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Old 12-22-2005, 09:24 AM   #1
alatar
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LotR1-FotR-Seq10

The longest journey begins with the first step.

Elrond sends the Fellowship of the Ring (catchy, that) on their journey with more words. Love that PJ included those from the books. “No oath or bond…” Initially, I wasn’t thrilled when Gimli’s rebuttal of the ‘no oath-taking’ wasn’t included, but more clear thought knows that we needn’t have an argument/discussion to slow the scene down.

Get out of Rivendell already!

I like how Elrond blesses the group. Nice touch, and I actually warm to Elrond a bit.

Now everyone is waiting for Frodo to start the journey. Why? Isn’t this Frodo Baggage? Sure, PJ was thinking, “we need more Elijah,” but to me it’s a bit inconsistent and heavy-handed. Yes, Frodo leads and yes, Frodo needs guidance. But after lying prone at Weathertop, offering no resistance, and being carried by Arwen to the Ford, Frodo isn’t really the leader-type.

An aside: a tuxedo rental company has a billboard stating their business. When enough suits are rented/dollars are spent, the company helps out by providing some of the traditional rentals for free. So the billboard reads, “Free Ringbearer!” I saw it and thought, “how nice,” and wouldn’t that be convenient if I were going on a journey to destroy the One Ring. No fee for the tux, and so I’d get one.

It’s kind of like Frodo here. He’s ‘free’ and is only here to carry the Ring. Others will be doing all of the paying…

Aragorn glances back at Arwen and her elvish backdrop. Arwen doesn’t look as angelic here, and the other elves look snooty. Viggo gives her that nod/salute thing, and I just think that it’s great as it’s pretty subtle.

Arwen’s response to Aragorn’s departure could have been a bit more demonstrative. I’m not saying that she should be on the ground, crying and smashing her fist into Arda, but a little more than a dip of the head was warranted.

Now Howard Shore kicks in as we see the Fellowship walk various paths. And here comes the ‘hero shot’ - the one were we see all Nine Walkers in their primped-up best. The shot intrigues me, as I know that not all of the actors are the right size, and as we don’t see any obvious CG, I think that some trick is played with the camera and surroundings. Except that everyone appears to be walking on a Paris catwalk, I like the shot.

And note that the wide shot just before the hero’s strut is not the same type of landscape as in the shot (no rocks), but seemingly is sync’ed up afterwards.

40 days? And I thought that everyone zipped around Middle Earth in a day or two.

It’s just as I feared. Gandalf the Black has arisen! Okay, G, I know that Saruman thumped you about the head a bit, but to take the One Ring through the Gap? Not very smart, that. Maybe you’re just looking to refill your tobacco pouch from the stores at Orthanc, perhaps? Saruman was right - that hobbit weed is affecting your judgment.

I really like the camp scene. We have no exact book reference, but PJ creates one that shows us the Nine interacting with each other. Sam cooks for Frodo, who sits idly by. Boromir teaches Merry and Pippin the fine art of sword fighting, which must have been too much trouble for Aragorn. This little snippet shows Boromir in a friendly likeable light, and Aragorn seems more standoffish and moody.

Gimli, our proud dwarf, suggests that the Fellowship cross the Misty Mountains via the Mines of Moria, and Gandalf the Black is against it. Did I hear that right? Is there a possibility that the actors read the wrong lines from the cue cards?


Quote:
G: We should get out of sight for a while. Why don’t we go through the Mines?
G: The Mines? There’s like no way I'm going through there unless Leader Frodo makes us!
Hmmm.

By the by, PJ states that the camp scene sight looked interesting, with the odd rock formations and all, and so chose to use the location in the movie. Good choice - different, yet real world and not CG.

Legolas’ spider sense tingles and he starts scanning the horizon. A dark wisp of a cloud is seen, and as we know, black clouds bode no one well.

But back to the sword practice: Boromir stops as he is concerned that he may have inadvertently hurt one of the hobbits, and they seize the moment to attack him. Very cool scene. Boromir cares, is friendly, the hobbits and he mix it up a bit (like brothers) and we learn that not all hobbits are helpless.

Daddy Aragorn steps in to break up the boys’ fun. Bam! He gets upended. And there are those apples!

If I remember correctly, the apples appeared when Merry/Pippin stole the dragon firework, when they tried to stop for a second breakfast, now when they topple the King, and later when they find some flotsam at Isengard. Just what is it with this two and this fruit?

PJ - what message can I not hear? It’s like cinematographical crop circles.

But anyway, that dark cloud is getting closer. Boromir, unlike Gimli, detects a threat. Legolas’ eyes see the crebain from Dunland. Hide!

Most predatory birds would have already seen the Fellowship along with the apple skins stuck in their teeth. The group scampers for cover just as the digital birds fly by. Whoa now. Suddenly Gandalf the Black reconsiders the Gap Theory, and I guess that the birds delivered some message to him from his Boss, and so he decides that all should now attempt the pass of Caradhras. And that looks like it’s going to be some fun.

We next see a wide shot of some excellent scenery. Snow as far as one can see on mountaintops, and Shore’s score is just so fitting. This is the real deal folks. But PJ has to interject.

Frodo Baggage takes a tumble, and the Ring leaves its bearer. How convenient. I assume that we are to assume that it was the Ring’s doing, as it left Gollum too. Now, this scene is not found in the books, but is interesting and well shot, visually.

Boromir retrieves the Ring, and stares at it dangling from its chain. His words show you that he is caught in the Ring’s web, and it is calling to him. Aragorn shakes him, keeping him from acting upon his desire. He actually gives the One Ring of Power back to Frodo, who appears to be a whiny sobbing child. Boromir's heart still resists.

Luckily for “leader” Frodo that Daddy Aragorn was there. Say something! Master Baggage…Boromir adds to Frodo’s diminution by rubbing his head. Here kid, here’s your Ring back, so stop yer crying.

The shot of Aragorn’s hand on his unnamed sword shows you that at least someone is taking Boromir and the Ring seriously.

While our Fellowship continues up the mountain, Saruman gets a birdgram. We see more of his work; metal, fire and wheels. He, speaking fluent crebain, learns of Gandalf’s new course and knows that if that fails, that Saruman will have effective steered the Ring into the hands of another Maia and orc group. Smart work that, He-who-is-both-wise-AND-powerful.

We return to our trip over the mountain. Gandalf leads the way, using his ‘icebreaker’ staff to carve a path. It’s a poor road, even without all of the blowing snow and ill feelings of a wizard, as it seems to slant off to the precipice. Legolas walks on seemingly unaffected by snow, and PJ makes sure to add that this otter swims like an otter should. Aragorn and Boromir have more hobbit baggage, and they are really enjoying themselves. Having carried three children at once, I feel for these two men.

But what’s that? More Legolas tinglings, and we find out that someone is chanting away in the blizzard. That’s Saruman, and unless this is a coincidence, seemingly he can create weather at a distance. Wow! He is powerful. Too bad he couldn’t have snowed or rained on Sauron’s parade, or even when attacked by large trees, but anyway…

Gandalf the Black attempts another assassination. Big snow covered cliff above. To yell or not to yell? Incoming!!!

Is Aragorn yelling at or to Gandalf when he says something like “…tried to bring down the mountain!” Either way, Aragorn wants to turn back, but Gandalf the Black isn’t done scheming yet. Is it true that Gandalf tells Saruman to ‘sleep?” Isn’t that how the Borgified Captain Picard wiped out the Borg ship that threatened Earth?

We see that, indeed, Saruman is creating bad weather with words. And then our duel comes to a head with the lightning strike. Was it a counter to Gandalf’s spell, or did Saruman plan to strike the mountain anyway?

Incoming!!!

Surely the Fellowship is no more.

Surprise! Orlando sprouts up through real snow. His fellow actors had the joy of working with the synthetic kind, which seemingly worked itself inside costumes and crannies and just was a bunch of fun. More of the Fellowship emerges, and Boromir states the obvious. Aragorn now counters Gandalf the Black’s original road. Gimli gives us option #3.

At the mention of the Mines Gandalf has a flashback via Saruman. We know what awaits him there too. Gandalf now gets back to being himself and lets the Ringbearer decide the next course. Lead, Frodo, lead.

He chooses the path, and Gandalf ominously states, “So be it.” The die is cast.

What are these Mines that even Gandalf fears to tread and that Saruman seems so happy to trap our troop in? That would be for next week.
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Last edited by alatar; 12-22-2005 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 12-22-2005, 03:18 PM   #2
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Hey cool, I get to be the first to reply!

I've never really understood why they changed Gandalf so that he is now reluctant to go to Moria, instead of being the one to suggest it with Aragorn playing cautious. Of course, I haven't seen any BTS documentaries or commentaries for FOTR EE, so I don't know whether PJ and Co. explain the reasoning behind the change, or not.

Howard Shore's score is awesome throughout this sequence, especially, of course, in "The Ring Goes South."

As alatar has pointed out, Frodo is made the little kid once again in this sequence. He's a great candidate for "character who has changed most from the book". I may actually go start a poll like that in the main forum.

I love the scene with Boromir, Merry and Pippin. Not only is it heartwarming, but it also establishes a connection between this Man and these two Hobbits, which will come back later as he heroically runs in slo-mo to save them from Uruk-Hai.

Saruman being the one to cause the storm on Caradhras is, of course, a change from the book, where the cause is either the ill will of the mountain itself, or just possibly the work of Sauron. This change is, of course, in keeping with the emphasis the first two movies place on White Wizard #1.

I also really love the Boromir-Frodo-Aragorn scene (even though it demeans Frodo), because it's a great way of showing (again) the Ring's temptation of Boromir, and it also builds tension between Boromir and Aragorn.
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Old 12-27-2005, 06:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alatar
[I]Now everyone is waiting for Frodo to start the journey. Why? Isn’t this Frodo Baggage? Sure, PJ was thinking, “we need more Elijah,” but to me it’s a bit inconsistent and heavy-handed. Yes, Frodo leads and yes, Frodo needs guidance. But after lying prone at Weathertop, offering no resistance, and being carried by Arwen to the Ford, Frodo isn’t really the leader-type.
Whoa there! Where on earth is Frodo a Leader in the books? This is exactly what he DOESN'T want to be! He takes the responsibility of the Ring, yes. But not the LEadership of the fellowship. We all know, as Aragorn tells us, that Gandalf was their leader. Does Frodo try to lead a merry little band into Mordor? NO! He wants to go himself, and relunctantly takes Sam with him. Does he play any 'Leadership' part back in Hobbiton? No, he leaves all this work to Merry Pippin and Sam. He is not a leader, in ANY circumstances, in the book - therefore why be one in the movie?
Quote:
It’s kind of like Frodo here. He’s ‘free’ and is only here to carry the Ring. Others will be doing all of the paying…
'only here to carry the ring' - the most important, selfless, bravest job of all! So the other 8 have to chip in and 'pay' as you said! Frodo is picking up most of the tab just by carrying the Ring, let me tell you!

Quote:
Arwen’s response to Aragorn’s departure could have been a bit more demonstrative. I’m not saying that she should be on the ground, crying and smashing her fist into Arda, but a little more than a dip of the head was warranted.
I just LOVE her heavy breathing!

Quote:
40 days? And I thought that everyone zipped around Middle Earth in a day or two.
I love how this shows the thought processes going on in the scriptwriters' heads - yes, they get a lot wrong, but it's little things like this that make the movie work for me - It took about 20 book days to get to Moria, and that's about half the distance to the Gap of Rohan where Movie Gandalf was heading........

Quote:
Gimli, our proud dwarf, suggests that the Fellowship cross the Misty Mountains via the Mines of Moria, and Gandalf the Black is against it. Did I hear that right? Is there a possibility that the actors read the wrong lines from the cue cards?
yeah, can't work out why they've made Gandalf the one who DOESN'T want to go through Moria.....

Quote:
Boromir retrieves the Ring, and stares at it dangling from its chain. His words show you that he is caught in the Ring’s web, and it is calling to him. Aragorn shakes him, keeping him from acting upon his desire. He actually gives the One Ring of Power back to Frodo, who appears to be a whiny sobbing child.
No, Frodo grabs it back petulantly and gives Boromir a look of (hate?) distaste - he is not being passive, nor whiny or sobbing.
Quote:
Boromir's heart still resists.
No, his HEAD resists, not his heart......

Quote:
Luckily for “leader” Frodo that Daddy Aragorn was there. Say something! Master Baggage…
Boromir does not see Aragorn's hand on his sword - He is not really answering to Aragorn as he comes out of his trance - Anyone, including Frodo, could have told him to give the Ring back.....
Quote:
Boromir adds to Frodo’s diminution by rubbing his head. Here kid, here’s your Ring back, so stop yer crying.
But this is showing Movie Boromir's feelings towards the hobbits - that he sees them as kids and easy to manipulate and to cajole - (which he learns to his detriment he is wrong later!) - Frodo shows his mettle by NOT answering back as a kid would no doubt do..........he just does the clever thing and locks away a little mental note in his head about Boromir that he remembers at the end of the movie!
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Old 12-27-2005, 07:35 PM   #4
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I took Frodo's "leading" the Fellowship out of Rivendell as kind of a symbolic thing. As in the torch runner at the olympics...the real journey has now "begun." I doubt anyone expected Frodo to know where the heck he was going, but him leading the first steps symbolizes he is the focus, the purpose, the beginning of this quest, as he will be the end of this quest.

I do find it rather funny of Gandalf's lack of direction so to say. He just seems rather lacksadaisical. Not that he doesn't know where he's going but, just a lack of leadership as he's like..."umm I'm just gonna go where people tell me to go." I'll yell at Gimli for suggesting Moria, and yell at Boromir for insisting the Gap of Rohan, but I'll just do what a Hobbit says who has no idea where we are at decide. I mean Frodo is the focus the Fellowship, but he admits himself at the Council he has no idea how to get to Mordor, or how to get passed Saruman, so why is it "his decision?" I guess Gandalf just wanted Frodo to chose so he couldn't be blamed if it turned out bad..."Frodo told us to come here! It wasn't my fault!"

Quote:
No, Frodo grabs it back petulantly and gives Boromir a look of (hate?) distaste - he is not being passive, nor whiny or sobbing.~Essex
I happen to agree with alatar on this, Frodo does come off as babyish. He's standing there with a look like he's about to cry and Aragorn reassuringly grabs his his shoulder and takes him under his wing. I just get this picture of Frodo whining to Aragorn: "Aragorn! He took my ring! Tell him to give it back!"

Quote:
Boromir does not see Aragorn's hand on his sword - He is not really answering to Aragorn as he comes out of his trance - Anyone, including Frodo, could have told him to give the Ring back.....
I don't think he notices Aragorn's hand on his sword, but he certainly does answer back to Aragorn.
Aragorn: Boromir! Boromir! (Boromir snaps out of trance)Give the ring to Frodo.
Boromir: (looks at Aragorn) As you wish. I care not.

I really don't understand this insertion into the movies at all. Not just because it wasn't in the books, but I think it just goes to beat an idea into our head that we already know. We see at the Council Boromir doesn't agree, Galadriel only later spells it right out for us in Lorien..."He will try to take the ring! You know of whom I speak." Thanks for the heads up and killing the suspense. I really see no purpose in the scene. I guess it's to show his "falling corruption" to the Ring, but I just think it's beat into our head enough in the movies that someone (and most likely this Gondorian) will take the ring. This scene could have been cut and the time could have been used much more wisely.

Which comes to maybe my biggest disappointments with the movies, the addition of needless scenes, that really serve no purpose in the movies. And it's valuable time that could be spent more wisely. A lot of people argue this is a long long movie, there's not enough time to add in everything. Which there isn't, Tolkien would agree, however if you cut out just some of the needless additions, that add nothing further to the development of the movie, then I'm sure plenty of time could be saved to fit in extra stuff...like an explanation of why the Nazgul flee from the words "Elbereth." (I just got done reading the new Sequence 7 posts so this is what first popped into my head).

Umm, let's see what else did I want to say. Oh yea, I concur with alatar with the additions of Boromir teaching the Hobbits to sword fight. (See this addition I don't mind because it goes to set up and show Boromir's love for the two Hobbits and his attempt to save them at the end of the movie).
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Old 12-28-2005, 02:55 AM   #5
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I really see no purpose in the scene. I guess it's to show his "falling corruption" to the Ring, but I just think it's beat into our head enough in the movies that someone (and most likely this Gondorian) will take the ring. This scene could have been cut and the time could have been used much more wisely.
Boromir's words regarding the ring are taken almost verbatim from the book, just put in a different place. This is a MARVELLOUS scene, showing the power of the Ring, and also setting up Boromir's feelings towards the Ring that culminate in the scene at Parth Galen. It sets this scene up perfectly. It's definately not wasting time!
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Old 12-28-2005, 07:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Boromir's words regarding the ring are taken almost verbatim from the book, just put in a different place. This is a MARVELLOUS scene, showing the power of the Ring, and also setting up Boromir's feelings towards the Ring that culminate in the scene at Parth Galen. It sets this scene up perfectly. It's definately not wasting time!~Essex
Yes, that's what this scene does, but if we look at it from a broaderperspective what's the purpose? To show the Ring's power and Boromir's "corruption" towards it. But, my point is we don't need this scene to show this, Galadriel only spells it out for us in Lorien. We already see at the Council what he wants to use the Ring for, we get to Lorien we see Galadriel talk to Frodo about it. There really is no purpose for this scene, as it just goes to show what has already been established, or what later will be established. It adds nothing further to the movie then what has/will be seen, so (in my opinion) it serves no purpose. I think this scene could be cut (without losing the Ring's power in corrupting Boromir-because it's clearly shown later), and the time used could have been used to explain something else.
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Old 12-28-2005, 09:29 AM   #7
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I would say keep this scene and cut Galadriel's quote. Lorien's already the worst part of all three films anyway.

I still love this scene. It's a character development scene, which they need more of, and they get to develop Aragorn, Boromir, and Frodo, all at the same time. Remember, we're not looking over the Fellowship's shoulders during their entire journey, so we don't see all the hints Tolkien gives that "there's something wrong with that dude from Gondor." The audience has got to see that yeah, Boromir's a good guy, but he's got the Ring on the brain. Cut Galadriel. Keep this scene.
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Old 12-28-2005, 09:43 AM   #8
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I would say keep this scene and cut Galadriel's quote. Lorien's already the worst part of all three films anyway.
Good point, because overall this scene is well done. It gets the point across effectively and shows us the beginning corruption of Boromir towards the Ring. I just felt like it was unneeded because later we see this very thing. But this scene is definitely more subtle than Galadriel coming out and saying "He will try to take the Ring." So if I had a choice I agree, I would keep this one and cut out Galadriel only giving the whole thing away. This scene is much more subtle and keeps the suspense of what is happening between the Ring and Boromir, where Galadriel words basically just ruin it for us.
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Old 12-28-2005, 03:08 PM   #9
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I like this whole sequence and I don't have any major problems. I also really like the Boromir and Frodo scene on Caradhras. The camera angles are awesome and I like Boromir's quote when he picks up the ring,he says "It is a strange thing that we should suffer so much...for such a small thing,such a little thing." Of course it shows that Boromir is already getting caught by the ring.But I think there is another reason why the scene was put in because the quote voices the question some audience members may have. I know so many people who don't see the evil of the ring because they see the ring only as a an object, not as a thing that has a will and contains power.
Indeed the apple thing with Merry and Pippin is contagious. It follows them all the way to TTT.
I love all the landscape shots because it gives the feel that ME is very big and therefore very real. There are some fantasy worlds that are much smaller and thus they get a more fairy-tale like feeling. However. the scale of ME adds to the historical feel that I find in the books and in the movie too.
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Old 12-28-2005, 05:35 PM   #10
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what about the way the Ring moves of its own volition on the chain as Boromir looks at it - brilliant! it's ACHING som much to get out of the hobbit's clutches and into the hands of someone who'll sell everyone down the river that it's moving itself towards him!
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Old 12-28-2005, 11:33 PM   #11
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This scene is much more subtle and keeps the suspense of what is happening between the Ring and Boromir, where Galadriel words basically just ruin it for us.
The "Galadriel line" is just another PJism that just keeps you guessing, I guess. More tension, mayhap, for those nodding in the theater. Hmm, the Elf Queen says something 'he' will try to take the Ring or the like. Will 'he' be Aragorn? Gimli? Pippin?

Oops! Inching ever closer to my seat's edge, I fell off.

PJ will do this again later when we have Aragorn do some cliff diving - 'Is he dead?'
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Old 12-29-2005, 02:19 PM   #12
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Well, you're right about that, alatar, and maybe some of this discussion should be saved for when we actually get to Lorien, but when Galadriel says that, we've only seen one character show attraction to the Ring. That would be Boromir. I think they could still have her make some kind of allusion to it, without actually coming right out and telling Frodo "He will try to take the Ring." There's no suspense in it at all for me. Of course, I'd already read the books, so I knew that Boromir was going to anyway. But still, even if the blinders are still pulled over your eyes when Galadriel says that, your suspense will be gone when Boro says "None of us should wander alone" on Amon Hen. The only suspense you have left is will he succeed. So I think it could have been handled a lot better.
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Old 12-29-2005, 02:49 PM   #13
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My point, in regards to the whole movie and not any individual sequence or even 'third,' is that in no way is PJ subtle. Nor can he resist adding the Gotcha! surprises for both reading and non-reading audience members. I'm starting to see more patterns, and with the knowledge now that he only did LotR in order to do King Kong in a big way, I would say that PJ had not the love that we here have for the material and only saw it as a vehicle to other ends.
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Old 12-29-2005, 04:28 PM   #14
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Unfortunately, and this is not a go at ANYBODY, but these movie chapter by chapter discussions have finally joined all of the other movie discussions and are mainly an area for us to say what was wrong with the movie.

Yes, now and then people explain what was good about the movies (the music or the scenery mainly!) but then move onto their discection of the movie and why it failed compared to the book.

This is people's right and their honest opinions no doubt. But it grates with me that the vast majority of people here just talk about the negatives of the movies. It is a real pity.

Let me clear a few things up - my opinions:

1/ The movies will never be as good as the books.
2/ but the films are the best 3 movies ever made. period.
3/ a film cannot be all things to all men (unless it's written verbatim from the book - the clsoest I've seen is Shawshank Redemption - but then this is an ABRIDGED version of the book)
4/ PJ has a GREAT love of this book - You can see in the 10 years or so of effort he put into making the movie
5/ To say PJ wrote LOTR movie to 'get' King Kong made is like saying Tolkien wrote LOTR to get the Silmarillion published. Any less love for LOTR? NO!!!!!
6/ People always see the negatives in things first
7/ PJ deserved every single Oscar he achieved for these films, including the scriptwriters award for ROTK

I wonder if anyone here has heard of the saying 'Cut him some slack'.............
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Old 12-29-2005, 05:27 PM   #15
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Well, Essex you certainly voiced my opinion. In my posts I try to be positive although I can't always help but to point out things that were nagging me.

I forgot to mention in my earlier post that I really liked the ruins the fellowship walked past. It shows some more history of ME and it is mentioned in the book that they walk past ruins when they are in the land of Hollin.
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Old 12-29-2005, 06:51 PM   #16
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1/ The movies will never be as good as the books.
Very true.
Quote:
2/ but the films are the best 3 movies ever made. period.
I would disagree, but that's your opinion and the purpose isn't to argue whether these movies are the best or not.
Quote:
3/ a film cannot be all things to all men (unless it's written verbatim from the book - the clsoest I've seen is Shawshank Redemption - but then this is an ABRIDGED version of the book)
Of course not, Tolkien admits them himself, which is one of his biggest reasons he didn't think his books could be turned into movies. But, I think it would have helped if meaningless scenes were cut leaving more time to explain things left out. Again, the Boromir example (and some other ones that I will probalby harp about later), we already see him being corrupted, we already know his feelings, why continue to beat it into our heads? Though I do agree with Elladan and the rest of you, in that I think this scene is a lot better, and works a lot better than Galadriel telling us what's gonna happen.

It's not differentiated scenes from books and movies that irk me, as we know whenever any movie is made from a book Hollywood has to morph and dramatisize everything. Again, it's meaningless added scenes.
Quote:
4/ PJ has a GREAT love of this book - You can see in the 10 years or so of effort he put into making the movie
Sometimes I question this, but there's no doubt he put a lot of money, time, and effort into making these movies. Though this is expected from any director who is making a movie.
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6/ People always see the negatives in things first
Again you hit the nail on the head.
Quote:
7/ PJ deserved every single Oscar he achieved for these films, including the scriptwriters award for ROTK
I actually think the movies deserved more oscars, especially for it's acting. I really thought Sean Astin was going to win for his performance in ROTK, I still think he should have.

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Unfortunately, and this is not a go at ANYBODY, but these movie chapter by chapter discussions have finally joined all of the other movie discussions and are mainly an area for us to say what was wrong with the movie.
What's wrong with that? My understanding of these discussions was to critique the movie. And not critiquing by just saying the positives, or by just throwing the excuse of "well it's different in the books." But, discussing what was possibly wrong, what could be better, and how could it be changed to make it better. Which, I think we have been doing great job at doing all that. I didn't think this sub-forum was created just so we could praise how great Jackson was. It's a look at the movies from the movie perspective instead of doing the same old, Tolkien wrote it differently.

Believe it or not I think FOTR was the best made of the three, so it will only go down hill from here (atleast from my rantings). But, of course Jackson does great things, as far as filming, scenery, score, he uses some Hitchcock tactics, he makes good use of camera work (which I think I've pointed out atleast one on every sequence-except this one ) And mastered drawing comparisons with his characters with the use of similar and identical snapshots.
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Old 12-30-2005, 12:58 AM   #17
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Apologies

Apologies to Peter Jackson and other readers regarding my post about he only doing LotR to enable him to make King Kong. This may or may not be true, but as I haven't been able to source the material (yet!?!), I humbly withdraw the comment.

Did hear it on the television, but that would be considered hearsay.

And we would have to assume, for the man to dedicate so much time and effort to bringing LotR to the scene that he must have some love for the Books.

Again, I apologize for any disparaging comments, implied or inferred.

However, some of the changes that he made for whatever reason, may indicate that he does not treat the Books as sacredly as I .

And in regards to negativity...please. My hope for the SbS is to understand PJ and why decisions were made. He can (and does) take whatever liberties that he would like with the source material - hey, it's his film - yet I may have done things differently and, more importantly, would prefer that PJ be consistent with his presentation.

Anyway, for example, is it 'piling on' to suggest that PJ diminished the role of Frodo? Or added scenes just to add some thrill at the expense of character development?

And I'm still intrigued about the apples .
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Old 12-30-2005, 04:44 AM   #18
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It's a look at the movies from the movie perspective
And there's the Rub.....

This is what they are. Movies. Totally different medium to a book. Unless you have a narrator reading out directions / characters thoughts / explaining times when the characters are telling others what has happened.

take for example the council of Elrond - I believe this would take at least half an hour to run through word for word - It can't be done in a 3 hour movie.

now a mini series that has all (or most) of the text could work.

And, as I've stated many times before, LOTR was not made for us geeks who hark on about how different it is to the book or what colour hair legolas has. It was made for the masses. Not us.

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Though this is expected from any director who is making a movie.
What. 10 year's worth of effort? I think not!!!!!

Alatar,
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Anyway, for example, is it 'piling on' to suggest that PJ diminished the role of Frodo?
Every character will be diminished when you take 54 hours of source material and condense into 8.5 - 11 hours
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Old 12-30-2005, 10:23 AM   #19
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take for example the council of Elrond - I believe this would take at least half an hour to run through word for word - It can't be done in a 3 hour movie.
And as I said in the Council of Elrond thread before, I was perfectly fine with them slimming down the talking in the Council. Simply because the movie is focused on the Ring, there's no need for the other back stories in the movies. Yes, it may be nice to hear the dwarves and tales of Gollum, but to the movie it's only minor and not important to know. So, they did the right thing in cutting it strictly down with what to do with the Ring.

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What. 10 year's worth of effort? I think not!!!!!
I'm not saying Jackson didn't love and care about the story. However, to say since he put a lot into the movies isn't anything special from any other movie. It's not the amount of time but every directory puts heart, time, and money into his movies, Jackson only did a lot more of each.

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Every character will be diminished when you take 54 hours of source material and condense into 8.5 - 11 hours
There I don't agree. By not having Gimli be the butt end of joke through TTT and ROTK, or by not having Frodo send Sam away in ROTK, would surely not be so diminishing to their characters.

Now there are some characters like Denethor, who has so much depth in just one book, and to fit that in the movie would be extremely hard, so of course they aren't going to have much depth to them, and things have to be compromised. But, by just not making Gimli the laughing stock fo the Fellowship would have changed the impression of his character.
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Old 12-30-2005, 02:01 PM   #20
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I don't ever want to be accused of bashing or harping on PJ and Co. Because truth be told, I'm in awe at the job they did putting Tolkien's world on screen. Sure, there's tons of things that I don't like, but hearing Jackson, Boyens, and Walsh explain why they did them, I have to agree with them. There's still a few things I think are unnecessary, like the Galadriel thing. But these are three incredible movies, and I really believe they capture the heart and spirit (as well as most of the plot) of Tolkien's masterpiece.

Now, we'd better get back to discussing this sequence before The Saucepan Man shows up.
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Old 01-01-2006, 04:03 PM   #21
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There I don't agree. By not having Gimli be the butt end of joke through TTT and ROTK, or by not having Frodo send Sam away in ROTK, would surely not be so diminishing to their characters.
Agree re Gimli. If I had to pick one scene I would remove from the movie it would be the EE scene with gimli walking on the bones of the dead and blowing away the ghostly forms in the Paths of the Dead. It makes me cringe every time I see it.

But regarding Frodo sending Sam away. They HAD to split the two up for the following scenes to pan out so well. my reasons behind this: (and I know I'm jumping the gun by a good 6 months or so here!)

1/ we need the focus of the hunt by shelob to be one person - ie to make a decent 'chase' scene to work.....
2/ we would not have the SUSPENSE of Frodo being stalked and attacked by shelob before she strikes, if we followed the book version. This worked SO well in the film, and Suspense is one area where the viewable format (ie the film) works better over the written form for me.
3/ and therefore we would not have the surprise return of the 'hero' Sam to save the day.

I think these scenes work really well - different yes to the film, but I can forgive them for making this plot diversion (I won't call it a plot 'change' as we end up in the same position after 10 mins or so.....)
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Old 01-02-2006, 12:13 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Elladan and Elrohir
Now, we'd better get back to discussing this sequence before The Saucepan Man shows up.
Here I am!

Unfortunately, I have not really had the time to contribute to these discussions as much as I would like. But I have been keeping an eye on them and, while they make very interesting reading, I do tend to agree with the general thrust of Essex's point.

There is certainly room in this discussion to critique the films and say what you don't like, what doesn't work and what you might have done differently. But there is also room to say what you did like and why you liked it, to discuss the film-making techniques that Jackson uses and to consider why Jackson made certain decisions (whether you like them or not). It does seem to me that the discussions to date have focussed on the negative at the expense of the positive. It's not a question of not criticising, but of getting the balance right. Too many posts have swathes of comments on what people didn't like with only a sentence or two saying "Oh, but I liked X". It would be nice to know why you liked "X" and how you think it adds to the films (rather than simply because it was how it was in the book).

Suffice it to say that, had I been able to contribute more, my comments would have focussed more on the positive. We have already covered some areas where I think that Jackson uses the film medium to great effect - particularly in the visual context. Some of the camera-work is top notch (the sweeping shot from the top of Orthanc down into the bowels of the Orcs' delvings, for example). I will try to go back and contribute where I can, although there is a lot to catch up on.

In the meantime, it would be good if people could give some more thought to the positive aspects of the film to balance out the negatives. Remember that these films are not just adaptations of a greatly loved book. They are films in their own right too. And they deserve to be considered as such rather than solely as adaptations.

Oh and alatar, you are doing far too good a job here for me to react too much to your comment about Jackson only making LotR only so he could make King Kong. But I will say this. While it is undoubtedly true that Jackson's first love, in film terms, is King Kong (as it was the original 1930s film which inspired him to start making films), I don't think that this diminishes his admiration for LotR. He is on record as saying how much he loved it when he first read it as a boy, and his tribute to Tolkien on recieving the Oscar for Best Director spoke volumes to me of his admiration for the man. It's probably true to say that he does not quite have the same feel for the book as many here, but then you must remember that we are a fairly exclusive bunch.

Oh and King Kong is a great film.

Now, on with the discussion ...
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Old 01-02-2006, 01:10 PM   #23
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Good to see you back, Sauce, and great points too. I think we'd all agree that unqualified criticism, as well as unqualified praise, are the least interesting sort of posts. I think we've done fairly well in this regard so far. I haven't seen much criticism just for the sake of criticism, or criticism unaccompanied by some explanation of why the (perceived) problem bothered the poster.

Maybe it's just an inherent difficulty that criticism will tend to be more expansive than praise: to paraphrase the professor, things that are good about the films are soon told about, and not much to listen to; while things that are annoying, upsetting, and even maddening may make a good post, and take a deal of telling anyway.

Anyway, I'll return to this thread when I actually have something to say about the sequence it covers.
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Old 01-02-2006, 10:23 PM   #24
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Just to get one thing straight, I look at everything (with the possible exception of my children) with a crooked eye. To me, not only is the glass half empty, it's the wrong beverage, stale and served warm. So if I sound critical of the PJ adaptations, it's just my way, and if I really didn't like them, well, then I may not be the threadstarter.

Now, maybe we can use the example below to (1) see if we're all being critical and dumping on PJ and (2) see if we can figure out why PJ did what he did.

So, in Imladris, just as the Fellowship leaves, Frodo is called to start the Nine off. Surely the token leader, and we'll leave that discussion for another day, but as he asks direction from Gandalf, Frodo really doesn't know where to go.

That would be my main man's role. The wise counselor, the rolling stone, the friend of all, the image that PJ got spot on - Gandalf.

He is the first character seen in the 'hero shot.' We see later in the sequence that it is Gandalf that is forging a path through the snow on Caradhras. He will lead even the King through the Black Pit. And just who set all of this in motion, and has the power not only to escape Saruman's roof but can cut Hugo Weaving short?

So mull this about: Gandalf, recently incarcerated, leads the Nine towards the Gap of Rohan, which, even in the movie, is near Saruman. Some birds appear, spies no doubt, and suddenly Gandalf has the urge to see some snow. He continues attempting the Pass when it is clear that there's just no way that the FotR will survive the journey, then after a really sudden and heavy snow, allows for some debate on the road to take. Boromir, who Gandalf argued with at the Council, suggests the Gap again. Gandalf no longer even considers this ("NO!"), and Gimli then suggests for the second time the Mines. Gandalf leaves the decision up to Frodo, who decides to go through Moria.

Leaving the book aside, we have Gandalf wanting to go near Saruman (didn't he have a palantir?), then over Caradhras, then finally through the mines. What was PJ trying to show here? That Gandalf was reacting to the will of Saruman, who was closing the garrote round their necks?

Why didn't PJ simplify things by having Boromir suggest the Gap, allow the birds to prove Gandalf's point about that road being watched (Gandalf correct, Boromir wrong, Ring too dangerous to take near white istari), then after Gandalf's 'Plan A' failing on Caradhras, conceding that the only road left to them was black.

We could save a few minutes and make Gandalf, recently the penthouse guest of Orthanc, a little more consistent.

My theory is that PJ may have wanted to make Gandalf a little less certain and perfect, and by doing so, elevating all other characters somewhat.

Is this negative? I don't think so. As I've always stated, especially after I've been caught bashing , is that I'm just trying to figure out why PJ made the decisions that he did.
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Old 01-03-2006, 08:55 AM   #25
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My theory is that PJ may have wanted to make Gandalf a little less certain and perfect, and by doing so, elevating all other characters somewhat.
I remember from one of the commentaries that they wanted to shift the burden of responsibility from Gandalf to Frodo, seeing as though he's supposed to be the main hero and all. This could be the reason why Gandalf asks Frodo to decide and goes after his decision. The same reason is given for Frodo working out the opening word to the mines of Moria, instead of Gandalf. I can understand this line of reasoning, but to me it feels a bit unrealistic, since Frodo didn't make so many decisions on his own up to then, and won't be making so many after that.

By the way, I think it's funny how in the book Gandalf wanted to go through the mines, while Aragorn didn't, and in the movie it's Gandalf who fears going through them.
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Old 01-03-2006, 11:09 AM   #26
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I remember from one of the commentaries that they wanted to shift the burden of responsibility from Gandalf to Frodo, seeing as though he's supposed to be the main hero and all.
I would agree if we switched Aragorn for Frodo.


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By the way, I think it's funny how in the book Gandalf wanted to go through the mines, while Aragorn didn't, and in the movie it's Gandalf who fears going through them.
Any ideas as to why PJ made this change - something that I didn't even want to really get in to, as some might think that I wasn't allowing for PJ to be artistic and all .
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Old 01-03-2006, 01:03 PM   #27
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because in the book it's never really acknowledged who causes gandalf to go through the mines. if anything, it's Sauron who's 'arm has grown long' not Saurman. As i've said before, jackson needed a 'baddie' to focus on in these films - A giant red eye is not enough, so he uses the witch king in some areas (I can't wait until we get to that scene, although all it will need is some cutting and pasting from the gandalf v witchking thread....) and Saruman in others to replace the 'spirit' of Sauron

therefore we have a direct reason in the film that movie goers can see that Saruman is forcing Gandalf into going into Moria. Movie Gandalf seems to know this too, and therefore tries to stop it - but in the end he seems resigned to it once the watcher in the water pulls down the walls and therefore seals his fate..........

that's my 2 cents anyway
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Old 01-04-2006, 09:44 PM   #28
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I would agree with that, Essex. Good insights.

I think, too, that the emphasis on Frodo making the decisions in this sequence, are part of building up his character for the end of the film, when he decides to go to Mordor all by himself. Of course, you have to wonder, is this necessary? They've already given him a good screen moment where he resolves to take the Ring to Rivendell, and then an even better one where he volunteers to take it to Mordor, so do we really need this added emphasis on him making a decision?

Of course, in the book, in addition to making those two decisions, Frodo also makes the major decisions (1) to cut through the Old Forest instead of taking the Road, and (2) to trust Strider and take him as guide to Rivendell. So maybe the fact that PJ and Company have added a couple decisions while cutting (1) and essentially cutting (2), isn't all that inconsistent with the book.

And finally, Gandalf's line, "Let the Ringbearer decide," while certainly a change, finds its roots in the book. I believe it is Boromir, during their much lengthier book discussion, who says, "The Ringbearer's voice surely should be heard?"

EDIT: Lest anyone misunderstand, when I say "book discussion," I am referring to the discussion in the book, not a discussion the Company had about books. Though such a discussion might have been interesting.

So what do you guys think?
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Old 01-05-2006, 03:07 AM   #29
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I'd be interested in hearing from the people who have said Frodo's character has been largely diminished to Elladan's point here:
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I think, too, that the emphasis on Frodo making the decisions in this sequence, are part of building up his character for the end of the film
Are you glad that movie Frodo has been given 'extra' decisions to build up his character that don't exactly tie up with the book, but build his character up?
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Old 11-20-2006, 02:36 AM   #30
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Essex

Unfortunately, and this is not a go at ANYBODY, but these movie chapter by chapter discussions have finally joined all of the other movie discussions and are mainly an area for us to say what was wrong with the movie.

Yes, now and then people explain what was good about the movies (the music or the scenery mainly!) but then move onto their discection of the movie and why it failed compared to the book.
Alas! I fear that I am guilty of much maligning of the movies, and a constant stream of suggestions as to how they could more accurately represent the book. I do, from time to time, come up with praise for the movies, but this is usually quite clipped and simply stated. The reason being, I don't feel any need to go too in-depth about the reasons for my liking this or that. The reasons are probably already apparent to other viewers. On the flip side, I feel like my gripes must be defended, as I am trying to convince people of the reasons why I was disappointed by something in the movie. If any should disagree with my positive feelings about the movies, I am ready to jump in in defence of them, but that hasn't happened yet.

I am yet to find a sequence where I didn't think any improvements could have been made, unfortunately, so I fear that my SbS posts will continue in their negative vein. Sorry if this grates. I must admit I have never felt this way about any other movies. It's just that I love the book so much that I can't help but cringe whenever I see the adaptation fall short of my very high expectations. I have felt that at times scenes from Star Wars could have been done differently, but there again it's because I love the movies so much, and wish that they were perfect.
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Essex

Are you glad that movie Frodo has been given 'extra' decisions to build up his character that don't exactly tie up with the book, but build his character up?
In a word, no. Not where such decisions are not based on any knowledge of his. Perhaps if they had added a sentence or two in to qualify his decision to risk the long dark of Moria, that would have seemed more like leadership or wisdom, but they didn't, and it comes across as the blind leading the... not so blind?! If the filmmakers really desired to strengthen Frodo as a character, they should have shown him resisting the Nazgûl at Weathertop and the ford, rather than becoming Frodo Baggage, as alatar put it.

And now to the sequence...

I have loved the so-called "hero shot" of the fellowship crossing over the hill in file since I first saw it (in trailers for the film?). This shot emphasises the fact that the filmmakers got the looks of all the members of the fellowship down pat, aside from perhaps Gimli wearing a cap before Rohan.

Boromir instructing the hobbits in swordplay, and his tousling with them was just great! PJ did well to portray Boromir as a likeable character; this scene is when he is at his most likeable.

I don't know why the filmmakers chose to alter Gandalf's preference of route. In my opinion (here we go again!) it worked much better in the book. Gandalf is wary of the Gap of Rohan because he has been a prisoner of Saruman. He is somewhat weakened by his reluctance to enter Moria, as if he were afraid of his own doom, which we know is not like Gandalf at all. In this film so far we have seen the weakening of men, specifically Aragorn, and of Frodo... must we also endure the weakening of Gandalf?!

Legolas' line "Crébain from Dunland!" would have been better off with Aragorn the renowned traveller rather than the elf from Mirkwood.

Boromir picking the Ring up in the snow was good... really creepy and eerie, despite the clear sky and sunshine. Bean did well! Although it does beg the question, how firmly attached to Frodo is the Ring? It's a bit of a worry if It comes loose after every little stumble... It's quite important, after all!

The company's climb as the snow closed in around them was well shot. It definitely looked like a situation I would not want to be in! Nice touch that Legolas walked upon the snow while the others toiled through it. Go, the Elves!

I thought that Saruman's control of the weather was a little ridiculous. If he is so powerful, why did he let Gandalf escape from under his nose, and why was he powerless against the Ents? Internal inconsistency here, folks. I also disliked Saruman's blatant foreshadowing of the Balrog. Thanks for ruining the surprise, PJ. I must also say here that I miss the battle with the Wargs. In the book, it was very dramatic, and it would have been neat to see the swordplay and the fireworks. It would also have provided a credible reason why the company could not venture southwards.
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Old 09-06-2011, 04:49 PM   #31
sassyfriend
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sassyfriend has just left Hobbiton.
Didn't read the books until after seeing the movie. In fact I'd never even heard of Lord of the rings or Tolkien for that matter. It was quiet a shock to see how diffrent the books where to the movies. But I would've loved to have seen the warg fight at Moria too
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