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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Accepting what The Hobbit trilogy has become...
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jtarkey
Rohan


Jun 16 2013, 10:35am

Post #1 of 76 (2280 views)
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Accepting what The Hobbit trilogy has become... Can't Post

A lot of people around here are probably aware that I was let down by AUJ. I missed the realism of LOTR. The heart and soul that seemed to be engrained in every scene. The quiet moments of hope and despair. Characters that all had their moments to shine. Though the details may have been skewed a bit, I truly believe that the LOTR trilogy is one of the best adaptations of all time. It kept the emotion that most fantasy/action films lack. And most importantly, the spirit of the book. When I watch the films, I am filled with the same sense of history and depth as when I read the books.

However, it has recently occurred to me that The Hobbit will (at the least) come into it's own in DOS. I realized while watching the trailer, that I didn't feel anything familiar at all. This is both good and bad. Bad in that these films don't seem to be adhering to the things that made the LOTR trilogy so successful, good in that its own style seems to be established....

The style being...a trilogy of action filled, CGI coated, modern blockbusters.

While I am still at odds with this "style", I have found a silver lining... It's making LOTR look even better than ever.

Will "There and Back Again" return to the gritty, ancient atmosphere of LOTR? Will The Hobbit trilogy finally be understood once it is completed? Or will it go down as a failed attempt to push the envelope of technology?

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


DwellerInDale
Rohan


Jun 16 2013, 11:09am

Post #2 of 76 (1131 views)
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The Double-Edged Sword of Gritty Realism [In reply to] Can't Post

There's no doubt that Peter Jackson's LOTR trilogy had a more gritty, realistic tone than "The Hobbit". The relevant question is, does the lighter, more fantastical tone of the Hobbit movies make sense for the current trilogy? Over on the Off Topic forum I've had a bit of tongue-in-cheek fun with the "Man of Steel", but I was serious in that it I felt it was a huge letdown. Many fans are shocked by its critical reception (down to about 56% on RT). The critics have pointed out that David Goyer's screenplay tries too hard to emulate his Dark Knight tone of gritty realism, when it isn't appropriate for a character like Superman.

I first read "The Hobbit" many years ago when close friends were into "The Lord of the Rings", and I remember our discussion agreement that "The Hobbit is different, a lot more fairytale-ish". In making the film, I think that Jackson & Co. were in sort of a no-win situation for the first film: they absolutely had to keep certain iconic scenes, and those scenes demanded the fairy-tale tone of the book, as they would have been ruined by a gritty, realistic approach. Where LOTR is mostly about Men but includes hobbits, elves, and a dwarf in important roles, "The Hobbit" is exactly the opposite, with almost all the main characters being Dwarves, Elves, Trolls, Orcs, a Shapechanger, Wizards, and a Hobbit-- all beings out of fantasy.

Since most of the fairytale scenes are now past, I agree that DOS can begin to interweave the more realistic tone, so that the trilogy will become an appropriate prelude to LOTR.

Don't mess with my favorite female elf.







jtarkey
Rohan


Jun 16 2013, 11:14am

Post #3 of 76 (995 views)
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My Hang up is... [In reply to] Can't Post

It's not just the gritty realism I miss from LOTR. It's the heart and emotion. The same heart could have been applied to AUJ by making it a more personal story that clearly focused on Bilbo, while keeping the light fantasy elements in tact.

Also, they just can't seem to get a Superman film right can they?

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


CathrineB
Rohan


Jun 16 2013, 11:28am

Post #4 of 76 (872 views)
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I think I already have [In reply to] Can't Post

I think I have accepted it already. Not sure when, maybe when first seeing it? The second time? Now? I mean, I still find myself watching LotR and go "Damn. These movies still look damn good today. Even better than the Hobbit" which is supposed to be all new tech and 3D. I've never really liked 3D since it started being cool. I don't like that everything has to be new and fancy and polished.
Like I always say: A good movie does not need 3D glasses to pull you in. It does't need to be polish and perfect..

Yet. I watched The Hobbit last night again and I enjoyed it even more now. I hated it in 3D, loved it in 2D and now I'm actually very fond of it. It has grown on me. I sure care a lot about the characters even if there are things I miss so much that the LotR has.

I think to me what saved this movie despite the letdowns were the acting. I think it's all in all very good casting in this.

So I have accepted the Hobbit for what they are. Sure I wont like all of it. That's for sure. But I know I have an easier time accepting books for being books and movies a whole'nother media. I enjoy both of them.

I just prefer to talk about what I like in the movies. I understand much of people's disappointments, but personally I prefer to talk about what I like. Focus on the positive and just sometimes talk about and read about what isn't so good. Works for me.


(This post was edited by CathrineB on Jun 16 2013, 11:29am)


DwellerInDale
Rohan


Jun 16 2013, 12:38pm

Post #5 of 76 (899 views)
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I'd like your opinion on this aspect of the heart and emotion [In reply to] Can't Post

I thought that AUJ did have a number of such potential moments of heart and emotion, mostly focusing on Bilbo, BUT...most of them were spoiled by Warner Brothers' relentless PR machine, with their endless sneak peeks and multiple-ending trailer. The first trailer was just about perfect-- it whet your appetite for the movie, had beautiful elements such as the dwarf song, but didn't give too much away. The second trailer and all the rest smelled of WB and their worries about the bottom line. So it would be interesting to compare the first-impression feelings for these scenes:

Gandalf presents the sword Sting to Bilbo; speech about when to take a life Spoiled


Rivendell White Council, Gandalf's answer to Galadriel's "Why the Halfling?" Spoiled


Very end of above scene, Galadriel's emotional "I will come." Not Spoiled


Bofur's emotional "Good Luck" speech to Bilbo Not Spoiled


Bilbo spares Gollum's life Not Spoiled (?)*


Bilbo's speech to the whole company, about why he came back Spoiled


*Can't remember exactly


I'd like to hear what you and others think.



Don't mess with my favorite female elf.







ShireHorse
Rohan

Jun 16 2013, 12:41pm

Post #6 of 76 (773 views)
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But, surely, it all boils down to [In reply to] Can't Post

the source material? LotR (book and film) still makes me cry in places and I am very moved by so many things. It's in the nature of the story and the way that it is being told. The Hobbit makes me laugh. You should be in a class of children giggling away at the troll scene, for instance. It's definitely not scary. And even the spiders are funny: in contrast, when I got to Shelob's Lair in the book, I have never been so frightened in all my life. (Having a phobia about spiders doesn't help, but I wasn't concerned in the same way when I read TH.)

I never found Bilbo a moving figure - his escapades are just told with too much humour and he is just too sensible and pragmatic a character. He's "one of us" and is interesting because of it - no more. But I was never fearful of his safety and was confident he would get home in one piece.

The last "movement" of the book takes on a realistic, more tragic tone and is all the more shocking because of it. The story turns more towards what we will find in LotR and I'm sure that Jackson will follow this arc and that this will enable us to move seamlessly from TABA to FotR. I'm really looking forward to watching all 6 films in a row so that I can see how PJ ties the whole lot together.

As a last thought: when my son-in-law watched LotR without knowing what would happen, he loved the way that the films opened up gradually into the world of Middle-earth, starting off with a fairy-tale setting in Hobbiton but becoming more grand, more epic, more tragic (dare I say more blockbusterish?) as the 3 films progressed. I really don't want TH to be gritty, tragic and epic too soon because, seen as a prelude to LotR, it needs to start off on a smaller scale so that we can move ever onwards and upwards as we progress through the whole story. It's really important that TH isn't "better" than LotR - or even the same - because this will do a disservice to the whole experience.


Elenorflower
Gondor


Jun 16 2013, 1:05pm

Post #7 of 76 (741 views)
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I agree with you totally about LOTR [In reply to] Can't Post

I feel the same.
I doubt I could ever accept what they have done to the Hobbit, its just sad. a wasted opportunity, all the raw materials were there, but WB or PJ or someone in charge ruined it, turned it into something banal and strangely empty. Its odd for me to watch Gandalf and feel nothing, its a weird thing not to care about the characters. Its almost like looking at a parody of itself, like someone has done a very clever and well made spoof. I do like bits of it and its certainly entertaining in parts, but as soon as I left the cinema I forgot it, it didnt make me dream or think about it afterwards. I remember coming out of the cinema the night I first watched Fellowship and Return of the King. I was blown away, filled with awe and a million emotions, everything etched into my imagination forever, it was love at first sight. AUJ was like revisiting that old love but its never the same, I couldnt recapture the feelings


Ham_Sammy
Tol Eressea

Jun 16 2013, 1:50pm

Post #8 of 76 (698 views)
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I have thorougly enjoyed both [In reply to] Can't Post

I guess for me I didn't reallyl try and compare it at all to LOTR. I just viewed it as The Hobbit. For me both The Hobbit and LOTR are very different in feel even as books. I don't see the darkness in The Hobbit as with the LOTR and never felt that way. I completely enjoyed the atmosphere in AUJ and found myself smiling at scenes like Chip the Cups and Crack the Plates. I liked that PJ has made Thorin a much more involved and in my view deeper character than he was in The Hobbit and I am completely enjoying Freeman's Bilbo who for me is spot on as is the writing for his part.

I get that there are those, like yourself, that are disappointed with AUJ. I'm sorry you can't enjoy it the way you would like.

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


Lusitano
Tol Eressea


Jun 16 2013, 1:56pm

Post #9 of 76 (688 views)
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It's making LOTR look even better than ever [In reply to] Can't Post

I have been experiencing a growing affection and respect for the real trilogy.

Youre absolutely right, looking at stills, photographs, scenes, screecaps, i have indeed grown very fond of many things that perhaps i wasnt quite so aware of before or at least not nearly as appreciative as before.

Vous commencez ą m'ennuyer avec le port!!!


Lusitano
Tol Eressea


Jun 16 2013, 1:59pm

Post #10 of 76 (701 views)
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but as soon as I left the cinema I forgot it [In reply to] Can't Post

Indeed, i find AUJ, completely forgetable....

Even if i appreciate the first 45 minutes..

Vous commencez ą m'ennuyer avec le port!!!


Aragorn the Elfstone
Grey Havens


Jun 16 2013, 2:08pm

Post #11 of 76 (729 views)
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It's taken a while, but it's set in... [In reply to] Can't Post

Watching AUJ for the first time was heartbreaking. I think it's because so many of the story elements and locales are similar to 'Fellowship', so it was only natural that I was comparing it to that film. But PJ was going for something entirely different with these films. In addition to the CGI, etc., the tone of the story is just so jarringly different. If LotR felt like a great, majestic epic of old, his Hobbit film(s) feels like a lightweight, modern action/adventure film. The difference is startling, and I don't necessarily agree with others that it can be completely laid at the feet of the source material. The story may be more juvenile than LotR, but the filmmaking didn't need to be.

That said, seeing the trailer for 'The Desolation of Smaug' finally opened my eyes a bit about what this trilogy is, rather than clinging on to what I'd hoped it would be. The visual style and tone of the DOS trailer has put me more at peace with the difference in those elements in AUJ vs. the original trilogy. It's helped me accept the new trilogy for what it is, and enjoy what it has to offer. Also, one of my big beefs about AUJ (other than the aforementioned visual style and tone) was that it felt incomplete. The late editing of the films into 3 parts damaged the narrative of the first film, IMO. There were so many things set up (Thranduil, the Mirkwood Spiders, etc.) that were never paid off during the course of the film. Having now seen where the film goes post-Carrock has increased my enjoyment of AUJ, because I can now extend the narrative of the film in my head past the first measly six chapters of the book.

But honestly, the whole thing just goes to show what a remarkable occurrence the making of The Lord of the Rings films was. The experience of seeing those films when they came out was magical, and I knew that I was witnessing something extraordinary. They became, and still are, the standard against which I judge all other films.

"All men dream; but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds awake to find that it was vanity; But the dreamers of day are dangerous men. That they may act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible."
- T.E. Lawrence


(This post was edited by Aragorn the Elfstone on Jun 16 2013, 2:11pm)


Aragorn the Elfstone
Grey Havens


Jun 16 2013, 2:20pm

Post #12 of 76 (844 views)
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WB's marketing team is atrocious. [In reply to] Can't Post

The trailers, tv spots, etc. for 'An Unexpected Journey' were abysmal compared to what was done for 'The Lord of the Rings' (which has the best trailers I've ever seen, even to this day). Their Hobbit trailers suffer from the same flaw as their Harry Potter trailers. They just throw together a bunch of dialogue and action scenes, without any coherence. Compare that to the trailers New Line did for LotR, where each one was practically a work of art in of itself. Likewise, the tv spots were insanely spoilerific. The later LotR tv spots often spoiled some stunning visual moments, but never crucial character moments. I will never forgive WB for spoiling Bilbo's "You don't have a home, it was taken from you" moment and the Bilbo-Thorin hug. I'm going to do my best to avoid all tv spots this time around.

The only high quality trailer for the trilogy thus far was the first teaser for An Unexpected Journey, which I suspect may have been done with more of PJ's input (considering it's edited more like the LotR trailers, has Shore's music, etc.).

"All men dream; but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds awake to find that it was vanity; But the dreamers of day are dangerous men. That they may act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible."
- T.E. Lawrence


(This post was edited by Aragorn the Elfstone on Jun 16 2013, 2:24pm)


DwellerInDale
Rohan


Jun 16 2013, 2:28pm

Post #13 of 76 (739 views)
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Completely agree [In reply to] Can't Post

You simply cannot spoil the emotional climax of a movie (in this case Bibo's "You don't have a home" speech and embracing Thorin). They (WB) did it anyway.


Note that this DOS trailer definitely had a more Jackson feel: beautiful images, some promising snippets of dialog, but nothing crucial given away.

Don't mess with my favorite female elf.







Thranduil05
The Shire


Jun 16 2013, 2:32pm

Post #14 of 76 (673 views)
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My opinion... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I first read "The Hobbit" many years ago when close friends were into "The Lord of the Rings", and I remember our discussion agreement that "The Hobbit is different, a lot more fairytale-ish". In making the film, I think that Jackson & Co. were in sort of a no-win situation for the first film: they absolutely had to keep certain iconic scenes, and those scenes demanded the fairy-tale tone of the book, as they would have been ruined by a gritty, realistic approach. Where LOTR is mostly about Men but includes hobbits, elves, and a dwarf in important roles, "The Hobbit" is exactly the opposite, with almost all the main characters being Dwarves, Elves, Trolls, Orcs, a Shapechanger, Wizards, and a Hobbit-- all beings out of fantasy.


I'm in agreement with you about the difference in style and nature between TH and LotR. Tolkien always said that TH was written for his children, hence the elves, dwarves and fairytale creatures. When he came to LotR, his audience had grown up. He wouldn't be reading it to his children at bed time, consequently he was able to write in more of an adult nature. This is evident through his focus more on the race of men and the real-life struggles of war.

PJ and crew would always have more of a difficulty creating the films in reverse, but I think as long as you're appreciative of that, you should enjoy TH movies either way Smile

I also agree that DoS is where the movies will really develop and make their mark. I'd still like for TH trilogy to go down in history as one of the greatest trilogies of all time, like LotR!

Thranduil

Such is the nature of evil, in time, all foul things come forth.


Elenorflower
Gondor


Jun 16 2013, 2:33pm

Post #15 of 76 (637 views)
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yes LOTR was remarkable [In reply to] Can't Post

and I dont suppose I will ever see anything nearly as wonderful.

It bugs me that they set up Thranduil so early on in AUJ, it seemed a bit pointless. why cant he be a surprise in DOS, why does he have to be spoon fed to us like our little brains cant cope with characters that pop up out of nowhere. I only needed to catch sight of Thranduil for the first time in his palace, then it makes more impact because you havent actually seen him before and its suddenly pam! Thanders in all his glory.


(This post was edited by Elenorflower on Jun 16 2013, 2:34pm)


Ham_Sammy
Tol Eressea

Jun 16 2013, 2:36pm

Post #16 of 76 (692 views)
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I will agree [In reply to] Can't Post

I have not been thrilled with WB's marketing of the film at all.

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


Aragorn the Elfstone
Grey Havens


Jun 16 2013, 2:38pm

Post #17 of 76 (736 views)
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It was better, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

...still without any coherence. There's just random lines thrown in with little or no meaning. That can work, if you're going for an atmospheric trailer, giving nothing away (look at the first Prometheus Teaser). But the whole thing just feels too cluttered and without purpose.

The Lord of the Rings trailers were magnificent at telling a story, while at the same time not spoiling the twists and turns of the films (with the exception of the Gandalf reveal for TTT trailers - but you couldn't really hide Ian McKellen's film credit Tongue). They were a master-craft of film promotion.

"All men dream; but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds awake to find that it was vanity; But the dreamers of day are dangerous men. That they may act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible."
- T.E. Lawrence


(This post was edited by Aragorn the Elfstone on Jun 16 2013, 2:40pm)


Mr. Arkenstone (isaac)
Grey Havens


Jun 16 2013, 2:41pm

Post #18 of 76 (636 views)
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agree about the spoliers [In reply to] Can't Post

It had no point to be so spoileriffic. Regarding the CGI thing I am dissapointed that in the mirkwood fight secuences between elves and orcs and barrels, the trees even where CGI,what a lazyness, I was seeing neverending story 3,just for curiosity, and there wasa shoot where the background wasreal images of a forest, well, that worked freaking out better than CGI trees.

In KK there where, but a lot of them were miniatures, and the fact Jackson went CGI witheverything just because in Avatar worked, doesn“t have sense, because they were in Pandora, a totally invented place where that loks were allowed by the imaginarium ofthe place.

But I think CGI trailer is not the definitive one, remember Rivendel in AUJ“S teaser? it was over the top with colourand lightning, in the movie there wasn“t such of that

The flagon with the dragon has the brew that is true!


Thranduil05
The Shire


Jun 16 2013, 2:41pm

Post #19 of 76 (697 views)
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WB [In reply to] Can't Post

The only thing we can thank WB for is actually financing the film! We wouldn't be here if it had been left with MGM!

Thranduil

Such is the nature of evil, in time, all foul things come forth.


Thranduil05
The Shire


Jun 16 2013, 2:45pm

Post #20 of 76 (644 views)
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On the plus side... [In reply to] Can't Post

At least it was only a visual of Thranduil. I'd have been more annoyed if we'd heard him talk. I wouldn't have put it past them to try and work some dialogue in to that scene!

It made it all the more exciting when we heard his voice over the first few images in the DoS trailer!

Thranduil

Such is the nature of evil, in time, all foul things come forth.


IdrilofGondolin
Rohan

Jun 16 2013, 3:14pm

Post #21 of 76 (658 views)
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A Dissenting Voice [In reply to] Can't Post

I have grown less fond of LOTR as then years have gone by and more fond of AUJ the more I watch it. And that is probably because I am more invested in book LOTR than I am in book TH. I have owned the EE version of LOTR since they came out and can count on the fingers of one and a half hands how many times I've watched them. They are beautifully made and gorgeous to look at and do have heart -- some of which comes from what we know of the making of the films. The lore that has grown up around movie LOTR is one of the things that helps people love and feel close to them. (We don't have that yet with TH.)

Having said that, for me, the changes PJ made to the characters and their motivations and the addition of, for example the elves at Helm's Deep, make these movies less watchable. I don't want to have to keep my finger on the remote so I can skip over the rangers assaulting Gollum and Faramir assaulting Gollum and Frodo rejecting Sam and various other unfortunate scenes. And I really didn't like the choice the writers made to make the ring an "addiction", making it so evil that even Faramir is tempted by it and then blabbing about it all over Middle Earth, when the book takes such pains to keep the ring and its location secret. There are other things, but I've gone on too long here.


Ham_Sammy
Tol Eressea

Jun 16 2013, 3:26pm

Post #22 of 76 (601 views)
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I will say [In reply to] Can't Post

Although I still love LOTR in all of it's glory the one film I have become less and less fond of is ROTK. I love FOTR. I think it's terrific. TT is still very dear to me and I love it. I have grown to see though that ROTK has real pacing issues and it's all over the place. I still like it don't misunderstand, I just have grown somewhat less fond of it than I was when it was first released.

I love AUJ and have really enjoyed it. We'll see I suppose how it is in a few years once the 3 films are done and the dust settles.

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


Aragorn the Elfstone
Grey Havens


Jun 16 2013, 3:41pm

Post #23 of 76 (619 views)
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Opposite for me. [In reply to] Can't Post

I've actually come to appreciate RotK more and more as time has gone on (though I loved it from the beginning). I remember when they re-released the films in theaters a couple years ago through Fathom Events, I was shocked at how well the Extended Cut played on the big screen. Whereas I felt the length of the EE of TTT, RotK seemed to fly by - even at 4+ hours.

AUJ has more severe pacing problems IMO, at least in it's first half. It's an hour before we even get to the Roast Mutton section (Ch. 2 of the book), and that's a problem. I love the Frodo/Old Bilbo stuff, but it really should have been cut from the theatrical cut if PJ wanted to take time on stuff like the Moria flashback, Radagast, etc. The film takes so long to get going (though I think it will be less of a problem for me when the film is complete and we can watch the entire thing together).

As far as issues with the adaptation go, I'm not one to have a problem with changes. Film adaptations are retellings, not translations - so I've never gotten hung up on the differences (though I will admit, some timeline changes for The Hobbit bugged me initially). If I have issues with the film, it's purely on a filmmaking level, not on story changes.

"All men dream; but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds awake to find that it was vanity; But the dreamers of day are dangerous men. That they may act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible."
- T.E. Lawrence


(This post was edited by Aragorn the Elfstone on Jun 16 2013, 3:50pm)


DwellerInDale
Rohan


Jun 16 2013, 3:57pm

Post #24 of 76 (666 views)
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Strange, I felt the exact opposite [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
..still without any coherence. There's just random lines thrown in with little or no meaning. That can work, if you're going for an atmospheric trailer, giving nothing away (look at the first Prometheus Teaser). But the whole thing just feels too cluttered and without purpose.
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

There are mainly two sets of dialog: Thranduil's and Tauriel's. Thranduil's opening lines say, in effect, "You think you are going on a heroic quest- to take back your homeland, to slay a dragon". But, as he says later, it is the nature of evil to come forth-- you can't fight it. So his solution is isolationism. This has worked for him for thousands of years. Then they contrast this with Tauriel, the younger low Sylvan elf, with her two connected lines, "When did we allow evil to become stronger than us?" and "It IS our fight". So the trailer essentially revealed the important story arc of Thranduil + Legolas = "don't get involved", Tauriel = "yes, we have a moral obligation to get involved".




Don't mess with my favorite female elf.







Aragorn the Elfstone
Grey Havens


Jun 16 2013, 4:00pm

Post #25 of 76 (650 views)
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I guess my beef was more with... [In reply to] Can't Post

...the randomly thrown in dialogue from Gandalf and Radagast. That had no context, whatsoever, and it bugged me. I did love the Thranduil/Tauriel stuff though. I'm not a purist by any means, so I can't wait to see Evangeline Lilly in this film. Smile

"All men dream; but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds awake to find that it was vanity; But the dreamers of day are dangerous men. That they may act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible."
- T.E. Lawrence

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