October 22, 2014 at 10:06 am #164164
I recently watched the first two installments and I’m quite shocked on the non-significant reactions.
I wasn’t a big fan of “The Lord of the Rings Trilogy” (I find it good, but not outstanding), but I have to tell you, this “The Hobbit Trilogy” is basically the same. Notable director, decent screenplay, good performances, nice visual effects and battle scenes – so where are the Oscar nominations? It’s clearly on radar each year – why they keep ignoring it? It’s not like the race is so strong.
I always hated the terrible (almost non) female parts in both these Trilogies and they are freakin’ long (almost hard to sit through), but I’m really curious why the Academy decided not to like the same thing they liked and adored before?October 22, 2014 at 10:37 am #164166
Well my whole issue with the Hobbit series is this: pacing. It’s one book but let’s make it three movies was a good idea in concept but when so much is going on in the last two and not a lot in the first that bugs me.October 22, 2014 at 10:45 am #164167
I think the hobbit films are good, but nowhere near as good as LOTR. The story of LOTR needed all three long films, while the hobbit feels much more action-heavy and overstretched. All the action sequences in LOTR are straight from the book, and have major implications on the storyline. That’s part of why (while I’m still excited) I’m a bit wary of the new Hobbit film, which has the Battle of the Five Armies. The point that they are at in the story is really close to the end, but they feel the need to put a three hour long battle sequence to film. I can practically visualize every frame of what they have left to tell, and I could see it coming in at a slick, well-paced hour and being very satisfying.
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Ok, here goes LOL. I didn’t hate The Hobbit movies, but I was irritated at some of the creative decisions and don’t think they’re good films. The overly long exposition—seriously, it took 40 minutes for Bilbo to leave Bag End on his adventure. The Erebor flashback/histories looked like cartoons…and were probably even longer than the much more epic and compelling history prologue that begins LOTR. I hate the Azog change from the book. I was probably most bothered by the over-reliance on visual effects, which reduced the elements of LOTR—the natural New Zealand scenery, the hybrid computer-model-set effects—that made the trilogy so successful, iconic and such a vividly real rendering of Middle Earth. The Hobbit underground sequence was so over-the-top that I did agree with the critics who called Goblin Town one big video game. This was added upon in the second film with that ridiculous river fight and the even more ridiculous half-hour Smaug fight with the gold cast and fire. Ugh…these are not good action sequences…Jackson feels some need to one-up his previous battles but now we’re in the realm of the absurd and again the video game-ic. Look at the Battle of Helms Deep in Two Towers…or the end of Fellowship when Boromir is killed. They are incredible sequences and feel like real battles. Something tells me this Battle of 5 Armies won’t come close.
Why Lord of the Rings is better:
– better screenplay and story…greater fidelity to the books. 3 3-hr Hobbit films for a 150-page book…such a mess and they lose the tone of the book. Plus, the drama and gravitas are greater in LotR. As is the EMOTION, which is not forced.
– better characters…seriously missing Aragorn now aren’t you? Now we understand how vital his character was. They try to recreate his magic with Thorin and Kili but they don’t have the same raw magnetisim as Viggo. Look at his entrance at Bree…so dramatic and iconic. Nothing in the Hobbit comes close.
– better cinematography…The Hobbit looks like every other fantasy-sci-fi film that followed Fellowship of the Ring. Oversaturated, glossy colors, too perfect looking, CGI light everywhere, digital camera movements. There’s little to no realism. LotR set the bar and offered wonderful color tones, camera trickery, and most importantly looked fresh.
– better use of visual effects…blending models, CGI, and real sets = much better success. Now almost every orc is digital…why???
– where is New Zealand in The Hobbit? All the backgrounds are created digitally, as are sets.
– You cannot possibly say The Hobbit movies are on the same level as the earlier films. Watch Fellowship of the Ring again…it is one of the all-time great spectacle adventure films. I think it comes down to the reasons why the films were made. Nobody thought LotR would be a massive success. It was more a product of guerilla filmmaking and established the New Zealand VFX industry. Their heads were in the right places…not so sure for The Hobbit.October 22, 2014 at 12:54 pm #164169
All I know is that I watched “The Lord of the Rings Trilogy” 2 months ago for the first time and I cannot see much difference between the two. Yeah I prefer “The Lords of the Rings” as well, but it’s not like “The Hobbit Trilogy” is bad.October 22, 2014 at 6:44 pm #164170
I definitely understand some of the major criticisms of the Hobbit trilogy. It definitely did not need to be three films (one of the bad effects of the Harry Potter series splitting Deathly Hallows into 2 films is that now every popular book series that is turned into a film series does the same thing (e.g. Hunger Games, Twilight, Divergent etc.)). It could be 2 films, or one three and half hour film. And yes, there are too many characters (14 dwarves, Gandalf, and Bilbo versus the 9 members of the Fellowship). Aside from Thorin, and maybe Balin, the dwarves are interchangeable. And there is definitely a more obvious use of CGI and less practical effects (the orcs being obviously CGI is a shame, as the ones in the original trilogy looked great in prosthetics).
Yet there are many positives to this series. Martin Freeman is great as Bilbo (the pity of Gollum scene from AUJ and his dealing with Smaug in DOS being his best scenes yet) and Evangeline Lilly fits in surprisingly well as Tauriel (a film-only character). Yes, she’s involved in a love triangle, as the haters like to point out, but Tauriel hasn’t yet been portrayed as being solely focused on Kili, but instead on the betterment of all of Middle-Earth. Richard Armitage, Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch are also nailing their roles as Thorin, Bard, and Smaug. The returning players (Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, Andy Serkis, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, and Orlando Bloom) all slip into their roles as if they never left. And the action scenes are inventive, the barrel scene being my favorite.
Is this on the level of the original trilogy? No, that was once-in-a-lifetime accomplishment, and it would be unreasonable to think lightning would strike twice, especially for a series based on a book that is considered lighter and less substantial than LOTR. But this isn’t near the Star Wars prequel trilogy disaster. Of course, this could all blow up in their face with the finale and then I’d rethink my position. But for now, I’m willing to give Peter Jackson and company their chance to end the Middle-Earth saga on a high note.October 22, 2014 at 7:37 pm #164171
I think it mirrors the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy. Both filmmakers…Lucas and Jackson…created industries around them. They have to support (had in Lucas’ case) thousands of people and jobs. The quality became less important than the potential revenue. George Lucas himself was caught on camera lamenting that Star Wars Episode I wouldn’t be able to beat Titanic at the box office. The switch for him happened after Empire. I wish Return of the Jedi was made to the same level of the first two films. In the case of The Hobbit, in some ways it’s worse, a beloved piece of literature was butchered and recast as Jackson’s story. Some of his changes they claim were based on the appendices are plain bad.October 22, 2014 at 8:14 pm #164172
^I know that some of the changes originate from the Silmarillion, and are just jumbled in to expand the film. Honestly, the Hobbit should have been two films, with the dividing line being the barrel scene. In this situation, you don’t need Azog at all, you can get rid of Legolas, and ditch that whole Elf/dwarf romance. Also, slim down the action sequences, and you absolutely have enough time for the 40 minutes that it would take to end it.
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I like “The Hobbit” movies well enough, but I loved the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy — or, more accurately, “Fellowship of the Ring” was a very slow build and then I loved “Two Towers” and “Return of the King.” They are very similar trilogies, which I think may be one of the problems. Peter Jackson is basically going through the same motions for nine more hours. And I don’t think its characters are as compelling. Most of the drawfs are fairly interchangeable to me.October 22, 2014 at 9:34 pm #164174
They also seem to be setting everything up like OMG this is important! The slow mo of the ring falling, the nameless “evil” rising, the implications of the dragon helping Mordor….it would’ve worked better I think in not forcing that stuff and staying more true to the innocent, unaware tone of the book. No need to set up Lord of the Rings in every possible instance. I agree, two films would have sufficed. It’s more interesting if we don’t know where the hell Gandalf went.October 22, 2014 at 10:28 pm #164175
I actually didn’t mind the Gandalf part, because that at least was an element of the book. McKellan also had the most compelling performance so far, so he can have more screen time. The other LOTR references were unnecessary, but that one was fine.
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