Thread: Who should Direct the Hobbit?
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Don't make me laugh! none of them can direct the hobbit ...I'm sure that PJ will direct the movie!...he's done big projects before... I think he can do it better than any one else!
I despise him! He's pompous, obsessive, and UN-ORIGINAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dobkin was at the helm for Shangai Knights, Wedding Crashers and Fred Claus - again nothing to inspiring although judging from the title of that last one I assume its a family family at least.
As to Ratner and Dobkin, I couldn't agree more Petty.
Just my thoughts on the matter. I do think GB raises a good point about Cameron's suitability for [i:6wwtd1ab]The Hobbit[/i:6wwtd1ab] specifically; I'll have to think on that some.
My objection to Cameron as being suited to The Hobbit, is that he makes rather Earnest, Serious films. He doesn't seem to have the sense of "Whimsy" , required. If anything, by including such elements as a "surfing" or "skateboarding" Legolas in LotR, Jackson has shown that he IS capable of it, though Del Toro's input (should it remain a part of the films) should also go a long way to ensuring that The Hobbit will retain it's Magical Charm.
The first two are sci-fi/action films with a dash of horror, and are definitely serious adult films. [i:ly5ocp8c]Titanic[/i:ly5ocp8c] is a romance with a backdrop of tragedy (also it's the only one of the bunch that I didn't like). [i:ly5ocp8c]Avatar[/i:ly5ocp8c] is an epic sci-fi/fantasy adventure that reminds me of LOTR in a lot of ways, and is definitely serious. From what I know of Cameron's other films, I have to agree with you.
Thinking on it more, I would like someone with a record on more whimsical films, though Cameron could probably do a good job making a more serious version fo the story if that is what PJ and GDT wrote. I hope that they wrote something more in line with the original story, but if they didn't, I think Cameron could at least make it a very good serious film, which is some consolation.
From the list you give Eldo I remember enjoying Terminator, although it is years since I have seen it. But it wasn't very big on plot so much as set pieces.
Aliens is a poor relative of Alien and does a decent job of distracting you (first time through) from the fact you could write the entire plot on the back of a stamp.
Titanic dazzles with big effects but it is an awful film, if you doubt that I suggest watching A Night to Remember, made in 1958 and 100x a better, more chilling, honest telling of the Titanic disaster.
Avatar is all showmanship with some very poor heavy handed morality tacked on and is most notable for the fact Cameron plunders his own back catalogue for reusable ideas.
So no, not Cameron for TH, I'd like a decent telling of the tale not a lot of gimmicks and cheap tricks from a smoke and mirrors director.
I don't know if this is really the thread to make the point, but can I say I think the problem with adaptations (at least according to my rule of thumb) is that the Directors who make adaptations of Great Books are rarely Great enough, that is: brilliant, confident, competent, humble or brave enough to film them truly. It's somewhat nonplussing to me that books that are famous, enjoyed by millions, aren't good enough to be filmed as accurately as reasonably possible. If I stole a half (or third?) of a book to put into my own book, it would be plagiarism, and I feel some movies are really plagiarising stories, not bringing the author's (loved) vision to the screen. My view has always been that if you've got lots of good ideas, why not turn them into your own story? And, also, why cut down an olive tree for firewood and leave the olives to rot on the ground? (I'm thinking just now of Tom Bombadil's omission from Peter Jacksons' movies as a matter of fact, but there are many others in his work - and, of course, there are some ghastly additions as well! ) :-Jane
PJ was lucky though. Since Tolkein literally created another world, he had so much to use and not use that he kind of blended the movies into the trilogy and then some. I feel as though he wanted to share as much of Tolkien as he could with us, but also showing his own twist. Whether his "twist" is good or not is up to the bias of the viewer, but I respect his judgement (though not always agree with it...)
The fact that PJ's version matched my own imagining while reading Tolkien's book quite well, is the biggest reason I love Jackson's films.
I fail to see GB how you can defend PJ on such changes on the basis of adaptation.
A very good point, Jane. Jackson, Walsh, and Boyens clearly had lots of ideas about storytelling, and while I'm sure petty would disagree with me, I think they could make a good original movie (or at the very least could have several years ago). It would lack the existing fanbase of LOTR, but it would allow PJ to fully flex his creative muscles without being constrained by an original work, however selectively they might choose to follow it.
I think that largely depends on what you mean by 'living up to the book'. In my (admittedly limited) experience of viewing adaptations, most directors seem to want to add their own material to the story to a fairly large degree. At that point I have to wonder if they have any reason for not making an original movie aside from adaptations being safer financial bets. A lot of those changes have nothing to do with the medium, it's just change for the sake of change (or for the director's personal preference or in an attempt to bring in even more moviegoers). At that point I can understand why a lot of fans of the original work feel let down by the adaptation.
I don't mean that to be a judgement on all adaptations though, and I'm sure there are exceptions.
Avatar had mass appeal but was not good (its not intelligent, its eye candy and its moral is jingoist and simplistic but its entertaining eye candy), The Cook the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (hereby TCHWHL) is good (quicker if you watch it to find out why than I explain!) but did not have mass appeal, its not as entertaining. Avatar made a fortune and was popular, but it is not a reflection of how good it was as TCHWHL is widely recognized as a good film but it never make the box office or popularity of Avatar. By your standard of judging GB Avatar (and the Twilight films for that matter) must be substantially better films than TCHWHL if profit and popularity are the only criteria.
But there are many very good films that have never even reached the popularity of an episode of Stargate, but it doesn't mean they are not good films. Profit and a media led popularity does not immediately equal good film.
The ideal of course is to have both mass appeal and be good, but few seem to pull that off.
PJ made an entertaining version of LotR, whereas I would have preferred a good one and I believe Cameron would also make an entertaining version of TH, but not a good one.
[quote="Foreword to the Second Edition":2qfkc43o]The prime motive was the desire of a tale-teller to try his hand at a really long story that would hold the attention of readers, amuse them, delight them, and at times maybe excite them or deeply move them.[/quote:2qfkc43o]
In short, Tolkien wanted to write something entertainment. Clearly he didn't want something mindless and wished to connect with people on an emotional level, but it's still 'just' entertainment.
[quote="pettytyrant101":2qfkc43o]Avatar had mass appeal but was not good (its not intelligent, its eye candy and its moral is jingoist and simplistic but its entertaining eye candy)[/quote:2qfkc43o]
I'm a little tired of hearing this, so if the following comes off as aggressive, I apologize. It's not meant personally.
The most striking feature of Avatar was it's revolutionary visuals, especially when seen in 3D. To put it simply, Avatar pushed computer-generated visuals further than ever before in a big blockbuster but was still able to have a generally realistic (as much as possible when on an alien world) look that didn't scream 'I was made in a computer!'. It's story, however, is still both entertaining and emotionally powerful to a large number of people, even though those are subjective measures and thus not agreed upon by everyone. Black and white are painted incredibly starkly, but this is a feature in many fantasies, including LotR and Star Wars. Sometimes black-white moralities can even be a good thing: it's sometimes nice to have a clear villain to jeer at and a clear hero to cheer for.
Also, if you want to complain about the moral of Avatar, complain about it for its neo-Luddism. It's hardly jingoistic: the main protagonist actually turns against not only his country but his entire planet. Personally I don't find anything objectionable about the idea that you should do the right thing even when everyone around you won't, though.
That said, I do agree that box office draw is not always a good indicator of quality. As you say, Twilight.
The fact is Avatar didn't JUST have Mass Appeal, it also appealed to Notoriously Jaded critics, of which a sizable portion agree with me regarding its intelligence. It wasn't merely eye candy; it had great characters, an excellent script, believable dialogue, good casting and acting, excellent pacing, tight plotting; in short, a GREAT all around film.
As to everything Eldo says: I agree 100% .
As to Tolkien wanting to create a popular book- of course he did, what writer doesn't want people to enjoy their writing? The difference is Tolkien didn't cynically sit down and look at spreadsheets and trends to see what he might write that would be popular and make him shed-loads of money. He wrote with heart, love and passion and hoped people would like it because of that, that's the attitude I would like to see TH made in. Thats how I define intelligence in the arts - when the project itself is the most important thing, not the outcome financialy or measured in mass appeal.
Del Toro had brought comic book artists on board to supplement the work of Howe and Lee, I wonder if they have been retained through all this?
Del Toro was also very keen to move away it seems from full on CGI for the creatures and was talking up using cutting edge animatronics with CGI elements, again I wonder if this is still the direction they plan to take (I hope so, I think you tend to get better performances when the actors have something there to act with- and I'll take Empires Yoda over bouncy CGI Yoda any day. I also saw the Dark Crystal again after many years and was blown away by the skill and craft of the performers so I'm all for advancing that art form beyond children's television).
Also Del Toro's initial sense was that;
"The Hobbit is better contained in a single film and kept brisk and fluid with no artificial 'break point'."
Which I agree with, he later changed his mind but I think his gut instinct was right here.
'Del Toro and Jackson considered the sudden introduction to Bard the Bowman and Bilbo being unconscious during the Battle of the Five Armies to be "less cinematic moments" reminiscent of the novel's more "fairy tale world" than The Lord of the Rings, which they would change to make The Hobbit feel more like the trilogy.'
This sort if thing worries me as I assume things were far enough along that most of these script elements will be retained no matter who directs now.
'Del Toro spent his mornings writing, and afternoons looking at material related to Tolkien to help him understand the writer's work. He watched World War I documentaries and asked for book recommendations from Jackson, who is a collector of World War I memorabilia. Del Toro felt Tolkien's experiences in that war influenced his stories'
Warnings about allegory spring to mind here!!
'Del Toro was faced with two possible places to split the story, including Smaug's defeat. He noted the second film would need to end by leading directly into The Fellowship of the Ring. In June 2009, Del Toro revealed he had decided where to divide the story based on comments from fans about signifying a change in Bilbo's relationship with the dwarves.'
There's is no way to know at this stage if the films will still be split at whatever mystery point is implied here- I'm not sure I know what he is saying. And who are these fans they ask? Never seem to see anyone from the films hanging about here asking us what we think,not unless PJ comes on in disguise. If so I hope he appreciates honest opinions strongly voiced!
This is something that has worried me to a degree. As far as I know Lee and Howe are not working on the film, which has been a disappointment to me. As much as I stress the differences in the stories of TH and LOTR, a similar visual style would in my opinion be good.
[quote:3vwu1psk]Del Toro was also very keen to move away it seems from full on CGI for the creatures and was talking up using cutting edge animatronics with CGI elements[/quote:3vwu1psk]
With the notable exceptions of Gollum and some of the larger armies, PJ showed a great deal of restraint with using CGI in LOTR. I hope that this remains the case with TH for the reasons you mentioned.
[quote:3vwu1psk]"The Hobbit is better contained in a single film and kept brisk and fluid with no artificial 'break point'."
Which I agree with, he later changed his mind but I think his gut instinct was right here.[/quote:3vwu1psk]
I agree, particularly about the break point being artificial. I would add that The Hobbit is better left as the story of Bilbo and the Quest of Erebor without any artificially engorged side-stories added.
[quote:3vwu1psk]'Del Toro and Jackson considered the sudden introduction to Bard the Bowman and Bilbo being unconscious during the Battle of the Five Armies to be "less cinematic moments" reminiscent of the novel's more "fairy tale world" than The Lord of the Rings, which they would change to make The Hobbit feel more like the trilogy.'
This sort if thing worries me as I assume things were far enough along that most of these script elements will be retained no matter who directs now.[/quote:3vwu1psk]
I think this is reflective of the overall attitude of the film-makers which quite perturbs me. The "fairy tale world" and story is the [i:3vwu1psk]point[/i:3vwu1psk] of The Hobbit. Clearly, however, the film-makers are not interested in making a film that is faithful to the (dare I say it?) spirit of the original in this way.
[quote:3vwu1psk]'Del Toro spent his mornings writing, and afternoons looking at material related to Tolkien to help him understand the writer's work. He watched World War I documentaries and asked for book recommendations from Jackson, who is a collector of World War I memorabilia. Del Toro felt Tolkien's experiences in that war influenced his stories'
Warnings about allegory spring to mind here!![/quote:3vwu1psk]
Warnings, certainly, though Tolkien's life experiences may well have influenced his writing, perhaps unconsciously, without making them allegory (which they clearly weren't). That said, thinking about WWI suggests that del Toro may have been planning to make The Hobbit more of a war film.
[quote:3vwu1psk]'Del Toro was faced with two possible places to split the story, including Smaug's defeat. He noted the second film would need to end by leading directly into The Fellowship of the Ring. In June 2009, Del Toro revealed he had decided where to divide the story based on comments from fans about signifying a change in Bilbo's relationship with the dwarves.'
There's is no way to know at this stage if the films will still be split at whatever mystery point is implied here- I'm not sure I know what he is saying. And who are these fans they ask? Never seem to see anyone from the films hanging about here asking us what we think,not unless PJ comes on in disguise. If so I hope he appreciates honest opinions strongly voiced![/quote:3vwu1psk]
Based on this I think it's likely that the split will occur in or right after Mirkwood, where the dwarves begin to respect Bilbo more. BTW, the fans they mention are the members of the message boards at TheOneRing.net, where del Toro is a member (he posts as 'Guillermo'). TORn has always had a special relationship with the film-makers.
Interesting quotes and even more interesting thoughts, petty.
The biggest worry though is this notion that 'faiytale' is somehow bad and to be avoided. TH is a fairystory, that's rather the point I feel. To lose this is to lose something fundemental about the book and something which is quite different from LoTR.
petty ... you almost sound as if you ... [i:5jzm9gce]want[/i:5jzm9gce] there to be movies!
Agreed. It's not really a question of "if" though: the two film structure has been confirmed for some time, as has the LOTR-izing. I can go look up some links if you'd like.
Then again, it's possible this someone new would do it even worse.