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Old 10-19-2011, 10:55 PM   #1
Boromir88
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Great Expectations (and rollercoasters)

I was going to reply in the Itaril thread, but then I saw that I think this can be a thread on it's own and it's probably better placed in a new thread. I was writing to respond to G55's post (and I hope you don't mind bringing this quote out, it's just sparked some reflective thought )

Quote:
Do we know what will be in the movies?

The optimists among us say, no, we don't, so let's not ruin our day by wild exaggerative speculation.

The pesimists say, yes, we do, we've seen what happened to LOTR and we can predict what will be in TH, and it's not gonna impress us.
I chuckled when G55 said I was an optimist about the upcoming films, because I thought back to some of the brilliant spars with Essex and SPM over the films where it sounded like I was ready to rip Jackson's head off because of my frustation with his treatment of the story. I wanted to recall them back and ask if they would put me down as an optimist. But looking back at some of those passionate battles with 2 members who could go toe-to-toe with anyone who said a bad thing about the films, I've probably softened a bit.

Then I remembered the car ride with Nog, Agan, Lommy, and Greenie last year. As Agan and I drew metaphorical swords in a passionate debate over the faithfulness and merit of the fims. Only this time, I was on Essex's and SpM's side of the fence (with Nog giving his trademark wily smile, with poor Greenie and Lommy having to be, but being great mediators in keeping car-ride civility).

Anyway, it all got me thinking that first, I'd still disagree, with you G55, that I'm not an optimist with the upcoming Hobbit films. But you got me thinking what do I expect out of Jackson and company with hte upcoming films? Will I be mesmerized and happy, like I was after I watched FOTR in theaters? Or now that I know "Jackson the director," and assume that he will probably make frustrating changes that will make me contemplate mercifully gouging my eyes out to spare them the pain. Will I leave disappointed? Upset?

Then I got to thinking, on my rollercoaster ride of reactions to the movies. First viewing, loved it. After reading and getting more interested in Tolkien, getting frustrated by all the changes that I felt were needless, no matter what Jackson and his team tried to throw out as an explanation. Followed by a fast falling interest in the films period. But concluding with a such a softened opinion, I could actually debate Agan over their good points. And to do so honestly, not merely as a play at devil's advocate. Anyone else find that their reactions, or interest in the films have vacillated over the years?

I still haven't thought of a good title for my roaming and tired rambling mind. Where I'm trying to reach in this thread is try to remember your initial reaction to seeing FOTR in theaters (or whenever you first saw it). What was it, and knowing Jackson as a director now, what do you expect with the 2 upcoming movies? And if your feelings about the LOTR films have been a rollercoaster over the years, ask yourself why? Or, if not, still ask yourself, why? I'll hopefully put this tired head to rest now and be able to come back to answers to my why.
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Old 10-20-2011, 02:20 PM   #2
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Well, since you decided to make a thread out of that post , I think that I should link this one and this one, because they relate to your reaction. You're not the only pessimistic optimist. :P

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boro
Will I leave disappointed? Upset?
The good thing about having low expectations is that you're never disappointed.

Personally, what happens to me quite often, is I vent out my hard feelings toward an upcomming preformance*, and then sit down and enjoy it thoroughly, and after the first wave of positive emotions find faults to criticise and reasons for not declaring it excellent. I know that, regardless of all my rants about PJ and TH movie, I'll be dragging my family to the movie theatre when it comes out, and I would be excited head to toe and think that it's well done. And after a few days I would cool my head and start ranting again about how bad it is.......:-)

*or books or trips or anything of that sort. I'd go over all the bad points in my head, or aloud, and then let them go for the time being and actually appreciate the thing for what it is...

I can't speak for the LOTR films, though, since when I first watched them I was too young to have a decent understanding of what's going on, forget about comparing it to the book. I think my only thoughts were "WOW" and maybe "COOL", but otherwise... Well, the movies are epic compared to some others that I've seen in theatres in the last few years, though less than half as epic as the books. And I think the main reason I dislike them so much is because I like the books that much. If that made any sense at all...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boro
...knowing Jackson as a director now, what do you expect with the 2 upcoming movies?
Nothing new. This brings me back to the "optimist"/"pesimist" thing. I think that we do know what the general picture would be, and it will not be something I'd like.

However, saying that, I will be leaving this opinion at home when I go to watch the first Hobbit movie.

Stupid rollercoaster!


ETA: just to show how low my expectations have fallen, I actually believed this when I first saw it (and I never really bothered to click the link until much later), even though I thought I was prepared for that day...
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
Personally, what happens to me quite often, is I vent out my hard feelings toward an upcomming preformance*, and then sit down and enjoy it thoroughly, and after the first wave of positive emotions find faults to criticise and reasons for not declaring it excellent. I know that, regardless of all my rants about PJ and TH movie, I'll be dragging my family to the movie theatre when it comes out, and I would be excited head to toe and think that it's well done. And after a few days I would cool my head and start ranting again about how bad it is.......
This reminds me what probably caused the initial turn from enjoyment to "Jackson's horrible." It seemed that so many were banging on about how awesome the movies were and how Jackson was the greatest director ever. And I just sat, reading, thinking...are you serious? Yes, they're fun films, but....they're not that good. So, I tried finding whatever faults to pick apart the delusion that the films were the greatest movies ever made.

Then I reached a point probably within the last year where I realized, what was I fearing? What about the films, or Jackson, made them into some sort of threat? And I couldn't come up with an answer. The books were popular decades before Jackson ever dreamed of making the movies and the books will continue to be cherished because of their landmark impact on the fantasy genre. No matter what Jackson twists, nor whatever critic tries to say Tolkien's writing is not "modern enough," the books will continue to be read and loved as they have been for over 50 years.

I couldn't figure out how the movies (no matter how different they were) harmed the books in any manner. Why then, get so bent out of shape over them? Tolkien's writing stands on it's own, Jackson can't taint his name or accomplishments. In the end, I saw movies that despite it's many flaws, drew in a young audience to at least pick up the books and give it a try.

Quote:
However, saying that, I will be leaving this opinion at home when I go to watch the first Hobbit movie.

Stupid rollercoaster!
Hehe


Quote:
ETA: just to show how low my expectations have fallen, I actually believed this when I first saw it (and I never really bothered to click the link until much later), even though I thought I was prepared for that day...
Haha, I think what I'm most fretting (or curious how they will handle it)? Since they're doing the White Council scenes, what is Jackson going to do about the Necromancer? If we "see" Dol Guldur in the films, according to Jackson logic, Sauron should be a disembodied eye.
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Old 10-21-2011, 01:56 PM   #4
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Tolkien

My first thought reading this thread was that it was strongly reminiscent of the Okay, so what do you think NOW? thread here in the forum, which resurfaced about a month ago. However, I do notice one major difference, which is a rather interesting one to consider: that thread only looked back at The Lord of the Rings, whereas this asks what one can say about anticipations and expectations for The Hobbit in that light.

For myself, ten years has meant that I am not quite so vengefully critical of the LotR movies as I once was--I'm also not 14 anymore, and I suspect that makes a momentous difference. Thus, I am not as bloodshot with fear that PJ will botch Tolkien's work and ruin it forever; indeed, I take a somewhat longer view, which suggests that the book is more than robust enough to survive whatever butcheries the movie makes of it, and--at the very least--my own fondness for it will not suffer.

All that being said, I am also a cannier old man now, and ten years of reflection on what PJ did in the movies does not make me an optimist about what to expect from The Hobbit adaptations. As a general rule, I thought PJ's films were superb where they remained faithful to the books, defensibly good where they abridged them, and at their most dubious when they added to them. In addition, I felt that the best (and most faithful) of the three was The Fellowship, and that it got progressively "less Tolkien" from there. I don't know if one can really extrapolate much from this, since the three films were shot together, but if it DOES reflect anything from post-production or from the success of the previous films going ever more to PJ's head as the latter ones were being polished, the overall trajectory doesn't bode well for The Hobbit--ESPECIALLY since The Hobbit, by being made into two movies, rather than one, looks likely to have a whole lot more fabrication/addition than the LotR movies.

All that being said, however, perhaps the biggest difference is that for the LotR movies, I sat in line in a Canadian December to attend a first night showing. This time around, I'll probably make it to the second or third weekend... and apart from suggesting that I'm busier as an adult than a teenager, it also suggests that the movie adaptation simply doesn't matter to me anymore--in other words, I'll go out of curiosity to see what they've done with Tolkien's work and not out of fear that they'll destroy it. Now that I'm older and wiser, I don't really think they can.
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Old 10-22-2011, 09:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Formendacil View Post
In addition, I felt that the best (and most faithful) of the three was The Fellowship, and that it got progressively "less Tolkien" from there.
I agree with you about the Fellowship and even with all the changes done to ROTK, I can enjoy that one, but that's just because I like having stories feel completed. But the reason I haven't watched the films in so long is if I start them, I want to finish the trilogy. The beginning and ending I enjoy, but TTT is a massive road block. Even the EE scenes with the wonderful Boromir I can't get through because Denethor pops up in Osgiliath and puts a damper on everything. I can't find too many redeeming qualities in TTT and it gets in the way of my need to if I start the story, I want to finish.

Quote:
the overall trajectory doesn't bode well for The Hobbit--ESPECIALLY since The Hobbit, by being made into two movies, rather than one, looks likely to have a whole lot more fabrication/addition than the LotR movies.
Well there is certainly more artistic license that Jackson is probably going to enjoy. We'll see how it goes, because I'm still interested to see what he does with the White Council. And there will be other more close to the story parts that can be fantastic if filmed right. Like, how foreboding and creepy will he make Mirkwood and Dol Guldur? Beorn and Smaug are also big interests for me (I hope we get that clever dialogue between Smaug and Bilbo). Jackson is a pretty good director at conveying emotions when he wants to be. He's no Michael Bay.

Quote:
All that being said, however, perhaps the biggest difference is that for the LotR movies, I sat in line in a Canadian December to attend a first night showing. This time around, I'll probably make it to the second or third weekend... and apart from suggesting that I'm busier as an adult than a teenager, it also suggests that the movie adaptation simply doesn't matter to me anymore--in other words, I'll go out of curiosity to see what they've done with Tolkien's work and not out of fear that they'll destroy it. Now that I'm older and wiser, I don't really think they can.
I think I watched each of the LOTR films within the first week, I'm never a big go out opening day/premiere person. I'll usually only go to theaters for moves that I am 95% sure I'm going to love that first time watching, because theater prices irk me awfully. The only midnight, opening showing I can remember going to watch was Voyage of the Dawn Treader of all movies. It was horrible (I liked the other 2 Narnia films) but a sweet and cute lady asked me to go, and that was what suckered me in more than an "I MUST watch Dawn Treader!!!" feeling.
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Old 10-24-2011, 12:43 AM   #6
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I still find myself wishing that Del Toro had been able to stay on as director. Let it go, Underhill. Let it go! That ship has sailed.

The X-factor in this that gives me some hope is the question of how (or if, for cynics) Jackson has grown as a filmmaker in the intervening ten years or so. I thought King Kong was a good step for him in a lot of ways. Since Kong couldn't speak, Jackson was forced to learn how to let the performance -- rather than over-explainy dialogue and voice-overs -- tell the story. His short film Crossing the Line was another step in this direction. I thought there was some nice work in The Lovely Bones -- though I think that film and Crossing the Line both demonstrate that in certain matters Jackson is who he is -- he does love his contrivances, and no one will ever accuse him of being a realistic director. Working closely with Spielberg on Tintin must have been a master-class.

I haven't been following the production very closely. I like the idea of Martin Freeman as Bilbo. I think he'll be able to bring a lot more nuance to the role than Elijah was able to muster for Frodo. On the other hand some of those dwarves... ugh.
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:49 AM   #7
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I'll be honest with you, I am not going to rush out and see it. I may not go to see The Hobbit at all. There are too may additions already that are disheartening. If you look at all the information released in total thus far, what was a simple, linear comedic epic is turning into an over-the-top fan-fiction nightmare. And PJ lacks subtlety in any of his productions.

I am reminded of the new release of The Three Musketeers debacle or Sherlock Holmes, where the original stories (which were great enough to last a century or more) are overlayed with so much graphical nonsense and contrived 3-D flummery, that the heart is ripped out of the tale, and full-bodied characterization is buried under mountains of eye-candy.

Heart and wit and clever storytelling (with subtle insinuations of a grander world beyond) are what made The Hobbit a classic. Not shield-surfing elves, warrior princesses, punk-goth dwarves, or an entirely separate fan-fic storyline (and I say fan-fiction with conviction because the White Council amounted to a paragraph or two mention by Tolkien) grafted awkwardly onto The Hobbit plot just so they can drag the thing on for two movies.
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Old 10-30-2011, 04:52 PM   #8
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Well, someone sure has high expectations for adhesives in the movie!

~~~~~

Upon reflection, I think that I complained about the upcoming movie so much mostly just because I have to complain about something. I cannot live without complaining. And complaining about some real faults (however undeserving) is better than, say, shouting that "Weather Hills" is a much better name for a forum than "BD".

And, at least at the moment, like Morth I am not that excited to go on the first night. I know I'll watch it, just because it's TH, but I would live if I didn't. I mean, I'm fine with not having watched the last Harry Potter. Or, at least I am right now. If everyone on the Downs will be talking about a movie I haven't watched, I'd kick myself for not watching it when I had a good opportunity. Plus, when they actually come out, I would be booking the tickets for, well, not the first night, but for sometime.

So once again, stupid rolercoaster!
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