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Comment: Re:It was dry, but not BAD like Phantom Menace (Score 1) 337

by roc97007 (#48669135) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

How about not inventing an entire 45 minute scenario with the Dwarves in the mountain running from Smaug?

As I recall the extent of what happened in the mountain was Bilbo was a sneaky thief, and the dragon flew out to torch the town. How exactly was the story enriched by the hairbrained scheme to drown the dragon in gold?

I'm not going to sit here and apologize for everything in the films. Personally, I didn't mind that Jackson added stuff -- much of it was necessary -- and I felt from the beginning that one film was not enough. But clearly, three films is too much.

Comment: Re:It was dry, but not BAD like Phantom Menace (Score 1) 337

by roc97007 (#48669109) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

...go with Tolkien's later, darker tone. But that's just me.

So you're a revisionist.

Reports are, so was Tolkien. According to lore, he started out writing Fellowship in the same tone as The Hobbit, and the story and characters "got away from him", to use a Zelazney phrase, and became much darker and more violent. Tolkien apparently wanted to rewrite the story contained within The Hobbit in a way that better fit the tone and backstory of LotR. Unfortunately he never finished Quest of Erebor.

Comment: Re:It was dry, but not BAD like Phantom Menace (Score 1) 337

by roc97007 (#48669055) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

So, with all that legitimate material to choose from, why did he feel the need to make shit up?

Because there are a lot of legitimate material to which he did not have access. He had The Hobbit, and the appendicies in Return of the King. He did not have Tolkien's The Quest of Erebor unfinished story, nor did he have any of Tolkien's notes, because Christopher Tolkien refused to deal. So with the objective of creating a franchise that would run up to LotR, with a similar tone and fitting in with that already established mythology, and forbidden by copyright to use materials in Tolkien's own rewrite of The Hobbit to better fit in with LotR, he necessarily had to make some stuff up. Did he make too much stuff up? Probably.

Comment: Re:print fans (Score 1) 337

by roc97007 (#48664413) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

But think -- that simple decision set in motion a chain of events that after many years leads to the destruction of the One Ring -- something that probably could not have happened otherwise. How did Gandalf know?

He didn't know, and LotR makes it abundantly clear that he did not know; he had to go hit a library and do a bunch of research to even be sure that it was the One Ring. That fits the narrative of Bilbo coming upon the ring completely by chance. The Ring is consistently speaking of as having fallen out of all knowledge while Gollum was living under the mountain.

Ok, granted. But how did Gandalf think unassuming Bilbo, a rather hapless Hobbit who had never been far from home, would make an excellent burglar? He did in fact make a very excellent burglar, but the largest part of that is happening to acquire the One Ring, which Gandalf could not have foreseen. I wonder if it's possible that although Gandalf had no knowledge of the specifics, he had some vague foresight, or intuition, that Bilbo would prove to be very important.

The backstory doesn't make a lot of sense otherwise. Retaking Erebor, and the elimination of Smaug, was very important to Gandalf. In the appendicies it states that Gandalf was very concerned that a dragon under the lonely mountain could be used by Sauron to tip the balance in his favor in the upcoming war of the ring. So the quest of Erebor was for very high stakes. With that said, why the heck would he decide to pin the success or failure of the mission, and perhaps the success or failure of the upcoming War of the Ring, on a single rather ineffectual Hobbit? Maybe Gandalf's own ring guided him in making the decision?

Comment: Re:It was dry, but not BAD like Phantom Menace (Score 3, Insightful) 337

by roc97007 (#48664071) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

Oh bull. It would have been fine if he'd stuck to the story rather than trying to make his mark.

Which story? This is a serious question. Only the words in The Hobbit, or The Hobbit plus the materials in the appendicies to Return of the King (which, for instance, includes Gandalf's meeting with Thorin in Bree, which was in the film) or The Quest of Erebor, the rewrite that more closely matched the tone and happenings in Lord of the Rings, which Tolkien didn't get to complete?

How much to include is very much a matter of opinion. My own is, include as much as possible, and where possible, go with Tolkien's later, darker tone. But that's just me.

Comment: Re:Second hand view from a teacher (Score 2) 337

by roc97007 (#48664051) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

> So from his point of view, the movies have been a bit of a disaster. He'd been hoping for something he could take classes along to. Instead, the movies, are dark, brooding, serious, dark and extremely violent in places.

Dark too.

I see what you're saying, but to those of us who did grow up with the book, seeing a darker, more violent, age appropriate (for the age we are now) is a good thing. For the students, why doesn't the teacher rent the Rankin Bass version from 1977. I didn't think it was very good even as a kid, but it sure is more cheery. And has more songs.

Comment: Re:I'm waiting for Peter Jackson's Silmarillion (Score 1) 337

by roc97007 (#48664039) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

20 parts but a darn good nap.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Silmarillion

Over Christopher Tolkien's dead body.

On the other hand, nobody lives forever, so maybe some day.

(I tried to read it. Bored the hell outta me. And I've read LotR several times, including the appendicies.)

Comment: print fans (Score 3, Insightful) 337

by roc97007 (#48664015) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

Rabid fans of the movies, vs "Peter Jackson is satan incarnate and must be stopped". The latter is left over from print-fan memes during the original run of LotR, who would hate the movie no matter what he did, not because it's a movie, but because it's not the book. Print fans come in all shapes and sizes, and have all sorts of justifications for their views. I find it interesting that, back in the day, of the print fans that believed Lord of the Rings should be made into a movie, it was generally believed that only a 20 hour miniseries would be enough, in order to capture every scene and every song and poem, and the elves should be CGI because people weren't beautiful enough, and today we have print fans that are saying that three movies was too long. What the hell make up your mind.

Then there are the print fans who would be absolutely against any film, generally justified as "it substitutes Jackson's imagery for the reader's own" or somesuch, and from there leads to a place of madness, where calendars, posters and even cover art are forbidden, and the only way to read the stories should be on loose leaf paper from Tolkien's own typewriter.

I digress. Anyway, for those who need a more faithful light hearted Hobbit, there's still the Rankin-Bass film from 1977. They even set some of Tolkien's poems to whiney music sung by people with terrible singing voices, so, like, cool. It made me want to gouge my eyeballs out and use them to plug my ears, but your mileage may vary.

As to whether any or all of the Hobbit films are the best films ever or a travesty that requires that the director be tarred and feathered and ridden out on a Grond, the actual truth is somewhere in the middle. Yes, three movies were probably excessive. No, one movie would not have done it. This is because it's not a matter of just telling the story in The Hobbit's measly 300 pages, but also giving the backstory that was in the appendicies to LotR (to which Jackson had the rights) and maybe approaching what might be a full telling of The Quest of Erebor, the story Tolkien later started to write, essentially re-writing The Hobbit to better fit into the tone and pagentry of Lord of the Rings. (Published posthumously by his son Christopher in Unfinished Tales.) Unfortunately, Jackson did not have access to Tolkien's writings other than what was in the appendicies and The Hobbit, and Christopher Tolkien absolutely refused Jackson the rights to Tolkien's other notes. So in order to make it fit with Lord of the Rings, Jackson had to make some of it up in order to not be sued by the Tolkien estate.

So, did he make stuff up that Tolkien didn't write? Of course he did. Did he make up *too much* stuff? Maybe. Did he put in too much filler? Yeah, probably. Should he have kept it to one movie and only filmed what was in The Hobbit? Absolutely not. There is more story there, (Specifically, why Gandalf felt Erebor was so important to the coming war) and Jackson told as much of it as he was allowed to. Three films *was* excessive, but to say it shouldn't be filmed because it wasn't in The Hobbit is to show ignorance about all the backstory and detail surrounding the Quest of Erebor that wasn't in what was essentially a children's book. And besides, The Hobbit was already filmed, in 1977. (I didn't like it much. It made my teeth hurt.)

Footnote, after all these years, having read the novels multiple times, once to my daughter before the films first came out, I just recently had an in-story epiphany. It always seemed curious and whimsical that Gandalf was so adamant about Bilbo being included in the quest. But think -- that simple decision set in motion a chain of events that after many years leads to the destruction of the One Ring -- something that probably could not have happened otherwise. How did Gandalf know?

Comment: Re:Rolls Royce of cat litter boxes (Score 1) 188

by roc97007 (#48660757) Attached to: An Automated Cat Litter Box With DRM

I meant what I said, although I understand it can easily be misunderstood. Inkjet printers generally use dye based inks. There are a few consumer models that use pigment based inks. The pigment based inks tend to have a longer life both as a photo and in the cartridge. But that runs contrary to most manufacturer's business model, where a "head cleaning" is required often which uses up to 25% of the cartridge, and the most expensive per-page use case is casual use, which is the category most consumers fall under.

Epson used to make printers that used pigment based inks, but I think they're all dye based now. It's possible the only manufacturer left that uses pigment inks is Kodak.

I sidestep the issue by not printing my photos at home.

Comment: Re:Rolls Royce of cat litter boxes (Score 1) 188

by roc97007 (#48657183) Attached to: An Automated Cat Litter Box With DRM

The thing only costs $200, Their cartridges cost $25 for a 120 use cartridge. At 2 uses/day that's 6 cartridges/year -- so you're paying 75% of the cost of the unit in a year just for the cartridges.

I think if Rolls Royce dealers charged $150K each year for required maintenance on a $200K Rolls Royce, there'd be few people getting service at the dealer.

I assume you gave up your ink-jet printer for a color lasar?

I can't speak for him, but *I* did. And when I need prints on real photo paper, I take it to one 'a' them there Kodak kiosks. Dye based printers are scams, pure and simple.

Comment: Re:DDOS or.... (Score 1) 359

by roc97007 (#48655979) Attached to: North Korean Internet Is Down

I just don't understand. Sony is a Japanese company! Why do they care about US

I think the issue is, Japan is, geographically, significantly closer to NK than is the US. And is a smaller target. They don't care about us, they care about their own country. Although NK's threats of attacking the entire US are fluff, they could reasonably be expected to have enough firepower to damage Japan.

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