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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Why so much negativism?
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LittleHobbit
Lorien

Nov 12 2016, 5:49pm

Post #1 of 89 (3184 views)
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Why so much negativism? Can't Post

Ok, this is a somewhat longish rant, so bear with me.

I recently bought the Man of Steel DVD, because it contained the documentary "New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth, Part 1", since I had already purchased the three theatrical Hobbit DVDs, but Hobbit 1 didn't have the first part of the documentary, so after knowing that Warner Brothers had, for some unfathomable reason, put the first documentary in the MAN OF STEEL DVD, which is a movie that has NOTHING to do with the Hobbit series, and which really properly belonged to the first Hobbit movie DVD, I bought it solely for this documentary -- although I quite enjoy the MoS movie, so I figured I was making a good purchase in both ways.

Anyway, while I was watching the documentary, it made me realize how intelligent and a brillant filmmaker PJ is. The locations they choose for filming, how PJ said he already envisioned some of these gorgeous New Zealand landscapes for filming at the tender age of 6 or 7, how the documentary puts to shame the oft-repeated claim of "overuse of CGI" in the new trilogy, among many other things...

And then it kept me thinking: when such a film is so well-crafted and there is SO MUCH to admire in it, if nothing else in a pure technical view, why are some individuals SO BENT in finding fault with these movies? It is so clear that the entire cast and crew, not to mention PJ himself, worked so hard on all the details to make this trilogy the best cinematic experience possible, and yet it is argued almost every day that one of the reasons this 'trilogy' didn't went so good, was because PJ was...lazy! Out of all things...he is lazy! The guy who had 21-hour days of work on these movies. It's obvious for anyone that has done even a cursory research about this trilogy, how much thought and atention to details (i.e., love for the material at hand) went into the whole project, and yet it is all dismissed because...it didn't have a Talking Purse in it!

So why so much dismissal and hate for this trilogy when obviously so much competence and dedication went into it?

Any thoughts?


(This post was edited by LittleHobbit on Nov 12 2016, 5:52pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Nov 12 2016, 7:37pm

Post #2 of 89 (2969 views)
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Not lazy. [In reply to] Can't Post

I myself have called Jackson lazy in regards to his attitude towards how time and distance are treated in his Hobbbit movies, but that may be a poor choice of words on my part. It might be more fair to say that these are issues that are simply not important to him as a filmmaker. He would rather achieve a particular dramatic effect than treat those elements in a realistic manner, even if that means that Legolas and Tauriel go off on a mission that should take them around a month or more and return in a matter of days.

Jackson's other tendency to go off on wild digressions that have little or nothing to do with furthering the main plot (or with Tolkien's legendarium) is another topic unto itself.

"He who lies artistically, treads closer to the truth than ever he knows." -- Favorite proverb of the wizard Ningauble of the Seven Eyes


Silmaril
Rohan


Nov 12 2016, 7:45pm

Post #3 of 89 (2963 views)
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Yes, a lot of work went into this trilogy... [In reply to] Can't Post

And I'm sure PJ & his team gave their best. But the movies are simply not good in my opinion. That's the problem.


dormouse
Half-elven


Nov 12 2016, 8:18pm

Post #4 of 89 (2965 views)
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As many reasons as there are critics, I suspect.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Some people genuinely don't like the films, or some aspects of the films - particularly those who know and love the book and have their own clear ideas of what they want to see onscreen. Some of them find it hard to understand why others like them or, at the extreme end of the spectrum, even to believe that others like them.

And in a more general sense, it is hard, very hard to achieve a success second time around. The Lord of the Rings films were completely new. They took cinema audiences by surprise. They brought an imagined world to life onscreen in on a scale no one had even attempted before, and the impact they had was reflected in the unprecendented sweep of Academy Awards for the last film (and a great many other awards too), and in the catalogue of fantasy films that have been made since. So The Hobbit was launched on an audience that had seen it all before. Special effects? Yeah, been there, done that. Hobbit feet, pointy ears, Gollum.... So as the audience settled into their cinema seats saying "enchant us like you did before - excite us like you did before - take us somewhere we've never been before", they were actually asking for the impossible. You can only ever have the first experience once. Later things can build on the first but they can't repeat it. I think that's a factor in the way these films have been received.

But then, I can't talk because I don't feel any negativity, I enjoy the films.

For still there are so many things
that I have never seen:
in every wood and every spring
there is a different green. . .


StingingFly
Lorien


Nov 13 2016, 5:35am

Post #5 of 89 (2902 views)
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I am confident PJ and company worked hard to tell a story... [In reply to] Can't Post

...but it was an inconsistent and flawed one. I also didn't feel it consistently captured the spirit of the book, which is what I used to judge the films. Mentioning the talking purse is beginning to be a straw man in this group and doesn't suggest a genuine interest in the opinions of others, but I will offer mine none the less.
The landscapes were beautiful, but didn't have the same impact on the story as in LOTR. As I mentioned elsewhere, the theme of man vs. Nature was lost as the focus became chase scene...after chase scene...after chase scene. Mirkwood was enchanting...but the company didn't spend enough time there to build that sense of danger and despair.
Also, it is hard to admire the scenery when I am taken out of the story by a poop stained wizard drag racing across the screen on a bunny sled. Yes, a poop stained wizard drag racing across the screen on a bunny sled. I'm sure a lot of work went into creating this scene, but does not improve the movie, it actually makes the movie worse.
The films had some great moments and some of that magic that I felt when watching LOTR. Unfortunately, the lows were very low. Bad decisions that I attributed to the change in both directors and number of films. I give PJ the benefit of the doubt here, figuring he was forced into a difficult situation and did the best he could. The end result of his labors, unfortunately, was not a repeat of his highly successful LOTR trilogy.


Silmaril
Rohan


Nov 13 2016, 7:30am

Post #6 of 89 (2886 views)
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I agree [In reply to] Can't Post

Decisions like 3D, 3 films, overuse of cgi, a lot of story additions/changes were bad for the movies in my opinion and erased the spirit of the book. The bunny sled chase was the first point were I was totally disappointed. Did the studio wanted this action/comedy/love film?


(This post was edited by Silmaril on Nov 13 2016, 7:35am)


mae govannen
Tol Eressea


Nov 13 2016, 11:48am

Post #7 of 89 (2864 views)
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Your main point is probably true [In reply to] Can't Post

for many people, and is quite well stated. But for me, like for you it would seem, it was the opposite effect, and the second time was enjoyed just as much as the first... That's what love does, I guess!...Wink

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


dormouse
Half-elven


Nov 13 2016, 12:28pm

Post #8 of 89 (2858 views)
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Yes - I do love them [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't really accept that any 'bad decisions' were made - in the sense of objectively bad, bad no matter who is looking at it. If I decide to cross the road in front of a bus, thinking it's going a lot slower that it is, that's a bad decision. In making The Hobbit I'd say Peter Jackson made decisions which have proved controversial. There are things I didn't expect in the films and things they might have done and didn't. I just prefer to focus on all the amazing things that I see in the films - and, underpinning them, the same spirit, skill, and determination to achieve the impossible that made the Lord of the Rings films so extraordinary.

For still there are so many things
that I have never seen:
in every wood and every spring
there is a different green. . .


Noria
Gondor

Nov 13 2016, 1:02pm

Post #9 of 89 (2851 views)
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This [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Some people genuinely don't like the films, or some aspects of the films - particularly those who know and love the book and have their own clear ideas of what they want to see onscreen. Some of them find it hard to understand why others like them or, at the extreme end of the spectrum, even to believe that others like them.

And in a more general sense, it is hard, very hard to achieve a success second time around. The Lord of the Rings films were completely new. They took cinema audiences by surprise. They brought an imagined world to life onscreen in on a scale no one had even attempted before, and the impact they had was reflected in the unprecendented sweep of Academy Awards for the last film (and a great many other awards too), and in the catalogue of fantasy films that have been made since. So The Hobbit was launched on an audience that had seen it all before. Special effects? Yeah, been there, done that. Hobbit feet, pointy ears, Gollum.... So as the audience settled into their cinema seats saying "enchant us like you did before - excite us like you did before - take us somewhere we've never been before", they were actually asking for the impossible. You can only ever have the first experience once. Later things can build on the first but they can't repeat it. I think that's a factor in the way these films have been received.

But then, I can't talk because I don't feel any negativity, I enjoy the films.


It doesn't matter how much work and love was put into TH movies, how carefully they were made, how beautiful they are. Essentially, (fan) critics of these wanted either a more literal adaptation of the book they loved or something closer to the LotR movies. So neither group was satisfied and that is their privilege.

Before these movies were made, I believed that they would not be a close adaptation of the little children’s book because a) Peter Jackson, that lover of spectacle and excess, was producing/directing, b) the studios desire for another multi-film smash hit like LotR and c) LotR movie fan expectation of more LotR. It seems that nobody involved had any desire whatsoever to produce what would pretty much be a children’s movie. That ship had sailed long before.

Admittedly, I expected something that more resembled the LotR trilogy than we got, but after seeing AUJ I was glad to have something different, something that in its own way was closer to The Hobbit novel than LotR, book or movies. So I love TH movies too.


Ingwion
Lorien


Nov 13 2016, 3:46pm

Post #10 of 89 (2826 views)
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I like TH trilogy..... [In reply to] Can't Post

.......but if I didn't I wouldn't care in the slightest how much "love" or "dedication" went into it. That has nothing to do with the quality of the movie.

But I do like it. Aside from the Goblin -King's song, and a few other stupid "comedic" additions, that is....


It was a foggy day in London, and the fog was heavy and dark. Animate London, with smarting eyes and irritated lungs, was blinking, wheezing, and choking; inanimate London was a sooty spectre, divided in purpose between being visible and invisible, and so being wholly neither. - Our Mutual Friend, Charles Dickens.

It is said by the Eldar that in water there lives yet the echo of the Music of the Ainur more than in any substance that is in this Earth; and many of the Children of Ilúvatar hearken still unsated to the voices of the Sea, and yet know not for what they listen. - The Silmarillion, J. R. R. Tolkien


Dame Ioreth
Tol Eressea


Nov 14 2016, 3:42am

Post #11 of 89 (2751 views)
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Because I believe [In reply to] Can't Post

we are increasing living in what I call a Starbucks world.

It's easy for many to get used to being able to order exactly what one wants, be able to find what one needs and, on the internet, say exactly what one feels.

The common courtesies are less likely to be important and "being real" has gained in popularity. So instead of a short-lived "yeah it was good" or "Nah, didn't like it" there are those who feel not only the need to give their opinion multiple times at length but also feel the need to convince others they are right.

I want my Hobbit movie Venti, half caff, no whip, with sprinkles. You don't? Well you're wrong. It's the only way to have a Hobbit movie. No wait... that was my coffee order... Smile

_


Heed WBA when building blanket forts.
ITLs don't get enough FAS. :)

Where there's life there's hope, and need of vittles.
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings






LSF
Gondor

Nov 14 2016, 4:15am

Post #12 of 89 (2734 views)
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Nice post [In reply to] Can't Post

It's something I've noticed too. It used to be that if a person didn't like a movie or other media, they would write their review on their blog and leave it at that and soon enough forget about it. But now if there is anything you individually don't like about a piece of media, now not only do you tell other people they are wrong if they like it, but it's also become a lot more acceptable to tear down/attack via social media the creator themself for not making it exactly how you want it.

As for me, I discuss the things I like, because it's a waste of my free time to talk about things I don't like, especially when it doesn't come up in natural conversation and I have to go somewhere like an internet forum in order to talk about it Tongue


mae govannen
Tol Eressea


Nov 14 2016, 4:59am

Post #13 of 89 (2736 views)
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Then PJ's Hobbit movies [In reply to] Can't Post

happen to be more or less exactly what I personally would have ordered... except that I hadn't even known what to order, as I didn't like the book much to start with, and only thanks to the movies did I discover quite unexpectedly that the story could be made palatable for my taste - and had indeed been made so.
To my utter delight, movie after movie I saw that I had been right to basically trust PJ & C°, and that, except for a few mishaps in my eyes here and there, they had delivered the right goods as far as I was concerned!!!
So I can only be ever grateful that this new Trilogy exists at all, for if it didn't I wouldn't even have known what I had almost missed and now cherish so much, as still retaining the full story-line and lighter mood of the original childlike novel, and yet as also providing the enlarged, quite worthy prequel to the LOTR Trilogy that JRRT himself, through related writing of his, inspired to the film makers, and might have liked too, it seems to me...
And yes, it is true that the endless care and sheer love put by all into these films just as in the LOTR ones before, do endear them to me even more than just seeing the results, which I am fortunate enough to find almost absolutely to my taste, and I am so glad about it!...
Sorry, by the way, for those others who don't find them their cup of coffee...Smile

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

(This post was edited by mae govannen on Nov 14 2016, 5:03am)


dreamflower
Lorien

Nov 14 2016, 5:14am

Post #14 of 89 (2730 views)
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I enjoy all six of the films... [In reply to] Can't Post

But that doesn't mean I am blind to the flaws.

TH has some brilliant moments. There are some scenes in it that are easily some of PJ's best, as good as or better than any he filmed for LOTR. However, it was far more inconsistent than the first trilogy. Sadly, his decision to expand the story meant he was able to indulge his fondness for special effects and spectacle beyond what made sense for the story.

Something I have long thought about PJ is that his strengths do NOT lie in scripting a strong story. This weakness shows whenever he veers from the source material. Mostly he makes up for it with his strong visual imagination, and his genius in choosing an excellent team to put that imagination on film.

JRRT created Middle-earth for millions of devoted readers. PJ brought it to life in a way that was never thought possible by its author.

But that does not mean that there are not some cringeworthy sequences.

Some people call it fanfiction. I call it story-internal literary criticism.


Silmaril
Rohan


Nov 14 2016, 7:42am

Post #15 of 89 (2718 views)
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"cringeworthy sequences" [In reply to] Can't Post

I cannot enjoy a movie with "cringeworthy sequences". You?



dormouse
Half-elven


Nov 14 2016, 8:18am

Post #16 of 89 (2706 views)
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This :-) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

For still there are so many things
that I have never seen:
in every wood and every spring
there is a different green. . .


mae govannen
Tol Eressea


Nov 14 2016, 9:41am

Post #17 of 89 (2700 views)
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Well, the same for me... [In reply to] Can't Post

except that I was fortunate enough not to expect anything at all but something rather boring if to judge by the little book... so I was taken entirely by surprise, and it was a very happy surprise, and it keeps making me happy, having somehow doubled the great joy I already had with the LOTR Trilogy!

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


mae govannen
Tol Eressea


Nov 14 2016, 9:56am

Post #18 of 89 (2707 views)
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But they aren't the same [In reply to] Can't Post

for everyone!
Which shows that, as has been pointed our by several other posters here, it is all mostly a question of personal taste and of what each one's individual expectations were to start with... no "absolute cringeworthiness" of any given scene, actually!
And the same criticism has been made about the LOTR films too, let's remember that; and yet people tend to praise them today as if they were kind of flawless and nobody had ever found anything cringeworthy about them... So strange. Shocked

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


Silmaril
Rohan


Nov 14 2016, 10:36am

Post #19 of 89 (2693 views)
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I'm that disappointed... [In reply to] Can't Post

because there are some really AMAZING scenes in TH like

"Bilbo meeting Gandalf"

and

"Bilbo meeting Elrond (Extended Scene)".

They are perfect!!! There's so much heart in it and it's visually well executed.

If there would be nothing like that I would simply forget the new trilogy. But it could have been great and that hurts!!!

LOTR is not perfect, but nearly. TH is far away from it, in my opinion.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Nov 14 2016, 2:46pm

Post #20 of 89 (2674 views)
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Even JRRT admitted to the book's flaws. [In reply to] Can't Post

In retrospect, even Tolkien admitted that The Hobbit was a bit too patronizing and too 'twee' in places.

For me, it would have been enough for Jackson to bring the story more in line with the tone struck in the The Lord of the Rings, the Appendices and "The Quest of Erebor" and including the additional plot-points brought up in LotR. The seams start to show when he goes off on completely new tangents that are not derived from Tolkien.

"He who lies artistically, treads closer to the truth than ever he knows." -- Favorite proverb of the wizard Ningauble of the Seven Eyes

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Nov 14 2016, 2:47pm)


Kilidoescartwheels
Tol Eressea


Nov 14 2016, 5:42pm

Post #21 of 89 (2629 views)
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It's so funny [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm one of the biggest movie defenders on the site - although I can't say that TH was better than LoTR, I think it was nearly as good. Yes, there were a few "cringeworthy moments," but to me they were few and far between, and not nearly enough to ruin the whole for me.


Having said that, I find myself acting like some of the more negative posters when talking about "X-Men Apocalypse." Although I don't HATE it, I can definitely say I didn't like it and probably won't buy it, for much the same reason as the negative posters: Too far from the source material; inconsistencies in the storyline, parts that make NO SENSE AT ALL, contradicting it's own movie history, etc. etc. etc. The only way I can appreciate it at all is if I completely ignore all those comic books I read years ago....Tongue

I'd say I've entered my second childhood, but I never left the first!


Darkstone
Immortal


Nov 14 2016, 6:18pm

Post #22 of 89 (2630 views)
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Hipsterism [In reply to] Can't Post

For some the films are just way too popular to be cool.

Now if the films had failed miserably many of those same people would be extolling the movies as tragically ignored masterpieces that totally respected Tolkien and accurately represented Middle-earth in a way that the ignorant "sheeple" just weren't capable of appreciating. (For example, the horror that is Bakshi.)

Happens all the time.

******************************************

Fimbrethil, Warrior Entwife



Ingwion
Lorien


Nov 14 2016, 7:02pm

Post #23 of 89 (2612 views)
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Brilliant post [In reply to] Can't Post

Although I myself am probably guilty of this Blush


It was a foggy day in London, and the fog was heavy and dark. Animate London, with smarting eyes and irritated lungs, was blinking, wheezing, and choking; inanimate London was a sooty spectre, divided in purpose between being visible and invisible, and so being wholly neither. - Our Mutual Friend, Charles Dickens.

It is said by the Eldar that in water there lives yet the echo of the Music of the Ainur more than in any substance that is in this Earth; and many of the Children of Ilúvatar hearken still unsated to the voices of the Sea, and yet know not for what they listen. - The Silmarillion, J. R. R. Tolkien

(This post was edited by Ingwion on Nov 14 2016, 7:03pm)


dreamflower
Lorien

Nov 14 2016, 8:13pm

Post #24 of 89 (2588 views)
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Sometimes [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know of any film that is flawless.

It all depends on the rest of it--if there are things in it that I find worthwhile, I can overlook the flaws. Doesn't mean I don't notice them, just that they aren't as important to me as the parts I do enjoy.

Some people call it fanfiction. I call it story-internal literary criticism.


wizzardly
Rohan


Nov 14 2016, 11:39pm

Post #25 of 89 (2544 views)
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Simple... [In reply to] Can't Post

To understand it from the perspective of a Tolkien book fan, I now redirect you to the following comments by Christopher Tolkien regarding Jackson's LotR movies:

"They eviscerated the book by making it an action movie for young people aged 15 to 25."

"The chasm between the beauty and seriousness of the work, and what it has become, has overwhelmed me. The commercialization has reduced the aesthetic and philosophical impact of the creation to nothing."

Now take this and multiply it by 10, and you've got PJ's Hobbit.

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