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What do you like best?
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Tol Eressea

Feb 12 2013, 9:41pm

Post #1 of 69 (2818 views)
What do you like best? Can't Post

We've had a couple of months now to reflect on AUJ. Many of us have fallen in love with it (or with Thorin, but I digress), some of us like it a lot, and some of us...well, maybe not so much. Regardless, PJ and co put a tremendous amount of effort into making the movie. So here's a question for you to ponder: what do you like best about the movie? What do you think was particularly well done? Where do you think PJ really got it right? Share your thoughts!

Here's some of mine:

I really, really appreciate the use of the material outside the actual book itself (e.g., the LOTR appendices and the story of The Quest of Erebor -- the latter of which is published as an appendix to the second edition of The Annotated Hobbit). The material in these sources is weightier and much more in keeping with the tone of LOTR, and I think the tone that PJ and co have struck with AUJ is a nice balance between the light-heartedness of the book itself and the more weighty, epic tone of the supplementary material. One bit from The Quest of Erebor particularly struck me when I re-read it after seeing AUJ: "The embers in the heart of Thorin grew hot again, as he brooded on the wrongs of his House and of the vengeance upon the dragon that was bequeathed to him. He thought of weapons and armies and alliances, as his great hammer rang in his forge; but the armies were dispersed and the alliances broken and the axes of his people were few; and a great anger without hope burned him, as he smote the red iron on the anvil." Does not the brief scene at the end of the prologue, where Thorin works at the anvil, capture that perfectly? Goosebumps!

Another interesting bit from the LOTR appendices: Thrain lost an eye in the Battle of Azanulbizar. Yes, we see him missing an eye in the movie *before* the battle, but it's still a nice (and accurate) touch, even if the chronology is off.

And I've said this before, but I love it: after the Unexpected Party, Bilbo falls asleep is his bed listening to Thorin humming the exact first verse of the Misty Mountains song that the dwarves sing in the movie. I'm just sure that reference to humming must have inspired the way the song is performed in the movie.

As for bigger things I think were well done: well, the biggest has to be the characterization of the dwarves, and of course Thorin in particular. Showing us Thorin's backstory, making us sympathetic to his cause and allowing us to understand his motivations, makes us so much more engaged with him and this quest. I'm so glad the dwarven side of the tale is not a simple one about dwarves reclaiming lost treasure. And again, the characterization of Thorin, at least, is very much in keeping with what we see of him in The Quest of Erebor.

There's heaps more I could add, but I'll leave it here for now, with the addition of this: I would, naturally, be completely remiss if I didn't mention that I think one of the very most well-done things in the movie is Thorin's hair. Wink


Feb 12 2013, 9:46pm

Post #2 of 69 (1967 views)
Theres so much i love about the film, but to narrow it down to one little scene... [In reply to] Can't Post

The morning after the Dwarves and Gandalf have left the meeting at Bag End, and for a moment Bilbo is pleased that they are gone and is all alone in Bag End. Then alone, he stands in the hall, everything is silent. You can see just by how its played that there something on Bilbos mind, hes thinking about something, the music sweeps in and he looks at the contract. Next scene hes running across Hobbiton to go on his adventure.

That little scene i adore, its so subtle, but so wonderfully played.

“I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.” - J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

(This post was edited by Gorbag on Feb 12 2013, 9:48pm)


Feb 12 2013, 9:56pm

Post #3 of 69 (1942 views)
These are a few of my favourite things... [In reply to] Can't Post

The dwarves. The way they are all shown as very different individuals. They each have their special quirks, and I am sure that there is a story behind each and every one of them, even if we haven't seen all of thos yet. And I just love their costumes and their weaponry. There are so many tiny details that I can find on closer inspection, which makes every viewing of the movie interesting. And yes, well, the hair, I love that too, especially Thorin's, although I'm also quite partial to Fili's locks.

Another thing that I love - or rather, another person - is Bilbo. MF does such a great job. He looks so very hobbity, and he is just the perfect Bilbo to me.

There is a lot to be said for the way the movie uses some of the lines directly from the book or slightly modified. One of my favourite scenes is when Gandalf tells Bilbo about Bullroarer Took and how golf was invented. That makes me chuckle every time. I also like the whole 'Good morning' scene. These are such lovely interpretations of what is written in the book.

There are a lot more things, I'm sure, but that's all I can think of for now.

Oh, and I came across this recently. There are a lot of things that I agree with in this... Tongue

(This post was edited by Angharad73 on Feb 12 2013, 9:59pm)


Feb 12 2013, 9:58pm

Post #4 of 69 (1889 views)
My favourite bits [In reply to] Can't Post

I too am very thankful to PJ and co for using material from the Appendices/Quest of Erebor, even if not all of it was entirely canon-accurate.

A lot of the new characters (particularly the debated ones) were very interesting. Azog grew on me with a second viewing as I realized that the first part of the story (or the film's version of the story at least) benefited with the presence of a major antagonist to keep the tension alive (the Great Goblin didn't have enough screen time to fill this role.)

The Goblin-Town and Riddles in the Dark sections stood out for me the most in terms of individual scenes, with the tension perfectly balanced between a frantic escape and a threatening exchange. Riddles in the Dark was especially good as it was mostly taken from the book's pages.

Though I know many people didn't enjoy Radagast and The Great Goblin, I liked both. The fact that the Great Goblin lacked any sense of being a threat seemed to work and in terms of creating a lighter, witty tone for the piece the characterization (and the casting of Barry Humphries) was to (imo) a clever idea. His scenes were one of the highlights to my mind.

While Radagast wasn't perfect (i.e. guano, stick insect etc), I felt that he was a believable and likeable character: the fact that he was absent-minded and socially awkward matched my image of him and made his moments of wisdom and power stand out (e.g. when he used magic to scare away the spiders).

Aside from that I enjoyed pretty much all of it, apart from the stone-giant section and the over-dramatic fall from the Goblin-Town platforms, neither of which were believable.

"These are Gundabad Wargs! They will outrun you!"

"THESE are Rhosgobel Rabbits! I'd like to see them try...."


Feb 12 2013, 10:59pm

Post #5 of 69 (1849 views)
Quite simple - The Shire [In reply to] Can't Post

Everything from "Good Morning" through Bilbo joining the expedition. I particularly like the songs, the golf reference, Bilbo's amazing technicolor coat (seriously Tongue), Gandalf & Bilbo's conversations, and Bilbo running through the Shire.

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).


Feb 12 2013, 11:08pm

Post #6 of 69 (1832 views)
The main characters [In reply to] Can't Post

Bilbo,Thorin and Gandalf. I liked any scene involving them.
The main characters make the movie roll and since they worked so well, the movie in general worked well too.

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost,
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.


Feb 12 2013, 11:16pm

Post #7 of 69 (1807 views)
All the things you said, so I won't parrot them.... [In reply to] Can't Post

... You know what they are already!

On thing that stuck out for me about the characterisation of Thorin was the way he instinctively takes responsibility for the others and tries to protect them at need. As when Bilbo falls over the edge in the stone giant sequence, it's Thorin who climbs down to rescue him; the same idea runs right through the film.

The elves: there were some lovely scenes/ shots in Rivendell which stick in my mind. The eagle flight too - that was breathtaking. The thrush and Smaug's eye. The troll scene was written and played to perfection. And when you look at the art book and see the incredible design work and craftsmanship that informed every last detail of every costume and scene, far, far beyond anything that actually shows up in the film - I love all that.


Feb 12 2013, 11:34pm

Post #8 of 69 (1806 views)
dwarves and landscape [In reply to] Can't Post

I think you made a great point about giving added motivation and context to the dwarves´quest, since this motivation, and how it differed among the dwarves, were shown throughout the film in many different ways.

Apart from that there were two points about the film that struck me. One was how wonderfully they differentiated most of the dwarves and were able to create interest in characters that actually had little screentime and give plenty of impact to those of the dwarves they chose to focus on. A great achievement from the scriptwriters as well as the actors.

The second was the beauty and detail in the landscape, which was more varied than I ever dreamed of. I found that the different effects and techniques blended exceptionally well with the location shots. Almost every part of outdoor scenery they showed was full of small, believable details and at the same time combined it with a greater and more expansive environment.

And Bilbo pitying Gollum: that was beautifully done. If they had shown just a little more restraint, it would have been absolutely perfect.

Tol Eressea

Feb 12 2013, 11:47pm

Post #9 of 69 (1811 views)
Actually . . . [In reply to] Can't Post

I liked it from the dark screen at the beginning of the movie to the dark screen at the end of the movie. That said, there were things I really appreciated!

One was the escape from Goblin Town. Maybe its because I love dancing, but I loved the choreography of the fighting. I had such fun watching the timing of every goblin *take-down*. Going around corners was especially fun.

I also thank PJ & Co. every time I think about The Hobbit.

OhioHobbit just commented that he especially loved any scene in Bagend.


Feb 13 2013, 12:08am

Post #10 of 69 (1803 views)
Very difficult to say [In reply to] Can't Post

There are so many things I love about this film.

1. The casting and acting is perfect as far as I am concerned (better than for the LOTR films, in which a few of the characters were somewhat iffy in my view). I particularly love Bilbo, Thorin and (as is to be expected) Gandalf. Each character is very different, yet they all work so well together and complement each other.

The other Dwarves are brilliant – their accents and deep voices, varying looks and different fighting styles. The best for me so far are Balin (Ken Stott is a great actor), Dwalin (hard nut) and Bofur, but they are all great.

2. The visuals, particularly the Erebor sequence with Sir Ian Holm's voiceover. This must be one of the most imaginative and beautiful things I have ever seen in any film (those mines and the Dwarves working in them; the unearthly look of Thandruil, etc). Other favourites are the battle outside the Mines of Moria, the eagles sequence, the waterfalls in moonlight in Rivendell, Riddles in the Dark and the Stone Giants.

3. The humour, which is better than the humour in LOTR in my view (I always thought the humour between Legolas and Gimli, for example, was quite forced). I adore all of the Bag End sequence, and Thorin's song of course, although it isn't long enough for me.

4. The soaring music over the company while it is travelling over the mountains – in fact all of the music for the film is absolutely brilliant.

5. The emotional moments, for instance the one between Thorin and Bilbo at the end, and also Gandalf's words to Galadriel when she asks him, 'Why the hafling?'

Really, I love the whole thing. I'm pleased PJ expanded the book and fleshed out the characters. I did not want to see a cartoon-like copy of the book...

New poster here, but have been hovering a while.

Incidentally, I went to see the film in 3D 48 HFR today for the eighth or ninth time. There were more than 30 people in the audience, all enjoying it, including some teenagers who were laughing out loud at the antics in Bag End, the Troll scenes and Riddles in the Dark. Smile

(This post was edited by Glorfindela on Feb 13 2013, 12:12am)


Feb 13 2013, 12:26am

Post #11 of 69 (1825 views)
The kites shown during the prologue [In reply to] Can't Post

Goes downhill after that Tongue


Feb 13 2013, 12:28am

Post #12 of 69 (1773 views)
Well - the whole thing really [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
I liked it from the dark screen at the beginning of the movie to the dark screen at the end of the movie.

At the risk of not sounding objective enough I completely agree.
The Dwarves are....are....wonderful! Bilbo....amazing. Gandalf...perfect. Scenery - sigh. I too love the fight scenes which get better with each viewing because you can widen your focus and watch what everyone is doing. And little details like Bilbo's pinecone and rock collection from his many walks in the woods. Elrond smiling (Not really dressed for dinner - You never are). The intensity and magnetic complexity of Thorin. Finally hearing Dwarven songs! (heaven!)
I think it has the soul of the work at its center. We can enjoy (and we do!) debating the details of adaptation but film is a form of expression which by definition must be interpreted because it is a different medium. No one wants to sit in a theater watching printed words scroll by. Alan Lee and John Howe don't paint paragraphs. I think PJ and Co.have done it justice and for that I am thankful.
I didn't expect or look forward to loving it this much. But there is no going back.

...she took the point at once, but she also took the spoons.

(This post was edited by Brethil on Feb 13 2013, 12:35am)


Feb 13 2013, 12:39am

Post #13 of 69 (1751 views)
So much that I like: [In reply to] Can't Post

1. Martin Freeman's performance as Bilbo. To me best hobbit ever!
2. RA as Thorin. Love his performance and of course " the hair"
3. Love the Good morning scene with Gandalf at Bag End
4, Dwarves singing The Misty Mountain
5.Unexpected Party
6. Elrond and the Elves in battle gear- so cool
7.Riddles in the Dark
8. Dwalin and Balin
9. Fili and Kili
10. Bofur
11. The fact that I can now tell all the Dwarves apart

I must add that I did not like the way Radagast was portrayed, but as a whole I love the movie!

" He has just as much reason to go to war as you do. Why can he not fight for those he loves?"


Feb 13 2013, 12:42am

Post #14 of 69 (1752 views)
I [In reply to] Can't Post

totally loved the my dear Frodo section at the beginning of the movie. I was so glad to see Bilbo use the "in a whole in the ground there lived a hobbit line. This scene sets a beautiful tone for the rest of the movie!

All that glitters is not gold...


Feb 13 2013, 12:54am

Post #15 of 69 (1734 views)
What Else? [In reply to] Can't Post

The Misty Mountain song.
Bilbo's defense of Thorin.
But actually I liked 99% of the film.


Feb 13 2013, 3:11am

Post #16 of 69 (1735 views)
The choreography [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
One was the escape from Goblin Town. Maybe its because I love dancing, but I loved the choreography of the fighting. I had such fun watching the timing of every goblin *take-down*. Going around corners was especially fun.

I normally don't like fight scenes at all (dragging, boring, brutal) but I also find that the choreography of these fighting scenes are fascinating to watch.

Have you seen this slow-mo video of Goblin town and fight training scenes set to music? http://www.youtube.com/...youtube_gdata_player

Grey Havens

Feb 13 2013, 3:24am

Post #17 of 69 (1692 views)
My own list overlaps some (a lot) with others' [In reply to] Can't Post

The individualization of the Dwarves - very well done, and repeated viewings reveal new insights
Getting to see more of Bag End and Rivendell
The music! Especially the songs
I just couldn't picture the stone giants' fight, and was surprised by how well it worked
'Good morning' scene, Gandalf's response to 'Why the Halfling?', Riddles in the Dark

Walk to Rivendell: There and Back Again Challenge - traveling through Middle Earth with thirteen rowdy Dwarves, one grumpy Wizard, and a beleaguered Hobbit

Join us, Thursdays on Main!

Grey Havens

Feb 13 2013, 3:25am

Post #18 of 69 (1669 views)
Welcome! and thanks for delurking to share!// [In reply to] Can't Post


Walk to Rivendell: There and Back Again Challenge - traveling through Middle Earth with thirteen rowdy Dwarves, one grumpy Wizard, and a beleaguered Hobbit

Join us, Thursdays on Main!


Feb 13 2013, 3:53am

Post #19 of 69 (1679 views)
My things [In reply to] Can't Post

I really enjoyed going back to Middle-earth. It's one of the best detailed realms from a book that there's ever going to be. I give PJ, his creative team, and all the craftsmen and even the technology specialists that created it. It's a great adventure.


Feb 13 2013, 4:30am

Post #20 of 69 (1679 views)
My not-so-accurate countdown list [In reply to] Can't Post

Here goes :P

6) Riddles
Ah the riddles! Great, great, great stuff. Way better than I had expected. Bilbo was perfect. Gollum/Smeagol was perfectly switching between cute and creepy.

5) The Trolls
For some reason I love the scene. It captures the adventure/comedy feel very well. Great scene that showed the dwarves' collective personality: quick to laughter, quick to offense, not so bright but full of passion. Lovely.

4) The Eagles
I still want to cheer every time when they arrive. Beautiful and utterly breath-taking.

3) The Misty Mountain Song
I can listen to it (and the theme) forever. If I ever have kids I'll be singing this to them (expanded version with lyrics from the book)

2) The Cast
I'm cheating on this one. But I thought the cast did a great job and were entirely believable.

1) The balance
Between kid and adult, between fan-pandering and non-fan awareness, between old and new, between faithfulness and liberties. It's a difficult line to walk, and I applaud them for pulling it off.

(This post was edited by Súlimë on Feb 13 2013, 4:31am)


Feb 13 2013, 5:05am

Post #21 of 69 (1684 views)
I think I can sum this one up fairly concisely. [In reply to] Can't Post

Beginning with the ubiquitious sense of vibrant wonder that permeated the film, from the brighter colour, to some of the choices in presentation and dialogue. The film, espescially in the first half, abounded with very bon vivant enchantment.

As to the specific scenes, I loved the Erebor flashback, Thror, Thranduil, Smaug, all of it! the Good Morning sequence (magical smoke butterfly et al) and the unexpected party ESPECIALLY the Lonely Mountain lay. I loved The words to Bilbo during the departure, with the lovely scenic shots as backdrop, "You were born to the rolling hills of The Shire. . . but Home is now behind you, The World is ahead."

I loved the talk of the other Wizards and the introduction of Radagast in his enchanted forest, even though I disliked some of the over the top silliness inserted into the scene.

I loved Stout's Balin, and Nesbit's Bofur, and I was impressed by Armitage's Thorin. I generally liked the depiction of all of the dwarves, though we couldn't get as much of some of them as we might have liked.

I loved the parts of the Moria flashback that the film did best, even as I HATED some of the facts that they delibrately got wrong in that same scene.

The trolls were nearly pitch perfect, though I could have done without some of the gag worthy mucos excess. Dame Edna's take on the Great Goblin was also inspired, mocking courtesy, singing et al.

I loved the look of The White Council scene, some of Gandalf's commentary there, the acting therein, and the more affectionate parts of Galadriel's interaction with Gandalf, even though I strongly disliked the changes to the history of Angmar, and the superior manner with which Galadriel sometimes seemed to treat with Gandalf.

And, of course, I Loved the increased, more book accurate display of Gandalf's Wizardry in the film, especially his grand entrance into Goblin Town. I still like the book portrayl a little better, and I definitely would have preffered to see blue fire in the pinecone scenes and a little more force on impact, but all in all, I was exceedingly pleased that these scenes were not diminished or extracted, as I had feared they might be due to Jackson's stated aversion to certain magical displays, and his willingness to bypass some of Gandalf's more astonishing moments from the other books, Fellowship in particular.

"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."

(This post was edited by AinurOlorin on Feb 13 2013, 5:12am)


Feb 13 2013, 5:31am

Post #22 of 69 (1639 views)
What a great video link! [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you. The slo-mo and classical music are such fun, and the end credits thank RA for providing it!

Also agree with you -- choreography of the Goblin Town escape gets better each time I see it. So much detail and movement -- like dancing on a rollercoaster! Really looking forward to the dvd.

...one morning long ago in the quiet of the world, when there was less noise and more green... The Hobbit


Feb 13 2013, 5:40am

Post #23 of 69 (1673 views)
A nice MLT - [In reply to] Can't Post

mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomato is ripe... they're so perky, I love that.

Michelle Johnston

Feb 13 2013, 6:22am

Post #24 of 69 (1657 views)
A section and two frames [In reply to] Can't Post

Right through to the smoke curling up into the sky at Bag End is probably the most satisfying section that they have ever achieved. I get a real sense of coming home from the moment he strikes the match, and its so on.

The very first frame of Radagast in the forest that seems to remind me of all my child hood visions of the quintessential forest invested with magic and a story to be told.

The Eagles nest breathtaking exquisite capture of middle earth is new zealand or is it the other way round.

I tried to save the shire , and it has been but not for me.

Old Toby
Grey Havens

Feb 13 2013, 6:48am

Post #25 of 69 (1642 views)
At the risk of being redundant [In reply to] Can't Post

I will just voice what I loved best, although most here have already spoken about these already. It's really hard, because, well, I loved the entire film. But here goes:

what do you like best about the movie?
I think every time I went to see it (19 times so far), I always looked forward to the beginning of the story, particularly from Bilbo's "Good Morning" until the time he runs out his door to his impending adventure. The way the dwarves arrived at the door, the subsequent rowdy dinner, the Grand Entrance of Thorin, the singing, Bilbo's waking to the empty house...all were such incredible moments for me. I could watch the beginning of this film over and over (and, obviously, I have).

What do you think was particularly well done?
The dwarves in general and Thorin in particular were absolutely magnificent to me! So much better than I ever expected, having only the book and LOTR's depiction of Gimli to go by. The creation of each individual dwarf, with their own personalities, looks, dress, mannerisms, etc. was just brilliant on the part of those who worked to make this happen. And although they were each wonderful in their own right, Thorin turned out in spades! That hair! That voice! Those eyes! That hair!...oh, sorry (time for a toke of Old Toby, eh?) I thought the casting for them was just perfect.

Other than the dwarves, I thought the Riddles in the Dark sequence was magnificently played by both actors. I think Andy Serkis needs to get SOME award for his performance-capture work! The man is a genius. And also the scene with the eagles flying at the end was a breathtaking moment for me. In 3D HFR I felt like I was right there flying with them. It was quite incredible.

And Martin Freeman....what can I say except he inhabited Bilbo like no one else I could imagine.

Where do you think PJ really got it right?
I loved how he began the film, with the bridge from LOTR to AUJ with Frodo and the older Bilbo. It was a lovely, seamless way to get us back into Middle-earth. The flashback to what happened to Erebor, the coming of Smaug, the battle of Azanulbizar, was a great way to tell the story of the dwarves and why they were going on this quest, what they had to gain, and what they had to lose. I think it was especially important for those in the audience who never read the book to understand that this was more than just a bunch of dwarves trying to get their gold back. For Thorin in particular, this backstory showed what was driving him and why.

All the little touches that paid hommage to the book were so appreciated - words spoken, particular little scenes enacted that didn't have to be part of the film but which were, such as Bilbo forgetting his handkerchief.

Overall, I think PJ got it right. I'm not completely pleased with some parts of the film, but nevertheless I love the tone of it, I love the look of it, I love the feel of it. That's why I go back to see it over and over, you know. So I can be immersed in this story again, surround myself with Middle-earth again, and forget for a brief three hours that I live in a world without the enchantment of hobbits, dwarves, elves, and dragons, a world that seems dreary and dull by comparison.

Hmm...now when is it playing again?Wink

"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 Feb 13 2013, 6:57am)

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