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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
"The Hobbit" action sequences: physics, realism, fantasy, and suspension of disbelief

arithmancer
Gondor


Jun 17 2013, 6:17pm


Views: 1279
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"The Hobbit" action sequences: physics, realism, fantasy, and suspension of disbelief Can't Post

Recent discussion between posters who dislike the "overblown, ridiculous Hollywood action scenes" of The Hobbit, and those who recommend "suspension of disbelief" in fantasy films got me thinking. I tend to be (in thriller movies set in real life) in favor of believable stunts and fight scenes owing to an eduction heavy on science and experience in the martial arts, yet I found "The Hobbit: AUJ" delightful, personally.

And so I wondered, why this is? Especially, as I find on the intellectual level, the argument that breaking the laws of physics should remove our sense that characters are in jeopardy. And what I have concluded, is that the key lies in the details. Why, I ask myself, can I watch with my heart in my throat as Bilbo and then Thorin almost slip into a chasm, and fifteen minutes later, chortle with delight as the Goblin King lands with a thud on Thorin's Company at the bottom of another one?

I think it is in the details. For me, both of these scenes work because the film itself tells me it is in deadly earnest in the first, and tells me to hang on and enjoy the ride, in the second. In the first scene we are treated to dizzying views of the chasm above which Our Heroes dangle, and the reactions of the characters sell the danger. In the second, there are cues that it's going to be a wild ride. (I think I saw a dwarf literally holding on to his hat, on the scaffold).

How do others thing about this? I'd love answers with specifics about scenes that did or did not work with the poster though of course people may post what they will. Smile

Subject User Time
"The Hobbit" action sequences: physics, realism, fantasy, and suspension of disbelief arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Jun 17 2013, 6:17pm
    Stone giants vs. Goblin cavern Ardamírë Send a private message to Ardamírë Jun 17 2013, 6:22pm
    If I'm suspending my belief... bborchar Send a private message to bborchar Jun 17 2013, 6:27pm
        I disagree. In large part because they are existing in the same universe, and only the Wizards adn Elves AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jun 19 2013, 5:47am
    Embellisment CaptainFaramir13 Send a private message to CaptainFaramir13 Jun 17 2013, 6:32pm
        Excuses JWPlatt Jun 17 2013, 6:53pm
            There is never a happy medium with this film crew, is their dear Platt? AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jun 19 2013, 5:50am
    My approach Elessar Send a private message to Elessar Jun 17 2013, 6:59pm
    Thw willing suspension of disbelief can be fragile... Otaku-sempai Send a private message to Otaku-sempai Jun 17 2013, 7:12pm
        Yes, but... bborchar Send a private message to bborchar Jun 17 2013, 7:30pm
            The common-sense ones? Otaku-sempai Send a private message to Otaku-sempai Jun 17 2013, 7:52pm
                My replies... bborchar Send a private message to bborchar Jun 17 2013, 8:02pm
                    Magic solves many things ('though not all)... Otaku-sempai Send a private message to Otaku-sempai Jun 17 2013, 8:21pm
                        Well... bborchar Send a private message to bborchar Jun 17 2013, 8:31pm
                            Because... Otaku-sempai Send a private message to Otaku-sempai Jun 17 2013, 8:40pm
                                It's magic! bborchar Send a private message to bborchar Jun 17 2013, 8:55pm
                                    I doubt that we are ever going to see eye-to-eye on this... Otaku-sempai Send a private message to Otaku-sempai Jun 17 2013, 9:14pm
                                        That's fine... bborchar Send a private message to bborchar Jun 17 2013, 9:21pm
                                            Tolkien does not explain "plotholes" away with magic Otaku-sempai Send a private message to Otaku-sempai Jun 18 2013, 11:57am
                                                Oh yes, they do.... bborchar Send a private message to bborchar Jun 18 2013, 12:29pm
                                                    Actually, Gandalf's absence is explained in 'The Hobbit' Otaku-sempai Send a private message to Otaku-sempai Jun 18 2013, 12:37pm
                                                        Didn't write that clearly... bborchar Send a private message to bborchar Jun 18 2013, 1:04pm
                                                            Sure. I'll go along with that... Otaku-sempai Send a private message to Otaku-sempai Jun 18 2013, 6:54pm
                                        source LordGawain Send a private message to LordGawain Jun 17 2013, 9:22pm
                                            Well Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Jun 17 2013, 9:39pm
                                            Can you be more specific? Otaku-sempai Send a private message to Otaku-sempai Jun 18 2013, 11:43am
                                    Come on man R11 Send a private message to R11 Jun 17 2013, 10:01pm
                                    Yes, it is magic. That is the key. And not EVERYTHING is magic. That is important also. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jun 19 2013, 6:25am
                                        My point... bborchar Send a private message to bborchar Jun 19 2013, 8:02pm
                                            Consideder superhero movies. Their world is our world, yet with certain AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jun 21 2013, 6:54am
                                Exactly. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jun 19 2013, 6:19am
                    The point is... Eleniel Send a private message to Eleniel Jun 17 2013, 8:35pm
                        The Hobbit is a cartoonish kid's book... bborchar Send a private message to bborchar Jun 17 2013, 8:38pm
                            If you are a child reading it... Eleniel Send a private message to Eleniel Jun 17 2013, 8:44pm
                                Okay, but then there's a catch-22... bborchar Send a private message to bborchar Jun 17 2013, 9:05pm
                                    Oh, exactly...which is why Eleniel Send a private message to Eleniel Jun 17 2013, 9:09pm
                                        I'd like to think... bborchar Send a private message to bborchar Jun 17 2013, 9:12pm
                                    This is the Best Description of the Problem We've Had on this Board IdrilofGondolin Send a private message to IdrilofGondolin Jun 17 2013, 9:21pm
                                    Thats why you use the same Sinister71 Send a private message to Sinister71 Jun 17 2013, 10:07pm
                        Did you really find "every" scene overblown? arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Jun 17 2013, 8:41pm
                            No, not everything... Eleniel Send a private message to Eleniel Jun 17 2013, 8:49pm
                                Well LordGawain Send a private message to LordGawain Jun 17 2013, 8:56pm
                                    i wasn't saying it should have been the same as Moria at all! Eleniel Send a private message to Eleniel Jun 17 2013, 9:01pm
                                        woopsie LordGawain Send a private message to LordGawain Jun 17 2013, 9:09pm
                                            No problem! Eleniel Send a private message to Eleniel Jun 17 2013, 9:13pm
                    IMO "it's fantasy" is not a get-out-of-free card for PJ Captain Salt Send a private message to Captain Salt Jun 17 2013, 9:52pm
                        Not really... bborchar Send a private message to bborchar Jun 17 2013, 9:54pm
                            My point was not about the sub-genre Captain Salt Send a private message to Captain Salt Jun 17 2013, 10:00pm
                                Laws of physics? bborchar Send a private message to bborchar Jun 17 2013, 10:10pm
                                    which was Jackson's literal way of showing how light footed elves were. Sinister71 Send a private message to Sinister71 Jun 17 2013, 10:12pm
                                        Again... bborchar Send a private message to bborchar Jun 17 2013, 10:13pm
                                            But there are degrees of believability Captain Salt Send a private message to Captain Salt Jun 17 2013, 10:17pm
                                                Just a question... bborchar Send a private message to bborchar Jun 17 2013, 10:18pm
                                                    If that had been IN-CHARACTER for the Elves of ME, yes, as far as the fictional world goes Captain Salt Send a private message to Captain Salt Jun 17 2013, 10:28pm
                                                        Basically... bborchar Send a private message to bborchar Jun 17 2013, 10:35pm
                                                        exactly Sinister71 Send a private message to Sinister71 Jun 17 2013, 10:37pm
                                                            Those rules... bborchar Send a private message to bborchar Jun 17 2013, 10:41pm
                                                            Any movie that has entmaiden Send a private message to entmaiden Jun 17 2013, 10:54pm
                                                                Thanks for a great laugh! It imperiled my keyboard...// arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Jun 17 2013, 11:47pm
                                                                However, an elf has certain attributes in ME, which is following the rules established Captain Salt Send a private message to Captain Salt Jun 18 2013, 2:42am
                                                                    that "one", heh. Aragorn didn't really win there. :P // Captain Salt Send a private message to Captain Salt Jun 18 2013, 3:10am
                                                                    I think the subtlety is a matter of preference entmaiden Send a private message to entmaiden Jun 18 2013, 2:52pm
                                                    Not an Elf, but... Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Jun 18 2013, 8:03pm
                                                        Heh bborchar Send a private message to bborchar Jun 18 2013, 8:07pm
                                                        Granted, but IMO sounds more like Leggy's horse-mounting trick from TTT Captain Salt Send a private message to Captain Salt Jun 19 2013, 2:50am
                                            Depends on the snow... Sinister71 Send a private message to Sinister71 Jun 17 2013, 10:18pm
                                                Not quite... bborchar Send a private message to bborchar Jun 17 2013, 10:25pm
                                    That was in character for Legolas, and only a slight distortion of "reality" Captain Salt Send a private message to Captain Salt Jun 17 2013, 10:12pm
    Not sure I can analyse why it all worked for me.... dormouse Send a private message to dormouse Jun 17 2013, 7:16pm
        I like the stage example! arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Jun 17 2013, 7:38pm
        Staging JWPlatt Jun 17 2013, 7:42pm
        Changes of gear Na Vedui Send a private message to Na Vedui Jun 17 2013, 8:28pm
    I think Jackson is guilty of trying to have his cake and eat it too, sauget.diblosio Send a private message to sauget.diblosio Jun 17 2013, 7:48pm
        I completely agree. Elizabeth Send a private message to Elizabeth Jun 17 2013, 9:45pm
    About falling and entering in the goblin cave LordGawain Send a private message to LordGawain Jun 17 2013, 8:52pm
        OOPS. Elizabeth Send a private message to Elizabeth Jun 17 2013, 9:38pm
            Atmosphere plays a huge part... bborchar Send a private message to bborchar Jun 17 2013, 9:42pm
                But Dwarves aren't significantly more aerodynamic than Men.// Elizabeth Send a private message to Elizabeth Jun 17 2013, 9:47pm
                    They're bulkier and should be less aerodynamic, shouldn't they? Captain Salt Send a private message to Captain Salt Jun 17 2013, 9:55pm
    The film solves it's own problems!!! It's pretty perfect storytelling wise! Ibach Send a private message to Ibach Jun 17 2013, 10:34pm
        You know MEIGWIT Send a private message to MEIGWIT Jun 17 2013, 10:41pm
        Also MEIGWIT Send a private message to MEIGWIT Jun 17 2013, 10:42pm
        Yes, it is a retelling: that again, like the "it's fantasy" sentiment Captain Salt Send a private message to Captain Salt Jun 17 2013, 10:46pm
            Well MEIGWIT Send a private message to MEIGWIT Jun 17 2013, 10:52pm
                Indeed! arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Jun 17 2013, 11:57pm
            That's the problem... bborchar Send a private message to bborchar Jun 17 2013, 10:55pm
                Touche Ibach Send a private message to Ibach Jun 17 2013, 11:05pm
                none of the dialogue is untouched, nothing is exact quotes Sinister71 Send a private message to Sinister71 Jun 17 2013, 11:06pm
                    There was an old lady Lusitano Send a private message to Lusitano Jun 17 2013, 11:11pm
                    Are you talking about The Hobbit, or LOTR? entmaiden Send a private message to entmaiden Jun 17 2013, 11:11pm
                    Screenwriting Ibach Send a private message to Ibach Jun 17 2013, 11:15pm
                        And if done correctly Sinister71 Send a private message to Sinister71 Jun 17 2013, 11:25pm
                    Not quite... bborchar Send a private message to bborchar Jun 17 2013, 11:25pm
                        yep you got it.... ALMOST Sinister71 Send a private message to Sinister71 Jun 17 2013, 11:40pm
                            Well... bborchar Send a private message to bborchar Jun 17 2013, 11:58pm
                                I'm truly glad you enjoyed it Sinister71 Send a private message to Sinister71 Jun 18 2013, 12:19am
                                    What's real? bborchar Send a private message to bborchar Jun 18 2013, 1:42am
                I was obviously referring to the CGI spectacle here, not the source material Captain Salt Send a private message to Captain Salt Jun 18 2013, 5:56am
                    The entire goblin town escape ElendilTheShort Send a private message to ElendilTheShort Jun 18 2013, 9:29am
        If they were separate though Sinister71 Send a private message to Sinister71 Jun 17 2013, 10:46pm
            Can you imagine Lusitano Send a private message to Lusitano Jun 17 2013, 10:58pm
                hmm Ibach Send a private message to Ibach Jun 17 2013, 11:09pm
            Seems to me Ibach Send a private message to Ibach Jun 17 2013, 11:03pm
                And the tone for me anyways Sinister71 Send a private message to Sinister71 Jun 17 2013, 11:11pm
                    My only encouragement Ibach Send a private message to Ibach Jun 17 2013, 11:19pm
                    I disagree, regarding "showing love" to the story. Book *spoilers*! arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Jun 18 2013, 12:34am
                        My problem with Azog Sinister71 Send a private message to Sinister71 Jun 18 2013, 12:59am
                            Yes. arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Jun 18 2013, 1:19am
                                all that needed to be done Sinister71 Send a private message to Sinister71 Jun 18 2013, 1:33am
                                    Would you still keep Lusitano Send a private message to Lusitano Jun 18 2013, 1:37am
                                    I am convinced that is not why they did.// arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Jun 18 2013, 1:42am
                                        from all I have read that is why they included him Sinister71 Send a private message to Sinister71 Jun 18 2013, 2:03am
                                            It is odd... Ardamírë Send a private message to Ardamírë Jun 18 2013, 2:08am
                                            Actually, arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Jun 18 2013, 2:13am
                                                not in the battle he didn't Sinister71 Send a private message to Sinister71 Jun 18 2013, 2:32am
                                                    I am aware of that. arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Jun 18 2013, 2:46am
                                                        Still would have been better with the original tale which they had rights to use Sinister71 Send a private message to Sinister71 Jun 18 2013, 2:56am
                Consistency of Tone and book *spoilers* arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Jun 18 2013, 12:07am
                    Bilbo is multi-layered Ibach Send a private message to Ibach Jun 18 2013, 2:28am
        Thanks for this post! arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Jun 17 2013, 11:55pm
            Of Coursh Ibach Send a private message to Ibach Jun 18 2013, 1:53am
        Glad to read your #3. I feel this way, too. cats16 Send a private message to cats16 Jun 18 2013, 2:25am
    The Hobbit And The Physics of a Fall DwellerInDale Send a private message to DwellerInDale Jun 18 2013, 4:25am
        Good! A Physicist! Now we have the answers. Escapist Send a private message to Escapist Jun 18 2013, 4:37am
        Thanks Elessar Send a private message to Elessar Jun 18 2013, 4:45am
        I'm not a physicist... bborchar Send a private message to bborchar Jun 18 2013, 4:57am
        Yes, science rocks - and science geeks rock more than most. Ataahua Send a private message to Ataahua Jun 18 2013, 5:13am
            Thanks, I'll consider doing that (+ 1 more tidbit about scaling) DwellerInDale Send a private message to DwellerInDale Jun 18 2013, 6:01am
                Another biologist! The Mitch King Send a private message to The Mitch King Jun 18 2013, 6:34am
                *channels Mr Burns* "Excellent." Ataahua Send a private message to Ataahua Jun 18 2013, 6:49am
                Presumably, Troll-bones are thicker than human bones... Otaku-sempai Send a private message to Otaku-sempai Jun 18 2013, 12:10pm
                    Scaling and Quadrupeds DwellerInDale Send a private message to DwellerInDale Jun 18 2013, 1:06pm
                        Fair point about quadrupeds... Otaku-sempai Send a private message to Otaku-sempai Jun 18 2013, 6:58pm
                            Different material might be interesting. Hengist Send a private message to Hengist Jun 18 2013, 9:36pm
            Science JWPlatt Jun 18 2013, 3:01pm
                Science, proof, and Gandalf and the Balrog DwellerInDale Send a private message to DwellerInDale Jun 18 2013, 3:44pm
                    Agreed JWPlatt Jun 18 2013, 3:59pm
                        Yes, but... :) arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Jun 18 2013, 4:31pm
                            The Difference JWPlatt Jun 18 2013, 4:39pm
                                It had not been mentioned here yet... arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Jun 18 2013, 4:55pm
                                    Gandalf JWPlatt Jun 18 2013, 9:53pm
                                        Huh? arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Jun 19 2013, 3:22am
                            A guess but Escapist Send a private message to Escapist Jun 18 2013, 4:39pm
                                The psychological explanation is the one I am leaning towards too. arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Jun 18 2013, 4:58pm
                            Perhaps cultural references have a lot to do with it DwellerInDale Send a private message to DwellerInDale Jun 18 2013, 4:50pm
                Peer review process The Mitch King Send a private message to The Mitch King Jun 18 2013, 5:56pm
                    Peer Review JWPlatt Jun 18 2013, 9:48pm
                        where critics were labeled as sexually deficient on the TORN front page Lusitano Send a private message to Lusitano Jun 18 2013, 9:57pm
                            Entertaining Reading JWPlatt Jun 18 2013, 10:48pm
                        Well if you have something Hengist Send a private message to Hengist Jun 18 2013, 9:58pm
                        I think I quite agree with this The Mitch King Send a private message to The Mitch King Jun 19 2013, 7:18am
                            Well as I said Hengist Send a private message to Hengist Jun 19 2013, 9:25am
                                Well.. JWPlatt Jun 19 2013, 4:12pm
                                    Have you tried? Silverlode Send a private message to Silverlode Jun 19 2013, 6:38pm
                Good grief Altaira Send a private message to Altaira Jun 19 2013, 1:07am
                    The Reply JWPlatt Jun 19 2013, 1:14am
                        I didn't see those words in Ataahua's post entmaiden Send a private message to entmaiden Jun 19 2013, 1:20am
                            Perspective JWPlatt Jun 19 2013, 1:29am
                            Spot on Altaira Send a private message to Altaira Jun 19 2013, 1:40am
                                Home Page Review JWPlatt Jun 19 2013, 1:55am
                        Well that's overstating the situation. Ataahua Send a private message to Ataahua Jun 19 2013, 1:27am
        Thanks so much for this! dormouse Send a private message to dormouse Jun 18 2013, 8:02am
        Thanks so much for this post. Noria Send a private message to Noria Jun 18 2013, 2:09pm
        For me... Ardamírë Send a private message to Ardamírë Jun 18 2013, 3:02pm
            I think that for a lot of people, there isn't enough time to think or analyze as it is happening. Escapist Send a private message to Escapist Jun 18 2013, 3:17pm
                Time Enough To Think JWPlatt Jun 18 2013, 3:43pm
        Cool post! arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Jun 18 2013, 4:38pm
    Basically Goblin Town escape is a scene consisting of events that don´t seem to matter elostirion74 Send a private message to elostirion74 Jun 18 2013, 10:33am
        Interesting! arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Jun 18 2013, 4:51pm
            pacing and selecting effects to focus on elostirion74 Send a private message to elostirion74 Jun 18 2013, 8:35pm
        Speeding by Na Vedui Send a private message to Na Vedui Jun 18 2013, 8:47pm
    I wonder Rostron2 Send a private message to Rostron2 Jun 18 2013, 3:52pm
    I loved the action sequences in TH LordotRings93 Send a private message to LordotRings93 Jun 18 2013, 6:35pm
        Yes...*spoilers*(sort of) glor Send a private message to glor Jun 18 2013, 11:00pm

 
 
 

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