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An Unexpected Journey SPOILERS ALLOWED Discussion Thread

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I'm sorry to hear that some of you were disappointed.

I liked it a lot and felt it captured the tone and the feel of the LOTR films well -- except for the Radagast bits, which were a bit too Disney for my taste (regardless of how he's portrayed in the book....I've read it).

I was also totally flabbergasted by the 3D/48fps bit -- the most awesome visual experience I've had since AVATAR. It really felt like I was THERE. So sorry, Alice, seems like I had the exact opposite reaction as you. Then again, I saw it Tuesday morning -- not in the middle of the night like some of you. Maybe that had something to do with it too?

5 out of 6 stars.

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I may have overreacted a bit when I said that it's not a memorable film. now that I've had some time to digest it I'd like to say that it's a fairly enjoyable film with some top class, outstanding moments. bilbo and gandalf's first scene, the stone giants, everything with gollum (I still can't get that scene out of my mind... it made the whole film) and the eagles rescue/flying scene being some of them.

I've also thought about exactly why I felt like I wasn't in middle-earth... and I'm pretty sure the 3D 48fps contributed to that. at times I didn't know if I was watching the hobbit or a trailer for some random action video game and most of the times it all just looked so extremely unfamiliar. it was so off-putting and it made me in a bad mood - and I'm absolutely certain that affected how I felt about the film itself. at this point I sort of find it hard to separate 3D 48fps from the film because it was so distracting, and that's why I really need to see it in 2D 24fps.

the film felt like it was in a hurry, leaving no place for any significant depth or character development. shallow! and that bilbo and thorin bromance business at the end? "I can't believe how wrong I was *HUGZ*". NOOOOOO! :( it was so cheap and cliché. towards the end I was just bored and I'm not easily bored so I can't remember the last time that happened. it's just messy and it didn't keep me in a firm grip like I wish it would've... the person I went with (who actually loved 48fps btw) fell asleep at one time... and I found myself thinking about stuff completely unrelated to the film a couple of times while watching it. wandering thoughts are no good sign.

stuff, details, that worried me before seeing it now feels so small and indeed the least of this movie's problems.

How was the score in the film?

(Which is the only thing I care about, really)

Karol

underwhelming.

can't wait to listen to it by itself though.

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I liked it a lot and felt it captured the tone and the feel of the LOTR films well -- except for the Radagast bits, which were a bit too Disney for my taste (regardless of how he's portrayed in the book....I've read it).

Hum, no, apparently you didn't, since he isn't in the book.

5 out of 6 stars.

I'd be interested to know why you rate it out of 6 stars and not out of 5 stars.

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How was the score in the film?

(Which is the only thing I care about, really)

Karol

Pretty good! This was some of my first reactions:

Just saw it. Random thoughts:

- I was confused by the Nazgul theme playing when Thorin fights Azog.

- Christopher Lee is freaking awesome! Saruman's comment on Radagast's love for mushroom was hilarious.

- The first scene between Gandalf and Bilbo is great. One of my favorites. Loved Ian McKellen's delivery of the "good morning"-line.

- Also disappointed by the lack of music when Smaug's eye is revealed.

- Andy Serkis, Cate Blanchett and Barry Humphries were amazing!

- Nice that they had a short orchestral statement of the Misty Mountain song before Neil Finn started singing.

- Azog was a good villain.

- I wonder if they got a new boy soprano or if the Nature theme was tracked on when the eagles arrive..

- Thranduil was indeed very cool.

I hope Saruman is in all of them!

EDIT: Ian McKellen's agent denies cancer-rumour.

They removed the statement of Smaug's theme from the ending, and there was also some tracking from FotR in a scene between Gandalf and Galadriel. Maybe other places, but I didn't notice any.

But the score is very good in the film! :)

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I'd be interested to know why you rate it out of 6 stars and not out of 5 stars.

Because in the Norwegian press we usually use a dice to grade. So I guess 6 'eyes on a dice' would be a better description than 'stars'.

Btw, as I said in my earlier post, I thought the score worked great in the movie -- I just don't like it on CD the way Shore presents it.

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I've just read this review, and to my mind it seems to make for a nicely considered response to the film: http://www.timeout.com/us/film/the-hobbit-an-unexpected-journey

This review certainly makes me want to see the film.

I'd vouch, though, that the job of a film critic isn't to make you want to / make you not want to see a given film. Isn't a (film) critic's job to enrich the reader's viewing of a film by offering up a generous sense of context and other connections to wider cultural reference points? I'd say that this function should even supercede critical claims as to the degree to which a film might be 'good' or 'bad'. That said, the context and connections offered will begin to suggest questions of aesthetic value.

JC :)

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How was the score in the film?

(Which is the only thing I care about, really)

Karol

underwhelming.

This I am VERY surprised about.

Hmm, what on earth happened with this movie? It's some crazy shit.

keep in mind that the 48fps made me in a bad mood and overall super skeptical.

it's not my final judgement.

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I'm puzzled at these reactions at 48 fps, some saying "IT'S AWESOME", and others "IT'S HORRID".

Does a film look less like real life if you try to make it look more like real life? How much like real life are viewers ready to accept a film in order to believe in it?

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Wait! Are you saying you just a roll a dice, and use the number that appears to grade the movie? I like that system!

He, he...yeah, I've always found that a bit weird myself....to use something as random as a dice to grade the movie. It's not used in a random sense, of course, but that's what a dice is usually associated with.

WHAT?? Are you saying you don't like an original album arrangement? What the fuck happened to you, man?

I don't think there's a proper, original album arrangement in this case (even the non-extended version is basically modelled on the C&C ideology

you disliked the dol guldur scene?

I'm not an expert on the whole LOTR/Tolkien universe like most of you, but that's the forest scenes, right?

Well, I know what they were trying to do -- describe Radagast as some quirky wizard who is basically an extension of the nature around him -- but that whole sequence just felt a bit at odds with the tone of the film. The talking porcupine, the stick insect on his tongue, the HARRY POTTER-like cabin in the woods with the approaching, huge spiders, the nest in his hair and so on. I think you could have gotten the same point across in a more elegant way. Less "hokey", maybe.

But in the scheme of things, that was really just a minor issue (although one preventing my experience from getting a TOP grade).

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WHAT?? Are you saying you don't like an original album arrangement? What the fuck happened to you, man?

I don't think there's a proper, original album arrangement in this case (even the non-extended version is basically modelled on the C&C ideology

No it isn't. It's chronological, like the LOTR OSTs, and it's missing alternates and music that isn't in there because it didn't exist yet when they assembled the OST, just like the first CDs for LOTR. It's just like an album arrangement like those of LOTR. Which is less of an album arrangement and more of what they could possibly do for the moment. The only difference is that it's longer.

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That's not what I meant. You're not disappointed for her or for any other self confessed fan's underwhelmed reaction?

Well, yeah, it's a sad thing seeing fans having their hopes crushed like bugs by a shoe. But hey, didn't they deserve this, somehow? I did warn them. I warned them, and they said I was just a fucking entitled whining cunt. Who's the whining cunt, now?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

homer-laughing.gif

Ah, thought so. You didn't notice my slipping under the radar there, setting up the sting, in all your comfortable foolishness. You're a fucking troll, BloodBoal. A no good stinking troll. Always have been since the day you joined, always will be. That is your label. Look at your signature image. It fits. I only wish you'd go peddle your trade elsewhere.

Wretched creature.

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Nah, he's just trying to be annoying. It's just a film.

I don't believe for a second that BloodBoal would enjoy these films failing. He's a fan. He's the one with the Hobbit signatures that you told off from making Tolkienian references everywhere.

So, in the end, what happens? After all these years, 179 pages, and endless speculation? If this fails, we have to go through two more films? Well, there's still the book. The book was good. That I know.

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Nah, he's just trying to be annoying. It's just a film.

I don't believe for a second that BloodBoal would enjoy these films failing.

I very much disagree with you on that. Look up Self-defeating personality disorder for more information. I've wasted enough breath on him already.

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Like Alice I will now tell you what I really think.

The 3D was actually very well done. The 48 fps actually does solve the flickering you see with 24fps 3D. And the clarity is amazing.

The downside is that with fast motions, instead of the motion blur you are acustomed too, the movement feels over cracked, like it's going too fast. Like you are fast forwarding though a video. You mind adjusts to this to some extent, but not complete.

As for the film..... I like it!

It has many flaws, but none of them fatal. Actually just like LOTR.

The main problem was always that The Hobbit, as a book is no LOTR. It lacks the detail, the depth, the texture, the pathos, the sense of purpose.

Tolkiens LOTR is full of that, The Hobbit never was. It's a smashing children's book..... Period.

They knew that going in. One reason why they mined the appendices, why lines from LOTR are used here. It's why they added motivations to characters. They wanted to create a depth other then 3D.

It sometimes works. Maybe after the other 2 films are released we have a better picture how well it worked.

Very very slowly the true reason for the Quest is revealed. Not Gold, not vengeance... But regaining a home. The Dwarves are a wandering people, with no home because it has been taken from them. This theme is actually promising, but starts to develop only late in the film. The conversation between Bilbo and one of the Dwarves about not having a place to belong was moving. The film needs more of that.

The film starts out with a very long and detailed prologue. Narrated by Ian Holm. I like it, it feels more fairytale like then LOTR did. Holm is ok as Bilbo, but looks older. Elijah Wood shows up too, but his cameo is forced and pointless. (did he really fly to New Zealand for this)

After that it starts to follow the book rather closely. Maybe a bit too much. In LOTR they had to leave out whole sections, chapters and distill everything. This film seems to have EVERY part of the book! If they left anything out.... It doesn't feel like it. And even with added stuff from the appendices... It feels stretched. I disagree with Alice that the film feels rushed. Anything but.

Almost every scene in the film feels like it could have been just a little bit shorter, little bit trimmed down.

Also certain parts don't need to be there. The giants throwing stones at each other is from the book, but here its a 5 minute action scene with no sense of purpose.

Martin Freeman makes a smashing Bilbo. Pitch perfect. Totally forgot Holm after he entered!

McKellen is once again great as Gandalf. Full of humour, anger, wisdom.

Richard Armitage turns Thorin into a heroic, but flawed leader. He is this trilogies version of Theoden. It's a good performance. The rest of the Dwarrow are fine, but as suspected underused. The fat one does not have a single line I think. Filling and Killing are this trilogies attempt at a Merry and Pip.

The direction is exactly what you would expect from PJ. And unlike Alice I did feel like I was back.

Maybe that's the problem. I got what I expected. The potential issues the film might have were clear over a year ago. The potential flaws...

I figured the film could be overlong, action scenes drawn out, lacking in depth etc.... And it happened.

Jackson did not ruin the film, but he didn't surprise me. It's not better then it could have been.

For a drawn out film, the ending is abrupt. Like it just stops dead!

The best scene is the Riddles In The Dark scene. Absolutely perfect, and containing the depth and purpose lacking in much of the film. Freeman is very good here, Serkis is fantastic and Gollum never looked better. Emotional, scary, funny! The scene is among the best in anything PJ has directed for this franchise.

The score is very good. But Shore has less to work with.

As a book The Hobbit has no depth.

As a film The Hobbit needs more!

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WHAT?? Are you saying you don't like an original album arrangement? What the fuck happened to you, man?

I don't think there's a proper, original album arrangement in this case (even the non-extended version is basically modelled on the C&C ideology

No it isn't. It's chronological, like the LOTR OSTs, and it's missing alternates and music that isn't in there because it didn't exist yet when they assembled the OST, just like the first CDs for LOTR. It's just like an album arrangement like those of LOTR. Which is less of an album arrangement and more of what they could possibly do for the moment. The only difference is that it's longer.

I disagree. I think it's far closer to a C&C than it is a proper album arrangement. It isn't anything like the regular LOTR CD's, which were clearly tailored as a maximum listening pleasure -- Shore's chosen highlights, tailored to balance the calm with the action-oriented stuff and re-conceptualized in a way that made it have its own musical narrative. My suspicion is that Shore was so inspired by the success of the extended LOTR discs that he decided to stay closer to that route for THE HOBBIT as well. Which I can't blame him for, of course, but it's not my idea of what a proper, good album program is (it's more preservation than an 'artistic' album production).

But this thread is more about the movie than the music (and its soundtrack), so perhaps better to leave it at that.

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Listened to the live stream, not the SE yet.

It's a smashing score, in the film too.

It lacks a Breaking Of The Fellowship because the film doesn't give him the opportunity to do that. Still astonishing how abrupt it ends. Every Ending in LOTR is drawn out....

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Listened to the live stream, not the SE yet.

It's a smashing score, in the film too.

It lacks a Breaking Of The Fellowship because the film doesn't give him the opportunity to do that. Still astonishing how abrupt it ends. Every Ending in LOTR is drawn out....

True, but the dwarf theme is used as this film's "Fellowship" theme, in a way. Particularly loved the heroic version of it as they walk through mountain passes and stuff.

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I'm sure the next two film will give him the opportunity to expand his musical language a bit and give us all the awe-inspiring fantasy stuff. In this film, he only had a chance to do that with Radagast. Orcs. And trolls... well... it's not like they inspire warm scoring with gorgeous operatic female vocals. Listened to the extended album again this morning. It's great.

:music: Die Hard With A Vengeance (La-La Land edition)

Karol

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Ironically, perhaps a solution to the uncanny "quick motion" people experience during things like action sequences could be found in the video games industry - where smoother frames per second have been common place for years. See, what games developers do is build artificial yet incredibly realistic motion blur into their games and it works beautifully. In fact it can frequently be a stunning post processing effect adding a real sense of visceral dynamism to motion but in a way which isn't at all jerky - like 24fps is.

There's absolutely no reason it couldn't be applied to future stabs at 48fps cinema tech and I'm suddenly inclined to believe that's where they will go to for their longterm fix.

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I'm puzzled at these reactions at 48 fps, some saying "IT'S AWESOME", and others "IT'S HORRID".

Does a film look less like real life if you try to make it look more like real life? How much like real life are viewers ready to accept a film in order to believe in it?

I think part of 'movie magic' is that the world on film doesn't quite feel like 'the real world'. Most of the times, it even looks better than real life. It's part of that 'movie look'. The traditional frame rate contributes a lot to this 'larger than life, otherworldly feel'.

That's why a film like The Godfather or Blade Runner feels like it was shot in another world than a broadcast TV show which feels a lot more like the world around us.

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