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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
The Hobbit will almost certainly hold up as a bona fide chapter in a larger classic film series, despite the mixed and overly cynical reviews. .
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entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jan 20 2013, 9:48pm

Post #76 of 97 (220 views)
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Bilbo fretting over his handkerchief is from the book. [In reply to] Can't Post

It's possible you don't like this situation in the book, but the movie scene captures Bilbo's consternation very well.


Kirly
Lorien


Jan 20 2013, 10:47pm

Post #77 of 97 (204 views)
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Disagreement with an OPINION is not "denial", "group think", nor "echo chamber"// [In reply to] Can't Post

 

My avatar photo is Lake Takepo in New Zealand's South Island. Taken by me in 2004 on a Red Carpet Tours LOTR Movie Location Tour. 'Twas the Vacation of a Lifetime!


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Jan 21 2013, 12:03am

Post #78 of 97 (213 views)
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I put more stock in what was impressive. [In reply to] Can't Post

Among other things, in the places where it didn't stray into altering the appendices, it was often more true to the novel than the Rings films were. And the atmosphere was excellently reproduced in many places, and you still have yet to tell me, yay or nay, whether you thought things like the Erebor sequence or the Lonely Mountain anthem singing were superflous or tedious. If you are going to site the majority of the critics complaints to support your own, you should at least be complaining about the same things.

To the point of coagulation of stories. . .I disagree. There is the larger matter of the dwarf quest, which is prompted by and feeds into the larger matter of Gandalf and the Council. Now, I will go so far as to agree to this: they need to make it clearer that Gandalf already had at least some cause for concern, and has been harbouring suspiscions concerning Sauron for some time, otherwise the question of exactly why he set this journey into motion to begin with remains to be asked and answered. Otherwise, they mesh about as well as Aragorn considering reclaiming a lost throne, while Gandalf rides to Rohan to deal with Saruman and Rohirrim and the troubles of Ents, whilst Frodo plods on in the main quest. So, if they ever get back to Gandalf's initial concerns, he deems that it is important for this quest to move forward; during the quest he discovers more evidence that all is not well, which merits conferrence with the Council (yes, the way the council was called together could have been better handled, but it still essentially works). Thorin's old enmity with Azog (and, bear in mind, I already told ya I rather disliked the changes that were made to accomodate Azog) helps to establish him as a character (and he is a central figure to the story) and also potentially provides context for other matters yet to be explore. Upon leaving the more secure and better manned/dwarfed sanctuary of The Blue Mountains, Thorin, in the wild and with few followers (as Thrain was in the actual narrative, though unfortunately for Thrain he didn't have a Wizard, and certainly not two, watching over him), and thus becomes far more vulnerable pursuit by his foe Azog (as Thrain became vulnerable to pursuit by Sauron). Are their flaws to the execution? In some places yes. But it is not poorly done, over all, and the imperfections are certainly not enough to make it a bad or mediocre movie.


At the second point. . . well, there are thirteen of them. And they are, if anything, less well developed in the book. Thorin and especially Balin are wonderfully developed. I disagree about Bofur. I think his character shows through very well. He is a bon vivant, generally easy going and good humoured, with a penchant for wicked humour and the ribbing of others, but ultimately good hearted and compassionate, with a sympathetic disposition beneath his sporatic, teasing and jabs. Fili and Kili. . . I do wish that the movie had managed to point out that they are Thorin's nephews. This could have been done as easily as the revalation of Balin and Dwalin as brothers. That said, I did get from just watching that they were bold but not particularly experienced with life, and are very respectful of Thorin. Teenaged to early adult in their mentality and behaviuor: irresponsible, a tad reckless, inclined to take things with less seriousness than they might merit, but capable and competent nevertheless. Dwalin is a hardass borderline barbarian, with a general disregard for penny pinching and the sweating of what might be deemed small stuff. Gloin is surly and otherwise business minded (and clearly has a mind for treasure. . . "Nori, get a shovel"). Oin is, aside from being hard of hearing and amusingly less than fond of Elven music, the star gazer of the community: the reader of portents and speculator of signs. Bombur's a fatty Tongue. Ori is very youthful, very inexperienced, bookish and wonderlusting, polite and very impressionable. And Dori is all ettiquette and culturing, a tad fussy and a tad prim, and almost sycophantic attention to the powerful. Of the others, more is likely in the coming films. I never expected an additional five minutes for each of them to display themselves more completely. That would tack another hour plus onto the film. And, really, how well did you know Eomer? Haldir?Even Legolas and Gimli are not Exceptionally well defined in Fellowship alone. I will give you that Lindir had a few lines to many, and shouldn't have had ANY if Glorfindel wasn't going to get a nod. But I digress. lol


I did not get the video game feel. The wrap around rope and pendulum swing of the goblins, and a few of the other swing and ladder gags there were a bit too much in the vein of Indiana Jones, but. . . ehUnimpressed. I was so pleased that Gandalf actually displayed a feat of powerful magic like he was supposed to for the opening of that rescue scene that I couldn't be bothered to complain about anything else. lol. I didn't have a problem with the look of the goblins. Yes, I could have done without the excrement in Radagast's hair. Yes the falls could have been less dramatic, and the mace to the face was a bit much. Though none of it was any more over the top than Dark Knight or Avengers, so. . . And, I did not say the film was free of flaws. I said that the flaws were not sufficient to negate the many things I deeply enjoyed about this movie.

The missing of the handkerchief is a nod to the book. It was a big deal to him, and it also underlines his sensibliities of what is important at the time of his departure, and just how unprepared for The World he is at that stage. I entirely agree about the excess of snot and bathroom humour. It is an aspect of Peter's humour that I neither like nor particularlry appreciate, and I do think it detracted from the fil. But not enough to make the movie less than good.


I largely agree about the music, the overuse of old scores and the underutilization of the new.


I cannot agree at all about the emotion. I appreciated the fact that Freeman did not overact his face, though he used it quite effectively. The younger, prettier Wood could get away with going al wide eyed at every single thing to cross his line of vision. Freeman, thankfully, did not assume he could get away with the same. Thorin was very good, and his look and bearing were magnificent. Balin. . . I am more fond of him already than I ever will be of half the LOTR characters. I find Bofur both more amusing and less annoying than either Pippin or Merry, both of whom I too often wanted to slap the piss out of, despite generally liking them. I fundementally disagree with you on virtually all of your points in 6. And NOTHING in this movie was half as bad as Shadowfax killing Denethor, thank you. Nor even of Gandalf beating the piss out of Denethor. That could have been handled so much more tactfully. A locking of eyes and a subtle touch from Gandalf could have incapacitated Denethor in the same way that touching the Palantir caused Aragorn to pass out. It was just apalling excess played for laughs to have him beat the steward that way, in plain sight of the guards. I don't think the angered Gandalf moment was superflous HOWEVER, I do think it could have been better handled: primarily, I think if the dwarves had been shown to be more contemptous, dismissive of Bilbo and even, in some cases, mildly hostile, then his powerful interuption would have seemed better merited.

The flow of time is not always seemless in the LOTR movies either. This borders on nit picking. I do think it should have been further into evening when Azog crested the cliff top. To have him chasing the dwarves in daylight makes Saruman's special breeding of Uruk-Hai seem more redundant. But that is a consistancy error. I dislike the way the Nazgul and Witch-King are handled, in terms of what befell them in the Angmar versus Arnor wars, but I have been complaining about that from the beginning. Glorfindel and the true tale of The Witch-King's overthrow should have been mentioned. If they had altered it so that Glorfindel and the forces of Lindon, Arnor, Rivendell and Gondor had managed to capture and entomb him (through Elven arts etc.), and some of the other Nazgul had still escaped and not been seen again in the North etc. etc., I could have better dealt with that. As I have said, there ARE things I did not like, but they do not ruin the movie. Also, the Witch-King of LOTR is a creature of the supernatural. He is, as Eowyn puts it in the books, "Dwimmerliek, a Lord of Carrion. . . Dark Undead." What was buried was a physical corpse that can obviously be reanimated. Erebor is called the last of the Great Dwarf Kingdoms, not the last Dwarf Kingdom. The assumption can be made that the colonies in The Blue Mountains are akin to Rohan or the realms of the Dunedain after the Kings and Princes of Arnor failed in 1975-76 T.A., while Erebor would be more akin to Gondor, Thranduil's realm, etc. Moria is accursed and forsaken by the dwarves, beyond what Gandalf deems to be a reasonable hope of return. Men are Humans. Homo Sapiens Sapiens, as opposed to Homo Sapiens Immortalis? That is a non issue to me. Alright, Smaug's attack should have been at night, I will give you that. lol. Gandalf should have been less answerable, and parts of that scene, should have been more carefully handled. Gandalf refused to lead the council, despite Galadriel's wishes, because he refused to be subject to any summons or answerable to a committe, and it is hardly feasible that he would pass up the leadership position merely to take on a role of being even more accountable to others. I blame Phillipa as much as Peter for that. But, again, these inconsistancies are no greater than some of those present in the Rings films.


As I have said, this was not a perfect movie, and none of them are. Yet it was a good movie, great in some ways, and one which I very much enjoyed. From the scenes recounting Erebor, to the Unexpected Party, through the departure of the Shire I was essentially mesmerized. It gave me the sort of wondrous experience I had as a child seeing films like Willow or The Neverending Story. It was, literally, Wonderful. And I am not, as you know, one of the zealous champions of Peter. I am not one of the Jacksonians. When people say "trust Peter," my answer is, "let us see what he does first." I understand how some of the critics might have gone into the theateres already in a less than generous vein. I was vexed when I heard what was being done in terms of further expanding the film. And I thought, "well, damn, there goes any chance of a quasi faithful Hobbit." And I went in prepared for a LOT more bloated, never before heard of, Peter/Boyens/Walsh invented bull manuer than you would dare to shake a shovel at. What I got was A LOT less contrived bloat than I had feared (granted, two films to go, which leaves room for either right or wrong things to grow lol), and a lot of general faithfulness to the story. Indeed, I understand how some critics managed to be excessively negative based on prejudice. The notion that Jackson et al were getting carried away with themselves and taking too much license became pervassive, and having adopted a measure of that view myself, I know that it had the potential to sour one's mood, and that any critic who wasn't able to put it aside to view the film would be sitting in the theatre looking for everything wrong instead of enjoying the many things that were right.


And hell yes there were some things wrong. I am not one of those who will tie themselves into pretzels trying to justify everything and anything Jackson and Boyens see fit to do. BlackBreathalizer may huff and puff at me until he is blue in the face, and he still will not move me to a place where the rearranged Azog back story (and, more importantly, the root causes for that war and the driving motivation of the Dwarves) is as good as the tale given in the books, even if Thorin had to replace Dain as the rallying force and Azog slayer. The backstory given concerning The Witch King at The Council meeting, and some of the dynamics between Gandalf and the others, could also have been much better crafted and handled. But neither will anyone convince me that there was not an abundance of great storytelling at a number of points in this movie, nor that huge sections of the movie did not essentially capture the spirit and atmosphere of the book. The Erebor sequence, the bulk of The Unexpected Party, the early journey scenes with the Wizardly commentary, ". . . you were born to the rolling hills of The Shire. But home is now behind you. The World is ahead. . ." all of it was absolutely wonderful. And a solid hour of wondeful, with another hour plus of good, and maybe a combined half-hour of meh and the odd glaring inaccuracy, still adds up to a very good to rather great film in my thought.

In Reply To
1. Three stories that fail to congeal into a coherent whole...the Dwarves going to the Lonely Mountain & Azog's revenge & Radagast/Necromancer/White Council were totally removed from one another, resulting in total lack of forward momentum. Things just kind of happen one after another. The film drags, not because of the running time, but because we don't advance enough into the narrative for these stories to start relating to one another. Also, nothing's resolved by the end of the film; Bilbo's position in the Company has begun to ascend somewhat, but otherwise, nothing happens and nothing is achieved. Also, clumsy narrative structure, exposition, and dialogue.

2. General lack of character development for the Dwarves; other than Thorin and Balin, they're still cyphers at the film's end. Dwalin, Bofur, Kili, and Fili speak up pretty consistently, but speaking and actually showing us their character are two different things. Dwalin was bald; Bofur was James Nesbitt; Fili & Kili were younger and somewhat less clumpy-looking; Dori was pretentious; and Ori was geeky. Gloin & Oin were bit players with a few superfluous lines of dialogue each; Nori has one totally superflouous line; Bifur had one line in Dwarvish; and Bombur was an extra. After all the talk about how fleshed-out and sympathetic each Dwarf would be, after all the promises it just wouldn't be a pack of interchangeable Dwarves as in the book...that's what it felt like. Worrywort, Grinnah, and Lindir each had more dialogue than three of the Dwarves. And Thror had more dialouge than Bombur. And yeah, they'll have more screentime in the next two films, which will introduce a slew of new characters and more than likely feature less of the supporting Dwarves less than AUJ. A sequel that's a year away doesn't dispel with the failings of this movie.

3. Total over-use of CGI; looks like a video game. Also, production design often just bizarre, such as cartoonish Goblins or Radagast's hair tonic. Characters surviving endless enemies and enormous falls, maces to the face ETC strained creditability to the breaking point.

4. Also, too much cartoonish low-brow bathroom humor, such as Bilbo fretting over his lack of handkerchief, then being used by a stone troll as a handkerchief himself. Funny.

5. Overuse of music from LotR; it's distracting and can't be explained away as "thematic linking for a film that will come out in two years". Other than "Misty Mountains", not enough (new) strong thematic material in the score. Great themes from the soundtrack such as "A Very Respectable Hobbit", "Erebor" and The Dwarf Lords" went slightly used or totally unused.

6. A weird lack of emotion; even Bilbo seemed disconnected from the action much of the time (as opposed to the vast majority, I have no idea what Martin Freeman thought he was doing as Bilbo most of the time; we kept swinging between overly-effected to non-emotive. Also, he has one facial expression). The entire affair felt rushed, clumsy, soulless, heartless, and lacking the spirit, humanity, and artistry of LotR (yes, it's part of the series and needs to be compared to a precedent. The film doesn't exist in a vacuum so it can be held up as a success). Speaking of which, it relied too heavily on LotR iconography and nostalgia - Bilbo/Frodo bookend accomplished nothing, superfluous angered Gandalf moment in Bag-End ALA FotR, random Weathertop cameo, Azog bashing people with his mace ALA Sauron in the FotR prologue, come to mind.

7. Basic gaps in coherence and common sense & many lines which are contradicted by what's happened on-screen. Days and nights which are too quick (how do they spend an entire day in Goblin-town again? Then, it's sunset, then it's night again in 30 seconds? Shades of X-Men 3, another franchise continuation starring Ian McKellen in which things like time doesn't seem to adhere to the laws of physics/common sense). How could the Witch-King be in a tomb when he wasn't killed until RotK? How is Erebor the last Dwarf Kingdom of ME when other kingdoms are mentioned, including the Blue Mountains? Why do the Dwarves sing about dragon fire in the night when the attack happened in the day time? Why does Saruman call the Necromancer a "human sorcerer" when the term "human" doesn't exist in ME (it's the race of Men)? Why does Gandalf state he's not answerable to anyone, then spend 10 minutes answering to Saruman, Galadriel, Elrond? And so on...granted, these last criticisms are comparatively minor, and I'd have forgiven them had the rest of the film been decent.


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

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


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Jan 21 2013, 12:21am

Post #79 of 97 (203 views)
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I agree thoroughly about the dwarves, and largely about the humour. [In reply to] Can't Post

I still think the snot was too much, in the way it was over emphasized more than the moment itself. I could have dealt with and even been amused by Tom blowing his nose on Bilbo, if it had ended at that, but the five to ten seconds of lingering, dripping cgi mucous bordered on being revolting, and was utterly superflous. But I agee about some of the other low brow bits of comedy. The Three Stooges behaviour of the trolls (plausible enough, as irratable brutes would be expected to be mildly violent, even among friends), Radagast's fussy bunnies etc. (though none of these things come close, for me, to the comic value of Balin rolling his eyes and all but shaking his head as he speaks briefly of the shortcomings of some of the company lol), and the rest work well in a movie that SHOULD have, and thankfully did, give at least some mind, beyond the basic fact that it is a Wonder story, to the children whom the work they are adapting was originally intended for.

And, frankly (and in no small part due to some of the acting) I found some moments of emotion in AU Jrny, even more authentic than some of those in LOTR, though they were less dramatic and less elevated. Balin's assurances and advice to Thorin while they were still in Bag End felt utterly credible and authentic to me, and I was moved by it, even though no one was dying in those moments and neither the world nor the fate of a race hung in the balance.

In Reply To
I have to confess, I don't understand the hate some fans have regarding this film. As has been well articulated earlier in this thread, I suspect a lot of it has to do with unreasonably high fan and critic expectations along with the fact that The Hobbit is not as compelling a story as the Lord of the Rings is.

Captain Salt doesn't like the film and nothing I will say is going to change that. But I do have a few different perspectives regarding his critique:


Captain Salt:
General lack of character development for the Dwarves

First off, Jackson bowed to the wishes of the fans of the book and put 13 dwarves on film. Screenwriting 101 would have dictated eliminating such a large number of characters and give us five or six dwarves instead. Would fans have preferred that? Given Jackson's character-development challenge when every second of film is precious, I was impressed by how well the film makers pulled it off. I was particularly impressed by the individual looks of the dwarves on film and how the way they looked communicated things about their characters to the movie audience. After AUJ, I felt I had a good feel for the film characters of Thorin, Balin, Dwalin, Bofer, Kili, Fili, Dori, Ori, Gloin, and Oin. And while we may still have questions about them, we were also given a sense of who the film Bomber, Nori, and Bifer are.

Captain Salt:
too much cartoonish low-brow bathroom humor, such as Bilbo fretting over his lack of handkerchief...

Watch the film with children and you'll discover the 'low-brow' humor scenes were some of kids' laugh-out-loud favorites. I thought it was great to have the film makers so sensitive to the younger members of their audience--particularly since the film is an adaptation of a children's fairy tale. And Bilbo fretting over his lack of a hankerchief is straight from the book.


Captain Salt: A weird lack of emotion

In my opinion, the emotion in AUJ wasn't as powerful as FOTR, but FOTR set a high bar and frankly, I never expected it to be as emotional given the different story these films were telling. That said, I found the emotion in AUJ to be compelling. I was very moved by Bilbo's decision to spare Gollum's life. I was also moved by Bilbo's response to Thorin about why he came back--and later, by Thorin's gratitude for Bilbo saving his life. And one of The Most Beautiful Emotional scenes to me was one that was also wonderfully understated: The quiet moments at BagEnd leading up to Bilbo's abrupt decision to leave home and run after the Company.


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

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


Magpie
Immortal


Jan 21 2013, 1:30am

Post #80 of 97 (191 views)
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at some point, you have to consider that someone is just yanking people's chains [In reply to] Can't Post

and when I get to that point, I just stop engaging that person.

Anyone who relies on 'group definitions' of people hits that point pretty quickly for me.


LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
TORn History Mathom-house ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


Kirly
Lorien


Jan 21 2013, 2:21am

Post #81 of 97 (182 views)
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I have only just returned for a short time, but yes, began to think that yesterday.// [In reply to] Can't Post

 

My avatar photo is Lake Takepo in New Zealand's South Island. Taken by me in 2004 on a Red Carpet Tours LOTR Movie Location Tour. 'Twas the Vacation of a Lifetime!

pictures taken while on the tour are here:
https://picasaweb.google.com/Kirly7/LOTRNewZealandTour#


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Jan 21 2013, 3:10am

Post #82 of 97 (183 views)
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I don't know. I don't think being indelicate or over genralizing are definite signs of a Troll. [In reply to] Can't Post

Trying to heap squirrel dung and sage onto you are pretty good indicators though. Wink Yet, I think he is just dissapointed and perhaps a little over impassioned about it. When you feel strongly about something, and it seems a majority of others are inclined to dismiss your perspective, you (the general you) can sometimes react in excess. I can remember wanting to fight a few people over matters like Glorfindel from time to time. Lol. Tongue Wink.

I don't agree with the Captain on this matter, but I don't doubt his sincerity either, though I am inclined to think he has not measured out all aspects with due consideration.

In Reply To
and when I get to that point, I just stop engaging that person.

Anyone who relies on 'group definitions' of people hits that point pretty quickly for me.


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

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


Old Toby
Gondor


Jan 21 2013, 4:51am

Post #83 of 97 (177 views)
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Your very negative comments regarding fellow posters is uncalled for. [In reply to] Can't Post

Mad

"Age is always advancing and I'm fairly sure it's up to no good." Harry Dresden (Jim Butcher)


Captain Salt
Tol Eressea


Jan 21 2013, 6:14am

Post #84 of 97 (160 views)
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Again, this is simply not the case: [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Quote

I have to confess, I don't understand the hate some fans have regarding this film. As has been well articulated earlier in this thread, I suspect a lot of it has to do with unreasonably high fan and critic expectations along with the fact that The Hobbit is not as compelling a story as the Lord of the Rings is.


My expectations had hit rock bottom by the time I'd seen AUJ due to early reviews, and I initially enjoyed the film before I decided its flaws outweighed what worked about the film.

And additionally:

1. As ALREADY stated, AUJ should stand up as a passable film onto itself. I doesn't matter that there are two more films coming; it doesn't work as a stand-alone narrative.

2. I'm aware not all the 13 Dwarves were going to get equal screentime. However, I'd hoped for better screentime/development.

3. One of the most common defenses of Jar Jar.

4. We'll agree to disagree, then. I felt AUJ seemed totally "bleh".

My Top 5 Wish List for "The Hobbit"
5. Legolas will surf down Smaug's neck
4. Bilbo will be revealed to a Robot
3. Naked PJ cameo as Ghan-Buri-Ghan
2. Use of not only 3D, but smell-o-vision, plus the inclusion of axes coming out of the seats and poking the audience when appropriate
1. Not only keep the claim that Thorin & Co. ran amok in Mirkwood "molesting people", but depict said incident in vivid detail!!!!!

(This post was edited by Captain Salt on Jan 21 2013, 6:16am)


Captain Salt
Tol Eressea


Jan 21 2013, 6:20am

Post #85 of 97 (165 views)
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Eh, no but the kneejerk response of: [In reply to] Can't Post

"Your expectations were too high", "it's the first part of a trilogy", "it's aimed at kids", "you didn't want to like the movie/you're a troll", "it's in the book", or my favorite, the repeated refrain of "NITPICKING" to every critique of TH certainly is.

My Top 5 Wish List for "The Hobbit"
5. Legolas will surf down Smaug's neck
4. Bilbo will be revealed to a Robot
3. Naked PJ cameo as Ghan-Buri-Ghan
2. Use of not only 3D, but smell-o-vision, plus the inclusion of axes coming out of the seats and poking the audience when appropriate
1. Not only keep the claim that Thorin & Co. ran amok in Mirkwood "molesting people", but depict said incident in vivid detail!!!!!


Captain Salt
Tol Eressea


Jan 21 2013, 6:42am

Post #86 of 97 (154 views)
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Thanks very much for sharing. [In reply to] Can't Post

Mad

My Top 5 Wish List for "The Hobbit"
5. Legolas will surf down Smaug's neck
4. Bilbo will be revealed to a Robot
3. Naked PJ cameo as Ghan-Buri-Ghan
2. Use of not only 3D, but smell-o-vision, plus the inclusion of axes coming out of the seats and poking the audience when appropriate
1. Not only keep the claim that Thorin & Co. ran amok in Mirkwood "molesting people", but depict said incident in vivid detail!!!!!


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Jan 21 2013, 6:45am

Post #87 of 97 (160 views)
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Aaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllllll that typing I did to specifically respond to all that your long , 7 [In reply to] Can't Post

point post layed out, and you don't even respond to it? Aww the spite! Frown lol

And, to the second point of this . .. come now, it is more than passable as a film on its own, unless you are taking into account the fact that it doesn't have an entirely conclusive ending, in which case Fellowship and several of the latter Harry Potter movies, at the least, are also not passable. It is passable. It was a better movie, in most respects, than the much lauded Avengers. I saw and enjoyed Avengers. This was a better layered more finely crafted film than was that one.

In Reply To

Quote

I have to confess, I don't understand the hate some fans have regarding this film. As has been well articulated earlier in this thread, I suspect a lot of it has to do with unreasonably high fan and critic expectations along with the fact that The Hobbit is not as compelling a story as the Lord of the Rings is. And are you ever going to answer me regarding your views on the Erebor sequence, The Unexpected Party, and The Lonely Mountain song by the fireside? Those scenes alone were worth the price of Admission for me.


My expectations had hit rock bottom by the time I'd seen AUJ due to early reviews, and I initially enjoyed the film before I decided its flaws outweighed what worked about the film.

And additionally:

1. As ALREADY stated, AUJ should stand up as a passable film onto itself. I doesn't matter that there are two more films coming; it doesn't work as a stand-alone narrative.

2. I'm aware not all the 13 Dwarves were going to get equal screentime. However, I'd hoped for better screentime/development.

3. One of the most common defenses of Jar Jar.

4. We'll agree to disagree, then. I felt AUJ seemed totally "bleh".


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

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


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jan 21 2013, 6:52am

Post #88 of 97 (159 views)
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*points to top of the board* [In reply to] Can't Post

Perhaps a re-read of the "Courtesy of our hall" sticky is in order?

Be respectful of others even if you do not share their opinions. Respond with civility or do not respond at all.

This goes for everyone.

Silverlode






(This post was edited by Silverlode on Jan 21 2013, 6:53am)


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Jan 21 2013, 6:56am

Post #89 of 97 (154 views)
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I certainly hope he replies [In reply to] Can't Post

to me. Lol. I spent damn near a half hour on that lengthy, detailed response to his powerpoint presentation of criticisms. Tongue Lol Wink

In Reply To
Perhaps a re-read of the "Courtesy of our hall" sticky is in order?

Be respectful of others even if you do not share their opinions. Respond with civility or do not respond at all.

This goes for everyone.


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

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


Captain Salt
Tol Eressea


Jan 21 2013, 6:57am

Post #90 of 97 (148 views)
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I won't refute all of your counter-arguments, as clearly we're not going to agree [In reply to] Can't Post

but at least you've provided weighty counter-arguments with substance.

My Top 5 Wish List for "The Hobbit"
5. Legolas will surf down Smaug's neck
4. Bilbo will be revealed to a Robot
3. Naked PJ cameo as Ghan-Buri-Ghan
2. Use of not only 3D, but smell-o-vision, plus the inclusion of axes coming out of the seats and poking the audience when appropriate
1. Not only keep the claim that Thorin & Co. ran amok in Mirkwood "molesting people", but depict said incident in vivid detail!!!!!


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Jan 21 2013, 7:06am

Post #91 of 97 (155 views)
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Fair enough [In reply to] Can't Post

And don't fret, Captain. You are still a fave of mine for promoting a scene of the Dwarves living up to the novel and running about Mirkwood literlally molesting Thranduil's kinfolk. I am hoping it happens. Ahahahahah. LaughEvilLaugh lol

In Reply To
but at least you've provided weighty counter-arguments with substance.


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

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


Captain Salt
Tol Eressea


Jan 21 2013, 7:34am

Post #92 of 97 (155 views)
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Well actually, I'll just respond to your previous post in full: [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Among other things, in the places where it didn't stray into altering the appendices, it was often more true to the novel than the Rings films were. And the atmosphere was excellently reproduced in many places, and you still have yet to tell me, yay or nay, whether you thought things like the Erebor sequence or the Lonely Mountain anthem singing were superflous or tedious. If you are going to site the majority of the critics complaints to support your own, you should at least be complaining about the same things.

To the point of coagulation of stories. . .I disagree. There is the larger matter of the dwarf quest, which is prompted by and feeds into the larger matter of Gandalf and the Council. Now, I will go so far as to agree to this: they need to make it clearer that Gandalf already had at least some cause for concern, and has been harbouring suspiscions concerning Sauron for some time, otherwise the question of exactly why he set this journey into motion to begin with remains to be asked and answered. Otherwise, they mesh about as well as Aragorn considering reclaiming a lost throne, while Gandalf rides to Rohan to deal with Saruman and Rohirrim and the troubles of Ents, whilst Frodo plods on in the main quest. So, if they ever get back to Gandalf's initial concerns, he deems that it is important for this quest to move forward; during the quest he discovers more evidence that all is not well, which merits conferrence with the Council (yes, the way the council was called together could have been better handled, but it still essentially works). Thorin's old enmity with Azog (and, bear in mind, I already told ya I rather disliked the changes that were made to accomodate Azog) helps to establish him as a character (and he is a central figure to the story) and also potentially provides context for other matters yet to be explore. Upon leaving the more secure and better manned/dwarfed sanctuary of The Blue Mountains, Thorin, in the wild and with few followers (as Thrain was in the actual narrative, though unfortunately for Thrain he didn't have a Wizard, and certainly not two, watching over him), and thus becomes far more vulnerable pursuit by his foe Azog (as Thrain became vulnerable to pursuit by Sauron). Are their flaws to the execution? In some places yes. But it is not poorly done, over all, and the imperfections are certainly not enough to make it a bad or mediocre movie.

The thing is, one shouldn't have to spend this much time and energy justifying how the three stories intersect; certainly one didn't for the various plotlines in LotR, such as Gandy's being captured by Saruman in FotR, the three story lines in TTT or the over-lapping narratives in Rotk. All of these also were united by revolving around the fate of the Ring-bearer and those fighting the war instigated by the Dark Lord who was seeking him/it. Meanwhile, why is Azog hunting the Dwarves now after so much time? It feels arbitrary and contrived? If he were a pawn of the Necromancer, it should have been dealt with in the first film; as a result, the film feels more episodic than the book. Raddy shows up then disappears; there's the Azog episode, and so on. The signs and portents, as opposed to Gandy simply finding the map and key on Thrain, bringing them to the Blue Mountains, and starting the quest...again, it feels clumsy and contrived, IMO.

At the second point. . . well, there are thirteen of them. And they are, if anything, less well developed in the book. Thorin and especially Balin are wonderfully developed. I disagree about Bofur. I think his character shows through very well. He is a bon vivant, generally easy going and good humoured, with a penchant for wicked humour and the ribbing of others, but ultimately good hearted and compassionate, with a sympathetic disposition beneath his sporatic, teasing and jabs. Fili and Kili. . . I do wish that the movie had managed to point out that they are Thorin's nephews. This could have been done as easily as the revalation of Balin and Dwalin as brothers. That said, I did get from just watching that they were bold but not particularly experienced with life, and are very respectful of Thorin. Teenaged to early adult in their mentality and behaviuor: irresponsible, a tad reckless, inclined to take things with less seriousness than they might merit, but capable and competent nevertheless. Dwalin is a hardass borderline barbarian, with a general disregard for penny pinching and the sweating of what might be deemed small stuff. Gloin is surly and otherwise business minded (and clearly has a mind for treasure. . . "Nori, get a shovel"). Oin is, aside from being hard of hearing and amusingly less than fond of Elven music, the star gazer of the community: the reader of portents and speculator of signs. Bombur's a fatty Tongue. Ori is very youthful, very inexperienced, bookish and wonderlusting, polite and very impressionable. And Dori is all ettiquette and culturing, a tad fussy and a tad prim, and almost sycophantic attention to the powerful. Of the others, more is likely in the coming films. I never expected an additional five minutes for each of them to display themselves more completely. That would tack another hour plus onto the film. And, really, how well did you know Eomer? Haldir?Even Legolas and Gimli are not Exceptionally well defined in Fellowship alone. I will give you that Lindir had a few lines to many, and shouldn't have had ANY if Glorfindel wasn't going to get a nod. But I digress. lol

This seems to be relying just as much on the information from the press and marketing around TH than the film itself. If you hadn't read what the Dwarves were supposed to be in various materials, would Gloin still seem money-minded (why could he have not noticed the Troll treasure rather than Bofur)? The Dwarves as a group seem easy going, show concern for Bilbo, and good humored, so it didn't seem to me Bofur showed a real concrete persona apart from the others. Again, Fili and Kili seemed to me to be missed opportunities; Dwalin doesn't come across as warriorish save one small moment in Goblin-town (however, he announces "we have to get out of here/we can't fight them!" at other points in the film. As for the others, the little bits we got were hardly telling unless we expound on what wasn't in the film. Agreed Legolas and Gimli didn't get much development either, but they didn't need to be defined from hoards of other Elves or Dwarves; Eomer and Haldir were more minor characters, and Eomer's relationships to Eowen and Wormtounge, and his homeland were much more telling about him than most of the Dwarves, who we never saw interacting aside from Thorin and Balin.


I did not get the video game feel. The wrap around rope and pendulum swing of the goblins, and a few of the other swing and ladder gags there were a bit too much in the vein of Indiana Jones, but. . . ehUnimpressed. I was so pleased that Gandalf actually displayed a feat of powerful magic like he was supposed to for the opening of that rescue scene that I couldn't be bothered to complain about anything else. lol. I didn't have a problem with the look of the goblins. Yes, I could have done without the excrement in Radagast's hair. Yes the falls could have been less dramatic, and the mace to the face was a bit much. Though none of it was any more over the top than Dark Knight or Avengers, so. . . And, I did not say the film was free of flaws. I said that the flaws were not sufficient to negate the many things I deeply enjoyed about this movie.

So here we're agreed on some things; however, wouldn't it have been nicer had PJ had relying more on prosthetics and bigatures (never got why those couldn't have been utilized with the RED 3D cameras)?

The missing of the handkerchief is a nod to the book. It was a big deal to him, and it also underlines his sensibliities of what is important at the time of his departure, and just how unprepared for The World he is at that stage. I entirely agree about the excess of snot and bathroom humour. It is an aspect of Peter's humour that I neither like nor particularlry appreciate, and I do think it detracted from the fil. But not enough to make the movie less than good.


I largely agree about the music, the overuse of old scores and the underutilization of the new.


I cannot agree at all about the emotion. I appreciated the fact that Freeman did not overact his face, though he used it quite effectively. The younger, prettier Wood could get away with going al wide eyed at every single thing to cross his line of vision. Freeman, thankfully, did not assume he could get away with the same. Thorin was very good, and his look and bearing were magnificent. Balin. . . I am more fond of him already than I ever will be of half the LOTR characters. I find Bofur both more amusing and less annoying than either Pippin or Merry, both of whom I too often wanted to slap the piss out of, despite generally liking them. I fundementally disagree with you on virtually all of your points in 6. And NOTHING in this movie was half as bad as Shadowfax killing Denethor, thank you. Nor even of Gandalf beating the piss out of Denethor. That could have been handled so much more tactfully. A locking of eyes and a subtle touch from Gandalf could have incapacitated Denethor in the same way that touching the Palantir caused Aragorn to pass out. It was just apalling excess played for laughs to have him beat the steward that way, in plain sight of the guards. I don't think the angered Gandalf moment was superflous HOWEVER, I do think it could have been better handled: primarily, I think if the dwarves had been shown to be more contemptous, dismissive of Bilbo and even, in some cases, mildly hostile, then his powerful interuption would have seemed better merited.

Granted, Frodo had two facial expressions, but IMO Freeman felt too self-conscious in the part. I wanted to really feel for the Dwarves need to reclaim Erebor (we never saw their lives in the Lonely Mountain, just the finding of treasure as supervised by Thror which to be honest came off a but as a sweatshop). I wanted to feel for Bilbo's leaving his home behind to help the Dwarves return to there's, for Gandalf's struggles to avert the return of the Dark Lord...to be honest, the film came across as hollow and soulless. It swerved from flippant smugness to faux-drama, but again, it seemed like PJ wasn't really invested in the story he was telling, so why should we? However, I agree about the Denethor issue; he and his demise are one of my major complaints about LotR.

The flow of time is not always seemless in the LOTR movies either. This borders on nit picking. I do think it should have been further into evening when Azog crested the cliff top. To have him chasing the dwarves in daylight makes Saruman's special breeding of Uruk-Hai seem more redundant. But that is a consistancy error. I dislike the way the Nazgul and Witch-King are handled, in terms of what befell them in the Angmar versus Arnor wars, but I have been complaining about that from the beginning. Glorfindel and the true tale of The Witch-King's overthrow should have been mentioned. If they had altered it so that Glorfindel and the forces of Lindon, Arnor, Rivendell and Gondor had managed to capture and entomb him (through Elven arts etc.), and some of the other Nazgul had still escaped and not been seen again in the North etc. etc., I could have better dealt with that. As I have said, there ARE things I did not like, but they do not ruin the movie. Also, the Witch-King of LOTR is a creature of the supernatural. He is, as Eowyn puts it in the books, "Dwimmerliek, a Lord of Carrion. . . Dark Undead." What was buried was a physical corpse that can obviously be reanimated. Erebor is called the last of the Great Dwarf Kingdoms, not the last Dwarf Kingdom. The assumption can be made that the colonies in The Blue Mountains are akin to Rohan or the realms of the Dunedain after the Kings and Princes of Arnor failed in 1975-76 T.A., while Erebor would be more akin to Gondor, Thranduil's realm, etc. Moria is accursed and forsaken by the dwarves, beyond what Gandalf deems to be a reasonable hope of return. Men are Humans. Homo Sapiens Sapiens, as opposed to Homo Sapiens Immortalis? That is a non issue to me. Alright, Smaug's attack should have been at night, I will give you that. lol. Gandalf should have been less answerable, and parts of that scene, should have been more carefully handled. Gandalf refused to lead the council, despite Galadriel's wishes, because he refused to be subject to any summons or answerable to a committe, and it is hardly feasible that he would pass up the leadership position merely to take on a role of being even more accountable to others. I blame Phillipa as much as Peter for that. But, again, these inconsistancies are no greater than some of those present in the Rings films.

I don't remember strange time flow calling attention to itself as it constantly did in TH. The Nazgul tomb, with which I didn't have a problem until seeing the film put it in context, could have been explained away with a simple line about the Nazgul being "sleeping/beaten low until their master's power returned", or something to that effect. Nope. As said, these points are minor, and would have been forgiven had the rest of the film worked for me.

As I have said, this was not a perfect movie, and none of them are. Yet it was a good movie, great in some ways, and one which I very much enjoyed. From the scenes recounting Erebor, to the Unexpected Party, through the departure of the Shire I was essentially mesmerized. It gave me the sort of wondrous experience I had as a child seeing films like Willow or The Neverending Story. It was, literally, Wonderful. And I am not, as you know, one of the zealous champions of Peter. I am not one of the Jacksonians. When people say "trust Peter," my answer is, "let us see what he does first." I understand how some of the critics might have gone into the theateres already in a less than generous vein. I was vexed when I heard what was being done in terms of further expanding the film. And I thought, "well, damn, there goes any chance of a quasi faithful Hobbit." And I went in prepared for a LOT more bloated, never before heard of, Peter/Boyens/Walsh invented bull manuer than you would dare to shake a shovel at. What I got was A LOT less contrived bloat than I had feared (granted, two films to go, which leaves room for either right or wrong things to grow lol), and a lot of general faithfulness to the story. Indeed, I understand how some critics managed to be excessively negative based on prejudice. The notion that Jackson et al were getting carried away with themselves and taking too much license became pervassive, and having adopted a measure of that view myself, I know that it had the potential to sour one's mood, and that any critic who wasn't able to put it aside to view the film would be sitting in the theatre looking for everything wrong instead of enjoying the many things that were right.

It being a "good movie" and saying it's "one that I enjoyed", are two separate matters. ;) You've made it clear that this is your perspective with statements such as "I thought" throughout the discourse, but this is why it's impossible to present criticism of AUJ now that the culture of the board doesn't allow for it.

And hell yes there were some things wrong. I am not one of those who will tie themselves into pretzels trying to justify everything and anything Jackson and Boyens see fit to do. BlackBreathalizer may huff and puff at me until he is blue in the face, and he still will not move me to a place where the rearranged Azog back story (and, more importantly, the root causes for that war and the driving motivation of the Dwarves) is as good as the tale given in the books, even if Thorin had to replace Dain as the rallying force and Azog slayer. The backstory given concerning The Witch King at The Council meeting, and some of the dynamics between Gandalf and the others, could also have been much better crafted and handled. But neither will anyone convince me that there was not an abundance of great storytelling at a number of points in this movie, nor that huge sections of the movie did not essentially capture the spirit and atmosphere of the book. The Erebor sequence, the bulk of The Unexpected Party, the early journey scenes with the Wizardly commentary, ". . . you were born to the rolling hills of The Shire. But home is now behind you. The World is ahead. . ." all of it was absolutely wonderful. And a solid hour of wondeful, with another hour plus of good, and maybe a combined half-hour of meh and the odd glaring inaccuracy, still adds up to a very good to rather great film in my thought.

I actually have gone being an ardent defender of the film back in the days where there were petitions to remove Bofur's head ornament and for Kili to grow a beard, to get rid of Itaril/Tauriel, ETC; to doubting the film after the three-film decision and the full trailer; to being ready tor AUJ to be a disaster following many mixed to negative early reviews; to really enjoying AUJ the first time I went to it; to finding it to be a pretty dysfunctional and disappointing film. I wish I could find more in the film that worked that material that didn't, but having approached AUJ from various angles and considering it ad nauseum, this is the stance at which I've ended up. Being a former AUJ supporter, I understand what is being said, but can't agree with it. Hopefully, I'd find Films 2 and 3 more appealing. Smile


In Reply To
1. Three stories that fail to congeal into a coherent whole...the Dwarves going to the Lonely Mountain & Azog's revenge & Radagast/Necromancer/White Council were totally removed from one another, resulting in total lack of forward momentum. Things just kind of happen one after another. The film drags, not because of the running time, but because we don't advance enough into the narrative for these stories to start relating to one another. Also, nothing's resolved by the end of the film; Bilbo's position in the Company has begun to ascend somewhat, but otherwise, nothing happens and nothing is achieved. Also, clumsy narrative structure, exposition, and dialogue.

2. General lack of character development for the Dwarves; other than Thorin and Balin, they're still cyphers at the film's end. Dwalin, Bofur, Kili, and Fili speak up pretty consistently, but speaking and actually showing us their character are two different things. Dwalin was bald; Bofur was James Nesbitt; Fili & Kili were younger and somewhat less clumpy-looking; Dori was pretentious; and Ori was geeky. Gloin & Oin were bit players with a few superfluous lines of dialogue each; Nori has one totally superflouous line; Bifur had one line in Dwarvish; and Bombur was an extra. After all the talk about how fleshed-out and sympathetic each Dwarf would be, after all the promises it just wouldn't be a pack of interchangeable Dwarves as in the book...that's what it felt like. Worrywort, Grinnah, and Lindir each had more dialogue than three of the Dwarves. And Thror had more dialouge than Bombur. And yeah, they'll have more screentime in the next two films, which will introduce a slew of new characters and more than likely feature less of the supporting Dwarves less than AUJ. A sequel that's a year away doesn't dispel with the failings of this movie.

3. Total over-use of CGI; looks like a video game. Also, production design often just bizarre, such as cartoonish Goblins or Radagast's hair tonic. Characters surviving endless enemies and enormous falls, maces to the face ETC strained creditability to the breaking point.

4. Also, too much cartoonish low-brow bathroom humor, such as Bilbo fretting over his lack of handkerchief, then being used by a stone troll as a handkerchief himself. Funny.

5. Overuse of music from LotR; it's distracting and can't be explained away as "thematic linking for a film that will come out in two years". Other than "Misty Mountains", not enough (new) strong thematic material in the score. Great themes from the soundtrack such as "A Very Respectable Hobbit", "Erebor" and The Dwarf Lords" went slightly used or totally unused.

6. A weird lack of emotion; even Bilbo seemed disconnected from the action much of the time (as opposed to the vast majority, I have no idea what Martin Freeman thought he was doing as Bilbo most of the time; we kept swinging between overly-effected to non-emotive. Also, he has one facial expression). The entire affair felt rushed, clumsy, soulless, heartless, and lacking the spirit, humanity, and artistry of LotR (yes, it's part of the series and needs to be compared to a precedent. The film doesn't exist in a vacuum so it can be held up as a success). Speaking of which, it relied too heavily on LotR iconography and nostalgia - Bilbo/Frodo bookend accomplished nothing, superfluous angered Gandalf moment in Bag-End ALA FotR, random Weathertop cameo, Azog bashing people with his mace ALA Sauron in the FotR prologue, come to mind.

7. Basic gaps in coherence and common sense & many lines which are contradicted by what's happened on-screen. Days and nights which are too quick (how do they spend an entire day in Goblin-town again? Then, it's sunset, then it's night again in 30 seconds? Shades of X-Men 3, another franchise continuation starring Ian McKellen in which things like time doesn't seem to adhere to the laws of physics/common sense). How could the Witch-King be in a tomb when he wasn't killed until RotK? How is Erebor the last Dwarf Kingdom of ME when other kingdoms are mentioned, including the Blue Mountains? Why do the Dwarves sing about dragon fire in the night when the attack happened in the day time? Why does Saruman call the Necromancer a "human sorcerer" when the term "human" doesn't exist in ME (it's the race of Men)? Why does Gandalf state he's not answerable to anyone, then spend 10 minutes answering to Saruman, Galadriel, Elrond? And so on...granted, these last criticisms are comparatively minor, and I'd have forgiven them had the rest of the film been decent.



My Top 5 Wish List for "The Hobbit"
5. Legolas will surf down Smaug's neck
4. Bilbo will be revealed to a Robot
3. Naked PJ cameo as Ghan-Buri-Ghan
2. Use of not only 3D, but smell-o-vision, plus the inclusion of axes coming out of the seats and poking the audience when appropriate
1. Not only keep the claim that Thorin & Co. ran amok in Mirkwood "molesting people", but depict said incident in vivid detail!!!!!

(This post was edited by Captain Salt on Jan 21 2013, 7:36am)


Captain Salt
Tol Eressea


Jan 21 2013, 7:35am

Post #93 of 97 (164 views)
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Never mind, I've responsed to your considerable arguments in full (see above): [In reply to] Can't Post

who needs sleep, right? Tongue

My Top 5 Wish List for "The Hobbit"
5. Legolas will surf down Smaug's neck
4. Bilbo will be revealed to a Robot
3. Naked PJ cameo as Ghan-Buri-Ghan
2. Use of not only 3D, but smell-o-vision, plus the inclusion of axes coming out of the seats and poking the audience when appropriate
1. Not only keep the claim that Thorin & Co. ran amok in Mirkwood "molesting people", but depict said incident in vivid detail!!!!!


Black Breathalizer
Rohan


Jan 21 2013, 3:18pm

Post #94 of 97 (130 views)
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Using the length of the book as criticism of the three film format. [In reply to] Can't Post

burrahobbit wrote: AUJ ... is compromised both by the strange decision to cover only a third of the short book, which limits the character arcs and scope for drama...

We've all heard countless criticisms about the fact that Jackson is making a three film trilogy from a "short book." Reasonable people can disagree about that decision but the notion that it's wrong because the source book is short shouldn't be one of them. The reason the book is short is only because Tolkien wrote it as a children's tale. If Tolkien had rewritten the book in the same style he used in the telling of "The Lord of the Rings" it would have been a much different--and much longer--tale.

Since Jackson and his team wanted The Hobbit to be a fantasy that felt real (just like LOTR), it was going to have to be a longer story--particularly when he decided to put in other aspects of the story from the Appendixes.

For all the talk about stretching it out, I shutter to think what would have happened if PJ had stuck to his original two film plan. Imagine all the wonderful scenes that would have been abbreviated or cut out all together if the Peter Jackson hadn't have been willing to take the risk.




Magpie
Immortal


Jan 21 2013, 4:24pm

Post #95 of 97 (138 views)
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I don't necessarily think people who like to yank chains are trolls [In reply to] Can't Post

I reserve the word 'troll' for the sort of person who either doesn't stay or last long here or gets banned for extremely egregious behavior.

And I didn't use the word troll in my post nor do I think anyone here is a troll.

But some conversations strive to be 'productive'... that is, they strive to communicate and some conversations do not. If someone chooses to make blanket statements (over and over again) about people using labels that are nebulous but employed to make some sort of definite point, then how can one productively engage in dialog with them? Especially when the labels are negatively skewed.

I don't disengage with them to punish them. I just don't find the exercise interesting, enjoyable or worth my time. There is not going to be any meeting of the minds nor 'understanding' what each of us think or say.

And that's all the attention this topic (tone and dialog) gets from me. I'm either preaching to the choir or it all falls on deaf ears. It's not 'productive'.


LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
TORn History Mathom-house ~ Torn Image Posting Guide

(This post was edited by Magpie on Jan 21 2013, 4:25pm)


Elessar
Valinor


Jan 21 2013, 10:22pm

Post #96 of 97 (110 views)
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Maybe not an important thought [In reply to] Can't Post

Reading all the back and forth I thought about something. I said something similar to SA once talking about The Lord of the Rings. I really feel bad in a way for anyone that doesn't like The Hobbit. Especially since we're fans of Tolkien and the world he has created. For me The Hobbit was amazing. I loved really every second even the parts I would have liked to see some tweaking to. This movie gave me many of the same feelings I get when I read the books and when I watch the movies. For those that the films don't it saddens me that my fellow fans can't get the same enjoyment.

I just hope both sides can respect how the other feels without forcing or labeling.

Not really an important thought and random. Just wanted to babble about nothing for a second.



AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Jan 23 2013, 10:58pm

Post #97 of 97 (268 views)
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Thank you for the careful and thoughtful response. There remain matters on which [In reply to] Can't Post

we will simply disagree, but I appreciate your points, even when I do not draw the same conclusion from them.

My first viewing was my worst viewing (not at all bad, I greatly enjoyed much of it, but worse than subsequent viewings) because of the final realization of alterations which I disliked.

Yet the overall feeling of the movie, the look, many of the lines, the acting and the overall atmosphere, were excellent more often than not to my mind.

I still think the stories do weave together into one greater story. That said, as someone who has watched Game of Thrones and a few other television dramas and comedies, I don't require all threads to be instantly interwoven, as long as the general, larger connections can be observed, and I feel that is the case here. Thorin and the Dwarves are on there Erebor business. . . whilst Gandalf is about the larger business of The World, of which Erebor, its dwarves and its dragon, are currenly a factor of potentially great importance. His is, of course, the larger business that will serve as the connective tissue for the two trilogies (err mag Gawd! I cannot believe I am defending this Hobbit Trilogy business, which I was never entirely keen on to begin with. . . stop bashing this movie Captain, so I can go back to grousing about the parts I actually DIDN'T like! lol). And, again, I didn't find any greater symmetry in the tales of The Two Towers than are seen here. Putting in the signs and portents worked for me rather well actually, aiding rather than detracting from Gandalf involvement, as the time being right "as foretold" gives some added reasoning for him delaying getting to Thorin for nearly a hundred years. The time wasn't right. That can also factor into Balin later. The time isn't right for Moria, but he goes anyway, and it ends the only way it could. . . terribly.

I actually didn't take that from press info. I DO have the Visual Companion, admittedly, but that isn't where those inferrences were drawn from, else I would have commented more on Nori and Bifur.. . and I do hope to get MUCH more of Nori. I would love to see him try to pocket something at Beorn's, and have a very annoyed and concerned Gandalf see it and "magic" it back out of his pocket. Saruman used his telekenitic abilities to wonderful effect, shutting his chamber doors with a glance. Gandalf is only seen to use them while fighting Saruman. I would love to see it put to simpler and yet equally appreciable effect. Yet, the other things I drew merely from watching. I'll give you, I have seen it about 7 times. . . but most of this I drew from first watch, and I DID not Bofur's interest in the gold, though Gloin seemed more practically concerned over what to do with it. lol. Gloin's direct and sometimes surly attituded I got entirely from watching. As to Balin, when I say he is the Barbarian. . . I do not mean his fighting solely, though is certainly can fight. There is much that is conveyed from his gauntlets and fur, to his bearing and demeanor. Even aside from glimpses of him at Moria and in battle, he comes to Bag End with all the manners of a barbarian, a bruiser from a more savage and less prim/posy time and place. He eats, speaks, and engages like some Feudal Lord of yore. He is also a willing, if grousy defender. I note how he positions himself to protect Bilbo and one of the other dwarves when the Stone Giant attack commences. Oin as a dwarven "wiseman" I got entirely from the movie. The companion speaks of him as an apothecary, but not as a reader of signs and a star gazer, from what I recall. Dori, Ori, Fili and Kili, Bofur and the wonderful Balin, all gave adequate in movie engagment for me to draw the conclusions I made in the earlier post about them.

Agreed on some of those middle points, as well as on the bigatures.

Balin and Bofur were great emotional anchors for me. Thorin as well, in his way. And McKellen was continuously authentic and believable. As was Radagast, surprisingly, when he wasn't damn walling his eyes around. The overall emotion conveyed to me, however, was a joyous wonder, and the entire first half of the movie exuded that for me and conveyed it to me.

As to timeflow. . . we don't know how long it would have taken to get out of the goblin mines. It is daylight again when they reach the exit, almost sunset in fact. That isn't entirely plausible. It was a four day journey through Moria, but the film can hardly stop to detail it hour by hour. I took it that weaving through the mazes of Goblin town, in the time between the Indiana Jones sequence and the actual escape from the hillside, could easily have taken a number of hours.




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Among other things, in the places where it didn't stray into altering the appendices, it was often more true to the novel than the Rings films were. And the atmosphere was excellently reproduced in many places, and you still have yet to tell me, yay or nay, whether you thought things like the Erebor sequence or the Lonely Mountain anthem singing were superflous or tedious. If you are going to site the majority of the critics complaints to support your own, you should at least be complaining about the same things.

To the point of coagulation of stories. . .I disagree. There is the larger matter of the dwarf quest, which is prompted by and feeds into the larger matter of Gandalf and the Council. Now, I will go so far as to agree to this: they need to make it clearer that Gandalf already had at least some cause for concern, and has been harbouring suspiscions concerning Sauron for some time, otherwise the question of exactly why he set this journey into motion to begin with remains to be asked and answered. Otherwise, they mesh about as well as Aragorn considering reclaiming a lost throne, while Gandalf rides to Rohan to deal with Saruman and Rohirrim and the troubles of Ents, whilst Frodo plods on in the main quest. So, if they ever get back to Gandalf's initial concerns, he deems that it is important for this quest to move forward; during the quest he discovers more evidence that all is not well, which merits conferrence with the Council (yes, the way the council was called together could have been better handled, but it still essentially works). Thorin's old enmity with Azog (and, bear in mind, I already told ya I rather disliked the changes that were made to accomodate Azog) helps to establish him as a character (and he is a central figure to the story) and also potentially provides context for other matters yet to be explore. Upon leaving the more secure and better manned/dwarfed sanctuary of The Blue Mountains, Thorin, in the wild and with few followers (as Thrain was in the actual narrative, though unfortunately for Thrain he didn't have a Wizard, and certainly not two, watching over him), and thus becomes far more vulnerable pursuit by his foe Azog (as Thrain became vulnerable to pursuit by Sauron). Are their flaws to the execution? In some places yes. But it is not poorly done, over all, and the imperfections are certainly not enough to make it a bad or mediocre movie.

The thing is, one shouldn't have to spend this much time and energy justifying how the three stories intersect; certainly one didn't for the various plotlines in LotR, such as Gandy's being captured by Saruman in FotR, the three story lines in TTT or the over-lapping narratives in Rotk. All of these also were united by revolving around the fate of the Ring-bearer and those fighting the war instigated by the Dark Lord who was seeking him/it. Meanwhile, why is Azog hunting the Dwarves now after so much time? It feels arbitrary and contrived? If he were a pawn of the Necromancer, it should have been dealt with in the first film; as a result, the film feels more episodic than the book. Raddy shows up then disappears; there's the Azog episode, and so on. The signs and portents, as opposed to Gandy simply finding the map and key on Thrain, bringing them to the Blue Mountains, and starting the quest...again, it feels clumsy and contrived, IMO.

At the second point. . . well, there are thirteen of them. And they are, if anything, less well developed in the book. Thorin and especially Balin are wonderfully developed. I disagree about Bofur. I think his character shows through very well. He is a bon vivant, generally easy going and good humoured, with a penchant for wicked humour and the ribbing of others, but ultimately good hearted and compassionate, with a sympathetic disposition beneath his sporatic, teasing and jabs. Fili and Kili. . . I do wish that the movie had managed to point out that they are Thorin's nephews. This could have been done as easily as the revalation of Balin and Dwalin as brothers. That said, I did get from just watching that they were bold but not particularly experienced with life, and are very respectful of Thorin. Teenaged to early adult in their mentality and behaviuor: irresponsible, a tad reckless, inclined to take things with less seriousness than they might merit, but capable and competent nevertheless. Dwalin is a hardass borderline barbarian, with a general disregard for penny pinching and the sweating of what might be deemed small stuff. Gloin is surly and otherwise business minded (and clearly has a mind for treasure. . . "Nori, get a shovel"). Oin is, aside from being hard of hearing and amusingly less than fond of Elven music, the star gazer of the community: the reader of portents and speculator of signs. Bombur's a fatty Tongue. Ori is very youthful, very inexperienced, bookish and wonderlusting, polite and very impressionable. And Dori is all ettiquette and culturing, a tad fussy and a tad prim, and almost sycophantic attention to the powerful. Of the others, more is likely in the coming films. I never expected an additional five minutes for each of them to display themselves more completely. That would tack another hour plus onto the film. And, really, how well did you know Eomer? Haldir?Even Legolas and Gimli are not Exceptionally well defined in Fellowship alone. I will give you that Lindir had a few lines to many, and shouldn't have had ANY if Glorfindel wasn't going to get a nod. But I digress. lol

This seems to be relying just as much on the information from the press and marketing around TH than the film itself. If you hadn't read what the Dwarves were supposed to be in various materials, would Gloin still seem money-minded (why could he have not noticed the Troll treasure rather than Bofur)? The Dwarves as a group seem easy going, show concern for Bilbo, and good humored, so it didn't seem to me Bofur showed a real concrete persona apart from the others. Again, Fili and Kili seemed to me to be missed opportunities; Dwalin doesn't come across as warriorish save one small moment in Goblin-town (however, he announces "we have to get out of here/we can't fight them!" at other points in the film. As for the others, the little bits we got were hardly telling unless we expound on what wasn't in the film. Agreed Legolas and Gimli didn't get much development either, but they didn't need to be defined from hoards of other Elves or Dwarves; Eomer and Haldir were more minor characters, and Eomer's relationships to Eowen and Wormtounge, and his homeland were much more telling about him than most of the Dwarves, who we never saw interacting aside from Thorin and Balin.


I did not get the video game feel. The wrap around rope and pendulum swing of the goblins, and a few of the other swing and ladder gags there were a bit too much in the vein of Indiana Jones, but. . . ehUnimpressed. I was so pleased that Gandalf actually displayed a feat of powerful magic like he was supposed to for the opening of that rescue scene that I couldn't be bothered to complain about anything else. lol. I didn't have a problem with the look of the goblins. Yes, I could have done without the excrement in Radagast's hair. Yes the falls could have been less dramatic, and the mace to the face was a bit much. Though none of it was any more over the top than Dark Knight or Avengers, so. . . And, I did not say the film was free of flaws. I said that the flaws were not sufficient to negate the many things I deeply enjoyed about this movie.

So here we're agreed on some things; however, wouldn't it have been nicer had PJ had relying more on prosthetics and bigatures (never got why those couldn't have been utilized with the RED 3D cameras)?

The missing of the handkerchief is a nod to the book. It was a big deal to him, and it also underlines his sensibliities of what is important at the time of his departure, and just how unprepared for The World he is at that stage. I entirely agree about the excess of snot and bathroom humour. It is an aspect of Peter's humour that I neither like nor particularlry appreciate, and I do think it detracted from the fil. But not enough to make the movie less than good.


I largely agree about the music, the overuse of old scores and the underutilization of the new.


I cannot agree at all about the emotion. I appreciated the fact that Freeman did not overact his face, though he used it quite effectively. The younger, prettier Wood could get away with going al wide eyed at every single thing to cross his line of vision. Freeman, thankfully, did not assume he could get away with the same. Thorin was very good, and his look and bearing were magnificent. Balin. . . I am more fond of him already than I ever will be of half the LOTR characters. I find Bofur both more amusing and less annoying than either Pippin or Merry, both of whom I too often wanted to slap the piss out of, despite generally liking them. I fundementally disagree with you on virtually all of your points in 6. And NOTHING in this movie was half as bad as Shadowfax killing Denethor, thank you. Nor even of Gandalf beating the piss out of Denethor. That could have been handled so much more tactfully. A locking of eyes and a subtle touch from Gandalf could have incapacitated Denethor in the same way that touching the Palantir caused Aragorn to pass out. It was just apalling excess played for laughs to have him beat the steward that way, in plain sight of the guards. I don't think the angered Gandalf moment was superflous HOWEVER, I do think it could have been better handled: primarily, I think if the dwarves had been shown to be more contemptous, dismissive of Bilbo and even, in some cases, mildly hostile, then his powerful interuption would have seemed better merited.

Granted, Frodo had two facial expressions, but IMO Freeman felt too self-conscious in the part. I wanted to really feel for the Dwarves need to reclaim Erebor (we never saw their lives in the Lonely Mountain, just the finding of treasure as supervised by Thror which to be honest came off a but as a sweatshop). I wanted to feel for Bilbo's leaving his home behind to help the Dwarves return to there's, for Gandalf's struggles to avert the return of the Dark Lord...to be honest, the film came across as hollow and soulless. It swerved from flippant smugness to faux-drama, but again, it seemed like PJ wasn't really invested in the story he was telling, so why should we? However, I agree about the Denethor issue; he and his demise are one of my major complaints about LotR.

The flow of time is not always seemless in the LOTR movies either. This borders on nit picking. I do think it should have been further into evening when Azog crested the cliff top. To have him chasing the dwarves in daylight makes Saruman's special breeding of Uruk-Hai seem more redundant. But that is a consistancy error. I dislike the way the Nazgul and Witch-King are handled, in terms of what befell them in the Angmar versus Arnor wars, but I have been complaining about that from the beginning. Glorfindel and the true tale of The Witch-King's overthrow should have been mentioned. If they had altered it so that Glorfindel and the forces of Lindon, Arnor, Rivendell and Gondor had managed to capture and entomb him (through Elven arts etc.), and some of the other Nazgul had still escaped and not been seen again in the North etc. etc., I could have better dealt with that. As I have said, there ARE things I did not like, but they do not ruin the movie. Also, the Witch-King of LOTR is a creature of the supernatural. He is, as Eowyn puts it in the books, "Dwimmerliek, a Lord of Carrion. . . Dark Undead." What was buried was a physical corpse that can obviously be reanimated. Erebor is called the last of the Great Dwarf Kingdoms, not the last Dwarf Kingdom. The assumption can be made that the colonies in The Blue Mountains are akin to Rohan or the realms of the Dunedain after the Kings and Princes of Arnor failed in 1975-76 T.A., while Erebor would be more akin to Gondor, Thranduil's realm, etc. Moria is accursed and forsaken by the dwarves, beyond what Gandalf deems to be a reasonable hope of return. Men are Humans. Homo Sapiens Sapiens, as opposed to Homo Sapiens Immortalis? That is a non issue to me. Alright, Smaug's attack should have been at night, I will give you that. lol. Gandalf should have been less answerable, and parts of that scene, should have been more carefully handled. Gandalf refused to lead the council, despite Galadriel's wishes, because he refused to be subject to any summons or answerable to a committe, and it is hardly feasible that he would pass up the leadership position merely to take on a role of being even more accountable to others. I blame Phillipa as much as Peter for that. But, again, these inconsistancies are no greater than some of those present in the Rings films.

I don't remember strange time flow calling attention to itself as it constantly did in TH. The Nazgul tomb, with which I didn't have a problem until seeing the film put it in context, could have been explained away with a simple line about the Nazgul being "sleeping/beaten low until their master's power returned", or something to that effect. Nope. As said, these points are minor, and would have been forgiven had the rest of the film worked for me.

As I have said, this was not a perfect movie, and none of them are. Yet it was a good movie, great in some ways, and one which I very much enjoyed. From the scenes recounting Erebor, to the Unexpected Party, through the departure of the Shire I was essentially mesmerized. It gave me the sort of wondrous experience I had as a child seeing films like Willow or The Neverending Story. It was, literally, Wonderful. And I am not, as you know, one of the zealous champions of Peter. I am not one of the Jacksonians. When people say "trust Peter," my answer is, "let us see what he does first." I understand how some of the critics might have gone into the theateres already in a less than generous vein. I was vexed when I heard what was being done in terms of further expanding the film. And I thought, "well, damn, there goes any chance of a quasi faithful Hobbit." And I went in prepared for a LOT more bloated, never before heard of, Peter/Boyens/Walsh invented bull manuer than you would dare to shake a shovel at. What I got was A LOT less contrived bloat than I had feared (granted, two films to go, which leaves room for either right or wrong things to grow lol), and a lot of general faithfulness to the story. Indeed, I understand how some critics managed to be excessively negative based on prejudice. The notion that Jackson et al were getting carried away with themselves and taking too much license became pervassive, and having adopted a measure of that view myself, I know that it had the potential to sour one's mood, and that any critic who wasn't able to put it aside to view the film would be sitting in the theatre looking for everything wrong instead of enjoying the many things that were right.

It being a "good movie" and saying it's "one that I enjoyed", are two separate matters. ;) You've made it clear that this is your perspective with statements such as "I thought" throughout the discourse, but this is why it's impossible to present criticism of AUJ now that the culture of the board doesn't allow for it.

And hell yes there were some things wrong. I am not one of those who will tie themselves into pretzels trying to justify everything and anything Jackson and Boyens see fit to do. BlackBreathalizer may huff and puff at me until he is blue in the face, and he still will not move me to a place where the rearranged Azog back story (and, more importantly, the root causes for that war and the driving motivation of the Dwarves) is as good as the tale given in the books, even if Thorin had to replace Dain as the rallying force and Azog slayer. The backstory given concerning The Witch King at The Council meeting, and some of the dynamics between Gandalf and the others, could also have been much better crafted and handled. But neither will anyone convince me that there was not an abundance of great storytelling at a number of points in this movie, nor that huge sections of the movie did not essentially capture the spirit and atmosphere of the book. The Erebor sequence, the bulk of The Unexpected Party, the early journey scenes with the Wizardly commentary, ". . . you were born to the rolling hills of The Shire. But home is now behind you. The World is ahead. . ." all of it was absolutely wonderful. And a solid hour of wondeful, with another hour plus of good, and maybe a combined half-hour of meh and the odd glaring inaccuracy, still adds up to a very good to rather great film in my thought.

I actually have gone being an ardent defender of the film back in the days where there were petitions to remove Bofur's head ornament and for Kili to grow a beard, to get rid of Itaril/Tauriel, ETC; to doubting the film after the three-film decision and the full trailer; to being ready tor AUJ to be a disaster following many mixed to negative early reviews; to really enjoying AUJ the first time I went to it; to finding it to be a pretty dysfunctional and disappointing film. I wish I could find more in the film that worked that material that didn't, but having approached AUJ from various angles and considering it ad nauseum, this is the stance at which I've ended up. Being a former AUJ supporter, I understand what is being said, but can't agree with it. Hopefully, I'd find Films 2 and 3 more appealing. Smile


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1. Three stories that fail to congeal into a coherent whole...the Dwarves going to the Lonely Mountain & Azog's revenge & Radagast/Necromancer/White Council were totally removed from one another, resulting in total lack of forward momentum. Things just kind of happen one after another. The film drags, not because of the running time, but because we don't advance enough into the narrative for these stories to start relating to one another. Also, nothing's resolved by the end of the film; Bilbo's position in the Company has begun to ascend somewhat, but otherwise, nothing happens and nothing is achieved. Also, clumsy narrative structure, exposition, and dialogue.

2. General lack of character development for the Dwarves; other than Thorin and Balin, they're still cyphers at the film's end. Dwalin, Bofur, Kili, and Fili speak up pretty consistently, but speaking and actually showing us their character are two different things. Dwalin was bald; Bofur was James Nesbitt; Fili & Kili were younger and somewhat less clumpy-looking; Dori was pretentious; and Ori was geeky. Gloin & Oin were bit players with a few superfluous lines of dialogue each; Nori has one totally superflouous line; Bifur had one line in Dwarvish; and Bombur was an extra. After all the talk about how fleshed-out and sympathetic each Dwarf would be, after all the promises it just wouldn't be a pack of interchangeable Dwarves as in the book...that's what it felt like. Worrywort, Grinnah, and Lindir each had more dialogue than three of the Dwarves. And Thror had more dialouge than Bombur. And yeah, they'll have more screentime in the next two films, which will introduce a slew of new characters and more than likely feature less of the supporting Dwarves less than AUJ. A sequel that's a year away doesn't dispel with the failings of this movie.

3. Total over-use of CGI; looks like a video game. Also, production design often just bizarre, such as cartoonish Goblins or Radagast's hair tonic. Characters surviving endless enemies and enormous falls, maces to the face ETC strained creditability to the breaking point.

4. Also, too much cartoonish low-brow bathroom humor, such as Bilbo fretting over his lack of handkerchief, then being used by a stone troll as a handkerchief himself. Funny.

5. Overuse of music from LotR; it's distracting and can't be explained away as "thematic linking for a film that will come out in two years". Other than "Misty Mountains", not enough (new) strong thematic material in the score. Great themes from the soundtrack such as "A Very Respectable Hobbit", "Erebor" and The Dwarf Lords" went slightly used or totally unused.

6. A weird lack of emotion; even Bilbo seemed disconnected from the action much of the time (as opposed to the vast majority, I have no idea what Martin Freeman thought he was doing as Bilbo most of the time; we kept swinging between overly-effected to non-emotive. Also, he has one facial expression). The entire affair felt rushed, clumsy, soulless, heartless, and lacking the spirit, humanity, and artistry of LotR (yes, it's part of the series and needs to be compared to a precedent. The film doesn't exist in a vacuum so it can be held up as a success). Speaking of which, it relied too heavily on LotR iconography and nostalgia - Bilbo/Frodo bookend accomplished nothing, superfluous angered Gandalf moment in Bag-End ALA FotR, random Weathertop cameo, Azog bashing people with his mace ALA Sauron in the FotR prologue, come to mind.

7. Basic gaps in coherence and common sense & many lines which are contradicted by what's happened on-screen. Days and nights which are too quick (how do they spend an entire day in Goblin-town again? Then, it's sunset, then it's night again in 30 seconds? Shades of X-Men 3, another franchise continuation starring Ian McKellen in which things like time doesn't seem to adhere to the laws of physics/common sense). How could the Witch-King be in a tomb when he wasn't killed until RotK? How is Erebor the last Dwarf Kingdom of ME when other kingdoms are mentioned, including the Blue Mountains? Why do the Dwarves sing about dragon fire in the night when the attack happened in the day time? Why does Saruman call the Necromancer a "human sorcerer" when the term "human" doesn't exist in ME (it's the race of Men)? Why does Gandalf state he's not answerable to anyone, then spend 10 minutes answering to Saruman, Galadriel, Elrond? And so on...granted, these last criticisms are comparatively minor, and I'd have forgiven them had the rest of the film been decent.




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

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

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