The Desolation of Smaug


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
...if this was an animated film nobody would bat an eye at the action scenes.

Big "if." It's not.

"Cool" doesn't have to be "kewl." Warrior women don't have to be wuxia wenches. Action can be spell-binding and thrilling without being laughable.

I enjoyed the film ... but it crossed the line between childlike and childish way too often.

Sovereign Court

^ What he said.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Jaelithe wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
...if this was an animated film nobody would bat an eye at the action scenes.

Big "if." It's not.

"Cool" doesn't have to be "kewl." Warrior women don't have to be wuxia wenches. Action can be spell-binding and thrilling without being laughable.

I enjoyed the film ... but it crossed the line between childlike and childish way too often.

I disagree. As a GM, I'm pretty sure I'd allow my players to get away with pretty much every action beat in the film.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I disagree. As a GM, I'm pretty sure I'd allow my players to get away with pretty much every action beat in the film.

Even the 'step on their heads and then play hopscotch with them'?


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I disagree. As a GM, I'm pretty sure I'd allow my players to get away with pretty much every action beat in the film.

And I'd be politely excusing myself to find another game after about ten minutes of that. It's all a matter of style and taste.

Again, what's more acceptable in an animated sequence becomes unadulterated asininity in a live-action film, as it did here on more than one occasion.

Silver Crusade

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I disagree. As a GM, I'm pretty sure I'd allow my players to get away with pretty much every action beat in the film.
Even the 'step on their heads and then play hopscotch with them'?

Heck yes.

It's fantasy, and martial characters should be allowed to do cool things.

Silver Crusade

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Jaelithe wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I disagree. As a GM, I'm pretty sure I'd allow my players to get away with pretty much every action beat in the film.

And I'd be politely excusing myself to find another game after about ten minutes of that. It's all a matter of style and taste.

Again, what's more acceptable in an animated sequence becomes unadulterated asininity in a live-action film, as it did here on more than one occasion.

It is a matter of taste. Fortunately most kids wouldn't even know how to spell "unadulterated asininity", let alone what it means.

Although I'm okay with a children's movie being "unadulterated".


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I have trouble reconciling "It's a children's movie!" with the number of onscreen decapitations in the second movie, or with the length of the movie


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Fortunately most kids wouldn't even know how to spell "unadulterated asininity", let alone what it means.

Yeah, but they know "That's just stupid!" pretty damned well, and it amounts to the same thing.

Quote:
Although I'm okay with a children's movie being "unadulterated".

I think you'd already established that.

I'm less OK with a movie for both being too childish.

Sovereign Court

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Jaelithe wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Fortunately most kids wouldn't even know how to spell "unadulterated asininity", let alone what it means.

Yeah, but they know "That's just stupid!" pretty damned well, and it amounts to the same thing.

Quote:
Although I'm okay with a children's movie being "unadulterated".

I think you'd already established that.

I'm less OK with a movie for both being too childish.

Well, you weren't the target audience. Deal with it.


Hama wrote:
Jaelithe wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Fortunately most kids wouldn't even know how to spell "unadulterated asininity", let alone what it means.

Yeah, but they know "That's just stupid!" pretty damned well, and it amounts to the same thing.

Quote:
Although I'm okay with a children's movie being "unadulterated".

I think you'd already established that.

I'm less OK with a movie for both being too childish.

Well, you weren't the target audience. Deal with it.

Your brand of tough love never goes out of style, Sweetie.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
MMCJawa wrote:
I have trouble reconciling "It's a children's movie!" with the number of onscreen decapitations in the second movie

Never watched Looney Tunes, did you?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I disagree. As a GM, I'm pretty sure I'd allow my players to get away with pretty much every action beat in the film.
Even the 'step on their heads and then play hopscotch with them'?

I expect those rules to be added in the ACG at the latest. ^^ Paizo is very good at, erm, "appropriating" new popular culture stuff. <looks askance at the Gunslingers "True Grit" capstone>

At the very least there should be some new feat for archery to shoot through two adjacent enemies.


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Things I disliked about the movie. I give it a 3 1/2 stars out of 5. But I love bad sci-fi/fantasy movies.

Spoiler:
I saw it in 3D (my brother's idea). I don't know if it was the 3D, the film rate, or what, but there were times when the dwarves were together that it felt like I was watching a show on BBC. Not that there is anything wrong with shows on BBC, if you are watching shows. But for a movie of this scale to feel like that, it just came across as ... cheap.

Beorn was a bit of a strange situation. Basically more were-wolf and less skin-changer, I'm not sure if it was done because Jackson felt that Westerners couldn't understand the skin-changer idea and so went with a feeling that was more familiar or it is just Jackson's continued view that all characters must have major flaws. I also found it strange that we get told that Beorn and his people were captured and killed by the goblins, but the goblins, especially mister super bad ass goblin, are too afraid of one skin-changer to attack.

I disliked the distraction of Bilbo and the ring during the spider rescue scene. WE GET IT ALREADY JACKSON, THE RING MAKES PEOPLE MEAN. Seriously, stop beating us over the head already. Wasn't it enough that you made Faramir some total a!+$%$* that kicked and choked Gollum repeatedly? Part of the reason Bilbo was able to resist its influence was because he didn't take the ring by force. Having attack a creature to "get it back", kind of defeats that, no? The spider fight was suppose to be the point in the story where Bilbo realizes he doesn't need dwarves or wizards, he can be capable on his own and he can save the others. It gives him the nerve to see the rest of the quest through. Stealing that from him is disappointing.

Super-elves are lame. Seriously, I thought Tolkien was an elfaphile, but Jackson takes it to the nth degree.
===============
Here is how I thought it should have gone down. Bilbo cuts the dwarves loose, tells them to head out and he'll distract the spiders. Slips behind a tree, puts ring on (since he can't tell them about the ring because it is big bad). Kills some more spiders. Dwarves run smack dab into elves (see Fellowship). Bilbo catches up. Balin and Thorin face Thranduil, somewhere in there Balin asks if the spiders are the pets of the elves if killing them upsets the elves so much, pisses Thranduil off. He tosses the dwarves into prison and ... puts LEGOLAS in charge of their safe keeping. Legolas gets drunk, Bilbo steals the keys and gets the dwarves out, putting the keys back and Legolas never has any idea how they got out.
================

I wouldn't mind the female elf/male dwarf thing so much, if that wasn't the only female in the story. Female characters are only there for love interest (or as helpless children). Sure she can shoot a bow (ridiculously), but really her only reason for the being in the story is for Kili to give the shaft to *see what I did there, yuk yuk*. I mean if we dumped the whole love interest with Legolas, and instead had a second elf female (her best friend and trusted ally) follow her out, then I think it would have been better.

River scene, stupid. I mentioned to my sister when watching it, "Coming soon to a water park near you." Too long, too silly. I get people like it, people like Miley Cyrus too. I agree with what someone said, if all the elves are so bad ass, it just makes all the dwarves pathetic. I mean if the dwarves could have gotten three elves, then the dwarf-goblin war could have been over in 5 minutes without any causalities on the dwarf side. And given how many arrows the goblins were shooting, it just so happens that a morgul weapon hits Kili. Or are all of the arrows morgul weapons? I though they were suppose to be rare, not that every orc had a quiver of 20 of them.

Last issue was Smaug and the dwarves. I just don't think it makes sense. Smaug was suppose to be upset at any theft, no matter how small. The only reason he left the mountain to attack Lake Town was because he thought he had slain the dwarves and Bilbo with the attack on the mountain. If he had known they were alive, he would never had left the mountain and risked any of them somehow getting away with even a single coin of his. I also disliked the fact that Smaug knew about Thorin OAKENSHIELD. He didn't get the name until years later during the dwarf-goblin wars. Has Smaug been running around and getting the "latest news"? Also Smaug already seemed to be Sauron's pet. In the books, Gandalf was worried that if Sauron returned, that he might be able to influence Smaug or at least use him as a distraction. But there was never the implication that the mighty Smaug was a servant of anyone.

Okay, I lied, one last thing. Orcrist (and Glamdring) should glow around orcs /goblins damn it.

Sovereign Court

pres man wrote:
Okay, I lied, one last thing. Orcrist (and Glamdring) should glow around orcs /goblins damn it.

That pissed me off in LOTR too.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
MMCJawa wrote:

I chocked up Smaug not catching the dwarves because it's actually probably pretty hard for something that large to chase down 6 or so tiny targets. Try chasing down a mouse in a cluttered apartment, and you know how Smaug feels.

In contrast...well when Smaug invaded Erebor..he wasn't targeting specific dwarves...just smashing and burning everything in his way. He also wasn't focused on eradicating them...just claiming the treasure.

That and during the invasion the dwarfs were rushing to face him while these ones are avoiding a direct confrontation.

Silver Crusade

My biggest problem with both this movie and the original LOTR trilogy is

Spoiler:
every fight Legolas is in takes place in a physics free zone

Otherwise I loved the movie.


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

A children's movie based on a children's book had some over the top action scenes and people are unpleasantly surprised?

A children's movie based on a children's book didn't let a dragon eat, immolate or crush anyone on screen and people are angry?

The movie isn't dumb. It's a children's movie, based on a children's book. Recalibrate your expectations, if this was an animated film nobody would bat an eye at the action scenes.

As to other deviations, they all add layers to the movie and I'm for it.

I suppose D&D/Pathfinder is a children's game, too.


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

A children's movie

A children's movie

The movie isn't dumb. It's a children's movie

Except it's not.

It's an adult movie based on a children's book. That much is abundantly clear, actually. (Length, dark scenes, mostly dark tone, violence/decapitations. It's nowhere close to a "children's movie". [Well, maybe certain segments of 'Murica! might erroneously think it is.])


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Typical Hollywood children's movie, decapitations are all right, elf-dwarf love minimal

Shadow Lodge RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Mostly bloodless decapitations of monstrous creatures.

Sovereign Court

Detect Magic wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

A children's movie based on a children's book had some over the top action scenes and people are unpleasantly surprised?

A children's movie based on a children's book didn't let a dragon eat, immolate or crush anyone on screen and people are angry?

The movie isn't dumb. It's a children's movie, based on a children's book. Recalibrate your expectations, if this was an animated film nobody would bat an eye at the action scenes.

As to other deviations, they all add layers to the movie and I'm for it.

I suppose D&D/Pathfinder is a children's game, too.

Your point? Hobbit is a children's book, no matter how much you wouldn't want it to be. Also, Hobbit is a children's film.

Kids can take dark and scary, actually they love it. It's just that the Political Correctness and "kids are wimps" crowd have forgotten that.
Kids can take a lot. They always could.


I've never heard the Hobbit called a children's book before. I've only ever heard it referred to as fantasy. I've no idea if Tolkien wrote it with the intention that it be sold as a children's book, but even if he had, I doubt he intended it be read exclusively by children. Similarly, some children may enjoy D&D, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it a children's game.

That said, I've never known over-the-top-action-scenes to be vital to children's films. Most Disney/Ghibli films, while featuring some action, are not in any way, shape or form, what I'd call "action movies".

The Hobbit could have been filmed in any number of ways. The fact is that some of us aren't a fan of Peter Jackson's directing. His version of the tale is one that, quite frankly, falls short of our expectations. The Hobbit films, thus far, don't feel very "low fantasy". Rather, they come off as the exact opposite, what with all the crazy action scenes and what not; just doesn't feel very much like the Middle Earth with which I am familiar.


I've always thought of it as a children's book, especially compared to Lord of the Rings. That said, my perception could be coloured by the fact that I was given a copy of it when I was 7 or 8 years old, and it was one of the first proper novels (i.e. not Goosebumps or Spookville) that I read by myself, followed by LotR not long after (for anyone curious, I enjoyed The Hobbit a lot more, and still do today).


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Detect Magic wrote:

I've never heard the Hobbit called a children's book before. I've only ever heard it referred to as fantasy. I've no idea if Tolkien wrote it with the intention that it be sold as a children's book, but even if he had, I doubt he intended it be read exclusively by children. Similarly, some children may enjoy D&D, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it a children's game.

That said, I've never known over-the-top-action-scenes to be vital to children's films. Most Disney/Ghibli films, while featuring some action, are not in any way, shape of form, what I'd call "action movies".

The Hobbit could have been filmed in any number of ways. The fact is that some of us aren't a fan of Peter Jackson's directing. His version of the tale is one that, quite frankly, falls short of our expectations. The Hobbit films, thus far, don't feel very "low fantasy". Rather, they come off as the exact opposite, what with all the crazy action scenes and what not; just doesn't feel very much like the Middle Earth with which I am familiar.

It absolutely was written as a children's book. I believe Tolkien was a little surprised by the adult interest in it.

Sovereign Court

He wrote it for his son.


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Saw it. Kinda enjoyed it. As to how much liberty was taken with the story...well, it had more in common with The Hobbit than World War Z had in common with the book.

Shadow Lodge

Craig Bonham 141 wrote:
...well, it had more in common with The Hobbit than World War Z had in common with the book.

Talk about damning with faint praise.


Definitely a childrens book.

We were read to it in my kindergarten class and then were shown the Rankin Bass movie. As I got older, my class even went to a live action showing. This was the late 70's when Frodo Lives was on Tshirts everywhere.

Cocindentily, the same teacher also introduced me to teh Lion , witch and wardrobe at the same time, so maybe I can blame my kindergarten teacher for turning me into a fantasy loving geek.


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Detect Magic wrote:
I've never heard The Hobbit called a children's book before.

Odd. I've never heard it not called a children's book.


Is no-one slightly confused by the...

Spoilertown:
...splitting of the Company?

Are four of the dwarves now going to be left outside of the mountain in the leadup to the Battle of Five Armies?

Given that the laketowners march straight on to the mountain after Smaug falls - I don't really see how the company will be re-united without playing funny buggers somewhere...


The Hobbit is a children's book but Peter Jackson has adapted it more as spiritual and direct prequel to Lord of the Rings, keeping a similar tone and themes, and making a movie series that is obviously more adult than the book.


Basically it's sorta of kid friendly...but is pitched toward a wider audience, especially the lucrative 20-30 crowd.

Silver Crusade

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Additionally you must remember that the Hobbit is written by an unreliable narrator. Bilbo Baggins is hardly an unbiased storyteller. He is fascinated by elves and impatient about dwarves. Thus the action scenes in his movie are more unrealistic because he's describing it as such.


Apostle of Gygax wrote:

My biggest problem with both this movie and the original LOTR trilogy is ** spoiler omitted **

Otherwise I loved the movie.

Well, but in The Fellowship of the Ring (the book that is) Professor Tolkien himself said that Legolas could walk atop the snow, while the rest of the Fellowship had to trudge though it. I guess I'm saying that that the books introduced the physics free zone for elves, and Peter Jackson only extrapolated the fighting styles on screen.

At this point, I'm not even trying to claim that The Hobbit (the book) has anything to do with the on-screen execution.


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Hitdice wrote:
... but in The Fellowship of the Ring (the book, that is) Professor Tolkien himself said that Legolas could walk atop the snow, while the rest of the Fellowship had to trudge though it. I guess I'm saying that that the books introduced the physics free zone for elves, and Peter Jackson only extrapolated the fighting styles on screen.

Hitdice, that's really an excellent point.

Liberty's Edge

There is a shot in Jackson's Fellowship of the Ring where you see Legolas walking on the snow.


Jaelithe wrote:
Detect Magic wrote:
I've never heard The Hobbit called a children's book before.
Odd. I've never heard it not called a children's book.

My father read it to me as a bedtime story. In fact he also read it to my older sister (6 years older) as a bedtime story, so I probably first heard it before I was born.

I very much enjoyed returning to it to read it to my own children. For which it is very good, partly because the chapters are quite episodic, so very readable a chapter at a time over successive nights.


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Hitdice wrote:


Well, but in The Fellowship of the Ring (the book that is) Professor Tolkien himself said that Legolas could walk atop the snow, while the rest of the Fellowship had to trudge though it. I guess I'm saying that that the books introduced the physics free zone for elves, and Peter Jackson only extrapolated the fighting styles on screen.

At this point, I'm not even trying to claim that The Hobbit (the book) has anything to do with the on-screen execution.

Legolas also easily dashes across a rope strand used as a bridge in Lothlorien. However, both walking on the snow and dashing across ropes is a far cry from surfing shields, surfing falling oliphaunts, surfing falling orc bodies, and acting like a platforming video game on whitewater barreling dwarves. That's not extrapolation - that's catching George Lucas's disease when dealing with Jedi. With each new outing, the action has to be bigger, faster, better. Legolas has become Anakin Skywalker - at least as an action sequence.


The Hobbit is most-definitely a children's book. The movies are not, IMO.

I haven't seen TDoS yet, but I found the continual over-the-top-ness of Legolas's stunts in the various LotR movies tiresome. I'm sad to here that they're even worse in the latest movie.

Basically, I was perfectly happy with the Legolas presented in Fellowship. Obviously super-human, but not ridiculously so. Even the the swinging horse mount in Two Towers was fine. But once he started shield surfing, he jumped the shark for me.


The hobbit was a book written for adults, in a tone suitable for children after a story developed (in parts) for Tolkien's child-son.

But just like the new Star Wars (especially I and II), Peter Jackson's Hobbit movies seem to target an adult audiences, but keeping the tone and content suitable for children as well (from a Hollywood perspective of course).

Which is totally Ok by me (well, what Hollywood considers suitable for children or not is debatable IMO, but that's beside the point).


The sad part is that Orlando Bloom has aged quite a bit since Lord of the Rings, and it shows. I don't know what could have been done about that, except maybe CGI him completely. He has also gained quite a few pounds, and at least that could have been dealt with. A few sequences toward the end feel like Orlando is tired of it all and flail his swords around without even trying to make it look good.

In short, his cameo was quite underwhelming, and particularly so for all the screen time he got.


The movie is also using large chunks of the appendices of LotR, which is an adult book.

The movie has removed all of the talking animals, which is the fairy tale children's part of the story.

The movie is aimed at adults because it does not have a G rating and parental supervision is required for people under 13.


The 8th Dwarf wrote:
The movie has removed all of the talking animals, which is the fairy tale children's part of the story.

I liked the talking ravens ... and considering their native intelligence and vocal abilities in our world, it would have been less "fairy tale children's part" to me than Legolas and Tauriel using spiders as surfboards.

Sovereign Court

Maybe the ravens will still be there?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Eh, I thought Legolas only slightly less cool than Tauriel. Who is the best argument for "Elves really are cool" since forever.


Hama wrote:
Maybe the ravens will still be there?

I hope so. They're too cool.

The Eagles talk in The Hobbit, too. I don't believe they do so in the LotR trilogy or The Silmarillion/Unfinished Tales, however.

Shadow Lodge RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

The 8th Dwarf wrote:

The movie is also using large chunks of the appendices of LotR, which is an adult book.

The movie has removed all of the talking animals, which is the fairy tale children's part of the story.

The movie is aimed at adults because it does not have a G rating and parental supervision is required for people under 13.

Spiders are animals! :P


My least favorite part in the Hobbit was over-dramatizing when unnecessary. In the first movie it was when Thorin seemingly starts to chide Bilbo for saving him at the end of the movie. In the second it was when they couldn't find the keyhole. I know, "dwarf fatalism", but then again the unnecessary bit with the key almost falling down. It just feels like cheap drama.

In general, liked this movie less than the first one, but it has some better moments. I really liked Laketown, and the characterization of Bard and the Mayor. I didn't mind more modern outlook than Rohan, or the fact that Bard isn't the most badass archer in the movie (hence the ballista).
Smaug was magnificent when bantering with Bilbo, but he is a bit ineffective when it comes to dealing with dwarves. The whole molten statue bit screams 'murica to me.

I didn't mind Legolas in the movie, but excessive CGI and super-heroism are too much. I'm guessing the CGI was because Orlando Bloom looks like he was bench-pressing since third Pirates, and then letting himself go, couple of months before filming the Hobbit. Don't get what's with the eyes, though. I'd like him better if he was competent, more competent than dwarves, but not super heroic.

Female elf is also fine, but would have worked better if she became a friend to dwarves, rather than a love interest. My comment after the movie was: now they just need a love scene between black-muslim male orc and another dwarf, probably Nori (who has quasi-orthodox-jewish hair), which starts as gay, but ends up being hetero, cause Nori is one of the rare bearded ladies, and we'we got everything. And ripping-off the athelas scene is just lazy. I'm also a bit pissed that she fell in love with the only other dwarf that looks like a human.

Did anyone else get the feeling that someone was playing DnD before writing the scenes? Especially goblin chase in the first, and river chase in the second? Also, whole Erebor looks a lot like 4E dwarf design (lots of rhomboids), and there are troll-slayers in the first movie.


magnuskn wrote:
Eh, I thought Legolas only slightly less cool than Tauriel. Who is the best argument for "Elves really are cool" since forever.

If only her sole motivation for abandoning Everything had been a little deeper than "that dwarf I met for five minutes who looked suspiciously human was kinda hot." I'm all for adding a cool Action Girl to the cast, but they could have put some effort into making her a little less shallow. Tauriel has the personality (and effect on orcs) of a lawnmower.

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