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I have been waiting for this movie since reading the Book at 12 or 13. After living with the Rankin/Bass Cartoon echoing in my head for all these years I can now firmly say I think Peter Jackson was born to make these movies and if anyone can bring the encyclopedia of Middle Earth (The Silmarillion) to Life it could only be him.

Oh did I say I loved the movie.
Post edited December 28, 2012 by Lou
I watched it in both 2D and 3D back on release weekend, and it was well worth the wait. Both versions have their charms and drawbacks, but I will say the rock giant fight was amazing in 3D...
Anyone else disconcerted by the 48 fps? It looks cheap. I could hardly get into the mood of the film, because all I saw were dressed-up actors...
Loved the movie, saw it in 3D XD, high frames per sec release one. Alot of awesome moments. I'm kinda glad I never got around to finishing the book otherwise I would probably nitpick more ^_^

The 48 fps did look strange, it worked in some scenes like the action scenes without closeups of the people. In others like mentioned the actors looked like a costumed play show =/
Post edited December 28, 2012 by Briareos262
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orcishgamer: All nitpicking aside, having seen it now, any serious fan's complaints about that film should have immediately been washed away by the closing sequence.

That is all.
To be honest, I don't really remember the closing sequence (other than Smaug opening his eye - I think that was the final scene, yes?)

Was it the escape from the orcs via the eagle rescue? If so, I really didn't find it that great (admittedly this may be in large part to my own bias as I didn't really go for the whole Azog-the-orc-as-terminator-stalking-Thorin addition to the story).

Don't get me wrong, I certainly didn't think it was a bad movie by any means, but I didn't think it was great either.
So, havent had seen it yet, does it follow the book, or not?.
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orcishgamer: All nitpicking aside, having seen it now, any serious fan's complaints about that film should have immediately been washed away by the closing sequence.

That is all.
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Coelocanth: To be honest, I don't really remember the closing sequence (other than Smaug opening his eye - I think that was the final scene, yes?)

Was it the escape from the orcs via the eagle rescue? If so, I really didn't find it that great (admittedly this may be in large part to my own bias as I didn't really go for the whole Azog-the-orc-as-terminator-stalking-Thorin addition to the story).

Don't get me wrong, I certainly didn't think it was a bad movie by any means, but I didn't think it was great either.
Yeah, I meant the climax rather than the epilogue, which would be the eagles.
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orcishgamer: Yeah, I meant the climax rather than the epilogue, which would be the eagles.
So... because the eagles once again seem to serve as Jackson and co.'s "Middle Earth taxi service" (but only when called by Gandalf and his moth friend!) An Unexpected Journey can be redeemed?

The eagles are supposed to be there in the plot line - that is fine and dandy - though cutting the movie off right after the eagles save the "15 birds in five firtrees" (to quote Tolkien) does create a rather deus ex machina moment which doesn't happen with the book, which is too bad. Because it means that it presages the eventual deus ex machina of the eagles in the Battle of Five Armies in the next (or third) movie. :/
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SheBear: *snip*
I think that our "disagreement" is in fact because we're not speaking about exactly the same thing.

You say "I disagree that An Unexpected Journey needed to be consistent with the LOTR movies". I totally agree, maybe I didn't explain myself well enough (english is not my first language ;) ). I didn't say it needed to be consistent, i just wanted to say that Jackson decided that for him it needed to be consistent and I was merely pointing out that he succeeded in making it consistent with the LOTR movies.

That people are disappointed with the fact he changed the original story to make it consistent with the LOTR movies, I can perfectly understand.

I love the movies (LOTR and Journey) precisely because they are NOT the books. I'm a die-hard fan of the books, but I'm also a die-hard fan of Jackson's movies, precisely because in each I find different things. In fact, I think I feared Jackson made an exact carbon copy of the books. It wouldn't have worked at all.

Oh, by the way, I went to watch it again today, but this time in 3D/HFR. As usual, the 3D is useless but at least Jackson has the good taste not to insist too much on it. So it adds depth in keys moment without shouting "look, I'm shooting a movie in 3D!!". And that's nice.
The HFR now. Yeah, I agree, I found it funny sometimes, but not funny to the point of not liking it. In some scenes, it's simply awesome, you have the impression it's really happening and you're a direct witness of the scene!
If only there was an HFR-only release, which wouldn't be a problem since that technology has nothing to do with 3D...
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orcishgamer: Yeah, I meant the climax rather than the epilogue, which would be the eagles.
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SheBear: So... because the eagles once again seem to serve as Jackson and co.'s "Middle Earth taxi service" (but only when called by Gandalf and his moth friend!) An Unexpected Journey can be redeemed?

The eagles are supposed to be there in the plot line - that is fine and dandy - though cutting the movie off right after the eagles save the "15 birds in five firtrees" (to quote Tolkien) does create a rather deus ex machina moment which doesn't happen with the book, which is too bad. Because it means that it presages the eventual deus ex machina of the eagles in the Battle of Five Armies in the next (or third) movie. :/
You need to re-read the books, the eagles rather frequently showed up as the cavalry sweeping over the hill to the rescue.

Jackson giving them a reason to show up (Gandalf being able to call them by asking) is considerably less Deus Ex Machina than in the books (not that it's properly Deus Ex Machina in my estimation, they're a known part of Middle Earth) where they just show up. It's well established that Gandalf is friendly with the lord/king/whatever of the eagles.
Post edited December 29, 2012 by orcishgamer
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xa_chan: That people are disappointed with the fact he changed the original story to make it consistent with the LOTR movies, I can perfectly understand.
I think Jackson actually (tried) to fix an issue Tolkien himself only half-heartedly tried to fix. Originally the Hobbit had no connection to middle earth, and it shows. There are many weird moments in the book that often downright contradict the ME mythos (like Gandalfs liberal use of magic). Jackson tries making it a bit more seamless buy sacrificing the vibe of The Hobbit. And he actually fixes stuff, like that weird talking purse on the troll.

I think that was a smart move, as the Tolkien legendarium is a great thing to explore. And, to be quite honest, making a version of the Hobbit without blowing it into the LOTR epic would be a waste of time and resources as there are plenty of movies and books that show such journeys already.
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SimonG: *snip*
my thoughts, exactly.
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orcishgamer: You need to re-read the books, the eagles rather frequently showed up as the cavalry sweeping over the hill to the rescue.

Jackson giving them a reason to show up (Gandalf being able to call them by asking) is considerably less Deus Ex Machina than in the books (not that it's properly Deus Ex Machina in my estimation, they're a known part of Middle Earth) where they just show up. It's well established that Gandalf is friendly with the lord/king/whatever of the eagles.
I've read the books plenty, thank you very much. I'm currently on my 14th reading of The Return of the King - I've read The Hobbit + The Lord of the Rings every year for at least the past 8 or 9 years (and for perspective I'm 22 years old, so some of that reading came at earlier ages as well).

The reason that they show up in the books (besides The Hobbit - in that case they are at first interested in what is going on in the copse of trees with the fire and the goblins singing and the dwarves and Gandalf and Bilbo, so they sweep down, pick up Gandalf, talk to him and then rescue the rest of the party, and then their historical hatred of the goblins is established and their friendship with the dwarves secured so that while it is a bit weird that they show up to The Battle of Five Armies it is no more strange than Beorn showing up - so while yes Gandalf is previously friends with the eagles here he doesn't directly call them).

In LOTR the eagles (particularly Gwaihir) act as messengers to some degree and then as agents of Manwe. The rescue of Gandalf from Orthanc by Gwaihir is - yes because he is told to go to Isengard by Radagast - but also because his purpose in Middle Earth is to be a winged guardian of the world, and so he aids the on Maia who is still performing his duties. Same when Gwaihir finds Gandalf after the fight with the balrog and brings him to Lorien. And same with the intervention at the Battle of the Black Gate: though then they serve as a convenient taxi service to go pick up Frodo and Sam.
Going to see after New Year and can't wait
The Hobbit was my fave of the Middle Earth books for some reason I can't explain, Riddles in the Dark probably plays a large part in that though
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SheBear: The reason that they show up in the books (besides The Hobbit - in that case they are at first interested in what is going on in the copse of trees with the fire and the goblins singing and the dwarves and Gandalf and Bilbo, so they sweep down, pick up Gandalf, talk to him and then rescue the rest of the party, and then their historical hatred of the goblins is established and their friendship with the dwarves secured so that while it is a bit weird that they show up to The Battle of Five Armies it is no more strange than Beorn showing up - so while yes Gandalf is previously friends with the eagles here he doesn't directly call them).

In LOTR the eagles (particularly Gwaihir) act as messengers to some degree and then as agents of Manwe. The rescue of Gandalf from Orthanc by Gwaihir is - yes because he is told to go to Isengard by Radagast - but also because his purpose in Middle Earth is to be a winged guardian of the world, and so he aids the on Maia who is still performing his duties. Same when Gwaihir finds Gandalf after the fight with the balrog and brings him to Lorien. And same with the intervention at the Battle of the Black Gate: though then they serve as a convenient taxi service to go pick up Frodo and Sam.
Amazingly awesome justification in a book format...

and amazingly shitty for a movie. Seriously, how do you expect a director to actually communicate that shit to an audience that's never read the books or has done so once, ten years prior?

Movie pacing and format are different, just like video games and movies are different (seriously they aren't alike and video games that try and act like movies tend to suck, but I digress). With one simple and inconsequential change Jackson has both educated an audience on "why" it's happening and not deeply changed the role of the eagles in Middle Earth.

Yes, yes, if you know the back stories (which frankly didn't exist at the outset, you know as well as I that there's a lot of different versions of The Hobbit and most of the deep lore got retconned in during Tolkien's lifetime) like you do then you didn't need the device. Of the theater full of people maybe 5 of them knew it all, the rest did not or didn't remember because they only have a passing fancy with Tolkien's works.

One of my favorite parts of The Fellowship of the Ring is Tom Bombadil, I was kind of sad during that movie to realize that entire section would be skipped, but after seeing the entire feature I can understand why it was done.

Skipping Glorfindel just to give Liv Tyler more screen time actually did annoy me and I still don't agree with it. So it's not like I'm going to apologize for every single decision Jackson made, but seriously, most of them don't deeply change anything terribly important (and certainly no more so than Tolkien himself was fond of changing shit).

To sum up, the eagles looked flipping awesome, if I could have had that scene come to life out of the books as a child it would have looked exactly like that. I've been waiting to see that scene, in some ways, for over 30 years. I got to see it with my daughter sitting right beside me, it was magic.
Post edited December 29, 2012 by orcishgamer