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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
What do you dislike the most : TH AUJ
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Elenorflower
Gondor


Feb 16 2013, 1:01pm

Post #101 of 145 (334 views)
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thank you for your comments [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree there are a lot of 'vulgar' characters in English Literature, But in Shakespeare and Chaucer they were mostly tragi-comic figures there to evoke pity and compassion, they make you laugh but you feel their pain. Tolkien nver uses vulgarity this way, he has a more donnish gentle humour. I really dislike the way PJ has cheapened things. I know Gimli was quite earthy,( but I also saw his poetic side when they showed him in awe of Galadriel, it wasnt one sided)., but not so much in the theatrical version, it was reined in, and was used in a more appropriate setting of a Rohan Great Hall, not Rivendell or Bagend which dont lend themselves to belching. i can imagine the warriors of the Viking like culture of Rohan being more rustic with beer flowing and rowdyness abounding, so it didnt offend me at all in TT as it did in AUJ.


(This post was edited by Elenorflower on Feb 16 2013, 1:08pm)


Eleniel
Grey Havens


Feb 16 2013, 1:30pm

Post #102 of 145 (324 views)
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I have to agree as usual... [In reply to] Can't Post

For me the crux of the problem is that "The Hobbit" is perceived as a children's book, when apart from a couple of stand-out points of whimsy (talking purse and Beorn's animal waiters) the story is still set in the same world as LotR, with the same "adult" themes, etc.

The normal choice for adaptation would have been either to go with TH as it stands as a lightweight kids' film, or keep the same tone as LotR and add in the extra Appendices material.

However, we have ended up with a mish-mash of both approaches - juvenile humour, visual gags and lightweight comedy action where any tension in the book has been lost, juxtaposed with the angst of tortured hero Thorin and the darkness of the White Council/Necromancer additions. On top of that you can throw in the cliched villain of Azog and amped-up action sequences to fulfil the requirements of your average audience these days.

So much of AUJ was brilliant, but the negative threads about this movie abound because so many of us are passionate about Tolkien, and are fans of PJ's past interpretation of M-e. I don't believe people are picking the movie apart for the sake of it...they are genuinely sad that something that promised so much has not turned out to be as good as they think it could have been.


"Choosing Trust over Doubt gets me burned once in a while, but I'd rather be singed than hardened."
Victoria Monfort






Estel78
Tol Eressea

Feb 16 2013, 2:24pm

Post #103 of 145 (316 views)
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Well, it is a children's book [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
For me the crux of the problem is that "The Hobbit" is perceived as a children's book


Regardless of some themes one could call adult (which you can find in any good material for children), it is written in such a lighthearted way, there's not much "tension" to be had in the book. There's a world of difference between Hobbit and LOTR. In that regard, i like the movie better since it veers towards the LOTR tone at least partially.


JWPlatt
Grey Havens


Feb 16 2013, 2:36pm

Post #104 of 145 (320 views)
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Learning From History [In reply to] Can't Post

> "If I may make one observation about the view your are taking, I am surprised that people are surprised. There are enough anticidents from the LOTR, Gimli in general and the drinking scene at Edoras in particular, to expect such outcomes."

I think the gist of it is - at least for me - that we expect Peter Jackson and his Coven to consider and learn from history. Although I didn't mind Gimli's antics and Legolas's surfboard, I can understand how people feel when Jackson appears to ignore, then repeat, what was clearly disliked about some things they did with Lord of the Rings. If I had to generalize them, they are the juvenile things and obvious overindulgences. He does them anyway. He has always said he makes films he likes, so here we are wishing for more consideration.


Estel78
Tol Eressea

Feb 16 2013, 2:41pm

Post #105 of 145 (311 views)
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However... [In reply to] Can't Post

You are looking at yourself and people with similar reactions but what makes you think there aren't people out there that liked that stuff?


JWPlatt
Grey Havens


Feb 16 2013, 2:45pm

Post #106 of 145 (311 views)
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Films He Likes To See [In reply to] Can't Post

There are plenty of those people here, though it's obviously highly self-selecting on forums like this. But in Jackson's stated view of making films he would like to see, those people who liked that stuff don't matter either. It's just a happy coincidence.


Estel78
Tol Eressea

Feb 16 2013, 2:53pm

Post #107 of 145 (302 views)
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And that's good [In reply to] Can't Post

Movies should be the director's vision. If we like it - great, if not - tough luck (for both parties). There's so much noise out there anyway, some people like this, others something else...


In Reply To
But in Jackson's stated view of making films he would like to see, those people who liked that stuff don't matter either. It's just a happy coincidence.



Michelle Johnston
Rohan


Feb 16 2013, 4:19pm

Post #108 of 145 (298 views)
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Great Summary [In reply to] Can't Post

All of this makes me think of my reactions to the LOTR and how I coped with matters that in my view sat wrongly.

When I came out of the TTT frankly I was bemused by all the strategic changes and its safe to say I did not feel good after that movie.

As the years have gone by I have learnt to enjoy and admire the films but always felt the surf boarding et al were one modern mans view disconnected from the gentle and restrained Professor Tolkien vision and creation.

This last year I re read the LOTR and it reminded that my love is reserved for the books and the 2nd and 3rd films begin to look a good deal more flawed to me. However I knew the type of film maker PJ was and because I do not have any great emotional attachment to the book I went to my first AUJ in a postive frame of mind.

In the end if we articulated precisely what we are talking about I guess we would probably agree about the indulgencies and the juvenile. Where we might differ is to the extent they derail our enjoyment. For me when I watch the film I am holding on to three very simple experiences the adventure through the screen Bilbo's eyes, the weight of Thorins expectation to reclaim and seek revenge which only grows and Gandalfs burdens.

What you and I will never be able to quantify is by including the I. & J does that increase the audience size or does it simply fulfill PJ private taste. Given the huge swathe of movies which play almost entirely to the latter he maybe right to include it. For a film about a Hobbit 13 Dwarves and a Dragon to sell so many tickets means he is pleasing a lot of people some of the time.



In Reply To
> "If I may make one observation about the view your are taking, I am surprised that people are surprised. There are enough anticidents from the LOTR, Gimli in general and the drinking scene at Edoras in particular, to expect such outcomes."

I think the gist of it is - at least for me - that we expect Peter Jackson and his Coven to consider and learn from history. Although I didn't mind Gimli's antics and Legolas's surfboard, I can understand how people feel when Jackson appears to ignore, then repeat, what was clearly disliked about some things they did with Lord of the Rings. If I had to generalize them, they are the juvenile things and obvious overindulgences. He does them anyway. He has always said he makes films he likes, so here we are wishing for more consideration.


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


Michelle Johnston
Rohan


Feb 16 2013, 4:30pm

Post #109 of 145 (300 views)
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Chaucer a better example [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you yes, Chaucer I actually think the pity and compassion might end up applying to the wizard "bag lady" Radagast we shall see.

Thats a nice point about the placement of the vulgarity in ROTK but for a Sindarian Prince to enter into a drinking contest does not work for me no more than the drunken elves in the Hobbit. I know that sounds precious about part of Tolkiens creation but I can not think of anything down the three ages that would have lead to that outcome.

Your point about the behaviour at Rivendell funnily enough felt very real to me I have been in some of the most exquisitely beautiful reverential places in the world where the behaviour and humour displayed by groups of men have reminded me that you can take the man out of the pub but you can not take the pub out of the man!


In Reply To
I agree there are a lot of 'vulgar' characters in English Literature, But in Shakespeare and Chaucer they were mostly tragi-comic figures there to evoke pity and compassion, they make you laugh but you feel their pain. Tolkien nver uses vulgarity this way, he has a more donnish gentle humour. I really dislike the way PJ has cheapened things. I know Gimli was quite earthy,( but I also saw his poetic side when they showed him in awe of Galadriel, it wasnt one sided)., but not so much in the theatrical version, it was reined in, and was used in a more appropriate setting of a Rohan Great Hall, not Rivendell or Bagend which dont lend themselves to belching. i can imagine the warriors of the Viking like culture of Rohan being more rustic with beer flowing and rowdyness abounding, so it didnt offend me at all in TT as it did in AUJ.


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


glor
Rohan

Feb 16 2013, 4:33pm

Post #110 of 145 (314 views)
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On lost tension and manners [In reply to] Can't Post

Lost tension is inevitable is it not as this is a 'prequel'. Audiences know that Bilbo amongst many other characters in TH, survive the journey, so any real attempt by PJ and co, in fact any director or writer to, present us with scenes where Bilbo's life seem genuinely in peril, and full of dark forboding would seem fake. Almost every member of any cinema in the world watching AUJ knows that Bilbo doesn't get eaten by Trolls, or becomes lunch for Gollum.

In fact, AUJ has left those without knowledge of the book with a sense of safety and security, something some critics have fallen for too bemoaning the fact that no one will die in The Hobbit films and everyone will live happily ever after...

As for Juvenile humour, I can see why others see it as that but a lot of that humour is about class, something I have always felt, as others have noted too, is prevalent in Tolkiens races. Dwarves are a hardened northernised working class; loyal, hardy and coarse in their manners, Dwarves are the sort of beings that turn up at gentile country cottages and burp at the dinner table. In opposition to Tolkien's elves, the upper class, divided as they are between the learned scholars of Rivendell, the remote country Lords of Mirkwood and the birthright nobility of Lothlorien, a far better sociological reflection of the upper classes prior to WWII, than a 1000 episodes of Downton Abbey. It is interesting to note that there is a wealth of historical sociological information in the reports and journals of military men during both world wars here in Britain, where the stark differences between mannerisms, and manners between classes is noted,as classes mingled and interacted for the first time, these writings often reflect a culture clash centred around manners, the inability of cockneys to use hankerchiefs for instance or the propensity of the working class to burp at the dinner table.

Where others saw coarse, juvenile humour, I saw a brilliant signifier of class, a statement that dwarves and trolls, were not the polite gentile creatures of M-E like our little Hobbit Bilbo. I will say that now; this sociologically inclined viewer thought the burping scene was genius, funny because it was a symbolic and succinct statement about where dwarves stand in the class system of M-E.

The bird poo on Radagast didn't bother me either but that's probably because McCoy bothered me more.


(This post was edited by glor on Feb 16 2013, 4:34pm)


Elenorflower
Gondor


Feb 16 2013, 5:02pm

Post #111 of 145 (284 views)
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thats interesting [In reply to] Can't Post

but I think you are constructing meaning where there isnt any. Otherwise Tolkien would have written about belching Dwarves asking for chips because they are a poorly disguised signifier for us plebs oop North. I think Tolkien was slightly more subtle than that.


imin
Valinor


Feb 16 2013, 5:53pm

Post #112 of 145 (281 views)
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I thought [In reply to] Can't Post

Tolkien compared the Dwarves to the Jews if he had to make a comparison.

Also the dwarves are not a different class to the elves or men, they are entirely different species and so it is different than classes in my opinion.

One can be hardy and strong without lacking in manners - many of the dwarf lords are described of being honourable and noble - not burping and complaining of meals lacking meat or completely lacking in social awareness. Remember most of the company were from the royal blood line and so would at least at more according to how you describe the elves of mirkwood - who actually went around getting drunk!

I think Tolkien made them different (the elves, dwarves, men) but not to the extent that they are shown in the film. This is obviously done as they want to highlight those differences so its easy to see for the general audience.

But in doing so they have become almost caricatures of what they are in the books.


imin
Valinor


Feb 16 2013, 5:55pm

Post #113 of 145 (297 views)
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Some people [In reply to] Can't Post

might take that last sentence to be sexist.


glor
Rohan

Feb 16 2013, 6:16pm

Post #114 of 145 (268 views)
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Differences in manners are cultural.. [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
This is obviously done as they want to highlight those differences so its easy to see for the general audience.


well yes, I thought that went without saying.

Species as a metaphor for class, is where I am coming from, and it is interesting how we all have our own readings and thoughts on such matters influenced as they are by our own life experiences, cultures and academic leanings.

The species as class, was striking to me as a teenager(many years ago) reading LOTR, and eventually learning of JRRT's own experiences during the war, as well as listening to my great grandfather and grandfathers own experiences of the World wars breaking down English class barriers, and experiences. Class as culture is not alien idea to me, far from it but then I may just be an odd sociologist whom likes M-E Crazy




(This post was edited by glor on Feb 16 2013, 6:17pm)


imin
Valinor


Feb 16 2013, 6:29pm

Post #115 of 145 (262 views)
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The class system idea [In reply to] Can't Post

works better for the elves - the calaquendi and the moriquendi. They are of the same species/race but ended up on different paths due to some choices their ancestors made, same as upper to lower classes

I can see where you are coming from with the different species essentially being different levels of classes of people. The elves being upper class, men being could be any but guess middle? dwarves being working class im assuming. The thing is it doesnt work for the royalty of each race - they were all thought of by Tolkien as noble - upper class

The manners in the books of the dwarves are less than the high elves but they are not at the level shown in the film - complete lack of social skills - its amazing they even got to bag-end!

That is one of the things about the movie that annoys me - they don't show much variation in the races as they are trying to show - the elves are all like this, dwarves like this. Where as we know that isn't true from reading the books and there was more diversity in their personalities.

Sometimes i think people can read into the books what they want as you say experienced by our own life experiences, cultures and knowledge. Personally i can see what you mean, though i feel it is trying to bridge a gap between the movie and book which can't be explained by Tolkien, its simply stretching too far and essentially PJ did it because he wants to make each race really obviously different and get some laughs. I really dont think he is trying to show different class systems at work.

Like i say i really don't think Tolkien meant the dwarves to be Northerners - of which one can be working class, middle or upper class - the view of the film of dwarves so far would be akin to what a close minded sheltered Southerner has about a Northerner. And the opposite is true for how the dwarves feel about the elves.


JWPlatt
Grey Havens


Feb 16 2013, 6:36pm

Post #116 of 145 (267 views)
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Observation [In reply to] Can't Post

If the observation is made as fact, it's not sexist, it's just true. Be careful about applying labels because they can limit your own options as well.

I therefor reserve the right to make true statements about women. Wink


(This post was edited by JWPlatt on Feb 16 2013, 6:38pm)


imin
Valinor


Feb 16 2013, 6:39pm

Post #117 of 145 (260 views)
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It was made as a joke [In reply to] Can't Post

Though i do get the feeling had it been the other way around, a guy saying something negative about women in a broad generalising statement - they would have been called sexist as it has happened on here before.


macfalk
Valinor


Feb 16 2013, 6:41pm

Post #118 of 145 (253 views)
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"NO! SEBASTIAN!" // [In reply to] Can't Post

 



The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.


JWPlatt
Grey Havens


Feb 16 2013, 6:45pm

Post #119 of 145 (253 views)
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Majority Rules [In reply to] Can't Post

On a forum known to have a high female demographic and moderated by a high female demographic, this is as likely as dirty jokes at women's expense on an all-male hunting trip. It comes with the territory.


(This post was edited by JWPlatt on Feb 16 2013, 6:47pm)


macfalk
Valinor


Feb 16 2013, 6:46pm

Post #120 of 145 (258 views)
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I don't get the Bombur complaints. [In reply to] Can't Post

9 times out of 10 in the book when Bombur was even mentioned in the book, he was described as "the fat dwarf". Well, thank you Mr.Tolkien, we got that he was fat the first time you mentioned that. Not only that, but the other fat gags such as (quoted from memory) "you shouldn't be so fat" "Bombur comes last because he counts as two people" "Bombur fell asleep with a smile on his fat face"

What we got in the movie was mild compared to the book. I had no issue with it. There could, and possibly should, be even more of those in the next films if they want to stay true to the book.



The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.

(This post was edited by macfalk on Feb 16 2013, 6:48pm)


imin
Valinor


Feb 16 2013, 6:48pm

Post #121 of 145 (236 views)
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very true [In reply to] Can't Post

I am sure it was made as a joke as well i was not offended or anything more just a joke of my own back that went wrong, lol.

Tongue


macfalk
Valinor


Feb 16 2013, 6:49pm

Post #122 of 145 (238 views)
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But this isn't a hunting trip. [In reply to] Can't Post

And the female majority compared to the male isn't that huge, probably 60-40.



The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.

(This post was edited by macfalk on Feb 16 2013, 6:50pm)


imin
Valinor


Feb 16 2013, 6:57pm

Post #123 of 145 (239 views)
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You have mentioned almost all the times his weight has caused something different for himself [In reply to] Can't Post

The other times mentioned that he is fat, it is literally something like grumbled the fat dwarf. This is pointing out he is fat, but it is not making a joke about it.

Personally i dont mind them mentioning him as fat, for me the reason people didn't like bombur was the only time we saw him really was when he broke the table in Rivendell and most are complaining about that scene rather than Bombur being fat. The scene just felt unneeded especially when they could have been showing us something of Bilbo going around in Rivendell etc.

As i say im not bothered either way but that is how i see the discussion on Bombur - i think someone explained this to you previously but in a much better way than i just have done, lol.


macfalk
Valinor


Feb 16 2013, 7:04pm

Post #124 of 145 (230 views)
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I have indeed discussed this before [In reply to] Can't Post

Before the movie was even released, with Shelob'sAppetite, who rejected the notion that Tolkien ever had anything humorous in mind for Bombur. I disagreed with this.



The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.


JWPlatt
Grey Havens


Feb 16 2013, 7:21pm

Post #125 of 145 (231 views)
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Bombur [In reply to] Can't Post

Bombur reminds me of something I would put on my list of dislikes:

Lack of character development.

For all the lip service given during production by Jackson & Co. that they would give time to every dwarf so that we get to know them, this was not evident to me. Making stupid star-shaped hair or an axe in the head to give them different profiles during pre-production does not count as "time" in my book. I expected dialogue in the movie from ALL of them so that we would know their thoughts, relationships, and feelings - their characters.

That did not happen.

I hope the next two films make up for it, but the first wasn't a good sign.

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