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Both the book AND the movie are GREAT

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Nap

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With all the dissention I see in this forum over details neglected in the movie or changed, I find it hard to believe that so few of you seem to be unable to realize that the book AND the movie are BOTH great.

Yes, I've read the books (years ago, alas), and yes, I've seen the movie (twice now!). Both are excellent. I am so happy that a serious, good movie has been made from Tolkien's masterpiece!

I know that hardcore fans sometimes hate the term "nitpickers", but TOUGH, I cannot think of a better word. If you don't like the term, it's probably because you are one of THEM! :)

All of you with half a brain know that there is NO way this movie could have been done in three hours and contain everything you want. Does PJ take advantage of some liberties? Sure. Does he take out scenes some of us like? Yes. Is the movie a perfect rendition of the books? Of course not.

The point is... you CANNOT make ANY movie a perfect retelling of a novel. I challenge any of you NITPICKERS (heh) to tell me of a single movie that's been made which completely follows the book it was based upon. You can't, don't bother.

I suppose there are a few things that PJ would consider changing after seeing fan response, but it's a little late now. All in all, I think he did a damn fine job and it is an instant classic.

Remember, if more scenes would have been added, the pace would have become even MORE frantic and would have confused more people. While hardcore fans feel like JP should have been more faithful to the book, keep this in mind: YOU DON'T GET A 300 MILLION DOLLAR BUDGET TO MAKE A MOVIE THAT APPEALS TO A SMALL FAN BASE. Truly hardcore Tolkien fans are a relatively small fan base when it comes to Hollywood.

This movie appeals to everyone, from older kids to older old people. From tolkien fans to total fantasy newbies. In fact, the ONLY people I have seen that criticize this film fall into two categories:

1. Hardcore nitpickers that will never be satisfied with a cinema version.

2. Wrestling and NASCAR fans (you know what I mean)

If you don't fall into that group, you probably loved the film as much as I did. Yes, this is my first post here, but I can promise (threaten) you that it won't be my last! Muahahahahaha!!!!

Nap the cowardly hobbit

Nap
 

theGrenadier

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Fox TV remade 'The Shining' a few years ago and even the individual scenes , down to character placement and there movements within the settings,were right on.

So there's one.
 

Lantarion

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I agree totally, Nap, and welcome to the forum. :)
I thought the movie was very good, and captured the mood and the emotions of the book. The changes in the movie were regrettable, but some of them were good.
Very good points, I wish I could've beat you to it. :) *quietly sharpens knives, and glares at Nap*
:D
 
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Nap

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Hiding in corner...

Thank you Pontifex,

Glad you enjoyed the post. As for you, Grenadier, I have yet to see the TV remake of The Shining, but I'd bet my next paycheck that if I read the Steven King book 40 times I could find plenty of faults with the movie. Just a hunch.....

Nap
 

Thorin

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Originally posted by Nap
I know that hardcore fans sometimes hate the term "nitpickers", but TOUGH, I cannot think of a better word. If you don't like the term, it's probably because you are one of THEM! :)

The point is... you CANNOT make ANY movie a perfect retelling of a novel. I challenge any of you NITPICKERS (heh) to tell me of a single movie that's been made which completely follows the book it was based upon. You can't, don't bother.

Remember, if more scenes would have been added, the pace would have become even MORE frantic and would have confused more people. While hardcore fans feel like JP should have been more faithful to the book, keep this in mind: YOU DON'T GET A 300 MILLION DOLLAR BUDGET TO MAKE A MOVIE THAT APPEALS TO A SMALL FAN BASE. Truly hardcore Tolkien fans are a relatively small fan base when it comes to Hollywood. This movie appeals to everyone, from older kids to older old people.

Sigh. Where do I begin?

1) I fail to see how defending Arwen's distortion, and criticizing the addition of Lurtz, the distortion of Elrond's Council, the lack of importance placed on the ring, the cutting of the Barrow-Wights (they could have done something with that without Bombadil), and the cutting of the Scouring of the Shire, is considered nit-picking. I admit, complaining about Legolas wearing boots instead of shoes and Pippen knocking down a skeleton instead of throwing a stone could be considered nit-picking but it is the principle involved. PJ did not have to change those things. He chose to do it unneccasarily while claiming to be so true to the details. It is the hypocrisy, not the little changes that offend us most.

2) A movie can have changes, yet still impress a fan base with it's authenticity. Example being "Misery". Sure Kathy Bates hobbled James Caan instead of chopping off his feet like the character in the book, but it still remained true to alot of the little details. Apparently, I have heard that Columbus's Harry Potter is liked by fans because it does stay true to even the dialogue. The Rainmaker not only stayed true to the book, but it was even better than the book. The Green Mile was also true to the book despite little changes. Arwen's changes and the distortion of Gandalf's, Elrond's and Galadriel's characters, along with the lack of character development in the others and the changing of scenery in Lorien are not just nit-picky changes that are an unimportant deviation from the book. They are quite serious as to how Tolkien intended his audience to see and relate to them.

3) Take a look at this forum and tell me that Tolkien cannot appeal to a wide range of audiences without the help of some low-budget horror movie director? Give me a break. If PJ would have eliminated some of his own created scene and dialogue and kept the true parts in, it would not only have been more true, but more exciting as well and everyone would have understood them. Please give JRR more credit.

The fact is, is that PJ claims to be a fan and that he stayed true to the book, and that fans could be rest assured in his effort. As a purist fan, I would expect some changes and deletions. I know that the scope of JRR's LoTR is too vast to give true justice to it on the big screen. But I would also take him at his word. Drastically changing the characters and altering practically every scene in either small or big ways is not staying true to form. That is a huge let down and most of the changes did not need to happen, and for a self-proclaimed fan, SHOULD not have happened if claiming to stay true to LoTR. Fans were let down and not just purists. And not because of changes having to be made. But the reckless changes that were made and the two-faced image PJ is portraying to the public.
 

theGrenadier

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You're probably right, Nap. If I read it 40 times I would definitly find at least a few minor faults in the movie. But, the whole point is that the producers and director and cast maintained the integrity of the story and the over-all texture of the story. The characters kept the motivations and behaviour written into them by the author. The sinister subtleties of the book were far better portrayed than the original film because their behaviour remained consistent through-out the movie, like the book. Check it out, it's a great read. And, I'm sure Herr Jackson's version of LOTR was closer than the film version of Salem's Lot. What a stinker that was. But that is another example, albeit extreme, of how a screen-writer/director can ruin a good novel.

But as a whole, I feel that your opinion is quite valid. We may not agree, but oh well. That's cool, I'm glad you enjoyed the film.

And watch out who you're calling a nit-picker, dude, some of us like it! hahaha.
 
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Nap

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Reasons why changes were made

The books you mentioned, Thorin, as being good examples of "book-to-film" are all modern novels that are smaller in length. Tolkien's style is very different from a typical pop-culture author such as Stephen King or John Grisham, so I don't think those books are good comparisons.

Let's take a look at some of the changes PJ made and see if we can figure out why he made them.

1. Glorfindel - As magnificent as his appearance in the book is, it is very short and he does not appear later in the book. Were he in the movie, it would be one more character for the "non Tolkien" audience to try and remember and keep straight.

2. Arwen - I agree that the sword-to-Aragorn was crude, but I think PJ was trying to make a true heroine out of Arwen's character. It's been 60 years since FotR was written, and society's view of women in heroic roles is different. I know it's a "sellout", but newcomers might site a lack of strong females as a weakness in the movie.

3. Council of Elrond - Had to be shortened in the interest of time. Also, having Frodo make the decision in the midst of an argument showed strong character and determination in the shortest way possible.

4. Ring Importance - You stated that PJ failed to stress the importance of the ring, but I don't see how. The movie shows dozens of moments of temptation, desire, and corruption centered around the ring.

5. Barrow Wights - Already too much criticism from purists about so much time devoted to creatures and fighting. Something had to go. Any time given to it would have been taken from something else.


While there are countless other changes critics could point out, and some quite valid, the fact is that PJ made these changes for a reason. I don't think he meant to "betray" Tolkien. I think he realized that he needed to create a movie that was as close to the book as possible and yet still maintain that "blockbuster" appearance and feel. I think he managed to do that.
 
R

rickshaw

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Cinema Release

Having never read the book and believing all the cinema hype I thought sitting in the cinema for approx 3 hours to watch an adaptation of a well thought of book was the a complete waste of time.The whole shooting match could of been over in less time.
Fine that the special effects were good but taken those away from it and the film as was pure dross.
I assume it must of cost a few quid to produce and the hype was required to get a return on a really poor film.
It did nothing for me and a lot of cinema go'ers were dissapointed with this production let's hope future sequels improve.
This production get's a big thumbs down and has not encouraged me to pick up the book and read it which I suggest it should of done so.

Rick Shaw
 

Gawain

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The point is... you CANNOT make ANY movie a perfect retelling of a novel. I challenge any of you NITPICKERS (heh) to tell me of a single movie that's been made which completely follows the book it was based upon. You can't, don't bother.
Well, the kids in my daughter's class at school wrote a mini novel. It was pretty cool too. Then as a follow up they were to make a movie from the novel they wrote. Now, given they didn't have a multi-million dollar budget, the props and such were very good knock-ups of the scenes described in their book. As for the acting...beautiful. Recited word for word and with a conviction matching that of any Hollywood "star".

It was called The Butterfly and the Ladybug. Watch for it. It'll be huge.

Gawain
 

Gawain

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1. Glorfindel - As magnificent as his appearance in the book is, it is very short and he does not appear later in the book. Were he in the movie, it would be one more character for the "non Tolkien" audience to try and remember and keep straight.
I think this statement is not entirely true. An example is the Phantom Menace. Darth Maul was a waste of space in my opinion. He played no important part in the move, other than to prove that members of the dark side always show up in pairs, yet so many people raved over him. He isn't going to pop in later prequels, but ask anyone if he should be left out and they will scream you down.

Now Glorfindel was an important part of the book. Maybe not to all people. Certainly he is an important character to most fans of TLotR even if he is not a major character. A little of something special can last in the memory a long time. I think his character should have been in the movie and not tossed aside for the sake of expanding Arwen's role. He could have been the "Darth Maul" of ME. Imagine the figurine sales if the marketing people got it right.

Before the pro-Arwen crowd swamp me, I think it was a good idea to expand her role for the movie. Half the people seeing this movie will be girls. Girls, to quote the donkey in Shrek, "love that romantic crap." However I feel that with a little brain-straining there could have been other ways to entrench her in the movie.

Gawain
 
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N

Nap

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Gawain,

I'm glad you agree about the decision to expand Arwen's character, but to compare Glorfindel to Darth Maul is like comparing apples and oranges. Glorfindel's appearance was a one-time scene, with only the spell to wash away the riders. Darth Maul was shown in bits leading up to a very big fight scene in which one of the heroes was killed.

If you have to compare Darth Maul, compare him to Lurtz. Many similarities there (and I think intentional, since I'm sure PJ saw Ep. I)
 

Thorin

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Nap, you are being influenced by the movie too much. Go back to the written word.

Glorfindel said no such spell, nor was there any spell involved. That is what is so maddening! Glorifindel threw Frodo on his horse which carried him to the Fords where Frodo faced the riders himself. Elrond brought the flood down on the riders. Not only is Arwen's presence not even there, but the carrying Frodo to the Ford, defying the riders and casting a spell are totally fabricated. Glorindel's part was minor, but it is the events around it that were important. PJ created a scenario, and instead of having Glorfindel do it, he placed ANOTHER character who did not belong in his place. Unneccesary and distorting.

And what is wrong with having minor characters? I personally felt that Mace Windu was really not needed in Phantom Menace. So what? Who cares what I think. There is nothing wrong with having a minor character involved. And really, when you look at the movie, Arwen's role was also minor in that respect. Why replace a minor character (who belongs there according to Tolkien's book, with another minor character who doesn't belong there in the scheme of Tolkien's intentions.
 
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