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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Huffington Post: Critics dislike Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit at their own peril
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redgiraffe
Rohan

Jan 3 2013, 8:45pm

Post #1 of 96 (1116 views)
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Huffington Post: Critics dislike Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit at their own peril Can't Post

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...ns-em_b_2342591.html

I haven't seen an actual thread started on this one so I guess this is okay. I think this was a great article. I really liked pretty much everything this guy had to say.

But the main thing I want to talk about is some of the comments disagreeing with this reviewer for referring to LOTR as an allegory. This is sort of rushed and really only barely glosses over everything I want to say but here it goes:

In the reviewer's defense, the term "allegory," in its strictest sense, refers to concepts and ideas represented by the story. I think most people are thinking too literally as in he is saying LOTR was an allegory for WWII, or the ring is an allegory for the machine of atomic bomb. I don't think that's at all what the reviewer means.

LOTR is an allegory in the sense that it's characters represent certain important themes, concepts, and ideas that are at the heart of the story. The ring itself represents power. And the entire story is about what mankind does when faced with this power. In the end, man will become corrupted by the the desire to use power, no matter how good his intentions were to begin with.

Short analysis, but here are some major themes. Many of the characters represent different aspects of human nature facing this power. Denethor represents those who turn to despair and give up when darkness comes. Saruman represents one who lusts for power, possibly out of fear of sauron regaining the ring. Boromir is one of the mightiest men of Gondor, and that's why Tolkien wrote his character as the one member of the fellowship who could resist it the least. It was only in the hands of a hobbit - someone who most would consider weak - that the ring had little seduction over (though it's also a major point that it does eventually corrupt him in the end).


And of course there's also the concept of war throughout the story. It's not a direct parallel to WWI and WWII but it is certainly influenced thematically. This grand war that could decide the doom of men is being fought over this tiny piece of gold. So many turn to madness over what can happen. But LOTR also represents the brutality of war and the less than black and white nature of "evil soldiers" through Faramir's dialogue.

The whole purpose of Frodo leaving is to represent that part of him has died because of this journey he went on. He will never be the same.Tolkien probably felt much the same after serving time in war. And Frodo's conversation with Sam about not being torn in two and that his part in the story must go on is a direct representation of how we all must deal with losing loved ones - and this was something that greatly affected Tolkien because many of his closest friends had died and to him it was a way of saying goodbye.

So yes, I would agree that LOTR is an allegory in the strictest sense of it's representations of themes and ideas and symbolism.

-Sir are you classified as human
-Negative, I am a meat-popsicle


QuackingTroll
Valinor


Jan 3 2013, 8:57pm

Post #2 of 96 (573 views)
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A movie shouldn't need a huge article like this to justify its self... [In reply to] Can't Post

It doesn't matter how much is from source material and how much is invented. People don't like it because it's long, slow and boring.


(This post was edited by QuackingTroll on Jan 3 2013, 8:57pm)


ashonmytomatoes
Bree


Jan 3 2013, 8:58pm

Post #3 of 96 (541 views)
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I read that article earlier [In reply to] Can't Post

and thought it was great. I am much in agreement with it. Your post was very eloquent, too!


belfalas
Bree

Jan 3 2013, 9:09pm

Post #4 of 96 (502 views)
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Agreed [In reply to] Can't Post

A good article.
I suppose critics have to review what's in front of them. When the Hobbit Trilogy is complete then we'll have the critical review of them as a whole. It's a little ridiculous to consider this a standalone film, yet that's what is expected by many.


Arannir
Valinor

Jan 3 2013, 9:18pm

Post #5 of 96 (544 views)
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False for a huge majority... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
It doesn't matter how much is from source material and how much is invented. People don't like it because it's long, slow and boring.


... according to all averages of audience-ratings ;)


(This post was edited by Arannir on Jan 3 2013, 9:18pm)


QuackingTroll
Valinor


Jan 3 2013, 9:20pm

Post #6 of 96 (519 views)
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I dunno... It has a Rotten Tomatoes score lower than the Rankin/Bass version // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Arannir
Valinor

Jan 3 2013, 9:22pm

Post #7 of 96 (539 views)
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Please try to listen... [In reply to] Can't Post

AUDIENCE averages. Not critics.


DanielLB
Immortal


Jan 3 2013, 9:26pm

Post #8 of 96 (495 views)
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Of course it does! [In reply to] Can't Post

AUJ is only one third of the story. The R/B version is the whole story.

WinkLaugh

And who wouldn't rate FrogThranduil higher than ElkThranduil?

Want Hobbit Movie News? Hobbit Headlines of the Week!



Arannir
Valinor

Jan 3 2013, 9:29pm

Post #9 of 96 (486 views)
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Let alone the fact that the R/B movie has only 15 critics or so... [In reply to] Can't Post

... but again, the claim that "people hate it because it is long, boring, bla" is even wrong for many of those who do hate it.


ashonmytomatoes
Bree


Jan 3 2013, 9:30pm

Post #10 of 96 (462 views)
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Ha! [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah, the Elves looked terrible in the Rankin-Bass version, more like Goblins than Elves. I couldn't imagine Bilbo deciding to fight with those Elves for that Elven King in the Bo5a. I did enjoy the Rankin-Bass as a child but the Jackson version is so much more.


QuackingTroll
Valinor


Jan 3 2013, 9:32pm

Post #11 of 96 (473 views)
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But this thread is about the critics' response // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


burrahobbit
Rohan


Jan 3 2013, 9:34pm

Post #12 of 96 (479 views)
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The audience rating is moderate on RT [In reply to] Can't Post

It's 81% on Rotten Tomatoes. Much higher than the critics view, but still not that high. Most people who write a review are movie fans, so ratings tend to get inflated e.g. Transformers 89%, Twilight 82%. FotR got 92%.


Arannir
Valinor

Jan 3 2013, 9:34pm

Post #13 of 96 (471 views)
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Okay [In reply to] Can't Post

Well you spoke about people and this is what I responded to. Forgive me.

"Hate" ist still kind of a weird word, considering that even the mixed to negative reviews seldomly spoke about a really "bad" movie.


redgiraffe
Rohan

Jan 3 2013, 9:35pm

Post #14 of 96 (466 views)
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To be honest [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
It doesn't matter how much is from source material and how much is invented. People don't like it because it's long, slow and boring.


I feel as if this article is more directed at critics. And I am starting to lose a lot of respect for their assessment of movies.

The funny thing is, though, you didn't like the film and yet I find myself respecting and trusting the genuineness of your opinion more than any critics, even though I don't share the same opinion as you.

In this sense I understand the need for this review (in that it's directed at critics). It's weird though, I just don't really trust that critics are giving a genuine assessment of the film.

Maybe I'm just biased but I find fellow TORN members who have negative reviews, such as your self good sir, to be much more genuine.Crazy

That's a compliment by the way... or at least I mean it as a compliment. I don't know I've been up too long.

-Sir are you classified as human
-Negative, I am a meat-popsicle


Arannir
Valinor

Jan 3 2013, 9:46pm

Post #15 of 96 (436 views)
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Well, I guess that is hate (or 'not like') then ;) [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
It's 81% on Rotten Tomatoes. Much higher than the critics view, but still not that high. Most people who write a review are movie fans, so ratings tend to get inflated e.g. Transformers 89%, Twilight 82%. FotR got 92%.



QuackingTroll
Valinor


Jan 3 2013, 9:46pm

Post #16 of 96 (445 views)
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Critics are people too! [In reply to] Can't Post

But you're right, there's a huge divide between audience and critics. I think if you analyse AUJ as a single movie - without any knowledge of what it's building up to - It's pretty terribly paced and makes a very big deal out of things that don't really seem important - Like the handing-over of the key, the talk of Dain's army and the whole white-council scene.

So I agree that these scenes only seem pointless because they're not in context with the rest of the trilogy. But you have to question whether it should be necessary for the audience to know all this before watching the first movie? Isn't this supposed to be an introduction to Middle-earth for some? So shouldn't it be able to stand on its own without any wider context?


Arannir
Valinor

Jan 3 2013, 9:54pm

Post #17 of 96 (431 views)
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Well... [In reply to] Can't Post

I guess the answer to that is different depending on whatever reactions one has heard.

For my mum and two friends this was the ME-introduction and they loved it.

Others knew LotR but liked AUJ better because it wasn't that self-serious in their view.

I for one can look at it, have it in a shelve with LotR but just enjoy it for what it is. I never wanted more... actually got more than I hoped for, as Tolkien's Hobbit, other than giving me more ME, never did it for me.


I agree, that PJ has decided to depend more for this one on the mythology behind it when it comes to the epic moments. But not so far so that it could have ruined the movie as a standalone, I believe.

But this, again, might be judged differently by others.

Although I doubt that 35% of the critics were as negative or mixed as they were because they though this cannot stand on its own feet. At least you hardly read that in those reviews.


Escapist
Gondor


Jan 3 2013, 10:00pm

Post #18 of 96 (416 views)
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Many explanations for differences between critic and fan ratings exist. [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't agree that the fan ratings tend to be inflated. Critics and fans just don't always agree.


QuackingTroll
Valinor


Jan 3 2013, 10:01pm

Post #19 of 96 (408 views)
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Did I say I don't like the film? [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh my, I knew when I wrote that I should've said "in their opinion". I'm just going by reviews I've read. People have said it's too long and boring. The phrase "butter scraped over too much bread" comes up a lot.

I personally loved the movie. But I can see how those without a wider knowledge of Tolkien would find it stretched or "padded". I guess my point is that an audience shouldn't need an understanding of Tolkien in order to enjoy the first movie. Luckily I have that understanding. But I can empathise with the majority of people that don't. - It seems though, that general audiences are excited to see where the story goes, whereas critics refuse to get excited about anything.


(This post was edited by QuackingTroll on Jan 3 2013, 10:04pm)


redgiraffe
Rohan

Jan 3 2013, 10:10pm

Post #20 of 96 (399 views)
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Thank you [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
So I agree that these scenes only seem pointless because they're not in context with the rest of the trilogy. But you have to question whether it should be necessary for the audience to know all this before watching the first movie? Isn't this supposed to be an introduction to Middle-earth for some? So shouldn't it be able to stand on its own without any wider context?


I have been trying to get this point across to quite a few people. While each movie of the hobbit and LOTR is a smaller part of a larger film, each one has to stand on its own "in a sense" as a film that is well paced and well structured.

Part of my problem with the white council storyline is that it didn't have an arc for film 1. Really, if you look at it without knowing what about the sequels, you're left with a sense of "what was the point of that?" At least that's how I feel. I think they should have had some kind of arc (even if just a minor one) to DG to give us the sense that this plotline is going to continue on with the next two movies.

-Sir are you classified as human
-Negative, I am a meat-popsicle


QuackingTroll
Valinor


Jan 3 2013, 10:20pm

Post #21 of 96 (401 views)
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I think the answer is different depending on why you're watching the film... [In reply to] Can't Post

If you're watching it for fun then you kind of accept all these 'confusing' scenes as a mystery that will later be answered. But from a critical stand-point they just come across as unnecessary padding. This is possibly where the divide comes from. Or possibly it comes from the fact that critics don't like 48fps Tongue


Rostron2
Gondor


Jan 3 2013, 10:32pm

Post #22 of 96 (367 views)
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Critics are Critics [In reply to] Can't Post

Some are professional and thorough, and some have minimal credentials. This latter group is largely populated by 'online' critics and 'bloggers'. They may or may not have any real experience in delivering a fair and balanced review. At least this writer knows the material, so we can agree with his views.

I think it's been noted by many here that people's expectations of the film were that it would be another masterpiece. There's also the feeling that somehow PJ was going to be a different film-maker this time, and be more canon than the last time. That's simply not the case.

LOTR was a big success on many levels, and PJ can be said to have revitalized the fantasy genre by the success of the earlier films. He had a vision that mostly fit people's pictures in their heads. With LOTR, and with AUJ, you get a vision. It's just not yours, however much we want it to be.

However, the credit must always be to Tolkien's ability to tell a story, and create the characters that we see. It also gives us something to talk about when the vision doesn't match what we see in our heads. Tolkien was not a film-maker, and didn't really like the medium. I doubt he would approve of the films either, but he would probably applaud the creativity shown.

Critics however, do not create anything but discussion.


redgiraffe
Rohan

Jan 3 2013, 10:34pm

Post #23 of 96 (360 views)
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No you were fine [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Oh my, I knew when I wrote that I should've said "in their opinion". I'm just going by reviews I've read. People have said it's too long and boring. The phrase "butter scraped over too much bread" comes up a lot.

I personally loved the movie. But I can see how those without a wider knowledge of Tolkien would find it stretched or "padded". I guess my point is that an audience shouldn't need an understanding of Tolkien in order to enjoy the first movie. Luckily I have that understanding. But I can empathise with the majority of people that don't. - It seems though, that general audiences are excited to see where the story goes, whereas critics refuse to get excited about anything.


My mistake I just misinterpreted it thinking you thought it was long slow and boring. Lol it's been a long day. I also enjoyed the film a lot but as I said before I can see where some of the white council stuff seems not well structured for the first film.

But I still disagree with a lot of the critics in saying that the beginning was slow and boring. The beginning, I thought, was perfectly done. Oh well I need to take a break and study for a bit.

And....um... anyone care to comment on my assessment of the reviewer's use of the word "allegory"?

Edit: Oh and I completely agree that it would be best that people are able to view this without prior knowledge of Tolkien. I don't know what you thought about that but I felt Jackson did a good enough job. I mean I think it's about the same as watching LOTR for the frst tme.

What's important for me is that the movies are made to where you don't have to watch LOTR first. I remember the star wars prequels messed that up quite badly.

-Sir are you classified as human
-Negative, I am a meat-popsicle

(This post was edited by redgiraffe on Jan 3 2013, 10:37pm)


redgiraffe
Rohan

Jan 3 2013, 11:45pm

Post #24 of 96 (312 views)
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Here! Here! [In reply to] Can't Post

Well said, Rostron2.

Part of the reason why I don't trust critics is because they give films like Avatar such high praise and this one so little. No one offense to anyone who liked Avatar. I most certainly thought it was worth every penny to see in 3D but I don't understand how critics can say "Avatar has such a powerful love story in it".

This is why I'm beginning to believe critics are more and more like a flock of sheep just following one another. Just my opinion though.

-Sir are you classified as human
-Negative, I am a meat-popsicle


JWPlatt
Grey Havens


Jan 4 2013, 12:15am

Post #25 of 96 (294 views)
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"Hear, Hear" [In reply to] Can't Post

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hear,_hear

Heh, funny, like critics who "are more and more like a flock of sheep," fans (of any franchise) frequently remind me of sheep who are insatiable for grass (content) a-a-a-and over-graze what is there to the point of spoiling everything for all. I guess everyone has their faults.


(This post was edited by JWPlatt on Jan 4 2013, 12:18am)

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