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The Hobbit - Book vs. Movie (Spoilers Expected)

The Green Dragon

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Dec 14, 2012, 12:08pm Top

I thought that now with The Hobbit movie out in theatres, I would make a post where we could discuss the movie to the book. I thought that a separate thread would be good as to not expose anyone to spoilers in the movie from another person's thread.

As for me, I LOVED the movie. So so excited to go back to Peter Jackson's Middle-Earth. The movie was absolutely beautiful, and immerses you completely. (I saw it at the midnight IMAX 3D showing.)

My favorite part was having the whole first few sentences beginning the tale - I geeked out a little.

I really enjoyed the escape from the goblin's on a whole, "that was just an awesome action scene." Also the battle outside Moria was pretty sweet, and Smaug's destruction was fast and furious.

My main complaint was the whole pale orc, which I can't remember his name now. I haven't read the appendices for awhile, but I don't remember the whole Thorin's greatest foe from the books. I know it setting it up for him to be the major enemy in the Battle of the Five Armies, but just didn't sit well with me.

Also, I didn't like Biblo being all awesome fighter at the end. I liked how he found his courage in Mirkwood in the books.

Really looking forward to the next two movies though, and will be seeing it again sometime this weekend.

So, what did everyone else like/dislike from the movie?

Dec 14, 2012, 1:07pm Top

Smaug's destruction? What are they going to do in the other two movies? Or do you mean the destruction wrought by Smaug?

Dec 14, 2012, 2:01pm Top

They show when Smaug first took over Erebor and destroyed the town of Dale. Forcing the dwarfs to leave. Showing the actually Dwarven city inside the mountain was a very cool scene.

Dec 15, 2012, 3:12am Top

I like how they're hinting at The Lord of the Rings events in this movie.  We can't pretend that the necromancer is a benign evil, and we can't pretend that The One Ring is a mere magical trinket.  We expect the more powerful characters to know a thing or two, and the screenwriters have filled in the holes.  I also liked how friendly Elrond is.  His somberness is understandable in LotR, but matters aren't that dire yet in The Hobbit.

One of my concerns was was the character of Kili.  I was afraid that he'd be nothing but a pretty face who doesn't do much, but he's actually got character and he's a good actor.  He's as much a dwarf as the rest of them. :)

Dec 15, 2012, 7:25am Top

Yes, it would be a shame if Kili was just a pretty face, but what a face!!

Dec 15, 2012, 8:02am Top

I'll give it up: it is a pretty face, but almost too perfect.

Edited: Dec 15, 2012, 9:51am Top

Nope, no such thing as too perfect a man face. ;)
Also, keep in mind that is a movie poster, that's been photo-shopped into oblivion. In the film Fili is just wonderful, as are Thorin and Balin.

So, the movie isn't perfect (what is?) but it is still magnificent. There were several times that I was brought to tears just for the sheer joy of being back in Middle Earth. We saw the regular 2D version. My next viewing will be the 3D version! :o)

Edited: Dec 15, 2012, 11:43am Top

There was a lot of awesome, here! Some of the landscapes took my breath, and the scenes of Rivendell just plain surpassed the wildest dream already realized in the last sets.

Erebor was MIND BLOWING. Just totally blew me away, even when I expected the highest standard - this just raised the bar past belief.

And Ian McKellan - wow. Always wow. What an actor.

Changes I Loved - the characterization done with the dwarfs and the shift Away from the Disneyesque hooded cloaks. The costuming here was splendid and I loved the hats!

The fact we got to see the Dale as it was, and the horror of Smaug's arrival. The expansion of what occurred at Rivendell, and the scene with the White Council. Very very cool, how this story was stitched into the larger picture. I am more eager than ever to see the sequels.

But - Why????- (!!!!WARE SPOILER!!!!) - yes, I know this is a spoiler thread, but Just In Case somebody stumbles in here accidentally, here's the warning to back up --

Why was the script in the scene with the Trolls messed with? I was on the edge of my seat waiting for the way it played in the book...all that hurly burly stuff with the swords, sigh, I thought, took the story down a peg. Not only made it more D and D adventurish, but reduced the vivid dramatic contrast with the later action scenes.... I really missed the wits vs might take that Tolkien wrote originally, and Gandalf's part was far less interesting (to me) as a result. I recall reading the book (so long ago, and I just re-read now) - feeling in the first read the truly scary threat of the trolls - and then finding out as the scene unfolded how stupid they were, and having that played against them. That subtle build up was jettisoned for this movie, with the trolls being revealed as idiots straight off the bat.

With regard to the heroic side, the fact (in the book) the trolls sacked the dwarfs so easily, right at the start, and the signals between characters failed to work at all, only emphasized their initial disunity and the fact the hobbit was the bumbling sore thumb out of his element - in that Tolkien set the stage as it were for the unification of the group that happened in the course of the story.

Maybe it's the storyteller in me beefing - Did anyone else miss this?

I totally loved the addition of Radagast, even if there was much 'embroidery' here.


-- if you don't know horses and didn't encounter a hitch - You might NOT want to read on without due pause for consideration, lest my observation should tarnish your fun.

The 'sheep rugs' of hair to make the horses appear shaggy as ponies - lord. The seams showed where the rugs started and stopped, on the horses, and that became a pernicious distraction...the only detail in the entire film that looked blatantly faked. I would not have thought twice if the standard set everywhere else had not been so mind-blowing awesome. Most folks who don't differentiate between horses are unlikely to notice (the dedicated equestrian tends to pick up the switch when multiple substitutes are used in horse stories set on film - where the markings painted into the hair try to make it SEEM they are the same animal, which is done all the time). But the creatures are distinct individuals to the trained eye, and it's impossible to hide that. One acquires an attuned attentiveness that is aware of the entire picture of the animal - shape, movement, soundness, stride, every thing - that sets off automatic alarms when changes occur - lumps and bumps might be a developing lameness, and how a horse is built affects their performance.

The fact that was the ONLY bone I had to pick with the visuals is absolutely incredible.

Have to see this again in one of the fancier versions, I think. The end shot of Smaug and the horde was just so very very incredible. Wow - Don and I will be discussing this for DAYS.

Dec 15, 2012, 11:53am Top

LOL, I did not notice the faux shaggy hides, Janny! But like you I lamented that they chose to diddle with of the troll scene. :o( It was one of my only beefs.

Dec 15, 2012, 2:21pm Top

Holy Cow,Clam. I cried also. Your absolutely right. It was sheer to be back to Middle Earth. I saw it in 3D last night. I didn't have any issues with it. I am going back to see it next week when my son comes home for Christmas. I want to see it in 3D again.

Dec 15, 2012, 5:16pm Top

So, I'm thinking that membership in The Green Dragon, here, should include mandatory multiple viewings of The Hobbit. What do you think?

Dec 15, 2012, 5:20pm Top

lol. Movies cost a fortune these days. I won't be seeing it for a while, certainly not multiple times. :P

Dec 15, 2012, 5:33pm Top

I quite enjoyed the movie. Having just reread the book, the differences were quite noticeable. However they didn't take away from it at all. Some things that work in a book don't always translate to the screen.

I also noticed the horses in costume. It did look silly.

I had a slight problem with Fili. He looks just like he did as the vampire in Being Human (BBC version), just in armor. I wish they'd given him a beard or something to dwarf him up a bit more. Character wise they did well with him. I'm glad they added more personalities to all the dwarves really - it seemed like there were too many of them in the book that were just kind of there and didn't really do much.

I really liked seeing the addition of the history of Smaug taking over the mountain. That really set the stage for me. The view we got of the Kingdom under the Mountain, I can't wait to go back in the third movie!

The riddles with Gollum was easily my favorite part. It was absolutely perfect.

I loved how they used lines from the book. It made the fangirl in me happy.

It ended right where I expected it to. I'm guessing movie 2 will end at Lake Town after they all escape from Murkwood.

Dec 15, 2012, 9:09pm Top

Yes, yes, yes. See? Everybody always says what I want to say, first and better. I agree with all of you! LOL. Yes, Janny, I noticed the horse costumes and thought the same, it was pretty jarring, compared with all the artistry in the rest of the movie. I too was annoyed at the changes in the troll scenario 'cause I'd been looking forward to the mock argument with Gandalf's genius. And I found myself sitting forward, tearing up with joy and repeating every riddle with Gollum and Bilbo (probably my favourite part). But it is hard to pick just one favourite part as the whole movie was pretty darn wonderful.

Was it just me (and just me because of those lovely pictures of The Hobbit from the past that were posted in that link just awhile ago) or did it seem like some of the scenes, like when Galadriel was talking with Gandalf, that the lighting and scenery looked inspired by the Hildebrandt brothers? I found that so lovely.

It was a joy to watch and I can't wait to see it again. We saw the 3D version and loved it. Even DH loved it and he usually doesn't enjoy 3D. :D

Dec 16, 2012, 12:34am Top

Janny, I loved reading your analysis of the movie.  I was also irked by how they messed with the troll scene, but I guess they just wanted everyone to get an equal share of screen time.  I didn't notice the faux shagginess, but I'm seeing it again tomorrow, so I'll watch for it, then.

Edited: Dec 16, 2012, 1:25pm Top


Amazing technical work. 48FPS is FINE. Some superb acting. But Peter Jackson confirms his stature as film's JK Rowling: A person so powerful in their field that nobody whose livelihood (or fortune) depends on them dares suggest they edit and trim their work. I'll get it on Bluray, of course, but I'm not in a rush to see it again in theaters - as I was with each of the three LotR films.

Techy stuff:

48fps not a problem. The clarity was enjoyed. 3D was mostly subtle (as it should be), but I began anticipating PJ shooting an archer's arrow at the screen; we saw that too often. Costumes, cinematography, art effects all great; the 'mountains fighting' was done nicely but during it I had a gnawing feeling that PJ was channeling a desire to animate a Transformers battle.


Freeman great; and Armitage quite good. McKellan was reliably Gandalf . Serkis was better than ever, and better than all others, if I dare say so; he's just amazing. The riddle sequence was the best of the film - two great actors given some great dialog. Weaving has to pick a third emotion (he's got charmed bemusement and righteous anger down pat).

The directing, for the most part, was competent. I expect that out of any film.

My quibbles are with the screenplay, editing and film score.

Film Score:

I've listened to the 'special edition' soundtrack twice. For all other films, there was something breathtaking, that I would play again and again. FotR: Hobbiton, elve's theme, Moria. tTT: Rohan. RotK: Beacons. I find myself wishing there were Biblo and Frodo themes - separate, as opposed to a single "Concerning Hobbits" theme for Shire + B + F. And overall, it just felt BORING. "Let's swirl the strings about, play a few staccato notes to build tension, then rise to a crescendo with brass to indicate evil, and top it off by pounding the tympani." All entirely atmospheric - other than the use of 'Misty Mountains' it was all background-filler, never foreground material. I can't comprehend why - as the LotR soundtracks had so many foreground moments that defined the films.


My real issues with the screenplay are as follows: the emotions we are supposed to feel for the dwarves bounce around - are they homeless; are they eager for revenge; are they greedy for gold? They were bounced around right at the start. It's more fun to get one given to us, then have us discover the deeper truths. For example, what if we had a chance to learn of their emotional homesickness at the same time as Bilbo figured it out? That would have bene more fun. Also, I felt I was sitting through the impact of script rewrites. Bilbo not respected; then Thorin starting to like him after the troll scene; then totally losing respect; then gaining it big time. Bounce Bounce Bounce. I also believe that it assumed having seen LotR at times - Galadriel needed more introduction. A new person seeing all six films, in order, would not be expertly served by some of the choices in this film. I groaned at things set up that had no follow through. There was a hint that Elrond might stop the quest - even the throwaway line of "They've already left" hints at that. Please don't include that concept at all, or fully play it out. Another example of a Scripting Class 101 mistake: The whole "You are lucky; we can read the moon letters today; that's a good sign". They already described birds (ravens) as being good signs; why do we need this to portend success? Why create that false coincidence of "We can only read the runes TODAY! How lucky!" vs. saying "Just read them with the Moon" - Much more exciting would be to make it a rush to Durin's Day - and every delay on the way threatens them making it to the mountain in time. THAT would have been fun tension for the last of this film, and the next, without the amazing coincidence of being at Rivendell on the *one* correct night of the year.

A totally personal annoyance: The best line in the book, for me, is Gollum's "We hates it; we hates it; we hates it forever!" The repetition here is quite important - I imagine it being the few seconds where Gollum grows his hatred of Bilbo to life-consuming levels. That text - if fully stated - would have allowed the viewer to feel, real-time, the growth of that hatred. Allowing Serkis to say only the conclusion robs us of that moment.


I did feel it dragged on to cover just six chapters of the book. What I think could be dropped with zero loss to core narrative: Frodo sequence at start. Biblo-Baggins hates song at bag end. Half the time with the trolls. The warg attack where Gandalf says "Who else have you told?" 3/4ths of of the Goblin battle. 3/4ths of the battle in the tree. 1/2 of the time flying around with the eagles. etc etc. Focus on core storyline and trim, please, PJ - leave all that nifty extra stuff for the extended editions. I would have welcomed much of it there.

Dec 16, 2012, 9:07am Top

Wow, JPB, just wow.

Dec 16, 2012, 9:40am Top

I haven't seen the movie yet--but I was wondering about the soundtrack. Is it stocking-worthy?

Dec 16, 2012, 9:46am Top

I thought the film score was awesome. I can't wait to get my hands on it. I disagree with Peabee, especially as I have the Dwarves' soaring theme playing constantly in my head. I had listened to the freebee version online a few times a couple of weeks ago.

Dec 16, 2012, 11:27am Top

One of my sons has requested the soundtrack (although I've no idea if he has actually yet seen the movie). Maybe I'll stick it in his stocking, based on clam's recommendation.

Dec 16, 2012, 11:52am Top

I saw it last night - still processing everything. Saw it in 24 FPS, 2D. I am planning to see it in 48 FPS, which will make this the first and only film I watch in 3D (it makes my eyes fall out), so I think they've done a good job building all the controversy over the framerate - curiousity killed the cat, after all!

Janny, I noticed the "pony rugs" also, and groaned a bit - they just didn't look real at all. I'm sympathetic to the whole scale problem with horses in general, but I thought the shaggification was just not done well.

I love all the dwarves, I loved "relaxed Elrond" and I was just thrilled with Freeman's Bilbo.

There were some bits that I didn't totally love - Radagast vs the wargs, the Goblin King, the White Council, the whole Azog thing, but otherwise I was just so happy to be back in Middle Earth again.

And Smaug is already fantastic.

I'll likely post more when I have a bit more time to collect my thoughts about it.

Edited: Dec 16, 2012, 1:22pm Top

Clamairy: If you are referring to the Misty Mountains song, that isn't even composed by Shore. That has lyrics by Tolkien (of course), but was composed by four people: Donaldson, Long, Roche and Roddick, according to my CD. The one musical number I really liked - not by him, if I am reading this information correctly. They also composed the final end-credits song, of course.

Dec 16, 2012, 1:34pm Top

I'm enjoying reading everyone's comments about the movie.

I was waiting for Gandalf's appearance with the trolls, and the whole voice throwing. Didn't bother me to a huge degree, but was noticeably absent.

I did notice the shaggy hair in a couple scenes, and as much as I love horses, didn't seem like a huge deal.

As with the original movies, I think certain scenes will feel more coherent once the extended editions are released.

As a whole, I was so excited to just be seeing it at midnight, and back in Middle Earth, that I let my annoyances slide. I'll be more critiqueing on my next viewing.

Dec 16, 2012, 1:35pm Top

I'm talking about the soaring theme that has elements of the Misty Mountains song woven through it. You can hear in in the first trailer.

Dec 16, 2012, 1:36pm Top

17: As you can tell, the film frustrated me.

The thing is - I want to like Jackson's work - I am so positively disposed to him. His work on Fellowship was brilliant. But since that film, each one has made me feel that something was 'off'.

And yes, emotionally, it is just so good to see Gandalf again - to see such an amazing portrayal of Bilbo - to see the Riddle Game. To see Rivendell's waterfalls. Those are so deeply enjoyable. As an experience, I had lots of fun seeing the film. But - considering it as a film - considering editing, writing, music, etc... I have to admit - it had flaws that the LotR trilogy did not have.

Edited: Dec 16, 2012, 1:59pm Top

Well, we apparently like different things about the original films, PeaBee. The Fellowship was my least favorite of the three. Also, I did not have extremely high expectations for this film, as The Hobbit itself, though a wonderful book, is not much like LotR in breadth and tone. So I was happy to see PJ tried to keep this one a bit lighter.

Dec 16, 2012, 6:35pm Top

I agree with the above about the riddle scene being a favorite of the movie, odd since no action scenes! I was a bit puzzled that the dwarfs' reflexes were so incredible. Gimli of the Fellowship of the Ring was formidable but there was no display of the phenomenal coordination that I remember.

It has been a very long time since last reading The Hobbit I will have to do that again soon.

Edited: Dec 16, 2012, 6:46pm Top

Ok, here are my points of note, now that I've seen the Hobbit:

A little background info, first: I saw it in HFR 3D (although the 3D calibration wasn't great, most likely because of the cinema I was in, or at least my seating position, not the film itself). Also, I am more familiar with the BBC Radio play version of the The Hobbit, which I have listened to several times over the last 20 years, than the book which I've only read the once (though I feel a re-read coming on very soon).

I liked Azog, I felt that the film needed a visible antagonist and he filled that role well. I especially liked his white warg, which kinda reminded me of an evil version of Falkor the luckdragon from Neverending Story

I felt that the scaling between the characters was handled particularly well, it obviously helped having the Dwarves and Bilbo be in scenes together without having to worry about scaling. The more I think about it, the more I feel sorry for Sir Ian McKellan - he must've had to shoot quite a bit of it on his own, or perhaps with scale doubles and not the main actors.

I kinda agree with JPB about the soundtrack, whilst I like the Misty Mountain theme the soundtrack didn't quite stand out for me as much as the LOTR music. Not that it was bad, just that it wasn't overly notable. In fact that only bits I can really recall were either rehashes of the LOTR music (or, at least felt that way to me), or the Misty Mountain theme.

I also felt a little let down that the Troll scene wasn't more like the book, especially Gandalf's part in it all... maybe he'll be throwing his voice around in the in the extended version? It didn't put me off the film, particularly, but it felt a little like a missed opportunity.

I liked the Goblin King, although he was maybe a little underused?

Should Thorin's sword have shone blue when he was squaring up against Azog?

Radaghast was fun, and Sebastian (the hedgehog) stole the show for me! :-D

This film is very much a prequel to PJ's LOTR movies, and not a straight adaptation of the book - and I quite like that.

I haven't stopped thinking about it since I came out of the cinema earlier today, which I am taking as a good sign, and I am already planning to go see it again (to pick up on all the little details that I'm sure I missed first time around).

I'm not a huge fan of the 'this way you fools' line from Gandalf, it felt a little too much of an intentional nod to one of his more memorable lines from The Fellowship of the Ring. I'm not going to lose any sleep over it, but I thought I'd mention it.

I also didn't like the word 'jacksie' early on... it just didn't feel very "tolkien" to me. I guess I just don't really like that word.

Er... that's about it for now, I think. I did really enjoy the film, and I was very pleased to see that it was both stylistically similar and yet also quite different to the LOTR movies, just as The Hobbit is similar and yet nothing like The Lord of the Rings

Oh, and I agree with Janny about the shaggy ponies, they didn't look brilliant but in the back of my mind I decided they were special dwarf-ponies, a bit like the hirsute welsh mountain ponies that I see quite often in my small corner of the world. What I am looking forward to though is the shaggy pony documentary on the Blu Ray detailing the lives of the poor team that had to shaggify the ponies before each shot! :-)

And one more thing... I agree with everyone that the riddle scene was handled very well, a great interpretation of a great moment.

Dec 16, 2012, 7:46pm Top

I didn't mind that the ponies were meant to be shaggy - it was the fact the seams where the 'rugs' started and stopped showed so blatantly.

I also agree the riddle scene was superb.

On the positive side with the animals, I thought the wargs were a lot more convincing this time round than in the earlier films.

Two days later, I am still transported by the landscapes and cinematography. I would not part with those bits for anything. Yes the film could have been trimmed and tightened, but for my part at the Expense of appreciating the richness of the visuals and taking in the whole sense of being there. I am no fan of the rush shots done with some many action films today, nor do I like the speed at which some of the SFX stuff flashes by - you never get to take it in the way you would if you were THERE.

I failed to see any Hildebrandt influence here - the collaborative acrylic paintings they did were (I thought) handled with such prosaic workmanship - I felt there was less depth and richness (some of that due to the medium, some due to the very plain costuming of the characters, that had very little depth of artistry.)

In the filmscapes, there was nothing but breathtaking scope and inventive detail, with far more atmospheric impact - which translated the mystique and stimulated the imagination better than the old calendar paintings, but that certainly would be my opinion.

Dec 16, 2012, 9:05pm Top

Here's one thing I've been wondering about. I haven't seen this movie yet, but I just reread the book.

In LOTR, we are shown what seemed (even at first viewing) an altogether false account of Bilbo's finding of the ring: a misshapen paw that doesn't even look like a hobbit hand groping a ledge above eye level and happening upon the ring, and a voice saying "What's this?"--and then Gollum's cry "Lost!" Does this new film try to incorporate that account and justify it somehow--or rewrite it and thereby in effect repudiate it?

Edited: Dec 16, 2012, 9:22pm Top

They rewrote the finding of the ring.

Dec 16, 2012, 10:41pm Top

Too bad they can't edit a revision of that scene into LOTR, then. That's one of the parts that always bother me. It seems so cheesy and fake compared with the depiction of just about everything else (except certain scenes with Arwen); but at least it's mercifully brief.

Dec 16, 2012, 11:05pm Top

I saw the movie tonight and I read to post 14, but now I want to say what I thought before I read any further.

Janny - Amen on the horses, it was so obvious that it took me right out of the world and got me to thinking about the dynamics of switching actors and horses and how on earth could you ever get a pony to look like a horse, even from a distance, etc. Then I saw, oh, you can't! So I let it go. :)

I loved the beginning so much, in Bag End, with the song about Bilbo Baggins and the dish throwing and acrobats. I don't think the whole troll change bothered me too much, it rather did bother me that Bilbo was such a fighting hero at the end, but then, I kind of like that sort of ending and that is probably why they thought they had to add it, because movie goers who are not Hobbit readers possibly needed something besides mildness from him. *shrug*

I can't wait to see it again at Christmas with all my kids. And then again at least once, I hope, in the theaters. I too loved being in Middle Earth again. JOY!!!!

Dec 16, 2012, 11:42pm Top

A thought about the troll scene. I am not a director, but how exactly would you effectively do that on film? If I am recalling correctly, Gandalf was using the trolls voices, not just throwing his own. He was also completely not in the picture (well, even in this movie they managed to show he was there out of sight), I think the suspense and fun of the book scene would not play out as well in the movie. It was hard enough to differentiate the trolls voices, it would be very hard to let the audience know it wasn't the trolls. If you showed Gandalf doing it, there goes a bit of the suspense and surprise, it would not play as well on film as the nifty fighting and Bilbo talking in my opinion.

As for what we are to feel about the dwarves and their plight. I thought the movie did a fine job in that. The book itself has our emotions all over the place for them. We want to be empathetic to their mission, but then they are such jerks! Re-reading the Hobbit was not really good for my LotR love. When it ended, I wasn't sure I could ever care for a dwarf again. I don't know if Jackson will take it that far, I doubt it, but I don't mind if he has us double-minded about them, because that is exactly how I felt in the book. I was afraid they would be too likable in the movie, but he did show Thorin as a bit of a jerk.

Dec 17, 2012, 12:28am Top

30:  As far as the finding of the Ring goes, my lot and I have figured that this particular scene is fair game for error because Bilbo is writing the story for Frodo.  I know this won't satisfy many, seeing as it doesn't give us a definitive answer as to what is canon, but I don't mind either way.  So long as they don't go all George Lucas and stick Martin Freeman in place of Ian Holm in LotR.  That's just insulting to everybody.

As for the "misshapen paw", I think that's just Bilbo's (or Ian Holm's) weathered hand.
WARNING: Background music is "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins"

Dec 17, 2012, 8:35am Top

Yeah, that is Ian's hand. Someone thought it was supposed to be Gollum's?

Dec 17, 2012, 9:18am Top

Poor Ian Holmes! I've heard various phrases attached to the harsh reality of aging, but having wrists and hands turn into 'misshapen paws' is a new one!

Dec 17, 2012, 2:58pm Top

Speaking of Ian Holmes, how about the resemblance between him and Martin Freeman?! I thought he could easily be his father or grandfather.

Dec 18, 2012, 3:21pm Top

>29 JannyWurts: I must admit I didn't see the seams, I was too taken by the shagginess :-D

I'll look more closely when I see it again on Sunday.

Dec 18, 2012, 4:12pm Top

39> Isn't that the point? That they're supposed to look shaggy?

Dec 18, 2012, 5:01pm Top

I'll confess, I didn't see the seams, even after my second viewing of the movie. ^^;

Dec 18, 2012, 5:22pm Top

Has anyone seen it in both 2D and 3D yet? I'd love to hear what people think of the differences.

Edited: Dec 20, 2012, 2:11pm Top

I've seen The Hobbit in 2D and 3D and I thought the 3D was wonderful - one of the few times I really enjoyed 3D. Normally I think it's a complete waste of time.

I thought the 3D, with the layers of action, maybe worked better - the 2D version sometimes seemed very cluttered (I'm not sure I'm explaining that right!)

I would definitely recommend the 3D version. Overall I loved the film - a trip back to Middle Earth is not to be sniffed at. However, I thought it was extremely self-indulgent - it could have easily been an hour shorter, if someone had been able to rein Jackson back to the story.

That said, can't wait til the next one.

Dec 21, 2012, 12:16am Top

I can't say I disagree with the self-indulgent accusation, but I'm not sure it bothers me. My son and I got a kick out of identifying Peter Jackson moments in the movie. Not good for a film purist, but fun for fans. :)

Dec 21, 2012, 6:44am Top

Peter Jackson moments

Like characters staring soulfully at each other for long minutes?


Dec 21, 2012, 7:49am Top

#45 - Exactly. I really do hope he doesn't try to wedge an Elven love story into the second film. Isn't it enough we have all these inter-species bromances going on? ;o)

Dec 21, 2012, 1:56pm Top

Actually, we were thinking more of the scenes of Gandolf slicing through a goblins head, but the head stays on long enough for the goblin to get a funny look in his eyes, and the little messenger goblin in a chair on a drop line, that sort of stuff. I always thought the characters staring soulfully was for the cheesecake effect.

Dec 24, 2012, 7:17am Top

My thoughts after seeing it in 3D.

Rivendell could have been much more enhanced. It was pretty, but probably not pretty enough to contrast the elven timelessness with the rest of the world. I didn't notice the horses, but hte birds were rubbish. At time the eagles looked more like pigeons. The final Thrush flew like a sparrow.

I was very impressed with the beginning and the careful blending of LOTR with the Hobbit. Gollumn was god too - although they missed one riddle out? no legs lay on 1 leg, two legs sat of three, four legs want some? In general the misty mountains were all good - especially the giants. I Liked the council meeting.

The Trolls were ok, but the fighter Bilbo is just wrong, here, and at the end. That was my biggest dislikes, and the whole Azog thing, but that's just about understandable. Cinematically I hate the concept of making falls/chases bigger. This diminishes the impact not increases it.

Ie anyone call fall a foot or two. A heroic fall is 10-20 feet or so. Belivable(ish). Crashing down an entire mountianside of hundreds of feet is silly. Especially when everyone does it. Liekwise the chases. One minute wargs are very close behind, the next people on foot have run away fromthem by hundreds of metres, only for the wargs to catch up again.

I didn't like Freeman either - far too many Watson touches.

Dec 24, 2012, 9:49pm Top

#45 - The soulful staring is just awkward, and it makes me feel awkward, and I can't eat my popcorn until the moment has passed.

Dec 25, 2012, 1:03pm Top

I agree with PB about the music. I was taken out of the story a couple of times by it and that shouldn't happen.

Overall, I really enjoyed it and we're planning on seeing it again. We saw the 48 fps version and it was FINE.

Is it just me, or did the run up to Rivendell make no sense at all? Were there orcs out in the daytime?

Dec 25, 2012, 1:16pm Top

I kinda figured it was just along the way, so why not run up to Rivendell?  My mind might've just been filling in the gaps for me, though.

Anyone else ever think "Riverdale" when they see Rivendell?  Is it odd that my spellcheck recognizes Rivendell, but it does not recognize Riverdale, which is an actual location on US maps?

Edited: Dec 25, 2012, 7:26pm Top

So we finally got to see The Hobbit today and while I thought it was fine in many respects (as in the Riddles in the Dark sequence), there were one or two things that bothered me.

For example, the conflating of the Orcs and Goblins was an issue as was the scene in the Goblin's caverns. (Maybe it's just me, but my recollection was that Tolkien emphasized the tight quarters and the stifling aspects of being caught in the Goblin tunnels where Peter Jackson for film reasons expanded the Goblins area as a HUGE cavern with LOTS of room. This just didn't work for me.)

I also missed the comic scene of Bilbo holding on to a dwarf's legs as the eagle rescues them from the Wargs.

One thing my son was absolutely right about was the Misty Mountains song that acts as the dwarves' theme. In the firelight in Bilbo's home, it was absolutely right on the money in setting mood.

I think I missed many of the smaller scenes that are part and parcel of the book, but enjoyed the movie well enough. Unlike my spouse who says he'd rather not see the next one in a theatre; he just isn't that in to Tolkien.

BTW -- I totally agree with whoever it was (above) who was unhappy with the troll scene. I too found the whole re-write unnecessary.

Dec 25, 2012, 10:35pm Top

I just got through a re-read of the Hobbit and I don't remember there being a big thing about the distinction between orcs and goblins. In fact I'm not sure there were any orcs in the story at all.

Dec 27, 2012, 9:26pm Top

I guess goblins are more articulate?

Dec 27, 2012, 9:41pm Top

Just viewed the movie, and liked it overall. I especially liked the fact they put the songs from the book into it Something lacking in the Lords of the Rings movies

I loved the intro giving the initial history behind the storyline

Radagast was to me an acceptable extension to the story, helping to explain The Mirkwood situation although a little on the comic side with the rabbit sled

Biggest complaint was the pale orc rampaging through the original storyline.
To add to the ridiculousness of it, he'd apparently been hunting Thorin for 60 some years if the dragon timeline is followed, but can find him every 15 minutes in the movie. If he would have been left out completely it would have been a much better story.

The other useless scene was Saruman chastising Gandalf.
Can you make a wizard sit in the corner?
Saruman is supposed to be head of the wise council He ignores all the proofs presented to him and the others do not. I guess he still has to be the evil wizard even in this movie.
Accroding to the books he is shortly driving the necromancer out of Mirkwood
This scene bringing the necromancer issue forward probably could have been better and more believably done between Gandalf and Elrond alone

I would have appreciated the troll scene being more in line with the book as well, but found it acceptable in the different incarnation

Dec 28, 2012, 1:33am Top

There is no difference between goblins and orcs. The introduction of my copy of The Fellowship of the Ring has an introduction by Tolkien in which he explains that in The Hobbit he was writing a children's book, and so used "goblin" rather than "orc". He basically says that "goblin" is the English translation of "orc".

Dec 28, 2012, 1:46am Top

I just got back from seeing the movie. I liked it, but would have preferred that it stick closer to the original story. I didn't really mind most of the additional bits, it was more the bits that were changed that bothered me - how Bilbo made the decision to go, the troll scene, the capture by the goblins, how Bilbo met Gollum, and the scene with the wargs and the goblins in the trees. I didn't really like the addition of the pale orc either, though. And why weren't the goblins in tunnels? Where did they get all the wood for those boardwalks all over? In LOTR, I didn't feel things were changed just for the heck of it, but I did here. Despite these gripes, I did like it, and will probably see it again before it leaves town.

Dec 28, 2012, 4:51am Top

56:  In D&D, they're related species and referred to as "goblinoids". :D

Dec 28, 2012, 10:39am Top

#55 - I do agree with may of your points, but actually in recall of the Tolkien canon (long LONG! time since I read the supporting material! if there are in depth experts about, correct me) it was part of the original Middle Earth history that Saruman, as head of the White Council, actually was more than resistant to Gandalf's wishes to take the threat seriously, he actually forbade Gandalf to pursue the matter further - either because he was already turning and hiding it, or ? (I'd have to dig the reference back up, my reading was done decades ago.) And that Galadriel sided with Gandalf here was consistent - she had preferred (in the backstory) that Gandalf head the White Council rather than Saruman, so despite many points that were altered for the movie (Radagast taking a page from Gandalf's role, and the white orc) you may find on deeper investigation that Saruman's oppositon, here, was aligned with what Tolkien wrote.

Dec 28, 2012, 11:36am Top

Maybe I'm just a natural born grouch, but I generally disklike deviation from canon unless there's a really compelling reason. That said, I thought that despite the deviations, The Hobbit was a pretty good job all things considered.

I don't know why Jackson deviated from canon in the scene where the troop is caught between the wargs, the orcs and then the fire.

He made the rescue by the Eagles seem something promoted by Gandalf (same trick with the butterfly as in Jackson's LOTR movie) rather than being instigated by the King of the Eagles himself.

I was also a bit put off by Jackson painting Radagast as quite such a flake, bordering on the clownish.

I don't think 3D did much for the story, but it didn't take anything away either. I did like the high frame rate though, despite some critics carping that its too "hyper real".

I'm hooked. I'll have to see numbers 2 and 3 just for completeness if for no other reason.

Edited: Dec 28, 2012, 11:45am Top

#59 & 55

I agree - and to me, it actually is consistent with Saruman's character from the originals. I was talking to my husband about the movie, and while we couldn't remember the exact timeline of Saruman's fall, even when he was still one of the good guys, he was a self-important stuffed-shirt who thought that both Gandalf and Radagast were bumbling idiots for eschewing their wizardly power as much as they did and relying on being advisors and assistants to the mortals (despite that being a specific restriction they were supposed to abide by). He also never trusted the elves, and specifically resented Galadriel for siding with Gandalf. He loved power and being in charge, and he liked lording it over the others and showing off how he was better/smarter/wiser than they were.

The corruption of Saruman happened because he was convinced that Sauron would win in the end. (He "spied" on Sauron through the palantir, but saw only what Sauron wanted him to see) He was convinced by what he saw and heard that the cause was futile, and so he switched over to what he thought was the winning side.

This happened in large part BECAUSE of his already-established character faults; he wanted to rule, and he saw all of his allies as fools and bumbling incompetents. If he trusted them and their judgement, he mightn't have lost faith so easily, and if he hadn't loved power so much, he mightn't have become quite so evil and corrupt.

Classic failure through personality flaws, and very much a Tolkien theme, like Boromir's fall, and Frodo at the Cracks (through no fault of his own) and Bilbo's difficulty giving up the ring.

Or, as my husband put it "Saruman was still a dick, even as a good guy!"

Dec 28, 2012, 6:41pm Top

I believe that in the overall timeline, Saruman began to seek the ring even before The Hobbit, and that his researches led him to believe it had been lost somewhere in the area of Mirkwood, hence his desire to keep the others attention away from that area.

Dec 31, 2012, 11:13am Top

It was about what I expected. The Hobbit was written as less of a serious, sweeping epic so it rightly lacks much of the gravitas that can be found in LOTR. I liked it OK, but the whole time I watched I found myself wishing that it had been shot as a "normal" movie.

Perhaps never having seen a 3D or high framerate movie it was a bad combination to experience both at once. I actually wanted to watch the 2D version, but had to take the most convenient show time. I had a good seat in the theater but I still thought the 3D was distracting. Maybe the projector wasn't optimally calibrated. Between the 3D and high framerate there were many times I felt more like I was watching a stage play than a movie. Call me a cranky old Luddite and/or Philistine but for me it cheapened the experience and made it far less absorbing.

Dec 31, 2012, 11:29am Top

63> I liked the 3D and high frame rate. It made me feel like I was there.

Dec 31, 2012, 1:48pm Top

I am late getting back into this discussion. Clearly I was a little muddled about Azog the Defiler (who I had classified with the Orcs) as encountered in LOTR and the Goblins found in the Hobbit. I had always understood that the Orcs were elves corrupted/remade by Sauron or Saruman. Whereas Goblins were a natural species. I don't think I realized that they were supposed to be slightly different versions of the same thing (#56).

Dec 31, 2012, 6:59pm Top

#65 - The ones that were corrupted in LoTR were the Uruk-Hai, and they were significantly different from orcs/goblins.

Dec 31, 2012, 9:36pm Top

I saw the HFR 3-D version last week and liked it but found myself visually overwhelmed during the action sequences and couldn't really process the movie. The 3-D gave me a bit of a headache from the start that never really went away. Saw the 2-D version at a matinee today and LOVED(!!!) it! Was grinning throughout. Visually stunning!
Didn't like the troll scene (cause it deviated from the Canon), but found the adaptation very well done otherwise. New Line really nailed wargs this time - they scared me!

Jan 1, 2013, 7:05am Top

Morgoth was the one corrupting elves into orcs, not Sauron. Sauron remade the common orcs into the improved version or Uruk-Hai (stronger, smarter, better resistance to sunlight etc).

Jan 1, 2013, 9:22am Top

Can you all tell that it's been awhile since I read LOTR? ;>)

Jan 1, 2013, 9:31am Top

I wanted some advice from those who've seen the movie. Is it too violent for a 7 year-old? She's reading and enjoying the book, but I fear Peter Jackson's imagery may prove too intense. (She's watched all the Harry Potter movies.)

Jan 1, 2013, 11:44am Top

70> If she's watched all the Harry Potter movies, I think it's probably okay.

Jan 1, 2013, 2:07pm Top

I found The Hobbit to be less overwhelming than HP7.2 felt.  And it made more sense.

Edited: Jan 1, 2013, 3:15pm Top

In Tolkienian cosmology, all life is either the creation of Eru, the One, or a twisted mockery made by Morgoroth, who can only ape the true Creator. Thus, orcs are a twisted mockery of elves, trolls are a twisted mockery of ents, and the uruk-hai are "better bred" orcs who may or not be orcs cross-bred with men. The balrog is a maiar spirit who chose to follow Morgoroth and fell into fire and darkness as a result.

Dwarves are kind of a mild exception, having been created by Aule, one of the Valar. But when Eru found Aule making them, he decided they were okay and gave them independent life. So even dwarves, although fashioned by Aule's hands, are Eru's own creation.

Jan 2, 2013, 9:10pm Top

There's not much blood in the Hobbit movie, maybe some flashes of dark orc blood, but even when a character is sliced across the belly and should have guts pouring forth, they don't. There is, however, intense action/scary imagery. The wargs are fearsome. It depends very much on your daughter. :)

Jan 3, 2013, 8:31am Top

Thanks for the feed back everyone. We're still thinking about it. I think I'll wait until my daughter is back in school next week and see if her friends have seen it.

Jan 3, 2013, 10:31am Top

My son is just a hair under 6 right now. I know that a year can make a lot of difference but I don't think he'd be ready for it. He's actually pretty practical about what's real and make-believe. However, just a couple days ago he was telling me how he had been thinking about the headless snowman (from an episode of Scooby Doo) and how it gave him a funny scary feeling in his stomach. I think we'll hold off for a few years. :)

Jan 3, 2013, 9:24pm Top

Ya, I think television sometimes encourages the young ones to over estimate their own abilities to not be scared silly by stuff. I think holding off is a very wise parental move. Really, there will be plenty of scary stuff in 5 years. And some of this year's stuff might even survive in some form that long. (Tolkien)

Jan 6, 2013, 12:44am Top

We FINALLY saw it - very late, but we were broke for a week or two so we had to wait. It was worth it!

Agree that the troll scene was quite different from the book, but I quite liked it anyway.

I loved the music.

The riddles were great!

I loved the beginning, with it being set the very day of Bilbo's party, bringing back the LOTR actors, working that all in together.

How about the casting? Bilbo was just the way I imagined him!

My favorite scene: the stone giants!

And yes, I *squeed* several times throughout the movie, jumped in my seat at least twice, and had to hid my face during one of the - we're all falling off the cliff - parts. I'm not fond of heights and it was just too much.

Jan 6, 2013, 9:26am Top

Saw it, and loved it! I'd seen a lot of criticism about turning one book into three 3 hour films, so I was a bit chary about going to see it; but I think it worked. I didn't re-read the book, as I didn't have time in the December rush (but I've read it at least twice). It's been a while, though, so there were things I wasn't sure about. I didn't remember the pale orc, or even orcs in general (but I've just read this thread, and am all clued up again).

I'm not your most observant person, so the shaggy ponies completely escaped me; I'm afraid I barely noticed there were horses, except when they had to find one for Bilbo, and when they were captured, and finally scared off. :) Ditto with the music, though I did notice it once - so it must have been exceptional (couldn't tell you which part, though). I loved the dwarves song.

I suppose I'll just have to re-re-read The Hobbit. *happy sigh*

Jan 6, 2013, 1:54pm Top

Anyone else think that whoever wrote the music for "Misty Mountains" should set a tune to every poem Tolkien put in The Hobbit?

Jan 12, 2013, 5:35pm Top

*head falls off*

How did I not notice?!

Edited: Jan 12, 2013, 5:44pm Top

Which reminds me; I had meant to ask if anyone noticed that Watson's friend, Holmes, is on the cast list.

And any Who-ites around here? That's the 7th Doctor.

Jan 12, 2013, 6:42pm Top

83:  He's Smaug and the necromancer. :D

Jan 13, 2013, 12:04am Top

83 - Are you talking about Sylvester McCoy, who played Radagast? I was just looking at his bio on IMDb:
"...Percy Smith he trained as a priest, sold insurance and acted as a bodyguard for the Rolling Stones."

Haha! How's that for the resume of a somewhat mental wizard?

Jan 14, 2013, 3:10am Top

Rozax - I am with Choreocrat on this one!
humouress - he is the voice of Smaug

Jan 14, 2013, 9:56am Top

@ 86 - He's also doing motion capture for the Necromancer, similar to what Andy Serkis does for Gollum. I'm very interested to see how that will come out.

Jan 14, 2013, 10:05pm Top

86:  I didn't notice either, and I saw it twice!

Feb 18, 2013, 5:01am Top

One thing that bugs me about Peter Jackson's style is the way that so many elements are over-done. He injects melodrama or a chase sequence where none was needed. But then he pulls off a touch of genius - Smaug is the most dramatic character in the whole book & could have been over used but as yet we have not seen anything of him apart from an eye peering out of a mound of gold as the final image of the film.

Feb 22, 2013, 4:31pm Top

I think the Nostalgia Chick calls it "Forced Peej Drama".

Feb 27, 2013, 2:03am Top

Awwww... so cute! (So's the fraggle).

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