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Old 11-15-2015, 07:57 AM   #35
Morthoron
Curmudgeonly Wordwraith
 
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Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Quote:
Originally Posted by William Cloud Hicklin View Post
I think those are very good points, Morthoron; and to bring the discussion back around, would observe that the production design of Laketown or Dol Guldur couldn't have been driven by any impetus to make the films more (or less) commercial, but rather can only be explained by an imagination straitjacketed by conventional Hollywood memes. Perhaps it's worth suggesting that the sort of mind which can't discern that White's and Tolkien's universes have utterly different "feels" is not one which is qualified to adapt Tolkien.
Jackson is a big kid, and while that sort of attitude has its charms and can be quite admirable, even enviable, on occasion, from a storytelling standpoint it can wear thin relatively quickly. The utter lack of nuance and sophistication from a screenwriting standpoint is evident whenever Jackson diverges from the original story or invents items broadcloth where little information exists.

This relates back to what Jackson really loves, and that is what every boy loves. He loves those B-grade buckets-of-blood horror movies that he began his career with. He loves big, scary monsters, the more and the bigger the better, hence his remake of King Kong. He loves cartoons and comic books, and has brought comic characters to the screen. One can tell the juvenile delight Jackson has for special effects in his commentary (the one that I remember is his demanding the WitchKing's mace be bigger in the duel with Eowyn, and he was not satisfied until it grew to ridiculous proportions). Jackson loves what every other little kid loves about the film making process. However, all that naiveté and adolescent adoration for film has its price.

When Tolkien wrote The Hobbit, he certainly wrote it for his children, but the motifs, naming conventions and dialogue all harken to his philological studies. This is why so many of us felt that we had read our very first "grown-up" book when we were children. It was an accomplishment that we cherished. The ingenious method by which Tolkien took a stolid, middle-age Hobbit and made him a reluctant hero, interspersing a gentle and genuine wit with some very adult observations (the section where he describes Goblins/Orcs as the sort who eventually invented the weapons of mass destruction that plague modern humanity comes to mind), but all the while left us clamoring for further vistas of Middle-earth, is what make the book a classic.

Jackson, on the other hand, worked in reverse, hence the title of this thread "Adaptation by Vague Recollection". He certainly read The Hobbit. He even read the Appendices from RotK. But he did so much like a miner digs for ore. Once the metal is removed from its native soil, it is melted and mixed with alloys and hammered and molded until it barely resembles the original element in it virgin state. Bilbo is relegated from central hero; in fact, he is swallowed into the collective chaos Jackson presented, and we as viewers are no longer treated as children striving to be adults, but are relegated to interminable chase scenes, incessant adolescent jokes about bodily functions, and menacing monsters and villains that played no part in the original story, or ones that are conflagrated into overblown and overwrought enormity. Even the addled attempt at romance is written like a teenager would write fan-fiction, with all the silly dialogue and stilted plots a neophyte writer would stumble through on his or her way to becoming an adult and discovering sophistication.
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