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Am I the only one who preferred the first Hobbit film over the Peter Jackson lord of the Rings trilogy?

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Please note that I am only talking about the first film here. I know allot of people have similar problems with the An Unexpected Journey as they do the other instalments in the Hobbit trilogy however I do not think they are comparable. People like to compare the dwarves surviving their encounter with Smaug in such near death situation for instance to them surviving the stone giants I disagree. The stone giants are not trying to hurt the dwarfs just themselves unlike Smaug who was determinate to kill the dwarfs. Also the dwarfs massacring the orcs with ease was much more forgivable in An Unexpected Journey then in The Desolation of Smaug since they had Gandalf at their side(they guy that most fans of the books complain is not powerful enough in the films).

If you want to know however why I prefer the first installment of the Hobbit trilogy to the original Jackson trilogy it is the following.

1. The prologue is allot longer I would honestly have preferred a similarly lengthy prologue in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I prefer the extended version of the Hobbit prologue but both are still more satisfying than the one in Fellowship of the Ring theatrical and extended version. I know it is not Jackson's fault since he actually had a longer prologue in mind for the first Lord of the Rings film that he made but the movies are what they are regardless of the directors intentions not to mention movies are not a one man's product. Also, there many people who don't care for prologues in eithers films as they do not follow most of our main characters and are not the actual story as much as they are backstory. Well, I disagree but then again I like all the focus on lore and backstory in Tolkien's books as well so there is that.

2. The art direction is allot better then in the Lord of the Rings films. Gollums eyes glimmer allot more often and it is used to great effect. Dwarf look more cartoonish and fairy tale like with the unfortunate exception of kili, let's just say I prefer them that way. The trolls look like well trolls and not like the Rancor monster from Star Wars which is an improvement. The Wargs actually look like monster wolfs and not Hyaenodonts. Nuff said.
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Anyway, please don't take this to mean that I dislike Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy I just have more of an appreciation for the first installment of his Hobbit trilogy and I might actually be a bit biased since I prefer the Hobbit story over Lord of the Rings and infact Lord of the Rings is only my third favorite Tolkien story(the second one being Children of Húrin).

Also given the amount of book purists that don't care for Jacksons adaptations at all on this forum I actually feel saver sharing this opinion here than anywhere else. So what do you think am I alone in this?
 
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Olorgando

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I'll start with points where I agree with you. The Wargs look a lot more like (demonic) wolves that do those of LoTR - which I thought looked a bit too much like bears (though ursines and canines do seem to have a common ancestor). The eagles in TH also look a lot more like their real-life equivalents; my impression of the Eagles in RoTK was that of hawks rather than eagles.

As to art direction of CGI, LoTR was ground-breaking in a lot of the art and CGI technology used, pushing the envelope. That this had become even better eleven years later should be no surprise. CGI has, especially in the Marvel stuff, become almost too dominant. Viggo Mortensen, LoTR's Aragorn, criticized TH for CGI overkill.

As to EEs: I think most of the additional film footage of TH to be abominable. PJ was dumping own inventions all over TH (in a lesser degree in LoTR), and especially the additional film footage for "Journey" was the worst waste of time in all six films. Bringing me to the thing about his treatment of Dwarves. There is only one "real Dwarf" (despite PJ's abominable making him a focus of comic relief) in all six films: John Rhys-Davies's Gimli. The whole TH bunch just look pathetic compare to him. Of course JRRT also made fun of the Dwarves in his children's book - but if PJ was trying to bring TH up to the level of LoTR, he badly failed as far as the Dwarves are concerned. I could care squat that (pre-) pubescent girls may have wet their pants squealing at Thorin (perhaps), Fili and Kili - and of course the squeeze from LoTR (for their older sisters?) Leggie - looking "strangely" older than during events that took place 77 years later. Their grandmothers put The Beatles off touring (though that was a Good Thing, not realized back in 1966) ...

In LoTR, PJ brought in stuff from the books that would have made the cinematic films too long into the EEs. Not always "canon", but often enough. And in "Fellowship", he stayed close to the book, as he knew that there were dozens of millions of readers of the book who could have made the entire franchise a disaster (principal photography for all three films had been done before the first premiered. What took time for all three was additional CGI, some pick-up shots, musical scoring and the like) if they had reacted negatively to the first film.

What makes all six EEs worth-while for me is the additional material - the "appendices", so to speak. And PJ was quite candid in the BoFA EE that he needed to take a break from filming, as he had not planned on being director (that should have been Guillermo del Toro), so he was missing something like two years of preparation compared to LoTR. That he "didn't know (anymore) what he was doing."

Yes, we book nerds (or purists) have our issues with what PJ did. Turning things an author has himself during his lifetime declared to be central to his story on their heads will not endear any film-maker to those who know the source books. We simply cannot look at these films as though they were done from original scripts (and some, perhaps myself included, have nagged that PJ's Oscar - shared with his wife Philippa Boyens, and Fran Walsh - for scriptwriting was for the wrong category - they got it for "adapted screenplay"; they should have gotten it for "original screenplay"), as do many film-only fans. For visual effects, for scenery, for costumes in the widest sense, for attention to secondary, tertiary ... detail, no films may rival these two trilogies. There at least, they followed JRRT in getting things only glimpsed in passing right. They (almost?) niggled. No Star Trek TV series boulders made of Styrofoam (and looking it!) here. I also refuse to fault any actor in any role for their performance in any of the films - actors work for the director (though some, with an authority about LoTR (and TH) the book, most prominently Christopher Lee, who must have read LoTR more than a handful of time before PJ was even born in 1961, and Ian McKellen, pointed out that using some original JRRT text might be better than what the scriptwriter trio had concocted, and successfully). These roles were not ones that could remotely nourish hopes for an Oscar or the like. Ian McKellen actually did get nominated for "Best Supporting Actor" for "Fellowship". And by the way, "Fellowship" was nominated more often, 13 times, than was "Return of The King". Not a few people think it should have won "Best Picture" that year, more so than ROTK did two years later. All three films won "Best Visual Effects". 30 nominations (also for "Best Picture" every time), 13 / 6 / 11, 17 wins, 4 / 2 / 11, including that 11 for 11 sweep 2004. Though "fantasy" or more broadly "the fantastic", which includes all SF and the whole of the Marvel etc. universe is a cash cow for the film industry, it is somehow for some things (except baddies, those possibilities for outlandish performances across all genres) somewhat less than "respectable". Like "fairy tales" or other children's stuff. The problem being a "suspension of disbelief", to use a term JRRT also did. Everyone believes there are types like Gordon Gekko on "Wall Street", the newspapers were full of them (don't know about the Internet). At least what I read about many reactions to the LoTR series in cinemas (and these were the last three films I saw at such locations), PJ was successful there. Even if occasionally the audience was on the youngish side, there was none of the stupid "horsing-around" that can be the case with such audiences with other films. Only one other film that I can recall clearly had an audience reaction similar to the LoTR three, if for other reasons: Steven Spielberg's 1993 "Schindler's List". Some subdued murmurings and whispers after the end, but I have never experienced an audience file out of the theater in anything remotely resembling that silence. Closest would be RoTK, which ended, as did the book, with Sam's quiet, anticlimactic words "well, I'm back".
 
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As to EEs: I think most of the additional film footage of TH to be abominable. PJ was dumping own inventions all over TH (in a lesser degree in LoTR), and especially the additional film footage for "Journey" was the worst waste of time in all six films. Bringing me to the thing about his treatment of Dwarves. There is only one "real Dwarf" (despite PJ's abominable making him a focus of comic relief) in all six films: John Rhys-Davies's Gimli. The whole TH bunch just look pathetic compare to him. Of course JRRT also made fun of the Dwarves in his children's book - but if PJ was trying to bring TH up to the level of LoTR, he badly failed as far as the Dwarves are concerned. I could care squat that (pre-) pubescent girls may have wet their pants squealing at Thorin (perhaps), Fili and Kili - and of course the squeeze from LoTR (for their older sisters?) Leggie - looking "strangely" older than during events that took place 77 years later. Their grandmothers put The Beatles off touring (though that was a Good Thing, not realized back in 1966) ...
Yeah, the Dwarfs being taken less seriously is a big tonal shift between not just Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit but all of Tolkiens other middle earth fairy tales and the Hobbit. Then again the Hobbit was not originally intended to take place in the same universe as the Silmarillion.

I guess in this instance tho I do not care so much for the Hobbit being more like Lord of the Rings except for the changes to ''riddles in the dark''.
 

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