Repeat-Viewings anyone?

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...

Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby jotnar » Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:02 am

Voronwe_the_Faithful wrote:
jotnar wrote:
Voronwe_the_Faithful wrote:I wonder if you recognized that it was your own post about Jackson's "ineptitude" that I quoted from.
Jackson's ineptitude regarding adaptation I think is borne out by the poll result.


No the poll result shows that several people were unsatisfied with Jackson's adaptation in this one film. And of those, many or most of them thought that he did a good job adapting LOTR. It does not show that he is "inept" at adaptation. Certainly, his adaptations are not to your taste, and that is a perfectly reasonable opinion to hold. But it should not be necessary to insult him when expressing that opinion, or insult by implication anyone who appreciates his adaptations (whether of The Hobbit, LOTR, or anything else).

And I am pretty certain a perusal of your own posts would unearth certain intemperate statements, Voronwe. In fact, one of your first (maybe first?) responses to me was basically accusing me of being ignorant of the book, The Hobbit. :)
Whilst I may overstep the line criticising PJ at times, I do not criticise other posters. Can you claim that self-discipline and etiquette for yourself, Voronwe?


I am certainly not perfect, and yes a perusal of my own posts over the past almost dozen years would unearth some intemperate statements, but I do try to be consistently respectful. In the example that you give, you were criticizing the adaptation for failing to follow the book, when in fact what you claimed was not what the book says (specifically, you said that the Master "only becomes greedy when he is affected by the dragon sickness once Smaug is defeated and the wealth sent by Bard to Lake-Town" when in fact he is shown in the book to be greedy long before that). I continue to believe that if you are going to criticize an adaptation for failing to follow the book, you better be correct about what the book says, or face criticism yourself.

I am sorry, Voronwe, but I think you are performing a disservice to me here, and I further apologise to all others for my being compelled to respond.

Book criticism does not come automatically, and I pretend to be no expert, yet I believe it is a legitimate interpretation of his character from what is written in The Hobit, that the Master was susceptible to greed, but had not succumbed to greed until the dragon sickness takes him, as Tolkien describes regarding the Master's eventual downfall. But I believe you will have quotes that indicate otherwise. That is the pleasure of discussion; it pits interpretations against each other, and when we proffer our opinions, we should expect to be challenged. However, there is challenging interpretation by providing counter-examples, which is to my mind acceptable and valid, or challenging the statement by accusing your opponent of not knowing the books, and without providing the required counter-evidence. I am more uncomfortable with the latter. I provided you in the thread you refer to with direct quotes which I felt supported my interpretation. I have yet to see any direct quotes that refute it.

As for my criticising of Peter Jackson, I believe his competence in making adaptations is fair topic for discussion. Naturally, it is subjective, but the purpose of movie forums is, I believe, precisely for critical appraisals of the products and their creators, and that is inherently subjective. It depends on the criteria we employ.

With regards to Tolkien's world, I actually find Peter Jackson to be a poor choice generally, and especially lacking in the specific area of adaptation. This also happens to be, where Tolkien is concerned, the most important area to me. I came to the films through the books, not the other way round, and the tales told within matter to me. For me, Peter Jackson's team made a mess of the screenplays, in AUJ and DOS, but also in Lord of the Rings.

Now, that whether PJ and his “partners in crime” are guilty in an absolutist universe is seriously open to question, and probably doesn't fit the remit of the subject in hand, but to me, they have a case to answer regarding their capabilities for adaptations in our more relativistic world. As evidence outside Tolkien, I would examine his version of King Kong. It is a valiant attempt, perhaps, but even having the template of the black and white original, and a fine cast, I think his is a failure as an adaptation.

You may disagree, and I would be delighted to read your reasons to the contrary. After all, isn't that what these forums are for?

So in conclusion, I think it is fair to criticise PJ as inept in adaptaional skills, as it is similarly fair to confront just such an accusation. And if you think I am wrong, and that I fail to understand the books myself, and that perhaps my quoting from the books is irrelevant, then please demonstrate why. :)
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Mon Jan 13, 2014 12:11 pm

Tolkien wrote:"Then the Master hesitated and looked from one to the other. The Elvenking was very powerful in those parts and the Master wished for no enmity with him, nor did he think much of old songs, giving his mind to trade and tolls, to cargoes and gold, to which habit he owed his position."

"But the Master was not sorry at all to let them go. They were expensive to keep, and their arrival had turned things into a long holiday in which business was at a standstill."

"The Master himself was turning to his great gilded boat, hoping to row away in the confusion and save himself."

"'He may have a good head for business-especially his own business,' some murmured."

"And people further off took up the cry: 'Up the Bowman, and down with Moneybags,' till the clamour echoed along the shore."

etc.
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby jotnar » Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:12 pm

Voronwe_the_Faithful wrote:
Tolkien wrote:"Then the Master hesitated and looked from one to the other. The Elvenking was very powerful in those parts and the Master wished for no enmity with him, nor did he think much of old songs, giving his mind to trade and tolls, to cargoes and gold, to which habit he owed his position."

"But the Master was not sorry at all to let them go. They were expensive to keep, and their arrival had turned things into a long holiday in which business was at a standstill."

"The Master himself was turning to his great gilded boat, hoping to row away in the confusion and save himself."

"'He may have a good head for business-especially his own business,' some murmured."

etc.

So every person who works in economics and finance is motivated by greed? :D

It would seem to me Tolkien is describing an archetype of a "Burgomeister", elected to office who enjoys the status of office. He is a businessman, and successful enough to become master. And yet, the only accusations against him are that, when Lake-Town is attacked by Smaug, rather than fight, the Master tries make good his escape, looking out for business; his own business. He's no hero.

So I still disagree. I do not believe Tolkien would have written the coda on the Master as he did, emphasising how the Master "fell under the dragon-sickness", if it had not been as some sort of contrast to before he came to hold the dragon's gold.

Tolkien is adept at illustrating the "fall of man" through the lack of wisdom in choices made. Humanity's corruptibility is a running theme, and I believe was a theme close to Tolkien's (Catholic) heart. The old Master succumbs to his character flaw just as Boromir does to his, and Saruman to his; all after their personal temptations. Each has a character flaw that is exploited, but each begins from a position of probity.

I do not think that Tolkien would have taken time to emphasise the fate of the old Master unless he had "fallen from grace", especially on the final page of his novel. :)
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:42 pm

Jotnar, you can say "blue is green" all you want. It doesn't change the fact that blue is blue. Just as Tolkien described the Master as a greedy man, long before the dragon was killed, no matter how many times you say he didn't.

In any event, I hope you enjoy reading Arda Reconstructed. I'm done with this discussion.
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby jotnar » Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:50 pm

I am, but I think it best I keep any criticisms to myself. :)
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:50 pm

If you think that I don't appreciate valid criticism, you have misjudged me.
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby jotnar » Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:05 pm

Ah, but who determines the validity of the criticism, m'lud? :)

When black is so obviously, manifestly black, who dares propose it be blue? ;)
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby portia » Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:24 pm

Opinions are opinions and facts are facts.
That there are differences between the book and the movies is a fact. What you think of them are opinions.
And as someone has said "everyone is entitled to an opinion; but no one is entitled to his own facts." You are entitled to an opinion, and other people are entitled to theirs.
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby Bellandora » Tue Jan 14, 2014 4:25 am

I have seen The Hobbit-The Desolation of Smaug seven times now and planning on seeing it again before it leaves the cinemas.

I squirmed in my seat at some of the fight scenes but apart from that, the movie kept me enthralled. The music was beautiful, especially

"Feast of Starlight" where Tauriel is talking with Kili in the Dungeons. :D
"Kingsfoil" at Laketown as Kili in his delirium speaks to Tauriel :)

There are lots of things I enjoyed about this movie but too many to mention.
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby portia » Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:51 am

I have seen it 4 times, and the only scene where I am uncomfortable is the orc-chasing scene, especially where Legolas stands on dwarf heads. It is silly.
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby Old_Begonia » Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:19 am

portia wrote:I have seen it 4 times, and the only scene where I am uncomfortable is the orc-chasing scene, especially where Legolas stands on dwarf heads. It is silly.

I squirmed the first time I saw that, and didn't know how to take it.
After that I just laughed. It is silly, even absurd. So? At least he wasn't singing "Tra-la-la-lally..." I mean, the Rivendell elves were sooo sober, jeez. Why not have a little fun with Legolas?
At least, that's how I take it.
"And it is said by the Eldar that in water there lives yet the echo of the Music of the Ainur more than in any substance else that is in this Earth; and many of the Children of Ilúvatar hearken still unsated to the voices of the Sea, and yet know not for what they listen."

There is something profound about standing AT sea level.
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby Gungnir » Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:21 am

portia wrote:Opinions are opinions and facts are facts.
That there are differences between the book and the movies is a fact. What you think of them are opinions.
And as someone has said "everyone is entitled to an opinion; but no one is entitled to his own facts." You are entitled to an opinion, and other people are entitled to theirs.


Portia, you are far too reasonable!

As someone else once said, "Opinions are like backsides - everyone's got one and they mostly stink" :D
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby Gorthaur the Cruel » Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:29 am

jotnar wrote:So in conclusion, I think it is fair to criticise PJ as inept in adaptaional skills, as it is similarly fair to confront just such an accusation. And if you think I am wrong, and that I fail to understand the books myself, and that perhaps my quoting from the books is irrelevant, then please demonstrate why. :)

With respect, I think you're failing to understand the films, and the nature of the films. Clearly, PJ & Co. are manifestly and consummately adept at adapting these books into the type of films they are expected to make. The staggering box office receipts, which is the only measure of success of big-budget blockbuster films, are testament to this. As portia says, opinions are opinions and facts are facts. How much profit these films make is a fact. On their own terms, how successful they are is a measurable fact.

I may be wrong but I would guess that nobody, not a single studio rep, who funded these films (without whom none of the films would have been made) asked PJ & Co. to go off and make an unprofitable, low-key, faithful rendition of the books. If any of these films retain any semblance of authenticity to Middle-earth, that has come entirely from the writers and craftsmen involved in making them.
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby Wildwood » Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:31 pm

I have been assured, repeatedly, that if anybody ever made the movie I am longing to see, it would be a huge flop! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D I contend that it is possible to make it closer to the book story, and still be a really good movie! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

My case in point are the first couple of Harry Potter movies. They were very close to the books, and I personally loved them both! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D But I can't count the number of people who have told me they were not as good as if they'd not stayed so close to the books. :D :D :D :D I have a real hard time even comprehending that attitude, but that's just because it is so opposite to my own nature! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

I didn't like the changes they made to those movie stories, and they were the closest to the books of all of them. I loved the later movies too, but wished - as always - that they had stayed closer to the book stories. :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D Knowing practically nothing about adaptation and movie making, I just have to bow to those who do know that stuff, and reckon they must know what they are doing. :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D As you said - they are making piles of money on 'em! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D I am not contending that they are bad movies. I am just saying....they could be equally well done and stay closer to the stories as written! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D This is an opinion that fire cannot burn out of me! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

At any rate - they got more people to start reading the books, and that can never be a bad thing! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby Gorthaur the Cruel » Thu Jan 16, 2014 1:45 am

Wildwood wrote:I am not contending that they are bad movies. I am just saying....they could be equally well done and stay closer to the stories as written! This is an opinion that fire cannot burn out of me!

I don't think they could be equally well done. They wouldn't be funded, so they wouldn't be made at all. If we want (and clearly we do, as an audience, because we pay to watch it) authentic detail in the costumes and sets, realistic-looking monsters, and visceral excitement, then we have to make do with these blockbuster films.

I would like to watch a film of a much more low-key and faithful adaptation of the books, foregoing the CGI and hero swords, sweeping vistas and model cities, focused on relating the story and rendering the dialogue that Tolkien wrote, but I think it's safer for studios to stump up the $500m PJ needed to make The Hobbit than the $50m a faithful rendition might require because the RoI is assured.

We've got what we've got and I'm happy to enjoy it as it is without worrying about its shortcomings in relation to the books, which it is not intended to visually replicate.
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby jotnar » Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:24 am

Ever eaten a Bakewell Tart? It's a speciality from the village of the same name in Derbyshire. Mr Kipling also make a mass-produced version, all sugar and E numbers, but a very successful adaptation, if sales are any judge.

I just think Tolkien deserves more than sugar and E numbers. :)
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby Gorthaur the Cruel » Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:43 am

jotnar wrote:Ever eaten a Bakewell Tart? It's a speciality from the village of the same name in Derbyshire. Mr Kipling also make a mass-produced version, all sugar and E numbers, but a very successful adaptation, if sales are any judge.

I just think Tolkien deserves more than sugar and E numbers. :)

And therefore Mr. Kipling's version should not be produced, or should be vilified for satisfying a demand?
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby jotnar » Thu Jan 16, 2014 7:29 am

There are plenty of books well suited to satisfying that demand. Tolkien deserves better. :)
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby Wildwood » Thu Jan 16, 2014 7:55 am

Gorthaur, I see what you are trying to say, but it's a little like saying a restaurant sells cheeseburgers because that is what people really want to eat! And if they had something other than cheeseburgers people would not come to eat there. :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D There is an element of guesswork in it, no matter how much anybody knows about the process! Until you offer something other than cheeseburgers, you don't know, really, whether the people would eat something else, or prefer something else! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D All the other really successful restaurants are selling cheeseburgers, and doing great business, so you make cheeseburgers too, and you do well, playing to that already proven appetite. BUT that does not mean there are no other appetites to be fed, nor that failure is automatic and absolute just because its not a cheeseburger! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

What is really happening is that the restaurateur is not in it for the art of cooking as much as in it for the making of the money! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D Why mess with a winning formula? :D :D :D I get that! But that is what keeps us in this loop of all cheeseburgers, all the time! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

In other words, this trend towards all action movies, all the time, at the expense of a good story, etc, keeps people who make movies from taking chances and going in directions that are new to the viewing public. and it is most likely the non-artistic suits, who are rightly concerned with the bottom line stuff, that are driving that! I think it is what necessarily happens when Art and business collide! Or - more to the point - when business people figure out how to make money from Art! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

But its a circle. The suits figure out that when stuff goes boom, a certain crowd shows up - in droves - and they make a pile of money. So they find people who can make things go boom, really well. And that is what the viewing public is offered, so that is what they watch. and the Suits say "see? that's what they want!". The problem is, of course, that they focus so much on it that they are not tapping into a lot of other things the viewing public may also want! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D Its a real chicken/egg situation! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D Or at least, it seems that way to me! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

Anyhow - getting back to the point....I believe that their story could have tracked much closer to the book, and still had all those block-bustery type things they feel are necessary to get the tushes in the chairs! After many years of resistance, and thinking and pondering various things, I have accepted that changes do have to be made, going from book to screen! It doesn't follow that the changes they made are the only ones that could have been made, or the best possible either. But that gets us into an area that I am not all that familiar with.

What I am familiar with, though, is what I do an do not like! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D When I watch a movie claiming to be based on The Hobbit, I want to be able to recognize certain things in it! They went too far afield, and broke that connection, where I am personally concerned. :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D For an adaptation to work for me, personally, it has to never ever break that bond to the book!! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D That is just my personal litmus test for whether I like an adaptation or not! I am not saying the industry has to adhere to that, or even should! I don't operate on that level! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

That's just how they lost me, and that's why I won't be watching the second movie again. Ever! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D (See what I did there? BAM! Just like that, back on topic!!! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D Time for a chocolate reward!!!! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D)
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby Wildwood » Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:07 am

Jotnar - we are in a minority, you and I, and we always will be! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D After years of it, I have come to accept it as inevitable! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D To each his own, right? But that's the funny part, for me! Because what matters to one is not a big deal to another! UNTIL the subject comes a little closer to the heart, and then things may change! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

What I mean is this: I have a friend who has spent a lot of time discussing the LOTR movies with me, and all the changes and so forth; why they did what they did, why its a good or bad thing, etc. We've canvassed it. :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D For me LOTR is a crazy-in-love-with-it experience. I am highly protective of my relationship to the story (and I include The HObbit in this, so that's why it works here, as well as in that other thread! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D), and was so militantly opposed to changes that I wouldn't even watch the movies, having seen enough in the trailers to put me off forever! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

Anyhow - my friend always argued towards moderation, and giving the movies a chance, and artistic freedom and all the business considerations, Oscar glory, and so forth. :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D My stubborness was a source of amusement, and I was teased unmercifully! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D But then came a little movie called Ender's Game! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D and now the tables turned! :D :D :D :D I have to admit I kind of relished the day she was having a fit over the trailer for the movie, because of something she saw (I think it was to do with hair color or something?) that did not track with the book! I was totally sympathetic, but also a little "see what I mean???!!!" too! :D :D :D :D :D She refused to go see it! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D And all her counseling to me of patience and reasonability regarding LOTR movies stopped immediately! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

Everybody has a "bridge too far". It's just a question of what it is! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
I have met mine! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D When anyone else meets theirs, I recommend a healthy dose of chocolate!!! Works wonders!
:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby Gorthaur the Cruel » Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:51 am

Wildwood wrote:Gorthaur, I see what you are trying to say, but it's a little like saying a restaurant sells cheeseburgers because that is what people really want to eat! And if they had something other than cheeseburgers people would not come to eat there.

The film industry does offer plenty of other options but the majority keep paying for the big action blockbusters. It's a safe choice. They know what they're going to get. If a film-maker wants the kind of funding to make a Middle-earth film visually convincing then it's blockbuster money or nothing. If you don't want to watch an action blockbuster there are many, many alternative choices out there. And if you expected Peter Jackson's version of The Hobbit to be anything other than an action blockbuster then you haven't really been paying attention, have you?

Wildwood wrote:Anyhow - getting back to the point....I believe that their story could have tracked much closer to the book, and still had all those block-bustery type things they feel are necessary to get the tushes in the chairs! After many years of resistance, and thinking and pondering various things, I have accepted that changes do have to be made, going from book to screen! It doesn't follow that the changes they made are the only ones that could have been made, or the best possible either.

But they are the ones that Peter Jackson felt would appeal to the biggest audience. And you know what? Looks like he was right.

I don't understand why you're bothered that he didn't make the film that you wanted to see. Don't lots of directors make films you don't want to see? He made a film, a film that is what it is, one that exists solely to pull in massive audiences. You're not a massive audience so what's the problem? I don't know how you can pine for something 'better' when this film is as good as its financial backers, its production team and its audience want it to be. It's not like he's re-written the book.

My only real gripe (and it's fairly minor) is that, because it's so good, because it's so successful, because it's such a big production, the chances of me seeing a more faithful adaptation in my lifetime are probably worse than they were before Peter Jackson came along. But ho-hum; I'll live.


jotnar wrote:There are plenty of books well suited to satisfying that demand. Tolkien deserves better. :)

Deserves better? I daresay he does. Many books that get turned into action blockbusters deserve better. And some that don't get picked up at all deserve to. Can you afford to bankroll them? Then do not be too eager to deal out petty complaints in judgement. For only the return on investment matters in the end.

The Hobbit is one of the books well-suited to satisfy that demand, as its box office takings are proving.
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby Wildwood » Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:45 am

Gorthaur - maybe you haven't been paying attention to me! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D Of course I am bothered that he didn't make the movies that I wanted to see! I am bothered to pieces about it! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D What on earth else would I have ever wanted him to do? :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D The fact that tons of other people are happy with his movies doesn't mean that I have to shut up and be happy about what he eventually ended up doing with the story! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D I am not trying to convince anyone of anything. I am only sharing my own thoughts! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

Anyhow - I am sorry for irritating you, as I clearly seem to have done! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
Hope you have a lovely day!!!
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby jotnar » Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:48 am

There are two argumeents seemingly conflated; are PJ's films good films and are they good adaptations. For me, neither statement is applicable. I think they are poor adaptations and average, run-of-the mill movies, elevated by some fine performances.

Wildwood, I do feel you are much of a kindred spirit, however, I have less objection regarding screenplay cuts. I have done it myself with my editing of AUJ, excising much in Bag End which, although close to the book, is overlong for film. My beef with PJ is that, rather than edit the book down, he has expanded on scenes, and the process has snow-balled, requiring added scenes for pacing and to "fatten" the plot.

This was always going to be the case with the planned two movies, and has been exacerbated by the move to a trilogy. The book is simply too slight for such treatment, and so the film has become something else, a chimera built from bits of Tolkien but lacking his heart.
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby Wildwood » Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:04 am

Jot, you are right! We agree about much, but for possibly different reasons! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D I don't pay much attention to what constitutes a "good" movie! if I like it, it's good. If I hate it, it's bad. That about sums it up for me! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D There was that one movie, by Quentin Tarantino....had John Travolta in it, and Uma Thurmond. Grr. Can't get the name of it to come to mind, right now! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D Anyhow - everybody loved it! Everybody did!!! Got an Oscar I think? But I hated it. I didn't even make it 15 minutes in, and I was turning it off. It just wasn't for me! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D I am not arguing with everyone else when I say that, for me, it just was not a good movie! I just am saying, it was not a good movie for me! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

Agree about the adaptation vs. movie thing. I am mostly aggravated about the adaptation and what they chose to do with the story! There are some movie things that bug me....that bit with the dragon not seeing the dwarves walking right under his nose, for instance. BUT if I had been happier with the way the story was unfolding, at the time, I probably would have swallowed it, hook, line and sinker! :D :D :D :D :D :D I only noticed it because I was already so irritated that I was looking for stuff! Never a good sign! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby siddharth » Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:46 am

Wildwood wrote:Jotnar - we are in a minority, you and I, and we always will be! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D After years of it, I have come to accept it as inevitable! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D To each his own, right? But that's the funny part, for me! Because what matters to one is not a big deal to another! UNTIL the subject comes a little closer to the heart, and then things may change! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

What I mean is this: I have a friend who has spent a lot of time discussing the LOTR movies with me, and all the changes and so forth; why they did what they did, why its a good or bad thing, etc. We've canvassed it. :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D For me LOTR is a crazy-in-love-with-it experience. I am highly protective of my relationship to the story (and I include The HObbit in this, so that's why it works here, as well as in that other thread! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D), and was so militantly opposed to changes that I wouldn't even watch the movies, having seen enough in the trailers to put me off forever! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

Anyhow - my friend always argued towards moderation, and giving the movies a chance, and artistic freedom and all the business considerations, Oscar glory, and so forth. :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D My stubborness was a source of amusement, and I was teased unmercifully! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D But then came a little movie called Ender's Game! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D and now the tables turned! :D :D :D :D I have to admit I kind of relished the day she was having a fit over the trailer for the movie, because of something she saw (I think it was to do with hair color or something?) that did not track with the book! I was totally sympathetic, but also a little "see what I mean???!!!" too! :D :D :D :D :D She refused to go see it! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D And all her counseling to me of patience and reasonability regarding LOTR movies stopped immediately! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

Everybody has a "bridge too far". It's just a question of what it is! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
I have met mine! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D When anyone else meets theirs, I recommend a healthy dose of chocolate!!! Works wonders!
:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D


Take my example then.
I have been a fan of the Tintin stories by Herge since I was 4. In a way, they introduced me to the world of books.
Even now, I can sense that they are not simply kids books but also have many mature takes on it. Especially the later books.
Anyway, I think being in love with them you can guess how much attached I am to them.
So when they announced a big-budget Tintin movie in 2010/11, I was highly skeptical and didn't even watch the trailer.
Then... I saw the film. You won't believe it, lots and lots and lots of changes to the story. I mean, nearly every bit of the story was changed and I was terribly upset about it at the start. But to my surprise, as the film went on I sensed a similar kind of feeling, a similar Tintin-vibe from it which came off when I read the books. I ended up really really liking it and am looking forward to the next one (coincidentally directed by Peter Jackson :D ).
Anyway, my point was that the characters, the depictions, the atmosphere felt so much like in the book that I simply didn't care for the original story.
On a similar note, I again love the BBC Sherlock. I am a long-time fan of Doyle's stories. The series is certainly not true to ANY of the stories. But the characters. They are just spot on. Which is really the only reason I like it.
So, in a similar vein, has been my reaction to DOS. The characters, the locations, the atmosphere feel so distinctively Tolkien for most of the part to me, that I don't really care about the smaller details they left out. Or even a few of the larger ones. There is the basic storyline. There are the main-characters that are spot-on to the book. True, the film feels nothing like The Hobbit. But the film feels (mostly) everything like Tolkien.

Now Wildy, of course I am not saying that everyone should agree with me. But it is really a fact that quite a lot of people (on TORN and a few other messageboards) are actually happy that PJ did't go with a direct interpretation and rather went the "BBC-Sherlock"-way.
I myself, would have absolutely loved a faithful rendition. But we didn't get any. And as I like to see the glass as half-full, I can like what I see. :)
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby crispycreme » Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:01 pm

Now Wildy, of course I am not saying that everyone should agree with me. But it is really a fact that quite a lot of people (on TORN and a few other messageboards) are actually happy that PJ did't go with a direct interpretation and rather went the "BBC-Sherlock"-way.
I myself, would have absolutely loved a faithful rendition. But we didn't get any. And as I like to see the glass as half-full, I can like what I see. :)


Not me. This is what I wanted to see, and nothing else:

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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby Wildwood » Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:21 pm

Sid - you are lucky, and also very sweet! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D It all boils down to what it means when something "feels like Tolkien", I suppose. And that is going to be a very different thing for every person. It didn't feel very much like Tolkien to me at all! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D But - as ever - I am very glad that it was a good fit for you, and however many others it worked for! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

Crispy, that was hilarious! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D Even I would have to admit that the tra-la-la-lally would have to go! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D As much as I loved Tom Bombadil in the book, I am so glad they did not try to render him into the LTR movies! I don't think that is possible to be done and not make it completely ridiculous! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D But at least this time I have given the movies a fair shot at me! :D :D :D :D :D :D AUJ managed to delight me, first go round. Not as much second time around, but I have lately been tempted to just watch it again, all open minded, and enjoy it for the parts I liked! DOS just failed for me, all the way around! It was a 50/50 shot! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

Somebody said the third one is likely to trend back toward matching more with the book. I would love that! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D I am really suspicious of what they are going to have the dwarves left behind in lake Town up to. But at least I am ready for it, whatever it is! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

You know - I don't lose patience with anyone who sings PJ's praises, or loves the movies all to pieces. I really do not comprehend why it provokes people so much when I do not share their delight in the films! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D I am pretty sure a few billion people on the planet just love coconut, and they don't dislike or dismiss me because I don't! It's about as important. (Indeed, to me, it is much more important!!! The movies don't make me hurl, but coconut surely does! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D )
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby siddharth » Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:48 am

Except for the barrel-ride (which was fun!) and the Laketown attack (which was not fun) everything felt Tolkien to me.
And yes, as is the way with literature, the "Tolkien-feeling" is entirely subjective and should never be made objective. Which is why I don't care what others think even though I am still interested to know the what and why. :)
ETA: Note that I am speaking of the "Tolkien-feeling" and not the feeling of the book - "The Hobbit".

Oh, and thanks for the nice compliment. :blush:
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby Gorthaur the Cruel » Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:14 am

Wildwood wrote:I really do not comprehend why it provokes people so much when I do not share their delight in the films!

What I react to is the constant negativity. "Bad, bad, bad! If I don't like it, it's bad!" The constant repetition of negative opinions almost demands a response, IMO, as futile as that exercise clearly is. Not sure if that helps.

There is good in these films and they deserve a defence.
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Re: Repeat-Viewings anyone?

Postby jotnar » Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:36 am

@siddharth
I agree whole-heartedly that "Tolkien-feeling" is highly subjective, but I also think that we are influenced by exposure to outside interpretations. For example, people who were introduced to Tolkien via the LotR films would most probably be more at ease with PJ's Hobbit than those people who came to Tolkien via the literary path.

Too many years ago, my elder sister read my copy of Terry Brooks' Sword of Shannara and she waxed lyrically about it. But she had never read Lord of the Rings. I thought the book a most suspect enterprise, veering perilously close to plagiarism. The overall feel was "Tolkienesque" without coming close to reaching the heights of the Professor's work.

For me, PJ's films are more Brooks than Tolkien; rough simulacra that wear the vestments of authenticity but at heart have a separate identity entirely. Not Tolkien.

@Gorthaur the Cruel
If it was solely "Bad, bad, bad! If I don't like it, it's bad!", then I could sympathise with your objection, but that is not the case. There is a surfeit of exposition on why the films are bad, not simply dismissive declamations that the films are bad. I am frequently puzzled by how people who express their love for Tolkien's written word can be so effusive about films that so distort the source material, in plot and, especially, tone.

I wanted Tolkien on film, not Brooks. :)
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