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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
A fan and a non-book-reader walk into a movie...
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Jan 21 2013, 8:31pm

Post #26 of 29 (183 views)
She already said there are too many of them to have them all survive :))) [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To

In Reply To
she hopes all the Dwarves will make it through all three movies alive.

Are you going to tell her, or let the movies tell it for you?

But I will keep my mouth shut. Oh God... If the characters will continue to grow as they already did in AUJ Taba will be mad...


Jan 21 2013, 8:32pm

Post #27 of 29 (196 views)
Here's my take [In reply to] Can't Post

1. Are you a non-book reader, or do you know a non-book reader who saw AUJ? How do my husband's reactions compare with yours or someone you know who also did not read the book?

a. Simply put, nearly all my friends and relatives that are non-book readers liked it a lot, because they have no Tolkien 'reality' to compare it to. Book- reading friends and relatives ranged from ecstatic to simply liked it, and all felt fortunate that these things get done at all.

2. A lot of LOTR follows the same path laid out in the Hobbit, in terms of elements like the journey through the mountain and the Eagles showing up in the nick of time. Did Jackson do enough to differentiate these things for the non-fan? Should he have taken more liberties with the plot to avoid the sense of repetition?

a. I went with a couple of friends that had read the book years ago, and vageuly remembered the set-pieces. They liked how the movie was broken up by some of the non-book/near-book material. They didn't mind the epic quest basic plot going from place to place, neither do I. This is a common thing, it's not Jackson or Tolkien exclusively.

3. Do you think that the kind of objections my non-reader husband, or others, had to the tone of the Hobbit films will lessen over the next two films, as the characters develop more, and the story becomes more serious?

a. I personally believe that the movies will take on more serious tones as the objective is in sight. Once they are 'used to' the style of the film, they may come to appreciate the lighter first film.

4. Jackson made The Hobbit films "look" like LOTR, but they feel like something quite different -- was he right to honor the lighter and more comic tone of the Hobbit, or should he have kept it darker and more in line with the LOTR films?

I saw someone say AUJ was a fantasy with realistic moments versus realistic with fantastical moments. This is a good way to compare the two. I think Jackson's take is very much like Bilbo's take on the world. If you look at how Bilbo breaks down when he had his episode with Frodo at Rivendell, you can see that character knows its no joke that he found the ring.

5. Any other thoughts along the line of reader/non-reader perceptions of AUJ?

a. My non-readers were slightly bored by the whole Battle of Anulzanibar sequence and the White Council, although they like the characters and the story overall.


Jan 21 2013, 9:38pm

Post #28 of 29 (194 views)
About Freeman [In reply to] Can't Post

Martin Freeman is incredible in AUJ, and he'll be even better with the events happening in DOS and TABA.

He does have a certain quirky style that some may not like, but he is such an incredible talent and he brings such personality to Bilbo. Hard to define, but he just has this wonderful delivery, sense of timing, natural comedy, and he is so expressive, a good portion of his facial expressions in the movie (and in general) are just priceless.

Blunt the knives, bend them forks, smash the bottles and burn the corks.

That's what Bilbo Baggins hates !


Jan 21 2013, 10:58pm

Post #29 of 29 (198 views)
i agree with your hubby on almost every account [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm a strange breed. I'm an "adaption"-firster. I started with the Hobbit cartoon at 6 and became obsessed. When I was 7 my uncle gave me the Mind's Eye radio production, which made me even more obsessed. I read the hobbit in 5th grade I believe. Then saw Fellowship when I was 13. Again, obsessed. Read the trilogy before TTT came out. I've always been fond of the adaptations, and in some ways I think they improve upon their source material. Granted, more often than not, Tolkien got it right the first thing, but there are moments in the Hobbit cartoon and in the LotR films that I believe were handled better than the books.

My reactions to his comments:

1. Absolutely 100% agree. The spiritual undertones of LotR, both film and book, give it a whole deeper layer than the Hobbit never really touches. This is something that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere, and it didn't even hit me until you mentioned it. Fate, death, courage, love for one's neighbor, the afterlife, hope.....these might be mentioned by name in the Hobbit, but I'd hardly call them themes. But for me personally, RotK is a deeply spiritual film (although it is not in any way "religious").

2. you skipped 2 ;)

3. Freeman's "jerky" acting gets on my nerves more than it does for most people. I still like him, but I would have preferred more of the subtle Arther Dent/John Watson- Freeman. I've heard a lot of his over-the-top performance was requested by Jackson.

4. Most of my favorite parts were the LotR-inspired ones. Although the Dwarves song was marvelous and easily a highlight. While being firmly rooted in The Hobbit, it does share the gravity of a LotR moment.

5. That's because it is. Tolkien wrote a story for children, and then basically re-wrote it with his larger legendarium in mind. This is painfully obvious in the first chapter (AUJ vs. Fellowship) but as far as plot points go this reaction should diminish as the story progresses. it's very true that Tolkien's books follow the same physical path across the map for the first leg of the journey.

6. I'll disagree there, I enjoyed the Dwarves a lot. Although that's probably because I'm already familiar with them.

7. Borimir's death is an emotional pinnacle of the film trilogy, but there's nothing to compare to it until the end of The Hobbit. The aftermath of the Bo5A will hopefully pluck those same heartstrings. Nothing Jackson can really do about it til then!

8. I enjoyed the goblin king, but I thought Radagast's comedy was not just over the top, but totally forced. However, his "serious" moment telling Gandalf about the darkness of Dol Guldur was pretty fantastic IMO and "rescued" my interpretation of his character. I can't wait to see more of him!

9. Eh, can't really fault him for thinking the Dwarves don't stand out. They don't when compared to a normal movie, but compared to Tolkien's writing they're full on celebrities. Again, if I wasn't already familiar with the book and the characters I'd prob feel the same way.

10. Eh, i thought it was comically naive, but i understand why it could be annoying.

11. To each his own ;)

As for the eagles: Tolkien wrote us all in a corner there. Same Deus Ex Machina every darn time! If I wasn't so dedicated to the source material, I'd be bored as all-get-out with them by now. I will say, however, that their appearance in AUJ was probably the "coolest" and most striking visually.

In the end, they're just different things. As much as I wanted "Before LotR" I'm still happy with "The Hobbit" overall. I realize that it's a children's story, and while I like that Jackson has darkened it some, I appreciate that it has a lighter tone. And when I eventually watch them in order, it'll be a nice transition across 6 films where (hopefully) it gets better with every installment! LotR will always be the epic, gritty sequel!

"There are no safe paths in this part of the world. Remember you are over the Edge of the Wild, and in for all sorts of fun wherever you go."

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