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Old 04-26-2006, 09:02 AM   #1
alatar
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LotR2-TTT-Seq11

We shall do all we can to make amends, in any way which will not cause further harm. - Step 9 of the '12 Steps.'


Gollum goes fishing the old fashioned way, like some kind of emaciated hairless bear. You can see the making of this scene in the DVD appendices and it’s worth watching. To allow filming, the crew had to melt away snow as this wasn’t to be a winter scene. Though Melkor’s fine work was gone, this did not warm the waters by one degree, and so poor Andy Serkis had to splash down the stream three times (I think) to get it right.

He is one dedicated actor, and deserves any accolades heaped upon him.

Anyway, while Gollum fishes Frodo upbraids Sam for calling poor Sméagol names. Sam, not too put out, explains to his friend that Gollum is wicked, and will always remain so. Frodo, the enabler, is sure that he can fix Sméagol, and if he can do that, he knows that he too can come back from the dark road of the Ring. Sam protests, then is bitten by the Ringbearer. Frodo too is becoming quite the addict.

Sam is level-headed enough to see that it’s the Ring that’s poisoning his Master’s mind, but Frodo’s back’s up and will hear none of it. That’s the problem with three’s company, you always have two on one side and only one on the other. Frodo has Sam, the angel, sitting on one shoulder and Gollum, the devil, sitting upon the other. Which voice will he follow?

A side note: did you notice the structures in the background? There’s not much significant to them, but I assume they are present to remind us that we’re near civilization (or at least one that existed long ago) and/or tread a path used by others.

Another great scene, maybe the best, by Andy Serkis. I’m reminded of when Patrick Stewart (of Captain Jean-Luc Picard fame) played all of the characters in “A Christmas Carol.” Here Serkis plays two distinct personalities within one character, and it is excellent! Switching camera angles was genius, as it seems that Gollum and Sméagol stand facing each other, discussing ‘their’ relationship. I just love this scene with the CG (I know that that’s CG, but it’s just so lifelike), the psychology and the editing.

In the end, Sméagol finds protection not in Gollum but in Frodo, and so sends his former helper away, then dances on Gollum’s grave. You can already see how Frodo will fair, as instead of a Gollum he has Sam, who will help him bear the evil of the Ring.

Overnight Sméagol turns into Saint Nick, and drops rabbits onto his new master’s lap. He’s so pleased with himself, and the joy of doing something good must have reminded him of what life was like before the Ring found him. Sam, the wet blanket here, thinks that Frodo won’t appreciate coneys tartar, and so stews them up, much to Sméagol’s anguish.

While the two begin to discuss taters, fish and everything else that shows the two as completely different, Frodo hears something that just ain’t right, like a bird call from a large two-legged bird with thumbs. Without a word he walks off to explore. He finds a large army marching through the wood, and by their looks they are the enemy. Gollum fills us in on more of Sauron’s plans, and you start to wonder if the call that Sauron put out to summon all wicked things to Mordor doesn’t work both ways. The Wise should have got another chair and let Sméagol sit in, as he seems to be pretty knowledgeable in the ways of the enemy.

Oi! Oi! It’s oliphaunts!

Those are some big creatures. Sam wishes for a camera, as Ted, Rosy and the Gaffer aren’t going to believe what he’s now seeing. More birds, and Gollum slinks away, obviously having ornithophobia.

Just then, the evil men are ambushed, in a crossfire of the hidden bowmen of Ithilien. We see one of these men (Faramir, we will learn later) drop a baddie just behind Frodo and Sam. The hobbits hasten away, not taking any time to ponder the fate or the demeanor of the man lying dead behind them.

But it too late. Though not pausing, still they sat on their perch too long, and so are captured.

This ends DVD #1. We have Frodo and Sam in the clutches of some Men in Ithilien. Merry and Pippin are whooping it up in Fangorn in the company of Treebeard, Gandalf is playing Mearas Express, riding across the countryside on a convenient errand, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli accompany King Théoden and niece Éowyn to the tactically unsound (?) fortress of Helm’s Deep. Théodren is still dead, Wormtongue still smells of horse and has taken up a new residence, and Saruman, smarting from a long distance staff crack in the face (those are always the worst kind) sends the dogs of war after the bearer of Barahir’s ring.

Over an hour and a half, and the movie’s only just begun.
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Old 04-30-2006, 01:14 PM   #2
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During the schizophranic scene with Gollum. I noticed that the "evil" side of Gollum's character was on the left and the "good" side of his chracter was on the right of the screen.

This really goes with our seeing left as an evil side (equating it with hell) and right is usually equated with heaven etc. So I thought that was kinda neat.

I love the Oliphaunts. Of all the little moments that are cut out or not included at least this one is.

In general, the rabbit stew scene is a favourite part of mine in TTT because it is so hobbitish. Too bad the hobbits never get to eat it but that is so common in movies. You see characters preparing food but you never see them eat it.
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Old 05-01-2006, 03:57 AM   #3
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Yes...Gollum and Smeagol's 'conversation' was brilliant. It's a great mixture of humour, with their petty-looking squabbling, and also sadness and horror, as we see Gollum bullying Smeagol, and you get the idea of how mentally destroyed this creature is. And I always smile when he shouts "Smeagol is FREE!".

I thought Smeagol actually visually tearing a raw rabbit apart with his teeth was bit grotesque, but it keeps up Smeagol's image and leads to one of the few funny scenes in the films - I always used to annoy my friend's little sister with 'Stupid, fat Hobbit!"

I really like the appearance of the Oliphaunts, and the Men of Harad - very desert-like, similar to the invading African warriors in the old El Cid movie. I also liked the ambush - as you see the first arrows zip over the screen, you wonder if you're just imagining things, but then you see the garbed soldiers screaming and the falling slain tumbling down from the Oliphaunt towers. It's also neat to see Faramir for the first time - stringing his bow and shooting down a Haradrim rider. The kit for the Rangers is also good - all that brown and green would blend in well with the trees, as we see.

I don't understand why Smeagol sneaks off, though. There's no real reason given in the films - it's left as a bit of a mystery.

Whilst I know that Frodo and Sam didn't meet Faramir exactly like that in the books, I do think this way is more dramatic than them just running into him and a few other men in the trees.

I love how Faramir speaks Sam's thoughts from the book on the dead Haradrim soldier, and how he probably didn't want to be in battle far from his home. It's a great moment that reminds us that people on both sides suffer in war. In our age, where kids play wars on computers and video games for fun, I think it's a message that we'd all do well to remember.

Anyhow, a good chapter, with lots of stuff from the books. Looking forward to the next chapter, alatar.
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Old 05-01-2006, 04:45 PM   #4
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Definitely an enjoyable sequence. The famed Smeag/Gol argument is without a doubt the best single piece of acting in the films, one of the best of all time.

Sam sees the light as far as Gollum goes, yet he still resorts to pettiness to try to gain his master's favor ("What's to ruin? There's hardly any meat on 'em."). I don't like that part, but I like that this scene survived with modifications into the film.

Showing a thoughtful Faramir at his introduction is wonderful, and goes a long way toward making us sympathize with him (something you can't really do in the theatrical version). The flashback scene with Denethor and Boromir, obviously, will endear him to everybody who's not already fed up with his unextended portrayal.
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Old 05-02-2006, 12:47 PM   #5
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There's one thing I don't like about the Gollum-becomes-Sméagol-again scene. To me, one of the chief reasons for the scariness of Gollum is that most times, you don't know who you're dealing with. The line between the stinker and the slinker is very blurry and he can change from one moment to the other. But from this scene on, Gollum/Sméagol is no longer a mystery in the movie and his actions are suddenly quite predictable, sadly.
Nevertheless, the scene itself is brilliant, not least because of Andy Serkis.

I also like it when Faramir says Sam's line about the dead man from Harad. It's like the authors say: it really carries a lot more weight when spoken by a soldier.
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Old 05-02-2006, 02:44 PM   #6
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By the by, I think that I missed Faramir's words there at the end of DVD #1 due to a scratch. It would explain why I wasn't sure what y'all are talking about .
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Old 05-02-2006, 07:54 PM   #7
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I like it that Sam's thoughts are given to Faramir. This is not only because I am a faramir fan but also because these are thoughts that must often go through a soldier's mind and I am sure Tolkien must have wondered this too when he was fighting in WW1.
I was dissapointed by Faramir in the theatrical version and I am glad that the EE explaines Faramir's choices. Luckily in the ROTK EE he is given back the lines of not picking up the ring even if he saw it lying beside the highway. So, to truly appreciate the movie faramir you have to watch the EE.
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Old 08-08-2006, 09:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alatar
Gollum goes fishing the old fashioned way, like some kind of emaciated hairless bear.
For me, this is some of the best CGI in the trilogy. It looks so life like it's almost off putting!!! it's so good I get drawn into actually how good it really is, which sounds silly really.....

Quote:
Anyway, while Gollum fishes Frodo upbraids Sam for calling poor Sméagol names. Sam, not too put out, explains to his friend that Gollum is wicked, and will always remain so. Frodo, the enabler, is sure that he can fix Sméagol, and if he can do that, he knows that he too can come back from the dark road of the Ring. Sam protests, then is bitten by the Ringbearer. Frodo too is becoming quite the addict.
Exactly. EW superbly acts this scene out, moving from passionate to angry back to sorrowful back to anger again. He really is becoming an adict and this scene shows it very well.

Quote:
A side note: did you notice the structures in the background? There’s not much significant to them, but I assume they are present to remind us that we’re near civilization (or at least one that existed long ago) and/or tread a path used by others.
I think PJ said somewhere that he wanted to show parts of Middle-earth had an ancient history even before the events of LOTR.

Quote:
Another great scene, maybe the best, by Andy Serkis. ....Switching camera angles was genius, as it seems that Gollum and Sméagol stand facing each other, discussing ‘their’ relationship.
I love the way the camera first pans round slowly the first time to show us the Smeagol and Gollum view, before just jumping from one 'character' to the other immeadiatley. Only just picked this up on my umpteenth viewing.

The look on Frodo's face is amazing (esp. his eyes) when smeagol delivers the coneys. It really shows how the Ring is taking him over. He is exhausted, with his eyes glazed over, and he probably doesn't know where he is at this point.

Quote:
While the two begin to discuss taters, fish and everything else that shows the two as completely different, Frodo hears something that just ain’t right, like a bird call from a large two-legged bird with thumbs.
The fish and chip scene here is almost direct from the book, and is therefore marvelous

Quote:
Those are some big creatures. Sam wishes for a camera, as Ted, Rosy and the Gaffer aren’t going to believe what he’s now seeing. More birds, and Gollum slinks away, obviously having ornithophobia.
do you see the look on Sam's face as he looks at Frodo after seing the elephants? Pure joy - it's an almost childlike smile he has on his face, and takes years off him.

Quote:
Just then, the evil men are ambushed, in a crossfire of the hidden bowmen of Ithilien.
something about this scene took my breath away - the sudden, fleeting appearence of men in cloaks and hoods, working with quiet, deadly effeciency. It just looks SO GOOD.

I like the idea also of giving Sam's thoughts to Faramir. I agree with other posters here that the EE does show us Faramir in a better light, and closer to book Faramir than the theatrical cut.
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Old 08-08-2006, 10:45 AM   #9
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The look on Frodo's face is amazing (esp. his eyes) when smeagol delivers the coneys. It really shows how the Ring is taking him over. He is exhausted, with his eyes glazed over, and he probably doesn't know where he is at this point.
Interesting perspective; I'd never really seen it that way. I'd always thought Frodo was totally grossed out, but still touched that Gollum would do something like that for him. Maybe your view is the right one.

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The fish and chip scene here is almost direct from the book, and is therefore marvelous
I love it, too, but the tone is very different. Here Sam is still submerged in his petty dislike and jealousy of Gollum, so it's still funny, but in a different way than in the book.
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Old 09-10-2011, 12:02 PM   #10
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Love this whole scene. I always laugh when smeagol says he's free. Just for the sheer fact that I love him at that moment! And the rabbit part was so great!
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