View Full Version : Second-guessing Peter Jackson

01-29-2002, 02:34 AM
I'll start by saying I loved the movie and have seen it four times. Peter Jackson did something very, very difficult: he made the LotR accessible to non-Tolkienites while still staying to true to Tolkien's vision. And the film is beautiful.<P>That said, if you and I had the training and international standing to be entrusted with $300M budget, and only 3 hours to do the LotR justice, what would you change?<P><UL TYPE=SQUARE><LI>Use more than glowing light and architecture to set apart the elves. The movie shows why we should care about the Shire, but not the artistry and lore of the elves. A brief glimpse, of say an artisan carving a musical instrument, as part of the scene of the Hobbits' reunion for example. You could have had the close up of the curling wood shavings, and Pippin watching, and then Frodo joining them and all interest in the artist forgotten. But the point made.<BR><LI>The scene with Elrond and Gandalf could begin in the great library of Rivendell and continue in his private study. You need to see what the elves are about - besides fighting.<BR><LI>Amp down certain of the action scenes. The trouble with 'Sinbad' type movies is that one action scene competes with another, until they wash out. <BR><LI>The Watcher in the Water needed to be a mere forewarning, to build dread, you should not have seen the monster, and no crashing ceilings. Just a narrow escape with escape from Moria cut off. <BR><LI>The Black Riders could build in glimpses, more like what he did with the scene with the Hobbit "No Bagginses here, they're up in Hobbiton." I think a scene with happy Hobbits, then another half-glimpse of the riders, then back again.. no idea how close the riders are to catching them. <BR><LI>He did need to amp up the scene at the Bucklebury Ferry, but the leap onto the boat.. c'mon. Have you ever lept onto a slippery boat? You end up in the drink. Not to mention badly bruised.<BR><LI>Merry & Pippin's chance meeting at Farmer Maggot's is implausible. Better to have the two guess Frodo was leaving (Sam let it slip) "we figured you'd come this way" - though not why. Then find out they 'reprovisioned' from Farmer Maggot's field. Just a few changes in the lines, and the scene remains just as goofy, more realistic, and show two sides of the twain at once. <BR><LI>After the encounter with the 'sniffing' Black Rider, M&P understand more, and can tell Frodo what they tell him in Crickhollow in the books - that friends don't let friends face trouble alone 'don't think you're going to give us the slip.' An ironic hint to later, when Frodo attempts to go to Mordor alone.<BR><LI>You need to see Frodo has brains, right off, show Gandalf's trust in him is well-placed (not just in Bilbo's high opinion). The scene where Gandalf tells Frodo the DL knows the ring is in the shire, Frodo needs to make the decision to leave, not ask Gandalf "What do I do?"<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>Frodo pauses, thinking.. 'I must leave then.' <BR>Gandalf blinks.. 'Yes. Yes, you are quite right.'<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Then Gandalf's next comment "hobbits can still surprise you" makes sense.<BR><LI>These minor changes in dialogue would shift the focus back the hobbits and add depth to their portrayal.. address what Robert Ebert pointed out, correctly, that the focus is shifted from the Hobbits, to the men & elves. </UL><P>These are subtle changes. I'd love to hear your ideas.<p>[ January 29, 2002: Message edited by: Marileangorifurnimaluim ]

01-29-2002, 08:29 AM
Wow, M! Obviously some thought in that post.<P>All I can say is that I wish that Moria had been a bit scarier. It seemed a little rushed to me, everything crammed together. Maybe that's because it's a favourite scene that I've spent a lot of time reading and imagining.

01-29-2002, 10:42 AM
Well I don't know if it was due to repetedly seeing the movie after a full day of work and at one of the latest showings possible...but twice...I somehow managed to slip into 5 minute power naps (I've seen the movie 5 times...tempted to go back again)...all during the scenes in Moria. So I'll have to agree with you Hama. It was nice and suspensful the first time round (before I read the books) but as I saw it more and more that part became less climatic.

01-29-2002, 12:02 PM
If I limit myself to one change that I feel would make the film a whole lot better it would be this simple addition to the costumes department:<P>A gag for Arwen<P>This would not only prevent one of the most embarassing lines in the films being spoken but stop me tormenting everyone on the Downs with endless posts on the subject.

01-29-2002, 10:25 PM
not to be nitpicky but 300 million dollars was for all three movies not just the fellowship of the ring

01-29-2002, 10:43 PM
Welcome to the Downs, Malinear. Yeah, you're right (sorry it's so long). I've been thinking about how I'd do the LotR since 1978, when Ralph Bakshi's version came out. But Peter Jackson made my life a lot easier by hitting near the mark.<P>Hama, I agree. Moria is fear, wonder and darkness.. the heavy action sequences provoke an adrenaline hit, but not the feeling of a need for stealth. The tension of Moria is that you <I>think</I> they just might slip through unscathed. They did the Hall of the Dwarrowdelf just right though - there's definately wonder.<P>A gag is good idea, if impractical for eating and so forth. At least Arwen should only speak Elvish, if she must speak.<P>Nit-picking, no. I say $300M because I plan to revisit this thought (if not this exact thread) for the next three years.<p>[ January 29, 2002: Message edited by: Marileangorifurnimaluim ]

02-01-2002, 01:20 AM
The movie stunk. It ripped the soul out of the books. To those who will criticize me for saying that: I have the right to second guess Peter Jackson because I've been a fan of the books for years, and to see them turned into a generic action/adventure/fantasy is horrible. Indeed, I will ignore the next two movies, watch what you want. It's a free country. As long as I don't insult people who disagree with me, my opinion should be tolerated if not embraced.

02-01-2002, 03:18 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>Originally posted by lomion:<BR><STRONG>The movie stunk. It ripped the soul out of the books. To those who will criticize me for saying that: I have the right to second guess Peter Jackson because I've been a fan of the books for years, and to see them turned into a generic action/adventure/fantasy is horrible. Indeed, I will ignore the next two movies, watch what you want. It's a free country. As long as I don't insult people who disagree with me, my opinion should be tolerated if not embraced.</STRONG><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR>Another "...the movie stunk" post. Amazing. Go watch Battlefield Earth, then come back and let us know if FOTR deserves to be categorized under "stunk".<P>I have laughed at many FOTR detractors simply because I know that, despite their incessant and prolific number of complaints, many of these same people will put their butts in the seats when movies two and three arrive at the theaters. You sound quite determined, but I think we'll find that many FOTR detractors won't be as resolute. It will be interesting to see if you hold out.<P>I too have been a fan of the books for many years and went to the movie dreading the possible fiasco that was about to unfold. Didn't happen. Ripping the soul out of the books? No way.

02-01-2002, 03:17 PM
Ah, but the question is, what would <I>you</I> do differently? I'm really interested in what other people envision. As someone who didn't like the movie, I think you would have a long list of creative ideas. This is your chance to create the "perfect" LotR.<P>If you want to bring in Tom Bombadil, how would you do that, what would you cut to make room? Or would you make four movies? Then where would you have the first end? Rivendell, and have the second start before or after Frodo woke? <P>After the universally panned 1978 version I found it was easy to slam a movie, but not so easy to fix it. <P>I decided we definately should keep the black riders as Bakshi envisioned them, for example. (And Peter Jackson did.) But Bakshi's balrog had to go. <P>We can go through the two movies, and even the taped versions, and select what we think should stay and shouldn't. I wish we could keep BBC's Gollum - he was perfect.

02-01-2002, 04:13 PM
i wouldn't have sent the horn of gondor over the falls with Boromir. Why? because it's been bugging me ever sense. Will this end up being one of those famous mistakes in a film...or will the horn never be mentioned again. i spend way to much thinking about that.

Nazgūl Queen
02-01-2002, 06:38 PM
<center>I agree with all your ideas, Marileangorifurnimaluim.<BR>The thing i most want to see is the version of Flight to the Ford from the book, with Frodo resisting the Nazgul...<P>But for the people who needed everything to be exactly the same as the book, the best bet would be 6 movies, one for each book.... but it wouldnt be as good...

Mister Underhill
02-01-2002, 08:47 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>Originally posted by bryniana:<BR><STRONG>i wouldn't have sent the horn of gondor over the falls with Boromir. Why? because it's been bugging me ever sense. Will this end up being one of those famous mistakes in a film...or will the horn never be mentioned again. i spend way to much thinking about that.</STRONG><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I've seen you mention this before, bryniana, but I'm not sure why you're so upset. They sent it over the falls with Boromir in the book, too: <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>His helm they set beside him, and across his lap they laid the cloven horn and the hilts and shards of his sword... [...] Sorrowfully they cast loose the funeral boat: there Boromir lay, restful, peaceful, gliding upon the bosom of the flowing water. The stream took him while they held their own boat back with their paddles. He floated by them, and slowly his boat departed, waning to a dark spot against the golden light; and then suddenly it vanished. Rauros roared on unchanging.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

02-01-2002, 09:21 PM
Don't get me wrong, as I've said before I loved the scenery. Incredible. Blew me away. The C.G.I. was really cool. Hobbiton was great!!! Isengard was good too. As for cutting things out, I realize all the books could never have been included. I expected Bombadil to be cut. What I absolutely despise is the addition of things that were'nt in the book. Super-Arwen? Come on!!! That alone ruined it. As for Bakshi's balrog...well it was lousy. Obviously a man with a large lion head (the balrogs mane I guess) being lifted on a rope. I did'nt mind the balrog in Jackson's version, after all Tolkien did'nt give a real good description. Kind of shadowy, more or less left it to our imagination. Arwen taking on all 9 riders was just stupid. I did'nt expect to see the whole book, but adding things to improve the plot failed miserably. It may surprise you, but I don't consider myself a "purist". I just think Peter Jackson is a far cry from Tolkien. Wizard's battle scene about made me wretch. Beating Gandalf bloody? baaaarf!!

02-01-2002, 11:30 PM
Nazgul Queen - yes, that would strengthen Frodo's role. Then it's more believable he'd choose to go it alone. This would tie to having Frodo, not Gandalf, say he must leave the Shire. <BR>Also, the addition of Galadriel <I>telling</I> 'he will try to take the ring' and to go it alone - not a good idea. Better to have them step back and let Frodo decide as they do in the book. It's wimping out to have 'wise people' be direct cause of the unpredictable decisions. Flattens the characterization (so you're left with no part to play). <P>It would make me happy, too, Io, to remove Arwen from her inflated role. Agreed, too, keep every ounce of scenery, sets and costumes. Please don't think I'm dissing your opinions, I'm just sifting a little deeper: how <I>should</I> it be done?<P>Bryn - Mr. U is correct. The confusion may be that Denethor wound up with the horn, but not Boromir's body. Apparently (we don't know for sure) the lighter horn was swept out of the boat in the falls, and floated down the Anduin separately. It was recovered, though Boromir was not.

Rose, the youngest
02-02-2002, 12:31 PM
lomion, why did the wizard battle make you so ill? I thought it did a wonderful job illustrating the struggle of good and evil at the time. If the power of Saruman has not shown, then Gandalf took the position of “White,” we would not be able to fathom his power.

02-02-2002, 03:45 PM
*scratches head* I'm learning the importance of thread names...<P>Anyways, while it wasn't my intent to bash Peter's good work, I would say yes, the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon wizard brawl was er.. trendy. Good. Let's rewrite it.<P>I do agree we needed to be shown in a movie the standoff between Saruman and Gandalf.<P>I think what we need is subtle magic, like the scene with the moth (brilliant!): <BR>a physical magic brawl doesn't suit two old men.<P>What we have are two Maia. One - Saruman - is a lore master, and focused on using and recreating the weapons/powers that once were, and he's especially a master of deluding others. The other - Gandalf - tends to coax living creatures and elements into doing what they already are inclined to do.<BR>Gandalf says at one point that he can't burn snow, he has to have something to work with. <P>So now we have two different fighting styles. Ideas?<BR><UL TYPE=SQUARE><LI>In the room of the Palantir, one addition: torches placed on each wall.<BR><LI>When the doors bar, Saruman creates an illusion of himself and the room of the Palantir being peaceful, himself a gentle lord. The walls of the room turn to white alabaster, there's a close-up to his face, then the camara pulls away and his throne is outdoors. There's a blue sky, trees, birds chirp. He attempts to convince Gandalf to join the winning side to help this world. <BR><LI>Gandalf pointly asks then why did you bar the doors?<BR><LI>The camara spins, circling Saruman, and the dark walls return.<BR><LI>Saruman picks up (it can't be his ring, can it? would require too much explaining - say an ebony staff) an artifact of the Second Age. <BR>Gandalf, visibly shocked and afraid: "where did you find that? None has been seen since Sauron..." <BR>Saruman, approaching, "It was not found. I created this."<BR>Gandalf, glancing at the Palantir, puts the pedestal between himself and S. "Whence came such knowledge?"<BR><LI>Saruman raises the rod, and the light dims, like light flees before a coming storm. Gandalf is crushed down for seemingly no reason. <BR><LI>Gandalf speaks some words of power, and the torches in the room blaze up, stream high, then form the spokes of a golden flaming dome that separate him from Saruman.<BR><LI>Saruman then strikes downward with the rod (or whatever), and the dome is shattered in shower of sparks, everything goes dark; dim light returns and Gandalf is crushed to the floor. The torches smoke but have gone out. <BR><LI>Close up Saruman's feet, walking up to Gandalf. He casually picks up Gandalf's staff. "I will give you one last chance."<BR><LI>Two softly spoken words from Gandalf come with his answer, and smoke fills the room; the smoking torches are billowing, and Saruman starts choking, can't see, but raises Gandalf's own staff, he opens the doors, Gandalf struggles towards them to escape (his reason for the smoke) but a gale/tornado wind comes through that spins Gandalf around and up -<BR><LI>and then we're back to what's in the movie, G. flying towards the ceiling while S. cries out "then you've chosen the way of Pain!"<BR></UL><P>-Maril

02-03-2002, 04:02 AM
I still think they should include Saruman's speech from the book, Christopher Lee has a wonderful voice and could use it to great effect.

02-03-2002, 10:57 AM
"Crouching Tiger" Now that was funny!! You understand what I'm saying. Saruman was very Powerful. Gandalf knew that. By using the more subtle approach similar to your script you wrote, it would have set up the confrontation later when he was Gandalf the White. "Come back, Saruman! I did not give you leave to go, I have not finished. You have become a fool, Saruman. Behold! I am not Gandalf the Grey, whom you betrayed, I am Gandalf the White, who has returned from death. Saruman, your staff is broken!" Being dragged to the rail against his will. Cristopher Lee would have done it so good. But, he will be thrown through the air "Crouching Tiger" style (I love that!) and impaled on a cog or gear or whatever. oh well.

Rose Cotton
02-03-2002, 03:01 PM
I thought the wizard fight scene was fine. Exept for one part. When Saruman had Gandalf spining on the floor. What was that about? It looked really stupid. I do agree that Arwen could have been cut out. Or how about this. <BR>-Arwen comes and helps them out but Glorfindel still comes to help too.<BR>-than both of them take Frodo and protect him from the Black Riders.<BR>-(just to be true to the book)Just before they reach the ford Glorfindel and Arwen send Frodo accross on one of the horses while they try to hold back the riders. This way it will show that Frodo isn't that weak.<BR>-of course holding off the riders dosn't work and they go after Frodo. The flood comes and Frodo faints. <BR>How about that. I like the idea of keeping the Hobbits the head of the story. I'd love to hear Sam talk more. It's just like Frodo says in the Two Towers. You know the part where they're talking about being in stories.

02-03-2002, 10:37 PM
Dear lomion-how can a movie rip the soul out of a book? It's not as if Peter Jackson stormed into your house, grabbed your treasured copy of <I>LotR</I> and proceeded to tear out entire pages, crossing out Tolkien's words, and replacing them with his own (while cackling horribly, no less)? The literature is safe and sound. As for the uninitiated moviegoers, if they like the movie, they are likely to pick up the book. And how can that be bad? <BR>As for changes that I would have made, had I the power of persuasion over Peter Jackson...I would have included a tiny scene with Nimrodel. It's a wonderful piece of elven-lore, and would have been entirely filmable (as opposed to Tom Bombadil). And maybe a little bit less close-ups of Frodo's perpetually terrified/perplexed/i'm-about-to-weep face. Of course, they didn't ask me, did they? <BR>Great thread, Maril! If I am not making sense, well if you must know, I am drinking out of another green bottle tonight.!

02-04-2002, 08:36 AM
I'm done. I hope you all enjoy the films. It's frustrating to me but I won't slice-n-dice anymore. Again, enjoy!!!

02-04-2002, 08:06 PM
Sorry to lose you Iomion, you contributed a great deal to this thread (as opposing voices tend to do) and I appreciate your thoughts, <I>especially targeting particular 'offending scenes' for re-script.</I> Thank you. If you'd like to visit again, you are welcome. I hope others who didn't like the movie offer up a few choice bits for surgery. We who loved the movie tend to sweep the entire movie - faults and all - into one happy package. Love is like that. I may raid the "People who Thought the Movie Stunk" thread for their less vitriolic ideas. If there are any. <P>Fenrir - you're quite right, that over-rehearsed speech of Saruman's would have been very effective, especially from Christopher Lee. <BR>Would you have had that instead of a wizard duel, or before?<P>Rose - You have good instincts. <BR>Yes, it was the spinning more than anything else... I found myself cringing.<P>Good scene to rewrite, by putting Glofindel back we could reduce Arwen to her normal size. <P>But if we <I>had</I> to use Arwen in a 'macho' role, for political correctness, she needed to be just an elven foot soldier at that point, not draw so much attention to herself. It's a mistake not to, because you still end up defining Arwen by her relationship to Aragorn, by putting that first. That's why she's so fake and annoying.<BR>Peter could have surprised us, with good effect, with their relationship later in Rivendell, after establishing her competence.<BR><UL TYPE=SQUARE><LI>Aragorn hears sound of hooves, orders the hobbits to hide.<BR><LI>Arwen rides up (whatever), he greets her, but hurriedly explains there's little time. <LI>(Frodo healing scene)<BR><LI>Arwen takes Frodo on her horse (skip the argument about who takes Frodo - silly waste of time, and undermines the "beefy" Arwen character at the same time it attempts to make her look strong)<BR><LI>Instead of having one long chase scene to the Ford, have her lose the Riders<BR><LI>Or better yet, if we're going to make her cool, let's do it right...<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>"Frodo, can you hang on, by yourself? Just get through the water - ! <BR>My horse can't carry two and win this race."<BR>"But, but they will catch you.."<BR>"They are not after me!" (jumps from cantering horse)<P>Hey, if you're going to be macho...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE></UL><P>The romantic meeting in the woods (between Arwen & Aragorn) was just inappropriate for the tone of the moment. Distracting to add a romantic subplot, right when you're supposed to be worried about Frodo. <BR>Absolutely, you're right, it was essential Frodo face the riders alone at the ford. <P>There are three key moments where Frodo's role is weakened, and you nailed the second:<BR><UL TYPE=SQUARE><LI>When Frodo asks (whimpers) "What should I do?" and Gandalf tells him to leave the Shire. <BR><LI>At the Ford, when Arwen is the one who faces the Nazgul. <BR><LI>With Galadriel in Lorien, when she tells him to go it alone. </UL><BR>He's stronger, however, just after Gandalf's fall in Moria. Filming him standing apart from the group and not quite stopping when he was told - very effective. <P>This actually ties into what Lush was saying...<P>Lush - Amen. Fewer close-ups of Elijah, for all his glowing screen presence, the somewhat weakened role left him with mush, one reactive expression after another. He's a good enough actor to let on what Frodo was thinking, if Gandalf and Galadriel'd left him any to do.<P>I suspect sometimes Peter was so concerned non-readers wouldn't understand the books he overcompensated, sacrificing subtlety.<P>Ha! That isn't a green bottle of vitriol from the 'Those who thought the movie stunk' thread is it? Strong stuff! Sprinkle a little over here, we lost Iomion. <P>-Maril<p>[ February 04, 2002: Message edited by: Marileangorifurnimaluim ]

02-06-2002, 08:06 PM
Well, looks like much of what I was going to say has been covered--Frodo not dropping into the illness so quickly, the agonizing lack of subtlety, Merry and Pip's falling in with them. I so wanted a conspiracy unmasked. Not hard to slip it in: Frodo tries to give some vague explanation for the black riders, Merry breaks in, "it's about old Bilbo's ring, isn't it?" Frodo gapes, "wha--how --?" "The party was hardly the first time I saw him vanish into thin air..."<P>My big change: more Lothlorien. it was barely even Lorien, more like Lo. We are getting hasty, aren't we. In particular the farewell scene with the giving of the gifts should not have been sacrificed. how are they planning to fit Sam's dirt in later on? Flashback? Second gifts? If they leave it out someone will die slowly and painfully (probably me). I would also have more of the sunshine that Sam noticed, and toned down Galadriel's mental voice.<P>Wizards' duel: like your rewrite, maril. It addresses most of the problems I had with that scene, except one. How does Gandalf get his staff back? Fly-by snatch out of the windows of Orthanc? make another? does he keep extras at Rivendell just in case?

02-07-2002, 02:33 PM
I agree with most, dear Lothlorien was not shown well enough, nor how strong Frodo during his flight to Rivendell.<P>But the funniest thing for me was the fight between Saruman and Gandalf. I've seen the movie 4 times already, and the last 3 whenever the above scene was about to occur, I'd always lean over to my friend saying<BR>"<i>Look! They're going to have a wizards duel!"</i> Any recognize that from Disney's "Sword in the Stone?"<BR>The whole scene cracked me up rather than doing what it intended. <BR>I agree a change to it, making it more subtle would have worked for me. <BR>Maril I liked your idea for it. <P>As for Tom Bombadil, I'm glad he was excluded. I don't know how many <i>Hey dol. merry dol. ring a dong dillo's</i> I could stand. Hahahahaha<P> <BR>Mista

02-07-2002, 05:44 PM
Rings. <P>1. "why can't we use the one ring?" Shift the focus back to "because it'll twist everything we try to do to evil" rather than "only Sauron can wield the One Ring."<P>2. at the beginning: "three were made by the Elves", not "three were given to the elves". Two little words and the elves get back a bit of their own. And lose the stunned/stoned ring-gazing expressions. Sheesh.<P>As soon as that director's cut comes out, I'm loading it onto my computer and...snip snip...

02-08-2002, 09:38 PM
Mista, welcome to the Downs! What other scenes would you like to see changed?<P>KayQy, like your changes! Yes! <P>Definately we need to get rid of "only Sauron can wield..." I hadn't thought of that, (or 'giving the rings' to the elves, that was either an oops or just unnecessary). But that change is very important, because otherwise we lose the tension of Saruman trying to capture the ring for himself, & the entire theme of double treachery: instead we end up with two simple "teams." <P>Plus I missed Gandalf's "do not bother to say 'we'."<P>Very good rewrite ideas to bring in the conspiracy. Do you have a little more detail on when/how this conversation would occur?<P>It runs the risk of going over some heads, but let's not underestimate the audience either. There is a reason to watch movies again.<P>Lo - ha! I'm afraid we may have only 'L' (or maybe l) really.<P>I think shortening the action scenes would leave a lot more room for calm passages in glorious places like Lorien. And it is badly needed, to set off one action scene from another, avoiding the Sinbad syndrome. <BR>As far as the look of Lorien, I give Peter artistic points for uniqueness and a lot of leeway. Lorien looked nothing like what I imagined, but he did make it very different from Rivendell. That was something I wouldn't have considered but in retrospect realize was important.<P>Gosh I'm glad people like my wizard scene. I would welcome changes. I think the tie-in to conversation about the Palantir needs some work, and the first part's not quite there. It works from the moment you see Saruman's feet, casually walking over to give Gandalf a last chance.<P>This is really fun.<P>-Maril<p>[ February 08, 2002: Message edited by: Marileangorifurnimaluim ]

Estelyn Telcontar
02-11-2002, 09:50 AM
Maril, you have lots of good ideas - mine will save some precious seconds so you can add something better. I would cut out the repeated close-ups of Frodo holding the ring in his hand (with or without chain) - why would he take it off so often? And was anyone else bothered when he just slipped it into his vest pocket at the beginning of the journey? And how on earth did the chain just "slip" off going up Caradhras? My suggestion - put it on the chain and keep it there!! His hand moving toward the chain could be shown briefly, if PJ thought the audience could forget what it's all about...

02-11-2002, 01:27 PM
Agreed. <I>Cut multiple scenes with Elijah standing there with ring in palm.</I> I keep thinking a blackbird's gonna come along and snatch it out of his hand. Ring stays on chain. Chain can slip outside of shirt if PJ needs the visual cue.<P>On the same subject, how many vote for a change of that scene in Bree where Frodo slips (ok) and the ring flies through the air and just 'happens' to circle about and land on his finger (ugh)? Ideas for improvements, since his song was cut and we have the ring on a chain?<P><I>Agreed: removal of excessive Frodo close-ups.</I> Lush brought this up too. That can make room for KayQy's Lorien upgrade from 'l' to 'L' to 'Lo' to perhaps even, 'Lor.' <P>You need the indication of how long they were in Lorien to show us why they let down their guard so badly before the breaking of the fellowship. <P>It's an issue a non-Tolkien friend brought up (one who's seen Sean Bean in a lot of films and said right off - "oh that Boromir's gonna buy it. Sean Bean dies in every film"). Why were they such idiots to let Frodo go wandering off alone gathering firewood? In the books it's clear, no orc had set foot on Amon Hen, and the west bank of the Anduin was considered likely safe. And Frodo asked to be alone to decide the fate of the Fellowship.<P>Should some dialogue be added to indicate the Fellowship didn't know which way to turn? Does that mean in the longer Lorien this is brought up, too? (Hmm.. that happens. You add one piece, and you have to add something else earlier.) Or perhaps have Aragorn tell Legolas, "no orcs have been seen on this shore, it should be perfectly safe unless much is wrong with Rohan."<P>Ideas?

03-21-2002, 01:42 AM
Since we're unearthing old threads...

03-21-2002, 01:52 AM
I regretably have only seen the movie twice, but the scene the bothered me the most were the scenes with Arwen. Especially the one at the Ford. I dunno, there was just something about Frodo standing up to the black riders on his own at the Ford that added to his character. Not to mention he was not saved by some elf maiden's tearful wish for life, but by his own strength of will and heart. Just my opinion of course, and I really thought the movie was beautiful other than that. I dunno why but that scene has just irked me from day one. Course that might have something to do with Frodo being one of my all time favorite characters.

03-21-2002, 02:17 AM
Kalla, I agree. I think even if we kept Arwen in her expanded role, frankly, horses don't carry double and travel fast. I still would have had Frodo alone on the elf horse at the fords. I think the rewritten scene would show Frodo's sense of slipping half-into the wraith world, and standing up to them despite that. <P>I think it would have been more emotionally impactful to not rely on the viewers echoing Arwen's emotions, but to show the danger, not only of Frodo being captured but of his slipping into the wraith world and his courage in the hopeless battle against such odds. It foreshadows his ability to win through to Mordor.<P>I imagine a shorter chase scene, with blurring and slow motion, the elf horse rearing up in the waters of the Bruinen and Frodo sagging in the saddle but hanging on. The world goes from blur to grey, like he's blacking out for a moment, and in that moment we see the witch king as we did on Weathertop. It would be chilling. To have Frodo hoarsely swear "you will have neither the ring nor me!" as he spurs the horse out of the water and they take chase would be powerful and compelling.

03-21-2002, 09:32 AM
I really didn't like the way Pippin and Merry ran into Frodo and Sam. I read the books after seeing the movie, so I had no idea why they would want to tag along or even know who Frodo and Sam were in the first place. Although I enjoyed their little stunt at Bilbo's party, when I saw they were going with Frodo, I thought "Oh, great, two stupid hobbits to mess everything up." Then after I read the book it made a lot more sense.

03-21-2002, 09:37 AM
Nothing needs to be changed. Peter Jackson and his crew created a masterpiece that will live on forever!<P>

03-21-2002, 11:09 AM
Just one tiny detail:<P>In Moria, instead of Gandalf letting go of the bridge, he should have been holding onto a crack in the stone, then it gets bigger and the end section falls off. <BR>I think it looks a bit odd with him just letting go, and also he should have fallen more with the Balrog not after it, because in the book, it says that thry fought when they were falling.<BR>But apart from that minor point (which wouldn't, admittedly, make that much difference to anyone but me) it was perfect!

Jessica Jade
03-21-2002, 11:17 PM
Wow, very good thoughtful post. I have lots to say, but no time right now...so i'll just say a little. Gandalf did look like he just let go of the bridge and was not dragged off by Balrog's whip. He looked like he commited suicide or something. As for Arwen, he lines were definitly cheesy, espeically the part when she's with Aragorn and says something like "I'd rather spend one life with you than a thousand lives without" or something...ick, sounds like a cheesy love story! And for Frodo leaving the Shire...it made it seem so sudden, that it all happened in one night, when it actually took him months to actually leave. And they made Bilbo a lot darker he seems in the books. Ahhh...but the movie sure is a masterpeice and i love it all.

03-22-2002, 08:22 PM
ElenorG, we've been tossing a rewrite of Pippin and Merry's meeting back and forth, and if anyone has more ideas how to do this - bring 'em on. I don't think we've solved it yet. There isn't much time to give background on Merry and Pippin, but this chance meeting in the middle of nowhere is absurd. And there was a previous request to show the conspiracy unmasked as well.<P>I think the hurried departure did build dramatic tension, so maybe it was necessary. However, I like the idea of a clever departure from the Shire "I said depart soon, not Instantly!" Could we have shortened the months long departure to a week? "Oh yes, I'm going to visit my cousin Merry in Bucklebury." Then the conspiracy could have been just Merry leaking the info to Pippin and the two deciding to join them. "We thought you'd come this way Frodo!" Hmm... this just isn't coming together. Ideas?<P>Nav, that is a very good observation, I'd forgotten about Gandalf letting go. I like your rewrite, very believable and you take into account that he needed enough time for the close-up and to say "Run you fools!"

03-22-2002, 10:19 PM
I think it would have helped if Merry and Pippin had been introduced as something more than pranksters at Bilbo's party. Even a simple, "Hello, cousin Frodo," from Merry would have cleared up a lot of questions about their relationship. I liked the idea earlier for Merry and Pippin to say that they were expecting Frodo and Sam to pass by the field.

03-25-2002, 03:12 PM
Okay, sometime this week I'm going to post everyone's ideas for FotR script changes, in order. Then we can vote what we like/dislike in our version.<P>-Maril

03-25-2002, 10:30 PM
Maril and Elanor - sorry, I'm joining the party rather late, but I really like both your suggestions - the Merry and Pippin thing always bugged me as well (though it was fun to watch ). I like the "abbreviated" version of "A Conspiracy Unmasked" where Frodo leaves a week later to stay with Merry, but if you want to be even more conservative with time - considering that realistically we're probably looking at a maximum of eight minutes for all of this to happen - why not just have Frodo and Sam stop the night at Merry's place in Buckland on their way out of the Shire (so he could still leave instantaneously, no need to show shots of him planning the trip)? This would introduce Merry and Pippin in a believable way (why wouldn't Frodo crash at Cousin Merry's?), you could work in a line about "My cousin lives not far from here" thus establishing the relationship, and by showing Frodo *spending the night* somewhere you could also give the viewer a sense of time passing and make them realize that this journey does take quite a few days - I know they tried to do that in the movie as is (showing Frodo and Sam cooking over a fire in the woods, and so forth) but still the impression you were left with was that it took about twelve hours for them to reach Bree, when in fact even Buckland was a good couple of days away from Hobbiton. (For people who like the "farhest away from home I've ever been" line, that could be kept in, since it's unlikely that Sam ever *did* visit Buckland before). And since Black Riders have been shown as being all over the place, it's likely that Merry and Pippin would have heard or seen them before Frodo and Sam arrived, and seeing Sam's protectiveness and Frodo's terror would put two and two together (possibly an oblique reference to Bilbo's travels, and the fact that they were asking for "Baggins") and announce in the morning that they were coming along to help protect him. If nothing else this would give them time to get some luggage together and lock up the hole, instead of literally running off in what they stood up in. Just my 2.5 cents.<P>Also on the Gandalf falling off a bridge issue - that actually seemed OK to me. For one thing, having him scream it as he fell into the depths would be incredibly hard to do without sounding very weird - would his voice echo? Also, you'll notice that he was hanging on the bridge only by his fingertips, with his whole weight hanging off of them and nothing to brace himself against. If you've ever been in a physical position like that - and I have - your hands will simply give out very quickly unless you have tremendous upper body strength in both your arms and your hands. Basically it was just the law of gravity kicking in.<P>OK, enough preaching . Time to take the Country Captain out of the oven. What do you think of the Merry and Pippin scenario, though?<p>[ March 25, 2002: Message edited by: Kalimac ]

03-26-2002, 12:28 AM
hi maril! i just noticed this thread and crashing in late too! this is a great thread indeed!<P>your revision "wish list" sounds great, especially that gandalf vs. saruman revision. that fight scene bothered me too; a film friend told me that pj needed to amp the audience's concept of the wizards' power like what they do in anime shows, hence the over the top confrontation. but it was so disturbing to see two old men, however powerful, beat each other up.<P>i liked what you said about putting in some stuff about the elves and about what's important to them . this is a subtle touch that may be lost initially on non-lotr viewers but will enrich the film as an added medium of the story and catch-up with the viewers eventually. <P>some of the things my non-lotr friends got quite confused with and i'd want to rewrite are:<P>(1) galadriel's test: they couldn't understand what the hell she was talking about. her portrayal made her come across as eomer's dangerous "sorceress", rather than this wise, kind and sorrowful elf-queen who broke the company's heart with wonder. pj should have put a kinder expression on cate's face, and included the line where galadriel says "greatly are you avenged for my testing you during our first meeting" and maybe add "that now you test me by tempting me with this ring" or something so that "i pass the test" becomes clear.<P>(2) the council of elrond! i couldn't understand why it had to be abbreviated that way. there are cinematic approaches to show how long and intensive the discussion that decided the fate of middle-earth was; they should have been used. also, i can't understand why pj had to turn that very crucial meeting into a confrontational affair--the message was sort of "the fate of middle-earth was decided in the midst of (a) roaring argument/s". complete antithesis of the events in the book.<P>(3) when did aragorn turn into a shrinking violet? maybe you guys know the reason why the film "recast" him into the unwilling heir instead of the determined, returning king. had aragorn been portrayed as in the original, it would have given the film a different texture, and would have given extra force to compel the storylines in ttt and rotk.<P>(4) yeah arwen. if pj's purpose was to give her greater stature in the lotr framework, there are again other cinematic devices to do this, like flashbacks with aragorn on cerin amroth etc. i completely agree that the scene across the river took away from the audiences appreciation of frodo's strength. anyway, non-lotr friends again did not understand what the heck arwen was talking about anyway!<P>hmmm, i'll get back to you on other stuff i've to mull over first...<P>---------------------------------------------<BR><I>every man's life is a path to the truth -- hesse</I>

03-26-2002, 09:18 PM
Kalimac and Amarinth, welcome to the re-writing playground! Let's see, the way we could rewrite the Merry & Pippin meeting, and your points Amar..<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>I like the "abbreviated" version of "A Conspiracy Unmasked" where Frodo leaves a week later to stay with Merry, but if you want to be even more conservative with time - considering that realistically we're probably looking at a maximum of eight minutes for all of this to happen - why not just have Frodo and Sam stop the night at Merry's place in Buckland on their way out of the Shire (so he could still leave instantaneously, no need to show shots of him planning the trip)? This would introduce Merry and Pippin in a believable way (why wouldn't Frodo crash at Cousin Merry's?), you could work in a line about "My cousin lives not far from here" thus establishing the relationship, and by showing Frodo *spending the night* somewhere you could also give the viewer a sense of time passing and make them realize that this journey does take quite a few days - I know they tried to do that in the movie as is (showing Frodo and Sam cooking over a fire in the woods, and so forth) but still the impression you were left with was that it took about twelve hours for them to reach Bree, when in fact even Buckland was a good couple of days away from Hobbiton. (For people who like the "farhest away from home I've ever been" line, that could be kept in, since it's unlikely that Sam ever *did* visit Buckland before). And since Black Riders have been shown as being all over the place, it's likely that Merry and Pippin would have heard or seen them before Frodo and Sam arrived, and seeing Sam's protectiveness and Frodo's terror would put two and two together (possibly an oblique reference to Bilbo's travels, and the fact that they were asking for "Baggins") and announce in the morning that they were coming along to help protect him. If nothing else this would give them time to get some luggage together and lock up the hole, instead of literally running off in what they stood up in. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Good points all. But how would we fit levity into this version? The Black Riders and all are so dark, especially with everything shortened, we need the comic relief. Even if stealing carrots is a little lame. We could take snippets of Crickhollow, the first morning on the walk in the Shire, steal some lines from Tom Bombadil's house.. hmmm...<BR><UL TYPE=SQUARE>At Merry's -<BR>Merry: "Wake up everyone!"<BR>Frodo: "Oh, 4 o'clock, what was I thinking..? Surely even black riders sleep."<BR>Pippin (mischevious): "Sam, it's half past nine, have you got the bathwater hot?"<BR>Sam, bleary: "No - the time! My gosh, no, I haven't sir!"<BR>Frodo, throws pillow at Pippin: "Just for that, You make breakfast."<BR>Merry: "Breakfast is ready. But last one down gets grass and rainwater!"<BR>Frodo laughs, already dressed he has a head start; fires back at Pippin: "Eldest or quickest, either way you're last!" <BR>Pippin tears after him, hopping in a pant-leg.<P>Hobbits whooping and laughing tumble down the stairs (it is Brandy Hall) pulling on and tripping over pants and shoelaces, half-buttoning shirts as they run, Pippin slides down bannister, passing Sam. Merry cuts Pippin off at the corner. <P>Last scene cuts to Merry placing a plateful of grass with a flourish in front of Pippin. The other hobbits laugh and eat.<BR>Pippin (crosses his arms): "Oh, you're funny."<BR>Sam passes him a plate of real food.</UL><P>Well, that was fun, but maybe not visual enough. Also that means Sam and Frodo are alone when they meet the Black Rider, which is way too scary for that point in the story. Let's think about this.<P>Amar, right on with Galadriel. <BR><UL TYPE=SQUARE>All we needed was a soft laugh, adding "gently are you avenged for my test of your heart. So you tempt me. You offer the ring freely. I do admit..." Then at the end (after greatly reduced CGI), she smiles sadly "I pass your test."</UL><P>Council of Elrond. It would be tough to make it stand out without making it clear how contested the ring was. People sitting around a table is pretty dull, unless it is the first time you've heard the stories they tell. Yet if you tell them in flashback, you lose the immediacy of the story, and lose the audience. I thought the arguing was overdone. But, focusing on the ring during the fight as PJ did demonstrated the ring was causing all this, and foreshadowed Boromir's fall. <P>But I dunno.. what could we do.. I know! <UL TYPE=SQUARE>Gandalf could interrupt the discussion when it started to break into an argument, reading the "one ring to rule them all" in the Mordor tongue, stunning them into silence. <BR>Elrond: "No one has ever spoken that tongue here before."<BR>Gandalf: "Nor will again, I hope. I do not ask pardon. This is the One Ring. There is only one course left to us: it must be destroyed."<BR>Silence...<BR>Frodo: "I will take the ring.<BR>Though I do not know the way."</UL><P>I think the unwilling heir gives more room for the expanded role of Arwen, and lets Aragorn develop as a character more clearly. In the book there is a contrast between Aragorn in the beginning, and Aragorn in his first meeting with Eomer. Tolkien had time to explain the difference, by letting us see Aragorn through Legolas' eyes, so we're not sure whether Aragorn changed or we just saw a different side of him. Can't do that in a movie, you need concrete events to show us <I>why</I> Aragorn changed.<P>I think if we had Arwen speaking elvish throughout she would not have been so annoying. PJ was planning to do this, don't know what changed his mind.<p>[ March 26, 2002: Message edited by: Marileangorifurnimaluim ]

03-27-2002, 02:15 AM
Hey, I like that! Though I'm not sure why you think it wouldn't be visual enough - I'm sure you could get in enough good shots of the interior of Brandy Hall to keep the viewer interested (at least if it's anything like Bag End in the decorations department). And it might just be possible to pull off having Frodo and Sam encountering a Black Rider by themselves - it's true that having Pippin The Oblivious along is what really lightens that scene up ("Do you think we shall see any Black Riders today?" as if they were some kind of wild onion). But Sam at the beginning is still a fairly comic character, even in the books, so you could probably give him a few of Pippin's comments (in slightly more respectful language) and still keep the flavor of it. This might even make the change in Sam, and his growing seriousness and understanding, seem more deep later on, especially after Weathertop (let alone what we'll see in the next two movies). <P>And for the scene where they arrive at Merry's (Pippin is presumably staying over anyway since they spend all their time together): working on the principle of "mornings are wiser than evenings" have the dismal discussion in the evening, maybe taking a few lines from "A Conspiracy Unmasked" or even the Farmer Maggot scene - something along the lines of <P>Merry: "Really, Frodo, do you think we can't understand what's going on? Stories of those Black Folk all over, looking for a Baggins - why, I saw a Rider myself only the other evening, when I was crossing the Brandywine. Then you and old Sam turn up here, shaking like leaves and you more close-mouthed than old Gandalf, even." <P>Pippin: "Merry, I thought it was old Bilbo they were looking for! After all he's the one who went traveling that time, he's the one likely to know queer foreigners like that, not Frodo, who doesn't even come to Tookland!"<P>Sam: "They weren't looking for Mr. Bilbo, Master Pippin, leastways I don't think they were, but if you ask my opinion they were after his Ri-" [stops, blushes. Oops].<P>Frodo: "Sam!"<P>Merry: "His Ring, you mean? Don't look like that, Frodo. Bilbo wasn't as good at keeping secrets as he thought..." Riff over to "Conspiracy Unmasked" conversation, where Merry tells the story of seeing Bilbo disappear and catching a glimpse of the Ring, and ending with him and Pippin giving each other a silent look for a moment, and then saying that they're coming with, of course; they couldn't let him go with just Sam, knowing what he's heading into. <P>Then the next morning, with the sun up and everything looking much more sanguine, have a scene like you described with maybe a few good shots of them packing in haste (Come on, Pippin's going to be bringing all the food he can carry). <P>Whew. OK, that's enough - sorry about that. More later, I promise I'll be constructive about other scenes as well .

03-27-2002, 08:17 PM
I like it! <P>But I think both of our versions would end up on the cutting room floor. There is length to consider. We're cutting out as many Frodo/ring close-ups as we can, and some length out of the action scenes, but there's only so much we can add.<P> Maril

03-28-2002, 02:43 AM
I think my next viewing of the movie will be with a stopwatch. Each time I think a close up of Frodo is belaboring the point, or an action scene is overly long, I'll push the button. Then I'll know how much time we really have to work with.<P>You think I'm kidding, don't you? <P>Another concern is pacing. That's one thing I think PJ got just about right, if it was a little exhausting and needed longer gentle moments. I suspect when PJ had to trim that last 10-15 minutes, it was consistantly the softer moments that were left on the floor. It's hard to cut thousands of dollars of carefully planned CGI, but easy to lop off a few minutes of dialogue or scenery that doesn't drive the plot.<P>I think your point about the passage of time is spot on though. The time was a little too compressed after Lorien as well, leaving the impression that they really flaked out letting Frodo wander off alone, rather than it being the natural sloppiness after a month's break from threat. You lose your edge. But it wasn't apparent.<p>[ March 28, 2002: Message edited by: Marileangorifurnimaluim ]

03-28-2002, 05:34 AM
I have read your re-writes with interst guys...good ideas. I wonder how many real Tolkien fans PJ discussed his ideas with? It has been my experience that those who knew the books well were the most disappointed with the movie.What do you think?

03-28-2002, 10:01 PM
I don't know, goldwine, I've been reading the books since the age of ten and really liked the movie (whatever its weak spots, it was just such a gigantic undertaking which could have gone so horribly wrong that I will give all honor and praise to Peter Jackson for coming as close to the mark as he did). <P>Maril, thanks for the kind words . And as far as I remember, no theater I've ever been in asks you to please turn off your stopwatches before the movie - just don't let it beep during the Council of Elrond or some such quietish moment . I'm trying to think of a way to stretch out the Lorien/post-Lorien scenes more; it's difficult because, when you get right down to it, they don't really *do* much, especially in Lorien. It's been mentioned before that Frodo sounded far too suspicious with his "What will I see?" line in Lorien; it hadn't struck me that way at the time and then I realized that it was because the movie went along so breathlessly at that point that it felt as if Frodo had been attacked in Moria, stabbed by the troll, run from the Balrog, seen Gandalf fall, been confronted by bow and arrow-wielding Elves and had his mind probed by Galadriel - all within the space of about twelve hours! At that point it seemed like a wonder that he wasn't prostrate on the ground begging for mercy.<P>There probably isn't too much to do with Lorien; as for the scenes where they're boating down the Anduin...I'd probably have to resort to a fairly cheap device and just intercut more night shots there to show that this journey is really taking quite a few days. Maybe before the Kings of the Argonath scene you could a brief, wordless night scene of about 30 seconds where everyone is asleep and Frodo is on watch by the shore; then we slowly see two "lamps of eyes" glowing brighter and brighter. Frodo draws Sting, and they fade away. Quiet rustling of leaves for a moment, cut and fade to everyone scrambling into boats the next morning with Frodo looking even more burdened than he already does. If you didn't mind repeating effects, you could do the same thing with the winged Nazgul later on (maybe make that an evening scene, with everyone having late supper together), or leave it out if it seems like repeating effects too much. Anyway, having one or both of these prospective scenes would establish two things: (1) this is taking several days and is tiring for everyone (obviously Frodo isn't the only one taking turns on watch) and (2) Heeee's back! ("He" being either Gollum or the Ringwraiths, or both). <P>Apologies for the verbosity. Do you think these would work at all?<p>[ March 28, 2002: Message edited by: Kalimac ]

03-31-2002, 02:01 PM
I think there are ways to work more of Lorien in, though you do have a point, they don't "do" much there. The very reason so much of it was cut. Actually, all we need is Sam's comment, looking up at the moon, and saying waitaminute, we were in Lorien a month? That's what Tolkien did, to great effect. The theme of a thousand years passing in the outside world while someone passed an hour in fairyland is common enough to a) add to the Lorien mystique and b) make it clear they are really rested, and perhaps a bit soft. 10 bucks says the Director's Cut has exactly that scene you describe with Gollum slipping away.<P>I'm off to see the movie and start timing what we can cut! I haven't figured out how to keep my stopwatch from beeping, but I think since it's Easter I may be able to find an unpopulated section in the back (Easter's not a holiday for my religion though I am quite partial to easter baskets). I bought a stopwatch with a pretty quiet little beep fortunately, but yes, I wanted a "beep-free" setting. <P>Will get back to you later. I'm off!

03-31-2002, 05:06 PM
I feel much more kindly disposed to PJ after reading your commments! and have much more critical understanding of the movie process. I have also come to the conclusion that the bits where nothing much happend are my favourites! If the story had been one long succession of battles etc. I would have shelved it long ago. So that is where I differ from movie audiences I guess!<BR>Pity the movie footage is already done..PJ could have used your help!

03-31-2002, 08:15 PM
I timed my way through the movie. How much was I able to cut for rewrites? Two minutes, 23 seconds! Ha! <P><UL TYPE=SQUARE><LI>Cut the entire scene of Farmer Maggot chasing the Hobbits. I'd use most of the time saved rewriting it.<BR><LI>Cut the Nazgul breaking down the gates of Bree. Over the top, it's not necessary.<BR><LI>Cut some of the cutaways to the Nazgul riding, between Bree and Weathertop. Take some of the stress off, make the getaway from Bree clean to leave us unsuspecting of the possible attack at Weathertop (and thus the fire lighting more likely).<BR><LI>Cut the scene (from the moment Arwen's blade shown) with "A ranger, cut off his guard?" Instead introduce Arwen with her appearance to Frodo.<BR><LI>Cut some of the gallop to Rivendell.<BR><LI>Cut some shots of Frodo's gasping face.<BR><LI>Cut Arwen's "Frodo, oh Frodo.." and started up again with Elrond speaking elvish.<BR><LI>I cut the portion showing Lurtz coming out of the pod. Irrelevant. Inaccurate. And they're scarier without showing how they're created.<BR><LI>Cut 90% of the Watcher in the Water (it grabs Frodo, Sam cuts off the tentacle - cut - everyone flees inside, tentacles come from everywhere and slam the door - cut part of falling rocks - starts again with Gandalf lighting his staff.) <BR><LI>By-the-way, to make Moria scarier I would have had silence and clattering stones only - no Howard Shore score - from the slamming of the door until the spotting of Gollum and then Frodo's conversation with Gandalf. Silence again until the hall of the Dwarrowdelf.<BR><LI>Cut some of the cave troll scene, bits and pieces, the entire portion with Aragorn getting tossed by it trying to save Frodo - adds nothing - and part of the hide and seek around the pillar. The scene's just too long and exhausting, we need to save more for the Balrog.<BR><LI>Cut several seconds of the goblins gathering around them in the great hall. They wait too long to attack, it's not clear why they would wait.<BR><LI>Cut several seconds from the broken stairway tipping. It's too slow, takes too much space in the story for what it is: a cool special effect.<BR><LI>After that I would cut nothing until after Lorien..<BR><LI>But I would not have Aragorn run through the water on the way to Lorien. This is where PJ shows he's not a hiker. I am. You get your boots wet, you're screwed, even with modern fabrics. No way.<BR><LI>Cut a few seconds here and there showing mean Uruk-hai growling at the camara. Two shots of that will do. Left in Saruman's speech to them.<BR><LI>After Lorien, I cut out all but one of the cutaways to the orcs running while the Fellowship rowed down the Anduin. Why not let the attack of the orcs be as much a surprise to us as it is to the Fellowship? I could be wrong, but I think releasing the tension slightly there will cause the audience to loosen up as much as the Fellowship, and make it believable Frodo would wander off.<BR><LI>Surprisingly, I find I wouldn't cut one iota of the final battle scene.<BR><LI>Cut several seconds showing Frodo standing at the boats with the ring in his hand, tears running down his face. But leave in the part with the voiceover with Gandalf.</UL><P>It all amounts to 2 minutes, 23 seconds. Sheesh.<P>[ March 31, 2002: Message edited by: Marileangorifurnimaluim ]<p>[ March 31, 2002: Message edited by: Marileangorifurnimaluim ]

03-31-2002, 08:40 PM
Great thread!!<BR>I agree with most of the posts....still cringe at: "If you want him come and claim him"...did not mind Arwen being instead of Glorfindel, but I agree that Frodo should have crossed the Ford by himself and stood up to the Nazgul!! I also thought Gandalf spinning on the floor was a bit much but I can live with that....the scene I really do not like is Frodo and Galadriel....she should definitely NOT turn green and purple!! there are other ways of making her look powerful and even scary!!<BR>I do not really mind the closeups of Frodo as I really like his expressive face.<BR>Just a few comments to some of what others have written.<BR>I really like the idea of Frodo and Sam visiting Merry...but since Merry lives quite far away in the book I do not think that is the best solution. I think a better one would have been Gandalf telling Frodo (and Sam after pulling him through the window) to leave after dark...then Sam could send a message to Merry and Pippin to meet them at a certain point....of course this would mean that there would have to be some earlier scene of Gandalf and Frodo discussing the ring...otherwise how Sam know about the danger...maybe just Sam and Frodo deciding to take to the road for a while and then come across Merry and Pippin who go along with them because they are heading the same way....then we get the "get off the road" episode, and Merry and Pippin start to understand that something is definitely wrong. A few more lines about how friends should help eachother out would make it a bit more plausible. <BR>Rivendell....I did not really mind the arguing at the meeting as it was a quick way to show that Elves and Dwarves do not think much of eachother...I just love the dread growing on Frodo's face...it is just done so well.<BR>Anyway we can always hope!! The extended DVD is said to have more from the Shire, Rivendell, Moria and Lothlorien (the gift giving scene), so hopefully it will be a much better version for the fans. We might think it should have more of this or that but many I talked to who have not read the book thought that the first hour was a bit 'slow' (??), so maybe that was all PJ could get away with putting in in a version for cinemas!! What I think is so great about the DVD is that the extra 30 minutes will be integrated into the movie....I am sure to enjoy it!! (unfortunately that still does not get rid of Arwen at the ford!!..will just have to fast forward that part) <BR>One thing that has bugged me after several viewings is on Weathertop....I can live with Frodo dropping his sword...after all he has never used one and these five scary creatures are all out to get him!!! I think the way they portrayed the Nazgul after Frodo puts on the ring is cool too....and it does show that Frodo is strong enough to pull back his hand when the Witch King tries to take the ring....but then the Witch King stabs Frodo in the shoulder...why not the heart??? It would have been more believeable if he started to stab Frodo, who manages to deflect the knife just enough so that it goes into his shoulder and not his heart...I never took the Nazgul as being stupid??<BR>the other thing I agree with many posters about is the ring....I do not mind him looking at it on the way to bree....it is NOT on a chain there....actually it is not on a chain until he wakes up in Rivendell. But AFTER Rivendell, the ring seems to be able to get in and out of the chain at random?? Weird.<BR>ps. does anyone think that PJ will fix up the obvious mistakes in the DVD, ie. the Argonauths (sp?) arm??

04-01-2002, 03:04 AM
Whew ! That was some good reading, people!<BR>Almost as good as the books themselves.<BR>I have this to say in the defence of Mister Peter Jackson. <BR>The Exposure a movie gets is far greater than any book ever will. He has done a great job, keeping in mind that not everyone is a Tolkien follower and that it would be nice to get their money too.<BR>And if any of us had the means to make a great epic like this into a movie, wouldn't we love to put in two bits of our own into it.<P>Know Peace<BR>

04-01-2002, 04:03 AM
Hello, King Carlton, Lord of the Dream Kingdom, welcome to our dream, the Barrow-Downs. And our little re-write.<P>Glad you enjoyed it. We've been having a blast. <P>Don't misunderstand the intention of this thread, the "Second-guessing" is to mock our own efforts in plinking around with what I think will be, once all three parts are out, a masterpiece. I didn't say that btw until I saw the preview of TTT this weekend. <P>I think only one person in this thread didn't love the movie. The rest of us are tinkering the way a mechanic tinkers with a hotrod: out of sheer love, to bring out its full potential.. 'if we just change this - vroom... VrooOOOM... Yeah. Niiiiiiiice.' It's telling that I would only change two minutes and twenty-three seconds for one thing. <P>If you'd like, do please join in. I'm getting close - delayed by an influx of new ideas - to posting all the changes in order.<P>Yes, yes, I keep promising, but it's daunting and there are so many good ideas.

04-01-2002, 04:14 AM
Midgard, thanks for your thoughtful post, and well-come and well met.<P>You know, when I first saw the scene at Weathertop, I did think that was a little odd, that slow precision. Also, Frodo's holding still for it. But after seeing the movie four or five times I think I got used to it and didn't notice anymore. I agree, Frodo should roll to escape and get stabbed in the arm up across to his shoulder. <P>And that change won't cost us any of our precious 2 minutes and twenty-three seconds to change. <P>-Maril

04-01-2002, 04:42 AM
ai na vedui, maril! just got off from a 5-day vacation, and i couldn't wait to get on this thread!<P>i totally agree with your list of scenes to cut i am amazed by and salute your perseverence!<P>may i say --<P> <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> Cut several seconds of the goblins gathering around them in the great hall. They wait too long to attack, it's not clear why they would wait. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>yeah i agree... maybe maintain the running shot of the orcs moving in on the company, but not really getting to the point where they get them in a tight circle. maybe just as the chase gets close the company suddenly notices the orcs doing a double-take and a shriek and run tail-between-legs to hiding places...then they stop, notice and stand gaping at the horrific shadow and flame threatening at the other end of the dwarrowdelf.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> Surprisingly, I find I wouldn't cut one iota of the final battle scene. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>me too! it's outstanding! for me, all the cgi in the movie are second only to that difficult and superlative zigzag shot running down the hills of amon hen.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> Gandalf could interrupt the discussion when it started to break into an argument, reading the "one ring to rule them all" in the Mordor tongue, stunning them into silence. <BR>Elrond: "No one has ever spoken that tongue here before."<BR>Gandalf: "Nor will again, I hope. I do not ask pardon. This is the One Ring. There is only one course left to us: it must be destroyed."<BR>Silence...<BR>Frodo: "I will take the ring.<BR>Though I do not know the way."<BR> <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>i see, i see, the dramatic effect of those evil lines can take the place of the shock value of the argument...maybe you can throw in some reference to the dunadan's poem?<P>oh ok, i understand now that aragorn develops more clearly into his ultimate role as king the way he was recast. please tell me, do you know what happened to the reforging of narsil?<P>midgardsormen--now that you mentioned it, galadriel did go green and purple. how about is she just went brighter, larger and more beautiful, the scene sort of shot from the side view with galadriel looming over frodo?<P>kingcarlton-- your absolutely right! have no fear...i myself don't think anyone could have done a better job than pj. i was practically peeving everyone off in another, oscar thread about him not winning that oscar for direction. here, this is sort of just 'helping' pj, you know, post-mortem-like. hail pj!<P>---------------------------------------------<BR><I>every man's life is a path to the truth -- hesse</I>

04-02-2002, 12:06 AM
Maril - $10 says you're on (and frankly, for me it would be worth losing ten dollars to see a Gollum scene like that on the DVD - sad, aren't I?). And wow, that was quite a job with your stopwatch. Can't think of a cut I disagreed with - though there have to be some closeups of Frodo, same as with the Ring - just not quite to the point that they took it. And Midgardsormen, I see your point about stopping at Merry's being kind of awkward - but a little tinkering with Shire geography (yes, I know it's sacrilege, but still ) could put Merry's house directly on their way to Bree, and in that situation it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to have them stop there. <P>I really like all these rewrites; the trouble is there's so much material it's impossible to comment on it. One thing I wanted to comment on was the Galadriel scene, since it seems to be a universal non-favorite (I don't know...it wasn't my favorite but it didn't really bother me that much either. Not sure why). Obviously a lot of the CGI can be cut, but I don't want to cut it down too much; it has to be a frightening scene because we need to get an impression that this is a truly powerful Elf who, if she chose, could be seriously contending with the likes of Saruman or Sauron - and since they've been so colorfully shown she needs to be too. My own preference would be to keep the voice that they used in the movie but make the graphics more the way they are when Arwen first appears to Frodo; just a simple white light. The contrast between the terrible voice and the Elf-light which we previously saw with Arwen would be jarring enough, IMHO. You'd be seeing the good, so to speak, but hearing what it could turn into.<P>Maybe that's still a little cheesy, but I'd rather overdo it than underdo it. Probably this is residual scarring from the Galadriel scene in Bakshi's LOTR, where that whole scene consists of Galadriel sort of twirling around once and chirping "I pass the test!" and all you can think is "WHAT test?" She looked about as threatening as Daphne from "Scooby Doo." It's better that the Elves seem frightening than feeble.

04-02-2002, 12:30 AM
I would be most happy to join in this excellent series of discussions. In my opinion a motion picture caters to a much wider variety of people and has to adjust the initial story accordingly.<BR>I have no problem with the beefed up role for Arwen....in the mind of the general audience, a beautiful leading lady is necessary. Though it is sad that Lotr does not have a prominent female cast of characters, it is welcoming to have what little of them is exceptionally visialised in the movies. <BR>There isn't a sequence That I would like changed other than the mugshots of frodo. I would have liked a little more on Gollum.<BR>Everything else was as good as a movie could get.<BR>The best sequences for me were - the war segment in the beginning, everything at the shire, the chase to to ford(Just the horses, excellent camera), the sweeping shots of pits on mordor, the treks on the snow, the way to Darrowdelf(but not the fighting) and of course the final battle in it's entirity.<P>What I am absolutly dissapointed by is the soundtrack. Every composition seems like it is from other movies. For instance, the segment on the sweep of the hell-like pits of mordor and all the way to the final battle, the musical piece called 'A Knife in the Dark' seemed lke a rip-off of the main theme of 'Conan The Barbarian' interspred with the 'O Fortuna' Chorus. And in too many places the music seem inappropriate.<P>Know Peace. <BR>

04-02-2002, 01:47 AM
I must say I am quite impressed! I have been reading this thread for some time now, dwelling on all your ideas. And I have this to say:<BR>I agree with the whole Arwen deal. Though I did like her expanded role, there were portions (ie. What's this? A Ranger caught off his guard?) that could have been omitted. You were right. When I first saw it, I didn't notice. Too far caught up in the majesty of it all. But the six times after that I kept muttering to myself: "Frodo's DYING you dolts! Shut up!"<P>I don't think this has been mentioned yet, but when the Balrog first growls and all the Orcs go scattering. There is a BIG BIG pause with Gandalf and Company just standing around going 'what is it?' yadda yadda. Seven times I've seen this and each time I just want to scream at the screen RUN ALREADY! I mean, there is a saying "run now, explain later" isn't there? Why waste precious time just standing there in fear? Gandalf would probably stand a bit in shock, but he knew the thing was in Moria anyways, so I don't think he'd stand there as long as PJ made him.<P>Lorien, all I wanted to see more of was some interaction between the Elves and the company. Elves...meaning Haldir. In the book he is kind and even has a nice little conversation with Merry as they walk to Lothlorien. In the movie he seems so dowdy and moody. Almost all the Elves exhibit this, I thought. Aren't Elves supposed to be happy merry people? Also, Celeborn could've been given a little more dialogue, I think. Or, at least before they left, he could have given his warning about Fangorn. Not only would this give curiousity in the audience about the next movie, but it would definately satisfy me.<P>And yes! Definately less time spent on Frodo's worried face. Or him just holding out the ring to various people throughout. The ring is supposed to have that effect that he's overprotective of it, not willing to hand it out to just anyone. I mean, he wouldn't let Bilbo even see it, but in one scene before that he clearly just holds it out to Sam. Your line about a bird coming to snatch it up definately applies to a lot of scences. But alas, I must go! Bed time pour moi. I'll check up on the thread tomorrow.<p>[ April 02, 2002: Message edited by: Thinhyandoiel ]

04-02-2002, 04:19 AM
hey guys, how about narsil? shouldn't they have inserted very short scenes of narsil taken, reforged and appearing in the hand of aragorn?<P>---------------------------------------------<BR><I>every man's life is a path to the truth -- hesse</I>

04-02-2002, 03:20 PM
Amar, you know, I think Narsil's reforging will be shown in the TT. Since Shelob is bumped to the RotK (as are, I believe, the Paths of the Dead) I think PJ has some time to kill in the Two Towers.. unlike the Fellowship where he had to lay quite a foundation, cover 3/4s of the distance to Mordor, and make it to the splitting of the Fellowship and the first climatic moment after Gandalf's fall. *gasp*gasp* just typing it has me winded.<P>Dream King, Gollum was a bit of a tease in the FotR I admit, but I'm willing to wait till the TT, especially with the bribe that we'll see a Lot of Gollum. I'm very curious about how he's going to do the next one, especially with the point made that here is where PJ deviates the most from the book. I'll gamble another ten bucks with Kalimac that the big fans of the books will scream over the changes, especially the additions, but in retrospect as a movie it will turn out to be the best of the three. But I digress.<P>Thin, re. the pause before they run from the Balrog, I have to admit I kinda like that. Gives (me) time to really take in the enormity of what's coming. Remember in the book Legolas dropped his bow in fear and cried out "A Balrog!" so it does suit. <P>But we can take a few seconds off (Timer moves up to 2 minutes, 25 seconds).<P>There are quite a few votes for more Lorien, and I'd be willing to spend some of my (almost) 2 and a half minutes on Lorien.<p>[ April 02, 2002: Message edited by: Marileangorifurnimaluim ]

04-03-2002, 04:44 AM
I seem to remember reading somewhere that Narsil does not get forged until RotK!!<BR>I am sure there will be some changes and quite a bit new stuff in TTT...cannot say how I will react because it really depends on what the changes are!! I am willing to give PJ some lisence...in the preview when Galadriel says: We can do nothing for Frodo, the Quest will claim his life!....I had shivers down my spine, even though I know that line does not exist in the book!! I do want the 'competition' between Legolas and Gimli, and I do NOT want Arwen and Eowyn meeting eachother...but I think we will just have to wait and see...

04-04-2002, 06:22 PM
The only parts I were really terribly disappointed with were the Last Alliance scenes. The fighting was great, of course, especially the incredibly synchronised movements of the Elves. But the actual fall of Sauron was rather butchered. I was looking forward to seeing Gil-galad and Elendil battling Sauron on the slopes of Orudruin so much. Instead, we see one second of Gil-galad and not his death, and Elendil the Tall gets tossed into a wall like a leaf. Sauron gets nailed in his own stupidity in not staying aware. The only good thing about it was that it made Isildur seem a little more heroic then just walking up to a defeated Sauron and chopping off the ring. And what happened to Sauron's hand "that burned with fire" or something like that? I guess we do see a little of it, when it hits the ground. And PJ answered the question of Sauron's weaponry, giving him a mace instead of a sword as many of us thought in Books II. Other than making the Last Alliance scenes better, I have no qualms other than the changes you've suggested. Thanks for your input and keep up the discussions!

04-05-2002, 04:20 AM
What does everyone think about the casting of the characters...can I discuss this here or do we need a new topic...a new topic will be better, right...<P>Know Peace ! <BR>

04-05-2002, 08:39 PM
Dream King, you're quite right, I think casting questions will get lost in this thread.<P>Regarding the score, since the focus of this thread is suggesting changes, I'm not sure how to re-write the music here. Quarter notes and half notes don't seem to be among the available fonts. <P>*hums*<P>Well, what do you think of my re-write of the "heroic" theme on the way to Caradras?<P> Maril<p>[ April 05, 2002: Message edited by: Marileangorifurnimaluim ]

05-17-2002, 01:01 AM
Thought I'd bring this to the top of the heap, see if anyone is interested...

11-22-2002, 02:13 PM
I'm bringing this up to the top.<P>Guys, everyone who's seen the SE (okay, you can stop laughing, I know we've all seen it) - it's time to be smug.<P>Did we suggest changes to the Council of Elrond? Did we suggest Gandalf interrupt by reading 'one ring to rule them all' in the Mordor tongue? Why, yes, we did, didn't we?<P>Did we feel that the focus needed to be more on the Hobbits? That if anything, more peaceful moments needed to be spliced in, to balance out the action? Oh, indeed.<P>Did we insist on the gift-giving scene? Yes.<P>Did we say there needed to be more of the travel from Lorien to Rauros, to give us a feeling why the Fellowship relaxed their guard? Oh, yes.<P>Take a bow, everyone. Half our suggestions nailed what Peter Jackson added to his SE.<P>-Maril <p>[ November 22, 2002: Message edited by: Marileangorifurnimaluim ]

11-22-2002, 10:00 PM
Agree that Frodo should have taken the decision to leave the shire himself.. But in general, he does seem a bit too wimpy in the movie - which I like a lot btw.!

12-22-2002, 10:25 PM
The original discussion from last year.

Arwen Imladris
04-11-2003, 08:24 PM
Well, even if we second guesse PJ, others think that he is great!<P>Steven Spielberg is No. 1 on Premiere magazine's 2003 Power List of the 100 most influential people in Hollywood..."Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson (No. 20)<P><A HREF="http://www.theonering.net/perl/newsview/8/1050091114" TARGET=_blank>more</A>