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Old 12-30-2012, 06:02 PM   #176
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I was never very excited to see Peter Jackson return to Middle-Earth. As much as I love Jacksonís Lord of the Rings trilogy, I couldnít shake the feeling that he was just going back to the well. After his post Rings films became less and less successful, it looked like Jackson just wanted to go back to the safe and familiar. The trailers did even less to convince me otherwise, and the fact that most of the people who love An Unexpected Journey are also fans of the novel didnít help either since Iíve never read any of Tolkienís work. Still, with all the talent behind it, I had faith An Unexpected Journey would be competent if nothing else, and I also felt obliged as a reviewer to see it given the size of the film.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey follows Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) 60 years before Fellowship of the Ring. Bilbo is a mild-mannered hobbit enjoying his simple and mundane life in The Shire. On one seemingly normal day, Bilbo is greeted by Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen), the great and powerful wizard. During a fairly tense discussion, Gandalf decides Bilbo will be the perfect hobbit to join the quest of thirteen dwarves trying to take back their home from the dragon Smaug. Bilbo initially rejects the offer, but finds the prospect of adventure exciting and decides to join their quest. Bilbo finds that not only will his journey be unforgettable, but he will unknowingly put events into motion that will threaten all of Middle-Earth.

The Hobbit is a much more light hearted adventure than the Rings trilogy. This isnít inherently a bad thing, but it does create problems here. For one, the stakes arenít nearly as high in An Unexpected Journey as they were in The Lord of the Rings. Everything that happens almost feels arbitrary when compared to the massive scale of future events. This could have been ignored, but The Hobbit frequently (and obviously) alludes to the events of the Rings trilogy. I wanted to look at The Hobbitís story on its own terms, but the film wouldnít let me. It doesnít help that Jackson tries to mix epic battles and violence with scenes of intended comedy, such as trolls blowing their snot on Bilbo. Thereís also some downright goofy material here such as the dwarvesí physical comedy and the entire character of Radagast.

Even at 2 hours and 45 minutes, the film does not make good use of its runtime. The first hour drags tremendously with no sense of urgency. After leaving The Shire, things start to pick up as the plot begins to really kick in, but the problems donít stop. The various stories feel slapped together and the film frequently loses sight of its goals. For example, despite being titled The Hobbit, Bilbo isnít actually all that important for large chunks of the film. One kind of forgets about him to the point that when the story shifts back to his perspective itís a little jarring. Part of this stems from the story being split into three films, which has led to An Unexpected Journey feeling insubstantial. Itís also irritating that despite coming close to three hours, very few of the characters are developed. Most of the dwarves are completely indistinguishable, except for the fat ginger one and the groupís leader Thorin (Richard Armitage). In fact, of the new characters introduced, Thorin is the only one I actually like. I didnít really care about most of the dwarves and felt no suspense when they were in danger.

I did like Martin Freeman as Bilbo. He had good charisma and humour, fit what Ian Holm did, and I liked his arc. I am worried what will be of Bilbo in future instalments since he seems to have completed his arc already. Some of the other cast members I had a more mixed reaction to. Most of the dwarves are bland and one-dimensional, with the exception of Thorin, and the villains range from lame to forgettable. And as much as I enjoy Ian McKellen as Gandalf, the writing made it come off like he had conned Bilbo into helping the dwarves instead of encouraging Bilbo like we were led to believe in Fellowship. I also didnít like how many times Gandalfís magic got the characters out of trouble. It felt like a crutch to get the protagonists out of danger. Most of the Rings alumni cameos are a bit distracting too. Most are part of the story, but every time one of the characters appeared it felt like the movie stopped to say, ďHereís the character you know from Lord of the Rings! Cool, right?Ē

There is however, one performance I have no complaints with, and that would be Andy Serkis as Gollum. Going into the film, I had reservations, but I could not wait to see Serkis play Gollum again, and he didnít disappoint. In the Rings trilogy, Gollum was struggling with his sanity and often fighting it. Here, Serkis gets to cut loose and be full on crazy. Itís a blast to watch; a scene that is both fun yet very tense. The CGI on Gollum is also incredible and the script is at its best in that scene. Itís easily the best scene of the film and if nothing else made The Hobbit awesome for ten minutes.

The visuals here are good, but I donít think theyíre as cutting edge as what was seen in the original trilogy, or in recent blockbusters like Avatar and Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The problem is consistency, or lack thereof. Certain scenes look incredible; Gollum for example looks better than ever. But at the same time, other effects look obvious. They arenít necessarily bad; theyíre just clearly not real. Other effects are aesthetically fine I just didnít like them. The dwarvesí make-up for example is technically good, but I donít like the exaggerated cartoon like features. The battle scenes also suffer from cartoonish overload and lack a visceral punch.

Overall, I have to say I find the entire film unnecessary. Now one could argue all prequels are unnecessary, but a film likes X-Men: First Class (for example) is so good that I donít really care if it was necessary or not, the film works on its own. An Unexpected Journey doesnít work on its own, and it adds very little to the cinematic exploration of Middle-Earth. There are things I like scattered throughout the film and I loved the Gollum scene. Those are enough to give the film some level of merit, but I ultimately canít endorse the film either. Bottom line, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey does not live up to its pedigree and I have serious doubts about the next two instalments.

Rating: D+
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:25 PM   #177
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Originally Posted by Ewok Droppings View Post
Gonna have to agree - not sure why all the haters, this movie was really good I thought.
You hit the nail on the head ( they are haters). They have been on board with the hate once it was announced that they the movie would be another trilogy. They were on the fence with a 2 part movie, but pretty much went to the darkside once be became a trilogy. Not to mention that people/critics seems to think that PJ is in it for the money. Did they forget that FACT that PJ was not directing the movie to start with only did ne jump back in the drivers seat once Mr. Del T. had to leave because of all of the Delays & problems with the movie. PJ doesn't need the money ( hell he can sit back & just collect from WETA & be done with it) Awards: em no( would be nice) but he bas a BUTT load of Oscars, GG,etc.....

There excuses are too long( excuse me did anyone see any of the RINGS movies. All of those are 3+ hours long).

I love the other excuse that they give. It doesn't live up to RINGS. Guess what, The Hobbit is a DIFFERENT Book. Pro. Tolkien wrote it for his son.

For me this movie ( did it need to be a trilogy?, maybe not. However, this book I think couldn't have been done in 1 2 hour movie at all). The book is only so many pages ( YES, we get it) however, I don't want to see The Battle of the 5 Armies at WARP SPEED or any other part of the book at a quick pace in order to get it under 2.5 hours.


I really won't get into the fps issue. I can see trying to make movies visually better but, I mentioned before I have issues with my glasses & 3D. I saw it in Imax 1st & then 24fps. I saw so much more in the regular format( I missed something in the Imax 3D. I was too busy ducking from the bird ).

Well, I am pleased that you enjoyed the movie for yourself. Many other fans ( Millions of them) couldn't get enough & did not want the movie to end.

I will say for all the so called naysayers, 3 Weeks at #1 with new movies coming out that got better reviews. It says something about the legs of the movie. Was the movie perfect, NO I just don't think that it was as bad as some are trying to make it.

This movie just came out & I can't wait for the next movie already ( and many fans agree on that point)
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:27 PM   #178
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Exactly, kind of like Game of Thrones is patterned after the Kardashians.
Good God, please don't put GOT in the same category with the TRASH that is kardashian.
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:31 PM   #179
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Isn't generalizing great?
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:34 PM   #180
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It's always nice to reduce every single criticism to "hating". Because, you know, if you didn't like something, there must be some degree of pent up resentment.

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Old 12-30-2012, 10:50 PM   #181
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I posted a link to my review on facebook and got the following comments:

"Just like every other film reviewer. Can't enjoy a good movie anymore."

and

"Also read the book it will make most of your arguments invalid"
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:04 AM   #182
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It's easier to like something when you're "right," isn't it?
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Old 12-31-2012, 05:32 AM   #183
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I posted a link to my review on facebook and got the following comments:

"Also read the book it will make most of your arguments invalid"
That's funny because real fans of the book will have more problems with the movie than anybody else.
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:05 AM   #184
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I saw this a second time with my dad and brother-in-law. I went in with a few of your criticisms in mind and really found them to be unfounded.

1) FPS/3D vs Regular. I hate 3D. I've seen it only used brilliantly in Avatar and Final Destination 5 (both shot in 3D). I really hated the regular film here. There was so much blurring that I was feeling nauseous in both the opening scene in the Lonely Mountain, and then the Goblin underground kingdom. I sorely missed the High Res 3D.

2) Fleshing out the dwarf characters. I don't know what more could have been done other than each dwarf breaking the fourth wall and giving you an extensive bio of their favourite ales, foods, and songs they want played at their funeral. I felt like, for a band of 13 dwarves, ample time was given to the leader, the two brothers (I assume they are, at least - the long-haired fellows), the funny-looking one, the older one, and the bald one. The rest were more so there to round out the gang, but we're talking about giving 13 warriors fleshed out characteriztion. Have any of you seen 13 Assassins?. I feel like this was on the same level as that, if not better as far as character development goes, and we can all agree that is a great film.

3). Radagast. We see Radagast heal a porcupine, discover it is being caused by a Necromancer, he meets up with the gang to tell them about the Necromancer and hand over the dagger (important for Gandalf's urgings in Rivendale), then he leads the wargs and orcs away for a bit. His scenes were short, his inclusion seamless, and all of them necessary.

4). The runtime. The second time around, I was worried I would find the beginning to be a drag. Instead, I realised they really ramped things up with the arrival of the dwarves, some funny banter about their quest, and then their departure from the Shire. From there on, it was almost non-stop action. In fact, the first time I saw this movie, I whispered to my friend "man, it's just out of the fryer and into the flames for them this whole time, isn't it?" before that line was delivered by Thorin and Gandalf seconds later.

I enjoyed this and laughed as much as the first time around. My dad has little patience for long movies and he said this one was long, but so full of good movie, that he hardly noticed. It was entertaining, and that was agreed upon by my dad, brother in law, and the 10 or 11 people I saw it with the first time. The only person who was complaining was this really nerdy girl who read the book and was like "SACRILEGE THEY CHANGED THINGS."
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:26 AM   #185
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I was never very excited to see Peter Jackson return to Middle-Earth. As much as I love Jacksonís Lord of the Rings trilogy, I couldnít shake the feeling that he was just going back to the well. After his post Rings films became less and less successful, it looked like Jackson just wanted to go back to the safe and familiar. The trailers did even less to convince me otherwise, and the fact that most of the people who love An Unexpected Journey are also fans of the novel didnít help either since Iíve never read any of Tolkienís work. Still, with all the talent behind it, I had faith An Unexpected Journey would be competent if nothing else, and I also felt obliged as a reviewer to see it given the size of the film.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey follows Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) 60 years before Fellowship of the Ring. Bilbo is a mild-mannered hobbit enjoying his simple and mundane life in The Shire. On one seemingly normal day, Bilbo is greeted by Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen), the great and powerful wizard. During a fairly tense discussion, Gandalf decides Bilbo will be the perfect hobbit to join the quest of thirteen dwarves trying to take back their home from the dragon Smaug. Bilbo initially rejects the offer, but finds the prospect of adventure exciting and decides to join their quest. Bilbo finds that not only will his journey be unforgettable, but he will unknowingly put events into motion that will threaten all of Middle-Earth.

The Hobbit is a much more light hearted adventure than the Rings trilogy. This isnít inherently a bad thing, but it does create problems here. For one, the stakes arenít nearly as high in An Unexpected Journey as they were in The Lord of the Rings. Everything that happens almost feels arbitrary when compared to the massive scale of future events. This could have been ignored, but The Hobbit frequently (and obviously) alludes to the events of the Rings trilogy. I wanted to look at The Hobbitís story on its own terms, but the film wouldnít let me. It doesnít help that Jackson tries to mix epic battles and violence with scenes of intended comedy, such as trolls blowing their snot on Bilbo. Thereís also some downright goofy material here such as the dwarvesí physical comedy and the entire character of Radagast.

Even at 2 hours and 45 minutes, the film does not make good use of its runtime. The first hour drags tremendously with no sense of urgency. After leaving The Shire, things start to pick up as the plot begins to really kick in, but the problems donít stop. The various stories feel slapped together and the film frequently loses sight of its goals. For example, despite being titled The Hobbit, Bilbo isnít actually all that important for large chunks of the film. One kind of forgets about him to the point that when the story shifts back to his perspective itís a little jarring. Part of this stems from the story being split into three films, which has led to An Unexpected Journey feeling insubstantial. Itís also irritating that despite coming close to three hours, very few of the characters are developed. Most of the dwarves are completely indistinguishable, except for the fat ginger one and the groupís leader Thorin (Richard Armitage). In fact, of the new characters introduced, Thorin is the only one I actually like. I didnít really care about most of the dwarves and felt no suspense when they were in danger.

I did like Martin Freeman as Bilbo. He had good charisma and humour, fit what Ian Holm did, and I liked his arc. I am worried what will be of Bilbo in future instalments since he seems to have completed his arc already. Some of the other cast members I had a more mixed reaction to. Most of the dwarves are bland and one-dimensional, with the exception of Thorin, and the villains range from lame to forgettable. And as much as I enjoy Ian McKellen as Gandalf, the writing made it come off like he had conned Bilbo into helping the dwarves instead of encouraging Bilbo like we were led to believe in Fellowship. I also didnít like how many times Gandalfís magic got the characters out of trouble. It felt like a crutch to get the protagonists out of danger. Most of the Rings alumni cameos are a bit distracting too. Most are part of the story, but every time one of the characters appeared it felt like the movie stopped to say, ďHereís the character you know from Lord of the Rings! Cool, right?Ē

There is however, one performance I have no complaints with, and that would be Andy Serkis as Gollum. Going into the film, I had reservations, but I could not wait to see Serkis play Gollum again, and he didnít disappoint. In the Rings trilogy, Gollum was struggling with his sanity and often fighting it. Here, Serkis gets to cut loose and be full on crazy. Itís a blast to watch; a scene that is both fun yet very tense. The CGI on Gollum is also incredible and the script is at its best in that scene. Itís easily the best scene of the film and if nothing else made The Hobbit awesome for ten minutes.

The visuals here are good, but I donít think theyíre as cutting edge as what was seen in the original trilogy, or in recent blockbusters like Avatar and Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The problem is consistency, or lack thereof. Certain scenes look incredible; Gollum for example looks better than ever. But at the same time, other effects look obvious. They arenít necessarily bad; theyíre just clearly not real. Other effects are aesthetically fine I just didnít like them. The dwarvesí make-up for example is technically good, but I donít like the exaggerated cartoon like features. The battle scenes also suffer from cartoonish overload and lack a visceral punch.

Overall, I have to say I find the entire film unnecessary. Now one could argue all prequels are unnecessary, but a film likes X-Men: First Class (for example) is so good that I donít really care if it was necessary or not, the film works on its own. An Unexpected Journey doesnít work on its own, and it adds very little to the cinematic exploration of Middle-Earth. There are things I like scattered throughout the film and I loved the Gollum scene. Those are enough to give the film some level of merit, but I ultimately canít endorse the film either. Bottom line, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey does not live up to its pedigree and I have serious doubts about the next two instalments.

Rating: D+
Do remember there is really no urgency because Smaug is lazily in his cave and is a smug being. He has no fear someone would dare steal his stolen treasure. Advantage to Thorin and company for they can take there time. Rings Sauron is awake and the Orcs and so on are everywhere looking for Hobbits and trying to destroy humans elves and so on.
The Hobbit I think is more of a movie you gotta see all 3 parts. Kinda like a Play.
LOTR kinda have endings that work because there was 3 seperate Books Published of LOTR. Instead of the original massive edition.
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:27 PM   #186
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2) Fleshing out the dwarf characters. I don't know what more could have been done other than each dwarf breaking the fourth wall and giving you an extensive bio of their favourite ales, foods, and songs they want played at their funeral. I felt like, for a band of 13 dwarves, ample time was given to the leader, the two brothers (I assume they are, at least - the long-haired fellows), the funny-looking one, the older one, and the bald one. The rest were more so there to round out the gang, but we're talking about giving 13 warriors fleshed out characteriztion. Have any of you seen 13 Assassins?. I feel like this was on the same level as that, if not better as far as character development goes, and we can all agree that is a great film.
I think I am on record saying that thin character development is a problem with 13 Assassins... and that movie at least managed to run a quick 126 minutes because of the lack of character development. This movie is over 40 minutes longer and spends more time developing side characters who won't even be in the next movie.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:52 AM   #187
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This feels like the best thread to post this:

VIDEO-CLick to Watch!:
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:52 PM   #188
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This feels like the best thread to post this:

VIDEO-CLick to Watch!:
This was great. Perfect
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:04 PM   #189
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Thumbs up Great article.

I think that this is a great article, explains even more things that tolkien wrote with his addtional writings on The Hobbit & Rings. I have read some of the addtional book. I still get confused by the Simarillion( not an easy read at all)


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/seth-a...b_2342591.html
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:48 PM   #190
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Yep.
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:18 PM   #191
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I think that this is a great article, explains even more things that tolkien wrote with his addtional writings on The Hobbit & Rings. I have read some of the addtional book. I still get confused by the Simarillion( not an easy read at all)


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/seth-a...b_2342591.html
Good stuff! It definitely answered a lot of questions I had.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:43 PM   #192
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I think that this is a great article, explains even more things that tolkien wrote with his addtional writings on The Hobbit & Rings. I have read some of the addtional book. I still get confused by the Simarillion( not an easy read at all)


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/seth-a...b_2342591.html
I don't get it. So, if you are a critic of the movie, then you somehow do not understand Tolkien's legacy? I know more about Middle-earth than the average moviegoer, and I still didn't embrace the movie wholeheartedly. I wonder what that makes me.
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:03 PM   #193
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I don't get it. So, if you are a critic of the movie, then you somehow do not understand Tolkien's legacy? I know more about Middle-earth than the average moviegoer, and I still didn't embrace the movie wholeheartedly. I wonder what that makes me.
No, that is not what they are saying. Outside of fps issues or 3D, etc.... I do believe that they were talking about points that various critics brought up in their reviews of the movie. Talking points about this or that stretching out the books because he wanted to make the triolgy. Meanwhile Jackson said from the start pretty much that this movie was going to be linked to RINGS & that he would be using TOLKIENS latter writings on the Hobbit & stuff from the appendix of the Triolgy to make that link.

From some of the reviews that I read, I frankly don't think that some of the critics every read The Hobbit at all. It was brought up in many reviews that This is movie is too light & humorious compared to rings. Em YES, because the book was written that way.

& I think that once it was stated the move was going to be 2 parts. People were crying that he was in it for the money. & Critics heads blew up when it was changed to 3 movies. I ? the trilogy myself. But when peter stated (at Comic Con) that they had so much material left over, I had a feeling that they would make it 3 movies. & After seeing the 1st movie I am happy cool with it. I wan't to see the tie into.

If someone doesn't like fine, their choice , but at least you know the material.

I thought that the article just hit alot of the points that some of the critics had & pointing out the facts to them. the Hobbit may be a 300 page book but, there is alot more going on within those 300 pages & PJ KNOWS HIS STUFF.


Here is another interesting article on Women in Middle Earth. Alot also has been said about the lack of Strong women. Not to mention that no man could kill the Witch King, it took a woman

http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2012...-middle-earth/
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:06 PM   #194
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Good stuff! It definitely answered a lot of questions I had.
Yeah, it has put me back in the mood to finish off the addtional books that I was reading.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:02 PM   #195
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hs4Ma7J0cyg

Though you guys would like this. Funny as hell
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:05 PM   #196
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I started watching this with very low expectations due to the critical response it has received and it really surprised me by being extremely similar to the previous LotR films which I am a fan of.

It's not as gritty or dark but neither is the book. In fact The Hobbit is the only book out of Middle Earth I've managed too finish, damn you Tom Bombadil!

Freeman is as good if not better as a lead than Wood although I want him to get back in his Watson character as soon as possible. There was a lot more action than I anticipated after hating some negative things and they all played out pretty similarly too the LotR trilogy, which is to say fantastically.

Only issues was the silly stone mountain fight which was way out of place, the brown wizard was quite annoying and Gandalf looked so much older. I know he is but a bit of better make up/Cgi wouldn't have gone amiss.

It's been about 12 years since I last read the book but was there a one armed white Orc chasing them or was this added for the film? I have no problems with stuff being added but I have no memory whatsoever if he was in the book.

8/10
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:28 PM   #197
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shained View Post

Only issues was the silly stone mountain fight which was way out of place, the brown wizard was quite annoying and Gandalf looked so much older. I know he is but a bit of better make up/Cgi wouldn't have gone amiss.
Clearly those parts bothered me a lot more than they bothered you. Except the Gandalf thing. I never really noticed.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:26 PM   #198
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Rumour has it that the blu will be out April 17th.
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:51 PM   #199
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Well, the DVD is already out online - so I can see it.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:05 PM   #200
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Arrrr!
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