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Chen G.

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Everything posted by Chen G.

  1. Very well put, even though I do like Revenge of the Sith more on both accounts. I have no inherent problem with using digital cameras and while The Phantom Menace has more shots that are not properly framed, it also doesn't have those out of place faux-documentary touches during the virtualy-created setpieces.
  2. Me too. Shouldn't be too difficult to convert, though.
  3. True. That movie is looong. I've rewatched The Force Awakens lately and the credits are way longer than previous entries, so in terms of footage it will probably be shorter than that film.
  4. In other words, the OP took the special edition and constructed from it something more akin to the Lord of the Rings Original Soundtrack Releases. Neat.
  5. Which one? The film with a wizard wielding a sword that glows blue and sacrifices himself during a battle with an evil spectre within a cavernous enemy stronghold as his friends flee? Hmm...
  6. At no point was I expecting Jackson to continue Del Toro's work. So, all the pre-production period under Del Toro doesn't count.
  7. We are getting infinetly more in the way of Superhero films and television, and no one seems to be complaining....
  8. Very true. But, you know what, the films satisfy my appetite for onset craft well enough, and so much of the CG is done well, that it doesn't irk me in this film. Could it have been even more practical? sure. But that's the thing with CG: It's quicker. It doesn't take as much time out of preproduction and it doesn't slow down principal photography. It's mostly relegated to post-production. Had Peter Jackson had longer preproduction, we would have seen all the more in the way of practical effects. But even as it is, there's a lot of impressive craft to enjoy here. Even organic environments like Mirkwood which are notoriously difficult to recreate convincingly in a studio - are practical!
  9. I would have liked him to have been more cooperative with the film industry. Although were probably about to get those anyway, so no real harm done.
  10. I'm told that he always was a very private, closed off man, which to some may come across as snobbish.
  11. That it undercuts Smaug's menace I suppose is true, although the issue of scale I think is working in the Dwarves favor. There is also a sense to me that Thorin's fimiliarity of Erebor, which Smaug doesn't seem to share outside of his treasure Hoard, is at play here. It doesn't feel, to me as a viewer, that the Dwarves had it easy, but I do think they could have gotten away from the thing a bit more bruised and panting and stuff, sure. Although I like the interpretation that Smaug was largely toying with them - it's certainly a valid way of looking at it. When he flies to Laketown, you know he means buisness. You don't need to convince me that there are flaws - I'm not oblivious to them. But I think you are being oblivious of a lot of the merits of the trilogy, too. It's possible to genuinely and unabashedly like The Hobbit. Really. It is.
  12. In the work of a devout catholic.... What about tolerance to the religious sensibilities of the author?
  13. Says you. Because film is driven by conflict. And it needs urgency. You can't have it both ways and both criticize the pace and the inclusion of the chase plot. And it ends up serving as a set-up for the Battle, which again is a good idea. In the book, the Battle was an afterthought. Again, they could have killed off Azog in the battle (by Thorin, not Dain!) and give the vendetta to Bolg, instead. But the idea is sound, either way, and both Azog and Bolg are suitably menacing. Because film is a visual medium. You can't have Gandalf disappear only to narrate to Bilbo what he was up to, and you certainly can't leave it unexplained. You have to show, not tell.
  14. I'm yet to see a fan-edit that didn't mortify me. just cut twenty minutes off of An Unexpected Journey and the romance from the end of The Desolation of Smaug forward (the early scenes are fine) and half of Legolas' action scenes (not his brawl with Bolg, that's great!) and leave it at that.
  15. It was absolutely necessary from a dramatic standpoint. Peter Jackson was always making these adaptations for those who love cinema, not books. Improving the book during the process of adapting it isn't a bad idea!
  16. That's such a backwards approach to gender politics. Middle Earth is ostensibly continental Europe. When, in pre-modern times, were people of color found in that society? The goal should be to do what best serves the story! Movies should not be politicized!
  17. The Hobbit has its own difficulties in adaptation. And yes, some of those difficulties necessitate straying away from the novel in order to produce a good film: having the Company being chased, giving Thorin an attempt at Smaug, introducing Bard earlier, introducing Bolg earlier, keeping Thranduil in the loop of the story, featuring the White Council, etc... About the only changes I find problematic are the inclusion of both Azog and Bolg (you can have got away with just one of the two filling Azog's role), the romance and the abundance of Legolas. Neither is deal-breaker, though. I do think that Jackson wasn't as passionate about The Hobbit book as he was about The Lord of the Rings. It's just isn't as good.
  18. When it comes to film adaptations of the great tales, which I believe we'll see Peter Jackson at least involved with (Zack Sneider did much worst to the DC films, and he's still around), I think they'll be great. The Hobbit is very difficult to adapt! and it doesn't sit as well with Jackson's ouvre. Although Beren and Luthien's story presents its own challenges, as well. The Children of Hurin, though.... Each could also make for a killer Howard Shore score!
  19. Yeah, I see how it can irk some viewers. I like the energy in the scene, though. It feels like they are really about to tear him to shreds, and given the hell that they went through, it doesn't strike me as outlandish. Again, I like the darker, dire feel of the films. And it does go to illustrate Alfrid's single good narrative function: Bard looks all the more noble around him. And the same is true of Bard's children: I'm thinking about the juxtaposition of Alfrid running for cover as Bain and Sigrid help the elderly. Still a terrible character. But again since he's killed, I don't mind. Very cathartic.
  20. Two of those are from An Unexpected Journey, which doesn't count. The brooding proper doesn't start until The Desolation of Smaug. I think all that is there to be said about Alfrid has been said. He's an example of (bad) comic relief. He's certainly not representative of the tone of the film. When I think about those films, I think about the burnt corpses in the Western Guard-Room, or the fallen lakemen in Dale. Truly sobering images. I appreciate the filmmakers for going there.
  21. I know some people didn't like the shift of tone from the novel to the film. I'm certainly not one of them.
  22. Bigatures are a lost art to contemporary filmmaking. At no point was I expecting Peter Jackson of all people to be the one to revive them. Laketown looks good, to me, even in the CG shots. I like the darker tone, and as a result the decayed image of Laketown is much more fitting to me. Having done Lord of the Rings first, I couldn't expect Peter Jackson to adapt the Hobbit in a way that wasn't informed by his work on Lord of the Rings. In that sense, it's not a straightforward adaptation of The Hobbit, it's an adptation/interpertation of it as a part of Tolkien's overall body of work. Whatever you'd call it, I like it. I don't want a light, children-oriented fairytale.
  23. Not a fan of that establishing shot of Bree, either. But the shot from Fellowship isn't any better. It's CG, too. The camera just doesn't linger on the effect, so it's not as noticeable in the film, but the effect itself isn't superior in any way. Once we move away from that, however, we get a long take of the streets of Bree and another long take inside the Prancing Pony, both entirely practical, and in both cases the camerawork allows us to appreciate it. The same is true of the scene in Bag End in An Unexpected Journey and of some of the shots inside Beorn's house. These long takes stand out within the overall cinematographic language of the series, so there's a nice bit of contrast there. And I also appreciate that scene on the level of atmosphere. It's not an action opening like most of those films, but it has very low-key lighting and rain that give it atmosphere and an ominous feel, which really sets the stage for the film that we are about to watch. Even before those shots, the title first fades to black and for a few seconds you can only hear rumbling thunder. Very effective! And Laketown still looks great. The wideshots were never going to be anything other than greenscreen, so I don't understand the complaints here. How is one supposed to create a full scale city without resorting to digital effects? Most of the LOTR sets were indoors as well; and many of them required a CG background, as well. When we are navigating the walkways of Goblintown, it's perfectly practical, and the lighting comes from ambient torches, which gives it a fitting hellish quality, and a nice contrast to the dim but warm candle-light of Bag End. So, I'd say the sets are well shot. I'm not trying to convert anyone: people rarely change their mind on anything. But I think the way criticism is leveled at films across the internet puts movies into boxes of "best/worst thing ever" so that if a film isn't well regarded, those who do enjoy it - even if they have good arguments - are forced to be apologetic about their enjoyment of said film, which saddens me.
  24. Indeed. As does Dale (which is an outdoor set), the Goblintown walkways, Gollum's Cave (100% practical), the Treasure Hoard, the Wine Cellar, Beorn's House, etc...
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