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cats16
Ronilav


May 4 2019, 2:51am

Post #26 of 83 (12516 views)
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Dunkirk played with this, too [In reply to] Can't Post

Albeit in a different way.

Join us every weekend in the Hobbit movie forum for this week's CHOW (Chapter of the Week) discussion!




Solicitr
NahoR

May 5 2019, 12:17am

Post #27 of 83 (12425 views)
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Well, [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
You’d have to be a true movie hater to deny that PJ and his crew put a huge amount of thought, effort, time and money into the design and creation of Middle-earth itself, its different environs and denizens, and were largely successful in creating a world that looked, sounded and felt real despite the presence of magic and impossible creatures.


Except for the impossible Argonath.... unless we're to believe they were made of magic stone.


Chen G.
NahoR

May 5 2019, 8:49am

Post #28 of 83 (12377 views)
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Dunkirk is nonlinear [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Albeit in a different way.


Dunkirk is a nonlinear story. But then, so are these films. Its not just that there are a ton of flashbacks and flashforwards. Its that often our understanding of the plot is predicated upon later flashbacks.

Look no further than the look Arwen gives Aragorn when he leaves Rivendell. It doesn't recieve any context until the flashbacks half way through The Two Towers to the scenes that immediately preceded it.


In Reply To
Except for the impossible Argonath.... unless we're to believe they were made of magic stone.


Versimilitude and realism are not one and the same. Its more about creating a realistic impression than it is about creating something that's actually realistic.

The Argonath feel like they could have been real, even though they clearly couldn't have been.

Smaug feels like he could have been real, even though he shouldn't be able to fly within the narrow confines of Erebor.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on May 5 2019, 8:50am)


CuriousG
Nevle-flah


May 5 2019, 2:00pm

Post #29 of 83 (12347 views)
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The Argonath [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
The Argonath feel like they could have been real, even though they clearly couldn't have been.

I remember seeing FOTR in the theater for the first time, and one of my gut reactions to the Argonath was, "Wait, do those statues already exist in New Zealand and the movie is just repurposing them?" It was a fleeting thought, but that was their impact on me--that they must be real, somewhere.


Solicitr
NahoR

May 5 2019, 8:44pm

Post #30 of 83 (12321 views)
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Well, [In reply to] Can't Post

I would much have preferred them to be copied from or based on real-life models, not just for versimilitude but for cultural depth: Tolkien generated much of his illusion of reality by invoking real-life models which invite the reader to fill in the rest. And certainly at least my suspension of disbelief did a Hindenburg when I caught sight of those unsupported horizontal arms (using multiple blocks of masonry!) held up by nothing but applied phlebotinum.

Smaug is a different case, because everybody knows dragons are physically impossible. But I will see your Smaug and raise you Jackson's mumakil- too gigantic to exist, even though they aren't magical creatures.


skyofcoffeebeans
Llednevir

May 5 2019, 9:13pm

Post #31 of 83 (12318 views)
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I'm with CuriousG [In reply to] Can't Post

The design of the Argonath is one of the high points of the first film, hence one of the high points of the sextet, successfully generating a feeling of agelessness, depth, and history. It works.


Chen G.
NahoR

May 5 2019, 9:33pm

Post #32 of 83 (12319 views)
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Speaking of realism [In reply to] Can't Post

When I saw The Return of the King with a live orchestra, I noticed something: the Mumakil have fully visible genitalia!Laugh

Quite a sight on what was an IMAX-sized screen!


(This post was edited by Chen G. on May 5 2019, 9:33pm)


CuriousG
Nevle-flah


May 5 2019, 11:18pm

Post #33 of 83 (12289 views)
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I'm glad I missed that detail. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


May 6 2019, 12:30am

Post #34 of 83 (12280 views)
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Weta Workshop [In reply to] Can't Post

would design creatures naked and deliver them to Weta Digital for scanning, and leave it to others to decide how much of the body was shown (due to fur, scales or clothing). On a tour of Weta Workshop after the LOTR films were released, we saw their human-sized statue of the cave troll - and he's definitely male. Wink

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.


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Chen G.
NahoR

May 6 2019, 8:01am

Post #35 of 83 (12243 views)
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Yeah [In reply to] Can't Post

You can clearly see it in the behind-the-scenes material. Stephen Colbert, who's seen the bigatures used in the films, says he say a similar anatomical bit on Grond.

I like it: its part of the production crew's attention to detail. Its like how Stanley Kubrick would put things into drawers that would never be opened on the set, just so that "the feel of the room" would be right.

Its also cheeky and unceremonious in a way that's unique in the tentpole landscape. You wouldn't see that in a Star Wars or Avengers film.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on May 6 2019, 8:04am)


kzer_za
Neirol

May 6 2019, 11:43am

Post #36 of 83 (12214 views)
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For what it's worth... [In reply to] Can't Post

But I will see your Smaug and raise you Jackson's mumakil- too gigantic to exist, even though they aren't magical creatures.

They did try more realistic Mumakil, including shooting them in the eye and I think smaller size. They changed it for a more monstrous direction because they decided the battle felt too much like animal cruelty on screen and the audience might side with the elephants too much.

Although, Tolkien's Mumakil are still larger than real elephants even if not movie size right?



(This post was edited by kzer_za on May 6 2019, 11:45am)


Chen G.
NahoR

May 6 2019, 11:58am

Post #37 of 83 (12211 views)
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Yeah, Tolkien was quite imaginative and prone to ostentation [In reply to] Can't Post

He made Orthanc five-hundred feet tall, concieved of the huge Minas Tirith. Even the fountain in Gondolin shoots water to an absurdly great height.

So I find this need to make things "bigger" in the course of adapting these works very natural indeed.


Noria
Rodnog

May 6 2019, 1:58pm

Post #38 of 83 (12187 views)
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There are a lot of impossible things in Tolkien’s world [In reply to] Can't Post

An undercurrent of magic runs through Middle-earth in the form of beings and abilities that transcend the scientific principles that we know. It’s not just Wizards and Dark Lords who have qualities and skills that we lack, but also Elves, dragons, trolls, even Dwarves with their magically hidden doors and secret inscriptions.

So an impossible building or statue or two created by the survivors of Numenor and maybe held together by Numenorean super-glue seem entirely plausible to me.

(Obviously that glue wasn’t used in movie Minas Tirith since the walls there fell apart the first time they were hit.Wink)

But, rather like Tolkien, Jackson wanted his retelling of LotR to feel like a history rather than a fantasy and IMO that is one of the key elements of the trilogy’s success. To that end his team made everything. From the smallest detail to the largest building or creature, as seemingly real as possible. The result was that the fantastical elements didn’t push the movies out of the realm of pseudo-history and into fairy tale land.

As for the mumakil, they needed to be different enough from real elephants and big enough to trample Rohirrim horses and riders, so that the audience wouldn’t be appalled when the mumakil were killed.

Also a little like Tolkien, Jackson likes big stuff, the bigger the better. That is one of a number of thngs that any movie fan has to accept if they are going to enjoy the movies.


Chen G.
NahoR

May 6 2019, 2:13pm

Post #39 of 83 (12180 views)
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Reveling in scale is inherent to so much of cinema [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Also a little like Tolkien, Jackson likes big stuff, the bigger the better. That is one of a number of thngs that any movie fan has to accept if they are going to enjoy the movies.


You have whole genres which are predicated upon people taking pleasure simply in appreciating the scale of objects and creatures. The whole giant-monster genre is about that. The old epics were all about scale: from David Lean to a lot of Stanley Kubrick.

Jackson is also that kind of filmmaker, and there's nothing wrong with that. I find it very enjoyable and often awe-inspiring. It certainly doesn't detract from the drama (it doesn't function on the same plane) so - for my money - why not have it all oversized?


(This post was edited by Chen G. on May 6 2019, 2:15pm)


Solicitr
NahoR

May 6 2019, 4:57pm

Post #40 of 83 (12151 views)
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I [In reply to] Can't Post

would say, rather, that Jackson suffers from elephantiasis- a very telling example is his sending back repeated iterations of the Witch-king's flail, wanting it even bigger still- until we got something which not only looks preposterous, but which even in polystyrene was so heavy that the very muscular Sala Baker couldn't lift it without a crew member helping from out of frame. And if that thing were real, it wouldn't just have broken Eowyn's arm, it would have pulped her like a locomotive. (See, also, Helm's Horn)

What's absurd about Orthanc being 500 feet tall? Shorter than the Washington Monument and Lincoln Cathedral's original spire, and only a bit taller than Salisbury. What was absurd was having Saruman parley with the King's party from that height- and Legolas shooting Wormtongue at that distance straight up. Why the bloody hell couldn't Jackson use the balcony over the doors, as in the book? He simply had to over-exaggerate everything.


(This post was edited by Solicitr on May 6 2019, 4:59pm)


Solicitr
NahoR

May 6 2019, 5:07pm

Post #41 of 83 (12156 views)
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and [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
From the smallest detail to the largest building or creature, as seemingly real as possible. The result was that the fantastical elements didn’t push the movies out of the realm of pseudo-history and into fairy tale land.


There I disagree. For me it was shoved almost immediately into fairy-tale land as soon as his over-the-topness took hold- probably the ridiculous teetering-stair sequence in Moria. My suspension of disbelief only goes so far, and comes crashing down as soon as (without explicit magic being involved) the laws of physics are flouted.


Chen G.
NahoR

May 6 2019, 5:23pm

Post #42 of 83 (12158 views)
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Action films never adhere to the laws of physics too closely [In reply to] Can't Post

Even the most grounded films of the genre have moments that stretch credulity: In The Dark Knight, Batman (just recently equipped with a thinner suit of armour) freefalls with Rachel from a skyscraper unto a car, and no major injuries are inflicted upon anyone involved. In Apocalypto, the hero takes two arrows to the shoulders and yet manages to keep running away and fighting.

I think your main objection is to these books being turned into action films. You probably wanted something like Lawrence of Arabia where the action is sparse and quickly glimpsed.

Well, guess what, action is a staple of cinema. Its what the masses go out to see, and done right (as these films do) its as much a work of art as anything in film.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on May 6 2019, 5:24pm)


skyofcoffeebeans
Llednevir

May 6 2019, 6:59pm

Post #43 of 83 (12137 views)
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To be fair [In reply to] Can't Post

A Lawrence of Arabia-esque Lord of the Rings would be fantastic.

But something Terrence Malick inspired would be perfection.


Solicitr
NahoR

May 6 2019, 7:04pm

Post #44 of 83 (12135 views)
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Not bad. [In reply to] Can't Post

Or Kurosawa, allowing for certain costuming issues


Noria
Rodnog

May 7 2019, 2:08pm

Post #45 of 83 (12018 views)
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Other directors [In reply to] Can't Post

Back in the day there was much discussion of what other directors might have done with LotR, with the refrain that someone else would have certainly done a better job. Many A-list names were mentioned by those who disliked PJ’s movies. It's possible, maybe someone else would indeed have made “better” LotR movies.

But the reality is that either none of those other directors were interested in LotR or else none of them had the moxie to struggle through getting the film rights and the money to make the actual films. There would have been no LotR movies back then and maybe now but for Jackson and Walsh. Some might have preferred that but not me.


skyofcoffeebeans
Llednevir

May 7 2019, 2:12pm

Post #46 of 83 (12018 views)
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For me – I'm speaking hypothetically [In reply to] Can't Post

Not particularly interested in attacking Jackson's movies, but I will never stop imagining alternate scenarios or directors because I find all of them interesting.


Chen G.
NahoR

May 7 2019, 5:58pm

Post #47 of 83 (11996 views)
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I had a look at the history of the project [In reply to] Can't Post

Everybody knows that in the sixties the Beatles contacted Kubrick on the matter of doing The Lord of the Rings. But they also contacted Lean, who turned it down as he was gearing-up for Ryan's Daughter (good choice there, Sir David Unsure) and they also tried Michelangelo Antonioni.

There were rumours that Geroge Lucas wanted to adapt Tolkien's works in the 70s. Given the impact it had on his script to Star Wars, and his treatments of the later films in that series (not to mention Willow!) I tent to believe that. Its no coincedence that all those Tolkien animated films came out roughly at that time.

When Jackson fell out with Miramax, the Weinstein's considered Tarantino to helm the project instead.

Personally, none of those seem more suitable than Jackson. Kubrick with his cerebral, enigmatic style; Lean with his impersonal one, and need I explain Lucas or Tarantino?


(This post was edited by Chen G. on May 7 2019, 5:58pm)


skyofcoffeebeans
Llednevir

May 7 2019, 6:05pm

Post #48 of 83 (11990 views)
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Interesting [In reply to] Can't Post

Antonioni feels like he would evoke a similar feel and mood to Malick.


Chen G.
NahoR

May 7 2019, 6:29pm

Post #49 of 83 (11988 views)
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But would he have been up for the task? [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't seem to recall that he did big Hollywood epics.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on May 7 2019, 6:29pm)


Darkstone
Latrommi


May 7 2019, 6:40pm

Post #50 of 83 (11989 views)
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As I remember... [In reply to] Can't Post

...Jackson said he was told by Weinstein that John Madden (Shakespeare in Love (1998), Mrs. Brown (1997)) was ready to direct the one film Miramax LOTR.

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