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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Will the real purist please stand up?
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The Mitch King
Rohan


Jul 21 2013, 7:15am

Post #1 of 110 (2711 views)
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Will the real purist please stand up? Can't Post

So we all have our opinions on AUJ but there are those who think the book is inerrant AND perfect for film too. My question is a simple one. Do any self proclaimed purists(I disagree that there is a single correct interpretation of Tolkien's work) think that Peter Jackson's interpretation is awesome? I am curious to know if there is any disagreement amongst purists. I think reading and watching are two different beasts personally. If there is an argument for being a purist I would love to hear it! Entertainment is very subjective no?


Elizabeth
Valinor


Jul 21 2013, 7:38am

Post #2 of 110 (1342 views)
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He did some things right, some wrong, in LotR. [In reply to] Can't Post

It was right to omit Bombadil and other early scenes from FotR and include Boromir's death.The Balrog confrontation was superb. It was right to make Boromir more sympathetic. It was stupid to introduce the cliff-dive & incomprehensible horse subplot in TTT, and the whole "Arwen is leaving/dying" subplot is indefensible. The visions of dead Aragorn and Eldarion were lovely, although the occasion for the latter was silly. Shelob and the whole Mordor sequence were brilliant. The Witch King/Galdalf confrontation was mangled beyond belief, as was the character of Denethor. The siege of Gondor and Ride of the Rohirrim were magnificent. Inexcusable to have Aragorn behead Mouth of Sauron. All the endings were brilliant.

So far in The Hobbit, more negatives than positives, but there's always hope.








MouthofSauron
Tol Eressea


Jul 21 2013, 7:57am

Post #3 of 110 (1235 views)
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Bombadil.. [In reply to] Can't Post

only way Bombadil would have worked is if Peter Jackson split the FOTR into two films, the scene would severely slow the pace of the film and also remove the "fear factor" the ring had on the audience because he puts it on and nothing happens.


take me down to the woodland realm where the trees are green and the elf women are pretty....Oh will you please take me home!!


Elizabeth
Valinor


Jul 21 2013, 7:59am

Post #4 of 110 (1106 views)
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Agreed.// [In reply to] Can't Post

 








Barrow-Wight
Rohan


Jul 21 2013, 8:12am

Post #5 of 110 (1262 views)
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after watching Rankin/Bass Return Of The King [In reply to] Can't Post

I understood why Jackson moved Shelob to ROTK. In the cartoon which is about an hour and 36 mins. Frodo & Sam reach Sammath Naur at the same time the Battle of the Pelennor fields happen. Frodo claims the Ring and (for some reason) this causes dark energy to flare up in Mordor and knock Thťoden off his horse killing him then Frodo and Sam wander around Mt Doom for a few days (again for some reason) until Sam happens to find Gollum fighting with Frodo and getting the Ring back and falling into the lava. also an army of eagles show up and rescue not only Frodo and Sam but The entire Gondor/Rohan army from The Black Gate. to be fair Aragorn didn't bring enough people to be considered an army anyway

So the way I see it whatever Jackson did or didn't do or should have done or shouldn't have done it could have been a lot LOT worse I've read rejected ideas for past LOTR movies Jackson's changes don't look so bad when compared to other ideas



Aunt Dora Baggins
Immortal


Jul 21 2013, 8:36am

Post #6 of 110 (1144 views)
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No need for me to post now. [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with every single thing you said. Except that I found negatives and positives mixed in about equal number in The Hobbit. The "Good morning" scene made it all worth while for me.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"A Chance Meeting at Rivendell" and other stories

leleni at hotmail dot com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



dormouse
Half-elven


Jul 21 2013, 8:41am

Post #7 of 110 (1154 views)
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What is a purist? [In reply to] Can't Post

It's not a word I would use of myself or thank anyone else for using about me, though I've been reading and re-reading Tolkien for over 40 years now. I remember how horrified I was when my brother - who is also very keen on the books - he introduced me to them, used to read and laugh at 'Bored of the Rings'. It seemed close to blasphemy to me, but I was a lot younger then. The Rankin Bass cartoons I find so hideous to look at that I don't look at them, ever. Is that purist? I don't know. The way the word is used around here seems to imply a sort of ownership of the books and I don't feel that way. I really want to see them interpreted in art and music, audio and films. I might not always like the interpretation but it's fun engaging with ideas other than your own and, if nothing else, helps to crystallise what you think yourself. Sometimes it can broaden or change it.

So as a book lover, purist or not, I really love Peter Jackson's interpretations of Middle Earth, previous and current. For sure there are odd things that I would change, or that I wouldn't have done, but that isn't the point for me. I credit PJ with taking Tolkien's work seriously - far more seriously than I think Hollywood would have taken it. He has listened to the books and I think he still is listening, and I'm in awe of the work and skill that goes in to making Middle Earth on film as visually stunning as it deserves to be. I'm drinking it all in, I can't wait for more, and I'll be very sad when the extended edition of There and Back Again comes out, because it will surely be the end of this particular road. I'll go on watching and enjoying them, though, just as I still read the books and listen to the various sound versions.

Love the books, love the films - is that an answer?


Bumpypotato
Bree

Jul 21 2013, 9:17am

Post #8 of 110 (1116 views)
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Pretty much spot on. [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with pretty much all of this. I would say though, that I think they did a pretty decent job with Denethor considering how condensed it had to be, and, as non canonical/out of place Aragorn beheading the Mouth of Sauron was, it was pretty B.A.


In Reply To
It was right to omit Bombadil and other early scenes from FotR and include Boromir's death.The Balrog confrontation was superb. It was right to make Boromir more sympathetic. It was stupid to introduce the cliff-dive & incomprehensible horse subplot in TTT, and the whole "Arwen is leaving/dying" subplot is indefensible. The visions of dead Aragorn and Eldarion were lovely, although the occasion for the latter was silly. Shelob and the whole Mordor sequence were brilliant. The Witch King/Galdalf confrontation was mangled beyond belief, as was the character of Denethor. The siege of Gondor and Ride of the Rohirrim were magnificent. Inexcusable to have Aragorn behead Mouth of Sauron. All the endings were brilliant.

So far in The Hobbit, more negatives than positives, but there's always hope.



jtarkey
Rohan


Jul 21 2013, 11:33am

Post #9 of 110 (1107 views)
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I would call myself a "Cinematic Purist" [In reply to] Can't Post

The changes made to LOTR, in general, made perfect sense. If LOTR was adapted verbatim, it would be the most boring set of movies ever. There's simply too much information. It suits a book perfectly, but Film is a different animal and changes/compressions are expected.

This is my beef with the way Jackson is adapting The Hobbit. He's pretty much doing the exact opposite of what he did with LOTR. Instead of taking the already simplified material and adapting it truthfully, he is over-complicating it and turning it into something it isn't.

I guess I honestly believe The Hobbit could have fit into 1-2 films, whilst including everything that happens in the book with some added character development. But instead of getting "The Book + Character Development" we get "The Book + Drastic Changes + Extended Action Sequences".

I don't think PJ adhered to the things that made his LOTR trilogy so successful in the first place. Neither did he adhere to the spirit of the book.

Did I mention I just watched AUJ yesterday...and that I truly like it. I admit, it's difficult living up to the greatest film trilogy to ever grace the silver screen...

"You're love of the halflings leaf has clearly slowed your mind"


Arannir
Valinor


Jul 21 2013, 11:49am

Post #10 of 110 (1056 views)
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I do not like those categories. [In reply to] Can't Post

It has such a "class-style" to it.

I consider myself a Tolkien fan/lover/appreciator... and same goes for the movies that we have seen so far.

I certainly always resented the view that one cannot me satisfied with AUJ (or the Rings trilogy) and still be a "true Tolkien fan" - whatever that means.



ďA dragon is no idle fancy. Whatever may be his origins, in fact or invention, the dragon in legend is a potent creation of menís imagination, richer in significance than his barrow is in gold.Ē J.R.R. Tolkien

Words of wisdom that should be remembered - both by critics, purists and anyone in between.


Noria
Rohan

Jul 21 2013, 12:08pm

Post #11 of 110 (1016 views)
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Not me. [In reply to] Can't Post

Purist, pragmatist, transcendentalist (courtesy of Voronwe) Ė they are just shorthand for positions and I agree they are a bit crude like all such terms.

The self-described purists that I know of simply want a rendition as close to the books as possible with nothing invented by the film makers. Like everything else, there is range from those who hate every change to those who are more tolerant. Remember Bombyís recent description of an acquaintance who walked out of LotR when the narrative jumped from the Shire to Bree? Thatís a purist!

I donít consider myself as a purist in the least because I expect and even welcome some of the book-to-film changes, though I have loved the books for decades and have read them many times.

Once the inevitable (IMO) choice was made to create an epic, multi-part Hobbit, of course things had to be embellished and stretched out and even invented. The book is little more than an outline in places even for Bilboís story. That works fine in the book but not in a movie.

The only thing that was surprising to me about AUJ was the comic tone Ė I had expected something more like LotR. But The Hobbit is not LotR and Iíve come to believe that PJ was right. As for the long and over the top action sequences, the silly and gross humour and so on, having seen PJís LotR, I expected all that stuff.

I actually agree with a lot of Elizabethís criticisms of PJís LotR, much as I love those movies. But I would say none of them were indefensible because the writers had reasons for them, whether I agree with them or not. Some things, like flaming Denethor and Aragorn beheading the MoS we can blame on PJís love of a cool image or badass moment.

Jtarkey, I never would have thought that you liked anything about AUJ so Iím glad to hear that you enjoy watching it.


jtarkey
Rohan


Jul 21 2013, 12:11pm

Post #12 of 110 (1011 views)
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Oh yes, I like a good deal of it! [In reply to] Can't Post

My big problem is...I don't LOVE it.

Which, in comparison to LOTR, is a pretty big disappointment.

"You're love of the halflings leaf has clearly slowed your mind"


Inferno
Superuser / Moderator


Jul 21 2013, 1:51pm

Post #13 of 110 (1039 views)
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"Star Wars" you mean? [In reply to] Can't Post

"I admit, it's difficult living up to the greatest film trilogy to ever grace the silver screen..." ;)

While I enjoyed the Lord of the Rings movies, I don't know that I'd call it the greatest film trilogy ever (and it's good to inject a little humor into things. Seems like some of the commenters around here lately have been taking themselves way too seriously, which is never a good thing. If one can't laugh at oneself, well, where is one's sense of humor, then?). And back in the day, when that term was flung around a lot, I would have fallen in the 'purist' camp. If we're going to get into labeling people, then I choose the following label for myself:

Princess Bride Purist, reformed.

While there are things I always felt should have been put in the movies that weren't (I loved to quote Tolkien's comment about the Scouring of the Shire being an "essential" part of the story, and I even had a reasonable argument for putting in Bombadil), and my argument for additions to things was "Sure, we can add that-- *after* everything in the books had been put in", I began to think of myself as a "Princess Bride purist" thanks to, of course, the Princess Bride.

William Goldman wrote a brilliant book, and, since he was a professional screenwriter, as well, wrote a brilliant screenplay. If anything, I think the movie is better than the book-- something that never happens. The Princess Bride movie captures all the essence of the book, and the acting conveys the emotions better than the page can in several places. And, after reading the book a few times, I hear in my own head, MacPhearson chewing out Inigo in his own head during the final confrontation with Count Rugen ("Only a *Spaniard* would forget to use the wall for support!"). There are other examples as well, of course, but I'll be brief.

I tack on the 'reformed', also, thanks to William Goldman. The one thing that I felt that would have translated fantastically to the film version of The Princess Bride that was left out of the books was the Zoo of Death. And it wasn't until I read a comment from Goldman about that deletion that I got something of a better understanding of the film process. The Zoo was in the original script, but it eventually became too expensive to film, so it had to be cut.

So there are two sets of adaptations going on when a book is made to a film. There are narrative translations, and practical translations. The first are set to convey things about characters/plot in a way that makes more sense on film since they can't just put the words on the screen, and the second are due to budget, effects, etc. limitations-- things that are impractical to put onto screen at one point or another. Whether I agree with them all or not, I have to accept those translations in order to enjoy a movie, just like I have to suspend disbelief about things like the existence of non-existent countries, whether they be Guilder and Florin or Gondor and Rohan. And the only way to get the movie that I would see in my own head would be to get the funding and the rights, and go film it myself. Since I'm not that ambitious, I'm content with the movie that others have shown me.

And, really, when it comes right down to it, no matter how much I like or dislike a movie based on a book I love, I always have the book to go back to. It's not like I can't pick up my copy of Lord of the Rings or the Princess Bride, or Jurassic Park, or Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, or any other book based on a movie, and not enjoy the book for what it is. My love of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings wasn't diminished at all by the animated movies, as much as I don't like some aspects of those, and my love of the books isn't diminished at all by anything I disliked in the Jackson movies either. And it's fun to see it on screen.

It reminds me of a comment I saw about Star Wars one time-- "we were after George for years to give us *more* Star Wars, we neglected to ask him to give us *good* Star Wars. But we got what we wanted." Even though they aren't perfect, I'd rather have the Jackson movies than not have them. And maybe in 20 or 30 years, someone else will take a stab at the movies and produce another version. It might be better, it might be worse, but I'll always still have the books, regardless of how I feel about a given movie interpretation.

Inferno.


======================
Good night, tOR.Nados. Good work. Sleep well. I'll most likely delete you in the morning.
======================


shadowdog
Rohan

Jul 21 2013, 3:50pm

Post #14 of 110 (916 views)
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I think [In reply to] Can't Post

Jackson is creating a story that ties in with LoTRs. He is adding what was actually going on in Middle Earth at the same time as the Hobbit story. This will tie the two stories together once all is complete.


Welsh hero
Gondor


Jul 21 2013, 4:46pm

Post #15 of 110 (901 views)
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Being true to a book and any book really [In reply to] Can't Post

is really really hard.

-Irfon

Twitter: @IrfonPennant
middle earth timeline FB: https://www.facebook.com/MiddleEarth1


FrogmortonJustice65
Rivendell


Jul 21 2013, 5:08pm

Post #16 of 110 (913 views)
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you forgot Faramir...also, [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
It was right to omit Bombadil and other early scenes from FotR and include Boromir's death.The Balrog confrontation was superb. It was right to make Boromir more sympathetic. It was stupid to introduce the cliff-dive & incomprehensible horse subplot in TTT, and the whole "Arwen is leaving/dying" subplot is indefensible. The visions of dead Aragorn and Eldarion were lovely, although the occasion for the latter was silly. Shelob and the whole Mordor sequence were brilliant. The Witch King/Galdalf confrontation was mangled beyond belief, as was the character of Denethor. The siege of Gondor and Ride of the Rohirrim were magnificent. Inexcusable to have Aragorn behead Mouth of Sauron. All the endings were brilliant.

So far in The Hobbit, more negatives than positives, but there's always hope.


Interesting, I see where you are coming from on alot of this. Why do you think the "Arwen leaving" subplot is indefensible though? What storyline are you referring to exactly?

 photo cbccab4e-f61e-4be5-aaa1-20e302430c7c.jpg


Morthoron
Gondor


Jul 21 2013, 5:22pm

Post #17 of 110 (930 views)
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I respectfully disagree... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
The changes made to LOTR, in general, made perfect sense. If LOTR was adapted verbatim, it would be the most boring set of movies ever. There's simply too much information. It suits a book perfectly, but Film is a different animal and changes/compressions are expected.


It is not a matter of what was omitted for time constraints. For instance, it was completely sensible to remove Bombadil as a matter of time compression.

However, your argument utterly loses its luster when you used the specious argument "If LOTR was adapted verbatim, it would be the most boring set of movies ever."

The main complaint by "purists" (and I will gladly don that pejorative mantle with dignity) has never been what was omitted for the sake of compression, rather it was the ridiculous amount added in by PJ that did nothing whatsoever to move the movies forward. You can't argue it both ways.

The LotR trilogy worked best when actual sequences and lines were taken directly from the books, even when the original dialogue was switched from one character to another. The most appalling aspects of the film for book proponents were the asinine bits PJ threw in (and thank God he was stopped from adding even more, like Xenarwen at Helms Deep or Aragorn battling Sauron at the Black Gates). This seems to be the same concern for viewers of The Hobbit films.

The litany of added atrocities has been listed numerous times, so I won't repeat them. But if you have spare time, count up the endless minutes of useless footage for these superfluities. For instance, ask yourself truthfully if it was necessary for the 10 minutes of film time for Aragorn to fall off a cliff and then french kiss his horse? Was the warg attack itself necessary in moving the film forward, or was this just PJ's childish way of adding more CGI monsters?

Simply put, PJ, Walsh and Boyens are not good at creating subplots. It is the bane of their writing existence, and actually adds time to the movies. I don't ever want to hear the ridiculous excuse of time compression again.

Please visit my blog...The Dark Elf File...a slighty skewed journal of music and literary comment, fan-fiction and interminable essays.



geordie
Tol Eressea

Jul 21 2013, 5:36pm

Post #18 of 110 (884 views)
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'Real lunatics don't join them, I think'. [In reply to] Can't Post

That's what Tolkien once said of Tolkien Societies. I think the same might be said of purists and movie sites - you won't find many real purists here.

Smile


geordie
Tol Eressea

Jul 21 2013, 5:37pm

Post #19 of 110 (850 views)
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I agree with you. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


L. Ron Halfelven
Grey Havens


Jul 21 2013, 8:06pm

Post #20 of 110 (823 views)
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As the only true purist, I deplore the movie's lack of a binding.// [In reply to] Can't Post

 




aruman
Rivendell


Jul 21 2013, 9:42pm

Post #21 of 110 (796 views)
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Agreed [In reply to] Can't Post

Totally disliked Aragorn beheading the MOS...in what should have been/was a very interesting scene from the book..

Also, the thing I dislike most about the cliff dive was...we all have stuff/scenes/characters from the books that we wish were included in the movie, but weren't, so it stinks that they wasted precious screen time with stuff that wasn't from the books.

And yes, for the love of the duck, keep Bombadil out (great part of the book, no place on the silver screen).

In the movies Elrond, Denethor, Haldir, Galadriel, and Celeborn stink.


aruman
Rivendell


Jul 21 2013, 9:50pm

Post #22 of 110 (784 views)
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Good points [In reply to] Can't Post

You're right, their subplots stink. And it ticks me off that they added stuff in that wasn't in the book, while omitting several key scenes that should have been left in.

On a related note, if they wanted a warg battle, why didn't they show the Fellowship fighting the wargs before they got to the Gates of Moria? Different flick I know, but the point is they are adding in fight scenes (I guess for the sake of entertainment) while taking out fight scenes that were in the actual book.

In the movies Elrond, Denethor, Haldir, Galadriel, and Celeborn stink.


Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 21 2013, 10:22pm

Post #23 of 110 (775 views)
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Inferno, I agree with your whole post ... [In reply to] Can't Post

But especially this bit:

And, really, when it comes right down to it, no matter how much I like or dislike a movie based on a book I love, I always have the book to go back to. It's not like I can't pick up my copy of Lord of the Rings or the Princess Bride, or Jurassic Park, or Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, or any other book based on a movie, and not enjoy the book for what it is. My love of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings wasn't diminished at all by the animated movies, as much as I don't like some aspects of those, and my love of the books isn't diminished at all by anything I disliked in the Jackson movies either. And it's fun to see it on screen. - Inferno

I have a long standing love of the source material. I love reading the Professor's own words. But I have a heck of a good time watching the films too. I am very happy to enjoy both.

I am ambijoyous.




Coming soon!- The first TORn Amateur Symposium, starts Sunday 21st July in the Reading Room. Closing date for essay submission Sunday 14th July, but even if you don't submit, join us for some interesting discussion on some different and personal ways of looking at Tolkien's work.







RosieLass
Valinor


Jul 21 2013, 10:49pm

Post #24 of 110 (785 views)
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I can't speak for Elizabeth. [In reply to] Can't Post

But I found the "Arwen is leaving" subplot bad because it makes Elrond look an even bigger jerk than he already does for his whole "you'll never amount to anything anyway, you lousy excuse for a Man" treatment of Aragorn. No wonder Aragorn grew into such an indecisive waffle.

Elrond tells Arwen there is nothing for her in Middle-earth, but when she sees the vision of her son, it appears that Elrond was lying to her. Great parenting there, dad...

"BOTH [political] extremes are dangerous. But more dangerous are team fanboys who think all the extremists are on the OTHER side." (CNN reader comment)

It is always those with the fewest sensible things to say who make the loudest noise in saying them. --Precious Ramotswe (Alexander McCall Smith)


RosieLass
Valinor


Jul 21 2013, 10:54pm

Post #25 of 110 (719 views)
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Do you prefer leather or cloth? // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

"BOTH [political] extremes are dangerous. But more dangerous are team fanboys who think all the extremists are on the OTHER side." (CNN reader comment)

It is always those with the fewest sensible things to say who make the loudest noise in saying them. --Precious Ramotswe (Alexander McCall Smith)

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