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  1. #21
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    Nice points. I agree with much that was said. And I also think many of the changes that were made for the films were for the better (as much as I liked the books).

    One thing I will say, I think the smartest thing the filmmakers did was hiring Alan Lee and John Howe as concept designers for the creatures and structures etc. It meant that the integrity and spirit of the book was honoured, which kept the fans happy and prevented any of that ridiculous Hollywood predilection for nonsensical and idiotic changes from seeping in.

    Being a New Zealander, I'm curious about what you thought of the film's depiction of the landscapes. Were they what you imagined or not? If not, were the changes for the good or the better (I know some purists hated Pelennor Fields in the films, for example, but we're not up to that bit yet anyway ) ? And what did you think of the use of landscape in the films: the atmosphere they created; the prevalence of it in the storytelling? Also did you find it unusual or unexpected approach to the use of them? The reason I mention this, is that LOTR is such a NZ-esque approach to landscape: making it like a living breathing creature; like a character in the story. I sometimes wonder how much people register this. They certainly do unconsciously anyway because tourism practically doubled here after FOTR came out And I genuinely wonder whether the landscape element is what sold the films to people: it elevated the story and made it believable, tangible - a lack of which, one could argue, was the downfall of other films, such as the recent Star Wars trilogy.
    I just wanted to say that I completely agree with your points about Alan Lee and John Howe - I was so excited when they were hired, as they are the finest Tolkien illustrators around. I thought the Shire was very John Howe, but the films overall were more Alan Lee. I did find all the elvish stuff a little too spooky and didn't like Lothlorien very much at all - I didn't feel it was much at all like the books and the Lothlorien sequence is one of my favourites in the books, so I was a little annoyed by it being so creepy and spacey. It was supposed to be green and gold and otherworldly but comforting - not bleached out, eerie and terrifying!

    The LOTR films were one of the biggest reasons I decided to visit NZ as well (in 2004) when I went to Australia. I saw a lot of locations around Queenstown and Arrowtown, and had a wonderful time. I saw a bunch of places which basically looked just as they did in the films, because they hadn't been CGI-tinkered with much. I 100% agree that the landscapes and lands became like an essential "character" in the films. That's exactly how I thought of it, and it's a big reason why the films were so much more enthralling than the new Star Wars films, for instance, which were CGI to the max. Frequently, scenes and places looked just as I'd pictured them in the books, or if not, I also found the interpretations extremely valid. And the "realness" of the landscapes and scenes throughout the films made the whole thing feel more like history than fantasy, which is just what Tolkien was going for.
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  2. #22
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    Hey fellas what type do you think the legendary wizard Gandalf is? I vote INTP.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    Nice points. I agree with much that was said. And I also think many of the changes that were made for the films were for the better (as much as I liked the books).

    One thing I will say, I think the smartest thing the filmmakers did was hiring Alan Lee and John Howe as concept designers for the creatures and structures etc. It meant that the integrity and spirit of the book was honoured, which kept the fans happy and prevented any of that ridiculous Hollywood predilection for nonsensical and idiotic changes from seeping in.

    Being a New Zealander, I'm curious about what you thought of the film's depiction of the landscapes. Were they what you imagined or not? If not, were the changes for the good or the better (I know some purists hated Pelennor Fields in the films, for example, but we're not up to that bit yet anyway ) ? And what did you think of the use of landscape in the films: the atmosphere they created; the prevalence of it in the storytelling? Also did you find it unusual or unexpected approach to the use of them? The reason I mention this, is that LOTR is such a NZ-esque approach to landscape: making it like a living breathing creature; like a character in the story. I sometimes wonder how much people register this. They certainly do unconsciously anyway because tourism practically doubled here after FOTR came out And I genuinely wonder whether the landscape element is what sold the films to people: it elevated the story and made it believable, tangible - a lack of which, one could argue, was the downfall of other films, such as the recent Star Wars trilogy.
    I was surprised I still enjoyed the movie as much as I did, we'll see if that holds up for the next two.

    Nothing is ever like I imagine it, but the landscape of NZ was very well-suited for filming this story. Love to come visit sometime.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    The elf's name was Glorfindel, and he is rumored to be the same Glorfindel that died killing a balrog at the fall of Goldolin in the prior age.

    (what can I say? i'm a tolkien geek. Sigh.)




    I'm not sure hobbits used horses, typically, did they? So they could only get them from men?



    I disliked the movie balrog, I felt like it was overproduced and I was watching a video game. One thing I had loved about Tolkien was the spiritual symbolism inherent in the books; unlike Lewis, however, who incorporated his faith directly and rather clumsily into his writing (well, blatantly), Tolkien simply was informed by his. So his Istari were rather like angels cloaked in flesh, with inherent power in their BEING... same thing with the Balrogs which were essentially dark angels. Although Tolkien muddies the notion a bit by having special words of power that can be used (like the spell of closing Gandalf casts on the door), essentially their magic was not AD&D magic where wizards cast spells they learn; like the elves, it is magic inherent in their very being. The battle of Gandalf and Durin's Bane is almost like a primal battle between the core nature of two beings, like throwing fire at water and seeing what comes out the victor. Olorin (AKA gandalf), by his wording, forbids the balrog to pass; it's less like a spell from Gandalf and more like telling the balrog it is bound there by its past and its nature and also by Gandalf's nature itself -- and it cannot actually leave or make its way past.

    Anyway, the whole Moria sequence, from the lurker in the lake onward to them fleeing into daylight at the far end, is my favorite sequence in the entire trilogy, except for maybe Shelob's Lair. It has wonderful pacing, an ominous build, gollum following them at a distance, and the chamber of mazarbul is inspired, with the horror of the whole butchered diary they find -- the middle earth version of the "discovered tape footage" so popular in today's cinema. "Drums. Drums in the deep. They are coming. We cannot get away. They are coming." I mean, just creepy as hell.



    Your description is accurate, and despite it being a major change in a character, I actually felt like this one was appropriate. In the book, aragorn was more part of a plot device -- this faceless character with no real life but just to become the future king and reinstallation of the lineage of old men of legend. The movie gave Aragorn a face and heart and an actual plot of his own to invest in. he was far more sympathetic, and didn't really have his character tarnished.



    I agree with your thoughts here; it was another change I found welcome. Tolkien had some wonderful dramatic sections in his writing (like moria) but other places really dropped the ball.. and killing off Boromir at the beginning of the Two Towers really was a dramatic waste. I think this was a great move on Jackson's part as well.


    The first movie is easily my favorite of the three, and the only one I can watch nowadays.



    I don't really think that. Like I said, I can't even watch movies 2 & 3. So the ring only gets as far as the falls of Rauros for me, in the movies.

    I think that much of the Two Towers book sucks, though, in terms of the ALG trio half (lots of boring boring dead space... and oh yes, "we're running, we're running this way now, yes, this way, we're running, running, running... and running some more, oh keep running). However, the passage of the ring south toward Mordor is fine. But we'll save that for the TT discussion.

    I don't remember how the landscape looked in movies 2 & 3. But for the first movie, I was very impressed... I think it was all quite perfect and fit with my imagination for the story, with all that terrain that was covered -- Hobbiton, Bree, Weathertop, whatever bits of Rivendell was real, and the rivers and forests at movie's end. NZ seemed to be a perfect choice.
    I agree with a lot of that except you'd think a Ranger could rustle up some horses. Poor Bill only got a mention in the movie as well. Until that line I barely noticed they had him!

    P.S. I read the name of the elf at the beginning and now I can only remember it started with a "G". Still forgettable!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    "innocent lost" is an important theme -- Frodo I know was probably the "pure one" in terms of his motivations, but the journey changes him irrevocably, and after a few years of some really bad moments after he gets home, he can't deal with it anymore and needs to move on and leaves to travel over the sea with the other ringbearers. It changes you. he suffered in order to protect his friends/home and give them the ability to enjoy their lives, but he paid a price to do that. Same thing with hobbiton, where the hobbits were more careful and untouched by the outer world, but Saruman/Sharkey devastates their homeland. Tolkien was experiencing this due to the industrialization of his beloved countrysides/homeland.
    Yeah, that's something that doesn't come up much in TFOTR, but will start to play a bigger role in the next two volumes.

    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    I just wanted to say that I completely agree with your points about Alan Lee and John Howe - I was so excited when they were hired, as they are the finest Tolkien illustrators around. I thought the Shire was very John Howe, but the films overall were more Alan Lee. I did find all the elvish stuff a little too spooky and didn't like Lothlorien very much at all - I didn't feel it was much at all like the books and the Lothlorien sequence is one of my favourites in the books, so I was a little annoyed by it being so creepy and spacey. It was supposed to be green and gold and otherworldly but comforting - not bleached out, eerie and terrifying!
    The elves are a bit spooky in the novels, esp. early on with all the blindfolds and such. Lothlorien didn't seem to last very long in the movie compared to the book, and as such they didn't show it to be much of a safe haven for the fellowship.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaptorWizard View Post
    Hey fellas what type do you think the legendary wizard Gandalf is? I vote INTP.
    I would say that Gandalf is an INTx, he has elements of both types in him.

    However, I don't really want to make this into a typing thread -- we have other threads that have already been done for typing LotR characters, and that is not the purpose of this thread nor this subforum.
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    The thread discussion inspired me to watch parts of Fellowship last night again... although I can't find Disc 2 of my expanded edition, arggg! But I did scatter-watch things up to Rivendell.

    I think Jackson's direction can sometimes lose nuance, things get a little too heavy-handed... like Ian Holme's rendition of Bilbo, which is a little too schlocky in sports despite not being bad overall. I find that I bring things from the book into the movie, such as the realization that Bilbo is the only bearer of the Ring that ever gave it up willingly (not even Frodo can say that, although he lost control at the very Cracks of Doom). Which says a lot for the little light-hearted guy. So watching that scene where he drops the ring (and it falls heavily to the ground) and walks away is powerful. Even better is the scene right after, with Gandalf lost in thought before the fire, in the forefront of the camera, and Frodo comes in, and Gandalf doesn't notice him for a bit until suddenly he "comes back" and shifts his eyes to the right without turning his head. Just a well-directed/acted frame.

    I really like Arwen racing with Frodo toward Rivendell ahead of the riders -- I get kind of teary from the moment Aragorn says he's going to take him, she says she can do it and is the faster, and he's scared for her, yet lets her go because he knows she is right. And she knows it's dangerous too, but just does it, running her horse as fast as he'll go, and the RWs are all hot on her heels... she just seems so vulnerable and beautiful and resilient and determined in that moment. There were changes to the movie version that I felt really didn't impact the tone/nature of the book much; since Arwen wasn't really fleshed out, this makes her a more interesting/fleshed out character. (Yet, as you'll see in later discussion, I was very upset over changes to characters like Faramir because I felt like the changes ran against the established character.)

    Getting back to Jackson's schlock -- sometimes the drama works (including his slowmo camera panning / intense music), and other times it doesn't (such as with Galadriel's "oh I'm all bright and sparkly with laryngitis" moment, which ruins the scene rather than allowing the scene to speak for itself). Subtlety might have really helped the drama within some scenes, but he's not really that kind of director.
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  6. #26
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post

    Getting back to Jackson's schlock -- sometimes the drama works (including his slowmo camera panning / intense music), and other times it doesn't (such as with Galadriel's "oh I'm all bright and sparkly with laryngitis" moment, which ruins the scene rather than allowing the scene to speak for itself). Subtlety might have really helped the drama within some scenes, but he's not really that kind of director.
    Do you mean the bit with the Mirror of Galadriel, where she...freaks out, turns into a film negative and has a bizarre boomy voice?

    I still can't get over how dumb that was. And don't get me wrong, I adore these films, and especially the first, and though I can find things to be critical about, I think all three are fantastic achievements in so many ways. But that bit was just so stupid and cheesy. I remember having a total WTF moment when I first saw it.

    The Arwen race to the ford with Frodo bit is just fabulously powerful. So beautifully filmed and just brings her out as a character. It was one bit I felt I "should" have disapproved of, being a bit of a purist, but I loved it.
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    Oh I forgot to mention something about the actual writing style that began to bother me: characters constantly staring in amazement or wonder at another character, usually when Aragorn reveals his kingly lineage. I could handle it a couple of times, but it began to occur so frequently I began to roll my eyes each time. Trying to impart a sense of awe to the reader is a difficult task, esp. for an imaginary world. Aragorn's destiny is a big deal for those in that imaginary world, but I think Tolkien overused this trope way too often. A small annoyance in the grand scheme of things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    Do you mean the bit with the Mirror of Galadriel, where she...freaks out, turns into a film negative and has a bizarre boomy voice?

    I still can't get over how dumb that was. And don't get me wrong, I adore these films, and especially the first, and though I can find things to be critical about, I think all three are fantastic achievements in so many ways. But that bit was just so stupid and cheesy. I remember having a total WTF moment when I first saw it.
    I liked it, super-creepy and dark.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGuffin View Post
    I liked it, super-creepy and dark.
    Definitely super-creepy, but I just thought it was way too much! I thought they could have just had eerie music and maybe some VERY subtle effect. It just makes me giggle and not in a good way. I do love Cate Blanchett though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    Definitely super-creepy, but I just thought it was way too much! I thought they could have just had eerie music and maybe some VERY subtle effect. It just makes me giggle and not in a good way. I do love Cate Blanchett though.
    Ya, that scene in the book was awesome -- she's supposed to become "terrible and beautiful", like all mighty scary and worshipable. The movie version is just kinda... cheap >_<
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