem to have continued on with King Theoden's forces to Gondor).

#FidelityToTolkien


Solicitr
Gondor


May 29, 4:55pm

Post #210 of 255 (1205 views)
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Well, [In reply to] Can't Post

I would have hoped that any film of Tolkien's work would be aimed at a somewhat higher intellectual plane than Transformers.


Chen G.
Rohan

May 29, 6:12pm

Post #211 of 255 (1197 views)
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There, I agree with ya [In reply to] Can't Post

 


skyofcoffeebeans
Lorien

May 29, 8:55pm

Post #212 of 255 (1180 views)
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Agreed. These aren't the same things at all [In reply to] Can't Post

And I don't care if the general audience doesn't care. It looks dumb.

One doesn't have to reach quite this far to depend the worst parts of these movies. It's ok to like the Hobbit movies and admit that some parts are not that great.


Chen G.
Rohan

May 29, 10:04pm

Post #213 of 255 (1169 views)
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Exactly [In reply to] Can't Post

The key is not losing the forest for the trees.


Paulo Gabriel
Lorien

May 30, 1:22am

Post #214 of 255 (1145 views)
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I do ''admit'' that... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
And I don't care if the general audience doesn't care. It looks dumb.

One doesn't have to reach quite this far to depend the worst parts of these movies. It's ok to like the Hobbit movies and admit that some parts are not that great.


...yet I see nothing ''dumb'' about this, especially as the same has been done in the earlier trilogy, which is ironically so ''acclaimed'', by, and I quote, ''people who apparently have never seen a decent adaptation or a decent war movie''.

Re the first point: ''Now, there are all kinds of technical and logistical problems in the sequence, such as how Viggo, Orlando, and John got from Dunharrow to Umbar without any horses (unlike the books, all the horses run away and don't come back) but I suppose if Elrond can ride across mountains and hundreds of miles in a day or so, then they can run all the way to the coast in a couple hours. (Or they borrow zombie horses, I guess.) But those are really inconsequential, compared to the big problem at the center. And that is that there are no living Men to be rallied, no villagers, no fisherfolk, no POWs to free from the oars of the Corsairs' dromonds, no local lord to bring his own soldiers to the aid of Gondor ó none of the rest of the people whose absence Pippin's companions in Gondor didn't lament after the arrival of allies which didn't happen in the movie. So, since they couldn't handle the politics of Middle-earth, J/B/W were forced to come up with some other solution to the problem. And that was to make the Dead utterly mundane''.


(This post was edited by Paulo Gabriel on May 30, 1:23am)


Solicitr
Gondor


May 30, 5:08am

Post #215 of 255 (1125 views)
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Well, [In reply to] Can't Post

There are gradations. As in "dumb" and "dumber."


Paulo Gabriel
Lorien

May 30, 9:12am

Post #216 of 255 (1096 views)
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I would argue... [In reply to] Can't Post

that there is a point in which it becomes so ''dumb'' (by this definition, anyway) that there is no point in ''scaling'' it. Does it matter whether a 20 kg weight is dropped from a height of 100 or 200 metres on someoneís head? It will kill him either way.


(This post was edited by Paulo Gabriel on May 30, 9:13am)


The Dude
Bree

May 30, 11:52am

Post #217 of 255 (1071 views)
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Very odd debating style [In reply to] Can't Post

Last time I looked you were a defender of "The Hobbit" films. Your line of argument here seems to be that "nothing dumb" exists in those films (1) but if it did it would exist in equal measure in the "LotR" trilogy (2), so everyone who prefers the latter over the former must then be a hypocrite (3).

Well, accusation of hypocrisy on their own always form a weak basis to build as the foundation of oneís case; whether it comes to political, cultural, or philosophical arguments. Criticizing the ďLotRĒ films for dumbing down things does not really help the ďHobbitĒ films in any way. And I would not call solicitr a huge fan of the original trilogy to begin with, so you basically arguing against a strawman here.

The point where we have to agree to disagree, it seems, is you believe that there is no difference whatsoever in the frequency and quality of slapstick/dumb scenes between the original trilogy and ďthe HobbitĒ films, whereas others (solicitr and me included) consider this to be slightly reductive.

PS: Aragorn and the Grey Company never made it to Umbar. Their destination was Pelagir.


skyofcoffeebeans
Lorien

May 30, 8:08pm

Post #218 of 255 (1038 views)
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I would argue that [In reply to] Can't Post

There is no degree of comparison in the absurdity of Legolas defying gravity via falling blocks onscreen vs the offscreen travels of other characters on horseback or on foot. It is an untenable point to make and an absurd basis for a defense of what is almost objectively a very low point, if not the lowest point, in Peter Jacksonís filmography.

We donít have to love everything about the things we love. Itís ok for there to be flaws. I donít see you defending your love for Legolas defying gravity, just tearing apart the validity of other peopleís opinions of it.


Noria
Gondor

May 31, 12:35pm

Post #219 of 255 (919 views)
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As I said above, [In reply to] Can't Post

In LotR, both book and movie, Legolas is able to walk on top of deep snow without sinking, just one of the things about Elves that defy the laws of nature that we know. Tolkien wrote them that way.

So, why should the laws of gravity, already contravened in the case of snow, apply strictly anywhere else where an Elf is concerned?

With those qualities of Elves lurking in the back of my mind, I had no difficulty accepting Legolasí stunt with the falling stones. Like most of his feats, it amused me.


Solicitr
Gondor


May 31, 7:47pm

Post #220 of 255 (865 views)
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That being the case [In reply to] Can't Post

then why didn't Thranduil's Elves, or Haldir's force at Helm's Deep, perform each like Marvel superheroes? They would have mopped up the orcs in jig time. But, no, Legolas and Legolas only was, apparently, bitten by a radioactive giant spider.


Paulo Gabriel
Lorien

Jun 1, 4:40am

Post #221 of 255 (811 views)
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Thank you for sparing me the time... [In reply to] Can't Post

to counter more absurdities.


Noria
Gondor

Jun 1, 12:30pm

Post #222 of 255 (744 views)
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LOL - good point [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
then why didn't Thranduil's Elves, or Haldir's force at Helm's Deep, perform each like Marvel superheroes? They would have mopped up the orcs in jig time. But, no, Legolas and Legolas only was, apparently, bitten by a radioactive giant spider.


I can't argue with that except - cinema.

But my original point stands.


Chen G.
Rohan

Jun 1, 5:53pm

Post #223 of 255 (714 views)
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That's right: Cinema [In reply to] Can't Post

I kind of like Legolas' superhero moments. I just think they need to be delivered in greater moderation than was the case in The Battle of the Five Armies.

You can have the walking up the crumbling tower moment in isolation (I happen to think its really cool) but when its delivered as the cherry on top of Legolas' bat-riding, tower-leaping, Troll-riding shenanigans, it gets just a bit too much.

But otherwise? I like Legolas having one or two Superhero moments per film: its fun, and it adds a dash of superhero/martial arts into films which are already such an enjoyable cocktail of genres.

Its also nice when occasionally they DON'T go big with him, like when he has what's really just a street brawl with Bolg in The Desolation of Smaug: just one more reason why that film's the best.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Jun 1, 5:57pm)


FrogmortonJustice65
Lorien


Jun 1, 7:59pm

Post #224 of 255 (684 views)
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I agree [In reply to] Can't Post

that the Legolas v. Bolg fight feels grounded in a way that some other fight scenes in the Hobbit trilogy do not. Legolas v. Bolg is kinetic and brutal in a way that recalls Aragorn vs. Lurtz and some other LOTR moments. Same with Thorin v. Azog in TBOFA.

Ranking the Hobbit films is difficult for me. DOS is probably the most exciting from start to finish, and has a very quick tempo and roller-coaster feel. But the first film adapts many great moments from the book very well and I appreciate its emphasis upon Bilbo and the dwarves. I'm inclined to think that TBOFA is the weakest but the last 30 minutes or so are very good, and the final scenes are excellent. And Armitage gives his best performance in this film, I'd say.


Chen G.
Rohan

Jun 1, 8:18pm

Post #225 of 255 (676 views)
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About the same as what I think [In reply to] Can't Post

The Desolation of Smaug is the best "ride" from start to finish. That said, its also a film that genuinely asks "is this quest worth it? Is it a noble idea to begin with? Is it a wise endeavor?" and, right up to the cliffhanger ending, avoids any form of easy answer, which I love.

You couldn't do that with The Lord of the Rings, and indeed very few films of this kind have ever tried to do so, and those that have mostly came across as a strawman.

The Battle of the Five Armies is the weakest in many respects, but because it contains so many of the climactic and truly powerful and poignant moments of the trilogy, I would say that elevates it over the first film.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Jun 1, 8:19pm)


skyofcoffeebeans
Lorien

Jun 1, 8:25pm

Post #226 of 255 (838 views)
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The key word here is [In reply to] Can't Post

Restraint. It's a powerful tool. The oilphaunt scene works because there's only one oilphaunt scene. There's nothing as over the top from that character anywhere else in the film.

Another key word might be escalation. We see Legolas do things throughout LOTR that are gradually heightened. In contrast, look at his introduction in DOS.


(This post was edited by skyofcoffeebeans on Jun 1, 8:26pm)


Chen G.
Rohan

Jun 1, 9:02pm

Post #227 of 255 (830 views)
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True [In reply to] Can't Post

That said, Legolas CAN have more than just one superhero moment: In The Two Towers he has both the sliding-shield moment AND the leaping on the galloping horse, and it works fine. I also think The Desolation of Smaug works well enough. Its only in the Battle of the Five Armies - especially the extened cut - where it becomes overkill.

As for escalation, while that's very true, there IS escalation across The Desolation of Smaug and the Battle of the Five Armies.


Noria
Gondor

Jun 2, 12:23pm

Post #228 of 255 (790 views)
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Yes [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I kind of like Legolas' superhero moments. I just think they need to be delivered in greater moderation than was the case in The Battle of the Five Armies.

You can have the walking up the crumbling tower moment in isolation (I happen to think its really cool) but when its delivered as the cherry on top of Legolas' bat-riding, tower-leaping, Troll-riding shenanigans, it gets just a bit too much.

But otherwise? I like Legolas having one or two Superhero moments per film: its fun, and it adds a dash of superhero/martial arts into films which are already such an enjoyable cocktail of genres.

Its also nice when occasionally they DON'T go big with him, like when he has what's really just a street brawl with Bolg in The Desolation of Smaug: just one more reason why that film's the best.


This


Solicitr
Gondor


Jun 2, 4:26pm

Post #229 of 255 (775 views)
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There is also [In reply to] Can't Post

proportion; how much is in the mix?

In general, I can watch and enjoy fairly long stretches of the LR trilogy, with only occasional shout-obscenities-at-the-screen moments. Whereas with TH the proportion is reversed: occasional good scenes (Good Morning, Riddles in the Dark, Thorin's death) scattered like pearls in a mire of long stretches of unwatchability, whether OTT "action" stuff like Legolas, Goblin-town and the barrel escape, or gag-worthy invented plot nonsense like Radagast, Nazgul tombs, Tauriel, Stephen Fry etc etc etc etc etc etc etc......


Paulo Gabriel
Lorien

Jun 2, 8:42pm

Post #230 of 255 (754 views)
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Don't be a troll... [In reply to] Can't Post

It is SO OBVIOUS that the politics of Laketown are the best part of these movies...it is like the SW prequels Senate sequences all over again...also Legolas is Archangel from X-Men, so it's OK for him to do the sort of stuff mentioned in this thread. LaughCool


(This post was edited by Paulo Gabriel on Jun 2, 8:43pm)


Chen G.
Rohan

Jun 2, 9:01pm

Post #231 of 255 (748 views)
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But [In reply to] Can't Post

The Laketown politics are imperative for the confrontation with Thorin. By having the clearly-corrupt Master side with our "hero" and resolve his argument with Bard for him, and with mere hand waves no less, the film is telling its unsuspecting audience that Thorin is actually on the WRONG side of the argument.


The Dude
Bree

Jun 2, 9:56pm

Post #232 of 255 (736 views)
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It does not really help... [In reply to] Can't Post

...that Stephen Fry is such a limited actor. Everything about the Master feels like a cut episode from Blackadder: silly, woefully on-the-nose, and completely out of place. Not that I blame him alone. In fact, I would say, Jackson and Co. hired Fry because they had already written the character with Fry in their mind. In the Extended Edition during the "bollocks scene", if the Master suddenly had broken the fourth wall, turned to the camera and said "Just so you know, I am evil and disgusting!" I would not have been surprised.

On paper I agree with you that connecting the Master's greed with Thorin's ambition is a good idea. But there other ways of transporting this message than to turn the Master into a walking, bloated mess of crude cliches.


Hamfast Gamgee
Grey Havens

Jun 4, 8:47am

Post #233 of 255 (596 views)
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One thing i did like about DOS [In reply to] Can't Post

And regarding Legolas was when he was beaten up by Bolg. I thought it quite nice to see one of the tougher Elves discomforted. And to see that some of the bad guys can be tough, they where not all wimpy goblins to be wiped by the dozen-load. I think this is the only time in all the movies where Legolas gets hurt. PS I realize that his doesn't really answer the point in hand but the subject was a bit mentioned in this thread, but i have difficulty in locating the precise sub-sub-sub thread.


Chen G.
Rohan

Jun 4, 11:28am

Post #234 of 255 (582 views)
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Yeah, the first fight with Bolg is really good [In reply to] Can't Post

because its really just a street brawl. Works very well.


Solicitr
Gondor


Jun 4, 12:50pm

Post #235 of 255 (572 views)
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And [In reply to] Can't Post

I would say it's a jarring inconsistency: Jackson just removes Legolas' Plot Armor without explanation, simply because he thought a "street brawl" would be neato-keen: as if Superman suddenly loses his powers without even the handwave of Kryptonite.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 4, 3:20pm

Post #236 of 255 (564 views)
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Well... [In reply to] Can't Post

...that Lake-town brawl did serve to acknowledge that for all Legolas' skill, he should not be as over-powered as he is generally portrayed in the films. Legolas is not on the level of Glorfindel, and shouldn't even be in the same ball park.

#FidelityToTolkien


Paulo Gabriel
Lorien

Jun 9, 5:33pm

Post #237 of 255 (365 views)
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Subejct [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Last time I looked you were a defender of "The Hobbit" films. Your line of argument here seems to be that "nothing dumb" exists in those films (1) but if it did it would exist in equal measure in the "LotR" trilogy (2), so everyone who prefers the latter over the former must then be a hypocrite (3).


It's not so much ''hipocrisy'' as it is ''inconsistent criteria''. I feel that there is a double standard going on here.


Paulo Gabriel
Lorien

Jun 9, 6:12pm

Post #238 of 255 (358 views)
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Subject [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
for Rohan, not Gondor--though he doesn't seem to have continued on with King Theoden's forces to Gondor).


Isn't Dunharrow in Gondor?


Solicitr
Gondor


Jun 9, 6:41pm

Post #239 of 255 (351 views)
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Subject [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To
for Rohan, not Gondor--though he doesn't seem to have continued on with King Theoden's forces to Gondor).


Isn't Dunharrow in Gondor?


Dunharrow is definitely in Rohan. About 20 miles upstream from Edoras. Entrance to the Paths of the Dead, whose southern end opens into Gondor on the other side of the White Mountains. It was there that the Muster took place (of course, in the book not only was Elrond never there, but Aragorn and Theoden were never there at the same time).


Solicitr
Gondor


Jun 9, 7:02pm

Post #240 of 255 (350 views)
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Subject [In reply to] Can't Post

To put Elrond's journey into perspective: according to Tolkien's chronology, he left Rivendell with Arwen on May 1 and arrived at Minas Tirith on 1 Lithe: the trip took sixty days. It took the Company the same length of time, if we subtract the month spent in Rivendell. Subtract the distance by road from Dunharrow by horse (it took the Rohirrim five days): So if the Muster took place on March 10 (never mind that Aragorn had been gone for two days by then), Elrond would have had to set out on January 15, while the Fellowship was escaping the Balrog.


skyofcoffeebeans
Lorien

Jun 9, 7:27pm

Post #241 of 255 (345 views)
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Interesting [In reply to] Can't Post

It would almost make sense for Gandalf "dying" for movie Elrond to come to his senses and get on a horse.


Solicitr
Gondor


Jun 9, 7:53pm

Post #242 of 255 (339 views)
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Subject [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
It would almost make sense for Gandalf "dying" for movie Elrond to come to his senses and get on a horse.



....and anticipate that Aragorn would be at Dunharrow in two months' time.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 9, 8:49pm

Post #243 of 255 (332 views)
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Dunharrow [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Isn't Dunharrow in Gondor?


No, it's in Rohan. Elrond caught up with Aragorn near where the Rohirrim mustered for their ride to Gondor.

#FidelityToTolkien


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 9, 8:56pm

Post #244 of 255 (331 views)
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Yes. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
To put Elrond's journey into perspective: according to Tolkien's chronology, he left Rivendell with Arwen on May 1 and arrived at Minas Tirith on 1 Lithe: the trip took sixty days. It took the Company the same length of time, if we subtract the month spent in Rivendell. Subtract the distance by road from Dunharrow by horse (it took the Rohirrim five days): So if the Muster took place on March 10 (never mind that Aragorn had been gone for two days by then), Elrond would have had to set out on January 15, while the Fellowship was escaping the Balrog.


Agreed that Elrond's timeline for reaching Dunharrow/Harrowdale makes no sense, but it is an easy one to ignore given everything else that's going on. It's one of the things that only comes to my attention after the movie is done, and only if I'm specifically thinking about it. Maybe the difference is that, by the time of the second and third Hobbit movies I was very conscious and sensitive to Peter Jackson's excesses, much more than when the LotR films were released.

In a related matter, it is possible that Jackson's Battle of the Hornburg takes place around or before Aragorn's birthday of March the First. That would be an explanation for him telling Eowyn that he's 87 years old when he would have turned 88 by this point in the book. Either that or Peter just screwed up his age the same way he screwed up Bilbo's year of birth.

#FidelityToTolkien

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jun 9, 9:03pm)


Solicitr
Gondor


Jun 9, 9:12pm

Post #245 of 255 (324 views)
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Aragorn [In reply to] Can't Post

had turned 88 the day he met Gandalf the White in Fangorn, before he ever came to Edoras.


(This post was edited by Solicitr on Jun 9, 9:12pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 9, 9:33pm

Post #246 of 255 (318 views)
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Yes, I know. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
[Aragorn] had turned 88 the day he met Gandalf the White in Fangorn, before he ever came to Edoras.


Obviously, though, that is not the case in Peter Jackson's version unless Aragorn had lost track of the days and didn't realize that his birthday had passed. The only oher two possibilities are that either 1) Aragorn was only 86 years old when he met Frodo and his companions in Bree; or 2) the Three Hunters and Gandalf reach Edoras at least two or three days earlier than they did in the book.

#FidelityToTolkien

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jun 9, 9:39pm)


Chen G.
Rohan

Jun 9, 10:07pm

Post #247 of 255 (309 views)
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Option 1 is the way to go [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Solicitr
Gondor


Jun 9, 11:29pm

Post #248 of 255 (300 views)
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Subject [In reply to] Can't Post

Or 3) Jackson was sloppy


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 10, 1:30am

Post #249 of 255 (292 views)
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Happy Birthday Strider! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Option 1 is the way to go


That's my best guess for determining Aragorn's year of birth in the films, starting with the stated date for Bilbo's eleventy-first birthday (September 22, T.A. 3000):
- The War of the Ring: 3001-3002
- Aragorn's age during the march to Helm's Deep (March 3002): 87 years
- Aragorn's year of birth: 2915 (3002 - 87 = 2915).

Option #2 results in a birth-year 2514. Either year is consistent with the idea of an adult Strider at the time of the Battle of Five Armies.

#FidelityToTolkien

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jun 10, 1:38am)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 10, 4:58pm

Post #250 of 255 (233 views)
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Elrond from Rivendell to Rohan. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
To put Elrond's journey into perspective: according to Tolkien's chronology, he left Rivendell with Arwen on May 1 and arrived at Minas Tirith on 1 Lithe: the trip took sixty days. It took the Company the same length of time, if we subtract the month spent in Rivendell. Subtract the distance by road from Dunharrow by horse (it took the Rohirrim five days): So if the Muster took place on March 10 (never mind that Aragorn had been gone for two days by then), Elrond would have had to set out on January 15, while the Fellowship was escaping the Balrog.


Yes, in the films Elrond's journey is extremely problematic. We see him in The Return of the King still in Rivendell seeming about the same time that Gandalf and Pippin depart Edoras for Minas Tirith (March 5th in the book). It is only at this time that Narsil is reforged.We next see him on horseback approaching Aragorn's camp in Rohan (the morning of March 6th according to Tolkien). Even allowing Elrond the possibility of an extra day, he had to make a journey of maybe 600 miles or more in less than two days without benefit of the Eagles. And he couldn't leave Rivendell until after Narsil was remade.

I really wish I did have something useful to add about the main topic, but sadly I am tapped out.

#FidelityToTolkien

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jun 10, 5:04pm)


Solicitr
Gondor


Jun 10, 5:24pm

Post #251 of 255 (214 views)
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Subject [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
We next see him on horseback approaching Aragorn's camp in Rohan (the morning of March 6th according to Tolkien)


Since this camp is visually identifiable as Dunharrow, and Theoden is there (the meeting takes place in Theoden's tent), it could not have taken place before the night of March 9, when Theoden reached DH by mountain-paths from Helm's Deep (never mind that Aragorn had already left through the Dark Door before Theoden ever arrived).


Solicitr
Gondor


Jun 10, 5:47pm

Post #252 of 255 (211 views)
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Quick chronology [In reply to] Can't Post

March 5: Voice of Saruman. Camp on Dol Baran; Pippin looks in Palantir. Nazgul just before midnight. G&P ride hard for Edoras, arriving at dawn. Theoden and Aragorn ride for Helm's Deep, picking up the Dunedain on the way

March 6: At the Hornburg Aragorn looks in Palantir, challenges Sauron, sees Corsairs. Rides openly over plain with Grey Company for Edoras. Theoden departs by hidden mountain-paths direct to Dunharrow. G&P leave Edoras after dark bound for MT.

March 7: Aragorn reaches Edoras, rests briefly, goes on to Dunharrow. Theoden in mountains. G&P hide during daylight, ride on after dark. Shortly before midnight 7/8 Denethor orders war-beacons lit and dispatches errand-riders.

March 8 (Full Moon): Just after midnight G&P enter Gondor, see beacons and messengers. (Frodo sees moonset over Forbidden Pool in early hours). Aragorn takes Paths of the Dead in morning, emerges at dusk, rides hard for Erech and arrives at midnight.

March 9: G&P reach Minas Tirith at dawn. Aragorn begins hard ride across central Gondor (will reach Pelargir on the 13th). Theoden reaches Dunharrow, receives the Red Arrow.

March 10: Great Darkness begins. Armies of Mordor set out. Rohirrim begin ride to MT. Faramir arrives at MT.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 10, 6:06pm

Post #253 of 255 (208 views)
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Probably. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Since this camp is visually identifiable as Dunharrow, and Theoden is there (the meeting takes place in Theoden's tent), it could not have taken place before the night of March 9, when Theoden reached DH by mountain-paths from Helm's Deep (never mind that Aragorn had already left through the Dark Door before Theoden ever arrived).


You're doubtless correct when we consider the dates from "The Tale of Years", though I'm hesitant to count those as 100% correct for the films, especially as we have a pretty good idea of how far off the years are). And, of course, the timing of Aragorn's departure for the Paths of the Dead is altered by Jackson. Even assuming that Elrond arrives at the camp in the early morning of March 10 (being very generous here), that only gives him less than five days to travel from Rivendell to Harrowdale with no roads to speak of when he starts south, though he could have traveled part of the way on the River Anduin (maybe at a rate of 20 miles per day traveling downstream). Granted, elven-bred horses are probably nearly as fast and sturdy as the Mearas, but still, no good roads. Gandalf and Pippin on Shadowfax seem to have covered about 100 miles per day, but I don't think Elrond could have equaled that feat.

#FidelityToTolkien

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jun 10, 6:10pm)


Solicitr
Gondor


Jun 10, 8:53pm

Post #254 of 255 (197 views)
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Subject [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Gandalf and Pippin on Shadowfax seem to have covered about 100 miles per day


By road, and only riding at night. 100mpd is still just at the edge of what a real-world endurance-racing horse can do- and then only for one day.

Originally it was a superhuman (superequine?) 150 per day, but Tolkien was forced to stretch it out when he delayed the Battle of the Pelennor from the 14th to the 15th. He did this because he hadn't given Aragorn and the Grey Company enough time realistically to get from Erech to Pelargir- an example of the sort of care the author put into such matters.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 11, 12:45am

Post #255 of 255 (173 views)
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Yes. [In reply to] Can't Post

Re-read my post. I did make that distinction, if not as clearly as I might have done.

#FidelityToTolkien

 
 

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