The Big Picture: Is The Hobbit Too Long?

MovieBob

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Is The Hobbit Too Long?

MovieBob ponders if The Hobbit is longer than it needed to be.

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Satosuke

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Dec 18, 2007
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I'd have to completely agree with what Bob said. It's long, but held my interest the whole time. Then again, I could eat this fantasy stuff up all the time, so I might not be the best metric for judging it.
 

UBERfionn

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Jun 7, 2010
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A lot of my friends say that it's too long but like you said, I was never bored.
I can put up with some uncomfortableness for a good movie.
 

JoaoJatoba

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Dec 31, 2010
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Short answer: no. Long answer: nooooooooo.

To me the length of epic movies such as LotR and The Hobbit helps to create that feeling that the world is big and events take a lot of time to happen... Middle earth is huge, and it took 2 year (I think) to get the ring from the Shire to Mt. Doom.

So the length of such movies enhances that feel of adventure and "epicness".
 

angel85

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Dec 31, 2008
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I loved the Hobbit, and besides the climactic battle with the dragon I'm also interested to see what becomes of that necromancer plot thread.
 

Callate

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I dunno... I think I could have trimmed a solid minute or two from some of the goblin-full-tilt-kinetic-CGI-o-rama without feeling I'd lost much, but perhaps I'd have felt differently if I'd gotten to see the movie in 48 FPS 3D.

Still, by and large I agree that there isn't that much "fat" to the movie, and I enjoyed it.
 

hentropy

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It still probably could have been trimmed up in some parts. It's never going to be "too long" for nerds whose first love was The Hobbit and/or similar fantasy stories, but for others an effort should be made to make it a bit more enjoyable/palatable. Obviously a lot of people and critics had a different opinion, and it made the movie less appealing to them.
 

lord.jeff

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Oct 27, 2010
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The only time I really got restless during the movie was Bilbo's house but that was still workable, the one scene that really needed to be shortened was the riddle contest with Golem it just seemed to drag needlessly.
 

Canadamus Prime

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Jun 17, 2009
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I didn't think it was too long at all. At no part of it did I feel bored or unabsorbed. Then again, I'm much more forgiving than most it seems so take that for what it's worth. ¬___¬
 

quantum mechanic

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Re: how will the content of the book be divided among the next two movies? {beware of spoilers, I guess}

I think the second one will (and/or should) deal with the dwarves meeting Beorn, getting through Mirkwood, making it to Lake Town, and setting off for the Lonely Mountain, while Gandalf leaves them at the edge of Mirkwood and takes care of all or most of the "Necromancer in Mirkwood" plot with the rest of the Wise*. The third movie would then wrap up the Necromancer stuff (if necessary), get all the dragon stuff in, with the destruction of Lake Town and the death of Smaug as the mid-way mini-climax, and then all of the political arguing and Battle of Five Armies happens as the real climax. I like Bob's division, but I'm not sure there's enough material to make the third one seem like it wasn't just tacked on at the end.

*I really hope this is tied in with the dwarves' imprisonment by Thranduil in some way like in the book (sort of). Along the lines of 'these guys are kind of xenophobic because the forest is going all giant spiders and evil sorcery on them,' I guess. I didn't like how Thranduil just seemed like a totally compassionless asshat in the first movie...he wasn't really like that in the book (the way I read it, anyway).
 

Scarim Coral

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Is it just me or did Bob talk abit faster as in trying to cram in as much as he want to say within his video time?

While you did bring up good point but I did read that parts of the films were like extended scene version in the book, e.g some extended scenes with Radagast and he never had a sled of rabbit nor was he the one who distracted the orc for being the bait.

My concern while part 3 is while it definitely will have that battle (I read the summary of the book) but will the entire film be the battle itself? I mean at least with the Two Tower and Return of the King. during the battle scene it still at least cut away to show Frodo and Sam. If I did read correctly, there isn't another thing that also going on at the same time as the battle, maybe they will show different character perspectives?
 

hermes

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I do think the movie is too long. Not that I would remove entirely any part in particular (since some can foreshadow events in the next movies) and I wasn't bored, but I think some of them were longer that they should (and some ended abruptly)... Put in another way, many of the scenes I would have expected in the "Extended Edition".
 

OtherSideofSky

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The problem isn't the actual runtime: Django was as long, but I never got bored or noticed that it was going on so long.

The problem with The Hobbit is that parts of it, especially the action scenes, are really boring to watch. They play like scaled-down versions of LotR encounters, with no attempt made to make them interesting or unique and set pieces that often we've all seen done better in other films. The film seems terrified of ever letting things be dark, which leaves the meeting with Gollum far less atmospheric than it ought to be and makes the escape from the goblins in the mountain (even with all the we-wish-we-were-Jackie-Chan business with ladders and boards and the humorous interludes that don't quite fit) far less visually interesting than the one described in the book (tense fighting down narrow, twisting passages illuminated only by glowing swords and the occasional goblin torch).

Also, the three consecutive openings were completely unnecessary. It would have been much better to open either with the first old Bilbo segment, fading from the illustration of young Bilbo to his actual face, or to open immediately with young Bilbo and the opening line from the book (which makes no sense in the film's context of Bilbo narrating a story he intends Frodo to read, because Frodo knows exactly what hobbits and hobbit holes are) and then play the Smaug flashback over the dwarves singing about it, with the full song instead of the out-of-place narration (the film immediately cuts to a different narrator, the first narrator never comes back, and enough people fell in love with that song and requested a longer version after seeing the first trailer to demonstrate that audiences would have sat for it).
 

Covarr

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May 29, 2009
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I do feel like this movie could've used tighter editing. Shorter shots here and there, less Radagast, significantly shorter goblin scenes... but on the whole I feel like it was pretty good. Most of my problems with it are less for length and more for general pacing (it's inconsistant, going back and forth between fast and slow quite suddenly), not too different from the theatrical versions of Lord of the Rings. I hope Jackson releases a Director's Cut (not an extended edition this time around, it doesn't need that) which smooths out the pacing a bit.

P.S. Thanks
 

The Lugz

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Apr 23, 2011
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yep, bob. couldn't agree more
it's not perfect because nothing's perfect it cant shock you with it's
great cinematography because you've seen it all before and as us regular
movie bob listeners know nostalgia is blindingly effective it's not going
to surpass a technically more robust story that can be told easier
( lord of the rings ) with an heavily exposition laden film
and it had to be what it was because otherwise the rest of the films
would be weaker as a result anyone who knows anything about any artistic
medium knows preparation is everything and without it you have no
context or reason to care

personally i'm excited to see the next films and i rarely bother going
to see anything at the cinema so that says it all really!
 

VanQ

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Oct 23, 2009
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I thought the movie was a good length. The other people in the cinema maybe not so much. I mean, they seemed far more entertained by the fruit bat that invaded the cinema while it was playing.
 

bdcjacko

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Jun 9, 2010
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As long as the watcher isn't bored it isn't too long, unless it has like a 5 hour run time with no potty break. Then again I grew up in the 90, when they were all about the 3 to 4 hour movies.
 

Mangue Surfer

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May 29, 2010
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Is one Rivendell scene too long. Serious, the Rivendell "videodcast" really boring me.

"Look you stupid nerd fan boy, characters of the Lord of the Rings cameo, now you can masturbate!"

15 minutes wasted.
 

artanis_neravar

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MovieBob said:
Is The Hobbit Too Long?

MovieBob ponders if The Hobbit is longer than it needed to be.

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There are 13 Dwarves.

I would say the Hobbit was the perfect length. The only time I ever checked my watch was when I was trying to figure out how much more awesome i was going to be able to see.