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Author Topic: Additions
Hamfast Gamgee
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Seen as one of the major criticisms by purists was that the movies cut out a lot of material from the books, Bombadil etc. Now, seen as the Hobbit is a shorter tale and seen as two movies are to be made from it, it seems to me that there could actually be room for additions. I wonder if any people think this might be a good idea and if so what additions should be made.
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Madomir
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quote:
one of the major criticisms by purists was that the movies cut out a lot of material from the books,
Actually that criticism was twofold, one that PJ et al left stuff out and two, that they invented stuff to put in. My personal POV was that the 'improvements' & 'enhancements' added by the 3 stooges were far worse than the omissions.

The 2 movie Hobbit project gives the writers much more leeway to adlib and improvise which if history has taught us anything, won't be well received by purists or even less staunch traditionalists.

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Jango
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But let's not forget that they're filling in the gaps with material/backstory from the LotR appendices. So with any hope, the additions (or some) will be within the canon of the story, if not able to be a word for word adaptation of Tolkien's writing.
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Madomir
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Problem is the back story just isn't that large. The Wingnuts are taking a few chapters and turning it into a likely 4 hour epic. LotR was long, complete and more or less seemless and yet PJ still couldn't help himself but to add and invent stuff in an arrogant attempt to improve it. Now with the Hobbbit/LotR bridge story he's presented with an actual need (at least cinematically) to invent and expand. He and his minions must be in Heaven, they can really take this thing wherever they want. Past experience would strongly suggest that whatever it is they do to the story isn't likely to be what Tolkien himself may have done had he ever got around to it.
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The White Hand
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I also wanted to bring up the issue of material vs. non-material changes, which I just asked about the trilogy as well.

I think this is the main issue, since material changes leave the original story intact, but material changes alter the central premise.

Did omitting Bombadil change the fundamental premise from the story? Probably not, since he specifically stayed out of world affairs. I admit that it's tough to prove a change is material, though.

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Madomir
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It may be more difficult to fundamentally change the Hobbit portion of the story this time around if for no other reason than because it's a prequel. Due to LotR, we already know where this ends up so there are certain things, such as Bilbo dying a heroic death at the Battle of Five Armies for instance, that simply can't occur. Not that PJ can't make big changes mind you, it just may not be as easy stroywise. Where he can screw up quite easily is with more of the character assassinations that LotR was noted for.

The so called bridge story is another matter entirely. We don't really have a complete story, just some snippets and scattered details but for the most part it's little more than an outline or timeline. Again, due to LotR, PJ does have to end up at a certain place at the end of the 60 or so years between Smaug's demise and Bilbo's eleventy first birthday, but he has almost free reign to do whatever he wants with whatever characters he wants during those 60 years. How that changes things in a material sense remains to be seen.

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The White Hand
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He made so many material changes already that it doesn't matter.
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Madomir
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Back to the original question... I don't know if this change should be made, be I guarantee it will be made... The Battle of 5 Armies will take about an hour and a half. Don't believe me? Look at how expanded Helm's Deep became in LotR, it went from one chapter to about 2 hours of film. []

[ 11-30-2010, 10:20 AM: Message edited by: Madomir ]

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The White Hand
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Only Elf-hours. []
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Hamfast Gamgee
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Is there any way Tom Bombadil could be added to the Hobbit to make up for his abscence in Lotr? Problem is that if he is introduced were he is this might make it a long time before Bilbo finds any peril and the film would get a bit slow. Bombadil's location could be moved, on the borders of Mirkwood, perhaps? Or maybe they could have an adventure with the Barrow-wights first.
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The White Hand
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Moving Bombadil from LotR to the Hobbit, is beneath even Jackson IMHO.
But then, he moved the troll-fight from the Hobbit to LotR, so who knows.

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tumhalad
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Who knows what Jackson will do, but the inclusion of the White Council scenes, Legolas and Galadriel marks a definite shift away from the story of The Hobbit.

It's funny; over in my thread about the "Fictional Frontiers" radio interview, I note that both commentators are unable to bring themselves to criticise Jackson, and if they voice concerns they feel as though they must also fawn and praise, so as not to offend. Similar phenomena are evident in reviews of Jackson's films; many reviewers (not all, Ebert was a very notable exception who spotted Jackson's tom-foolery early) continue to praise Jackson for his "faithfull" adaptations of LOTR in reviews of the abjectly HORRID "Lovely Bones". For some reason, they don't seem to realise that LOTR were not scripted much better; the same team did a hack job on King Kong.

I'm just thankful Del Toro was involved in the scripting process. I dearly hope that his influence rubbed off on the "three stooges" and that he was able to curb their needless excesses, and especially their love of making characters go on hollywoodised journeysTM.

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The White Hand
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To be fair, most people who saw th emovies did not read the book, and so they'll see the the movies as no worse than "Narnia," which was indeed worse from a stand-alone standpoint. Therefore to criticize Jackson would be seen by most as a "pet peeve" and make them look petty and vindictive, rather than reveal Jackson as the low-grade pandering hack that he is.
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tumhalad
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All to true, unfortunately. It's an interesting phenomenon; people's expectations of the books are heavily influenced by their experience of watching the movie, mostly in a detrimental fashion. People I've spoken to about the movies are surprised when they learn that the Army of the Dead did not turn up to Minas Tirith, or that there exists a bunch of characters called "Rangers" who accompany Aragorn through the Paths of the Dead, or the Gandalf is not a squirming weakling, or that Denethor is actually not retarded.

The differences between watching a film and reading a novel are profound: a novel demands far more intellectual involvement than a film does. Plots, characters and themes must be deduced and contemplated; they are not merely handed to the reader on a plate. Make no mistake, LoTR, and the Hobbit, are complex books, and the dumbing down that was evident in the LoTR films only crippled readers' expectations.

I hope that they at least stick with the main story of the Hobbit, even if they add in a whole lot of extraneous material

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Hamfast Gamgee
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Agrees that Denethor was potrayed as giggling imbecile in the film, though the actor in mind did do a good job with that I thought
Disagrees that Gandalf was potrayed as a weakling. If you look at all the films and see all the things he does do in it, I'm not sure how you can come to that conclusion!

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tumhalad
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I especially mean Gandalf the White - for example, he displays uncertainty (more than the book Gandalf) and he can barely fight off the orcs. The whole potrayal is inimical to that in the book.
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