February 24th, 2002, 09:16 AM
I'll post my opinion of this fiasco later when I have a cooler head.
February 24th, 2002, 02:13 PM
It doesn't seem like such a big deal to me. I didn't care for the "Scouring of the Shire scene" in ROTK anyway. To be quite honest, the Scouring of the Shire scene disappointed me, I really expected ROTK to end on a more epical scale than a bunch of puny hobbits beating up the Sorcerer Sauruman. I really was instead hoping to see an epic final battle between Gandalf and Sauruman.
So, it really doesn't dissapoint me that they're taking that scene out. I'd much rather see Sauruman die at the hands of Gandalf than be killed by a bunch of hobbits.
But, I am dissapointed that Shelob won't appear in "The Two Towers", but at least she will make an appearance in "The Return of the King"!
So, I don't really know what all this griping is about. Personally, I have great faith in Peter Jackson. He did absolutely great in making "The Fellowship of the Ring" and I believe he will do just as great in the next two movies.
And I don't really mind if he changes the storyline around a bit. Perhaps he won't make the ending of "Return of the King" so dissappointing and dull as Tolkien did.
February 25th, 2002, 11:39 AM
Then you and I are two completely different human beings. Which is fine. However, I beg to differ on everything. Those who find Tolkien 'dull' - I just have little or no common ground with. But I'll try to explain.
The point of the Scouring is the war comes HOME. Instead of leaving the Shire virutally unscathed after the rest of the world has gone to hell, Tolkien drives the point home. And it's up to the hobbits - particularly the younger ones - to come into their own and save their land.
It would not behoove me to ever meet Peter Jackson face to face. I walked around wounded after seeing Fellowship. Like someone had stabbed me in the stomach. My boss thought I'd been dumped or something. I had to let go of the book completely to enjoy the movie when I saw it again. They are two different things, I recognize that... but there is a line, IMO. And he's crossed over it. I won't review Fellowship here, as it's not the appropriate thread, but I dread TTT. I'm not a total 'purist' in that I don't mind Shelob being out of TTT either. I don't think it throws off the narrative to switch things around like that. But the Scouring is wholly necc. IMO.
February 25th, 2002, 04:46 PM
I'm somewhere bewteen Crysania and Zsinij. My favorite part of ROTK is that Tolkien takes the time to bring the Hobbits home. An ending where the hobbits overcome Sauron and everyone lives happily ever after is weak and doesn't show us how much the characters have changed. Their loss of innocence is both sad and uplifting.
While I am disappointed that Peter Jackson chose to edit that out, I understand that the movies can't be an exact replica of the books. I was thrilled with FOTR and I trust Jackson enough now that I'm sure I won't be let down by the next two movies.
Crysania- it sounds like you ARE a purist.. http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif Yours is the only negative opinion I've read of FOTR. I went into this movie knowing that Hollywood's version of any book will always be inferior. Watching will never equal the experience of reading. What line do you think he crossed? Excluding Bombadil? Changing the Arwen's role? Or just the overall feel of the film?
February 26th, 2002, 02:08 PM
Yeah, the overall feel.. vision, if you will. I wasn't pissed when I learned they were cutting Tom and I genuinely liked the expansion of Arwen's role. I mean, you have to remember Heavenly Creatures, aside, Jackson has done mostly horror/slahser/cult films. I can't stand that genre. So I wasn't too impressed with super-orcs, orc-pods, break-dancing Gandalf (wizard duels), etc. Also, Bree was this dark and loathsome place. Lothlorien was suddenly no longer the Golden wood, but the dark blue creepy-arse wood, and the elves were self-righteous and downright rude. I couldn't STAND Aragorn's characterization but ironically I loved Boromir's (and I disliked him in the books).
Okay, fine.... here are all my thoughts... this is LONG - it's the original review I posted on another site so i repeat some things...
My main beef with the film is not so much what was cut and what was left, my main beef is the INTERPRETATION. I have always been aware of the darker side of LOTR and it's obviously integral to the story and adds realism - but in most of the film, Jackson has utterly forsaken the light - which to me is the whole point, the whole reason to keep fighting. Firstly, let me rip the movie to shreds, then I'll tell you what I liked.
Things I absolutely hated were...
Gandalf's little breakdancing scene -- the wizard duel with Sauruman was sooooo undignified for both wizards and was obviously put in merely to entertain the legions of 13 year old boys who've come to watch the film. The same can be said for the HATCHING ORC PODS and the SUPER-ORC. NONE of these idiocies were in the book and I didn't see the necessity of them in the film!!! So much time was spent on these card-board cut-outs of evil that could've been put into further character development.
It's hard for me to judge the movie on it's on devices. I've read the story about 40 times. I will say that according to my 'uninitiated' friends who were with me... they were confused and unimpressed.
As for me...again, I think that PJ has a fine and wonderful grasp on darkness, on horror, on evil... but his grasp on light and beauty (without peril) and hope... are a little less.. This permeated the whole movie. If he could've taken the momentum he had going in the Shire and built on that - all would've been well. Instead Bree was a nasty place I would never want to go -- whereas in the books, I have often longed for a pint at the Prancing Pony. Barliman? Huh! SCARY cracker!!!!! They were all crackers! Rivendell was...one-dimensional -- my friend compared it to a Thomas Kinkade painting. The whole Rivendell sequence was really too rushed to be judged...
And Lothlorien was just flippin' SCARY. It's supposed to be the GOLDEN wood - not the white/blue sheen of the North Pole. Where was Cerin Amroth? Where was the delight? The bright island in the sea of a darkening world? The land of healing and the last vestige of Elven dominance in Middle Earth? It was obnoxious! See rant on Galadriel below....
And I found myself saying if I have to hear that Omen music/chanting crap one more time I'm going to scream. But that's an example of his directing style. Most of the music, to my mind, was dark and dismal... the WHOLE story doesn't HAVE to be dark and dismal... or else why bother fighting?
Again, the Wizard duel was TERRIBLE. I hated seeing Gandalf tossed about like a sack of grain. Actually, a big result of PJ's penchant for horror and darkness were the elongated battle scenes. Battles that lasted maybe half a page in the book were translated to TEN MINUTES of screentime. Such as the Moria battle, the battle with the watcher, etc. Why was so much time spent on the fight scenes -- there is plenty of time for arse-kicking in the next film!!! I didn't like the human-ification of Sauron in the prologue - that armor made him look like the robot from Lost in Space. The amount of time given to Orthanc could've been explained by Gandalf in a few sentences in the council -- it wasn't really necessary. to sit through MINUTES of screentime watching super-orcs hatch and pull down trees - though I realize that sets up the Ents for the next film. It just reeked of D&D board games - Orthanc, that is.
Also, these scenes out of nowhere -- Gandalf/Elrond discussing the failings of men and the future of the ring, for instance -- BUGGED me. They went on too long and the language didn't jive. And Elrond is not some Racist human-hater!!! He's Half-Elven, after all!!! And the audience doesn't even know that he RAISED Aragorn as a son!!
I really had a problem with the art-film homages -- IE whenever Frodo would don the ring and suddenly a vast wind would dim his vision and cloud his hearing -- not to mention the audiences'. That worked my last nerve. It just pulled me out of the story.
BIG complaint... the way Aragorn handled their grieving after Moria. HE is the one who swears that there may be a way to avenge Gandalf if they persevere. Boromir's line makes him seem like a fiend! That totally didn't work for me. Although, oddly, my favorite part of the whole film is Pippin prostrate on the ground, bawling. That fit exactly what has been in my mind for years and I absolutely loved it.
I didn't like the Palantir revealed in this film. It was confusing and the non-initiated around me were all like, "What?"
I couldn't stand that Pippin wasn't with Sam and Frodo as they left the Shire -- but that's a stupid personal complaint and has nothing to do with my overall review. Couldn't help it, sorry...
Oh! When that one rider, lashed out with his sword to kill.. a man? was it? ... that rubbed me wrong. The riders are more scary to me in terms of what they are CAPABLE of doing...seeing them kill a random person like a deranged Ichabod Crane, well, made them less scary to me...
And also! I hated how Aragorn asked SAM if he knew ATHELAS. That was just WRONG to me. Athelas was special to the Aragorn-as-king-healer character. It cheapened it, to me, that Sam would know what the 'simple weed' was... Just rubbed me wrong... as so much of the Aragorn interpretation did... and WHAT is this CRAP about him not wanting to live up to his lineage?????? THAT is going WAY too far, IMO from the book and from his character. Some nice little 90's post-heroism/reluctant hero plot device that is completely and obviously contrary to Tolkien's intent. I don't think Boromir's death should be the prime motivation for Aragorn to seek what is rightfully his own. His motivation is the same as everyone else's .... maybe we should save the flippin' world. I'm mean, COME ON! And also, this little cum-Irish accent of his was grating. I liked him better towards the end of the film. He DID grow on me.. but... I felt much of the time he spoke with little authority and nobility. There is always a certain nobility to Strider - whether he's a vagabond or in his lordly vestments...and I found it lacking. And the fact that he just HAPPENED to have FOUR small swords with him... just STUPID. We'll see... I think I'm being too hard on the character because I'm madly in love with the Aragorn of the books. It seems they want to give him more of a character arc through three films...
As for Boromir... see GOOD THINGS below... http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif
Narsil, the sword, just hanging out in Rivendell on a piece of blue fabric in the middle of an outdoor porch so anyone can come lift it up and inspect it was just ludicrous. Sorry. Like some wacked-out Tolkien prop museum. That sword BELONGS on Aragorn's person!!!! It is part of his being.
Back to Lothlorien... Haldir came across as a first rate 'queen on the rag' and an arse-hole!!!!!! What is up with that? I love him! I love when he takes Frodo and Sam up Cerin Amroth! When he bows to Gimli and begs forgiveness for blindfolding him! In the film, he comes across as a self-righteous, insular, creep! Galadriel... UGH! I LOVE Cate Blancett as an actress. She is super talented. This is not her fault. The interpretation was too dense and muddied. The pacing was SLOW, she seemed like some ethereal freak from hell at times... every time I thought her character would go in a BENEVOLENT (that's the word) direction, she would become an aloof, freakish, phantom of horror. I don't know... I love her to death and there was sooo much potential there! The morph was just HIDEOUS. Oh, well... they did cut much of her screentime. I realize there is a certain peril to Galadriel, but that is tempered with benevolence - and thus the adoration of Gimli the dwarf -- which was completely cut and among my favorite dialogue in the books! Speaking of favorite lines... where is "all that's gold does not glitter?..." Cutting that was a travesty.
Oh, and as a person who DESPISES BUGS... what the HELL were those vile bugs when the hobbits were first hiding from the black riders?? I'll tell you what they were... more bi-products of PJ's horror canon. Ugh! That was unnecessary and annoying.
I missed Farmer Maggot! But I understand in the interest of time... fine, okay.
Bilbo not at the Council was unbelievable -- the argument between the races was grating and I didn't buy it at all.
Frodo... Man, there were so many instances were I felt his innate resilience was just taken away from him. The wound from weathertop and the wound from the cavetroll... he just seemed... weak. Yes, the wounds happened in the book, but he FOUGHT the wraiths on weathertop and at the Ford himself! He tried to stand up to them! And he fought the troll! Where were the psychological battles between him and the Ringwraiths etc.? Arwen stole his thunder at the Ford. Though I didn't mind Liv Tyler.
The Balrog...I never imagined the thing to be sooo huge! But I really liked that sequence and I don't have any complaints with it's CGI. The cave troll on the other hand, looked like it had been borrowed from the Harry Potter film. Sad to say...
Moria was the best-realized of the sets. It was amazing.
Liv was fine. Have no complaints other than I felt like I was watching a completely different movie when she had that scene with Aragorn at Rivendell. Still, it worked, in a way.... I will say that it was tasteful and that was what I cared most about. Her giving Frodo her 'grace' -- odd turn of phrase, but didn't bother me really. She's beautiful and a fine actress so I will not complain.
The stair thing in Moria was obnoxious. Was that REALLY necessary? I mean there was plenty going on without having to add yet ANOTHER obstacle in Khazad-dum. Again, if they'd had less action there, more time could've been spent on character development.
Good things...yes, there are some!!
Legolas. LOVE HIM. And his walking on snow on Caradrhas was Fabulous!!! Though I do wish his rivalry/friendship with Gimli would have been developed - though I realize most of that comes through in Book2. However, there was a lack of interaction between them period.
The moth was a beautiful touch on top of Orthanc.
Again, I LOVED the grief scene after Moria.
I actually got into Elijah Wood. I'm eating my words now and happily admitting it... he did really well and I look forward to his future performances. He was a little too wide-eyed at times, but he did a really fine job.
I loved the ending sequence... they did a GREAT job bringing the last chapter of the TT into this film. Boromir (Sean Bean) was AMAZING. I almost hated him in the books and absolutely LOVED him in this film. LOVED him. It was amazing. There were people talking loudly behind me during his death sequence and I jumped up and screamed at them to shut up for five minutes. They did. Anyway, LOVE him and that whole sequence. So kudos to PJ for that.
LOVE GANDALF. WOW!!!!!!!!!!! Didn't think anyone could pull that role off! I'm sooooooo enthralled by his every word, expression etc. His death drew me to tears and I even know he's not really dead! Ha!
LOVED PIPPIN! Thank GOD! Thankfully, the most important part of the books (to me) is sanctified by adorable Billy Boyd... Yummy! When I'm in Scotland in July...
Oddly I really liked Merry too! I hate Merry in the books, he's sooo self-righteous. However, Dominic's interpretation was great! Good for him! I look forward to the future films where they get more meaty screen time.
I wasn't too thrilled with Sam - Sean Astin. Sorry. His accent kept slipping and it... well, he just wasn't Sam to me. Sorry.
Oh, good things...
I loved Gollum. From what I saw he is the exact image in my head. Fabulous! I started laughing with glee when they first showed him.
Hobbiton was great and though, in my heart, I wish they had left in Crickhollow et al -- I DO understand why it was cut. So I won't complain.... too much...
Elrond was HOT!!!!! Heh... sorry, can't help it... ODD interpretation of the character, but overall, he made a great Elrond.
I sooooo much want to marry an elven man.... http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif
This review must seem schizo. But that's how I feel. I'm just being honest. There were parts I ADORED... there were parts I hated. There was no in-between for me in this film.
I think my number one complaint is that this had all the resources and potential to be an AMAZING adaptation... and it fell short because of a few ill-chosen choices by the director in terms of interpretation and vision. If I was a 12 year old boy I would've loved it.
To look at it strictly from a FILM perspective and not a Tolkien-freak's perspective... I think that there was way too much action and not enough time devoted to character. I think that the pacing was OFF -- at times slow, at times too fast. Some special effects worked, many did not. I would've said these things not having picked up Tolkien book in my life.
That being said, after the second time I was able to relax and enjoy it much more.
It's odd hearing random people and friends say the words, "Gandalf" and "Frodo" -- for so long those just belonged to me in my mind or with special initiated friends. Now everyone is reading and watching and I kinda want it back!!!!!!
You must think me mad, but this is the depth of love I have for these books.
Okay, if you read all of that I'll be surprised.
February 26th, 2002, 04:30 PM
Okay, if you read all of that I'll be surprised.
So am I. http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/wink.gif
February 27th, 2002, 07:35 AM
Personally, I think that the fact that the movie was dark was one of it's best qualities. It seems that all the things that you didn't like about the movie, Crysania, I loved!! http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif And I thought the action scenes rocked!!!
February 27th, 2002, 08:41 AM
Yeah, we're pretty opposite! That's okay. But out of curiosity... how old are you? I'm old as hell. I'm in my late twenties so maybe I'm too old, stuffy, and cranky. http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif
It's interested to me, like, WHO PJ targeted and how. And who was into the film and who wasn't. It seems pretty across the board so far - all ages, genders etc. But I do know my friends who hated it are, like, bankers and stuff in their early 30s. And those of my friends that liked it are either younger or older, but in more artistic professions.
So just curious...
February 27th, 2002, 10:12 AM
Well.. you warned me.. when I ask for an opinion I better be prepared to recieve it! http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif Crysania, I do agree about the movie being too dark. The fighting wizard scene made me cringe as well. Those two things are my only complaints though.
Since when are you "old as hell" in your late 20's? <checking in the mirror looking for wrinkles and gray hair> http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif
February 27th, 2002, 11:46 AM
I'm 19 years old. So I guess, by Crysania's way of putting things, I'm already over the hill!! http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif
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