Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Page 1 of 10 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by Eldorion on Thu Sep 03, 2015 7:54 am

I had a huge post about this almost entirely written up and then the MacBook crashed so you all got spared that.  Gonna have to do the quick and dirty version because it's 2:30 am and I have work this afternoon.  So far I've only watched Fellowship, which I saw tonight.


  • It's been a long time since I've seen LOTR.  Over-familiarity is the main reason why I took this hiatus and it definitely paid off.  It was a pleasure to be surprised by scenes that popped up not where I expected them to be or that I'd forgotten about completely.  Not hearing every line of dialogue in my head seconds before it was spoken was a pleasant change. Razz
  • The stuff I did remember was really good too.  All the obvious points of praise: design, music, acting, cinematography remain spot on.  And although I got the Blu-ray box set ages ago, this was the first time watching it except one abortive go at Fellowship which is what convinced me I needed a break.  Looks amazing, and the controversial green tint (does anyone even remember that anymore) is -- obviously -- not noticeable at all without side-by-side comparison images.
  • Most of the post I lost was me rambling and musing on the script.  It's the spottiest part of the production of course but the main thing that stood out to me was how they managed to include so much characterization, plot movement, worldbuilding, and emotion (both humor and pathos) into a film that is really not that much longer than your average blockbuster these days.  Even though the ballooning in movie lengths occurred in part because of LOTR, these films are still way ahead of modern blockbusters in terms of how much they were able to do with such seeming effortlessness (obviously there was in actuality plenty of behind the scenes chaos, as documented in the bonus features).
  • Following on the preceding point, the thing that stuck out to me most was the attention given to each character.  Obviously the actors deserve much of the credit here, but I find it frankly amazing the level of backstory, personality, and growth given to all nine members of the Fellowship (and to a lesser extent Bilbo, not to mention the truly secondary characters) in a single film.  I don't want to talk at length about The Hobbit, and obviously they had more characters to work with, but the contrast could not be greater IMO.
  • Recognizing that there are constraints to the blockbuster action-adventure format these movies were made in, I think Fellowship in particular really pushed those limits and especially in the EE had a lot of scenes and moments that you would very rarely see in a conventional action-adventure movie.  And while some argue that the films shouldn't have been made in this style at all, I don't think there was any other way to acquire the requisite budget.  And even a considerably less action-oriented movie (which would ironically become less faithful in some ways once they got to ROTK) would still require a huge budget for the location shoots and effects and more.
  • It's really hard for me to be objective about LOTR but I genuinely do feel that it remains a phenomenal cinematic achievement.  Yes, it's pop culture rather than arthouse, but I think anyone who has seen enough blockbuster movies can say that they range from great to terrible like any other kind of movie.  I think LOTR is one of the greatest.

I had more I had wanted to talk about but maybe I'll touch on that later.  Fucking Apple.

{{{And can we please not confuse the films doing something different from the book -- or even something inferior to the book -- with them doing something that doesn't work?  Thanks in advance. Very Happy}}}

Special thanks to malickfan for the discussion that prompted me to say now is the time to revisit the trilogy. Thumbs Up


Last edited by Eldorion on Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
avatar
Eldorion
He Who Seeks To Become a Master at Ye Old Temple In Merry Land... of Oz, or so I presume.

Posts : 22491
Join date : 2011-02-13
Age : 23
Location : Maryland, United States

http://nolondil.tumblr.com/essays

Back to top Go down

Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by halfwise on Thu Sep 03, 2015 12:39 pm

Yeah, the newer macs crash when they never did before. They've really gone out to lunch the last couple of years.

PJ and company did a quality job if you don't look at the script logic too closely. Lothlorien was probably the weakest part in being too unworldly and impressionistic.

_________________
Halfwise, son of Halfwit. Brother of Nitwit, son of Halfwit. Half brother of Figwit.
Then it gets complicated...
avatar
halfwise
Quintessence of Burrahobbitry

Posts : 12879
Join date : 2012-02-01
Location : rustic broom closet in farthing of Manhattan

Back to top Go down

Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by Bluebottle on Thu Sep 03, 2015 1:29 pm

I think the issue for me jumping back into watching these films are that there are these small moments of bad scriptwriting/storytelling sprinkled throughout the three films that always seems to pull me out of the.. err.. moment.

You make a rather compelling case for giving the EEs another go though. Smile

_________________
“We're doomed,” he says, casually. “There's no question about that. But it's OK to be doomed because then you can just enjoy your life."
avatar
Bluebottle
Adventurer

Posts : 9378
Join date : 2013-11-09
Age : 31

Back to top Go down

Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by Mrs Figg on Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:00 pm

thanks for the review Eldo. I have also not watched LOTR  for a couple of years due to overload same with the books, I don't intend to read them again for a very long time. But as they are doing a special tribute on SKY showing all 3 back to back, I am going to re-watch them soon. I only hope they are showing the EE versions. But I wholeheartedly agree with you on all points. Very Happy  Mr Figg was only saying to me the other day that LOTR is still genius after 10 years, its still fresh and beautiful. it has a magic which will never die. people will always re-fall in love with it.

its the acting, its superb, that's why I never notice any so called script problems. it just doesn't figure in my mind when watching.


Last edited by Mrs Figg on Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:03 pm; edited 1 time in total

_________________
avatar
Mrs Figg
Eel Wrangler from Bree

Posts : 21815
Join date : 2011-10-06
Age : 87
Location : Holding The Door

Back to top Go down

Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by Eldorion on Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:01 pm

halfwise wrote:Yeah, the newer macs crash when they never did before.  They've really gone out to lunch the last couple of years.

Fingers crossed this doesn't become a regular occurrence; if it does I'll definitely understand your antipathy for new macs. Razz

PJ and company did a quality job if you don't look at the script logic too closely.  Lothlorien was probably the weakest part in being too unworldly and impressionistic.

I agree that Lorien was probably the weakest part of the film, but even that was improved by the EE (especially Celeborn getting some scenes in which he managed to avoid speaking in monotone). What stood out to me most was that the main thing happening during the Lorien scenes was characters becoming alienated from each other. Frodo keeps seeing people give him weird/accusatory looks (or at least he interprets it that way), Aragorn smacks Gimli when he gets upset, and Boromir is internally freaking out the whole time. This makes sense I guess given Gandalf just having died and since most of the chapter "The Great River" was excised (for obvious reasons of length), but it does kinda make Lorien seem less of a refuge and place to recover. I think you're right about it being a little too weird, though that's present in the book as part of a balance that I guess they just didn't really have time for.
avatar
Eldorion
He Who Seeks To Become a Master at Ye Old Temple In Merry Land... of Oz, or so I presume.

Posts : 22491
Join date : 2011-02-13
Age : 23
Location : Maryland, United States

http://nolondil.tumblr.com/essays

Back to top Go down

Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by Mrs Figg on Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:05 pm

Lorien is a dangerous place. its not safe for mortals. so yeah it would be weird being there.

_________________
avatar
Mrs Figg
Eel Wrangler from Bree

Posts : 21815
Join date : 2011-10-06
Age : 87
Location : Holding The Door

Back to top Go down

Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by Eldorion on Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:09 pm

Bluebottle wrote:I think the issue for me jumping back into watching these films are that there are these small moments of bad scriptwriting/storytelling sprinkled throughout the three films that always seems to pull me out of the.. err.. moment.

You make a rather compelling case for giving the EEs another go though. Smile

I used to be really sensitive to certain things and just absolutely could not take them seriously if it was different from the book and/or didn't make much (or any) sense. I'm not sure how many of these I will encounter in the next two films. I've talked before about how I think there are higher highs in TTT and ROTK, but also lower lows. The Army of the Dead may well remain beyond my ability to overlook. But I think I'm at the point where I'm able to appreciate the artistry and emotional power behind, say, the lighting of the beacons without sniggering to myself and going "well how did they get up there?" or worse, "in the books they were lit days ago!" (which I used to do a lot). I mean, these are valid criticisms to put forth in a review or discussion, but having scene the beacons scene on YouTube relatively recently, I don't it detracts from what PJ was trying to do, as opposed to what part of me might wish he had done. Clearly he was unable or unwilling to be as rigorously realistic and internally consistent as Tolkien was (though he still does a really good job with the worldbuilding by movie standards), and I think I'm at peace with that. And while I don't necessarily find insane!Denethor to be as interesting a character as his book counterpart, he serves his purpose in the story and I've never denied the emotional power of Faramir's suicide charge at Osgiliath. (That scene is sometimes criticized as unrealistic but I don't think either suicidal military actions or political rulers backstabbing their generals are historically unheard of.)
avatar
Eldorion
He Who Seeks To Become a Master at Ye Old Temple In Merry Land... of Oz, or so I presume.

Posts : 22491
Join date : 2011-02-13
Age : 23
Location : Maryland, United States

http://nolondil.tumblr.com/essays

Back to top Go down

Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by Eldorion on Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:16 pm

Mrs Figg wrote:thanks for the review Eldo. I have also not watched LOTR  for a couple of years due to overload same with the books, I don't intend to read them again for a very long time. But as they are doing a special tribute on SKY showing all 3 back to back, I am going to re-watch them soon. I only hope they are showing the EE versions. But I wholeheartedly agree with you on all points. Very Happy  Mr Figg was only saying to me the other day that LOTR is still genius after 10 years, its still fresh and beautiful. it has a magic which will never die. people will always re-fall in love with it.

Thanks Mrs Figg. Thumbs Up I'm not sure that waiting four years was necessary for me, but taking a break was definitely a good thing and I don't plan on going back to a six month cycle for watching the movies (though I'll likely see them again in less than four years, at least I hope).  Looking at what LOTR set out to do, and comparing that to movies with similar goals, it's still a little mindboggling how well they pulled it off.  I haven't had the chance to introduce it to anyone for some time but I think the movies have earned their spot at the heart of the geek movie canon and will be one of those things that is passed down generationally.  To some extent it already has; my generation (which is also Norc's and Tin's) wasn't old enough to see and appreciate the movies in theatres when they came out.

its the acting, its superb, that's why I never notice any so called script problems. it just doesn't figure in my mind when watching.

Definitely agree about the acting smoothing over the script problems, though I think we (or at least I) don't always give enough credit to the writers for everything they did accomplish. And there's certainly a difference between what might occur to me when thinking about the films and what is bad enough to jolt me out of the movie when watching it.

Mrs Figg wrote:Lorien is a dangerous place. its not safe for mortals. so yeah it would be weird being there.

I think this was definitely worth conveying but it's only one aspect of Lorien in the book.  Of course that doesn't automatically mean the movie is less effective but considering Lorien is referred back to as a place of refuge and inner strength (thanks to the cloaks, lembas, and phial of Galadriel) the Fellowship's actual experience there doesn't seem that restful.  Adding the gifts of Galadriel scene back into the EE does a lot to restore the balance, though.
avatar
Eldorion
He Who Seeks To Become a Master at Ye Old Temple In Merry Land... of Oz, or so I presume.

Posts : 22491
Join date : 2011-02-13
Age : 23
Location : Maryland, United States

http://nolondil.tumblr.com/essays

Back to top Go down

Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by Mrs Figg on Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:33 pm

they probably wanted to use the time in Lorien to further establish the inner turmoil of the characters rather than have them wandering about being happy. so they tried to explain Boromir's love and duty towards his city and Aragorn's forlorn memories.

_________________
avatar
Mrs Figg
Eel Wrangler from Bree

Posts : 21815
Join date : 2011-10-06
Age : 87
Location : Holding The Door

Back to top Go down

Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by Eldorion on Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:44 pm

Yeah, I think it's mainly a matter of time.  Not able to have everyone start feeling better and then get to a bad place again in time for the breaking of the Fellowship.  It's not a huge deal for me.

Viggo and Sean were both fantastic here.  I mean, everyone was, but their scenes together stood out to me (as did Holm and McKellen as well as Wood and Astin).  The departure of Boromir always gets to me.  "They will look for his coming from the White Tower.  But he will not return." Crying or Very sad
avatar
Eldorion
He Who Seeks To Become a Master at Ye Old Temple In Merry Land... of Oz, or so I presume.

Posts : 22491
Join date : 2011-02-13
Age : 23
Location : Maryland, United States

http://nolondil.tumblr.com/essays

Back to top Go down

Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Sep 03, 2015 8:58 pm

I will make full response to this topic tomorrow (after I finish my shift tomorrow I've 2 days off- so be prepared! Twisted Evil )

For now I will say what I've always said about FotR- its the best oft he three precisely because it has the least 'well that makes no sense moments' (it has them- just not as many as what follows)- and I speak here about them as films as if the books ever existed- it does still suffer form some terrible scripting mind you, but again not anything on the scale of what is to follow. And FotR like the others suffers form what I tend to think of as 'subconscious wrong' which is where you cant quite put your finger on what is wrong as you watch and later realise with a bit of background knowledge that its an inconsistency in character actions and words stemming from the manner in which it was shot- but even without the shooting knowledge its still there- something not quite gelling right, not sitting right.

_________________
Pure Publications is Reasonably Proud to Present the first ever Forumshire novel!

Gingerlocks and the Three McTyrants

- get your copy here for a limited period- free*



*Pure Publications reserves the right to track your usage of this publication, snoop on your home address, go through your bins and sell personal information on to the highest bidder.
avatar
Pettytyrant101
Crabbitmeister

Posts : 39392
Join date : 2011-02-14
Age : 46
Location : Scotshobbitland

Back to top Go down

Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by davidjoneshoward on Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:34 pm

Great review Eldo! Looking forward to your next re impression of the next two films. That is where most of my problems have begun to crop up. And unlike FotR, Petty, I feel like these problems are more than identifiable (for the record though I couldn't find any problems with fellowship, looking forward to hearing your thoughts): from Aragorn falling off the cliff, to making us believe Pippin was dead when we knew he wasn't, to an overuse of Gimli comic relief, and too many made up battle scenes.
avatar
davidjoneshoward
Clue-finder

Posts : 162
Join date : 2015-04-02
Age : 16
Location : NYC, but the Shire in spirit

Back to top Go down

Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by malickfan on Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:50 pm

Eldorion wrote:
[*]It's been a long time since I've seen LOTR.  Over-familiarity is the main reason why I took this hiatus and it definitely paid off.  It was a pleasure to be surprised by scenes that popped up not where I expected them to be or that I'd forgotten about completely.  Not hearing every line of dialogue in my head seconds before it was spoken was a pleasant change. Razz

I haven't watched the whole trilogy in at least 3 years for similar reasons (finding the time and inclination to sit through a 3 1/2 hour film is getting increasingly harder as well, I prefer to watch movies in one sitting), though I must admit The Hobbit films kinda soured me on the whole franchise..

The stuff I did remember was really good too. All the obvious points of praise: design, music, acting, cinematography remain spot on. And although I got the Blu-ray box set ages ago, this was the first time watching it except one abortive go at Fellowship which is what convinced me I needed a break. Looks amazing, and the controversial green tint (does anyone even remember that anymore) is -- obviously -- not noticeable at all without side-by-side comparison images

I can still remember the sheer awe I felt when I first watched FOTR as an 11 year old (at that point unfamiliar with the source material, or fantasy as a genre) Shocked Shocked Shocked bounce bounce bounce affraid :clap: :clap: :clap: Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy sums it up I think.

In the years since my opinions of Jackson as a filmmaker have changed, and my feelings on the films somewhat soured by reading the books, but I certainly won't deny it was a gargantuan achievement by the New Zeland film industry, the sheer tenacity and spirit of Jackson's efforts remains as commendable today as it did then, and visually at least the films still look and feel every bit as expensive as they were (RIP Andre Lesnie Sad )

I'm assuming they were the last massive budget films shot on 35mm, and it certainly gives them a visual quality lacking in TH i.m.o.

Holding off on buying the Blu Ray until the ultimate editions are announced personally Razz

Most of the post I lost was me rambling and musing on the script. It's the spottiest part of the production of course but the main thing that stood out to me was how they managed to include so much characterization, plot movement, worldbuilding, and emotion (both humor and pathos) into a film that is really not that much longer than your average blockbuster these days. Even though the ballooning in movie lengths occurred in part because of LOTR, these films are still way ahead of modern blockbusters in terms of how much they were able to do with such seeming effortlessness (obviously there was in actuality plenty of behind the scenes chaos, as documented in the bonus features

I think the easiest way to sum up the script i.m.o-is brilliantly, thoughtfully constructed (though not perhaps faithfully) in scope as an adaptation(in terms of pacing, character growth, emotion etc) but haphazardly executed in delivery i.e the quiet moments, pacing and character development are all there, but the plot holes, obvious tropes and reworking of the source material way down the films somewhat-it's a fight between the art of an adaptation, and the expectations of a blockbuster, FOTR remains the best in my view, not necessarily because it's the most faifthful, but because it's got the balance between pathos, pace, emotion and scope right, TT and ROTK suffer because the intimacy is lost under the scope and structure of the screenplays.

Following on the preceding point, the thing that stuck out to me most was the attention given to each character. Obviously the actors deserve much of the credit here, but I find it frankly amazing the level of backstory, personality, and growth given to all nine members of the Fellowship (and to a lesser extent Bilbo, not to mention the truly secondary characters) in a single film. I don't want to talk at length about The Hobbit, and obviously they had more characters to work with, but the contrast could not be greater IMO.

I don't have much to add on this point, merely that if you look at it purely as an blockbuster film Nod (though I still think Pippin was a bit of an idiot)

Recognizing that there are constraints to the blockbuster action-adventure format these movies were made in, I think Fellowship in particular really pushed those limits and especially in the EE had a lot of scenes and moments that you would very rarely see in a conventional action-adventure movie. And while some argue that the films shouldn't have been made in this style at all, I don't think there was any other way to acquire the requisite budget. And even a considerably less action-oriented movie (which would ironically become less faithful in some ways once they got to ROTK) would still require a huge budget for the location shoots and effects and more.

This goes back to one of my points above, although I don't necessarily agree the balance was as even as you Eldo, I'd certainly agree that the films get much more right than they do wrong in terms of adding more depth to a blockbuster

-I suppose you could argue LOTR was a guranteed hit anyway (though I'd never heard of the book, and I'm a nerdy Brit Laughing ), but I think it was clear Jackson was pinning his career and all his energy on making the films of his career rather than just trusting blockbuster=lots of cash, for a man who just 10 years earlyier was making gory zombie comedies in a country not known for 'big' movies, it's often remarkable how intelligent and confident they are as blockbusters-and I don't mean that in a sarcastic/derogratory way, Jackson was a very, very brave man to take this on, maybe the pressure made the films more sucessful? With The Hobbit Jackson didn't have quite as much to prove.

[quoteIt's really hard for me to be objective about LOTR but I genuinely do feel that it remains a phenomenal cinematic achievement. Yes, it's pop culture rather than arthouse, but I think anyone who has seen enough blockbuster movies can say that they range from great to terrible like any other kind of movie. I think LOTR is one of the greatest][/quote]

I think at the very least, no matter how you stand on the screenplay, the sheer daring/enthusiasm shown by the crew and cast on such an expensive gamble will remain the best testament to the films, the fact that we and thousands more are still talking/arguing/ranting about them all these years later shows they were doing something right (or wrong) it helps they are also very entertaining films. Nod

nd can we please not confuse the films doing something different from the book -- or even something inferior to the book -- with them doing something that doesn't work? Thanks in advance

Was that directed at Petty by any chance? Suspect

Special thanks to malickfan for the discussion that prompted me to say now is the time to revisit the trilogy

Er...thanks I guess? I'm not sure I should be congratulated, after prompting you into spending 10+ hours sitting in solitary confinement re-watching a long movie when you could be getting some exercise or work done (sorry in advance if you get caught up in the six month re-watching cycle again Laughing ) , but hey ho these discussions are always interesting (if all too often, longwinded, on my part), might prompt me into dusting off my DVDs as well...

_________________
The Thorin: An Unexpected Rewrite December 2012 (I was on the money apparently)
The Tauriel: Desolation of Canon December 2013 (Accurate again!)
The Sod-it! : Battling my Indifference December 2014 (You know what they say, third time's the charm)

Well, that was worth the wait wasn't it  Suspect


I think what comes out of a pig's rear end is more akin to what Peejers has given us-Azriel 20/9/2014
avatar
malickfan
Adventurer

Posts : 3775
Join date : 2013-09-10
Age : 25
Location : The (Hamp)shire, England

Back to top Go down

Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by Mrs Figg on Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:50 pm

The only problem I have with TT is those irritating escaping kids, and the warg attack, but even then its evened out by that spectacularly bad cgi Legolas backflip which always makes me smile. But overall the only thing about TT that really gets my goat is the horrible scrubby brown grass. Rohan should have lush green sward. Suspect

The only problem with ROTK is...erm......nothing. cheers its perfect.

_________________
avatar
Mrs Figg
Eel Wrangler from Bree

Posts : 21815
Join date : 2011-10-06
Age : 87
Location : Holding The Door

Back to top Go down

Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by malickfan on Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:51 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:I will make  full response to this topic tomorrow

pale

_________________
The Thorin: An Unexpected Rewrite December 2012 (I was on the money apparently)
The Tauriel: Desolation of Canon December 2013 (Accurate again!)
The Sod-it! : Battling my Indifference December 2014 (You know what they say, third time's the charm)

Well, that was worth the wait wasn't it  Suspect


I think what comes out of a pig's rear end is more akin to what Peejers has given us-Azriel 20/9/2014
avatar
malickfan
Adventurer

Posts : 3775
Join date : 2013-09-10
Age : 25
Location : The (Hamp)shire, England

Back to top Go down

Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:57 pm

Oh yeah, the crabbit, its a-coming Twisted Evil

_________________
Pure Publications is Reasonably Proud to Present the first ever Forumshire novel!

Gingerlocks and the Three McTyrants

- get your copy here for a limited period- free*



*Pure Publications reserves the right to track your usage of this publication, snoop on your home address, go through your bins and sell personal information on to the highest bidder.
avatar
Pettytyrant101
Crabbitmeister

Posts : 39392
Join date : 2011-02-14
Age : 46
Location : Scotshobbitland

Back to top Go down

Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by Mrs Figg on Thu Sep 03, 2015 10:00 pm

the proof in the pudding for me is this. when I watch LOTR I never want it to end. I could quite happily sit through a six hour Fellowship, six hour TT, six hour ROTK. and when it does end I feel a bit heartbroken.
No other film, let alone blockbuster has ever had that effect on me. Sure the first 3 Harry Potter films have transported me into Hogwarts and it always gives me a sigh of happiness when I see Diagon Alley, and hear the familiar music, its lovely, but for really deep feels LOTR cant be beaten. and I doubt it will ever be topped.

_________________
avatar
Mrs Figg
Eel Wrangler from Bree

Posts : 21815
Join date : 2011-10-06
Age : 87
Location : Holding The Door

Back to top Go down

Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by Eldorion on Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:18 am

Mrs Figg wrote:The only problem I have with TT is those irritating escaping kids, and the warg attack, but even then its evened out by that spectacularly bad cgi Legolas backflip which always makes me smile. But overall the only thing about TT that really gets my goat is the horrible scrubby brown grass. Rohan should have lush green sward. Suspect

The only problem with ROTK is...erm......nothing. cheers its perfect.

I don't know if this will still hold true as my tastes have surely changed, but from what I remember of my most recent few viewings, about half of ROTK is basically perfect.  There's a lot of good stuff in the rest of it too, but enough eh as well that I can't conclusively say it's my favorite of the trilogy.

Mrs Figg wrote:the proof in the pudding for me is this. when I watch LOTR I never want it to end. I could quite happily sit through a six hour Fellowship, six hour TT, six hour ROTK. and when it does end I feel a bit heartbroken.
No other film, let alone blockbuster has ever had that effect on me. Sure the first 3 Harry Potter films have transported me into Hogwarts and it always gives me a sigh of happiness when I see Diagon Alley, and hear the familiar music, its lovely, but for really deep feels LOTR cant be beaten. and I doubt it will ever be topped.

Yeah, there's nothing quite like LOTR for me (the books are like this in their own way too).  I've watched a number of movies that have blown me away and that, because they avoid many of the pitfalls I think PJ's indulgences led him into, are probably objectively better movies.  And it is a really good feeling watching a great movie and just taking it all in (Lawrence of Arabia and Barry Lyndon stand out in my memory as two representative examples of this; among others).  But LOTR keeps me coming back over and over; it's in arguably my favorite genre (though one I'm very picky about), the nature of the story (huge fictional world with so many details and characters) appeals to my nerdy/fannish tendencies, and it's tied in with a ton of nostalgia for me.  Unlike most nostalgia movies for me, it's not tied just to the period when I first saw it, but with so many memories and occurrences and friendships over the years.  I sometimes call LOTR my favorite movies (and the books my favorite book) but I honestly can't compare them with most others; they're competing in a separate league with HP and a handful of other favorites that are near and dear to my heart.  But I can't see anything else surpassing LOTR in this respect, especially not since my interests have broadened while at the same time I don't tend to get as deeply passionate about individual series anymore.
avatar
Eldorion
He Who Seeks To Become a Master at Ye Old Temple In Merry Land... of Oz, or so I presume.

Posts : 22491
Join date : 2011-02-13
Age : 23
Location : Maryland, United States

http://nolondil.tumblr.com/essays

Back to top Go down

Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by Eldorion on Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:32 am

I'm gonna hold off commenting on anything you said Petty because without specifics to respond to I'd be either mouthing off or responding more to discussions we've had in the past, but I do look forward to hearing your thoughts on each film. Smile

davidjoneshoward wrote:Great review Eldo! Looking forward to your next re impression of the next two films. That is where most of my problems have begun to crop up. And unlike FotR, Petty, I feel like these problems are more than identifiable (for the record though I couldn't find any problems with fellowship, looking forward to hearing your thoughts): from Aragorn falling off the cliff, to making us believe Pippin was dead when we knew he wasn't, to an overuse of Gimli comic relief, and too many made up battle scenes.

Thanks david! I don't think Fellowship is flawless by any means, even setting aside the books completely, but I think it's flaws are minor enough that they don't detract from the overall product. I'll admit that the (mostly successful) scope and ambition of the films makes me more willing to overlook certain flaws since I think the films are otherwise exceptional (in both senses of the word). The flaws in TTT and ROTK are definitely bigger, but I think those films also manage to build on FOTR and reach greater heights.

Gimli as pure comic relief is something I've never cared for; it's less of an issue if you ignore the book but I'm still not a big fan of the character type. John Rhys-Davies certainly owns the material though and that makes it easier to deal with. The "made up" battle scenes are only a problem insofar as they jar with the rest of the narrative; I think most of the battles do not do this, though the warg attack is kinda perfunctory. I'll touch on that more when I talk about the structure of TTT later. Aragorn going over the cliff ... I guess I run the risk of being hypocritical here cause I gave The Hobbit movies a lot of shit for the false melodrama. I don't like it and it's always felt more like a way to set up other scenes (the Arwen vision and Aragorn's glimpse of the Uruk army) that could have been done otherwise. If I was watching the movies for the first time I'd probably be more vociferous in my criticism but it's one of those things where I said my piece about it years ago and now I just wanna sit back and enjoy while watching, if that makes any sense. (I used to be really into the movie debates, back when purists were a minority on sites other than TORn, and I was more of an asshole when I started arguing.)
avatar
Eldorion
He Who Seeks To Become a Master at Ye Old Temple In Merry Land... of Oz, or so I presume.

Posts : 22491
Join date : 2011-02-13
Age : 23
Location : Maryland, United States

http://nolondil.tumblr.com/essays

Back to top Go down

Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by halfwise on Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:41 am

Mrs Figg wrote:
The only problem with ROTK is...erm......nothing. cheers its perfect.


Weren't you the one who coined the term 'the green scrubbing bubbles Army of the Dead?'

_________________
Halfwise, son of Halfwit. Brother of Nitwit, son of Halfwit. Half brother of Figwit.
Then it gets complicated...
avatar
halfwise
Quintessence of Burrahobbitry

Posts : 12879
Join date : 2012-02-01
Location : rustic broom closet in farthing of Manhattan

Back to top Go down

Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by Eldorion on Fri Sep 04, 2015 4:00 am

malickfan wrote:I haven't watched the whole trilogy in at least 3 years for similar reasons (finding the time and inclination to sit through a 3 1/2 hour film is getting increasingly harder as well, I prefer to watch movies in one sitting), though I must admit The Hobbit films kinda soured me on the whole franchise..

I'm sorry you feel that way.  The Hobbit was not the first massively disappointing follow-up/adaptation I'd dealt with so I'd already mastered the art of cordoning off such works from my head canon and being able to enjoy the originals untarnished (and sometimes even more for the comparison).  The only thing that reflects poorly on the LOTR era is some of PJ's comments about things he would have done with LOTR if he'd had the money or technology, but I already knew that PJ's worst impulses were like.  Not trying to psychoanalyze you or anything cause I can't speak about anyone's individual motivation, but I've semi-jokingly observed that much of the general criticism in PJ in recent years seems to be more about having the pleasant illusion of PJ the invincible Tolkien superfan shattered than anything else.

I can still remember the sheer awe I felt when I first watched FOTR as an 11 year old (at that point unfamiliar with the source material, or fantasy as a genre) Shocked Shocked Shocked bounce bounce bounce affraid :clap: :clap: :clap: Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy sums it up I think.

In the years since my opinions of Jackson as a filmmaker have changed, and my feelings on the films somewhat soured by reading the books, but I certainly won't deny it was a gargantuan achievement by the New Zeland film industry, the sheer tenacity and spirit of Jackson's efforts remains as commendable today as it did then, and visually at least the films still look and feel every bit as expensive as they were (RIP Andre Lesnie Sad )

I had a very different introduction to the franchise.  I read the books years before I saw the complete movie trilogy and was already fairly into fan stuff by then.  From the first my reaction to the movies was twofold: I enjoyed watching them, but I was bugged by the changes from the book.  At various points in time both halves of that duality have been the dominant one, and as I've learned a little bit more about movies (my springboard for which was the EE documentaries Razz) I've come to recognize more of the cinematic flaws as well, but the fundamental distinction remains.  Once I got involved in online debates my purist beliefs became somewhat more hardline for a time, but I came very firmly to believe that being a good movie and being a faithful adaptation were two completely different things.  (At least one person told me that LOTR was a faithful adaptation because it was a good movie, since LOTR had also been a good book. Razz)  And y'know, you can look at plenty of famous movies throughout history and many of them are adaptations that make massive changes with zero regard for the source material or what anyone thinks of it, but some of them turn out to be masterpieces.  Of course, if the adaptation makes changes but turns out to be a stinker, people will default to the most obvious example of how it could have been better.  But I think it's important to judge films, including adaptations, by what they were trying to do.

I think the easiest way to sum up the script i.m.o-is brilliantly, thoughtfully constructed (though not perhaps faithfully) in scope as an adaptation(in terms of pacing, character growth, emotion etc) but haphazardly executed in delivery i.e the quiet moments, pacing and character development are all there, but the plot holes, obvious tropes and reworking of the source material way down the films somewhat-it's a fight between the art of an adaptation, and the expectations of a blockbuster, FOTR remains the best in my view, not necessarily because it's the most faifthful, but because it's got the balance between pathos, pace, emotion and scope right, TT and ROTK suffer because the intimacy is lost under the scope and structure of the screenplays.

I would love to comment on this but I really need to wait until I've watched the next couple.  My gut feeling right now (coming as much from YouTube clips as the last time I saw the movies in their entirety, so take it for what its worth) is that there is still a lot of meaningful, emotional character work in the latter films, with examples like Frodo and Sam in Mordor, Merry and Pippin's parting, and Pippin in Faramir in Minas Tirith coming to mind.  I am noticing that all three of those examples were from ROTK, so I think there might be some truth to the line I used to hear that ROTK is midway between FOTR and TTT in tone.  PJ has talked about TTT as a war movie, and one of the things I'm gonna watch for is to see how accurate I think that is.  (Fake edit: the Faramir and Boromir flashback scene in TTT is amazing tho and honestly elevated the entire film when it was added back into the EE).

I don't have much to add on this point, merely that if you look at it purely as an blockbuster film Nod (though I still think Pippin was a bit of an idiot)

I mean, he was supposed to be an idiot at the start.  That was his character as written in the movies.  So I guess the filmmakers succeeded in conveying that? Razz

This goes back to one of my points above, although I don't necessarily agree the balance was as even as you Eldo, I'd certainly agree that the films get much more right than they do wrong in terms of adding more depth to a blockbuster

I wasn't trying to say that it was an even balance, merely that it has a helluva lot more of the quiet stuff than you'd normally get in a movie like this.

-I suppose you could argue LOTR was a guranteed hit anyway (though I'd never heard of the book, and I'm a nerdy Brit Laughing ), but I think it was clear Jackson was pinning his career and all his energy on making the films of his career rather than just trusting blockbuster=lots of cash, for a man who just 10 years earlyier was making gory zombie comedies in a country not known for 'big' movies, it's often remarkable how intelligent and confident they are as blockbusters-and I don't mean that in a sarcastic/derogratory way, Jackson was a very, very brave man to take this on, maybe the pressure made the films more sucessful? With The Hobbit Jackson didn't have quite as much to prove.

LOTR was never going to bomb, the book readership was too big for that, but it was by no means guaranteed that it would succeed the way it did.  Seeing increased box office receipts for each movie in a trilogy is incredibly rare and speaks to how well received the films were.  Anyway, I think we agree to a large extent on this point.  I'd add that since spectacle sells there likely was pressure to focus more on those parts.  It's undeniable that the movies present a comparatively shallow version of Middle-earth and that they're more oriented towards spectacle, but rather than pandering to the lowest common denominator as it's often portrayed I think Jackson and co. were actually conveying much of what the average casual reader gets from LOTR.  On its surface the book is an exciting action-adventure story and a lot of people appreciate it as no more or less than that.  If you really dig deep into the book you can get a lot more out of it, but I don't think that's an intrinsically better way to enjoy the book.  Obviously as one of the "digging" types I wish the movies had conveyed more of the depth and meaning but they did a phenomenal job with what they were trying to do.

I think at the very least, no matter how you stand on the screenplay, the sheer daring/enthusiasm shown by the crew and cast on such an expensive gamble will remain the best testament to the films, the fact that we and thousands more are still talking/arguing/ranting about them all these years later shows they were doing something right (or wrong) it helps they are also very entertaining films. Nod

I agree with everything you say here, but I'd zero in on that last sentence fragment.  They are incredibly entertaining films.  That's ultimately the main purpose for this kind of movie.  It's also worth noting that Tolkien's stated intention in writing LOTR was "to try his hand at a really long story that would hold the attention of readers, amuse them, delight them, and at times maybe excite them or deeply move them" (Foreword to the Second Edition).  Tolkien obviously succeeded, and I think Jackson in his own way did as well.  (This does not mean that Jackson was faithful to the books though. Razz)
avatar
Eldorion
He Who Seeks To Become a Master at Ye Old Temple In Merry Land... of Oz, or so I presume.

Posts : 22491
Join date : 2011-02-13
Age : 23
Location : Maryland, United States

http://nolondil.tumblr.com/essays

Back to top Go down

Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by Bluebottle on Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:07 pm

Well, you almost inspired me to watch the EE cut of Fellowship yesterday. But it was already after eleven and I thought four hours was a bit optimistic. Razz I might try again later though.

_________________
“We're doomed,” he says, casually. “There's no question about that. But it's OK to be doomed because then you can just enjoy your life."
avatar
Bluebottle
Adventurer

Posts : 9378
Join date : 2013-11-09
Age : 31

Back to top Go down

Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by Bluebottle on Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:12 pm

Eldorion wrote:
Bluebottle wrote:I think the issue for me jumping back into watching these films are that there are these small moments of bad scriptwriting/storytelling sprinkled throughout the three films that always seems to pull me out of the.. err.. moment.

You make a rather compelling case for giving the EEs another go though. Smile

I used to be really sensitive to certain things and just absolutely could not take them seriously if it was different from the book and/or didn't make much (or any) sense.  I'm not sure how many of these I will encounter in the next two films.  I've talked before about how I think there are higher highs in TTT and ROTK, but also lower lows.  The Army of the Dead may well remain beyond my ability to overlook.  But I think I'm at the point where I'm able to appreciate the artistry and emotional power behind, say, the lighting of the beacons without sniggering to myself and going "well how did they get up there?" or worse, "in the books they were lit days ago!" (which I used to do a lot).  I mean, these are valid criticisms to put forth in a review or discussion, but having scene the beacons scene on YouTube relatively recently, I don't it detracts from what PJ was trying to do, as opposed to what part of me might wish he had done.  Clearly he was unable or unwilling to be as rigorously realistic and internally consistent as Tolkien was (though he still does a really good job with the worldbuilding by movie standards), and I think I'm at peace with that.  And while I don't necessarily find insane!Denethor to be as interesting a character as his book counterpart, he serves his purpose in the story and I've never denied the emotional power of Faramir's suicide charge at Osgiliath.  (That scene is sometimes criticized as unrealistic but I don't think either suicidal military actions or political rulers backstabbing their generals are historically unheard of.)

You certainly have a point in that many of the changes made, particularily to characterization, love them or hate them, were consistent, and as such one really should judge them on their own merit. There are still stuff I don't fail to react to though. Like Gandalf leaving Frodo and Sam in the Shire and them five minutes later running into a Nazgul. Oh, and Gandalf riding back and forth to Isengard in the time it takes the Hobbits to reach Rivendell... I guess faults in logic are harder to ignore. Shrugging

_________________
“We're doomed,” he says, casually. “There's no question about that. But it's OK to be doomed because then you can just enjoy your life."
avatar
Bluebottle
Adventurer

Posts : 9378
Join date : 2013-11-09
Age : 31

Back to top Go down

Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by davidjoneshoward on Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:53 pm

Eldorion wrote:

Thanks david!  I don't think Fellowship is flawless by any means, even setting aside the books completely, but I think it's flaws are minor enough that they don't detract from the overall product.  I'll admit that the (mostly successful) scope and ambition of the films makes me more willing to overlook certain flaws since I think the films are otherwise exceptional (in both senses of the word).  The flaws in TTT and ROTK are definitely bigger, but I think those films also manage to build on FOTR and reach greater heights

Oh by no means do I think Fellowship is a perfect film. I just think that it captured all the magic from lord of the rings. And also, I think the reason why it feels perfect is after contextualizing it to the other films, like you noted yourself (I think I'm the only person on this forum that saw AUJ before any other Middle Earth movie)
avatar
davidjoneshoward
Clue-finder

Posts : 162
Join date : 2015-04-02
Age : 16
Location : NYC, but the Shire in spirit

Back to top Go down

Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by halfwise on Fri Sep 04, 2015 2:09 pm

(I think I'm the only person on this forum that saw AUJ before any other Middle Earth movie)

Egad, Fellowship must have looked like a masterpiece in comparison.

I take it you read the Hobbit before seeing the movie? In any case, what was your take on AUJ?

_________________
Halfwise, son of Halfwit. Brother of Nitwit, son of Halfwit. Half brother of Figwit.
Then it gets complicated...
avatar
halfwise
Quintessence of Burrahobbitry

Posts : 12879
Join date : 2012-02-01
Location : rustic broom closet in farthing of Manhattan

Back to top Go down

Page 1 of 10 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum