Who would you cast?- A fun thread to discuss alternate casting, no limitations.

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Post by bungobaggins on Sat Dec 31, 2016 3:32 pm

Yeah, how else were they supposed to put Mordor two feet away from Minas Tirith.

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Post by malickfan on Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:12 pm

I must admit, as Gondor's population in the filmverse seemed to be contained entirely within one smallish city it does make you wonder why they simply never considered packing up and moving further away...

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Post by malickfan on Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:13 pm

bungobaggins wrote:Yeah, how else were they supposed to put Mordor two feet away from Minas Tirith.

Going off on a tangent here, but remember at the end of AUJ when Bilbo and co could see Erebor from the Carrock? Would that actually be possible in novel canon?

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I think what comes out of a pig's rear end is more akin to what Peejers has given us-Azriel 20/9/2014
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Post by Mrs Figg on Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:56 pm

Minas Tirith was beautiful perfection. Razz

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Post by Eldorion on Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:23 pm

malickfan wrote:
bungobaggins wrote:Yeah, how else were they supposed to put Mordor two feet away from Minas Tirith.

Going off on a tangent here, but remember at the end of AUJ when Bilbo and co could see Erebor from the Carrock? Would that actually be possible in novel canon?

I don't think so. Erebor was nearly 200 miles away and the Carrock is in the bottom of a (broad) river valley anyway.
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Post by Eldorion on Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:48 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:I dont think its churlish as all the wide shots of Minas Tirith and the surrounds are cgi. There is no reason at all they could not have had fields, farms, homesteads, vineyards on the hillsides ect and a generally more Mediterranean vibe to the climate and fauna and appearance.

Even using CGI, upping the number and complexity of visual effects shot on a film already stuffed full of them is not a completely trivial decision. That said, my main thought here was not the lack of farms on the Pelennor but primarily the size of Minas Tirith itself (the "bigature" of the city was already humongous) and of the hall in the Seventh Circle, the set of which (if I recall the Appendices correctly) was built in the largest warehouse space they could find and they still had to cut holes in the walls in order to fit all the lighting elements in. But both are not really as grand as described in the book.

On the other hand, I think they could have depicted the distance between Mordor and Minas Tirith more faithfully to the book with little or no change in the amount of effort required, so I'm not trying to excuse away that. I think it's fairly clear that decision (as well as the similar compression of geography within Mordor itself) was done for reasons of "drama" rather than practiciality.

The reason they don't has nothing to do with stretching New Zealand's film industry but about PJ's scripts insistence that bad =dark and grey everywhere, showing shades of grey or light- say a Minas Tirith that has a glimmer of defiant hope, a leader who is both going mad through grief and despair and making competent preparations to defend his city and people to the last none the less- would be too much for a poor viewers mind to deal with and they would become confused and wander off.  Mad

I think you're conflating several different complaints here. Denethor could have been off his rocker even if film!Gondor had been larger and richer. The climate of Gondor could have been different and the Pelennor could have been something other than a dusty plain even if the Captains of the Outlands were not included. Showing the Gondor had sufficient resources to mount a more impressive defense but that Denethor was ignoring them would have emphasized his craziness even more than his refusal to ask for help from Rohan in the films we got, though obviously both were/would be very different from the book. I agree with you that film!Denethor is a significantly less interesting or compelling character than his book counterpart, but I think John Noble gave a good performance and that the character fulfills his role in the movie's storyline well for the most part, at least in the first part of the movie (towards the end it gets a little too ridiculous even on the movie's own terms).

And secondly PJ needed a huge big flat area of land to recreate the Battle of Hoth with Mumakil as AT-AT's and Rohirrim as Snow Speeders- and a bunch of fields and farms would have hampered his visual spectacle (as it tramples over the script on the way by).

Just think instead we could have had cgi that looks like Gondor- too scale, with sustainable land for its population- we could have had the other Captains arriving witnessed by Pippin, even if there was no time for Bergrond and son- but it could have been used to convey both the mood of defiance in the people as well as their fears in the numbers being too little- ratcheting up tension.

I'm not really sure how the presence of farms (or the burnt out remains of farms) on the Pelennor would have prevented PJ from having a Rohirrim-vs-Mumakil battle there (other than it would have made the shoot even more expensive and complicated, but I dunno if that's your point since you sort of dismissed questions of practicality earlier). I think the charge of the Rohirrim is quite possibly the best scene in the entire trilogy, but it is certainly much less "realistic"  than the Battle of the Pelennor in the book (ex: the willingness of the horses to go near the Mumakil), no question there. I already said in my previous post that I think PJ could easily have included the Captains of the Outlands without having to change much else.

We could have had the enemy arriving across the fields, ever closer, burning the farms as they come and laying the fire trenches before the siege engines roll up. After the (admittedly good in the films) charge of the Rohirrim scene we could have had instead of the Mumakil and ghosts more gritty, believable, and so more tense fighting which goes on into the night among the burning farms and fields as the army of Gondor pushing out from the gates and Aragorn and co come up form the sea and the Rohirrim fight to meet them.

Instead we got green ghost bubbles scrubbing the place clean and as they are dead already they are invincible-rendering everyone elses sacrifice to that point utterly useless- if the Rohirrim had stayed home it would not have made a blind bit of difference- if all Gondor had done was sat in the top circles and waited it out that would have worked fine- no one had to do anything in PJ's films except for Aragorn- and all he had to do was turn up- he is only fighting for fun as there is absolutely no reason otherwise to fight, he could have sat on the ship till the ghosts were done. Its ridiculous. And people love it!!!! Evil or Very Mad Praise it! Banghead say its the best of the three! Banghead And thats before taking into account that he fucks the main theme of the book with Frodo on the other storyline!!!! Extremely Crabbit  }}}

I've complained about the "Army of the Dead" numerous times and it is certainly one of the points where I think the movie's narrative doesn't really work even on its own terms, but I don't think it ruins the film. I used to go back and forth as to which film was my favorite, but after my rewatch of the trilogy last year I ended up solidly in the FOTR camp.
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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Dec 31, 2016 6:11 pm

Even using CGI, upping the number and complexity of visual effects shot on a film already stuffed full of them is not a completely trivial decision. - Eldo

{{Easier if you cut a lot of other unnecessary cgi- think of the cost of all the Smeagol rendering and the landscape there all for a terrible made up contrived insertion of Frodo picking Gollum over Sam- its all about choices- if you want to bring Tolkien to the screen it doesn't include the Mumakil v Rohirrim stuff- that's a huge saving- yes its spectacular cinema, yes its exciting, its just in the wrong film. Its a scene form some other fantasy film of it own, its not part of Tolkiens. Save all that you've got a bit of time and money for something that's actually in the book.

'I think you're conflating several different complaints here. '

I think rather I am unclear here- what I mean is that the visual appearance of places is generally black and white- this applies from visuals- dark and gloomy for bad characters, sunny for good places, but its more than visual it permeates the script too so shades of grey get removed from characters. Denethor is a pantomime villain, his death is a moment you are supposed to cheer as the death of an obstructive cold hearted Disney villain, not mourn as the tragic mental collapse of a once good man.
The complexity of Smeagols personality is simplified down to black and white too- Good Smeagol/Bad Gollum- its a clean break between the two lacking the books muddling and grey areas and uncertainty of over which part of his personality is talking, or in dominance at any given time.

The simplified black white thing goes through the films like lettering through as stick of Blackpool rock- it affects how things are visually portrayed and how characters are portrayed and how the narrative is presented.

'I don't think it ruins the film'

No, but it does make everything else that just happened redundant in that all that was required to win outright was for Aragorn to do his bit. No one elses input or sacrifice matters, they dont make any difference. If only Aragorn had told the Rohirrim before he left 'Im off to marshal an army of lethal invincible undead to defend Minas Tirith' they could all have stayed where they were. }}

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