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Old 03-14-2016, 03:27 PM   #1
Michael Murry
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Peter Jackson Explains Why the ‘Hobbit’ Movies Are Such a Huge Mess

I apologize if others have already addressed this link, but apparently Peter Jackson has now admitted -- on an extended edition DVD that I will not purchase -- just how bad a job he did with these Hobbit films. Yeah. Do you think?

http://www.slashfilm.com/peter-jacks...zergnet_780774
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Old 03-14-2016, 04:19 PM   #2
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While I do appreciate the honesty, I suppose, I don't at all appreciate the travesty they made of The Hobbit - a genuinely wonderful story for all ages that generations of readers have passed down to their sons and daughters in turn like a family heirloom (or mathom, if you wish).

Offering what amounts to a half-arsed apology afterwards rings quite hollow, and it is disheartening. They didn't know what the hell they were doing and it shows. They slapped a bunch of disparate elements together, made up or transported characters and put them where they didn't belong, and generally made a CGI molehill out of a mountain of a tale.

I hope to Eru no one makes another damned Middle-earth movie ever again.
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Old 03-15-2016, 06:21 AM   #3
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Thumbs up Thanks for the link

Thanks for that link, Michael!

This information is already known to people on the Downs; and I fully understand your point of view, Morthron. An 'apology' isn't much if it was only made in the extended edition DVD of the last film.

What annoys me is knowing that far younger and far more inexperienced people, given a fraction of the money that was spent here, could have produced something far better...
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Old 03-15-2016, 05:52 PM   #4
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What annoys me is knowing that far younger and far more inexperienced people, given a fraction of the money that was spent here, could have produced something far better...
Which is something PJ was at the time he directed the LotR trilogy: relatively unknown outside of cheap horror films, and certainly untried when it came to serious or big-budget films (the two terms not necessarily being synonymous).

He strayed here and there, but his hubris was often reined in by cooler heads ("No, Pete, Arwen should not be cutting off orc heads in Helms Deep!"), but much of the esthetic of the film, the cinematography and a greater part of the dialogue (whether or not the original character voiced the lines) was basically true to Tolkien's Middle-earth. Certainly, one can be annoyed at the character assassinations of Denethor and Faramir, the whole wasted 15 minutes of Aragorn falling off a cliff, then frenching his horse, or the entire "Arwen is dying" idiocy, but, for the most part, one got a sense of the depth and breadth of Middle-earth. If anything, his energy was commendable.

However, ten Oscars later, PJ was a different sort of director. Whether or not he forced out Guillermo del Toro (and the conspiracy theorist in me thinks he did, and GdT was simply too much of a gentleman to say what really happened), PJ decided that he alone should direct the films.

Again, hubris overpowered common sense: he ignored all the genuine humor and quaintness of Tolkien's tale, and in its place threw in troll snot, a diva operatic GoblinKing, unendurably long chutes 'n' ladders chases, sophomoric elf/dwarf sexual jokes, and bird-droppings on the hat of a psychedelicized wizard; admitting he had little time, he ignored the bigatures and extensive modeling and rendering that lent a sense of realism to the films, and instead opted for overbearing CGI that basically sucked the life out of Middle-earth; and worst of all, he absconded with the original plot and dialogue and threw it in the garbage, choosing in his pomposity and appalling effrontery to create characters and write the script with merely a nod to the original.

To quote Christopher Tolkien: "They eviscerated the book by making it an action movie for young people aged 15 to 25."
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Old 03-15-2016, 06:19 PM   #5
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However, ten Oscars later, PJ was a different sort of director. Whether or not he forced out Guillermo del Toro (and the conspiracy theorist in me thinks he did, and GdT was simply too much of a gentleman to say what really happened), PJ decided that he alone should direct the films.

Again, hubris overpowered common sense: he ignored all the genuine humor and quaintness of Tolkien's tale, and in its place threw in troll snot, a diva operatic GoblinKing, unendurably long chutes 'n' ladders chases, sophomoric elf/dwarf sexual jokes, and bird-droppings on the hat of a psychedelicized wizard; admitting he had little time, he ignored the bigatures and extensive modeling and rendering that lent a sense of realism to the films, and instead opted for overbearing CGI that basically sucked the life out of Middle-earth; and worst of all, he absconded with the original plot and dialogue and threw it in the garbage, choosing in his pomposity and appalling effrontery to create characters and write the script with merely a nod to the original.
I've read other sources which blame executive interference rather than Peter Jackson, claiming that he didn't want to add many of these things in and was forced to do so by Warner Bros. This wouldn't surprise me if it was true, but who knows who to believe in these situations.

I find it odd that it seems like the narrative adaptation involved far less focus-tested corporate box-ticking mandated into it for The Lord of the Rings than for The Hobbit considering that it was on the former that Jackson was the much less tested director. Perhaps it already ticked enough boxes on its own so less needed to be added/exaggerated. For whatever reason New Line on its own seems to have been far less controlling than WB.
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Old 03-16-2016, 02:42 AM   #6
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I've read other sources which blame executive interference rather than Peter Jackson, claiming that he didn't want to add many of these things in and was forced to do so by Warner Bros. This wouldn't surprise me if it was true, but who knows who to believe in these situations.

I find it odd that it seems like the narrative adaptation involved far less focus-tested corporate box-ticking mandated into it for The Lord of the Rings than for The Hobbit considering that it was on the former that Jackson was the much less tested director. Perhaps it already ticked enough boxes on its own so less needed to be added/exaggerated. For whatever reason New Line on its own seems to have been far less controlling than WB.
I heard New Line also pushed the "Hollywood" treatment, but Jackson stood up to them. I'm sure he could have done so this time, had he wanted to.
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Old 03-16-2016, 07:41 AM   #7
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The Eye We'll only know the truth later

To what you mentioned earlier about Jackson's LotR films, Morthoron, I would add: reducing Sauron to a disembodied eye on top of a tower; making Saruman turn evil and produce urks at very short notice; making Gandalf's removing evil influences from Theoden resemble something from The Exorcist; sending Elves to Helm's Deep; using the Dead to win the Battle of the Pelennor Fields; and having Gollum succeed in turning Frodo against Sam.

I read with interest what you had to say, Zigûr and Nerwen. The problem is that only later will we know the truth about whether 'pressure' or 'interference' from the studio, whatever one calls it, was a factor in what appeared as Jackson's Hobbit films.

I agree with you, Nerwen, if it was true that Jackson stood up to New Line regarding the first set of films, but did not to Warner for the second. It stands to reason that a director with a commercially successful set of films under his belt would have been better able to stand up to the relevant studio when filming another set.
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Old 03-16-2016, 09:49 PM   #8
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I heard New Line also pushed the "Hollywood" treatment, but Jackson stood up to them. I'm sure he could have done so this time, had he wanted to.
I suspect the reason is probably that either they were more stubborn or he simply didn't care as much. It might be a combination of the two, of course. Hadn't he said in the past that he wasn't as interested in The Hobbit as he was in The Lord of the Rings?

It's also probably the fact that, to my knowledge, he never wanted to direct the film(s) in the first place. These things seem to combine to form a director who simply isn't going to go to the trouble of putting up much of a fight with the studio.
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Old 03-17-2016, 09:09 AM   #9
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Boots I take a different tack

I lay most of the blame for things on Jackson and not the studio. No doubt the studio was a baleful influence, but I've seen too much about how the execrable deviations in the LOTR trilogy were mostly Jackson's doing to cut him any kind of slack when it comes to the mess that was The Hobbit.
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Old 05-21-2016, 10:27 PM   #10
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I suspect the reason is probably that either they were more stubborn or he simply didn't care as much. It might be a combination of the two, of course. Hadn't he said in the past that he wasn't as interested in The Hobbit as he was in The Lord of the Rings?

It's also probably the fact that, to my knowledge, he never wanted to direct the film(s) in the first place. These things seem to combine to form a director who simply isn't going to go to the trouble of putting up much of a fight with the studio.
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I lay most of the blame for things on Jackson and not the studio. No doubt the studio was a baleful influence, but I've seen too much about how the execrable deviations in the LOTR trilogy were mostly Jackson's doing to cut him any kind of slack when it comes to the mess that was The Hobbit.
l've been thinking about this a bit more. The thing is, when you look at blockbusters of the modern era, they're generally a lot slicker, a lot tidier... and, arguably, considerably more sterile than the "Hobbit" trilogy. So perhaps the final product is more of a three-way fight between what the studio wanted, what Jackson wanted, and the source material. While I don't find the result very satisfactory, I've come think what happened might be more complicated than just Jackson caving to the "suits". In that case I think we would have got something closer to a straight remake of "Lord of the Rings", only with the names changed.

Edit: Make that a four-way fight with Del Toro's left-over work as another enemy (as it were). And if we allow the rushed schedule as a fifth, maybe that's why "The Battle of the Five Armies" seemed like such a perfect title to those involved.
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Old 06-28-2016, 07:49 AM   #11
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Boots Peter Jackson explains reasons for changes from 'The Hobbit' book

I came across this on YouTube, and think that it's relevant to this thread.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Q51QDWz50g

How many of us here are convinced by his explanation?
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Old 07-03-2016, 05:56 AM   #12
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I could not even watch that last video.

I refuse to even acknowledge that any of the Peter Jackson movies exist (even for the first trilogy).

I am hoping that eventually someone will be able to re-do the whole thing from beginning to end. And in doing so remain faithful to Tolkien's works.

It is one thing to place exposition into the lines of a character, thus essentially remaining true to the elements Tolkien wrote.

But it is an entirely different thing to make up, whole-cloth, elements that are not only no part of Tolkien's creation, but which utterly contradict that which he did create.

It would be another thing entirely if a movie-maker conceived novel elements for the movies, yet those inventions did not contradict established canon.

It is the re-writing of the canon that bothers me.

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Old 07-06-2016, 04:24 AM   #13
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I could not even watch that last video.

I refuse to even acknowledge that any of the Peter Jackson movies exist (even for the first trilogy).

I am hoping that eventually someone will be able to re-do the whole thing from beginning to end. And in doing so remain faithful to Tolkien's works.

It is one thing to place exposition into the lines of a character, thus essentially remaining true to the elements Tolkien wrote.

But it is an entirely different thing to make up, whole-cloth, elements that are not only no part of Tolkien's creation, but which utterly contradict that which he did create.

It would be another thing entirely if a movie-maker conceived novel elements for the movies, yet those inventions did not contradict established canon.

It is the re-writing of the canon that bothers me.

MB
Out of curiosity, what would you cite as an example of an element in the first trilogy that "utterly contradicts" Tolkien's work? I'd say many of the changes were dictated by the needs of an adaptation, but I agree there were some questionable ones.
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Old 07-07-2016, 01:59 AM   #14
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Out of curiosity, what would you cite as an example of an element in the first trilogy that "utterly contradicts" Tolkien's work? I'd say many of the changes were dictated by the needs of an adaptation, but I agree there were some questionable ones.
Let's see....

•*Elves with Crooked Swords (people might think here "What???" But this is actually a pretty important thing).
•*The Narrative of the Last Alliance and the "Destruction" of Sauron.
•*The Episode at Crickhollow and Bree.
• The fight on the SIDE of Amon Sul, NOT on its summit at the watchtower.
•*Arwen riding to save Frodo (i.e. no Glorfindel).
•*The Council of Elrond.
•*Reforging of Narsil ⇒ Anduril.
•*Anduril gives of no Light (when it should).
•*The trapping of Gandalf by Saruman.
• The narrative in trip through Moria (that in itself is a substantial sub-list).
•*Glamdring doesn't glow in the presence of Orcs (it should).
• The Balrog, while VERY impressive, was all wrong.
• The amount of Plate Armor on everyone and everything, but especially the Orcs in Moria....
• The Arrival in Lórien.
•*The Gifts of Galadriel.
• The trip down Anduin.
• The attack on Amon Hen.
•*The departure of Frodo, and the dissolution of the Fellowship.
• The "Three Hunters" episode.
•*The escape of Merry and Pippin, and the meeting of Fangorn.
•*Gimli, Aragorn, and Legolas' encounter with the Rohirrim, and their meeting of Gandalf the White.
• Nearly everything in Rohan (again, huge sub-list)
•*Aragorn falling off the Cliff.
•*Helm's Deep (another sub-list).
•*ESPECIALLY the Elves at Helm's Deep.
•*Huorns at Helm's Deep (they were there but not explained - which was in the book).
•*Traveling to Orthanc after Helm's Deep.
•*Staying with Fangorn at one of his homes in the forest w/ Merry & Pippin.
•*Entmoot.
•*Merry & Pippin at Orthanc.
•*Meeting of Saruman at Orthanc.
• Palintír Discovery/Attack
•*Death of Saruman at Orthanc.
•*Arrival of the Grey Company.
•*Winged Nazgûl in Rohan.
•*Lighting of Beacons.
•*Arrival of the Red Arrow.
•*Everything about Éowyn and Éomer.
•*WT F... Arwen dying??? What the freaking freak???
•*Trip of Pippin/Gandalf to Minas Tirith.
•*The Paths of the Dead.
•*The Walls of the Rammas Echor.
•*Minas Tirith being smaller than Bree.
•*The Travel of Frodo, Sam, and Gollum from the Emyn Muil to Ithilien.
•*Meeting of Faramir and Frodo/Sam.
•*Hennuth Anun.
•*Gollum at Hennuth Anun.
•*Faramir and Frodo talking about the One Ring.
•*Frodo being taken to Osgiliath.
• Osgiliath.
•*Travel to Shelob's Lair, and events within.
•*Denethor....
•*No Beregond.
•*Ok... Let's just say everything that happens at Minas Tirith. It is one of those "based upon the events of...."
•*Army of the Dead showing up at Minas Tirith.
• No Standard of the King from Arwen to Aragorn flown on the captured ships.
•*No Swan Knights.
• Everthing about the Witch King of Angmar at the Pelennor.
•*The Death of Denethor.
•*Cirith Ungol Scenes all wrong.
•*Frodo and Sam's trip through Mordor.
.
.
. (getting tired, cutting to the end)

•*No Scouring of the Shire

I am sure that there are many, many more. I used to have a scene-by-scene list, but after what they called The Hobbit came out... I decided it was easier to just pretend that nothing Tolkien has written has been made into a Live-Action movies.

And having had a brief exchange with the Tolkien Estate, that whole episode has really put them off ever allowing anyone else to attempt to put any of the remaining works of Tolkien on film.

Having taken a Film Class (or two), and having worked in the Film Industry in the 1980s... I know that it is completely possible to film a book, as written, and have it be just as enjoyable as the hack-jobs that often occur in Hollywood.

That was one of the things that was in one of the classes we had, where we were shown two short-films - roughly 30min each - of a short story - I can't recall the author. One of the films was basically 99% accurate to the original short story, and the other had been "greatly altered." We would not be told which one was the original until after we had seen both, and then we were handed the Short Story (it was about twenty pages long) to read.

After watching each film, we were to rate it on several categories (script, timing, cinematography, sets, costumes, etc.).

And, strangely, the film that adhered closest to the story did no worse than the greatly altered one.

After we had read the Short Story, we were asked to rate them again.

At that point, the one that adhered closest scored vastly greater than the altered one.

The professor teaching the class did this to show:

Most alteration of books when being made into movies is to satisfy the ego of the script writer and directors, who often have their own pet-peeves they wish to insert into everything they do, because they are not allowed to produce some pet-project they have which contains these elements.

In other words: The changes are Egregious. Movies of Books introduce the changes simply for the sake of change, nothing else.

And... In Peter Jackson's case.... When he produced The Lord of the Rings, he knew absolutely nothing about Tolkien's works beyond The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, nor did he know anything about Tolkien himself.

Thus he was not aware of the significance of even the smallest word(s) used by Tolkien for pretty much everything (such as why it is a perversion of Tolkien's works to have Elves with Swords Tolkien went out of the way to label "Crooked").

MB
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