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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Bad timing for the Hobbit trilogy?
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Gandalf the Green
Rivendell

Jan 11 2017, 11:30am

Post #51 of 67 (1993 views)
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By the way, Rogue One gets such a positive reception because... [In reply to] Can't Post

Because Rogue One is simply a great film that delivers in many ways.
It's nothing to do with "nostalgia" or that other nonsense, stop trying to justify the failure that was The Hobbit trilogy by putting it next to good films that succeeded to add to the world.

In fact, Rogue One managed to IMPROVE upon the existing lore of the Star Wars galaxy, and expanded upon the original trilogy (and all films in general) in a positive way. The Hobbit couldn't even keep a consistent tone and brought almost nothing new that was good to the table.


Noria
Gondor

Jan 11 2017, 1:26pm

Post #52 of 67 (1981 views)
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Fair enough [In reply to] Can't Post

If you were on LotR movie discussion boards fifteen years or so ago you know that many people loathed the first trilogy just as much as you and others like you hate The Hobbit movies and for many of the same reasons.

I am one of the lucky ones that love both trilogies and I don’t consider them that different, except in tone. The same things bother me about both: juvenile humour, some changes from the book, occasional clunky dialogue etc. On my first viewings of each of the six movies I felt that there were too many over-long action sequences but I came to appreciate the way those are choreographed and executed in order to tell a little story.

If anything, TH movies are truer to the book than LotR because Bilbo’s story has been adapted more-or-less unchanged and is still the core of the movies. Around that tale other stories are told as well, but Bilbo’s is still there.

I am old so both movie series are episodes in my almost half century long Tolkien fandom, not the whole of it.


Gimli1252
Bree


Jan 11 2017, 2:26pm

Post #53 of 67 (1987 views)
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Sorry but Rogue One gets a positive reception because.... [In reply to] Can't Post

it has STAR WARS in it's title and the fanboys cannot handle properly fan-service like Darth Vader, X-Wings, At-Ats etc .
Put these sci-fi characters and story in the context of any other sci-fi movie and it's a movie as generic as possible.
The story is not that engaging and the characters are underdeveloped.
Although, it's better from the prequel trilogy as a film but it's not great just mediocre.

In my opinion, The Hobbit Trilogy had some great characters like Bilbo and Thorin, Balin that you cared for them during the trilogy and a compelling story.
The problems in the Hobbit Trilogy arise in the execution, many scenes feel like filler and don;t progress the story.
I believe The Hobbit would be great if they had more time in pre-production and thought things through. .

''There is one dwarf yet in Moria, who still draws breath''


moreorless
Gondor

Jan 11 2017, 5:03pm

Post #54 of 67 (1970 views)
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I think nostalgia helped if not as much as with The Force Awakens... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Because Rogue One is simply a great film that delivers in many ways.
It's nothing to do with "nostalgia" or that other nonsense, stop trying to justify the failure that was The Hobbit trilogy by putting it next to good films that succeeded to add to the world.

In fact, Rogue One managed to IMPROVE upon the existing lore of the Star Wars galaxy, and expanded upon the original trilogy (and all films in general) in a positive way. The Hobbit couldn't even keep a consistent tone and brought almost nothing new that was good to the table.


Rogue One has definitely benefited from nostalgia to some degree (although not nearly as much as Abrams film last year where the hype and pent up demand was vastly higher) although I would agree its also benefited from being an excellent piece of cinema, the best Star Wars since the originals for me.

As far as opinion on the films themselves go I do think Rogue One definitely benefits from having a smoother flow to its plot than the Hobbit films that were often somewhat clunky plot wise. Equally though I think many people would make the same criticism of it you do of the Hobbit films. In both cases a lot of the drama does come from buying into the setting which some people aren't prepared to do although in both cases I think its setup well enough to work.

The benefit the Hobbit does have for me though is that telling the story over three films leaves more room for it to build its drama and add some complexity to it. Rogue One is ultimately a pretty simple heroic plot where as I think the BIlbo/Thorin story develops a bit more depth and ambition.

In terms of your point about tone I personally think that its a challenge Jackson had to meet, to try and do the Hobbit in the style of either the LOTR films or the book would IMHO have been a big mistake so some middle ground was needed. Speaking of SW as well I'd say The Force Awakens was just as if not more inconsistent in its tone without having much of an excuse for it beyond Abrams wanting to throw sitcom banter and meta humour at audiences.


(This post was edited by moreorless on Jan 11 2017, 5:09pm)


Gandalf the Green
Rivendell

Jan 12 2017, 11:11am

Post #55 of 67 (1893 views)
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There's not much truth to that. Fan-service is The Force Awakens, but Rogue One went well beyond that. [In reply to] Can't Post

It's a good film. The characters that needed development got it, as much as they needed it, and even the rest of the group became distinguishable from the rest. I cared more about half those guys after 1 movie than I did about Thorin after 3, let alone all the other dwarves. The 'goodbye' scene with Bilbo and all the surviving dwarves had no emotional weight, nobody really has any attachment to those dwarves. The only ones may be Balin and Bofur, but nobody cares about the rest of them because the movies didn't make any effort to get things that far. They mistakenly thought making them all look different would do the trick... Rogue One had a great cast of characters whom you all knew one way or another individually, some excellent worldbuilding and expanded upon the whole SW galaxy. I very rarely experience nostalgia, and I definitely didn't experience it during Rogue One, so that's definitely not why I found it so good. It actually carried emotional weight, whereas The Hobbit felt like a blank slate where nothing was engaging or believable enough to have much of an emotional impact, unlike Rogue One. Plus the action in Rogue One was simply very well done, whereas in The Hobbit, it was pure, unengaging trash 90% of the time, harsh but true, and the action was what largely ended up carrying the trilogy because it was crammed into every corner.


(This post was edited by Gandalf the Green on Jan 12 2017, 11:14am)


dormouse
Half-elven


Jan 12 2017, 4:37pm

Post #56 of 67 (1876 views)
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Whoa - I think that's a massive overstatement...... [In reply to] Can't Post

Not about your own feelings in relation to the two films, of course, but in your blanket assumption that everyone else feels the same. This:


Quote
The 'goodbye' scene with Bilbo and all the surviving dwarves had no emotional weight, nobody really has any attachment to those dwarves.


Is simply not true. Even a cursory glance through the threads on this forum over the years since An Unexpected Journey was released would tell you that there is a great deal of attachment to the dwarves. Even posters who are very critical of other aspects of the films single out that particular scene as a favourite, which exemplifies something Peter Jackson did get right, when, for them at least, he failed to capture in other parts of the adaptation. I can remember posters who praised Dwalin particularly; Balin has many more fans than your rather grudging mention suggests, so does Bofur; Fili is another great favourite and of course, Thorin won many hearts. Bombur's barrel ride was an audience favourite in each of the showings I attended. And when you suggest that all the emphasis went on their appearance you almost seem to be dismissing almost wilfully the care and thought that went into the characterisations - the family groups, the trades and skills, the acting... Much as I love the book, I think it's fair to say that the film dwarves are more differentiated and more developed - though keeping thirteen main characters going onscreen and giving them all a real part to play was never going to be easy.

Rogue One is a good film. I enjoyed it too but I don't see any sensible comparison. It had fewer main characters and no requirement to keep a whole company acting on screen together. I see moments of real emotional weight in both films, though The Hobbit has my heart. It has moments of real beauty, and I've noticed over the months that more people are coming round to appreciate the three films. Your disdain for it and preference for Rogue One may say more about you, your interests and things that move you but it certainly isn't a feeling generally held, either here on the forum or elsewhere. Put simply, you may have no attachment to the dwarves, but other people do.

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


Gandalf the Green
Rivendell

Jan 12 2017, 6:37pm

Post #57 of 67 (1864 views)
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Rogue One may have fewer characters, but The Hobbit is 410 minutes longer... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Rogue One is a good film. I enjoyed it too but I don't see any sensible comparison. It had fewer main characters and no requirement to keep a whole company acting on screen together.


It had fewer main characters but it also had MUCH fewer minutes of runtime, so this argument, too, is not very sensible. Rogue One managed to develop its main characters and even its lesser main characters with 130 minutes of screentime. Are you really going to tell me they couldn't have done much more than that with 9 hours, which equals 540 minutes (which is about four times as long as Rogue One), of screentime for The Hobbit? Well, maybe if the filmmakers didn't give themselves leeway to trip over their own feet by introducing half a dozen other characters and handing them a large part of the story, too.. as well as filler scenes and an unneeded romance. They wanted to add an emotional aspect to Kili's story, but refused to use much of Fili for this, added Tauriel and thus gave us much filler while neglecting poor ol' Fili. Almost every scene with Alfrid could've been cut in favor of character development for any of the groups of dwarves. You shouldn't need to have read up all their biographies and watched the behind the scenes in order to care about them.


In Reply To
Not about your own feelings in relation to the two films, of course, but in your blanket assumption that everyone else feels the same. This:


Quote
The 'goodbye' scene with Bilbo and all the surviving dwarves had no emotional weight, nobody really has any attachment to those dwarves.


Is simply not true. Even a cursory glance through the threads on this forum over the years since An Unexpected Journey was released would tell you that there is a great deal of attachment to the dwarves. Even posters who are very critical of other aspects of the films single out that particular scene as a favourite, which exemplifies something Peter Jackson did get right, when, for them at least, he failed to capture in other parts of the adaptation. I can remember posters who praised Dwalin particularly; Balin has many more fans than your rather grudging mention suggests, so does Bofur; Fili is another great favourite and of course, Thorin won many hearts. Bombur's barrel ride was an audience favourite in each of the showings I attended. And when you suggest that all the emphasis went on their appearance you almost seem to be dismissing almost wilfully the care and thought that went into the characterisations - the family groups, the trades and skills, the acting...


You mention Fili and Thorin here, but those two were both dead by the scene I mentioned, so they don't count here.
And of the trades and skills, I could see next to nothing.
All I remember is that they were said to deal in many different trades at the beginning of AUJ, had their own specialties and mostly weren't warriors, only to see every single one of them being little killing machines with high endurance rates. Even the old geezers. And most of them literally brought nothing to the table. Saying a few sentences doesn't count, you might as well have scrapped half of the dwarves since they deviated from the original story enough already. Would've been no problem. Have Thorin, Kili, Fili, Balin, Bofur, Nori and Gloin. There you go, all the important dwarves together, along with at least one dwarf per family group. Problem solved? But then I bet they didn't think of that...

As I said, Balin and Bofur, but not really many more than that.
And yet they show the whole group of them as if we're really meant to care about them. If you were to simply have watched the films without spending hours watching behind the scenes videos and reading up on these characters, I doubt you would've cared for them. And therein lies the problem - in order to care for more than 2 or 3 of the surviving dwarves, you need to have done a fair bit more than simply watch the films.

No matter that Bombur's barrel ride was an audience favorite in each of the showings you attended, that was one minute of Bombur in a ~9 hour trilogy. If that one scene makes someone care about that character, then their standards are wee low.


In Reply To
Much as I love the book, I think it's fair to say that the film dwarves are more differentiated and more developed - though keeping thirteen main characters going onscreen and giving them all a real part to play was never going to be easy.


They could've scrapped a few dwarves, taken the important ones, and put in at least one dwarf from every family. Problem solved. Or just develop them more tightly as groups - turning groups of two or three into, essentially, one entity each. Plenty of them were grouped together anyway, but most of them never brought anything to the table at all. And don't mention one or two scenes spread throughout the trilogy. They tried to give something meaningful to Dwalin by having him confront Thorin at the end, but by that point it was already too late. Balin should've been in his place, that would've been a lot more sensible. I wouldn't mind if they had just taken Dwalin out of the story entirely.

I wrote all of this while working on some things, so pardon me in case I may have repeated myself here and there.


(This post was edited by Gandalf the Green on Jan 12 2017, 6:37pm)


dormouse
Half-elven


Jan 12 2017, 7:03pm

Post #58 of 67 (1868 views)
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But you're still doing it... [In reply to] Can't Post

Long as your reply is, you've still avoided my central point.

You may not feel any emotional connection to the dwarves but others do. And the particular scene you single out as being without emotional weight is one which is singled out as one of the best moments in the films, even by those who are otherwise critical of them.

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

Jan 12 2017, 10:21pm

Post #59 of 67 (1840 views)
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I am another who felt an emotional attachment to the Dwarves. [In reply to] Can't Post

I loved them, all of them. Only a few were much developed as individuals but each had their unique look and little moments in the sun. All together they had a cheeky,fun and fierce group persona that I enjoyed. We saw that even toymaker and merchant Dwarves were still Dwarves.

I believe that it was always the intention to have most of the Dwarves be background characters, to fill out the Company of Thorin and literally provide a background for the featured Dwarves, Bilbo and Gandalf. It was a choice PJ made and I think it works brilliantly.

I was moved a number of times while watching these movies, sometimes to a few tears, for instance when Bilbo decided to go on the adventure, during the Feast of Starlight scene, when Thorin and Balin entered Erebor, when the Dwarves found their dead kin, at the murder of Fili, Thorin’s death, Bilbo and Gandalf’s silent scene of grief and comfort, and yes when Bilbo said goodbye to the surviving Dwarves. There are others.

Gandalf the Green, all that you say is perfectly true - for you. It is not true for me or for dormouse or for anyone else who genuinely likes TH movies. We’ve all thought about them and developed our opinions. You are, of course, entitled to your own opinion but your views, your reactions and feelings are yours and whoever shares them. That is not everybody.

Edited to add that I haven't see Rogue One yet ao I can't comment or compare.


(This post was edited by Noria on Jan 12 2017, 10:27pm)


moreorless
Gondor

Jan 13 2017, 8:10am

Post #60 of 67 (1814 views)
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Indeed, its always a criticism that felt pointless to me... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I loved them, all of them. Only a few were much developed as individuals but each had their unique look and little moments in the sun. All together they had a cheeky,fun and fierce group persona that I enjoyed. We saw that even toymaker and merchant Dwarves were still Dwarves.

I believe that it was always the intention to have most of the Dwarves be background characters, to fill out the Company of Thorin and literally provide a background for the featured Dwarves, Bilbo and Gandalf. It was a choice PJ made and I think it works brilliantly.


The criticism that all 13 dwarves were not well developed characters always felt pointless to me. Indeed I would say had Jackson looked to give all 13 deep characterisation and personal arcs that would likely have resulted in very confused cinema. As it is he gave 3 of them(Throin, Kili and Balin) significant depth, another 3 a decent amount of depth(Dwalin, Fili and Bofur) then went with quite simple characterisation for the rest.

I often see the example mentioned of Lucas's original idea of Luke rescuing an entire royal family from the death star in early versions of Star Wars and moving away from that being good storytelling but really it depends on the story your telling doesn't it?

The story Lucas had in mind in SW I think was best served by a small number of characters whjilst the story within the Hobbit I think depends on having a traveling party of Dwaves at many points(indeed the parts size is often a running joke). If the cast had been slimmed down to say the half dozen more notable Dwarves I don't think it would have been as effective.


(This post was edited by moreorless on Jan 13 2017, 8:14am)


Gandalf the Green
Rivendell

Jan 13 2017, 1:33pm

Post #61 of 67 (1800 views)
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Because you're right. [In reply to] Can't Post

Although you're now just ignoring all the rest.

I didn't word that properly. Saying 'nobody' was inaccurate, I should've pointed out that it must've been more likely to be that way for people who are less into the whole ordeal. Or people who simply weren't enthralled all that much by the whole thing, in the end. But I don't consider it as one of the best moments in the films myself, my favorite scene from The Hobbit was cut out of the trilogy entirely. (Bilbo, Gandalf and Bard with Bilbo planting his acorn in the soil and giving a heartfelt 'speech')

It didn't have much or any emotional connection for me (other than the usual 'bittersweet end of a long journey' feelings, but that is not to be confused with an attachment to the dwarves. Just Bilbo and Balin for me, honestly. The rest, with the small exception of Bofur even though his interactions with Bilbo were few, were just... guys who came along and kinda did things, kinda.)
It would've been a much better scene if I had known more about the dwarves and if each of them actually had a function within the group.


(This post was edited by Gandalf the Green on Jan 13 2017, 1:34pm)


Darkstone
Immortal


Jan 13 2017, 5:07pm

Post #62 of 67 (1790 views)
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"Too many hobbits!" [In reply to] Can't Post

I recall one of the suggestions Harvey Weinstein made for the one-film Miramax LOTR was to cut down the number of "extraneous" hobbits by getting rid of Merry and Pippin.

That's when Jackson resigned from the project.

So no way Jackson was going to cut the number of Dwarves for The Hobbit.

******************************************
“Begone, foul dwimmerlaik, lord of carrion! Leave the dead in peace!"
"Come not between the Nazgul and his prey! Or he will not slay thee in thy turn. He will bear thee away to the houses of lamentation, beyond all darkness, where thy flesh shall be devoured, and thy shrivelled mind be left naked to the Lidless Eye."
"Do what you will; but I will hinder it, if I may."
"Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!"
"But no living man am I! I am Eowyn, daughter of Theodwyn!”
"Er, really? My mother's name was Theodwyn, too!"
"No way!"
"Way!"
"Wow! Let's stop fighting and be best friends!"
"Cool!!"

-Zack Snyder's The Return of the King


Gandalf the Green
Rivendell

Jan 14 2017, 2:05am

Post #63 of 67 (1760 views)
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Yeah, right... [In reply to] Can't Post

https://youtu.be/t47TXEi0No0?t=203

Not much of a comparison, either. Merry and Pippin's roles were hundreds and hundreds of times more important and impactful than that of any than the dwarves that weren't Kili, Balin or Thorin.


moreorless
Gondor

Jan 14 2017, 4:23am

Post #64 of 67 (1746 views)
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Merry and Pippins roles [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
https://youtu.be/t47TXEi0No0?t=203

Not much of a comparison, either. Merry and Pippin's roles were hundreds and hundreds of times more important and impactful than that of any than the dwarves that weren't Kili, Balin or Thorin.


I think actually Merry and Pippin(and included Legolas and Gimli) in LOTR show you how Jackson matches depth of characterisation to plot significance.

The cuts Jackson makes mean that these characters are much more supporting roles in his FOTR and I think he gets them a degree of depth to match. The come TTT and ROTK when there roles expand he also expands the characters dramatically.

During the second half of FOTR you have a company of 9 involved, really not that much different from the Hobbit and like the Hobbit I think it plays into the nature of a lot of the scenes involved.

I do definitely think there are other arguments the Hobbit films became too complex for their own good in terms of all the elements involved in them but I also think most of these were trade offs that's helped the films in other ways. The Dwarves though I think Jackson got pretty much correct in terms of who he gave depth to and who he didn't, he wasn't confusing the plot by spending along time needlessly flashing out characters and he wasn't asking us to care about characters in a fashion that hadn't been built up IMHO.


(This post was edited by moreorless on Jan 14 2017, 4:26am)


Smaug the iron
Gondor


Jan 14 2017, 7:52am

Post #65 of 67 (1723 views)
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To be fear [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Not much of a comparison, either. Merry and Pippin's roles were hundreds and hundreds of times more important and impactful than that of any than the dwarves that weren't Kili, Balin or Thorin.

In the book Marry and Pippin's role were hundreds and hundreds of times more important and impactful than that of any than the dwarves that weren't Balin and Thorin.


Darkstone
Immortal


Jan 14 2017, 6:06pm

Post #66 of 67 (1697 views)
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Exactly! [In reply to] Can't Post

Despite it being blatantly obvious to you and I, Weinstein couldn't comprehend how important it was to Tolkien to have all four hobbits in LOTR. Similarly, others can't comprehend how important it was to Tolkien to have precisely 13 Dwarves in The Hobbit.

At least be encouraged you're a more perceptive Tolkien scholar than an Executive Producer of the LOTR films.

******************************************
“Begone, foul dwimmerlaik, lord of carrion! Leave the dead in peace!"
"Come not between the Nazgul and his prey! Or he will not slay thee in thy turn. He will bear thee away to the houses of lamentation, beyond all darkness, where thy flesh shall be devoured, and thy shrivelled mind be left naked to the Lidless Eye."
"Do what you will; but I will hinder it, if I may."
"Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!"
"But no living man am I! I am Eowyn, daughter of Theodwyn!”
"Er, really? My mother's name was Theodwyn, too!"
"No way!"
"Way!"
"Wow! Let's stop fighting and be best friends!"
"Cool!!"

-Zack Snyder's The Return of the King


Kelly of Water's Edge
Rohan

Feb 15 2017, 7:50pm

Post #67 of 67 (1392 views)
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The timing was necessary - at least for filming, if not release. [In reply to] Can't Post

For one thing, Christopher Lee's advanced age required his scenes be filmed immediately to ensure that he would be able to participate. As it was, production had to travel to him as he was too elderly to take the trip to New Zealand again. Even more crucially, Ian McKellen's Gandalf had to be filmed almost as soon for him to realistically play a Gandalf who was younger than he was in LOTR. There were, to a lesser extent, also the issues of the return of Ian Holm and several of the Elven characters before their actors visibly aged further. Bottom line, they literally couldn't wait any longer even if they had wanted to due to the reality of the natural aging of several key players. It's generally agreed that the situation wasn't optimal for several reasons, but it was what it was.
As for holding off on release for years later, that wasn't realistically going to happen. I'm sure the studio couldn't afford to wait that long to make back the money they put into the project, even if your thesis is correct, the cultural cycle was inauspicious, and the studio was well aware of it.

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