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Old 05-08-2004, 11:38 PM   #41
Legolas
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The magic was lost to me in the corny gloss spread over a lot of the affair. Gimli's stupid "funny" comments in the face of the impending end of the world, Gollum's "split personalities" always talking to each other (real split personalities are unaware of each other usually, and it was just stupid), Pippin made out to be a 5 year old, some of Aragorn's "moving" speeches, the odd, misplaced emphasis on Arwen (the inserted scenes in movies 2/3), etc. The first movie was my favourite overall...most consistent in the 'enchantment' category. The third movie had some great parts, but fell in a couple of places that disrupted the flow. Some of the best lines from Gandalf in the book (some of the best lines in the book, period) were left out - they could've been used when he's talking to Pippin in Minas Tirith.

I thought Galadriel was done wonderfully. Susan Sarandon was/is too old looking. No matter how old she is, Galadriel was an elf, and I can't see Sarandon being made to work in either respect (age or elven-feel).
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Old 05-10-2004, 03:58 AM   #42
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Well, I don't know ant actor that could be beautifull enough to be an Elf, even with all the make up and effects. Maybe among the models...Anyway, I think that it's good that they used actors that are not too famous (like Pitt, or de Niro, or Clooney, or Julia Roberts and Sharon Stone for example). The cast was made very wise, out of good actors, but now we could really except them as characters from the book more easily.
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Old 05-11-2004, 09:37 PM   #43
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Silmaril

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Originall posted by Child of the 7th Age
My problem with the movie did not lie in its visual depiction of Middle-earth, but in its treatment of character and plot.
Same goes for me. The major complaints I have with the movie are the changes PJ made in some of the characters' personalities (a prominent one of which is Faramir, but that's another story). We can't blame him, though, if that's the way he chose to portray them. He can exercise "artistic liberty" as the director and can include his own opinions. However, that's where he gets mobbed by Tolkien purists.
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Old 05-13-2004, 06:37 AM   #44
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Child, your post re jackson's visualisation:
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I did, for example, find his depiction of the Shire quite enchanting. I only wish the Grey Havens would have lived up to that
What exactly did you see wrong with jackson's visualisation? I thought, like the music at this point, it was marvellously understated. We could have had some real tearjerking material both with music and speech, but like Tolkien does, he keeps it to a bare minimum.

Or do you have a problem with the 'style' of the grey havens. I would say a harbour is a harbour. Does it really matter what it looks like? In my visulation, for some reason I always saw the grey havens in my mind's eye as a jetty on a beach. Jackson's was somewhat more grander, but I do not mind this. I think the havens look beautiful and melancholy.

A second point on another post re your problem with character and plot. Where does Jackson deviate from the plot to its detriment? Yes, we have aragorn 'dying' and the hobbits taking a detour to osgiliath that I don't agree with, but the journey remains the same, and the plot (mainly) is not different from the book.

ring found, ring goes on a journey, descision taken, ring taken south, frodo runs off with sam, the rest go their seperate ways, rohan saved, minas tirith sacked, treachery of gollum, spider dies, witch king defeated by hobbit and woman, victory on pellenor field, frodo taken by the Enemy, Frodo saved by Sam, King fights at the black gate, hobbits climb up mountain, Frodo assumes control of ring, Frodo's finger's bitten off, ring destroyed, hobbits honoured, king crowned, hobbits go home, ring bearers head West.

ok, so we don't have old forest, tom, barrows and scouring, but these are no as much plot changes as deletions!
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Old 05-13-2004, 02:15 PM   #45
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Essex,

Let me again underline that, for the most part, I was deeply caught up in the movies. I can not think of another film that has portrayed a different world with the depth and grace that PJ did. They were, for the most part, visually inspiring. For that, I am grateful.

However, for a variety of reasons that have already been discussed here, I did not feel that the movie caught the magic of the book to the same degree that it might have.

As far as the Grey Havens go, Son of Numenor has said it as well as I could, so I will quote him:

Quote:
Although I may be a member of the minority on this, I felt the same way about the Grey Havens. When I read the book, I pictured a grey, misty harbour, the voices of Elves lamenting the end of their stay in Middle-earth in a solemn dirge, & the ship setting sail into a misty horizon. What we got (or at least I personally got - I definitely do not mean to try & speak for everyone) in the movie was a bright, shiny harbour, with everyone smiling sadly- bittersweet, to be sure, but a more 'Disney' ending than the melancholy aura of the book. Though there were tears, to be sure, they did not feel as deep or meaningful as they did in the books. Like the movie scenes in Lothlórien, I did not really feel what it meant for the Elves to be departing like I did in the books,
The two obvious departures from character were Frodo and Faramir, but I also felt uncomfortable with Denethor and in certain scenes with Arwen (especially those in the Fellowship when she puts a sword to Aragorn). In general, there was no hint of the wisdom of Numenor, either in Denethor or Faramir or the other soldiers of Minas Tirith. I would say that PJ did a better job depicting the Men of Rohan, with their heroic stance, but couldn't get a handle on the sad wisdom of the nobility of Gondor. As far as plot deviations go, we have discussed these before. Just to name a few included on the list: Osgiliath, the scenes where Samwise was sent home, Aragorn's death, the Elves marching in at Helm's Deep, the too heavy cloud that hung over FotR with most of the lighter touches missing.

Please don't get the wrong impression. I have a treasured collection of Oscar ads that I have systematically gathered from the first film onward. RotK had me weeping at many points. Obviously, I would not have done that unless I cared for the movie. Even many of the plot deviations are understandable in the light of the other revisions that PJ made. But that doesn't mean I have to like them all! The omissions are less of a problem to me; it is the changes in character that bother me the most. And Faramir and Frodo head that list. Here I simply do not see the same characters that Tolkien wrote about.
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Old 05-14-2004, 02:53 AM   #46
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For me, the character changes to Aragorn and Theoden really rankled.
Having Aragorn reject his Numenoran heritage: "he has chosen exile". Grrr.

And Theoden, still spouting lines from the Wormtongue era, *after* his freedom from enchantment by Gandalf. (which in itself was a very silly scene, the kind of ham-fisted special effects-fest that, like Galadriel's ring-temptation, dispels magic rather than creates it). The King of Rohan even questioning his allegiance to Gondor? Outrageous.
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Old 05-16-2004, 10:58 AM   #47
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Lobelia, I suspect this comment was directed to me, as I think I am the only one here who has explicitly expressed disappointment with Galadriel's depiction.

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and I also think that while it's fair enough to say, "Cate Blanchett's Galadriel didn't work for me", there's no point in blaming the poor woman for not being like a genuine Elf! Sorry, we don't actually HAVE any Elves to act in our films, or I'm sure PJ would have hired some.
My point was not to "blame" Blanchett for her looks or for failing to look genuinely elven. My comments address the artistry of acting and movie making and not personal appearance per se.

Have you ever seen a picture of someone who is beautiful in the light of day but who is not photogenic, who the camera betrays? Or the converse, someone who appears pleasant but perhaps rather ordinary in appearance but who on film becomes something more, a wholly other person or representation? This difference is what I am referring to: The measure of artistic creation.

Ulmo/Legolas,

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I thought Galadriel was done wonderfully. Susan Sarandon was/is too old looking. No matter how old she is, Galadriel was an elf, and I can't see Sarandon being made to work in either respect (age or elven-feel).
Fair enough that you feel this way about Sarandon. I think of her work in Dead Man Walking but not all need have the same response I do. Nor, indeed, is she the only actress I can think of as Galdriel. Michelle Phiffier? If Sarandon is too old for you, I suspect that Angelica Huston would be even farther off the mark.

I can understand how people are happy with Galadriel's depiction in the movie. After all, if we have only LOTR to go on, not the Silm, nor Tolkien's post-writing commentary where he rewrites her back into the Legendarium, then we are left with the description, "No blemish or sickness or deformith could be seen in anything that grew upon the earth. On the land of Lórien there was no stain." Yet this power which Haldir says is "the power of the Lady of the Galadrim" is the power which Haldir also says, "perceives the very heart of the darkness." This power I did not feel, only the very lovely loveliness. Everything else was technical pyrotechnics.

But tell me, did it not strike you as strange that Elrond should look older than his mother in law? Perhaps this is indeed a suggestion that the days of Rivendell are numbered but it remains a disappointment to me.

So, in all, I agree with those here who feel that Jackson was better at capturing the magic of Tolkien's landscapes--Essex despite your acceptance of the Grey Havens it remains for me more a departure on a luxury Caribbean excursion than sailing away to another realm entirely. It is too happy and pleased with itself, too much the requisite happy Hollywood ending.

Child, SpM has graciously asked permission to restore post # 37, which I deleted feeling it was off-topic. Subsequent posts have made it less so, but I would like to draw your attention to a comment I made to you at the end: there's a thread for you in the making, I think.
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Old 05-16-2004, 06:42 PM   #48
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Silmaril Scoring the magic ...

I was listening to the RotK soundtrack the other day, and it occurred to me that there is one way in which a representation of the book on film might, in some respects, convey more "magic" than the book itself. (Have you guessed? )

Unless you are an unfeasibly talented musician, I doubt that any of us imagines a score to accompany the words while we are reading the text. But, properly done, a film score can add greatly to the "magic" of the events being portrayed on film. And I think that Howard Shore acheived this "with bells on" throughout much of the trilogy. His Elven theme, for example, puts me directly in touch with that feeling of enchantment that I felt on first reading the book. For me, it stunningly evokes the sadness and the fading beauty of the Elves. It conveys sheer "Elvishness". And the score which accompanies the events at Sammath Naur is incredibly powerful, and serves to underline the gravity and the sheer significance of those events. There are, I think, many other examples of this too. I only have to listen to that overrriding theme which starts each film of the trilogy to feel a sense of marvel and wonder.

So here, I think, is one area, where the film does have an added ability to convey the "magic" over the books. Although I still feel that the books win out because, even though we might not have our own score running in our head while we read, the sense conveyed by the score is still there, I think, while we read. For me, it was Shore's genius which actualised that sense in musical form.
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Old 05-17-2004, 03:05 AM   #49
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Bethberry, re your point on the Grey Havens "It is too happy and pleased with itself".

My point following has no doubt been discussed on other threads, so I suppose I'll be pointed to one of them, but why indeed do you think the Elves are so sad to be leaving middle-earth? Yes, leaving somewhere where they have lived for thousands of years would make them somewhat meloncholy, but they are returning to the Undying Lands. Are these not a more beautiful, tranquil place for them to reside? Shouldn't they be happy that they are returning 'home' (yes, I know the firstborn where born in the east of middle-earth, so not technically home for some of them)

I await a pointer to particular threads!

PS Bethberry, your PM folder has run out of space.....

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Old 05-20-2004, 04:28 PM   #50
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I suspect that some of the reason for the loss of 'magic' or wonder comes from the fact that we are all of us raised in a televisual age -- and are therefore extremely literate in the language and narrative structure of film: three acts, linear plot, character arch, field of vision, etc etc -- even if we don't know what these things are, we are so familiar with them that they are part of our viewing experience.

Part of the magical allure of LotR is that it is not 'really' a novel, but a tale told in a manner that is much older than modern storytelling techniques. It is presented in a way and according to rules that are not familiar, and so as we read it we are forced not only to move into the story, bu to adopt a way of thinking about story and narrative that is not the usual. This, I think, really makes the sense of being immersed in "another world" actually a reality, insofar as we have to give up the 'normal' or 'comfortable' ways we have of thinking about how our world is represented (i.e. in film or modern novels) and working within a wholly 'new' (to us) way of narration/creating an imaginary realm.

It's not just a new and imaginary world, but a new and imaginary way of thinking - the medium of film is just too familiar to replicate that.
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Old 05-20-2004, 09:43 PM   #51
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Peter Jackson said something along the lines of: I wasn't going for fantasy, I was going for history. I understand what he is talking about, but I think it was rather bold of him to say so. After all, LOTR is a fantasy.

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The latter two films seemed to rely too much on misplaced pranks and out of place humour and special effects for them to suggest Middle-earth. They remained movies rather than a special place. imho
Very correct Bethberry. I was extremely upset that almost every line of Gimli's in TTT was for comic relief. A specially irritating line was something like:

He twitched because I have my axe embedded in his nervous system!

This line form TTT EE sickened me. NERVOUS SYSTEM!? COME ON! A huge part of taking away from the magic, i believe, was the lack of sinign. Except for a few songs by the hobbits, and Aragorn at the end, and Eowyn in TTT EE,( and possibly a few others that may have slipped my mind) the whole trilogy was missing the merry singing and folky spirit that was embodied in LOTR.

Hey dol, thats all i have to say
now i shall be on my way!
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Old 05-21-2004, 04:52 AM   #52
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White Tree Good movies

FOTR seemed like the best, well put, organized movie. The others seemed choppy and a little less organized, maybe because FOTR focused on the fellowship and the other two movies the fellowship was split up.

I do agree, that a movie will never be able to show the "characters" like a book would. I believe part of it was because PJ focused on a very small aspect of the books, WAR. PJ didn't concentrate enough on the relationships or importances of certain people, I think if he had, then he would of included in Imrahil or Beregond. My biggest problem was Gondor's weakness. PJ downplayed Gondor to make it show that Gondor needed a king. Gondor probably would of lost if it wasn't for Aragorn but, Gondor just seemed way to weak. Denethor was a horrible father but PJ made him a complete ***. Denethor was a much wiser man than PJ showed and a much greater man. Excluding leaders like Imrahil, Beregond, Forlong, really take away the strength that Gondor did have. There were a lot of things missing from ROTK, and I know everything from the books can't be in the movie. I think PJ could of cut some of the fighting, some other things and added in more of the other themes to Tolkien besides war. From what I hear the ROTK extended edition, sounds very promising and could make me a lot happier.

Final words, PJ did a great job with the movies, and I honestly believe no one else could of done what he did.
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Old 05-21-2004, 11:12 AM   #53
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I agree with Essex on this one...the final film WAS almost perfect. Obviously, I'm a bit biased to to think that everything 'Sam' is awesome, but Sean Astin really hit me with RotK. I mean, he just gave to much to the emotions and thoughts of Sam...his facial expressions, the way he said the lines, everything. The first 2 films WERE great, but the magic is just really there for me in the last one. Know what I mean? I know this kinda doesn't make sense...but you just get this feeling watching it. I don't know how to describe it. It's the same feeling I get reading the books. It just really is~ magical.
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Old 05-22-2004, 05:03 AM   #54
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The problem is that there is no conceivable way that Peter Jackson could have made the films acceptable to every single person who watches them. If he had put in all the history of Middle Earth to explain why things are firstly the film would have been about a week long and secondly he'd have lost a large chunk of the audience. He had to sacrifice some things to give people who aren't familiar with the books a chance to experience it.
I agree that because of this some of the magic of the books was lost - like the missing Tom Bombadil scenes, that was a shame. However some of the things that he did do were absolutely perfect. For example the scene where Gollum was crawling down the Emin Muil with the moon behind him. I have had that picture in my head for years since I first read the books and to see it depicted on the screen like that really was a magical moment.
And as for the Galadriel thing - I only skim read this thread so I don't know who it was - but the person who said:
We don't have any real elves to act elves
has a darn good point.
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Old 05-24-2004, 02:43 AM   #55
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Bombadil said:
"A huge part of taking away from the magic, i believe, was the lack of sinign. Except for a few songs by the hobbits, and Aragorn at the end, and Eowyn in TTT EE,( and possibly a few others that may have slipped my mind) the whole trilogy was missing the merry singing and folky spirit that was embodied in LOTR."


I agree with that. I missed party in ihe Hall of Fire, in Rivendel, and more elvish singing. It gives magic to ME, but in movies it's put far aside.
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Old 05-24-2004, 04:14 AM   #56
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Silmaril

Quote:
Originally posted by The Saucepan Man
So here, I think, is one area, where the film does have an added ability to convey the "magic" over the books. Although I still feel that the books win out because, even though we might not have our own score running in our head while we read, the sense conveyed by the score is still there, I think, while we read. For me, it was Shore's genius which actualised that sense in musical form.
I have agreed to this statement all along, but it is only until lately that I have realized how much the LotR soundtrack has affected me. I felt as if my standards of a good movie now include the music behind it, which normally I ignore. Because of the magic conveyed by the LotR soundtrack, I feel that every good movie's music should be as captivating as it is.
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Old 05-26-2004, 05:43 AM   #57
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Regarding the singing: it's a tricky business to portray as I don't think we today are used to communicating through song the way our ancestors did.
Actually I thought Miranda Otto's singing in TTT EE *was* quite a magical moment, and one of the few times she seemed to be Tolkien's Eowyn. I wish they'd kept that in the movie edition.
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Old 05-26-2004, 12:34 PM   #58
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But if they'd kept it in they would have had to put subtitles up and as there were already subtitles for the elvish conversations it would have been a little odd. If they had put it in without them it would have been good, though Eowyn never really seems upset by Theodreds death apart from when he actually dies.
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Old 05-26-2004, 04:46 PM   #59
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For me, the magic simply did not ever exsist in the movies. After all, how can any movie ever hope to compare with what I saw the first time I read a book, any book? Even though I have a hard time imagining faces.

I think that they could have included some singing. Even nowadays, people still like to sing. I mean, lots of people sing around campfires when they're camping. The least they could've done was to NOT twist a hobbit walking song into something sad. I wouldn't like to walk to that, I can tell you!

The first movie really did come the closest to the books, as has been said before. The Two Towers was WAY off the mark, and I really did enjoy the Return of the King, and wept through the entire thing (when I wasn't telling my brother to stop whining about Irmahil~and he doesn't even LIKE LOTR!), but it didn't come anywhere near to the magic of the books.

In conclusion, I really do enjoy the movies, but they're just that: a movie. They are constructed so that everyone can understand in the shortest amount of time. The books can be more "confusing"~it's easier to go back and reread a few sentences than to rewind a movie. No one can reproduce what I have in my head, not even me.
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Old 06-10-2004, 02:27 PM   #60
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For me the movies had magic, it was just different from the books. But I never tried to see the movies and books as one. I keep them seperate. I will be talking about just the movies or just about the books other than when I am comparing them of course.

I don't think the magic was gone in the movies, it justr felt different but usually that is what happens when a book is made into a movie. For me the feeling usually changes anyway.
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Old 06-13-2004, 05:05 PM   #61
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You know, some things about the movie did bother me a bit, but I still loved it. I think the absence of some things improved the movie a bit.
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