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(begin ranting)
I used to hate PJ's movies. Well, before that, I used to think quite the opposite. I had the beginnings of a new favorite movie trilogy, replacing Star Wars. I eagerly awaited the release of the extended edition of FOTR; I even ordered it several months in advance to make sure I got it as soon as possible. But when I finally watched it... I cannot begin to express the depth of my dissappointment. "Where's Bombadil?!" That was my main outrage. No meeting in Buckland with Pippin's bath song. No Old Forrest Adventure with Old Man Willow. No revelation that, no matter how big you think your problem is, it is completely irrelevant to someone else. No barrowwight. Just a bunch of extra junk about the Sackville Bagginses. And the transition from "care-free hobbit life" to "the weight of darkness looming over the entire Middle Earth" still came much too abruptly, even though it was delayed somewhat (and it still occured much too early). What's the use of having an extended edition (which means you have to get up halfway through the movie to change the disk) if it's only going to introduce a bunch more of the crap that you didn't think should be there in the first place. However, after forcing myself to confront my issues by reading through some of the most recent threads in the "movies" section, I have decided that I will give the movies another chance, approaching them with a completely different attitude (a collective suggestion that I have extracted from many posts here). Before I do, though, I want to ask what y'all think of the characters in the movies.
(end ranting)

Compared to my perception of the characters in the book, I find that most of the movie characters have some quite noticeable flaws. I will list them below and try to keep the comparison brief.

Frodo:
Too much of a cry-baby and coward. Too much of a complainer.

Sam:
Too stupid. Too serious. (a combination that does not work well for a character)

Merry and Pippin:
Too immature. Too oblivious. I will admit that I never paid much attention to these characters in the books, that's why I'm grouping them together. There are obvious differences between Merry and Pippin in the movies, but I don't remember my impressions of the book characters well enough to distinguish the two for individual comparison.

Gandalf:
I have nothing but the utmost admiration for Ian McKellen's portrayal. I think that his character portrayal is what saves my DVDs from the trash can. He hits the nail square on the head and drives it all the way in with a single confident blow, Mr. Miyagi style. Way to go Ian! Exactly how I pictured Gandalf, to the minutest detail.

Tom Bombadil:
Too absent.

Strider:
Too much of a wimp. Too uncertain. Too clean. It took me by surprise in the book when I found out that he was some kind of king or something. In the movie, I was just surprised to see the pretty boy out in the woods in the first place. Wasn't he worried about getting his fingernails dirty?

Arwen:
What is she doing there?! I wouldn't have even included her on this list if it weren't for her excessively prominent role in the movies. Sure she has an important influence, at least on Strider. Sure there is a bit of appendix matter dedicated to her love story. But I would gladly replace her character with Bombadil any day. (Wouldn't that have been amusing to see Tom come lumbering along through the woods, singing the black rider-dilli-dos away with some nonsense poem. And with PJs propensity for character misappropriation, why not.) If it's just a matter of Glorfindel, I guess I don't really care.

Elrond:
Too unapproachable. It's the last homely house, not the last boarding house.

Bilbo:
No complaints. He was a little more deliberate that I was expecting, but not so much to distract me from imagining the same Bilbo from the book.

Legolas:
No complaints. I thought there was a bit of intential heart-throb factor thrown into his character (and also with Strider, obviously), but he was still basically the Legolas I imagined.

Gimli:
Too unsophisticated. Too jocular. Too concerned with appearance.

Boromir:
Good job Sean Bean. Very human. I actually saw some extra depth in the movie character that I missed in the book character (I was probably too young to see it then).

Saruman:
Outstanding portrayal by Christopher Lee, in spite of PJs adaptation. (and there was a lot of adaptationt to overcome.)

Gollum:
No complaints. I always found this character rather annoying, or maybe just repulsive, so I deliberately numb myself to him, and don't really notice any differences.

Galadriel:
Another example of PJs making the elves more austere than they should be. (Yes, I blame PJ; he's the director after all.) Just because they have pointy ears doesn't make them Romulans.

Faramir:
Too sullen. Too needy. I was particularly dissappointed with this character. His name was Faramir; he was Boromir's brother and Denethor's son, but what happened to the other Faramir?

Denethor:
No complaints.

I'm getting tired. I'll leave the list at that.
Well quite a bit to get round. On the character score you gave quite accurate analagy's.
Frodo was a wimp, Aragorn was too layed back and not wholly 'in it', Boromir wasd played well, Theoden, Saruman, Eomer, Denethor all played well. Sam could have been done a bit better and Legolas was simply too good in the film. It would not have surprised me if PJ sent Legolas to the Black gate alone to beat the army and no doubt win.

BUT there is a big flaw in all this. The films were BASED on the book. They were not meant as a word-to-word, or even chapter-to-chapter tale.
Take the films for what they are, something wholly seperate from Tolkien but simply maintaining the basic plot. Otherwise if you sit on your sofa with a clipboard and pen at hand ready tick your checklist on what was followed word for word and what was not then not only will you not pick up the pen in the first place but you will not enjoy the film.
I think you make it sound too extreme and calculated. There is no pen and paper. There are no words being analysed. There are characters with characteristics that one can notice. This is the exact opposite of sitting down with a pen and paper and tallying all the consistencies as each one comes along. (and I am in no position to do that anyway; I haven't read LOTR in years.) This is taking the movies as a whole, realizing that something is not quite right, and then later trying to put it into words. It is exciting to see Gandalf come to life on the big screen just the way I saw him when I first met him. "That's my man, Gandalf!" I might say, whenever I see him do something so characteristically Gandalf. That is fun. However, it is distracting and disappointing to expect to see the diligent unsung hero Faramir come to life on the screen while watching some self-interested jerk named Faramir blubber about how daddy doesn't love him (though that is an exaggeration).

I wouldn't invite someone over for goulash and then serve them chicken soup. I wouldn't ask someone to play a game of soccer with me and bring a volleyball. Chicken soup can be eaten and enjoyed, and a game of soccer works almost just as well with a volleyball (the way I play), but something would just be noticeably amiss.

Anyway, the point is not to dissect the movies and show that PJ is just a big nincompoop (feeling I had hoped to clarify at the end of my ranting). The point is to see how an interpretation of a book character can either harmonize or discord with adaptation.
Firstly I was being sarcastic with my pen and clipboard analogy.

If you invite someone over for gaulash and served them Chicken soup then chicken soup tastes just as nice (in my opinion) even though its not what they expected.
If you bring a volleyball to a game of football as you say yourself it can be just as good.

Just becuase something is not the same as what you expected doesn't mean its worse than what you expected. Instead of comparing the films with the books why not compare them to a similar film (like Eregorn) and then see how good it is.
Instead of putting the disk in and expecting to see a brilliant, 100% accurate film version of LOTR, try putting the disk in and expect to see a film. That way it cannot disappoint (it wasn't the only film ever to receive 17 oscars for know reason after all).
For the most part your film characters portrays are accurate. Faramir was probably the biggest screw up out of all the Characters. Gandalf was exactly how I pictured him in the books and Gollum a close 2nd.

One of my favourite moments in the book for Legolas was when they were trying to go over the high pass over the mountains, Caradhras, and they decide to turn around Legolas, using his Elvish powers, jumps up and run across the snow, I really wish they added that part. I also agree that Legolas seemed a little too much like a comic book hero.

The movies in their own rights are excellent movies, yes there are many scenes they could have added from the book and a quite a few scenes they could have removed and weren't in the book. They did get the gist of it though.
Lord of All,
If you want to start a thread to compare one movie to another movie, then please do so, but that's not the purpose of this thread. I realize that this kind of discussion may be quite overdone on a forum like this, but that's precisely what I want to do: to compare the characaters of the movie to the characters of the book.

I think we agree with each other that LOTR movies are good movies. At least I am willing to view the movies with a different attitude now. (Maybe I should remove my ranting from the first post to remove the confusion, but for the time being I am inclined to maintain the ranting). But, please don't try to change the topic of this thread.

Legolas is a comic book hero. Consonantly put, Turin.
I don't like them much, nor hate them much anymore either. They're just movies, after all.

Nothing to lose sleep about, compared to the problems in this world.
Apart from Gandalf who used just the right attitude that was needed when playing both Gandalf the Grey and Gandalf the White, I would say Theoden was done very well. His speech to his rohirrim when he was trying to spur them on towards the army at Minas Tirith was very good.
Also Boromir was done well. They portrayed him as valiant in arms but not quite tough enough to combat the Rings corruption.
Reading the differing opinions confirms one thing to me. I worked with children and still do for a long while. And I noted that whenever I read a story to them the results, the way they saw the story and reacted to it was quite varied, Amazing really. Some thought the story the most enchanting thing they ever read, no matter how many I read them, some picked out obvious flaws and were always telling how the story should have gone, some saw the wisdom in the story and remembered it ever after. And then there were some children who hated the whole story, front to back. So I think that a lot depends upon who we are inside, what our values are and our ability or lack of it to be wide eyed and able to love what is put before us with out judgement or preconceived notions. And if that is true then nothing Peter Jackson could have done would have pleased everyone. I love the books so much, they are a part of my life in some ways. I also very much liked the movies.
LoA,
I knew I forgot someone important. (A few people, actually). I agree about Theoden. And his character was one of the more dynamic ones, so that just adds to my appreciation.

Leelee,
That's kind of what I wanted to see from everyone. I want to hear how differently other readers have understood these characters, and even how their lives have been touched. When I watch the movies, I am confronted with some of my impressions that I was otherwise unaware of.

I am pretty close to editting my ranting out of my first post. It looks like I have given the wrong impression.
Do not worry! You're entitled to your own opinion! Please do not edit it if it is how you felt! I actually enjoyed the ranting part. It was comedy to me and I applaud you for that.

But I do think you were too harsh on the films. I have read the LOTR when I was in second grade and I had read them ever since, understanding a bit more each time I flipped the pages of the books. And then I watched the moveis and they were quie magical to me. I never thought about picking flaws with anyone, least of all PJ. It was only when I joined online movie-bashing sites (so Tolkien Puritan), that I started to note some flaws in the movies. But the flaws did not bother me much. ON the whole, I think the movies captured the essence of ME. The Elves were what they should be, grave and beautiful. The Men were as they should be, more sweaty and less calm. The Hobbits were quite perfect, small, cute and focused on the joys of life. The Dwarves were alright, since there was only one main dwarf, and I didn't see much wrong in using him as comic relief. The Istari were perfect, of course. The Orcs were perhaps ugler and more brutal than I had imagined, but reasonably so.

The settings were also great. I had problems only with Rohan. I mean, I always thought that Edoras did look like nothing but a barnhouse, when I have been reading about its "Golden Hall" so glorious and regal. Theoden's throne room was also dark and gloomy, and I did not find it "golden" at all. But Lothlorien was well-done, and so was Fangorn. Rivendell was fair enough. The Shire was innocent enough. The Grey Havens were sad enough. Moria was dark enough. Gondor was kingly enough.

I just think that the general impression that the movie gives of the world of Middle-Earth is fairly good. I mean, at least they're not like the Harry Potter movies (which are totally horrible adaptations). If I had never read the books before I saw the movies, I would probably have gotten all the right impressions about the different characters. So, I think the movies were rather loyal to the books.

Of course, I was also annoyed that Arwen got so many lines and that they cut favourites like Tom Bombadil and Glorfindel out, but it was kinda expected that Arwen would get a big part, since she was the love interest, and Glorfindel did not have that big of a part in the books anyways. I was surprised that Tom Bombadil got cut, but then, PJ probably sensed that the movie was getting too long, so it couldn't really be helped.

I do also think that there was serious miscasting in the movies. I have never felt comfortable with Miranda Otto as Eowyn. She was a good actress, but her looks just didn't fit in that well. Her face was rather round, and her eyes were especially wide. I somehow find it unnatural for Eowyn's eyes to always be wide, as if she was in constant fear. And the trembling thing she does in the movies bothers me too. I've thought Eowyn to be a bit more iron-like, since she is always about being "tough".

Another miscasting was Faramir. I must agree with all the Faramir bashers at this point. I don't think he's wimpy, though. Nor is he always blubbering for daddy's love. I mean, come on, Faramir in the book was the softer brother, so naturally he should be more emotional in the movie. What I did not like was the somehow weak look in him. I mean, it's okay to have a Faramir with tears in his eyes, as long as his eyes are steely and determined, as they should be. But movie-Faramir looks somewhat weak, as if he has great self-pity or something, especially in that scene in the EE where a hallucinated Boromir appears over his shoulder as he stands before his father. That look on his face just screamed self-pity and I could not stand that!

I must disagree on the subject of Aragorn, though. I am sure LoA or Vir or Turinturunart will come back at me and say that I defend him only because I am a female who is drawn to his masculinity, but the masculinity that Aragorn shows in the movies is undeniable. And I don't understand where you get the idea that he is a wimp. He always swaggers, and his gaze is always firm. The only wimpish quality I see in movie Aragorn is when he is faced with Arwen in FOTR, when he is about to leave, but that was an adaptation of PJ's and to tell the truth, I think it was reasonable. Book Aragorn would not have brushed Arwen aside without softening his eyes and giving her signs of affection. I mean, there isn't much Aragorn-Arwen interaction in the books, so we wouldn't really know, but judging from the Appendix, I think they were very much in love. And when Aragorn fights, he is definitely no wimp! He's the next best fighter, second only to Legolas (in the movies) because PJ decided to give all the coll Oliphant-killing moves to Legolas.

On the whole, I think the movies deserved all the Oscars and it was quite reflective of the books. And if you've bothered reading this super-long post, then you undoubtly have a lot to say on this matter as well, and I would love to hear from you.
I suppose I will just have to admit that I am gradually softening to the movies, especially when I read a tactful post such as yours, Cloveress. However, I still maintain my sword regarding Aragorn, but I suppose we can agree to disagree on that point, being on the opposite sides of the gender wall.

This is not directed at you, Cloveress, but in general: I don't see what oscars have to do with anything. I don't understand why people watch, or care about, the ceremony.
Yes, we all change here on PT. For the better, I hope!

But I am quite content to let our Aragorn issue remain unresolved, for you are actually the first I have met that openly criticizes him so harshly. Good guys are so hard to portray. I know that because I'm cast as Bella Kunitz from Lost in Yonkers for our school's Spring Play, and it is awfully hard to be a nice guy! Bad or stupid guys are relatively easier to act, and I know that because I've done some antagonists before as well. So I guess it isn't really surprising that everyone finds Saruman quite well-portrayed. Denethor, I guess, could also be a sort of bad guy, since he is quite the nuisance most of the time and we are agreed that he was quite real in the movie.

Aragorn would be hard to act, and Faramir also, I guess. But I think the actors did quite well. Better than many others would have been, I guess.
Movie Aragorn (Barfagorn) was indeed a weenie. Just listen to that whole "the same weakness is in my blood" speech in Rivendell. Not to mention, Legolas (of all people) had to save him from getting squished under the foot of an Olog-hai.

And what was with Arwen outrangering her lil ranger? Please.

I have no complaints about Faramir. He gets a major thumbs up for letting his men bash up Gollum.
Good point about the Gollum-bash, Vir. I will have to award movie-Faramir some extra points for that one.
Right... I almost forgot about the Gollum-bash... Now I only recall it as being a scene that made me quite uncomfortable. I do admit that I softened to Gollum when I saw him seemingly touched by Sam's words as they stood in some ruin of Gondor. The bash made me emotionally dislike Faramir even more. But overall, I'd say that bash was well-done. It's hard to feel sorry for Gollum in the ROTK.

But still, I do not like Faramir's sorry look. He always seems to be on the verge of tears or something. Too much thinking of daddy, and less like "the leader Men would follow".
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But still, I do not like Faramir's sorry look. He always seems to be on the verge of tears or something. Too much thinking of daddy, and less like "the leader Men would follow".

Maybe that look was due to the fact that PJ wouldn't let him spend quality time with the White Lady of Rohan.
I think that Faramir and his men reacted to the hideousness of Gollum and instinctively knew him for what he was since they were hardened soldiers. Unlike Frodo who had grown to h ave compassion for him they did not and besides he had dared to go into the forbidden pool and he was loathsome.
Since I saw the movie before reading the book I was not aware of his over emotionalism if in fact that was true so it did not bother me.
But having learned that Gollum sought out babies cradles instead of sticking to wild animals and fish made me hate him forever. Period. I would only do something good for him out of duty to another living thing.But I would loathe him for ignoring the screams of innocent babes. Forever.
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But having learned that Gollum sought out babies cradles instead of sticking to wild animals and fish made me hate him forever. Period. I would only do something good for him out of duty to another living thing.But I would loathe him for ignoring the screams of innocent babes. Forever.

Even if it were Orc babies?

He shouldn't have tried it with baby Herakles, at any rate. Baby Herakles strangled two serpents his stepmother Hera had sent to strangle the lil one in the cradle. Women!
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Cloveress
Another miscasting was Faramir. I must agree with all the Faramir bashers at this point. I don't think he's wimpy, though.

I wouldn't call it a miscasting but more like a brutal interpretation of the book Faramir. I believe that actor could play the part but the script written for Faramir was horrible.
Certainly, I blame the script and give the actors the benefit of the doubt. Only if the actors portray the characters well do I blame them.

What's so innocent about babies? They just haven't had a chance to reek havoc yet. Wait until they're about 3. Then, only a distortion of the concept of innocent applies.
Oh my , Turin! You must have had a very bad experience with children! Although, as the mother of two (now grown) I've had a certain amount of havoc done to my heartstrings >sigh< That may not be the kind of havoc you were refering to however.

My take on the movies is that for the most part they were very good and gave me a way of seeing into Middle Earth. I loved most of the characters. My vision of Denethor was one of sort of a Viking, though, with a skewed look in his eye. Don't know why I pictured him that way but Jackson's vision was a long way from mine. I took umbrage with making Gimli the comic relief, though. I guess Jackson felt some comic relief was needed (like he thought Arwen should have a bigger part) but, while Dwarves may not be the brightest beings, they're more dignified than he made Gimli out to be. The relationship that develops between Legolas and Gimli is one of my favorite parts of the trilogy.

My two cents, anyway.
The movie Denethor was the shattered, insane Denethor from the books (who only came into being after his meek youngest son was returned to him in the arms of Prince Imrahil) from the very beginning. PJ simply took the easy way out.

Théoden was miscast; he should've been older and taller than Captain Hill, not to mention his demeanor in the movies was anything but noble. He was shown as a bitter, aggressive man instead of the kind rock-in-the-surf from the books. Captain Hill would've been better in the role of Gamling, for instance.

About Gríma Wormtongue, though, there are no complaints. Mr Dourif has a knack of playing villains - I did notice a whole lot of Piter DeVries in Mr Wormtongue.

Movie Éowyn hardly met the famous "frosted lily" description of the book, looking more like a farmgirl than a Lady of Rohan, but that doesn't matter much. Her role in the movies was derisory at best, after all.
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I took umbrage with making Gimli the comic relief, though. I guess Jackson felt some comic relief was needed (like he thought Arwen should have a bigger part) but, while Dwarves may not be the brightest beings, they're more dignified than he made Gimli out to be


Well, if you'll look at the Hobbit, you'll find that Dwarves are actually quite amusing people, though amusing does not mean undignified, of course. I also find it somewhat wierd that Gimli is forcing Legolas into a drinking contest in the movies, but I'm okay with that, because it's all merry and laughter and fun.
Gimli was rude and brash, not sophisticated and intelligent like he was in the books. I cannot imagine movie Gimli orate a two page speech about the Caves of Aglarond - nor even about Galadriel's voluptuous forms, for that matter.

As for Legolas, he acted pretty, was mostly silent (but luckily did not sing any songs) and showed off a bit with his bow. Pretty close to the books. No wonder Mr Bloom was able to play Paris in Troy too.
Theoden was done pretty well. He was heroic, Valiant, fearless, gave much courage to those nearby and was kindly at need.
I can see no aggressive persona on him in the films.

Similar to Boromir, only perhaps even more valiant in mind.
I thought the gentleman that played King Theoden was quite marvellous really, and he and Amanda Otto had done other things together and had a good chemistry.
I just wish I had not watched the cd of the background and how they put things together. It was rather disconcerting seeing him tapdancing down some steps, I think to his trailer. And to see two of the huge Urukai playing electric guitar and dancing in synch with one another, it sort of wrecked the intensity of them when I viewed it after.
As for Boromir, well Sean Bean was perfect in my eyes, no complaints. I just wish the writers would have given Faramir the same break.I think he had a right to his tears, men do have tears , even tough ones from time to time, but he was not fleshed out enough so we could see the leader he honestly was along with the poet and sensitive guy.
Vir, do you tapdance by any chance? Funny I just saw th is picture of you in my mind(of course looking like your avy though I am quite certain you are young and h andsome). The tall fellow that played Gamling is a dancer in real life. I half kept expecting him to piroutte out the castle door when King Theoden told him to go and prepare the men, horses, etc.
It's Miranda Otto, not Amanda Otto.

She can also be seen in the flick The thin red line in which she plays the wife/galfriend of a US soldier who's serving in the Pacific but because she does no longer wishes to deal with the uncertainty of seeing him ever again, she dumps him through a letter. The poor soldier then reacts to this by running into a Japanese battalion and choosing to get himself shot instead of surrendering (which might of course have led to the same, but anyway).

Apart from the above, not a bad movie at all.

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The tall fellow that played Gamling is a dancer in real life. I half kept expecting him to piroutte out the castle door when King Theoden told him to go and prepare the men, horses, etc.

He did perform quite a swashbuckling pirouette with his sword in the heat of battle, though, decapitating twenty-five Uruk-hai which had surrounded him... No wait, that was from The adventures of the Baron von Münchhausen.
I never get her name correct. It is just like that actor, don't know h im but used to hear adults talk about him. I think it was Ricardo Montalbon or something like that but always I said Carlo montiban,always. sigh. thankyou for the correction.
I think she has a very good sense of characters and can put in the right amount of emotion and feeling. Very good at what she does that is certain, whatever her name!
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Carlo montiban
Ah, the actor who didn't have to weekly hear Little-Job un-weakly say, 'De plane, de plane'.
In Defense of Criticism

Throughout all this back-and-forth about how no one movie interpretation can please everyone, stop for a moment and ask yourself why Ian McKellan's Gandalf is so universally praised by almost every single poster here. Apparently, if you can't please everyone, you can still please a majority, (and not just a slim majority, but an overwhelming majority). And there's no caveats here about bad guys being easier to play than good guys: Gandalf definitely falls into the "goodest" category of "good guys" that exist in LoTR.

Vir posted quite a ways up the thread about 'not losing sleep' over this, and of course I agree that there are more important things in life. And yet, being an artist, I can't say what I just wrote without totally negating the vocation and calling I have in life. I lose sleep over artistic interpretations. I'm sure Sir Ian did. And many of the other good character portrayals in the film probably caused their actors a little loss of sleep.

Good artistry, and good interpretation of the material, (be it a script or a piece of sheet music or a landscape to paint or a model to sculpt or a set of steps to dance or a scene to photograph), IS something that a great many great artists have and will continue to lose sleep over. Why is art important? Why is good Literature, Poetry, Story, Mythology, Music, Dance, or Visual Art a thing worth our time and our praise?

Even allowing for individual differences, yet still I contend that there is a place for consensus about the artistic interpretation of each character. From the DVD extras, I gather that Ian McKellan used the book as a constant companion and reference during the filming. He would come up to the director, the scriptwriters, and ask -- WHY isn't this line in the script? Then he would proceed to deliver the line in such a way that they couldn't NOT find a place to put it in the script. Obviously he raises the bar for the interpretation of every character, just because he's in the film.

There is a writer, Annie Dillard, who uses an analogy for writing (but it is just as apt for any art). She lived alone in a cabin for a time, and had to learn to chop her own wood for her fireplace (the cabin had no central heating). At first she would put the wood on the chopping block, raise the ax, and aim for the center of the wood. This took ages and didn't work very well.... then she found out the secret. If you want to chop wood efficiently, you must aim for the chopping block, and the ax will go through the wood 'incidentally', as it were. I think a large part of the character 'flaws' in the movie are shown up by the fact that Ian figured out how to aim for the chopping block (the spirit of Tolkien's writing), and in the process he nailed his character dead on. Everyone else was in varying stages of aiming for their characters, (some were aiming closer to the chopping block than others).

On the one hand, the artist in me demands that everyone aim for the chopping block. On the other hand, the flawed human in me demands that I have a little understanding for the not-quite-stellar artists (of whom I am one). Still I can't help hearing Tolkien echo Beethoven from the grave.... When a violinist (read: actor/producer/director/scriptwriter) complained about the difficulty of playing one of Beethoven's string quartets (read: the difficulty of bringing the Lord of the Rings to the movie screen), Beethoven replied "Do you think I care about your lousy fiddle when the spirit speaks to me?" How much more would Tolkien point to what he wrote and ask "Do you think I care how hard it is to portray onscreen?" -- it is the spirit of the work which we must strive for, and it is not for us to make excuses for those who strive to portray great art.

Otherwise, no great art would ever be made. Praise that which is praiseworthy. Live with that which is less so. Constantly ask for the best, for better the next time around. Aim for the chopping block and tell everyone else to do the same!
Wow, what an insightful and fascinating person you are, more so with each post in my eyes.
That was great. Smile Smilie
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Why is art important? Why is good Literature, Poetry, Story, Mythology, Music, Dance, or Visual Art a thing worth our time and our praise?

Because they all serve to distract people, albeit temporarily, from all misery and ordeals in this world. They lessen the burden of everyday life.

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From the DVD extras, I gather that Ian McKellan used the book as a constant companion and reference during the filming. He would come up to the director, the scriptwriters, and ask -- WHY isn't this line in the script? Then he would proceed to deliver the line in such a way that they couldn't NOT find a place to put it in the script. Obviously he raises the bar for the interpretation of every character, just because he's in the film.

As did Sir Christopher Lee. I take it this is because both are seasoned actors - and as Sir Ian McKellen has a Shakespearian theatre history, logically he'd be inclined to stick to the books as much as possible.

As for the rest of the cast -- to the chopping block with them! Off with their pretty head!
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As for the rest of the cast -- to the chopping block with them! Off with their pretty head!

I am not about to relegate the rest of the cast to the chopping block, or even a pillow or Jello fight; I am thankful they made their performances and if some of the individual ones were not up to par with the two elderly, more experianced actors, I don't hold that against them, they will do better as they also grow in their profession. As Orly has done, not counting his performance in 'Troy' of course. Elf With a Big Grin Smilie
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As did Sir Christopher Lee. I take it this is because both are seasoned actors - and as Sir Ian McKellen has a Shakespearian theatre history, logically he'd be inclined to stick to the books as much as possible.


yes, Christopher Lee too. Although I can never quite separate the actor from the character, so I'm just naturally more inclined to praise Ian/Gandalf than Christopher/Saruman. Of course you have touched on the thing: experience in acting, as in any profession, is an asset for those who learn from it. Alas for the young that it can't be bought in a shorter amount of time!

About Sir Ian and Christopher Lee, it is true, they are seasoned actors, but also, there is something almost magical imo about aging actors, especially male ones, that commands attention right from the start. The weathered faces have such character and if the gentlemen have fairly good voices, all one needs to do is throw on to their bodies some sort of unique costume and bob's your uncle- instant success. I am of the opinion they could stand and recite a weather forcast and have the artisitic world at their feet.

Vir, I think Miranda, i still get her name wrong, I think she was very good. True, perhaps she was rather lacking as 'a frosted lily' but the reality was life was hard in the Rohirrim and , being horse people, they all were more or less 'farm' people. And the pain  Aewoyn suffered was well shown on that dear face. The scene where her uncle asks her to let him go is most painful to me and I thought she did it brilliantly.

All acting is a matter of interpretation, lifting as it were the characters off the pages and trying to show what one believes may have been in the mind and heart of the author-which of course is quite impossible in the main unless you happen to live with the author or have some kind of insight the average reader has not,. And as all of us see things in our own unique way it is rather hard to please everyone.
The only actor I have known to consistantly portray a character to the immense satisfaction of the general audience is David Suchet as Poirot.

I think that most characters were casted great, gandolph, saruman, Aragon, Boromir, Legolas and Meridoc.

As for the role of Froto, it was probably the biggest part and most important character and I have mixed emotions on the movies mainly because of the casting of Frodo. And also Sam and Pippin.

For starters Elijah's acting was terrible and has the same look for his happy, sad, frustrated and confused look. and has the same constipated look for being stabed, angry, suposed dying and just throught the story. I didn't get the emotions i did when reading, even though i usually get more moved by visuals. Elijah was to immature to play such a well rounded role. Most of his acting i found lame and untalented.  He has the same thing like with pippen, they acted like little girls instead of like little hobbits. I would say worst actor of the movie.

Example, when he gets punctured by the cave troll, he sits there for like 15 secs with that grunt constipated face i talked about, which looks stupid. At that time he was acting as if he were dying/being stabbed. But he didn't even get punctured, it was just a blunt hit cause of the methrel. So he should of made more of knocked the wind out of face, like when getting shot with bullet proof vest.
I could go on for days on why Elijah is a crappy actor, but those were the most annoying factors, which mainly is his inablility to act in certain scenes and his inablility to grow as an actor into his role.

For Sam, half of it cause he gives off a more of a "im in gay love with you frodo", instead of this "i am here to save and protect you frodo". Some of his scenes might of been touching, but because of his acting i more or less laughed instead of feeling touched. Overall I loved the character in the books, and feel that he was shadowed by froto, even though sam was able and more willing to finish the job(as far as the movie goes). It just seemed very lame that everyone cared more about frodo's saftey like he was there only hope. I truely felt that in the movie, Sam should of been more recognized as the only reason frodo made it as far as he did. Sam was better off doing the job alone, and feel that frodo would of died the first encounter with gollum..

For Pippen, well I think he acts to much like a little girl, but its probably his voice. Just like the other two, he was casted badly. Like his face didnt match up to the face I had imaged in my head. Obvioulsy he is the kind of goof ball, but he played him out to be this dimwitted reckless hobbit. that acts like hes a girl.

In comparison, when watching Sean Bean or Viggo, you get the emotion of what is happening. You understand what is going on with out words. My favorite scenes are all the ones between Viggo and Sean Bean. As for Chistopher Lee and Sir Ian, they go without saying, top notch acting and made me believe in the story and in there character.

It might just be that elija and Astin were shadowed by such great actors, that there performances were dumnbed down. Either way, they didnt help me believe in the story like all the others.