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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
The Hobbit will almost certainly hold up as a bona fide chapter in a larger classic film series, despite the mixed and overly cynical reviews. .
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AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Jan 19 2013, 5:59am

Post #1 of 97 (1463 views)
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The Hobbit will almost certainly hold up as a bona fide chapter in a larger classic film series, despite the mixed and overly cynical reviews. . Can't Post

Why? A number of reasons, not the least of which being it is a good to great movie, in general, and is certainly a GREAT Sword & Sorcery - Action/Adventure genre movie. Is it perfect? Certainly not. It has flaws. There are moments in a few odd scenes which seem rushed. There are a few musical cue ins from already aired movies in the series which seem forced and a tad gimmicky. There are excessive displays of Pit humour (some of the eye crossing bordered on ridiculous, and some of the snot joking bordered on or became repulsive, and in both cases marred some of the surrounding humour that would have worked well without it); Jackson plainly finds a 5 year olds delight in excess expulsions of mucous and gas, which some of us (including, presumably, Tolkien who never really mentions such thinga) do not share. And, of course, there are a few glaring inaccuries and deviations from the actual history of events related in the book, some of which make it a less powerful story than it might have been. It has flaws, as I have said. Yet, the flaws do not negate the fact that it has many truly wonderful moments, and they do not stop it from being a good and possibly great film.

It is NOT The Phantom Menace by any stretch (and that movie was not as bad as some made it out to be, but it merited its rebukes far more than An Unexpected Jurney merits those it has been targeted with). It does not manage to greatly detract from the legacy of the existing films in the series, and there are many positive things which it adds to them (not the least among these being better humour, a lighter paced more charm focused opening to gradually lead into the more somber affairs of the latter installments than Fellowship could have rightly provided, Balin, Thorin, and more Gandalf the Gray {revealing more humour, more cheek, and more power], not to mention the wonderful Erebor sequence and the chilling Lonely Mountain anthem). Many critics have given less than stellar receptions to the movie. But, once you parse through all of the "it isn't what Rings was, and it doesn't live up to the hype," moaning, very FEW critics actually gave it a fundementally bad review. With a few exceptions, most said that it started off slow and had an eye afflicting frame rate (wholly optional the latter), but was a good ride with solid acting once it started moving. Mostly, the reviews read like the response of a middle-school parent whose child recieved a mixed report card of A and B grades, when the lofty expectation parent was hoping for a 3.7 to 4.0 all A brilliance display. . . the normal person who comes in and looks past the parental dissapointment and disaproval, still sees a pretty damned good report card. And, as many here and most who were not looking for something to complain about will attest, the "slow" hour of opening which many critics complained about held some of the best and most engaging material in the movie. Many have already discovered the mixed grandeur and enchantment of the first third of the film, and more will come to as time goes forward. The average viewer who generally likes this type of film, and yet is neither burdened by the hyper-critics quest to root out perceived "bloat" even where it is not present, nor by the hardore lore learned's (read purists and quasi purists. . . and I am among the latter myself) horror at changes like those made to the history of the Dwarves, will find plenty to delight them on both the front and back ends of this movie. I hope the same will be true of the two films still set to follow. I think this review, while more glowing than I would give (I am not as willing to give Jackson and crew quite as many pats on the ass as this guy does) has it largely right about the more negative critics http://www.forbes.com/...arth-is-a-triumph/3/ .

Also, the combination of returning actors and sets creates a more seamless unity than is found in many other prequels, including Star Wars. There is a much greater feeling of differnt but related stories being told in the same world and age than is the case with most other attempts of this sort. So, put a star in for continuity. And, on the topic of the actors. . . all of the leads are high quality and give good performances. There is no strain of the a lead role being left in the hands of a ham-fisted or mediocre actor. McKellen, Armitage, Freeman, Stout, Nesbit and the other more heavily featured performers all provide very authentic dramatizations, and for the most part they have pretty good lines. A few of the lines are clonkers, but then a few of them are magnificent, so it balances out.

Also, and perhaps key, these movies are going to be boxed set, and inextricably tied to a benchmark genre trilogy that has one more combined Academy Awards than virtually any other films in the history of the Academy, a Best Picture award among them. The films are a set, to which these will now belong, and the earlier instalments finale (now the series finale) managed what even The Wizard of Oz and The Ten Commandments could not, iconic as they are. They are inevitably part of a greater whole, the latter part of which has already been deemed Great. And in the future they will be considered a collective. And (barring unlikely crap exuding on the part of one or both of the remaining two films) they, and certainly An Unexpected Journey, are not bad enough to get the "skip over that part," treatment from most audiences. Indeed, it is good in its own right, and makes the Rings viewing a more hollistic experience. It will become a classic film sextet series.

"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Jan 19 2013, 6:14am

Post #2 of 97 (674 views)
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yepper! [In reply to] Can't Post

I am perhaps, a bit less critical than most. All I can say is I loved it!

OK, I'll add to that...

WETA: genius. Just genius. I write and commit art, and can draw horses and Elves with my eyes closed. Dwarves elude me entirely. This is some of the best character and costume design I have ever seen.

I had at first thought some of the action a bit over the top, bordering on cartoony. Then I realized the book has a much lighter, more humorous feel (for parts of it at least). Now the slightly over the top action sequences make sense... and no, while mere mortal humans wouldn't have survived that... these are Dwarves!

And the actors.... they all get A+ in my book!

Go outside and play...


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Jan 19 2013, 6:30am

Post #3 of 97 (687 views)
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Quite true. What I think some forget (and the mixing in of Thror's fate doubtless muddied it further) [In reply to] Can't Post

is that this is a film based on a children's book. It would have been almost tragic if it had been so sombre (Towers or Return) that only the most precocious child could go in cold and see and enjoy it.

Aside from the graphic display of Thror's death, I think Jackson did a very good job of balancing a story that adults could fully enjoy and feel the weight of, and which would also segue smoothly into the Rings films, with something that doesn't forget or ignore the fact that there are children watching, and does not leave them out of the consideration.

In Reply To
I am perhaps, a bit less critical than most. All I can say is I loved it!

OK, I'll add to that...

WETA: genius. Just genius. I write and commit art, and can draw horses and Elves with my eyes closed. Dwarves elude me entirely. This is some of the best character and costume design I have ever seen.

I had at first thought some of the action a bit over the top, bordering on cartoony. Then I realized the book has a much lighter, more humorous feel (for parts of it at least). Now the slightly over the top action sequences make sense... and no, while mere mortal humans wouldn't have survived that... these are Dwarves!

And the actors.... they all get A+ in my book!


"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Jan 19 2013, 6:40am

Post #4 of 97 (698 views)
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Nothing to add except [In reply to] Can't Post

when reading your last paragraph it occurred to me that a 6 piece boxed set may be a problem... sometimes it depends on who owns the home distribution rights. Does WB own the rights to LOTR?


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Jan 19 2013, 6:51am

Post #5 of 97 (661 views)
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Yes. Unless they sold them, which seems utterly improbable. New Line was already a division of AOL/Time Warner [In reply to] Can't Post

when those movies were released. If Warner Brothers did not have the rights to the bulk of the Rings film content. . . well, these films could hardly have been made in the tie in heavy manner they have been. lol. The Visual guides etc. are all through the same corporate partners and distributors, and I am all but certain the movies will be as well, only New Line as the lead in logo has been forced to recede.

"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


imin
Valinor


Jan 19 2013, 7:57am

Post #6 of 97 (647 views)
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It will hold up [In reply to] Can't Post

and its a decent enough start but its not a classic in its own right. It simply ain't good enough over the whole movie - too many scenes that are not quite there.

I do think it will be improved upon though come the release of the EE and may feel more balanced with the edition of extra scenes which could elevate it to the level of a classic.

Like you though i am pleased it aims some of its gags and scenes at children - my sister just recently went to see it (she's 11) and she found the bits i didnt like (eating greens, goblin falling down on dwarves, snot etc) to be some of the funniest parts so it definitely achieved what it wanted to, i guess im just not in the right age range for that.

Like you i personally dont think it is as bad as the phantom menace, i dont think its a bad film, its just not as great as the others.

I have found critics reviews to be pretty interesting this time round - quite a lot dislike the slow start and then like the action scenes - my own view is pretty much the opposite to a degree which perhaps shows there is a fine line between making a film entertaining to the masses and making one that appeals to Tolkien fans.

The next one will be better Smile


burrahobbit
Rohan


Jan 19 2013, 11:49am

Post #7 of 97 (619 views)
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Trying to make a prequel is the root of the problem [In reply to] Can't Post

The Star Wars prequels are viewed by many as bone fide chapters in the film series, despite them being bad to mediocre. So good or bad, The Hobbit will also be viewed as part of the film series, and it will certainly be promoted as such with lots of flashy six movie boxsets.

I think the Phantom Menace comparison does have some merit- not because AUJ is as bad as Phantom, but because it makes the same mistake of telling a story when we know the ending- i.e. a prequel. Prequels are written for fans to revisit a movie world they are already familiar with, whereas an original film is about getting the viewer excited about a new story with new characters.

So for example in A New Hope, Luke meets Ben Kenobi who introduces the history of the Jedi and uncovers their world to Luke in a mysterious and engaging manner. In Phantom, the two main jedi characters stride on with no introduction and have light-sabred their way through a hundred robots by the end of scene 2. The whole film has no real character drama, and is an extended CGI thrill-ride.

In The Hobbit, the new story to be told is of course The Hobbit. AUJ makes a decent stab at that, but is compromised both by the strange decision to cover only a third of the short book, which limits the character arcs and scope for drama, and by the mixed attempt to change the tone towards LotR.

In return for these changes we get more LotR actors and the introduction of the necromancer story thread. Like Phantom Menace, the necromancer prequel storyline cannot have any real drama, as all characters must live to fight another day in LotR. LotR characters like Galadriel and Saruman and taken from their spectacular locations of Lorien and Orthanc, and given cameos in scenes entirely created by PJ, as there is so little Tolkien material to base it on.

Was all this really worth it to provide continuity and a "seamless unity"? I think it's really compromised telling The Hobbit story, and underlies the critical reaction of the film being "bloated", "plodding" etc. Maybe the next two films will be much better, and the adaptation decisions will all make sense. But it's also possible decisions like Azog, the extended necromancer storyline, LotR cameos and overuse of CGI will continue to affect the quality of the storytelling.

(This post was edited by burrahobbit on Jan 19 2013, 11:51am)


Xanaseb
Tol Eressea


Jan 19 2013, 12:27pm

Post #8 of 97 (566 views)
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fine line indeed. That's what is so hard here, for us as fans to comment on... though we still have a concept of how good it was of course. [In reply to] Can't Post

Making a 6 DVD box set I also think probably won't occur. Can't see that happening to be honest. The Hobbit is also a tincy bit more separate from LOTR, in that it's got a completely different main title 'The Hobbit' rather than all six for the 'Star Wars' films...

Though that's kinda obvious I suppose Wink

--I'm a victim of Bifurcation--
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Join us over at Barliman's chat all day, any day!
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Estel78
Tol Eressea

Jan 19 2013, 1:00pm

Post #9 of 97 (558 views)
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A 6-er box will definitely occur [In reply to] Can't Post

Call it Middle Earth saga, problem solved.


Slim
Rivendell


Jan 19 2013, 2:45pm

Post #10 of 97 (550 views)
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It's one of those movies [In reply to] Can't Post

that I can call "fun" -- which, strangely, is quite rare.

It's almost 'fun as fun was when you were a kid', and that is something I truly appreciate. Smile


Elessar
Valinor


Jan 19 2013, 3:26pm

Post #11 of 97 (501 views)
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Pretty spot on my friend [In reply to] Can't Post

Nice job :)



ceppault
Bree


Jan 19 2013, 3:32pm

Post #12 of 97 (518 views)
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Funny parts of the film [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
... found the bits i didnt like (eating greens, goblin falling down on dwarves, snot etc) to be some of the funniest parts so it definitely achieved what it wanted to, i guess im just not in the right age range for that.

Quite funny as a kid. Skipped a few years. Pushing 50? Got funny again. Not sure why, but it could be a matter of just not caring, really. Heh.

Production Locations on Google Maps
The Hobbit
The Return of the King
The Two Towers
The Fellowship of the Ring


glor
Rohan

Jan 19 2013, 3:39pm

Post #13 of 97 (508 views)
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Book adaptation versus written for the screen. [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
The Star Wars prequels are viewed by many as bone fide chapters in the film series


In a film series, The Hobbit is not a story purposefully created for the screen, it happens to be a film prequel because it was written by Tolkien prior to LOTR, and yet filmed after the movie adaptation of LOTR. The Hobbit is not a story specifically and purposefully created to fit around the LOTR film universe, unlike the Star Wars prequels.

I must confess I am not a Star Wars fan, so I am bias. I saw the original Star wars in 1977 aged 10 after nagging my mother to take me to the cinema for ages and, whilst I enjoyed it's visual spectacle, I and my harrased mother recall my comment on leaving the cinema, that Obi-Wan Kenobi was like a Rubbish Gandalf and that Luke's destroying of the Death Star by learning of the weak spot air vent, was just like how they killed Smaug. I never saw Empire or Return at the cinemas just caught them on (network) TV when they debuted on the small screen.

Whilst I know that Star Wars fans will dispute this, Star Wars wasn't even a trilogy to start with, the prequels were simply written as prequels, so that George Lucas could show off his new fangled CGI and make money, they were deliberately created hook, line and sinker to fulfill that purpose, no literature, no 75 year old books, no, well you get the point.

Note: I understand why other people enjoy the Star Wars thing and if that's what they wish to geek out on, then all well and good. I saw the Phantom menance at the cinema because I had a 10 year old son that nagged me to take him, and I have seen Attack of the Clones on TV several times( i enjoyed that one the most, but for all the wrong reasons).

The Hobbit is not a prequel in the conventional cinematic sense, it's just a case of Tolkien's works being filmed in reverse order. It is, I think unique in film adaptation in that, two interconnected novels, have been filmed out of sequence with the latter being adapted before the former and I would add, because of film rights issues.

Quote

the necromancer prequel storyline cannot have any real drama, as all characters must live to fight another day in LotR.


Not necessarily, Radagast? Plus of course, we know there will be sufficient major character deaths in the Hobbit to give tension and drama. Although I did read a couple of professional reviews of AUJ, slatting the film because apparently these critics knew that not one major character would die by the end of The Hobbit trilogy......Crazy.(head desk).

I understand why some people don't enjoy or like the Dol Guldur subplot, but it isn't something that only exists in PJs imagination, and for the purpose of cinema, you do need to explain Gandalf's disappearances in The Hobbit, film has a different narrative logic to literature. For those that haven't read their Tolkien, they have yet to discover that the Necromancer is really Sauron, so there will be a dramatic revelation for those whose M-E experience is based only on the films.



Quote
In Phantom, the two main jedi characters stride on with no introduction and have light-sabred their way through a hundred robots by the end of scene 2. The whole film has no real character drama, and is an extended CGI thrill-ride.


There is a reason for that and this for me is the major difference. George Lucas takes good and great actors and makes them perform terribly on screen, as a visual storyteller GL is good, but he simply IMHO doesn't get acting, drama is conveyed via performance, not just script and pacing. A lot of CGI based films do this, they forget about the acting and go for the spectacle, this is the one thing that almost all of the negative reviews of AUJ, even the most damning have actually praised or at least acknowledged, that AUJ is well acted.

Getting believable performances in CGI films, in fact getting good performances in any type of fantasy film(sci-fi is different as it is a broader genre and therefore harder to draw comparisons) is something many film-makers struggle with, as the last 10 years of badly acted fantasy films have shown, except for certain performances in Harry Potter. ( if anyone can point to me any film made since LOTR than meets those acting standards, please do, I would be very grateful to be corrected on this particular matter)

If the Star Wars prequels had featured Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman etc, at the top of their acting game they would have been good if not great films and not just CGI fests.

The other major difference is their cinematic ratings or classifications, the whole LOTR/Hobbit films have been funded, based and pushed the limits of pg-13,thus allowing for a more adult dramatic approach, than the Star wars films did. Again I honestly think the SW prequels would have been far better if all of them had been allowed/made with a pg-13 rating.





Captain Salt
Tol Eressea


Jan 19 2013, 4:41pm

Post #14 of 97 (509 views)
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Don't agree at all... [In reply to] Can't Post

I just watched Return of the King for the umpteenth time, and it still holds up insanely well. Meanwhile, I have no desire to watch AUJ again for the foreseeable future, despite my viewing all three of the LotR films endlessly, and rabidly, from their release onward. There's much more about AUJ that's doesn't work than does, and it's certainly more likely a "skip over it" for me in the ME series. And given the general reaction, it's not as beloved now as LotR, let alone where it'll be in ten years, ETC.

However, it of course is nowhere as bad as Phantom Menace. First of all, the characters actually have human inflection in their voices.

My Top 5 Wish List for "The Hobbit"
5. Legolas will surf down Smaug's neck
4. Bilbo will be revealed to a Robot
3. Naked PJ cameo as Ghan-Buri-Ghan
2. Use of not only 3D, but smell-o-vision, plus the inclusion of axes coming out of the seats and poking the audience when appropriate
1. Not only keep the claim that Thorin & Co. ran amok in Mirkwood "molesting people", but depict said incident in vivid detail!!!!!


peace1993
Bree


Jan 19 2013, 6:25pm

Post #15 of 97 (437 views)
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I agree [In reply to] Can't Post

I think that once the trilogy is over and all the pieces of the puzzle are in place, people will appreciate these films even more. AUJ was unlucky because it had the burden of setting things up for the next two films. I have this strong feeling that the next two films are going to blow all the critics and cynics away. Yes, I can definitely visualize everyone accepting these films for generations to come as a six-film masterpiece on middle-earth.

Sam: Trust a Brandybuck and a Took.
Merry: What? That was just a detour, a shortcut.
Sam: Shortcut to what?
Pippin: Mushrooms!


bborchar
Rohan

Jan 19 2013, 6:59pm

Post #16 of 97 (442 views)
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The same criticisms were said of FotR... [In reply to] Can't Post

...but everyone gave it the benefit of the doubt because it was new and completely different. The special effects, the story, the division into three films. The Hobbit doesn't have that luxury. In the 10 years since the last films, so many other copycats have come to Hollywood and now people are overly cynical of multi-film movies (just a cash grab, they say), and special effects are used in almost everything now. But I recall MANY reviews of FotR where the critics complained about pacing, length, lack of characterization, OMG IT DIDN'T END CASH GRAB, etc.

The Hobbit is made the same way, and people just aren't going to be as "forgiving" this time around. That doesn't mean there is anything wrong with it...just that people feel more cynical about it. It's not about what you liked...it's about what you can tear apart. And just like FotR, AUJ is trying to build the foundation for the rest of the series, while standing on its own. It's a very difficult task to accomplish, and some will say that it did, while others will feel differently. I personally feel that it did. I also think that the next two movies will be full of the drama that people thought was missing from this installment, and more people will come around. Some people will just continue to be upset about this change or that change, and will never enjoy them. Their prerogative, to be sure, but I prefer to see the movies as a different entity from the books.

Most stories in human history are changed or embellished with each retelling...that doesn't mean the original is the best, nor does it mean that the retelling is the worse for it. Even Tolkien was retelling mythology in a new way...I'm sure some people took issue with the way he characterized certain races, how he used various fantasy elements and retooled them...but he created something new out of something old, and did it for the times he lived in. We, unfortunately, live in a time where people don't read much. That's how it is. But people love movies, and anything that brings the stories that are being lost to the masses in a way that they can understand is a plus in my book. And maybe it will encourage people to take up the books, and form their own opinions.


Grant
The Shire

Jan 19 2013, 7:04pm

Post #17 of 97 (430 views)
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Can't speak for everyone [In reply to] Can't Post

But I think it works pretty well as it's own story and an opener to Lord of the Rings. All the Necromancer stuff is mostly in the background but I think it will lead up nicely to Lord of the Rings. I think Jackson and company wisely made the story more about Bilbo and the dwarves.

I do think the prologue with old Bilbo and Frodo kind of spoils a few minor details (I wouldn't mind if they moved a lot of that stuff to the end of There and Back Again for the EEs but it seems unlikely). But not enough to ruin the whole experience if you start with Unexpected Journey.

I am looking forward to revisiting the entire series again once it's completed.


Captain Salt
Tol Eressea


Jan 19 2013, 7:09pm

Post #18 of 97 (432 views)
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Not really, no. [In reply to] Can't Post

FotR is a far superior movie...and complaints were much more minor and subdued compared to AUJ. If the first Hobbit were FotR-level quality, you'd be hearing far fewer complaints.

My Top 5 Wish List for "The Hobbit"
5. Legolas will surf down Smaug's neck
4. Bilbo will be revealed to a Robot
3. Naked PJ cameo as Ghan-Buri-Ghan
2. Use of not only 3D, but smell-o-vision, plus the inclusion of axes coming out of the seats and poking the audience when appropriate
1. Not only keep the claim that Thorin & Co. ran amok in Mirkwood "molesting people", but depict said incident in vivid detail!!!!!


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Jan 19 2013, 7:15pm

Post #19 of 97 (431 views)
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I am fairly confident that had this film managed to get made and released 13 years ago [In reply to] Can't Post

the reception would have been very different. It suffers from raised expectations, constant comparison, and a combination of excessive hype and the contempt which Boy George long ago told us popularity breeds. It also suffers from the perceptions of Peter Jackson, and of the motivations for transforming one film into three. And, it must be said, it suffers from the fact that, between The Lord of The Rings and the Harry Potter series, we have had well over a decade now of high quality, well produced and well marketed, highly sucessful genre films complete with august and illustrious casts. 13 years ago this movie would almost certainly have wowed, and not just based on CGI, and been favourably compared to Willow and The Wizard of Oz. One can easily imagine some critics declaring it better than both of those combined, and expressing an eager desire for the next installments for the completeion of the tale.

Now, however, jaded cynicism has set in. The movie bears the weight of comparison to virtually every Midnight Opening Blockbuster to release for the last 11 or 12 years. Those critics who never really liked the genre and didn't love the Rings movies, even if they admired them, can now get back to trashing a film type of which they were never really fond. Lol. Instead of being impressed by the featured accomplishments, the critical viewer now compares this movie to a related film which ranks as one of the three most Acadamey Award winning films of all time . . . and, grouses that this movie is not as magnificent. Unsure

And I completely agree with you about having the opposite view from some critics, but I don't think that is merely a fan deal. I think it is merely a matter of taste. I would have enjoyed the first half of the movie if I had never read the books, because of the charm and cozy, familiar enchantment of it. And it also had some winning moments. I have said before and maintain that genre films suffer a horrible catch 22 with some critics, where they get lambasted for being all action and no substance if they eschew lengthy character driven scenes, yet they are blasted for being excessive and self important if they develop such scenes.


In Reply To
and its a decent enough start but its not a classic in its own right. It simply ain't good enough over the whole movie - too many scenes that are not quite there.

I do think it will be improved upon though come the release of the EE and may feel more balanced with the edition of extra scenes which could elevate it to the level of a classic.

Like you though i am pleased it aims some of its gags and scenes at children - my sister just recently went to see it (she's 11) and she found the bits i didnt like (eating greens, goblin falling down on dwarves, snot etc) to be some of the funniest parts so it definitely achieved what it wanted to, i guess im just not in the right age range for that.

Like you i personally dont think it is as bad as the phantom menace, i dont think its a bad film, its just not as great as the others.

I have found critics reviews to be pretty interesting this time round - quite a lot dislike the slow start and then like the action scenes - my own view is pretty much the opposite to a degree which perhaps shows there is a fine line between making a film entertaining to the masses and making one that appeals to Tolkien fans.

The next one will be better Smile


"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Jan 19 2013, 7:21pm

Post #20 of 97 (414 views)
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The threat of death is not neccessary for Drama. I don't need to fear that Margret Thatcher will be eaten by a shark [In reply to] Can't Post

to enjoy watching The Iron Lady. To be candid, I don't particularly like drama that depends too heavily on whether or not a character I really like is going to survive. It makes me antsy and irrate. lol. I can better enjoy the other finer aspects of drama, if I am not fidgeting with my hair and cursing on the edge of my seat.

And yet even by that standard (a standard which, as I say, is not requisite for drama, only for a specific type of nail biting drama, a little of which goes a long way for me), The Hobbit is not void of such material. Spoiler alert, Thorin is going to die. . . and he ain't the only one. Shocked

In Reply To
In return for these changes we get more LotR actors and the introduction of the necromancer story thread. Like Phantom Menace, the necromancer prequel storyline cannot have any real drama, as all characters must live to fight another day in LotR. LotR characters like Galadriel and Saruman and taken from their spectacular locations of Lorien and Orthanc, and given cameos in scenes entirely created by PJ, as there is so little Tolkien material to base it on.


"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


bborchar
Rohan

Jan 19 2013, 7:34pm

Post #21 of 97 (412 views)
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I explained... [In reply to] Can't Post

...that FotR was given a pass due to perception. Critics DID point out the same exact problems that they have in AUJ. Richard Roeper wrote, and I quote "It goes on forever." Even critics who loved it felt the same way. FotR benefits from nostalgia...it took us into a place that movies hadn't done in decades (and that people of my generation had never experienced before). Star Wars was really the last movie to do that before FotR. Released today, it would not garner the same support as it did back then. Does that make it a bad movie? By no means. In fact, it holds a special place in my memory as the first movie to ever make me feel as if I had really escaped reality. AUJ didn't do that, but only because nothing can do that anymore...and I think that's what has hurt it the most. People WANTED it to do that, and it couldn't. The biggest problem with the Hobbit vs LotR is that the Hobbit can't duplicate the "end of the world" mentality...because that's not what the book is about. Again, I think that the next two films will have a better reception, because things will start rolling (we'll see Smaug and then the BoFA, and then Thorin's death)...it will kick the action and drama up a notch, something that was difficult for the first movie to do.


burrahobbit
Rohan


Jan 19 2013, 7:38pm

Post #22 of 97 (412 views)
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There's very little drama in the necromancer story thread [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't mean simply that people have to die to create drama, but rather that characters have to change, there has to be conflict, character development and a resolution.

In the necromancer storyline they discover that a dark threat is rising (just like LotR), they discuss that the dark threat is rising (just like LotR), they go to meet the dark threat and Sauron leaves to go to Mordor. By the end of it Gandalf, Saruman and Galadriel have exactly the same relationships as where they started. It uses the same themes as LotR but lacks any of the consequences. Similar LotR scenes lead to Sauron sending out the wraiths to find the one ring, the discovery of Saruman's treachery, Gandalf's imprisonment and the decision for the Fellowship to go to Mordor.

I am perfectly well aware that original Hobbit story itself has plenty of character development and drama, though far from enough to fill three epic length films. It's a shame there couldn't have been more focus on capturing the original story.


Captain Salt
Tol Eressea


Jan 19 2013, 7:58pm

Post #23 of 97 (400 views)
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And I'm saying [In reply to] Can't Post

that it's not all about the audience's perception. Many are of the opinion that ON IT'S OWN MERITS, AUJ is a bad or mediocre film.

Besides, the critiques of FotR were minor and from a much smaller portion of the audience than those of AUJ, no matter how much the fans may maintain that if one had problems with AUJ that it's the audience member's fault as they expected it to be LotR or what have you.

And let's not hold up Richard Roeper was an example, quite possibly one of the worst mainstream critics EVAH, who has the mind of a 12-year-old girl in the body of a 45-year-old man to boot. His comments on FotR were by far in the minority.

My Top 5 Wish List for "The Hobbit"
5. Legolas will surf down Smaug's neck
4. Bilbo will be revealed to a Robot
3. Naked PJ cameo as Ghan-Buri-Ghan
2. Use of not only 3D, but smell-o-vision, plus the inclusion of axes coming out of the seats and poking the audience when appropriate
1. Not only keep the claim that Thorin & Co. ran amok in Mirkwood "molesting people", but depict said incident in vivid detail!!!!!


bborchar
Rohan

Jan 19 2013, 8:18pm

Post #24 of 97 (389 views)
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No, many are not of that opinion... [In reply to] Can't Post

...that AUJ was a bad or mediocre film. It did not garner the critical success of FotR...but it got good reviews overall (most were tempered not because of the movie, but because of the format). It made the same amount of money (and will more than likely surpass it). I know these forums are a great echo chamber for people who think this film sucked, but, in reality, most people enjoyed it. I know of no one IRL who thought it was a bad movie, including my Tolkien-crazy husband and his friends. No, none of us thought this movie was perfect, but it was far from being a bad film. I only used Roeper as a generalization...but he was not the only one who thought so...even the critics who liked FotR thought the same. I also never said that AUJ was better than FotR...I only said that they suffered from the same problems, but that FotR got a pass for being the groundbreaking movie, and that it also was helped by a better and more urgent storyline. If Jackson truly wanted to create a better movie, he would have altered the story to halve the dwarves, make the quest more urgent, and ended it with Smaug. IMO, most people are just happy that these movies were made at all, and have made Tolkien's daunting legendarium accessible to those who want to experience them.


glor
Rohan

Jan 19 2013, 8:20pm

Post #25 of 97 (390 views)
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Yes they were.. [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
In the 10 years since the last films, so many other copycats have come to Hollywood and now people are overly cynical of multi-film movies (just a cash grab, they say), and special effects are used in almost everything now. But I recall MANY reviews of FotR where the critics complained about pacing, length, lack of characterization, OMG IT DIDN'T END CASH GRAB, etc.



I think perhaps the professional criticisms of AUJ have allowed all the Hugo Dysons to come out of the woodwork as it were. Most of the scathing reviews that I have read smack of, 'Oh no not another (insert expletive here) Peter Jackson Middle-Earth movie'.

Although, from what I read and gathered most of the scathing reviews were by and large limited to North America, the negative response has been far from universal with regards to AUJ. Movies are made now for a more global market, especially big budget movies, the North American market is not the key factor in a films success the way it was 15 years ago. the LOTR trilogy played a major part in changing that, taking a higher proportion of it's takings from the international market and surprising many by doing so. I fail to see why the hegemony of the english speaking world is relevant to film criticism anymore, when one considers the global market place that is modern cinema.

This has been said more than a few times on this board but it is worth repeating; A lot of the judgements placed on AUJ are attempting to judge the first part of trilogy against an entire trilogy. The critical momentum that LOTR received was built up over the three years of the trilogy. Many of the original FOTR reviews were cautious in their praise, waiting to see if the following two were up to the same standard, it was only when the ROTK was finally shown and reviewed did the critics finally let loose with their ecstatic praise, despite the fact that FOTR is now considered by many to be the better film.

At the end of the day, reviews are forgotten and films, any films, have to stand on their own feet and merits. The magnificent Bladerunner was savaged by critics and flopped massively at the box office upon it's release, The Wizard of OZ, only just broke even in the cinemas because of the bad reviews, the same can be said of It's a wonderful Life, Fight Club, and many more besides.

Reviews eventually become irrelevant.

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