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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
the big mistake
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triptrap
Lorien

Apr 6 2013, 8:31am

Post #1 of 76 (1632 views)
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the big mistake Can't Post

i really tried hard to love the Hobbit but in the end i failed,or the film failed me...
and after watching the Fellowship EE yesterday i see which problem the Hobbit has and which big mistake PJ made.
The Felloship is a movie that really takes its time in exploring the world, characters, themes and setting the stage. it does a brilliant job in introducing the story and letting the characters create the mood and atmosphere through their interaction. there are a lot of character moments and in the EE there are even more (gimli talking to legolas about Galadriel's hair for example). the Fellowship only had two major action sequences i'd say: Moria and the ambush of the Uruk-Hai. The big battles and action scenes are yet to come in the second and third movie.

Now what is fatal for the Hobbit to me is that PJ pretty much does the exact opposite. Apart from the first 45 minutes, which are fantastic (in general: those moments where he trusts his characters/their actors are brilliant: Riddles, Bilbos' speech outside Goblintown, Bofur and Bilbo etc.) pretty much of the rest is taken up by action: The attack on the trolls (transformed into an action scene by PJ), the warg chase (completely made up by PJ), stone Giants(enhanced by PJ), Goblin town (hugely enhanced by PJ) ...
But not only is there far too much action, the action is in large parts a) very cartoonish ( dwarves in Goblin town, what the heck happened to the realistic combat of the Trilogy PJ?) and b) diminished by some bad snot-and-fart humour. The trolls for example left me completely cold as a threat because they were made so incredibly dumb and because the dwarves could simply attack THREE of them and could only be stopped cause they caught poor bilbo. Really, what kind of joke is that, remeber what huge Problems they had in Moria with only one Troll? I already mentioned Goblin town and GG's last words...
And i couldn't even care if the guys were in danger cause we barely got to know them and their group's dynamic, hadn't i read the book i would be asking myself who these dudes really were after AUJ, they seemed like a bunch of dudes who get thrown into one action scene after the other and that's it.
So, as i see it PJ tried to achieve the more child-friendly tone of the book by including a lot of snot-and-fart humour and by making all the action very much indangerous for the characters.
And i find this sooo wrong, because i don't think that is the right way to have a lighter tone in story and still have it be a believable story with believable characters. Again a lighter tone shouldn't be achieved by making the enemies ridiculous and less threatening, but by creating humourours and funny/light-hearted character interaction and there was clearly not enough time for this in AUJ.

It would have been far better if the Trolls were more threatening and serious. (though i think the dwarves attacking them is a better solution. But they should be captured very easily instead of giving a circus-stunt-fight. Only Thorin should be left and give them a hard time, and leave some of the snot out >:( ). The warg chase, if at all, should be only hinted at, like they maybe kill that one warg and then flee through field and forest to rivendell, with the orcs only taking on their tracks, but not really letting an open confrontation happen. So as these two things would have been shortened Rivendell should have been expanded on a lot more. This was a rather long stop in the Fellowship that had some good character elements, and that was completely missing in AUJ. Staying in Rivendell for longer would let us spend more time with the dwarves and Bilbo and let them have a light-hearted stop after being in a SERIOUS threat by trolls and almost being caught by wargs. Then they should have made Goblin-town a lot less stunt-intensive and more realistic, so as the threat would be more real and serious but not so bloated ( this could also go along a different design for goblin town, with more claustrophobic orc-tunnels and less swinging bridges)

Following this, i hope the EE of AUJ holds a lot more character development. And i hope DOS get a lot more character Development as well as better and more realistic action.


Eleniel
Grey Havens


Apr 6 2013, 8:50am

Post #2 of 76 (884 views)
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I think the big mistake... [In reply to] Can't Post

that a lot of us made was expecting Jackson to make TH in the same style as LotR. It's the same for any artist, whatever the genre: no one wants to make the same thing twice, they are always looking to reinvent, to push the boundaries of their particular field - in this case, championing HFR.

I'm not saying any of us wanted or expected LotR II, we all appreciate the lighter tone of TH, but as you have pointed out, instead of an artistic and dramatic masterpiece which made a generation see that fantasy could feel real, we've ended up with a regular 3D action/adventure movie that has all the knockabout humour and spectacular (yet unbelievable) CGI sequences today's audience has come to expect.

GDT and PJ talked about a seamless transition to FotR by the end of the (2 as it was then) Hobbit films...there's no way I can see that happening now, other than in mood/tone, certainly not in the aesthetic look of the trilogies. Unimpressed


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






(This post was edited by Eleniel on Apr 6 2013, 8:51am)


Joe20
Lorien


Apr 6 2013, 8:57am

Post #3 of 76 (733 views)
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Absolutely agree. [In reply to] Can't Post

I remember creating a thread not long before the movie came out about the level and style of violence in the hobbit. I was concerned from the brief glimpses we had seen of violence in the two trailers that the battles would be childish and not the gritty style of lord of the rings. Unfortunately all my concerns were realised.

I mean, compare the conflict at the end of FOTR at Amon Hen with Goblin Town. I doubt someone who had not seen either of the two trilogies would be able to tell that they are from the same mythos or director.

I don't understand why the lighter tone couldn't have been achieved while still maintaing much of the gritty realism of the original trilogy


Thorins_apprentice
Rohan


Apr 6 2013, 8:59am

Post #4 of 76 (738 views)
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BOFA has to be violent. [In reply to] Can't Post

Wink

We are more connected than ever before, more able to spread our ideas and beliefs, our anger and fears. As we exercise the right to advocate our views, and as we animate our supporters, we must all assume responsibility for our words and actions before they enter a vast echo chamber and reach those both serious and delirious, connected and unhinged.



triptrap
Lorien

Apr 6 2013, 8:59am

Post #5 of 76 (706 views)
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absolutely [In reply to] Can't Post

the lighter tone should be achieved by the characters, but there was no time for them since they wanted to achieve the lighter tone by throwing the characters into ridiculous stunt battles


Thorins_apprentice
Rohan


Apr 6 2013, 9:09am

Post #6 of 76 (716 views)
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If There and Back again isn't M. [In reply to] Can't Post

Mad. I swear, if it isn't at least an M then that is going to suck.Peter Jackson said the first movie will be lighter in tone, whereas as the story progresses, it becomes more like the lord of the rings.Wink
If it becomes a PG or a G i'm throwing popcorn and coke at the screen lol..

We are more connected than ever before, more able to spread our ideas and beliefs, our anger and fears. As we exercise the right to advocate our views, and as we animate our supporters, we must all assume responsibility for our words and actions before they enter a vast echo chamber and reach those both serious and delirious, connected and unhinged.



(This post was edited by Thorins_apprentice on Apr 6 2013, 9:10am)


tolktolk
Lorien

Apr 6 2013, 9:27am

Post #7 of 76 (661 views)
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Totally agree triptrap [In reply to] Can't Post

I was bored stiff with all the unrealistic chase and battle scenes (I couldn't even be bothered to work out what was happening in the goblin tunnels) and the burp and snot jokes were embarrassing.

I particularly agree with you about the stay in Rivendell - I can't imagine what they were thinking reducing this to a couple of jokes about the dwarves behaving badly and ignoring Bilbo in favour of time wasted on Azog v Thorin (yawn) and the stone giants.

There were things to love in the film, which is why I am looking forward to having the DVD (out next week in the UK) and being able to fast forward through the dreary bits.

I do hope Peter Jackson has taken note of some of the criticism and will give us more moments with the key characters in the next films, but with the number of extra characters and extraneous storylines he is introducing, I somehow doubt it.


DanielLB
Immortal


Apr 6 2013, 9:36am

Post #8 of 76 (711 views)
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Erase "The Lord of the Rings" films from your memory for 5 minutes [In reply to] Can't Post

And even the books for that matter.

What do you think of An Unexpected Journey now?

The film has many merits. And you'll probably enjoy it more if you just take it how it comes, without any comparisons to the very successful previous LOTR trilogy.


jtarkey
Rohan


Apr 6 2013, 9:37am

Post #9 of 76 (654 views)
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This is definetly the problem [In reply to] Can't Post

You pretty much nailed it.

As you said, the first hour is pretty great. It's great because it actually has characters interacting and developing relationships. Sadly, even in that first hour, something is still just a little off about the whole thing. This is the main reason I am so confused about the choices Jackson made. It's fine if he wanted to make something a little different than LOTR. It's just strange that he did it in almost all the wrong ways.

It makes the film feel like LOTR lite. Almost like LOTR with all it's believability, heart, and soul ripped out of it. IMO, I was totally expecting AUJ to be a an enchanting, and endearing film. It's still such a shame to me that the characters (even Bilbo) are pushed aside for the sake of suspense killing action and bad physical comedy.

I'm not giving up all hope though. Perhaps AUJ was heavily affected by the trilogy switch? Maybe PJ will notice the lack of character development and fix this issue in the next two films. I really do hope the man takes some of these criticisms to heart, because they are present in many reviews of the film. If things continue like AUJ, this trilogy will not be remembered very fondly...

"You're love of the halflings leaf has clearly slowed your mind"


Hamfast of Gamwich
Rivendell


Apr 6 2013, 10:01am

Post #10 of 76 (653 views)
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Action scenes in FOTR and AUJ [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with a fair few things you say but I'd say there are an equal amount of action scene in AUJ and FOTR, even if the tone of them is slightly different:

Both have a prologue involving action
Chase of the Black Riders - Warg Chase
Watcher in the Water - Stone Giants
Troll in Moria - Trolls in AUJ
Balrog - Goblin Town
Ambush of the Uruk-Hai - Out of the Frying Pan

AUJ also has Azanulbizar but IMO thats the strongest scene in the film and closest to the original trilogy.


triptrap
Lorien

Apr 6 2013, 10:07am

Post #11 of 76 (661 views)
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we've got the problem right there... [In reply to] Can't Post

because even without comparing it to LOTR it just isn't much of a compelling film to me. As i said up to the first hour it's really great and i really love the dwarves singing, the prologue and all that stuff. But from then on it doesn't make me get invested with the characters anymore. I can't really feel with the dwarves as they're attacking the goblins and so on, because they lack depth.

It is exactly that depth that went missing when PJ chose to include hell of a lot of action and stunts instead of giving the story and the characters time to breathe (i think "time to breathe" is exactly the right term for what i'm trying to say). The characters didn't get developed enough before they face the threats in which we are meant to mentally and emotionally participate.
Independantly from LOTR it is never a good idea to throw people into danger without the audience really suffering and feeling with them.


Neimod
The Shire

Apr 6 2013, 10:23am

Post #12 of 76 (638 views)
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No no no no no [In reply to] Can't Post

I almost couldn't disagree more. The film already has MUCH more character depth than the book ever did (I'm sorry to blaspheme, but it really does). I don't think people really appreciate the precarious situation PJ & Co. were in here: they had to be true to the feel of the original book AND link it to LOTR stylistically and emotionally. I think they did a superb job of just that. The Troll scene is a lightweight comedy moment in the book, but the appearance of the trolls in the LOTR films was always a moment of terror. How on Arda do you find a balance so that you retain the spirit of the original book and yet also make it believable that these trolls are living in the same world as the ones we saw in LOTR? It's an almost impossibly difficult task and yet I feel the film delivers a solution that retains an updated version of the humour and levity and yet also allows for some grim heroics. It works on its own merits and within the larger framework of the Middle-Earth films, all while staying true to the general feel of one of the iconic moments of the book. If they had just turnes the troll scene into a purely dramatic and terrifying encounter, fans of the book (including me) would have felt disappointed at the loss of the innocent charm of the original text. If they had simply filmed the scene exactly as it appears in the book, not only would it have been confusing (with Gandalf mimicking one of the Troll's voices) but it would have been far too tame for modern day blockbuster audiences. You also would have lost the moments that are now there for Bilbo to show his inventiveness, which brings me to another point: AUJ is filled to the brim with character moments, especially surrounding Bilbo, Gandalf and Thorin who are undeniably the most important characters. But even Bifur and Balin are given moments to shine, even late into the second and third acts, where a cinematic experience for a big audience needs to deliver on adventure, excitement and climax. You guys are making it sound like the film has a thoughtful, deliberate opening and then turns into a wall-to-wall dumb action spectacle. That's nowhere near my experience of the movie in any way, shape or form


DanielLB
Immortal


Apr 6 2013, 10:35am

Post #13 of 76 (608 views)
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Then I can't help you ;-) [In reply to] Can't Post

Just think what the end product would've been with just 2 films. Or even worse, 1 film.

For the record, I love the film. I think they've made an excellent adaptation.


triptrap
Lorien

Apr 6 2013, 10:45am

Post #14 of 76 (588 views)
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you are right in some cases [In reply to] Can't Post

now let's take the troll-scene as the example for explanations:
the troll scene wouldn't be the same without that witty and really comedic dialogue about making dwarf-meal. I never said that should be exlcluded somewhere, in fact this bit of dialogue is what should bring the lighter tone into this scene. that snot-stuff and "everything tastes like chicken, except chicken" was completely unnecessary, and did a better job in pulling me out of the world than sucking me in.
Most of the other dialogue of the trolls was fine and was very true to the book, quite witty and funny but never silly. this sillyness is what killed it for me because it made the trolls not a believable threat(and it clearly felt to me like a threat in the book, despite having its comedic moments). And this is exactly where it failed to build a bridge to LOTR: You are right, this is a very difficult task. But turning the Troll Scene into a childish stunt-show does exact the opposite of what it should. It didn't make me feel like hey these trolls are pretty funny, but still bad, angry and evil. It made me feel like: how on earth are these trolls in the same universe as the moria-troll. And that is even pushed further by the dwarves being able to fight them for quite a long time with seemingly no effort. As mentioned, the fight should have been finished rather quick with only thorin remaining and giving them a real heroic fight.


Glorfindela
Valinor


Apr 6 2013, 11:05am

Post #15 of 76 (585 views)
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I'm with you there [In reply to] Can't Post

I enjoyed really every minute of the film, and it is an excellent adaptation, especially given the material they had to work with. I thought the Trolls, for example, were brilliantly realised, and funny, and I enjoyed the Goblin Town sequence and think the town itself was fantastically realised.

I also think the character development and acting are excellent – especially when it comes to Bilbo, Thorin and Gandalf. I find scenes involving these characters often moving, funny and just generally captivating.

When it comes to 'incredible' scenes, I can think of plenty in LOTR, e.g. the Fellowship escaping over the bridge in the Mines of Moria in FOTR, Legolas/stupid stunts in both TTT and ROTK, the look of many the CGI scenes in both ROTK and TTT.

It's a shame the OP didn't enjoy the film – but lots of others did.

Can't wait for the next film.


In Reply To
Just think what the end product would've been with just 2 films. Or even worse, 1 film.

For the record, I love the film. I think they've made an excellent adaptation.



(This post was edited by Glorfindela on Apr 6 2013, 11:06am)


Noria
Rohan

Apr 6 2013, 11:49am

Post #16 of 76 (555 views)
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I agree with Neimod [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I almost couldn't disagree more. The film already has MUCH more character depth than the book ever did (I'm sorry to blaspheme, but it really does). I don't think people really appreciate the precarious situation PJ & Co. were in here: they had to be true to the feel of the original book AND link it to LOTR stylistically and emotionally. I think they did a superb job of just that. The Troll scene is a lightweight comedy moment in the book, but the appearance of the trolls in the LOTR films was always a moment of terror. How on Arda do you find a balance so that you retain the spirit of the original book and yet also make it believable that these trolls are living in the same world as the ones we saw in LOTR? It's an almost impossibly difficult task and yet I feel the film delivers a solution that retains an updated version of the humour and levity and yet also allows for some grim heroics. It works on its own merits and within the larger framework of the Middle-Earth films, all while staying true to the general feel of one of the iconic moments of the book. If they had just turnes the troll scene into a purely dramatic and terrifying encounter, fans of the book (including me) would have felt disappointed at the loss of the innocent charm of the original text. If they had simply filmed the scene exactly as it appears in the book, not only would it have been confusing (with Gandalf mimicking one of the Troll's voices) but it would have been far too tame for modern day blockbuster audiences. You also would have lost the moments that are now there for Bilbo to show his inventiveness, which brings me to another point: AUJ is filled to the brim with character moments, especially surrounding Bilbo, Gandalf and Thorin who are undeniably the most important characters. But even Bifur and Balin are given moments to shine, even late into the second and third acts, where a cinematic experience for a big audience needs to deliver on adventure, excitement and climax. You guys are making it sound like the film has a thoughtful, deliberate opening and then turns into a wall-to-wall dumb action spectacle. That's nowhere near my experience of the movie in any way, shape or form


The Hobbit is not Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit book is much more childish in tone, in itself more cartoony with the Dwarves falling on top of each other and “plop” out of trees, Mr. Baggins puffing and blowing and shrieking and sneezing, “Attercop” and so on. I believe Peter Jackson was trying to capture that spirit in more modern terms. Personally I could do without the snot, belching and bird poop, and the action sequences are arguable, but this is a Peter Jackson movie and judging by LotR, such things are to be expected.

I had mixed feelings about FotR after my first viewing. I loved it but didn't appreciate the snot jokes etc. I felt that the small skirmishes in the book in Moria and at Amon Hen had been made into unnecessary over-large battle sequences. I still don't like some of those things, such as the falling stairs in Moria, but by the time I saw TTT and RotK, I came to accept them because overall I really do love those movies.

I rather expect DoS and TaBA to be increasingly serious and darker until the last movie meshes seamlessly with FotR.


Mrredbirdy
The Shire

Apr 6 2013, 12:16pm

Post #17 of 76 (551 views)
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Defending AUJ and hope for a much lengthier Extended Edition [In reply to] Can't Post

AUJ was a lovely movie to watch, I adore it's visual aspects, it's lovely little details and it's fabulous score! The fact that my eleven year old sister has been singing the misty mountains song for over three months now proves that children love the movie.

However you are completely right that there is a lac of character development in the Hobbit. The movie felt for me like a big rush from one scenario into another. That's however the modern way children like their stories.

I do hope that PJ takes his time in the extended edition of AUJ to deepen the story and characters! With an hour of extra scenes and details we can explore the world of Bilbo more, many scenario's can be more developed, the different scenario's would better flow into each other and the story of AUJ can be much more beloved!

AUJ is a good movie but I hope thus that the extended edition of AUJ will be much lengthier


Roheryn
Grey Havens

Apr 6 2013, 12:23pm

Post #18 of 76 (541 views)
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Drinks are on me! [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, not literally, of course. *downs a rum-and-coke*

You know, love doesn't usually happen when you try too hard. It happens best when you're not even looking for it, and then it's an amazing, fantastic, beautiful experience. If you try too hard to love, your expectations are often too high, and you end up disappointed. Especially when you compare a new love to an old. I think there's an analogy in there somewhere.

Regardless, I think I must have seen a different Hobbit movie than you. I loved it, all 17 times in the theatre, and I'm loving my brand-new DVD. I'm finding all sorts of new things on the DVD that I never caught in 17 viewings in the theatre. The details are incredible.

My young boys love the movie, or what I'll let them see of it. We mustn't forget that this book was written for children. My boys loved some of the parts that the grownups most often complain about (the bunny sled being tops).

I really think that in the end, I'm going to love this trilogy more than LOTR. I feel (at least at this point) more emotionally invested in these characters than I did with anyone in FOTR. I'd much rather hang out with a bunch of rowdy dwarves than with the nine members of the Fellowship.

And you know, if you truly love something, you can forgive a few things you don't like that much. Glass half-full or half-empty? Mine's about 99/100ths full. Well, not the one with rum-and-coke. That one's definitely empty.


Elenorflower
Gondor


Apr 6 2013, 1:01pm

Post #19 of 76 (511 views)
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Agree 100% [In reply to] Can't Post

with your opinion on the film. Frown

''pretty much of the rest is taken up by action''

''And i find this sooo wrong, because i don't think that is the right way to have a lighter tone in story and still have it be a believable story with believable characters. Again a lighter tone shouldn't be achieved by making the enemies ridiculous and less threatening, but by creating humourours and funny/light-hearted character interaction and there was clearly not enough time for this in AUJ''.


Elenorflower
Gondor


Apr 6 2013, 1:06pm

Post #20 of 76 (515 views)
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yes I agree Rivendell was dreary too, [In reply to] Can't Post

its a magical place and we hardly saw any of it, what we did see looked very cramped, is it me or are the Elves not looking as good as they used to? I was not impressed.


Escapist
Gondor


Apr 6 2013, 1:10pm

Post #21 of 76 (491 views)
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Not enough time ... [In reply to] Can't Post

In all honesty, my initial vision was keeping the pace of those first 45 minutes and the light-hearted tone right through to the end of Rivendell with much more of this kind of stuff happening there - making it a great place to stop.
But then there would be a lot less room for the Dol Guldur plot and less time to build the drama up between elves, men and dwarves for Bo5A. It would take at least 4 movies to keep the pace of the first 45 minutes consistent.

But I do still think that having more fighting during the troll scene and in Goblin Town was a good idea. I really like the way that fighting was integrated into the troll scene, actually. These dwarves are tough and able fighters but it wasn't their fighting that made the difference in that encounter. I think that is sort of a theme in TH in general.


Elenorflower
Gondor


Apr 6 2013, 1:12pm

Post #22 of 76 (505 views)
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its funny isnt it, but I have the same reaction, [In reply to] Can't Post


''As you said, the first hour is pretty great. It's great because it actually has characters interacting and developing relationships. Sadly, even in that first hour, something is still just a little off about the whole thing''.


Something is 'off', and I cant put my finger on it. I liked Baggend, but it didnt quite hit the mark, maybe it was a weird looking Frodo that first took me out of the film, or maybe it was the sensation of dragging out the Baggend scenes a bit too much, or maybe it was that I found myself not really caring or believing the Quest to be important. Or maybe it was Fili's fake swagger. Maybe it was Bilbo twitching a bit too much, I dunno, but it didnt capture the magic I was expecting.



triptrap
Lorien

Apr 6 2013, 1:13pm

Post #23 of 76 (500 views)
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concerning elves [In reply to] Can't Post

i wasn't too impressed by rivendell and the elves either but i think that was caused by 48fps, if simply found all of rivendell too colorfull and sparkling bright, there were no smoothe and "quiet" colours, if you understand what i mean.
but it seemed to me that they have taken another approach to rivendell this time. in LOTR (as stated in some extra-documentary or so) Rivendell was very much based on Autumn, because these elves are in the Fall of their Time in Middle-earth. That included also the surroundings with that beautiful pastel-coloured tones and the clothing. In the hobbit i believe this was different and rivendell seems like a lighter place and the people appear still happier.
Makes it even more a shame that we saw so few of it and the elven culture therePirate


(This post was edited by triptrap on Apr 6 2013, 1:17pm)


Elenorflower
Gondor


Apr 6 2013, 1:17pm

Post #24 of 76 (484 views)
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yes [In reply to] Can't Post

in FOTR we first meet the Hobbits like Pippin and Merry as fun loving silly billies, they go on a journey of pain and hardship and end up heros in their own way. The Dwarves are so sketchy and cartoon like and are so unable of getting hurt or squashed or smashed to smitherines that the sense of danger and peril is totally gone. How can they grow and become braver if they are indestructable, and when they do die in the end will we care?


QuackingTroll
Valinor


Apr 6 2013, 1:20pm

Post #25 of 76 (494 views)
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Perhaps I'm just being optimistic. But I have a strong feeling the EE will correct this mistake [In reply to] Can't Post

More time = more character development. I have a feeling that when PJ split the films into 3 he was expecting to get more character development in. But that the studio pressured for "less talking and more action" so he's given them what they want for the TE and, unlike LotR, the EE will actually be the preferred version.

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