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An Unexpected Journey SPOILERS ALLOWED Discussion Thread

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I think Lurtz was more successful than Azog because the film he was in benefited from a higher degree of quality and consistency, that's all. Because the two characters are really just as two dimensional as each other at the end of the day.

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Lurzt was more succesful because he looked badass, got things done, his company killed Boromir and didn't act as filler to strecth the film, having less screentime. Also he served as someone for Saruman to talk to and deliver cool exposition and dialogue.

Yeah, but apparently, the whole arrival to Rivendell would feel really weird.

In my opinion it can be done.

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Lurzt was more succesful because he looked badass, got things done, and didn't act as filler to strecth the film, having less screentime.

And his presence didn't generate an invented subplot.

That was my first thought when the film finished. Why not re-edit it myself when all three come out?

Good god. After the whole "complete score edits" trend, is this the new trend? "Shortened movie edits"?

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It's so 14th December. You need to move ahead with the times, BB.

But going back to the film, did anyone had a feeling that all the additions (Necromancer and stuff) made the main plot of the film seem unimportant? It was accentuated in certain points and some audience members might think this is in fact the most important thing about the trilogy.

Karol

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Lurzt was more succesful because he looked badass, got things done, and didn't act as filler to strecth the film, having less screentime.

And his presence didn't generate an invented subplot.

Yeah, because other than Azog, these movies don't have invented subplots.

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It's so 14th December. You need to move ahead with the times, BB.

But going back to the film, did anyone had a feeling that all the additions (Necromancer and stuff) made the main plot of the film seem unimportant? It was accentuated in certain points and some audience members might think this is in fact the most important thing about the trilogy.

Karol

Even in the book the Quest of Erebor and Smaug don't really gain importance untill they get close to their destination.

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That may as well be. But I was thinking about it from the regular viewer perspective. Because the film can be a little confusing in places, you have to admit.

Another question: didn't the Sauron spirit haunting this stronghold and his subsequent banishment happened before the events portrayed in the book?

Karol

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Actually the plot about the albino Orc guy is pretty lame. It looks exactly the same as all other henchmen subplots in the other trilogy. This one is even more prominent and that's what makes its weaknesses stick out more. The quest for Erebor is interesting, Bilbo's story is too. But this one is not.

Karol

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Actually the plot about the albino Orc guy is pretty lame. It looks exactly the same as all other henchmen subplots in the other trilogy. This one is even more prominent and that's what makes its weaknesses stick out more. The quest for Erebor is interesting, Bilbo's story is too. But this one is not.

I disagree. I'm not saying it's Shakespeare, but as family movies go, I think the Azog subplot gets the job done. It was harmless.

What were you expecting, Kane and Abel?

I can see myself slowly getting irritated by the impossibly nit-picky attitude towards this light adventure some of you guys have, I can feel it already. Best to leave you all to pick at it with your surgical gloves and tweezers and bow out.

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What? I thoght he died. I missed that. Still the influence of the subplot on the story is non existent, because they want to use it, but they don't want to alter the basic structure of the quest. Even if Azog wounds Thorin at the end, the end result will be the same as if he hadn't been there.

So what about Bolg?

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The job of having a regular threat after them?

Nonsense. The subplot doesn't need to be there at all. The effect of this subplot on everything else is exactly zero, other than having Bilbo kill an orc.

Not for the first time Chaac, you demonstrate a naivety where film design is concerned. A less condescending way of putting it would be to say you don't know your arse from your elbow.

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I had you wrong, Quint. I thought we were having a mature discussion over film's merits and weaknesses. But you're too blinded by your fanboyism. So first you bemoan a fact there are no people who want to see films as a whole and then you say it annoys you when someone tries to discuss it in some detail. Make up your mind!

I already said I enjoyed mostly my visit to this land, but doesn't change the fact it's mostly poor storytelling. Because of either huge ego or greediness of people involved. One of those for sure.

Karol

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Fanboyism and Middle-Earth movies were never who I am, even at my peak of celebration for trilogy, sorry Croc.

I have been openly critical about aspects of Jackson's movies here since day one. That is a fact. If you find my open-minded approach to discussing The Hobbit now that I've seen it a bit too twee for your more clinically precise technique when talking movies, I'm afraid there's nothing I can do about that. If your only way of dealing with a viewer of my disposition is to label them a fanboy then you're not really someone I wish to engage with in a discussion about it anyway. Cheers.

For the record, I don't think this film is of LotR quality, not by a long way. It's flawed, as were its predecessors. But again, sum of its parts and all that. I had a wonderful time. That's all I ever really wanted from it.

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To me, the subplot with Azog is fine. I mean, at least it gives the Thorin character some backstory and some motivation. I don't think you can pummel the audience's nerves into oblivion by again and again making the point that he is is hell-bent on reclaiming Thrain's treasure and homeland.

They are already doing that with Bilbo. For me, that was always the danger of doing this in three films. Not that the Thorin story seems unimportant, but that Bilbo as a character is lost somewhere in there. And to some degree, those fears were confirmed. It just seems like the movie is making the point again and again that Bilbo is a hobbit, and not made for adventures, but finds his courage anyway. The point is made when he meets Gandalf, and then in Bag End, and again when he gets Sting, and again after the thunder battle, and again at the end.

I wished Jackson and his writers had left some of that for the other two films.

Basically, they already established now that Bilbo is fit for this kind of adventure, I wonder where they want to go with this over the course of another 6 freaking hours.

Had the movie focused more on Bilbo, the subplot with Azog would seem a little less irrelevant. I would have added one or two additional narrations by Ian Holm to remind the audience that this is Bilbo's tale, and neither Gandalf's nor Thorin's.

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Quint you said there was no need to stretch this to three films. But if you make this in two, the Azog business is among the first stuff to go. You can't have half of a film last 169 min. Then you'd have to face the tedious editing of several scenes, not tight at all.

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Lurzt was more succesful because he..served Saruman.

;)

A convenient means to an end. Azog and Lurtz are still essentially the same tool, their sole purpose being to inject urgency. On that basis, I'd argue that they were both successful. To what degree is where it gets subjective. For me at least, Azog got it done.

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If your only way of dealing with a viewer of my disposition is to label them a fanboy then you're not really someone I wish to engage with in a discussion about it anyway. Cheers.

Well, you used the word "nitpicking", which is a dismissive word for "criticism", which you're going to ignore. What's the point of discussion then? In a thread that is specifically designed for that. See my point?

That's not the best part. Earlier you called me a "score boy" in a reply to a post which meaning clearly eluded you (but that's ok, internet sarcasm is not always readable). And then you said some other things as well (which, if you're not careful, might offend some people). And yet I'm still chatting with you.

Karol

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Quint you said there was no need to stretch this to three films. But if you make this in two, the Azog business is among the first stuff to go. You can't have half of a film last 169 min. Then you'd have to face the tedious editing of several scenes, not tight at all.

What? Even from everything I've seen in the first film, the rest of this story could quite easily be wrapped up in another single long film. Azog wouldn't have to be jettisoned at all, why would he? Are you applying ChaacOvision to it? You're quite open about how you like to reimagine films in your own mind, going to lengths to think out all the details and such, I mean.

If your only way of dealing with a viewer of my disposition is to label them a fanboy then you're not really someone I wish to engage with in a discussion about it anyway. Cheers.

Well, you used the word "nitpicking", which is a dismissive word for "criticism", which you're going to ignore. What's the point of discussion then? In a thread that is specifically designed for that. See my point?

That's not the best part. Earlier you called me a "score boy" in a reply to a post which meaning clearly eluded you (but that's ok, internet sarcasm is not always readable). And then you said some other things as well (which, if you're not careful, might offend some people). And yet I'm still chatting with you.

Karol

I placed an exclamation mark after my "score boy" remark, which usually implies a light hearted joke. You ignored it. And anyway, I maintain that you watch movies from a score-centric pov, as many do here. For you to deny that would seem awfully false, because the evidence of it is all over your posts on the board. So yeah, it was a joke remark in which I attempted to laugh with you, not at you. Obviously you didn't appreciate it, sorry. Doesn't make you any less compromised when discussing the merits of film though, not in my eyes anyway. You will always have your musical score angle, which is of course perfectly fine and valid. But that's another conversation.

Yes "nitpicking" is dismissive. That's because I dismiss nitpickers, or at least the parts of a person's opinions I personally find to be nitpicky. Of course the details matter very much, but overall I admit I'm more interested in the bigger picture, the pathos and sweep. Anal views are very much a part of forum debate and I do my best to avoid them, why shouldn't I? Of course it's subjective - it's a debate.

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What? Even from everything I've seen in the first film, the rest of this story could quite easily be wrapped up in another single long film. Azog wouldn't have to be jettisoned at all, why would he?

That would be a bit unbalanced, wouldn't it? You'd be doing the first 6 chapters in a film and everything else in another. If you do it half and half, there's not that much need for padding. You can end the first one with the banishing of Sauron from Dol Guldur, whch is my guess about how they are ending the second film.

Are you applying ChaacOvision to it? You're quite open about how you like to reimagine films in your own mind, going to lengths to think out all the details and such, I mean.

:lol: I can't help myself.

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No, no. I say chapters to indicate portions of the book. I'm saying it would be weird to have a film based on roughly a quarter of the content of a book and then a second one based on the rest of the material, like you said. You're taking 170 minutes for these first chapters, with invented stuff to make it longer, and the you cram the rest of the book in another equally long film? Bollocks!

Putting the breaking point around the end of Mirkwood would make more sense. And then you could remove some extra redundant stuff that had no effect on the film, while having plenty of material for a complete film experience, closer to the long journey of something like FOTR.

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I'll have to take your word on that because I can barely remember how the chapters are structured in the book. From what I remember though, everything that's left could easily be fitted quite satisfyingly into one more three hour epic.

Which makes the upcoming second movie a complete mystery to me.

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We don't know where it ends. I dislike most possibilities I've read, Before killing Smaug, after killing Smaug. A possibility is that they'll make up an ending in Lake Town with some action and end with the company leaving for Erebor and the banishment of Sauron.

The way I explained it to you was the original plan for these films. What you saw was roughly half of what was going to be the first film.

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Alls we can do is trust Jackson and his two partners to know what they're doing. Which isn't as straightforward a prospect as it used to be. But there's really fuck all else we can do.

It all points to a Battle of Five Armies dwarfing Pelennor, just because they can.

My fiendishly creative wording there is on the house.

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One random thought: I have to admit my view of the film comes from the purely watching it. I've never actually read the book. I know, more or less, what it's about and some other stuff (mostly from reading this forum). So my impressions come really from the viewing itself. And that's where the different issues originate from. Remember that the avarage viewer doesn't need to be a Tolkien scholar to follow the film and that's where it might become slightly problematic. While it's cool to see a larger Middle Earth once again, I'm not so sure whether it translates well to film. A medium which requires tight editing and guiding viewer's attention (and sustaining it!), especially the commercial ones. Even from just watching it I can tell it should have been a shorter story. It takes them about 30 minutes they actually go for a quest (the Bag End sequence, while entertaining on its own right, last a hell of a time), and before that there is a long prologue sequence, and then Frodo (for some reason). It's just not the most brisk filmmaking.

Karol

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See, you're gonna think I'm apologising for it, but I truthfully did find it a brisk experience. It flew by, really.

If they'd have cut out the stone giants bollocks I'd be hard pressed to find much else I'd want him to nip and tuck. No, for me I just felt like I wanted a longer breather at times. Room to settle into the locale and characters for a minute or so, but no - off we go again...

It was my one main issue with Tintin, funnily enough. Which I was strangely reminded of.

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Actually I didn't find that long. Surely Frodo and the tie ins into LOTR can be trimmed (that must be confusing for someone seeing this without LOTR), and maybe some small parts of the Unexpected Party section, but time flew. It was afterwards that it started to drag for me, because it started feeling a bit repetitive and slow.

Edit: it seems Quint and I had a diametrally opposite perception of the film. He finds it too Tintinesque, myself, too little. Interesting. Who's the one who wanted a Days of Heaven with dwarves now?

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It's not so much the length of the film that bothers me. It's that what's in there (the additions mostly) doesn't really advance or even really inform, the main plot. They try hard to justify them (like Smaug being important concern for the safety of Middle Earth, Bilbo having a destiny etc), but that doesn't come off as genuine in my lay eyes. It seems that ever since King Kong I doubt Jackson's ability to tell good story. He just loves his footage a bit too much.

Karol

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