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  #1001  
Old May 30th, 2013, 3:58 am
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Re: The Hobbit movie news: An Unexpected Journey

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Originally Posted by RemusLupinFan View Post
I'm looking forward to seeing Smaug too. I expect Benedict Cumberbatch will do a great job with the voice.
That's cool . Hopefully he will. It'll be interesting hearing his voice come out of a dragon .


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  #1002  
Old October 1st, 2013, 8:19 pm
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Re: The Hobbit movie news: An Unexpected Journey

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Originally Posted by Fawkesfan1 View Post
That's cool . Hopefully he will. It'll be interesting hearing his voice come out of a dragon .
You can hear the first bit of this in the new trailer!


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  #1003  
Old October 2nd, 2013, 10:13 pm
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Re: The Hobbit movie news: An Unexpected Journey

Just watched the new trailer. Mr Cumberbatch's voice does not disappoint.


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  #1004  
Old October 3rd, 2013, 10:54 am
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Re: The Hobbit movie news: An Unexpected Journey

Hoo boy, no kidding.

Benedict's voice as Smaug is and and

PERFECT.


Tauriel the Mary Sue Elf = PJ just won't give up that 'Elf Warrior Princess' nonsense. He's been stuck on it since August 1999.

But I'll cope. As ever, I will find the film absolutely gorgeous to look at and immerse myself in. I will also get bored by Azog and his shenanigans. (Azog should be DEAD, according to Tolkien's timeline. )

Martin's Bilbo, Richard's Thorin, Ian's Gandalf, Ken's Balin, James's Bofur - and of course SMAUG - will make it all worthwhile.


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  #1005  
Old October 3rd, 2013, 8:16 pm
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Re: The Hobbit movie news: An Unexpected Journey

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Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
Tauriel the Mary Sue Elf = PJ just won't give up that 'Elf Warrior Princess' nonsense. He's been stuck on it since August 1999.
Maybe he thought that of the 'Elf Warrior Princess' is a way to ensure male audience. Otherwise the theatres could be packed just with females drooling about the several gorgeous guys :P


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  #1006  
Old October 5th, 2013, 1:04 pm
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Re: The Hobbit movie news: An Unexpected Journey

It's a real danger!


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  #1007  
Old November 5th, 2013, 3:45 pm
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Re: The Hobbit movie news: An Unexpected Journey

Did anyone see the the extended edition?? What did you think?


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  #1008  
Old November 18th, 2013, 4:23 am
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Re: The Hobbit movie news: An Unexpected Journey

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Originally Posted by MmeBergerac View Post
Maybe he thought that of the 'Elf Warrior Princess' is a way to ensure male audience. Otherwise the theatres could be packed just with females drooling about the several gorgeous guys :P
heh, it would be very much the other way around! Tauriel might bring back the women. After all, women go for strong female characters: despite what men want to believe, hunky men just do not draw women to films the way that scantily clad (or preferably unclad!) draw men!

Unfortunately, that really hurt the Hobbit's box office, too. The female audience for the Hobbit plummeted back to about 40%, which is where it was for Fellowship. That was down from nearly 55% for Return of the King.

Just how much this film failed to interest women just screams out loud if you look at the North American box office. Now, ticket sales were down to both men and women relative to what they were for any of the Rings films. The Hobbit drew about 7M fewer men than Return of the King did. That was still a 25% drop in audience, which says that there was some other problem. However, the drop in the female audience was absolutely staggering: from 33M tickets sold to women for Return of the King to about 13M for The Hobbit!

Now, we cannot blame it all on the lack of strong female characters. After all, we have to explain a 25% drop in the male audience, too. A plausible explanation there is "lost momentum": had The Hobbit come out in (say) 2006 when Return of the King was still fresh in audience minds, then it probably would have gotten back nearly all of the audience given how popular King was. After 9 years, the popularity lost relevance. So, that means that we really should have expected about 25M in ticket sales to women. (Quite frankly, I would expect women to retain a longer memory of "like/dislike" than men, too, but I'll assume that they are equal.)

And that still means that ticket sales to women were only about half of what they should have been. So, what else did the movie lack that the Rings movies had? Any sort of strong female character. (Floating Galadriel doesn't cut it!)

So, the next time someone tries to tell you that omitting strong female characters doesn't hurt a Box Office, just look at how much damage it almost certain did to the Hobbit. Another 12M tickets would have been over $100M more in the box office.


I do wonder if this could have been partially offset by making at least some of the dwarves women. I know that women appear "stronger" if they are both feminine and powerful (intellectually, physically, etc.): women, like men, "Want It All." Alas! We never will know.


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  #1009  
Old November 18th, 2013, 7:58 am
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Re: The Hobbit movie news: An Unexpected Journey

I think the Tolkien-lovers amongst us have enough problems with the 'messing about with the story' that Peter Jackson loves to do. (I'm not saying the result isn't good, but occasionally it's questionable,) Bringing in one elf-warrior female is bad enough - sex-changing some of the dwarves - nope!


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  #1010  
Old November 18th, 2013, 2:25 pm
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Re: The Hobbit movie news: An Unexpected Journey

I think the addition of Tauriel will be a positive one.
I know it's just me, but I think the movies will do something that is rarely done; be better than the book.
The Hobbit and the LoTR trilogy are books that are typically put on a pedestal in regards to fantasy literature. Anyone thinking to change them or add to them in that form is usually seen as crazy. (Dennis McKiernan comes to mind. And I have to admit I think he came close to that )
But since this is a different media, I know I wanted more of Middle Earth now that I see how it can be brought to the screen and done well...despite the changes made. Adding a female warrior elf? Sure. Why not? I don't think it detracts from the story, at least not so much that we forget Bilbo and the Dwarves. And fleshing out characters that are pivotal in the book seemed to make sense. (re; Bard the Bowman)


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  #1011  
Old November 18th, 2013, 4:18 pm
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Re: The Hobbit movie news: An Unexpected Journey

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Originally Posted by ginger1 View Post
I think the Tolkien-lovers amongst us have enough problems with the 'messing about with the story' that Peter Jackson loves to do. (I'm not saying the result isn't good, but occasionally it's questionable,) Bringing in one elf-warrior female is bad enough - sex-changing some of the dwarves - nope!
May I ask why though? I'm not a LotR fan but comparing this to Harry Potter- I personally wouldn't care if they changed the sex of some Hogwarts Professor or of an Auror/Order member (they actually added more female DEs than there are in the books, for example). It's not like they changed the sex of the main characters. Movies don't have to be exactly the same as the books, the HP movies aren't either (some things have been added, others cut out). It's normal for film makers who want to make money to try to appeal to the female audience as well, as women are 50% of the global population after all.

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So, the next time someone tries to tell you that omitting strong female characters doesn't hurt a Box Office, just look at how much damage it almost certain did to the Hobbit.
That's interesting and, to me at least, good news that a more equal representation actually appeals to people.


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  #1012  
Old November 18th, 2013, 5:51 pm
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Re: The Hobbit movie news: An Unexpected Journey

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Originally Posted by ginger1 View Post
I think the Tolkien-lovers amongst us have enough problems with the 'messing about with the story' that Peter Jackson loves to do. (I'm not saying the result isn't good, but occasionally it's questionable,) Bringing in one elf-warrior female is bad enough - sex-changing some of the dwarves - nope!
As someone who is Tolkien-neutral, and whose exposure to The Hobbit book is an audiobook that was good for a couple of car rides and no where near 4 extra-long movies, I would like to know what the big deal is about the made up character being female is. Would made up characters be acceptable as long as they were male, and if so, why?


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  #1013  
Old November 18th, 2013, 8:42 pm
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Re: The Hobbit movie news: An Unexpected Journey

This is the way I've seen it explained on my Tolkien (book purist) fan board: Tolkien didn't put females in The Hobbit because he was not good at female characterization. Yet, without any "strong female characters" in the original work, it's still considered a classic, still considered the father of modern fantasy works (yes, sexist language there I know; sorry, I'm not responsible for the historically patriarchal nature of fantasy's ivory tower, I simply recognize its existence), still greatly beloved by its readership, both male and female.

Basically, if it worked for the book to have all male characters except a piece of comic relief at the end, Tolkien purists see no need to add female characters in for the sake of political correctness. We also get rather riled at the directors/screenwriters/producers et.al. for messing with Tolkien's masterpiece--not because there are changes necessary to the different medium, but because often the changes show (to our way of thinking) a failure to grasp the underlying message and viewpoint of the author.


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  #1014  
Old November 18th, 2013, 9:39 pm
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Re: The Hobbit movie news: An Unexpected Journey

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Originally Posted by LyraLovegood View Post
Basically, if it worked for the book to have all male characters except a piece of comic relief at the end, Tolkien purists see no need to add female characters in for the sake of political correctness.
It's not for the sake of political correctness though. It's because having both male and female characters interacting with one another creates a more interesting dynamic. Personally I wouldn't want to watch a 12 hours movie-trilogy with just women and only one and or two men either. It would bore me because there would be no variety- all characters would be the same. The way I see it, adding women to the mix can create a tension and dynamic that you don't have with an all male cast. Furthermore, your first statement here is something I disagree with because not everything that works for a book, works for a movie as well. The LotR movies now have to compete with other fantasy movies which might appeal more to women simply because they make women feel more included. The producers want to make money so they try to draw a larger audience to the cinemas.

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We also get rather riled at the directors/screenwriters/producers et.al. for messing with Tolkien's masterpiece--not because there are changes necessary to the different medium, but because often the changes show (to our way of thinking) a failure to grasp the underlying message and viewpoint of the author.
Well, it's one thing to dislike all changes and quite another to say that you dislike the fact that some characters' sex was changed. But leaving this aside, HP fans have had to put up with the movies making some changes to the books as well- some of them more fortunate than others. I really don't see why the LotR crowd demand their books to be exempt from changes. Some things just work better in books than on screen and no movie adaption is going to be completely loyal to the book.


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  #1015  
Old November 18th, 2013, 10:02 pm
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Re: The Hobbit movie news: An Unexpected Journey

Thank you Lyra, you put it so much better than I did!


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  #1016  
Old November 20th, 2013, 6:21 pm
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Re: The Hobbit movie news: An Unexpected Journey

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Originally Posted by Sereena View Post
May I ask why though? I'm not a LotR fan but comparing this to Harry Potter- I personally wouldn't care if they changed the sex of some Hogwarts Professor or of an Auror/Order member (they actually added more female DEs than there are in the books, for example). It's not like they changed the sex of the main characters.
Your question does not really make sense as written. If they changed the sex of a Tolkien Dwarf in the Hobbit movies in order to have a "strong female character" (that is, a female character whose personality we would come to know through her actions and dialogue), then said Dwarf would be a main character of the series. Which is why I think adding a made-up female character in Mirkwood is a better call. (Laketown would work too, as far as I am concerned - actually there will be a made up character there too, only he is male).

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I really don't see why the LotR crowd demand their books to be exempt from changes. Some things just work better in books than on screen and no movie adaption is going to be completely loyal to the book.
In this, to be fair, the "LotR crowd" as you term us, are no different from HP fans. I can remember a lot of complaining about the many changes in the films. No Marauder backstory in PoA! Wrong Third Contest in GoF!! No Weasley is our King in OotP or HBP!!! I could go on...

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Originally Posted by Sereena View Post
It's not for the sake of political correctness though.
Agreed! As someone who is a big and longtime fan of Tolkien's works - adding characters to three-film Hobbit adaptation that has as its goal to expand the story and bring in more Middle Earth history and culture into the film, is an excellent idea, anyway. There is only one named Elf character in the book, the Elven King Thranduil of Mirkwood. Adding characters to be members of his entourage is a great way to show us what his people are all about, as well as to allow us to learn more about his motivations (the book can tell us, the movie can best achieve this by having him talk to others around him, rather than delivering convenient monologues...).

And if one is going to be fleshing out the list of characters in this manner, choosing to add a female character is certainly legitimate.


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  #1017  
Old November 20th, 2013, 7:04 pm
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Re: The Hobbit movie news: An Unexpected Journey

Please look at what I said again. Tolkien purists view the changes made by the crew working on The Hobbit and the ones done when they did LotR not as bad simply because they are changes, but because often the changes show (to our way of thinking) a failure to grasp the underlying message and viewpoint of the author.

This includes adding in a female character where the book had none. The idea that it is impossible for any female members of the audience to relate to any of the characters because none of them are female is, IMO, a modern politically correct idea that would never have occured to Tolkein when he crafted the story. He crafted the story for his young son, not for the enlightened masses of English-speaking movie-goers of the 21st century. I honestly think it is possible that a female elf in armor with a bow would have been as out of place in Tolkein's mind as an American WAC on the beaches of Normandy. Would you put a female soldier in a historical novel in a place and time where women were not accepted as military personnel? If not, why insist on a female elf warrior in Mirkwood, other than to appease feminist movie critics? Or to put a romantic angle in a story whose original material was not a romance, or a romance/adventure, but a little boy's adventure story?

All of this is my own opinion and based on my own view of modern culture. It is in no way intended to say that I think women should stay home sewing clothes while men go out and defend the homeland.


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  #1018  
Old November 20th, 2013, 8:01 pm
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Re: The Hobbit movie news: An Unexpected Journey

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Originally Posted by arithmancer View Post
Your question does not really make sense as written. If they changed the sex of a Tolkien Dwarf in the Hobbit movies in order to have a "strong female character" (that is, a female character whose personality we would come to know through her actions and dialogue), then said Dwarf would be a main character of the series.
There are strong female characters in the HP series without them being main characters though. That's what I meant. If they had changed the sex of Bilbo or Gandalf, then that would have been a different issue.

Quote:
In this, to be fair, the "LotR crowd" as you term us, are no different from HP fans. I can remember a lot of complaining about the many changes in the films. No Marauder backstory in PoA! Wrong Third Contest in GoF!! No Weasley is our King in OotP or HBP!!! I could go on...
Yes, I completely agree. The HP crowd is the same and I can understand the desire for the movies to be loyal to the books one loves. But at the same time, this just isn't realistic because not everything which works well in literature would work for the cinema and vice versa. Whether we're talking classics like The Great Gatsby or modern sagas like HP, all books are more or less altered when they are made into movies.

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Originally Posted by LyraLovegood View Post
Please look at what I said again. Tolkien purists view the changes made by the crew working on The Hobbit and the ones done when they did LotR not as bad simply because they are changes, but because often the changes show (to our way of thinking) a failure to grasp the underlying message and viewpoint of the author.
But if what you said before was true- that Tolkien didn't write more female characters because he didn't think he was any good at it- then there is no ideological reason behind not including more females in LotR. So is the underlying message that LotR is a gentleman's club because women are inferior and so they shouldn't be included? Or is it simply an artistic decision the author made to make things easier for himself without having anything against this particular group of people?

Quote:
Would you put a female soldier in a historical novel in a place and time where women were not accepted as military personnel? If not, why insist on a female elf warrior in Mirkwood, other than to appease feminist movie critics? Or to put a romantic angle in a story whose original material was not a romance, or a romance/adventure, but a little boy's adventure story?
Well, an anachronism is a different thing, IMO. Maybe Tolkien himself didn't include women and give them fighting roles, but let's not forget that Tolkien's friend (if I'm not mistaken) C.S.Lewis did very much include women and gave them quite important roles. So it's not just about being a man of his time, because even at that time female characters in fantasy sagas were not exactly unheard of.
Look, I can understand why people don't want the story to be changed too much. And if I may compare this to HP again, I'm sure many of us would probably think it weird if Warner Brothers decided to make a character gay (well, aside from Dumbledore of course) or change someone's sex or ethnicity. So I can relate to that. What I'm objecting to is the anger in some of the posts here over the inclusion of a group of people in a universe which for whatever reason pretty much excluded them. I don't think that's justified but that's just me.


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  #1019  
Old November 21st, 2013, 12:08 am
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Re: The Hobbit movie news: An Unexpected Journey

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Originally Posted by Sereena View Post
What I'm objecting to is the anger in some of the posts here over the inclusion of a group of people in a universe which for whatever reason pretty much excluded them. I don't think that's justified but that's just me.
I don't perceive anyone being angry over the inclusion of women in The Hobbit. Rather, I see fans' objections to the Jackson-created female character as an objection to a Jackson-created character. "Female" doesn't play a role - unless it's a dislike for changing the direction of the story (e.g. making it a romance instead of a "backwoods adventure" ). And I don't see anything wrong with that. To compare to my experience as a HP book purist, I was unhappy that Horace Slughorn was portrayed without a walrus mustache - much less had he been a woman. But that is just because of my devotion to a particular image drawn by the story. Or if we're talking about completely derived characters, I wouldn't have cared if Nigel had been a girl: I still would dislike her inclusion because I just don't see the point of having any Kloves-created character in the film.

So I think that it is improper to cast fans' objections to Tauriel as objections to women in The Hobbit; Tauriel represents a deviation from Tolkien's work to which book purists inherently object - she just happens to be female.

As a HP book purist, it's perhaps strange that I'm not such a book purist when it comes to Tolkien's works. I truly enjoy what Jackson did with LotR, book deviations and all, so I'm not overly concerned with his amendments to The Hobbit. He recreates the world so thoroughly that it is just a pleasure to be immersed. I do have my doubts whether I can be immersed in 3 parts of this particular story, but I will at least enjoy the ride!


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  #1020  
Old November 21st, 2013, 8:14 pm
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Re: The Hobbit movie news: An Unexpected Journey

Sereena if you think I am angry I do apologize, I did not mean to seem so. I know I used the term "riled" but that might have stronger connotations for you than it does for me. :-)

It is as MrSleepyHead said: it isn't because the extra character is a female, it's because it adds romance into a story that IMO doesn't need and shouldn't have any. Also, while excluding women from the storyline altogether might make JRRT or LotR fandom a "gentlemens club," I'm not sure that excluding them from the fighting forces necessarily does. My objection is that it changes the feel of Tolkien's story to have a forbidden love interest (who isn't in the book) for the son of the Elven King (who isn't in the book). Tauriel isn't in Tolkiens' pages, and may never have been in any of his imaginings. Legolas is Tolkien's character, but he isn't mentioned in TH. Thranduil, the Elven King, isn't named in the pages of the Hobbit, to the best of my recollection. He is only referred to as the Elven King.

While fleshing these characters out might make the movie a more enjoyable experience for many or most viewers, for the Tokien book purist it reveals an arrogance in the producers. Especially if the resulting characters only vaguely resemble any of Tolkien's actual characters, the message is that they believe that their idea of Middle Earth is better than its creator's.

HP fandom includes the same element: the HP movie characters did things that caused people in HP book fandom to say "My [insert character name here] would never have done/said/looked like/dressed like that!"

When it comes to "anger," I get more angry at character assassination like Radagast being warped into a filthy foolish forest hermit rather than one of The Wise in Unexpected Journey, and like Elrond being depicted as a despiser of Men rather than being Half-Elven himself, and at what was done to Faramir in TTT. I only saw UJ once, so it's hard for me to come up with examples, but I do remember thinking that the character depictions were a ways off from my interpretations of Tolkien's characters.


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~Danielle Koepke~
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Last edited by LyraLovegood; November 21st, 2013 at 8:30 pm.
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