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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Benedict Cumberbatch's Smaug is The Hobbit's Unexpected Saviour
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Lusitano
Tol Eressea


Jun 15 2013, 3:37pm

Post #1 of 36 (1512 views)
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Benedict Cumberbatch's Smaug is The Hobbit's Unexpected Saviour Can't Post

Article on Yahoo Uk about AUJ's lack of palpable danger for the company and the hope that Smaug will reinfuse the saga with some true sense of villainousness and peril.

http://uk.movies.yahoo.com/benedict-cumberbatchs-smaug-hobbits-unexpected-saviour-133900680.html


"And that's where the film fell down, I didn't believe in the obstacles or the antagonists, at no point did I fear for Bilbo's or any of the dwarves lives, there was no suspense or real danger at all"

"our heroes get into all of these scrapes, fall impossible heights, get squashed by half a mountain, and still all 15 of them emerge without a scratch, It just doesn't come across as realistic"

The writer then goes on to say that he hopes Cumberbatch will redeem these flaws and essencially carries one of the fillms biggest burdens as the villain.


This debate is now open.

Vous commencez m'ennuyer avec le port!!!


bungobaggins
Lorien


Jun 15 2013, 3:44pm

Post #2 of 36 (775 views)
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How much screen time will Smaug even get? [In reply to] Can't Post

He's only got one scene with Bilbo to win us over. The rest is special effects and destruction of Lake Town.

"You are a very fine person, Mr. Baggins, and I am very fond of you; but you are only quite a little fellow in a wide world after all!" - Gandalf

Darth Bungo: "Gandalf the Gray never told you what happened to your father."
Bilbo Barrel-rider: "He told me enough. He told me you killed him."
Darth Bungo: "No, I am your father."


Lusitano
Tol Eressea


Jun 15 2013, 3:51pm

Post #3 of 36 (731 views)
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Myabe hes expecting we will see more of him? [In reply to] Can't Post

Smaug having a meeting with the Eye and discussing their plans ? :P


I agree that its not a lot...

But then again, Gollum just had basically, the cave scene and the persuit of Bilbo and he made an impression...

The scene with smaug could be as long as 8-10 minutes...

Vous commencez m'ennuyer avec le port!!!


bungobaggins
Lorien


Jun 15 2013, 4:16pm

Post #4 of 36 (709 views)
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I think 10 minutes sounds about right. [In reply to] Can't Post

But the thing with Gollum is that we all knew that Andy Serkis was more than capable of bringing Gollum to life. With Cabbagepatch...er...Cumberbatch we don't know, and won't know until we're in the theater this December. Pretty scary thought to wait that long and be disappointed. I like Cumberbatch's work in Sherlock, wasn't exactly impressed with Star Trek though (you really can't top Ricardo Montalban). Montalban's Khan was charismatic and seductive, I found Cumberbatch's Khan to be rather flat.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsYT8YHL-R0 In my opinion you just can't beat that.

"You are a very fine person, Mr. Baggins, and I am very fond of you; but you are only quite a little fellow in a wide world after all!" - Gandalf

Darth Bungo: "Gandalf the Gray never told you what happened to your father."
Bilbo Barrel-rider: "He told me enough. He told me you killed him."
Darth Bungo: "No, I am your father."


Ham_Sammy
Tol Eressea

Jun 15 2013, 4:16pm

Post #5 of 36 (689 views)
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Well to be fair.. [In reply to] Can't Post

Would the "book" Hobbit have been interesting without Smaug? I think not. I see the point but it's one story split into three parts. I don' see them as standalone films. I guess you can view it that way, it's just not my view.

Thank you for your questions, now go sod off and do something useful - Martin Freeman Twitter chat 3/1/13


Voronw_the_Faithful
Valinor

Jun 15 2013, 4:33pm

Post #6 of 36 (705 views)
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I was amazed at Cumberbatch's ability to make such an iconic character his own [In reply to] Can't Post

I thought his Khan was the best thing about that film. I love Montalban's over-the-top performance, but I greatly appreciated Cumberbatch's more under stated version as well. For me at least, he captured the essential spirit of the character without simply duplicating what was done before, quite an impressive feat. And his voice! I can so easily see that tool being put to great use in the role of Smaug. I am vastly excited for that aspect of what is to come.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


Old Toby
Gondor


Jun 15 2013, 4:37pm

Post #7 of 36 (656 views)
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Smaug [In reply to] Can't Post

I think Smaug is one of the most anticipated characters of these films, and having seen most of Benedict Cumberbatch's previous works, I have high hopes. I feel he's one of the best voice actors around, and can't wait to hear Smaug. Since he also did some mo-cap for the creature, it will be very interesting to see the final product. I remember reading one article by a reporter who had visited Benedict and they said when they asked him to give them a taste of Smaug, Benedict's physical depiction was astounding. Smaug's appearance in the future film - or films - will certainly make or break the DOS, I think. Well, perhaps only from a fan's point of view. Those who haven't read the book and aren't familiar with the story will have a completely different perspective, and I think their final opinion of the movie won't necessarily depend on Smaug. Which may be a good thing.

And, for the record, I'm sick and tired of all the ridicule of Benedict's last name. I've heard way too many reporters, interviewers, newscasters, etc. make fun of it. It's childish, rude and disrespectful, IMO.

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


Lusitano
Tol Eressea


Jun 15 2013, 4:40pm

Post #8 of 36 (649 views)
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I know he has an interesting voice... [In reply to] Can't Post

and seems to be a good actor. I havent seen Star Trek, so i cant speak of that performance.

He certainly seems dedicated to the role, what with hs fatehr reaidng th to him when he was young, and having fond memories of that etc...

Honestly, its one of the few aspects of the upcoming film i have little doubdt we will something done with some competence and fidelity to Tolkien.

I expect that as the film goes, the theme of the desolation and the company's excpectation with regards to the great worm will be developed...

So, i could easily see him having a somber influence on the characters and story, in a similar way as Saruman did in the two towers.

Vous commencez m'ennuyer avec le port!!!


Bombadil
Half-elven


Jun 15 2013, 4:50pm

Post #9 of 36 (646 views)
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Bomby wants to point out 2 things and then back to Smaug... [In reply to] Can't Post

Have you ever been on a WaterSlide?
Okay as you slip down a tube,
like the Dwarves did into Goblintown,
they kept bouncing off the interior walls,
which in some sense slows you down.
(Transfer of Energy)

So, their perpetual motion is somewhat slowed down.
and of course they are really Tough Guys.
So, sure, they probably got some bruises but it is not their Nature to complain,
nor had the time to do so.

Secondly as the Platform that the Company rode down after slaying the King,
THIS also bounced off the opposite walls in it's descent. What? 5 or 6 times..
almost haulting it's descent?
.
Same could be true for the GoblinKing.
Doubtless his tumble could have been slowed down too.
He was probably pinwheeling?
In fact, it's not a straight flight from a great height only to land
with full force on the Dwarves.
Which it's seems the author of this article appears to believe.

To summerize, it just wouldn't have had the Epic-ness,
we want.
The size of Goblintown was abbout 10 times Bigger than Bomby Expected,
which is Fine, since if the Odds weren't so HOPELESS
against them, we might have felt a little Cheated,
since Epic-Ness is what PJ delivered, and we expected.
.
About Smaug, Size is the Big Issue, again.
Bilbo wouldn't even be an Hor d'vover to Smaug.

The "Benny & Marty Show" will be a an Instant Classic!

At the very last second of the trailer
it looks like Smaug
is to about to deliver a line of dialogue,
only to cut to Black.

In looking at it again, you'll see quite a bit of motion control in his mouth,
if you can take your eyes off
his EYE?

We didn't get to HEAR the Echos of his Voice,
or the Rumbling, shaking camera, of THE EARTHQUAKE
that... is our Favorite dragon...
so 'EXPECT EARTHQUAKE .. EPICNESS"

Bomby


(This post was edited by Bombadil on Jun 15 2013, 4:58pm)


Lusitano
Tol Eressea


Jun 15 2013, 5:14pm

Post #10 of 36 (573 views)
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I have been on a waterslide... [In reply to] Can't Post

great fun Wink

But Goblin Town should not be a rockslide fest with dwarves going ninja mode on countless dozens of goblins and never once looking tired or hurt...

To summerize : more cartoony and video gamey than a real peril moment under the caves... Which i think is what the author doenst appreciate , as well.

Now, Smaug : i think ure right...there does seem to be some movement inside his mouth, his tongue is twitching...nice catch.

Vous commencez m'ennuyer avec le port!!!


ShireHorse
Rohan

Jun 15 2013, 5:25pm

Post #11 of 36 (593 views)
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We are so lucky [In reply to] Can't Post

to have so many actors in The Hobbit with beautiful or imposing voices. Sir Ian has a lovely speaking voice. Richard Armitage's voice was frequently noticed and commented upon in AUJ for its deep, thrilling quality, both when speaking and singing, and fans have appreciated how hard he has worked to lower it still further and get the " deep-throated sound" of Thorin's voice as described in the book. Andy Serkis has produced an iconic voice for Gollum. Lee Pace, in his voice-over in the trailer, has managed to achieve a great, RP English accent. And Ken Stott as Balin, manages to pack in so many meaningful modulations to his words when he announces that it's not an earthquake but a dragon. It's so much easier to get praise when one is playing the villain than when someone is playing a kindly old man with a white beard.

BC, like Armitage, is well-known in the UK for his great voice. And I say with pride that we do seem to produce some wonderful actors whose voices are their main weapons - just think of Patrick Stewart as Captain Picard. Marvellous.

I think we'll only get Smaug talking in that one scene with Bilbo, but it is an important and memorable scene, just like Riddles in the Dark: IMO, these are the two best moments in the book. BC is very lucky to get such a scene and, if it's successful (and I'm positive it will be a big hit) it will not just be due to BC's voice but to the cleverness and power of Tolkien's writing at this point. And so I'm not prepared YET to give 100% credit to BC for a scene that is also marvellous in the cartoon (which I otherwise hate).

I really do think that the article does a disservice to the acting and voices of all the other fine actors who have appeared in AUJ and will appear in DoS. It also does a disservice to all the excellent work done by all those who have worked so hard on these films by implying that the only good thing about any of them will be the ten minutes voiced by BC when we know that thousands of people have already truly enjoyed AUJ and are really looking forward to DoS after seeing the trailer, and not just because a dragon voiced by Cumberbatch is in it.

I note, BTW, that the posters are attacking the critic for not knowing what he is talking about (obviously representative of the satisfied custoers who enjoyed the film.) These critics really do seem to be coming across as people seriously stuck in a groove. I for one, think that the trolls in the book are like 12 year olds and that PJ represents them accurately. When I read this book in class, my pupils had a jolly good laugh; they weren't frightened. And if all the villains had been the same type as Gollum, it would have been a bit yawn-worthy. I appreciated the 4 different types of villains we were presented with in Gollum, Azog, the trolls and the Goblin King. And when we get to the end of the story and 3 important deaths, the fact that the dwarves seemed to have got off lightly in earlier scenes will make these deaths all the more shocking. There's more than one way of skinning a cat when it comes to making films.


Elizabeth
Valinor


Jun 15 2013, 5:48pm

Post #12 of 36 (584 views)
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It's a fair criticism. [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
"And that's where the film fell down, I didn't believe in the obstacles or the antagonists, at no point did I fear for Bilbo's or any of the dwarves lives, there was no suspense or real danger at all"

"our heroes get into all of these scrapes, fall impossible heights, get squashed by half a mountain, and still all 15 of them emerge without a scratch, It just doesn't come across as realistic"


The movie went for cartoonish action instead of serious storytelling and character development.








ShireHorse
Rohan

Jun 15 2013, 6:36pm

Post #13 of 36 (543 views)
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But a huge number of people seem to have enjoyed [In reply to] Can't Post

the "cartoonish" action sequences if you check opinions across the net. The book isn't particularly serious at this point either. Children loved this stuff and parents were relieved that there were no blood and guts. And I also remember many critics who disliked the film in general saying that it "picked up" in the second half when we got to the action filled sequences. As has already been discussed at length, ever since the film came out, the remarkable thing about it is that one man's meat is another man's poison. And just because I - or you - didn't like a certain aspect, does not mean that PJ did it the wrong way. It was only wrong for us.


Ham_Sammy
Tol Eressea

Jun 15 2013, 7:30pm

Post #14 of 36 (473 views)
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That's my view as well [In reply to] Can't Post

I wasn't bothered at all by any of it and enjoyed the entire movie. Others I know were bothered. It's really an individual experience. I think the movie's performance overall though speaks to the fact that the vast majority of people enjoyed and liked it. Does it have flaws? Sure. All movies do. But so? It's an adaptation which for me totally worked and I enjoyed it. If others didn't, well that's their experience which is fine too.

Thank you for your questions, now go sod off and do something useful - Martin Freeman Twitter chat 3/1/13


The Grey Elf
Gondor


Jun 15 2013, 8:39pm

Post #15 of 36 (441 views)
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Bungo, my husband loves quoting that line from WoK, LOL! [In reply to] Can't Post

As for Mr. Cumberbatch, perhaps he would have approached the caliber of Ricardo Montalban's imPECcable performance if he'd been allowed to take his shirt off. Wink (Only kidding, I've always enjoyed and admired RM's Kahn and never felt it was OTT.)


DanielLB
Immortal


Jun 15 2013, 9:21pm

Post #16 of 36 (444 views)
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I disagree with two points: [In reply to] Can't Post

1) The trilogy doesn't need any kind of saving and/or peril and/or redeeming.
2) It won't be Cumberbatch to bring any of this. (Personally, I'm getting bored of all this Cumberbatch love.)

That is all.

Smile


(This post was edited by DanielLB on Jun 15 2013, 9:22pm)


Ham_Sammy
Tol Eressea

Jun 15 2013, 9:25pm

Post #17 of 36 (422 views)
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I agree basically [In reply to] Can't Post

Totally especially with your first point. It doesn't need saving. It's fine the way it is. Although I am a Ben fan and I think he's going to be terrific as Smaug's voice I don't think this will "save" anything and emphasis on that to me is overstated.

Thank you for your questions, now go sod off and do something useful - Martin Freeman Twitter chat 3/1/13


bborchar
Rohan


Jun 15 2013, 10:12pm

Post #18 of 36 (402 views)
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Benedict Cumberbatch is ridiculously talented... [In reply to] Can't Post

I love watching his work because he's so good at what he does. I've seen him play Sherlock Holmes, Khan, Frankenstein AND his creature, a spy, and aristocrat turned soldier, an incompetent pilot, etc. He's just fantastic. I will be shocked if he hasn't made this dragon the best dragon ever, no matter how much time he has. I liked the last move anyway, but I'm really looking forward to this.


"Go on. Walk on. You must be destroyed."

"Good boy! That's the spirit! Bring my miserable line to an end. Up, up! Come, Scientist, destroy me! Destroy your creation! Come!"

~Frankenstein


glor
Rohan

Jun 16 2013, 1:16am

Post #19 of 36 (315 views)
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The trilogy doesn't need any kind of saving and/or peril and/or redeeming... [In reply to] Can't Post

...because it already has it at the end.

Trawl the internet and you will find plenty of comments from random internet users to formal professional critism that state that AUj lacked peril and it is obvious that none of the main characters/dwarves will die by the end of the third film.

Obviously some people haven't read the book.Wink

On a more practical note; it is difficult to create tension and peril around characters in a prequel, because the audience already knows who survives Biblo, Gandalf etc are alive and well 60 years later in LOTR


JWPlatt
Grey Havens


Jun 16 2013, 2:08am

Post #20 of 36 (296 views)
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The Article [In reply to] Can't Post

Then I suggest you read it again and this time allow the author some intelligence by assuming he has read the book and that's part of what leaves him dissatisfied with the movie. It seems like you have not paid attention to, or are intentionally ignoring to belittle the article, the author, and the concern shared by a significant number of the audience, the actual point stated in the article. It was not something the author just made up as if no one else thought of it before. It was that the peril became unrealistic, unbelievable and cartoonish, like Wylie E. Coyote, when they survived impossible, bone-crushing, flesh-ripping falls that no character from The Lord of the Rings would have survived. It's not about reading the book and knowing whether characters die at the end. It's about being so detached from the characters because they are so cartoonish that we are cheated of the emotional impact when those characters actually do meet their doom. It's just a cartoon or a video game. Who cares?


(This post was edited by JWPlatt on Jun 16 2013, 2:14am)


FrogmortonJustice65
Rivendell


Jun 16 2013, 2:52am

Post #21 of 36 (258 views)
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Good article, thanks for sharing. [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know if I agree with the author's diagnosis of AUJ; but I agree that Cumberbatch can only be a plus for the series. He is phenomenal in the Sherlock TV show and Star Trek. Really interested as to how he will bring Smaug to life.

 photo cbccab4e-f61e-4be5-aaa1-20e302430c7c.jpg


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jun 16 2013, 3:02am

Post #22 of 36 (268 views)
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Maybe glor has a different interpretation of the article. [In reply to] Can't Post

Let's stick to what someone has said and refrain from telling other posters what they should do and think, OK?


jtarkey
Rohan


Jun 16 2013, 4:11am

Post #23 of 36 (239 views)
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I have a lot of faith in Smaug [In reply to] Can't Post

I would, at the very least, think that the production understands how important this character is.

I love Cumberbatch's performance, and voice, in Sherlock. So his acting capabilities don't worry me in the least.

I expect the meeting between Smaug and Bilbo will be the Riddles in the Dark equivalent of DOS.

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


bungobaggins
Lorien


Jun 16 2013, 4:54am

Post #24 of 36 (243 views)
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Maybe I was a bit too harsh on him. [In reply to] Can't Post

He is a very versatile actor, and taking on two iconic roles for release in the same year must be pretty stressful. I guess my main problems with Star Trek Into Darkness was with the script. I loved how the 2009 film payed homage to the original series. I thought from there the writers had proved themselves worthy and would strike out on their own and try new and different things; new villains, new stories, no pointless three second Nimoy cameo (I wonder how long he had to sit in the make-up chair just for that one shot). Unfortunately, they played it safe. Frown

"You are a very fine person, Mr. Baggins, and I am very fond of you; but you are only quite a little fellow in a wide world after all!" - Gandalf

Darth Bungo: "Gandalf the Gray never told you what happened to your father."
Bilbo Barrel-rider: "He told me enough. He told me you killed him."
Darth Bungo: "No, I am your father."


bungobaggins
Lorien


Jun 16 2013, 5:05am

Post #25 of 36 (213 views)
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My favorite line too! [In reply to] Can't Post

Gives me goosebumps! I would have loved to have Montalban do an audiobook of Moby Dick, but sadly no. Frown And yes, if you are the product of genetic engineering you might as well flaunt it. Tongue

"You are a very fine person, Mr. Baggins, and I am very fond of you; but you are only quite a little fellow in a wide world after all!" - Gandalf

Darth Bungo: "Gandalf the Gray never told you what happened to your father."
Bilbo Barrel-rider: "He told me enough. He told me you killed him."
Darth Bungo: "No, I am your father."

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