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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:19 am 
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Nibonto Aagun
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Mine:

AUJ TE: 3/5
AUJ EE: 2.5/5

DOS TE: 4/5

BOFA TE: 4.5/5

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 1:36 pm 
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AUJ: C-
DOS: C+
BOF: B-

(All based on TEs and single viewings.)

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 3:02 pm 
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Hmmm...I dislike doing this sort of thing, but I suppose I ought to have a go:

AUJ 3.5/5
AUJ EE: 3.8/5 could have pushed it up to 4/5 if they'd not done themselves a disservice with some of the less worthy additions (naked dwarves, Goblin King's song, etc)

DoS TE: 3/5 - too much invented material at the expense of canon characters/events
DoS EE: 4/5 - vast improvement with the added "canon" material, I just wish the Dwarves/Smaug confrontation wasn't there!

BOFA TE: 4/5 - though I'm expecting the EE to push it up to 4.5/5 (as long as there's no more unnecessary K-T romance storyline!)

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 4:32 pm 
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I also dislike trying to do this type of thing.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 6:32 pm 
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I hate the 5 point scale, so I'm joining yov's A-F scale (which for some reason, doesn't include an "E" score). So it's really the ABCDF scale. :)

I should also note that I am judging them in the context of films in general, not as "Tolkien films."

AUJ: C-
AUJ EE: C

DOS: B-
DOS EE: B

BOFA: C-
BOFA EE: TBD


Last edited by Passdagas the Brown on Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 6:37 pm 
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Passdagas the Brown wrote:
I hate the 5 point scale, so I'm joining yov's A-F scale. :) I should also note that I am judging them in the context of films in general, not as "Tolkien films."


So, I am guessing your grading of the LOTR films is:

FOTR: C-
TTT: B
ROTK: C-

I agree with Voronwë, by the way. I avoid giving movies specific grades.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 6:46 pm 
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Good guess! But the EEs of each film do help (except for ROTK, where it generally hurts).

FOTR: D+
FOTR EE: C+

TTT: C
TTT EE: B-

ROTK: C
ROTK EE: C-

Though, I honestly prefer to rate sections of each film. For example, this scale would not tell you that the first hour or so of FOTR is my favorite Peter Jackson film ever (and one of my favorite films ever). :)


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 7:27 pm 
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Oh, nevermind: I cannot give you the last word:

FOTR: AAA
TTT: AAA
ROTK: AAA

AUJ: BBB+
DOS: BBB
BOFA: BBB+


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 7:50 pm 
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You clearly have not had much experience with people who give the LOTR films an unequivocal FFF. I am positively generous, compared to them. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 8:02 pm 
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Passdagas the Brown wrote:
You clearly have not had much experience with people who give the LOTR films an unequivocal FFF. I am positively generous, compared to them. :)


Alas, the lowest rating for a bond is a single D. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bond_credit_rating

And yes, over the years I have encountered those sorrowful creatures of questionable taste, but I am afraid all hope is lost for them.

As for you: My heart tells me that you have some part to play yet; for good or ill, I do not know. :P :cannotpass:


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:14 am 
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I'll take that as a compliment, Beutlin. :)

So my wife and I did a marathon AUJ EE and DOS EE watch, after our last viewing of BOFA. Our consensus verdict for the trilogy:

Quote:
Enjoyable. But there are too many orcs.


I also have to say that I now find DOS to be far better than BOFA (even when excluding the EE scenes). The drama, the conflicts, the world-building, the beats, the emotion, the pacing and the visuals just work better (apart from BOFA's ending, which is perfect). I also think that BOFA suffers considerably, relative to DOS, from the very non-compelling villains of Azog and Bolg, who simply cannot compare to Smaug.

In this context, I think the decision to set the Azog and Bolg fights in their own little arena on Ravenhill, away from the battlefield, was a big mistake (despite it being a visually compelling set). Thorin (and Fili and Kili) engaging in a fight to the death with Azog, the growling CGI orc that issues the worst orders ever ("slaughter them all," "drink their blood," etc) is underwhelming. But if they did so amidst a great battle on the open plain, marshaling their dwarf kin like great generals for a Custer-esque last stand amidst a hill of bodies, it could have put DOS to shame. It would have been akin to the Azanulbizar flashback in AUJ (Jackson's best battle scene yet), but bigger, better and more emotionally powerful, given the ultimate deaths of the three dwarf lords. Actually, imagine combining Boromir's last stand with the dynamics and visuals of Azanulbizar. That's what we could have gotten. Instead, we got Mortal Kombat on ice...It was engaging, but not nearly as powerful as it could have been.

I also liked AUJ a bit more this time, and would say it's on par with BOFA. Though I expect the BOFA EE to improve the film enough to bring it into a firm second place for me.

-PTB
ETA: BTW, PJ and company seem to have made an odd visual choice for BOFA. In DOS, the treasure hoard has this wonderfully realistic dull sheen. It's muted. In BOFA, PJ seems to have returned to the very bright, cartoonish-looking pile that we saw at the end of AUJ. He seems to have done this with the interior of Erebor as well. In BOFA, it's very muted. There are greys and blacks and deep shadows. In BOFA, we seem to be back to the brightly-lit interior that we saw in the AUJ prologue (and at the end). It doesn't look nearly as good, and I'm not sure what the rationale is. To visually indicate that the dragon no longer had a hold on it? Did anyone else notice this, or am I losing my mind?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:02 am 
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Quote:
It would have been akin to the Azanulbizar flashback in AUJ (Jackson's best battle scene yet)


I've seen you say this on many occasions and it always made me :scratch: because it was, to me, so utterly forgettable. And I mean that in the literal sense of barely being able to remember anything about it from either of my AUJ viewings. If you hadn't brought it up several times as something that you loved , I'm pretty sure I would've totally forgotten it ever happened. :beard:

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 4:12 am 
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Nibonto Aagun
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I do think it's the best battle in the TH films (apart from the final duel of Thorin on ice which I loved), but I think that might be largely due to the incredible chorus in that scene and also because I find dwarves and their battles very compelling.
However, it heavily uses slo-mo. (like 75% of it) Making it real time for the major part would have been more effective imo.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 4:10 pm 
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yov,

With respect, you're the only person I have heard say that! Even some of the film's harshest critics noted the flashback as a highlight, and wondered why Goblintown and the warg chase were so tonally awful compared to it.

Visually (and musically), Azanulbizar in AUJ is great. Try watching it again. It looks like something out of the Silmarillion. I'm not sure what they did with lighting, etc, but it works wonders (and was never replicated again). There's both a shapness about it (as opposed to that "bloom effect" PJ and company so often use) and a timelessness to it (like the scene was carved in rock and then animated). The Thorin-Azog confrontation also has that quality. The visuals, and the staging, seem like they've been extracted from some deep well of myth. Like Fingolifin vs. Morgoth, or something.

It's also "solid" in a way that most of PJ's battle scenes aren't. When hammers and clubs hit, they hit. And dwarves die. You see them die, and you hear the blows that kill them. It's no cartoon battle.

Lastly, it's overlaid with Balin's excellent narration.

And I disagree with SV. This scene is one where slo-mo (and it's not the hyper-slo mo that PJ sometimes uses in close-ups) works great. In general, actually, when PJ uses slo-mo in big battle scenes, it looks great (such as in front of the Black Gate in ROTK, after the mountain explodes).

Long story short, I think combining the visual dynamics of Azanulbizar, with the more intimate dynamics of Boromir's last stand (with Fili and Kili defending Thorin) could have been eons better than the Ravenhill death matches. I like the visuals of those scenes (especially Azog under the ice), but I believe it considerably diminished the film.


Last edited by Passdagas the Brown on Tue Dec 23, 2014 4:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 4:16 pm 
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I largely agree with you about Azanilbizar. I haven't seen BotFA enough to judge whether I agree with you about that battle. I'm hoping to see it again soon.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 4:45 pm 
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Passdagas the Brown wrote:
Try watching it again.


I did. Looked like any of a dozen such fights in these movies to me. :beard: (Except it's focused on two character I'm profoundly bored by at this point.)

I'd figured it was mainly cuz you think Azog looks great whereas I find everything about him dull and tiresome. But then, you were apparently awed by the Beorn stuff whereas my reaction was something like "Well that sure was a dull waste of time, they should just cut that". No accountin' for tastes, eh? :blackeye:

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 4:55 pm 
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Azanulbizar looks nothing like any of the other fight scenes in the trilogy. That's not taste. That's fact. ;)

Perhaps focus on the setting? And the non-Thorin dwarves and non-Azog orcs fighting each other in the background? Forget the Azog drama and the narrative for a moment, and tell me that it's not just a beautiful scene. I think that's it. It's a scene of carnage and horror, but it has this eerily sublime beauty to it. PJ's team in-comprehensively ruined this by putting a gauzy fuzz on the same scenes in the DOS EE, but it's perfect in AUJ.

BTW, I though Azog somehow looked worse in BOFA than he did in AUJ and DOS. It wasn't just that awful "sword arm," or his uninspired armor, either. Something about the CGI made him look faker... How does that happen, after having two years to improve him? Do CGI artists have a different idea of what an improvement is? There's no accounting for taste, I suppose...


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 2:10 am 
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I re-watched it as well. It is a very well-done scene, but I don't see how it is an unchallengeable fact that it looks different to any of the other battles in the trilogy.

As a general rule, the fewer heroes in one of PJ's battles the better, more compelling and more intense the battle is. Once Legolas et al show up the stunts take precedence. That applies also to the FotR prologue and the Battle of Osgilliath in RotK, which I would probably nominate for the best battle scenes in either trilogy.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 4:08 am 
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Azanulbizar in AUJ simply has a very different visual style than the other battles and fight scenes in the trilogy. I think that's a fact. It's a combination of lighting, shot composition and editing that give it a very distinct tone. This seems very deliberate, as it is a flashback scene, and is meant to feel like a "memory."

Though PJ fussed with the Azanulbizar scenes in the DOS EE, which effectively ruined them for me. That gauzy filter is too often a crutch for PJ and co (we got a lot of it in BOFA, in FOTR in Rivendell, etc).


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