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Old 02-20-2009, 06:51 AM   #1
Sauron the White
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ROTK - Ultimate Best Film winner

In an online poll pitting many great award winning films against each other in a tournament style competition, RETURN OF THE KING has been named as the Ultimate Best Picture of all time.

http://oscars.movies.yahoo.com/blog/...-rings-is-king

ROTK emerged over THE GODFATHER as over 700,000 people cast votes.
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Old 02-20-2009, 08:50 AM   #2
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The victims of Round One included such favorites as "Gladiator," which was barely bested by finalist "The Godfather," along with others like "Casablanca," "Silence of the Lambs," "Lawrence of Arabia," and "Gone with the Wind."
Really? ROTK beat out some of those movies listed? ROTK is a good movie (as long as you look at it as a movie not as an adaptation), but it's not better than Casablanca, Lawrence of Arabia, or Gone with the Wind.
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Old 02-20-2009, 09:20 AM   #3
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And by the same token, the Big Mac Combo Meal is the best comestible ever.

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Old 02-20-2009, 09:49 AM   #4
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Could hardly sit through RotK to be honest. I enjoyed FotR though.

The other finalist, The Godfather, would have been a worthy winner.
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Old 02-20-2009, 10:28 AM   #5
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WCH - can you point to a similar poll where the Bic Mac combo meal was pitted against other foods and was judged by 700,000 people to be the best?

Even those who partake of such meals do not necessarilly believe it is the best. Cost and availability have much to do with the success of McDonalds. Speed and access also play a role.

I seriously doubt that even if you interviewed customers right in a McDonalds they would tell you that their meal is the absolute best beating out all other meals.

It must really smoke your shorts that the public loves these films when you have the opposite opinion.
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Old 02-20-2009, 11:51 AM   #6
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Sauron, a poll is not reality. It's merely a measure of people's perception of reality: people, fifty percent of whom are of below-average intelligence.

No plebiscite or election can make 2 + 2 = 5, or make the Keynesian Multiplier other than a myth.
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Old 02-20-2009, 12:15 PM   #7
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WCH - one could say the same of any beliefs. The beliefs of the people who participated in this film poll. Your political or social beliefs. My beliefs about what shoes to buy.

So what?

This is a Tolkien site and I thought people would like to hear the great news.

What does addition have to do with anything?

Sounds to me like you just don't like the movies and you are displeased to see that so many people do. This is hardly news that they are going to stop the presses for.
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Old 02-20-2009, 02:13 PM   #8
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My issue with the poll is not so much that the will of the masses may be right or wrong, but that the masses themselves are automatically limited by the nature of the poll.

This is not a representative sample of the population; it's a sample of people who were online (specifically on Yahoo), knew about the poll and cared enough to vote in it. Which automatically skews the population such that it's younger. Plus there are a lot more people active online who care about Lord of the Rings than, say, Casablanca (I can't even think of an equivalent of a Balrog-wings debate in that universe!).

Now, I'm sure that there were plenty of people in the poll who were simply movie afficionados in general and had some really tough decisions to make when casting their vote--and voted for RotK. But we have a still-active fanbase out there, including Yahoo groups, and they could very well have influenced the voting--it doesn't take that large of a margin if things are close.

Call me again when the poll seems to be statistically valid and then I'll celebrate.



Also, what release of RotK are we talking about? The theatrical release for me felt as if it was depending too much on the EE and so had a lot more plotholes than, say, Fellowship.
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Old 02-20-2009, 03:24 PM   #9
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Gee whiz folks - this news would have gone over better on a Star Wars board. I would have thought people on a Tolkien board would have been very happy to hear it.
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Old 02-20-2009, 06:54 PM   #10
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I would be a good deal happier if I felt it were telling me any sort of information I could trust! As it is, I can't manage to dredge up any sort of feeling for it, negative or positive, even though I am certainly not ambivalent about the films themselves.
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:15 PM   #11
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Pipe

ROTK cinematically was good, but had way too
many absurd changes to be considered in the
top 1,000 movies (sorry). To cite some, maia
Gandalf's assaulting the Steward of Gondor,
the green slime at the BotPF, yadda,
yadda, yadda.
On the other hand FOTR was very good (and the
only one I really rewatch). If I was an Academy
voter I'd have been hard pressed to choose
between it and Chicago .
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Old 02-20-2009, 08:35 PM   #12
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Wow, weird. RotK was good, but it wasn't that good. Certainly not better than Godfather, Casablanca, Gladiator, or Lawrence of Arabia. I wonder if RotK will stand the test of time as well as some of those other films.
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Old 02-20-2009, 09:43 PM   #13
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Personally, I would like to see the age demographics of the survey. I wonder if a large proportion of the voters have even seen such films as Lawrence of Arabia or Casablanca, or even have the wherewithal to judge the merits of a great film.

On the American Film Institute's Top 100 films, Fellowship of the Ring is rated 50th. That sounds about right; although I have misgivings for the manner in which the AFI list is concatenated as well.
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Old 02-20-2009, 10:43 PM   #14
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lotr pwns godfathir LOL!!111!!!

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Gee whiz folks - this news would have gone over better on a Star Wars board. I would have thought people on a Tolkien board would have been very happy to hear it.
Oh come on, STW– you know we fancy ourselves as intellectuals here. Do you really expect us to be thrilled that a bunch of Yahoo! users have voted "Return of the King" TEH MOST AWSOMEST MOVIE EVAH LIEK WHOA!!!!111!!!!

So humiliating...
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Old 02-20-2009, 11:05 PM   #15
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Gee whiz folks - this news would have gone over better on a Star Wars board. I would have thought people on a Tolkien board would have been very happy to hear it.
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Oh come on, STW– you know we fancy ourselves as intellectuals here. Do you really expect us to be thrilled that a bunch of Yahoo! users have voted "Return of the King" TEH MOST AWSOMEST MOVIE EVAH LIEK WHOA!!!!111!!!!

So humiliating...
Actually, the folks at TheOneRing.net are doing handstands of joy due to the proclamation, but they have always been more film/fan boy oriented (not all, there are many serious Tolkien enthusiasts there, but there are even more Legolas-lovers). I think there are perhaps more folks here who are interested in the literature and not so much the films; at least that's my impression. Personally, I don't consider RotK in my top 10 films, or top 20 for that matter. The poor scripting and juvenile plot changes ruined the experience for me. Brilliant cinematography, great special effects, but ham-handed direction and some questionable casting. I am sure you have a difference of opinion in that regard, but we wouldn't be having many in-depth discussions here if we all followed the company line.
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Old 02-22-2009, 10:38 PM   #16
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I always get disturbed by how much some of the *intellectuals* here love to attack anyone who insults their *intellectualism*. You've gone well beyond the the usual complaing about the films on this thread.

Get over yourselves enough to be respectful maybe, please?

I apologize, but I really did feel that was necessary. I should have left bad enough alone, but here I am hitting the reply button...

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Old 02-22-2009, 11:09 PM   #17
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I always get disturbed by how much the *intellectuals* here love to attack anyone who insults their *intellectualism*. You've gone well beyond the the usual whining about the films on this thread.
But we're such elitists around here, Durelin, we simply can't.

Speaking strictly about movies here and not books. I feel if any LOTR movie should win best film it should have be Fellowship of the Ring. It was far more magical than Return of the King and I thought the script was better than either of the other two LOTR movies.

Still there are better movies that have come out since ROTK. There are scenes that if I had never read the books would jump out to me as ridiculous and stupid compared to the larger story. Example: Denethor's almost Mel Brooks-ish death plunge, how was that not funny? Or all the build up of Saruman in the first two movies, but in the theatrical release he's not even shown..., and why should Merry and Pippin be honored like Frodo and Sam?

As a movie ROTK has great battle scenes and for the most part the dialogue is good (ignoring all and any references to Arwen being tied to the Ring). But to label it the greatest movie of all time is far fetched. In my opinion it's not even the best of the three, much less the best movie I've ever seen. I will still gladly watch it and suspend my annoyance at book changes to enjoy it, but I'd hardly put it above great pieces of cinema like Gone with the Wind, Schindler's List, or even Little Miss Sunshine.
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:49 PM   #18
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I would agree with Kitanna's estimation of FotR being the best of the three, perhaps because there were far fewer unnecessary flights of fancy in that one, and the strong performances of both Sir Ians, McKellen and Holm, as well as Sean Bean.
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:33 AM   #19
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Ditto for FOTR.

Quote:
Example: Denethor's almost Mel Brooks-ish death plunge, how was that not funny?
I guess it's not good to be the Steward
.

And there's the worst bit in RoTK, Gandalf assaulting
the Steward. Eowyn was still hot, though.
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Old 02-24-2009, 06:02 AM   #20
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I always get disturbed by how much some of the *intellectuals* here love to attack anyone who insults their *intellectualism*.
If that was directed at me: uh– you do realise I was trying to be funny, don't you?

*sigh*

'Tis a thankless task. Or perhaps I'm just not– *sniff* – not very good at it... *sob*


*broken-hearted weeping*
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Old 02-24-2009, 04:45 PM   #21
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If that was directed at me: uh– you do realise I was trying to be funny, don't you?
I thought so, but wasn't sure (sarcasm doesn't transmit well over the nets, I know this well) - thus, it was not directed at you (promise), nor at any specific person.

What I think we could keep in mind about the Best Picture award for RotK is that, at least as it seemed to me, the award was a sort of "wow, those were all three big movies - here ya go!"

They are pretty epic productions, and good films, all three (of course to varying degrees).

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Personally, I would like to see the age demographics of the survey. I wonder if a large proportion of the voters have even seen such films as Lawrence of Arabia or Casablanca, or even have the wherewithal to judge the merits of a great film.
As Mnemosyne said, I believe, these are Yahoo, internet users, so likely younger. It is just an internet poll, so nothing to get worked up over ye film-despisers. They were/are very popular with the "younger generation" I suppose. And hey, they've gotten a lot of people to read Tolkien's work, myself included. And really their influence on cinema is pretty strong.

Would I have voted for RotK, or even the films collectively, as the best films of all time? Nah. The best films of all time were not "best pictures". "Luke, I am your father..."
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Old 02-24-2009, 07:53 PM   #22
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Would I have voted for RotK, or even the films collectively, as the best films of all time? Nah. The best films of all time were not "best pictures". "Luke, I am your father..."
Ummm...the intellectual in me wants to throttle you with Jabba the Hut's chain. Star Wars and its pedestrian progeny are the most overrated films in this galaxy, or even in a galaxy far, far away.
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Old 02-24-2009, 08:19 PM   #23
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IAnd really their influence on cinema is pretty strong.
Now this is a very interesting point. It adds a new perspective to our discussions and lamentations. Nicely done, Durelin.

What has been their influence on other films so far? Certainly they represent a tremendous development in special effects and the filming of three movies at one time was unique. And the cinematography was superb. (But so was David Lean's, to say nothing of the achievements in this field of Japanese directors.)

But what other impact have the three movies made on other directors, on other movies? Can we look at recent movies and say, 'yes, yes, there's Jackson's style"-- or Jackson's influence, or Jackson's mark?

"Inquiring minds" want to know.
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Old 02-25-2009, 09:44 AM   #24
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And really their influence on cinema is pretty strong.
I wonder what other director/creators could have done to enhance/change what PJ did. CGI is great and all, but I wonder what would have been done if someone like Jim Henson had tackled the project before his death. Snuffleupagus has a Mumakil anyone?

Or even how would LOTR been enhanced if scenese like the Barrow Wights had been included? I wasn't extremely impressed with the look of the King of the Dead, so I wonder what the wights would have turned out.
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Old 02-25-2009, 10:13 AM   #25
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I wonder what other director/creators could have done to enhance/change what PJ did. CGI is great and all, but I wonder what would have been done if someone like Jim Henson had tackled the project before his death. Snuffleupagus has a Mumakil anyone?

Or even how would LOTR been enhanced if scenese like the Barrow Wights had been included? I wasn't extremely impressed with the look of the King of the Dead, so I wonder what the wights would have turned out.
I remember a discussion by the special effects group somewhere in the Extended Edition of RotK that they were rushing to finish their version of the King of the Dead because the production of the Pirates of the Caribbean were working concurrently on the look of Barbarossa and the dead pirates. If you compare the ghastly features of Barbarossa and the King of the Dead, they are virtually kissing cousins -- although I suppose that is a gross analogy.

I am not altogether sure that Jackson has left some great legacy for future directors. WETA technology is certainly evident in other films, of course, and CGI has proliferated to the point where there is almost nothing left of humanity in films like 300 or Beowulf. I don't necessarily view that as a good thing, however. The films Jackson made prior to the Lord of the Rings are Saturday matinee fair, good for the genre they are in but not great, and I would suggest that King Kong was nowhere near the achivement of the original film, nor did it add anything important to that film's legacy. I rented Jackson's King Kong once and was irritated I wasted the four bucks.

Recently, the deplorable site EW issued its top 25 active directors, found here...

http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20259843,00.html

Both Jackson and Guillermo Del Toro were on the list. Good for them, I guess, but the list is suspect, and many of the choices are laughable, particularly since such great 'active' directors as Milos Foreman (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Amadeus, People vs Larry Flynt), Roman Polanski (Rosemary's Baby, The Pianist, Chinatown), Francis Ford Coppolla (The Godfather Trilogy, The Conversation, Apocalypse Now), and Jonathan Demme (Melvin and Howard, Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia) are not included. Yet they applaud the guy who made Elf and Iron Man as more significant than the directors I just mentioned? Whatever.
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Old 02-25-2009, 10:41 AM   #26
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I am not altogether sure that Jackson has left some great legacy for future directors.
I have a similar hesitation. And while polls and popularity speak to the praise of the fans or the masses or the select niches of viewers, backed up by the rings of the cash register, I think in film history what really marks a brilliant director or brilliant film is the effect on future film makers. They are, after all, the artists who create the art and so they sense the pulse of the art in a way that we mere viewers can not. Which is not to say that simple fans can't have an appreciation for film, just that maybe the artists have a special "in".

'course I could be wrong. Maybe in ten years some hot shot will show up on the indy circuit who boldly goes where PJ did not while still having that telling nod to PJ. It wouldn't even have to be in the fantasy genre; it could be any genre.
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Old 02-25-2009, 12:01 PM   #27
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What of the nod to 'mocap,' which was used to bring Andy Serkis' Gollum to life?

Though this link shows where the technology is headed, and came up when researching 'mocap' and 'Gollum,' Peter Jackson is not mentioned in the article.
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Old 02-25-2009, 12:36 PM   #28
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“I would suggest that Peter Jackson’s films were better than Tolkien’s books,” (Salman) Rushdie said of the “Lord of the Rings” series. “Jackson directs better than Tolkien writes.”
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Old 02-25-2009, 01:58 PM   #29
Durelin
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Ummm...the intellectual in me wants to throttle you with Jabba the Hut's chain. Star Wars and its pedestrian progeny are the most overrated films in this galaxy, or even in a galaxy far, far away.
Two smilies wasn't enough to calm the intellectual in you a little bit? The intellectual in me laughs. The rest of me doesn't care how 'overrated' anything is if I happen to like it!

As for the influence on cinema, all I know is that the LotR films kickstarted a streak of medieval and/or fantasy epics of various kinds which has kinda disappeared by now. And it feels like the battle scenes in LotR have created a standard.

Is the influence beyond that? Is it a long standing influence? Well, I think that since the LotR release there have been a lot more 2 and 1/2 - 3 hour movies being released, but that may be my lack of awareness previously. But, the old epics like Lawrence of Arabia and religious epics like Ben Hur ran 3+ hours, and you can certainly see how PJ was influenced by those!

Another thing that came to mind is the difference between a "best picture" and "your favorite movie". They don't have to be the same thing. At least, they aren't for me. I like watching movies for entertainment, not necessarily to tackle philosophical questions or to be moved emotionally or to have my head messed with. I love adorable pixar movies. I love a movie when it entertains me.

I can still appreciate aspects such as aesthetic value, good writing, good acting, engaging plot, etc, etc to a certain extent (I mean, I'm no film critic, but I don't know how qualified all the film critics are either), but...most of the time, actually, I don't want to watch a psychological drama or especially like a politically driven film because I like watching movies, most of the time, purely for entertainment. I like to laugh and find escape in movies, not be dragged into a depressing mess that realistically represents the human condition. Not most of the time.

So...I guess all my point is that, when people vote for a "best picture" they are not always voting for a "best picture" as in an excellent piece of cinema based on all those meaty things critics take to be part of good cinema, but they are voting for their "favorite movie" (at least a favorite movie) which entertained them and they don't mind seeing more than once.

You may still condemn anyone who voted for RotK, but hey, storytelling in all its forms was always about entertainment, regardless of what else was and is attached to it. Part of that now in film has to do with things looking cool. Of course you could go off on a whole discussion of the various artforms film incorporates, and how all artforms can "tell a story" but bleh, who has time for that...
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Old 02-25-2009, 03:34 PM   #30
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“I would suggest that Peter Jackson’s films were better than Tolkien’s books,” (Salman) Rushdie said of the “Lord of the Rings” series. “Jackson directs better than Tolkien writes.”
And I care what Salman Rushdie thinks? I'll take Umberto Eco and raise you a Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Jackson directs better than Rushdie writes, and Tolkien is better than either. I'd post that on a Salman Rushdie forum...if I could find one that was active (one I found had no posts and the other's link was dead). Get back to me in 50 years on Rushdie -- this Tolkien forum will likely still be around, although we may not.

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Originally Posted by Durelin
Another thing that came to mind is the difference between a "best picture" and "your favorite movie". They don't have to be the same thing. At least, they aren't for me. I like watching movies for entertainment, not necessarily to tackle philosophical questions or to be moved emotionally or to have my head messed with. I love adorable pixar movies. I love a movie when it entertains me.
I thought Wall-E was the best picture I saw this year. I was rather irritated it didn't get a best picture nomination, and also 'In Bruges', another great film that was ignored.
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Old 03-10-2009, 07:23 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Morthoron View Post
And I care what Salman Rushdie thinks? I'll take Umberto Eco and raise you a Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Jackson directs better than Rushdie writes, and Tolkien is better than either. I'd post that on a Salman Rushdie forum...if I could find one that was active (one I found had no posts and the other's link was dead). Get back to me in 50 years on Rushdie -- this Tolkien forum will likely still be around, although we may not.
Heh. Rushdie is just a publicity seeker. I'd even venture to say that he wrote The Satanic Verses knowing full well that it would attract a furore (maybe he didn't expect an actual fatwa though) and boost his sales figures. Literary fiction is not always decent fiction (and Rushdie's most certainly isn't - having sampled two of his works and almost dying of tedium).

And I quote my current favourite columnist:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Brooker in yesterday's Guardian
The other irony is that while people lie about having read highbrow novels in order to impress each other, a massive percentage of highbrow novels aren't worth reading anyway because the authors are too busy trying to impress the reader (who, we now know, probably hasn't bothered turning up). That's why so many contemporary novels seem to largely consist of a thinly veiled version of the author discussing politics and art and quantum theory over a carefully selected bottle of wine with the devastatingly beautiful mixed-race wife of an impotent international statesman and/or gangster (delete where applicable) before whisking her off to a swish hotel room to.....*snip*
Heh. He could almost be talking about Rushdie!

Quote:
I thought Wall-E was the best picture I saw this year. I was rather irritated it didn't get a best picture nomination, and also 'In Bruges', another great film that was ignored.
I've just seen In Bruges, on Sky, and it was superb, and I'd never even heard about it until davem said he wanted to watch it (and he missed it in the end ). Just goes to show that hype counts in what people 'think' is actually decent. This year's best film is already out though - Watchmen. It's about 1,000 billion times better than RotK.
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:20 AM   #32
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Heh. Rushdie is just a publicity seeker. I'd even venture to say that he wrote The Satanic Verses knowing full well that it would attract a furore (maybe he didn't expect an actual fatwa though) and boost his sales figures. Literary fiction is not always decent fiction (and Rushdie's most certainly isn't - having sampled two of his works and almost dying of tedium).

And I quote my current favourite columnist...Heh. He could almost be talking about Rushdie!:
I don't like Rushdie's eyebrows -- too sinister.

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I've just seen In Bruges, on Sky, and it was superb, and I'd never even heard about it until davem said he wanted to watch it (and he missed it in the end ). Just goes to show that hype counts in what people 'think' is actually decent. This year's best film is already out though - Watchmen. It's about 1,000 billion times better than RotK.
The interplay between Gleeson and Farrell, and then Gleeson and Fiennes is excellent. Does anyone play an evil but nuanced character better than Ralph Fiennes? Check him out in 'The Duchess' -- the perfect portrait of a soulless man.

The Watchmen? Perhaps it's just me, but I've grown tired of costumed crime-fighter movies filmed almost entirely in CGI. I'll wait till it comes on cable.
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:29 AM   #33
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I don't like Rushdie's eyebrows -- too sinister.
The only people allowed to get away with brows like that are Gandalf and Dennis Healey.

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The interplay between Gleeson and Farrell, and then Gleeson and Fiennes is excellent. Does anyone play an evil but nuanced character better than Ralph Fiennes? Check him out in 'The Duchess' -- the perfect portrait of a soulless man.
No, he's got those roles sewn up as far as I'm concerned, to the point where if he plays a good guy I won't believe in that character! He was playing these characters from the get-go too, see him as Amon Gerth (sp?) in Schindler's List, he's utterly vile!

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The Watchmen? Perhaps it's just me, but I've grown tired of costumed crime-fighter movies filmed almost entirely in CGI. I'll wait till it comes on cable.
Ah but this is something else, it's like Alan Moore chews up and spits out the rule book about 'heroes' in Watchmen and the film doesn't flinch from his vision, warts and all. If anyone thought The Dark Knight was 'black' just go and see this feast of fun - it makes that look like a U cert fairytale. Plus, if you're sick of superhero films, this is a tasty treat! I don't know how they will ever make another film of the likes of Spider-Man after this.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:23 PM   #34
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Pssst, careful - off-topic skwerlz have been seen patrolling the area. Please do remember to keep your posts Tolkien-related. Thanks!
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Old 03-10-2009, 07:23 PM   #35
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Pssst, careful - off-topic skwerlz have been seen patrolling the area. Please do remember to keep your posts Tolkien-related. Thanks!
Bah! There is nothing more injurous to an off-topic discussion than a lore-zealous squirrel. They go right for the nuts! Ummm...or acorns.
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Old 03-21-2009, 09:24 PM   #36
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Kind of similar to the accuracy of opinion polls, I would just like to say gross receipts are misleading as well. Now any film worth something can sell billions of dollars in tickets. If you adjust for inflation the list of best selling movies would change dramatically, and Gone with the Wind would be #1.

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Originally Posted by Morthoron
I am not altogether sure that Jackson has left some great legacy for future directors.
I would say that LOTR did set the standard for fantasy films. There were some fantasy films that came out before LOTR, but none of them led to the burst in fantasy like LOTR did and I don't think any fantasy film has made its mark on the genre since. Jackson has set the benchmark for the fantasy genre in a way that any fantasy film since has been compared to LOTR. The Golden Compass was not a bad film, but it flopped because it just wasn't LOTR. LOTR right now is the benchmark at least for any fantasy film.

Whether it lasts its too early to tell. Hollywood is constantly trying to out do itself with a "bigger" and "better" so LOTR could fade with time. It may have started with the new comic fad. There is a whole host of comic-to-movies that have come out and will continue to come out. Why are you ripping on Iron Man? Downey Jr. was casting perfection.
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