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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 11:58 pm 
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Somehow your current name now makes complete sense.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 12:01 am 
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:)


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 12:31 am 
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Concur. :)

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:09 am 
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Hey Tele! Not an old friend of yours but we've met recently indeed! :)

About Dain being CG, from IGN's review of BOFA:

Quote:
Trouble is, it all gets a little CGI-heavy, with the film at timeslooking less like live-action and more like animation. This issue is most notable during the arrival ofDwarf General Dwain Underfoot – played with characteristic gusto by Billy Connolly. Sporting a ginger Mohawk and delivering Glasweigan kisses as he rides intobattle atop a huge boar, he’s a larger-than-life character, but fights in such a blur of superhuman speed that it’s hard to believe he’s flesh and blood.


So perhaps it's not about how Dain *looks* but his movements that make others see him as CGI'd.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:21 am 
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Hey, SV. You sound good indeed. :)

Dain in action is about the same as everyone else in those massive fights. That quote makes it sound as if he's whizzing around like Superman in MAN OF STEEL. I think the issue might be him wielding his massive hammer as though it were a lighter weapon... though presumably his strength allows him to do this. I dunno, Legsy's antics (throughout this trilogy and even the previous one) are more noticibly CG to me. Then again, none of that ever bothered me that much.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:34 am 
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The reviewer does go on to point out that Legolas has the same CG-effect as well. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 3:36 am 
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How great to have Telemachos in the house! I mean--in the hall. :)

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 5:45 am 
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Hi there. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 1:56 pm 
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A well written and thoughtful review by CaptainObvious, elsewhere:

Quote:
MINE EYES HAVE SEEN THE HOBBIT (SPOILERS)


If you want the quick opinion of my review, scroll to the bottom and look at the rating.

So, I saw the Battle of Five Armies. I arrived at a small theater in Beverly Hills, where I sat down with a friend, my heart pounding with anticipation. I could remember back to when I was a thirteen year old seeing the first film. Now I’m twenty six. That’s half my life, I’ve loved and lived in Middle Earth.

The Lord of the Rings is one of the top three greatest film achievements in cinema (the other two being Starwars and The Godfather). It deserved every Oscar it got, and a whole lot more that it didn’t get. These films beautifully showcase Peter Jackson’s genius, and ensure his entitlement to be included on any list of the greatest directors of all time. If you disagree with that statement, then you probably aren’t a big fantasy fan. But the beauty of Jackson’s films are they’re not just for geeks. They’re for anyone of any age. They have a singular beauty and after you watch them, the joy of that overwhelming experience remains with you. The longing to return to Middle Earth can be unbearable.

As a kid, I watched these movies more than fourteen times in the theater. So I’ve long been invested in seeing how The Hobbit would be done. Since I work in film, I understand why Peter Jackson made the choice to make The Hobbit into three films. The Hobbit is ultimately an accumulation of episodes. For each episode to be showcased properly, it needs time. You can’t just zip through the enchanted forest with it’s spiders and elves, or skip over Bilbo’s riddle in the dark with Gollum. These scenes are important.

It also made sense that we would see characters who were only previously mentioned merely by name. I WANTED to see Radagast. The dude is Gandalf’s cousin! Who wouldn’t want to see a wizard besides Gandalf and Saruman? I also WANTED to see Azog the Defiler. He sounded like an interesting orc. I wanted to see Bolg. The way Tolkien wrote about Bolg, when Gandalf disrupts the fray between men, dwarves and elves to warn everyone to Bolg’s presence, I was imagining this frightening badass. The orcs in LOTR were for the most part, one dimensional. The boss orcs were frightening not so much for their own strength, but because they were extensions of Sauron’s evil will. Bolg and Azog seemed unique, because they were the ones calling the shots. They weren’t your typical easily dispatched stupid orc. Every choice I read about Jackson making, I thought made sense in the big picture. Particularly, since I had read the appendices and hoped they would in some sense show up in the films. I was delighted to know the White Council, and Gandalf’s adventures in Dol Guldur were going to be there.

When 2012 came around, my anticipation for the film reached an all time high. As a kid, I would watch the LOTR to escape from the messy custody battles going on between my divorced parents. As an adult, I was having a very tough 2012 and I was looking forward to escaping into Peter Jackson (and Tolkien’s) world once again. I NEEDED this. I longed for this.

Now that I’ve seen the last Hobbit movie, I now have the big picture of everything Peter Jackson was trying to do. This has at least ensured that on December 15th, I will be headed to an IMAX theater to watch all three Hobbit movies simultaneously. Each of these movies (unlike Lord of the Rings) cannot be enjoyed on their own. They are each part of a bigger story. Every ending has seemed jarring. When AUJ ended, I was sitting there thinking, “THAT’s where they wanted to end it?” It had seemed to me, that it would have been far better for the film to end with the dwarves on their way into Laketown. As it turns out, that was how Jackson had planned on ending AUJ, before he made the decision to turn the story into three movies.

I found the ending to DOS more bearable, because I’m a fan of the old movie serials which have cliffhangers. I thought Smaug was the best looking animated dragon EVER. I do wish the dragon had two arms if for no other reason, then that he would match the dragon drawing in the map in LOTR, but that’s alright. I can overlook that, because Smaug was so brilliant on screen and the reason I saw that movie four times in the theater. I was not a fan of Bard’s portrayal as a single dad as opposed to Tolkien’s description of a harsh voiced, grim leader of men who always see the dark underlining of rain clouds on a sunny day. I suppose it’s because I identify with Bard. I am the one likely to cry a warning about poisoned fish, whether others like it or not. I had felt like Bard was lessened, by giving his character an unnecessary backstory, that Tolkien didn’t intend for him. I had also despised the usage of Azog in the first two Hobbit movies, and it was going to take a lot for me to change my mind.

With this in mind, I went with a friend to an exclusive Hobbit screening. I felt special. It was in 3 D. I watched the film with my own special “Desolation of Smaug” 3d glasses, that I won at the Grauman Chinese Theater at the DOS midnight screening last year. These glasses are neat. I was a little embarrassed when I arrived at this screening, because I was wearing my Hobbit t shirt that I gotten at an Unexpected Journey screening, the year before, and no one else was dressed up for the event. These were just normal people in the industry who were coming to see a movie, by a director they respected.

I went to my seat, sat down and cleared my head. I took out my candybars from New Zealand, shared half of them with my friend and witnessed the last Tolkien movie that may ever be produced by Peter Jackson. And as I saw this movie I thought, “Is this the movie I was hoping for? Is this the film that will open my eyes and make me see the earlier films flaws in a different light? Will Jackson silence the naysayers, and reveal that his earlier moves were simply brilliant set up for a spectacular payoff?”

The answer is mixed.

I saw the burning of Laketown. I saw the fight between the White Council and Sauron. I saw Smaug give a cry of pain at the climax of a thrilling sequence, and plummet lifeless into the lake destroying a sneaky minor villain in the process. I saw Galadriel show herself to be the most powerful person in Middle Earth not named Sauron. I didn’t understand why she was considered thus before. Now I do. The whole White Council scene is easily one of the three best scenes in the film. Saruman shows why he is the leader of the White Council and not Gandalf. He bats about the Nazgûl in a sequence that reminded me of Neo knocking back the many Agents Smiths in Matrix Reloaded. Speaking of Agent Smith, we see Elrond fight for the first time since A Fellowship of the Ring in 2001. These people are tough. They don’t need an army to back them up when they take on the Necromancer. When Sauron shows his face, the moment is spectacular. Especially when Galadriel rises in full power, more frightening than when she freaks out Frodo in Fellowship, and screams, “Back, servant of Melkor!” It’s an amazing moment. Their battle is more intense than Gandalf vs Sauron. It is a supreme clash of wills, that serves to set up an even greater scene. Especially when Saruman says, “Leave Sauron to ME.”

But then that scene never comes. And slowly I see the movie unravel.

The thrush does not tell Bard of the weakness in Smaug’s armor, despite the setup over the two previous films. We do not even see the thrush. That bugs me. But not nearly as much as when Smaug dropped down to the ground and started to give a lengthy monologue to Bard while Bard fits the arrow to his bow. “Does he ever shut up?” I wondered. In DOS, there had been too many odd manufactured moments where Smaug would get into an unnecessary conversation with someone, that he simply should have been trying to kill. Smaug’s chase with the dwarves had made him seem incompetent. Now instead of burning Laketown, he’s talking to Bard. Maybe the dragon is just lonely. That’s why he’s always talking instead of actually doing stuff.

I cringed during this scene, but not because of Smaug. I cringed because Bard needed to rest the Black Arrow on his son’s shoulder in order to aim it at Smaug. People in the audience were laughing their head off, at the oddness of this choice. The arrow is clearly big enough to take the kid’s head off. The kid looks scared. Bard seems like the worst father ever. But still, despite this goofy moment, for the most part the dragon scene is spectacular. Smaug is animated wonderfully. Jackson more than succeeded in the construction of a believable dragon whose actions help decide the fate of Middle earth.

This film is mostly filler. The minor dwarves have less time here than even the previous films. Having run out of appendices to use, Jackson resorts not only to fan fiction, but to borrowing characters from other works. Such as the sandworms from Dune. The romance with Kili and Tauriel also moves front and center with the grudge match between Thorin and Azog. Plot threads which have been set up in the first two movies are largely abandoned as the film moves towards its end. Jackson literally stops focusing on the Battle of the Five Armies, and resolves it offscreen, so he can focus on Thorin and Azog fighting over an icy lake. Everything else plays second fiddle to these two fan fiction plot points.

I was distressed by items Jackson doesn’t address or abandons, such as:

1. We never find out what happens to the Arkenstone or the gold.
2. We don’t discover the fate of Erebor.
3. The elf king doesn’t transform into a kinder soul like in the book. Instead, he stays a jerk throughout the entire movie.
4. We don’t find out what happens to Bard and his family.
5. We don’t see the battle properly resolve ON SCREEN.
6. They show us creatures like the war worms, and then no one actually fights the worms, nor do we see them again.

I was also distressed by characters being uncharacteristically stupid. Bilbo is NOT knocked out early on in the battle. He is present for much of it. So whenever he takes off his ring and is menaced by orcs, he is pretty much automatically stupid, just like he was stupid in the last movie for taking off his ring when confronted by Smaug. These are the moments when you STAY INVISIBLE! When you think about it, Bilbo could have saved everybody a lot of trouble by sneaking up on Azog with the ring on and stabbing him. The White Council was also stupid for not pursuing Sauron any further once he is beaten.

There are too many instances (5?), where an evil orc is about to stab some good guy, and a different good guy stops the evil orc at the last moment. Too many instances of hokey dialogue, building up to a silly punchline (Ex: “These bats were bred for one purpose.” “For what?” “For war.”)

The actors really try with their parts, especially Richard Armitage, but the film feels hollow at the end.

Here were the parts I felt were strong.

1. The white Council vs Sauron
2. The burning of Laketown with the exception of Smaug’s silly speech and that black arrow on the shoulder moment.
3. The portrayal of Dain.
4. A quiet moment with Gandalf and Bilbo (Martin Freeman) at the end of the film, when Gandalf is trying to light his pipe.


The ending is too abrupt when it happens, and I left the theater feeling dazed and unfulfilled. When I think of what qualified as a three star movie, I think of something like “Guardians of the Galaxy”. This film is not as good as that. So I give it two and a half stars.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 2:05 pm 
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I thought Silverlode's review was much more well written and thoughtful. And other than our own Tele (of course) her answers to spoiler questions the most helpful so far. But that is probably because my opinion is likely to align with hers more than CO's.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 2:10 pm 
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I was just about to post Silverlode's review as well, only just finished reading it. They are both well written and thoughtful, actually...it shouldn't matter what our opinions are on the film since they are going to be individual and personal too.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 2:13 pm 
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Fair enough. CaptainObvious's review is certainly more thoughtful and well-written than some professional reviews that I have seen!

I have a feeling that the same two things that Silverlode didn't like are going to be the two things that I don't like: Legolas's final stunt, and the dialogue between Tauriel and Thranduil.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 4:38 pm 
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Tele, did you see in HFR 3D? Thoughts?

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 7:45 pm 
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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
Tele, did you see in HFR 3D? Thoughts?


I didn't -- my 3D screening was old-fashioned 24fps. (In fact, I was able to specifically confirm this because by sheer luck I happened to check in right behind the projectionist, and asked him directly).

The 3D was nice... given that I loved the HFR 3D for the first two movies, I'm sure I'll like it for this one as well.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 7:54 pm 
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I had remember that you liked the HFR previously. I did too when I saw AUJ, but I didn't get to see DoS in HFR. I'm looking forward to seeing BotFA in a good IMAX theater in NY.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 8:00 pm 
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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
I had remember that you liked the HFR previously. I did too when I saw AUJ, but I didn't get to see DoS in HFR. I'm looking forward to seeing BotFA in a good IMAX theater in NY.


Here's the list of IMAX HFR theaters for BOFTA:

http://www.imax.com/community/blog/the- ... -theatres/


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 8:02 pm 
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That's funny; I was just looking at that list! Although I already know where I am going; Loews Lincoln Center 13 and IMAX. It's going to be great! [ETA: We even already have reserved seats, which is super awesome; no waiting in line to make sure that we get a place to sit!]

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 8:35 pm 
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I saw both AUJ and DOS once in HFR, and have decided that this time, I won't waste my money doing that. It's just far too unpleasant for me, and I think that's not going to change. I think there must be neurological differences between how people react to HFR, because the wildly different reactions that different people have to the format just don't make much sense otherwise. I am actually completely unable to enjoy or appreciate anything that's happening on screen in HFR, unless it's a pure outdoor landscape scene (in which case, it's stunning).

Someone needs to study this further, as the future of HFR certainly depends on understanding why large numbers of people viscerally reject it, while others love it.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 8:44 pm 
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Agreed...I particularly disliked the 3D HFR but I don't know how much of that was the 3D and how much the HFR...Until someone releases movies in 2D HFR I guess we won't know!

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 8:48 pm 
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I enjoy well-done 3D, so for me, I'm sure it's the HFR. That awful stagey look just drives me insane. But I'm more and more convinced that for some people, it simply doesn't look like that. People I have spoken to who love the format usually tell me that they have no idea what I am talking about, and that it doesn't look stagey at all. This is baffling to me. What we need now are a few neurological and psychological studies to get to the bottom of it.


Last edited by Passdagas the Brown on Fri Dec 05, 2014 8:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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