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Is the Hobbit prequel trilogy suffering the same problems as the Star Wars prequel Trilogy?

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Just read this article:

http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/fuffy/news/?a=109805

And it seems a lot of fans feel the same way as numerous of you on here do in regards to the prequel trilogy for Star Wars. Lots of CGI and money put into the prequels but it just can't hold a candle to the originals. Also reading that comment by Ian McKellen on the thread regarding Liam Nesson acting in Phantom Menace and how they almost quit the business because of the crappy experience with blue screen makes it seem like there is almost a repeat of history here. Personally I hate what they did with the Hobbit, filling the movies with so much filler and made up junk just to make a trilogy. I think it should have just been 2 movies or 1. I'd rather watch Phantom Menace than the Hobbit 1...it was so boring and took too  long for the story to start in my opinion. Second one was better but still had it's problems. You guys think the  Hobbit prequel trilogy suffering the same problems as the Star Wars prequel Trilogy?

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The key problem is splitting it into three movies. Two was stretching it already. The Hobbit, even with some of the new stuff (White Council, Dol Guldur) added in, shouldn't be longer than 3 and a half hours. Nine hours is far too long.

The over-reliance on CGI and desire to push boundaries (48fps; 3D necessitating new ways of shooting the differently-sized cast) - two things the prequels fell victim to - don't help much, but the main problem was splitting up such a thin story over multiple films.

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The funny thing is with all the technology spent on both the Star Wars and Hobbit prequels the originals for both sagas look far more "real."

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I would compare them more to the Star Trek reboots. Both are inferior to their originals, but they're both at least fun to watch, even if they are frustrating at times. For me anyway, the prequels were just a time and energy suck in every way.

The Person in Question

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To me, the big difference going into The Hobbit movies was knowing that many of the same people behind the cameras were back. Obviously it was PJ directing again, but it was also Andrew Lesnie shooting. The fact they were using RED Epics (they had to use digital cameras to shoot in 3D) was a worthy tradeoff to me, since LotR was shot in Super 35 and the Epic's sensor is only slightly bigger. Unlike AotC and RotS, the look of these digital prequels would be very close to their film-based counterparts. Native 3D seemed like a natural choice for something like The Hobbit anyway

When they announced (the week after they started shooting, lol) that this (these) would be the first 3D movie(s) to be shot at 48p, something Cameron had wanted to do for the first Avatar, I was enthusiastic. I'd actually assumed that all 3D showings would be the 48-frame version, until I found out the projectors required expensive firmware upgrades and they'd be differentiating the higher framerate version - and only at select locations - with the moniker "hfr."

When I saw that very first teaser trailer, there was something I couldn't quite put my finger on. It looked "kind of" the same and yet different at the same time. They seemed to be using more wide-angle shots, perhaps to show off the 3D, sure, but there was something else...

When the first movie came out, I saw the 48-frame version in Imax 3D and was, overall, blown away by it. The stuff they added definitely slowed the movie down, but the prologue floored me and the movie looked gorgeous.

But here's the tradeoff.

In order to shoot in 48p they had to raise the shutter speed slightly, so that each individual frame was sharper. This makes the 24p version look a little choppy. This is how The Hobbit trilogy will always be "stuck" in the same way AotC and RotS are "stuck."

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They both suffer from serious problems, but not the same problems.

The Hobbitses just have poor editing.  Chop ~70% of the movies away and suddenly what seemed like crappy writing or over-reliance on CGI at the time would just be revealed to be the sort of uninteresting filler that would have been edited out under normal circumstances.  I'm sure if nothing was ever cut from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, it would have fared no better.

The PT, on the other hand, has crappy writing, crappy acting, crappy directing, crappy CGI, mediocre music, boring sets, poor editing, etc.  It's not just bad, it's really a whole different level of awful.

Both, I'd agree, are symptomatic of creators operating without any outside checks on their ideas, or they'd have never seen the light of day.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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The Hobbit is going to be able to be saved.  Imagine a fan edit coming in at about 2 hours.  There's a really strong story with great acting hidden inside all of that bloat.  The PT on the other hand...

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Peter Jackson really can't hold a candle to George Lucas' incompetence. All Jackson did with making three Hobbit movies is trying to relive his glory days a decade earlier. You could say that George was doing the same thing with the PT, but I wanna say he is worse than Jackson because the LOTR is not being reedited   to fit in with the Hobbit trilogy. Plus, the PT was to George's mind bigger in scale than the OT, and he wasn't directing overlong movies in between sequels.

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The key difference is the quality of the story telling.

Both of the Hobbit films I've seen were narratively coherent and had fine acting performances and were actually rather well paced.

It had CGI in it but the story would be very difficult and probably prohibitively expensive to do with purely practical effects and for the most part the CGI is fine.

The PT had loads of fine practical effects, was terribly directed, terribly written, badly acted and hardly made any sense.

I really think the reason the Hobbit films aren't as big a deal as they might be is because the source material is now out of fashion (Wizards were very big in the noughties).

If these films had come out right after Return of the King they might have been just as big and nowhere near as drubbed by the critics. The corporate shenanigans  that delayed these films ultimately hurt them.

In this regard it resembles the PT which ideally should have gone into production in the late eighties leading to an Episode 7 around 1997.

TPM was a crap movie but part of the horror of the piece is we waited expectantly for sixteen years, hearing rumor after rumor and eventually when the film came out even a good film would have had a hard time living up to that level of anticipation. 

That it was awful on top of that just made it so much more of a let down.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Dp2OfIT_M

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I'm not too phased by the CGI and production. But imo the major factors that brings down the Prequel is Martin Freeman's horrible acting and the script.  Those two things combined destroys any magic of "The Hobbit" storyline that I've held on to ever since reading the book as a kid.

I could only bear to finish the first part of the series, and never bothers to watch the other. It was so painful.

Many friends tell me I'm comparing this movie to the first 3 movies of the books.  But I don't think that is the case; when stepping back and considering it as a movie that should stand on its own, The Hobbit is a terrible let down.

Pizza-Burrito 

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fullmetal777 said:

Just read this article:

http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/fuffy/news/?a=109805

 Tried. Failed.

"Before Peter Jackson convinced Warner Bros. of make it a trilogy is was expected to cost $150 million for each of the two films they had planned."

Who edited this? 

KilroyMcFadden said:

The Hobbit is going to be able to be saved.  Imagine a fan edit coming in at about 2 hours.  There's a really strong story with great acting hidden inside all of that bloat.  The PT on the other hand...

 Thread over.

You probably don’t recognize me because of the red arm.
Episode 9 Rewrite, The Starlight Project (Workprint V4 Released!) and ANH Technicolor Project (Released!)

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generalfrevious said:

You could say that George was doing the same thing with the PT, but I wanna say he is worse than Jackson because the LOTR is not being reedited   to fit in with the Hobbit trilogy.

You should listen to the audio commentary of the AUJ EE. At one point Peter Jackson and Philipa Boyens are discussing the possibility of a Six Movie Middle-Earth Box Set  AND ... ... that some shots of the opening scene from 'Fellowship' have to be replaced with Hobbit scenes (think Bilbo = remove Ian Holm, insert Martin Freeman) and that Thranduil could be digitally inserted into the battle scenes along with Elrond and Gil Galad.

History repeats itself. A director should never touch the same material a second time.

Rogue One is redundant. Just play the first mission of DARK FORCES.
Being surrounded by yes men: the hallmark of a corrupt leader.
‘The best visual effects in the world will not compensate for a story told badly.’ - V.E.S.
‘Star Wars is a buffet, enjoy the stuff you want, and leave the rest.’ - SilverWook

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The more I hear about the Hobbit movies, the less I want to watch them*.

 

*And I never wanted to watch them in the first place.

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The Hobbit films on their own and in conjunction with the LOTR films are perfectly decent films. It's just considering the massive deviations from the source material that's the problem- tonally and with the added scenes. 

But I do see some similarities to the PT, but mostly in throwing in poorly done fan service- "OOH LOOK IT'S LEGOLAS AND HE THINKS GIMLI IS UGLY REMEMBER ALL THOSE SHENANIGANS FROM LORD OF THE RINGS?" is comparable to 3PO being built by Anakin.

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Both trilogies face the same problem:  Characters that I don't care about, and a story that didn't need to be 3 movies.

I loved LOTR Trilogy and rank it up there with the OOT, but I watched the first Hobbit movie and had no interest in the others.  LOTR's had great characters with alot of depth, whereas the dwarves in the Hobbit are a dime a dozen.  There was so much story in LOTR's that even the Extended Editions are just as entertaining, whereas the Extended Editions of The Hobbit are more bloated material.

The Hobbit was one book, and should have been 1 movie as it would have been a nice prologue to the LOTR's trilogy.  But 3 movies?  Yeah, they will make loads of $$$, but it compromised the quality.  Same with the PT, as it could have easily been 1 or 2 movies, but with 3 movies you get more filler.

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KilroyMcFadden said:

The Hobbit is going to be able to be saved.  Imagine a fan edit coming in at about 2 hours.  There's a really strong story with great acting hidden inside all of that bloat.  The PT on the other hand...

 I'd settle for a 4 hour film with intermission based on the Extended Editions

but yeah.

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Didn't George himself basically admit he only had one movie's worth of material for the entire PT and that he saved most of it for Episode III?

Anyway, I actually kind of see the argument for making The Hobbit into three films. PJ had the disadvantage of having already made LotR. He'd wanted to make The Hobbit first but the film rights weren't available at the time. So now The Hobbit is following the massive success of LotR instead of preceding it, so it now needs to "live up" to the originals.

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I really do think people are over stating the few problems The Hobbit films have and understating the cluster frot the PT was.

I may not individually care that much about each and every dwarf in The Hobbit that much but I care more about them than any single clone warrior in the PT or any single Jedi Knight for that matter. And the main characters I definitely do care about.

Bilbo is still Bilbo, Gandalf is still Gandalf, I'm interested in what's happening to them regardless of knowing they will not be killed.

I found myself actively wishing Anakin and Padme would be killed before producing Leia and Luke. They weren't just flat characters they were sharp objects in my brainspace.

The fashion for disliking The Hobbit is like the bashing Quantum of Solace got after the almost identical Casino Royale and before the almost identical Skyfall. It's just a popularity blip. 

I have no problem with an artist revisiting their work as long as the original is preserved and equally available to view.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Dp2OfIT_M

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Bingowings said:

The fashion for disliking The Hobbit is like the bashing Quantum of Solace got after the almost identical Casino Royale and before the almost identical Skyfall. It's just a popularity blip. 

That's taking things too far in the other direction. People who are disappointed by a mediocre film that pales in comparison to related films tend to exaggerate their dislike, saying it was awful/horrible/unwatchable, when its only real fault was being dull.  I'd agree with that*.

But to suggest that the dislike for the films is due more to the popular mood than an actual assessment of the film itself, well, that's just wrong. People just disagree on whether films are good or not, and sometimes you will find yourself in the minority. Just ask me about Cabin Boy sometime...

*EDIT: This statement is not to be interpreted as applying to the Prequels! No, those were well and truly awful.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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The Hobbit films are only guilty of being not quite as good as the Lord of the Rings films.

If they came out first people would have probably rated them quite well would have only been slightly confused as to why a normal sized children's story was given almost as many cinema hours as it's darker more adult sequel.

The PT is a fake dog poo only not fake.

It's like comparing apples and dung or chalk and dung.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Dp2OfIT_M

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Bingowings said:

If they came out first people would have probably rated them quite well...

For people who are not me, you may be right ;)

Obviously you liked the Hobbit films a bit better than me, I'll leave it at that.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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Fang Zei said:

Didn't George himself basically admit he only had one movie's worth of material for the entire PT and that he saved most of it for Episode III?

 Lucas admitted in 2005 that the PT plot point outline went like this:

TPM:  20%

AOTC:  20%

ROTS:  60%

That is essentially why the last hour of ROTS is a checklist of all of things he couldn't fit in.  All of the great plot points we wanted to see where like a greatest hits of rushed scenes.

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The main problems of the Hobbit movies

- 48fps

- 3D

- too much CGI

- too much "filler scenes" just to make the story into 3 movies

If the Hobbit was done on 24fps 35mm film with a blend of miniatures, matte paintings, animatronics and CGI and would be one 3 hour long movie, it would be so much better.

The PT had much more problems

- illogical plot filled with plot holes

- too much CGI

- undeveloped characters for which I don't care about

- bad acting

- bad directing

- bad editing etc

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Conveyor Belt Scene (Attack of the Clones) = Dwarf/Dragon Chase Scene inside Erebor (Desolation of Smaug)

Both scences were conceived after principal photography.

Both scences were shot in an almost complete blue screen enviroment.

Both scences were invented to 'beef up' the tension.

Both scences are absolutely boring and visually excessive.

Rogue One is redundant. Just play the first mission of DARK FORCES.
Being surrounded by yes men: the hallmark of a corrupt leader.
‘The best visual effects in the world will not compensate for a story told badly.’ - V.E.S.
‘Star Wars is a buffet, enjoy the stuff you want, and leave the rest.’ - SilverWook

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There was a conveyor belt scene in AOTC? Seriously? Wow did that movie make no lasting impression.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)