The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum


Visit The *EVEN NEWER* Barrow-Downs Photo Page

Go Back   The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum > Middle-Earth Discussions > The Movies
User Name
Password
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-22-2012, 05:35 PM   #1
Morthoron
Curmudgeonly Wordwraith
 
Morthoron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ensconced in curmudgeonly pursuits
Posts: 2,318
Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
The Hobbit: An Extraneous Journey

THE HOBBIT: AN EXTRANEOUS JOURNEY

How so like Peter Jackson, a wizard of scanning CGI wars and panning Kiwi tors, to offer something completely unexpected in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The unexpected nature of the film will be readily apparent to anyone who has read J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy classic The Hobbit, a story of one Bilbo Baggins, esq., a stolid upper-middle class hobbit with not enough fight in him to tussle with a tough bit of beef. The book details his mock-epic quest for Erebor, the Lonely Mountain, wherein he not only finds adventure but the innate reserve of Tookish toughness that underlies the staid and respectable Baggins’ flab. What was unexpected in the film adaptation, you may ask? It is, sadly, that Bilbo has become a sideshow, just another bit part in a Hollywood epic, not demonstrably different from the cast of garish dwarves with limited speaking roles that surround him.

In fact, Martin Freeman, who plays Bilbo Baggins, retains the same confused look of irritation for most of the film, perhaps because his costume caused undue chaffing, or, more likely, because he has relatively little to do in a film ostensibly written by and detailing the exploits of his character. Freeman seems genuinely hobbitish, but not necessarily one of the Bagginses, and is certainly not of the acting caliber of the great Ian Holm (who reprises the older Bilbo Baggins role he played in the Lord of the Rings trilogy). Looking at turns put upon and sulky does not equate to acting the part, but again, this is not necessarily Freeman’s fault; after all, the movie has more subplots than a sprawling development of tract homes plopped indecorously in the suburbs.

What is this incessant need of Peter Jackson to undermine a classic with a superfluity usually reserved for dementia patients in a hospital ward? No, I am giving Jackson too much credit, and I apologize to the dementia patients. Somewhere in the labyrinthine, cobwebbed corridors that twist and turn in his troubled brain, I believe that Mr. Jackson somehow believes that inventing plots wholesale is part of the scriptwriting process. Never mind that one has one of the endearing and supreme fantasy stories of the 20th century to work with, a tale cherished by children and adults alike, passed on reverently from generation to generation, it is just not up to snuff as far as a cinematic thrill ride for the 21st century.

Ergo, Jackson, a fan-fiction writer at heart and prone to sanguine bouts of dizzying violence, has decided to completely rewrite The Hobbit in his own image and likeness, relying on scripting culled from back when he was a struggling director spitting out B-grade horror flicks with plenty of camp, buckets of blood and enough gore to fill an abbatoir. Never accused of subtlety, Jackson hammers the audience with an onslaught of combat scenes and then hits them upside the head with slapstick comedy: belching dwarves, snotty trolls, and psychedelicized wizards addled by mushroom ingestion. The clever nature of the humor imbued in the story with philological care by Tolkien can only be seen in brief snatches in Jackson’s film, before it is buried in tumbling dwarves, collapsing bridges and skewered orcs.

Speaking of orcs, the entire subplot of the albino orc Azog, the requisite Hollywood CGI villain used to stretch the plot to interminable lengths so that it can be teased and tortured into a three-movie marathon of orkish overkill, is completely and utterly unnecessary. To paraphrase Bilbo Baggins himself, the first movie of the trilogy seems to be thin and stretched, like not enough toilet paper over too much bum. Likewise, the White Council scene, featuring the lifelike mannequins of Cate Blanchett (as Galadriel), Hugo Weaving (as Elrond), Sir Ian McKellan (as Gandalf), and the corpse of Christopher Lee (as Saruman), is so stiff and flat one can reuse the sequence as underlayment for a bowling alley, and it pained me to listen to the fan-fictional excess of Nazgul buried in suspended animation, a plot point I am not sure a teenage writer would have the hubris to exploit.

And Radagast the Brown (wisely absent from the White Council scene, given that an annoyed Saruman would undoubtedly and justifiably throttle him - and I would gladly assist), is a caricature of a zany wizard. No, not a caricature, his appearance is a direct theft of Merlyn from T.H. White’s classic The Once and Future King, wherein Merlyn is described thusly:

“It was not that he had dirty finger-nails or anything like that, but some large bird had been nesting in his hair…with white mutes, old bones, muddy feathers and castings. This is the impression which he [Wart] gathered from Merlyn. The old gentleman was streaked with droppings over his shoulders…”

Oh, I could go on about the similarities of Merlyn’s disheveled cottage in comparison to Radagast’s messy treehouse, or the daft inclusion of a hedgehog named “Sebastian” (Sebastian! Seriously?); whereas, an urchin (hedgehog) plays a role in both The Once and Future King and the sequel The Book of Merlyn as well. In this case, hedgehog has a wonderful Yorkshire accent (“Ah doan’t ‘ee nip our tender vitals, lovely Measter Brock, for ee wor a proper gennelman, ee wor, and brought us up full comely on cow’s milk an’ that, all supped out from a lorly dish.”). It works well for T.H. White, but it all seems so out of place for J.R.R. Tolkien. And a rabbit sled? Only if C.S. Lewis co-wrote the script. And this was Narnia.

Of course, Peter Jackson’s self-aggrandizing over-amplification of monumental effects goes absolutely off the deep end here. Erebor is now so grandiose a dwarvish kingdom, so ornately gilt and overlaid, that Moria looks like a shabby tin shack in comparison. And Goblin Town? There is a half-hour long movie version of “Chutes and Ladders” underground, with more bridgework than that completed by every dentist in recorded history. The GoblinKing is larger than a troll (why have Uruk-hai when Sauron could breed an army of pachydermic GoblinKings?), and the elephantine goiter swinging about its neck is probably due to Jackson’s inherent need for over-the-top accoutrements (like the WitchKing’s ridiculously oversized mace). The stone giants (primeval Transformers) make an appearance with so much destructive mayhem that one wonders how the Misty Mountains were not renamed the Misty Rubble Quarry.

There were aspects of the film I enjoyed – not surprisingly, when Jackson adhered somewhat to the original story: the dwarves dining at Bag-end, the cockney trolls, and the absolutely precious dialogue between Gollum and Bilbo during the Riddle Game (the only part of the movie where Bilbo actually seemed like Bilbo). Like The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, the best actor unfortunately is a CGI character, and Gollum once again shows more thespian ability and more range than the entire ensemble combined.

The soundtrack gave the impression that Peter Jackson was desperately trying to recapture the auld Oscar-winning magic of his Lord of the Rings trilogy. Anywhere Jackson could drop in a bit of the old score to make moviegoers teary-eyed reminiscing over his one great success was dolloped liberally thoughout the movie. The highlight musically-speaking was the dwarves singing in Bag-end. The rendition of “Far Over the Misty Mountains Cold” sung by Thorin and Company was genuinely moving, but the song by Neil Finn for the closing credits “Song of the Lonely Mountain” was reedy and abysmal, and sounded more like a corporate decision from the marketing department than a tune worthy of Tolkien.

And what of the dwarves, you might ask? There were thirteen of them, after all, surely they made some sort of impact? Well, no, not really. Thorin is a one-dimensional dark cut-out of a rueful and vengeful man (not a dwarf, he bears no resemblance to a dwarf whatsoever). He could have been Boromir’s bitter cousin, Angrimir. Any sort of pompous humor or high-falutin’ speechifying that Tolkien gave Thorin has been removed. He is as dull as he is stereotypically vengeful. And Thorin does not age. Balin ages, but not Thorin. Thorin, the oldest of the dwarves, looks absolutely the same from the Battle of Azanulbizar up to the Quest for Erebor. Don’t let the few wisps of grey in his beard fool you, Thorin has a picture up in his attic just like Dorian Gray. Of the other dwarves, I would say Balin was the best, and poor Bombur had no lines at all that I recall - which is probably just as well, as the sophomoric scripting would require him to be the butt of some fat joke.

In the end, I would classify The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey as a blockbuster Hollywood action movie epic. That is not being complimentary, however. Given the fan-fictionalization of the annoyingly superfluous subplots and extraneous material grafted on the original story like attaching a chrome grill and hubcaps to a racing stallion, I would say that it was not necessary to make this a movie derived from Tolkien’s book at all: any generic swords-and-sorcery fantasy world would do the job quite adequately.

As I mentioned previously, the parts that worked the best were taken nearly verbatim from the book; unfortunately, these seemed like forlorn set pieces, all too brief sequences of splendid and literate display hiding an empty façade, and behind that blank wall the detritus of explodey things, decapitations, manic chases, violent combat and farcical pratfalls – the very definition of a Hollywood action movie, not a Tolkien book. Thorin could have just as well spat out “This is Sparta!” and I wouldn’t have noticed the difference. The movie was nearly three hours long, and I could feel it (and it wasn’t just the $10 soft drink welling in my kidneys either!). Had it been trimmed of all the excess fat and inane, ham-handed extrapolation, and then reduced to a two-movie set, it would have been extraordinary. I am being quite honest. Had this been two movies rather than three, it would be sublime. How sad that it isn’t.
__________________
Please visit my newly resurrected blog...The Dark Elf File...a slightly skewed journal of music and literary comment, fan-fiction and interminable essays.

Last edited by Morthoron; 12-22-2012 at 06:22 PM.
Morthoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2012, 09:36 PM   #2
Kuruharan
Regal Dwarven Shade
 
Kuruharan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: A Remote Dwarven Hold
Posts: 3,583
Kuruharan is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Kuruharan is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Boots

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morthoron View Post
And Thorin does not age. Balin ages, but not Thorin. Thorin, the oldest of the dwarves, looks absolutely the same from the Battle of Azanulbizar up to the Quest for Erebor. Don’t let the few wisps of grey in his beard fool you, Thorin has a picture up in his attic just like Dorian Gray.
I noticed that too.

I suspect you have hit upon the likeliest explanation.
__________________
...finding a path that cannot be found, walking a road that cannot be seen, climbing a ladder that was never placed, or reading a paragraph that has no...
Kuruharan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2012, 09:28 AM   #3
Morthoron
Curmudgeonly Wordwraith
 
Morthoron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ensconced in curmudgeonly pursuits
Posts: 2,318
Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuruharan View Post
I noticed that too.

I suspect you have hit upon the likeliest explanation.
The lack of aging on Thorin's part was jarring to me (and the fact that he bore no resemblance to a dwarf, save for his pudgy fingers). This was obviously a conscious decision on PJ's part, as Balin had dark hair at the Battle of Azanulbizar, but he was snow white by the time of the quest. Movie-Thorin's character also was dissimilar to the book: no pompous speeches or any humor whatsoever. Gloomy bastard!

Also, Kili and Fili (The Hobbit film's recycled versions of the LotR films' Merry and Pippin) also were not very dwarvish.

Another aspect of the film that ****ed me off was PJ's treatment of Thranduil, the ElvenKing. Would a Sindarin Elf, a refugee with his father, Oropher, of the dwarven sack of Menegroth and the destruction of Doriath, ever pay homage to a dwarf king? I think not.

And then make Thranduil look like an even bigger jerk by ignoring Thorin's tearful pleas for help as the dwarvish refugees fled from the ruin of Erebor? Thranduil was not so callous in the books, a bit fey perhaps, but not an ***. And why would Thranduil even drag his army so far from his demesne in Mirkwood just to turn around once he reached Erebor? That is no Sunday-afternoon-be-home-by-tea jaunt around the park. Again, this is PJ's lack of subtlety. He must beat the audience over the head with a plot-point in the mistaken belief that the audience needs to be reminded at every turn that dwarves and elves don't like each other, even inventing further plot-points to bolster the audience beating.
__________________
Please visit my newly resurrected blog...The Dark Elf File...a slightly skewed journal of music and literary comment, fan-fiction and interminable essays.
Morthoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2012, 09:49 AM   #4
Kuruharan
Regal Dwarven Shade
 
Kuruharan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: A Remote Dwarven Hold
Posts: 3,583
Kuruharan is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Kuruharan is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Boots

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morthoron View Post
Another aspect of the film that ****ed me off was PJ's treatment of Thranduil, the ElvenKing. Would a Sindarin Elf, a refugee with his father, Oropher, of the dwarven sack of Menegroth and the destruction of Doriath, ever pay homage to a dwarf king? I think not.
Yes, that was very dumb. Dwarves ruling over men is fairly sound from a Tolkien perspective. Dwarves ruling over elves is highly unsound and would never happen from a Tolkien perspective.

Quote:
And then make Thranduil look like an even bigger jerk by ignoring Thorin's tearful pleas for help as the dwarvish refugees fled from the ruin of Erebor? Thranduil was not so callous in the books, a bit fey perhaps, but not an ***.
Notice the groundwork being laid down for story changes later on down the road. When Thorin goes mad for gold before the Battle of Five Armies (which I think they setup well enough in AUJ) all of a sudden the elves are going to go from being the bad guys that the audience is supposed to resent to the voices of reason, which is just going to be more confusing. If I were to credit Jackson with much thought, I would suspect he is trying to create post-modern feelings of ambiguity. However, for me to think that would be to assume that he hasn't come up with some new way to make the lead up to the climax confusing and I am pretty sure he has done just that.

Quote:
And why would Thranduil even drag his army so far from his demesne in Mirkwood just to turn around once he reached Erebor? That is no Sunday-afternoon-be-home-by-tea jaunt around the park.
Actually, in Jackson geography it probably *is* a Sunday-afternoon-be-home-by-tea jaunt around the park as the movie clearly illustrated that the Lonely Mountain is at most 50 miles from the Misty Mountains. So the Woodland Realm is probably like 5 miles from Erebor.
__________________
...finding a path that cannot be found, walking a road that cannot be seen, climbing a ladder that was never placed, or reading a paragraph that has no...
Kuruharan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2012, 11:05 AM   #5
Galin
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 933
Galin has been trapped in the Barrow!
'Angrimir'

Nice touch
Galin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2012, 02:55 PM   #6
William Cloud Hicklin
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
William Cloud Hicklin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,473
William Cloud Hicklin is a guest at the Prancing Pony.William Cloud Hicklin is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
And while Thorin does not age, Bilbo (relative to intro Holm-Bilbo) DOES age- even though of course he did not.
__________________
“It is good to be both loved and feared; but if one cannot be both, it is better to be feared than loved" --Machiavelli
William Cloud Hicklin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2012, 02:56 PM   #7
Nogrod
Flame of the Ainulindalë
 
Nogrod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Wearing rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves in a field behaving as the wind behaves
Posts: 9,051
Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.
Send a message via MSN to Nogrod
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morthoron
And Thorin does not age. Balin ages, but not Thorin. Thorin, the oldest of the dwarves, looks absolutely the same from the Battle of Azanulbizar up to the Quest for Erebor. Don’t let the few wisps of grey in his beard fool you, Thorin has a picture up in his attic just like Dorian Gray.
You must remember one additional fact while looking for an explanation to that. A Hollywood blockbuster movie needs to sell - and you do it by posing hot characters teenagers can fall in love to. Thirteen old and wary dwarves doesn't sound like a recipe to that - so let's sex up their leader / the plot hero (and some others while doing it).

Just ask yourselves what a millenia-old Legolas would have looked in the LotR (even if the elves don't age as people do, but I think you would have seen the time in some way).
__________________
Upon the hearth the fire is red
Beneath the roof there is a bed;
But not yet weary are our feet...
Nogrod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2012, 04:27 PM   #8
William Cloud Hicklin
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
William Cloud Hicklin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,473
William Cloud Hicklin is a guest at the Prancing Pony.William Cloud Hicklin is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nogrod View Post
You must remember one additional fact while looking for an explanation to that. A Hollywood blockbuster movie needs to sell - and you do it by posing hot characters teenagers can fall in love to. Thirteen old and wary dwarves doesn't sound like a recipe to that - so let's sex up their leader / the plot hero (and some others while doing it).
Uh-huh. And that's rather the problem. Pandering is pandering, no martter how "necessary."
__________________
“It is good to be both loved and feared; but if one cannot be both, it is better to be feared than loved" --Machiavelli
William Cloud Hicklin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2012, 05:27 PM   #9
Morsul the Dark
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Morsul the Dark's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 3,028
Morsul the Dark has been trapped in the Barrow!
Just out of curiousity, why would you see the film? You all have very strong opinions on Jackson and seem to detest any change and dismiss anything as minor as a chracter looking different as sacrilage and pandering.

Why bother? Quite honestly I'm happy you enjoy the books as we all do, but I think that's your joy lies let the movies be you'll be happier for it.
__________________
I know something you don't know
Morsul the Dark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2012, 05:27 PM   #10
Eönwë
Flame Imperishable
 
Eönwë's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Right here
Posts: 3,889
Eönwë is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Eönwë is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Eönwë is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morthoron View Post
Had it been trimmed of all the excess fat and inane, ham-handed extrapolation, and then reduced to a two-movie set, it would have been extraordinary. I am being quite honest. Had this been two movies rather than three, it would be sublime. How sad that it isn’t.
Well, I suppose we can always wait for the Extended Editions to come out (I really hope with more of the 'nice' Thorin of the books) and wait for someone to fanedit them like for LOTR. Which reminds me- I'd better watch the last few.
__________________
Welcome to the Barrow Do-owns Forum / Such a lovely place
Eönwë is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2012, 06:12 PM   #11
radagastly
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Washington, D. C., USA
Posts: 302
radagastly is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Originally posted by Morsul the Dark:

Quote:
Just out of curiousity, why would you see the film? You all have very strong opinions on Jackson and seem to detest any change and dismiss anything as minor as a chracter looking different as sacrilage and pandering.
Why bother? Quite honestly I'm happy you enjoy the books as we all do, but I think that's your joy lies let the movies be you'll be happier for it.
I don't expect that I will be seeing them. Unless I watch them some years from now when they show up on TV. The Lord of the Rings movies were a disappointment for me. The Hobbit is likely to be the same.

The sad thing is, P.J. got just enough right that I doubt that a more-qualified film-maker will attempt to out-do his work in my lifetime. And I'm someone who believes these stories are eminently filmable.
__________________
But all the while I sit and think of times there were before,
I listen for returning feet and voices at the door.
radagastly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2012, 06:43 PM   #12
Morthoron
Curmudgeonly Wordwraith
 
Morthoron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ensconced in curmudgeonly pursuits
Posts: 2,318
Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morsul the Dark View Post
Just out of curiousity, why would you see the film?

Why bother? Quite honestly I'm happy you enjoy the books as we all do, but I think that's your joy lies let the movies be you'll be happier for it.
I am dragged by my wife and daughter to see all sorts of dreadful films. In this instance, I merely returned the favor.

I've gone to see hundreds of substandard movies - ones I've quickly forgotten, ones I've despised, and a few I've actually fallen asleep watching. It won't stop me from going to the movies. So why wouldn't I go to see The Hobbit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morsul the Dark View Post
You all have very strong opinions on Jackson and seem to detest any change and dismiss anything as minor as a chracter looking different as sacrilage and pandering.
I don't detest just any change, thank you, I detest stupid and unnecessary changes - in any film. I don't consider a change "minor" when it proves jarring and inconsistent, reducing the immersive nature of the film. You may blithely overlook such glaring inconsistencies, but some folks are just more tolerant of inanity.

I am very critical of any movie I go to, particularly of films based on books I have read and loved. Sadly, the only films I shall be able to see in my lifetime based on my favorite literary work are the ones now controlled by Peter Jackson. I went to see Ralph Bakshi's animated version of The Lord of the Rings even though it received scathing reviews, and I watched the abysmal Rankin Bass cartoon series as well. I try to take from each what I can. I liken it to certain albums with only a few good songs - I still own the albums.

The saddest thing about Jackson's productions is that the technology, the cinematography, the sets, the physical features and the feel of Middle-earth are all there, including a ridiculous budget to ensure that the essence of Arda is captured on screen. But what does Jackson do but squander this enormous wealth of technology and expertise on dwarf belches and troll snot.

As I said in my review, had this remained as Guillermo del Toro envisioned a two film set, the production, even with PJ at the helm, would've been amazing (parts of it were indeed amazing). It's just PJ and Phillipa Boyen have a manic penchant for writing when they have no business being writers, particularly when forcing doltish fan-fic plots into Tolkien's work, and stretching a 19 chapter book to torturous lengths just to self-aggrandize their superfluous efforts. There was a good 45 minutes to an hour worth of film that was completely unnecessary in TH:AUJ, but I enjoyed the other 2 hours interspersed in with the wretched.
__________________
Please visit my newly resurrected blog...The Dark Elf File...a slightly skewed journal of music and literary comment, fan-fiction and interminable essays.
Morthoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2012, 09:20 PM   #13
Morsul the Dark
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Morsul the Dark's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 3,028
Morsul the Dark has been trapped in the Barrow!
Rereading my post I think it sounded snarkier then I meant.

What I meant simply is Peter Jackson has proven this is what he does time and time again. Was just wondering why anyone would go to something they more than likely won't like.

Ah yes my wife often drags me to awful movies on outtings so I know the feeling.

Likely said I didn't mean it as an attack just a question.

I think I'm the opposite end of the spectrum as a moviegoer I'm probably at most 2 notches above lowest common denominator
__________________
I know something you don't know
Morsul the Dark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2012, 11:14 PM   #14
William Cloud Hicklin
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
William Cloud Hicklin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,473
William Cloud Hicklin is a guest at the Prancing Pony.William Cloud Hicklin is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
In my case, how the heck can I pan a movie I haven't seen? It's not much of an argument to say "I haven't seen it, but I know it stinks."
__________________
“It is good to be both loved and feared; but if one cannot be both, it is better to be feared than loved" --Machiavelli
William Cloud Hicklin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2012, 07:48 AM   #15
Annatar
Pile O'Bones
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 22
Annatar has just left Hobbiton.
Er...

Quote:
Erebor is now so grandiose a dwarvish kingdom, so ornately gilt and overlaid, that Moria looks like a shabby tin shack in comparison.
Of course - we only see Moria after it's long been deserted and abandoned, and we only see Erebor (in this film) at the zenith of its wealth and grandeur shortly before Smaug shows up. Of course one is going to look prettier than the other.

Quote:
And Goblin Town? There is a half-hour long movie version of “Chutes and Ladders” underground, with more bridgework than that completed by every dentist in recorded history.
I have a video game of the Hobbit (made in 2003) that looks very much like the Goblin Town of the film. It's not like they made it out of nowhere.

Quote:
The GoblinKing is larger than a troll (why have Uruk-hai when Sauron could breed an army of pachydermic GoblinKings?)
Because he's immensely old and fat and being so doesn't really make a good soldier for your war?

Quote:
and the elephantine goiter swinging about its neck is probably due to Jackson’s inherent need for over-the-top accoutrements (like the WitchKing’s ridiculously oversized mace).
Really? I thought it was to show how old and fat he was and to better distinguish him.


Quote:
The stone giants (primeval Transformers) make an appearance with so much destructive mayhem that one wonders how the Misty Mountains were not renamed the Misty Rubble Quarry.
They appeared in the book, people! What do you think a 'stone giant' is if not a giant made out of stone?

Quote:
Never accused of subtlety, Jackson hammers the audience with an onslaught of combat scenes and then hits them upside the head with slapstick comedy: belching dwarves, snotty trolls, and psychedelicized wizards addled by mushroom ingestion. The clever nature of the humor imbued in the story with philological care by Tolkien can only be seen in brief snatches in Jackson’s film, before it is buried in tumbling dwarves, collapsing bridges and skewered orcs.
That's what Bilbo Baggins Hates appeared in the book! The trolls appeared in the book! The Great Goblin appeared in the book! How can you say that the (pretty good) comedy was all made up?

Quote:
Ergo, Jackson, a fan-fiction writer at heart and prone to sanguine bouts of dizzying violence, has decided to completely rewrite The Hobbit in his own image and likeness, relying on scripting culled from back when he was a struggling director spitting out B-grade horror flicks with plenty of camp, buckets of blood and enough gore to fill an abbatoir.
Really? That's all in the film?

Where did my buckets of blood and gore go to? That's what the trailers were all about!

Oh, and how dare Jackson not make his own interpretation of The Hobbit. He should have copied it word by word and not, y'know, lovingly turned single lines into detailed scenes.
__________________
Cold be hand and heart and bone,
and cold be sleep under stone:
Annatar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2012, 08:37 AM   #16
Nerwen
Wisest of the Noldor
 
Nerwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: ˙˙˙ssɐןƃ ƃuıʞooן ǝɥʇ ɥƃnoɹɥʇ
Posts: 6,484
Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Send a message via Skype™ to Nerwen
1420!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morthoron
And Goblin Town? There is a half-hour long movie version of “Chutes and Ladders” underground, with more bridgework than that completed by every dentist in recorded history.
I have a video game of the Hobbit (made in 2003) that looks very much like the Goblin Town of the film. It's not like they made it out of nowhere.
A video game from 2003, eh? Gosh, it doesn't get much more authentic than that! Morthoron, I think you owe Peter Jackson an apology.
__________________
"Even Nerwen wasn't evil in the beginning." –Elmo.
Nerwen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2012, 10:54 AM   #17
Annatar
Pile O'Bones
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 22
Annatar has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerwen View Post
A video game from 2003, eh? Gosh, it doesn't get much more authentic than that! Morthoron, I think you owe Peter Jackson an apology.
What I'm saying is that he wasn't the first to portray Goblin Town like that.

Was there even a description of it in the book?
__________________
Cold be hand and heart and bone,
and cold be sleep under stone:

Last edited by Annatar; 12-24-2012 at 10:58 AM.
Annatar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2012, 12:00 PM   #18
Boromir88
Laconic Loreman
 
Boromir88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 7,065
Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Send a message via AIM to Boromir88 Send a message via MSN to Boromir88
I would have been quite disappointed if in making any book-to-film adaptation the director didn't leave his own creative stamp on the story. To not do so, would seem like regurgitation and the person completely unable to use a source material as inspiration and then bring out a new and fresh look. Similar to how Tolkien drew from many different sources, and in adding the ingredients, putting in some of his imagination, was able to create a beautiful and enjoyable story.

Having said this, I still reserve the right to feel the way I do (either positively, negatively, ambivalent) about stuff from Jackson's own creations and inventions. The majority of which didn't work for me, some was too crude and cheap humor which I don't care for...and I think unfortunately, with the first Hobbit film, we saw a lot of regurgitation, not from the book to film, but from Jackson's history as a director, and in particular in directing the LOTR films.
__________________
I used to be for flip-flopping. Now I'm against it.

Fenris Penguin
Boromir88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2012, 12:24 PM   #19
William Cloud Hicklin
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
William Cloud Hicklin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,473
William Cloud Hicklin is a guest at the Prancing Pony.William Cloud Hicklin is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
"lovingly turned single lines into detailed scenes"

A practice known as "fan-fiction." Or, alternatively, "pulling stuff out of his arse."

------------

It's one thing to say a director can and ought to put his personal stamp on an adaptation, and quite another to say that a particular effort by a particular director must therefore be good. Most would I think agree that the "personal stamp" of the hack who directed the Mike Meyers 'Cat in the Hat' was abysmally bad. In this case it's the "personal stamp" of a ham-handed and adolescent-minded director with no sense of self-restraint who has never understood the atmosphere or themes of the originals (neither LOTR nor Hobbit).

The result, therefore, is not an expanded or fully-realised Tolkien universe, but rather something akin to, some catastrophe having demolished half the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican hiring Frank Frazetta to paint the new part. Or, perhaps, Mozart's unfinished Requiem 'completed' by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
__________________
“It is good to be both loved and feared; but if one cannot be both, it is better to be feared than loved" --Machiavelli
William Cloud Hicklin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2012, 12:49 PM   #20
Annatar
Pile O'Bones
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 22
Annatar has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by William Cloud Hicklin View Post
"lovingly turned single lines into detailed scenes"

A practice known as "fan-fiction." Or, alternatively, "pulling stuff out of his arse."

------------

It's one thing to say a director can and ought to put his personal stamp on an adaptation, and quite another to say that a particular effort by a particular director must therefore be good. Most would I think agree that the "personal stamp" of the hack who directed the Mike Meyers 'Cat in the Hat' was abysmally bad. In this case it's the "personal stamp" of a ham-handed and adolescent-minded director with no sense of self-restraint who has never understood the atmosphere or themes of the originals (neither LOTR nor Hobbit).

The result, therefore, is not an expanded or fully-realised Tolkien universe, but rather something akin to, some catastrophe having demolished half the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican hiring Frank Frazetta to paint the new part. Or, perhaps, Mozart's unfinished Requiem 'completed' by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
God, why must you hate on everything that isn't a 100% accurate rendition of the book? Can't you acknowledge it as a good film without ranting about how Erebor looked too nice or how soul-murderingly awful it was that characters that appeared in the books weren't exactly how you pictured them when the film came around?

I for one felt it was a good, exciting and well-paced film with plenty of humour and a nice whimsical atmosphere about it. But those trivial facts clearly mean nothing compared to the grievous, all-important issue of how 'burrahobbit' was pronounced.

I have my complaints as well - Azog certainly felt a bit too computer-generated to me, for instance - but clearly any attempt to defend what has already been decided as wretchedly abysmal for the crime of not matching your mental pictures is doomed to failure.
__________________
Cold be hand and heart and bone,
and cold be sleep under stone:
Annatar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2012, 01:07 PM   #21
William Cloud Hicklin
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
William Cloud Hicklin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,473
William Cloud Hicklin is a guest at the Prancing Pony.William Cloud Hicklin is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
" Can't you acknowledge it as a good film without ranting about how Erebor looked too nice or how soul-murderingly awful it was that characters that appeared in the books weren't exactly how you pictured them when the film came around?"

Strawman, strawman, strawman. You Revisionists always trot that out as if it's an argument Purists make, even though it isn't and never has been. I don't care how many buttons Bilbo has on his waistcoat or which Dwarf's hood was what color.

What we *do* expect is adherence to the overall themes, tone and atmosphere of the books; characters which aren't turned into inversions of themselves; and- as important as anything - no additions of subpar rubbish Jackson or Boyens make up out of whole cloth, apparently on the assumption that they can write better than Tolkien. They're mistaken.

And, no, it's not a "good film." Even detaching it from the books entirely and looking at it simply as popcorn cinema, TH is too long, poorly paced, and over-reliant on too many pointless fight scenes that drag on for far too long.
__________________
“It is good to be both loved and feared; but if one cannot be both, it is better to be feared than loved" --Machiavelli

Last edited by William Cloud Hicklin; 12-24-2012 at 01:16 PM.
William Cloud Hicklin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2012, 01:22 PM   #22
Annatar
Pile O'Bones
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 22
Annatar has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by William Cloud Hicklin View Post
" Can't you acknowledge it as a good film without ranting about how Erebor looked too nice or how soul-murderingly awful it was that characters that appeared in the books weren't exactly how you pictured them when the film came around?"

Strawman, strawman, strawman. You Revisionists always trot that out as if it's an argument Purists make, even though it isn't and never has been. I don't care how many buttons Bilbo has on his waistcoat or which Dwarf's hood was what color.

What we *do* expect is adherence to the overall themes, tone and atmosphere of the books; characters which aren't turned into inversions of themselves; and- as important as anything - no additions of subpar rubbish Jackson or Boyens make up out of whole cloth, apparently on the assumption that they can write better than Tolkien. They're mistaken.
So when things that Tolkien had created got removed from the Lord of the Rings adaptation it was bad but when things (that Tolkien himself created) got introduced to the Hobbit adaptation it was just as bad?

Adherence to overall themes?

It did feel very fairy-tale and Hobbity to me, with the Elvenking's stag mount, the songs, Radagast, the Great Goblin and the humorously bickering Trolls. Maybe I was watching a different film from the copy your cinema - there must have been an error ensuring I got a fun, charming and nice film rather tha your grim, dour, drab, un-Hobbity copy.

Quote:
And, no, it's not a "good film." Even detaching it from the books entirely and looking at it simply as popcorn cinema, TH is too long, poorly paced, and over-reliant on too many pointless fight scenes that drag on for far too long.
Too long? Poorly paced? It felt like just over an hour when I was watching it in the cinema! The excellent humour re4ally helped.

Also, all the fight scenes I recall -

Smaug burning Erebor. Backstory, not really a fight scene.

The battle at Moria. Backstory filled out during a quiet moment.

Trolls. Dwarves, try to rescue Bilbo, get captured - majority of scene is not physical combat. In book. Shows us Bilbo's growing courage and guile (in a departure, he's the one who comes up with the idea of stalling for time),

Chase by goblins. Not from book, introduces Radagast/Dol Guldur subplot (to be fulfilled in later films) and shows us to Rivendell.

Stone Giants. Emphasis is on hiding and surviving overwhelming threat - no real action takes place. In book.

Goblin Town escape. Fast-paced with plenty of humour, whimsy and excitement. Derived from book.

Wargs and goblins. Generally as in book, Thorin fights Azog character but the general flow (Dwaves climb trees-Gandalf throws burning pinecones-Dwarves about to be smoked out-Eagles arrive) is as in the book.
__________________
Cold be hand and heart and bone,
and cold be sleep under stone:

Last edited by Annatar; 12-24-2012 at 01:28 PM.
Annatar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2012, 01:40 PM   #23
William Cloud Hicklin
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
William Cloud Hicklin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,473
William Cloud Hicklin is a guest at the Prancing Pony.William Cloud Hicklin is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
"things (that Tolkien himself created)"

You must have a different edition of The Hobbit than I do-- mine doesn't include an albino Orc with a peculiar life's goal of hunting down and destroying the House of Durin. My abridged copy also left out the bunny sled, Bilbo fighting a goblin, Thranduil doing homage to the King Under the Mountain but wimping out when needed, Thorin & Co attacked by Orcs/Wargs on the way to Rivendell but rescued by Elrond's mounted archers....

Plainly I need to get the full version.
__________________
“It is good to be both loved and feared; but if one cannot be both, it is better to be feared than loved" --Machiavelli
William Cloud Hicklin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2012, 02:11 PM   #24
Morsul the Dark
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Morsul the Dark's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 3,028
Morsul the Dark has been trapped in the Barrow!
Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by William Cloud Hicklin View Post
In my case, how the heck can I pan a movie I haven't seen? It's not much of an argument to say "I haven't seen it, but I know it stinks."
So you went into The Hobbit intending to hate it.
__________________
I know something you don't know
Morsul the Dark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2012, 03:07 PM   #25
Ruscundil
Newly Deceased
 
Ruscundil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Above a brook, beneath a tor, with longing look behind the door.
Posts: 6
Ruscundil is still gossiping in the Green Dragon.
Sting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annatar View Post
Was there even a description of it in the book?
Why not open the book and find out? Failing that, you may want to email Peter Jackson and ask him for his take on this intriguing mystery, to which there is clearly no straightforward answer.

Personally, I suspect, once taken by the goblins from the cave, Bilbo found all to be "deep, deep, dark". I further imagine the "passages there were crossed and tangled in all directions... and the way went down and down, and it was most horribly stuffy." Then, as I picture it, "there came a glimmer of red light before them... [and] the walls echoed... [before] they stumbled into a big cavern... lit by a great red fire in the middle, and by torches along the walls...". I also seem to envisage the place being "full of goblins", though the place-name is, of course, suggestive of such a characteristic.

Honestly, I had no problems with the aesthetics of Jackson's Goblin Town for the purposes of cinema, but I have major issues with the arbitrary and baseless suppression of valid criticism and well-researched or well-informed personal opinion. What's even more frustrating is that you haven't been bothered to get off your backside and collect your own evidence with the resources you should have to hand if you're to publish such strong objections.

Was there a description of Goblin Town in the book? Yes. There can be no doubt about that. Was the description extensive? I don't think so - it's a children's book. Did Jackson heed Tolkien's description? No. Did he ruin the whole film because of it? No. Did other things, that he did indeed pull out of his arse, ruin the film? They certainly damaged it significantly and made me anticipate more eagerly a complete fan-edit in 2014/5. It can be argued that a Tolkien fan, who is by no means a purist, should not leave the cinema having seen The Hobbit thinking these things if the creative team behind the big-budget adaptation are worth their salt.
__________________
"...only a small part is played in great deeds by any hero."
Ruscundil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2012, 04:20 PM   #26
Morthoron
Curmudgeonly Wordwraith
 
Morthoron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ensconced in curmudgeonly pursuits
Posts: 2,318
Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annatar View Post
Er...
"Er"? As in "I shouldn't hold the opinions that I do?" or is it you are grasping for straws as you are sinking? Never start a rebuttal with "Er" as it sets a bad tone quite quickly. I am not very polite to begin with, and I may lose my civility altogether by the end of the post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annatar View Post
Of course - we only see Moria after it's long been deserted and abandoned, and we only see Erebor (in this film) at the zenith of its wealth and grandeur shortly before Smaug shows up. Of course one is going to look prettier than the other.
It doesn't matter that Khazad-dum was abandoned. The pyramids at Giza, the Acropolis and Roman Coliseum were all abandoned, but they are still grander structures than what came after. Khazad-dum was the greatest of all dwarven kingdoms, imposing and huge. If you read The Hobbit (and based on your replies, I am uncertain you have), Erebor is a kingdom in exile, like the dwarven mansions in the Iron Hills. There is a sizable treasure room, but that doesn't mean that Midas lived there and gilded the urinals. We have drawings by Tolkien himself that show what the interior and exterior of the Lonely Mountain look like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annatar View Post
I have a video game of the Hobbit (made in 2003) that looks very much like the Goblin Town of the film. It's not like they made it out of nowhere.
If I were researching an adaptation of a Tolkien novel, an out-of-date video game is the first place I'd study. Very canonical, I am sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annatar View Post
Because he's immensely old and fat and being so doesn't really make a good soldier for your war?
Fat people grow outwards, they do not grow several feet taller. The GoblinKing was larger than a troll by comparison. That, my friend, is either bad research or Jackson going to ridiculous and exaggerated lengths to make monsters. Take your pick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annatar View Post
Really? I thought it was to show how old and fat he was and to better distinguish him.
He was already five feet taller than the rest of the orcs. Do you really think he needed a feedbag around his neck to differentiate him?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Annatar View Post
They appeared in the book, people! What do you think a 'stone giant' is if not a giant made out of stone?
Are you some kind of Jackson sycophant? His mum perhaps? If you watched the movie, the amount of damage done to the mountain in the brief encounter between the stone giants was near catastrophic. I am surprised the United Nations didn't cite them for damaging that specific ecosystem. A week's worth of such destruction and they'll make molehills out of mountains.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annatar View Post
That's what Bilbo Baggins Hates appeared in the book! The trolls appeared in the book! The Great Goblin appeared in the book! How can you say that the (pretty good) comedy was all made up?
Because I have read the book numerous times and can easily differentiate what Tolkien wrote and what Jackson wrote. I don't find Jackson's sophomoric attempts at comedy very funny. In this movie or in the LotR trilogy. But hey, if you think belching, snot and farting are funny, then you obviously are quite subtle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annatar View Post
Really? That's all in the film?

Where did my buckets of blood and gore go to? That's what the trailers were all about!
Have you seen the movie? Have you read the book? Did you count the amount of deaths, decapitations and dismemberments in the movie? Or were you too busy fawning over your Peter Jackson(TM) plush toy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annatar View Post
Oh, and how dare Jackson not make his own interpretation of The Hobbit. He should have copied it word by word and not, y'know, lovingly turned single lines into detailed scenes.
Turning single lines into detailed scenes is what is called fan-fiction. Peter Jackson is not a good fan-fiction writer, he's not even a mediocre fan-fic writer. I know, I've read some very good fan-fiction; unfortunately, Jackson's delves waist-deep into the Mary-Sue category. But instead of pink ponies, he had sled bunnies.

Here's a suggestion: read the book before replying again.
__________________
Please visit my newly resurrected blog...The Dark Elf File...a slightly skewed journal of music and literary comment, fan-fiction and interminable essays.
Morthoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2012, 04:09 PM   #27
Boromir88
Laconic Loreman
 
Boromir88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 7,065
Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Send a message via AIM to Boromir88 Send a message via MSN to Boromir88
Quote:
Originally Posted by William Cloud Hicklin View Post
What we *do* expect is adherence to the overall themes, tone and atmosphere of the books; characters which aren't turned into inversions of themselves; and- as important as anything - no additions of subpar rubbish Jackson or Boyens make up out of whole cloth, apparently on the assumption that they can write better than Tolkien. They're mistaken.
That's a rather unfair characterisation. It's tricky using interviews, because most of the time there are word limits to articles so large portions of the interview are removed, or the context is removed to create a "spicy/controversial" quote that will sell more papers. The director commentaries are obviously going to provide their own slant which paint Jackson into a positive light. However, I'll say the furthest I've seen Boyens go is saying she thinks Tolkien would like/be proud of the movies they made. I'd still disagree with her opinion, but that's not at all the same as boasting she writes better, or felt they improved Tolkien's story. Jackson at one time said it was silly tomatos weren't in Middle-earth, so he put them into his movies. Granted they are trying to changes things around to tell their story, but I've read nothing in their interviews to suggest they felt they improved Tolkien.

I should note now, when it comes to subjective loving/liking/hating the movies, I don't give my opinion to demand everyone must see and feel about them the way I do. But I do think both sides of the argument overlook a various points. One side thinks anything Jackson creates is the greatest piece of movie making ever, and he always makes the sage movie-decision. The other side thinks Jackson's a hack who doesn't know anything and can't do anything because his life goal was to turn the Lord of the Rings into his own creation.

For the movies (and now I'm talking about the LOTR trilogy and the first Hobbit) there are two different aspects I take into consideration. The visualisation in the films is very very well done. WETA put stunning detail and visuals into all the pieces they created for the film, and this drives was spear-headed by Jackson who is a very detail-oriented director. He also put together a team that was known and accepted by the Tolkien-community before Jackson's ideas about making the films were formed. I'm talking about John Howe, Alan Lee, David Salo amongst others. People Jackson selected because of their previously establish visualisation, and people Jackson obviously paid a lot of attention to their input in the process of making the movies. I didn't care for Lothlorien in FOTR, and I thought Rohan was not as rich and green as I expected, but the aesthetic part of the movies was fabulous.

Jackson (and Boyens and Walsh) fell well short when it comes to script-writing, however, and could have benefitted from someone who knows how to write a script. On the best of days, their work is mediocre, as many of their characters get beat into an archetype (Aragorn the 'reluctant hero,' Denethor the crazy ruler, Gimli the comic relief...etc) or are just very shallow. In the defense of movies in general, it's difficult to give depth to your minor characters, because the screen time isn't there to flesh out a full and detailed background (as Tolkien had when writing his story). So Denethor really does become simply insane, and in an attempt to show a bit of depth when he sees Faramir burning, it's really unconvincing.

However, even the main characters Jackson creates are nothing to boast about, and you really do have to get the main characters right in movies. Elijah Wood's Frodo is weak and unconvincing, Aragorn is the reluctant hero archetype, it's all very predictable and shallow. The only characters in the film with some depth to them are Boromir, who well dies in FOTR, and Gollum and it is more to Serkis being able to portray convincing emotions, which was ironic being a CGI character (eventhough there were liberties taken with the "split personality," I don't think it's a bad/wrong route to take with Gollum's character).

I thought the first Hobbit film did a much better job with the main characters, Bilbo, Thorin and Gandalf. However, as I've already said, I thought the tension between Bilbo and Thorin was more of the staple of Jackson and Boyens' script-writing...forced, predictable, and cheesy.
__________________
I used to be for flip-flopping. Now I'm against it.

Fenris Penguin

Last edited by Boromir88; 12-26-2012 at 04:17 PM.
Boromir88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2012, 04:33 PM   #28
William Cloud Hicklin
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
William Cloud Hicklin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,473
William Cloud Hicklin is a guest at the Prancing Pony.William Cloud Hicklin is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
"but I've read nothing in their interviews to suggest they felt they improved Tolkien."

Actually I have, although I'd have to watch hours of video to find the particular examples.

But that's really off-point: the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and the fact of the alterations themselves is all the evidence one needs to make the case that PBJ thought they could "improve" the story. And please don't drag out the blank-cheque "adaptation" excuse- nothing in translation from one medium to another necessitated Elves at Helm's Deep, or Aragorn-off-the-cliff, or now the Nazgul Tombs balderdash and the silly Azog sub-plot.
__________________
“It is good to be both loved and feared; but if one cannot be both, it is better to be feared than loved" --Machiavelli
William Cloud Hicklin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2012, 04:41 PM   #29
Boromir88
Laconic Loreman
 
Boromir88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 7,065
Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Send a message via AIM to Boromir88 Send a message via MSN to Boromir88
Quote:
Originally Posted by William Cloud Hicklin View Post
But that's really off-point: the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and the fact of the alterations themselves is all the evidence one needs to make the case that PBJ thought they could "improve" the story. And please don't drag out the blank-cheque "adaptation" excuse- nothing in translation from one medium to another necessitated Elves at Helm's Deep, or Aragorn-off-the-cliff, or now the Nazgul Tombs balderdash and the silly Azog sub-plot.
Two things here...

1. Making alterations is not proof of Jackson et all thinking they were improving the story. Either one accepts that with the film rights sold and Jackson chosen as the director has his own artistic license rights when it comes to making the films. Therefor, alterations are a part of Jackson trying to put his director stamp on the story. Alterations, in and of themselves, are not proof Jackson thought he improved the story.

2. Even if alterations alone were proof of this, and the goal in Jackson's mind was thinking he improved the story...this is still different from boasting their alterations did in fact improve the story.
__________________
I used to be for flip-flopping. Now I'm against it.

Fenris Penguin
Boromir88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2012, 04:48 PM   #30
Thinlómien
Shady She-Penguin
 
Thinlómien's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: In a far land beyond the Sea
Posts: 7,959
Thinlómien is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Thinlómien is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Thinlómien is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Thinlómien is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Thinlómien is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Send a message via Skype™ to Thinlómien
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morthoron View Post
Don’t let the few wisps of grey in his beard fool you, Thorin has a picture up in his attic just like Dorian Gray.
Mind you, I quite liked the movie-Thorin despite his big differences from the book-Thorin, but this comment of yours just totally cracked me up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eönwë
Well, I suppose we can always wait for the Extended Editions to come out (I really hope with more of the 'nice' Thorin of the books) and wait for someone to fanedit them like for LOTR. Which reminds me- I'd better watch the last few.
Actually, care to link some? I suddenly got curious...

Lastly, good points Boro, but I'm afraid I can't repy uo right now and I have whatsoever nothing to add.
__________________
Like the stars chase the sun, over the glowing hill I will conquer
Blood is running deep, some things never sleep
Double Fenris
Thinlómien is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2012, 04:50 PM   #31
William Cloud Hicklin
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
William Cloud Hicklin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,473
William Cloud Hicklin is a guest at the Prancing Pony.William Cloud Hicklin is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
"1. Making alterations is not proof of Jackson et all thinking they were improving the story. Either one accepts that with the film rights sold and Jackson chosen as the director has his own artistic license rights when it comes to making the films. Therefor, alterations are a part of Jackson trying to put his director stamp on the story. Alterations, in and of themselves, are not proof Jackson thought he improved the story."

Sorry, but my microscope can't quite focus in on the hair you're splitting there.
__________________
“It is good to be both loved and feared; but if one cannot be both, it is better to be feared than loved" --Machiavelli
William Cloud Hicklin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2012, 05:59 PM   #32
Nogrod
Flame of the Ainulindalë
 
Nogrod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Wearing rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves in a field behaving as the wind behaves
Posts: 9,051
Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.
Send a message via MSN to Nogrod
I think one specific requirement of the Big (Money) Film Industry remains to be remembered... Unlike we who know the stories like our own pockets - or more or less so - and despite the fact that there are millions of Tolkien fans out there, most of the viewers of these films don't know the stories before, or that is at least the way the studios see things (and they're probably correct in their polls as there is a lot of money involved).

So many of these things in the films we friends of Tolkien's writing have a great dislike on - like Aragorn falling the cliff, or Denethor's one-dimensionality, or "freshing up" the dwarves - are due to the fact that they have to sell the films to people who don't know the story already.

The interesting question in this regard (aka. concerning Jackson & Boyens as personalities - if and when that clearly interests someone - and the role of the marketing departments of the studios) should actually be not that much "do they think they made the story better than the prof", but whether they were doing all that stuff the way they did because the studios forced them to do a few cliffhangers () or to cut down some intricacies to make it more simple and interesting to a non-Tolkien fan so that s/he could follow the multiple characters and plotlines, and to have the moments of suspense as to how things will end up?

One who is not familiar with the books doesn't know whether Aragorn is going to play a role in the future... so him dropping off the cliff is a suspense-thing for a viewer who doesn't know the plot - and emotianally quite charging as well! (I hated it as much as anyone!!!)

I mean really, we fans or afficionados are a minority after all and it is a bit too much to ask that a multimillion-dollar bussiness would serve only our interests - as nice as it would be. Our money wouldn't pay for the film-budgets...

That said, I do agree with Boro - among many others - in adoring the visual imagery of the films (and Howard Shore's musical interpretation of it), the "PJ universe" if you wish, and just plain subjectively hating most of the various changes they've made to the initial storyline and to the spirit of Tolkien.

The spirit of Tolkien gets especially beaten in the Hobbit, but even here a disclaimer is to the point. No, "The Hobbit" isn't without problems even as a literary work as it walks the thin line between a funny children's story and a more "serious" prequel to what happened afterwards... I know it was written first and the whole saga and the universe came afterwards - but despite that, I see it still as a story struggling to balance itself between a children's story and and an adult-tale. Like the movie which has those kind of dark and gory battle-scenes that are clearly meant to look "realistic" and thus bad - and the slapstick-combos fex. in the Goblin King's Hall with all the "funny stuff" involved in the fight and flight...
__________________
Upon the hearth the fire is red
Beneath the roof there is a bed;
But not yet weary are our feet...

Last edited by Nogrod; 12-26-2012 at 06:02 PM.
Nogrod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2012, 07:55 PM   #33
William Cloud Hicklin
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
William Cloud Hicklin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,473
William Cloud Hicklin is a guest at the Prancing Pony.William Cloud Hicklin is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
"So many of these things in the films we friends of Tolkien's writing have a great dislike on - like Aragorn falling the cliff, or Denethor's one-dimensionality, or "freshing up" the dwarves - are due to the fact that they have to sell the films to people who don't know the story already."

Yes, but....

It's not as if substituting bad story-telling for good helps to "sell" the tale to non-geeks, is it? Aragorn-off-the-cliff and Brego the Wonder Horse are just cheesy, regardless of 'canonicity'; and film-Denethor is simply a bad, cardboard character, and there was certainly no need (I don't think) to replace Tolkien's finely-drawn and subtle portrait with a cartoon villain on the grounds that non-geeks somehow couldn't deal with the original... unless one is taking the position that non-geeks were raised on a steady diet of lead paint chips.

I seem to recall that the original story did OK with a mass audience.
__________________
“It is good to be both loved and feared; but if one cannot be both, it is better to be feared than loved" --Machiavelli
William Cloud Hicklin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2012, 08:08 PM   #34
Nogrod
Flame of the Ainulindalë
 
Nogrod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Wearing rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves in a field behaving as the wind behaves
Posts: 9,051
Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.
Send a message via MSN to Nogrod
Quote:
Originally Posted by William Cloud Hicklin View Post
It's not as if substituting bad story-telling for good helps to "sell" the tale to non-geeks, is it?
Look at almost any Hollywood blockbuster and think again...
__________________
Upon the hearth the fire is red
Beneath the roof there is a bed;
But not yet weary are our feet...
Nogrod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2012, 08:31 PM   #35
Lalwendë
A Mere Boggart
 
Lalwendë's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: under the bed
Posts: 4,804
Lalwendë is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Lalwendë is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boro
I should note now, when it comes to subjective loving/liking/hating the movies, I don't give my opinion to demand everyone must see and feel about them the way I do. But I do think both sides of the argument overlook a various points. One side thinks anything Jackson creates is the greatest piece of movie making ever, and he always makes the sage movie-decision. The other side thinks Jackson's a hack who doesn't know anything and can't do anything because his life goal was to turn the Lord of the Rings into his own creation.
I don't think it divides down like that. There are people who hate the films, some who won't even go and see them and yet still think they have anything to say about it. And there are people who enjoyed them, ranging from frothing joy all the way to picking holes in everything yet still saying it was fun. I'm in the latter - and I certainly don't think Jackson's other films are great (that thing with the lawnmower was stupid, King Kong was dull and Heavenly Creatures is over rated).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nogrod
The spirit of Tolkien gets especially beaten in the Hobbit, but even here a disclaimer is to the point. No, "The Hobbit" isn't without problems even as a literary work as it walks the thin line between a funny children's story and a more "serious" prequel to what happened afterwards... I know it was written first and the whole saga and the universe came afterwards - but despite that, I see it still as a story struggling to balance itself between a children's story and and an adult-tale. Like the movie which has those kind of dark and gory battle-scenes that are clearly meant to look "realistic" and thus bad - and the slapstick-combos fex. in the Goblin King's Hall with all the "funny stuff" involved in the fight and flight...
What exactly is this 'spirit' though? The Hobbit is a children's book that had no place in the legendarium and Tolkien later tried to force it to fit, and even admitted that he couldn't do it. Recalling something Davem said years back, if you sit and examine the text, it really does not fit in easily with the other works. There's a constant conflict of tone between outright silliness and menace (and really, the film does echo this discordancy). And there's the authorial interjections which let's face it sound like a children's nanny having her two-pennorth. And the way it is so episodic with little to no character development.

All of these things could be awful criticisms but it's a kids' book, and it is no different to Narnia, or The Gruffalo, or Stig Of The Dump in that respect. And as a now seasoned viewer of adaptations of kids' books one thing I can say is that all of them need to be beefed up for the screen, even if intended to be viewed by pre-schoolers. Really, it was a lose-lose situation as far as attracting the very critical viewer was concerned! Jackson could either build on a sketchy story and risk criticism, or he could be highly faithful but produce a thin, sketchy sort of thing.

I took it as a given that the story would be souped-up and my critical eye focuses on whether the additions are coherent or not. Azog is the main weak point as it doesn't seem to fit, and I have some concerns about the Elves' motivations (but I suspect they will be covered eventually), but the rest of it is perfectly coherent as a story and in regard to the characters. Certainly with character development the film is an improvement on the text for an adult reader/viewer (the horror!) It might not all be to my taste, but it does mostly work as a story and the story of The Hobbit is most definitely there, but with knobs on.
__________________
Gordon's alive!
Lalwendë is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2012, 08:35 PM   #36
Nerwen
Wisest of the Noldor
 
Nerwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: ˙˙˙ssɐןƃ ƃuıʞooן ǝɥʇ ɥƃnoɹɥʇ
Posts: 6,484
Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Send a message via Skype™ to Nerwen
Quote:
Originally Posted by William Cloud Hicklin
It's not as if substituting bad story-telling for good helps to "sell" the tale to non-geeks, is it?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nogrod View Post
Look at almost any Hollywood blockbuster and think again...
No... the fact that bad story-telling often occurs in blockbusters (which I wouldn't dispute) doesn't prove it *helps* them sell. At most it proves Hollywood writers (and executives) *think* it does.
__________________
"Even Nerwen wasn't evil in the beginning." –Elmo.
Nerwen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2012, 01:58 AM   #37
davem
Illustrious Ulair
 
davem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
Posts: 4,256
davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
OK. Anyone go see AUJ who hadn't already seen the LotR films and therefore had no idea what Peter Jackson would do with the story, and what form the adaptation would take? Sorry, but if you saw the first trilogy, were annoyed/angry/contemptuous and then went along to this one expecting anything other than what you got then, sorry, but you're a bit of an idiot, and I hope you went with a responsible adult who could watch you crossing the busy roads and take you to the toilet. This was Peter Jackson's Hobbit.

Of course, I blame myself - I have all these exemption certificates which people could have used to get out of having to go and watch a film they knew they weren't going to like and I never offered to hand them out.
davem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2012, 02:44 AM   #38
Nerwen
Wisest of the Noldor
 
Nerwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: ˙˙˙ssɐןƃ ƃuıʞooן ǝɥʇ ɥƃnoɹɥʇ
Posts: 6,484
Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Send a message via Skype™ to Nerwen
Quote:
Originally Posted by davem View Post
OK. Anyone go see AUJ who hadn't already seen the LotR films and therefore had no idea what Peter Jackson would do with the story, and what form the adaptation would take? Sorry, but if you saw the first trilogy, were annoyed/angry/contemptuous and then went along to this one expecting anything other than what you got then, sorry, but you're a bit of an idiot, and I hope you went with a responsible adult who could watch you crossing the busy roads and take you to the toilet. This was Peter Jackson's Hobbit.

Of course, I blame myself - I have all these exemption certificates which people could have used to get out of having to go and watch a film they knew they weren't going to like and I never offered to hand them out.
So not disliking (or just seeing significant flaws in, from the sound of it) the LotR films automatically disqualifies a person from having an opinion on AUJ? Really?

And once again, davem, *why* are you getting *so* worked up about the fact that various other people don't like a film that you like? It's the sort of response you always get from hardcore fanboys, but rather, well, unexpected from you.
__________________
"Even Nerwen wasn't evil in the beginning." –Elmo.
Nerwen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2012, 03:00 AM   #39
davem
Illustrious Ulair
 
davem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
Posts: 4,256
davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerwen View Post
So not disliking (or just seeing significant flaws in, from the sound of it) the LotR films automatically disqualifies a person from having an opinion on AUJ? Really?

And once again, davem, *why* are you getting *so* worked up about the fact that various other people don't like a film that you like? It's the sort of response you always get from hardcore fanboys, but rather, well, unexpected from you.
And once again that's not why I'm getting 'worked up'. My point is simply that people seem to be complaining that they've seen a Peter Jackson middle-earth movie and complaining that he's done exactly what anyone who saw the LotR films must have known he was going to do. I went expecting pretty much what I got, based on what I'd already seen. On that basis I enjoyed the film. If this is anyone's first experience of a Peter Jackson Tolkien movie I can understand them being annoyed at what they got. Anyone who's seen the earlier films had no excuse.

Honestly, based on Jackson's form, what did anyone expect? Its not a 'great' film, its not high art, and in many ways it lets down Tolkien, but as a romp, a high adventure, and particuarly as a Peter Jackson film, what else were you expecting?
davem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2012, 03:05 AM   #40
Nerwen
Wisest of the Noldor
 
Nerwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: ˙˙˙ssɐןƃ ƃuıʞooן ǝɥʇ ɥƃnoɹɥʇ
Posts: 6,484
Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Send a message via Skype™ to Nerwen
Quote:
Originally Posted by davem View Post
And once again that's not why I'm getting 'worked up'. My point is simply that people seem to be complaining that they've seen a Peter Jackson middle-earth movie and complaining that he's done exactly what anyone who saw the LotR films must have known he was going to do. I went expecting pretty much what I got, based on what I'd already seen. On that basis I enjoyed the film. If this is anyone's first experience of a Peter Jackson Tolkien movie I can understand them being annoyed at what they got. Anyone who's seen the earlier films had no excuse.

Honestly, based on Jackson's form, what did anyone expect? Its not a 'great' film, its not high art, and in many ways it lets down Tolkien, but as a romp, a high adventure, and particuarly as a Peter Jackson film, what else were you expecting?
Then why all the anger?
__________________
"Even Nerwen wasn't evil in the beginning." –Elmo.
Nerwen is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:27 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.