Jump to content
Guest

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Which Lord of the Rings film is best?  

79 members have voted

You do not have permission to vote in this poll, or see the poll results. Please sign in or register to vote in this poll.

Recommended Posts

They will be showing the Extended Versions? Fantastic! It sounds like a great time, too bad I live so far away (Nashville) or I would come.

They are starting the films at 5 PM? Why so late I wonder?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nothing like reviving a five year old thread with cake (and what a fine cake it is).

Anyway, since the thread's been given a bit of a bump: how have your attitudes towards the LORD OF THE RINGS films changed over the past five years since its release? Has your appreciation for Jackson's work deepened, stayed the same, or lessened?

Edited by Ryan H.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still love them all. Can't wait to see them again, hopefully sometime this year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Deepened. I watch them every year and find some new thing to appreciate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Both my appreciation for Jackson's work, and my criticisms of it have deepened. There are some things that Jackson did amazingly well. The casting was almost spot-on in every instance, he kept the story moving, many of the major themes of the book survive, he handled the battles with incredible skill, the visuals were outstanding, and the story was comprehensible all the way through. But there are also some things that he did badly. In many cases he forced a supposed need for "conflict" onto characters that in the book have a much shallower arc - which would not be a problem, except that it was done badly, creating logical gaps that made no sense. He butchered Aragorn. He mangled Faramir. And he disrespected Sam.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And he disrespected Sam.

Wait, what? I was all with you until that last. Did you mean he disrespected Gimli? I think Sam fares very well indeed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haven't watched them in a couple of years at least. I think by ROTK, Jackson had ran into battle fatigue--Helm's Deep showed a few cracks--the stunt work of Legolas (surfing) and the Olympic torch seemed too gimmicky for the blood and mud aesthetic of the surrounding battle. But by the time the battle of the Pellenor Fields arrives--with the exception of the ride of the Rohirrim and the gray curtain speech by Gandalf--it was a mess of visual and thematic cliche. To wit, the Gooniesesque Gothmog, the not-fear-inspiring Ringwraiths, the charge of the light brigade, the human torch sprinter, the confusing green goo wrap up--with slow mo Aragorn leaping from the boat--not one bit of it, except for the exceptions reaches the dramatic tension that could have been reached if Jackson had reserved the "spectacle" as highlights, icing on the cake if you will, instead of using it as filler, the cake itself. The films themselves find their rich and praiseworthy footing in the small stories, and you sense Jackson overwhelmed by the project by the end of the third film--the stories are oppressed by their bindings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Links to the threads on 'LOTR EEs / Discussing them as one complete film...', 'The Lord of the Rings Trilogy' and 'The Lord of the Rings -- take three!', where the trilogy as a whole has been under consideration. This thread is basically about the theatrical edition of The Return of the King. (The thread devoted to the extended edition of The Return of the King is here.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And he disrespected Sam.

Wait, what? I was all with you until that last. Did you mean he disrespected Gimli? I think Sam fares very well indeed.

Re-reading the books out loud to my son these past few months, I actually thought Gimli was presented well. I was surprised to find that Gimli IS used for comic relief in the books, often. No, I thought Sam was well portrayed until the pointless, savage re-writing of his character on the steps of Cirith Ungol. What is the central, overriding characteristic of Samwise Gamgee? He will not leave his Master. Never. Will. Not. In the book, it's only when he believes Frodo is dead that he even thinks about leaving him. In the film, Sam leaves Frodo when Frodo sends him away over the spat with Gollum over the waybread. Sam goes blubbering back down the mountain, until he discovers - TO HIS SHOCK - that Gollum had been lying! That puts the steel back in him, so that he re-climbs the mountain.

What??

Sam KNEW Gollum was lying, before he found the waybread, because Gollum was lying about HIM. He discovers NOTHING at the bottom of the steps that he didn't know way back up the steps. The whole thing makes 0 sense, and it violates the central, most important facet of Sam's character - his faithfulness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Re-reading the books out loud to my son these past few months, I actually thought Gimli was presented well. I was surprised to find that Gimli IS used for comic relief in the books, often. No, I thought Sam was well portrayed until the pointless, savage re-writing of his character on the steps of Cirith Ungol. What is the central, overriding characteristic of Samwise Gamgee? He will not leave his Master. Never. Will. Not. In the book, it's only when he believes Frodo is dead that he even thinks about leaving him. In the film, Sam leaves Frodo when Frodo sends him away over the spat with Gollum over the waybread. Sam goes blubbering back down the mountain, until he discovers - TO HIS SHOCK - that Gollum had been lying! That puts the steel back in him, so that he re-climbs the mountain.

What??

Sam KNEW Gollum was lying, before he found the waybread, because Gollum was lying about HIM. He discovers NOTHING at the bottom of the steps that he didn't know way back up the steps. The whole thing makes 0 sense, and it violates the central, most important facet of Sam's character - his faithfulness.

Crimson, FWIW, I think you're too hard on that scene. The primary revision there is not to Sam's character, but to the way the film depicts Gollum turning Frodo against Sam. I'm not sure I feel as strongly as you that if Mr. Frodo ordered Sam to leave, it is inconceivable that Tolkien's character would behave as he does in the film -- temporarily withdrawing, emotionally shattered, not thinking straight, only to come back with furious new resolve on grasping how Gollum had deliberately orchestrated things. Sam's previous awareness of Gollum's treachery doesn't make that much difference to me; Sam in the books is easily capable of not thinking things through in just that way.

Yes, Gimli is used for comic relief in the books, but he also has dignity and stature that becomes scarcer and scarcer as the films go on. The belching and drooling in Theoden's hall, the odious drinking contest, and the post-Pelennor Fields conference "Give Gimli the wrong sentiment so we'll know it's wrong" dialogue becomes more and more who the movie's Gimli is, with fewer redeeming moments, whereas Sam owns some of the best scenes right to the end.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As others have said, my appreciation for these movies has grown but also my criticisms. Despite its epic-ness and scale, I feel like Jackson might have cut some corners on ROTK, especially the Extended Edition. Some of the scenes feel a bit too rushed and thrown together.

My wife and I have been wanting to re-watch all three recently, but finding the time for 3 (or 4!) hours worth of movie viewing at a time is tough.

Lord of the Rings is my favorite book of all time. This year I re-read it for the first time since seeing the movies. I was dismayed to find that my mind would often insert Jackson's characters, scenes, etc. while reading, rather than my own imaginings of the world of Middle Earth from before seeing the films. I had hoped that wouldn't happen, but I think it's impossible to avoid having seen the movies so many times now. And despite my various quibbles with the films, re-reading the book has reminded me of just how much Peter Jackson got RIGHT with them. I still deeply respect and admire him for the way he handled this mammoth undertaking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My own attitude towards LORD OF THE RINGS has changed from overflowing adoration to a more cautious praise. The films are undeniably great accomplishments, and I'll never pretend otherwise, but that's not to say they don't have their problems.

I'm definitely a big Tolkien fan, but my gripes don't lie with Jackson's willingness to take liberties in adaption (though, honestly, he made some of the wrong choices, and was perhaps too unwilling to make some changes in the big picture), but rather the tone of what Jackson's produced. Aesthetically, THE LORD OF THE RINGS flicks are almost all I could ask for. But there's a distinct Hollywood-esque/blockbuster trait that runs throughout all of them that bothers me (it certainly doesn't feel very Tolkien-ish), and I find Jackson's sense of pacing very lacking.

If any of the films falter, it's RETURN OF THE KING, which still has great moments, but on the whole feels rather slapdash.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with Ryan. Fellowship of the Ring is still, in my assessment, an achievement far superior to its sequels. The Two Towers is impressive, but Return of the King, for all of its high points, is a downright sloppy adaptation, revealing just how profoundly the storytellers misunderstood their own story. There are sequences in that film that are hard for me to watch. Jackson's baser appetites and adolescent impulses got the better of him there. But no, I doubt we'll ever see a better adaptation. It gets so much so right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Crimson, FWIW, I think you're too hard on that scene. The primary revision there is not to Sam's character, but to the way the film depicts Gollum turning Frodo against Sam. I'm not sure I feel as strongly as you that if Mr. Frodo ordered Sam to leave, it is inconceivable that Tolkien's character would behave as he does in the film -- temporarily withdrawing, emotionally shattered, not thinking straight, only to come back with furious new resolve on grasping how Gollum had deliberately orchestrated things. Sam's previous awareness of Gollum's treachery doesn't make that much difference to me; Sam in the books is easily capable of not thinking things through in just that way.

We'll just have to disagree on that one. I watch those scenes, and I see one thing and one thing only - Jackson orchestrated all this so that Frodo would be alone in Shelob's Lair. And there were other ways to do that than by altering Sam's essential character.

Yes, Gimli is used for comic relief in the books, but he also has dignity and stature that becomes scarcer and scarcer as the films go on. The belching and drooling in Theoden's hall, the odious drinking contest, and the post-Pelennor Fields conference "Give Gimli the wrong sentiment so we'll know it's wrong" dialogue becomes more and more who the movie's Gimli is, with fewer redeeming moments, whereas Sam owns some of the best scenes right to the end.

You've got me there. Gimli IS less dignified than in the books.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was dismayed to find that my mind would often insert Jackson's characters, scenes, etc. while reading, rather than my own imaginings of the world of Middle Earth from before seeing the films.

So was I... but then again, for years my mind had images of Rankin/Bass and Ralph Bakshi productions running through it. Peter Jackson images are much more palatable.

Edited by Baal_T'shuvah

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm with Ryan. Fellowship of the Ring is still, in my assessment, an achievement far superior to its sequels. The Two Towers is impressive, but Return of the King, for all of its high points, is a downright sloppy adaptation, revealing just how profoundly the storytellers misunderstood their own story. There are sequences in that film that are hard for me to watch. Jackson's baser appetites and adolescent impulses got the better of him there. But no, I doubt we'll ever see a better adaptation. It gets so much so right.

You've basically expressed my sentiments here, Jeff, except that I'd be even harsher on The Two Towers. If I was to call it "impressive", I'd have to throw "fitfully" on the front because the business with Faramir's betrayal of the hobbits still really, really bothers me. (And speaking of baser appetites, did I really need the dream sequence with Aragorn and Arwen? No, not really.)

Edited by David Smedberg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You've basically expressed my sentiments here, Jeff, except that I'd be even harsher on The Two Towers. If I was to call it "impressive", I'd have to throw "fitfully" on the front because the business with Faramir's betrayal of the hobbits still really, really bothers me. (And speaking of baser appetites, did I really need the dream sequence with Aragorn and Arwen? No, not really.)

I actually think The Two Towers: Extended Edition is the best film of the three, despite the occasional hiccup (like Aragorn's unnecessary separation from the group). I actually love and respect what Jackson did with Faramir. It made all the sense in the world as a narrative decision, and was exactly the kind of change that Jackson needed to be making to these stories to make them function as a cinematic narrative. It also helped that Faramir and his backstory was rendered so beautifully (well, it wasn't in the theatrical release, but that's because important stuff was cut out), and that arc continued, pretty powerfully, in Jackson's RETURN OF THE KING.

Edited by Ryan H.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, at Amazon, a huge "outrage" began...if you look at the Blu-Ray release of the set due out soon, it's got a one star rating...with over a 1,000 people voting the one star. Apparently people are angry that they are releasing the theatrical version first... with the extended versions to come later.

The outrage seems a little short sighted...for one, it seems as if people are assuming noone would want the theatrical version. Personally I would rather have the extended cut, and truth is, with Blu-Ray, they should be able to have both versions on a single disc, and a disc packed with bonus features. There are some really wild accusations going on in these reviwes. Apparently, they believe the movie company is trying to trick people-like the first time when they released the theatricals and later released the extended cuts. Of course, they announced the extended cuts well in advance, so people should have had no excuse to think the only choices was going to be the theatrical cut... but why let the facts get in front of outrage over double dipping?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nezpop wrote:

: Personally I would rather have the extended cut, and truth is, with Blu-Ray, they should be able to have both versions on a single disc, and a disc packed with bonus features.

Yeah, definitely. If they can put THREE versions of Close Encounters of the Same Kind on a single disc, there is no reason they couldn't have multiple versions of any of THESE films on the same disc. (Especially since they have ALREADY re-issued all three films on DVD with both versions of each film on the same disc.)

I wonder about the bonus features.

One of the reasons it never bothered me that there were two different DVD releases is that there was virtually no overlap between the bonus features on the theatrical-release disc and the bonus features on the extended-edition disc. You could even group them according to theme: the theatrical-release disc had all the pre-release hype (the TV specials, the webisodes, the music videos, even the National Geographic specials), while the extended-edition disc had all the post-mortem detailed-analysis stuff (the audio commentaries, the hours and hours of spoiler-filled scene-by-scene documentaries).

Then, when they re-issued all three films a few years ago, they put a completely DIFFERENT set of documentaries on the discs -- but by this point I had seen so much behind-the-scenes footage that I never bothered to check 'em out. But I remember Peter Jackson saying at the time that he wanted to give the fans something "new" every time the movies were re-issued, so that they weren't just buying the same content over and over again.

So now, I wonder how that will apply to the Blu-Ray releases. Are these a completely different FOURTH version of the discs (with, I guess, the upcoming extended-edition Blu-Rays being a FIFTH version)? Or, because this is the first high-def release, will they convert any (or all) of the bonus features from the previous releases to high-def?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, definitely. If they can put THREE versions of Close Encounters of the Same Kind on a single disc, there is no reason they couldn't have multiple versions of any of THESE films on the same disc. (Especially since they have ALREADY re-issued all three films on DVD with both versions of each film on the same disc.)

I didn't even know there was one version of Close Encounters of the Same Kind! ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Baal_T'shuvah wrote:

: I didn't even know there was one version of Close Encounters of the Same Kind! ;)

Ha! Oh, man. I guess I can only handle so many three/third references in a single sentence. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Baal_T'shuvah wrote:

: I didn't even know there was one version of Close Encounters of the Same Kind! ;)

Ha! Oh, man. I guess I can only handle so many three/third references in a single sentence. :)

Perhaps that's the title that will be used when Gus Van Sant decides to do a shot for shot remake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FWIW, critics here and here are saying that the recently-released Blu-Ray set leaves something to be desired, ESPECIALLY where Fellowship is concerned. The latter site even notes, in its section on The Two Towers: "Fine textures haven't been completely blotted away, tattered rocks and weather-worn cloaks are quite sharp, and hair and pores are largely intact. Note Gandalf's beard and pocky nose during his battle with the Balrog (especially the shots Jackson recycles from Fellowship)..."

It also seems that the bonus discs in this Blu-Ray set are identical to the bonus discs that came with the original two-disc theatrical editions of these movies -- complete with TV specials and webisodes and various other promotional materials, including previews of the next films in the series! The bonus discs in question are even DVDs, rather than Blu-Ray discs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×