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Old 12-17-2012, 10:44 AM   #1
Thinlómien
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The Eye Orcs and Goblins in The Hobbit

Time to start making threads for TH movie, methinks... (No, I didn't look at the Radagast one, I'm trying to protect my sanity.)

So, one of the things that caught my attention in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was the portrayal of Orcs and Goblins.

First off, the Orcs and Goblins were definitely two separate races. I'm not sure how much I liked it, especially since the Goblins looked quite silly. (They reminded me of The labyrinth but alas there was no David Bowie in TH.)

Second, I was surprised that the Orcs were speaking Orcish. I wonder where the filmmakers took it from? Made it up? I was also surprised by the fact that I didn't like it. I'm quite happy with Orcs speaking westron because they speak it in such a funnily uncouth way and that was one of the things the Jackson team managed to preserve quite nicely in the LotR movies. (Also, the Elves were speaking more Elvish, I think. Weird trend.)

Third, what really made me stare at the screen was the end of the Azog-Thorin scene when Azog was stannisbratheonified aka dragged out of the battle by his soldiers. It beggars belief that Orcs would care to save their boss' life or that they would want him to run away. I liked the fact that they were making the Orcs a bit more personal/sympathethic and giving them personal vendettas etc but this thing was too much of a stretch.

Thoughts?
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Old 12-19-2012, 03:49 AM   #2
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I forgot most of the details of the movie but I hated the Great Goblin. His facial CGI was -for a lack of better word- fake. The Goblin King looked very stupid. I wasn't disappointed with the Goblin town scene though.
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Old 12-19-2012, 05:28 AM   #3
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I quite enjoyed the runt-ish look of the Goblins in so far it continues a distinction also made in the LoTR trilogy between Orc and Uruk-hai.

I too was surprised by the Orcs piping up in their own language..they even had an evil font (compared to the nice clean elvish subtitle font) for the subtitles too!

For me the Great Goblin was well done- oversized, grotesque and while i'm no CGI expert I thought pretty well animated; I'm glad they had him screeching out the origins of Glamdring and Orcrist too.

Sympathetic orcs..well, saved their leader from book death haven't they, shouldn't he have died somewhere in that scene- which could have nicely introduced/linked us to another important character Dáin, who they earlier mentioned in the "gathering" would not be coming to their aid- but instead is now just a name we hear. Why did they decide to have Azog live on and not introduce Bolg into their interpretation of the dwarf/orc vendetta? Bolg doesn't sound as cool or poster worthy as Azog I suppose..
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:09 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mänwe View Post
I too was surprised by the Orcs piping up in their own language..they even had an evil font (compared to the nice clean elvish subtitle font) for the subtitles too!
Really? I need to pay attention to that if/when I go to see it again!

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I'm glad they had him screeching out the origins of Glamdring and Orcrist too.
Exactly: that was one of the things I was positively surprised about because I thought they'd skip it.

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Sympathetic orcs..well, saved their leader from book death haven't they, shouldn't he have died somewhere in that scene- which could have nicely introduced/linked us to another important character Dáin, who they earlier mentioned in the "gathering" would not be coming to their aid- but instead is now just a name we hear. Why did they decide to have Azog live on and not introduce Bolg into their interpretation of the dwarf/orc vendetta? Bolg doesn't sound as cool or poster worthy as Azog I suppose..
I was wondering about Bolg and Dáin too. I wonder if Bolg will appear at all, and if they will botch Dáin's coming (because in the book it's hard not to like him immediately, and despite all the sadness it's kind of happy that he becomes the king instead of Thorin)...
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Old 12-26-2012, 06:17 PM   #5
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What striked me even more at the outset, was the clear change in the general outlook of the orcs... Like from the short, dark and hairy (with a hide of sorts) yellow-eyed skinny-kids to these muscular white-skinned guys with no hair at all. So they have a backwards evolution (a devolution?) from the mutated and over-grown sewer-rats into these naked skinheads?

Trying to remember the depictions from both books I'd say it should have been at least a little bit just the other way around... There were Goblins under the mountain in the book "The Hobbit" and they were relatively small (like the ones portrayed in the LotR-films in Moria or in Sauron's armies), then there were orcs under Sauron - and in Moria - in the books who should have been a bit more thrathening (like these neo-nazis in the film "The Hobbit") - and to this picture one could have fitted nicely the Uruk Hai as the bigger and meaner master orc-race (as both in the books and the films).

Or did I lose something obvious?
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:46 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Nogrod View Post
Trying to remember the depictions from both books I'd say it should have been at least a little bit just the other way around... There were Goblins under the mountain in the book "The Hobbit" and they were relatively small (like the ones portrayed in the LotR-films in Moria or in Sauron's armies), then there were orcs under Sauron - and in Moria - in the books who should have been a bit more thrathening (like these neo-nazis in the film "The Hobbit") - and to this picture one could have fitted nicely the Uruk Hai as the bigger and meaner master orc-race (as both in the books and the films).

Or did I lose something obvious?
In The Hobbit I would say there were large goblins in or under the Misty Mountains, as well as the 'tremendous' Great Goblin...

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'Out jumped the goblins, big goblins, great ugly-looking goblins, lots of goblins, before you can say rocks and blocks. There were six to each dwarf, at least, and two even for Bilbo;...'
With respect to that point, anyway.
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nogrod View Post
What striked me even more at the outset, was the clear change in the general outlook of the orcs... Like from the short, dark and hairy (with a hide of sorts) yellow-eyed skinny-kids to these muscular white-skinned guys with no hair at all. So they have a backwards evolution (a devolution?) from the mutated and over-grown sewer-rats into these naked skinheads?
I'm really wondering if this has something to do with being (overtly) politically correct. Like, last time the baddies were black, now they are white.
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Old 12-29-2012, 05:26 AM   #8
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Professor Tolkien does describe the Orcs as "sallow-skinned" (letter 210) so as much as I hate to do this maybe the film was being (arguably) accurate in a sense by portraying the Orcs with this sickly pale colour? That being said the large, imposing ones like Azog one would assume were Uruk-hai which I believe were generally black in colour so I suppose that could be considered an inaccuracy.
What disappointed me with the Orcs of Goblin-Town was their largely troglodyte appearance. Where are the Goblins who "make no beautiful things, but they make many clever ones" although they "had not advanced (as it is called) so far" - I like the little point Professor Tolkien makes by giving the Goblins the 'technology gone wrong' angle. The Orcs of the Mountains have always come across as sort of anti-Dwarves/anti-Noldor to me, perhaps like the difference between Melkor and Aulë, ie industry vs craft or something of that nature. I would have liked to have seen the Goblins as perhaps more of a foil to the Dwarves: smithing, forging, albeit perhaps with slaves rather than the love of using their own hands etc. We got some mention of elaborate torture devices from the Great Goblin which is consistent with the novel but I wouldn't have said no to that being echoed substantially more in their overall design and aesthetic. That being said PJ probably would have given us a "wacky" mad scientist Goblin with frizzy hair and comedy test tubes or something so maybe we're better off this way...
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:36 AM   #9
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I'm really wondering if this has something to do with being (overtly) politically correct. Like, last time the baddies were black, now they are white.
I partially agree that this might be a motivation of theirs, except that the lesser orcs (the non-uruks) by and large were pale skinned in the original LOTR film trilogy as well. See Gorbag, Gothmog and quite a lot of the Mordor orcs at Minas Tirith as well as the short orcs that were with Saruman in FOTR.
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:39 PM   #10
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Maybe the inspiration for the pasty goblins comes in part from real world cave creatures like the pigment-lacking cave salamanders?

One of the other things that struck me was having Azog and his party riding across open plains in broad daylight while they were pursuing Thorin's party near the entrance to Rivendell. I'd remembered Orcs not being terribly happy about being out under the sun, other than Uruk-hai and maybe a few of the strongest that joined them while they were trying to bring Merry and Pippin to Saruman in TTT. It seemed jarring to have that scene, but I'm not a big fan of the Azog side plot anyway.

I'm not very fond of the increased use of Orcish (from who knows where - there wasn't much dialogue that I can remember in the books to use as a source). I thought it was distracting to have so many shifts to subtitles. And am I remembering incorrectly, or was Azog speaking to Thorin in Orcish too?
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:23 PM   #11
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Shield The Goblin King

I just saw the movie and loved every second of it. It didn't have the "This is how I imagined it" feel that LOTR did, but it has been many decades since I read The Hobbit.
I note with interest that the role of the Goblin King was played by Australian comic and actor Barry Humphries, all the while I watches his scenes I was thinking this character bears an uncanny resemblance to the great British actor Joss Ackland. I had the same recognition trigger with Gollum and Peter Lorre when LOTR first came out and now I see this is a common opinion. That's all really, I'm sure I'll see TH again before the second installment hits the big screen. I rate it 11 out of 10.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:58 AM   #12
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There were more people in the cinema when I saw it, than for the 3 prev. PJ films. Almost half full.

And a turn of good luck; a technical fault developed so that we weren't shown movie trailers, just skipped straight to the movie. PERFECT start, apart from the ads played beforehand. Ah......happiest feeling ever, before a movie.
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