The Hobbit EE in theatres: one last one last time

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Post by Eldorion on Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:34 am

On Monday, AUJ-EE was re-released in theatres for a one-night event.  Tonight (Wednesday) it's DOS' turn, and then next week BOFA-EE premieres in theatres on Tuesday, a week before its release on streaming services and more than a month before its available on DVD and Blu-ray.  I had initially written this off but since I want to see the EE for completion's sake and to see the franchise off in its last hurrah, I figured it'd be nice to do so in a theatre.  Plus it means I can get it out of the way sooner and be ready to jump into Star Wars fever with no distractions. Razz

When they first announced the screenings the closest theatre to me that was listed was 45 minutes away, but they've since added one that's only 10 minutes away so I got tickets for there instead.  My schedule for this week had already filled up though so I'm not seeing AUJ and DOS (don't really want to pay for them yet again either).  I debated rewatching them at home but I can't really muster the enthusiasm.  Besides, my LOTR-EE rewatch is still ongoing (it's hard to find time for a four hour movie, especially since I don't have a computer with a Blu-ray-compatible drive and thus have to compete with my step-brothers for the TV).

Regarding BOFA-EE itself, I've talked about my hopes and expectations a bit in the existing EE anticipation thread.  The lack of resolution, particularly the omission of Thorin's funeral and anything about Dain or the future of the Company, was a glaring flaw even though I didn't care about most of the characters.  It felt like one of those moments where the EE's existence worked against the theatrical cut because important material was being withheld.  Fortunately, we do all but know that the funeral is going to be added back.  Unfortunately, we also know there's going to be even more action stuff added.  I also heard a rumor that there's more Alfrid, but this rumor also stated that it was a horror comedy-esque death scene, which would undercut his final scene with Bard, so I'm not sure if I believe it.

I'm expecting plenty of snark in response to the idea of seeing BOFA again, much less paying for it, but I am curious if anyone else here plans on seeing the final piece of the Middle-earth movie saga.  In an interesting coincidence of timing, this final release will occur almost exactly 20 years after PJ first began looking into the idea of adapting LOTR, back in late 1995 while he was doing post-production on The Frighteners.  The physical release will occur for most territories during the month of November and then by the end of the year Peter Jackson's Middle-earth series will have passed into cinematic history.  The final theatrical release of the series last year was definitely significant, but at that point we knew there was more to come.  We really are at the last stage now, and it will truly be the passing of an Age for the franchise and the fandom alike.
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Post by halfwise on Wed Oct 07, 2015 1:54 pm

That's right, I just realized Dain never had a speaking part! Shocked Why hire a big name if you don't even have him say anything?

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Post by bungobaggins on Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:15 pm

Jeez how many releases does this movie need?

The cash cow is dead! Long live the cash cow!

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Post by bungobaggins on Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:17 pm

halfwise wrote:That's right, I just realized Dain never had a speaking part! Shocked Why hire a big name if you don't even have him say anything?

Pretty sure Dain had a speaking part, it's just that he was all CGI.

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Post by Eldorion on Wed Oct 07, 2015 3:38 pm

Dain had like three lines in the TE I think.  I only remember this because one of them appears in the Honest Trailer for BOFA.

bungobaggins wrote:Jeez how many releases does this movie need?

The cash cow is dead! Long live the cash cow!

The multi-stage digital/physical released is pretty normal these days.  Obviously having both a regular and an extended version is a little unusual, but it's not like director's cuts are unheard of, even if they're probably not as common now as they were at the height of the DVD market.  Being back in theatres is the most unusual thing but I think it's a nice touch since it's the end of such a long journey and there are fans for whom that matters.  Even some who genuinely enjoyed the trilogy. Razz
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Post by Forest Shepherd on Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:16 pm

I'm going to be in rural Minnesota when the BoFA EE is screened, so I'll be missing out on that.
Perhaps I would have gone to see it though, as I could more comfortable enjoy how terrible it is knowing, as I now do, that at no point will anything redeeming happen and so there really is no need to anticipate it.


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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:44 pm

Pay to see the agony that is BOFA?! Seriously. What with real money you've actually had to go out there an earn? Hell with money you find lying on the street, a drunk or dead person floating by down the river? You have to be fucking kidding, right?
Let alone pay to see the agony plus that will be BOFAEE, where presumably the EE stands for 'extra excrement'.

Fools and their money may be soon parted but in this case it might be better for all and the fool to hit you over the head with a large stick before you can get to the cinema and reward PJ further for the abject misery of a trilogy that is TH films.
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Post by bungobaggins on Thu Oct 08, 2015 4:00 pm

PJ gets no more of my money.

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Post by Eldorion on Thu Oct 08, 2015 4:52 pm

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Post by bungobaggins on Thu Oct 08, 2015 5:08 pm

PJ's face when he reads my post.

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Post by malickfan on Thu Oct 08, 2015 7:34 pm

Is this a US only thing? (Kinda odd is it is, given the somewhat muted box office and critical reception this trilogy had over there, though I suppose the majority of fansites would be USA based) Or a last ditch attempt to bump the box office past a billion? Laughing

-I'm not inclined to watch the EE at the cinema anyway (so don't mistake this as very late in the day optimism Laughing ) , just curious as to whether this is being replicated outside North America.

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Post by davidjoneshoward on Sun Oct 11, 2015 2:18 am

It seems the website Fathom events, the place where you buy tickets for TBOTFA EE, are saying things conflicting with PJ's planned 20 minutes of extra footage. The website says it'll be 3 hrs 0 minutes, which is actually 36 minutes more than the TE. I hope it's true, and if it is he uses those minutes wisely
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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Oct 11, 2015 9:23 pm

Could it be that the EE info from PJ is about the extra footage only- and the cinema times includes the end credits (if memory serves the EE credits for all the LotR's films are substantially longer than the theatrical end credits).

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Post by davidjoneshoward on Mon Oct 12, 2015 2:53 pm

Well if the theatrical is 2hrs24min and the estimated extra footage is 20 minutes AND the website says that entire EE + credits is 3hrs0min then that would leave 16 minutes for credits.... Crying or Very sad I hope to god that the credits will only be like 10 minutes
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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Oct 12, 2015 3:22 pm

If they do what they did for the EE of RotK it will easily beat ten minutes- there's 20 minutes of credits in RotKEE, 10 of which is taken up by the fan-club credits.

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Post by Eldorion on Mon Oct 12, 2015 11:01 pm

malickfan wrote:Is this a US only thing? (Kinda odd is it is, given the somewhat muted box office and critical reception this trilogy had over there, though I suppose the majority of fansites would be USA based) Or a last ditch attempt to bump the box office past a billion? Laughing

-I'm not inclined to watch the EE at the cinema anyway (so don't mistake this as very late in the day optimism  Laughing ) , just curious as to whether this is being replicated outside North America.

As far as I know, it is not happening outside the US.  All the Middle-earth movie re-releases in recent years have been done through Fathom Events and I don't think they operate in other countries. Why similar arrangements haven't been made with foreign distributors, I don't know. Perhaps other markets are not seen as being as potentially lucrative/worth the investment in distribution costs?
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Post by Eldorion on Tue Oct 13, 2015 1:55 am

davidjoneshoward wrote:It seems the website Fathom events, the place where you buy tickets for TBOTFA EE, are saying things conflicting with PJ's planned 20 minutes of extra footage. The website says it'll be 3 hrs 0 minutes, which is actually 36 minutes more than the TE. I hope it's true, and if it is he uses those minutes wisely

There's apparently a special introductory message from PJ, which is not uncommon for these sorts of re-releases. I can't really imagine it being more than five minutes tops, though. There were a lot of inconsistencies with this reported running time when they first announced this, though, so it's possible that Fathom's website is simply incorrect.

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Could it be that the EE info from PJ is about the extra footage only- and the  cinema times includes the end credits (if memory serves the EE credits for all the LotR's films are substantially longer than the theatrical end credits).

Movie running times pretty much always include the end credits. The LOTR-EEs were a weird situation because they included two sets of credits. The DVD release of the EEs did not include the fan club credits in the official running times or in the advertised amount of extra material. The Blu-ray release did include the fan club credits in the official running times, which led to some conclusion where people thought the Blu-ray was a new cut of the films. However, there was not an official Hobbit Fan Club and as such there are no fan club credits at the end of any of The Hobbit movies. Just the regular credits, which are already included in all time estimates for both the theatrical and extended versions.
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Post by Norc on Tue Oct 13, 2015 8:06 pm

is this section of the forum even still alive even what i mean even i like what even whoooooOOOooot?!

aren't everyone sick of the hobbit anyways?
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Post by Mrs Figg on Tue Oct 13, 2015 9:47 pm

totally. Nod

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Post by Eldorion on Tue Oct 13, 2015 10:09 pm

I want to give the series a proper send-off. I made a point of being online at the right time refreshing pages incessantly in order to be one of the first to catch the original trailer four years ago. Even before that I'd been watching the production diaries, not to mention running this forum and having curated Hobbit news for another site since early 2009. I want to be here for the final stage of the journey too.

After that, who knows when I'll revisit this trilogy. It'll probably be a while. Maybe for the 10th anniversary of AUJ? Probably sooner but who knows.
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Post by bungobaggins on Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:48 pm

Eldorion wrote:I want to give the series a proper send-off.  I made a point of being online at the right time refreshing pages incessantly in order to be one of the first to catch the original trailer four years ago. Even before that I'd been watching the production diaries, not to mention running this forum and having curated Hobbit news for another site since early 2009.  I want to be here for the final stage of the journey too.

After that, who knows when I'll revisit this trilogy.  It'll probably be a while.  Maybe for the 10th anniversary of AUJ?  Probably sooner but who knows.

I did that, too. I remember that day. I waited around all day for the trailer. It was like a rush of blood to the head, a shot of adrenaline. Ten years after FOTR, The Hobbit was coming soon to theaters. I had been out of the loop in terms of the production, and I heard a couple months before that they were making the movies. I was really excited. The trailer came out and it looked like everything was in good hands, but I've been so disappointed with the result that I don't feel any remorse in abandoning the journey in the last stage.

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Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Oct 14, 2015 2:45 pm

yeah me too No I was really enthusiastic and happy at the thought of TH. No maybe one day someone will do it justice.

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Post by Forest Shepherd on Wed Oct 14, 2015 3:32 pm

Or not!

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Post by Eldorion on Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:04 pm

I certainly can't blame you or anyone else for bailing by now, bungo.  I can only speak for myself, though it's important to note that the significance of this series has more to do with the friendships and community the fandom has brought me, along with the sense of disappointment I used to have at not having been around for the LOTR release cycle like so many people I met had been.  At least, now I can say I was there on the ground floor, so to speak, all the way from the very first release of preview material (the first production diary) to the final version of the final film, over a span of nearly five years.  That's a pretty inconsequential "achievement" in the grand scheme of things of course (or in any scheme of things, really), but given the significance the fandom has had for me and the amount of time I've put into running this forum in particular over almost exactly the same timeframe, it's a milestone worth giving more than just a passing nod for me.

As for the experience itself tonight ... well, it turns out that the Fathom Events page was indeed wrong, as the credits began rolling not quite two and a half hours after it started.  We were running a little late and to my surprise there were no previews ahead of the film (or if there were, they all ended by the official 7:30 start time), so we missed PJ's special message and the first couple minutes of the battle with Smaug.  From what I've read on TORn there wasn't an added prologue, though, and I didn't notice any additions in the part of the Smaug fight that we did see.  Most of the changes that I noticed were extensions to existing scenes, with only a couple entirely new ones.  A number of additions fleshed out supporting characters, and were generally welcome.  The majority were new and/or longer fighter scenes, which I didn't care for much.  Granted, I didn't much like the style of the action scenes in BOFA to begin with, but I think the greater problem was that they bloated the film, hurt the pacing, and ruined the emotional pitch of the film over and over again.

A little over halfway through the film I turned to my girlfriend and whispered that it seemed less a movie and more an act of public masturbation by PJ.  She loved the film though, so clearly it's a matter of taste to a large degree.  I think the problem for me was how incongruous the fighting was with the "dramatic" bits.  I know not everyone here has even seen BOFA theatrical, but if you remember the barrel scene from DOS, you pretty much know what I'm talking about.  It was more stuff like that, with the addition of a surprising amount of blood and gore (they definitely earned their R rating for the EE).  The action just takes place in the weird parallel universe where anything is possible, and amazing superhuman deeds are regularly carried out by these characters who we know almost nothing about.  But the script still expects us to get invested in love stories, or feel something when major characters die.  The combination of the music, the actors' best efforts, and (IMO) the weight of dramatic convention succeeded in conveying some emotion on these points, but not nearly enough.  The investment just wasn't there for me.

It might just be because this was the last one and I knew I wouldn't have to return, but I felt a little more positive about BOFA-EE then I did after the previous two EEs (believe it or not!).  After revisiting AUJ and DOS in extended form, I thought both were improved by the added material, but I was even less inclined to forgive everything else than I had been during the excitement of the initial theatrical release.  I suppose it could also be because we were back in theatres for the #OneLastOneLastTime with BOFA, or maybe because I was watching with someone who actually got into the film, but I felt reasonably positive about the whole experience even though I still didn't like the film.  I actually think the EE of the third film offers the fewest improvements over its theatrical counterpart, although having some sort of send off for Thorin and a nod to Dain becoming king, even though it's rushed and not that good, is enough for me to recommend the EE as the (relatively) superior version.

That said, I re-read my initial review of BOFA after having seen the EE and I still agree with most of my complaints.  Some things were improved -- obviously the issue I had that some stuff was obviously being saved for the EE isn't one anymore, and Dain was greatly improved by the EE.  There was a new scene with Bofur and Bilbo that added a lot in its short time.  Still, many other issues remained.  For instance, I don't think that any of the new material for Dol Guldur made that sequence any better.  And there were a couple of new things that I had an issue with.  Most of this has to do with the new battle scenes mucking with the pacing or not making a ton of sense, but one added fight really rubbed me the wrong way.  In both the book and the theatrical cut of the film, the imminent battle between dwarves and men and elves is headed off before it actually comes to violence.  In the EE, Dain's dwarves and Thranduil's elves are quite engaged in slaughtering each other before the were-worms emerge.  Maybe I'm overthinking things, but that really strained my credulity that they were able to stop in the middle of battle (reaction shots of dudes with their swords at each others throats all freezing and turning around in unison) and then fight together as allies just because the orcs showed up.

Anyway, this is probably more musing than a single EE deserves, so I'll try to wrap things up now.  I had been sick when I saw BOFA for the first time 10 months ago and thought I might try to write a longer review after seeing the EE, but having re-read that review I think it was good enough.  Says as much as the movie deserves, probably.  I'm a little torn because I didn't find the movie an unpleasant experience to sit through, just a shallow and disappointing one.  I don't mind purely action films in principle; I loved The Raid, for instance.  But the action in this doesn't even remotely compare The Raid's incredible martial arts showcase, and also The Raid didn't waste its time on a love story or lots of supposed-to-be-emotional scenes with its paper thin characters.  The Hobbit trilogy had broader aspirations, and even if you find the action here on par with LOTR, it did not manage to hit the right notes in anywhere near as many different areas as the previous trilogy.  As pure popcorn entertainment I guess it's okay, but it's not the sort of film that would be remembered if not for its pedigree.  But I can understand how the film's ability to trigger memories of lore or nostalgia is enough for some people, I don't want to look down on them even if I disagree that it makes the film good enough.

I'm gonna try to write some sort of retrospective of the entire Hobbit trilogy, but I'm not sure when I'll find the energy and inspiration to do that. These films don't inspire the same passion or as much debate so they're not as fun to write about as LOTR was. Regardless, I can now say I made it through the entire release cycle of a Middle-earth trilogy, and for the part of me that still remembers the excitement of discovering Tolkien fandom when I was 14 and the desire to experience so many new things for myself, that comes with a certain satisfaction. And while it's a little bittersweet that we're at the end of an era, I will always cherish Forumshire and the people I know through here, and I'm glad we've made it to the end of this particular era in fandom together, even if I'm one of the few still interested in watching the movies. Razz
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The Hobbit EE in theatres: one last one last time Empty Re: The Hobbit EE in theatres: one last one last time

Post by Forest Shepherd on Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:28 pm

Thanks for reviewing the EE a little and talking about the overall experience Eldo. Did the movie in theaters really have an R rating? That's just ridiculous to me: that PJ had to go and show enough blood and beheading to push up through the PG-13 ceiling. Maybe there is a beheading counter limit, and 576 broke it? Shrugging

"A little over halfway through the film I turned to my girlfriend..."
:brows:
Whoa! When did this happen?
Well, none of my business I guess.

I might use my netflix account to rent the Hobbit EEs when they come out. Perhaps I'll turn it into a PJ roast. Razz
No not really, I still enjoy watching these movies enough for their own sake to make the experience worth it.

_________________
"'But whereas we have drunk with thee, who seemest to be a man of lineage, and thou hast been blithe with us, we will tell thee that we have seen one riding south along the Greenway, clad in a coat as green as the way, with the leafless tree done on his breast. So nigh to him we were that we heard his cry as he sped along, as ye may hear the lapwing whining, for he said: "POINT AND EDGE, POINT AND EDGE! THE RED WATER AMIDST OF THE HILLS!" In my lifetime such a man hath, to my knowledge, been seen thrice before; and after each sight of him followed evil days and the death of men.'"

-The Well at the World's End, William Morris
Forest Shepherd
Forest Shepherd
Trekkie in training

Posts : 4517
Join date : 2013-11-02
Age : 28
Location : Northern California

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