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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 4:50 pm 
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You can certainly compare them if you're willing to admit you're being entirely subjective. I don't think any two people can experience either LotR the book or PJ's films in exactly the same way. In fact they are both so "big" that I know my own response is not the same throughout; it can't be. Not every part of LotR rivets me and moves me as Frodo's slow crawl up Mount Doom does (nor should it!). And watching PJ's films I experience everything from cringing embarrassment at tasteless "humor" to, still, after umpteen viewings, being moved to tears by certain scenes.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:10 pm 
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I agree, but this is the typical defense of the movies apologists: you know, it's the movie, it's different from the books, so the director can do whatever he wants whether it makes sense or no.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:22 pm 
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I think it's true that some changes were necessary because of the two different media. Not all of them, though. The focus should be on telling the same story, just with different tools.

I don't, for example, think I've heard anyone argue that the Council of Elrond should have been presented exactly as in the book, with people simply talking for what would have been an hour of film, rather than through the use of flashbacks and other film shorthand. Flashbacks would have been an annoying distraction in the book, but I think they're darn near essential in the film.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:30 pm 
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Primula Baggins wrote:
I think it's true that some changes were necessary because of the two different media. Not all of them, though. The focus should be on telling the same story, just with different tools.

I don't, for example, think I've heard anyone argue that the Council of Elrond should have been presented exactly as in the book, with people simply talking for what would have been an hour of film, rather than through the use of flashbacks and other film shorthand. Flashbacks would have been an annoying distraction in the book, but I think they're darn near essential in the film.


I think they did a good job of incorporating exposition in FOTR, starting with the prologue. However, I do wish the Council member behaved in a more dignified manner and had said words closer to the books.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:34 pm 
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I have to agree.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:38 pm 
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Going back to the original question, I totally dig the Shire scenes. The arrival of Gandalf is not strictly to the letter but it certainly captures the spirit of the texts. So, they can do it when they want to. Why it almost never happens in the other two movies, I have no idea.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:53 pm 
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Siberian wrote:
Besides, what does he mean? That we enjoy the story, character and the world in spite of the writing? I hate this modern tendency to separate style from content.


I'm rereading Stephen Donaldson's "Chronicles of Thomas Covenant The Unbeliever" again for the first time in about 20 years, and my adult self really wishes I could separate the story from his style of writing. Just sayin'.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:58 pm 
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I feel the same way about the Star Wars prequels. There's a great story in there. I wish somebody else could have told it.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 7:03 pm 
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I don't know, I can't read the book if the writing style annoys me :)


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:21 pm 
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Primula Baggins wrote:
I feel the same way about the Star Wars prequels. There's a great story in there. I wish somebody else could have told it.


I think some lines might have been written by George.

"Nobody tosses a dwarf" :rage:


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 10:33 pm 
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Primula Baggins wrote:
I think it's true that some changes were necessary because of the two different media. Not all of them, though. The focus should be on telling the same story, just with different tools.


Exactly, Prim! One of my favorite scenes in FOTR EE is the sword training that Boromir gives to the two hobbits. It is entirely invented, yet it illuminates the character, gives him dimension. It sets up the viewers to feel all the more dismay for Boromir's fall at the end of the movie, both moral and literal, and it certainly explains while Merry and Pippin were compelled to charge the Uruk-hai by their grief at Boromir's loss. Just one little scene.

I even like the warg attack, which does change the story, but in a way that makes it much more vivid to see what Rohan was up against. (It also illustrates that the other changes to the movie make no sense - Théoden made the only reasonable choice when he took his people to the fastness of Helm's Deep, but oh well.)

There's no excuse for "Go home, Sam" :rage:

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:33 am 
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I would rephrase that. There is an excuse for it. It's just a very, very bad excuse. 8)

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