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Old 12-12-2012, 03:02 PM   #1
Aganzir
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Pipe An Unexpected Journey, or the morning after

First off a warning: this thread is for discussing the film after seeing it, so it will contain spoilers.

I went to the premiere last night. I had very low expectations, so I was positively surprised, but I can't really decide which one was better, or worse, The Hobbit or the LOTR trilogy. As the Telegraph critic cited in Three Times The Hobbit thread said, it is like butter scraped on too much bread.

I liked the beginning - the fall of the Mountain, Bilbo and Gandalf's meeting (and dialogue), and the 13 dwarves (Fili ftw!). It would've been more beautiful if they had gone for an "In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit" beginning, but I certainly didn't mind seeing the Lonely Mountain either.
I found the Bilbo & dwarves part pleasantly Tolkien-esque. It didn't stray too far from the atmosphere of the book, and even though the dwarves were silly at times, they weren't too much of a joke.

It was a good film until the appearance of the trolls. After that, it got confusing, as if that was the point up to which they had been following Tolkien and after that they wanted to spice things up of their own accord. I kind of understand the Azog thing because it gives the orcs a real reason to pursue Thorin's company - but "they killed our king" would also have been sufficient, and I got bored watching the orcs chase Radagast. And the rabbit sled, really? The elves coming to the rescue was also totally lame.

Rivendell was another confusing part. I seriously couldn't see what reason Elrond would have for not wanting the dwarves to get the Mountain back from the dragon. It's a freaking dragon! They're never up to good, and at least I would be grateful if somebody else wanted to do away with it. Basically what we got here was Galadriel and Gandalf plotting behind Saruman's back - at a time when he was still to be trusted - and no dwarves, except breaking furniture and leaving all of a sudden, leaving Gandalf behind just for the heck of it.

The stone giant battle lost its awe-inspiring quality because it was way too long. Does PJ want to send every hobbit home at some point? And before they met the Goblin King, I half-expected him to turn out to be Azog, and I'm happy that wasn't the case. He was a sympathetic fellow, really. But the battle and the escape were too long too. It would've been so much better - and scarier - if the pursuit had been more like how Tolkien wrote it. And when Gandalf and the Goblin King are standing on the bridge, you can't really help noticing all the similarities between LOTR and this even if you've been trying to ignore them before - the structure of the story is so blatantly similar (which is not the case in the books)! Gollum was okay though.

The final battle wasn't very interesting (or believable) either. Except when Thorin faced Azog, which was unnecessary and crude but still made me squeal a little bit inside. Did they only do it so Bilbo could save his life though? Sigh. And the eagles looked lousy.

I enjoyed it while I was watching it, and I am relieved it was better than it could have been, but it was badly cut and not very interesting - there's too much seemingly random stuff for it to be coherent.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:41 PM   #2
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The title of this thread is just too suggestive.

Is there a pill for the morning after?

Or this blast from rock n roll history: The Shirelles

I had something better to do today, so I couldn't attend any premiere, but I will post a review once I see it. I'll be attending with the entire family so I don't think I will reprise my Mrs. Maggot costume, who really isn't very applicable to TH-but I love your dwarf. Your beards are getting better and better.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:15 AM   #3
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I saw the movie last night and am still digesting way too many conflicting impressions to write a coherent review. However, I can share the one thing that bothered me most - too much recycling!

I wasn't expecting a true rendition of the book and had heard enough to expect similarities to the LotR movies. However, I had hoped that this would be a work of its own. Instead, it was, as one reviewer said, "LotR 2.0". Aside from the Dwarf theme, much of the music was taken verbatim from LotR. Some echoes were to be expected, of course, since Shore worked with the leitmotiv principle, so when characters and places there were included in the previous films show up again, their theme is repeated. However, I would have expected more variation on those themes, and more distinctive original music. Musically, it feels like the fourth movie in a series. I do like the Misty Mountain Dwarf theme (though it is often used like the Fellowship theme was, with epic orchestration).

Not only that, Jackson recycled many of the iconic images he created in LotR. A "fellowship"? Check. Running single file across a narrow subterranean bridge? Check. Gandalf facing a huge foe there? Check. A ring flying into the air and falling down upon a hobbit's finger? Check. The quotes may be intended as an homage, or used with tongue-in-cheek irony, but seeing the same images again took me out of the story.

All in all, this felt like a fan fiction movie of the original trilogy! Both music and images were excellent in LotR, so I know Shore and Jackson are capable of more than they produced here. That is the source of my greatest disappointment in this movie.

Positive impressions will follow when I've had time to sort it all out...
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:48 AM   #4
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Boots

Quote:
Originally Posted by Estelyn Telcontar View Post
All in all, this felt like a fan fiction movie of the original trilogy!
Ouch!

Now there's a cutting critique!
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:57 AM   #5
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For convenience purposes I'm compiling the reviews of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey I've read or seen around. And after I see the movie tonight will share my impressions.

I maintained I could wait on this one and not see it in theaters...but ultimately I'm a weak person. That and a co-worker buddy has tickets and he offered me one of them, which I wasn't going to turn down.

Here are the reviews for perusal if anyone is interested:

The Economist:

http://www.economist.com/blogs/prosp...disappointment

Huffington Post:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/1...n_2277805.html

The Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2012/...journey-review

Rotten Tomatoes:

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_...urney/reviews/
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:45 PM   #6
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I saw the movie yesterday afternoon, and I have mixed feelings as well. I pretty much agree with everything Aganzir has written!

I liked the beginning, (Erebor was awsome). Bilbo was excellent and the dwarves mostly ok. Thorin was more noble than I imagined him, but why oh why do Dwarves always have to burp and spill their ale when drinking?!
That they altered the course of events in the Troll scene was ok. but all the action and fight scenes and never ending pursuit scenes were exaggerated, as I had feared. There can be no real suspense when things are always overdone, or repeated over and over again! The pursuit in the maze of footbridges in the goblin caves reminded me of Moria, but was even more unlikely.
Neither did I like the warg riding orcs already before coming to Rivendell. In my opinion Radagast was rather ludicrous, let alone his rabbit drawn vehicle.

What I enjoyed was the "riddles in the dark" scene with Gollum. I enjoyed the music, too, especially the Dwarves' song.
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:30 AM   #7
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I saw the movie's midnight showing, and here are my thoughts/reactions. If you prefer not to see any spoilers, watch the movie first before reading this...

The opening starts out fairly good, with Bilbo and Frodo. I don't think it's entirely necessary to have this "right before the Long-Expected Party" moment, but it brings back familiar faces to set up the story, and doesn't harm it. Old Bilbo takes us back not right to the "Unexpected Party" but to a prologue of the coming of Smaug and flight of the Dwarves. Erebor and Dale look fantastic. But the prologue also contains one of the more glaring changes that I don't like, nor do I think it's necessary...

Thranduil arrives with his elf army as the dwarves are fleeing the mountains. They are calling for Thranduil to aid them, but then Thranduil simply refuses and marches his army back home. It really doesn't make sense to me. I believe it's supposed to set up the hostility between Elves and Dwarves (can't really take us all back to Thingol and Doriath). However, I don't see how it's necessary to manufacture this animosity between the two races. You could have just dealt with the tension when the Dwarves are captured by Thranduil, and not manufacture this "Thranduil somehow magically arrives in Erebor when Smaug comes (even though Smaug's arrival is a surprise)...and despite marshalling an army he then flat out refuses to do anything, marches them back home. Thorin will remember this!" It paints the Elves as villains who seem perfectly content with a dragon taking up abode in the North of Middle-earth and Thranduil like fool, for marshalling his army and then deciding "mmk, pleasant show, let's go back."

Now we get to the beginning of The Hobbit with Gandalf's arival in Bag End. Some differences here, Bilbo doesn't try to cordially get rid of Gandalf by telling him to return for tea the next day, but basically tells him to bugger off and slams the door in his face. Then for whatever reason, Gandalf took that as a sign to just go ahead and mark the door anyway. Dwarves come busting in, Dwalin first and despite Bilbo's protest to get out of his hole, Dwalin just helps himself to food and pigs out. It's the same for the rest of the Dwarves who start filtering in, Bilbo throws fits telling them to get out, but he goes ignored completely and Dwarves raid Bilbo's food supplies.

Instead of Bilbo expecting to host Gandalf and being confused by a company of Dwarves sporadically showing up and Bilbo busying himself with trying to be a good host, but wonder how and why these dwarves just keep knocking on his door. You get quite a different feeling, as Dwarves just keep coming in to apparently raid all of Bilbo's food and refuse to know they're in someone's home who is yelling at them to get out. Not a change that I liked.

For some reason Jackson decides it must be elaborately explained why the Dwarves are on this quest to slay Smaug in the first place (because you know, having your home taken over by a dragon isn't good enough reason). Enter some strange prophecy story where Thorin is supposedly the one destined with the task and when the ravens return then Smaug's reign will end. I understand having to set up the dwarves motivations, but it's unnecessarily complicating the story. Like I said, what dwarves being kicked out by a dragon and they want their home back isn't simple enough to follow and explain? Thorin apparently attended some meeting of the 7 dwarven lords and he was told this "quest" was for him. It's also explicitly told that Dain refuses help, which well...I don't understand, considering the importance Dain plays in the Battle of Five Armies.

The two dwarven songs are fantastic and do in ways make up for this overly complicated "prophecy/quest" story. Bilbo refuses to sign the contract and the dwarves leave without him. Then the next day Bilbo seems to have a change of heart, realizing the emptiness and boredom of his hobbit hole that was previously filled with a bunch of dwarves. This one I don't mind, because it would be hard to explain the adventure that woke up in Bilbo from the stories (where it also seemed like in the books the music of the dwarves sparked this new found spirit). Here Bilbo seeing the emptiness is quite telling and it's this which sparks his adventure spirit. It's about as good as can be expected.

I will bypass the trolls, because that's fairly good, as well as entertaining. I really just want to get to the appearances of Azog and Radagast in the films. And I really don't see a point for them. Well there is a point, Azog to set up an antagonist in the first film, and some cheap thrills as the baddie "on the hunt" for Thorin and company. Radagast's only narrative purpose is to inform Gandalf that bad things have returned to Dol Guldur, but there is no reason this could not have been done by Gandalf later, when he visits Dol Guldur. The other stuff with Radagast is quite frankly ridiculous and only looks to be time filler. And thus I finally saw what the critics had been talking about, there is no point to Radagast except to stroke Jackson's ego as some sort of story-teller.

We get some mindless action to spice up the movie now as Azog is on the prowl with his warg-riding orcs, and attacks the party, driving them towards Rivendell. Rivendell's cavalry (led by Elrond) comes to their rescue. Thorin is distrustful towards Elrond by they accept his invite and eventually Thorin agrees to show Elrond Thror's map. And now I will say I did like Thorin's character better than I expected. He carries a distrust towards Elves, but I did imagine him as being very guarded. His reaction to be wary of Elrond is understandable, I just don't think we needed the whole "witnessing Thranduil refuse to aid the dwarves during Smaug's attack" to manufacture that hostility/mistrust.

It is here we get the White Council meeting (well Elrond, Gandalf, Saruman, and Galadriel at least). Another good part in the movie in my opinion. Now obviously the timing of this meeting is distorted, and it might only be to try to relive the Middle-earth feeling from the LOTR movies. But Blanchett and Lee are masterful on screen, I could legit watch any movie involving them. We get Saruman's blatant contempt for Radagast (as Gandalf informs them Radagast has discovered something bad has come to Dol Guldur) and Saruman brushes this off as Radagast being an unreliable source (afterall he's just a druggie forest wizard with birds nesting in his hair and a pet hedgehog). There is some really good dynamics set up here, and that is to be expected whenever you put actors with the caliber of Blanchett, Lee, McKellan and Weaving together. I am definitely interested to see how the rest of these White Council meetings turn out.

Unfortunately, we also get some nonsense from Elrond to not allow Thorin's party to continue with the quest, which has been mentioned by Agan. I don't get it either.

The stone giants are meh. I mean CGI wise they look great, but it's just more time waste that has no purpose but to have dwarves stumbling through some fight between the giants. Party gets to the cave, Bilbo decides he's tired of Thorin getting on him all the time about being a burden and thus he wants to sneak out and just go back home. He doesn't get the chance, as the party is captured by dwarves.

I love the look of Goblin-town, as the dwarves are taken to the Great Goblin (Bilbo gets separated and thus meets Gollum). Seeing it is Thorin, and Azog has a price on his head, the Great Goblin wants to ransom Thorin to Azog. At least this change in the story makes sense. But upon seeing Orcrist the goblins go nuts and want to just kill them all, a battle ensues. I'm ok with it, maybe because I expected a battle here, but it was good.

The Riddles scene between Gollum and Bilbo are easily the highlight of the first film, and my favorite part. There are some big differences here, but that I won't spoil. The differences make sense as far as adding to the movie and fitting nicely with what the narrator in The Hobbit tells us about Gollum's history.

Bilbo returns to the Dwarves, but there's really no understood reason why, considering before the Goblin capture he was whiny about Thorin being mean and thus just wants to go back home. But he's back with them, and for a fabricated reason suddenly wants to help them again.

The conclusion is turned into another fight scene. And this is I believe the overall issue with dividing up The Hobbit in three films. The book comes to a natural and logical conclusion where everything is brought together in The Battle of Five Armies. But now, Jackson is trying to create an entire movie narrative over a few chapters and other random stories from the appendices getting smushed all together.

Therefor, you're just confused how everything is relevant and a bunch of material has to be manufactured to weave all these separate events together. I think it's summed up well by Esty, and those who say it comes off looking like a fan-fic. I do believe, I can not fairly get an idea of everything until the story is complete with the other two movies. I was intrigued enough to see how everything gets brought together, but as far as this first movie...

The Lord of the Rings was a large enough book to contain Jackson's obsessive need to film and plunder everything. It never felt like too much, or too long, because there actually were so many narratives, and sub-plots that existed for the movies to be built upon. In my opinion, The Hobbit was not a big enough story for Jackson, and therefor he's plundering any possible avenue that is vaguely related to The Hobbit events, to try to mangle together a story. Since afterall, he has to create a narrative over a few chapters within one very small story. In my opinion, it didn't work, but I still don't think I can know until the entire story gets told (erm shown on screen).
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:15 PM   #8
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1420!

Spoilery - You have been warned.

Now I have seen it, I can look at stuff about it once more. Phew. I was expecting surprises, and there were a ton of 'em.

Let's get my gripe out of the way first. The one thing that I did not like and could not rationalise (there were other things I personally didn't like much but they were rational, coherent etc) was Azog's vendetta. I need to think about that bit some more. I did not like how Jackson chose to recycle motifs from LotR (e.g. the ring falling onto Bilbo's finger and Gandalf asking a moth to bring the eagles - there are a fair few more). But that's just personal. I feel it would have stood up well on its own merits without needing to be self-referential. However, plenty of other geeks lap up this kind of meta stuff so I know why it was there. Ho hum. Oh, and no Burrahobbit joke. Boo.

"It was too long!" cried critics. No. It wasn't too long at all. I felt like an hour had passed. "The material is too thin for a film this long!" also cried critics. Hmmm, The Hobbit is a children's book and is written like a children's book, with scant description and character exposition. It reads to a grown up as: this happened, then this happened, then this happened, then this happened... That's not a criticism, it's just how it is because of the type of book it is. And followed religiously, would have made for a very thin and unmeaty film. More Lambrini than Real Ale.

However, I kept thinking "Oh Jackson has been bold with this!" It's stuffed full of extra things and slight re-imaginings. But all of them did work and made sense to me apart from the Azog thing. I can see that the Radagast interlude is there so unknowing viewers weren't smacked with the Necromancer further into the trilogy without prior warning. And it was fun! The attitude of Thranduil toward the Dwarves also made sense - remember we are soon going to meet some distinctly unfriendly Elves. That Stag was also amazing.

That was one of my favourite details, and I do like the small details. The Blue Wizards line amused me. Gandalf couldn't remember their names - but was he allowed to mention their names given they are owned by the Estate? That little bit was something few would 'get' And they nearly mentioned the Barrow Downs. I was willing them on...

The Bag End scenes were totally fantastic, both for the huge level of detail (Bullroarer Took's portrait!) of my favourite place in Middle-Earth and for the comedy of the party.
The acting though was something else. Completely superb.

I enjoyed it! I want to see it all again now. Maybe not in 3D because the glasses annoyed me and I ended up getting greasy popcorn salt on them. It didn't play havoc with my eye sight though and I have fairly extreme astigmatism so I don't understand why people were moaning about feeling sick.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:27 PM   #9
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I loved the Dwarven raid on the goblin mines. It reminded me of some of the D&D games I've been part of, even including the showboating villain boss.

And that PJ kept most of the songs in, that just takes the cake. I really enjoyed this movie.
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Old 12-14-2012, 02:42 PM   #10
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Thumbs up

Thank you boromir88, Lalwende , Guinevere & McCaber , interesting & heartening reviews . I was going to wait until the film came out on dvd , but am now going to go and watch on the big screen as befits an epic film of this magnitude - I missed seeing any of the LOTR films on the big screen and don't want to make the same mistake twice , thanks for your input
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Old 12-14-2012, 03:33 PM   #11
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Don't know. Loved bits - actually loved bits of it far more than the bits of LotR that I loved.

Disliked other bits - & some bits lost me. This was my first 3d film & the glasses didn't help - in fact the 3d didn't help. 3d glasses are a nightmare to keep in place over specs & I was too conscious of the 3d effects - every time something came out of the screen at me I was taken out of the film. At other times I found myself focussing so much on the 3d I stopped following the story.

Anyway. Liked the bits others liked - Erebor & Dale, Bag End & the battle of Azanulbizar. Riddles in the Dark. Lots of it seemed to go on too long & drag in events & characters for not very well explained reasons. Still, all in all I don't feel like I wasted my time or money. Overall fun, exciting & occasionally moving. Not sure how it will stand up to repeated viewings.

Irritating bits, inevitably. And annoying lapses of logic. How come Thorin & the Dwarves can fall about 600 feet in Moria & just get up & walk away, only for him to be knocked senseless a bit later by a couple of thumps from Azog? The Moth/Eagles thing is now very old - even before seeing Gandalf employ it (as we will) at the Battle of Five Armies. In fact, a number of points where I got the feeling that they'd run out of ideas.

I'd say, chill out, go see it expecting nothing, don't be too critical & you'll enjoy lots of it.

Maybe more later.
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:31 PM   #12
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Pipe Legate of Amon Lanc's Analysis (Full Spoilers)

It is very late at night and I just came back from the cinema, but I think it would be difficult to sleep or to contain my thoughts for the following day, so I'll post now. At least I have motivation for once to make my post really short. Well, short for my usual length of "short", that is. But I'll point out only the few things that really caught my eye or mind. Also, I will wait to read the reviews of the rest of you only later when I have time, so it will be certainly uninfluenced analysis

*cough cough* So, let me start. Today (if I count tonight as still "today") has been remarkable for two things. First, Legate of Amon Lanc got educated by a newbie with the post count about 30-something about a thing in the LotR Appendices he has had no idea about for over the larger part of his life (somewhere here if you care). Secondly, Legate of Amon Lanc, who, among other things, is the author of this or this, has seen the Hobbit and liked it. Yeah. Stop beating your computer screen, what you are reading is not a visual error. If I am to say a simple statement, I say: I liked it.

Now, for a few highlights or "lowlights". What comes immediately to my mind is:

Handling the book's original plot: Well done. Nothing misses, nothing is twisted (and not even twisted beyond recognition, but nothing is twisted at all, except for the basic filmmaking license).

Adding the Dol Guldur subplot: That is weaker, but given what PJ operates with, again, it's a movie. And movie is for people who haven't read the books. And, let's be honest here, there are many among the book readers who do not even care about the "background" stuff beyond the frame of LotR and The Hobbit. So whether I go on explaining when was the White Council formed, when did they learn about Sauron, what did they do and so on - here we have the whole "Mirkwood is darkening" subplot squished into and ultimately, the outcome is the same, and fine by me. Of course, concerns might be regarding the Nazgul rubbish, but then again, if it serves to introduce "the Necromancer"... speaking of that, I really like the way the movie (or Saruman ) explained it. "A human wizard tampering with black magic, nothing more" = perfect. For some reason I loved this way of diminishing the threat. Also, the "shadow in the box" aka Necromancer actually looked quite good, much much better than the idiotic power plant we all know from LotR.

Bilbo and Gandalf: Handled perfectly, I see no problem. I still don't understand why the Uncloaking of Gandalf has to look so bad and ridiculous, the same way it did in LotR where it evidently did not work (it seemed as if Gandalf got some fit), but PJ is apparently of different opinion.

Dwarves: No objection. Very nice, very nice focus on some main ones (Balin, Dwalin, Fili, Kili, and gradually a couple of others), from the initial introduction throughout the story. And of course, Thorin. It was one thing I thought I might like, and it turned out that way. He remains a consistent character - except for the one unfortunate point in the mountains where he all of a sudden tells Bilbo he should not have been there (after they are falling down from the stone giants - it comes totally out of the blue). Since the start, there was this picture of him smiting the red iron on the anvil - totally reminded me of his important feature as mentioned in the appendices ("great anger burned in him as he smote the red iron on the anvil...") - not sure if PJ intended that, but if I wanted to mention a sentence in the book put 100% perfectly into a movie, this was one such example. All in all, praise, praise, praise to Thorin.

Trolls: So happy they didn't make them just ugly turtles and kept the whole thing basically almost unchanged (as much as you can in a film).

The Great Goblin: His voice almost lifted me from my seat at first. Aside from that, granted, 99% of his role is incredibly weak. But it was a nice impression.

Radagast: He was not as horrible as I feared. He was nuts and degraded into this poor senile being, but it was nice. Acceptable in the terms of movie license, I'd say.

The White Council: YES, YES and YES. That was the best, the coolest moment of the whole movie, slowly looming from the moment Elrond told Gandalf that he has something to explain... Wonderfully handled scene. Saruman. Was. Cool. And Galadriel too. When she appeared first and when she was talking (especially the mind-talking with Gandalf!!! Great one), she was great. However when she roamed around as they probably instructed her to do, she looked like a doll without strings and really made me think of "the marketing needs a pretty woman to pose, please". If you ask me, she was beautiful when she appeared and acted, not when she was standing in the background or roaming around with no purpose. That looked ridiculous. But close your eyes to that and you have the best scene of the whole movie. For me it really was.

- Gollum part of the plot handled well. Well except for Gollum, but that's the question of the design of the creature (I don't like it). I also like how the Ring's invisibility effect does not yet have the "corrupt feel" to it. Also, the idea of "mercy is the point" shown and conveyed well, I'd say.

Okay, minuses:

- Too unnecessarily prolongated action scenes. Be it fighting or running from place X to Y while doing ridiculous stunts... I cannot emphasise this strongly enough. PJ could have made it into, if not one, then certainly two two-hour movies if he left out all the action rubbish except in places where it is relevant/important. Speaking of length, I had the feeling just after they left Rivendell that the movie could have ended just about there and I'd be happy. I don't know at what mark that event is, but I think if they had cut the unnecessary things, it might have worked around that timestamp.

- Too many unrealistic stunt-scenes. I just realised that's what really I dislike the most. I really could not bear the escape from Goblin-town. Swinging whole platforms and all that while throwing the goblins overboard... horrible. Nothing against Ice Age, but that is an animated movie. Such things really are not supposed to happen in movies with real actors, sorry.

- Absolutely unnecessary Azog subplot. The story as narrated by Balin was nice, but a) Azog is ugly (he's supposed to be mail-clad), b) I've had enough of idiotic wannabe-creepy grins of PJ's orcs into the camera for half an age, c) using Azog to introduce wargs was nice, but the fight against him in the end was unnecessary. Thorin was absolutely cool when he rose from the fire like a phoenix to meet his nemesis, that was perfect, but after that? Got kicked and it served no purpose whatsoever except to prolongate the movie with another few minutes.

- The Transformers. Seriously. The worst thing ever. I was happy to hear they put the Stone giants in. When I saw them... The Transformers. *facepalm*

- The songs. I loved the Dwarven song, as sung by the Dwarves in the deep voices (NOT as sung by whoever it was during the end credits. The deep voices made it cool, the end credit-singer didn't), but what the heck was the plate song? So bad. Totally unimaginative tune. IT HAD THE SAME TUNE AS THE ALREADY UNIMAGINATIVE TUNES IN LOTR WHICH PIPPINS AND CO. ARE SINGING IN THEIR PUBS!!! Likewise, there was some goblin-song, right? I don't even remember it, it was also bad. And if there was anything in between, it was probably bad as well.

Summa summarum:
Best moments: The start in the Shire, the White Council.
Worst moments: The Transformers, escape from Goblin-town.
General verdict: Give me scissors, I'd cut several scenes and make a very good movie of suitable length which will be fun to watch.
I would not necessarily watch this again for all that money I paid for the ticket, in fact, I'd have paid half for even the original one if I could choose. But as a movie, at home, with a couple of people, I'd watch it again without any objection.
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:46 PM   #13
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Of course I could not have resisted and, after all, read the posts on this thread anyway before going to sleep.

My comment, and concern, is only one.

Am I the one who liked the movie the most from the people who have posted on this thread? (Or, on about the same wavelength as Lalwendë.)

That is probably the scariest thing that has happened to me for some time.
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:11 AM   #14
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I think most people (even the most hard line fan of the books) will find a lot to like in the film. Its fun for the most part, captures much of the mood of the story & expands the (movie) universe nicely. I suppose the question is would you rather have these films or no films? Would you have missed out on the whole movie experience (not just the films & the tie-ins, but the whole community experience which they have fostered) would this site & its community even exist if not for the films?

So, certainly annoying in parts but to actually see Bag End, Moria, Minas Tirith, Erebor.... to encounter those characters in the (digital) flesh, well..... I think you'd have to be very churlish & ungrateful to wish they hadn't happened at all. There are some very annoying things, some points where Jackson seems to have let the technology run wild & also to have failed to rein in his imagination. I agree that the stone giants episode went too far - a glimpse would have been more powerfully evocative. Plus it was yet another point at which the characters, if real physical beings, would have simply died. Jackson seems to have no understanding of the effect of physical force (or fire!) on bodies. I don't care that Dwarves are physically stronger than humans, they wouldn't have survived that - & certainly Bilbo wouldn't.

Of course the book moves from childish innocence & silliness to adult, worldly-wise, seriousness, but Tolkien doesn't jerk back & forth between the two, & that's a major issue for me with the film which jumps from Tom & Jerry to The Silmarillion & back without any warning. When it works its brilliant, when it doesn't work it really, really doesn't.

Again, I think we''ll have to reserve full judgement till we can watch the whole thing.
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Old 12-15-2012, 03:47 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by davem View Post
So, certainly annoying in parts but to actually see Bag End, Moria, Minas Tirith, Erebor.... to encounter those characters in the (digital) flesh, well..... I think you'd have to be very churlish & ungrateful to wish they hadn't happened at all.
Actually, that is about the last thing I like about the movies. I did not need to see a portrayal of Bag End or Moria which are fundamentally different from how I imagine them and thus disrupt my imagination of them. I am a very "landscape-visual-type" person. In fact, I would possibly say that I would have preferred not to see a movie adaptation, if we put the stress on the word "adaptation". But it is a nice movie. I would be equally happy to watch any other movie which I would find likeable. However, I guess here comes the dimension of, perhaps, curiosity, or evaluation from the point of view of a fan, who can say "okay, this was handled well" and "okay, this was handled interestingly" (and, of course, "this was screwed up"). And as for the dimension of introducing new fans, of course, that's no debate.

Quote:
There are some very annoying things, some points where Jackson seems to have let the technology run wild & also to have failed to rein in his imagination. I agree that the stone giants episode went too far - a glimpse would have been more powerfully evocative. Plus it was yet another point at which the characters, if real physical beings, would have simply died. Jackson seems to have no understanding of the effect of physical force (or fire!) on bodies. I don't care that Dwarves are physically stronger than humans, they wouldn't have survived that - & certainly Bilbo wouldn't.
Absolutely. That is what basically annoyed me the most especially this time (in LotR, it was present too, but I think less - the one thing I can think of was the "balancing on falling stairs" part in Moria, aside from Legolas stunts etc.).

Quote:
Again, I think we''ll have to reserve full judgement till we can watch the whole thing.
When returning from the cinema, we met a guy who asked us about the movie and asked if it isn't annoying to have to wait for the following movies. That's when I realised: I don't care. For me, the movie is finished, and how I rate the rest, is a different thing. For the moment. Of course, once all the movies are out, I can rate them all together. But I can also rate them separately, and evaluate them separately, and have no problem with that. For example, I am able to tell you that Two Towers was easily one of the worst movies ever, while Fellowship was still quite nice.
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Old 12-15-2012, 04:40 AM   #16
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Absolutely. That is what basically annoyed me the most especially this time (in LotR, it was present too, but I think less - the one thing I can think of was the "balancing on falling stairs" part in Moria, aside from Legolas stunts etc.).
I can think of a few points in LotR - Boromir hurled a good 20 feet across the Chamber of Mazarbul into a stone wall & then getting up & shaking his head & getting straight back into the fight, Frodo falling the equivalent of 20 feet from the the Seat of Seeing onto his back & not even being winded, Aragorn's fall over the cliff & Denethor's infamous 3 mile human torch sprint ... I don't think Jackson gets that if you do that with your characters you can't then suddenly switch to giving them normal physical vulnerability in the next scene & expect the audience to believe it. When Thorin was beaten unconscious at the end I was convinced, after all he'd been through without even being fazed, that he was faking it - & that actually spoiled the impact of the scene as I was expecting him to jump up & behead Azog any second.


.
Quote:
For example, I am able to tell you that Two Towers was easily one of the worst movies ever, while Fellowship was still quite nice.
I can watch Fellowship as a stand alone film, but not either of the others, but I can (only done this once btw) watch all of them back to back - I suspect this is because Fellowship provides the necessary momentum....

John D Rateliff (author of History of the Hobbit) gives his thoughts http://sacnoths.blogspot.co.uk/ I pretty much agree with his points when it comes to his likes.

As to the 3D - again, I just didn't see the point of it. It was well done but I don't think it would have been missed. I read recently that Jackson has decided against converting LotR into 3D. I'd like to see it again in 2D now I know what's coming. I'll save my review proper for then.
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Old 12-15-2012, 06:23 AM   #17
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Well, I thought the Goblin King and the battle with the goblins were so awful, so cheesy and over-the-top, that they overshadowed everything I did enjoy: the look of Goblin town and Erebor, the portrayals of Bilbo and the dwarves (and of course Gollum and Gandalf), the dwarves' song, in fact, pretty much the whole thing up to that point. I thought I was watching King Kong for a second there.
What it boils down to: if you are Peter Jackson and you feel something needs more "humor" or "action", you should handcuff yourself to the nearest wall.
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Old 12-15-2012, 07:28 AM   #18
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I had a good laugh from this:

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/i...lm.single.html

Two Slate employees, who had not seen the LOTR movies, nor read any of Tolkien's books, give their Hobbit review
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Old 12-15-2012, 07:36 AM   #19
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Boots

Yes, the stunts were unbelievable. However, they didn't detract from it for me because I've become more or less immune to them after years and years of watching TV and films with equally unbelievable stunts. I blame The Matrix!

A thought strikes me that films such as The Hobbit will always be at a disadvantage with obsessed fans like us. This is because the original text is so overwhelmingly powerful at creating strong inner visuals, and even Tolkien admitted that for each reader, this visual would be different. In On Fairy Stories he says that each reader, when they encounter say the word 'tree' then what they see is his or her own picture of a 'tree', on an almost elemental level. So when a film director (or indeed an artist) shows us his or her 'tree' then the odds are stacked against it being like what we have seen.

Bearing that in mind, I have been to see each and every one of Jackson's films with an open heart and mind, realising that his vision will be different to my own. His landscapes are the most wildly different for me. Much of Middle-earth looks a bit like Lancashire or Scotland to me!

I have to throw in another point that I didn't cover yesterday fully. The acting was totally superb. The Dwarves often have little individual personaility to me in the text but the film really did bring them out, some in particular. James Nesbit wasn't an actor I especially liked but he steals several scenes in The Hobbit as Bofur, and I want his hat. Ken Stott's turn as Balin was touching. Graham McTavish as Dwalin was frightening, like a proper nutter. Mark Hadlow as Dori was great - I liked his scene with the camomile tea/red wine. Loved Adam Brown as Ori (playing him as the Much the Miller's Son of the group). Aidan Turner and Dean O'Gorman are not at all like Legolas and played the parts of young laddish Dwarves very well. You don't need me to say just how good Richard Armitage was as Thorin - he owned the role.

Martin Freeman was as perfect for Bilbo as I knew he would be.

I need to see it all again in 2D and enjoy it more rather than be distracted by bits of gubbins flying at me from out of the screen while I fiddle with plastic shades...
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Old 12-15-2012, 08:43 AM   #20
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I'm going on a double date tonight to see it. SO. FREAKING. EXCITED!!!!

I'm just hoping that it won't differ from the book too much, like LOTR did.
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:16 AM   #21
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Taking a nod from Boro, here's more chuckles about the film, courtesy of The Onion:

Hobbit to feature 53 minute long scene of Bilbo packing.
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:36 PM   #22
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I was more pleased than anything with it. When it stuck to the book, it was lovely, and when it didn't, well, at least it was nothing we haven't seen before with LotR. Sometimes literally.

I did love Thorin and Company and hope there will be much, much more of them in the EE. Balin especially was awesome. I would follow him into Moria. Thorin was fantastic, and I'm soooo glad they didn't take the "Reluctant Hero" route as was done with Aragorn.

The weak spots for me were all of the goblins and orcs. Every word of their dialogue is stunted and far too "modern". And as for Azog...ugh. No. "He died of his wounds.......LONG AGO." I was half hoping that it would be Bolg following instead for revenge, and given an opportunity to show some orcish loyalty as a parallel to Thorin's followers, and also finally see some orcish angst...oh wait, it's PJ&co.

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Originally Posted by Legate of Amon Lanc
I've had enough of idiotic wannabe-creepy grins of PJ's orcs into the camera for half an age
Seconded. Thirded. Fifteenthed. Forever.

I'll definitely see it again though.
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Old 12-15-2012, 02:01 PM   #23
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Yes, Bofur was a good character, and one of the rare cases where embellishing on the book created something decent, in my opinion. I liked the dynamic he had with Bilbo, sort of big-brotherly teasing with an underlying protectiveness. Martin Freeman was wonderful, very sympathetic. One scene I found really moving was the moment he caught up with the dwarves carrying the signed contract (I was a little disappointed he didn't get the oversized green cloak and hood from the book afterward: for some reason those items always seemed important in my mind).
I didn't care for Barry Humphries as the goblin king. I suppose some might have found him entertaining, but to me he just seemed very out of place (a friend of mine called him the film's "Jar Jar Binks" and I agree). I shouldn't entirely blame the actor: his lines were dreadful. As for the battle that followed, it looked like something out of a roadrunner cartoon. The goblin scenes actually made it difficult to for me to fully enjoy the neighboring "Riddles in the Dark" scene. The latter was on a set that wasn't nearly dark, or large, enough, but Freeman and Serkis could have probably managed to be convincing in the produce department at Wegmans. The writing still wasn't great, with too many dual-personality jokes for my taste. I'm just not a fan of Boyans and Walsh, and never will be.

I really loved the dwarves' song* and wish there had been more new music. I'm actually sad that neither the elves nor the orcs sang. Tra-la-la-lally's are optional, but, well, you know what they say about elvish singing, in June, under the stars.

One really minor thing that that annoyed me far too much: why does Galadriel need to strike a dramatic pose at all times while having a conversation? Surely they could have come up with slightly less corny way to make her look impressive. Yes, I know she does a bit of that in LoTR, but it isn't as extreme.
I'll just stand on this ledge here with my back to you all so everyone knows I'm special.

I wasn't really happy with the Necromancer (who looked like something out of a sci-fi movie), but mostly liked Radagast, though his costume was over-the-top. The embellishments to the plot surrounding Azog weren't really objectionable: of course PJ wanted to create more continuity and at least Azog doesn't do too much that the generic goblins didn't in the book.

I suppose I sound too critical. I certainly found more to dislike here than in FoTR, probably because more was invented/padded, and several scenes seem to have been there because PJ was going down some kind of "successful movie formula" checklist. I'm still looking forward to the next one. A friend I went with, though, said that she felt like she didn't need to read the book after watching this, which just... *sigh*
What do you say to that?

*Edit: the version in the movie, not the one at the end.
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Old 12-15-2012, 03:02 PM   #24
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Many thanks to Boromir88 and Bethberry for the humorous links. After suffering through two-hours and forty five minutes of this bloated turkey -- not to mention two days of intestinal flu -- I really needed the laughs.

My Chinese wife tried to read The Hobbit in English once, and never managed to get past Chapter Six: "Out of the Frying Pan into the Fire." After viewing this miserable excuse for a movie, I told her: "See? You don't have to feel so bad now. Peter Jackson reportedly speaks and writes English and has been over all these stories innumerable times, and even with a half-a-billion-dollar budget to squander, he couldn't get past Chapter Six either!" My wife liked getting out of the routine of daily life for a few hours, though, and so appreciated the escapism of the film, even though the guy eating popcorn in the seat behind her reminded her of mice raiding the pantry. When I told her that Ian Holm (as the 111-year-old Bilbo the Older, with nothing meaningful to do or say) looked to me like a 50-year-old with either a face-lift or a post-production Photoshop version of one, she told me that, from her female point of view, she thought Cate Blanchett looked like Sharon Stone in Basic Instict 2. "And she didn't even cross her legs, either!" I added.

And Elijah Wood as Frodo going to the mailbox? Why?

Even I could do the arithmetic and divide The Hobbit's 19 slim chapters by three movies and get 6+ chapters per movie, so I knew going in that the eagles would again do their ornithological interpretation of Deus Ex Machina and swoop down to save the day -- again -- just in the nick of time. I didn't, however, count on Peter Jackson taking the "hanging over the edge of the abyss" cliché to the point where not just Bilbo Baggins (in one scene) but the entire company found themselves literally hanging over the edge of yet another cliff clinging to the branches of a single tree. Naturally, no one really fell to their deaths; yet even if they had, Gandalf would have just passed his hand over their closed eyes -- like he did with Thorin Oakenshield after a warg chewed him up and spit him out -- and their lovely bones would magically rejoin the living in a heartbeat.

What unadulterated crap. Not just the unnecessary and pointless Radaghast the Brown, but practically everyone in this film wound up with bird-droppings in their beards -- even the ones who didn't have beards. In their defense, though, Bilbo (the younger) and Gollum did have a few moments together towards the end where something approaching characterization with dialogue happened. Even there, however, Peter Jackson couldn't help having Gollum look -- again -- at his own reflection in the water (Return of the King scene rip-off! Check!) and Gollum's truly gratuitous bludgeoning of an injured goblin (who actually had suffered from a dizzying fall) seemed excessively tasteless to me even for Peter Jackson.

I could go on for hours deconstructing this farce, but the film just doesn't hold enough interest for me to bother. A few barely passable lines of dialogue here and there do not rescue or redeem this over-extended spoiler prologue to -- wait for it! -- a glimpse of the entire dragon (not just his foot or tail or eyeball) -- which might occur either one or two years from now. Really: a two-hour-and-forty-minute teaser trailer which basically boils down to this: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey never has any adventure or does anything unexpected.

As the stomach turns ...
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Old 12-15-2012, 04:25 PM   #25
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One really minor thing that that annoyed me far too much: why does Galadriel need to strike a dramatic pose at all times while having a conversation? Surely they could have come up with slightly less corny way to make her look impressive. Yes, I know she does a bit of that in LoTR, but it isn't as extreme.
I'll just stand on this ledge here with my back to you all so everyone knows I'm special.
Ew, yes. It's a long, long way from being a deal breaker, but there's always been something I didn't like in Galadriel's posing thing. She stands there, like a Collector's Model speaking through an autotune machine. I always pushed the thought away thinking I was being a bit of a cow, but I have to admit it always annoys me a wee bit. They should have got her on a whopping great stag like Thranduil and then I would be impressed - you can tell I do not like Princessy stuff much, can't you....

Another thing - I surprised myself and found I liked Barry Humphries as the Goblin King. And normally I hate Barry Humphries - Dame Edna is one of the least funny things in the whole world. And I've just remembered that creepy little Goblin scribe - I liked him, he was a bit horrible.

So far, around 95% of comments I have seen outside sniffy media film reviews have been positive and some are rating it above FotR.
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:44 PM   #26
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So far, around 95% of comments I have seen outside sniffy media film reviews have been positive and some are rating it above FotR.
I have't seen this film yet– it hasn't been released here, in fact– but I intend to, and when I do I'll of course make up my own mind regardless of what any critic says. However, Lal– well, I hope I'm not sounding like too much of a cynic by pointing out that early audience reactions to a heavily-promoted, long-awaited entry in a popular franchise are almost guaranteed to be positive? I'm not saying they're wrong– I mean, nobody can be "right" or "wrong" about a subjective opinion– I just mean I don't think it really works as an argument for the film's quality.
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:29 PM   #27
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Eye Suspension of Disbelief

I don’t know why, but I can believe in dwarves, orcs, wizards, magic, trolls, Hobbits, elves, glowing swords, dragons, wargs, Gollum, and the Necromancer, but I get angry when I’m forced to watch 13 dwarves and a wizard fall 300 feet on a disintegrating wooden platform and never get hurt. Come on, Jackson! That’s impossible!

P.S. I really liked the movie but wonder why it was in 3D.
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Old 12-16-2012, 12:57 AM   #28
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And so it went

Speaking only for myself, I cannot see a film adaptation of The Hobbit through the perspective of someone else who has never read the book and/or seen the Lord of the Rings movies. I've read the books and seen the movies several times over the last fifty years, so they have now become part of my particular life experience. I cannot cleanse my mind of them, nor would I ever wish to do so, just so I could succumb to an obvious commercial campaign like other innocent consumers. I had a few dollars that I could spare to see this film once, more out of curiosity than hope, especially since I attended a Friday matinee and got my first senior-citizen discount. Even at that reduced rate, I still felt swindled, but I knew the likelihood of that going in. Still, as the dyslexic dwarf chimpanzee of a recent American president once said: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice -- You can't get fooled again." Once: OK. Twice: No Way.

As I said, I attended the first showing of the day here in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Not many people showed up at that early hour and so I saw the film in the company of probably no more than a dozen other Taiwanese persons. Normally, I don't pay any attention to the Chinese subtitles of English-language movies, but in this case I found them both interesting and educational during the many times when my attention wandered from the fan-fiction, video-game dreck on the big screen. I did, however, experience a few -- although fleeting -- encounters with creativity. For example:

In the scene with the trolls, the book had Gandalf coming to the rescue of Bilbo and the dwarves by confusing the trolls (from off in the dark somewhere) and getting them to argue among themselves until the sun came up and turned them to stone. In the film, Bilbo conceives the idea of stalling for time by various suggestions to the trolls about possible seasonings, filleting options, and possible dangers of eating infected dwarf meat, et cetera. Here the film-makers almost improved upon the book because Tolkien had Gandalf disappear at times precisely so that Bilbo could prove his own worth to Thorin and Company instead of having the magician predictably wave his magic staff and take care of everything himself. Yet instead of just letting the sun come up and turn the trolls to stone due to Bilbo's ingenuity at stalling for time, Gandalf steps into the picture right at the last minute, waves his magic staff, and spits a big rock in half, allowing the sunrise to ossify the trolls. Tolkien had good reason for wanting less Gandalf and more Bilbo Baggins -- but do you think these film-makers could understand this and let Bilbo have his little victory? Nooooooooooooooooo. They have just got to do the Deus Ex Machina thing, even when they could easily have avoided it. I would have just let the sun come up and do the job and then had Gandalf wander in from the surrounding woods saying: "Well what do you know? I see that Mr Baggins has taken care of things quite nicely, just as I thought he would." Something like that. Sometimes one can deviate from the book if one understands the author's purpose and can effectively find a novel way to advance it. A close call with almost a creative departure from the book there, but not quite.

In all fairness to this bloated mercenary assault on a simple story, I did experience a few moments like this when I could see Bilbo's character and understanding deepen. Unfortunately, I can count those instances on fewer than five fingers. If time and energy permit, I'll detail a few other examples in subsequent comments.

Mostly, though, the film-makers here just don't seem to have many interesting new ideas, as I believe several others have mentioned above, and so they mostly keep recycling old scenes from the LOTR films. Each time they did this, I found myself thinking: "Oh, look. Another recycled scene from the LOTR movies." Then I would start reading the Chinese subtitles again.

And so it went ...
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Old 12-16-2012, 01:40 AM   #29
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The new Guardian/Observer review is one of the most positive I've yet come across http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2012/...journey-review while the Independent seems to have gone for the 'Offensive Snob' approach http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-en...t-8420225.html
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Old 12-16-2012, 05:47 AM   #30
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I have't seen this film yet– it hasn't been released here, in fact– but I intend to, and when I do I'll of course make up my own mind regardless of what any critic says. However, Lal– well, I hope I'm not sounding like too much of a cynic by pointing out that early audience reactions to a heavily-promoted, long-awaited entry in a popular franchise are almost guaranteed to be positive? I'm not saying they're wrong– I mean, nobody can be "right" or "wrong" about a subjective opinion– I just mean I don't think it really works as an argument for the film's quality.
Subjective opinions are certainly what it comes down to. That's why I do not care much about the film reviews. Not even from other random individual people, but e.g. in this case from 'Downers, with whom I at least have some idea of how they might judge the stuff.

As for heavily-promoted, long-awaited entry in a popular franchise, I, for one, have not been awaiting it, nor following any film-news at all (only seen the trailers, and even they made me confirm my "bad PJ once again" expectations), and my expectations were of the phlegmatic kind at most. I would not have probably even gone to the cinema if not for my friends who wanted to see it. But I was overall pleased with the way the film was handled.

Maybe we should start a more "anonymous" and spoiler-free thread of general review ratings of the movie for 'Downers who have not seen the movie yet and would be interested to know about the fellow 'Downers' opinion...
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Old 12-16-2012, 05:54 AM   #31
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Its worth remembering as well that Tolkien himself was fairly dismissive of TH, and that it only really touches greatness towards the end. Tolkien disliked the tweeness of the start of the book and in the early 60's attempted to rewrite it in the style of LotR (and failed, btw). It could certainly be argued that Jackson's version, so far, has treated Bilbo's story with more respect and dignity than Tolkien himself did...
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:03 AM   #32
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Legate– in case I didn't get my meaning across before– I wasn't questioning anyone's taste or judgement here, just saying the general audience response probably doesn't tell us very much at this point.
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:21 AM   #33
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I also heard a guy say "You're not a TRUE fan of the books if you like this movie." But I was too sleepy and pleasanty content to knock him off his high elk.

And that I also will semi-credit the movie with...you know those 60s TV Batman episodes? Holy fish paste, Batman! Well, now, I can exclaim, Holy elk riders! (or the longer version...Holy elk riding, Elven King!)
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:59 AM   #34
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Thranduil on the stag is straight out of Geoffrey of Monmouth's Vita Merlini. Can't help wondering if the rabbit sled has any precursors in legend or folklore.
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:17 AM   #35
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originally posted by davem:

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Can't help wondering if the rabbit sled has any precursors in legend or folklore.
Perhaps from Beatrix Potter?:

http://infernalcakewalk.com/post/651...cinderella-she
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:24 AM   #36
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I would have just let the sun come up and do the job and then had Gandalf wander in from the surrounding woods saying: "Well what do you know? I see that Mr Baggins has taken care of things quite nicely, just as I thought he would."
Oh dear. That would have Bilbo playing the hero from the beginning, instead of slowly developing into one from a timid hobbit. I already thought they went too far in that direction in this film: he jumps between Thorin and Azog, for crying out loud! There's not far for him to develop from there.
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:42 AM   #37
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I also heard a guy say "You're not a TRUE fan of the books if you like this movie." But I was too sleepy and pleasanty content to knock him off his high elk.

And that I also will semi-credit the movie with...you know those 60s TV Batman episodes? Holy fish paste, Batman! Well, now, I can exclaim, Holy elk riders! (or the longer version...Holy elk riding, Elven King!)
So I gather with elk riding elves, it is pretty much a given that we will see pig riding dwarves.
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:47 AM   #38
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I thought it was excellent except the Galadriel and Radagast bits. Dol Guldor isn't how I imagined it at all.

The bit when Bilbo realises why the dwarves are so desperate to get their home back Amazing acting by Freeman, brilliantly captured the conflict between the Took and the Baggins within Bilbo.
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:58 AM   #39
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I also heard a guy say "You're not a TRUE fan of the books if you like this movie." But I was too sleepy and pleasanty content to knock him off his high elk.
Oh, psh.

Since my mom is making me go with her, I'll reserve my final judgement until I see it again. I wasn't really swept away when I saw it yesterday though.

I thought the beginning was good and considering later parts, fairly true to the book (changed slightly but not for the worst).

However I couldn't stand Radagast. It would have been better if Radagast had shown up and retold everything for Gandalf rather than having an awkward segway into saving a hedgehog. Even though it was an adorable CGI hedgehog. Then he has a sled pulled by rabbits on steroids? It felt too much like a podrace, "Hey look what we can do with a computer". In fact a lot of scenes felt like "look where we are now with technologically."

The vendetta was forced on us, not like the company didn't fall into enough trouble without that, but it was worked in well.

My favorite scene was Saruman telling everyone not to worry and that Radagast was a nutter butter. I thought it was a very nice addition. Though why were the dwarves sneaking out as thieves in the night?

Right now I give it ***. But I did buy the soundtrack when it was released. The dwarf songs and any theme that was a variant on the Misty Mountain theme was wonderful.
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:50 AM   #40
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Legate– in case I didn't get my meaning across before– I wasn't questioning anyone's taste or judgement here, just saying the general audience response probably doesn't tell us very much at this point.
It might not, indeed, tell you much about objective quality. But who is the Guardian of Quality anyway? Critics certainly like to think so, but they would be wrong. Almost every lay viewer I have read the opinion of or spoken to has said they really enjoyed it. Some have reservations, some have none, but they enjoyed it. That counts above Quality in my book!

Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
The new Guardian/Observer review is one of the most positive I've yet come across http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2012/...journey-review while the Independent seems to have gone for the 'Offensive Snob' approach http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-en...t-8420225.html
That second review isn't even a review, it's just some guy exercising his machismo and trying to underline to his fellow Islington intelligentsia that this sort of thing is for spotty geeks and he is above this kind of thing, sniff. All the usual anti-Tolkien insults, comedy Dwarf names etc.

The second one makes an interesting point though, and it might be a bit controversial but I agree with it:
Quote:
You don't need to be a Tolkien devotee who knows their orcs from their elvish to enjoy the movie, and it's generally less irritating than the book, with none of the archness Tolkien adopts when addressing children.
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