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JackFetch

The Hobbit

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Who fist pumped the air at the end of the third production video? I fist pumped the air at the end of the third production video.

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Needs to be December next year, please. Also, totally started shivering when the dwarves started signing.

Me too. That was just an awesome moment. Also, my fears have been assuaged - Gollum and The Ring are in the trailer, which can only mean The Riddle Game will be there too.

But what was Galadriel doing in the movie? Fiddling seductively with Gandalf's hair no less?

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They are taking some liberties with the film, just like with LOTR. Namely they are showing Gandalf and the Wizards kicking Sauron The Necromancer out of Mirkwood and adding a couple of familiar characters, mainly to keep the bridges between the two films. The only problem is that of the five wizards, Tolkein only ever named three of them. Meh, oh well.

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Yeah, they're only "taking liberties" so far as they're basically showing more of what was actually happening at the time; stuff that the books allude to but never really show. As a hardcore fan of the books, it's something I'm more than happy with.

Someone pointed out to me recently that although Tolkien never gave Westron names to two of the wizards, he did provide their original Maiar names.

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We made it! Shoot day 266 and the end of principal photography on The Hobbit. Thanks to our fantastic cast and crew for getting us this far, and to all of you for your support! Next stop, the cutting room. Oh, and Comic Con!

Cheers, Peter J

No matter what happens now, there is a Hobbit movie.

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Well, good for Martin Freeman, at least. I've never held any interest in the LOTR franchise, but I'm glad to see him getting high profile work.

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Can't wait to see what they call the third one. Something to do with flogging a dead horse or getting blood from a stone I think. There's really only material for one film in that book.

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Apparently he's going to be using a lot of the side-stories/lead up between the Hobbit and the LotR trilogy proper in it. So this should be interesting.

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Here's my problem. It's one thing for them to decide to add in the fight between Sauron The Necromancer and the Wizards. I can go with that addition since it's something that Tolkein establishes was happening during the events of the novel. For that matter, I'm sure the Battle of 5 Armies will end up being a good 30 minutes long despite most of it taking place off screen. It's another to take a book that, in my opinion, could only really sustain maybe one three hour movie, let alone two, and pad it out to 9 some hours in length. The Hobbit was only 300 pages long to begin with compared to the 1347 pages between all three books that made up The Lord of the Rings.

Now, here's the thing. The Hobbit is a completely different book than The Lord of the Rings was. For starters, read the book. For much of the the novel, our cast consists of Bilbo, thirteen dwarfs, and Gandalf. Other characters pop in and out but it's mostly just Bilbo and the Dwarfs. Now, really, between the 13 dwarfs, they really only have four distinct personalities to go around at any given time. Most of the plot comes down to these characters traveling to a mountain (one that's much closer than Mount Doom I might add) and then some shenanigans happen along the way. At no point is the fate of the world at risk. It's a much more fun story, much more simple. It doesn't require us to add in forty connections to the

Getting to my point, most of the appendices deal with the run up to LotR, not with what was going on during or up to The Hobbit. A fair amount of those appendices were already mined for the original trilogy (see Arwen). Taking my Ballintine paperback copy of RotK from 1994 out, we have 132 pages. Now, of those, 47 pages are devoted to alphabets, calenders, and family trees. That leaves us with 85 pages of material. 9 of those are concerned directly with the timeline of the first movie and events that happen after that. It's just bad filmmaking to put an epilogue to another movie at the tail end of your film (For all the faults of the prequel trilogy, Lucas didn't end Attack of the Clones with what happened to Luke, Leia, and Han after blowing up the second Death Star.) that leaves us with 76 usable pages. However, that can be cut down further. About 10 pages is the entire Aragorn/Arwen romance which was in the first film. Considering that the book never comes near Gondor and, while Aragorn would be a ward of Elrond at this point, he'd still only be ten, then we can probably take out most of the pages upon pages of the coverage of every king of Gondor and their ancestors. Altogether, including the Arwen stuff, that's 41 pages gone leaving us with 35 pages. 10 more pages is dedicated to Rohan. We're at 25 pages to fill up our extra movie. 325 pages altogether. That's about 108 pages per movie. Honestly, to get that to work out, then they're going to have to invent a few thing. This is going to either blow up and cause the movie to be diluted or satisfy most people but majorly piss off the Tolkeinites. Trust me, just bring up The Children of Húrin to some of them.

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They already had to fill in or alter some details in the LOTR trilogy, and with The Hobbit, since they're taking the wider point of view of all of Middle-earth rather than just the journey of the dwarves and Bilbo, presumably they're going to do quite a bit of extrapolation. Personally, I don't really mind it. Jackson and Friends (which should really be either a sitcom or a folksy 70s light rock band) had to rework the structure of LOTR just to make the story work in a dramatic format; I think we can trust that they'll do similar good work with The Hobbit.

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That's the thing though. I like Peter Jackson as a director but he has developed a problem and that's over-bloating. As good as Lord of the Rings is, it does drag a few places. It's weird since he started as an indy director who did personal films... and weird ass films about puppets and aliens serving humans as fast food but still personal films. Then we have King Kong which dragged like hell. The original was 100 minutes and is a classic of cinema. The remake is over three hours long and no one remembers. To me, Jackson has learned nothing from this. Increasing the scope of the film is like if they remade Gone With the Wind and decided to show the Battle of Gettysburg in the middle since the director wanted to focus on a wider view of all of America.

This is exactly why I had reservations back when Jackson was hired to direct. He has no psychic distance from this project. He needed to do a small film before he would have been ready for this. Another director would have been able to say to cut stuff that would hinder the flow of the movie. I'll reserve final judgement until I see the final films but I already feel in the pit of my stomach that this isn't going to end well.

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