Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

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Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by halfwise on Tue Oct 06, 2015 1:39 pm

When first watching TTT I remember being most impressed by Gollum, being worried because some of the best lines from RotR had been transplanted to TTT (though I don't remember which ones) so that they couldn't appear where they belonged, and feeling Helms Deep was the best battle scene ever put on film, despite some silliness at times (it still sets my teeth on edge that Theoden tells his men to "draw swords" as they approach the door: they're in the middle of a friggin' battle and they ain't idiots).

Anyway, nice to hear some newly fresh thoughts.

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Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by azriel on Tue Oct 06, 2015 2:14 pm

Well paced observation Eldo, ( tho what were you doing when being disturbed eh ? ) I too felt a smidgeon of charity towards Gollum as he hobbled behind Sam & Frodo after getting his trouncing but, I still feel all these fooked up scenes that people pick out is because Peejers IS NOT the director people hail him to be ! they are blinded by razzle dazzle. He cannot play & pace out emotions. it jumps & stutters from one blast of extreme to another. Subtlety is an unknown element to peejers. He cannot let the audience find out for themselves, he spells it all out rough handedly instead of letting you drift & meander along like a sleepy summers stream. Peejers Forte is crass blood & guts gore flicks. I do not rate him highly & I never will. He hasnt got it. The films succeeded because of a romantic notion of long lost nostalgia. The scenery, the heroism,it had magic, of a sorts but, Its like a pair of fishnet tights,...full of holes.

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Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by halfwise on Tue Oct 06, 2015 2:29 pm

I somewhat disagree. There are scenes with subtlety and fine characterization. But he makes you forget those by throwing in ham handed scenes. Petty shows this by his edits which vastly improve the movies by cutting out the fumbles.

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Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by azriel on Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:29 pm

Fumbles ??? We're back to Eldo & his girlfriend Laughing

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Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by Eldorion on Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:26 pm

halfwise wrote:When first watching TTT I remember being most impressed by Gollum, being worried because some of the best lines from RotR had been transplanted to TTT (though I don't remember which ones) so that they couldn't appear where they belonged, and feeling Helms Deep was the best battle scene ever put on film, despite some silliness at times (it still sets my teeth on edge that Theoden tells his men to "draw swords" as they approach the door: they're in the middle of a friggin' battle and they ain't idiots).

Anyway, nice to hear some newly fresh thoughts.

Thanks Halfy. Smile I do think Helm's Deep is one of my favorite battle scenes. I've always had my quibbles with it (though I usually didn't feel the length before), but it's still a phenomenal achievement. I haven't seen nearly enough movies to say if it's one of the best ever, but it's certainly among my personal favorites. But stuff like the disappearing elves and the impossible horse charge to count against it even though I kinda don't want them to. On the other hand, there are some genuine heart-stopping moments. The Uruk-hai stomping and cheering before the battle (intercut with the civilians in the caves) is just one that comes to mind.

I find myself continually thinking back to my previous TTT thread. A lot of the defenses of TTT there were comparing it favorably to ROTK while acknowledging the flaws in both. I'm really curious to see ROTK again now and compare the two directly. I have a feeling ROTK might fare better than it has at some points in the past. It probably won't top FOTR even though I do think it's highs are higher (or at least stand out higher in my memory right now).
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Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by Eldorion on Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:31 pm

azriel wrote:Well paced observation Eldo, ( tho what were you doing when being disturbed eh ? )

Hey now, there's plenty of time for that when LOTR isn't playing in the background. Razz

...because Peejers IS NOT the director people hail him to be ! they are blinded by razzle dazzle. He cannot play & pace out emotions. it jumps & stutters from one blast of extreme to another. Subtlety is an unknown element to peejers.

PJ has certainly earned his reputation for this and I think you criticisms are very fair in many places, but I do think that PJ is able to go the other way more than he sometimes gets credit for. The "flash forward" showing Arwen with a deceased Aragorn (during Elrond's prediction of her ultimate fate) is honestly beautiful and moving to me. Of course, it benefits from having a line from the Appendices ("an image of the splendor of the Kings of Men in glory undimmed before the breaking of the world") paired with it.

As with FOTR, the film is definitely shallower than the book, though TTT is much more so than FOTR. I am curious to see if ROTK strikes more of a middle ground between the first two films as I know some people interpret it as being.
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Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by azriel on Tue Oct 06, 2015 6:53 pm

Ok Romeo, IL concede that scene was nicely done, Arwen being all devoted to a love she knew she would lose, but, dont get me re-thinking my grouchy ways !!! Very Happy

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Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:38 pm

I am now somewhat curious Eldo for you to do a TT comparison- by watching my edit version of TT and seeing if it solves the pacing and other issues you mention or if you feel it just raises more of its own.

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Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by Eldorion on Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:17 am

Well I still have ROTK-EE to get through and then the theatrical screening of BOFA-EE. After that I might be Middle-earthed out for a while. But I hear you Petty and I'll keep that in the back of my mind.
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Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by davidjoneshoward on Sun Oct 18, 2015 3:04 am

Looking forward to your thoughts of ROTK... hope it gets posted soon. Especially right after the ee of the final chapter of the other trilogy, I curious to see if your opinion will have changed because you saw it around the same time as that one, or whatnot. Maybe you can make a comparison of the two, showing how one failed, while the other succeeded.
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Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by Eldorion on Mon Oct 19, 2015 12:45 am

Thanks david, I'm glad you're still looking forward to it. Smile I work four closing shifts in a row this week, and since I usually watch movies in the evening I'm not sure when I will get around to seeing ROTK.  I don't want to do it in two nights but at over four hours I might have to.  I will definitely post some thoughts on it once I do so.  I'm kinda glad I got to see BOFA-EE before my ROTK rewatch, so that my recent spate of Middle-earth viewings can go out on a high note.  (Hopefully I will still see ROTK as a high note.)  I have a few more long, wordy posts left in me to mark the whole end of the era so if you enjoyed my BOFA-EE thread hopefully you'll like the rest too. Laughing
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Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by Eldorion on Fri Nov 06, 2015 8:33 am

Well I'm still doing four closing shifts in a row almost every week but I did find the time to watch ROTK-EE anyway. Razz I split it up over two nights, though clearly that hasn't stopped me from staying up late. It is a reeeeaally looooong movie. I've seen the whole thing in a single sitting several times before, though this wasn't my first time having to break it up either. I still stand by what I've said before about the endings being appropriate, but the film takes a while to get going (not as bad as TTT though).

There is without a doubt fat that could have been cut, though I wouldn't necessarily have cut along the same lines as the theatrical edition, but somewhat paradoxically, the film becomes undeniably rushed towards the end, even a little choppy at times. I'm still not sure if I'm in the "ROTK should have been two movies" camp though ... it would depend on how well they could have theoretically re-integrated material into the beginning of TTT. But at the same time, I do understand why they wanted to present things more chronologically.

There is a lot of really great stuff here, and I think the charge of the Rohirrim at the Pelennor is probably my favorite scene in the entire trilogy. But there is also a lot of really dumb shit that just drags the whole movie down. I've complained about all of it before so I don't want to rehash too much, but I'll touch on a few things. The idea that Gandalf doesn't know where Sauron will attack is dumb, but it's presented as the main driver of drama in the first part of the film. Theoden's "decision" over whether or not to help Gondor is dumb and not given the attention it would have needed for the audience to really feel anything at his change of heart (he's only a side character after all; that said Bernard Hill delivered one of the best performances in the film). Frodo sending Sam away was bad but the most uncomfortable and bizarre thing is how Sam acts like a dude in a PSA about domestic violence. Fireball Denethor is dumb, the scrubbing bubbles of Death and Legolas' superhero antics belittle the rest of the battle. They really didn't need to spend so much time on Arwen wavering over whether or not to leave Middle-earth; I get that they wanted her to have a more important role in the story but her characterization is just so all over the place.

tl;dr there were a number of spots where I found myself thinking "wow that's pretty similar to something I complained about in The Hobbit".

That's NOT to say that I think ROTK is comparable, quality wise, to The Hobbit, but the flaws were there and they're basically impossible for me to ignore, at least at this point. I know Fellowship was not actually a perfect movie, but it was so good and the flaws so (comparatively) minor that it kind of felt like one. Neither of its sequels did. I dunno if I would go so far as to say that Fellowship is the only truly great film of the trilogy, but it is definitely the best by a substantial margin.

I do like a lot of the spectacle in TTT and ROTK but that does not elevate them as highly in my personal rankings as it did when I was younger. Insofar as spectacle goes, though, it's pretty fucking spectacular. There are lots of movies full of bombast and action but very few that I've seen that convey the kind of scope and grandeur that ROTK manages. And yes, there are points where one can argue that the scope is not grand enough compared to the books, but seeing as PJ did not have infinite resources I'm willing to cut him some slack on that one.

It has definitely been interesting to revisit these movies and to notice how my opinions of them have changed in light of how I have changed in the past four years. And of course, it's still just plain fun to watch the movies themselves, all pretensions of serious analysis aside. It's a little weird finding myself siding with a consensus opinion that I have argued against relatively recently, but that's where I ended up. At least for now ... who knows what I might think in another four years. Razz
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Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Nov 06, 2015 8:47 pm

Just the purist edits to review now Eldo Nod


'"wow that's pretty similar to something I complained about in The Hobbit".'

I have long argued that the vast majority of the problems in TH films are just as present in the LotR's films- the differences are merely one of scale and frequency. The problems at root however are the same.

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Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by bungobaggins on Fri Nov 06, 2015 9:53 pm

The movies suck.

*drops mic*
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Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by Elthir on Sat Nov 07, 2015 4:50 pm

I have long argued that the vast majority of the problems in TH films are just as present in the LotR's films- the differences are merely one of scale and frequency. The problems at root however are the same.

Agreed.

And I long predicted (to me) that the same cooks would produce the same soup, essentially; and to me they did, just with a gallon more Hollywood added, plus around twenty three more (large) scoops of blockbusterian spectacle, and (seemingly) a generous smearing of vinegar applied directly to the faces of Lee Pace and Orlando Flower.

And other ingredients, including even a dash of sexual innuendo... which I have to say, even surprised me as far as what I thought Peter Jackson "might" do, which I didn't think was possible by film four.
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Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by azriel on Sat Nov 07, 2015 5:23 pm

Right on Elthir Nod Very Happy

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Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by Eldorion on Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:57 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:I have long argued that the vast majority of the problems in TH films are just as present in the LotR's films- the differences are merely one of scale and frequency. The problems at root however are the same.

Don't get me wrong, I definitely agree on this, and used to argue as much quite vociferously (though perhaps not quite as vociferously as you do Razz). One of the weird things about this rewatch was that I found myself returning to a lot of old opinions I used to hold about the movies. There came a point in the past where I made my peace with a lot of the stuff I didn't like or thought was too silly, probably because I was watching them so much, and I could focus just on the good stuff. But whether because of the long gap in between viewings or something else, that stuff jumped out at me more again this time.
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Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by azriel on Fri Dec 11, 2015 4:51 pm





What a shame so much was left out.

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Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by Eldorion on Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:23 am

I was participating in a thread on another forum about emotional highlights from LOTR and it made me think about this thread, which I just re-read. I was definitely riding an emotional high after finishing FOTR, and I think that might the crash after that might have been why I was more down on TTT and ROTK than I have at some points in the past (though the main reason is probably changing tastes as I grow and change). But it's still ludicrous just how many emotional high points the trilogy has. There are plenty of films that get to me but none as frequently or reliably as LOTR does. I think the Ride of the Rohirrim is still my favorite but right now what I'm thinking of most is the Breaking of the Fellowship. What a fucking way to close out a movie. You just don't see storytelling like this in action-adventure movies. It's not something that happens. It's crazy how well PJ and co. pulled it off.





Howard Shore puts in hella work as well; I don't think his score will ever be topped for me. And the visuals? It's almost embarrassing how much went right with Fellowship.

{{{Feels good to get to fanboy over the film again. Very Happy}}}
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Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by Eldorion on Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:40 am

But I mean, while Fellowship is head and shoulders above its sequels, TTT and ROTK still bring their A game when it comes to emotional moments. They rightfully get attention for the awesome battle scenes, and those too are quite exceptional and rare achievements, but to also have stuff like...

Elrond's description of Arwen's fate


or Pippin's song


Just to cut myself off at one example per film...
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Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by Forest Shepherd on Mon Dec 28, 2015 5:43 am

Hey Eldo, no arguments to the contrary from me! Smile 

In fact, I just received a certain collection of a certain trilogy in a certain extended cut in a certain format for Christmas.  :brows:

Blu-ray Extended Edition! Very Happy 

I haven't watched the EEs but one time before this, and I haven't watched the trilogy all the way through for at least 4 years now. Needless to say, I'm pretty excited to get together some movie nights to watch through the trilogy in this new format. 
Not since I saw the second and third films in theaters 13 and 12 years ago will I have seen them with such clarity.  Cool 

(And there are special features I never got to see either.)

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Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by Eldorion on Mon Dec 28, 2015 5:48 am

Oh man, you're in for a treat, Forest! Very Happy The EEs add so much to the trilogy IMO. Blu-ray image quality is fantastic too. And the special features are the greatest set ever compiled for a home video release. Seriously, they will never be topped. LOTR came out at just the right time when studios were still financing those kinds of extras and both they and PJ felt that the project was special enough to merit an unusual level of documentation.

I think it's easy for me at least to take certain things about the films for granted, but when you go back and rewatch them or even just think about them in detail you remember how special they are.
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Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by Forest Shepherd on Mon Dec 28, 2015 6:58 am

That reminds me, there was a movie poster for RotK I remember looking at outside of the theater when I was standing or line or waiting for my dad to get tickets or something. I think it was a text-only poster, and it had on it lines of text listing the ridiculous amounts of things that the production had produced or required. So many thousands of hobbit feet made, so many thousands of pieces of armour, so many million circles of steel (but mostly faux-metal something) hand-plinked together for mail. 

I couldn't find that poster after some google searches, but I remember thinking as a kid, "Yeah that's right, these other crap films ain't ever gonna hold a candle to LotR! They shot nearly 1,200 miles of film-stock!" (That's crazy though, I think that's like 1,100 hours of film).  Shocked

One statistic from that list (I just looked up the list at least on the IMDB page) that is interesting is that the Lord of the Rings trilogy enlisted "180 special-effects digital artists". I suspect that number is on the low side in comparison to more recent big budget films. All one need do is take a look at the imdb page for Avatar...
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0499549/fullcredits/

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Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by Tinuviel on Mon Dec 28, 2015 7:11 pm

3 weekends in a row I watched ROTK then TTT then FOTR EE's while playing a drinking game with a couple friends. I thought I was bad about mumbling lines along with the films but I had to shush my friends on multiple occasions. I did FOTR with wine, which was a huge mistake. I drank an entire bottle by the end of it! But it had been the first time I had a) seen the EE's in about two years and b) was watching them with people almost as knowledgeable as me. I found myself enjoying them much more because I hadn't seen them in so long and had the Hobbit films burned onto my brain so LOTR seemed that much better. Also, the drinking game poked plenty of fun at the films already (one was drink every time Frodo makes a jizz face) so I didn't need to smack my forehead or roll my eyes because I was too busy drinking!

Essentially, they're fun movies to watch as a group, but long, so don't drink wine! No

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Re: Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

Post by Eldorion on Mon Dec 28, 2015 7:23 pm

Was there a reason you watched the films in reverse order or had you been drinking wine beforehand too? Very Happy
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