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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (SPOILERS) (Page 1)

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Author Topic: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (SPOILERS)
Ron Lambert
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First of all, the "desolation" refers to the things Smaug has desolated, not to his own demise. That is left for the third movie.

By the way, Peter Jackson takes pains to insist that "Smaug" is pronounced "Smowg," not "Smog."

This is a very active, violent movie, lots of heads are sent flying separate from their bodies. there is a big fight scene where the dwarfs are fighting a large group of giant spiders--Shelob types.

A new elf lady, Tauriel, is introduced (played by Evangeline Lilly). She is a good archer, and seems to be a romantic interest for Legolas, though since she is a "Sylvan Elf," she is not considered worthy of a higher class elf like Legolas. At least, that is what Legolas' father reminds him. One of the dwarfs, Fili, also seems to develop a crush on Tauriel, especially after she uses elven magic to heal him from a wound from which he was suffering.

The character of Tauriel was invented out of whole cloth by Jackson. She was not in the original novel. But that is OK with me. It always seemed to me that Tolkien's stories were lacking in female characters. In the Ring trilogy, there was Arwen (played by Liv Tyler), Galadriel (played by Cate Blachette), and Eowen (played by Miranda Otto). And that is pretty much it. Compare that to all the male characters!

I did not care for the ending. It seemed inadequate. But that is the pitfall you often have with the second of a three-part series. Smaug is seen flying off toward Lake Town, determined to ravage it because he thinks Bilbo and the Dwarfs with him came from Lake Town. As he watches Smaug flying off, Bilbo says, "What have we done?" And thus ends the movie.

The character of the Bard in Lake Town was developed at some length. We know that he is going to fire the fateful "black arrow" that will be able to penetrate Smaug's scales and kill the beast. But all that is left for the third movie. A lot of the movie time is spent with Bilbo and the Dwarfs running from Smaug inside the mountain. Bilbo sees the Arkenstone several times, but never quite seems able to lay his hands on it (it keeps being bumped so it bounces away down hills of gold).

I saw the movie in 3D and HFR (High Frame Rate--48 frames per second instead of the normal 24). The 3D effect was nice, but by now has become almost expected. I assume the picture was extra clear and sharp with the HFR, but I couldn't really tell you I was aware of any difference from a non HFR version. I went to the first showing of the day on Friday (opening day on Friday the 13th), at 10 AM. I only had to pay $7.25, which seemed like a good price for 3D and HFR, at our local MJR Cinema 20, which has all amphitheater seating.

Here is a link to a playlist of nine behind-the-scenes blogs and trailers:

http://www.thehobbitblog.com/the-hobbit-...neak-peek/

Here is a link to an excellent fan produced prequel: “The Hunt for Gollum.” The actor they got to play Strider looks a lot like Viggo Mortensen. He plays the part well, too. They also found an actress who looks a lot like Liv Tyler. Their Gandalf is not quite as close a match, possibly because the makeup was not quite as well applied, but he still is OK. The movie is 38:31 min. long. They claim that they did not borrow any scenes or music from the trilogy. Remarkable achievement.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaakJk9vR7U

Hint: once the movie is playing, double click on it and it will expand to full-screen, and still will be surprisingly clear (depending on your equipment).

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T:man
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I didn't like it. Was completely bored during most of the action scenes, they all seemed to be the same kind of running away rolling around type that we got with the goblins in the first film. My mom described it as a Disney ride, and I completely agree.

The worst parts were the love scenes between Tauriel and Fili, hands down. They were downright cringe inducing.

The best part on the other hand was Smaug. Perfect design, perfect voice acting, perfect movement, amazing action, and while the cgi in the rest of the movie was almost laughable, Smaug looked almost real.

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Lyrhawn
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I haven't seen it yet, I'll see it in a couple days.

But it's slightly odd that they bothered with a class argument regarding Tauriel and Legolas. I mean, he's not Sylvan elf, but he's not exactly a Noldor like Galadriel. The Sindar never went to the Blessed Realm, and since Thranduil has been living in the wild for the last 6,000+ years, he's thought to have gone native and petty like the dark elves of the woods. More prone to violence and base instincts than a wiser, higher elf.

A better argument would be age. Legolas is way older than Tauriel. But the caste argument is just silly, especially when elves have such a history of breaking rules when it comes to romance.

I already know I'm going to hate this thing, but I'm locked in because I want to see the BoFA in the next movie.

T:Man -

Evangeline Lily has said in interviews that she only agreed to do the movie if they promised not to do a love triangle. She did all her scenes and then after the first round of shoots was over they studio came back and said they wanted a love triangle, so they shoehorned it in with reshoots.

Which sounds about exactly right.

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FoolishTook
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I can't tell if I liked this movie or not.

I hated the frenetic pace. I think the orc storyline needs to be cut out completely. It's such a waste of screen time, and there's nothing interesting about it in anyway. Isn't there enough going on? Bilbo found a ring that's changing him. We have the Mirkwood spiders, the journey to the Lonely Mountain, the wood elves capturing and imprisoning the dwarves, and Gandalf investigating the Necromancer. Adding another level of intensity is simply overkill.

Thorin should have taken that orc's head off in the first movie, and we could be rid of the over-done orc battles.

Smaug was absolutely perfect. Peter Jackson's ability to be spot on when he actually DOES reference the book is why I keep watching his movies.

I didn't mind the addition of Tauriel, but then I like her character and Fili enough that the love triangle doesn't bother me. The movie would have been fine without her,, though. And Legolas is less interesting in this movie than he was in LOTR. Without his rivarly with Gimli, he's little more than window-dressing.

I'm starting to grow weary of Jackson's storytelling. I don't think he's ever going to figure out that, sometimes, less is more.

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Dogbreath
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I have to agree that the orcs were a complete, utter waste of time. I feel like if they had cut the orc scenes and expanded pre-elf Mirkwood scenes, it would have made for a much better movie. The biggest complaint I have is how hard they tried to turn it into an action movie. In fact, that's pretty much why the orcs are there - to make sure no more than 5 minutes pass without another tiring fight scene.

Which is rubbish. The middle of the book is slow and deliberate for a reason - it's building up to the climax and the battle of the 5 armies. If they had taken a cue from the Fellowship of the Ring and just slowed the pace down somewhat (again, remove all the artificial, overly long fight scenes and you could probably do this *and* still make the movie shorter), this could have been a much better movie. The spiders are great, but the pace is so rushed up to the point where they appear that you don't even have time to actually be scared or even feel dread start to set in. It all happens *so fast*. Jeez.

As is, it's entertaining, but so much of the dialogue is so cheesy, if not downright cringeworthy, that it was hard for me to enjoy at times. My fiance and I both actually groaned and covered our faces when Tauriel and Fili held hands. It's so bad. Smaug was great, though. I really wish they had spent more time with the riddles and less time with hid chasing the dwarves around.

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Lyrhawn
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Well, someone has to makes these movies now that George Lucas is retired.
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Ron Lambert
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The overdone orcs, along with the growing corruption of Mirkwood (manifested especially in the pack of Shelobs), are a part of Jackson's deliberate foreshadowing of the growing menace of Sauron returning to power. But that is rendered futile by the fact that we all know that Sauron will not be dealt with until the Ring Trilogy narrative begins in about 50 years.
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Lyrhawn
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He doesn't need that foreshadowing. It's already done in both Fellowship and Two Towers. There's a very, very escalation going on in both those movies, from the increase in orcs to the create of Uruk Hai to the larger battles in Return of the King where the scale only continues to grow right up until the end. For anyone who actually knows what happens in the War of the Ring, none of what happens in The Hobbit actually affects what happens in LOTR except that the events of The Hobbit make LOTR possible by keeping northern orcs and men in the north instead of having them sweep down south. In other words...that foreshadowing really is both unnecessary and misguided if that's what it's there for.

The spiders are fine, they're supposed to be there. And yeah, they deal with a group of orcs under the Misty Mountains and immediately after, but they are never constantly harried by them, nor do they need to be harried by them for the story to work really well.

Besides, it's not a growing threat. The spiders had been there for literally thousands of years, as had the orcs. The orcs drove the dwarves out of the Misty Mountains during the events of the prologue where Azog killed Thorin's grandfather, which was hundreds of years before Thorin returned to Lonely Mountain.

His storytelling is just lazier in this trilogy than the first one. LOTR wasn't, for the vast majority of the trilogy, a whacky choreographed romp. Some of its best, most memorable moments were when they slowed down and focused on the characters or scenes where there were no characters at all, like the lighting of the beacons. But he doesn't really seem to know how to slow down and just tell the story of The Hobbit. He's doing what the Orci/Kurtzman/Lindeloff set like to do; replace storytelling with whizbang highly stylized and choreographed action setpieces. And that's really disappointing, because we know from LOTR that he's capable of so much more.

But this is bad fanfiction.

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Dogbreath
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Ron: I really liked the spiders. What I don't like is they get chased by orcs into Mirkwood, spend maybe 3 minutes (if that) walking through Mirkwood, then get captured by giant spiders. And then they spend maybe 2 minutes fighting spiders before Legolas and crew come rushing in. Mirkwood is the perfect spot to slow things down and do a little character development, or just let us *breathe* for a few minutes. Then start building tension. The dwarves are lost and hungry. Is that a set of eyes out there? What's that rustling... You know, make the terrifying CGI spiders actually terrifying.
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The Black Pearl
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I always feel really nostalgic about mirkwood for some reason, in the book. Don't they walk down the same road for a month (or something)
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Ron Lambert
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And isn't that where the Entwives got off to?
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Lyrhawn
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Tolkien never says explicitly what happened to the Entwives. They spend thousands of years along the Anduin in what is now known as the Brown Lands, far to the south of Mirkwood.

I think Tolkien in his letters suggested they went east, beyond the mountains and Rhun where the Easterlings live and the Blue Wizards disappeared. But nothing is known about that land.

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scifibum
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I only saw the LOTR movies once each, back when they came out. I wonder what I'd think of them now, after having watched the first of Jackson's Hobbit movies.

(I thought it was pretty terrible with the action. I don't mind as much changes to the story, but the action was just dismayingly bad. Was this there in the LOTR movies? I don't remember it being there, but I suspect I might be a lot more critical, now.)

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Lyrhawn
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There was plenty of action in LOTR. Two key differences: 1. It wasn't constant. It was frequently broken up by slower character moments. It's part of what made it feel so otherworldly and ethereal I thought. 2. The action never really felt over the top, ridiculous or choreographed. Legolas had a couple elf moments of badassery.

He tossed all that overboard to follow the Star Trek Abrams model of dumping story for flash.

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BlackBlade
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I dunno man Legolas and that Oliphant?

I really felt this movie on the balance was less egregious than AUJ.

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Sean Monahan
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From letters of Tolkien, #144:

"I think that in fact the Entwives had disappeared for good, being destroyed with their gardens in the War of the Last Alliance when Sauron pursued a scorched earth policy and burned their land against the advance of the Allies down the Anduin. They survived only in the 'agriculture' transmitted to Men (and Hobbits). Some, of course, may have fled east, or even have become enslaved: tyrants even in such tales must have an economic and agricultural background to their soldiers and metalworkers. If any survived so, they would indeed be far estranged from the Ents, and any rapprochement would be difficult - unless experience of industrialized and militarized agriculture had made them a little more anarchic. I hope so. I don't know."

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Lyrhawn
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Sean -

Thanks. Saved me from running to the other room and rooting through the collected letters. I forgot some of that.

quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
I dunno man Legolas and that Oliphant?

I really felt this movie on the balance was less egregious than AUJ.

I think Legolas and the Oliphaunt in ROTK is the best cited example because it's really the only over-the-top moment anyone can really think of off the top of their heads. It's sort of the exception that proves the rule.

And even with that...I haven't seen Hobbit in a year, but off the top of my head I can think of three scenes that are five times as bizarre and over the top as the Legolas scene.

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The Black Pearl
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it only counts as one
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Jeff C.
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I actually liked the Oliphant scene, mostly because it was so over the top and there just weren't very many moments like that. With the Hobbit movies, there are so many that after a while it's just annoying.


Also, did anyone else think that Legolas's character is completely different? He doesn't even act like the same guy. I'm assuming he undergoes some kind of change in the third film, but if not, it just won't make any sense. He's intentionally a jerk to the Dwarfs, but not in the LotR movies (where the conflict between him and Gimli is almost entirely one sided on Gimli's part). Am I alone in noticing this?

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BlackBlade
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[Big Grin]

Lyrhawn: Oh no doubt AUJ was ridiculous, like it punted me out of the narrative it was so bad. I don't really think TDOS has anything quite at that level. I would say some of the cartoon physics are obnoxious, with this movie almost at Wiley Coyote levels of ridiculousness.

Still on the balance, I enjoyed it.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
I actually liked the Oliphant scene, mostly because it was so over the top and there just weren't very many moments like that. With the Hobbit movies, there are so many that after a while it's just annoying.


Also, did anyone else think that Legolas's character is completely different? He doesn't even act like the same guy. I'm assuming he undergoes some kind of change in the third film, but if not, it just won't make any sense. He's intentionally a jerk to the Dwarfs, but not in the LotR movies (where the conflict between him and Gimli is almost entirely one sided on Gimli's part). Am I alone in noticing this?

That seems to fit. There's a lot of time that passes in between the events of The Hobbit and LOTR and in that interregnum Legolas lives right next door to a bunch of dwarves they're on fairly good terms with after centuries of intense hostility.

How they'll connect the two will be interesting, but the elves of Mirkwood are supposed to be much much darker and less wise than the others. Even Legolas, a Sindar by bloodline, isn't of the same class as Galadriel. The other elves even less so. Thranduil in the books is a pretty intense douchebag.

I can't wait to see Lee Pace's interpretation of him. The trailers look great.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:

quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
I dunno man Legolas and that Oliphant?

I really felt this movie on the balance was less egregious than AUJ.

I think Legolas and the Oliphaunt in ROTK is the best cited example because it's really the only over-the-top moment anyone can really think of off the top of their heads. It's sort of the exception that proves the rule.

And even with that...I haven't seen Hobbit in a year, but off the top of my head I can think of three scenes that are five times as bizarre and over the top as the Legolas scene.

Yep. I really, really hate this implausible action trend. It is the opposite of exciting because we become so accustomed to characters being entirely undamaged by these literally in-credible sequences that we end up just waiting till they are over.
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scifibum
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I suppose we all need to vote with our wallets if we want to see it change.

Which really forces me to be more fair. I did enjoy the first Hobbit movie. I hated parts of it, but I got my money's worth.

I think armchair criticism of entertainment reflects an extremely entitled mindset, which I share. I just want things to be great, even if they are already way cooler than I have any right to expect in exchange for the $8 matinee price.

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The White Whale
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
... we end up just waiting till they are over.

A million times yes. It breaks the narrative, breaks the story, and more often than not, doesn't even look cool.

Here's hoping that somewhere down the line, there's a fan edit of the Hobbit that cuts out all of this fat and makes it a really great trilogy.

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Aros
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Eh, they're movies. And far better ones than you deserve, you whipper-snappers! In my day, we didn't have action scenes. We only had harsh words and rubber swords. We would shake the swords, and they would flex angrily. Oh, how I shake my rubber sword at you fellows, bad-mouthers of Mr. Jackson and such!!!!

Stick with your Dungeons and Dragons, if you want dorky nerd realism. Bah.

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The Black Pearl
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Oh my god shut up.
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Jeff C.
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Geez Aros, lighten up. It's not bad to demand a better product for your money, especially when it's an adaptation of something. People are annoyed with Jackson because he hasn't just made tweaks to the story, it's added entire sequences and narratives.

Personally, I don't care much about the modifications (like adding Legolas to it), but I can understand it. I also understand the frustrations with the over abundance of action. After taking a few screenwriting classes for my degree, I've actually learned that this stuff is pretty basic knowledge (or it should be, anyway). You simply aren't supposed to over-saturate your film with too much action, especially when nothing comes of it. There should always be some kind of cost for success, even if it's small. Gandalf "died" in the Fellowship, and then so did Sean Bean's character. You need loss in a film so that the audience knows that something's on the line. In both Hobbit films, what have they lost, really? Is it even close to what happened in the first trilogy?

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Dogbreath
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Speaking of the death of Boromir: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFnWqdoboMM

Watch that scene. That fight scene has more intensity than *every* fight scene in both Hobbit movies combined. And it's far, far more realistic. The Hobbit is pretty much cartoon violence, which is a shame because we have LoTR. We *know* what PJ is capable of. And he's fallen very short of the mark.

I don't think anyone needs to die, Jeff. But you raise a good point.In almost every battle/fight scene in LoTR people die, or you get a sense that people are in danger of dying and the characters approach it with an appropriate level of seriousness and fear and generally try to avoid fighting/get away as best as they can. (Oiliphaunt scene aside) The fights in this movie are like amusement park rides. You never get the impression that the Dwarves are even exerting themselves, much less that they're caught up in a fierce life and death struggle. It's not about killing people off to make the audience take it seriously, I think just having the characters take combat seriously would do a lot in that regard.

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Dogbreath
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Oh, and the writing was just a touch better too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_ZMTfGDHDk
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The White Whale
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I think it's also important to point out that JRRT's Hobbit is much more cartoony than the LOTR novels. The Dwarves singing, not thinking clearly, and at times being forgetful and...dumb? I wish they played that out more. I wish that Jackson showed how the Dwarves had no plan for dealing with Smaug when they got to the mountain, and that Bilbo really took over and started making the decisions for them at that time. Bilbo's development is interesting! It's exciting! It's what makes the story so potent!

I'd a million times over choose that over barrel sequences and dragon chase scenes / reactivating ancient machinery to great a giant golden dwarf to drown a fire-breathing monster.

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Aros
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Can it not be argued that both the Hobbit book and movie are geared toward a younger audience? Would this not warrant a more "cartoony" feel?
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Aros
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The Geek Show Podcast reviewed the film and said that the new bits Jackson added (Legolas and sexy elf girl) were the best parts of the movie.

Many vociferous online over-obsessers will argue that any change to source material is unwarranted. They want a pitch-perfect adaption of the material, completely unchanged. That would be great. Understand -- this is an unrealistic expectation and will never happen. It's just a movie. It's Hollywood. It's highly likely that you'll never see a new movie as cool as Empire Strikes back again. Ever. So leave any thoughts of perfection at the door.

Mr. Jackson has given us an acceptable product that (sometimes) borders on actual art. This is far more than we have to expect from Hollywood in this day and age. I honestly implore you to watch the new Star Wars trilogy or the Transformers flicks before you complain about the Hobbit films.

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The White Whale
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Aros, I'm sure most of us here have seen the new Star Wars and Transformers. I'm willing to give Star Wars a chance, because I like the universe. I was never into Transformers, and so don't care for the plot lines at all.

I love reading the Hobbit and the LotR books. It's a wonderful universe with depth, humor, and potency. No movie version of LotR or the Hobbit will ever match that, but some movies can get close.

The scene that Dogbreath posted above is one of those. It's beautiful, powerful, and true to the story. It makes for good, satisfying, exciting film. So of course I expect the same standard from the same filmmaker.

And it's not just your straw-men 'vociferous online over-observers' that are complaining about the film. I have no problem with the introduction of Tauriel and Legolas. I guess many movie-goers think they're attractive and dramatic. Or something. It's too bad they were flat characters, in my opinion. But whatever. I don't mind Jackson filling in the blanks that Tolkien left behind regarding Dol Guldur. That was kind of neat. I expect Jackson to take out parts and put in new scenes. I expect him to reduce the characters, highlight certain relationships, and generally make the story more cinematic.

I do not like, however, when every movie ends with a big chase scene filled with CGI that doesn't match the characterization already put forth in the story. The Thorin-Bilbo dynamic is a great one. Bilbo grows into a leadership role within the party while Thorin descends into a blind obsession with his kingdom and his treasure. There's the potential for tension and drama with that dynamic, and is a great part of the book, but it all but vanishes in the movie when Thorin and company run around starting up furnaces, pouring ancient powders, and cartoonishly creating a golden statue in order to fight a friggin' dragon. I guess some people think that looks cool, and it's impressive what CGI can do, but it exists solely for that wow factor. It doesn't exist because it makes sense in the story or the character development.

In that way, I was really, really disappointed with the last quarter of the film. The rest of it was great. Exceeded or matched my expectations.

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Jeff C.
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quote:
Can it not be argued that both the Hobbit book and movie are geared toward a younger audience?
1. If they were geared towards a younger audience, they wouldn't be 3 hours long.

2. The Lord of the Rings was for adults, which means that most of the people watching these movies will be fans of the other films. That means that they will be adults.

3. Kids movies generally don't contain overly long, slow sequences where people sit around talking at great lengths about nothing.

quote:
I honestly implore you to watch the new Star Wars trilogy or the Transformers flicks before you complain about the Hobbit films.
People complained up and down about the new Star Wars Trilogy as well as Transformers, so comparing that doesn't make any sense. That's like saying, "Hey, this steak is undercooked and just terrible, but I'll eat it anyway because at least it's not dog poop".

quote:
It's highly likely that you'll never see a new movie as cool as Empire Strikes back again. Ever.
Why? There are a ton of great movies out there. Gravity was really good. So was District 9. And let's not forget Looper, The Dark Knight, Cloud Atlas, and the Last Harry Potter film. Those are just my top picks, but I'm sure others have their own.

Quality films are made all the time in Hollywood. Christopher Nolan has made a name for himself by constantly making them. Jackson made the LotR trilogy, so we know he can do it, but the Hobbit films just aren't up to those standards. It's not unreasonable for people to expect that quality from the same director (that's why so many people were disappointed with the Star Wars prequels). But oh well. We can always look forward to the next surprise hit, I suppose. Interstellar is just around the corner, after all.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
Can it not be argued that both the Hobbit book and movie are geared toward a younger audience? Would this not warrant a more "cartoony" feel?

the hell kind of evil bastard makes a three hour movie that can't figure out if it wants to be epic or cartoony

quote:
It's highly likely that you'll never see a new movie as cool as Empire Strikes back again. Ever.
what
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The Black Pearl
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The first hobbit movie was great sam. Peter Jackson is not an evil bastard.
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Lyrhawn
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Just saw it. Didn't like it.

I'm one of Aros' straw man purist fan boys. I think the story tends to be strongest at the points where Jackson sticks closest to Tolkien or - an this is an important addendum - to the SPIRIT of Tolkien.

Some of Jackson's additions were pretty cool. I thought Tauriel was interesting and could have been highly effective. Evangeline Lily only signed on to the movie with the promise that she wouldn't have to do a love story and especially not a love triangle. They did main shoots then came back for reshoots and she was told the studio wanted a love triangle. And thus her character was totally ruined. The stuff at Dol Goldur was interesting, but I didn't care for them messing around with the wider back story. The fight between Gandalf and the Necromancer was really cool, but I wish they hadn't revealed his identity until much later. I also wish the whole White Council was involved, as that they were supposed to be. Maybe they come in later? In the books Gandalf didn't realize who he really was until well after the events of the Hobbit. But Jackson seems to have totally forgotten how to engage in suspense or mystery. He explains everything immediately and with a bludgeon. I found a lot of it just lazy.

The love triangle was ridiculously awful. I mean, cringe-inducing laugh out loud awful. Had Jackson just seen the first three Star Wars movies and thought Padme and Anakin were a love story worth copying? Really just awful.

I guess my general problems with this book are that it feels like a slapped together, cookie cutter action thriller with tons of CGI. It doesn't have any heart. Heart is what made the original LOTR transcend popcorn thriller to lifelong friend.

Peter Jackson seems to be taking his cues from King Kong and not LOTR. And when he DOES take his cues from LOTR, it's not to apply the same level of storytelling, it's to outright steal scenes and recreate them. That's why the Masters henchman is a reproduction of Grima Wormtongue, and why a lot of the scenes with Tauriel and Kili are ripped almost directly from Arwen scenes. If he's trying to draw a parallel between Tauriel/Kili and Arwen/Aragorn, I think it's a pretty huge disservice to LOTR. It's pretty lame.

I've said it before: I don't mind changes that serve the story. I just hate changes that are made for either no reason or to make the movie into a formulaic piece of crap. The Bard change feels like that. He goes from being a sort of lost son of Girion to being a disgraced barge driver who is scorned because his great great grandfather didn't slay a dragon? That's absurd. But I feel like it's done to make him a sort of parallel to Thorin, who now has something to atone for.

Jackson is just picking the oddest things to focus on. He has so much time over the course of 9 hours of Hobbit, and he seems to waste undue amounts of it on crap that either doesn't matter or downright wastes time by being boring.

What's with the bizarre nonsense about uniting the seven dwarf kingdoms? Why did he totally change the point of the Arkenstone? My guess is a very late attempt to change Thorin's character into something that more closely resembles how he was supposed to be in the first place, which I find lame.

And why on Earth did they waste the scene at the secret entrance? That was supposed to be the confrontation where Thorin cringes behind and tells him to steal the treasure and Bilbo calls them on their BS. Calls them out for all the times he's rescued them and basically saved the expedition but they still send him in alone to face the dragon. That could have been a big moment...but they breezed past it. I suppose it wouldn't work as well in this movie because the dwarves are incredible capable, whereas they rely in the book much more on Bilbo. But I honestly wonder half the time why they even half Bilbo along. Thus far, he seems to have added absolutely nothing to the team that one of the 13 couldn't have handled except the rescue from Mirkwood's dungeons. None of the book's reasons for Bilbo being special apply in this version of the story.

[ December 19, 2013, 12:03 AM: Message edited by: Lyrhawn ]

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Dogbreath
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Yeah, like I keep trying to tell people how horribly mind-numbingly despicably awful the Tauriel and Fili scenes are, yet they still come back surprised by just how terrible they are. It's really that bad.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by umberhulk:
The first hobbit movie was great sam. Peter Jackson is not an evil bastard.

whoooooooooosh
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Samprimary
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alright let's stop wasting useless words on this movie long enough to hear these people talk about the movie

http://redlettermedia.com/half-in-the-bag-the-hobbit-the-desolation-of-smaug/

it starts at 3 minutes in about and I pretty much agree with all of it

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:
Yeah, like I keep trying to tell people how horribly mind-numbingly despicably awful the Tauriel and Fili scenes are, yet they still come back surprised by just how terrible they are. It's really that bad.

It's just difficult to believe after how well he did LOTR that he could write something so ham handed and awful.
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Samprimary
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Jackson is pretty much in a move it or lose it situation where he either gets to make the hobbit trilogy now or it doesn't happen under him, and I presume that he is sensible enough to be persuaded by a godjillion dollars, even if he didn't know what kind of pressure and time constraints he was going to be under. Or the effects of being part of an industry built around printing money by filming stories inspired by tolkien.

It's a constraint of mortality. He was kind of being nagged by the issue of "yo so about those hobbit movies, gandalf gonna die, we gotta push him under some cameras first"

These are all great ways to bleed out the creativity genes. To boot, tolkien's work is fraught with peril in the sense that it has all this ridiculous crap you have to front to the minute satisfaction of raging tolkien geeks, but the problem comes in that a straight adaptation of a tolkien book would be hilariously bad.

But we're a long way from "and this is the best we could have hoped" — yeah, these movies could be a lot better, sure.

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Jeff C.
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:
Yeah, like I keep trying to tell people how horribly mind-numbingly despicably awful the Tauriel and Fili scenes are, yet they still come back surprised by just how terrible they are. It's really that bad.

It's just difficult to believe after how well he did LOTR that he could write something so ham handed and awful.
He didn't write LotR. He just directed. There were two screenwriters for that one who obviously weren't brought back for the Hobbit. Just goes to show you who the real talent was.
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Ron Lambert
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According to Wickipedia, Jackson did have a hand in the writing, along with Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, writers for the Ring trilogy:
quote:
Jackson wrote the screenplay with his longtime collaborators and Lord of the Rings co-writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, and Guillermo del Toro,,,.
Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hobbit:_The_Desolation_of_Smaug
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Orincoro
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Who is given writing credit and who "wrote," the screenplay are often slightly different sorts of things. It's like producers.

Though, I would have to bet that Jackson had a hand in it at the later stages- rewrites also happen on set and in post.

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Lyrhawn
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If you read enough of the background stuff it's pretty clear that the lion's share of the writing was done by Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens with a large contribution from Jackson.

Almost the exact same team was in charge of the Hobbit, so the dropoff in writing quality is a mystery regardless.

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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
but the problem comes in that a straight adaptation of a tolkien book would be hilariously bad.

Yeah. The Boromir scene I posted is notable in that none of it actually occurs in the book. (by the time Aragorn and Co. show up at the river bank the orcs are long gone) It's a good example of Jackson's ability to change the material creatively and effectively while staying true to the overall story. More importantly, it's a good example of Jackson's ability to add fight scenes that are actually entertaining, suspenseful, meaningful, or even actually progresses the story in some way.
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The Black Pearl
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
alright let's stop wasting useless words on this movie long enough to hear these people talk about the movie


lets not
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
but the problem comes in that a straight adaptation of a tolkien book would be hilariously bad.

Yeah. The Boromir scene I posted is notable in that none of it actually occurs in the book. (by the time Aragorn and Co. show up at the river bank the orcs are long gone) It's a good example of Jackson's ability to change the material creatively and effectively while staying true to the overall story. More importantly, it's a good example of Jackson's ability to add fight scenes that are actually entertaining, suspenseful, meaningful, or even actually progresses the story in some way.
Sure...in LOTR. Maybe not so much in Hobbit, where the scenes along that nature that he adds often detract more than they add in the way of meaningful, suspenseful progress.

Dude doesn't know the meaning of suspense in this movie. It's all instant gratification.

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FoolishTook
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Watching Boromir die made me weep for my lost youth, for the magic and majesty of Fellowship of the Ring.

quote:
http://redlettermedia.com/half-in-the-bag-the-hobbit-the-desolation-of-smaug/
I laughed out loud a few times. "Smawwwoooggg."

I don't think I was bothered by the love triangle between "Kate from Lost" and the vampire from Being Human, because it seemed to be one of the few places where the movie slowed down a little. I also felt Evangeline Lilly's performance rescued it from being completely cringe-worthy. I think this may be more of a Gimli/Galadriel thing, really. That's the impression I got at least.

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