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RE: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - 19/12/2013 3:49:04 PM   
horribleives

 

Posts: 5055
Joined: 12/6/2009
From: The North
quote:

ORIGINAL: AxlReznor

The point is, when a story is over 65 years old, complaining about spoilers is a bit dumb. And the fact that it's older than most of us, and it's the sixth highest-selling book in the world make it even dumber. But if I were a literary snob, I'd probably hate the film rather than love it.

PS: The Titanic sinks, and Romeo and Juliet die.


Well first of all, the Titanic actually happened and I'd wager a hell of a lot more people read Romeo and Juliet at school than The Hobbit. And it's also been around just a tad longer (and I'd wager the story's more well known) than Tolkien's book. And how many copies it's sold is irrelevant too - the Harry Potter books sold billions, would this make it perfectly okay to spoil the films for people who haven't read them?


< Message edited by horribleives -- 19/12/2013 3:50:41 PM >


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Post #: 61
RE: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - 19/12/2013 3:56:22 PM   
matty_b


Posts: 14520
Joined: 19/10/2005
From: Outpost 31 calling McMurtle.
But the ultimate point about Romeo and Juliet pretty much is that they die - it's a trope that's been copied or ripped off countless times. The Hobbit is something completely different, so I'm just glad that I avoided spoilers as the end of the film caught me completely by surprise.

Same for LOTR. I went into ROTK not having a clue as to who, if any, would die by the end.

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cool Breeze
Mattyb is a shining example of what the perfect Empire Forum member is.


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Post #: 62
RE: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - 19/12/2013 4:04:19 PM   
jonson


Posts: 9005
Joined: 30/9/2005
And as for Romeo and Juliet, I've never read the book, never seen an adaption of the story, never seen a stage play of it, call me uncultured but I didn't know they died at the end!
The only reference I can think of that I know is the Dire Straits song and I'm sure they don't snuff it at the end of that.

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Post #: 63
RE: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - 19/12/2013 4:10:11 PM   
jonson


Posts: 9005
Joined: 30/9/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: AxlReznor

The point is, when a story is over 65 years old, complaining about spoilers is a bit dumb. And the fact that it's older than most of us, and it's the sixth highest-selling book in the world make it even dumber. But if I were a literary snob, I'd probably hate the film rather than love it.

PS: The Titanic sinks, and Romeo and Juliet die.


And the top 5 biggest selling books are:-

A tale of 2 Cities - Charles Dickens - sorry, never read it
The Lord of the Rings - again, not read it
The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint something or other - never read it
And then there were none - Agatha Christie - errr, never read it
Dream of the Red Chamber - Cao Zueqin - never heard of it

And I would think The Bible and the Koran are higher placed, and I've never read them either.



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Post #: 64
RE: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - 19/12/2013 4:28:32 PM   
horribleives

 

Posts: 5055
Joined: 12/6/2009
From: The North
quote:

ORIGINAL: jonson


quote:

ORIGINAL: AxlReznor

The point is, when a story is over 65 years old, complaining about spoilers is a bit dumb. And the fact that it's older than most of us, and it's the sixth highest-selling book in the world make it even dumber. But if I were a literary snob, I'd probably hate the film rather than love it.

PS: The Titanic sinks, and Romeo and Juliet die.


And the top 5 biggest selling books are:-

A tale of 2 Cities - Charles Dickens - sorry, never read it
The Lord of the Rings - again, not read it
The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint something or other - never read it
And then there were none - Agatha Christie - errr, never read it
Dream of the Red Chamber - Cao Zueqin - never heard of it

And I would think The Bible and the Koran are higher placed, and I've never read them either.




Never read any of those either (apart from the odd bit of the Bible but I just couldn't get into it. Heard if you persevere there's a lot of killings though so I might give it another go). And I've never heard of the Agatha Christie or Cao Zequin ones. In fact I've never heard of Cao Zequin*
*As evidenced by the fact I can't spell his/her name.


< Message edited by horribleives -- 19/12/2013 4:29:56 PM >


_____________________________

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Post #: 65
RE: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - 19/12/2013 5:40:42 PM  1 votes
Coyleone


Posts: 566
Joined: 13/10/2008
5 Stars? Good grief. What for?

Overuse of CGI to the point it becomes meaningless and overtakes the entire film, pointless characters and sub stories, convoluted fair ground ride set pieces, more awful CGI action scenes similar to that of the Matrix or Star Wars prequels, stuff that totally defies the ability to suspend disbelief, no focus on the main character of the story but instead deciding to add in everything under the sun that had absolutely no purpose, no story or character progression making way for yet more awful video game style set pieces. Or does all of that make a good film these days? Smaug looked and sounded fantastic and Freeman is brilliant in his role as Bilbo, what a shame then that he gets lost in amongst a pile of CGI liquid gold, spiders, wolfes, orcs, landscapes, people and an insanely ridiculously bad Legolas appearance that takes up far too much time. Why is he all of a sudden some kind of Neo-esque killing device that can do anything he wants and take down an army on his own? Bizarre. And rubbish. I could probably rant for a long time about each segment of the film and why it was poor or didn't work or served no purpose other than to have more CGI crap just for the sake of having it in there and showing it off. Fine, but it at least needs to look really good. It doesn't. Especially in the final set piece which is one of the most awful, convoluted, insulting action set pieces I've ever seen. Why is everything that should be simple tuned into some kind of fair ground ride? Why? WHY? Genuinely a stupid, stupid movie. Everything that was great about LOTR is gone. I'll probably pretend these films don't exist.

That ended up just being an unstructured mess of a rant, sorry. Oh well, it kind of goes hand in hand with the film, I guess.

< Message edited by Coyleone -- 19/12/2013 5:46:46 PM >

(in reply to horribleives)
Post #: 66
RE: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - 19/12/2013 6:00:38 PM   
Hood_Man


Posts: 12151
Joined: 30/9/2005
To be honest, this debate shouldn't even be necessary since it's so easy to avoid giving spoilers in the first place. Take the one above, "the Smaug battle was too drawn out" said everything that was necessary; it was too long. The remainder of that sentence added nothing.

If you watch a film that turns out to be a tragedy, you can say that; "It's a sad story, a real tragedy." No specifics given, it's all left up to the imagination of the person reading, and you've avoided saying "the two lovers die at the end in a suicide pact/the boat sinks and the lovers drown/rocks fall, everyone dies."

Also, going off topic for a moment, this is a review thread. A review thread. When did it become acceptable for reviews to include spoilers? The whole purpose of a review is to let people know what you thought, not what happens. The two aren't mutually inclusive. How else am I supposed to gauge if a film is worth seeing or not, without knowing what other people thought of it? By going by star rating only? We've seen how well that works out

Too many times I've seen people justify spoiling a film by saying "What are you doing in a review thread if you don't want spoilers?! " That's not a justification at all, we do have a Favourite Films forum for just that very thing. Discuss spoilers to your hearts content but do it in the right place.

Going back to The Hobbit again, I'm one of those people who always intended to read the Middle Earth books after LOTR finished in cinemas, but I simply never got round to it. Now that The Hobbit is in cinemas I'm actively avoiding reading them, because I don't want to know what happens until next Christmas. Some people like to read books ahead of seeing the theatrical adaptation, some like to read the books afterwards to get any extra depth or insight available after knowing the main story. I'm in the latter camp and that's my prerogative, and I find it rather frustrating that people will choose to blame me rather than take just that extra moment or two to safely clarify what they mean.

A little more consideration for others wouldn't go amiss.


That's a general rant by the way, not really aimed at any one individual. I guess I'm just letting off steam about a small irritation that's been bubbling away for a little while.

(in reply to Coyleone)
Post #: 67
RE: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - 19/12/2013 6:02:54 PM   
Hood_Man


Posts: 12151
Joined: 30/9/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: jonson
And I would think The Bible and the Koran are higher placed, and I've never read them either.

I read The Book of Revelation when I was a young teen, so I know how it ends

Some annoying Bible basher on the internet told me to read it, probably to put the fear of God into me. It worked, and I became a Christian.



...for about 6 weeks

(in reply to jonson)
Post #: 68
RE: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - 19/12/2013 7:06:10 PM   
AxlReznor

 

Posts: 1623
Joined: 2/12/2010
From: Great Britain

quote:

ORIGINAL: horribleives

quote:

ORIGINAL: jonson


quote:

ORIGINAL: AxlReznor

The point is, when a story is over 65 years old, complaining about spoilers is a bit dumb. And the fact that it's older than most of us, and it's the sixth highest-selling book in the world make it even dumber. But if I were a literary snob, I'd probably hate the film rather than love it.

PS: The Titanic sinks, and Romeo and Juliet die.


And the top 5 biggest selling books are:-

A tale of 2 Cities - Charles Dickens - sorry, never read it
The Lord of the Rings - again, not read it
The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint something or other - never read it
And then there were none - Agatha Christie - errr, never read it
Dream of the Red Chamber - Cao Zueqin - never heard of it

And I would think The Bible and the Koran are higher placed, and I've never read them either.




Never read any of those either (apart from the odd bit of the Bible but I just couldn't get into it. Heard if you persevere there's a lot of killings though so I might give it another go). And I've never heard of the Agatha Christie or Cao Zequin ones. In fact I've never heard of Cao Zequin*
*As evidenced by the fact I can't spell his/her name.



Off-Topic... Dream Of The Red Chamber is - along with Journey To The West, Romance Of The Three Kingdoms and The Water Margin - one of the most celebrated books in Chinese antiquity. I've never read it, either, because it's extremely hard to translate them into English, but I would like to.

(in reply to horribleives)
Post #: 69
RE: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - 20/12/2013 9:08:45 AM   
jonson


Posts: 9005
Joined: 30/9/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: AxlReznor


Off-Topic... Dream Of The Red Chamber is - along with Journey To The West, Romance Of The Three Kingdoms and The Water Margin - one of the most celebrated books in Chinese antiquity. I've never read it, either, because it's extremely hard to translate them into English, but I would like to.


Well I'm going to read it over Christmas and PM you the ending

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Post #: 70
RE: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - 20/12/2013 9:40:52 AM   
elab49


Posts: 54577
Joined: 1/10/2005
In general, film spoilers are not an issue in this thread - you read it at your own peril.

But to be very clear - if we are talking about a series and you are talking about something that will happen in a future part as it comes from an existing source you ARE breaching site spoilers rules. Your post will be removed and you will receive a warning, official or otherwise depending on severity. This is exactly the policy we apply in eg Walking Dead and GoT threads. We expect users to show consideration to other users in this regard. While there will always be a grey area with true stories (vaguer with the current Wolf of Wall St eg) when you are adapting a book that the vast majority of people on the planet have not read it's what even Kevin Bacon would call a no-brainer. When it was written is broadly irrelevant as this is a current film series and that's the part that's important.

Oddly, I'd consider R&J slightly different for the simple reason that elements of the story have seeped into popular culture in a way Hobbit hasn't. If you've listened to an Arctic Monkeys song eg you know part of the set-up. There are some things that are simply harder to miss.

Edit - also, did each and every one of you gits have to quote the damn thing!



< Message edited by elab49 -- 20/12/2013 5:03:54 PM >


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ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


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(in reply to jonson)
Post #: 71
RE: Hobbit : desolation of Smaug Full Movie Watch now - 22/12/2013 12:03:43 PM   
Mr Gittes

 

Posts: 571
Joined: 3/2/2013
Hmmm, I'm in a dilemma now.

You see, originally I was going to just wait until all three were released on blu ray, and then simply watch them all for the first time back-to-back, like one extremely long film; thus I didn't go see An Unexpected Journey.

But now all this excitement and praise surrounding Desolation Of Smaug has got me thinking - should I scrap this plan? I mean, if it's really as good as they say, I don't want to look back in the future and think "Jeez, why the hell didn't I go see it on the big screen when I had the chance?!"

So, for those who have seen it, what would you recommend? Should I stick to my original plan, or should I quickly watch An Unexpected Journey then catch Desolation Of Smaug at the cinema while it's still showing? Is it that good? (Keep in mind, I'm not that picky - I'm not expecting it to be as good as the LOTR films)

Post #: 72
RE: Hobbit : desolation of Smaug Full Movie Watch now - 23/12/2013 2:05:26 PM  1 votes
superdan


Posts: 8197
Joined: 31/7/2008
SPOILERS FOLLOW:

Saw it yesterday, and while I would be inclined to agree it is an improvement on the first instalment I still think it was short of any of the LotR films by some distance. Perhaps the best way to enjoy these films is to have never read The Hobbit, to take them completely on their own merits without the influence of the book. It was less of an issue in LotR, because despite taking many liberties the films stayed broadly true to the source material and essential scenes were captured well and within the spirit they were written. This doesn't happen in The Hobbit. This film should probably have been called The Further Adventures Of Peter Jackson In Middle Earth: Jackson Misses The Point Again. He's so busy trying to make the story the grand operatic adventure that LotR were he fails to do the story of The Hobbit justice. Off the top of my head, the Cameo Of Beorn was fumbled, with Beorn being reduced to a slightly less intimidating version of the Beast from that soppy 80's tv drama Beauty and the Beast. He doesn't really do anything (other than giving them some ponies they ride for a minute or two), whereas in the book he is important in aiding the group. And I might be wrong but I don't believe he actually tries to kill them in the book either.

The scenes in Mirkwood and with the spiders are similarly mishandled, being reduced to a generic (short-lived) action scene. There is the briefest of nods to the growing panic, bewilderment and paranoia of the group in the forest, and no nod whatsoever to Bilbo taunting the spiders and leavening the tension with humour. This problem repeats itself in the Mountain with Smaug, which again completely undercuts Bilbo by making it yet another ridiculous gee-whizz action sequence rather than the character-driven confrontation it could have been. Quite why Jackson decided against Smaug's jewel-encrusted underbelly is beyond me as well, since it is a somewhat important feature in the story and could probably have looked visually striking.

In spite of all this I didn't think it was a massive failure like I did the first film (which says how much I 'enjoyed' that instalment), but I honestly can't understand, given that it is a film with a run time of over two and a half hours, why Jackson felt the need to completely undersell scenes of importance to the story and Bilbo's arc in favour of giving us The Wooing Of Tauriel (Who?) or Kili's Poorly Leg, Bolg's Big Adventure or Gandalf Loses To The Smoke From Lost.

(in reply to Mr Gittes)
Post #: 73
RE: Hobbit : desolation of Smaug Full Movie Watch now - 23/12/2013 9:55:43 PM   
barracute

 

Posts: 17
Joined: 20/8/2006
Saw this, this afternoon and enjoyed it immensely. Beorn was great though could have done with more of him, The Spiders in Mirkwood were very well done and very scary. It was good to see what Gandalf got up to when he left the group. Bard was a great character, but obviously Tauriel was the best new addition, though could have done with less of the love triangle. Talking of which it was interesting how different the character of Legolas was in this to the LOTR! Smaug was realised very well indeed and the final stretch of the movie was quite epic - the ending was a bit sudden though, left me gasping for more (which was the intention obviously!)

(in reply to superdan)
Post #: 74
RE: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug...hmmmm! - 27/12/2013 9:32:04 AM   
Drone


Posts: 964
Joined: 30/9/2005
If like me you really didn't enjoy the Hobbit, I am pleased to say this is a zilion times better, and surpassed my expectations.

I agree with the five star review completely. I would say this is as close to the LOTR films as it could have been.

Fantastic from start to finish. Bilbo's infatuation with the One Ring beginning to form. Tauriel was surprisingly good.

Watched the HFR version which was the strangest thing I have ever seen. As much as I enjoyed the film it was spoiled just the tiniest but for me by the HFR. I couldn't get tickets to the IMAX showing on the day of release (I saw it on the 13th / 14th whenever it was) and there didn't seem to be a 2D option.

The 'family photos' bit with Gloin and Legolas was very well done.

Such a fantastic film - I feel that, had the first film had a similar tone and pace we'd have had far higher expectations for this one.

It's a testament to the filmmakers that even Azog looked good this time around, and looked good despite the HFR!

The Smaug reveal is also very epic. He is huge - and it's the first time I have been to a film where the entire audience has went "AAAWWWWWWWWwwwwww" at the end! Recommended if you didn't enjoy the first really wanted to.
Post #: 75
RE: Top-draw cinematic joy - 28/12/2013 8:07:19 AM   
chang

 

Posts: 103
Joined: 28/12/2013
it was nice movie..really enjoyed it.. it was better than the first movie
Post #: 76
RE: Woah - 28/12/2013 11:07:41 AM   
Drone


Posts: 964
Joined: 30/9/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: 7eke

What film were you watching Nick? I guess we'll always have the LOTR trilogy.


Not sure if that was a response to me but I'm not Nick, unless that's some odd slang I'm not aware of.

As fantastic as the LOTR films are, I don't feel they are aging as well as they could - maybe I have seen them once too often, and as a hardcore advocate of the books (there is not a bigger Tolkien/LOTR nut on the forum than me) I believe there will be a more definitive screen adaptation of the books one day.
Post #: 77
RE: Desolation of Smaug - 28/12/2013 9:00:11 PM   
BelfastBoy

 

Posts: 573
Joined: 30/11/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: Alistair

quote:

ORIGINAL: ArseOfSauron
I think that's the point.* But I agree with most of your review.

*Gandalf is trying to assess whether The Enemy has returned and if so, how strong he is. You see him in the latter film as just the Necromancer, black smoke. Now he is stronger, and briefly appears in forms he takes in LotR - the smoke is now a cover rather than a sign of his weakness.


Nevertheless, it's confusing. I hope that Gandalf has a conversation with Galadriel or something in the final film, explaining what he saw and why this is. The concept of a large flaming eye is a bit...bizarre (Tolkien's doing, I know). I don't think it helped that Jackson chose to show a glimpse of Sauron in the armour he wore at the beginning of Fellowship. That literally makes no sense other than to explain to stupid people who this actually is. But in doing this it adds more confusion as to Sauron's actual form. If he can move around at will and attack Gandalf with such power, then why didn't he just float on over to Mount Doom when Frodo was about to chuck the ring in to the lava?

P.S - I like your username


The giant flaming eye isn't Tolkien - it's Jackson & Co interpreting Tolkien's references to 'the Eye' far too literally. I don't have the book handy but in Tolkien's letters he makes it clear that Sauron has a physical form - roughly man-shaped, but far larger and more terrible. He isn't a giant floating eyeball! Even 60 years earlier, with his power still growing and in the guise of the Necromancer, he'd still be far more tangible than black smoke!

(in reply to Alistair)
Post #: 78
RE: Desolation of Smaug - 28/12/2013 11:20:15 PM  1 votes
jackflaps

 

Posts: 14
Joined: 18/2/2008
Utterly underwhelming film. Saw it with my family, ranging from fellow Tolkien nerds like me to complete fantasy noobs, and not one of us left the cinema feeling satisfied. So many flaws it astounds me that Empire gave it the full five stars.

The film is at its best when it actually sticks to the novels. Bilbo's first encounter with Smaug is taken pretty much verbatim from the novel, and is wonderful. It's such a shame, therefore, that despite the fact they're spreading this thing over three films, Jackson and co felt the need to rush through scenes which actually occurred in the novel to make extra screentime for their pandering fanfiction nonsense. The chapters dealing with the Mirkwood spiders in the novel provided us with great scenes where Bilbo gets to show off his growing resourcefulness and courage. Here, they're over and done in five minutes. Likewise, the chapters detailing Bilbo's time in Thranduil's hall show how committed he is to rescuing the dwarves, and how he is able to start planning and strategising efficiently. Here, once again, the rescue is over and done in five minutes, ending with a skit from the Three Stooges. Bilbo's a background character in his own fucking movie, and all his best bits from the novel bar Smaug are just crammed into five minute compressed bites. Which wouldn't sting as much if the film didn't then spend so much time on other stuff which is just made up wholesale and completely underwhelming. A slashfic between Kili and a female elf character? Really? This extended story about the Master of Laketown and his scuttlebuddy which is essentially a retread of the Wormtongue story from TTT? All those needless scenes of elves standing around stating the bloody obvious to each other?

And the shoe-horned in action sequences... the film is just overstuffed with zany CGI setpieces which make everyone and everything look like they're made out of Flubber. Everyone had already established that the Legolas untouchable-superman scenes were the worst setpieces of the LOTR films, so why give us so many scenes of him just killing orcs left, right and centre? There's no sense of danger when he's just mowing through them like a scythe through dry grass. And that ending Smaug setpiece... it completely ruined the setup of the character, turning him from a legitimately threatening, imposing villain into an incompetent, petulant oaf. And that ending was just an insult on top of everything.

Just... dammit. I really wanted these films to be good. I was 100% on board when Del Toro was going to direct them, and was even cautiously optimistic when Jackson stepped in (I had major disagreements over many changes Jackson made to LOTR, but that's neither here nor there). These films are just a mess though. Badly paced, disrespectful to the source material, overstuffed with needless special effects... A couple of good scenes with Gandalf or Smaug can't change the fact that this film is just as flawed as the first, and it's becoming painfully apparent just how much Warner Bros are trying to stretch this cashcow.

(in reply to BelfastBoy)
Post #: 79
RE: The magic is gone - 29/12/2013 9:57:00 AM   
Drone


Posts: 964
Joined: 30/9/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: jackflaps

Utterly underwhelming film. Saw it with my family, ranging from fellow Tolkien nerds like me to complete fantasy noobs, and not one of us left the cinema feeling satisfied. So many flaws it astounds me that Empire gave it the full five stars.

The film is at its best when it actually sticks to the novels. Bilbo's first encounter with Smaug is taken pretty much verbatim from the novel, and is wonderful. It's such a shame, therefore, that despite the fact they're spreading this thing over three films, Jackson and co felt the need to rush through scenes which actually occurred in the novel to make extra screentime for their pandering fanfiction nonsense. The chapters dealing with the Mirkwood spiders in the novel provided us with great scenes where Bilbo gets to show off his growing resourcefulness and courage. Here, they're over and done in five minutes. Likewise, the chapters detailing Bilbo's time in Thranduil's hall show how committed he is to rescuing the dwarves, and how he is able to start planning and strategising efficiently. Here, once again, the rescue is over and done in five minutes, ending with a skit from the Three Stooges. Bilbo's a background character in his own fucking movie, and all his best bits from the novel bar Smaug are just crammed into five minute compressed bites. Which wouldn't sting as much if the film didn't then spend so much time on other stuff which is just made up wholesale and completely underwhelming. A slashfic between Kili and a female elf character? Really? This extended story about the Master of Laketown and his scuttlebuddy which is essentially a retread of the Wormtongue story from TTT? All those needless scenes of elves standing around stating the bloody obvious to each other?

And the shoe-horned in action sequences... the film is just overstuffed with zany CGI setpieces which make everyone and everything look like they're made out of Flubber. Everyone had already established that the Legolas untouchable-superman scenes were the worst setpieces of the LOTR films, so why give us so many scenes of him just killing orcs left, right and centre? There's no sense of danger when he's just mowing through them like a scythe through dry grass. And that ending Smaug setpiece... it completely ruined the setup of the character, turning him from a legitimately threatening, imposing villain into an incompetent, petulant oaf. And that ending was just an insult on top of everything.

Just... dammit. I really wanted these films to be good. I was 100% on board when Del Toro was going to direct them, and was even cautiously optimistic when Jackson stepped in (I had major disagreements over many changes Jackson made to LOTR, but that's neither here nor there). These films are just a mess though. Badly paced, disrespectful to the source material, overstuffed with needless special effects... A couple of good scenes with Gandalf or Smaug can't change the fact that this film is just as flawed as the first, and it's becoming painfully apparent just how much Warner Bros are trying to stretch this cashcow.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Enzino

I had high expectations for this film but was sorely disappointed. It reminds me of what happened with the Star Wars prequels. We were so eager to like them because it's Star Wars but the truth is they were bloated, pale imitations of the classic trilogy. With too much money and time at his disposal Jackson seems unable to know when enough is enough, piling on subplots and hopelessly stretched out action sequences until it becomes wearisome. What happened to simply telling a good story? The Hobbit doesn't need this much embellishment. And the dwarves, especially Thorin, are so unlikeable you can't root for them. Although there's much for Bilbo to do he feels completely sidelined in his own story. Ironically the character I liked the most wasn't even in Tolkien. Evangeline brought a freshness and spiritedness to the film that was lacking in almost all other areas.


Very interesting you claim to be a "Tolkien nerd" yet make those comments in bold. I guess what qualifies someone as a nerd these days ain't what it used to be.

You do both realise that the points you are making about how the story deviates so wildly from the novels can also be applied in abundance to The Lord of the Rings films?

Yet, you seem far more prepared to accept them as pieces of 'embellished' entertainment than you do the Hobbit, which is no more faithful in terms of characters or scenes.

I adore the LOTR films - but comparing them to the novels is an insult. From the weak willed and uncertain Theoden of the movies to Aragorn's doubt of his own heritage, to Gimli being little more than a comedy sidekick, the hesitance of the ents, Bormomir's timid weakness before the ring, and on, and on, and on. With the exception of Tauriel, many scenes in the Hobbit are simply extensions and Peter Jackson's interpretations of scenes in the novel.

Azog is a goblin rather than an orc and his lust for Thorin is a fiction, as is the depth of his son Bolg's loyalty to hunting them down, but it's no more of a fiction than anything else I have seen between the trilogies, for example. The films are meer trifling little homages to Tolkien's masterpiece. Yet for some reason all the Hobbit experts seem to be complaining about all of the additions (again, with the exception of Tauriel are little more than cheeky embelishments of suggestions from the novels) yet they are about as faithful as each other for fans of the books.

I hated the first Hobbit. And it's fine to hate the films, but let's not complain about how unfaithful they are to the source material when with the same breath we are spouting our love for LOTR, which is no more than a poor mans interpretation of the original story and characters. It's quite hypocritical.
Post #: 80
RE: The magic is gone - 29/12/2013 10:59:28 AM   
BelfastBoy

 

Posts: 573
Joined: 30/11/2005
The Hobbit films, DOS in particular, are entertaining action adventures. I'm going to politely describe them as being pastiche stories in the spirit of Tolkien (perhaps akin to BBC's 'Death Comes To Pemberley'), rather than being remotely faithful to the source material. The Hobbit films are no place for purists, but that doesn't mean they can't be enjoyed in their own right. However, I have to say how disappointed I am with the CGI. The LOTR films have been on a lot on Sky Movies over Christmas and I've been dipping in and out of them regularly - they may be over a decade old now but in many ways the CGI seems better as it's accompanied by a greater emphasis on miniature sets, practical sets and augmented 'real' landscapes. I have to say that while I enjoyed the lengthy Erebor sequence in DOS, some of it looked no better than stuff from Van Helsing! The Wargs in Two Towers were poor as that entire sequence was (as the filmmakers readily conceded at the time) rushed and badly planned. However, ten years on, despite advances in technology etc, they seem no better. The chase sequence with Radagast in AUJ was, from the technical perspective, risible. Also, in the barrels sequence, why on earth was what looked like home video footage included? I appreciate the authenticity of (presumably) putting a stunt performer in the actual river with a camera, but surely the footage could have been post-produced to at least match the colour palette of the rest of the film? Everything else is pristine to the point of artificiality, so having brief snippets of raw reality is totally jarring!

< Message edited by BelfastBoy -- 29/12/2013 11:06:17 AM >

(in reply to Drone)
Post #: 81
RE: The magic is gone - 29/12/2013 6:03:57 PM   
jackflaps

 

Posts: 14
Joined: 18/2/2008
What utter twaddle.

First off, you'll note that nowhere in my post did I claim to be head-over-heels for the LOTR films. I merely commented on the difference in methods regarding special effects. As you brought the subject up, I may as well state my opinion that I'm very mixed on the LOTR films. I appreciate some of the things they did, and genuinely enjoy Fellowship as a film, but overall would say they are highly flawed films with wonky characterisation. I don't accept the embellishments. In fact, I think Jackson's embellishments in LOTR were the worst elements of the films. I didn't say as much because this is a review of The Hobbit, not LOTR.

Nonetheless the LOTR films hold together better than the Hobbit films.

You are also wrong on how little Jackson has changed the source material. The oft-quote Necromancer backstory actually happens nothing like how it happens in the books. In the books, Gandalf and the White Council are already well aware of who the Necromancer really is. The extended detective story by Gandalf and Radagast in AUJ to determine 'who' the Necromancer is never actually occurred, even in the appendices. In the backstory to the books, Gandalf already knows Sauron is back, and is simply trying to work out a plan which deals with his threat while not upsetting things too much. So no, the 'appendices' excuse doesn't work. That's ignoring the fact that stuff like orcs in Laketown, the dwarves getting split up and Legolas' extended story never happened. The action sequence at the end of the film? Never happened, and it demonstrably weakens Smaug as a character. Instead of being a genuinely dangerous threat, he becomes a clumsy oaf who can't even manage to take care of a handful of dwarves in his lair. His retreat to Laketown comes across exactly as that- a retreat. Whereas in the novel, it was genuinely him exercising his strength and seeking to punish Bilbo and the Dwarves for theft.

There is simply no denying the fact that a large part of what happens in DOS is stuff that Jackson and co made up wholesale. This wouldn't be an issue except for the fact that a) their made-up stuff is of noticeably lesser quality than material from the original novel, and b) it forces them to sideline stuff that was actually in the book. The run in with the spiders was a major encounter in the book. It demonstrated Bilbo's developing character, as well as the team dynamic of the dwarves. In the book they genuinely respect Bilbo for coming to their rescue, and show some initiative of their own in trying to help him with his plan. Moreover, Bilbo is forced to reveal the ring to them, which changes the dynamic between the group somewhat, and makes it more understandable why they're so happy to let him go creeping around the Lonely Mountain later on in the story. They know at that point that he's resourceful, brave and that he's got a magic tool to help him out of trouble, so it's understandable that he's the one who goes into the Mountain. None of that gets translated into the film. It's excised so that we can instead get loads of shots of Orlando Bloom staring wistfully at Evangeline Lily or randomly drawing a bow and arrow on her.

So please stop putting words in my mouth, and claiming arguments I never made. I have no overwhelming love for the LOTR films, but even ignoring that, the Hobbit films clearly suffer from being both too drawn out, and from having actual book material replaced with Peter Jackson's slashfic.

(in reply to Drone)
Post #: 82
RE: re the desolation of smaug yawnfest - 3/1/2014 8:29:05 AM   
jonson


Posts: 9005
Joined: 30/9/2005
I was disappointed by the first one, but decided to rewatch it in anticipation of this. It was better second time round, so was quite looking forward to seeing more action, more dragon, and more dwarves.
All in all thought it was more boring than the first, lacked any warmth, the dragon was ok, I enjoyed the barrel scene, thought it was quite funny, but other than that, it failed (for me)on every level (the love for Cumberbatch is bizarre, he just speaks his lines, and I like him as an actor)
I might be wrong here but what I liked about LOTR was the scenery, it looked real, and I always assumed most of it was
Nothing about this film looked even remotely real, it was all CGI (again, tell me if I'm wrong here) so just looked.........crap. Not sure if Peter Jacksons fx men are different, or using slightly cheaper computers or whatever it is you use, but it all looked poor.
And fucking Stephen Fry entered the film just as I was trying to enjoy it, and just flushed the lot down the toilet And then 3 annoying kids (who I can only assume are Peter Jackson's kids as they look like them from the LOTR films)
If the final and third one isn't a vast improvement, then I can safely say in 5-10 years these films will be ripped to pieces like they deserve to be.

Very lazy money grabbing rubbish so far.
2/5.

(and just to point out, I never normally comment on Empire's reviews as I believe it is in the eye of the reviewer, but never has one been so far from what I witnessed - I am literally gob smacked it was given 5 stars. I seriously must have missed something, or seen the wrong film all together. It makes Hewitt's AOTC review look relatively sane)

< Message edited by jonson -- 3/1/2014 8:33:33 AM >


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Post #: 83
RE: re the desolation of smaug yawnfest - 3/1/2014 8:45:39 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 77513
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo

quote:

ORIGINAL: jonson

And then 3 annoying kids (who I can only assume are Peter Jackson's kids as they look like them from the LOTR films)



The two girls are James Nesbitt's daughters.

_____________________________

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 jonson)
Post #: 84
RE: re the desolation of smaug yawnfest - 3/1/2014 9:27:56 AM   
jonson


Posts: 9005
Joined: 30/9/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: Gimli The Dwarf


quote:

ORIGINAL: jonson

And then 3 annoying kids (who I can only assume are Peter Jackson's kids as they look like them from the LOTR films)



The two girls are James Nesbitt's daughters.


Thanks, didn't know that.
Other than finding the film average, I must mention though that Martin Freeman is fabulous in it, clearly the only one interested.

_____________________________

I've got all the Barbie ones!!!

Yeah but you're old. Really old. Old. Old. Old. Old.

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Post #: 85
RE: re the desolation of smaug yawnfest - 3/1/2014 10:48:37 AM   
AxlReznor

 

Posts: 1623
Joined: 2/12/2010
From: Great Britain
Regarding the scenery, all of the actual New Zealand bits are real in both movies. The sets that had to be built in the Lord Of The Rings which were impossible to build in real life were miniatures (which ended up needing so much detail for all of the shots required that they got the nickname 'bigiatures'), which gave them a sense of being real objects.

However, I'm pretty sure Weta shut down their miniature department to concentrate solely on CGI before The Hobbit entered production - and yes, even though I love The Hobbit films, I agree that this was a huge mistake, because now everything that would have been miniatures is CGI and the films that are over a decade old end up looking more impressive than the current ones because of it (though I do believe The Desolation Of Smaug suffers from this far less than An Unexpected Journey did).

I do think everything that could be built full-size in real life was, though. Peter Jackson isn't George Lucas.

(in reply to jonson)
Post #: 86
RE: re the desolation of smaug yawnfest - 3/1/2014 10:55:56 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 77513
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
Didn't the miniatures unit end up shooting for over 1000 days or something for LOTR? There was a time I would have known this for sure


_____________________________

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 #: 87
RE: re the desolation of smaug yawnfest - 3/1/2014 10:57:59 AM   
AxlReznor

 

Posts: 1623
Joined: 2/12/2010
From: Great Britain
quote:

ORIGINAL: Gimli The Dwarf

Didn't the miniatures unit end up shooting for over 1000 days or something for LOTR? There was a time I would have known this for sure



Something like that, I think. I haven't watched the Extended Edition Appendices for a while... I should get on that.

(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 88
RE: re the desolation of smaug yawnfest - 3/1/2014 11:01:40 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 77513
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
Same here. The Weta Chronicles books have got me in a behind-the-scenes mood so I want to watch all The Hobbit extras in the near future, and then the LOTR ones 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 AxlReznor)
Post #: 89
RE: re the desolation of smaug yawnfest - 3/1/2014 11:33:32 AM   
DONOVAN KURTWOOD


Posts: 8973
Joined: 6/10/2005
From: PLANET G
WETA built and shot more miniatures / bigatures for Jackson's King Kong remake than for all three LOTR movies put together. I always found that interesting. Especially as he was still fully invested in using miniatures at this point.

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Pack your bags, we're going on a guilt trip!

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Post #: 90
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