Tele's Marty BOTFA review and Q&A (spoilers)

The Hobbit is in production as 3 separate films, and will be released 1 year apart, with the first due December 2012. Head in to discuss your thoughts and reactions, and post any questions you might have about these films.

Re: Tele's Marty BOTFA review and Q&A (spoilers)

Postby notlistening » Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:48 pm

Has Wildwood seen the movie yet? Eager to see what she thought of the film...
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Funny animals rampaging through the TVM...
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Re: Tele's Marty BOTFA review and Q&A (spoilers)

Postby Diamond of Long Cleeve » Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:37 am

I don't think she has, otherwise we'd have heard about it. ;)

Well! I found the very last outing to be the best of the Hobbit films, actually. Although I like AUJ. DoS is definitely the weakest of the three, by a very long shot - way too long, and all that silliness in Erebor - although it, too, had moments I liked.

It was daft to spread the source material too thinly, like butter scraped over too much bread. And as much as I love and respect The Hobbit - an awesome little tale in its own right - it just does NOT make me feel emotional the way that LotR does, and it never will. The Hobbit takes the reader to one level, and it's great: LotR then takes you to far greater levels, greater depth and height. And then The Silmarillion ... wow!

But. I am not sure that the Hobbit films really deserve quite all this much opprobrium either. Although I love the LotR films more, the annoying things in them annoy me more than the annoying things in the Hobbit films. If that makes sense. :P And I'd still much rather watch PJ's Hobbit films than the Star Wars prequels. I don't think PJ has done anything like as bad as a George Lucas here.

Very briefly, here are some of the reasons why I enjoyed BoFA:

- PJ kind of cracked on with the story, thank heavens. With some very PJ touches, of course.
- Loved the standoff between Thorin, Thranduil and Bard at the gates of Erebor.
- Loved Thorin, Thranduil and Bard full stop.
- I found myself very much enjoying the antics of Legolas. :D
- I seriously loved Mega-Nuclear Galadriel unleashing the full force of her Valinorean indignation upon Sauron and being utterly spent as a result. That woman learnt her moves from Melian in Doriath, don't forget. 8)
- The Tauriel/Kili love angle was actually quite ... sweet. (Heresy!!) Seriously, this was far more bearable than it could have been. Give or take some really awful lines. But then again, some things in the LotR films were worse than this, honestly. Arwen blubbing over Frodo at the Ford still irritates me more than Tauriel's tears. Evangeline Lilly is a very convincing Elf. :)
- Freeman's Bilbo is the best hobbit characterisation of them all. Better than the four principal hobbits in LotR, much as I like them. Bilbo's heroism was preserved, but also in a thoroughly plausible way. And his kindliness. And the Arkenstone bargaining scene was absolutely excellent.
- Liked the way, very much indeed, how the ending sequed seamlessly into the opening of FotR. Very nicely done indeed.
- And the auction! They had the auction. And Lobelia. Yay. :)

And a lot else.

Anyway, I liked it. Seen it twice and liked it even more on a second viewing. Looking forward to the EE. (I've not actually watched the others yet.)

Also, Shore's score. I've been underwhelmed by his Hobbit scores so far (I love his LotR score like the fire of a million suns) but ... yes, the music was good. The more understated nature of it suits the material more, I think. And I do really like Billy Boyd's final song. :) So much better than the Ed Sheeran thing.
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Re: Tele's Marty BOTFA review and Q&A (spoilers)

Postby portia » Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:18 am

I agree, DoLC.

My dislike of Thranduil as a "person" does not include dislike of how he was used in the movie. Not everyone can be pleasant.

Bilbo really has little to do in this part of the book, but I think he was handled well. The handover of the Arkenstone was OK--could have been a bit more emphasized.

I remain unconvinced that so much effort and troops were needed or justified in the battle, but then this is a PJ movie.
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Re: Tele's Marty BOTFA review and Q&A (spoilers)

Postby Shadowman82 » Mon Jan 05, 2015 9:37 pm

I liked BOTFA overall , however here are some things that kind of bugged me and some that were not fully explained .

1. Gandalf gets a new staff :
We never learn exactly where Gandalf gets his new staff from . Is it Radagast's staff ? If so then we certainly don't see Radagast give it to Gandalf or offer up any reason why he would do so in the first place . Before I saw the film I fully expected Radagast to die and give his staff to Gandalf , also to explain his absence in the LOTR movies . Clearly this did not happen . It's possible of coarse that there will be a scene in the extended edition where Radagast does give Gandalf his staff .

2. Gandalf uses no magic in battle :

So in the actual battle of the five armies we never see Gandalf use any magic , he has a staff , why does he just use his sword to fight ?

3. Dol Guldur scene was rushed

I love the scene in Dol Guldur but it feels very rushed to me , especially considering how much time they spent on Thorin's madness . Maybe this will be longer in the extended edition .
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Re: Tele's Marty BOTFA review and Q&A (spoilers)

Postby Pericles » Tue Jan 06, 2015 4:32 am

Diamond of Long Cleeve wrote:
It was daft to spread the source material too thinly, like butter scraped over too much bread.


The single fundamental error. It could have been a superb, tight, two films (or even one). I'd lean towards two as I enjoyed the meandering pace of the set up in AUJ (by far the strongest of the three in my opinion). Two films, losing all the extraneous nonsense, could have been brilliant.

And I simply do not believe the decision was anything but a commercial one. We would be naïve to think otherwise.
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Re: Tele's Marty BOTFA review and Q&A (spoilers)

Postby siddharth » Tue Jan 06, 2015 7:52 pm

Shadowman82 wrote:I liked BOTFA overall , however here are some things that kind of bugged me and some that were not fully explained .

1. Gandalf gets a new staff :
We never learn exactly where Gandalf gets his new staff from . Is it Radagast's staff ? If so then we certainly don't see Radagast give it to Gandalf or offer up any reason why he would do so in the first place . Before I saw the film I fully expected Radagast to die and give his staff to Gandalf , also to explain his absence in the LOTR movies . Clearly this did not happen . It's possible of coarse that there will be a scene in the extended edition where Radagast does give Gandalf his staff .


Well, personally I'm happy to not dwell on things like this and is better that the film stuck with the central plot. I'm really unconvinced that there's a need to explain Radagast's absence in LotR. :)

2. Gandalf uses no magic in battle :

So in the actual battle of the five armies we never see Gandalf use any magic , he has a staff , why does he just use his sword to fight ?


It's a fundamental question. Basically the wizards are not allowed to use magic unless and until as a last resort, when the denizens of middle earth are incapable to do it themselves. You'd notice he doesn't use magic in the fights at the Chamber of Mazarbul or Pelennor or the Black Gate either.

3. Dol Guldur scene was rushed

I love the scene in Dol Guldur but it feels very rushed to me , especially considering how much time they spent on Thorin's madness . Maybe this will be longer in the extended edition .


Perhaps my exact opposite. :P
I thought it was the worst scene in the film and totally disconnected to the main plot. And was and am happy to get more of OTT sickness than OTT Galadriel.


ETA: Agreed with Pericles very much! (except i consider BOFA the strongest of the three by far) Nearly everything I dislike in the TH films stem from that decision; more orcs, more padded scenes, extended barrels, forges, goblintown, the love triangle, Legolas.
The only negative being the introduction and the scenes of the dwarves at Bag-End would be cut a lot.
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Re: Tele's Marty BOTFA review and Q&A (spoilers)

Postby basil » Tue Jan 06, 2015 9:26 pm

Diamond of Long Cleeve wrote:- The Tauriel/Kili love angle was actually quite ... sweet. (Heresy!!) Seriously, this was far more bearable than it could have been. Give or take some really awful lines. But then again, some things in the LotR films were worse than this, honestly. Arwen blubbing over Frodo at the Ford still irritates me more than Tauriel's tears. Evangeline Lilly is a very convincing Elf.


Both Tyler and Lily were good in their roles IMHO, and I still can blubber a bit over Arwen and Frodo at the Ford. And as I thought the Tauriel/Kili grief scene was an echo of that, so Thorin's swim in the Golden Pool of Greed reflected Faramir's temptation.

For the most part, the flic was good, though the character of the money-loving aide was a silly distraction, there was enough moralizing about the evil influence of wealth. I would have gladly traded more Beorn time for the couple seconds of Duney worms which personified for me "loose ends"; according to Azog, they were going to be a serious threat, but nothing was made of that.

Thranduil was schizoid. Bad T. wanted war for treasure and broke Tauriel's bow. Good T. consoled Tauriel in her grief and fretted over the loss of Elvish lives. I didn't like the portrayal of the deaths of Fili and Kili; they were gutted liked hogs instead of fighting with their kin in defense of Thorin, which I think would've been way more effective and dramatic. And as the individual fight scenes toward the end fiddled their ways across the screen, I recalled something similar I'd seen before. Go to the 15 minute mark if you don't want the full glory.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U32RbiCuNY0

There was a lot I liked in the movie ( the stuff I haven't mentioned :) ), like the way the dwarves lined up their shield wall in battle, reminded me of the Trojans in "Troy", which was excellent BTW.


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Re: Tele's Marty BOTFA review and Q&A (spoilers)

Postby darthgandalf99 » Wed Jan 07, 2015 12:50 pm

notlistening wrote:Has Wildwood seen the movie yet? Eager to see what she thought of the film...


Did Wildwood see DOS? I would imagination the deviations in that film would have sent her into shock...I would be surprised if she saw BOTFA.... :lol:
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Re: Tele's Marty BOTFA review and Q&A (spoilers)

Postby Shadowman82 » Wed Jan 07, 2015 5:15 pm

You'd notice he doesn't use magic in the fights at the Chamber of Mazarbul or Pelennor or the Black Gate either.


Well actually he doesn't have a staff at the black gate since it was so conveniently broken by the Witch King before .
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Re: Tele's Marty BOTFA review and Q&A (spoilers)

Postby siddharth » Wed Jan 07, 2015 6:41 pm

Not in the book...
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Re: Tele's Marty BOTFA review and Q&A (spoilers)

Postby darthgandalf99 » Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:09 pm

Interestingly, in the book Gandalf the White is able to defeat the Nazgul without his staff: "he raised his hand, and from it a shaft of white light stabbed upwards. The Nazgul gave a long wailing cry and swerved away".
I've always thought this was significant, Gandalf the White doesn't need a staff to utilise his "magic", his maian powers are uncloaked. The filmakers do a good job of hinting at that in the TTT, but alas after shooting that beautiful scene where Gandalf drives off the Nazgul, they chose to include a scene which breaks his staff and effectively removes the White Rider as a protagonist from the rest of the film. :(
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Re: Tele's Marty BOTFA review and Q&A (spoilers)

Postby Shadowman82 » Thu Jan 08, 2015 3:18 pm

Yes I believe PJ purposely did that to diminish Gandalf the white so that others like Aragorn would have more to do . But to be fair even Tolkien is a bit vague as to what the Istari can or cannot do without their staff . Gandalf the grey can defeat the Balrog without it yet as the white he will not leave it at the door in Edoras . It's just kind of silly that in the movies Gandalf looses his staff so often and then seems to get a new one without much problem . PJ unfortunatly continued that in the Hobbit films .
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Re: Tele's Marty BOTFA review and Q&A (spoilers)

Postby Lalaith-Elerrina » Thu Jan 08, 2015 4:35 pm

Pericles wrote:
Diamond of Long Cleeve wrote:
It was daft to spread the source material too thinly, like butter scraped over too much bread.


The single fundamental error. It could have been a superb, tight, two films (or even one). I'd lean towards two as I enjoyed the meandering pace of the set up in AUJ (by far the strongest of the three in my opinion). Two films, losing all the extraneous nonsense, could have been brilliant.

And I simply do not believe the decision was anything but a commercial one. We would be naïve to think otherwise.


I agree. One film would have been fine. Two films would have given the movie makers a chance to tell more of the story. To believe it was spread out to three films for anything else but to make money would be silly. With three films, they just added too much unnecessary, deviant fluff, and drowned the story.
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Re: Tele's Marty BOTFA review and Q&A (spoilers)

Postby Shadowman82 » Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:23 pm

Yeah some things were a bit drawn out , such as Thorins madness or the actual battle of the five armies and the fight against Smaug in Erebor . But I do love the fact that they went more into the whole Dol Guldur and Necromancer stuff , even if they did shift the timing of events there around allot .
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Re: Tele's Marty BOTFA review and Q&A (spoilers)

Postby siddharth » Sat Jan 10, 2015 6:47 am

Saw it for the third and final time.
Dol Guldur was more bearable this time along, but Tauriel's (and Kili's) woeful lines stuck out as a sore thumb.
I do think it is a lot more Bilbo-centric than DoS and AUJ were.
And Smaug laying waste to Esgaroth and his subsequent death might very well be the best action set-piece of the trilogy - and one of the bests in the sextet.
I noted how underrated Luke Evans' brilliant performance went. Certainly there with Theoden and Aragorn as the best-acted men of ME.
And a note on the score. AUJ had far too few new themes that were good. DoS had plenty of beautiful music but they were much too muted in the film. The BOFA score is the hybrid of the too, cancelling the negatives of both of them.
I've decided to give it a 4/5.Which is about the same I gave to TTT.
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Re: Tele's Marty BOTFA review and Q&A (spoilers)

Postby markkur » Sat Jan 10, 2015 8:12 am

I'm probably just a stick in the mud but I soooo wish Jackson had kept his first sentiment and left The Hobbit for someone else. Recently I read that his driving force in the way he made the Hobbit lay "in his concern of young folks fading away from enjoyment of the big-screen in favor of the gaming-world." That actually explains a lot to me of why I am so displeased with the Hobbit "thrill-o-gee." Now I know who he had in mind (besides himself of course) with the endless head-lopping scenes and cliff-hanging as a mode of travel.

Even though there are quite a few scenes that were a tad silly in LotR; I think PJ without question managed a difficult task very well but then with those films, he truly was out to please the fans of the books. Not so this time, he was made a huge success from the first effort and this time he had his fun. Also, I imagine the modern trend having a movie-based GAME to consider may have some detrimental effects on movie content.

I would not mind about any of this but the thing is for me, The Hobbit had not been properly made yet...Jackson's joy-ride will likely delay that effort for quite a while.
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Re: Tele's Marty BOTFA review and Q&A (spoilers)

Postby Lalaith-Elerrina » Sat Jan 10, 2015 8:29 am

markkur wrote:I'm probably just a stick in the mud but I soooo wish Jackson had kept his first sentiment and left The Hobbit for someone else. Recently I read that his driving force in the way he made the Hobbit lay "in his concern of young folks fading away from enjoyment of the big-screen in favor of the gaming-world." That actually explains a lot to me of why I am so displeased with the Hobbit "thrill-o-gee." Now I know who he had in mind (besides himself of course) with the endless head-lopping scenes and cliff-hanging as a mode of travel.

Even though there are quite a few scenes that were a tad silly in LotR; I think PJ without question managed a difficult task very well but then with those films, he truly was out to please the fans of the books. Not so this time, he was made a huge success from the first effort and this time he had his fun. Also, I imagine the modern trend having a movie-based GAME to consider may have some detrimental effects on movie content.

I would not mind about any of this but the thing is for me, The Hobbit had not been properly made yet...Jackson's joy-ride will likely delay that effort for quite a while.


Markkur, a lot of people think like you. I for one see exactly what you're saying. There's no question that LOTR was of a higher quality, both how it was made, the storyline being more of story than of action sequences, and the plausibility of side characters, as well.
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Re: Tele's Marty BOTFA review and Q&A (spoilers)

Postby portia » Sat Jan 10, 2015 9:55 am

If someone were to re-make the Hobbit as a stand alone movie, that person would not have to deal with expectations left over from LOTR. Pj was, in a sense, trapped by such expectations. A medium budget Hobbit that more closely follows the book could, in that circumstance, be made. I would like to see it.
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Re: Tele's Marty BOTFA review and Q&A (spoilers)

Postby Shadowman82 » Sun Jan 11, 2015 3:33 pm

I guess we can only speculate how the Hobbit movies had turned out if Guilermo del torro had made them . He never said much except that he was going to use allot of animatronics where as PJ used allot of CGI .
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Re: Tele's Marty BOTFA review and Q&A (spoilers)

Postby original wombat » Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:34 pm

TOO MUCH FIGHTING

Otherwise good 7/10
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Re: Tele's Marty BOTFA review and Q&A (spoilers)

Postby ngaur » Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:21 am

I didn't like the portrayal of the deaths of Fili and Kili; they were gutted liked hogs instead of fighting with their kin in defense of Thorin, which I think would've been way more effective and dramatic.


Was a little staged the way he separeated them and the in consecutive fashion dwelled on their defeats and deaths one by one, all while a battle was still raging. At the same time it seemed very typically PJ, the main difference from the LotR:s movies beeing that this time the deaths weren't fake.


Recently I read that his driving force in the way he made the Hobbit lay "in his concern of young folks fading away from enjoyment of the big-screen in favor of the gaming-world." That actually explains a lot to me of why I am so displeased with the Hobbit "thrill-o-gee." Now I know who he had in mind (besides himself of course) with the endless head-lopping scenes and cliff-hanging as a mode of travel.


Don't know if I would put much belief in this. In any case it seems to me the worst thing the movie industry could do is to mimmick the gaming industry whose chief charm lies in the gamers control. If movies wish to compete for the attention of young people they need to find their way back to good writing, good drama and start toning down the over the top action violence.
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Re: Tele's Marty BOTFA review and Q&A (spoilers)

Postby Samuel Vimes » Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:56 pm

markkur wrote:I'm probably just a stick in the mud but I soooo wish Jackson had kept his first sentiment and left The Hobbit for someone else. Recently I read that his driving force in the way he made the Hobbit lay "in his concern of young folks fading away from enjoyment of the big-screen in favor of the gaming-world." That actually explains a lot to me of why I am so displeased with the Hobbit "thrill-o-gee." Now I know who he had in mind (besides himself of course) with the endless head-lopping scenes and cliff-hanging as a mode of travel.


I would not mind about any of this but the thing is for me, The Hobbit had not been properly made yet...Jackson's joy-ride will likely delay that effort for quite a while.


From what I've read and heard, PJ didn't want to direct these films. Which is why they looked for another director and why Del Toro was hired. But they still couldn't get a green-light and Del Toro left because he couldn't wait any longer.
At that point, if PJ hadn't taken the director char, odds are that the project would have sunk.
The studios, and we are dealing with more than one here, were comfortable with him, less so with others. They could give the go ahead if he directed it, with others it was more up in the air.

So for PJ it was either, take the job he didn't really want or watch a project he has spent years on sink.
PJ and others had spent a number of years and several set backs trying to get these films made and he did walk away from the project at least once.
This is why I don't accept the argument that he only did this for a paycheck. The time it took to make these films and how much he had to work goes beyond that.

@Shadowman82
I guess we can only speculate how the Hobbit movies had turned out if Guilermo del torro had made them . He never said much except that he was going to use allot of animatronics where as PJ used allot of CGI .


Again given what I've read, a number of things in the finished films were there in Del Toro's version, like Tauriel, the White council, showing the necromancer/Sauron. The script was changed when PJ took over, it wasn't totally redone.
No doubt he would have used more animatronics and a safe bet is that Ron Pearlman would have been Beorn and Doug Jones might have been Thranduil.
But it would still have been two films and those that totally loathe the current films would most likely have disliked or even hated Del Toro's version.

I do think it is a pity that he left and I would have liked to have seen his version. And I don't PJ was quite as invested in these films as with the first three. As I said, he didn't do it just for money or totally cruising, he worked hard. But with the first three, he had never made something like that before and he was giving it his all. And they were a make or break him kind of thing. If they failed/flopped, then game over for him. With the three new ones, he had a certain safety net in that they had some built in audience.

@Lalaith-Elerrina
I agree. One film would have been fine. Two films would have given the movie makers a chance to tell more of the story. To believe it was spread out to three films for anything else but to make money would be silly. With three films, they just added too much unnecessary, deviant fluff, and drowned the story.


A case can certainly be made for two films but one? Not to me. Either they would have to cut stuff out or it would have been too rushed. I have seen the animated film and I don't think that is very good. For ex, I think the films was an improvement over the book in that Bard was introduced before he killed Smaug and not while Smaug was destroying Lake Town.

How many speaking characters are there in the Hobbit book? Bilbo, Gandalf, 13 dwarves, Elrond, Gollum, Beorn, Thranduil, Bard, Smaug, the Master, Dain. That is well over 20 characters. Take the first LotR film, how many significant speaking roles are there? 9 in the fellowship, Elrond, Arwen, Saruman, Galadriel, Bilbo. That is 14.

The Hobbit book has quite a lot going on and also a lot of narration. Doing all that narration in a film isn't as easy.
Having the introduction of Bilbo, Gandalf, all the dwarves, the party at bag end, leaving, the Trolls, Rivendel, the goblins, Gollum, Beorn, Mirkwood, spiders, elves, barrels, Lake Town, Smaug, destruction of Lake Town, death of Smaug, Thorn's greed, humans and elves outside Erebor, dwarves arriving, them starting to fight, goblins and wargs arriving, the big battle, Thorin's death, Bilbo's journey home all in one film. I don't think that would have made for the best possible film.

Lastly, the three film thing wasn't the original plan, if money was all they cared about then they would have decided that from day one. But they didn't. The choice came part through the filming.
I will agree that the three film split caused problems. They had to make one film from the pieces of two and DOS suffers for it.
I think that if they had set out to make three films from the very start and plan accordingly, the end result might have been better. Two films I think could very well have worked and maybe better.

In closing, if "Hollywood" had made/will make a Hobbit movie with no connection at all to the LotR films or books. And they decide to make just one film, I would expect them to cut a lot. "13 dwarves, only one of whom is important?" "Cut that down to five." The trolls would probably go, as would Beorn and a lot else too. I can even see them getting rid of Lake Town, Bard and have the dwarves and Bilbo kill Smaug and the film ends there. With Thorin becoming King.

Bye for now.
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Re: Tele's Marty BOTFA review and Q&A (spoilers)

Postby portia » Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:42 pm

I agreed with most of what you said, until the last paragraph.
If one film were made, I do not think that the cuts suggested would be made. Instead, The Mountain giants would be gone, the Goblins and Trolls would be shortened, all the material between the trolls and Rivendel would be gone, Azog would be reduced in importance and the wolves/trees section shortened. I hope that Beorn would remain, but maybe not. The whole ridiculous fighting scene on water would be gone, Smaug's attack on Laketown would be shorter and there would be less lead-up to it. The armies would be smaller and there would be no mention of Gundabad.
I like the whole unexpected party very much and I hope it would not be shortened, as it explains Hobbits very well.

But such a movie would appeal to a very different audience from the three movies.
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Re: Tele's Marty BOTFA review and Q&A (spoilers)

Postby darthgandalf99 » Fri Jan 16, 2015 5:51 pm

Hi Samuel - I just had a few thoughts about the concept of this Hobbit trilogy, riffing of your post...

"A case can be made for two films"
But I don't think we don't need to make a case for two films, as you rightly point out, it was a two film project for most of the project history until an 11th hour decision to split into three films and add in lots of last minute stuff. Given the structural unsoundness (losing Smaug, one of the main features and audience pulls, before the opening credits of BOtFA) deviations (Tauriel and Legolas go to Gundabad) and utter nonsense (the chase through the smithies in DOS). I think it's prima facie clear that the original project structure was better. I think it's more for the viewer to advance his case as to how these things actually improve the viewing process as compared against a less bloated and self-indulgent film.

I think a disciplined enough director could make an excellent one-film Hobbit. I don't agree with your last paragraph at all about what would need to be cut for a one-film Hobbit. The FOTR book is longer than the Hobbit and they made an excellent film of that, which came in at under three hours and with the plot, characters (minus Bombadil and Glorfindel but plus Arwen) and locations all fully in tact. There's no doubt in my mind that it could be done and done very well by the right person. On your point about talking characters, just to note that most of the dwarves in the book are simply background characters, no doubt a one film version would follow the same approach - heck they were basically background characters in BOTFA, the climax of the film trilogy, it could hardly be worse than that!
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Re: Tele's Marty BOTFA review and Q&A (spoilers)

Postby siddharth » Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:57 pm

I agree that nearly all the woes of the TH films stem from that fateful decision.
But I'm a supporter of the original 2-film version and I personally don't think it'd work that great as a single film (though probably better than 3 films).
Yes, it's shorter than FotR but it's a bit odd to measure the cinematic length of an adaptation based upon the number of pages. A film is first and foremost a sensory medium. It takes more time to properly create the atmosphere, and stage the characterizations than they do in books - especially books by someone who can be as skilfully succinct and yet evocative as Tolkien.
So scenes such as Bilbo on the canopy of Mirkwood, dwarves floating down the river, or their stay at Laketown, Bard's characterization (my only complaint with the book) etc take more time onscreen than in the book.
Someone once said - I can't recall who - that the story of The Hobbit is longer than the book itself. Characters like the dwarves (most) or Bard aren't really well developed. I believe, on the whole The Hobbit has more action than FotR. To balance that with characterization, time is needed - case in point, the party at Bag-End. It'd be surely cut almost to 10 minutes in a single film. But I can see it staying in a duology.
And I can't see it being done nicely without two films.
In fact, if you cut out the fat from these 3 films, we have a great trilogy of 2 hour films.

My two cents.
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Re: Tele's Marty BOTFA review and Q&A (spoilers)

Postby Pericles » Sat Jan 17, 2015 1:45 am

Yes two films was probably the right length. But then the other point is, who actually knows with PJ whether they would actually be 'better' or 'tighter' films? There would still probably be a lot of extraneous nonsense in there.

I feel about PJ the same way I feel about Tarantino - frustratingly inconsistent in quality - it's frustrating because I know they are geniuses in one way and when they are good, they are amazing. But when they are bad, it's cover your eyes and ears stuff. That would happen whether it was one, two or three films.

I think for both directors, they are almost too autonomous- there's noone in their ear telling them "you know what, this isn't such a good idea..."
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Re: Tele's Marty BOTFA review and Q&A (spoilers)

Postby Samuel Vimes » Sat Jan 17, 2015 2:51 am

darthgandalf99 wrote:Hi Samuel - I just had a few thoughts about the concept of this Hobbit trilogy, riffing of your post...

I think a disciplined enough director could make an excellent one-film Hobbit. I don't agree with your last paragraph at all about what would need to be cut for a one-film Hobbit. The FOTR book is longer than the Hobbit and they made an excellent film of that, which came in at under three hours and with the plot, characters (minus Bombadil and Glorfindel but plus Arwen) and locations all fully in tact. There's no doubt in my mind that it could be done and done very well by the right person. On your point about talking characters, just to note that most of the dwarves in the book are simply background characters, no doubt a one film version would follow the same approach - heck they were basically background characters in BOTFA, the climax of the film trilogy, it could hardly be worse than that!


If we simply compare page numbers then the Hobbit book is about as long as FotR until right after Moria.
Which one do you think had the largest number of events and charachters, FotR until and including Moria or the WHOLE Hobbit book?
I would say the Hobbit without question.

The Hobbit book is written in a much shorter way that the LotR book. Events are done in narration or described very quickly.
For ex, a lot of the big battle isn't shown, it just told to us after the fact.
The LotR book is much more detailed, had a lot of descriptions and a lot of backstory and history of the world.
What are the events after Frodo leaves in the FotR movie? Run in with black riders, Bree, weather top, Rivendel, snow in the pass, Moria, Lorien, the river and Boromir's last stand.
In the Hobbit book you have; Trolls, Rivendel, Goblins, Gollum, warg attack and save by Eagles, Beorn, Mirkwood, Spiders, Elves, barrels, Lake Town, Smaug, Smaug destroying Lake Town and dying, Thorin's greed, the big battle and Thorin's death and then journey home. That is a lot.

About talking characters, the 13 dwarves are there most of the time once they leave so they will be onscreen a lot. In a book you can have loads of background characters as you are with the one who the story focuses on. In a film that is a bit different.
If the audience is constantly going, "wait, who is that" about characters that are onscreen and wondering why there are so many characters when most of them don't do anything.

And the book doesn't develop them much or at all. After I read it, I knew Thorin and knew Balin's name because I remembered it from LotR and I knew then there was a fat one. Who the rest where I could not say. And the death of Fili and Kili was a non event for me because I had no idea who they were.

In the film, the dwarves don't have a lot of character development but it is a lot more than in the book. In BotfA I would say Balin has some good moments, as does Dwalin and Fili and Kili. In the other two films I would say that Bofur is given some development along with Gloin and Oin. Plus the ones that I've already mentioned.
Dori, Nori and Ori along with Bifur aren't really developed at all and Bombur, well he stands out because of how he looks and what he does.

Take the FotR book and the Fellowship, I would say that all of them are developed a lot more than the dwarves in the Hobbit. Yes the Hobbit book is written from Bilbo's perspective and it focuses on him and that works for a book, esp a children's book. In a film that becomes harder. You can have a lot of first person narration but the danger of that is that you tell rather than shows.

In closing, perhaps I should clarify, what I wrote in the last paragraph wasn't what I would do, it was just what I could see "Hollywood" do since I have seen a lot of films based on books that were changed quite a lot. And reducing the number of dwarves I can see as being done. Or killing some dwarves along the way to raise the stakes.

Bye for now.
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Re: Tele's Marty BOTFA review and Q&A (spoilers)

Postby markkur » Sat Jan 17, 2015 5:00 am

Samuel Vimes wrote: This is why I don't accept the argument that he only did this for a paycheck. The time it took to make these films and how much he had to work goes beyond that.


That was not what I intended. Folks will have fun even when they do something they would rather not. To me, there is a big difference in the Spirit of the two sets of movies. As PJ stated at the TOR celebration "he was worried about letting the fans down." Do you actually believe that was the case this time around? I don't and for me, it reveals horribly in the tale; i.e. JRRT's wonderful scene between Bilbo and Smaug (arguably one of the most important in the book) is one long walk into "milking" that totally destroyed the author's intent.But "splatter" is PJ's background and there's no need to overlook that here; I think it comes out in spades.

Granted, movies have to be approached quite differently but near abandonment and endless fabrication are not imperative necessities. When change must be made or things added PJ showed he is quite capable. On that note, in LotR he made decisions to omit TB and the Ent-wives that many fans accepted and he also made story alterations like the Elves coming to fight at Helm's Deep and many fans embraced the Spirit of that change. Funny thing is though, from my pov, even in those films, if endless fighting scenes were axed a tad <L> there would be more time for "the feel of Middle Earth" but that just my "take." <L>

<imo>This time around, the driving force behind these films was something very different and is evident by the retelling of the simplest scenes in the book. When I stated, It "seems" to me that thinking about the coming Game and all the Goldmines that are attached to this franchise, I did not say who could be responsible for "meeting those needs," but more likely, that would be directives from PJ's studio head. I mean, I doubt he had complete control of everything...or did he?

Maybe after some time passes, he'll tell the whole story of <ahem> behind the scenes. :D
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Re: Tele's Marty BOTFA review and Q&A (spoilers)

Postby andurilwest » Sat Jan 17, 2015 6:51 am

"No reason to get excited" -- Bob Dylan
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Re: Tele's Marty BOTFA review and Q&A (spoilers)

Postby Lalaith-Elerrina » Sat Jan 17, 2015 5:50 pm

markkur wrote: To me, there is a big difference in the Spirit of the two sets of movies. As PJ stated at the TOR celebration "he was worried about letting the fans down." Do you actually believe that was the case this time around? I don't and for me, it reveals horribly in the tale; i.e. JRRT's wonderful scene between Bilbo and Smaug (arguably one of the most important in the book) is one long walk into "milking" that totally destroyed the author's intent.But "splatter" is PJ's background and there's no need to overlook that here; I think it comes out in spades.

Granted, movies have to be approached quite differently but near abandonment and endless fabrication are not imperative necessities. When change must be made or things added PJ showed he is quite capable. On that note, in LotR he made decisions to omit TB and the Ent-wives that many fans accepted and he also made story alterations like the Elves coming to fight at Helm's Deep and many fans embraced the Spirit of that change. Funny thing is though, from my pov, even in those films, if endless fighting scenes were axed a tad <L> there would be more time for "the feel of Middle Earth" but that just my "take." <L>

<imo>This time around, the driving force behind these films was something very different and is evident by the retelling of the simplest scenes in the book. When I stated, It "seems" to me that thinking about the coming Game and all the Goldmines that are attached to this franchise, I did not say who could be responsible for "meeting those needs," but more likely, that would be directives from PJ's studio head. I mean, I doubt he had complete control of everything...or did he?

Maybe after some time passes, he'll tell the whole story of <ahem> behind the scenes. :D


For myself, I could have lived with the clear difference in the quality between the two sets of films except for the dwarf on elf romance which was as plausible as a human on gorilla romance.
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