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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Thrilled the Pinecones were included. . . but they could have been more impressively managed, and being true to the book would have made it so.
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AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Feb 5 2013, 7:17am

Post #1 of 32 (1052 views)
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Thrilled the Pinecones were included. . . but they could have been more impressively managed, and being true to the book would have made it so. Can't Post

I don't mean the scene as a whole. I think having the tree dangling actually made it more plausible for Gandalf to do less, and that worked for me. My issue is with how the pinecones themselves were handled. First, I am glad they made it in at all. It is the sort of thing I could have seen Peter cutting, and I am glad that didn't happen. HOWEVER. . . I know Peter's long history of claiming to dislike pyrotechnic displays, especially because they can come off looking tacky. And yet, by making the pinecone fires less spectacular, he makes them look more gimmicky and tacky than they would have given a more impressive treatment. They are effective, but more comic and less spectacular than they easily could have been. Following the books colour change to blue would have done alot for them, but it also would have aided if the first, the one thrown by Gandalf, had exhibited some minor concussive/explosive force upon hitting the ground. Nothing ridiculous, but a bursting effect with the appropriate auditory. The end result would have been essentially the same, but it would have made for a better show.

"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."


Roheryn
Grey Havens

Feb 5 2013, 8:14am

Post #2 of 32 (617 views)
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Really? [In reply to] Can't Post

There's been a fair bit of howling over the lack of realism in the movie. Wouldn't this be a case where staying true to the book makes the movie look even more like a fairy tale?

From the book: "Then he [Gandalf] set one alight with bright blue fire, and therw it whizzing down.... Then another came and another, one in blue flames, one in red, another in green. They burst on the ground...and went off in coloured sparks and smoke."

I think a spectacular display of multi-colored fireworks right as Thorin and Azog are having their initial taunting and stare-down session might be a bit distracting. Spectacular, perhaps -- I do enjoy a good fireworks display myself -- but I think a bit understated rather than overstated perhaps works best here. I could be wrong!


Ardamírë
Valinor


Feb 5 2013, 11:50am

Post #3 of 32 (522 views)
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Would that have been bad? [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Wouldn't this be a case where staying true to the book makes the movie look even more like a fairy tale?


That's what the book is, so I'm not sure how staying true to that would have been a bad thing. And considering that the real world already has blue fire, I'm not sure it would have been that bad to tweak it a little and have a "bright blue fire". The only other color mentioned that isn't actually a part of natural flame would be green and even that wouldn't be so far out I don't think.

There's a sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall and the bells in the steeple, too.
And up in the nursery an absurd little bird is popping out to say coo-coo (coo-coo, coo-coo).


Arannir
Valinor

Feb 5 2013, 12:28pm

Post #4 of 32 (483 views)
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One of the things... [In reply to] Can't Post

... with color that works in a book, but not on screen, I think.

Similar to Saruman the Many Coloured and the Arkenstone.


I cannot help myself - but when I try to imagine that scene with the different couloured fire... it comes out as an aesthetic mess.


imin
Valinor


Feb 5 2013, 1:05pm

Post #5 of 32 (479 views)
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You can get a green flame or other colours eg purple [In reply to] Can't Post

just it would be rare in nature as you say due the being a need for things such as tar, rust or copper.

Saying that i think it probably just wouldnt have worked well on screen and with the amount of changes made, this is one of the less important ones in my opinion.


Súlimë
Rivendell


Feb 5 2013, 1:27pm

Post #6 of 32 (475 views)
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Now that you've mentioned it [In reply to] Can't Post

Perhaps maybe a hint of colors (and some sort of subtle explosion that says 'magic') would have been nice...

It never crossed my mind that PJ would cut the flaming pine cones though -- that's easily the funnest part in the book :D


Lindele
Gondor


Feb 5 2013, 1:40pm

Post #7 of 32 (474 views)
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could not disagree more [In reply to] Can't Post

that sounds like it would have been way more of a cheesy spectacle than what we got. It always comes back to trusting PJ.


stoutfiles
Rohan


Feb 5 2013, 2:54pm

Post #8 of 32 (447 views)
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Would have improved the scene [In reply to] Can't Post

Magic fire makes more sense than regular fire, considering the dwarves and Bilbo were both able to hold a pinecone on fire and throw it successfully with no burns. It would also explain how a raging fire was started in only 30 seconds, the pinecones would need a magical explosive presence to do so.

I like how people are complaining this would be cheesy, when the cheesiest scenes in the movie take place right after: the "epic" slow-motion battle and the "I'm not angry, fooled you" hug.


imin
Valinor


Feb 5 2013, 3:01pm

Post #9 of 32 (444 views)
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Yeah the angry hug is the cheesiest part [In reply to] Can't Post

But i think for regular viewers the different colour fire could be a step too far.

From looking at different coloured fires on google images (sad i know!) they are generally quite subtle in their colouring anyway so i think it could have been done, and maybe done well but ultimately its not as bad as Radagasts scenes, Azog or thorins speech to name a few.

But i guess everyone has their own thing that gets them annoyed or wish they could have seen.

For me i wish they didnt have the trees topple on each other then off the end of the cliff as i felt that was a bit cheesy and preferred the imagery created in the book.


Ardamírë
Valinor


Feb 5 2013, 3:03pm

Post #10 of 32 (437 views)
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Ah, I stand corrected. [In reply to] Can't Post

Personally, I don't care that there weren't other colors, I was mostly just taking unction with the idea that to do so would somehow make it too fairytale, which it already is.

There's a sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall and the bells in the steeple, too.
And up in the nursery an absurd little bird is popping out to say coo-coo (coo-coo, coo-coo).


Ardamírë
Valinor


Feb 5 2013, 3:05pm

Post #11 of 32 (423 views)
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I think those things could have worked [In reply to] Can't Post

Though I've always imagined them as very subtle colors. I imagine the pinecone fires as similarly subtle. I think it could work pretty easily, actually. But as I said to imin, I don't actually care that they weren't colorful.

There's a sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall and the bells in the steeple, too.
And up in the nursery an absurd little bird is popping out to say coo-coo (coo-coo, coo-coo).


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Feb 5 2013, 4:31pm

Post #12 of 32 (396 views)
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less is more [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
There's been a fair bit of howling over the lack of realism in the movie. Wouldn't this be a case where staying true to the book makes the movie look even more like a fairy tale?

From the book: "Then he [Gandalf] set one alight with bright blue fire, and therw it whizzing down.... Then another came and another, one in blue flames, one in red, another in green. They burst on the ground...and went off in coloured sparks and smoke."

I think a spectacular display of multi-colored fireworks right as Thorin and Azog are having their initial taunting and stare-down session might be a bit distracting. Spectacular, perhaps -- I do enjoy a good fireworks display myself -- but I think a bit understated rather than overstated perhaps works best here. I could be wrong!


Indeed! There are so many things about this book that do not work at all in a film for a modern audience. The skill the filmakers show in translating this classic tale to film is amazing. They had the same issue with Dwarf makeup... and keep peeling off the layers of latex as they discovered less is more.

Go outside and play...


Arannir
Valinor

Feb 5 2013, 5:38pm

Post #13 of 32 (398 views)
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Well... [In reply to] Can't Post

... I guess for some people like me the slow-motion is the "right" kind of cheese for this kind of movie, while colourful fire might simply look ugly.

As for the magic, the way they explode on the ground always made it clear to me that there is magic involved and not just a regular fire.

I guess it depends on how one imagined the colours while reading the book... I do not really seem to be able to think of a way that would look good... always had the same issue with Saruman. And the Arkenstone.


Rostron2
Gondor


Feb 5 2013, 6:08pm

Post #14 of 32 (373 views)
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A little color might hve been nice [In reply to] Can't Post

Considering Gandalf's skills with pyrotechnics. I liked that they all got to throw a few.


Roheryn
Grey Havens

Feb 5 2013, 8:23pm

Post #15 of 32 (353 views)
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No, actually, not necessarily. [In reply to] Can't Post

I mostly just wanted to point out that a lovely fireworks display (as described in the book) in that scene might detract a bit from the emotional content.


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Feb 5 2013, 10:15pm

Post #16 of 32 (316 views)
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I was never in the realism howling choir anyway. No mortal knows the fundemental nature of reality, and if I wanted a more everyday experience [In reply to] Can't Post

I would have seen Silver Linings Playbook mutliple times rather than An Unexpected Journey. Lol. The realisim is in the look of the world, the emotions amd motivations of the charcters etc.

That said, I don't think blue flame with a little more punch would be any more distracting than Arwen's horsewaves (which were not really hers, were they? lol). It just makes the Wizard's magic look more potent and less haphazard.

And, I think the one altered colour, with the fire perhaps even transitioning to normal hue post small explosion, would have worked fine. The animated captured it rather well. I don't think a constant change of hue to every shade in the rainbow would have been a good idea, but blue flame, in keeping with the blue light and flame we have seen associated with Gandalf's magic in the films before, would have worked.

In Reply To
There's been a fair bit of howling over the lack of realism in the movie. Wouldn't this be a case where staying true to the book makes the movie look even more like a fairy tale?

From the book: "Then he [Gandalf] set one alight with bright blue fire, and therw it whizzing down.... Then another came and another, one in blue flames, one in red, another in green. They burst on the ground...and went off in coloured sparks and smoke."

I think a spectacular display of multi-colored fireworks right as Thorin and Azog are having their initial taunting and stare-down session might be a bit distracting. Spectacular, perhaps -- I do enjoy a good fireworks display myself -- but I think a bit understated rather than overstated perhaps works best here. I could be wrong!


"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


Feb 5 2013, 10:21pm

Post #17 of 32 (321 views)
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Blue flame is commonly seen in everyday life. There are extremely large and hot Blue Stars. Any gas stove lights up more blue than anything. [In reply to] Can't Post

Blue fire is easily achieved, and can be impressively done. Guillermo worked well with some in the Hellboy movies. I can literally envision a really impressive but not overdone scene with the fire turning blue. I really would have loved if they had transplanted a touch of the Wizard's confrontation with the wargs in Fellowship for it. The blue flame as per The Hobbit, then perhaps have him thunderous speak some of the "An Edraith Ammen!" causing the cone to erupt just before or upon striking the ground. . . but not an explosion sufficient for killing all the orcs and wargs (unless they all crowded around the exploding pine cone, which of course they aren't going to do lol).

In Reply To
... with color that works in a book, but not on screen, I think.

Similar to Saruman the Many Coloured and the Arkenstone.


I cannot help myself - but when I try to imagine that scene with the different couloured fire... it comes out as an aesthetic mess.


"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


Feb 5 2013, 10:27pm

Post #18 of 32 (324 views)
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Thank you. [In reply to] Can't Post

Cool Agreed, and agreed. lol. I think it was more cheesy for being LESS spectacular. It looked more tacky than it would have had they gone with the more powerful expression. I don't know why people assume that a powerful display has to be cheesy. It has been a big hang up of Peter's as well, but only when it comes to Gandalf. . . I have never heard anyone describe the horse waves or the storm of Saruman as cheesy or gaudy. The only word I have ever heard used to describe Dumbledore's fiery moment in the caves in the sixth Potter movie was "epic." Yes, whizz bang wand projectiles can be very cheesy and gimmicky and silly looking. But why on earth would a more potent showing of Gandalf's magic be any of those things? His entrance into the Great Goblin's lair was epic and wonderful. Thank God. If they had gone with fire of the same hue and intensity of that which he is shown using to dislodge a massive boulder in the caverns, it would have been pitch perfect.

In Reply To
Magic fire makes more sense than regular fire, considering the dwarves and Bilbo were both able to hold a pinecone on fire and throw it successfully with no burns. It would also explain how a raging fire was started in only 30 seconds, the pinecones would need a magical explosive presence to do so.

I like how people are complaining this would be cheesy, when the cheesiest scenes in the movie take place right after: the "epic" slow-motion battle and the "I'm not angry, fooled you" hug.


"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."


Ardamírë
Valinor


Feb 5 2013, 10:43pm

Post #19 of 32 (309 views)
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Ah, ok. [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think a few choice colorful pinecones would have been a distraction, though. Neither is it a big deal that they're not colorful.

There's a sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall and the bells in the steeple, too.
And up in the nursery an absurd little bird is popping out to say coo-coo (coo-coo, coo-coo).


Arannir
Valinor

Feb 6 2013, 8:20am

Post #20 of 32 (276 views)
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Fire [In reply to] Can't Post

Don't get me wrong, I do not dispute that this kind of fire is possible to occur in nature.

I just don't see it being very aesthetic.

Although, you are right, a blue fire could have worked... although then you have only one colour again as well... and I really thought the red fire against the dark rock and sky looked amazing.

Especially, since CGI fire now looks incredible (I believe PJ said several times that it still used to be quite a problem during LotR times - same as water).


jimmyfenn
Rohan


Feb 6 2013, 11:29am

Post #21 of 32 (274 views)
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big mistake [In reply to] Can't Post

the people saying this wouldn't be as aesthetically pleasing! so colour wouldnt look good on film? a visual medium?

i do not get why the colourfull fire wasnt included! you can easily get a blue/green/red/yellow flame in nature!

it makes more sense as it was a magic fire that gandalf created, the colours then could have burned out into a more normal orange

it would have been like a fireworks display! exactly like the ones gandalf is famous for????

big faux pas , would have fitted perfectly, like tolkien intended, i reckon if it wasnt mentioned in the book then there would be a good chance we might have gotten it!

v annoyed by this!

"You Tolkien to me?!" - Hobbit de Niro


Loresilme
Valinor


Feb 6 2013, 4:43pm

Post #22 of 32 (238 views)
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I don't think different color fire would have looked 'magical' [In reply to] Can't Post

I think it would have looked like fireworks, or like a carnival. Maybe it's a cultural thing - to me, different color fire has a celebratory connotation. It doesn't say 'magical' to me, it says "Fourth of July" celebration (that's a U.S. holiday where people set off brightly colored fireworks in different colors). Which would have clashed completely with the tension and danger of the scene.

So personally I'm glad they stayed with ordinary color flames.


jimmyfenn
Rohan


Feb 6 2013, 5:05pm

Post #23 of 32 (228 views)
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ooh [In reply to] Can't Post

i love the idea and the visual image of a wizard fighting an evil hoarde of badguys with colourful fireworks! (i might steal that idea;)

"You Tolkien to me?!" - Hobbit de Niro


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Feb 6 2013, 9:40pm

Post #24 of 32 (210 views)
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LMAO "If it wasn't mentioned, we would have gotten it" [In reply to] Can't Post

Heart that! lol I think blue would have been sufficent, and matched with the colour of the light and fire we usually associate with Gandalf (and with good magic sense the 70s at least lol), and which has been typically seen in his light and fire in these movies.

I agree entirely with you that the blue flame could have, as it burned, progressed to a less hot, more normal fire, ending up with the same cliff top scene we eventually get.

I LOVED the butterfly smoke ring, the fiery fingertip and the burst of blue flame dislocating the slab of rock that we were given with the Wizard earlier in the movie. . . I thought those things were good indicators that Peter had completely gotten over his aversion to giving Gandalf the knowledge of fire enchantments that he has in the books, and that the pinecone scene would be amazing. As it is, those scenes mainly helped to make up for the pinecones being underwhelming, though I am still glad that they were at least included.

In Reply To
the people saying this wouldn't be as aesthetically pleasing! so colour wouldnt look good on film? a visual medium?

i do not get why the colourfull fire wasnt included! you can easily get a blue/green/red/yellow flame in nature!

it makes more sense as it was a magic fire that gandalf created, the colours then could have burned out into a more normal orange

it would have been like a fireworks display! exactly like the ones gandalf is famous for????

big faux pas , would have fitted perfectly, like tolkien intended, i reckon if it wasnt mentioned in the book then there would be a good chance we might have gotten it!

v annoyed by this!


"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


Feb 6 2013, 9:48pm

Post #25 of 32 (200 views)
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I am an American. And blue fire still says magic to me. [In reply to] Can't Post

And to most Americans who ever saw a movie in the 80s. lol. Though it would look far better. Effects weren't so grand in those days. lol. But, fireworks and carnival is if the fire is mostly leaping sparks and popping noises. This would have been a blaze of pale blue light, very much like what happened in Goblin Town when he dislodges the boulder. I don't think anyone thought "fireworks" when that burst of blue fire erupted and split the stone. Did you? We aren't talking about blue sparklers here.

The power of the moment and of Gandalf's involvement was lessened by taking the route they took. The fire's beginnings were far less impressive than they might have been. You can be glad or no, but the changes did no favour to the Wizard or his standing, nor did they make the scene more effective. You have to imagine blue flame, without the sparkless and whizzing sparks of a fireworks display. There is nothing comic or festive about an explosion of blue fire, any more than any other colour, save that it may be thought prettier. Some people find orange fire very pretty. Some people are pyrophiles. What of it? Nuclear explosions can have a blue white hue. Nothing festive about them. I cannot see where changing the colour of the fire would have changed the tension of the scene in any way. It merely would have been more clear that the fire was not your average, run of the mill, match left burning in a dry patch forest fire by any stretch.

In Reply To
I think it would have looked like fireworks, or like a carnival. Maybe it's a cultural thing - to me, different color fire has a celebratory connotation. It doesn't say 'magical' to me, it says "Fourth of July" celebration (that's a U.S. holiday where people set off brightly colored fireworks in different colors). Which would have clashed completely with the tension and danger of the scene.

So personally I'm glad they stayed with ordinary color flames.


"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."

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