Movie and movie character is truest to their book counterpart

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Movie and movie character is truest to their book counterpart

Post by Lorient Avandi on Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:29 am

So which one do you guys think is closest to the book? And post which character you think is closest.
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Re: Movie and movie character is truest to their book counterpart

Post by Orwell on Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:33 am

Lorient Avandi wrote:So which one do you guys think is closest to the book? And post which character you think is closest.

ROTK - maybe... need to think about this a bit more...

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Re: Movie and movie character is truest to their book counterpart

Post by Eldorion on Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:36 am

Hmm, my gut reaction is to say Fellowship, but I want to give this some thought...

FOTR: At first glance this appears to follow the story pretty specifically (barring obvious cuts like the 17 year time skip and Tom Bombadil), which is easier than in the later films because the storyline is pretty linear. However, as someone on another film pointed out to me, the tone is changed considerably in the first half of the film, with the cat-and-mouse game between the Nazgul and the Hobbits (and later Aragorn) made much more fast-paced. The film also shows Saruman and attributes much of what opposes the Fellowship to him, giving him the main villain role for most of this film. However, while this film introduces the "reluctant king" aspect of Aragorn, I think it is comparatively faithful to the book's characterization in most cases.

TTT: I know a lot of people call this the least faithful film, and my gut reaction is to agree. About half of this volume was moved to either the first or third films, and while that is understandable since the film-makers attempted a chronological adaptation of LOTR as a single work (a reasonable approach, I think) it does cause a number of differences. The Isengard-Rohan war is given significantly more screentime (probably drawing partially from the accounts in Unfinished Tales) and the stories in Frodo and Sam are intercut with those of Aragorn & Co. and Merry and Pippin. I understand why the film-makers did this and probably would have done something similar in the same position, but it is undeniably a difference. TTT is also given somewhat more of a 'stand-alone' feeling, with its own plot threads and lengthy climax and denouement at the end, rather than the tense build-up and cliff-hanger that in the book leads directly into the third volume (by contrast, the third film takes a while to pick up steam, IMO).

ROTK: PJ tones down some of his tendencies to add material and brings Faramir more in line with his book character, but adds new twists to establish pointless "drama" (because the original story of a war for survival wasn't dramatic enough). Theoden questions the alliance of Rohan and Gondor (despite having grown up in Gondor in the book), Denethor becomes a raving lunatic who refuses to even evacuate the city, and Frodo sends Sam away. Evil or Very Mad Forget the excision of the Scouring of the Shire (which drastically changes the meaning of the ending and the conclusion of the Hobbits' character arcs), PJ just can't resist upping the drama and tension for no reason. A lack of subtlety, as we're fond of pointing out. I like many parts of ROTK and find them to be among the best parts of the trilogy, but I really can't commend the film for its faithfulness, except maybe in comparison to TTT. A real shame, if you ask me.

So, in the end, I have to stick with my original choice of FOTR. That's not to say I think it's the best film, but I think it follows the book the closest. Part of that is probably because that was easier at that stage of production, but I think that PJ also just got more confident (cocky?) as the films became more and more successful. He probably felt more comfortable changing the book when he knew he didn't have to pander to the book fandom to ensure profitability.

Still need to think about the character question. Smile
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Re: Movie and movie character is truest to their book counterpart

Post by Orwell on Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:15 am

There was "pandering" to fans in FotR. I mean, really, Eldo... Rolling Eyes

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Re: Movie and movie character is truest to their book counterpart

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:27 am

The megaedit is closest to the books!

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Re: Movie and movie character is truest to their book counterpart

Post by Lorient Avandi on Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:37 am

Eldorion wrote:. Part of that is probably because that was easier at that stage of production, but I think that PJ also just got more confident (cocky?) as the films became more and more successful. He probably felt more comfortable changing the book when he knew he didn't have to pander to the book fandom to ensure profitability.

Still need to think about the character question. Smile

I have to disagree on this point about PJ, he couldnt have changed things because he got cocky from the success. He couldn't because all the movies were produced at the same time. So two towers and ROTK were already finished when FOTR came out. So he couldn't have changed things for that reason, since when he changed things, the film wasn't even a success.

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Re: Movie and movie character is truest to their book counterpart

Post by Eldorion on Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:39 am

Orwell wrote:There was "pandering" to fans in FotR. I mean, really, Eldo... Rolling Eyes

Are you agreeing or disagreeing with me there? Sometimes with you Bankses I can't tell. Razz
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Re: Movie and movie character is truest to their book counterpart

Post by Eldorion on Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:42 am

Lorient Avandi wrote:I have to disagree on this point about PJ, he couldnt have changed things because he got cocky from the success. He couldn't because all the movies were produced at the same time. So two towers and ROTK were already finished when FOTR came out. So he couldn't have changed things for that reason, since when he changed things, the film wasn't even a success.

I know that all three movies were filmed in the same mega-production, but they had separate editing and post-production phases. After filming wrapped in late 2000 PJ went into a roughly year-long period of overseeing post-production, finishing effects work, editing the film, and everything else involved in that. Then, he worked on TTT mostly during 2002 (after the release of FOTR), and on ROTK the following year. Editing the film is the big thing, because PJ had so many different takes and variations of most scenes (not to mention scenes that were from previous versions of the script), he was really able to piece together the narrative during editing to a large degree. There were also annual pick-up shoots where new scenes were filmed with the actors, giving PJ even more leeway.

So, while the single production was certainly a massive gamble (one that paid off) and it did restrict him to some degree, I don't really think it's accurate to say that the trilogy was finished before FOTR came out, or that PJ couldn't change things at that point. Smile
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Re: Movie and movie character is truest to their book counterpart

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:11 am

Got to agree with Eldo here. Theres a heck of a lot you can do in an editing suite- completely change the tone and feel of a film, even the narrative. Megaedit is proof of that. And I think PJ gambled more and more with the source material in that process as the films were completed and added more and more spectacle at the expense of internal logic, characterisation and good tatse.

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Re: Movie and movie character is truest to their book counterpart

Post by Porgy Bunk-Banks on Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:21 am

No one was voting for TT and I felt sorry for it.
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Re: Movie and movie character is truest to their book counterpart

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:27 am

Oddly TT is my least favourite of the films but the TT section of the megaedit is my favourite part of it. Weird but true.

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Re: Movie and movie character is truest to their book counterpart

Post by Eldorion on Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:31 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Oddly TT is my least favourite of the films but the TT section of the megaedit is my favourite part of it. Weird but true.

Could be that there's lots of good story in there but it's mixed in with some of PJ's worst meddling. As someone who has learned over the years to ignore most of the meddling, I find TTT to be my favourite film of the trilogy. Smile
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Re: Movie and movie character is truest to their book counterpart

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:37 am

I think its more to do with the mood- by having Shelob Lair in there in the megaedit as the end of TT it feels like a proper middle film- very like Empire Strikes back in fact. PJ ends it on a pretty upbeat note with none of the main characters in any immediate danger or at any risk. I found that a weak ending for a midle film in a trilogy.

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Re: Movie and movie character is truest to their book counterpart

Post by Lorient Avandi on Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:39 am

I actually liked the including of the elves at HD. There was really no problem with it since, in the movie, there are no hints that there is fighting in lorien. I like how it shows that there still is an alliance of men and elves. I just don't agree on how pretty much all of them die, considering elves are typically better warriors than orcs, uruk-hai, and men, yet several rohirrim survive and almost no elves do.

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Re: Movie and movie character is truest to their book counterpart

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:41 am

Only legolas survives- as PJ added the elves he had no narritive way to get rid of them afterwards, so like much of his changes once its served its shallow crowd cheering moment it is simply forgotten about. Leoglas seems capable of extrodinary feats of physicality and prowess in a fight, yet the Rohirrim troops of old men and boys survives when ever single elf dies. Yeah right PJ- try writing a script next time.

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Re: Movie and movie character is truest to their book counterpart

Post by Eldorion on Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:46 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:I think its more to do with the mood- by having Shelob Lair in there in the megaedit as the end of TT it feels like a proper middle film- very like Empire Strikes back in fact. PJ ends it on a pretty upbeat note with none of the main characters in any immediate danger or at any risk. I found that a weak ending for a midle film in a trilogy.

True, the ending of TTT is my least favourite part of the film by far. For all the complaints about ROTK, I felt that TTT dragged much worse in its conclusion, mainly because there was so much story left to tell that it really had no business concluding anything. Razz I love the suspenseful end of Book III (Gandalf and Pippin riding away into the night) and the ultimate cliffhanger at the end of Book IV ("Frodo was alive, and taken by the enemy"). For someone who loves drama so much, PJ really should have included some of Tolkien's most dramatic writing. Razz
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Re: Movie and movie character is truest to their book counterpart

Post by Eldorion on Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:50 am

Lorient Avandi wrote:I actually liked the including of the elves at HD. There was really no problem with it since, in the movie, there are no hints that there is fighting in lorien.

I can understand people liking that the films show Elves since I know a lot of people are fans of Elves (for some reason Razz) but I always thought that trying to shoehorn them into the main plot was missing the point to some extent. There really wasn't much indication that they were fighting in Lorien in the book either, unless you read the appendices. That's because LOTR isn't about Elves; it's about the rise and dominion of Men. PJ even alludes to this by having Galadriel say that the time of the Elves is over, but he manages to completely miss the point of this concept by having the Galadhrim send an army across hundreds of miles instead of being on their last legs, struggling to defend their own home. The emphasis on Elves is something that really bugs me, both about the addition to TTT and the film-makers justification for it in the EE documentaries.

^^ My rant of the day. Laughing
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Re: Movie and movie character is truest to their book counterpart

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:54 am

I have to say I never felt RotK suffered from the multiple endng, going on and on thing everyone was complaining about- I thought the rest of the film was just so bad people it felt like it was dragging, and people wanted it to finish sooner so they could leave- thats what I wanted to do, and prefrably get my money back on the way out (thats the Scotshobbit in me, sadly there was also a Scotshobbit behind the ticket desk unwlling to understand or comprehend the word 'refund').

My main gripe with the elves thing apart from it just being plain wrong and the ridiculous manner he gets rid of them all afterwards, is that it undermines the whole mood of the helms Deep bit. Thpoint is noone os expected to come to their aid, they are a rag tag army of a country whose ruler has been failing for along time up against huge odds- thats the point of it. Sticking a battalion of elves in it not only ruins that it ruins the excellent speech Theoden gives to Aragorn in PJ's own version "And who shall we call for aid? Elves? Dwarves? We are not so lucky in our friends as you. No my Lord Aragorn, we are alone." And then he screws it all up minutes later for the sake of a cheap cheer.

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Re: Movie and movie character is truest to their book counterpart

Post by Eldorion on Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:57 am

Nicely put, Petty. It reminds me of how PJ and the coven had Theoden continue to question all allegiances at the beginning of ROTK, even suggesting that he should not aid Gondor at all. Then, when Aragorn storms in and announces that the beacons are lit, Theoden promptly announces that Rohan will ride to war. There's no explanation for this and in fact no scenes of Theoden pondering his decision between the two I just mentioned. Boyens (I think) said that it was to make Theoden's decision that much more "meaningful", or something like that, but it strikes me as just another attempt to get the audience to cheer without creating a coherent story. Evil or Very Mad
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Re: Movie and movie character is truest to their book counterpart

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:03 am

Yes, if memory serves Theoden goes from "Why should we ride to the aid of those who did not come to our aid?" to; Aragorn- "Gondor calls for aid!" Theoden- "And Rohan will answer" without anything inbetween.

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Re: Movie and movie character is truest to their book counterpart

Post by Lorient Avandi on Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:07 am

I do like the dispute between Theoden and Aragorn:

'"Send out riders my lord, you must call for aid!"
"And who would come? Elves? Dwarves? We are not all so lucky in our friends as you."'
then my personal favorite part
'"Gondor will come"
" Gondor? Where was Gondor when the Westfold fell!? Where was Gondor when our enemies closed in around us!? Where was Gond-" *sighs* "No my Lord Aragorn, we are alone"

The way he bashes gondor it would have made more sense to have them come rather than the elves. Just to have them completely thrown off.

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Re: Movie and movie character is truest to their book counterpart

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:11 am

Having Gondor soldiers turn up may have thrown them off but it would be no better. The point of Helm's Deep is the courage of the few who stood up to be counted against the many to save their homelands. Giving them an extra army just ruins the whole premise.
And for me Eomer has to be at Helms Deep- I can see why PJ did what he did but one of my favourite becoming mates story lines next to Gimli/Legolas is Aragorn/Eomer and it begins at Helms Deep and culminates when they meet again on the battle field of the Pelannor. And I liked Erkenbrand.

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Re: Movie and movie character is truest to their book counterpart

Post by Lorient Avandi on Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:12 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Yes, if memory serves Theoden goes from "Why should we ride to the aid of those who did not come to our aid?" to; Aragorn- "Gondor calls for aid!" Theoden- "And Rohan will answer" without anything inbetween.
Its a little more dramatic than that
Early movie scene
Gandalf- if the beacons are lit, Rohan must be ready for war
Theoden- Tell me-why should we ride to the aid of those who did not come to ours?......... Or do we owe Gondor?

Later, after Aragorn rushes to the Hall after seeing the beacon
Aragorn- the beacons of Minas Tirith are lit! Gondor calls for aid!
Theoden- *hesitates*.....And rohan will answer!

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Re: Movie and movie character is truest to their book counterpart

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:16 am

It may be dramatic but sadly it doesn't make sense within the characters presented in the film. Why did Theoden change his mind? What changed it? He speaks out against Gondor several times and then just changes his mind at the last minute with no explanation. Its shoddy writing. He speaks out against to create a dramatic conflict that isn;t really there and then he drops it to get a second artificial dramatic moment when the beacons are lit. But the two don't sit together, sadly such trivilaities as plot or character consistancy never seem to bother PJ much.

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Re: Movie and movie character is truest to their book counterpart

Post by Ally on Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:46 pm

Reading the book I found Theoden to be noble yet kind (the opposite to Denethor really) but when I watched the movies again, having read the books, I found him too young. Maybe the character wasn't developed enough.

Having recently watched the films again while going on a few extremely long journeys (driving to Poland from Wales? Why? Then Poland to America? Stupid!!) I've finally started to spot a few issues with Arwen's reformed "warrior princess" image.

I also had a few thoughts on the whole Helm's Deep thing while watching. In the books they have to go the deep to avoid a humongous army of orcs and
dunelendings which were charging across Rohan, a force so huge that Theoden could not help to defeat them in a pitched battle. But then in the movie Gandalf was like "Hey Theoden! Don't be such a coward!" And I was like, "being a coward by not meeting them to all get killed?!"

As for the elves, apart from the fact that they shouldn't of been there, it seems a bit unrealistic that these hardened warriors, who have seen conflict throughout an age, can get completely destroyed by some unexperienced Uruk-hai. Yeah okay, I get the whole "sacrifice" thing, romance that they stand with men before leaving Middle Earth, and that need to die (all of them though?) to show their sacrifice. So I'm a bit undecided really!




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