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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Please post all Hobbit reviews within this thread. (Links to previous review threads within.)
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Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Dec 12 2012, 7:53am

Post #1 of 65 (2474 views)
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Please post all Hobbit reviews within this thread. (Links to previous review threads within.) Can't Post

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Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Dec 12 2012, 8:15am

Post #2 of 65 (1234 views)
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My review - we are thrown back into Middle-earth, although not the one we're used to. [In reply to] Can't Post

Let me start by saying The Hobbit is very good, although it's lighter and more fantastical than The Lord of the Rings. Whether that appeals or not comes down to personal taste and expectations.

The screenwriters have done a magnificent job with putting Tolkien's The Hobbit on film. We are given plenty of time to get to know the Dwarves and their quirks, to laugh at the absurdity of trolls arguing over 13 Dwarves and one burglarhobbit, and feel their fear when captured underground by goblins.

And the giants are jaw-droppingly realised.

Where some reviewers have mentioned padding, I would say the movie is indulgent. And while that makes for absorbing storytelling I don't believe it's the best way to tell a story on film.

Frodo is unnecessary. The Dwarves' time in Bag End is time-eating. I enjoyed seeing them enormously - but the movie stutters until everyone finally gets on the road. I honestly wonder if I'll enjoy seeing an even longer version of this film on an EE DVD.

There are some scenes that are done to perfection. The destruction of Erebor is magnificently depicted - the 48fps comes into its own here, with every part of the madness captured for easy watching. The trolls scene is played for laughs and tension and PJ hits the notes just right (young boys in particular will love the troll snot). The Dwarves battling the goblins to escape Goblin Town is a marvel of technical prowess. And Galadriel - ah, any movie is better when Galadriel appears: Even when she's helpful, she's spooky; but always at the centre of attention, even when just circling a council table.

But by far and away the best scene is Riddles in the Dark. The writing, the acting and the pacing is superb. Martin Freeman comes into his own here and Andy Serkis *still* out-acts him!

But while I can marvel at the clarity, richness and depth of field of 48fps, I think it does this film a disservice. When PJ went to make LOTR he emphasised that it wasn't a fairy-story but a history of events that really happened. We saw the grittiness on film; could almost smell the sweat of the unwashed protagonists. However 48fps in The Hobbit gives the movie a fantastical feeling - especially when they're in a forest - and I felt less inclined to buy into the truth of this history of Bilbo's.

I'll see it in 2D next time and compare the experience.

Overall, I'll give The Hobbit 4 out of 5. It's a technical masterpiece that is laced with humour and great battle sequences, and strengthened by absorbing acting.


(As I finish, I must mention Thror's beard jewellery - now *that* is wicked cool.)

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Eledhwen
Forum Admin / Moderator


Dec 12 2012, 8:25am

Post #3 of 65 (1150 views)
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Lightice's review [In reply to] Can't Post

Hello!

I'm just back from the midnight screening of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Turku, Finland, and I would like to share my early thoughts about the film. I haven't had time to gather my thoughts yet, and it's 4 AM, so excuse me if I'm rambling.

Now, first of all, The Hobbit was not as good as The Fellowship of the Ring, not by a long shot. It's not on par with the Lord of the Rings trilogy at this stage. This is partially due to the source material and partially the adaptation, itself. I have a metric ton of nitpicks about various decisions made in the development of this film, but consider this a good sign; I never bother to nitpick films that I hate or am indifferent about. This was a truly enjoyable experience that just happened to have a whole bunch of problems along the way. Just an example of a smaller nitpick I had: Thranduil's steed had a bridle, something that no elf should use even with a horse, let alone a majestic elk.

The chief problem is ofcourse fitting the story together with the greater mythology of Middle-Earth. Peter Jackson does an admirable job trying to fit the two together, but the seams are obviously visible most of the time. It leads to instances where people's actions are contrived to fit these two sides of narration, rather than make sense on their own. There is no reason why Radagast wouldn't have joined the White Council meeting, for example, except that PJ probably felt he would have been out of place among these dignified figures. He might have wanted to avoid a lecture from Saruman, but if Gandalf was surprised that the White Wizard was present, why would Radagast know any better? Speaking of Radagast, apparently he took Gandalf's place in discovering that evil dwells in Dol Guldur. He fights what appears to be an uncloacked NazgŻl and sees dark shape of the Necromancer. Curiously, all the wizards call him a Necromancer, and talk like this isn't the first time they've bumped into one of those. Saruman and Elrond dismiss the whole affair as a mere human sorcerer(!) dabbling with black magic.

With the dwarves the mixture of different tones works beautifully, however. They combine the silliness and solemnity extremely well, especially Bifur who has some unexpected words of wisdom to offer. And some jokes do work even though they should be completely out of place. I have to admit, I laughed out loud at this exchange between Gandalf and Radagast (from memory, so don't trust exact wordings). I especially love Sylvester McCoy's unique pronounciations that have changed little since his days as the Doctor:
Gandalf: Those are Gundaband wargs! You'll never get away!
Radagast: These are Rhosgobel rabbits! I'd like to see them try!
Also, I did like the little jab at Saruman's expense, as he rambles on about the dignity of the Istari without realizing that no-one is listening to him.

But there was bad stuff, as well. The absolute worst thing about the film was without doubt the Great Goblin. Not because of his design, his appearance was suitably grotesque and disgusting, but because in personality he's a cartoon villain and doesn't pose a credible threat for one second, even while surrounded by hundreds of lackeys. In the book the scene was genuinely tense and scary, but in the movie it felt like we just fell in a completely different genre for a moment, a Disney flick. His bland "Well, that does the trick" when Gandalf slices his stomach open just made me groan, and I wholeheartedly believe that the goblin army decided collectively roast him on the spit after the dwarves were done when he did his little song and dance number (seriously!). I know I wanted to hear some goblin singing, but not like this! The battle in the Goblin-town, while no Moria, was not bad, fortunately. It had cool visuals and choreography, though the falls taken during it strained credibility when such a big deal was made of Aragorn's "little tumble" in Two Towers. The stone giants before it were cool as well, even though they add as little to the story as they did in the original. But the Riddles in the Dark was 99% per cent awesome with an awesome, creepy exchange between Bilbo and Gollum. We even get to see the boat, for whole of two seconds. I do have to ask if Gollum was wearing the Ring around his genitals, though, since there's no place in his loincloth to put it. Laugh
And another tiny nitpick: Gollum really didn't need to charge at the camera in his final scene. "Thief! Baggins!" would have worked a lot better just waching him from behind in the tunnel mouth. But I only complain because I loved the scene so much. The better something is, the more the tiny flaws stick out, in my experience.

And then there was ofcourse Azog. I'm not terribly fond of his role in the story or his CG design, though I do admit that he embodies Thorin's pain and burdens very well. He is so far the most visible "serious" force of evil in the saga and PJ does his best to make him an utter badass, but it doesn't help much with the fact that he's just tagged on. I feel that he should have stayed in flashbacks; namedropping Bolg in Goblin-town would have worked as well, and without the unnecessary addition of the character. He does his job well enough, but I question if it's a job that needs doing outside the events of the past.

I predict that this will be a very, very divisive film series both for the loyal fanbase and the general public. Some will cry betrayal or deride Peter Jackson for making a goofy kid's film, while others will defend it with with equal vigour. Personally, I found the experience enjoyable enough in spite of the shortcomings and wait eagerly for the following parts of the trilogy, but they will not replace the Lord of the Rings among my favourite films of all times.

This was my two eurocents, for the moment. Maybe I have focused my thoughts a bit more by tomorrow. Good night!


Storm clouds


macfalk
Valinor


Dec 12 2012, 8:25am

Post #4 of 65 (1079 views)
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Ataahua [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with pretty much everything you had to say. apart from the dwarves in Bag End being time-eating. I thought it was marvellous that the dwarves were fleshed out and what the journey is all about is explained before they set out on the road.



The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.


Eledhwen
Forum Admin / Moderator


Dec 12 2012, 8:27am

Post #5 of 65 (1144 views)
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herzogian's review [In reply to] Can't Post



Just saw the movie in 3D with HFR. Here's my short and childish review: (dont think that there are spoilers, nevertheless Watch Out)

Liked the beginning sequence, Liked the first half (unlike the critics). Dol Guldur part was short but good. Rivendellpart was the weakest for me. Stone Giants: pretty awesome, but not suprising. They cant keep up with Balrog. Gandalf: awesome, Bilbo: spot on, Balin: super, Bofur:funny, Gollem:precious, loved the Great Goblin and was very happy with the first shots of Thranduil. Radagast was a bit too much, just a bit. Didnt like the wargs. Last shot a bit predictable yet cool. Howard Shore did his work well, again. The overall tone of the film certainly was lighter but i didnt mind that at all. Nevertheless, it doesnt deserve a 90 rating. I would give it something in between 75-80. I never realy had these moments like the argonath, the balrog, khazad-dum. Moments in which you can loose yourself for a while. Moments that give a film just that bit more.Though the film is long it feels asof PJ wants to rush a bit too much and show too much. He doesnt take his time to create such simple yet awesome, epic moments and thats a pity.Maybe in the next one?

HFR, doesnt always work very well, but when it does the view is breathtaking.


Thats it. Sorry for the spelling. Sleepiewell.


Storm clouds


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Dec 12 2012, 8:53am

Post #6 of 65 (1072 views)
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About the Nazgul... [In reply to] Can't Post

I thought the special effects were markedly improved on FOTR - the Witchking looked spooky and superb.

My problem with the Great Goblin was his language - "whom"? Really?

And yes, I too wondered from where exactly Gollum had extracted the One Ring! (Clenched butt-cheeks?)

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Dec 12 2012, 8:54am

Post #7 of 65 (1081 views)
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The Dwarves were enormously entertaining [In reply to] Can't Post

but no way in heck would I have them over for dinner - the *mess* you'd have to clean up...

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


ElendurTheFaithful
Rivendell


Dec 12 2012, 11:47am

Post #8 of 65 (942 views)
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up one, 75% on RT [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Jax_Teller
Rivendell

Dec 12 2012, 12:48pm

Post #9 of 65 (897 views)
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Hum, what? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To


In the book the scene was genuinely tense and scary, but in the movie it felt like we just fell in a completely different genre for a moment, a Disney flick. His bland "Well, that does the trick" when Gandalf slices his stomach open just made me groan, and I wholeheartedly believe that the goblin army decided collectively roast him on the spit after the dwarves were done when he did his little song and dance number (seriously!)






Really? I read it again till the eagles scene two days ago, in anticipation for the movie, and IMO, the Goblin King scene is not tense AT ALL, he doesn't pose much of a threat in the book, he has like three sentences and then is killed by Gandalf, that's it.

He striked me more as a kind of grotesque, comical character than anything else (I didnt see the movie yet, I will today).


But it's stuff like that that I will love to see Pete expand on. So much stuff is so short in the book, you have those big events sometimes told in 1 or 2 pages.


tolktolk
Lorien

Dec 12 2012, 2:24pm

Post #10 of 65 (837 views)
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Couple of new reviews [In reply to] Can't Post

Both positive, with some constructive criticism:

http://stcommunities.straitstimes.com/...y-peter-jackson-2012

http://www.flushthefashion.com/film/review-the-hobbit/


Joe20
Lorien


Dec 12 2012, 2:53pm

Post #11 of 65 (886 views)
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Quite possibly the most positive review I've read... [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.forbes.com/...arth-is-a-triumph/3/

I hope I feel like this guy did after seeing the film. Wink


Welsh hero
Gondor


Dec 12 2012, 3:03pm

Post #12 of 65 (773 views)
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Now on 75 RT [In reply to] Can't Post

7/10 average

(60% on top critics)

-Irfon

Twitter: @IrfonPennant
middle earth timeline FB: https://www.facebook.com/MiddleEarth1


utku
Rivendell


Dec 12 2012, 3:09pm

Post #13 of 65 (789 views)
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One review to rule them all. [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Dlanor da Great
Rivendell


Dec 12 2012, 3:19pm

Post #14 of 65 (817 views)
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I dont know if anyone seen this yet, but its 5 star review... [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.totalfilm.com/...n-unexpected-journey


ElendurTheFaithful
Rivendell


Dec 12 2012, 3:32pm

Post #15 of 65 (742 views)
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50 % top critics tied at 8:8 in rottena and fresh [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Lacrimae Rerum
Grey Havens

Dec 12 2012, 3:39pm

Post #16 of 65 (712 views)
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Odd mine still shows 10 top critics, not 16. [In reply to] Can't Post

 


ElendurTheFaithful
Rivendell


Dec 12 2012, 3:42pm

Post #17 of 65 (694 views)
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Odd [In reply to] Can't Post

its 9:8 fresh now, 53% top critics


unexpectedvisitor
Rohan

Dec 12 2012, 3:43pm

Post #18 of 65 (708 views)
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wow [In reply to] Can't Post

what i like about this review is that it's clear he is so passionate about how much he likes it, it drove him to a bit more depth in his reviewing than i've seen in the majority of the other reviews as he gets into talking about the themes of the film, Bilbo's character arc in this part of the story, and responding to the criticisms that have been prevalent amongst the more mixed or negative reviews.

the comparison to Gilliam's Time Bandits and the recalling of Jackson's dark comedy roots really excites me, personally. i'm afraid this is where i might differ from many of the fans on here who might be looking for more of a tonal carbon copy of the LotR...OR a more direct adaptation of the much lighter, whimsical, and straightforward book. i love LotR and i have no doubt that i will prefer those movies to The Hobbit because of their content and the nature of that narrative...but i do like everything i've seen and am hearing about the tone that this movie is going for because i think that's an interesting take on what Tolkien tried to do with his story. there is an involving play of cheeky and earnest, lighthearted and foreboding in Tolkien's original text, and it sounds like Jackson has tried to blow that up to a much larger, cinematic scale that is in part in keeping with his LotR movie trilogy but also brings in some of his earlier movie sensibilities. for some people on here, though, who couldn't care less about a movie like Dead Alive (or didn't like King Kong, for that matter)...that might not be the best of news.

i, however, am stoked!


imin
Valinor


Dec 12 2012, 3:48pm

Post #19 of 65 (687 views)
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Are you in the UK? [In reply to] Can't Post

If so then that's your answer - there is a US site and a UK site, they have different totals and can have different scores from that - an example would be the difference between US and UK RT scores for Avengers - they (US) loved it, we (UK) loved it to a lesser extent.

The UK's split is 6:4 as well giving a top critic rating of 60%.


ElendurTheFaithful
Rivendell


Dec 12 2012, 3:51pm

Post #20 of 65 (659 views)
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can [In reply to] Can't Post

you post a link to uk RT please

thank you


Lacrimae Rerum
Grey Havens

Dec 12 2012, 3:54pm

Post #21 of 65 (668 views)
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Ah top critics vary by country [In reply to] Can't Post

Just worked it out. My top crtics aren't the same people as yours.

Edit - Thanks Imin - went off to investigate and missed your response!

LR


(This post was edited by Lacrimae Rerum on Dec 12 2012, 3:56pm)


imin
Valinor


Dec 12 2012, 3:56pm

Post #22 of 65 (661 views)
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here you go :) [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_hobbit_an_unexpected_journey/

On the UK version of the site there is a link in the top right to go onto the US version so i can see the results of both - i dont know if this is the same the other way round.


unexpectedvisitor
Rohan

Dec 12 2012, 3:59pm

Post #23 of 65 (694 views)
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little white lies review [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.littlewhitelies.co.uk/...pected-journey-22703

one of the more recent ones posted on RT and i think one of the better reviews out there. so far i've found this one, the The New Yorker review, the Drew McWeeny review for HitFix, the Forbes review, and the Empire review to be the most well-written and most interesting.


ElendurTheFaithful
Rivendell


Dec 12 2012, 4:00pm

Post #24 of 65 (651 views)
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it must be georgaphicaly locked [In reply to] Can't Post

the link you posted is the same one i can open. It opens one (usa one i assume) with 17 top critics reviews so far.

i understand that usa gets access to usa rt, and uk gets acess to uk rt, i just don't know how they pick the one for us croatian boys and girls.


unexpectedvisitor
Rohan

Dec 12 2012, 4:07pm

Post #25 of 65 (663 views)
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Glenn Kenny [In reply to] Can't Post

Kenny is one of the "big name" critics and he quite liked the movie, though he admits that he's not familiar with the original story and not much of a Tolkien buff...

http://movies.msn.com/...-unexpected-journey/

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