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RE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

 
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RE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - 19/12/2012 7:03:00 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 78128
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
I've posted this elsewhere. I'll stick it here as well. Less of a review, more of a ramble. I apologise in advance!




It's been 9 long years since Return of the King and during that time LOTR has, it's fair to say, become a very important part of my life. Exactly how I can't quite describe, I just know that I'm better for it. So a return to Middle Earth was always going to be something to look forward to. But with all the legal and production problems that have set the Hobbit back a considerable number of years, there was every chance that Jackson could have fumbled this second trip to Tolkien and Lucased the precursor story. I'm happy to say that he hasn't.

Here's the good stuff.

With LOTR, Jackson Walsh and Boyens did a rather nifty job of condensing the plot into just the story points that dealt with Frodo's quest. Diversions to Gondor, Rohan and Fangorn all dealt, indirectly or not, with the destruction of The One Ring. Possibly the only straying from this path was in the Aragorn and Arwen romance. With The Hobbit, a rather slender tome is now being turned into three epic films and this has been a cause for concern by many. What material exactly would be included? How much would the story be changed to accommodate this extra material? The story of Bilbo and his adventures is, based on An Unexpected Journey, not quite so focussed as Frodo's quest but it still is telling one concise story. It's not quite The Hobbit as we know, it's more The Hobbit and added extra bits of Middle Earth. And this works really well. The tone of the film is, as with the book, very much lighter than LOTR, but there's also a consistency with the earlier films, as new scenes such as the White Council or Radagast's discovery introduce story elements that become major factors 60 years later. And for a three hour film that covers a short segment of a smallish book, the film rattles along at an incredible pace. Others may disagree, but there's no filler here.

With bringing characters into the Hobbit film that never appeared in the books, Peter Jackson has provided himself with a number of problems. One is that An Unexpected Journey now has almost as many principal characters as the entire LOTR trilogy did. Trying to flesh them all out sounded like it would be an impossible task within the time constraints of the film and, as it happens it was an impossible task. With two films to go and even more characters to make their presence, it will be interesting to see if those that suffer in this first film will have their characterisation problems rectified. But even so, there's so much to enjoy from all the performers and the principal characters are given more than enough presence on screen.

It's the dwarves that suffer the most but a few do stand out. And for me greatest on screen is Balin. Oh, damn you Ken Stott for making Balin so likeable. You've just given me one more reason to cry when watching the Fellowship. It's a lovely performance and whether he's head-butting his brother in greeting or telling the group about Thorin's past, Stott is perfect in the role.

As the leader of the merry band of dwarves, Richard Armitage was not my first choice. I doubt he would have been in my top 100 candidates for the role. But he acquits himself well and was certainly better than in any of the TV shows I've seen him in. Thus far, Thorin as written for the screen shows some of the biggest changes of any Hobbit character from the book and Armitage does well in making the somewhat one-note book Thorin into a headstrong, proud, judgemental, noble and loyal heroic figure. These are great changes. When Balin recounts Thorin's battle with Azog and the loss suffered, it's obvious that this is a deeply personal mission about getting their homeland back, not just a quest for some gold. Comparisons with Aragorn are unfair on a specific level but perhaps justified overall. Jackson and the crew changed Aragorn to make him a flawed hero and a grand arc spanning three films, and it looks like Thorin is getting the same treatment. His desire to reclaim Erebor is as much a part of Thorin as the desire to overcome his troubled ancestry was a part of Aragorn.

Apart from the film itself, one of the things I was most looking forward to about the return to Middle Earth was Ian McKellen as Gandalf. As the wizard, both grey and white, McKellen in LOTR gives my second favourite performance of all time. He's superb in the role and I'm happy to say that a decade without his staff and robes has not lessened his performance. He still has that loveable twinkle in his eye, a slightly mischievous nature and an awe-inspiring command of the screen. I seriously wanted to stand up and cheer when he appeared at Bag End.

And speaking of Bag End, what about its inhabitant? I loved Ian Holm as an elderly Bilbo so whoever was cast as Bilbo the younger had a lot to live up to and thankfully Martin Freeman lives up to it well. I've not see him in all that much besides Sherlock, in which he's admittedly great but I was still a bit worried. I needn't have been because he's another perfect casting choice and it's easy to see why the whole shooting schedule was changed to accommodate him. Superb comic timing, the ability to convey an everyman sense of wonder but also excellent during the serious moments. Witness the pivotal scene in which he struggles with whether or not to kill Gollum. It's a sequence that plays right into one of Fellowship’s most heartfelt moments and it had to be perfect and Freeman in on excellent form. Overall he manages to both make the role his own and also be believable when compared to Ian Holm's take. In LOTR, it's easy to believe that Holm and McKellen are playing very old friends. In the Hobbit, it's easy to see Freeman and McKellen as forming a long lasting friendship.

After Bilbo and Gandalf, the other Rings character that had to return was, of course, Gollum An undeniable highlight of the LOTR trilogy, Gollum was a ground-breaking piece of CGI centred on a phenomenal performance from Andy Serkis. The return of both character and actor was always going to be good and the scene in which Gollum appears generally seems to be one of the most popular in this film. As well it should be. As you'd expect, Gollum looks even better than last time and Serkis is just as grand in the role. The stress and confusion in his face when he can't answer a riddle, or realises he's lost the rings is astounding. It's a better performance than most actors will ever give. There's humour; with Gollum answering his own question and telling himself to shut up, and horror; the evil grin as Gollum informs Bilbo how many teeth he has. It's a stunning scene, rivalling any moment with the character in LOTR.


A number of other character from the LOTR trilogy turn up in the Hobbit despite being absent from the book. There is justification for all to be there though and it's nice to see the subtle difference in performance from the actors. Hugo Weaving's Elrond is a noticeably more cheery person. His daughter isn't yet considering suicide, his kin aren't buggering off for parts unknown and Middle Earth isn't falling to wrack and ruin. It's nice to see him like this. Cate Blanchett as Galadriel ends up being just as mystical, beguiling and mysterious as before, but there's a very slight playful side to her here, especially when she's silently communicating with Gandalf, and I love their finale scene together.

It's rare to see Gandalf in awe, and she in return is treating him with the respect he deserves but doesn't seem to always get. Especially from Saruman. It's always good to see Christopher Lee, and I like how, much as in LOTR, it doesn't take him very long at all to start admonishing Gandalf. Lastly we have Elijah Wood as Frodo. Taking a break from seeing imaginary dogs, Wood's return adds very little but does help give is a nice second prologue to the film.

Of the rest of the cast it's McCoy's Radagast that makes the biggest impression. At one with nature, seemingly started at every turn and with amazing poo-filled bird's nest for hair, he's a jovial sort and a character I hope reappears in the next two films. Of the remaining dwarves, James Nesbitt as Bofur and Aidan Turner's Kili probably have the most to do and they do it quite well, with Nesbitt in particular sharing a lovely scene with Martin Freeman

What else. Ah, the music! Howard Shore's score for the LOTR trilogy is, for me, the finest film music of all time. It's close to being the best music of any kind of all time. So the news that he was returning as composer for The Hobbit was very much a cause for celebration. There was cake and hats and everything. And such levity was obviously deserved, because Shore has once again excelled. Now admittedly I have only heard the score once, in the film (compared to what must literally be months of time with the LOTR scores blasting into my ears) so as of yet I'm not fully aware of all the themes that are revisited from Rings and all the news ones that emerged for the first time but even so, it was an amazing listen. Genuine shiver down the spine moments occurred when we heard the theme for The Shire, nature, Rivendell; the One Ring etc. (though it could be argued there are a few too many moments that utilise music from LOTR. More on that later). The main new theme, that for the dwarves, is easily a rival to the big three themes from Rings and the integration of the choir into the score is second to none. I'm eagerly awaiting the soundtrack release, I can't wait to give it a proper listen.

Way back in 2001, Brian Sibley released a book about the making of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy. He recently released a book about the Making of the first Hobbit film. One presumes that two other making of books will follow. Another recently released book is The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Chronicles: Art and Design. Written by Daniel Falconer, A Weta man who worked on LOTR it’s the first in a series of books about the look and design of the films. And then of course we (hopefully) have the superb documentaries that will accompany the DVD release. What’s all this got to do with anything? Well, this means there’s going to an awful lot of behind the scenes information regarding the new trilogy and this this is most welcome news for folk (me!) who love the look and the character and the world LOTR and The Hobbit 1. Because the recreation of Middle Earth for the second time in a decade is just as stunning to behold as it was the first time. As before entire realms have been meticulously crafted with as much care and attention as an individual character’s costume. Not since Rings can I recall being placed so utterly within the world of the film by the detail of that world as presented. And whilst in the great scheme of story and character such an endeavour is perhaps lower down the scale, it’s still of vital importance. No matter how fleshed out the characters are, if the world they exist in doesn’t ring true, something will always be amiss. Even if you don’t pick up on 90% of the detail, it just feels right. When I wrote my LOTR thread a few years ago I said “I once read regarding LOTR that the films would provide the same impact had all the cast been dressed in jeans and it had been filmed Dogville-style” I doubted that that was true and I doubt the Hobbit would work as well in such a fashion either. Even after 10 years and close to 50 viewings of each film, I’m still picking up details in LOTR. I’d love to be able have the same scenario play out with An Unexpected Journey and I think that will happen.

A few years ago there was a poll on Empire to find the most visually impressive films of all time. All three LOTR films appeared near the top, FOTR deservedly reaching number one. I do believe that were a similar poll to run in the future then An Unexpected Journey would feature highly. Much has been made of the 3D and the decision to shoot at a higher frame rate and that both if these contribute to a poor visual experience. I honestly can't say what they looked like (although I can imagine what the 3D was like) but in glorious 2d, 24 fps the film was gorgeous to behold. Andrew Lesnie, back on duties as cinematographer, once again lights up the screen with the splendours of Middle Earth. Whether it be the lush greenery of Hobbiton, the sweeping beautiful vistas of Middle Earth/New Zealand, gigantic CGI rocks beating the crap out of one another or a return to the spectacular conglomeration of sets, models and CGI that make the ethereal Rivendell, no longer in the autumn of its life, the film is a visual treat. Add to this some of fantastic camera moves - the swirling, sweeping overhead shots motion during the battle with the goblins is spectacular - and you have a film that's every bit as astounding to watch as it's three predecessors.

There's lots of other good stuff and far too much to mention in any one review. The dwarves singing of the Misty Mountains, the fantastic prologue detailing the trials of Erebor, the little glimpses of Smaug, the gobsmacking beautiful costumes and jewellery, the discovery of the swords (I have a Sting, I almost had a Glamdring and I really want an Orcrist). the foreshadowing of the Nazgul's return etc. All very good.

It's not all great though. The film isn't perfect. As mentioned before a good few dwarves get short changed and barely register. After a good introduction, Dwalin is all but forgotten about. Does Bombur even speak? Some of the CGI is very shonky indeed. I loved the idea of sled bunnies, but they don't look great. The wargs still suffer. Indeed, one of my few hopes when Del Toro was in charge of these films was the promise of rebooted Wargs. The decision to go CGI for a great number of orcs and goblins is an odd choice when you consider the astounding work that the makeup and prosthetics department did in LOTR. Maybe they had too much work to do with 13 dwarves, who knows? And there's a spectacularly odd musical decision made near the end of the film when the music for the Nazgul, not present at all in the film, is used for pivotal heroic scene. For a casual listener it may not be a problem but for someone damn near obsessed with the music for LOTR it sticks out like a sore thumb. But these are all generally little, niggly cosmetic things, and not one of them really takes away from the bigger picture.


However, it's the big picture that works. Like I say, it' not perfect. I don't believe any film is, not even my beloved LOTR (well, actually The Wrong Trousers is perfect but I digress). But The Hobbit flew by in a massively entertaining, enthralling and, at times, emotional fashion. It's not the same as LOTR but it would seem churlish to criticise this film for that. At the same time it would feel wrong to criticise it for the way it tries to link itself to the previous films because it's done it so well, bridging the gap between the childhood novel of the Hobbit to the epic doom and gloom of Jackson's films. All the parts come together to create a magnificent whole, a whole that desperately leaves me wanting more in a way I haven't really felt since I saw The Two Towers 10 years ago. And I could never have really asked for anything more than that.

_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

(in reply to Spectre)
Post #: 31
RE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - 19/12/2012 10:40:35 AM   
AxlReznor

 

Posts: 1623
Joined: 2/12/2010
From: Great Britain
Brilliant post Gimli. Somehow, I was sure you'd have a lot of interesting things to say about this particular film.
I'll post my review below (which I posted in the review thread, and I'm not sure if anyone read, and my ego will not allow this ), but first I have one question. In An Unexpected Journey, it is shown how the dwarves tried to take back Moria from the orcs and failed. But in Fellowship Of The Ring, Gimli seemed to genuinely expecting dwarf hospitality when they went to Moria and seemed genuinely shocked that it had been overrun by orcs. I'm assuming that at some point in the 60 years years between the stories, the dwarves did manage to take it back, only for the orcs to come back later?
Oh, and also... was it only me who thought that the room at the end where Smaug was sleeping looked like Scrooge McDuck's house?

Anyway...

Nine years ago, The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King wrapped up what is possibly the greatest movie trilogy in history in stunning style. Since then, there had been rumours of Peter Jackson returning to the realm of Middle-earth to adapt the story of Bilbo Baggins for the big screen. This seemed to be put to rest when the co-founder of New Line Cinema announced that "Peter Jackson will never direct a film for New Line again". That's that then, right?

Wrong. A few months later it was announced that Peter Jackson would be involved in the production of The Hobbit, but would not direct, and by the following year Guillermo del Toro had been brought on board to direct. After a string of false starts, delays and disappointments, which eventually led to del Toro's departure, and Peter Jackson once again sitting in the director's chair, we were left to wonder whether these movies would ever actually see the light of day.

Well, this week saw the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first of a new trilogy of movies (with The Desolation Of Smaug coming next year, and There And Back Again in 2014). Was it worth the rollercoaster ride of a wait? Yes. Yes it was.

Opening with Ian Holm reprising his role as Bilbo from the previous trilogy as he tells the story of the dwarf kingdom of Erebor, and how it was lost to the great dragon Smaug, we then get a brief scene between Bilbo and Elijah Wood's Frodo set directly before the start of The Lord Of The Rings (it's actually the first scene in the book), and for fans of the series it's nice to see these two familiar faces, and even better to hear the words, "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit". We are then transported 60 years into the past, where Bilbo looking more like Martin Freeman gets a visit from a wizard named Gandalf who invites him on an adventure. Of course, being a respectable Baggins, he refuses, but it's not quite that easy to refuse the will of a great wizard. That night a company of 13 dwarves on a quest to reclaim Erebor arrive uninvited for dinner, and before you know it, young Bilbo is recruited as the group's burglar.

There have been criticisms of this first hour, with people saying that it takes far too long to get going, but on the contrary, I think they spent exactly as long in the Shire as they needed to to introduce the characters, explain what they are up to, and to give Bilbo a chance to decide that he rather would like to go on an adventure after all. All in all, I don't think they spend any more time in the Shire than they did at the beginning of The Fellowship Of The Ring. In any case, once they leave the Shire, things proceed at a breakneck pace for the next hour and forty minutes, as our heroes are faced with hungry trolls, a group of orcs on the backs of warg's led by the villainous Azog with a vendetta against Thorin Oakenshield - the leader of the dwarves, and rightful king of Erebor, and travel to the elf city of Rivendell where we are given glimpses of some familiar faces.

As with Lord Of The Rings, Rivendell appears here as the brief calm before a storm, as even more dangers await the group once they leave, including the Goblin City in the Misty Mountain, and a deadly game of riddles with Gollum. The latter being the 15 best minutes of the entire movie. It's nice to see Gollum again after so long, and as ever Andy Serkis' performance is brilliant. I particularly liked the inclusion of Gollum's split-personalities into the riddle game... "Ooh, we knows! We knows! SHUT UP!!" being one of my favourite lines in the film.

However, all of this is stuff from the book. That's not all that's going on in this movie, as in order to fill up the running time of three movies, Jackson and co. have delved into the Appendices of The Lord Of The Rings and some of the Unfinished Tales to incorporate a different threat into the movie... the Necromancer. It's not as people feared - they haven't just made things up, all of these things were going on during The Hobbit, but just weren't in the book. And in doing this, they have effectively given The Hobbit a direct link between the two stories beyond a few of the same characters appearing. The scenes with Radagast the Brown (on his rabbit-pulled sled) and the White Council really serve to remind you that there is more at stake in the world than the fate of Erebor.

Tonally the movie is as expected far lighter than the Lord Of The Rings, but they've thankfully toned it down a bit to bring it more into line with what we've already seen. The dwarf songs are presented here, though, which is definitely a good thing. And with the exception of the deadly serious Thorin Oakenshield, the dwarves in general seem to work as 6 pairs of Merry and Pippin's. All of them aren't given time to shine, but they have all been given distinct personalities even if you aren't given the time in this first movie to get to know all of them. This is far more than Tolkien did, who just seemed to treat most of them as background characters.

There are only really two big criticisms that I can level against the movie, one regarding the story and the other regarding the presentation. Firstly, the scene with Bilbo finding the ring isn't the same as it was in the prologue of The Fellowship Of The Ring (or the book). This wouldn't be a big deal if they weren't going to such lengths to link the two trilogies, but as they are the scenes should match up both times they are shown.

The second, is that with the exception of Gollum, the visual effects just don't measure up to The Lord Of The Rings. If ever you are faced with a dilemma between which you prefer, CGI or miniatures/prosthetics, just watch these movies back-to-back. After nearly a decade, this movie should far surpass those movies, but just prove that there's really no substitute for physical objects. I can understand using motion capture when it's needed (like for Gollum and the Na'vi in Avatar), but with the excellent prosthetic work on the original series there was no need for all of the orcs to be rendered in CGI. It made the battle scenes seem less real. I'm pretty sure the first time you see the elves on horseback, they are all CGI, too... why? Actors on horses work far better... they should know. They've done it.

Overall, though, An Unexpected Journey is a highly entertaining movie, which though quite different from its parent series still stands up to it. And I'm expecting my enjoyment of the movie to grow - as it did with Lord Of The Rings - when I'm able to watch all three of them (the Extended Editions, preferably) back-to-back (on seperate days, obviously... I like to sleep)

(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 32
RE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - 19/12/2012 11:04:06 AM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 4038
Joined: 19/10/2005
Two fine reviews there. I so wished I likedThe Hobbit more, but can't stop thinking about how misjudged, misconcieved, awkward, annoying and pointless it was [and yes, I've read the book]. As a huge fan of LOTR, I was SOOOO let down, but then it's been a year of disappointments. Now I won't say any more I promise, as this is a Favourite Films thread!

< Message edited by Dr Lenera -- 19/12/2012 11:54:18 AM >


_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to AxlReznor)
Post #: 33
RE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - 19/12/2012 12:04:52 PM   
ArseOfSauron


Posts: 51
Joined: 30/9/2005
Thank goodness - it's refreshing to read reviews that recognise the flaws in the context of the film's overall greatness. If the LotR trilogy had never been created, I doubt that The Hobbit would have been criticised. People would have been blown away, as they were with FotR, when PJ was relatively unknown.

As to characterisation - I think PJ does a better job at this than Tolkien even, both in LotR and The Hobbit. I really enjoyed Bombur's character in the book, though, I hope he gets more prominence in later films.

_____________________________

I ... hate this place; this zoo, this prison, this ... reality. Whatever you want to call it. I can't stand it any longer. It's the smell. If there is such a thing. I feel ... saturated by it. I can taste your stink.

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 34
RE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - 19/12/2012 12:15:59 PM   
ArseOfSauron


Posts: 51
Joined: 30/9/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: Gimli The Dwarf

It's been 9 long years since Return of the King and during that time LOTR has, it's fair to say, become a very important part of my life. Exactly how I can't quite describe, I just know that I'm better for it.

[...]

It's not the same as LOTR but it would seem churlish to criticise this film for that. At the same time it would feel wrong to criticise it for the way it tries to link itself to the previous films because it's done it so well, bridging the gap between the childhood novel of the Hobbit to the epic doom and gloom of Jackson's films. All the parts come together to create a magnificent whole, a whole that desperately leaves me wanting more in a way I haven't really felt since I saw The Two Towers 10 years ago. And I could never have really asked for anything more than that.




_____________________________

I ... hate this place; this zoo, this prison, this ... reality. Whatever you want to call it. I can't stand it any longer. It's the smell. If there is such a thing. I feel ... saturated by it. I can taste your stink.

(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 35
RE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - 19/12/2012 4:13:55 PM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 78128
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
Thanks for the comments guys. It's rare for me to write anything more than a line or two about films, it has to be special for me write anything larger. I'm looking forward to going back and updating my 50 best LOTR moments list and expands to to include the Hobbit films.


quote:

ORIGINAL: AxlReznor

I'll post my review below (which I posted in the review thread, and I'm not sure if anyone read, and my ego will not allow this ), but first I have one question. In An Unexpected Journey, it is shown how the dwarves tried to take back Moria from the orcs and failed. But in Fellowship Of The Ring, Gimli seemed to genuinely expecting dwarf hospitality when they went to Moria and seemed genuinely shocked that it had been overrun by orcs. I'm assuming that at some point in the 60 years years between the stories, the dwarves did manage to take it back, only for the orcs to come back later?



I'm almost certain that Balin leads an expedition to take back Moria sometime after The Hobbit. Not very successfully though

_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

(in reply to AxlReznor)
Post #: 36
RE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - 19/12/2012 4:27:20 PM   
Hobbitonlass

 

Posts: 11919
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Westeros

quote:

ORIGINAL: Gimli The Dwarf
And there's a spectacularly odd musical decision made near the end of the film when the music for the Nazgul, not present at all in the film, is used for pivotal heroic scene. For a casual listener it may not be a problem but for someone damn near obsessed with the music for LOTR it sticks out like a sore thumb.

Yep, that really stuck out for me too. I was envisaging the Nazgul when it was playing. I found it very odd.

Had my second viewing last night and it felt better than the first (Third viewing won't be far behind). At the first viewing my eyes actually welled up at the sight of the "New Line Cinema" wording in that writing at the very beginning.. My poor viewing companion had to contend with my over excitement at seeing Frodo at the beginning

Have to agree with your points Gimli (but then I thought I would ) I have been listening to the music ever since I saw it the first time, just love the Lonely Mountain song .

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(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 37
RE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - 19/12/2012 4:28:12 PM   
ArseOfSauron


Posts: 51
Joined: 30/9/2005
"Here lies Balin, son of Fundin, Lord of Moria".

_____________________________

I ... hate this place; this zoo, this prison, this ... reality. Whatever you want to call it. I can't stand it any longer. It's the smell. If there is such a thing. I feel ... saturated by it. I can taste your stink.

(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 38
RE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - 19/12/2012 4:29:50 PM   
ArseOfSauron


Posts: 51
Joined: 30/9/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: Hobbitonlass


quote:

ORIGINAL: Gimli The Dwarf

At the first viewing my eyes actually welled up at the sight of the "New Line Cinema" wording in that writing at the very beginning.. My poor viewing companion had to contend with my over excitement at seeing Frodo at the beginning
[..] I have been listening to the music ever since I saw it the first time, just love the Lonely Mountain song .


Me too!

_____________________________

I ... hate this place; this zoo, this prison, this ... reality. Whatever you want to call it. I can't stand it any longer. It's the smell. If there is such a thing. I feel ... saturated by it. I can taste your stink.

(in reply to Hobbitonlass)
Post #: 39
RE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - 19/12/2012 4:55:16 PM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 78128
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
Just read your review, Axl. Great stuff. Except for the last line. You need to see them all in one sitting


quote:

ORIGINAL: Hobbitonlass

Had my second viewing last night and it felt better than the first (Third viewing won't be far behind). At the first viewing my eyes actually welled up at the sight of the "New Line Cinema" wording in that writing at the very beginning.. My poor viewing companion had to contend with my over excitement at seeing Frodo at the beginning



I wish I'd seen it twice already. It'll be January but I get to go back. It's stupid how much I''m looking forward to seeing it again

_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

(in reply to Hobbitonlass)
Post #: 40
RE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - 19/12/2012 6:16:08 PM   
thedrin

 

Posts: 562
Joined: 9/1/2007
From: Ireland
It's too long. It looks odd. Some of the exposition is really clunky. A fair bit of the dialogue made me roll my eyes. I'm surprised Strider didn't show up in Rivendell, since that whole sequence just feels like an excuse to wheel out characters familiar to the audience.

I'm really looking forward to seeing it again (but I might be intentionally late and I'll go to a 2D non Imax showing).

(in reply to demoncleaner)
Post #: 41
RE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - 19/12/2012 7:10:11 PM   
AxlReznor

 

Posts: 1623
Joined: 2/12/2010
From: Great Britain
Why is it so hard for people to believe that the White Council discussing the Necromancer, and the battle with him to come is a vital event in the history of Middle-earth/the war with Sauron, and it makes sense for it to be there? Do you realise that without those bits added it would be a movie of people just walking/running from one disaster into another? Even more so than what Lord Of The Rings is already accused of, I mean. That might have worked as a children's animation, but as a full-length live action movie? I think not.

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Post #: 42
RE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - 19/12/2012 7:37:56 PM   
thedrin

 

Posts: 562
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LotR showed that there's nothing wrong with "a movie of people just walking/running from one disaster into another". It's not a difficult to believe those people would meet, but it is a pretty badly done scene. Me not liking that scene has nothing to do with me not believing that it's plausible. Explaining the plausibility of it to me (despite that it doesn't need explaining) would be unlikely to make me like it more.

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Post #: 43
RE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - 19/12/2012 7:47:29 PM   
AxlReznor

 

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Fair enough on your second point. If you didn't like it, you didn't like it. On your first, though, I disagree. Despite all of the criticisms of Lord Of The Rings just being a story about walking, there was actually a lot more to it than that. There's the main plot and countless sub-plots play out over three movies and the books.

However, in the book of The Hobbit, pretty much every chapter begins with the group getting into danger, and ends with them escaping it. The whole "out of the frying pan and into the fire" thing couldn't be more apt. They run away from more things in the course of their journey than Terry Pratchett's Rincewind, and there's no respite from it because it only follows that one plot. Don't get me wrong, it's a good book... but if they'd just adapted it without delving into the other parts of the history that weren't in the book, but nevertheless were going on, that very criticism would have been entirely justified. For that reason, I'm glad that they expanded on the book with those scenes, and I'm very much looking forward to seeing how the sub-plot plays out over the course of the next two movies.

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Post #: 44
RE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - 19/12/2012 9:27:26 PM   
ArseOfSauron


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Thought of a few more contenders for your Top Moments of Middle Earth thread, Gimli:

- The look Gandalf and Balin exchange when Thorin says Azog slunk back into the hole from whence he came, and died of his wounds long ago. Later, Richard Armitage's performance when he finds out from the Goblin King that Azog is alive, and when he sees Azog from the tree.

- I had to laugh at the Goblin King saying, "Thorin Oakenshield, king under the mountain. But oh, I forgot, you don't have a mountain."

- Balin's whole narration, from "Thorin has more cause to hate orcs than you know..." to "It was then that I first saw him... I thought, there is one I could follow. There is one I could call King..." to "There was no song nor feasting that night, for our dead were beyond the count of grief."

- Bilbo's narration: From "And he never forgave, and he never forgot..." to "In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit..."

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Post #: 45
RE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - 20/12/2012 6:37:52 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ArseOfSauron

- Balin's whole narration, from "Thorin has more cause to hate orcs than you know..." to "It was then that I first saw him... I thought, there is one I could follow. There is one I could call King..." to "There was no song nor feasting that night, for our dead were beyond the count of grief."

- Bilbo's narration: From "And he never forgave, and he never forgot..." to "In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit..."



Those two moments would certainly make the list. Brilliant scenes, But I shant be attempting any updates on that thread until I've seen all three Hobbit films, probably many times each


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Post #: 46
RE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - 20/12/2012 6:48:16 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Hobbitonlass


quote:

ORIGINAL: Gimli The Dwarf
And there's a spectacularly odd musical decision made near the end of the film when the music for the Nazgul, not present at all in the film, is used for pivotal heroic scene. For a casual listener it may not be a problem but for someone damn near obsessed with the music for LOTR it sticks out like a sore thumb.

Yep, that really stuck out for me too. I was envisaging the Nazgul when it was playing. I found it very odd.



Some explanation of it here! - http://www.musicoflotr.com/2012/12/notes.html

The really annoying thing is I love the music of LOTR but I have absolutely no understanding of music or musical theory. I wish people wouldn't talk about chords and keys but rather about twiddly bits and really loud bits

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Post #: 47
RE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - 20/12/2012 3:39:08 PM   
jcthefirst


Posts: 4430
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Are there 48fps versions anywhere in 2D?

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Post #: 48
RE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - 21/12/2012 12:15:50 AM   
Ref


Posts: 7461
Joined: 5/10/2005
From: Leicester
Loved it. Really enjoyed it. Loved most of the characterisations (we will not mention Radagast though ). The acting chemistry between Freeman (fantastic) and Armitage (wonderfully brooding/majestic) was top notch. I especially loved the 'Good Morning' scene and 'Radagast, is he a great wizard or more like you?' The Eagles looked blooming gorgeous in 48 fps. And the hug! Oh my goodness, I just loved that. I'm such a softie.

And Gimli, I've been having a think about the RingWraith theme *hi-light* perhaps PJ/Fran have that the Witch-King's ghost has 'inhabited' Azog's body?? Although that doesn't really tie up with the Gandalf/Balin look when Thorin states that Azog had died of his injures. *end* That is just completely a guess my end though.

< Message edited by Ref -- 21/12/2012 12:16:44 AM >


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Post #: 49
RE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - 21/12/2012 3:36:26 AM   
Deviation


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But Radagast had a bunny sled. He's awesome.

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Post #: 50
RE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - 21/12/2012 7:40:33 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


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Glad you liked if Ref, although sad to see that you seemed to dislike one of the few bits that Dev The Hobbit Hater did enjoy

Interesting musical theory. We shall have to see. Only another year until we find out!


< Message edited by Gimli The Dwarf -- 21/12/2012 7:41:13 AM >


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Post #: 51
RE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - 21/12/2012 9:18:29 AM   
Hobbitonlass

 

Posts: 11919
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Westeros

quote:

ORIGINAL: Gimli The Dwarf


quote:

ORIGINAL: Hobbitonlass


quote:

ORIGINAL: Gimli The Dwarf
And there's a spectacularly odd musical decision made near the end of the film when the music for the Nazgul, not present at all in the film, is used for pivotal heroic scene. For a casual listener it may not be a problem but for someone damn near obsessed with the music for LOTR it sticks out like a sore thumb.

Yep, that really stuck out for me too. I was envisaging the Nazgul when it was playing. I found it very odd.



Some explanation of it here! - http://www.musicoflotr.com/2012/12/notes.html

The really annoying thing is I love the music of LOTR but I have absolutely no understanding of music or musical theory. I wish people wouldn't talk about chords and keys but rather about twiddly bits and really loud bits

I shall try and digest that later! I'm the same with musical theory as well


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Post #: 52
RE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - 22/12/2012 11:36:08 PM   
Gimli The Dwarf


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I'm recommending this book to any fans of An Unexpected Journey. An absolutely lovely "art of" book. I could have hugged the postman when this arrived.

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So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

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Post #: 53
RE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - 23/12/2012 2:44:37 PM   
Ref


Posts: 7461
Joined: 5/10/2005
From: Leicester
I shall await after Crimbo, but I do want that book so desperately

I know you all have probably seen these interviews already, but here's some brilliantly funny ones with Freeman, Serkis and Armitage:~

MSN Interview with Freeman and Serkis - in which Martin tries an impression of Gollum

MAX 60 seconds with Martin Freeman

MAX 60 seconds with Richard Armitage



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Post #: 54
RE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - 23/12/2012 2:48:03 PM   
Hobbitonlass

 

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Joined: 30/9/2005
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gimli The Dwarf




I'm recommending this book to any fans of An Unexpected Journey. An absolutely lovely "art of" book. I could have hugged the postman when this arrived.

I've got all the "art of" LOTR books so will more than likely order this after Christmas

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Post #: 55
RE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - 23/12/2012 5:37:20 PM   
Darth Marenghi

 

Posts: 3239
Joined: 10/10/2010
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quote:

ORIGINAL: ArseOfSauron

"Here lies Balin, son of Fundin, Lord of Moria".


That's basically going to be heartbreaking when everyone rewatches Fellowship, isn't it?

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Post #: 56
RE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - 23/12/2012 7:19:25 PM   
Vadersville


Posts: 3118
Joined: 30/9/2005
Rather enjoyed The Hobbit Part 1. I do think the over reliance on CG will mean it won't age as well as LotR, but Gollum looked awesome! Also, Freeman is brilliant as Bilbo and makes a much better hero than Frodo ever did!

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Post #: 57
RE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - 23/12/2012 7:52:17 PM   
Whistler


Posts: 3156
Joined: 22/11/2006
So I went to see it for the second time last night, in 2D, and enjoyed it every bit as much. My initial issue with the overuse of CGI persists but that remains my only real issue, and the length really doesn't bother me like it seems to have done with a lot of people. I could happily go and see it again; it's two hours and forty minutes of pure fun.

Also, did anyone else think the Goblin King looked like an angry scrotum?

< Message edited by Whistler -- 23/12/2012 7:54:58 PM >

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Post #: 58
RE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - 28/12/2012 10:11:49 PM   
Ref


Posts: 7461
Joined: 5/10/2005
From: Leicester
A great little article here from Flickering Myth on why Gandalf is a bit of a troll in The Hobbit:~

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Post #: 59
RE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - 28/12/2012 11:39:56 PM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 78128
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
Some good points made in that

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So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

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Post #: 60
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