I got back a little while ago from a midnight showing ... a wonderful movie. It was more emotional than I was expecting. It really does a good job of getting across the heart of the books.<br><br>The changes (from the books) are mostly in the details. The plot is basically intact, aside from the well-publicized omissions like Bombadil.<br><br>Ian McKellen has more acting ability in one eyebrow than most actors do in their whole bodies.<br><br>Come prepared for a long one. The lights went down right at midnight and, counting previews etc., came up at 3:10. Still, it's a briskly paced movie.<br><br>Go see it!<br><br>
Many thanks for your comments! <br><br>It's nice to hear someone who has read the works of the Poet has such a positive view.<br><br>Not surprisingly there seems to be a deluge of TLOR articles on the net this a.m. The most interesting one I've seen thus far relates the impact of the movie on the New Zealand economy:<br><br>http://www.wired.com/news/digiwood/0,1412,49246,00.html<br><br>(And the private section of The Tolkien Society site, for members only, seems to be awash with messages from those who also did the midnight viewing bit. Most are positive. This is a scholarlship oriented group, not a "fan" group per se.)<br><br>128k_Mac<br><br>"The box said 'Requires Windows XP or better' so I bought a Macintosh." - Anonymous<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by 128K_Mac on 12/19/01 10:42 AM (server time).</EM></FONT></P>
#3099 - 01/11/0202:10 PMRe: Lord of the Rings
yoyo52<br><br>So have you seen it?<br><br>Who else has seen it?<br><br>How many times? <br><br>Everyone on the net is passing out superlatives.<br><br>I haven't seen it. <br><br>128k_Mac<br><br>The box said "Requires Microsoft Windows or better" so I bought a Macintosh.
Yes, I did see it, and thought it is very well done. There are some things that are just brilliantly translated to film--the horses in the flooding river, Legolas skimming over the snow while the others sink up to their necks, the world of the Shire, the transformation of Isengard into a kind of industrial cess pool. Some things seem visually odd--for instance, Elrond's house made me think the director had wandered into a set left over from Heidi--very Tyrolean, almost kitsch. I can't wait to see what they do with Ents . There are some things that folks who think of JRRT as a second Moses and of LOTR as a second Pentateuch will find irritating. I'm not a purist, though, so I didn't mind liberties with the text, like Arwen rather than Elrond causing the flood or the cutting out entirely of Tom Bombadill. The one thing that I didn't like was the transformation of Saruman into an agent of Sauron right from the outset, but that's not enough to make me think the movie falsifies the book. The women were pretty weak, but then that's nothing new in regards to Tolkein, who (in the fine old Oxford don tradition) seems not to know what to do with women besides make them pure and ethereal. Of course, we haven't met any human females yet.<br><br>I've only seen it once, though, and would very much like to see it again. It is very good at sweeping the audience into the action, but for someone who knows the books, a first viewing inevitably becomes something like a comparison and contrast essay. I think seeing it a second time, now that I know what's in and what's not, what's altered and what's the same, will make me like it even more. I'd definitely recommend that you see it. However, I would definitely not take a very young child to it. Some of the scenes are really horrific, especially down in dwarf land. There were some young kids in the audience when we went, and those poor kids were quaking in their boots when it was over.<br><br>And that's true too.--Shakespeare, King Lear
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#3101 - 01/11/0209:47 PMRe: Lord of the Rings
Thank you for your comments. I fear that having grown up with LOTR as part of my childhood that I might react to some of the changes like I would to having Huck and Jim driving a ski boat down The river. <br><br>Sooner or later I shall give in I suppose. My daughter, 27, has seen it six or more (likely more) times and wants to adopt Gandalf as a father, replacing me. <br><br>She has not however taken my grandchildren, my eldest grandsons being age 4.<br><br>The scene with Gandalf and the Balrog I would truly like to see, among others. Liked your characterization of "the transformation of Isengard into a kind of industrial cess pool." LOL <br><br>But have been shoring up my resolve with the 1975 reprint of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (also includes Pearl and Sir Orfeo) in order to maintain a conservative attitude towards the movie. <br><br>But LOTR without Tom Bombadil? I dunno. Am also interested to see the reason, presumably expediency in advancing the plot, of the elevated role of Arwen.....at least there is no gratuitous nude scene. <br><br>Ents ! ! ! Ents are one of the finest inventions in literature IMO and I love to listen to the recordings excerpted from LOTR read by the Poet himself and speaking the role of the Ent to the hobbits.<br><br>No "background" on the Wizard, Saruman, is, I suppose, inevitable due to constrictions of time, but no Tom Bombadil???<br><br>There should be one particular human female, Eowyn, on the horizon who the director/writer/producer best deal with as is her due or the Clan of Tolkien may rise up and smite him! <br><br>Much like the Lady Galadriel Aragorn's bride to be is characterized as a Fair Maiden in King Arthur's court. I wonder where Tolkien derived such characterizations? <br><br>Nothing in this world is sacrosanct, but I'll let my comment about Huck Finn travelling down The river in a "modern raft" as my comment on such matters. Yea, though I be tarred and feathered, there are only a few heresies I will not stand for. <br><br>128k_Mac<br><br>The box said "Requires Microsoft Windows or better" so I bought a Macintosh.
I guess I understand why they decided to drop Tom--in fact, the whole section from the time they leave "civilization" and end up besieged by the Nine is dropped--no barrows, either. One result is that the movie really doesn't give a good idea of just how long all the action is taking, but on the other hand it does move the plot forward pretty fast (which, considering that the movie is 3 hours long, may not be a bad idea in a the world of Big Bird ).<br><br>I love Sir G and the GK! It's a tough poem for a lot of college kids nowadays because it's so subtle in its persentation of just how sappy Sir Gawain is. I love the whole business about G's shield, with its five-fold fives, and its image of the Blessed Virgin, and its sanctity and its symbolism: and then, when Sir G finally gets on the road, the stuff that's most significant is how to keep the bloody armor from rusting! I think a lot of students end up being a little like Sir G himself--they take the whole thing so seriously that they miss the joke, just as Sir G does. And Pearl is one beautiful poem. Makes me sort of sad that the alliterative revival and/or northern dialects of Middle English died.<br><br>On a different note, I spent a lot of the day listening to a couple of candidates for jobs at my school, one in ecological sciences and the other in theater. They were both absolutely terrific. I'm on the ecology search committe, and think my colleagues will agree with me that the guy today was the best, and I know that the folks in the theater search thought the woman today should have been hired last week. I really really hope both accept job offers here!<br><br>And that's true too.--Shakespeare, King Lear
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#3103 - 01/11/0210:25 PMRe: Lord of the Rings
The curious thing about the 1975 edition I found and started to reread is that it's paperback, first one out in 1975, but appears never to have been read. (?!?)<br><br>I can only think I somehow bought a duplicate copy at the time. It is yellowed somewhat but I can tell from the spine it's never been read.<br><br>Reading it is deja vue all over again. <br><br>What are you doing up so late? Glad your search committee interviews went well.<br><br>128k_Mac<br><br>The box said "Requires Microsoft Windows or better" so I bought a Macintosh.
Glad to see this thread come back to life. I went to see the film a week or so ago, and I still really liked it. This time I took my girlfriend, who has not read the books, and she thought it was very good. She had no trouble following the story... the only time I had to "help her out" whas when the Fellowship was approaching the Falls of Rauros and she gripped my forearm in fear. I had to tell her "don't worry, they know the waterfall is there."<br><br>By and large I think PJ made good compromises when you grant that some of the book had to be left out. I was a little surprised to see Saruman's role expanded as it was, but I think it helps those who are unfamiliar with the books.<br><br>I was OK with most of the changes from the book, with a few exceptions. I was surprised at one of the alterations during the Breaking of the Fellowship (I won't spoil it for you, 128k), and I wasn't sure it quite rang true.<br><br>As for the books: I own two sets: a cheap Ballantine paperback version I bought as a kid back in 1980 (the front of FOTR came apart on me), and another set by Houghton Mifflin I bought about five years ago. It's sort of interesting because they're paperback, yet they have dust jackets. Never encountered that before.<br><br>I looked for a long time for that second set because so many of the paperback versions of LOTR are of such poor quality. For example, there's a current Houghton Mifflin paperback edition that is bound quite nicely, but the type is somewhat muddy and the print on most pages is slightly off-kilter -- unacceptable.<br><br>I have cast a covetous eye on a $70 single-volume edition bound in red "leatherette" (perhaps an allusion to the "Red Book"?) and including a slipcase. Seems quite nice -- the print quality seems quite good, and the page numbers and titles are in red ink! -- even though I assume "leatherette" is a fancy way of saying "synthetic." Maybe someday soon...<br><br>
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