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 LunarSol wrote:
No, I don't think expectation has anything to do with it. I'm not a huge fan of the book or anything, but I found that first film miserably dull. There's more padding than fun and its just not a tale with enough depth for that kind of runtime.


Definitely this. Each of the three films has maybe an hour's worth of plot progression. It could have been one long movie, and probably would have been better for it.

   
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 LordofHats wrote:
 LunarSol wrote:
No, I don't think expectation has anything to do with it. I'm not a huge fan of the book or anything, but I found that first film miserably dull. There's more padding than fun and its just not a tale with enough depth for that kind of runtime.


Definitely this. Each of the three films has maybe an hour's worth of plot progression. It could have been one long movie, and probably would have been better for it.


Just reading the last post and seeing this? I knew it was about the Hobbit.

The films were indeed gak. Lots of filler, lots of unnecessary CGI and a plot that went a-wandering.

It could have been two films, maybe, but would have needed better arcs even then. One long would've been pretty rough as well.

The big mistake is they basically went the opposite direction of the book. Instead of Bilbo becoming more relevant as the story went on and seeing him grow, he became less and faded out of a fairly pointless, no-stakes regional conflict.

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I think one issue was that they changed things in Lord of the Rings an then decided that they had to link Lord of the Rings to The Hobbit. So suddenly Legolas has to appear, suddenly themes and ideas that were changed for one film have to slip into the other.

I also feel that things like the elf-dwarf romance were thrown in because they lose their path and started moving from telling the story in the book to filling the quota of statistical components a "film must include".


I think many changes were accepted in Lord of the Rings because they captured the feel of Middle Earth and because many big fans accept that its a huge story and that changing things helps it along. Whilst The Fellowship is quite a slow story at the start, it actually covers quite a significant period of time. Whilst there isn't as much combat and action there's a lot that happens during the opening pages.

Meanwhile The Hobbit is a much smaller story, its less grand, its less ambitious; its a simple pure adventure. I agree it could more likely cut down to two long films instead of three.

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I agree, I saw the first hobbit movie and was really excited for the next two, it fit reasonably well with the book, and by making it 3 movies you can really make good on the story. The next two movies were a disappointed 'why did I even get my hopes up?'

I actually enjoyed how it was linked to the lord of the rings, it builds foreboding as a prequil should. I just didn't all the slowed stuff they put in like Thorin's nemisis. Wargs and goblins don't need an excuse to hunt dwarves and hobbits.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/06/18 06:12:10


   
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 MDSW wrote:
I wonder if The Hobbit trilogy failure is due mainly from its being based on a stellar piece of literature? Yes, I did read the Hobbit super long ago, so only recalled minor plot points. Sure, the movies had bloated and meaningless parts added to fluff it up.

But, my main questions are: If you did not read the books, would you have thought the films as big a failure as you do? What does your buddy think of them, if he never read the book? Aren't a good percentage of the hated films here based on book where a vivid description and story have been drawn and expectations set?


Definitely some of my disappointment is that, but even objectively (sic) the movies have plenty of very concrete issues. Tonally they're a mess: in some ways they're gritty, but many of the fight and action scenes are very cartoony (makes sense I guess, they were animation) and completely take the viewer out of the 'this is epic and serious' mindset which LotR managed to convey. Also they are absurdly LONG which kills the tension of the scenes and they just become boring (admittably, Jackson is hardly only director guilty of this). One of the best scenes of third movie is the climatic scene where Thorin takes Azog out with a rock. Great way to resolve a fight - but it doesn't end there but continues for no obvious reason.
Also, the attempts for comedic characters - Radagast and that Laketown Master's toady - were just plain awful. Gee, that guy has bird poop and other one dresses like an old woman! Feel the hilarity! I was seriously thinking during watching the movies "I hope somebody replaces these with Jar-Jar in future edits to make it more watchable".


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Overread wrote:
I think one issue was that they changed things in Lord of the Rings an then decided that they had to link Lord of the Rings to The Hobbit. So suddenly Legolas has to appear, suddenly themes and ideas that were changed for one film have to slip into the other.

I also feel that things like the elf-dwarf romance were thrown in because they lose their path and started moving from telling the story in the book to filling the quota of statistical components a "film must include".


Yeah, The Hobbit trilogy should have been named "LotR: Rise of Legolas" instead...

I don't actually mind Legolas showing up (makes sense he would and I presume he actually was present during the events of the book) but he is given major role simply because he's important due to LotR, not because of his participation has some relevance for the main story. And Tauriel is extremely fan-fictionish because somebody needed a quota box ticked and wrote a tacked-on character with tacked-on scenes to underline how cool and awesome she is.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/06/15 16:31:40


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Here’s another.

Aliens vs Predator

I’d waited so long for that film. Ever since the Dark Horse Aliens comic said it was being worked on (so maybe 1993?)

And what did we get? Idiot Predators With No Awareness Of Their Surroundings.

The humans being idiots? Par for the course mate. That’s fine. But the Predators? Nah man. Not happy.

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Expectation definitely played a part in why I found The Hobbit disappointing; beyond it being really dull and padded.

I was expecting, and really looking forward to, a Guillermo del Toro children's film, and what I got was just....MEH.

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Honestly it didn't feel like a del Toro film at all.

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 Overread wrote:
Honestly it didn't feel like a del Toro film at all.


Nope, he dropped out of the project early on, and Jackson took over.

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I didn;t mind the hobbit, it was a childrens book and I read LOTR first and so was underwhelmed when I read it. It still felt like a kids film for the most part.

However I would agree its hugely overlong at three films - one would have been fine.

I liked Tauriel (not her crush on the most undwarf like dwarf ever) and Legolas..... and really enjoyed Gladriel kicking Saurons ass

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 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
Here’s another.

Aliens vs Predator

I’d waited so long for that film. Ever since the Dark Horse Aliens comic said it was being worked on (so maybe 1993?)

And what did we get? Idiot Predators With No Awareness Of Their Surroundings.

The humans being idiots? Par for the course mate. That’s fine. But the Predators? Nah man. Not happy.


Agreed 100 (200?) percent.

I think if you followed the build-up to the release of this films all of the signs were there that it was going to be crap. The PG rating, interviews with Paul WS Anderson (who had an atrocious track record at the time). I went into the cinema fully expecting it to be gak, but it still managed to lower the bar

Like you say it was the disappointment in terms of what could have been done based on the comic book. Most people were hoping I think for the plot line of Noguchi taking on the Aliens and Predators on the farming world (set in the Aliens timeline) - which at least had an explanation for why the Predators were crap and not particularly effective fighters, in that they were aspiring hunters who had lost their trainer/head honcho.

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Lets face it after Alien 2 and Predator 2 both franchises suffered. Alien 3 was a decent story but got torn apart in the cutting room and took 2 or 3 special edition releases (and some old stock footage) to get back together.

Meanwhile Alien 4 was honestly well made, if a bit more fan-service at some levels and some of the science was a bit bungled, but it was decent.

After that its been a train wreck.
AVP made almost no sense "Oh we are going to investigate these under-ice ruins" "oh wait something has blasted a laser hole right where we were going to spend months drilling; eh lets just head down there anyway".

Honestly they feel like they've no idea what to do with the alien franchise and for some reason avoid using any of the storylines that the comics established. There's several "aliens invade world" and "aliens on ship" through to full blown World War Aliens and such storylines in there which are nicely put together and would have been great as horror or action flick films.

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They’re kinda difficult to follow up.

Alien and Aliens worked because they showed the gribblies off in very different ways (single, stealthy Hunter, endless swarm of voracious killers). They kinda support the other in that way.

Lone Alien vs bloke with gun = bloke probably wins. Any variation thereon (others than Lone Alien vs lots of blokes with guns) = Aliens win.

Predator 2 didn’t mess with the core formula, but did make good use of the change in scenery. Predators likewise was a decent stab at not reinventing that particular wheel. It could’ve done without the Super Predator I suppose. Just a rival hunting party would’ve sufficed.

The Predator, AvP, AvP 2, Prometheus and Covenant are just plain old messy.

I’d say i probably enjoyed AvP2 the most, if only because seeing both species tearing through a small town was something new on the big screen.

But both gribblies rely on surprise, and not showing more than is necessary. There’s only so much you can do with that, unless it’s “This time, instead of a face, it’s got four arses. And a telescopic leg, and a terrible fear of stamps”. Which is kinda what The Predator did.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Though….having said that…….

Disney now own Alien. And Predator I think.

Both could do with the TV Rescue of Disney+. Neither requires a particularly high budget, and I think a limited serial format could work nicely. Certainly we’ve seen the Genuine Disney Magic on Mando, WandaVision, FalconSoldier and Loki, where a longer, episodic run time has been adopted beautifully.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/06/16 11:09:45


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MovieBob sums up the problem with Aliens pretty well. The first movie gives you a fantastic slash flick in space and the sequel asks what if there were more of them and one was bigger. There's not really anything more to do with them unless you try to add some weird quirk to them that is somewhat at odds with the way they've been portrayed.

I think the only thing that could be neat with them is to have a movie where some rebels seem to succeed in winning their freedom only to start getting picked off while celebrating that night. Do the horror movie, but when you get down to the last survivor, have them press a button and either kill the xenomorphs or otherwise make them docile and call in for retrieval to show how Weyland-Yutani have succeeded in weaponizing them.

What they always shoudl have done is make it more of an anthology series. Here's a new horrifying species that can kill you out there. A lot of the appeal of the first movies is learning how the monster functions and that's essentially lost as soon as everyone knows the rules. That's kind of the issue with Predator too, but also while they work together well. Just make a franchise of horror monsters, rather than getting stuck on a specific species.
   
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 LunarSol wrote:
MovieBob sums up the problem with Aliens pretty well. The first movie gives you a fantastic slash flick in space and the sequel asks what if there were more of them and one was bigger. There's not really anything more to do with them unless you try to add some weird quirk to them that is somewhat at odds with the way they've been portrayed.

I think the only thing that could be neat with them is to have a movie where some rebels seem to succeed in winning their freedom only to start getting picked off while celebrating that night. Do the horror movie, but when you get down to the last survivor, have them press a button and either kill the xenomorphs or otherwise make them docile and call in for retrieval to show how Weyland-Yutani have succeeded in weaponizing them.

What they always shoudl have done is make it more of an anthology series. Here's a new horrifying species that can kill you out there. A lot of the appeal of the first movies is learning how the monster functions and that's essentially lost as soon as everyone knows the rules. That's kind of the issue with Predator too, but also while they work together well. Just make a franchise of horror monsters, rather than getting stuck on a specific species.


True, although you could argue a lot of the supplementary material (books, comics) had far more interesting storylines than anything done in the films. As Overread mentioned, anything like Earth Hive or Nightmare Asylum would have made great films.

I recently listened to the original Alien 3 script/story on Audible (which is well worth a listen if you haven't yet heard it) and that expands on how the Alien operates, drawing in some of the 'bio weapon' bits of Prometheus. As you've said there, that would have been something new and a different way to shock an audience that already knew what to expect. But, instead they played it safe with the David Fincher Alien 3 storyline version which was really just a lesser version of the first film.

I actually don't mind Alien Resurrection as it's just mad, and I find it funny that they gave it to the director of City of Lost Children, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, to film. It's certainly got some interesting sequences and shots and I think it a hell of a lot more entertaining than Alien 3. But, it doesn't really feel like it belongs with the rest of the franchise.

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I feel that Resurrection did a lot with the franchise that fans, esp of the time, sort of wanted to see with the Alien. By that time we knew what it was, chest bursting and all that wasn't anywhere near the same shock value. What people were keen on was seeing a touch more action and energy and perhaps more threat from the Aliens and Resurrection kind of gave that to us. It introduced ideas like them using their acid blood in a more active way and such.

Even little things like having an acid spray attack and swimming underwater. For its time using a great mix of CGI and practical effects.

We also get a little bit of the Giger sexualised side, though its mostly contained within the end of the film when Riply is being carried to the nest. Again its something that is in the background of the art and such, but which rarely (if I think never?) comes through again.



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Yeah. Resurrection gets a pass from me because it at least tried to do something new.

As noted we saw new abilities in the Xenomorphs, without any of them feeling like “well why didn’t it just do that in Aliens” type stuff.

Also, we finally got an idea of what WY might’ve have got up to had they captured one.

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 BlackoCatto wrote:
Yea Army of the dead sucked. Watch it for Green Screened Tig Nataro and the opening 15 minutes where it essentially shows you the concept the movie never lives up to.


Oh, that reminds me, the Dwayne Johnson Hercules.

Trailer: Hercules fighting cool giant monsters.

First 2 minutes: Hercules fighting cool giant monsters in a flashback about the wildly exaggerated legends told about him.

Rest of Movie: Low budget fantasy schlock that reads like a rejected episode of the Kevin Sorbo Hercules.

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 Elemental wrote:
 BlackoCatto wrote:
Yea Army of the dead sucked. Watch it for Green Screened Tig Nataro and the opening 15 minutes where it essentially shows you the concept the movie never lives up to.


Oh, that reminds me, the Dwayne Johnson Hercules.

Trailer: Hercules fighting cool giant monsters.

First 2 minutes: Hercules fighting cool giant monsters in a flashback about the wildly exaggerated legends told about him.

Rest of Movie: Low budget fantasy schlock that reads like a rejected episode of the Kevin Sorbo Hercules.


I really enjoyed the film, but I totally get that it was uttery mis-sold..... that said it doesn't deserve the comparison to the Sorbo bs.

It's a bit like The Vvitch, which was misadvertised as a jump scare horror, based on one or two scenes, but the film was more of an slow burn atmosphereic horror.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/06/17 17:47:14


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The biggest let down I had was the Miami Vice remake. I'd been on a streak of about 7 or 8 years of only picking good movies. And this remake was by Michael Mann, who was behind the original series (which while it had dated a lot, was pretty ground breaking for the time). And as a director Mann had come off Heat, The Insider, Ali and Collateral. There was no way this could miss, especially when the early word was how he'd pushed the digital film techniques used in Collateral to a whole other level.

I was travelling at the time so I didn't catch any of the reviews, and I had to do a big sell my travelling friends, because who goes half way around the world to go sit in a multiplex? Can do that at home. But this was different, because this guy made Heat and Collateral, two of the great action movies.

Yeah, I had some explaining to do. Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx were incredibly bad, mumbling their way through a by the numbers plot, and the action scenes that had been so visceral in previous Mann films were incredibly flat in a way I still can't understand. The digital cinematography did look great in some scenes, but other times looked honestly kind of amateur.

Yeah, so not only did I have to admit I screwed up after the movie, it also broke my streak of picking only good movies, and set my record of picking films on a long, steady decline. These days I don't think I'm any better than guesswork in knowing if a film will be any good. And its all because of Miami Vice.




 MDSW wrote:
I wonder if The Hobbit trilogy failure is due mainly from its being based on a stellar piece of literature? Yes, I did read the Hobbit super long ago, so only recalled minor plot points. Sure, the movies had bloated and meaningless parts added to fluff it up.

But, my main questions are: If you did not read the books, would you have thought the films as big a failure as you do? What does your buddy think of them, if he never read the book? Aren't a good percentage of the hated films here based on book where a vivid description and story have been drawn and expectations set?


Whatever love there was for the Hobbit, you could multiply it by 100 for the Lord of the Rings. But the film versions there were mostly loved because the film versions were very well done. Sure, there are people who insist they were also bad because whatever, but that's just because this is the internet. But the Hobbit films were disliked by vastly more people, despite being on the less loved book, because they were awfully executed. It wasn't even stretching it out to three films, which could potentially have worked given the other story elements they brought in, but the execution of what they put on screen. Just compare the center piece battles in the second movie of each trilogy. Helm's Deep vs the the escape from the goblins. The first is one of the classic battles of cinema. It tells a clear story with real, coherent geography, uruk hai slowly moving through each layer of defense, while the heroes undertake a series of actions to delay them. Then the goblin battle is just a series of CGI flashes, with the heroes barreling forward, with no plan or clear end goal, with physics changing second by second to allow each CGI spectacle.

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I think I quite like Miami Vice. But probably because I never watched the TV series, and mostly I like the feel of it - it looks and sounds good, which papers over the story being a bit thin and silly. But it's definitely not up there with Heat.
   
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 AndrewGPaul wrote:
I think I quite like Miami Vice. But probably because I never watched the TV series, and mostly I like the feel of it - it looks and sounds good, which papers over the story being a bit thin and silly. But it's definitely not up there with Heat.


Heh. I remember the lead up publicity. Mann declared "this is not a nostalgia trip", which pretty much killed my interest in seeing the movie version.
   
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I can't say whether the LoTR or Hobbit movies are disappointing. I have yet to stay awake long enough for any of them to ascertain this.

It's not a running-time, thing - I barely make 30 minutes in before nodding off. It's the slow, ponderous plodding nature of a plot that takes forever to get anywhere.

Avengers infinity war was pretty underwhelming and almost as bad as Snyder's cut of Justice League.

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Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins - after a trailer I had so big expectations for this, and my dissapointment was even bigger. Bad scenario full of holes, stupid characters acting like morons, fight scenes filmed like with a phone from a 2 metres, and I will not even start about certain animals and a magic rock. Compared to this Wonder Woman 1984 is a masterpiece. No matter if you care about G.I.Joe or not, save your money and skip this garbage.
   
 
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