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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
"The Hobbit" action sequences: physics, realism, fantasy, and suspension of disbelief
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JWPlatt
Grey Havens


Jun 18 2013, 9:53pm

Post #151 of 174 (258 views)
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Gandalf [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
But Gandalf was involved in both scenes. He was on the bridge along with the Dwarves.


I'm not sure, but I don't think he was there in the book.

In any case, Gandalf is Maiar - the Dwarves are not. Did he do anything special besides his entrance and blasting the Indiana Jones boulder?


(This post was edited by JWPlatt on Jun 18 2013, 9:54pm)


Lusitano
Tol Eressea


Jun 18 2013, 9:57pm

Post #152 of 174 (253 views)
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where critics were labeled as sexually deficient on the TORN front page [In reply to] Can't Post

Blind fandom gone beserk?

I would like to read that.Unimpressed

Vous commencez ŕ m'ennuyer avec le port!!!


Hengist
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jun 18 2013, 9:58pm

Post #153 of 174 (260 views)
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Well if you have something [In reply to] Can't Post

equally well thought out and interesting then you are quite welcome to send it to the spymaster email, as is anyone else. It would then be up to the editorial staff (who are different people from the forum admins) if they wanted to put it on the front page.


" So let me get this straight. You want to fly on a magic carpet to see the King of the Potato People and plead with him for your freedom, and you're telling me you're completely sane? "


JWPlatt
Grey Havens


Jun 18 2013, 10:48pm

Post #154 of 174 (239 views)
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Entertaining Reading [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll PM you links for some entertaining reading since I believe posting it on the front page and in the forums (since deleted due to complaints) was the wrong thing to do in the first place.


(This post was edited by JWPlatt on Jun 18 2013, 10:49pm)


glor
Rohan

Jun 18 2013, 11:00pm

Post #155 of 174 (230 views)
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Yes...*spoilers*(sort of) [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
I think it was going more for the cool, actiony, epic-feeling of a sequence than a brutal fight like most in LOTR


I also think the director is very much aware of the deceptive nature of this scene to all those viewing AUJ who have never read the book. Trawl the web and professional reviews and they are spattered with comments about how no important/major character will die and everyone will survive.

Goblin Town is fun, it's look at these indestructible dwarves, they can't die....

In LOTR, suspense and peril is needed to give weight to the fact that Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, Legolas, Gimli, Aragorn, well everyone of the nine apart from Borimir do not die as the direct result of their quest, it is there to show how dangerous and important their quest is, how the nine are risking their lives to 'save the world'. It makes the audience glad they survived.

In TH, the set up is different, to give the deaths weight and meaning, the audience cannot be constantly bombarded with 'these characters lives are in peril'. TH is an adventure, not a quest, even the Stone Giants scene lacked peril due to the fact that it was Bilbo, the very same elderly Hobbit the audience met in the AUJ prologue, that was hanging off the edge of the cliff. The viewer didn't even have to have ever seen LOTR to know that Bilbo survives his adventure.

To give the deaths at the end of AUJ any meaning or weight they have to have impact, that impact would be totally lost, if the audience sat through 9 hours of film with our main characters constantly being threatened with the possibility of dieing.




Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Jun 19 2013, 1:07am

Post #156 of 174 (223 views)
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Good grief [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Oh, please.

Well that's science going down the tubes in the name of itself to essentially proclaim one fan "paper" is now proof of realism in The Hobbit to counter all claims against it without proof of measurement or waiting for any peer review whatsoever. If you want to use science, use it properly.

...Hogwash


This is one of the harshest, most ungracious replies I've seen in recent memory here (that didn't get deleted or severely edited - and the only reason that didn't happen is probably because I'm just now reading it).

You can certainly disagree with the premise and conclusions of the post without such apparent bitterness and condescension toward the conclusions and the person making them. Not long ago, many people who don't like the Goblin chase were touting one reviewer who agreed as proof that their POV was correct. And, Dweller in Dale wasn't even claiming such a thing. It was obviously a lighthearted, geeky approach to offer a counter-argument. It didn't deserve such vehement condemnation with very, VERY borderline insults to go along with it. In the future, such a response will be edited or deleted.


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase





JWPlatt
Grey Havens


Jun 19 2013, 1:14am

Post #157 of 174 (217 views)
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The Reply [In reply to] Can't Post

As you'll learn while you continue reading the thread, the reply wasn't so much to the author of the scientific analysis, which I enjoyed, but to another reply to that post and the thought of holding it up on your website's front page as the hero of righteous thought about Goblin Town - as if it wiped out all opinions to the contrary to uphold a party line.


(This post was edited by JWPlatt on Jun 19 2013, 1:16am)


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jun 19 2013, 1:20am

Post #158 of 174 (212 views)
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I didn't see those words in Ataahua's post [In reply to] Can't Post

There's no indication that posting a light-hearted perspective on a particular scene in the movie is "wiping out all opinions" or "holding it up ... as the hero of righteous thought". Like Hengist said, if anyone has something to contribute, they are welcome to send an e-mail to spymaster at theonering dot net.


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Jun 19 2013, 1:27am

Post #159 of 174 (207 views)
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Well that's overstating the situation. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
the thought of holding it up on your website's front page as the hero of righteous thought about Goblin Town



I suggested he write an article as a piece of fun geekery. It's also not the first time I've encouraged a board member to use their real-world knowledge to write about what we saw on screen - all in the name of having fun.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


JWPlatt
Grey Havens


Jun 19 2013, 1:29am

Post #160 of 174 (209 views)
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Perspective [In reply to] Can't Post

I guess the complaints about critical posts are getting to me. Sorry for the overcompensation. That was my perspective and opinion on it, especially as a site devoted to the support of Tolkien's work. I don't ask you to agree with me, as I'm sure you'd not ask that I agree with you.


Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Jun 19 2013, 1:40am

Post #161 of 174 (207 views)
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Spot on [In reply to] Can't Post

Plus, that same 'biased' Home Page published the review I mentioned earlier upholding the 'contrary' opinion. Funny that there was no indignation, rudeness and gnashing of teeth at TORn then. Crazy


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase





(This post was edited by Altaira on Jun 19 2013, 1:42am)


JWPlatt
Grey Havens


Jun 19 2013, 1:55am

Post #162 of 174 (204 views)
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Home Page Review [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Plus, that same 'biased' Home Page published the review I mentioned earlier upholding the 'contrary' opinion.


Really?

Got a linky? I don't see it now.

The folks who didn't like the negative review probably didn't gnash their teeth because either they didn't see it, or they obviously don't like to be critical and want to be consistent. (But I see plenty of posts critical of criticism on the forums).


Captain Salt
Tol Eressea


Jun 19 2013, 2:50am

Post #163 of 174 (186 views)
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Granted, but IMO sounds more like Leggy's horse-mounting trick from TTT [In reply to] Can't Post

(albeit an exaggerated version) than some of the stunts from AUJ...the fact that it's renowned also makes it seem fairly uncommon. Tongue

But poor Turin...just another reason for him to be envious of the endlessly-perfect other Man to whom everything occurred in the Elder Days.

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!!!!!


arithmancer
Grey Havens


Jun 19 2013, 3:22am

Post #164 of 174 (189 views)
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Huh? [In reply to] Can't Post

There was no bridge in the Hobbit book, that is a detail of the action invented for the movie. But Gandalf was involved in that movie action, so his Maia-ness (or, in the movie-verse, where the term Maia has not been introduced, magic wielding) could be an explanation for the extra-natural phenomena depicted in both scenes.


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Jun 19 2013, 5:47am

Post #165 of 174 (168 views)
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I disagree. In large part because they are existing in the same universe, and only the Wizards adn Elves [In reply to] Can't Post

defy science as we know it, but they are exceptions even within the story. They ARE supernatrual creatures, more common but no less magical than they would be if one were encountered in New York City or London. Here there would be far more fan fare of course. We have spent more time convinicing ourselves that we understand everything about the universe, even as it mocks our understanding with entanglement and quantum measurement.

It is actually all the MORE important for normal people like hobbits, men and dwarves to obey normal laws of physics in these film in order to set the truly supernatural beings like the Wizards, Wraiths and Elves apart, making it clear that the world itself is very normal and very much like our own, as are most of its inhabitants, but that some few are indeed elevated, beyond the full understanding of us and also of their fellow denizens. If EVERYBODY is magic and quasi invulnerable, it blurs the distinctions and greatly detracts from the wonder of the beings who actually are supposed to be magical.

In Reply To
...and accepting that Hobbits even exist, as do Wizards (who are angels), dwarves, Elves, goblins, orcs, wargs, etc...then I can suspend it for everything else.


"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


Jun 19 2013, 5:50am

Post #166 of 174 (168 views)
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There is never a happy medium with this film crew, is their dear Platt? [In reply to] Can't Post

lol

In Reply To
I don't think Peter Jackson is leaning on the conceit of this as Bilbo's point of view as an excuse for what he has done no matter how unrealistic. I think it's simply Jackson unrestrained and he's not done as good a job keeping the tone consistent with The Lord of the Ring or within The Hobbit itself. But I think he knew that going in because he warned us that this might not be the movie we expected. That makes it intentionally Over The Top and so it is Peter's story - not Bilbo's. I wouldn't give Jackson a pass and shift responsibility to Bilbo for Peter's choices.

I would add that quite a few people wanted Gandalf to display more magic and power than he did in The Lord of the Rings - like, you know, an actual wizard. This might be the price we pay to get that and a talking dragon. It could be worse - we could get walking, talking animal food servants at Beorn's house.


"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


Jun 19 2013, 6:19am

Post #167 of 174 (157 views)
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Exactly. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To
Okay, then why does there need to be rules? If Elves are magic and can counteract gravity, and Mithril is magic and can absorb the impact of cave troll stabbing with a large spear, then there are no "rules". Or at least they don't apply when the story requires it.

I only require rules when there is an established reality present, such as a fiction set on modern day or past day Earth. They can be bent to serve the story, but not broken. Fantasy doesn't usually have that (although GoT makes a great cross between the two).



If everyone can walk on snow then there is nothing special when Legolas does it.

Mithril is a semi-magical substance (note that we do not possess it in the real world). Tolkien may not have thought through the incident with the spear sufficiently, but he did have Bilbo struck in the ribs and he did have it leave a nasty bruise, so there were consequences.

Middle-earth IS supposed to be past-day Earth (if a romanticized and fictionalized version of it). That is why the rules of normal physics should only be broken when magic is directly involved.


"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


Jun 19 2013, 6:25am

Post #168 of 174 (157 views)
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Yes, it is magic. That is the key. And not EVERYTHING is magic. That is important also. [In reply to] Can't Post

Consider it in terms of a more typical special or unusual ability. . . some people can break glass with their voices. This is not a common ability to have, and when a person can do it, people take notice. You might become a party favourite or end up on America's got talent or some such thing. But if everyone was doing it, then there would be nothing to see. See also contortionists, star athletes, powerful singers with numerous octave capacity and perfect pitch.

Middle-Earth is indeed supposed to be Earth, and most of the normal "laws" of Physics (the ones electrons and other quantum scale particles are constantly breaking. . . and the Universe itself, evidently) normally apply with some exceptions, and those exceptions are considered exceptional then and there as they would be here. If you make the paranormal the norm for everybody it takes the miracle out of the miraculous.


In Reply To

In Reply To
-If everyone can walk on snow then there is nothing special when Legolas does it.

I never said that, I simply pointed out that it breaks the rules. If you want to say "it's magic!", that's fine. But that means that there really isn't a rule because magic can overrule it.

-Mithril is a semi-magical substance (note that we do not possess it in the real world). Tolkien may not have thought through the incident with the spear sufficiently, but he did have Bilbo struck in the ribs and he did have it leave a nasty bruise, so there were consequences.

When a person's chest is crushed, even without penetration, it would affect their lungs and heart, causing internal bleeding, perforated or collapsed lungs- a person can even drown in their own blood because of that. Rupture the aorta and someone is dead almost in less than a couple of minutes. It could also break the spine. That is essentially what should have happened to Bilbo, but again, magic!

-Middle-earth IS supposed to be past-day Earth (if a romanticized and fictionalized version of it). That is why the rules of normal physics should only be broken when magic is directly involved.

Except that it's not Earth as it shares almost nothing with actual Earth except part of the name and men. Otherwise, it's simply a world Tolkien created using influences from European and Biblical mythology, some European history and the landscapes of different areas of Europe.



"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."


The Mitch King
Rohan


Jun 19 2013, 7:18am

Post #169 of 174 (151 views)
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I think I quite agree with this [In reply to] Can't Post

  

In Reply To
Not really.

What I actually think is that if the mods here want to show their favoritism toward a certain point of view by holding up that one science post as singular "proof" to essentially dismiss the unfavorable opinions, they should also be willing to post an equally critical review of the Goblin Town sequence with one of the overwhelming number of posts available in the discussions.


I am always in favor of showing the pros and cons of any viewpoint just like the evidence for and against competing hypotheses in science!


(This post was edited by Altaira on Jun 19 2013, 2:22pm)


Hengist
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jun 19 2013, 9:25am

Post #170 of 174 (142 views)
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Well as I said [In reply to] Can't Post

anyone is free to write a counter argument and send it to spymaster if they want.


" So let me get this straight. You want to fly on a magic carpet to see the King of the Potato People and plead with him for your freedom, and you're telling me you're completely sane? "


JWPlatt
Grey Havens


Jun 19 2013, 4:12pm

Post #171 of 174 (131 views)
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Well.. [In reply to] Can't Post

You are free to submit one.... LOL. Published is another matter.


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jun 19 2013, 6:38pm

Post #172 of 174 (119 views)
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Have you tried? [In reply to] Can't Post

If an article is well written and the argument presented in a way to make interesting reading, there's no reason it wouldn't be posted.

Silverlode

"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."



bborchar
Rohan


Jun 19 2013, 8:02pm

Post #173 of 174 (106 views)
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My point... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Consider it in terms of a more typical special or unusual ability. . . some people can break glass with their voices. This is not a common ability to have, and when a person can do it, people take notice. You might become a party favourite or end up on America's got talent or some such thing. But if everyone was doing it, then there would be nothing to see. See also contortionists, star athletes, powerful singers with numerous octave capacity and perfect pitch.

Middle-Earth is indeed supposed to be Earth, and most of the normal "laws" of Physics (the ones electrons and other quantum scale particles are constantly breaking. . . and the Universe itself, evidently) normally apply with some exceptions, and those exceptions are considered exceptional then and there as they would be here. If you make the paranormal the norm for everybody it takes the miracle out of the miraculous.


It depends on your definition of magic. Are talking animals magic? Talking trees? Gigantic spiders? Really, the only things that aren't magic in his stories are men...and that's only the "normal" men and not the Numenoreans, and Hobbits. If so, then you can't escape the "magic" of that world. Tolkien wrote high fantasy, not hard fantasy. His Middle Earth is no more Earth than Jupiter is. He used magic liberally throughout his stories. Is there a problem with this? Not at all. The problem is when someone calls out the movie for doing the same thing Tolkien did in his books. If the movie is criticized for not "following the laws of gravity," or "that character should have died!" that's fine...but then the books need to be criticized for it, too.


「さようなら、ミスターホームズ」〜アイリーンアダラーのメール

「ベルグレービアの醜聞」

(This post was edited by bborchar on Jun 19 2013, 8:05pm)


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Jun 21 2013, 6:54am

Post #174 of 174 (86 views)
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Consideder superhero movies. Their world is our world, yet with certain [In reply to] Can't Post

superhuman inhabitants. If everyone in Manhattan or London is shown to be as powerful as Thor, it quickly becomes a problem.

Talking animals doesn't require much magic. We have animals now that can mimic speech, and we have animals that are very bright. Combine the two and viola. It is more novel than magical. Talking trees are magical, but most of the trees in Middle Earth do not talk, and the ents are not really trees. If ALL the trees talked and walked and had faces you would be on to something, but the Ents are nearly mythic within the story. And the Elves and The Golden Wood are legendary to many men. "Do we walk in legends or on the green Earth?" Eomer asked. To which Aragorn answered, " A man may do both. The green Earth you say? Well that is a mighty matter of legend, and yet we walk upon it. . ."

In the books, people who would die under normals circumstances generally do. The only person known to have survived a extraordinary fall is Gandalf. And he IS a supernatural being. Aragorn would not have survived the fall, nor would Thorin or Frodo have done so. Magic is FAR more common in the world of these stories, but it is not ubiquitous, and that is an important distinction. Many things are supposed to be exactly as they are in our own reality. Gandalf is a paranormal being, and the Elves are magical, but this distinguishes them. The world is full of normal people who are subject to all of the same normal physics that you are, and that is an important point to be made, and it is lost if essentially human creatures like Hobbits start surviving fifty foot falls without any injuries.

In Reply To

In Reply To
Consider it in terms of a more typical special or unusual ability. . . some people can break glass with their voices. This is not a common ability to have, and when a person can do it, people take notice. You might become a party favourite or end up on America's got talent or some such thing. But if everyone was doing it, then there would be nothing to see. See also contortionists, star athletes, powerful singers with numerous octave capacity and perfect pitch.

Middle-Earth is indeed supposed to be Earth, and most of the normal "laws" of Physics (the ones electrons and other quantum scale particles are constantly breaking. . . and the Universe itself, evidently) normally apply with some exceptions, and those exceptions are considered exceptional then and there as they would be here. If you make the paranormal the norm for everybody it takes the miracle out of the miraculous.


It depends on your definition of magic. Are talking animals magic? Talking trees? Gigantic spiders? Really, the only things that aren't magic in his stories are men...and that's only the "normal" men and not the Numenoreans, and Hobbits. If so, then you can't escape the "magic" of that world. Tolkien wrote high fantasy, not hard fantasy. His Middle Earth is no more Earth than Jupiter is. He used magic liberally throughout his stories. Is there a problem with this? Not at all. The problem is when someone calls out the movie for doing the same thing Tolkien did in his books. If the movie is criticized for not "following the laws of gravity," or "that character should have died!" that's fine...but then the books need to be criticized for it, too.


"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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