#81  
Old 12-17-2012, 10:16 PM
I left the theater feeling quite mixed.

Jackson's visuals, as always, were amazing and very close to the visual world I created in my head while reading "The Hobbit."

However, for me, he missed the mark on the tone of the story. JRR's "Hobbit," I felt, is a much more light-hearted story, focused on Bilbo's inner journey as much as the outward quest of the dwarves to recover their birthright. As grave as that mission is, I feel that they are a much jollier group than portrayed in the film. Jackson dragged out the film unnecessarily with extra fight scenes, turning it into a much more violent story than I believe was Tolkein's intent. The kingdom of the goblins under the mountain was far overdone compared to its portrayal in the book, again skewing the focus away from nuance and towards overblown battles, which I suppose are considered to have more mass appeal for today's audiences. The Bilbo in the novel is far more bumbling in the beginning, bound to his creature comforts, and unwittingly whisked along on a journey he didn't ask for... Jackson portrayed this somewhat, but sacrificed deeper character development for large-scale effects. Part of what gets lost in the process is the shift in Bilbo as the story develops. Bilbo and Gandalf's whit in outsmarting the trolls, sadly, was mostly omitted, and the cleverness of the whole "riddle" exchange with Gollum was also robbed of its whit and central importance, flanked by two gratuitous fight scenes that stole the focus away from what should have been one of the most impressive and significant scenes of the entire film.

I guess it would be hard to capture the charm, nuance, and whit of a 1930s British novel in a 21st C film, but I did leave feeling disappointed by what had been lost in the translation of Tolkein's classic onto the screen.

That all being said, I can't wait for the next one to come out. I was still captivated by the visuals and look forward to taking in more.

Last edited by maude; 12-17-2012 at 10:18 PM..
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  #82  
Old 12-17-2012, 10:49 PM
P.S.
A word about the songs that appear to have been poorly received by several of the people posting here...

They are part of the book, and I think Tolkein included them to help paint a picture of a world in which song and oral tradition were central to cultural life. Middle Earth, I think, is largely a portrayal of Medieval Europe.

It is understandable that a 21st C audience would find these songs laborious or cheesy, and it might or might not have been a good call on Jackson's part to include them. But in context, they were an important part of the world Tolkein captured in his writing.
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  #83  
Old 12-18-2012, 01:05 AM
In which this movie all artist are from Lord of Ring movie. is this a action movie?
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  #84  
Old 12-18-2012, 01:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by maude View Post
P.S.
A word about the songs that appear to have been poorly received by several of the people posting here...

They are part of the book, and I think Tolkein included them to help paint a picture of a world in which song and oral tradition were central to cultural life. Middle Earth, I think, is largely a portrayal of Medieval Europe.

It is understandable that a 21st C audience would find these songs laborious or cheesy, and it might or might not have been a good call on Jackson's part to include them. But in context, they were an important part of the world Tolkein captured in his writing.
They were a part of the LOTR books too, especially the first instalment. Jackson wisely left them out of those movies (other than the moving scene of ROTK where Aragorn sings after finally being crowned King) and I think it would've been a better idea for him to do the same with The Hobbit. At least the first song anyway. It was godawful.
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  #85  
Old 12-18-2012, 07:10 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlegend23 View Post
They were a part of the LOTR books too, especially the first instalment. Jackson wisely left them out of those movies (other than the moving scene of ROTK where Aragorn sings after finally being crowned King) and I think it would've been a better idea for him to do the same with The Hobbit. At least the first song anyway. It was godawful.
I hear ya... I am a fan of Tolkein's writing, and the songs did not offend me. They kind of made me smile, as a gesture towards preserving some continuity with the book. But Jackson's darker portrayal of the Dwarves did not fit the tone of the first song at all, and so it did seem incongruous. In fact, it did not fit with the overall tone of the movie, which was graver and more violent than the book.
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  #86  
Old 12-20-2012, 04:42 AM
Finally saw this one...

Finally saw this movie called the Hobbit. Overall I did not enjoy it anywhere near as much as Fellowship of the Ring. I had several problems with this film, not the same ones mentioned. Mainly, I was unable to understand Bilbo's motivations clearly and I could not connect to the fact he just fumbles through the woods and stumbles on the sword.

I really wanted to understand why Bilbo is so obsessed with Mythril, how he gets the idea that there might be Mythril in the mines, relate to his connection to asking questions/riddles if they lead to treasure and connect to Bilbo's side of the adventure. It also felt very rushed.

In the book, these questions are all answered clearly and concisely. This is why I have to give Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers a nod for being better movies than The Hobbit was. Which is ironic I'm taking issue with this, because I actually enjoy the Hobbit novel more than twice over the LOTR trilogy.

There was certain things in the Hobbit novel that I just liked more and connected to more. It felt more whimsical, with Bilbo having to solve all these puzzles in the mines. Fighting a werebeast, a real fire-breathing dragon Smaug and a sasquatch like creature. Also his witty charm when he encountered the three trolls, forcing them into releasing everyone before being eaten.

I felt more connected to Bilbo, mainly because the creatures they fought were more fantasy like and there was even a Unicorn of some kind in the Hobbit book. In Fellowship of the Ring the novel, and then Two Towers, all I felt was a lot of political drama and humans arguing back and forth about the coming end of the world. That happened twice as often in the animated films too, so it got quite boring for me with those books.

However J.R.R. Tolkien's vision has not been translated to the screen properly, in my opinion due to a rushed script, and so the whimsical fantasy I love in the book is missing from the movie. I therefore enjoy both Fellowship of the Ring and Two Towers, twice as much as I do The Hobbit movie. On the big screen, I feel more drawn to the conflict with Legolas as well as when they fight the hydra monster, cave troll & giant balrok demon.

And because I feel like I'm there, I connect much more to the werewolf monster fights, nazgul wyvern fights, major conflicts & wizard battles, or the life of Treebeards in The Two Towers. Also I felt very strongly drawn to Frodo's turmoil while I didn't feel any with Hobbit. Animation and casting in Two Towers is second to none, and so I give Fellowship of the Ring a 9/10, The Two Towers a 9/10 and the Hobbit a decent 8/10.

I didn't understand Bilbo's motivations for helping the dwarves either, to me being a missed opportunity. Also while there was quite a few flaws, what I did like in the movie was how many locations they visited, the huge battle with the Goblin King was done brilliant, and the fights with the werescouts and rock trolls captured the essence of the book. Seeing a glimpse of Smaug was better than seeing nothing at all, and it does get me primed for how they tie in the next chapter.

My biggest gripes: Film's pace is too slow, animation is choppy like a crayon when showing early battle, Bilbo's motives are very vague, no big fights with middle earth creatures yet. No explanation for how Bilbo got good at treasure hunting? No dungeon/palace puzzle for Bilbo where he acquires the gold treasure by riddles yet. This was all in the book and Jackson has omitted this. Also I have seen not a single piece of mythril.

My biggest gripe with the movie is there has been no mention of mythril almost at all. I really hope Desolation of Smaug busts the Myhril problem wide open, or that would be a major misstep for Jackson. This movie would have been best served as two films just like Harry Potter Deathly Hallows. That is my hugest gripe with the way they did this. I just hope 3 films isn't a mistake.
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  #87  
Old 12-20-2012, 09:48 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ResidentWakeVille View Post
...I was unable to understand Bilbo's motivations clearly and I could not connect to the fact he just fumbles through the woods and stumbles on the sword.

...I really wanted to understand why Bilbo is so obsessed with Mythril, how he gets the idea that there might be Mythril in the mines, relate to his connection to asking questions/riddles if they lead to treasure and connect to Bilbo's side of the adventure. It also felt very rushed.

...There was certain things in the Hobbit novel that I just liked more and connected to more. It felt more whimsical, with Bilbo having to solve all these puzzles in the mines. Fighting a werebeast, a real fire-breathing dragon Smaug and a sasquatch like creature. Also his witty charm when he encountered the three trolls, forcing them into releasing everyone before being eaten.

...a rushed script, and so the whimsical fantasy I love in the book is missing from the movie.

...I didn't understand Bilbo's motivations for helping the dwarves either, to me being a missed opportunity.
Yes!
You stated more accurately some of the things I was trying to convey in my first post on this. Amazing to think that with three movies, he has to rush the script... just didn't prioritize very well.
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  #88  
Old 12-20-2012, 12:55 PM

Those who are calling this picture the equivalent of the Phantom Menace really ought to be ashamed. LOTR is an EPIC, The Hobbit was originally meant as a BEDTIME STORY. That's an important and fundamental thing to understand. Most of the criticisms here are just being plain nitpicky. The flaws were and are fairly small. Maybe it helped that I haven't read the book in over a decade so all the details weren't fresh in my mind.

Regardless I felt like I was there again, in Middle Earth. And more importantly, I felt like I was in the book as well.

Fun as hell, this movie really flew by(it felt like an hour and a half film!) 89/100
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  #89  
Old 12-20-2012, 05:59 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by maude View Post
Yes!
You stated more accurately some of the things I was trying to convey in my first post on this. Amazing to think that with three movies, he has to rush the script... just didn't prioritize very well.
Right you are! Glad I'm not the only one lately who has read the book. These things were far from little, that is why they were so noticeable as missing. One example is there was not any troll cave in the novel, instead Gandalf the Greys recovered a very special golden key and unlocked a type of dungeon area. Inside were lots of artifacts, treasure chests and a puzzle of sorts Bilbo had to solve. It was also the only way he received the sword.

Then from there was a huge thing that was missed with Thorin, where he discusses how his father snuck into Smaug's large cavern as the original burglar. And right from that point, it entirely skipped the river section where everyone is forced up river and Bilbo uncovers a moonstone puzzle - this one only he can solve. These things are covered in mere pages during the book, but take around 15 minutes of screen time to show and add depth/mystery to the story. That the new writers chose to omit all these things, in favor of a longer movie is quite an odd mistake in story-telling.

I'm going to hope the next film doesn't follow this path and adjust my score to 7.8. For some reason I'm not as engaged in their portrayal of the magic.
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  #90  
Old 12-20-2012, 09:14 PM
^You're motivating me to want to read the book again.
I've read it a few times, but it's been a long time now.
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  #91  
Old 12-20-2012, 11:36 PM
This is a rather difficult post for me to make. As many of you veterans know I am first and foremost a Tolkien loreist, whatever weight that may hold. Thus this is not simply a film for me but something that embodies a... larger piece of my soul perhaps...

In this post I shall give an extensive overview of how I perceived The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. What I want to focus on is how Peter Jackson and his crew translated the book into the movie, what choices they made, and for what reason I think they made them. Obviously this is going to contain a lot of spoilers, because I intend to pick apart the entire movie in order. If you do not want to know any of this information yet, then do not read on and go see it first.
Furthermore two things are of course to be noted. Firstly that this is my interpretation and my opinion of what is going on. I wasn't involved in its creation so any assumptions as to why certain changes were made are based purely of my understanding of film making. Secondly there is the matter of the books versus the films. Although I am comparing the film to the book, I am not stating that everything should be as it is in the book, I understand the need for changes and additions to bring a story to the silver screen and make it an engaging film that will also sell well. Nevertheless this a movie based on a book, and the scrutiny of the changes made is not purely on a level of 'this did not happen that way', but also questions whether it can capture the books feeling. Now without further a due, lets begin.

The meta story
The film begins just before the first chapter of the Lord of the Rings, with the old Bilbo (Ian Holm), narrating and walking around Bag End, beginning with his book. He talks (as can be seen in the trailer) as if it is directed at Frodo (Elijah Wood), who we also get to see walking around the house. They have a few scene's in which they really tie it in to the LOTR films, with references to the party that is about to ensue, Gandalf's arrival for said party, the sign on the gate, and so forth. It thus serves to place the story in the universe of the LOTR films, and perhaps also give a chance for the known faces to make an appearance. To my opinion not a very necessary addition, but neither does it detract from the story.

Then Bilbo starts with the story, but it is not the main Hobbit itself, but first a prologue, that explains the history of Erebor, Dale and Smaug. Both Dale and Erebor are quite beautifully portrayed, and especially Erebor really feels like a vast Kingdom of a powerful lord. A strange choice is however made, in depicting Thrór (son of Dáin I) as becoming a bit mad. In his narration Bilbo even links this with the coming of the dragon, as some sort of evil attracting evil device. Although not a terrible change in itself, I simply do not see why the need was felt to come up with such an odd story. Probably it comes from the fact that in the book it is stated that the wealth was probably what attracted the dragon, and the makers inferred from this some denunciation of greed, but on the whole it just seems odd. Then there are some minor things, such as the fact that the Dwarves flee the mountain via the main gate whilst it was said that none escaped that way and that Thorin was inside the mountain instead of outside, things that were explicitly described in the books, but that on the whole don't really matter.
What then does, and which in my opinion is a glaring rape of the source material, is that Thranduil (riding an elk) shows up with a host of Elves, as the Dwarves flee the mountain, calling to him for aid. He just looks at them really quaint and then turns around and leaves with his men. This does not make sense on any level, even discarding the fact that it was not in the book. How did he know that the dragon was there and march with his army? The dragon came unexpectedly and they couldn't have been there that fast. Why gather and outfit a host of Elves and then not help? Why not even aid those fleeing without fighting the dragon? All this is left unexplained and is used as a device to explain the enmity between Dwarves and Elves. Now I understand that it would be quit difficult to explain the whole history of Elves and Dwarves, the sack of Doriath, and so forth, and that they needed to find a way of conveying that this existed, but this is a rather odd way to do so.
So this then gets the audience up to speed as to why the quest of Erebor would need to be undertaken, and here is where we get into the real book.

An unexpected party
We start the story with Bilbo in his yard, Gandalf coming by, and the well known conversation that follows. The lines are not all quite correct, but they capture the exchange between the two nicely. The problem however arrives at the very end, which is the source of ruin for the next scene if you ask me. For what is left out is that Bilbo invites Gandalf to come to tea the next day in some ploy to get rid of him, instead he clearly tells him he is not interested, goodday's him one last time and slams the door shut. Gandalf then as some madman scratches the sign in Bilbo's door, and when Bilbo looks out of his window to see what is going on he appears close to the glass like someone escaped from a mental institution.
So why then am I being so particular about the invite to tea? Well this has all to do with the arrival and the party of the Dwarves. We see Bilbo just starting his supper, when Dwaling shows up. He just barges into the house, helps himself to Bilbo's supper (eating in a most disgusting manner by the way), and ignores the obvious tension there. Then Balin arrives and although he is as courteous as he should be, when the two brother's are reunited they completely ignore Bilbo and his summons to stop eating and get out of his house. This gets even worse when the rest of the Dwarves arrive, who really plunder his pantry, remodel his whole interior decoration and in general make themselves at home. The enormous problem here is that Bilbo keeps telling them to get the hell out, stop eating his food, put stuff back, and so forth. Compare this to the book where he is so overwhelmed that he is the one getting all the food for everyone, he does not tell them to get out, he is being a good host, although terribly confused and hoping it is all a dream. The dwarves are here depicted as some rowdy bunch with no manners who don't give a damn what the little Hobbit tells them. The whole idea of Gandalf's ploy to sent the Dwarves in increasing number (as he does later at Beorn's house) is completely lost. They might as well have all arrived together and raided his house. To me this entire scene shows a complete lack of awareness of the dynamic of the situation. On a positive note, the washing-up song and Over the Misty Mountains are both done nicely.

Also I need to mention here that the reasons the Dwarves undertake this quest now also had to be explained for some reason. To do so the makers dreamed up a prophecy that when the ravens returned the reign of the beast was supposed to end. Again, although I understand the need to give uninformed viewers some handles to understand characters motives, why was it necessary to do so here? Would it be too unbelievable if they hadn't given any reason why do so now other than that they were ready for it? This also ties in with the fact that Thorin apparently went to some meeting with the heads of the seven Dwarven Kingdoms (words from the film), where he asked the others to help him, but they said it was their quest. In my opinion this only makes matters more complicated than easier, which is quite an accomplishment, seeing that the Hobbit is the easiest book to read. (Also it may be noted that it is explicitly stated that Dáin does not want to help, which would be odd, seeing that he is also of Durin's house, so stating that this is a matter only for their perticular clan would be odd...)

So we skip ahead a little bit and we come to the matter of the Bilbo coming along on the adventure he doesn't want to go on. In the film he is literally presented with a contract by Balin which he is to sign, he decides not to and the Dwarves leave without him. Then the next morning, as he looks around in his deserted house, he suddenly gets the urge to go on the adventure, apparently realizing the boredom of his everyday live. And we get the running through the fields after the Dwarves bit. Although this is of course a big change from the book, it is one I don't actually mind all that much looking back on it. It would've been hard to explain to the audience how his 'Tookish-side' woke up in him and therefore he suddenly acts like a badass in order to impress the Dwarves. The imaggery of him looking around his now empty house in comparison to the one filled with Dwarves is quite a strong one and conveys in a different way the feeling that I believe Tolkien meant as the Tookish-side. Therefore although I feel that the contract is a bit of a stupid thing in itself, the whole dynamic of it is done quite nicely.

Interlude; the war of Dwarves and Orcs

As they make camp for the night we have Balin tell the story of the battle of Azanulbizar. If I remember correctly it is not named as such, but it basically is, with a few big changes though. Those changes include that Thrór is killed in battle by Azog here, instead of earlier inside the mines, and that Azog himself is not slain by Dáin II, but only lost his hand in fighting Thorin. It gives a nice depiction of Thorin acquiring his name as Oakenshield though and all in all is a good rendition of the battle. What stems from it, is an important fact that will haunt us for the rest of this film though. And this is a major spoiler. Namely that Azog is not dead, and is in fact hunting Thorin and company. Yes, Azog has been made the main antagonist for this part of the, dare I say it, film trilogy. Which of course gives good reasons to put extra fighting scene's into the film where they don't belong, but I'm getting ahead of myself already. All in all I just thoroughly enjoyed seeing the Dwarves and Ors battle in front of Moria.

Roast Mutton

Alright, so then we get to the trolls. The set up as to why Bilbo has to go check them out is a bit different (he has to get back their ponies), but the result is the same. Bilbo is captured and questioned as a burrahobbit that will hardly make a mouthful. Yet alas, then the swords and axes come out again, because Thorin and company are charging the trolls, creating our first fight that doesn't have any business being there. We hear one of the trolls calling to put them in sacks but this doesn't happen, until another inexplicable choice is made. For the trolls grab Bilbo and threaten to pull his limbs of if the Dwarves don't lay down their arms, and then the Dwarves do. Why!? Have you read the script and know that you will make it? Because to me it seems that you are now all going to die at the hands of these trolls instead of only the Hobbit you have known for less than a week. But anyway, they lay down their arms and end up in the sacks, roasted over the fire. The escape is a bit different then in the book, playing up Bilbo's role in stalling for time, and Gandalf smashing a rock to let the sunlight through, but those are forgiveable. Portraying Gandalf imitating a troll's voice would of course be doable, but would not make for the most interesting film and perhaps even make it a little to comical (although there are enough dumb jokes made at inappropriate times, but more on that later).
After they then escape they find the troll hoard and the swords, Bilbo gets sting and that is that.

Interlude: Radagast and Dol Guldur.

I'm not quite sure if this was at this time in the move or a bit earlier or later, but it doesn't really matter either way.
Why the need was felt to shoehorn this guy in is beyond me, other than that it provides the start to a contained side story about Dol Guldur and the Necromancer. For he serves as a way to let Gandalf and the others of the White Council know that the forest is being corrupted and a Necromancer has taken up his abode in the old fortress. It would of course have been a lot more difficult to have the story line there if it had to be explained with stuff that happened earlier, so I guess this gives an explanation as to why this choice has been made.
We are introduced to Radagast prancing through the woods and looking how everything is getting corrupted, nasty fungi, some sick animals and plants. Then one of the dumbest scene's in the film ensues, namely Radagast trying to save a single hedgehog as his house is being attacked by giant spiders. There were some people in the audience 'ah-ing' as the hedgehog died and was brought back to live, but what is it doing in this movie? This isn't a pixar production I might hope.
We get the by now famous rabbit-sled, that is almost the least ridiculous thing about Radagast, who is not simply depicted a quaint, but rather as someone who's constantly on psychoactive drugs. He goes to Dol Guldur, fights a wrath, and legs it. Nothing really to say about that, its done quite well.

A short rest

Although I titled this part after the chapter in the book, it does not provide the same experience at all. Firstly we need to consider that Thorin did not want to go to Rivendell because he hates Elves. What happens is that a host of Orcs on Wargs attack them and they have to run, of course slashing a few Orcs on the way, because you have to have some fighting. Gandalf leads them into a hiding place and immediately afterwards an Elvish cavalry charges and kills most of the Orcs, the remainder fleeing back to... Azog who is in the neighbourhood riding his giant white Warg to hunt Thorin.
The company moves forth to Rivendell where they are then welcomed by Lindir. Elrond arrives seconds later, for it turns out he was leading the cavalry, that is by now busy encircling the Dwarves (who have also picked up their weapons), in a manner that can only be likened to the encircling of the three hunters by the Rohirim in the Two Towers. We get to see Elrond in armour and distrust from the Dwarves towards him, but then they decide to accept his invitation to come in and eat.

In the next scene there is some further distrust from Thorin towards Elrond, but in the end he agrees to show him the map and have him read it to them. Although I have some nitpicking here too, these are minor things and there is much to discuss.

Namely that here we also have a meeting of the White Council, or at least of Elrond, Galadriel, Saruman and Gandalf. What is nicely done here is the portrayal of Saruman as trying to discourage the council from action, showing the dynamics that were at play here already. A bit odd is that Gandalf already makes a face to Elrond when he hears that Saruman is there, which doesn't make sense since here he should still be on good terms with him. Where it gets really weird though, is the fact that apparently the council is going to forbid Gandalf and the Dwarves from continuing with their expedition. As if Gandalf has to ask permission (the words is literally used) to Saruman for stuff he wants to do. This is not how the dynamics of the Istari amongst themselves of the White Council in general worked. It does serve, as stated above, as a good way to show that Saruman was already moving against them in subtle ways. Here also does Gandalf (who has been earlier informed by Radagast) that a Necromancer is in Dol Guldur, which of course we will see a lot more of in the coming films.
Then there is the scene between Gandalf and Galadriel, which I don't have all that much to say about. You can read sexual tension in it if you want, but you can also see a friend offering aid.
In any case the Dwarves already legged it out of Rivendell before they could be stopped by a supposed disapproval from the Council, which is clearly set up in this way by Gandalf.

Over hill and under hill

Now I've said so before, but here we get perhaps the most ridiculous scene in the entire film. As the company is making its way along a cliff, we get the fight between the stone giants. And luckily for us CGI technology is now so great that we get to enjoy a five minute fight between animated giants made from rocks, throwing rocks at each other, slamming into one another and so forth. It even turns out the companions themselves are on the legs of a giant. Not only does it add nothing to the progression of the story, it is also boring, and makes stuff unbelievable. For example at one point a part of the group seems to be crushed between to walls of rock, but they turn out to be al right.

They then hide in the cave, at which point Bilbo decides to sneak out at night to go back home, because Thorin won't get of his case about how he's useless and a burden. This makes sense in the film to a degree and also not at all. One can wonder why Bilbo would stick with them whilst Thorin keeps being mean to him. But in the book there is no such option as going back, this wouldn't be logical either, because how would he even survive out there on his own? He's stuck with them and that gives the story a certain 'us against the world'-feeling, overcoming obstacles as a group. Rather than a journey he could get out of at any moment.
Anyway this is cut short by the fact that the ground opens and they are all captured by the Goblins. Although not quite in the same way as in the book, it is a nice rendition of the capturing. Furthermore the Goblintown is quite beautifully depicted and has a lot of atmosphere.

On a side note it is a pity that the film makers still view Orcs and Goblins as a different species. But this is by now a widespread and forgiveable flaw.

They are led before the Great Goblin, except for Bilbo, who falls into the deep whilst fighting a small Goblin, and ends up in Gollum's lair, which I'll get to in a moment. The Dwarves are at the Great Goblin, who wants to ransom them to Azog, who has put a price on Thorin's head. Then they find Orcrist and go mad, wanting to kill them all, but Gandalf shows up. Gandalf then does an awesome Gandalf power trick, creating a blinding flash and an enormous push which throws everyone to the ground. In a menacing voice he then summons the Dwarves to take up arms and fight, so we can then have another fight scene. What makes this so problematic to me, is the question why Gandalf does not do this all the time if they are in a fight? Why run from a few Orcs, whilst blasting away half an army of Goblins? Anyway, we get the fight in the form of an escape scene, in which they run over the small rope bridges of the town in what I cannot describe differently than a videogame. I could just imagine this all being turned into a game with only minor changes, they cut ropes at just the right moment, all the slings had exactly the right distance, they use ladders to push people of, Bombur uses his 'roll up like a ball and crash through several stories'-attack, Gandalf uses his staff-attack to break of a boulder and use it to clear the way, and so forth. As you can infer from this I was not really taken in by this scene.

They are then finally stopped by the Great Goblin, who makes a little fun of them and saying they can't win. He is then with a few jabs killed by Gandalf, only uttering the last words; 'that'll do it' in a corny way, think here of the cheesy humour I was talking about earlier, which doesn't really rhyme well with being killed. Then the bridge they are on collapses and they drop for a few hundred meters between the rocks, miraculously all surviving, even when the full weigh of the Great Goblin then also lands on top of them. Then they leg it out of there. So once again we have a very long action scene, in which everyone survives through incredible odds.
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  #92  
Old 12-20-2012, 11:36 PM
Cont.

Riddles in the dark

This is by far the best part of the film, probably because it stayed most true to the book. And by that I do not mean that nothing was changed or added, but those are only minor changes and, in my opinion, a valuable addition. The addition comes in the form of the small Goblin that falls along with Bilbo. Whereas Bilbo lands in a concealed place, the Goblin lands in the open and we get to see Gollum dragging him back to his island to be eaten, he also loses the Ring in this process which Bilbo picks up. What this adds is showing us how Gollum lives, how disgusting he is in a way, we see him smashing the Goblin to death with a rock, we hear his evil side talk about skinning it. For me that really set the tone for the situation Gollum was in.
When a little later the riddles begin the choice has been made to show the twofacedness of Gollum that was present in the earlier films. This is also an addition, in where the good Gollum (or Smeagol) is really happy to play games with Bilbo, whereas the evil part just wants to eat him. Although this is of course quite a major invention of PJ, I feel that it is one that does justice to the creature of Gollum and gives him more depth without destroying what was there. Most of the riddles from the book are in there, and all in all the scene is just done well. Also the escape that follows is true to the book, although Bilbo does not have to squeeze through the gate, but gets stuck earlier. Also the choice not to kill Gollum is portrayed rather broadly, which I find rather understandably, since it is such a powerful motive that also plays a big role in the Lord of the Rings.

After he escapes we see Bilbo return to the Dwarves, that wonder why he came back. He then gives the explanation that he of course wants to go home, but that they do not have a home and he wants to help them reclaim it. Another purely invented motive by the film makers, and to my taste one that need not be there. Bilbo gets back to them because they are the people he knows in this big scary world, moreover they are his friends. On the whole scale of changes made, and with in the back of the mind the uninformed viewer, the choice to give him this motive can be understood.

Out of the frying-pan into the fire

And then of course the Orcs, Azog at their head, show up again and the company starts to run, kill a few Orcs and climb in the pine trees. Yet other than in the book, the Wargs are not daunted by this, instead they just push over the entire trees, until they are all in one tree at the edge of a cliff. Gandalf starts throwing down the burning pine cones, which scares of the Wargs. Their tree however starts to topple and they hang of the cliff, ready to fall to their death. Now here the need is felt again (just like in the FoTR) to have insects be messengers to the Eagles, so we see Gandalf sending of a moth (or butterfly). Yet, as in every good action movie, we need a stand off, so Thorin grabs his sword and starts walking over the tree towards Azog, then charging at him. Azog kicks Thorin's ass, but just as his lieutenant wants to cut off is head, Bilbo runs up and kills the Orc, saving Thorin. Then the Eagles show up and save them all, carry them to Karrock, Thorin thanks Bilbo, they see the lonely mountain of in the distance, the end.

So what has happened here. A scene that depicts them sitting helplessly in the trees, getting smoked out by the Orcs and Wargs underneath, is transformed into another battle. In this battle Bilbo suddenly becomes the saviour of Thorin and easily kills an Orc. The whole dynamic of Bilbo and the relationship between him and Thorin is changed. In my opinion this is the result of the (and I know this can be a dangerous word) formulaic approach taken to this film. It felt the need to explain everything all the time, and give us grand set piece battles that were not in the book. And why were they not in the book? Because they happened much later in the story. And why did they happen much later in the story, because that is the story arc. But because you just take a few chapters and try to make a film out of it, the need was felt to create a similar arc, complete with the drama that comes with it, within this one film, despite there not being anything of the sorts in the source material.

Concluding

All in all I feel that the film has some nice depictions of the world of Middle-Earth. What is completely missing though, is the atmosphere of the Hobbit, the feeling of being a group that pulls through everything together and grows as a group in this way to eventually achieve their goal, even though some strive on the way is required. Here everything is presented as if it is on the same scale as the adventures of the LoTR were, which they are not. They are just a small group, that can't fight of thousand's of Goblins, they have to rely on stealth and trickery. In the end I think that is what simply has disappointed me the most; whereas with the Lord of the Rings I saw the changes and still felt like I saw the awesome world of Tolkien come to live, here I feel like I see CGI and fighting, formulaic set pieces that 'progress' a character as you learn in storytelling 101, and do not feel like I'm watching the Hobbit come to live.

Lastly I am especially afraid that the whole character of Thranduil is going to be the one most malformed by the end of the three films. He has already been portrayed as an odd and heartless elf, his capturing them and then later coming to claim gold will only make this worse I fear, but we'll see I guess.
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  #93  
Old 12-20-2012, 11:38 PM
@ResidentWakeVille

Please PM me with any questions you may have. It would seem that your reading of the text is somewhat confused as it were and I'd really like to clarify some things for you in private.
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  #94  
Old 12-21-2012, 01:43 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost in Space View Post
@ResidentWakeVille

Please PM me with any questions you may have. It would seem that your reading of the text is somewhat confused as it were and I'd really like to clarify some things for you in private.
I'm not going to spoil that part of the book or get into that, but there was definitely no confusion here. I distinctly see a large Gold/Silver Key being mentioned, that the trolls carried on their person plus the puzzle Bilbo had to solve for it. It was absolutely not a cave. It was a very large stone door he could only open using a key the troll dropped, and it was a huge dungeon like area with brass buttons. You could see skeletons, so there is no way to reconcile it as just a cave. This was a fairly large cavern with a door.

Plus the following text comes below the spoiler that's in the book.
Spoiler:
“What are moon-letters?” asked the hobbit full of excitement. He loved maps, as I have told you before; and he also liked runes and letters and cunning handwriting, though when he wrote himself it was a bit thin and spidery.
“Moon-letters are rune-letters, but you cannot see them,” said Elrond, “not when you look straight at them. They can only be seen when the moon shines behind them, and what is more, with the more cunning sort it must be a moon of the same shape and season as the day when they were written. The dwarves invented them and wrote them with silver pens, as your friends could tell you. These must have been written on a midsummer’s eve in a crescent moon, a long while ago.”
“What do they say?” asked Gandalf and Thorin together, a bit vexed perhaps that even Elrond should have found this out first, though really there had not been a chance before, and there would not have been another until goodness knows when.
“Stand by the grey stone when the thrush knocks,” read Elrond, “and the setting sun with the last light of Durin’s Day will shine upon the key-hole.”
“Durin, Durin!” said Thorin. “He was the father of the fathers of the eldest race of Dwarves, the Longbeards, and my first ancestor: I am his heir.”
“Then what is Durin’s Day?” asked Elrond.
“The first day of the dwarves’ New Year,” said Thorin, “is as all should know the first day of the last moon of Autumn on the threshold of Winter. We still call it Durin’s Day when the last moon of Autumn and the sun are in the sky together. But this will not help us much, I fear, for it passes our skill in these days to guess when such a time will come again.”

A very specific puzzle related to Durin's day is elaborated upon in the novel. The whole group actually has quite a few excursions up the river, which involve crossing large water areas and even a swamp that will swallow your horse...before they even arrive in Rivendell. What was most surprising for me is Thorin specifically remembers the runes, and even retells a story of his father/family traveling into Smaug's cavern many years ago in a quest for a weapon. This should have created the perfect flashback scene to show the story and show Bilbo, but what is most surprising to me is all of it was omitted. Even the runes and the five foot four riddle.

I would have very much liked the Thorin story myself. Instead as replacement of all those things, is a sub-plot about a Necromancer and Radagast which nobody would recognize unless they read the LOTR appendices which are quite long. I'm not saying I dislike the sub-plots, but this came out of left field and was a night/day difference from what occurs in their novel.

Last edited by ResidentWakeVille; 12-21-2012 at 01:46 AM..
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  #95  
Old 12-21-2012, 03:06 AM
Quick Review With More Comment Later

I am not per say an avid Tolkien reader. I think most kids know what The Hobbit story is and well LOTR movies is how really I was introduced to Tokliens other works

I think The Hobbit was good but not LOTR. Which really I never figured The Hobbit could match.

I do however think The Hobbit was a better Fantasy movie in ways. FOTR was a stunning epic and we got a taste of the Fantasy but TTT and ROTK was all about War and less abou adventure.

I think The Hobbit gives fantasy lovers a good movie.

I am not gonna equal them to LOTR because they are slightly better films at this point but really The Hobbit and LOTR movies are not the same movies.

Yes we get set up for Rings but really The Hobbit is a lighter affair but I do think The Hobbit can make a good bridge too rings and make Things Like Balins tomb more sad.
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  #96  
Old 12-22-2012, 10:33 PM
Loved it. 9/10

One of the years best, it's better to not expect a sequel to LOTR, I think it will help going in with that mind frame.
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  #97  
Old 12-23-2012, 10:15 AM
Jealous Hobbits

Funny video I found mocking Bilbo Baggins.

http://youtu.be/rNCOnzXpy6I

Hahahahaha
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  #98  
Old 12-23-2012, 06:55 PM
I took my 13 year old son to see this on Friday. I was excited to get to experience a Lord of the Rings movie in the theater with him, since he was too young when the first three movies came out.

We both left the movie with the same opinion. We loved it from start to finish. Great action sequences, some comedy thrown in, beautiful scenery, and I thought the characters were all cast well.

At the end of the movie my son looked at me and said, "Is that it"? The three hours went by extremely fast and kept our attention the whole time. A good sign for this movie is that my son sat through the entire thing without having to get up and use the bathroom, which is a miracle in of itself so to speak.

I can't wait for sequel next year!
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  #99  
Old 12-25-2012, 05:59 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beard_of_Meat View Post
I saw it in 24fps 2D (seeing it in 48fps with a friend) and I thought that Peter Jackson nailed it.I never felt that the movie dragged at all and I feel that extras thrown it to blend LOTR and Hobbit together were done spot on.The only gripe I really had was that Azog could have looked better,other than that I really don't understand all of the hate.
I actually found Azog far more intimidating than any orc (or even uruk-hai) that was in LOTR. I really liked the Goblin King/Great Goblin , too. He was just so... bizarre-looking.
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  #100  
Old 12-30-2012, 07:00 PM
I did not read the book and that is probably a good thing.

I loved this movie. 10/10. It was pure joy. I do not have any of the complaints most of you seem to have. The pacing was great. The songs were great. Everything was great. This is 100% why I love movies. There was action, humor, suspense, thrilling scenes and lots of mystery.

It is quite possible that some of you are just impossible to please. Really sad, actually. This is a movie, not life and death.

Thank you, Mr Jackson for yet another awesome and enjoyable movie.
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  #101  
Old 12-30-2012, 07:09 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by KcMsterpce View Post
I don't know if I'm going to see this in theater or not. I head to Thailand next week, and if it's playing there I might go after I watch "Jack Reacher", "Life of Pi" and maybe something else that catches my interest.
I was curious to see reviews/opinions from other schmoes here. It seems a little 50/50 between good and bad.

I really don't like the last two installments of the LotR and I have a nagging feeling that this will be a tedious, overlong waste of time and I'll be asking myself why the hell it wasn't just one 2hr40min movie.
My ratings for the trilogy is:
FotR - 10/10
TTT - 5/10
RotK - 4/10

With that said, I was never really excited for this and I am quite sure that with PJ being able to do whatever he wants, he's going all-out and unconstrained, most likely to the movie's detriment. I also don't get how a 300 page book that can be well summarized within two hours of film gets 8 hours, and the LotR trilogy of over 1200 pages got that same amount of time.

I am curious, though... are there other elements NOT IN THE BOOK added here? Stuff from the Silmarillion or something?
that is funny. i am in thailand now and i finally saw it here. i saw it in the sfx cinema at the central plaza mall in bangkok. i will be here until jan 13th. Going to Pattaya for the last few days and Chaing Mai for a few days before that. Bangkok for the next week. If you are still in town, maybe we catch a movie together. Where in Thailand are you?
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  #102  
Old 12-30-2012, 07:13 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlegend23 View Post
You'll miss one cringe-worthy song at Bilbo's house that was just...awful. Felt like something out of some Snow White and the Dwarves kids special or something. The other song is the one that played in the trailer and is okay.

Darth Kenshin - I wondered why they didn't carry them all the way too. It made me giggle. They drop the gang at the most inconvenient place ever and they still have miles and miles to walk? Pretty senseless..
seriously?
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  #103  
Old 12-30-2012, 07:16 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by castlesave View Post
box office wise, where do you think it will place with the rest of 2012 releases? i think it was the 5th largest opening of the year (behind Avengers, Dark Knight, Hunger games and Skyfall) which has gotta be a bit of a disappointment. i figure it will be 2nd or 3rd behind the Avengers, still good but probably not nearly what they were expecting from this franchise.

Ask James Cameron what he thinks about Dec openings.
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  #104  
Old 12-30-2012, 07:27 PM
I don't understand if people criticize the film just because you thought it was amazing that they must be hard to please. People have differing opinions, clearly, it doesn't mean they're whining senselessly or something of the sort.
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  #105  
Old 01-01-2013, 06:10 PM
I finally saw the film today and after reading the reviews that it's too long and boring I was pleasantly surprised. Maybe it is because I enjoy Middle-Earth so much and I welcome the return. The Erebor flashback is great.

The first song of the Dwarves didn't bother me. I thought it was to show the contrast between their earlier boorish behavior and how delicate they can be and how well they work together. The Misty Mountains Cold song is wonderful. It's ominous as a song and yet uplifting as a theme.

Don't know how much of the Radagast plot is in the book or that it's part of the appendixes. I think it's a nice prelude to the events of Lord of of the Rings. Saruman's denial that the happenings at Dol Guldor are of any importance is also a nice hint of what his role will be in the War of the Ring.

I do have the idea Peter Jackson relies on CGI for the adversaries too much like the Great Goblin and Azog. I can understand to have digital trolls, but even lesser goblins are computer generated. The make-up in the original trilogy was great so it's a shame it's so much CGI this time around.
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  #106  
Old 01-02-2013, 01:37 PM
Saw this more than two weeks ago, but the holidays and the end of the semester have had me too busy and/or exhausted to review until now.

Overall, I liked it more than the reviews of my trusted critics suggested that I would. The songs were fine, though I was a little miffed they didn't have the goblin song (loved it in the Rankin Bass animated version). My only serious complaint was that it took a while to get going. However, the more I think about it, the less that bothers me as a number of the fantasy/sci-fi books I've come to enjoy have the same thing (Steve Erikson's Malazan series and Peter Hamilton's books). The casting was spot-on. Martin Freeman is the ideal Bilbo, and although he is a little too dashing, Richard Armitage was good as Thorin. I can't remember who played each dwarf, but those who performed Balin, Dwalin, and Bofur were my favorites (Bofur's scene with Bilbo was particularly well-done). The returning cast members were great, especially Andy Serkis and Ian McKellen.

To be honest, I think the series will only improve from here. Given the (perhaps unwise) decision to make this into a trilogy, I figured this would end up being the weakest while the next two would have the most meat. Still a solid start.

8/10
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  #107  
Old 01-07-2013, 07:27 AM
The movie was fun, but not nearly as good as any of the LOTR movies. I would say it's because the plot isn't as extreme as the Lord of the Rings. Where in the LOTR, the characters set out to destroy evil; here, they're simply trying to reclaim the homeland of several of the characters. A noble goal to be sure, but pales in comparison to the battle of good vs. evil.

Nevertheless, it is a fun movie to experience. It sets up its connection to the LOTR very well, and it was cool seeing familiar faces and characters. I didn't think the action was as well done in this movie as in LOTR, but still impressive nonetheless. I am looking forward to see what the next two chapters in this series hold - especially how The Hobbit trilogy concludes and how they tie it to the LOTR.

7/10
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  #108  
Old 01-08-2013, 06:03 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigred760 View Post
The movie was fun, but not nearly as good as any of the LOTR movies. I would say it's because the plot isn't as extreme as the Lord of the Rings. Where in the LOTR, the characters set out to destroy evil; here, they're simply trying to reclaim the homeland of several of the characters. A noble goal to be sure, but pales in comparison to the battle of good vs. evil.

Nevertheless, it is a fun movie to experience. It sets up its connection to the LOTR very well, and it was cool seeing familiar faces and characters. I didn't think the action was as well done in this movie as in LOTR, but still impressive nonetheless. I am looking forward to see what the next two chapters in this series hold - especially how The Hobbit trilogy concludes and how they tie it to the LOTR.

7/10
=/ I really hope it doesn't tie in anymore. it's really not useful or part of the text.
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  #109  
Old 01-09-2013, 06:09 AM
After seeing 'The Hobbit' I was completely baffled by the negative critical response that this movie got. I enjoyed the hell out of it, and thought it was close to par with the LOTR films. Sure it was a bit slow at times, but so were the LOTR movies.

I give it a solid 8/10

Then I saw this movie again in 3D @ 48fps. Wow, talk about completely ruining the film going experience. The 48fps completely took me out of the story. It made everything look so artificial, even simple movements looked jarringly unnatural (even when compared to reality). I could not get into the story, and found it impossible to care for the characters when I was too distracted by how everyone looked like they were moving in an ever-so-slight fast forward motion. All the way till the end of the movie I could not adjust to the 48fps effect. It was a terrible experience.

If I had to rate this film based on my 48fps experience, I'd give it 5/10.

Last edited by Bob Loblaw; 01-09-2013 at 06:15 AM..
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  #110  
Old 01-09-2013, 10:28 AM
If The Lord of the Rings are the perfect film trilogy to introduce a teenager into the fantasy world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s, then The Hobbit trilogy, the film adaptation of the prequel book to the Rings lore, could very well be a great film to introduce the younger crowds. While the former trilogy is certainly in a more adult-oriented fantasy (with some cute moments for the kids as well), The Hobbit attains a more whimsical, light-hearted affair that kids and adults could be sure to enjoy for the most part. Unfortunately, with this first outing from returning director Peter Jackson, there seems to be much bloat in this first film of the trilogy that entertains, as well as aggravates.

The Lord of the Rings films were films that seem to understand and work with their bloat, as these epic books that were adapted to film were full of detailed settings, characters, and plot. But, Jackson had a fairly tight rein with his three films of the book series, creating films that had the weight of the book’s mythology, but never feeling overbearing for the audience at hand. For The Hobbit, however, a 320-page book stretched into three films like a bit of a stretch (pun intended) for Peter Jackson. Do we need that much detail in a fairly simple book about the past adventure of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman as the younger self/ Ian Holm as his older self), joining with Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) to help a band of dwarfs take back their kingdom from a terrible dragon?

This is the inherent problem with The Hobbit itself; as Jackson wants to tell the original story, while also connect this trilogy entirely to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, mostly through appendices that Tolkien wrote to complete a bridge between Hobbit and the Rings trilogy. This brings scenes that are engaging for fans of the films and books, while also a bit cluttered for main plot concerning the dwarves. It’s just a mixed bag sadly, and sort of undercuts the main arc that revolves with Bilbo Baggins being an introvert hobbit, to the adventurer that he wanted to be when he was young.

But, the returning character from the original trilogy definitely brings back the joy that was mustered from years ago. Scenes with the motion-captured Gollum (Andy Serkis) are a great high point in the film, straddling the line between child-like and adult, much like the PG films in the 80s. A cool scene, even if it does stop the main story in its track, involving Gandalf, Saruman (Christopher Lee), Galadriel (Cate Blanchett), and Elrond (Hugo Weaving) that gives more personality and emotional connection between two of the four characters that felt fun and refreshing.

But, while there are mistakes in juggling between appendices and The Hobbit, Freeman is certainly a perfect, younger Bilbo. He exudes the overwhelmed and frustrated younger version so well, while also bringing the quick wittedness when he is backed into a corner involving Gollum, trolls, or goblins. Richard Armtiage as Thorin, the dwarf that leads the crusade to take back his homeland, exudes the gruff stubbornness that all the dwarves in Middle Earth have yield, and even gets some great backstory to further accompany his staunch and domineering stature. As for the rest of the dwarves, they are interchangeable for the most part, but they have enough personality that they bring humor and heart to the story.

As for the direction under Peter Jackson, he still knows how to make the world of Middle Earth feel epic and alive. From the sweeping shots of the New Zealand landscape to magnificent CGI structures of the goblin mines and caverns, Jackson still has a keen eye for how to bring Tolkien’s world to life on the big screen. The only one minor nagging issue is that Jackson seems keener on utilizing fully CGI world, rather than complimenting prosthetics and the computer generated. Nothing that’s detrimental to the film, but it gave more physicality to the actors’ interacting with the world around them.

All in all, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, while a bit dodgy in places for the first outing, feels like the perfect introduction for a parent that is a huge fan of Tolkien’s work to introduce his younger son/daughter to the world of Middle Earth. Structurally, the film doesn’t feel as cohesive as it could be and certain action scenes unfortunately feel like retreads to ones in the Rings trilogy, but perhaps that’s something the next two films could make up for.

7/10
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  #111  
Old 01-09-2013, 11:09 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost in Space View Post
=/ I really hope it doesn't tie in anymore. it's really not useful or part of the text.
That's one of aspects i very much enjoyed about the film, the blending of the original trilogy and the narrative of this, what will be another trilogy .

I like the creative license PJ took with some of the characters and events and the way he effectively maintained a continuity .

So far what TUJ has done is enhance the Lotr films and make me appreciate them even more .

If anybody else made The Hobbit they wouldn't have so effortlessly combined both trilogies like PJ has/will
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