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Old December 16th, 2013, 07:57 PM   #1
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The Hobbit: TDoS

Just saw the new Hobbit movie. Loved the story, some really cool fight scenes. I saw it in 3D though which to me makes every scene look like the whole thing is computer animated. The only thing I thought the 3D really added to was Smaug himself. Anyone else? Thoughts? Opinions?
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Old December 17th, 2013, 07:35 AM   #2
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Re: The Hobbit: TDoS

I enjoyed it, but also could see the very big flaws in the movie while watching. The CGI was noticeable (Legolas' face for instance) and the whole thing was very slow, overly long. I'm pretty sure you could have cut 40 minutes out and had a much better movie. For instance, don't need Orc backstory, it was weird that the orc chasing them got switched. Just about everything else could have been shaved down for time, like the barrel chase, Dol Gulder, and Lake Town... just shorten them up.
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Old December 17th, 2013, 09:22 AM   #3
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Re: The Hobbit: TDoS

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Originally Posted by Mark Koha View Post
Just saw the new Hobbit movie. Loved the story, some really cool fight scenes.
It's Jackson's story -- hardly anything in the movie has anything to do with J. R. R. Tolkien's book. The movie isn't even based on the book --- it's more a rif on the book. Similar to what you might get if you could go back in time and get Jimi Hendrix to rif on Mozart (sorry if no one here is old enough to know who Jimi Hendrix was -- your loss).

That said, it's a pretty good summer blockbuster pop-corn kind of movie. A good ride. It could be a better ride if Jackson would hire an editor to tighten it up. The fight scenes, while inventive, continued well after the point had been made. For what it is, the movie is way too long.

What's lost is, well, the point of the story. Read the book. You'll be amazed at the good stuff that Jackson left out, and equally amazed that he thinks he's a better writer / story teller than Tolkien. Jackson, like Lucas before him, gained access to huge amounts of money and decided he had to use it all. He made much better movies when he had to live within a budget. Just sayin'.
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Old December 17th, 2013, 09:58 AM   #4
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Re: The Hobbit: TDoS

Bruce, I did think he did a good job showing how the ring affected Bilbo, though it only comes up a little, most effectively when the (baby?) spider is between him and the ring.

Mostly, I thought it would be most effective to stop trying to dash between storylines. Essentially he is trying to weave in the prologue to Lord of the Rings into the Hobbit and that really doesn't seem to work. (most of that material, other than She-Elf, IS in other books and stories, not made up whole cloth by Jackson).

If he really wanted to tell that story, he should have made one Hobbit movie, and then a Necromancer movie.

George Lucas' sin was forgetting how to tell a damn story. The entire new Star Wars trilogy was mostly people in a semi-circle talking. It was excrutiating.
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Old December 17th, 2013, 03:51 PM   #5
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Re: The Hobbit: TDoS

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Essentially he is trying to weave in the prologue to Lord of the Rings into the Hobbit and that really doesn't seem to work. (most of that material, other than She-Elf, IS in other books and stories, not made up whole cloth by Jackson).
The Necromancer storyline is in the footnotes / appendices of Lord of the Rings, as is other backstory that Tolkien needed to add to supply motivation for how the Lord of the Rings story played out. But that backstory is about the Lord of the Rings, not The Hobbit. As a result, the vast majority of what's on the screen isn't in the book at all. The way Jackson twists the Beorn substory, for example. I could go on at length and in detail, but no point in spoilers. It's not a bad film, it's just not a Tolkien story.

I'm just sayin' that if people are expecting a Lord of the Rings experience, where the film closely follows the books, even lifting dialog directly from the books, they will be disappointed, because that's not, at all, what Jackson is doing with the Hobbit.
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Old December 17th, 2013, 04:04 PM   #6
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Re: The Hobbit: TDoS

I never read the book so none of that stuff bothers me. I was kind of wondering about the necromancer though. He gets mentioned a lot and we never see him then all of a sudden Sauron (i think its spelled that way) is back with no necromancer to be seen.....unless I missed something.
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Old December 17th, 2013, 09:25 PM   #7
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Re: The Hobbit: TDoS

Mark,

If I remember the books correctly the Necromancer = Sauron.

The first Hobbit movie was one of the worst films I've seen. A story stretched so thin it should have been called Hobbit Air and prolonged, exaggerated action scenes that were so over the top they made all suspension of disbelief go out the window... A truly horrible experience. I've heard TDoS is a bit better but I don't have very high hopes...
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Old December 18th, 2013, 07:26 AM   #8
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Re: The Hobbit: TDoS

Yes, the Necromancer is Sauron. He is referred to as the Necromancer because, until Gandalf went to Dol Gulder, they didn't know it was Sauron.

In the books, *potential spoilers* that's where Gandalf found Thrain, Thorin Oakenshields father (or is it grandfather) and got the key and map they used to get into the mountain. Sauron had tortured Thrain to give up his ring of power.

It doesn't bother me that he added or changed things from the book. It bothers me that the movie is bloated and undisiciplined.
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Old December 18th, 2013, 02:00 PM   #9
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Re: The Hobbit: TDoS

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It bothers me that the movie is bloated and undisiciplined.
I agree. jackson is known for lots and lots of extra takes. He needs a disciplined editor that focuses on the story. The endless fight scenes (where only one good guy got hurt) is typical Hollywood fluff. That said I thought the camera work and cgi was stunning.
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Old December 18th, 2013, 04:52 PM   #10
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Re: The Hobbit: TDoS

Still better than Lucas crapping all over the Star Wars franchise.
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Old January 8th, 2014, 02:13 AM   #11
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Re: The Hobbit: TDoS

SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT - READ NO FURTHUR.


Firstly and foremost, I do not regard this film as a squandering of my time. It was a portion of my meagre allocation of personal movie-watching budget well spent, no regrets. People who write and kid themselves they are moviemakers sometimes are the worst audience and hardest to please.

That said, here follows a terrible admission to make - I dozed off about 30 minutes in for about five minutes. I was quite weary having got by on too little sleep the night before. Foolishly, I attended a night screening.

Disclaimer. - I did not "get" Tolkien" storytelling back in the 70's when I first encountered the novels and bailed on the franchise from the first book. Therefore I am not privy to the backstories and can make no comparison between the novels and the filmed adaptations.

So I represent the audience which has not been exposed to the extensive Tolkien "culture". This I guess has presented Peter Jackson with a dilemma. He has had to try finding the balance between making a standalone film story for the likes of myself yet also keep the faith with the audience "captured" by Tolkien into an alternative world.

I visited the film in its Read 3D iteration with polarised glasses and normal frame rate. It was a bit gloomy but so too was Star Wars way back when.

Technical visual. - Some of the 3D imaging of the tavern interiors in the opening looked a bit diorama (cardboard cutout). That will always happen and comes with the 3D territory and choice of longer than "normal" lenses for other artistic reasons. It was the only scene where this factor took me out of the story.

I had no sense of being cross-eyed or impending migraine so they have 3D pretty much sorted out. The almost claustrophobic environment of the villages, their detail and movement of the viewpoint through them had me feeling this is 3D at its best.

I felt that some of the expansive interior flying camera shots were there not because they should be but because they could be, almost like an Xbox on roids. I found myself marvelling at the tech and the sweeping camera moves in the mountain.

I found myself prompted by the apparent POV style of the camera moves into a tension expectation of an airborne winged Gollum creature, a small minion of the dragon, flying about surveilling intruders. That is perhaps an outcome of Star Wars conditioning, little droids scuttling about or something sticking its tongue out and eating something as momentary distraction breaks in scene changes.

Whilst things of beauty, some flyovers were not apparently motivated. I found myself wondering what I had missed, was I dumb and not picking up on things. Should I have come another night when I was not so weary?

Sound track. - Voice audio and diction was very good. Some US films feature dialogue which sounds as if it is delivered via the actor's own armpit - dreadful. I cannot complain about this enough. Diction and clarity is tops in this film fortunately. Choice of solid actors and their ability to deliver clear articulate dialogue has been key in this series.

My personal preference would have been to experience voiceover narration in a sort of storyteller and chapter presention, rather than resort to one particularly long piece of a character's expositionary dialogue to convey backstory. But that's just me, conditioned perhaps over too many years by too many other films seen.

Music underscore - Interesting. It was entirely complementary to the film, not competitive and did not draw attention to itself. I did drop out of the story in the later invasion of the Lake Village and anticipated a certain direction and flow to the underscore, "writing the music ahead" as it were. The composer almost seemed to be conscious of this and sent the flow in the opposite direction, equally valid for the moment.

The fact that I was brought out of the story during what was intended as a tense moment is another matter and not due to the underscore. I am a musician and do a bit of composing, so I observe movie underscore almost as a habit.

Like "Hunger Games Catching Fire" this film ends rather abruptly like a TV episode, a hook to get the audience back for the next instalment. Mini-series genre has not died. It has just migrated from television to the cinema.

I will go along to see the next episode in the big screen cinema where films like this need to be experienced, about seven rows back, slightly off to one side or the other to avoid the null zone which occurs for dialogue in some cinemas.

Last edited by Bob Hart; January 8th, 2014 at 02:15 AM. Reason: error
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