Tag Archives: The Hobbit Movie

Movies: A tribute to Gandalf’s Mothmail Delivery System.No…

Movies: A tribute to Gandalf’s Mothmail Delivery System.

No one can dispute the Moth’s singular importance as the saviour of the day, at least where Gandalf is concerned in the ME movies. Yes, the Eagles were the muscle, but how would they know where to bring the brawn if not for the stalwart Moth?

We’ve seen how in LotR, the Moth quietly saved Gandalf from his imprisonment atop Orthanc by literally bringing an Eagle in, and displaying great
sense of timing by telling Gandalf when to jump. No one else could lay claim to making a Maia jump where and when.

Then
the Moth goes on to save the host at the Morannon single-handedly
(antennaly?) by bringing a flock of Eagles, even considerately notifying
Gandalf in that signature discrete unassuming way. Who knows what dangers the
Moth risked to complete these insane lifer missions for Gandalf with such quiet
dignity?

The Hobbit movies, at least in AUJ, showed us the relationship between Gandalf and the
Moth went back a ways. In the time-honoured work ethnics of true unsung heroes, the Moth didn’t brag about saving the behinds of
Gandalf and the Company from Azog’s rampage.

With the importance of the Moth to Gandalf’s continued well-bring, I had thought there would be big scenes where the Moth would flap in to save Gandalf in BotFA. It’s all moot now, but I suspected the Moth
might answer two calls of deployment, one to line up the transport for
Gandalf from Dol Guldur, and then to call in the flight squadron at the
end of That Day. Twice, a good encore number for the unsung hero of PJ’s ME
films.

But nope, the Moth’s moment of glory was never meant to be. Still, how did the unassuming Moth take on all that dangerous work and still manage to deliver with such impeccably-timed spectacle?

Two words: aerodynamics, and gumption.

Moth gumption was on display every time Gandalf needed saving. But what about aerodynamics? Call upon science and the answer is there for the taking. Without further preamble, the secrets of mothmail success revealed:

An interesting new paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Jesse Barber and colleagues found that moth hindwing tails are an
effective defense against bat predation.  Pretty cool stuff!. (Continue reading)

Truly. Mothmail: Deus ex machina supremo.

Movies: A tribute to Gandalf’s Mothmail Delivery System.No…

“If it had been in the movie it would have been… it would have…

“If it had been in the movie it would have been… it would have been quite a nice shot.” – Alan Lee

With the home-entertainment release theatrical edition of The Battle of the Five Armies impending, I am finding myself wondering if we’re gonna get DOS’ed again with an extended edition with NO additional scenes featuring the Elves.

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Battle of the Five Armies Just Has No Story

lawyernovelist:

I was going to do this as part of a general overview post, but then it got long. The basic problem, though, is that Battle of the Five Armies suffered from a complete lack of storytelling.

This wasn’t a story. This was a series of events arranged in chronological order. Nothing really built, there was no arc for any of the characters, and most of it was pointless.

Cut for spoilers for The Hobbit (book and movies) and some mild spoilers for Lord of the Rings (books and movies).

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Stumbled on this. Quite glad even though it’s long and actually is even longer, considering all the long sub-posts it links to. Because while I have neither energy nor time to go into detail about what my problems with botfa are and how I feel it, and the series, could be better, vicariously living the postulations is much needed therapy I didn’t know I need. Especially when the responses I got on a forum where I shared my thoughts tended towards vocal supporters determined to justify the problems I see with the movies (I wasn’t convinced by any shot), or had issues but were not expressed well or countered thoughtfully, this is an interesting find.

There is discussion on all the major characters, their characterisations and arcs. Bonus; the book is held up for reference too.

I am in total agreement with the premise the movie is basically a moving sequence of events. To me, it’s reminiscent of a quest game – hit certain marks in a certain order and score! Turn it on, finish it or don’t. Restart it, or give it up. It doesn’t matter. My problem is I WANT IT TO, DAMMIT!

I’ve said and expressed my piece, quite a few times, as recently as this morning but it bears saying again, so here goes.

This trilogy is based on a book, lovingly crafted with attention to details, but it is not quite with the book. It is a mass-market movie but strangely finely-tuned with rather significant nods and easter-eggs that fly right over the mass market audience.

The open secret is that knowledge of the book, and associated publications that is not going to be read by the average mass-market audience turns out to be at least beneficial to understanding the unexplained stuff in the movie. This in turn frustrates, if not infuriate, the reader, because it is replete with obtuse story-telling, unfathomable creative choices and hanging plotgaps for which resolution MIGHT BE delivered in the extended edition… which leaves the larger population of the mass-market theatrical release… where?

I’m not done with all the related posts on this post, and I’m sure I’m not going to be shouting “Aye!” at every point in every one of them, but based on what I’ve read so far, I have to encourage people with hobbit/botfa issues to try them on for size, just on principle.

And conversely, I dare people who love and support the divisive hobbit/botfa stuff (you know of what/who I speak) to have a look, and not develop a shred of agreement at all.

I’m disappointed with a lot in the movies, but there are still things I like. And I am still hanging on to the one saving grace, to my mind, that this trilogy is not what Episodes I, II, III are to the Star Wars franchise. At least so far. But I am not going to let that stop me from finishing this excellent series of critiques by lawyernovelist.

Battle of the Five Armies Just Has No Story

wolfanitas-art:I loved the first two thirds of BotFA. Everything…

wolfanitas-art:

I loved the first two thirds of BotFA. Everything I didn’t like about the last third, Gandalf was so kind to summarise for me.

Word!

More expression of my grumps with the movies cos I want so much to like it all but just.can’t! Because it was real tough to buy it, hook, line and sinker, and not ask any questions.

wolfanitas-art:I loved the first two thirds of BotFA. Everything…

Thranduil’s Scars

Thranduil’s Scars:

elf-esteem:

An essay with pictures about Thranduil’s scars, Elven magic, Elven healing, and Tolkien’s lore vs. the movie.

So, I’ve seen fans posting about Thranduil being blind in his left eye; I frowned 😡 and decided to try to help clear the air. Tolkien would have wtf’d the whole thing, if he ever wtf’d,…

 

Even with just this bit, I had to laugh and agree all at once. Bless elf-esteem for her detailed and thorough essay. The premise goes beyond movie!Thranduil’s scars to the physical constitution of Elves themselves. Just perfect meta on the scars of movie!Thranduil. Canon-heads should be chuffed as kitties after an indulgence of cream.

Beautiful rendition of Thranduil’s scar vanity. (Source: xi zhang’s art station site)

They make for a great visual, but really, as elf-esteem puts so succinctly:

We, the fans, in this case, are the thick-skulled Dwarves that Jackson was pandering to because actually understanding the subtleties of Elves, which Tolkien spent years explaining, is ‘complicated’ without reading the explanations.

Sadly, within the strangely compressed, and yet drawn out spiel of the movie!Hobbit, devices that shock and awe seem par for course (sometimes even favoured) by the powers that be.

Yet, where did the powers pluck the interesting bits from?

Where else?

Canon. Book canon that is.

If you’re one for it, it does preclude those scars as they were presented in the movie.

Look, everyone who watched the movies know Sauron’s almighty. But when even Sauron’s boss, who’s another level of almighty, couldn’t rid himself of the gimp he got in a fight with an Elf, lesser beings (among whom Elves figure, and among whom Thranduil number – shocking, I know) aren’t going to suddenly leapfrog him and self-regenerate and live forever young all at once. (Being able to do BOTH is the exclusive province of these guys.)

Even though it lacks the visual drama of those scars, still canon has its own distinctive allure. It reaches to Ages far, far back and long, long ago.

Nothing wrong with being exclusively movie-devout, but as a movie-firster myself, I contend that anyone intensely interested in Thranduil could do far worse than attempt the effort to (at least try) understand the character’s true origins.

Admittedly, Thranduil himself doesn’t grace the works much at all, but the peripherals still informs who he was. In itself, it is richly textured and much more interesting than the headcanon spawning visual drama of those scars. elf-esteem’s comprehensive essay is a GREAT start. Besides, reading’s always FUN, what more Thranduil studies? =)

Thranduil’s Scars

Movie-verse: Thranduil and Legolas’ relationship

myrkvidrs:

I’ve always been very much on the side of “Thranduil and Legolas had a good relationship” when it comes to their history together, especially given Galadriel’s statement of how Legolas grew up in joy (admittedly that wasn’t in the movies, tho) and, while watching the movies, I was initially wary of how things were portrayed, the closer I looked, the more I’m still firmly on the side of, “Yeah, that little elfling was totally doted on.”

(This is helped by the actors confirming that father and son love each other incredibly deeply, as well as Phillipa Boyen confirmed that, yeah, of course they reconcile between The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.)

My view on this largely comes from the way they react to each other, even when there’s doubt and hurt and strife there.  I mean, this is not the face of an elf who was not encouraged to speak his mind:
image
image

No, I’m pretty sure that’s an elf who was brought up to ask questions, to say his thoughts, to have strong convictions.  (As well as maybe being a little spoiled, because—well, I’ll get into that.)  As well as, when you look at the way Thranduil reacts to Legolas, there is no point at which Thranduil is cruel to him or yells at him or expresses anger towards him, even when he would be justified in doing so.  There’s never any, “You sit back down, shut up, and mind your place.”

When Legolas says harsh words to his father, the reaction is instead:
image

So, I’m going to look at their scenes across the movies and see just what kind of dynamic they really do have.  This is entirely movie-based (as it would have to be, of course), so I will be focusing on their personalities and interactions here for this post.

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Bravo to myrkvidrs for a detailed look at this. As myrkvidrs postulates in this deep-dive analysis, there is a lot that confirms the relationship between Thranduil and Legolas is not as negative as the initial impression that one gets.

Even though the characterisations serve the scripts, which can be so maddeningly problematic while paying attention to nuances, much of the details and nuance are down to the actors’ ability to convey the emotion and intensity; with all due respect to Orlando Bloom, on Lee Pace’s part in particular.

The pity is that the general audience is not going to spend time studying the nuances, not even if they do see the movies repeatedly. They will, and do, form initial impressions and leave with those initial impressions.

And therein again the rub is while the brilliant portrayal is brilliant, the effort of the talent and the detailed layers crafted is wasted on a big population of the audience. Within the framework of a movie series that has so much going on, some things do need to be DEMONSTRATED overtly. Ironically, despite my gripes about the movies, I do feel this is a case where the common denominator needs to be given consideration and paid attention to. Editing is so tight, and the focus so otherly placed, there is no time for character moments to breath, and this particular relationship suffered, badly.

Movie-verse: Thranduil and Legolas’ relationship

No one enters this kingdom, and no one leaves it. Beautiful!…

No one enters this kingdom, and no one leaves it.

Beautiful! And the perfect blog for a test cross-post to wordpress.

via tumblr http://ift.tt/1yH1VMd published on January 25, 2015 at 11:01PM

Movie: Once more on the merry-go-round (An Addendum)

Thranduil_BotFAAn unexpected coincidence that is surely the perfect augmentation to Movie: Once more on the merry-go-round.

This one panel sums so well the questions. Not all, but well enough.

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