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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:07 am 
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That review on the TORN messageboard tells one clear story:

The three-film decision, and the rushed pick up shooting that followed (including the Legolas in Laketown and Dwarves vs. Smaug stuff) have dramatically diminished the quality of these films.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:31 am 
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AUJ was certainly not devoid of emotions!

Passdagas the Brown wrote:
ETA: This Erik Davis guy states that the first film (AUJ) had "stronger emotions."

Can that be possible? The theatrical AUJ was one of the most emotionally vacant films I can remember watching in the past five years.


At the risk of being shot down, I will say that the first 6 chapters of the book in itself are pretty "vacant of emotion" in the sense PtB means.

And yes V. I just saw the Cumbersmaug interview. They ought to interview him more often!!!! At least more often than the Elven-cast. :D


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:19 am 
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Smaug's voice wrote:
AUJ was certainly not devoid of emotions!

Passdagas the Brown wrote:
ETA: This Erik Davis guy states that the first film (AUJ) had "stronger emotions."

Can that be possible? The theatrical AUJ was one of the most emotionally vacant films I can remember watching in the past five years.


At the risk of being shot down, I will say that the first 6 chapters of the book in itself are pretty "vacant of emotion" in the sense PtB means.

And yes V. I just saw the Cumbersmaug interview. They ought to interview him more often!!!! At least more often than the Elven-cast. :D


I won't shoot you down, but I can't see how one could read the "Misty Mountains" song, and the description of Bilbo's reaction to it, and not be moved on an emotional level.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:59 am 
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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
Sounds great to me. Bring it on!

Very little of what he said is bothersome to me. I'm sure there will be things that I don't like, but I doubt they will be the ones that he doesn't (other than [spoiler]the Tauriel healing scene being like Arwen [/spoiler]). I must admit to experiencing a bit of guilty pleasure at looking at the explosion of angst over there.


Well, this was his take on the love-triangle and how much the "romance" intrudes on the overall storyline:

Quote:
Kili/Tauriel Romance is very real -

They share one of the longest dialogue scenes in the film. It's actually a pretty scene, I wish there were similar scenes amongst the other characters. Something lacking with the film is the quieter character moments. He seems to be more interested in action.

But the romance does bloom, and during her scene of healing him (not Bard's child as some predicted), he pronounces his love for her.

This scene was tacky. For me more so because of the set-up and it's place in the story more than anything else
.


Of DCole4's negative comments, this stands out as the major problem to me:

Quote:
Final note: I think CGI has given him way too much freedom. His focus seems to be more on action and shock than beauty and grandeur. And that extends past the action and the effects, it extends into the story. His belief that he can massively alter scenes at the last minute leaves the film feeling stunted and deformed in places.

I wish he had stuck with miniatures, not because they look better (although I think they do!) but because they force him to think through each and every shot months in advance... not 6 weeks before delivery date. At the Q & A he said that often times he "winged it" and it shows...


It's not the use of CGI per se that may be causing so much criticism, but the way it is allowing Jackson to chop and change his mind over the script, and go back and re-do stuff - fiddle, in other words - instead of having a plan and sticking with it.

To balance, "he" has posted a list of things that were highlights for him/her:

Quote:
Stephen Fry was incredible...

A few things I liked...

1) Smaug's scene with Bilbo was great. His arrogance is perfectly captured.

2) Wandering through Mirkwood is quite fun although brief.

3) Beorn. Beorn. Beorn. Although very brief, he's great. I was hoping he'd factor into the Dol Guldur plot but alas he does not. His house is gorgeous, but we already knew that.

4) The entire Laketown sequence is amazing. The right kind of humor, the right kind of energy. It was my favorite section of the movie. Alfred and the Master are a lot of fun. I hope the extended cut reveals even more of this world.

5) Thranduil's halls are pretty great and we get to see a nice amount of them. Although not too much more than what's been revealed in clips and trailers.

6) Radagast, he's only in the movie a few scenes but I loved seeing him again. I was sad to see him leave the movie so early.

7) The Hidden Door scene is quite lovely. I wish more time was spent with drama like this than OTT action honestly. It's why audiences love these stories.

8) The Spiders. Their movement is much more terrifying than Shelob. These are mean, fast and aggressive spiders.

9) Bard, I liked his underground good guy storyline. It wasn't in your face and obnoxious. He just came across as a guy wanting to do right by his people and family. His poem from the trailer is a small but lovely moment in the film.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:09 am 
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Passdagas
the Brown wrote:
Smaug's voice wrote:
AUJ was certainly not devoid of
emotions!

Passdagas the Brown wrote:
ETA: This Erik Davis guy states that the first film (AUJ) had "stronger
emotions."

Can that be possible? The theatrical AUJ was one of the most emotionally
vacant films I can remember watching in the past five years.


At the risk of being shot down, I will say that the first 6 chapters of
the book in itself are pretty "vacant of emotion" in the sense PtB
means.

And yes V. I just saw the Cumbersmaug interview. They ought to interview
him more often!!!! At least more often than the Elven-cast. :D


I won't shoot you down, but I can't see how one could read the "Misty
Mountains" song, and the description of Bilbo's reaction to it, and not
be moved on an emotional level.


I felt the same emotions by that said scene in the film as by reading that part. So if AUJ was emotion-less, so was that part of the book.
Which was really my point.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:17 pm 
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Elentári wrote:
To balance, "he" has posted a list of things that were highlights for him/her:

Quote:
Stephen Fry was incredible...

A few things I liked...

1) Smaug's scene with Bilbo was great. His arrogance is perfectly captured.

2) Wandering through Mirkwood is quite fun although brief.

3) Beorn. Beorn. Beorn. Although very brief, he's great. I was hoping he'd factor into the Dol Guldur plot but alas he does not. His house is gorgeous, but we already knew that.

4) The entire Laketown sequence is amazing. The right kind of humor, the right kind of energy. It was my favorite section of the movie. Alfred and the Master are a lot of fun. I hope the extended cut reveals even more of this world.

5) Thranduil's halls are pretty great and we get to see a nice amount of them. Although not too much more than what's been revealed in clips and trailers.

6) Radagast, he's only in the movie a few scenes but I loved seeing him again. I was sad to see him leave the movie so early.

7) The Hidden Door scene is quite lovely. I wish more time was spent with drama like this than OTT action honestly. It's why audiences love these stories.

8) The Spiders. Their movement is much more terrifying than Shelob. These are mean, fast and aggressive spiders.

9) Bard, I liked his underground good guy storyline. It wasn't in your face and obnoxious. He just came across as a guy wanting to do right by his people and family. His poem from the trailer is a small but lovely moment in the film.


In other words, he liked most of the film. ;)

Of his criticisms, some I suspect I will agree with, but many don't ring true to me. Obviously, the real test will be seeing it myself. But I'm not about to go hang myself because one TORN poster didn't like the film.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:31 pm 
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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
But I'm not about to go hang myself because one TORN poster didn't like the film.


They can be an excitable bunch, can't they?

But our main advantage may just be that there are fewer of us to feed the frenzy! ;)


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:02 pm 
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There is now another one there who says he saw it, and entitles his thread "The CGI Nightmare Of Middle Earth Continues." Yet he also says "The story is good, the bridge of the movie is good when you see Smaug heading towards the city. Thorin's turn or madness is good. The acting was GREAT!" Later he says "the movie IS AWESOME!!!!!! " "the movie was GRAND!" "It's a very good film. I just need to come to realize it will be quite different than LOTR." That is what all of his complaints come down to; it looks different than LOTR. But it should look and feel different than LOTR; The Hobbit is different than LOTR.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:11 pm 
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The one thing from DCole4 that got me was the claim that they reused the Arwen healing music from FotR for the scene where Tauriel does essentially the same thing. I hope that isn't true, mostly because Kingsfoil contains a great section I assumed was for that event, and it would be a real shame if they dropped it in favor of recycled material.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:16 pm 
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Passdagas the Brown wrote:
Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
Sounds great to me. Bring it on!

Very little of what he said is bothersome to me. I'm sure there will be things that I don't like, but I doubt they will be the ones that he doesn't (other than [spoiler]the Tauriel healing scene being like Arwen [/spoiler]). I must admit to experiencing a bit of guilty pleasure at looking at the explosion of angst over there.


I understand that tastes differ, but I'm curious. What about that description of the barrel sequence is "great?"


The description is not "of the barrel sequence". It is of one small element of the barrel sequence. And what sounds great about it is that it sound like fun physical comedy, of which I have long been a big fan, from Buster Keaton to Jackie Chan.

I understand that your tastes are different than mine, and I am happy to have you express your opinion here, but as I have said before, demeaning other people for their opinion is not acceptable here. I'm not saying that that is what you were doing here, but it appears to be edging in that direction. Please keep that in mind.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:18 pm 
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Interestingly, when watching RotK I realised that the "Healing Gandalf" thing he did with Thorin was the same thing he did to Frodo in Moria and also Pippin after the palantír. There's remarkable consistency, which is why I'm surprised when people call it rehashed or recycled.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:22 pm 
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Dave_LF wrote:
The one thing from DCole4 that got me was the claim that they reused the Arwen healing music from FotR for the scene where Tauriel does essentially the same thing. I hope that isn't true, mostly because Kingsfoil contains a great section I assumed was for that event, and it would be a real shame if they dropped it in favor of recycled material.


That would be a shame, I agree. I am not nearly as familiar as you are, so I'll ask you, is there enough similarity that he might have mistaken the one for the other, or are they completely different?

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:41 pm 
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I wouldn't think so. The music from Arwen's scene is distinctly melancholy and primarily instrumental, while the segment of Kingsfoil I have in mind is more upbeat with "holy" sounding vocals featured prominently.

I suppose it could be that since the scene was expanded during pickups there is now room for both.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:08 pm 
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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
Passdagas the Brown wrote:
Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
Sounds great to me. Bring it on!

Very little of what he said is bothersome to me. I'm sure there will be things that I don't like, but I doubt they will be the ones that he doesn't (other than [spoiler]the Tauriel healing scene being like Arwen [/spoiler]). I must admit to experiencing a bit of guilty pleasure at looking at the explosion of angst over there.


I understand that tastes differ, but I'm curious. What about that description of the barrel sequence is "great?"


The description is not "of the barrel sequence". It is of one small element of the barrel sequence. And what sounds great about it is that it sound like fun physical comedy, of which I have long been a big fan, from Buster Keaton to Jackie Chan.

I understand that your tastes are different than mine, and I am happy to have you express your opinion here, but as I have said before, demeaning other people for their opinion is not acceptable here. I'm not saying that that is what you were doing here, but it appears to be edging in that direction. Please keep that in mind.


It was a question, and you answered it. If you're not saying that I am demeaning other people for their opinion, then please do not insinuate it.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:14 pm 
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EMPIRE gives Desolation of Smaug 5 Stars!

http://www.empireonline.com/reviews/reviewcomplete.asp?FID=137814

Quote:
You've seen his King Kong. Now prepare for Peter Jackson’s Donkey Kong....


Verdict
Middle-earth's got its mojo back. A huge improvement on the previous instalment, this takes our adventurers into uncharted territory and delivers spectacle by the ton. And in case you were wondering, yes, someone manages to say the title as dialogue.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:16 pm 
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I'm not sure how these get through the embargo, but here are two mostly very positive reviews, from Variety, and The Hollywood Reporter:

http://variety.com/2013/film/reviews/th ... 200919206/

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/movie/ ... iew/663372

The HR critic gave AUJ a rotten review, while the Variety critic gave one of those that was barely "fresh" so this is definitely a further indication that the critical response is likely to be much better (Richard Corliss gave AUJ a rotten review too).

PtB, you had previously said that you felt that if the embargo held that would be a bad sign for the movie. Now that we have several major positive reviews coming out before the embargo was supposed to end, do you consider that a good sign?

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:17 pm 
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The Empire review was particularly encouraging. It did repeat the assertion that the river scene is basically one long sequence of physical gags involving barrels, but I've already resigned myself to that.

Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
I'm not sure how these get through the embargo


Maybe they're just taking the risk that no one will sue them for giving a glowing review.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:36 pm 
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All of those reviews are dimissive of fantasy, IMO. The Variety one, in particular, reinforces the belief that this kind of material should be empty spectacle, and not try for anything higher. For example, the "indisputable" best part of the film for him is the barrel sequence, and here's his description:
Quote:
the sequence is thrillingly sustained, orchestrated with a giddy B-movie exuberance that feels like vintage Jackson.


It's fine to enjoy that sort of thing, but to hail it as the indisputably best thing about the film shows a total lack of interest in the thematic richness of Tolkien's stories.

And then you have the Hollywood Reporter guy who's just relieved that he doesn't have to sit through another bore-fest like the Unexpected Party...

If anything, these reviews are more worrying than the negative ones from AUJ.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:49 pm 
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I thought that is what you would say.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:02 pm 
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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
Passdagas the Brown wrote:
Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
Sounds great to me. Bring it on!

Very little of what he said is bothersome to me. I'm sure there will be things that I don't like, but I doubt they will be the ones that he doesn't (other than [spoiler]the Tauriel healing scene being like Arwen [/spoiler]). I must admit to experiencing a bit of guilty pleasure at looking at the explosion of angst over there.


I understand that tastes differ, but I'm curious. What about that description of the barrel sequence is "great?"


The description is not "of the barrel sequence". It is of one small element of the barrel sequence. And what sounds great about it is that it sound like fun physical comedy, of which I have long been a big fan, from Buster Keaton to Jackie Chan.


Exactly this. If I want action in DOS, I would prefer it coupled with humor like that. But not anything too serious, which is why I fear the climactic Smaug-dwarves battle.


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