Worst scene in the whole trilogy.

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

Postby Gandalf'sMother » Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:03 am

UtgardLoki wrote:Gandalf'sMother, I may not agree exactly with each example you make, I find myself in absolute agreement with your tone. Despair transcends the limitations of the typed word.
As a whole, a film can be viewed as the sum of its parts. Three films the sum of three parts! The films have so many parts that are just plain... bad, that the sum is just plain... bad. I named Weathertop as the worst because I honestly think it defies comparison. I think of Scooby Doo. See? It defies comparison.
But that's all secondary. A film, or series of films, should be works of art, and quite simply, Peter Jackson did not create works of art. Tolkien deserved better.


Oh I know how you feel. Since I first saw FOTR in the theaters, I have maintained that Weathertop was two things. First, it was one of the worst scenes I had seen in a big budget film for quite some time, and second, it was one of the greatest missed opportunities in a film adaptation I could remember.

The approach of the Nazgul on Weathertop, in the book, is absolutely chilling. The company is alone in the cold wilderness. They are exposed in the dark. They think they see, or feel something. And then they are there on the edge of the dell. Minutes seem like hours. And then the Nazgul are upon them. Cold shadows of dread, and Frodo's distant voice wailing as he is stabbed in the wraithworld.

The scene was almost written for the big screen, and what does PJ give us?

Idiot hobbits cooking bacon and tomatoes, a panicked Frodo stamps the fire out, an annoying scream from the Nazul, the hobbits rush to the ledge, run up into the "arena," and then have a completely unscary, fake confrontation in a brightly lit auditorium with a bunch of fools in black robes, followed by a ridiculously swashbuckling Aragorn, and ending with a torch embedded in a Nazgul's face.

This scene was an absolute crime in the annals of adaptation, and it surprises me that more people don't loathe it the way I do.

It's good to know that someone else feels so passionately about its horribleness.

Tolkien deserved better.


Now that's an understatement!

-GM
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Postby Ríwen » Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:20 am

well, if you put it that way.... :wink:

I've always found the stabbing part to be pretty awkward. "Hmm, Frodo takes of the ring, bummer...oh, I know, let's stab him in the shoulder"
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Postby vison » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:13 pm

Gandalf's Ma, you and I do not always agree on some things but we are as one, we are soul mates, in fact, on the awfulness of the movies. UtgardLoki, you, too!!

There are so MANY things about the movies I hate. I could begin at the beginning and carry on to the end and get madder and go madder and wind up frothing at the mouth and having apoplexy - and some day I might just do that.

:)

But - yesterday, December 18, was the tenth anniversary of the movie's release. Because of that horrible movie I'm here and complaining among like-minded people I will call Friends. And having a very good time doing it. :)
GM is alive.

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Postby UtgardLoki » Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:47 am

vison wrote:... Because of that horrible movie I'm here and complaining among like-minded people I will call Friends. And having a very good time doing it. :)
The Blitz brought people together. Thank you Mr Hitler! :D

Do I fall foul of Godwin's Law? ;)
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Postby vison » Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:06 am

UtgardLoki wrote:
vison wrote:... Because of that horrible movie I'm here and complaining among like-minded people I will call Friends. And having a very good time doing it. :)
The Blitz brought people together. Thank you Mr Hitler! :D

Do I fall foul of Godwin's Law? ;)


I won't call foul.

But I guess the movie wasn't quite THAT bad. 8)

As I've said before and will no doubt say again, PJ got so many things so right. I will never forget sitting in the theatre and hearing Cate Blanchett's voice and feeling chills go up and down my spine. So wonderful! And up to the stupid scene where Merry and Pippin stole the firework? Almost perfect. (I ignore the fact that I thought Elijah Wood was pathetically bad as Frodo . . . . almost as awful as Viggo Mortenson as Aragorn . . . . we won't mention Liv Tyler, it hurts too much . . .)

The things he got right were so spectactularly right. The costumes and most of the sets. He didn't "make" the scenery, but he sure chose fabulous locations. Edoras was incredible. Not so much Rivendell and Lothlorien, though. Like a Thomas Kincaid painting . . . .

The thing is, as others have said, he just didn't "get" the Lord of the Rings. He failed catastrophically, and yet managed to catch the eeniest little bit, enough to make me glad he did it.

I've never watched the EE versions, so have never seen the drinking contest or the stew.
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Postby Calma » Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:44 pm

vison wrote:As I've said before and will no doubt say again, PJ got so many things so right. I will never forget sitting in the theatre and hearing Cate Blanchett's voice and feeling chills go up and down my spine. So wonderful! And up to the stupid scene where Merry and Pippin stole the firework? Almost perfect. (I ignore the fact that I thought Elijah Wood was pathetically bad as Frodo . . . . almost as awful as Viggo Mortenson as Aragorn . . . . we won't mention Liv Tyler, it hurts too much . . .)


(bolding mine)

At last!
Elijah Wood totally messed up Frodo.
And, imo, Liv Tyler couldn't act her way out of a wet paper bag on a rainy day.

Though I though Viggo was very good as Aragorn.

Oh, yeah, the stew scene and the drinking contest.
Totally forgot about those.

Yeah, not good.
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Postby Arvegil » Mon Dec 26, 2011 3:55 pm

I will answer a slightly different question- not "the worst," but "the biggest blown opportunity."

That would be the Eowyn-Witchking confrontation. It should have been Shakespearean in its language and dramatic buildup. Instead, it looks like, for one anti-shining moment, Michael Bay was called in to do a scene.

Jackson & Co. ignored all of that beautiful language for an impossibly large flail.
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Postby andurilwest » Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:08 pm

Some things are just dumb, like movie Denethor and the radioactive ghosts.

Some things are monumentally missing the point, like movie Faramir, and as for Jackson and co.'s lame reasonings, credat Iudaeus Apella non ego.

And before anyone says don't watch what you don't like, I haven't watched the movies since... 2003? :P
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Postby erhanthemaster » Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:44 am

*** FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING ***
1. WIMPIFIED FRODO.
2. FRODO'S ROLLING EYES UNDER THE TREE ROOTS AT MUSHROOMS CHAPTER WHEN THE WITCH KING LOOMS OVER THE HOBBITS.
3. WEATHERTOP - FRODO THE WIMPY KID AGAIN. HE CAN'T EVEN STAND HIS GROUND DROPPING HIS SWORD LIKE THAT. SO MUCH FOR FRODO THE BRAVE. HOWEVER I LIKED THE WAY NAZGUL LOOKED WHEN FRODO PUT ON THE RING.
4. ELROND BASHING MANKIND CONSISTENTLY.
5. FRODO'S EXAGGERATED AGONY AGAINST THE SPEAR OF THE TROLL IN THE MINES OF MORIA EVEN THOUGH IT WAS A HEIGHTENED DRAMA.

*** THE TWO TOWERS ***
1. WIMPIFIED FRODO.
2. TREEBEARD'S IGNORANCE TO THE FELLING OF THE TREES.
3. PIPPIN'S MANIPULATION OF TREEBEARD TO DECLARE WAR ON SARUMAN.
3. FRODO BARKING AT SAM IN ITHILIEN(I GUESS) WHEN SAM CALLS GOLLUM NAMES LIKE "SLINKER,STINKER".
4. ARAGORN FALLING OFF THE CLIFF AND SEEING ARWEN VISIONS AFTER THE FIGHT WITH THE WARGS.
5. EVERY FLASHBACK SCENE ARWEN INVOLVED.
6. FRODO OPENLY OFFERING THE RING TO THE WITCH KING AT OSGILIATH. TOTAL PUSSINESS AT ITS PEAK.

*** THE RETURN OF THE KING ***
1. WIMPIFIED FRODO.
2. SARUMAN'S DEATH IN THE EXTENDED CUT. THOUGH THE VOICE OF SARUMAN SEQUENCE WAS EXECUTED FAIRLY GOOD UNTIL THIS
FINAL SCENE.
3. ARWEN SCENES.
4. COMPLETE MOUTH OF SAURON SEQUENCE IN THE EXTENDED CUT.
5. ARAGORN LOOKING AT PALANTIR, SEEING ARWEN'S VISION AND THE DESTRUCTION OF THE EVENSTAR. YIKES!
6. DENETHOR'S FACIAL EXPRESSIONS THROUGHOUT ALL HIS SCENES.
7. THE ARMY OF THE DEAD SWEEPING THROUGH MINAS TIRITH IN SECONDS.
8. DRINKING CONTEST. TOTALLY POINTLESS AND CHEESY(I LEARNED THIS PHRASE HERE!).
9. SKULL AVALANCHE IN THE EXTENDED CUT. YIKES AND GADZOOKS !
10. EOWYN SAYING " I'M NO MAN " TO THE WITCH KING BEFORE SHE PLUNGES HER SWORD INTO HIS FACE. DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE AT ALL !
11. GANDALF SUBMITTING TO THE WITCH KING IN THEIR ENCOUNTER AND HAVING HIS STAFF BROKEN IN THE PROCESS.
12. FRODO'S AWKWARDLY SIDEWAYS FALL LIKE A SISSY WHEN HE SEES THE EYE OF SAURON ON THE PLAINS OF GORGOROTH.
13. FRODO'S FOAMING MOUTH WHEN SHELOB STINGS HIM.
14. LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST, FRODO SENDING SAM AWAY AND SAYING GO HOME IN A REALLY PATHETIC JUNKY MANNER.

Special Note : The above remarks come from someone(me) who hasn't even heard of the books prior to the release of the movies.

Although I like the movies as a whole in terms of details, the authenticity, historical feel instead of fantasy, sets, costumes, props and
visual effects, I find the mentioned scenes thematically anti climactic and out of sequence .Of all the characters in the movies, Frodo's
character was the most altered and twisted character that was reduced to a total coward and pussy. Many years, I've always tended to fast
forward the scenes that Frodo involved when I was watching the trilogy. For the last couple of years I've come to grips with them by appointing
Sam as the real hero which was evident in the movies and tried to watch these sequences from that perspective. And of course Gollum being portrayed very brilliantly is another factor that helps me watch these -what I like to call " journey of the ring " sequences.

The movies are overall well crafted with certain flaws due to deviations from the original story and in defense of PJ he used to direct movies
like Braindead, Frighteners and Bad taste prior to LOTR. He had the courage to take on such an immense challenge without getting crushed under the weight of the enormous scale of the story which took the Professor 17 years to write. I have to give him credit for at least trying and staying as true to the story as possible.
Last edited by erhanthemaster on Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby andurilwest » Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:30 am

COMPLETE MOUTH OF SAURON SEQUENCE IN THE EXTENDED CUT.
I had forgotten about that. You do not shoot the messenger, that is orc behavior.

Medievalists probably would scratch their heads. Modern audiences would go: lol, replay that again.
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Postby pat457 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:57 pm

Gandalf'sMother wrote:I watched FOTR EE last night. It's been confirmed.

The film is really, really good right up until Frodo and Sam bump into Merry and Pippin in Maggot's fields. After that it is so awful, such a rushed mismash of A to B to C to D events, that it is forever unwatchable to me. It recovers for very, very brief moments in Moria and Amon Hen, but I'm talking occasional seconds worth of decent cinema, not minutes. And I think I've found a scene that is worse than Weathertop for me: "You shall be the Fellowship of the Ring! *now say cheese*


Is it just me, or does PJ seem to be under some obligation to insert the movie titles somewhere in the dialog? :lol:

"You shall be the Fellowship of the Ring!"
"Who now has the strength to stand against the armies of Isengard and Mordor? To stand against the might of Sauron and Saruman and the union of the two towers?"
"Authority is not given to you to deny the return of the king, *Steward*."

To be honest, it's been quite some time since I read the books or watched the films, but as time goes on many of the 'changes' in PJ's film have stopped bothering me. I still can't forgive him for his 'demonization' of Gollum in RotK and his elevation of the conflict between Frodo and Sam though.
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Postby andurilwest » Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:58 pm

8)
Last edited by andurilwest on Sat Feb 04, 2012 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Gungnir » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:51 am

I do wish these forums had an 'Ignore' feature.
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Postby Evenstargazer » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:22 am

i agree with Calma about the Liv Tyler thing. she is very pretty though, mind you. lol.
i don't like the scene when the Nazgul were searching the inn for the hobbits, they made the Nazgul way more ghosty and creepy, imo .
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Postby Silverberry_Spritely » Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:55 pm

[quote="erhanthemaster"13.] FRODO'S FOAMING MOUTH WHEN SHELOB STINGS HIM.
[/quote]

Disagreed with a lot of what you wrote, but technically, if you're totally paralyzed like that, you won't be able to swallow the secretions in your mouth, but may be able to instinctually thrust them forward with your tongue. I could babble on about parasympathetic nervous system stuff, but really, you're just criticizing to be criticizing.
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Postby Gungnir » Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:41 am

Silverberry_Spritely wrote:[...] but really, you're just criticizing to be criticizing.


Unfortunately you will find a lot of that here. But I hope you can rise above it (as I try and often fail to do) - welcome aboard!
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Postby Silverberry_Spritely » Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:56 pm

Gungnir wrote:
Silverberry_Spritely wrote:[...] but really, you're just criticizing to be criticizing.


Unfortunately you will find a lot of that here. But I hope you can rise above it (as I try and often fail to do) - welcome aboard!


Thanks. I think that's any message board. ;) I've been a member of another message board for three years, made a lot of IRL friends from there and had a lot of fun, but they LOVE to complain.

This seems like a great group. :)
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Postby pat457 » Sat Jan 28, 2012 6:27 pm

Well, there is one thing I'll thank PJ for, and that is his resistance to the temptation to turn the climax on the Cracks of Doom into this. :lol:
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Postby ToshoftheWuffingas » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:30 am

Missing footage pat. It's probably lined up for a fresh release.
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Postby erhanthemaster » Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:50 pm

Silverberry_Spritely wrote:[quote="erhanthemaster"13.] FRODO'S FOAMING MOUTH WHEN SHELOB STINGS HIM.


[quote="Disagreed with a lot of what you wrote, but technically, if you're totally paralyzed like that, you won't be able to swallow the secretions in your mouth, but may be able to instinctually thrust them forward with your tongue. I could babble on about parasympathetic nervous system stuff, but really, you're just criticizing to be criticizing.[/quote][/quote]

- Whatever you say...
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Postby Erkenbrand of Helm's Deep » Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:09 pm

Birch_Tree wrote:I agree with most of the above. There was a lot of bad bits in the Movie, even more with regards to the extended edition.

I am not claiming it to be the worst, but one which irks me is the ghost army sweeping away the forces of Sauron like a radioactive tide.


Typical excuse:
"Well Peter Jackson HAD to do that in order to sell it to the video-game crowd, so he had to enter the cheat-code of Arda: You just break a promise, and voila! GOD MODE!
"When will you people realize, MOVIES ARE DIFFERENT, changes are inevitable dude!"
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Postby Erkenbrand of Helm's Deep » Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:26 pm

Birch_Tree wrote:
SilverScribe wrote:
Birch_Tree wrote:To be fair to Jackson, I personally feel the ghost army was one of the weaker parts in the original trilogy. So it would have been hard to make it look good . . .


Oh, I don't know. The army itself looked fine, if only Jackson had made them all grey (as mentioned by MithLuin) instead of that horrible green. With the level of CGI technology used all through the films, the ghost army should have been one of the easier things to get looking believeable. IMHO, of course. :)


Its more the whole aspect about how a curse of a human king can remove the gift of eru. So the entire existence of the ghost army bothers me.


Well good news: Isildur's curse didn't remove the gift of Eru-- Eru did, as an oath made in his name is eternally binding, and cannot be taken in vain.

The men of Dunharrow (?) swore an oath in Eru's name, to be loyal to Elendil in the War of Last Alliance; but they broke their oath, and Isildur bound them to it, until their oath was fulfilled.

And so, only Isildur's heir could release them from it.

As for the movie, it seems pretty silly that someone can become all-powerful by simply breaking a promise-- or that the power to release them would come from holding a certain sword. If I said that I could command holy wrath with a magic bailout just because some pointy-eared man lobbed a scimitar in my direction, they'd put me away!

In the book, they were utterly powerless, except for the same unreasoning fear of the dead that the Nazgul created in mortals; this is why Legolas was utterly unafraid of them, though he was very fearful of the balrog.

This fear drove away the armies of Harad which were approaching from the south, and caused the Corsairs to abandon their ships and flee.
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Postby Erkenbrand of Helm's Deep » Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:50 pm

Minardil wrote:For me it has to be Denethor's horrible table manners, where he spits cherry tomato juice all over the place. Really, what was the point of that.
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Postby Niphredil33 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:30 pm

Especially when Gimli says to Haldir "I spit upon your graves".

This was posted some time ago - but does he really say that? If so, it really is awful. Which scene was it in?
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Postby Niphredil33 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:30 pm

Sorry - this double-posted itself. But I'll add something here, as I can't delete the post, it seems.

I think for me the scenes I dislike most have a knock-on effect on each other.

My main problem in the films was the weakening of Frodo's character.

Frodo being deprived of his heroic stance in standing up to nine Nazgul despite nearly collapsing from the Morgul-wound (although the flood and Asfaloth do look very nice!) was something I deeply disliked. However, it would have been more bearable if Weathertop had been left intact.

It's not that I like Frodo sending Sam away in ROTK. I really don't. It's just that I wasn't that surprised by it, after such liberties had already been taken with his character. And I don't think I dislike it more than Frodo and Sam being carried to Osgiliath as helpless baggage by Faramir's men.

I do like Aragorn and Arwen's scene on the bridge, though, and quite a lot of other scenes. ;)
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Postby Eriathwen » Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:45 am

Niphredil33 wrote:My main problem in the films was the weakening of Frodo's character.


Absolutely! I think "weakening" is too good a word for it- it's destroying of a character, nothing less. I always fast forward the scenes with Elijah Wood (I'm not calling him Frodo- he's not Frodo, and never will be :evil:). Weathertop was a complete disaster- as someone said, the scene was practically made for big screen. It could have been so tense and creepy and terrifying, and what do we get? The hobbits behaving as complete idiots, Frodo the Crybaby, and bonfire Nazgul. Oh yeah.

Actually, throughout the whole first movie the hobbits were nothing more than a nuisance. I first saw FOTR before reading the books, and when after watching the movie I found Frodo described as being brave somewhere on the internet, I was incredulous. I couldn't remember even one instance in the movie, when he was acting brave.

I also can't stand Arwen scenes. They always make me feel like I'm watching some sappy soap opera. My big problem with them, and with the movies in general, is over-simplification. Tolkien's writing was very subtle, full of hints, and Peter Jackson obviously thought the audience too dumb to understand that. So instead we get blunt, predigested lines like "I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone". So that a 3-year-old kid would have no trouble understanding.

That said, I absolutely love the settings of the movies. Middle-earth was created very accurately and tastefully, in my opinion. It feels completely real. But the story and most of the characters just don't agree with me. So I'm actually glad that my favorite passages- the hobbits' journey through the Shire, the Old Forest, Tom Bombadil, the Barrow-downs- never made it into the movie. That means I can have them to myself, and nothing's threatening my intimate image of them :)
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Postby Niphredil33 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:20 pm

Those are lovely chapters, aren't they? I found them too slow on my first reading, but anything but that now, when I don't need to be impatient about finding out what happens later. ;) I grew to love them much, much more after reading the horror that came later. Hobbits still innocent and undamaged, learning about the outside world, and gradually learning to be heroes. There's something very precious about that.

I do think what I've seen of The Hobbit (well, the trailer!) looks closer to the spirit of Tolkien's story than I found the films of LOTR. Actually, Martin Freeman would have made a darn good Frodo. ;)

There is one particular Arwen scene that looks like a cheap aftershave commercial. It might be a dream sequence from TTT. Although it has comic value, and so isn't the worst one. ;) The scene with her "magic blue cushion" is quite funny, too. ;)

I think that with Frodo, they did pick up on one excellent point - his elvishness and translucent quality - but they made it his one great characteristic when it is only one of many facets of his character. In fact, the way they portray him, especially in those early scenes (which I've always found uncomfortably cheesey) reminds me of something said about Bakshi's elves in that hilarious Critique of Bakshi's film on the Tolkien Sarcasm Page - that they're all three F-stops too bright (I'm not sure what an F-stop is, but I agree!)

I did quite like some of his quieter scenes, where he looked more responsible and mature. Even if it was only for a few seconds. ;) But a worthy actor who could have delivered the goods, given the right script and direction. A great pity, and an opportunity lost.
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Postby Silverberry_Spritely » Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:32 pm

The whole scene with Frodo and Arwen, where Liv Tyler slips into an LA accent. Nice job, girl.
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Postby Eriathwen » Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:34 pm

Niphredil33 wrote:Those are lovely chapters, aren't they? I found them too slow on my first reading, but anything but that now, when I don't need to be impatient about finding out what happens later. ;) I grew to love them much, much more after reading the horror that came later. Hobbits still innocent and undamaged, learning about the outside world, and gradually learning to be heroes. There's something very precious about that.

I already knew what was going to happen (at least the main things) on my first read, as it was after the movies came out. So there was no rush in reading, I could just enjoyed it, and I loved those chapters right from the start. Your words pretty much summarize what I think about them.

Niphredil33 wrote:I do think what I've seen of The Hobbit (well, the trailer!) looks closer to the spirit of Tolkien's story than I found the films of LOTR.

I hope you're right here. The small glimpses we've seen make me hopeful, too. Anyway, whatever they do with it, I'll at least get to see the Shire again, and that alone will be worth it. I could sit at the cinema all day, looking at small scenes from the Shire :heart: I suppose I should start saving money for a trip to New Zealand, since they're leaving everything as it is there...

Yeah, and I've also gotten carried away from the topic :D

Silverberry_Spritely: Not so good at English (and Sindarin, for that matter) to recognize accents, but I wouldn't be surprised- she can't act to save her life.
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Postby Diamond of Long Cleeve » Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:41 am

Wow! Is that Niphy? :)

Niphredil33 wrote:Actually, Martin Freeman would have made a darn good Frodo. ;)


I'm sure he would. :) I also think he'd make a darned good Samwise. 8) I mean, his John Watson is like a smarter and more self-aware version of Sam anyway! (Who wouldn't want a friend like John or Sam?!)

I've said what my worst scenes are many times, so won't repeat myself. :D
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