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Old Jan 1, 2014, 11:32 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by kazmac View Post
As someone who also loves this novel, I do not think the italicized points are too emotional. Peter Jackson did NOT want to direct the Hobbit to begin with. Unfortunately, he and his 'scriptwriting' team were already entrenched.(I use that team loosely since Phillipa Boyens' $*(@&$ ideas are largely what brought down some great characters in actions and look.)

I wish Warners risked bringing in a new screenwriter and director and waited to tell this story until they could do so in a way that was not so chaotic and forced.

Every time I see Hellboy 2 now, I think what if. That had a beautiful fantasy world and love stories that worked in the context of the film and the characters. I think the same thing with X-Men First Class which was written, cast and produced in 10 months and turned out great.

I have slight hopes that TABA will be Bilbo and Thorin's story in some manner I recognize, it is disappointing to have the right cast, but the wrong director/screenwriters on board. Yeah, they're just movies.

But they could have been so much more.
Besides the look & feel (which was great), it was adding those action sequences, making everything exaggerated as compared to the book and all that extra material extraneous to the book.

As far as Hellboy, I loved the first one and hated the second one. Was that your point? Or you loved the second one just as much?
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Old Jan 2, 2014, 07:27 AM   #102
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Besides the look & feel (which was great), it was adding those action sequences, making everything exaggerated as compared to the book and all that extra material extraneous to the book.

As far as Hellboy, I loved the first one and hated the second one. Was that your point? Or you loved the second one just as much?
I love the first Hellboy myself, but have grown to respect and enjoy elements of the second Hellboy. My point was with Pan's Labrynth and Hellboy 2, GDT would have made a very interesting couple of Hobbit Films. The look of the Elf world, the characters and the romance worked in HB2, even if the villains' motivation was extremely meh.
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Old Jan 2, 2014, 08:02 AM   #103
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I love the first Hellboy myself, but have grown to respect and enjoy elements of the second Hellboy. My point was with Pan's Labrynth and Hellboy 2, GDT would have made a very interesting couple of Hobbit Films. The look of the Elf world, the characters and the romance worked in HB2, even if the villains' motivation was extremely meh.
I agree, a different director like GDT would have been better for The Hobbit. I still think that adding 2 movies worth of extra content was another killer no matter who directed, although I heard lots of people speaking of how great the movie was after we came out of the theater. I think that has to do with people not invested in the book and general consensus that this was more LOTR.
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Old Jan 2, 2014, 09:42 AM   #104
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You should read it again now that you have seen the movie. I would say about 33% of the second movie was faithful to the book (the first movie was somewhat better in following the book).

It was a fair action movie but, it should not be named after the book. I also rated it as a good Blu-ray rental movie instead of spending a lot seeing it in the theater.
Good suggestion. I have boxes of old books dating right back to Middle Earth.
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Old Jan 2, 2014, 10:34 AM   #105
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I was googling Rivendell, one of my favorite fantasy places, when I came across theonering.net and this picture:



As far as I know, Martin Freeman (Bilbo), 5'6" short, but in the normal realm. Hugo Weaving is 6'2". So how did they do this? Is Hugo Weaving standing on a box or Bilbo standing in a hole?
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Old Jan 2, 2014, 05:34 PM   #106
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the perspective stuff is great

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huntn View Post
I was googling Rivendell, one of my favorite fantasy places, when I came across theonering.net and this picture:

Image

As far as I know, Martin Freeman (Bilbo), 5'6" short, but in the normal realm. Hugo Weaving is 6'2". So how did they do this? Is Hugo Weaving standing on a box or Bilbo standing in a hole?
Thanks for sharing this, the perspective/height fix is fascinating. I hang around theonering.net. They're a nice fan site (if you've not been there before), forums can get heated and often interesting.

I agree making the Hobbit three films is part of the reason why they're a mess. Yet, a mess I enjoy (for some of the cast and scenery.) Although I go back and forth a lot with what ifs.
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Old Jan 2, 2014, 07:09 PM   #107
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Thanks for sharing this, the perspective/height fix is fascinating. I hang around theonering.net. They're a nice fan site (if you've not been there before), forums can get heated and often interesting.

I agree making the Hobbit three films is part of the reason why they're a mess. Yet, a mess I enjoy (for some of the cast and scenery.) Although I go back and forth a lot with what ifs.
Agreement. After looking at the picture, comparing MF to PJ, I'd say the hobbit is standing in a hole. You think Rivendell, what a beautiful place, but for the actors standing in a warehouse is not as enticing.
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Old Jan 3, 2014, 02:24 PM   #108
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Lol

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Agreement. After looking at the picture, comparing MF to PJ, I'd say the hobbit is standing in a hole. You think Rivendell, what a beautiful place, but for the actors standing in a warehouse is not as enticing.
Yeah, more of a set would nice. Costumes and make up help, but sets are equally important. Oh...right...digital. <silly me>

"Oh Martin come stand in this hole and Hugo on this box please..."
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Old Jan 4, 2014, 08:45 PM   #109
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All Spoilers!


The Hobbit: DoS Differences from book:

All of these changes are to facilitate adding extra material, drama, and "action" to the film.

-No significant pursuit by orcs once the Dwarves were transported to that rock (forget name) by the Eagles and on their way to Beorn's (book).
-Meeting with Beorn was a complete let down in movie. In the book it was magical. He did not try to attack the party when it first showed up (as in Movie), the meeting was cordial with charm as each member was supposed to space their arrival. I don't remember him expressing such disdain for dwarves in the book. Gandalf did not express the possibility that Beorn might kill them all.
-No Elf parties in the woods (movie)! Thorin Party was desperate in the forest running out of food, so after Bilbo peaks out of the tree tops, and sees nothing but more trees, they lose hope and end up they chasing Elvin lights in the forest only to get completely lost and caught by spiders (book).
-Bildo not caught by spiders (book).
-Bilbo taunts spiders with his ring on, leads them away from dwarf prisoners, then comes back and rescues them (book). Dwarves not recused by Elves from spiders, although Elves catch dwarves.
-With Bilbo's help, Dwarves escape from Forest Elves in sealed barrels, stealth mode. Elves did not know they were in barrels (book). In movie, Elves are aware and this sets up river chase sequence. A little too spectacular for me to maintain my suspension of disbelief.
-No drama between Bard and Lake Town leader (book) that I recall.
-Exchange between Bilbo and Smaug was better in book. I believe Bilbo kept his ring on the whole time so Smaug talked to him just to get more time to figure out where he was. As in the movie, he did discover that Bilbo had some association with Lake Town by virtue of being a "Barrel Rider".
-No fighting between Dwarves and Smaug (book). In fact they were not aware that Bilbo had stolen the Arknstone and that Smaug had left the mountain on rampage to Lake Town because the jewel had been stolen. Not because Smaug was mad at Lake town for helping Bilbo (movie)? Besides, I don't believe that Smaug would leave his treasure with dwarves running all over it for any other reason that he had been stolen from and there were no dwarves about, that he could detect other than smelling a draft from the back door. Otherwise he would have stayed there and fought the dwarves (my opinion). In the book he smashed the back door trapping the dwarves inside the mountain, although at this point he left for Lake Town.
i haven't seen the movie yet, so i can only speak for the book.
It is true that in the book there are some issues between Bard and the Master of lake-town.
And Bilbo does have the almost entire conversation with Smaug while being invisible, as you say.
However, the reason Smaug leaves to lake-town is because he reckons they helped Bilbo (because of the Barrel-rider brag), not because of the arkenstone.
Bilbo finds the arkenstone only after Smaug has left, when he is exploring the treasure with the dwarves (he is ahead with a torch), after Smaug has smashed the secret door and trapped them inside. Smaug does exactly what you 'don't believe' he would do, and leaves for lake town with the party inside (although he doesn't really know for sure they are inside at that point, as they escape inside the passage just before he shows up).
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Old Jan 4, 2014, 11:37 PM   #110
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i haven't seen the movie yet, so i can only speak for the book.
It is true that in the book there are some issues between Bard and the Master of lake-town.
And Bilbo does have the almost entire conversation with Smaug while being invisible, as you say.
However, the reason Smaug leaves to lake-town is because he reckons they helped Bilbo (because of the Barrel-rider brag), not because of the arkenstone.
Bilbo finds the arkenstone only after Smaug has left, when he is exploring the treasure with the dwarves (he is ahead with a torch), after Smaug has smashed the secret door and trapped them inside. Smaug does exactly what you 'don't believe' he would do, and leaves for lake town with the party inside (although he doesn't really know for sure they are inside at that point, as they escape inside the passage just before he shows up).
Thanks for the correction!
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Old Jan 5, 2014, 09:52 PM   #111
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Ok, i just saw Desolation of Smaug.
I liked it a lot.
I loved the hobbit , one of my all time favorite books and i read it several times, and you are completely correct that the differences a VERY significant.
But in my opinion they work, and they actually make the story better ( blasphemy!!! )
The hobbit is a great book, but it is very immature compared to later tolkien's work. It also contains many inconsistencies with the rest of tolkien's world, a consistency that Tolkien valued a lot, and which he addressed in part by modifying The Hobbit to a good extent from early to late editions.
This version of the story, which is mostly based on the Hobbit, is more in line with TLOTR. I agree that some of the facetious aspects are lost (in particular Bilbo's riddling proclivity, a miss in his scene with Smaug), but on the other hand there is a lot more depth and sense to many characters (esp the wood-elves orcs/goblins, and the lake people).
I didn't mind the addition of Legolas and Turiel, they fit well in the story, are fun and, as somebody said once, elfs are like bacon: anything gets better with it.

What i particularly liked in terms of differences are that they addressed the major flaw (imo, obviously) of the book: for all they talking and months of travelling, in the novel the dwarves manage to get to the Lone Mountain without an hint of a plan. They ain't got a clue about what to do once they get there and finde the entrance (they even forget about the last light instructions)
Bilbo even scolds them about it. Everything happens by accident and thanks to bilbo and gandalf.
In the movie they have a plan: have bilbo steal the arkenstone, then use it to reunite the dwarves clans and conquer the Mountain by regular war.

In general the 13 dwarves get a better treatment in the movie storyline. In the book they contribute basically nothing. Every situation is solved by bilbo, gandalf
or some other deus ex-machina (another sign of how it is an 'early' work by Tolkien, imo), be it the eagles, the ravens, or dain's dwarvish army. In the movie they seem to be more active participants of their destiny, and actually help getting things done.
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Old Jan 5, 2014, 10:24 PM   #112
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Ok, i just saw Desolation of Smaug.
I liked it a lot.
I just came back from the movie myself.

I agree with much of what you said regarding fleshing out the story and adding more context to the journey.

But ...

I really wish that someone could have dialed back on the action at the end. There were so many sequences that were so far-fetched that IMO it robbed the film of the impact it should have had.

And I do have to wonder why people are so afraid of orcs. It looks like two elves can kill a whole army of them.

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Old Jan 5, 2014, 10:56 PM   #113
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I just car back from the movie myself.

I agree with much of what you said regarding fleshing out the story and adding more context to the journey.

But ...

I really wish that someone could have dialed back on the action at the end. There were so many sequences that were so far-fetched that IMO it robbed the film of the impact it should have had.

And I do have to wonder why people are so afraid of orcs. It looks like two elves can kill a whole army of them.
I was thinking the same!

i think the over the top action scenes function to provide comedic relief. In particular the river scene was so "irrealistic" (for how littles sense that makes in a fantasy movie), that was hilarious. i mean, legolas at one point was basically surfing using an orc as board
Also, the giant golden dwarf!

What i couldn't reconcile with was the disproportionately large treasure. Way too big
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Old Jan 6, 2014, 10:24 AM   #114
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Is there anywhere online where I can read the book's version of Bilbo and Smaug's conversation?
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Old Jan 6, 2014, 02:10 PM   #115
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Is there anywhere online where I can read the book's version of Bilbo and Smaug's conversation?
from memory :

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...He was just about to step out on to the floor when he caught a sudden thin and piercing ray of red from under the drooping lid. of Smaug's left eye. He was only pretending to sleep! He was watching the tunnel entrance! Hurriedly Bilbo stepped back and blessed the luck of his ring. Then Smaug spoke.

"Well, thief! I smell you and I feel your air. I hear your breath. Come along! Help yourself again, there is plenty and to spare!" But Bilbo was not quite so unlearned in dragon-lore as all that, and if Smaug hoped to get him to come nearer so easily he was disappointed. "No thank you, O Smaug the Tremendous!" he replied. "I did not come for presents. I only wished to have a look at you and see if you were truly as great as tales say. I did not believe them."

"Do you now?" said the dragon somewhat flattered, even though he did not believe a word of it. j "Truly songs and tales fall utterly short of the reality, O Smaug the Chiefest and Greatest of Calamities," replied Bilbo.

You have nice manners for a thief and a liar," said the dragon. "You seem familiar with my name, but I don't seem to remember smelling you before. Who are you and where do you come from, may I ask?"

"You may indeed! I come from under the hill, and under hills and over the hills my paths led. And through the air, I am he that walks unseen." "So I can well believe," said Smaug, "but that is hardly our usual name." "I am the clue-finder, the web-cutter, the stinging fly. I as chosen for the lucky number."

"Lovely titles!" sneered the dragon. "But lucky numbers don't always come off."

"I am he that buries his friends alive and drowns them and draws them alive again from the water. I came from the end of a bag, but no bag went over me."

"These don't sound so creditable," scoffed Smaug.

"I am the friend of bears and the guest of eagles. I am Ringwinner and Luckwearer; and I am Barrel-rider," went on Bilbo beginning to be pleased with his riddling.

"That's better!" said Smaug. "But don't let your imagination run away with you!"

This of course is the way to talk to dragons, if you don't want to reveal your proper name (which is wise), and don't want to infuriate them by a flat refusal (which is also very wise). No dragon can resist the fascination of riddling talk and of wasting time trying to understand it. There was a lot here which Smaug did not understand at all (though I expect you do, since you know all about Bilbo's adventures to which he was referring), but he thought he understood enough, and he chuckled in his wicked inside. "I thought so last night," he smiled to himself. "Lake-men, some nasty scheme of those miserable tub-trading Lake-men, or I'm a lizard. I haven't been down that way for an age and an age; but I will soon alter that!" "Very well, O Barrel-rider!" he said aloud. "Maybe Barrel was your pony's name; and maybe not, though it was fat enough. You may walk unseen, but you did not walk all the way. Let me tell you I ate six ponies last night and I shall catch and eat all the others before long. In return for the excellent meal I will give you one piece of advice for your good: don't have more to do with dwarves than you can help!"

"Dwarves!" said Bilbo in pretended surprise.

"Don't talk to me!" said Smaug. "I know the smell (and taste) of dwarf-no one better. Don't tell me that I can eat a dwarf-ridden pony and not know it! You'll come to a bad end, if you go with such friends. Thief Barrel-rider. I don't mind if you go back and tell them so from me."

But he did not tell Bilbo that there was one smell he could not make out at all, hobbit-smell; it was quite outside his experience and puzzled him mightily.

"I suppose you got a fair price for that cup last night?" he went on. "Come now, did you? Nothing at all! Well, that's just like them. And I suppose they are skulking outside, and your job is to do all the dangerous work and get what you can when I'm not looking-for them? And you will get a fair share? Don't you believe it! If you get off alive, you will be lucky." Bilbo was now beginning to feel really uncomfortable. Whenever Smaug's roving eye, seeking for him in the shadows, flashed across him, he trembled, and an unaccountable desire seized hold of him to rush out and reveal himself and tell all the truth to Smaug. In fact he was in grievous danger of coming under the dragon-spell. But plucking up courage he spoke again. "You don't know everything, O Smaug the Mighty," said he. "Not gold alone brought us hither."

"Ha! Ha! You admit the 'us'," laughed Smaug. "Why not say 'us fourteen' and be done with it. Mr. Lucky Number? I am pleased to hear that you had other business in these parts besides my gold. In that case you may, perhaps, not altogether waste your time.

"I don't know if it has occurred to you that, even if you could steal the gold bit by bit-a matter of a hundred years or so - you could not get it very far? Not much use on the mountain-side? Not much use in the forest? Bless me! Had you never thought of the catch? A fourteenth share, I suppose, Or something like it, those were the terms, eh? But what about delivery? What about cartage? What about armed guards and tolls?" And Smaug laughed aloud. He had a wicked and a wily heart, and he knew his guesses were not far out, though he suspected that the Lake-men were at the back of the plans, and that most of the plunder was meant to stop there in the town by the shore that in his young days had been called Esgaroth.

You will hardly believe it, but poor Bilbo was really very taken aback. So far all his. thoughts and energies had been concentrated on getting to the Mountain and finding the entrance. He had never bothered to wonder how the treasure was to be removed, certainly never how any part of it that might fall to his share was to be brought back all the way to Bag-End Under-Hill. Now a nasty suspicion began to grow in his mind-had the dwarves forgotten this important point too, or were they laughing in their sleeves at him all the time? That is the effect that dragon-talk has on the inexperienced. Bilbo of course ought to have been on his guard; but Smaug had rather an overwhelming personality.

"I tell you," he said, in an effort to remain loyal to his friends and to keep his end up, "that gold was only an afterthought with us. We came over hill and under hill, by wave and win, for "Revenge". Surely, O Smaug the unassessably wealthy, you must realize that your success has made you some bitter enemies?"

Then Smaug really did laugh-a devastating sound which shook Bilbo to the floor, while far up in the tunnel the dwarves huddled together and imagined that the hobbit had come to a sudden and a nasty end. "Revenge!" he snorted, and the light of his eyes lit the the hall from floor to ceiling like scarlet lightning. "Revenge! The King under the Mountain is dead and where are hi kin that dare seek revenge? Girion Lord of Dale is dead, and I have eaten his people like a wolf among sheep, and where are his sons' sons that dare approach me? I kill where I wish and none dare resist. I laid low the warriors of old and their like is not in the world today. Then I was but young and tender. Now I am old and strong, strong strong. Thief in the Shadows!" he gloated. "My armour is like tenfold shields, my teeth are swords, my claws spears, the shock of my tail a thunderbolt, my wings a hurricane, and my breath death!"

"I have always understood," said Bilbo in a frightened squeak, "that dragons were softer underneath, especially in the region of the-er-chest; but doubtless one so fortified has thought of that."

The dragon stopped short in his boasting. "Your information is antiquated," he snapped. "I am armoured above and below with iron scales and hard gems. No blade can pierce me."

"I might have guessed it," said Bilbo. "Truly there can nowhere be found the equal of Lord Smaug the Impenetrable. What magnificence to possess a waistcoat of fine diamonds!"

"Yes, it is rare and wonderful, indeed," said Smaug absurdly pleased. He did not know that the hobbit had already caught a glimpse of his peculiar under-covering on his previous visit, and was itching for a closer view for reasons of his own. The dragon rolled over. "Look!" he said. "What do you say to that?"

"Dazzlingly marvellous! Perfect! Flawless! Staggering!" exclaimed Bilbo aloud, but what he thought inside was: "Old fool! Why there is a large patch in the hollow of his left breast as bare as a snail out of its shell!" After he had seen that Mr. Baggins' one idea was to get away. "Well, I really must not detain Your Magnificence any longer," he said, "or keep you from much needed rest. Ponies take some catching, I believe, after a long start. And so do burglars," he added as a parting shot, as he darted back and fled up the tunnel.

It was an unfortunate remark, for the dragon spouted terrific flames after him, and fast though he sped up the slope, he had not gone nearly far enough to be comfortable before the ghastly head of Smaug was thrust against the opening behind. Luckily the whole head and jaws could not squeeze in, but the nostrils sent forth fire and vapour to pursue him, and he was nearly overcome, and stumbled blindly on in great pain and fear. He had been feeling rather pleased with the cleverness of his conversation with Smaug, but his mistake at the end shook him into better sense.
pardon the typos, I am writing on my iPhone....
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Old Jan 8, 2014, 07:10 PM   #116
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Seeing it again tomorrow night.
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Old Jan 8, 2014, 10:33 PM   #117
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from memory :



pardon the typos, I am writing on my iPhone....
You typed all that?

If you hold the book up as the gem, all you have to do is read one chapter, their arrival at Beorn's, then compare that to the movie. The movie scene is absolutely hollow in comparison. Hey we need action... like the threat (ooo tension) of Beorn trying to eat dwarves when they first show up. It's starting to look like I am in the minority around here.
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Old Jan 9, 2014, 08:40 AM   #118
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You typed all that?

If you hold the book up as the gem, all you have to do is read one chapter, their arrival at Beorn's, then compare that to the movie. The movie scene is absolutely hollow in comparison. Hey we need action... like the threat (ooo tension) of Beorn trying to eat dwarves when they first show up. It's starting to look like I am in the minority around here.
nah, i was joking.
yeah, the Beorn chapter was basically eliminated for a short transition scene just to introduce beorn himself.
however, I think it would have been a very difficult scene to pull off i they stuck by the book, and i suspect they evaluated the possibility and decided it was going to come more ridiculous than magical (walking dogs and all) and just skipped it.
I am ok with it, i see this as a story based on the book, rather than a visual narration of the book, and i think in that they did a good job.
movies based on good books one has read before are never up to par anyways and when they are is because they diverge significantly from the original story (LOTR could be one of the very rare exceptions).
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Old Jan 9, 2014, 08:56 AM   #119
Huntn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don't panic View Post
nah, i was joking.
yeah, the Beorn chapter was basically eliminated for a short transition scene just to introduce beorn himself.
however, I think it would have been a very difficult scene to pull off i they stuck by the book, and i suspect they evaluated the possibility and decided it was going to come more ridiculous than magical (walking dogs and all) and just skipped it.
I am ok with it, i see this as a story based on the book, rather than a visual narration of the book, and i think in that they did a good job.
movies based on good books one has read before are never up to par anyways and when they are is because they diverge significantly from the original story (LOTR could be one of the very rare exceptions).
Nail on the head. My issue is that the character of the book has been eliminated to LOTRosize The Hobbit, although I acknowledge that it might have been tough from a commercial aspect to drastically change the tone of the narrative when it is directly related. So it was a creative decision to destroy the essence of the book and maintain the shell of the story, while inserting all sorts of extra "action" and other Middle Earth material, just to keep those with short attention spans engaged, and make fans buy 3 movie tickets instead of one.. I just don't have to be happy about it.

I saw the first movie voluntarily. After that I wrote the series off for streaming, but got my arm twisted to see the second one in the theater. No way for the 3rd one. My sensitivity towards the book prevents me from enjoying this series. Maybe one day, they'll reboot the The Hobbit without Peter Jackson's help and produce something resembling the book.
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Last edited by Huntn; Jan 9, 2014 at 09:02 AM.
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Old Jan 11, 2014, 04:48 PM   #120
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well...

I'm enjoying parts because certain actors are nailing their characters and that Smaug, some of the environments are breathtaking.

I saw it another 2x this week (both not on my dime). Went against my no 3D clause and saw it in IMAX 3d (Smaug was worth it, everything else no.) I might see IMAX films again after I watch in 2D, but I am not a fan of 3D.

The deviations are disappointing and in some cases $*(#z$* awful, but I have to agree filming Beorn's intro from the book probably would not have worked as well.

All that said, I look forward to a purer adaptation of The Hobbit eventually. All I ask is that make ups and great actors are still used if it will be live action.
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