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BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!

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Dave the Gnome 19 Dec 01 - 06:55 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Dec 01 - 07:20 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Dec 01 - 07:21 PM
Little Hawk 19 Dec 01 - 07:30 PM
Jeri 19 Dec 01 - 07:51 PM
GUEST 19 Dec 01 - 08:12 PM
Little Hawk 19 Dec 01 - 08:23 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Dec 01 - 08:41 PM
GUEST,Desdemona 19 Dec 01 - 08:58 PM
Bob Bolton 19 Dec 01 - 09:24 PM
Little Hawk 19 Dec 01 - 10:09 PM
Art Thieme 19 Dec 01 - 10:27 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 19 Dec 01 - 10:30 PM
sophocleese 19 Dec 01 - 11:19 PM
GUEST 19 Dec 01 - 11:22 PM
Amergin 20 Dec 01 - 12:39 AM
paddymac 20 Dec 01 - 12:43 AM
Alice 20 Dec 01 - 12:48 AM
GUEST,BigDaddy 20 Dec 01 - 01:07 AM
SarahC 20 Dec 01 - 02:54 AM
Greyeyes 20 Dec 01 - 03:42 AM
Clinton Hammond 20 Dec 01 - 03:56 AM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Dec 01 - 06:13 AM
Grab 20 Dec 01 - 07:18 AM
BanjoRay 20 Dec 01 - 07:41 AM
GUEST,Desdemona 20 Dec 01 - 07:45 AM
Dave the Gnome 20 Dec 01 - 07:59 AM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Dec 01 - 08:02 AM
Jeri 20 Dec 01 - 08:18 AM
GUEST 20 Dec 01 - 08:57 AM
Jeri 20 Dec 01 - 09:08 AM
GUEST 20 Dec 01 - 09:19 AM
Big Mick 20 Dec 01 - 09:23 AM
A Wandering Minstrel 20 Dec 01 - 10:20 AM
PeteBoom 20 Dec 01 - 10:23 AM
Uncle_DaveO 20 Dec 01 - 11:00 AM
GUEST,Jenny the T 20 Dec 01 - 12:00 PM
Desert Dancer 20 Dec 01 - 12:12 PM
GUEST,radriano 20 Dec 01 - 12:14 PM
Clinton Hammond 20 Dec 01 - 01:08 PM
Don Firth 20 Dec 01 - 02:02 PM
GUEST 20 Dec 01 - 02:30 PM
Barbara Shaw 20 Dec 01 - 02:31 PM
Clinton Hammond 20 Dec 01 - 02:46 PM
Jeri 20 Dec 01 - 03:10 PM
Clinton Hammond 20 Dec 01 - 03:23 PM
Don Firth 20 Dec 01 - 04:30 PM
Clinton Hammond 20 Dec 01 - 04:55 PM
Don Firth 20 Dec 01 - 05:07 PM
GUEST,Desdemona 20 Dec 01 - 05:24 PM
Jeri 20 Dec 01 - 06:07 PM
Dave the Gnome 20 Dec 01 - 06:07 PM
Don Firth 20 Dec 01 - 06:23 PM
Clinton Hammond 20 Dec 01 - 06:39 PM
Little Hawk 20 Dec 01 - 06:47 PM
catspaw49 20 Dec 01 - 06:51 PM
Clinton Hammond 20 Dec 01 - 06:52 PM
Little Hawk 20 Dec 01 - 07:02 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 20 Dec 01 - 09:23 PM
Don Firth 20 Dec 01 - 09:47 PM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Dec 01 - 10:23 PM
Deckman 20 Dec 01 - 10:29 PM
Hollowfox 21 Dec 01 - 12:17 AM
Little Hawk 21 Dec 01 - 12:32 AM
Stu 21 Dec 01 - 05:56 AM
Grab 21 Dec 01 - 06:39 AM
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Hollowfox 21 Dec 01 - 09:07 AM
A Wandering Minstrel 21 Dec 01 - 09:23 AM
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McGrath of Harlow 21 Dec 01 - 04:37 PM
SDShad 21 Dec 01 - 04:47 PM
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Subject: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 06:55 PM

I have! Just got back from the Galleria in Salford (What a cinema btw - well worth a visit in itself) Anyone else seen it yet? Can anyone say any less than WOW?

OK, OK. The purists will have one or two problems but quite simply I found it a real delight - in all respcts.

Music content - bit of folky stuff at Bilbo's 111'st. Nice bit of Irish style flute for the closing credits.

Can't wait till next Christmas for part two:-)

Cheers

Dave the Gnome (I might change to a dwarf....)


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 07:20 PM

That was my son's reaction. I'm looking forward to it. Only adverse comment I've heard which I might treat seriously is one that the hobbits and the Shire were presented as being Irish.

If so I'm a bit disappointed, since they are quintessentially English, and the music should reflect that, with the Irish music saved for the Elves.

But maybe the critic got it wrong - so many people tend to assume that any folk music with a bit of life in it must be Irish.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 07:21 PM

And that didn't come from my son - he knows the difference.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 07:30 PM

This sounds good! I always figured it was too much to hope for that a good Lord of the Rings movie would ever be made....but, by Gollum, they may have done it this time. I can hardly wait to see it myself!

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Jeri
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 07:51 PM

I still have NOT managed to read any of the books. I've seen the trailer, and the ads on TV, and it sounds like one hell of a movie. They had a show on here about the making of it. The feeling I got was they went to meticulous detail to create a culture for all of the races. They built the Hobbit village, planted the gardens, and left it for a year to let it grow and settle in.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 08:12 PM

Correction as to the "quintessential Englishness" of the story--there is just as many Norse influences in the stories as Anglo Saxon. I agree there isn't much Celtic influence in the books, but that said, it seems like absolute begrudgery to bitch about an Irish flute being used in the soundtrack, fer chrissake. Lots of Irish music would have worked just fine to capture the essence of many a moment.

Please, lets not descend into nationalist begrudgery over the film--it is just too good for that!


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 08:23 PM

Agreed on the Norse influences! I think that the main reason Lord of the Rings is seen as "English" is that it was written by an Englishman in the first place, rather than because of the nature of the subject matter itself, which could just as well have been presented with equal fervour by a German, a Norwegian, a Dane or a Frenchman...each in his own particular language, with colloquial and place names suiting his culture. Lord of the Rings is a western European tale on the grand mythic scale, not an exclusively Anglo-Saxon one by any means.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 08:41 PM

Who brought in the Anglo-Saxons? The English are as Norse as they are Anglo Saxon, and about as Celtic as well, among other things.

The point is, and it's a casual enough point, Tolkien was, as Little Hawk said, making a world modelled on the whole of Western Europe, at least. The idea of the different peoples and the different societies was a central part of it, with their different languages and customs and no doubt different music and dances.

If the film blurred these differences, I think it would be a pity. Within that tapestry the Shire and the Hobbits are the English part, and I'd hope that that was reflected in the way they and their society were presented - and there's lots of English music that would be exactly right for that kind of treatment.

It's nothing to do with "nationalist begrudgery" for God's sake. (Though that's a great phrase, and there's a lot of that about sometimes on some threads.) You think McGrath is an English name? You think the Engish by and large give their own music anything like the kind of respect it deserves?


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: GUEST,Desdemona
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 08:58 PM

Yes, hobbits are definitely English---in fact, Tolkien himself went so far as to say they were West Midlanders (my own family's home county, as it happens!). But of course he was also a don of Anglo-Saxon literature at Oxford, and a linguist par excellence; he particularly favoured Old Norse, and amongst modern languages preferred Finnish above most. Obviously, almost anyone who is "English" has some roots in Scandinavian culture, so arguing about it would be silly!

I remember reading that what he meant to achieve was nothing less to invent an entire language & culture, write an epic tale in it in the spirit of the Norse sagas, and then translate it into English. That he allowed it to be published at all was apparently a huge emotional risk for him, because he was exposing something so very personal to anyone who cared to pick up a copy. To say nothing of the not inconsequential amount of crap he took from his colleagues in academia!

McGrath---I like your comment above re:all things folk being perceived as somehow Irish; a mediaevalist friend of mine always cites "St Fiona's Law" in these cases: "Anything Celtic is period"! I'm planning to see the film on Friday, and while I'm sure we all have our resrvations about letting someone else paint pictures already completed in our own imaginations, I'm very much hoping to be amazed & delighted!


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 09:24 PM

G'day all,

I think our "GUEST", 4 posts (or so, by now) above is just trying to be the usual advocate's devil (!).

I certainly agree with Tolkien's view of the Hobbits as conservative, homebody English drawn into a much bigger and weirder world (much based on nordic and germanic mythologies). I hope the film retains this essential contrast - right through to where it is a crucial part of the resolution of the tale.

Just don't get the ghost of JRR Tolkein upset without first checking what the surname means in old Norse!

Regards,

Bob bolton


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 10:09 PM

Come to think of it, there were "Eastern" peoples depicted in L of R also...the Haradrim, and some of Sauron's other allies (the "Southrons"? Africans or Arabians?) in the attack on Gondor, as I recall, so McGrath is right that it went even beyond western Europe in scope. I still remember it as the most immense and wonderful piece of fiction I have ever read in my life. I devoured those books around the age of 21 and reread them all several times, but it's been at least 20 years since I last had a good look at them.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Art Thieme
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 10:27 PM

Hell, you are all WRONG. Hobbits are most assuredly Jewish. The Shire is just outside Tel Aviv and Mount Doom is the same place where the greatest Jew of all time, Jesus, gave his Sermon on the Mount. The Shire was something like the Afghan cave complexes (if not the Viet Namese tunnel systems).

So there. (Just one guy's opinion.)

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 10:30 PM

I just got home from opening night- magnificent! Most of the characters are exactly how I imagined them- it was uncanny! There were liberties taken, of course- how else to fit the Fellowship into three hours? But I'll gladly see it again.
Each race has its own distinct integrity, and the Hobbits seemed no more Irish than Bree-ish (hey, come to think of it, there were no hobbits in Bree other than our heroes...); Pippin is played by a Scot, I believe, but that's as un-English as it gets. I'm with you, David-the-Dwarf(!)- can't wait for the next one!
(And yes, I surpassed my 20th time reading the trilogy years ago!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: sophocleese
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 11:19 PM

I just got back from seeing it tonight. Visually stunning in places, very much a movie for the lovers of sword play. Personally I would have welcomed a little more common dialogue, instead of weighty, bonding, discussions in the scene prior to a death. Still looking forward to The Two Towers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 11:22 PM

McGrath says:

Only adverse comment I've heard which I might treat seriously is one that the hobbits and the Shire were presented as being Irish.

If so I'm a bit disappointed, since they are quintessentially English, and the music should reflect that, with the Irish music saved for the Elves.

Desdemona says:

McGrath---I like your comment above re:all things folk being perceived as somehow Irish; a mediaevalist friend of mine always cites "St Fiona's Law" in these cases: "Anything Celtic is period"!

I, an Irish poster, say--enough with the anti-Irish sentiments, already. Please keep your bigotries and prejudices to yourselves, and let us discuss the film without making such offensive (to me) remarks.

Capiche?


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Amergin
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 12:39 AM

i saw nothing offensive in their remarks....

well anyways, I have explicit orders not to see this movie...at least not until I go down to Orange County, CA....


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: paddymac
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 12:43 AM

Well, I saw it this afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's darned good story-telling, and I think it's a bit of an exercise in futility to look for great elements of nationalism in it. Just enjoy for its entertainment value.

The only contemporary joke in it (well, at least the only I caught) was the crack about "dwarf tossing." I did notice that the dwarf was the only character to speak with a pronounced Scots accent. Sort of made me recall "Shrek". I'm not sure what, if anything, to read into that (in either case).

Kevin, though I certainly agree with your observation that English folk are an amalgam of other folks (as, indeed, most peoples are), I can't help but think there are some 'catters who might not take kindly to the suggestion that there is any significant "Celtic" element in their "English" make-up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Alice
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 12:48 AM

I just saw the movie. Great books, very well done film.

Alice


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: GUEST,BigDaddy
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 01:07 AM

I'm really looking forward to seeing this. I first read the books in the winter and spring before I graduated from high school (way back in 1970). I started out with "The Hobbit," not knowing what I was getting into. One of the most truly amazing things I've realized since that time is the near-universal appeal of this material. Teenagers to stodgy scholarly types all caught up in the magic. A discussion of "why" could go on forever (like the road). I hope JRRT is in a place where he can appreciate the appreciation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: SarahC
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 02:54 AM

Last night was a bit of a pilgrimage for me. I was lent a copy of the Hobbit by a neighbour of mine when I was 8. He then said he had "deeper and darker books" for me to read. He refused to hand any over until a year later when fed up with me pestering him, he handed over the first book of Lord of the Rings. I read it very fast and demanded the others. I read the whole trilogy before I turned 10. For the next 25 years I started to read the whole thing again every year on the first day of the summer holidays - I wouldn't do anything else until I had finished it. I spent my whole childhood in Tolkien fantasy land.

The trailer for last night's film gave an inkling that the scenery and characters were as I had imagined them all that time ago - in fact, they were virtually spot on, even down to Aragorn. Sam was a little thinner in my head, but a small matter. I can't believe how fey Elijah Wood looks.

My best bits were the Mines of Moria - firstly the gates! I had forgotten that I had drawn them in gold and pinned them on my bedroom wall for years and years - seeing them again gave me a pang.

But the Balrog!! The description in the book was so scary that I never read that bit at night. After seeing it visualised for the first time yesterday (and me aged 40) I am not disappointed. It still frightened me.

I'm going to go back and see this several more times over the next couple of weeks... And I will reread the book from Saturday, the first day of my Christmas holiday!

Cheers SarahC


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Greyeyes
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 03:42 AM

A review in a UK broadsheet was headlined "If you don't like this movie, you just don't like movies."
I had understood that the voice coach had fixed on Somerset for the Hobbits, but I may be misinformed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 03:56 AM

Bollox... LOTR, the whole world of middle earth is the pre-history of EUROPE! Island and mainland... we're ALL in there somewhere!

I saw it Tuesday night at a preview showing after 3+ years of following its development on the net and swearing that I WOULD NOT see it opening night to spare myself the geeks, the nerds, the idiots in SCA costumes and Spock ears!

Outside of a few small niggling details, and a few of my favourite lines (from the otherwise dreary, dull, over-long, over crafted and less-than-characterised book) missing, I loved it!

8 out of 10... the same rating I've given Harry Potter and Monsters Inc.

Not quite the rating I gave Gladiator, but realy close...


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 06:13 AM

A GUEST without even a label who claims to be an Irish poster? I don't believe it. A troll more likely.

Irish music is the music I love best, but I don't want to see it swamp out the other musics, that's all. That'd just be a kind of musical and cultural imperialism, and like all such things, ultimately self-destructive.

Whatever, I'm looking forward to seeing it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Grab
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 07:18 AM

Going to see it tonight. Should be good!

Graham.

PS. Post-Riverdance, any music that goes "diddly diddly" is automatically Irish as far as your typical newspaper scribe is concerned (with exceptions, ddw! ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: BanjoRay
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 07:41 AM

Back in the sixties, when I was in university in Aberystwyth doing teacher's training, I made the mistake of borrowing The Fellowship of The Ring about a month before my final exams. I'd finished all three books by the time the exams came around - I never did get into teaching. I can't wait to see the films, the trailer looked superb. The guy in the Guardian only gave it two stars! He needs to get a life.

Cheers
Ray


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: GUEST,Desdemona
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 07:45 AM

GUEST---me own dear great grand-dad was from County Wicklow; no offence was intended by my remarks above! I was merely commenting on what seems a pervasive tendency in America ti view everything folk/traditional/early music-related as somehow "Celtic".


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 07:59 AM

There was only 1 'celtic' accent amongst the hobbits and as pointed out that was Scottish! I thought Gimlis' accent was more Welsh - as was the Elven language. The music at Bilbos' bash was, in my mind, most definitely English country more than anything. I did not notice any trace of Irish or other Celtic influence apart from, as I said, the flute piece during the closing credits.

But, as the thread says, don't argue or fall out about it...

JUST SEE IT!!!

Cheers

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 08:02 AM

Saved by the Ring, BanjoRay!

It could well be that Grab you are right and it's the newspaper writer that got it wrong - "people tend to assume that any folk music with a bit of life in it must be Irish" was how I put it.

Either way it's not something that's going to spoil the film for me. If the kind of critic that gave it two stars had liked it I'd be looking forward to it a lot less hopefully. There was one of them on the box the other day maundering on about how simplified heroic characters might have been all right at one time, now we were beyond accepting all that, in the wake of Virginia Woolf...


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Jeri
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 08:18 AM

Gimli, by the way, is played by John Rys-Davies. He's also the voice of Treebeard.

Almost any music played with diddley-diddley intruments these days is called Irish...or Celtic. (For a lot of folks, the terms are synonymous. If this movie had been made 5 years ago, I'd bet Davy Spillane would have been on the soundtrack somewhere.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 08:57 AM

Like I said, it really isn't necessary to keep on about how persecuted the British folk are by Americans who believe that English country music is Irish, in order to enjoy this film.

In fact, one need not express such snide and blatantly British nationalist sentiments into a discussion of Lord of the Rings at all.

But of course, that won't stop the begrudgers, apparently, from ruining some people's participation in the discussion.

FWIW, ten years ago in the US, most Americans thought Irish music was English. So the hell what?

And please, let us note that it was British posters who started in with their "quintessentially English" nationalist crap, now wasn't it? After all the American bashing by the British folk over Harry Potter, do we really need this?


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Jeri
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 09:08 AM

Guest, if you have to try this hard to get a flame war started, maybe it's time to just give up and talk about the movie.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 09:19 AM

I am not trying to start a flame war. When early on in the thread, people's opinions of the film begin with negative comments about Irish music being included in the film, and I'm Irish, I'm going to be a bit put off by it.

I apologize to those of you who wish to discuss this without the nationalist bullshit. It really wasn't my intention to start yet another British/Irish battle of nationalisms here. But I really was offended by the remarks in McGrath's initial post.

As to discussing the film here, well--I don't think this is the place I'll be doing that now, thanks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Big Mick
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 09:23 AM

Nicely done, Jeri. These poor folks must be getting frustrated that most everyone has them figured out.

Saw it last night. The effects and sets were absolutely stunning. I felt they captured, with very few exceptions, the essence of the book. At times they hung with the dialogue to the point of distraction, but all in all this is one helluva movie. I loved it. Kind of pisses me off to have to wait a year for the next one. In fact that is a criticism. This was left in a way that should have had the next one coming out in 3 to 4 months, not a year. I thought they chose and got the dialects very well.

On the side discussion going on, I agree completely with those who tire of the use of the word "celtic" to mischaracterize so much music. To me it shows a listeners lack of abiiity to discern between the many types of music that are peculiar to the amalgam of peoples that are loosely known as Celts. Irish music........I love that term. Which type of Irish music? British music? Which? Welsh? Cornish? The enjoyment is in the hunt, my friends. Start digging into the various styles and become really knowledgeable, and your appreciation and enjoyment will increase geometrically.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 10:20 AM

I'm with big Mick here. The movie is visually stunning and the story pruned almost exactly right.

Most of the 'celtic' music is by Enya so I supposed it must by definition be 'Irish' but the spoken elvish sounds like it has definite welsh roots.

I now have a reason to live for at least the next two years!


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: PeteBoom
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 10:23 AM

Funny thing. Saw an absolutely BRILLIANT biography on JRRT last night (wrapping gifts) and will probably see the film after the Holidays.

They pegged a couple of things that I had suspected for some time, but could not prove - the base language for the Elves was Nordic - a mix of Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish. What ol' JRR seemingly did was compare Anglo-Saxon to its development into English, then look at the contemporary Nordic languages and their roots then built Elvish from that, using similar changes in construct and pronounciation over time. The result was not a "static" language that sounded forced, but one that made rhytmic and aural sense.

Secondly, while definitely NOT intended as an allegory, folks have written much on the allegorical overtones on the story. In reality, when one includes the full realm of middle earth lore prepared by Tolkein (started before his service in WW1), what one gets is a complete heroic cycle all from one amazingly complex mind. His work used enchantment in place of magic, and acted as much as a commentary on development and progress as any of the more obvious books of that ilk. When you consider that he finished multiple versions of Silmarilion BEFORE writing the Hobbit, and was working on a final revision to fit it into the final development of the "Red Book" cycle at the time of his death, it is amazing how steady and consistent so much of his work was. Particularly when compared to the much lighter-weight knock-offs floating around these days.

While I'm a bit disappointed that Tom Bombadil is not around, and that Arwen Evenstar is reported to be as involved as she is, as opposed to using grace and wisdom while being protected by the expendible male elvish warriors, it still looks to be quite close to the book. We'll see.

Now, off to work -

Pete


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 11:00 AM

ClintonHammond said, in part:

"Outside of a few small niggling details, and a few of my favourite lines (from the otherwise dreary, dull, over-long, over crafted and less-than-characterised book) missing, I loved it!"

Watch what you say about LOTR, or you might just get lynched!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: GUEST,Jenny the T
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 12:00 PM

My daughter and I saw it last night, and came away utterly stunned. I don't know how anyone could expect a better job to be done with it. Just as with the book, we were left after a very lengthy sitting wishing it wouldn't end.

The accents--Irish-ish for the Bucklanders and Scottish-like for the Dwarf--were a nice touch, I thought. It put a polish on the "racial friction" subtext from the book. The hobbits from the main part of the Shire had the expected English accents, but the Bucklanders--who in the book are viewed as rather different (even somewhat odd) by the other Shire-folk--needed something to set them apart a bit, and the accents worked well for that. I didn't see it as anything like derogatory, either. As Merry and Pippin end up as very heroic characters, they'll bring no shame to those accents; quite the opposite, in fact.

If they sounded like _me,_ I'd be absolutely flattered by association. I can't imagine why anyone thought the accents were 'derogatory.'

JtT


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 12:12 PM

Haven't seen it yet and am looking forward to it. But, a reviewer in our local paper noted this:

"Walsh [the screenwriter] does away with other features of the book that do little to advance the story, including the numerous songs, poems, and riddles, while managing to keep the charm of Tolkien's writing."

I know it's always an amazing challenge (which few succeed in meeting) to adapt a lengthy book to screen time... but, from your special perspective as Mucatters (e.g., lovers of music and verse), did anyone get the sense that these parts of the story were missing? Or didn't you miss them?

Just wondering... and cogitating on the topic of music becoming something to have in the background and the demise of good singing... (or should I start another thread without the BS prefix? ;-) ) Wouldn't this have been a good opportunity to have movie with good singing that comes in context, as opposed to gratuitously, as in a musical?

I'm making lots of assumptions before I see (hear) it, of course.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: GUEST,radriano
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 12:14 PM

I saw Lord of the Rings yesterday. As I suspected, as people discuss the film there is the inevitable haggling about details. Yes, one of the hobbits has a decidedly Irish accent. Yes, some things are omitted from the book (like Tom Bombadill) but unless you make a seven hour film somethings will have to be left out.

It did not seem to me that the hobbits as a group were portrayed as Irish. The dance scene at the hobbits' party had a decidely English country dance flavor although, to the general public, it might easily be interpreted as Irish. Certainly the dancing depicted did not look Irish.

When I saw the first scene of the Shire it looked right to me. While there is much computer animation involved and many graphic fight scenes I was pleased that the focus of the film was the acting. The friendship between Frodo and Sam is central to the film. The temptation caused by the evil of the ring was clear. The terror of the dark riders was palpable.

Lord of the Rings is a wonderful film although I would not recommend it for young children because there are some very scary scenes. C'mon folks, lets stop bickering. All in all, the film is true to the book and stand on it's own quite well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 01:08 PM

I wish the book had more than one character in it...


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 02:02 PM

During the Sixties, two or three times a week someone would jump on my chest, hurled me to the ground, flog me about the head and shoulders with a boxed set of Lord of the Rings, and squeal "You gotta read this!! You've absolutely gotta read this!!!" I can't think of a more efficient way of putting me off reading something. Fortunately, about twenty years ago a man whose taste, judgment, and literary acumen I respect very highly told me that about once every five years he reads first The Hobbit, then the entire trilogy. "The Hobbit," he said, "seems as if it started out to be a children's story, then somehow turned into an epic adventure. It may not really be essential to Lord of the Rings, but it introduces you to Middle Earth and some of the characters and sets up what is to follow." I told him that I was a reader of hard science-fiction (among other things), and I tended to get a bit impatient with fantasy. He said, "I think you'll find that this is quite different." On his recommendation, I read all four books. I am eternally grateful to this man. Since then I've followed his example, and every few years I reread all four books. The only problem: now I am really impatient with fantasy that's been written recently. Tolkien's work is like a sumptuous meal—a full banquet. Other stuff I've attempted to read recently is like a bit of bland puff pastry. Tolkien goes beyond fantasy.

When I heard about this movie project, I was filled with dire apprehension. But after having seen stills from the movie, some snippets shown on TV, and a half-hour TV program on the making of the movies, I'm convinced that the "look" is right, they know what they're doing, and if they do make changes (I mourn the loss of Tom Bombadil), they do so with regret and only because of the requirements of the change of media. The reviews I've read so far sound promising. Very promising. I look forward eagerly to seeing these movies.

. . . dreary, dull, over-long, over crafted and less-than-characterised book . . . I'm really sorry your dog died, Clinton. I found the characterizations (if this is what you are referring to) very fine-drawn and vivid, and as far as being "dreary, dull, over-long," and "over crafted," Tolkien's writing is absolutely brilliant. I love his use of words, his images, his descriptions, and the flow of his sentences. He writes for those who truly savour language. God knows, I wish I could write one-tenth as well as he did.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 02:30 PM

I think the expectation that a general release film audience should be able to distinguish between English and Irish folk music is wholly unrealistic. These are film fans, not music fans.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 02:31 PM

Lord knows I tried reading this book during the late sixties. Couldn't do it. Still can't bring myself to get lost in the fantasy, even though my son the graphic designer created the new official movie web site.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 02:46 PM

It's accepted Tolkien scholarship that there is only ONE fully fleshed out, nearly real character in LOTR... that's Samwise... everyone is a 2 dimensional, archetypal product of what they do, not who they are... Even JRR himself acknowledged that his strength was in world building and storylines, not in characters and story telling...

This should in no way lessen you enjoyment of LTOR, but brilliant?? JRR was NOT a brilliant writer...

"He writes for those who truly savour language."

hence, overlong and over crafted...


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Jeri
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 03:10 PM

And that's why I've never managed to get very far into the first book, Clinton.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 03:23 PM

Ummm Jeri... read The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay... It's the exact same Good VS Evil battle (as a matter of fact, Kay says that all other battles are just shadows of his... How's THAT for a ballsy move eh! LOL!!) only it's much better written... and it has more than one character in it...

The beginning is on the slow side, but sticking with it is VERY rewarding...

If you want another recommendation for great fantasy, get ANYTHING by Neil Gaiman!

I used to be a HUGE LOTR geek... read it once a year for 6 or 8 years... then I took some classes in English lit at university, and starting learning a thing or 3 about the craft of writing, especially in the speculative fiction genre... by the time I'd had chance to study LOTR, well, I could see it for what it really was... There are plenty of reasons why JRR never had much critical success with his books... And I'm forced to agree with probably 95% of his critics...

These days, I can usually get about as far as the hobbits parting ways with Tom Bombadil, and then I lose ALL interest in the tale... I usually then find myself reading The Hobbit, or Leaf by Niggle... JRR's really great writing!

;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 04:30 PM

Accepted by whom?

I bugged out of the Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics course because I enjoy the act of reading too much to rush it. Incidentally, I spent a helluva lot of time in school. A lot of it was in music, but for a couple of years I was an English Lit major, and since school, I consume an average of a bit more than a book a week. Various, fiction non-fiction, great literature, trash, the whole gamut.

I don't give a diddly-squat what anybody says, Tolkien was a great writer.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 04:55 PM

Yer confusing 'great' with 'enjoyable'...

Great is objective, enjoyable is subjective...


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 05:07 PM

I'm not a total literary doofus. I can judge the difference. Believe me, there is a lot of exceptionally good stuff that doesn't meet with the approval of the pundits. When I was in the U. of W. School of Music, some of the faculty members used to ask me when I was going to stop screwing around with "those cowboy songs" and concentrate on "serious music." One thing I learned early on:-- Authorities be damned, I judge for myself.

True, not everything that is enjoyable is great, but everything that is truly great is also enjoyable.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: GUEST,Desdemona
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 05:24 PM

As the mother of 3 sons, I feel I must say,

Boys, play nice now!

Tolkien did come in for a lot of criticism from his academic peers, but not all writing needs to be approved by academic standards to be worthwhile. His literary style is assuredly not for everyone, but at the other end of the spectrum, neither was Hemingway's, yet many consider him a great writer.

"LOTR" is enormous fun & beautifully written, and has obviously struck a chord in people for a long while; whether it's "as great" as someone else's work (and I'd have to take exception to Guy Gavriel Kay here: a good enough fantasy writer, but that's all....but again, that's only MY opinion!)is irrelevant. I think part of its appeal is that so many people came to it at that period in their life when they were first beginning to appreciate the wonder of "disappearing" into a book, and Middle Earth gave them a place where they could really lose themselves.

I first read it at about 11, and my 10-year-old son is currently so engrossed in it that he's reading it before school, during breaks, any chance he gets. He doesn't hear when we talk to him---I think it's wonderful! If "LOTR" can give so many people that miraculous sense of visiting & inhabiting another world for awhile, I'd say that's an argument in favour of its being a great book!


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Jeri
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 06:07 PM

Clinton, I think I read the Kay books. (If they included a religion close to Christianity and talked about the dead god who'd been nailed to a tree.) They're somewhere in the basement...along with a few thousand other books.

I think what may be remarkable about LOTR is the fact Tolkien invented an entire world in detail. Frank Herbert did the same with the Dune books, with a different approach to language. I also think Tolkien's style of writing might just have been popular at the time. A friend gave me a trilogy of very early science fiction books. I never made it through them, either. At first I thought "what a lovely way to describe a building." After two and a half pages of it, I just wanted him to quit demonstrating his ability to use adjectives and get to work on a few verbs...


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 06:07 PM

I was not going to get drawn at all but c'mon Clint!!!

"JRR was NOT a brilliant writer..."

I could be quoting incorrectly but I have heard that, after the Bible, the Lord of the Rings is THE best seller in the UK (Possibly the world?) The Lord of the Rings has become the definitive standard agains which all other works of fantasy are measured. Whatever anyone else thinks and however good new writers are they will always have to live up to Tolkien.

I am not an academic, or a literary critic, but the fact is that this not brilliant writer has captured the imagination of the world. The movie will be the huge box office success that it deserves and, hopefully, people who would have never seen the world the Tolkien created will now have their imaginations widened.

Lets not be highbrow about this. Good is good. I agree that his best literary work was in the academic essays. The work and logic put into Leaf by Niggle and the essay leading to it was indeed a masterpiece but it did not feed the Tolkien family. The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings did.

If I may put it a little bluntly. Those that can write sell books. Those that cannot, critisise. Or another way. Dave the Gnome, Clinton Hammond and the rest of us - Nil. JRR Tolkien - Four.

Who is the winner???

Let the journey envelop you. Enjoy it for what it is. A good yarn, a splendid saga, a wonderful story. Don't worry about the missing bits. Fill them in yourself. Don't expect the writer to have to explain everything.

Enjoy filling in the blanks as much as I did;-)

Cheers

Dave the Gnome.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 06:23 PM

Bingo, Desdemona. Granted, Tolkien's prose certainly doesn't ring everybody's chimes, but no one can deny the depth of what he's written. I haven't counted myself, but somewhere I heard that the trilogy runs about 600,000 words (sounds about right), which is a bunch of writing. But his notes and drafts on the mythology and background of LOTR run to a couple of million words, just to keep things consistent and get all his ducks in a row. Not many writers go to that much trouble to get it right. And he's managed to keep a few battalions of scholars busy for several decades now, which is more than can be said for 99.999 percent of the writers who appear on the best-seller lists, and no one to my knowledge has ever called his scholarship into question. All of this, in addition to your son's response to the books sure says something.

Great? Well, that's a qualitative word that people can and do quibble over, but it's pretty obvious that Tolkien had something going for him. Speaking of Rings, I think the magnitude of Lord of the Rings in relation to literature is on a par with Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung in relation to Grand Opera. Monumental. Of course Wagner is not every music-lover's flagon of schnapps either.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 06:39 PM

"everything that is truly great is also enjoyable."

poppycock!!

There is a plethora of damn good art, lit, music that leaves me absolutley cold!!!

On the other side of that coin, there are plenty of base, idle things that I quite enjoy... (hardcore porn and velvet paintings of dogs plying poker for example) My enjoyment of these things lends me no illusions that they are in any way GOOD...

"religion close to Christianity and talked about the dead god who'd been nailed to a tree"

I think the x-tians swiped it from the norse actually! LOL!!!

"THE best seller in the UK"

so is Brittany Spears! The mob consumption is NO judge of such things...

"I am not an academic"

I fancy myself one... that level of discourse is quite enjoyble... and I'm pretty sure it ws the level of discourse that JRR wanted ssociated with LOTR...

"Great? Well, that's a qualitative word that people can and do quibble over"

Thank you.. that's MY point...

;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 06:47 PM

Well...

I used to be a HUGE Clinton Hammond geek... read every one of his posts at least 6 or 8 times... then I took some classes in critical analysis at the University of Toronto, and starting learning a thing or 3 about the craft of critiquing, especially critiquing works in the speculative fiction genre... by the time I'd had the chance to study Clinton Hammond's attempts at literary criticism, well, I could see them for what they really were...

There are plenty of reasons why Clinton has never had much critical success with his postings on Lord of the Rings... And I'm forced to agree with probably 95% of his critics...

These days, I can usually get about as far as his 3rd or 4rth sentence, and then I lose ALL interest. I usually then find myself reading Spaw's latest tale about Cletus, or the phone book, or the dictionary...much more engaging!

GREAT criticism, after all, is objective, not subjective...and Clinton's attempts to critique Lord of the Rings do not by any stretch of the imagination fall under the category of GREAT criticism, but merely bargain-basement opinionating.

- LH (Evil grin!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: catspaw49
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 06:51 PM

Well I tell ya', like Jeri and Barbara, I just couldn't get into it although I did struggle through it....But here's my point......

GUEST Turnip, it don't matter a whit ta' me iffen the accents and the stuff are wrong to you 'cause I think y'all talk funny and ain't nuthin' but a bunch of furriners ta' begin with...AND...If this movie ain't got no Americans in it and a speakin' reel American, then it cain't be worth a shit no how!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 06:52 PM

*pokes LH in the eye fer being a goof!*

LOL!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 07:02 PM

Glad you got that, Clinton! :-)

Spaw - Are you trying to enlarge the concept of the "Ugly American" beyond its already downright legendary dimensions...or are you just trying to be friendly? We oughta airdrop you into a few international trouble spots when things are goin' kinda slow, just to get some action happening...

You shoulda called that GUEST a spud, not a turnip, you insensitive cretin! You owe all GUESTS a heartfelt apology, and I encourage you to get right at the keyboard now and compose one!

I'll give ya to the count of ten...

One...

Two...

Three...

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 09:23 PM

Those of us in North America, of course, didn't get any particular feel that characters were English, Irish or whatever. Both my children and I enjoyed it, and I think, thought about good and evil. To us, it was a somewhat old-fashioned tale that took us out of current problems.
Is it great literature? What will the next generation think? Why worry about that. There are a few writers who transcend time.
I remember a course in English literature and our response to the Thomas Hardy novels. We thought Tess of the D'Urbervilles was bad melodrama, so bad it was funny. The instructor was young, and not long over here in America from England. He thought Hardy was a fine author and became upset, but to us the characters were cardboard.
Tolkien's creation at least has appeal throughout the English-speaking world. Will the appeal last? I don't know, but I think it will. Now I must re-read after many years to see if I still find it good.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 09:47 PM

My whole sentence was "True, not everything that is enjoyable is great, but everything that is truly great is also enjoyable." If you're going to throw my words back at me, at least get them right.

"Not everything that is enjoyable is great." E.g., Britany Spears (for those who enjoy that sort of thing). I often enjoy playing "Minesweeper" (expert level), but it's a really stupid waste of time.

"Everything that is truly great is also enjoyable." By a substantial number of people who are knowledgeable in a the field in question. I am told by those who know that Michael Jordan is a great basketball player. Basketball bores the hell out of me. But I'm not going to deny that Michael Jordan is a great basketball player.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 10:23 PM

Being great doesn't mean being perfect. Homer nodded, as they say, and so did Tolkien of course.

Books differ. Charlotte Bronte thought that Jane Austin was trivial and boring. I suspecxt that if Jane Austion had lived long enough she'd have been pretty scathin about the Brontes.

Depth of characterization of the sort that Tolkien has been criticised for lacking would have thrown the Lord of the Rings out of balance. The same would be true if the bits some people find boring weren't there.

From the point of view of critical acclaim, it would have done better if it hadn't been the enormous publishing and cultural phenomenon that it became. Getting into it and understanding it is quite difficult, skimming it and skipping the slow bits is fun, but means missing what its all about really.

I'm lucky I was able to read it before it took off, and before all the hippy trippy stuff came along and coloured the way people saw it.

Incidentally I read somewhere that Tolkien's favourite language was Finnishh - and a lot of the elven tongues do look reminiscent of Finnish. Just have a look at this random Finnish site I found through Google.

I haven't got the faintest idea what it's about, but just look at the language: "Lämpötilan ja tuulen yhteisvaikutuksen voi tarkistaa kätevästi pakkasen purevuus -taulukosta. Kaavio kuvaa ihmisen paljaalta iholta tapahtuvaa lämpöhäviötä eri lämpötilojen ja tuulennopeuksien yhdistelmillä." Doesn't that look like its a High Elf talking?P>

I supposed now I'll get accused of being a bigotted Finnish nationalist. Which is about as true as the idea that I might be "blatantly British nationalist" (or indeed British at all) because I think it's a good idea to have some English music in the film as well as Irish music.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Deckman
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 10:29 PM

To McGrath of Harlow: "Kittos". CHEERS, Bob(Roope ... deckman Nelson) And by the way, Merry Christmas!


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Hollowfox
Date: 21 Dec 01 - 12:17 AM

Now if all you pundits will stop blathering...I just saw the movie, loved it, gonna buy the video, probably gonna see it again. Perfect? I've never seen a perfect movie. What would I change? I'd re-edit the swordfighting scenes. Too many, too fast intercuts from shot to shot. Couldn't really see the skill put into choriographing the action. They developed different blade fighting styles for each of the representative groups.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Dec 01 - 12:32 AM

Just got home from seeing the movie. It's excellent, very faithful to the books, marvelous characterization of the Hobbits and Elves in particular. Very appropriate music (what could be more perfect than Enya for this film?).

Some minor nitpicking...I would prefer more battle scenes that are not so mired in darkness...and so close-up...as to obscure what is actually going on...and I think more contrasts of darkness and light and color in a scene would be more effective anyway, than having 95% darkness, just to indicate evil. This is a complaint I've had about any number of movies in the last 10 or 15 years...it's a cinematic style I just don't like. Extreme examples of that style were: Batman and the new Planet of the Apes...two movies which would have been virtually invisible half the time had one been wearing even the weakest sunglasses.

But that's a very minor complaint in this case.

The Elves are absolutely magnificent...as Elves should be. Aragorn and Boromir are also very well done.

And none of the usual Hollywood nonsense. None. How the hell did that happen? (It must be a subversive plot of some kind...) :-)

Bravo.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Stu
Date: 21 Dec 01 - 05:56 AM

On the language front, there are two elven languages prominent in LOTR (book), Quenya and Sindarin.

Quenya is (I hope I get these the right way round) based on Welsh, and Sindarin on Finnish, but I'm not sure which one is spoken in the film.

Bit geeky I know, but I don't care. Love the book, love the film and love the music.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Grab
Date: 21 Dec 01 - 06:39 AM

Interestingly LH, one of my complaints is that they got soddin' Enya to do the music. Read the review of the animated version: "How to spot an elf: (a) as soon as they appear, all this pseudo-mystical music comes on; (b) they all have strangely serene smiles; and (c) they're all exposed about 3 F-stops too bright". Yeah, we need some pseudo-mystical music - let's get Enya to do something nice and trite. Marvellous. Oh and on point (c), I don't believe that when Tolkien called them "the shining people" he was talking like an Obi-Wan Kenobi's ghost glow around them! :-(

The other main complaint is that they spent too long panning around the computer-generated (or computer-enhanced) scenery from on high. Either (a) stick with the party and show it from Frodo's point of view, or (b) cut out some of it and spend the time on character development (particularly Legolas and Gimli, who don't get much of a look-in on the conversation front). The stays with Elrond and Galadriel are key character points, but they're cut rather too short. And at times the computer scenery does look a bit painted-in. Maybe even 3 hours was a little too short - another 15 minutes of dialogue would have made a real difference.

To stop picking nits though, I loved the film. I have no complaints with the changes to the plot, and all the actors were great (although Samwise's English accent slipped once or twice ;-). I presume the fight scenes were deliberately cut to make them disorientating, and I do think that worked to make it feel more realistic. It's a change from the picture-perfect fights of The Matrix and others.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Dec 01 - 08:14 AM

Saw it. Much preferred Crouching Tiger for a million reasons, but mostly because the "mythic story" it told was done so very much better than LOTR, IMO. Also, not that "dark look" LH mentioned.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Hollowfox
Date: 21 Dec 01 - 09:07 AM

(Becoming a pundit herself for a minute) LH, if you thought the fight scenes were murky here, I bet you can't wait to see the lighting in the third movie *g*. LH & Grab, I thought it was just my glasses and sitting too close to the screen (no, I wasn't in the first three rows,*g*), but I didn't enjoy the fight scenes being so close up, and I too found it disorienting. Thanks for putting it into the right words. And I thought the problem was with my glasses.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 21 Dec 01 - 09:23 AM

Spaw,

There was a token 'ay-merrican' line uttered right at the end of the movie ...

Aragorn (decisively hitching up his longsword): "Okay! Lets go hunt us some orcs!"

he should then have one-handedly cocked his pump-action shotgun but this IS high fantasy :D


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 21 Dec 01 - 09:35 AM

what's more 'ay-merrican' than "No one tosses a dwarf!"

LOL!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 21 Dec 01 - 10:58 AM

Clinton, the one thing I'll agree with you on is that "Leaf by Niggle" is excellent, excellent, excellent! But it's of a different genre, and not to be remotely compared with the Silmarillion or with LOTR or the various Lost Tales and the Unfinished Tales. Different animal altogether.

"The Hobbit" is a nice enough little story, but I'm sure I'll never bother to read it a third time, and I sort of regretted bothering to read it the second time.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Dec 01 - 11:31 AM

Grab - Well, yeah, I can see how you might see it that way... I think matters of personal taste often can turn on a knife-edge, as to whether we like or dislike something. In other words, we can all be a bit arbitrary. My guess is that, based on some first impression or someone else's opinion first heard, the average human being might just as well decide to love or hate any given thing...for having precisely the same characteristics!

I always rather expected Elves to be serene (except when angry). But if I took a notion to look upon it as a cliche, then I would probably be irritated by it too.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Grab
Date: 21 Dec 01 - 12:24 PM

Yeah, but there's serene and then there's stoned out of your mind! Still, I spose when you're living in the forest and all there is to eat is mushrooms... ;-)

Tolkien's elves weren't really strangely serene - the "normal" elves were as outgoing as you like, and he always says Rivendell is all laughter and dancing. It was only really the elven royalty who were reserved and stately. Ah well. Elrond and Arwen got some character changes in the film, but I think it worked well. Just a shame the Galadriel/Gimli scene and the friendly rivalry between Legolas and Gimli got cut - that's the only real character development that these guys get in the whole thing.

BTW, doesn't Orlando Bloom have some moves with that bow and arrow?! :-)

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Ebbie
Date: 21 Dec 01 - 02:25 PM

The most important criterion of a book or play or painting for me, is 'involvement'. If by the third page the writer's style is still getting in my way, it's not a successful book for me. (Or if after I've read a hundred pages and I still don't care about any of the characters...)

When a writer can get one so involved, not only in a culture but a world that it's disorienting to return to one's own reality, that that, IMO, is a wildly successful story by a great writer.

I'm looking forward to seeing the movie.

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: GUEST,Coyote Breath
Date: 21 Dec 01 - 03:44 PM

I saw it last night. With girlfriend and her brother (neither of whom have read the books - they both loved it) I was blown away by how close it was to what I had imagined it would all look (and sound) like. It were as if I was having a rememberence of the book, a day dream. Elven is a lovely language when spoken. I think that many people confuse any English "accent" that isn't from either Knightsbridge or East-end as being Irish. Even among the many distinct areas of the "Emerald Isle" spoken English can sound "un-Irish" to the un-initiated.

Pippin or Merry (I could never keep them straight in the books either) occasionally sounded "Irish". Sam occasinally sounded as though "bung woodenall" (bung wood in the hall - close the door) was a familiar phrase. Ahh.

I have read all four books (and the Silmarillion) numerous times. I am not a purist but a genuine-ist, the stories are worth the telling and the film does them justice.

I wish it was next year!

CB


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 21 Dec 01 - 03:55 PM

Is Galadriel an ordinary name somewhere, or is this where our "hippy, trippy" friend got the name for his daughter?

If I had known back in the 60's that there was some merit to the Tolkien works, other than the written incarnation of various chemical trips, I might have given it more of a chance. As it was, I kept confusing the characters and places, much like my experience with some of the Russian authors, and gave up the effort as too much work.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 21 Dec 01 - 04:00 PM

you know someone who named their kid Galadriel????

Poor kid...

stupid parents...


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: GUEST,Desdemona
Date: 21 Dec 01 - 04:17 PM

Apparently, one of the things that Tolkien most deplored was LOTR's popularity amongst the '60s counter-culture, who insisted on seeing it as an allegory for various political and religious themes, and/or a literary manifestation of the current drug culture.

I seriously doubt he'd have been particularly chuffed about someone calling their child after one of his fictional characters---you'll notice he didn't have a son called Frodo!


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 21 Dec 01 - 04:26 PM

Yes, Galadriel is the friend's daughter's name, and now I know where he got it. Of course, nowadays (that last word alone connotes entrenched old-farthood) many people invent names, most of which are not nearly as evocative as Galadriel.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 21 Dec 01 - 04:27 PM

JRR hated allegory... period... full stop...


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Dec 01 - 04:37 PM

Just got back from seeing it. For the first time it won't be the last.

And my worries that they might have turned the hobbits into Darby O'Gill clones are set at rest.

Myself I'd have liked a bit more food and relaxation in the film - one of the pleasures of the book is that every now and then the characters and the readers get a bit of a feed to cheer them up. But that's a minor point, and the film managed remarkably well to compress the pot without losing anything essential. In fact some of the compression made it work better - I've always felt that the delay in getting the journey to Rivendell started once Gandalf has identified the ring doesn't really make too much sense.

And I agree about missing the Gimli-Legolas-Galadriel interaction, which adds a useful bit of depth to the relationships, and wouldn't have taken more than a few lines of dialogue. Oh well, maybe the lines are there on the cutting room floor and they'll be restored some time.

Great.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: SDShad
Date: 21 Dec 01 - 04:47 PM

Well, I've a second cousin in Minnesota who named a daughter Arwen and gave a son the middle name of Faramir. Just so long as nobody names their kids Grima or Ugluk or Ghan-Buri-Ghan or Smaug....

Seeing the movie on December 29 in a theatre in Sioux Falls with, I'm told, very posh seats,

Shad


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Dec 01 - 05:12 PM

I am genuinely thrilled that these books finally made it into a film series that treats them with dignity and skill...and that I have lived to see it! And I am delighted how much pleasure it is giving to so many fellow Mudcatters. This is the most enjoyable thing that's happened in some time.

Thanks, Mr. Tolkien! Without you it would never have happened.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Amergin
Date: 21 Dec 01 - 05:22 PM

always wanted to name my boy gollum....


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 21 Dec 01 - 05:50 PM

All (well, I suppose I should say "most of" to be safe) of those Elvish names, and many of the "mannish" names (in Westron, the widespread language represented in the book by English) have names which are meaningful.

Thus Arwen is AR- (Noble) and -WEN (woman).

Galadriel is from galadh- (tree) and I forget the other portion, from one or another of the Elvish languages.

Hobbitish names are not normally this way, because they are traditional names that come from the original Hobbit language, before the Hobbits adopted Westron.

Names from the Riddermark are from the language Tolkien designed for that culture, which is a sort of other-Anglo-Saxon, and many of these names have ascertainable meanings, as with Arwen and Galadriel.

All of this is tremendously fascinating, and will reward hours and hours and hours of wandering through Tolkiens lengthy appendices.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Dec 01 - 06:03 PM

Lots of the time the names and words are in fact presented as translations from the original into equivalent names derived from existing tongues - thus for example "Hobbit" is a word based on Anglo-Saxon roots, meaning hole-builder, equivalent to, I think Kuddukim, meaning the same in one of the root languages of the Common Tongue.

It's all in the appendices to volume three. The languages came first, and the story arose from the need to have a world in which those languages would have a home. Very strange - but the result is a world imagined in a depth that is unique.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Penny S.
Date: 21 Dec 01 - 06:26 PM

I saw it last night, and came out thinking that a year was too long before the next one, perhaps six months, but I agree four or three would be better still. I might well want to see it again on the big screen, too. It was stunning, even though I did at times find the geology as interesting as the action. It's a long time since I read the books, but I noticed things I would not have remembered unprompted - Legolas walking on the snow the others were struggling through.

I'm not sure how I feel about Arwen - the serious absence of females to identify with was one of the reasons I put the books by. In my teens, being Eowyn was fine, but there are other ways to be a female actor than being a pretend male, and one grows out of it. The elven characters are too elevated for mere mortals, and the only ones I ever found left were Rosie and the herb woman in Gondor. (Compare with the Odyssey, where even a goddess can be identified with.) I don't think the film can successfully work round this without distorting the books.

I've heard that the film was made with the intention of it looking as if the cameras were there, filming the real events as they happened, and I think it truly succeeds in this. It is visually tremendous. The detail of the environments of the peoples is fantastic. (Apart from the oil seed rape (maybe it's mustard) and the corn (but is that in the text?) in the hobbit fields.

Go and see it yourselves.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 21 Dec 01 - 06:37 PM

You mean western hemispher CORN corn--maize? That's a major blunder!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Dec 01 - 09:09 PM

No blunder. This is all supposed to be a long time ago. No more implausable to have maize or rape in Europe than Woolly Rhinoceroses in Sussex in the Ice Age and so forth, as if it it mattered.

Both crops had a visual impact which was no doubt intended. Maize provided a crop tall enough to tower above the heads of the hobbits (wheat and barley wouldn't have done thta), rape provided a bright happy yellow colour for the Shire fields.

In fact the vegetation and scenery was New Zealand rather than European, and I'm sure that any expert on that kind of thing could point out lots of plants which are not found elsewhere. But again, that has a value, because though we may not know the plants, it meant there was a subtle difference about the place, for those of us from the Northern hemisphere..


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Dec 01 - 10:23 PM

It's true that there wasn't much substantial development of female characters in LOR (the books, I mean), but that was generally true in most adventure fiction at that time, and it has only begun to change since, I'd say, the early 70's, due to the women's movement, and a general raising of consciousness about gender roles.

The best adventure series with a female character I've ever read was a trilogy about a Samurai woman called Tomoe Gozen in a fictional country called Naipon (meant to be a counterpart to Japan, but in another dimension of reality). The author is Jessica Amanda Salmonson. They are wonderful books, and I found them far more interesting than I have found any such fantasy books with the standard male hero. I love Japan, so that helped too.

Tomoe is simply the most formidable creature with a sword in her hand that I can imagine, and she is free of the usual male ego problems. Even Aragorn would not fare well against her, if he had the bad judgement to take her on, which I am sure he would not. Aragorn is no dummy. More likely he would join forces with her.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 22 Dec 01 - 11:41 AM

McGrath of Harlow:

I'm not an expert on wooly mammoths, so I don't get the full import of your comment there.

But maize is not a natural plant; it's an "engineered" species, developed by the South American Indians, maybe only ten thousand years ago. Couldn't be in Middle Earth.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Dec 01 - 12:06 PM

Yes, Dave, but they had some pretty clever "engineers" in Middle Earth too, don't forget. For something like corn to manifest at all, it must first exist in the unmanifest...as an organized principle, with its own identity. Some inspired person (or persons) then tune into it at some point, do the necessary work...and presto! It becomes manifested in physical reality, through the various means of natural evolution and/or deliberate human creative work which we are all familiar with.

By this means corn, the paddle, the spear, the collie dog, the spaceship or the armchair can therefore appear on a variety of planets and in a variety of cultures, at totally different times, without any of them suspecting a thing about the others having done it...unless they meet those others and see it for themselves.

That's how it works. Therefore, I submit that your objections to the presence of corn in Middle Earth carry little weight.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 22 Dec 01 - 12:10 PM

When the Harry Potter movie came out, SOME ultra-conservative church groups condemned it. The question was raised whether Christians (the rest of us) would condemn Lord of the Rings.

From the A.P. " Two Southern Baptist theologians are hailing J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the RIngs" fantasies. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. and James Parker of SOuthern Baptist Theological Seminary noted that Tolkien's mythical "Middle Earth" reflects the Christian understanding of reality."

Good ole'Southern Baptists..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Don Firth
Date: 22 Dec 01 - 12:18 PM

Middle Earth is not anywhere in the British Isles. It is not in Europe. It is not in New Zealand. It is not anywhere in the Western Hemisphere, nor for that matter, is it on Mars. Middle Earth is Middle Earth. Quibbling over whether maize did or did not grow there is kind of nit-picky, don't you think?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Dec 01 - 12:22 PM

Dead right, Don! Still, I couldn't pass up an opportunity to expound on a spiritual principle... :-)

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 22 Dec 01 - 03:54 PM

Middle earth is Pangea... at least that was the way JRR wanted it to be seen... as the possible pre-history of our world... It was NOT created out of thin air...

"ultra-conservative church groups"

who cares, one way or the other... I'll be making up my own mind thanks... As a matter of fact, when the zealots condemn something, it tends to lend STRENGTH to its favour in my book...


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: richlmo
Date: 23 Dec 01 - 12:34 AM

Saw it today. Really good. It's been years since I read the books and I think maybe that made the movie better. I didn't really notice the missing parts, except Tom Bombadil, who was one of the most enjoyable characters in the book. The scenery , the attention to detail and the faithful telling of the story is truely exceptional. But the most amazing part is the casting. Everyone looks just as I remembered and every actor seemed to live the part. My one minor complaint was the not so believable looking cave troll, but what should a cave troll look like? It scared the crap out of my 12 year old and his 13 year old cousin! I'm going back!! Best movie I've seen a long time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: richlmo
Date: 23 Dec 01 - 12:38 AM

Maybe the Hobbits could have been a little hairier. And smoking pipes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Dec 01 - 03:40 AM

Another thread on the subject.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 23 Dec 01 - 08:46 AM

Cave troll? Cave troll? I don't recall any cave troll in LOTR (though it is true it's been about a year since I last read it.)

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 23 Dec 01 - 08:56 AM

Oh, yes, there was a troll (or more) in the attacking forces in Moria.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Art Thieme
Date: 23 Dec 01 - 09:07 AM

Loved it. Only problem for me were the orcs. They were too Hollywood-monsterish for me. There was no "cloning" inthe books as I remember them after multiple readings. Gollum was wonderfully depicted. He could've been played beautifully by JOHN WALKER. ;-) What a sad character. A hobbit ,after all, distorted by the magnetism of the darkness.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Dec 01 - 10:48 AM

I haven't seen the film yet, but my 17 year old daughter (has only read the first book) said it was grand entertainment (but qualified it is as only that--more below).

Art, she too said Gollum was dead brilliant. But she felt that Liv Tyler's "language skills" were totally lame, as were the female characters.

Mind, my daughter is an excellent writer with pretty good knowledge of mythology of a lot of cultures. But she had the same criticism of the movie that Clinton and Penny. She felt there was no story really--in that she compared it to the Odyssey, which has no story either. And she felt that could have been dealt with had there been any character development. She said that Tolkien hadn't created an entire world, just an entirely male world. (I'll have to remember that line!) She didn't think it would hold up over time the way Star Wars has. And she thinks Star Wars is of a standard of storytelling far below the excellent "Willow" which she feels has a great mythic story to tell about different "races" of creatures, does it much more entertainingly (she thought the film took the story a bit too seriously, and so lacked any real fun in it), and with real character development. And she said she would have thought they could have done the film just as easily in two hours instead of three. She said the last hour really dragged.

Me? I was surprised to hear her comparing LOTR to Willow, but when I thought about it, in her knowledge of film, it is the one we've seen which would most closely resemble LOTR. I've also now spoken to a few uninitiated LOTR filmgoers, and I realize this may or may not be a huge hit, because of the fact that, like Harry Potter, it really was made for the LOTR cult. Of which I am one, and I will see it sometime over the holiday.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: GUEST,GUEST
Date: 23 Dec 01 - 11:34 AM

There was TALK of a Cave Troll in Moria in the book, because there was something powerful coming along behind the attacking Orcs, but it turned out to be the Balrog....

Personally I dont think it was made for the LOTR buffs, but just for the kids who will be pestering to go & see it in their droves, cos they all their schoolfriends are...just like Harry Potter


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Dec 01 - 02:53 PM

As to there being no "cloning".

Was there not a lot of talk of the 'spawning' of foul creatures, in the pits of Isenguard and the breeding of 'half men half orcs and such like?

I missed the 'barrow wrights' too. But it was not ever going to be the book, it was a great film though.

I enjoyed watching the film last night. I thought today however that the story was a bit rushed? Maybe that is just the 'Ent' in me?


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: GUEST,Nerd (on another computer)
Date: 24 Dec 01 - 01:30 AM

A few responses to a few of the things said in this thread:

1) Greatness is objective? Come on, Clinton! I AM an academic, and I can tell you that there's been much rattling of sabers and canons on this point since the 1960s. But almost no scholar today would claim that greatness was objective.

2) Tolkein may have hated allegory, but he DID see LOTR as a Catholic work encoding Christian values. He wrote in letters that this was unconscious at first, but was totally conscious by the time he finished writing the trilogy.

3) people have talked a lot about how this movie was so faithful to the book, but I didn't think so. In particular, people say the characters look exactly as one would expect from reading the books. Not so! All the Hobbits (barring Bilbo) look too young. Frodo is not a teenager, but a fifty-year old Hobbit--and Hobbits come of age at 33. The Hobbits should look like little 30 year old men, not young boys. To be strict, since the ring halts aging, Frodo should look as he does, while the other Hobbits should look older. As someone pointed out, they should have been hairier! (agreed, the movie did cut out the 17 years between Bilbo's birthday party and Frodo leaving on the quest, so their looks are internally consistent within the film. But they don't look like the characters from the book should look).

I defnitely agree with posters who say that the fight scenes were too close up and dark. They were totally confusing. I also agree that the loss of dialogue was regrettable. Not only between Gimli and Legolas, but (for example) between Boromir and Aragorn. Who, after seeing this movie, would understand the division between them at first, or how extraordinary it is to have Boromir call Aragorn his Captain and his King before dying? Indeed, most of the characters are shallow and stock beyond Tolkien's already rather shallow development. Merry and Pippin are interchangeable oafs, Jar Jar Binkses without the annoying speech pattern.

What I'd always hoped to see was a 20 hour TV miniseries rather than 9 hours of big screen LOTR, but I'll take this over nothin' any day! It ws a very good movie with lots to recommend it, but it's not a great film. Nor does it really capture the feeling of the books, which have a much slower buildup before there's any terribly bloody violence. Just one more opinion!


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 01:38 AM

This was a much better thread than the current one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 01:13 PM

Just because an author insists he didn't write something as an allegory doesn't mean we can't read it as one. IMHO

JRRT was reworking the stories of Western culture, weaving a whole lot of stuff together to tell a mythic tale. He was (as we all are) approaching the raw material from his particular point of view as an Englishman of the early 20th century,whose main preoccupation was linguistics. All that stuff (and a bunch more) inevitably colours his writing of the story, just as our "stuff" colours our reading - and appreciation - of it.

The maker of the film had to rework this material once again in his medium; it's a different piece of art and as such, is subject to all the changes that have taken place in the world in the time since the writing of the book. I think it's still a great story and a pretty good movie. Like the Star Wars movies (for me, at least) it will probably seem a lot better when I have been able to see it in the context of the entire trilogy. I have lived with Tolkien's images since the late 60's and didn't find the movie clashing with them as annoyingly as Ralph Bakshi's cartoon version did (what a mess that was).

I am reading the books yet again this year, after finishing the 4th Harry Potter book. Harry has quite grown on me, although I was a bit put off at first. Once I realized that Rowling was also reworking the mythical and legendary stuff, and once I saw that she had some craft to her, I was able to relax and stopped making pointless comparisons. Now I have something literary to look forward to. And something to look forward too in the movies, too. Life gets better and better.

Bart


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This Thread Is Closed.


Mudcat time: 4 June 7:58 PM EDT

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