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Thread: Do you like the movies?

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Thanks, V, and I agree about Faramir too. Vir, what's that about April? I must have missed that.
I think Vir was displaying his usual wit and sarcasm. Wink Smilie
I think Vir was displaying his usual wit and sarcasm.

I believe he was complaining about PJ's killing of the girlie leader of the Elven contingent during the Battle of the Hornburg. Teacher Smilie
Oh, Haldir is April? It would figure for Virumor to think of that kind of a nickname for him. I thought Haldir was alright in the movie. He just didn't belong at Helm's Deep.
Short form of an old rant: I'm conflicted, because Jackson did all the impossible things like the atmosphere and special effects well, but totally dropped the ball on following a plot someone else wrote FOR him a half century ago. It's not like there's a shortage of scholars who could have helped him get it right. And yes, the wizards duel between Saruman and Gandalf never happened, which makes as much sense from what we know of the Professor as it does Jackson felt the need to put some sorcery into the Trilogy, despite the fact it didn't belong (same deal with Sarumans possession of Theoden.) And apparently everyone in Lorien is a descendant of Finarfin, surprsing, since he was a Nolda and they all Sindarin. I tolerated all of this, even the replacement of Glorfindel (of my beloved Gondolin) with vacant eyed Liv Tyler (though after what happened to Celebrian there's no way Elrond was letting her wander the countryside in the middle of a war.) But when we go to "Go home, Sam!" I almost walked out of the theater. The unbreakable friendship of Sam and Frodo is one of the great themes of the Trilogy, and even if that weren't true, you don't just turn around from Cirith Ungol and "go home" from Mordor.

Oh, and the Battle of the Pelennor (the climax of the series, ) once more from the top: when thousands of heavy cavalry show up on infantrys flank (much less undisciplined Orcs) the latter don't turn 180’ on a dime to face them. They die, painfully, messily and quickly. Books of have been written on how to turn an infantry formation, and the bottom line is you turn pikemen on the march; that's why it's called a "turning MOVEMENT!" And it's not accomplished quickly even with the best troops, which Orcs are not. There's three ways I know to stop a charge of heavy cavalry: archers behind pikes facing the horses, a stout and well disciplined hedge hog/porcupine/pincushion or a counter charge. When your pikes get flanked, the only remaining viable option is the last one, but that's not we saw in the movie, we saw the Orcs, all however many tens of thousands of them, neatly pivot around to face the charge. Bull. They get ridden into the turf their blood rapidly turns to mud. Or a lance clean through their middle; take your pick....
I think you have been playing too much 'Battle for middle-earth' on the PC.

I don't exactly know why, if the Orcs have stopped proceding forward, the Pikes cannot then just come to the side which is about to be attacked (remember Theoden is a fair way off in the film) and then all the pikeman lower there pikes. What exactly are you trying to say? That all the orcs were so compact that they couldn't move between eachother? If so then you will notice that they are only very compact at the beginning of the battle. When they start entering Minas Tirith they loosen up.
Quote Morambar:
But when we go to "Go home, Sam!" I almost walked out of the theater. The unbreakable friendship of Sam and Frodo is one of the great themes of the Trilogy, and even if that weren't true, you don't just turn around from Cirith Ungol and "go home" from Mordor.

You are absolutely right! I felt the same way about the battle with the Wargs, and Aragorn falling off of the cliff. Do you really think Legolas and Gimli would simply look over the edge, and say, oh well, farewell then. No way! They would have been looking for him as desperately as they were looking for any sign of the hobbits. He was only the last Heir of Elendil afterall. Grrrr...

*I still like the movies though...even with all of these frustrations. Perhaps it is just the feeling they give in general with the scenery and music and such..."
Once again, I find myself agreeing with Morambar 100%! You have an amazing knowledge of battle formations from the old days, which I doubt could come from playing a PC game. I could not speak to this kind of problem in the movies because my expertise doesn't lie in that area at all. And yes, there were all those other changed pieces that we somehow put up with because we knew PJ had to change something in film. I know there ought to have been plenty of scholars around to assist PJ, and I think the EE materials show that he consulted a couple (Shippey for one).

And the EE also showed what pains he took to shoot some scenes--especially the one that he shot last with Elijah Wood in Frodo's study. He made Elijah do the scene over and over because he was so reluctant to end the whole thing. And then when PJ finally could not make Elijah do it again, he called it, and cried on Elijah's shoulder. It's all there on the last movie's EE.

So why he thought it "necessary" to make the changes he did is something of a mystery, even when there is an explanation given. Drama does not demand the number he made. Certainly, even allowing for artistic differences, he could have asked Tolkien experts and even the fans what they wanted. I think he did consult the fans before putting out the EE's--but I think PJ's own interpretation won out.

As I said, before the 10th anniversary edition comes out, someone needs to mount a campaign that he make some further editing--yes, even if he has to call the cast together and reshoot! It's been done--he did it for the EE's. This is the only way I can think of to return the movies to the standard we all expected of them.
I liked the little rinkle in Arwen's brow when she was angry. And that dress she wore in that flashback scene in TTT was sooooooo beautiful!
Gandalf - so your solution is to bring back all the cast and make the movies again, when the first ones have been titled the best films ever? He is just going to re-shoot the whole thing becuase about 3% of his audience who are Tolkien fans thought it no good? Think again, and neither would he need to.

What would be more constructive is trying to get him to do a really good Silmarillion trilogy - that would be a wicked film. The Hobbit I beleive is already planned?
No, LoA, my solution is not to "bring back the cast and make the movies again." It is to do the very same thing that PJ himself did for the EE's. He can easily bring back the cast--from what I've seen, they will be glad to come back. Then he can refilm those parts that we are talking about. I doubt that it would be necessary to even do ALL the parts in question, but at least a good number of the more glaring problem ones. These new shots can be edited into the anniversary editions very easily--again, he's done that before for the EE. Nothing I am talking about is new because PJ did plenty of it already. This time, though, he needs to think Tolkien more than PJ.
I think you nailed it, Gandalf: it's the PROFESSORS story, Mr. Jackson; you're just adapting it. And for the record, no, when I said "books have been written on turning MOVEMENTS" I didn't have a gaming manual in mind, more along the lines of Vom Kriege and Alexanders phalanxes (well, OK, the ones he inherited from that military genius Phillip.) With maybe a touch of Fog and Steel. You can't just have all the pikemen face the horsemen, because they'll veer around and hit you from the side or the rear. There's only one way to prevent that with pike alone: a hedgehog, and you can't just wave a magic wand and have one materialize. When the Rohirrim showed up the pikemen pretty much were cheek to jowl, as you would expect for a close assault, essentially trying to do to the beleaugered (literally) wall defenders what the cavalry would've have done to them in real life: grind them into pulp by sheer main force. Maybe if the Orcs had had a bunch of archers like at Crecy and Agincourt they could've shattered the charge, but, once again, that's the problem: the cavalry showed up on their flank, which means any archers would have been the first thing they hit (well, OK, right after the siege engines, but once you bowl over their defenders you can finish sweeping the field and destroy their siege engines at your leisure, or just have your own foot destroy or capture them.)

But the simple response is, yes, infantry, particularly medieval infantry, have a long history of falling over each other when suddenly outflanked, while the far more mobile cavalry literally rides circles around them or through them until they're dead, which is why commanders then and now went to great pains to see that didn't happen. True, this is a principle any strategic computer game employs, but it's origins are far more ancient. If you want to blame someone for my notation of it, talk to military, combat and literary veterans like Robert Adams, Robert Jordan and, of course, Professor J.R.R. Tolkien. There's a reason the Rohirrim arrived when they did, one Jackson completely missed.

Oh, yeah, and I'd forgotten/repressed the whole one-warg-KOs-Isildurs-Heir thing, but as I said elsewhere, Aragorn's a wee bit tougher than that (I've always thought the blood of Beren ran as pure in his veins as Luthiens in Arwens, but can't cite proof.) It did however give Jackson a chance for an utterly gratuitous dream sequence where he and Arwen have a telephathic tryst. While we're on the subject, the Professor would never have made the other half of his heroic Christ figure the disgusting cad who led Eowyn on throughout the film version of TTT. In fact, "the real" Aragorn went to great pains to make it clear he had two alternate futures: 1) dead inside of a month, two, tops or 2) you're very hot, but I'm taken. That's the kind of stuff for which I can't forgive Jackson, because a whole generation of fans is going to grow up believing that's the way it happened; when they think of the Trilogy THAT'S the story they'll remember: the one where Frodo told Sam to go take a long walk off a short peer because Gollum snowed him, Aragorn was a horndog who got pushed around by Wargs, and Gandalf routinely had spell slinging contests with Saruman et al. Heck, I still encounter people who ought to know better (I wouldn't name names even if I wasn't too tired to remember them) who think Saruman was Saurons mindless lackey like in the films, even though Gandalf makes it quite clear HE was snowing SAURON and playing for time to find the Ring himself. And the real tragedy is these were no brainers; all he had to do was say "read this book, speak these lines" and it was done, but the seemingly impossible challenge was making it all happen in Middle-earth, not just a cheesy Hollywood set. He managed to give us a gripping and credible story of Middle-earth; the problem is it was the wrong story.

If Jackson gets a hold of the Silmarillion I'm not sure what I'll do, and if I was, I couldn't print it here.....

Edit: I also agree with the comments on Faramir; Faramir wasn't Boromir, thanks to Gandalf (and Finduilas, no doubt) and even if he had been, if the Ring goes to Osgiliath... game over, no more quarters.
Well whether the Silmarillion was not adequate in Tolkien fans opinions or not, I would still be glad to see it. I would rather die with seeing a second class Silmarillion film than no silmarillion film at all.
I think you nailed it, Gandalf: it's the PROFESSORS story, Mr. Jackson; you're just adapting it.

Exactly. The movies are an adaptation, not the filming of the books. So if you don't agree with that adaptation, don't watch it or wait for someone else to make an adaptation that follows the book to the letter. Or make one yourself, instead of ranting and moaning about it (something I myself was very familiar with not too long ago, unfortunately).
I would rather die with seeing a second class Silmarillion film than no silmarillion film at all.
I always have heard it is better not to shoot for second best, but to set your sights higher. I would rather see no Silmarillion than a mediocre one, but these are only my opinions, you are all at liberty to form you own. Happy Elf Smilie
If we merely wait for someone to make a better set of movies, we may wait till Doomsday. But if we get behind a campaign to "encourage" PJ to remake certain parts of his movies, this moves the idea into the realm of the possible. I'd say it would be a mark of respect toward the old Professor to seek such a remade edition of these movies. And I can think of a couple of people who have a sufficient fund of knowledge for spear-heading such a project: Virumor and Morambar! You two have my vote, if such a campaign ever gets started.
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