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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
"I Can Put My Camera Anywhere": The Main Problem With the Hobbit Film(s)
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Bombadil
Half-elven


Jun 20 2013, 12:58pm

Post #26 of 40 (339 views)
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2 Thingies PJ does so well.. [In reply to] Can't Post

1. The Hand-held Cameras
Moving around puts us really inside the Action, as if we are one within the Company.

2. Jib Shots?
These are on a Balanced Crane that allows us to fly up and above the Action.
As if?... we get a more God-like perpective.

They are everywhere within ih his Movies.
Rarely a Static shot.


glor
Rohan

Jun 20 2013, 2:04pm

Post #27 of 40 (314 views)
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Gritty realism [In reply to] Can't Post

You may have hit the problem I have with GOT and why I simply cannot get into it, it's too realistic in the purist sense of the word real.

GOT doesn't have that sense of otherness, of another world, that isn't like our real world. I have tried watching and I find it's visual style takes me out of the fantasy, It looks to me, like I am watching actors in costumes wandering around eastern European landscapes, reasonably well shot, but still actors running around the countryside. It looks just like some serious BBC historical documentary, where they have actors wandering around the countryside in costumes re-enacting battles and various scenes usually with the narrator/host doing a voice over.

Genres like sci-fi and fantasy, should have visual worlds that don't quite look/feel like our own, that have a visual sense of the other, GOT by going full on for the 'real' gritty style just leaves me cold and I get absolutely no sense of an imagined world.

Am I missing something? I know GOT has been highy praised and my adult son, who shares his movie/Tv tastes with mine, loves it, me I keep tryign to watch it and just get annoyed with it's style.


bborchar
Rohan


Jun 20 2013, 2:10pm

Post #28 of 40 (300 views)
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It's not everyone's cup of tea... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
You may have hit the problem I have with GOT and why I simply cannot get into it, it's too realistic in the purist sense of the word real.

GOT doesn't have that sense of otherness, of another world, that isn't like our real world. I have tried watching and I find it's visual style takes me out of the fantasy, It looks to me, like I am watching actors in costumes wandering around eastern European landscapes, reasonably well shot, but still actors running around the countryside. It looks just like some serious BBC historical documentary, where they have actors wandering around the countryside in costumes re-enacting battles and various scenes usually with the narrator/host doing a voice over.

Genres like sci-fi and fantasy, should have visual worlds that don't quite look/feel like our own, that have a visual sense of the other, GOT by going full on for the 'real' gritty style just leaves me cold and I get absolutely no sense of an imagined world.

Am I missing something? I know GOT has been highy praised and my adult son, who shares his movie/Tv tastes with mine, loves it, me I keep tryign to watch it and just get annoyed with it's style.


It took me a couple of tries reading the books to get into it, until I realized that I had to read "out of order" - ie: I read by plot line, and not straight through. The tv series does a better job of condensing the characters and storyline without oversimplifying it, I think. I can see why someone wouldn't like the show if they are expecting fantasy, though- it's not very fantastical. I would characterize more as "medieval with fantasy elements" more than anything. Magic isn't used for good, and no one is safe. I like the story because it's different...it's hard fantasy, but it pulls no punches.


「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」


bborchar
Rohan


Jun 20 2013, 2:15pm

Post #29 of 40 (302 views)
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Pan's Labyrinth isn't a fairy tale... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Just because the Hobbit is a "fairy tale," it does not follow that it needs to be chock full of brightly-lit CGI-filled cartoonish action with constant swoopy camera shots. GDT's "Pan's Labyrinth" is also a fairy tale of sorts, and it does nothing of the kind.

Fairy tales should have charm, but that is very different than sugary emptiness. And there is a huge difference between "childlike" and "adolescent." PJ leans far more towards the adolescent, IMO. The trashy consequence-less eye candy is the kind of thing modern teens eat up.

I find characterizations of the Hobbit book as some sort of modern Disney story to be very far off the mark. Even in the early parts of the story, there is mythic depth and danger in the Hobbit - whether it be during the dwarves' song in Bag End, or when they are in danger of starving to death after the ponies bolt (a perilous situation which PJ inexplicably removes).

For some reason, PJ excised many parts of the Hobbit that were dark and dangerous (though sometimes comically).

He wouldn't have needed to invent orc attacks, and other nonsense, if he actually dealt with the very human dilemmas inherent in the text. I mean, why not dramatize the prospect of the company completely running out of food? Why can drama only be created by CGI monsters attacking?

In short, I think PJ simply amplified what was an already OTT style of film-making. Instead of playing with his new toys in moderation, his toys played him. Though the Hobbit is not a disaster of Star Wars prequel proportions, Lucasization was almost certainly at play. It's a movie full of technological excess, and it loses much of its soul once the party leaves the Shire.


PL's has a fairytale within a horrific story of war. It's comparing apples and oranges.

And personally, I felt the book of the Hobbit was empty...obviously, it's my opinion, but the book moved like a Grimm's Fairytale story...light characterizations, improbable circumstances and impossible answers to situations.


「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」


dormouse
Half-elven


Jun 20 2013, 2:15pm

Post #30 of 40 (338 views)
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There's a problem? [In reply to] Can't Post

So far as I can see, different people have different problems with The Hobbit films and plenty don't have any problem at all (apart from having to wait 18 months and then some before the whole adaptation is released, with the attendent knowledge that this will be the last (don't get me started on that....!)

Peter Jackson likes very dynamic camera moves. He likes to place the camera right in the action; it's his style, and like any very marked style, it won't appeal to everyone. If it doesn't appeal to you that's a shame for you, but I can't see that it - or anything else - can be identified as 'the main problem'.

I can't comment of Game of Thrones because I've never seen it.


Escapist
Gondor


Jun 20 2013, 2:28pm

Post #31 of 40 (321 views)
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This is exactly what I have observed as well. [In reply to] Can't Post

For every person that thought the first 45 minutes were "spot on" and delightful, there is someone who thought the same moments "boring".
The same holds for everything in the movie with the following exceptions: Bilbo's performance and the "Riddles in the Dark" scene.

That's why I'd say that "the problem" (if there is one) almost has to be more dependent on the person watching it than the movie itself. Or one could say the problem with the movie is that it is consistently inconsistent. It is situation comedy turned action-adventure. The CGI varies wildly across scenes ranging from award-winning and breath-taking to screen-saver.

But I would really suggest that the reaction to such "inconsistency" almost depends on who is watching it as well. Is it a "glass half empty" or "glass half full" or "wrong glass" type person? Do they judge the movie by highlights, averages, or low points?

I think all of this is highly tied up in personal expectations - which vary so much across viewers! For every person that wanted to retain the whimsical childlike tone there is someone else who wanted to see realism. For every person that wanted AUJ to be distinct from LotR there is someone else that wanted to relive LotR using AUJ. I think AUJ succeeded in being everything for everyone - just not all of the time!


Lusitano
Tol Eressea


Jun 20 2013, 2:31pm

Post #32 of 40 (292 views)
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Indeed [In reply to] Can't Post

which is why looking at Fellowship of the ring, that film sure feels to me as a fish out of water, in the filmography of jackson.

When the camera is swwoping all over goblin town or azanulbizar, it really puts me off.

Kubrick used to spend his time preparing and carefully crafting a frame, and the end result has a lot of thought, preparation and thus it was always a unique shot or scene. The end result was very impressive. In TH there many sequences or shots that are just... serviceable...average...as if they just got things together, shot it this way and hoped for the best...

They dont seem to have much passion or craft behind them. Take the aerial shots or the mountain shots...i find them very uninspired compared to the ones form 10 years go.

Passagas the Brown : excellent post! I salute you. You have put into words what i often feel with regards to TH.

Sugary emptiness, adolescent trashy eye candy action,


"if he actually dealt with the very human dilemmas inherent in the text. I mean, why not dramatize the prospect of the company completely running out of food? Why can drama only be created by CGI monsters attacking? "


Because jackson's directorial skills have the subtlety of a cgi rock monster boxing against each other while the dwarves surf on them.

Thats the sort of thing jackson doenst seem to understand. Bilbos grumblings about the lack of food was something i was derely hoping would be there.


"The directors of GoT sometimes come close to the kind of mastery we see from some of film's great directors - David Lean or Sergio Leone. By comparison, PJ's completely undisciplined flying camera is juvenile, at best."

Thats true. Even from a purely visual perspective GOT is a delight to watch. True mastery and competence when it comes to how to film an interior and where put your camera and how to use natural light to exquisite heights.

Lesnies use of big studio lights destroys any sense of naturality and magic that the hobbit could have had. Of course the 3D, could have required this sort of excessive studio lighting. Its all over Gollums cave, as well.

Vous commencez m'ennuyer avec le port!!!


bungobaggins
Lorien


Jun 20 2013, 2:51pm

Post #33 of 40 (289 views)
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The one shot that really bugs me. [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Take the aerial shots or the mountain shots...i find them very uninspired compared to the ones form 10 years go.


The shot of the company traversing the Misty Mountains, and we hear the Dwarves song in this grand orchestration from Howard and the camera is just like...boring pan-shot.

http://youtu.be/TiHVpi-0rqo?t=46s

I was expecting something a little more grand...hmmm...maybe like this: http://youtu.be/HNndi2VBaCc?t=30s

Now granted in the clip from FOTR they're in a studio, but you can tell how carefully the shot was mapped out through the subtle camera movements.


"You are a very fine person, Mr. Baggins, and I am very fond of you; but you are only quite a little fellow in a wide world after all!" - Gandalf

Darth Bungo: "Gandalf the Gray never told you what happened to your father."
Bilbo Barrel-rider: "He told me enough. He told me you killed him."
Darth Bungo: "No, I am your father."


Shagrat
Gondor

Jun 20 2013, 2:55pm

Post #34 of 40 (283 views)
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Wait a second here... [In reply to] Can't Post

People are not just comparing GoT directors to some of the greatest directors in movie history (I mean David Lean and Sergio Leone - seriously?), but arguing that they are superior at their craft to an Oscar-winning director? If you said that to them they'd laugh at you. As much as I like Neil Marshall's work can you honestly tell me his direction of the battle of Blackwater came close to anything Jackson has done with sieges in the LOTR films?

As much as I love Game of Thrones a good portion of series 3 left a lot to be desired. The direction has always struck me as workmanlike at best.


(This post was edited by Shagrat on Jun 20 2013, 2:57pm)


glor
Rohan

Jun 20 2013, 10:38pm

Post #35 of 40 (225 views)
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medieval with fantasy elements [In reply to] Can't Post

Well yes but, take a good historical film, Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator etc and the direction and cinematography still give a feeling of otherness, a sense of difference to the real world around us.
I find quite a bit of GOTs visual style cliched, it relies too much on the standard shots so closely associated with historical re-enactment style TV, shots that have been copied a thousand times from the films of the great masters like David Lean. I am willing to accept those cliches because like most TV series, it doesn't have the luxuries of time and budget that big films have so, the people behind it aren't in the position to spend years in pre-production, do call backs and reshoots etc.

I wasn't expecting GOT to be high fantasy, I am aware of it's historical medieval, light fantasy content but it still nees a hint of otherness, something to make the viewer feel like they are not just watching actors in costumes, to take me into it's imagined world. It's reality style makes it feel less real to me.

I think otherness can be authentic and have real substance, Sir Ridley Scott is the master of this or, it can be charming and surreal and yet still feel tangible, Terry Gilliam for instance. Even a Tv series like Madmen has more of a genuine feel of otherness than GOT to my eyes.


bborchar
Rohan


Jun 20 2013, 10:49pm

Post #36 of 40 (219 views)
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Not even the same... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I find quite a bit of GOTs visual style cliched, it relies too much on the standard shots so closely associated with historical re-enactment style TV, shots that have been copied a thousand times from the films of the great masters like David Lean. I am willing to accept those cliches because like most TV series, it doesn't have the luxuries of time and budget that big films have so, the people behind it aren't in the position to spend years in pre-production, do call backs and reshoots etc.

I wasn't expecting GOT to be high fantasy, I am aware of it's historical medieval, light fantasy content but it still nees a hint of otherness, something to make the viewer feel like they are not just watching actors in costumes, to take me into it's imagined world. It's reality style makes it feel less real to me.

I think otherness can be authentic and have real substance, Sir Ridley Scott is the master of this or, it can be charming and surreal and yet still feel tangible, Terry Gilliam for instance. Even a Tv series like Madmen has more of a genuine feel of otherness than GOT to my eyes.


The "otherness" in GoT is the brutality we see on the screen every episode. It's a mini-series that is making 10+hours with only about $5 per episode...it doesn't have the money to be the next Lawrence of Arabia, and it was never trying to be. The locations are beautiful, the story is believable and terrible, and the characters are realistic. It was never going to have sweeping landscape shots or an "otherworldliness" to it...that's the point. It was never trying to be otherworldly, it wanted to mirror this world, and it does it fantastically.


「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」


Aragorn the Elfstone
Grey Havens


Jun 20 2013, 10:51pm

Post #37 of 40 (215 views)
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Don't see that at all. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm surprised it looks that way (like a BBC documentary) to you. When I watch it, it looks very cinematic (in fact, one of the best looking digital productions I've ever seen).

"All men dream; but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds awake to find that it was vanity; But the dreamers of day are dangerous men. That they may act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible."
- T.E. Lawrence


There&ThereAgain
Rohan


Jun 21 2013, 7:38pm

Post #38 of 40 (140 views)
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I love that shot [In reply to] Can't Post

it's my favorite example of terrible CGI in LOTR. It might be the worse shot in the whole trilogy.

Although the fish dragging Deagol in ROTK might be another contender.

"The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair; and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater."-J.R.R. Tolkien

"Thanks for the money!" -George Lucas


Bladerunner
Gondor


Jun 21 2013, 10:40pm

Post #39 of 40 (130 views)
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I've come to the conclusion... [In reply to] Can't Post

that Peter Jackson is convinced that the only way to attract the "younger viewers" to the theater and away from video games is to infest his films with CGI and crazy/unrealistic stunts and long, dragged-out action sequences.

("Man of Steel" suffered from the latter, - unnecessarily).



Elenorflower
Gondor


Jun 23 2013, 3:56pm

Post #40 of 40 (90 views)
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while I do agree with your points [In reply to] Can't Post

one of my all time favourite moments in the Whole of LOTR was the 'swooping' scenes of Gandalf riding back to Minas Tirith after the attack of the Nazgul on Faramir and his men. The breathless and all too short ride behind Gandalf is for me the most thrilling part of the film. I want it to go on forever, it hurts when it ends, i feel like I am charging with the company back to the city, it makes me cry with joy.

so yes the Hobbit has all those OTT things you mention, but if its done sparingly, its truly wonderful.

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