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Old 08-19-2007, 12:28 PM   #1
smeagollives
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how do you like the portrayal of frodo?

how do you like the way frodo is portrayed in the movies? to my mind he is a completly different person.
which one do you like better?
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Old 08-19-2007, 05:21 PM   #2
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I dislike the way Frodo is portrayed in the movies. He is indeed an entirely diferent person. The book character is much better.
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Old 08-19-2007, 11:48 PM   #3
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Agreed, book Frodo is much better, naturally. There are a ton of problem's with PJ's Frodo, which I'm sure a big Frodo fan could list out.

Check this out-
http://www.istad.org/tolkien/faramir.html

It's from a site called "From pointy ears to Grima's tear" by an unknown Tolkien enthusiast. It explains that the main reason Faramir's character was so screwy in the films was because of the changes made to Frodo's. Interesting article and well worth the read!
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Old 08-20-2007, 03:20 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by MatthewM View Post
Agreed, book Frodo is much better, naturally. There are a ton of problem's with PJ's Frodo, which I'm sure a big Frodo fan could list out.

Check this out-
http://www.istad.org/tolkien/faramir.html

It's from a site called "From pointy ears to Grima's tear" by an unknown Tolkien enthusiast. It explains that the main reason Faramir's character was so screwy in the films was because of the changes made to Frodo's. Interesting article and well worth the read!
i never looked at it from that point of view. but this article was interesting for me. thank you very much.
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Old 08-20-2007, 03:35 AM   #5
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I dislike the way Frodo is portrayed in the movies. He is indeed an entirely diferent person. The book character is much better.
i would agree with that. the books frodo makes up his on decisions out of duty and deep love for the shire he decides to take the ring.

the film frodo is a sacrificial lamb. like "the guy next door, who was sent to vietnam and came back broken" from all to many movies. gandalf send him and he did as he was told to. and he has got no idea what that would mean.

the film frodo does not act. he does not fight back at the weathertop.
he has to be saved by arwen.

worst of all: he offers the ring to that wraith in osgiliath. (he should not be there anyways).

but there is also a good thing about this. because frodo is less hero and more victim in the film, sam becomes more heroic in the film. i really like his osgiliath speech. i am sure book-sam would never hold a speech like this, but nevertheless i like it.

(oh, and i do not like the fact that frodo and sam do not hug each other in the movies as much as in the book. in the books they start as master and servants and become friends. in the movie they start as buddies and stay buddies and onev does never understand "why does sam sacrifiy so much for frodo, because they seem to be just drinking buddies")
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Old 08-20-2007, 07:45 AM   #6
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Agreed, book Frodo is much better, naturally. There are a ton of problem's with PJ's Frodo, which I'm sure a big Frodo fan could list out.

Check this out-
http://www.istad.org/tolkien/faramir.html

It's from a site called "From pointy ears to Grima's tear" by an unknown Tolkien enthusiast. It explains that the main reason Faramir's character was so screwy in the films was because of the changes made to Frodo's. Interesting article and well worth the read!
I didn't read the article, but my sister and I have both agreed that the ruin of many characters was caused by Frodo's ruin. Others couldn't be courageous because Frodo wasn't. (Denethor, Theoden, Aragorn, are some examples)


Smeagollives, your last point is very good. I never thought about that.
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Old 08-20-2007, 08:05 AM   #7
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Oh! Excellent point about 'He had to be saved by Arwen'! Up until now, I just thougt about the injustice done towards Glorfindel with Arwen coming, but they also stole from Frodo! That part in the book is beautiful.

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'Ride forward! Ride!' cried Glorfindel to Frodo.

He did not obey at once, for a strange reluctance seized him. Checking the horse to a walk, he turned and looked back. . .Then at once fear and hatred awoke in him. His hand left the bridle and gripped the hilt of his sword, and with a red flash he drew it.

'Ride on! Ride on!' cried Glorfindel, and then loud and clear he called to the horse in the elf-tongue: naro lim, naro lim, Asfolath!

At once the white horse sprang away and sped like the wind along the last lap of the Road.

. . .

Suddenly the foremost Rider spurred his horse forward. It checked at the water and reared up. With a great effort Frodo sat upright and brandished his sword.

'Go back!' he cried. 'Go back to the Land of Mordor, and follow me no more!' His voice sounded thin and shrill in his own ears. The Riders halted, but Frodo had not the power of Bombadil. His enemies laughed at him with a harsh and chilling laughter. 'Come back! Come back!' they called. 'To Mordor we will take you!'

'Go back!' he whispered.

'The Ring! The Ring!' they cried with deadly voices; and immediately the leader urged his horse forward into the water, followed closely by two others.

'By Elbereth and Luthien the Fair,' said Frodo with a last effort, lifting up his sword, 'you shall have neither the Ring nor me!'
Beautiful. Especially that last line.

No, I didn't much care for the adaption of Frodo. They misjudged him entirely. I believe the movie makers viewed hobbits as most people of Middle Earth viewed them - small, cute, but weak creatures.

And you're also right about the relationship between Frodo and Sam.

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Old 08-20-2007, 10:24 AM   #8
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I didn't read the article, but my sister and I have both agreed that the ruin of many characters was caused by Frodo's ruin. Others couldn't be courageous because Frodo wasn't. (Denethor, Theoden, Aragorn, are some examples)
How can you say that about Denethor and Theoden? Frodo never even meets them.
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:33 AM   #9
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How can you say that about Denethor and Theoden? Frodo never even meets them.
No, no. You misunderstood. Because they lowered Frodo's character strength, they lowered every other character's strength.
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Old 08-20-2007, 02:42 PM   #10
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No, no. You misunderstood. Because they lowered Frodo's character strength, they lowered every other character's strength.
But I would like to hear how--- Denethor's depression was twisted into insanity in the movies, and I can not see how Frodo's wrongly portrayed character affected Denethor's situation in any way.
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Old 08-20-2007, 03:14 PM   #11
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Because if Denethor, the mad steward, had more courage that Frodo, one of the main heros, there would be major problems.

And Theoden may have been cowardized for Aragorns sake, who seemed afraid of becoming king. They may not have been as directly related to Frodo as Faramir, but it seemed to me as if almost everyone was more of a coward. There are of course exceptions, like Eomer and Eowyn.
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Old 08-20-2007, 04:18 PM   #12
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I don't think the weakening of Frodo had anything to do with the weakening of other characters; it was more of an across-the-board decision made by the filmmakers to go for more complexity and thus elicit more empathy from the audience.

As to which Frodo I like better, of course it's the book, as in pretty much every other area. But I like film Frodo, too. You have to accept that he is different, that he is more complex, that he deteriorates more quickly. Elijah Wood had the monumental task of portraying this Frodo, a very different one from the books, a character who could easily come across as unlikeable if not played with skill, but nonetheless the anchoring role of the cast. If I have any complaints with the film Frodo, it's with the way he was written, not with Wood's magnificent portrayal (though I do wish his voice wasn't so high-pitched).
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Old 08-20-2007, 05:14 PM   #13
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Because if Denethor, the mad steward, had more courage that Frodo, one of the main heros, there would be major problems.
I really just do not understand what you mean here.
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Old 08-20-2007, 05:23 PM   #14
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But I like film Frodo, too. You have to accept that he is different, that he is more complex, that he deteriorates more quickly. Elijah Wood had the monumental task of portraying this Frodo, a very different one from the books, a character who could easily come across as unlikeable if not played with skill, but nonetheless the anchoring role of the cast. If I have any complaints with the film Frodo, it's with the way he was written, not with Wood's magnificent portrayal (though I do wish his voice wasn't so high-pitched).
More complex? Reading the LotR for the sixth time at present, I am finding Frodo a fantastic, complex, and amazing character. The Frodo protrayed in the movie is shallow and weak.

I'd agree with you in as much as I like Elijah Wood as Frodo, I just don't like how he was written. I think Wood could have done well if they had written it differently. You can see promise in the way he executes certain lines like the "What must I do?" and "I will take it! I will take the Ring to Mordor...though...I do not know the way." They just didn't give him a chance of playing the real Frodo.

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Old 08-21-2007, 01:24 AM   #15
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You might enjoy reading over this earlier discussion that touched on some of these same points: http://forum.barrowdowns.com/showthr...ighlight=Frodo
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Old 08-21-2007, 08:57 AM   #16
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I must differ with the majority so far who liked Elijah Wood in the role. Now don't get me wrong- I like Elijah Wood as an actor. But he's all wrong for Frodo. To begin with, he's much, much too young and innocent and wide-eyed. Frodo is older and wiser than the other hobbits, more of an intellectual, and more measured (which is not the same as unsure or indecisive). Jackson's lessening of Frodo's character as a whole is in many ways a juvenilisation.

(Note on age: Christopher Tolkien, following his father I'm sure, considers hobbits to age as the same rate as Men: the 'coming of age' at 33 just reflects the wisdom of Shire society in considering young people in their 20s to be irresponsible and not ready for adulthood. "Fifty is fifty." At any rate, Frodo is the same age that Bilbo was during his adventure; and Bilbo was emphatically a middle-aged bachelor, set in his ways, not a doll-faced youth.)
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Old 08-21-2007, 09:06 AM   #17
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'Cept, Frodo got the ring when he was thirty-three and not fifty.

Yes, Elijah Wood was too young for the role.
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Old 08-21-2007, 09:27 AM   #18
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I agree with Folwren that Frodo would have looked 33, but he was definitely to young, as he looked 20 at most. He wasn't near as wise, genteel, and elvish(remember, in the books, elves were always happily surprised when he greeted them in their own tongue.) as he should have been.

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I don't think the weakening of Frodo had anything to do with the weakening of other characters; it was more of an across-the-board decision made by the filmmakers to go for more complexity and thus elicit more empathy from the audience.
I don't think that weakening characters adds complexity. It made me partly dislike characters like Denethor(I can't say I liked him, but I didn't dislike him nearly as much in the book as in the movie.) and Theoden(who I really liked in the book, but in the movie, he was so degraded that I can't say I either like or dislike him in the TT).

MathewM, I will attempt to explain, but I am not a very good writter, and often find it hard to express myself, so try to forgive me if I can't make much sense.

I think that it would be strange for the steward of Gondor, who sends out his son to do a dangerous, and mostly hopeless job, to have more courage than the hero, who, even though he is a small hobbit used to comfort, travels half across the world to save the world, when he could have not said anything at the counsil, and just stayed there, or returned home. If they had made Denethor more noble, things like Frodo's sending Sam home would have been more stricking. If they had given side characters more character Frodos character would have seemed more dilapidated. Please note that I am mearly using examples, and other things also caused such things, and that example of Frodo sending Sam away, was only used as an example. Also these are only personal opinions, not backed up by proof.

(If I'm still not making myself clear, just PM me, as I have a horrible feeling I'm getting of topic, and I hate chat skwerls.)

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Old 08-21-2007, 10:42 AM   #19
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It must be one of the greatest mysteries of the 21st century how a series of films which is so terribly bad by some estimates here could actually take in a combined $4 billion US dollars in combined revenue, crack the All Time Box Office Top Ten List including only the second film to earn over a billion dollars, win 17 Academy Awards including Best Film, and recieve an extremely high level of critical acclaim.

It could be that the film buying public over much of the entire world felt that the portrayal of these characters worked just fine. Professional critics and industry professionals seemed to feel the same way.
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Old 08-21-2007, 11:07 AM   #20
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'Cept, Frodo got the ring when he was thirty-three and not fifty.

Yes, Elijah Wood was too young for the role.
i understand this. most people who go to the movies are aroung elijahs age. probably they thought it would be easier for the audience to indentify with him if he was younger.
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Old 08-21-2007, 11:20 AM   #21
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More complex? Reading the LotR for the sixth time at present, I am finding Frodo a fantastic, complex, and amazing character. The Frodo protrayed in the movie is shallow and weak.
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i have to agree with that. book-frodo is definetly a complex chracter. much more complex as movie frodo.

what do we know about movie frodo?

he loves the shire, he wants to save it, he is tempted be the ring and he shows some compassion for gollum. we do not know much more about him. *repeating myself*: he is they guy next door-type. the poor lad to whom happened horrible things and who was broken by this.

i think book-frodo has much more character. i always imagined him to be like one of my college professors. may be a little bit like tolkien.

to my mind book-frodo is much more intellectual than film frodo. he is a quiet and friendly person. he talks about his emotions less and rarely shows he is feeling. he is scared of being a burden.
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Old 08-21-2007, 12:38 PM   #22
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It must be one of the greatest mysteries of the 21st century how a series of films which is so terribly bad by some estimates here could actually take in a combined $4 billion US dollars in combined revenue, crack the All Time Box Office Top Ten List including only the second film to earn over a billion dollars, win 17 Academy Awards including Best Film, and recieve an extremely high level of critical acclaim.

Oh, dear. The McDonald's argument. Other boffo boxoffice performers: Transformers, Spiderman 3, Pearl Harbor. Whoopie. The public loves brainless action-adventure flicks, and that's what PJ gave 'em.

As for the Oscars: as if the silly, bribe- and politics-heavy Academy voting were a measure of anything (aside from the technical awards, which were deserved- and voted on by the tech professionals, not Lindsay Lohan (or her personal assistant)).
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Old 08-21-2007, 12:45 PM   #23
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book-frodo is definetly a complex chracter. much more complex as movie frodo
Given that every 100 pages of book was turned into about 50 minutes of film, is that anything less than a glaringly obvious reality? I have yet to see a film where the characters are MORE complex when compared to a well written, comparatvely much longer book.

This is comparing apples to cinder-blocks.
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Old 08-21-2007, 12:51 PM   #24
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WCH -- why do you persist in battling strawmen of your own making - not once but over and over again?

My point was certainly NOT the McDonalds argument as you call it. The fact is this - and this is NOT news. Normally, films which are embraced by the masses - as evidenced by their dollars and ticket purchases - are not well reviewed by the professional critics. And those same fan favorites usually are not the big winners for industry proffessional awards such as the BAFTA's and Academy Awards. Those three categories of measurement of a films success usually are mutuall exclusive - at least for one factor out of the three.

McDonalds may indeed have a large number of customers but they DO NOT win industry awards for the quality of their food, ambience or service. And I have never read a review of a professional food critic in which McDonalds is ranked with the likes of The French Laundry or other five star restaurants. Your attempt at being clever with the phrase using McDonalds is not even an apt one.

The three LOTR films were wildly successful by all three measurements of a film success. This is a very rare occurence. That should tell you that the vast opinion of both the average person, professional critics, and industry professionals all felt the films worked and were very good films.

Of course, the inside intelligensia who feel they are the true holders of the JRRT flame conveniently ignore this and prefer to compare apples to cinder blocks and surprise nobody when they declare that yes indeed folks, apples taste better and cinder blocks are much harder.

Like Claude Rains in CASABLANCA, I am shocked.

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Old 08-21-2007, 03:30 PM   #25
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Excellent rebuttal, StW. It is indeed true that a bad film can generate huge revenue or rave reviews, but both at once?

I think it's sad in a way that we Downers don't get to watch the films afresh, from the perspective of those who have never read the books. Not that it was made exclusively for those people; it was made for us, too, but the effect is far different.

As a result of our love for the books, our feelings toward the films are necessarily colored. They're my three favorite films of all time, probably because of my love for the books. They're the three most-despised films of all time for other fans, probably because of their love for the books.

The tough part for me is to not just start screaming at the dislikers, "You're idiots; how in the world could you not like this?" Because they probably feel tempted to scream similar things to me. Both views are equally valid. I would love to start a thread about this, where those from opposite sides could seek to understand one another rather than scream, and perhaps I will.

Also, I will retract a bit about Frodo's film complexity vs. book complexity. What I meant was that he is weaker and struggles more than in the book. He is superficially more complex, because it takes a careful reading of the book to note the subtleties and nuances of Tolkien's portrayal. But I should not have said more complex, should have known better than to allow Jackson an upper hand in any area over Tolkien. Thank you to those who caught that.

Finally, I have not heard those words from Christopher Tolkien, but I disagree with them. I think there is a slight difference in human and hobbit aging; indeed, one would think that there must be if hobbits regularly live into their 100's. Thus, at the age of 33, Frodo might look 21. And at the age of 50, well, he would still look 21 or at least in that range thanks to the Ring. So Wood isn't that far off age-wise, in my opinion.
Of course, in spite of my views there, I still think he looks a bit too young. And he indeed does not display the maturity and leadership over the other hobbits that book-Frodo does.
But again, I think Wood's fantastic in spite of that. Brilliant acting, and I think his looks have a tinge of that elvishness that Sam noticed.
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Old 08-23-2007, 12:48 AM   #26
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MathewM, I will attempt to explain, but I am not a very good writter, and often find it hard to express myself, so try to forgive me if I can't make much sense.
I think that it would be strange for the steward of Gondor, who sends out his son to do a dangerous, and mostly hopeless job, to have more courage than the hero, who, even though he is a small hobbit used to comfort, travels half across the world to save the world, when he could have not said anything at the counsil, and just stayed there, or returned home.
Well I'm sure you are talking strictly movie storylines, but in the books Denethor didn't really want Boromir to go to Imladris. But on the topic, I kind of understand what you are saying about the outcome of Frodo's actions, although in my opinion matching Denethor's actions to Frodo's and saying one affected the other is really random to me. Maybe I just need to understand the claim better.
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Old 08-23-2007, 09:48 AM   #27
Finduilas
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Well I'm sure you are talking strictly movie storylines, but in the books Denethor didn't really want Boromir to go to Imladris. But on the topic, I kind of understand what you are saying about the outcome of Frodo's actions, although in my opinion matching Denethor's actions to Frodo's and saying one affected the other is really random to me. Maybe I just need to understand the claim better.
I meant Faramir. Boromirs quest wasn't quite as hopeless.

Would it sound better, if I said that Frodo lowered the standard? I think that is the right way of putting it, but if it mearly confuses the matter more, then disregard it.
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Old 08-24-2007, 09:48 AM   #28
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The coincidence of three indicators, two of which are entirely arbitrary, carries no more weight than a single indicator. Remember Titanic? Boxoffice success is useless as a barometer of quality, and the Oscars hardly better.

That leaves the professional critics. However, of that body of critics, some have never read Tolkien, most read him years ago and barely remember the book, and none are students or scholars of his work. Now it's not to be denied that Jackson's movies are fairly decent by big, splashy Hollywood standards- but it's no good appealing to film critics as to their legitimacy as renditions of Tolkien. You can't deny that with one or two exceptions the Tolkien-scholar community has been unremittingly hostile to these films- do not their opinions count?

Ah, you call this 'snobbery.' No, it isn't. It is perhaps slightly defensive. For half a century we've been assailed by sneering Literati (the real snobs) who dismiss the Lord of the Rings as merely an exciting adventure story- likened to Boys' Own or even Biggles. What is maddening is this lot's utter lack of perception, a failure or refusal to see beneath the surface, to get beyond mere chases and fights and monsters. But nearly as maddening is the indisputable fact that many Tolkien 'fans' are similarly blinkered, failing to see that JRRT differs not only in degree but in kind from hacks like Brooks and Eddings.

Alas, PJ is one of the latter, and with a zillion-dollar budget he has now reinforced, perhaps indelibly, the 'ripping yarn' view of the LR. His 'incapacity' (CRT's word) to see beyond mere plot, indeed beyond mere genre convention, led him into some of his most ghastly mistakes (from the TS viewpoint)- if Tolkien defied typical action-adventure tropes, he was 'wrong' and needed to be 'improved' by inserting an established cliche. The result was to take an extraordinary and unique work, made with no more than ink and paper, and turn it into something lavish, expensive, spectacular, exciting, and hackneyed. Indiana Jones and the Ring of Doom.

Far better PJ had spent New Line's millions on Sword of Shannara.
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Old 08-24-2007, 11:31 AM   #29
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[QUOTE]
Quote:
The coincidence of three indicators, two of which are entirely arbitrary, carries no more weight than a single indicator. Remember Titanic? Boxoffice success is useless as a barometer of quality, and the Oscars hardly better.[/QUOTE]
These are not arbitrary. They are the three most obvious measurements of the success of a film as utilized and respected by the film industry and those who consider it an artform. Using these is an attempt to take this discussion beyond the personal whims of the individual regardless if it is you, me or anyone else.

Each and every individual person can posess their own measurement of what makes a good film. I am sure that for some out there the number of car chases or body count is their scale. For others it may be hot sheet activity of sexual intensity. For some it may be eye candy or display of fashion or bling. To each their own. And for others it appears that the scale employed is "how faithful is this film to its source material".

However, as personal as any of these scales of success may be in measuring the film for an individual - or even many individuals who may share it - it means nothing to the film industry and to those who follow film as an artform.

Worldwide box office is the measurement most dear to the studio which makes and distributes the film. How could anyone using rational thought not take that into account? Awards such as the BAFTA's and the Academy Awards are a public expression as to how the people who make up the motion picture industry feel about quality films. You are being flippant when you claim it is hardly better than the measurement of box office. To the people who make films, they are of a very high importance. They are also an expression of a degree of quality.

So you did not like TITANIC. That is your right. It did garner 11 Academy Awards and is the top grossing film of all time. Does this mean that every one of those persons who paid over $1.8 billion US dollars for a ticket is a raving idiot or cretin? If they do not like what you like they are those who dwell at the bottom of ignorance? Obviously, the people who make films felt that it was done well, was a quality film, and rewarded it. Of course you have the right to not care for it. But it looks like TITANIC was a huge success for its makers and for the vast majority of people around the world who purchased tickets to see it.


Quote:
That leaves the professional critics. However, of that body of critics, some have never read Tolkien, most read him years ago and barely remember the book, and none are students or scholars of his work. Now it's not to be denied that Jackson's movies are fairly decent by big, splashy Hollywood standards- but it's no good appealing to film critics as to their legitimacy as renditions of Tolkien. You can't deny that with one or two exceptions the Tolkien-scholar community has been unremittingly hostile to these films- do not their opinions count?
It is not the job of the professional film critic to be an expert on the source material of any film if it is adapted from a previous source. It matters not a bit if they had read LOTR a dozen times or not at all. Their job is to be educated in the standards of what makes a good film and to be able to apply and employ those standards to what they see on the screen. Being a scholar or a member of the Tolkien community is irrelevant to thier job and profession.

In fact, you ask if the opinion of the Tolkien community counts, and I would say it is irrelevant to the question of the films quality. That has already been decided - and decided rather overwhelmingly in landslide fashion - by the three types of measurement used in the film industry.

The idea that some in the Tolkien community have adopted - (and I stress the use of the word some because it has never been demonstrated that this is the dominant opinion) - that the films are failures because they are not faithful enough to the books IS A STANDARD THAT CAN NEVER BE SUCCESSFULLY MET BY ANY FILM MAKER ADAPTING A BOOK. A book and a film are two different things. Period. They are like comparing apples to cinderblocks.

I remember seeing the film FOREST GUMP some years ago and enjoying it. Then I read the book upon which it was based and found it horrible. Besides being not especially well written, it had strong tinges of racism throughout it that I found disturbing. The filmmakers had cleansed their film of that undercurrent, had strengthened the story greatly, and had produced a very successful film by the three normal indicators of measurement. I shudder to think what the film would have look liked had it been a "faithful" adaptation.

The idea of a book being "faithfully" adapted is immaterial and irrelevant to the success of a film as a film.



Quote:
Ah, you call this 'snobbery.' No, it isn't. It is perhaps slightly defensive. For half a century we've been assailed by sneering Literati (the real snobs) who dismiss the Lord of the Rings as merely an exciting adventure story- likened to Boys' Own or even Biggles. What is maddening is this lot's utter lack of perception, a failure or refusal to see beneath the surface, to get beyond mere chases and fights and monsters. But nearly as maddening is the indisputable fact that many Tolkien 'fans' are similarly blinkered, failing to see that JRRT differs not only in degree but in kind from hacks like Brooks and Eddings.


Ah. So this is some type of payback then is it? The Literari dismissed something you liked - LOTR in book form - so now its your turn for payback since the film experts embraced and rewarded LOTR in film format. Not the strongest or most noble of motivations.

If all you see in the Jackson films are monster and fights then I think you have not seen the same three films that I and millions of others have seen. Perhaps you are a "glass is half empty" type of person ? Perhaps you watched it expecting that anything less than a slavish page by page translation to the screen would be less than acceptable?

There is beauty in the films. There is the subtle and the sublime. There is the history and lots of backstory that the vast majority of filmmakers would have never included. There is characterization of true human emotion. Its all there if you look with an open mind that was not made up. It also helps not to view the films with eyes, mind and heart locked in with standards that are irrelevant to a films success.
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Old 08-24-2007, 04:56 PM   #30
William Cloud Hicklin
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[QUOTE=Sauron the White;530679]
Quote:
Awards such as the BAFTA's and the Academy Awards are a public expression as to how the people who make up the motion picture industry feel about quality films. You are being flippant when you claim it is hardly better than the measurement of box office. To the people who make films, they are of a very high importance. They are also an expression of a degree of quality.
Do you have any idea what really goes into Academy voting? A mixture of well-financed PR campaigns, politics, logrolling, backscratching, outright bribery...and that's just when the AMPAS members (who may or may not have actually seen the films nominated) don't delegate someone in their entourage to fill out the ballot

Quote:
The idea that some in the Tolkien community have adopted - (and I stress the use of the word some because it has never been demonstrated that this is the dominant opinion) - that the films are failures because they are not faithful enough to the books IS A STANDARD THAT CAN NEVER BE SUCCESSFULLY MET BY ANY FILM MAKER ADAPTING A BOOK. A book and a film are two different things. Period. They are like comparing apples to cinderblocks....The idea of a book being "faithfully" adapted is immaterial and irrelevant to the success of a film as a film.
I take no issue with this- but it's the wrong argument. human intellect is of one nature whether a book or a film is being observed, and certainly can distinguish the degree to which it is being challenged, fulfilled, or fed junk food.

As to 'some'- I suggest you cross-reference those authors who have published scholarly books on Tolkien, or articles in Tolkien Studies or Mythprint, with their opinions on the MythSoc site or elsewhere on the Net. Aside from Shippey's (qualified) approval, and Salo who's hardly disinterested, you'll find that Hammond, Scull, Hostetter, Drout, Garth, Flieger, Croft, Rateliff etc etc etc are all *strongly* condemnatory.



Quote:
Ah. So this is some type of payback then is it? The Literari dismissed something you liked - LOTR in book form - so now its your turn for payback since the film experts embraced and rewarded LOTR in film format. Not the strongest or most noble of motivations.
No, not at all. You misunderstand me. The problem is that Jackson has succeeded (on a massive scale) in reinforcing the critics' false impression of LR as 'simplistic'. Anyone who saw PJ's movies without having read the book would be entirely justified in believing Wilson and Toynbee and Greer et al were right all along- because, ultimately, PJ found no more in the book than they did.

Quote:
Perhaps you watched it expecting that anything less than a slavish page by page translation to the screen would be less than acceptable?
An old strawman, and you know it. Adaptation is of course the operative and entirely necessary word here: but adaptation, one would have hoped, by a writer and director who actually understood what Tolkien was on about in the first place.
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Old 08-24-2007, 05:22 PM   #31
Hilde Bracegirdle
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Not meaning to interupt the stream of the current conversation, but I will toss in my pebble if you will kindly picture it further up the river rather than smack in the middle of the on going discussion regarding how to measure a film's success. (Though I believe that particular debate hinges on which definition of success you are using!)

At anyrate, reading though this thread, it stuck me how well Tolkien suggested Frodo's internal battle. If I remember aright, he didn't dwell overly much on the emotive aspect, but left the reader's imagination fill in the blanks. It was an effective approach that I think may or may not have worked well in a film. It would be a lot harder to get across, certainly, but would have lent a more depth to the production. As it was, most of the struggle was somehow externalized, through visual clues and discussions. We were told what was going on with Frodo, rather than discovering it for ourselves, through Frodo's process of discovering it for himself.

I still have problems reconciling the 2 Frodos, and admit it was rather shock when I first saw Elijah up on the screen. But I do understand that in making a movie the conciderations are far different than in writing a book.
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Old 08-25-2007, 08:29 AM   #32
Sauron the White
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from wch

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Do you have any idea what really goes into Academy voting? A mixture of well-financed PR campaigns, politics, logrolling, backscratching, outright bribery...and that's just when the AMPAS members (who may or may not have actually seen the films nominated) don't delegate someone in their entourage to fill out the ballot
Two words - so what? Unless your point is that only Jackson and the LOTR film crew engaged in these practices to garner their 17 Academy Awards and countless other awards, then its an meaningless point. Every studio does a PR campaign to push their films. Just like every candidate seriously running for office spends big bucks in a campaign. In the end its still the value of the films after all the ads are printed and forgotten. Campaigning and PR is part of the process. By itself it means nothing either good or ill. If you have proof that voters were bribed to vote for the LOTR then I would like to see the evidence of that charge.

Quote:
Aside from Shippey's (qualified) approval, and Salo who's hardly disinterested, you'll find that Hammond, Scull, Hostetter, Drout, Garth, Flieger, Croft, Rateliff etc etc etc are all *strongly* condemnatory.
There are plenty of sites which have many posts of longtime readers which praised the movie. Restricting your argument to a small handful of academics who wrote books which very few have ever actually read is an extremely narrow definition. Perhaps some of this comes down to (as do many of these internet debates) a definition of terms. I would have considered people like Alan Lee and John Howe to be members of the Tolkien community. Does their participation in the films disbar them or cast them out? Or is there a new membership requirement now being applied - namely public loathing of the Jackson films?

Quote:
Anyone who saw PJ's movies without having read the book would be entirely justified in believing Wilson and Toynbee and Greer et al were right all along- because, ultimately, PJ found no more in the book than they did.
Quite possibly true .... BUT only if they saw the three films through the very same limited scope that you yourself viewed them through. You seem to have watched them with a predetermined bias or huge chip on your shoulder. You saw a glass only half filled or empty and condemned it. You missed the beauty, subtelty, and all that was good about it. There is far more to these films than "monsters and fights" and I find it sad that you fail to both see it and admit it.

Hilde Bracegirdle has a valid point in saying

Quote:
Though I believe that particular debate hinges on which definition of success you are using
When I cited the criteria of
1- box office revenue
2- acclaim by professional critics
3- awards from those within the film industry

I was using the three areas that those who make up the film industry, those who follow film as an art form, and those who follow film as a form of popular culture hold dear to themselves. They are the three most commonly accepted measurements by which a films success is judged.

By all three rubrics, the LOTR films were a huge success and have joined the pantheon of films considered as great. I notice that recently the AFI included FOTR as one of the 100 best films ever made over the past 100+ years. In fact, its ranking at #50, was the highest of any film released over the past nine years. Of course, your small group of academic writers were most likely NOT part of the AFI panel. The people that made up the AFI panel were are film experts or make their living in film. That is what they were judging - a film.

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