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An Unexpected Journey SPOILERS ALLOWED Discussion Thread

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The "Gandalf Vs Thrain" and "Gandalf in Dol Guldur" shots were only shown in the teaser trailer, which was released in December 2011, before the third film was announced. The rest of the shots (for example, Gandalf nearly falling in a hole in the ground), is probably the Nazgul tomb.

I'm betting this will be the prologue for Film 2, and then Gandalf will awaken, a la Frodo in TTT.

Oh, that's Thrain that Gandalf is fighting at 1:57 of the 2011 teaser?

So wait - other than the shots of Mirkwood at 0:39 and 2:11 in the 2011 teaser, what else didn't make the final theatrical cut of Film 1?

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Gandalf does not do any dark spelunking outside Misty Mountains in this first film so neither location shown in the trailer is in the film.

Also Bilbo never goes to the market (I know, I know, the most awaited scene of the year)

Nor do I remember him seeing the Shards of Narsil at Rivendell.

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You can see a shot at 0:31 in the actual trailer. Also Harry Knowles of Ain't It Cool News reported that he had a cameo in the scene as a fish monger so we know such a scene exists.

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So is it safe to assume everything in this trailer is in the final cut of Film 1, with the exception of the Gandalf on the stairs moment at 0:58?

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It's a sad world we live in when Directors have to apologize to extra's!

Does anyone wanna bet with me that in film 3, Thorin and Azog finally have their big fight and Thorin will die avenging the death of his kin!

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They did not lose, but their loses were so great that they could not celebrate. It is there that Thorin got the name Oakenshield, after fending of Azog with a wooden branch and hewing of his arm!

Incanus.

So far the biggest problem I have with the film is the ending.

The 3 LOTR films all had very emotional ending, and while they tried to do that with this one. Thorin almost dying, Bilbo to the rescue. Thorin and Bilbo doing a bro-mance, renowned hope of taking Erebor. It all feels a bit rushed and unnatural. (of course since this was never the original ending of the film, it is very unnatural).

It's simply not strong enough!

The more cynical might complain about Samwise Gamgee being a wet blanket, but the film really could have done with a big soppy speech at that point!

At that point I really missed Sam.

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I guess I don't understand why, after they knew they were doing 3 films instead of 2, they still included the Gandalf On The Stairs moment in the trailer that came out in September, and continue to use Dol Goldur shots in TV Spots. Weird.

Did that guy who made the original "all trailers and spots combined into one long trailer" thing ever make a revised version, btw?

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It can be argued that Sam is the main character of the story

He certainly becomes more important then Frodo as the story progresses. Without him Frodo would not have made it at all.

Astin's performance is actually a bit underrated.

The ending in RotK was exactly as it was in the book.

No scouring, sorry!

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I found the film actually really good, if I blend out for a moment what happened to the score.

Honestly, the film looked absolutely spectacular in HFR 3D. I don't understand all the whining at all. Still, the way Radagast is presented is, despite my hopes of it being tastefully absurd, just really totally insane. Him taking a bug out of his mouth was really, you know, just awful.

Also, I found it not very friendly or appropriate that Gandalf, or anyone else for that matter, was depicted as not taking him serious when he was talking of a dark power creeping back. Not Tolkien at all. He is one of the Istari for god's sake.

I also could have lived without the dumb moment when Gandalf tells Bilbo about "the invention of golf".

The scenes of the dwarves escaping the mountain orcs were also very video-game like. The moment when Gandalf makes a rock roll along the way to squash the orcs Indy-style - my god. Also, their fall into the deep, no, sorry, even for a fantasy film, unrealistic. I had an easier time buying that Bond survived a direct shot to the liver and falling several hundred feet into a river in Skyfall.

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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.

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Fate is a very important aspect of Tolkiens writing. But in the film it does seem like blind luck.

Also love how the White Council has a whole debate about allowing the Dwarrow to continue to Erebor, and in the meantime they just leave regardless....

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They did not lose, but their loses were so great that they could not celebrate. It is there that Thorin got the name Oakenshield, after fending of Azog with a wooden branch and hewing of his arm!

Incanus.

So far the biggest problem I have with the film is the ending.

The 3 LOTR films all had very emotional ending, and while they tried to do that with this one. Thorin almost dying, Bilbo to the rescue. Thorin and Bilbo doing a bro-mance, renowned hope of taking Erebor. It all feels a bit rushed and unnatural. (of course since this was never the original ending of the film, it is very unnatural).

It's simply not strong enough!

The more cynical might complain about Samwise Gamgee being a wet blanket, but the film really could have done with a big soppy speech at that point!

At that point I really missed Sam.

Indeed the emotional ending felt a bit formulaic and forced, the Thorin/Azog fracas, where Bilbo runs to the rescue and then they are whisked away to have that moment on the cliff top. It did feel a bit forced and rushed. The problem is that there is really no great emotional climax in the book at this point, apart from Bilbo winning the respect of the Dwarves by getting out of Misty Mountains alive, so they tried to write another emotional one but it is a halting one.

The scenes of the dwarves escaping the mountain orcs were also very video-game like. The moment when Gandalf makes a rock roll along the way to squash the orcs Indy-style - my god. Also, their fall into the deep, no, sorry, even for a fantasy film, unrealistic. I had an easier time buying that Bond survived a direct shot to the liver and falling several hundred feet into a river in Skyfall.

Yes the whole ending up prisoner and escape from Goblin Town really felt like a video game segment. At times I was expecting a hint of which button to press at the next challenge appear at the bottom of the screen. :P

It just wasn't believable even in this fantasy setting.

On a more positive note some of the visual sequences in the film were truly thrilling, even in 2D. I have to give Jackson's team kudos for creating a brilliant prologue with the Dale and the Lonely Mountain, which exceeded my expectations in scope, splendor and vision. Some of the vistas created along the journey, the haunting Dol Guldur and the energy of the Into the Frying Pan sequence and the subsequent uplifting rescue were some of the best and memorable material as were the new visions of Rivendell this film offered.

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So wait Dol Guldur is shown in the film after all? It's just that Gandalf investigating it is not? Hmmm. What is shown happening there? What do the big statements of Sauron's Theme from the OST underscore?

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Yes Dol Guldur is shown but it is Radagast who goes there not Gandalf. He basically goes inside, gets attacked by a ghost (that looks a lot like the Witch King from the Weathertop scene where Frodo sees him while wearing the Ring), does a bit of fighting and banishes the wraith that then leaves a Morgul Blade behind, which the wizard pockets. Then Radagast sees a shadowy glimpse of the Necromancer (a vague dark man shaped figure in a doorway) and flees in his Bunny Mobile. Oh and the Mordor/Evil of the Ring theme does not appear at all.

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Yes Dol Guldur is shown but it is Radagast who goes there not Gandalf. He basically goes inside, gets attacked by a ghost (that looks a lot like the Witch King from the Weathertop scene where Frodo sees him while wearing the Ring), does a bit of fighting and banishes the wraith that then leaves a Morgul Blade behind, which the wizard pockets. Then Radagast sees a shadowy glimpse of the Necromancer (a vague dark man shaped figure in a doorway) and flees in his Bunny Mobile. Oh and the Mordor/Evil of the Ring theme does not appear at all.

And that made some members at TORN go crazy. How come Radgy can see a wraith the same way Frodo did when he had the Ring? It's fuckin' madness!

He saw the apparition because he is a wizard and because the plot needed him to see the wraith. PJ and the film makers take the word Necromancer literally, as someone who can raise the dead and he is discussed as such in the White Council. This has something to do with the Witch King's tomb in the hills of Rhudaur (PJ is really taking his liberties here), that was supposed to be impregnable but now feared to be opened by this malevolent force.

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The British score movies out of five.

Bar a couple of tedious action sequences I absolutely loved it. The bloat was kept at bay!

Random thoughts (because I unfortunately ain't got time for a proper review):

Brilliant Hobbiton scenes, well spotted light humour, fantastic special effects - from the convincing forced-perspective trickery through to the great CG creature work; Weta demonstrated yet again why they are the leaders of the industry. The film looked lovely and very fairy tale-esque, very whimsical and otherworldly, yet warmly rich and familiar. I'd heard rumours of dawdling but that's bollocks - the movie clips along at breakneck speed, perhaps a little TOO quickly. Take a breather man, jeez! The characters were good considering their number, Balin was terrific of the Dwarven host. McKellen had a rather touching scene with Galadriel and it fit into the fiction nicely, it worked. McKellen was of course fantastic; Freeman was very good (yet strangely light on real content); Gollum was OUTSTANDING. The trolls around the fire were a real highlight too, very funny and matched the tone of the book.

Radagast and his bunnies? A load of tedious forum fuss about nothing; I liked his inclusion very much. The hedgehogs were George Lucas territory, but everything else about his scenes was fine. Even the just about creepy enough Dol Gulder moment had me riveted. I appreciated McCoy's part in proceedings and think it's smart writing in terms of telling the bigger story.

Methinks the fact that I'd not read the book since I was 16 helped with the many deviations in this beefed up adaptation. The changes and extras didn't bother me one bit and my experience was surely all the better for it.

My only complaints are limited to just two things elements, one of which was partly expected, the other not in a million years. 1) There was just a bit too much unnecessary peril (which wasn't very perilous) and 2) Howard Shore.

Howard Shore failed to deliver a worthy score and instead preferred to (on the face of it) play copy/paste with a ton of material from LotR, which was all perfectly suitable but had autopilot written all over it. Fo shame! Tut tut, Howard. Hmm. And what was with the Thorin Nazgul music?! Sort yourself out man! A very poor effort as heard in the film. I have no idea what the albums are like, but my desire to find out has been lessened considerably.

But yeah, I otherwise loved the return to Middle-Earth immensely. The fiendish closing shot made a grin spread itself REALLY wide across my satisfied mug, mission accomplished.

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Howard Shore failed to deliver a worthy score and instead preferred to (on the face of it) play copy/paste with a ton of material from LotR, which was all perfectly suitable but had autopilot written all over it. Fo shame! Tut tut, Howard. Hmm. And what was with the Thorin Nazgul music?! Sort yourself out man! A very poor effort as heard in the film. I have no idea what the albums are like, but my desire to find out has been lessened considerably.

Quint,

Howard Shore DID deliver a worthy score, and you can hear it on the soundtrack CD. In the final film, enormous portions of his original compositions were either dropped entirely, or replaced by music tracked in from the old LOTR films (they may have been last-minute new recordings of the old LOTR cues, but they are not new arrangements). None of the LOTR ripoffs (like the Nazgul bit you mentioned) appear on the CDs at all - that's all last minute stuff that Peter Jackson forced in, in place of Howard's original music.

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