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The Hobbit
Having seen 'An Unexpected Journey' at the cinema, I avoided parts 2 and 3 in favour of waiting for the DVD. So two days ago I bought the collected theatrical release box set in blu-ray (on the usual basis that something so effects heavy needed the blu-ray. I have no intention of watching something even more overblown than the theatrical releases, so am not going anywhere near the extended edition.

Currently, because Ina didn't see it, we are watching 'An Unexpected Journey'. I do not expect to watch it for a third time. I only hope the next two episodes are not as boring, do not have snot and fart jokes, have better CGI and a lot more tension in the fight scenes. And less Radagast.


Incidentally, there seem to be a lot of revised outakes from 'The Two Towers' in the sequence where the wargs and orcs chase the dwarves (until Elrond arrives with the cavalry.) That scenery looks awfully familiar.

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I have actually downloaded a fan edited version of the whole thing that cuts out several hours. I am not normally in the habit of downloading illegal copies of things and I haven't watched it yet, but the comments said it was a big improvement on the theatrical release. So far I have avoided the whole Hobbit trilogy on the grounds that it must be hugely bloated and nothing like the book I have loved for over 50 years, but the condensed version sounded interesting.

I don't actually like the book - I came to it far too late, I think. (I very nearly gave up on LotR because of the first few chapters. I used to skip them entirely when I read the book.)

I'm hoping the next two films will be better. I do think I ought to have seen them, though. The box set is cheaper than buying tickets for both of us for all three movies.

Ina's comment was just, as the movie ended, "Dearie, dearie me."

Best thing is the song over the end credits.

I must have been about 9 or 10 when I first read the Hobbit serialised in my comic. In addition to the usual comic strips, Princess used to run serials of novels, so that's how I got my first introduction to The Hobbit, Chocky and The Wolves of Willoughby Chase. There may have been others, but those are the novels I remember. It was then a few years before I managed to find The Lord of the Rings, but I think that 14 is probably the perfect age to encounter it for the first time. :)

I didn't read 'The Hobbit' until I was twenty or so. I first read LotR when I was 14 or 15 and I came to it by a rather odd route. I used to collect old issues of ASF. I'd just read Lewis's 'That Hideous Strength' and Astounding's reviewer, P. Schuyler Miller, mentioned in his review of that book, that Lewis had woven parts of the backstory of 'his friend' JRR Tolkien's 'The Lord of the Rings' into it. I thought I'd give it a go, so went and bought the hardback (because that was all that was available at that time) of 'The Fellowship of the Ring' which is how I came to be far more familiar with the original rather than the revised edition.

I saw the second movie but skipped the third. Knowing Peter Jackson's tendencies and seeing the trailers, I figured the third movie would be mostly one big overblown battle, with tens of thousands on each side.

My impression of the battle in Tolkien was that it was a relatively small affair, with perhaps a thousand individuals involved in total. It was a chance encounter, and the toles of Thorin's dwarves, the eagles, and Beorn all had a significant effect. But we're told that at one point "Behind the arrows a thousand of [the elves'] spearmen leapt down and charged." So maybe Jackson just exaggerated by a factor of ten.

We have the fan-edited edition as well, and have watched about half of it. Yes, it's a tighter cut, and closer to the actual story line -- but it also has to throw away parts of the original story to get rid of some of the Jackson-added bits. I'm very much of two minds about it.

I would have preferred to see Del Toro's (two part) version, though I suspect it would have been messed about with even more. That, in itself, does not bother me. I liked some of Jackson's innovations in LotR, and agreed with most of the stuff he cut out. But the point, really, was that he did also cut stuff out to make a coherent narrative, better pacing, a little humour (it is noticeable, for instance, that some of the lines JRRT cut for the revised version were, well, sarcastic and funny) and more complex characterisation. (JRRT knew that epics don't, unless you're Homer, go in for complexity.)

You, you know, can't do that when you are making three long films out of one short children's book.

Edited at 2015-05-04 09:17 am (UTC)

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