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Old 03-29-2006, 01:35 PM   #1
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LotR2-TTT-Seq08

Sam and Frodo scale the blasted obsidian wall in the Dagorland on their way to the Black Gate. Samís exclamation was like my own, but with a different inflection. Guess I was expecting a bit more from Mordor than was poor Sam-wise. He presses forward as the creature Gollum shields his eyes. Frodo also goes for a closer look.

Now that theyíre at the Black Gate, now what?

We see the vigilant guard atop the Morannon, ceaselessly awaiting an enemy that will never come. An army approaches to be swallowed into the mouth of Mordor, which seems to be gobbling up many bad things these days. Unlike in the books, thereís no doubt that this army is not there to assail the gate, but to go within, between the Teeth. The look of the soldiers is menacing as their armor and helms are all points.

The signal is made to open the Gate. Two Ďdayí trolls labor to open the door, and I am pressed to think of anything that is more silly and ill contrived. Now, I know that Sauron has improved the place since Mordor was last watched by the Gondorians, but either they really wanted to make the gate opening near impossible or the Black Handsí knowledge is limited to Rings and towers. Sure, thereíre wheels at the bottom of the gate, but those two trolls have to swing it open with a beam that is located/attached at the top of the door, like the tiller of a big dirt shipís rudder. Plus, if you care to look even more closely, all of the weight (not the exact term, as Iím not talking about the actual weight of the gate, but the amount of force that it takes to move the thing) is on that piece of wood thatís about an orc belly (well-fed) in diameter.

Do you know how easy it would be to shut this gate against Mordor? Or, if the gate were opened, how easily one could prevent it from being closed?

Just what was PJ going for here, except to be showing us something different and what WETA could do given some time and money? Yes, itís detailed, but designed poorly and it took me out of the movie for a moment as I just gaped.

All of that math must have gone to Samís head too, as he gets a little too close to the edge and falls over. Nice, Sam, I guess that your plan was to run down the hill while a thousand or two bad guys are tramping around out front. Another instance of a character going out of character for a thrill.

Frodo finds Sam at the bottom, up to his shoulders in gravel. Heís stuck, and soldiers are approaching. What to do? Having no other options, Frodo covers himself and Sam with the hithlain cloak given to him by Galadriel. My kids would approve, as they too believe that hiding under a blanket makes one invisible to monsters of all sorts.

The hobbits go unnoticed after a few tense moments.

Frodo throws the cloak open and itís just too cool. No overt magic, but it just so happened that his cloak looked like a big rock. I like it, but will still add the grumble that if his cloak worked so well here in the land of the enemy that it should have helped the Three Hunters a bit in Rohan.

Or maybe Frodo got a real elvish cloak, and the others got cheap knock-offs made in Khand.

Quickly Frodo digs Sam out, and they prepare to make a run for the opening in the Morannon. Itís nice to hear that Sam is going with Frodo of his own free will. Ready, setÖNO! Gollum, it seems, wants to talk a bit about the Precious before Master goes to certain death. I think that he might now realize at this point that Frodo was taking the Ring into Mordor for a reason that will not benefit Gollum.

And did anyone else notice, having watched RotK, that the searchlight is not working at this time and Frodo and Gollum seem none too affected by the Sauron-Eye proximity thing? With the One Ring on, of course Frodo would be stricken sick at this distance, but even with the Ring on a necklace, he should be feeling something.

In the end, Gollum makes the decision, having stopped Frodo from going until the Black Gate is closed. Frodo decides to try the other way, and of course Sam is against it but will go along to help his Master.

Wasnít there some kind of row/quarrel between the actors during this scene due to the physicality of the interactions? As we leave, we notice that the cracks in Frodoís and Samís relationship are beginning to show.

The other two hobbits, Merry and Pippin, awake in Fangorn forest. Pip sits imbibing the waters of a stream while Merry begins to explore the dell. Pippin tells of a pipe dream, which adds, to me, little to the story but sets up their flotsam triumph later in the film. Merry, like me, realizes that Pipís really been drinking the Entís home brew, and Pip starts belching like a whale.

Am I supposed to laugh yet?

They discuss their relative heights, and as they do Pip seemingly grows even a bit more. Will these two stay Ďlarger,í or when they meet up again with Sam and Frodo (sorry to spoil that), will they be back to the same relative sizes?

The two somewhat larger clowns fight over the Ent draught, and this leads them into more trouble. And I was starting to think that these two were growing up (inwardly, that is), but I guess not. They are trapped in the roots of (presumably) Old Man Willow, or maybe a close cousin of his. Treebeard shows up and speaks the words of Bombadil (a few) to make the tree give up its prey. The old Ent then explains that the trees are waking up and are not in such good moods. The lack of shepherds allows the flock to go astray.

Too bad that some of the bad wild awake trees arenít closer to Orthanc where they might actually do some good, or at least attack those that have aroused their anger. But I think that PJ just wanted to show that the trees are more animated, and so had Merry and Pippin provide a demonstration. The tree soldiers will of course be seen later attacking orcs as leader Treebeard leads them on to the home of the Treekiller.

Or not, as Ent moots are big assertiveness killers.

And now, at least, I know why there are too few Ents. Pipís expression when he learns that Old Wheezy cannot remember what the Entwives looked like goes for me as well. Huh?

If Treebeard reacted to the loss of the Entwives as he does to the loss of his flock, itís no wonder why he cannot find nor remember them. As with his flock, Treebeard starts off hot and talking about taking some action, but then he goes and talks it over with the boys awhile and after a long time, they decide that they shouldnít bother going to look for the wives until sometime later when it becomes more critical. Treebeard then retreats back into his forest, clamoring about taking action someday to any creature unfortunate enough to stumble into his domain.

Oops, but thatís getting ahead of myself, and weíll have to see what the Ents, the four hobbits and Gollum do later.
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Old 03-31-2006, 01:35 PM   #2
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I never really noticed anything about the faulty design of the gate. But then again I am not very technically minded. So it doesn't bug me at all. I certainly like the way the black gates look.

Going back to the cloak issue,Of course the Rohirrim could see the Three hunters because the cloaks are supposed to shield them from unfriendly eyes. Are the Rohirrim enemies? No, so that answers the question. This is also the reason why Sam and Frodo are hidden because at that time they are in the presence of enemies.

I like the costumes of the southerners, nice and evil looking, although not too evil.

The added scene between Merry and Pip is okay for me. It is not my favourite scene but it is kinda cute. As I said before I like these ent scenes because it gives me time to relax since I usually get pretty tense during the action sequences.
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Old 03-31-2006, 02:29 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Lathriel
Going back to the cloak issue,Of course the Rohirrim could see the Three hunters because the cloaks are supposed to shield them from unfriendly eyes. Are the Rohirrim enemies? No, so that answers the question. This is also the reason why Sam and Frodo are hidden because at that time they are in the presence of enemies.
Are you saying that one knows if he/she is in the presence of enemies by the 'camouflague-icity' of one's cloak? Now, we know that PJ didn't really give the whole deal a lot of thought , but the cloaks, as seen in the books, provide concealment from all eyes, not just the malignant kind. The Galadhrim marchwardens like Haldir may have used the garments to provide extra stealth, giving them an edge in protecting their borders.

I would note that your interpretation is more consistent, as it's stated as you say that the cloaks can hide one from the enemy, and as the Rohirrim weren't exactly bad guys (though they did threaten Gimli).

Maybe PJ wanted the cloaks to function similarly to Sting, where the 'magic' only works in the proximity of a specific kind of creature. "This cloak only provides concealment from southern soldiers wearing red and black on the third Tuesday of the month." We do have precident in ThrŠin II's key. Or maybe he just didn't see the inconsistency, not wanting to highlight it as it caused the storyline to devolve into dwarven drinking scenes...

Thanks for posting.
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Old 04-01-2006, 12:03 AM   #4
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Just one last note on the cloak issue, for some reason I remember from the book that talked specifically about the cloaks.
Here I got the qoute, in my copy it is on page 390. "And you will find them a great aid in keeping out of the sight of unfriendly eyes, whether you walk among the stones or the trees."

So there you go, PJ didn't screw up this time.
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Old 04-01-2006, 10:01 AM   #5
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Pipe

I thought the cloak sequence was allright by PJ,
including the bad guys not seeing the hobbits when near them.
However, as to the Rohirrim not being enemies, in the
book, while not enemies, Eomer seems to say they are
not yet, at present, allies.

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I serve only the Lord of the Mark, Theoden King son of Thengel. We do not serve the Power of the Black Land far away, but neither are we at open war with him; and if you are fleeing from him, then you had best leave this land.
I thought PJ's making the phyiscal interaction on deciding how to procede:

Quote:
All of that math must have gone to Samís head too, as he gets a little too close to the edge and falls over. Nice, Sam, I guess that your plan was to run down the hill while a thousand or two bad guys are tramping around out front. Another instance of a character going out of character for a thrill.
was much poorer then the book discussion. He presumably did it to
get action and use of the cloaks but it is, as noted above,
rather illogical.

And one of the most incomprehensible decisions of the movie has its
seeds here, showing Pippin and Merry growing, and then later (especially
at the Grey Havens, showing them shrunk down again. If you go to the
effort and time of having them grow why then ignore this later. PJ could
even have had a better Gimli humor moment by using his book
comments and measuring of the hobbits at Isengard.

Again, here PJ and friends put on an aggravating combination of
occasional story faithfulness and great effort in scenery, etc. with
counterproductive "changes", some comprehensible and others not.
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Old 04-01-2006, 11:24 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Tuor in Gondolin
And one of the most incomprehensible decisions of the movie has its seeds here, showing Pippin and Merry growing, and then later (especially at the Grey Havens, showing them shrunk down again. If you go to the effort and time of having them grow why then ignore this later. PJ could even have had a better Gimli humor moment by using his book comments and measuring of the hobbits at Isengard.
My take on the hobbits' growth via the Ent draught was to make these two heroes more than just 'two hobbits that accompanied the Ringbearer.' Merry and Pip see more fighting in the Third Age than the other two, and Tolkien may have created the Ent draught as a device to help readers believe that these hobbits might actually be useful in battle with orcs and larger foes. Sure, they're little, but after their visit with Treebeard, suddenly we have the Hercules and Theseus of the Hobbit world.

And during the Scouring of the Shire, it's these two that open the gate (can't remember which one) as now they are overly large for Little Folk. Sam gets a family, Frodo gets a cruise, Merry and Pippin get larger.

PJ just threw this in for a laugh; an illogical lark to have another character (small one at that) belch.
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Old 04-02-2006, 12:13 PM   #7
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You must also remember that the ent draught scene was in the EE. It was never in the theatrical version. So if they had actually grown then it would have provided further complications.
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Old 04-03-2006, 04:44 PM   #8
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Maybe the air of Fangorn affected their brains and they actually hadn't grown at all...

Watch the Cameras in Middle-earth documentary on Disc Three. It actually shows the take where Frodo and Sam are just about to go forward to the Gate, and Andy Serkis pulls them back. Except in this take, when he pulls them back, he accidentally grabs Sean Astin by his wig and rips it off. Sean then storms off in disgust. He SAYS he wasn't mad, just having a bad day. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

As I guess you guys can see, I'm doing my best to post on the new discussions. I haven't had time to do more than lurk occasionally for a while, but these discussions are way too good and fun to let them die.
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Old 04-03-2006, 04:50 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Elladan and Elrohir
Watch the Cameras in Middle-earth documentary on Disc Three. It actually shows the take where Frodo and Sam are just about to go forward to the Gate, and Andy Serkis pulls them back. Except in this take, when he pulls them back, he accidentally grabs Sean Astin by his wig and rips it off. Sean then storms off in disgust. He SAYS he wasn't mad, just having a bad day. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.
Having worked that closely together for that much time, you'd have to expect that at least once someone was going to lose his cool and react. But I think that the cast assembled by PJ was outstanding in that they, for the most part, worked with and supported each other through the hardships. Can't see any prima donnas having tantrums.


Quote:
As I guess you guys can see, I'm doing my best to post on the new discussions. I haven't had time to do more than lurk occasionally for a while, but these discussions are way too good and fun to let them die.
Far be it from me to ask you not to post, but post well as well as often (and I'm not making reference to any of your posts, but just have to say that ). And the death of the SbS will be murder, not suicide, if that makes any sense. I'll always be here even if I'm posting for myself.
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Old 04-18-2006, 03:09 AM   #10
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back from my hols in sunny (???!!!***###) California.

re the cloaks - the three hunters were not hiding from the rohirrim. Indeed, this is EXACTLY as it was in the books. The rohirrim can be seen as going past the three hunters, ie not noticing them, in some way because of their cloaks, and only turned once Aragorn stated the line 'What news from the North' etc.

if you have a cloak - it won't really camoflauge you if your head an legs are peeking out too! hey, I've just realised - another bit of plot knicked by JK Rowling from tolkien - harry's cloak of invisibility!!!!

I still look in awe at how good the cloak camoflauge works so well as a boulder every time i see Frodo lift the cloak up.

I actually think that the 'eastern' baddies at the black gate costume's are too stylised. More for show then action - too 'formal' an attire to march to War on.

Ent draught scene - at least it's alluding to stuff from the books, as is the bombadil lines, so I don;t mind these bits.

when sam falls down the hill, this is only one of 2 places in the whole trilogy for me where the cgi looks really bad. the rock that sam is on looks like it's sitting infront of an old Doctor Who 70's Green Screen. (now the NEW doctor who - that's a different story!!!)

re the searchlight - areen't we told by tolkien (when sam wears the ring in mordor) that sauron's eye was continuosly searching around middle-earth for his Ring. So he's not omnipient and can't look in all places at the same time. we see this used as a plot devise in both book and movie later to help sam and frodo across the plains towards mount doom.

PS - regarding the gate - ill take another look - but the wood moving the gte open is acting as a LEVER - and therefore can move a large weight as required (i.e. why a wheel barrow works for example) - can't remember the exact physics but have a few books on it to back up my claims if required!!!!!
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Old 04-19-2006, 02:48 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Essex
re the cloaks - the three hunters were not hiding from the rohirrim. Indeed, this is EXACTLY as it was in the books. The rohirrim can be seen as going past the three hunters, ie not noticing them, in some way because of their cloaks, and only turned once Aragorn stated the line 'What news from the North' etc.
In the books, Strider suggests that they move off of the hilltop, where they would be more easily seen. Eomer almost rides over them until Aragorn stands and states what you posted. Later, when they discuss the apparent fate of the hobbits, I think that Aragorn uses that fact to cast some doubt, stating that Eomer almost rode past the Three Hunters in the light of day, and so consequently may not have seen the Hobbits.


Quote:
re the searchlight - areen't we told by tolkien (when sam wears the ring in mordor) that sauron's eye was continuosly searching around middle-earth for his Ring. So he's not omnipient and can't look in all places at the same time. we see this used as a plot devise in both book and movie later to help sam and frodo across the plains towards mount doom.
But doesn't the searchlight Eye smack you as a bit too literal? Oh, right, it's PJ, and so subtle ain't in his vocabulary.


Quote:
PS - regarding the gate - ill take another look - but the wood moving the gte open is acting as a LEVER - and therefore can move a large weight as required (i.e. why a wheel barrow works for example) - can't remember the exact physics but have a few books on it to back up my claims if required!!!!!
Bottom line first: The Black Gate did not open as I expected, was overcontrived and hokey and so took me out of the film. Regarding the physics of the Gate, I'm not going to go too far down that fanatical road, but it just seems a bit silly for the trolls to open something so large with such a small lever. This would be akin to opening a door with a stick that when in your hands was the diameter of a toothpick. And a wheelbarrow has the weight on the lever before the fulcrum. And my family has broken wooden wheelbarrow handles...
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Old 04-20-2006, 03:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alatar
In the books, Strider suggests that they move off of the hilltop, where they would be more easily seen. Eomer almost rides over them until Aragorn stands and states what you posted. Later, when they discuss the apparent fate of the hobbits, I think that Aragorn uses that fact to cast some doubt, stating that Eomer almost rode past the Three Hunters in the light of day, and so consequently may not have seen the Hobbits.
I think we're in agreement then.....

Quote:
But doesn't the searchlight Eye smack you as a bit too literal? Oh, right, it's PJ, and so subtle ain't in his vocabulary.
We've been moaning about this for years it seems now. Yes it is very 'Literal' / not subtle - but I haven't really seen a working alternative from anyone yet. It's ok to citicise something, but what would you put in place instead of it?

Quote:
Bottom line first: The Black Gate did not open as I expected, was overcontrived and hokey and so took me out of the film. Regarding the physics of the Gate, I'm not going to go too far down that fanatical road, but it just seems a bit silly for the trolls to open something so large with such a small lever. This would be akin to opening a door with a stick that when in your hands was the diameter of a toothpick.
I need to look at this scene again before I comment further.
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Old 04-20-2006, 05:06 AM   #13
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We've been moaning about this for years it seems now. Yes it is very 'Literal' / not subtle - but I haven't really seen a working alternative from anyone yet. It's ok to citicise something, but what would you put in place instead of it?
Agreed. It's easy for me (and others) to know what I don't want. It's just that after all of these years of thinking that Sauron was the the end-all be-all evil guy, he just looks so cheesy in RotK.

It'd be like if the Black Riders wore colored ascots.
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Old 04-20-2006, 10:24 AM   #14
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I understand this. But maybe PJ was always gonna take a hit for this. How do you show an 'eye' roaming across the landscape looking for his Ring and spying on his enemies as Tolkien talks about.

I remember when I was a young kid and I was standing on the Prom in Satlhill near Galway, Ireland on my hols looking at all the stars in the sky. And I had an epiphany that light wasn't the fastest thing in the world at 186,000 miles per second, but Eyesight was. I made the mistake (and it wasn't cleared up for me for years) that when I was looking light years back in time my eyes were looking OUT at the stars, and reaching them instaneously rather than the years that light would take. Instead it is actually the light from the stars themselves hitting the back of my eye and my brain taking this data and forming an image for me.

So eyesight is not something like a 'searchlight' as people have called PJ's Sauron Eye. But what Tolkien gives us with the Eye of Sauron is almost a description of what I was naively thinking of as a kid. The scene at Parth Galen shows us this best, as Frodo looks out from the seat of seeing as her wears the Ring:
Quote:
Then at last his gaze was held: wall upon wall, battlement upon battlement, black, immeasurably strong, mountain of iron, gate of steel, tower of adamant, he saw it: Barad-dŻr, Fortress of Sauron. All hope left him.
And suddenly he felt the Eye. There was an eye in the Dark Tower that did not sleep. He knew that it had become aware of his gaze. A fierce eager will was there. It leaped towards him; almost like a finger he felt it, searching for him. Very soon it would nail him down, know just exactly where he was. Amon Lhaw it touched. It glanced upon Tol Brandir he threw himself from the seat, crouching, covering his head with his grey hood.
He heard himself crying out: _Never, never!_Or was it: _Verily I come, I come to you_? He could not tell. Then as a flash from some other point of power there came to his mind another thought: _Take it off! Take it off! Fool, take it off! Take off the Ring!_
The two powers strove in him. For a moment, perfectly balanced between their piercing points, he writhed, tormented. Suddenly he was aware of himself again. Frodo, neither the Voice nor the Eye: free to choose, and with one remaining instant in which to do so. He took the Ring off his finger. He was kneeling in clear sunlight before the high seat. A black shadow seemed to pass like an arm above him; it missed Amon Hen and groped out west, and faded.Then all the sky was clean and blue and birds sang in every tree.
So what Tolkien is doing here is almost describing the Eye as (to be honest) a searchlight for want of a better word, something that is SCANNING the land loooking for his Ring - how can you show this in the medium of film? I can't think of anything closer to this than a spot light - no matter how cheesy it may look.......

We could perhap have a shot of Sauron sitting on his throne suddenly looking out towards Amon Hen, the camera shooting out from barad dur, following his gaze. (This is how I first saw the scene as I read the book the first time) - But we know that Sauron has no physical form at this time, so if Jackson did something like this, he would be lambasted for not following Tolkien's story correctly.....

He can't win. (again......)
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Old 04-21-2006, 11:51 AM   #15
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So eyesight is not something like a 'searchlight' as people have called PJ's Sauron Eye.

He can't win. (again......)
I'm going to come back to this in RotK, but in brief I hate how the Eye pivots on an axis like a searchlight.

And PJ has already won. His films are successful, he got to remake King Kong, and nothing I say here can take any of that away.

Not that I'll ever let up...
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Old 04-21-2006, 04:32 PM   #16
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Not that I'll ever let up...
And neither will eye (Sorry, I mean "I")

From Tolkien:

Quote:
There was an eye in the Dark Tower that did not sleep.... It leaped towards him; almost like a finger he felt it, searching for him.
Sounds like a search light in some respects.........
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Old 06-05-2006, 05:56 AM   #17
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The music which jumps out at you as Gollum speaks "The Black Gate of Mordor!" is incredible. It makes me gasp every time and is one of my favourite scenes. Gollum looks so worried; Frodo looks so lost; Sam looks so aware that this new journey could be a catastrophe. Good acting here, although I don't really like Sam's fall either.

Merry and Pippin annoy me more the more I watch these films. They're two of my favourite characters and they do come across as jokes too often for my liking. Gotta love that greenery, though. Bombadil's lines are very welcome.

They should have just left out the Ent-draught.
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Old 07-06-2006, 09:03 PM   #18
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Cloaks

A miracle of sorts occured, and I've recovered my paperback copies of TTT and RotK. No idea where FotR is, and someone still has my hardbound, anyway...I now can quote from the books and don't have to rely on my memory (failing) and the audio CDs.

Here's a quote on cloaks:


Quote:
Originally Posted by J.R.R.T
from The Taming of Smeagol:

'Do you think he can see us?' said Sam.

'I don't know,' said Frodo quietly, 'but I think not. It is hard even for friendly eyes to see these elven-cloaks: I cannot see you in the shadow even at a few paces.'
Point is is that there is no reason for the cloaks to function intermittently; either they hide the wearer all of the time or not. PJ just decided to use them in one instance to create tension and to show a cool effect (the cloak that looks just like a rock). Beyond that, they are ordinary, though well-made, cloaks.
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Old 07-13-2006, 09:00 AM   #19
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Again, from reading the text, I remembered that the Black Gate was not originally constructed by the Dark Lord, but by the Nķmenůreans. Not sure why PJ and WETA, who at times followed the Tolkien's descriptions of items did not here. Surely there wasn't an illustration, and the text does give one room to imagine, but I'm still not sure why we have the 'door-like' gate as opposed to the regular gate that opened like a portcullis - that fence-like thing that goes up and down. Was the weight of the gate too much for such construction, as it was to be of iron? Did PJ et al want to keep the battlement looking like one solid wall across the valley so that we could see across the top into Mordor (as opposed to having a tower or towers atop the Gate, breaking up the view)?

If single- or double-door like, like we see in Minas Tirith, then they should open inward (if Sauron switched them) or outward, if the Gondorians built them - easier to shut them up.

Didn't see much from Alan Lee or John Howe that shows that the Gate is exclusively one of their works.
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Old 07-13-2006, 10:02 AM   #20
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As is starkly shown here, the style of the towers and wall is very similar to the famous Alan Lee illustration. I would be surprised, therefore, if Lee was not invvolved in the design of the Gate, and Howe too, given that they were working together.

Personally, I don't care about the physics or other practicalities of such matters. I just care whether it looks good. And it looks good to me (yes, including the Trolls).
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Old 07-13-2006, 10:20 AM   #21
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I saw those same pictures, and didn't see the movie Gate as it appears in the concept art, so not sure exactly where the idea came from. And regarding our day trolls, just how was the Gate opened when it was under Gondor's management?

Hmm, the Brownlands once were the abode of the Entwives, and so maybe the Gates were opened by Ents. Will have to ask Fangorn the next time that I see him - at least that would explain why he and his brothers were reluctant in TTT to go to war, as the last time they ended up being door wards afterwards, and poor ones at that.

Note that while rereading the books I'm finding more reasons why certain things in the movie stick out as odd.
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Old 07-13-2006, 10:42 AM   #22
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Pipe

It's a general point really, but it often occurs to me on reading these threads.

I do think that the process of watching a film is different from that of reading a book. Watching a film is generally a rather passive process - you can sit back and let the film wash over you - whereas reading requires much more active involvement. Perhaps, as a matter of psychology or biology I am wrong, but it just seems that way to me.

Because of this, I suspect that a good film-maker is unlikely to pay as much attention to internal consistency, practicality etc as a good author will. Slips are generally less noticable by film audiences (who - young children apart - generally only watch a film once or, if more, at infrequent intervals). That was particularly so before the advent of videos and, more recently, DVDs (and I can remeber a time before VCRs ). However, similar slips will be a lot more noticable in books, where increased concentration and interpretation is demanded of the reader, and the reader can also easily check back or pause to think things through. So film-makers are able to get way with a lot more. Added to that, in the context of films such as LotR, is the ability to explain it by reference to anything being possible in fantasy.

The reason I think this is that I have watched the films a lot less, I think, than many (possibly most) contributors to the Films forum and so never noticed most of the "slips" that have been brought up. I think I would have noticed much more had they been in the book, even on a first read.

Or may be I am just a much more passive (and easily satisified) viewer than everyone else...
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Old 12-01-2006, 08:23 PM   #23
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Pipe more on the Morannon

In general I liked the design of the Morannon and the Towers of the Teeth, taken as they were from Alan Lee's brilliant artwork. The fact that they gate required trolls to open it was a clever idea, I thought. But now that I reflect on it, I don't see why we needed to be shown how the mechanism operates. Surely this is preciouss screen time that could have been used for something else... like Shelob? Okay, we'll get into that debate later, but I can't resist taking a cheap shot.

Silly sausage Sam, falling down the slope. I didn't like that at all. Sam in the book may be a little simple, but he is no klutz. Although this did set up PJs use of the unearthly power of the elven cloak. I always pictured them as more subtle than that, blending in to the hues of the world around them, rather than such fantastic magic, but hey whatever, at least we got to see them in action. Although I would guess that viewers who had not read the book may be a little confused over what is happening here.

The soldiers were meant to be Easterlings, right? Then shouldn't they have been approaching from the east? That should mean that Sam and Frodo aren't in their path, as they are closer to the southern watchtower. I guess I'm just pouting because we didn't get to see the Haradrim as detailed in the book, with their gold and their red cloaks and facepaint.

Yeah, the growth of Merry and Pip due to ent draughts brings up a bunch of continuity errors, when we see that they have not grown at all. It would have been just as well to throw this one in the "too hard" basket and discard it completely, without bringing it back into play for the EE.

I'm in two minds about Old Man Willow and the words of Bombadil. It would have been great to have these things in the movies, but in their proper place. If PJ really desired to cut them from where they belonged, then it doesn't really make up for that by having them inserted later, in the wrong movie. I guess that he did so to set up the fact that some trees are dangerous. But then again, we don't get to see the huorns in action, do we? Crazy, man. So many losses in TTT...
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