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Tue Dec 4, 2012, 06:08 PM

A review of the Hobbit

Judging part one of Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" prelude "The Hobbit" is a bit like reviewing a film after seeing only the first act.

Yet here goes: "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" is stuffed with Hollywood's latest technology — 3-D, high-speed projection and Dolby's Atmos surround sound system. The result is some eye candy that truly dazzles and some that utterly distracts, at least in its test-run of 48 frames a second, double the projection rate that has been standard since silent-film days.

It's also overstuffed with, well, stuff. Prologues and sidestepping backstory. Long, boring councils among dwarves, wizards and elves. A shallow blood feud extrapolated from sketchy appendices to J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" to give the film a bad guy.

Remember the interminable false endings of "The Return of the King," the Academy Award-winning finale of Jackson's "Lord of the Rings"? "An Unexpected Journey" has a similar bloat throughout its nearly three hours, in which Tolkien's brisk story of intrepid little hobbit Bilbo Baggins is drawn out and diluted by dispensable trimmings better left for DVD extras.


http://bigstory.ap.org/article/review-hobbit-suffers-story-bloat

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Arrow 43 replies Author Time Post
Reply A review of the Hobbit (Original post)
The Straight Story Dec 2012 OP
Cleita Dec 2012 #1
blogslut Dec 2012 #5
Cleita Dec 2012 #6
JI7 Dec 2012 #10
Cleita Dec 2012 #11
JI7 Dec 2012 #14
Norrin Radd Dec 2012 #22
muriel_volestrangler Dec 2012 #23
Cleita Dec 2012 #24
white_wolf Dec 2012 #25
Cleita Dec 2012 #26
white_wolf Dec 2012 #33
Cleita Dec 2012 #37
JI7 Dec 2012 #7
Cleita Dec 2012 #9
JI7 Dec 2012 #12
Cleita Dec 2012 #15
pokerfan Dec 2012 #16
Cleita Dec 2012 #17
pokerfan Dec 2012 #21
geckosfeet Dec 2012 #2
slutticus Dec 2012 #4
Marrah_G Dec 2012 #36
Marr Dec 2012 #39
geek tragedy Dec 2012 #13
JaneyVee Dec 2012 #3
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2012 #8
gulliver Dec 2012 #18
Marrah_G Dec 2012 #35
Omaha Steve Dec 2012 #19
Kablooie Dec 2012 #20
Marrah_G Dec 2012 #30
Marrah_G Dec 2012 #27
The Straight Story Dec 2012 #31
Marrah_G Dec 2012 #40
wyldwolf Dec 2012 #28
lalalu Dec 2012 #32
The Straight Story Dec 2012 #34
lalalu Dec 2012 #29
villager Dec 2012 #38
Marrah_G Dec 2012 #41
villager Dec 2012 #42
Marrah_G Dec 2012 #43

Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 06:22 PM

1. The only reason I suffered through the original rings was because

of Lord Aragon. Since the same actor is not playing that role, I have no reason to see The Hobbit. It was required reading when I was in school and that was enough. Tolkien is an important writer in the history of literature but his stories really don't appeal to women. Not enough romance I suppose and too much battle. I'm sure the special effects are wonderful, but I really see movies for the story and this one doesn't appeal to me.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 07:15 PM

5. I'm a woman and I love Tolkien

I have no trouble finding "story" in his Middle Earth tales. For me, a narrative need not include romance to be intriguing.

If you require romance, there's plenty of it in "The Silmarrilion" and "Unfinished Tales".

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Response to blogslut (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 07:45 PM

6. Well, his women characters don't ring true to me.

The only one who seemed real to me was Galadriel in the books, not the movies, and she was an Elf, a fantasy creature, not a human one. I really didn't see what Aragon saw in Arwyn. She was portrayed with no more personality than a Barbie doll. Even Viggo Mortensen said in real life Eowyn would have been a better fit for the King. At least she had some personality and she was a warrior like him. I get the impression Tolkien was uncomfortable around women so his romantic liaisons don't make sense. I guess that's why I didn't care for them. Just my opinion. btw I didn't say there was no story. I said there wasn't a story that appealed to me.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #6)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 07:56 PM

10. actually Tolkien either based or saw himself as being most like Faramir, who ends up with Eowyn



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Response to JI7 (Reply #10)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 07:58 PM

11. Maybe that's why she's somewhat fleshed out more. n/t

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Response to Cleita (Reply #11)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 08:04 PM

14. yes, it could be, Arwen wasn't even in the books much

i only remember her being mentioned at the end as marrying aragorn. but nothing else about her. i wish they would have left out many of her scenes in the films. i guess part of it was done to prepare people for the end when aragorn ends up with her rather than eowyn .

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Response to Cleita (Reply #6)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 03:51 AM

22. Faramir maybe was a better fit for Éowyn because of their lifespans.

Faramir lived to be 120, Aragorn, 210.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #6)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 02:13 PM

23. He's not good with women, overall, but one section of The Silmarillion is better

The story of Beren and Luthien - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tale_of_Beren_and_L%C3%BAthien . Luthien is a proper heroine, for instance rescuing her love when he has been taken prisoner. And Tolkien based her on his wife:

The Tale of Beren and Lúthien was regarded as the central part of his legendarium by Tolkien. The story and the characters reflect the love of Tolkien and his wife Edith. Particularly, the event when Edith danced for him in a glade with flowering hemlocks seems to have inspired his vision of the meeting of Beren and Lúthien. Also some sources indicate that Edith's family disapproved of Tolkien originally, due to his being a Catholic. On Tolkien's grave, J. R. R. Tolkien is referred to as Beren and Edith is referred to as Lúthien.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #23)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 02:59 PM

24. I think the problem is that his women are perfumed, pure and noble.

You sometimes need a bad ass like the self-involved Cersei in Game of Thrones, or the little survivor girl in Arya, who will kill her enemies, and eat bugs and rats to survive and sometimes is not able to bathe for months.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #24)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 03:02 PM

25. I love Arya, but I hate her sister.

Arya is in my trinity of favorites along with Daenerys (another awesome female character) and Tyrion, but god Arya's sister is so annoying.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #25)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 03:06 PM

26. Yes, but we all have known girls like Sansa in school, you know

perfect and proper on the outside, but not hesitant to tell lies to either advance her purposes or get out of a situation.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #26)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 03:15 PM

33. It's been 4 books and I still haven't' forgiven her for actions in book one regarding Joffery.

You'd think the fact that he lied to his father and got her wolf killed would have clued her in to the fact that the guy is a sociopathic scumbag, but no she still thinks he's so amazing and then betrays her family for him. I have 0 sympathy.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #33)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 03:18 PM

37. That was not only selfish of her but downright stupid.

I haven't read the fourth book yet. I requested it from the library when it comes available.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 07:52 PM

7. i'm a woman and it appeals to me, Eowyn appeals to me far more than some "romance" things

and just the overall story.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #7)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 07:55 PM

9. Differences in taste I suppose. It's all good.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #9)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 07:59 PM

12. no problem, i like romance also but it has to be done right

not stuff like twilight or that shades of gray books.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #12)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 08:07 PM

15. I don't care for those either and I do like fantasy romances

like "The Mists of Avalon". I'm reading right now "A Song of Ice and Fire" series (Game of Thrones). I'm waiting for the fourth book "A Feast For Crows" from the library. Even though the books are fairly dark, and the romances aren't that romantic, his human characters are very real, both male and female. The love matches are pretty much like real life too, not idealized.

Those Twilight books are trash for teenagers and I haven't read the shade of gray so I can't pass an opinion.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 08:09 PM

16. Never understood why the Tale of Aragorn and Arwen was relegated to the appendix



Bringing more of that story into the film was one of things Jackson got right considering how much it explains Aragorn's motivation.

'But Elrond saw many things and read many hearts. One day, therefore, before the fall of the year he called Aragorn to his chamber, and he said: "Aragorn, Arathorn's son, Lord of the Dúnedain, listen to me! A great doom awaits you, either to rise above the height of all your fathers since the days of Elendil, or to fall into darkness with all that is left of your kin. Many years of trial lie before you. You shall neither have wife, nor bind any woman to you in troth, until your time comes and you are found worthy of it."

Full text: http://www.henneth-annun.net/resources/things_view.cfm?THID=200

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Response to pokerfan (Reply #16)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 08:14 PM

17. Like I said in an above post, I don't think Tolkien

was comfortable around women. I don't believe it would have been that unusual though for a British gentleman of his era. They really didn't spend that much time with their women except for dinner and sleeping with the wife of course. School was single sex and most of their recreation so they didn't really know much about women.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 02:10 AM

21. But he still wrote it

Tolkien should have integrated it into the trilogy. Lovely story. Well worth reading but most people overlook it because it's buried in the appendices.

I'm glad Jackson brought it into the films, more or less, although Arwen taking Glorfindel's place at the Ford of Bruinen was atrocious.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 06:46 PM

2. I could see how they made three, three hour movies from the trilogy. I am not

sure there is enough material to do the same with The Hobbit. It is one relatively short book after all.

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Response to geckosfeet (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 07:04 PM

4. And this is the main issue most people will have.

There was some other (rather important) stuff going on during the period in which the Hobbit takes place, much of it not in the book (mentioned in passing only). Those unfamiliar with the tolkien universe are going to consider this "bloat" or "fluff", but I'm actually exited to see some of this put on film. I'm particularly exited to see Radagast the Simple.

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Response to slutticus (Reply #4)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 03:16 PM

36. That makes me want to see it even more :)

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Response to slutticus (Reply #4)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 03:23 PM

39. Radagast is in it?

Oh that's awesome-- is he the one fiddling with the hedgehog in the trailer?

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Response to geckosfeet (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 08:02 PM

13. There is enough back story to flesh it out--just google "dol guldur" nt

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 06:47 PM

3. Some reviewers are saying the 3D 48 frame per second made them nauseous & sick.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 07:54 PM

8. This is what I feared when I heard that he was going to stretch this out into three

 

separate films. The Hobbit is one complete story and can be told, complete (unlike his Lord of the Rings trilogy), in one film. He has never hesitated to make a three hour film before and that is ample for The Hobbit.

This is just fucking greed-spawned stupidity. Once the last one is released, I'll be hitting the Pirate Bay, just to see if I can endure what he has done.

BTW, I bought all of the Lord of the Rings films as he did the best adaptation yet, despite the hacking of important parts and combining of characters.

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:53 PM

18. I won't be seeing it.

You have to read Tolkien's prose to actually get Middle Earth. There is just no way to recreate the language, the sense of history, the state of mind, the pacing...that Tolkien achieves. Tolkien himself is an indispensable ingredient in The Hobbit and LOTR.

I saw the Jackson LOTR movies and thought they were thin gruel. Maybe Rob Reiner could have done better, judging from The Princess Bride. Cheesy, muppety special effects beat computer-choreographed pixel torrents for fantasy IMO. (At least your sense of physics isn't grossly offended in every scene.) With Tolkien, I think you want the audience to know it's all a story so they can willingly suspend disbelief and commit.

People need to engage in fantasy, not have it shown to them. I love movies, but for Tolkien a book is the only way to go, IMO. Maybe an audio book.

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Response to gulliver (Reply #18)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 03:16 PM

35. I am a huge fan of Tolkien

I have to disagree, I loved the LOTR movies. I thought they were well done and very entertaining.

I agree that reading is the best, it almost always is.

The Audiobooks though......I listen to 3-4 hours of audiobooks a day and I just could not listen to my favorite book (the Hobbit), does not translate well to spoken work, IMHO ( or maybe it was the voice it was done in)

Game of Thrones, incidentally, also did not translate well to audiobook. To many characters talking for one actor to handle.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 10:40 PM

19. Marta and I have tickets already


IMAX digital projection at 24 frames per second. No Atmos surround sound and it's 100 plus speakers.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 01:47 AM

20. I just saw a preview and I liked it a lot.

It's much lighter and more cartoony than the original trilogy.
There are a fair amount of laughs and even a trio of vaguely 3 stooges like trolls.

Gollum is great in this. Better than in the original, I thought.

It wasn't very emotional, I never got very attached to any of the characters, including Bilbo, but it was a lot of fun.

Oh, and the original article mentioned that movies have always been 24 frames a second.
No. Silent movies were 16 frames a second. It was bumped up to 24 when sound arrived.
The faster speed was needed to get sufficient sound quality from optical sound tracks.
The new 48 fps system is interesting but some scenes felt almost like video instead of film which was disconcerting.

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Response to Kablooie (Reply #20)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 03:11 PM

30. The Hobbit was a much lighter book

It was published on the good review of a 10 year old boy!

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 03:08 PM

27. I'm very excited to see it

I don't much care what the critics think To many times there have been movies the critics loved that I hated and vice-versa.

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Response to Marrah_G (Reply #27)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 03:12 PM

31. Have not been to the movies since the Return of the King, going to see Hobbit

And unlike some am glad it is 3 movies, so much in the appendixes that explain things like why Gandalf chose bilbo, where he went and what he did during the time he was gone in the novel, etc.

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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #31)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 05:37 PM

40. Me too!

6 hours of Tolkien instead of 2... I don't quite understand why people are so angry about it.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 03:09 PM

28. I'll see it if only for the extra cool stuff before the movie starts...

namely, the rumored first 9 minutes of the new Trek movie and the new Superman trailer.

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Response to wyldwolf (Reply #28)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 03:13 PM

32. I am a diehard fan of the original Star Trek.

 

I never like the later versions of the series. I have to say I really liked the 2009 movie 'Star Trek' and look forward to the new one.

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Response to wyldwolf (Reply #28)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 03:15 PM

34. With that and 3h 9m movie I need big popcorn and that one thing Burt Reynolds had

After Semi-Tough's release in 1977, Bert Convy was contacted by a number of est followers, as well as by Werner Erhard. After Convy appeared on The Tonight Show and discussed his experiences attending Erhard Seminars Training in preparation for his role as Friedrich Bismark, he received a letter from Erhard stating: "it would be great for us to get together". Of the est seminar itself, Convy recalled that when another attendee complained of a headache during the course, the group leader told him to "experience it", and when another attendee wet his pants, he was told to "experience the warmth". In a scene from the film, a woman exclaims to Friedrich Bismark in the middle of a seminar: "I peed in my pants and it felt good."

He went to the seminar with some thing down his pants that peed into a bag LOL

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 03:09 PM

29. I'll pass and wait to watch it on cable.

 

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 03:19 PM

38. Well, the riddle scene is still great! Though it's true, it's a different story now

...than the original Hobbit.

You can see they added a lot of the Silmarillion material to better connect it to LOTR; the weekend-long six film marathons will be interesting, once this trilogy is completed as well.

sometimes the 48 fps makes it look like you're watching video, and it can be a tad distracting.

It's still a very fun three hours, though.

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Response to villager (Reply #38)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 05:38 PM

41. omg 3 hours !!!!!! Wooohoooo!!!!!

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Response to Marrah_G (Reply #41)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 05:56 PM

42. You get a *lot* of "Hobbit" for your movie going dollars!


More than what was in the original book!

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Response to villager (Reply #42)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 06:21 PM

43. I am sooooo excited

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