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 03-26-2009, 07:31 AM   #1
Kent2010
Wight
 
Kent2010's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 240
Kent2010 is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Just give me a movie with swords

This is my first thread attempt, so bear with me, and hopefully this will make some sense.

When I got to thinking about the 'legacy' of the films, my head started hurting, because I think at this stage it's almost impossible to tell the impact of LOTR. My one professor has constantly warned us just because an event follows another, doesn't mean the first event impacted the second, but I think we can come up with some general ideas. I will only be speaking on an individual basis, my own personal thoughts, but I am curious to find out what others have to say.

This current decade has been filled with some type of fantasy or heroic epic. The stories of these movies happen a long, long, time ago or in a galaxy, far, far away. Gladiator (2000), The Last Samurai (2003), Troy (2004), Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy (starting 2003), King Arthur (2004), The Kingdom of Heaven (2005), The Golden Compass (2007), Eragon (2006), The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (2005), Prince Caspian (2008), Beowulf (2007), and of course The Lord of the Rings (starting 2001).

The decade is loaded with films that have swords. I left out Harry Potter and the Star Wars prequels because they were released in 1999, but maybe there's some relevance.

Obviously there were fantasy films and epics before LOTR, like one of my all-time favourite movies The Princess Bride, and you have The Neverending Story, Braveheart...etc, but this decade in particular seems to say forget about guns, lets go sword happy. (However I did love the Bourne trilogy). Why this spurt of heroic, fantasy epics in the decade? And we're poised to end the decade with these films as well - The Hobbit and Voyage of the Dawn Treader, but I see The Hobbit has been pushed back.

Eventhough this decade of heroic epics truly began with Gladiator, it is LOTR that I'm continually drawn to. It is The Lord of the Rings that really kicked my interest. Now on bad weekends, if I want to watch a movie, I just think to myself: "give me a movie with armies, and armor, and swords." And eventhough I will watch movies like Gladiator, and Braveheart, which were released before LOTR, the reason I watch them is because of LOTR. That was the first, stand-out, landmark film of the decade, that has shaped what movies I want to see on a crappy weekend. Sometimes I'll put in The Bourne movies, or a comedy like Charlie Bartlett, but most of time I think just give me a movie with swords. I don't remember when the last time I watched LOTR was, but I know it is because of LOTR, that I watch the films I do.

I think what I'm wondering is, on an individual level, has LOTR shaped the movies you're interested in seeing? Is it a call back to the long gone glory days, an excape from the modern Sarumanic world? Has it impacted the movies of this decade? If so, does that make it a landmark in film history? When people look back on this decade, will LOTR be the standout?
__________________
an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind
Kent2010 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2009, 10:19 AM   #2
Nogrod
Flame of the Ainulindalë
 
Nogrod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Wearing rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves in a field behaving as the wind behaves
Posts: 9,330
Nogrod is wading through the Dead Marshes.Nogrod is wading through the Dead Marshes.Nogrod is wading through the Dead Marshes.Nogrod is wading through the Dead Marshes.Nogrod is wading through the Dead Marshes.Nogrod is wading through the Dead Marshes.
Send a message via MSN to Nogrod
I guess I would have to stand with your professor on this. Correlation and causation are not the same thing and it would look like both LotR and the other fantasy/history movies have been spawn from the same cultural ethos of romantic escapism... which indeed began well in the nineties. So I'd say you would just have to accept that the Neverending Story, Braveheart and others (The last of the Mohawks, Robin Hood - Prince of thieves etc...) gave birth to this cultural phenomenon of which LotR is just one follower.

If you wish to make LotR outshine the other movies you can always say that it is based on a far greater original story than the other "competitors" in the field.
__________________
Upon the hearth the fire is red
Beneath the roof there is a bed;
But not yet weary are our feet...
Nogrod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2009, 11:35 AM   #3
Kent2010
Wight
 
Kent2010's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 240
Kent2010 is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nogrod View Post
So I'd say you would just have to accept that the Neverending Story, Braveheart and others (The last of the Mohawks, Robin Hood - Prince of thieves etc...) gave birth to this cultural phenomenon of which LotR is just one follower.
I hope you don't mind bearing with me some more, because I don't think I made my post, and questions clear. Sorry about that, I'll have to work on it.

I'm not exactly asking what this film's legacy will be in the years to come, that was more of a side thing to get my ideas down. Like I said, I tried to think about that, but it just made my head hurt, and honestly I believe it's rather silly to wonder whether LOTR will be seen as a 'landmark' film 10, 20 years down the road. That's like wondering if an i-pod shuffle will still be the 'big thing' 10 years from now. It's here with us now, so lets enjoy it (or not).

What I was wondering was, for you - individually - how has LOTR shaped the movies you watch, or the movies you want to go see? If it even has at all. Before Lord of the Rings I was more of a comedy person, I loved the movies that poked fun at these types of movies - I'm talking Mars Attacks and Spaceballs. Robin Hood Prince of Thieves? Huh? Give me Robin Hood Men in Tights.

I did see Gladiator and Princess Bride, before LOTR, but neither of them effected the movies I wanted to watch. (I would also include The Princess Bride more in that Men in Tights category than a fantasy/heroic epic). I actually didn't watch Braveheart until after LOTR. That is what I was trying to get to is that since LOTR the movies I want to watch has changed. I still like Spaceballs, but I'm more excited to just see the next LOTR-style movie. So, what is it about LOTR that made it more exciting than Gladiator, The Neverending Story, or other movies before? I guess, as far as I go, only I could answer that, but I was hoping others could kind of see where I was coming from. How has LOTR shaped what movies you want to see? Or just what you like to see in movies?

Quote:
If you wish to make LotR outshine the other movies you can always say that it is based on a far greater original story than the other "competitors" in the field.
Now there's something, maybe we can broaden it a little bit...how has LOTR shaped your reading of Tolkien's books? I might get tarred for saying this, but I preferred the Narnia movies over Lewis' books. I can't say the same about LOTR, but I did watch the movies before reading the story. Tolkien's story was by far better, but I have no doubt that the movies impacted my reading of the books. Maybe for someone who read the books first the movies had no impact on the reading of the text. I don't know? Did it?

I will forever be grateful for what the movies have done to introduce me to a great story and if that makes me in someway a lesser fan, so be it. I can't sit here and pick out all the differences between the two, and I'm not going to even if I could. But I can tell you this is how the LOTR movies impacted what movies I like watching, and this is how the LOTR movies impacted my reading of Tolkien's story. I'm just hoping others are willing to share. (for either good or bad reasons - don't matter to me)
__________________
an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind

Last edited by Kent2010; 03-26-2009 at 11:41 AM.
Kent2010 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2009, 07:20 PM   #4
Morthoron
Curmudgeonly Wordwraith
 
Morthoron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ensconced in curmudgeonly pursuits
Posts: 2,472
Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Well, I don't know how the LotR films have altered my view of movies, if at all, but I have noticed a proliferation of annoying CGI armies sprawling endlessly across horizonless blue screens in the wake of Jackson's movies. Movies previous to LotR, like Braveheart, had to enlist the entire Irish army as extras for their massive battle scenes; whereas, films afterward, such as Troy, 300 and Narnia are almost totally dependent on pixellated gimmickery. Personally, the amazing amount of extras in such movies as Lawrence of Arabia (or any David Lean film, actually) , Ben Hur and even Gandhi (which had approximately 300,000 extras appear at Gandhi's funeral) create more overwhelming scenes than 1 million pixels parading in perfect phalanxes. It's all a matter of taste, I suppose.
__________________
And your little sister's immaculate virginity wings away on the bony shoulders of a young horse named George who stole surreptitiously into her geography revision.
Morthoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2009, 08:35 AM   #5
Kent2010
Wight
 
Kent2010's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 240
Kent2010 is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
CGI can get way over the top, I'm thinking about the Wachowski brothers' Matrix movies. The Matrix was an exciting movie and the CGI was an interesting compliment. But, for the last two Matrix movies, the CGI just got out of control. There was too much, it was cheap, and it looked video-gamish.

There were some bad CGI moments in LOTR (like Legolas jumping off the back of a troll, sliding down the Oliphant - well almost any Legolas "stunt," - or the Army of ectoplasm.) but the CGI was also quite stunning. What they did with Gollum was far better than the Star Wars Jar Jar disaster. Also, I thought the battle scenes looked real, despite a few places where you could tell it was obviously CGI. Like Saruman's "blocks" of troops outside Isengard.
__________________
an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind
Kent2010 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2009, 04:50 PM   #6
Azaelia of Willowbottom
Shade of Carn Dűm
 
Azaelia of Willowbottom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: By the Sea
Posts: 455
Azaelia of Willowbottom has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to Azaelia of Willowbottom
Silmaril

I can't say if LOTR really changed my taste in movies. Prior to LOTR, I was a huge Star Wars fan (of the original trilogy, anyway...the new ones choked to death on CGI), so that falls into the same sort of epic escapism category, and I already loved The Princess Bride.

LOTR didn't really lead me to any other movies within the genre, though I tend to wind up interesting places when I follow LOTR actors around. Elijah Wood brought me to Everything is Illuminated, a truly unique film that is definitely within the top five on my favorites list. Viggo Mortensen led me to Hidalgo which has served my friends and I well in terms of rainy-day entertainment. Seeing his face on the cover of The Road by Cormac McCarthy led me to discover a bleakly beautiful book. I'm awaiting the movie with bated breath.

I do think I wouldn't have watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail without LOTR's influence. Make of that what you will, as I certainly don't know as there's any significance to that.

I don't care for the special effects revolution that LOTR brought about. There's something about seeing flesh-and-blood people onscreen that no amount of computer wizardry can replace. That said, the special effects in LOTR do still remain the standard by which I judge other movies. So far, only the first Chronicles of Narnia really measures up. Movies need to have a soul, a purpose, beyond special effects, or they're just a disaster, and I hope that cinema realizes that sooner rather than later.
__________________
"Wherever I have been, I am back."
Azaelia of Willowbottom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2009, 06:52 PM   #7
Nerwen
Wisest of the Noldor
 
Nerwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: ˙˙˙ssɐןƃ ƃuıʞooן ǝɥʇ ɥƃnoɹɥʇ
Posts: 6,701
Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Send a message via Skype™ to Nerwen
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morthoron View Post
Well, I don't know how the LotR films have altered my view of movies, if at all, but I have noticed a proliferation of annoying CGI armies sprawling endlessly across horizonless blue screens in the wake of Jackson's movies.
Indeed, but is it fair to blame Jackson et al for that (if that's what you're doing)? Besides I don't think "too much CGI" is ever the basic problem with a film.. it's more like "too little of anything else". I know the sort of thing you mean, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent2010 View Post
CGI can get way over the top, I'm thinking about the Wachowski brothers' Matrix movies. The Matrix was an exciting movie and the CGI was an interesting compliment. But, for the last two Matrix movies, the CGI just got out of control. There was too much, it was cheap, and it looked video-gamish.
I doubt anyone would be complaining if those movies had been better in other ways, though– to repeat myself, there's a basic difference between using special effects to tell your story and telling your story in order to use special effects. By and large I think the LotR movies get it right (with notable exceptions, of course).
__________________
"Even Nerwen wasn't evil in the beginning." –Elmo.
Nerwen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2009, 07:13 AM   #8
Kent2010
Wight
 
Kent2010's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 240
Kent2010 is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Azaelia of Willowbottom View Post
LOTR didn't really lead me to any other movies within the genre, though I tend to wind up interesting places when I follow LOTR actors around. Elijah Wood brought me to Everything is Illuminated, a truly unique film that is definitely within the top five on my favorites list. Viggo Mortensen led me to Hidalgo which has served my friends and I well in terms of rainy-day entertainment. Seeing his face on the cover of The Road by Cormac McCarthy led me to discover a bleakly beautiful book. I'm awaiting the movie with bated breath.
I do the same, although I haven't seen Hidalgo. I watched History of Violence and Eastern Promises just because it had Viggo Mortensen.

I don't care how bad the reviews are, I will watch any movie with Viggo, Ian Holm, or eventhough not an LOTR actor I wish she was - Natalie Portman.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azaelia of Willowbottom View Post
I don't care for the special effects revolution that LOTR brought about. There's something about seeing flesh-and-blood people onscreen that no amount of computer wizardry can replace. That said, the special effects in LOTR do still remain the standard by which I judge other movies. So far, only the first Chronicles of Narnia really measures up. Movies need to have a soul, a purpose, beyond special effects, or they're just a disaster, and I hope that cinema realizes that sooner rather than later.
I really have enjoyed the Narnia movies and can't wait for The Dawn Treader. On some levels I think they are better than the LOTR movies. They aren't on the same 'grand' blockbuster scale like LOTR, but I like the attention on the characters. I thought most of the LOTR characters were one-dimensional or too simple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerwen View Post
I doubt anyone would be complaining if those movies had been better in other ways, though– to repeat myself, there's a basic difference between using special effects to tell your story and telling your story in order to use special effects. By and large I think the LotR movies get it right (with notable exceptions, of course).
True, with a competent lead actor and a story line people can follow (I doubt the guy who played the Architect knew half the things he would ramble about), the CGI might not have mattered.

I have to admit I enjoy the Sci-Fi original movies, simply for the dreadful script and bad CGI. I've seen the Sci-Fi movies with better CGI than The Matrix, and I doubt those movies had the amount of money put into them as The Matrix.
__________________
an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind
Kent2010 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2009, 03:45 PM   #9
TheGreatElvenWarrior
Mighty Quill
 
TheGreatElvenWarrior's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Walking off to look for America
Posts: 2,346
TheGreatElvenWarrior has been trapped in the Barrow!
I am a bit scared for the Dawn Treader to come out, the last Narnia film was very well, it had much CG animation in it, they will probably have more nasty stuffs in the next one.

Going back to LotR though, I didn't really like the whole large CG army thing, give me real acting and I'll be happy. Even if it isn't very good acting.
__________________
The Party Doesn't Start Until You're Dead.
TheGreatElvenWarrior is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2009, 05:54 PM   #10
William Cloud Hicklin
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
William Cloud Hicklin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,159
William Cloud Hicklin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.William Cloud Hicklin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Lawrence of Arabia. Lots of scimitars, horses, camels, mass charges.

Zulu, if assegais count. Or bayonets. Lotsa real, human extras who were genuine Zulus.
__________________
The entire plot of The Lord of the Rings could be said to turn on what Sauron didn’t know, and when he didn’t know it.
William Cloud Hicklin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2009, 08:19 PM   #11
Kent2010
Wight
 
Kent2010's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 240
Kent2010 is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
To be fair, I agree with what everyone thinks about the human element in movies like Braveheart or Lawrence of Arabia, but we should remember that those movies are based on real stories, where Lord of the Rings is a fantasy.

I think that significantly changes things. I mean it's rather inconvenient and tedious to hire 1,000 people and get them dolled up as orcs. It took John Rhys-Davies hours to get into full make-up and costume as a dwarf, to dress up 1,000s as Orcs just might not have been possible. I can see why fantasy movies would rely more on the CGI route than a movie like Braveheart or say King Arthur would.

Even though Jackson drastically inflated the number of Orcs, it would still be a heavy burden for the make-up and costume department to hire "armies" of people just to turn them into Orcs.
__________________
an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind
Kent2010 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2009, 03:21 PM   #12
Gwathagor
Shade with a Blade
 
Gwathagor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: A Rainy Night In Soho
Posts: 2,613
Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Send a message via AIM to Gwathagor Send a message via MSN to Gwathagor Send a message via Skype™ to Gwathagor
Guillermo del Toro has pointed out that that if there is a way to actually film a scene, using CG instead is just lazy filmmaking.

Despite its many, many flaws, LotR actually got me interested in movies to begin with, because of the occasional moments in the films when all the elements (script, music, acting, directing, editing, etc.) come together and capture a scene in an effective way that is very moving and inspiring. These moments made me wish I could make movies myself that would inspire audiences in the same way. While LotR probably initiated my interest in movies, there are other movies that have since to come to define it, and those are Gladiator, Pan's Labyrinth, and Lawrence of Arabia. Among the three of those, you've got myth and history and fighting and really great scripts, which I suppose are the four things that interest me most in movies.

My other two favorite films are Die Hard and Second-Hand Lions.
__________________
Stories and songs.
Gwathagor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2009, 05:14 AM   #13
Lush
Fair and Cold
 
Lush's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: the big onion
Posts: 1,803
Lush is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Send a message via ICQ to Lush Send a message via AIM to Lush Send a message via Yahoo to Lush
Pipe

I don't know if Peter Jackson's trilogy impacted what I enjoy. I think it definitely reinforced my overall status as a fangirl of epics. These are uneven movies to be sure, but even that adds to the enjoyment these days - I smile at the good parts and make fun of the bad parts. It's a win-win.

Swords are pretty, but it's the structuring of the story being told that appeals to me. I think I like the LotR movies for the same reasons that I like Star Trek - and Star Trek is about as swordless as a cloakroom at a bingo hall.

It's about lots of things - escapism, fairy tale, Homeric poetry, and so on.
__________________
~The beginning is the word and the end is silence. And in between are all the stories. This is one of mine~
Lush is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2009, 08:49 AM   #14
Bęthberry
Cryptic Aura
 
Bęthberry's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 6,072
Bęthberry is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Bęthberry is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Bęthberry is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lush View Post
and Star Trek is about as swordless as a cloakroom at a bingo hall.
Agreed. Although I do recall that Picard was quite adept at fencing.

I think swordplay comes and goes. I mean, for awhile Errol Flynn was quite the swashbuckler. Tastes in movies change. I suspect, though, that an argument could be made that Narnia would not have been filmed had LotR not been cinematised.
__________________
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 04-17-2009, 09:21 AM   #15
Aiwendil
Late Istar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,184
Aiwendil is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Aiwendil is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Quote:
and Star Trek is about as swordless as a cloakroom at a bingo hall.
Quote:
Although I do recall that Picard was quite adept at fencing.
I remember him giving Sir Guy of Gisbourne quite a thrashing as well.
Aiwendil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2009, 10:21 AM   #16
Lush
Fair and Cold
 
Lush's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: the big onion
Posts: 1,803
Lush is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Send a message via ICQ to Lush Send a message via AIM to Lush Send a message via Yahoo to Lush
Thumbs up

Oh, Picard was adept at so many things. He's the perfect man, innit? Bow chika bow wow.

Give me a minute to get back on that topic now...

....

....

....

OK, am back.

I think you're right about Narnia, Beth. But then again, Harry Potter played a role there as well.

I think it's interesting how the LotR & Potter phenomenons have really fed off each other in the last decade. Not that Potter is, of course, a sword movie - but wants are pretty much magical swords, no?

Must do a gratuitous essay on that sometime (not wands and swords, but the whole symbiosis of Tolkien & Rowling in popular culture).

Might post link. Eventually. When I am not sick or busy.
__________________
~The beginning is the word and the end is silence. And in between are all the stories. This is one of mine~
Lush is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2010, 04:03 PM   #17
Old Noakes
Newly Deceased
 
Old Noakes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 2
Old Noakes has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morthoron View Post
Well, I don't know how the LotR films have altered my view of movies, if at all, but I have noticed a proliferation of annoying CGI armies sprawling endlessly across horizonless blue screens in the wake of Jackson's movies.....Personally, the amazing amount of extras in such movies as Lawrence of Arabia (or any David Lean film, actually) , Ben Hur and even Gandhi (which had approximately 300,000 extras appear at Gandhi's funeral) create more overwhelming scenes than 1 million pixels parading in perfect phalanxes. It's all a matter of taste, I suppose.
I completely agree Morthoron. When I first saw the FOTR film I liked the depiction of the Last Alliance and the rippling ranks of elvish swordsmen. But by the end of ROTK I was heartily sick of CGI and now I can hardly bear to watch such stuff, and I return to epics with real people, such as The Vikings, El Cid etc. That Rohan charge at the Pelennor when the 6,000 spears become 600,000 is just plain stupid, made all the more so by the fact that Bernard Hill has dialogue in which he mentions how he has 6,000 and wished for more (clearly King Theoden had reckoned without his CGI eoreds)
Old Noakes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2010, 03:17 PM   #18
alatar
Doubting Dwimmerlaik
 
alatar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Heaven's basement
Posts: 2,490
alatar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.alatar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Welcome to the Downs, Old Noakes!

You state that you like the old movies with the billions of real flesh-and-blood extras. Any ideas about why the industry moved away from them? Sure, CG could be cheaper, but then again, maybe not. Any chance someone will go back to those methods?

As I stated in another thread, with the advent of the movie "Avatar," CG doesn't have to be so glaring.
__________________
There is naught that you can do, other than to resist, with hope or without it.
alatar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2010, 02:11 AM   #19
PrinceOfTheHalflings
Wight
 
PrinceOfTheHalflings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 120
PrinceOfTheHalflings is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
There's plenty of scenes in the LOTR movies that don't employ CGI. Most of the battle scenes have hundreds of costumed extras (in some case thousands of them). The film is also notable for its use of models to represent places such as Helm's Deep and Minas Tirith, even though CGI could have been used. Sometimes the models are CG enhanced, of course, with little added visual elements inserted into (or onto) the models.

Obviously there are sequences that are CG - the scenes with the Oliphaunts, for example, would have been impossible any other way. Some of the scenes with horses would have been extremely difficult to safely do with real horses. Clearly much of the stuff with "Legolas - Super Ninja" was also CG, but on the whole the LOTR films are pretty much the last major fantasy movies that employ extensive modelwork, large armies of extras, and scenes shot on location rather than in front of a greenscreen.

I must say I missed the scene of "600,000 Rohirrim" riding to Minas Tirith! Although Peter Jackson definitely increased the size of the besieging forces to around 250,000, I can't say that I thought the Rohirrim were exaggerated in numbers. As I recall those scenes were shot with about 300 real riders and horses. Extra riders were added in using CGI.

The reality is that even in the "old days" the number of people in a battle scene was often exaggerated by clever use of camera angles. Films like "Lawrence of Arabia" and the Russian version of "War and Peace", where there really were thousand of extras, were the exception rather than the rule.

If LOTR was filmed without CGI then it would have been more or less impossible to do. Stanley Kubrick contemplated doing it in the late sixties after 2001, and even he thought it was impossible to film at that time.

There's also the problem of actually costuming the extras. It's one thing to have thousands of extras but it's another thing entirely to have to put 20,000 people in uniforms! 20,000 orcs is even more difficult. Stanley Kubrick (yes, him again) developed a method of mass producing military uniforms for his version of Napoleon (which never made it past pre-production) by printing the uniforms onto a special kind of paper. So you would have seen armies of thousands wearing paper uniforms if that film had ever been made! Kubrick also planned on shooting much of the film in the studio rather than on location. If you've ever seen 2001 then you may be aware that the entire film (except for one shot) was filmed entirely inside a studio, even though the first 20 minutes are set in Africa. Kubrick pioneered a revolutionary technique where huge high-definition images could be projected at an angle onto a special reflective screen placed behind the actors, this resulted in a far more realistic effect than the more commonly used "rear-projection" technique. It also allowed far larger images to be used - you could in effect depict an entire huge landscape, something that wasn't possible with rear projection. If Kubrick had made LOTR then he would have undoubtedly made use of this technique.

The real problem with the LOTR films isn't excessive use of CGI, it's more to do with a failure of tone. There are moments where Peter Jackson seems to be utterly tone-deaf in terms of the material. However, this is not unusual in film adaptions - imagine if you will a Cecil B. de Mille version of LOTR. Sure he might have used thousands of extras, but he would have also dumbed-down the material dreadfully. Even worse, in modern terms imagine a Michael Bay version of LOTR!

You'd be amazed by the number of films that use CG imagery these days. It isn't just fantasy and sci-fi. Almost all historical films use it now - if you're shooting a movie set in the 1920s it's a lot easier to just digitally remove any inconvenient modern elements from a shot rather than having to try and "shoot around" things.
PrinceOfTheHalflings 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 07:22 AM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.