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.
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.
Too much of a cry-baby and coward. Too much of a complainer.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Too unapproachable. It's the last homely house, not the last boarding house.
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.
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.
Too unsophisticated. Too jocular. Too concerned with appearance.
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).
Outstanding portrayal by Christopher Lee, in spite of PJs adaptation. (and there was a lot of adaptationt to overcome.)
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.
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.
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?
I'm getting tired. I'll leave the list at that.