My M*vie Review: or; Lies, Damn Lies, and Peter Jackson

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CarlF.Hostetter

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Jan 4, 2004, 2:41:43 PM1/4/04
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I finally saw the latest M*vie yesterday, and despite having read all
the reviews and spoilers I could find in order to prepare myself for
the worst, and to lower my expectations as much as possible, I still
came away deeply disappointed.

I won't comment on all the defects of the M*vie (both as a movie and as
an adaptation of Tolkien's novel) -- the complete lack of dramatic,
emotional, or psychological subtlety in the script and its
characterizations, the incessant anticipation and projection of plot
twists removing all suspense and all hope of eucatastrophe, the
overriding emphasis on the gross and the violent and the video-game
kinetic at the expense of the beautiful or heroic or sacrificial, the
insulin-demanding sappiness and cheap sentiments -- but I would like to
highlight three that I haven't seen anyone mention yet.

1) The destruction of the Ring in the Sammath Naur -- having had three
long, long films in which to bring Frodo to the brink of the Cracks of
Doom, and to establish the dramatic, emotional, and psychological drama
and tension that all comes to a concentrated focus at that time and
place -- and, of course, wasting all this long opportunity on other
concerns -- Jackson and Boyens, who wouldn't know subtlety if it bit
them in their asses, nonetheless can't resist one last chance to
replace the real drama and significance of Tolkien's pivotal
eucatastrophic moment with an absurd Hollywood ending featuring a
_literal_ cliff-hanger and a "Terminator 2"-style scene of Gollum and
then the Ring floating in the lava for an interminable and impossible
time. The ending _as Tolkien wrote it_, with the rapid twist of fate
followed by the eruptive destruction would have been far, far more
effective, surprising and then exhilarating in short succession, than
this drawn-out, embarrassing, and trite scene.

2) Sauron's end -- Without a doubt, one of the most dramatic and
emblematic moments of the novel is the sight of Sauron's massive shade
rising from the ruin of the Barad-dūr, reaching out defiantly yet
impotently towards the West, and then being blown away in the wind like
the insubstantial, irrelevant thing he had become. It is hard to
imagine a more inviting opportunity for dramatic visual effects than
this scene, or one that more succinctly and emblematically expresses
the triumph that had been achieved through the sacrifices of the
Fellowship and of all the Free Peoples, and esp. of Frodo and Samwise,
and would personalize that triumph in Sauron's dark form. Instead, we
are "treated" to a ridiculous spectacle of a giant flaming eyeball
glancing around in an ocular equivalent of "Wha-? Whoa... whoa..
WHOOAAAA!", and then a Death-Star style explosive ring of light. But I
suppose that this scene as written and visualized by Boyens and Jackson
_is_ perfectly emblematic of these movies, as yet another horribly
wasted opportunity.

3) and the worst of all, Gandalf's description of "death" -- Gandalf
encourages Pippin with a vision of what Pippin can expect when he dies:
the description of the white shore and the far green country under a
swift sunrise lifted from Frodo's arrival at Tol Eressėa -- which of
course is _not_ the afterlife. It is hard to imagine a more fundamental
lie about Tolkien's novel and fictive metaphysics than this. The very
point of Elves in contrast to Men is that, in the pre-Christian, fallen
world of Middle-earth, and unlike the Elves, _no one_ knows what fate
awaits Men after their deaths: not Men, not Gandalf, not even the
Valar, nor anyone other than Eru Himself. And yet the faithful Men at
least choose still to fight, to risk their lives in right causes simply
_because_ they are right, without promise of reward or recompense in
this life or in a next life, and without expectation of victory. This
is the very essence of the heroic spirit that Tolkien's novel, and most
of his Middle-earth writings, is a long mediation on (in varying
degrees, to be sure, but always there in the fabric of his fiction). It
is bad enough that Boyens and Jackson have robbed most of Tolkien's
characters of their faith, dignity, and sense of moral purpose -- even
Gandalf is unscathed in this latest movie, what with all the beatings
he administers -- but this is the worst lie of all.

Yick. Blech. Ptui.

Carl F. Hostetter

--

|======================================================================|
| Carl F. Hostetter Aelf...@elvish.org http://www.elvish.org |
| |
| ho bios brachys, he de techne makre. |
| Ars longa, vita brevis. |
| The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne. |
| "I wish life was not so short," he thought. "Languages take |
| such a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about." |
|======================================================================|

Rick

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Jan 4, 2004, 3:26:18 PM1/4/04
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Your conclusions were made before you walked in the theater.


JXStern

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Jan 4, 2004, 3:41:59 PM1/4/04
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On Sun, 04 Jan 2004 14:41:43 -0500, "CarlF.Hostetter"
<Aelf...@elvish.org> wrote:
>1) The destruction of the Ring in the Sammath Naur

Yep.

>2) Sauron's end

Yep.

It really did seem more like a Wiley Coyote ending, even with the
reasonable kinetics of the falling tower. Maybe we'll get the tower
of smoke on the EE? PJ did manage to use silence as an element in the
several closings, just not here.

>3) and the worst of all, Gandalf's description of "death"

Good point, however, with all of the other changes in the movie, I
didn't get the existential angst out of this change that you rightly
indicate is merited. PJ had beaten me down by then.

>Yick. Blech. Ptui.

Well OK, but even so, just as an attention-deficit special, ROTK The
M*vie deserves a fair rating.

J.

James Hyder

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Jan 4, 2004, 4:35:20 PM1/4/04
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"JXStern" <JXSternC...@gte.net> wrote

> >1) The destruction of the Ring in the Sammath Naur
>
> Yep.

Indeed. Missed entirely the effect of the pity/mercy of Bilbo, Frodo and
even Sam at Frodo's insistence, staying their hands and not killing Gollum
so that, at the final moment when he (Gollum) gains possession of his
precious it is his "gloating" at his prize and thus inattention to his
surroundings which cause him to topple over the edge taking his precious
with him. The Ring is destroyed by the obsession it evoked. But Jackson
would not know this because despite his claims to the contrary he has never
read Tolkien.

> >2) Sauron's end
>
> Yep.
>
> It really did seem more like a Wiley Coyote ending, even with the
> reasonable kinetics of the falling tower. Maybe we'll get the tower
> of smoke on the EE? PJ did manage to use silence as an element in the
> several closings, just not here.

Ugh! The Eyeball of Barad dur. Stupid. Check other threads for
discussions of this nonesense. Again, no one who read RoTK could have this
stupid eye-ball effect.

> >3) and the worst of all, Gandalf's description of "death"
>

Well, bad, but not worst of all. For worst of all, see #2 above.

JH


kitznegari thinks it has wings

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Jan 4, 2004, 4:37:49 PM1/4/04
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if those are the biggest three things that you found wrong with the films then
perhaps you should wake up and be grateful. jackson did a fine job.

if you think you can do better, by all means. the floor is yours.

- k i t z -
you're always first when no one's on your side.
http://spinning_plates.tripod.com

Orac

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Jan 4, 2004, 4:49:29 PM1/4/04
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In article <040120041441434177%Aelf...@elvish.org>,
"CarlF.Hostetter" <Aelf...@elvish.org> wrote:


SPOILERS WARNING AHOY!!!

Of your three comments, this is the only one I agree with you on. Having
Frodo go back to try to take the ring and then almost falling into the
pit with Gollum changed Tolkien's intent beyond recognition and
essentially "Hollywoodized" this climactic sequence. The whole point of
the original ending, where Gollum fell in accidentally after finally
recovering the Ring from Frodo, who at the last minute came fully under
the Ring's power and claimed it for himself, was that the mission could
not have been accomplished without Gollum. Hence, Bilbo's pity on Gollum
in "The Hobbit" was justified, as Gandalf said it was. So was Frodo's
pity for Gollum. Gandalf's prediction that Gollum would still have a
role to play was validated. By changing it to a predictable and
unoriginal Hollywood-style "final fight on the edge of a precipice"
scene between Frodo and Gollum during which they both fall off the edge,
but only Frodo manages to hang on, Peter Jackson eliminated or at least
unacceptably altered that element.

This was the one change Jackson made that truly annoyed me, and damn if
it didn't have to be at the climactic scene of the movie.

--
Orac |"A statement of fact cannot be insolent."
|
|"If you cannot listen to the answers, why do you
| inconvenience me with questions?"

G. M. Watson

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Jan 4, 2004, 4:49:12 PM1/4/04
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Beautifuly written and beautifully perceptive. Thank you. Thank you. Thank
you.

----------


In article <040120041441434177%Aelf...@elvish.org>, "CarlF.Hostetter"
<Aelf...@elvish.org> wrote:

Rick

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Jan 4, 2004, 5:06:55 PM1/4/04
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"G. M. Watson" <gm...@pop2.intergate.ca> wrote in message
news:vvh2jqn...@corp.supernews.com...

> Beautifuly written and beautifully perceptive. Thank you. Thank you. Thank
> you.


ROFLMAO!


Orac

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Jan 4, 2004, 5:25:15 PM1/4/04
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In article <GeWdnUs4QLA...@comcast.com>,
"James Hyder" <James...@comcast.net> wrote:

> "JXStern" <JXSternC...@gte.net> wrote
>
> > >1) The destruction of the Ring in the Sammath Naur
> >
> > Yep.
>
> Indeed. Missed entirely the effect of the pity/mercy of Bilbo, Frodo and
> even Sam at Frodo's insistence, staying their hands and not killing Gollum
> so that, at the final moment when he (Gollum) gains possession of his
> precious it is his "gloating" at his prize and thus inattention to his
> surroundings which cause him to topple over the edge taking his precious
> with him. The Ring is destroyed by the obsession it evoked. But Jackson
> would not know this because despite his claims to the contrary he has never
> read Tolkien.

I don't know about that, but Jackson certainly Hollywoodized the scene
at Sammath Naur by having Frodo go back to fight Gollum for the ring at
the edge of the precipice. How many movies have we seen in which the
hero fights the villain at the edge of a cliff or high fall where during
the fight they both fall over the edge, but only one of them manages to
hold on? Too many. It's a cliche. I'm just glad Jackson restrained
himself enough not to have added a frequent variant to the cliche. If he
hadn't, we might have been "treated" to seeing Gollum manage to hold on
to Frodo's foot and thus draw the scene out.

G. M. Watson

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Jan 4, 2004, 5:33:02 PM1/4/04
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----------
In article <20040104163749...@mb-m27.aol.com>,

kitzn...@aol.com (kitznegari thinks it has wings) wrote:


> if those are the biggest three things that you found wrong with the films then
> perhaps you should wake up and be grateful. jackson did a fine job.
>
> if you think you can do better, by all means. the floor is yours.
>

Tell me, if you took your car into a garage to have a problem fixed and the
mechanic made a botch of it, ruining your vehicle, and then said "hey buddy,
if you think you can do better, by all means go ahead", what do you suppose
your reaction would be? Meek withdrawal? Not bloody likely. This nyah-nyah
style of argument (if I can dignify it by calling it that) is stupid,
childish and leads absolutely nowhere. Give it up.

G. M. Watson

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Jan 4, 2004, 5:34:04 PM1/4/04
to
Well-written and beautifully perceptive. Thank you!

----------
In article <040120041441434177%Aelf...@elvish.org>, "CarlF.Hostetter"
<Aelf...@elvish.org> wrote:

RAMblur

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Jan 4, 2004, 5:41:07 PM1/4/04
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CarlF.Hostetter wrote:

It's refreshing to read that someone else noticed these things. There
was so much that did not have to be changed or added. Cut...yes....but
changed? added? It is very difficult to believe that Jackson read the
books. If he did, he read them like they were a list of ingredients on
a cereal box.

AC

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Jan 4, 2004, 5:59:25 PM1/4/04
to
On Sun, 04 Jan 2004 20:26:18 GMT,
Rick <swtr...@NOSPAMtampabay.rr.com> wrote:
> Your conclusions were made before you walked in the theater.

I'll insert myself in a movie thread another time here, though I should no
better. But let me ask, would you accept anything but a positive review of
the movie as a legitimate point of view?

--
Aaron Clausen

tao_of_cow/\alberni.net (replace /\ with @)

Rick

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Jan 4, 2004, 5:42:11 PM1/4/04
to

"G. M. Watson" <gm...@pop2.intergate.ca> wrote in message
news:vvh56u3...@corp.supernews.com...

> Well-written and beautifully perceptive. Thank you!
>

You already commented on his "review" (hard to call it a review with a
straight face since his mind was made up before he saw the movie). Do you
think by repeating your accolades for that fetid, steaming turd of a post
that you can make it smell better?


Tamzin

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Jan 4, 2004, 6:16:26 PM1/4/04
to

"CarlF.Hostetter" wrote

SNIPPED

> 2) Sauron's end -- Without a doubt, one of the most dramatic and
> emblematic moments of the novel is the sight of Sauron's massive shade
> rising from the ruin of the Barad-dūr, reaching out defiantly yet
> impotently towards the West, and then being blown away in the wind like
> the insubstantial, irrelevant thing he had become. It is hard to
> imagine a more inviting opportunity for dramatic visual effects than
> this scene, or one that more succinctly and emblematically expresses
> the triumph that had been achieved through the sacrifices of the
> Fellowship and of all the Free Peoples, and esp. of Frodo and Samwise,
> and would personalize that triumph in Sauron's dark form. Instead, we
> are "treated" to a ridiculous spectacle of a giant flaming eyeball
> glancing around in an ocular equivalent of "Wha-? Whoa... whoa..
> WHOOAAAA!", and then a Death-Star style explosive ring of light. But I
> suppose that this scene as written and visualized by Boyens and Jackson
> _is_ perfectly emblematic of these movies, as yet another horribly
> wasted opportunity.

I agree that the "eye" in its dying throes looked almost comical. I was
disappointed with that scene too.


>
> 3) and the worst of all, Gandalf's description of "death" -- Gandalf
> encourages Pippin with a vision of what Pippin can expect when he dies:
> the description of the white shore and the far green country under a
> swift sunrise lifted from Frodo's arrival at Tol Eressėa -- which of
> course is _not_ the afterlife.

I felt uncomfortable about this whilst watching the film too. I was with my
brother (a fellow Tolkien anorak!) and I nudged him at that point and said
that the afterlife might be like that for Gandalf but that it almost
certainly wasn't so for Pippin. It didn't feel right to me that Gandalf
would essentially "gloat" about his own certainties to a being whose fate
was unknown.

>It is hard to imagine a more fundamental
> lie about Tolkien's novel and fictive metaphysics than this. The very
> point of Elves in contrast to Men is that, in the pre-Christian, fallen
> world of Middle-earth, and unlike the Elves, _no one_ knows what fate
> awaits Men after their deaths: not Men, not Gandalf, not even the
> Valar, nor anyone other than Eru Himself. And yet the faithful Men at
> least choose still to fight, to risk their lives in right causes simply
> _because_ they are right, without promise of reward or recompense in
> this life or in a next life, and without expectation of victory.

A very good point which does not come over in the film.

SNIPPED

Thank you for your very thought-provoking post about the film. Like you I
found the changes of emphasis and plot introduced by the director to be an
irritation. On the other hand I have to admit to having enjoyed all three
films immensely despite my numerous complaints, and I loved being able to
"see" Middle Earth and its peoples and to compare them to my own ideas.
Ultimately it is the books that I love and will return to in future but I am
not sorry that the films were made. After all PJ's is only one
interpretation and perhaps other versions will be made in years to come.
I'm sorry that you disliked the films so much though - I've actually found
it quite illuminating to discuss the finer points of the books versus the
film with my brother in RL and with all the posters on newsgroups like this
one. Anything that makes people talk more about Tolkien's work has got to
be of some merit!

Tamzin


Tamzin

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Jan 4, 2004, 6:21:33 PM1/4/04
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"Rick" wrote

> Your conclusions were made before you walked in the theater.


How do you know that?

Tamzin


Rick

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Jan 4, 2004, 6:21:54 PM1/4/04
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"Tamzin" <tamzin...@OBEYMEtheponies.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
news:bta74f$avr$1...@newsg4.svr.pol.co.uk...

>
> "Rick" wrote
>
> > Your conclusions were made before you walked in the theater.
>
>
> How do you know that?
>
>

He admitted it in his opening paragraph.


Tar-Elenion

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Jan 4, 2004, 6:24:41 PM1/4/04
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In article <7F0Kb.114061$Dt6.3...@twister.tampabay.rr.com>,
swtr...@NOSPAMtampabay.rr.com says...

Rick, who says he does not flame unless flamed.

--
Tar-Elenion

Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice.
Moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue.

Jette Goldie

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Jan 4, 2004, 6:22:29 PM1/4/04
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"Orac" <or...@mac.com> wrote in message
news:orac-992CBF.1...@news4-ge1.srv.hcvlny.cv.net...

> In article <040120041441434177%Aelf...@elvish.org>,
> "CarlF.Hostetter" <Aelf...@elvish.org> wrote:
>
>
> SPOILERS WARNING AHOY!!!
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>

> > 1) The destruction of the Ring in the Sammath Naur -- having had three


yet it emphasised the *hold* that the ring had over Frodo
by that point - he was NOT about to give it up voluntarily.


--
Jette
"Work for Peace and remain Fiercely Loving" - Jim Byrnes
je...@blueyonder.co.uk
http://www.jette.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/


Rick

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Jan 4, 2004, 6:53:40 PM1/4/04
to

"Tar-Elenion" <tar_e...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:MPG.1a6240953...@news.comcast.giganews.com...

> In article <7F0Kb.114061$Dt6.3...@twister.tampabay.rr.com>,
> swtr...@NOSPAMtampabay.rr.com says...
> >
> > "G. M. Watson" <gm...@pop2.intergate.ca> wrote in message
> > news:vvh56u3...@corp.supernews.com...
> > > Well-written and beautifully perceptive. Thank you!
> > >
> >
> > You already commented on his "review" (hard to call it a review with a
> > straight face since his mind was made up before he saw the movie). Do
you
> > think by repeating your accolades for that fetid, steaming turd of a
post
> > that you can make it smell better?
>
> Rick, who says he does not flame unless flamed.

And I don't. I didn't flame him, nor did I flame the original poster. I
commented in unflattering terms about the POST ITSELF. Nowhere in anything
I said did I use any personal insult toward him. Attack the message, not
the messenger, isn't that the definition of how not to flame?


Tar-Elenion

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Jan 4, 2004, 7:20:16 PM1/4/04
to
In article <8I1Kb.114098$Dt6.3...@twister.tampabay.rr.com>,
swtr...@NOSPAMtampabay.rr.com says...

"flame: to post angry, inflammatory or insulting messages" (Internet for
Dummies Quick Reference, 5th ed). While your post was not an ad hominem,
the terminology you chose to use was both inflammatory and insulting.

Badabing

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Jan 4, 2004, 7:35:56 PM1/4/04
to
In a parallel universe, J. R. R. Tolkien has just written a book adaptation
of Peter Jackson's classic movie 'Bad Taste'. And the fans are going
ape-shit.

in article 040120041441434177%Aelf...@elvish.org, CarlF.Hostetter at
Aelf...@elvish.org wrote on 4/1/04 7:41 PM:

Calvin Rice

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Jan 4, 2004, 7:41:23 PM1/4/04
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"CarlF.Hostetter" <Aelf...@elvish.org> wrote in message news:<040120041441434177%Aelf...@elvish.org>...
> ...

Well said, and well deserved by Peter Jackson and his minions, but they
will not weep in their ill-deserved wealth, fame, and power. They will
just churn out more of the same, King Kong being next. Hopefully,
prayerfully, they can be prohibited from getting their mitts on The
Silmarillion.

-cr

Rick

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Jan 4, 2004, 8:11:03 PM1/4/04
to
"Tar-Elenion" <tar_e...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:MPG.1a624d967...@news.comcast.giganews.com...

> "flame: to post angry, inflammatory or insulting messages" (Internet for
> Dummies Quick Reference, 5th ed). While your post was not an ad hominem,
> the terminology you chose to use was both inflammatory and insulting.
>


No, it was not insulting. I never insulted anyone in that post. And while
it would be fair to say my comment was inflammatory, I reject that shading
of the definition.


Rick

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Jan 4, 2004, 8:11:43 PM1/4/04
to

"Calvin Rice" <os...@netscape.net> wrote in message
news:22680de.04010...@posting.google.com...

> "CarlF.Hostetter" <Aelf...@elvish.org> wrote in message
news:<040120041441434177%Aelf...@elvish.org>...
> > ...
>
> Well said, and well deserved by Peter Jackson and his minions, but they
> will not weep in their ill-deserved wealth, fame, and power. They will
> just churn out more of the same, King Kong being next.

ROFLMAO! Some of you people are as unintentionally hilarious as a Dolph
Lungren movie...


Christopher Kreuzer

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Jan 4, 2004, 8:56:30 PM1/4/04
to
"RAMblur" <ram...@yahoo.com> wrote

> It's refreshing to read that someone else noticed these things. There
> was so much that did not have to be changed or added. Cut...yes....but
> changed? added? It is very difficult to believe that Jackson read the
> books. If he did, he read them like they were a list of ingredients on
> a cereal box.


They were selective about what they took from Tolkien.

They took most of the essential storylines and characters.
Some of the themes.
Some of the dialogue.

And cut lots.
And added stuff.

End result: their own creation loosely based on LotR.

Christopher

--
---
Reply clue: Saruman welcomes you to Spamgard


Odysseus

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Jan 4, 2004, 9:07:22 PM1/4/04
to
Tar-Elenion wrote:
>
> In article <8I1Kb.114098$Dt6.3...@twister.tampabay.rr.com>,
> swtr...@NOSPAMtampabay.rr.com says...
>
> > > > [...] Do you think by repeating your accolades for that fetid,

> > > > steaming turd of a post that you can make it smell better?
>
> "flame: to post angry, inflammatory or insulting messages" (Internet for
> Dummies Quick Reference, 5th ed). While your post was not an ad hominem,
> the terminology you chose to use was both inflammatory and insulting.
>

Rick's post certainly was _ad hominem_ as well. Rather than
addressing the content of the message he describes it in terms of
offensive odours; any persuasive effect such a puerile tactic may be
supposed to have would come from its appeal to nausea rather than reason.

--
Odysseus

Rick

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Jan 4, 2004, 9:47:09 PM1/4/04
to

"Odysseus" <odysseu...@yahoo-dot.ca> wrote in message
news:3FF8C6F4...@yahoo-dot.ca...

> Tar-Elenion wrote:
> >
> > In article <8I1Kb.114098$Dt6.3...@twister.tampabay.rr.com>,
> > swtr...@NOSPAMtampabay.rr.com says...
> >
> > > > > [...] Do you think by repeating your accolades for that fetid,
> > > > > steaming turd of a post that you can make it smell better?
> >
> > "flame: to post angry, inflammatory or insulting messages" (Internet for
> > Dummies Quick Reference, 5th ed). While your post was not an ad hominem,
> > the terminology you chose to use was both inflammatory and insulting.
> >
>
> Rick's post certainly was _ad hominem_ as well.

Actually it wasn't, as you know. I never attacked the poster. Saying
someone's words are nauseating is not an ad hominem attack, and if you
weren't intent on disagreeing with me, you'd admit that.


Bob

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Jan 4, 2004, 11:35:55 PM1/4/04
to
Having only seen the movie only once and therefore, I admit, somewhat fuzzy
on the sequence details, I'll throw in my two cents:

First of all there had to be some Hollywood-ization of the book -- but with
few exceptions I feel it rarely sunk to, say, Star Wars Episode 1 level.
New Line bet the whole company on this movie, put up a tremendous amount of
money, and even offered Jackson to make 3 movies instead of the originally
sought after 2. The pressure on Jackson to make decisions good for the
Tolkien fan yet also to engage the average modern movie-goer in order to
make back the investment must have been enormous. I think he did a good job
in the compromise.

Second, there are subtleties that can be conveyed through well written
literature, and can be conveyed at much more leisurely pace (and can be
understood by a good reader) that cannot be conveyed through movies. Movies
mainly show images moving over time. Abstraction, thus, is often conveyed
through iconography.

1) The reason to have Frodo hanging over the cliff was for the image of Sam
asking for him to take his hand. This was partly a visual
reference/allusion to Frodo previously saving Sam in the river at the end of
FOTR, and it gave a moment to allow Frodo to consciously choose Sam (and by
extension the Shire, etc.) over the ring. It looked until then like he
wasn't quite "back" from the ring's influence and that the ring was
"waiting" to see what he'd do (suicidally pursue it like Gullom). The ring
"gave up the ghost" when Frodo finally took Sam's hand. This simple visual
icon (hands clasping) conveys ideas that perhaps can be better explicated
through literature yet they sometimes are the only means afforded to the
medium of movies by the nature of said medium. Unfortunately the
iconographic lexicon is not nearly as rich as the textual lexicon so that
iconic images end up being reused and become visual clichés -- hard to get
around this.


3) I don't think he was encouraging him but consoling him. He even said
earlier something to the effect of not knowing what death is 'cause Gandalf
doesn't experience it. He was merely trying to give him a nice dream to
alleviate his panic of impending death. Nobility does not mean reckless
suicide and it is normal to retreat or want to retreat (even in delusion)
when all hope is lost as they assumed their hope was at that point.

"CarlF.Hostetter" <Aelf...@elvish.org> wrote in message
news:040120041441434177%Aelf...@elvish.org...

M C

unread,
Jan 5, 2004, 3:35:30 AM1/5/04
to
I hope he does Dead Alive too.

"Badabing" <ba...@boom.com> wrote in message
news:BC1E61EC.63E84%ba...@boom.com...

William O'Halloran

unread,
Jan 5, 2004, 2:01:28 AM1/5/04
to

> > >
> > > You already commented on his "review" (hard to call it a review with a
> > > straight face since his mind was made up before he saw the movie). Do
> you
> > > think by repeating your accolades for that fetid, steaming turd of a
> post
> > > that you can make it smell better?
> >
> > Rick, who says he does not flame unless flamed.
>
> And I don't. I didn't flame him, nor did I flame the original poster. I
> commented in unflattering terms about the POST ITSELF. Nowhere in
anything
> I said did I use any personal insult toward him. Attack the message, not
> the messenger, isn't that the definition of how not to flame?
>

Yes, you did. By posting "...for that fetid, steaming turd of a post
that you can make it smell better?" you were Flaming both G. W. Watson and
Carl F. Hostetter. Flaming-by-proxy (hiding your flame of Carl by placing it
inside a post to another person) is still flaming. Plus, your wording made
it quite apparent your remarks were aimed at G. Watson as well.

As for that messenger claptrap, that also is an ad hominem.

--
"This is just my opinion, I maybe wrong" D. Miller
"Defend free speech! Read a banned book today!" unknown.
"I may not like what you say, but I will defend your right to say it with
my Life" Voltaire

Nuki_Mouse


C.C. Baxter

unread,
Jan 5, 2004, 4:01:38 AM1/5/04
to
CarlF.Hostetter, en una muestra de su admirable prosa, afirmó en el
mensaje 040120041441434177%Aelf...@elvish.org que:
>

While I do agree that Peter Jackson should be hung from certain
part of his anatomy due to his treatment of Denethor, I don't
think the mistakes you point are so severe:

>
> 1) The destruction of the Ring in the Sammath Naur -- having had three
> long, long films in which to bring Frodo to the brink of the Cracks of
> Doom, and to establish the dramatic, emotional, and psychological
> drama and tension that all comes to a concentrated focus at that time
> and place -- and, of course, wasting all this long opportunity on
> other concerns -- Jackson and Boyens, who wouldn't know subtlety if
> it bit them in their asses, nonetheless can't resist one last chance
> to replace the real drama and significance of Tolkien's pivotal
> eucatastrophic moment with an absurd Hollywood ending featuring a
> _literal_ cliff-hanger and a "Terminator 2"-style scene of Gollum and
> then the Ring floating in the lava for an interminable and impossible
> time. The ending _as Tolkien wrote it_, with the rapid twist of fate
> followed by the eruptive destruction would have been far, far more
> effective, surprising and then exhilarating in short succession, than
> this drawn-out, embarrassing, and trite scene.

It's true that the image of the calm Gollum, while is being
melted, is quite poor (not so the melting Ring). But the
last fight between Frodo and Gollum is adequate, from a
filmic point of view. It doesn't alter the eseence of Tolkien
message. It would do it if a repented Frodo fighted to recover
the Ring and destroy it, but this is not the case. He fights
because he claims it, and still the presence of Gollum
at Sammath Naur is essential.

Now, think of Tolkien's scene in cinematographical terms.
We wait for ten hours to the conclusion of the quest... and
then is solved in one second when a secondary character slips
on a banana skin. This end is anticlimatic, to say the less.
Most people would laugh at the fall, and many would fell offended
by what seems a joke. Yeah, you know that this end is
tragical, not comical, and has important religious
significance, but you know that because it is the words
used, not in the image itself.

>
> 2) Sauron's end -- Without a doubt, one of the most dramatic and
> emblematic moments of the novel is the sight of Sauron's massive shade
> rising from the ruin of the Barad-dūr, reaching out defiantly yet
> impotently towards the West, and then being blown away in the wind
> like the insubstantial, irrelevant thing he had become.

This I agree, the fall of the angry lighthouse is ridiculous.

> 3) and the worst of all, Gandalf's description of "death"

This, on the contrary, is quite a minor point. Only a passing
commentary, that has no real relevance to the story.

--
Buddy


Jussi Jaatinen

unread,
Jan 5, 2004, 3:58:59 AM1/5/04
to

Orac wrote:

> Of your three comments, this is the only one I agree with you on. Having
> Frodo go back to try to take the ring and then almost falling into the
> pit with Gollum changed Tolkien's intent beyond recognition and
> essentially "Hollywoodized" this climactic sequence. The whole point of
> the original ending, where Gollum fell in accidentally after finally
> recovering the Ring from Frodo, who at the last minute came fully under
> the Ring's power and claimed it for himself, was that the mission could
> not have been accomplished without Gollum. Hence, Bilbo's pity on Gollum
> in "The Hobbit" was justified, as Gandalf said it was. So was Frodo's
> pity for Gollum. Gandalf's prediction that Gollum would still have a
> role to play was validated. By changing it to a predictable and
> unoriginal Hollywood-style "final fight on the edge of a precipice"
> scene between Frodo and Gollum during which they both fall off the edge,
> but only Frodo manages to hang on, Peter Jackson eliminated or at least
> unacceptably altered that element.

I don't see how PJ's version changes any of the things you mention in
the book. Gollum still has his role to play and Bilbo's and Gandalf's
pity allow him to be there to play it. I agree that Frodo hanging over
the edge is more cinematic than the book version, but the book's a book
and the film a film, after all.

-JJ

Jussi Jaatinen

unread,
Jan 5, 2004, 4:05:29 AM1/5/04
to

Tamzin wrote:

> > 3) and the worst of all, Gandalf's description of "death" -- Gandalf
> > encourages Pippin with a vision of what Pippin can expect when he dies:
> > the description of the white shore and the far green country under a

> > swift sunrise lifted from Frodo's arrival at Tol Eressëa -- which of


> > course is _not_ the afterlife.
> I felt uncomfortable about this whilst watching the film too. I was with my
> brother (a fellow Tolkien anorak!) and I nudged him at that point and said
> that the afterlife might be like that for Gandalf but that it almost
> certainly wasn't so for Pippin. It didn't feel right to me that Gandalf
> would essentially "gloat" about his own certainties to a being whose fate
> was unknown.

As a minor point, Gandalf isn't wrong in saying this, since also mortal
fear come to Mandos before leaving Eä altogether. So that "swift
sunrise" is what Pippin will see after dying.

-JJ

Jussi Jaatinen

unread,
Jan 5, 2004, 4:08:54 AM1/5/04
to

Bob wrote:

> extension the Shire, etc.) over the ring. It looked until then like he
> wasn't quite "back" from the ring's influence and that the ring was
> "waiting" to see what he'd do (suicidally pursue it like Gullom). The ring
> "gave up the ghost" when Frodo finally took Sam's hand.

I also got the idea that Frodo was considering going after the Ring, or
just killing himself in the lava if the Ring is lost.

-JJ

Lestat69

unread,
Jan 5, 2004, 4:32:52 AM1/5/04
to
> but only Frodo manages to hang on, Peter Jackson eliminated or at least
>> unacceptably altered that element.
>>

Did it really? Gollum made no attempt to hold on to the cliff......his interest
was solely on the Ring......even as he fell :-)

Lestat

So many men.......so few who can afford me!


Osma

unread,
Jan 5, 2004, 4:34:07 AM1/5/04
to
Sanoiksi laittoi Orac:

>In article <GeWdnUs4QLA...@comcast.com>,
> "James Hyder" <James...@comcast.net> wrote:
>
>> "JXStern" <JXSternC...@gte.net> wrote


>>
>> > >1) The destruction of the Ring in the Sammath Naur
>> >

>> > Yep.
>>
>> Indeed. Missed entirely the effect of the pity/mercy of Bilbo,
>> Frodo and even Sam at Frodo's insistence, staying their hands
>> and not killing Gollum so that, at the final moment when he
>> (Gollum) gains possession of his precious it is his "gloating"
>> at his prize and thus inattention to his surroundings which
>> cause him to topple over the edge taking his precious with him.
>> The Ring is destroyed by the obsession it evoked. But Jackson
>> would not know this because despite his claims to the contrary
>> he has never read Tolkien.
>
>I don't know about that, but Jackson certainly Hollywoodized the
>scene at Sammath Naur by having Frodo go back to fight Gollum for
>the ring at the edge of the precipice.

I suppose he thought the scene required more "drama". I admit it
might seem a bit silly in film if Gollum had just danced his way into
his doom, but I think it would have been better if the blood-stained
ring had slipped out of his hand during his "victory dance" and
Gollum had gone after the ring with no regard to his own life, lost
his grip and fallen into the fire happily embracing the precious he
had "saved". No Frodo fighting him a second time (with a finger
bitten off no less), no Frodo hanging with one hand over the lava, no
Sam getting a good grip from Frodo's slippery blooded hand... but I
suppose that wouldn't be "dramatic" enough.

--
Osma

G. M. Watson

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Jan 5, 2004, 5:08:33 AM1/5/04
to

Sorry for the double posting above, my server had told me that the original
post had not gone through. Been having some problems with it lately...

G. M. Watson

unread,
Jan 5, 2004, 5:12:59 AM1/5/04
to

----------
In article <MPG.1a6240953...@news.comcast.giganews.com>,
Tar-Elenion <tar_e...@hotmail.com> wrote:


> In article <7F0Kb.114061$Dt6.3...@twister.tampabay.rr.com>,
> swtr...@NOSPAMtampabay.rr.com says...
>>
>> "G. M. Watson" <gm...@pop2.intergate.ca> wrote in message
>> news:vvh56u3...@corp.supernews.com...
>> > Well-written and beautifully perceptive. Thank you!
>> >
>>
>> You already commented on his "review" (hard to call it a review with a
>> straight face since his mind was made up before he saw the movie). Do you
>> think by repeating your accolades for that fetid, steaming turd of a post
>> that you can make it smell better?
>
> Rick, who says he does not flame unless flamed.
>

Tsk. Killfiled Rick finally (it was long overdue), but thanks to other
posters re-posting his rancid sewage, he lives on beyond the grave... one of
the occupational hazards of the Usenet.

pawn

unread,
Jan 5, 2004, 5:15:00 AM1/5/04
to
Rick wrote:
> "Odysseus" <odysseu...@yahoo-dot.ca> wrote in message
>
> Actually it wasn't, as you know. I never attacked the poster. Saying
> someone's words are nauseating is not an ad hominem attack, and if you
> weren't intent on disagreeing with me, you'd admit that.

As opposed to all the points you concede regardless of how intent you
are on disagreeing with anything remotely negative about the films?

Go away.

Luminaria

unread,
Jan 5, 2004, 5:59:17 AM1/5/04
to

"Tamzin" <tamzin...@OBEYMEtheponies.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
news:bta6qt$8pg$1...@newsg3.svr.pol.co.uk...

> Thank you for your very thought-provoking post about the film. Like you I
> found the changes of emphasis and plot introduced by the director to be an
> irritation. On the other hand I have to admit to having enjoyed all three
> films immensely despite my numerous complaints, and I loved being able to
> "see" Middle Earth and its peoples and to compare them to my own ideas.

I have found, in repeated viewings of the films on DVD that it is more
enjoyable to see Middle Earth, and easier and easier to ignore the "stuff".
I love seeing the mountains, the waterfalls, the trees and sky and plains of
Middle Earth. The houses, the people, even the horses. Jackson's artistry
lies in the visual, if anywhere. It's indeed a pity that he didn't really
bother to read the books...


> Ultimately it is the books that I love and will return to in future but I
am
> not sorry that the films were made. After all PJ's is only one
> interpretation and perhaps other versions will be made in years to come.
> I'm sorry that you disliked the films so much though - I've actually found
> it quite illuminating to discuss the finer points of the books versus the
> film with my brother in RL and with all the posters on newsgroups like
this
> one. Anything that makes people talk more about Tolkien's work has got to
> be of some merit!
>

Yes, I'm having a blast discussing the books both here, and at home! I had
the Tol Eressëa is not Heaven conversation with my mother the other day -
she thought it was sad that Frodo "dies" at the end.... *sigh*

Anyway....


--
Take care,

Lis


CC

unread,
Jan 5, 2004, 6:01:45 AM1/5/04
to
"CarlF.Hostetter" <Aelf...@elvish.org> wrote in message
news:040120041441434177%Aelf...@elvish.org...
> I finally saw the latest M*vie yesterday, and despite having read all
> the reviews and spoilers I could find in order to prepare myself for
> the worst, and to lower my expectations as much as possible, I still
> came away deeply disappointed.

Honestly, why did you go to watch the movie if you realized it was so bad to
begin with?

You should realize that its a Peter Jackson film based on Tolkien's works.
Of course, there are going to be "differences". So please give it up
already. And, by the way, the word, movie, is spelt thus - "movie".

William O'Halloran

unread,
Jan 5, 2004, 8:25:54 AM1/5/04
to
Since everyone else is taking a whack at this post, I thought I would give
it a try as well.

"CarlF.Hostetter" <Aelf...@elvish.org> wrote in message
news:040120041441434177%Aelf...@elvish.org...
> I finally saw the latest M*vie yesterday, and despite having read all
> the reviews and spoilers I could find in order to prepare myself for
> the worst, and to lower my expectations as much as possible, I still
> came away deeply disappointed.
>

good thing you went in the an "open" mind.

> I won't comment on all the defects of the M*vie (both as a movie and as
> an adaptation of Tolkien's novel) -- the complete lack of dramatic,
> emotional, or psychological subtlety in the script and its
> characterizations, the incessant anticipation and projection of plot
> twists removing all suspense and all hope of eucatastrophe, the

Did you not read the book? Did you not already know what was going to
happen? Peter Jackson did not have 3 books filled with detailed descriptions
and backstories to explain every plot element or twist, or make them work.
Yes, it would have worked on YOU, because you read the book, but in case no
one clued you in, Peter made this movie for EVERYONE, even those who
(Sacrilege!) never read the book.
Since the majority of movie goers have never read or forgotten most of the
books, Peter had to pick and chose what to use and what to change, so as to
make a movie a novice to Tolkien could understand and enjoy, while keeping
fairly close to the book and its intent.

> overriding emphasis on the gross and the violent and the video-game
> kinetic at the expense of the beautiful or heroic or sacrificial, the
> insulin-demanding sappiness and cheap sentiments -- but I would like to
> highlight three that I haven't seen anyone mention yet.
>

> 1) The destruction of the Ring in the Sammath Naur -- having had three
> long, long films in which to bring Frodo to the brink of the Cracks of
> Doom, and to establish the dramatic, emotional, and psychological drama
> and tension that all comes to a concentrated focus at that time and
> place -- and, of course, wasting all this long opportunity on other
> concerns -- Jackson and Boyens, who wouldn't know subtlety if it bit
> them in their asses, nonetheless can't resist one last chance to
> replace the real drama and significance of Tolkien's pivotal
> eucatastrophic moment with an absurd Hollywood ending featuring a

Eucatastrophe, eucatastrophic, you must love that word. Couldn't you find an
more obscure word that ONLY a Fantasy lover, and more specifically a Tolkien
Fantasy lover would know?
For the less informed, eucatastrophe is a term Tolkien himself created to
describe that feeling of Joy when Victory is snatched from the jaws of
Defeat, when against long odds Good concurs Evil, or in other words a
profound climatic resolution that leaves you cheering for the good guys.
Funny, in the theater I was in, the average movie goers was doing just that
when the Ring was destroyed.

> _literal_ cliff-hanger and a "Terminator 2"-style scene of Gollum and
> then the Ring floating in the lava for an interminable and impossible
> time.

While Tolkien never did describe Gollum's actual fall into the lava (other
than his scream), as a kid when I first read RotK, that is exactly how I
envisioned it. That was in 1972, l-o-n-g before Arnold & the "Terminator."
Peter Jackson must have felt the same, so he filmed it his way. That's
called artistic license, without which most movies would be boring.
Plus there is a BIG psychological difference between books and movies.
In a book, an author can easily just say "he fell to his death," knowing his
readers will fill in the appropriate mental imagery themselves. However in a
visual media like a movie, the director must SHOW the death or the audience
will feel cheated or wonder if he actually died.

>The ending _as Tolkien wrote it_, with the rapid twist of fate
> followed by the eruptive destruction would have been far, far more
> effective, surprising and then exhilarating in short succession, than
> this drawn-out, embarrassing, and trite scene.
>

I agree that the ending in the book is better, but if Peter tried to film it
that way, while the fans (as in those who read the book) would have cheered,
the majority of the audience would have been scratching their heads and
saying "What the F$@* ? That green guy just happens to fall into a volcano,
how lame!"

> 2) Sauron's end -- Without a doubt, one of the most dramatic and
> emblematic moments of the novel is the sight of Sauron's massive shade
> rising from the ruin of the Barad-dūr, reaching out defiantly yet
> impotently towards the West, and then being blown away in the wind like
> the insubstantial, irrelevant thing he had become.

Which would have been entirely lost on anyone who never read the book, not
knowing WHY Sauron was reaching out to the west. Apparently you don't know
either, Sauron wasn't "...reaching out defiantly yet impotently towards the
West..." but was making a plea to Valinor in the Undying Lands to allow him
to return rather than fading into non-resistance.

It is hard to
> imagine a more inviting opportunity for dramatic visual effects than
> this scene, or one that more succinctly and emblematically expresses
> the triumph that had been achieved through the sacrifices of the
> Fellowship and of all the Free Peoples, and esp. of Frodo and Samwise,
> and would personalize that triumph in Sauron's dark form. Instead, we
> are "treated" to a ridiculous spectacle of a giant flaming eyeball
> glancing around in an ocular equivalent of "Wha-? Whoa... whoa..
> WHOOAAAA!", and then a Death-Star style explosive ring of light. But I
> suppose that this scene as written and visualized by Boyens and Jackson
> _is_ perfectly emblematic of these movies, as yet another horribly
> wasted opportunity.
>

Yes, he wasted another opportunity to lose or confuse the majority of the
audience who had not read the book. Instead of a towering cloud reaching
out, then disappearing (which would have left people wondering who that was
and where did he go?) Peter instead used an image of a giant eye (which was
exactly how he portrayed Sauron through out the 3 movies) blowing up.
Some imagery doesn't adapt well to the big screen, unless Peter Jackson
filmed a scene where one character EXPLAINED to another what the cloud was,
at the time it appeared, it would not have work as well (IMO) as Peter's
version. But then again if you had, oh lets say Gandalf explaining it to one
of the Hobbits, you would have screamed bloody murder about Peter not being
faithful to the book, so its a good thing Peter didn't do it that way.

Opps, I spoke too soon. You found another scene where Gandalf id just that,
explain something to another character that you don't agree with to whine...
excuse me, cry foul about.

> 3) and the worst of all, Gandalf's description of "death" -- Gandalf
> encourages Pippin with a vision of what Pippin can expect when he dies:
> the description of the white shore and the far green country under a

> swift sunrise lifted from Frodo's arrival at Tol Eressėa -- which of
> course is _not_ the afterlife. It is hard to imagine a more fundamental
> lie about Tolkien's novel and fictive metaphysics than this.

So what did you want, Gandalf to say "there is no afterlife, only elves live
on. You'll die and fade away to nothing"?
That would have gone over like a lead balloon, especially among the more
ardent Christians in the audience.
Instead Peter felt the need to humanize Gandalf and instill some hope in a
power and existence beyond that of middle-earth.
Yes he used a description of Tol Eressea in Aman as the "after-life," he
was _trying_ to remain faithful to Tolkien's imagery and that was the
closest thing to a heaven in the LotR.

The very
> point of Elves in contrast to Men is that, in the pre-Christian, fallen
> world of Middle-earth, and unlike the Elves, _no one_ knows what fate
> awaits Men after their deaths: not Men, not Gandalf, not even the
> Valar, nor anyone other than Eru Himself. And yet the faithful Men at
> least choose still to fight, to risk their lives in right causes simply
> _because_ they are right, without promise of reward or recompense in
> this life or in a next life, and without expectation of victory. This
> is the very essence of the heroic spirit that Tolkien's novel,

All true, and all impossible to convey in just three movies (unless you
already knew it from reading the Silmarillion.) Film producers have ran into
this problem before, how do you adapt a long and complex book or series of
books into a movie without shit-canning most of the books.
The closest thing to an answer or compromise was the "mini-series," where
the producer/ director has many more hours to tell the story. But miniseries
are made for TV, most people would not pay to sit in a theater that long and
TV would not make enough money to recoup the cost of making the film.

Plus 95% of what you just wrote about is NOT in the LotR, it is mostly in
the Silmarillion and a little bit in the appendages to RotK.
NOTE: That is "appendages" as in not part of the actual book but something
added to the end of it by Tolkien as a curtsy to those how want to know more
about middle-earth.
Yes, there is hints to it in LotR, but it is that Man is doomed to DIE, not
that he does have an afterlife. (whereas Elves can go into the West.)

and most
> of his Middle-earth writings, is a long mediation on (in varying
> degrees, to be sure, but always there in the fabric of his fiction). It
> is bad enough that Boyens and Jackson have robbed most of Tolkien's
> characters of their faith, dignity, and sense of moral purpose -- even

Lets see, a series of movies about several groups of people repeatedly going
on quest/journeys that most likely will lead that their deaths, on the faint
hope that 2 Halflings can sneak into the most dreaded place in middle-earth
(save for Barad-dur itself) and destroy the Ring while every evil creature
in the world searches for them,
Yep, no sign of faith or dignity there, NOT!

Hmm, moral purpose...
I guess that a story about good, against all odds, triumphing over evil
isn't "moral" enough for you.

> Gandalf is unscathed in this latest movie, what with all the beatings
> he administers --

An injured Gandalf. You know, I can't find that ANY where in my copy of
RotK. In the Fellowship, yes; and in the TT as a narrative, but not in RotK.
The only drastic changes in Gandalf is that at the end he is more open,
jovial, and prone to laughter.

but this is the worst lie of all.

>
> Yick. Blech. Ptui.

That pretty much sums up my opinion of this review.

>
> Carl F. Hostetter

Given your e-mail name is Aelfwine -at- Elvish.org and this post, I seen you
are a die-hard Tolkien fan. By definition, no movie adaptation will ever
please you. If the 3 you listed were corrected, you'll just find 3 more to
whine about.

This might shock you but Tolkien never meant the LotR to be Holy Writ that
can never be changed. He re-wrote and re-edited it several times until he
got a final version he liked. Tolkien even edited and adapted the Hobbit
almost 20 years after it was first published, so it fit in as the "prequel"
to LotR better.

Yes, Peter Jackson changed some things, that is why he refers to his movie
as an adaptation of LotR (try looking up the word adaptation) He wanted to
make a movie that appealed to the most people and made money.

I guess it must really gall you that the RotK was again #1 in the box office
this weekend, pulling in $30.8 million for a total (so far) of $292 million.
How dare the uninformed masses actually like and flock in droves to see
this film.

Rick

unread,
Jan 5, 2004, 8:04:05 AM1/5/04
to
"William O'Halloran" <Nukm...@bellatlantic.net> wrote in message
news:cZ7Kb.17208$qS3....@nwrdny03.gnilink.net...
>
> Yes, you did.

No, I did not. You are inaccurate.


Smaug69

unread,
Jan 5, 2004, 10:06:47 AM1/5/04
to
"CarlF.Hostetter" <Aelf...@elvish.org> wrote in message news:<040120041441434177%Aelf...@elvish.org>...
> I finally saw the latest M*vie yesterday, and despite having read all
> the reviews and spoilers I could find in order to prepare myself for
> the worst

<review snipped>

This kind of attitude strikes me as being a bit biased before you even
see one frame of the film. It's no wonder you were disappointed since
you had prepared yourself for that very scenario.

Smaug69

El Chuffola

unread,
Jan 5, 2004, 11:29:10 AM1/5/04
to
Indeed. Just hilarious. Why, on Earth, do you need to thank him?

I've no problem with well argued criticism of the movies (and the initial
post is indeed well argued, even if I disagree with almost all of it), but
to "Thank" him so profusely seems a tad... well... a tad ridiculous. It's as
if you have been waiting for "The" perfect anti-movie post for your entire
life.

Movies and movies, books are books. Deal with it.

*sigh*

For what it's worth, although I have some minor quibbles, I have waited over
25 years for a movie adaptation of my favourite novel and, by God, I wasn't
disappointed. Its a shame so many of you were...

"Rick" <swtr...@NOSPAMtampabay.rr.com> wrote in message
news:380Kb.113978$Dt6.3...@twister.tampabay.rr.com...


>
> "G. M. Watson" <gm...@pop2.intergate.ca> wrote in message

> news:vvh2jqn...@corp.supernews.com...
> > Beautifuly written and beautifully perceptive. Thank you. Thank you.
Thank
> > you.
>
>
> ROFLMAO!
>
>


Rick

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Jan 5, 2004, 11:48:29 AM1/5/04
to

"El Chuffola" <no....@dsl.pipex.com> wrote in message
news:3ff9910e$0$10800$cc9e...@news.dial.pipex.com...

> Indeed. Just hilarious. Why, on Earth, do you need to thank him?
>
> I've no problem with well argued criticism of the movies (and the initial
> post is indeed well argued, even if I disagree with almost all of it), but
> to "Thank" him so profusely seems a tad... well... a tad ridiculous.

What's really ridiculous is that he posted that "profound thanks" TWICE.
Not an accidental double-post, but two distinct "thank you"s.


Genkidu

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Jan 5, 2004, 12:40:21 PM1/5/04
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"C.C. Baxter" <ccbaxter...@terra.es> wrote in message news:<btb91q$53s1o$1...@ID-39038.news.uni-berlin.de>...
[ s n i p ]

> It's true that the image of the calm Gollum, while is being
> melted, is quite poor (not so the melting Ring). But the
> last fight between Frodo and Gollum is adequate, from a
> filmic point of view. It doesn't alter the eseence of Tolkien
> message. It would do it if a repented Frodo fighted to recover
> the Ring and destroy it, but this is not the case. He fights
> because he claims it, and still the presence of Gollum
> at Sammath Naur is essential.
>
> Now, think of Tolkien's scene in cinematographical terms.
> We wait for ten hours to the conclusion of the quest... and
> then is solved in one second when a secondary character slips
> on a banana skin. This end is anticlimatic, to say the less.
> Most people would laugh at the fall, and many would fell offended
> by what seems a joke. Yeah, you know that this end is
> tragical, not comical, and has important religious
> significance, but you know that because it is the words
> used, not in the image itself.

Actually, it could have been played as Tolkien wrote it cinematically.
You could show Gollum dancing gleefully (remember he's already near
the ledge anyway). Switch between him dancing and a worm-eye's view of
his dancing feet getting closer to the edge. Finally, have one foot
either just catch the ledge or just miss it. Don't show him falling
though.

A similar scene was shown in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade"
minus the dancing of course (Dr. Elsa Schneider after she grabs the
Grail).

Another thing, even though Frodo still wants the ring back, I always
pictured him as writhing on the ground in pain during Gollum's
"end-zone dance." Actually, it would have been funny if Gollum spiked
the ring thus having it fall into the lava. 8^)

MNB

pawn

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Jan 5, 2004, 2:23:24 PM1/5/04
to
Rick wrote:
> "El Chuffola" <no....@dsl.pipex.com> wrote in message
>
> What's really ridiculous is that he posted that "profound thanks" TWICE.
> Not an accidental double-post, but two distinct "thank you"s.
>

Gee, inspector, you don't suppose he had a problem with his ISP and
thought the original post didn't get through? If you weren't so
obviously new at Usenet, you'd know it happens once in a while.

Chelsea Christenson

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Jan 5, 2004, 3:43:04 PM1/5/04
to
Orac wrote:
> In article <040120041441434177%Aelf...@elvish.org>,
> "CarlF.Hostetter" <Aelf...@elvish.org> wrote:
>
>
> SPOILERS WARNING AHOY!!!

>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Of your three comments, this is the only one I agree with you on. Having
> Frodo go back to try to take the ring and then almost falling into the
> pit with Gollum changed Tolkien's intent beyond recognition and
> essentially "Hollywoodized" this climactic sequence. The whole point of
> the original ending, where Gollum fell in accidentally after finally
> recovering the Ring from Frodo, who at the last minute came fully under
> the Ring's power and claimed it for himself, was that the mission could
> not have been accomplished without Gollum. Hence, Bilbo's pity on Gollum
> in "The Hobbit" was justified, as Gandalf said it was. So was Frodo's
> pity for Gollum. Gandalf's prediction that Gollum would still have a
> role to play was validated. By changing it to a predictable and
> unoriginal Hollywood-style "final fight on the edge of a precipice"
> scene between Frodo and Gollum during which they both fall off the edge,
> but only Frodo manages to hang on, Peter Jackson eliminated or at least
> unacceptably altered that element.

To preserve the original ending and still have drama:

Gollum recovers the ring, is delirious with joy, and dances off the
edge. Frodo lunges for him and is ready to throw himself into the lava
after the ring, but Sam restrains him. Frodo keeps struggling util the
ring sinks into the lava, at which point he collapses in a combination
of relief and despair.

Granted, this would require several more close-ups of Frodo's agony
face, but my gag reflex has already been over-saturated, so I'm prepared
to make the trade-off.

Morgil

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Jan 5, 2004, 4:38:52 PM1/5/04
to

"Smaug69" <sma...@yahoo.com> kirjoitti
viestissä:5fe774aa.04010...@posting.google.com...

After the horrendous TT I was prepared for the worst
as well, but ended up enjoying it quite a lot.

Morgil


Aris Katsaris

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Jan 5, 2004, 5:14:09 PM1/5/04
to

"William O'Halloran" <Nukm...@bellatlantic.net> wrote in message
news:CBdKb.19621$qS3....@nwrdny03.gnilink.net...

> Since the majority of movie goers have never read or forgotten most of the
> books, Peter had to pick and chose what to use and what to change, so as to
> make a movie a novice to Tolkien could understand and enjoy, while keeping
> fairly close to the book and its intent.

Sorry, but I don't believe that *anyone*, novice to Tolkien or not, has
understood what the deal about Arwen dying is.

> > 3) and the worst of all, Gandalf's description of "death" -- Gandalf
> > encourages Pippin with a vision of what Pippin can expect when he dies:
> > the description of the white shore and the far green country under a

> > swift sunrise lifted from Frodo's arrival at Tol Eressëa -- which of


> > course is _not_ the afterlife. It is hard to imagine a more fundamental
> > lie about Tolkien's novel and fictive metaphysics than this.
>
> So what did you want, Gandalf to say "there is no afterlife, only elves live
> on. You'll die and fade away to nothing"?

How about that conversation never taking place in the movie at all?

Did you really think a deep and meaningful scene, this pastoral vision
of paradise as a green countryside?

Or how about Gandalf saying something like this instead:
"The end? Death is not the end! It's just the path that all mortal men --
and hobbits -- must one day traverse to reach their true homes,
beyond the Circles of the World..."

Yes, the emotion conveyed would be different, more ambiguous. And
some would say deeper and more *proper*. Jackson could have
chosen to go that route. Or he could choose not to. And we are free
to criticize either choice.

But not according to you! According to you, it's either Gandalf saying
this or Gandalf saying an even greater lie and becoming Morgoth's
mouthpiece, saying that Men don't have an afterlife at all.

But yet again you have to create a strawman, where the disapproval
of Peter Jackson's choices means a hatred for the concept itself of a
filmed LOTR.

> That would have gone over like a lead balloon, especially among the more
> ardent Christians in the audience.

So your argument pretty much boils to "Peter Jackson could have done
worse"?

Yes, he could have done worse.

> Instead Peter felt the need to humanize Gandalf and instill some hope in a
> power and existence beyond that of middle-earth.
>
> Yes he used a description of Tol Eressea in Aman as the "after-life," he
> was _trying_ to remain faithful to Tolkien's imagery and that was the
> closest thing to a heaven in the LotR.

Yeah, Jackson is all about remaining faithful to the imagery of things
while violating the *substance* of them.

> Plus 95% of what you just wrote about is NOT in the LotR, it is mostly in
> the Silmarillion and a little bit in the appendages to RotK.
> NOTE: That is "appendages" as in not part of the actual book but something
> added to the end of it by Tolkien as a curtsy to those how want to know more
> about middle-earth.
> Yes, there is hints to it in LotR, but it is that Man is doomed to DIE, not
> that he does have an afterlife.

Wow, so all the "Boromir was saved in the end" by Gandalf, or Theoden's
about going to be with his ancestors, imply that Man doesn't have an
afterlife. How cute.

And I don't know where you get that appendices aren't part of the "actual"
book. What kind of definition for "actual" are you using?

> Given your e-mail name is Aelfwine -at- Elvish.org and this post, I seen you
> are a die-hard Tolkien fan. By definition, no movie adaptation will ever
> please you.

So you suggest that people liking Tolkien means that they must hate
any adaptation of his works?

Yeah, that definitely makes sense... NOT.

> Yes, Peter Jackson changed some things, that is why he refers to his movie

> as an adaptation of LotR (try looking up the word adaptation).

And we have the right to say that it's a pretty lousy adaptation.

> He wanted to
> make a movie that appealed to the most people and made money.

We agree on that.

Aris Katsaris


Rick

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Jan 5, 2004, 5:21:41 PM1/5/04
to

"pawn" <pa...@hanneng.com> wrote in message
news:3FF9B9AC...@hanneng.com...


You're NEARLY as hilarious as he is. Not quite though...better work on it a
bit, junior.


Odysseus

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Jan 5, 2004, 4:04:24 AM1/5/04
to
Rick wrote:
>
> "Odysseus" <odysseu...@yahoo-dot.ca> wrote in message
> news:3FF8C6F4...@yahoo-dot.ca...

> > Rick's post certainly was _ad hominem_ as well.


>
> Actually it wasn't, as you know. I never attacked the poster. Saying
> someone's words are nauseating is not an ad hominem attack, and if you
> weren't intent on disagreeing with me, you'd admit that.

I never said it was an attack, just an _ad hominem_ argument: don't
put words in my mouth.

"AD HOMINEM ... A phrase applied to an argument or appeal founded on
the preferences or principles of a particular person rather than on
abstract truth or logical cogency." -- _OED_, 1884.

"_argumentum ad hominem_, one calculated to appeal to the individual
addressed more than to impartial reasoning" -- Fowler's _Modern
English Usage_, 3rd ed., 1996.

The definition given in the online American Heritage Dictionary at

<http://www.bartleby.com/61/71/A0087100.html>

is "Appealing to personal considerations rather than to logic or
reason," although a note (see link) says that the term "now chiefly
describes an argument based on the failings of an adversary rather
than on the merits of the case," and observes that in popular or
journalistic usage it may apply to any personal attack. Still, if
they believed the traditional definition to be no longer valid I
presume they would have revised it.

I'd be interested in seeing any evidence you may have to offer of an
authoritative opinion that _ad hominem_ can only be used to mean a
personal attack. IME dictionaries and usage guides from both sides of
the Atlantic seem to agree that this is not the case. 'If you weren't
too intent on weaseling to look at a reference, you'd admit that.'

Your implication that the OP's opinions are worthless because his
mind was already made up was also an _ad hominem_ (albeit of a
somewhat less juvenile kind) because it likewise attempted to
discredit the source rather than addressing the points made.

--
Odysseus

Chelsea Christenson

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Jan 5, 2004, 6:31:16 PM1/5/04
to
Aris Katsaris wrote:

> Sorry, but I don't believe that *anyone*, novice to Tolkien or not, has
> understood what the deal about Arwen dying is.

My best guess, in Hollywood parlance: "Now, it's personal."

Öjevind Lång

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Jan 5, 2004, 6:35:12 PM1/5/04
to
"Morgil" <more...@hotmail.com> hath written:

[snip]

> After the horrendous TT I was prepared for the worst
> as well, but ended up enjoying it quite a lot.

So did I, except for that kangaroo jumping around at the Pelennor Fields.

Öjevind


Orac

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Jan 5, 2004, 8:07:41 PM1/5/04
to
In article <3FF9F3C4...@nospam.com>,
Chelsea Christenson <Chelsea.C...@nospam.com> wrote:

Yeah, that's the only reason I could think of for such a lame
"improvement" to the plot.

--
Orac |"A statement of fact cannot be insolent."
|
|"If you cannot listen to the answers, why do you
| inconvenience me with questions?"

the softrat

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Jan 5, 2004, 8:11:23 PM1/5/04
to
On Mon, 5 Jan 2004 16:29:10 -0000, "El Chuffola"
<no....@dsl.pipex.com> wrote:

>Movies and movies, books are books. Deal with it.

I have: Book vary and Movies are all SHIT!


the softrat
"LotR: You've seen the epic. Now experience the Whole Story!"
mailto:sof...@pobox.com
--
If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends? --
Steven Wright

Rick

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Jan 5, 2004, 8:40:49 PM1/5/04
to
"Odysseus" <odysseu...@yahoo-dot.ca> wrote in message
news:3FF928B4...@yahoo-dot.ca...

> I never said it was an attack, just an _ad hominem_ argument

It wasn't an argument, however, so the rest of your post is not pertinent to
the discussion. It was a statement, not an argument. I wasn't trying to
debate anyone, I was describing in vivid detail the nature of the post in
question.


Count Menelvagor

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Jan 6, 2004, 12:57:18 AM1/6/04
to
"Öjevind Lång" <dnivej...@swipnet.se> wrote in message news:<MvmKb.3907$pF....@nntpserver.swip.net>...
> "Morgil" <more...@hotmail.com> hath written:

> > After the horrendous TT I was prepared for the worst
> > as well, but ended up enjoying it quite a lot.
>
> So did I, except for that kangaroo jumping around at the Pelennor Fields.

Do you have something against kangaroos? I was moved to the depths of
my being by that scene.

CC

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Jan 6, 2004, 7:51:50 AM1/6/04
to
"Genkidu" <enk...@netzero.net> wrote in message

> Actually, it could have been played as Tolkien wrote it cinematically.
> You could show Gollum dancing gleefully (remember he's already near
> the ledge anyway). Switch between him dancing and a worm-eye's view of
> his dancing feet getting closer to the edge. Finally, have one foot
> either just catch the ledge or just miss it. Don't show him falling
> though.
> A similar scene was shown in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade"
> minus the dancing of course (Dr. Elsa Schneider after she grabs the
> Grail).

No, you are incorrect there. The "Indiana" movie is closer to PJ's LOTR -
you had the two main characters fall into the pit. Indie is only saved when
he reliquishes his desire for the Holy Grail and climbs up with the aid of
his dad - played by Sean Connery. In PJ's version and Tolkien's version - it
is fate that Gollum falls into the pit. In those two versions, Frodo lacked
the ability to give up the ring (in the end).


CC

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Jan 6, 2004, 8:16:53 AM1/6/04
to
"William O'Halloran" <Nukm...@bellatlantic.net> wrote in message
news:CBdKb.19621$qS3....@nwrdny03.gnilink.net...
> "CarlF.Hostetter" <Aelf...@elvish.org> wrote in message
> news:040120041441434177%Aelf...@elvish.org...
> > I finally saw the latest M*vie yesterday, and despite having read all
> > the reviews and spoilers I could find in order to prepare myself for
> > the worst, and to lower my expectations as much as possible, I still
> > came away deeply disappointed.
> >
> good thing you went in the an "open" mind.
......

> Opps, I spoke too soon. You found another scene where Gandalf id just
that,
> explain something to another character that you don't agree with to
whine...
> excuse me, cry foul about.

Excellent reply there William. I also have no idea why Alfwhine wanted to go
watch a movie which he already determined he did not like. He should write
to NewLine, send in his review, and ask for a refund... lol.

CC

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Jan 6, 2004, 8:21:54 AM1/6/04
to
"Chelsea Christenson" <Chelsea.C...@nospam.com> wrote in message

> Gollum recovers the ring, is delirious with joy, and dances off the
> edge. Frodo lunges for him and is ready to throw himself into the lava
> after the ring, but Sam restrains him. Frodo keeps struggling util the
> ring sinks into the lava, at which point he collapses in a combination
> of relief and despair.
> Granted, this would require several more close-ups of Frodo's agony
> face, but my gag reflex has already been over-saturated, so I'm prepared
> to make the trade-off.

I dunno Chelsea.... it sounds too much like a story from Mills and Boons....

I prefer PJ's version better - except that I would have Sam grabbing Frodo's
hand and pulling him up instead.


C.C. Baxter

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Jan 6, 2004, 8:53:34 AM1/6/04
to
CC, en una muestra de su admirable prosa, afirmó en el mensaje
SDyKb.80424$aT.7...@news-server.bigpond.net.au que:

But then, we wouldn't see that Frodo abandons the Ring
*before* the Ring is destroyed.

--
Buddy


Smaug69

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Jan 6, 2004, 10:12:43 AM1/6/04