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An Unexpected Journey SPOILERS ALLOWED Discussion Thread

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*****

wow... that rating surprises me! I must've missed something. but I'm actually quite curious about how I'll feel about this film tomorrow after my second viewing.

glad you liked it that much though.

:heartbreak:

the only heart emoticon this board has is a broken one.

says a lot about this place...

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Appearance... Whatever, man! I'm tired.

He was a bit of a non-entity to be honest. He was just there for a couple of moments and then gone. The next movie should give him more to do.

Which reminds me: two movies would definitely have been PLENTY.

Fuck knows what they have in mind for their three.

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The music as heard in the film literally comes off as a LotR greatest hits collection, with some Plan 9 dwarf music thrown into the mix.

Wow. Has the score been butchered that much?! The album is most certainly not that.

This is ridiculous. I'm really curious to know how the hell it came to this scoring disaster.

I guess I'll find out in 4 hours!

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Williams didn't leave the Star Wars saga when his music for the 4th entry was butchered to hell in the final cut in an instance where the director continued to edit the film up until a few weeks before the film came out long after the recording sessions had finished..... and Shore won't either.

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It must have been frustrating for Shore Blumenkohl to be asked to toss out his original material and just re-record past cues. I mean, using past cues without your knowledge, but to knowingly proceed with marring your original musical intentions for a film as big as this must be infuriating!

Does anyone think Doug will shed some light on this, given that he knows?

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WTF?

Okay I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and listen.

Trust me, the album is divine. I listened to it today again actually. It's just the music in the film that doesn't make sense. Some of the best material that Shore wrote isn't even in the film. WTF indeed.

It's TPM/AOTC all over again, maybe even worse.

Karol

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I don't understand why.

It's not like they didn't have time or resources. What is the motivation for this? Even if you have to recut the original score, you can still make use of it instead of subtituting it with music from another film.

I have a feeling that last minute, either Jackson or the studio producers wanted to really amp up the sense of LotR nostalgia, so they had Shore insert recordings of past themes in accordance to the temp track.

It must have been frustrating for Shore Blumenkohl to be asked to toss out his original material and just re-record past cues. I mean, using past cues without your knowledge, but to knowingly proceed with marring your original musical intentions for a film as big as this must be infuriating!

Does anyone think Doug will shed some light on this, given that he knows?

Adams fled the moment he saw the posts by infuriated posts. I think he's hiding in Eastern Europe now.

Last I heard, Adams was sighted in Istanbul.

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Peter is very much a hummable tunes kind of guy. He felt my writing for The Hobbit was not as hummable as the material from Lord of the Rings. So he replaced my new music with the more hummable Rings material where he could.

Peter is very much a hummable tunes kind of guy. He felt my writing for The Hobbit was not as hummable as the material from Lord of the Rings. So he replaced my new music with the more hummable Rings material where he could.

It's a shame because I feel very proud of my work on The Hobbit.

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I don't understand why.

It's not like they didn't have time or resources. What is the motivation for this? Even if you have to recut the original score, you can still make use of it instead of subtituting it with music from another film.

I have a feeling that last minute, either Jackson or the studio producers wanted to really amp up the sense of LotR nostalgia, so they had Shore insert recordings of past themes in accordance to the temp track.

I thought about that, too. It must be the producers, really. PJ never did such thing in ROTK (well, at least not to such an extent), yet god knows they were still editing the film until the last minute. Jackson seems to love Shore's work, and never asked him to use a theme that was not appropriate for a particular scene (minus the Reclamatino Of Nature theme for two scenes. That really is the only instance in the whole trilogy where he did such a thing).

Blame it on the producers!

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Just come back from seeing it.

When I left here last night I was pretty depressed. I knew I was seeing the film tonight but I wasn't looking forward to it anymore. Maybe that played a large part in how much I enjoyed it. Perhaps going in with expectations lowered helped matters but I absolutely loved it. It doesn't feel excessively long at all. Probably the only thing I could have done without pacing wise is the old Bilbo/Frodo cameo at the start. Something about it felt off.

I also saw it in 48fps - reluctantly. It IS jarring at first. The prologue instantly takes on a made for TV kind of look while still looking very very impressive. The effect did grow on me though and by the time the Dwarves started to arrive I was more or less sold. It doesn't really make sets and make-up look fake but it does have a horrible effect on the Warg chase sequence. The CG Wargs and blue/green screen Radagast stick out like a sore thumb. What is it about Wargs that PJ and Weta Digital can't get right?

As for the music, again, I think there's been some unfounded negativity here and I was part of that last night without having seen the film. What we have here are 2 soundtrack albums that present what seem to be largely alternate versions. I went in expecting to hear a horrible hack job with the music and while there are a few noticeable edits I found that most of it sounded like alternate versions instead of a TPM like situation. The tracking from Fellowship and ROTK didn't sound like tracking at all. Whatever the reason, these are new recordings of those themes that are worked in to the final version of the score and while I was watching the film I didn't find them very objectionable at all. For what it's worth, I actually really liked hearing a new version of the Ringwraith theme even if it's placement was off. It worked well for the scene too.

The Misty Mountains theme does end up being the most memorable but don't forget, we've had this theme now for over 12 months. We've only had the rest of the music for a month or so via streaming and only a day or two in full quality.

Overall, I was hugely and pleasantly surprised by what I saw and heard.

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I wonder if Holm narrating will continue in film 2.

That could be nice and give some purpose to Frodo's cameo. I didn't mind it while seeing the film (it seemed to be going somewhere), but in hindsight it was entirely unnecessary.

I know that it is in the book (is it anyway ...?) but for someone not knowing the novel, it must come across as an incredibly convenient plot device that the dwarves arrive in Rivendell on the exact same day the map was written 200 years ago, just in time to be able to read the moon runes.

It's pure luck in the book. The film actually does a nice job of making it a little less out of the blue, what with the prophecy of retaking the mountain the dwarves speak of, and various signs indicating it to be true.

I watched it yesterday. Some more or less ordered random thoughts:

I loved 30% of it. I hated 20%. The rest was somewhere in between.

I watched it in 48Hz 3D. The high frame rate didn't bother me at all, and made some camera pans much more comfortable. The 3D had the usual problems, with some action scenes, especially in the woods (with leaves and branches in front of the screen), being rather confusing (the 48Hz didn't help there) and things often looking much smaller than in 2D. But it mostly worked very well. Some friends who came with me hated the 3D and especially the frame rate, but I simply can't follow the reasoning that "too" fluent motions in a film are unrealistic or inappropriate.

The first hour or so was fantastic (some friends strongly disagreed). The prologue took me right back to Middle-earth, and the opening chapter of the book was wonderfully handled. Light humour, but rarely out of place. Most of the dwarves remained rather anonymous, but there were more that stood out than in the book.

The trolls... mostly very well done. Good idea giving making it Bilbo who is playing for time, without anticipating that sunlight would actually be their rescue (and thus perfectly in character). Here, they wisely skipped the children's story bits like the talking purse.

Radagast... some stuff didn't bother me, but they just went too far on too many occasions. And too much of it just doesn't really fit in with the rest of the film, or even make too much sense. His drawing off the Orcs was just ridiculous - the way he was zooming across the landscape reminded me of Terry Gilliam's animations in Flying Circus. The 48Hz movements looked goofy here, but I blame that on the CGI rather than the frame rate. When he had his few serious moments, he was quite good (including the Dol Guldur sequence), but all too often he was a classic example of PJ using comic relief where no relief should be provided. And Saruman's mushroom comment was just out of character.

Goblin town... Grotesque, but in a surprisingly successul way - most of the time. I loved the design of the goblin king, and pretty much his personality as well. It gave him more of a children's book quality than the standard goblins in the films, and yet kept him menacing. Fantastic design on some of the other goblins there, too. Unfortunately, that part also had some of the worst comic relief offenders...like Gandalf knocking the head off a goblin, and the king's own behaviour right before his death.

Generally, there were instances where the film seemed to try too much to copy FOTR. The big statement of the main theme after Rivendell, with helicopter fly-by shots, was obvious and expected. The appearance of the stone giants would have been cool, had they not been extended into a way too long copy of the Moria staircase scenario. Same with the goblin town escape - yet more swinging bridges, and in the end they run across a narrow bridge and the goblin king (who previously fell off his rock in a much too obvious way) suddenly appears to block Gandalf's path just like the Balrog. Also the ending - see below.

Riddles in the Dark... probably the best part in the film, and nearly entirely successful, except for two or three of those cuddly Smeagol bits that already plagued the LOTR films. The audience laughed, the tension was gone. Also, while the idea of splitting Bilbo from the company before goblin town and thus having the Gollum/goblin town escapes play simultaneously wasn't bad, it broke the tension of the Riddles sequence with the cuts to the dwarven spectacle.

The ending... I've been a supporter of making two movies out of the short book from the beginning. Partly because of all the appendix material that can and should be in there, and also because so much of the book is superficial - turning it into a movie would require much more character interaction and invented dialogue, and at times they successfully provided that. I might even have been on board with the 3 movie plan, if they hadn't denied it for so long. When they changed their minds at the last minute, I was skeptical, and it seems clear that the three-way split harmed at least this first film. The frying pan chapter went mostly well up to the point where the company is dangling from the tree over the cliff. And I wonder if most of what came after it wasn't simply a desparate last minute addition to give the film a bombast ending. Thorin suddenly charging Azog (in Boromir kamikaze mode no less) came out of the blue, and Bilbo's selfless heroics were too early for the character. Not to mention yet another appearance of Gandalf's magical moth. The whole sequence seemed utterly pointlessly blown out of proportion.

Martin Freeman... bloody fantastic. Aside from "I'm going on an adventure", there are several more moments where he practically *is* Ian Holm. And in all his other scenes he gives the character a naturalness that manages to balance the overall scope of the story with the light humour of the Bilbo/dwarf interactions. As for Ian Holm, I was surprised how young they made him look, although his voice can't hide his real age.

All the dwarves were fine. I have a soft spot for Balin, much the same way that he has for Bilbo in the book.

Ian McKellen... good, but not quite as good as I had hoped. He sometimes seemed to be trying too hard, to overdo his Gandalf the Grey mannerisms. Quite possibly a direct result of him feeling so lost on the green screen set. He still had plenty of wonderful moments of course.

Christopher Lee... I'm afraid I can't take him seriously any more, but it seemed too obvious that his films were filmed with him alone back in England, concentrating hard to keep his voice steady. He *was* Saruman in LOTR, here I just saw Lee.

In conclusion: A strange mess, with some truly successful parts, but not succeeding as a whole. And it's not the lack of a coherent plot buildup that I have a problem with (the book doesn't have one until the last third), but all the stupid bits they sprinkled throughout the film. Whenever I could ignore them, the movie was at least good, often very good, at times even great. But all too often they were just too much to disregard.

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When I left here last night I was pretty depressed. I knew I was seeing the film tonight but I wasn't looking forward to it anymore. Maybe that played a large part in how much I enjoyed it. Perhaps going in with expectations lowered helped matters but I absolutely loved it. [...] As for the music, again, I think there's been some unfounded negativity here and I was part of that last night without having seen the film. What we have here are 2 soundtrack albums that present what seem to be largely alternate versions. I went in expecting to hear a horrible hack job with the music and while there are a few noticeable edits I found that most of it sounded like alternate versions instead of a TPM like situation. [...] Overall, I was hugely and pleasantly surprised by what I saw and heard.

Thanks for this sensible post. Without denying anyone a right to their opinion, it seems wise to go into the film with an open mind and hope for the best!

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The music as heard in the film literally comes off as a LotR greatest hits collection, with some Plan 9 dwarf music thrown into the mix.

Wow. Has the score been butchered that much?! The album is most certainly not that.

This is ridiculous. I'm really curious to know how the hell it came to this scoring disaster.

I guess I'll find out in 4 hours!

The gap between the album presentation and the film version is absolutely breathtaking to be honest. I don't even remember the last time a score differed that much.

If I were Shore I wouldn't come back for the next one.

I think it's quite possible that he signed a three movies deal. He agreed to do three movies before Fellowship. And why would he leave anyway? He clearly loves the work on the films. If PJ loves his work, that is the real question. But on his own, HS most definitely won't leave.

Williams didn't leave the Star Wars saga when his music for the 4th entry was butchered to hell in the final cut in an instance where the director continued to edit the film up until a few weeks before the film came out long after the recording sessions had finished..... and Shore won't either.

True.

But after that, Williams created one of the worst scores of his carreer with Episode II.

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Attack of the Clones is a great score!

I have no doubt that Shore will deliver a score in line with the existing four entries for DOS. The LOTR/TH scores are all more tightly woven than the SW scores my a mile anyway. Of course, the TTT score was surprisingly different from FOTR's in a lot of ways, and then ROTK returned to a lot of the themes from FOTR that were abandoned in TTT.... but I don't think that will be the case with DOS, as it does after all feature all the same characters continuing on the same quest. TTT introduced a lot of new ones and a lot of new things for existing characters to do, I think DOS will be less like that.

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Last I heard, Adams was sighted in Istanbul.

On the beach, drinking beer and having a scorpion drinking contest no doubt.

I hope he will come back to serve his country.

When I left here last night I was pretty depressed. I knew I was seeing the film tonight but I wasn't looking forward to it anymore. Maybe that played a large part in how much I enjoyed it. Perhaps going in with expectations lowered helped matters but I absolutely loved it. It doesn't feel excessively long at all. Probably the only thing I could have done without pacing wise is the old Bilbo/Frodo cameo at the start. Something about it felt off.

Actually, I thought only the inclusion of Frodo felt off. Ian Holm was great. I loved the reworking of that shot where the camera comes in from behind when he's writing at his desk.

Should have included Frodo only in TaBA at the end.

Overall, I was hugely and pleasantly surprised by what I saw and heard.

That I can agree with.

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Christopher Lee... I'm afraid I can't take him seriously any more, but it seemed too obvious that his films were filmed with him alone back in England, concentrating hard to keep his voice steady. He *was* Saruman in LOTR, here I just saw Lee.

I noticed too in one of the released clips that it was obvious that he filmed his scenes apart, and this surprised me considering how many times this has been done in the history of cinema with much better results. It really struck me how much you can tell that they're not in the same room, but maybe that's because we knew this beforehand... But for example, before I knew the truth, I always thought that Peter Sellers and Orson Welles were actually together on the set when in fact they hated each others guts so much that they never filmed any of their scenes together; and considering it's a very bad 70's movie, it surprises me how here they were able to trick us into thinking they were in the same room...

And by trying to keep his voice steady you mean because of his age?

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Almost time! I'm about to wake my girlfriend up from her post-work pre-movie nap, and we're gonna head out to the theater!

I've been listening to the OST all night with headphones on. I should be fairly well-equipped to spot the music alterations in the final film, but honestly for my first viewing I'm going to try not to think about that stuff and just enjoy the film itself. I'm actually glad I knew about the alterations ahead of time so they will not take me by surprise and I can hop right back into the movie if they take me out.

Dont' worry, on subsequent viewings I will be dissecting the score and coming up with a list of unreleased music :)

Back in 5 hours!

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Thanks for this sensible post. Without denying anyone a right to their opinion, it seems wise to go into the film with an open mind and hope for the best!

That's how I went in!

And I really did enjoy the film.

I'll be seeing it a second time.

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Thanks for this sensible post. Without denying anyone a right to their opinion, it seems wise to go into the film with an open mind and hope for the best!

That's how I went in!

And I really did enjoy the film.

I'll be seeing it a second time.

I too was more positively surprised by a lot of the film than I anticipated and enjoyed it quite a bit although Marian in his above post summed up many of the same feelings I had once the film was over.

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Thanks for this sensible post. Without denying anyone a right to their opinion, it seems wise to go into the film with an open mind and hope for the best!

That's how I went in!

And I really did enjoy the film.

I'll be seeing it a second time.

I too was more positively surprised by a lot of the film than I anticipated and enjoyed it quite a bit although Marian in his above post summed up many of the same feelings I had once the film was over.

Marians review is spot on how i felt about the film.

Actually thought about Marian when Gandalf mentioned the game of golf....

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D'OH!

One thing though, Freeman did at no point try and imitate Holm, or if he did he made it not so obvious.

I didn't think of Holm much at all after Freeman came in.

The transition is completely believable though.

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