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The Tolkien Professor weighs in on fan reaction to Hobbit film.

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message 1: by Becky  (new) - added it

 Becky  The Tolkien Professor weighs in on fan reaction to Hobbit film. January 1st 2:00 PM Eastern.

http://news.mymiddleearth.com/2012/12...


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh my god i LOVED the film
I read the book first and it was awesome but maybe cos it was like in the 1930s it was a bit hard to get through but the movie ignited that omigod spark in me and now i am OBSESSED and i neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed a copy of fellowship of the rings]
and frodo is so cute


Sophie I loved the film, but it was a bit disconcerting to watch in 3D. I think they did a really good job of covering all the events in the book - I only counted two small deviations from the book scenes/dialogue.

:)


message 4: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen Awesome movie! Much better than expected.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Yh the elf city and that weird wizard guy wth the Necromancer
I saw it in 2D at my cinemas
3D is too expensive
Plus for most films I prefer 2D
3D is good 4 some films only


Bobo I ABSOLOUTLY loved the HOBBIT.
It is one of my very greatest movies but i was a bit confused to why theybut that ork dude in.
Still I am obsessed about the hobbit.


going into EASON'S today.


Sparrowlicious On 3D:
If you plan on watching it in 3D, please choose HFR 3D.
Why? Because it's easier on the eyes. I don't know if it's like this for everyone, but for me normal 3D just blurs when something moves. I saw this movie in both HFR 3D and normal 3D and yeah, HFR is better on the eyes. Sure, the cgi looks suddenly "cheap" but at least you can follow how the dwarves fall down that tunnel without the image blurring too much. I really wished more movies were released in HFR. /: 3D seems to live from all those sudden movements and things coming towards you but what's the point of it's all too blurry? I can't enjoy any of that (sadly even here in Vienna it's sometimes hard to find movies in 2D!).


message 8: by Feliks (last edited Jan 03, 2013 09:21AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Feliks 'Tolkien Professor'? Please. One of the most famous English literary critics (contemporaneous to Tolkien's publishing of LOTR) shouted Tolkien's accomplishment down at the time, as nonsense and balderdash. I despise anyone who tosses the term 'professor' around as a way to elevate their opinions above others.

As for the movie; its as bad an idea as LOTR was. Typical Peter Jackson garbage; choosing a dashing and charismatic-looking simp which looks nothing akin to how Tolkien described the character. Jackson would cast Angelina Jolie in a Tolkien movie and make it 3D--and still try to convince you that he was being faithful to the material. That's his level of artistic integrity. None of these films should have ever been made.


message 9: by Allen (last edited Jan 03, 2013 10:39AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Allen Stroud Angry much Feliks? ;)
I do agree to a point, in that the status of a 'professor' is actually quite difficult to achieve and styling yourself as one raises the hackles of others. That said, my American exchange students used to call me 'professor' all the time, which I had to correct them on (Just Allen is fine).

I like Jackson's adaptations a lot. It is plain an awful lot of time and thought went into maintaining the story as much as possible. However the places where they generally get weak (Radaghast's rabbits, Elves at Helm's Deep, Legolas and the Oliphant, Toss the Dwarf, etc...) are when the material isn't treated with the dignity it deserves and someone thinks their 'idea' is better.

That said, I often bring up the question of 'sparkling vampires' with my students and watch people get angry over the Twilight interpretation. After a bit, I gently remind them all vampires are fictional, so what does it matter? Not a lot. ;)


message 10: by James (last edited Jan 03, 2013 11:26AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

James Vavasour Must say, I was very disappointed. Not a fan of the adaptation of the brown wizard, Radagast, and his bunny sled. I'd waited a long time to seem him on the big screen. Watching him drawing on Gandalf's pipe, going cross eyed, and then blowing smoke out his ears was more than a little painful.

The mountain giants, change in goblin cannon, the lack of appreciation for Newton's Three Laws of Motion, all threw me out of the film. I do recognize that the same types of things were in the previous films, such as Legolas doing the "Fred Flintstone" down the face of the oliphant in Return of the King... but in the Hobbit, it felt like a barrage of, silly, over-the-top, action scenes.

I come to expect it now from Peter Jackson, lest we forget his "Dinosaur Pile-Up" scene in King Kong. a scene so bad it spawned an alternative band name.

I have not enjoyed anything he's filmed in it's entirety since The Two Towers.


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm a recent fan of LOTR, and I've read the Fellowship and the Hobbit so far. I saw the Fellowship film before the book, and read the Hobbit before the film. Personally, I love the films. I thought The Hobbit was great. Not better than the book, but movies are hardly ever better than the book. I liked what PJ did with it. Sure, some of the comic scenes were a bit awful to choke down, but we have to remember the Hobbit is wildly considered far less mature and more of a children's novel, unlike the main trilogy. So they had to know that a lot of kids would be watching. Heck, when I saw it he first time there was a five year old watching who was really into it.


James Vavasour Maryam wrote: "James wrote: "Must say, I was very disappointed. Not a fan of the adaptation of the brown wizard, Radagast, and his bunny sled. I'd waited a long time to seem him on the big screen. Watching him dr..."

True, but he never appeared in that novel. He was only mentioned. Personally, I felt the Gollum/Bilbo scene was masterfully executed, maintaining the childish innocence of the book, while still appealing to a larger, more mature, audience. While Radagast was simply childish.


Amber Sophie wrote: "I loved the film, but it was a bit disconcerting to watch in 3D. I think they did a really good job of covering all the events in the book - I only counted two small deviations from the book scenes..."

Hmm - maybe you should give the book another read. You have clearly forgotten what happens in it.


Also @James, that is the one scene I enjoyed most in the movie. Gollum/Bilbo scene was excellent. I liked how it stayed true to the novel for the most part, but they also did a great job of making it look quite similar to the scene from the cartoon adaptation, which I'm particularly fond of.


Anyway. I thought for a fantasy movie, it was a good movie. If you went to it, hadnt read the books, and just liked fantasy, you'd probably love it. As far as an adaptation of the novel...well...I think it left a lot wanting. And seriously...WTF with the Pale Orc? Thats just shit. Plus, not really impressed with Jackson money milking - three movies for a 300 pg novel? Yah. If they're all three hours long, I'll probably be able to read the novel faster than watch his opinion of what a good rendition of a classic epic fantasy novel is.

sigh.

I actually reviewed this on my blog not that long ago. www.ivorydooms.blogspot.com if anyone is interested.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

I love gollum he's so cool its hilarious my friend next to me was all terrified and stuff and I was trying not to laugh
Noone else in the cinema was laughing though so maybe I'm the only one who finds gollum funny?
I have two things to say
Firstly was legolas in The Hobbit? Some sites said he was and stuff but I couldn't c him at all so if he was can u pls tell me?
Secondly did Tolkien describe goblins as big ugly fat gross things like they were in the film? I watched the movie the day after I finished the book but i can't remember how Tolkien described goblins and I had 2 return the book to the library cos the waiting list is like 50 people
Personally I always thing of goblins like they r in HP so i was a bit surprised
So pls let me know about the goblins and legolas thanks guys


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Goblins I believe were described as nasty things. Why else would they look like that in the film? I haven't read the goblin bit in awhile, but I'm pretty positive they were described as hideously as they appeared in the cinematic version.

As for Legolas, he's appearing in part 3, I think. Maybe part 2. Can't wait. Love to see him and Thandruil (sp?) together.


Geoffrey I was a bit disappointed not to have the entire book on the film. I didn`trealize it was only the first half and was flabbergasted that they would not bill the movie as HOBBIT I,with a sequel coming.

One small minor cinematic fault-in the next to the last scene where they are beset at the cliff`s edge, Frodo`s sword fails to light up at the approach of the orcs.

That and the ridiculous scene with them chased by the orcs inside the mountains were over the top. Other than that,a stupendous film.

I was a bit surprised to note how different Gandalf was in the Hobbit. He was considerably less sure of himself and more equivocating. At several points I even wondered had they used an understudy for some of the scenes?


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanx 4 clearing that up :)
Btw does anyone else think they should have made the Hobbit movie/s before they made LOTR cos all the actors r older now
I haven't seen/read LOTR yet but except for the trailers and 15 mins of the two towers on accident but I'm guessing they're all ten years older but its set 60 years in the past! So do they look way older or something


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Only like three actors from the original films were used in the Hobbit.

1.) Elijah Wood, making his cameo as Frodo. It's well known that he is basically immortal and a God, so he looked practically the same, allowing me to fangirl more.

2.) Ian Holme as old Bilbo. Bilbo is naturally old, and if they needed to just a touch of make-up could have removed a few wrinkles on his face.

3.) Ian McKellen as Gandalf. When he was... I'll just say in the last films he looks cleaner and maybe a bit younger than he did in The Hobbit, I don't wish to spoil anything for you so I won't exactly state why. Gandalf is already old, so like Bilbo they can just use a bit of make-up.


Also, The Hobbit was made after LOTR because Peter Jackson really didn't want to make The Hobbit film. And personally, I liked watching the original trilogy first then The Hobbit afterwards, because then you already have the extensive knowledge of all things in the LOTR world, and you get to enjoy all the little moments that have huge impacts on the series or just cute things that link into the films. (example: When Frodo leaves to catch Gandalf in East Farthing made me squee a little, because it basically a prequel to the scene in Fellowship).

And Bilbo is played by a different actor in The Hobbit; Martin Freeman.

And as stated above, 90% of the characters are newly casted. Oh, I left out Galadriel, Saruman, and Elrond. Those were all re-occuring characters. And then Legolas will come in later.


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks very helpful!


Amber Geoffrey wrote: "I was a bit disappointed not to have the entire book on the film. I didn`trealize it was only the first half and was flabbergasted that they would not bill the movie as HOBBIT I,with a sequel comin..."

DUDE! Thank you! I thought I was the only one going WTF? During that scene.

I practically stood up and pointed in the theatre LOL. It was completely and utterly distracting for me.


Allen Stroud It was pretty clearly explained as having been split into parts throughout the whole marketing process in the UK. Aside from the ability to deal with the subject material of the book in greater detail, the third film will focus on the period between LOTR and the Hobbit, which is quite exciting, as there is lots of source material to draw from, but no central story. I'm intrigued to see what they do with it.


Scribal Hobbit movie so cutesy and disnified that in my memory it IS a cartoon and I keep having to remind myself it wasn't. Very disappointing.


message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

"adaptation"
"made into a movie"
Nonsensical phrases.
Lotr movies were intolerable.
Book was treated disrespectfully and vulgarly.
From characters and their motives and decisions to events as they happened in the book. And besides unacceptable treatment of all these there were ridiculous minor items like StarWars forcefield on the bridge, Electric Eye in the sky, and ground falling down around the host of Aragorn.

Denethor lighted pyre himself and died a horrible death devastated by grief and struggle with Sauron. Faramir let Frodo go without these damn scenes when movie character holds chain with the ring on his dagger. Frodo failed to cast the ring into fire, and he did not fight with Gollum. Without Gollum ring would not be destroyed.

All these things and many others are important for spirit and essence of the book.

Same thing with this recent comic film.

I'm new to Goodreads, but it seems that a lot of people here don't even know that books are meant to be read, and that literary art is in words and not in motion pictures.


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

You can still love movies just as much as novels. I love to read and watch films; in fact, my dream is to be part of the movie-making process. I would just love to be able to cast stuff onto the big screen. PJ put a lot of work into the movies, and that doesn't mean they still can't be bad. But personally, I love all the LOTR movies. I can see why others wouldn't, but since I saw the movies before reading the books, I thought they explained everything in an amazing way, the casting was great, and it brought me to tears.

I really dislike people who cast off the movie versions of novels, because they are normally two totally different things. They are both amazing in their own ways. I honestly can't choose one over another.

One thing I love about the LOTR films is that the cast has such amazing chemistry.


message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

I thought (perhaps very unsurprisingly) that the film had some very good and some "not so good". It was very slow moving at the start, as people had to be told what the story was all about. I liked the mix of "the hobbit story" with stuff from the Lord of the Rings appendices, which filled things out nicely. But I don't like these "hard on the eye" battle scenes - I guess I am too old, but there is just too much going on "on screen" and you end up mesmerised by it. The riddle bit is fantastic cinema. But I thought hobbits were inclined to be "round in the stomach"? Also, like an earlier poster, I noted that the swords did not invariably "glow blue" in the presence of orcs. Looking forward to the next part though - I reckon they will add "the battle of Dol Guldur" to the storyline......


Allen Stroud I would tend to agree with you Rainbow. I read the Hobbit and LOTR as a child and cried like a child when I saw the films. I teach writing and have written academic papers on Tolkien. I find it amusing when we get stuffy responses that criticise Boyens, Walsh and Jackson's screen play using terms like 'intolerable' and 'how dare'. Well, move past it people, they got the rights, they made the film, people liked it. There are some weaknesses, but there are also some improvements. Plot compression in the Council at Rivendell (Thank goodness we didn't have to go through the long stories). The changes to include Arwen more (didn't like it at first, but I do now and who needs Gorfindel?;)). Getting rid of Tom Bombadil (only there to stop childhood nightmares late at night).

I think the books are great and well worth the read, but I don't sneer at people who came to Middle Earth through the films. If you've read or watched some of the material, you're okay by me...;)


Karen Feliks wrote: "'Tolkien Professor'? Please. One of the most famous English literary critics (contemporaneous to Tolkien's publishing of LOTR) shouted Tolkien's accomplishment down at the time, as nonsense and bal..."

I hate to break it to you but no film is going to be 100% based on a novel. There are somethings that must be represented visually rather than explaining it out.
So Bilbo doesn't look like you think he should, don't go to anymore of the movies.
I tend to treat them as an interpretation and I think Jackson spent a lot of time and effort on the small things, like the Elves clothing, swords and so on. I love them for what they are, an imagining of Tolkien's world.


message 28: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 07, 2013 08:51PM) (new)

There is no such thing as movie version of a novel.

Versions can be made by author, for instance there is standard edition of Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, and there's original uncut edition.
Or there are different versions of legends in the Silmarillion, written at different times during the development of mythology.

But there can be no movie versions of a novel.
These Hollywood stuff is just useless.
It shows nothing, it represents nothing. There are some old movie adaptations where author's name is on the title screen. Can you say it about Jackson's films.
Can you say that it's John Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, or John Tolkien's Hobbit.
Off course not.

I would like to see a decent movie, made with devotion and respect.
The problem with Jackson is that no matter what he says his purpose wasn't to represent the book in the film and to convey it's spirit, the purpose was to make "cool" movies and make money.

Books aren't "good" enough for him. They are long, they don't fit mainstream tendencies, and they require certain imagination to be read. But for average viewer you need cool spicy stuff. Why show tragedy of Denethor's death, it's better to beat him up and cast him off the cliff. That's cool. Scene at the Crack of Doom is kinda gloomy. Hero fails. It doesn't fit our mould. So here's some punching in the end. That's nice. Faramir let Frodo go. That's not intresting. Let's make it really dramatic.

So I'm not talking here about abridged plot and missing characters (which I don't like, but can understand), and not about what swords should glow. I'm talking about central events, about characters' motives, feelings, and decisions that might have been represented with respect to the book, and it would not increase timeline or stress the budget.


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

There are plenty of decent movies out there, you just have to look in the right places. Personally, I like foreign films sometimes, like IP Man. Not to mention there are some few animated gems out there.


Karen Ingwar wrote: "There is no such thing as movie version of a novel.

Versions can be made by author, for instance there is standard edition of Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, and there's original unc..."


It seems you just want to complain about Peter Jackson and the movies. No one I know thinks they take the place of the novels. They are an interpretation, if you don't like them then save yourself the upset and don't go.

I don't see them as a replacement for the novels, some who never read them DID go read them after seeing the films.

Relax, it is not the end of the world-the novels will always be there for everyone to enjoy.


Allen Stroud Ingwar wrote: "There is no such thing as movie version of a novel.

Versions can be made by author, for instance there is standard edition of Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, and there's original unc..."


There's no discussion here is there? ;) You're entitled to your pretty categorical view. I disagree with most of what you've said.

I'll happily discuss goods and bads with anyone if they're prepared to debate their views. There's not a lot of point if they don't explain their reasons, or remain open to being convinced otherwise.


message 32: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 08, 2013 03:56AM) (new)

Allen wrote: "There's not a lot of point if they don't explain their reasons, or remain open to being convinced otherwise.
"


I think that I explained my reasons very well.

Karen wrote: "It seems you just want to complain about Peter Jackson and the movies. Relax, it is not the end of the world."

It's not the end of the world. But for a lot of people it will be the movie, and it will be the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit for them.

And nobody are going to make another film, because these specific images are all over the world. People are happy with substitutes, and that's bad.


TINNGG ...You know, when FOTR came out, people kvetched that it was too long. Ditto the remaining two films. Only fans bothered with the extended editions. Watching them all back to back takes 12 hours. Just how long do you think your faithful interpretation "made with devotion and respect (and a bottomless well of money apparently)" would be? How many people do you think would actually watch it?

There were things changed/left out in LOTR that I wasn't happy with, to be sure. I also realize that to have included everything would have made a movie series so long (and in some cases, boring.) that nobody would have watched it all, which would have left it unfinished, because it takes money to do that, you know.

As to The Hobbit, some have complained (not here) that the first hour dragged on forever. And yet, a song was left out, Bilbo's washing dishes was left out (or did you really want to see him cleaning up his kitchen the next morning?). And then there's the original characterization of the dwarves - TSTL moments (the trolls), grumbling constantly about Bilbo, terrified when caught by the goblins... Oh, and Thorin vocalizing his concern at being mistaken for a football by the stone giants (there were footballs in Middle Earth?!)


Amber I do see where Ingwar is coming from. I mean, I've felt this way as well.

I literally paid to go watch the first Percy Jackson film, only to walk out half way through because it was literally...utter shit and completely baseless.

I'd almost say the same for the Hobbit, since it's pretty much over halfway fabricated, but the thing about the Hobbit is, it was a well made film, with beloved actors and huge hype that is going to turn a lot of people on to the genre of fantasy that weren't interested before. Thats really the major redeeming quality of it. It was a decent fantasy movie, it was not a good interpretation of the novel. (I'm fairly certain Peter Jackson may never have read it....)

But really it is rare to find a film thats better than its novel counterpart. The only one I can even think of was Fight Club.


message 35: by [deleted user] (new)

Crystal wrote: "...You know, when FOTR came out, people kvetched that it was too long. Ditto the remaining two films. Only fans bothered with the extended editions. Watching them all back to back takes 12 hours..."

It seems you didn't read my posts. I'm not talking about missing events and characters, and I can understand time limits.

Every time Peter Jackson had a choice between making something true to book and inventing "cool" stuff of his own he chose the latter.

Most of the scenes could have been adequately represented with the same timing and cost.


TINNGG It seems I did, just as I read every other person kvetching about PJ's not following the story since FOTR came out what...10 years ago?

So we were supposed to see Frodo move, leave through the old forest, have a run-in with Old Man Willow, wonder what on earth Tom Bombadil was, dodge barrow wights, etc.

And we were supposed to see each and every dwarf grumble about how useless Bilbo was, watch them blunder one by one into the troll camp.

Yes; I'm aware of, and not happy about Faramir, I hated Haldir's being there at Helms Deep (though it's said that Tolkien toyed with the idea of them being there so maybe it wasn't that far fetched). I also hated the green snot, the... I could go on, but what is the point? The movies are made, it's done, Shelob has a stinger on her butt, and the Shire was never scoured.

In any case, who's to say that Tolkien wouldn't have eventually written the scenes just like that? From what I've managed to read, everything he wrote was a work in progress. My nice shiny new copy of The Hobbit has notes in the copyright info that it was revised at least once. There are so many versions of the Sil (or the tales therein) that one could get hopelessly lost. And I'm not even touching the various versions of LOTR itself - at least in this post.


Allen Stroud Ingwar wrote:
"I think that I explained my reasons very well."

That one sentence I think, sums up all your points...;)


message 38: by Drew (new) - rated it 4 stars

Drew Ingwar wrote: ""adaptation"
"made into a movie"
Nonsensical phrases.
Lotr movies were intolerable.
Book was treated disrespectfully and vulgarly.
From characters and their motives and decisions to events as they..."


And you know what, because of the films many people have come to read the books who would have never do so without watching the films first. Get over it, The Hobbit is a wonderful film that did deviate from the source material but was done in a respectful way.


Christine Starnes I've read most of Tolkien's books and I really love them. However, I think Peter Jackson did LOTR and The Hobbit splendidly. I really enjoy myself every time I go to a new movie.


Steven Simpson BTW to those bashing Corey Olsen. He IS a college professor, and he teaches a class on the Lord of the Rings, so yeah, he knows a bit more about Tolkien than you.


Allen Stroud Hmmm, little bit of discussion Necromancy Steven? Motive?

For the record, I didn't "bash", I'm a University Lecturer in Writing, whose taught Writing Fantasy for ten years and would happily challenge Mr Olsen to a Tolkien Quiz, anytime...:D


Steven Simpson If you weren't bashing him, then my comment wasn't aimed at you. :-)


Maria James wrote: "Must say, I was very disappointed. Not a fan of the adaptation of the brown wizard, Radagast, and his bunny sled. I'd waited a long time to seem him on the big screen. Watching him drawing on Ganda..."

Yeah, that really bothered me. Also, when people fall about a hundred feet...I expect them to die. This probably bothered me more than it should have,but I have a very skeptical personality and some things just can't be helped.


Firstname Lastname Feliks wrote: "'Tolkien Professor'? Please. One of the most famous English literary critics (contemporaneous to Tolkien's publishing of LOTR) shouted Tolkien's accomplishment down at the time, as nonsense and bal..."

I've taught at the college level. My students did indeed call me "Professor" and still do.


Allen Stroud That's common in America. In the UK, a Professorship is quite hard to attain as it requires the candidate to have a doctorate and to be endorsed by their academic faculty.


Allen Stroud My American exchange students call me "Professor Stroud".


message 47: by Anne (new) - added it

Anne Gazzolo I am a fan of Professor Olsen and he certainly knows his stuff. I loved the LOTR films but was disappointed in The Hobbit. The acting, the music, the special effects, the celebration of friendship and courage and sacrifice was so magnificent in LOTR. It had heart and everyone lived, whether they carried the films or were there for a few seconds (ie the beacon lighters or the parents and children at Helm's Deep). The Unexpected Disappointment was little more than special effects to me. Nothing else was special. I don't have much hope that the others will be better but I will still watch them.

Namarie, God bless, Anne Marie :)


Firstname Lastname Allen wrote: "My American exchange students call me "Professor Stroud"."

D'awww. I never understood what a "reader" was in the UK system.


message 49: by Richard (new)

Richard Cubitt Ingwar wrote: ""adaptation"
"made into a movie"
Nonsensical phrases.
Lotr movies were intolerable.
Book was treated disrespectfully and vulgarly.
From characters and their motives and decisions to events as they..."


Yes, Yes, Yes. Absolutely right.


message 50: by S (new)

S Anne wrote: "I am a fan of Professor Olsen and he certainly knows his stuff. I loved the LOTR films but was disappointed in The Hobbit. The acting, the music, the special effects, the celebration of friendship ..."

My sentiments exactly. I feel the 2nd and 3rd Hobbit films will be weak, but i will still see them in a theater. Sigh.


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