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Old 12-09-2012, 11:00 PM   #1
tumhalad2
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Jackson's reputation

For those of us considered to be "film purists", online (and offline) discussion in the years after the release of the Lord of the Rings films were often dominated by the need to defend ourselves and a constant requirement to rebut the same old arguments, chief among them the old canard that every creative decision made by Jackson, et al. in the movies was necessitated by the reality of having to adapt a complext book to screen, thus neatly shearing away the need for Jackson's defenders to actually engage with "purists'" arguments.

One of the most cogent "purist" rebuttals to the ubiquitous fawning over Jackson is this one here. It makes the point that the narrative developed around the creation of the films (especially in the Appendix discs to the special editions): the risk-taking, the major work needed to get production going, Jackson's comparative isolation and independence, created a sense of Jackson-as-underdog, thereby garnering sympathy and creating an emotionally invested fan base. I think there's some merit in the idea, but I've noticed something different this time around, with the Hobbit movies.

Audiences, and especially critics, seem far less willing to forgive Jackson and come to his defence (outside of TORN, although there are more critics there now too). The mixed reaction to King Kong, and the unambiguous panning of Lovely Bones has probably de-mystified Jackson's persona somewhat, while also shedding light on his habit of engaging in overindulgent grotesquery, unecessary action and flamboyand displays of digital accomplishment. So far, reviews for the Hobbit have been far less forgiving that some Jackson defenders hoped for, citing several action sequences that apparently occur in the film as evidence for Jackson's overindulgence and overdeveloped sense of what makes a scene 'exciting' and 'dramatic'.

Do you think Tolkien fans in general will come to have a more balanced, or at least less fawning, appreciation of Jackson after these Hobbit films come out, if they indeed continue trends in style, directing and editing already obvious is the LOTR films? Will his reputation as a "hack" in some purist's minds be vindicated by the Hobbit? Will purists finally be able to have a conversation with Jackson's defenders without having to constantly scramble away from the old canards so often used to disarm the erstwhile defender of the books?
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:24 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by tumhalad2 View Post
Do you think Tolkien fans in general will come to have a more balanced, or at least less fawning, appreciation of Jackson after these Hobbit films come out, if they indeed continue trends in style, directing and editing already obvious is the LOTR films?
One can hope. From the reviews and information out there I do think its beyond question that he continued all his habits from LOTR.

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Will his reputation as a "hack" in some purist's minds be vindicated by the Hobbit?
I'm not sure. Purists who consider him a hack will feel vindicated but they didn't need any persuading. I believe that the more critical stirrings that we have started seeing in the opening salvos of An Unexpected Journey will grow stronger. I do think more people will view him and his work with a harsher eye in the future. However, I think at the end of this new Trilogy That Shouldn't there will still be a large and vocal group of individuals who lionize Jackson.

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Will purists finally be able to have a conversation with Jackson's defenders without having to constantly scramble away from the old canards so often used to disarm the erstwhile defender of the books?
I say with absolute certainty, "No."
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:53 PM   #3
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Will purists finally be able to have a conversation with Jackson's defenders without having to constantly scramble away from the old canards so often used to disarm the erstwhile defender of the books?
There's no disarming my main issue. The books are unfilmable, in that they can never capture for me the "feel" and magic of the printed stories. It's a lost cause. There. Wasn't that easy?
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:10 PM   #4
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I was very pleasantly surprised. as no big fan of PJ's TT and RotK, I was really delighted by the movie, even the over the top radagast bits were ok.

I felt he did very little of the whole sale alterations of the story and opted to elaborate both from within M-E via the numerous UT borrowings, and in the extra plotline of the pale orc on the white warg.

Thorin seemed more like a Man than a dwarf...but it, was for me a very entertaining treat.

If only he had warmed up with TH and then done LotR...
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:13 PM   #5
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From a Defender's point of view, the neccessity to alter certain things for film is a truth. Defenders garner as much resentment for a "film purist's" inability or unwillingness to accept that reality.

Zil points out the books are unfilmable this is largely correct.

Truth is I went into The Hobbit to be entertained, I left my book at home wasn't taking notes of what was right about this or right about that. Using this criteria I found myself having a delightful time.

The issue with Jackson attackers is they go into the movie expecting or at the very least Wanting a page by page remake of their book. They ignore that any director will be unable to deliver on that promise, for any book. I find their arguments as biased and unfair as any Film Defenders. I'd like to reiterate this, arguments from Jackson Attackers may be correct, they however have set a standard by which all will fail.

The argument can't be won by either side. Jackson has his faults and the movies don't follow the book exactly point to attackers, the book is unfilmable thus needed certain changes, point to defenders. Even Steven
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:41 PM   #6
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Only time for a quick reply here. I was actually recently called a "Hobbit miser" after watching the movie and posting me thoughts in the review thread. I honestly didn't think I was being that critical, and didn't intend to be miserly about, because overall I had a good time watching it. I probably focused too much on the parts I didn't like and it was way too long, with certain plot lines being forced so Jackson could create a narrative over essentially the first several chapters of The Hobbit.

When I am critical, it's certainly nothing personal, and sometimes the feeling I get from book purists (I don't particularly like that identifier anymore than film purists, but for the sake of not being bogged down in definitions, I'll go with it) that it is personal. That somehow Jackson has done irreparable harm and tainted Tolkien's legacy. When that's the case, I'll go Devil's Advocate and just argue for the sake of something different than a bunch of griping.

My stance is, Tolkien's legacy speaks for itself and Jackson's not going to harm it. If I want to get a Tolkien story, I read one of the books he wrote. If I want to be mindlessly entertained on a crummy day, normally the LOTR movies make it onto my list to watch. (Admittedly it gets hard to watch TTT at times, since that one kind of falls apart/I lose interest after Theoden's healed). Both serve their purpose.
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Old 12-19-2012, 04:03 AM   #7
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I'm only making a humble comment here: I enjoyed the Hobbit film a lot. It is a very good film. However, it is not as faithful to the book as the LOTR trilogy. The Hobbit film contains more fan fiction composed by Peter Jackson like the white council part.
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