Jump to content
The Dark Mod Forums

Hobbit thoughts


Fidcal
 Share

Recommended Posts

Just been reading a review of The Hobbit movie. It starts out like a bash but you soon realise it's a very thoughtful and penetrating exploration of how we perceive movies, games, tension, action, etc... What I felt at first was just his biased pov turned out to be quite convincing.

 

http://kotaku.com/59...ot-a-good-thing

 

My feeling now is not to have great expectations of the movie then I won't be too disappointed.

 

That said, I have watched, and sometimes really enjoyed, others playing video games. I've occasionally wished, after watching 30 seconds of game video, that they'd make it into a feature movie - I could watch it for hours. One of my fav movies is Beowulf and it had the visual flavour of a vid game but in a positive way.

 

It'll be interesting to see The Hobbit when I can get the DVD. I started re-reading the book yesterday as it's years since I read it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am going to watch The Hobbit this sunday in high frame rate 3d. It's more or less research, since I am actually not that interested in lord of the rings.

 

Many people reported that the movie would feel cheap and too fast because of the high frame rate. I observed a feeling like that myself with current LCD-TV-displays that use temporal upscaling using motion compensation and I believe this subjective impression can be easily explained. Just think! From which medium are we used to high frame rate? Yes, TV, and TV productions used to be of rather poor quality compared to cinema productions. So we have been conditioned over the years to link high frame rate with cheaper productions and vice versa. So a high quality cinema experience suddenly starts feeling cheap and too fast, as we are used to low frame rate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not a big LotR fan, but I like The Hobbit, and the movie treatment seems wrong on multiple levels.

  • First, The Hobbit doesn't have three movies' worth of material in it. It is a compact book which refers to the larger events of Middle Earth without really following up on its references. It is all "but that is a different story". Bringing them in can only damage the integrity of the work. Bringing in crowd-pleasing hollywoodish elements will be worse. This is not a book that can work well as a trilogy.
  • Following from this, The Hobbit is not really the LotR precursor the interpretation is shaping up to be. It is not epic fantasy, even if it has its epic moments. It is a mixture of European myth and boy's literature (in the tradition of Swallows and Amazons, etc.). The released trailers show it has been filmed as an epic fantasy. The idiom is all wrong.
  • Third, Hollywood can't make a good Hobbit movie because it can't think about myth, history and Europe in the ways Tolkien did, and which made Middle Earth. Actually, a good Hobbit could not be made in contemporary Europe either, except maybe in Russia, the only place where filmmakers still take these things seriously.

It's not a big disappointment since I never got my hopes up. But I am thinking of rereading the book again.

 

BTW, anyone looking for a fantasy fix should seriously check out Die Nibelungen (two films, four and a half hours), whose new restoration has finally been released in both Europe and North America. It is fairly slow-paced at the beginning, but it has everything one could ask from a historical epic, including a finale so unflinchingly dark and unforgiving that a modern studio could never get away with it.

Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • First, The Hobbit doesn't have three movies' worth of material in it. It is a compact book which refers to the larger events of Middle Earth without really following up on its references. It is all "but that is a different story". Bringing them in can only damage the integrity of the work. Bringing in crowd-pleasing hollywoodish elements will be worse. This is not a book that can work well as a trilogy.

I agree with most of this sentiment. If it were to be split at all, it should be in 2: Part 1 - There. Part 2 - Back Again. I really don't think the plan is doing cut-away 1000 year flashbacks to Beleriand or something to fill in histories. Hollywoodish elements is much more likely, but I haven't seen the first movie yet.

  • Following from this, The Hobbit is not really the LotR precursor the interpretation is shaping up to be. It is not epic fantasy, even if it has its epic moments. It is a mixture of European myth and boy's literature (in the tradition of Swallows and Amazons, etc.). The released trailers show it has been filmed as an epic fantasy. The idiom is all wrong.

I disagree. In the Hobbit and LotR, Bilbo and Sam Gamgee (respectively) serve the perspective of "reality check" from the high fantasy element, which I believe Tolkien himself referred to as "gamgification". You are correct that it was geared towards being a children's story, albeit a 'high fantasy' one.

  • Third, Hollywood can't make a good Hobbit movie because it can't think about myth, history and Europe in the ways Tolkien did

People are expecting a Peter Jeackson LotR prequel. I love the original book, but thinking a bit introspectively... I'm expecting and wanting the same thing as everyone else.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The first few pages of the book certainly feel more like a children's story than the dark, complex fantasy I remember that was LoR. I must have read these in the '80's along with the computer text adventures at the time so my recollections are of hazy, separate scenes rather than a comprehensive overview (can there be such a thing as a comprehensive overview! Isn't that rather like a fully-detailed summary? I suppose a pirate copy of the original could claim to be a fully-detailed summary. Sorry, I'm getting carried away here!)

 

Where was I? Is this the elephant thread? Oh, Hobbit, right. But not talking about elephants, I bought my current copy of Hobbit as a Kindle download. I got the free Kindle for PC the other week and as well as instant-buy they do have some freebies. I recommend The Phoenix Conspiracy as high value at zero dollars for a light, easy-read Sci-fi novel. Not all the freebies are this good of course. There are lots of bummers. Elephants in fact. Speaking of which...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Haven't seen the movie yet, but one of the technical gripes I keep hearing is that the higher framerate makes it seem like a soap opera or a stage play. Now I don't know if the negative reaction to it is as a result of a conditioning to an association between the lower framerate and what's perceived as "movie-like," or perhaps there really is some intrinsically neurological reason for this preference. I have no bias to either explanation, but what bugs me are the technophiles that cannot comprehend the fact that just because something has higher stats technically doesn't necessarily make it better in terms of the experience. Even if this were something that could be adjusted to over a few decades, why should we? The fact is the vast majority of viewers hate it now, and unless there is another major advantage of it on the behalf of the experience that significantly outweighs the negatives, I see no reason for the 48fps transition.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm looking forward to seeing it, but not enough to go to the theater. And I think it would fit fine being filmed much like the LOTR trilogy. Most likely people will watch the entire series as one so it would be weird to have 2 styles, even if the books were.

 

I tried that with the cartoon version of the Hobbit and the LOTR series.

 

3 movies is a bit over kill though, I think they could have done it fine in one 3 hour epic. or at most 2 films,.

Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw it on Thursday at midnight. It was 3D @ 24fps in a small town theater.

It was completely awesome!

My biggest gripe occurs during the scene concerning one Hobbit and 3 Trolls. There was a minor change from the books that I thought unnecessary, but I think it was done to enhance Bilbo's character.

As far as other changes from the original story (not the newly added material), Story changes were very minor, for the most part. The "birds in five fir trees" scene was modified to fit new material.

 

A nice highlight: The eagles looked fantastic in 3D.

 

New material. I loved it. Completely.

Mild, not detailed spoiler:

 

Radagast. Azog. The Witch King of Angmar. Galadriel & Saruman chillin' at Rivendel.

 

 

Funny moments:

 

Gandalf talking about "Bullroarer" Took and the invention of golf, which was not spoken in characters' conversation in the book.

The Goblin King's last words. LOL.

 

System: Mageia Linux Cauldron, aka Mageia 8

Link to comment
Share on other sites

which version of the book has he put to film, there's the original version of the book and a rewritten childrens version of the book.

It is the same as the the version published as the collector's edition, 50 year/7x year anniversary, etc. It was based on what I consider the complete version. I was not aware of a children's edition edited by Tolkien, though the original story did have it's start as his children's bedtime story.

System: Mageia Linux Cauldron, aka Mageia 8

Link to comment
Share on other sites

which version of the book has he put to film, there's the original version of the book and a rewritten childrens version of the book.

WTH are you guys even talking about?! Afaik the only edits in the new editions are lore edits to make the vague "in a galaxy far far away" references more accurate to the canon middle earth history. There is no such thing as a non-childrens edition...

 

Ok so I saw the movie. There was some hollywood junk, and there was some unnecessary history flashbacks. Everything else was awesome and gets ungoliant stamp of approval, even the most of the "new" material.

The 2 things I really hated:

 

The storm giant scene, and the Radagast portrayal and scenes, especially the bunny-sled.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What bugs me the most about Peter Jackson's adaptions of the Tolkien stuff is the thing they add, not what they leave out or they interpreted. In The Hobbit this will certainly be the added female character/elf/evangeline lilly to break the male dominance of the story. Tolkien wrote male centered narratives for a reason (not because he disliked women, but because the legends, lore & myths he liked and researched were rather male oriented), and this pc-marketing-crap makes me wanna vomit without even having seen it.

 

Plus there always is the problem that you cannot always wash the garden-gnome image off the dwarves or take the Hobbits seriously as grown adults. They always seem less mature/adult than "real" or grown-up humans.

 

BTW: There are three major edits of the book. The first edition of 1937, then 1951 and the 1965 editions/revisions, which in tone and vocabulary connected better to LotR. AFAIK the 1937 is the most "childish" version.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the added female character/elf/evangeline lilly to break the male dominance of the story. Tolkien wrote male centered narratives for a reason (not because he disliked women, but because the legends, lore & myths he liked and researched were rather male oriented), and this pc-marketing-crap makes me wanna vomit without even having seen it.

I'm not sure what you saw to get that reaction, but the only female in the entire 1st movie was a 2 minute scene with Galadriel in Rivendell.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So I just came home from the movie theatre and my conclusion is to tell those nay-sayers to bugger off. High framerate 3D is the future!! It takes some getting used to at first, but you notice the added value very soon. Smooth, stutterless camera pans. And never before were you able to follow fast action scenes this well. I mean if you compare it to some low fps action movies, the cuts and movements are so fast, that it is hard to make out anything in the scene. It all becomes a big blur, but not here.

 

Aside from the HFR the movie was also stereographed pretty well. I really had very little complaints, aside from some small stereo 3d faute pàs and some misadjusted cameraparameters here and there, leading to the cardboard effect (the scene seemingly reduced to multiple layers of cardboards). The occasional cardboard effect was really my main negative point about the movie as far as the stereo 3d quality is concerned, but then again, scenes like that are good for relaxing the eyes of the audience. And the movie more than made up for it with some breathtaking scenes! It was truly amazing. Sometimes it actually felt like just watch a real life scene through a window.

 

 

Haven't seen the movie yet, but one of the technical gripes I keep hearing is that the higher framerate makes it seem like a soap opera or a stage play. Now I don't know if the negative reaction to it is as a result of a conditioning to an association between the lower framerate and what's perceived as "movie-like," or perhaps there really is some intrinsically neurological reason for this preference. I have no bias to either explanation, but what bugs me are the technophiles that cannot comprehend the fact that just because something has higher stats technically doesn't necessarily make it better in terms of the experience. Even if this were something that could be adjusted to over a few decades, why should we? The fact is the vast majority of viewers hate it now, and unless there is another major advantage of it on the behalf of the experience that significantly outweighs the negatives, I see no reason for the 48fps transition.

Advantages summed up:

  • In active shutter stereo 3d, less wrong disparities will be induced
  • Less temporal alias
  • Raised temporal resolution for making out motions!
  • Less stutter during camera pans
  • More realistic impression
  • Less noticeable motion compensation artifacts on modern LCD TV

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw the movie last weekend and my opinion is that it was good, but could have been a lot better. It started out real great i think, than it got not so great and by the end..a bit casual.

 

I think it's biggest mistakes are induced by not taking certain risks.

 

 

 

 

-Azog - Nice peek into history, then.. ooh he's here to revenge , right now, just as someone brought up word of him...

( Guess they wanted a movie-arching villain..ok , but they could have done more interesting scenes than the usual ."Hrr...i am evil i even kill my servants..harr" and "He will pay for his deeds of past". cliches... )

 

-Bilbos actions in the end - They had to make Bilbo do something worthy since the story wont advance to a point where this starts happening in the book ..

Ok, they couldnt end the movie with Bilbo as no more than a annoyance to the group.. but again..something more fitting would have done a better job.

 

 

Another thing i didnt like was how much the characters were hurled and thrown around (Giants scene/ Goblin town) ..After all this it will be hard to take serious any harm that comes to them.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had not really that high expectations I think and was an awesome film, but it wasn't that great. I was partially bored, but still was a great film. Cast was great.

28fps were very noticeable and really made a difference, extremely smooth. It did look kind of a bit TV show like because of this, but the pro's won over the con's for me.

 

3D is where the problem lies with me. I love animated films in 3D, but Avatar was the only film where I really liked 3D, perhaps because it was largely CGI? Non CGI films barely look like 3D is worth it anymore. I dislike the dull color through the glasses and often take them off to watch bits of the film without it. During the film I even forget it's 3D but am unable to ignore the bad colors. Have to watch Hobbit in 2D and I think I stick with 2D in the future.

 

Though, I can't wait for the sequels, they will likely get better. Also, I love that angular dwarf design and architecture.

Edited by Psychomorph
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I watched the non-3d version so I can't comment on that, but I agree with the review about the general lack of threat or menace in the fights. This happened in LotR too from time to time, but there were several scenes in The Hobbit that were just way over the top. Overall I enjoyed the film, but I think there were some significant flaws, and as Atti said, they tended to get worse as the film went on.

 

The good:

The beginning was fantastic. Really liked the way the beginning of the movie created great continuity with the LotR films. I loved everything about Bilbo's interactions with the dwarves. Loved the scenes of the dwarven kingdom...we don't get to see that very often. I thought the new council in Elrond's house was excellent, and the Gollum scenes were great. There were also some genuinely funny moments.

 

The bad

There were several scenes that were just completely unbelievable. While I can deal with main characters escaping from overwhelming odds in some climactic battle at the end of a film, there seemed to be too many of those moments throughout the movie; scenes that just went too far and for no good reason.

 

What I really didn't like were the stone giant scenes...it would have been okay if they were just fighting the storm and dodging the boulders being thrown around, but when they wound up crawling around ON a giant, that was just ridiculous. And the giants looked like stone transformers. It was completely over-the-top and totally unnecessary. To make things worse, Bilbo was going to leave, BY HIMSELF, while these giants and the storm was still raging. WTF?

 

The entire escape from the goblins was far too quick and frantic. It felt completely rushed. In the book, they were in the caves for days, but it felt like it took about twenty minutes in the movie. The goblins did not seem to be any threat whatsoever...the dwarves could just brush them aside and block arrows with their swords (and did it bug anyone else that the goblins spoke perfect English?). Compare that to the goblins in the Moria scenes of LotR. The killing of the goblin king ("that ought to do it") was absolutely cringe-worthy. Not just his completely campy last words, but his complete ineptitude in that scene. The five hundred foot drop that followed was another over-the-top, ridiculous moment that was entirely unnecessary. I don't know why Jackson seems to need to put things like that in, but how many times are we supposed to accept these characters surviving things that should not be survivable?

 

Lastly, it was pretty ridiculous that Bilbo, who has never used a sword before, not only decides to fight a group of warg riders BY HIMSELF, but he actually goes head-to-head with an orc warrior on a warg and wins. There are plenty of more subtle things he could have done to show his worth to the group, but subtlety doesn't seem to be Jackson's specialty.

 

That entire last scene should have been cut, IMO, and the escape from the goblins should have been expanded. Bilbo could have shown his worth the way he did in the book, by sneaking right under their guard. There was no need for the total conversion of his position in the group.

 

If those three ridiculous moments had been taken out of the flim, I would have said it was great, bordering on excellent. But unfortunately, they ruined the second half for me, leaving me thinking the film was just pretty good overall.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It seems to me there is a kind of arrogance amongst movie-makers, scriptwriters, etc., that they can rewrite a story better than the original great classic author. Even if they could, I don't think they should (except for special versions, eg, a musical or say, a modern Romeo and Juliet) - otherwise, we can never experience original stories fully on film.

 

It's a given that a story has to be conveyed differently in a movie to a book but they use that excuse to take liberties and also disrespect the viewer. They can portray the passage of time easily enough with scenes of a few seconds here and there so no excuse for giving a false impression of the passage of time - especially since in this case they've spread the story over three movies.

 

Another example of rewriting (veering off-topic here) is in Deathly Hallows. The Neville - Harry v Voldemort end scene is riveting, edge-of-your-seat stuff, in the book. All that is thrown away and replaced by a generic Hollywood speech and fight. Voldemort could easily crush Harry in a fight. That was the whole central point of the entire story and they way Harry actually defeats him in the book is fascinating.

 

Personally, I'm pleased - though astonished - that they are splitting The Hobbit over three movies. Maybe that will do it justice in some respects - and hey! we get three watchable movies; what's wrong with that? I remember some people grumbling about Deathly Hallows being split into two like we were being cheated and having to pay double for one book. D'uh? Goblet and Phoenix were even bigger books than Hallows so I wouldn't have objected if they'd split those too. So much was left out. Spreading a story over two or more movies is only bad if the original is insubstantial.

 

Generally, I'm pleased with what I'm hearing because it's modifying my expectations. I don't think I'll be disappointed with Hobbit 1 now I know and accept the weaknesses. Probably Tolkien would though. I think the DVD is due about next May.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

True, there's a certain amount of arrogance in the industry. Success breeds a certain amount of "I can do no wrong".

 

But it's always been true that when a story changes medium, it belongs to the purveyor of the new medium. That's why many authors will have nothing to do with writing the screenplay for the movie version of their book; they know it has to change, and they want nothing to do with it. Also, there are certain strengths that come with each medium. A good short story writer does not necessarily make a good novel writer does not necessarily make a good radioplay writer does not necessarily make a good screenwriter does not necessarily make a good teleplay writer. And as you switch people to gain the expertise you need, you also switch visions.

 

When the Lara Croft movies were first announced, the word was that the only thing the movie would carry over was the name "Lara Croft". The people buying the rights had their own vision. I'm sure the fanboys had trouble with the movies. (I was not one, so I can't speak to that.)

 

The script for Troy said, "Achilles fought like a god". The director and fight coordinator then needed to apply their own visions and experience to produce several minutes of fighting action, within the constraints of what the actors, wire experts, stunt doubles, and CGI crew could produce. (All limited by what the insurance companies would accept.) Did it look like what people who read that line thought it should look like? Maybe. Maybe not.

 

Most of Steven King's novels did not translate well to the screen. But they were still fun to watch. He only wrote the screenplays for a few of them, and wouldn't touch the screenplays for the rest. Perhaps he had a sense of what would translate well and what wouldn't.

 

Stephen Spielberg's Jaws wasn't exactly what Peter Benchley wrote. It experienced all sorts of technical problems trying to create something of what the book described. The mechanical sharks were a nightmare, and Spielberg had to shoot around them most of the time. J.J. Abrams said that if Spielberg had ever gotten Bruce working properly, the movie would not have been as scary as it was. And Jaws ended up owning the summer of 1975.

 

So it isn't necessarily arrogance that drives how a product turns out. If Jackson had stuck strictly to Tolkien's words, we wouldn't have 9 hours of The Hobbit to look forward to.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Erm... all of what you say, Grayman, is included within the first sentence of my second paragraph:

 

"It's a given that a story has to be conveyed differently in a movie to a book but they use that excuse to take liberties and also disrespect the viewer."

 

By which I mean, we accept that it is impossible to directly convert some aspects of a written story. I was not speaking of those, but that film makers seem to use that as an excuse to change almost anything they wish. If they had to, they could find a way to stay closer to the original.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually, there were some things in The Hobbit that I wished Jackson had changed more than he did.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure what you saw to get that reaction, but the only female in the entire 1st movie was a 2 minute scene with Galadriel in Rivendell.

 

As I said, I haven't even seen it/her because she hasn't made an appearance yet, she 'll appear in the next movie. I'm mad about what & why they did it, no actually how they did it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm trying not to read this thread to avoid spoilers.

 

What seems like a positive point is that it seems different from the book, which most people think is boring. However the first red flag, for me, is the trilogy structure. I don't like trilogies anymore! What's so magic about the number 3 that people are willing to ruin scripts just to round up the number of movies to 3?! I feel bad for matrix, it could be sitting beside star wars and other sci fi classics but no, it had to make two additional movies that could easily be just one, and make them long and "filled with emptiness". I hope Hobbit avoids this fate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What I liked about the film was the consistency. I really felt like being back to Middle-earth. Like no time has passed since the LOTR's.

 

 

 

 

I agree with Springheel on the bad things. The stone giants scene felt totally off. Out of the sudden they begin to fight, then when the guys seemed to be crushed by the falling giant and turned out to be well, the giants seemed not to be of any importance, they just vanished. Like nothing happened, the other guys didn't even look around to see if it's safe. That one was really weakly directed I find.

Edited by Psychomorph
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recent Status Updates

    • nbohr1more

      Anyone have any luck with light.setShader( string ) ? It seems to make whichever light you apply it to full-bright on the initial invoke?
      · 0 replies
    • thebigh

      I'm starting to think we need another mapping contest.
      · 9 replies
    • kano

      Don't you hate it when there's a quality discussion on a forum somewhere online about something, but then two disagreeing users derail and transform it into a back-and-forth poo slinging competition at one another?
      · 9 replies
    • Diego

      Oh look the status updates are back! 
      · 2 replies
    • JackFarmer

      After watching the first three and a half episodes of "The Sandman" last night, I realize once again that overly imaginative narratives are not for me. Also, the main actor looks like he has a toothache.
      Which makes me wonder, is there a Dark Mod mission with a medieval dentist?
      · 4 replies
×
×
  • Create New...