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  1.  (11171.1)
    I'm willing to bet HFR would have been more impressive without the 3D. I really like the effect (or at least I did in the first Hobbit movie) but 3D is, as ever, nothing more than a gimmick that gets in the way of the movie.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2013
    The CGI bees. Dear lord they were bad.
  2.  (11171.3)
    Oof. I was ambivalent about Unexpected Journey. In the parts where it was taking from the book it was hitting exactly the right tone and I loved it, but every time it went to a flashback taken from the LotR Appendices it's tone would change drastically and I found it pretty jarring.

    Desolation of Smaug made me angry. So many totally unnecessary additions (Tauriel and Kili romantic sub-plot? Fucking seriously?) and fundamental changes (Bard's Black Arrow is now a harpoon intended to be fired from a big ass harpoon launcher instead of just being an awesome arrow that he has, the dwarves trying to kill Smaug in Erebor). Just over-stuffed and frustrating.

    And Legolas running around with Orcrist is just bugging the shit out of me.
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2013
    Why did Jackson do away with Smaug's chest armor of clinging coins? That was cool.

    Unlikely? Uh, yeah, sure. So unlikely compared to that damn forge / statue thing. Pfft.
  3.  (11171.5)
    Frankly my opinion of the whole HFR things is a bit ambivalent, since there was a good point: I'd pay to see nature documentaries done on HFR. If I was into sports, probably that too, since crispness and definition, oh my. Mmmaybe films that are to some extent realistic when it comes to costumes, sets etc.

    With Hobbit there was the problem of having extremely epic, massive and unbelievable things contrasted with glaringly realistic definition, which made the CGI pop up for me and the costumes and everything just look a bit silly. I tried to like it and shrug it off as something new that I'm not yet used to, but seems that two long films aren't enough for that.

    But give me a high production value nature doc done with HFR and I'm in.
  4.  (11171.6)
    HFR ... whatever. I didn't notice anything different (better or worse), and I'll bet the same is true of most movie-goers. Much ado about nothing, methinks.

    I saw two movies this past weekend: Lord of the Rings, Episode II: Attack of the Dwarves and Nebraska.

    I'm with most of y'all about the first one: It tried way too damn hard to maintain the world-shaking scale and import of the War of the Ring, instead of telling the relatively small story of a dozen dwarves and their burglar-for-hire on an adventure that builds up to the Battle of Five Armies. Petaflops of special effects. Just like every superhero, scifi, or fantasy film made in the last several years that I've seen and forgotten. Movies, schmovies.

    But I absolutely loved the second one. The "special effect" of black-and-white film may not have been necessary, but it helped draw a contrast with the previous day's experience. A simple story. Interesting, believable characters. Effective acting. I smiled, I laughed a few times, and despite having nothing whatsoever in common with a guy who just wants to do something nice for his dad, I even enjoyed the sentimental ending.
  5.  (11171.7)
    I do hope someone talented will put together a "kill your darlings" version of the Hobbit movies at some point, shaving them all down into tight two-hour movies. Much as I enjoyed Desolation of Smaug, I do recognize the bloat. And during most of the "wizards researching Sauron" bits I was just waiting for them to get back to the dwarves.

    The amusing thing here is that apparently, the Blu-Ray/DVD release of the first Hobbit movie is an EXTENDED cut. What the hell, Jackson? Though the at-home experience would at least be improved by the fact that you can, y'know, pause the movie. Which allows you to treat it more like a TV series. And also skip the wizard bloat.
  6.  (11171.8)
    Jackson's building up to the final cut: a 168-hour special edition containing everything Tolkein wrote, requiring you to go without sleep while taking an entire week off work.
  7.  (11171.9)
    I am not looking forward to a Peter Jackson Silmarillion trilogy.
    • CommentTimeDec 17th 2013
    @ Jason

    I am. I want to see a 50 year old Orlando Bloom balancing on orc heads and shooting arrows while playing himself as a elven teenager.
  8.  (11171.11)

    I'm a bit surprised that I did have such a dislike for HFR, since I'm a bit wooden eyed and not a connoisseur of picture quality, let alone sound quality. I'm still happy watching stuff on SD even with a video projector and so on. That just looked like a televised stage play for me.
  9.  (11171.12)
    @Jason A. Quest, too much in Silmarillion for a mere trilogy, 9 movies and 96 frames per second minimum.
    • CommentTimeDec 18th 2013
    @vandal @jason And structured into Princess Bride style, where there's someone reading the actual book to someone else, thus allowing him to add even another layer of extra story.
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeDec 19th 2013
    @cjkoger: That... is not a terrible idea, actually.

    Planning on going to see The Desolation of Smaug tomorrow. Because, dangit, I like the first one, worts (and goiters) and all, and I have a tradition of seeing Tolkien movies on or near my birthday, so harumph.

    That said, I don't expect amazing cinema, just a simple, good time at the movies. Which, despite ticket prices these days, is good enough for me.
    • CommentTimeDec 19th 2013
    I would say that despite my feelings about the film, it's worth the price of admission for the barrel scene. That was one of the very few things in Desolation that felt like a Hobbit film. Unexpected Journey, as much as people seem to not like its silliness, strikes a really good "Hobbity" tone for me, especially in the Extended, where they've included the Goblin Town song and a few other things. I enjoyed it well enough the first time I saw it, but liked it more the second time I saw it and when I saw the extended. Hopefully, Desolation follows the same path for me.
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeDec 19th 2013 edited
    I feel like I'm in the minority here (and I'd love to be corrected about this), but I actually liked the smaller, more personal story of The Hobbit better than Lord of the Rings. The book, at least, felt more like an adventure, where Lord of the Rings feels more like a Quest, and while the two can and often do overlap, I'll always take Adventures over Quests any day of the week. So far, what I've seen of The Hobbit movie trilogy, despite its forays into backstory and metaplot, still feels like more of an adventure then LOTR, and I think its things like the songs and the barrel scene (which I haven't seen yet, but expect to be good fun) that make it so.
    • CommentTimeDec 19th 2013
    Sadly: No songs in Desolation. I was REEEAALLY hoping for the attercop song, but it never materialised. Hopefully, they've kept some of the songs for the extended edition... It just feels wrong for them to create these massive three movies and then REPLACE the really Hobbit-like scenes of the book with stuff that feels really unnecessary.
  10.  (11171.18)
    Without spoiling anything, depending on who you ask the barrel sequence is either a perfect example of why the movie works or a perfect example of everything that's wrong with the movie. It all seems to depend how much of a purist you are and how much of a tolerance you have for excellent but slightly too long action sequences.
    • CommentTimeDec 19th 2013
    I will say this: If the choice is between the action sequences of Desolation and... almost any other Blockbuster for the past few years, the choice is easy. Peter Jackson and his team clearly delight in coming up with crazy and inventive ideas for their action. The barrel scene is both exciting and hilarious. To my mind.

    twenty: I think you're right. Some seem to hate the whimsy, others love it. I love the scenes of whimsy, personally.
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeDec 19th 2013
    The barrel scene was fine with me. A touch long. But it gave both dwarves and elves a chance to show their stuff.

    But I'd give it up for Bilbo going it solo in Mirkwood, taunting the spiders.