The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum


Visit The *EVEN NEWER* Barrow-Downs Photo Page

Go Back   The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum > Middle-Earth Discussions > The Movies
User Name
Password
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-09-2005, 02:08 PM   #281
alatar
Doubting Dwimmerlaik
 
alatar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Heaven's basement
Posts: 2,488
alatar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.alatar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
The movie spends a lot of screen time building up the WK as an overwhelmingly powerful supernatural force & then prceeds to have him 'killed' by a couple of people with normal weapons. It simply doesn't make sense. Why the build up if he can be brought down by an unexpected blow & killed by any woman who just happens to be on the field?

... If you introduce a supremely, supernaturally, powerful foe you have to account for his destruction in a believable & convincing way.
Which is why I consider this an inconsistency on PJ's part.

However, again assume non-reading viewer - how was the mightly Sauron brought down? A seemingly normal blade, broken at that, cut his ringed finger off. Seemingly the sword could have dismembered him too, given the chance (I have visions of Sauron ala the armless, legless knight of Grail fame ). His underling, WK, could be dealt a similar blow as he had a ring too.

And in regards to the flight/fight comment, I hide behind the fact that the WK was undead, meaning that obviously knee stabs and dog bites would freeze him. Note that one of the Nazgul does not attack the hobbit with the dogs (though the dogs cowered, it was just to set up a sneak attack). And Farmer Maggot is the example from the books.

If only the Rohirrim had ridden dogs...big dogs...with lasers...
alatar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2005, 02:38 PM   #282
The Saucepan Man
Corpus Cacophonous
 
The Saucepan Man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: A green and pleasant land
Posts: 8,467
The Saucepan Man has been trapped in the Barrow!
White-Hand Don’t mention the P-word!

I am somewhat mystified as to why I am continually being pulled up on this thread for my references to the popularity of the films. I thought that I had made by position perfectly clear.

I am not saying that anyone’s (adverse) opinion on the films is wrong simply by virtue of the fact that they are popular. I fully respect that everyone has, and is entitled to, his or her own opinion. Nor am I saying that anyone should like them because they are popular. And I am most definitely not saying that the fact that they are popular means that they could not have been better. My opinion is that they could have been better and remained just as popular, if not more so. But, as I have said, you could say that about just about anything.

I do think that they would not have been as popular if some of the changes made to the story and the characters, with a view to (necessarily) simplifying the films and broadening their appeal, had not been made. In other words, I think that many (although not all) of the decisions taken with a view to achieving this goal were good ones. That is purely my opinion, although it is based on my own perceptions and experiences. I have no problem if people choose to take a different view, based on their own perceptions and experiences.

But I do firmly believe that, when we are discussing the merits of the films and considering the extent to which they have been (to use that expression that I dislike so much in this context) “dumbed down” and why the story and the characters were changed in the ways that they were, then their popularity is a relevant factor. In seeking (as far as we are able) to establish on an objective basis the merits of the films as films, their (popular and critical) appeal must surely be a factor. If they are popular and successful, then they must be doing something right (and all the more so if their popularity acquires a lasting quality, although we can only speculate on that at this stage). I am not seeking to suggest that this is the only factor in determining their quality, and there have been some compelling critiques on this thread of certain aspects of the films which do, to my mind, speak to their quality. But it is a factor nevertheless.

Moreover, almost without exception, the changes that were made were made with the aim of enhancing their success as films. Why else would they make them? They wanted the films to succeed as films and to appeal to as many people as possible. And the popularity of the films, to my mind, suggests that they succeeded in this aim. In all likelihood, they could have achieved greater success by making different choices. But, the way I see it, the fact is that they made the choices that they did and those choices were (broadly) successful ones in the context of what they were trying to achieve. The fact that inconsistencies were introduced as a result does not change that, although I fully accept that it is a relevant factor when considering their quality (provided that one takes into account the incredible difficulty involved in adapting such a complex and carefully crafted book to the screen).

In addition, given that this thread has, at certain points during its history, become rather a cosy film “hate-in”, I thought it worth pointing out that the majority view here is not the only view, in order to bring a bit of persepctive to the discussion. There are many many people out there that consider these films to be great films. Whether you agree with them or not, that is, in my view, a relevant factor in this discussion.

And finally, in view of some of the contemptuous terms used to describe these films and the oft prevailing opinion that Jackson and co “messed up big time”, I regard it as appropriate to point out that there are many respects in which they did not “mess up” at all, but rather succeeded wildly.

Again, I am not suggesting that anyone should alter their views on these films simply because they are popular. Neither am I suggesting that their popularity alone establishes their quality as films. I am merely raising it as a factor relevant to this discussion.
__________________
Do you mind? I'm busy doing the fishstick. It's a very delicate state of mind!
The Saucepan Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2005, 03:06 PM   #283
alatar
Doubting Dwimmerlaik
 
alatar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Heaven's basement
Posts: 2,488
alatar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.alatar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Saucepan Man
I do think that they would not have been as popular if some of the changes made to the story and the characters, with a view to (necessarily) simplifying the films and broadening their appeal, had not been made.
That's speculation. We have no way of knowing how popular the films may have been if certain changes were made; we just know that in their present form that they were successful. Of course if PJ would have listened to me...


Quote:
If they are popular and successful, then they must be doing something right (and all the more so if their popularity acquires a lasting quality, although we can only speculate on that at this stage).
Much agreed. Let's see where the films are twenty years from now. Note that (an assumption, as I'm a bit out of her demographic) Britney Spears is wildly popular now, but will she become a true classic such as the Beatles or Led Zeppelin? <shudder>. And unlike LOTR, I have never reread a Wheel of Time book, yet I assume that they too are popular. <more shuddering>


Quote:
Moreover, almost without exception, the changes that were made were made with the aim of enhancing their success as films. Why else would they make them?
Didn't someone post that certain changes were made to 'shock' the likes of us readers? And my gripe (admittedly I have more than one) is that the EE DVDs progressed from 'made for the Tolkien nut' (FOTR EE) to 'heck, let's try this as it would be so cool/funny/etc' (ROTK EE). I do appreciate PJ's work, as without him we would have nothing.



Quote:
In addition, given that this thread has, at certain points during its history, become rather a cosy film “hate-in”, I thought it worth pointing out that the majority view here is not the only view, in order to bring a bit of persepctive to the discussion.

And finally, in view of some of the contemptuous terms used to describe these films and the oft prevailing opinion that Jackson and co “messed up big time”, I regard it as appropriate to point out that there are many respects in which they did not “mess up” at all, but rather succeeded wildly.

Agreed. Yet it may be that we are pointing out what we do not like (10%) and have forgotten to mention the other 90% as it's not that fun or interesting. Think that this all was discussed here.
alatar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2005, 05:52 AM   #284
Essex
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Essex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Essex, England
Posts: 887
Essex has just left Hobbiton.
Davem, sorry but your point re the Nazgul
Quote:
Therefore only supernatural means may defeat them.
Why? Is there a Fantasy Equation out there that specifies this?

Let's forget the books for a second, again.

Movie wise, Saruman was killed by a blade and falling onto a Spike. He, being a Wizard, shows to the average non book reading movie goer that 'higher' beings can be killed by conventional means. Therefore the moive Witch King can also be killed this way. So, to me, there is no problem in Merry / Eowyn killing him with conventional weapons.
Essex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2005, 06:09 AM   #285
davem
Illustrious Ulair
 
davem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
Posts: 4,256
davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Essex
Movie wise, Saruman was killed by a blade and falling onto a Spike. He, being a Wizard, shows to the average non book reading movie goer that 'higher' beings can be killed by conventional means. Therefore the moive Witch King can also be killed this way. So, to me, there is no problem in Merry / Eowyn killing him with conventional weapons.
After he had been defeated by Gandalf & his staff had been broken. The WK, on the other hand, was at the height of his powers on the battlefield & had just cast down Gandalf & broken his staff. Also, Saruman, like all the Istari, had a physical body, somewhat akin the the Elves in that if it aged at all it was only incredibly slowly. The exact nature of the WK's physical presence is not the same.
davem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2005, 06:19 AM   #286
Boromir88
Laconic Loreman
 
Boromir88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 7,065
Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Send a message via AIM to Boromir88 Send a message via MSN to Boromir88
1420!

Movies today in general, are dumbed down...the average known vocabulary for a highschool student today is 10,000 words. In 1985 it was 25,000. I guess directors just don't think they can introduce a complicated film to our audience today, without attracting the teenage goers who are the ones who make up a lot of the audience in the theatres. I know before I watched FOTR at the theatres, I hadn't seen a movie there for about 3 years. After ROTK the only movie I've seen that the theatres was "National Treasure." Directors have gone away from some of the old days with multiple sub-plots, character changes, camera technology/moviement, and have replaced it with SFX and young studs.
Boromir88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2005, 06:36 AM   #287
Essex
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Essex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Essex, England
Posts: 887
Essex has just left Hobbiton.
davem,
Quote:
Also, Saruman, like all the Istari, had a physical body, somewhat akin the the Elves in that if it aged at all it was only incredibly slowly. The exact nature of the WK's physical presence is not the same
Yes, but we're talking MOVIE WISE here. No non lotr reading average movie goes knows what you're on about there.

Also, didn't Aragorn manage to waylay the nazgul using Fire and his Sword? and that wasn't a magic sword in the movie either!

Does it matter how powerful the Witch King was? You stil haven't explained why a 'higher' being CANNOT be mamied / killed by conventional weapons.

But that's where we differ. You think he can't be killed by a standard weapon, but average movie goers might not think this.

For the last few posts I've been looking at it solely from a movie point of view, as brought to my mind by Alatar, as this is what is annoying a lot of people on this thread - the consistency of the MOVIE.

Therefore, as examples in the movie:

Wizard killed by a blade
other wizard saved from probable death from a blade
Nazgul waylaid by fire and an ordinary sword
balrog defeated by a blade (which in the movie we have no knowledge is 'special')

why can't the Witch King be defeated by conventional means? Why make him invincible to these means?

Sorry to keep repeating myself. As you may have seen in other posts, when I watch this scene as a book reader I see Merry unkitting the witch king's sinews with the blade he got from the barrow. I can do this.

But my views above are contending against people's views on this thread that the scene doesn't work for the average movie goer. I say it does. You say it doesn't. We'll probably never see eye to eye on this.......
Essex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2005, 07:00 AM   #288
Lalwendë
A Mere Boggart
 
Lalwendë's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: under the bed
Posts: 4,804
Lalwendë is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Lalwendë is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
I think that there is one major difference between the Istari and the WK which explains why the latter cannot be despatched (I prefer to say despatched, as I'm not sure 'killed' is the right word) by any conventional weapon. The difference is that the WK is already effectively dead. He has no body, he is a wraith, and this is made clear in the film. I would expect anyone who watches attentively, book reader or no, to notice this fact, and so they might reasonably ask questions. As to how Aragorn chases the wraiths in the film, they are presented as being afraid of fire and he drives them back while the Hobbits make a run for it. I'd presume by this logic that this is why WK wants to break Gandalf's staff, after all, he's a;ready used it to drive off the fell beasts on the Pelennor Fields. I'll not get into the whole Istari thing though, not yet anyway...
__________________
Gordon's alive!
Lalwendë is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2005, 09:02 AM   #289
Essex
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Essex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Essex, England
Posts: 887
Essex has just left Hobbiton.
no, not dead, but as davem points out, they are neither dead nor living.

what's this then. Undead?

Hmm, what other major character do we have in literature (and movies) that was undead?

Dracula.

A supernatural being you might say. he could change his form into all sorts of things.

Now, how was he killed, in the book as well as in the movies? Ah yes, with a wooden stake to the heart.

Very conventional!

PS
Quote:
He has no body, he is a wraith, and this is made clear in the film.
it's made clear they have no bodies? not to me it isn't. ok, so you can;t see their faces behind the masks, but would the average movie goer think that they don't have bodies?

Again, I'm taking this perspective from the movies alone. It's quite fun working it out and arguing the points from a different perspective. thanks for the heads up, alatar!

Last edited by Essex; 03-10-2005 at 09:06 AM.
Essex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2005, 12:27 PM   #290
The Saucepan Man
Corpus Cacophonous
 
The Saucepan Man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: A green and pleasant land
Posts: 8,467
The Saucepan Man has been trapped in the Barrow!
I suspect that the "average movie-goer" would not give the matter quite the same degree of thought as is being exhibited here.
__________________
Do you mind? I'm busy doing the fishstick. It's a very delicate state of mind!
The Saucepan Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2005, 01:05 PM   #291
alatar
Doubting Dwimmerlaik
 
alatar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Heaven's basement
Posts: 2,488
alatar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.alatar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Saucepan Man
I suspect that the "average movie-goer" would not give the matter quite the same degree of thought as is being exhibited here.
You'd be very right - they 'moved on' before the credits started to scroll.

When I refer to an 'AMG,' what I am trying to do is focus a point on what is presented in the movies.

I noted that my sister, who is an AMG non-reader, had questions when she left theater, though I don't think that any of them were in regards to Merry's WK-bane .
alatar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2005, 01:43 PM   #292
davem
Illustrious Ulair
 
davem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
Posts: 4,256
davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Essex
Hmm, what other major character do we have in literature (and movies) that was undead?

Dracula.

A supernatural being you might say. he could change his form into all sorts of things.

Now, how was he killed, in the book as well as in the movies? Ah yes, with a wooden stake to the heart.

Very conventional!
I'm not sure about this argument - Dracula is vampire & only certain things will kill a vampire - wooden stakes, running water, sunlight, etc. In the same way only the Barrow sword could make the invulnerable WK vulnerable to Eowyn's sword strike.

The point is, the WK should be difficult to kill, just as Dracula is. His death requires the right kind of weapon, employed by the right person, in the right circumstances ...
davem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2005, 03:35 AM   #293
Essex
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Essex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Essex, England
Posts: 887
Essex has just left Hobbiton.
Yep, totally agree that the WK needs to be defeated with a 'magical' sword IN A BOOK SENSE.

For Mr Average Movie Goer they do not need this. As in the films of Dracula, sunlight can kill a vampire, but for those that have read Dracula know this is not the case, it just diminishes his powers. The same for the sword, for us book readers, the sword HAS to be the one picked from the barrow, but this is not needed for film goers.

Fair point about the stake having to be wooden. It's funny really, but this is the other way around for Dracula. The films have made the wooden stake important, whilst the novel itself ends dracula's life as:
Quote:
But, on the instant, came the sweep and flash of Jonathon's great knife. I shrieked as I saw it shear through the throat; whilst at the same moment Mr Morris' bowie knife plunged in the heart.
(sorry got this wrong on my last post)

I wonder if the internet had been around in the time of the hammer horror movies and boris karloff, whether there would have been the same arguments over the book / film differences.

PS I recommend Dracula as a read. Great story, great characters, and the Count himself. What an amazing character - give it a go if you get the chance.

Last edited by Essex; 03-11-2005 at 07:54 AM.
Essex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2005, 07:37 AM   #294
mark12_30
Stormdancer of Doom
 
mark12_30's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Elvish singing is not a thing to miss, in June under the stars
Posts: 4,396
mark12_30 has been trapped in the Barrow!
Send a message via AIM to mark12_30 Send a message via Yahoo to mark12_30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bęthberry
...when Aragorn's horse nuzzles him awake from the dream of Arwen. Haha, sure, funny, but how does that develop Aragorn's character or depict this supposedly iconic love and romance? It doesn't. It is just a but of cheap humour thrown in.
That didn't strike me as funny at all-- because horses do that. I can't be the only person who's had affectionate horse slobber on my face, or grass-stains on my shirt.

When two horses meet, they sniff noses, and then if they are friends, they each dig their chin into the other horse's crest (arch of the neck.) Watch two horses greet in a field, you'll see it. And if you walk up to a horse and sniff, his eyes will light up, and he will put his nose up to yours with great, deep snufflings. You have just spoken his language. If he likes you, he will try to dig his chin into your shoulder (or sometimes the top of your head-- ouch.)

Be cautious, because if he decides he doesn't like you, he may strike at you.

Aragorn, in the barn at Edoras, was speaking in both a tone ('horse-whispering', if you like) and a language (elvish) that Brego understood. And, he brought his face close to Brego's as he spoke it; good equine body-language. You could see Brego respond. I thought this was brilliant script-writing, because it was a blend of Tolkien's elf-to-horse communication-- that readers understand-- and 'horse-whispering', that horsemasters understand. Blend them together, and the most obvious thing for Brego to do when he finds Aragorn is nuzzle and sniff noses.

It's a pity that horse-greetings aren't more widely understood. That moment was, to me, anything but cheap humor; it was a tribute to Aragorn's bond with Brego, and Brego's friendly and trusting response.
__________________
...down to the water to see the elves dance and sing upon the midsummer's eve.

Last edited by mark12_30; 03-11-2005 at 07:38 AM. Reason: caution re: strike if dislike
mark12_30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2005, 07:45 AM   #295
mark12_30
Stormdancer of Doom
 
mark12_30's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Elvish singing is not a thing to miss, in June under the stars
Posts: 4,396
mark12_30 has been trapped in the Barrow!
Send a message via AIM to mark12_30 Send a message via Yahoo to mark12_30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Essex
it's made clear they have no bodies? not to me it isn't. ok, so you can;t see their faces behind the masks, but would the average movie goer think that they don't have bodies?
Something holds up those clothes. The black robes are in this world; their armor and other clothing is in the wraith-world. You see when Frodo puts the ring on that they do have bodies... nasty shrivelled ones.

(Edit: the word 'mummified' comes to mind...)
__________________
...down to the water to see the elves dance and sing upon the midsummer's eve.

Last edited by mark12_30; 03-11-2005 at 12:12 PM.
mark12_30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2005, 12:49 PM   #296
The Saucepan Man
Corpus Cacophonous
 
The Saucepan Man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: A green and pleasant land
Posts: 8,467
The Saucepan Man has been trapped in the Barrow!
White-Hand Some more perspective

Warning: This post is incredibly long and contains links to lengthy reviews. Please feel free to skip it if you have no interest whatsoever in what reviewers have said about the films.

A central theme in this thread is how the changes made to the story and characters as part of the process of simplifying them and broadening their appeal (my preferred expression to “dumbing them down”) might affect the “average moviegoer”. To what extent are the “inconsistencies” and “plot-holes” that have been raised on this thread likely to confuse them and thereby impair their enjoyment of the films?

There is also an underlying theme concerning the quality of the films in which the majority, while accepting that they are popular and, in many respects, well-made, do not regard these films as classics.

So I thought that I would do a little research. Now, clearly I couldn’t go out and conduct my own survey of “average moviegoers”. But I thought that it might be worth looking at some of the reviews of the films from those whose job or hobby it is to review films. My own perceptions of the critical acclaim which the films received had been based on UK press reviews, so I thought that I would cast my net (if you’ll pardon the pun) a bit wider. So I did a Google search on “Lord Rings Review” and looked at some of the sites that came up. I have posted links to some of the sites that I looked at below.

Note:
  • These are broadly representative of all the sites that I looked at. I have not merely selected positive reviews.
  • Many of these reviews are by those whose hobby it is to write reviews for internet sites – just the kind of people who would pick up on inconsistencies and plot-holes.
  • Some of these reviewers had clearly read the book before seeing the films. Others clearly had not. But none of them seem to be “Tolkien fanatics”.
So … You Wanna Sell A Script?

This seems to be a website for aspiring scriptwriters, and so I thought that it would be interesting to see whether they might be alert to the kinds of issue raised as concerns on this thread (inconsistent characters, plot-holes etc).

Link to various reviews of all three films.

(Warning – you might find one or two of them rather offensive.)

Well they are a mixed bag, but nevertheless mainly appreciative. Dr Scott in particular is wildly enthusiasticabout the films, which he regards as certain to become enduring classics. The main criticisms are the length of the films (including the “multiple endings” in RotK), too much dialogue/exposition at the expense of the action, bad dialogue (it’s not clear whether these comments refer to Tolkien’s original lines or those written by Jackson, Boyens and Walsh – but the archaic style is criticised) and the feeling (in one review) that the special effects took over in RotK.

Moving on to the Internet Movie Database , this provides some statistics which confirm the mass appeal of the films.

RotK was the highest grossing film of 2003. TTT and FotR were the second highest grossing films of 2002 and 2001 respectively. Their positions in the all-time highest grossing films are as follows:

US: RotK - seventh, TTT - eleventh, FotR – sixteenth.
Non-US: RotK - second, TTT - fifth, FotR - seventh.
Worldwide: RotK - second, TTT - fifth, FotR -tenth.

Note - most of the films on these lists are action films, so this is clearly a desirable niche to be in.

The reviews included with the individual entries for the films are pretty disparaging. FotR is described as a “video game version of book” that translates badly to film. The reviewer asserts that the story feels rushed and that it is impossible to care about characters unless one has read book. He sees it as a film by fans of the book for fans of the book (!), and yet considers the book to have been “butchered” to an unsuitable format. The review of TTT claims that the special effects could not save the film because the story is boring (!), while the review of RotK refers to bad acting, clichéd and melodramatic moments and a boring final 30 minutes.

These comments are not, however, representative of the views of the members of IMDB as a whole, who have rated the films very highly. In the IMDb All Time Top 250, RotK is third, TTT eighth and FotR thirteenth. It will be interesting to see the extent to which they will be able to maintain their positions on this list (which looks pretty sensible to me), but given the quality of the films throughout the Top 100, they will be doing very well indeed even if they slip down a fair few places.

ReelViews

This provides glowing reviews of the film trilogy from someone who read the book twice as a child. He clearly sees the films as defining the fantasy film genre and a milestone in film-making. Of course this is one person’s view, but I have included it because I find many of the comments that he makes interesting, particularly as they reflect my own views very closely (except for the bit about "stodgy" Tolkien purists). I thought it worth quoting a few (in parts provocative) extracts.

On the trilogy as a whole:


Quote:
But, in bringing J.R.R. Tolkien's milestone trilogy to the screen, Peter Jackson has finally given fantasy aficionados something to cheer about. I went into this movie with a mixture of excitement and trepidation, but left it exhilarated. Although it had been 20 years since I had last opened the books (I read them twice, at ages 12 and 14), many images remained fresh in my mind, and The Lord of the Rings matched them all. Almost everyone I have talked to, regardless of whether they have read the books or not, enjoyed the films. And, as the years go by, I expect that their importance will only grow.
Quote:
Like all great movies of this sort, this one is characterized by tremendous action scenes punctuated by moments of rest and reflection. The Lord of the Rings emphasizes two themes: the importance of brotherhood and the need for true strength to come from within. In the final analysis, this movie stands as one of the most rousing examples of entertainment to reach multiplexes in a long time. At last, someone has figured out how to do an epic fantasy justice on the big screen. Combined, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King represent one of the most engrossing and engaging nine-hour segments of cinema I have ever enjoyed. This series seems poised to go down as one of the crowning achievements of cinema.
On FotR:


Quote:
Lord of the Rings devotees will be delighted to learn that the motion picture adaptation is as faithful as one could imagine possible (and, consequently, is nearly three hours in length). Jackson and his co-screenwriters (Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens) do an excellent job condensing more than five hundred pages of text into a script that never feels choppy, uneven, or rushed.
On TTT:


Quote:
Stodgy Tolkien purists who disliked some of the changes Jackson made to The Fellowship of the Ring may be outraged by what he and his screenwriters have done here. The Two Towers differs much more from its written inspiration than the first movie. Yet, in tone and spirit, this remains very much Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, although altered in a manner that makes it more of a living, breathing cinematic endeavor rather than a point-by-point regurgitation (like the Harry Potter films).
Quote:
Jackson has added dashes of mirth and romance to the film – two elements in short supply in the novel.
On RotK:


Quote:
Tolkien purists will be as disgruntled with The Return of the King as they were with The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, but this isn't made for them. This is Tolkien's saga as filtered through Jackson's fertile imagination, not some dry, slavishly faithful adaptation (although it is probably as true to the books in both spirit and narrative as any movie version could be).
Rotten Tomatoes

The LotR films don’t make their top 100, but that seems to be rated by the number of reviews a particular film has received as well as the degree to which it found favour, and there are some pretty odd choices there. But the films are highly rated in their review section, which is particularly interesting because the entries include excerpts from media reviews:

FotR
TTT
RotK

I’m assuming that the excerpts in these entries represent a cross-section of critical reaction, since there are a few negative comments. But these are massively outweighed by the positive and indeed the wildly enthusiastic (some of which go further than even I would). Many of these comments hail it as groundbreaking or refer to it as a great cinema achievement. And, since these are people who review films either professionally or as a hobby, I tend to think that they know what they are talking about. Of course, there is some diversity in opinion, but that is to be expected as a consequence of differences in personal tastes. Other comments refer to the films as remaining true to the spirit of the book, while achieving the almost difficult task of translating it to, and condensing it for, the screen.

I couldn’t resist repeating this quote:


Quote:
The director and screenwriter brings unity to a somewhat unwieldy story and handles the spectacle scenes with flourish and coherence.
-- Philip Wuntch, DALLAS MORNING NEWS
I don’t agree that the original story is "unwieldy", but it is probably a fairly common view. There are, I am sure, many who have no time for the book who will enjoy the films.

The Hollywood Reporter

FotR
FotR (EE DVD)
TTT
TTT (DVD)
TTT (EE DVD)
RotK
RotK (EE DVD)

With regard to RotK, the following comment is interesting:


Quote:
Jackson and co-writers Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh make noteworthy departures from Tolkien, including such crucial moments as what happens when Frodo is finally standing on a ledge over the Crack of Doom inside the volcano where the ring must be destroyed, and how Aragorn makes use of the Army of the Dead that only he can command. Whole swaths of the book have been condensed and eliminated, but Jackson and company usually realize splendidly whatever they take on.
The BBC Movies section

FotR
TTT

A nice comment, this one:


Quote:
This is a compact, flab-free adaptation of JRR Tolkien's complex, lengthy book, and it suffers little from following three simultaneous adventures.
RotK

Again:


Quote:
It's an astonishing piece of storytelling, sacrificing little of the novel, as it nimbly switches between several story strands without becoming confusing or dull (despite being a bum-numbing 201 minutes).
The New York Times

I could only access the summary review of RotK

As I said, these are pretty representative of the reviews that I read. Clearly, they are overwhelmingly positive. But most importantly, as far as the issues being discussed on this thread are concerned, there is hardly a mention of plot-holes or inconsistencies. The main criticisms focus on other areas (primarily length and over use of dialogue/exposition). Also, it seems quite clear to me (particularly from the extracts from media reviews on the Rotten Tomatoes site) that many regard this film trilogy as a groundbreaking cinematic event and consider that these films are likely to become classics. Comparisons with the original Star Wars films are frequently made.

Now, I must emphasise that I am not suggesting that anyone is wrong if they disagree with these reviews. I am sure that many here will. But they do, in my view, provide a useful indication as to the regard in which these films are held by those who know and love films generally (rather than only those who know and love Tolkien’s works).

Finally, a bit of fun:

Movie Mistakes.com is a nice little site that I came across during my investigations. It refers primarily to continuity errors and the like, rather than inconsistencies in the story and/or characters. They give a list of the 30 most mistake-filled films. The LotR films are at 5, 6 and 7 respectively. But two of the Harry Potter films are in the top 3, and Star Wars is pretty high up too.
__________________
Do you mind? I'm busy doing the fishstick. It's a very delicate state of mind!

Last edited by The Saucepan Man; 03-11-2005 at 12:57 PM.
The Saucepan Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2005, 01:34 PM   #297
Bęthberry
Cryptic Aura
 
Bęthberry's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 6,038
Bęthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Bęthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Bęthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Boots

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark12_30
That didn't strike me as funny at all-- because horses do that. I can't be the only person who's had affectionate horse slobber on my face, or grass-stains on my shirt.

When two horses meet, they sniff noses, and then if they are friends, they each dig their chin into the other horse's crest (arch of the neck.) Watch two horses greet in a field, you'll see it. And if you walk up to a horse and sniff, his eyes will light up, and he will put his nose up to yours with great, deep snufflings. You have just spoken his language. If he likes you, he will try to dig his chin into your shoulder (or sometimes the top of your head-- ouch.)

Be cautious, because if he decides he doesn't like you, he may strike at you.

Aragorn, in the barn at Edoras, was speaking in both a tone ('horse-whispering', if you like) and a language (elvish) that Brego understood. And, he brought his face close to Brego's as he spoke it; good equine body-language. You could see Brego respond. I thought this was brilliant script-writing, because it was a blend of Tolkien's elf-to-horse communication-- that readers understand-- and 'horse-whispering', that horsemasters understand. Blend them together, and the most obvious thing for Brego to do when he finds Aragorn is nuzzle and sniff noses.

It's a pity that horse-greetings aren't more widely understood. That moment was, to me, anything but cheap humor; it was a tribute to Aragorn's bond with Brego, and Brego's friendly and trusting response.


Thanks for the horse sense, Helen.

I didn't laugh at the language of horses--which I do understand (my brother used to keep four horses on his acreage). It was the juxtaposition of Aragorn's dream of Arwen with his horse. It made me think of that line, "If dreams were horses ...". Or is it wishes?

I quite agree that it is nice Aragorn had someone to bond with.
__________________
I’ll sing his roots off. I’ll sing a wind up and blow leaf and branch away.

Last edited by Bęthberry; 03-11-2005 at 01:38 PM. Reason: misplaced quotation
Bęthberry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2005, 05:25 PM   #298
Aiwendil
Late Istar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,140
Aiwendil has been trapped in the Barrow!
That's certainly an impressive bit of research, Saucepan Man, and I'm grateful that you've rounded up these reviews for everyone here. But I continue to suspect that the two "sides" in the argument here are not really arguing against each other at all. You make an impressive case for the popularity, among both critics and ordinary folk, of the movies. But, again, I don't think anyone would dispute the fact that the movies are popular.
Aiwendil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2005, 12:48 PM   #299
The Saucepan Man
Corpus Cacophonous
 
The Saucepan Man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: A green and pleasant land
Posts: 8,467
The Saucepan Man has been trapped in the Barrow!
Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aiwendil
You make an impressive case for the popularity, among both critics and ordinary folk, of the movies. But, again, I don't think anyone would dispute the fact that the movies are popular. But I continue to suspect that the two "sides" in the argument here are not really arguing against each other at all.
Well I was largely browsing those reviews for my own interest, but I think that they are relevant here. I accept that we are not arguing in the sense of saying that another person's feelings about the films are "wrong". The main point that I think the reviews are relevant to here is the issue of whether the "inconsistencies" and "plot-holes" reasluting from "dumbing down" made much of an impact on non-book fans.

Hmm, I'm beginning to use quotation marks as much as I did on the dreaded C-thread ...
__________________
Do you mind? I'm busy doing the fishstick. It's a very delicate state of mind!
The Saucepan Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2005, 02:59 AM   #300
davem
Illustrious Ulair
 
davem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
Posts: 4,256
davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bęthberry
Thanks for the horse sense, Helen.

I didn't laugh at the language of horses--which I do understand (my brother used to keep four horses on his acreage). It was the juxtaposition of Aragorn's dream of Arwen with his horse. It made me think of that line, "If dreams were horses ...". Or is it wishes?

I quite agree that it is nice Aragorn had someone to bond with.
I have to agree with Bb about the juxtaposition. Still, its nice to get another pov. I suppose Helen must be our resident horse expert, so we now know who to turn to if we have any equine questions.

One that springs to mind is whether the Rohirric horses could have charged down a 45% scree slope without all losing their footing & rolling to the bottom in a tangled bloody mass....
davem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2005, 12:13 PM   #301
mark12_30
Stormdancer of Doom
 
mark12_30's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Elvish singing is not a thing to miss, in June under the stars
Posts: 4,396
mark12_30 has been trapped in the Barrow!
Send a message via AIM to mark12_30 Send a message via Yahoo to mark12_30
Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
whether the Rohirric horses could have charged down a 45% scree slope without all losing their footing & rolling to the bottom in a tangled bloody mass....
Why thankee, davem! I shall do my best.

Let's generalize first: horses are individuals, and not all are athletes, and of the athletes, not all are "gymnasts" or "wrestlers". Some horses are good with rugged terrain, others are not.

Running down a steep scree-hill: Could a pampered, stalled, blanketed Thoroughbred do it? I doubt it. The vet bills afterward would make you rue your foolishness all the way to the poorhouse.

Could an outback-raised Brumby do it? Yep. SIT BACK. (See Man From Snowy River-- or is it Return to Snowy River? One of the two.)

Could a backyard pony do it? That depends on the daily activities of the backyard pony and the skill of the rider. Some could.

Now, could a rohirric horse do it?

I'll say again, that depends. What are their daily activities? If the horse lived up by Edoras-- very hilly; the horse would be well conditioned to the ups & downs.

If he lived always and only on the very-flat plains, then ... I'd be skeptical. But since we are talking about The Movies:

In the movie, Rohan was a very rugged country. There were canyons, rocky outcroppings, little cliffs, big cliffs, little hills, big hills. The Rohirrim lived Not-That-Far from the mountains, some lived in the mountains or at their foot, others were in-and-out of mountainous country. And the herds of Rohan were range-bred horses, not pampered pets. They were workhorses not showhorses, warhorses not race horses. Their riders knew them well.

So-- off hand, I'd say yes, I'd expect them to do pretty well on a steep downhill charge. Because of the scree, you'd have had some injuries, some tender frogs and swollen ankles and maybe a few broken legs.

But on a tough, scruffy, hill-country horse, the hill and its scree would have worried me less than the pikes.

**** story:

I went riding with a friend in Palos Verdes, LA area. It's very hilly. There were trails trough the hills, and there was this one trail with a steep washed-out area, basically a mini-landslide that went down maybe thirty feet. The crumbling sand came halfway into the trail. No New England horse I know would have gone over that without a fuss. "Time to turn around and go back?" I asked. My friend crossed it, and then said, "Huh? What?" I was scared stiff. But the (local, native) horse I was on could have been yawning. I think he was actually looking elsewhere while he crossed it, sending rocks and dirt tumbling thirty feet below.

So back to my point: it depends on what you do day to day, and what you are used to. And a horse raised in Movie-Rohan would, I think, have been very used to the ups and downs.
__________________
...down to the water to see the elves dance and sing upon the midsummer's eve.

Last edited by mark12_30; 03-13-2005 at 12:43 PM.
mark12_30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2007, 09:01 AM   #302
alatar
Doubting Dwimmerlaik
 
alatar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Heaven's basement
Posts: 2,488
alatar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.alatar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Not sure where else to post this. A Sequence-by-Sequence thread might have been better, but I couldn't decide which. Anyway...

The kids and I were watching, "Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger" (1977) yesterday, and they seemed to enjoy this old favorite of mine. What struck me is that the 'wizard' of the group (he's actually a scientist!), Melanthius, is another wise older man with a grey beard. Those familiar with the Harry Potter films, which I'm warming to, will know that (to me) the wizard on top of the food chain is Albus Dumbledore - also old, male and covered with grey-white scruff.

Isn't the caricature old male with grey-white hair 'shorthand' for wise? Why then, when we see Gandalf in the later LotR movies, is he the one who needs assistance/knowledge/reassurance from Aragorn?
__________________
There is naught that you can do, other than to resist, with hope or without it.
alatar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2007, 10:00 PM   #303
Beleg Cuthalion
Wight
 
Beleg Cuthalion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Hominum que contente mundique huius et cupido
Posts: 213
Beleg Cuthalion has just left Hobbiton.
Eye

Hmm... I'm not really sure how to answer that but, I'm really surprised to see this thread again.
__________________
War is not the answer, War is the question and the answer is yes

Quis ut Deus
Beleg Cuthalion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2007, 03:06 AM   #304
Bęthberry
Cryptic Aura
 
Bęthberry's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 6,038
Bęthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Bęthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Bęthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Quote:
Originally Posted by alatar
Not sure where else to post this. A Sequence-by-Sequence thread might have been better, but I couldn't decide which. Anyway...

The kids and I were watching, "Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger" (1977) yesterday, and they seemed to enjoy this old favorite of mine. What struck me is that the 'wizard' of the group (he's actually a scientist!), Melanthius, is another wise older man with a grey beard. Those familiar with the Harry Potter films, which I'm warming to, will know that (to me) the wizard on top of the food chain is Albus Dumbledore - also old, male and covered with grey-white scruff.

Isn't the caricature old male with grey-white hair 'shorthand' for wise? Why then, when we see Gandalf in the later LotR movies, is he the one who needs assistance/knowledge/reassurance from Aragorn?
I think it's a shorthand for many things, wise being only one aspect. For instance, that picture of Melanthius is very similar to many depictions of Moses. Think Charleton Heston with wild beard. Great find, though, alatar.

Now, Moses accomplished many things, but he did err himself and was denied the opportunity to live in the promised land because of his heavy-handedness. I think it is important to ensure that Gandalf not look too much the heavy authoritarian type of old wizened man in the move, so he turned to the pretty boy for aid. It's moves like this which ensure that mass appeal of popularity which is such a constant refrain from some here on this thread.
__________________
I’ll sing his roots off. I’ll sing a wind up and blow leaf and branch away.
Bęthberry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2007, 03:29 PM   #305
alatar
Doubting Dwimmerlaik
 
alatar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Heaven's basement
Posts: 2,488
alatar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.alatar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bęthberry
Great find, though, alatar.
Thanks. Just goes to show you that almost anything can be turned into a Barrow-Downs post.


Quote:
I think it is important to ensure that Gandalf not look too much the heavy authoritarian type of old wizened man in the move, so he turned to the pretty boy for aid. It's moves like this which ensure that mass appeal of popularity which is such a constant refrain from some here on this thread.
I don't think that Gandalf was ever portrayed as 'authoritarian.' The only persons that he lords around are those like Pippin, who haven't a wit. As I've stated post and post again, I was not happy with the dilution of Gandalf's character, which peaks at about 'The Shire' and falls off from there. Seeing how Melanthius was able to help Sinbad yet not steal any of the hero's glory made Gandalf's role in RotK even more glaringly wrong. It then occurred to me, as stated, that in movie shorthand, grey-haired wizards are wise beyond the hero - so much so that they let be as necessary. Nor are they competing for the glory or the princess, so what's the problem?

Another example would be Ulrich in Dragonslayer. Any others?
__________________
There is naught that you can do, other than to resist, with hope or without it.
alatar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2007, 07:19 PM   #306
Finduilas
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Finduilas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Home. Where rolling green hills and clear rivers are practically my backyard.
Posts: 612
Finduilas is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
I didn't read the whole thread, but I do want to mention some things that really bothered me in the film. They made Frodo more of a coward, I can get quotes if necessary, and in doing this, probably for that reason, they lowered everyone else. They ruined Faramir. Theoden was to much of a coward to face Suraman, "They flee to the mountains when they should stand and fight," when in the book he rode out to meet them. Denethor was to much of a coward to burn himself without running. Sam was very violent toward Gollum.... As I once told my sister, I have more than a bone to pick with Peter Jackson, I have a whole skeleton. I wont go on. Must go. Farewell
Finduilas is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:44 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.