Discussion in 'Community' started by -Courtney-, Nov 25, 2006.
Part one of The Colbert Report's special Hobbit Week has just begun.
I always thought there was something off about Tom Bombadil, and the unusual references to him throughout the books. Tolkien was always hinting there was more to him than meets the eye...
It's a fun little analysis, but I ultimately find this theory more compelling.
Well whaddya know. Early reviews of the Hobbit sound just like early Kong criticism, down to the "2 hour trapped in a 3 hour film" comments.
I've always gone with the theory that Bombadil was just some weird thing that Tolkien put there when he was still trying to figure out LotR and him being "intentionally mysterious" was only retroactive. His being unaffected by the ring, for example. I think that's mostly because Tolkien hadn't yet decided that powerful beings in Middle-Earth could be universally tempted (or at least Gandalf and Saruman both were). Tom's also completely unimportant to the main plot, which is why Jackson rightly excised him. As for why there's an internal inconsistency within the book-- well, we all know that Tolkien's editor was apparently in a coma and it's something that the author easily, albeit sloppily in my opinion, retconned.
I actually don't tend to mind because I enjoy just being in the world of Middle Earth. Normally super long things annoy me. But I don't know. I mean, I love the EEs. We'll see.
Also isn't it only 2 and a half hours, not three?
Yeah, it may be too long but I probably won't mind.
I love the EEs too, but there Jackson benefited from the fact that he was, by and large, reintroducing elements of a big story that had been trimmed down, so there was no element of tedium because everything kept the story going. It never felt stuffed for the sake of being stuffed. In King Kong's case, he didn't have more original story to reinsert, just a jumble of ideas that he was unwilling to cut down, and the result was, hey, they're getting attacked by dinosaurs, and hey, now they're getting attacked by giant bugs, and hey, now they're getting attacked by OH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. Jackson lost control of the pacing and the ability to deliver a movie with the fat trimmed off.
The question for the Hobbit is: Will the length of the movies ultimately reflect maintenance of all Tolkien's elements in a story that benefited from not being edited down, or will it reflect a lack of judgment in how to judiciously tighten the film adaptation and a desire to cram in just one more invented or pumped-up action sequence, one more song, one more instance of dwarven hijinks, one more comic scene for Radagast, two more scenes of invented activities for Gandalf behind the scenes? I hope for the best, and if the runtime is the result of Jackson deciding to stick adamantly to the book and to judiciously fleshed-out appendices material, I may quibble with some things on a filmmaking basis but I'll enjoy the time spent there, just as I hugely enjoyed his original trilogy. If it's the result of Jackson going overboard with his own inventions and filler and losing that key editing-room ability to say, "Yeah, I really love that, but it does have to go for the sake of the film," it's going to grate.
Review embargo has lapsed...
While, Colbert's Hobbit Week will be enjoyable I have to admit I am kinda of disappointed that there is no real way he could have Christopher Lee on the show. Particularly,in how Lee is supposedly a major Tolkien fan who reads the LOTR once every year. Additionally, he actually was able to meet Tolkien in person.
Thus, just image the Tolkien Fanboy fest that would result from those two talking about the Hobbit.
That's a very reassuring review.
Part of me wants to stay away from reviews, and part of me wants to lap them up.
There was some sort of interview I read recently (can't recall where) where Jackson is basically aghast at the idea of simply porting over the narrative thrust that Tolkien infused into The Hobbit and instead wanting to expand everything and dwell on it.
Because yeah, Pete, that's how you do an adventure film. You take the source material and strip out the momentum.
I know this thing isn't going to be my cup of tea, but I continually get frustrated by Jackson knowing that he has Heavenly Creatures in him, which absolutely thunders along while giving us extremely rich characters and arresting visuals, with a fully defined sense of place. I really hope that his Tintin sequel comes to pass, basically because he'll have to be punchy and economic.
I'd hate to see the wonderfully pithy feel of TH lost but am fully ready for it. Still very much looking forward to the movie with all the pros and cons of PJ being at the helm.
The 48 fps complaints are not going away. The narrative/pacing complaint is the same complaint both my children had about the book: it takes ******* forever to get the show on the road. When reading the book aloud, it literally takes weeks to leave Bag End.
Having forced my kids to live with that, I can live with that. For better or worse, Jackson is introducing a trilogy, not just a single film, and it makes sense to take a bit of time setting it up. And you just know the end of film three will take 45 minutes to unwind too.
Weeks?!? It took half an hour/maybe 45 minutes with my sister, and I sang all the songs to her!
Edit:to finish the first chapter.
2 hours and 50 minutes with credits. So roughly 160 minutes without. And I understand what you're saying, except that I would argue this is nothing like the EEs. To add onto what Havac said, what we're talking about is a third of a 300 page book (100 pages!) stretched out into a 160 minute film, with original material written by Jackson, Boyens, and Walsh based on vague ideas from Tolkien's appendices. Whereas in the case of LOTR, each film was roughly 200 minutes compressed from 400 pages, usually at its worst when, you guessed it, Jackson implemented his own original ideas (warg attack, the half-hour buildup to Helm's Deep). The ratio of material to screen time is practically inverted. I'm not at all confident at this point that I'll even rarely want to revisit these films if their pacing problems are anywhere near Kong's, in spite of my initial enjoyment of that film. There's just nothing worse than a masturbatory, self-indulgent cut, and it seems certain at this point that that's what we're getting.
I am so looking forward to watching this.
The reviews were to be expected. 48 frames criticism aside, the most unanimous complaint is the first hour. A what an admireable fault it is. Jackson spends an hour developing characters, just like in KING KONG. In this case it's the Dwarves and Frodo. Undeveloped characters is a major critism of most movies, and Jackson had 13 Dwarves to get over. I give him all the credit in the world for doing this, I just wish he wouldn't do it in this way, and thought he would have learned his lesson with KK. Apparently he didn't. He has all the good intentions here, but fails. Jackson is self indulgent and like Lucas had more power to do what he wanted this time around.
Another is book length and epicness. NO @#$^. Has anyone ever read the Hobbit? It's a kids book about a bunch of Dwarves and Hobbit going to fight a Dragon who stole their gold. It's a no brainer that it wouldn't have as much weight as a Dark Lord trying to take over the world.
In either case I'm still looking forward to it, and believe the un-impressiveness of this film will make the next one all the more great. Which is another thing I'm hoping for. I'm hoping that the next film is it and they cancel the 3rd film. There is just not enough story to push this thing into 3 films. I can't wait 3 films for Smaug to die, and I don't think the audience will either. Make it a good two films, with the second half being the better and Pete has a winner regardless of it being better than the LOTR's or not.
Well, I assume the climax of AUJ is the "Fifteen Birds in Five Pine Trees" scene, whereas the climax of TDOS will be Smaug's attack on Esgaroth and his death by Bard's arrow, and the climax of TABA will be the Battle of the Five Armies. So yes, the epicness of the climax will grow with each film.
Twenty minutes of shoot footage. Clips. Some good stuff within.
Spoilers? Only if you're completely in the dark.
Definitely not reading any reviews. I might leave off of this thread until I see the film because I don't really want any reviews or other comments to bias my first viewing.
I will enjoy Colbert Hobbit week though Last night's episode was fantastic.
So I finished this on audiobook.
Smaug is like, anticlimax defined. I didn't quite remember that part of it.
EMPIRE's review. IMHO, copy to be trusted.
It may deal in part with a (literal) phantom menace, but this is thankfully not The Phantom Menace. The Hobbit plays younger and lighter than Fellowship and its follow-ups, but does right by the faithful and has a strength in Martin Freeman’s Bilbo that may yet see this trilogy measure up to the last one. There is treasure here. 4/5
EDIT: But the text appears to have bypassed quality control.