Jan 15 2012, 1:02am
In other times, I have gone into exhausting detail about my rationale behind those adjectives. But I didn't want to do that here, as this thread is about the Hobbit trailer moreso than LOTR, and this forum is about the Hobbit, not LOTR.
Also, I was simply agreeing with the tone of the Wired article, not the content (I find his concern over G and G to be unfounded, and actually like the shot).
I, in fact, thought the Hobbit trailer was rather promising. Though I harbour the same fears as this Eric chap, given my experience of the films.
However, since you insist, I will give you a sense of what I mean, starting with one example to shore up each adjective:
Loud - Even the film's quiet moments are "loud" in that they don't breathe. Frodo by the Anduin, making his decision to leave, is hailed as a quiet moment, but the music, and the melodramatic manner in which it is acted (I can hear PJ saying "act big!") makes it, well, loud. The LOTR films are very "stagey" and "operatic" and i think that style should be left to the stage, where it belongs (and where actors need to project their voices and facial expressions across large rooms!)
melodramatic - countless scenes. Let me pick the twelve closeup shots of Frodo, eyes wide and squeaking, after the Troll stabs him. We get it! Now get on with it...
poorly edited - I find all three films to suffer from this. The worst offender is the intercut sequence involving the Uruks running down the banks of the Anduin, while the Fellowship rows their boats. The fades, and cuts, were like something out of a B-grade Syfy series.
uneven - someone once said that PJ paints a masterpiece, and then scribbles smiley faces all over it. Let me choose the Gimli dwarf toss at Helm's Deep here, but that scene is certainly not alone! EDIT: I just have to add "torch embedded in Nazgul's face on Waethertop" moment. Awful beyond belief.
schmaltzy - the absolutely awful "You shall be the Fellowship of the Ring!" This kind of schmaltz is oft-repeated. The interminable hugs, in s-l-o-w m-o-t-i-o-n at the Havens is another culprit. These obviously maniupulative tricks (slow-mo, overly fuzzy lighting) which are meant to tug at our heart strings, instead point to the simple fact that the director does not trust his actors, or the material, to draw in his audience.
nerve-wracking - The films simply don't breathe. While I don't believe the original Star Wars trilogy is better in terms of substance, it has a fluid style that LOTR lacks. For example, I don't recall one scene in LOTR that captures the pure beauty and spirit of the Luke Skywalker staring up at the two suns scene. The lighting of the beacons comes close, but even there, instead of letting us hear the evocative sounds of the wind on the mountains, PJ has to drive the point home that we are looking at something majestic by including a bombastic and loud number from Howard Shore. Its decent music, but for the sake of all that is subtle, let the mountains and the fire speak for themselves! EDIT: The only scene that achieves quiet beauty is Theodred's funeral scene, and the followup conversation between Theoden and Gandalf. That was beautiful cinema, even if for a brief flash.
amateurishly directed- Primarily due to the shameless emotional manipulation (which exceeds even Spielberg) I find PJ to be someone who simply does not know how to direct actors to produce compelling performances. Either that, or he shoots lots of different takes, and chooses primarily those where the actors were forced to overact. Then, however, you get the uncomfortable unevenness of certain actors, like Viggo, underacting (IMO, refreshingly.) In short, I just don't think he has the instincts to elicit believable performances. IMO, the brilliant Ian McKellen, Ian Holm, Cate Blanchett, Sean Bean, Karl Urban, and Bernard Hill acted well IN SPITE OF Peter's direction, not because of it.
So there you have it.
Are you sure you don't regret asking me?