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Old 01-17-2007, 10:32 AM   #1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pullman as the United States President in the film Independence Day (1996)
Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in this history of mankind.

Mankind -- that word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps its fate that today is the 4th of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom, not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution -- but from annihilation.

We're fighting for our right to live, to exist.

And should we win the day, the 4th of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice:

"We will not go quietly into the night!

We will not vanish without a fight!

We're going to live on!

We're going to survive!"

Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!

Pippin wants to know when the party gets started as he sits in front of Gandalf, astride Shadowfax. Aragorn and the others ride forth to challenge battle, to give Frodo a chance. Aragorn calls for Sauron “to come forth,” as we just can’t introduce another character to be herald nor usurp Aragorn’s command by having another call out Sauron. Aragorn and his party wait, and the silence eats at them.

Finally the Black Gate creaks open (better oil those Iron Hill trolls) and a lone figure rides forth. It’s the Mouth of Sauron, Black Númenórean, Lieutenant of the Tower of Barad-dûr and chief creepy guy now that the Witch-King is in the recycle bin. The creature/man rides forth, and speaks for Sauron. His teeth are creepy and his mask is odd (much has been said about the detail in the mask). He appears insectoid, like a Praying Mantis, and just how does he see? Aragorn, comically, gives him the ‘whatever!’ eyebrows while Legolas looks like he’s ready to shoot the MoS on the spot (then again, what else would Legolas do?).

We could have had some horns blaring to announce the arrival of the Mouth, but…

Gandalf, amazingly, replies when asked if any are worthy as I guess that Gandalf the White rates a Mouth but below a Witch-King. The White Wizard states the West’s demands. “Leave Mordor, disband your armies and see a dentist twice a year!” The Mouth of Sauron taunts Gandalf in return, displaying then throwing Frodo’s mithril shirt to Gandalf.

Personally I liked when Gandalf grabbed it from him, as that demonstrated assertiveness, but…

The hobbits in the group are openly dismayed, as they assume that Frodo is captured. Gandalf hushes the twain, possibly knowing that if Sauron had the Ring, there would already be signs (“What does your heart tell you?”) of it. Seeing that he has the party of the West at a disadvantage, the Mouth of Sauron piles on.

Aren’t Rohirrim truthsayers, and so wouldn’t they know a falsehood when it was spoken?

But even Gandalf gets sucked in by the lies and visibly begins to weep, which is crazy as we, the audience, know that Frodo’s still alive and free, unlike during this chapter in the books when, as far as we know, Frodo’s in Cirith Ungol awaiting transport to Barad- dûr.

Aragorn, still in control of the show, rides forth, and the Mouth of Sauron doesn’t know what’s coming. He mocks Aragorn, stating that the blade does not make the man, but Aragorn responds that the blade surely can unmake the man.

Aragorn beheads the MoS. If you’re keeping score, that’s at least one good beheading by Aragorn per movie (Lurtz, Uruk, MoS). It’s his thing. The rest of the group is momentarily shocked, but then Gimli does his thing, makes a joke, and all is back to normal in the world. For an explanation, Aragorn states that he didn’t believe the MoS, and then more psychotically, that, “I will not!” With his crazy look, no one tries to gainsay the new King. Surely Aragorn is to be the ‘rash new Ringlord sticking out his neck’ but here I think that he’s stuck on just ‘rash.’

Aragorn obviously read, “Headlopping Ways to Better Management,” by Uglúk.

The Black Gate opens, and where before there was nothing, now an army marches below the red gaze of the Eye (looking very much like the Eye and Pyramid, to me, on the back of a US dollar bill). Aragorn decides that it would behoove everyone to retreat back to the rest of the army.

Back on the other side of the fence, Sam notices that the Eye now scans northward, and so it’s safe once again to travel. Frodo begins to rise, and Sam helps him to his feet.

Back north, the long shot shows Aragorn and crew riding to rejoin the Army of the West. Note that no head or body, formerly known as the Mouth of Sauron, lies near the gate just like when Obi-Wan Kenobi was stuck down by Darth Vader. Amazing. And for those of you who are watching/have watched the theatrical release, note the black blood on Aragorn’s sword even though in that version the MoS rides off into the sunset.

I do like that the Army is a mixture of soldiers from different places - Rohirrim standing next to Gondorian soldier.

The Army of the West looks nervous, and so Aragorn, similar to the movie Braveheart and recently as on the Pelennor Fields by Théoden King, decides to give a speech. His words, delivered well, work well enough, but if you start thinking about them too much…Regardless, the soldiers draw their swords, and it’s an encouraging sound.

We see Sam and Frodo slowing making their way up the side of Orodruin.

The Army of the East makes its way around the Free Folk to encircle them. The Army of Aragorn, here not on a hill, prepare to be attacked from all sides, and are woefully outnumbered. The control and restraint exercised by the orcs is interesting, and their line (which is a circle) looks artificial, and I can’t help but see a lawn of bacteria onto which was dropped a filter of antibiotics (anyone know what I’m talking about when I say “flaming glass hockey sticks?”). Note that in this last stand that there are no moats or stinking pools of goo for the trolls to wade into…if there are trolls in this very mannerly group.

Frodo and Sam continue struggle for every vertical inch.

The orcs have completely cut off any chance of the Free Folk retreating. We see Merry, Pippin and Éomer (that other King) steeling themselves for what seems to be the inevitable. Gimli and Legolas share a moment, and it’s nice that the scene wasn’t muddied up with some sophomoric joking.

It’s the end game. For the remaining members of the Fellowship (and Éomer), this is it. Sauron is about to take the bait. It’s all up to Frodo and Sam now.
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Old 01-23-2007, 01:41 PM   #2
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Before I start my indepth (!!!) discussion on these scenes, please, please tell me you were being Ironic with the Bill Pullman quote. Don't compare anything from the Worst Movie ever made (Idependance Day) with the Best Movie ever made (Return of the King)!!!!!!
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Old 01-23-2007, 02:56 PM   #3
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I liked the energy that Bill Pullman's character brought to that moment. Surely there are more emotional cinematic speechs, but this one happened to be fresh in the mind. Note that I didn't mention Braveheart, as I thought that one overused. Any better pre-'we're all about to die' examples?

Are you sure, cousin, that you're just not sensitive to 4 July 1776?
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Old 01-23-2007, 03:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alatar / Bill Pullman in the Independence Day
We will not go quietly into the night!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dylan Thomas
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Sorry. I just couldn't help this...
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Last edited by alatar; 01-23-2007 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 01-23-2007, 03:08 PM   #5
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Undoubtedly, alatar, that is Essex's problem.

EDIT: Cross-posted with Nogrod.

I liked the Mouth of Sauron, even if there's not much more of him than a mouth. I do have difficulty picturing him as a man with that huge mouth and those long teeth, though.

Let the beheading debate commence (on this thread, anyway). I'm not sure it makes a great difference either way. It happens; you can blink and it's over if you like, and the guys come riding back to the Grand Armee.

I have to admit, I love Aragorn's speech; I'm a sap for heroic death charges. Viggo's delivery is great, although his American accent gets distracting a couple of times. I really wish they'd made him go Brit, but oh well. I will concede one thing to my English brethren: your accents sound a lot better than ours in stories of this sort.

Frodo and Sam crawling up the Mountain, with some flute music courtesy of Sir James Galway in the background, is awesome, epic, everything it should be.

And finally, the bit with Legolas and Gimli is tender emotion, perfectly capturing the spirit of the book. If only we could have seen them like this more often.
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Old 01-23-2007, 03:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nogrod
Sorry. I just couldn't help this...
Thanks Nogrod for quoting another great movie.

Aragorn's speech is fine; it's just that I hear echoes of Braveheart and was hoping for something more Tolkien and Wow! Plus, Viggo has a nasally delivery.

Quibble.
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Old 01-23-2007, 05:41 PM   #7
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Sting

I haven't been here for a while, and this'll have to be short, but hopefully meaningful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alatar
Aragorn's speech is fine; it's just that I hear echoes of Braveheart and was hoping for something more Tolkien
Just to play devil's advocate (this is the right scene, after all ), I see a lot of thematic similarities between Aragorn's speech and Gandalf's speech in the book:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aragorn in the movie, before the fighting at the Black Gate
A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down, but it is not this day. This day, we fight! By all that you hold dear, on this good Earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandalf in the book, during the planning of the attack on the Black Gate
Other evils there are that may come; for Sauron is himself but a servant or emissary. Yet it is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.
Both times, they're giving messages of both hope and realism, saying that although there'll always be trouble in the world, we shouldn't think about what to do for the trouble in the future, but to think about what we can do to help now, and by doing so, we can make sure that those who come in the future will have a fair chance of doing the same. Whilst we can never hope to win completely, we can still give our best effort to win for the present; to show defiance against defeat and failure. Basically, to use a beautiful line from both book and movie...



All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.
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Last edited by Sir Kohran; 01-23-2007 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 01-24-2007, 06:45 AM   #8
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LOL

No, really I'm glad you got your independance. It was about time someone else ran the world. We had our go, and decided to pass the baton.

But really, Independance Day is so corny, - especially the bill pullman speech mentioned above - I watched the movie in America whilst on holiday there and when everyone else was cheering, me and the missus were rolling up with laughter!

But why oh why do these arrogant movie directors think that America has to save the World every time? Not a slight agianst your country, just your film directors. Yes, I know it's American money blah blah, but really let's have a film where the World acts against alien enemies, not just the USA getting us out of the hole.

On another point regarding this, I think the world's problems with each other (i.e. Country v Country wars etc, religious conflicts) will only be finally solved when an Alien intelligence does try to take us over. Then we will ALL have a common cause to fight for and will concentrate on trying to kill them instead!

Anyway, enough of my rant, but I LOVE the MoS scene. I think the character and the way he acts are masterful. The voice, the teeth, the way he moves his head - his arrogance, his short sightedness, his lies - they all work so well.

And it wasn't a Parley by the way. Aragorn was quickly stopping the rot, not wanting the MoS to instill any more doubt in their minds..... (steps back after re-lighting the blue touchpaper)

And those poor two hobbits, begining the climb of Mount Orodruin. The tears are ready to well up soon........
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Old 01-25-2007, 10:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Kohran
I haven't been here for a while, and this'll have to be short, but hopefully meaningful.
Any input is appreciated.


Quote:
Just to play devil's advocate
Cool! I work in the Devil's R&D division; didn't know we were in the same firm.


Quote:
Both times, they're giving messages of both hope and realism, saying that although there'll always be trouble in the world, we shouldn't think about what to do for the trouble in the future, but to think about what we can do to help now, and by doing so, we can make sure that those who come in the future will have a fair chance of doing the same. Whilst we can never hope to win completely, we can still give our best effort to win for the present; to show defiance against defeat and failure. Basically, to use a beautiful line from both book and movie...
I don't see the similarities that you do, but that's just me. Is there anything in "The Last Debate" that may have inspired Aragorn's movie speech?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Essex
No, really I'm glad you got your independance. It was about time someone else ran the world. We had our go, and decided to pass the baton.
Thanks. That would explain how we 'won' in 1776 though General Washington's army lost many a battle..you were just making it look good until you could get safely across the Atlantic. "Maybe they won't realize that we left them holding the bag until it's too late..."


Quote:
But really, Independance Day is so corny, - especially the bill pullman speech mentioned above - I watched the movie in America whilst on holiday there and when everyone else was cheering, me and the missus were rolling up with laughter!
Okay, to each his own. Did Aragorn's speech make you feel as you (I assume) felt when the Rohirrim showed up on the Pelennor? I wasn't as fired up. Note that watching "Independence Day" at 3 AM tends to cloud my rationality.


Quote:
But why oh why do these arrogant movie directors think that America has to save the World every time? Not a slight agianst your country, just your film directors. Yes, I know it's American money blah blah, but really let's have a film where the World acts against alien enemies, not just the USA getting us out of the hole.
Hmm...these movies, created to sell toys and reap profit, are primarily targeted to an American audience. Though some films do better in foreign distribution than in the domestic market, it's not typical. So, for the Americans, the good guys and heroes, for the most part, would be us. Think that James Bond is an exception. And, not to insult anyone's origin, but I think that many here aren't really sure that there's a real world beyond our shores.


Quote:
On another point regarding this, I think the world's problems with each other (i.e. Country v Country wars etc, religious conflicts) will only be finally solved when an Alien intelligence does try to take us over. Then we will ALL have a common cause to fight for and will concentrate on trying to kill them instead!
Much agreed. Think that humanity still has 'tribal genes' and it's going to take some time before we leave them behind. Also, many peoples cannot think 'long term' as I'm not sure that we're wired for it. Anyway, another favorite in this theme is V where aliens set up a Nazi-like totalitarian state in the USoA (and around the world). Of course it's 'us' that kicks the aliens back into space, naturally...


Quote:
Anyway, enough of my rant, but I LOVE the MoS scene. I think the character and the way he acts are masterful. The voice, the teeth, the way he moves his head - his arrogance, his short sightedness, his lies - they all work so well.
We could have spent more time with him; the moment could have played out longer.


Quote:
And it wasn't a Parley by the way. Aragorn was quickly stopping the rot, not wanting the MoS to instill any more doubt in their minds..... (steps back after re-lighting the blue touchpaper)
Here we go! So what you're saying is that the lies of the MoS were effective, and Aragorn the Barbarian couldn't counter them with steel words. Nor, I guess, could Gandalf, armed with Narya. Wasn't it you that said that during the siege of Minas Tirith that the soldiers near Gandalf weren't as affected by the Nazgul as were those not so close? Did Gandalf lose everything when he lost his staff to the Witch-King? Can he no longer inspire hope? Aragorn, in Seq22 seems to have lost his hope as well, and so methinks that the returned King was just adding to, dare I say, his head count.

Why not a battle between the MoS and Aragorn? Anyway...
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Old 01-25-2007, 02:21 PM   #10
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Leaf

Quote:
Originally Posted by alatar
I don't see the similarities that you do, but that's just me. Is there anything in "The Last Debate" that may have inspired Aragorn's movie speech?
I went over the top with my passionate little speech, but I was doing science coursework at the time and I needed to clear my head somewhere. But I still stand by my original point - I think it could have worked fine in the book.

Anyhow, I think that Aragorn's speech was inspired by lots of things throughout the story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Essex
No, really I'm glad you got your independance. It was about time someone else ran the world. We had our go, and decided to pass the baton.
Thanks. That would explain how we 'won' in 1776 though General Washington's army lost many a battle..you were just making it look good until you could get safely across the Atlantic. "Maybe they won't realize that we left them holding the bag until it's too late..."
It's a little-known fact that the United States was actually planned and created by the government as a backup plan - if Britain was ever in serious danger of being invaded, there would be a strong reserve force. We actually allowed the Americans to win through warfare, as that would make them into a strong and passionate country that would quickly turn the tide in any war Britain was finding hard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Essex
But really, Independance Day is so corny, - especially the bill pullman speech mentioned above - I watched the movie in America whilst on holiday there and when everyone else was cheering, me and the missus were rolling up with laughter!
LOL - I know exactly what you mean. I was on holiday in America too, and The Patriot (another anglophobic film by Mel Gibson) was playing and the people at this party were all squealing with delight. I just rolled my eyes and laughed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alatar
Okay, to each his own. Did Aragorn's speech make you feel as you (I assume) felt when the Rohirrim showed up on the Pelennor? I wasn't as fired up.
Perhaps, in different ways...Aragorn's is a message of hope whilst Theoden's is a message of destruction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alatar
Note that watching "Independence Day" at 3 AM tends to cloud my rationality.
Frankly, I think watching Independence Day at any time would cloud one's rationality...of course, aliens from another galaxy would just happen to use computer systems and a common virus could be quickly uploaded and used without any problems whatsoever...

Quote:
Originally Posted by alatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Essex
But why oh why do these arrogant movie directors think that America has to save the World every time? Not a slight agianst your country, just your film directors. Yes, I know it's American money blah blah, but really let's have a film where the World acts against alien enemies, not just the USA getting us out of the hole.
Hmm...these movies, created to sell toys and reap profit, are primarily targeted to an American audience. Though some films do better in foreign distribution than in the domestic market, it's not typical. So, for the Americans, the good guys and heroes, for the most part, would be us. Think that James Bond is an exception.
I can't understand why studios think films all about America will always sell better - look at the three bestselling movies of all time: Titanic, The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King and Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. The first was set on a British ship, the heroine was British and some of the other actors were also British. The second was based on a book written by an Englishman, again much of the cast was British, and generally most of the 'style' - writing and production - was European in nature. The third yet again had quite a few British actors and pretty much all the characters themselves seemed 'British' (listen to the accents and the phrases they use - 'bloody', 'bugger', 'innit', etc.). So in short, I don't think the rest of the world needs to be obsolete for a movie to succeed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alatar
And, not to insult anyone's origin, but I think that many here aren't really sure that there's a real world beyond our shores.
I knew a woman from Italy who went on holiday to America and was seriously asked if she had driven there...

Quote:
Originally Posted by alatar
Much agreed. Think that humanity still has 'tribal genes' and it's going to take some time before we leave them behind. Also, many peoples cannot think 'long term' as I'm not sure that we're wired for it. Anyway, another favorite in this theme is V where aliens set up a Nazi-like totalitarian state in the USoA (and around the world). Of course it's 'us' that kicks the aliens back into space, naturally...
Yes, a bit of global unity would do us all some good...

Quote:
Originally Posted by alatar
We could have spent more time with him; the moment could have played out longer.
I agree, though timing and pace is always an issue - the audience doesn't want to spend time watching an ugly fellow banter back and forth with the heroes when there's a battle on the way...

Quote:
Originally Posted by alatar
Here we go! So what you're saying is that the lies of the MoS were effective, and Aragorn the Barbarian couldn't counter them with steel words. Nor, I guess, could Gandalf, armed with Narya. Wasn't it you that said that during the siege of Minas Tirith that the soldiers near Gandalf weren't as affected by the Nazgul as were those not so close? Did Gandalf lose everything when he lost his staff to the Witch-King? Can he no longer inspire hope? Aragorn, in Seq22 seems to have lost his hope as well, and so methinks that the returned King was just adding to, dare I say, his head count.
I agree completely. This could have been the perfect moment to show Aragorn as a leader - he could stand tall and make the Mouth cower in fear. But oh no, we had to have some primitive bloodshed instead...

Quote:
Originally Posted by alatar
Why not a battle between the MoS and Aragorn?
That's a good idea - as the Mouth mocks Aragorn, he quietly draws a dagger and then strikes but Aragorn reacts quicker and kills him. I think that would have worked far better.
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Old 01-28-2007, 03:16 PM   #11
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We've had to wait a long while since we've had a touching point between elf and dwarf. It was hours ago, back as the fellowship we're leaving Lorien and Gimli's heart was broken. Now, finally, we have other touching (but non book) words between the two races. Get's me every time. It should be corny, in fact it's crying out to be corny, but it just works
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