Why I'm Not Watching The Hobbit movie

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by max, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    Pretty simple. It's such a powerfully well-written book that for me, a movie will just throw lesser images in my mind. That's the power of reading, really, that you can imagine characters and settings that are highly particularized, and perhaps even grander, than a mere movie can do.

    The movie would wreck it for me.
     
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  2. westside

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    I feel as though many thought the same for Lord Of The Rings and Harry Potter.
     
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  3. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    This is a sign of great character and integrity.
     
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  4. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    I was going to start a thread about why I'm not reading War and Peace, but the reason is not quite as noble.......
     
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  5. Kevin T

    Kevin T Professional

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    I'm having this issue with the 'Game of Thrones' TV series, though I must confess the producers have done a fantastic job to this point. I'm excited to see 'The Hobbit' because Peter Jackson exceeded my expecations with TLOR trilogy.
     
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  6. Power Player

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    Im going to see the hobbit because the cute girl I am dating wants to go and it's not a RomCom.
     
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  7. Pete.Sampras.

    Pete.Sampras. Semi-Pro

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    Isn't that always the case with books and movies?

    Anyway, I understand your decision, especially if you have read the books already.
     
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  8. norbac

    norbac Legend

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    One of the first books I read and one of my favorites still. Though I'm not as excited as I probably should be (a trilogy, really?), I'll probably go and see it.
     
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  9. Power Player

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    The first lord of the rings series IMO did a great adaption of the book.
     
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  10. TahoeTennis

    TahoeTennis Professional

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    I loved the Hobbit cartoon as a kid, ftw.
     
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  11. max

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    Interesting you mention War and Peace. It was the one book I wanted to read for 2012 and I finished it a couple of days ago.
     
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  12. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Was it worth the time and effort?

    FWIW, I've read it twice over the past 5 years. Took me about 3 months each time. Well deserved of the title "greatest novel of all time".

    If you are interested in a "screen version", this is FOR SURE the one to watch. I liked it so much I bought it (well, I copied it from the library actually):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_and_Peace_(1972_TV_series)

    By the way, your decision to not watch the new Hobbit film is a good one IMO. But I'm not normally a fan of Hollywood versions of books. The BBC can often be counted on for "good" dramatizations.

    If you like Shakespeare by the way, the BBC (released on Ambrose video) made THE DEFINITIVE collection (which I also copied from the library):

    http://www.ambrosevideo.com/items.cfm?id=812&category_id=46&CFID=13049687&CFTOKEN=80778860
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
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  13. quest01

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    I want to see The Hobbit but right now I'm looking forward to Skyfall.
     
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  14. Timbo's hopeless slice

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    hmm, I actually thought the LOTR movies did a brilliant job of realising the book(s), much better than I had expected.

    It may have been because Jackson chose the elements of the story that most resonated with me and cut some of the things that had always annoyed me a bit
    (Tom Bombadil and those damn songs, for example!)

    Personally, I am looking forward to The Hobbit, but I do wonder how such a short(ish) book could possibly require two rather large movies to tell its tale..

    (in a hole in the ground there lived an accountant?)
     
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  15. Moose Malloy

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    Its actually 3 rather largish movies, not 2. Which is my reason for not seeing it(would feel like I had 'sucker' written on my head afterwards. this trend of making multiple movies out of one book has to stop)
     
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  16. dParis

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    You may be surprised, max. I felt the very same way about Lone Wolf McQuade, but I was rewarded for going against my judgment by witnessing an epic silver screen translation.
     
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  17. Dilettante

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    I read LOTR right before the first movie, just to go to the cinema knowing the original written material. Didn't enjoy the book really, I was often bored, but the movies were great adaptations. Better than the book in my opinion. I'm more into Sci Fi though.

    "Game of thrones" is absolutely brilliant as a TV series. Don't know about the books, although I suppose they're very good from what I've heard.

    But Tolkien is not my cup of tea.
     
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  18. Bobby Jr

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    I know what you mean... Think of how suckfull The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons where in relation to the book.

    That said, LOTRs were widely lauded for how closely they following of the books - especially in how they represented things described visually in the books. Peter Jackson has apparently gone even further with The Hobbit in trying to match the tone/essence/setting of the book. They had so much detail and story to get through and followed the book so closely that it has been split into three films, not two as originally planned.
     
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  19. Bobby Jr

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    It is fantastic TV for sure but the the issue I have with the Game of Thrones TV series is they skip over way too much detail so they can keep each book to a 10 episode series. The story has been skipping forward too much imo.
     
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  20. TopFH

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    I loved both seasons, but I had a couple of gripes as well. The first season was about 90%-95% in accordance with the first book, "A Game of Thrones". Season 2, based on "A Clash of Kings", had a couple of problems with pacing, and did not introduce important characters like the Reeds (They'll do this next season, missing much of Bran's character development). Daenerys took too long to get out of Qarth, whereas in the books, she covers a lot more ground.

    Anyway, this is always the case with books and their silver-screen adaptations. Regarding GoT, I would have preferred 12-15 40 minute episodes to complete the story arc entirely. Still, I always enjoy reading the books and watching the films (Playing the games sometimes).
     
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  21. Polaris

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    The LOTR movies were a superb adaptation of the LOTR books. It was apparent that, not only Jackson, but Fran Walsh and Phillippa Boyens and much of the brains behind the films were obsessed with Tolkien. It was big business, and I did have some misgivings with the third film, but all-in-all, it was an excellent adaptation. Besides that, it was well acted, well cast, had beautiful music, incredible locales and was a landmark in modern cinema. Those who haven't seen it on the big screen have missed one of the spectacular films of all time.

    With that record, I am unconcerned and in fact eager to watch The Hobbit. If there was one director who could make the film, then Jackson has shown with LOTR that he is the one. In the reading, The Hobbit seems much more playful than LOTR, and I suspect that this will be the case with the movies as well.

    That said, I can understand where the OP is coming from. I recently finished Midnight's Children which is more ridiculously awesome than a book has any right to be, and am really not enthused about watching the film version coming out this year, even though Rushdie helped with the screenplay. I want to protect the story in my head for a little longer.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
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  22. max

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    Yeah, it's worth the time and effort. I'm a bigger fan of George Elliot's work: Middlemarch is outstanding. I kept comparing Tolstoy to Dostoeyevsky and this might be the wrong thing to do, since I liked Dostoevsky so much as a teen.

    The one classic I've read several times has been Moby Dick. I'm amazed by it's sheer language force and its philosophical sweep. And I like boats.
     
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  23. Timbo's hopeless slice

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    yes, either finish it at the weddng or go ahead and scourge the shire, don't just meander off into the west over interminable minutes...

    GoT is a fine job, imho. Actually bringing the wonderful Tyrion Lannister to life is an amazing achievement in itself.
     
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  24. Rui

    Rui Semi-Pro

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    Great trilogy.

    Although, I found Jackson's Faramir much more believable than the book's. In the book Faramir never once considered taking the Ring and using it, even though Gondor was failing. I'm glad Jackson gave him gave him some angst.
     
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  25. Avles

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    I was absolutely crazy about the Tolkien books when I was younger. I don't feel the same fervor now but I'm still moved by JRRT's love of language and of landscape. His painstaking descriptions of his settings are so beautiful (and so British somehow).

    I was pretty excited when the movies were announced but I ended up never watching them-- in part because, while I realized that Tolkien's dialogue would never work as it was, I didn't really want to hear Jackson's / Boyens' attempts at movieizing it.

    For those who enjoy Russian novels I'd recommend Turgenev's Fathers and Sons. Great book, less ponderous than Tolstoy or Dostoevsky.
     
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  26. Timbo's hopeless slice

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    You have really missed out, Avles. As a lifelong Tolkien fan I was delighted by the way Jackson and co did very little to modify the dialogue but excised a lot of Tolkien's rather overblown and awkward poetry.. (while still keeping essentials like 'not all those who wander are lost" etc etc)

    And the acting!!! Oh my, the first time you see Aragorn the hair rises on the back of your neck...

    So much better than it had any right to be.
     
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  27. kalic

    kalic Professional

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    I just don't understand all the hype about kids books/movies among adult people...
     
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  28. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    Exactly.... I thought in the books the change and growth in the Hobbits when they get back to the Shire and find it despoiled and how they react to that is a significant part of the story... and to not include 5 minutes towards this was negligent. That, and the running plot of making the dwarf comic material bugged me a lot. Jackson hates dwarfs.
     
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  29. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    This is an interesting point. Perhaps it's because we're not very unified as a people---very individualized, very self-developed---and perhaps the kids' stuff is the stuff we can relate to as a group, without raising loud voices about "whose values," social hypocrisies, preferential treatment, injustice and so forth. Perhaps.

    Or perhaps we have attention spans of gnats.
     
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  30. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Agree 100%. The "dialogue" in hollywood movies is just too much to bear.

    I didn't care for the book. Maybe I'm just "nihilism-ed" out?

    It probably did speak to the time when it was written, but it has really lost a lot of its relevance.

    The book does have some very interesting and well written scenes. But on the whole, it wasn't that interesting IMO.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012
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  31. max

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    It might be my sensitive old ears, but I really resent it when I start believing that the movie dialogue is written to propagandize various political points or ideas.

    Thanks, I just paid $10 to get your politics in my ear.

    And so many of these movies are formulaic, from top to bottom.
     
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  32. Timbo's hopeless slice

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    oh dear, LOTR a 'kids book'

    all those scholars who have devoted their lives to the thing will have kittens! :)

    I won't try and explain, Kalic has clearly made up his mind for whatever reason and either hasn't ever read the books or just doesn't understand metaphor, allegory and craft...

    perhaps he thinks Dan Brown writes 'adult books'? :shock:
     
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  33. Chezbeeno

    Chezbeeno Semi-Pro

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    I know this isn't a popular position to take, but I think Jackson butchered the LOTR movies, with the exception of perhaps the first one. I think him making the Hobbit into 3 separate movies is just further proof that he really only cares about profits, and not doing Tolkien justice. Needless to say I won't be going to see any of the 3 Hobbit movies.
     
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  34. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    You are 100% entitled to your point of view. Why/what do you think was butchered specifically? You must've read the books, was it the way he presented things that differed from your vision of things after reading the books? Or was it his focus on extended action scenes that bothered you? Things/characters/events he left out?
     
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  35. Chezbeeno

    Chezbeeno Semi-Pro

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    I think he spent entirely too much time focusing on intense, entirely unnecessary action sequences. He took time away from some of the less action-related, but equally as important bits of the books, so that he could add more scenes of a hopped up elf taking down elephants in impossible ways. I'm all for good action, in fact I just posted how I loved the new James Bond movie, but it's different when you're basing the movies off a series of books that weren't entirely action-centered. I also think Frodo got excessively douchy in the last movie, more so than in the book, and that bothered me to no end.
     
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  36. WildVolley

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    There are some scary rumors that extra characters have been written into the Hobbit movie version to be more politically correct and appeal to modern audiences. Sort of like making the dwarves into jokes in TLOTRs, I'm guessing I won't be pleased.

    I probably won't rush out to see it, but I will eventually see it - perhaps just on blu-ray. I'm down to seeing about 3 movies a year in the theater at the moment.
     
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  37. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    re the Lord of the Rings movies. Just MY take:

    I didn't think the sequence of movies worked; the entire last one was kind of anticlimactic, just a battle.

    Gollum was overly ugly.

    The dwarf (Gimil?) just didn't look the part. Too hairy, too scary, too rough. The elf was effeminate.

    I guess overall I think there were too many hard visual contrasts between men, elves, dwarfs, hobbits.

    I also think one MAJOR reason for the book's success was simply its descriptions of landscapes and natural settings. I'm not sure enough of this came into the movie. ALSO, one big reason for Tolkein's overall success is the whole language and history developed for the books; this needs to be brought out somehow.

    I also dislike battle scenes looking as if they're from some unreal computer game (this happens a lot in movies, where people can magically jump 20 feet).
     
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  38. Timbo's hopeless slice

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    So, it's ok for Gandalf to command elemental force and Sauron to have vast dark powers, but non-humans can't jump a bit higher than the plods?

    You lost me, Max...
     
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  39. Polaris

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    Did you also read the LOTR books, Max? I'm asking because I'm surprised that you don't remember "Gimli's" name and refer to Legolas as "the elf".

    And, did you watch the films on the big screen? I'm asking this because I thought Jackson's take on New Zealand's locales was pretty darn breathtaking. Having read the books, I felt that Jackson's landscape sets were quite competent. I can imagine that watching those films on a TV screen could rob them of their grandeur.

    That said, Hobbit has quite a different tone from LOTR. The "scale" seemed somehow smaller, and the intended readership was also younger. So, I'm hoping Jackson kept that in mind.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
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  40. mikekelley

    mikekelley New User

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    Um, what? That is definitely one of the reasons for the success of the movies for sure. The landscapes are simply breathtaking.
     
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  41. max

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    Oh, but there is a poetry to the language of landscape description that movies can't capture.

    I saw the movie series in a movie house. I've read the trilogy several times over. I think the movie was a few notches lower intellectually than the books.

    I just reread The Hobbit and like it because it is such a canny contraption; a child's book holding within it this much larger scheme, and only slightly adverting to it.There's a genius with the simple language, too. Language counts for a lot, and movies just can't present this.
     
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  42. Timbo's hopeless slice

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    you see, I thought the movies were a few notches lower in pretension that the books...

    But then, I just loathe poems in 'Elvish' (hello? made up language alert!) and Tom Bombadil, so...

    (and yes, I am very aware of the storylines and myth from which both those elements are drawn, they just irritate me, ok? :))

    I love that about The Hobbit, a canny contraption indeed, and I worry that Jackson wants to stretch it out over three films. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity for one really good film.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
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  43. max

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    I agree entirely; the whole three movies thing is either a reach for more money or simply bad taste overkill.

    I'm actually pretty fascinated by the lengths to which Tolkein went with the development of language. Read the Silmarillion or his collection of letters to Unwin, his publisher. I think this was part of the pleasure of putting it together for JRR.
     
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  44. Moose Malloy

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  45. Avles

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    Actually language was the germ of the whole project-- Tolkien invented the languages first, then created a world and a history to house them.

    The Elvish alphabet (like the Korean one) is phonetically consistent-- the form of the letters reflects how they are physically produced. Probably my first real encounter with linguistics was reading Tolkien's explanations of the relationship between the letter shapes and their sounds (in the appendices of the LOTR).
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
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  46. r2473

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    I saw it Friday night. Wife's Christmas party. I didn't enjoy it.
     
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  47. YouCantBeSerious

    YouCantBeSerious Banned

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    Good thing I'm illiterated and I like popcorn!

    Seriously though, I've never read any of Tolkien's books? I probably should though.
     
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  48. YouCantBeSerious

    YouCantBeSerious Banned

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    God forbid you enjoy yourself at your wife's Christmas party. That would go against the most fundamental tenets of Al Bundy's (and Psychodad's) philosophy.

    [​IMG]
     
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  49. SempreSami

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    I don't remember the book being all that long so I was surprised to see that it's a trilogy of films. Must be a ****-load of filler material in there for the sake of making more $.
     
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  50. max

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    I read a tepid review at the National Catholic Register. Think it came out a 73 or something. It bothers me that the moviemakers apparently feel they need butt jokes in there and basic circa 21st century rude humor.

    I've seen photos of the hobbits. They dress like something out of a George Eliot novel. In my imagination I see Bilbo Baggins a bit more looking like an upperclass Englishman of the 19th century than the herd-boy working for the upperclass gentlemen. Too much brown; not enough color.

    Is the film appropriately 21st-century "Batman Gothic" style? It would be nice to see Hollywood get off this stylistic binge. And the "fights have to look as if they were from a computer game"? style.
     
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