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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
You can't have your cake and eat it too


Jun 13 2013, 6:49am

Post #1 of 21 (1095 views)
You can't have your cake and eat it too Can't Post

So I've watched the recent trailer and started thinking about AUJ and my reaction to it and the conclusion is - these movies would be a lot better if they were just THE HOBBIT - one movie, fairy tale tone not connected to the wider LOTRverse ... OR... done with the same girt and darkness as LOTR....

I've realized that is my main issue with PJ's Hobbit - it's trying to please too many people - people who want to see LOTR 2, people who just wanted the Hobbit .... having both just doesn't work.. well maybe it does but it makes these movies worse than what they could have been.

(This post was edited by LoremIpsum on Jun 13 2013, 6:59am)


Jun 13 2013, 7:38am

Post #2 of 21 (625 views)
I disagree [In reply to] Can't Post

I think it's ALOT better this way. I think TH book is the best fantasy story ever because it has abit of everything that makes a good fantasy...creatures, magic, mountains, caverns, enchanted forests, ruins, treasure, a dragon etc, then it has the perfect story to go with it. With the movies they're just adding even more epicness to it with new fantasy elements that fit perfectly with what was already in the book.


Jun 13 2013, 7:50am

Post #3 of 21 (621 views)
But you can't eat the cake unless you have it.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Funnily enough, I do think the films are working on both levels. They are for me. I take your point that trying to do to many things was a danger in the adaptation but I'd say that it's a danger they've avoided for the most part very skillfully. I enjoy AUJ and I think DOS promises to be even better. For me the new trailer has a sheer visual magic that takes my breath every time I watch it. It's beautiful, and enchanting. The book itself has the two levels - simple fairy tale and something deeper and darker, and it is linked to Lord of the Rings. So does the film. The cake's good.


Jun 13 2013, 8:00am

Post #4 of 21 (570 views)
Yes you can my friend [In reply to] Can't Post

there is no point in having the cake if you just stare at it Wink

“The world is not in your books and maps. It's out there!”


Jun 13 2013, 8:03am

Post #5 of 21 (563 views)
bottom line [In reply to] Can't Post

Its his and his writers vison which he will do as his vision tells him.

The target audience isnt super fans its the world wide market audience who will make up the lions share of profit revenue.
It might bother him some as he's counting his millions, but he;s going to do it his way regardless.

Besides all the basics of the story are are there with some minor variations on exactly how it happened, but for the millionth time its an adaptaion, period, not a re-enactment.

Take this Brother May it Serve you Well
Vote for Pedro!

Forum Admin / Moderator

Jun 13 2013, 10:18am

Post #6 of 21 (486 views)
psst dormouse... [In reply to] Can't Post

...you can come out of the teapot now! Smile

Unless, that is, you're looking at this Board, and thinking that it's a "tempest in a teapot" out here! Laugh


"I desired dragons with a profound desire"


Jun 13 2013, 10:23am

Post #7 of 21 (478 views)
The lid lifts very, very slowly and a paw emerges..... [In reply to] Can't Post

... then a pointy ear... a whisker....

and suddenly, a dormouse! Smile

Tol Eressea

Jun 13 2013, 10:30am

Post #8 of 21 (510 views)
My main issue with PJ's Hobbit? [In reply to] Can't Post

Too many digital double doing too many impossible things. And Azog.

Tol Eressea

Jun 13 2013, 3:52pm

Post #9 of 21 (374 views)
you couldn't fit everything in a movie version of The Hobbit without [In reply to] Can't Post

cutting characters and events out which were in the book.

take me down to the woodland realm where the trees are green and the elf women are pretty....Oh will you please take me home!!


Jun 13 2013, 4:54pm

Post #10 of 21 (340 views)
It's not a fantasy; [In reply to] Can't Post

it's a folk tale. In a fantasy, anything can happen. In a folk tale, what can happen is restricted by the cultures that the story is tied to - in this case, certain strands of English and European culture. It is when the director goes outside of this framework that the adaptation fails - as an adaptation, and becomes a generic 'fantasy' film. It shows a loss of nerve on the part of the film makers - that they couldn't keep the audience with them, unless they modernise the tale. Also, they have less original dialogue available, and have had to invent a lot of it - and it shows.

A great director can show a wider audience why they should concern themselves with the particular culture referenced in the story - the books managed to do this, and didn't make any concessions to a modern or an international readership.

In Reply To
I think it's ALOT better this way. I think TH book is the best fantasy story ever because it has abit of everything that makes a good fantasy....


Jun 13 2013, 5:49pm

Post #11 of 21 (323 views)
I agree with this [In reply to] Can't Post

its a folk tale with a strong message at its heart, like all good folk tales. Folk tales generally warn or improve the mind, they can be cautionery tales or tales of people who conquer adversity. Folk tales are generally about ordinary people and thats why they remain in our collective consciousness.
There's one moment where AUJ went very sour for me. As in the book, Bilbo is an initially reluctant adventurer. The dwarves initially distrust him and see little value in him..
In the book, Bilbo eventually learns to trust in himself, his hidden bravery is slowly developed, the Dwarves learn to trust and rely on his natural good Hobbit sense. He succeeds primarily because of his wits. In the book, he faces his fears and becomes brave through dire danger, in the battle with giant spiders..
In the film, this fundamentally important lynchpin moment arrives much earlier . Thorin Oakenshield is about to be killed by an orc and a warg
Bilbo goes into warrior mode and throws himself at the orc, killing the warg and saving Thorin. The dwarves instantly repent of their doubts.
Tolkien's Bilbo doesn't win by being lost in a warrior's fury. He bumbles along trying to do his best, and gets by with his plucky character and determination to keep his word. Bilbo only kills at the last resort he doesnt kill to prove himself to Thorin. Making Bilbo just another sword swinger strips him of his unique character it makes him banal., he is not a hero just an ordinary person doing his best.

(This post was edited by Elenorflower on Jun 13 2013, 5:50pm)


Jun 13 2013, 6:20pm

Post #12 of 21 (301 views)
I don't think Bilbo did kill to prove himself to Thorin [In reply to] Can't Post

I doubt if he even knew for sure at that moment whether Thorin was alive or dead. He rushed forward because he couldn't watch Thorin die and do nothing, he had to try to help. That is essentially what he does in Mirkwood in the book. He kills one spider with Sting to save himself, then takes on all the spiders to save the dwarves. He fells one spider, draws them off with insults, then kills half a dozen to rescue Bombur.

You're right that the book scene is more varied but, to be honest, I can't see that much difference in the tone and style of it. In the book he kills as many spiders as it takes, in the other he kills a warg. Singing insults at Azog and company wasn't really an option, but I wouldn't define his actions in the film as 'a warrior's fury'. If you watch the scene, it's made perfectly obvious that he is no warrior and doesn't have a clue how to handle a sword. He does his best and succeeds as far as he does by determination and sheer dumb luck. A few minutes more and they would have killed him for certain. And one of the things I love in that scene is his reaction, after all that, to the idea that a great big eagle is going to carry him away. That's pure Bilbo!

Na Vedui

Jun 13 2013, 6:59pm

Post #13 of 21 (287 views)
I agree, but in partial mitigation... [In reply to] Can't Post

Film Bilbo is certainly more of a fighter than book Bilbo (and I suspect he may do a bit more at BOFA than put on his ring and get knocked out), so the contrast between his way of doing things and other people's is lost to that extent, as is the watershed nature of his encounter with the Mirkwood spiders.

But to be fair, he's no real warrior. Once he'd lost the advantage of a surprise attack, he had clearly bitten off more than he could chew. He was standing there facing four or five orcs on wargs, and it was obvious from the futile way he was waving his sword at them that he knew he was in a real hole.The eagles came just in time.


Jun 13 2013, 7:43pm

Post #14 of 21 (279 views)
The real bottom line [In reply to] Can't Post

Is that PJ had no cojones what so ever to actually make a film that somewhat resembled the original story, and instead sold out completely and made the most main stream, massively over the top, paint by numbers blockbuster pablum possible in order to maximize ticket sales and revenue. Of course that was his commercialized decision and the project is his. Perhaps when he gets older he will become a little wiser and will regret the total trash it turned out to be and realize it as one of the biggest missed opportunities of his career to tell a great story in a special way. I'm not betting on it though...



Jun 13 2013, 8:48pm

Post #15 of 21 (249 views)
The real real bottom line. [In reply to] Can't Post

real real real real real. Smile Just wanted to preempt the response.

I think PJ was very clear on many decisions he made in regards to this movie, including making it a trilogy. He said had he made the Hobbit first, it would have been a different movie but since it worked out with LotR being done first, he decided the movies would part a set including both. I think its fair if your not a fan of that decision to criticize it but say he sold out for commercial reasons is pretty juvenile. Did you ever think if he was a puppet to WB he would have fought so hard to keep the movies in NZ? Probably not but he passionately fought for it because he believes in his country and the movie industry they have built there and he obviously felt dedicated to the many workers at Weta and Stone Street. He prevailed. He may be mild mannered but I don't see him as weak and caving to anyone. Nor does he seem obsessed by money, pomp, or circumstance.

Without any knowledge to conclude he has abandoned his own conscience is a pretty arrogant assumption. You may not agree with his choices but I think until proven otherwise, a person deserves the benefit of the doubt on their motives. If he was all about commercialization, he wouldn't make video logs or notice the Happy Hobbit girls fan videos and have three main actors take the time pay tribute to the fans. Clearly the man exudes the kind of leadership that avails the people working for him to make not just the movies but the movie making as fan immersive an experience as he does.


Jun 13 2013, 9:05pm

Post #16 of 21 (239 views)
Just like I said [In reply to] Can't Post

He's more than happy to go where the biggest bang for the buck lies these days. He's become a giant suck up to the mass market. All the ADD kiddies love him now!



Jun 13 2013, 9:08pm

Post #17 of 21 (232 views)
just like you assume [In reply to] Can't Post

The biggest bang for the buck? What does one assume about you? Wink

(This post was edited by BeornBerserker on Jun 13 2013, 9:09pm)

Forum Admin / Moderator

Jun 13 2013, 9:15pm

Post #18 of 21 (230 views)
Discuss the topic - not each other. [In reply to] Can't Post

And if you have nothing constructive to add to the conversation, walk away. Personal attacks are not allowed on these boards.


"Dark is the water of Kheled-zâram, and cold are the springs of Kibil-nâla, and fair were the many-pillared halls of Khazad-dűm in Elder Days before the fall of mighty kings beneath the stone."

Na Vedui

Jun 13 2013, 9:32pm

Post #19 of 21 (229 views)
Too extreme [In reply to] Can't Post

I am no fan myself of over-long and too-fast-to-see-what's-happening CGI action stuff, and would prefer more character moments, but the (to me) very enjoyable scenes at Bag End and Gollum's cave in particular were hardly standard blockbuster fare, nor did the length of time taken over the former please the "mainstream" action-addicts, by all accounts. This was entirely predictable, and yet those scenes were kept in. Hardly consistent with a "complete sell-out".


Jun 14 2013, 6:38pm

Post #20 of 21 (155 views)
I partly agree [In reply to] Can't Post

''Probably not but he passionately fought for it because he believes in his country and the movie industry they have built there and he obviously felt dedicated to the many workers at Weta and Stone Street. He prevailed. He may be mild mannered but I don't see him as weak and caving to anyone. Nor does he seem obsessed by money, pomp, or circumstance.''

I believe that he is formost a buisnessman, and a pro, he is obviously keen to promote his country and support local industry. thats fair enough.
He makes the films he wants to. That does not mean that he made these films out of any great interest in the story of the Hobbit. I personally believe he was a bit bored with it, his interests seemed to lie in making some advances in the technology, his focus seemed to be getting the new technology into the forefront. I think this is what interested him about making the Hobbit, the chance to showcase his new visuals. which is fair enough. I dont doubt his commitment to the industry, and his team, but I do doubt his committment to Bilbo, this shows, as Bilbo is increasingly looking like an afterthought. The story from Bilbos perspective is mostly an interior journey, and thats not very spectacular. this new technology needed spectacular scenes to show them off.

Tol Eressea

Jun 14 2013, 8:17pm

Post #21 of 21 (159 views)
Cake [In reply to] Can't Post

Some cake has frosting. Some doesn't. I like it all. In this case there's lots of cake and lot's of frosting. I'm all about dessert (other than nice bacon) so I'm on board and am looking forward to it! Where's the fork??

Thank you for your questions, now go sod off and do something useful - Martin Freeman Twitter chat 3/1/13


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