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Things I Liked Despite Myself

Mithiril

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For any Tolkien purist like me, the idea of somebody messing with the best book ever written seems like sacrilege. As I lurked here before the movie came out and read all of the rumors I was filled with even more dread and was prepared to hate it. Sure enough, the first time I watched it, I must have said "That's not how it happened" often enough to drive the people around me crazy. But on subsequent viewings, I have had to admit to heresy -- there are some things that I cannot deny worked very well.

The awful scenes/changes/omissions remain unforgiveable, but here is a list, for what it's worth, of things I liked anyway:

1. Isildur's smirk
2. The Shire -- beautiful!!
3. Bucklebury Ferry scene -- tension/terror/excitement
4. Elijah Wood as Frodo. Not exactly who I pictured, but I find he brings a youthful innocence to the character. And knowing what we do about what happens to him, it almost makes it seem more tragic. When he's on the screen, I can't keep my eyes from him. Great performance!
5. Frodo's reaction to Gimli's attempt to smash the Ring
6. The moment Frodo says "I will take the Ring" -- chills every time!
7. Boromir teaching the hobbits sword fighting
8. The "give the Ring to Frodo" scene before Caradhras
9. The whole mines of Moria scene - really helped fill in some mental pictures I couldn't get from reading
10. Mourning outside Moria -- esp. that one glance at Frodo says it all: utter grief and sorrow
11. The Argonath - stunning imagery!
12. Frodo's indecision and then determination before getting in the boat at the end.

There, I've confessed and I feel better already!
 

chrome_rocknave

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Hey there Mithiril,
I also enjoyed the part when Frodo was despairing outside or Moria! I think that his one glance towards the camera really told everything that he was feeling :( And knowing what will happen to Frodo in the following books, I agree that it just makes it that much more sad! Elijah Wood makes a great Frodo (but I don't like his "pain" look) :D
 

tookish-girl

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Hey, don't feel like you must confess, like it's a bad thing to like the book and the movie, I liked Pippin's added line about the pint, should go down in movie history!
The grieving scene outside Moria is gutting, seeing Pip holding onto Merry and then the close up on Frodo gets you right inside. Brilliant acting for everyone. I thought they were all so good, especially the Americans with the English accents, as most Americans are so bad at them, it's painful and end up sounding like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins! Ouch!
Liked the party scene and the introduction of Rosie, especially when Frodo virtually chucks Sam at her to get him to dance with him. Like Bilbo telling the hobbity-children about the trolls too, sweet!
 

chrome_rocknave

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I know, I thought I would cry when I saw Pippin holding onto Merry outside of Moria. I just thought that Pippin is probably blaming himself from Gandalf's "death" and must feel a tremendous weight of guilt!
 

Mithiril

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I thought that might be some of Frodo's emotion as well: guilt, because Gandalf left the choice of their route to the Ringbearer and he chose Moria.

The pint line was pretty funny!
 
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Silme

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Place I really liked was Isengard, espcially Orthanc there - they were *just* like I've always pictured them in my mind!! Moria was awesome, too, and Rivendell..... Also Argonath. Lots of great things in the movie, despite the changes.
 

mandy_pal

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one of the most scary moment has GOT to be the boat scene, me and my friends were screaming "Go, go, go frodo!" right there in the cinema and no one even bothered to tell us off cos everyone was sitting on the edge of their seats! after the movie many people went right back into the line and bought another ticket for the next screening...no kidding, i talked to at least six of them! The saddest part is when Boromir kept on fighting even when he has got three arrows in his chest! I forgave him in the end (in which i never did when i read the book)...hehe
 

Matiage

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Mithiril stated:

>I must have said "That's not how it happened" often enough to drive the people around me crazy...<

The ironic thing is that NONE of this happened. The screenplay is an adaptation of a fictional book; the book was an adaptation of Nordic and Finnish edas and mythos; but none of it was ever real.

I do get your point though. At least it wasn't as bad as Starship Troopers where the whole story was changed and the film was turned into a skin flick for sex deprived adolescents.

Matiage
 

Matiage

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Well, we will both be hit in the head with a well rotted lamb's leg for wandering off topic, but the main theme of Starship Troopers was a psudo-fascist viewpoint that reflected the author's experience with two World Wars in his lifetime.

The Troopers in the book were certainly not gung-ho little kids. They also were TROOPERS -- jump troopers in powered armor.

How many people with names like Juan Rico, and live in Argentina, look like Casper the friendly euroblonde?

Dizzy was a guy, Rico's father learned what the universe was all about (great chapter in the book), and the whole politics of the book was made into a mummer's farce.

If P.J. had made Legolas a woman and had Frodo bag her in the woods, I'm sure most of you here would not think kindly of it. Likewise, if the movie had added a game of futball at the shire to show off how the main characters could be jocks, it would have been quite a waste of time.

I can hardly express my frustration with the screen adaptations of both Starship Troopers and Dune as well. So little time was available, and so much waste was added in spite of the original material lost. The stories gained the "big screen", but they lost the "big picture."

Let us be grateful that FotR did not stray so far from the path as to be just a shell of the original story.

Matiage


P.S. Don Johnson and Tippy Hedron should have finished what they started. How can I get in on an experiment like that?
 
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Matiage

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NPW? Nit Picking Whiner?

No, that is going too far. Starship Troopers is likely my favorite science fiction book of all time. I teach history and political theory, so having this great work be shamed on the big screen was a major disservice to the author.

Let me put it this way; if the movie had been named Star Command and had not been adapted from Starship Troopers, I would have been happy enough to have spent my cash on it.

There are those who feel the same about The Fellowship Of The Ring, but there is a huge difference in changing a few things and distorting the major premise of the original work.
 

Obbit Trifill

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Mithiril, I enjoyed your post

It's nice to hear words like your's, coming from the mouth of a purista who is not so close-minded that he could not enjoy the film...and admit it.

I have seen it only once, so far. In the days that followed, I did not feel a nagging urge to see it again, immediately, like I have for some movies. But now, a few days later, there is this nagging feeling that I want to see it, again, need to see it, again, moving toward MUST see it, again!

The scenes of the shire were among my favorite, too.
 

Mithiril

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Obbit Triffil,
I find myself having that same reaction at least once a week....I see the movie, say "there, I have it out of my system now" and then a little while goes by and I start thinking, well, maybe just one more time....thanks for your post.

BTW Matiage: I may enjoy the books and the movie and have a good time discussing them here, I very *rarely* depart from reality so far that I actually think these things really happened. I thought it was safe to assume that most people here would accept that we may be debating/going over the book/movie but still have a firm grasp on the concept that we are discussing a great work of fiction and my reality remains very real. Honest!



:)
 
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Loiosh

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Let me see if understand this...

Fellowship was a blasphemous misrepresentation but Starship Troopers only deviated slightly from the book?

Um, wow. Read the book again and then watch the movie. If it hadn't been called Starship Troopers I would have had no idea that it was in fact even based on the book, character names not withstanding.
 

bunnywhippit

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may FotR live on. :)

I have to say, i'm afraid i committed the crime of never reading LOTR before seeing the film. I'd read The Hobbit and always thought, "now i must read LOTR". After seeing the film, i've finally started reading and honest to goodness, i've become fairly obsessed.

Obbit Trifill, Mithiril, i know exactly what you're talking about, after seeing the film i wasn't sure if i'd go see it again, but it really does nag and nag for a second.. third.. as many as possible viewings. ;) It's one of the most beautiful, heartbraking yet hopeful (for want of a better word) film i've seen - i'm already planning my trip to NZ. Hehe. Anyway, the wounded hero essence of Frodo has truly captured me and although yes, it's truly different from the book, i can easily accept both of them for they are magnificent in their own ways. Just had to get that out.

Anyway, back on topic. I have to agree with points 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10 of what you liked Mithiril. Those are things that have REALLY stuck with me, and i keep going over and over them. I also loved Gandalf's hat, it has to be said. That was quite something. :D

I'm trying to think of other moments i loved. Bilbo's face change. That was pretty frightening. Gandalf whispering to the moth (was it a moth?) - i just thought that small scene seemed to have such feeling. And Frodo & Arwen being chased by the Ringwraiths. That has really been on my mind today for some unknown reason. Oh, there is so much more, but i can't remember half of it. Maybe i should go see the film again.... ;)
 

Bill the Pony

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Something I only noticed in the second viewing:
Legolas walking on top of the snow, and the rest of the company toiling through it.

And not in the book, but I still liked it: the guard at Bree first opening the top window, and then the bottom one to find the hobbits.
 

bunnywhippit

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Bill, i noticed that Legolas/snow part as well! I'd forgotton about that though, and i really loved that part! Ooh.. sometimes it's the small things that count. ;)

And the guard at the gate. Usually something like that, i would consider a bit naff, but it really seemed to work well, and was pretty amusing i thought. :)
 

Loiosh

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Harrad, not sure where we crossed wires here. I'm new to this board, but any purist who denounces Fellowship could not possibly say that Starship Troopers was faithful to the book without losing all credibility.

I enjoyed Starship Troopers, both the film and the book, but for entirely different reasons. They were radically dissimilar, the only thing they held in common was the fact there were big bugs.

I've seen people on this board foam at the mouth at the changes in Fellowship, I shudder to think how they would feel if they applied even a small percentage of that scrutiny to ST.

It isn't a fair comparison, though. Lord of the Rings created an unparralleled world of imagination, and has inspired a loyalty and affection that staggers the heart and soul. Starship Troopers, while remaining a classic of speculative fiction, pales beside the fan base of the Lord of the Rings.
 

lilhobo

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yeah, but that is also the disadvantage of LOTR, many people know that story already, so where can the movie bring as suprises???

1. arwen love story
2. Saruman
3. landscape

Problem for TTT is that without Arwen it will be seen as just another mindless action flick in the vein of Arnie's , Mel's and Bruce's
 

Matiage

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Mithiril,

OK ... sometimes people actually believe the events of the books had taken place in some far away land, or they often act like they believe it. ;)

The fact that there were some changes that may be set aside and understood is what allows me to have faith in the adaptation of The Lord Of The Rings as a whole.

As I have stated: Verhooven made Starship Troopers into a farce of the original story and the DeLaurentis-Lynch version of Dune, while staying much closer to the book, was done in such way as to make it more campy than even Flash Gordon.

I always expect changes in screenplay adaptations, but the when, where, and how can really be important. What your opinion states is that the changes, while valid points of attack for nitpickers, are not premise altering.

Harad,

Yes, I have two copies of the Avalon Hill game of Starship Troopers. Although the game rules did change a few things, it actually adds to the military interpretation of the conflicts at hand. The board game makes no attempt to be more than a series of military scenarios loosely based on the ST universe.

On a ten scale, I would rate The Fellowship of the Ring an eight on faithfulness to the book, while I would rate Starship Troopers a three. Harry Potter would likely get a nine from what my wife says of it, and A Bridge Too Far would certainly receive a ten.

Ah, but even in A Bridge Too Far, there were a few examples of two historical figures combined into one. With the twenty odd major players in the Market Garden assault, it was necessary in those few instances to combine minor characters without any change of premise.

We must ask ourselves, are Arwen and the other characters that have been altered or combined so major of characters that their change alters the premise of the original work, or do the changes actually make sense in the adaptation of the books.

It is of my opinion that making Arwen a combination of those in the book will enhance the character in the movie without causing undue trauma to the major themes and premices of The Lord Of The Rings.

Now, who has one of those pints, because we don't have them back at the Shire.

Matiage
 
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