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Old 01-11-2009, 11:50 AM   #1
thewichtking
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1420! Why was the army of the dead at Minas Tirith?

in the movies why was the army of the dead at minis triris (i know i spelt it wrong) they only had to fight the corsairs then aragorn let them go gee wiz how mest up can you make a movie
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Old 01-11-2009, 01:59 PM   #2
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I think that's actually one of the worst parts in the whole movie trilogy. In the book, the victory in Pelennor Fields was the great victory of Men. In the movies, it's the great victory of Flubber. (Or some other ugly green mess, who cares. ) That really annoys me.

I guess the excuse is that it would have been too complicated to do according the book and to include the fights in Lebennin, Lamedon and Ethir (or so, forgive me if I've mixed up the names, Gondorian geography never was my strong point ) or that they couldn't resist giving the Flubber a lot of screentime by bringing it to Minas Tirith. I think they could have just shown what happened in a minute or so: quick cuts to the ghosts fighting the pirates, the "liberation" of the Gondorians, their leaders pledging allegiance to Aragorn and the armies boarding on the ships. I think that would have been nice. But no, of course not, you have to have the Flubber there to mess up and steal the show...
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Old 01-11-2009, 02:03 PM   #3
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Indeed. Their presence at Minas Tirith absolutely killed all sense of sacrifice, glory, courage, despair, hope, and anything else that made the Battle of the Pelennor one of the most riveting, inspiring chapters in the Return of the King. All of the suspense: completely wiped out. The entire battle before the ships arrived: made moot by the arrival of the the Dead, who erased the enemy almost as efficiently as they erased the credibility of the scene. I can hardly stand to watch that part.
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Old 01-11-2009, 02:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beregond View Post
Indeed. Their presence at Minas Tirith absolutely killed all sense of sacrifice, glory, courage, despair, hope, and anything else that made the Battle of the Pellenor one of the most riveting, inspiring chapters in the Return of the King. All of the suspense: completely wiped out. The entire battle before the ships arrived: made moot by the arrival of the the Dead, who erased the enemy almost as efficiently as they erased the credibility of the scene. I can hardly stand to watch that part.
Oh, yes, right you are. I forgot that it ruined the suspense as well: that's another key point. I mean, couldn't they at least have been a little less effective? And I don't think it looks in any way fine or spirits-lifting when the army sweeps to the city - it's more like "oh goodness, now those cold dead men kill all the poor people within".
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Old 01-11-2009, 02:27 PM   #5
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Quite. Anti-climactic is the word.

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the victory in Pelennor Fields was the great victory of Men. In the movies, it's the great victory of Flubber.
Very well put! I missed that point. But you're entirely right. It fits in with the movie maker's obsession with Men being weak and useless.

I don't buy your first excuse for the filmmaker's. They didn't really have to show the battles in...those places in S. Gondor. They could have made a big scene with the taking of the Corsair ships, bid goodbye and thank you very much to Flubber, briefly show citizens of S. Gondor boarding those ships, and have the rest of the Battle take place around Minas Tirith.

And there's no way that non-Tolkien fans appreciated the Flubberization of the Pelennor any more than we do....is there?
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:09 PM   #6
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Sting

It's hard to say which was worse, the green slime at the Battle of
Minas Tirith or Gandalf assaulting the Stewart of Gondor in
direct contravention to his instructions. Actually, I suppose the
green slime, especially since in the movie there is no reason Aragorn
then lets them go, not even letting them get in a little dwarf
tossing. All it would have taken was a brief scene of Aragorn letting the green
slime go (even quoting the book), and rallying the Gondorians.
Btw, PJ and friends missed one of the great scenes in the book of
Eomer seeing the black ships Arwen banner and tossing up his sword
and the bells of Gondor ringing. (An echo of Churchill's having the
bells in British churches ringing [after Alamein?] )?
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Old 01-12-2009, 05:06 AM   #7
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The special effects were bad. It was Flubber... or else something that was left over on the cutting room floor of "The Frighteners."

But then again, the movie was already so unwieldy. I can see how the plot decision was made, easily enough.
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Old 01-12-2009, 07:17 AM   #8
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It was not only the Armies of men aboard the ships that I missed, I really love it when the re-inforcments arrive at Minas Tirith before the siege. The description of the different companies and especially to hear of the hopes and disapointment of the people.
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Old 01-12-2009, 07:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
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And there's no way that non-Tolkien fans appreciated the Flubberization of the Pelennor any more than we do....is there?
Some of them did. I happened to be sitting next to them when I saw it in theatres and they thought it was "awesome".

I do wish they had made it more of a victory of men rather than of dead men. I always liked Return of the King the best and, while I did enjoy the movie when I first saw it(purely as a movie, I kind of always thought of them as two different entities) I thought it looked amazing at times. There were other times when I cringed away from what was happening on screen(really dead guys all over Minas Tirith, really?!)

I can also see where PJ might have thought "ok look at all these new places...look at the average movie go-er...dead guys win at Pelennor."

In the EE they at least have the taking of the ships in. Though its just not the same.
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Old 01-12-2009, 08:13 AM   #10
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The scrubbing bubbles were absolutely necessary to clean the white walls of Minas Tirith. The stonework was absolutely filthy!
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Old 01-12-2009, 05:24 PM   #11
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Silmaril

Personally, even if I could divorce myself from being a Tolkien fan - the special effects were not good.

Helm's Deep on the other hand.... Well, it's still one of my favourite battle scenes ever. In spite of the changes. But it looks more organic. That's the thing.
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Old 01-12-2009, 09:35 PM   #12
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That's right - the Battle of Helm's Deep was more real and down to earth (organic, I like that). Man vs. Orc (plus Gimli and Legolas). Even the Elves who were spirited into the movie didn't upset the balance too badly. It was a fight to the death free of supernatural influence; yes, the Huorns came, but it was the Men as sent the Orcs into the Huorn Wood.

Sure, there was some silliness and over-the-top special effects, but most importantly the climax was retained: the Horn of Helm Hammerhand sounding in the Deep, and the riding out of the Rohirrim.

I'd bet if Gallup Research polled 1000 average movie goers they would find more people preferred the ending of The Two Towers over the conclusion to the Battle of the Pelennor.
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:55 AM   #13
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Palantir-Green

I think you would be right, Beregond.

My boyfriend hasn't read the books, and he was not impressed with the green bubblebath fiasco either. It's no pay-off to an epic fight.
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:58 PM   #14
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Tolkien

Well, i'm pretty sure they had a fair reason to put it into the movie. now im more of a book person when it comes to lotr so i don't watch the movies all that often but we all know they can't leave the movies exactly the same as the books or they would be six hours long each! anyway i'm just glad they didn't butcher it as bad as Eragon. (that still brings a tear to my eye)

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Old 01-13-2009, 08:05 PM   #15
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Tolkien

I AM still disappointed that they had Aragorn go into the paths of the dead all by his lonesome with just a dwarf and an elf, (Legolas, mind you. that does cut his loss) instead of all his ranger buddies. But i suppose hollywood wouldn't have it. They had to have a nice green bath.
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Old 01-14-2009, 09:11 AM   #16
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Leaf

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but we all know they can't leave the movies exactly the same as the books or they would be six hours long each!
well, they could have made a TV series out of LOTR (like HBO's Rome), but that just wouldn't be it. I guess we'll have to accept the limitations of modern cinematography
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Old 01-14-2009, 09:35 AM   #17
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Possibly another reason PJ went with the nameless scrubbing bubbles and not liberated Gondorians as he (methinks) tried to keep the main characters in the light. Eomer gets short shrift; watch how he's treated in RotK, especially after Theoden dies. Eowyn, after killing the Witch King, still has to be saved from the limping Gimp by Aragorn, as killing the second-highest ranking baddie just wasn't enough.

So why add even more nameless, though prominent, characters?

Seeing men (and women, I care not) jump down from the ships, even with the scrubbing bubbles, would have been better, as it would have shown that Aragorn was becoming a leader of humans, not some sorcerer or elvish wight. It was he that led the men (and elves) to victory at Helm's Deep; at Minas Tirith, he could have got out his fishing pole and relaxed on the docks while his undead army did all of the work, securing his new realm.

How many orcs did he cut down in comparison to his army? Did he tell them to go here and there, showing his battle acumen? Nope. He just let the ooze ooze.
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Old 01-16-2009, 04:19 PM   #18
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1420!

anyway i'm just glad they didn't butcher it as bad as Eragon. (that still brings a tear to my eye)


i know that was the worst movie ever
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Old 01-24-2009, 08:25 PM   #19
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well, they could have made a TV series out of LOTR (like HBO's Rome), but that just wouldn't be it. I guess we'll have to accept the limitations of modern cinematography
but then they would still be making them!(that costs a lot of money) do you really think Pj would spend all that money? OK, OK, I'm just going to leave it at this the movies may have been pretty crappy as far as true to the books goes but still they where OK movie and I'd watch them whenever i got the chance so there

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Old 01-25-2009, 05:19 AM   #20
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but then they would still be making them!(that costs a lot of money) do you really think Pj would spend all that money? OK, OK, I'm just going to leave it at this the movies may have been pretty crappy as far as true to the books goes but still they where OK movie and I'd watch them whenever i got the chance so there
Yeah, I think so too. I watch the movies every time I can Unfortunately, I didn't get to see the Extended Edition yet. Just saw a couple of trailers and it looks pretty good.
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:39 AM   #21
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I must confess to really hating the Flubber scenes during the battle of Pelennor Fields.

The special effects were pretty rubbish anyway, but it was their very presence and how they just swept all before them like a swarm of angry bees in a matter of minutes and thus ending the fight, just had me screaming abuse at the tv!

My wife actually said to me, if the Undead are so good why doesn't Aragorn let them march to Mordor and help out Frodo & Sam by kicking some orc & Ringwraith ***!

Personally I think they were included due to time & money constraints. PJ either didn't have the necessary budget to film the true battle in full, and neither did he have the additional time. So he took a few liberties with the book and let the Flubbers do their stuff in a matter of seconds rather than minutes.

All the same it is probably only one of maybe 5 scenes in ROTK that I fastforward with all due haste so shockingly bad was the trauma
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:26 AM   #22
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Personally I think they were included due to time & money constraints. PJ either didn't have the necessary budget to film the true battle in full, and neither did he have the additional time. So he took a few liberties with the book and let the Flubbers do their stuff in a matter of seconds rather than minutes.
I've wondered myself whether the Army of the Dead was originally going to have extra-special effects (instead of the rather cheap and nasty look it ended up with), so that PJ decided to feature it as often as possible, whether or not it made sense... and then it turned out that would cost too much.
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:11 AM   #23
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I think this is one of the cases where you see Jackson not thinking about the effects of changing something, and then being stuck in a tough spot and being forced to make another change.

I have read from a couple places (and a couple of the different actors/actresses) that Jackson did not have a clear plan. It seemed like a 'rollercoaster' where things got decided days, sometimes hours before, and he just kind of went with whatever floated his boat. I think the Army of the Dead is another example of poor planning.

Making changes isn't a great disaster, as long as it is thought out and you aren't changing something for the sake of change.

Jackson, for some reason, decided to greatly inflate the numbers of Sauron's army, to 250,000 - 300,000, while keeping Gondor's and Rohan's forces relatively the same. Before Theoden sets out, he says he has 6,000 spears, that is what he sets out in the books with, and Gondor's forces are downright slim. Aragorn tells Elrond in Dunharrow (for some other unknown reason) that there "are no more men."

The problem becomes how does some 10,000 men defeat 250,000 if there are no more men? Well I guess we need an unkillable wave of slime. This is probably my greatest frustration with the movies, is making changes for the sake of change. And sometimes, the changes that first seem small and insignificant, effect the movie later on and force even larger and more severe changes. That is the effect of poor planning.
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:24 AM   #24
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Why did they need to be green is what I wonder ? Ghosts are usually pearly white. Never mind the awful battle, I really wish Jackson had done the paths of the dead like it was in the book. Finding the skeleton of Baldor, seeing his stratch marks on the door and having the 'dead following' could have been classic film horror scenes.
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Old 05-19-2009, 08:11 AM   #25
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Sting

It was a rather foolish decision by PJ. All he had to do was have the Three Walkers jump off the lead ship, wave to soldiers coming off it with him and say something like,
"Now men of South Gondor, follow me!" And left any explanation of why the green slime wasn't there to the extended dvd.
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:41 AM   #26
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All he had to do was have the Three Walkers jump off the lead ship, wave to soldiers coming off it with him and say something like
-Tuor
But that's where the effects of poor planning really can nip someone in the rear. What at first seems like a minor change, spirals into major distortions.

When PJ decides for Aragorn to tell Elrond in Dunharrow "there are no more men," there is no way for Aragorn to show up on Pelennor with Men, without the audience thinking...wait a second where did these men come from?

Think of Theoden treating Helm's Deep as a retreat in the movies. It does not seem to be a major change from the books, what is the big deal if Theoden goes to Helm's Deep to escape war, or to head off to war? That minor change, creates more severe distortions later.

Because, in the movies, Theoden is not expecting to go into a battle with Saruman, he is going to Helm's Deep as a retreat.

Now, how does Theoden find out that Saruman is coming and there will be a fight?
-This forces someone to warn Theoden of the approaching battle. Gandalf is gone, so I guess Jackson decided to choose Aragorn as the person. Now Aragorn needs to be seperated from Theoden, insert Warg attack, Aragorn falling off the cliff and spotting Saruman's massive army.

Another problem this creates is Theoden is trying to escape war, so he takes the women and children, and apparently doesn't take many soldiers and there doesn't seem to be many soldiers stations at Helm's Deep. If it is being used as a place of retreat and hide...why take many soldiers?
-Now that Saruman is coming with 10,000 Rohan needs more soldiers, insert the Elves coming from Lorien.

The problem here is how do the Elves get there within a matter of hours? This has created confusion as to whether the Elves have some sort of Scotty beaming device, or fleet foot potion...etc

I hope this isn't too far off topic, but one seemingly minor change (in Jackson's view) actually forces more and more changes later in the movies, because it wasn't effectively planned out. He just went day to day deciding whatever he wanted to do, instead of planning how one change will effect the movie.

Basically with the decision to inflate Sauron's numbers to 300,000 at the Battle of Pelennor, while keeping Gondor's and Rohan's forces the same, Jackson painted himself between a rock and a hard place. How does Gondor overcome those odds? Well, I guess there needs to be an unstoppable wave of ghosts.
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Old 05-20-2009, 03:18 PM   #27
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Kent,

I Think you're very largely correct. But there's an additional factor, a huge factor: PJ is still basically a zombie-movie director. He threw stuff in because he though it would look kewl, and to hell with either the plot or meaning of Tolkien's book. Water zombies in the Dead Marches! Green Scrubbing Zombies at the Pelennor! Avalanche of skulls! Giant trolls storming the Gate of Gondor! Legolas shieldboarding! Wizard fu! All PJ being a self-indulgent adolescent.
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Old 05-20-2009, 05:01 PM   #28
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He certainly has a track record with the zombie movies.
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Old 05-21-2009, 04:41 AM   #29
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White Tree

And the neo-zombies aren't even good. I'm all for an excellent zombie-inspired sequence, but why does it all have to look like one of those soap-scum treatment commercials gone horribly wrong? By God - just look at what the zombie genre actually has to offer first!

(Yes, I am still griping about this, years later)
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Old 05-21-2009, 06:03 AM   #30
TheOrcWithNoName
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Cloud Hicklin View Post
Kent,

Legolas shieldboarding!

Ye gads, another appalling inappropriate inclusion that totally turns that moment of drama into pure parody slapstick. What was PJ thinking!
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Old 05-21-2009, 05:07 PM   #31
Tuor in Gondolin
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Speaking of elves, here's a puzzle. PJ originally wanted Arwen leading the
elves to Rohan (where they were about as effective in
survival as the Crack Suicids Squad in Life of Brian):
Quote:
Suicide Squad Leader: We are the Judean People's Front crack suicide squad! Suicide squad, attack!
[they all stab themselves]
Suicide Squad Leader: That showed 'em, huh?
So if she's there, and survives, then what! Oh, I know. She rides
with Merry and Gandalf to Minas Tirith on a really strong
Shadowfax.
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Old 06-07-2009, 06:44 AM   #32
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1420!

[QUOTE]The problem here is how do the Elves get there within a matter of hours? This has created confusion as to whether the Elves have some sort of Scotty beaming device, or fleet foot potion...etc [QUOTE]

maybe they had seven league boots, like the ones in "Howls moving castle"
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:34 PM   #33
Keyan
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Ultimately, I think PJ did this simply for time. At that point we've had, what, 3 major battle sequences (Moria, Helms Deep, and Pelennor) and a handful of skirminshes, with another one to come shortly at the black gate. He needed a way to end the battle decisively and quickly so in a movie goers mind they would say "ok, that chapter is done".

IIRC, the dead don't even KILL anyone in the book. They literally scare the Corsairs away.
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