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View Poll Results: How would you grade The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey?
A+ 32 16.58%
A 52 26.94%
A- 38 19.69%
B+ 28 14.51%
B 15 7.77%
B- 9 4.66%
C+ 1 0.52%
C 8 4.15%
C- 2 1.04%
D+ 3 1.55%
D 1 0.52%
D- 3 1.55%
F 1 0.52%
Voters: 193. You may not vote on this poll

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Old December 16 2012, 10:47 AM   #151
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Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

There's plenty of original music in the movie (I'm only saying something because I'm actually listening to the soundtrack right now ). I didn't have a problem with the musical callbacks to LOTR; John Williams did the same thing with the PT.
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Old December 16 2012, 12:03 PM   #152
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Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

Mage wrote: View Post
If there is one thing that bothered me every now and then, it was the lack of an original score. I understand that for some parts, using the same score as used in the LOTR movies make things recognizable. But it also felt slightly... lazy, perhaps?? Not sure what word to use. It still is a great score, don't get me wrong.


There is nothing lazy or unoriginal in Howard Shore's score. The amount of layered detail he includes, the way he provides variations on familiar themes, and the way he weaves them with new themes are all done with high levels of intent and skill. The score is meant to sound familiar because this is the same world, including many of the same locations and some of the same characters, with which we lived for three previous movies. What other theme should he have used when introducing the Shire, Gollum, Rivendell, the Ring? There are plenty of new themes and motifs, too - some of which are still being developed (recall that the Gondor theme made a brief introduction in FOTR but was mostly unnoticed until it played with full fanfae in ROTK).

On another note (pun intended) I saw the film for a second time yesterday, this time in 48fps. I have to say I loved the clarity, but I never got used to the jerky movements of the characters. Even at the end there were moments when they seemed to be moving cartoonishly fast. Very distracting for me. Not sure what the solution is - if it's just that I need to see it more often to become more accustomed to it, if the movie needs to filmed differently to accommodate the different perception, or what. I'll watch 48fps a few more times, but unless I can get past that barrier, it won't be for me - regardless of how beautifully clear the film looks.
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Old December 16 2012, 01:32 PM   #153
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Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

Saw it and love it.

HFR is indeed a strange experience. It takes some time to become used to, but then I didn't find it distracting or annoying at all. It does have something of a live video feed of a very expensive theater play. The thing is, I think, that they still need to balance the film quality when they shoot in HFR. You can now again clearly see when it's a studio shot, when it's a location shot and when it's digitally enhanced. There were many shots were it looked "normal", and the next shot was hyperreal again. And the hyperrealism is indeed a bit strange to look at in a LOTR prequel.

I'm going to watch it in 2D again, just to get the good old LOTR film feeling again.

I would have loved to see Avatar or Prometheus in HFR.


The very first thing we see is Bilbo putting stuff in a chest, and I thought it was played twice as fast. But then I realized it's just a thing you need to get accustomed to. When you go into a cinema, you expect a film to look a certain way. HFR doesn't look like that at all, which is why your brain needs to learn how it is supposed to work.


It's like stepping on an escalator that doesn't move. You expect that it moves and you get slightly dizzy for a second.




I love the advancement of technology. The steadicam shot of all the dwarfs, Bilbo and Gandalf at Bilbo's home, the all CGI Goblins, Gollum,... just to name a few.
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Old December 16 2012, 05:15 PM   #154
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Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
HFR is indeed a strange experience. It takes some time to become used to, but then I didn't find it distracting or annoying at all.

The very first thing we see is Bilbo putting stuff in a chest, and I thought it was played twice as fast. But then I realized it's just a thing you need to get accustomed to. When you go into a cinema, you expect a film to look a certain way. HFR doesn't look like that at all, which is why your brain needs to learn how it is supposed to work.
Heh ... I'm jealous. I wanted to not notice the speed issues. Never could quite get over it. Maybe I was overthinking it?
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Old December 16 2012, 08:32 PM   #155
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Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

Yeah, I didn't notice a speed problem either. They just seemed to be moving at a more natural speed-- which does look a bit weird compared to standard 24fps motion, I'll grant you.

The ironic thing is, I thought the strongest moments in 48fps were during the flashbacks and slow-motion battles. The image was still super sharp and clear, but the slow-motion got rid of that overly-natural movement and gave the picture more of that magical LOTR feel.

Last edited by davejames; December 16 2012 at 08:47 PM.
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Old December 16 2012, 10:16 PM   #156
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Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

Just got back from a HFR 3D screening and the thing that is constantly running around my head is: "Must see is in 24fps not in 3D".

There is no doubt for me that the 48fps is an interesting and suprising piece of tech, and every external shot looks utterly wonderous. Yet, given this film has clearly been made almost solely on sets, here comes the problem. The 48fps is so damned good it makes the 3D actually WORK... which means people seem to be constantly popping out of the sets and at times it almost looked as if the Hobbit-Hole set was in fact a very good green screen. Very odd at times.

I must admit, I do not like 3D. I see no real point for it and it comes across as an indulgence rather than adding anything truly spectacular. Yet, the 48fps completely took away the headache, furry-edge issues I've had with it. The quality of the images were striking, yet the comparisons to watching a "stage-play recorded for TV airing" is apt. The lighting can look off and the dimensions oddly too rich. In the end, I must say the whole technique is likely not for me (currently) but it was a fascinating experience.

Given the above, the 48fps screening I watched no longer felt like a "film". There is no doubt that Jackson was attempting to create a new visual style, and he's done so, but the "filmic" look is one I enjoy massively and hence why I am now gagging to watch the film in non 3D at 24fps. I spent far too much time analysing the scene, the sets etc and strangely, given the formats original intent, didn't feel immersed in the film.

All very strange. But on with the rest of the content.

The biggest failing of this film in fact lies with the text. The Hobbit was a trial run in a new world for Tolkein which he then expanded upon in Lord of the Rings. Hence, watching the films Sequel-then-Prequel, you realise how much of The Hobbit was in fact then re-developed and refined into The Lord of the Rings. The film of The Hobbit in fact shares probably too much DNA with the film of The Fellowship of the Ring:

An introduction of Hobbiton
A humerous gathering/party
A Journey/long walk begins
Fisticuffs in the hills
A meeting with the Elves
Running away from mountains (quite literally in The Hobbit)
A vertiginous action sequence running away from orcs/goblins
Chased by Orcs to a showdown

The only things in The Hobbit that really stand as unique is "Riddles in the Dark" - which in fact now sits up there in the pantheon of wonderful quiet LOTR scenes. Gollum was astounding to watch and in fact in THIS scene I felt not only did the HFR work best, but so did Freeman. A perfect rich centrepiece to a best-of-buffet.

Yet, though the DNA is the same, between TH and LOTF the psyche is wholly different. Throughout all of the LOTR films, even FOTR, there is a constant air of sadness, of longing (elves leaving, Aragorns soulful past and unwanted future, the frailty of man) a shade wholly missing from The Hobbit. It IS a different story, I get that, but the tinges of sadness and mournfulness resonate with me. The Hobbit is a happier, frillier book and film and the emotional weight of Thorin and the Dwarve's quest never quite sang for me.

It is a fractured film, one that would have happily lost 15 or so minutes of material and still kept the pertinent parts, and still kept it a trilogy. Clearly a large bulk of the original two films is in here as the Appendices material on show was slim and fleeting. One assumes films 2/3 will have larger sections drawn out of the back of ROTK.

This is a fine film, but really does feel only like a beginning, whilst FOTR felt like its own complete story.

Other grumbles:

The score felt somewhat flat this time around, with only one distinctive new theme developed. One hopes that as these films begin to diverge from the mirroring of FOTR/LOTR so the score will allow for new ideas and themes.

Too many sets. Yes, I know, there are hundreds of sets used in LOTR to replace the outside, but in The Hobbit there simply wasn't ENOUGH outside. Think the battle at Amon Hen, the scaling of the Misty Mountains were Frodo loses the ring, running from the Riders. Perhaps is the was the perpetual sunrise/dawn that The Hobbit seemed to be shot in once it left the shire, but I was longing to see the actors out in New Zealand! ;-)

The Trolls and The Goblin King - nice CGI, fun fights, poor poor childish humour

The pacing was sluggish at times.

Yet, still, for all of the above gripes, the acting, the world, the scale of the Dward flashbacks, the Dwarves themselves, the possibilities thrown up surrounding The Necromancer... all kinds of wonderful.

So a very flawed film, but still enjoyable none-the-less and a solid 6/10


Hugo - no doubt most of you stopped reading well before the end of that...
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Old December 16 2012, 10:23 PM   #157
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Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

Ian Keldon wrote: View Post
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There are very very very very very very very few internet reviewers I can stand. It's one reason to hate the technology that enables humans to record themselves and post it on the web. Just because its possible, doesn't mean we want to hear your opinion. No matter how sarcastically you deliver it.

So, yes. I mostly avoid internet movie reviewers.
Like posting on BBSes one might say...
At least a BBS is a discussion board. And there's conversations and stuff. So... really....nothing like posting on a BBS.
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Old December 16 2012, 11:27 PM   #158
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Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

I highly enjoyed it, and the 48 frame rate looked great! I don't get what people are complaining about it, nothing looked fake or cheap, it looked really crisp with no motion blur!

I really enjoyed the new scenes too, particularly Radagast the Brown! And the Witch King! And the Necromancer!
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Old December 16 2012, 11:31 PM   #159
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Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

The very first thing we see is Bilbo putting stuff in a chest, and I thought it was played twice as fast. But then I realized it's just a thing you need to get accustomed to. When you go into a cinema, you expect a film to look a certain way. HFR doesn't look like that at all, which is why your brain needs to learn how it is supposed to work.
I felt the exact same way! Bilbo's hands seemed to be moving at super speed!
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Old December 17 2012, 01:13 AM   #160
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Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

I think i'll just stick with the 2D, 24fps version thanks. I'd rather be able to enjoy the beauty of the sets, scenery, and FX rather than being distracted by cinematic tricks.

Not to mention saving myself a few bucks.
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Old December 17 2012, 01:15 AM   #161
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Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

Cutter John wrote: View Post
I think i'll just stick with the 2D, 24fps version thanks. I'd rather be able to enjoy the beauty of the sets, scenery, and FX rather than being distracted by cinematic tricks.

Not to mention saving myself a few bucks.
Have you seen it or are you just mindlessly repeating the bias?

Because you can enjoy the sets, scenery and FX much better in HFR. Just saying.




There were many shots where it looked normal, even though in HFR. And when Bilbo took the ring, I also thought "now it looks "normal"". So I guess if you blur the footage a bit, it would look like a sharp 24fps image and "cinematic" again.

This is the first HFR film, they will get the hang of it soon enough.
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Old December 17 2012, 01:44 AM   #162
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Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

I only spent $3 to see it in high frame rate. I went to the first matinee showing which was 8.00. I had a 5.00 off ticket from buying the Lord Rings EE Blu Rays (three free tickets!).

There were so many cool things in the movie I barely had time to geek over...
I loved that Radagast had tried bird shit coating the right side of his face, that he was obsessed over a dying hedgehog, that he rode on a sled of super fast rabbits, that's made up but it feels VERY Tolkein.
I loved the elaborate flashback battle scenes, which looked AMAZING at the high frame rate.
Azog made his camp on Weathertop!
My biggest geek moment was Radagast getting jumped by the Witch King and that brief awesome shot of the spectral form of the Necromancer. That looked awesome!
LOTR still looks awesome to this day, but you can clearly tell when a live action figure is overlaid on a bigature model. In this movie, in high frame rate, it was completely flawless. When the Company was running through Goblin Town, it looked absolutely real. It felt like a physical location.
Funny to see Elrond displaying a sense of humor. And Christopher Lee looked REALLY old and emaciated, he's definitely aged since LOTR.
It's nice they actually included a few songs this time. But I really missed the songs the goblins sing when they're stuck in the burning tree! The Lonely Mountain song was really haunting and well done.
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Old December 17 2012, 03:37 AM   #163
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Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

I saw it this weekend... and while I did enjoy it, I was also disappointed.

Loved everything having to do with Bilbo, was extremely bored by everything having to do with the "side stuff", Radagast, Necromancer, Elrond, the one armed Orc, all that. I really wish they'd done something more true to the spirit of the book instead of trying to make it another LOTR movie. 2 films would have been perfect. There's a "timeless fable" quality to the Hobbit novel that's missing here.

48FPS: I did see it in 48FPS 3d. The first half hour was incredibly distracting, with Bilbo moving around indoors. I got used to it though, and aside from fake looking outdoor rain, I was mostly engrossed.

Still I really REALLY wish the first 48-FPS movie had been something I didn't care so much about. I suspect that orientation period with my eyes has colored my impression of the whole Bag-End sequence, which I didn't like at all.

I give it a B-. It was enjoyable, and some parts were really well done - I enjoyed the trolls, and the Gollum sequence, which was OUTSTANDING! But I found a lot of the movie to be a dull-ish slog as well. I noticed the user rating is 80% (i'd go more like 75-77% myself), but it's in the right range I think. It's not so much that it's a step down from LOTR its that he took a very different story and seems to be trying to make it into LOTR, which is where it falls down imo. I think the decision to flesh out the side stories and appendixes stuff, and take away focus from the core book material, and thus make it 3 films, was a very bad one.
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Old December 17 2012, 03:48 AM   #164
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Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

Having now seen the thing in flatscreen - without 3D, or the novelty of 48fps and IMAX - if I could lower my score on the poll I'd lower it to C-.

What the movie has going for it is beautiful scenery and the performances of some of the actors - Freeman, McKellan, Blanchett and Armitage chief among them. That said, it's overlong and overloud. The action is preposterous; by the third act everyone is Wile E. Coyote, repeatedly enduring impossible falls and violence while not appearing to suffer so much as a broken finger. That makes it hard to maintain much interest in the action.

Worst of all, the tone and hence the charm of the novel is mostly absent. They might as well bring in giant robots.
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Old December 17 2012, 03:58 AM   #165
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Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post
The action is preposterous; by the third act everyone is Wile E. Coyote, repeatedly enduring impossible falls and violence while not appearing to suffer so much as a broken finger. That makes it hard to maintain much interest in the action.
I have to admit this bugged me quite a bit, especially during the underneath the Misty Mountains sequences. I didn't like how Bilbo fell some great distance into a crack instead of simply being separated from everyone else.
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