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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
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Paulo Gabriel
Lorien

Apr 30, 11:38pm

Post #126 of 255 (1645 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 (1633 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 (1604 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 (1601 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 (1551 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 (1531 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 (1513 views)
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Subject [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
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.

‘Where in Middle-earth are we?’ said Gimli; and Elladan answered: ‘We 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.’

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: ‘Friends, forget your weariness! Ride now, ride! We must come to the Stone of Erech ere this day passes, and long still is the way.’ 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: ‘The King of the Dead! The King of the Dead is come upon us!’

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 (1484 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 (1482 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 (1414 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 Thorin’s demise and scenes like Alfid’s death, and that’s how it’s been since FotR.

Like you, I have always disliked the beheading of the Mouth of Sauron in RotK, but I’ve never been sure whether PJ simply didn’t 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 “impossible” ones, as in flambé 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 Bilbo’s own story, the journey of an everyman from a slightly ridiculous “grocer” 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 aren’t 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 (1397 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 (1385 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 (1365 views)
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It’s completely true in Jackson’s case [In reply to] Can't Post

I don’t really like the narrative either (nor how you frame it: I don’t 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 didn’t 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 couldn’t be more striking. The evidence is just on the screen.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


May 2, 7:59pm

Post #139 of 255 (1359 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 (1341 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 (1331 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 (1312 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 Théodred, 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-dûm.

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 (1303 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 (1132 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 (1064 views)
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Subject [In reply to] Can't Post


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 king’s 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 Dúnedain was built; and now they had vanished, and only the old Púkel-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 (1059 views)
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Subject [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Merry asked the question that was tormenting him.

‘Twice now, lord, I have heard of the Paths of the Dead,’ he said. ‘What are they? And where has Strider, I mean the Lord Aragorn where has he gone?’

The king sighed, but no one answered, until at last Éomer spoke. ‘We do not know, and our hearts are heavy,’ he said. ‘But 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.’

‘No man knows,’ said Théoden: ‘yet 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.

‘Folk 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.’



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


Solicitr
Gondor


May 6, 4:25pm

Post #147 of 255 (1055 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 cavern’s 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. ‘Hither shall the flowers of simbelmynë come never unto world’s end,’ he murmured. ‘Nine 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!

‘For that is not my errand!’ he cried, turning back and speaking to the whispering darkness behind. ‘Keep 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!’

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 Elf’s bright eyes. Behind them rode Elladan, last of the Company, but not the last of those that took the downward road.

‘The Dead are following,’ said Legolas. ‘I 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.’

‘Yes, the Dead ride behind. They have been summoned,’ said Elladan.



Noria
Gondor

May 7, 12:03am

Post #148 of 255 (1026 views)
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The Hobbit films are not failures in everybody’s 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 children’s novel, though Bilbo’s 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, it’s 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 Bilbo’s 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. That’s 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. I’m not saying that they didn’t 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 Bilbo’s story with a more fully developed version of Thorin’s tragic fall, using the latter to also further Bilbo’s 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. Here’s 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 (944 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 (803 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)

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