Amph The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug, Battle of the Five Armies

Discussion in 'Community' started by -Courtney-, Nov 25, 2006.

  1. Legolas Skywalker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 6
    LOTR is my number 1 favourite trilogy list while Hobbit is 4th, ( more than likely take over the SW spot for #3 this year )
    Last edited by Legolas Skywalker, Jan 6, 2014
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  2. 07jonesj Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2010
    star 4
    1. Return of the King
    2. The Two Towers
    3. The Fellowship of the Ring
    ...
    4. The Desolation of Smaug
    5. An Unexpected Journey

    The Hobbit movies are merely good fun, whereas the LOTR films are well-crafted epics. The main thing separating them is the pacing though, which is great in the original trilogy, even in the 4-hour extended cut of ROTK. AUJ drags, whereas TDOS is either going super frickin' fast or going nowhere at all.
  3. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

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    star 6
    I'm not a big fan of ROTK.

    AUJ suffers because everyone just wants to see the damn dragon. Azog is all right as a minor villain but man, just give us the dragon already. TDOS is a lot more fun because things actually seem to happen and you see the damn dragon and he's awesome.
  4. Legolas Skywalker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 6

    That's one big dragon
  5. Chancellor_Ewok Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2004
    star 6
    No, that is the wrong answer.

    [face_shame_on_you]
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  6. Bacon164 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2005
    star 7
    Why? Many of the priorly developed, including the titular, characters stagnate and have little to contribute to the film. Deus ex machinas are piled on top of the ones already present in the book, and the denouement, while solid in concept (even though its purpose, Frodo being unable to live on, wasn't set up properly), loses itself in constant fade-outs. Tragic, complex characters are reduced to comedy and Shakespearean pantomime. Something as difficult to screw up as Eowyn's duel against the Witch King is rendered in a flat, non-dynamic manner. I wouldn't call ROTK awful, and some parts are spectacular, but arguments against it are far from invalid.
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  7. Ender Sai Chosen One

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    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
  8. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

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    star 6
    I think deus ex machina gets thrown around like it's a bad word sometimes. Sure, it's a total contrivance reliant on the first movie that the eagles will show up in ROTK because we never saw the eagles outside of being there to rescue people. The books at least set it up in that Gandalf talks to Radagast who talks to the king of the eagles who then rescues Gandalf from Orthanc and says something like, "Yo, Radagast had a word with me, I figured you'd need help." Later on the king of the eagles (Gwaihir, right?) rescues the reborn but frail Gandalf from his battle with the Balrog (because Galadriel sent him to search for Gandalf). This eagle then watches the fellowship for Gandalf and eventually takes Gandalf to Mount Doom to save Frodo and Sam. So in the context of the book, it works - it doesn't explain why they don't just take the eagles to Mount Doom, but I suppose it's because Sauron would notice far easier than a small company of folks sneaking in. Whatever - the book at least contextualizes things.

    The movies don't really do that, so the eagles showing up basically relies on you having read The Hobbit. Then The Hobbit movies make blatant allusion/tip of the hat to the film eagles, so it's this weird recursive contrivance.

    Anyways, deus ex machina - it has its place, and in the context of Tolkien, it can work; hell, it can work in almost any context, provided the miraculous is at least possible in the confines of the narrative. Tolkien even coined a term for this - eucatastrophe - and at least acknowledged how the eagles could be seen as deus ex machina.

    So yeah. All that.
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  9. Jarren_Lee-Saber Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2008
    star 4
    1. The Return of the King (extended)
    2. The Two Towers (extended)
    3. The Two Towers (theatrical)
    4. The Fellowship of the Ring (extended)
    5. The Fellowship of the Ring (theatrical)
    6. The Return of the King (theatrical)
    7. An Unexpected Journey (theatrical)
    8. The Desolation of Smaug (theatrical)
    9. An Unexpected Journey (extended) Adding TWO extra songs - one especially stupid - was a bad move PJ. Bofur's (my most hated dwarf) retarded tune in Rivendell is the only thing in Middle Earth that I skip!

    Three more to come :p
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  10. Legolas Skywalker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 6

    Like how you included every version of each film lol

    That Bofur song was taken from the Fellowship novel if you didn't know that and that song is awesome

    My list for each version

    1. Return of the King ( Extended Edition )
    2. Two Towers ( Extended Edition )
    3. Fellowship of the Ring ( Extended Edition )
    4. The Desolation of Smaug ( Theatrical Edition )
    5. An Unexpected Journey ( Extended Edition )
    6. Return of the King ( Theatrical Edition )
    7. Two Towers ( Theatrical Edition )
    8. Fellowship of the Ring ( Theatrical Edition )
    9. An Unexpected Journey ( Theatrical Version )

    Still waiting for Extended Edition for TDOS

    And the release for TABA
    Last edited by Legolas Skywalker, Jan 7, 2014
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  11. Darkslayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2013
    star 4
    Because I have more than one movie rated 10/10 :p
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  12. Darkslayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2013
    star 4
    1. Star Wars Prequels
    2. Lord of the Rings
    3. The Dark Knight
    4. The Hobbit (will probably move up to at least 3 after next year)
    5. Star Wars Originals
    6. Pirates of the Caribbean (First 3)
    7. Indiana Jones (Raiders, Crusade, and Skull)
    8. Iron Man
    9. Bourne Trilogy
    10. X-Men (First Class, X1, and X2)
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  13. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

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    star 6
    WAIT WAIT WAIT the Prequels over the Original Trilogy? You're fired.
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  14. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    Indeed.
    I get not rating them as the best ever, but putting the PT above them as well as other Trilogies that are better than the PT is like huh?
  15. Volderon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2007
    star 4
    That list is all kinds of wut. I'd put Indiana over POTC also.
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  16. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9

    These are people putting the Hobbit in their top 10 film trilogies list. They clearly aren't interested in depth, character or story but spectacle, shiny pretty pictures, AND ACTION SPECTACLE.

    I mean, if your trilogies don't include anything like Godfather, Trois Coloeurs or Wong Karwai's 2046 trilogy, you can assume the person is an uncultured child. :)
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  17. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

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    Well, of course it wouldn't include the Godfather, that's a duology. [face_plain]
  18. EHT New Films Manager

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    Sep 13, 2007
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    The Godfather 3 was nowhere near as good as the first two, but I can still accept its existence. Jaws, on the other hand, was a single standalone movie. :p
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  19. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9

    Come on, Godfather 3 - fairly maligned - was a solid conclusion to the story. Sophia Coppolla has, as a director, more than redeemed herself for Mary Corelone.

    Hobbit as top 10. Pffft. Russians have a word for this; nekulturny.
  20. Volderon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2007
    star 4
    I'd rather watch Mary Corleone than giant rock monsters fighting while the whole cast lives and not a scratch on them :p
  21. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Same. And I loved that Joe Abercrombie, a noted and respected new fantasy author (who is a better story teller than Tolkien in my view; not necessarily a better world-builder but a better teller of tales) was able to sum it up so beautifully:

    Well, overall a pretty entertaining way to spend an afternoon at the cinema, and a good deal better than An Unexpected Journey, I would say, which I found pretty disappointing about this time last year. This second two and a half hour instalment has some great sequences, some good performances and a stupendous Smaug, but follows a pretty similar formula, namely taking the bare bones of Tolkien’s really quite slight original and bloating them up, steroid-popping bodybuilder style, to twelve times their original size, losing their charm and personality along the way and replacing them with MASSIVE SPECTACLE to rival the MASSIVE SPECTACLE which was PETER JACKSON’S TOWERING ADAPTATION OF LORD OF THE RINGS. Hand me the script pump, cause we’ve got us some serious inflating to do. Things scarcely alluded to in the text are laid out before us in ponderous and often rather unconvincing detail. Sometimes with bird poo in their hair. MASSIVE BIRD POO. New characters are tossed cavalierly into the mix and familiar ones are backstorified like there’s no front story to worry about. Every trip or minor scare becomes a lengthy CGI-heavy action interlude. And everything is made TWICE DOUBLE AS HUMONGOUS AS IT WAS IN PETER JACKSON’S TOWERING ADAPTATION OF LORD OF THE RINGS.

    I must confess, though, the additions, though probably a good deal more offensive to the purist than last time, were at least a great deal less tedious, sometimes even quite sensible. The introduction of ass-kicking elf-maiden Tauriel and her attendant elf/dwarf love triangle could have been cringingly bad, but actually I didn’t mind it, and if you’re going to go off-piste, then adding maybe a female character or two in the entire world is not a bad thing to do to the Hobbit. Additional time with Thranduil and Bard was well spent. There also seemed to be a bit more sense made of the Arkenstone, Thorin’s hunger for it, and Bilbo’s decision not to give it to him. A suicidal trip by Gandalf to find out something he was 99% sure of already made absolutely no sense and was totally pointless, mind you. The design was predictably brilliant, one would have to say, though Beorn looked a bit weird, didn’t he? And what about those prosthetic dwarf hands? In mid shot the dwarves would all be standing about rather awkwardly looking as if they had hairy pink washing up gloves on.

    What I found a lot more peculiar than the additions were the subtractions. You’d think, with so little material to work with and so much time to fill, they’d damn well clutch every straw Tolkien wrote for them. But gone was the black stream in Mirkwood, gone was Gandalf’s trick of introducing the dwarves to Beorn two by two, gone were a lot of the subtleties. In their place we got ACTION. ACTION TO RIVAL THE TOWERING ACTION OF PETER JACKSON’S ACTIVE ADAPTATION OF LORD OF THE RINGS. It really didn’t rival Lord of the Rings, though. Generally there was way too much CGI for my taste, and the action had lost any sense of shock, impact and danger, often it was pretty hard to really follow what was going on with the plunging camera angles and writhing CGId heroes. The barrel ride became an interminable white water barrel-themed fight with super-graceful hopping elves and roley-poley funny dwarves getting the best of what struck me as not very well CGId Orcish Hordes. Then we had the weighty additions of an interminable fight between super-graceful hopping elves and not very well CGId Orcish Hordes on the rooftops of Laketown which I must have missed last time I read the book, and an even lengthier fight between roley-poley funny dwarves and a brilliantly voiced and CGId dragon, with the forges of Erebor re-imagined as a gigantic theme-park ride which I definitely missed in the book, and which ended inexplicably with Smaug deciding to leave the dwarves in possession of the mountain and flapping off to Laketown. A MASSIVE DRAGON FLYING AT A MASSIVE LAKETOWN TO RIVAL THE MASSIVENESS OF ETC. ETC.

    Everything was outsize. Smaug’s hoard has become a veritable mountain under the mountain. I mean that dragon really has got himself A METRIC CRAP-TON OF GOLD DOWN THERE. Dol Guldur ain’t so much a ruined tower as A SPRAWLING RUINED SORCEROUS ULTRA-CITY full of skulls and spikes and crumbly bridges and cages from Evil Wizards r Us that leaves you wondering why Sauron chose to downsize to Barad Dur. Bard’s Black Arrow, rather than being, you know, an arrow, is THE LAST GIANT RIFLING HARPOON TALLER THAN A MAN which has to be shot not from, you know, a bow, but from THE LAST OF THE GIANT DWARVEN FOUR-ARMED MEGA BALLISTAS ON TOP OF A HUGE TOWER. One scratches one’s head because, quaint though this may sound, bigger really isn’t always better. The best moments were often the small things – Thorin’s profile matched against the great stone profile of his grandfather’s statue as he says he’s nothing like his grandfather, Thranduil getting all tetchy and elven-weird in his tree-root halls, or the nimble details of Martin Freeman’s performance as Bilbo which might actually have worked even better if the hoard behind him was, I dunno, just the size of a large hill. Everything was made EPIC. Rather than just following Bilbo, and when people leave him, letting them go, we followed Thranduil after we left the elf kingdom, followed Fili and Kili when they were left behind in Laketown, followed Gandalf on his ridiculous one man expedition into Dol Guldur. Loads of weighty strands all going on at the same time? That’s not really the Hobbit, that’s Lord of the Rings.

    Look, it’s better than the last film. Look, it’s a fun way to pass an afternoon. Look, it has some wonderful design, and some great visual ideas, and some pretty creditable performances. But it’s not very memorable. It doesn’t really know what it wants to be. A childish tale of fun with the funny dwarves and their naturalistic charming hobbit companion? A weighty and pompous prequel Lord of the Rings doesn’t need? A stirring action adventure with a short leading man? In the end what I loved about Jackson’s adaptations of the Lord of the Rings was that, in spite of what he cut and what he added, in spite of the small liberties and the amped-up action, he somehow achieved the alchemical balancing act of making the films feel like The Lord of the Rings. What I don’t like about Jackson’s adaptations of the Hobbit is that they just don’t feel like The Hobbit.


    AT ALL.

    *gotta star whole word
    Last edited by Jedi Merkurian, Jan 11, 2014
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  22. Legolas Skywalker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 6

    Pfft, Bilbo and Thorin fell to their death :p
  23. Legolas Skywalker Force Ghost

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    Sep 3, 2012
    star 6
  24. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

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    All valid criticisms - but what was everyone expecting The Hobbit to be?
  25. laurethiel1138 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 6, 2003
    star 4
    Not to mention the part about a whole bunch of them (including Kili and Bilbo) being smashed betwixt the mountain path and a falling Stone Giant. No matter how hardy one's constitution is, this had to hurt.

    Lauré :)
    Last edited by laurethiel1138, Jan 7, 2014
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