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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » The Hobbit (movie) (Page 1)

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Author Topic: The Hobbit (movie)
Phillyn
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This is really cool.
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150720773691807&set=vb.141884481557&type=2&theater

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Bella Bee
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Love the guys suiting up for Formal Friday. Good to see Queenstown again. I once had a lot of fun jumping off mountains there.
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Jeff C.
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I can't wait for the first movie. Everytime I see the trailer I get goosebumps.
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ZachC
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Cant wait for the movie.
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Stone_Wolf_
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUXP8VEXWMs

The Hobbit (1977) Soundtrack (OST) - 13. Misty Mountains Cold

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Dr Strangelove
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I'm curious to see how the higher frame rate will be received. I feel like if any movie is going to pull it off and usher us in to a new age of hyper-realism, I want it to be The Hobbit.

Unfortunately I likely won't see it the day it comes out [Frown] .

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Lyrhawn
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Only a tiny fraction of theaters, from what I understand, are capable of playing the higher rate.
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SteveRogers
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Only a tiny fraction of theaters, from what I understand, are capable of playing the higher rate.

This. The majority of theaters in which the film will be screened will be showing it in the traditional 24 fps. Based on early reviews, this is likely a good thing. Early criticism suggests the visual effects (both practical and CGI) don't hold up well under the scrutiny of a higher frame rate.
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Dr Strangelove
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Hm. Well, the one nearest me is showing in HFR 3d and regular... so I'll just have to go see both.
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SteveRogers
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quote:
Originally posted by Dr Strangelove:
Hm. Well, the one nearest me is showing in HFR 3d and regular... so I'll just have to go see both.

Let us know how it compares if you do. I'd be curious what an average viewer thinks as opposed to a professional critic.
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Dr Strangelove
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And what makes you think I'm not a professional critic [Wink] .

I'll be sure to post a small review, though like I said it'll be after the weekend before I get to see it. While the midnight showing is enticing, having a four hour drive early the next morning makes it considerably less so.

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Marlozhan
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I am not terribly excited about The Hobbit movie, and I was one of those people that dressed up in a costume for the Return of the King premiere.

None of the trailers have impressed me, and the early reviews (which usually tend to err on the side of being too positive) are pretty much confirming what I already felt from the trailer: that the movie is bloated and too focused on effects and frivolous mishaps.

Somehow I think the Hobbit movie would have been better if it came out before The Lord of the Rings movies. After that trilogy, I think I just feel underwhelmed with the Hobbit. Not to mention, a relatively short story is being broken down into 3 movies, the first of which is 2 hrs and 45 mins.

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Stone_Wolf_
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I was really excited about the Hobbit, as it is a WAY more cohesive story then LotRs, and when I heard they were talking about splitting it into more then one movie, I was hesitant, and they it turned into 3 movies and I am downright disinterested.
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Raymond Arnold
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I don't think it should have been 3 movies, but I will note that the average novel (200+ pages) is way too long to be a movie.

"Of Mice and Men" was about 100 pages, I think, and it's the only film adaptation of a book I've seen that didn't have to skip over lots of important points.

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Raymond Arnold
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(If it weren't for the economic incentives working against it, I'd generally be in favor of books being made into TV series rather than movies. See Game of Thrones for a pretty good example of how to handle big books correctly)
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SteveRogers
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
(If it weren't for the economic incentives working against it, I'd generally be in favor of books being made into TV series rather than movies. See Game of Thrones for a pretty good example of how to handle big books correctly)

I hope this works as well for HBO's adapatation of the Neil Gaiman novel American Gods.
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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
"Of Mice and Men" was about 100 pages, I think, and it's the only film adaptation of a book I've seen that didn't have to skip over lots of important points.

Princesses Bride, best adaptation I've ever seen.
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Blayne Bradley
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Colbert seems to enjoy it.
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Miro
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quote:
Originally posted by SteveRogers:
quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
(If it weren't for the economic incentives working against it, I'd generally be in favor of books being made into TV series rather than movies. See Game of Thrones for a pretty good example of how to handle big books correctly)

I hope this works as well for HBO's adapatation of the Neil Gaiman novel American Gods.
I just finished rereading American Gods. It's a very visual book, but I have a hard time seeing it work well on a screen.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
(If it weren't for the economic incentives working against it, I'd generally be in favor of books being made into TV series rather than movies. See Game of Thrones for a pretty good example of how to handle big books correctly)

I'm open to the argument that the HBO Game of Thrones show is good on its own terms.

But it's not a very faithful adaptation.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
(If it weren't for the economic incentives working against it, I'd generally be in favor of books being made into TV series rather than movies. See Game of Thrones for a pretty good example of how to handle big books correctly)

I'm open to the argument that the HBO Game of Thrones show is good on its own terms.

But it's not a very faithful adaptation.

Indeed.

I've long felt a mini-series would be the only way to handle the Silmarillion, but I just can't fathom it actually working. The only way a movie would work is to try and pull out the Lays as separate stories.

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Anthonie
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Nifty little web app to compare frame rates to get a feel for newer 48fps.

48fps limited availability: At a theater near you?

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Anthonie:
Nifty little web app to compare frame rates to get a feel for newer 48fps.

48fps limited availability: At a theater near you?

Some of those locations seem pretty random, like they should have been further back in the pack for receiving upgrades.
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Jeff C.
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
(If it weren't for the economic incentives working against it, I'd generally be in favor of books being made into TV series rather than movies. See Game of Thrones for a pretty good example of how to handle big books correctly)

I'm open to the argument that the HBO Game of Thrones show is good on its own terms.

But it's not a very faithful adaptation.

I don't know about that. I think it's more faithful than the Lord or the Rings/Hobbit films.

Besides, G.R.R.M. fully supports the show. He even writes an episode each season for it. Seems like if the author thinks it's a good adaptation of his work, it probably is.

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Blayne Bradley
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Malarky.
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Lyrhawn
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Just got back from the midnight movie. Not bad, not bad at all.

I have a number of minor problems with it, but by and large they seem to have gone out of their way to include every possible snippet line and detail of the book. They stopped right about where I thought they would.

I was even impressed by some of the secondary characters they put in the spotlight, though, perhaps TOO much in some cases.

Longer review to follow tomorrow.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
(If it weren't for the economic incentives working against it, I'd generally be in favor of books being made into TV series rather than movies. See Game of Thrones for a pretty good example of how to handle big books correctly)

I'm open to the argument that the HBO Game of Thrones show is good on its own terms.

But it's not a very faithful adaptation.

I don't know about that. I think it's more faithful than the Lord or the Rings/Hobbit films.

Besides, G.R.R.M. fully supports the show. He even writes an episode each season for it. Seems like if the author thinks it's a good adaptation of his work, it probably is.

I think it could just as easily mean that he is glad it's been made with any semblance of faith to his stories at all. They do a good job capturing the spirit of the show, for the most part.

GRRM did a lot of TV writing before he wrote the novels. He may be more amenable to the butchery that's occurred for that reason. He probably sees it as a good show, and agrees with the massive changes they've made.

Or, maybe he doesn't. I don't know.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Just got back from the midnight movie. Not bad, not bad at all.

I have a number of minor problems with it, but by and large they seem to have gone out of their way to include every possible snippet line and detail of the book. They stopped right about where I thought they would.

I was even impressed by some of the secondary characters they put in the spotlight, though, perhaps TOO much in some cases.

Longer review to follow tomorrow.

Cool. Wish I had it in me to do a midnight showing on a work night.
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Lyrhawn
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REVIEW: With spoilers...although you all know what happens, so it's not so much spoilers, really, but fair warning!

I have three big criticisms, and a flurry of good things to say.

1. It was a little much. Jackson managed to stuff just about every word, character, concept and event into the story. The problem with doing is was a bit like a writer who has all these great ideas, but they don't fit, and clutter up the story, yet he refuses to edit any of them out. The result was a sometimes disjointed narrative. I felt like we were being carted from random scene to random scene, more like a play than a movie, but the dots weren't totally connected. It left some of the magic out of the movie that was in the others. It's just not quite the same.

A lot of the actions scenes were just wildly overwrought. They actually needed to tone some of it down quite a bit.

2. Unnecessary changes. This one is a mixed blessing. I love the fact that they decided to make the orcs into major characters, and that they even showed the Battle of Azanulbizar, but they changed the details for seemingly no reason. They changed the circumstances of Thror's death, gave credit for killing Azog to Thorin instead of Dain, and then magically brought Azog back to life when he was supposed to have died. Why not just do it like in the book, kill Azog, and bring up Bolg like they're supposed to? And why is there a Bolg credited in the movie but not actually a real character? Are they going to kill Azog in the next movie and THEN bring up Bolg? I don't like the changes, I find them unnecessary.

3. Orcrist doesn't glow. It's always bothered me that Glamdring didn't either, but it should. They make a big deal in the book about laying Thorin to rest with Orcrist so the mountain could never be attacked unaware. But no glow, only Sting gets that, still.

4. I guess we'll wait to see what happens in the next movie, but, why add in everything that was added, but leave the Eagles out as characters? That's some pretty stupid storytelling given their role later on. Why not cover the fact that Gwaihir and the others have no more love for orcs, and establish them as characters, rather than continuing to make them nameless, faceless deus ex machinas? It's become a running joke.

5. The White Council stuff really wasn't so bad. They put most of the burden on Radagast, and it sort of worked. But for one or two major scenes, they kept it fairly tamped down, and I thought it was handled well enough. They had to compress the timeline, which I'm fine with. Most of what happens on this movie actually happened years before in the books, but for the sake of storytelling that doesn't bother me.

In general, I thought it was a pretty faithful adaptation. I very much appreciated how they wove the Dwarf songs into the movie. I never thought they'd be able to fit "That's what Bilbo Baggins Hates" into the movie, so that was a pleasant surprise! I wish they could have done the full song about Smaug. And I wish someone else had done the narration of Smaug attacking Lonely Mountain. I think it would have sounded much better from Galadriel rather than Ian Holm. His version was a little understated. But I liked that they played up Thrain's greed, even though they left out the role of the Dwarf Ring, which I thought was a minor oversight.

I think Thorin isn't quite as much of a douche as he's supposed to be. They're making him into more of a hero than I would have expected, but that's fine I suppose.

Other than that there's not much to say. It was good, it wasn't overlong as many said, though maybe 20 min less might have served it better. There did seem to be a missing X Factor that I can't put my finger on, but it was good.

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AchillesHeel
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quote:
Patrick Rothfuss:
No. I really don't have any desire to watch the new Hobbit.

Yes. I'm serious. If I wanted to watch a third of a movie with too much CGI that takes a steamy crap on my childhood memories, I'd just go watch Episode One again. Alternately, I could shut my dick in a car door. It's a horse apiece, really.

Yes, I know I'm *supposed* to want to watch it. That's what fifty million dollars in marketing money is for. It's supposed to make you want all sorts of things. Nevertheless. I still do not want to drink Bud Light, listen to Justin Bieber, or drive a Toyota Highlander. Neither do I want to watch the new Hobbit.

Yes. I'm well-aware I'm being a curmudgeon. I am one hundred percent ****ing curmudgeon. I am also a Luddite, a contrarian, and an iconoclast.

Now get off my lawn and take your Goddamn hoverboards with you.

A seemingly unsolicited post on Facebook from Patrick Rothfuss.
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Dan_Frank
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I knew I didn't like that guy.
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AchillesHeel
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Was it the bit about the Toyota Highlander?
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Dan_Frank
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Heh.

It was the rant against marketing, and calling himself a Luddite. Mostly the latter. Luddites are pretty despicable, in my opinion.

I don't mind him not wanting to see the Hobbit. That's sort of irrelevant.

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AchillesHeel
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I think that was just him casting that particular stone before someone else did.
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Ron Lambert
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I just saw The Hobbit Friday, in HFR 3D. It was the first-of-the-day, matinee showing, so I only had to pay $7.00. (That was the MJR Cinema 20 on Van Dyke, in Sterling Heights, Mich. for those who live in this area.) That included the cost of the 3D glasses (the good, polarized type), which we got to keep.

HFR stands for High Frame Rate. This is something new, that Peter Jackson is one of the first to use commericially. He shot the movie at 48 frames per second, double the visual information density of the standard 24 frames per second. (This also requires that the projector be able to show the movies at 48 frames per second.) I have read that this improves the clarity and smoothness, especially when combined with 3D. I suppose it looked pretty good, though I probably could not tell that great a difference, unless somehow I could see the two different frame rates side by side.

Jackson is a good story teller, and he had the same excellent writing team that he had for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It still seems a little anticlimactic (or preclimactic, I guess, since it is a prequel).

Elijah Wood was back to reprise his role as Frodo, in the opening part of the movie, where Bilbo tells him he has written down a detailed account of his adventure 60 years previous. The original Bilbo (played by Ian Holm) is back for the opening scene, too. This is how Jackson ties the two epic works together. They have a new actor (Martin Freeman) to play the young Bilbo. He does look a little like he could be a youthful Bilbo. Good casting. They also have Ian McKellen reprising (or should that be pre-prising since the movie is a prequel) his role as Gandalf. Cate Blanchett is back to reprise her role of Galadriel, Orlando Bloom reprises his role as Legolas, and Hugo Weaving is back to reprise his role as Elrond (even though the movie is supposedly set 60 years before the Ring trilogy, conveniently elves do not age), Christopher Lee is back to reprise his role as Saruman. Andy Serkis is back to reprise his role as Gollum.

We meet a new wizard, some zany guy named Radagast the Brown (played by Sylvester McCoy). He has a great love for animals. The sinister evil presence hinted at in this movie is a human "Necromancer," someone who does something with the dead (a little unclear at this point), and is despoiling nature, much to Radagast's horror.

Hobbiton really looks great, much expanded in the scenic shots that take advantage of the new HFR protocol. And wait until you see the expanded Rivendell!

Good CGI too. When the eagles swoop in to save the day, you can see their individual feathers fluttering.

The theater I was in was only about two-thirds full, so the seating was comfortable, especially in the amphitheater type seating in the number one auditorium. Schools are not out yet for Christmas break, or probably the theater might have been more crowded. (Actually, it seemed to me that the audience was comprised mainly of us Boomers, for whom the Tolkien novels were "our" special "in" literature when we were going to college.)

I hope the movie does well. This was only "Part 1." I heard that Jackson wants to do a trilogy of Tolkien's novel, The Hobbit. In this part, Bilbo obtains the sword "Sting," and the One Ring, and meets Gollum. There are violent confrontations with the Trolls, the Orcs, and the Orcs again. He and the dwarf band visit Rivendell. The elves are not entirely happy or supportive of their quest to regain the dwarves' lost kingdom, that had long ago been taken over by Smaug the dragon.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
(That was the MJR Cinema 20 on Van Dyke, in Sterling Heights, Mich. for those who live in this area.)
So basically you're talking to me [Smile]

We actually almost went to that theater for the midnight show but ended up at the emagine in Royal Oak, which also has the HFR, but we didn't see it that way. I may go see it next week in HFR.

In fairness, Elves not aging isn't so much "convenient" as it is the underlying premise of one of the major philosophical facets of the whole thing.

I thought Cate Blanchett was underused. I would have liked to see her narrating, at the very least, the flashback sequences for little more oomph.

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Ron Lambert
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I liked the movie well enough that I will certainly purchase the DVD when it comes out. I hope Jackson puts out an extended version, like he did with his Ring trilogy.

As for Cate Blanchett, her character Galadriel is one of the few women in the Tolkien novels. I realize they are basically adventure novels, but I always thought it was strange that there were so few women. After Galadriel, Arwen, and Eowen, who else was there?

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Lyrhawn
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He's already said that he will have an extended edition and it will have an extra half hour of footage at least.

You know the funny thing is that, while there aren't a ton of female characters in LOTR, there are a lot of them in the Silmarillion, and every one of them is a badass. If you limit it to Hobbit and LOTR you're cutting yourself off from the vast majority of characters, especially the women.

Either way, they should have done more with Galadriel.

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SteveRogers
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
He's already said that he will have an extended edition and it will have an extra half hour of footage at least.

It baffles me he'd still have EVEN MORE extra material after expanding the book into three movies. I'm curious what he could possibly have not used which he wouldn't possibly want to use in the next two movies.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by SteveRogers:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
He's already said that he will have an extended edition and it will have an extra half hour of footage at least.

It baffles me he'd still have EVEN MORE extra material after expanding the book into three movies. I'm curious what he could possibly have not used which he wouldn't possibly want to use in the next two movies.
A 20 minute monologue on the composition and baking instructions for lembas bread.

And the funny thing is, there's source material for it in Tolkien.

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SteveRogers
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I'm expecting it to definitely be more background material like that. I'm thinking it'll likely be increased backstory. The Baggins family tree type of background maybe. Or more of the Dwarf history stuff.

On another note, I chuckled a bit when Gandalf mentioned the two blue wizards in passing.

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Ron Lambert
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I'd like to learn more about the origins of the wizards. They seem human, and yet they live as long as elves. Remember that line from The Two Towers, where Gandalf mutters, "300 ages of men I've lived, and now I have no time!"

I was surprised to learn in this new movie that Bilbo's mother was a Took, so he must have been a close relative of Peregrin (Pippin) Took.

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Lyrhawn
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Me and two others were the only people in the theater who got that joke.

You really have to be a Silmarillion reader to get a lot of what was going on there. I mean the stuff at the Battle of Azanulbizar, especially PJ's total rewriting of that battle's outcome, probably wouldn't have bothered 99% of movie goers because they dont know what's wrong with it.

But I did appreciate the wizards comment. It must have been bugging people since ROTK when Saurman mentioned the rods of the five wizards. I mean even in the Histories of Middle Earth you have to dig to find the names of the Blue Wizards.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
I'd like to learn more about the origins of the wizards. They seem human, and yet they live as long as elves. Remember that line from ROTK, where Gandalf mutters, "300 ages of men I've lived, and now I have no time!"

Wizards (the Istari) are Maiar. Gandalf is the same sort of being as a Balrog, only they're manifested differently. At some point in the Second Age, the Valar chose a few Maiar to go to Middle Earth in the guise of Men to help fight the evil powers. Olorin, Gandalf, was the greatest of them.

The Blue Wizards went off into the East beyond Rhun and were never heard from again. Some say they went native in the dark places of Middle Earth.

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SteveRogers
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I think the average viewer wouldn't have been bothered by any of the changes or additions, so that's something at least. Most people won't realize the differences.
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Lyrhawn
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Well the average viewer would have noticed that the orcs weren't main characters in that way, but they probably wouldn't have noticed the difference between Azog and Bolg.

But I did and it bugged me. I also think giving Thorin all the credit was lame too. It took some oomph out, as did not mentioning Thrain's ring.

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SteveRogers
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It does seem silly they changed some of the background stuff like that since it would have little effect on the story of The Hobbit in any tangible way.
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Ron Lambert
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Thanks Lyrhawn. Obviously you've read more deeply into Tolkien lore than I have. And I corrected my reference: Gandalf speaks that line in The Two Towers, just as he rides off to bring back the Rohirim cavalry who had been banished.
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Lyrhawn
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Steve - Exactly. Why change it when it serves no purpose to the story? If anything, giving Bolg a vendetta against Dain makes a lot more sense for storytelling than having Azog still be around. It's a bizarre contrivance that does nothing for the story.

Ron - You have no idea. I'm a little obsessed with Tolkien, and know way more about Middle Earth than is healthy or reasonable.

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SteveRogers
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Steve - Exactly. Why change it when it serves no purpose to the story? If anything, giving Bolg a vendetta against Dain makes a lot more sense for storytelling than having Azog still be around. It's a bizarre contrivance that does nothing for the story.

I guess they needed someway to up the stakes in the first movie. Having the Azog character pursue Thorin (as a result of their fabricated "grudge") gives the first film a more self-contained conflict in a way.
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