Controversial post of the week...
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  1. #1

    Default Controversial post of the week...

    I Liked the Hobbit 2...right up until Smaug.

    SPOILERS AHEAD!!

    I remember distinctly an interview with Peter Jackson a few years back where he declared they were going to avoid having Smaug's mouth move when he spoke as it would require mammalian lips to be effective, and look stupid as a result (Cue references to Sean Connery's appalling Dragon in Dragonheart.)

    But what did they do..exactly that!
    He should have just broadcast his thoughts telepathically, IMHO that would have worked so much better.
    But I guess someone voiced the concern that some members of the audience wouldn't understand what was going on, so lips ahoy me mateys!

    That and the giant golden king statue...that Smaug just stands in front of, with Thorin standing there in perfect flame range while he taunts Smaug...I mean really??

    And finally...Smaug has 4 limbs, and walks on his wings...yes, very accurate biologically...but this is FANTASY!!!!
    It's a FREAKING FIRE BREATHING DRAGON, it don't have to waddle around on the ground like a stupid great bat!!

    Otherwise a great flick, highly recommended, with mercifully fewer rabbit-led sled scenes.

  2. #2

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    To be honest, i thought it was truly awful. Overly long and turgid. Aside from the effects (and i agree about the dragon), i couldn't see what most of the additions to the original story line added. It just seemed designed to draw out the movie to allow a third movie...

    ... Speaking of which, i am genuinely terrified by what the final instalment of this awful franchise will turn out to be. How long are they going to drag out the slaying of the dragon? The creature seemed wholly ineffectual in this movie, so why it should take 3 hours to kill it in the next movie?

    Having really enjoyed the LOR movies, i'm gutted about how the hobbit turned out.

  3. #3

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    Firstly, I am amazed there has been no discussion of the Hobbit on here so far. Secondly, I dont have an issue with most of the points you raised, Smaug does talk, the lip design worked for me as did Benedict's performance. However, I am right royally peed off about the lack of Smaug's front legs, especially since he clearly had four legs in the first film and Weta have retconned him in the extended edition of An unexpected journey to have a more wyvernesque anatomy, just because they felt they couldn't make a four legged version work. They didn't even do a proper job of that because they forgot to amend the scene when he rips open the door- you can still clearly see a front foot! Duh!

    Read more here: http://atolkienistperspective.wordpr...tion-of-smaug/

    Eta and a link to Weta's justification for changing Smaug's design: http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/171...xplained.jhtml

    Don't get me wrong, I am not against Wyvern style dragons in general, but Tolkien himself painted and drew Smaug as a four legged dragon and I do not think PJ should have messed with that premise.
    Last edited by kittykat23uk; 01-03-2014 at 09:33 AM.

  4. #4

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    Oh don't get me started deep breath. Right no swearing ..........how the f'ing heck do you make a kids 180 or so pages book into a three film blockbuster. How? By making it all up adding bits that just not in the book. Really the whole concept of this trilogy annoys me. This was the very very first book I bought withi my own Christmas money age 7 and read my self. It was without doubt my favourite book for the whole of my childhood and I still have great affection for it. So it narks me no end what has been done to it. You don't have to turn every single book into a trilogy of films.
    Victis hostibus tuis tibi rapitur videre et audire fletum mulierum. (or as near as google can do it!)
    Here be my ranking=
    Here be my gallery http://www.coolminiornot.com/artist/AndyG

  5. #5

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    The whole dragon speaking didn't even enter my brain, mostly 'cause I was brought up on the old 1977 "Thundercats" animated movie. What I did notice were thus:
    • Smaug had combo wings/ arms, making him more like a drake or wyvern.
    • The whole 'giant molten gold dwarf' looked unreal because real molten metal makes a skin when it's cooling
    • Elf/ Dwarf 'shipping... would they cancel out and make a human?
    • New Zealand native extras.. I dunno, it was just awkward to see them in crowd scenes. Especially when one gal went from the front of the crowd to the back then to the front over successive cut-a-ways.
    • Peter Jackson wants all the money he can get out of me. At this rate, there will be another 2 movies- one for battle of 5 armies, and one that's just and extended monologue of Bilbo walking home.
    • Wasn't Gandalf with them when they discovered the door?

    On the plus side, I really loved the whole Bombour fighting scene. He truly is the best warrior of the group, taking out about 12 orcs and not even meaning to..

    Okay, enough tangent, back to main point- Smaug talking would've been weird if they didn't have talking lips, because then he's just either opening and closing his mouth like a puppet, or lolling his mouth and gullet around for words. None of those sounds appealing, so they did their best IMHO.

  6. #6

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    Haven't seen the film yet, but I actually think Dragon heart was a fantastic dragon for it's time, only beimg surpassed by the Harry Potter ones.

    To me a dragon has 4 distinct legs and 2 separate wings, 2 legs and 2 walking wings is a Wyvern.

    How can you have it talk and not move it's mouth without looking stupid?
    Last edited by Talion; 01-03-2014 at 12:16 PM.

  7. #7

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    Everyones biggest mistake is comparing the movies to the book. Every lotr movie i have seen i went in to enjoy a romp through middle earth. Yes there are liberties taken there have to be as someone said its a 180 page book.

    Some things were daft yes but i can forgive that as no one else is making the movies. I enjoy them for what they are.

  8. #8

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    I did like the bunny sled, beorn and those spiders were suitably scary! Just sad about what I hoped would be the ultimate dragon!

  9. #9

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    Controversial? *rolls sleeves up* We can do better than that.

    Tolkien is crap. A clever bugger, academic background, good world building, but lacking in author skills. These days his books wouldn't get printed, publisher notes might suggest he get into writing the background for RPG's and leave the creative writing to others.

    It's amazing they managed to make decent films from such dire source material. Injecting pace, characterisation and dialogue absent from the Tolkien books.

    It's a shame that books exist in a bubble. Songs get cover versions, films get remakes, if only someone could write a decent novelisation of the films.

  10. #10

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    I agree wrt LOTR, spent two years reading those books and wished I hadnt bothered, but I loved the three films. three films for the Hobbit is excessive though!

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyrmypops View Post
    Controversial? *rolls sleeves up* We can do better than that.

    Tolkien is crap. A clever bugger, academic background, good world building, but lacking in author skills. These days his books wouldn't get printed, publisher notes might suggest he get into writing the background for RPG's and leave the creative writing to others.

    It's amazing they managed to make decent films from such dire source material. Injecting pace, characterisation and dialogue absent from the Tolkien books.

    It's a shame that books exist in a bubble. Songs get cover versions, films get remakes, if only someone could write a decent novelisation of the films.
    Wow now that is controversial! That's like going to a Star Wars convention and going Star Trek is better! I must respectfully disagree with your assessment of Tolkien literary skills.

    To put it into context it may appear a bit hackneyed but only because the entire genre was built upon it and every single fantasy story written since then is based upon the foundations it built. In fact the only other authors I can think of with the same sort of affect would be r e Howard or Lovecraft and neither of them could hold a candle to Tolkien. You know what; I think that even this forum wouldn't exist without him. I mean would there even have been gw or reaper or any number of fantasy producing miniature companies if Tolkien hadn't been around at some point with his middle earth would there have been D and D or a lot of the other gaming systems? Even people like Michael Moorcock or Jack Vance or the other formative geniuses of the fantasy world would they have been published if it wasn't for the financial success that was middle earth?

    any way Wyrmypops you have manged to find my inner fan boy and released the geek within. I salute you sir for your bravery and saying the unsayable............voodoo doll now made.......pins ready......molten lead and bolt cutters check. Just need a lock of hair and we are good to go!
    Victis hostibus tuis tibi rapitur videre et audire fletum mulierum. (or as near as google can do it!)
    Here be my ranking=
    Here be my gallery http://www.coolminiornot.com/artist/AndyG

  12. #12

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    I got enough hair to spare.

    Have never bought into the "father of fantasy" argument. Being a stepping stone or building block, fair enough, some gratitude or recognition for that would be valid but doesn't imbue the books with enjoyable literary qualities they just don't possess.

  13. #13

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    Not an issue with the lips or golden statue. Dragons love gold... it is a large gold thingy. Like waving an Ilyad barbarian in front of some of our lot! Had other issues though. Like why the most awesome female character they managed to conjure had to fall in love immediately with some kind of weird elf-dwarf-elf jealousy thing... I don't know.

    Tolkien wasn't perhaps the best writer but that's not the point. It's like an analytic, intellectual afterthought. He created a world for me when I was a kid.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by ozymandias View Post
    To be honest, i thought it was truly awful. Overly long and turgid. Aside from the effects (and i agree about the dragon), i couldn't see what most of the additions to the original story line added. It just seemed designed to draw out the movie to allow a third movie...

    ... Speaking of which, i am genuinely terrified by what the final instalment of this awful franchise will turn out to be. How long are they going to drag out the slaying of the dragon? The creature seemed wholly ineffectual in this movie, so why it should take 3 hours to kill it in the next movie?

    Having really enjoyed the LOR movies, i'm gutted about how the hobbit turned out.
    Yep, someone here hasn't ACTUALLY READ THE BOOK.
    Smug dies in the book off-action a fair way before the end of the story, he simply flies away, and we hear no more for some time, when his demise is retrospectively described.
    The rest of the book deals with...well... lots of things...read the book.
    But to answer other posts regarding accuracy to the book, an extra material...

    I'm afraid it was necessary.

    In the book, Smaug is touted as the big, bad threat, the nemesis, the arch-enemy, the ultimate challenge.
    What happens?
    Smaug spends 60 years sleeping, gets woken up by a hobbit, who steals the Arkenstone, sending the dragon into a frenzy of rage, who then flies off to Laketown and gets shot down by one arrow.
    Instead the real finale of the book is a battle of 5 armies, which for a movie-going audience brought up on Hollywood-style plots where the nemesis is dispatched at the end of the film, this would b confusing.
    That's why Azog has been introduced, and NO, he wasn't invented by Peter Jackson, there is an astonishing wealth of material writtend by Tolkien that is valid material for inclusion in the movies. He needed to build the backstory to that battle, because IT is the true conclusion to the film.

    Comments regarding Tolkein's literary style and talent aside, the Hobbit does build for one encounter, and diverts off to another with little explanation.
    Last edited by yxalitis; 01-03-2014 at 09:47 PM.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by yxalitis View Post
    Yep, someone here hasn't ACTUALLY READ THE BOOK.
    Smug dies in the book off-action a fair way before the end of the story, he simply flies away, and we hear no more for some time, when his demise is retrospectively described.
    The rest of the book deals with...well... lots of things...read the book.
    But to answer other posts regarding accuracy to the book, an extra material...

    I'm afraid it was necessary.

    In the book, Smaug is touted as the big, bad threat, the nemesis, the arch-enemy, the ultimate challenge.
    What happens?
    Smaug spends 60 years sleeping, gets woken up by a hobbit, who steals the Arkenstone, sending the dragon into a frenzy of rage, who then flies off to Laketown and gets shot down by one arrow.
    Instead the real finale of the book is a battle of 5 armies, which for a movie-going audience brought up on Hollywood-style plots where the nemesis is dispatched at the end of the film, this would b confusing.
    That's why Azog has been introduced, and NO, he wasn't invented by Peter Jackson, there is an astonishing wealth of material writtend by Tolkien that is valid material for inclusion in the movies. He needed to build the backstory to that battle, because IT is the true conclusion to the film.

    Comments regarding Tolkein's literary style and talent aside, the Hobbit does build for one encounter, and diverts off to another with little explanation.
    I have read the book as it happens. Several times. My point is that there seems relatively little to justify yet another 3 hours of movie.

    My disappointment with the dragon was that the overly long chase scene makes it seem wholly ineffectual. It is enormous and can breath fire, but cant manage to kill even one dwarf. It some, what undermined th threat of the character.

    I should probably add that i have no issue with a director altering the original source material. However, if they choose to do so, it should really add to the movie. The addition of legolas and thauviel (sp?) just wasnt justified in my opinion. May be the purpose is to tie the storyline together for the battle of 5 armies as yxalitis suggests. However, my suspicion is that it was an excuse to bring back a popular franchise character and have fun with special effects. I guess i'll have to suffer through the final instalment to see.
    Last edited by ozymandias; 01-04-2014 at 01:39 AM.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by ozymandias View Post
    I have read the book as it happens. Several times. My point is that there seems relatively little to justify yet another 3 hours of movie.

    My disappointment with the dragon was that the overly long chase scene makes it seem wholly ineffectual. It is enormous and can breath fire, but cant manage to kill even one dwarf. It some, what undermined th threat of the character.

    I should probably add that i have no issue with a director altering the original source material. However, if they choose to do so, it should really add to the movie. The addition of legolas and thauviel (sp?) just wasnt justified in my opinion. May be the purpose is to tie the storyline together for the battle of 5 armies as yxalitis suggests. However, my suspicion is that it was an excuse to bring back a popular franchise character and have fun with special effects. I guess i'll have to suffer through the final instalment to see.
    Quote Originally Posted by ozymandias View Post
    How long are they going to drag out the slaying of the dragon? The creature seemed wholly ineffectual in this movie, so why it should take 3 hours to kill it in the next movie?
    For an effective counter, I repost the specific comment that drew my response.
    Anyone who has read the book..."several times" would now Smaug's death was very underplayed, and took almost no time to document, a very low prose-count, if you will allow me to destroy the English language (further).
    Your question as to why it would take 3 hours to show demonstrates a lack of knowledge of the source material, regardless of PJ's additional material padding out the movie.

  17. #17

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    Its a fair point that you make yxalitis with regard to the amount of material in the original novel. I am not arguing that at all. My point was that yet another 3 hours movie is drawing matters out (even taking into account the battle of 5 armies) and could, in my view, quite readily have been resolved in this movie but for the additional material that PJ added. Obviously, they want to milk the franchise for all it is worth. I can understand that. In my view it has not made for a great couple of movies and I think it is shame given the beauty of the novel.

    With regard to the dragon, my concern was that the length of the scene chasing the dwarves substantially undermined the "threat" of the dragon. The longer the scene went on, the less capable the dragon appears to be.

    Furthermore, for all that there is a "very low prose count" in the original novel regarding the death of Smaug, we know that the attack is going to be drawn out in the next movie as it allows PJ to make the most of the CGI. My view is that this is unnecessary and is to the detriment of the overall story. I suppose Smaug will at least get to kill a few extras at least, so perhaps will regain some of the draconic reputation.

  18. #18

  19. #19

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    I have read the book and liked it as a child, want tooo keep those thoughts and therfore not wastching the moivies, good or bad dosn´t matter. Hard for a movie to give the same insight and feeling that a book and your mind gives you.

    I hope that people that do go and see it for the most part likes the movie. Just not for me.

    Kretcher
    work is boring when it gets in the way of my painting.

  20. #20

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    im just chuffed i finally found a really cool elf. That king Thranduil rocks!

    too much dragon scenes at the end though, cut cut 20 minutes...

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