In defense of The Two Towers (which is your favorite?)

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu May 15, 2014 8:52 pm

Viggo's views here seem entirely in line with those he gave years ago after LotR's came out.
And he is spot on about secondary characters.
Legolas and Gimli are good examples, they have absolutely zero development after FotR- there is no sea longing for Legolas, no Glittering Caves for Gimli, no riding into Minas Tirith together, no pact to travel together when all is done.
Once Pj has set up his tak eon the characters- Legolamb the handsome superhero and Gimli the jokebutt there is no more progression.

Faramir and Eowyn are badly sidelined, Merry may as well have not turned up for RotK, Pippin isnt set up for his part in the final battle by wanting to match his friends courage ect ect.

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Post by Forest Shepherd on Thu May 15, 2014 9:00 pm

That's what I get for relaxing my obsessive self-editing. A single chink in the facade and the detractors step in to mock our integrity with The Easter Viggo.

Yes, do watch it, I would like to hear your opinion.

Currently, it is one of the still-short-but-ever-growing list of films the reviews of which I disagree with.

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Post by Ringdrotten on Thu May 15, 2014 9:01 pm

Sorry, I couldn't leave it be once I pictured it Very Happy

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Post by Mrs Figg on Thu May 15, 2014 9:05 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Viggo's views here seem entirely in line with those he gave years ago after LotR's came out.
And he is spot on about secondary characters.
Legolas and Gimli are good examples, they have absolutely zero development after FotR- there is no sea longing for Legolas, no Glittering Caves for Gimli, no riding into Minas Tirith together, no pact to travel together when all is done.
Once Pj has set up his tak eon the characters- Legolamb the handsome superhero and Gimli the jokebutt there is no more progression.

Faramir and Eowyn are badly sidelined, Merry may as well have not turned up for RotK, Pippin isnt set up for his part in the final battle by wanting to match his friends courage ect ect.

he didnt mention the secondary characters  scratch 
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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu May 15, 2014 9:13 pm

He did in the interview he gave just post LotR's, this is one is just a sort of follow up to that only with a bit more distance from it he can speak his mind even more.

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Post by malickfan on Thu May 15, 2014 9:32 pm

I'm going to be lazy and copy my thougths from my posts on this interview on TORn:

Fellowship was always my fave in the trilogy, even before reading the books I found it the most balanced and focused of the films, to me (along with the first hour of AUJ) it was really where PJ nailed the spirit of the books.

It's good he feels comfortable enough to be honest, nothing in this interview gives me the impression he is ungrateful to Jackson (edited drastically in all likelihood-look at how websites reported Christopher Tolkien's Le Monde interview (which some people took as a personal insult-you can respect peoples right to honesty whilst not agreeing with their views), editors will always try and sensationalize things with an angle), merely that on reflection he had a few issues with his approach to the story, and the way the chaotic production impacted on the story of LOTR, I guess for members of the fanbase it's often hard to forget filming these films is a job to actors, and like all jobs there are things we don't enjoy or would do differently about them.


Although Mortensen has struck me as a 'serious' actor who wouldn't normally do these types of films, he has spoken in the past of the great camaraderie he has with his fellow Rings actors, and it's obvious he respects Jackson's creative talents (and the options LOTR gave him), but I don't see why he shouldn't share his views, after all he saw things from an inside perspective so perhaps is better placed to offer an objective view.

You can't deny Jackson has a reputation (good or bad depending on your point of view) for employing SFX, one of the most common complaints with TH is an apparent overuse of them, Mortensen seems to have similar issues with the films as many people I know, so I'm personally not going to take his views any more seriously than those I've heard many times before, just welcome them for being insightful.

As for The Hobbit, to me it was always a small intimate story, on screen it has become a large story with a meandering focus-I came out of DOS rather indifferent, as I wasn't entirely sure who I was supposed to be caring about.

Mortensen owes Jackson alot, but certainly not undying loyalty, nothing he said in that interview (which he was under no obligation to share-would people rather the cast and crew stay silent without giving their illuminating views) gives me the impression he's ungrateful to Jackson, and his personal views (influenced by a distance of many years, his subsequent career in low buget drama's and a personal connection none of us have to the films) won't change the way I feel about the films. Jackson is human not a god, neither is Mortensen

Thanks to the OP for sharing, I think everyone is overreacting a bit.

Just my rambling, badly organised views of course.





I wouldn't necessarily call it sneaky on Mortensen's part (He has spoken very highly of Jackson and the film's before, and I know a retired journalist-not all interviews are accurate transcripts of conversations) but it does seem kinda odd he chooses to share his grievances quite casually all these years later. I don't personally have an issue with his views, but it does come across as a little ungrateful, Mortensen wouldn't have had the career he had if it wasn't for LOTR, though judging by that article it's not perhaps something he'd actively aim for usually.

That said I sometimes think, as members of a fanbase we too can be a little ungrateful, Mortensen was under no obligation to share his views, and he doesn't owe Jackson or the film's his undying loyalty, with an insider's view of the filmaking process he's certainly better placed to offer an honest view then me or you, at the end of the day he's only human, and LOTR remains a job to him, a special one perhaps but a job all the same.

It reminds me of Christopher Eccleston's attitude to Doctor Who, he has spoken highly of his colleagues and remains proud of is time on the show. Yet he had a horrible time shooting the show and chose not to renew his contract for a second season:

http://badwilf.co.uk/...y-he-left-doctor-who


I don't entirely agree with his decision, but I certainly respect it. he has gained a reputation amongst Whovians as being selfish and disrespectful (even though he actually entered discussions to reprise the role for the recent 50th Anniversary special) as though him owing them a favour is somehow more important than his personal integrity, I find such a viewpoint in some ways just as selfish even if I share some of the sentiments.

I don't think Mortensen is ungrateful, though he could perhaps has phrased things better, I'm glad he was at least honest, and whatever he apparently feels about the films doesn't effect the way I will perceive them-I can't change his views any more than my own.

(You'll notice my posts are much less sarcastic on TORn)

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Post by Mrs Figg on Thu May 15, 2014 9:51 pm

obviously Viggo was there in the thick of it and saw the creative chaos, but I think from the impression I get that he also loved his time there in NZ and I think overall he bonded with the other Actors and had a good time, or he seemed to. Its easy in hindsight after more than a decade to be objective, and maybe there are some lingering niggles, specially over The hobbit, who knows if he was offered a cameo, maybe he was..if he was so glad he turned it down.


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Post by David H on Thu May 15, 2014 9:58 pm

Well said Malick!

Would you mind re-posting a choice response or two here? I don't seem to be able to view TORn.

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Post by Eldorion on Fri May 16, 2014 1:54 am

David H wrote:Now that you can read TORn again, I can't!! I just gives me an Error message. Mad
They can't have banned me for what I was thinking, can thay? Suspect 

I couldn't get bungo's link to work at first either, but I removed the "www" from the start of the URL and got through. Smile

http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?post=741831

Unfortunately, the thread was cleared through by the mods by the time I saw it on my phone earlier, and appears to have been edited again since then, so I missed out on the stuff you guys got to see.  But it's funny to know that the fanboys are willing to turn even on their own idols if they don't pay lip service to PJ. Razz All I can see now are the people who are "sad" or "think less of" Mortensen now, which is just ... not surprising, but still pathetic. Have some confidence in your tastes, people!
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Post by Eldorion on Fri May 16, 2014 2:05 am

Forest Shepherd wrote:Eastern Promises and A Dangerous Method, however, were great. Maybe it's an order of viewing thing. If you see Eastern Promises first you greatly prefer it, and if you see A History of Violence first it ruins Eastern Promises for you.

I haven't seen A Dangerous Method, but I was really disappointed by Eastern Promises ending.  It felt extremely abrupt and unsatisfying to me.  It's not like A History of Violence wraps everything up in a neat little bow by the end credits, but it seemed to actually have worked towards that point.  I don't recall a ton about the action, but I don't think that was what the film was about.  It was a character study of a man who tried to leave his past behind and what happens to a life that is carefully constructed on lies when the truth comes barging in.  Saying that the fight scenes were poorly choreographed just seems to kind of miss the point, IMO.  That said, I thought the robbery scene in the cafe at the beginning was absolutely visceral and stunning.  Not quite as memorable as Eastern Promises' bath house fight, but what is?

The acting is certainly unconventional in places, but I got the sense that was part of the style Cronenberg was aiming for in the film.  Not one of absolute realism, but a heightened sort of movie-land existence (in the post-modern sense), where the characters are aware on some level of the tropes of cinema and work around them.

Edit: I did see A History of Violence first, but I'm not sure how much of a difference that made.
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Post by Eldorion on Fri May 16, 2014 2:27 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Viggo's views here seem entirely in line with those he gave years ago after LotR's came out.
And he is spot on about secondary characters.
Legolas and Gimli are good examples, they have absolutely zero development after FotR- there is no sea longing for Legolas, no Glittering Caves for Gimli, no riding into Minas Tirith together, no pact to travel together when all is done.
Once Pj has set up his tak eon the characters- Legolamb the handsome superhero and Gimli the jokebutt there is no more progression.

Faramir and Eowyn are badly sidelined, Merry may as well have not turned up for RotK, Pippin isnt set up for his part in the final battle by wanting to match his friends courage ect ect.

Not having seen Mortensen's older interviews in some time (assuming we're talking about the same ones), I can't comment on any claims he might have made, but I disagree some of the criticisms in this post. I partially agree about Legolas and Gimli, but only somewhat: their friendship does continue to develop in TTT but it is mostly static. That said, Legolas is the dullest and least-fleshed out member of the Fellowship in the book, so they had little to work with. I also think it's worth noting that Gimli does get developed in the sequels, just not in a good way. In FOTR he received a fairly balanced portrayal and was not used as gratuitous comic relief, except for one scene (the first instance of dwarf tossing). It's not until TTT that the dwarf jokes start coming fast and furious, but unfortunately they begin in the first 10 minutes and don't really let up for the rest of the trilogy. The loss of sea-longing and Glittering Caves I consider an acceptable loss in return for greater development of the Rohan characters throughout TTT and ROTK.

My bigger problem here is how marginalized everyone except Aragorn and Gandalf becomes after the Battle of the Pelennor in ROTK. I find this to be very jarring, but it's a problem with the film's structure (and massive length) rather than any specific character work. Faramir and Eowyn suffer from this fate too: both receive as much characterization as most members of the Fellowship in the first half of ROTK and are basically main characters by then, but they get shunted aside in the final stretch. Pippin at least has a conclusion to his character arc by saving Faramir, which closes the circle on the movie character. Merry gets the same thing; I don't see how you can possibly watch his scenes with Eowyn up to and including the confrontation with the Witch-king and say he might as well not have shown up. Merry's bond with Pippin is his defining one, and it's well developed throughout the first two films, but he builds a believable and meaningful bond with Eowyn very quickly based on their shared anxieties (and some uncharacteristically economical filmmaking from PJ). It's not until the last third of the film that all these characters get left by the wayside, and here Faramir and Eowyn suffer more since their character arcs were not really wrapped up except for a (very) brief Houses of Hearling scene that was relegated to the EE in any event.

I had actually raised this same complaint about ROTK earlier in this thread when making the case that TTT was better, but honestly, I sometimes think the first half to two-thirds of ROTK is my favorite part of the entire trilogy. Everything is really clicking, IMO, and the characters that were introduced in TTT are finally given time to shine and fully stand alongside the members of the Fellowship. I've heard a number of people in recent years suggest that ROTK should have been split into two films, and while I'm somewhat skeptical of the claim, I can see where they're coming from. The whole film just gets incredibly small and rushed after the Pelennor and it's really disappointing. I think they able to pull things out with the destruction of the Ring and the coda (even though the latter is the part that everyone memetically hates on), but I feel that it could have been something more. Leaving more material in TTT would probably have been the better solution, though. I don't know how much room they could make in TTT without removing some of the extra Rohan stuff which I really like, but making Helm's Deep shorter and less central to the film's plot would free up considerable space.
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Post by halfwise on Fri May 16, 2014 2:36 am

The books become more compressed, of course. RotK deals with whole action sequences with a well crafted sentence or two. If you take out the appendices it has about as many pages as the Two Towers, but twice as much happens. The movies would have been well served by dividing it in two and giving the audience more time on some of the magnificent scenes that deserved it. To Jackson's credit it didn't feel rushed, but we missed out on the Army of the Dead being treated properly; the rush of the captured ships up the Anduin to save Minas Tirith; Imrahil; the full treatment of the Eowyn/Faramir story; multiple scenes in the gorgeous Minas Tirith set, etc.

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Post by Eldorion on Fri May 16, 2014 2:41 am

That's a good point about the books getting more condensed. I'm pretty sure ROTK is actually the shortest by a fair margin if you discount the Appendices. I'm a bit skeptical of the idea of making six films, but I am slowly starting to grow on a four film treatment. I think FOTR worked the way PJ did it. He condensed and cut a lot, but the film felt fine as a film, pacing wise especially. It's the introduction of branching plot lines and masses of new characters in TTT (with another cohort coming at the beginning of Book V) that throws a wrench in things. I'm trying to envision in my head now how they might have broken up Books III through VI, not necessarily along the same lines that Tolkien did, but in a way that would have allowed more space for Gondor to breathe, the way they did with Rohan in film two.
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Post by Mrs Figg on Fri May 16, 2014 8:30 pm

I agree about ROTK needing to be split in two, it gets very condensed and rushed towards the end and a lot of things have been missed out, or had been filmed and I would have liked to see them, ie Faramirs wedding. two films would have been fantastic. *sigh* maybe one day PJ will do a mega super dooper EE.
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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri May 16, 2014 11:01 pm

I'm trying to envision in my head now how they might have broken up Books III through VI, not necessarily along the same lines that Tolkien did- Eldo

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