Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Thoughts on the upcoming Hobbit Movie

Expand Messages
  • Gerry Blair
    I am looking forward to seeing The Hobbit film despite any misgivings I may have. I will admit the first time I saw the dwarves they seemed almost cartoon like
    Message 1 of 8 , Nov 12, 2012
    View Source
    • 0 Attachment

      I am looking forward to seeing The Hobbit film despite any misgivings I may have. I will admit the first time I saw the dwarves they seemed almost cartoon like and obviously “fake” looking, though how an imaginary being could look real I don’t know. I did know this was not how I imagined them, but they have begun to grow on me. I do give MR. Jackson credit for having made an entertaining movie from LOTR, visually stunning, some things very cool and much like I had imagined them, others not so much. I never went to the theater to see the LOTR films because I am a firm believer that movies seldom if ever can do justice to a book. Yet after seeing them at home on DVD, they were fun to watch. I’m quite sure I will go to a theater to see The Hobbit; I won’t be able to resist. I think what disturbs me the most is after seeing the films I tend to see things as they appear in the films not as I would if it were left only to the imagination, and some how I think that is how it is should be, seen in the eye of one’s own imagination. I think there in the minds eye is the real magic of Faërie. When I see the movie I’ll remember this is not Tolkien’s story it is Peter Jackson’s. Yet being a Tolkien fan it is very cool to see some pretty good attempts to capture the magic of Faërie on film.

    • Jason Fisher
      I ll chime in too. I think I am in the minority on this list, being both very serious about Tolkien but also a fan of the Peter Jackson films. My chief concern
      Message 2 of 8 , Nov 12, 2012
      View Source
      • 0 Attachment
        I'll chime in too.

        I think I am in the minority on this list, being both very serious about Tolkien but also a fan of the Peter Jackson films. My chief concern with The Hobbit films was that Peter Jackson would feel compelled to match the tone of The Lord of the Rings -- that is to say, he would attempt to film something like Tolkien's 1960 revisions of The Hobbit (fortunately abandoned at Rivendell). So the more cartoonish the elements revealed in the trailers have been, the more encouraged I've been. At first, I thought Jackson went overboard trying to make all thirteen dwarves look completely distinct from one another, but I quickly realized that this was a good idea. They're all sort of interchangeable in the novel (some don't even have their own dialogue in the book), but remember their technicolor beards, hoods, and cloaks? Dwalin has a *blue* beard, for Heaven's sake! So the cartoonish and humorous elements are welcome, especially in the first half (or first third, perhaps I should say), since they'll better reflect the children's adventure tale that The Hobbit really is. I loved that little bit we glimpsed of the dwarves washing up in Bag End. As for inventions of Jackson's, we'll see, but I will say that I liked that bit with Radagast tickling a hedgehog. Again, the tone looks right. I do suspect Jackson will still overreach, both in plot and tone, especially with the Necromancer and White Council stuff, but probably also with the goblins, the storm giants, the trolls, etc., but as Gerry said, in some ways this is Jackson's story, and no longer Tolkien's. I'm looking forward to seeing what he comes up with.

        Best,
        Jason


        From: Gerry Blair <gerryblair68@...>
        To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Monday, November 12, 2012 5:25 AM
        Subject: [mythsoc] Thoughts on the upcoming Hobbit Movie

         
        I am looking forward to seeing The Hobbit film despite any misgivings I may have. I will admit the first time I saw the dwarves they seemed almost cartoon like and obviously “fake” looking, though how an imaginary being could look real I don’t know. I did know this was not how I imagined them, but they have begun to grow on me. I do give MR. Jackson credit for having made an entertaining movie from LOTR, visually stunning, some things very cool and much like I had imagined them, others not so much. I never went to the theater to see the LOTR films because I am a firm believer that movies seldom if ever can do justice to a book. Yet after seeing them at home on DVD, they were fun to watch. I’m quite sure I will go to a theater to see The Hobbit; I won’t be able to resist. I think what disturbs me the most is after seeing the films I tend to see things as they appear in the films not as I would if it were left only to the imagination, and some how I think that is how it is should be, seen in the eye of one’s own imagination. I think there in the minds eye is the real magic of Faërie. When I see the movie I’ll remember this is not Tolkien’s story it is Peter Jackson’s. Yet being a Tolkien fan it is very cool to see some pretty good attempts to capture the magic of Faërie on film.


      • David Bratman
        ... You write of tone, but that s the problem. Judging by Jackson s ideas of cartoonish and humorous elements in his LOTR, the tone will be entirely wrong.
        Message 3 of 8 , Nov 12, 2012
        View Source
        • 0 Attachment
          "Jason Fisher" <visualweasel@...> wrote:

          >So the cartoonish and
          >humorous elements are welcome, especially in the first half (or first
          >third,
          >perhaps I should say), since they'll better reflect the children's
          >adventure tale that The Hobbit really is.

          You write of tone, but that's the problem. Judging by Jackson's ideas of
          cartoonish and humorous elements in his LOTR, the tone will be entirely
          wrong. Not that humor is entirely out of place in LOTR either, but in the
          opening sequence, where it'd be most appropriate, it was clumsy, like bad
          fan fiction, and elsewhere it was entirely out of place and even more out of
          keeping with Tolkien's sense of humor.


          >As for inventions of Jackson's, we'll see

          We will. Jackson's inventions in LOTR were all over the map. A few of them
          actually made sense, I thought (though many of my fellow book-lovers
          disagreed on that); others were sheerly awful; and some didn't even make
          sense from the point of view of the movie as a work on its own, mostly in
          those places where Jackson was trying to create something original and stay
          true to the book at the same time, and consequently failed at both.


          >as Gerry said, in some ways this is Jackson's story, and no longer
          >Tolkien's.

          It is indeed. Movie fans accuse book fans of not realizing this, but
          actually it's the movie fans who don't grasp it. If they did, they wouldn't
          praise the movie for its faithfulness to the book, because faithfulness
          wouldn't be the point, or try to excuse it for its lapses, which wouldn't be
          the point either; they wouldn't treat the movie as anything somehow
          privileged in or important to the Tolkien community above or beyond the way
          they treat any other fantasy blockbuster that's vaguely Tolkien-inspired,
          like "Game of Thrones" for instance; and above all they would not conflate
          the two works or confuse the features of the one with the differing features
          of the other, which they do all the time.
        • Troels Forchhammer
          Well, as there s already a crowd . . . ;) I shan t say what are the minority views here -- I agree with David that it isn t a binary thing, and so I suspect
          Message 4 of 8 , Nov 12, 2012
          View Source
          • 0 Attachment
            Well, as there's already a crowd . . . ;) 

            I shan't say what are the minority views here -- I agree with David that it isn't a binary thing, and so I suspect that we, in the end when all nuances are accounted for, are all a minority of one  :-) 

            It is, for instance, my impression that there are not many who would agree with me that it is a great pity that Tolkien abandoned his 1960 Hobbit - that he should have kept at it because it was a great improvement on his  story. I find that the attitude of the narrative voice in The Hobbit is occasionally overbearing or patronizing (where others see it as ironic), and I even find that is approaches the snide a couple of times. 

            But regardless of my own views on The Hobbit, I do find it is delightfully ironic that Peter Jackson is probably going to create a set of films that are closer in tone to what Tolkien wanted to achieve with his 1960 version than is any of the published editions of the book. Jackson will, judging both by the trailers so far and by anything else I've seen, try to target the same segment as he did with his adaptations of The Lord of the Rings, but while this target audience necessitated a drastic de-maturing of Tolkien's story, it will mean a maturing of the story of The Hobbit.

            For this reason, and because I am less attached to The Hobbit than I am to its sequel, I think I am likely to be more comfortable with the changes in tone and feel that Jackson will inevitably introduce (and also because I imagine that I am better prepared this time round than I was in 2003). 

            Anyway, I'll be there with all the family - probably not on the 12th, but some time before Christmas we'll take an evening out to enjoy the film and each other's company. 

            Best,
            Troels




            On 12 November 2012 19:03, Jason Fisher <visualweasel@...> wrote:


            I'll chime in too.

            I think I am in the minority on this list, being both very serious about Tolkien but also a fan of the Peter Jackson films. My chief concern with The Hobbit films was that Peter Jackson would feel compelled to match the tone of The Lord of the Rings -- that is to say, he would attempt to film something like Tolkien's 1960 revisions of The Hobbit (fortunately abandoned at Rivendell). So the more cartoonish the elements revealed in the trailers have been, the more encouraged I've been. At first, I thought Jackson went overboard trying to make all thirteen dwarves look completely distinct from one another, but I quickly realized that this was a good idea. They're all sort of interchangeable in the novel (some don't even have their own dialogue in the book), but remember their technicolor beards, hoods, and cloaks? Dwalin has a *blue* beard, for Heaven's sake! So the cartoonish and humorous elements are welcome, especially in the first half (or first third, perhaps I should say), since they'll better reflect the children's adventure tale that The Hobbit really is. I loved that little bit we glimpsed of the dwarves washing up in Bag End. As for inventions of Jackson's, we'll see, but I will say that I liked that bit with Radagast tickling a hedgehog. Again, the tone looks right. I do suspect Jackson will still overreach, both in plot and tone, especially with the Necromancer and White Council stuff, but probably also with the goblins, the storm giants, the trolls, etc., but as Gerry said, in some ways this is Jackson's story, and no longer Tolkien's. I'm looking forward to seeing what he comes up with.

            Best,
            Jason


            From: Gerry Blair <gerryblair68@...>
            To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Monday, November 12, 2012 5:25 AM
            Subject: [mythsoc] Thoughts on the upcoming Hobbit Movie

             
            I am looking forward to seeing The Hobbit film despite any misgivings I may have. I will admit the first time I saw the dwarves they seemed almost cartoon like and obviously “fake” looking, though how an imaginary being could look real I don’t know. I did know this was not how I imagined them, but they have begun to grow on me. I do give MR. Jackson credit for having made an entertaining movie from LOTR, visually stunning, some things very cool and much like I had imagined them, others not so much. I never went to the theater to see the LOTR films because I am a firm believer that movies seldom if ever can do justice to a book. Yet after seeing them at home on DVD, they were fun to watch. I’m quite sure I will go to a theater to see The Hobbit; I won’t be able to resist. I think what disturbs me the most is after seeing the films I tend to see things as they appear in the films not as I would if it were left only to the imagination, and some how I think that is how it is should be, seen in the eye of one’s own imagination. I think there in the minds eye is the real magic of Faërie. When I see the movie I’ll remember this is not Tolkien’s story it is Peter Jackson’s. Yet being a Tolkien fan it is very cool to see some pretty good attempts to capture the magic of Faërie on film.







            --
                Love while you've got
                    love to give.
                Live while you've got
                    life to live.
             - Piet Hein, /Memento Vivere/
          • Alana Joli Abbott
            ... occasionally overbearing or patronizing (where others see it as ironic), and I even find that is approaches the snide a couple of times. Wow, I ve never
            Message 5 of 8 , Nov 13, 2012
            View Source
            • 0 Attachment
              Troels wrote:

              > I find that the attitude of the narrative voice in The Hobbit is occasionally overbearing or patronizing (where others see it as ironic), and I even find > that is approaches the snide a couple of times. 

              Wow, I've never thought of the voice in The Hobbit as ironic; rather I've thought it in company with A. A. Milne's narrator in the Pooh stories, or J. M. Barrie's narrator in Peter Pan. I'd say that the narrator in "A Series of Unfortunate Events" is ironic -- Lemony Snicket seems to be poking fun, with an adult eye-roll almost, at the way that narrative voice works, where as the other three writers, to me, create a style of story intended to be read aloud and shared. 

              As to the movie, I've been somewhat dismayed at the prospect of taking a very good children's book and turning it into three, full-length feature films. I'd have preferred that Jackson stuck to an adaptation of just the novel in front of him. (As my husband, who is much better at referencing the print works than me, pointed out, Tolkien's narrator even mentions at one point that the parts he skips over "do not come into this tale" or something of the like.)

              I will say that I liked the Jackson films, though I thought many of his changes rather missed the point, and I liked them wholly better in the extended versions than the theatrical releases, because some of the bits I thought he got really wrong seemed made better by the scenes that got cut. I could typically see why he made the changes he did (whether I liked those changes or not), and agree with others who have said that in the films the story becomes Jackson's -- but I think that's true of almost any adaptation. (With the Harry Potter films, for example, the new vision belongs to Warner Bros., not a particular director. Just my opinion, of course.) And I actually loved Howard Shore's score, but I'm also a fan of a lot of John Williams's work, so I admit my taste might not be high-brow. :) But despite my enjoyment of the LotR adaptation, I'm less enthused about The Hobbit, mostly because I feel as though the studio is squeezing all the money it can wrench out of the story by stretching it into three ticket prices and DVD sets. Storytelling decisions made based on marketability often ring false to me, as they are not made with telling a good story in mind.

              I very much hope that I will be pleasantly surprised. I also find that going into a film with low expectations is often a good way to enjoy myself more, as I won't be disappointed that the film didn't live up to my hopes!

              -Alana

              --
              Alana Joli Abbott, Freelance Writer and Editor (http://www.virgilandbeatrice.com)
              Contributor to Haunted: 11 Tales of Ghostly Horror http://tinyurl.com/haunted-aja
              Author of Into the Reach and Departure http://tinyurl.com/aja-ebooks
              Columnist, "The Town with Five Main Streets" http://branford.patch.com/columns/the-town-with-five-main-streets

              --
              For updates on my writings, join my mailing list at http://groups.google.com/group/alanajoliabbottfans

            • dale nelson
              Yes... one tends to expect Jackson to treat the three trolls like bean-eating cowboys in Blazing Saddles. ________________________________ From: David Bratman
              Message 6 of 8 , Nov 13, 2012
              View Source
              • 0 Attachment
                Yes... one tends to expect Jackson to treat the three trolls like bean-eating cowboys in Blazing Saddles.


                From: David Bratman <dbratman@...>
                To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Monday, November 12, 2012 1:22 PM
                Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Thoughts on the upcoming Hobbit Movie

                You write of tone, but that's the problem. Judging by Jackson's ideas of
                cartoonish and humorous elements in his LOTR, the tone will be entirely
                wrong. Not that humor is entirely out of place in LOTR either, but in the
                opening sequence, where it'd be most appropriate, it was clumsy, like bad
                fan fiction, and elsewhere it was entirely out of place and even more out of
                keeping with Tolkien's sense of humor.

                .



              • David Bratman
                ... Or the narrative voice in The Marvellous Land of Snergs by E.A. Wyke-Smith, which is probably where Tolkien picked up the idea of using something like
                Message 7 of 8 , Nov 13, 2012
                View Source
                • 0 Attachment
                  "Alana Joli Abbott" <alanajoli@...> wrote:

                  > Wow, I've never thought of the voice in *The Hobbit* as ironic; rather
                  > I've
                  > thought it in company with A. A. Milne's narrator in the Pooh stories, or
                  > J. M. Barrie's narrator in *Peter Pan.*

                  Or the narrative voice in "The Marvellous Land of Snergs" by E.A.
                  Wyke-Smith, which is probably where Tolkien picked up the idea of using
                  something like it. I _like_ the narrative voice, snideness and all.


                  > (As my husband, who is much better at referencing
                  > the print works than me, pointed out, Tolkien's narrator even mentions at
                  > one point that the parts he skips over "do not come into this tale" or
                  > something of the like.)

                  That's another thing that many writers can't figure out. Don't explain
                  everything - it's more enticing if you don't.


                  > agree with others who have said that in the films the
                  > story becomes Jackson's -- but I think that's true of almost any
                  > adaptation.

                  Unless it's completely unimaginative, yes. But a defense of Jackson's
                  changes along those lines, that any adapter makes the work his own, misses
                  the point. The question si whether the adapter works in the spirit of the
                  original. Jackson emphatically does not. Claims that he does convey the
                  spirit all boil down to 1) essence of Tolkien that Jackson has been unable
                  to scrub out entirely despite his best efforts; 2) Jackson's attitude
                  towards the _text_ - a different thing than the spirit - which is sometimes
                  worshipful to the point of being inappropriate.


                  > And I actually loved Howard Shore's score, but I'm also a fan of a
                  > lot of John Williams's work, so I admit my taste might not be high-brow.
                  > :)

                  Please let us not have any claim that my distaste for Shore's music had
                  anything to do with looking down my high-brow nose at him. The problem is
                  that his music is hackwork, not that it's lowbrow. John Williams is a much
                  better composer than Howard Shore. Shore himself has written better music
                  than his LOTR score, when he wasn't so pressed for time and so worn out from
                  beating his inspiration to death after nine hours of it. (The music in each
                  film is duller and hackier than the previous one, not that even the first
                  one is very good.) And neither Williams nor Shore is a lowbrow film
                  composer; both are quite sophisticated and take many classical inspirations.
                  The joke about Williams is that, when he writes hackwork, it's photocopies
                  from Stravinsky and Richard Strauss.


                  > I very much hope that I will be pleasantly surprised. I also find that
                  > going into a film with low expectations is often a good way to enjoy
                  > myself
                  > more, as I won't be disappointed that the film didn't live up to my hopes!

                  Also true. Possibly the reason I enjoyed Jackson's RK best of the three is
                  that, by that time, all expectations of anything good had been beaten out of
                  me.
                • David Bratman
                  ... Or the narrative voice in The Marvellous Land of Snergs by E.A. Wyke-Smith, which is probably where Tolkien picked up the idea of using something like
                  Message 8 of 8 , Nov 13, 2012
                  View Source
                  • 0 Attachment
                    "Alana Joli Abbott" <alanajoli@...> wrote:

                    > Wow, I've never thought of the voice in *The Hobbit* as ironic; rather
                    > I've
                    > thought it in company with A. A. Milne's narrator in the Pooh stories, or
                    > J. M. Barrie's narrator in *Peter Pan.*

                    Or the narrative voice in "The Marvellous Land of Snergs" by E.A.
                    Wyke-Smith, which is probably where Tolkien picked up the idea of using
                    something like it. I _like_ the narrative voice, snideness and all.


                    > (As my husband, who is much better at referencing
                    > the print works than me, pointed out, Tolkien's narrator even mentions at
                    > one point that the parts he skips over "do not come into this tale" or
                    > something of the like.)

                    That's another thing that many writers can't figure out. Don't explain
                    everything - it's more enticing if you don't.


                    > agree with others who have said that in the films the
                    > story becomes Jackson's -- but I think that's true of almost any
                    > adaptation.

                    Unless it's completely unimaginative, yes. But a defense of Jackson's
                    changes along those lines, that any adapter makes the work his own, misses
                    the point. The question si whether the adapter works in the spirit of the
                    original. Jackson emphatically does not. Claims that he does convey the
                    spirit all boil down to 1) essence of Tolkien that Jackson has been unable
                    to scrub out entirely despite his best efforts; 2) Jackson's attitude
                    towards the _text_ - a different thing than the spirit - which is sometimes
                    worshipful to the point of being inappropriate.


                    > And I actually loved Howard Shore's score, but I'm also a fan of a
                    > lot of John Williams's work, so I admit my taste might not be high-brow.
                    > :)

                    Please let us not have any claim that my distaste for Shore's music had
                    anything to do with looking down my high-brow nose at him. The problem is
                    that his music is hackwork, not that it's lowbrow. John Williams is a much
                    better composer than Howard Shore. Shore himself has written better music
                    than his LOTR score, when he wasn't so pressed for time and so worn out from
                    beating his inspiration to death after nine hours of it. (The music in each
                    film is duller and hackier than the previous one, not that even the first
                    one is very good.) And neither Williams nor Shore is a lowbrow film
                    composer; both are quite sophisticated and take many classical inspirations.
                    The joke about Williams is that, when he writes hackwork, it's photocopies
                    from Stravinsky and Richard Strauss.


                    > I very much hope that I will be pleasantly surprised. I also find that
                    > going into a film with low expectations is often a good way to enjoy
                    > myself
                    > more, as I won't be disappointed that the film didn't live up to my hopes!

                    Also true. Possibly the reason I enjoyed Jackson's RK best of the three is
                    that, by that time, all expectations of anything good had been beaten out of
                    me.
                  Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.