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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:56 am 
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of Vinyamar
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Thanks for your thoughts AJ! I'm really impressed so far.

I've actually watched Books II and III now, cause my kids aren't willing to wait for the internet folks to keep up ;)

I'll write up my thoughts on each and keep a copy for later posting when the conversation comes round.

I will say this though. If you thought Book I was good, Book III will knock your socks off.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:13 am 
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Anyone else want to weigh in on Book I before I post my thoughts on Book II?

Alternatively, would the Thains prefer if I created a separate thread for each Movie, like we did for the Book discussion? It would be a total of 6 threads.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:37 pm 
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Whichever is your preference, Al.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:41 pm 
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Ok, I think I'll retitle this one and start a new thread for Book II.

Are you going to join us V? While some of your favourite scenes will be missing (like the Nazgûl over Osgiliath) I think you'd find them fascinating.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:05 pm 
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I hope to watch them eventually, when I get enough time. I'm glad you decided to split the threads because that will make it easier for latecomers to comment.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:59 am 
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watched again up to Bree, never liked the sequence in the crop, now I understand that desperately poor people might have been tempted to steal cabbages, but not two gentle hobbits - the pinching of rare mushrooms but cabbages !!! still stupid and gratuitus

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:32 am 
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not something I would recommend
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Watched! I find it very exciting that this sort of thing is possible now with the readily available software and computing power. Overall this is very well done and it is a fun experiment but it's not an improvement over the original(s) in my eyes, despite several good decisions. I will try and comment more later.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:10 pm 
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Finished book 1 last night, seemed to me the horsey chase bit was tighter, which I always thought it needed to be. Prancing Pony seemed different and nicely effective. Overall a really polished piece of work.

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Since 1410 most Welsh people most of the time have abandoned any idea of independence as unthinkable. But since 1410 most Welsh people, at some time or another, if only in some secret corner of the mind, have been "out with Owain and his barefoot scrubs." For the Welsh mind is still haunted by it's lightning-flash vision of a people that was free.

Gwyn A. Williams,


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 5:24 pm 
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I watched book one this morning. I tried to keep an open mind, despite having a certain prejudice against editing the work of another artist. Overall, I think it is pretty well done, but I can't say for sure that I think it is superior to Jackson's edit. It's been a couple of years since I have seen any of the films, so memory is somewhat fuzzy, but here are a few of my observations.

I'm ambivalent at best about the beginning. The Ring poem is fine, but I greatly miss Cate Blanchett's wonderful iconic introduction, and some of the exposition of the prologue.

I do like moving quickly into Hobbiton, though. I'm glad that they left the "non-purist" Gandalf setting off the fireworks for the children scene. I wish that they had cut out the ear-wax hobbit, however, as well as Gandalf banging his head in Bag End. I am glad that they removed the scene where Bilbo panics about not being able to find the Ring. I would have also preferred that they removed Merry and Pippin's stealing and setting off the dragon firework (and just had it seem to have been set off by Gandalf), as well as Bilbo's "very selfish" speech to Frodo while they were hiding from the Sackville-Bagginses (but I am glad that they removed the earlier "always been a Baggins in Bag End, and there always will be" line). I wish they could have added a flash when Bilbo disappeared at the end of the Speech, but that was beyond their abilities.

I am reminded once again at just how wonderfully purist the scene when Bilbo given up the Ring. Even the "non-purist" elements of Bilbo dropping the ring and his goodbye with Gandalf and the temptation of the ring to Gandalf while it is lying on the ground and the muttering of "riddles in the dark/precious" are all very true to the spirit of the book, and well kept.

I don't much like having the last alliance/taking of the Ring scenes moved to a flashback after Gandalf discovers the Ring document in Minas Tirith. It stops the flow of the film too much and fails to provide as effective exposition as the prologue, though the transition back to the Green Dragon scene works okay. I am glad that they avoided also adding in a flashback of Bilbo finding the Ring in Gollum's cave after Frodo says "Bilbo founded it, in Gollum's cave" (although we don't know who Gollum is at this point, do we? While I like having the first view of Gollum being him being tortured by Sauron, that certainly wouldn't work for someone not familiar with the book.

I think there are still too many "keep it safe" "is it safe?" references. I would have cut out the one that Gandalf says when they are leaving the Shire. I also have mixed feelings about the corny "this is it" scene when Sam is reaching the furthest away from home that he has been. It serves a point, but I don't think it is well done and probably could be cut. Also, the wood-elves scene, while beautiful, is jarring from a purist point of view, because they aren't wood-elves!

The short-cut to mushrooms scene would have been a better (though not a good) introduction to Merry and Pippin than the stealing of the fireworks. I wish there could have been something of the "conspiracy" instead, but that is impossible.

I really think it was a mistake of these editors to have cut out the scenes where the Black Riders leaving Minas Morgul and enter the Shire. It makes there sudden appearance right next to Frodo and friends seem too, well, sudden. I also miss the initial shots of Barad-dûr, and I don't know why that was removed. I hate the "run Frodo" scene at the ferry; I think that could have been edited down and improved.

Cutting out Jackson's cameo in the entrance to Bree is just plain lame. Sure, it's self-indulgent, but it's his movie, and it actually does help to set the mood of Bree. I also didn't like that they edited out the juxtaposition of the views of the Hobbits with the Nazgûl entering the room with the bolsters; I think it reduces the tension of the scene tremendously.

The lack of exposition from the missing prologue is evident when Aragorn says to Frodo about Lúthien that she died after marrying a mortal. That makes little sense having had no previous exposition about immortal Elves.

I wish they had found a way to edit out Frodo throwing down his sword and falling down at Weathertop, but I'm glad that they at least removed the tossing of the flare at the Nazgûl and having it be running around on fire. That's an improvement.

The introduction of Arwen is absolutely wonderful. Exactly how I would have done it. By far the best edit in the cut.

I'm also glad that they cut out the ridiculous "give up the halfling, She-Elf" "if you want him come and get him" dialogue. I don't mind that they removed Arwen's raising of the river, though I wouldn't have minded if the kept it. I am glad that they cut down on Arwen's emoting over Frodo, though as far as I am concerned, they could have cut that out altogether.

Hopefully I'll get to watch Book Two later, during my forced convalescence.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:26 pm 
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Bear in Mind Voronwë, the purpose here was not to make a better movie but rather one that is closer to the book.

For example, the prologue is gone simply because its not in the book. Where he could, he brought that material back in, during scenes in the book. I would agree that the Minas Tirith Flashback is problematic, and would have preferred for that info to come out during Gandalf's talk with Frodo (the Shadow of the PAst scene as it were). However, I think there's no appropriate segue in the dialogue to prompt a flashback.

However, The Black Rider appears for the first time in exactly the same way as the book (apart from the unseen person Frodo overhears talking to the Gaffer).

Personally I disagree with you on a couple of points. I think the "Run Frodo" scene is far better in its cut down form than the original, and I much prefer the Nazgûl attack without the intercuts to the sleeping hobbits, as it always felt like a cheap trick to me.

Overall though, I just enjoy being able to watch the movies in a somewhat "fresh" way again!

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:44 pm 
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Alatar wrote:
I much prefer the Nazgûl attack without the intercuts to the sleeping hobbits, as it always felt like a cheap trick to me.


That, along with the face-torch, are the only two edits that I felt made a significantly positive impact on my enjoyment.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:23 pm 
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I finally got around to watching this. While I was mostly aware of where they made changes, it really didn't create a different impression on me than the official version. I've seen these movies too many times; my mind just fills in the blanks.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:20 am 
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I just watched Book One. I REALLY missed Cate Blanchett's voice at the beginning. I will never forget when I saw the movie the first time, sitting in the dark theatre and being instantly caught up in the spell her voice cast.

I agree that the stupid scene with Merry and Pippin stealing the firework should have been cut, and the even stupider scene of them stealing a cabbage and some carrots and Sam's comment that they had been into Farmer Maggot's "crops". Grrrr. DUMB.

I think it was an okay job, I would have done it differently, but all in all, there were some improvements.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:46 am 
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I watched most of Book I.

It’s an interesting idea, but I’m not all that enthralled. I was always considered a purist on TORC, but most of my criticisms were based on what I thought would have been a better film, not necessarily one closer to the book. In particular, I think that simply moving scenes around to flashbacks and the like doesn’t work that well. In words, things like the Battle of the Last Alliance simply come across as textbook-style history lessons and are best left until after the reader has been pulled into the story. In film, though, they can be spectacular set-pieces that act as a hook to draw the viewer into the imaginary world. So I think that both Tolkien and the filmmakers were right to put those scenes where they did, and I think that trying to film them all as flashbacks doesn’t work as well.

Obviously, though, they can’t create new scenes, and so can’t remove or change many of the things that did annoy purists. I liked the new Ford scene much better than the old one, but it still lacks Frodo’s stand against the Black Riders, which is I think the key thing that was missing from the film version of events. Nor are we ever going to have a non-one-dimensional Denethor, or no Elves at Helm’s Deep. So it’s questionable in my mind whether it’s worth watching the whole thing to simply see the existing films in a different order.

That said, I am curious about Book III, largely because I think that the Rohan subplot in the movies simply needed to be tighter and move faster, and editing could do that. So I’ll keep watching.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:18 am 
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You may be pleasantly surprised LordM. There's no Elves at Helms Deep in this version, the Ents make the right decision, Faramir doesn't Osgiliate and Frodo doesn't send Sam home.

Some are more successfully achieved than others, but all in all, its a worthy effort!

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:08 pm 
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I've been watching this Red Book edit (seen most of the "Books" now) and thought I'd post up a few thoughts as well:

Even though I vastly prefer the Prologue, I did enjoy the narration of the Ring poem. However, it felt disconnected from the rest of the film as if it was a prelude to the actual film.

Including the flashback to the Last Alliance in the scene where Gandalf reads the scrolls just didn’t work at all. There was no context to explain what is going on in these scenes and much of the actual fighting (like that Elf mexican wave) should've been cut. It would’ve been better placed in Bag-End when Gandalf and Frodo are talking about the Ring. In fact, why is that scene of Gandalf in Minas Tirith even included in the first place? It doesn’t occur in the book (IIRC, Gandalf leaves abruptly at the end of the first chapter then turns up again, 17 years later, at the start of the next one).

I agree with Voronwë: cutting Peter Jackson’s cameo was lame.

The removal of the sleeping Hobbits being intercut with the Nazgûl entering the bedroom was an improvement as was the removal of Aragorn throwing the torch in the Nazgûl’s “face”.

I think there needed to be a better lead into the flood. I understand why Arwen casting the “spell” was cut (since she didn’t do so in the book) but that small scene of the water rising above the pebbles should’ve remained. The no dialogue confrontation worked better than I thought it would have.

Apart from a few minor edits, I did not prefer this version. It was closer to the book, but I often felt like I was watching the original films and just pressing the skip/fast-forward button on my remote.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:18 pm 
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I thought Jackson's cameo provided a neat comic relief. The first time anyway. After subsequent cameos and viewings, I was tired of him/them, so I was ok without a bit that added nothing to the story.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:46 am 
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The reason for cutting Jackson's cameo was simply because he was one of the "scary looking inhabitants" and Kerr was attempting to make Bree slightly more friendly, as in the book. No offense was intended towards PJ.

As regards the Gandalf flashback to Minas Tirith, I would agree it could have been cut.

Probably my favourite edits were small ones around the Black Riders. They seemed much more scary and less incompetent.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:54 pm 
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Alatar wrote:
The reason for cutting Jackson's cameo was simply because he was one of the "scary looking inhabitants" and Kerr was attempting to make Bree slightly more friendly, as in the book. No offense was intended towards PJ.


I can understand and accept that (I had assumed that he cut PJ for some petty reason).

Alatar wrote:
Probably my favourite edits were small ones around the Black Riders. They seemed much more scary and less incompetent.


I definitely agree with this.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:35 pm 
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A little cutting can surprisingly do a lot for Arwen's entrance and the Ford sequence. The former has more dignity while the latter feels more realistic somehow. In retrospect Liv Tyler looked awed at her own magic spell, and removing that spell makes her expression more authentic.

Also in the book, Frodo still could be tempted to give in to the Ringwraiths in his weakened but conscious state. With Frodo pretty much comatose and in the company of another person, it just comes across as saber-rattling for both sides, since no one is obviously going to back off. That it's Arwen involved, not Glorfindel, is irrelevant. Removing all the dialogue was the right thing to do, though this means Arwen's sword is drawn off-screen.

It's not perfect, since new footage can't be filmed to run stuff together better, but it's intriguing to see how personal choices went a long way in coloring the films.


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