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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Now that we are several years out and multiple views later - rank your movie preference


Jan 4 2018, 7:54pm

Post #1 of 14 (4556 views)
Now that we are several years out and multiple views later - rank your movie preference Can't Post

Note - for me it is the EE editions being considered:
As I write this, I am leaning toward DOS as my favorite for all around effort. Of course, there are terrific (and not so terrific) scenes in all of them and I think I have in the past preferred BOFA slightly. So, just some very brief passing comments.

AUJ beginning is great....Gollum is great.....disliked certain over the top moments.
DOS.....overall, good - some quibbles.
BOFA .....some great moments, some over the top moments.

So, ranking...DOS, then split between AUJ and BOFA.

(This post was edited by Eruonen on Jan 4 2018, 7:54pm)


Jan 4 2018, 8:02pm

Post #2 of 14 (4512 views)
My preference is [In reply to] Can't Post

the order they appeared in. AUJ, DOS, and BOFA. They seemed to take more liberties as the series progressed. That's not to say I don't enjoy them for what they are, but faithful is not an adjective I'd use for The Hobbit films.


Jan 5 2018, 1:41am

Post #3 of 14 (4490 views)
Always a tough call [In reply to] Can't Post

I go back & forth between AUJ and DOS for favorite. I like them both for very different reasons. AUJ is closest to the book, and also a great journey. ( I didn't mind the stone giants, but the goblin tunnels were a little OTT.) I liked DOS for it's fast pace, the Barrels sequence, the Laketown set, and Smaug's reveal. As crazy as I am about Richard Armitage, I have to say Martin Freeman grabbed the "Best Actor" award in DOS, and possibly in AUJ as well. Martin's interaction with Gollum and Smaug really put his talents on full display.

I have no trouble putting BOT5A in last place, which is not to say I didn't like it. I've probably watched it as much as, if not more than, the other two. BUT that would be the EE only; the theatrical version was just not up to speed. I'd say BOT5A EE had some of the best action scenes (the ice chariot and Thorin's ice fight with Azog), plus that terrific moment with Bilbo and Bofur on the ramparts, but the story didn't flow as well. (Plus I have always hated that Fili & Kiili both die Unsure) And some of the dialog - yeah, you know the lineCrazy But I give best actor to Richard in this one. His descent into madness, "throw him from the ramparts," and that death scenePirate - it just can't be beat! I STILL get teary-eyed....

I'm not scared to be seen, I make no apologies - this is me!

from The Greatest Showman


Jan 5 2018, 1:47pm

Post #4 of 14 (4454 views)
I go back and forth [In reply to] Can't Post

between AUJ and DOS as my favourite.

I love AUJ in part for its fidelity to the book and for leaving out a couple of things I was glad not to see. I love Bilbo, Gandalf, Thorin and the featured Dwarves. The way that PJ took what was really too many indistinguishable book Dwarf characters for a film and used that fact to create a band of brothers with a distinct group character, spirit and ethos really works well IMO.

For me DOS is great partly because of its differences from the book, which are not so much differences as the opening up and expansion of the world of the Hobbit and its characters. I love Thranduil, Tauriel, Bard and yes, Legolas too. And above all I love Smaug, everything about him; this from a reader who was meh about the book dragon.

But the EE version of BOTFA is not far behind the other too despite the long battle sequences, the tragedies and the bittersweet ending.

Barrel Rider

Jan 16 2018, 2:29pm

Post #5 of 14 (4031 views)
Good question . . . [In reply to] Can't Post

That's a good question. My sister and I were just talking about this, because we watch all six films during the week of New Year's.

We have the extended editions of the first two Hobbit movies, but opted out of the third one. After tons of friends telling us that it was way too bloody and violent for them, we decided not to watch it. We don't do violent movies, and LotR is about as much as we watch. ;)

So, rating favorites . . .

As a film, I think that the DOS Theatrical edition is the best of all the Middle Earth films. The editing, recording, cinematography, everything is so virtually perfect. We bought and watched the EE of this one, and while the added Beorn was great, we really didn't like the change to the sound. The music was pushed lower in volume and the voices don't sound as good. After it being so wonderful in the Theatrical release, we just went back to that one. I think the Spider fight here is way more impressive than Shelob!

My personal favorite is AUJ EE. I just love the dwarves and the arrival at Bag End, the Eagles, etc. The Goblin Tunnels are too long and over the top, so we skip it, actually. One viewing of that Goblin King is more than enough. The riddles were done excellently, though! The White Council is great, and I love Lindhir. The trolls wouldn't have been bad, but it gets a bit gross with all the discharge and all, so that would knock off some points.

But I think that the best scene of all has to be the killing of Smaug in BOFA. No matter how many times you see that, it never seems old or even less than it should be. Totally amazing. Your heart breaks when the Line of Durin dies . . . three death scenes which leave you crying. But the end is brilliant. You can't help but need to watch LotR! Bilbo, of course, comes out so heroic in this one that I couldn't name all of my favorite moments!

So, that would be my order: DOS, AUJ and BOFA . . . for those reasons.

I know this will probably go against everything, but I actually prefer the Hobbit movies even to LotR. That's not saying that I dislike any of them. I love them all, but the Hobbit is . . . amazing.

For pictures of my needle-felted Middle Earth dolls: http://www.sarahbethonline.com/
For pictures of my wonderful cat, Samwise: http://pepperminttoes.weebly.com/samwise.html


Jan 16 2018, 10:04pm

Post #6 of 14 (3974 views)
For me [In reply to] Can't Post

1. AUJ EE - home feeling, introduction better color palette, similar to LOTR

2. DOS EE - Right after AUJ - dwarfs, entering Erebor, Bilbo, Thranduil, Thrain. Minor nitpicks - bad CGI before entering Morkwood (dwarfs on horses, entering the forest), bad CGI when Legolas is galloping on horse from the city. Legolas jumping on heads. To low music mix.

3. BOFA EE - much better than TE. But bad CGI (Gandalf vs troll), bad composing Bard, Thranduil and background city or army. Bad composing dwarf company in battle. Biggest complain - too low emotional impact. I'm hoping for longer utimate cut, with Thranduil gems and other slow scenes. Color palette - glow. Not "earthy" enough.

(This post was edited by Dipling on Jan 16 2018, 10:06pm)


Jan 16 2018, 11:05pm

Post #7 of 14 (3964 views)
just my 2 cents on the BOTFA EE [In reply to] Can't Post

Bloody & violent, hmmm - I realize it got an 'R' rating, but I didn't really think it was that bad. There was plenty of splatter during the battle, but it all came from orcs, trolls & wargs. No human, dwarf or elf-splatter that I can think of, though certainly there were corpses lying around. Been so long since I've seen the TE, I can't remember, but I think there's a scene in Dale where a bunch of bodies are kind of zoomed in on. Not in a graphic sense, but in a tragic one (like Fili's executionUnsure)
But there are some scenes in the EE that IMO more than make up for that. First, some additional battle scenes concerning battle rams that IMO are really fun, along with the twirly-things that Dain launches to stop Thranduil's arrows. Even better is the ice chariot scene (and yeah, there's some splatter), which is just 8 minutes of OTT action - too much fun! Plus both Bofur and Balin are featured in that scene. But it's not all just fight scenes. The funeral scene which IMO was wrongly cut from the TE. It's definitely worth seeing, and is probably still too short! But the very best scene is Bilbo and Bofur at the ramparts, which comes almost straight from the book. It happens right before Bilbo runs off to Bard's camp. It's very touching. I'm pretty sure you can find those scenes on YouTube, if you just want to see them without all the extra splatter.

I'm not scared to be seen, I make no apologies - this is me!

from The Greatest Showman


Jan 17 2018, 5:29pm

Post #8 of 14 (3881 views)
I can't... [In reply to] Can't Post

... for me each set of three is interdependent. They tell the same story. I'd never watch one film without the other two (over several evenings, of course!) and while I know them so well now and have favourite scenes running right through each trilogy, I have to stop and think which film any particular scene comes from, apart from the obvious beginnings and endings.

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

The Shire

Jan 18 2018, 9:16pm

Post #9 of 14 (3797 views)
My favorites --- [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh, boy . . . I have to say that my favorite all-over film (no parts I have to leave during or skip, etc.) is DOS TE. It has great flow, and the music is perfect and they move back and forth between characters really well. I didn't like the EE at all. The music track is way too low and kind of spoiled the overall feel. Made it seem more stage-y. I also disliked the added parts with Thrain. I loved the extended Beorn parts, though! Wish I could just add that section to the TE disc! ;)

I like the AUJ EE, as it has more Elrond (and other good scenes), although, as a whole, I skip about an hour of the film. the Goblin tunnels are waaaay over the top for me! I also don't care for the stone giants. Very well done, they are just a bit too much for me. However, I love the added Rivendell stuff and the extended White Council bits.

BOTFA (never seen the EE after reading enough reviews where people thought the violence was overdone) has what I would list as one of the top sequences from all six films --- the death of Smaug. When Bard kills that dragon . . . it is just absolutely amazing! You want to see him die, and that is a feat when it comes to killing animals. Oh, I get a sick stomach whenever I watch that still! Amazing! One of the other parts of BOTFA I love is the final fight between Legolas and Bolg. One of the best fights (IMO) in all six films, and many others besides.

My other highlight from the film is the Battle at Dol Guldur. When the White Council battle Sauron and the Nazgul. Absolutely amazing!

BOTFA has some parts that I don't care for as much, particularly Dain and the scene of Thorin on the gold floor. They ruined Dain. The dwarf, who in the book, Gandalf considers one of the best Dwarf leaders of all time, and they made him into a very crude character.

So . . . all-over film - DOS TE

Easiest to watch (lighter and not so emotional) - AUJ EE

Favorite sequences (that would rate favorites from all 6) - BOFTA TE.


Jan 24 2018, 8:31am

Post #10 of 14 (3619 views)
DOS > AUJ >>> BOFA [In reply to] Can't Post

I think that DOS was the best of the bunch as a film (though for me that's not a very high bar to clear), although AUJ is probably (relatively) more faithful as an adaptation. BOFA is a distant third for me, especially the EE. I thought that both AUJ and DOS were improved by their extended cuts, even though I think they would have benefitted from having a lot of other material cut out. However, I think that BOFA was actually brought down by its extended cut, which notably hurt the pacing and ruined the pitch of some of the more emotional moments of the film by interrupting them at awkward times for more action scenes.

All IMO, of course, and I don't begrudge anyone else their enjoyment of the films. Smile

(This post was edited by Eldorion on Jan 24 2018, 8:31am)


Feb 3 2018, 4:15pm

Post #11 of 14 (3363 views)
I like AUJ best. [In reply to] Can't Post

Liked its tone, Riddles in the Dark and the scene with all the dwarves singing.

I always follow my job through.

Chen G.

Feb 3 2018, 4:57pm

Post #12 of 14 (3361 views)
The Desolation of Smaug is the best [In reply to] Can't Post

Really, in each of these two trilogies, you are essentially discussing a single movie told in three parts, so trying to point to the best one is always going to be an exercise in splitting hairs.

That said, I do like The Desolation of Smaug a hair more than the other two, and An Unexpected Journey being my least favorite out of the series, although its still a good movie.

An Unexpected Journey is sadly too episodic. It works better in the Extended cut because that's intended for the small screen where the running time isn't as overbearing. But I can't help but feel that the theatrical cut of the film could do with the entire Trollshaws sequence removed: Its the one major setpiece (besides the framework story) that doesn't push the plot forward towards the mountain. Also, the Dwarves' table-manners humor will be too crude for some viewers.

The Battle of the Five Armies is a good movie. It has an excellent opening to "hook" the audience and I like how somber it gets, but its also the most CG-heavy of the lot, and often that works to its detriment, sadly.

The Desolation of Smaug is a movie that has propulsion. Some of that has to do with how much darker it is than An Unexpected Journey, and yet its not as grim as the third entry. I also feel like its the most iconic of the three. That is, the layman filmgoer would recall it as "the one with the huge dragon" or "the one with the barrel chase." It has stuff that is visually unique to it and that people will remember.

(This post was edited by Chen G. on Feb 3 2018, 4:59pm)


Feb 5 2018, 5:02pm

Post #13 of 14 (3198 views)
It's a tie!! [In reply to] Can't Post

But if I MUST choose, I go with:

1) EE DOS -- Laketown, Mirkwood, Beorn, Smaug (all awesome)
2) EE AUJ -- Seems closer to the book, which is a plus
3) EE BOFA -- Some of it I really love (the opening scene in Laketown, the conversation with Bilbo and Thorin, the dwarves' charge through the gate, the farewell and return to Hobbiton) -- but there is WAY TOO MUCH Alfrid (and I liked him in DOS) and WAY TOO MANY cheesy trolls (they seem much more cartoon-y than the trolls in LOTR)

I ONLY watch the EE's.

Chen G.

Feb 6 2018, 12:24pm

Post #14 of 14 (3164 views)
But that Alfrid meets the business-end of a troll is a plus [In reply to] Can't Post

Alfrid is an annoying, useless character, and I certainly would have edited one or two of his scenes out. But to see such an annoying character meet his end so freaking satisfying!

I actually really like Battle of the Five Armies. Its incredibly sobering in its war imagery, and it quite possibly has the best "James Bond" opening of the whole sextet, because its the only one that isn't a flashback but part of the sequence of the film.

(This post was edited by Chen G. on Feb 6 2018, 12:26pm)


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