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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:16 am 
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Then don't listen to her. I can see why you (or any Tolkien fan) would feel compelled to watch the films even if you don't like them, since they may be the only live action Tolkien adaptations in our lifetime (and fortunately you at least have found some things you like in the films, particularly the last two). But I don't understand why anyone would subject themselves to listening to someone speak on them if you know that you are not going to like what she says and even feel so dirty from listening to it that you feel like you need to take a shower (actually, I'm riding the stationary bike as a I write this, so I need to take a shower to!)

Regarding the chariot scene, I reserve judgment until I see it, but I thought it looked good in the trailer. How it plays out in the film determines whether it will be a good addition. I have not heard anything about the dwarves attacking the Elves before the Orcs show up, and my initial reaction to that is I certainly hope it doesn't happen (and I doubt it will). Of course, you (PtB) at least some times read Jackson better than I do (at least in terms of him including good things), so what is your feeling about it?

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:52 am 
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As I said, it's not just as a Tolkien fan. It's as someone who is very interested in film, the visual arts, and the arts in general. So you can't understand my motivations because you think of me (and know me) as someone who is primarily interested in Tolkien. But I am interested in film, and the process of film-making, as well.

So I'll rant a bit more about Philippa.:) As far as I can tell, she's narrowed everything down to such a tiny window of creativity, that it's not hard at all to understand how we ended up with such sub par scripts. And given that she's had such a huge hand in adapting my favorite books to screen, I can't help but be very disappointed to hear her speak so callously (and frankly, not very intelligently) about the adaptation process. If I thought her insights and suggestions were brilliant, I would tolerate major changes to the story a lot more. But since so many of her supposed "cures" simply drag the story into the realm of the mundane and the contrived (when it could be sublime), it drives me crazy. Not to mention this from Boyens, in reference to Alfrid:

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Isn't he brilliant? I loved writing him. He was my favorite.
*sigh*

The reason I listen to her, however, is about understanding (and because I never assume that I am not going to like what someone says, as I always leave myself open to being surprised). I genuinely want to understand why they made the decisions that they made. It's just that Philippa gives some very underwhelming answers, and often in a very condescending tone. To paraphrase Tauriel, I get a feeling that there's less "love in her" for film-making than there is in Peter Jackson. She may be the Tolkien expert of the trio, but I think she's the least qualified to be meddling in film.

But I will continue to give her the benefit of the doubt, and listen to her interviews. Who knows? She might hit me over the head with something brilliant someday!

It makes me wonder what kind of films we might have gotten if it was just PJ and Fran...


Last edited by Passdagas the Brown on Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:59 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:54 am 
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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
I have not heard anything about the dwarves attacking the Elves before the Orcs show up, and my initial reaction to that is I certainly hope it doesn't happen (and I doubt it will). Of course, you (PtB) at least some times read Jackson better than I do (at least in terms of him including good things), so what is your feeling about it?


I think the possibility of that material being in is high because we have completed footage (in the trailers) of the elves attacking the dwarves, and the dwarves attacking the elves, with projectile weapons. Based on the geography in those shots, they are clearly not attacking the orc army.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:06 am 
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Until I see it, or hear or read of very firm confirmation that it is in, I will continue to hope otherwise.

As for Philippa, I really do think that she is her own worst enemy. I share some of your criticisms of her, but I don't really take her comments at face value. The same with Jackson when he talks about scriptwriting, though when I talks about the nuts and bolts of the visual language of film, I think it is worth paying attention.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:12 am 
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I suppose I can only take her comments at face value, because I don't know her personally! :)

BTW, and I don't know if this has been mentioned by anyone yet, Boyens does suggest that what happens with Dain and Bard will likely be in the EE. She even references a "lovely scene" between Billy Connolly and Martin Freeman, which she "hopes" PJ will stick into the EE.

Frankly, I don't really need the coronation stuff, though it will be nice to see. I namely just want it 100% confirmed that the funeral will be in. PJ's good with funerals. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:18 am 
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It has been confirmed both by Jackson and by Armitage. I would be fairly shocked if it is not in. However, I agree with Armitage that it would have been redundant in the theatrical release.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:25 am 
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Perhaps redundant from a purely narrative standpoint. But IMO, cinema operates on a number of levels - verbal, aural, visual, etc, and so it depends on how the scene is used to communicate information. If it communicates something important from a thematic point of view,for example, through the visuals of the funeral alone (and perhaps a more sorrowful, and less gold-centric, version of the Misty Mountains song), I think it will not be redundant.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:30 am 
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Redundant to what? As I recall, only Bilbo is given a chance to express grief over Thorin's death, not even Balin. A moment to let the dwarves mourn his death and honor his life would be far from redundant, IMO.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:32 am 
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There is a very brief scene of the dwarves falling to their knees around Thorin's body on the ice. It comes right after Bilbo's and Gandalf's wordless reunion after the battle. But I agree that a more formal goodbye need not be redundant.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:36 am 
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I certainly am looking forward to seeing it in the EE, but I didn't really miss it in the TE (and I thought that brief moment that you mention was lovely).

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 7:33 am 
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Regarding the ice-chariot business, I also am still confused as to how this works out...

The Weta Chronicles for BotFA describes a goat-driven chariot which arrives with Dain's army, that is commandeered by the four dwarves heading to Ravenhill. They use it as far as "the terrain and damage" will allow, then cut the goats loose and ride them up to Ravenhill as we see in the TE.

But in the teaser trailer we see what appears to be Balin driving the chariot...so he leaves the main field of battle, but doesn't actually reach Ravenhill??? And where do the wargs come from?

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:03 am 
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Passdagas the Brown wrote:
Not to mention this from Boyens, in reference to Alfrid:

Quote:
Isn't he brilliant? I loved writing him. He was my favorite.
*sigh*



I have to say I loved Alfrid in DOS, he's a fun character but my main beef with him in BOFA was that he took away screen time from the main characters. I suspect if the movie was half an hour longer and took that time to focus on the dwarves it wouldn't be much of an issue for me.

I mean it's probably silly but I realized that AUJ and DOS made me quite emotionally attached to this bunch and in the theatrical edition of BOFA they really get the short end of the stick. I thought the whole point of trying to make them less of a nameless faceless bunch is to make the audience feel for them in the last movie. There are some lovely scenes with Balin and Dwalin but that's it really, Kili gets a few lines but it's mostly to do with Tauriel, Bofur has line or two I think and don't talk to me about Fili :nono:


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:18 pm 
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Elentári wrote:
Regarding the ice-chariot business, I also am still confused as to how this works out...

The Weta Chronicles for BotFA describes a goat-driven chariot which arrives with Dain's army, that is commandeered by the four dwarves heading to Ravenhill. They use it as far as "the terrain and damage" will allow, then cut the goats loose and ride them up to Ravenhill as we see in the TE.

But in the teaser trailer we see what appears to be Balin driving the chariot...so he leaves the main field of battle, but doesn't actually reach Ravenhill??? And where do the wargs come from?


I would like it, though I am sure it will not happen, if Balin is included among those who go to Ravenhill. After all, even though he doesn't look like much of a warrior, we had that conversation between him and Thorin in Bag End in which Thorin (can you believe I almost typed "Tolkien" there; what is up with that?) specifically notes that Balin is a warrior. It would also make Balin's later attempt to retake Moria make more sense. But alas, I doubt that it will happen.

On another EE note, Lietenant of Dol Guldur of TORN makes this post that includes some interesting information regarding possible Dol Guldur additions for the EE:

Quote:
I think it is obvious that I'm a huge supporter/fan of the Dol Guldur subplot so I'm thinking about Dol Guldur related things that could be added for the BOTFA EE. There are a few scenes rumoured to be included but some of them require a re-cut of the beginning of the movie just like the new or expanded scenes in the DOS changed the cut of the movie.

"The Battle of Dol Guldur" takes place very early on in the theatrical cut which is fine for this particular edition but it makes it difficult for more scenes to come. Actually I don't expect the BOTFA EE to have more than 5min of additionally footage but this could be enough since the theatrical version isn't much longer than 10 minutes. So what could be added and where does it take place during the movie as a whole?

1.) GANDALFS VISION (new scene)
In the latest chronicles book John Howe talks about a vision Gandalf is presented by Sauron trough a palantír. It shows Smaug leading an Orc army. Really an dark and very apocalyptic image. Sauron often enters the minds of his enemies uses their fears against them. Changing reality and cast doubts in his enemies hearts. That's what he did with Saruman (and Denethor in the book), Pippin and Aragorn (in the EE of ROTK). The palantír is his weapon. As we know Gandalfs biggest fear was indeed Sauron using Smaug as a weapon. Of course this never happens and an alliance is only hinted by several characters but never appear on screen. What if this apocalyptic image appears in a vision as planed? Similar to the images the Mirror of Galadriel shows Frodo of the scouring of the Shire? Gandalf of course can't know for sure if these images actually take place or are just an illusion since he saw the giant Orc army leaving towards Erebor. He learned from Thrain that Sauron and Smaug are indeed working together so this acutally could happen.
Where could this take place in the movie?
I guess this would require a little change of the cut. Since in the theatrical edition Smaug already died before the movie finally cuts to Gandalf in Dol Guldur. For the audience the vision would have been useless and wouldn't have any impact since they just saw the dragon die. Just like we saw Frodo escaping Cirith Ungol before the Mouth of Sauron presented the Mithril shirt to Gandalf in ROTK and talked about Frodos pain and stuff. Not the same impact as in the book. But what if this vision serves as a prologue for this movie? I mean what impact would it have? At the end of DOS we saw Smaug leaving Erebor to destroy Lake-town and we saw Saurons army leaving Dol Guldur. Starting with Smaug destroying a town and leading an army of Orcs wouldn't be impossible right? Just a short glimpse of that scene. Then we see Gandalf waking up perhaps a few lines by Sauron where he taunts Gandalf... that he is too late or something. And then we cut to Lake-town with the bells ringing and Smaug attacking.

2.) THE THREE RINGS (expanded scene)
Another scene that is actually rumoured to be in the EE of BOTFA is Sauron questioning Gandalf about the Three Rings of Power. In the chronicles book it is described that Azog takes Narya from Gandalf. Since Azog isn't in Dol Guldur anymore this honor could go to Conan Stevens "Keeper of the Dungeons" who was Azog in an earlier version of the script. This scene with Narya could actually being shot with Conan Stevens... perhaps it's just a longer cut of the scene we saw in the theatrical cut where Stevens' character takes Gandalfs cage before Galadriel arrives. So perhaps this scene is longer in the EE? The theatrical edition even looks incomplete. We see Gandalf recite some kind of spell. Stevens' Orc appears while Galadriel enters Dol Guldur. Stevens takes the cage and throughs it around. Galadriel appears. Stevens' Orc turns. Galadriel raises her hand and we see a big blast and the moment later we see Galadriel carrying Gandalf before Sauron starts taunting her. It would be easy to change the cut a little. Adding a few more lines of Sauron about the Three Rings perhaps even impliying that he knows that Gandalf is carrying one of them (since Saurons fire couldn't harm Gandalf in DOS) and that he hopes that the other two will follow. This would explain why he kept Gandalf alive.

3.) THE LAST OF THE SEVEN (expanded scene)
Although the theatrical cut lacks conclusions I guess that the EE mini subplot concerning Thrain and his Ring needs some kind of conclusion. In the AUJ EE Gandalf talks about the last of the Seven. In the DOS EE he learns that Thrain was carrying it when he went lost and later he learned from Thrain that Azog/Sauron took it. It just would make sense if the White Council finds the last of the Seven somewhere in Dol Guldur. Or Saruman takes it but I don't think that would happen. But there will be something about Thrains Ring since it was set up in the previous EEs.

4.) THE palantír (new scene/expanded scene)
Not sure if this is in the movie but I still believe that we see Saruman finding the palantír. Especially if the Seeing Stone appears earlier. And yes... I don't be reminded that in the book the palantír already is in Orthanc.

5.) RADAGAST AND BEORN (new scene)
Again in the last chronicles book there is a scene described where Radagast safes Beorn. After escaping Dol Guldur with Gandalf Radagast notices Beorn being captured by Orcs. In the book it is described that Peter wanted to give Radagast some kind of heroic moment besides saving Gandalf. After being freed Beorn (as a bear) runs away.

6.) RHOSGOBEL (expanded scene)
Next is Rhosgobel. The scene we saw in the theatrical cut is expanded. Of course we now clearly see Radagast giving his staff to Gandalf but also Gandalf telling Radagast that he has to follow Beorn. This scene was shot since we saw some of it in one of Peters vlogs. Gandalf says something like "You have to follow him". Gandalf doesn't carry a staff. Only Radagast does as seen in this screenshot. In the theatrical edition Gandalf only orders Radagast to gather the animals of the forest but since Beorns role is expanded in the EE it would make sense if he points him out.

7.) WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? (new scene)
And yes at the return journey Gandalf needs to tell Bilbo about his side quest as he did in the book where Bilbo learned about the "Council of the White Wizards" and the "Necromancer of Dol Guldur". This could take place in Rivendell where we might see Sting getting it's engravings or somewhere else on their return journey. We might even see a flashback at this point just like we saw a flashback in FOTR when Gandalf tells Frodo where he has been and we see how he escaped Saruman. Why should Bilbo even know about this? The story is told/written by Bilbo. The whole trilogy starts with Old Bilbo writing:

Quote
"My dear Frodo, you asked me once if I had told you everything there was to know about my adventures. And while I can honestly say I have told you the truth, I may not have told you all of it. I am old now, Frodo. I'm not the same hobbit as I once was. I think it is time for you to know what really happened." - Old Bilbo

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 2:28 pm 
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That palantír vision of Gandalf's was originally part of DoS...Doug Adams mentions having seen it in the cut he saw ofDoS two months before the movie came out. See the most recent post in the Music of The Hobbit thread...


Quote:
You know it’s funny, there’s always a few things that change between the October cut and the final release. Like with DOS, when I got to the theater I realized that I’d seen most of the extended edition scenes. And I kept looking around thinking “Where’s Thrain, what happened to him? Thrain’s gone!” I was very confused by that, haha. There were actually some scenes in the cut I saw that didn’t make it into either version. There was a scene originally in DOS that involved a palantír that was not used in the film. When I saw it I thought, “Oh okay, they’re going to put that into the story.” I’m glad I didn’t put that into the liner notes because that would have confused a lot of people. There are always some cool surprises!


There is a description and double page pictorial spread about Gandalf's vision, but some of the DG material in the volume includes Thrain and is referring back to what we saw in the DoS EE (which wasn't featured in the Cloaks and Daggers Chronicles volume...)

Regarding Beorn, in the Chronicles what Alan Lee actually says is
Quote:
"As we shot it, the escape from Dol Guldur had Gandalf still quite badly wounded, being evacuated fromDol Guldur by Radagast on his sledge. There was a pursuit through the castle ruin with its broken staircases and bridges, a perilous chase culminating in them bursting out of the fortress's crumbling lower levels and into the forest again at ground level. At one time Beorn was going to be present, a captive of the Orcs. It was an opportunity for Radagast to show some heroics."


What Chronicles actually says about Azog and Narya is this, from Daniel Falconer:

Quote:
"Initially we though that perhaps the White Council might have some soldiers with them during their invasion of Dol Guldur, leading me to play with adding some elements, including a full face helmet, to the previously seen Lothlórien Elf armour. I thought we might even see Celeborn in a platinum-silver version, but Peter felt it was important this be a very different kind of battle and not the sort that required infantry, an astute choice and one that avoided repeating the kind of giant battle we had seen at Helm's Deep, Minas Tirith or Azanulbizar.

We offered up ideas for how the confrontation might play out. Azog was going to be there to harvest Gandalf's Ring of Power. Philippa talked to us about Galadriel protecting herself and the prone wizard from Azog through the power of her Elven Ring, Nenya, which would manifest flashews of fallen Elven heroes like Gil-galad or Eärendil whenever he tried to strike her. He couldn't touch her."


Sounds like concept ideas that were long discarded, to me...

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:16 pm 
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Thanks for the clarifications, Elen!

Regarding my earlier comments to PtB about the dwarves attacking the Elves before the battle begins (or vice-versa), I am reminded to my surprise that that would be more true to the book than I remembered.

Quote:
Suddenly without a signal they sprang silently forward to attack. Bows twanged and arrows whistled; battle was about to be joined.
Still more suddenly a darkness came on with dreadful swiftness! A black cloud hurried over the sky. Winter thunder on a wild wind rolled roaring up and rumbled in the Mountain, and lightning lit its peak. And beneath the thunder another blackness could be seen whirling forward; but it did not come with the wind, it came from the North, like a vast cloud of birds, so dense that no light could be seen between their wings.


I am also reminded that the text specifically states that the Orcs/Goblins arrive "they resolved now to win the dominion of the North." And also that Gandalf knew they were coming, though not the time of arrival. All of which makes the version in the films in which they were specifically sent by Sauron to win the dominion of the North more believable as a viable adaptation of Tolkien's work.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 11:29 pm 
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LoremIspum wrote:
Passdagas the Brown wrote:
Not to mention this from Boyens, in reference to Alfrid:

Quote:
Isn't he brilliant? I loved writing him. He was my favorite.
*sigh*



I have to say I loved Alfrid in DOS, he's a fun character but my main beef with him in BOFA was that he took away screen time from the main characters. I suspect if the movie was half an hour longer and took that time to focus on the dwarves it wouldn't be much of an issue for me.

I mean it's probably silly but I realized that AUJ and DOS made me quite emotionally attached to this bunch and in the theatrical edition of BOFA they really get the short end of the stick. I thought the whole point of trying to make them less of a nameless faceless bunch is to make the audience feel for them in the last movie. There are some lovely scenes with Balin and Dwalin but that's it really, Kili gets a few lines but it's mostly to do with Tauriel, Bofur has line or two I think and don't talk to me about Fili :nono:


I also thought Alfrid was much better in DOS than he was in BOFA. In DOS, there was a bit of nuance to him. Yes, we was slimy, but it was clear that he secretly disrespected the Master, and he had some great lines such as "I don't think they'd ask you to stand" in response to the Master's "I won't stand for it!"

In BOFA, on the other hand, he's basically the evil Jar Jar Binks of the story. The only bit I liked was on the shores of Laketown, when he hails Bard as King, and then has that absurd line "Won't anyone think of the children?" That made me laugh out loud. But then it just kept on going. Scene after scene. And then PJ puts him in an old woman's clothes, and I'm OK with it. But it doesn't end there! He can't just be an overt coward. He also has to stumble upon a conveniently well-timed pot-breaking incident. And the pot just happens to have lots of gold in it! And despite the fact that he and everyone else are about to be slaughtered, he takes the time to stash it all in his bra, and stumble off with it to who knows where! And then Bard conveniently pops up to shame him, and his kids are back to shame him too! Ridiculous. Terrible filmmaking.

ETA: One other thing that was glaringly bad the last time I saw it was the context of the Kili/ Tauriel scene by the lakeshore. Thousands of people have just been killed, and hundreds are homeless, destitute, seeking for family members, warm clothes, food, etc. And not only does Kili decide to pick up and get out of dodge, but he also decides that then is the time to wax poetic about his love for Tauriel, AND ask her to abandon these poor people, and come with him to the mountain! It's some incredible navel-gazing that makes the both of them seem like rather terrible people. Belongs in a film about teenaged millennials, not a Tolkien tale. :-)

That said, I enjoyed the film the most on the 4th and last time in the cinema. Mostly, I think it's very stunning on a visual level, and has some of the best performances across the six films. And for me, the ending is definitely the best of the whole sextet. Simple, understated, beautiful, bittersweet. It shows that PJ and company are capable of making great films. If only they had the courage (or luxury) to do that throughout their films, what masterpieces for the cinematic ages we may have had...

Missed opportunities. My least favorite thing...


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 11:43 pm 
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Frankly, I don't want to see one bit more of Dol Guldur or Sauron. It is far too disconnected from the main story. What's in the TE is already too much, IMO. Come on, PJ. Give us more of the dwarves and Bilbo! Give us more of what makes this story different than LOTR, not more of the same.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2014 12:26 am 
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Passdagas the Brown wrote:
It's some incredible navel-gazing that makes the both of them seem like rather terrible people. Belongs in a film about teenaged millennials, not a Tolkien take. :-)



Elentári wrote:
For her to turn her back on her people so fast..doesn’t show girls a strong character. It says..abandon all who have stood by you for someone you JUST met! Oh…wait…does Bella come to mind? She will lose her family and all her friends..for a guy. Twilight Hobbit style!



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2014 12:51 am 
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Except Kili doesn't sparkle.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:17 am 
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Passdagas the Brown wrote:
That said, I enjoyed the film the most on the 4th and last time in the cinema. Mostly, I think it's very stunning on a visual level, and has some of the best performances across the six films. And for me, the ending is definitely the best of the whole sextet. Simple, understated, beautiful, bittersweet. It shows that PJ and company are capable of making great films.


I agree with almost all of this, except that I would say that in some ways I enjoyed it the most the first time, or at least that the experience was the most emotionally powerful. But I watched it today, in a good 3D theater, with an eye to focus on the visual splendor, and I was most definitely not disappointed. Thorin's madness also bothered me the least, except for the repeating of the line "not one piece." But I now rather like the scene with the gold floor.

I've gone from thinking that Alfrid was somewhat funny in this films to actively disliking his inclusion. And I like Dol Guldur less and less each time; unlike PtB, however, I am hoping for more of it in the hopes that it could be improved. Why, oh why, would they have Galadriel trembling in such fear of the Nazgûl, when she is the most powerful being there. Its almost like a goof.

I wont talk about Tauriel because I don't feel like getting into an argument with everyone else here. However, I will say that I am totally sold on the idea of keeping Azog alive and making him a primary villain. I remember that I was the one that started the "Azog the Idiot" thread. I was the idiot.

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