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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
A reaffirmation of what makes cinema magical : TH s failure
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Elessar
Valinor


Mar 5 2013, 1:59pm

Post #151 of 175 (272 views)
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I didn't think I was [In reply to] Can't Post

My post wasn't directed at you imin. I apologize if it seemed that way. My post was in reference to another in kind of how snarky it came across to me.

Neither we nor our friends/family are more right than anothers was my point. I've seen and know a lot of opinions from varying degress with this movie and that's fine. It makes for some interesting though sometimes rather eye rolling reading. You gain something from it either way. So that's why I made the point of saying what I said. More to say that I know people who think its great but they're all right for the reasons they feel that way. The only part that really got my dander up was the "had to say it" other than that I just was playing devils advocate.

You and I have talked about this. I loved the film but there are things I'd change some I've mentioned and some things I haven't. So its not a perfect movie and I understand like you something things I'd tweak would be things others love. I love sharing things that's one of the many reasons when I was asked to join TORn as a staffer I jumped on it. I love sharing the reviews of the many items I get, writing my review of The Hobbit as soon as I got home from my midnight viewing, etc. I do love reading reading why others may not agree though as I said sometimes some comments are like "really?!?"



(This post was edited by Elessar on Mar 5 2013, 1:59pm)


arithmancer
Grey Havens


Mar 5 2013, 2:33pm

Post #152 of 175 (265 views)
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Reasons movie gives [In reply to] Can't Post

I felt the movie did give us reasons for Thorin's reaction to Bilbo. Before I list them, though, I'd like to clarify that these are not in my opinion, necessarily "good" reasons for Thorin's reaction. They are just the reasons I see the movie as showing us Thorin has.

So...the reasons I see as given to us by the movie:

1) Bilbo's skills, background, and appearance. Thorin has an preconceived idea of what a 14th member of his Company should be like, which we can deduce from his initial reaction to Bilbo. This individual would be skilled in the use of weapons (axe or sword?) and experienced in similar past adventures as a burglar. Gandalf's choice is none of the above. He looks (the movie Thorin tells us) more like a grocer than a burglar. Movie Bilbo clarifies he has no weapons skills and is not an experienced burglar. Thorin does agree to nonetheless take Bilbo along despite his own misgivings because Gandalf insists.
2) Bilbo's unwillingness to ride a pony and insistence he needs a pocket handkerchief reinforces these feelings. To me RA's portrayal suggests he was less than delighted to have Bilbo change his mind.
3) Thorin blames Bilbo for the Troll debacle. This is inaccurate in my view in the sense that they had already stolen 4 of the ponies the Company used before movie Bilbo in any way became involved with them. But I am not sure Thorin knows 100% how the situation evolved to the point at which he was made aware of it, and it is Bilbo's failure to evade capture that leads to the dramatic moment in which Thorin agrees to lay down arms.
4) Thorin believes Bilbo lacks the hardiness to trek over the mountains on foot like a Dwarf could. (He comments on this as they leave Rivendell, suggesting Bilbo needs to "keep up" with the others).
5) The Stone Giant scene reinforces this for him (though I think the near death experience he, and half his Company, have, make his judgment even hastier/less fair than usual). While we could argue anyone could have fallen off the path, the only person who actually did, was Bilbo, and Thorin nearly fell to his death getting him back up on the ledge.
6) The conversation in the goblin "front door" between Bilbo and Bofur is overheard by Thorin. He does not seem to appreciate having the point that he and his Company don't belong anywhere, pointed out to him so starkly.
7) Nori's description of Bilbo slipping away reinforces these negative impressions (leading to the speech in which Thorin asserts Bilbo is "long gone").

We see Thorin start to reevaluate when Bilbo returns to the Company and gives his reason for doing so, but for me, anyway, it worked that he did not immediately give up his prejudice against Bilbo entirely, both because it was at this point of long standing, and because talk is cheap. Shortly thereafter, of course, Bilbo saved Thorin's life by fighting an Orc sent by Azog, which seemed to me a convincing reason for a more thorough reconsideration of Bilbo by Thorin.

To me the hug scene was a logical culmination of a relationship arc that started the moment these two characters laid eyes on one another and was developed by a number of scenes in the film before reaching this conclusion.

I'd say how well-written it was, how psychologically realistic the actions and words of Thorin in that scene were, is a matter of opinion. But that the movie sets this scene up, however poor or otherwise we might find the scene itself, seems a point of fact.


jtarkey
Rohan


Mar 5 2013, 7:17pm

Post #153 of 175 (245 views)
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It's just frustrating to me [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't mean to be snarky, but I have been told left and right that my criticisms of the film are flat out wrong or incorrect. They aren't. They're just my opinions and everyone seems to take it personally somehow. Given this is a LOTR fan site, it makes sense for people here to enjoy the film more than others.

I feel a lot of people are just unable to be objective because of their fandom, and they get really defensive when the thing they are fans of is criticized. I liked the movie, I don't think it's "bad" per say. I just don't think it's good enough in comparison to what Jackson did with LOTR. I think it was reasonable to expect something on that same level of film making. Like I've said before, TH being less complicated than LOTR doesn't mean the film had to be not as good.

In my opinion.....

"You're love of the halflings leaf has clearly slowed your mind"


Elessar
Valinor


Mar 5 2013, 9:00pm

Post #154 of 175 (235 views)
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I understand...... [In reply to] Can't Post

its just how that kind of post can very easily come across. You're not wrong for not liking it or feeling that it wasn't great. People would be wrong for telling you that you're wrong. You have your reasons for feeling the way you do. Now, discussing and people saying this is why I disagree with you is a whole different matter. Its all in how you write things or say things. If it comes across as if you're trying to tell people that you're right and they're wrong then people will fire back that way. Its a vicious circle. lol

I have no problem myself admitting none of the films so far have been perfect. I have things about all them that I could say I don't like and spend time on and I will from time to time. I just tend to focus on what I do like. I would disagree that its every bit as good as The Lord of the Rings because is as good at being The Hobbit as those were as being their source material. Obviously you don't agree and that's fine.



AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Mar 5 2013, 9:14pm

Post #155 of 175 (244 views)
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For the record, I have always found Waldorf and Statler, the grumpy old muppet men [In reply to] Can't Post

from The Muppets, to be very amuising and endearing, so comparison to them is not entirely unfavourable nor suggestive of an absence of character Wink. lol

In Reply To
You have offered a fullsome and enthusiastic responce without getting personal, good for you. Just on this point of Thorin the book character that deserves so much more than RA.

I have re read up to Laketown in the past few weeks. Thorin as any kind of real character is just not on the page. He is a shadowy character who veers from the haughty senior dwarf to a kind of bad tempered old man in the muppets. Its completely cool not to like the film but lets not make out that the book is offering deep nuanced portrayals.

What we have and seen from R A is

1) Dignified youthful pride (receiving Thranduil with his elders).

2) Physical heroics, saving Balin.

3) Honest endeavour, the dignity of work.

4) King ship in the making his terrific entrance to Bag End.

5) Nuanced holding of his real personal views "so your the Hobbit".

6) Passionate leadership from the front the stirring vocal .

7) Insularity, chippiness, loyality, outrage, hatred, irritation

8) Rage and uncontrolled desire for revenge the pay back for having Azog in the real time which made sense to me from the very first viewing.

9) Warm and humourous rapprochment for Bilbo. Every body shouts Hollywood cliche but that shows his deep sense of humour in a moment of seriousness. Incidentally next time on this board when some one says will you marry me or I love you remember half the people here will shout cliche. We use the language and its context its who we are. I may be old and senile but I cried at that scene. I certainly didn't sit there and think "Got you Jackson, you stuck that in in the last minute for 2 into 3". I really do think if we sat down to AUJ looking for the reorganised script from the off we were lost before we started.


"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


Mar 5 2013, 9:29pm

Post #156 of 175 (229 views)
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I think it is a great film. I have met many who think the same. Was it a great adaptation? ? ? [In reply to] Can't Post

No. Neither was Rings. Those films could have been better, and better served by hewing more to the book in certain places. The same can be said here. Having said that, HOW this is a great film is different from how Rings was great. Rings was great like The Ten Commandments. This was great more along the lines of The Wizard of Oz and The Neverending Story. All classic, the first two iconic and esteemed, but different, and appropriately so.

I think a good job was done of marrying and walking the line (for the most part) between a film that embraces a child audience, and one that has the heft and weight to please an adult audience, and to segue into the subsequent more portentous films of the Rings cycle.

I think too many people approached this film wanting it to be something very different from what it is supposed to be. I think some wanted it to forget about the children, and I for one am quite glad it did not. This film had far more of the more simple, ubiquitous, cozy, childlike wonder than any of the Rings films EVER did, even though Rings was more consistently majestic and filled with elegant High Enchantment and poignancy.

Yes, I will say this was a flawed but great film. It is unfortunate that, in places, Peter et al gave way to excesses of phleghm, bird poop, and lesser revisionism, which gave those who wanted to be aversely critical something to really latch on to. And, one or two scenes felt a little forced. This was the case in Rings as well, for any who were really looking, though the number of perfectly acted and scripted scenes balanced it out. And there WERE some pitch perfect moments in this film as well, from Erebor to Bag End to Balin to Gandalf's entrance into Goblin town.

This was a Great film, unless one was looking for it to be a flawless film, or else looking for it to be The Lord of The Rings a second helping, which it never should have been anyway.


In Reply To
I have yet to meet a single person who thinks AUJ is a great film. All my friends and family think it's basically "good enough".

If there are people on this forum who truly believe it to be great...more power to you. Outside this forum, the film is considered mediocre...had to say it.


"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."


Elessar
Valinor


Mar 5 2013, 10:03pm

Post #157 of 175 (212 views)
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Well said [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with heart of what you're saying. Cool



Michelle Johnston
Lorien


Mar 5 2013, 10:27pm

Post #158 of 175 (212 views)
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Alignment [In reply to] Can't Post

There is a good deal of symmetry in our views. We have enjoyed the film enormously but accept it is flawed. Where I differ from many, and given the build up to the films I am surprised by this, is this first installment is very close to what I was expecting at a structural level. Many seem surprised and disappointed by the adult reimagining which is intended to put the quest for Erebor in its geo political context within the legendarium. From all the pre release comments thats precisely what I expected. Where the film surprised was in the strength of its inner heart driven through Thorin and Bilbo's journeys and of course Gandalfs "meddling" in the affairs of middle earth.

The other point you raise is about the rings films. For me they were a wonderful pictorial vision of middle earth and Weta were surperb but I found a good deal of the structural changes difficult and for every Theoden and Grima there was a Gimli and Legolas. I was much more relaxed about coming to the Hobbit because I was not attached to the book in the same way I am Frodo/Beren/Tuor and Turin and the extra ordinary myth building of the Silmarillion.

One matter I am certain of is the final two films will not be under the microscope by the 2 into 3 not necessary critique. The pattern is now established we know what to expect a year out and equally the film makers whilst they will make changes now know strategically were they are going at quite a distance from release. Also the 3D HFR is now established and we have all had a chance to decide where we sit with the immersed experience.

Age may also play a part in how we approach a life long passion. I had very clearly defined expectations in 1977 when the Silmarillion was released. My hopes were completley dashed and I could not get my head round the abridged version of the Fall of Gondolin it seemed so slight against what had been talked about. As the years have gone by and the true nature of the palimpsest of materials have been revealed I have come to love this incomplete work in progress. It to is flawed but it is central to me it reveals so much to me in away that no other art does.I see greatness in a flawed work as I see greatness in a flawed movie.

I tried to save the shire , and it has been but not for me.

(This post was edited by Michelle Johnston on Mar 5 2013, 10:36pm)


sauget.diblosio
Tol Eressea

Mar 5 2013, 10:58pm

Post #159 of 175 (202 views)
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I agree that DoS will get a much fairer critical reception [In reply to] Can't Post

than AUJ did, now that HFR is a known quantity, and the 2 books into 3 brouhaha is out of the way. It will also benefit from new characters and locations, and hopefully some more variety in the score.


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Mar 5 2013, 11:50pm

Post #160 of 175 (208 views)
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Very true. And I especially agree [In reply to] Can't Post

with you on paragraphs 1 and 3, though I will go so far as to say that, after the build up commentary and speculation, I found myself pleased by how much of The Hobbit still showed up in this first film, and how little it derailed into the broader spectrum. I had been rather worried, especially since the Appendices are the area which they showed the least fealty of translation to. I, like you, found the structuring very close to what I had expected on the optomistic end, considering all that was already known (Azog not dead like he should have been, time lines tinkered with, three films etc.). And, aside from revisions to the history of the dwarves, and a few other historical fallacies being muttered by The Wise who should have known better, Frown Winklol, I found that most of the geo-political expansions worked rather well.

In Reply To
There is a good deal of symmetry in our views. We have enjoyed the film enormously but accept it is flawed. Where I differ from many, and given the build up to the films I am surprised by this, is this first installment is very close to what I was expecting at a structural level. Many seem surprised and disappointed by the adult reimagining which is intended to put the quest for Erebor in its geo political context within the legendarium. From all the pre release comments thats precisely what I expected. Where the film surprised was in the strength of its inner heart driven through Thorin and Bilbo's journeys and of course Gandalfs "meddling" in the affairs of middle earth.

The other point you raise is about the rings films. For me they were a wonderful pictorial vision of middle earth and Weta were surperb but I found a good deal of the structural changes difficult and for every Theoden and Grima there was a Gimli and Legolas. I was much more relaxed about coming to the Hobbit because I was not attached to the book in the same way I am Frodo/Beren/Tuor and Turin and the extra ordinary myth building of the Silmarillion.

One matter I am certain of is the final two films will not be under the microscope by the 2 into 3 not necessary critique. The pattern is now established we know what to expect a year out and equally the film makers whilst they will make changes now know strategically were they are going at quite a distance from release. Also the 3D HFR is now established and we have all had a chance to decide where we sit with the immersed experience. . .


"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."


imin
Valinor


Mar 5 2013, 11:58pm

Post #161 of 175 (195 views)
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It has too many short comings to be a great film [In reply to] Can't Post

Hopefully DOS will prove better.


Elessar
Valinor


Mar 6 2013, 12:51am

Post #162 of 175 (196 views)
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That depends on [In reply to] Can't Post

ones pov of course. Goes back to what we were talking about earlier. Obviously some feel thats the case and you will have others who don't. It has a few but not enough to prevent it for me from being great (9/10).



imin
Valinor


Mar 6 2013, 12:59am

Post #163 of 175 (187 views)
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Of course [In reply to] Can't Post

Just was presented as fact by previous poster so thought i would state mine as such - i do feel if one is perhaps more critical of the film then one has to say imo a lot! but if the other way round it never does.

I assume everyone is talking from their own opinion and never stating it as fact i just wanted to see if either comment would get someone mentioning that what they said is only their opinion, lol.

For what it's worth to me i would give the film 6/10 which i think is quite generous Smile


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Mar 6 2013, 1:07am

Post #164 of 175 (194 views)
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I respectfully disagree about the lack of greatness. [In reply to] Can't Post

I think if this very same film had been released at a different time, with less expectation and comparisons, before rather than after a decade of Rings, Potter, and the odd Narnia film, the response would have been very different. It would widely have been hailed as great, save for the break factor of it being three films.

As to DOS proving better. . . I hope it will be a great film, and that it will avoid veering too far off the map into pure scriptwriter speculative fiction.

In Reply To
Hopefully DOS will prove better.


"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."


imin
Valinor


Mar 6 2013, 1:20am

Post #165 of 175 (192 views)
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I agree [In reply to] Can't Post

to an extent, lol.

I agree that i had way too high expectations on this film. I was so excited and so i do have a feeling that it could have been anything and i would not have loved it. I think it's biggest problem was being released after LOTR - with that being hailed as truly great movies it had a lot to live up to.

But then i do also just genuinely think in parts it isn't very good. I find it annoying when people say i must have been comparing it to lotr and that is why i don't like it. For me i didn't want it to be like the lotr i wanted it to be the hobbit but i didnt feel we got that, for me i felt they went for something between the hobbit and the lotr and it didn't quite work, fortunately for you, you think otherwise, i wish i did. Again this isn't for the whole movie. For me i felt there were parts that were excellent as good as anything from lotr so i am not saying the whole movie was pants, just parts could have been better.

There felt too many nods to the lotr, too much rehashed music, too much dodgy make up, general over saturation of the image. My main problem was with the little embelishments PJ likes to put in and his sense of humour. Neither work for me.

The best bits were the scenery when shot on location, costumes and the characterisation of Thorin, Bilbo and a few of the other dwarfs. I felt there could have been much more of it in space of the action filler scenes but what was there was great. I know though that you can't just have character building scenes for the entire movie. People who watched LOTR will have come into AUJ expecting big battles and adventure. For me i just felt things veered a bit too far into script writing and OTT - it will sound arrogant but some things i pictured for certain scenes i am positive would work well and it's just disappointing when the movie doesn't live up to your own imagination - though i think this happens a lot of the time if one has read a book before the movie adaptation.


Elessar
Valinor


Mar 6 2013, 2:13am

Post #166 of 175 (185 views)
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Positive vs Negative [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't take what AO said as he was saying he was stating fact. There is probably some truth to that but in the 10 years I've been posting on forums people who are critical tend to post their opinions more as fact. I guess its because they feel let down for whatever the reason.

I do most of the time but there are posts that very much come across I think like they feel what they say is fact.

I'd say we had very different experiences then seeing this film. lol



AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Mar 6 2013, 2:48am

Post #167 of 175 (180 views)
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And I agree with you here, also to an extent. Lmao. [In reply to] Can't Post

I especially agree with the lines which I bolded.

I have never said there were not flaws in this film. I agree with you on many points. I could add, and have added before, that I found the changes to things like the history of the Dwarf versus Orc/Goblin war deplorable. It worked for the movie, HOWEVER, it would have been so much better with the truth: the great war for vengeance, the hunting of Azog, the utter routing of The Goblins/Orcs and seeming victory over Moria . . . and the dawning awareness of the presence of Durin's Bane within the darkness behind the gate, and the knowledge that no power of the dwarves would be suffiicient to overcome him and reclaim Khazad-Dum. I found the pinecone magic underwhelming, even though I was very glad it was included. Rankin & Bass managed the excecution of the pinecone magic better. I didn't like the irrequisite changes to the history of Arnor and its allies, and I didn't like how subordinate to Galadriel the movie sometimes made Gandalf seem, even though I greatly enjoyed the intimacy and affection of their interaction. I also could have done without the exaggerated stone giants. I had been pleased at their addition. . . and then I saw that they were enormous litho-transformers. . . TOO rocky and too big. They diminish the likes of Smaug and The Balrog. Smaug is supposed to be the most massive creature we ever encounter in these films, end of story. How does that happen after we have been subjected to Fox's "When Mountains Attack"?

And like you, I really could have done without some of Peter's excesses. The initial jokes were okay. . . but, as is often the case, he went too far. Too much mucus. Too much bird poopy compounded by it never seeming to be cleaned away, etc. Some of the LOTR nods and pieces of music worked, and it is a series after all. . . but some of them did indeed feel forced and trite. Thorin's final scene with Bilbo also felt forced. It could have been done much more effectively and emotionally without the poor attempt at an audience head fake that served only to make the moment feel fake, and didn't fool anybody.

I disagree about the saturation. It should be brightly coloured and lit. If it had been as drably coloured as The Two Towers was at points, I might have wept. I wish a certain Wizard hat had been MORE saturated! At points it looked as much grey as Blue, and Tolkien is very clear about it's colour, and it is iconic. Fellowship largely did a better (though not perfect) job of keeping the distinction. I also didn't think the make up looked bad, for the most part.

In the whole, I still found more that was great than was poor about this movie. AND, I will add that had I not known the actual tale and its related lore as well as I do, I would have loved the movie even more, and considerably so. To my thought, the good to great scenes and moments outweigh the poor ones by around 3 to 1, possibly more. That leaves a great film to my mind. And there were no deal breakers. There were things I really didn't like, as mentioned above. But nothing that I could not reconcile to the point that the rest of the film could not be salvaged. The Witch-King versus Gandalf in Extended Return did that to me, and I have been unwilling to watch that version since, and I thank God it was NOT in the theatrical, as it would have forever marred the experience for me. I HATE that scene SO MUCH, that I cannot enjoy the rest of the movie properly when vieiwng it, and I really LOVE that movie otherwise.

What is more, many moments in this film filled me with joy and simple, childlike wonder. And that IS Great. So with no deal breakers, more good than bad, and a fair at least a few really great moments, to options lie before me. . . to nit pick and compare it into ruin, or to acknowledge all the things I really enjoyed about it, and give it it's due. I am sticking with the later. The movie made me happy, and had all the granduer and wonder required to be worthy of the title and mantle of greatness. It also had flaws, and I have NO problem ranting and raving about them six ways from Sunday. But they were not enough to make it a less than a good movie experience.

In Reply To
to an extent, lol.

I agree that i had way too high expectations on this film. I was so excited and so i do have a feeling that it could have been anything and i would not have loved it. I think it's biggest problem was being released after LOTR - with that being hailed as truly great movies it had a lot to live up to.

But then i do also just genuinely think in parts it isn't very good. I find it annoying when people say i must have been comparing it to lotr and that is why i don't like it. For me i didn't want it to be like the lotr i wanted it to be the hobbit but i didnt feel we got that, for me i felt they went for something between the hobbit and the lotr and it didn't quite work, fortunately for you, you think otherwise, i wish i did. Again this isn't for the whole movie. For me i felt there were parts that were excellent as good as anything from lotr so i am not saying the whole movie was pants, just parts could have been better.

There felt too many nods to the lotr, too much rehashed music, too much dodgy make up, general over saturation of the image. My main problem was with the little embelishments PJ likes to put in and his sense of humour. Neither work for me.

The best bits were the scenery when shot on location, costumes and the characterisation of Thorin, Bilbo and a few of the other dwarfs. I felt there could have been much more of it in space of the action filler scenes but what was there was great. I know though that you can't just have character building scenes for the entire movie. People who watched LOTR will have come into AUJ expecting big battles and adventure. For me i just felt things veered a bit too far into script writing and OTT - it will sound arrogant but some things i pictured for certain scenes i am positive would work well and it's just disappointing when the movie doesn't live up to your own imagination - though i think this happens a lot of the time if one has read a book before the movie adaptation.


"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."

(This post was edited by Altaira on Jun 7 2013, 4:09am)


Eleniel
Grey Havens


Mar 6 2013, 7:45am

Post #168 of 175 (169 views)
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You've said everything for me! [In reply to] Can't Post

I will add that it is the scriptwriting that really is the weakest part of the whole - not simply the changes to the Dwarven history, but simply the way the team built up Thorin at the expense of other characters: The self-indulgence of the Stone Giants funfair ride seemed to be purely a vehicle for Bilbo to need rescuing and give Thorin an excuse to shout at him in the cringeworthy "hug" scene. Seemingly the scriptwriters want us to hate good ol' Leggy's Dad even more than we would necessarily do from his imprisonment of Thorin,(in the book it boils down to an impasse between two stubborn characters) because of the unavailability of the SIL material to explain the enmity between Dwarves and Elves...we now have several pages of a thread devoted trying to trying to justify the plothole of why Thranduil happened to be near Erebor with an army right when Smaug arrived...and why he refused to help. Also, why paint Dain in a bad light, when (if they would keep to Tolkien's script) he was a hero at Azanulbizar and will be the next King under the Mountain.

And while the jury is still out on the marriage of lighter (read childish) tone with the darker, serious Gandalf-centric storyline, the thing that really bothers me is that the added humour is PJ's brand, not Tolkien's gentler version from the book. Yes, there is whimsy and a couple of fairytale elements but the book is not a laugh-a-minute comedy...rather the humour comes from the adult narrator secretly poking fun at the characters being oh so upright and polite (Bilbo) and pompous/stuffy (Thorin) and the situations they get themselves into. Slapstick trolls just jar when juxtaposed with the dark scariness of the Ringwraiths and the Necromancer. Even Gollum and the Riddles Sequence had far more tension than "Roast Mutton."

I, too, had great expectations for TH and, on the surface it was a very enjoyable movie, until one digs deeper - I saw it 3 times, but that was mainly because of the different formats. Whilst I didn't want TH to be LotR II, I admit I am one of those who wanted to recapture the same experience and feeling I had with LotR, and for me, TH didn't come near that until I watched it in 2D. I hated the 3D, which I never have before. For me, it just doesn't belong in my M-e. As has been said previously about HFR, the lack of depth-of-field and the hyper-clarity of the visuals for me, took away the sense of reality and believability - my eyes don't see in real-life like that!! I wanted to see the story come alive off the page, but not to actually feel as though I was there with the actors on set...The over-reliance on CGI for sets this time is a real disappointment, particularly for Rivendell, which just doesn't compare to the FotR version with an extensive outdoor set and "bigature."

Havinng said all that, no matter how disappointed I might be with the finished movies, I will still buy the tie-in books and select associated merchandize because for me PJ has nailed the look of Middle-earth, from the physical locations to the costumes and everything else in between. Weta and the production design team cannot be faulted for what they have delivered. The casting has also been peerless, as before. Whatever might be wrong with the scripting or characterization, I can ignore and live the movie how I imagine it should be, in my head!




In Reply To
to an extent, lol.

I agree that i had way too high expectations on this film. I was so excited and so i do have a feeling that it could have been anything and i would not have loved it. I think it's biggest problem was being released after LOTR - with that being hailed as truly great movies it had a lot to live up to.

But then i do also just genuinely think in parts it isn't very good. I find it annoying when people say i must have been comparing it to lotr and that is why i don't like it. For me i didn't want it to be like the lotr i wanted it to be the hobbit but i didnt feel we got that, for me i felt they went for something between the hobbit and the lotr and it didn't quite work, fortunately for you, you think otherwise, i wish i did. Again this isn't for the whole movie. For me i felt there were parts that were excellent as good as anything from lotr so i am not saying the whole movie was pants, just parts could have been better.

There felt too many nods to the lotr, too much rehashed music, too much dodgy make up, general over saturation of the image. My main problem was with the little embelishments PJ likes to put in and his sense of humour. Neither work for me.

The best bits were the scenery when shot on location, costumes and the characterisation of Thorin, Bilbo and a few of the other dwarfs. I felt there could have been much more of it in space of the action filler scenes but what was there was great. I know though that you can't just have character building scenes for the entire movie. People who watched LOTR will have come into AUJ expecting big battles and adventure. For me i just felt things veered a bit too far into script writing and OTT - it will sound arrogant but some things i pictured for certain scenes i am positive would work well and it's just disappointing when the movie doesn't live up to your own imagination - though i think this happens a lot of the time if one has read a book before the movie adaptation.



"Choosing Trust over Doubt gets me burned once in a while, but I'd rather be singed than hardened."
Victoria Monfort






AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Mar 6 2013, 2:08pm

Post #169 of 175 (160 views)
Shortcut
To be fair, there are LOTS of Fairytale elements to both Hobbit and [In reply to] Can't Post

Rings, as they are both tales dealing with Fairy creatures and that really is the traditional meaning. I understand you though. Yet, even in the context of the folktale stylings, Hobbit is very much of that pedigree. And the trolls are very funny in the book as well. I hated the excess mucus, but I really enjoyed the personalities of the trolls themselves, and would have HATED it if Peter had tried to give us a mute raging trio reminescent of The Cave Troll. Tom, Bert and William always had a comic flair. "Time was you'd uv said 'Thank Ya Bert!" " "You can't expect folk to come this way just to get et up by you and Tom!" Ah! They are a laugh riot! They are even FUNNIER in the book. I wonder why Peter didn't work in Bert's (or was it William's), "What the hell," line. It is odd, he is SOOO G rated when it comes to nudity ( I will never be able to make good sense of Frodo still having his trousers on in Cirith Ungol. I wouldn't expect them to show his dingus, but a Gollum like loincloth and a bit of asscheekage seems about right for a fella who has just been searched by Goblins, who, as yon Fat Goblin King pointed out, would not hesitate to "search every crack! Every Crevice!!!"), and swears. . . .. but goes complete R in the violence department???? Crazy. You would think he had been raised here in America.

As to painting Dain in a bad light. . . there may be some method to that madness. I hated Dain loosing his moment, and I LONGED to see him glimpse the great Demon Captain of Melkor, Durin's Bane, the true cause of Khazad-Dum's fall and the reason the dwarves could never return until a greater Power came. . . but in Dain's ascendency, the rise of a kinsman who would not lift a finger to help so long as there was a Dragon involved, but came quick as you please when there was unguarded treasure to hold from Elves and Men, we may see a more plausible foundation for Balin, shown as not overly concerned with Kingdoms in these films, setting off for Moria, and against Dain's wishes. Perhaps Balin will take umbrage at the Johnny come Lately nature of Dain's kingship, and will disbelieve Dain's talk of having seen the Demon of Legend, the Slayer of Durin etc.

I Enjoyed the 3D in regular 24 fps. 48. . . it had its pluses and minuses, but High Definition in general can have an odd display factor.

In Reply To
I will add that it is the scriptwriting that really is the weakest part of the whole - not simply the changes to the Dwarven history, but simply the way the team built up Thorin at the expense of other characters: The self-indulgence of the Stone Giants funfair ride seemed to be purely a vehicle for Bilbo to need rescuing and give Thorin an excuse to shout at him in the cringeworthy "hug" scene. Seemingly the scriptwriters want us to hate good ol' Leggy's Dad even more than we would necessarily do from his imprisonment of Thorin,(in the book it boils down to an impasse between two stubborn characters) because of the unavailability of the SIL material to explain the enmity between Dwarves and Elves...we now have several pages of a thread devoted trying to trying to justify the plothole of why Thranduil happened to be near Erebor with an army right when Smaug arrived...and why he refused to help. Also, why paint Dain in a bad light, when (if they would keep to Tolkien's script) he was a hero at Azanulbizar and will be the next King under the Mountain.

And while the jury is still out on the marriage of lighter (read childish) tone with the darker, serious Gandalf-centric storyline, the thing that really bothers me is that the added humour is PJ's brand, not Tolkien's gentler version from the book. Yes, there is whimsy and a couple of fairytale elements but the book is not a laugh-a-minute comedy...rather the humour comes from the adult narrator secretly poking fun at the characters being oh so upright and polite (Bilbo) and pompous/stuffy (Thorin) and the situations they get themselves into. Slapstick trolls just jar when juxtaposed with the dark scariness of the Ringwraiths and the Necromancer. Even Gollum and the Riddles Sequence had far more tension than "Roast Mutton."

I, too, had great expectations for TH and, on the surface it was a very enjoyable movie, until one digs deeper - I saw it 3 times, but that was mainly because of the different formats. Whilst I didn't want TH to be LotR II, I admit I am one of those who wanted to recapture the same experience and feeling I had with LotR, and for me, TH didn't come near that until I watched it in 2D. I hated the 3D, which I never have before. For me, it just doesn't belong in my M-e. As has been said previously about HFR, the lack of depth-of-field and the hyper-clarity of the visuals for me, took away the sense of reality and believability - my eyes don't see in real-life like that!! I wanted to see the story come alive off the page, but not to actually feel as though I was there with the actors on set...The over-reliance on CGI for sets this time is a real disappointment, particularly for Rivendell, which just doesn't compare to the FotR version with an extensive outdoor set and "bigature."

Havinng said all that, no matter how disappointed I might be with the finished movies, I will still buy the tie-in books and select associated merchandize because for me PJ has nailed the look of Middle-earth, from the physical locations to the costumes and everything else in between. Weta and the production design team cannot be faulted for what they have delivered. The casting has also been peerless, as before. Whatever might be wrong with the scripting or characterization, I can ignore and live the movie how I imagine it should be, in my head!




In Reply To
to an extent, lol.

I agree that i had way too high expectations on this film. I was so excited and so i do have a feeling that it could have been anything and i would not have loved it. I think it's biggest problem was being released after LOTR - with that being hailed as truly great movies it had a lot to live up to.

But then i do also just genuinely think in parts it isn't very good. I find it annoying when people say i must have been comparing it to lotr and that is why i don't like it. For me i didn't want it to be like the lotr i wanted it to be the hobbit but i didnt feel we got that, for me i felt they went for something between the hobbit and the lotr and it didn't quite work, fortunately for you, you think otherwise, i wish i did. Again this isn't for the whole movie. For me i felt there were parts that were excellent as good as anything from lotr so i am not saying the whole movie was pants, just parts could have been better.

There felt too many nods to the lotr, too much rehashed music, too much dodgy make up, general over saturation of the image. My main problem was with the little embelishments PJ likes to put in and his sense of humour. Neither work for me.

The best bits were the scenery when shot on location, costumes and the characterisation of Thorin, Bilbo and a few of the other dwarfs. I felt there could have been much more of it in space of the action filler scenes but what was there was great. I know though that you can't just have character building scenes for the entire movie. People who watched LOTR will have come into AUJ expecting big battles and adventure. For me i just felt things veered a bit too far into script writing and OTT - it will sound arrogant but some things i pictured for certain scenes i am positive would work well and it's just disappointing when the movie doesn't live up to your own imagination - though i think this happens a lot of the time if one has read a book before the movie adaptation.



"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."


imin
Valinor


Mar 6 2013, 2:31pm

Post #170 of 175 (152 views)
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Thank you for your post [In reply to] Can't Post

It must have took some time to do :)

I think we do agree on quite a lot and i know from reading your comments in the past i agree with pretty much all of them.

I think we just differ on how much we felt went right and what wasn't quite so good. For me i felt it was about 50/50 for good and bad - with almost all the good stuff coming before trolls plus riddles in the dark.

Like yourself i think the 'real' dwarven war with the orcs would have been better to see on screen as for me it's a more interesting story and brings Dain into the story in a nice way.

I also felt Gandalf gave too much reverence to Galadriel - though i believe this was Boyen's trying to give the female characters in the film a bit more importance/something to do. I felt Cate's actual performance was not up to her previous work as Galadriel and was bordering on parody when she was stood motionless with the dress twisted around her - though i know that isn't a scene for me, lol.

The colour saturation - i have had this talk before, haha. When i first watched it, i think my screening was wrong as it was truly terrible. I watched it again in IMAX and it looked way way better with colour grading i thought looked great. It wasn't over saturated but it was't undersaturated like lotr films were. For me i don't buy into the idea it has to be over saturated to look whimsical. When i watched it again on tv in 2D the colour again looked 'wrong' but then that was from watching the dvd given to Oscar members so maybe it wasn't finished. I dunno, they messed up with the green tint so my faith in them has been rocked when it comes to colour grading, lol. It feels to me like they take it too far, as i feel they do with lots of things. Sometimes i feel less is more.

Like i say i think it just comes down to how much i like and dislike. For me its about equal so those things add up to it being too flawed to be considered great, I left the film wanting to like it but ultimately disappointed, though i can totally see how you think its great if you like most of it - i would of course be the same :)


Eleniel
Grey Havens


Mar 6 2013, 5:39pm

Post #171 of 175 (148 views)
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Oh, yes, the Trolls' dialogue is certainly a delight... [In reply to] Can't Post

the humour in that is wonderful, but I still remember worrying for the plight of Bilbo and the Dwarves in their sacks in the book - you did think they might be going to be eaten, there was tension right up until they turned to stone, since you didn't know it was Gandalf making them argue amongst themselves.

I was referring more to the modern humour of the invented stuff replacing Gandalf's ventriloquy. I don't see why that could not have been made to work on screen...but the awful lines about parasites "as big as his arm," etc., and the roasting of Dwarves in their long-johns, couldn't they honestly have come up with something better than that?


"Choosing Trust over Doubt gets me burned once in a while, but I'd rather be singed than hardened."
Victoria Monfort






AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Mar 7 2013, 3:56pm

Post #172 of 175 (123 views)
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You are welcome, and thank you as well. [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with much of what you say, though I did enjoy Rivendell (though it could certainly have been better and more populous. . . and a bit more merry), and I enjoyed The Great Goblin and LOVED Gandalf's epic entrance into Goblin town. Aside from those things, I do agree that the first half of the movie was the better half, and held the majority of the film's greatness. It is funny that mant of the critics less steeped in Tolkien took an opposite view, complaining about the measured first half, which contained much of the film's best material, and lauding the helter skelter action after the trolls. If the same critics had kept their views of the second half, and shared our views of the first, this movie would have gotten much better critical reception. . . aside from the hfr. lol

It is a shame that Boyens doesn't seem to understand that Galadriel is great in her own right, and can still be great without having to be made out to be the boss of every good being in Middle-Earth. Unsure

In Reply To
It must have took some time to do :)

I think we do agree on quite a lot and i know from reading your comments in the past i agree with pretty much all of them.

I think we just differ on how much we felt went right and what wasn't quite so good. For me i felt it was about 50/50 for good and bad - with almost all the good stuff coming before trolls plus riddles in the dark.

Like yourself i think the 'real' dwarven war with the orcs would have been better to see on screen as for me it's a more interesting story and brings Dain into the story in a nice way.

I also felt Gandalf gave too much reverence to Galadriel - though i believe this was Boyen's trying to give the female characters in the film a bit more importance/something to do. I felt Cate's actual performance was not up to her previous work as Galadriel and was bordering on parody when she was stood motionless with the dress twisted around her - though i know that isn't a scene for me, lol.

The colour saturation - i have had this talk before, haha. When i first watched it, i think my screening was wrong as it was truly terrible. I watched it again in IMAX and it looked way way better with colour grading i thought looked great. It wasn't over saturated but it was't undersaturated like lotr films were. For me i don't buy into the idea it has to be over saturated to look whimsical. When i watched it again on tv in 2D the colour again looked 'wrong' but then that was from watching the dvd given to Oscar members so maybe it wasn't finished. I dunno, they messed up with the green tint so my faith in them has been rocked when it comes to colour grading, lol. It feels to me like they take it too far, as i feel they do with lots of things. Sometimes i feel less is more.

Like i say i think it just comes down to how much i like and dislike. For me its about equal so those things add up to it being too flawed to be considered great, I left the film wanting to like it but ultimately disappointed, though i can totally see how you think its great if you like most of it - i would of course be the same :)


"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


Mar 7 2013, 3:57pm

Post #173 of 175 (200 views)
Shortcut
The long johns were a bit tacky. I chalk it up to [In reply to] Can't Post

the team being lazy about prosthetic body suits.

In Reply To
the humour in that is wonderful, but I still remember worrying for the plight of Bilbo and the Dwarves in their sacks in the book - you did think they might be going to be eaten, there was tension right up until they turned to stone, since you didn't know it was Gandalf making them argue amongst themselves.

I was referring more to the modern humour of the invented stuff replacing Gandalf's ventriloquy. I don't see why that could not have been made to work on screen...but the awful lines about parasites "as big as his arm," etc., and the roasting of Dwarves in their long-johns, couldn't they honestly have come up with something better than that?


"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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