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The Hobbit Movie Thread (and anything else related to Lord of the Rings & J.R.R. Tolkien)

post #1 of 102
Thread Starter 

Just saw The Hobbit movie, in general I really like it. I think they expanded on the Hobbit book and filled in with full scenes from stuff that may have only been a paragraph long in the Hobbit book.

Also they add "stuff" to make The Hobbit movie tie-in more to The Lord of the Rings, but I will not say what (also it's been over 35 years since I read the Hobbit, so I'm mostly guessing).

If you see the Hobbit movie and notice the extra's added for the Lord of the Rings tie-ins, please do not post it, let others be surprised.

 

I saw the Digital Cinema (24 frame, 2D) version today, may go back in a month to see the 48 frame, expanded audio, 3D version.

 

Peter Jackson is in the Hobbit movie, in the beginning, something like 6 or 7 minutes into the movie, I could not find him.

I do not think talking about Peter Jackson being in the beginning of the Hobbit is a spoiler, as Jackson already is talking about it in interviews.

post #2 of 102

Im gonna see it this week my local theatre has it in imax 3d with the 48fps.

post #3 of 102

Here's a 'review' I wrote of it, copied and pasted from another thread:

 

 

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: 6/10 (Minor spoilers!)

 

Yeah--it's exactly as I feared. Jackson needs a sterner editor. There is very likely an excellent movie here, but it's buried under some serious bloat, and is almost crippled by very uneven pacing. It's still an alright movie--the second-half of the film is noticeably stronger than the first, and builds to a pretty satisfying climax. The first half though---man, where do I start? It's really quite a mess.

 

Perhaps the biggest problem is one of tone: Jackson has elected to incorporate quite a bit of the heaviness from The Lord of the Rings into this film, while trying to retain the source material's lighter and wittier spirit. His solution to this problem is inelegant--in that he really doesn't have a solution. He just sort of crams what he can into where it can reasonably fit, which results in numerous jarring sequences that would feel out of place even if they were brief scenes. Jackson being Jackson, however, there are no brief scenes, and nearly everything is stretched on for longer than it reasonably needs to be. This problem is compounded by the fact that The Hobbit is a very episodic story, and while Jackson and his team do introduce a significant subplot concerning an orc who is hunting Thorin's party in order to give the movie a more driving force (essentially taking the place of the Black Riders in LotR), Jackson's inability to 'settle down' render this addition mostly worthless, though it does admittedly result in a fairly good climax, which the film might otherwise lack. It wouldn't be too much off-base to say that I actively hated this movie for at least the first hour--it all felt like the sort of stuff that you'd expect to see in deleted scenes, or perhaps in an extended edition for the hardcore fans. (I have learned with much dismay that more footage is being prepared for this movie for an extended cut. I was hoping that any sort of director's cut would have actually lost about an hour or so of the movie.)

 

Things do pick up quite a bit as the film moves into its second-half: the first-half may feel like three hours in and of itself, but the second-half of the film breezes by incredibly quickly--it's a lot of fun. Of particular note is the 'Riddles in the Dark' scene--arguably the most famous scene in all of fantasy literature comes to life brilliantly here, and Gollum has never looked better . It's truly the high point of the film, and I actually wish that it could have gone on a bit longer. The climax and the fast-paced (if over-the-top) adventures in Goblin Town are also really a pleasure to see, and the occasional echoes of scenes from LotR are more welcome than you might expect.

 

On to the technology: the 3D is fine--it does not detract from the film, though it does not really add anything to it either. The film does not suffer from being too dark, a common problem with 3D. Indeed, a good chunk of this movie takes place in dark caves or after nightfall, and it never once looked murky or dim. As is usually the case with 3D, objects in the extreme foreground occasionally look removed from the remainder of the action and are prone to looking like paper cutouts--like they are perhaps a bit incorporeal. Still, I was never distracted by the 3D--though ultimately I would say it's not worth the surcharge.

 

As for the 48 FPS.... this I have problems with. Some people will write these problems off as me just not being used to the technology, and they may have a point. I will say that it did help the 3D out tremendously--I've never seen 3D look this crisp before. That aside, for me it ultimately did more harm than it did good. All of the makeup looks like makeup, the sets look like sets, and the CGI looks like CGI. I know that the higher frame rate is supposed to look more realistic, and it does--but in a film where so much is not real, it hurts more than it helps. It strips the romanticism away from the film--and while you may scoff at such a statement, let's not forget that this is fantasy. It's supposed to look romantic. Unfortunately, it mostly just makes the film look like actors trudging around on sets in thickly-applied makeup--the only sequences that benefit directly from the higher FPS are the sweeping landscape shots and the quickly-paced battle sequences. (So quickly paced, in fact, that I suspect that they may look quite bad in 24 fps). You'd think it'd do the CGI favors, at least, but it doesn't really--it makes the special effects-heavy sequences look like something from straight out of a triple-A video game title, instead. In some places, the cartoony floatiness that the 48 FPS imparts on the CGI is downright terrible looking--every scene that Radagast's rabbit-powered sleigh is involved looks laughably bad, for instance. (It doesn't help matters that Radagast may be the worst character I've seen in a movie since Jar Jar...)

 

In sum: I suppose it's fair to say that The Hobbit is a let-down. It ends strongly at least, and does genuinely give me hope that with this establishing chapter out of the way, things will move more smoothly going forward. Still, I'm sort of cynical about the whole thing: this tale does not need three, three-hour long movies to do it justice. Not if the first of those three hours is anything to go by. As of right now, I'd say it's more of a blatant attempt at a money grab, or just a huge vanity project for Jackson (something I honestly hoped he'd gotten out of his system with King Kong). It's got enough going for it to please fans, and it did ultimately leave me wanting more, but this still feels like a misstep. I only hope that the next film fares better.

post #4 of 102

not the biggest fan of all that, i liked the movies, but not that much. however, my parents are tolkien freaks and they got the extended 4 cd dvds of all the lord of the rings trilogy. i must say, the making of the movie, and most especially, the audio production of it was incredible to watch! if anyone gets a chance, its all very much recommended. i know i was enthralled =]

post #5 of 102

I prefer the theatrical cuts over the extended cuts of LotR, but still own the extended cuts just because all of the extra behind the scenes features are truly phenomenal. I think I might like the behind-the-scenes stuff better than I like the actual movies themselves, lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adamlr View Post

not the biggest fan of all that, i liked the movies, but not that much. however, my parents are tolkien freaks and they got the extended 4 cd dvds of all the lord of the rings trilogy. i must say, the making of the movie, and most especially, the audio production of it was incredible to watch! if anyone gets a chance, its all very much recommended. i know i was enthralled =]

post #6 of 102
I actually prefered the Hobbit book to the lotr books. However, I did really enjoy both movies. It's hard to tell which movie/movies I like better.
post #7 of 102

The 48fps was a great decision for this movie.  Everything looked very tangible as if you were there, and panning shots were super  realistic.  I think the combination of 3d and the 48fps rendered some of the cgi scenes a little weird though, and it did seem as though they were cgi rather than something believable.  I've never really stood behind 3d in any film, because it's not realistic.  The eye is always changing its focal point, while 3d forces your eye into a certain focal depth.  This makes the film look at times like what metalsonta descbribed- where the planes of the scene are too separated (most everything 3d has this problem though). So in summary, 3d detracted far more than 48fps did, but those moments were few and far between.  I've read bad reviews of the 48fps, and watching the movie confirms what I think of them.  It's just people not comfortable with advancing from the motion blur that movies have had for years and years.

 

Overall though, it was perhaps the most beautiful movie I've seen this side of Avatar.

 

 

I also saw the movie in atmos.  I was impressed more by the atmos demo before the movie than the movie itself.  The major thing I noticed was the movie being ridiculous loud.

 

I managed to find where they fitted in a Wilhelm scream too, fun times.

 

 

I can't say I liked this better than the 2nd and 3rd lotr movies, but I definitely liked it more than the 1st lotr movie.


Edited by TMRaven - 12/18/12 at 4:19pm
post #8 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

I think the combination of 3d and the 48fps rendered some of the cgi scenes a little weird though, and it did seem as though they were cgi rather than something believable.  I've never really stood behind 3d in any film, because it's not realistic.  The eye is always changing its focal point, while 3d forces your eye into a certain focal depth. 

That was exactly the thing I pointed out to fellow viewers - LOTR used mostly props and real scenery, and even though it was in a "fantasy" middle earth setting, it felt real and grounded.  The hobbit did not, I think because the 3d+48fps.  There was also way more CG in general, and I really don't like that.  LOTR was sort of the Batman of fantasy movies with their realism and the hobbit dropped this.

 

Plotwise, I was not a fan of the secondary plot line being fabricated (pale orc, necromancer), and I thought their imagining of Radagast was worse than Bombadil would have been in LOTR.  I have to go back to the Silmarillion and see how much was culled from there and how much was just outright made up.  The truth is, breaking up LOTR into 3 movies was the only way it could get done.  Breaking the hobbit into 3 movies is ridiculous, and will end up with so much normally reserved for deleted scenes that I'm not sure I would be able to take it.  Lets face it - the hobbit (book) is myopic, totally lacks detail or fleshing out of the world and characters, and child-like in compared to the LOTR book.  I think more than anything, this is what contributes to the huge difference in the movies - the LOTR was always mining material and had to make choices about what to cut - the hobbit is stretched thin, like too little butter on too much toast, and as a result is always thinking where they can add plot lines to add suspense or backstory.

 

Acting-wise, while I love Freeman, he seemed to play Bilbo almost the same as he played Watson on the BBC's sherlock* (when you think about it, they're sort of quiet guys thrown into the maelstrom and way out of their depth, so I guess it kind of makes sense).  I couldn't get into him as Bilbo, and that's never a good thing - he was just Martin Freeman. I would have preferred they find more of a no name British theater actor for the role.  None of the dwarvish actors were any good, though that may have just been a combination of makeup and terrible lines.  Galadriel and Saruman were OK but they shouldn't even have been there. 

 

Best part of the movie for me was Smeagol and Bilbo's riddle game.  It was the only part of the movie that had me thinking "this is on the Lord of the Rings level."  I suppose I shouldn't have expected them to be too similar, and I'm not sure how much you can blame Jackson and crew for what probably amounted to marketing decisions - "if you want a three hundred million dollar budget, you have to split into three movies that will each make a billion dollars."  

 

I can't believe I just wrote that much about the hobbit.

 

 

*Speaking of Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch plays both Smaug and the Necromancer in this series.


Edited by Radio_head - 12/18/12 at 6:08pm
post #9 of 102
I honestly need to be motivated to finish the LOTR series. I finished the hobbit and the first book of LOTR I could just never bring myself up to picking up the second one. Also, comparingnthe two movies, I did really like the theme of the hobbit and I'm glad that Peter Jackson implemented the Shire theme in the hobbit.
post #10 of 102

Finally a LOTR thread.

 

I watched it in IMAX HFR 3D.

 

While the clarity is amazing, I wasn't totally convinced HFR is a good choice for the Fantasy genre. It's *not* supposed to be real (its imaginary), and the extreme clarity and smoothness of motion breaks that effect. There's nothing for you to imagine.

 

Characters that real made me feel like I was at a Comic-Con.

 

The Drama genre is generally slow, so HFR doesn't matter. You don't get much by seeing every twitch on the actor's face. Perhaps HFR can work better for the action/battle/spy genre. 

 

Movies are essentially past tense, so they should look like it. If you don't have anything to do with the events unfolding on the screen, it doesn't help if the movie looks real or not. This kind of realism can work better for games, where the player is actively involved.

 

Or maybe a new way of making movies that have multiple endings, but the ending depends on the choice the viewers make.

 

The next two movies I'll be watching in 2D at 24fps.


Edited by proton007 - 12/18/12 at 5:59pm
post #11 of 102

Agree with radio_head pretty much 100%. I'd continue to expound on both his points and my points--but that'd probably get old. And lead to massive walls of text, lol.

 

I will say that so far as the stuff they're grabbing from other sources is concerned I don't believe that much, if anything, is actually coming from the Silmarillion. Most of what's going on is either stuff that's long been inferred by fans or is adapted from the Lord of the Rings appendices--although it's worth noting that it's rarely adapted faithfully. (The Azog of the movie and the Azog of the books are two very different things.) Also, the presence of Radagast in this film does make me very glad that Bombadil didn't make the cut in LotR. Boy, would that have been a disaster. @.@

post #12 of 102

Does anyone feel the dwarves don't exactly look like dwarves? They're supposed to be short and stocky, and probably heavy and rugged on the facial features. The movie just makes them look like miniature versions of humans.

post #13 of 102

Some of them looked like dwarves, some were taller and thinner, one looked like a mix between Frank Zappa and Anthony Kiedis.  It was obviously purposeful - I think there were a couple reasons for it.  One, is with 12 characters who all look the same, don't have much backstory or many lines (except Thorin), they all sort of blend together and homogenize - unless you differentiate enough physically.  The other reason I see is that Jackson wanted to show great variety within races.  Sort of like a fighting stereotypes type of thing.

post #14 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio_head View Post

Some of them looked like dwarves, some were taller and thinner, one looked like a mix between Frank Zappa and Anthony Kiedis.  It was obviously purposeful - I think there were a couple reasons for it.  One, is with 12 characters who all look the same, don't have much backstory or many lines (except Thorin), they all sort of blend together and homogenize - unless you differentiate enough physically.  The other reason I see is that Jackson wanted to show great variety within races.  Sort of like a fighting stereotypes type of thing.


While I agree with you somewhat, I think the book gives some of them a physical trait different than others, and it should have atleast been preserved in the movie. I mean, Thorin is supposed to be the oldest of the group...

post #15 of 102

I had the same problem with the way the Hobbits looked in the first movie--they all just looked like small people to me--which is not what I was expecting at all.

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