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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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Salmacis81
Tol Eressea


Aug 16 2013, 7:09pm

Post #176 of 205 (534 views)
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My opinion... [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
do people really think "GQ" when they see the movie version of Thorin?


It's pretty obvious that they intentionally "sexified" a few of the dwarves (notably Thorin and Kili), to the point that they resemble men more than dwarves. I'm sure part of it was the fact that the filmmakers felt they needed a few "eye-candy" main characters, but I also recall reading an interview with either Jackson or Boyens where they stated that they intentionally made Thorin more human-looking so the audience would be more sympathetic towards him. I find this logic kind of silly, because out of all of the dwarves in the film, I find Balin to be the most sympathetic and have the most emotional depth. And Balin is, arguably, the most dwarven-looking of all of the dwarves (just going by the aesthetic already established in film-universe).


(This post was edited by Salmacis81 on Aug 16 2013, 7:13pm)


mcmojo
Bree

Aug 16 2013, 7:17pm

Post #177 of 205 (522 views)
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Fair enough [In reply to] Can't Post

But "GQ"? The dwarves still look rugged. Thorin, and few others, might look younger, and more attractive than Tolkien intended, but so did characters from LOTR - Aragorn for one.


Salmacis81
Tol Eressea


Aug 16 2013, 7:23pm

Post #178 of 205 (514 views)
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I see what you mean, however... [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
If The Hobbit were translated to film the way many people on here seem to desire, I believe the audience wouldn't get to know any of the dwarves in any real way, they would have to adjust to a massive tone shift mid-way through the film, and they would be totally confused and put-off by the climax of the book happening off screen while Bilbo was unconscious.


...there is a difference between filling in blanks (like fleshing out the dwarves or depicting the attack on Dol Guldur), and outright contradictions (like Azog's survival and the Nazgul tombs). I am ok with additions to the story, just so long as they don't fly in the face of the canon. And we've gotten a whole lot of contradictory revisions so far from Jackson and Co.


mcmojo
Bree

Aug 16 2013, 7:29pm

Post #179 of 205 (501 views)
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True [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

Quote
If The Hobbit were translated to film the way many people on here seem to desire, I believe the audience wouldn't get to know any of the dwarves in any real way, they would have to adjust to a massive tone shift mid-way through the film, and they would be totally confused and put-off by the climax of the book happening off screen while Bilbo was unconscious.


...there is a difference between filling in blanks (like fleshing out the dwarves or depicting the attack on Dol Guldur), and outright contradictions (like Azog's survival and the Nazgul tombs). I am ok with additions to the story, just so long as they don't fly in the face of the canon. And we've gotten a whole lot of contradictory revisions so far from Jackson and Co.


I guess that is where I differ with some others on here. I don't care if the films contradict the book - as long as the films make sense, tell a good story, and preserve as much of the spirit of the book as possible. But, if contradictions really bother you, then I can totally understand why you have issues with AUJ. I just don't believe complete consistency with the text to be the most important consideration. It's a consideration, as I would not want to see important events or characters altered too dramatically, but it's not my chief concern.


Salmacis81
Tol Eressea


Aug 16 2013, 7:30pm

Post #180 of 205 (507 views)
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Yeah, maybe... [In reply to] Can't Post

But Aragorn at least looked like the race he was supposed to represent. Thorin and Kili (and to a lesser extent Bofur) look like really short men to me. IMO it's extremely noticeable when seeing Thorin depicted next to, say, Gloin, or Dwalin.


mcmojo
Bree

Aug 16 2013, 7:40pm

Post #181 of 205 (525 views)
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short men...exactly [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
But Aragorn at least looked like the race he was supposed to represent. Thorin and Kili (and to a lesser extent Bofur) look like really short men to me. IMO it's extremely noticeable when seeing Thorin depicted next to, say, Gloin, or Dwalin.


Who says that dwarves have to be anything more than "really short men"? Remember the dwarves at the Council of Elrond in FOTR? Would anyone - and be honest here - want to see 12 dwarves that looked like that for three films? Or would you want to see 12 Gimli clones with varrying hair color? If you say yes, then I don't know what to say. Personally, I am thrilled that PJ and company decided to make the dwarves unique and stand out from each other. I think the filmmakers have done a great job of showing that dwarves are as varied in appearance as humans are. There is no one-size-fits-all look for them, and I love that.

Now, could Kili and Thorin have been made to look a little more classic dwarf? Possibly. I wouldn't have minding seeing Aidan Turner sporting a fuller beard - like he did in the early cast photos when the actors were announced. But, I don't mind the look they settled on, and it certainly doesn't ruin the movie for me. Very few things in any adaptation match up perfectly with my imagination, so getting hung up on a few details just doesn't seem that productive to me.


Salmacis81
Tol Eressea


Aug 16 2013, 7:40pm

Post #182 of 205 (516 views)
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I hear ya... [In reply to] Can't Post

I haven't yet found any of Jackson's alterations bad enough to the point that I can't watch the movies (and that goes for LOTR and AUJ), but still, when I see Azog alive stalking Thorin, or Saruman falling off of Orthanc to his death, I can't help myself but get a little annoyed...


Salmacis81
Tol Eressea


Aug 16 2013, 7:43pm

Post #183 of 205 (518 views)
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It doesn't ruin the movie for me... [In reply to] Can't Post

And I really am not THAT hung up on it, but I still find it extremely noticeable, and it does take me out of the film a little bit. It has nothing to do with being "productive" or anything like that, it's just my opinion. To each their own, I guess...


(This post was edited by Salmacis81 on Aug 16 2013, 7:44pm)


mcmojo
Bree

Aug 16 2013, 7:47pm

Post #184 of 205 (504 views)
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productive...probably not the best word [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
But I still find it extremely noticeable, and it does take me out of the film a little bit. It has nothing to do with being "productive" or anything like that, it's just my opinion. To each their own, I guess...


Productive is not the best word, but it's what came to mind as I was typing that response. My point is, while plenty of details of these films don't match my imaginings, being bothered by them doesn't seem to be useful to me as I watch the films. I want to watch these films as independent creations - not as if I am holding a checklist, making sure that PJ is sticking to the books faithfully. Does that make sense? Watching a film that is based on a beloved book is a difficult thing to do - it's very easy to judge the film as something that it is not.


Salmacis81
Tol Eressea


Aug 16 2013, 7:55pm

Post #185 of 205 (503 views)
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Yes, it makes sense... [In reply to] Can't Post

I wish I wasn't bothered by the changes, so I sort of envy those of you who can look past it better than I can. With that said, I'm nowhere near as purist about the films as a few people I know (and probably some on this board). I DO like Jackson's films, but I'm not going to lie - I'd LOVE to see more faithful adaptations of TH and LOTR in the future, preferably in an HBO-style setting a la Game of Thrones. I don't think the story can truly be done justice with films.


(This post was edited by Salmacis81 on Aug 16 2013, 7:58pm)


mcmojo
Bree


Aug 16 2013, 7:57pm

Post #186 of 205 (496 views)
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That's my dream as well [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I wish I wasn't bothered by the changes, so I sort of envy those of you who can look past it better than I can. With that said, I'm nowhere near as purist about the films as a few people I know (and probably some on this board). I DO like Jackson's films, but I'm not going to lie - I'd LOVE to see an HBO-style adaptation of TH and LOTR a la Game of Thrones.


Give it some time, and then see someone like HBO do an epic series based on the books - and because it is a TV series, it could include The Old Forrest, Bombadil, etc... I might have to pay for HBO if that ever happened.


RosieLass
Valinor


Aug 16 2013, 8:20pm

Post #187 of 205 (490 views)
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I'm still waiting for the interactive, real-time, holographic adaptation. [In reply to] Can't Post

Cool
But really, as a semi-purist, I do have to say that part of the reason why I complain is that I just like talking about the films with people, and the most interesting discussions are when people don't necessarily agree. I have occasionally changed my mind about something when I hear someone else's thoughts and get a perspective that I hadn't thought of before.

"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)


Ziggy Stardust
Gondor


Aug 16 2013, 11:30pm

Post #188 of 205 (457 views)
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My anxiety about the new characters [In reply to] Can't Post

I will explain.
It's fine for a master to have some servants that do the dirty work for them. However, I don't want Alfrid to be just another mindless Igor-esque henchman, that we've seen in just about every story. There are so many Igors out there already, and with all the changes being done, it wouldn't surprise me if Alfrid ends up the Igor stereotype of serving the Master. And Tauriel, from what I've seen of her, is another boring trope that's been done already, particularly in videogames. But with Azog basically another videogame character, it shouldn't surprise me.
I thought Gamling was in the novel as well.


Ziggy Stardust
Gondor


Aug 16 2013, 11:35pm

Post #189 of 205 (445 views)
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As much as I liked movie Aragorn [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree, we're not supposed to identify with Aragorn, he's high and powerful like you said, and I'm find with that. I always found the hobbits, Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin identifiable.


(This post was edited by Ziggy Stardust on Aug 16 2013, 11:36pm)


Macfeast
Rohan


Aug 17 2013, 12:23am

Post #190 of 205 (428 views)
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Agreed, that line of thought just seems strange and contrived to me. [In reply to] Can't Post

In my mind, one of this team's strengths is writing likeable characters, be they hobbit, dwarf, or walking tree who lost friends he had known since they were nuts and acorns, and over the course of these four films (LOTR+AUJ), I have yet to find myself apathetic towards (and certainly nowhere close to disliking) a character intended to be sympathetic and likeable. It seems highly uncharacteristic to me that this team would suddenly be incapable of making a character sympathetic and likeable, and that they'd need to make such drastic visual adjustments to pull it off; Even when coming from the writers themselves, I find such a suggestion to be selling the writing staff much too short, and contrary to what they clearly are capable of.


(This post was edited by Macfeast on Aug 17 2013, 12:26am)


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Aug 17 2013, 1:04am

Post #191 of 205 (413 views)
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Exactly. My focal objection. [In reply to] Can't Post

I never had a problem with fill in addenda, so long as it made sense and seemed to appropriately flow with the rest of the story. However, directly defying the events spelled out in the history. . . especially events of enormous significance. . . that is a problem, and should probably result in the paddling promised by old Jasper on The Simpsons.

In Reply To

Quote
If The Hobbit were translated to film the way many people on here seem to desire, I believe the audience wouldn't get to know any of the dwarves in any real way, they would have to adjust to a massive tone shift mid-way through the film, and they would be totally confused and put-off by the climax of the book happening off screen while Bilbo was unconscious.


...there is a difference between filling in blanks (like fleshing out the dwarves or depicting the attack on Dol Guldur), and outright contradictions (like Azog's survival and the Nazgul tombs). I am ok with additions to the story, just so long as they don't fly in the face of the canon. And we've gotten a whole lot of contradictory revisions so far from Jackson and Co.


"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


Ardamírë
Valinor


Aug 17 2013, 1:10am

Post #192 of 205 (408 views)
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I kind of agree [In reply to] Can't Post

And kind of don't. Elrond says, "If Aragorn survives this war, you will still be parted. If Sauron is defeated and Aragorn made king, and all that you hope for comes true, you will still face the bitterness of mortality."

Emphasis is mine of course, but I think Elrond is encompassing everything that ever happens to Arwen. He doesn't deny that she could have a child, but that's not the point he's trying to make. He's simply saying that even if the best of the best happens and she has a wonderful life, ultimately mortality will creep upon Aragorn, and the two of them will be separated. I think he's just urging her to make that separation now and go to live eternally with him in Valinor.

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall.
As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last.
For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men,
it is bitter to receive." -Arwen Undómiel




(This post was edited by Ardamírë on Aug 17 2013, 1:12am)


Eleniel
Tol Eressea


Aug 17 2013, 7:57am

Post #193 of 205 (373 views)
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Exactly... [In reply to] Can't Post

Elrond looked into her future and saw DEATH....never mind how many children she might have with Aragorn, or how long he would live, she would ultimately die, and be separated forever from all whom she loved. Elrond's actions might seem selfish to us humans since we have no alternative and accept death as inevitable. We can't wish to live for ever with our children, but the Elves normally do and it is pretty inconceivable to them to want to give that up.

Plus, of course, he's already had the heartache of his twin making that choice and is desperately hoping his children will not desert him...


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


(This post was edited by Eleniel on Aug 17 2013, 7:59am)


dormouse
Half-elven


Aug 17 2013, 9:24am

Post #194 of 205 (366 views)
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OK, well.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Start with Gamling. There is a Gamling in the books - he's one of Rohan's military commanders, an older man who plays an important part in the battle at Helm's Deep. They used the name in the film for a different character - one who is always beside Theoden (just as Alfrid is likely to be beside the Master). There's a good reason for that. In a novel the writer can tell the reader what a character is thinking at a key point in the story. That can't be done very easily in a screen adaptation. It's much easier and more natural to have an extra character there to enable the lead character to voice those thoughts. That 'somebody' is essentially a foil - he or she shouldn't have much personality, for fear of distracting attention from the lead character.

So Gamling. He's there to let Theoden say what he's feeling. There's that key scene where he's helping Theoden put on his armour, and because he is there Theoden is able to voice his doubts about his own leadership and then launch into 'Where is the horse and the rider' - which is one of my favourite scenes in the whole film trilogy. I think they pulled it off brilliantly. In 'Return of the King' they tried giving Theoden's thoughts as a voice over, and I don't think that worked nearly as well. But forget what I think. Did Gamling work for you? Because if he did, there's every chance that Alfrid might be the same sort of non-character - a foil to show the audience what the Master is really like - and you might find him just as acceptable. Unless you've already made up your mind not to.

The comparison with video games that so many people make strikes me as quite funny. I don't play video games - except the Myst series, and that's a long time ago. But from the little I've seen of more recent ones - trailers and such, or when my nephew plays them - it strikes me that their designers fall over themselves to imitate films, so obviously there will be similarities. It seems strange to blame the film maker for that. But there's also a very big difference. With a game you're in the driving seat. You're making decisions, clicking buttons, constantly on edge - the player shapes the story. Films, like plays and even books are a much older form of entertainment. They require the audience the surrender the driving seat and let the story happen - to engage with a story that will go the way it will in spite of you, and that's a very different experience.


DwellerInDale
Rohan


Aug 17 2013, 9:59am

Post #195 of 205 (386 views)
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Agree with Dormouse [In reply to] Can't Post

Viewing Tauriel as just a purposeless addition or something out of a video game is no longer tenable after the release of the DOS trailer. She has a small but pivotal role to play in the overall story. Thranduil, and thus by extension Legolas, is for isolationism-- he never does anything about Dol Guldur, and he doesn't get involved in the sacking of Erebor. In the trailer he says it: "such is the nature of evil." In other words, you can't fight it. Tauriel, as the younger "less wise, more dangerous" elf, sees the evil of the orcs and decides that the elves should get involved-- hence her dialogue with Legolas, and her line, "it IS our fight." This will be the catalyst for Thranduil joining the BOFA and perhaps Legolas going out into the larger world. Many people were indeed skeptical about Tauriel in the beginning, but 95% of the comments made in the reaction to the trailer thread were favorable, including many by previous skeptics.

BTW Dormouse I'd been having the same thought about this "video game" criticism that's been popping up. It's a strange full circle. Today's video games are based on past role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons, which in turn were based on..Tolkien. Wink

Don't mess with my favorite female elf.




Salmacis81
Tol Eressea


Aug 17 2013, 5:39pm

Post #196 of 205 (338 views)
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I have to admit... [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not really bothered much by Legolas OR Tauriel. I know some see Legolas' presence as "fan-service", but IMO he has a legitimate reason for being in the films (he is the son of the Elven-king of Mirkwood, and would likely be considered highly-esteemed in that particular realm). As for Tauriel, well, the Elf captain in the book was a male, but I don't see changing this minor character to a female and fleshing it out a bit as problematic - just as long as they don't over-do it (we won't know that until the film is released). So I don't view the inclusion of either character in the same way I view Azog's inclusion, which I view as an example of PJ taking too much creative liberty.


glor
Rohan

Aug 17 2013, 5:51pm

Post #197 of 205 (321 views)
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Video Games [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
strikes me that their designers fall over themselves to imitate films



Yes and an awful lot of fantasy games developed in the English speaking nations have saught to imitate the visual style of LOTR. PJ's middle-earth doesn't look like a video game, video games look like PJ's middle-earth.

Not just that, many modern video games have better scripts, plots, visuals and creativity than the big tentpole blockbusters Hollywood churns out, give me Elder Scrolls over Marvel's The Avengers anyday.



Ardamírë
Valinor


Aug 17 2013, 7:36pm

Post #198 of 205 (299 views)
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100% agreed [In reply to] Can't Post

That's exactly how I see that scene. I think this scene and their scenes in ROTK really are just an expansion of that simple line in the book about their extreme sorrow at being parted forever. I love that that was shown in this way and not just glossed over. It's a pretty big deal for both of them.

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall.
As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last.
For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men,
it is bitter to receive." -Arwen Undómiel




Sinister71
Tol Eressea


Aug 17 2013, 8:02pm

Post #199 of 205 (314 views)
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I don't mind Legolas [In reply to] Can't Post

so much, I think his role should merely be a cameo but it is what it is. I'm sure there was some studio pressure to put in familiar faces from LOTR. That and Legolas would have been alive during that time so it would be possible he would play some role. I just personally think it doesn't need to be a large role. Tauriel, on the other hand, I just don't like the idea of some made up character that did nothing in the book to be such a big part of the films. People who know the book shouldn't have to get used to a character, be it a male character or female character. If that's the case maybe they should have stuck to the actual story instead of trying to invent new subplots that really don't matter to Bilbo's adventure.

We'll just have to wait and see personally I think the character of Tauriel is generic D&D done in bad taste from everything I have seen so far, but every one has their own opinions Wink


Ziggy Stardust
Gondor


Aug 18 2013, 2:34am

Post #200 of 205 (270 views)
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Sorry, I still disagree [In reply to] Can't Post

You and Dormouse like Tauriel, I don't, and I still don't see why she should be added, and given center stage. This isn't her movie, and Thranduil is a way more important character than her, he needs to be in the spotlight. That's my opinion. Despite the 95% liking her, I still see a lot of Tauriel hate. I can't change your mind, you can't change mine. We're all obviously on different sides of the spectrum, and that's obviously how it will continue for time immemorial.
Maybe videogame might not be a good word to use, but to me, she is still a mary-sue. And I don't dislike her because she's a female. Just read my other comments, I don't like Alfrid either, and I won't be surprised if he ends up another Igor trope. Again, my opinion I am just stating.

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