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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
What ever happened to making the book come to life?
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jtarkey
Rohan


Aug 13 2013, 5:41pm

Post #1 of 205 (3741 views)
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What ever happened to making the book come to life? Can't Post

In light of the recent Beorn reveal, this question came to mind...

Before I start, I want to say that I'm all for an artist creating their own vision and sticking to it. Things can easily become convoluted if there are to many cooks in the kitchen. However, when it comes to adapting books, isn't a big part of the experience seeing what you imagined while reading come to life? I can understand if a certain description is very vague, or if you have no other choice than to deviate from the material in order to make it work on screen, But it's a whole new story when descriptions and the source material seem to be ignored...

I'm sad to say The Hobbit is not leaping from the book to the screen in the same way LOTR did. There were countless scenes in that trilogy where I felt "wow...that's exactly what I imagined". It's a truly magical feeling. I find that aspect all but lost in PJ's adaptation of The Hobbit.

It's one thing to expand on something, but with a book so beloved as The Hobbit, you would think they would have at least tried to bring Tolkiens world to life respectfully. Beorns design is kind of the tipping point for me. Of course, no one would have wanted a boring "hagrid clone", but is it really too much to expect SOMETHING from these films to resemble the book? Especially something so easy as Beorn, who is described rather well?

At what point exactly has PJ gone too far? When exactly is is blatantly dis-respectful to the book? I would of course argue it already is, but what are some other peoples tipping points?

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


architecthis
Lorien


Aug 13 2013, 6:14pm

Post #2 of 205 (1965 views)
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He has already gone too far... [In reply to] Can't Post

Up until the Beorn reveal I will still holding out hope that the first movie was mediocre due to the fact the films had been split into three sections very late in the process. I do feel that portions of AUJ are very well done - I very much enjoyed the scenes in Bag end, some of the prologue and Riddles in the Dark and I often watch the film just to see those moments again.

I am lost. How can he have gotten it so right the first time around and now this?


Elessar
Valinor


Aug 13 2013, 6:16pm

Post #3 of 205 (1806 views)
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They have for me [In reply to] Can't Post

for the most part. There were things in all the movies so far that wasn't exactly like I thought it would be when I saw them but I'd say 9/10 times its been about what I wanted to see. It also helps that a lot of times things that I felt from the book came through in the scenes as they were on screen even if it wasn't exacly laid out in the book. I don't think there has been anything that's been disrepsectful to the books at all. Obviously some of you will disagree but I shall not be one of them. If you had too many moments of snot gags, belches, etc then I might join you in that but so far I haven't seen anything that makes me feel that way. As far as Beorn goes I'm waiting and seeing where things go with him. I can't get worked up over one grainy picture. While my imagination was more of what Hagrid looked like I don't mind if he doesn't look like that and to be honest may end up being glad he doesn't. As long as the personality of the character is retained I don't mind at all if the look is a little different than described.



MouthofSauron
Tol Eressea


Aug 13 2013, 6:21pm

Post #4 of 205 (1835 views)
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you guys are so right... [In reply to] Can't Post

PJ has failed...AUJ only made over a billion dollars worldwide and DOS will probably make more...New Line should just fire him now and hire another director who hasn't dedicated years of his life to bring these books to the silver screen and who hasn't won best director for one of these films...Hopefully New Line will get their act together and remake The Hobbit soon...


take me down to the woodland realm where the trees are green and the elf women are pretty....Oh will you please take me home!!

(This post was edited by MouthofSauron on Aug 13 2013, 6:22pm)


Estel78
Tol Eressea

Aug 13 2013, 6:25pm

Post #5 of 205 (1687 views)
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A good thing then that i don't have clear pictures in my head when reading [In reply to] Can't Post

And when i do, they fade after a while. Maybe it's because i don't read the book twice a year, or once even. Actually, it's years since i read Hobbit.

How about this: wait till we get pictures where we actually get a good look at Beorn, or better yet, till we get footage of him, before being negative.


jtarkey
Rohan


Aug 13 2013, 6:27pm

Post #6 of 205 (1754 views)
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Yep, exactly. [In reply to] Can't Post

Wanna join me in sacrificing him to the Balrog?

Sorry that I don't find the amount of money a film makes indicative of it's quality. Nor do I believe that if someone wins an Oscar it automatically means everything they touch turns to gold...

Seriously..

And I do hope some one re-makes The Hobbit in my life time...you're right on that one. sheesh...

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

(This post was edited by jtarkey on Aug 13 2013, 6:29pm)


architecthis
Lorien


Aug 13 2013, 6:29pm

Post #7 of 205 (1744 views)
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This isnt really helpful [In reply to] Can't Post

This kind of comment doesn't contribute anything to the conversation.

I've said this probably a hundred times either online on out loud to people - you cannot base the success of a film on it's Box Office. If that were the case Twilight and other abysmal nonsense would be held in the same regard as some of the greatest films of all time; besides the fact that, once again, that the OP wasn't asking about Box Office.


(This post was edited by Ataahua on Aug 13 2013, 6:34pm)


jtarkey
Rohan


Aug 13 2013, 6:38pm

Post #8 of 205 (1767 views)
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Those are all scenes that I loved as well [In reply to] Can't Post

Erebor is a good example of a deviation that works for me. Not what I was expecting, but still great in it's own way.

I can't share that sentiment with a lot of the designs/deviations we've seen so far though.

I also want to re-iterate (as I do fairly often) that I don't feel AUJ is a bad film per say. Nor do I feel Jackson is some type of corporate monster (I know of 1 whiskey fueled post that made it seem like I felt that wayCrazy) .There are things about it I really liked. But other things simply rubbed me the wrong way.

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


Darkstone
Immortal


Aug 13 2013, 6:38pm

Post #9 of 205 (1722 views)
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Yep. [In reply to] Can't Post



The only thing worse than Hollywood making a Tolkien movie that nobody watches is Hollywood making a Tolkien movie that everybody watches.

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”



architecthis
Lorien


Aug 13 2013, 6:38pm

Post #10 of 205 (1647 views)
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It's more than picturing things [In reply to] Can't Post

The Hobbit has an ethereal, lighthearted quality that PJ seems to be straying more and more from as more details are revealed.

The first movie was bombastic, jocular, overly action oriented and completely unbelievable.

But with regard to image and design - specifically character design - with the dwarves looking as unorthodox as they do, why didn't he just use colored hoods to differentiate them instead of having outlandish "silhouettes"? To me colored hoods, and they didn't have to be brightly colored, are more subtle than starfish hair or dwarves who look like elves.

May be one of the problems with these new films is that they are over-designed.


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Aug 13 2013, 6:38pm

Post #11 of 205 (1719 views)
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I don't believe he has been disrespectful to the book [In reply to] Can't Post

but I freely acknowledge that his version of the story jars with the book that many fans have in their heads, which is unfortunate but, I believe, inevitable when it comes to a decades-long popular novel.

I'm not thrilled with the design we've seen of Beorn, but I'll wait to see it come to life on the big screen before having a firm opinion of it.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Rostron2
Gondor


Aug 13 2013, 6:39pm

Post #12 of 205 (1642 views)
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+1 on this point // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 13 2013, 6:44pm

Post #13 of 205 (1636 views)
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Films can succeed on some levels and fail on others [In reply to] Can't Post

Obviously, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey succeeded wildly at the box office. The question here is, did it fail artistically? The answer is subjective, the film worked better for some viewers than for others. I think that much of it worked, but in some ways Peter Jackson is too creative and needs to be reigned in a bit. To me, this was most apparent with the Stone-giants and in the Goblin-town sequences.

From the single image that we've seen, Beorn doesn't bother me. I expect a very large, broad man with dark, shaggy hair and beard, dressed simply. That much is consistent with the calendar image.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


mcmojo
Bree

Aug 13 2013, 6:49pm

Post #14 of 205 (1645 views)
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Something from this film resembles the book [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

It's one thing to expand on something, but with a book so beloved as The Hobbit, you would think they would have at least tried to bring Tolkiens world to life respectfully. Beorns design is kind of the tipping point for me. Of course, no one would have wanted a boring "hagrid clone", but is it really too much to expect SOMETHING from these films to resemble the book? Especially something so easy as Beorn, who is described rather well?

At what point exactly has PJ gone too far? When exactly is is blatantly dis-respectful to the book? I would of course argue it already is, but what are some other peoples tipping points?


Is this your argument? That Peter Jackson and company have not made anything in these films that resemble the book? Nothing at all?

Personally, I think AUJ had many things in it that resembled the book:
1. Gandalf
2. Bilbo
3. Gollum
4. Goblin Town (regardless what you think of the action sequences - visually it matched my vision of the book.)
5. The Eagles' flight.
6. The Trolls
7. Bag End
8. An Unexpected Party
9. Balin
10. 15 birds in 5 fir trees

You know what it didn't get right? The emotional connection between Bilbo and Thorin. The book doesn't provide any glimpse of that until it's too late to really make much of an impact - at Thorin's death. It also gave us distinct personalities for all the dwarves - something the book doesn't do at all.

I'm just happy we have both the book and the films. The book will always be around and will always be a classic. The films won't do anything to change that.

At this point, it doesn't matter what image is released, or what the next trailer looks like, there is a segment of Tolkien fandom that will not accept it and will cry foul. I don't get that mindset, but everyone has a right to their own opinion.


jtarkey
Rohan


Aug 13 2013, 6:59pm

Post #15 of 205 (1628 views)
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A lot of those things were already established in the LOTR trilogy... [In reply to] Can't Post

And a lot of them I do agree were done right. But as far as new designs/deviations go...it's a different story for me.

Perhaps I let emotion get in the way of my point a bit, I just feel far too much is being changed for no reason other than to change it.

I would also argue that Bilbos relationship with Thorin isn't fully developed in AUJ, nor are any of the dwarves personalities given enough time to shine. How opinions can differ...

From my perspective, it seems like a lot of fans will just accept anything PJ decides to do simply because it's his vision. It just feels like people are forgetting a little about Tolkiens vision.

That's the nature of the beast though. People who like what they've seen so far notice more of the negative comments. People who don't notice the positive comments. Yin and Yang. Make a da' world go round...

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


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Aug 13 2013, 7:03pm

Post #16 of 205 (1618 views)
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My two cents' worth [In reply to] Can't Post

I think that threads like these are a good thing. In their own way, they help keep the community happy and stress free. It really helps a lot.

If you have a place here, to discuss your dislikes, then you can, as a dissatisfied fan, vent a bit and get other opinions, like-minded or not.
It also provides a place to promotes conversation and dialogue, though some of it could make up some good RR topics *hint, hint*.
Or maybe you're just down, and sad. We all have bad days, and topics like this can be like comfortable pair of sweat pants and socks, on a gloomy day.(I also recommend ice cream and some LotR bloopers!)

As a happy fan, you can just avoid the topic, the title says it all; if it is not for you, you can avoid it. Ignorance IS bliss, ask any young adult buying/maintaining a new house.
You can also avoid arguments,(don't read "respectful debate" here. It has its own place) Unless you're a troll. For the rest of us honest souls, let's face it, how many of you have read a person's post, whose opinion you respect, but with whom you disagree, and after reading their opinion, have ACTUALLY said/done this,"You know he/she is right! I've had an Epiphany! I'm going to change my opinion! I have been so wrong the whole time!" If you can stop laughing at my humorous example, you can see how ridiculous Internet arguments are.

I think someone else had a topic, "my problems with AUJ", it was a place for fans to discuss the perceived shortcomings of the film, without cluttering the other individual topics. One place for critical insight, collected, and nor spread over dozens of topics. I have seen a few news announcements, notably the Beorn photo/Tauriel announcements, become a bit cluttered with back-and-forth --point and counterpoint. Having topics like this can allow the negative and positive reactions to be shared and compared, creating a handy little resource, aiding a fan's critical approach to the films.

When all you want is news, it can be a chore to find it in the midst of all the typed exchanges, and important updates could even be lost!!

So my hat is off to jtarkey. Thank-you for creating such a place!


Owain
Tol Eressea


Aug 13 2013, 7:05pm

Post #17 of 205 (1588 views)
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Haha! So true. Thanks for that.// [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Middle Earth is New Zealand!

"Question everything, embrace the bad, and hold on to the good."


dormouse
Half-elven


Aug 13 2013, 7:05pm

Post #18 of 205 (1623 views)
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Nothing happened. The book is coming to life for me.... [In reply to] Can't Post

... and for lots of others too.

Some characters and scenes are exactly as I pictured. Others are completely different, but what's so wrong with engaging with someone else's vision of a place or a person and seeing where that takes you? That was one of the delights of the LotR films for me and I'm pleased to say that it's happening again. I'm really looking forward to seeing the Elvenking's realm - the glimpses we've had of it looked magical. And Mirkwood (spiders excepted) and Laketown.

And I'm sure they are treating the book respectfully. It struck me that one of hte things they stressed - and were careful to stress - in the most recent Empire article - was the centrality of the book, and Tolkien's other writing.

As for Beorn, all we've seen is a fuzzy (in more than one sense) back view. We haven't heard him speak or seen him move, we don't know how they will bring his character to life. I reckon he's going to be a whole lot closer to the spirit of Beorn than people are so far willing to concede.

I don't think we've seen anything blatantly disrespectful to the book. I don't think we're going to, either.


Owain
Tol Eressea


Aug 13 2013, 7:06pm

Post #19 of 205 (1595 views)
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Mods up.// [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Middle Earth is New Zealand!

"Question everything, embrace the bad, and hold on to the good."


RosieLass
Valinor


Aug 13 2013, 7:06pm

Post #20 of 205 (1631 views)
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In my opinion, he crossed the line with LOTR. [In reply to] Can't Post

So I didn't really have high expectations for the Hobbit.

I think that's why I'm not as bothered by the changes to AUJ.

I'm enjoying the parts that are awesome (the cast, the performances, the music, the set designs, the costumes), and I'm able just to say "meh" and move on when the the plot or the characterizations fall short.

"BOTH [political] extremes are dangerous. But more dangerous are team fanboys who think all the extremists are on the OTHER side." (CNN reader comment)

It is always those with the fewest sensible things to say who make the loudest noise in saying them. --Precious Ramotswe (Alexander McCall Smith)


MouthofSauron
Tol Eressea


Aug 13 2013, 7:08pm

Post #21 of 205 (1692 views)
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if FOTR had tanked at the box office [In reply to] Can't Post

you would be watching a direct to video release of TTT...if your lucky a direct to video release of ROTK with no possibility of The Hobbit being made, let alone made into a trilogy. So...yes, money matters. There will be no remake of either LOTR's or TH. Winning an oscar doesn't mean everything they touch turns to gold after but winning the first ever best director award for a fantasy film does mean something, and don't forget best picture.


take me down to the woodland realm where the trees are green and the elf women are pretty....Oh will you please take me home!!


RosieLass
Valinor


Aug 13 2013, 7:11pm

Post #22 of 205 (1630 views)
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A lot of crummy movies succeed at the box office. [In reply to] Can't Post

And that wasn't the point the OP was trying to make.

Monetary success and awards and all that...it doesn't matter.

The movie didn't work for him. He's entitled to think so. And to say so.

"BOTH [political] extremes are dangerous. But more dangerous are team fanboys who think all the extremists are on the OTHER side." (CNN reader comment)

It is always those with the fewest sensible things to say who make the loudest noise in saying them. --Precious Ramotswe (Alexander McCall Smith)


Elwen
Lorien


Aug 13 2013, 7:18pm

Post #23 of 205 (1640 views)
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I think those last three questions warrant answering... [In reply to] Can't Post

and I wish I could see more people's answers to them.

I will answer them, but let me start by saying that I loved FotR, was disappointed in TT but still enjoyed more than half of it, but by RotK, despite loving some scenes, I was feeling really let down. I did as so many on here encouraged me to: "Trust PJ." And I did, after the first film, but that trust waned somewhere between Faramir letting his men beat Gollum and Aragorn/Legolas/Gimli running from the skull avalanche. By the time AUJ came out, I was a skeptic, but still was very excited.

Once again, there were bits that were amazing. Bag End for example, I loved. I didn't care for PJ's interpretation of Goblintown, but it was a very interesting interpretation, and he's entitled to the artistic license. That said, I thought the stone giants were very silly and laughable, and really the whole ending with the wolves and trees and Azog just made me sad, because the (IMO) perfect image of Gandalf throwing flaming pinecones is completely obliterated by the ensuing overdrawn, made up fight scene.

So at what point had PJ gone too far? Well I think that is different for everyone. For me, it's when characters behave in a way they never would have in the books. Sam agreeing to leave and actually climbing down the steps for example, or Faramir at least starting to take his father "a mighty gift." I actually don't know that we've seen that yet in The Hobbit. Things have galled me (see the Rock'em Sock'em Stone Giants) but I haven't seen anyone behave out of character, except possibly Bilbo in the above mentioned fight scene. I'm not sure Bilbo was quite "there" yet.

It's blatantly disrespectful if it ever goes counter to the spirit of the book. That's a heavy charge to level. Do I think it's been as respectful of the book as so many people affiliated with the production keep saying it is? No, not even close. But it hasn't been blatantly disrespectful yet. Some things, like the beauty of the simple hobbit life, PJ & Co. have hit right on the head. If that wasn't portrayed in the sympathetic way it was, and was instead looked down on, that would be disrespectful.

I don't think I've reached my tipping point yet. I see a tipping point as where I can't take it anymore and I won't watch the movie at all. For example, I can fast forward over the stone giants bit, or the premature hero Bilbo defense of Thorin at the end of AUJ, and enjoy most of the movie. If however, I'm treated to any of the more far-fetched rumors we've heard (read: zombie anything, Mary Sue elves in love with dwarves, etc) that might be a harder sell for me to ever watch the film again, which would make me sad.

 photo Desolation-of-Smaug2_zpsc1584ee1.jpg
Tauriel: So let me get this straight sir, this Elwen girl is back on something called TORn, and rather than just tell her to stop stalking you, you'd like me to show up in a movie I have no business being in as a ploy to distract her, and nevermind the wrath of countless Tolkien fans who will be calling for my destruction?

Legolas: That about sums it up. Besides, some people might like you. Oh, and to be on the safe side, can we pretend to be a couple too?

(This post was edited by Elwen on Aug 13 2013, 7:19pm)


Marionette
Rohan


Aug 13 2013, 7:19pm

Post #24 of 205 (1608 views)
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It´s turning into a fanfic... [In reply to] Can't Post

Beörn appereance is not as alarming as Kili´s sacrifice because of Tauriel.
This is not a movie adaptation it´s a fanfic.
Well, it´s scary to think how close these two terms are movie adaptations=fanfics
PiratePiratePirate


"Dear friend good bye, no tears in my eyes. So sad it ends, as it began"
Queen



jtarkey
Rohan


Aug 13 2013, 7:20pm

Post #25 of 205 (1602 views)
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Sure, winning an Oscar means something... [In reply to] Can't Post

But what exactly is that something?

It means he did a good job with the film he won it for. Nothing more.

I guess I'm just not seeing what your point is. If FOTR tanked at the Box Office I would love it just as much as I do today. And if TTT and ROTK were the same film, but direct to video, I would love them just the same as well.

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

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