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Old 03-04-2002, 12:26 AM   #1
Glenethor
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Sting Bitter Bakshi

Anyone seen this?<BR> <A HREF="http://www.theavclub.com/avclub3644/avfeature_3644.html" TARGET=_blank>www.theavclub.com/avclub3644/avfeature_3644.html</A> <P>It is an interview with Ralph Bakshi, and he sounds a tad disillusioned. From what he is saying, he was the victim of the 'Suits' who write the cheques. PJ came close to being victimized in the same way this time around, except someone at New Line had the guts to shell out $350,000,000.00. I am often disgusted, but never surprised at the 'business' of showbusiness.<P>I liked a bunch of his work: Fritz the Cat, American Pop, and I guess my fave of his is Wizards. I could just see a lampoon of Gandalf, chasing the elf nymphs around..That work was always called his 'Primer of LoTR' and he seemed to be the one destined to bring LoTR to the screen. I watched his LoTR the other day, and in many ways, it is more faithful to Tolkien than Jackson. However, it is half the book, and the flaws it does have are not tolerable. Too bad, really. Again, just goes to show you what happens when bean counters run things in the Arts.<p>[ March 04, 2002: Message edited by: Glenethor ]
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Old 03-06-2002, 09:09 PM   #2
Marileangorifurnimaluim
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Silmaril

"The Onion: Have you been paying attention to the hype over Peter Jackson's new version of Lord Of The Rings?<P>Ralph Bakshi: No, not really."<P>Yeah, right. <P>I'll preface with I loved Ralph Bakshi's work up to American Pop. I was a big fan in high school and truly believed in his cause of bringing animation out of the Disney dumpster.<P>Ralph shows a selective memory in this article. <P>The studios did play those games with him, but there was another side to it. <P>The word in 1978 was he spent his entire budget less than halfway through his LOTR:Part One. This came out months before the movie was released. <P>He was <I>waaaay</I> over, no end in sight, and they cut him off finally, released the movie as is, and decided based on the reviews/$$ if they wanted to pour money down the next two parts. <P>It did poorly, and they said "good, 'cause Ralph's a pain in the tush." <BR>Even the people who liked Ralph called him a "perfectionist," others didn't use nice euphemisms and all agreed he was difficult to impossible to work with.<P>When his budget was shut off he screamed bloody murder in every interview, pointed fingers at this person, that person... when asked, his explanation for going over-budget was 'artistic integrity.' <P>But.. he would have been the one to tell them what it would cost in the first place. <P>It always seemed to me he lowballed the budget and figured once they were committed they'd keep shelling it out till it was done. <P>There are pieces of Bakshi's Lord of the Rings that are good (the Black Riders in particular) but there's no sign, no matter how much money they spent on it, he could ever have 'done it.' <BR>His characterizations should have stood up, even 1/2-way through. They didn't. <P>He was in over his head. <P>He's willfully blind to the fact. He chooses to ignore that virtually every Tolkien fan <I>creamed</I> his version, the critics panned it, nobody liked it. Not even he. But he can blame the studio.<P>What I really regret about his version was he chose to take out his anger on the movie and anyone who ever sees it: his final shot was an angry bloody image of Gandalf slicing the head off an orc. That's no accident, in animated films you plan every move on storyboards, the movement takes hundreds of frames.
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Old 03-06-2002, 09:29 PM   #3
Kalimac
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Sting

Wow, I didn't know there was that much of a backstory to it - I was born in 1979 and didn't even know of the Bakshi version's existence until I got to college and started hanging out with MST3K fans; Bakshi's movie was a favorite for our own, ah, amateur emulations. And very good for that it was, too. I'd just thought the movie was product of simple incompetence, didn't realize that Gandalf going Jack the Ripper in the end there was a gesture. In a way it's comforting because otherwise you're left with the prospec that the filmmaker didn't know any *better* than to make Gandalf into a slasher. <P>OTOH Bakshi should probably just be gracefully silent on this issue. No matter what his intentions or how much the studio screwed up, it takes more than that to produce characters as awful as Sam and Saruman (or Aruman ) or Galadriel, AKA Daphne from "Scooby-Doo." I mean, that was *bad*. I'm sorry, Mr. Bakshi. Please, concentrate on your cinematic successes (and there were plenty) and leave LOTR to Peter Jackson. And, of course, MST3K fans.
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Old 03-06-2002, 09:59 PM   #4
Marileangorifurnimaluim
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Oh, I'd love to see MST3K do Bakshi's LOTR!<P>Did you do the scene where the "happy Hobbits" la-la-la'd over the bridge?? Oooooh that would be good! It would be so fun to shout back "you mean Aruman, right?" "Huh?" "Who???" <BR>Oh, man, it would be great!<P>(Sorry Glen, not to run over your thread, but you'll find people have strong feelings about Bakshi. It was a biiiiig let down for us fans when it came out, and I don't know about anyone else, but I wound up having to defend Tolkien from my friends after they saw it.)<p>[ March 06, 2002: Message edited by: Marileangorifurnimaluim ]
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Old 03-06-2002, 10:44 PM   #5
Kalimac
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1420!

Glenethor, I'll second the apologies for overrunning the forum, just wanted to expand a bit on the Marilean...'s (sorry, I can't spell it from memory) question. I don't actually remember too many specific lines - a lot of it was probably funnier to us then than it would be now (if nothing else because we tended to, ahem, honor our various bottled heritages while watching). There was definitely a lot of "Aruman" "Who?" "Saruman!" "Oh, why didn't you say so?". Similarly with "eDOras" and "E-doras" - "We're going WHERE?" Lots of pleading with Aragorn and Boromir to please put some pants on - "HUZZAH!". Sam came in for a lot of it, especially at the classic line "There's that Mt. Doom again, Mr. Frodo." (Dratted mountain, it's been following us for the last hundred miles). Scooby-Doo jokes for Galadriel, and the Nazgul most of the time, especially the flight to ford when their horses are obviously out of control, also when they breathe the black breath on Merry and then just *leave* without even searching him. "Wait, I heard some sirens! Get outta here!" The cartoon scene where the Ring is bouncing down the rocks in the Misty Mountains and looks exactly like a Wintergreen Lifesaver. "To keep your breath fresh for 500 years, try..." <P>I could go on, but I'm probably depressing everyone. I highly recommend it if you want to veg with some friends for an evening, though .
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Old 03-07-2002, 12:29 AM   #6
Glenethor
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Thumbs up

Not at all! Not at all! I invited comment on this. Yeah, I seem to remember something about his budget problems a long long time ago. I liked it when it came out, but then again, I was a party animal long hair freak-geek. That must explain it. <P>Interesting. There are only a few directors who'd I'd say would not be over their heads in trying to do this. Spielberg, maybe, if he didn't get too cute (like that 'let's hunt some orc' line and 'nobody tosses a dwarf' that PJ gave us). But Jackson? His last film before LoTR was what, The Frighteners? Who'd a thought that he'd pull it off as well as he did? I mean, there are moments where I think he is in over his head too, but still...<P>Ralph does sound a trifle...<I>difficult</I>, doesn't he?<P> <p>[ March 07, 2002: Message edited by: Glenethor ]
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