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Topic: The Hobbit Movie
Message: Posted by: Christopher Rinaldi (Sep 4, 2010 12:56AM)
Ladies and gentleman I realise there is a huge following, I myself am a huge fan of the book and the Rankin & Bass cartoon version from so long ago. I must confess it is indeed a difficult task awaiting the movie adaption to be made, so therefore I am starting this topic in anticipation of the eventual movies release.

feel free to comment and share your feelings upon this most important of matters...the fate of middle earth hangs in the balance...
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Sep 4, 2010 03:13AM)
[quote]
...feel free to comment and share your feelings....
[/quote]

Right. Thanks for your permission.

I didn't see Lord of the Rings, and I certainly won't see The Hobbit. To me, these are artistic literary experiences. Turning them into movies is to me a very strange idea. What's next? A movie of the Mona Lisa? Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon? Andy Warhol's Marilyn prints? Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water?

For some reason, books seem fair game to turn into movies. Literature gets no respect.
Message: Posted by: muse (Sep 4, 2010 03:41AM)
[quote]
What's next? A movie of the Mona Lisa?
[/quote]

Yeah, and it'll be a crappy remake that won't be a patch on the original Italian version.

Better to add subtitles to the original if you ask me.
Message: Posted by: Nosher (Sep 4, 2010 06:59AM)
In terms of the artistic interpretation of The Hobbit, the apotheosis has already been [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XC73PHdQX04]attained[/url].
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Sep 4, 2010 08:33AM)
[quote]
On 2010-09-04 07:59, Nosher wrote:
In terms of the artistic interpretation of The Hobbit, the apotheosis has already been [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XC73PHdQX04]attained[/url].
[/quote]

You might have stumbled onto another top 10 thread...
Message: Posted by: GlenD (Sep 4, 2010 10:48AM)
I don't know, I really enjoyed the Lord of The Rings movies but not sure about The Hobbit. I kind of have a ho-hum attitude but will probably see it.
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Sep 4, 2010 03:03PM)
Dear stoneunhinged,

I think film adaptations often lead to people reading the books. It has for me in numerous cases. I really love "A Christmas Carol" but what got me to read it was a Mr. Magoo Cartoon. I read "Tom Sawyer" because of a Gold Key Comic and I also read "The Hobbit" because of the Leonard Nimoy song (I own the album). (I wish I had a fake avatar name now!)

"Ode to a Grecian Urn" is inspired by the Urn. It may help to think of Movies as another work of art inspired by the books and not as a poor copy.

Almost every time I prefer the book but I do enjoy Movies. The scenery and special effects, the music, the framing and most especially the acting, which is generally better than my imagination. It IS better for me if I can read the book first so I get first crack at envisioning the characters. Fortunately I was able to enjoy "A Christmas Carol" sans Magoo.

I will admit I've seen a few Movie adaptations that almost ruined books I loved retroactively. If only we could un-watch.

- Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: balducci (Sep 4, 2010 03:14PM)
[quote]
On 2010-09-04 07:59, Nosher wrote:
In terms of the artistic interpretation of The Hobbit, the apotheosis has already been [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XC73PHdQX04]attained[/url].
[/quote]
Extended, uncut, version:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPh12Q7cpeE
Message: Posted by: Josh Chaikin (Sep 4, 2010 10:39PM)
I read Les Misérables because of the musical. That, too, is an artistic depiction. Having seen many film adaptations, I can certainly appreciate the sentiment about it being an artistic experience; no adaptation has been able to fully gauge the depth of the characters. The turmoil and inner struggle of Valjean took up 15 pages in the translation I read. Boubil and Schoënberg made it into a three minute song.

Granted, Les Misérables numbers in the thousands of pages, as does the Lord of the Rings...it would be foolish to attempt to recreate the whole experience. The aforementioned A Chrstmas Carol is around 97 pages, if memory serves...most of those film versions translated well...specifically the George C Scott and Patrick Stewart versions. Perhaps length is a deciding factor.

The Hobbit, I feel, will translate well to the big screen, LOTR was very well done. Either way, if it's any better than the awful adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, I'll consider it a victory.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Sep 4, 2010 10:46PM)
I hope they do a good job. A story whose climax is "What do I have in my pocket" seems just too ripe for easy parody these days.

Then again "At the Mountains of Madness" could easily be done as a native expedition from South America visiting Manhattan and wandering into a subway station.

Here's hoping for the best. And some better handling of the big/small shots so the characters seem the right size in context.
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Sep 5, 2010 05:13PM)
The Hitchhiker's Guide movie had it's moments... It was visually stunning, and it had some new plot elements that were very excellent.

Can't wait for Mountains of Madness (if it happens...) or, for that matter, the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society's adaptation of [url=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1498878/]"The Whisperer in Darkness"[/url] which should be out late this year...
Message: Posted by: Christopher Rinaldi (Sep 5, 2010 07:15PM)
[quote]
On 2010-09-04 04:13, stoneunhinged wrote:
[quote]
...feel free to comment and share your feelings....
[/quote]

Right. Thanks for your permission.

[/quote]

Oh you're so polite! :)
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Sep 5, 2010 08:28PM)
[quote]
On 2010-09-04 04:13, stoneunhinged wrote:
What's next? ... Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon?
[/quote]

This would have been much funnier if you'd used "The Wall" as your example.
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Sep 5, 2010 08:31PM)
[quote]
On 2010-09-04 16:03, Mary Mowder wrote:
Dear stoneunhinged,



"Ode to a Grecian Urn" is inspired by the Urn.
[/quote]

*"on*

Sorry, but if I don't, someone else will. I don't know why the heck it's not "to," but that Keats dude was pretty good; he probably had a reason.
Message: Posted by: Cyberqat (Sep 5, 2010 08:48PM)
Oh dear... if you are a fan of the Rankin and bass cartoon with singing trolls then ONE of us will be disappointed...

I read the book in Junior Highschool. Its a nice little fantasy story, certainly not of the same literary scope and importance as LOTR... and also a lot more accessible. I expect a lot of todays kids will have the same reaction to it though that a 29 yr old friend of mine had to Casablanca.

"I found all the cliches distracting..."

Of course its the original SOURCE of what imitators turned into cliches. In some senses The Hobbit suffers from a similar problem.

is Andy Circus playing Gollum again? That might be enough to get me to go...
Message: Posted by: critter (Sep 5, 2010 09:07PM)
The Hitchhikers movie wasn't, strictly speaking, a pure literary adaption. The radio show came before the book, then there was the miniseries, the computer games, the stage shows, and so on...
And I thought they were all brilliant.
I am looking forward to the Hobbit. Have wanted them to do it since the other movies came out since it was my favorite book and cartoon of the series.
And why not do a movie of Dark Side of the Moon? They did The Wall didn't they?
Just saying.
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Sep 6, 2010 02:25AM)
Yup lobowolfXXX, you're right,

You'd think a gal with highbrow tastes like mine would remember that.

- Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: Josh Chaikin (Sep 6, 2010 11:23AM)
[quote]
On 2010-09-05 22:07, critter wrote:
The Hitchhikers movie wasn't, strictly speaking, a pure literary adaption. The radio show came before the book, then there was the miniseries, the computer games, the stage shows, and so on...
And I thought they were all brilliant.
I am looking forward to the Hobbit. Have wanted them to do it since the other movies came out since it was my favorite book and cartoon of the series.
And why not do a movie of Dark Side of the Moon? They did The Wall didn't they?
Just saying.
[/quote]

Oh, I'm well aware of that...I have the original BBC radio and television broadcasts and enjoy them...I'm also aware that each version was meant to stand on its own. I just felt that the new subplot was uninteresting and while the bureaucratic sequences with the Vogons added some comedic effect, I felt it was too much, and it took too long for them to reach Magrathea. The visuals there, however, were stunning as Gaddy pointed out and it was funny when Marvin used the POV gun. I understand that the script was rewritten after Mr. Adams sadly passed on...I can't help but wonder what changes were made.

For me, however, the book is still king. (But that's really the theme of the thread, isn't it?)
Message: Posted by: kcg5 (Sep 6, 2010 12:09PM)
Jeff gets a prize for even mentioning Dark Side Of The Moon in with such other great works of art. The Wall was more of a concept album, the concept being that Waters is an a**.

I am reading, and greatly enjoying, "The count of monte cristo". I watched the Guy Ritchie/Jim Caviezile (Sp) version the other night-only because it was on instant netflix. As usual, it butchered the book. There are very few book that turned into good movies, either because the film stayed true to the book, or the director took on his/her own vision.

IMO:

The godfather
Fear and loathing in Las Vegas
The right stuff
The shinning (here, the movie might be better)
Catch-22
American physco



Adams named "The division bell", another Pink Floyd album. Pink Floyd was a financier of some of the Monty Python Films. And Adams worked with Python.
Message: Posted by: Cyberqat (Sep 6, 2010 09:25PM)
I thought the HHG movie was an excellent pass at an intractable problem. There is WAY too much material to fit in a movie. Its really much more appropriate to a miniseries.

Considering that I thought they did an admirable job of hitting high-points.
Message: Posted by: Cyberqat (Sep 6, 2010 09:29PM)
Oh... as someone raised on classical music I have to disagree on The Wall.

Musically its probably the only true Rock Opera I know of. Its an incredibly complex piece of composition that you can keep coming back to and finding deeper levels in. (JC Superstar approaches opera as well, but it doesn't have the same depth as The Wall.)

And actually, it was loosely based on the life of another musician... whose name Im pulling a blank on but will remember sometime ion the middle of the night..

DSOTM is a brilliant concept album... but that's all it is. There is nowhere enar the same depth.
Message: Posted by: Cyberqat (Sep 6, 2010 09:37PM)
Other excellent movie adaptations of books...

Return to OZ, which is MUCH truer to the Frank Baum books the first movie. (Anyone gonna mention The Dark Side of Oz?)

The Hogfather. It was a labor of love and Pratchet was directly involved with the production.

The Sci Fi Channel Dune mini-series is quite good if you can excuse it a few obvious backdrop shots and the fact that the designer didn't know what an ornithopter is.

Hunt for Red October and Patriot Games where both very good movies, but not being a Clancy reader I can't compare them to the books.

Being a PKD fan, I really liked Scanner Darkly, but it was marred by production running out of money and some badly hacked sfx in the middle. If they could fix those shots it would be a great film.

The movie Millenium was all in all a pretty darn good adaption of the Varley short story "Air raid", and stands as one of the best twisted-world line time travel movies I've ever seen.

I'll probably think of some others later. In general adapting books to movies is hard because movies really don';t have the story-telling space of books. They are closer to long short stories or at most a novella.
Message: Posted by: kcg5 (Sep 6, 2010 09:41PM)
The dark side of oz is awesome. I really think the wall was more of a concept album than dark side, and I think most of the wall was based on waters own experiences. Dark side was based more so on sid barett, their original lead singer. "Brain Damage" is a good example here, as Syd lost it pretty big on LSD.


Yep, I agree with you also about the Clancy stuff, both of those books were pretty good.
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Sep 6, 2010 09:44PM)
I'd definitely add The Shawshank Redemption to the list of great adaptations.
Message: Posted by: critter (Sep 6, 2010 11:51PM)
[quote]
On 2010-09-06 12:23, Josh Chaikin wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-09-05 22:07, critter wrote:
The Hitchhikers movie wasn't, strictly speaking, a pure literary adaption. The radio show came before the book, then there was the miniseries, the computer games, the stage shows, and so on...
And I thought they were all brilliant.
I am looking forward to the Hobbit. Have wanted them to do it since the other movies came out since it was my favorite book and cartoon of the series.
And why not do a movie of Dark Side of the Moon? They did The Wall didn't they?
Just saying.
[/quote]

Oh, I'm well aware of that...I have the original BBC radio and television broadcasts and enjoy them...I'm also aware that each version was meant to stand on its own. I just felt that the new subplot was uninteresting and while the bureaucratic sequences with the Vogons added some comedic effect, I felt it was too much, and it took too long for them to reach Magrathea. The visuals there, however, were stunning as Gaddy pointed out and it was funny when Marvin used the POV gun. I understand that the script was rewritten after Mr. Adams sadly passed on...I can't help but wonder what changes were made.

For me, however, the book is still king. (But that's really the theme of the thread, isn't it?)
[/quote]

I love the book "trilogy," but I think the radio show was actually my favorite.
As for the Hobbit, I learned to read from a book and record of the animated Hobbit.
I had other book and record sets, but this one and Robin Hood were my favorites. That's probably why the Hobbit is still my favorite of that series. I'm excited.
Can't ever get enough Gandalf.

Hey, speaking of the Dark Side of Oz, does anyone remember when there was supposed to be an American MaGee(sp?) Oz? They made the toys but the game never came out. I loved his Alice game.
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Sep 7, 2010 11:04AM)
Folks,

Do not hold your collective breath on The Hobbit movies. Guillermo del Toro has vacated the director's chair, MGM is in such financial straits that they have cancelled the next Bond movie. MGM, as it happens, ALSO had secured the rights to the two Hobbit films. Sir Ian McKellen has stated that he has grown quite impatient.

It seems to me that MGM has two HUGE franchises in their stable. They WILL make a tidy profit with The Hobbit movies and with Bond.

I guess I am the exception to the consensus here, but, I thought Peter Jackson did an excellent job, especially with the release of the extended cuts - of The Lord of The Rings. I DO agree with Kevin that books ARE the way to go. The Lord of the Rings IS a literary experience. I had read the Trilogy 5 times over a ten year period before the release of the film adaptation of The Fellowship of the Ring. Certain characters and events are not going to translate well if at all to the big screen. Tom Bombadil and Goldberry would be EXTREMELY difficult for example.

Jackson took quite a few liberties, but, as Mary has pointed out, good films will frequently lead people to read the books. Sales for The Lord of the Rings have always been good, but the movies shot them back onto the mass market best seller lists.

To TRULY do Tolkien's work justice, one would need to create a film of each book in the trilogy whose length would be for DAYS :) Be thankful at least that they didn't try to do The Silmarillion! THAT would be a disaster.

Kevin, seems you and I are huge Pink Floyd fans. I agree with your assessment of Waters during The Wall period. He FIRED Richard Wright and then made him a "session man"!!

While it was a BEAUTIFUL thing to see them reunite for Live 8 - and they were SO tight - you could see the quite strained, uncomfortable body language on each member when they took their bow. Waters had to practically cajole Gilmour, Wright, and Mason into it.

Now Richard is gone, may his memory be eternal. But, at least we got to see this great band reunite. Beatles fans were not so fortunate. I read an interview with McCartney last year in which he stated that the four were seriously considering reuniting to "do something" perhaps either in 1980 or 1981. The sick jerkwad from Hawai'i dashed THAT dream forever.

Namaste,
Vlad
Message: Posted by: Christopher Rinaldi (Sep 7, 2010 11:43AM)
Movies lead many people to the books, so there is nothing wrong with that. When I was quite young I had the chance to see The Hobbit cartoon, it only came on tv once in a blue moon and I had only got to watch it twice when I was a small kid.

A few years later I found myself in middle school and checked out the Hobbit book from the school library mainly because I liked the cartoon so much I just had to read the book. UI have since read that particular book dozens of times over the years. I have also read the Lord of the Rings dozens of times throughout my life and when the movies came out I took my whole family.

As a result of the movies a couple of my kids have now read all the books, the movies got them into it man!

I also bought all the video games for the Playsation, boy some of them are hard! I even own the one ring, but my wife wouldn't let me buy Sting! Drat it all!!!!
Message: Posted by: Alex Rapattoni (Sep 7, 2010 07:06PM)
Movies and books are completely different mediums. So different that they are incomparible. I have found that the only way to truly enjoy a book or movie adaptation is to remove yourself from what you already know and to decide if what you saw was entertaining. If the answer is yes then it was a success.
I have this discussion a lot, it seems, but like I said. You can't, nay, SHOULDN'T compare book versus movie. They will NEVER compare.
On a side note, I recently acquired the book/record set of the hobbit. It is quite exquisite, I must say.
Alex
Message: Posted by: critter (Sep 7, 2010 07:54PM)
[quote]
On 2010-09-07 20:06, Alex Rapattoni wrote:
On a side note, I recently acquired the book/record set of the hobbit. It is quite exquisite, I must say.
Alex
[/quote]

Yup.
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Sep 8, 2010 03:00AM)
I've seen some excellent adaptations of books, but most of them had some things in common, one of which is that the movie's director has an artistic vision of his own that he's capable of expressing. Then it becomes something different, like a discussion between artists.

The best example of this I can think of is A Clockwork Orange. Kubrick makes changes--sometimes substantial ones--to the storyline that show he was reflecting on the fundamental themes of the novel, rather than just saying, "what details are superfluous enough to leave out?"

So I wasn't saying that all film adaptations of novels is unappreciated or unacceptable, just in some cases a weird idea. By "literary experience" I meant something like: an experience you can only have by reading a book. I do not think that all books are true "literary experiences".

But in the end, I probably just have this thing about LOTR. My friend Hans says he tried to read it, and his description of why he was so bored by it was a pretty good description of what thrilled me. Different strokes and all that.
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Sep 9, 2010 12:59PM)
I know what you mean Stoneunhinged.

My favorite parts of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings are the parts dealing with The Shire, the travel, quiet conversations, what was eaten, poetry (other than Tom Bombadil), who is related to whom and such.

The epic battles are such a clear reminder of the horrible wake of damage done to the lives of several prominent writers of the time (and countless others), Tolkien, C.S. Lewis etc... by WWI that I find them very painful (as they are meant to be). Or, I find them boring (like long scenes of things blowing up and fighting in movies). These are the very chapters that add great depth and meaning, in context, for many readers (and watchers).

- Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: Absinthe (Sep 9, 2010 01:22PM)
"Frodo of the Nine Fingers... and the Ring of Dooooooom"

Thank you for the trip down nostalgia lane.
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Sep 10, 2010 10:22AM)
[quote]
On 2010-09-09 13:59, Mary Mowder wrote:
I know what you mean Stoneunhinged.

My favorite parts of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings are the parts dealing with The Shire, the travel, quiet conversations, what was eaten, poetry (other than Tom Bombadil), who is related to whom and such.

The epic battles are such a clear reminder of the horrible wake of damage done to the lives of several prominent writers of the time (and countless others), Tolkien, C.S. Lewis etc... by WWI that I find them very painful (as they are meant to be). Or, I find them boring (like long scenes of things blowing up and fighting in movies). These are the very chapters that add great depth and meaning, in context, for many readers (and watchers).

- Mary Mowder
[/quote]

Hi Mary,

Interesting you should remark on these battles. Tolkien had stated that Mordor's appearance was informed by what he saw in the trenches as a signal officer in the First World War.

Sam Gamgee, Tolkien has remarked were the rank and file Tommy-bots, to him the real heroes of World War One, and in essence, in the finest literary tradition, the representation of "everyman."

Namaste,
Vlad
Message: Posted by: critter (Sep 10, 2010 12:20PM)
I still would have liked to have seen Tom Bombadil in the flickers. He was one of my favorite characters.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPhpNatUfV0

And my favorite:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdXQJS3Yv0Y
Message: Posted by: jeffdell (Sep 13, 2010 11:22AM)
I for one really enjoyed the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and found both the theatrical and extended versions to be enjoyable. While I think there were some elements that were cut adapted from the novels to the screen, Peter Jackson really kept the spirit of the books within the films and I know I intend to see The Hobbit movie when it comes out.

A couple of things that I do think get lost in the adaptation to the screen is the emphasis Tolkien placed on creating, in my opinion, a modern day mythology. Middle Earth has its own races and those races have fully developed languages, and I think some of that does get lost.

There were a couple of things left out of the movie I would've liked to have seen added -- Tom Bombadil would have been an interesting addition, though I see why they left it out. Also, I didn't really like the way they had killed off Saruman. I prefer Tolkien's handling of Saruman in The Return of the King.

Even with that, I'm sure Peter Jackson will keep to the spirit of the novel and if the Lord of the Rings films are any indication of what we can expect I for one will wait patiently :).

Jeff
Message: Posted by: Christopher Rinaldi (Sep 14, 2010 09:14PM)
[quote]
On 2010-09-13 12:22, jeffdell wrote:
I for one really enjoyed the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and found both the theatrical and extended versions to be enjoyable. While I think there were some elements that were cut adapted from the novels to the screen, Peter Jackson really kept the spirit of the books within the films and I know I intend to see The Hobbit movie when it comes out.

A couple of things that I do think get lost in the adaptation to the screen is the emphasis Tolkien placed on creating, in my opinion, a modern day mythology. Middle Earth has its own races and those races have fully developed languages, and I think some of that does get lost.

There were a couple of things left out of the movie I would've liked to have seen added -- Tom Bombadil would have been an interesting addition, though I see why they left it out. Also, I didn't really like the way they had killed off Saruman. I prefer Tolkien's handling of Saruman in The Return of the King.

Even with that, I'm sure Peter Jackson will keep to the spirit of the novel and if the Lord of the Rings films are any indication of what we can expect I for one will wait patiently :).

Jeff
[/quote]

Well put Jeff and I feel the same way about Sarumans death in the movie.
Message: Posted by: Jestnjoker (Sep 15, 2010 04:45PM)
I don't think many studios ever bill a movie as "The Book as a Movie." It is impossible to perfectly adapt a book to a movie. As mentioned above, they are different mediums. That's why we are using the word "adaptation" in this thread. The ideas of the book need to be adapted to be effectively portrayed on the screen. Are sacrifices made? Often! You try fitting 5 gallons of water into a 2 gallon jug and see what happens. Many books simply don't lend themselves to perfect film representations. So I agree that you need to set them apart. Is this a good book? Yes or no. Is this a good movie? Yes or no? Asking, "Is this a perfect copy of the book." is a question that will rarely have a positive answer, but it doesn't mean that the film is a bad as a film. Compare apples to apples.

I recently had this thought when watching The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. The film had several changes that went so far as to change the plot of the book, but rather than seeing that as a negative, I appreciated the fact that these changes actually made for a better movie. They needed to be made to make a good movie within a reasonable time.

Also I'd like to add to the list of good adaptations: The Coen Brothers' Adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men. Whoo! Both the movie and the book are incredible. Watching it makes me want to read the book and reading the book makes me want to watch the movie. And both are enhanced by the other. That says a lot about both and about the actors in the flick.