The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Skywalker, Dec 6, 2012.

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How would you grade [i]The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey[/i]?

  1. A+

    32 vote(s)
    16.6%
  2. A

    52 vote(s)
    26.9%
  3. A-

    38 vote(s)
    19.7%
  4. B+

    28 vote(s)
    14.5%
  5. B

    15 vote(s)
    7.8%
  6. B-

    9 vote(s)
    4.7%
  7. C+

    1 vote(s)
    0.5%
  8. C

    8 vote(s)
    4.1%
  9. C-

    2 vote(s)
    1.0%
  10. D+

    3 vote(s)
    1.6%
  11. D

    1 vote(s)
    0.5%
  12. D-

    3 vote(s)
    1.6%
  13. F

    1 vote(s)
    0.5%
  1. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

    ^ I stopped paying attention to critical scores when Dodgeball came out. One of my local critics gave the film 3 stars, so my friend and his girlfriend talked me into going to see it with them even though I typically don't like that type of movie, although they both do, and all 3 of us were seriously considering getting up and walking out, and universally said that it was one of the stupidest movies we'd ever seen.

    My philosophy regarding films is this: go see it yourself and make your own judgment call.

    Anyway, I digress.

    I didn't mention this in my earlier review, but it was neat seeing how Gandalf and Bilbo ended up with Glamdring and Sting, since, as I noted, I didn't remember a lot of the specific details about the story.

    I also really got a kick out of Radagast the Brown, which is another thing I neglected to mention in my earlier review. What made the character even better for me was how quickly Saruman dismissed him as a doddering old coot. Speaking of Christopher Lee and Saruman, they de-aged him a lot more than I was expecting them to, which really makes me wonder what happened to him in the 60 intervening years between this story and the events of LotR that caused his beard to go almost completely white.
     
  2. Aeronef

    Aeronef Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

    So, what you're saying is: you're just like everyone else.

    Contempt for critics is universal. Nobody listens to them. Or at the very least, nobody will admit to listening to them.

    In such a climate, actually admitting that you listen to critics, and allow them to guide your filmgoing choices, is an act of rebellious nonconformity.

    So: while the rest of you sheeple are blindly following your own tastes and inclinations, and making your own judgment calls, I'm going to take some expert advice, and see what the critics have to say. :cool:
     
  3. Itisnotlogical

    Itisnotlogical Commodore Commodore

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    Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

    I don't read reviews, because reviewers are not me and thus aren't very good judges of how much I will enjoy a movie. I really like some movies/games/books that other people can't stand, and vice-versa. Anyways on to my review! :rommie:

    I think it tries way too hard in the beginning to link this film to the Lord of the Rings films, somewhat assuming that you've already seen those to begin with. Birthday party? Who's Frodo? etc. I've seen the movies and I know what they were going for, but it feels somewhat inappropriate for a prequel, especially if you're a newcomer watching the movies in chronological order.

    I somewhat like the more cartooony feel that comes in sometime, with the Dwarves cleaning the dishes and especially the Goblin King. For a few minutes I almost thought this film was going to be a musical, with two songs in relatively quick succession. But musicals aren't popular today, and for every song I liked there would probably be three that I hated.

    Since it's impossible to write for 13 dwarves and make them all good, I think it was a good idea that they gave them all unique visual designs instead of giving everyone at least one scene. They're all fairly memorable, despite some of them not having any lines that I can remember.

    Of the changes to the source material, I think the one that I like least is the White Orc. This film doesn't really need any more bad guys, and the escape from the Goblin King is a fitting end to the first half without adding another villain. I cared a lot more about the Necromancer and Mirkwood than the White Orc, supposedly the main obstacle on their journey to Erebor. They could have cut one out and fleshed out the other, but they tried to have their cake and eat it too. There was no reason for him to have been CG either, considering the excellent prosthetics they had for much less important Orcs in the LoTR trilogy.

    Everything else in the movie was cool. The goblins were vicious, the trolls were hilarious, Gollum was suitably crazy, the Necromancer was terrifying, and the escape with the Eagles was a pretty good point to cut off Part 1. Most of the combinations, additions and exclusions from the source material are for the better, except for the White Orc of course. B+.
     
  4. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

    I really enjoyed it. I saw it in 3D, and while I didn't ask I think the theater I went to was showing it in 24 FPS, because I didn't notice anything different about the picture or the way the characters moved. Simply a gorgeous film, though. While the movie probably didn't need to be filmed in 3D it was pretty neat to see the added depth and texture it gave to Middle-earth.

    Martin Freeman was excellent as Bilbo. I thought he did a terrific job of taking Bilbo from his initial reluctance to wholeheartedly joining the adventure, then struggling with his self-doubt and eventually finding his courage. I really liked Richard Armitage's Thorin, too. I enjoyed the development of his relationship with Bilbo.

    Radagast was pretty fun. I'm not very familiar with Sylvester McCoy, but he did a good job. I wasn't expecting the character to be quite that goofy, but it was fine. Makes me wonder how he'd have done as Bilbo in LOTR if Ian Holm hadn't accepted the part. And Ian McKellen was excellent as Gandalf, of course. I actually enjoyed all of the Dwarves, though I think Bombur was the only one who didn't have any lines at all. Bifur didn't, either, but that's because he can't speak.

    I haven't read the book in years, so of course I don't remember all of the details anymore, but I liked just about all of the additions they made to the story. It was cool to see some background on the War of the Dwarves and Orcs, and to see how Thorin earned his Oakenshield moniker. I didn't mind the expansion of Azog's role and his enmity towards the Line of Dúrin; I thought it gave the story some added weight, and added something to Thorin's arc. There's no real antagonist throughout the story in the book, only the foreboding presence of Smaug (and now the Necromancer/Sauron), so for me it made sense to include a villain character who had a physical presence and gave the characters a genuine threat to worry about from the beginning.

    It was a treat to see Andy Serkis' Gollum again, and he and Freeman were fantastic together during the Riddles in the Dark scene. That's where Gollum's part in the story ends in the book, but it wouldn't surprise me if Jackson has him show up again in either of the next two movies. I hope not, though. There were enough callbacks to LOTR in this movie; I think it's time to let the next two stand alone.

    Overall, I thought it was great. I did think the movie took a little while to get going, but once it did I enjoyed the ride immensely.

    A-
     
  5. Mach5

    Mach5 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

    Personally, I like reading certain critics, like Ebert and Roeper, even though I often think they're full of shit.

    As for Rotten Tomatoes, my opinion of movies is in line with their scores 85% of the time.

    There are cases when I think all these critics have gone mad, though. For example, they almost universally praised "Bridesmaids", which I found atrocious, even appalling.

    That being said, I honestly can't wait to see The Hobbit. But I'd be lying if I sad I wasn't worried.
     
  6. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

    Here here. :p It may not work for everybody, but generally when the majority of critics all say the same thing about a movie (in this case that it's way too long and bloated), I usually find myself agreeing.
     
  7. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

    Critical opinion is extremely important to me. It helps me decide what films I'm going to watch and what I'm not going to watch.

    Without it we wouldn't have a canon or a list of great directors or anything. Who'd still watch Citizen Kane without critics? And of the films that are released every year, which ones should I see and which ones should I avoid? What about films I never even hear are opening until I get the good reviews?

    It's definitely one of the biggest factors in determining what films to see.
     
  8. Aeronef

    Aeronef Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

    ^Now, that is the post of a self-confident individual.
     
  9. Wereghost

    Wereghost Part-time poltergeist Rear Admiral

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    Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

    Saw it yesterday morning in 3D at 24 FPS.

    I don't concur with the criticisms about pacing, but that's a question of personal experience. Never thought "Get on with it!", but did think that it was nearly time for it to move along.

    The movie in its own right is largely a spectacular and compact rollercaster ride. As compared to FOTR it's charming, whimsical, fast-paced and possessed of an almost uniformly high standard of acting. Just like its illustrious predecessors, it asks you to bear with it - but in this case it's less about putting up with austerity and more about allowing for the story's kid-friendly origins in the form of cockney trolls et al, and its general tendency towards a more frivolous, tongue-in-cheek tone. This is high-adventure in the tradition that we've come to expect since the heyday of Star Wars and Indiana Jones, both of which franchises are lovingly referenced here.

    Much was made of the eleventh-hour decision to make it a trilogy. From the evidence of this movie, it's looking very much like the right call. It packs a heck of a lot into its two hours and forty minutes and fees like it ends at just the right juncture.

    Performance-wise I think it's very robust, with Freeman validating the opinions of everyone who thought he would be a natural choice for Bilbo and McKellen giving perhaps his most nuanced and likeable take on Gandalf. They are ably supported by strong performances from the (slightly Klingonesque) dwarfs, not to mention certain returning characters from the original trilogy. Kudos to Jackson, Walsh, Boyens and the returning actors for showing us intriguing new facets of familiar characters, and doing so with aplomb. The writers also seem to have fun presenting us with the somewhat eccentric but benign Radagast the Brown as played briefly by Sylvester McCoy, who in an alternate universe made a fine older Bilbo.

    Planning to see it again over the weekend, this time in IMAX format. Will refrain from marking it until then, but I doubt I'll be giving it a consonant or a minus. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012
  10. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan Living the Irish dream. Premium Member

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    Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

    Me and the other half watched it earlier in 2D at the local cinema and we both loved it.

    I'll say more on the matter tomorrow as pretty tired now, but was it me or did the Dwarves feel like a Rugby team on tour?
     
  11. Set Harth

    Set Harth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

    Oh, this again. :rolleyes:
     
  12. Itisnotlogical

    Itisnotlogical Commodore Commodore

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    Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

    Love the vague wording. That eye roll really enunciates the problem you had with my state- oh wait, I have no idea what you're on about.

    Points for having not read any other part of my post, though. I've seen all the movies. I'm taking in to account the fact that, believe it or not, not everybody has seen the other LotR films and will judge this one based on its own merits. In the context of this singular film, the scenes with Frodo had absolutely no point whatsoever.
     
  13. Set Harth

    Set Harth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

    Only in your imagination. You'll have to take those points back.
     
  14. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

    I definitely agree with this. I was initially reluctant when I learned of the split, but after actually seeing the movie I'm having a hard time thinking of what could have been cut in order to make room for

    Bëorn, the spiders of Mirkwood, getting captured by the Elves, meeting Thranduil and Legolas and Tauriel, and Bilbo breaking out the Dwarves and escaping in the barrels.
    That all probably would have added a good 45-60 minutes, at least, on top of what was already there.
     
  15. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

    ^
    Well the film does have a fair bit of extra material, some of it - like Azog's grudge - invented whole cloth for the movie.

    The scenes with Frodo just had no point, period. Of all the appearances by LOTR actors, his was the most superfluous - it mostly dragged out an introduction that really did not need any extra material.
     
  16. Blue_Trek

    Blue_Trek Captain Captain

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    Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

    It's interesting to see the spread between critics and film goers, if the spread is very great then the critics are out of touch with reality.
    We may even agree with the critics.
    Everybody of coarse has an opinion, but that opinion can be shaped, sometime people go see a movie when they are in a bad mood or really super tired and get dragged along by there friends to the late show. There are variables in play. But strong word of mouth at work/school usually is a very good indicator, the last movie that got that with the people around me was the Avengers, and before that The Dark Knight, the fact is, it doesn't happen that often.

    As for the Hobbit I plan to see not because I am a huge fan, but I want to see the new premium way to see films 3D+48fps.

    Here is an example where fans disagreed with the critics by a large margin over 50%
    http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/transformers_revenge_of_the_fallen/

    Some critics both professional and non-professional lean toward snobbery when it comes to cinema.
     
  17. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

    I'm aware of that, but I don't think it should be cut because it only added to the movie. Without the Azog subplot the movie would basically just be a series of vignettes with no real antagonist.
     
  18. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

    I liked it much more than I thought I would. To be honest, I wasn't that pumped. I had just read the book--yes, I know, it's taken me sometime to get around to it. I was mostly going because I wanted to see it in 48 fps. Which I liked. It did take my brain some time to get used to it, somethings felt like they were moving faster or something... but... the sharpness... it was great. And I think as more and more directors use it, the better it will be.

    For the most part, I thought things moved along well enough. Though, Radagast... he felt hamfisted into the movie. I didn't mind the character but, suddenly he was THERE and then went away, and then CAME BACK, and DID some stuff... and then... just...disappeared... what happened to him?

    The best stuff is with Gollum... in 48 fps he looks AMAZING. The detail on the CGI body...

    Oh, and my other final complaint, the "climatic" battle of the first movie.... was a little meh. And felt forced... and it felt like NOT the original ending, you can almost see where they made this one the new ending.

    All in all, better than I thought it would be.
     
  19. Itisnotlogical

    Itisnotlogical Commodore Commodore

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    Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

    I feel like Azog could have been a better villain though. He does some vicious things, but he's really just being an orc. I don't feel like he's especially more evil than any of the other antagonists. Maybe if they explained why he hated the line of Durin so much or gave him more scenes, he could have been stronger.
     
  20. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

    I enjoyed it but it didn't bowl me over. Jackson was in full King Kong mode here, and the action at the climax was of the keep-piling-it-on-beyond-the-point-of-ridiculous-and then-add-some-more variety.

    I really couldn't care much about how they were going to get out of that damned tree because I couldn't buy for a moment that they were still alive and hanging on to it after the first few seconds.