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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Official DOS fan reaction thread: part 3 - POST YOUR REVIEWS HERE

Eledhwen
Forum Admin / Moderator


Dec 14 2013, 8:09am

Post #1 of 16 (1048 views)
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Official DOS fan reaction thread: part 3 - POST YOUR REVIEWS HERE Can't Post

Part 2 is here

Post your reviews, thoughts and comments about DOS in here and remember - spoilers are likely.

Storm clouds


morgul lord
Rivendell


Dec 14 2013, 9:04am

Post #2 of 16 (605 views)
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Really liked it! [In reply to] Can't Post

That was an entertaining movie! Not exactly what I expected. The beginning felt a little awkward, and definitely rushed. The movie felt shallower in terms of Tolkien world building and lore, but had so much fun and action.

Overall it was awesome, especially after the first hour when I got used to the tone, and got more into the story. Liked Tauriel, but wasn't crazy about the Kili love stuff... but I didn't hate it, either. Legolas was a bit cheesy, but it was also good seeing a member of the Fellowsip again! I really loved everything about Laketown. Really liked Bard, and Stephen Fry as the Master. Smaug, as expected, was glorious. Loved the way he moved. The final battle was definitely a bit long, but I liked seeing more of Erebor.

My favourite part of the film, I think, was everything with Gandalf, Dol Guldur, and Sauron. That was so good.

Not sure which movie I prefer, but it could be AUJ, as I love all the "slow" Bag End stuff and I love Radagast (this movie didn't have enough of him!). Definitely planning on seeing it again soon, though!


(This post was edited by morgul lord on Dec 14 2013, 9:06am)


ElendilTheShort
Gondor


Dec 14 2013, 9:43am

Post #3 of 16 (614 views)
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just finished watching it a couple of hours ago [In reply to] Can't Post

I managed to enjoy the movie in itself, I would only loosely call it an adaptation of the book, the path of the main characters was close enough to the book apart from the dwarves left behind in Laketown and the biggest deviation by far is till the addition of the orc pursuers due to the desire to link in with the expanded portrayal of the Necromancer storyline.

In short I thoroughly enjoyed the film but this required mental distancing to a reasonable degree of the book from the movie.

I simply liked it all, everything bar a few minor blips, but nothing that detracted from the overall movie. Now I know this makes me sound like a Jackson fan boy but anyone who has read any of my posts know this is the opposite of the truth. Through some strange set of circumstances I find this to be the Middle Earth movie that has satisfied me the most, certainly on first viewing. When considered on first viewing only, none of the empty unfulfilled feeling of FOTR, none of the surreal alienation of TTT, at least as good as ROTK, and miles better AUJ which had too many parts I hated such as the sled chase, stone giants, goblin town video game, pine tree on a precipice and Thorins fake angry hug.

Smaug's magnificence cannot be overstated. The only downfall of him was the dwarf fight, and in this I only mean he suffered from the usual movie shortcoming, where the big baddie suddenly becomes slow, keeps missing things, can't quite hit his targets. Sort of like Shelob in ROTK, she was quick as, but all of a sudden when Frodo was hanging up in that web it took her forever to take a few steps. Smaugs design was PERFECT, there has never been or will there ever be in my estimation a better movie dragon. The wing joint as front claws worked perfectly and in somes ways made him more beastly, primal and dangerous. I find that front claws that are almost hand like anthropomorphise animals too much, this design avoided that problem. He is a beast pure and simple, with a cunning evil intelligence. The mouth movement when talking seemed natural, it went unnoticed, unless I was specifically examining it which in my book is a success.

Erebor was epic in it's size, grandeur and design.


(This post was edited by ElendilTheShort on Dec 14 2013, 9:46am)


ElendilTheShort
Gondor


Dec 14 2013, 9:51am

Post #4 of 16 (579 views)
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must mention [In reply to] Can't Post

probably the one thing I don't actually like is the fact that the black arrow will be fired from a Ballista not Bard's magnificent longbow that had an awesome close up when he first saw the dwarves.


Silranhir
Bree

Dec 14 2013, 9:52am

Post #5 of 16 (604 views)
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My fears for the adaptation are coming true [In reply to] Can't Post

I watched the film last night. Overall I thought the film was good. A solid 7/10. It felt a little clunky in places but I'll come to that later. The acting from everyone was superb as always. The visuals were excellent and effects top notch for the main. I loved all the locations, they were very well done.

Unlike AUJ, I saw my debut viewing in HFR. I have to say that whilst it does make things look clearer and more natural, I don't think it is ready yet to be unleashed in the majority of films especially films like The Hobbit. I just felt like it cheapened the whole experience and it makes the sets look like sets rather than locations. I think I'll stick to 24fps from now on. I really feel that my experience of the film was tainted by HFR. I'll find out if I go to a second viewing in 2d 24fps.

So, why the title? The answer is that long before the films were being made I re read the Hobbit and the thought occurred to me that the book would make a pretty poor film. On the surface, you think that it would be an easy task to transfer the pages into a film. But I think that it's becoming pretty apparent that the task is a lot more difficult than first realized.

Firstly, it stems from the fact that it is a book aimed at younger children. Because of that it has to be able to keep the attention of young children all the way through. When you read it you quickly pick up the fact that something major happens in every chapter. An example of this being that (from memory) the Dwarves get captured at least 4 times, that even my missus turned to me to say 'They keep getting caught.' during the film last night.

This constant quick and eventful pace is difficult to transfer into a film and is something that DoS suffers from. Then we have Jackson trying to fit in the 'background parts' of the film from the LotR books. I agree that they should be in there, you can't just have Gandalf disappear without showing why he had to go. But, it's something major happening to another character and you have to try to fit that into an already busy film/book.

The other problem is that the main antagonist of the book isn't actually the main antagonist when it comes down to it. Initially I had an issue with the Smaug/gold and fighting the dwarves scenes, but the more I thought about it the more I sympathize with the team. Smaug is set up as the main obstacle for preventing the dwarves reclaiming their homeland through the first film and even in the book. You begin to believe that he is the primary evil for them to overcome. The problem being that if you translated the book straight to film then the whole time from meeting Smaug to Bard killing him would be about ten/fifteen minutes long. If that happened then you would draw massive criticism because it would feel unsatisfying to kill off the perceived primary antagonist so quickly. Jackson has tried to lengthen the scene time of the dragon, which he was right to do, in order the give him the presence that the whole build up deserved. It also allows him to introduce the greater threat of Sauron and Dol Guldur properly. It may not sit right with me and others, but I can see why it was done. Also, because Smaug was so well done then I think it can be overlooked even if you don't like it. He was genuinely terrifying and so well voice acted that I wanted to see more of him. They certainly did him justice.

I can see the difficulties the team had with this book and it's translation into film. I also take issue with those critics who are stating that they have overblown the experience by stretching a 300 page book into three films. This shows a total lack of appreciation for the material it'self. Firstly because as I have said, the book itself is so fast paced that you need to try create elements to slow it down. Secondly the book may only be 300 pages, but there is so much inferred or left to the LotR appendices, that it would naturally swell the story to almost double if those chapters were included into the book itself.

I think that it could have been two films of 3.5 hrs in length at a push, but what do you leave out? The Bag end sequence? The Trolls? Rivendell? In which case are you making a film on the LotR appendices? Or, do you leave out the additional material and try deal with he pacing issues of the books themselves? Also this brings the issue of tying it all into the LotR. The Hobbit leads to the events of the LotR even thought the books doesn't really go down that path at all. So you have to try make that connection. Then comes the problem of trying to fit it all in.

It's difficult, and something I did see being an issue if the films were ever made. I think that Jackson has done a good job at a difficult task. I don't agree with everything, but I think I can see the reasons why it was done for the most part. It was never going to be easy to make these films, but I thin that so far both parts will be something we can all enjoy and something I will continue to enjoy watching in the future along with the LotR trilogy, even though they may never reach the great heights those films did.


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Dec 14 2013, 9:55am

Post #6 of 16 (561 views)
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Pretty much this. [In reply to] Can't Post

I had mixed feelings about AUJ, but I really enjoyed DOS, despite all the plot variation. I think probably because they'd already done the set-up for the diverging plot points, so at this point I was ready to just go along with it. And in so doing, I had a great time. Though there are always quibbles to be made, nothing bugged to the point of taking me out of the film and Smaug was truly Stupendous!

It's a "middle slice" of the story, which I think is both a drawback and an asset, oddly enough. A drawback because it doesn't have much of a beginning and even less of an end than any of the other films...but in a way, that frees it to be what it is: this is what happened between the Misty Mountains and Lonely Mountain. It's a journey from point B to Point C, with A already past and D yet to come, and so it just goes ahead and shows us what happens in between. No apologies, no set-up, no recaps or "previouslies", no winding down. These movies will really lend themselves to marathon watching because of it.

My review in ten words: SMAUG! Go see him! Oh, and some other cool stuff. Wink

Edited to add: I loved the HFR last year and I loved it even more this year. If I could lend the ability to see it through my eyes to those for whom it's not a good experience, I would. Because for me it works beautifully and is completely immersive.

Silverlode

"Dark is the water of Kheled-zâram, and cold are the springs of Kibil-nâla, and fair were the many-pillared halls of Khazad-dűm in Elder Days before the fall of mighty kings beneath the stone."



(This post was edited by Silverlode on Dec 14 2013, 10:08am)


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Dec 14 2013, 10:05am

Post #7 of 16 (541 views)
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Yeah, that's my main quibble too. [In reply to] Can't Post

Not least because it means an inevitable chase/fight scene in which Bard has to run and dodge his way from wherever to get up to that one tower to shoot his one arrow. I would have preferred they stick with his longbow, which he could fire from anywhere and just show him firing futilely until he pulls out his lucky Black Arrow. I just don't see how they can avoid being completely predictable this way.

Silverlode

"Dark is the water of Kheled-zâram, and cold are the springs of Kibil-nâla, and fair were the many-pillared halls of Khazad-dűm in Elder Days before the fall of mighty kings beneath the stone."



DanielLB
Immortal


Dec 14 2013, 10:07am

Post #8 of 16 (548 views)
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If Girion is portrayed as some sort of loser .... [In reply to] Can't Post

Why on earth do they display the original ballista on the tower? Or is it a different one? I was under the impression it was the same one.



ElendilTheShort
Gondor


Dec 14 2013, 10:23am

Post #9 of 16 (520 views)
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Propaganda [In reply to] Can't Post

it is a constant visual reminder of his failure, therefore that of his line which strengthens the political claim of the current ruler of Laketown.


mae govannen
Tol Eressea


Dec 14 2013, 10:52am

Post #10 of 16 (509 views)
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Your 'subject' is a bit misleading... [In reply to] Can't Post

I almost didn't open your post, in my apprehension of all the criticism on DOS it would most probably contain! I'm glad I was courageous enough finally to at least read it... and it turns out you do appreciate the film and how PJ managed to adapt a small book so difficult to adapt in the way that was needed! Thank you for pointing out so accurately the main challenges, and how Sir PJ solved each of them, at least to a great extent...
The HFR and your negative feeling about it is a different matter altogether, which I will not speak about, but for the actual contents of the movies themselves I found your opinion and what you are basing it upon quite interesting and fair..

'Is everything sad going to come untrue?'
(Sam, 'The Field of Cormallen', in 'The Return of the King'.)


syameese
Bree

Dec 14 2013, 12:16pm

Post #11 of 16 (505 views)
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better than AUJ, but [In reply to] Can't Post

Ok, I have seen the movie 3 times - all at 48fps HFR. A midnight screening at the Roxy at Miramar, and twice the next day at the Embassy in Wellington CBD.

Initial response on first viewing at the Roxy was that it wasn't very good. But, I was also mindful that my initial reaction to AUJ was disappointment and that I was possibly a bit jaded by the time of the midnight screening. So next morning I settled into my seat at the Embassy Theatre, front and centre, and from the moment the WB logo appeared I knew it would be a different experience. Sure enough I loved it and at the end I went straight back in for a third viewing. Bottom line is that I think it is better than AUJ in that the best bits are as good as those in AUJ, but there are less dud bits. Perhaps not a stellar rating, but the bottom line is that I am thinking of a very quick trip to Wellington next December if I can work out how to pack all the tissues I will need.

My overall disappointment with The Hobbit movies is that PJ has ditched the idea that he used in making the LOTR movies that this was a real world with real events and has gone down what comes across to me as a more cartoonish interpretation of how the world works. I have, however, tried to accept that this is how these movies are going to be and having done so now quite enjoy the Goblin Town and barrel sequences.

The prologue imo was the weakest start of any of the movies in that it needed subtitles to position it in the movie. But, I loved its content and how they redefined the quest to focus on pinching the Arkenstone as a means of getting an army that could defeat Smaug. This made the need for a burglar and the point of a small party attempting to enter the mountain way more plausible. Despite my quibbles about some of the film making choices, I do like that the adaptation of the story is exploring possibilities raised by Tolkien's later writings on the quest for Erebor. I think this movie excels in showing the beginning of Thorin's fall, and Balin is just beautiful.


I really appreciated the more subtle humour ( no burp or snot jokes!!!), loved Bombur outsprinting the dwarves after he hears bear Beorn. I also loved Beorn in both bear and human form. I would have loved to have had more time with him and I do wonder if he will reappear. But, I really hope he doesn't appear at the BoFA as he does sort of perform the eagle role of rescuing the day in the book.

I loved the Barrel scene (except how Bombur got a new barrel) and overall really enjoyed Thranduil, Legolas and Tauriel. Sadly, I think Tauriel is destined for the fate of Captain Kirk's love interests and will be killed off in TABA. I really hope that I am wrong as there will already be more than enough tissue moments in TABA, but I am struggling to see how they will avoid the lure of Tauriel dying trying to save Kili or something similar. I will give a thousand praises if they keep her alive, but I am not hopeful. Actually I want to start a rumour that she runs off with Radagast which explains why neither of them appear in the LOTR movies and saves them being killed off in TABA :)


Loved Smaug and his scenes with Bilbo - the best in the movie. The reveal of how big he is, his menace, his cynical wisdom fantastic, but sadly for me undone by the ridiculous end sequence. Wow I thought the end was bad, Thorin's burning coat to standing up and running scene and the wheel barrow surfing on molten gold summed up what looked to me like a Tomb Raider boss fight. Imo absolutely the worst conceived and executed scene in the movie and one that swamped the previous brilliant interaction between Bilbo and Smaug. It was as if Gollum had chased Bilbo out of the goblin caves after the riddle scene and they had gone on a Raiders of the Ark Disney ride. It made Smaug look like a dolt, look here, no over here ... I thought it was complete rubbish and weakened the film - rant over :)


On the plus side, I thought Azog looked way better and I loved the spider fight. But, hearing the spider talk after the ring was off was poor. Lake-town looked fantastic.

So overall a solid 6.5 -7 for me, cut the gold surfing and tidy up some continuity stuff and it could easily be an 8.


Erufaildon
Bree


Dec 14 2013, 1:34pm

Post #12 of 16 (457 views)
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I was dissapointed at AUJ [In reply to] Can't Post

I think I had too high expectations..

DoS however, I had 0 expectations, which made me really enjoy it. It was honestly an amazing movie, which I'll see again once I get home for Christmas!

AUJ: 6/10
DoS: 9/10


m.summers343
Bree

Dec 14 2013, 2:05pm

Post #13 of 16 (432 views)
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After seeing it... [In reply to] Can't Post

I enjoyed DOS a lot, there was just some things I would've changed or added in. The film felt so rushed in the beginning and it could've been slowed down at parts.

-Should have been more Beorn to slow it down.
-Take out the nonsense like "6 months later" and the flash of Sauron's eye after Gandalf sees the eye painted in the entrance to Mirkwood. I just felt like PJ was pointing out the obvious. IDK why this bothered me so much.
-More Mirkwood.
-More in Thranduil's Halls.
-More in Laketown
-Put the entire High Fells scene in that we saw in the "sneak peak" a while back. Nazgul should have attacked Gandalf in Dol Guldur, not Orcs
-Would have liked some shots in a ruined Dale
-End it with Smaug attacking Laketown! The film just seems like it does not have a complete story. This was not the proper way to end this. People behind me were complaining when it ended that way. Take out the Dwarves fighting Smaug, this is really unnecessary. Should have ended the film with Smaug's attack on Laketown.

I am fine with the Dol Guldur subplot left on a cliffhanger but to leave all story lines on a cliffhanger ending just made the film feel so incomplete... and now with Smaug's attack on Laketown, the attack on Dol Guldur, AND the Battle of the Five Armies ALL in TABA, I fear that TABA may feel either overwhelming, or larger than ROTK, when it shouldn't be.

I actually feel like AUJ was paced better. This film just moved WAY too quick. Should've been the length of FOTR or TTT with all of the material in it.

All in all 8/10.


priell3
Lorien


Dec 14 2013, 5:01pm

Post #14 of 16 (414 views)
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My wife and I saw it last night. [In reply to] Can't Post

First of all, when we arrived at the theater it was busier than I have ever seen it. Once inside the screen for DOS, I was impressed by the large turn-out. After enduring loud and seemingly endless previews for films weI have no intention of seeing, the lights dimmed and Howard Shore's opening notes came to our ears.

Bree/Prancing Pony - nice opening to the movie giving the usual M-E history lesson.

House of Beorn - The company certainly didn't arrive like they did in the book and the entire scene was rather short. Bombur outrunning the rest of the dwarves was pretty silly, especially since in the book they always complained about him being fat and a burden. Loved the bees.

Mirkwood/Spiders/Elves - Mirkwood looked mirky enough, but again all rather short. You get the feeling they went from the Carrock to capture in a matter of hours. Anyway, I guess the point of the company wandering around hallucinating replaced Bombur falling into the Enchanted River and falling asleep. The spiders looked great. Very believable. Not enough taunting by Bilbo with cries of "attercop" and such. I liked how Bilbo could understand their speech when he wore the Ring. No woodland feast for the dwarves to barge in on.

Elven King's Halls - Instead of lots feasting and Bilbo lurking we got talk of relationships and starlight. The method of escape by barrel was clever and entertaining if not entirely plausible. Tauriel was okay, Legolas mostly tolerable. The acrobatics during the fight scene on the river were overkill though the audience seemed to like it judging by the laughter and cheers.

Laketown - The company's arrival was not quite what I expected and the dwarves coming up from the toilet was unnecessary. I would have done it differently with Thorin making his "Thorin son of Thrain" declaration, but then again I'm not a film maker and hardly a critic. The company's stay in Laketown was brief with no feasting and no "Thag you very buch". Overall though, I liked Laketown and its inhabitants. The healing scene creeped me out. Tauriel glowing and lingering on-screen gave me the feeling it was about to turn into a porn flick.

The Lonely Mountain and Smaug - Did anyone else think the amount of gold was excessive, even by Dwarf standards? And Bilbo was making way too much noise on a mission of stealth. The dragon was impressive though and expertly voiced by BC. The dialog between Bilbo and Smaug was just a pleasing as Riddles in The Dark. I wasn't crazy about that whole under the mountain cat and mouse chase between the dragon and the dwarves. I think the filmakers add this stuff just for the sake of 3D effects.

As for the Gandalf/Necromancer subplot, it is nice to see an attempt made at connecting current events with what comes later when Frodo begins his quest. It probably helps those unfamiliar with the history of M-E while at the same time giving those of us hungry to see every age of the world on the big screen something to ponder.

It certainly didn't feel as though 2h 41m went by and we are left with two cliffhangers. When it abruptly ended, we wanted more. My wife cried out "That's it?". Now the countdown to December 2014 has commenced.

The movie was fast paced from nearly start to finish. AUJ starts out slowly, but DOS keeps you engaged from end to end. We both enjoyed it in spite of my comments above. I want to see it again soon and can't wait for the DVD, especially extended editions.

Howard Shore's soundtrack was perfect, as usual. I get the feeling he is from M-E or possibly of the Ainur that made the first music when all was void.

If you watch this knowing it is "based on the book" as stated in the credits, you won't be disappointed. The book is a lot of plodding through the dark by a bunch of dwarves and a hobbit; and that doesn't translate to big screen excitement especially when you are trying to please the masses. I do think PJ gets carried away with the comedy a lot of the time. I can take a little humor, but I'm supposed to be watching 13 hardened dwarves, not the Three Stooges (or in this case 13).

I'm sure there are hardcore fans out there that would want a word for word, book to screen version, but that would most likely translate into a 90 minute box office flop. Much the same way there are hardcore Jeep fans that think the design should never have changed since WW2. In both cases movies studies and Jeep would go belly up. Adaptation is necessary to succeed and survive.

Well that is my 2 cents. I can't wait to see the weekend box-office results.

MikeP


LPUAdit
The Shire

Dec 14 2013, 5:58pm

Post #15 of 16 (397 views)
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My favourite parts! [In reply to] Can't Post

So I watched the movie yesterday, and absolutely loved it.
When I went to watch AUJ for the first time, I had lower expectation and was pleasantly surprised. In my humble opinion, this movie blew AUJ out of the water.

I have read the book several times, and I can respect the changes and love both the movie and the book as separated entities.

Some things that I wish were in there was more of Mirkwood and Beorn but I cannot wait for the EE version to see more of this :D

My favourite parts of the movie were:

1. Barrel scene
2. Them entering the mountain for the first time (Balin crying)
3. Bard looking at the tapestry and realizing who Thorin is
4. The confrontation between Gandalf and Sauron was to die for...simply wonderfully done
5. I AM... DEATH


xy
Rohan

Dec 15 2013, 9:38pm

Post #16 of 16 (341 views)
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bigges letdown yet [In reply to] Can't Post

LOTR was so much better done than the Hobbit...

The good :

1. Smaug. Minus the silly scene where he doesn't notice Dwarves and Bilbo, by far the best thing in the movie. Well done in CGI and acting.

2. Beorn. Also awesome, great big bear.


3. Bilbo. Freeman continues to rule in this role.


4.Laketown Mayor. Stephen Fry's the hidden gem of the movie.


5. Elven realm and Laketown as locations.


The bad :


1. Tauriel in Legolas. Hobbit doesn't need pointless nods to LOTR or invented female characters acting like Rambo. What was that all about ?!?

2. Gandalf gets defeated by an Orc in one one combat. Yeah right. It would be also better had they kept the Necromancer identity as a secret until the end and gone with Orcs wanting to revenge the Big Toad death. Wisely the crackpot hippy Radagast is kept to a minimum.

3. With a title like that I fully expected Smaug to ruin Laketown. Not that lame "what have we done" ending. Worst ending ever.

4. Tempo issues : weak intro, glimpse of Beorn house, short time in Mirkwood and Elven kingdom yeat hours in Laketown.

5. Smaug leaves Bilbo and Dwarves alone in the mountain and flies off to wreck Laketown...seriously ? I hope the last movie at least tells us he scared off/ate the ponies.

Bonus complaint : exactly what is the point of that effeminate acting for Elven King ?

 
 

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