Jump to content
Quintus

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Underwhelming Prequels

Recommended Posts

Which, in your opinion, is the most lacklustre entry out of the three most recent franchise prestige damaging movies?

I would say AUJ by a considerable margin. Not only is it a shoe-in for the most visually repellent big budget movie of all time, but it also went out of its way to out-bloat the entire LotR EEs and King Kong put together. Never has there been such redundancy in moving pictures and such disrespect for the art of editing. And on top of all that you have a regurgitated and tedious score which makes James Horner look like Morrissey.

Edit: I've changed my mind to Battle of the Five Armies after seeing it today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AUJ wasn't a trainwreck, but Jackson's editing drives me insane. These films are just horribly, horribly paced. Scene to scene, movie to movie. The films never flow and either have long stretches of needless exposition, or a headache-inducing cacophony of CGI-laden madness unravelling before your eyes.

The pickups for DOS could not be any more obvious, considering how much of DOS's climax is pointless padding. It blew my mind when I found out the original cut of the film had the shot of invisible Bilbo running up the stairs to escape Smaug, followed by the shot of Smaug crashing through the wall and Bilbo being covered in the enormous curtain (in the final cut there's half an hour of padding between these two shots).

It hits you just how much crap they invented to justify their money-grubbing trilogy decision.

And it's a small thing comparatively, but the films look shit. Not even the high frame nonsense, but the digital grading, sharpness of the digital footage, enhanced cloud patterns and BLOOM look nothing like the first trilogy. It's almost as jarring as the Star Wars OT to the Star Wars PT.

LurtzvsAzog.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't seen the third one yet, but I enjoyed AUJ far more than DoS.

Journey didn't come together as a film to me, but it was still entertaining. Smaug felt more desperately padded, and I found the final act pointless and boring.

Although strangely I've come to enjoy DoS' score more.

in my opinion, the worst professional decision PJ has ever made was to make 3 films.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't seen the third one yet, but I enjoyed AUJ far more than DoS.

Journey didn't come together as a film to me, but it was still entertaining. Smaug felt more desperately padded, and I found the final act pointless and boring.

Although strangely I've come to enjoy DoS' score more.

in my opinion, the worst professional decision PJ has ever made was to make 3 films.

I'll bet you his accountant disagrees to the tune of $100m+

In a filmmaking sense though, it's utterly horrendous and yet another glowing example of Jackson's complete inability to convey restraint.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haven't seen the third one yet, so I'll withhold my judgment for now (mostly because I imagine the last film will make my decision for me. . . .).

in my opinion, the worst professional decision PJ has ever made was to make 3 films.

Absolutely—and I can say that without having seen the third one yet. If the additions made had helped the story in any way, or if it some semblance of being derived from the spirit of what Tolkien imagined, then I might be on board with it. But it stopped being about Tolkien a long time ago, and has now become the universe of Peter Jackson.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having just read Mark Kermode's so-so review of The Battle of the Five Armies, I was reminded of something I heard/read him say back in the days of The Lord of the Rings. He was a huge fan of Peter Jackson and a gushing admirer of the films, but had no interest whatsoever in Tolkien and made a bold assertion which I found rather dubious at the time: he said that the quality and success of these films had nothing to do with Tolkien's work and everything to do with Jackson's talent as a film-maker. I think that now, in the light of The Hobbit films, one would be ever harder pressed to make that case - i.e., that the quality of the available source material is irrelevant to that of the film. The swathes of The Hobbit in which Jackson, Walsh and Boyens are either inventing new material or fleshing out ideas that were only sketched in the books generally turn out to be (to my tastes, at least) not very interesting or compelling, and their dialogue often wooden or pantomime-like.

One particular aspect in which I've found The Hobbit to be a bit dull is in the fighting. I'm not generally a fan of the kind of prolonged fight scene in which things go well for the hero, then badly, then well again, then badly, the well, etc. Perhaps I'm misremembering things from The Lord of the Rings, but I don't recall this style of scene occurring very much in it. The fights (whether one-on-one or army-on-army) tended to be painted in broad brush-strokes, focused on conveying a sense of energy and momentum and driving towards the outcome, rather than dwelling on the fluctuating fortunes of individuals. In The Hobbit, on the other hand, these twisty-turny fights seem to happen quite a lot, including the denouements of at least two of the films (and one might also include the Dwarves vs. Smaug climax of the middle film, although the molten gold conclusion to that was at least something different, if rather silly).

Anyway, I brought that up by way of explanation for the fact that I'm voting for The Battle of the Five Armies as the most underwhelming of the trilogy. I feel sort of bad for that, because in many ways it has the most consistent quality three, and I perhaps have the fewest individual gripes with it. On the hand, as the conclusion of the story there's more of an onus on it to make a big impact. And the climactic scenes with Bolg and Azog are simply the kind of fight scenes that I find a bit tedious. Perhaps if they'd given more weight to the resolution of the main battle there would have been a greater sense of impact...but they didn't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He did make one very good connection in that review: comparing PJ to Thorin. The sight of all that gold rolling in from the first trilogy drove him insane.

The funny thing is that the story of the book is about greed, and the story of the making of these films is ultimately about greed as well. Quite ironic (or is it fitting?).

;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have no time for Kermode. The man loves the Twilight films and somehow thinks The Babadook is the best film of the year. Plus the nauseating sycophants he seems to have following his and Mayo's show drives me insane. Sheep, the lot of them! Form your own opinion about films for goodness sake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a different view of Peter Jackson in this regard.

In an episode of Ricky Gervais' comedy Extras, the main character Andy Millman - who has just written and starred in a popular TV sitcom - goes to a pub where he finds himself surrounded by a bunch of losers who are all fans of his sitcom and want to hang out with him. He gets out of there as quickly as possible and moves on to a classy nightclub frequented by various celebrities. He ends up being moved out of the VIP area to make way for more important guests, and becomes the subject of a humiliating improvised song by David Bowie. Ultimately, he heads back to the original pub where he giddily revels in the attention of his fans as they enthusiastically quote the catchphrases from his sitcom.

Peter Jackson returning to make another Tolkien trilogy always reminds me of Andy Millman going back to that pub.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AUJ so far is the best film, and I think it still will be after I've seen BotFA. It may be more bloated, but it doesn't feel as artificial and contrived as DoS.

But I guess in a way it was the most underwhelming, because that was the film we approached with such massive expectations. It's only after that huge disappointment that we realized what kind of films these were going to be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would a film version of The Sil technically not count as a prequel?

It is a reboot. The origin story of Middle Earth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Incidentially i watched another franchise's later entries - namely HARRY POTTER's ORDER OF THE PHOENIX and the last two parts and was astounded to find many moments of indeed very good moviemaking that put what i saw of THE HOBBIT (parts one and two) to shame. I will not even bother with the last part.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's there to fuck up? It's not like they're adapting anything particularly good to begin with. And did you not see those last two films? Dear me.

Come to think of it, I'd say they fucked up pretty badly by casting the worst actor in recent memory as the lead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And it's a small thing comparatively, but the films look shit. Not even the high frame nonsense, but the digital grading, sharpness of the digital footage, enhanced cloud patterns and BLOOM look nothing like the first trilogy. It's almost as jarring as the Star Wars OT to the Star Wars PT.

The hobbit movies look horrible beyond repair!

There never was anything wrong with the cinematography of the starwars prequels. They look fantastic and by choice different and more shiny as it was the grand age of the old republic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's there to fuck up? It's not like they're adapting anything particularly good to begin with. And did you not see those last two films? Dear me.

Come to think of it, I'd say they fucked up pretty badly by casting the worst actor in recent memory as the lead.

Which is about the only thing the HOBBIT movies has on them: a better lead actor, that sadly isn't onscreen for long stretches. The rest is a pathetic egg of big, solid fuck, to quote a greater man than me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...