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Old 12-16-2012, 11:53 AM   #41
Legate of Amon Lanc
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Originally Posted by Nerwen View Post
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.
I didn't think you were questioning anyone's taste, I more like interpreted it that you were trying to say something along the lines of "any early reviews this far are not really good for telling us anything objective, because so far they all come from hyped audience who has been drooling for the movie already for a year or more". To which I wanted to counter by saying "But here you have what I believe might give you a small hint of objectivity, the overcritical people like Legate or davem seem to have not burned the movie to ashes yet, in fact even worse, they seem to speak in relatively positive tone about it". That said, part of it comes from the fact that most of what would likely have been the most shocking stuff was already glimpseable in the trailers (rabbits), so it is probable I was more attuned to seeing the positives now, because I knew about the negatives. But generally PJ is capable of much worse. I only hope Hobbit 2 won't be the repetition of the horror that came with TT. But that's too far ahead now. I'm keeping my focus on what we have in the present...

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Originally Posted by Rikae View Post
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.
Yep, that was not a good thing, though again, thinking about it, it isn't running too much far ahead of the schedule: I mean, the strongest breaking point in the book (at least from my perspective) comes in Mirkwood, when Bilbo saves all the Dwarves from the spiders (since it's the first time they are without Gandalf to save them from trouble, and Bilbo is the one who does it). And that isn't so far ahead in the future from the point when the Azog-thing happened. So I think it isn't yet such a terrible jump. However, I completely agree about the deed in particular being a bit suicidal and over the top. Bilbo is otherwise supposed to save the Dwarves by cunning as well as courage, but fighting head-on with an Orc is not exactly the way.
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Old 12-16-2012, 11:55 AM   #42
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Thumbs up

I've seen it twice now so I'll give my thoughts...

I went in expecting 'Peter Jacksons Vaguely Hobbit-based Fight Movie with Dwarves' and was pleasantly surprised. There were plenty of page-to-screen scenes that I liked and the cinematography was generally wondrous to behold. The CGI was most noticeable in Goblin Town, I think, and it would have been better with models and prosthetics, I think, rather than the over-reliance on graphics. But that may just be my personal preference for models and puppetry.

The padding was more noticeable on second viewing. A few scenes do go on a bit and as beautiful as they were, the panoramic adverts for New Zealand's scenery could have been cut down considerably.

Now, I really disliked the Azog sub-plot. It annoyed me an awful lot and felt shoe-horned in. In fact, I'm pretty sure you could effectively remove it and make no difference to the movie - I'm almost convinced that it wouldn't have been there had this been a 2-film deal and this first outing could have gone as far as the Barrels at least!
I thought the fork-for-a-hand and general fake look of Azog himself was not to my liking. As ridiculous as 'Gothmog' looked in the Return of the King movie, I think I preferred that look to this CGI silliness.

There was stuff I did like. I really enjoyed Radagast. He's always had a special place in my heart as the not-quite-a-failure and not-quite-a-success wizard. He was played pretty much as I imagined him. Also, I am a massive Doctor Who fan, so to see Sylvester McCoy (7th Doctor, my personal favourite) play him was a treat. Though I did fear he'd face the same criticism as his Doctor did. When he first started in Doctor Who he played the Doctor as a clownish buffoon and was lampooned for it. As he went on he toned it down and turned the Doctor into a powerful, manipulative and yet lovable character you could believe was a Lord of Time. That beneath the silly surface slept this immense power and intelligence that he was waiting to unveil. My hope is that in movies 2 and 3 he does the same; we did get a sense of that in this film.
I liked the scene with the hedgehog for that reason. He demonstrates that he is a powerful wizard with great potential, he simply chooses to channel it into a poor defenceless hedgehog. He also holds his own against the Witch King.
The Bunny Sleigh was perhaps a little too much, though. It seems like something that's there to entertain the slightly younger audience - if the burping and falling over Dwarves wasn't good enough. Also, it's probably there for the sake of action figures, let's face it. It was okay in the forest, but the chase with the wargs was over doing it, I felt.

A much more cheerful Elrond this time, too. I liked that. The whole White Council was a good scene for nerds. I don't know how none-nerds will receive it, though. One of my brothers who saw it with me thought they still played Saruman as too "obviously sinister". I didn't get that impression - he struck me as dismissive and unconcerned, but not sinister. I'm glad they kept his contempt for Radagast in, though. I was waiting for a 'bird tamer' line, but alas, was not to be.

The scene where the Dwarves are eating in Rivendel was a missed opportunity, I felt. The music the elves were playing could so easily have been coupled with a few lines of 'Tra-la-la-lally'. They could have made it clear the elves were trying to annoy the Dwarves (which is the impression I got in the book), and given the one Dwarf who stuffs his ear-trumpet, it would have been a hilarious scene!

Goblin Town, as I've said, needed to be toned down. The Goblins in general were a bit too obviously computer generated. There was much more of a 'real' feel to the orcs of the LotR films. Also, the chase scene was really just Peter Jackson taking liberties, I think. It's nothing I wasn't expecting from the start. In many ways, I'm amazed it wasn't more ridiculous!

Riddles in the Dark was good. Well played. I was always worried about that because it works on paper but I feared that the long pauses while Bilbo thinks would have been boring. But I think they pulled it off okay.

I'm in two minds about Bilbo's killing of the warg and his sudden bravery at the end. On the one hand, I liked the idea that the Spider was his first victim and it really took him that long to work up the courage. On the other, I think it's a nice nod to how the Ring may be having an influence on him - pushing him to rash action. Let's not forget, the Ring is trying to get back to its Master, so pushing little Bilbo into a fight with orcs and Wargs may seem to it like a good path as it probably thinks Bilbo will die or be captured.

I hope there is a conversation with the Eagles in the next film. Or some explanation about them from Gandalf - I liked in the Hobbit book how it is explained that the Eagles do not like helping people because they are often shot down by elves and men. It nicely shows why they couldn't just fly them all the way there and back again. Eagles as cowards is how I like to read it, and if not for love of Gandalf, and hared of Orcs, they wouldn't have bothered with the battle of Five Armies. But, personal pet theories aside...

Over all, it was better than I expected. It was enjoyable and full of nerdy stuff. Beautifully shot and faithful in parts. I love Sylvester (and Sebastian) and will probably see it a few more times.
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Old 12-16-2012, 02:52 PM   #43
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I appreciate the reviews and opi nions above. It seems the first PJ
Hobbit attempot isn't as bad as I feared. I'll probably see it before
January (NOT in 3-d, tried that once for Avatar---annoying and added nothing).

Let's hope PJ movies don't deteriorate again. I rewatch FotR but the latter two have
so many errors, absurd additions, etc. they are virtually unwatchable.
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Old 12-16-2012, 04:01 PM   #44
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Anything I have to say at this point would simply be redundant. I quite enjoyed the movie, even though it strayed quite a bit from the book. I do think the fighting scenes were too far streched, so they lost some interest.

I did end up annoying my boyfriend, though. He's never read it, so he was upset when I told him that horin, Kili, and Fili all die, and I kept telling him spoilers. Even so, pretty much every three second, he wispered "Was this in the book?"

One last thing, when one of the dwarves asked andalf where he was taking them, I whispered "To Rivendell, Master Gamgee, to the house of Elrond."
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Old 12-16-2012, 04:32 PM   #45
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Gandalf and the Thriteen Dwarves (plus a lot of goblins) -- Part I

I spent two hours and forty-come minutes enduring stuff like this:

Bilbo gets an elvish blade handed to him. He tries to beg off receiving it, saying that he doesn't know anything about fighting. Shortly thereafter, he finds himself in the Goblin cave separated from his dwarf companions (he simply crouches down and thousands of goblins walk away without bothering with him). A single goblin, however, somehow catches sight of him and attacks. The two of them have a short, vicious (but well choreographed) knife fight, with Bilbo handling his new weapon like a master swordsman. (this scene appeared in one of the teaser trailers). Then, both Bilbo and the goblin fall down a deep precipice -- yes, that abyss-diving thing again -- after which horrific fall Bilbo gets up uninjured (naturally) and finds himself facing Gollum. The master hobbit swordsman suddenly seems terrified of his little blade as he tries pointing it uncertainly at the strange apparition in front of him.

A really crappy, logically contradictory, and completely unconvincing sequence of scenes.

In another real howler -- one of too many to enumerate them all here -- Gandalf does his magic-exploding-staff trick -- again -- and stuns thousands of goblins just about to dismember thirteen disarmed and captive dwarves. When the lights come back on, we see everyone in the vast cavern lying on the ground, dwarves included. Gandalf then yells: "Arm yourselves! Fight!" whereupon all of them -- dwarves and goblins alike -- get up, arm themselves, and fight. No sense in our heroes just getting the hell out of their predicament while they still had a little darkness to cover their escape. Oh no. Not that. Too much like the book.

As the real Bilbo Baggins might have said, had he a real movie about himself in which to say it: "I don't dislike half this film half as much as I should; and I dislike less than half of it half as much as it deserves."
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Old 12-16-2012, 04:48 PM   #46
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MY wife wants to go with friends the only time they have is tonight... at 9:45 pm... I have to work at 5am but am going... If I happen to stay awake during the show I'll give my thoughts tomorrow afernoon.
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Old 12-16-2012, 05:18 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Hookbill the Goomba View Post
I liked the scene with the hedgehog for that reason. He demonstrates that he is a powerful wizard with great potential, he simply chooses to channel it into a poor defenceless hedgehog. He also holds his own against the Witch King.
I thought this fitted in very well with the tone of the text to be honest, as Tolkien is not averse to dropping in a sentient animal or bird, even creatures with the ability to speak. Moments like that managed to maintain the childlike charm of the text in the film, without resorting to those didactic author's interjections that Tolkien makes. And also underlined exactly where Radagast has chosen to direct his considerable abilities. I hope we see Radagast again...
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Old 12-16-2012, 05:20 PM   #48
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I hope we see Radagast again...
Very likely. There's the issue of his staff and how suspiciously familiar it looks.
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Old 12-16-2012, 06:47 PM   #49
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The Hobbit appealed most to my sense of nostalgia. Nostalgia for 2001 when I saw Lord of the Rings and the years I spent on the Downs after that, but also nostalgia for 1999 when I first read The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. I recall my mother reading in the paper that the Lord of the Rings was going to be made into an epic movie trilogy and so she went out and bought all the books for me to read but made sure I read the Hobbit first. I loved it then and I still love it now. Martin Freeman made such a perfect Bilbo.

I find myself nodding and agreeing with davem, Lalwende, Oddwen and Hookbil. I won't go very in depth as I don't have much to add. The movie was of course drawn out but instead of being as annoyed as I thought I would be, I really enjoyed it. I savored the cinematography and singing dwarves.... The ridiculous parts just made me laugh, like when Azog killed Thorin's father and elicited the most over-the-top "Nooooooooo!" I have ever witnessed. Perhaps I feel so generous because of the soft spot of nostalgia LotR and the Hobbit hold for me.

I will go see it again sometime before it leaves theaters. We'll see how the second viewing goes.
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:13 PM   #50
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Okay so I saw it tonight (with Nog, Greenie and Volo) and here are my thoughts (or some of them!)...

Five things I liked

1. The heroes - both the actors and the characters. Richard Armitage as Thorin and Martin Freeman as Bilbo - amazing, loved them both to bits. I'm afraid I will become a horrible Thorin fangirl before the end (he's way too epic for my brain to handle, although I don't entirely like his aragornization) and start crying when he (and poor Fili and Kili!) die. I loved Balin and Dwalin too, and all the other Dwarves (save maybe Bombur) were fine too. And I was so happy about Gandalf being as bitchy as he's in the book and Hugo Weaving as Elrond was so much better and nicer than in LotR!

2. The history bits about dwarves, Dale and Smaug. It all looked so cool, and I started liking Dwarves (again). I also actually liked how the enmity between the Elves and the Dwarves was played out.

3. The music. I really like the Dwarven theme, and I was a lot happier about the musical than the visual references to the LotR movies. For example playing the Ring theme for the first time again really had a desirably creepy effect.

4. The scenery and the places. New Zealand is just so amazingly beautiful and it does look like Middle-Earth to me.

5. Including so many small things from the books. I'm so happy we were explained why Thorin is called Oakenshield (again dying of the epicness of it all), that we got the Dwarves messing around with Bilbo's plates, that the stone giants were included (although the DID look like transformers, gotta agree with Legate), the Blue Wizard quip (not just 'cos the estate has the rights but also because it was a funny reference to how little Gandalf seems to know about them in the books), Bilbo's homesickness and reluctant heroism, Oin and Gloin making a fire, Dwarves being known as toymakers etc etc.


Five things I didn't like

1. The humor. 75% of the time it just wasn't funny. Some lines just made me squirm embarrassedly in my seat, and don't get me even started about Radagast, bird poo, bunny sledge and the hedgehog named Sebastian of all possible things!

2. The storytelling problems. Although I enjoyed (almost) every minute, I think the movie was too long. Too much of everything: unnecessarily long and dumbed down beginning with Ian Holm and Elijah Wood, overlong (and silly) action scenes, incredible amount of running around... Generally although most of the stuff was nice the structure "20min of actual plot, 20min of showing what happened it the past/ what happens elsewhere" just didn't work. Too much stuff in a movie with a simple storyline. Speaking of which, it also started to bother me that The Hobbit doesn't really work as a heroic story. I mean, the point is that the Dwarves fail at everything, going from one misfortune to another and they are always saved either by Bilbo's wits, Gandalf or coincidence. They are not any great war heros, and in the current situation the movie's plot kind of contradicts the portrayal of characters like Thorin and Balin.

3. Too much recycling LotR. The same shots, portrayal, moves in fight scenes, lines, plot devices etc. One of the worst things not mentioned yet was probably when Aragorn said "Legolas, shoot him!" in a totally LotR style... wait, I mean Thorin said that to Kili.

4. A lot of the non-Tolkien dialogue. Whenever Gandalf starts to philosophise something not written by Tolkien my head just starts to hurt. While Tolkien can really say something wise (even if it's nothing new), Jackson and co just come up with really cheesy and empty lines. Also what the heck was that when Galadriel was talking in Gandalf's head? It was creepy. (And moreover, what was that about Gandalf being so awed about her, I think it should be the other way around! Even though it wouldn't be of course as funny as having an old man looking longingly after a beautiful Elven queen. *sigh*)

5. The CGI. I was a bit disappointed, I have to say. Technology has advanced but the wargs look even worse than they used to. Also Azog (whose addition I think was a little silly but fine) looked incredibly ugly, and apart from the king, the goblins too looked silly. Gollum was even cuter than before, which was sad. (Although Andy Serkis was wonderful again.) Even the eagles were kind of lame.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Agan
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)!
Given how many thing they copied from the LotR movies, I was really dreading Gandalf would say "You shall not pass!" but I was relieved when he didn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boro
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.
I liked that scene, but there was way too much fidgeting and pointing with swords and running around. It seemed to me Jackson was afraid the audience might be bored by a simple game of riddles which is pretty insulting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Di
The ridiculous parts just made me laugh, like when Azog killed Thorin's father and elicited the most over-the-top "Nooooooooo!" I have ever witnessed.
Grandfather, I think. Anyway, that was pretty ridiculous really. I mean, it really might be that you would cry "Nooooo!" in a situation like that, but we've simply seen it so many times the audience just won't take it seriously. (Apart from the Radagast stuff, that probably caused the most collective facepalming from me and Nog. )

All in all, I enjoyed it a lot, but I can't say if I really liked it. There were wonderful epic moments but there was a lot of cringeworthy stuff too. Better or worse than LotR? Actually, it might be it just feels fresh but it's actually worse, but I'm not judging before I've seen this at least half as many times as the LotR trilogy. Do I want to see it again? Yes. To pay attention to more stuff. Am I looking forward to the next two? Yes, but not with 1/10 of the enthusiasm I look forward to the next season of Game of Thrones with.


PS. Has anyone spotted PJ's cameo yet?
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:13 PM   #51
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I was not as annoyed by Radagast as I was expecting after first hearing about his character. (The bunny sled and nesting birds deficating on his hair and beard...I still shake my head, but I was anticipating a disaster).

I started imagining an insane, trippy on shrooms, bird freak, and as careless/spaced-out as Tom Bombadil. However, I think the movie captured his "worthiness" as a wizard as Gandalf describes:

Quote:
Radagast is, of course, a worthy wizard, a master of shapes and changes of hue; and he has much lore of herbs and beasts, and birds are especially his friends.~The Council of Elrond
And then being able to get Saruman's perspective on Radagast plays nicely. I think in the books, Saruman's snobbish disregard for Radagast is based on having no respect for the fellow wizard's line of work. Remember, Saruman's a high-minded wizard, who mocks Gandalf's affection for Hobbits. I think therefor Saruman sees Radagast's "lore of herbs and beasts" as a study that is below his own standing. Ring-lore is work worthy of Saruman, not Hobbits nor plants and animals.

The trouble for Saruman, is he can't see (unlike Gandalf) Radagast's worth as a wizard, and therefor can't comprehend the means in which Radagast actually foils his plans of capturing, and holding Gandalf indefinitely. This might be hard to portray on screen if Jackson didn't make Radagast a little "wierd."...that is a bit a loof, and too fond of his animal friends to pay much care to other matters.

I think they took it too far with the birds nesting in his hair, but they also show his worth (and proper Radagast characteristics) as well. Overall, I just wish Jackson showed some type of restraint. I mean Radagast was cut from LOTR, so why does he need to be in The Hobbit? Who knows...I was actually watching a documentary that Jackson was incapable of cutting even in LOTR, someone else working on the films said each one would have been 6 hours had Jackson got his way. But he was of course had to be overruled.
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:16 PM   #52
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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.
Oh noes! Well, it wouldn't have taken a lot to turn it into a Lobelia costume. And thank you! I intend to let my beard grow by next December - and I also hope to persuade the lady who accompanied me to be my bearded brother next time around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Estelyn Telcontar View Post
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.
Not only that, I was disturbed by the identical structure of the films. Hobbit goes on an adventure. There's a pursuit by villains. Elrond intervenes and the company can rest a bit in Rivendell. Trouble with mountains. Caves and orc pursuit. Duel. They get out (even if with more battle than in LOTR). Another safe haven.
Now I know it doesn't stray too far from the book in that respect, but I felt Jackson made it even more similar than necessary. The absence of the orc pursuit before Rivendell would already have made a difference, but no. That combined to the recycling of iconic images and music really made me feel I was watching a remake of LOTR, only with more interesting (to my mind) yet less developed characters - so I definitely get Esty's fan fiction comparison!

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Originally Posted by Boromir88 View Post
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.
Ah but it does - it just shows elves for what they are!
The animosity between the races came through clearly enough in LOTR, and I think they could've done better if they had contented with saying something about the long-lasting mutual distrust between the races... but at the same time I see the point. Elves have been portrayed as such goodies everywhere that if they hadn't shown us Thranduil was a jerk, people would complain when he captures the dwarves.

Anyway, I'll be interested in seeing how they'll do Bilbo's changing of sides. If they continue treating Thranduil as a semi-villain, Bilbo can't very well jump to the evil side. Perhaps they'll fix it by giving an even worse treatment to (most of) the dwarves. Can't wait. Yay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by McCaber View Post
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.
Me too! I basically came home and told flatmate I wanted to play a Dwarf adventure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Legate of Amon Lanc View Post
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.
I may not agree with you here (I take more to Rikae's sci-fi movie comment) but that's one of the best descriptions I've seen of PJ's Sauron.

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Originally Posted by Leggins
- 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*
That's what I thought too! :---D

Oh yeah, the dwarven song. My ears just about came.

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The Dwarves often have little individual personaility to me in the text but the film really did bring them out, some in particular.
I definitely agree here. I couldn't have told who was my favourite before, but now it's easy as pie (Fili, obviously, har har, and Dwalin - and obviously Thorin too). I was also very happy with the treatment of the young dwarves. They were pleasantly roguish.

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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.
That bothered me too. Gandalf, Elrond and Saruman were having a pleasant conversation and whenever she took part in it, it was only to say something that sounded like she had thought of it for half an hour before opening her mouth even if it was a direct comment to something that had just been said. She may have looked dramatic, but that's not very impressive - and it's certainly not Blanchett's fault because I don't know of an actress or actor who could have pulled it off convincingly. Well yeah, she's kind of a mythological creature, being the only woman in the movie, but that's no excuse for making her a mannequin. Also, what was that with vanishing into thin air?

That was one reason I wasn't entirely happy with the White Council meeting. The other was the telepathic chat between Galadriel and Gandalf behind Saruman's back - while he was talking! It's as if they were setting the stage for Saruman's treachery - as if they didn't trust him any more which certainly wasn't the case yet. It's not that they played him too obviously sinister as Hookbill's brother said - it's G&G undermining his authority by their distrust.

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On the other, I think it's a nice nod to how the Ring may be having an influence on him - pushing him to rash action. Let's not forget, the Ring is trying to get back to its Master, so pushing little Bilbo into a fight with orcs and Wargs may seem to it like a good path as it probably thinks Bilbo will die or be captured.
This is actually a very good point and one I didn't think of. But then, I'm honestly not sure if it crossed PJ's mind.

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I'll probably see it before
January (NOT in 3-d, tried that once for Avatar---annoying and added nothing).
We saw it in 2D, and I kind of feel I should go see it again in 3D just because it's so obviously made for it. I don't know what the CGI looked in 3D, but I found it quite plastic, and especially the eagles and the wargs looked horrible.
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:22 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Legate
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Originally Posted by Nerwen
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.
I didn't think you were questioning anyone's taste, I more like interpreted it that you were trying to say something along the lines of "any early reviews this far are not really good for telling us anything objective, because so far they all come from hyped audience who has been drooling for the movie already for a year or more". To which I wanted to counter by saying "But here you have what I believe might give you a small hint of objectivity, the overcritical people like Legate or davem seem to have not burned the movie to ashes yet, in fact even worse, they seem to speak in relatively positive tone about it".
That's my point in a way: I just meant you can't, at this stage, really use the audience responses to back up your own opinion, that's all.
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:22 PM   #54
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Better or worse than LotR? Actually, it might be it just feels fresh but it's actually worse, but I'm not judging before I've seen this at least half as many times as the LotR trilogy.
That's what I'm inclined to think - I was very excited right after seeing it, but the longer time passes, the more skeptical I get. It may have looked fair, but to me it feels foul.
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:38 PM   #55
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Thoughts on The Hobbit. And on a few Dwarves. And Elves. And orcs. And etc.

Here begins the quest of the 55 family to see The Hobbit. My mother said this morning that we could go and see the movie today. And, knowing the Entish beings of the 55 family, we did not leave until 15 minutes before the start of the movie, and we're not as good as Bilbo when it comes to racing after Dwarves. So the planned Dwarves left off without us, and we had to wait for the next ones.

The person who sold us the tickets told us that we can come in at four. We came in at 4:15 to hear the echoes of the credits song. We sat for about 10 minutes. Then the cleaner guy who just stood there for the past ever came over and told us to please leave the room so that they can clean up. Quite irritated at this point, the 55s went outside just to face a lengthy queue of people who have apparantly stood there for hours waiting to be admitted, and of course no one would have liked their seat taken.

Bottom line is, we were all quite fed up with going to the movies by the time it began.

I'm not sure I can at the moment try to relive the movie and discuss every scene. Instead I'm going to make a list of things that I thought good and bad.

Good
-the sac of Dale and Erebor
-not really showing Smaug fully anywhere
-Bilbo - yes!!! That hobbit is darn brilliant! Thumbs way up for Martin Freeman!
-Goblin-town
-Bilbo running across some back yards with the contract in hand - <3
-Riddles in the Dark

Bad
-Gandalf talking all the time like he doesn't know what he's saying, stuttering apologetically... very unimpressive.
-Nazgul tombs? Noooo.
-Sebastian?!
-Too many orcs, and too many battle scenes (that, btw, looks exactly the same, only with a different orc)
-The Dwarves cheering and applauding at the end as Thorin hugs Bilbo. I was always of the mind that even though you may feel elated, having people applaud behind the screen just ruins everything.

Simply unnecessary
-The LOTR references that were almost literally cut out of LOTR and pasted into TH (as if the story wasn't enough to tie the wto together):
*Gandalf hitting the stone with his staf
*Gandalf: "- you fools!"
*Gandalf talking to the butterfly that brings the Eagles (with the same music as in LOTR too!)
*Bilbo falls and the Ring flies up and lands on his finger
*Gandalf facing some big guy on a bridge
*Kiligolas. The parts where he's just being Legolas
-Thranduil cocking his head with that annoying look on his face every time they show him
-"I'm off to an adventure!" - ruins it
-Albino werewolf for an albino orc
-Thorin half-dying? And Gandalf saving him?

I am yet to process in my head the main story. I have not decided yet whether I like Thorin & co., Azog, Bolg, Elrond, and etc. Nor if I like the emphasis on the hatered between Azog and Thorin, and Thorin and Elves.


Overall, I think I'm a bit conflicted here. It was much better than I thought it would be, and included some bits of pure Hobbit spirit (and I don't mean their ale). Especially with Bilbo. It did stray, but I didn't expect it not to, and it was still enjoyable. The most conflicting part is Out of the Frying Pan Into the Fire - the whole battle scene and all. I really really liked it in the context of the movie (all that built up hate, and that despair and madness that drives Thorin, and then Bilbo's burst of courage) but I'm not sure if I like that context in the first place.

For now, I give it a positive vote.


Now, to speak more of that scene, I'm thinking I do like it. It's not in the original Hobbit, and, ok, I've accepted Azog as something unavoidable, so might as well accept the mutual hate they have with Thorin. And that scene was quite beautifully done, really. I can't say that Thorin acted amazingly, but through the story - with all the lead-ups to it, and the reactions - you could feel Thorin's dread and then immense hate. And then comes the hobbit and The Hobbit - the Dwarves weep, but it is Bilbo who rescues Thorin, and then only do the Dwarves follow.

On a similar note, regarding the ultimate tragic hero. I have a feeling it won't be Thorin, or at least not only Thorin. They're building up Kili's role too. Fili as well, but not as much. And I don't really mind them, I guess. Yes, they're not Dwarves, especially Dwarves from TH, but good enough. If you take away Kili's non-Dwarvish appearance and Legolas bits, you're left with two lads who don't know what they're up for. And all those times when all the Dwarves are laughing, but they sorta zoom in on Kili's face to show how carefree he is... Thorin for sure will be a tragic hero, but Kili and possibly Kili will be made into them too, more than they are in the book. I tell you, something's gonna happen with Kili.

As for the matter of Radagast... *sigh* The rabbits and that fussing over a hedgehog, as well as that general scattered way of going about things, is not very complimentary. I know this might be weird, but Radagast's first appearance was similar to what I imagined Bombadil's appearance to be. Not the actual look, of course, but the entrance. Slightly slower. Less erratic and more to the beat of some tune. But quite similar.


I have not read the previous comments yet but I will so now that I have seen the movie. Perhaps that will help me form my mind on that subject.


PS: you are a lovely Dwarf, Aganzir. I saw your picture a few days ago and I thought you look more Dwarf than most of the movie Dwarves do.
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:00 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally posted by Thinlomien

Originally Posted by Agan

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)!

Given how many thing they copied from the LotR movies, I was really dreading Gandalf would say "You shall not pass!" but I was relieved when he didn't.
And Gandalf didn't, like when he was on Stephen Colbert last week, say:

"YOU SHALL...Pass."

Btw, Stephen is a Middle-earth aficionado. He even knows who Olorin really is.
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:42 PM   #57
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Btw, Stephen is a Middle-earth aficionado. He even knows who Olorin really is.
He even made a reference to "The Quest of Erebor" in his interview with Peter Jackson. He did seem to mix it up with the aborted 1960 Hobbit revision, but still I was pretty impressed.
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Old 12-16-2012, 11:28 PM   #58
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When he first entered the screen, Radagast was nowhere close to the image I've had in my head for years and years. I envisioned him as someone basically like Gandalf, but wearing different colors and maybe younger. Consequently I was uncomfortable with Radagast for the whole movie.

But the more I think about his character, the more I'm becoming okay with him. In The Two Towers, Treebeard says, "Sheep get like shepherds and shepherds get like sheep." When I think of movie Radagast within the context of that quote, his character makes complete sense. He's become like his animals - nervous, jittery, filled with quick movements. Messy. Dirty. Organic. Almost wild.

I also enjoyed seeing Sauron as something other than the ridiculous Tessla Coil generator on top of Barad-dur. I never liked that rendering of the Dark Lord. He wasn't terrifying in the right way, or at all. But an ominous, dark shadow in the form of a man haunting the old fortress of Dol Guldur feels much more appropriate.

I'd like to see the movie again.
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:15 AM   #59
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All in all, I enjoyed it a lot, but I can't say if I really liked it. There were wonderful epic moments but there was a lot of cringeworthy stuff too. Better or worse than LotR? Actually, it might be it just feels fresh but it's actually worse, but I'm not judging before I've seen this at least half as many times as the LotR trilogy. Do I want to see it again? Yes. To pay attention to more stuff. Am I looking forward to the next two? Yes, but not with 1/10 of the enthusiasm I look forward to the next season of Game of Thrones with.

Better than the LotR films for me, only in that LotR has greater meaning & significance for me. The running, jumping & falling down stuff in Goblin Town pains me less than the similar stuff with the falling stairway in Fellowship, not simply because it lessens the impact of Gandalf's confrontation with the Balrog & is the first point at which Gimli becomes comic relief, but mainly because if we'd been spared that we might have gotten a glimpse of Mirrormere. TH is a lighter work & I have less of a problem with it being played around with. The book is a high adventure romp right up till the end & I have no problem with the film taking the same approach. Some of Tolkien's stuff is light-hearted comic adventure (TH, Giles, Roverandom, Mr Bliss) & some certainly isn't.
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:47 AM   #60
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Here in Australia we're not getting "An Unexpected Journey" until the 26th for some reason, but I would like to ask only this about the film of those who've seen it: could someone give an impression about how much Professor Tolkien's original dialogue and language is retained/maintained in the film? Obviously my expectations are low given a) the precedent and b) how much I know has been changed, made up or extrapolated from historical recount rather than direct narrative but I'm still curious. The rearrangement and omission of perfectly serviceable dialogue from the source material is something that makes the films of The Lord of the Rings incredibly difficult to watch for me. Compare in the Voice of Saruman section of the Extended Edition of The Return of the King the use (almost) of the original Professor Tolkien e.g. "when you hang from a gibbet for the sport of your own crows" vs the clashing Boyens/Walsh pastiche e.g. "Something festers in the heart of Middle-earth" (I find the inconsistency in phrase/tone at occasions like these very off-putting, when Professor Tolkien's unique style is merged with what is, to me, very stock and cliché Fantasy vocabulary).
And more specifically, does the Great Goblin ask "Who are these miserable persons?" He'd better...
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:48 AM   #61
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Some nice short interviews with the cast here: Martin Freeman http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLi6ojygvpc Richard Armitage http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmP9jAVPESA Christopher Lee http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKvkaEipcN0 James Nesbitt http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8XJEIRIfeY Peter Jackson http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHZ7zvwKgU0 Ian McKellan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpkREQecPdg
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:32 AM   #62
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Here in Australia we're not getting "An Unexpected Journey" until the 26th for some reason, but I would like to ask only this about the film of those who've seen it: could someone give an impression about how much Professor Tolkien's original dialogue and language is retained/maintained in the film?
...And more specifically, does the Great Goblin ask "Who are these miserable persons?" He'd better...
I honestly can't remember if he uses this specific line, but if not then he says something very similar.

I recognized certain passages from the book, but, of course, not strictly everything was there, and there were other additions. Sometimes I too could tell that some passage is very off stylistically (like the White Council bits) but generally I think the inserted bits were ok.

Realistically, when you're stretching one book into 3 films (subsequently adding 2/3 of it) you have to insert both actions and dialogue. Generally, it wasn't too bad. Not bad at all.
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:11 AM   #63
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*Kiligolas. The parts where he's just being Legolas
I'm not complaining because even though archery is sexy per se, it's a hundred times sexier when it's a dark-haired dwarf doing it instead of a blond elf.

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I tell you, something's gonna happen with Kili.
It had better not happen before the Battle of the Five Armies though!

And thank you for your compliments. I got laughed at by teenage girls in elven cloaks (not to mention the bus ride to the cinema), but it was naturally highly enjoyable.
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:57 AM   #64
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Sting

If PJ doesn't botch it, the deaths of Fili and Kili
defending Thorin could be a highlight.

PJ not going over the top? What am I saying!
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:08 AM   #65
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If PJ doesn't botch it, the deaths of Fili and Kili
defending Thorin could be a highlight.
I'm so looking forward to that too! Because already in this movie one the awwww-iest moments for me was when Thorin thought one of them was dead/in danger and he was totally like "ohmygodnooo!!!!" and then he was relieved to find out he was ok, so I'm just trying to imagine how he'll react when they die defending him... and Thorin's death will really make me cry because it's so sad in the book too (and in the book you don't get the tear-fishing music in the background).

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Thorin half-dying? And Gandalf saving him?
Oh that was silly, but after Aragorn half-dying in The Two Towers, I can't say I was surprised! Gosh, I had forgotten about Gandalf's healing powers. That was pretty ridiculous! Couldn't he have woken up himself, couldn't one of the Dwarves had some healing herbs, couldn't even, I don't know, the eagles have magically healed him or something? I mean, Gandalf's no doctor (when it comes to physical wounds) and I wish they'd kept it consistent. The only more ridiculous solution would have been having Elrong riding up the steep path to the Eyrie in a cloak that covers his face and making a surprise visit to demonstrate his healing powers accompanied by some quasi-wise words about the relations of Elves and Dwarves in the ages to come...
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:22 AM   #66
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Oh that was silly, but after Aragorn half-dying in The Two Towers, I can't say I was surprised! Gosh, I had forgotten about Gandalf's healing powers. That was pretty ridiculous! Couldn't he have woken up himself, couldn't one of the Dwarves had some healing herbs, couldn't even, I don't know, the eagles have magically healed him or something? I mean, Gandalf's no doctor (when it comes to physical wounds) and I hope they'd kept it consistent. The only more ridiculous solution would have been having Elrong riding up the steep path to the Eyrie in a cloak that covers his face and making a surprise visit to demonstrate his healing powers accompanied by some quasi-wise words about the relations of Elves and Dwarves in the ages to come...
The "wannabe dying" definitely was silly, though I just thought of one possibility (which concerns neither of us present here, of course) - what if there are people who have seen the LotR movies and haven't read The Hobbit, and they would be under the impression (because they remember Boromir) that somebody is likely to die at the end of the first movie. So maybe the idea was to really scare the unknowing part of the audience, I can very well imagine PJ having this on his mind. It would be very naive, but maybe also too delicate idea for him.

In any case, I did not really approve of it, as I said. But as for "Gandalf healing" - everyone seems to speak about it, but I never understood it that way! To me, it seemed like that Thorin was lying there, looking dead, and now Gandalf comes and wants to try some - whatever - "healing magic" - anything, any desperate attempt to utilise the power he definitely does have, in the hope that perhaps he might save Thorin. But, as soon as he touches him, maybe only the bit or the touch "kicks in" and Thorin wakes up from what was nothing more than being unconscious. So the way I saw it was that Gandalf wants to do something (since he'd of course wish Thorin to live), but he does not really do anything. I certainly didn't see it as using any healing, less even any "resurrecting" powers (that would be utterly ridiculous).
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:13 AM   #67
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The Gandalf healing part must have passed over my head (I was possibly fiddling with the pesky 3D glasses). Did he touch Thorin or just do a 'Jedi force' type pass of his hand? If he just touched him I'd put it down to a gentle way of waking him from his unconsciousness. The alternative being a slap? Not really appropriate
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:35 PM   #68
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The Gandalf healing part must have passed over my head (I was possibly fiddling with the pesky 3D glasses). Did he touch Thorin or just do a 'Jedi force' type pass of his hand? If he just touched him I'd put it down to a gentle way of waking him from his unconsciousness. The alternative being a slap? Not really appropriate
Yes, that's how I saw it: touching him and therefore waking him up, nothing more. I can't say I 100% remember correctly, maybe somebody can correct me, but I think he did the sort of thing that first it looked as if he was, I don't know, doing something akin to what he would do if he was trying to close the eyes of a dead person (except that Thorin's eyes were already closed), sort of slid his palm over his face or somesuch. Maybe up to his neck. He basically looked like he could have been checking whether Thorin was still alive, or something.
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:48 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by Thinlómien View Post
Gosh, I had forgotten about Gandalf's healing powers. That was pretty ridiculous! Couldn't he have woken up himself, couldn't one of the Dwarves had some healing herbs, couldn't even, I don't know, the eagles have magically healed him or something? I mean, Gandalf's no doctor (when it comes to physical wounds) and I wish they'd kept it consistent.
In terms of film-consistency it was perhaps because they'd already shown Radagast heal a hedgehog, so Gandalf MUST be able to heal a dwarf! But it looked to me like the same thing they did with Pippin after he'd looked in the Palantir - Gandalf waking him up from a stupor.
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:59 PM   #70
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Spoilers, you know.

Whoa. I expected to come here and meet a lot of criticisms and negative feedback, based on what how I see the film and how most of the people seemed to be a lot more negative about it than I was in the first place, and now I think my opinion might be the one of the most negative ones. I definitely didn’t expect that. And given that, I think I’ll need to see the movie again before I can have a proper full picture of the film, right now it’s just bits that I liked a lot and bits that I didn’t like at all, and these not forming anything proper.

I’ll start with what I didn’t like, because it’s on the top of my head.

Azog, as many have said before, was useless and confusing. For a while I assumed it might actually work, when he appeared with the wargs and I thought “Hey, that makes sense! They’ll kill him here and thus will have an appropriate ending to the first movie, a separate plot, and we don’t have to watch him anymore in the next one!” …and then this didn’t happen. So he remained a useless and confusing side-plot.

More controversially, I didn’t like Bilbo. I think. I had high expectations, having seen Martin Freeman do great in all the trailer bits, and what we had? Instead of a confused and surprised but still keeping-his-good-manners–hobbit who invites Gandalf for tea and treats the dwarves to all his food because that’s how he’s been raised, we get a rude slam-the-door and don’t-eat-my-things person who keeps turning back at every possible corner, until the sudden change-of-mindset due to which he decides to save Thorin from Azog. And I feel like most of the changes PJ has made to the story were affecting his growth-story, making him do things that were done by others in the book (like the trolls) or things that don’t happen at all in the book (like the Azog-fight in the end, or his plan to leave in the mountain cave), which made it jump forth and back unlogically. He didn’t feel likeable, or believable. Which was sad, because the original story is, after all, essentially that - Bilbo’s growth story.

And another bit that I didn’t quite agree with that seems to be generally approved was the White Council. Especially Saruman. I mean, he’s supposed to be respected and “the wise” still here, right? And then he keeps going on about how he doesn’t like the dwarves not coming to talk to him and blahblah and is completely ignored by Gandalf and Galadriel who have their secret wee talk. No respect whatsoever. Which annoys me a great deal, because I feel like it’s contrary to PJ’s own works – in LOTR, Gandalf goes to ask for his help, talking about the greatest of his order and so on, and here he seems like a complaining child who wants to stop others from playing because he wasn’t involved in the first place.

These were my main complaints. And then there were a lot of brilliant bits.

Like the beginning with Dale and Erebor. Lovely, tell-tale-like. Beautiful, and a good way of explaining the background.

The dwarves. I love the personalities given to them, I love Thorin, I think the young dwarves are adorable and enough childish to not to be only the sexy-dwarves that they were labelled as before.

The already-familiar characters when they were younger and all was well. The cheery Elrond and his awkward hug with Gandalf, especially. I could include Gollum here as well, I loved the way they portrayed him.

The songs. I’m so glad they included the songs, and as has been mentioned before, the misty mountains-song is one of the most beautiful things in all PJ films I’ve seen.

Some of the references to the LOTR trilogy. Not the one with Gandalf getting mad in Bag End, though, that was really bad.

I really liked the rock giants. They were very impressive, and pretty, and I’ve not seen transformers so that impression didn’t hit me during the movie either.
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:26 PM   #71
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most are saying the bird poo and nest on Radagast's head was poor humor... if it was meant as humor it was indeed poor, for my part however I thought it shiwed more his compassion for living creatures. While extremely odd I found Radagast Quite well done, certainly his bravery in Dol guldor. The bunny sled while odd was used to good effect and not blatantly silly. My only complaint was the eye crossing, but only at one moment(I thought it was fine showing concentration on the incantaion) However when he puffs the pipe and goes crosseyed.... I always put the leaf down as more tobacco type of leaf not really in the narcotic family...

Bilbo was amazing very physical actor the way he walks and moves his neck were very good at explaining unspoken emotions.

Gandalf well done, of course. I think his scene on the bridge with the goblin king was great it didn't feel recycled to me I understand how people see it that way but I feel it was unique enough no great proclamations or wizard tricks.

Gandalf's line about the blue wizard's gave me a chuckle though I had thought they had been part of ousting Sauron from Dol Guldor. The out of the frying pan and into the fire line was misplaced I think, It should have been said in the trees when the fire was actually there(I always thought that was the reason for the title in the first place.

Gollum played out as he sould the riddles game getting progressively more tense... Bilbo's Pity scene was a tad drawn out for me however... While we're in the area, I thought Bilbo was knocked out after falling through the crack and happened to be missed by the goblins originally, in te movie he just sort of squats and is suddenly ignored...

Maybe Ihave to reread but I always thought of the stone giants as sort of metaphorical instead of real that was a bit shadow of collossus for me.

As for length the length was fine and pacing fine, if this was going to be two movies. Ending on the edge of Mirkwood leaves Well, Mirkwood Dale and the battle of 5 armies, not a lot of material for two more movies I know he's using the appendices butI don't know how much is Actually in there...

I'm glad the Rivendell elves didn't sing I'm glad Gandalf explained his relationship to the tooks without a baby scene.

My only complaint which is silly(as it has no actual bearing on the movie itself) is Balin's Ear horn, out of all the props that just for me was the most intrusive.

One last thought add my to the I thought Gandalf just woke Thorin up list... didn't seem very magiccy...(magiccy really?) to me
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:45 PM   #72
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And another bit that I didn’t quite agree with that seems to be generally approved was the White Council. Especially Saruman. I mean, he’s supposed to be respected and “the wise” still here, right? And then he keeps going on about how he doesn’t like the dwarves not coming to talk to him and blahblah and is completely ignored by Gandalf and Galadriel who have their secret wee talk. No respect whatsoever. Which annoys me a great deal, because I feel like it’s contrary to PJ’s own works – in LOTR, Gandalf goes to ask for his help, talking about the greatest of his order and so on, and here he seems like a complaining child who wants to stop others from playing because he wasn’t involved in the first place.
The last part is true, however in the context of the books, that's exactly how it was. There was all this dynamic within the ranks of the Council, Saruman opposed everything Gandalf had been a part of just for the sake of it already at the first Councils (being jealous even before they left Valinor - cf. the Unfinished Tales - and all that), and later (he mentions that by the end of LotR when the company meets him on their way back to Rivendell) suspected Galadriel and Gandalf of plotting against him (which was what I approved about the movie, because you can actually look at it from Saruman's perspective and see that he was right!). And as for disapproving the Dwarves, I think Saruman was a bit "racist", too - in the sense that his focus was on Men and how he thought the Elves are basically dead and gone, and so probably pretty much the Dwarves (him being a Maia of Aulë, I think he must have had a reason to ignore them - probably their lack of "activity on the surface").

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Gandalf's line about the blue wizard's gave me a chuckle though I had thought they had been part of ousting Sauron from Dol Guldor.
They could not have been, since they had been lost in the East already for quite a long time at that point. For almost two millenia, actually. (Which also makes it possible for me to imagine that Gandalf would really have forgotten their names at that point.)

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The out of the frying pan and into the fire line was misplaced I think, It should have been said in the trees when the fire was actually there(I always thought that was the reason for the title in the first place.
That was actually another part I forgot to mention and which I did not like. It seemed too sudden and rushed. They just ran out of the mines, stopped for like the exchange of two sentences, and suddenly there were more Orcs coming, with no introduction, no change of place and time, nothing.

Also makes you wonder why didn't the goblins start following them out at that point too, since the Orcs apparently could, and the evening was falling...

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Maybe Ihave to reread but I always thought of the stone giants as sort of metaphorical instead of real that was a bit shadow of collossus for me.
I always thought them real, but I imagined them as the classic giants, like, huge men, throwing boulders.

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My only complaint which is silly(as it has no actual bearing on the movie itself) is Balin's Ear horn, out of all the props that just for me was the most intrusive.
That wasn't Balin (and to be honest, I have no idea who exactly it was, can somebody clarify? Originally I thought it was Oin, but then I think it turned out that Oin was somebody else, so I really am not sure).
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Old 12-17-2012, 05:40 PM   #73
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One thing about those Stone Giants. It made me want to watch Trollhunter again.

I was reading something elsewhere earlier where someone asked "Did you spot Cumberbatch?" Well, I can't say that I did. When Radagast was at Dol Guldur I saw a wight (who I assumed was the Witch King of Angmar, later one of the Ringwraiths) and then there was the very creepy bit where the dark figure appeared out of the mists (quite unpleasant in 3D). It didn't look Cumberbatch shaped though, just vaguely man shaped. Have I missed something?
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:05 PM   #74
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They could not have been, since they had been lost in the East already for quite a long time at that point. For almost two millenia, actually. (Which also makes it possible for me to imagine that Gandalf would really have forgotten their names at that point.)
That wasn't Balin (and to be honest, I have no idea who exactly it was, can somebody clarify? Originally I thought it was Oin, but then I think it turned out that Oin was somebody else, so I really am not sure).
First off ah yes you're right about the blue wizards whenever I hear White Council I just automatically include them...

Secondly it is Balin
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:15 PM   #75
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First off ah yes you're right about the blue wizards whenever I hear White Council I just automatically include them...

Secondly it is Balin
Nope, no way. But ha, turns out I was right after all, and it's Oin (it's even written on the pic).
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:32 PM   #76
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Nope, no way. But ha, turns out I was right after all, and it's Oin (it's even written on the pic).
Indeed those two looked alike to me along with the other one, gloin maybe? Ah the treachury of seeing a film at midnight after an evening of only 3 hours sleep...

I bow to your correctness
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:00 PM   #77
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And thank you for your compliments. I got laughed at by teenage girls in elven cloaks (not to mention the bus ride to the cinema), but it was naturally highly enjoyable.
Giggly girls in Elven cloaks can go eat bananas. What do they know of life or Dwarves?

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If PJ doesn't botch it, the deaths of Fili and Kili
defending Thorin could be a highlight.
Right. But in the book we're not told much. The focus is on Thorin. I wager that in the film there will be focus on Kili as much as on Thorin.

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Yes, that's how I saw it: touching him and therefore waking him up, nothing more. I can't say I 100% remember correctly, maybe somebody can correct me, but I think he did the sort of thing that first it looked as if he was, I don't know, doing something akin to what he would do if he was trying to close the eyes of a dead person (except that Thorin's eyes were already closed), sort of slid his palm over his face or somesuch. Maybe up to his neck. He basically looked like he could have been checking whether Thorin was still alive, or something.
Really? I thought he was more Jedi-ing. He sort of lowered his hand above Thorin's head and brought it over his face. Like I sometimes do to my siblings when they aren't listening to what I'm saying, but in a horizontal position.

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And another bit that I didn’t quite agree with that seems to be generally approved was the White Council. Especially Saruman. I mean, he’s supposed to be respected and “the wise” still here, right? And then he keeps going on about how he doesn’t like the dwarves not coming to talk to him and blahblah and is completely ignored by Gandalf and Galadriel who have their secret wee talk. No respect whatsoever. Which annoys me a great deal, because I feel like it’s contrary to PJ’s own works – in LOTR, Gandalf goes to ask for his help, talking about the greatest of his order and so on, and here he seems like a complaining child who wants to stop others from playing because he wasn’t involved in the first place.
Oh noes, we don't likes that part either. Not one bit.

By the way, do you know what Galadriel said in the second telepathy exchange? I missed it completely.

And her dress looks so fake when it makes this perfect circle around her, and then she turns round... and then she walks back and forth in it, showing off her trail of circular dress like a peacock... Ugh.

[QUOTE=Pomegranate;677953]Some of the references to the LOTR trilogy. Not the one with Gandalf getting mad in Bag End, though, that was really bad.[QUOTE]

Oh yeah, I missed than one in my list. I definitely agree.

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That wasn't Balin (and to be honest, I have no idea who exactly it was, can somebody clarify? Originally I thought it was Oin, but then I think it turned out that Oin was somebody else, so I really am not sure).
Right. Balin was the little one with the big white beard, no? The one that looks like Santa's elf?

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I was reading something elsewhere earlier where someone asked "Did you spot Cumberbatch?" Well, I can't say that I did. When Radagast was at Dol Guldur I saw a wight (who I assumed was the Witch King of Angmar, later one of the Ringwraiths) and then there was the very creepy bit where the dark figure appeared out of the mists (quite unpleasant in 3D). It didn't look Cumberbatch shaped though, just vaguely man shaped. Have I missed something?
I actually really didn't like that they gave the Necromancer a quite distinct shape. But then the book idea of Sauron having a body before he's in Mordor doesn't sit well with me either. I don't even remember when he's supposed to regain his body.
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:32 PM   #78
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And another bit that I didn’t quite agree with that seems to be generally approved was the White Council. Especially Saruman. I mean, he’s supposed to be respected and “the wise” still here, right? And then he keeps going on about how he doesn’t like the dwarves not coming to talk to him and blahblah and is completely ignored by Gandalf and Galadriel who have their secret wee talk. No respect whatsoever. Which annoys me a great deal, because I feel like it’s contrary to PJ’s own works – in LOTR, Gandalf goes to ask for his help, talking about the greatest of his order and so on, and here he seems like a complaining child who wants to stop others from playing because he wasn’t involved in the first place.

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The last part is true, however in the context of the books, that's exactly how it was. There was all this dynamic within the ranks of the Council, Saruman opposed everything Gandalf had been a part of just for the sake of it already at the first Councils (being jealous even before they left Valinor - cf. the Unfinished Tales - and all that), and later (he mentions that by the end of LotR when the company meets him on their way back to Rivendell) suspected Galadriel and Gandalf of plotting against him (which was what I approved about the movie, because you can actually look at it from Saruman's perspective and see that he was right!). And as for disapproving the Dwarves, I think Saruman was a bit "racist", too - in the sense that his focus was on Men and how he thought the Elves are basically dead and gone, and so probably pretty much the Dwarves (him being a Maia of Aulë, I think he must have had a reason to ignore them - probably their lack of "activity on the surface").
I wasn't happy with Ian McKellan's delivery of that line in the FOTR movie ("I must see the head of my order. He is both wise and powerful. Trust me, Frodo, he'll know what to do."), because it definitely came off too trusting towards Saruman. And then in particular, it didn't seem to fit well with the White Council scene in The Hobbit, because if I remember it correctly, Gandalf shoots Saruman a suspicious look, and then also the meeting with Galadriel.

However, I think it can still work, because like Legate, I really did like the internal dynamics of the White Council.

As Legate said, we get Saruman's perspective, and strictly within a book context he is jealous of Gandalf right at the start. He also knows that Galadriel wanted Gandalf to head the Council, and this is probably where he gets to accusing them of conspiring against him. From, Saruman's perspective, completely true, but he's assuming an evil and personal intent by Gandalf and Galadriel to supplant him (much like Denethor's "Your left hand you would use as a shield against Mordor, but with your right you seek to supplant me." Denethor is completely correct, Gandalf seeks to restore Aragorn as the rightful King, but Denethor's perspective carries a negative connotation. The readers know Gandalf is making the legitimate and rightful decision in supporting Aragorn's claim to the throne of Gondor).

Saruman's also got an arrogant and superior personality. He is the head of the Istari, he does have far more knowledge in matters concering Sauron and Ring-lore than Gandalf, and it is his designs which ultimately drive Sauron out of Dol Guldur. Other matters are below his standing, however. For example, there is a clear disdain towards Radagast, and my opinion is because Radagast's special knowledge of herbs and beasts is in Saruman's opinion, not knowledge that he deems "worthy." Same as how Saruman chides Gandalf for paying attention to Hobbits. Hobbits are below Saruman's respect, and he feels Gandalf could put his time and thought to far more important matters.

From Gandalf's perspective, we know that he doesn't find out Saruman is a traitor until going to Isengard and being imprisoned there. He could not conceive Saruman was a turn-cloak, if he suspected it he said he would not have gone or he would have been more wary (The Council of Elrond). However, there are moments Gandalf does suspect, or at least, seemingly scratch his head at Saruman's decision making. He does have clear disagreements over how Saruman keeps dragging his feet over the question of Sauron's return to Dol Guldur. And at a later White Council meeting, when Saruman objects to attacking Dol Guldur, this is where he chides Gandalf for paying too much attention to hobbits and that perhaps the "halfling's leaf" he so often enjoys has slowed his mind. Gandalf responds in kind by blowing a smoke-ring symbolizing that Saruman's delving into Ring-lore is a dangerous slope:

Quote:
Now because of his dislike and fear, in the later days Saruman avoided Gandalf, and they seldom met, except at the assemblies of the White Council. It was at the great Council held in 2851 that the "Halflings' leaf" was first spoken of, and the matter was noted with amusement at the time, though it was afterwards remembered in a different light. The Council met in Rivendell, and Gandalf sat apart, silent, but smoking prodigiously (a thing he had never done before on such an occasion), while Saruman spoke against him, and urged that contrary to Gandalf's advice Dol Guldur should not yet be molested. Both the silence and the smoke seemed greatly to annoy Saruman, and before the Council dispersed be said to Gandalf: "When weighty matters are in debate, Mithrandir, I wonder a little that you should play with your toys of fire and smoke, while others are in earnest speech."

But Gandalf laughed, and replied: "You would not wonder if you used this herb yourself. You might find that smoke blown out cleared your mind of shadows within. Anyway, it gives patience, to listen to error without anger. But it is not one of my toys. It is an art of the Little People away in the West: merry and worthy folk, though not of much account, perhaps, in your high policies."

Saruman was little appeased by this answer (for he hated mockery, however gentle), and he said then coldly: "You jest, Lord Mithrandir, as is your way. I know well enough that you have become a curious explorer of the small: weeds, wild things and childish folk. Your time is your own to spend, if you have nothing worthier to do; and your friends you may make as you please. But to me the days are too dark for wanderers' tales, and I have no time for the simples of peasants."

Gandalf did not laugh again; and he did not answer, but looking keenly at Saruman he drew on his pipe and sent out a great ring of smoke with many smaller rings that followed it. Then he put up his hand, as if to grasp them, and they vanished. With that he got up and left Saruman without another word; but Saruman stood for some time silent, and his face was dark with doubt and displeasure.~Unfinished Tales: The Hunt for the Ring
Sorry for the lengthy quote there.

In sum, I didn't like how McKellan delivered the line in FOTR, because it does come off as too trusty towards Saruman. However, still at that point, Gandalf did not know, nor seem to seriously suspect Saruman was a traitor. But I think Gandalf's perspective is one that goes from professional disagreement (thinks Dol Guldur should be attacked, Saruman disagrees. No more serious than perhaps an employee having a professional disagreement with his/her boss), to some inkling suspicion, and then without question once he goes to Orthanc in FOTR, Saruman's revealed his hand. Saruman sees it differently, being jealous of Gandalf and feeling Gandalf wants his position.
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:06 PM   #79
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In terms of film-consistency it was perhaps because they'd already shown Radagast heal a hedgehog, so Gandalf MUST be able to heal a dwarf!
They're practically the same creature, right?
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Old 12-18-2012, 04:39 AM   #80
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I wasn't happy with Ian McKellan's delivery of that line in the FOTR movie ("I must see the head of my order. He is both wise and powerful. Trust me, Frodo, he'll know what to do."), because it definitely came off too trusting towards Saruman. And then in particular, it didn't seem to fit well with the White Council scene in The Hobbit, because if I remember it correctly, Gandalf shoots Saruman a suspicious look, and then also the meeting with Galadriel.
[...]
But I think Gandalf's perspective is one that goes from professional disagreement (thinks Dol Guldur should be attacked, Saruman disagrees. No more serious than perhaps an employee having a professional disagreement with his/her boss), to some inkling suspicion, and then without question once he goes to Orthanc in FOTR, Saruman's revealed his hand. Saruman sees it differently, being jealous of Gandalf and feeling Gandalf wants his position.
That's how I saw it. Especially when Saruman appears behind Gandalf at first and the latter has a look on his face of sudden fear - of having being spotted by his superior. It was a "Uh ho! The boss is here!" kind of look which I found most amusing.
If there are further White Council scenes in the movies I dearly hope for the smoke-rings bit. It made me laugh when reading UT.
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I think that if you want facts, then The Downer Newspaper is probably the place to go. I know! I read it once.
THE PHANTOM AND ALIEN: The Legend of the Golden Bus Ticket...
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