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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
Six years ago....
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Patty
Immortal


Dec 16 2007, 8:38pm

Post #26 of 90 (1904 views)
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That's my problem, too, Silverlode... [In reply to] Can't Post

it was too long ago and I don't remember the sources.

But I distinctly remember reading where he said the story was too silly to take seriously. It may not have been in his "official" review, it may have been in a review comparing this with a later fantasy movie--just don't recall where. But that he said it stuck with me.

For Gondor!


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 16 2007, 10:30pm

Post #27 of 90 (1919 views)
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Transcript of Ebert/Roeper review, and link to video of their comments. [In reply to] Can't Post

You can view their original TV reviews of FotR here. I have transcribed the conversation:


Quote
[clip: Gandalf – “Sauron needs only this Ring to cover all the lands in darkness.” Frodo – “What must I do?”]

Roger Ebert: A young hobbit embarks on a journey through a magical but dangerous world in The Lord of the Rings, one of six holiday movies we’ll review this week. I’m Roger Ebert.

Richard Roeper: And I’m Richard Roeper. The Fellowship of the Ring, the first installment of the J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy, is an epic in every sense, a marvelous looking movie with jaw-dropping sets and impressive special effects, but it repeats itself too often and drones on for nearly three hours.

[assorted clips play]

The brooding Elijah Wood of The Ice Storm and the husky Sean Astin from Rudy are curious choices to play Frodo and Samwise, who must destroy the ring that is the source of all evil in a land called Middle-earth.

[clip: Frodo – “It’s some form of Elvish. I can’t read it.” Gandalf – “There are few who can. The language is that of Mordor, which I will not utter here.”]

That’s Ian McKellan as Gandalf the Grey, the good-hearted wizard who guides Frodo through his perilous quest. Viggo Mortensen is Aragorn, aka Strider.

[clip: Aragorn – “Are you frightened?” Frodo – “Yes.” Aragorn – “Not nearly frightened enough. I know what hunts you.”]

Frodo and his band of hobbits are relentlessly pursued by the dark ringwraiths.

[clip: Frodo’s race to Bucklebury Ferry]

Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings books have enchanted tens of millions of readers, but as a movie, The Fellowship of the Ring gets bogged down under the weight of all those mystical speeches and self-consciously quirky characters. You’ve got nine members of the Fellowship, dueling wizards, you’ve got an elf princess played by Liv Tyler, an elf queen played by Cate Blanchett: just too many characters for me to care about. On an on it goes, only to reach an abrupt non-ending straight out of a Saturday afternoon serial.

Ebert: So you’re giving it thumbs down?

Roeper: I’m giving it thumbs down.

Ebert: Whoa! Uhhh, well I liked it. I think it indicates a return by Hollywood to the kind of courage that led to great epics like Lawrence of Arabia, and, uh, the Star Wars trilogy—

Roeper: (unintelligible demurral)

Ebert: —a really out-there, kind of large-scale ambitious undertaking—

Roeper: Well…

Ebert: —that is too long: I agree with you—

Roeper: OK.

Ebert: —it’s too long, except for the people who are gonna go see it, and they won’t find it to be too long. Oddly enough—

Roeper: Well, you know what, “Frodo the hobbit” ain’t Lawrence of Arabia, first of all, OK.

Ebert: —the people, I think the people, the people, the people who have your objections to this film are not the kinds of people that will ever go to see it in the first place.

Roeper: The characters are getting tedious after a while. They go on one adventure after another, and this, and this—

Ebert: This is Lord of the Rings! I mean, you know…

Roeper: —Frodo the hobbit character, who is in this little, ho—, you know, elfin world or whatever, and he goes from one place to another, and he’s wide-eyed, and he’s wide-eyed, and you’d think after the fifteenth beast or the fourteenth elf or the little sprite that he wouldn’t be so—

[clips: Gandalf’s return to Bag-End, and the Ring in Frodo’s fire]

Ebert: Well OK, OK.

Roeper: —amazed by Middle-earth. It’s obviously this magical land—

Ebert: I would not be…

Roeper: —and they’re all going after this silly little ring that makes people go –ooh!– evil stuff. And it’s a pretty simple story.

Ebert: Yeah, OK, OK. I would not be completely honest if I didn’t say that I could understand where you’re coming from. On the other hand, if you’re going to start talking about The Lord of the Rings on the grounds that they’re going after “this silly little ring”—

Roeper: Yeah.

Ebert: —then I think you’re kind of missing the whole point of the book. The ring is what sets the entire plot in motion—

Roeper: So we can see all these (unintelligible) “magical” characters.

Ebert: —that’s right, that’s right. I thought it was a visually powerful epic, and I enjoyed it, but I gotta say my enjoyment was tempered by a little sadness that the innocence or naiveté of the original books has kinda been lost in the middle of a high-tech special effects adventure picture. One thing that bothers me is that the hobbits are the heroes of the books, but in the movie the tall people, the men, the wizards, and the elves, take the initiative and give the orders.

[clip: Aragorn – “Boromir, give the Ring to Frodo”]

Ebert: So my thumb is up for The Lord of the Rings. It’s an impressive achievement, but I am a little melancholy that the movie is a violent action picture, and the books by Tolkien come from a kinder and gentler time, but Richard: at a time when Hollywood has such small visions, the purity, the ambition, the scope, the vastness of this film, those guards protecting the way down that river passage—

[clip: scenes at Caradhras and Argonath]

Roeper: I agree! All of that is impressive.

Ebert: —this is all well done!

Roeper: Hey, they spent a ton of money on this movie, and you can see the money on the screen. It looks great—

Ebert: Yeah.

Roeper: —and the little people don’t look like they’re superimposed against the regular-sized people—

Ebert: Mm-hm.

Roeper: —and the giants look like giants, and all that good stuff, but Roger, it goes on for ever—

Ebert: OK, well I’m gonna say…

Roeper: —and then, and I understand that movies, you know, Harry Potter is part of a series, but it ends on a satisfactory note.

Ebert: OK.

Roeper: This thing, it’s like, after three hours and they kinda look at each other—

Ebert: OK.

Roeper: —and they almost look at the, at the, at the viewers and go—

Ebert: OK, well I’m gonna tell ya…

Roeper: “See you next Christmas for another big commercial movie!”

Ebert: Well, of course, because it is, it’s a trilogy. It is a trilogy, so it doesn’t end after the first book. That’s what a tri—

Roeper: It’s, uh, it’s gonna be a $27 trilogy for people, though.

Ebert: —OK, OK.

Roeper: I think for nine bucks you should get some kind of closure.

Ebert: Well, I feel, I do feel, for myself, that Harry Potter is a better movie.

Roeper: Absolutely. Without question.

Ebert: Again, I do know that there are some people that are not true believers who are gonna say what you said about Fellowship of the Ring, but I believe in the quest.

Roeper: Oh, all right. Fine.

Ebert: OK.



What I mostly get from reading this is how terrible the program is for serious film commentary: Taking out the "OKs" and "ums", each of them utters a little more than 400 words, or one-third of what Ebert's print review includes. And maybe 100 of those words are unprepared responses to each others' comments. That said:


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I'm basing my suspicion on Ebert's statement that the movie didn't focus as much on the hobbits as he remembered.



He's right, so there's no need to suppose that he'd never read LotR.


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I remember watching the television review of the movie ... I remember Ebert being petulant that the movie didn't turn out the way he remembered the books, and that his memory of the books seemed flawed.


Nothing in the transcript above suggests a flaw in his memory, though I imagine there are some. As for "petulant": my dictionary defines that as "impatient or irritable, especially over a peevish annoyance; peevish; bad-tempered", and that could apply here only to his defense of the film against Roeper's comments: his "sadness" about the aspects of the film that disappointed him is moderately expressed.


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I don't think much of Ebert's opinions on movies in general


I generally agree, though he's better in print than on television. Before his illness, he simply reviewed far too many films: who could possibly write 200-300 good full-length film reviews per year? And our tastes differ, to be sure.


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and his review of FOTR cemented my feelings that he thinks children's movies need to be charming. He clearly considered FOTR to be a children's movie and since it didn't fit within his expectations of a children's movie he bashed it.


Well, neither Ebert nor Roeper never mentions children's movies or books in these reviews. In Ebert's print review, he did write that hobbits "are like children grown up or grown old, and when they rise to an occasion, it takes true heroism, for they are timid by nature and would rather avoid a fight." I see nothing controversial in those remarks; we discussed the childishness of hobbits at some length in our 2005 pass through "A Conspiracy Unmasked", and many other writings on Tolkien's books say the same. For myself, I think that Tolkien's books are much more charming than Jackson's films.


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Of course, Roeper was trying to be intellectually superior and ended up looking ridiculous ... Roeper just didn't get it.


It's obvious that Roeper, unlike Ebert, has not read the books. I don't know if he'd read the first Harry Potter story, whose film version he prefers to FotR. His comments sound a bit like Edmund Wilson's infamous review of LotR (discussed in the Reading Room here, here and here last year) and Vincent Canby's New York Times review of Bakshi's animated version (Canby seems to blame Tolkien's book for the film's flaws). That said, Roeper is hardly the only critic to be disappointed by Wood's performance, the film's length, or its abrubt ending. Ebert mentioned Star Wars, but missed a chance to note that The Empire Strikes Back, which is considered by most critics to be the best of the trilogy (because it is the most "adult"), has a similarly unresolved conclusion.

I certainly agree with Roeper that FotR (or the trilogy as a whole0 is a lesser film than Lawrence of Arabia.

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We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

Join us Dec. 10-16 for "Fog on the Barrow-downs".


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Dec 16 2007, 11:37pm

Post #28 of 90 (1903 views)
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They made [In reply to] Can't Post

plenty of other comments about LOTR outside of their official reviews. They were fairly guarded here, but considerably less so later when comparing with other movies (of far lesser caliber than Lawrence of Arabia) and when talking Oscar consideration. For instance, I distinctly remember Ebert using the word "twee" to describe the Shire in one pre-Oscar tv interview (not his own show, I think it might have been Letterman) and thought it was rather inconsistent with his earlier repeated complaints about lack of fun-loving Hobbits. I found myself being very sarcastic at the tv screen about that. Tongue

I've often thought that his having read the books only once hindered rather than helped him to understand (or enjoy) the movies. He might have liked them better had he never read the book at all - or if he had read it several times. His recollections seemed to be so at odds with the elements of the story - and strangely enough, not in the same places as the various irate book-firsters all through the fan community. In other words, he didn't seem upset because of the changes from book to movie, he was upset because he didn't remember the book accurately. Of all the complaints that can be made about the movie adaptations, many of his just seemed like they came out of left field...especially so the closer it got to Oscar season. I can't remember which movie he was backing, but I gathered that he was also generally annoyed that LOTR overshadowed much of its competition.

I don't mind if people don't like the movies; no one is required to share my tastes (Ebert rarely does, anyway). But he has clout - deserved or not - and I didn't appreciate the inconsistencies and occasional cheap shots in passing over the course of all three films. Roeper I just try to ignore.

I'd love to know what Gene Siskel would have thought of the movies.

Silverlode

"Of all faces those of our familiares are the ones both most difficult to play fantastic tricks with, and most difficult really to see with fresh attention. They have become like the things which once attracted us by their glitter, or their colour, or their shape, and we laid hands on them, and then locked them in our hoard, acquired them, and acquiring ceased to look at them.
Creative fantasy, because it is mainly trying to do something else [make something new], may open your hoard and let all the locked things fly away like cage-birds. The gems all turn into flowers or flames, and you will be warned that all you had (or knew) was dangerous and potent, not really effectively chained, free and wild; no more yours than they were you."
-On Fairy Stories


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 17 2007, 12:07am

Post #29 of 90 (1899 views)
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Three stars. [In reply to] Can't Post

Let me stress that I don't disbelieve Entmaiden, Patty or you: I trust that you correctly remember other comments by Ebert about FotR that I simply haven't been able to find. In fact, what you say about him downplaying the achievement of FotR, when discussing the Oscar race for that year, makes complete sense: he only gave FotR three out of four stars, and given that he normally gives four-star reviews to roughly fifteen films out of the 200-300 that he sees in a year, it only makes sense that he preferred other Oscar contenders to FotR, and that in the context of those films, he would emphasize FotR's failing where when giving it a postive review he stressed its achivements (with caveats). And quite possibly, if we had all his public remarks on FotR to hand, we would note more serious inconsistencies.

In fact, this was Ebert's top ten list for 2001:


Quote
1. Monster's Ball
2. Black Hawk Down
3. In the Bedroom
4. Ghost World
5. Mulholland Drive
6. Waking Life
7. Innocence
8. Wit
9. A Beautiful Mind
10. Gosford Park



I have never seen #4,#5, #7, or #8. Of the others, I feel that FotR is at about the same quality as Black Hawk Down and Waking Life, superior to Monster's Ball, A Beautiful Mind, and Gosford Park, and inferior to In the Bedroom. (I haven't seen any of those films since early 2002.) But Ebert's reviews of all but Wit are available at the link above, so it would be quite possible to consider his arguments at more length.

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We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

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vtboyarc
Lorien


Dec 17 2007, 12:15am

Post #30 of 90 (1892 views)
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wow [In reply to] Can't Post

I can't believe its been 6 years since the Fellowship came out.

Theres some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and its worth fighting for.


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Dec 17 2007, 12:26am

Post #31 of 90 (1887 views)
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I remembered much of that [In reply to] Can't Post

and here's the origin of my suspicions that Ebert mixed up The Hobbit and LOTR

"...that the innocence or naiveté of the original books has kinda been lost in the middle of a high-tech special effects adventure picture. One thing that bothers me is that the hobbits are the heroes of the books, but in the movie the tall people, the men, the wizards, and the elves, take the initiative and give the orders."

LOTR is not innocent nor naive, however The Hobbit is both. In The Hobbit, the hobbits are clearly the only heroes, but in LOTR they share the stage with men. Wizards and elves to a lesser extent, but I can see where that comment is coming from since Gandalf is more prominent in FOTR. Not sure where his "elves as heroes" comment is coming from from just FOTR, but if he's thinking of The Hobbit I can see why he's surprised at the presence of elves that do something other than singing "tra-la-la-la-lally".

Also this:

"movie is a violent action picture, and the books by Tolkien come from a kinder and gentler time."

Huh? Tolkien lived through World Wars I and II - how is that a kinder and gentler time? Where is the voilent action picture in FOTR?

Each cloak was fastened about the neck with a brooch like a green leaf veined with silver.
`Are these magic cloaks?' asked Pippin, looking at them with wonder.
`I do not know what you mean by that,' answered the leader of the Elves.


NARF since 1974.
Balin Bows


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 17 2007, 12:56am

Post #32 of 90 (1908 views)
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"In The Hobbit, the hobbits are clearly the only heroes" [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, only one hobbit in The Hobbit even has any dialogue. And although as Tolkien wrote that book, he considered having Bilbo stab Smaug, which I think can be identified as a key plot moment, in the finished text that is achieved by a man, in a chapter in which Bilbo appears not once.


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LOTR is not innocent nor naive, however The Hobbit is both.


Ebert didn't say that: he said only that there was innocence and naiveté in LotR, and that it was much reduced in the film. And he was right: the film opens with a body-strewn historical prologue that explains much that in a book which opens in the Shire is revealed only slowly to the hobbits. Later, where the book keeps tightly with the Fellowship as the ride down the Anduin amidst uncertain portents (as Ebert realizes in his print review), the movie reveals the movements of the orcs that Tolkien worked out but deliberately: Jackson ramps up tension where Tolkien, in his apparent naiveté, was content with mystery.


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Not sure where his "elves as heroes" comment is coming from from just FOTR


It could be that where Frodo, say, rides alone on Glorfindel's horse to the Ford of Bruinen, and himself defies the wraiths there, the film opts to put him in Arwen's hands, taunt the wraiths into following, and summon up a flood. Yes, I know that another elf, Elrond, raised the flood in the book. Funny how Tolkien innocently kept that offstage.


Quote
movie is a violent action picture, and the books by Tolkien come from a kinder and gentler time
Huh? Tolkien lived through World Wars I and II -- how is that a kinder and gentler time?



He is, of course, referring to a time of gentler, less violent flms, as his print review's reference to The Wizard of Oz makes clear.


Quote
Where is the violent action picture in FotR?


Compared to many movies, it is a violent action picture. It ain't Howards End! Possibly any adaptation of LotR would have to be: as I said before, it may simply be impossible to film Tolkien's action scenes as written. The fight in the Chamber of Mazarbul, for instance, takes less than two minutes to read: how long does it take on screen?

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We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

Join us Dec. 10-16 for "Fog on the Barrow-downs".


frodolives
Lorien

Dec 17 2007, 12:58am

Post #33 of 90 (1904 views)
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Roeper changed his mind about FOTR [In reply to] Can't Post

One thing that bears mentioning: Roeper loved both TTT and ROTK, even to the point that he admitted that ROTK changed his mind about FOTR, now that he saw it as part of a larger whole. Ebert often has his facts wrong, and not just about FOTR and his recollections of the novels. One thing he utterly fails to understand or mention is that, while a chapter in the novels may only take 20 pages, it takes MUCH longer than that to portray the written word on screen in many instances. Pelennor Fields, for example, is told in a very non-detailed manner in the novels. Tolkien can just write very generalized passages about what happened, while a filmmaker must actually show that battles. You can't make a montage of something like Pelennor Fields. Likewise, Tolkien can say "they traveled for two days" before anything happens. He can say "Aragorn slew many orcs". But you have to show that on screen, and it takes longer to portray that on screen. Conversely, small character moments can be different; the written word can take longer to describe what can be understood on screen with one simple shot.


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 17 2007, 1:14am

Post #34 of 90 (1931 views)
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"He can say 'Aragorn slew many orcs'. But you have to show that onscreen." [In reply to] Can't Post

I mostly agree; that is a point made elsewhere in this thread: Tolkien describes action briefly, but to show this on screen requires more time. Meanwhile, Tolkien describes images at length, and these can be conveyed on screen briefly. (On the other hand, it certainly is not true that where Tolkien writes "they traveled for two days" that Jackson must show this at length: there are lots of of ways to tell audiences that two days have passed besides showing those two days. But Jackson is very weak on conveying geography anyway, unable even to match the backgrounds of the Shire to the very map presented in the film.)

However, this general statement, if true, simply works to confirm Ebert's claim that the films contain more action and less quiet than the books, merely shifting blame from Jackson & co. to the medium itself.

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We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

Join us Dec. 10-16 for "Fog on the Barrow-downs".


frodolives
Lorien

Dec 17 2007, 1:46am

Post #35 of 90 (1893 views)
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True, but... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
However, this general statement, if true, simply works to confirm Ebert's claim that the films contain more action and less quiet than the books, merely shifting blame from Jackson & co. to the medium itself.

Yes, you could say that the medium is at fault. However I don't think that's what Ebert was thinking -- I believe he was saying he thought the films should have had more quiet and less action. I don't think he stopped to think of the logistics of such a change in terms of "filmic" narrative.


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Dec 17 2007, 1:48am

Post #36 of 90 (1894 views)
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I'm not sure why we're in this argument [In reply to] Can't Post

I started by saying I suspected Ebert had mixed up The Hobbit and LOTR in his review - it's clear to me he doesn't have much of a memory of FOTR, and I think his review is unfairly based on that faulty memory. I can't figure out why it's so important that you prove me wrong. Unsure


Quote

It could be that where Frodo, say, rides alone on Glorfindel's horse to the Ford of Bruinen, and himself defies the wraiths there, the film opts to put him in Arwen's hands, taunt the wraiths into following, and summon up a flood. Yes, I know that another elf, Elrond, raised the flood in the book. Funny how Tolkien innocently kept that offstage.



I can't see how the substitution of Arwen for Glorfindel enhances the heroism of the elves. In fact, Glorfindel is pretty darn herioc, in my mind:


Quote

With his last failing senses Frodo heard cries, and it seemed to him that he saw, beyond the Riders that hesitated on the shore, a shining figure of white light; and behind it ran small shadowy forms waving flames, that flared red in the grey mist that was falling over the world.



Emphasis mine. Frodo later learns that the shining figure is Glorfindel. Arwen's summoning of the river in the movie pales in comparison.



Each cloak was fastened about the neck with a brooch like a green leaf veined with silver.
`Are these magic cloaks?' asked Pippin, looking at them with wonder.
`I do not know what you mean by that,' answered the leader of the Elves.


NARF since 1974.
Balin Bows


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 17 2007, 1:49am

Post #37 of 90 (1892 views)
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"More quiet and less action". [In reply to] Can't Post

That's certainly what I wanted from the LotR films, whether or not such as thing is impossible. The best that can be done under the circumstances is not necessarily good.

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We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

Join us Dec. 10-16 for "Fog on the Barrow-downs".


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Dec 17 2007, 1:52am

Post #38 of 90 (1900 views)
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Roeper realized the train was leaving the station [In reply to] Can't Post

and he had better jump on. After Fellowship was nominated for many awards, and won several, he suddenly saw merit in what he had previously derided. Some people might give him the benefit of the doubt, but I saw his conversion as nakedly opportunistic. Just reading over the transcript of his review reminded me of his snobbish disdain for FOTR.

Each cloak was fastened about the neck with a brooch like a green leaf veined with silver.
`Are these magic cloaks?' asked Pippin, looking at them with wonder.
`I do not know what you mean by that,' answered the leader of the Elves.


NARF since 1974.
Balin Bows


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 17 2007, 1:52am

Post #39 of 90 (1909 views)
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"it *seemed* to him that he saw"... [In reply to] Can't Post

that entmaiden was getting uncomfortable with the tone of the discussion, so he withdrew, with apologies.

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We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

Join us Dec. 10-16 for "Fog on the Barrow-downs".


frodolives
Lorien

Dec 17 2007, 1:55am

Post #40 of 90 (1897 views)
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The best that can be done [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
That's certainly what I wanted from the LotR films, whether or not such as thing is impossible. The best that can be done under the circumstances is not necessarily good.

Hhhhmmm... by that standard I'm not sure if a LOTR film could be made that would suit completely "purist" tastes. I'm not saying they are perfect films, but I personally don't feel there was too much action -- perhaps the most impressive thing about the films is how they balance emotional content with epic action (IMO). I do wish certain "quieter" scenes were longer, such as the Council of Elrond, the rescue of Theoden from his withering state, etc. But it's a no-win situation: look at how many people complained that the end of ROTK was too protracted. As a fan of the novels, I wish it had been even longer!

I would be curious to see what you think of my re-edited versions of the films. They are edited as closely to the books as I could make them.


(This post was edited by frodolives on Dec 17 2007, 2:00am)


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Dec 17 2007, 2:04am

Post #41 of 90 (1920 views)
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No, not uncomfortable, just bewildered [In reply to] Can't Post

carry on.

Each cloak was fastened about the neck with a brooch like a green leaf veined with silver.
`Are these magic cloaks?' asked Pippin, looking at them with wonder.
`I do not know what you mean by that,' answered the leader of the Elves.


NARF since 1974.
Balin Bows


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Dec 17 2007, 2:07am

Post #42 of 90 (1890 views)
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How would you have shown Helm's Deep, [In reply to] Can't Post

the Fords of Bruinen, the encounter with the orcs in Moria, the Balrog, Caradhras, the sacking of Isengard and the battle of Pelennor Fields and achieved quieter films?

Each cloak was fastened about the neck with a brooch like a green leaf veined with silver.
`Are these magic cloaks?' asked Pippin, looking at them with wonder.
`I do not know what you mean by that,' answered the leader of the Elves.


NARF since 1974.
Balin Bows


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 17 2007, 2:36am

Post #43 of 90 (1910 views)
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Cut them entirely, in favor of... [In reply to] Can't Post

many of the quiet things that Jackson chose to omit. Is it not every bit as faithful to the text to keep a song and omit a battle as the reverese?

By your leave, I'll "carry on" just a little further, but not in that portion of the discussion, where I've quite lost my bearings. Here I'm not much better (Pukel-man used to be very good at offering good cinematic alternatives to what Jackson created) but I would say that the onscreen action in Moria includes a cave-troll battle and crumbling staircase, neither of which appear in the books, and thus not subject to frodolives' truism, that it takes more time to show action on film than in print.

The sacking of Isengard could be told and not shown, just like it was in the book. Or if it couldn't, isn't that proof that a film of LotR cannot really be faithful? However, though I strongly disliked Jackson's poor presentation of the Ents (they should speak at length, not slowly) the destruction of Isengard doesn't take an enormous amount of screen time. Unlike Helm's Deep, which dominates TT out of any sense of proportion: it is just one chapter out of twenty in the book.

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We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

Join us Dec. 10-16 for "Fog on the Barrow-downs".


Patty
Immortal


Dec 17 2007, 2:48am

Post #44 of 90 (1891 views)
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Yes, I'd say that was a perfect description of what happened. [In reply to] Can't Post

He saw that the train was leaving the station and he'd better get aboard. Perfect.

Ebert is mostly standing alone in his opinion of TGC. Just goes to reinforce what I have always thought about critic reviews, although I was very glad they mostly were positive about the Rings movies. It's all too subjective to be believable.

For Gondor!


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Dec 17 2007, 2:50am

Post #45 of 90 (1883 views)
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I think it's a question of balance [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree that the movie version of Helm's Deep was too long, but I don't think the movies would be better if all the battles were cut and all the singing added and we had three days of Ent-moot. The movies should have the proper balance between action and quiet, and I'm sure each of us have a different approach to achieving that balance. I would hate to lose the Balrog and the sacking of Isengard, and Pelennor, and Denethor's attempt to burn Faramir (although I would gladly lose jumping Denethor from the movie) so that I could get Tom Bombadil and the eagles singing. However, I would have loved to have the lament of Boromir sung by Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli. I would have loved to see Eomer enhanced and Theoden diminished and we could see Eomer and Aragorn meet on the field of battle. I wanted to see the Houses of Healing as it should be seen. But I have to say the mumakil in the movies were amazing.

We're probably not that far apart on what we would would like to see in the movies. I think I'm just more accepting of what we do have.

Each cloak was fastened about the neck with a brooch like a green leaf veined with silver.
`Are these magic cloaks?' asked Pippin, looking at them with wonder.
`I do not know what you mean by that,' answered the leader of the Elves.


NARF since 1974.
Balin Bows


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Dec 17 2007, 2:52am

Post #46 of 90 (1880 views)
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Remember how [In reply to] Can't Post

Ebert and Roeper's "Thumbs Up" quotes were conspicuously missing from the TTT and ROTK ads? I think there were good and properly snubbed by New Line, and they both hated being outsiders to the party.

Each cloak was fastened about the neck with a brooch like a green leaf veined with silver.
`Are these magic cloaks?' asked Pippin, looking at them with wonder.
`I do not know what you mean by that,' answered the leader of the Elves.


NARF since 1974.
Balin Bows


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Dec 17 2007, 3:00am

Post #47 of 90 (1887 views)
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Sorry, weaver, we seem to have completely hijacked your thread [In reply to] Can't Post

It seems like so much less than six years ago that FOTR opened. Wow - that means my sixth Torniversary is coming up!

I remember all the chatter about the Harry Potter movie that was being released a few weeks before FOTR. HP was THE movie of the holiday season and FOTR stayed pretty much under the radar. I was fine with that, having been burned by Bakshi. The initial reviews were so positive, and the momentum started to build, and I finally let myself get excited. Then I saw the movie, and never looked back.

It's amazing now, but FOTR stayed in theaters in large cities well into March, and I saw it in a theater as late as May. It was the number one film for WEEKS, and the box office actually climbed a couple times from one week to the next, unheard of these days. Tampa Phil was on the message boards each Monday with a box office report, tabulating the previous weekend and looking ahead to the competition for the upcoming weekend and predicting the results. We would all post each time we saw the movie again, reporting something new we saw (I didn't see the trolls the first five times I saw FOTR, although I saw the car the first time).

Each cloak was fastened about the neck with a brooch like a green leaf veined with silver.
`Are these magic cloaks?' asked Pippin, looking at them with wonder.
`I do not know what you mean by that,' answered the leader of the Elves.


NARF since 1974.
Balin Bows


Loresilme
Valinor


Dec 17 2007, 3:06am

Post #48 of 90 (1884 views)
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Hee hee [In reply to] Can't Post

Love your footer Sly!


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 17 2007, 3:19am

Post #49 of 90 (1878 views)
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Tolkien was a critic. [In reply to] Can't Post

Most movie critics, like most critics and most writers (and most everyone? is 90% of everything crab?), are not very good at what they do (and the more often a reviewer's name appears in advertisements, the less good s/he probably is). But the best criticism, like the film reviews of James Agee, Dwight MacDonald, John Simon, Stanley Kauffmann, is plain good reading (even if you've never seen the film in question, even if you have seen it and disagree). And remember that Tolkien himself wrote a fair bit of criticism, from the three "Philology: General Works" summaries in The Year's Work in English Studies of 1923-1925, to his response to earlier scholarship in "Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics" to "MS. Bodley 34: A Re-collation of a Collation", which rather harshly repudiates an article by Ragnar Furuskog.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

Join us Dec. 10-16 for "Fog on the Barrow-downs".


Patty
Immortal


Dec 17 2007, 3:19am

Post #50 of 90 (1882 views)
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I do distinctly remember [In reply to] Can't Post

Ebert and Roeper being interviewed after RotK swept the Oscars, and they said something (joking) to the tune of "guess we're going to have to see those movies." I let that pass, but then one of them, don't remember which, had the nerve to actually say that 11 Oscars indicated, as it did with Titanic and Ben Hur, a "respect" for the movie, not love. I can't see how that, plus over a billion dollars in box office (which it had already achieved) could only be respect. But, whatever.

For Gondor!

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