Re: The Hobbit: Second In What Appears To Be A Series of Dyspeptic Reviews

1

24 fps or 48?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 2:50 PM
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I don't know --we saw it in 2D, not 3D, but if different theaters are showing at different frame rates, I don't know which we saw. There was something visually weird going on when the camera panned fast; it was sort of nauseatingly hard to focus.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 2:54 PM
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It seemed an incredibly odd (read: self-indulgent) choice on Jackson's part to split the book into thirds. Then I heard from my former co-blogger that he really liked the movie. That confused me. But now your review has reassured me that waiting for it to come out on DVD, which I have to do regardless for limp-related reasons, isn't such a terrible thing.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 2:56 PM
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Supposedly the 48 fps 3D version is laughably fake-looking.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 2:57 PM
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To be fair, I wasn't crazy about the Lord of the Rings movies; I saw the first, thought it was a remarkably good job on what would be a very difficult project, and walked away thinking that I hadn't realized that as much as I loved the books, turns out I had no desire to see them as movies.

If you loved the LotR movies, you'll like this better than I did, because you can at least wave at all the same characters and scenery. Frodo has a cameo, Gandalf's all over the place, Elrond and Galadriel show up, and NZ is still the prettiest scenery there is. But Jesus Christ, there weren't thirty seconds between one character looking portentously off into the distance and the next. If the music is continuously swelling dramatically, it doesn't work.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 3:01 PM
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I like the way Tim Burke broke it down this summer. How it compares to Peter Jackson's approach, I dunno.

I did reread the Hobbit yesterday, for the first time in forty years. It is a good book (mainly aimed at children) built on the Middle Earth mythos.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 3:08 PM
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I find it difficult to fathom how a single book of middling length can be made into three very long movies without including lots of fat that really should have been trimmed.

Moreover, though I liked the LotR movies just fine, I was dismayed in the wake of having seen them to discover that each time I read the books to my kids, I conjure in my mind images of Orlando Bloom as Legolas, Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn, and so on.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 3:09 PM
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Good. Enough with this.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 3:14 PM
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If Jackson wanted to make something nine hours long, he should have made a TV series. As well as being continuously annoying throughout, it also ended in the middle of noplace (just post-eagle rescue), no plot closure at all. There wasn't that much extra plot -- some backstory about Dwarf/Orc wars with a whole lot of big CGI battlescenes, and some Radagast the Brown with a sled pulled by bunnies, which will, I assume, figure largely in the videogame version.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 3:15 PM
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I always take a stack of turtles to the theater in case I get bored.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 3:22 PM
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And … if you get bored, you have sex with them?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 3:23 PM
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7: I'm quite happy to conjure images of Viggo.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 3:29 PM
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And ... if you get bored, you have sex with them?


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 3:31 PM
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12: yeah, I figured someone would say that. And fair enough. It's just that I don't want my imagination hemmed in by Viggo's extraordinary jawline or Orlando's smouldering eyes. I mean, I can't remember what those characters used to look like, before I saw the films, in my mind's eye. Y'know?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 3:32 PM
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Funny, I didn't have that problem at all, except for Gandalf, and there it wasn't a problem. I think Ian McKellan was close enough to the image I already had that it got overwritten, but not in a bad way, and the rest of them were wrong enough that they didn't mess with the pictures in my head.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 3:34 PM
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Someone was joking on twitter that when kids are assigned to do a book report on The Hobbit, they'll just read the book instead of watching the movies since that will take less time.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 3:45 PM
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I'm waiting for the hour-and-a-half recut after the third one hits BluRay.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 4:00 PM
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Harper's Index says that the cost to make and market The Hobbit was $1 billion. Wow. That ... sort of blows my mind. Is that, um, normal?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 4:50 PM
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Is it normal for it to take a billion dollars to make and market The Hobbit?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 4:51 PM
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18:$200-300 million is not crazy for a tentpole


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 5:05 PM
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bob made me laugh! Unless "tentpole" means something I'm not aware of.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 5:09 PM
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This guy I know from work makes and markets billion dollar movies, but he's actually a bit of a strange dude.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 5:14 PM
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"Tentpole Movies" are the big openers with thousands of screens

1st GI Joe $175 million budget
Avengers $220 million budget

And who knows what those IMDB numbers mean or include...foreign prints?

The Hobbit, like LOTR is three openers


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 5:15 PM
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First thought: "Morgan Freeman was in The Hobbit?"
Second thought: "Sally had a crush on a 75-year-old man?"
Third thought: "Wait, did I misread something?"


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 5:20 PM
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Now you've got me thinking about Morgan Freeman's tent-pole, apo. Thanks a bunch.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 5:29 PM
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That ... sort of blows my mind. Is that, um, normal

No. You seem very level headed and imperturbable.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 5:48 PM
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bob made me laugh! Unless "tentpole" means something I'm not aware of.

If 'tentpole' means something else, what was that sound you made?


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 5:49 PM
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23: Ah.

||

Bill Moyers had Bruce Bartlett and Yves Smith on this evening. I thought: Ah, this should be interesting, two iconoclasts within their respective parties. Eventually, as I watched and listened, I felt: Right, I remember why you two are each weird. Bartlett said he thought we should go over the fiscal cliff permanently, it was the only way to cut defense spending and stimulate the economy (never mind the deeply harmful cuts to discretionary spending). Smith said that Obama clearly wants to cut entitlement programs and is just looking for an excuse to do it, having fully bought into deficit-hawk rhetoric; Obama is not a liberal at all, in any way.

This was the first time I've felt an Obot impulse. "Fuck you", I said to the tv, to Yves Smith. I actually felt a moment of fear, because Obama is a black box.

|>

Please continue, as you were. No threadjack.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 5:50 PM
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$1b does seem pretty staggering considering LOTR cost only $300m total. But it might be an overestimate; other sources hover around $300m each for the first two movies (with the third a lot less because it was the result of too much footage in the originally-conceived two).


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 5:55 PM
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Still, Martin Freeman's very nearly our age, still pretty gross *urgh, mum, shut up*

Kid A doesn't like Martin F much I don't think, he has been tainted by the Moffat brush of hate for her. And Kid B doesn't really notice anyone without a guitar and/or microphone.

Can't imagine they would ever admit to thinking anyone my age is attractive! Kid B said to me the other day that her French teacher had just discovered Twitter - "Really? I thought everyone knew about that by now?" - but apparently Mrs V is OLD. (About 35.)


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 5:55 PM
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25 made me laugh louder than parsi did at 20 I'll bet.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 6:00 PM
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Basically "tentpole" is just an inherently hilarious word.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 6:09 PM
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Just saw it in 3D HFR. Especially at the beginning, HFR made it seem like people were walking around slightly sped up like three stooges or some comedy routine set to yakety sax. After I got used to it, it most closely reminded me of Mexican soap operas- where the lighting is sort of surreally bright and movements have this odd fluidity. The one thing HFR greatly improved was any shot with running water- Rivendell looked really amazing with all the waterfalls and rivers. Totally lifelike water which I've never seen onscreen before.
They did add some plot that ties into LOTR- stuff with Saruman and the head Nazgul, for those who have read the appendices of the Return of the King. Some of it was ridiculous though- I'm pretty certain that there will be many apt comparisons made between Radagast and Jar Jar.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 6:20 PM
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"Oh yeah? Oh, that's old."


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 6:22 PM
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34 was my post.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 6:23 PM
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If you loved the LotR movies, you'll like this better than I did

Nope.

A friend said he was going to see it today; I warned him away from the high-frame rate 3D, which does indeed make it look stagily bright like Mexican soap operas (or 80s BBC shows). I refrained from telling him how utterly unentertaining the movie was.

The Hobbit is more children's fiction than the main trilogy, and it had that children's-story quality of "first one thing happens! then another thing happens!" But that's a good reason to compress and structure the tale, not draw it out to capture every possible detail -- let alone look to supplementary material to flesh it out further.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 6:32 PM
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So this HFR thing reminds me of a question I had for our more technically minded, TV-owning commenters: Over Thanksgiving Smearcase and I stayed with some friends who had a fancy hi-def TV and we ended up watching a bit of the Godfather on cable, and it had this really odd picture quality, like it was filmed with a cheap video camera in the late '80s instead of in luscious 1970s film. Was that because they were showing a regular-def version over high-def cable, or regular-def cable on a hi-def TV or something? Or was it just bad compression over digital cable? Because it made me never want to watch a movie on whatever that setup was.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 6:56 PM
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37: there's a motion-smoothing feature on new TVs that does that. You can generally turn it off.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 6:58 PM
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38: Yep, the dreaded "Soap Opera Effect."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 6:58 PM
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One possibility is that they need to adjust their settings. See previous discussion here here. Or it could have been some other bad combo of the type you mention.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 7:01 PM
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15: Me also.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 7:09 PM
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Thanks for that last link Stormcrow. I've just bought a 22" Samsung LED TV for my bedroom and it looks terrible on regular cable. It also has a very narrow viewing angle. I bought it back hoping it was just a bum unit but the replacement is just as shit. I wish I still had my cheap 6 year old 19" Insignia but the cable input broke off on my latest move.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 7:12 PM
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Thanks! (Not that I'm going to buy a new TV any time soon.) So this HFR problem is not related.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 7:13 PM
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42: But I think the setting discussed there are more about getting rid of the "Soap Opera effect" in actual HD--not sure what it does for standard over HD. I find my LED/LCD Samsung has a pretty wide viewing angle, which I need in the room that it is in.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 7:16 PM
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Not that I'm going to buy a new TV any time soon

Saving up for the Bushmaster Why do you hate America?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 7:18 PM
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43: Don't know. Josh says in that thread. The soap opera effect is actually an artifact of the TV taking input shot at 24 fps and interpolating extra frames to bump it up to the standard video framerate.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 7:19 PM
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24 -- "budget" is usually production cost, not distribution cost, though some of the costs of distribution can be treated as costs of production, and sometimes distribution cost includes a distribution fee, which is how the studios make money on first dollar gross, and neither includes the costs to pay above the line talent, which is often the biggest cost of a film, except when they do. Confused? Welcome to the terrordome, where the money flows from investors to studios and well-represented talent.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 7:20 PM
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I guess that was actually to 23.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 7:22 PM
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Why are Hollywood and Silicon Valley banding together to find high tech ways to make movies look hideous?

This is probably my biggest old-fart complaint, but I HATE HATE HATE 3d. Although individual objects stand out from the screen, they also appear to be weirdly flat. It looks like a series of cardboard cut outs have been arranged in front of the screen and over the heads of the audience.

Is there, like, a finite amount of linear perspective in any image, so that if you want to move objects in front of the screen, you have to "use up" some of the depth in the object you are moving?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 7:25 PM
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"talent"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 7:25 PM
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46: Yeah, but the HFR thing means there are just a lot more frames of film, right? So nothing's being interpolated, unlike with the TVs.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 7:26 PM
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49-- if you stare deep within the blog and think of the current realities of the business, all will be illuminated to you and you shall have your answer.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 7:29 PM
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30: I may be impugning her tastes by calling it a crush. She's a big fan of the BBC Sherlock, thinks the star, Cumberbatch, is very strange looking, and likes Freeman's performance in the show. And after today's movie she's disappointed with him for having sold out (her sense of what it would mean to not have sold out is still a bit sketchy) and made a terrible movie. But I thought the post was funnier the way I wrote it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 7:30 PM
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I am with Helpy-Chalk. I actually don't even like surround sound. It's distracting when I'm watching something in front of me and I hear helicopters or giant insects or whatever behind me.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 7:33 PM
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As people often say, hi-def has been great for sports and a disaster for everything else.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 7:36 PM
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I get confused and think other people in the theater are making noise, until I successfully connect the noise to what's going on on-screen.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 7:36 PM
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Though I do like watching my cattle dog freak out when Merrill Lynch commercials play.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 7:37 PM
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3D movies only carry some of the depth information (binocular disparity) used by your brain to determine depth. Focal length (for your eyes, not the camera) is fixed for all the objects, which creates a mismatch for objects that are much closer than the screen. (For more distant objects it doesn't matter as much.). The way around this is basically not to have objects that are closer than the real screen distance as the center of onscreen attention.

Rob might also be objecting to 3D post-processing, which (in non-CGI movies) involves making a best-guess model of the shape of objects, which isn't necessarily terribly exact.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 7:41 PM
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57: If he starts to masturbate to cat litter commercials, he needs help.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 7:44 PM
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59: why? Did cat litter die or something?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 7:44 PM
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Interspecies fecalphilia never ends well if coated in clay dust.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 7:48 PM
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52: I actually knew the answer to that question. I was voicing it in more of a "Why, God, why?" sort of spirit.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 7:52 PM
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Many Samsung TVs have a setting called Movie Mode that will help with the soap opera effect as well.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 7:55 PM
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Or you could just cut you dog's balls off.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 8:05 PM
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64 to 63 (right?)


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 8:09 PM
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The animal protection groups urge you to cut the balls off your dog and then people wonder why human rights campaigns make some people nervous.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 8:10 PM
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Sorry, that was off topic. Was Smaug castrated or something? He had his own place for a century but nobody wanted to lay his eggs.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 8:13 PM
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If they do a flashback of Smaug's conquest of the Lonely Mountain, they should show Thrain putting an arrow into Smaug's balls to explain why there is only one dragon under the mountain.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 8:15 PM
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I liked some segments in the LOTR movies in a pure action-film/spectacle kind of way (and my god, New Zealand was an amazing backdrop). But it seemed utterly lacking in the magic I remembered from the books -- although I read the books a very long time ago. And some of the extended hobbit-focused scenes were unbearably corny and way too long. It sounds like this movie amps that up.

No one ever seems to make a fuss about implicit racism in the LOTR movies, it may have been there in the books as well but there was a lot of extra depth there and the visuals were not there either. But the movies played like nine hours of noble blond people killing twisted dark people.

For those interested, John Dolan (the Exile) trashes the first trilogy .


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 8:19 PM
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Basically it turns out that Clem Greenberg was right all along and flatness is a Good Thing.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 8:20 PM
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But surely Greenberg wouldn't think that what's good for painting is good for film?!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 8:25 PM
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Here.

Have some problematising.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 8:25 PM
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69

... But it seemed utterly lacking in the magic I remembered from the books ...

I didn't like the books and I didn't like the movies.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 8:25 PM
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Also, "Clem"?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 8:26 PM
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71: Hmm film is also inherently flat so should be amenable to much the same kinds of process. But no of course Greenberg would not in fact argue for flatness in the cinema. (In fact I think Greenberg thinks film inherently modern so can't be modern art as such. It gets modernity for free, doesn't earn it.)


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 8:27 PM
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I recall an interesting but not, apparently, hugely memorable talk at a Stanford mini-conference thing on film and philosophy called "Medium-Specificity [Defended? something like that]" that seemed reasonable enough.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 8:29 PM
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It was called "Medium-Specificity Defended"!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 8:34 PM
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69.last: There are plenty of criticisms to be had of the original trilogy, but Christ is Dolan ever barmy, in his reading of both the books and the films.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 8:37 PM
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The links in 72 are very interesting, especially the second one.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 8:37 PM
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79: agreed! I think I'm developing a bit of a crush on New Zealand.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 8:40 PM
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Won't you be disappointed when you get there and it really is Middle Earth.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 8:42 PM
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Given the length of the necessary flight, I don't think there's much risk of VW getting to NZ.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 8:51 PM
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82. LOTS of Valium.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 8:54 PM
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78 gets it exactly right. Dolan is incomprehensible.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 8:56 PM
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54: DOWN IN FRONT!


Posted by: OPINIONATED GIANT INSECT | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 8:59 PM
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Von Wafer and I are going to be on an Amazing Race team and lose on the first leg when we spend five minutes before boarding talking about how planes probably shouldn't work and then refuse to get on the damned thing.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 9:02 PM
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. And some of the extended hobbit-focused scenes were unbearably corny

At least there was no Tom Bombadil.
Hey come derry dol!


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 9:26 PM
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Ummmmmmm and just WHAT do you have against TOM FUCKING BOMBadil mcmcmcmcmmc?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 9:29 PM
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Nothing, nothing.
Hop along, my hearties!


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 9:31 PM
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ring a dong dillo!


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 9:32 PM
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Oldest and Fatherless: The Terrible Secret of Tom Bombadil


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 9:33 PM
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He's like the Tolkienian Cthulhu.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 9:34 PM
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With added doggerel.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 9:35 PM
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No one ever seems to make a fuss about implicit racism in the LOTR movies

There is some fuss.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 9:46 PM
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The movies, k-sky, the movies.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 9:59 PM
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I find the 48fps thing intriguing, mostly because it demonstrates how much of the "film look" is learned. I don't think there's anything particularly magic or natural about traditional 24fps film, but it has a particular look and we've learned it; similarly, television has a particular look, part of which is 60 interlaced frames per second (Another, optional part is flat lighting and everything being in focus, which gives even more of the soap-opera look). This 48fps thing is closer to the 60i of television, and most of us see it and have the television associations. If it becomes popular, I expect a younger generation will not consider it weird at all.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 9:59 PM
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The one thing never in short supply in the age of the Internet is somebody making a fuss about racism in this or that artifact.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 10:00 PM
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Obligatory:

"Tim, Tim Benzedrine!
Hash! Boo! Valvoline!
Clean! Clean! Clean for Gene!
First, second, neutral, park,
Hie thee hence, you leafy narc!"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 10:02 PM
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Well, there goes my longstanding (ever since The Office: the real one, I mean, the one with Ricky Gervais) crush on Martin Freeman, is all I have to say.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 10:03 PM
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I don't think I've ever read any Tolkien, except possibly The Hobbit. I did see the LOTR movies and I vaguely remember criticizing them to a Comp Lit grad student friend of mine, probably along classish lines, and he accused me of making fun of his field.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 10:06 PM
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I actually felt a moment of fear, because Obama is a black box.

Racist.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 10:12 PM
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91 seems kind of amusing, but it's really funny how seriously some of the commenters object that he's getting it wrong. I don't understand why people would take a piece of fiction that seriously unless it's something with more depth, like, you know, Pale Fire or the first season of Veronica Mars.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 11:03 PM
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ISTR a much less facetious attempt to make Bombadil out to be one of the whosits, the Valar—evidence was marshalled as to which one in particular it was.

The last part of 102 is obviously essear playing to type, and I appreciate that he does this for us.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 11:10 PM
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Burdened as he is with all those turtles, it can't be easy.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 11:18 PM
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I regret not going to visit New Zealand the last time I had a chance to take a longish trip (which was quite a while ago now).


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12-16-12 11:21 PM
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I'm just getting home from seeing it, so I haven't seen the thread, but part of why I'm home so late is the three hours it took with friends to pick apart everything that was intolerably horrible about it. Aside from the racism and sexism intrinsic to the story, it was totally Phantom Menace-like in its repetition of LANDSCAPE / EXPOSITION / FIGHT SCENE / LANDSCAPE / EXPOSITION / FIGHT SCENE. I fell asleep twice. The Gollum scene was kinda good and engaging, but only in relation to how shitty the rest of the movie was.

As a friend of mine pointed out, is there a reason the birds couldn't just take them to the Lonely Mountain, instead of dropping them off 20 miles away?


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 12:17 AM
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Poor Cate Blanchett had to slowly turn from the shoulders down while smirking like 15 times. Someone should give her an Oscar for slowly turning while smirking because she is a fucking champ.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 12:19 AM
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106.last / why don't the eagles just fly Frodo to Mt Doom?


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 12:47 AM
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Re: above

I find most LCD/LED hd tvs unwatchable for motion smearing and shitty general rendering of colour and resolution reasons. Total emperor's new clothes, especially with SD sources like ordinary broadcast TV. I've seen good ones, especially with high def sources, but they were hideously expensive. When our CRT telly crapped out a few years back I had to buy a plasma telly as every LED/LCD tv at a price I could afford was a significant step back in quality from the moderately priced CRT we'd already had.

And ditto on 5.1 sound (and hifis that use little shitty speakers and a subwoofer).


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 1:30 AM
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Just think, if they'd done it in 24 fps instead, it would have been SIX HOURS LONG.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 2:46 AM
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is there a reason the birds couldn't just take them to the Lonely Mountain, instead of dropping them off 20 miles away?

Maybe because they didn't want to get KILLED AND EATEN BY THE ENORMOUS FUCKING DRAGON THAT LIVES THERE.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 2:47 AM
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I have to buy a new TV. It will be smallish and mostly used for regular telly programmes. I don't plan to spend a lot of money. Any glaring pitfalls I should avoid?


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 3:22 AM
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Make sure you see it with ordinary TV or SD dvd, rather than some Pixar type HD demo.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 3:30 AM
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Didn't see LOTR, won't be seeing this. For once I'm entirely in agreement with JBS at 73 - I can't be having with any of the Inklings. If I want to read Beowulf, I'll read Beowulf, thank you very much. Less racist.

I fell asleep twice.

You mistake was to wake up in the middle.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 4:01 AM
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If I want to read Beowulf, I'll read Beowulf, thank you very much. Less racist.

OH I BEG TO DIFFER. DID YOU HEAR WHAT HE CALLED MY MOTHER?


Posted by: Opinionated Grendel | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 4:04 AM
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115. Yes. Still less racist.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 4:11 AM
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I haven't read LoTR since I was a kid, although a friend and I were discussing it a few years back, as he'd re-read it when the first film came out and was shocked at how deeply and undisguisedly racist it seemed reading it as a mature adult.

Ditto on the Inklings, though. LoTR I liked a lot as a kid, but I couldn't be doing with Lewis or any of the rest of Tolkien's output.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 4:26 AM
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107.--What the fuck was Galadriel doing in the Hobbit?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 4:31 AM
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Personally I fucking loved the Lord of the Rings. Still do. The passage from the fall of Isengard to the arrival of the Dead at Pellennor Fields is, in my view, really really fucking good. I dunno, it is probably too deep in my head to really think about.

CS Lewis? Again, luff him too much, I think. I liked the Perelandra novels as well, but that's more from the point of view of a child of left-wing atheist technocrat/academic parents seeing it as an artefact from Somewhere Else, I think. (the old v-effekt.)


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 4:36 AM
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I loved CS Lewis as a kid, but got pretty bored with LoTR. I just didn't like Frodo, I guess.

I really hated the movies, though, so even without liking the books that much I tend to agree with what Dolan writes.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 4:53 AM
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re: 119

Oh I loved LoTR as a kid (and I don't mean that to be patronising to people who continue to love it now), and it was a big gateway to other books for me. I've not read it for nearly 30 years, though, so I've no idea what my current self would think of it. I found most of Tolkien's other ouptut (which I suppose was never really intended for publication) tedious, though. And although I read all of the Narnia books, and Perelandra, etc. I can't say I enjoyed Lewis at all.*

* read them anyway, as I was that sort of kid.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 4:59 AM
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107.--What the fuck was Galadriel doing in the Hobbit?

In order to bulk out one rather short novel to three three-hour films, they've had to add in a lot of narrative Hamburger Helper about what all the other characters were doing while they were, as it were, off-stage from the point of view of the novel. It's kind of "Galadriel And Aragorn Are Dead".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 5:12 AM
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See, I have no idea what my current self would think of it coming to it without having already read it.

Why didn't you enjoy Lewis? I dunno, I should hate Lewis with such a passion, but I don't. So I'm quite curious about him.

I do hate his explicit apologetics. Sayers. That's another one with similar problems.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 5:14 AM
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Literally, what she seemed to be doing was flirting with Gandalf. Which came across oddly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 5:15 AM
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123: at least Sayers had the good manners to keep that sort of thing out of her novels.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 5:15 AM
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re: 123

I don't know why I didn't like him other than that I found his prose style and (in the Narnia books) many of the characters unappealing. I may have been [almost certainly was] too young for Perelandra when I read it so I expect I missed of most of what was interesting about it.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 5:26 AM
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Kind of an impossible question really (so, ttaM! Interrogate your younger self about taste!)

I think I was too young for Perelandra but then maybe if I was old enough it would have just made me very angry.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 5:32 AM
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re: 123.1

I remember the plot very clearly, and quite a few of the details, but little of the prose style, and when I read it, I wouldn't have picked up on the sorts of things -- whether political, or stylistic -- I might pick up on now. It'd be an interesting experiment to read it again.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 5:32 AM
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re: 127

Heh. Looking back, younger self had more patience for reading very long books, or books with turgid prose. Older self prefers 'tighter' fiction and is a lazier reader.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 5:33 AM
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Younger self had lots more free time.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 5:48 AM
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That is very very true. Depressingly true.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 5:56 AM
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More free time and less joint pain.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 6:27 AM
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First my ankles, now my hips. I'm hoping the knees keep holding.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 6:28 AM
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133. I'm hoping so too. Let me tell you from experience that when the knees start going the end is nigh.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 6:30 AM
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I've had knee pain off and on since my early twenties. Mostly exercise caused,* but as I get older, sitting down for long periods can bring it on. It's a PIT(not literal)A.

* twisting and bending a lot during kicking, but prior to that cycling and running both set it off.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 6:33 AM
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78 is exactly right. It's amazing to me that such a careful, thoughtful critique of those deeply flawed movies could be so completely wrong.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 6:44 AM
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124- I believe her exact final line was, "If you need help, I will come," which could just as easily been, "If you need come, I will help."


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 7:07 AM
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124: Yes! So weird. When she lightly pulls a tendril of his hair out of his face with the most delicate touch, she does it with a particularly erotic flair.

Why is it noble for dwarves to kill everything in their path to reclaim a highly contested living environment, while goblins who defend themselves against invaders are so much expendable flesh? Is it because dwarves sing musical interludes? Are they Zionists?


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 7:45 AM
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Why does the Goblin king have an infected scrotum hanging from his chin?

Why does Bilbo open his book, in the form of a letter to Frodo, with an explanation of what hobbits are?


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 7:47 AM
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Are they Zionists?

Kind of.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 7:48 AM
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@78 & 136

My favorite criticism of the LoTR films was from a guy who was annoyed that they completely missed the nuanced philosophical & theological themes of the trilogy because...

they left out the scene at Tom Bombadil's house.

Apparently that scene is the key to Tolkien's entire philosophical system...properly understood.

Hearing this I realized that, even though I liked the trilogy, The Hobbit, and even The Silmarillion, I would never truly grasp Tolkien fandom.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 7:50 AM
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Speaking of Inklings, I read a couple Charles Williams novels (Catholic supernatural stories?) a million years ago and kind of liked them. Maybe if I reread them now I'd be embarrassed.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 7:56 AM
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140: Oh shit, so their huge, hanging noses and minor-key songs, and their propensity to hoard gold? How can anyone tolerate this shit?


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 8:00 AM
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I don't even see keys.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 8:02 AM
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And why did Saruman look like Cher?


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 8:05 AM
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Did they bring back Christopher Lee for the Hobbit?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 8:09 AM
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They did, and he appears to be embalmed. Whoever did his eyeliner should be fired.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 8:13 AM
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Watler Murch explains to Roger Ebert why 3-D doesn't work with our brains and never will.


Posted by: Sheila | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 8:19 AM
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Galadriel, telepathically to Gandalf: "You have brought something- let me see it." Gandalf proceeds to unwrap evil phallic object.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 8:21 AM
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106: The Gollum scene was kinda good and engaging, but only in relation to how shitty the rest of the movie was.

My one kid went to see it at a midnight premiere and was for some reason motivated to send us lengthy negative review via e-mail. His take was quite similar to yours including the Gollum bit being the only decent part of the movie.

I think the Bilbo/Gollum interaction was well done (besides that it was hastily done--a lot of time was wasted on fighting and peril which now that I think about it, moves them lower on the excusability scale). I think it definitely captured Gollum well.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 8:35 AM
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I think it definitely captured Gollum well.

"It hurts us, it hurts us ... it freezes, it bites! Elves twisted it, curse them."


Posted by: Opinionated Gollum | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 8:38 AM
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I didn't need the mouseover to know who wrote 151.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 8:44 AM
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Heh. 151 reminds me [story probably told here before]. My wife does quite a good impression of Gollum, and she used to work with someone from Dudley who, for some reason or other, her work mates associated with Gollum. So, after a while, my wife's 'Gollum' voice developed a Dudley accent. Which was genuinely hilarious.

Anyway, one day I was having a bath, she found my old dictaphone and recorded herself as a 'Black Country' Gollum onto the tape, and waited until I was half dozing before sneaking in, putting the dictaphone next to my head and pressing play. I nearly shit myself.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 8:44 AM
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The people sitting in the back are not paying as much attention.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 8:45 AM
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153: I don't think you have told the story here before, and your wife is awesome.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 8:57 AM
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I think I'll wait for someone to recut the trilogy as a single 90-minute film that just tells the story of The Hobbit.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 8:58 AM
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Honestly, it'd still suck. I don't think there was a half hour worth saving in this episode. It'd suck less, but only by being shorter.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:05 AM
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156, meet 17.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:09 AM
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158: in the recut version, I take much less time to be pwned.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:10 AM
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I hate to say this, but I bet the decision to split the movie into three parts was driven much more by financial considerations than by artistic ones.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:13 AM
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Also, 153 is hilarious. The voice of Czech Dudley Gollum! This blog needs sound.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:15 AM
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I'm going to see all three movies, just as I had to see Star Wars episodes I-III. They may suck but I feel obligated to go. It's partly a sense that I can't trust people with good taste to judge whether or not I'll like a movie, and partly a sense of tribal solidarity.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:17 AM
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145: I am not a fan of the books (got very confused and TL;DR'd at the huge battle at the end of The Hobbit and barely started the next one) and have only seen the first movie on a bus from Houston to Austin in the middle of the night but I do remember thinking Saruman looked like The West Wing's Janel Moloney with a beard.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:23 AM
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partly a sense of tribal solidarity

You know, I think this may be a large part of why the damn movie (and SW I-III) were so awful -- because they were pretty sure they had a guaranteed tribal-solidarity audience regardless. I'm basically a member of the same tribe, but there are some prices I won't pay to show solidarity, and sitting through another six hours of this crap is well over it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:23 AM
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I couldn't make myself see Star Wars III, which would have been simply astounding to the the pre-teen me. I did get the gist of the plot from Lego Star Wars.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:26 AM
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And having seen Star Wars IV about a hundred times, I sort of knew where they had to go.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:26 AM
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I haven't seen Star Wars II or III. Couldn't be arsed after SW I.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:29 AM
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167: Same.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:30 AM
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162: If you want to be talked out of it, I can get more detailed about how it was bad. It was objectively bad as a movie at all, but also made me sad as a version of the Hobbit. Which is a children's book, and not important in the greater scheme of things, and you could almost certainly make a good movie that did violence to my conception of the Hobbit and I would be a pathetic nerd for objecting to it. But this movie I objected to both as a human being and as a nerd.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:33 AM
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I'll probably see it, but I say that often without ever making it to the theater. What I'd really like is to see that old cartoon again.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:34 AM
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I did get the gist of the plot from Lego Star Wars.

That's definitely the best way to approach the prequels.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:39 AM
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Ghost Yoda requires 1,250,000 points. I can't figure out if ghosts have any powers to make them worth it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:41 AM
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I haven't seen Star Wars II or III. Couldn't be arsed after SW I.

SW II is far from great but it's much better than SW I, and SW III is genuinely good.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:53 AM
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SW III is genuinely good.

Can I interest you in some Thomas Kinkade pictures?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:56 AM
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Many of which could double as sketches for the sets in the Hobbit.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:58 AM
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I was thinking The Hobbit was something Peter Jackson couldn't really screw up, but perhaps he's got a self-destructive bent, as do many of us.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:06 AM
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I'm going to see all three movies, just as I had to see Star Wars episodes I-III. They may suck but I feel obligated to go.

It was in this spirit that I read the latest, oh, 5 or 6 volumes of The Wheel of Time. ... Sweet mother of God, looking at the Wikipedia article, I see that this means I read well over a million and a half words of that series long after the point at which I'd stopped enjoying it. What the fuck?


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:20 AM
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I also see that someone who listened to all the WoT audiobooks would have spent 450 hours doing this. 450 hours. This makes me very sad. I mean, I suppose most audiobooks get played during otherwise-dead commuting time, but still.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:23 AM
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Let me tell you from experience that when the knees start going the end is nigh.

Fan-fucking-tastic to hear. After 7 months of running, I finally did something awful to my right knee yesterday, and now every step hurts, and stairs make me grimace. Just in time for a few days of strolling around NYC and staying in a 4th floor walkup!


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:28 AM
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I hate to comment with the enthusiasm of the newly converted, but barefoot style running (or whatever it is that I do), once I adjusted, has eliminated my knee pain and I've had no ankle pain since I strengthened the right muscles (it turns out that calves do something; who knew).


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:34 AM
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On the other hand, you can't tell the difference between injuries that heal and injuries that nag you forever until you give them a couple of months to heal. I did something to my foot a year or so ago running in those barefoot shoes that hurt for over a month, and I figured that I'd started getting old, and it was going to be a problem from there on out. Then it got better and I'm fine. So don't write your knee off for a while yet.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:35 AM
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181 to 179.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:36 AM
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179: Tendons, muscles, and bone heal. Cartilage doesn't. Depends on what you did to it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:43 AM
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Right -- the point is that x. doesn't know what he's hurt until it doesn't heal.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:44 AM
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180 makes my day but 184 makes me very sad indeed.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:47 AM
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Isn't x. a former serious athlete of some type or another?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:47 AM
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169: Shorter LB:

It shares the flaws of the genre and is also independently not good.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:47 AM
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I'm not sure internal character development should be in either an epic or a fairy tail. But it does not seem to me that it was a good idea to make Thorin moody. We lose all the amusing pompous speeches in the book.

Can anybody give me a link to the Lotr's fanfic told from a minor Orc in mordor's point of view?


Posted by: Robert | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:51 AM
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LB, what other books are in the first-year-associates-getting-into-trouble genre? I didn't know that I was in a genre, but it would probably help my marketing efforts to position myself into one, if I could only find it.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:52 AM
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Oh fuck. Feel free to delete 187.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:57 AM
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JP can you tell me about my genre?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:58 AM
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Can anybody give me a link to the Lotr's fanfic told from a minor Orc in mordor's point of view?

Do you mean Mary Gentle's Grunts,/a>?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:04 AM
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I was probably thinking of Double Billing, by whatsisname, Stratchey? Something like that? more than anything else, but I've read two or three more similar whose names aren't coming to mind.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:06 AM
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Double Billing is a memoir. Anything else?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:08 AM
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193: See Grisham, John?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:09 AM
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Oh wait, so someone has written about lawyers before? Am I writing in the lawyer genre?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:10 AM
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The lawyer genre is a bad genre and this book is also bad. Thanks, Michiko.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:11 AM
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I blame JP Stormcrow for all of this.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:13 AM
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In addition to the Radagast/Jar Jar similarity, there was a Vader-caliber "Noooooooooooooooo!!!!!" from the character who was literally one line in the book but has benn expanded to a multi-movie villian.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:17 AM
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urple, do you have anymore cinema recommendations for us?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:17 AM
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199: Which character?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:17 AM
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199: I actually counted three "Nooooo"s. And now I can't remember where they all were, but there was definitely more than one.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:18 AM
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I'm thinking of writing a Tom Bombadil movie.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:19 AM
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Azog.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:22 AM
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Who looked oddly like a bleached version of one of those Avatar kitty-people who'd put on weight.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:24 AM
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so he's handsome?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:26 AM
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198: So do I.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:28 AM
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204: Azog is supposed to be dead before the Hobbit even starts.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:33 AM
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That's what Thorin thought, he must have read the book instead of the script!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:36 AM
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AZOG!!!?!

Jesus, Peter Jackson.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:49 AM
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208: Perhaps that's why he cries, "NOOOOOOO!" He's expressing the existential horror of appearing a story that takes place after his death.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:50 AM
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Jesus, Peter Jackson.

No, it's "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph."

I don't understand Mormon theology at all.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:51 AM
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My perception is that the "endless Orcs" issue continues with this movie. Correct?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:53 AM
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Peter Jackson before he peters you.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:53 AM
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There are a couple of battle scenes where it's just computer generated mayhem for miles, with nothing interesting happening. The loud violent bits of it were mostly the dull bits. I mean, the looking portentously off into the distance while the music swelled dramatically bits were also dull, but the violence was boring as well.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:55 AM
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I don't think you can complain that "endless Orcs" are somehow Jackson mucking with the books.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:57 AM
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Something that does make me happy is that in the first scene, where the dwarves are trashing Bilbo's hole, someone's using a doily as a dishtowel and he complains "It's supposed to look like that. It's crochet." And I thought "Someone is going to have posted about that on Ravelry." And so they have -- trying to find out if there's any way to get a still shot of the doily so the pattern can be reconstructed.

I love obsessive people.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:58 AM
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188: the Last Ring-Bearer comes close.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 12:01 PM
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the dwarves are trashing Bilbo's hole


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 12:01 PM
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216 is wrong. At least I don't recall anything implying orcs in anything close to the absurd number the movie shows in Moria for instance.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 12:04 PM
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I thought in the book the dwarves chewed up the dishtowel with their big dwarf molars, but in the movie they probably just marveled at the crochet and got distracted.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 12:06 PM
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220: Not in Moria maybe. I was thinking of Helm's Deep and the stuff after that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 12:07 PM
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219: Left it in runes.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 12:07 PM
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Not that the movie got so far, but the Battle of Five Armies is full of descriptions of waves of goblins.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 12:13 PM
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223- Ate a whole wheel of cheese in it.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 12:21 PM
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And in ROTK, don't the Orc bodies pile up around Minas Tirith such that the next wave of invaders can scale the walls on the bodies of the dead?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 12:22 PM
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ArGGR, the whole genius of the goblin scenes in the Hobbit is that most of it happens off scene or in dim flashes in dark caves or in flashbacks. Tolkien is SO specific about why that kind of narrative is effective in his essay on Beowulf. ARGGgr.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 12:24 PM
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226: sounds like bits of the trailer from WWZ. Another movie I'm not going to see.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 12:25 PM
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224, 226: In climatic battles between armies, maybe. In Moria? Never! I'm the last person to defend the plausibility of anything in Tolkien's conception of Middle Earth*, but Jackson took peak orc to 11 (to totally conflate hackneyed mockery but doing so deliberately to further illustrate Jackson's mendacity by the very structure of my comment itself). Comment Part 1.

*For instance, rather than some forgotten place everyone has forgotten (OK, Gondor and the south may have forgotten ...), the fucking Shire is the most going concern in the whole north maybe other than the Grey Havens and Rivendell and the main road between them runs right through the middle of ... The Shire.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 12:38 PM
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224: descriptions of waves of goblins

There's the Queen Elizabeth one, and the "y'all come back now" one, and the Maneki Neko one...


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 12:40 PM
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I don't recall Moria's depiction in the books in that detail, but I thought the movie was over the top on a bunch of stuff there. The size of the troll, the falling stonework, etc.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 12:40 PM
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231: The first movie jumped the shark for me in that regard when the creepy pool thing outside of the Gates of Moria grabbed Frodo and flung him around rather than just trying to pull him in. It was marginal up until to then (but with the great scenery and visual rendering of The Shire).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 12:44 PM
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I was not a fan of those movies for much the same reason. I won't be seeing the Hobbit unless I'm in a group and outvoted or it is on DVD.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 12:48 PM
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urple, do you have anymore cinema recommendations for us?

Sticking sort of close to the topic of the thread, I disliked the LOTR trilogy enough that can almost guarantee I wouldn't like the Hobbit (meaning, LOTR was okay but suffered from certain flaws that could be considered characteristic of Peter Jackson, and the Hobbit sounds like it suffers worse for them), so it's sort of surprising that, despite the fact that it suffers in spades from those same flaws, I loved Peter Jackson's version of King Kong.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 12:55 PM
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I won't be seeing the Hobbit unless ... it is on DVD.

Surely it will be.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 12:56 PM
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I loved Peter Jackson's version of King Kong.

I'm nearly certain that if you pitch this one sentence to Slate, you'll have a column within the hour.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 12:57 PM
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235: Right. I'm assuming I'll see it someday, but only after I can see it for cheap and in an environment where I can do other things when I get bored.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 12:58 PM
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The OP had suggestions for way to occupy yourself.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 1:52 PM
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Not nine hours worth. I'm not Sting.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 1:59 PM
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With a little practice, I'm sure you could be tantramount to Sting.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 2:03 PM
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207 ==> 205


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 2:15 PM
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239- You don't glow in the presence of orcs?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 2:48 PM
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238: I'm liking "Go Occupy Yourself" as a useful euphemism.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 3:09 PM
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188: Not fanfic, and not Tolkien, exactly, but there's "After the Last Elf is Dead" by Harry Turtledove, told from the POV of the Dark Brother's general in charge of the mop-up operations, in a high fantasy setting where the bad guys win.


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 4:01 PM
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I personally am holding out for the 9 hour version of The Silmarillion. I would also hold out for Jackson's 9 hour Children of HurĂ­n, but I've already seen the musical version


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 4:37 PM
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oops, I mean this one


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 4:39 PM
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The Silmarillion would've made for better movies. Not a lot of details, story ideas with a lot of room to be fleshed out. Short stories are the ideal for cinematic adaptation.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 5:16 PM
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I must have had The Last Ringbearer in mind. Thanks for the suggestions.


Posted by: Robert | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 8:09 AM
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