The Hobbit - The Movie: Speculation and Discussion

Discussion of The Hobbit: a good place for Tolkien beginners to start
Merry
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Re: The Hobbit - The Movie: Speculation and Discussion

Postby Merry » Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:02 am

I saw it there, Michka. I have such mixed feelings about seeing this movie. It might have to wait until after Christmas.
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Re: The Hobbit - The Movie: Speculation and Discussion

Postby Merry » Sun Dec 14, 2014 4:42 am

Here's an interesting interview with Armitage:

http://www.craveonline.com/film/interviews/800035-hobbit-richard-armitage-thorins-madness

He says he patterned some of the tone of his voice and body movements when Thorin was sinking into madness after how Cumberbatch did Smaug, which is appropriate. I wonder if I will be able to tell when that happens!
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Re: The Hobbit - The Movie: Speculation and Discussion

Postby MICHKA » Mon Dec 15, 2014 3:48 pm

merci, c'est fort intéressant, j'aime toujours connaître le point de vue des interprètes dans le rôle qu'on leur a choisi, ça éclaire un peu la situation, le pourquoi des choses, et donne la vision personnelle de l'acteur sur l'oeuvre filmée, l'oeuvre littéraire et la différence
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Re: The Hobbit - The Movie: Speculation and Discussion

Postby Lindariel » Tue Dec 16, 2014 4:30 pm

Merry, I saw the entire Hobbit marathon on Monday -- still recovering from being in a movie theatre that LONG! You DEFINITELY can tell when Thorin's voice begins to change. In fact, it sounds very much like they combined Armitage and Cumberbatch's voices, in the same way that they combined McKellan and Lee's voices during the scene in TTT when Gandalf the White first appears to Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli. It's VERY effective! :D
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Re: The Hobbit - The Movie: Speculation and Discussion

Postby Merry » Wed Dec 17, 2014 1:23 am

Oh: I understood RA to say in the interview that he tried to sound like BC, not that they combined their voices digitally. But I do now recall reading somewhere that they did that. Glad to know that it was effective.

That is a LONG time to be in a theater! Are you going to give us a review?
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Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
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Re: The Hobbit - The Movie: Speculation and Discussion

Postby Lindariel » Wed Dec 17, 2014 3:31 pm

Merry, I posted a review over at Viggo-Works, but I'd be happy to copy it over here:

Well, I have survived yesterday's marathon viewing of all THREE Hobbit movies at my local movie theatre. :D :clapping:

For those who haven't seen the final movie yet -- SPOILER ALERT




As we already know from viewing the first two movies, Peter Jackson has very much run completely wild with The Professor's story to the point that it bears little resemblance to the original. The cracks that began during the first movie only split open wider and wider as we move along. Here's my take on the final film.

I saw them in 3D, IMAX format, but I don't believe this was also the high-frame format as well. Sigh, I wish I liked 3D more, but I really don't like having to wear the nasty plastic 3D glasses on top of my regular glasses, and all too often the 3D effect looks fake to me. The movie has also been CGI'd to death: effect after effect after effect, and they aren't always perfectly seemless with the live action.

That being said, the final movie is breathtakingly beautiful -- gorgeous colors, impossibly beautiful landscapes, amazing costumes, fantastic sets -- it is just stunning. I continue to applaud Peter Jackson and his team for bringing these stories to life in such vivid detail and with such incredible imagination. As many complaints as I have -- and there are MANY -- they are completely overwhelmed by my gratitude that we have these stories realized as beautifully as they have been by PJ & Co.

However, as a piece of storytelling, for me this movie falls flat in so many ways. There are so many disparate storylines going on that it is hard to become invested in ANY of them. The entire undertaking would have benefited from a great deal of judicious editing to simply get RID of the unnecessary stuff.

The final film also suffers from a great deal of character assassination in the name of creating "tension." Thranduil's character bears no resemblance to the Elvenking of Tolkien's story, and his character arc makes no sense. The father-son tension between Legolas and Thranduil over something vague having to do with the death of Legolas' mother is never explained. Thranduil spends most of the movie arrogantly looking down his nose at everyone -- Dwarves, men, even Gandalf. Then at the end, when his disillusioned son refuses to return to Mirkwood, he tells Legolas that his mother loved him (was that ever in doubt?) and then suggests that he go to the Dunedain in the North and look for a young ranger named Strider, stating that his father Arathorn was a good man and that he may be even greater. NOW, Thranduil suddenly has respect for some men far to the North? He has knowledge of the hidden heir of Isildur, who by the way is only 10 years old, not a grown man? It makes no sense.

The Fili-Tauriel "romance" isn't earned or believable; they simply haven't been together enough to have forged such a relationship, and her grief over Kili's death just doesn't register.

Legolas basically becomes a joke, performing one impossible feat of derring-do after another.

A lot of time is spent building up the character of Alfrid, the Mayor of Laketown's toady assistant, with no payoff in the end. The character simply spends a lot of scene time doing repulsive things and then disappears with some money, and we never know what becomes of him. Maybe there's more in the extended edition, but he could have been completely cut out of the theatrical release, and we wouldn't miss anything.

As other reviewers have noted, the final movie is one battle or duel after another, and they very quickly begin to all look alike. Bilbo actually gets to do quite a bit of fighting before he's finally conked on the head, and since he never wears a helmet, I have to wonder where the dented helmet in his trunk at Bag End came from!

Thorin's death isn't a glorious one on the battlefield, but an isolated duel that takes place on a frozen river, and I was so disappointed that PJ failed to use some key language from Thorin's good-bye to Bilbo: "I go now to the halls of waiting to site beside my fathers, until the world is renewed." That has such resonance with Theoden's final words to Eowyn, which PJ at Co DID use in ROTK. A missed opportunity.

There is no burial of Thorin in the theatrical cut, so we never find out what actually happens to the much-fought-over Arkenstone -- another plotline endlessly developed and then dropped. Perhaps the burial will be in the extended cut.

So, overall it is visually stunning, but disappointing as a piece of story-telling, and bears no resemblance at all to the Professor's original tale. Two stars.
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“Therefore I say: Eä! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the heart of the World, and the World shall Be.”

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Re: The Hobbit - The Movie: Speculation and Discussion

Postby Merry » Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:48 pm

Thanks for posting your review here, Lindariel. It sounds like the story got away from PJ. It sounds like it will be so unsatisfying to have some of the storylines unfinished. It's particularly sad to me not to have a funeral for Thorin. They've invested so much into his character and into these artifacts that it's strange not to leave us with that image. I think Alan Lee did a perfect rendition of the funeral--and they leave that out to concentrate on creepy Alphrid? I'm afraid PJ has returned to his creepy roots. Maybe Fran had less to do with these movies than she did in LOTR.
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Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Merry
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Re: The Hobbit - The Movie: Speculation and Discussion

Postby Merry » Fri Dec 19, 2014 12:20 am

I have a question for those who have seen the movie: is the relationship between Tauriel and Kili played as a romance, a friendship, or a Gimli/Galadriel courtly love?
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Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
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Lindariel
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Re: The Hobbit - The Movie: Speculation and Discussion

Postby Lindariel » Sat Dec 20, 2014 6:25 pm

Merry, it is a tasteful, unrequited romance.


SPOILERS

After Smaug's demise, Fili, Kili, Dori, and Bofur help with the refugees, then borrow a boat to go to the Lonely Mountain to find out what has become of Thorin & Co. It looks very much like Tauriel is planning to go with them, but Legolas shows up as they are leaving and insists that Tauriel come with him. When Kili and Tauriel part company, he gives her the rune stone good-luck piece from his mother and vows that they shall see each other again.

Later, during the series of duels on Raven Hill, Kili comes to Tauriel's aid when Bolg is about to deliver a killing blow to an unconscious Tauriel (she held her own pretty well for quite a while, but Bolg is HUGE. There is an impressive duel between Kili and Bolg. Kili is dealt a mortal wound, but Legolas arrives before Bolg can finish him off. Tauriel crawls over to Kili, and they have a tender moment and a kiss before he dies. After yet another impressibve duel, which Legolas ultimately wins after a great deal of gravity-defying derring-do, he searches and finds Tauriel weeping over Kili's body.
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“Therefore I say: Eä! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the heart of the World, and the World shall Be.”

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Re: The Hobbit - The Movie: Speculation and Discussion

Postby Merry » Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:21 pm

Thanks, Lindariel. I kind of wish they had made it a Gimli/Galadriel kind of courtly love, but I'll wait until I see it--maybe tonight!

I remember in one of Tolkien's letters, he responds to the criticism that Eowyn and Faramir got together too quickly. He answers that, in wartime and other times of devastation, people live at a heightened level and can make bonds like this more quickly. He also seems to allow for the pairing of a 'lesser' male with a 'higher' female in his several human/elf matches.
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Re: The Hobbit - The Movie: Speculation and Discussion

Postby MICHKA » Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:13 pm

la différence et je dirai l'inconvénient est que Tauriel n'existe pas dans les récits de Tolkien et ça me dérange plus que ce que PJ a enlevé ou ajouté dans LOTR, cette fois je trouve qu'il va un peu fort! il faudra sans doute que je revois toute la trilogie ''hobbit'' pour en retirer des satisfactions car pour l'instant je suis déçue du déroulement par rapport au livre, ce qui ne m'a pas inquiétée avec Le Seigneur des Anneaux qui aurait pu durer encore bien plus longtemps( mais je suis inconditionnelle, et partiale !!!)
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Re: The Hobbit - The Movie: Speculation and Discussion

Postby Merry » Tue Dec 30, 2014 2:44 am

I do not like the departures, either, Michka. But after seeing the movie (finally!), one of the things that bothers me most is that if PJ is going to deviate from the book, at least finish the story line. We leave Tauriel crying over Kili's body. Does Thranduil rescind his banishment of her? Does she return to the Woodland Realm? At least we know what happens to Legolas, but Tauriel, after so much screen time, just vanishes! This is very unsatisfying.
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Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
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and he shall dwell among you
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Re: The Hobbit - The Movie: Speculation and Discussion

Postby Merry » Tue Dec 30, 2014 8:47 pm

I continue to have thoughts about the last movie. This is just a very small complaint and it's not original--a reviewer made this observation after the second movie, I think. But there are too many times when the movie viewer sees the dwarves lined up in two rows as if for a photograph! To me, the worst time this happens is when Bilbo says good-bye and invites them for tea at Bag End. They all stand there in rows grinning like idiots, they wave goodbye, and that's it! So unnatural.

I did somewhat appreciate the scene when Thorin orders the dwarves to throw Bilbo of the battlements. Up until that point, the dwarves had pretty much complied with Thorin's strange commands, but here they all mill about looking at their shoes. So good that they didn't obey, but it would have been even better if someone had voiced how morally repugnant such an act would have been.
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Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
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Re: The Hobbit - The Movie: Speculation and Discussion

Postby Lindariel » Tue Dec 30, 2014 9:20 pm

Merry, I couldn't agree with you more! Putting aside all of the major divergences from The Professor's original tale, my main problem with PJ's movie is that it is disappointing from a story-telling perspective. He invests a great deal of time in various storylines -- creates entire characters from scratch -- and then just leaves us hanging! What becomes of Tauriel INDEED?!?!?! What happens to the odious and completely unnecessary Alfrid? What is the final disposition of the much debated and fought over ARKENSTONE for Eru's sake? What is the final disposition of Thorin's sword Orcrist? Who ultimately rules Erebor after Thorin's death? What becomes of Bard and his people? We are left to assume that the chest Bilbo brings home is the chest of gold buried in the troll cave (Old Bilbo does mention in the first movie that "it was just one small chest, and it still smells of troll," if you happen to remember that little detail!) -- because we certainly never get to see Bard give Bilbo his just reward of one chest of silver and one of gold to which Bilbo later adds the troll chest.

I still think that if Peter really wanted to incorporate a mention of Aragorn at the end of BOFA, he would have been better served to have Gandalf meet with the adult Strider in the woods overlooking the Party Tree and point out Bilbo and Frodo (with Merry and Pippin cavorting in the background) to the Ranger/King-in-Exile and ask him to keep watch over them, before Gandalf strolls off to have that quiet evening pipe with Bilbo. What would be a more perfect ending than Strider looking upon Bilbo's Long Expected Party from a distance?

(Perhaps I should have been a screenwriter . . .)
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MICHKA
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Re: The Hobbit - The Movie: Speculation and Discussion

Postby MICHKA » Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:13 pm

Beaucoup de questions sans réponse, PJ s'est fourvoyé dans son scénario, il a voulu trop de personnages sans histoire réelle, et nous laisse désemparé, sur notre faim, sans rien savoir d'essentiel sur aucun, et oubliant les principales raisons du conte. Le film n'apporte que de la fantaisie et des batailles un peu sans suite logique, c'est mon avis
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