Renewing Hate For The Movie Changes That Were Written In...
April 30, 2007 12:45am CST
I sat down tonight and flipped through the channels looking for something to watch, and found TBS was airing "Lord of The Rings". It was my favorite of the three films, so I happily stared at Ian McKellen as Gandalf with absolute and joyous bliss. That bliss lasted through the "chance meeting" of Merry and Pippin, through the Nazgul in the forest scene, and then it happened. No enchanted forest. No Willow Tree, no Tom Bombadil, no Barrow Downs, and suddenly without warning, we're at Bree. Arrgghhh! Fine! I can deal with it, I mumbled to myself. Then Viggo showed up as Aragorn, whispering and growling his lines, making me wince. He draws his sword, and...It's not Narsil. It's not broken! Augggh! Augggh! Arrggh! No letter from Gandalf, no explanation of where the horse came from, nothing. The Weathertop scene was like a part of "Dawn of The Dead", burning mummy-like monsters abounded, and then there was a wonderful moment as Frodo (under the Ring's influence) views Aragorn fighting the Nazgul with the fire-brand. Lovely. Perfect. And then it was over as I winced through Frodo's weepy cries and delighted again in the special effect of the Nazgul blade as it dissolved in the morning light. Oh, I thought my terror would be over, but no! Now Arwen comes to save the day-- Noooo they couldn't even write it as Legolas, no! How dare I ask that they actually hire another elf-like man to be Glorfindel, no! It's impossible to complain now, anyway! Faugggh, the torture of hearing the Nazgul hissing, "Give up the Hobbit, she-elf!" Lest I run from the screen with terror, I averted my eyes. I couldn't really watch anymore, and went back to working on a guitar. I half listened until Boromir's death scene, and then got another shot of horror at Aragorn's shout, "Let's hunt some Orc!" I really wonder if this is the way youngsters are going to be initiated into the wonderfully written world of Tolkien. Actually now that I think of it, millions were. So how many of you were so taken by the films that you read the books? Did you like the language? Did you like the characters more or less in the books? I have heard varied reviews from youths who said, "It was too descriptive. You have to skip all the stuff about a hill, or a mountain, 'cause you'll be bored to death if you don't." I can sympathize. Until I really read the books from top to bottom, I didn't understand all of that descriptive work. Later I learned it was to my benefit to read all of it - that way I got a better feel for the actual size, shape, and color of Middle Earth. I also learned a lot more about the characters and their history. So do tell, are you still peeved about changes that were made for the sake of time and popularity in the movies? Did you care at all? Does it still bug you the way it bugs me?!
• United States
30 Apr 07
Oops--think we have a real die-hard Tolkien fan and a Peter Jackson basher...ooooo! I love the books as I'm a die-hard LOTR fan...BUT sorry--I do love the movies...in fact, if it hadn't been for the movies, I wouldn't have been inspired to read the books again, and I hadn't read them since I was in high school and that was a long, long time ago in a galaxy far far away (oops wrong movie)--LOL Okay the time element..if the movie had been made precisely and exactly following the books, each of the LOTR movies would have been about ten hours long..not that I would have minded but I don't think your average movie goer is going to sit that long through the movies...each one was about 3hours long and that wasn't for the extended versions--Yes, Jackson cut out Bombidil..he gave lines from one character- and switched them around..then of course there is the Arwen thing...she and Aragon's relationship is mainly in the Appendices...but Jackson did want to add a common thread and "love" interest to the story.. As far as sticking to the story vs. movie--there has never been with a very, very few exceptions a movie that has followed a book one hundred percent..even Anne Rice's Interview with The Vampire didn't follow the book and she wrote the screenplay herself. Now from what I understand, Christopher Lee who plays Sauramon is a die-hard Tolkien fan himself..in fact he even met the author himself..he makes it a habit of reading the books faithfully once a year...Jackson often consulted Lee about various aspects of the books...and C. Lee gave his approval of how the movies turned out. Sorry--like I said ...I'm a Tolkien fan myself, and have even written short stories that were accepted and published by Minas Tirith Evening Star the Journal of the American Tolkien Society, and they are picky about the stories they publish...you have to know your Tolkien--but I STILL love the movies!
• United States
30 Apr 07
Hehehehe! Bluh-oh, another Tolkienite, and a writer, no less?! Yeahhhh...you've got me. I'm a Jackson basher. I try not to, though. He did bring us the films after all! So who's your favorite character? (I mean..out of all his books.) I tend to favor Aragorn, but I do love Faramir, Eol, and Beleg Strongbow.
• United States
30 Apr 07
Love Aragon too..hehhe..and I happened to like--uh, no love Viggo M. who played him..I also love Faramir..he was a bit whimpier in the movies though..and yes, I loved Bombadil and his wife Goldberry so it was a shame they were axed in the movies.
• United States
30 Apr 07
Woo, not bad! I like your cover illustration. You story was well-thought out and quite entertaining. I'd never thought of writing from a horse's perspective, and you got all the history right! Very nicely done. Got to admit - you've got spunk! I never would have entered my work into such a newsletter. It would scare me to pieces!
• United States
7 Sep 07
I enjoy the movies, and actually would not have ever read the books if it weren't for the movies. I rather like the fact that the movies are so different. I wouldn't want to sit through a movie that's full of beautiful scenes that span the geography of a place for thirty minutes, with narration explaining the history of this place, nor would I want to read a book that's as jam-packed as the movies are. Movies should have more action, and books should have more descriptions and history. That's my opinion, anyway. ^-^ Although the one thing that I would have liked to see in the first movie was the evolving friendship of Legolas and Gimli, and Gimli's gradual (but eventually great) respect for the Elves. That's one of my favorite parts of the book. And Pippen was portrayed as a bit more intelligent in the books than in the movie... But oh well. I like them both.
4 Aug 07
Lord of the Rings, the book and Lord of the Rings, the movie, should not be compared. we all knew that during the course of making the movie, Peter Jackson did many many changes. He obtained feedbacks from the fans (yes, there was an official site for the movie long before the movie was aired and there were many more fan sites dedicated to pressuring Peter. J. to make the movie as closely as possible to the book) However, this cannot be done as it would definitely take more than 3 movies to complete everything in the book!! Peter. J has to be inovative and make necessary changes.. esspecially on the 1st movie. As you admited, the 1st few chapters (i would recall, untill Bree, that is) takes a lot of endurance to read thru. How do you think Peter. J is going to handle that?.. He would have all the audience a sleep on the start of the movie already!! lol.. Yes, there are many difference between the book and the movie. One should watch it (the movie) with an open mind and not compare it with the book. Cause if you do, you will never get to enjoy the movie.. Watch the movie as it's own. (Matter of fact, to date, no movies which are based on books did end up better than the books themselves. To quote you some examples, Harry Potter is one and Timeline is another!) Read them books and you would say the movie is incomplete. That is if you want to make comparison. My advice is watch the movie as it is and never compare it with the books you read. They will never be the same and the book swill always prevail!
2 May 07
Traditionally, Hollywood used to be masters of taking a good book and making a great film (Charles Laughton as the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Bogart and Edward G in superb noir twists, Hitchcocks adaption of Daphne Du Maurier), but today, it has lost its way awfully. The film that has really got my goat in the recent years, was the telling of a historic story from 3100 years ago, first written down 2800 years ago, and still as famous today as it ever was - Homers great epic poem, the Iliad. The film 'Troy' removed all the Gods (Christianity and Judaism are incapable of accepting a story which features mythological Gods? I think the average viewer would have been able to differentiate), and a mortal woman suddenly turned up on the battlefield, because Achilles was mentor to a young man, and the possible homosexual conoctations were just too much for Hollywood, yet a lone female soldier is plausible? If a story could last 3000 years, and remain a true classic - why butcher it? And now, we have 300 - the story of how the Spartans bought Greece time to arm for combat at Thermopylae. I quake at the prospect. For some reason, Hollywood can no longer tell an original story, without trying to act as though it happenbed with current morality, thereby losing the whole basis and ethos of the epics. No sexism, no racism, 'just' laws, 1 God, and Trojans driving Fords. How will children learn that the world changes, that people have had to fight for equality and freedom, and that we can learn from history, if Hollywood keeps eroding the classics. If you haven't seen the film 'Erik the Viking', I would like to recommend it. It parodies the Hollywood idea of giving an ancient character modern social traits, with Erik prefering to 'get to know a lady' and 'talk a bit' rather than plundering, raping and pillaging. It was written and directed by Monty Pythons Terry Jones, stars Tim Robbins and a superb cast of English character actors. I should also like to mention John Boormans classic retelling of 'La Morte D'Arthur' in his film 'Excalibur', which shows that a great story, a great cast, and good direction can make a great and accurate movie, with no compromises. I, too, despair at what damage is being done to a generation, who should be enjoying these classics (and 'Lord of the Rings' is a true classic), not a half-assed butchering. All the best, and keep enjoying the literature till the films become worthy, again.