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Worst Scene in The Hobbit?


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Despite being somewhat overlong, I absolutely love all the scenes in Bilbo's home at the beginning of the movie. Such a warm, cozy feeling sequence, and the interactions between Bilbo, Gandalf, and th

1 hour ago, Jay said:

Wha? They are out if Bag End by like the 40 minute mark. And 10 of that was the prologue. 

 

A ten-minute prologue wasn't necessary, especially since the important bits were, or could have been, related by Thorin at Bag-End. There was absolutely no reason for Frodo to show up either (but it was a nice easter egg/cameo).

It was just another way PJ tried to play off the success of LotR films by mimicking its formula. The gang should have been out of the Shire by at most the 25-minute mark.

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In terms of backstory, adapting an expanded Hobbit is, in theory, trickier than LOTR. With LOTR you can do a fairly narrow prologue, along the lines of FOTR (it could be longer, it could be shorter, but the gist is simple - the history of the Ring). With this Hobbit however, you've got quite a bit of relevant backstory to address: the attack on Erebor, the death of Thror, the subsequent wars and battle of Azanulbizar, the disappearance of Thrain, Gandalf finding Thrain at Dol Guldur and coming across the map and key, his consequent meetings with Thorin, etc. A faithful prologue in that respect would have taken a good 15-20 minutes to address surely. Even so, the Necromancer strand is essentially separate from the Dwarven one in terms of how the story will progress, so do you really want to set-up the White Council storyline this early in the story?

 

The film of course decided to add, change and move around some elements in order to accomodate this telling of the backstory. I'm not going to pass judgment on this (some aspects were well done, others not), but it is a tricky one when it comes to adapting The Hobbit. How would you lot go about it? Tell it all in a prologue? Save some bits for later (Bag End, other films)? Or just omit aspects entirely?

 

(I realize this is probably the wrong thread to talk about such matters, but it's too late, you'll just have to deal with it)

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I was fine with the leisurely start to AUJ. Very Tolkienesque actually.  

 

Though while I was excited about the Elijah Wood cameo when it was first reported, I found it to be unnecessary and distracting in the movie.  I could go either way on the long flashback about the Dwarves. I don't think it's necessary or that effective, but I understand what Jackson was doing...i.e. mimicking the structure of the LOTR films.

 

Yet more reasons why I prefer Dustin Lee's one film fan edit.

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36 minutes ago, Quintus said:

Awesome avatar Skelly!

 

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who appreciates a fine "posing pouch"!

 

36 minutes ago, Barnald said:

How would you go about it? Tell it all in a prologue? Save some bits for later (Bag End, other films)? Or just omit aspects entirely?

 

It's hard to say. I like it when the film allows the audience infer certain elements to a reasonable degree; not everything has to be spelled out for them. But at the same time some people just aren't clever or engaged enough, and they're left confused ("did I miss something?"). I don't blame Jackson for the extended prologue sequence but I don't love it either.

 

35 minutes ago, Nick66 said:

Though while I was excited about the Elijah Wood cameo when it was first reported, I found it to be unnecessary and distracting in the movie.

 

I think that goes for all those LotR "easter eggs". They sound fun on paper, but are clumsy in the real world. It got pretty ridiculous when the watchtower Azog used was the same one in FotR, or in the second film when Gandalf and Thorin meet at the Prancing Pony, or when Gimli was referenced.

It all makes me wonder if Jackson envisioned this as, in terms of viewing order, a prequel or a sequel to LotR. The connections between the two trilogies aren't exactly organic. Maybe they were WB-mandated.

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1 hour ago, Quintus said:

It wasn't very Tolkienesque actually. Have you read The Hobbit? 

 

Yeah mate, I've read The Hobbit.

 

And note I said Tolkienesque. I used that term intentionally and didn't refer to specifically to The Hobbit. I'm refering to Tolkien's habit in general of depicting leisurely journeys.  For example, the long start to Fellowship. Even after the 17 years between Bilbo's party and Gandalf's reappearance (in April, I believe), it's months before Frodo actually sets forth (sometime in September).  Then they arrive in Rivendell in October and stay for a couple months.  

 

Now, it's true that things move at more of a clip in The Hobbit, but as I said I thought Jackson's slow start was in the general spirit of Tolkien. Obviously, like much of the film. this is different than the pace of The Hobbit book.  

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1 hour ago, Nick66 said:

I was fine with the leisurely start to AUJ. Very Tolkienesque actually.  

 

Though while I was excited about the Elijah Wood cameo when it was first reported, I found it to be unnecessary and distracting in the movie.  I could go either way on the long flashback about the Dwarves. I don't think it's necessary or that effective, but I understand what Jackson was doing...i.e. mimicking the structure of the LOTR films.

 

Yet more reasons why I prefer Dustin Lee's one film fan edit.

 

It prefer the slow-but-character-driven scenes in Hobbiton over all the exaggerated action crap PT likes to add to his films.

 

The sections I DON'T like about The Hobbit are all action related, actually:

-AUJ: final confrontation with Azog and orcs (it's not THAT bad,but at that point I just want the film to end)

-DOS: final confrontation with Smaug (it goes on and on and on... and I just can't bring myself to care about it)

-BOTFA: most of the battle is just... empty for me. Bloated, endless, without any sense of structure and aesthetically ugly.

 

But the worst scene is without any doubt Alfrid's death of course. No words to describe it.

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21 minutes ago, oierem said:

 

It prefer the slow-but-character-driven scenes in Hobbiton over all the exaggerated action crap PT likes to add to his films.

 

The sections I DON'T like about The Hobbit are all action related, actually:

-AUJ: final confrontation with Azog and orcs (it's not THAT bad,but at that point I just want the film to end)

-DOS: final confrontation with Smaug (it goes on and on and on... and I just can't bring myself to care about it)

-BOTFA: most of the battle is just... empty for me. Bloated, endless, without any sense of structure and aesthetically ugly.

 

But the worst scene is without any doubt Alfrid's death of course. No words to describe it.

Well said!

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Awful moment to Gandalf. Calling back (forward?) to Gandalf doing the thing with his staff and then it fizzling out was just weak, just like most of the other blatant callbacks to LOTR.

 

Worst part is the setup. "Oh, no Gandalf's staff isn't working! He's kaput now! Oh wait...ha ha. Look, the Troll choked on Alfrid! The Maia live to fight another day" Ugh.

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On 4. September 2016 at 11:10 PM, Stefancos said:

The race of men. Bard, Alfrid. Sauron, the Nazgul etc...

 

lol What?

Sauron is a pivotal plot point, and the Nazgul are in there for a minute at most. Bard is a central character to give a face to Lake-Town. 

I don't want to go deeper because clearly you have no clue what you really want to say.

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33 minutes ago, gkgyver said:

 

lol What?

Sauron is a pivotal plot point, and the Nazgul are in there for a minute at most. Bard is a central character to give a face to Lake-Town. 

I don't want to go deeper because clearly you have no clue what you really want to say.

 

Now, now, Draco, play nicely.

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Well, The Hobbit could easily have been "tied" to LOTR without all the gratuitous call backs and extraneous padding.  The story, by its very nature, is tied to LOTR.

 

As far as "studio pressures", I doubt there's anything in that film that the studio forced on Jackson. Did the studio force him to have a troll eat Alfrid? For the Master of Laketown to eat testicles? Naked bathing Dwarves?

 

As far as the LOTR tie-in's goes, again the plan to expand the story to include the Appendices was there from almost the very beginning. And frankly, I don't think the studio was in much of position to tell Peter Jackson how to make his films at that point. If anything, The Hobbit is one of those rare films where a studio presence in the guise of a strong producer and skilled, independent editor might have helped.  

 

Who knows maybe Barrie Osborne was the Gary Kurtz of Lord of the Rings. Jackson clearly needed someone with the power to say "Um, no". 

 

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I hear what you are saying, but, at the end of the day, every director is under pressure to make the best (and cheapest) film that 

he/she can. So PJ missed a beat here and there, but a film is not a book. It has its own needs, its own peramatures, and, most of all, it needs its own identity. People can debate THE HOBBIT till they're green in the face, but it won't change what we see on the screen (or the telly). As Steve Winwood once said: "roll with it".

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6 minutes ago, Nick66 said:

As far as "studio pressures", I doubt there's anything in that film that the studio forced on Jackson. Did the studio force him to have a troll eat Alfrid? For the Master of Laketown to eat testicles? Naked bathing Dwarves?

 

 

The Hobbit is by its nature more light-hearted and whimsical than the Lord of the Rings books. I wonder if Jackson had a misguided intention of retaining that difference in tone by adding in wacky stuff, like the examples you mentioned, plus such sublime moments as the Goblin King making a quip about his own death and Kili saying "I could have anything down my trousers!"

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30 minutes ago, Richard said:

but a film is not a book. It has its own needs, its own peramatures, and, most of all, it needs its own identity.

Of course.  They made changes to LOTR to suit the needs to film vs. the book. I get that, and I get that they had to do it for The Hobbit as well.

 

I merely question some of the choices they made in doing so for The Hobbit.  As I said previously, fantasy in film is hard. Most of it sucks. For every LOTR there are 10 Snowwhite and the Hunstmans. The fact that LOTR was as good as it is was a minor miracle, and despite its flaws The Hobbit is better than the vast majority of fantasy films.  So I don't hate it, I just think it was profoundly disappointing and deeply flawed.  I think making it into three films was  big part of the problem, and trimming it down to one or two films would solve many, but not all, of those issues.

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15 minutes ago, Nick66 said:

Of course.  They made changes to LOTR to suit the needs to film vs. the book. I get that, and I get that they had to do it for The Hobbit as well.

 

I merely question some of the choices they made in doing so for The Hobbit.  As I said previously, fantasy in film is hard. Most of it sucks. For every LOTR there are 10 Snowwhite and the Hunstmans. The fact that LOTR was as good as it is was a minor miracle, and despite its flaws The Hobbit is better than the vast majority of fantasy films.  So I don't hate it, I just think it was profoundly disappointing and deeply flawed.  I think making it into three films was  big part of the problem, and trimming it down to one or two films would solve many, but not all, of those issues.

 

A fair point, well put.

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1 hour ago, Nick66 said:

Well, The Hobbit could easily have been "tied" to LOTR without all the gratuitous call backs and extraneous padding.  The story, by its very nature, is tied to LOTR.

 

As far as "studio pressures", I doubt there's anything in that film that the studio forced on Jackson. Did the studio force him to have a troll eat Alfrid? For the Master of Laketown to eat testicles? Naked bathing Dwarves?

 

As far as the LOTR tie-in's goes, again the plan to expand the story to include the Appendices was there from almost the very beginning. And frankly, I don't think the studio was in much of position to tell Peter Jackson how to make his films at that point. If anything, The Hobbit is one of those rare films where a studio presence in the guise of a strong producer and skilled, independent editor might have helped.  

 

Who knows maybe Barrie Osborne was the Gary Kurtz of Lord of the Rings. Jackson clearly needed someone with the power to say "Um, no". 

 

 

I very much disagree with that. It is tied to LotR by featuring Bilbo, Gandalf and the Ring. And that is the beginning of the story. To a casual viewer, EVERYTHING happening after Gollum's cave has no tie to LotR whatsoever.

 

You honestly think that the studio, after the years of legal battle and the departure of Del Toro, did NOT pressure Jackson to deliver movies that makes it financially worthwhile?

A Peter Jackson coming fresh off the LotR success had to pay for additional run time in King Kong himself because the studio didn't want to pay for the additional SFX.

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15 minutes ago, gkgyver said:

 

You honestly think that the studio, after the years of legal battle and the departure of Del Toro, did NOT pressure Jackson to deliver movies that makes it financially worthwhile?

I didn't say that. Of course there was pressure on Jackson to deliver. I just don't think they were forcing certain scenes or story on him. What do you suppose was in The Hobbit that the studio "forced" on Jackson that he wouldn't have put in there himself? And remember, the adding stuff from the Appendices to The Hobbit was something Jackson was talking about even before the project got off the ground.

 

As far as tie in to LOTR, give me a break. Gandalf, Bilbo, the Ring, Dwarves, Elves, Goblins, Rivendell, Elrond, The Shire, etc...the whole world of Middle Earth. I think audiences were clear on the LOTR connection, even the most casual viewers. If they weren't, the Warner PR department did a REALLY bad job publicising this thing.

 

And in any event, the explicit LOTR stuff that was in there was ALL Jackson, it's what he wanted, which is clear when you listen to the commentaries.

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30 minutes ago, Barnald said:

I'm still convinced the idiotic Strider mention stunk of studio insistence, just incase they feel like exploring spin-off territory within the next few years.

 

That was written by Philippa Boyens, thinking that it didn't stand a change to be included in the actual film, but Fran and Peter liked it, and it was kept in.

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14 minutes ago, oierem said:

 

That was written by Philippa Boyens, thinking that it didn't stand a change to be included in the actual film, but Fran and Peter liked it, and it was kept in.

 

I did read that, but then one could argue that they're never going to say 'Oh the studio wanted this so our hands were tied'. For example, that Jackson spoke about Tauriel being a 'cold-blooded decision' seriously makes you wonder if this was a character the writers truly wanted in their films, or merely a box they had to tick.

 

Speculative of course, but then the behind-the-scenes materials on the DVDs/Blu-rays are never going to tell the real story.

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On 4 September 2016 at 3:13 PM, Quintus said:

 

After the King Kong debacle Shore probably just shrugged, sighed quietly and said "okay fine, Pete. Fine."

I know the sanitised version, but one day I'd be interested to hear what really went down on King Kong, and how that ultimately impacted how the score with The Hobbit was handled, including the decision to bring in Pope and move the recording to NZ.

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2 hours ago, Nick66 said:

I know the sanitised version, but one day I'd be interested to hear what really went down on King Kong, and how that ultimately impacted how the score with The Hobbit was handled, including the decision to bring in Pope and move the recording to NZ.

 

That's the one thing I'm dying to know.

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Well, I think that's what everyone expected to have happened. I'd just like to hear the whole story, and how the relationship gone sour impacted The Hobbit.

 

Actually, what I'd really like to see is a couple of comprehensive "making of" books on both these trilogies. Not glossy promo books, but real in the weeds account covering everything, from script to screen, warts and all. Do they even write books like that anymore? The most recent I can think of were Rinzler's books on Star Wars and Indiana Jones. 

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It's tough, because once the "promotional period" (when all the making-of is fluffy) for a movie wears off, usually buying interest wears off too.  The Middle Earth movies, or at least the LOTR movies, seem to have bucked that trend to some extent.  And even then, a quick scroll down Amazon's book section shows that other than a 5/2016 coloring book, it's been years since they've released any new books specifically tied to the LOTR movies (may have something to do with promoting the Hobbit movies instead, but still) .

 

My guess is we may eventually, many years down the road, see something - an official warts-and-all making of book, or an unofficial oral history.  Maybe some of us will even be alive to see it!

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44 minutes ago, Barnald said:

They (people at WETA) spoke of wanting to do 'Chronicles' style books for the LOTR films, but obviously these wouldn't really be what you're looking for. Still, at least it shows they haven't given up on releasing books about the films.

 

Has there been any update on those books? I'd really like to get them!

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