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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
FOTR best film
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book Gandalf
Rohan


Oct 30 2013, 9:34pm

Post #1 of 40 (1044 views)
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FOTR best film Can't Post

so i think its almost universally agreed that fellowship is everyones favourite film of the 6, and probably will stay that was after dos and taba come out.

i would say a 9 or 9.5! but what in your opinion are the reasons that dont make it a perfect ten!

for me its very small things, bits and pieces here and there, boromirs death should be in the winter, arwen ( iknow she needs to be there, but its so jarring with what i expected ) dwarf tossing and the openness of that moria scene, i want claustrophobia and wizard shutting spells. a warg attack before moria, hate to say it, but for me merry and pippin could have been better, and th euruk hai less camp.

This is a serious journey, not a hobbit walking-party.

(This post was edited by book Gandalf on Oct 30 2013, 9:38pm)


cats16
Valinor


Oct 30 2013, 10:00pm

Post #2 of 40 (706 views)
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I think... [In reply to] Can't Post

Since the specific things you mentioned are all matters of book-to-film adaptation, and changes from the books, I think it's hard to get a consensus. As AUJ is showing us now, everyone has a different threshold for what qualifies as an 'ok change/addition'. There are a lot of factors that play into this, so I don't think I could adequately rank them. Because, to me, saying 'best film' also deals with the quality of the film as a film, not only the quality of the adaptation. Although I see, in your post, you mention "fellowship is everyones favourite film," (I wouldn't say that that is the consensus here, necessarily) so perhaps you mean to come from the 'favorite', not 'best' angle (to me, there is a difference).

For many people, the quality of the adaptation will never be a concern. They'll never read the books, even if they liked the films. But they can still say that FOTR is the best film (or whichever film of the trilogy)--with different things in mind.

I understand that since you're bringing this up to a Tolkien community, you'll get a lot of answers based on the story itself (and rightly so!). But I did want to point out the complexity about these kinds of questions.


demnation
Rohan

Oct 30 2013, 10:05pm

Post #3 of 40 (708 views)
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Speak for yourself! [In reply to] Can't Post

Wink If I absolutely had to pick just one, it would be ROTK. But since I'm not required to do anything of the kind, I'll just say I find it almost impossible to favor 1/3 of the story over the others.

The world is full enough of hurt and mischance without wars to multiply them.


cats16
Valinor


Oct 30 2013, 10:07pm

Post #4 of 40 (666 views)
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Ah, demnation aids in proving my point, lol. [In reply to] Can't Post

I figured that someone whose favorite isn't FOTR would immediately reply.


In Reply To
I'll just say I find it almost impossible to favor 1/3 of the story over the others.


Well said. I'm in agreement with you there.

Edit: Just like the 'favorite characters' question. Seeing your answers on your profile page reminded me of that one. TongueCool


(This post was edited by cats16 on Oct 30 2013, 10:09pm)


book Gandalf
Rohan


Oct 30 2013, 10:18pm

Post #5 of 40 (661 views)
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cmon [In reply to] Can't Post

i wouldnt say im speaking for myself, its clearly the front runner for best tolkine film based on reviews, polls, and comments on here.

so again, my question is to those people who agree fotr is their favourite, what stops it from being perfect!

(cmon play the game ;)

This is a serious journey, not a hobbit walking-party.


IdrilofGondolin
Rohan

Oct 30 2013, 10:50pm

Post #6 of 40 (660 views)
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I Liked Two Towers Better [In reply to] Can't Post

But I will play the game. FOTR is not a perfect 10 for the following reasons:

Merry and Pippin are not truants. Their characterization as such hurts the film.
Bree is not a dirty dangerous town. Have never liked the rainy, muddy depiction of Bree.
Prancing Pony. Is a friendly, delightful place. Not so in the movie.

Now, there are reasons why the film makers made these choices. I am sure they believed they needed a quick and easy way to distinguish among the 4 hobbits so the choice of making Merry and Pippin be the bad boys was made. The depiction of Bree as dangerous ups the ante, but we already knew the hobbits were in danger so it wasn't necessary.

I'll stop here and let others play.


zarabia
Tol Eressea


Oct 31 2013, 5:16am

Post #7 of 40 (634 views)
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Just to play along [In reply to] Can't Post

For me it's a toss up between FOTR and TTT. As For FOTR, I have no problem with any of of the things you objected to except the dwarf tossing joke - totally agree there. And as for the Uruk Hai, I always felt that they, along with the Moria orcs, are the only orcs in the trilogy that aren't campy. One of my problems with TTT and ROTK is the cheesiness of the Mordor and other orcs - more camp than creep.

I loved FOTR so much that I watched it until I became burned out on it and can now only see the flaws. Unsure But my problems with it are little nit-picky matters of style. The matters of substance either don't bother me at all, or else I can can see the reasoning and can therefore forgive them.

An example of matter of style - I felt the daytime Hobbiton scenes were too washed out looking. They were filmed during mid-day which isn't the ideal time. Hobbiton didn't look as cosy as I had imagined it. However, I feel that to compensate, PJ made everything else a bit too twee. (See, nit-picky TongueLaugh)

"The question isn't where, Constable, but when." - Inspector Spacetime

(This post was edited by zarabia on Oct 31 2013, 5:24am)


Starling
Half-elven


Oct 31 2013, 7:54am

Post #8 of 40 (603 views)
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Can you elaborate [In reply to] Can't Post

on what you mean by 'washed out looking'.
It just looks like normal daytime light to me.


DanielLB
Immortal


Oct 31 2013, 8:15am

Post #9 of 40 (631 views)
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It *might've* been a better film if ... [In reply to] Can't Post

Tom Bombadil (and the Barrow-downs) had been included in one way or another. But with a fast-paced 3 hour film, I'm not sure how it could've been down without boring the general movie audience.

Other things that *might've* improved the film would be the inclusion of Gildor, Glorfindel and Cirdan; Sam at Galadriel's mirror, a better Council of Elrond, the wolf attack at Caradhras, and the removal of Lurtz

I only say "might've" because any of these could have changed the film significantly. The trilogy works fine without these things, but the book also works (better) with them. Had the trilogy between a hexalogy, then I imagine a lot more of the book details would have ended up being filmed.

But I'd give The Fellowship of the Ring film 10/10 anyway.

And don't forget the thinking fox. Every Middle-earth film requires a thinking/talking animal/object.



zarabia
Tol Eressea


Oct 31 2013, 9:33am

Post #10 of 40 (606 views)
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Well... [In reply to] Can't Post

Generally in photography, shooting during the middle of the day is usually avoided because of harsh lighting and less vibrant colors. Early morning and late afternoon/evening light is considered more flattering, making colors more saturated and softening shadows. (Please forgive me if I sound like I'm giving a bad photography lecture Tongue I'm just trying to be clear.)

I am in no way implying that PJ didn't know what he was doing. I'm sure it was meant to emphasize the Hobbits' happy, sunny, shadow-free life in comparison to the metaphorically darker times to come. I just felt that the shire didn't look as pretty as I had imagined. Especially after seeing some of the pictures posted here by tornsibs who had visited the set. Many of their pictures were quite beautiful and much closer to my image of the Shire, mainly, I think, because the lighting in their pictures was warmer and softer.

I do think some of the shots in the film of Hobbiton were very pretty, such as the sunlight glinting off the petals of flowers. But overall, and this is just my dumb opinion, the lighting looked too harsh and the colors too faded, and thus Hobbiton didn't look as pretty and idealistic as it could have.

I hope I didn't offend.Smile

"The question isn't where, Constable, but when." - Inspector Spacetime


Darkstone
Immortal


Oct 31 2013, 1:44pm

Post #11 of 40 (626 views)
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What always strikes me as odd.... [In reply to] Can't Post

...is that FOTR is the film that is the least faithful to the book, yet it is almost always the one that fans hold up as "perfect".

I mean, there are so many more cuts and additions, so many more major character changes compared to the other films.

But to your question: I think the main reason people are so forgiving of FOTR is that it was their introduction to the cinematic Middle-earth. Later films, no matter how much better or more faithful, will never give anything near that initial rush.

Which is why, dear children, you should never do drugs.

******************************************
That hobbit has a pleasant face,
His private life is a disgrace.
I really could not tell to you,
The awful things that hobbits do.
Things that your paper never prints
They only speak of them in hints.
They have such lost, degraded souls,
No wonder they inhabit holes;
When such depravity is found,
It only can live underground.
I really dare not name to you,
The awful things that hobbits do.


Starling
Half-elven


Oct 31 2013, 4:55pm

Post #12 of 40 (564 views)
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Oh no, [In reply to] Can't Post

I wasn't offended in any way. Thanks for the elaboration.
When I look at the Shire scenes, I've always thought that the light looks lovely.
I sort of wonder if it's something to do with what kind of light we are used to seeing. Someone more well-travelled than me might be able to help with this, but I've heard people say that the light in New Zealand has a brighter (possibly harsher) quality than a lot of other places. So what looks like normal, pleasant daytime light to me might look harsh to someone else. Does that make any sense whatsoever?


Starling
Half-elven


Oct 31 2013, 4:59pm

Post #13 of 40 (576 views)
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So true [In reply to] Can't Post



Which is why, dear children, you should never do drugs.


Much as I love to watch these films over and over, I have never managed to recapture that full-on and sustained buzz I got the first time. Frown

It's a bad scene. Just ask Gollum.



Radagast-Aiwendil
Gondor


Oct 31 2013, 6:04pm

Post #14 of 40 (558 views)
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I agree [In reply to] Can't Post

FOTR was the film that introduced me, at the humble age of seven, to the world of Tolkien. I have never seen a film that is it's equal and I probably never will.

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."-Gandalf


Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Oct 31 2013, 8:47pm

Post #15 of 40 (532 views)
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Excellent metaphor! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 




Harold.of.Whoa
Rivendell


Nov 1 2013, 2:21am

Post #16 of 40 (564 views)
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In brief, the Extended Edition = the main de-merits... [In reply to] Can't Post

almost frame-by-frame. Well, not quite.

As far as the Theatrical, my few nitpicks include Gandalf/Frodo's opening laugh scene feeling forced/phony, Lothlorien being a little too other-worldly and weird, a couple of jarringly poor effects scenes (e.g. the "Lean forward" shot in Moria), and the overuse of slow motion.

It's still my favorite film ever, and it's the only one of the trilogy I can think of as a standalone work.

Cat16's point is well taken that there is a key difference between judging the film in a self-contained way vs. comparing scenes and story elements with one's own expectations and likes based on the book. There's nothing wrong with expressing those ideas (adaptation preferences), but it seems like those things should not count off the perfection scale unless there is some failing within the movie adaptation to compellingly tell its own story. Of course, we're all human, so it's hard to separate those things.

FWIW, IMDb's user ratings are RotK - 8.9, FotR - 8.8, and TTT - 8.7.


zarabia
Tol Eressea


Nov 2 2013, 2:43am

Post #17 of 40 (485 views)
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The light in almost all of the other scenes [In reply to] Can't Post

...was gorgeous. I think there probably is something special about the quality of light in New Zealand. And now that I think about it, what seemed "washed out" to me in those Hobbiton scenes might have been the result of digital grading. I remember in the commentaries PJ talked about changing the coloring, brightness, and saturation in many of the scenes.

I guess I had developed a much more definite idea of what Hobbiton would look like than I realized until I saw the film and it didn't match. The pictures I've seen of the set posted by tornsibs or from other sources match much more closely. They did a wonderful job creating that set, I think it was just the lighting or digital grading that didn't fit my silly preconceived notion. Laugh

"The question isn't where, Constable, but when." - Inspector Spacetime

(This post was edited by zarabia on Nov 2 2013, 2:48am)


Starling
Half-elven


Nov 2 2013, 2:52am

Post #18 of 40 (512 views)
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Well, [In reply to] Can't Post

I shall just have to watch it again, so I can check out the light. Laugh


elaen32
Gondor


Nov 2 2013, 8:33am

Post #19 of 40 (465 views)
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I think that the quality of light [In reply to] Can't Post

is quite different in coastal areas and islands due to reflection from the sea. Countries like NZ and UK, which are surrounded by water and not that large seem to feel different to more inland areas. In NZ, I think the light is even better because there is less pollution and it is nearer to the equator than, say UK. Overall a wonderful effectSmile


Is there a Tolkien topic that you have wanted to look into more deeply and write about your thoughts on it? If so, we'd like to hear from you for the next TORn Amateur Symposium- coming in November. Happy writing!



zarabia
Tol Eressea


Nov 2 2013, 8:58am

Post #20 of 40 (453 views)
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A good excuse to watch, as if any were needed :) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

"The question isn't where, Constable, but when." - Inspector Spacetime


zarabia
Tol Eressea


Nov 2 2013, 9:03am

Post #21 of 40 (452 views)
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I think you're right, especially about the relative lack of pollution. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

"The question isn't where, Constable, but when." - Inspector Spacetime


Starling
Half-elven


Nov 2 2013, 6:40pm

Post #22 of 40 (450 views)
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All you ever wanted to know about NZ light and more... [In reply to] Can't Post

...can be found here.


Loresilme
Valinor


Nov 2 2013, 9:15pm

Post #23 of 40 (459 views)
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Home viewing vs theatrical experience [In reply to] Can't Post

I had not been a movie-goer at the time the trilogy was released, so for several years my only perspective on the films was watching them at home. I loved all three, but if you had asked me then, I would have said FOTR was my favorite.

However a few years ago a theater in my area participated in the re-release of the trilogy. So I had the opportunity to watch all three films in a large theater for the first time.
FOTR was as enjoyable as I expected, as was TTT. However, my experience with ROTK was very different. Even though I had always loved it as well as the other two, it was the first time I really felt the 'epic' aspect of ROTK, and understood some of the superlatives which had been thrown at it when it was first released.

So, when my only experience with watching the films was at home, my favorite had been FOTR.
When I watched them for the first time in the theater, it became ROTK.

Now that I always watch them at home again, I have gone back to FOTR being my favorite. It is also my daughter's favorite and we watch it together a lot.
We find it more watchable on a small screen compared to the other two.

I love all three but I found it interesting that ROTK was so different when I experienced in the big theatrical screen environment.


(This post was edited by Loresilme on Nov 2 2013, 9:19pm)


Elskidor
Rohan

Nov 2 2013, 9:54pm

Post #24 of 40 (448 views)
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hmm [In reply to] Can't Post

There are things I love about each movie, and I find it hard to pick one that i like better than all others, and for this very reason. I may pick ROTK as my overall favorite nowadays though. On my last viewing of LoTR I got very bored of the first half of Fellowship, and they may be because I've seen it too many times, but I enjoyed the latter half the same as ever. TTT used to be my favorite at one time too, but on last viewing ROTK was the most fun for me. That might be because I had to watch the theatrical cut of TTT, for I lost my extended version somewhere.


elaen32
Gondor


Nov 2 2013, 10:45pm

Post #25 of 40 (451 views)
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Thanks Starling! [In reply to] Can't Post

An interesting readSmile


Is there a Tolkien topic that you have wanted to look into more deeply and write about your thoughts on it? If so, we'd like to hear from you for the next TORn Amateur Symposium- coming in November. Happy writing!


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