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Ah, yes, here we are at last, the awkward middle child of the trilogy. What a fine day to pan lovingly over New Zealand and wonder quietly whether or not this character was in the book. Of course, much was added; you have to, when you're trying to make three 2.5 hour movies out of a single breezy novel intended for children. The question is, whether or not what was added detracted from or gave to the better part of the story.

And to that I give a resounding... eh? Some throw away characters like the random bear dude were completely pointless. Others actually stand a chance of showing up again like the big white orc and the girl elf. But really the added characters aren't necessarily the biggest problem here. The biggest problem is that the movie forgot what foreshadowing was.

In a desperate bid to tie in to the other movies, it pretty much threw Sauron in our faces and in doing so managed to retcon the original series a bit. Annoying to say the least, but not as annoying as the weird too-close camera angles on so much of the shit in the first part of the movie. It was fun seeing how the movie choreographed all the dwarves working together, being rather small yet very obvious outsiders, that have to stand on each other's shoulders and such just to get by in a great big world that wants to fuck them up.

The film doesn't really get good until Smaug is introduced, though it does end on a maddening cliff hanger that of course only the final chapter months and months away will satisfy. I'll have to go see that Goddamn movie too.

But, the question is, should you see it?

Did you like the first one? Can you deal with changes and additions? Can you forgive Hollywood for its obsessive, idiotic need to inject romantic subplots into literally every story it ever touches? Then yeah sure go for it.
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:icondawnsentinel:
DawnSentinel Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014
As you know already Bear Dude was in the book, but I'm thinking that they should have left him out considering how much they butchered him in the film.

But yeah, I was pretty "eh" towards it as well. It felt like I was watching Peter Jackson's fanfic version of Tolkien's Hobbit.
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:iconcindarellapop:
CindarellaPop Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
I feel like he should have gotten the Tom Bombadil treatment and quietly left out in favor of other things.
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:icondawnsentinel:
DawnSentinel Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014
Same.
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:icontrollberserker:
Trollberserker Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Actually 'random bear dude" was in the book unlike Azog, Legolas, Legolas' lass, but they skipped him a lot like he was not important for the case of stupid elf-dwarf love triangle.
My favourite characters were Thranduril's eyebrows xD
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:iconcindarellapop:
CindarellaPop Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
HAH!

I'd have happily traded the bear dude and the lady elf for more of Thranduril.
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:iconsbkmulletman:
sbkMulletMan Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014
Also, is DA being a total dick to me, because it wouldn't let me post AT ALL when I used a pleezee image for the Mony Python "GET ON WITH IT!" God, giving me some crap about an "Uncaught Exception", or something I've never seen before.  Hold on, lemme test it here...

Nope, it's being a dick to me.  Huh...weird. 
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:iconsbkmulletman:
sbkMulletMan Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014
When I think of the padding and filler required in order to artificially pump this thing into 3 movies, I like to imagine hours and hours of the walking scenes to just drag on with:

Are we there yet? 
no.

Are we there yet? 
no.

Are we there yet? 
NO!!!

Even Willow managed to get that over with in a short montage.  With me, I've just grown so tired and bored of anything Lord of the Rings-related that I am constantly plagued with this lingering cloud of indifference where I can't even be arsed enough to bother watching the movies.  I can't even bring myself to finish the actual books, which have been put on the indefinite "meh" pile for over 10 years now.  "Ugly things evil, pretty things good, yeah, got it, thanks" and I just go back to Gaiman or something.   I'm sure the movies are...nice, but I just don't feel comfortable dragging through so many hours for a simple story, especially when I know the dragon has a magical "KILL ME HERE!" instant-win button on his body.  Every moment I'll just keep expect God himself to pop out of the clouds, going: Get ON with it!!

Come to think of it, this is also why I was a little upset when "Bender's Game" stopped being about Dungeons & Dragons references and became more of a LOTR movie parody.  What, did Al Gore threaten to take the dice away again?  Bah, I'm in my cranky critic mode again!  I need to get back to Light Fantastic for my fantasy-fix.  At least "The Luggage" in these books is INSANELY entertaining to me!
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:icondawnsentinel:
DawnSentinel Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014
  "Ugly things evil, pretty things good, yeah, got it, thanks"

There is actually a character in the book who's pretty ugly, he's like a wild-man type thing. Plus the main bad guy was at one time very good looking. It's a lot deeper than that, but I understand why some people don't want to read it. It is a bit daunting.
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:iconcindarellapop:
CindarellaPop Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
The Lord of the Rings movies are ok, as are the Hobbit movies, but as movies go, they're VERY Hollywood, which can be a problem considering the elderly professor who studied languages and wrote Norse fanfiction in the trenches of WWII is a very NOT Hollywood kind of person, so sometimes you get this bizarre disconnect between the source material and how much it has to be changed for it to fit nicely as a movie (or a series of movies)

The sad part is, I DO really enjoy the books but the marketing campaigns for the movies are so intense and omnipresent that I can't even bring myself to re-read the Hobbit to see what parts were original and what parts were phoned in and it's not even that long of a book. I'll likely enjoy the final movie but it's probably not a series I'll purchase for my home movie collection on DVD.
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:iconsbkmulletman:
sbkMulletMan Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014
These movies are something I don't even want to watch unless I'm watching them with someone because at least I'll have that communicative connection to work with during and after it, rather than the ohhh, so exciting experience of "well, that was a ...thing.  Huh.  Well, now let's see what else I'm going to do today".

With the Rankin Bass animated versions, I could at least shut up and enjoy the watercolor art, the iconic music and the exceptional voice acting (and in the case of the Ralph Bakshi version, I can just fully enjoy the awkward charm of it all, like with most Bakshi productions), but with the Jackson ones, it's all too...well, Hollywood, like you said!  Even the soundtracks start to disconnect themselves from the movie and eventually sound like "BA-BA-BUM, SO-DRAMITIC, ARE YOU PUMPED YET??  BUH-BUH-BUH-GIVEUSANOSCAR, YOU-KNOW-YOU-WANT-TO, BUH-BUH-BUHBUMMMM!", gah, just shaddap and let me choose and develop my own emotional responses and connections, already!  I don't need these manipulative audio cue cards that have the subtlety of Dwarven Oil Wrestling! 
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:iconcindarellapop:
CindarellaPop Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
I typically don't mind the music so much but the noises do become cue-cards, like you said. I notice this more in horror movies than any other film though, because the use of silence is so vital to creating suspense (and therefore fear) that horror movies with overbearing soundtracks tend to fall flat a lot easier than noisier counterparts. And that's the one thing that I REALLY dislike about the movies. I do like the story, even if it's been thoroughly Hollywood-ized (I can't expect them to stay completely true to that brick of a book series, film and paper are just two different animals) but the movies are an ORDEAL in and of themselves. You can't just pop it in for a fun evening in, it's gotta be planned around and it's going to take up a LOT of time. You almost gotta not have ANYTHING else going on that day, like being home sick or something.
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:iconsbkmulletman:
sbkMulletMan Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014
I can't dedicate all that time to filthy dwarven fan fantasies, that's valuable FUTURAMA time, dammit! 

And if I am going to watch a big movie series, I'd rather watch something like the Indiana Jones trilogy.  They're still long movies (not 3 hours a friggin' flick, though!), but my god, the flow of those things are so nice and entertaining and the music and sounds are not "cue cards", but rather bits of flavor or emphasis that highlight the experience, like the "Escape Music" in Last Crusade; from the start at "DON'T call me JUNIOR!   Looook what you diiiid!" all the way to when they park the motorcycle, the audio guides you along the way, much like (appropriately enough) a roller coaster ride.  Man, even the distinctive punch sounds are practically characters in those movies, and subtle ones that you kind of have to notice and recognize on your own.  It's not something that's in your face (often literally, in cases such as Gollum's annoying imminent-hairball sounds...or how obnoxiously CG he is) and TRYING to get your attention (and on a related side-note: the Wilhelm Scream had not yet reached the painfully-cliche status at the time...hell, it's BECAUSE of these movies that it eventually became even more overused!) 

And THAT has become so bad that even trailers to movies are doing it too much!  "BAAAAAAHM!  BAAAAAAHM!  BAAAAAHM!"  WHY did they think that was a good noise to blast on the audience for a fucking trailer??  Even the Niblonian car-finder wasn't that annoying!  ...I derailed into critic-mode again, didn't I?  yeeeah, I did.  Whoopsy! 

But anyway, yeah, that's just one comparison of a smoother movie series experience.  And Indiana Jones was "Hollywood as all Hell", it was just a more restrained Hollywood that didn't feel the need to regurgitate all these visual and auditory distractions at you all the time (to the point where it's even a "feature" that they charge you extra for!).  There was a lot to look at, but it was mostly practical and gave a lot of iconic imagery to remember, where something like the Tolkien movies are more spastic with "hey, look at this!  Now lookitthis!  LOOKYLOOKY!  Ooh, now look at this!", and by the end, you forget 90% of it because it all blends together into a vague blur.  Sure, they're fun, but they're such a demanding and emotionally needy fun, and I don't like it when my movies get that clingy or manipulative, or worst of all, have that much vanity to them.

You know, I really should have my own Lloyd or some other pet for when I go into these critically analytical trances.  I'm going to wake up with Gene Shalit hair if I go too deeply into that zone! 
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:iconcindarellapop:
CindarellaPop Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
I agree, you do need your own Lloyd. Jorgen works ok for me right now but perhaps you could get some other horrible small freeloader to be your loveable mascot and help you forget all about nasty, loud ol' Peter Jackson stuffing fantasy novels with more noise and extras than they needed.
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:iconsbkmulletman:
sbkMulletMan Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014
Or at the very least, a hand puppet to watch Meet the Feebles with me.

Which reminds me, The Cinema Snob also has his own puppet.  Dammit, he keeps making me jealous!
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:iconcindarellapop:
CindarellaPop Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
We'll make our OWN puppet, with blackjack, and hookers!... well actually that does sound a lot like Meet the Feebles, which was another Jackson film too, wasn't it? Holy shit, this came full circle. We need a hobbit movie with trash talking puppets.
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(1 Reply)
:icontodyo1798:
Todyo1798 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Wasn't the bear dude like a pretty essential supporting character in the book?  It's been like 5 years since I read the Hobbit, but I do remember Gandalf being all "Oh yeah Bjorn (or whatever his name is), he's a real fly as mo-fo!"

So yeah, Bear man was important, the fuck did the White Orc come from?
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:iconcindarellapop:
CindarellaPop Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Thing of it is, even if he was in the book, he was minor enough of a plot element to be culled. They got rid of Tom Bombadil in the first series and he largely wasn't missed, and I feel like the inclusion of the bear dude was all padding. We see him for a few minutes and then never again and he hints at a backstory that doesn't matter.
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:icontodyo1798:
Todyo1798 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
His name was Beorn, and from the looks of it they managed to cut out basically all of his important scenes successfully due to the fact they had the White Orc and Radagast  in the first movie.  As I recall he was the one living out in the woods with all the animals, and he helped the company escape the Wargs.  However without him they got a chase scene, a fight scene, hints to the Trilogy, giant ass spiders and a rabbit sled.

I don't have a particular favourite between book and movie.  The book was for kids and I found it kind of boring, but the movie seems to just have stolen a bunch of characters and plot points and stuck a lot of generic action sequences in.  Yet I find that more entertaining.  
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:iconcindarellapop:
CindarellaPop Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
I don't think the original book would work well as a truly faithful adaptation to a film. Film is quite a different medium than books, and it's harder to forgive a long and twisting and boring movie than it is a book.
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