What you dont like about the trilogy....?

What do you think of Tolkien on the silver screen...? Whether Bakshi, Jackson, Amazon, BBC radio play, or whoever else, come on in and discuss your reflections, opinions, and memories...

Postby Celebrendir » Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:54 am

Gandalf'sMother wrote:
I think there's a certain bombastic naivety in their approach to the material at times. Intentionally disrespectful -- no.


I agree. But unintentional disrespect is far, far worse, IMO. It shows that they actually don't quite understand the material. Had they understood it better, they could have been both more innovative in their adaptation, and better about capturing the essence of the story.

I would rather have someone who understands the material, and intelligently breaks the rules, than a crew that unwittingly produces a mawkish version of a great tale. I think PJ, Fran and Philippa are deeply amateurish. They were just given ALOT of money to put that amateurism on glorious display.

-GM

I agree with this entirely!
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Postby Diamond of Long Cleeve » Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:30 pm

Gandalf'sMother wrote:I agree. But unintentional disrespect is far, far worse, IMO.


Far worse?

No. :)

It's just me, but I would have found a ghastly Disney version ending with a firework party in Minas Tirith far worse. ;)

Celebrendir wrote:So Gungnir was talking out of his heiny then? He's never read either the synopsis or the script? What a deceptive little man! Henceforth I name him Gungnir Wormtongue.


Oy, steady on! :shock: Gungnir has been part of this online community pretty much as long as I have. 8) He didn't claim to you that he'd read the script. He was talking about the Boorman synopsis, which is very clearly referenced in that thread I linked to. So he knows what he is talking about.

Would Anglo-Saxons have "English accents"? Seems to me that refined, proper speech is more a characteristic of later, more refined Britons, but I could be wrong.


No, you're right. :D Nobody in Anglo-Saxon Britain would sound anything like English people today. ;) But American accents would still jar me, even so ... sorry.

For me, the key would be to distinguish the races. The men of Gondor and the men of Rohan are from very distant tribes, long sundered in Middle-Earth. How, then, should their speech be similar? Something must differentiate them.


One race is blond, the other is dark-haired. Easy. :D Plus, their mode of costume, their culture ... both very different. As portrayed in the films.

Not intentionally, I agree. But perhaps I may say it this way: if some of the Tolkien fans on these boards (true Tolkien fans--which it is not clear to me Fran and Philippa really are) had been given the task of adapting the books to film, they would have been much more respectful of Tolkien's beautiful dialogue, character arcs, scenes, and overall intentions.


Fans always say things like this, Celebrendir. :) Every fan says it about their favourite book and how much more adept they would be at adapting the material.

As it is, I've come across some worthy and worthwhile attempts at writing an adapted screenplay for LotR. The reactions proved to me that a common consensus does not exist amongst fans about what should be included and what should be left out and how, exactly, Tolkien's dialogue should be adapted.

If I were adapting LotR, for example, I would amp up Arwen's rolemildly by having her appear at the Council of Elrond. I'd leave Frodo's flight to the Ford intact, thankyouverymuch.

I'd also leave Bombadil out of anything approximating a major feature film. He slows down the action at the point when it needs to speed up (in terms of a film narrative) and is a plot diversion.. A lengthy mini-series might have time for him. But even the excellent BBC radio dramatisation (comprising thirteen hour-long episodes) left him out. :twisted:

It takes people close to the material to really understand and convey these things.


But could we adapt LotR? 8)

Jackson hired his wife and an unknown New Zealand playwright to do the job.


Yet they did get an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. ;)
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Postby Gungnir » Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:46 pm

Celebrendir wrote:
Diamond of Long Cleeve wrote:I don't think any of us have been able to find the Boorman script online but there is a lot of stuff cited accurately in that thread I linked to. :)

So Gungnir was talking out of his heiny then? He's never read either the synopsis or the script? What a deceptive little man! Henceforth I name him Gungnir Wormtongue.


Wormtongue?
I never said I had read the script or synopsis. I can't be held responsible for your apparent inability to comprehend written English. But then being an American, that is understandable.

I will concede that perhaps synopsis was a poor choice of word - I was referring to the account of the writing process and selected scenes from Boorman's co-writer quoted in the other threads. And , if you bother to read the other threads linked to this should be glaringly obvious, even to someone of your seeming limited abilities.
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Postby Celebrendir » Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:14 pm

Gungnir wrote:I can't be held responsible for your apparent inability to comprehend written English. But then being an American, that is understandable.

Loose not your venom at me, Gungnir Wormtongue! For childish taunts move me not.

But be careful challenging me in "the comprehension of written English," for that is my domain: I am a professional writer, novelist and journalist of international standing, instructed for long years by a Pulitzer Prize nominee and poet of high renown.

Take heed, Gungnir Wormtongue! For you have impugned my very craft, striking at me where I am strongest: yet I would not loose against you the weapons of that craft in retaliation, for in your ignorance you spoke; and I wish not for strife with any man, even though he be the ally of Saruman.

Therefore I shall go my way, and withhold a just recompense for your ill-chosen words. But if ever you chance to meet me again in this realm, I shall expect more courtesy of you: for slow is the wrath of Celebrendir to kindle against the ignorant, but not forever shall it sleep.
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Postby merlyn » Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:54 pm

Slightly off topic, but I've read that the familiar English accent may not have developed until after the American Revolution - as if the English formed it in order to distinguish themselves from those rebellious colonists on the other side of the Atlantic. So it certainly wouldn't have been around in Anglo-Saxon times (aside from the language back then being different).
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Postby Gandalf'sMother » Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:23 pm

merlyn,

Actually, I recently read an article from an Oxford linguist that suggested the accent of Shakespeare's English would likely have been closer to either the Boston, Massachusetts or Brooklyn accent, than the current southern English. There was also a suggestion that the current New England accent is likely far closer to what was spoken in the England of the 1600s than what is spoken in England today. This is due to the "freezing" of the accent in America. In England, the accent changed.

In other words, the American accent is better than the English!

Gungnir said: I can't be held responsible for your apparent inability to comprehend written English. But then being an American, that is understandable.


Fa' cryin' out loud, whoodya think you are, some kinda royalty or sumthin'? I oughtta smack ya around and upside the head! If it wuzn't fer us, you'd be talkin' like a Nazi right now, buddy. How 'bout sum respect, huh?

-GM
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Postby ToshoftheWuffingas » Wed Feb 10, 2010 6:12 pm

Where is a popcorn eating smiley when you need one?
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Postby Diamond of Long Cleeve » Wed Feb 10, 2010 6:36 pm

:rofl: at Tosh.

Merlyn, there is more than one familiar English accent. 8) There are loads of different ones. 8)

GM, I've listened to the people from Tangier Island on YouTube and there is a definite Cornish twang there. Mixed in with a Southern twist.

btw, I want to know who Celebrendir's Pulitzer prize nominee was. :wink:


Yay for osgiliation!
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Postby Gungnir » Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:58 am

Celebrendir wrote:But be careful challenging me in "the comprehension of written English," for that is my domain: I am a professional writer, novelist and journalist of international standing, instructed for long years by a Pulitzer Prize nominee and poet of high renown.


Congratulations. And it is amazing that you have managed to accomplish this despite your inability to extract the meaning from a simply worded sentence.

Celebrendir wrote:Take heed, Gungnir Wormtongue! For you have impugned my very craft, striking at me where I am strongest: yet I would not loose against you the weapons of that craft in retaliation, for in your ignorance you spoke; and I wish not for strife with any man, even though he be the ally of Saruman.


I did not impugn your craft, simply your mastery of it. If indeed it is where your strength lies I dare not imagine the parlous state of your other skills.

Celebrendir wrote:Therefore I shall go my way, and withhold a just recompense for your ill-chosen words. But if ever you chance to meet me again in this realm, I shall expect more courtesy of you: for slow is the wrath of Celebrendir to kindle against the ignorant, but not forever shall it sleep.


I would contend that you were the first to choose ill words, in mid-jump towards an unwarranted conclusion based on a poor understanding of a simple and transparent communication in the medium which you claim as your own. However, as you are a new arrival on these boards, on which I have bandied various words with many a witless worm, I shall put your belligerence and generally impolite conduct down to callow inexperience.
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Postby Diamond of Long Cleeve » Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:59 am

Pistols at dawn, gentlemen? :lol:

;)
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Postby faramirsonofdenethor » Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:20 am

One thing I wish Jackson had put in the films is Gandalf's fight with the Nazgul on Weathertop. In the books, the results of the fight and, from a distance, the fight itself are seen by Aragorn and the Hobbits. However, even though it would have made for some awesome scenes, Jackson couldn't put that in since it would not makes sense with the change he made in the Return of the King where the king of the wraiths beats Gandalf and breaks his staff. That is absolutely and completely my most disliked scene from the movies. In the books, Gandalf took on all Nine on Weathertop! How could he be over-powered in Minas Tirith?
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Postby Gungnir » Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:27 am

faramirsonofdenethor wrote:. In the books, Gandalf took on all Nine on Weathertop! How could he be over-powered in Minas Tirith?


The powers of the nine are inconsistent in the books and they do seem to be more powerful closer to Mordor. Remember they were chased into the ford of Bruinen by some hobbits a man and an elf - in Minas Tirith the whole city was unmanned with fear simply from their presence.

Oh and I thought that he only faced four or five at Weathertop - hadn't they divided their forces?
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Postby Diamond of Long Cleeve » Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:01 am

faramirsonofdenethor wrote:That is absolutely and completely my most disliked scene from the movies. In the books, Gandalf took on all Nine on Weathertop! How could he be over-powered in Minas Tirith?


I really dislike that scene in the Extended RotK too. Gaaaaaaaaaaah! :angry:

Although the fact that Gandalf had battled the Nazgul before had not actually occurred to me. :lol: It's just that in the book Gandalf is calm and steady as he faces the horror of the Witch King and for Gandalf to maintain this icy calm would have been just awesome.

The other scene in the RotK:EE that made me actually shout at the DVD -- :D -- was Aragorn losing it in his Palantir confrontation with Sauron. Man, it started so well.

And then Sauron is all "Ha ha, look, your girlfriend is dying!" and Aragorn is all "oh noes!" :roll:

I just could not BELIEVE PJ there. :rofl:

Gungnir wrote:The powers of the nine are inconsistent in the books and they do seem to be more powerful closer to Mordor. Remember they were chased into the ford of Bruinen by some hobbits a man and an elf - in Minas Tirith the whole city was unmanned with fear simply from their presence.


The closer they are to Mordor, the stronger the Nine are. 8)

All the same, I do think there is some inconsistency shown in the level of their power. I still think that logic demands that the Nazgul should have been able to kill the hobbits, and possibly Aragorn, on Weathertop.

Oh and I thought that he only faced four or five at Weathertop - hadn't they divided their forces?


I haven't the book to check on me, but I'm sure you're right. :)
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Postby LadyElbereth » Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:14 am

I vaguely remember PJ saying something in his excuse for the Wiki-Gandalf travesty about not wanting the audience to think that the new, improved White Gandalf was some sort of invincible super-weapon, and he was trying to show that the allies were vulnerable, and the outcome was still in the balance.

Even so, that wasn't the way to do it... :roll:
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Postby Diamond of Long Cleeve » Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:32 am

LadyElbereth wrote:I vaguely remember PJ saying something in his excuse for the Wiki-Gandalf travesty about not wanting the audience to think that the new, improved White Gandalf was some sort of invincible super-weapon, and he was trying to show that the allies were vulnerable, and the outcome was still in the balance.


I can understand his reasons, actually, from a dramatist's POV.

But I still think it sucks. :P

Especially as the canon alternative would have made great cinema. :evil:
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Postby faramirsonofdenethor » Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:45 pm

Oh and I thought that he only faced four or five at Weathertop - hadn't they divided their forces?


Tolkien doesn't specify how many exactly Gandalf faced on Weathertop, but four or five is the minimum.

"So I stayed there that night, wondering much what had become of the Riders; for only of two had there yet been any news in Bree, it seemed. But in the night we heard more. Five at least came from the west, and they threw down the gates and passed through Bree like a howling wind; and the Bree-folk are still shivering and expecting the end of the world. I got up before dawn and went after them.
"I do not know, but it seems clear to me that this is what happened. Their Captain remained in secret away south of Bree, while two rode ahead through the village, and four more invaded the Shire. But when these were foiled in Bree and at Crickhollow, they returned to their Captain with tidings, and so left the Road unguarded for a while, except by their spies. The Captain then sent some eastward straight across country, and he himself with the rest rode along the Road in great wrath.
"I galloped to Weathertop like a gale, and I reached it before sundown on my second day from Bree-and they were there before me. They drew away from me, for they felt the coming of my anger and they dared not face it while the Sun was in the sky. But they closed round at night, and I was besieged on the hill-top, in the old ring of Amon Sûl. I was hard put to it indeed: such light and flame cannot have been seen on Weathertop since the war-beacons of old.
"At sunrise I escaped and fled towards the north. I could not hope to do more. It was impossible to find you, Frodo, in the wilderness, and it would have been folly to try with all the Nine at my heels. So I had to trust to Aragorn. But I hoped to draw some of them off, and yet reach Rivendell ahead of you and send out help. Four Riders did indeed follow me, but they turned back after a while and made for the Ford, it seems. That helped a little, for there were only five, not nine, when your camp was attacked.


From reading the fourth (last) paragraph, it sounds like it could have been nine, since he was trying to draw off some of them and did successfully draw off four, leaving only five at Weathertop.

The powers of the nine are inconsistent in the books and they do seem to be more powerful closer to Mordor.


Very true. The nearer to their master they are, the more powerful they become. However, Gandalf was no longer the Grey but the White even stronger than before. The Nazgûl weren't ready to outright meet the White Rider before a full siege of Gondor was well in place and breaching the walls.

I don't know how the match "would have" turned out if it "had happened" between Gandalf and the King of Angmar. Gandalf was one of the Maiar, the Witch King was a man. However, he was powerful through, and only through, the power of Sauron. On the other hand, unless I am mistaken, Sauron himself was originally one of the Maiar, too. What would a match between Gandalf and Sauron look like?
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Postby TheMightyRincewind » Sun Feb 21, 2010 11:30 am

I've never heard anyone else complain about it, but when I saw the movies it instantly bothered me how much he shrank Middle Earth:

Image

Image

So Jackson's ME seems to be about 1/10th the size of Tolkien's. So I guess Orodruin is just a day's walk away from Minas Tirith.

I think it bothers me, because Tolkien leaves a lot of room for your own imagination and when I read LotR as a teenager, I spent a lot of time dreamily looking at the map an imagining how it might look like there :)

Another thing is Sauron's eye roasting on top of Barad Dur - this feels more like some kind of bizarre Super Villain from a comic book movie than the subtle threat that it was in the books. It looks rather ridiculous when the Dark Tower breaks down.
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Postby ToshoftheWuffingas » Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:39 pm

It looks rather ridiculous when the Dark Tower breaks down.


Ain't that the truth!

and to repeat Di:

Especially as the canon alternative would have made great cinema.
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Postby Faramond » Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:15 pm

Aragorn: In the books, he never doubts himself or his destiny for a moment. He knows what he's destined to do, and he never flinches from it. In the movies, he's racked with self-doubt and fear: what if he can't do it? Arwen has to encourage and inspire him.


I would call it his goal, rather than his destiny, but that is a minor point. Yes, Aragorn never doubts that he should strive to earn the kingship of Gondor in the books. But he does have moments of self-doubt! Between the departure of the fellowship from Lorien and the return of Gandalf he often doubts his own choices, especially his choice to let Frodo go on without him. Gandalf famously heals King Theoden, but I think Gandalf also subtly heals Aragorn as well. Simply by returning, and taking the burden of being leader in the War of the Ring. When Gandalf returns and lifts from Aragorn the burden of Frodo ( and Merry and Pippen ) then Strider the leader and protector of hobbits can retire. Aragorn is free to be Elessar, leader of men.

Of course, Arwen does inspire Aragorn even in the books. But not in the pep-talk giving way. She does not, already loving him, change him into a kingly man, as in the movies. Instead she falls in love with a kingly man who follows his purpose to the end. I do not think Jackson understood the characters of Arwen and Aragorn, or what appeal they might have, and so he rewrote them according to the laws of standard Hollywood characters. The moments of doubt of a strong man may be far more interesting than a standard crisis of destiny.
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Postby Frelga » Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:26 pm

Excellent post, Faramond. Aragorn's moment of doubt at the Breakinf of the Fellowship seems to carry as much surprise as anguish. I am supposed to be always right, darnit, what happened?

I do not think Jackson understood the characters or what appeal they might have, and so he rewrote them according to the laws of standard Hollywood characters.


There, fixed it for you. =:)

Except for Boromir. Whether PJ or Bean deserve the credit, the movie got Boromir bang down to rights.
Impressive. Every word in that sentence was wrong.
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Postby Lysanor » Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:36 pm

There are several things which constantly tick me off about the movies.

1. Having Elves at helms deep was bad enough but then Jackson went and slaughtered them all :angry: Why is it, in the films that only the main characters of the good guys can fight while the others are all hopelessly inept? They can even stop in the midst of a battle and not be attacked!

2. The charge of the Rohirrim at the olliphants. In some special features I saw Jackson was going on about how the horses were also characters in the films but here they are just brainless creatures. There is no way horses would charge straight at those things. In the book Tolkien said they wouldnt go anywhere near them. I know it's for the drama bla bla bla but can't some things be a little realistic?

3. For such expensive films they are riddled with mistakes and continuity errors
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Postby Arwenslove » Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:06 am

there were many things I didn't like about them, but I have come to reason that the changes were necessary for time and whatnot. But i'd have to say the whole Aragorn reluctant be king self doubt thing wasn't so in the book the more i read it seems that wasn't why he had not taken up the throne yet. and that is beginning to irk me. :nono:
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Postby sgttom » Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:58 pm

Have only seen the Fellowship so far. So here is what I have to offer, probably has already been said.

Poorly done Characters:

The Dark Riders

They just aren't scary. Aragorn jumps in fends them off with his sword and burns them with his torch. I would expect more from the Kings of Old even if they are corrupted. Aragorn is no Match for them. He has a harder time fighting the Urak Hai leader then he does with 4 Dark Riders. Yes it mentions in the book that Frodo sees Aragorn leaping in welding a torch. However it doesn't expand from there certainly no mention of him coming into sword play or burning the Dark Riders. At the most he scared them away.

The whole scene with them busting through the gates of Bree seemingly slamming the gate keeper 10ft into the ground was ridiculous. I also dislike their screams they sound like little girls I am sorry to say.
The Dark Riders should be perhaps the Scariest thing in The Fellowship of the Ring and they just are not.

Aragorn
Ok who can deny how awesome Viggo is in this role? I certainly can't but I will say why did they make him afraid of his destiny? Cut that out and he would be nearly perfect.

Arwen
I don't like her lines first off. She sounds like a snot sometimes "what's this a ranger caught off his guard". I also just dislike her acting and the love scene.

More importantly she took Frodo's moment of strength against the Dark Riders at river. The whole "if you want him come and claim him" was just bland.

Wasn't her gift of losing her immortality for her love, Aragorn, enough? She was used for some cheap love scenes and for more Woman heroism. In medieval days woman didn't fight. It was considered immoral and it was something Woman just didn't do. Eowyn lived a rougher lifestyle the Arwen she wanted to be a hero in battle, someone to be remembered.
Even then her father wouldn't let her go. She went into battle dressed as a man against her fathers wish and in secret. You see PJ you already had a Woman heroine and she also gave you a romance.. hint..hint.. Faramir, which is a much better romance then the silliness you put in the movie between Aragorn and Arwen.
I guess we have to settle with the Lady Elf Warrior.:|

Just to throw in, I couldn't see "the movie" Elrond letting her go off to fight the Dark Riders. Yet I guess they aren't much of a threat anyways, right? :roll: :|

Frodo
He was decent and Elijah did a good job with the role. He should have been stronger though and a bit more wise. The slow motion scenes of him falling on the ground and with the ring get a tad annoying sometimes also.

Fighting skills unbalanced?

An Orc gives Aragorn more trouble then the Dark Riders. Aragorn fights off many Dark Riders on Weathertop yet Gandalf is struck down by a single one, with his staff broken seemingly going to be killed(Extended Version of ROTK). The Orcs seem a bit too weak at times and then other times too strong.

Singing
Other then two of the extended scenes and "The road goes ever on and on" there has been no singing amongst the fellowship so far. Hopefully there will be more in the Two Towers and Return of the King. Tolkiens Poems and songs are a big part of his writings. I'd hate to see them be left out.

Rush Job in the Shire
The scene where Bilbo leaves and gives the ring up was quite well done. True to the book for the most part, kept a good pace, and was intriguing. However the scene where Frodo leaves was just over the top. He just is too rushed and basically shoves Frodo out the door. They also fail to mention Frodo stays in the Shire 20 more years after the party before Gandalf comes back and instructs him to leave. Oh well I still enjoyed his adaption of the Shire especially with the extended scenes.

Bree
Ah wheres that rat Bill Ferny. I got great satisfaction in the book when Sam hit him square in the head with his apple. :) When the ring slips on his finger is quite silly also. He does one of his slow motion falls and then pop he's gone. Just looked silly. Would have been much better with Frodo's song. "There was an inn a merry old inn........."
Strider was also too rushed, they cut many good lines out that should have been there.

Aragorn Sword
Where is the broken sword? Why put it in that silly Museum so you can have a stupid scene where Boromir cuts himself and drops the sword muttering "But no more than a broken heirloom".

Bilbo Absence at the Council of Elrond
Where is he? :lol:

Cave Troll at Moria
The Cave Troll was not strong enough. In the book Boromir stabs the trolls foot this sends Boromir flying back and also chips his sword. Looking at this I think it would have taken way longer to kill the Monster. Frodo would also be more wounded by the trolls blow even if he is wear Mirlith. In the Book a Orc stabs him and he is unharmed. I can see that but a Cave troll. The impact would be enormous lol.

Of course these are just some of the basics. Skimming the water is all I have time for or all I care to have time for. You can nitpick almost anything to almost no end if you fancy it.

You might take me as one who hates Peter Jackson's Movies after reading this. However I don't I really enjoyed this movie despite its flaws. If you expect more from something made by a group from Hollywood most of which hadn't even read the books you silly. I know a more accurate version will come out someday and I'll never take this as "The" Lord of the Rings Movie just as "A" Lord of the Rings Adaption.
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Postby Gandalf'sMother » Fri Apr 16, 2010 7:00 am

sgttom,

As someone who is not a big fan of the films, I agree with you on almost everything. However, a small quibble:
In medieval days woman didn't fight. It was considered immoral and it was something Woman just didn't do.


First, the Lord of the Rings is not a medieval setting. It is a mythical setting. If you are to compare it to a historical period in Europe, it would probably be closer to early Dark Ages Europe, with the remnants and bones of the Roman Empire were still somewhat fresh (it's hard not to parallel Arnor and Gondor with the remains of that Empire, despite Tolkien's distate for allegory). Another way to put it would be to call it the mythology of a "pre Norman invasion" Britain. Tolkien himself hinted at that.

Second, Arwen is an elf, and there is evidence that the elves did indeed participate in battles against Sauron. Indeed, Galadriel participated in the action against Dol Guldur, which took place during the Hobbit timeline, and then was instrumental in beating off Sauron's northern thrust during the War of the Ring.

This does not mean that Arwen should have been portrayed with even a hint of "warrior princess." However, I do not think it is accurate to suggest that elves considered females in battle to be "immoral." There is no evidence of that.

-GM
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Postby sgttom » Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:33 pm

Thank you. I agree with all you said. I am certainly not the most knowledgeable on this subject.
I may take a break from this forum until I am able to catch up on more Middle Earth reading and research. I think I will go back and read his books in order of timeline: The Similarion, the Children of Hurin, the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. Now time for some Amazon shopping. :)
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Postby merlyn » Fri Apr 16, 2010 3:40 pm

Gandalf'sMother wrote:


First, the Lord of the Rings is not a medieval setting. It is a mythical setting. If you are to compare it to a historical period in Europe, it would probably be closer to early Dark Ages Europe, with the remnants and bones of the Roman Empire were still somewhat fresh (it's hard not to parallel Arnor and Gondor with the remains of that Empire, despite Tolkien's distate for allegory). Another way to put it would be to call it the mythology of a "pre Norman invasion" Britain. Tolkien himself hinted at that.


-GM


I thought the same thing, GM - the tone of "The Lord of the Rings" is much more that of the "Dark Ages" (Tolkien once said that the clothing styles depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry would fit the Rohirrim well, but that they were not "medieval" in the familiar sense of the word - presumably, as in 14th or 15th century). I also made the identification of a decaying Gondor with the decaying Roman Empire - indeed, the Romans even made deals with the Germanic tribes, offering them land in return for their military support, much like Gondor's alliance to Rohan (except that the Rohirrim were much more faithful to Gondor).
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Postby krawler » Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:05 pm

I've never liked the way the movies depict Sauron in TTT and RotK. In the first film, you at least get the impression that the Eye is just an image of him as seen in the mind or through magical means of communication. Then right at the start of the second film the Eye is put on top of his tower and is now his physical manifestation. By the third he's become a giant searchlight.

Topping off the absurdity (and bringing me to my actual point) is his fall at the climax of the film. The tower crumbles, and the Eye explodes with a CG shockwave, which is nothing like Tolkien's description of Sauron's end. Go and read that passage at the start of "The Field of Cormallen" for yourself, I'll wait.

...

Back? Did you notice the references to rising clouds and lightening? I saw some pictures of the recent volcanic eruption in Iceland that made me think of just that passage. Dark clouds of ash rising from the earth, with lightening flashing in the very midst of it all. A few pictures are collected here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1267423/Iceland-volcano-eruption-The-terrifying-cauldron-lava-lightning-brought-chaos-airports.html

If that sort of terrifyingly spectacular imagery exists in nature how cool would it have been to base Sauron's destruction on it? Yet instead we have another missed opportunity for Tolkien's own imagery to be displayed on screen.
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Postby Diamond of Long Cleeve » Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:32 am

krawler wrote:If that sort of terrifyingly spectacular imagery exists in nature how cool would it have been to base Sauron's destruction on it? Yet instead we have another missed opportunity for Tolkien's own imagery to be displayed on screen.


Yes, that would have been great. :)

Well, I went to The Two Towers concert on Saturday night at the Royal Albert Hall. It's been years since I've watched TTT and my reaction was virtually the same as the first time I saw it:

-- The first half of the film is splendid. TTT has one of the best ever openings to a film, the Frodo/Sam/Gollum interaction is very well done, so is the Aragorn/Gimli/Legolas interaction, I love everything Rohan and that scene of a desolate Arwen by Aragorn's tomb is simply astounding. I adore Miranda Otto's Éowyn and Brad Dourif makes the rather one-dimensional Gríma Wormtongue come to gloriously creepy and conflicted life. (I would just love to see a film version of the Scouring of the Shire with Dourif as Wormtongue!)

-- The second half of the film is full of stuff that annoys me to this day. :P The characterisations of Frodo and Faramir still make me roll my eyes (no reflection on David Wenham's acting, whom I like in the part). Purty as Elijah's Frodo is, I do miss Book Frodo in these films. Also, Movie Aragorn and Arwen have hardly any chemistry ... as opposed to the electric scenes between Aragorn and Éowyn. I love their exchange of blades in the Hall, a scene in which Aragorn empowers and affirms Éowyn with grave courtesy.

I will say this about the theatrical versions though: they do flow very well as film narratives. The exposition in these scripts is excellent, the main storyline is made very clear for a non-Tolkien audience. And I have no objection to changes from canon when they make sense. Changes from the book, such as the Elves turning up at Helm's Deep, make perfect sense for the film narrative. Théoden's bitter rant against Gondor, non-canonical as it is, also makes sense: it increases the sense of isolation that the film Rohirrim are facing against impossible odds.

What bugs me about the Osgiliath sequence is not its non-canonicity but its narrative sloppiness. Of course it looks fabulous: a glorious Gondorian city in ruins under bombardment from the forces of Mordor. But to this day I cannot understand Faramir saying to Frodo, "Now we understand each other", when he's just seen this hobbit nearly put on the One Ring in front of one of Sauron's senior henchmen! Maybe this made some kind of sense to the non-Tolkienite, but IT MAKES NO FLIPPIN' SENSE TO ME. :D Especially as Faramir now knows that Frodo is off on a suicide mission. Ah, well ...

For all that TTT is my least favourite film in the Trilogy, the musical score is probably my favourite, although there are many exquisite passages in the RotK score. (And watching the film while the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the choirs perform the music live is very special indeed. Howard Shore's magnificent score truly makes these films what they are.)
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Postby LadyElbereth » Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:10 am

As usual I find myself in agreement with the sparkling Diamond :D - lovely to see you again on Saturday :hug:

The whole Osgiliation was just so unnecessary...I felt that the story arc between Faramir and the Hobbits could quite easily have been played out entirely at Henneth Anun...

I too have little problem with the elves at Helm's Deep...it is later on in RotK when we have Elrond on a night mission to bring Anduril to Aragorn that credulity flies out the window...why oh why couldn't PJ have introduced the Twins at Rivendell, and have had them bring the sword (if we must have it left behind anyway,) instead??? I appreciate why the Dunedain Rangers were dropped, but the Twins would have been a valuable asset (as well as more eye candy! :wink: )

Going back to TTT, I couldn't help thinking as I watched the opening on Sat at RAH, how amazing the Balrog fight was, and whether that sequence would have been better or worse in 3D... :D
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Postby Diamond of Long Cleeve » Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:37 am

LadyElbereth wrote:As usual I find myself in agreement with the sparkling Diamond :D - lovely to see you again on Saturday :hug:


You too. :hug:

The whole Osgiliation was just so unnecessary...I felt that the story arc between Faramir and the Hobbits could quite easily have been played out entirely at Henneth Anun...


LOL, yes, absolutely.

why oh why couldn't PJ have introduced the Twins at Rivendell, and have had them bring the sword (if we must have it left behind anyway,) instead??? I appreciate why the Dunedain Rangers were dropped, but the Twins would have been a valuable asset (as well as more eye candy! :wink: )


I understand why PJ gave Anduril a 'story arc'. :D

But I agree with you. :( Less Helm's Deep and more hot Elves, I say. :twisted:

Going back to TTT, I couldn't help thinking as I watched the opening on Sat at RAH, how amazing the Balrog fight was, and whether that sequence would have been better or worse in 3D... :D


I'd watch that in 3D. :horse:
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