The Hobbit Thread.

Rade K

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A movie can be a made competently and still be a disappointment, that's what differs between 1/2-point: you think this movie was a success, I think it was a disappointment given its pedigree.


Ron Howard's career in a nutshell.
 

MilkManX

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Second one is called The Desolation of Smaug and the third one is, I believe, There and Back Again.

Saw it in 24 FPS this morning and greatly enjoyed it. I am a fan of decompressed stories that take a long time to tell. I'm into culture building and world building in fiction, and this movie had that in spades. I've heard it said that this trilogy's length is a result of Jackson's hubris and studio demands for more money. Those things may be true, but if they result in two more movies as entertaining as this one was, then there's nothing wrong with it.

I disagree with the criticism that the movie going into 'Jar Jar' territory, like some reviews have said. I like the fact that dwarves are sort of silly at times. I like the fact that Radagast rides around on a sled pulled by rabbits. I like the fact that trolls argue with each other like they're in a Monty Python skit. I like how light the goblins seem compared to the orcs. The orcs were all blood and guts and savagery, and if the goblins were just smaller, paler versions of the orcs, they'd seem redundant.

LOTR was really heavy, and The Hobbit needs to be about something else. There are plenty of good character arcs and emotional payoffs, and Thorin is given so much more context and detail than he received in the original story because of how they padded the parts of his past that drive him. The end is especially poignant and is a great feelgood moment.

Speaking of LOTR, I felt that the movie had the appropriate amount of cameos, appearances and nods to the previous trilogy. This movie is a 'bridge' and people need to be 'weaned' off of the prior films. Those connections need to still be there, but I expect we'll see less and less of them as time goes on. Unless there are some serious plot contrivances, we won't see Gollum again, for example. But we are likely to see Legolas in the second film as that's probably where the Murkwood stuff happens.

I also am not down with the 'too many endings' criticism. That is something others are welcome to feel, but I love it when a movie I've just enjoyed refuses to end. It's like leaving a party you really had a good time at and you keep going back in to say goodbye to one more person. It's a good feeling.

The acting is spot on. Sir Ian McKellan can do so much without ever saying a word. It's an amazing trait for an actor to possess. Martin Freeman does an admirable job with Bilbo, and finds the right note of uncertainty without becoming an annoying weakling. You feel Bilbo is afraid, but he's seizing the moment in spite of his hesitations. That's important, as it makes Bilbo likeable.

Richard Armitage is excellent as Thorin, and he brings a certain gravity to the role. In the movie, you learn why dwarves and elves dislike each other (to some extent) and Armitage does a good job making you believe that Thorin just doesn't want anything to do with them-it is not just a demand of the script that Thorin be standoffish towards them. You also get a good feeling for his dislike of orcs based on the historical reveal at the gates of Moria. Thorin is a complex character who understands he has a destiny, the gravity of that and the flaws he has as a leader of dwarves. He must be king, but he is struggling with needs versus wants. He brings out the internal conflict well.

The soundtrack is a good mix of old and new. When you see Bilbo, you hear the Baggins theme. When you see the ring, you hear the familiar chords. And the dwarves come with their own all new theme music that really hits the right notes and feels 'dwarven.'

I have a couple of criticisms of the film, however.

I really wish they'd spend a little more time contextualizing the eagles' continual involvement, however. Like many have said...if the eagles are willing to help Gandalf out of a pinch, why not go the extra distance and just take the dwarves to the Lonely Mountain? It seems to me like at some point, the rules that dictate their involvement need to be squared up and made plain so that these plot holes can be shored up. Whatever reasons Tolkein gave, and whatever reason Jackson gives, until it's actually GIVEN, it's just a machina to bail the characters out. Children's book or no, audiences ask these questions, and the glaring ones simply need to be answered. You can't just myopically expect the audience to go with anything you want to do. If that's the case, why not have Hell's Angels ride in on motorcycles and shoot the orcs to death. Gandalf could whisper to a biker slut and she could run to the bar and get them. Hey, it's a children's book so anything goes, right? Right?

I also think WETA needs to spend a little more time making some of their creatures look more organic. The wargs in LOTR never really looked right or meshed with their world. It's the same here. They've improved considerably with Gollum and especially the white skinned orc, and the eagles look fine, but when it comes to feral, 'dire' versions of animals that already exist, they still look cartoonishly out of place in spots.

Overall, I give the movie 4 out of 5.

NOTE: One thing I found curious was that I didn't see the scene when Bilbo comes across Elendil in Rivendell. I saw the scene in the trailers but it was nowhere to be found in the cut of the film I witnessed. A strange scene to cut, since the commercial promised it. I wonder if they decided that there were already enough nods and bridges from the LOTR trilogy.

Yes! I also really enjoyed it. I am much the same as I prefer Howard over Tolkien as far as fiction any day of the week but I love Tolkiens world so the movies make that much more enjoyable for me.
 

aria

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Don't even get me started on the historical inaccuracies! :p
 

Magician

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Wake me up when The Silmarillion gets a SyFy mini series.
 

aria

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At least John Rhys-Davies would get more Tolkein related work, then.

His lack of subsequent success should be called the "Curse of the Tattoo" --or something like that for having been the only member of the Fellowship to not get his elvish tat.
 

Taiso

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His lack of subsequent success should be called the "Curse of the Tattoo" --or something like that for having been the only member of the Fellowship to not get his elvish tat.

I wonder if there's something we don't know about the whole tattoo business. Something like 'you can't get one where someone else in the fellowship got theirs.'

Maybe the only spot left for Rhys-Davies was a tramp-stamp?

Maybe while he was getting out of all that makeup, everyone else went to the tattoo parlor and called dibs on the less humilating areas.
 

aria

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I wonder if there's something we don't know about the whole tattoo business. Something like 'you can't get one where someone else in the fellowship got theirs.'

Maybe the only spot left for Rhys-Davies was a tramp-stamp?

Maybe while he was getting out of all that makeup, everyone else went to the tattoo parlor and called dibs on the less humilating areas.

I dunno, he could've opted to put it on his wang and had all sorts of puns at his beck and call: "Return of the King", "I call it The Hobbit", etc.
 

Taiso

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I dunno, he could've opted to put it on his wang and had all sorts of puns at his beck and call: "Return of the King", "I call it The Hobbit", etc.

I bet that spot was taken by Sir Ian.
 

norton9478

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Finally watched the Hobbit movie (back problems had been keeping me from sitting in the theater for 3 hours).

Was actually impressed. Much better than expected (with all of the filler). Not sure how much of the LOTR appendices was invented or repourposed but it did work rather well at taking a light story and using it to make a proper prequel. Makes me wonder if he could actually adapt the Silmarillion.

I liked Martin Freeman as Bilbo. I thought he did rather well. It was helpful that he also played Arthur Dent in H2G2. I have always thought that Arthur Dent was partly modeled after Bilbo.



At least John Rhys-Davies would get more Tolkein related work, then.

Look at what the series did for Sean Bean. He has played Borimier a few times over.
 

Taiso

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Look at what the series did for Sean Bean. He has played Borimier a few times over.

No doubt. Dude keeps getting killed in all his performances, and he's arguably the best thing about everything he's in. People say Dinklage is tops in Game of Thrones, but I disagree. I like him a lot, but Bean had the unenviable role of likeable straight man in a show where there are a lot of actors clearly relishing the SKULLDUGGERY.

I really need to watch some of the Sharpe stuff. I like Bernard Cornwell's writing a lot, and I've heard the Sharpe TV movies are enjoyable.
 

norton9478

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I'm sure I've seen many non midevil/fantasy movies with sean bean in them.

But the only time I recognize him is when he plays a borimer-like character.
 

Normdog

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Teaser Trailer







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MilkManX

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Yeah I am looking forward to this. Already spotted some of my favorite bits from the book.
 

Taiso

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Yeah, that trailer looks really good.

And I'm really enjoying seeing Legolas in so much of the trailer.

I'm okay with the revisions for this.
 

aria

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I'm going to see it, because I figure they learned from the issues with Hobbit I. If they don't then I figure at worst this will end up as an overall-better-version of the Star Wars prequels.
 

NeoTheranthrope

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Actually. The more i keep thinking about it, the more i realize the movie did have a lot of extra shit the book didn't. Like all the stuff with radagast. Which means they probably changed plot points around a bit to make him relevant to story. Sad, this.

I blame this on political correctness and multiculturalism run-amok: where Radagast the Brown was added in, was purely to fill the minority quota; as the token wizard of color.
 

Normdog

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Official Main Trailer







& new banner

F0aUJb7.jpg
 

Taiso

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New trailer looks great and I'm pretty pumped after watching that.

Evangeline Lilly was born to play an elf in Jackson's version of Middle Earth.
 

Magician

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Benedict Cumberbatch's career is on fire right now.
 
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