Repeat-Viewings anyone?

What do you think of Tolkien on the silver screen...? Whether Bakshi, Jackson, Amazon, BBC radio play, or whoever else, come on in and discuss your reflections, opinions, and memories...

Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby siddharth » Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:12 pm

I saw it the second time today.

After-thoughts and observations...


-Bree-scene. At one point Thorin's walk seemed a bit odd, he was as if thumping his foot on the ground and walking at the same time. Odd.

-Saw Bill Ferny senior! Great resemblance there, one which I had missed in my first view.

-Oh, and I really like the Prologue. Sets up the whole story so nicely that anyone who hasn't seen AUJ would get the whole film.

- I didn't notice previously how beautifully Beorn's house was rendered. Inch-perfection with all the big and small things. I liked Beorn even more, very much. Presbrandt's Swedish accent gives the character an outlandish feel, and rightly so. I still don't quite like the shape of the bear-form.

-I really am starting to dislike this over-use of Black-speech. It gets on my nerves. I miss the Westron orc-speech from LotR!

-Of Beorn watching over the company even unto the borders of Mirkwood. Great. And it has a dialogue from the book that I didn't catch the ifrst time, which starts with Bilbo: "Why cannot we go around the forest?"...

-In the hallucinatory scenes, especially when Bilbo is seeing his own replica we can see a stretcher at the back being carried by a few dwarves. Quite sure this is an EE-cut and we will get the Bombur moment.

-Loved Bilbo's Ring-moment even more. I honestly haven't seen such a range of expressions as given by Freeman in any of the 5 films so far! And it is canon to the larger tale. Bilbo lied to Gandalf about the ring just after he came out of the tunnels, which does mean the Ring was affecting him. The Timelines of course are compressed to show it.

-I liked Legolas this time around. He has more personality. I just wish he was something more than a hack-n-slash machine in the rest of the film.

-This time, Thranduil beat Tauriel as my favorite elf. To say, I did like Tauriel more than before too. (btw, I think Lee Pace would be even better than Tom Hiddleston as Loki )

-I liked Alfrid (which is an Anglo-Saxon name so not "un-Tolkien"). Not at all Grima-lite. Not a bit.

-Bard's children do call him "da" and not "dad" - thanks to Hobbituk!

-Stephen Fry's speech when the dwarves depart stops quite abruptly. I think there will be an EE-cut here too.

-Btw, I caught Beorn's theme in the High-fells scene. It could be an indication of a Beorn-torture-at Dol Guldur flashback which was rumoured, again for the EE. but film-scores are not reliable as such.

-I enjoyed the Smaug-Bilbo scene even more. Actually, this time I found it even more entertaining than Riddles with Gollum. Cumberbacth did a superb job in voicing and mo-capping Smaug. On the same level as Gollum.

-Bilbo taking off the RIng didn't seem odd this time. He is basically getting the same treatment as Frodo got when he wore the RIng, though to a much lesser extent. (also, Smaug echoing Sauron from FotR: "You cannot hide!")

-In the book, IIRC, Bilbo gets enchanted by it when he first beholds the Arkenstone. This is in the film. In the conversation with Smaug, whenever the Arkenstone gets close to Bilbo, it is quite clear that it takes a lot of effort for Bilbo to turn his eyes away from the jewel- as if enchanted, transfixed- and towards the dragon in front. A very nice touch.

-This was pointed out to me earlier so I noticed it. The Maedhros moment in Dol Guldur when Gandalf is pinned against the wall.

-While I disliked the Laketown sequence last time, this time I downright hated it. It is so unnecessary and out-of-place and most of all, hugely distracting from the infinitely superior on-goings in Erebor. Very poor editing. I wish it was totally cut.

-I still like the golden statue and Smaug. I noticed the melting begins with a sort of golden tears from the statue's eyes. It is great imagery, great symbolism and right in succession with scenes such as Amon-Din, Theoden's speech or the Rohirrim-rescue.

-I tried to look for it, but still don't see how Smaug could have appeared incompetent or stupid except for the Thorin-on-Smaug's-snout moment.

-The score was great and very fresh! Beyond the Forest (in the credits) is amazing. Tauriel's theme becomes repetitive like the misty-mountains theme, which is a downside. Als, the Smaug themes, one of my favorites from all 5 films so far, are not that clear in the film. Pity. But with Cumberbatch's voice overshadowing it, who am I to blame?

Initial rating: 8/10
Final Rating: 8.7/10 (as a film)
So yes, it improved for me. :D
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby Wildwood » Sat Dec 28, 2013 6:32 pm

I barely made it through the first one. Won't be trying that one again! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

The thing about Smaugh, though....for me, it was when he was stalking them all. The dwarves had come down the tunnel, after Bilbo. The conversation was pretty much done. Throrin had already threatened Bilbo I think. Anyhow....they had all decided to try to get away from the dragon. And the dragon was stalking around, looking for them. They were walking across one of the many crossways. It looked like a bridge to me, and there were many, both above and below them. It had the feel of rafters to it, sort of, during that scene. Anyhow...they are all going very quietly and stealthily across on, in single file, and then they suddenly freeze and look up, altogether. You see Bilbo's face foremost. Then Smaugh stalks through the scene, on the next set of walkways above. Clear shot of his belly. Nothing between them but a slender pathway and air! and it bugged the living cr*p out of me, because - if he could smell one little hobbit, from beneath a pile of gold - how on earth did he not smell a troop of sweaty and terrified dwarves and the hobbit, with nothing between them and his nose but air???!!!
:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

But...I'm picky! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby MaxPower » Sun Dec 29, 2013 12:14 am

I think Jackson just liked the shot in which our heroes slowly become aware of of Smaug's overhead presence by coins from his body falling on them. And he wanted that moment more than he was concerned with being consistent with Smaug's sense of smell.
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby Gungnir » Sun Dec 29, 2013 2:23 am

Along with Wildy, at this moment I feel absolutely NO desire to sit through the film again. Although I'm sure I will at some point, it certainly will not be at the cinema.
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby Wildwood » Sun Dec 29, 2013 7:10 pm

Max - you are probably right! :D :D :D :D What bugs me about it is that they sacrificed being faithful to the text, in order to have this sort of moment! And if they are going to do that, then I expect them to at least do it right, in terms of their own logic! Book form is that Bilbo goes down by himself and steals a cup. Then goes again and has a conversation. And then goes again, and the dwarves go with him, only to find Smaug not at home. Also important to me, if to nobody else, is that book Smaug is sleeping on top of the hoard, not beneath it! These are the sorts of things I pay attention to. :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

So if they are going to take that all apart, for good reasons or not so good reasons, then I want what they replace it with to at least make sense in its own right!!! One minute Smaug has a super sniffer that can smell a tiny hobbit from beneath the gold. The next, Smaug cannot smell the whole lot of them, right under his nose? Completely independent of the book story, that just makes no sense, not by the standard they had just set themselves!!! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D So I suspect you are correct. The cool factor was just too much to resist and so their own internal movie logic was violated! Do not approve! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

Gungy - I am sorry you were so disappointed! I, of course, went expecting to be disappointed, so its easier to me! A benefit of having such ridiculous expectations, I suppose! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D I would be happier if we were agreeing about the movies (something I am sure nobody ever thought would be happening! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D ) because I had seen DOS and loved it so much that I couldn't shut up about how awesome it was!!!! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

I don't think I will ever give DOS another watch. Not ever!!! I may watch AUJ again sometime or other. I have nearly attempted it, a few times, when it came on a movie channel while I was working, etc. I may work up the nerve. In retrospect, I may be able to enjoy it the better for having disliked DOS so very much! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby portia » Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:42 pm

Comments from a second watching:

I missed the intro scene with Beorn. If that had been more like the book, I would have been OK with it, even though Beorn looked more like a wolf than a bear. I am pretty well acquainted with bears from my zoo volunteering and if any of the 7 turned into Men, he/she would not look like Beorn.

I still do not see the point of a visit to the "tombs", but maybe something is coming up, later.

Geographic confusion persists about what is blighted in Mirkwood and what is not.

I hate to say it (as I remain somewhat fan-girlish about Tom Hiddleston) but siddharth may well be right about Pace doing as well as Hiddleston as Loki. But I can't be sure, as Pace/Thranduil made no effort to exhibit the humor/charm that is part of Loki. I haven't seen him in anything else.

Orlando's long fighting scene, (as replacement for surfing and Oliphaunt sliding) wore on me the second time. I was caught up in the action the first time, but the second I was analyzing and it was TOO MUCH! However, I think, based on something in the PJ teasers, that a lot of that was acting with the green screen only, and without an actual opponent. If that is true, I will certainly give him extra points.

This time, Laketown did seem too long.

I caught more of Gandalf's situation, this time, it was a bit to quick for me the first time.

The audience was even more upset by the ending than the first time. But I do not see any way that the film could have been ended otherwise than at that point. Maybe not with that bit of dialog, however.

Overall, many of the scenes that had me involved in the action the first time, didn't work the second time.
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby siddharth » Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:54 pm

MaxPower wrote:I think Jackson just
liked the shot in which our heroes slowly become aware of of Smaug's
overhead presence by coins from his body falling on them. And he wanted
that moment more than he was concerned with being consistent with
Smaug's sense of smell.


Yes, what I was going to say. I liked the moment.

Portia, blighted Mirkwood... Are you talking abput the greener forest where Radagast lives in AUJ? If that is so,that scene with Radagast doesn't have to be in the same time frame as the story is going on. It probably took place months before and they are just showing it then. This also explains how Radagast meets the company in such a short time.
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby jotnar » Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:01 pm

I've had multiple viewings now (a necessity for editing), and I experience no discernible improvement. These are terrible films, having but a nodding acquaintance with the the works of Tolkien, overlong and peppered with irrelevancies that a more savvy editor would excise.

Truly horrible, and I await the final instalment of missed opportunity with bated breath! :D
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby Old_Begonia » Sat Jan 04, 2014 6:30 pm

Have seen it...three times now, (had to stop and think), and I will see it many more times. Not 37, FOTR holds that record and will keep it as far as I can tell.

Almost all of it grew on me with the second viewing. Legolas' fight scene on the river was terrific entertainment for me. I laughed out loud. I hope I didn't ruin it for anyone in the theater, but it's just so silly, I loved it.

Smaug was even more awesome. I really, really like him this time. And as for Wildy's issue with the coin-drop-why-can't-Smaug-smell-them moment, I saw it this way. One hobbit coming in to Smaug's space after his being alone for years and years, well of COURSE he's going to smell him! But I don't think a dragon's sense of smell is directional. I mean, I think that by now the whole place is dwarf-scented, like a house with garlic roasting in the oven. :-D

Siddarth said:
-In the hallucinatory scenes, especially when Bilbo is seeing his own replica we can see a stretcher at the back being carried by a few dwarves. Quite sure this is an EE-cut and we will get the Bombur moment.


I MISSED that! See? I HAVE to go see it again now!
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There is something profound about standing AT sea level.
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby Calma » Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:37 pm

I will be seeing it for the second time tomorrow.
I'm guessing it will soon be gone from my area
So I want to see it one more time before it's gone.
My bff, Sable, will be joining me and it will be her first viewing.

I loved the movie.
I know it's not "The Hobbit" but I still loved it.
Especially Smaug.
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby Smaug213 » Sat Jan 04, 2014 11:02 pm

I'm going to see it for the third time tomorrow and have decided to see it twice a month until it comes out on DVD :).
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby Gorthaur the Cruel » Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:31 am

I've watched it twice. The first time was a thrill-ride. The second, less-so but still very enjoyable. I'll probably watch it again when the theatrical BR is released, and definitely when the EE is released. After that... I don't know. Maybe one bank holiday weekend when I haven't watched them for a few years I might do a mammoth watch of all six films. I haven't watched the original LotR trilogy for a few years because I feel somewhat constrained by the films. I don't have the freedom to wander and wonder in my own time and direction the way I do when reading the books and I think the films retain less colour and depth the more I watch them.
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby crispycreme » Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:37 pm

I had to go to a 2nd showing, since my son came to stay with me during the holidays and wanted to see it. I hadn't originally planned on it, since I was so disappointed with the first viewing. However, I have to say I enjoyed much more the 2nd time. It's still a deeply flawed, silly movie that is far more about Jackson's ego than it is about Tolkien's story, imo. But, I saw it this last time in regular old-fashioned 2-D 24 FPS format instead of the headache causing, disorienting 3D 48 FPS and it was a far more pleasant experience. The jarring physics dilemmas that PJ seems to entangle himself in seemed much more smoothed out in the traditional format. Or, maybe I'm just too much of a luddite for these new fangled wizz bang technologies. ;)
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby Wildwood » Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:31 pm

Crispy, I know what you mean! :D :D :D :D :D :D I have no use at all for 3D. Makes me so sick, I can't tell which way is up! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
Do you feel that the fact they were shooting "for 3D" affected their decisions in terms of story development? Just curious! I am not giving it a second shot at me! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby siddharth » Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:44 pm

No.
It would have affected certain camera angles (a.k.a. Bumblebees) but not the plot.
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby crispycreme » Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:51 pm

I agree. The decision to make an 8 hour film out of a 220 page story is what allowed a maniacally laughing PJ to stand victorious atop the smouldering ashes of Tolkien's story - not the decision to film it in 3D.
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby Arlaug » Wed Jan 08, 2014 4:16 am

I completely agree with crispycreme's thesis. From the very beginning of the whole Hobbit movie talk I was in shock with the trilogy concept. Concerning the lenght and events in Hobbit I didn't know what to expect, certainly not the whole DoS thing, even if it has its own appealing sentiment. As for repeat-viewing, so far I've had only re-re viewing of the first part, mainly because I miss Gandalf ever so often :)
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby portia » Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:48 am

I also feel that the main distortion came from the 3 movie decision. Too much filler (The chase through the Goblin town was too extended, orc attacks) needed to be inserted. Radagast and Dol Guldur were necessary new elements. Whether there is too much of them remains to be seen.
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby jotnar » Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:39 pm

portia wrote:Radagast and Dol Guldur were necessary new elements.

Why were they "necessary"?

Voronwe has taken to task those who challenge the films for introducing "toxicity" to the discussion. However, from my own perspective it is frustrating that there are these sweeping statements from those who defend PJ's vision, for example that "film isn't book, and so needs changes from the written word", without explaining why the specific changes made are superior.

So in this example, Radagast and Dol Guldur were necessary. If they were, and I confess I have not seen any convincing argument for this declamation, was the presentation of these intrusions successful? How successful, and why?

This encapsulates my irritation; that those who dislike the films are castigated for their "chapter and verse" explanations for their distaste, whilst those who like the films seem to expect "a free pass".

I don't like the films, and I try to explain why. I expect challenge. And so I am puzzled why those who do like the films don't reciprocate. :|
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Wed Jan 08, 2014 4:46 pm

I don't know that I would say that Radagast is necessary (although I like him for the most part, other than the stick insect and the smoke coming out of his ears, and think his inclusion was the right thing to do), but Dol Guldur is certainly a necessary addition for the type of films that Jackson is making, which place the Hobbit story in the context of the world of the Lord of the Rings, and endeavor to explain where it is that Gandalf disappears to. You could argue that Jackson did not need to make that kind of film, and that a straight adaptation of The Hobbit would be better, and I would agree with you -- if it were made before The Lord of the Rings. I think such a thing would be very difficult to accomplish once the Lord of the Rings has already been done.

And to be clear, I very much appreciate detailed explanations of why someone does not like the films, as I have repeatedly said to you before (how many times did I say "well answered" in our initial discussion?). What I don't like are comments like this: "I think he, and his coterie, are simply inept at adaptation." And many that are less polite than that. I think one can express why they don't like the films without insulting either the artists, or the people who do like the films (just as I think it should be possible to praise the films without insulting those who are disappointed by them). Indeed, I know it to be the case, because we have discussions like that all the time at the Hall of Fire. But I don't really think it is possible here anymore.

Pity.
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby jotnar » Wed Jan 08, 2014 4:59 pm

Voronwe, I used your comments as an example of how to "frame an argument", not to denigrate you or your comments. I have come to understand your removal of yourself from discussion, and judging by the lack of response to what I see as reasonable objections to PJ's productions on these forums, I guess I should remove myself also. Irrespective of any validity, unwanted criticism is simply unwanted.

Welcome to fandom. :(
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:07 pm

I wonder if you recognized that it was your own post about Jackson's "ineptitude" that I quoted from.
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby SaturnR » Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:44 pm

I can't wait for the making of documentary in the DVD. As corny as the films can sometimes get. The documentaries have always been a joy to watch. LOTR & Hobbit films are the only ones for which I have the extended edition. You look at what they have to go through to deliver the product & you no longer want to be the armchair critic. It's a very motivational piece of television, the documentaries.
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby notlistening » Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:11 pm

Along with Wildy, at this moment I feel absolutely NO desire to sit through the film again. Although I'm sure I will at some point, it certainly will not be at the cinema.


I am of a similar mind, but I do forsee a day when I will see it again. Probably late February if the film is still running by then. Maybe a $10 day???
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby jotnar » Thu Jan 09, 2014 2:51 am

Voronwe_the_Faithful wrote:I wonder if you recognized that it was your own post about Jackson's "ineptitude" that I quoted from.
Jackson's ineptitude regarding adaptation I think is borne out by the poll result.
And I am pretty certain a perusal of your own posts would unearth certain intemperate statements, Voronwe. In fact, one of your first (maybe first?) responses to me was basically accusing me of being ignorant of the book, The Hobbit. :)
Whilst I may overstep the line criticising PJ at times, I do not criticise other posters. Can you claim that self-discipline and etiquette for yourself, Voronwe?
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:11 am

jotnar wrote:
Voronwe_the_Faithful wrote:I wonder if you recognized that it was your own post about Jackson's "ineptitude" that I quoted from.
Jackson's ineptitude regarding adaptation I think is borne out by the poll result.


No the poll result shows that several people were unsatisfied with Jackson's adaptation in this one film. And of those, many or most of them thought that he did a good job adapting LOTR. It does not show that he is "inept" at adaptation. Certainly, his adaptations are not to your taste, and that is a perfectly reasonable opinion to hold. But it should not be necessary to insult him when expressing that opinion, or insult by implication anyone who appreciates his adaptations (whether of The Hobbit, LOTR, or anything else).

And I am pretty certain a perusal of your own posts would unearth certain intemperate statements, Voronwe. In fact, one of your first (maybe first?) responses to me was basically accusing me of being ignorant of the book, The Hobbit. :)
Whilst I may overstep the line criticising PJ at times, I do not criticise other posters. Can you claim that self-discipline and etiquette for yourself, Voronwe?


I am certainly not perfect, and yes a perusal of my own posts over the past almost dozen years would unearth some intemperate statements, but I do try to be consistently respectful. In the example that you give, you were criticizing the adaptation for failing to follow the book, when in fact what you claimed was not what the book says (specifically, you said that the Master "only becomes greedy when he is affected by the dragon sickness once Smaug is defeated and the wealth sent by Bard to Lake-Town" when in fact he is shown in the book to be greedy long before that). I continue to believe that if you are going to criticize an adaptation for failing to follow the book, you better be correct about what the book says, or face criticism yourself.
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby Gorthaur the Cruel » Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:25 am

jotnar wrote:Jackson's ineptitude regarding adaptation I think is borne out by the poll result.

Voronwe_the_Faithful wrote:No the poll result shows that several people were unsatisfied with Jackson's adaptation in this one film.

Sorry to butt in - hope I'm not interrupting anything important - but what poll are you both referring to?
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:28 am

The poll attached to the TORC Review thread of DoS:

viewtopic.php?f=72&t=106068

(Allow me to take the opportunity to say that I have been enjoying your posts.)
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby Gorthaur the Cruel » Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:10 am

Voronwe_the_Faithful wrote:The poll attached to the TORC Review thread of DoS

Ah, right. Thanks (and thanks for the comment!).
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby portia » Thu Jan 09, 2014 2:06 pm

I am going to one more showing tonite, as I realized I needed to pay more attention to Dol Guldur. Between multiple screenings of this and of Thor 2, I would be broke, except my theater is not expensive, and parking is free.
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