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Member Since 03 Jan 2007
Offline Last Active Aug 29 2015 06:03 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Hobbit Spoiler Topic

16 December 2014 - 10:47 PM

Oh, and the five armies are Dain's Dwarves, Thrandy's Elves, Bard's Angry Fishermen, Azog's Dol Guldur orcs, and Bolg's Gundabad forces. Not sure what you meant, M@tt, when you said 6?

I couldn't remember who the five were. Wiki says the eagles were sparate and the goblins were all one. My point was that I found the two goblin/orc armies a bit difficult to follow in terms of who was who and who was where.

In Topic: Hobbit Spoiler Topic

15 December 2014 - 07:48 PM

Saw it yesterday. My thoughts...


I watched in 3D due to the lack of 2D showings at the moment. Still don't like 3D. Everything in the foreground is ever so slightly blurred, but it's noticeable. 3D just doesn't add anything. 


As an experience, I really enjoyed it. The film didn't feel overly long, yet was packed with content. Lots of what you expect from Jackson's Middle-earth. The camera work was less nauseous than the previous films! 


If I was being critical, without putting my geek hat on, the Smaug and Dol Goldor scenes seemed to finish quickly. Areas of the Battle seemed a bit drawn out. The "hero" fights, whilst entertaining, felt a bit like a video game in that they just kept on going. The Legolas matrix effect stunt was stupid. There is no Saruman vs Sauron encounter - whilst this in itself isn't necessarily disappointing, I felt the trailer was misleading as it suggested there would be. I enjoyed the comic relief of Alfred, though he could have done with someone else to share the load.


Geek hat on... 


Dain - was excited to see him, as he wasn't shown at all prior to the release. Although the design was great, it was very CGI-y. Also, rather than be voiced by Billy Connelly, he simply was Billy Connelly. A dwarf shouting "bastard" and "bugger" just didn't fit. And after the battle he is nowhere to be seen. 


Beorn - blink and you miss him. Again. Could have been a great character. 


Dol Goldor - Galadriel, although she does drive out Sauron, and Gandalf are almost weak in their portrayal. Little aftermath.


Gundabad - the addition of them made it confusing to follow the battle. Battle of the 6 Armies? And was there even a goblin army?


Kili/Fili/Thorin deaths - not as written, though I'm not fussed really. Though it did feel a bit isolated from the rest of battle. The Kili/Tauriel thing was over played again, though I don't have a problem with the general concept of them. 


Aftermath - there are loose ends. No burials. What happens to the Arkenstone (see previous sentence!). No new king. What of Bard? And Thranduil?


Aragorn mention - whilst I liked how they mentioned it at the time, looking back it did feel a bit out of place and forced (though not as forced as other LOTR references). It highlights a recurring issue of the films that they sometimes try too hard to look back/forward to the LOTR, yet at other times it is inconsistent - for instance all of the Black speech when it was rarely used in LOTR. 


Sometimes it felt like a sequel rather a prequel. By this I mean that the enemies are bigger and badder (Azog, Bolg and the Trollaputs in this versus orc rabble throughout LOTR), the effects bigger, the heroes more invincible. The Star Wars films suffered in the same way, albeit to a much, much greater/worse extent!




When I saw LOTR, I was 12, I think, and had no idea what it was beforehand - it was only later that I really got into everything else (primarily through BFME and the T3A/RA/TDH involvement), and therefore I'm seeing the Hobbit films from a very different perspective. I didn't know what would happen inside of Mount Doom (I was hoping Sauron would return and be killed again!). I knew Thorin dies. I didn't know elves didn't actually go to Helm's Deep. I knew Tauriel was made up. So I don't want to jump over the details over what is still a very enjoyable trilogy, it was never going to match LOTR for many reasons so it feels unnecessary to say that it falls short of the original trilogy. Also, in a weird way I feel like I need to be extra critical to prove my geekiness on these forums - not sure why I'd need to, I only seem to post a few times a year now.


Like the first two Hobbit films. I felt that a few tweaks here and a little bit of reigning in there could have made all the difference. It has the potential of an excellent set of films. It's just that in various places it feels rushed, drawn out, messy, over the top.


In short, if you want to enjoy it - then you'll love it, despite some things which will nag at you. If you want to pick hole rather than enjoy it, there are plenty!

In Topic: Best mappers across all the BFME games

18 January 2014 - 02:49 PM

From the old, old days, Steve Campden (HEL) is a great shout. I spent far too many hours trying to find good maps (before I started making my own) and his stood out. I found lots of other good BFME 1 mappers who contributed towards RA/TDH - for instance the guy who made Eregion made a great map yet it was the only one he ever made! Lots of other good mappers but I've forgotten who's who and who did what... 
I'd like to think I was pretty good too! Nice to see some mentions. Weathertop took hours of work just to try and replicate the stone formations as per the films. But Haldir surpassed me after he came on board with TDH - Erebor is ridiculous.


That was my first one! Ended up remaking it a few years later to improve the texturing/balance/lore (and to make the mini map less phallic).

In Topic: Hobbit Spoiler Topic

24 December 2013 - 11:28 AM

Thanks guys!

In Topic: Hobbit Spoiler Topic

23 December 2013 - 11:33 PM

Saw this tonight, and was 2 hours well spent. 


Whereas AUJ was slow in periods and felt a bit padded, DOS was fast-paced. Once the prelude is over, the film starts running and doesn't stop. 


There's a lot to like. Smaug is excellent, drawing well from the books to be a unique character. A dragon very much in love with himself (and gold). Thankfully the CGI for him is a lot better than in the trailer. I also found Jackson's depiction of the Necromancer very interesting, and it really works well in terms of going from in the void to a spirit to the flaming eye, and in doing so shows how he could have then retaken physical form. The wood-elves feel like a race of their own, rather than repeats of the Rivendell and Lorien elves, and Thranduil is well played with a nice mix of majesty and haughtiness. 


In terms of negatives, the LOTR repeats felt too obvious - whilst Tauriel and Afrid are characters within their own rights, they are clearly mirroring Arwen and Wormtongue, and the references to Gimli and kingsfoil/weed felt a bit forced. I'd heard moaning about the 'there could be anything down my trousers' joke and perhaps that ruined it for me, but it felt a bit crude for the films. Legolas gets a lot of air-time and by the end still feels very different to the character we know from LOTR. But on the plus side, they got rid of the bright blue eyes!


Action scenes are generally well worked and entertaining (as you'd expect), and have enough choreography to make them interesting and humorous, though the camera work was often nauseous, and unnecessarily so. And people seem to keep on surviving ridiculous falls!


In terms of dwarven character development, with all the new faces (Beorn, Thranduil, Legolas, Tauriel, Bard, Master of Laketown, etc), the main dwarves were Thorin and Kili. Thorin's pride has increased as they near their goal - like in AUJ it leads to some unwise actions, and knowing what the third film has in store (from the book content), it should be a fairly smooth transition to the dwarf that then cuts all times with the people who helped him and locks himself in the mountain. I'm not sold on the whole Kili romance with Tauriel, it just feels silly and (as mentioned) a play on Aragorn/Arwen. Balin is the ever-able supporting dwarf, well played by Ken Stott - you can see how the pains of his life and leaving Erebor have made him the wise one of the group. Bombur and Dwalin were focused on less than in AUJ, the rest were the same. 


The splitting up of the dwarves will undoubtedly annoy purists. From a storyline perspective, I can see it helping the lead-up to the BOT5A with an emphasis on aid and not just on getting their share of the treasure. 


And the ending... it worked in that it made me want to watch the next film immediately. But it's not a TV show that will resume next week, we have to wait 12 whole months and the film as a stand-alone production feels a bit unfinished. 


So in conclusion, it was a really enjoyable few hours. The LOTR trilogy remain some of my favourite films and I saw all three having not read the books and even managed not to read any spoilers (though it was easier in the dial-up days to avoid it), so I didn't have any preconceptions about characters and events. But even if that is slightly holding me back from really loving the Hobbit films, I think it's stating the obvious to say that we're still not quite at the LOTR level - but we're closer and I'm still really looking forward to the third and final film.