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

May 15, 4:14pm

Post #176 of 255 (1622 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 (1610 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 Nazgl 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 (1606 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 (1589 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 Ernur should have met his end roughly 500 years before the beginning of Jackson's Watchful Peace (presumably, this was when the Nazgl 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 (1577 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 (1566 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


Voronw_the_Faithful
Valinor

May 15, 11:27pm

Post #182 of 255 (1549 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 (1516 views)
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Dweller in Dale? // [In reply to] Can't Post

 




Noria
Gondor

May 16, 2:03pm

Post #184 of 255 (1448 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 (1447 views)
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Hi Voronwe. [In reply to] Can't Post

Weve both been posting on this site a long time. Its 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 wasnt bothered by being thought a man - it's the internet and its 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 (1433 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 (1413 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 (1375 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 Thoden. The beacons, as in the Primary World, are set on hills 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 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 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 to the overall increase of drama, imo.

But there's an even less plausible scene, incredibly one that violates biology and physics in a much more obvious and egregious way 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 unlike ordinary human beings, child-size or otherwise 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 (1282 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 (1279 views)
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But my eyes didnt 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 its 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 dont 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 (1278 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 (1261 views)
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Weight [In reply to] Can't Post

Surprisingly enough, I believe theres 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 Im 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 (1073 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 (1068 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 (1056 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 (1054 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 (778 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 (767 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 (732 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 (726 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.

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