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The Hobbit & The Bridge LOTR Film - Page 2

post #51 of 416
Quote:
Originally posted by Barzun

It's going to be difficult for an audience to buy a bunch of Legolas clones waylaying the heroes and putting them in cells a hundred feet underground, stopping the story cold. So it'll be interesting to see how it's handled.
Dwarves waylaid by elves, mind you. All they have to do is make a reference to the enmity between elves and dwarves. That would be for the people who didn't see LOTR or didn't figure it out when they did see the movies. When I saw ROTK someone actually cheered when Frodo claimed the ring at the edge of the Crack of Doom. Some moviegoers are thick.

As for stopping the story cold--I think that any halfway decent writer and/or director might be able to find drama in a prison break. The clandestine exchange of information, avoiding guards, formulation of a plan, execution of the plan, etc. You know--like we've seen in a multitude of movies and TV shows.
post #52 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barzun
You completely misread the ending of the film. Do you think it's a coincidence that Jackson had Watts and Kong first 'bond', really bond, sitting in his lonely spot high up on his island, watching the sunrise? Jackson created that place and that moment for a reason- the ape presumably went up there all the time to do that, just for the beauty of it. Now, considering that, you honestly think it was an accident he took Watts to the highest place in her town to watch another sunrise?

It was the whole point of the film. "It was beauty killed the beast." Jackson made that line really mean something. If you missed all this or believe it wasn't in the film, I suggest you watch it again- it's there.
Sorry to keep bringing King Kong back up, but we're just going to have to agree to disagree. I'm not misreading the ending. I'm interpreting it differently. I don't think it was an accident that Kong climbed the building. I think he instinctively climbed to the highest spot he could find, thinking it woud be the safest place. I agree that he enjoyed watching sunsets, but his perch on Skull Island was right around the corner from his den, which was up on a mountain. I think the view of the sunset (or sunrise) was therefore serendipitous. I don't think he was thinking, "Well, I'm doomed no matter where I go so I might as well catch some rays one last time." I think his instinct was survival, not sacrifice.
post #53 of 416
Agreed. If climbing the building was about resigning himself to his fate, I hardly think he'd have bothered trying to fight off the biplanes. Besides, Barzun's interpretation lends a bit too much intelligence to the character, who is pretty much portrayed as a big gorilla for the rest of the movie. For him to realize that he's doomed before climbing the building credits him with a reasoning capacity that's never hinted at anywhere else in the story.
post #54 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barzun
Wasn't trying to be cute- only concise.

Ebert also favored Kong over the LOTR films- many did- but I'm sure your 'no' would silence them, too.

And I like poster Luca's expressing relief that if Jackson and Walsh made these films, they'd at least have ample source material to work with, and wouldn't have to "pull stuff out of their ass" like in Kong- "pulling stuff out of their ass" apparently being now a bad thing, and not simply the stock in trade of the creative artist. Frankly, Jackson is a better filmmaker than Tolkien was a writer- and it isn't close. I'd prefer him to invent, and it's little wonder that of his last four films, in which he's been able to do anything onscreen he wants, his best work was the one in which he invented the most and was least attached to source material.
Don't get me wrong, homes. I like all the stuff PJ and his crew added to LotR, and therefore was disappointed that all the added stuff to the original Kong tale wasn't as entertaining. I am now hopeful again that the works of Tolkien can once again inspire him to great filmmaking. Although I'm sure The Lovely Bones will kick its ass.

Anyone else think Braindead is still the guy's most fun movie?
post #55 of 416
I'm not necessarily agreeing completely with Barzun, but he's right about Kong not just being a big gorilla in that film. He gets angry when Ann won't dance for him anymore, he fights for her, he gives her a "See? You need me" look after he beats the rexes, he looks ashamed of what he's done when she finds him again in NYC -- there's a lot more going on there than "Me monkey, me smash".

I mean, when they released that sunset clip on Skull Island before the film was released, we all went nuts over it precisely because it looked like they were portraying Kong as an actual character.
post #56 of 416
Since when does an emotional connection with a human being suddenly equal reasoning and logical thought? My dog looks ashamed when he shits on the rug, it doesn't mean he understands a concept like his own mortality.
post #57 of 416
Quote:
Originally posted by Barzun

What fucking movie were you watching? I'm honestly amazed at this. You can't be this stupid. Where are the intelligent people? If you can't understand King Kong, you're going to have real trouble when you get to movies about ideas.
King Kong's lack of ideas is one of the reasons I find it so uninvolving. There are some moments of beauty, but not enough to get emotionally or intellectually invested in the movie as a whole.

Also, calm the Hell down. You're blowing a head gasket over a movie about a giant monkey.

edit: yes I know gorillas aren't monkeys. Monkey is just a funnier word.
post #58 of 416
I see it as a peaceful bonding moment between Anne and Kong, that gets echoed at the end on the Empire State. Until we get a Kong commentary, we'll never know if his motivations were survival or aesthetic... or to fling his poo down from terminal heights.


Back to Hobbit... It's pretty clear that Elves and Dwarves don't trust each other in FOTR from the time of the Council onwards. Gimli: "Never trust an elf!"
post #59 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by DARKMITE8
I see it as a peaceful bonding moment between Anne and Kong, that gets echoed at the end on the Empire State. Until we get a Kong commentary, we'll never know if his motivations were survival or aesthetic... or to fling his poo down from terminal heights.
It was doodie, killed the beast.
post #60 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by DARKMITE8

Back to Hobbit... It's pretty clear that Elves and Dwarves don't trust each other in FOTR from the time of the Council onwards. Gimli: "Never trust an elf!"
Thank you. Really.

Someone mentioned earlier about Raimi as possible director. I read somewhere (possibly here) that Del Toro might direct (it could be Oh Don Piano! who knows). I guess that nixes At the Mountains of Madness. I think he said something like his manager said facetiously that he is unemployed after Hellboy. He was so loaded down with projects, I guess he couldn't get funding. I could get behind a Del Toro Hobbit movie more than I could a Raimi version, he definitely grasps the deeper aspect of a fairy tale.

How would his production design aesthetic mesh with that of LOTR?
post #61 of 416
I don't think Kong was thinking "There's a lovely place for a bit of tragic death" -- he saw a high place, associated it with the high place on Skull Island that was peaceful for him, and thought he'd be peaceful up there as well.
post #62 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson
I'm not necessarily agreeing completely with Barzun, but he's right about Kong not just being a big gorilla in that film. He gets angry when Ann won't dance for him anymore, he fights for her, he gives her a "See? You need me" look after he beats the rexes, he looks ashamed of what he's done when she finds him again in NYC -- there's a lot more going on there than "Me monkey, me smash".

I mean, when they released that sunset clip on Skull Island before the film was released, we all went nuts over it precisely because it looked like they were portraying Kong as an actual character.
I'd suggest you do some research on gorillas, as you're woefully underestimating their intellectual and emotional capabilities. They're actually among the smartest animals on the planet. Read this, and this, then tell me that gorillas aren't capable of what Kong showed in that film.
post #63 of 416
I'm not saying he's a giant General Urko, but I think there's a level of intelligence implied that's beyond that of normal gorillas. I mean, you're buying into a giant ape fighting dinosaurs on an island in the 1930s, is it that hard to believe Kong has a little more going on upstairs than normal?
post #64 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson
I'm not saying he's a giant General Urko, but I think there's a level of intelligence implied that's beyond that of normal gorillas. I mean, you're buying into a giant ape fighting dinosaurs on an island in the 1930s, is it that hard to believe Kong has a little more going on upstairs than normal?
But he doesn't. I'm not saying that Kong is stupid, I'm saying that gorillas are very intelligent. He really doesn't do anything in the movie that normal gorillas aren't capable of. Read the links I gave you. One of the reasons my sister the zoologist liked this film was that Kong did behave like a gorilla. Seriously, do some reading before you argue this any more. You'll be surprised.
post #65 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg David
I'd suggest you do some research on gorillas, as you're woefully underestimating their intellectual and emotional capabilities. They're actually among the smartest animals on the planet. Read this, and this, then tell me that gorillas aren't capable of what Kong showed in that film.
I agree here. Everything Kong does in the film is consistent with the way actual gorillas act, aside from his falling for Anne in the first place.
post #66 of 416
I thought King Kong was a documentary. You mean Skull Island isn't a real place?
post #67 of 416
Shit.
post #68 of 416
Since this Kong argument went on after I suggested that Barzun and I agree to disagree, I just want to add that the reason I was so taken with the film in the first place was because Kong so accurately represented great ape behavior as we understand it. I have a degree in anthropology so the character was of particular interest to me.

I still maintain that they incorporated chimpanzee behavior into Kong's performance, but that's a minor complaint considering that the available data for chimps outweighs the data for gorilla behavior and that chimps are closer to humans both genetically and socially. The "reconciliation" between Kong and Ann after he feels slighted by her reproach was remarkable to watch, and is a well-known phenomenon in chimp behavior.

And no doubt gorillas are extremely intelligent. In fact, they outpace chimps when it comes to sign language capacity, which one might not expect. But strangely, they do much worse in captivity, and gorillas often die when enclosed for lengthy periods of time. They don't seem to have the strength of will, for lack of better terminolgy, that chimps do in those situations.

I don't mean to discount the relevance of the sunset and sunrise sequences of the film. I think they're poignant and full of meaning. But as Greg pointed out, it doesn't follow, as smart as he was, that Kong had the abstract reasoning ability to consider viewing the sunrise as more important than escape in the face of imminent danger. Escape as a motivation rings truer of ape behavior, and truer of the character. As human as the great apes seem, over-humanizing Kong would actually detract from the performance-- he's a digital character of astounding verisimilitude to a real ape, and that achievement does not diminish the signifigance of the sunrise scene.

Still, I see the film as a tragedy that doesn't dwell on the tragic aspects of the story nearly as closely as it should have. Meaning what I see as the central theme-- man's inhumanity to beast-- is not as well-developed as it should have been.
post #69 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hill
I still maintain that they incorporated chimpanzee behavior into Kong's performance, but that's a minor complaint considering that the available data for chimps outweighs the data for gorilla behavior and that chimps are closer to humans both genetically and socially.
Not to mention the fact that the performance is, at the end of the day, translated/performed/animated/created by humans.


Speaking of giant monsters (segue), I can't wait to see the design for Smaug. He's not just a generic dragon, he's a character, and one that's been in my mind nearly my whole life. I have to admit that my imagination is influenced a bit by the Rankin/Bass version, but I really hope he's unique enough compared to all the cinematic dragons that have come before.

"My armour is like tenfold shields, my teeth are swords, my claws spears, the shock of my tail is a thunderbolt, my wings a hurricane, and my breath... death!"
post #70 of 416
Smaug has many cat-like qualities. Not just in Tolkein's description, but in the way that he toys with Bilbo. They may incorporate feline featues into his design. This direction might give him more of a Japanese look, rather than the European lizard look.

This would especially work with the red and gold color of the dragon. Of course Japanese dragons tend to be more benevolent creatures in contrast to the symbols of greed that are the European dragons, but it could work.
post #71 of 416
I'd really love to see that, it would be fascinating and beautiful. European dragons are a little boring anyway, blending different elements would be a great way to go.
post #72 of 416
"My purrs are like earthquakes, my whiskers are like... nunchuks?... and my crotch-licking is... well... um... glorious."

post #73 of 416
Heh. I was thinking more jaguar and less Mr. Snuffles.
post #74 of 416
Quote:
Originally posted by The Gayest

Whoa, ignore the ending for a second. King Kong was better than all three LOTR movies? Isn't it kind of a shitty movie?
Yes, it is. It was Jackson's dream project for so long and he had such freedom after LOTR that it became an overbown, unfocused mess.

Anyway, so for Smaug--Asian dragon? Feline? What design elements will they use to differentiate it from other movie dragons and the Fell Beasts from LOTR?
post #75 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Gayest
Whoa, ignore the ending for a second. King Kong was better than all three LOTR movies? Isn't it kind of a shitty movie?
Yes, but Barzun has clearly established that he doesn't have a clue what he's talking about, so I wouldn't worry.
post #76 of 416
I don't think they'll go Asian with Smaug, simply because so much of the design in LOTR was solidly European. An Asian dragon would be startlingly out of place. I have enough faith in WETA that they can come up with a unique take on the classic European dragon.
post #77 of 416
Cthulhu, you beat me to it, I was going to point out the Howe and Lee representations as likely inspirations.
post #78 of 416
Those paintings are beautiful. When I said Asian, I meant in a subtler way. Not the mask-like face , but how Smaug would be more sinuous and snake-like. That is represented in a few of those paintings.

I could imagine Smaug not so much laying on his gold hourd, but wrapped around it protectively. I still think they should go with a more feline face. Reptilian is alright for a painting, but in motion you would need something more expressive. Cat faces can convey both sneakiness and malice quite well.
post #79 of 416
I've always had a soft spot for the Michael Hague version of Smaug, myself

post #80 of 416
Out of the Lee and Howe images, the bottom image has the most intimidating look. The others are almost too cartoony and delicate. I normally dig Lee and Howe alot, but they remind me of the one from Bluth's Dragon's Lair too much.



Also, not to piss on your parade, but I think my 3 year old daughter has a better grasp on anatomy and composition than Hague. Ugh.
post #81 of 416
Forget Smaug a second; what do you do with Bard? It seems to me if they're doing an Aragorn-heavy bridge film, then it might be a good idea to have him take over dragon-slaying duties, since the guy pretty much comes out of nowhere to do it anyway. Would be one way to tie his stuff to Bilbo's story.
post #82 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz
Forget Smaug a second; what do you do with Bard? It seems to me if they're doing an Aragorn-heavy bridge film, then it might be a good idea to have him take over dragon-slaying duties, since the guy pretty much comes out of nowhere to do it anyway. Would be one way to tie his stuff to Bilbo's story.
Ugh, no way. Canonically it's completely wrong, and even given how they've tweaked canon before, it makes as much sense for Aragorn to show up out of the blue as a dragon slayer as it is to have a new character do the same. Besides, Bard leads the Men in the Battle of Five Armies, which Aragorn seems reluctant to do until Helm's Deep. It wouldn't make sense given the arc Jackson gave Aragorn.

Bard leads the defense of Laketown when Smaug first appears, and he's among the group that meets Thorin and company when they first arrive. So you flashback to him leading the defense when the dwarves tell the story of their escape from the Lonely Mountain, and re-establish him when the group arrives at Laketown. That's plenty of time to establish the character.
post #83 of 416
John Rhys-Davies wouldn't put that make-up on again at gun point.
post #84 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Cthulhu
But I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't talk...
I wouldn't be surprised, but I'd be very disappointed. If he doesn't speak, we lose a lot of what makes him interesting. Having large creatures speak onscreen is always tricky, but I'd love for them to find a way.
post #85 of 416
Yes, Smaug should definitely speak. Besides well, being fucking dragons, it's their intelligence that made Tolkien's dragons capable of destroying entire kingdoms.

And a huge, desperate, Darth Vader worthy, no to Aragorn replacing Bard.
post #86 of 416
Quote:
Originally posted by Greg David
Having large creatures speak onscreen is always tricky, but I'd love for them to find a way.
Considering how far Weta has taken character CGI, I doubt they'd wuss out on that challenge. Despite it being dramatically dead, look what they did with Narnia. I look at that film as Hobbit practice, anyway.
post #87 of 416
I'm more concerned about the script and cast. They'll need to flesh out the personalities of the dwarves a lot. A really good writer could make fourteen different personalities clashing on a long trip fantastic.

Thorin needs to be someone who portrays arrogance and greed as charming qualities. I'm thinking Ian McShane.

Sample dialogue--"...them pointy-eared cocksuckers, noses in the air, eyein' this treasure like it was their's."
post #88 of 416
That and Smaug was intelligent in the book. Bilbo had to use both his wit and his cunning to get in and trick Smaug. If he's a voiceless beasty, we loose a lot of what made him so dangerous--all Bilbo has to do is put on the Ring and he can get in and out without a problem. Also, it's his conversation with Smaug that leads the dragon to believe that the people of Lake Town are behind this burglary, hence why the dragon decides to roast the place after Bilbo escapes.
post #89 of 416
Quote:
Originally posted Uncle Cthulhu

I think they definitely should figure out a way to make him a speaking beast without it seeming utterly stupid or feeling like an element that's just really far removed from the other films.
That's the reason the eagles didn't speak in LOTR. Part of it was technological and part of it was the fact that eagles don't have lips (an obvious observation) or any flexibility in their face and it would look stupid. That's going to be a little harder to get around in this film.

Dragons, on the other hand, are imaginary creatures so there is more flexibility in how Smaug is designed and presented. Smaug needs to speak because those scenes were some of the most effective dialogue wise. Smaug uses Bilbo's fear against him. Bilbo seems to be handling the dragon carefully but he over plays it leading the dragon to temporarily trap the dwarves in the hidden passage and to attack Dale. This leads the men and elves to the Lonely Mountain, etc. Smaug being a character instead of just a monster is essential. Anyway around it would be awkward like that moth bullshit in LOTR.

My question is--how are they going to handle talking ravens? Roac passes a lot of info to different characters--especially how to kill the dragon. Maybe Bard could just notice the spot in the hollow of the left breast.
post #90 of 416
The cartoon didn't have the ravens, it used a thrush that spoke but was never heard -- it clues in Bilbo as to the location of the keyhole to the secret door, ti accompanies him down into the dragon's lair, and Bilbo tells him Smaug's weakness and to find Bard and tell him.

I didn't think the moth was that bad, but the Lord of the Eagles has some great lines in The Hobbit that I would hate to see gone.
post #91 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Cthulhu
I have to disagree with your point here.

There's no reason they can't make him an intelligent beast without making him talk, no reason why they have to make it to where Bilbo just simply slides the ring on and that's all there is to it...no problems getting in and out. Whether or not he talks, Bilbo still has to be extremely careful. So no reason they can't show Smaug's intelligence in other ways, by making it so Bilbo isn't so careful making his way around the dragon. He knocks some treasure over...leaves behind footprints in the dirt which Smaug catches sight of, or shit, Bilbo somehow loses the ring and he's got a very angry dragon all pissed at him.

I realize by saying this I'm sort of disagreeing with what I posted before...but I'll say again with a bit more emphasis, I think they definitely should figure out a way to make him a speaking beast without it seeming utterly stupid or feeling like an element that's just really far removed from the other films.
They had a talking dragon in Dragonheart. Is Peter Jackson really going to let himself be shown up by that? Not a chance.
post #92 of 416
They could always go the route of having Smaug be telepathic so he speaks with his mind and without moving his mouth, but that seems like an awful lot of hoop-jumping.
post #93 of 416
That wouldn't fit within the LOTR world. They would need to do one of two things. a. some kind of wave effect from the dragon to Bilbo and then show Bilbo resisting something--which would be cheesy and a cop-out or b. they would do the dialogue in voice-over. This would be like Lynch's Dune and we don't want that.
post #94 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Cthulhu
I'm sure they will remain consistent with that vision while making it a bit fresher and unique.
Sure, if they want him to look like a sock puppet.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomasMN
I'm more concerned about the script and cast. They'll need to flesh out the personalities of the dwarves a lot. A really good writer could make fourteen different personalities clashing on a long trip fantastic.
Just make one grumpy, one bashful, one sleepy...


Smaug needs to talk. That's a great scene the way it plays out... the banter between the 2 characters. The thrush flies close and whispers into the ears of Bilbo and Bard (easily done in live action). For examples of psychic dragons, see Eragon (or not if you don't want to subject yourself to it). The dragon and the way she was handled were the most successful parts of that flick. Real life parrots/magpies/rooks seem to be able to talk just fine without lips (for concerns about the eagles, etc).
post #95 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Cthulhu
Just saying...they should stay as far away from that bastardization of Smaug in the animated movie as possible, and I'm sure they will.
Considering I saw the cartoon (and am quite fond of it) way before reading the book, it doesn't bother me in the slightest.
post #96 of 416
I feel a wave of nostalgia for that cartoon. It's not good though. When FOTR came out I rented it and was shocked at how bad it was compared to the way I remember it. Some of the animation and backgrounds are good, but the story is over simplified. Gollums a lizard now? All of that warbly voiced music? There were markers in Middle Earth? Sting has magic kaleidoscope power against spiders? Wood elves look like Gollum and are Russian? When I said Smaug should be cat like I didn't mean Azrael.
post #97 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Cthulhu
If that's your definitive Smaug, you need a better imagination.
I didn't say "definitive"... I just don't have any animosity.
post #98 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Cthulhu
Well to each their own, but I'm really really glad that most do not share that same fondness...

For those who havn't seen it, have a look. If that's your definitive Smaug, you need a better imagination.
Definitive? No. But certainly not bad in any way. It isn't your typical european dragon design, but that's actually what I like about it.

But leaving aside whether you're being too harsh on the design, I don't understand your statement that "most do not share that same fondness". Who are these "most"? I doubt that "most" have even seen it. But even among those who have, I haven't heard a lot of badmouthing of the dragon design. Maybe you're reading too much into the comments on the Youtube page.
post #99 of 416
The movies haven't even started filming yet and we're already arguing about creature design and scene setups. This thread is going to be epic and I love it.

I think there's no point in arguing about Smaug though. Considering how close to Lee's and Howe's designs Jackson stayed for everything in the LOTR movies Smaug's look won't be an exception.
post #100 of 416
As long as Sean Connery doesn't do the voice.
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