The Hobbit EE in theatres: one last one last time

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Post by bungobaggins on Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:29 pm

Eldorion wrote: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.

Pure gold. Laughing

Did they happen to add any scenes with Beorn? That character became utterly useless in retrospective.

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Post by Norc on Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:53 pm

Forest Shepherd wrote:
"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.
they're so cute though... and all over facebook. i get diabetes whenever i log on and have to fight the urge of posting jack-sparrow-puking-gif (it's all in good humour, but i think Eldo would be the only one getting it Razz )..... nah i am just bitter... i want a fluffy cuddly relationship... i crave cuddles.. *sobs in a corner*
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Post by Eldorion on Wed Oct 14, 2015 9:20 pm

Forest Shepherd wrote: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

My pleasure, Forest.  I'm glad it was interesting enough for other people to read through. Smile I was half expecting the R rating to be like the PG-13 that Revenge of the Sith got -- ie, not really all that different from what had come before and kinda inexplicable.  Having seen the film, though, there was definitely a difference in kind as well as in degree to the violence presented.  There were certainly more beheading and dismemberments, but they were also genuinely gory in that really old school PJ splatter way.  Not at Braindead levels, but then, what is?  There is a big gulf between BOFA-EE and the other five Middle-earth movies that PJ made in terms of the violence, and it makes me think that this might be another instance of PJ being like "well this is my last shot so let's just shove in everything I've ever considered".

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.

I'm a little surprised to read the bolded, but I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who feels that way (though I dunno when I'll be rewatching them again).

"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.

It came up in my LOTR rewatch thread recently too. Razz We got together about six weeks ago.  Things have moved a little fast but we hit it off really well and have a lot of shared interests, including Tolkien stuff.  She's a few years removed from it and not involved in active fandom stuff but likes both the books and movies.  Although just this morning she saw me on the forum and asked what people were saying, and when I mentioned that most of the people on here think the movies strayed too far from the books, she was like "I have to agree with them" even though she enjoyed the fight scenes in BOFA in their own cartoony way.  I guess my point is that she's a keeper. Nod

Norc wrote:they're so cute though... and all over facebook. i get diabetes whenever i log on and have to fight the urge of posting jack-sparrow-puking-gif (it's all in good humour, but i think Eldo would be the only one getting it Razz )..... nah i am just bitter... i want a fluffy cuddly relationship... i crave cuddles.. *sobs in a corner*

Awww, I get it but I'm glad you didn't post that. Laughing I think my step-brothers feel somewhat similar, but the whole family gets along with her so it's good.
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Post by Norc on Wed Oct 14, 2015 9:21 pm

i am terrible with couples. but then i am equally sticky when i am in a relationship sooo Razz
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Post by Eldorion on Wed Oct 14, 2015 9:23 pm

bungobaggins wrote:
Eldorion wrote: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.

Pure gold. Laughing

Did they happen to add any scenes with Beorn? That character became utterly useless in retrospective.

I liked the line when I thought of it and couldn't wait until doing a write-up to use it. Razz

IIRC Beorn's sole appearance in BOFA theatrical was two shots long: one of him on the back of an eagle, and one of him transforming into a bear mid-drop.  His only additional EE material was a couple more shots of him fighting on the ground, all of which came in the few seconds following his dive-bombing shot.  That was it.  I agree he was completely useless and as I've said before, should have been cut entirely since there was no role for him in these films.

EDIT: browsing TORn, someone mentioned that Beorn appeared in a brief non-speaking shot during the funeral scene. I don't remember for sure, but I think this might be true.


Last edited by Eldorion on Thu Oct 15, 2015 12:00 am; edited 2 times in total
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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Oct 14, 2015 10:00 pm

The reason Beorn is still there is that they had already written him in and filmed his part and released the first film before changing everything up in-between with way more Legolas- that led to them giving Beorn's kill to Legolas, rendering pointless his presence and all that nonsense in the first film they set up with his people being enslaved by Azog with Bolg originally being Beorns torturer at Dol Guldur, setting up that personal vendetta in the end went nowhere at all.

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Post by bungobaggins on Wed Oct 14, 2015 10:07 pm

God these movies suck hairy fucking monkey balls.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Oct 14, 2015 10:12 pm

Its such a mass that the version we got of Beorn in fhe first film was already a recut version of the original they shot (we know they shot the torturer scene at Dol Guldur- presumably a flashback further setting up Beorn and Bolg, or an introduction to Beorn who would then escape and encounter the company being chased by Azog), the rehashed cut we got was no torture scene, but just exposition of a backstory and set up for him to go after Bolg or Azog.
But by the time the second and third films come out they have ditched the rehashed version of the rehash rendering the characters appearance at al in the fims meaningless.

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Post by bungobaggins on Wed Oct 14, 2015 10:14 pm

Even when they try to adapt the story to their "script writing 101 formula", they can't get it right.

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Post by azriel on Wed Oct 14, 2015 10:23 pm

bungobaggins wrote:God these movies suck hairy fucking monkey balls.
Oh yes !! lol!

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Post by Tinuviel on Wed Oct 14, 2015 10:26 pm

SPOILE-- who am I kidding nobody cares

Well I heard the funeral seen was added, so that's a plus. I'm glad I'm not in the states. I found some clips online and I was already squirming and tearing at my face because it was too dumb.
Also, Alfrid gets catapulted to his death I've heard... Thank Eru. I'm glad it's done with. I might get the EE digitally for the appendices, but I'm not sure I could force myself at this point.

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Post by Eldorion on Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:01 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:The reason Beorn is still there is that they had already written him in and filmed his part and released the first film before changing everything up in-between with way more Legolas- that led to them giving Beorn's kill to Legolas, rendering pointless his presence and all that nonsense in the first film they set up with his people being enslaved by Azog with Bolg originally being Beorns torturer at Dol Guldur, setting up that personal vendetta in the end went nowhere at all.

I can totally see this having happened given the mess of rewrites we know PJ and co's scripts are, but Orly was cast in The Hobbit long before the three film split. Not saying I disbelieve you, cause I remember reading elsewhere that Legolas' role was drastically expanded partway through production, but I dunno. I guess it's just poor planning. But assuming they shot all the new Leggy stuff during the extended pick-ups in 2013, why not just remove Beorn from DOS? My best guess on this has always been that they thought cutting him out entirely would piss off more fans than leaving him in as a legacy element, which is probably true, but I still don't think it was a sound artistic decision.
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Post by Norc on Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:06 pm

when christmas comes i will watch everything... ee, the hobbit AND lotr. i think it'll be fun. lotr will ofc always be closer to my heart, but i think i can overlook the hobbit's minor flaws.
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Post by Eldorion on Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:07 pm

Tinuviel wrote:Well I heard the funeral seen was added, so that's a plus. I'm glad I'm not in the states. I found some clips online and I was already squirming and tearing at my face because it was too dumb.

The funeral scene was definitely the best part of the EE in my opinion, though I wish there had been a little more room to breathe during the end. They still had Bilbo trying to sneak out and they left in Balin's dialogue about how there would be feasting and Thorin would "enter into legend", so I guess the scene they had was really more of a viewing. That's kind of what it looked like anyway, with everyone walking by the bodies. But I don't really understand why Bilbo and especially Gandalf would leave before the funeral itself. They did show a nod to Dain becoming king but it was literally just a nod. A second-long reaction shot of him wearing a crown after the lines "the king is dead, long live the king!" Which felt a little too actual history-ish and not really fitting for an alien culture like the dwarves, but that's probably too nitpicky.

Also, Alfrid gets catapulted to his death I've heard... Thank Eru. I'm glad it's done with. I might get the EE digitally for the appendices, but I'm not sure I could force myself at this point.

I had heard a rumor about this but it didn't seem to reliable. Unfortunately, yes, Alfrid gets a death scene. After his final scene with Bard where he's got the coins shoved in his bra, he hides in the basket of an abandoned catapult. Then coins start slipping out of his bra and one lands on the lever of the catapult and there's like 30 seconds of the coin spinning before it falls over and triggers the lever. Meanwhile, Gandalf was trying to get Radagast's staff to work while facing down a troll (the Raddy staff thing was another EE addition), but then Alfrid gets launched and flies headfirst into the troll's mouth, choking and killing it. The whole scene was gratuitous in every sense of the word. I couldn't even be happy that such a reprehensible character was dead because it just meant even more screentime was being eaten up by his bizarrely prominent subplot that should have been spent elsewhere.
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Post by Eldorion on Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:10 pm

Norc wrote:when christmas comes i will watch everything... ee, the hobbit AND lotr. i think it'll be fun. lotr will ofc always be closer to my heart, but i think i can overlook the hobbit's minor flaws.

I will try rewatching The Hobbit at some point ... probably ... but I'm still slowly going through my LOTR-EE rewatch and it has reaffirmed how much better the first trilogy is for me.  Especially Fellowship, which is still mind-blowingly good, but even with TTT where you could see the seams starting to show with PJ's filmmaking style, the quality of the story and the fact that I cared about the characters made a huge difference.  Plus the effects and color editing are more naturalistic, the worldbuilding is in another league entirely, and so much more takes place in the space of each film; far more than you would expect just from the difference in running time.  I guess cause the events in LOTR actually feel important, but also the time is used way more efficiently.

Not trying to stop you from enjoying TH if you find its flaws over-lookable, ofc. Smile I just enjoy the opportunity to talk about what I like with the LOTR films.
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Post by davidjoneshoward on Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:19 pm

Eldorion wrote:

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

Ah, alas that's unfortunate. Editing is a great craft and it seems he didn't use the shred of talent he's got for it (his talents were highest back when fotr came out). Did he just slap up all the new scenes together half-heartedly and say "Yes, this is what I really wanted! Now pay up!"

Anyways, how are the funeral scenes? Was the CGI better? How was dain improved? Was his coronation like of aragorns? Did fili get decapitated as originally planned? Did Gandalf see any vision in the palantir (it was in the chronicles)? Those for me were the scenes that would made PJ vision better, so I assume he didn't fuck up badly or you'd be complaining a lot more. From what  I grasped you were fine with most of the new scenes, just the movie as a whole left a bad taste in you mouth.

Tinuviel wrote:Well I heard the funeral seen was added, so that's a plus. I'm glad I'm not in the states. I found some clips online and I was already squirming and tearing at my face because it was too dumb.

can you send me the videos please, if you remember the links, or if they weren't taken down
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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:23 pm

why not just remove Beorn from DOS? My best guess on this has always been that they thought cutting him out entirely would piss off more fans than leaving him in as a legacy element, which is probably true, but I still don't think it was a sound artistic decision.- Elrond

I agree thats why he is still there at all- but what is odder to explain is why he is in it as he is, complete with exposition setting up a direct personal grudge.

My reading of events is that originally the Dol Guldur torture scene was in there somehow as part of the Beorn line, and giving him and the audience the personal time with Bolg to justify Beorn's killing of him at the end. The audience would then get more time with Bolg the torturer when he is with Gandalf (and it possibly originally Beorn would have been in thew WC attack not the battle and killed Bolg there)
But somewhere before the release of the first film and about the time to switch to three Azog and Bolg's story lines got completely changed about.
I believe its this change which had the drastic effect on Beorn's role.
It meant no Beorn/Bolg torture scene and no Bolg/Gandalf torture scene (1 shot of this remains in the theatrical of BOFA with Bolg in original design so we know they shot it)

But I don't believe at this point they had worked out the expanded role they planned to give to Legolas- and that the decision to make Legolas the character to kill Bolg was taken late on, possibly even after the release of DOS and largely in the cgi editing department.
This would explain why having ditched the Beorn/Bolg torturer stuff they still felt it necessary to replace it with exposition saying much the same thing- leaving Beorn still a contender for who takes down Bolg.
Of course once they decided it would be Legolas all the stuff they put in DOS to cover their arses was irrelevant.

That's my take on it anyway from what we know from the production and what's left in the films.

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Post by Eldorion on Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:35 pm

Interesting post-mortem on the Azog/Bolg situation, Petty. That part of the story in particular is just such a mess that my head hurts whenever I try to puzzle out what happened there. I appreciate your detective work. Smile

Pettytyrant101 wrote:It meant no Beorn/Bolg torture scene and no Bolg/Gandalf torture scene (1 shot of this remains in the theatrical of BOFA with Bolg in original design so we know they shot it)

Actually, that bit with the original design of Bolg was where the bulk of the new material for Dol Guldur ended up. Gandalf gets kicked around by not!Bolg for a bit while being questioned about the Three Rings. Then not!Bolg is somehow able to make Narya become visible and is about to hack Gandalf's finger off with a machete when Galadriel appears and disintegrates not!Bolg using Nenya (which is just ... I can't).
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Post by Eldorion on Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:41 pm

davidjoneshoward wrote:Ah, alas that's unfortunate. Editing is a great craft and it seems he didn't use the shred of talent he's got for it (his talents were highest back when fotr came out). Did he just slap up all the new scenes together half-heartedly and say "Yes, this is what I really wanted! Now pay up!"

Yeah, I'm not sure.  I know PJ has collaborated with different editors on the different Middle-earth movies but I know he's been very involved in the editing for all of them so I think a lot of the changes are down to PJ's own sensibilities.

Anyways, how are the funeral scenes? Was the CGI better? How was dain improved? Was his coronation like of aragorns? Did fili get decapitated as originally planned? Did Gandalf see any vision in the palantir (it was in the chronicles)? Those for me were the scenes that would made PJ vision better, so I assume he didn't fuck up badly or you'd be complaining a lot more. From what  I grasped you were fine with most of the new scenes, just the movie as a whole left a bad taste in you mouth.

Lots to talk about here. Laughing The digital release of the EE is just next Tuesday, but if you wanna know now, here's what I remember:

  1. I talked a bit about the funerals in a follow-up post.  It was more of a viewing.  They were okay, I guess, but very short (too short for my taste).
  2. The CGI was okay I guess.  I don't recall anything really jumping out at me as bad in the theatrical cut though.  There were a couple close-ups of Bolg that I thought were really impressive but it's not really something I was paying attention to in general.
  3. Dain gets more dialogue and more fight scenes.  I think he was a lot more memorable in the EE.  If you didn't like the direction they were taking his character in the theatrical though, you're not gonna like him here.
  4. Dain didn't get a coronation scene, he got a reaction shot of him wearing a crown.
  5. Neither Fili nor Kili were decapitated.
  6. No palantiri appeared in this film (thank God, I don't even know what the original idea was, but no No).

I wouldn't have bothered adding back in most of the new scenes; I think the film was better without a lot of them, but some of them do elevate the story slightly.  All in all it's not very different from the theatrical cut though.
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Post by Eldorion on Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:53 pm

One action scene I will talk about a little bit more is the chariot on ice, both because it was the subject of a lot of speculation due to being featured in the trailers, and because it's one of the longest of the new scenes. It's absolutely ludicrous, the chariot itself features a repeating crossbow that looks and operates more like a machine gun. The physics involved are non-existent, the scene goes on forever, and it a particularly blatant addition in terms of how it wrecks the emotional tempo of the surrounding (theatrical cut) scenes. They try to have a heroic sacrifice scene with Balin, but he just mows down everyone with the crossbow (while saying, I shit you not, "I'm too old for this") and later appears completely unharmed. The one level that it works at is the cartoony one. There can be something viscerally pleasing/amusing about seeing a big iron vehicle mow down bad guys (as much with its wheels as its projectiles). But it's so out of place, even compared to most of the other over the top action in this film, that I think it would have been better to leave it out.
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Post by bungobaggins on Thu Oct 15, 2015 1:13 am

Eldorion wrote:One action scene I will talk about a little bit more is the chariot on ice, both because it was the subject of a lot of speculation due to being featured in the trailers, and because it's one of the longest of the new scenes.  It's absolutely ludicrous, the chariot itself features a repeating crossbow that looks and operates more like a machine gun.  The physics involved are non-existent, the scene goes on forever, and it a particularly blatant addition in terms of how it wrecks the emotional tempo of the surrounding (theatrical cut) scenes.  They try to have a heroic sacrifice scene with Balin, but he just mows down everyone with the crossbow (while saying, I shit you not, "I'm too old for this") and later appears completely unharmed.  The one level that it works at is the cartoony one.  There can be something viscerally pleasing/amusing about seeing a big iron vehicle mow down bad guys (as much with its wheels as its projectiles).  But it's so out of place, even compared to most of the other over the top action in this film, that I think it would have been better to leave it out.

Jesus Christ. No

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Post by davidjoneshoward on Thu Oct 15, 2015 2:16 am

Eldorion wrote:
[*]No palantiri appeared in this film (thank God, I don't even know what the original idea was, but no No).







http://musingsofatolkienist.blogspot.com/2015/05/the-dol-guldur-sequence-that-almost-was.html

How bout the troll hoard scene everyone was expecting. or an extended return journey? Is it really as shallow as your making it out to be?
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Post by Eldorion on Thu Oct 15, 2015 10:51 am


Huh, no, there wasn't anything in the EE like the palantir section described in that article. They did add in the Radagast/Gandalf staff scene, though, which included set up for a joke that "paid off" in Alfrid's death scene.

How bout the troll hoard scene everyone was expecting. or an extended return journey? Is it really as shallow as your making it out to be?

Nope, no troll hoard scene. That was one I was really hoping for, though I didn't know it was something being talked about a lot elsewhere. I don't think that there were any additions to the conclusion of the film after Bilbo and Gandalf leave Erebor. If there were, they were really minor. So yeah, most of the additions were just added combat, which I would describe as shallow, but there were a couple exceptions. Bofur and Bilbo's conversation right before Bilbo sneaks out was definitely a nice touch, particularly in light of their similar conversation in AUJ.
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Post by davidjoneshoward on Thu Oct 15, 2015 12:49 pm

I was half heartedly hoping for a reconstruction of dale scene, but now we know....
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Post by davidjoneshoward on Thu Oct 15, 2015 10:21 pm

It seems he even put less of an effort this time to give the story a proper resolution given that there are less time constraints. Even with An Unexpected Journey, which was bloated and unevenly paced, felt like it had a proper beginning, middle and end, and scenes that were supposed to have weight had weight (if not too much).

But here, he so many opportunities to fix the problems the movie had (and THIS one had most flaws, while the problems in the other two felt like the directorial style), and threw that to the wind. I am thoroughly disappointed.


Last edited by davidjoneshoward on Fri Oct 16, 2015 5:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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