For our Wildwood

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: For Wildwood/ Did PJ plagiarize Bakshi?

Postby Wildwood » Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:50 pm

Chocolate!!!! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D Everybody take a chocolate chip brownie and move to corners! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
OR....if you like, you can leave 'em all for me! I'm good either way! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

One thing I never ever forget....it's love of Tolkien and ME that brings us here! I don't know about anyone else, but I do know for a fact that Sid found the books BECAUSE of the movies, which can only be a good thing! I will never approve of the things they did that went outside my comfort zone! But I could never disapprove of more readers!!! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

If we all agreed, it would get pretty boring around here pretty quick, anyhow! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D And none of you would know how to act, anyways, when you suddenly woke up and thought I was right about everything! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

Who wants a brownie??? :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
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Re: For Wildwood/ Did PJ plagiarize Bakshi?

Postby ElvenArcher » Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:33 pm

Chocolate all around, Wildwood! :) It sounds like a good idea.

This thread was chugging along nicely with a lot of good discussion. Let's not lose that. Avoid personal attack. Posts containing personal attack may be edited or removed. Keep the good discussion going and let's not derail it with unpleasantness. If it continues the thread may be locked.
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Re: For Wildwood/ Did PJ plagiarize Bakshi?

Postby Gorthaur the Cruel » Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:21 am

Hrumph. Late to the party, as usual. :roll:

jotnar wrote:It may have resulted in failure, but it was an honest failure, and absolutely respectful to the written words of Tolkien.

Hmm... I think, as His Grace suggested, randomly quoting Tolkien word-for-word without rhyme, reason, context or comprehension, does not in itself indicate respect. I don't think the avant-garde, psychedelic aspect was as true to the essence of Tolkien for me as it was for you, which is not to say I have no appreciation for it. At least Bakshi jettisoned the version of the script that included Hobbit/Elf sex and Gimli being shoved in a hole and beaten to retrieve the password to Moria from his racial memory.

siddharth wrote:
jotnar wrote:Can Peter Jackson be credited with the same respect?

I am also troubled with some of PJ's silly decisions but I find his courage admirable. An unknown director from New Zealand, having no experience whatsoever in making big films, taking up the task of adapting one of the greatest literary works in the real-life format (not animation). I find that the odds against his success were overwhelming.

I think the undertaking of something on the scale of LotR was very creditable, but it was also a good opportunity to make his name and do something original in terms of process (three films filmed as one), with a substantial budget, while working from home (as it were). I do believe, whatever one's opinion of the result, doing the whole thing all over again for The Hobbit, with full knowledge of what it would entail, was courageous.
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Re: For Wildwood/ Did PJ plagiarize Bakshi?

Postby Voronwë_the_Steadfast » Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:08 am

Gorthaur the Cruel wrote: At least Bakshi jettisoned the version of the script that included Hobbit/Elf sex and Gimli being shoved in a hole and beaten to retrieve the password to Moria from his racial memory.


You are getting Bakshi confused with John Boorman. Two completely separate projects. It was Boorman who had written a script for a one-film adaptation of LOTR with these "interesting" elements. When his LOTR project floundered (in large part because Tolkien was still alive and would have been outraged), he went on to make Excalibar instead.

Edited to add: I suppose to the extent that Bakshi didn't want to use Boorman's script, your statement is accurate. However, the first script that he commissioned, written by Chris Conkling , was just as bad. Bakshi and Saul Zaentz then hired fantasy writer Peter Beagle to rewrite the script, staying closer to Tolkien's original (though with the problem of cutting so much as to make little sense on many occasion).
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Re: For Wildwood/ Did PJ plagiarize Bakshi?

Postby Gorthaur the Cruel » Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:28 am

Voronwë_the_Steadfast wrote:
Gorthaur the Cruel wrote: At least Bakshi jettisoned the version of the script that included Hobbit/Elf sex and Gimli being shoved in a hole and beaten to retrieve the password to Moria from his racial memory.


You are getting Bakshi confused with John Boorman. Two completely separate projects. It was Boorman who had written a script for a one-film adaptation of LOTR with these "interesting" elements. When his LOTR project floundered (in large part because Tolkien was still alive and would have been outraged), he went on to make Excalibar instead.

Edited to add: I suppose to the extent that Bakshi didn't want to use Boorman's script, your statement is accurate. However, the first script that he commissioned, written by Chris Conkling , was just as bad. Bakshi and Saul Zaentz then hired fantasy writer Peter Beagle to rewrite the script, staying closer to Tolkien's original (though with the problem of cutting so much as to make little sense on many occasion).

To the extent that Bakshi jettisoned the script with Hobbit/Elf sex and beating Gimli-in-a-hole my statement is accurate. I passed no comment on the Conkling script that Bakshi retained and got Beagle to rewrite.
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Re: For Wildwood/ Did PJ plagiarize Bakshi?

Postby Samuel Vimes » Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:02 pm

[="Gorthaur the Cruel"]
Hmm... I think, as His Grace suggested, randomly quoting Tolkien word-for-word without rhyme, reason, context or comprehension, does not in itself indicate respect. I don't think the avant-garde, psychedelic aspect was as true to the essence of Tolkien for me as it was for you, which is not to say I have no appreciation for it. At least Bakshi jettisoned the version of the script that included Hobbit/Elf sex and Gimli being shoved in a hole and beaten to retrieve the password to Moria from his racial memory.


Yes exactly, I think some think that keeping as much of the text as possible is the only thing that matters when making an adaptation. I think is apparent with Bakshi, he tries to keep bits of the dialogue exactly as it was in the book but not realizing that if too much around it is cut, the line becomes meaningless.
As for respecting Tolkien, Bakshi also doesn't pay much attention to how names and places are supposed to be pronounced.
Since Tolkien was very specific about this, this is another mark against Bakshi. And it gets even worse when tow characters pronounce the same name differently. Aragorn and Gandalf apparently have very different ideas about how Edoras is supposed to be pronounced.

I think the undertaking of something on the scale of LotR was very creditable, but it was also a good opportunity to make his name and do something original in terms of process (three films filmed as one), with a substantial budget, while working from home (as it were). I do believe, whatever one's opinion of the result, doing the whole thing all over again for The Hobbit, with full knowledge of what it would entail, was courageous.


Yes not all of PJ's bright ideas are all that. But you mention courage and I think Bakshi does deserve some credit for trying.
The result was a bit of a mess and not very good but he did try.
As for PJ, given some of the comments that I've seen here and elsewhere recently, I think some have forgotten how much it took PJ to get these films made.
He wasn't a director for hire that lucked out and got an offer to make these films. With the LotR films, they were his project from the start. He got the ball rolling, inquired about rights, worked to get financing and all the rest of it.
I remember all the twists and turns in the late 90's. How the project was close to get sunk more than once.
But PJ stuck with it. Had they flopped and there was quite a good chance of that, he would have burned all his good will in Hollywood. The Hobbit was somewhat similar. There were years of legal wrangling and deals about rights. And again the project was almost sunk more than once. I think that PJ and co walked away from the film at least once.
But they kept coming back to it. Once del Toro was on board, I think PJ was content with a producing role. But then the film got delayed again and I think that PJ had to take over as director or the film would never have been made.
I certainly would have liked to see what del Toro would have done with the film. But if the choice is no Hobbit film and what we got, the choice is easy. I would keep the films we have. Flaws they have but also great things, like Martin Freeman.

In closing, a thing that is new with these Hobbit films that I didn't experience with the LotR films. The first three films were on the whole close to the book and so I knew what would happen in each film. Now, with stuff from other sources and PJ's own inventions, good and bad, I don't know for sure how this will all play out. And as silly as that sounds, I am actually excited to see it. I don't know what will happen but I am curious and want to see.

Bye for now.
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Re: For Wildwood/ Did PJ plagiarize Bakshi?

Postby Gorthaur the Cruel » Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:38 pm

Samuel Vimes wrote:In closing, a thing that is new with these Hobbit films that I didn't experience with the LotR films. The first three films were on the whole close to the book and so I knew what would happen in each film. Now, with stuff from other sources and PJ's own inventions, good and bad, I don't know for sure how this will all play out. And as silly as that sounds, I am actually excited to see it. I don't know what will happen but I am curious and want to see.

Well put, once more. I probably would not have expressed that sentiment but, now that you say it, that's pretty much how I feel. It's also the reason I joined this forum; December will mark the last time most of us will get the chance to see a new Middle-earth film. I'm not sure how it'll play out but I think I'd like be involved with fandom to some extent for this last one.
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Re: For Wildwood

Postby ngaur » Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:07 pm

Sador_Labadal wrote:I have to hand it to you, jotnar. It takes tremendous imagination (way beyond what I possess), to see that this:

Image

Is in any way derivative of this:

Image


I would rather suspect that these two picture would score high on an image similarity compare. Mostly on account of both having a majority of black. I think anyone could claim that these two are derivative of each other to a high degree. I am much less certain what it would mean.
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Re: For Wildwood/ Did PJ plagiarize Bakshi?

Postby ngaur » Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:41 pm

I give Bakshi some credit because his attempt gives the impression of having an intent of a softer kind of than PJ:s, more suitable for a book like LotRs. Might have been interesting to see what he could have done with better backing and time to tell the whole stroy.

Did PJ plagiarize him? No, not beyond borrowing a scene or two. Besides which they adapted the same story. None of them did it very well.
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Re: For Wildwood/ Did PJ plagiarize Bakshi?

Postby Samuel Vimes » Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:34 am

ngaur wrote:I give Bakshi some credit because his attempt gives the impression of having an intent of a softer kind of than PJ:s, more suitable for a book like LotRs. Might have been interesting to see what he could have done with better backing and time to tell the whole stroy.

Did PJ plagiarize him? No, not beyond borrowing a scene or two. Besides which they adapted the same story. None of them did it very well.


Why more suitable? Bakshi's overall approach, and I am making a broad generalization here, is to cut, cut, cut until what remains from the book fits into the timeframe that he has. I am far from convinced that this approach is better with LotR or indeed any book. From what we see of Bakshi's film, I think this approach had big drawbacks. If you keep some things but cut all around it, what remains may not make much sense and perhaps is better off removed all together.

Let me make a very simplified example. Say that you are to film a script that is 100 pages long. But the length of your film only allows for 20 pages. How to solve this? Well you could film every five page exactly as is and call that your movie.
Will it be good? I very much doubt it. It will be exactly as the script but it will be choppy and confusing as all ****.
Or you could film the first 20 pages, exactly as is and call that your movie. Well it will make better sense but it won't have a proper middle or ending, it will just stop.

To me, what makes better sense is first to see, are there whole scenes that can be cut entirely? Can the same information be conveyed in less time? If there is only one important thing from one scene, can that be put into this other scene?
In short, alter the script, rewrite, condense and perhaps make up some new scenes. Yes making up new scenes can be seen as odd given the limited time. But if one invented scene can say all that two separate scenes said and in less time, it is a possible solution.

Given the films that we have, I think PJ did quite a good job adapting LotR while Bakshi did quite less well. PJ's adaptation isn't perfect and some things work less well but overall he did a commendable job. People sometimes compare with the Harry Potter films. And if I compare with the first HP film, that film is closer to the book sure, but to me it also feels very average, safe and too chained to the book and not in a good way. The third HP film, I feel is better and that is further from the book. HP1 isn't bad but I wouldn't it call it great either.

Would Bakshi had made a better film with more money and two films? Better maybe but since many of the flaws I find with the film aren't due to budget, I don't think it would be all that good with a better budget. The overacting, the bad design, the music, the overall approach to adapting the book.

Bye for now.
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Re: For Wildwood/ Did PJ plagiarize Bakshi?

Postby Diamond of Long Cleeve » Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:07 am

Samuel Vimes wrote:People sometimes compare with the Harry Potter films. And if I compare with the first HP film, that film is closer to the book sure, but to me it also feels very average, safe and too chained to the book and not in a good way. The third HP film, I feel is better and that is further from the book.


Totally agree. Alfonso Cuarón's Prisoner of Azkaban has a sparkling charm that I find missing in the first two HP films.

In an alternative universe - ;) - I'd have liked to have seen Cuarón tackle The Hobbit.

Would Bakshi had made a better film with more money and two films? Better maybe but since many of the flaws I find with the film aren't due to budget, I don't think it would be all that good with a better budget. The overacting, the bad design, the music, the overall approach to adapting the book.


Agree again. In addition to the above problems, Bakshi's LotR lacks charisma and gravitas. Although PJ's LotR is far from perfect, it has oodles of personality! - and often achieves a genuinely epic tone.
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Re: For Wildwood/ Did PJ plagiarize Bakshi?

Postby Samuel Vimes » Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:20 am

Diamond of Long Cleeve wrote:Totally agree. Alfonso Cuarón's Prisoner of Azkaban has a sparkling charm that I find missing in the first two HP films.

In an alternative universe - ;) - I'd have liked to have seen Cuarón tackle The Hobbit.

Agree again. In addition to the above problems, Bakshi's LotR lacks charisma and gravitas. Although PJ's LotR is far from perfect, it has oodles of personality! - and often achieves a genuinely epic tone.


Yes a Cuarón Hobbit is something I would have liked to see. I did see both Cuarón and Del Toro at a panel on Comic-Con.
And it was great just hear to them talk about film like two old friends that are film geeks.
I think it is a shame that Del Toro left as it would have been interesting to see what he would have done.

About adaptation and comparing Bakshi, PJ, Chris Columbus and Cuarón. I think the difference can be passion and personality. If your only interest and desire is to copy the book as exactly as you can. If you add nothing of of yourself to the film. Then I think the film can be rather mundane, safe or even dull. It is paint by numbers or the book on film but little else.
Someone who wants to make it his or her film and not just a copy of the book can make a more interesting film, with more charm and personality. Such passion can of course backfire rather badly if the director goes too far afield.

Another example that often is brought up is "The Shinning." Kubrick's film is quite different from the book while the TV-mini series is much closer. But overall Kubrick's film is more engaging, scarier and to me, a better film. The TV mini series is the book but has no life of it's own.

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Re: For Wildwood/ Did PJ plagiarize Bakshi?

Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:23 am

On the other hand, Steven King despises Kubrick's film.
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Re: For Wildwood/ Did PJ plagiarize Bakshi?

Postby ngaur » Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:47 am

People sometimes compare with the Harry Potter films. And if I compare with the first HP film, that film is closer to the book sure, but to me it also feels very average, safe and too chained to the book and not in a good way.


About adaptation and comparing Bakshi, PJ, Chris Columbus and Cuarón. I think the difference can be passion and personality. If your only interest and desire is to copy the book as exactly as you can. If you add nothing of of yourself to the film. Then I think the film can be rather mundane, safe or even dull. It is paint by numbers or the book on film but little else.



This reasoning takes little account of the books themselves. If the Harry Potter movie feels lacklustre why doesn't that say more about the book itself, than it does about the method of adaptation? Especially if it follows the book very closely. There is nothing to say that sticking close to a book must result in a stifled movie. The Duellists is a pretty good movie and that holds very close to the book.

I find your deflections puzzling.
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Re: For Wildwood/ Did PJ plagiarize Bakshi?

Postby Diamond of Long Cleeve » Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:09 am

ngaur wrote:This reasoning takes little account of the books themselves. If the Harry Potter movie feels lacklustre why doesn't that say more about the book itself, than it does about the method of adaptation?


Because it's possible to have bad adaptations of good books! There's nothing wrong with Rowling's original story, which has plenty of charm, great characters and is intrinsically cinematic.

As another example, Jane Eyre is a wonderful novel which has inspired many film and TV adaptations, some good and others less successful. For example, I don't much like the 1997 ITV adaptation of Jane Eyre, with Samantha Morton and Ciaran Hinds - nothing wrong with their casting, they're both great actors - the adaptation simply didn't catch fire the way it should have done with such a fabulous story. The 2006 BBC version is much better. The 1943 film, with Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine, is not a favourite of mine either. Hollywood at that time did well with adaptations of contemporary material - Hitchcock's 1940 film adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's 1938 novel Rebecca is fabulous. But 1940s Hollywood just didn't 'get' English Victorian novels. The 1940 Pride and Prejudice is hilariously terrible. :D Not even Laurence Olivier can redeem it. :P And they seem to have recycled the costumes from Gone with the Wind. :roll: :D

ngaur wrote:There is nothing to say that sticking close to a book must result in a stifled movie.


Oh, indeed. It's all in the script, the acting and the direction.
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Re: For Wildwood/ Did PJ plagiarize Bakshi?

Postby ngaur » Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:23 pm

Because it's possible to have bad adaptations of good books!


Yes, but which is more likely to bring out the worse sides of a book? One that stays true to the book, or one that takes many liberties and makes up its own ways?

Anyway, the suggestion that sticking close to the books would have resulted in a worse adaptation of LotRs has no foundation.
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Re: For Wildwood/ Did PJ plagiarize Bakshi?

Postby Samuel Vimes » Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:16 am

ngaur wrote:
This reasoning takes little account of the books themselves. If the Harry Potter movie feels lacklustre why doesn't that say more about the book itself, than it does about the method of adaptation? Especially if it follows the book very closely. There is nothing to say that sticking close to a book must result in a stifled movie. The Duellists is a pretty good movie and that holds very close to the book.

I find your deflections puzzling.


I have read the books as well and while I think book 3 is better than 1 and 2, the difference to me is not as big as the difference between the films. HP 1 and 2 are much closer to the books than HP 3 and the later films.
To me, the first two films are not bad but they there is something a bit lacking about them. There is no fire or charm.
Also in some cases the films include book stuff but does so very quickly that film wise, the inclusions makes little sense. The only reason seems to be that because it was there in the book, it has to be there in the film.

The HP books got longer after and longer, starting with the third one so adapting them meant that more stuff would be cut and more changes made. Rowling herself seems not to mind overmuch and overall is very pleased with the adaptations.

My overall point is that sticking close to a book won't automatically make a film great but deviations are no gurantee either.
What I do think can matter is if the director is ONLY interested in copying the book as close as possible.
I gave examples which I think illustrate that. The first two HP films, the Shining, I like the book and Kubricks film but the TV film is much less good despite being closer to the book. And we can add Bakshi as well, in some areas he is closer to the book but to me, that didn't help the film, sort of the reverse.
But of course acting, script and direction also matters a lot.

In closing, to me, deviations from the book can work if the overall film is good and the deviations makes sense within the film.

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Re: For Wildwood/ Did PJ plagiarize Bakshi?

Postby Wildwood » Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:04 pm

But that's the whole point, for me! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D Movie deviations, if they are well crafted and make lots of sense and all that, may look good within the film, but to the reader in me, all I get from it is an internal monologue that goes something like this: "It wasn't like that in the book. That isn't how that was written. It's not really like that. That's wrong! Why did they do that???" :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D (Mind you, as I have said many time, this reaction is directly related to the level of devotion I feel for the written work!!) :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

It is very very hard to even give a movie a fighting chance when that sort of noise is rattling around your head! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D And that is why I usually avoid any adaptation based on a work I love! The very best one I have seen, and it has its own little problems (but not many!!), is the BBC Pride & Prejudice, with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D Unless they gave them more time, I dont' think it could have been done better! The characterizations were pretty much spot on! I loved Mr Bennet in that one! (The latest one, with Donald Sutherland as Mr. Bennet, was a beautiful disaster, in my mind! Mr. Bennet was never henpecked and bullied by his wife!! Amused by her, yeah. Annoyed by her, yeah. But bullied and chivvied by her???? NO!!!) :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

For me, the very first consideration is "does the movie story track properly with the book story?"! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
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Re: For Wildwood/ Did PJ plagiarize Bakshi?

Postby AlatarVinyamar » Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:48 am

What about the Wet Shirt scene in P&P Wildy? Did the purist in you object? :)
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Re: For Wildwood/ Did PJ plagiarize Bakshi?

Postby Wildwood » Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:45 pm

Nope! :D :D :D :D :D :D For two reasons.

Reason 1: Colin Firth is a hottie in that scene! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

Reason 2: It is a "fill in the cracks" kind of scene! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D I don't know a whole lot about that era, so I can't say for certain, but it was his property. I suspect people still jumped in for a swim back then, as they do now? And he'd just had a really long ride, so going for a dip to cool off didn't seem so out of place to me! What would have ticked me off is if he had not been haughty at the right times, and if they got the proposal wrong. If he'd cried when she said no, for instance. :D :D :D :D :D :D:D :D :D :D :D :D It is filler. That I can live with, as long as it does not argue with what I know of the character, in other situations. He was a sportman. He went out shooting and riding and such. So would going for a swim be so far out of place? And surprising Elizabeth and her family....well, that does push the envelope a little. In the book, he goes about his business, and then meets them later on the path. And he is not soaking wet! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D If you want to know why I can forgive this little faux pas, ahem....see Reason 1. :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

They nailed the characterizations, I thought! And where they had to make cuts and take liberties, they did it in a fashion that did not argue with the book!!! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D Nothing goes actively against the story. It all supports it. And anyone who ever read it, but never saw it, could easily discuss it with someone who only saw it, but never read it. They could understand each other at least! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

You can't say that of the LOTR movies, and I know this, because I have had numerous conversations with movie enthusiasts, and I spend an awful lot of time correcting their ideas of the story. It's even worse for the Hobbit movies!!! And to me - that says failed adaptation!! Not necessarily failed movie. Just failed adaptation!! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
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