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Thread: The Hobbit

  1. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by AffirmitiveAnxiety View Post
    Also I disliked the overuse of CGI, which is such a cliche gripe, but applicable here. Why was Azog ENTIRELY CGI based exactly? He looked like an undercooked gingerbread man with scars on.
    yes, someone ate his gumdrop buttons as a baby, and he never was quite the same after.

    I'm extremely interested in how they will handle Smaug. In Tolkein's world dragons are highly intelligent creatures who don't really ally to anyone. They are a bit 'voice of Saruman' as well in their ability to mislead and employ double-speak. Not to mention hypnotise people, although this last point is somewhat questionable given that Tolkein's idea of magic is....quite subtle and he rarely directly mentions the term or even gives much description of spells apart from a few Gandalf employs.
    Gandalf uses more conventional magic early in The Hobbit, but as his writing progresses into LotR and other tales, you see him using magic more as part of something's "essence" rather than as a power that can be wielded and controlled as some kind of natural force like the conventional idea of magic. This is something Jackson did not really port into his movies; his wizards and spellcasters all seem to be more like RPG spellcasters and IMO it cheapened it enough that I just didn't enjoy that change.

    In actuality, Gandalf and Saurman were Maiar (lesser angels) and Sauron I think was a major Maiar, the right-hand of Morgoth who was a Valar (the highest level of supernatural being under Illuvatar = God, to whom Illuvatar handed off overseeing of the earth). The Balrogs were also Maiar -- just dark or fallen ones. Which is why Gandalf and Durin's Bane were so equally matched. But it wasn't really conventional magic they were wielding, even if they had that power; it was one force of being pitted against another force of being ... like pitting fire against water and the stronger nature will win. The same with the High Elves -- they burned brightly, as part of the eternal race, and had their own inner force/nature that could be pitted against others.

    Anyway, Dragons are rather similar. They are a force with their own strength of will and essence that easily dominates over mortal creatures. it's possible that they might have originated as Maiar themselves and are that powerful on their own.
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  2. #142
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    yes, someone ate his gumdrop buttons as a baby, and he never was quite the same after.



    Gandalf uses more conventional magic early in The Hobbit, but as his writing progresses into LotR and other tales, you see him using magic more as part of something's "essence" rather than as a power that can be wielded and controlled as some kind of natural force like the conventional idea of magic. This is something Jackson did not really port into his movies; his wizards and spellcasters all seem to be more like RPG spellcasters and IMO it cheapened it enough that I just didn't enjoy that change.

    In actuality, Gandalf and Saurman were Maiar (lesser angels) and Sauron I think was a major Maiar, the right-hand of Morgoth who was a Valar (the highest level of supernatural being under Illuvatar = God, to whom Illuvatar handed off overseeing of the earth). The Balrogs were also Maiar -- just dark or fallen ones. Which is why Gandalf and Durin's Bane were so equally matched. But it wasn't really conventional magic they were wielding, even if they had that power; it was one force of being pitted against another force of being ... like pitting fire against water and the stronger nature will win. The same with the High Elves -- they burned brightly, as part of the eternal race, and had their own inner force/nature that could be pitted against others.

    Anyway, Dragons are rather similar. They are a force with their own strength of will and essence that easily dominates over mortal creatures. it's possible that they might have originated as Maiar themselves and are that powerful on their own.
    Oh yeah I agree completely. In fact I was reading up on Sauron again because by the Third Age he was completely gone into this...parroting of Melkor and actually he is more interesting than that as a character, which is revealed in the Silmarillian and Unfinished Tales.

    I always found it interesting that:
    "The evils of the world were not at first in the great Theme, but entered with the discords of Melkor." However, "Sauron was not a beginner of discord; and he probably knew more of the Music than did Melkor, whose mind had always been filled with his own plans and devices."
    Also good point on mentioning the Maiar and how Sauron was of a, for want of a better term, higher level than those of the Istari. Even though many who read the Silmarillian and Unfinished Tales seemed to come to the conclusion that Gandalf, for example, was his equal. But there were restrictions on what they could do and I think it is important to remember why.

    After all, they were there to guide, influence and motivate. But not to dominate or lead in a structured fashion.

    You are right about PJ's interpretation of the spellcasting. I also thought the same, unfortunately in this modern era of popular culture, there is a lot of appeal made to those who get off on big whooshy effects.
    'One of (Lucas) Cranach's masterpieces, discussed by (Joseph) Koerner, is in it's self-referentiality the perfect expression of left-hemisphere emptiness and a precursor of post-modernism. There is no longer anything to point to beyond, nothing Other, so it points pointlessly to itself.' - Iain McGilChrist

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  3. #143
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    I loved it. I was 1st disappointed that the book was turned (intended to be turned in to) three movies.

    Unlike the LOTR the hobbit isn't that long but then again it does have quite a lot of plot twists that could be turned in to lengthy videos I realized after watching the movie. It only goes to show that LOTRs could have been turned in to five movies - though I wouldn't have done so if I was to make the movie myself.

    Besides I am never a complainer. I like to enjoy things.

  4. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by AffirmitiveAnxiety View Post
    Also good point on mentioning the Maiar and how Sauron was of a, for want of a better term, higher level than those of the Istari. Even though many who read the Silmarillian and Unfinished Tales seemed to come to the conclusion that Gandalf, for example, was his equal. But there were restrictions on what they could do and I think it is important to remember why.
    hard to tell. I mean, if Gandalf were his equal, you'd think the war would be a waste of time. And why not just send in other Maiar to pull an Avengers on Sauron and drag him off? But there was the issue about not wanting to interfere and to let the mortals conduct their own affairs.

    Olorin (Gandalf) was interesting, from what I recall, while Saruman was eager for the chance to go to Middle-Earth and had no concerns about his own competency, Olorin was far more humble and tried to refuse the task, feeling he was not capable. In a way he showed far more maturity, as well as a bent that was not towards power such as Saruman did. Which is probably also why he could be trusted with Narya, the ring of fire. I think Gandalf did a good job at not dominating mortals but simply presenting them with choices and aiding them. It's also why a domineerer like Saruman called Gandalf an old fool and a meddler (because he worked behind the scenes rather than more overtly).
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  5. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by AffirmitiveAnxiety View Post
    Also I disliked the overuse of CGI, which is such a cliche gripe, but applicable here. Why was Azog ENTIRELY CGI based exactly? He looked like an undercooked gingerbread man with scars on.
    Really? I thought that was a HUGE improvement. He actually looked natural and formidable, unlike a lot of the orcs (bent over people in masks and make-up) from the LOTR films.

    If he looked like "an undercooked gingerbread man with scars on," what makes you think that it's the fault of "CGI" in general and not the artists responsible for his concept and execution, which can be done poorly or well, like anything else? Sorry, I just don't think that the snobbery some people display against CGI is justified. It just kinda strikes me as a fashionable philistinism.
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  6. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    Really? I thought that was a HUGE improvement. He actually looked natural and formidable, unlike a lot of the orcs (bent over people in masks and make-up) from the LOTR films.

    If he looked like "an undercooked gingerbread man with scars on," what makes you think that it's the fault of "CGI" in general and not the artists responsible for his concept and execution, which can be done poorly or well, like anything else? Sorry, I just don't think that the snobbery some people display against CGI is justified. It just kinda strikes me as a fashionable philistinism.
    I agree actually, at least about snobbery towards CGI. I hold no such bias, merely that in this instance it was used a great deal and in high resolution it becomes very jarring and obvious.

    They used it well enough in the past three films and the technology continues to advance.
    'One of (Lucas) Cranach's masterpieces, discussed by (Joseph) Koerner, is in it's self-referentiality the perfect expression of left-hemisphere emptiness and a precursor of post-modernism. There is no longer anything to point to beyond, nothing Other, so it points pointlessly to itself.' - Iain McGilChrist

    Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
    "Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
    Piglet was comforted by this.
    - A.A. Milne.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AffirmitiveAnxiety View Post
    I agree actually, at least about snobbery towards CGI. I hold no such bias, merely that in this instance it was used a great deal and in high resolution it becomes very jarring and obvious.

    They used it well enough in the past three films and the technology continues to advance.
    I guess I'm a utilitarian, because I have no issues with tech being used except in accordance with what it is trying to accomplish. If 3D makes sense and is utilized well in a movie (like Hugo), then it should be used. If it makes sense for the camera angle to be able to go to impossible places, then use it.

    If CGI can be used to accomplish something that could not be accomplished otherwise or to accomplish it better (I think overall my favorite Jackson CGI characters are Gollum and Kong -- Kong especially seemed to be done very very well, to create a giant ape with a distinct personality and exquisite responses, I felt he was real), then use it.

    But then we get stuff like the disaster in "The Polar Express," where the characters didn't look quite human but were somehow supposed to connect naturally with a children's audience, or tech being used spuriously without a lot of skill and forethought or taking the place of decent characterization and story.

    Everything has its purpose, but I think it all has to be submitted to the vision of the film and the purpose it is hoping to accomplish rather than just being "because we can." That's the only restriction I think I would personally place on tech.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  8. #148
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    The Polar Express was Tom Hanks' old-man wet dream over "new, shiny motion capcha!"
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    I thoroughly enjoyed it and plan to go see it in 3D HFR. McKellen and Freeman in particular were exceptional.

    To be honest, I never particularly liked the book (it was assigned reading in grade school, though I have read it a couple of times since) with the exception of Gandalf and Smaug. I like to treat the Middle Earth films as completely separate entities - I adore the books they were adapted from, but the films have their merits as well and I've long since stopped expecting them to be directly comparable (for example, Faramir is one of my favourite characters in the books, but also in the films, but for completely different reasons because they essentially butchered his character from the novel).

    The recurring "misty mountains" musical theme was brilliant, as is the rest of the score by Shore, but its use in the film was a bit questionable (snippets taken directly from the LotR films? wtf was with the terribly misplaced music used for Thorin's face-off with Azog?).

    I thought the eagles were animated far better than in LotR, anatomically-speaking, which was nice (though again as in every other cinematic representation of eagles, they used Red-tailed Hawk calls). The riddle scene was well done if a little too brightly lit. I wasn't too bothered by the pace except in the goblin escape scene, which felt too drawn out and a bit like something out of Indiana Jones.

    My biggest complaint is probably the portrayal of Radagast - while we are given comparatively little information about him than the other Istari, I thought it was a bit ridiculous. I can (maybe) deal with the rabbit sled, but the bird feces? It seemed a bit shameful for a Maiar even though we are to understand that he was eccentric and more interested in the affairs of the earth than the ruling races.

    I'm looking forward to how they deal with Smaug in the next films, especially musically.

  10. #150
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    The Hobbit was a waste of 3 hours and $10.

    If they think I will go on watching the sequels, they have another thing coming. I am so upset about it.

    It was stretched out longer than it needed to be.. pacing just very wrong.

    They are being very GREEDY like the harry potter and twilight folk, splitting up the last book to roll in extra cash. So 2-3 shitty movies instead of one EPIC movie.

    So.. the hobbit series will NOT be in my limited bluray collection... nor will I watch the movie again.



    The only scene which I thoroughly enjoyed was the dwarf song... wow. So very well done. It was just beautiful.
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