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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
What do you love about Jackson's Trilogy?

overthegardenwall
Registered User

May 21, 11:07am

Post #1 of 20 (5424 views)
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What do you love about Jackson's Trilogy? Can't Post

Hi everyone! I'm currently writing an essay for my Film Studies Masters degree, I am also a huge fan of The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and basically all things Tolkien. I'm writing my essay about the fans of The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, of which I know many of you will be!

What I want to know is, quite simply, what is it about Peter Jackson's trilogy that you love so much? Why do you love it? Let me know in as much detail as you like, I can't wait to hear from you all :)


ElanorTX
Tol Eressea


May 21, 4:42pm

Post #2 of 20 (5361 views)
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quick thoughts [In reply to] Can't Post

Ordinarily I don't respond to homework requests, but I have a soft spot because my daughter, a professional film critic, has a BA and MFA in film studies. She gave me a copy of TH which PJ inscribed to me.

BTW, LotR is not a trilogy; it is one story broken into three parts for convenience.

Uncounted discussions, websites, conference presentations, publications, etc., focus on fanship studies. I know a PhD student whose thesis concerns JRRT fanship. If you have time, watch Ringers: Lord of the Fans. You may wish to narrow your essay.

Personally I am a book-firster (AKA canon or purist) since childhood. Regarding PJ's movies as fanfic shapes my perspective. Much about them is marvelous, which makes the lapses all the more jarring.

Please check out Junesong's thread on this board beginning April 19 about the most egregious problems with PJ's adaptation. Look at Reading Room (RR) to be blown away by the level of scholarship.

One last tip: do *not* ask if Balrogs have wings!

"I shall not wholly fail if anything can still grow fair in days to come."



overthegardenwall
Registered User

May 21, 5:35pm

Post #3 of 20 (5352 views)
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Thank you [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you for your response! I have indeed checked out Ringers, it has been a very helpful source to me. Don't worry, I am aware that the book is not a trilogy, but sadly the film is officially seen as a film trilogy in the film industry (despite the fact it was all filmed in one go and just edited into three), and as for Balrog wings...well, I shan't even entertain it :D

Thank you also for your recommendation about Junesong's thread, I shall check it out! Thanks once again for taking the time to respond.


uncle Iorlas
Lorien


May 21, 8:35pm

Post #4 of 20 (5339 views)
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chestnuts, chestnuts [In reply to] Can't Post

Costumes look great. New Zealand scenery is capital, sets in general are pretty great stuff. Some.very good casting.

In Reply To
One last tip: do *not* ask if Balrogs have wings!

Do female Balrogs have beards?


Eldy
Tol Eressea


May 22, 9:12pm

Post #5 of 20 (5246 views)
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Enjoyment [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi, overthegardenwall! Welcome to TORn. I like your username. Smile

This is a really broad question, and I'm not sure what kind of answer would be most helpful. I could, in theory, go on at very great length about all the specific things I enjoyed in the films, but unfortunately I'm already at my limit of long posts in a single day after spending most of the afternoon in the Reading Room. Sly And I'd probably have to rewatch the films to remember everything, since it's been almost six years since I've seen them. But to give a more general answer: I think the trilogy is a fantastic piece of entertainment, a modern classic of the adventure film genre, and the high-water mark for high fantasy on the big screen. There are lots of memorable characters in the movies, but Aragorn in particular is an iconic film hero.

On a technical level, the films are incredibly well-made, but that point has been so widely discussed over the years that I don't really have anything to add to it. As uncle Iorlas says, the scenery is amazing, and so is Howard Shore's music. I have very little I can criticize on the audiovisual front. I think the writing is the biggest weakness in the films, and I don't just say that because I dislike some of the changes, but that seems beside the point for this thread. The films are a different kind of story than LOTR the book, which does not have the pacing of a rollicking adventure story, and puts less emphasis on conventional protagonists like Aragorn, but the films were wildly successful at being the kinds of movies they were made to be. And sometimes, that's enough.


(This post was edited by Eldy on May 22, 9:12pm)


Chen G.
Gondor

May 24, 6:30am

Post #6 of 20 (5162 views)
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I like the "melodrama" [In reply to] Can't Post

I bristle against that term because it acquired a negative connotation of overly-heighted drama: I think its overly-heightened - I think that however emphatic the characters get, its totally understandable within the circumstances.

But I like that they went there. It seems to me that so often in contemporary cinema, showing the characters in really dire straits and in a deeply emotional state - whether very overtly distraught or very overtly sad or very overtly moved - has become taboo, almost as though its not decorous to do so.

The Lord of the Rings - and The Hobbit - went for it, big time. There's no hiding behind a stiff upper-lip or some decorous stoicism: the sentiments run strong and emphatic and the piece is all the more stirring for it.


Junesong
Rohan


May 24, 2:57pm

Post #7 of 20 (5137 views)
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They nailed the PLACES [In reply to] Can't Post

I have been reading LOTR with my daughter for the first time - and as we move through the story we've been watching the movies as well. One thing we've both agreed on is that they absolutely nail the PLACES. The sets and landscapes etc match so well with my imagination. (This is likely because my imagination is so richly informed by Alan Lee and John Howe's art and they also helped design the films)

But yeah - they play fast and lose with the story and the characters but they almost always totally nail the places!

"So which story do you prefer?"
"The one with the tiger. That's the better story."
"Thank you. And so it goes with God."


overthegardenwall
Registered User


May 26, 10:36am

Post #8 of 20 (5067 views)
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Thanks for response [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you for responding! Totally agree with you there, New Zealand IS Middle Earth and the sets are unreal.


overthegardenwall
Registered User


May 26, 10:38am

Post #9 of 20 (5067 views)
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Thank you for response [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Eldy! Thanks for the warm welcome. I know, it is such a broad question and a difficult one to answer, its just so that people can interpret it in any which way they would like!

I completely agree with you there, it really is a modern classic! The technical level of filmmaking is amazing, to the extent that 20 years on the films really don't feel like they've aged at all.

Thanks for your response!


overthegardenwall
Registered User


May 26, 10:40am

Post #10 of 20 (5066 views)
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Thanks for response [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Chen, thank you so much for responding! I completely understand what you mean there by your understanding of melodrama - and I agree! It is those deeply emotional states you speak of that, I believe, make the films so compelling.


overthegardenwall
Registered User


May 26, 10:42am

Post #11 of 20 (5065 views)
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Thank you for responding [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Junesong, thanks so much for getting back to me! I can only imagine how exciting it must be reading the books to your daughter for the first time. I have to agree with you there, the on location filming and the use of analogue techniques to create sets, over CGI, makes it feel like a truly immersive world.


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

May 26, 4:29pm

Post #12 of 20 (5056 views)
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It comes in films? [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry, couldn't resist. Tongue

Back in the day when the films were released and there were raging debates between the "revisionists" and the "purists" I came up with a different term (at another messageboard): transcendentalist. By that I meant that the things that the filmmakers got right (including the fantastic use of the New Zealand scenery, the incredible attention to detail, fine casting and acting, and just enough fidelity to Tolkien's story and dialogue transcended the changes that the filmmakers made, many of which I thought were either not necessary or not well executed. In the end, the films captured enough of the spirit and emotion and grandeur and subcreation -- reflecting both the best and the worst of the "real world" -- to be extraordinarily successful adaptations and films, despite their very obvious flaws.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


AshNazg
Gondor


Jun 5, 12:19am

Post #13 of 20 (4840 views)
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Craftsmanship (sets, props, costumes, creature designs)… [In reply to] Can't Post

This is the major attraction to me, the hand-made feel of it, even beyond the props etc. The way the series is lovingly filmed, the way the actors have developed their characters, even the digital elements have that well-crafted, tactile feel where you can see the hands of excellent artists. It’s like looking at a moving sculpture, where any imperfections just help you to appreciate the skill of those involved.

A lot of films are almost too clean and polished, and very few have had as much work or commitment put into them as The Lord of the Rings. It’s what makes the behind the scenes stuff just as good as the movies themselves.


DGHCaretaker
Lorien

Jun 5, 4:23am

Post #14 of 20 (4822 views)
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Grace Incarnate [In reply to] Can't Post

Galadriel


Rostron2
Gondor


Sep 25, 12:55am

Post #15 of 20 (2453 views)
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What I love [In reply to] Can't Post

They never fail to entertain me even on the [whatever number you're on] viewing.


overthegardenwall
Registered User


Oct 5, 11:37am

Post #16 of 20 (1945 views)
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Agreed! [In reply to] Can't Post

Completely in agreement with you there!


Rostron2
Gondor


Oct 15, 9:20pm

Post #17 of 20 (1506 views)
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The Prologue [In reply to] Can't Post

The prologue to Fellowship was a brilliant piece of writing and presentation. Set the stage, brings people up to speed, gives us glimpses of the cultures, etc. Probably one of the contributing factors to the films early successes.


DGHCaretaker
Lorien

Oct 15, 10:05pm

Post #18 of 20 (1505 views)
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Narration [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
The prologue to Fellowship was a brilliant piece of writing and presentation. Set the stage, brings people up to speed, gives us glimpses of the cultures, etc. Probably one of the contributing factors to the films early successes.


Cate Blanchett's voiceover was superb in her speech and tonal quality. Nothing else compares.


OldestDaughter
Rohan


Oct 19, 8:54pm

Post #19 of 20 (1228 views)
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Honestly, there is so much [In reply to] Can't Post

The music, the acting, the sequences. Honestly, the love for the little details, like the scratch on Arwen's face from brushing past the branches, the sound of how the Ring hits the floor when Bilbo drops it in Bag End and how much weight it had on him. The Bridge of Khazad-Dum, with the drums, the sounds of the Ents during the Entmoot. They payed so much attention to the little things in these films and honestly, it gives me chills because they are unlike any fantasy movie I have seen since.




"Keen, heart-piercing was her song as the song of the lark that rises from the gates of night and pours its voice among the dying stars, seeing the sun behind the walls of the world; and the song of Lúthien released the bonds of winter, and the frozen waters spoke, and flowers sprang from the cold earth where her feet had passed."


Timbo_mbadil
Rivendell


Oct 22, 8:18pm

Post #20 of 20 (1178 views)
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i'm not a wizard [In reply to] Can't Post

so I might be late.

Might I stil be of help? Not as a wizard, but as a post doc?


Otherness represents that which bourgeois ideology cannot recognize or accept but must deal with (…)
Robin Wood 2003, p. 49. "Hollywood from Vietnam to Reagan – and beyond". Columbia University Press, New York, Chichester, West Sussex.

 
 

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