The Big Picture: Is The Hobbit Too Long?

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Of course it's too long, jus like the other films it's just 3 hours of walking and talking.

Even the trees fucking walked.

I don't think it was too long. HOWEVER. I can see where some things needed to be cut. The giants needed to be cut, they were a little toooooooo goofy. Just... have a storm, it doesn't even last that long. The point is to get them into a cave, just have that happen because bad storm.

But I see more places where things needed to be added. I don't really get a good feel for the younger Bilbo. I know who OLD Bilbo is, but the young one not so much, and he doesn't come off as charming or likable as in the book. He's just... " so put out." Unlike the book, I still don't understand why he would go with them. He gives us no reason to.

But the biggest crime is Thorin. At first he's okay with Bilbo, then he's not, then he is, then he's not, and then he is, and it just keeps waffling. In the book he's just kindof a no nonsense single minded (somewhat nasty but ultimately good hearted) guy. He just uses Bilbo to get what he wants. He has issues with Bilbo sure, but he doesn't suddenly start going off on him for... I don't know, accidentally falling in a spot where anyone would fall. I just don't like the way they handled him in this movie.

JaceArveduin:

Twilight_guy:
Well the obvious answer is to cut out the framing various other items that were added to build the overall franchise rather the movie. The morgul knife, Radagast the brown, Gandalf's meeting with the big wigs of Middle Earth in Rivendale, etc. They all build the world but don't advance the story and its likely they never will since they pertain to events in the Lord of the Rings and not the Hobbit. They could easily be cut, though its obvious the film makers wanted to include that world building. It's really more relevant to people who have already seen the Lord of Rings though as to someone who knows nothing, these scenes would be pointless and confusing.

Actually, they did go off and kick the Necromancer out of Dol Guldor, it happens when Gandalf leaves them. He doesn't specifically tell you, nor does Gandalf specifically tell the Dwarves, but that's what him and the others are going to go do. I'm not sure if Elrond and Galadriel had anything to do with it, but why not add them in for the movie?

Yeah, but its still irrelevant to the story. The story isn't about Sauron and his return, its about Bilbo and the Dwarfs going to the lonely mountain and kill a dragon (which someone else kills in a bit of poorly structured writing from Tolkien). Adding these scenes adds nothing to that central point of the movie. It's unrelated. We don't cut to the shire to check in on the sackville hobbits looking to loot Bag end while Bilbo is gone because although it is happening at the same time, it does not contribute anything to the plot. You could easily cut that section out and it would have little effect on main plot of the movie. That's a sign of extraneous material. As a general rule, anything that can be cut without affecting the plot should be cut.

in fact, in the book it's never even mentioned what Gandalf goes off to do, only that he had business elsewhere (and vague mentioning of a Necromancer in some sections without many specifics), and it doesn't change the plot of the book at all.

maninahat:

Twilight_guy:
Well the obvious answer is to cut out the framing various other items that were added to build the overall franchise rather the movie. The morgul knife, Radagast the brown, Gandalf's meeting with the big wigs of Middle Earth in Rivendale, etc. They all build the world but don't advance the story and its likely they never will since they pertain to events in the Lord of the Rings and not the Hobbit. They could easily be cut, though its obvious the film makers wanted to include that world building. It's really more relevant to people who have already seen the Lord of Rings though as to someone who knows nothing, these scenes would be pointless and confusing.

I think they needed the meeting, if in a somewhat truncated form, just so that the movie can actually have a female character appear at some point. It's a serious sausagefest, which is something you don't get in big budget movies these days. It's that sort of thing that makes my girlfriend dismiss this (and Star Wars) as some boy story...it totally is, but normally these movies make some kind of effort to appeal to the average woman in the audience, even if it means sticking in as much female empowerment as possible into a franchise which barely even has women.

I think its far more sexist to feel that a woman needs to be inserted. "What women can only relate to other women?" That sounds moderately sexist. Maybe, maybe not.

Both this and the Lord of Rings were not ringing endorsement for female empowerment though, none of the fellowship or the party of dwarfs were female and none of the major characters of the Hobbit, and very few in the Lord of the Rings, were female. I'm not sure if trying to insert from feminism would fit the movie as they would have to dedicate more script to it and it would be an entirely movie produced addition (which caries its own possible negative and positive repercussions). It would have been interesting though if they made some of the dwarfs female though, but it would probably have made someone mad because "YOU MADE A ORIE A CHICK! HE WAS MY FAVORITE" (despite the fact that the dwarfs have maybe one bit one characteristic to them and are one dimensional as hell).

Also, Galadriel is probably not the best female to insert int eh story as she kind of does nothing but look pretty and manipulate others. (Both of which fit into two sexist notion of what women are).

JaceArveduin:

Twilight_guy:
Well the obvious answer is to cut out the framing various other items that were added to build the overall franchise rather the movie. The morgul knife, Radagast the brown, Gandalf's meeting with the big wigs of Middle Earth in Rivendale, etc. They all build the world but don't advance the story and its likely they never will since they pertain to events in the Lord of the Rings and not the Hobbit. They could easily be cut, though its obvious the film makers wanted to include that world building. It's really more relevant to people who have already seen the Lord of Rings though as to someone who knows nothing, these scenes would be pointless and confusing.

Actually, they did go off and kick the Necromancer out of Dol Guldor, it happens when Gandalf leaves them. He doesn't specifically tell you, nor does Gandalf specifically tell the Dwarves, but that's what him and the others are going to go do. I'm not sure if Elrond and Galadriel had anything to do with it, but why not add them in for the movie?

They should not have been added to the movie for the same reason that the Lord of the Rings did not periodically cut back to the Shire to show us what the Gaffer is doing today, because its not relevant to the story being told. There was a lot of stuff that was added in that would have been fine in an extended cut but added nothing to the story being told.

Kenjitsuka:
What the HELL, Bob?!
I'm halfway through, interested and BOOM: without warning you start about ending of the movie and what the NEXT ones will be about.... SPOILERS, dude!

Not everyone lives in the US where this might have been out for a long time, you know?

:(

Its a 75 year old book, that has been released in dozens of languages across the globe, next you'll be complaining that Shakespeare references need spoiler warnings.

Not surprised Bob didn't found it too long. Whenever I think "white", he says "black".
An example of that are his best and worst top ten. Most of his worst were in my best, and vice versa.
I don't mind mindless action, I don't mind having to think, I don't mind gratuitous nudity.
I usually just want to be surprised.
Hobbit didn't surprised me at all and no I didn't read the book.
I was too long. Yes the dinner scene could have been shorted... it didn't made me care about any of them.
It didn't make believe in what they are. Plus their leader is so cliché and one dimension, it's not even funny.
They tried to make something epic out of something that should have been more candid.
They should have kept it to a smaller scope.
The gnome scene was useless and didn't brought anything to the story.
The movies drags for way too long.
Well no need to hate me, it's just my opinion... I didn't insult anybody here.

I didn't feel the film's length at all, even when I watched it a second time. It was actually rather refreshing to see a book adaptation that didn't feel the need to rush things and took its time (even though I never read The Hobbit).

Although I guess the necromancer side plot could have been easily cut out in theory (unless it's supposed to be somehow related to Bilbo's journey).

They could have completely cut out Radagast. We aren't supposed to be worrying about the bigger evil building up, the story is more about Bilbo. Adding the doom and gloom of the Necromancer just overshadows what's really going on. They probably could have cut out the intro that's starting right before Bilbo's party. I just don't see how that was needed at all and they probably could have trimmed down a bit of the exposition.

There. Not only have I fixed the dual personality problem of the movie (the main quest has a more upbeat and silly feel while the Necromancer stuff is more in line with the feeling of the LotR trilogy) but I have also shaved off at least half an hour.

Edit: I should probably mention that the only reason they added all of that stuff was so that they could make it into three movies. AT MOST they only needed 2. Now they've built up the Necromancer so much that they are obviously going to be spending extensive time investigating him.
Also, anyone else notice the blatant foreshadowing of Galadriel telling Gandalf that she'll come and help him if he needs her? I'd bed 50 bucks that Gandalf has a showdown with the Necromancer or Witch King but gets beaten. As he's about to be finished off, Galadriel will show up and save him. And just so everyone knows now before it happens: even as the Grey, Gandalf would fucking waste the Witch King so just ignore that when it happens in the future.

You know who should have been left out? Radaghast. If you absolutely needed to put him in, then put him in the second film, when they actually get to Mirkwood.

I felt that the subplot about Dol Guldur could have been handled better. (In the book, Gandalf was already aware of the Necromancer's presence, and he even found Thorin's father in the fort's dungeon, where Thrain gave Gandalf the map and key)

I mean, Radaghast shows up not one scene after a flashback to Azanulzabar. It felt like a short story slapped into the plot.

"Hey Gandalf, got any other wizards?"

"Sure, let me tell you the story of Radaghast the Brown."

And then immediately cut away from the group. It was some real whiplash for me. We had about a minute back with the dwarves before cutting away to Mirkwood.

It's long, but I loved it! There wasn't a single part of the movie which felt like it was boring.

And he didn't ruin my favourite childhood book, so bonus.

This should have been one 3 hour long movie. I fell asleep. It digressed too much and foreshadows of upcoming matters made the movie darker than a kids' story should be. I don't know if I'll bother with part 2, but, what if Smaug does get his in that movie? I may have to watch it anyway.

I never really had a problem with the length either. Even the bit in the shire never particularly bothered me or felt like it went on too long because the intro was so interesting and had plenty of action to tide me over until things got back up to speed.

The "extra" stuff I think will actually be a benefit to it in the long run. For starters it makes Gandalf's absences in the story feel important and necessary rather than it feeling like he was distracted by passing butterflies for the sake of building tension. I feel in the end I will appreciate having the 3 films as just one would have felt really compact and highlighted a lot of the flaws with the original story and while it could probably be done in two if it done as well as this first installment was I feel they can pull it off.

Not to mention it is not like a lot of Tolkien's extra writing will likely ever be seen on screen if not incorporated into the story it expanded on.

My only issue with the hobbit was the lack of practical effects(though the majority of the CGI was great) for the goblins/orcs and Azog specifically.

Kenjitsuka:
What the HELL, Bob?!
I'm halfway through, interested and BOOM: without warning you start about ending of the movie and what the NEXT ones will be about.... SPOILERS, dude!

Not everyone lives in the US where this might have been out for a long time, you know?

:(

Dude do you have any idea how old this book is? It's not a new story. Most of the fantasy people read these days is derived from it.

A great movie never finishes early or late. It finishes exactly when it means to.

Most of my feelings about the length of the Hobbit movie comes from what I know about the Tolkien books. I wasn't bored during any part of the of the movie, but I was often just waiting for something to happen that was actually in the book. I think this has in part to do with the limbo this movie is in between being a serious epic work like LotR and a movie that was more in the vein of the Hobbit book, a children's tale. There's a lot of stuff in there just to make the link between those two. It pads out the length, though not necessarily in a bad way. If the Hobbit had been made like the book was, a lot of people (including me) would have been a bit disappointed.

MovieBob:
snip

good ep and all that but ....

where's our 'Death and return of Superman' eps you promised back in 'Going Green'?

cause some of us wouldn't mind hearing about that mess in an easy to digest form (that, and I like the 'Comics, Are, Weird eps best)

At the end of the movie, i wanted to see more... SO to me, it isn't too long, it's not long enough! D:<

It did feel a bit long right there and then, with my butt hurting and my fingers lazily stroking the cigarette pack in my pocket. It's impossible to have that length without it becoming noticable.

However, the problem to me seem to be that the film is simply slightly overburdened. There's so many asides and the battle segments just can't get enough of themselves. That isn't to say that I dislike them, but I did ask myself if it was that necessary.
It's a question of efficiency, I'd say. The reason why The Hobbit is my favorite of Tolkien's works is because it's fairly tight, simple and contained. It's short, neat and efficient, by Tolkien's standards, and feels alot more agile than the usual lumbering barrage balloon of a story Tolkien mainly wrote. But; I do have faith in Peter Jackson's ability to make it all pay off in the end.

It was nowhere near as bad as the long, drawn out ending in The Return of the King, that's for sure. It was more like "This would be a good moment to bite off. No? A'ight, no immediate hurry", as opposed to "Just get in the boat and LEAVE already!!" that The Return of the Etc. envoked. When I think about it, I'm alright with the length. I never lost interest in the actual film, and I suppose that is what matters when you get down to it.

pointless vandalism:
Was it too long? Yes. Period. He is pulling stuff from the Similarion to pad the story on and milk money from the content. Star wars anyone?

Oh, yes, I'm sure that's Peter's master plan to steal all the little moviegoer's money away. It's not like he even wants to make something good, he just wants our allowances.

image

(Well, alright, a little bit, but you -can- combine wanting to make something great with wanting to make some dough)

MrBaskerville:

OtherSideofSky:

Also, the three consecutive openings were completely unnecessary. It would have been much better to open either with the first old Bilbo segment, fading from the illustration of young Bilbo to his actual face, or to open immediately with young Bilbo and the opening line from the book (which makes no sense in the film's context of Bilbo narrating a story he intends Frodo to read, because Frodo knows exactly what hobbits and hobbit holes are) and then play the Smaug flashback over the dwarves singing about it, with the full song instead of the out-of-place narration (the film immediately cuts to a different narrator, the first narrator never comes back, and enough people fell in love with that song and requested a longer version after seeing the first trailer to demonstrate that audiences would have sat for it).

That would have been pretty cool, that way they could also maintain the mystery a bit longer, instead of spilling the beans right away. When we watch the movie, we know why the dwarves are there, because we basically just saw why they came.

Yeah, the way they set it up we aren't really following Bilbo, except then we are, and the film can't make up it's mind for a little while. The absence of that sort of narration anywhere else makes that opening seem tacked-on and gives the impression that the film is afraid to linger too long on the quiet, almost uneventful portions necessary to buildup (compare it to the Fellowship of the Ring, which goes for a good while before the action starts and doesn't bring out a real battle until about two hours in).

I agree that the sense of mystery is important, but just as important to any good fantasy is the sense of initial normalcy which erodes gradually as the narrative progresses. I would try to justify that statement, but I couldn't possibly do it better than C.S. Lewis did when he explained why a book that ends with Merlin and a boxing bear fighting Big Brother, who is the cybernetic severed head of a French genius scientist and serial killer with a giant exposed brain like Mojo Jojo that is possessed by the devil, while a mansion full of faschists are eaten by tigers begins with two chapters about the internal politics of a small British college, so I will leave it at that.

Yes it is too long.

It is too long for a first movie. They set up so much stuff that doesn't really have any impact without a second movie. Now they are making a guaranteed second movie but it was too long. A shorter tighter movie could have really helped especially in the character department.

Honestly can you tell me any dwarf names outside of the leader guy and even his name eludes me as of this point. Chop off 30 minutes, extract some of the pointless additions and set up, push that towards the second movie, put in more character development even made up character development is fine, it's an adaptation after all, and now you have a long movie that isn't Too long.

Uh I hate to say it, but there are far more reasons that the industry standard for film was 80-130 minutes.

The real reason was not so arbitrary: the actual cost-of-goods. Up until last year, most films that were released were literally made of thousands of feet of polyester film. (Celluloid is banned by insurance companies in sane countries because it is a fire hazard.) The development and materials for these prints usually cost between $15 USD and $20 USD per minute, so a 100-minute film could cost a full $2,000 dollars. Then, once the print was finished, it needed to be shipped. Technicolor had a long-running contract with Airborne Express, while Deluxe used their own distribution network centered around major airports. When Airborne was bought out by DHL, eventually Technicolor had to switch to UPS, because DHL had no idea what they were doing.

Anyway, each print could weigh up to 60 pounds for a 130 minute film, so sometimes it cost hundreds of dollars to ship domestically, and thousands to ship overseas. Now, multiply those costs by however many thousands of screens that your film was opening in (barring the semi-rare practice of 'interlocking'), and the cost-of-goods can differ by tens of millions of dollars for a 90 minute film and a 120 minute film.

Thus, unless a film was being groomed for the academy awards, or unless you were Steven Spielberg or James Cameron, films more or less had to fall within the 80-130 minute guideline. While the number of showings in a given 13-14 hour period was important to Hollywood, it was never as important as the blank cost-of-goods.

I was actually surprised when I went to watch the Hobbit, when I started shifting in my seat and wondering how much was left I realised there were only about 20 minutes remaining, this from someone who has never been a big fan of fantasy in general or Lord of the Rings in particular. I guess for me it helps that The Hobbit actually gave the characters room to breathe instead of just linking action scenes together, although even less action would have been preferable, but then again I realise that is what most people want.

Great video, but I have to correct you on a mistake you've made twice now, Bob...

There are 13 dwarves, not 12.

Sorry for being such an annoying nerd. :/

Farthing:
A great movie never finishes early or late. It finishes exactly when it means to.

Pretty much this.

I haven't seen the movie yet and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing it, before it gets removed from the theatres.

Things that could have been cut.

Frodo and Bilbo at the beginning.
The brown wizard and forest animals. Didn't need to be cut entirely, but the scene itself was too long.
The dwarves being chased by the wargs and orcs. That scene went on for too long as well. Again it had too much of the brown wizard and his rabbits.

Honestly, the hobbit ended in right about the right place, it was either there or after Mirkwood, but that wouldn't have allowed the proper pacing for each movie.
However, there was one part of the movie that could have been done infinitely better, the exposition prologue, where Bilbo is explaining the back story to "Frodo".
This completely hurt the movie in three main ways
1) It destroyed some of the sense of wonder and going into the unknown that the book provided, we should be like Bilbo, going into a new and magical place, we don't need a rather boring voice over explaining the plot, especially if we already have a much better way to do that in the dwarf's song

2) It wasted the whole dwarven song, it would have been so easy to simply take some of the prologue, and simply have the dwarves sing their awesome song, this would have served the same purpose, but would have been so much better.

3) It was far longer than it needed to be, and made the entire movie feel like it was dragging at the end.

I liked the movie well enough, but man, I can't help but feel there was a missed opportunity to make the movie that much better.

OtherSideofSky:
The problem isn't the actual runtime: Django was as long, but I never got bored or noticed that it was going on so long.

The problem with The Hobbit is that parts of it, especially the action scenes, are really boring to watch. They play like scaled-down versions of LotR encounters, with no attempt made to make them interesting or unique and set pieces that often we've all seen done better in other films. The film seems terrified of ever letting things be dark, which leaves the meeting with Gollum far less atmospheric than it ought to be and makes the escape from the goblins in the mountain (even with all the we-wish-we-were-Jackie-Chan business with ladders and boards and the humorous interludes that don't quite fit) far less visually interesting than the one described in the book (tense fighting down narrow, twisting passages illuminated only by glowing swords and the occasional goblin torch).

My thoughts exactly! I saw Django and Hobbit during the same week, and Django felt much much shorter. I mean the whole Bilbo / Gollum scene took so long to play out, I was literally pulling out my hair waiting for it to end. The stone giant battle seemed tacked on, as was the old geezer rabbitsledding through the forest.

For me, acting is the key to any movie. A movie, expecially one that is north of 3 hours, has to have acting to back it up. Django has great performances by Foxx, Waltz, Jackson and DeCaprio. I care about those characters because they have depth, thus I care about what happens to them. The hobbit might as well as ripped off the same midgits from Snow White and the Huntsman, that's how little I care about them. Bilbo, Gollum and Gandalf are the only characters I care about, not due to great acting, but through familiarity.

Sorry Bob. It's too long.

Here's the thing: there's a golden rule with film making. If you can trim something without it negatively affecting the plot, trim it. Film is the most anaemic of all entertainment mediums. You need to trim as much excess fat off of it as possible, for one simple reason- other mediums, the audience can partake in at their leisure. A reader can dip into a book or a comic for as little or as long as they like. They can stop to make a cup of tea. They can go for a walk inbetween chapters. Same with games- you can pause, save and come back to games, and most people tend to play through games in chunks anyway, rather than blowing through everything in one massive go.

With film, you're asking your audience members to sit down and give their undivided, focused attention for a period of a couple of hours. When you're in the cinema, that's it. Once the film starts, you're locked in, and God help you if you need to go to the toiler. Therefore, if you're making that demand of your audience, you need to make sure that every minute of film can be justified. Every wasted minute is a minute that the audience could have spent doing something else, but you're demanding that they watch it.

Now yes, there are films which head for the three hour long mark and have lots of scenes of not a lot happening. What you failed to mention, Bob, is that films like Apocalypse Now and 2001 are atmosphere pieces. The reason why so little happens for such a long time is because the director is trying to convey an atmosphere, or a feeling in the audience, rather than eliciting a response to a specific, intricate story. Recent examples would be films like Drive, or Valhalla Rising. These are films which are light on plot details, and heavy on atmospherics, and in that regard, long drawn out sections of film are entirely appropriate.

The Hobbit is not an atmosphere piece. It is a dense, fast paced story. It is the breeziest of all Tolkien's works, and moves along at a fast pace in novel form. Therefore, when telling the story, Peter Jackson needed to be able to justify every single scene in the film, in terms of how they add to the overall bulk. And sadly, he simply failed to do so. The film is bloated. Monstrously so. Where a story-focused film should be sharp and to the point, this film is so flabby it has love handles poking over its waistband.

It's not just that they took a short story, and decided to turn it into a three film trilogy. It's not just that they scraped in every last bit of backstory, and made it frontstory to try and pad things out. It's that on top of that, they then went and made a load more stuff up, purely to pad out the films even more. The albino orc who keeps appearing in the film? He's already dead in the novel. He got resurrected for the film, purely to provide it with a bit more running time, and to allow WETA to show off more of their mo-cap technology. The whole 'discovering the Necromancer' thing that dragged on and on? In the novel, it was already done and dusted by the time the story kicked off. Gandalf already knew the Necromancer was back, and already knew that it was Sauron. Radaghast didn't go kicking round with Nazgul, and he sure as hell didn't ride around on a rabbit sleigh. In the novel, the Necromancer sidestory is the final act of a story that had already been in motion long before the Hobbit, and was kept to the side simply because it wasn't important to the story of Bilbo. Here, it gets transformed into this laborious "Ooh, we know it's Sauron, but we don't want to admit it's Sauron just yet, even though it's clear as daylight that it's Sauron" pseudo-detective story nonsense. And then we get action scenes that are just too long and drawn out, ruining whatever rhythm the film might have otherwise been able to cobble together.

And no, Bob, we didn't need to hear all the songs and backstory with the Dwarves at Bag End. That's lore. And here's the thing about lore: hardcore fantasy nerds love it. Everybody else hates it. When you're telling a fantasy story, you shouldn't get caught up in pages and pages of exposition retelling this historic event or that historic event. Even Tolkien, for the most part, managed to keep the lore relevant and manageable in the books. You should tell the audience exactly what they need to know, and then let the characters fucking move on. My time is precious, and I don't need to spend it learning about which Dwarf is descended from which noble line of Dwarven kings, and what they Drwafy home was like. They're Dwarves. They're not real.

Lastly, no Bob, centring a whole film around the Battle Of The Five Armies is not a good idea. Peter Jackson already managed to undermine the LOTR books enough by turning the films into one long action sequence. He already made Two Towers into Helm's Deep[ (and some related shit) and Return Of the King into The Battle Of Minas Tirith (and some other stuff). We don't need him making another fantasy film where the majority of the running length is composed of fantasy races carving each other up. Not when the actual fight itself takes up all of about one chapter in the book, and the main character is unconscious for most of it. I don't know if you're aware Bob, but Tolkien was quite anti-war, having fought in the Somme. Turning the third film into one giant action-setpiece filled war battle would just be the biggest undermining of the anti-war themes of the book imaginable. Remember, this film is supposed to be about a Hobbit getting caught up in a burglary attempt with some Dwarves, not dark lords rising and huge armies battling each other.

So yeah... bloated, unmanageable, and unwieldy. The thing is, it's as clear as day that even PJ himself only intended to make two films. All throughout the pre-production phase, all throughout the shooting phase, he and his co-writers were committed to the idea of two films. It was only in the middle of last year, with Warner executives just out of shot, that he announced he's suddenly changed his mind, and decided to make three. Despite having written and shot the thing as two. It's obvious to anyone that Warner pulld a fast one at the last minute, and demanded three films to maximise revenue. From the flabby nature of the story, to the fact they had to reuse unrelated music from the LOTR films to cover stuff that had been added in at the last minute.

Twilight_guy:
Also, Galadriel is probably not the best female to insert int eh story as she kind of does nothing but look pretty and manipulate others. (Both of which fit into two sexist notion of what women are).

Some folk are being concerned with spoilers, so I'll just say that they likely needed to introduce Galadriel here so that her appearance and actions in a later part of the trilogy don't come out of nowhere.

I think there's a lot of stuff in this first movie that we're going to look back on after having seen the whole trilogy and say to ourselves, 'oh, that's why they put that in'. Likely over half of this movie is setting up stuff that'll be important in the next movies. Radagast, Dol Guldur, the Spiders, the White Council, the Ring, Azog the Pale Orc, death of the Great Goblin, Erebor, the Dwarves, Bilbo's sword and its current namelessness, the dwarvish key and the prophecy about the side-door...

I think that's why this movie feels weird. Fellowship of the Ring's stuff mostly paid off during that movie - the Fellowship was created and ended, the relationships between the characters were all resolved (and then never changed for the next 2 movies) the Ring and Sauron's influence was felt from the beginning, Saruman was introduced and had an active role in events...

There's comparatively little payoff in Unexpected Journey, it's all being saved up for the next 2. That's why it feels too long to some.

Isn't the story yet to be finished? This (among other things) sort of renders Bobby's video kind of pointless...

Did anyone else immediately connect the stone giant battle with rock-em sock-em robots or was it just me?

I was bored to tears with the LoTR trilogy, but this felt alright to me.
I enjoyed it, I was entertained, I liked the characters and I appreciated the acting and effects.

Add to that, that I don't really like going to the cinema and that I absolutely hate the 3D effect (which the group I went with unfortunately chose), as well as the screwy framerate that I didn't like either, I still enjoyed myself.
Oh and we had front row seats and the speakers are way too loud in that particular cinema.

So, I saw the original trilogy in a cinema I liked, under the best of circumstances and it was an excrutiating experience of boredom and being uncomfortable and I can still remember just how bad it felt.
I saw The Hobbit under what I would imagine are the worst conditions possible, and had a good time.

I think it's safe to say that the length of the movie is not necessarily a bad thing, if it's good(or something that you enjoy).

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

So yeah... bloated, unmanageable, and unwieldy. The thing is, it's as clear as day that even PJ himself only intended to make two films. All throughout the pre-production phase, all throughout the shooting phase, he and his co-writers were committed to the idea of two films. It was only in the middle of last year, with Warner executives just out of shot, that he announced he's suddenly changed his mind, and decided to make three. Despite having written and shot the thing as two. It's obvious to anyone that Warner pulld a fast one at the last minute, and demanded three films to maximise revenue. From the flabby nature of the story, to the fact they had to reuse unrelated music from the LOTR films to cover stuff that had been added in at the last minute.

First of all, i agree with everything you just wrote^^. But i´m not sure it´s entirely PJs fault, when the end credits rolled i noticed that there were around 4 screenwriters credited, one of them being Guillermo Del Toro. It seems like Peter Jackson has taken old work, maybe even a lot of old drafts and added more stuff on top of it, which might explain why the film is such a mess.

I've never read The Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit. But having seen all 4 films in the cinema and being a big fan of the extended editions of the films I say the Hobbit was a good length.

I liked the references like the trolls turning to stone tale he tells the children at his 111th birthday and how Bilbo came across Sting and Gandalf gets Fellhammer (correct name?). I enjoyed the padding in Rivendell and the council and the back and forth with Golum. Action scenes were placed nicely to break up the exposition and you can never have enough Sylvester McCoy! I never had to look at my watch and was engaged all the way through.

Saw it in 2D though so can't speak for 3 hours of 3D

bdcjacko:

For the most part though the 90s had much fewer big release a year, unlike today where there are more movies released a month than for all summer 1992

That's still not enough, considering how much of a minority they were and how much crap they took. It was never really an accepted trend and was aimed mostly at serious, dramatic movies. The fact that we can now see high fantasy movies that are like 3-4 hours long is definitely a change.

NOW GIT AWF MAH LAWN!

I am going to try and wait until the Hobbit screens at my local cinema that still has an intermission in longer movies. The last movie I saw there was Lawrence of Arabia. Having a break in some of the longer movies is very welcome such as Apocalypse Now Redux and the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. I even saw the restored version of Heaven's Gate there.

They also did a triple bill of the Lord of the Rings movies late last year, but had some problems with people talking and texting during the screening, leading to this
http://astortheatreblog.wordpress.com/2012/11/28/astor-etiquette-101/

Seeing Watchmen and Inglorious Basterds at a regular cinema was a bit of a trial and I forgot to go the toilet beforehand so it was not pleasant towards the end.

When Joe Dante introduced The Movie Orgy at a local film festival, he told people it was designed so you could go out and get something to eat or go to the toilet and not really miss anything, which is good as it went for 4&1/2 hours. It started at midnight and let out close to 5am in the morning. Was the best thing I saw at the festival that year, don't crowd me!

There was a 401 minute version of War & Peace that screened at the Russian film festival last year, one of the battle scenes went for 40 minutes.

I saw the shorter version, but have heard the 5 hour version of Carlos is meant to be pretty good. It is meant to be screened as a miniseries on TV.

It comes down to how engaging the movie is, if you are into it you will not be checking your watch and nodding off. If it is good then you don't want to have to leave to go to the toilet so you can see how it ends.

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