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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Post-Release

post #1 of 963
Thread Starter 

I know, I know. I'll try to be fair. Let's start the post-release convo with an even-handed approach.

 

Glad to know I didn't hate this, but... this is for the Extended Edition nuts who have seen the first films several times. Not necessarily for the casual Rings fans. Which is to say it's slow, even laborious. Which becomes a challenge because there's something very lightweight about a lot of this. Couple of characters have an exchange that's essentially...

-"So there's a door [to the mountain?]"

-"But it's a dwarf door!"

-'And dwarf doors are invisible when shut!"

That sort of thing.

 

Bilbo goes from being ok to somewhat unlikable in one late scene, which I will SPOIL because spoilers here on out. He encounters Gollum and tries to get around him, but also swipes the ring. THE ring. He has no idea what the ring does yet, but he insists on taking it anyway. And this freaks Gollum the fuck out. And this is the best scene in the film - Gollum looks INCREDIBLE, they did an amazing job bringing him to life. And your heart breaks for him, because he comes across as a desperate, pathetic junkie, desperate for a friend, playing pathetic word games to keep Bilbo around. On a micro level, this is compelling, but I wonder if the non-die hards are going to be cool about fifteen minutes of riddles.

 

Anyway, what's most upsetting about this scene is that Bilbo is essentially trying to get away with the ring, so he's almost fucking with this pathetic, disgusting creature. It's genuinely unnerving, moreso when they try to tack on the lesson Bilbo has supposedly learned about casual murder, as if the decision to not kill this junkie who just wants his jewelry back is a bold move. Bilbo is an ass in this. And DJ Thorin Oakenfold, meant to be this installment's Aragorn, is just a fucking sourpuss who bitches about Bilbo being lame the entire time and then goes out in the final fight (but lives) like a total bitch.

 

Weirdly, Christopher Lee looks younger (and more CGI-ish) but Ian McKellan looks older. Gandalf does the old wizardly thing, but they even have a line referencing how the gang treats him like an all-purpose swiss army knife. They pull the whole "everyone's in danger, let's ignore that Gandalf hasn't shown up yet" thing like three times. The dwarfs, meanwhile... yeah, fidelity, fidelity. You could have cut half of these dudes. They have little cute standout moments, but Peter Jackson mostly treats them like objects to render with CGI, then cobble together into a ball of bodies and roll down a hill.

 

The 48 fps thing... hope you like telenovelas! It makes the fake stuff look more fake. It animates the casual body movements to look as if it's in fast-forward. It looks like the cut scene from a videogame demo, shiny as hell, and completely weightless. Not a fan. Curious that this is where movies are headed. I could watch a sporting event like this, I guess.

 

I do believe it has to be Guillermo Del Toro who snuck the line, "They've desecrated our sacred holes!" into this.

post #2 of 963

Been decades since I read the book, but just saw my friend's kid in a play based on The Hobbit last month (high school for the arts, 4 student-puppeteers to work the dragon, it was kind of amazing).  Aren't those characterizations of Bilbo and Thorin largely true to the book?  

 

I suppose Gollum comes off as more sympathetic post-LOTR, when you know his back-story; to readers of The Hobbit, he was just supposed to be an unsympathetic cave monster.  One of the problems of doing the more juvenile prequel after the more fully fleshed out stories.

post #3 of 963
I agree. It's having seen or read LOTR that makes Gollum the victim and Bilbo the agent of the Ring's will to come to the surface. If The Hobbit is the first Tolkein you read, it's poor little Bilbo, in over his head but keeping his wits and courage long enough to overcome the mysterious cave humanoid.

Not surprised to hear that the 48 fps is inappropriate for this movie. No, I'm not going to see it in that format myself before judging. I can identify a bad idea when I see in print without sending the wrong message by paying the ticket price.
post #4 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabe T View Post

Anyway, what's most upsetting about this scene is that Bilbo is essentially trying to get away with the ring, so he's almost fucking with this pathetic, disgusting creature.

So essentially the problem here is the film doesn't sell the idea that the ring itself is a mindfuck which assholifies a mofo? Or is it that the movie does sell the idea that Bilbo turns cunt because of the ring's mindfuck but it remains upsetting to see this wretch suffering his withdrawals anyway, Bilbo's messed-with moral fortitude aside?
post #5 of 963
Thread Starter 

Not sure, to be honest. Little of both.

 

Whatever the case, they played up Gollum as far too genuinely tragic. There's something that, with the 48 fps perhaps, feels far too real when placed against wacky reluctant adventurer Bilbo. It's all in the execution.

 

A good example of what's going on with this film is a conceptually awesome scene where the crew is climbing this massive mountain. And then it turns out it's two mountains, they are alive, and they want to start fighting each other. Which is ridiculous, amusing, and a little scary. So why is it that when the mountains fight, they merely take humanoid form and start throwing haymakers? Is that not the dumbest, and most obvious way to present that goofy-ass moment? We have all the world's CGI at our disposal, let's interrupt exploration of Middle Earth for Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Mountains?

post #6 of 963

In the book, anyway, Bilbo simply picks the ring up right before encountering Gollum and doesn't even realize it's Gollum's "precious" until he starts making overtures about using it to eat Bilbo. At this time The Ring and its more ardent power of influence was still mostly dorment; it just wanted to get away from Gollum. There's a reason it remains under Gandalf's nose for sixty years before he figures out what it is. I don't know how the film fuddles with the details, but in the novel Bilbo acquiring it was pure happenstance on his part; The Ring was hoping an orc or goblin would happen by it, something easily controlled and manipulated. He holds onto it when he realizes it turns the wearer invisible and that Gollum intends to eat him even though he won.

post #7 of 963

GabeT has now been outed as a time traveler.

 

He's seen Django Unchained, he's seen Zero Dark Thirty and he's seen this. He's just waiting a decent interval before he makes an Iron Man 3 post-release thread. Oh, and GabeT, how's this fiscal cliff thing gonna play out? You can tell us.

post #8 of 963
Thread Starter 

Ironically, the poor will eat the rich. It's gonna be awesome.

 

Apropos of nothing, the next Tyler Perry movie makes $400 million.

post #9 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabe T View Post

 

Anyway, what's most upsetting about this scene is that Bilbo is essentially trying to get away with the ring, so he's almost fucking with this pathetic, disgusting creature. It's genuinely unnerving, moreso when they try to tack on the lesson Bilbo has supposedly learned about casual murder, as if the decision to not kill this junkie who just wants his jewelry back is a bold move. Bilbo is an ass in this. And DJ Thorin Oakenfold, meant to be this installment's Aragorn, is just a fucking sourpuss who bitches about Bilbo being lame the entire time and then goes out in the final fight (but lives) like a total bitch.

 

 

 

 

 

Bilbo needed Gollum's help to get out of the caves - although strangely enough he finds the way out once Gollum starts chasing him (that's a plothole). However, Bilbo doesn't realise what the Ring means to Gollum until after the contest, at which point it's clear Gollum wants to kill Bilbo anyway. By the time they're at the door and Bilbo is deciding what to do with him, he's reliant on the Ring - if Gollum saw him he'd be toast. So I don't think it's fair to call him an ass at all.

 

As for Thorin, I kind of like that aspect of him - he IS an ass, as he was in the book. An arrogant, short-sighted and greedy ass. I'd be annoyed if he was just another Aragorn.

 

 

Just got back from seeing this in 48FPS 3D at the Empire in Leicester Square. My initial thoughts:

 

-If you love the Extended Editions you'll love this - otherwise the first hour will be real tedious.

 

-Radagast IS a bit of a Jar Jar, but this is much better than Phantom Menace. And he's not in it much.

 

-48FPS is... different. Not bad, or great, just different. If you plan to see this twice make one of them HFR.

 

-3D is still take it or leave it, but there are some fantastic effects at the start of the film.

 

-The acting is uniformly excellent, but Bilbo is a bit lost in the crowd.

 

-Almost all the orcs are costume, but the CG is pretty seamless, even at HFR.

 

-Blanchett looks even better than ever, and so does Weaving. And Lee, for that matter.

 

-The whole thing drags at the beginning and gets much better towards the end. It's very much setup, and people's experience will vary, but I think on the whole most people will really enjoy it. The pacing will hurt repeat viewings, though.

post #10 of 963

For fans that enjoy spending time in this world, is the bloat too noticeable? Is it MORE like Extended versions and welcome? Or MORE like "Let's get to Skull Island ALREADY!!!!"?

post #11 of 963

The duration and content is fine, it's the pacing of the first half that's off. I didn't think any of the stuff in Bag End was bloat at all, but the character beats were awkward and it really felt like the film struggled to get going.

 

The intro with Frodo and Bilbo went too long (although the Erebor stuff was great), and after the Bag End sequence the film really needed to get moving and it didn't - the troll scene dragged in my opinion. The scenes with Radagast felt out of place and clownish, seeing as they don't really go anywhere in this film. And there is a great bit where Balin talks to Bilbo about the battle at the gates of Moria (awesome scene), but again, the film needed to be moving at that point and it wasn't.

 

Once they got to Rivendell (I'm assuming at about the halfway mark), things picked up brilliantly and from then on it was all systems go.

 

So to summarise, for me it really felt like watching the Extended Edition first. If you enjoyed the longer cuts you love it, but I have a feeling general audiences won't feel the film has enough of a sense of 'epicness' to warrant the slowness of the first half.

post #12 of 963

Out of curiosity where does this film end? Is it just when the escape the Goblins? How much additional material is in this? Does is distract from the main story?

 

And most importantly I think, is it better than Mirror, Mirror?

post #13 of 963

Do we get a good look at Smaug the Dragon?

post #14 of 963
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by felix View Post

Do we get a good look at Smaug the Dragon?

Mostly in the opening when he destroys most of Lonely Mountain. I don't remember it being too specific, though I wasn't looking for detail, I was still in, "OK, impress me" mode.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike's Pants View Post

Out of curiosity where does this film end? Is it just when the escape the Goblins? How much additional material is in this? Does is distract from the main story?

 

And most importantly I think, is it better than Mirror, Mirror?

It is better than Mirror Mirror.

 

As for the end,

 

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

After the Goblin fight, there's some, "Oh shit, that was rough" followed by some more scenery BS, and then a shot of Smaug's eye looking towards the audience. Because in the 21st century, CGI dragons break the fourth wall.

post #15 of 963

The film ends when the company are rescued from a horde of orcs and wargs by the giant eagles (summoned, once more, by Gandalf), and deposited on a rocky outcropping overlooking Mirkwood and the Lonely Mountain. It's a great ending scene actually. The eagles look incredible soaring over the mountains as the sun rises. 

 

Considering the book of the Hobbit is pretty short there's obviously some additional material, but the film follows the narrative of the book lavishly, hence the length. The added stuff is mostly Radagast's adventures with hedgehogs and ghosts (you'll see for youself); added battles at various points involving orcs; scenes at Rivendell involving the aforementioned Weaving, Blanchett and Lee; and the introduction of a 'boss orc', Azog, as a nemesis for Thorin. So really the added material doesn't add up to a whole lot - it's just that pretty much EVERYTHING in the book is in the film, which goes to show that you can make big film(s) out of a small book. Whether or not it's justified, I think, will really come down to the individual viewer.

 

Certainly I think the film benefits from having a well-paced, exciting and expertly executed second half, which helps cancel out a lot of the previous slack.

 

Regarding Mirror, Mirror, I have yet to have the pleasure.

post #16 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by felix View Post

Do we get a good look at Smaug the Dragon?

 

I didn't see him at all during the prologue, it was mostly just fire and smoke - I need to see that sequence again as it was all a bit overwhelming.

 

You see his eye in the final shot.

post #17 of 963

One last question. Do we get to see Gandalf or Radagast do any Wizard magic stuff?

post #18 of 963

My one question is does Howard Shore bring his LOTR excellence to the score? Honestly the score from the Trilogy is the thing that will live on in movie lore for all time

post #19 of 963

Yes. Gandalf does an old trick of his with the trolls, and later with the goblins in the mountains as well. He kind of kicks ass in this film.

 

Radagast does... something with a crystal and a hedgehog. If you can explain what it is exactly after you see it I'd be very grateful.

post #20 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by bravejoe24 View Post

My one question is does Howard Shore bring his LOTR excellence to the score? Honestly the score from the Trilogy is the thing that will live on in movie lore for all time

 

There are a lot of familiar themes but to be honest it was hard to notice - certainly nothing original seems to have stuck in my mind as of yet. Perhaps that will come in the later films.

 

The old score still sounds magical though, especially at Rivendell. And the song the dwarves sing is pretty stirring (I think there's a version of it in the end credits).

post #21 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike's Pants View Post

Out of curiosity where does this film end?

 

I've seen a couple of reviews that point out it only gets up to chapter 6:

 

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey barely leaves the driveway. The film lasts for 11 minutes short of three hours, and takes us to the end of chapter six in Tolkien’s original novel, which falls on page 130 of the official movie tie-in edition. That’s half an hour per chapter, or one minute and 20 seconds per page."

post #22 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Blank View Post

 

I've seen a couple of reviews that point out it only gets up to chapter 6:

 

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey barely leaves the driveway. The film lasts for 11 minutes short of three hours, and takes us to the end of chapter six in Tolkien’s original novel, which falls on page 130 of the official movie tie-in edition. That’s half an hour per chapter, or one minute and 20 seconds per page."

 

Actually, that's not as much bloat as I expected. A minute a page isn't atypical for adapting a book (and is what I've usually used as my guideline). It obviously ranges very, very widely, depending on the author, but a 100 page novella typically translates pretty straightforwardly to a 100 minute movie without any substantial addition or subtraction.

post #23 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Grimm View Post

 

Actually, that's not as much bloat as I expected. A minute a page isn't atypical for adapting a book (and is what I've usually used as my guideline). It obviously ranges very, very widely, depending on the author, but a 100 page novella typically translates pretty straightforwardly to a 100 minute movie without any substantial addition or subtraction.

One page does not equal one minute when you're talking about the novel format; it only applies (kind of) to scripts.

post #24 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Clark View Post

One page does not equal one minute when you're talking about the novel format; it only applies (kind of) to scripts.

 

What I mean is that, when doing an adaptation, it's a very loose general guide for written fiction. Novellas - which are usually in the 80-120 page range - tend to translate most directly to movies without either adding or chopping a lot. Short stories usually need to either really decompress or add material when they're being adapted into a movie, and novels almost always need to shed scenes and sometimes whole subplots. That's where I get the page-per-minute for books.

post #25 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Clark View Post

In the book, anyway, Bilbo simply picks the ring up right before encountering Gollum and doesn't even realize it's Gollum's "precious" until he starts making overtures about using it to eat Bilbo. At this time The Ring and its more ardent power of influence was still mostly dorment; it just wanted to get away from Gollum. There's a reason it remains under Gandalf's nose for sixty years before he figures out what it is. I don't know how the film fuddles with the details, but in the novel Bilbo acquiring it was pure happenstance on his part; The Ring was hoping an orc or goblin would happen by it, something easily controlled and manipulated. He holds onto it when he realizes it turns the wearer invisible and that Gollum intends to eat him even though he won.

 

And that's more or less how it plays in the movie, too. There are minor differences-- Bilbo deduces the answer to the "time" riddle, instead of squeaking out "I need more time!" so meekly that Gollum only hears the last word, for example-- but other than that, it's faithful. Bilbo notices the ring out of the corner of his eye while brushing himself off following a nasty fight with a goblin and a nastier fall into the bowels of the mountain. He pockets it (natch), and he observes Gollum caving the still-kicking goblin's skull in as preparation for dinner. 


Which makes the "Bilbo is an ass" read kind of off to me (and here I'm respond to Gabe more than you, Greg-- sorry!), because as much as Gollum is a pitiable creature ruined by a cruel stroke of fate and the malice of the ring, he's also a psychotic serial killer who can sneak through the dark undetected (by Bilbo at least), has a habit of really brutally murdering hobbit-sized creatures, and has a clear wish to eat Bilbo. In other words, Bilbo is at a really distinct set of disadvantages when he encounters Gollum-- he has no martial or physical skill and he's not brave, either, so he's at the mercy of this flesh-eating creature who is frankly more terrifying than any goblin or orc we run into in the rest of the film. Introduce riddles into their dynamic, though, and Bilbo has an edge.

 

And he presses that edge, which I think has the effect of making him look like he's arrogantly bullying this poor little twisted monster, except that this poor little twisted monster wants to and has the capability to kill Bilbo without much difficulty. Bilbo does what he has to do to keep Gollum at bay. Is he a thief? Sure, I guess, but he's not trying to get away with the ring-- he's trying to get away with his life. He tries to make off with the ring only in the sense that he keeps it in his pocket when Gollum deduces that his precious is the "what" in Bilbo's final riddle, and at that point there's really little use in Master Baggins trying to return the stolen property to his pursuer, because Gollum would just kill him anyways. (And would anyone really apply cool logic to that scenario? I know if a tweaking meth head ran after me screaming I stole his precious, I wouldn't think twice about the crummy discarded ring I found in the alleyway, I'd run like hell.)

 

I walked out of the whole film feeling relieved and elated. I'm quite in disagreement with early mixed reviews: The Hobbit is great. Bloat, length, excess...these are some of the characteristics that help give the Rings films body, depth, and character, and some of the details that made us fall in love with them a decade ago. Reading criticism that singles out those very elements strikes me as odd; in 2001, 2002, and 2003, I feel like we praised the Rings films for many of the same things. Granted, Rings and The Hobbit are different narratives, but I don't think the bloat of The Hobbit engorges it so much that it lands on a scale inappropriate to its narrative scope. Do I think some things could have been cut? Sure, and I think the "Extended Edition" comments are appropriate, but I also don't think that the movie is "extended" to the point of being overstuffed. As Martin points out, the first movie leaves us roughly a third of the way through the book and raises a lot of stuff from the appendices regarding the Necromancer, the Dwarf/Orc war, and the destruction of Erebor and Dale, all things that have levels of significance to the actual narrative of The Hobbit

 

I should disclose the fact that I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Tolkien fan and one lover of his work who thinks Jackson is a very worthy ambassador between the literary and cinematic versions of Middle Earth. You may want to take my praise well-salted, then, but I think highly enough of myself to state confidently that my bias doesn't leave me blind to reality. There are places where the movie drags slightly-- the beginning of the film in which Old Bilbo and Frodo prepare for the former's birthday, leading into the start of Fellowship, and the White Council meeting-- and, yes, the dwarves largely remain background characters while a select few (Dwalin, Balin, Bofur, Fili, Kili, and of course Thorin) actually are given personalities. Then again, in a movie that's so long, I can only imagine that bringing all of them to the forefront really would weigh the movie down, so there's that. They have stuff to do, but we only get to know a few of them. That feels right.

 

There's a wonderful "returning home" quality to the movie that, I suspect, impacted me because of my fondness for the material. I'm not sure that the casual fans will feel that same pull, but that beckoning familiarity exists in support of the same sense of wonder and magic that I believe drew in crowds for the Rings films in the early aughts. The world-building here is exquisite, whether we're traveling through Dwarven kingdoms, druid dwellings, goblin mines, or ruined, haunted fortresses; this time around, too, there's much more actual magic instead of "magic" as in "wonder", but that's part of what separates The Hobbit from Rings, I think. There's magic in Rings, yes, but the world as we see it there is growing darker and darker. There's less wonder in the world in Rings

 

But plenty here, and I suspect that the difference in tone will throw off (and has thrown off) a number of people who are even familiar with the source material. The Hobbit is lighter, funnier, sweeter, much less dour...there are dancing dwarves and singing dwarves, and when the movie stops to drop the Great Goblin's corpse on top of the lot of them, it's not jarring as it would be in most of the Rings movies. I think there's going to be a preference battle, but I also think that's natural.

 

On the HFR 3D: you don't notice it after a while, especially if you're not actively trying to notice, which sounds stupid but it's true. It's really, really different, and if you've ever watched a British TV series then you're probably not going to be that thrown off by the aesthetic. In some places it looks gorgeous, in others it looks, well, like a British TV series, but in far better definition and far, far smoother. The complaints I've read about the footage looking "sped up" are apt-- Moriarity described it as being akin to watching a Benny Hill sketch, and while I get what he's saying it's really rare that it ever feels like that (and in one case, that Benny Hill vibe actually works well). Take that as you will.

post #26 of 963

Promising

post #27 of 963

Glad you enjoyed it. Regarding the mixed reviews, I get the feeling a lot of it is good reviewers keeping their marks lower to inhibit unrealistic expectations, and bad reviewers taking the HFR/3 movie controversy as a chance to put the boot in to PJ again for Kong and Lovely Bones. I'm looking forward to the Chud review.

 

I think this movie is going to go down better with audiences than I first thought, as there is a lot more acceptance of longer films and fantasy in the wake of LOTR.

post #28 of 963

I hope so. The handful of pockmarks aside (and HFR 3D, which I think is going to be the most divisive element of the film (which is fine by me since audiences can just pay to see the thing in regular old 24 FPS instead)), it's wonderful. Took me right back to 2001 and Fellowship. 

post #29 of 963

The reaction against the frame-rate is interesting. The complaints largely mirror when bluray hit a few years back and many people complained about the BBC look/feel, which they took a lot of flak for.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DARKMITE8 View Post

For fans that enjoy spending time in this world, is the bloat too noticeable? Is it MORE like Extended versions and welcome? Or MORE like "Let's get to Skull Island ALREADY!!!!"?

 

Sounds like it suffers from Avengers syndrome to me.

post #30 of 963

Re: Bloat. It's only really noticeable in a couple of places. The opening of the film feels very much like the Extended Edition version; it goes from Bilbo recounting the events that led to Erebor's destruction (which sets up the main plot of the film) and then comes within a hair's breadth of segueing into the primary narrative-- but instead it focuses on Old Bilbo and Frodo just prior to the events of Fellowship. It's neat but really fatty, and I'm not sure why that made it into the theatrical cut when it's almost tailor-made for the eventual Extended edition.

 

The White Council meeting also goes on too long and drags significantly. I'm not sure it's "bloat" in the sense that it's not necessary as far as the main plot goes, but it could have been cut down.

 

I also feel like most of the Radagast stuff could have been left for the Extended Edition, but I liked it all very much besides (even if the chase scenes involving Radagast look goofy as all fucking hell in HFR 3D).

post #31 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun H View Post

The reaction against the frame-rate is interesting. The complaints largely mirror when bluray hit a few years back and many people complained about the BBC look/feel, which they took a lot of flak for.

 

I followed the development of the HD formats.  I bought HD DVD on day one.  Never once did I see anyone complain that Blu-ray looks like BBC.

post #32 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by agracru View Post

The White Council meeting also goes on too long and drags significantly. I'm not sure it's "bloat" in the sense that it's not necessary as far as the main plot goes, but it could have been cut down.

 

I also feel like most of the Radagast stuff could have been left for the Extended Edition, but I liked it all very much besides (even if the chase scenes involving Radagast look goofy as all fucking hell in HFR 3D).

 

The White Council and Radagast stuff is all setup for the next films, so they're 'necessary' bloat in my view. And it was very cool to have McKellen, Lee, Blanchett and Weaving all in the same room. We are in agreement on the Frodo and Bilbo scenes though. And Radagast is pretty naff, I know he's supposed to be kind of a bumpkin but surely they could have given him a cooler costume at least.

 

Basically it felt like every scene prior to Rivendell was it's EE version rather than theatrical. I know a lot of LOTR fans who think the EE's are the superior version in every way, but I prefer the pacing of the theatrical cuts.

post #33 of 963

Saw this first thing in the morning (just opened over here). HFR version.

 

Loved it. It took a while to get going, and Radagast felt... unnecessary... but frankly, the prospect of spending another nine hours in Middle Earth is okay by me. :)

 

Just checked my copy of The Hobbit... 300 pages long, 115 pages in... but pretty much everything is in there... and some extra.

 

HFR, I can take or leave. I loved it in the vistas and the wide action shots... but the close ups look WEIRD. I think Jackson was pretty smart in having the first few scenes of the film being Bilbo ferretting around in various boxes and stuff. His hand just moved too fast for my liking, too jerky almost. It did afford me the opportunity to get used to the sensation though, so it wasn't as distracting later on.
 

post #34 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dark Shape View Post

 

I followed the development of the HD formats.  I bought HD DVD on day one.  Never once did I see anyone complain that Blu-ray looks like BBC.

 

Agreed. Hidef had a lot of problems we all bitched about to begin with. Crappy conversions, Blu-Ray, HD... There was talk it would expose the joins in the special effects of older films... But not that it made a film look like television.

 

HFR does make the film look like television. Whether this is a problem for you or not is up to you, but it does not look like a 'movie'. If this takes off, in ten years time, no-one will give a damn. This is just how modern movies will look... if not... well, it's an interesting experiment.

post #35 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai Mike View Post

 

The White Council and Radagast stuff is all setup for the next films, so they're 'necessary' bloat in my view. And it was very cool to have McKellen, Lee, Blanchett and Weaving all in the same room. We are in agreement on the Frodo and Bilbo scenes though. And Radagast is pretty naff, I know he's supposed to be kind of a bumpkin but surely they could have given him a cooler costume at least.

 

Basically it felt like every scene prior to Rivendell was it's EE version rather than theatrical. I know a lot of LOTR fans who think the EE's are the superior version in every way, but I prefer the pacing of the theatrical cuts.

 

It's not that the White Council/Radagast stuff doesn't have a purpose, it's that it goes on just a hair too long. I actually dug the hell out of Radagast's look and I loved the overall representation of the character, and yes, seeing four the most talented Rings veterans all on the same stage together has a certain awe-inspiring impact; I just think those scenes needed trimming. Nothing huge, just lines here or there. For example: I thought the final exchange between Gandalf and Radagast before the orcs chase the latter down wasn't necessary. Gandalf's a wizard, Radagast's a wizard. Gandalf shouldn't even for a second be doubting Radagast's ability to out-wit a bunch of idiot orcs. I liked the line, but that to me felt like something you'd expect out of an Extended cut.

 

Similarly I think Saruman's dismissal of Gandalf's suspicions could have been played down; the way it plays in the film, it feels like a really unsubtle overture nodding at his future betrayal. Which, y'know, it is, but I feel like too long was spent on it. That sort of thing.

 

I dunno. I loved the shit out of this. Sad to see such a mixed reaction across the board here, even if's still tallying to ~70% on RT. But I also like The Hobbit more than the Rings novels, so maybe I'm just predisposed to like the film more. All I can say for now is that I can't wait to hear Chewers weigh in on it and I can't wait to see it a second time.

post #36 of 963

So I went to lunch today, looked over my shoulder, and happened to notice you-know-who staring at me from atop Barad-dûr:

 

post #37 of 963

Wow. Where'd you go to eat? The Cirith Ungol Cafe? I hear their lunch menu is fucking terrible.

post #38 of 963

Oh, I wish. I hear their Shelob-kabob is to die for.

post #39 of 963

That's the only item that jumps out at me, though. I don't know how many variations on "maggoty bread and meat" you can reasonably fit onto one menu, but dammit they tried.

post #40 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dark Shape View Post

 

I followed the development of the HD formats.  I bought HD DVD on day one.  Never once did I see anyone complain that Blu-ray looks like BBC.

The only time that complaint ever came up back then was the TVs that peddle the "TruMotion" feature...which is what The Hobbit ended up doing, except for real!

post #41 of 963

Until TruMotion and HFR 3D are the only ways we can watch movies and television, I can't muster up the energy to complain about them. I'll just watch everything in traditional formats when I have the option.

post #42 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun H View Post

So I went to lunch today, looked over my shoulder, and happened to notice you-know-who staring at me from atop Barad-dûr:

 

 

Were you at the Cheesecake Factory???

 

Because the Cheesecake Factory near me has those things at every table and I ALWAYS think of Sauron.

post #43 of 963

Ha ha, yes! They were everywhere but that one happened to be getting hit by the sun and lit up like that.

post #44 of 963

I think those things light up at night too. 

 

Not sure.  I try not to go to The Cheesecake Factory often.  All that fattening cuisine... mmmmm

 

But if Denny's can do cross promotion for The Hobbit... Cheesecake really dropped the ball with the LOTR trilogy!

post #45 of 963

I dunno-- I'm not sure that "come eat our super-unhealthy food while the Eye of Sauron judges you you fucking fatso!" is a foolproof marketing strategy.

post #46 of 963

That's why you'll never be great!!!

post #47 of 963

It's also why I'll never be Cheesecake Factory-fat!

post #48 of 963

With hubris like that, perhaps you WILL be great!

post #49 of 963

After the luke-warm to warm reception I've been hearing all over the place, I admit, I walked in with slightly diminished expectations, half thinking I was going to be snoozing through the first half until we got to the good stuff.

 

And I loved it. I felt transported back not only to Middle Earth, but being 18 and watching this with my college buddies my first semester in college. Its best moments can stand toe to toe with Fellowship, though I will admit the number of moments are lacking in relation. I loved the dwarven introduction, their singing, cleaning; didn't mind the Bilbo/Frodo stuff too much (and that was perhaps the film's oddest mis-step storywise in my opinion). I loved seeing Gandalf the Grey again, and Martin Freeman is absolutely, wonderfully spectacular. CGI orcs were a bit odd, but I got used to them and stopped noticing after a while. Do wonder why, though...

 

It just possessed, to me, this wonderful sense of adventure. The light moments were great, when it got dark it got pitch black, the derring do was inventive and a joy to watch. And I honestly never felt the run time. Walking out, I actually thought 'I'm glad this will be three movies.' Loved the pacing and where they decided to end it. It felt good to be back after so many years. Cannot wait to see it again (and again...and again).

post #50 of 963
Walking in with diminished expectations, I was surprised by how taken I was with the film early on. The Bag End films weren't nearly the drag reviews had led me to believe. It does slow down a bit too much between Hobbiton and Rivendell, but once Elrond shows up the film moves at a really nice pace.

I have high hopes for the next two, as this thing gets better as it goes. Riddles in the Dark as well as the cliffside stand against Azog are every bit the equal of Lord of the Rings, and I'll admit to getting a might teary when Thorin embraced Bilbo.

I give Jackson a lot of credit when it comes to tone. He managed to make this a clearer fit with Lord of the Rings than the book is, without sacrificing what makes The Hobbit so much fun on its own.
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