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Old 01-14-2008, 12:44 PM   #121
Mister Underhill
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I gotta pipe in here just to keep things honest. Let's not exaggerate the international success of Compass. They'll probably end up with about $300M if it performs very well in Japan once it finally opens there. The league they're playing in, a bonafide international smash is like $500M plus. On the other hand, ~$70M domestic is disappointing, but hardly a complete flop.

Stardust
didn't break the bank overseas either -- just under $100M. Elizabeth: The Golden Age is Oscar bait, not the kind of movie meant to do big business here or overseas. Within the past decade, LotR, Harry Potter, and Narnia have all done, as Variety would say, boffo box office domestically, and mid-range fantasy fare like Eragon and Bridge to Terabithia and the like have performed respectably.

I'd even lump in the bank-breaking Pirates franchise as another fantasy franchise that's done well. It has all the elements -- swords and sorcery, weird monsters, and so on.

I just don't see any real evidence for a sea-change in American appetite for fantasy, nor a contrasting ravenous appetite for "sophisticated" fantasy overseas.
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Old 01-14-2008, 01:44 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by Sauron the White View Post
I realize that people are expressing thier honest opinion about a future HOBBIT film and certainly have a right to it. After reading many of these posts over the last couple of weeks I do get a feeling that many here want a Jackson HOBBIT film and its follow-up to fail and fail badly.
Nope. As I said, & I think King Kong confirms this, whenever Jackson & co leave Tolkien's story line & characterisations behind & do their own thing they mess up. So, if they attempt to re-write TH in the style of LotR - something Tolkien himself tried & failed to do - they will inevitably get it wrong. And the thought of them taking a few scattered references from Appendix B & knocking up a movie doesn't bear thinking about. This would be the worst kind of fan-fic - can you really imagine Jackson, his missus & her best mate writing something that is supposed to equal Tolkien's carefully crafted masterpieces? You only have to listen to their mostly inane comments on the commentary tracks, where they offer their 'insights' into Tolkien's work to realise that they don't know what they're talking about - & their reasons for changing the storyline, & how they think their own changes 'improve' on the book: "We needed to split up Frodo & Sam to increase the dramatic tension" etc are enough to confirm that when they do get absolute control over a M-e storyline its going to be truly dreadful.RAynor Unwin once referred to Tolkien as a 'ferocious intellect', & he rightly deserves the title genius. The idea that this trio could create something equivalent to his work is the worst kind of bad joke, & nothing but an insult. The Hobbit movie may be saved - if there's enough of Tolkien's original work on screen. Nothing could possibly save the sequel.
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Old 01-14-2008, 02:46 PM   #123
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So, if they attempt to re-write TH in the style of LotR - something Tolkien himself tried & failed to do - they will inevitably get it wrong.
JRRT attempted this rewrite in 1960 when he was 68 years old. From what I have read about these years for JRRT as a writer, they were not very productive compared to his earlier decades of the Nineteen Twenties, Thirties and Forties. Tolkien seemed to lose the ability to finish anything of substance and instead busied himself with constant tending to notes, rewriting of the same, and laboring over minor issues with previous writings.

You are assuming that since JRRT himself could not reform the HOBBIT into something more consistent with LOTR then nobody could. Given his age and deterioration of work habits, I think the case could well be made that those two factors were as much of a problem as the basic inability of anyone to complete that task.

In the past, I have riduculed some here for worshipping at the altar of JRRT treating him and his works as if they were Holy Writ. And, predictably, I am ridiculed in turn with stiff and strong denials of such a characterization. But at the heart of this is the inablity of some here to acknowledge that JRRT was a human being whose work - as great as it is - is not perfect. Someday, someone, somehow could come along and improve upon it.

The fact is this, there were things in the film that did improve upon the story of Middle-earth and presented it better. I realize that a statement like that causes heads to shake in firm denial and the bonfires are at ready to administer justice to the heretic. But others besides this humble writer have posted on many sites over the past six years explaining points in the film that they believed were improved upon over the book.

Everyone has their own opinion and those who think the book, or a part or two of it, were made better have just as much right as anyone else to that viewpoint.

It is possible that somebody could come along and do to THE HOBBIT what JRRT himself could not finish at age 68. And the people to do it could well be screenwriters for THE HOBBIT despite this

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The idea that this trio could create something equivalent to his work is the worst kind of bad joke, & nothing but an insult.
No insult. Just facing the fact that Tolkien was a human whose work, like all humans, was not perfect and could be improved upon, if only for a little.

I find it interesting that some here grasp at straws to boost the take of a film like COMPASS - which still has not earned a profit - while attempting to tar KING KONG. KONG actually took in $550 million dollars US on a budget of $207 million. It earned a profit long before and DVD sales or considering other ancillary marketing deals which were considerable.

I stand ready for the fires of justice.

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Old 01-14-2008, 03:25 PM   #124
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These 'writers' actually came up with the line 'Even the smallest person can change the course of the future,' which is very possibly the most inane statement in any movie I can think of, & then placed it in the mouth of one of the High Elves - a Noldor who had seen the light of the Trees & had lived millenia in Middle-earth. I can only suggest a reading of Shippey's comments on Tolkien's use of archaism. The line is dumb, & makes Galadriel sound like a fifth rate pop psychologist rather than High Queen of the Elves in Middle-earth. I doubt JRR Tolkien would have produced a line like that if he'd ended up completely senile.

And the idea that this trio of hacks could achieve something that Tolkien himself could not is plainly ridiculous.
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Old 01-14-2008, 03:41 PM   #125
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Regardless of the worth or unworthiness of a single line in the film, the fact is still that JRRT was a human whose work is not perfect. It can be improved upon. Your entire case is based on the misbelief that if JRRT could not do it, then nobody could. That is wrong from the start. Anyones work can be improved upon for they are not gods and their work is not divine.

You have a right to your opinion and so do others who know something about such things. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences bestowed the Award for Best Adapted Screenplay to the group that you hold in disdain. So your opinion is not without debate.
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Old 01-14-2008, 04:08 PM   #126
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Originally Posted by Sauron the White View Post
Regardless of the worth or unworthiness of a single line in the film, the fact is still that JRRT was a human whose work is not perfect. It can be improved upon. Your entire case is based on the misbelief that if JRRT could not do it, then nobody could. That is wrong from the start. Anyones work can be improved upon for they are not gods and their work is not divine.
Its not about the line - its about the character. You cannot have a character who has, up to that point, used a highly archaic speech pattern (taken in the main straight from Tolkien) suddenly change & start using a modern speech pattern - and why? Because one of them will seem fake. Either Galadriel (in the movie) has been 'putting on' the archaic speech up to that point & suddenly begins to speak 'colloquially' - which calls into question her character (what game has she been playing up to then?), or her natural speech is archaic & she is patronising Frodo by attempting to speak on his level. The point that the 'writers' have missed is that one's speech patterns & turns of phrase reflect the way one thinks, one's whole life experience. Anyone who comes out with a line like that is not wise & insightful - they are simply thick. Elrond's words "Yet such is oft the course of deeds that move the wheels of the world: small hands do them because they must, while the eyes of the great are elsewhere." would have worked. One can only suppose the 'writers' couldn't work out what they meant.

Plus, to have her go from 'roaring seagreen hellhag' (in Brian Rosebury's wonderful phrase) to spouting sub Oprah psycho-babble makes the whole scene a joke, & destroys her character completely.

I wouldn't argue that no-one could improve on Tolkien's work, hust that a trio of barely literate hacks could.

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You have a right to your opinion and so do others who know something about such things. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences bestowed the Award for Best Adapted Screenplay to the group that you hold in disdain. So your opinion is not without debate.
And how many of those time servers have actually read LotR?

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Old 01-14-2008, 04:16 PM   #127
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davem ... I mentioned the honor ofthe Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for ROTK and you then asked

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And how many of those time servers have actually read LotR?
Perhaps it has been a long day, BUT .... the AA was not given for the book LOTR. It was given for the adaption of the book to the screen as a screenplay. You seem to be laboring a gross misunderstanding of the nature of the award and what it is for. I, and I am sure that you also, would have absolutely no idea how many Academy members have read LOTR. It could be many, it could be few, it could be all, it could be none. Such a question serves no purpose since it can not be answered with any authority.

I do not remember anyone in the theater screaming at the awful nature of having Galadriel deliver that line. I do not remember any critic in the print media or broadcast media pointing out problems with that line as you seem to feel there are. Seems to me you are picking at a very tiny piece of lint that nobody else notices or even cares about. You are making a mountain out of a molehill.

But when it comes to ripping on the films, what else is new?
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Old 01-14-2008, 04:27 PM   #128
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Originally Posted by Sauron the White View Post


Perhaps it has been a long day, BUT .... the AA was not given for the book LOTR. It was given for the adaption of the book to the screen as a screenplay. You seem to be laboring a gross misunderstanding of the nature of the award and what it is for. I, and I am sure that you also, would have absolutely no idea how many Academy members have read LOTR. It could be many, it could be few, it could be all, it could be none. Such a question serves no purpose since it can not be answered with any authority.
If they hadn't read the book how could they award Best Adapted Screenplay. Surely they'd need an idea of what had been adapted?

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I do not remember anyone in the theater screaming at the awful nature of having Galadriel deliver that line.
There were a lot of thickies in the cinema when I saw it too - what's your point?

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I do not remember any critic in the print media or broadcast media pointing out problems with that line as you seem to feel there are. Seems to me you are picking at a very tiny piece of lint that nobody else notices or even cares about. You are making a mountain out of a molehill.
You're still missing my entire point about the way a character speaks reflecting that character's nature.
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Old 01-14-2008, 04:37 PM   #129
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I think it is you sir who completely and totally misses the point. There are a bunch of you who read the same stuff over and over again and commit it to memory like devotees reading the Word of the Master. You read some obscure article written by somebody who is read by a small handful of True Believers and you think "Oh boy he has 'em by the short hairs now". You jump up and down in glee because now you are armed with mighty weapons to defeat the hordes of ignorance who have besotted your precious tome. Only problem is that nearly nobody cares about the arcane points made by these obscure persons. Nearly nobody.

I would be willing to bet a considerable sum that if you surveyed 100 random people on the street who saw LOTR and asked them what was wrong with Galadriel delivering that line, hardly anyone, if anyone, would come up with the objection that you posted.

The movies were made and they were rousing successes. They were nearly universally praised by professional critics. The public showered them with their money. The film industry showered them with their highest awards. Get used to it. But if you want to put all that on the scale next to some obscure comments by Shippey, knock yourself out.
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Old 01-14-2008, 04:38 PM   #130
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I like the films, but I really didn't like the psycho-babble lines that davem is talking about. And I didn't think they deserved the Adapted Screenplay Oscar, it was the one award that I would have preferred them not to get. Particularly as they did little to convince those (and I know several, close to me) who are convinced that Tolkien is pompous,naff, and faintly ridiculous, that actually he wasn't.

Sauron, I'm guessing you're writing from the US? I think that UK audiences found the dialogue silliler than American audiences did, certainly a lot of UK film critics took the mick out of some of the lines.
Anyway, I asked Mr L to try to spot the genuine Tolkien lines in the script (he's never read any but I told him to look out for anything he thought sounded like it hadn't been written by a Hollywood scriptwriter) and he was pretty accurate.
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Old 01-14-2008, 04:44 PM   #131
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You read some obscure article written by somebody who is read by a small handful of True Believers and you think "Oh boy he has 'em by the short hairs now".
Are you referring to Rosebury or Shippey? Rosebury wrote 'Tolkien in Perspective', a book which many consider second only to Shippey's work in its analysis of Tolkien.

Quote:
I would be willing to bet a considerable sum that if you surveyed 100 random people on the street who saw LOTR and asked them what was wrong with Galadriel delivering that line, hardly anyone, if anyone, would come up with the objection that you posted.
That's the modern education system for you.

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The movies were made and they were rousing successes. They were nearly universally praised by professional critics. The public showered them with their money. The film industry showered them with their highest awards. Get used to it. But if you want to put all that on the scale next to some obscure comments by Shippey, knock yourself out.
In the words of Thomas Fuller: “The mob has many heads, but no brains”
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Old 01-14-2008, 04:48 PM   #132
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I like the films, but I really didn't like the psycho-babble lines that davem is talking about. And I didn't think they deserved the Adapted Screenplay Oscar, it was the one award that I would have preferred them not to get. Particularly as they did little to convince those (and I know several, close to me) who are convinced that Tolkien is pompous,naff, and faintly ridiculous, that actually he wasn't.
Yes but was that part of their job and duties? Were they really suppose to convince the world that JRRT was not a pompous, faintly ridiculous man? Those movies did more to shine a proper spotlight on JRRT than all the scholarly articles, fan journals and literary circles did in the previous 45 years. They certainly increased book sales five fold during that time period.
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Old 01-14-2008, 04:50 PM   #133
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davem ... I am not the first, and its not my first time either, to observe that you pontificate from an extremely high position of self importance and would-be superiority. Your contempt for the world comes through loud and clear.
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Old 01-14-2008, 05:05 PM   #134
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davem ... I am not the first, and its not my first time either, to observe that you pontificate from an extremely high position of self importance and would-be superiority. Your contempt for the world comes through loud and clear.
I only note that you have completely failed to address my point about language reflecting character, & have chosen rather to present yourself as champion of the common people.

I can't help but fondly recall that Simpsons episode - "Now Bambi, who started that forest fire that killed your mother? Evolution?! My my my"

Your 'argument' seems to be that if no-one has picked up on a fact then that fact is somehow irrelevant. In a debate one is required to disprove, not simply dismiss, one's opponent's points.
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Old 01-14-2008, 05:09 PM   #135
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I take your point about the films bringing people to Tolkien.
But...it's absolutely fine for people to think JRRT is pompous if they are making judgements based on things he actually wrote. But it seems a bit unfair if they making judgements based on things written by Walsh, Boyens and Jackson.
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Old 01-14-2008, 05:12 PM   #136
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davem ... and just when did Shippey publish this amazing breakthrough which has the effect of destroying the films and all the evil that they stand for?
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Old 01-14-2008, 05:17 PM   #137
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Lalaith... could you give me an example or two of what you are charging Jackson and company with? I am unclear on this and do not know how to respond to your point. Thanks.
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Old 01-14-2008, 05:21 PM   #138
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Let's not exaggerate the international success of Compass
Actually, I'm quite surprised how well Compass has done, internationally, given that I personally thought it a weaker film than Stardust. It's the 13th best-grossing film of 2007, worldwide, according to boxofficemojo. (Stardust was 67th and has made less than half of what Compass has done, worldwide, even though its been out for two months longer)
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Old 01-14-2008, 05:38 PM   #139
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Sauron....ok. Let's see now.
I mean that the screenwriters made up a lot of quite cheesy/silly lines, which were not in the original books, were very unTolkienesque, but have subsequently become associated with Tolkien in people's minds. The "smallest person" thing that davem mentioned, was a good example...Sam and Frodo's rather soppy interchanges:
Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?
Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for.
Lots of Theoden's lines, too. What can men do against such reckless hate, no man should have to bury his child....these were not the words of a man of Rohan, but of a modern chappie full of "emotional intelligence". They annoyed me.
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Old 01-14-2008, 06:01 PM   #140
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Oh, dear. The same-old same-old.

The basic fact is, Sauron, that the script dumbed down Tolkien. You can complain about elitism all you want- but the fact remains that people who can't tell the difference are, well, dumb. I don't care what dumb people think. I don't care what people who have never read the books think. I don't care what opinions people may hold about the movies if they're too dumb (or lazy) to understand the books. It matters to ME, and to Davem and to many, many other people who can tell the difference between fine Bordeaux and Thunderbird.

We simply don't care if PJ pleased the mob. He didn't please us. This is not a plebiscite: we don't have to yield to the plebs just because they outnumber us.

Jackson and Walsh and Boyens have already proven they don't understand Tolkien and are thoroughly incompetent at adapting him (which is NOT the same thing as writing a script that pleases the mob/the Hollywood twits). So why should those of us who appreciate Tolkien's subtleties not regard this Hobbit project, especially the fan-fic 'sequel,' with dread- even if we are a minority?
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Old 01-14-2008, 06:09 PM   #141
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WCW ... Do you and davem take special pills to breathe the rarified air up in the climes of the Gods? Or, are you set apart at birth with special abilities that the rest of us can only dream about?

Lalaith .... I am even more confused since at first you were saying that people had judged JRRT to be stuffy and pompous based on the writings of Jackson and company. But then others say that Jackson and company dumbed down the words and spirit of JRRT so that a sixth grade barely educated gas station mechanic from the backwater hills of a West Virginia holler can understand it. Seems a bit of a serious contradiction. If its dumbed down so severely, it would stand to reason that things like pompousness are out of the question.
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Old 01-14-2008, 06:47 PM   #142
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Old 01-14-2008, 06:49 PM   #143
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Quote:
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these were not the words of a man of Rohan, but of a modern chappie full of "emotional intelligence". They annoyed me.
I concur. Very modern, very tortured, very unsure of himself.
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Old 01-14-2008, 07:06 PM   #144
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Very modern.... etc etc etc.....
Gee, I thought these films were beind made for people at the start of the 21st century. Perhaps the lines should have been delivered in the ancient imaginary languages of the actual people of Middle-earth? You want authenticity - thats authenticity.

If you want you can go into a 100 story tall building and tour it and complain about the toilets on the 45th floor being too loud when they flush. It does not matter that every lease in the building is scooped up or business is great or they won the professional awards of architects and designers. You want to complain about toilets.

Its the big picture that counts folks. And movies are pretty big pictures.

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Old 01-14-2008, 07:16 PM   #145
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In your building metaphor, the script should probably be the steel framework of the structure, rather than the toilets.
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Old 01-14-2008, 08:13 PM   #146
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No it should not.
Some here are talking about a line or two out of 11 hours of screen time. Thats focusing on a tiny detail and ignoring the big picture.

I find it absolutely amazing that if one had never seen these three films but only read posts here, they would think that the three LOTR films all died in their first weekend at the box office and were hated by nearly everyone.

Sometimes I cannot help but think of that old story about the too proud mother who went to watch her son Johnny march in the town parade. As he went by in the middle of sixty other marchers, he was the one out of step. Mama did not miss a single beat..... "looks like everyone is messing up but my Johnny" she insisted.

I guess the rest of the civilized world totally missed the boat on these films and only a very small cadre of wanna-be intellectuals know the real score. And they have each other to be reassured of their status as True Believers and Gaurdians of the Truth.

Evolution has nothing to do with snobbery.
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Old 01-14-2008, 08:18 PM   #147
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It does not matter that every lease in the building is scooped up or business is great or they won the professional awards of architects and designers. You want to complain about toilets.
Laugh as much as we want about potty humour, all the real estate profits in Manhattan profit not if the latrines back up.

Dysentry and diarrhea are prime killers of children and aren't far behind in their rampage on adults.

Like it or not, how we deal with excrement is a defining characteristic of us as human beings. And sometimes a mere shower is not enough to cleanse the matter of its sickly properties.

Sorry, but your analogy got me far off topic . . . I'll go check on thread posts I've been missing for almost the past week now. . .
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Old 01-14-2008, 09:15 PM   #148
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Evolution has nothing to do with snobbery.
Are you SURE?
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:59 AM   #149
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No it should not.
Some here are talking about a line or two out of 11 hours of screen time. Thats focusing on a tiny detail and ignoring the big picture.
Its not about 'a line or two out of 11 hours of screen time.' To repeat myself:

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Its not about the line - its about the character. You cannot have a character who has, up to that point, used a highly archaic speech pattern (taken in the main straight from Tolkien) suddenly change & start using a modern speech pattern - and why? Because one of them will seem fake. Either Galadriel (in the movie) has been 'putting on' the archaic speech up to that point & suddenly begins to speak 'colloquially' - which calls into question her character (what game has she been playing up to then?), or her natural speech is archaic & she is patronising Frodo by attempting to speak on his level. The point that the 'writers' have missed is that one's speech patterns & turns of phrase reflect the way one thinks, one's whole life experience. Anyone who comes out with a line like that is not wise & insightful - they are simply thick. Elrond's words "Yet such is oft the course of deeds that move the wheels of the world: small hands do them because they must, while the eyes of the great are elsewhere." would have worked. One can only suppose the 'writers' couldn't work out what they meant.
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Old 01-15-2008, 01:00 AM   #150
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Some here are talking about a line or two out of 11 hours of screen time. Thats focusing on a tiny detail and ignoring the big picture.
Oh, no. No no no no no.

These lines are *examples* taken from many, many many possible to illustrate a larger point: PBW completely failed to understand the characters, the way they think, theie cultural milieu, failed to understand that Middle-earth at the end of the Third Age is *not* the beginning of the 21st century- and, to boot, were utterly tone-deaf to the language Tolkien prized above all. This goes on for hour after excruciating hour- flat dialogue, characters 'improved' because PBW never understood them to begin with, PJ's utter cluelessness, his total failure to percieve what makes Tolkien Tolkien. He could just as well have filmed Terry Brooks.
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Old 01-15-2008, 01:24 AM   #151
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Oh, no. No no no no no.

PBW completely failed to understand the characters, the way they think, theie cultural milieu, failed to understand that Middle-earth at the end of the Third Age is *not* the beginning of the 21st century- and, to boot, were utterly tone-deaf to the language Tolkien prized above all. This goes on for hour after excruciating hour- flat dialogue, characters 'improved' because PBW never understood them to begin with, PJ's utter cluelessness, his total failure to percieve what makes Tolkien Tolkien. He could just as well have filmed Terry Brooks.
Well they are Aussies and still under the British Crown and all....
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Old 01-15-2008, 01:52 AM   #152
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Blimey. You lot.

I really liked the films. I liked the way they looked, I loved the music.

However, I had some serious reservations. I thought a lot of the dialogue was a bit naff and cheesy. What I am talking about, Sauron, is the kind of dialogue which *sounds* deep and meaningful and portentous but actually isn't, but is rather silly, which is what a lot of people who don't know/like Tolkien assume Tolkien is like. Is that clearer? And I didn't like what happened to a lot of the characterisation. (Gimli, Merry, Theoden, Eowyn)

Clearly I am not nearly polarised enough to take a proper part in the discussion.
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Old 01-15-2008, 06:44 AM   #153
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Lalaith .. I am clear on your point. I respect that you and others you may speak with feel that way. You have a right to see things the way you see them. I cannot argue with that if a line does not ring true to you. I myself, have no such problem that is so disturbing to me that it prevents me from enjoying the films.

I have said it before and will say it again now .. and probably will say it more times in the future - Some people who have read and studied LOTR for decades and view it as near Holy Writ had a severe handicap when it came to enjoying the films.

If you know the books well enough so that you can sit in a theater and divide the lines written by JRRT and the lines written by the screenwriters, then there are far bigger issues than what is on the screen. The mind of that person is set in a mode of negativity and not receptivity. That person can never enjoy the films on their own merits.

If you know the books well enough so that you can sit in a theater and watch every scene unfold and want to cry out "it did NOT happen that way. No no no no no". They you will never enjoy the films on their own merits.

If you know the books well enough so that when Denethor bursts into flames and dives off the precipice, you calculate that he ran 3.2 miles to do it, then you can never enjoy the films on their own merits.

If you have memorized the speech patterns and word usages of book characters to the point where they use a phrase in the film that you think is not in character even though nearly everyone else in the theater does not bat an eye, then you can never enjoy the films.


I run 2,000 miles every year and have done so for the past 32 years. I do so wearing very good running shoes, light clothing, and time my runs for the best possible environmental and traffic conditions that the day can present to me. If I ran in combat boots or sandals, a heavy coat, with a full stomach, and on a busy street during a snowstorm at rush hour I would be laboring under a severe handicap.

When you watch a film - any film - you have to do so with an open mind and be receptive to what you see on screen. Otherwise it does not work very well. Too many other things outside of the film can get in the way. For many here, there is a very big thing in the way - a 1,200 page tome that is constantly held up as a mirror to the films. And if that is not enough, they have all the wannabe Tolkien intellectuals who write the articles and help mold the semi-official Purist opinion.

There is a fundamental issue here that has been stated thousands of times but does not seem to sink in. I guess its that handicap that prevents some from accepting the basic idea that a book is one thing and a film is another. Each has its own properties, qualities, assets, liabilities, strengths and weaknesses. Each is governed by the reality of what is is.... and what it is not.

Until you are willing to accept that... and I mean really accept that and not just say you do but then vomit up all the same old garbage... then these endless debates will continue shedding far more heat than light.

It is more than interesting that pretty much the entire world embraced these films. The public embraced them with massive amounts of revenue. The professional film critics embraced them with very positive reviews. The film industry itself embraced them by showering them with their highest awards and accolades. That is a rare combination that does not happen that often.

But some cannot accept the films. Just like somebody in a wheelchair cannot run those 2,000 miles each year with me. Politically correct term or not - its a sad handicap.
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Old 01-15-2008, 07:08 AM   #154
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StW You'remissing the point here. As Lalaith said, its about the quality of the dialogue - not that it isn't in the book. The writer's dialogue is overwhelmingly poor. Its simply bad English in most cases, its twee & often embarrassing. That most of the audience don't get that is a refelction on the poor state of modern education. If it had been an original work, not based on any book those lines would still elicit a groan from an educated audience. That problem is exacerbated by the fact that some of Tolkien's original dialogue is used, which is of far higher quality.

Galadriel's slipping into colloquial English straight after Tolkien's original is another problem - it makes the 'Small person' line stick out like a very badly infected sore thumb. If she'd used colloquial English all along it would be less jarring. And the writers simply didn't get that.

The real point is that whenever the writers left Tolkien's original storyline & invented new stuff, or gave characters new dialogue, those changes were in every instance changes for the worse. Now, with The Hobbit adaptation they have Tolkien's original work to keep them afloat. With the sequel they don't. They'll be working on their own & given their current record they will mess up very badly. That they have the nerve to attmept it speaks more to their over-inflated egos than anything else.
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Old 01-15-2008, 07:30 AM   #155
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davem... I appreciate your patience and response. You started this by referring to Shippey and his comments about the line from Galadriel. Where did he state this and when did he state this? I would very much like to read it to gain a bttter understanding of his point.

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The real point is that whenever the writers left Tolkien's original storyline & invented new stuff, or gave characters new dialogue, those changes were in every instance changes for the worse
That is your opinion and you are entitled to it. However, I have read mny posts both here and on other sites which give many instances where the films improved upon some aspect of the books. You and I have been involved in such discussions so you must be aware of this.

You state this as if your opinion is some sort of undeniable fact chiseled into stone by the Almighty Himself. Others would and do disagree.
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Old 01-15-2008, 07:34 AM   #156
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I guess its that handicap that prevents some from accepting the basic idea that a book is one thing and a film is another.
Poppycock.

I've acknolwedged it many times. However, it's getting very tiresome to see this chestnut trotted out like a get-out-of-jail-free card for PJ: that translation to a different medium constitutes carte blanche for any and everything.

If you're going to keep making this argument, StW, try to make it relevant. Please explain why the different medium requires the substitution of cheesy dialogue for Tolkienie's erudite grandeur, or perhaps why slightly antique verbal style isn't allowed in cinema (all those Shakespeare films notwithstanding). Or why the process of adaptation requires that the elderly but proud Theoden be transformed into a half-senile wimp, or the shrewd and subtle Denethor into a dribbling lunatic. Come on, tell us: what is different about film qua film that mandates this sort of meddling?

I would suggest that there is nothing at all. The reasons PBW did it have nothing to do with the medium, and everything to to with (a) treating the audience like simpletons, and/or (b) not understanding their source to begin with.
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Old 01-15-2008, 07:36 AM   #157
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davem... I appreciate your patience and response. You started this by referring to Shippey and his comments about the line from Galadriel. Where did he state this and when did he state this? I would very much like to read it to gain a bttter understanding of his point.



I pointed to Shippey's comments on Tolkien's use of archaic speech. It was in 'Tolkien: Author of the Century'. It was published before the movies, so doesn't refer to them at all. I was merely pointing up a very interesting discussion on the right use of archaic speech. Rosebury also makes interesting comments on the subject - but he does make reference to the movies (though not specifically to Galadriel's words.
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Old 01-15-2008, 07:47 AM   #158
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davem ... obviously this issue means something to you. I do not see it as any problem in any way which would hurt the average film viewer or prevent them from enjoying the films. Its much ado about nothing.. or next to nothing. In your original post you stated

Quote:
Either Galadriel (in the movie) has been 'putting on' the archaic speech up to that point & suddenly begins to speak 'colloquially' - which calls into question her character (what game has she been playing up to then?), or her natural speech is archaic & she is patronising Frodo by attempting to speak on his level.
You use the word "patronising" which in and of itself is used by you because it has a definite negative meaning. It could just as easily be said that Galadriel is attempting to more clearly communicate to Frodo through use of a simple and direct statement. Is that not what every speaker attempts to do with those to whom they are speaking?
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Old 01-15-2008, 08:47 AM   #159
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I think it's wise to remember that some posters here hail from the land that still gives more than lip service to "The Queen's English," a land that is still riddled with class distinctions and rigid hierarchy, and a land that has a complex history of dialect and verbal eloquence layered upon those cultural and social assumptions.

Think in terms of Her Current Majesty, who not many years ago actually used a Latin term in her Christmas address to her subjects and that term was (apparently) well received. I can't recall that she has ever used Cockney slang in a public speech, though, or Mersyside lingo, or broad Yorkshire--at least in her speeches that are carried pondside, where I suppose Cockney, Mersy and Yorkshire wouldn't be understood.

What the state of The Queen's English is in Kiwiland I don't know but it's probably true that PJ and his writers share an assumption about art prevalent amongst post modernists and advertisers: that to make a mark one must transgress (slightly in the case of adverts), that is, slightly confound and distress taste in order to offend. Only when the audience is offended are they provoked enough, apparently, to have a satisfactory aesthetic experience.

It's an aesthetic theory roughly akin to--and this will undoubtedly offend PC standards--seriously developmentally delayed people who engage in repeated head banging in order to feel something. It is an art of violence and as such far and away different from Tolkien's aesthetic.

Under such conditions, nuances of language style, tone, subtlty are lost.

Lyra speaks with a definite kind of class language at times in Pullman-a form of language which Asriel and Coulter never utter. It's a Brit thing.
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:23 PM   #160
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You use the word "patronising" which in and of itself is used by you because it has a definite negative meaning. It could just as easily be said that Galadriel is attempting to more clearly communicate to Frodo through use of a simple and direct statement. Is that not what every speaker attempts to do with those to whom they are speaking?
Nope - it would be patronising because Frodo is not only highly educated, but is also an Elf-friend. The question is would someone whose natural mode of speech is:
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'And now at last it comes. You will give me the Ring freely! In place of the Dark Lord you will set up a Queen. And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night! Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning! Stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and despair!'
suddenly slip into 'Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.'?
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