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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
A fan and a non-book-reader walk into a movie...

weaver
Half-elven


Jan 21 2013, 7:14am


Views: 1200
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A fan and a non-book-reader walk into a movie... Can't Post

I'm a long-time Tolkien fan, my husband has never read the books. And he's not a fan of fantasy -- his attitude, pre-LOTR films, was that Tolkien and all his dwarves and elves and wizards was well, pretty darn silly.

He took me to see FOTR under protest, and surprised both of us by being totally hooked by the film. We went on to see each part of the LOTR trilogy over 10 times in the theater, and many times on DVD since then, and he loved them as much as me.

So, now the Hobbit films come out. I've seen AUJ 4 times, he's seen it twice.

His comments:

1. Very entertaining, but not in the same league for him as the LOTR films; he missed the spiritual aspect that LOTR had.
3. Did not like Bilbo or Gandalf in this film -- did not like Freeman's "jerky" acting style and liked LOTR Gandalf better.
4. Moments he liked -- Thranduil's very Elven look, the contrast between the lighthearted foodfest and the dwarves singing the Misty Mountains song in Bag End, Elrond telling the history of the swords, Gandalf revealing the Witch King's sword in the White Council scene. Basically all the scenes that felt more like LOTR to him.
5. Seemed like LOTR-light -- another avalanche scene, another inside the mountain fight with goblins, Thorin seemed like another version of Aragorn, another Eagles rescue -- but all of these were done better in LOTR.
6. Did not buy that any of the guys who played the dwarves were dwarves -- except for Balin. Everyone else looked like regular guys to him.
7. No one died! They could survive everything and not be hurt, which took away from the credibility of the story for him.
8. Goblin king and Radagast were way too comical for his tastes.
9. Did not care about any of the characters, could not tell the dwarves apart, and felt they had no character development.
10. Thought Bilbo should not have been as clueless as he was at the end of the film.
11. Did not like the Riddles in the Dark scene at all -- went on too long, and he could not understand half of Gollum's dialogue.

In all, he said he liked LOTR because it was a real world, with fantasy elements in it. The Hobbit was all fantasy, with a few touches of reality, and that did not work for him as well.

Now, he admitted to me that he did try reading The Hobbit long ago, and hated it, so some of what he didn't like on screen he probably would not have liked no matter who filmed it. And I think he also, as a non-fantasy lover, had a hard time with a film that did not have any human characters in it he could relate to. He missed the world of men, and without that to ground his experience, he was a bit lost.

So, if you boil it all down, I think that the film was just too "fantastic" for his tastes. I have told him that I think he'll like the next two movies more, as we get into more of the moral choices Bilbo has to make, some more serious scenes, political maneuvering, and the world of men. So he's willing to reserve judgement for now, but where the LOTR films were able to win him over to Tolkien, The Hobbit AUJ had the opposite effect.

Based on the above, here are a few discussion questions for you...


1. Are you a non-book reader, or do you know a non-book reader who saw AUJ? How do my husband's reactions compare with yours or someone you know who also did not read the book?

2. A lot of LOTR follows the same path laid out in the Hobbit, in terms of elements like the journey through the mountain and the Eagles showing up in the nick of time. Did Jackson do enough to differentiate these things for the non-fan? Should he have taken more liberties with the plot to avoid the sense of repetition?

3. Do you think that the kind of objections my non-reader husband, or others, had to the tone of the Hobbit films will lessen over the next two films, as the characters develop more, and the story becomes more serious?

4. Jackson made The Hobbit films "look" like LOTR, but they feel like something quite different -- was he right to honor the lighter and more comic tone of the Hobbit, or should he have kept it darker and more in line with the LOTR films?

5. Any other thoughts along the line of reader/non-reader perceptions of AUJ?

Thanks in advance for any and all replies and lurkings!

Weaver


Subject User Time
A fan and a non-book-reader walk into a movie... weaver Send a private message to weaver Jan 21 2013, 7:14am
    Totally fell for the post title Starling Send a private message to Starling Jan 21 2013, 7:40am
        and one more thing... swordwhale Send a private message to swordwhale Jan 21 2013, 8:14am
    Hobbit swordwhale Send a private message to swordwhale Jan 21 2013, 8:09am
    my partner hasn't read the books and she loved it lurtz2010 Send a private message to lurtz2010 Jan 21 2013, 10:11am
    I went... The Mitch King Send a private message to The Mitch King Jan 21 2013, 10:16am
    Went with my gf first time then friend second time imin Send a private message to imin Jan 21 2013, 12:01pm
    My second viewing Rosie-with-the-ribbons Send a private message to Rosie-with-the-ribbons Jan 21 2013, 12:52pm
        Reason for quest arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Jan 21 2013, 3:02pm
            Probably coming from the friend Rosie-with-the-ribbons Send a private message to Rosie-with-the-ribbons Jan 21 2013, 3:33pm
    Non-book reader reaction arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Jan 21 2013, 2:50pm
    The non-readers had a different experience Gelir Send a private message to Gelir Jan 21 2013, 2:57pm
    I have the exact same experience Elenorflower Send a private message to Elenorflower Jan 21 2013, 3:25pm
        The problem is: macfalk Send a private message to macfalk Jan 21 2013, 3:29pm
            I dont think its because LOTR came first Elenorflower Send a private message to Elenorflower Jan 21 2013, 3:56pm
                Agree with you sevilodorf Send a private message to sevilodorf Jan 21 2013, 4:33pm
            This is why we can't have nice things Rane Send a private message to Rane Jan 21 2013, 6:45pm
                I disagree LordMaximus Send a private message to LordMaximus Jan 21 2013, 8:20pm
    I saw the movie with a friend the other day... bborchar Send a private message to bborchar Jan 21 2013, 3:38pm
    Very interesting! Súlimë Send a private message to Súlimë Jan 21 2013, 3:41pm
    Let me have a go... BoromirOfWinterfell Send a private message to BoromirOfWinterfell Jan 21 2013, 4:20pm
    Interesting Old Toby Send a private message to Old Toby Jan 21 2013, 6:39pm
    Interesting comparisons. Roheryn Send a private message to Roheryn Jan 21 2013, 7:15pm
    First of all... Arannir Send a private message to Arannir Jan 21 2013, 7:59pm
        Oh dear. Ataahua Send a private message to Ataahua Jan 21 2013, 8:14pm
            She already said there are too many of them to have them all survive :))) Arannir Send a private message to Arannir Jan 21 2013, 8:31pm
    Here's my take Rostron2 Send a private message to Rostron2 Jan 21 2013, 8:32pm
        About Freeman Jax_Teller Send a private message to Jax_Teller Jan 21 2013, 9:38pm
    i agree with your hubby on almost every account Arthael Send a private message to Arthael Jan 21 2013, 10:58pm

 
 
 

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