I re-watched the LOTR movies this weekend, and it gave me a little more perspective on the Hobbbit. One of the strongest aspects of the LOTR movies is that each ends on an emotional high point following the conclusion of an important story arc (Boromir, Helms Deep). I think Jackson tried to do this with the first Hobbit with the whole charging Azog thing, but the reality is that it was an obviously articifical moment that just did not feel like a satisfying ending.
That's the problem with having three movies. Sure, none has to provide a complete story arc, but a movie is better if it comes to a narrative and emotional resolution of some sort, even if you know there's a lot more to come. I thought Empire taught us this a long time ago. Anyway, with three movies, you have to come up with two fairly arbitrary ending points for the movies while telling a story that was not designed that way.
In contrast, the Fellowship ends with the death of Bormomir and the breaking of the Fellowship (which is slightly different from the books, of course). The storylines split from there on, and it seems like a natural ending point. The Two Towers ends as Helms Deep has ended and the Hobbits are turning toward Mordor. While this break point is not as good as in the books, it is still satisfying. The Eagle rescue in the Hobbit did not seem like it was wrapping up any major plotlines at all.
That said, I liked the first Hobbit well enough. I thought the acting was quite good, I appreciated the use of dialogue straight from the book, and I thought the Riddles scene was excellent. I liked the prologue, and I thought, as always, the envisoning of Middle Earth was excellent. I even liked the less omnious tone, as this is completely consistent with the book, and with the fact that Bilbo is narrating the story (sorta). I of course, as a purist, disapprove of random changes from the book, esecially Azog and the unnecessary tweaking of the troll scene.
In the end, though, I sorta feel like someone started telling me a story but then had to stop in the middle, rather than someone telling me the first part of a three-part story. I think the three movies idea was not a good one.
The canon speaks thusly:
In LoTR, Galadriel tells the fellowship that she was the one who summoned the council originally, and had intended for Gandalf to be at its head.
Also in LoTR, at the council in Rivendell, Gandalf tells that Saruman dissuaded the council from direct action against Sauron in Dol Guldur (after Gandalf had determined that the Necromancer was Sauron), only yielding at some length as Sauron's strength grew greater.
It's discussed more directly in the main text than in the appendices, from a quick browsing. The latter makes mention of Gandalf prevailing upon the Council to attack Dol Guldur, I believe in the section on the dwarfs. My copy of LoTR has an index, which was very helpful, as I could just hit up each of the mentions of the White Council for context.
I thought "Riddles in the Dark" was the best scene in the movie. I am in the minority in my home, and likely elsewhere.
The whole thing wasn't by the book, per se, but the encounter was one of the highlights.
were lacking compared to the book, but I thought that scene was done very well, including his escape past Gollum.
"When he peeped out in the lightning-flashes, he saw that across the valley the stone-giants were out, and hurling rocks at one another for a game, and catching them, and tossing them down into the darkness where they smashed among the trees far below, or splintered into little bits with a bang."
Did the company have to run for their lives from the giants? No. But they were there, and the company was aware and afraid of them, despite them not appearing in the rest of the story, or LotR.
while Tom Bombadil deserved nothing.
We all know they were briefly mentioned as existing in the book...they make no sense in how they were used by Jackson.
I didn't address the screen time of the stone giants. Only that they did exist in the book, and that they were a motivation along with the miserable weather for the company to seek refuge. I certainly didn't defend the scene. In fact, if I were making any assessment of that scene, I'd agree with your point, and further say it would be the very definition of the 'bloat' of turning this into three films. It was clumsy, not very entertaining, and not even all that visually stunning of a scene.
I'd take that a step further and say that I didn't care for many of the CGI scenes in the movie aside from the stone giants. The Great Goblin and Azog were both shoddy and looked obviously CGI'ed, which is a stark contrast to LotR, where the only CGI scene that really stuck out as obvious CGI was Legolas mounting his horse in Two Towers.
As for Tom Bombadil, I've never had a problem with him being excluded from LotR. I get his place in canon and all, but he would have made the film version of Radagast look normal. And you seem to have had a problem with Radagast as he was portrayed, so I'm not sure you'd have wanted Bombadil in a screen version of LotR either. It was much more bothersome to me that the Gray Company was excluded from LotR than Tom Bombadil.
That they weren't in the book. Just that they were given a much more prominent part that doesn't make sense if they were trying to make this a prequel, seems weird to give them such a big sequence only to have them disappear for the rest of the movies.
It was obvious that you'd read the book, but as it's only discussed in one paragraph, I thought perhaps you'd just forgotten them.
they seem to be a relic of the pre-Lord of the Rings conception of the story, i.e., not intended to be in continuity with the Silmarillion.
Several such concepts -- goblins rather than orcs, talking trolls, skinchangers, dwarves (!), sentient eagles, and the Council's apparently relaxed attitude toward Dol Guldur were extensively rethought and incorporated into the larger mythology. Stone giants weren't.
This leaves a problem when one is retelling The Hobbit specifically to incorporate it into the Lord of the Rings. One can solve it in three ways.
1) Omit the stone giants. They have no impact on the plot.
2) Render them merely as cave trolls -- "stone giant" makes perfect sense as a folk-name for cave trolls, after all, and stresses the difference between the two types of trolls encountered. Bilbo was exaggerating their size and strength a bit to make the point.
3) Depict it as an exaggeration or outright lie -- a fanciful addition to embody the thunderstorm. Bilbo is not a completely reliable narrator, after all. This could've been done with a neat cutaway to Elijah Wood, or, in my preferred version of this movie, to those hobbit kids Bilbo was entertaining at his birthday party back in Fellowship. Bilbo could've even indignantly defended himself.
What one cannot do to solve the problem is to introduce a race of titanic beings never encountered by anyone other than Bilbo et al. But, hey, I'm sure it'll be a cool level in Lego The Hobbit.
I actually envisioned them as quite playful and carefree but dumb like the stone giant in Neverending Story.
I didn't think of them as beings that double as mountains and enjoy taking each other's heads off for sport.
I feel like they were high when they rewatched that scene and green-lit it. Whoooooooooahhhhhh dude, that's awwwwwwweeesomeeee
Certainly not the mountains themselves coming to life. It wouldn't have made much sense for the goblins to have set up shop in mountains that come to life and smash things for fun.
Good synopsis, I think we've pointed to all of these examples in past posts but its been spread out the past few weeks.
Did you see Anakin Skywalker's Rhadagast bunny podracer? Because it was a podracer
Azog will definitely be around for 5 armies and will likely mortally wound Thorin though Thorin will get him first although originally I believe its supposed to be a descendent of the original goblin king that leads in that battle.
Agree on 2, 4, 5, 6
On #3 this has been rehashed a few times. As it pertains to Saruman he is supposed to be in delay mode during this part of his timeline. He's already searching where Isildur died for the ring. He's only roused to action when he finds out the enemy is searching there too. He delayed Gandalf so long as he could search in peace and then used him to help drive the necromancer away. So it makes sense that he take the tact of a Doubting Thomas in this portion although he should be more stern with Gandalf. As for their discussions with Elrond and Galadriel....again I must insist that this is because the Wizard's need the elves more than the elves need them. The wizards require the elves to continue to give a shit about Middle Earth if they are to fulfill their charges of protecting that realm. If the elves decide this headache is too great and leave for the west then the wizard's will fail. If the wizard's decide the elves are too uppity to work with, the wizard's will fail. Gandalf is just using diplomacy and Saruman likely wants to keep them around as potential jailers for Sauron, he also likely wants them to give him a pretty ring one day too.
Orcs and goblins have unnaturally long lifespans.
Beorn kills him after he mortally wounds Thorin in the book.
It was a podracer.
As for the Azog stuff, wasn't it Dain that takes out the Goblin king's grandson (or something like that?).
As for the White Council, that makes sense, but if he's still looking for where Isildur lost the Ring, and wants it for himself, wouldn't Gandalf and the rest of the White Council, looking for the Necromancer, buy him more time to keep looking? I don't see why acknowledging that evil has returned and that they should check it out, would keep him from searching for the ring.
Dain kills Azog on the inside steps of Moria (I think right at Gate 1) as Azog is trying to escape from the last battle of the Great Dwarf-Orc war on the steps of Moria. When Dain comes out of Moria, Thorin and Thrain want to continue the battle and re-take Moria. Dain disuades them by saying the Dwarven army is too weak to accomplish that task and that he felt a greater evil in the Mines than even the orcs. Presumably, this is an allusion to the Balrog that goes over the cliff with Gandalf in FotR.
Bolg is Azog's son.
My guess is that Azog is being used to give some form of on-screen villian that people will cheer for when killed by Beorn - I hope. I think jumping through the fire to go after the orc that cut off your grandfather's head, carved "AZOG" on his forehead, hacked his body up and fed it to carrion as a pretty decent reason. Given the situation, it looked like they were dead dwarves walking, might as well take out the bane of your family if you can.
character rape. Given the track record, I'm betting Beorn is portrayed as a flamboyant homosexual. Sort of like Liberace, if Liberace could turn into a bear.
As down on this film as I am, I sense a chance to exploit your unerring wrongness.
That Jackson Faramirs his character into hell or does so in Liberace fashion?
Except it will be expired by the time the movie comes out.
you also expect El K to be the latest victim of Jacksonian character rape.
Sauron has an affinity for the Ring that Saruman doesn't have. Saruman's best bet at finding the Ring is tracking Sauron's agents and then intercepting them -- which is exactly the plan he tries to pull off in The Lord of the Rings.
But would his agents stop searching for the ring because the White Council went to Dol Guldur?
Maybe I just need to reread the RotK appendix, it's been a while. The treatment of Saruman has never sat well with me, but maybe my memory from the books was off.
But Saruman assumed that the reason Sauron was set up in Dol Guldur was that the Ring had been lost in the Gladden (much nearer to Dol Guldur than to Mordor). This may have been Sauron's assumption too, although he also may've had an inkling of Gollum's location.
So driving Sauron and presumably his agents out of Dol Guldur meant driving them from the Ring.