Our Sponsor Sideshow Collectibles Send us News
Lord of the Rings Tolkien
Search Tolkien
Lord of The RingsTheOneRing.net - Forged By And For Fans Of JRR Tolkien
Lord of The Rings Serving Middle-Earth Since The First Age

Lord of the Rings Movie News - J.R.R. Tolkien
Do you enjoy the 100% volunteer, not for profit services of TheOneRing.net?
Consider a donation!

  Main Index   Search Posts   Who's Online   Log in
The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
A fan and a non-book-reader walk into a movie...
First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All

weaver
Half-elven


Jan 21 2013, 7:14am

Post #1 of 29 (1296 views)
Shortcut
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



Starling
Half-elven


Jan 21 2013, 7:40am

Post #2 of 29 (697 views)
Shortcut
Totally fell for the post title [In reply to] Can't Post

I was expecting a joke!

Well, Weaver, I am a lot like your husband I think.

Questions that need answering:
1: I have read The Hobbit once. I don't know if it totally counts as I skimmed about the last third. It was about my 5th try. I didn't like it much. Will that freak some people out?

2: I didn't mind any sense of repetition in the movie. It almost made me feel at home.

3: The tone didn't really bother me, because I went in expecting it to be different. I almost didn't bother to go and see it, due to a lack of interest. Your husband's comments about fantasy say it perfectly for me in these two statements:

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.


4: Is answered by the above I think. I like darker, but I didn't really expect The Hobbit to be particularly dark.

5: I don't think The Hobbit is a bad film. I don't think it is a marvellous film. I've seen it twice, but I don't have any desire to see it again. I don't have anywhere near the response to it that I had (and continue to have) to the LOTR films. But it's not LOTR, and I never expected it to be, so in that regard I don't feel disappointed. I wouldn't mind taking my scissors to some parts of The Hobbit, but I feel like that about some parts of LOTR too.

One thing I disagree with your husband on is riddles in the dark. I thought that was absolutely stunning.

Now I've 'outed' myself, I'm going to sit back with my popcorn. Cool


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Jan 21 2013, 8:09am

Post #3 of 29 (634 views)
Shortcut
Hobbit [In reply to] Can't Post

Interesting insights. That's what I saw in a number of reviews too.

I am a dyed in the wool fantasy fan. I was born the same year LOTR was, and first read it in 1978...
( http://www.swordwhale.com/tales-of-middle-earth.html )

I read The Hobbit (perhaps after I read LOTR) and never liked it as much as LOTR... I loved the epic detail of LOTR. Hobbit is written in a fast-paced read-aloud style, much in the ancient oral tradition of classic faerie tales. I may also have preferred LOTR because it had more Elves; that's my archetype. Dwarves? I'm surrounded by them here in York County and they make me nuts (the earthy PA Deutsch and English settlers' descendants... and I am one... are very "Dwarvish").

Then PJ did that darn film. And gave us 13 completely awesome and lovable Dwarves. It may be the first time I've loved a film more than the book.

I got the art book (The Hobbit Chronicles from WETA) and it shows the various character designs that led to the Dwarves as we see them in the films. A lot of weird stuff was tried. Stereotypes were ditched, latex was minimized and what they ended up with is awesome! I am forever grateful to WETA for taking the stereotypes and blowing them completely to smithereens. Ironically, it was The Hobbit which began the stereotypes; Tolkien reaching back into the distant past of myth and legend, grabbing archetypes and dragging them kicking and screaming into the 20th century, and giving them back their old power. Then all the stuff based on The Hobbit (and LOTR); every other fantasy, D&D, video games, "historical reinactors", Renn Faires... and we were back in stereotype land. PJ and crew have taken a fresh look at fantasy archetypes and given them back their power again. Richard Armitage said something about the variety of the Human race (the actors and crew on Hobbit as a prime example), so why would you expect all the Dwarves to look like old fat guys with bushy Santa beards???

Hobbit follows the same Hero Journey pattern as LOTR. (the fact that Star Wars does the same inspired a few comparisons to LOTR back in 1977). That is a classic pattern of tales told all across the world and in every age. The difference is in the details, the characters. There are far more empty spaces between the lines in Hobbit than in LOTR for PJ to elaborate and add detail. And the 13 Dwarves, who in the book, are little more than a cool list of rhyming names.... now we can see the characters fleshed out. And what characters they are!

Hobbit is not LOTR. The book has a different style, tone. The film reflects that (so far). Yes, it is in the same world, but many stories happen in our own world and have different styles. In my first viewing, I felt that some of the action was a bit "over the top", perilously close to Wil E. Coyote and Roadrunner... as in, "are you serious? nobody would have survived that!!!" Then I thought about a couple of things...
What was that Gandalf was saying about good stories needing some embellishment? The book has a distinct narrator. In the film we hear a narrator a few times, and the first one is Bilbo. Perhaps he is exaggerating...
Again, Hobbit had a lighter tone, the film reflects that...
...and just when I went "no way, they'd all be dead!" again I realized something; none of the main characters... in fact none of the characters until we get to Laketown (and then they are background characters) are normal mundane muggle humans. They are Wizards and Hobbits and Dwarves, oh my. Durn Dwarves must be tougher than I thought. Hobbits too.

One of the things I have noticed is an unexpected fanbase. If I can judge by my tumblr feed, there are a shipload of teen/20-something young women who love those Dwarves, and not just the "hot ones" either. All of 'em, (particularly funny, sweet, loveable Bofur, and endearing dorky nerdboy Ori). There are cartoons and illustrations and fanfics galore (do supervise your children's perambulations, much is so not PG). A fanbase I had expected to be still fainting over sparkly vampires with no frontal lobes is fascinated with characters with... character! The guys haven't been left out either, I've seen a number of great costumes.

And everybody is trying to figure out how to make Bofur's hat.

This may be a great big fanfic, a fanfilm. None of my mundane friends has seen it, only the fannish ones. The story has such universal appeal though. I have shared the theater with at least one fairly small kid (sounded like 5 or 6!). Are there families who think it is just a kids' tale? There is a vast difference between a story read aloud (where the scary stuff is limited by the kid's imagination and experience) and a film (where all the scary stuff you never imagined is right there).

Go outside and play...


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Jan 21 2013, 8:14am

Post #4 of 29 (630 views)
Shortcut
and one more thing... [In reply to] Can't Post

"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."

That struck me.... I actually prefer stories without human characters. I have more trouble relating to humans.... Dwarves, Elves, Hobbits, now they make sense...

Let me analyze that for a second. Fantasy gets us out from beneath the trees so we can look back and really see the forest. By stepping out of the usual human viewpoint, we can see our familiar world clearer.

And maybe I just want to go party at Bag End... or Mirkwood.

Go outside and play...


lurtz2010
Rohan

Jan 21 2013, 10:11am

Post #5 of 29 (576 views)
Shortcut
my partner hasn't read the books and she loved it [In reply to] Can't Post

Alot more than LOTR... we had a huge hobbit chat on the drive home lol it was awesome, she was asking questions about the story and characters etc

She Loved Radagast and laughed about how Saruman thought he was a fool.
Ori with his bowl cut was her favourite dwarf
She loved Kili's look and she even looked up Aidan Turner on her phone after the movie...
Loved Gollum and the riddle scene and when Bilbo spared him.
Loved the troll scene
Loved the misty mountains song
Was fascinated with the connections to LOTR
She even wanted to sit through the credits in case their was an extra clip at the end but I made us leave since I knew there wasn't.

She definitely preferred the tone of The Hobbit over LOTR and I think I do too in alot of ways. To me it's the perfect epic fanstasy/adventure story, it has everything.


The Mitch King
Rohan


Jan 21 2013, 10:16am

Post #6 of 29 (554 views)
Shortcut
I went... [In reply to] Can't Post

with my friend who has never read the books and he went and saw AUJ two more times after by himself! He does already love the LOTR movies though.


imin
Valinor


Jan 21 2013, 12:01pm

Post #7 of 29 (525 views)
Shortcut
Went with my gf first time then friend second time [In reply to] Can't Post

neither have read the books or have any interest in reading them. My gf effectively hasnt seen the lotr as she fell asleep about 10 mins into each of them when i tried to get her to watch them on dvd. My friend loves the lotr trilogy.

GF thought the hobbit was way better than lotr but when i asked her if she wanted to see it again, she said it isnt that good, just better than lotr. I think she liked it more as it was at the cinema and so she had to watch it basically. She had low expectations coming into the film and i kinda had to drag her to see it. She did say she will go and see the next one so must have liked it a fair bit.

My friend thought it was really good, though not as good as the lotr but he wasn't disappointed or anything having no real expectations - he was there for the fight scenes and said it was boring to begin with but picked up - exactly like most critics. he is really looking forward to the next one.

As for your husband i think some of his opinions may change - we will get more characterisation from the dwarves as we go along, people die etc. But for other things such as freemans performance and thorin being another aragorn, not thinking the dwarves were dwarves - well that's here to stay i would imagine. Though it may soften with time. It sounds to me like his sense of humour does not match that well with PJ's and he didnt really think much of the acting by the sounds of it. I think this may be a reason why he wasnt so keen on it compared to lotr along with reasons you mentioned, rather than it being too fantastical. For me at least i dont think there are many moments where it is more fantastical, more just PJ's humour doesnt match mine.

As for the tone my friend felt it was like the lotr. Personally i think its somewhere in between the book and the previous trilogy and fully expect the next two movies to get progressively darker in tone as it does in the book, perhaps to a point where it blends into the lotr trilogy easily.


Rosie-with-the-ribbons
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jan 21 2013, 12:52pm

Post #8 of 29 (529 views)
Shortcut
My second viewing [In reply to] Can't Post

was with my brother and a friend of him. My brother is a big LOTR-fan, his friend had seen the movies. Oh, and I have to say, they saw the movie for the first time in HFR 3D. According to my brother, the visual effects put him so much out of the story, he didn't like the movie the first time. But since I was so enthusiastic about it and he loved the LOTR movies so much, he went back again to a normal 3D viewing, and absolutely loved it that time around.

But to answer your questions, I'm going to use the things his friend said when we left the movie:

1. The friend was a non-book reader. He said he didn't understand the story, why were they going on that quest. Who were all these dwarves. Why did Bilbo go along. What had Gandalf to do with the entire event.

2. He said there were too many things the same as LOTR. As if they just copied LOTR and made some changes to it. And not so much the journey through the mountain, since they don't deliberately enter the mountain and this chase looks a whole lot different than the Moria fight. But the going on a quest with various people. Getting stopped by trouble. Stopping in Rivendell etc. I think he compared more FOTR with AUJ than LOTR with AUJ. So the comparison with the eagles he didn't even notice.

3. I think that will change. I totally saw the differences between the dwarves. But it could be because I of course already had seen images, took good notice of who is who etc. For him it was just one bunch of actors, all alike who were going somewhere. I'm not sure it is the non-seriousness of the movie that bothered him. I think he just couldn't understand why this group is going on a quest. In LOTR the entire future of everything is depending on the destruction of the ring. Here it is just a bunch of dwarves who want their money back.
If I do remember correctly he didn't like Radagast and couldn't place him into the story. Same goes for the White Council, what was that all about?

4. For the friend he would have done better to keep it dark. On the one hand he did recognize Middle-earth in AUJ, but on the other hand it was such a different world. He just didn't get the lightness of the movie. Didn't know it was a childrens book that wasn't as "heavy" as LOTR. He was probably expecting something a like LOTR. And it did look that way (although he hated the CGI etc, but I think that could also have been the HFR that bother him), but it didn't feel the same way.

5.I think that is the hardest part of filming a book. From what I am reading here on TORn it keeps on being a balance between the readers who want it like Tolkien wrote it. But also how they have it in their mind. And to make a movie that is also entertaining for a movie audience who haven't read the book. Some will go on reading it, others will never read it. And of course following up on LOTR but also making it different from it, making it a world on its own.

I think that is also why AUJ is getting some negative criticism. You are brought back to a world you know so well. So seeing it is like "yep, that's it, I'm home, nothing new here" so viewers aren't as amazed as when they saw LOTR for the first time when they were all blown away by what they saw on the big screen. As when you visit a foreign city for the first time, everything is amazing. When you return a year later, it is still great, but you know already so much it is becoming a bit normal, not so amazing anymore. That's what is going on, we are all being brought back to Hobbiton and Middle-earth. But we have seen it, Of course it lives up to all the expectations, but it doesn't blow us away anymore. There weren't many "new" environments in it. And the ones that are new: Erebor and Goblin City, all get big praises for looking that amazing.
And we are all used to the way of storytelling in LOTR, the darker, the it has to happen or else all will be doomed, all is waiting for a big fight. And AUJ, it is just a bunch of dwarves who want something back. For them it is a big deal, for Bilbo and the audience it doesn't matter if they get their treasure back or not. They even show that having that treasure wasn't so good for the owner after all.

I think it makes a big deal if you read the book or not. If you read it, you know what is going to happen, why they want that treasure back, that it will become exciting (something I think the friend missed), why the White Council is important. That was something I was really looking forward to. That was the one point in the book that was so annoying to me. Why did Gandalf leave the group at the border of that very scary forest when it was clear they would need his help going through it. What was so important he had to leave?? So to have that in this story was like filling a gap for me (and I am looking forward to the follow-up of that part).
I, for myself, always like to read the book first and than see the movie. That way I can make my own visions about it. And I know what the story is about, so if they miss something in the narrative in the movie, I still get the story and am not too much puzzled with it (and I know when not to look when it is becoming to scary).



arithmancer
Grey Havens

Jan 21 2013, 2:50pm

Post #9 of 29 (477 views)
Shortcut
Non-book reader reaction [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
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?


I took two non-book readers, who like the LotR movies, to see this film. They are two boys ages 8 and 10, who are fantasy book fans (but "The Hobbit"/"LotR" books are supposed to be slightly out of their reach as yet).

1. I did not ask them to compared the LotR films to AUJ. I doubt they fairly could, though, as we saw the 3D presentation on a fairly large screen for the latter, and they have seen the former only at home, on DVD. Certainly based on their reactions, 10 yo liked it about as much (talks about it, tries to play the Misty Mountain theme on the piano the same as he does for his favorite LotR music) , and 8 yo loved it more. (8 yo reacted to his viewing by getting his hands on my Hobbit book and starting to read it, which he has kept up with despite that it is very slow going for him.

2. I don't think my kids are bothered by this. They did not comment on this, certainly. (I am guessing if I asked them, they would consider this to be coming from the fact that it is the same world, and that Gandalf is involved.)

3. No, for reasons that I consider obvious. They are kids, a movie with tone and humor that might be described as more "juvenile" and "fairy tale" suits them fine. They loved the funny bits of Radagast and his animal companions, burping dwarves, and the Trolls. (10 yo now refers to the AUJ Trolls as "seasoning trolls" and remarks that the LotR trolls. such as that in Moria or those manning the Black Gates, don't care about seasoning their food... )

4. I approve of this choice. This movie was, due to the book, going to be more of the same. In some ways as you suggest, it *was* more of the same. The tone and humor is a way for it not to be. I enjoyed the movie, and as a parent I am happy with the way it worked for my sons.


Gelir
Bree

Jan 21 2013, 2:57pm

Post #10 of 29 (453 views)
Shortcut
The non-readers had a different experience [In reply to] Can't Post

I saw the Hobbit with 2 and a half non-readers (the half being someone who had read the book so long ago that they remembered almost nothing about it except for the dragon and spiders).

#1. Their reactions were all very different from your husband's. They loved the movie. One said he may have liked it even better than LotR; the others seemed to like it about the same as LotR.

#2. I don't think so. The mountain scenes are quite different I think. As for the eagles... maybe if they had done without the moth, it would have been a little better. If the eagles had seen the fire, as in the book, and come to the rescue, it would have had a slightly different feel than when one rescued Gandalf in Fellowship.

#3. Probably so. The non-readers I saw it with didn't seen to have any problems with the lighter tone, and maybe that's because the movie isn't as light as the book. There are many light moments, but there's also already a lot of darkness and seriousness. Erebor, Moria (the king getting beheaded is pretty dark), concern about the necromancer, concern about the enemy using Smaug. The whole theme of the dwarves reclaiming their homeland is quite serious. I imagine the next two movies will still have some lightness, but the dark parts will be very dark and serious.

#4. I think Jackson struck just the right tone (my answer to #3 covers some of this). Definitely not as dark as LotR, but not so very light either. I think the lightness of scenes such as Bag End are wonderful and helps draw readers and non-readers alike into the story, but it doesn't take away from the seriousness of what happened in the past or what may lie ahead.

#5. None of the 3 non-readers are fans of fantasy in general, but all loved LotR and loved the Hobbit as well. None of them commented on the lack of men in the story. I wonder what they'd say if I asked them about it.

This is a very interesting topic. My personal experience with non-readers was very different from yours, but your husband certainly isn't the only one who feels the way he does.


arithmancer
Grey Havens

Jan 21 2013, 3:02pm

Post #11 of 29 (445 views)
Shortcut
Reason for quest [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I think it makes a big deal if you read the book or not. If you read it, you know what is going to happen, why they want that treasure back,


I don't understand this point. I am a book reader, and it seemed to me that if anything, the movie answered this question better than the book. In the book they want their treasure back because it is a treasure, and they are dwarves.

In the movie we are shown not only the vast treasure, but the fabulous beauty of Erebor in which these dwarves lived. We see them forced to flee it by the dragon. We see that they (or Thorin, anyway) have never forgotten this, all before we even meet Bilbo. It seemed to me the most natural thing in the world that they would want to reclaim their home and a nice addition of the movie to the story. This point, that it is their home, which they have lost, is made over and over, most notably in the Bilbo/Bofur conversation, Bilbo's speech after the Goblin Caves, and the end.

I could agree that the book does a better job of explaining why Bilbo comes along, with all the stuff the narrator tells us about his Tookish side and taste for adventure. The movie does try to present this to an extent, but without resorting to voiceover narration in Bag End, I can understand that it may have failed for a non-book-reader. Even here, though, I thought another great movie addition was having Bilbo "discover" his reasons for being on the quest (his realization of the importance of home and what the Dwarves have lost).

I agree Gandalf's involvement may not be well explained, but in the book if I recall correctly, it was not at all. He's a wizard, they involve themselves with quests, more or less...!


Elenorflower
Gondor


Jan 21 2013, 3:25pm

Post #12 of 29 (434 views)
Shortcut
I have the exact same experience [In reply to] Can't Post

I am a long time Tolkien reader and I loved LOTR, my husband has not read any Tolkien and doesnt like fantasy at all. He loved watching LOTR and asked me a thousand questions after watching, and i was encouraged enough to buy him the books, which he hasnt touched in 10 years, Grrrrrrrr!Mad
anyway we went to see TH and he liked it, but not as much as LOTR. He said it had too much pale imitation, like the moth, Eagles, the Aragornization of Thorin, dangling over cliffs, the music score, he said it looked like a poor and weakened version. From my descriprions of the book he was expecting to see something more fairytale and magical, not a watered down version of LOTR. and thats the problem, in making it too much like the past films its become neither fish nor fowl, its neither fairytale or epic Quest, its just blah! with a few good bits at the start.


macfalk
Valinor


Jan 21 2013, 3:29pm

Post #13 of 29 (434 views)
Shortcut
The problem is: [In reply to] Can't Post

LOTR was made first. That's the problem, I think, for many non-readers who went to see The Hobbit, not having read the books but having watched LOTR films plenty of times. I am not surprised at all that some people feel it's a "LOTR-light", they go to some familiar places after all and many of the characters are the same.

If The Hobbit had been made first, people would not compare for instance the goblin town chase to the Moria staircase scene and say "Yeah we've seen this before, and it was more epic in LOTR. This prequel is not as epic!"



The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.


Rosie-with-the-ribbons
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jan 21 2013, 3:33pm

Post #14 of 29 (410 views)
Shortcut
Probably coming from the friend [In reply to] Can't Post

He was so negative on everything around the movie. I can't remember his exact words, but they almost hurt me. This was (in his words), "the worst movie of the past years". He absolutely didn't get the reason why the quest. And I think the "home" thing made it even worse for him. I think he can understand going after treasure, but going after your home (in a cave) just goes past him. Even when it looks so wonderful as Erebor does.
I like the home part of the movie, because that isn't in the book (or at least not as specific). But as you say, the book does a better part with the treasure.



bborchar
Rohan

Jan 21 2013, 3:38pm

Post #15 of 29 (437 views)
Shortcut
I saw the movie with a friend the other day... [In reply to] Can't Post

...and she has neither read any of the books nor seen any of the previous movies (really). She's not really into the fantasy genre (she prefers american comedies). I asked her what she thought, and she said that she liked it; she thought Gollum was creepy, and while she was a little lost with so much backstory (I had to tell her that elves were immortal, for example), she followed the movie for the most part.

The funniest part of this is that I had gone to see the movie by myself (my husband and I take turns watching movies so someone can stay home with the kids...it's rare when I see a movie with him). A few minutes before the movie started, she walked in with another friend of hers. We were both very surprised to see each other there. It was kind of nice to see it from a tolkien virgin's POV :)


Slim
Rivendell


Jan 21 2013, 3:41pm

Post #16 of 29 (410 views)
Shortcut
Very interesting! [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for sharing Smile

I went with my sister, who didn't read The Lord of the Rings, but who liked the movies and would rewatch them with me sometimes, and her friend, who liked the Lord of the Rings movies to a certain degree as well.

We saw it in HFR 3D. Smile

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?
I have spoiled pretty much most of The Hobbit for my sister already. Here are a few of her comments:
- The Bag End scene was annoying at first -- but it was eventually used to good effect: the viewer can identify with Bilbo's annoyance at the Dwarves making a mess of his home, and the length and cheerfulness of the scene made the silence in the house the morning after that much more effective.
- The flashback was confusing -- is Erebor Moria? Why is it that they are going on a quest to reclaim Erebor, but the flashback battle scene was at Moria?
- The bunny sled was cute. She also loved the line "These are Rhosgobel rabbits -- I'd like to see them try!"
- Not a real fan of Gollum, but he looks better than in the LotR.
- The movie could have been edited down a bit, because it was a bit too long (especially the action scenes)

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?
My sis and her friend are easily amused -- so they liked it all right and didn't mind anything much. The only real complaint was the length.

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?
I think so, for the general audience. Personally, in the book I like riddles and the Mirkwood chapters best. After that the story felt too political and too realistic. I think PJ did a good job in setting a more realistic tone for the films, which I think will help the later parts not seem too jarring.

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?
I love the lighter tone. That's what makes The Hobbit The Hobbit! I think it's wrong to turn it into something it isn't just to attract more viewers. PJ did a good job keeping a balance between dark and light!

5. Any other thoughts along the line of reader/non-reader perceptions of AUJ?
People who read The Hobbit as a child tend to be less forgiving than people who learned of The Hobbit after seeing the LotR movies. I know a lot of people who saw the LotR movies later went on to read the books and loved them, but found The Hobbit too childish -- so these people tend to welcome any changes that add something more to the story in AUJ.


Also, about Men -- I think Thorin is a bit too manly (literally) already Tongue


(This post was edited by Slim on Jan 21 2013, 3:46pm)


Elenorflower
Gondor


Jan 21 2013, 3:56pm

Post #17 of 29 (401 views)
Shortcut
I dont think its because LOTR came first [In reply to] Can't Post

its more that they tried to shoehorn too many past references from LOTR into The Hobbit. They could have used different music. They could have avoided the Goblin caves looking like a version of Saruman's caves in TT. They could have avoided moths, and Gandalf banging his head on the lamp, all those little 'jokey' nods to LOTR that were supposed to make you smile,( but made me at least) bored. I wanted a fresh new vision, I almost regreted GDT didnt take over direction, when it got too derivative. I would have liked a smaller, denser, more faerie version, without Azog/warg ridiculousness.


BoromirOfWinterfell
Rohan


Jan 21 2013, 4:20pm

Post #18 of 29 (394 views)
Shortcut
Let me have a go... [In reply to] Can't Post

1. My father is a non-book reader. He enjoyed the movie a lot, but it's not something he said he'd watch again. He took it more as any other movie - not something special or extraordinary.

2. I think most non-fans wouldn't remember much of the original movies to compare those familiar scenes to The Hobbit. But I think they'd enjoy the scenes because they gave the Hobbit a sense of familiarity that one could associate with LotR.

3. I think so. The tension between characters, namely Bilbo and Thorin, are going to make the movies seem much for serious.(Especially BOFA). You may have tension between characters in AUJ, but the Arkenstone will up the ante.

4. I prefer the lighter side and was happy that PJ was loyal to that part of TH. Sometimes I thought it was too dark, namely the scenes with Gollum and the goblin he beat to death. I would have loved to take my younger cousins to watch the film, but scenes like that were too much for small kids.
5. Thanks for the post. It's always interesting to hear what non-readers have to say about the movies. It makes you look at the film from another perspective!

s ofereode, isses swa mg - that has passed, so may this.


sevilodorf
Gondor


Jan 21 2013, 4:33pm

Post #19 of 29 (390 views)
Shortcut
Agree with you [In reply to] Can't Post

Too many little jokey nods to LOTR. Tell the story and stop trying to be cute and clap yourself on the back at the same time. (I didn't particularly like the repeated cameos of Jackson's kids either, though Jackson himself looked different enough in each of his cameos to "hide" unless you were consciously looking for him.


As for Azog... can live with it... though I would like the whole lot of them to brush up on ME geography.... how did the orcs get from losing a battle against Elrond's elves (and what self respecting elf allows an orc to get away to report back anyhow) all the way to Amon Sul? And how exactly did Radgast and the bunny sled get over the Misty Mountains from Mirkwood?

Fourth Age Adventures at the Inn of the Burping Troll http://burpingtroll.com





Old Toby
Gondor


Jan 21 2013, 6:39pm

Post #20 of 29 (338 views)
Shortcut
Interesting [In reply to] Can't Post

opinions coming from non-readers. Seems both sides are respresented, both those who love it and those who dislike it. The couple of people I know who never read the book but saw the movie, all loved the movie and had no problem following it. They also had no problem with it not being as serious and dark in tone as LOTR. In fact, they thought it was a lot more fun. (And they didn't know it was based on a children's book either).

On another note, I've noticed a lot of people are irritated at the use of familiar musical score and little bits that draw from the LOTR films. I personally loved all of them. To me, the use of the familiar music, especially the Hobbiton theme, drew me right back into Middle-earth, and I thought all the various places the familiar music was used was very appropriate. And I loved the little things that related once again to the LOTR films, such as Gandalf hitting himself on the chandelier; they just made me smile.

I'm sure it's so terribly difficult to make any sort of prequel when the existing movies are so enormously popular and acclaimed. So much to live up to, and usually the only place to go from the top is down. However, in my eyes, if the next two films keep getting better and better, which I suspect they will, this trilogy may well become my favorite (yes, over LOTR). (And besides, as someone else here pointed out, I'd much rather spend my time with thirteen rowdy, fun-loving, kick*** dwarves who are prone to break out into songs, both light-hearted as well as deeply moving and poignant, than nine serious walkers on an epic quest to save the world. LOL!)

"Age is always advancing and I'm fairly sure it's up to no good." Harry Dresden (Jim Butcher)

(This post was edited by Old Toby on Jan 21 2013, 6:46pm)


Rane
Bree


Jan 21 2013, 6:45pm

Post #21 of 29 (333 views)
Shortcut
This is why we can't have nice things [In reply to] Can't Post

Movies are always aimed towards people who haven't read the books. Ditto, but it really ruins everything. They have to dumb stuff down.

Photobucket


Roheryn
Grey Havens

Jan 21 2013, 7:15pm

Post #22 of 29 (325 views)
Shortcut
Interesting comparisons. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
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?

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?



It'll be interesting to see whether your husband likes the next two movies better. I have to admit I find it kind of disappointing when someone is less than enthusiastic about the movie (whether they enjoy the book and Tolkien in general, or not).


1. I took my mother to see AUJ. If she's ever read the book, it's been decades, although I know she's seen the Rankin-Bass cartoon when it came out in the 1970s. She's an avid reader but not a fan of fantasy, although I recently got her interested in Terry Pratchett. Her response to AUJ was that it was okay as far as movies go, but she had absolutely no desire to see it a second time, and is completely baffled regarding why I have such a desire to see it as many times as possible (to the point where I'm getting lots of funny looks when she catches me "doing Hobbit things again" [i.e., looking at TORn, reading any of the Hobbit movie books, reading The Hobbit to the boys at bedtime, or listening to the soundtrack]). This is the drawback of having one's mother staying for an extended visit when such a movie comes out! My mother's further comments have run along the lines of "I just don't get why you spend so much time thinking about all the little details in the movie when it's just fantasy -- it's not real, it's just all made up anyways!" *sigh* She just doesn't GET it. At all. So, she's a non-reader, but a non-fan of the genre, and the movie just didn't do anything for her.

3. I don't think anything's going to draw in my mother. She'll probably see the next to with me, but I don't think she'll be won over.

4. I think so. It almost all works for me, though I could do without troll snot and guano. I do wish the Goblin Town sequence were a little weightier -- I never get the feeling any Dwarf is actually in danger through all the fighting -- too Disneyish (and I guess less historical-feeling). Other than that, though, I enjoy the lighter tone a lot.


Arannir
Valinor

Jan 21 2013, 7:59pm

Post #23 of 29 (326 views)
Shortcut
First of all... [In reply to] Can't Post

 
1. My mother who hated LotR and has no clue what Middle-earth is, liked the Hobbit a lot and goes on and on now how she hopes all the Dwarves will make it through all three movies alive.

2. My best friend who knows LotR and kind of liked it said, he enjoyed AUJ more because it did not take itself so serious... he always said that he can see the greatness in the LotR trilogy but sometimes can only shake his head and be a bit put off by how pompous it all is.

3. My father who loved LotR but has no clue about the books says he cannot believe his luck to have three more movies like that.

4. A friend who is much into movies said he salutes PJ for the bravery to go against the stream in several aspects although this may have led to the fact that AUJ cannot stand on its on as well as FotR did. We discussed sites like rottentomatoes and he could not get over the 65 and comparisons with Menace, despite having some serious issues with some scenes. After analysing for hours he said that he cannot review this movie as a movie. Because somehow between FotR and now PJ and company managed to create more than a movie. And that is a pretty fantastic "review" in itself.

5. Another friend said "cool" but that he is kind of done with Hobbits and thinks people should stop the hype (both haters and fans).

6. I for myself have read the Hobbit twice, but I simply cannot help myself but saying that it is nothing more than okay for me. It is a great children's novel... but having read it for the first time with 13 I never got into it or build up any children's memories through it.

I am a Tolkien purist in many ways, but I strongely believe that one can remain being that with saying that this film version in total might work much better for me than the Hobbit as a book.


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Jan 21 2013, 8:14pm

Post #24 of 29 (309 views)
Shortcut
Oh dear. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
she hopes all the Dwarves will make it through all three movies alive.



Are you going to tell her, or let the movies tell it for you?

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

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Saurons 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


LordMaximus
Rivendell


Jan 21 2013, 8:20pm

Post #25 of 29 (301 views)
Shortcut
I disagree [In reply to] Can't Post

This movie is one of the few where they have crammed in a a lot of unnecessary detail and as a result have alienated non-readers as a result. Not many movies get away with it, and i'm not so sure the AUJ does.

First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All
 
 

Search for (options) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.3

home | advertising | contact us | back to top | search news | join list | Content Rating

This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law. Design and original photography however are copyright © 1999-2012 TheOneRing.net. Binary hosting provided by Nexcess.net

Do not follow this link, or your host will be blocked from this site. This is a spider trap.