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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
Do you know anyone not impressed by the EEs?
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Paulo Gabriel
Rivendell

May 16, 5:33pm

Post #1 of 52 (4289 views)
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Do you know anyone not impressed by the EEs? Can't Post

Generally, book fans who dislike the TEs tend to think the EEs improve the movies. I know of one who doesn't think that, though. She writes: ''TTT-M is still a mess, in any version. For instance, adding in the scene where Mortensen's supposed age is revealed only makes his characterization of Aragorn less credible, since what could be perhaps justified as the selfish petulance of a thirty-something loser becomes incredible as the behavior of a man older than a Roman Senator, who has supposedly spent his entire life working to defend others (though actually that isn't made clear in the films — there is no background of the Dunedain, Aragorn is apparently born from no cultural heritage at all, despite the scene of Gilraen's memorial in the EE of FOTR-M, and there's no reason to think that "Rangers" in Middle-earth are any more different from their D&D counterparts than are, say, Dwarves…) And a gratuitous insult to Éowyn's competence hardly adds anything to either plot, characterization, or even humour''.

Do you know anyone else who is likewise close-minded (in my opinion, of course)? Smile


(This post was edited by Paulo Gabriel on May 16, 5:35pm)


skyofcoffeebeans
Rivendell

May 16, 5:37pm

Post #2 of 52 (4189 views)
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In my opinion [In reply to] Can't Post

The editing and pacing is generally worse, but the story is consistently deepened.

Except the drinking game scene.


Paulo Gabriel
Rivendell

May 17, 7:18am

Post #3 of 52 (4124 views)
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You mean... [In reply to] Can't Post

In ROTK? I did not think it was necessary, either.


Chen G.
Rohan

May 17, 9:58am

Post #4 of 52 (4115 views)
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I think the most prominent is Chris Hartwell [In reply to] Can't Post

He is a film professor who absolutely adores The Lord of the Rings, but disregards the extended cuts for their pacing.

Personally, I love the extended cuts for any number of reasons, none of which have to do with more of the book ending up onscreen.

For one thing, I don't think its so outlandish for a film to be 3.5-hours long: many old epics were that length, as were a couple of foreign films like Seven Samurai, as well as a couple of 1970s Coppola films, most notably The Godfather Part II. Surely, The Lord of the Rings can be three-and-a-half-hours long, too.

Second, the elongated format gives the films a unique structure. Instead of just being run-by-the-mill three-act stories, the extended cuts - again like old epics - really all have two separate halves, each with its own beginning, end and its own internal narrative and characters. Its a nice touch, and makes the films feel that much more unique for contemporary blockbusters.

I also think that Jackson's philosophy of people being able to sit through longer, more leisurely-paced films when they do so in the comfort of their own home and on a smaller screen, is absolutely valid. Its the same principle that Coppola used for his Godfather TV cuts.

Lastly, because each extended cut was being finalized as the edit of the next film was taking shape, they feed one into the other beautifully, so you can genuinely experience them as one huge story told in many parts.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on May 17, 10:02am)


Darkstone
Immortal


May 17, 6:51pm

Post #5 of 52 (4056 views)
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Dunno [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Second, the elongated format gives the films a unique structure. Instead of just being run-by-the-mill three-act stories, the extended cuts - again like old epics - really all have two separate halves, each with its own beginning, end and its own internal narrative and characters. Its a nice touch, and makes the films feel that much more unique for contemporary blockbusters.



Way back on the old boards I did a 3 act comparison of the TRs and the EEs using proportional time intervals and found different and distinct midpoints, plot points, etc. for each film. That may have been PJ being especially meticulous in editing the EEs, or simply a case of me finding what I was looking for. Next LOTR marathon I'll look out for what you describe.

******************************************
Character is what we do on the internet when we think no one knows who we are.


Chen G.
Rohan

May 17, 7:15pm

Post #6 of 52 (4052 views)
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Yeah, its both [In reply to] Can't Post

There are definitely three defined acts in each film, but there's also a two-part structure superimposed on it, which is more prominent in the extended cut. It usually coincides with where the first of the two Blurays/DVDs ends.

The Battle of the Five Armies is a great example where Part 1 is about Thorin's dragon sickness and the negotiations with Bard and Thranduil. Part 2 is a war epic. They each have their own sets of characters. For instance, in part 1 Thorin is really the antagonist, whereas in part 2, its Azog, who isn't featured prominently at all in part 1.

The Fellowship of the Ring is also split across two legs of the Journey: to and at Rivendell and from it. The one ends triumphantly, the other - quite tragically. The one has two storylines (Frodo, Gandalf), the other has one; they have different sets of characters, with the introduction of Boromir, Gimli and re-introduction (Wink) of Legolas, etcetra.


kzer_za
Lorien

May 18, 7:02pm

Post #7 of 52 (3936 views)
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TTT and FotR are better in their EEs [In reply to] Can't Post

RotK's EE is more of a mixed bag. It has some good stuff (especially for Faramir), but it also has some really stupid scenes. Aragorn beheading the Mouth is probably my least favorite scene in the trilogy. The extended Paths of the Dead are also terrible, and the use of the dead are already one of RotK's weak points. There's also borderline stuff - the Voice of Saruman is awkward in various ways, but the dialogue from Lee and Hill is excellent and saves it. For myself I'll still go with RotK EE when I rewatch, but a first-timer should go with the TE.

I know where that quote comes from, and despite my distaste for the beheading I don't think that conception of Movie Aragorn as "selfish petulance" is fair either. I think there is a tendency sometimes for people who dislike the films to focus on movie/book differences as their central defining points instead of reading the movie as a whole. I don't think I've ever heard a movie-only or mostly-movie fan describe Aragorn that way; people generally find him a pretty admirable leader (Also, the book version actually does have occasional self-doubt, though it is more short-term and not about his ultimate kingly destiny). Leaving out most of the Dunedain backstory is part of the inevitable simplification that comes with an adaptation.


(This post was edited by kzer_za on May 18, 7:09pm)


Chen G.
Rohan

May 18, 7:51pm

Post #8 of 52 (3921 views)
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I actually think its the best extension [In reply to] Can't Post

The Saruman scene is such an organic way to reset the stage, the characters, the stakes, etcetra.

And some of the most wonderfully evocative moments of the series are in these extensions: Sam beholding the star in Mordor, Merry and Eowyn's thought on the eve of their battle. Its just priceless. The edit is better, because we don't cut away from the Ride of the Rohirrim and back as we do in the theatrical.

And - while trying not to seem superficial - I should add that I love that its four hours long. Its the kind of scale the film needed. It puts Lawrence of Arabia and The Ten Commandments to complete shame in that department. I believe its the longest Hollywood film not to have been originally concieved of as a miniseries (Gettysburg) or as two films (1900). By the time Frodo and Sam are clawing their way up Mount Doom, the audience can really feel their exhaustion.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on May 18, 7:58pm)


Solicitr
Rohan

May 18, 8:50pm

Post #9 of 52 (3905 views)
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IMO [In reply to] Can't Post

The Saruman scene was both misplaced in RK when it belonged at the end of TT (not just because it's in the book, but the script logic of Jackson'ds TT made Saruman the Big Bad of the film)- and because it was horribly, clunkily done. I found the scene appalling. Biggest of many sins (beyond the silliness of trying to conduct negotiations from the top of the Washington Monument with people on the ground), was PJ completely and totally missing one of Tolkien's fundamental themes, that of repentance, forgiveness and mercy. Where Legolas prepares to shoot Saruman (as if!), and Gimil encourages him, Jackson's Gandalf says "No!" - so far so good- but then explains his motive: "We need information."

WHAT?

Book-Gandalf is offering Saruman a chance to turn back to the good, an attempt, however long-odds, to repair the marring of what had been a truly great spirit. (Frodo repeats this in a smaller way, in a brilliant scene scandalously cut). But to Jackson, it's just plot-point, a way to further his story of war. Morality never enters into his might-makes-right ethos.

THIS is the sort of tone-deafness and brain-deadness which makes me hate these movies on a deeper level, for all their occasional surface brilliance


Chen G.
Rohan

May 18, 8:52pm

Post #10 of 52 (3903 views)
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Untrue [In reply to] Can't Post

Later again, Gandalf says: "Come down, Saruman, and your life will be spared."

There's mercy there.


Paulo Gabriel
Rivendell

May 19, 8:19am

Post #11 of 52 (3855 views)
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So I take it... [In reply to] Can't Post

that you are familiar with Joan Barger's rather 'infamous' essays? Wink


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


May 19, 1:26pm

Post #12 of 52 (3829 views)
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it's not silly for a Wizard. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
...(beyond the silliness of trying to conduct negotiations from the top of the Washington Monument with people on the ground)...


As an Istari, Saruman could doubtless use his Power to listen to those on the ground and to make himself heard in return. It was likely a trivial matter for him.

"I reject your reality and substitute my own." - Adam Savage


Eruonen
Valinor


May 20, 4:06pm

Post #13 of 52 (3696 views)
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I only watch the EEs [In reply to] Can't Post

For me, more is usually better.


Paulo Gabriel
Rivendell

May 21, 3:36am

Post #14 of 52 (3633 views)
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When the 'more' is done well... [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree it is better. But such is usually the case with PJ's EE's for both trilogies, IMO.


Chen G.
Rohan

May 21, 11:45am

Post #15 of 52 (3596 views)
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I even like the extended cut of King Kong! [In reply to] Can't Post

It was always too long (much worse than any of the three The Hobbit films) but at least with the extended cut, most added footage is on skull-island, so you get more of a sense that the wait early in the film was worth it.

As for "more" being better: I don't necessarily agree. I'm dreading the 4.5-hour cut of Once Upon a Time in America that Scorcese is helping restore. There's little evidence that Leone (whose films often run a bit too long anyway) ever wanted the film to be that long, and its just overkill, anyway. No one's losing sleep over the missing minutes of Ryan's Daughter, either, which was originally 221-minutes or so.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on May 21, 11:46am)


Eruonen
Valinor


May 21, 2:05pm

Post #16 of 52 (3578 views)
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I should be more specific...the more of Middle Earth the better (usually). [In reply to] Can't Post

 


FrogmortonJustice65
Rivendell


May 21, 6:22pm

Post #17 of 52 (3558 views)
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setting aside the question of the scene's quality... [In reply to] Can't Post

(I enjoy the confrontation with Saruman in the ROTK EE, although your point about the themes of mercy/pit being de-emphasized in Jackson's adaptation are well-taken)

regardless of the scene's quality, where to put it in the narrative (end of TTT or beginning of ROTK?) is a bit of a conundrum. It does feel a little out of place in ROTK, as it is a backwards looking scene that deals with the repercussions of TTT. But, I can't imagine this scene working well in the context of the TTT film. Slapping this scene onto the end of TTT would be a little anti-climatic.

One of the many differences between the films and books. The location of this scene in the books is entirely sensible, but hard to translate cleanly to film.


2ndBreffest
Lorien


May 24, 9:41pm

Post #18 of 52 (3231 views)
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well... [In reply to] Can't Post

I could have done without the RotK drinking game scene where Gimli raises himself off of his chair and gleefully soils himself.


kzer_za
Lorien

May 25, 9:54pm

Post #19 of 52 (3081 views)
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I didn't know that was her name, but I've been aware of it for awhile [In reply to] Can't Post

IMO it's a mix of legitimate critiques, her own personal taste in movies, nitpicks and exaggerations, and outright unfair readings, all couched very aggressively to anyone who disagrees with her. (But to be fair, I get the impression she was exhausted by the forum wars when she wrote them, which could get pretty sharp on all sides when the movies were young).


(This post was edited by kzer_za on May 25, 9:56pm)


Hamfast Gamgee
Grey Havens

May 27, 8:41am

Post #20 of 52 (2788 views)
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The thing is [In reply to] Can't Post

I thought that the wrong person one that game. It would have been more amusing if Gimli had won. After all he has been drinking beer all his life and is used to it. Legolas has only ever drunk Elf wine. And I don't even think that the Elven digestive system is good with beer. I wonder if they did film a version where Gimli won? Or even if it was a draw, they could both have fallen over!


2ndBreffest
Lorien


May 27, 11:41am

Post #21 of 52 (2747 views)
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You may have a point [In reply to] Can't Post

While I firmly believe bathroom humor has no place in any respectable adaptation of Tolkien, I do agree, PJ may have missed out on an opportunity for far bigger laughs from those who revel in such things. Gimil had been appointed the sacred honor of PJ's comedy relief go-to, from the very beginning of the trilogy...and Legolas's character was treated a little bit more seriously. It would have been way funnier if he were the one who farts and poops his pants and then falls on the floor.


kzer_za
Lorien

May 27, 4:37pm

Post #22 of 52 (2682 views)
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Does Gimli really soil himself? [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe I missed it, but I've always just seen him getting drunk and falling over.


2ndBreffest
Lorien


May 27, 4:48pm

Post #23 of 52 (2676 views)
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yes [In reply to] Can't Post

when he passes gas, there is most definitely a moistness to it that would ensure an underwear change was necessary.


Solicitr
Rohan

May 28, 4:49pm

Post #24 of 52 (2443 views)
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Yup! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I could have done without the RotK drinking game scene where Gimli raises himself off of his chair and gleefully soils himself.



Cirashala
Tol Eressea


May 28, 5:39pm

Post #25 of 52 (2442 views)
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There isn't any actual evidence he did though [In reply to] Can't Post

I get that you can't stand that scene, and the only reason I grudgingly accept it is that it's showing that he's reeeeaaaaalllllyyyy drunk and succumbing to the Rohirrim brew, but you keep stating it in multiple posts that it's a hard fact that he soiled himself, when in actuality it's just your opinion that he did.

Sorry to be a bit of a Debbie Downer, but I see you repeating this opinion on TORn SOOOO many times (I'd say about a third, if not half, of your posts reference this scene and that particular opinion, and will all due respect I understand you hate TH films and only passingly accept the LOTR films but lately it seems as though your mission is to diss TH films in every single post you make and diss this scene in LOTR in particular, irrespective of the original post topic), and there's never any actual evidence that he soiled himself in either the films or, as I recall, the behind-the-scenes materials.

You are welcome to your opinion, and I understand that not everyone likes the films and THAT'S OK, but please don't pass it off as fact that Gimli soiled himself in that scene. There is literally NO EVIDENCE that he did, and some farts do sound like that but are just farts, nothing more.

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(This post was edited by Cirashala on May 28, 5:40pm)

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