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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
New Viggo Mortensen interview on the "mess" that was Rings
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Arannir
Valinor


May 16 2014, 9:34am

Post #76 of 160 (765 views)
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Agreed [In reply to] Can't Post

As I said in the other thread and the beginning of this one, it is really a pity that those extreme responses make it hard for those with balanced views to get their opinions across.

That is the reason why some believe it is not allowed to say anything negative on here without getting into trouble - it is not (and at the same time making it hard for those with balanced positive opinions because they are then also labelled as fanboys). It is just some OTT reactions that stick out compared to the levelled responses.

I am really a bit shocked the way some personally attacked Viggo Mortensen here, as well - and that was the worst part - people claiming only people who are "veiled,sneaky,and underhanded " would understand his comments.

This is somewhat of a red line for me, to be honest.

In defense of TORN, I have to say though, that the reactions elsewhere are even more brutal - in both directions (people bashing VM for his comments, people applauding and at the same time totally dissing PJ). This is why I hope this thread remains open un-edited because I feel like the community should handle such situations with levelled debate.

The users with balanced views usually dominate this place and despite some of the camp-fights - especially in the wake of the DoS release - have already gone back to interesting arguing because - in the end - friendliness, politeness and reason are strong among the community here. Something not too common on the internet, sadly. Something worth defending.


“All good stories deserve embellishment."

Praise is subjective. And so is criticism.

"I am afraid it is only too likely to be true what you say about the critics and the public. I am dreading the publication for it will be impossible not to mind what is said. I have exposed my heart to be shot at."


Macfeast
Rohan


May 16 2014, 10:53am

Post #77 of 160 (763 views)
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Indeed. [In reply to] Can't Post

"Overuse of CGI" (the way I commonly see it expressed, as least) is a dramatically different argument from "there should be no CGI at all". This is not a "100% or nothing"-kind of issue, where there's either no CGI, or everything goes; There is plenty of room in between 0% and a 100%.

Imagine someone eating at a restaurant, suggesting that "my meal was ruined by the sheer amount of salt the cook put upon it", to which the cook responds that "the human body needs salt to survive". While the response may, technically speaking, be true, it doesn't really address the sentiment of the original complaint, does it?
The same applies here. As true as arguments like "you need CGI to depict dragons, trolls, and various fantastical locales" may be, they really don't address the core sentiment of an argument like "the CGI was overused".


Escapist
Gondor


May 16 2014, 11:33am

Post #78 of 160 (745 views)
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The digital age [In reply to] Can't Post

I think computers and their networks are going to become the next standard utility - right next to water and electricity and phone lines (ancient, I know). IT will become like any other trade and the insertion of a digital element will become everyday stuff.

I think the problem isn't the amount of CGI, but the inconsistent level of attention to detail given to it. It can't be hastily or sloppily done. It does require man hours and people power or else it doesn't work out well.


NecromancerRising
Gondor


May 16 2014, 12:18pm

Post #79 of 160 (721 views)
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Thank you. [In reply to] Can't Post

I completely and wholeheartedly agree.

"Obsession and narrow-mindness is the trend of the 2000's and synonyms to many Tolkien fanatics"


sauget.diblosio
Tol Eressea


May 16 2014, 12:20pm

Post #80 of 160 (733 views)
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I couldn't agree with him more. [In reply to] Can't Post

"In the first movie, yes, there’s Rivendell, and Mordor, but there’s sort of an organic quality to it, actors acting with each other, and real landscapes; it’s grittier. The second movie already started ballooning, for my taste, and then by the third one, there were a lot of special effects. It was grandiose, and all that, but whatever was subtle, in the first movie, gradually got lost in the second and third. Now with The Hobbit, one and two, it’s like that to the power of 10."

Even though TTT to a certain extent, and RotK to a much greater extent, relied on effects, they still retained enough of the feel and heart of the first film to remain mostly balanced (though at times RotK veered too much into the overbearing and bombastic "style" in which PJ has increasingly indulged).

The Hobbit films, on the other hand, have completely lost any of the narrative subtlety, character moments and interactions, or cinematic flow that the LotR films seemed to have so effortlessly.

I can think of dozens of from each of the LotR films that get me every time i watch them, and i can think of maybe a half dozen such moments from both of The Hobbit films that come even close to getting me in the same way (and none that reach the heights of LotR's best moments, of which there are many).

I love special/visual effects as much as anyone. I grew up on Star Wars and Alien and Bladerunner, and i read Starlog and other such magazines religiously. But there has to be a balance to it all, and to me, PJ has almost completely lost that sense of balance.


(This post was edited by sauget.diblosio on May 16 2014, 12:28pm)


Aragorn the Elfstone
Grey Havens


May 16 2014, 12:46pm

Post #81 of 160 (729 views)
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If he had made these comments about just The Hobbit films... [In reply to] Can't Post

... I could understand and appreciate his stance.

But I fully stand behind every use not only of CGI, but every assortment of other special visual effects, employed in the original trilogy. I find that those films - Return of the King, in particular - balances the epic and grandiose with the intimate flawlessly.

There is a tendency now (I don't necessarily include Viggo in this, considering his opinion on the latter two films has been known for many years), with the lukewarm reception of the hobbit films, to group the latter two Rings films into this "CGI overuse" discussion. But, at the time of the films' release, the use of special visual effects was heavily applauded and acclaimed - and The Return of the King was considered to be the most emotional of the three films.

"When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."
- C.S. Lewis

(This post was edited by Aragorn the Elfstone on May 16 2014, 12:55pm)


Elwen
Lorien


May 16 2014, 3:01pm

Post #82 of 160 (671 views)
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Thanks for sharing that follow up... [In reply to] Can't Post

What an eloquent response, and I agree that I didn't see Viggo's initial comment as a slight against PJ. It's an artist voicing his opinion on the choice another artist made. It doesn't lessen either party IMO.

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Elwen
Lorien


May 16 2014, 3:14pm

Post #83 of 160 (671 views)
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That's the sort of thing that I'm glad he didn't have the budget for... [In reply to] Can't Post

The Black Riders are even more terrifying in my opinion for being "real." (Certainly scarier than the CGI dementors from HP which are the nearest guess at what I think they would have looked like.)

I also think effects were used beautifully on the human riders by the way. I love the shot where it seems to be a slowed speed, as the rider is silhouetted by the moon as he rides into the road.

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Even elves love a Friday Fiesta


Magpie
Immortal


May 16 2014, 3:18pm

Post #84 of 160 (681 views)
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a thought came to me last night [In reply to] Can't Post

... do we really want to believe that PJ is a person who only wants yes men around him? That will allow for no alternate or contradictory opinions?

If so, that wouldn't be someone I'd have much respect for.

I believe, like you, that minds that matter not only accept respectful criticisms from people they value, they welcome them.

Viggo gave his all during the shooting so this isn't a matter of some upstart second guessing the director while work is in progress and disrupting the filming.

I was very struck by the farewell haka the stunties gave to Viggo and Bernard. I don't believe for a moment they would have done that if they weren't very impressed by their work.

I would like to say I'm perplexed by how quickly people can jump to negative attributes or intentions about people that have said or done something they don't agree with. But sadly, in this age of the internet, I may still be perplexed but I'm not surprised. Perhaps some are so used the practice they think nothing of it but I remember a time when that didn't happen.


LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
TORn History Mathom-house ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


Glorfindela
Valinor


May 16 2014, 4:55pm

Post #85 of 160 (656 views)
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You know [In reply to] Can't Post

For me, it isn't the fact that CGI is used a lot in these later films; it is the way it is used. In DoS several of the action scenes just looked so fake that they pulled me right out of the story. It is totally unnecessary to go SO over the top – in fact doing so actually has the opposite effect to that which is intended.

I wonder if it is easier/cheaper to do things in CGI than to have good actors play actual scenes, or to think of creative ways in which to avoid CGI? Otherwise I cannot fathom why PJ prefers to use CGI in many cases (he actually said recently that he would have preferred the amazing Black Riders in FotR – one of the best things in that film for me – to be CGI!). (Of course some things have to be CGI, e.g. Smaug, but others do not.)


In Reply To
I love special/visual effects as much as anyone. I grew up on Star Wars and Alien and Bladerunner, and i read Starlog and other such magazines religiously. But there has to be a balance to it all, and to me, PJ has almost completely lost that sense of balance.



Glorfindela
Valinor


May 16 2014, 4:58pm

Post #86 of 160 (620 views)
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Yes, completely agree with this [In reply to] Can't Post

The silhouette in the moonlight is brilliant, as is the music used for the Black Riders, their clothing complete with those flowing cloaks, and their vocalisation – they were actually quite terrifying, much more so than any of the other baddies in these films (for me).


In Reply To
The Black Riders are even more terrifying in my opinion for being "real." (Certainly scarier than the CGI dementors from HP which are the nearest guess at what I think they would have looked like.)

I also think effects were used beautifully on the human riders by the way. I love the shot where it seems to be a slowed speed, as the rider is silhouetted by the moon as he rides into the road.



Magpie
Immortal


May 16 2014, 5:08pm

Post #87 of 160 (642 views)
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I don't think CG is easier/cheaper than good actors [In reply to] Can't Post

It's the other stuff.. prosthetics, location shoots, props, etc. depending on the type of CG (character, location, setting, etc.)

And we know they can do things with CG that can't otherwise be done... at least not done 'realistically' (dragons, for example).

But I think there's a cost/benefit to every choice. For each situation, a choice gets made and then the critical review begins on how well that choice worked out in that instance.

But if one is in love with a tool, then one finds a way to use it. It's like that old adage (that means something completely different but still kind of works) - if you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

If one wants to use CG and has a propensity to go big... then one will perhaps choose to steer a project in a direction that allows one to use that CG not just for practical purposes (just can't get a live dragon to follow directions!) but for gleeful purposes.

Nothing wrong with glee. But what makes me gleeful might not make others gleeful. Again, choices will be made that pay off in some ways and for some people ... not so much in other ways or for other people.


LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
TORn History Mathom-house ~ Torn Image Posting Guide

(This post was edited by Magpie on May 16 2014, 5:09pm)


Elwen
Lorien


May 16 2014, 5:38pm

Post #88 of 160 (608 views)
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Not only would such a person be difficult to respect... [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd wager the quality of their work would suffer.

I totally agree with you. Viggo showed how much respect he had for the production during filming and also during promotion. I'd think that was obvious.

You touch on a sad truth about the internet, and also a trend I see more generally. The mentality of "If you're not 100% with us, you're 100% against us" pervades so many areas, that it becomes harder to have a pleasant, civilized difference of opinion. Frown

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Even elves love a Friday Fiesta


Glorfindela
Valinor


May 16 2014, 5:38pm

Post #89 of 160 (629 views)
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Yes, I think this make sense [In reply to] Can't Post

Especially in view of what PJ consistently says about making films, i.e. that he likes to have 'fun'. Shocked

I suppose we all have our own idea of 'fun', but OTT action (unrealistically portrayed), as well as burping and the like, are definitely not for me…

'If one wants to use CG and has a propensity to go big... then one will perhaps choose to steer a project in a direction that allows one to use that CG not just for practical purposes (just can't get a live dragon to follow directions!) but for gleeful purposes.

Nothing wrong with glee. But what makes me gleeful might not make others gleeful. Again, choices will be made that pay off in some ways and for some people ... not so much in other ways or for other people. '


Bofur01
Lorien

May 16 2014, 5:41pm

Post #90 of 160 (615 views)
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To be honest, if I had the capability to use CG environments... [In reply to] Can't Post

I definitely would... Who wouldn't want to be able to design impossible camera moves...

It would be so much fun! I can see exactly why PJ would want to use CG to the extent he has.


Darkstone
Immortal


May 16 2014, 5:55pm

Post #91 of 160 (635 views)
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CGI environments are best in other ways too. [In reply to] Can't Post

There's a lot of money invested in The Hobbit movies, and delays can cost money, and we know LOTR was delayed by floods and unseasonable snowstorms, and shots were spoiled by loud aircraft and sudden heavy rainfail, and stuntpeople hurt with broken limbs, and actors injured or almost drowned...

So one can see where one might want to do as much as one can on a nice, safe soundstage before a greenscreen where just about all the dangers and variables of location shooting and live stuntwork are absent.

Indeed, I tend to avoid films where people actually die. For example, I can't watch Twilight Zone: The Movie (1982), The Dark Knight (2008), Top Gun (1986), The Expendables 2 (2012), or The Flight of the Phoenix (1965) because I know people died making those films. (and the exact scene it happened.)

Talking about being taken out of a movie, it's hard watching the hobbits falling down the hill in the Shortcut to Mushrooms scene, or the guy getting hit with the giant grappling hook at Helm's Deep because I know those people were actually badly hurt.

I'd rather see bad cgi where everyone was safe than "enjoy" the deadly reality of a scene where, say three extras died, one had a limb amputated, and several were hospitalized with broken bones and other injuries (Noah's Ark (1928)).

Sarah Elizabeth Jones is the lastest needless casualty, killed on the set of the upcoming "Midnight Rider".

https://www.facebook.com/slatesforsarah

TL;DR: CGI is safe, location shooting is dangerous.

******************************************
Philosoraptor sez:

What screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of how it’s supposed to be.


(This post was edited by Darkstone on May 16 2014, 6:06pm)


Bernhardina
Rohan


May 16 2014, 7:22pm

Post #92 of 160 (646 views)
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Nothing new, Viggo! [In reply to] Can't Post

Most people tend to agree that PJ should have done a smaller scale movie after King Kong but he just kept on going, kept on making a lot of big budget movies and used Tolkiens work to add more CGI madness...! So is it really surprising to hear this from Viggo? It seems to me that he just agrees on things most of us fans wanted anyway: less CGI in the Hobbit, more intimate character moments etc. I get that some of you don't like reading those things about the LOTR but he is entitled to his opinion. Like someone said, to him it was just another acting job. I bet it isn't what he is the most proud of as an actor, though FOTR probably is the best movie he's ever been in.



(This post was edited by Bernhardina on May 16 2014, 7:33pm)


Arannir
Valinor


May 16 2014, 8:33pm

Post #93 of 160 (633 views)
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I agree on Viggo being entitled to his opinion and some people here being really rude towards him, as I posted before. [In reply to] Can't Post

Disagree, however, about the generalizations of "most people agree" or "what us fans wanted".

If that was the case we would not have these debates here ;)


“All good stories deserve embellishment."

Praise is subjective. And so is criticism.

"I am afraid it is only too likely to be true what you say about the critics and the public. I am dreading the publication for it will be impossible not to mind what is said. I have exposed my heart to be shot at."

(This post was edited by Arannir on May 16 2014, 8:34pm)


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


May 16 2014, 9:09pm

Post #94 of 160 (597 views)
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I hadn't knnown that. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
it's hard watching the hobbits falling down the hill in the Shortcut to Mushrooms scene, or the guy getting hit with the giant grappling hook at Helm's Deep because I know those people were actually badly hurt.


Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


J Pierpont Flathead
Rivendell

May 16 2014, 9:36pm

Post #95 of 160 (587 views)
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Sense Of Balance [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I love special/visual effects as much as anyone. I grew up on Star Wars and Alien and Bladerunner, and i read Starlog and other such magazines religiously. But there has to be a balance to it all, and to me, PJ has almost completely lost that sense of balance.

I believe that, like the dwarves' love of gold, Peter Jackson's love of CGI and over-the-top cinema has corrupted his art and the story of The Hobbit. JRR might have a lesson there for Jackson.

There are things I like, but far more of those things were in LOTR than The Hobbit which itself has not at all been about its namesake in the fashion of the book. The death of a story happens when the artists come along with something beloved and think doing things differently means doing it better.


(This post was edited by J Pierpont Flathead on May 16 2014, 9:38pm)


Salmacis81
Grey Havens


May 16 2014, 9:40pm

Post #96 of 160 (587 views)
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Not surprisingly... [In reply to] Can't Post

...it seems to be the same couple of posters (not mentioning any names) that freak out and take it deeply personal any time someone makes a critical remark about PJ or the films.


BlackFox
Valinor


May 16 2014, 9:47pm

Post #97 of 160 (611 views)
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Hmm... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
The death of a story happens when the artists come along with something beloved and think doing things differently means doing it better.

That's pretty harsh. One could almost assume you're implying that any change is bad merely because it's, well, a change. Unimpressed


"Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake." - Henry David Thoreau


J Pierpont Flathead
Rivendell

May 16 2014, 10:08pm

Post #98 of 160 (571 views)
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Change [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To
The death of a story happens when the artists come along with something beloved and think doing things differently means doing it better.

That's pretty harsh. One could almost assume you're implying that any change is bad merely because it's, well, a change. Unimpressed

I thought you were going to say my applying dwarven gold as a metaphor for Jacksonian CGI was harsh. I'm glad that was a more acceptable assertion than what I have to say about artists and change generally.

Change isn't bad when it's for a good reason. But isn't change for change's sake often frowned upon because it is empty and artificial; thoughtless? In The Hobbit, its the word 'beloved' in what I had to say that is operant for me. Some changes, even just a word of a well-known line, seem made without any cause other than putting the artists mark on it. Or maybe JRR wasn't good enough for them.


Arannir
Valinor


May 16 2014, 10:15pm

Post #99 of 160 (581 views)
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Not sure what exactly you mean... [In reply to] Can't Post

... because there are people on here who like these movies and still condemn some of the reactions that have been posted here towards Mortensen or who are quite able to be critical of PJ. Several in this thread and many more in the forum who have not taken part in this discussion at all.

As I said many times now, with this camp-blaming it got quite hard for the "balanced" people here... this blaming having taken place from both sides, btw (there were times after the DoS release when I felt like constantly being cornered into the fanboy-camp simply because I disagreed on some critical remarks - it goes both ways, really.).

But whether one likes or dislikes what the team has done with TH, some things are rude no matter what. And some of the opening posts in this and the closed thread where clearly beyond the red line, imho.


“All good stories deserve embellishment."

Praise is subjective. And so is criticism.

"I am afraid it is only too likely to be true what you say about the critics and the public. I am dreading the publication for it will be impossible not to mind what is said. I have exposed my heart to be shot at."

(This post was edited by Arannir on May 16 2014, 10:18pm)


Aragorn the Elfstone
Grey Havens


May 16 2014, 10:24pm

Post #100 of 160 (563 views)
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Who's to say what a "good reason" is? [In reply to] Can't Post

You? Me? General Audiences?

Sorry, but I just don't agree. Adaptations are under no obligation to honor every page of a book. The filmmakers should, and often do, bring their own voice to the story. At the end of the day, we still have the original work if we don't agree with choices made in the adaptation.

If anything, the things I haven't loved about The Hobbit films have actually increased my appreciation of the book.

I consider that a good thing.

"When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."
- C.S. Lewis

(This post was edited by Aragorn the Elfstone on May 16 2014, 10:26pm)

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