Fans (not fanboys) of this movie, Please explain what you liked.

You see, the more I think about this movie, the more faults and stupid decisions I uncover and the more hostile I become towards it. Now, I could give you a list of things that I think should have been better/omitted in this movie, but I choose not to. You see, I just want to see some reasonable arguments from the fans of this movie as to why this film was good and a worthy prequel to LOTR. Try to convince me.

Now, I will admit that the landscapes of NZ were once again gorgeous, that Bilbo, Gandalf, Balin and Bofur were portrayed almost perfectly and that Riddles in the Dark was mostly perfect, so those arguments won't be required. Just give me some more reasons as to why you considered this a good film, on par with LOTR and worthy of a higher RT-score than it has right now. And, fanboys, don't call me a troll for not considering this movie the Second Coming. I'm just a disgruntled fan of both Tolkien and Jackson's previous Middle-Earth movie.
Tim de Wit
01-2-2013 01:00 PM

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Chris Westergaard

Chris Westergaard

I can't put my finger on it. It's definitely not on par with Lord of the Rings (Especially Return of the King)but I'm glad it didn't try to do so. It's good on it's own merits. Yeah the humor is a little out of place at times, but you could argue that some of the humor was also a little forced in The Lord of The Rings also (i.e. Gimli's goofy moments) If you look up some of the deleted scenes, they add more to the drama of the movie (Such as Gandalf and Elrond talking about Thorin, Young Bilbo first meeting Gandalf). I also like how they're adding more character to the dwarves than in the movie(the only ones that stood out in my mind from the book were Bilbo, Balin, and Bombour)

Nov 2 - 07:47 PM

Rebecca of Rohan

Rebecca S.

The humor felt forced, and I think Jackson tried to hard to make it epic, like Lord of the Rings. It's not Lord of the Rings, it's The Hobbit.
The only thing I liked in this movie was the Riddles in the Dark.

Jul 25 - 08:51 AM

Dave M.

Dave McMahon

I liked when it was finally over. That was definitely the best part.

Jul 15 - 04:40 AM

Ocram Immorto

Ocram Immorto

Why don't we give it a rest until the next two films come out, and if all three films are mediocre, then you'll be the only sane guy here.

Apr 15 - 06:02 PM

Bob Fantiasco

Bob Fantiasco

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZFgkom9oRo
An interesting watch.

Mar 8 - 08:55 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Though I find it very fascinating to see how they created this CGI-character (I can definitely see that a lot of work went into it) I think PJ made a mistake in making Azog CG. If they wanted to make Azog stand out, why didn't they just make prosthetics for Manu Bennett? Hell, the guy looks intimidating on his own so I really do feel it could have been done! Is there a specific reason for this that wasn't explained in this clip?

Mar 9 - 02:23 AM

Chris Westergaard

Chris Westergaard

Azog was originally not going to be CG, but he was changed last minute because Peter Jackson believed he didn't stand out as much.

Nov 2 - 07:48 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Oh, right... They didn't have any time for it, because Azog's extended role was a last minute addition, wasn't it?

Mar 9 - 02:27 AM

Bob Fantiasco

Bob Fantiasco

Twas. Hopefully he'll look much better in the next films, given that they're pretty much done filming, allowing more time to perfect the CGI.
I actually prefer the prosthetic design they gave him. There wasn't really a need to make him stand out so much, just look at Lurtz in FOTR.

Mar 9 - 06:09 AM

Bob Fantiasco

Bob Fantiasco

Oh, and it wasn't Azog's role that was last minute, it was the design they gave him.

Mar 9 - 06:10 AM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Really? Wasn't Yazneg (one of Azog's minions in the end product) supposed to be the main orc villain initially?

Mar 9 - 06:33 AM

Chris Westergaard

Chris Westergaard

Yazneg was Azog originally in the movie, but that was changed after the CG design was made

Nov 2 - 07:49 PM

Joe Mckeever

Joe Mckeever

I liked The Hobbit because of its feel. Yes there were some pacing problems and a little too much Cgi, but it was done well to create a fun fantasy adventure. It may have been too long, but I had waited a long time for this, so getting more was a treat to me since I like long movies (if done well). It is supposed to have a more comedic tone like the book, but the serious parts are to remind us that we are in the same world as Lord of the Rings. The references to LOTR give us nostalgia and tie things together. I view it as one or two steps down from LOTR but creating that magic again is an extremely tough job. I feel the second film will improve on the first's problems, though I'm not sure how they are going to work the third one out. Overall, I liked The Hobbit because everything looked so nice, the acting as you mentioned was almost perfect, and I love how closer they stuck to the book. Remember, we could have an action movie like Battleship or something with shooting and explosions, so this is a breath of fresh-air. That's my opinion on it.

Mar 8 - 06:49 AM

Valandhir F.

Valandhir Falyn

Okay... I will try to work through this in a concise manner, so please bear with me. A word before: I have read all the books (Hobbit/LotR/Sil/etc) years before the movies came out. When I went to see the Hobbit, I did it with some apprehension, because while I liked the tale, I never liked the book the same way I liked Lord of the Rings. and I was astounded by the movie, because it was epic. So.. on to what I liked.

1. The story frame - Old Bilbo reminiscencing and deciding it is time to tell all the tale on the eve of the great party. This is good storytelling, you have the old hero, thinking back of the great, and sometimes sad, adventure. Along with some small hints at things we will see in the end i.e Sackville-Bagginses.

2. Erebor Intro - One of my favourite parts of the movie, again good story telling, giving the viewer an idea what this whole story is about. The Dwarven Homeland, the Dragon, the Curse of Gold, all is introduced in these few minutes, themes we will see again. Wonderful introduction for Thorin too - right down to the words "and he never forgave and he never forgot". Echoing "?The years lengthened. The embers in the heart of Thorin grew hot again, as he brooded on the wrongs of his House and the vengeance upon the Dragon that he had inherited. He thought of weapons and armies and alliances, as his great hammer rang in his forge; but the armies were dispersed and the alliances broken and the axes of his people were few; and a great anger without hope burned him as he smote the red iron on the anvil.?
? J.R.R. Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings (Appendix A III, Durin?s Folk) This part of the tales.

3. The Unexpected Party. Honestly, I can't understand how people were bored at the first part of the movie. The arrival of the dwarves had me laugh, grin, roll my eyes and simply be shocked all in one. Dwalin came as a shock - real life and war invading Bilbo's cozy Hobbit hole, Balin, nice, literal minded and friendly, the old dwarf had me smile and think of his tomb in Moria. Kili and Fili - maybe the most poignant of the introductions, at least for those who know where their journey will end. The rest of the crew - colourful, strange and unique. By the time they began "Blunt the Knives" I was thoroughly entertained and amused. Thorin's arrival - wonderful intro for the character, setting him apart and showing his presence. I was afraid of that moment, not sure if I could take movie Thorin seriously, but this Thorin simply is not a fun character, he's all I'd expect in a good fantasy hero, deeply flawed, crazily brave, a tad bitter and deeply dedicated. He is a character who's story would have me interessted no matter if I knew the book.

5. The Trolls - that scene makes my stomach queasy every time I see it (and I saw it several times in the cinema) but it captures these three mutton chewing pounces perfectly. The humor (everything tastes like chicken), the danger (yes, they will eat you) and Thorin's decision... just that character moment was good story telling again, we learn what kind of man and leader Thorin is.

6. Radagast and the Rhosgobell Rabbits - well, that is a part I am torn about. I LIKE that they chose to introduce the Necromances this way, to start the story about Dol Guldur in that manner, but I would have liked Radagast a tad less crazy, less tree-huggy, but I will ascribe that to our times where nature-love is ideology.

7. The White Council - again, I commend PJ that he took the time to tell the story, and not go for the fastest way to wrap the movie. We see the divisions, with Saruman denying any danger, the Elves not wanting another war and Galadriel and Gandalf sensing something stirr in the dark. Their conversation drew me back to the FOTR intro "Darkness sank on the forest of the world..."
8. Thunder Battle - I liked the wandering sequence, the whole crew marching through the sprawling landscapes and I liked the battle. It IS in the book, and while some people claim it was a metaphor, it still is in there. And it was amazingly done, driving home the point that you do not just cross the Misty Mountains easily. Thorin pulling Bilbo from the chasm - another good character moment. We see that Thorin will risk his own life for each and every member of his team, even one he dislikes. Bofur's conversation with Bilbo goes right to the heart of the story "you are right - we belong nowhere." PJ had the courage to show that the dwarves' quest for Erebor is more than pride and gold, it is their search for a home, for a place to belong.

9) Goblin Town - Another scene I had been afraid of, because it always was one I found strange in the book, but here I found it well balanced between a nasty Goblin King, some humor and the very real threat. Again, we see Thorin protect his people, the moment the Goblin King threatens to torture the youngest of the crew, Thorin reveals himself, knowing he will have all the attention of the Goblins, due to his rep.

10) Ri

Mar 7 - 07:12 AM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Allow me to respond to your points.

1. Adding old Bilbo to the story is fine (perhaps Ian Holm could have provided some further narration, like Kate Blanchett did in LOTR), but I would have preferred if they had waited with showing him until the very end of the story: that would've smoothened the transition into LOTR excellently.

2. I had few qualms with the Erebor sequence on its own, but I don't know if it did the story, which was supposed to be from the perspective of Bilbo, much good. Us having already seen what happened at Erebor kind of defeated the purpose of the 'Far over the Misty Mountains cold'-song, which was meant to introduce us to this story. Having Thorin, or someone else, tell us of the story, with some quick flashes of the actual event and some ominous music, would have been preferrable in my eyes.

3. The Unexpected Party was one of the better parts of this film. However, I could have done without the obnoxious burping and the forced references to LOTR.

4. (5. in your post) The Trolls, while goofy in the book, should have been more menacing. They were utterly Disneyfied, much like Radagast was. Also, I didn't appreciate Bilbo being used as a handkerchief.

5. (6. in your post) Hated him and his damned rabbits. The Istari are supposed to be dignified, even Radagast. Having him be this goofball is an insult. I also didn't like the Morgul Blade/Tomb of the Witch-King story arc, which doesn't make any sense lore-wise. Also, Sauron was turned into a creepy boogeyman, while his presence alone should have been enough to get the point across. With Sauron as the Necromancer, less is always more. You can show a shadow or a shade, but that should be it. I don't think that this should have been a part of this movie, though: a flashback of how Gandalf found Thrain should about be the extent of what we see of Dol Guldur.

6. (7.) Where a lot of PJ's interpretation of The Hobbit was too goofy, The White Council was too serious. The contrast was too immense. Also, I didn't like how they pulled an 'Anakin Skywalker' on Saruman, with the Isengard theme playing softly in the background. If one is too watch The Hobbit before watching LOTR, which future viewers are bound to do, it shouldn't be too obvious that Saruman is going to be a villain. He should have denied the existence of The Necromancer with some more tact and guile.

7. (8.) Hated this. It could have been a much more atmospherical scene if the giants had been in the background, lighted only by flashes of lightning. One of the dwarves could then have told Bilbo some legend about the giants (like the one about those mountains in The White Mountains being created by a giant breaking his neck). What we had here was a ridiculous, over the-top Transformers-like fight sequence. In my opinion, it completely missed the point.

8. (9.) Didn't like the design they gave the Goblin King and he has the same problem the trolls and Radagast had: he was too goofy. The fight sequence in the caves was beyond ridiculous: Balin informs us in the beginning of the movie that most of the dwarves aren't warriors, and yet they manage to kill hundreds of goblins without receiving a scratch. In the book, this chapter was suspenseful and had a sense of danger: this was lacking in this movie.

Oh, as for Thorin, to whom you seem to be referring a lot: I didn't think he was bad, he just wasn't that great either. He came across as a dwarvish version of Aragorn, while the Thorin in the book is pompous, stubborn, greedy but not without a sense of honour and prowess. Also, Thorin was a lot older in the book. I didn't mind him putting his life on the line for his people, but he was surrounded by a lot of cliches in this movie, the final scene with Bilbo being the most notable example.

Mar 7 - 11:57 AM

Valandhir F.

Valandhir Falyn

Okay, my message got massively truncated... sorry. I do not have much time right now, so I will make this short.

Thorin's age - according to Tolkien Dwarves only start aging again in the very last stages of their lives, so while this Thorin looks different than the book dictates, I could well live with the interpretation. And yes, I prefer the movie version to the book version. If they had pulled a book version on me, I may have ended up disliking the movie. So there's that. I thoroughly enjoyed the characterisation and the one or two moments that were over the top (the stare into the darkness while Balin recounts the battle of Azanulbizar) they never broke my immersion into the story.

But then - I am fond of heroic tales, and as such am willing to accept the premise of a "larger than life" hero along with certain cliches that it might bring.

Balin does not say, that the others are NOT warriors, he lists the professions they are earning a living with. Fili states "but we are fighters!", so I'd say, while not warriors per se, most of the dwarves are fighters and have gained some experience through a rough life.

I did not mind the Necromancer at all, we saw a black figure so far, not very much. I am curious how he will be in the second movie.

The Intro - I don't think the song, even the full song "Far over the Misty Mountains Cold" would have been quite enough to really tell the viewers what this was about. And by having old Bilbo pen down the story as he heard it... we get a fascinating glimpse at what Erebor was. In the book you have references about Thorin that he was a very important dwarf indeed and so forth, assuming that people in the story and by proxy the reader should know him/acknowledge he is someone special. Here the Intro helps to place the viewer in the context, especially those who do NOT know the book. I guess we are bound to disagree on the Intro as much as we do on Thorin.

Mar 8 - 04:43 AM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

I suspected as much. No problem, mate.

Well, I suppose we can just agree to disagree about Thorin: he wasn't that big of a problem for me at any rate. Armitage did fine.

Balin does say that the dwarves were 'hardly warrior material' aside from himself, Dwalin and Thorin, so I interpreted that as: 'They can't fight very well.' That was a source of confusion to me in Goblin Town, where they slaughtered hundreds of goblins. Remember the Moria-sequence in FOTR? All of the non-hobbits present there were battle-hardy fighters and yet they had a hard time fighting the goblins. Besides, in the book The Hobbit Thorin & Company had a hard time fighting the goblins. My conclusion is that the escape from Goblin Town in AUJ was an utterly foolish sequence. That's just my opinion though.

About the intro: I'm not saying that 'Far over the Misty Mountains cold' would have been enough to introduce the story to the viewer. As I said, they should have had one of the dwarves, preferrably Thorin, relate the story to Bilbo after the singing of the song with some fragments of the attack of Erebor and some ominous music interspersed. That WOULD have been enough, I would think. It would also have added a bit more mystery and atmosphere to the story.

Mar 8 - 11:19 AM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Oh, I forgot about the Necromancer: I didn't like how he jumped out at the camera as if he were your typical horror-movie villain. Sauron is supposed to be much more subtle. Like I said, a shade would have been fine, but make it eery and ominous, rather than jump-scary.

Mar 8 - 11:24 AM

BenandEmily Moss

BenandEmily Moss

Tim, I'm sensing you think the hobbit was less than average for movies of its genre. Can you give me some titles (within the genre) that were made in the past 5 years that you believe to be better than the Hobbit?

Mar 6 - 01:36 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

No disrespect intended, good sir and madam, but you are mistaken. In comparison to other fantasy films that came out the last couple of years The Hobbit isn't that bad. Game of Thrones takes the cake, though, even though it's a series rather than a feature film.

However, I'm not only looking at the fantasy genre: in comparison to films of other genres that came out these years, this movie doesn't do so well (contrary to the LOTR-trilogy, which dominated the years in which it came out). I thought that, for example, Life of Pi, Skyfall and even Les Miserables were better films than The Hobbit was. They definitely entertained me more. It's still not bad, though, just average.

The main reason for me disliking this film is because I waited a very long time for this: a flawed and average flick which, in my personal opinion, doesn't hold a candle to either the original source material on which it was based, or the LOTR-trilogy which it was supposed to succeed. And this dislike/disappointment isn't just my 'fingerspitzengefŘlhl' talking either, just look at the rational discussion about the movie's pros and cons that has been taking place on this thread. It just drops the ball on too many areas in my opinion for it to be the 'grand film' that many people are claiming it to be.

Mar 6 - 02:37 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Just to clarify, in my last response to DAT ASSet management, I didn't mean 'average fantasy flick' as referring to its position within the genre: I meant it as referring to its position within the whole of cinema.

Mar 6 - 02:41 PM

BenandEmily Moss

BenandEmily Moss

Gotcha, It wasn't a rhetorical question either, so thanks for your thoughts. I havent seen skyfall, Life of Pi, Game of Thrones, or the new Les Misrables, so I will make an effort to get to them.

Do you think it is possible that your pre-movie hype set you up for disaster?

Maybe the difference between you're and my experience was, I went into the movie expecting to see something or anything great, and you went into the movie expecting to see something "specifically" great.

I was excited to see it, and had high expectations, but I didn't (fan)tasize about it too much. I did however fantasize about the release of Diablo 3, and upon its release I couldnt have been more frustrated with its outcome. So maybe I can understand where your coming from.


Cheers

Mar 6 - 08:00 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

What you're saying is quite possible. I did indeed hype this movie for myself.

However, please take into consideration that my expectations had already been curtailed because of the initial reviews: when I actually went to see the movie I expected a reasonably good adaptation, rather than a masterpiece. It still disappointed me, though.

I'm glad to hear you liked it, though. As for Skyfall, Life of Pi etc. I do recommend them. Game of Thrones is a bit darker and a lot more 'mature' and morally complicated than Tolkien's work, but it is great fun to watch.

Mar 7 - 11:05 AM

DAT A.

DAT ASSet management

I wanted to see a well-made adventure film with good acting, characterization, and action--and that's exactly what I got.

Feb 19 - 04:26 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

If this is what you consider to be a well-made adventure film with good acting, characterisation and action, then I'm happy for you, even though I disagree (except about the acting, which was admittedly good most of the time).
However, the stakes were higher than this: this was supposed to be an adaptation of one of the most loved novels of the twentieth century AND a worthy successor (or predecessor, rather) to Jackson's beautiful LOTR-trilogy. It fails in both aspects.

Feb 20 - 03:38 AM

DAT A.

DAT ASSet management

I understand the dwarves weren't given much in the way of character, but the characters we did get to know were wonderfully portrayed (Bilbo, Gandalf, Thorin, even Balin).
Oh, and can we please drop comparisons with the book and the LOTR movies? I understand, it's inevitable, but try to look at TH as a standalone film. Yes, I'm quite aware of the obvious references to LOTR, but someone who hasn't seen the LOTR trilogy won't mind them. Similarly, we need to think about those who haven't read the book, who will also not mind the artistic liberties.

Feb 20 - 02:31 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Even if I choose to disregard the connection with LOTR and The Hobbit book and look at it as though it were a stand-alone film, I would still be looking at a painfully average fantasy flick with one-liners, toilet humour, inconsistent tones, goofy cartoon characters, ridiculously over-the-top action and clichÚ-ridden scenes.

This is me speaking as an appreciator of cinema as a whole, rather than just a fan of Tolkien.

Feb 21 - 11:18 AM

Bob Fantiasco

Bob Fantiasco

-Other than the Great Goblin's last words, there weren't all too many one liners.
-Toilet humor implies shit and piss, none of which were played for humor in The Hobbit. While there were occasional moments of immaturity, they didn't fall under the toilet humor category.
-Your definition of inconsistent tones actually applies to many good adventure films, including Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, Pirates of the Caribbean, TinTin, and Avatar: The Last Airbender (even though it's a TV show)
-Radagast and the Great Goblin are the only cartoony characters I can name off the top of my head, both of whom were not in the film for very long.
-I will agree with you on the over the top action scenes, although I found the Goblin Town sequence amusing, in a silly kind of way.
^^ Best username ever

Mar 6 - 04:04 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

We meet again. :-)

- 'These are Rhosgobel Rabbits, I'd like to see them try' was another horrible one liner.

- My definition of toilet humour extends to anything having to do with bodily fluids and noises.

- There's a difference between comic relief and overly inconsistent tones. In this movie, I was distracted by the change in tone, while the other movies you named didn't have that effect so much (except POTC, perhaps).

- Yes, but these two characters are enough. They just don't fit into the world that is being portrayed. For me, that was enough to take me out of the movie.

Mar 7 - 02:11 PM

Christian Kneier

Christian Kneier

because i love these movies and the world they play in...the charakters are great,the music iss amazing,the story iss good and i just love middle earth and its atmosphere,probably the best fantasy world ever created for movies and books alike. plus the movie worls better then fellowship for me because it lets the charakters breathe,in fellowship almost all charaktershots where extreme closeups to the face wich kinda bothered me ^^

Feb 18 - 06:22 AM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Yeah, but the setting being good (which it indeed is, but you have Tolkien to thank for that) doesn't neccesarily mean that the movie is good. Jackson's LOTR-trilogy was an excellent interpretation of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings: it wasn't perfect (nothing is in the world of book adaptations) but it came pretty damn close to it.
However, this movie does considerably worse as an adaptation of The Hobbit. In fact, I think it being an adaptation of Tolkien is more of a liability than it is a benefit for this film: this setting had so much potential and so much to live up to that this inferior movie is, quite frankly, pretty much an insult to it, which makes it all the more despicable.

The extreme closeups in LOTR didn't bother me at all. In my opinion, they established atmosphere and character: something this movie lacked considerably (although not all together).

Feb 19 - 08:43 AM

Sean Handler

Sean Handler

I loved the characters, the gorgeous landscapes of NZ (my favorite was the Rivendell set, it looked just as amazing as it did in the original trilogy!) and I loved its take on one of my favorite Tolkien novels. I also adored Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, there was nobody else in my mind that suited that character more.

Feb 17 - 02:57 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

'Now, I will admit that the landscapes of NZ were once again gorgeous, that Bilbo, Gandalf, Balin and Bofur were portrayed almost perfectly and that Riddles in the Dark was mostly perfect, so those arguments won't be required.'

What you have just stated pretty much matches the positives I admitted to in my OP. Do you have anything else you liked?

Feb 18 - 05:21 AM

DAT A.

DAT ASSet management

An Unexpected Journey gave the larger series something which it was lacking, but which would have been hard to find a proper place for in the Rings trilogy under most circumstances, regardless of the director: a cozy, more familliar sense of childlike wonder, without a ubiquitous grim undercurrent.

A shadow hung over Fellowship, even in the morning of The Shire. And that was appropriate. It is largely absent here. From the moment a Wizard's will transforms a smokering into a purposefull butterfly, to that same Wizard's commentary on Home being behind, there is a simple, joyously adventurous, wonder to the first quarter or so of The Hobbit, untainted by the promise of dire darkness in a way that no part of The Fellowship ever really manages to be. The Shadow never lifts from The Fellowship from the prologue onward, even as the Hobbits drink and are awed by fireworks.

I had struggled to find words to express my different feelings for this movie. How I managed to find it more fun and more jubilantly charming, while not finding it as elegantly enchanting as much of the material in Lord of The Rings. What I have come to realize is that The Hobbit offers a world of more ubiquitous simple enchantment, while Rings offers a world growing more mundane, but in which greater enchantments still abide in concentrated places (Rivendell, Lothlorien, and of a dark and more dreadful type in the Moria of The Balrog, or the ghastly lit Minas Ithil). Enchantment is everywhere in The Hobbit. . . its fields, and hills, its dwarves and their songs and the air of familiar yet otherly adventure and yore which they bring to Bilbo's quiet corner of The Shire, in the entertainment charms of one Wizard, and in the enchanted forest of another. Enchantment is NOT everywhere in LOTR. Indeed, there are whole strecthes of it that are mundane and dominated by the ways and feel of Man (both genders included) to the point of feeling almost drear ( some moments in Bree and Rohan, for example). . . but there are also moments of High Enchantment, almost religious in nature, to which The Hobbit does not attain ( Gandalf's return, Galadriel approaching her mirror, Arwen speaking with Elrond on the fate of Aragorn, and The Havens are examples), some of which are almost excruciating in their melancholy poignancy, and their elevated beauty (made more piercing in many cases by the clear implication that the beauty and enchantment is on the verge of passing away).

And, with that in mind, I think An Unexpected Journey gives the series as a whole something that it understandably lacked, and benefits from having acquired. There was Awe in Rings which The Hobbit has yet to really capture. But The Hobbit has far more simple, bon vivant wonder than Rings ever really offered. I think it is an ideal marraige. And I think those differences greatly behoove the overall accomplishment.

And for those who think I am just wide eyed and shining the film crews behinds with kisses, I still hate that Glorfindel was ignored, all the more because Lindir is not and Tauriel is added, ad I still hate the alterations to the Dwarves history, and I will complain if The Balrog matter isn't at least alluded to, for history and continuity's sake, and I don't like the changes to the history of Arnor, and Rings would have been better movies if the connection between The Three, The One, and the failing of The Elves had been given at least a paragraph of explanation, etc. etc. etc. . lol

Feb 9 - 03:43 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Sir, your post perfectly describes the relation that The Hobbit should have with The Lord of the Rings: the sadness of a world slowly losing its magic. This plot element is very prominently present in the original source material.

However, I really do feel that this could have been accomplished without the utter Disneyfication of several characters, the over-the-top action scenes and the ridiculous humour. This movie would have benefited from a more atmospherical, subtle approach.

In order to get across what I mean by a more atmospherical approach, let me give you an example of a scene that this movie didn't get right, and how this should have been done: the stone giants scene.
This scene could have been very memorable and atmospherical if the stone giants had been fighting in the background, only lightened by lightening. At the same time you could have had Oin (whom I interpreted as the lore-master of the company) tell Bilbo of the legends surrounding these giants (the LOTR appendices provide these) with some ominous (NEW!) music playing in the background. This would have given Oin additional character development, while at the same time providing us with whimsical, and yet spectacular imagery of a magical world (making it far more poignant to realise that this world is slowly disappearing in LOTR).
However, what we get in this movie is an over-the-top, implausible, dumbed down action scene which reminded me of Transformers. And I do NOT want to be reminded of Transformers while watching a Middle-Earth film.

You see? I do not consider the source material to be at fault here: it's PJ's piss poor execution of it that made me despise this film.

Feb 10 - 03:20 AM

DAT A.

DAT ASSet management

What exactly is your opinion on the film? I recall earlier you stated that it was average, and now you claim to despise it.

Feb 10 - 07:22 AM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

I despise it because it is average.

This doesn't, however, mean that I consider it a horrible movie. It just means that I personally didn't like it.

Feb 10 - 08:33 AM

Sanaya Tanksalvala

Sanaya Tanksalvala

Alright, I haven't read the book, so this is coming from a purely movie watcher standpoint. I really, really liked the Hobbit, and I think it does a great job of indirectly adding substance to LOTR without, in any real way, being LOTR.

I mean LOTR was about the possible end of the world, it is true, but it also focused on the best of the best the world had to offer. The Fellowship was comprised of a future king, a prince, the son of a steward, the son of a war hero, a wizard (who becomes more powerful), and four hobbits, of which two are from the eccentric and brave hobbit families, one of which is related to Bilbo, and then Sam, who really is the only one who isn't already distinguished by birth or upbringing. The other characters had similar backgrounds.

The Hobbit isn't about such people. Yes, Thorin is a future king, but he's very much the exception. The rest, as they said, aren't the best or brightest of any civilization, and they are only distinguished by their willingness to embark on the journey. They don't just say that, you feel it and you see it any time the dwarves are on screen. No, the quest isn't as grand as the one in LOTR, but neither are the people, and I really felt that lent an instant air of likability to the movie. It also gave depth to Gandalf's character which he never really got in LOTR. We see not only that he is a wise and powerful wizard, but that his real special character lies in the fact that he prefers the commonfolk. Yes, he has good relations with elves and men, but his true calling is to care for Middle Earth's less important, less-regarded inhabitants (the "little people" if you will), and that adds a very important element to his character.

I also liked the depiction of the Dwarves as a race. We see Gimli in LOTR but again, we don't really understand *dwarves* from that. Their whole culture is working hard and being honest and fair, and there is so much goodness there that it quickly overshadows any lack of manners, elegance or "proper behavior." They're pure substance, more so than any other race, and you quickly begin to like and sympathize with them. Seeing where he comes from adds to the appreciation of Gimli. Contrasting the dwarves with Bilbo's near-perfect depiction works very well, too.

It's true that the villains they face aren't the villains of LOTR. The goblins are, like the dwarves, underground mountain-dwellers, so it's understandable that there would be conflict there. The trolls are similarly lesser-type villains. And the orcs are just those sort of passing the time before the big stuff happens. It all fits together, though with the status of the company.

Could I have lived without the stone giants? Yes. Some of the action scenes weren't the most engaging, but I hardly noticed because I was so focused on the characters, both the development of ones we already knew and getting to know ones we didn't. I'm going to withhold judgement on whether I think the movie could have been done in two movies, because there are 13 characters to develop and that would be very difficult without adequate time.

Feb 5 - 05:01 PM

Sanaya Tanksalvala

Sanaya Tanksalvala

I'll just add that I thought that some of the dwarves not having beards was ok, because they really needed to drastically visually distinguish them from each other, or the movie was going to lose a lot more in followability and characterization potential than it gained in authenticity.

Feb 5 - 05:41 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Your post is a very interesting one. It is fascinating to read how one who hasn't read the book felt about this movie. However, speaking as one who has read the book, let me try to point out why this could have been done much better:

1. You are very right in pointing out that this story has a lesser scale than LOTR. The book was indeed like that. However, Peter Jackson screwed that up, because he very forcibly tried to add more drama to the story with the addition of the reappearance of Azog and the Necromancer-storyline. Also, he very crudely tries to connect the LOTR trilogy to this movie with the inclusion of various scenes that mimick elements from the trilogy. The way Bilbo puts on the Ring for the first time was cringeworthy in that it very actively tried to rip off Frodo's accident in Bree. Elements such as these could have been handled far more cleverly. The Hobbit should have been a story on its own, not an inferior rip-off of LOTR. And yes, this could have been accomplished, if done right.

2. I like your statement about the story focusing on the 'little people'. That is very much the case in the original book: it's the story of an epic adventure told from the perspective of a humble Hobbit. This movie takes away from that by increasing Thorin's role (I felt he was the focus of the movie, rather than Bilbo). Also, the addition of the White Council scenes, which is basically Middle-Earth politics at it's very highest, takes away from this premise.

3. The dwarves were indeed portrayed acceptably. I liked how they were given different designs (except for Kili's pathetic beard) and characteristics. However, other than these visual characteristics, the dwarves aren't fleshed out very much. Thorin, Balin and in a lesser degree Bofur get a lot of lines, but that's about it. A clever screenwriter could have given all these individual dwarves enough characterisation to make them memorable. Also, it didn't make any sense in how these humble dwarves, most of which were described by Balin as not being warriors, defeated the goblins so easily.

I suppose my point is, is that this movie is just average, while it could have been fantastic. I can certainly see how some people can enjoy it, but I'm constantly plagued by visions of how much better this movie could have been.

Feb 6 - 03:54 AM

Sanaya N.

Sanaya Nyb

Yeah, my brother feels the same about the original LOTR trilogy not adequately depicting the books, and I've felt the same about movies/books so I do know where you're coming from. Some of your comments are interesting in that they actually contradict complaints I've read by other people, not in facts but in perceptions (for instance I read one which said that the movie was only about Bilbo with the dwarves basically providing background, though I disagreed with that). I do know that Jackson added more drama to the movie than was in the book, and, well, maybe that was a problem but I'd also like to hear Jackson's side of the argument because in the past he's done a good job of explaining why he's changed things for the movies, and how different ways of presenting things play differently on screen and in text.

I can see how you'd feel that the white council scene took away from the premise, but, well, it was in the appendices, and I found it interesting. Maybe that's not a good enough reason, but I did. It also gave Gandalf a chance to express his opinions and beliefs in a way he would not otherwise have been able to (for instance, up to that point there was specifically no real reason for Bilbo, but after that his presence seemed to fit). I actually felt that Thorin was the single most emphasized example of the "little people" theme, because, though he was important to them, his fate was decidedly unimportant to anyone else. Of course Bilbo is simply a humble Hobbit, but even Thorin, who everyone admires, has no power other than that which stems from his own personality, and little influence without Gandalf. He's got the diehard respect ... of 12 dwarves. Some orc has decided to hunt him down, but orcs were doing very little at the time. Their true calling is to serve Sauron, and Sauron isn't around. Thorin actually epitomized the theme to me because of this discrepancy.

I feel that the dwarves will be fleshed out much more in the next movie than they were in this one. I do agree that Kili is a little to "pretty," and should have had more than what was essentially stubble. Even in LOTR, I felt that the really engaging characterization came in the Two Towers rather than Fellowship. I felt more connected to most of these dwarves than I did to the members of the Fellowship by the end of that movie, though. It's true that this was highly concentrated on a few, and that much of this wasn't necessarily done through much dialogue, but I felt that I knew the personalities and character of not only Thorin, Balin and Bofur, but also Fili, Kili, Bombur, definitely Ori and to a lesser extent Dwalin. I mean I feel enough of a connection to these characters that I already feel sadness at knowing the fate which awaits some of them, especially Ori and Balin (though I know that's in Moria). I can see how someone who read the book might want more, but at the same time I came to the movie knowing virtually nothing about the story and I picked up on the characterization of a good number of the dwarves (a solid 7 out of 13, with some feelings about 2 more) plus Bilbo and further development of Gandalf, so I give the movie quite a bit of credit for that. I really felt that Gandalf was the key in defeating the goblins; the dwarves weren't even going to try fighting until Ori was threatened (and seriously needed protecting), but then they fought, with the warriorlike ones taking the lead. The goblin-cleaver sword was also helpful in that it at least inspired fear.

I don't really expect to change your opinion, and it's definitely more informed than mine, but it's interesting to compare perceptions of the movie and its events. I wasn't even inclined to read the book before this movie (I seriously disliked the animated ones), but I will now, and I'm sure it is better. I felt, though, that the Hobbit was well-done, at least to the point that it was enjoyable and effective in conveying what it wanted/needed to convey, and that it was very likable in both characters and story (which, though it sounds like nothing, is a trait which can be easily lost and which is very important).

Feb 6 - 03:29 PM

DAT A.

DAT ASSet management

I don't really think Azog was there to try and "mimic" LOTR-rather, because the film needed a main antagonist. Nothing wrong with that.
For me, the ring falling on Bilbo's finger was a throwback for fans, rather than an attempt to link TH with LOTR. It's not like the ring falling on Bilbo's finger changed the tone of the whole movie.
Here's the thing about the Necromancer subplot. While I agree that The Hobbit should just be focused on The Hobbit, I'm actually kinda intrigued by this appendices material. As long as they can make the Necromancer subplot of relevance to the story at hand, it's fine to me.

Feb 7 - 03:15 AM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

The inclusion of Azog mimicked LOTR in that it provided a hunt similar to that of the Black Riders hunting Frodo. This never happened in the book, in which no one really hunts Thorin & Company until after the Misty Mountains, where they enraged the goblin tribes by killing the Great Goblin.

However, I would have accepted this 'hunt' plot if they had used Bolg instead of Azog. The ressurection of Azog seriously compromises what Tolkien wrote about Dwarvish history. And as I have pointed out in a response to another post on this thread, I have other gripes with Azog too.

Feb 7 - 11:15 AM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Oh, and the Ring falling on Bilbo's finger was indeed a throwback for fans, but this is what annoyed me. Subtle throwbacks (like Gandalf hitting his head on the chandelier in Bag End) are fine, but this went way overboard on that.

Feb 7 - 11:19 AM

Xavier Vilaša

Xavier Vilaša

I mostly agree with you. Either they should have made a real adaptation of the Hobbit, which would have resulted in at most two movies of 2/2.5 hours, or they should have made a real prequel to the LOTR. Trying to obtain a mixture of the two is what made this movie disappointing to me.

Since they obviously wanted to make a good connection with LOTR, I think the most wise decision would have been to keep the same orc and goblin concepts, the same style of battles, and the same dark tone. One might add that this wouldn't fit with the more light-hearted tone of the main storyline. However, I realize now that being so loyal to the book (ignoring all the new stuff, like Azog) was not a good choice. Moreover, this idea would have never produced a movie that would reach the stakes of LOTR, but it would have been something more acceptable.

A good adaptation of the Hobbit would have been the winning bid in my opinion, but I now start to think that PJ is not the right director to produce such a movie.

Jan 12 - 10:53 AM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Exactly! It is very frustrating to think of how much better this adaptation could have been if they had chosen one of these approaches instead of trying to work in both.

Jan 12 - 11:29 AM

Starbaby

Starbaby Miniverse

I think an adaptation of The Hobbit with a darker tone would have been very difficult to accomplish successfully because the story is not as epic or dark as LOTR and might have come off as pretentious. But a director with a more subtle touch than PJ and a deeper understanding of Tolkien might possibly have been able to pull it off. It's a shame we will never know now.

Jan 12 - 02:48 PM

Jesse Leon Rodgers Jr

Jesse Leon Rodgers Jr

This man is exactly right.

Jul 14 - 11:26 PM

Jay Helms

Jay Helms

Stellar acting. Remarkable size perspective work. Well-placed humor.

Jan 11 - 10:11 PM

Maddie Phillips

Maddie Phillips

My main reason for loving this film is that it is so accurate to the way the story was intended to be told. Of course we dont EXACTLY know how it was really intended because Tolkien is no longer alive to say one way or another but as far as the lore and literature go the movie is incredibly on point. Nowadays the phrase "The movie was good but the book was better" is increasingly apparent mostly because of the time factor involved. However this movie makes a run at disproving the phrase as it incorporates EVEYRTHING from the literature. I loved LOTR as well but again some of my favorite parts of the books were not included in the movies. One of the reasons Tolkien was such an amazing writer is because all of the events, characters etc in his writing were all connected, ie EVERYTHING has relavance and meaning in the story as a whole. The Hobbit is able to relay all of that relavance and connection BECAUSE it is a shorter book but in the context of Middle Earth is a pivital point in its history. Jackson was able to portray this (at least in the first movie) with his attention to detail and passion for Tolkien. If there are any short comings in The Hobbit I would attribute it to Guilermo because he was the orginal director of this film but sat on it until MGM went under and Jackson took over again. Jackson incorporated some matieral from Guilermo (which we could have done without) which is obvious from the style of certain things (ie Ratagast bird poop covered face). Guilermo would have RUINED this story as orginally he added a girl elf which is NOT in the book, is NOT relavant to the story and shows Guilermo's lack of passion for the project. The point of Ratagast (if that is one of the "problems" you are referring to with the film) is to show that even people who are discounted because of their way of life (ie in the woods, talking to animals) are not always silly and their opinions and warnings should not be discounted. There wont always be people like Gandalf who recognize intellegence and sincerity in THIS world so this message is important for people to understand what true friendship and consideration looks like.

Jan 11 - 02:29 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Uhm... You are aware that the elf girl (Tauriel, I believe) will appear in DOS and will probably have a love story with Kili the beardless dwarf, are you?
If not: I honestly wish that I would have made this up, but it's true.

Jan 12 - 01:50 AM

DAT A.

DAT ASSet management

It's not going to be a "love story." It's probably just going to be a crush played for humor. Fine by me as long as it doesn't turn into...well, let's not utter that name here.

Feb 4 - 05:33 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

I do believe Aidan Turner has confirmed something along the lines of what could be termed a love story. You're probably right about it just being a one-sided crush, though.

However, even if this is just a one-way crush it's still a poor imitation of Gimli having a crush on Galadriel (an occurrence that was supposed to be rare in the world of Middle-Earth).

It only adds to the many LOTR-inspired invented elements/subplots that have been added to bloat the story of The Hobbit further.

Feb 5 - 01:09 AM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

And yes, I shouldn't be judging a subplot without having seen it. However, judging from what I have heard, it sounds like a very ill-conveived choice, which is only included to make the movie appealing to teen girls...

Please do remember that a violent death awaits Fili at the end of the trilogy, probably with Tauriel present. I don't think that will be very comedic.

Feb 5 - 05:55 AM

Shelton Harlow

Shelton Harlow

Yes, just what we need, another NZ travelogue...o.k.it's a pretty place, but phenomenal helo shots were never part of JRR's storyline.
Gah, it was BOORING.

Jan 11 - 06:26 AM

Starbaby

Starbaby Miniverse

You're right, especially since everyone associates Middle earth with NZ now. That would not make Tolkien very happy since he wrote his stories as a mythology for England and Europe and wanted them associated with his home land, not NZ.

Jan 11 - 02:30 PM

seed b.

seed bag

Favorite movie of all time knocking Shawshank redemption off.
Im definitely not a fan boy i thought all of Jacksons previous work was too slow specially King Kong, he got away with it in LOTR because of so much eye candy and such a good story (although i did fall asleep at the cinema halfway threw ROTK lol) but i still regard LOTR as the best trilogy ever made.
Let me explain a bit about myself 29/M/aus qualified carpenter, love watching sport, going snowboarding, palying games and watching movies. Read 3 books in my life which were forced on me in school(none of which were from Tolkien) i have terrible spelling and grammar but i would consider myself your typical lower class red blooded male and i would say there would be more ppl like me out there than your average RT user especially the critics. As a complete neutral i loved this movie from the humor to the stunning scenery, the action, the cgi but more than anything the great story, because i havnt read the books i dont care if its 3 movies or he strays from the Tolkiens version(most critics & the OP seem to hold it as Gospel) as long as it is entertaining.
Be intresting to know how many others have seen this movie(and LOTR) but have never read the books i bet more than you would think.
Also where in the movie is it defining that there smoking weed as far as i can tell its all speculation right?

Jan 10 - 06:06 PM

D P.

D P

Seriously? Radagast is clearly shown getting high.

Jan 10 - 10:12 PM

seed b.

seed bag

Oh u mean where Gandalf says "try a lil old tovy itll help settle ur nerves." and gives him a toke on his pipe. Implies what ever the viewer wants it to be. Clearly u want reasons to hate this movie so thats what it means to u , but Radagast is already an out there character rolling his eyes in and calming his nerves is more likey gonna be from a tobbaco hit as a non smoker that a cone of weed.

Jan 11 - 12:50 AM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

I cannot help but respond to this one. I really don't think a non-smoker would calm down from smoking tobacco without exhaling it: he would have a coughing-fit. Radagast was obviously high as a kite.

Also, if what you say is true, and Radagast was just calming his nerves, then why the hell did they make it LOOK like he was getting high? Obviously, people are going to make that association, especially if Saruman later accuses Radagast of eating 'shrooms'.

Jan 11 - 07:53 AM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Oh, and as a response to your statement about me holding the original storyas a 'gospel': it would seem that I, once again, have to state that I don't mind changes to the story, if they are well-executed. Most of the changes here, however, I considered to be badly handled.

Jan 11 - 08:04 AM

Starbaby

Starbaby Miniverse

Seriously? All the comments, even going back to the Rings films, about "addling," "slowing," "affecting" one's mind is pretty clear cut. Sorry, but tobacco doesn't work that way, and is in fact a stimulant. Nice try but fail.

Jan 11 - 01:39 PM

D P.

D P

Exactly, Tim. I'm not against changes if they expedite the plot or just make sense, but something like the drug references are simply pandering to stoners who have latched onto Tolkien.

In general, I have no problem with drug use but I despise the notion that span author "must have been high," as if drugs were the source of their imagination.

Jan 11 - 08:27 AM

seed b.

seed bag

Yeh and the contract that the Dwarfs gave Bilbo the fold out piece in the middle was actually made of acid tabs and he was clearly tripping when he was running down the hill screaming on going on an adventure, tolkien would not approve of this! this movie really sux.
I get it you know youve lost most of your manufacturing to China last thing u need is your blockbusters going offshore.

Jan 11 - 09:07 AM

D P.

D P

Why do you assume I'm American? And that that has anything to do with my opinion.

You have to really stretch to think that that wasn't a reference to dope.

Jan 11 - 10:11 AM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Mr. 'Seed Bag', with that last statement you have just confirmed to me that you are, in fact, not reasonable. I suspect that you are attempting to troll us (I too, am not American, by the way). Expect no further replies to your posts from me.

D P, I advise you to do the same.

Jan 11 - 10:27 AM

seed b.

seed bag

My apologys, was being very sarcastic and derogatory, i dont believe in trolling whats the point just waste both parties time, was just finding it hard to see your guys point of view, as a former weed and tobacco smoker i felt i had some expertise in this area and having a big hit of toby (tobacco) and not exhaling i would probably pass out or roll my eyes in and if i had a hit of weed a would get very paranoid not calm, but what ever dudes lets just agree to disagree, just a shame if this is the biggest gripe you had with this movie.

Jan 11 - 09:29 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

I accept your apologies. Just know that this wasn't the biggest gripe I had. In fact, I consider this to be a mere detail on the list of what's wrong/could have been better in this film.

On this point, let us indeed agree to disagree. That is the way one should handle matters like these.

Jan 12 - 01:40 AM

Starbaby

Starbaby Miniverse

It is not the biggest gripe I had with the movie. It is one of a series of big gripes,including the dumbing down of characters, plots, themes, and overall tone of what was originally a very intelligent story. It's not one or two nitpicky details, but countless details that are endemic to making this film absurd and a completely different animal from the original, as well as an insult to the memory of the author.

Jan 12 - 07:01 AM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to thank you all for engaging in this discussion with me. It has now lost its purpose, as pointed out to me by mr. Bob Fantiasco. I started this discussion with the intent to accept rational arguments that vouched for the quality and worthiness of this movie. Some compelling points HAVE been made, and some of the issues I had have been explained away. However, most of my qualms are still very much in force, and some new issues, which I had overlooked, have been brought to my attention by other posters.

I fear that the final conclusion that I have to make is that this is a thoroughly flawed movie, and possibly one of the biggest cinematical disappointments of last year. However, if YOU liked it, that is just fine: I do not intend to spoil this movie for everyone. For this exact reason I have decided not to contribute to this discussion anymore (I will however, continue to defend the points that I have already made), because it has degraded itself to discussing unimportant details. Let us all hope that the next two installments will salvage what can be salvaged. However, as Gandalf has once said: 'There never was much hope -- only a fool's hope.'

Jan 8 - 04:55 AM

Bob Fantiasco

Bob Fantiasco

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Tim. Although I disagree with many of your points, I appreciate that you have started a thread in which opinions were discussed in a timely, respectful manner--something severely lacking on this website, and on the internet in general. I am sorry that you did not enjoy the film, but hey. The advantage of having 3 movies is that there is room for improvement in the future installments. However, if there's one thing that can be learned from all this, it's that high expectations will almost always lead to disappointment.

Jan 8 - 12:24 PM

Shelton Harlow

Shelton Harlow

CHORUS: We agree, we agree, we totally agree.

Jan 11 - 06:28 AM

Bob Fantiasco

Bob Fantiasco

Tim, it's clear that this thread has no purpose anymore. You see, no matter what we say, nothing is going to change your opinion of the movie--and that is perfectly fine, but it seems like now, you are just nit-picking the shit out of AUJ, right down to the kind of tabacco the characters were using

Jan 8 - 03:29 AM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Bob, I suppose you are right (except for the tobacco-bit: I did not come up with that). Let me sum up what I have learned here:

Firstly: there are indeed very few compelling arguments that vouch for the worthiness of this movie, at least from my point of view. My opinion has, indeed, not changed for the better.
Secondly: the fact that I, who really liked Jackson's movies up to this point, can come up with so many counter-arguments is a very poor indication of the quality of this movie.
Thirdly: I am a minority on this, which is fine, but I am also not alone.
And lastly: rational discussions ARE still possible on this site. It is only natural that, after we have discussed the larger issues of this movie, we move down to details. I am sorry that you experienced this as nitpicking, but those details DO add up.

Jan 8 - 04:19 AM

Starbaby

Starbaby Miniverse

Sorry Bob, but comments pointing out that hobbits smoke plain ol' tobacco as opposed to what is suggested by the film is hardly nitpicking; that element changes the spirit and tone of the story at its very heart. I'm sorry you can't see how egregiously far away that was from Tolkien's original philosophy to understand it is a valid complaint and counter argument.

Tim de Wit, I may be wrong, but I recall you were the one who first mentioned that the hobbits smoked "TOBACCO," not "marihuana" (as it was spelled) in response to D P's comment about Radagast getting high on Old Toby. I followed by agreeing, and then adding where that information could be easily looked up. I'm not sure why you (or whoever) then deleted the comment, but that was where the word "tobacco" first came up. Strange.

This discussion was a great idea, and served to create a lot of calm, rational exchanges between both sides. If the OP was not fully convinced in the number of arguments presented so far, the discussion did not suddenly become "pointless," as if a certain number of fails earned a game over or something. This is a very detailed story and many more points can still be made on either side. Now if everyone is tired of the topic, then let it die naturally, but calling for an official end because the OP wasn't won over in the time since the discussion started seems silly IMO.

Jan 8 - 08:37 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Starbaby: about the tobacco. I did indeed comment on that, but as a reaction on D P's post. I deleted my post because I felt D P had already said enough concerning this matter, and wanted to move on. Your research, however, was very useful, because it provided me with an insight that I didn't have before (that the Istari are incorrectly being portrayed as drug users). I apologise if you thought that I was denying responsibility, but I thought that the credits for that point belonged to you and D P, not to me.

Also, I am not trying to officially end this discussion: you are, by all means, allowed to continue. I just felt that it was pointless for me to contribute more points, because I personally felt that the discussion has run its course for me. I set out to read rational arguments from fans of this movie as to why they liked it, and I believe that I have read enough to know that these arguments won't change the way I feel towards it. As I said, however, I will continue to defend the points that I have already made, and I will read whatever else is posted here with appreciation. I just won't comment on every new post anymore, that task I leave to others.

I am glad to read that you liked my idea of a rational discussion.

On a side note: 'marihuana' is how marijuana is spelled in my home country. I have always attempted to perfect my English, but I still have occasional slips. This one originated in my native tongue. :-)

Jan 9 - 03:20 AM

Bob Fantiasco

Bob Fantiasco

Starbaby Universe, how exactly does it "change the spirit of the story at heart?" A drug is a drug is a drug. I can understand why somebody wouldn't like the movie, but complaining because of the kind of drugs Gandalf and Radagast were using...it's a bit absurd.
The reason I said the discussion had lost its purpose was because, in essence, it had no purpose to begin with. Hear me out: I love the idea of different opinions being discussed, but no matter how good the arguments vouching for the movie are, it's not going to change how you felt while watching the film. Discussing opinions is fine--arguing them another story.

Jan 9 - 02:40 PM

Bob Fantiasco

Bob Fantiasco

By the way, I just watched fellowship of the ring again--there was an old toby reference at the very beginning. If you're going to complain about drug references in the Hobbit, apply it to LOTR as well.

Jan 9 - 02:46 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Well, Bob, that isn't exactly true. The world of Middle-Earth, and the Shire in particular is intended as a mystical version of the England of Tolkien's youth. Drug jokes such as interpreting Old Toby as Marijuana signal a profound disregard for this notion: Old Toby is supposed to represent the smoking of tobacco through a pipe, which a lot of gentlemen back in the day used to do. I don't think Tolkien would have imagined Gandalf as a stoner.

Jan 9 - 02:46 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Oh, and in Fellowship, it isn't really implied that Old Toby is marijuana. However, in this movie it very much is.

Saruman's jab at Gandalf about the Halfling's leaf slowing his mind, could have been interpreted as an unfounded insult in FOTR, but in The Hobbit they explicitly show Radagast getting high.

Jan 9 - 02:54 PM

Starbaby

Starbaby Miniverse

Tim de Wit, thanks for clarifying. I didn't mean to suggest your spelling was wrong, but that it was different from the way I usually see it and that was one of the reasons why I remembered the comment. Apologies for sounding like I suggested it was wrong. Not my intention.

Bob Fantiasco, tobacco was Tolkien's "drug" of choice and very central to the type of culture he considered himself part of and wanted to convey in his work, that of an upper-class Victorian gentleman (though he was born after the Victorian era). Victorian "gentlemen" often smoked their after dinner tobacco while having active, stimulating conversations about art, science, philosophy, literature, etc., which would be difficult under the type of influence that is suggested in the film, it would instead make everyone a bit slow. Tobacco is a stimulant. Marijuana is a depressant, the exact opposite.

But the details are less important than the changes in the overall quality and tone of the story and characters. Just to clarify, I have no problem with anyone portraying stoners in a film and might think it's brilliant in another case, but it is 180 degrees from Tolkien's carefully thought-out, Victorian influenced world (in particular the Shire).

Also I disagree about the LOTR films not suggesting the same drug references. At one point, Saruman tells Gandalf that his love of the halfling's leaf has slowed his mind or something like that. There may be other references, but it's been a while since I have seen LOTR. Tobacco does not slow your mind, so it stands out to me.

Jan 11 - 02:24 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Actually, I am myself somewhat of a historian.

Tolkien was born in 1892, five years before the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. The Queen herself died in 1901, ending the Victorian Era and introducing the Edwardian Era with the coronation of her son Edward VII. So technically, one could say that Tolkien was born in the Victorian Era, but he probably wouldn't have that many personal recollections from it, since he was a child when Queen Victoria died. However, the majority of his adolescent life took place during the Edwardian Era (lasting until 1910), which still had very much in common with the preceding Victorian Era.

I just had to throw that out there. :-)

Jan 12 - 02:30 AM

Starbaby

Starbaby Miniverse

That is correct. He was technically born at the very end of the Victorian era. But I was trying to sum up in a simplified way that his adult lifestyle and tastes were very Victorian, even though the Victorian era had passed by the time he had reached adulthood. He preferred the ambiance of a simpler era, and based The Shire on a Victorian England countryside. Bilbo and Frodo were, in essence, upper class, educated, Victorian men living in their countryside estate. Tolkien also wrote in a very Victorian style, which was considered old-fashioned by literary snobs of his time and he was heavily criticized for it. But it is the era he was most comfortable in, and he remained a "Victorian gentleman" even after the era was passing. He did most of his writing during the 1930s-1960s, which was well past the Victorian era, but this did not affect his lifestyle and tastes.

Jan 12 - 06:40 AM

Olivia Bennett Holmes

Olivia Bennett Holmes

Someone please tell me why this is going to be a trilogy?! Shortest novel in the series, that had so much potential. Personally, I didn't like them adding the gross, snot humor that wasn't at all in the story, and unnecessary lol Read the book and is one of my favorites, but why couldn't Return of the King be two films, great movie regardless, but there were major events they left out, like the scorching of the Shire and what really happened to Saruman for example..

Jan 7 - 08:27 PM

Typhon

Typhon Q

They cut out the Shire stuff because the filmmakers thought it was anti climactic. It makes sense to leave it out cuz basically they have this huge epic battle and then after it ends they go home and theres a little Hobbit war.

Jan 7 - 08:45 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

I can understand the need to cut out certain elements from LOTR (even though the Scouring of the Shire was the thematic climax): it's an adaptation, not a word-for-word retelling. Things like Bombadil and The Scouring of the Shire would probably not have worked very well on the big screen. I can also understand the multiple film solution for The Hobbit: too much happens in the book to film in one movie. However, two three-hour+ movies would have sufficed in my eyes. Three three-hour movies is just ridiculous, even WITH the White Council storyline.

Jan 8 - 02:24 AM

D P.

D P

Relistening to the radio version I realize how much it is Bilboz's story from Bilbo's POV. With that, the White Council makes no sense in the movie.

Jan 9 - 11:13 AM

Typhon

Typhon Q

I think that we need to realize that the tones of these two adventures are entirely different from each other. Take a look at the main driving force between each of the films. In LOTR, they were setting out to destroy some great forces of darkness. In the Hobbit, they are going to retrieve their gold. Given these two very different scenarios, I think that a tone change is quite justified. Also,seeing as the color palette of the Hobbit is much more lively and colorful, I think that the atmosphere is definitely suited towards a more light hearted adventure. Now, there were some moments which I think should've been taken more seriously, such as the Goblin King confrontation. But overall, I think that the atmosphere was done right.
As for the plot revisions, I felt that they were for the greater good. The inclusion of Radagast, who I found to be rather enjoyable, helped set up the whole giant spiders sequence as well as the Dol Guuldur and Necromancer plotline. As for Azog, I think that films benefit from having a single central villain, which the Hobbit didn't really have as a book. One could argue that Smaug is that central villain, but seeing as he doesn't appear at all so far, I think that someone like Azog was needed.
So yeah.

Jan 6 - 10:16 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Thank you for your well-argumented response. I will now attempt to give counter-arguments for what you just pointed out.

The Atmosphere: I have read the works of Tolkien on multiple occasions and I couldn't agree more that the atmosphere of The Hobbit is a more light-hearted one as opposed to the later works of Tolkien. The Hobbit is basically about a treasure hunt with huge consequences. As you have correctly pointed out, there ARE dark moments in The Hobbit, just not as dark as LOTR, which is basically about averting the End of the World. Therefore, I say that everything about Sauron/The Necromancer, Dol Guldur (and also Radagast) that go beyond mere references to them are horribly misplaced and have nothing (perhaps only indirectly) to do with the story of The Hobbit. PJ should either have given us a version of The Hobbit that completely matches the tone of the book, OR he should have altered The Hobbit to match the darker LOTR elements that he has chosen to include.

As for the plot revisions: plot revisions are great, when done right. In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, however, I felt that the plot revisions altered the history of Middle-Earth in a significant, undesirable way. Let me give you an example: the Wood-Elves of Thranduil are portrayed in the book as a people who were forced to gradually abandon the forest they loved over a period of thousands of years. As a result, they have gradually turned into a suspicious, unfriendly people, which is quite unnatural for elves. Now, in this movie, Greenwood the Great is only just starting to decay, so this gradual development of the elves into a suspicious people cannot have happened.

As for a central villain: if this truly was neccesary, then they should have used BOLG, who was alive at this time, and could have a very valid reason for coming after Thorin & Company.

Jan 7 - 01:45 AM

Typhon

Typhon Q

ok.
1. So are you suggesting that they should have simply cut out the entire plotline about the Necromancer since it wasn't relevant to the Hobbit?I feel that that whole little sidestory helps to show the culminating of the darkness and how things are getting worse.
2. For the example that you have given, I think that the whole situation about the elves showing up at the mountain but not helping the dwarves would create an atmosphere of animosity between them and the dwarves. Besides, I doubt that these wood elves get visitors very often, which would naturally make them suspicious of anyone who comes wandering through their woods.
3. I don't think that Bolg has the same emotional connection as Azog does. Thorin is all mad at him because he killed Thror, which makes their conflict personal, while Bolg doesn't. If they had followed the storyline of the book, Azog would have been killed by Dain, who doesn't show up until the final battle, which would kill off any connection between the Company and Bolg. I personally think that the filmmakers are going to have Thorin kill off Azog before the final battle, which would create a similar situation between Bolg and Thorin.

Jan 7 - 03:04 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

1. Perhaps, but I personally think that it would have worked a lot better if they had filmed The Hobbit without these overly dark elements (while still acknowledging that Middle-Earth is a dark, dangerous world), while shifting the focus after the Quest for Erebor has ended by having Gandalf tell Bilbo what he has been up to. That way, you have a nice division between the stories of The Hobbit and the The Lord of the Rings. What we have now is an awkward mix of LOTR and Hobbit elements and tones. Bilbo and the dwarves are supposed to be unaware of what's going on in the south, so I personally think it undermines the story if we DO know what's going on.
2. That may be true, but the book also shows that the Wood-Elves have gradually been forced to live underground because of the gradual darkening of the forest. This entire change of their culture, as well as the darkening of the ENTIRE forest of Greenwood/Mirkwood, now has to happen within a very short period of time, especially for elves.
3. First off, I would like to say that I don't have a qualm with Thorin, instead of Dain, slaying Azog. That being said: I think a tragic family fued (which has claimed victims, Thror and Azog, on both sides) between Bolg and Thorin is a far more interesting story than Azog losing his arm. And yes, I know that Bolg is an orc, but as has already been discussed: even orcs have family/clan loyalties.

However, seeing as they have already included Azog, I really do hope that your suggestion comes to pass. Azog should not be allowed to survive the second movie.

Jan 8 - 02:09 AM

Beleg72

s long

regarding Azog being killed in the 2nd film, I'm not sure how they will fit that in, we already have Beorn, Giant spiders, elves, barrel escape, meeting Bard at Esgaroth and the intro of Smaug in film 2 (prob ending with him starting his destruction of Esgaroth), thats 3 hrs easily without any orc/azog action being added. Azog really should have been killed in AUJ (like Lurtz in FOTR) also re;Bolg, having seen AUJ 3 times now I'm certain you see him outside Moria at the battle were Azog loses his arm, and he looked like he was killed?? (Bolg is the one with the ginger beard-see action figure)Also Conan Stevens who plays him was in the credits for AUJ, so Bolg might not appear again- which would be a shame.

Jan 8 - 02:51 AM

Typhon

Typhon Q

1. I see what you mean when you say that the story can be messed up when we know things that the company knows, but I think that it is all an effort to help build up for the final battle, showing how these forces of evil get set in motion, as opposed to this giant army suddenly arriving at the end.
2. The time right after a significant change is the time that I think people will feel the most vulnerable. For example, in the aftermath of tragedies like 9/11 or Columbine or things along those lines, people are in the deepest state of shock and experiencing the most siginificant changes right after its happened, as they try to cope with it. So the Elves in this case would be reacting to the sudden rising of darkness in their lands.

@s long. Yeah, I've been trying to guess where they would split the second film. It seems rather anti climactic to end with Smaug starting to go on his rampage, but on the other hand, it would give the third film a nice starting point. idk...
As for Azog, I feel like PJ is going to want to make that period where the dwarves are traveling from Beorn's place to the forest more exciting and I could see him try to throw Azog in there and having him killed there. Or maybe he chases them into the forest. As for Bolg, I don't think that they would want to waste a potentially interesting character as a background death in the first few minutes of the trilogy.

Apparently Bolg works at Dol Guldur in the movies, according to his page on the LOTR wiki.

Jan 8 - 02:54 PM

Ellen R.

Ellen Rose

... 'real' magical fantasy: and it doesn't get much better than that.
Overall, I would rate it in the 80s, subtracting points for what I mentioned above.

Jan 5 - 01:42 AM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Thank you for sharing your opinion. You make several good points for liking it. I'm afraid that I personally didn't experience it that way, though. Anyhow, I still appreciate in-depth analyses like these.

Jan 5 - 02:45 PM

Ellen R.

Ellen Rose

After reading the comments here,I mostly agree with S Long. What I would like to add that hasn't been emphasized enough, and that too many critics have forgotten, is that The Hobbit (the book) is a children's book; whereas LOTR isn't. The Hobbit isn't a particularly deep book,but it's immensely captivating and magical. Fundamentally, Bilbo's journey is different to Frodo's. I didn't go into the movie with low expectations,only to be pleasantly surprised. I went ainto the movie expecting a magical adaption of a children's fantasy:and that's what I got. Subsequently, comparing the characterization, atmosphere, tone, and action of The Hobbit to the film of LOTR doesn't make sense eg. comparing the fight in Goblin Town to LOTR Moria fight (though I do agree Goblin Town encounter could've been handled better, especially the death of the Goblin King and the companies' 'escape'). I know you think that PJ shouldn't have mixed slapstick with gritty battle, but I saw no problem with it. Goblins are nasty, but also comical, and I think PJ captured this. And, keeping in mind that it's a children's book and film, I found it perfectly acceptable. In some instances, orcs can be comical. Remember the comical, yet brutish interactions between the orcs of Sauron and Saruman after the kidnapping of Merry and Pippin. Other instances can be found in the book,and in the film. The other appropriate comic, yet brutish fight was with the 3 trolls. Again, in the book the trolls were just like that. It happens in other movies as well. I think it's more about how well one picks the moments for it. And again, perhaps the comparison with LOTR has affected your view, whereas it didn't for me.
Having read both books several times, as I mentioned, I went in expecting a magically realized children's film based on the book: and that's exactly what it was, in my opinion. Bilbo's gradual change from outright fear and annoyance to hesitant ambivalence (requesting they all turn back for a handkerchief was lovely) to a more measured understanding of what the dwarves were fighting for and the importance for himself as well as for them of his contribution to their quest was very nicely handled by Freeman. I was initially surprised that Thorin almost stole the show from Bilbo,but can see that the movie needs more than one character focus. I found Armitage's presence as Thorin very princely, indeed,with my only complaint being his final fight with Azog.But then it seemed his choice was to die falling off a cliff, or being eaten by wargs. So, he chose to go out in a blaze of glory on foot against an orc mounted on a mean-looking warg. I do think PJ could've had Azog dismounted in some way,which would've added more credibility to the scene and to Thorin's action being justified,as it just seemed like a suicide dash.
As for the other dwarves, I found their characterizations generally acceptable. They weren't particularly fleshed out much in the book,if you remember. I think we need to wait and see how they change over the next 2 films before judging. After all, Merry, Pippin, Gimli, and Legolas were pretty 2D in the FOTR,with Gimli and Legolas remaining so throughout imo (except that they became friends).
My main gripe is Radagast. I don't think he needed to be removed,though. I do think he adds to the movie: introducing the Necromancer plot, which will obviously be enlarged upon and which I don't mind at all. He also adds the touch of nature, which I like. However, his characterization is disappointingly silly and the sudden switches to his moments of eccentric, yet deeply wise insights (eg. at Dol Guldur,and which are better realizations of him) aren't believable. The bird poo was just daft. I think having him as a decoy and providing a chase scene was ok,except he could've been on a stag rather than that silly rabbit sleigh. I wouldn't want to have seen Elrond more in that scene because it would've spoiled the surprise later.
The links to LOTR,eg. sending the moth for the eagles, the Ring falling onto Bilbo's finger etc were fine for me. The encounter between Bilbo and Gollum was almost flawless, with gollum stealing the scenes as I expected. And I'm looking forward to the encounter with the Wood Elves and Spiders, and of course .... eventually Smaug.
I guess what I loved most about the movie was seeing it in 3D and HFR. I know some critics found it detracted from their enjoyment. I found quite the opposite. It made me feel more like I was there witnessing their adventure. The best way I can describe the effect for me is that it was like one of those 'plays in the park' (if you've ever seen one) that are held outdoors while the audience moves around with the actors. They're absolutely brilliant. Except with The Hobbit it was on a grander scale. It was as if I was really hearing their footsteps, and watching their battles with my own eyes with them there. The result: I felt, for most of it, that I was there witnessing a '

Jan 5 - 01:36 AM

D P.

D P

But you can't have it both ways! You can't defend the light parts as being because its a children story and then defend the LOTR connections.

Jan 5 - 07:52 AM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Indeed.

Jan 5 - 02:45 PM

IndieFilmJunkie .

IndieFilmJunkie .

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/seth-abramson/dislike-peter-jacksons-em_b_2342591.html

Jan 6 - 06:28 AM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Ah, I have been awaiting the moment that someone would refer to this article. First off, I would like to say that the title is absolute bollocks. I am aware of all the things that this author has pointed out, and I still dislike what was done with this film.

This writer correctly points out that the world of The Hobbit is a dark one, but we didn't need him to figure that one out: The Hobbit itself is riddled with references to the declining conditions of Middle-Earth. The problem we are discussing here is the poor combination of these dark tones with the slapstick humour and action that is portrayed in this film (slapstick has a VERY limited place in the works of Tolkien), and this author does nothing to dispell these criticisms.

Jan 6 - 07:13 AM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

If PJ really wanted to make the story funny and slapstick-y with 'a cast of characters still unaware enough about what's going on around them' then he should have left us unaware about what's going on around them too. I repeat the point I made earlier: If you want to film the story of a soldier who lands in Normandy during WWII, do you also try to encompass the entire history of the war? No, you stick with what he knows/experiences.

Jan 6 - 07:29 AM

D P.

D P

Interesting point Tim! Some were complaining that Lincoln didnt mention, say, Lincoln's close (and possibly romantic) friendships with other men, but that's because it wasn't part of Spielberg and Tony Kushner's focus.

There *is* humor in The Hobbit, but it's gentle, whimsical humor that mostly comes from the narration and Gandalf's wordplay. Tolkien would probably not think much of the slapstick and tasteless drug references. in any case, the humor in the movie rests uneasily next to the DEADLY SERIOUS parts that refer to LOTR.

Jan 6 - 08:42 AM

Sam Steel

Sam Steel

^ Concerning the critisizem of the tone being a mix of slapstic humor and gritty scenes, this could also be seen as the film simply having so lighthearted parts and some serious moments.

I mean the book had it's fair share of both, for instance the trolls get themselves killed over a cooking argument, the dwaves float in barrels down a river in the woodland relm and bombur complains about something trivial at least twice a chapter. The later smaug lights up a town full of people and a huge battle happens.

Jan 6 - 03:26 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Yes, but as D P has correctly pointed out, the humour in The Hobbit is supposed to be gentle and whimsical, not in-your-face slapstick, which has nothing to do with Tolkien. By the way, it's true about Bombur complaining constantly. However, why then is he given NO lines in this movie? If there had to be one constantly whining, very vocal dwarf, then it should have been Bombur.

Also, at no point is the action in The Hobbit this silly. When the company fights the Goblins during their escape from the caves, there is a very real sense of danger, something that was severely lacking in these movies.

Jan 7 - 01:53 AM

D P.

D P

Not only is Bombur not given any lines, his humor is derived all from cheap slapstick in the movie.

And I'm trying not to sound like a prude here, but... The references to "mushrooms" and having Radagast getting high on Old Toby were embarrassing.

Jan 7 - 07:41 AM

Starbaby

Starbaby Miniverse

Yes, very true. Tolkien made it very clear in his preface to LoTR that pipe-weed is tobacco. Read "Concerning Pipe-weed" in the prologue of Lord of the Rings. He says pipe-weed is "a variety of Nicotiana" (tobacco) and uses the term "tobacco of the Southfarthing" if there's any lingering doubt. He was himself a pipe smoker, as well as a gentleman of an earlier, refined age, and wanted his characters to reflect this.

The marijuana association originally comes from the hippy fanboys of the 60s who wanted to read something more into the idea of "pipe-weed," which was clueless enough back then. But Peter Jackson, who unfortunately seems to revel in low-brow toilet humor and crass jokes, chose to perpetuate that view all these years later by creating an "official" presentation of pipe-weed as something other than tobacco, which is fairly unforgivable if you get where Tolkien was coming from.

Fact: the definition of pipe-weed is very clear to anyone who reads the books, so Peter Jackson is either very misinformed or very disrespectful. This is ironic, coming from someone who claims to want to tell the Rings story in total, painstaking completion, even the parts behind the scenes. He must have strangely missed the prologue.

Jan 7 - 09:32 AM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Great, now we have concluded that two of the Istari are incorrectly being portrayed as drug-users. Doing this to Radagast, of whom we know that he abandoned his original task to help the Free Peoples of Middle-Earth, is one thing, but making Gandalf, one of the most respected figures in fantasy and literature as a whole, a stoner is outrageous. PJ has really dropped the ball on this one.

This is not improving my opinion of this movie. At all.

Jan 7 - 09:55 AM

Michael Young

Michael Young

Kids book or not, lighter in tone or not, it's still the prequel to "The Lord of the Rings" Trilogy, the connections are completely justified!

Sep 25 - 05:42 AM

Alex Alexander

Alex Alexander

The problem with The Hobbit story is when people is not used to Tolkien stories.
The Hobbit just like you know it about a book from 1937 (reedited and changed in many ways after it) is not the whole story.
If you go for LOTR and read the Appendices to the end of Return of the King you will find more interesting stuff about The Hobbit adventure, but from a different perspective.
JRR Tolkien after LOTR started to make notes and stories to reedite The Hobbit, because The Hobbit is a story from the point of view of Bilbo.
If you go to Unfinished Tales and The Silmarillion you will find many more stories and new perspectives.
Just for an example, The Unfinished Tales to add to the story new stuffs from the chapter of The Quest Of Erebor, this is how Gandalf conceived this adventure, also in the story of Galadriel you can find much more.
Now, when you go for the movie you have to see two perspective, LOTR was already made and The Hobbit from the book and the rest of the material in the Appendices make it a previous story that connect with LOTR, how does just make The Hobbit like a separate and lonely movie, when really it is part of The War Of The Ring?
Now, PJ also had to deals with limitation and plays with characters and stories.
If you watched the movie you could see few weird references...
Glamdril "the Foe Hammer", said by Elrond to Gandalf... owned by the King of Gondolin... MY KING...
That┬┤s from The Hobbit book, but if you go for The Silmarillion the King of Gondolin was Turgon, Grand-father of Elrond... but because PJ has not the rights of The Silmarillion he can not say it.
Big Spiders, "Ungoliant ones", said by Radagast to Gandalf, another reference to The Silmarillion.
Two Blue Wizards... I quite forgot the names... Allatar y Pallando... from The Silmarillion.
Now, why if all the middle earth story, from the 2nd and 3rd ages are related, make The Hobbit like a different and disconnected movie?
You can read to kids The Hobbit like a kid┬┤s book, but if you want read the whole story it is not stopped there.
My point is... The Hobbit to tells the real story and make it part of The War Of The Ring how it is, has to be told in that way, Bilbo┬┤s adventures are just part of the quest and part of the real meaning of the story.
Why is Gandalf concern about the dwarf gold?, why Bilbo like a burglar when he is not?
The meaning of the story was kill the dragon and to attack Sauron in Dol Guldur, Bilbo was predestined to has a big part in this story, but just in the end, LOTR, we knew it... he had found the One-Ring.

I don┬┤t expect that you like it or not, but at least you should understand The Hobbit is a little piece of all.

Jan 4 - 11:27 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

You make a correct reference to Tolkien reediting the book. I believe Riddles in the Dark has been altered significantly to match his other works. However, he eventually gave up trying to work in the other aspects, such as Dol Guldur and the White Council, because he started to believe that it 'wasn't The Hobbit anymore.'

I do understand that The Hobbit is but a small piece of Middle-Earth History, but if you decide to film the story of a soldier who lands in Normandy during WWII, do you also try to incorporate the Eastern Front or the war against Japan? No, you stick with the experiences of that soldier and what he knew at the time.

Jan 5 - 03:02 PM

Alex Alexander

Alex Alexander

Dol Guldur, Sauron, Smaug and Erebor are all connected and The Hobbit has a lot to be with all of them.
The Hobbit story has not just to be with Bilbo Adventure than the concern of Gandalf to kill the dragon, that make the clear connection with Sauron in Dol Guldur and the real reason of the Quest to Erebor told from Bilbo point of view as The Hobbit book that all we know.
From Normandy to Japan is not the best comparative, I will say The Hobbit is the story of a Allied Spy who is sent to France before the D-Day and it is telling "his story" how he felt, but the real reason was the D-Day and the operation behind it.

Jan 6 - 10:31 AM

D P.

D P

But by doing so Jackson takes away from the charm of the original.

the Hobbit is rather like Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress, one of the inspirations for Star Wars. The Hidden Fortress is a big story of palace intrigue and war told from the point of view of two lowly servants. similarly, The Hobbit tells a big story,but from the point of Jew of an ordinary hobbit. Jackson screwed that up.

Jan 6 - 10:55 AM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

The only connection that Smaug has with Sauron is that Sauron MIGHT have recruited Smaug for his cause. This only serves as a motivation for Gandalf to help Thorin & Company, and I think that it should have been kept more mysterious in order to experience what Thorin & Company felt. The dwarves, let alone Bilbo, didn't have a clue as to why Gandalf helped them, so why should we? It would have been better if Gandalf had explained to Bilbo at the very end what he had been up to off screen, like he did in the book. This would also link up nicely with the events of the 'next' movies, shifting our attention from the quest of The Hobbit to the upcoming one in Lord of the Rings. What we have now is an uneasy mixture of both new Hobbit elements and familiar Lord of the Rings elements.

Jan 6 - 11:02 AM

Beleg72

s long

Alot of good points Alex, I did think Elrond said kin not king though which would be correct when refering to his great-grandfather, Turgon.

Jan 6 - 01:58 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Yes, he said kin. Turgon had already been killed and Gondolin overthrown when Elrond was born (I believe Elrond's father Earendil was a child at the time of the Fall of Gondolin), so he could never have been his king.

Jan 6 - 02:19 PM

Tom S.

Tom Smith

The reason why you don't like this movie is because you aren't a fan of the GENRE! LOTR trilogy is easily the greatest fantasy. If you don't like LOTR (the best in it's genre), then it's not the movie you dislike, but the GENRE. As for me, I'm no fan of the crime genre, I find movies like the Godfather or Godfellas boring. I just see it as a bunch of criminals, nothing more. Nothing you say or whatever way you try to convince me will change my opinion of the crime genre. Exactly how if the fantasy genre fans try to explain to you. It's like trying to convince your grandma that Eminem is a decent rapper. He is one of the greatest rappers. But in her opinion, it's crap.

Jan 4 - 09:45 PM

D P.

D P

A lot of people who love fantasy found fault with this movie. Try again.

Jan 4 - 11:02 PM

Tom S.

Tom Smith

I found faults as well. But AGAIN, mr. DP you prove your NAIVETY, the TENTH TIME! I wasn't talking about the Hobbit. I was talking about LOTR.

Jan 5 - 03:26 AM

D P.

D P

And yet not every fantasy fan liked LOTR.

As for stalking, you have a very low threshold for stalking.

Jan 5 - 07:47 AM

Tom S.

Tom Smith

FYI: DP's posts all over RottenTomatoes with his incredibly naive, overly presumptuous statements. He can neither read or comprehend paragraphs. He's been stalking me around this site, replying on everything, broadcasting his stupidity. Keep doing it, it amuses me.

Jan 5 - 03:28 AM

Christine Golden

Christine Golden

Well, my BFA in Drama and BA in British Lit means that I can comprehend both books and movies. I also took a majors-only class on Fantasy which focused on Tolkien and his writings, so I DO know what I'm talking about.
PJ's version of The Hobbit is a terribly flawed rendition of the modern fantasy genre, as defined and illustrated by Tolkien whose is considered by many literary EXPERTS to be greatest author of the 20th century.

I won't bore you with the multiple flaws created by PJ's alterations to basic canon, but simply say that The Hobbit may be a great action-adventure film, but great fantasy? Hardly, not by the proverbial mile.

Jan 5 - 07:43 AM

Starbaby

Starbaby Miniverse

That's presumptuous. I am a very big fan of fantasy books, films, television series, games, etc. And I did not care for Peter Jackson's take. There are enough Tolkien scholars and fans who did not care for it either. Don't be naive.

Jan 5 - 08:30 AM

D P.

D P

And I think to be fair they were not just nitpicking (ie Boromir's death happening in FOTR not Two Towers, Saruman not becoming Many Colored) but problems with tone and design. (Oh yeah, there was one prominent critic: Christopher Tolkien).

Jan 5 - 08:56 AM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Sir, I am generally very tolerant of other people's opinion, but it is quite obvious that you should not have posted here. You sir, come across as a biased Jackson-fanatic who won't accept the opinions of others. I asked for the opinions of FANS, not FANBOYS. Did you even read my OP? I did like LOTR and I adored the books of Tolkien. However, I didn't like this movie.

I will only reply to another comment of yours when I deem it reasonable enough to merit a reply. Otherwise, I will ignore it, because I don't want to waste my time.

Jan 5 - 02:32 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Besides, I believe that I have seen this exact same comment somewhere else, so I shouldn't even be responding to this.

Jan 5 - 03:33 PM

Ken Cavanaugh

Ken Cavanaugh

I went into The Hobbit with low expectations so I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. While I didn't think that it was as good as any of the LOTR movies, by the end of the film I loved it. Throughout about half of the movie it seemed slow and somewhat disjointed but it finished greatly. One of the things I loved about LOTR was the story of the unexpected hero and extraordinary things being accomplished by ordinary people, and in my opinion The hobbit had the same heart.

So yes, the movie had it's faults but it's strengths made the film an extremely enjoyable experience for me.

Jan 4 - 01:49 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

This has happened to many. They went to the Hobbit with lowered expectations, either because the decision to split it up into a trilogy didn't appeal to them, or because of the lukewarm critical response. I too went there with somewhat lowered expectations due to the critics. However, I had mostly dismissed their reviews because I didn't consider the flaws they pointed out (48 FPS and length) as detrimental to a Middle-Earth film.
However, where many were positively surprised because the film proved to be better than their expectations (such as yourself), I was completely taken out of the movie by Azog and the Great Goblin. The way they had been handled I considered to be unacceptable and un-Middle-Earth-like, which in turn made the entire movie fair game for my criticisms.
I didn't expect a perfect movie, but I also didn't expect this many flaws. If you had a good time I am jealous, because I genuinely wanted to like this. I will see the other two Hobbit-films, in the hope that PJ will salvage whatever can be salvaged. It mostly depends on Smaug, I suppose...

Jan 4 - 02:51 PM

Seth Moore

Seth Moore

I agree with you about Azog, though I think the reason for his character is so that there would be a primary antagonist in this film. He'll probably die in the next one, and then Bolg will come back for revenge. But all the complaints about length and it being a three-hour set-up for the next two movies would be much more substantial if Azog wasn't there, because he's the biggest threat to Thorin et al. I don't like how Jackson handled him (or how he and all the other Orcs were obviously CGI), but he does serve a purpose that is necessary because it's a movie.

As for the Great Goblin, his design is based on several older artworks done of him, so he looks about right. I don't know what you didn't like about his character, but I thought he seemed authenticÔ??not necessarily evil, but self-motivated and unmerciful.

Jan 6 - 03:40 PM

IndieFilmJunkie .

IndieFilmJunkie .

The rest of the hunter orcs are NOT CGI.

Jan 6 - 06:59 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Seth: about Azog. I think Bolg could have performed Azog's job as a primary antagonist perfectly in this film (Azog dying at Azanulbizar would have given Bolg a very good motivation to chase Thorin). It would have made more sense lore-wise and design-wise.

About the Great Goblin, I believe that this would have been a far more effective design for him: http://www.john-howe.com/portfolio/gallery/data/media/1/mm-t43.jpg
I didn't like how he was made into a troll-sized, 'funny', one liner-cracking, singing buffoon with a ballsack-chin and (allegedly) a 'toilet-throne'.

Sebastian: Not entirely, perhaps, but at least partially.

Jan 7 - 02:03 AM

Bob Fantiasco

Bob Fantiasco

Tim de Wit: I can understand your arguments, all except for the last one about Bolg. While I do agree that Bolg would have been a better choice than Azog, I don't think it would work to have him want to avenge his father. It would give Bolg a sense of humanity, and because he is an orc, that would be very out of place.

Jan 3 - 03:46 PM

Bob Fantiasco

Bob Fantiasco

Oh, and on a side note, I can definitely see where you are coming from when you say Bolg has a more interesting design. It appears as if they went the prosthetic makeup route with Bolg, and he looks 10x more menacing than CGI Azog.

Jan 3 - 03:50 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

I appreciate you being able to objectively acknowledge the merit of my arguments. However, about orcs having no humanity: this may be so, but I still think that even orcs have clan- or family loyalties. After all, in the book the hue and cry was raised by all the Goblin tribes in the Misty and Grey Mountains because of the slaying of the Great Goblin. And, I believe Gandalf specifically introduced Bolg as: 'The Goblins are upon you! Bolg of the North is coming. O Dain! whose father you slew in Moria.'

And you have to admit: having Azog chase Thorin this far from Moria after 150 years because of a lost arm was kind of a weak motivation, even for an orc. I am aware that PJ had Balin inform us that Azog wanted 'to exterminate the line of Durin', but this was never in the book.

Jan 4 - 02:48 AM

Alex Alexander

Alex Alexander

Those are characters, even Arwen was used instead Glorfindel to rescue Frodo in Fellowship of the Ring... but that┬┤s the reason it is called "adaptation".
They are not telling the detailed story, they are adapting the story to be told in hours.
Always there are limitation, that if PJ wants to add more stories from all the Tolkien world he can found limitation about rights to continue in that way.
Also, all those stories are developed in thousands years, but they have to me condensed to make it practical and easier.

Jan 4 - 11:36 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

I never said that I am opposed to changes to the source material. For example: I can perfectly understand why Glorfindel was replaced with Arwen. It provides Arwen with a 'bad-ass moment' and it avoids introducing too many unimportant characters. You never hear from Glorfindel again after he saved Frodo.

However, ressurecting Azog completely changes the entire dwarven-lore of Tolkien. Now, had Azog been an interesting character, I wouldn't particularly mind this. He wasn't though. Added to this is the fact that his role could have been executed by Bolg, who will make an appearance anyway in the next two films.

Jan 5 - 02:40 PM

Starbaby

Starbaby Miniverse

I don't agree with the need to have changed Arwen's character and given her the role of saving Frodo. That was completely pointless. By giving Arwen, who is not even the focus of the story, her "bad-ass" moment, Frodo was completely wimpified. This would be equivalent to taking the brave character of Harry Potter and making him weak and wimpy, and having Hermione have to save him just to give her a "bad-ass moment." Frodo was a very brave hobbit, one who repeatedly saved the more helpless Sam, Merry, and Pippin at the beginning of their journey.

But as the ring's influence begins to effect Frodo, he starts to break down, and at the end of the story, he is not the same hobbit, he has become essentially "broken." This is a powerful element in the story that shows how devastating the effects of the ring are, and how even a strong, sturdy hobbit can no longer live happily in Middle Earth and must sail to the Grey Havens to find peace. Frodo's character and the powerful ring dynamic was unnecessarily weakened and flattened to give Arwen a "moment." If Glorfindel had to be replaced by Arwen, then she should have served the same role Glorfindel does and simply given Frodo her horse. In the books, Frodo rides across the ford himself, even while desperately ill with his wound. He has that much will and that was what separated him from other hobbits and men, and made him the right person to bear the ring. He even defies the powerful Nazgul in his weakened state, which was a major feat. Glorfindel did not "rescue" Frodo, so there was no need for Arwen to do it either. Letting Frodo ride across on his own and make his last stand on the ford would have kept his brave, strong character intact. He was chosen to carry the ring for a reason, and it wasn't because he constantly needed rescuing.

Jan 6 - 09:09 AM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Yes, I suppose one could indeed look at it that way. I could also add the fact that it is quite illogical for Elrond to send out his daughter, of whom he is so protective later on, to face the Nazgul. Also, the idea of a fighting female (a concept which is supposed to be rare in Middle-Earth, much like it was in our world until recent times) already belongs to Eowyn.

I didn't say that this solution was perfect (it was one of the weaker points in the films and it also slightly undermined Frodo's character), I just said that one could argue the neccesity, which is more than can be said for the inclusion of Azog.

Jan 6 - 09:30 AM

Seth Moore

Seth Moore

It wasn't 150 years in the film. Jackson took out 100 years for some reason. I think the motivation was so that viewers could relate to the Dwarves better without anyone having to explain their ages or that Dwaves live longer than Men. It's similar to how in Fellowship, it appears that Gandalf is only gone for a few months at most, when in the books it was 19 years. Long spans of time in movies need to be explicitly stated or shown on screen for the audience to grasp it, so to avoid this, he cut out 100 (rather unnecessary) years.

Tolkien never specifically said that Azog wanted to exterminate the line of Durin, but the Dwarves believed that their race would end when Durin's line was ended, and the Orcs and Dwarves were mostly enemies for years. They both lived in caves under mountains, so it makes sense that the Orcs would want to kill the Dwarves.

My guess is that Azog will die toward the beginning or middle of the second movie, and if Bolg is shown at all, it won't be until the very end. Or maybe we will see Bolg witness his father die, so his hatred will be more obvious. Orcs are evil, but they aren't beyond redemption, so having them motivated by family loyalties isn't a problem.

Jan 6 - 04:12 PM

Sam Steel

Sam Steel

As a fan of the hobbit book and the lotr movies, I really really loved it. It would be easier to state what I didn't like. (trying not to come off as bias here).

I can't really see much difference in the production values between this film and the other. It is a prequal, so I guess some people will be dissspointed by defalt?

The one part no one has critisised is one of the negatives imo, too much reycled lotr music.

It bugs me that almost all of the complaints made about this film can be applied to the lotr movies. Especially the length part. Its the shortest one yet..

It would help if I knew what exactly you were unhappy with?

Jan 3 - 06:39 AM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

I agree about the music: I would have been much happier with a completely new score (perhaps with minimal references to the LOTR-score in order to tie it in) instead of this rehash of the familiar LOTR tunes in different scenes. The only memorable new theme was the Misty Mountains/dwarves theme.

If you want to know more about what I didn't like about this movie, I think you'll learn a lot by reading the responses I made to other commenters. I can also tell you that I hated the way PJ handled Azog (a generic CGI orc brute, who should have been killed in the Moria battle), the Stone Giants (to me, this resembled a Transformers action-scene, while it could/should have been an immensely atmospherical scene without too much action) and the Great Goblin a.k.a. the Goblin King (the design was ill-conceived, the voice was obnoxious and the lines were ridiculous).

I trust that this will give you enough to respond to. :-)

Jan 3 - 07:45 AM

Bob Fantiasco

Bob Fantiasco

n regards to Azog, what do you mean by "generic?" He's an orc. Orcs do not need to have depth or complexity to their characters. The same argument could apply to the orcs from FOTR. How was Azog any less "generic" than say, Lurtz or Gothmog?

Jan 3 - 12:22 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

A fair question, I admit. Let me try to explain my hatred of Azog with these four arguments.

First off: Lurtz and Gothmog at least had interesting designs going for them. Azog did not. I thought he was an unrealistic CGI spectre without any interesting designal characteristics.

Secondly: according to the LOTR appendices, he was supposed to be dead for about 150 years at the time of The Hobbit. Killed in the battle of Azanulbizar (the gates of Moria) by Dain Ironfoot, rather than Thorin, after a long war which was instigated by the dwarves to find and kill him. They had to have a pretty good reason for ressurecting this notorious orc, who was basically the Hitler of Dwarf-history.

Thirdly and most importantly: Azog was described by Tolkien as possibly the only orc with true 'guile'. In short, he was probably the smartest orc that ever lived. This could have made him a potentially very interesting character. I didn't get that in the movie. He has generic and uninteresting villain lines such as 'bring me his head' and makes mistakes that even a James Bond-villain would have been ashamed of. Even Gothmog came across as a somewhat able battlefield commander, and Lurtz was in fact relatively succesful in achieving his goal: Halflings were captured and Boromir was slain.

Fourthly: Bolg, son of Azog, who WAS in the book, could have fulfilled the exact same role as Azog. He has a much more interesting design, AND he could have had an interesting motivation for coming all the way from Moria to kill Thorin: the dwarves killed his father. I am aware that Bolg probably will be in the next films, but I still felt that they could have used him here.

I hope that I have made myself a bit more clear.

Jan 3 - 01:28 PM

Sam Steel

Sam Steel

A lot of what you didn't like seems to come from charachters and events being portrayed differently from how you imagined. When I read the book I imagined thorin, the arkenstone, dale and the great goblin differently to how they appeard in the film, (I actually imagined the great goblin similar to how azog looked).

You can expect this though, everyone is going to picture things differently after all.

Jan 5 - 05:09 AM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

This may have played a role in my appreciation of this movie, I admit. However, had Jacksons treatment of these characters been somewhat decent (I am aware that this is a relative, subjective word) I would have accepted them.

As an example: I immediatly accepted Gothmog from Return of the King, grotesque though he was, because he was an interesting character: an orc who was able to command massive armies despite being a cripple. However, in the book he isn't even referred to as an orc.

Jan 5 - 03:37 PM

Beleg72

s long

I agree that its not as good as any of the LOTR movies and that all the positives you mention where very good. I also enjoyed the party at bag-end as this showed Bilbo as a typical Hobbit pre-adventure. The trolls were well done though I have always felt they are out of context with LOTR (with silly names like Bert)I sort of agree that Radagast could have been omitted but not the White Council as that will be important in the next 2 movies when Gandalf goes to investigate Dol Guldur. when he leaves the company at Mirkwood and disappears until the battle, would it really be ok for the films not to show what he gets up to? I believe it is important we see the 'big picture' and other POV characters other than Just Bilbo. As for the action scenes, I agree they were more childish and less gritty that LOTR and Goblin-Town was over the top and had to much CGI compared to the far better Moria scene in FOTR but it was still easy on the eye action/entertainment. The Radagast/Warg chase was slightly annoying, I had no problem with PJ adding the action scene in to add drama but it would have been better without Radagast, instead Elrond and the Elves could have had a bigger scene other than the 1 minute rescue. The final battle with the orcs and wargs was good, It took what happened in the book (wargs/Pinecones-fire) and added extra action with the orcs/Azog. Thorin did get beaten a bit to easily by Azog though, and It might have been better for Azog to die like Lurtz did in FOTR. Not sure how they will play it out with Bolg as the Orc leader in the Battle of Five Armies- will he be in it, or will Azog last until then? The best battle scene was the back story-Orc Dwarf war and the sacking of Erebor by Smaug, both were more in tone with LOTR and helped explain the reason for the quest of Thorin's and gave good insight into why he is like he is. overall it was an entertainng, light-hearted return to Middle-earth, it had some very enjoable scenes but could have been better, it is a good film though all the LOTR's films are excellent, so this cannot compare to them (but then the Hobbit Book cannot either) I do think the 65% score is to low though when you compare this Good film to other poor ones that got higher and I am sure the score is so low because many critics felt the same as you-it wasn't as good as LOTR.

Jan 3 - 04:18 AM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Now this is a reasonable positive analysis of this movie. Well thought out arguments, employed to vindicate the movie, while also acknowledging and describing the major flaws. There are some things that I disagree with, but not many.

The reason, for example, why I thought that the White Council and Dol Guldur should have been omitted was because it just doesn't match the light hearted tone of The Hobbit. Tolkien himself has admitted this. The movie should have been light-hearted as a whole (though I can do without the potty humour). That, or PJ should have went all-out and made The Hobbit in its entirety as dark as LOTR and the White Council scenes. It has been done with several fairy-tales, so I feel that it could have been done here.

Jan 3 - 05:23 AM

Beleg72

s long

Thanks for the comment, you made another good point about the WC and Dol Guldur, maybe it would have been better to save this for film 2 and deal with it all there and not have indroduced it in AUJ to sort later- PJ has stated that films 2 and 3 will be darker so it would be in keeping with there tone.

Jan 3 - 06:17 AM

Alex Alexander

Alex Alexander

If you want to tell the true story, you have to add the White Council and Dol Guldur, The Hobbit is a kid┬┤s bool told by Bilbo, The Quest of Erebor and the rest of the notes are from Gandalf and are part of it.

Jan 4 - 11:39 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Tolkien didn't seem to think so, though. With good reason: they don't match the tone of The Hobbit. It could have been done, had Jackson altered The Hobbit to match the tone of the White Council and Dol Guldur.

Jan 5 - 02:54 PM

Danny Veci

Danny Veci

I loved the movie,sorry.....I'm a movie fan not a movie critic....I go in wanting to like a movie as opposed to wanting to pick it apart.....For one I loved returning to this world that is portrayed & think some are not impressed with it because they are already familiar with it & it may not strike them like the first time you see Lord of the Rings....Initially I was skeptical that it was going to be 3 movies but now feel the longer the better....I'll be saddened when it's all over....

Jan 2 - 06:39 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

I see, but would you care to explain WHY you liked it? What specifics did you enjoy aside from the fact that it takes place in Middle-Earth?

Jan 3 - 02:39 AM

Danny Veci

Danny Veci

don't worry about it...

Jan 3 - 05:19 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

As you wish. I shall not trouble you any further.

Jan 4 - 07:15 AM

Zach Thomas

Zach Idiculla

No fanboys? Good luck with that.

Jan 2 - 06:36 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Yeah, I must admit that I am a little bit scpetical about this, but we shall see. One or two die-hard fanboys are bound to reply to this challenge, but their opinions are welcome too. I won't take them very seriously, though.

Jan 3 - 02:30 AM

Dana Phillips

Dana Phillips

I enjoyed the film a lot. I liked the development given to Thorin's character. In the book he was fairly one dimensional. I think this will pay off in the 3rd film as we see there's a lot more depth to him than just wanting to get the gold back. I liked Freeman's Bilbo and thought he was superb in that roll. Freeman and Armitage did well playing off one another in their scenes. I thought the Radagast scenes were far too long and didn't need to be that involved (the hedgehog for instance wasn't necessary). I have no problem with him seeing the decline in the wood, i just felt it was forced and went on too long.

I did like the Riddles in the Dark sequence. Outstanding job by both Serkis and Freeman there. It was very much spot on with the book and brought great emotion to the Gollum character. Bilbo's sparing of gollum was classic and a key to the story arc overall.

I also enjoyed Jackson's change up of the trolls scene. Having Bilbo as the major player here instead of Gandalf to me worked for the story.

Jan 2 - 05:46 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Thorin wasn't that one-dimensional in the book, though. He was proud, a great warrior and could be kind, but he was also greedy, stubborn and hate filled from time to time. I guess that Armitage got that down alright, but I nonetheless felt that he shouldn't have been the focus of the movie as much as he was. 'The Hobbit' should have been more from the perspective of Bilbo (Freeman, as I already noted, was excellent).

Radagast should have been omitted. I admit that I didn't mind his design: the bird crap didn't bother me at all. His acting could be a bit obnoxious, though, and I felt that he should have been omitted for slowing the story down and having nothing to do with the travels of Bilbo and the dwarves.

As for the troll-scene: I didn't mind Bilbo's expanded role here that much, even though this could have been a great first introduction to Gandalf's cunning and prowess for first time viewers.

Jan 3 - 03:30 AM

Dana Phillips

Dana Phillips

Well the development of Thorin in the first part though makes sense. It will be Bilbo's story from here out I suspect as Gandalf will leave after Beorn. Once that happens, Bilbo in the book really comes into his own as Gandalf is not there to bail them out. We saw only the first part of the story. I think as it goes we will see Freeman's Bilbo take over as he gets the dwarves out of both the Spider and Thranduil situation and goes into his own down the tunnel to Smaug.

Jan 5 - 04:28 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

This makes sense. I hope you're right on this.

Jan 6 - 02:36 AM

Dana Phillips

Dana Phillips

also the more I think about it you're right about Radagast. He shouldn't have been there at all. I think on first viewing it wasn't the inclusion of him for me it was the utterly stupid Disney "ification" of him that was irritating. However thinking about it, it was incredulous that he finds the morgul blade in Dol Guldor to begin with and then we are to think he went sledding off across the Misty Mountains and somehow miraculously finds Gandalf and Thorin and Co. in the middle of the trollshaws? It could have easily been handled the way it was originally with Gandalf having a flashback about finding Thrain and getting the map and key. It was not a good inclusion I agree.

Jan 6 - 02:45 PM

Bob Fantiasco

Bob Fantiasco

It's just really fun adventure. Sure, some scenes are too long, and the choice of splitting the book into three parts is questionable. Nonetheless, the character arcs are well done, the action sequences are thoroughly entertaining, the story is captivating for the most part, and I'm excited for the next installment. In short, it was a great adventure film even though it wasn't on the same level as LOTR.

Jan 2 - 01:57 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

I respect your opinion. However, here's mine: I thought Bilbo's and Thorin's character arcs felt very forced and rushed (which is very strange, considering the length of the movie). The rest of the dwarves (except perhaps Bofur and Balin) had no character arcs (hell, some of them had no dialogue). I would happily give up the entire White Council storyline for some more characterisation-scenes for these dwarves. The action was sometimes good, but mostly a jumbled, unrealistic mess. The escape from Goblin Town was appalling and the Warg/Radagast chase was beyond ridiculous. Yes, I know it's fantasy, but there needs to be some consistency even in fantasy. Compare, for example, the slapstick POTC-like action from Goblin Town with the grisly, realistic fighting in Moria during FOTR or even with the Gates of Moria battle in the same movie.

However, if you considered this a fun adventure, that's just fine.

Jan 2 - 02:33 PM

IndieFilmJunkie .

IndieFilmJunkie .

I personally like what they did with Bilbo and Thorin. It was interesting to see Bilbo's courage develop throughout the movie, and Thorin was quite a badass--his relationship with Bilbo grows throughout the movie, and I can't wait to see if unfold even more in the next two. The action sequences were not supposed to be as gritty or realistic as in LOTR, so it's fine.

Jan 2 - 03:38 PM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

On Thorin and Bilbo: fair enough, but I would have preferred a somewhat more subtle approach to this.

On the action: unrealistic action scenes are fine. I kind of enjoyed POTC for it. However, this movie has both gritty war-scenes (battle at the gates of Moria) AND slapstick action. They just don't match in my eyes.

Jan 3 - 02:35 AM

Nathan Nazgűl Lord

Nathan Nazgűl Lord

I don't know. I personally thought it was a really great film,
but some things certainly didn't feel right. I'm not sure what it was
but I'll try to pay some attention to that during my second viewing.

Jan 2 - 01:27 PM

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