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Was I the only one...? (Spoilers for ROTK)

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JennnLee



Joined: 03 Nov 2003
Posts: 123
Location: Orlando, FL

PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2003 4:56 pm    Post subject: Was I the only one...? (Spoilers for ROTK) Reply with quote

... who was rather disappointed in ROTK? Probably.

I'm sure that stones will soon be thrown and I'll be told that I'm completely mental, but I came out of the theatre thinking that it was a good movie, but by far my least favorite of the three. I know that my perspective is unique, as I'm a non-reader of the books. So unlike most people, I didn't go in to the theatre thinking "I can't wait to see Shelob!" or "Oh, Theoden's death will be so exciting!" or "Pellenor [sp?] Fields will be The Big Battle!" I was just excited to see the third film in this trilogy that I love and that has stirred my imagination and finally given me the incentive to pick up Tolkein. But instead, for the first time in the series, I as a non-reader felt left behind.

Don't get me wrong, because there was a lot that was cool, and it was still a great movie. Sam and Frodo were incredible; that whole storyline was riveting and heart-wrenching. My husband (reader of the books) wasn't thrilled that Gollum had turned into more of a one-dimensional villian at the end; apparently he struggles more with his Smeagol-ness, and in Morgan's eyes was a more tragic villian that way. But otherwise they were amazing. Pippin's journey through the film was also wonderful, and he was probably the character that moved me to tears the most.

But, but, BUT. I felt like a lot of character interaction and development was sacrificed for more battle scenes. I almost said "bigger" battle scenes, but in my eyes they weren't. There were a heck of a lot of them, but they all went by pretty fast, and with little of the emotion that carried the first two films. Helms Deep in TTT, in comparison, had a huge emotional buildup that led to the long and wearying battle, and I came out of it feeling like I had BEEN there. But in this film they just...happened.

I felt like all of the Rohan chracters got ripped off in this movie. Morgan had told me that Eomer figured large in the last book, and I was looking forward to that, but all he got to do was walk behind Theoden and receive orders with a furrowed brow. He had what, five lines? I got to know him better in TTT, when he was removed from most of the action.

As for Theoden and Eowyn....um, did anyone ever notice that Theoden was dead? I saw no reaction to that at all. Morgan even commented that Aragorn falling off a cliff in TTT got more grieving than Theoden got. I sat in the cinema wondering if anyone had found Eowyn and if she was okay, until she popped up in the coronation scene at the end, and then I thought "Oh, okay, I guess she lived, then." I loved her disguising herself and going into battle, although I think I would have liked to see her deciding to do it. I would have liked to see Eomer's reaction to her fighting and getting wounded in the battle. I waited for that scene and...nope.

And yes, okay, I think Legolas is sex on legs, I admit it. But that's not the only reason I noticed his absence. Especially at the end; it seemed like everyone's story was wrapped up at the end except for him and Gimli. One friend of mine, who swears this movie is the best of the three, said that we don't really find out what happens to them in the books, because it's in one of the appendices. But on the way out of the movie, Morgan told me what happened to them in about fifteen seconds. So why couldn't we know that?

I'll end the dissertation here, because I'm sure there aren't many people who have read this whole thing anyway. But as a non-reader, I felt left behind with this film, and like the moviemakers were in on something that I couldn't follow. And for a film, that's not a good thing; shouldn't I be able to enjoy it on its own merits, without having to wait for the five-hour extended cut on DVD?
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BellaRue



Joined: 10 Nov 2003
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Location: Las Vegas

PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2003 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I felt the same way! I have read two of the three books, and to me the movie was hyped up to be like the film of the century or something. Yet, when I walked out I felt melancholy about it... Yeah, I know how you feel...
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Isabeau



Joined: 03 Sep 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2003 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'll end the dissertation here, because I'm sure there aren't many people who have read this whole thing anyway. But as a non-reader, I felt left behind with this film, and like the moviemakers were in on something that I couldn't follow. And for a film, that's not a good thing; shouldn't I be able to enjoy it on its own merits, without having to wait for the five-hour extended cut on DVD?


I did, because I am a long-time reader of the books who felt the same way, and I have been waiting to see if someone who hadn't read the books would feel the lack of certain plot elements the same way I did.

I have now seen the movie twice, and enjoyed it more the second time than the first, but am still very annoyed about the great gaping plotholes, the same way the theatrical version of TTT annoyed me ("Where the hell did that horse that's kissing Aragorn come from? They seem to know each other."). I could have done without so many action sequences and the inclusion of some of those plot elements instead. Like you, I preferred the hobbit storyline, because of all the storylines, it was the one that was most truly and completely transferred from the book to the screen. I won't get into the things I dislike, but I do agree that you, as a viewer, have a right to a movie you can see in the theater and understand without having to wait nine months and pay $30 to get the backstory in the EE DVD. I understand the time limitation, but the editing and screenplay on this movie, like on the second one, are its weak points.
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JennnLee



Joined: 03 Nov 2003
Posts: 123
Location: Orlando, FL

PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2003 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh thank heavens I'm not alone in my thinking. I have to say I was a little nervous posting my rather controversial thoughts, but at the same time this place has always felt welcoming to me.

One of my very good friends is a huge fan of the books and the films, and proclaimed ROTK to be far and away the best of the three. She thought I was insane when I told her I was disappointed, but when I pointed out the plot holes and missing things, she came back with things like "yeah, I was disappointed in Theoden's death too... oh, I understand that the whole Houses of Healing bit will be on the Extended Edition DVD... Legolas and Gimli aren't wrapped up in the books, they're in the appendices." But this is also the same person who proclaims the books to be the best work of literature ever, but then in her next breath says that the beginning is boring, she just skips ahead till they get to Bree. Oh, and the characters aren't well-written. And she doesn't like the scouring of the Shire.

So let me get this straight, says I. You don't like the beginning, you don't like the end, and you think the characters are badly written, yet this is the best book ever? Um. Okay. Confused

It took me a little bit to figure out why I didn't like this one as much, and I really think it comes down to being someone who didn't read the books. If you've read them, you know what's missing so you can fill in the blanks; you know Eowyn didn't die, etc. But since I can't do that, I'm confused and wanting to know more. And my thinking is that by the third film, the filmmakers lost that perspective of telling a story to someone who had never heard it before. Which gives the trilogy an anticlimactic feeling.

But I'll still get the DVD. Of course.

And of course, Legolas at the end made up for a couple plotholes all by himself. Ell, you need to hurry up and see this so we can start plotting out an Eternally sequel! Razz
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dolarabee
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Joined: 21 Apr 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2003 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're not the only one. I'm too fluee right now to write anything coherent, but ask Scribe, my first comment when the thing finally ended (after a 'thank god, it's over' to my hubby) was "that was bad". When my head clears a bit, I'll get on with elaborating a bit more. (if anyone's interested, of course)

do.

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Je sais de la vie qu'elle se termine souvent au lit,
Et que d'autres ont bien plus de chance trépassent de rire ou de jouissance,
Mais pire que la mort qui vient c'est l'amour qui ne vient jamais.
~ Daniel Bélanger
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JennnLee



Joined: 03 Nov 2003
Posts: 123
Location: Orlando, FL

PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2003 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do--

I know I'm interested in hearing what you have to say. You know what they say: if you don't have anything nice to say, send me an email. Twisted Evil I'm sure you were as disappointed in the lack of Eomer as I was. Razz
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Maram68
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Joined: 11 May 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2003 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After sleeping over my double ROTK overdose ... and going through the topic on chat with Dolarabee, I have to agree.

Okay, I am a battle lover. That means, I wallowed in the battle ... until i noticed it went a bit too fast. Still, and I am not ashamed to say it, I CRIED THROUGH PELENNOR FIELDS, twice Bawl

The plot-holes and changes were annoying. And they mutilated some characters. I only realized this after my fave cousin commented "that Eowyn chick is throwing herself at Aragorn's feet, isn't she?" ... said fave cousin has now a cracked rib after he dared to comment that MY Leggy looked gay with the tiara ... Twisted Evil

And the whole hobbit suffering throughout the movie killed me. Not marvelous lovely Pippin or amazingly courageous Merry. But the whole Frodo/Sam thing ... was over the top.

I loved the Rohirrim. Though I would have loved more Eomer and ABSOLUTELY more LEGGY. Yes, the end was lacking.

And the dark fade outs in the end made people think the movie was over and there came ANOTHER bit ...

I can't wait for the EE. And I know that most not Tolkien-readers weren't dissapointed. I was and was not at the same time ...

I mean ... I'll watch it for a third time and comment again!

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Isabeau



Joined: 03 Sep 2003
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2003 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It took me a little bit to figure out why I didn't like this one as much, and I really think it comes down to being someone who didn't read the books. If you've read them, you know what's missing so you can fill in the blanks; you know Eowyn didn't die, etc. But since I can't do that, I'm confused and wanting to know more. And my thinking is that by the third film, the filmmakers lost that perspective of telling a story to someone who had never heard it before. Which gives the trilogy an anticlimactic feeling.


I also think there were a couple more things that were going on-PJ was trying to edit the EE of TTT while reshooting scenes for this movie and doing the edit for it. This movie was slapped together in a very short time--the prints weren't available until the very last minute. At one point there was a rumor that they were going to move the release date up a month to November because the deadline for Oscar nominations had been moved up a month. This film is a rush job, edited under incredible pressure, and I think that shows.

There were decisions made in this movie, particularly the whole Paths of the Dead business, that I understand completely in terms of how you have to condense a story for film. In the book, the Dead don't come to Minas Tirith at all--they help Aragorn clear the Corsairs out of Pelargir, and then he loads the ships with a bunch of people from down there to come to the rescue. The coast had not sent many soldiers to Minas Tirith because they had their own problems with the Corsairs. With the Corsairs gone, they were able to come to the aid of the City. But you don't have time to get into the whole Pelargir business in the movie. It makes much better sense to bring the Dead to clear out Minas Tirith.

That's one editing decision I understand. But I really deplored a lot of the others--the emphasis on tacky action over character. I enjoyed Leggy vs. the Mumak, but I could have lived without that in favor of having some of the more important moments put in. And I hated how PJ just let the Gondorians get run over. I can't count how many times I saw some soldier of Gondor in that supposedly really good armor get taken down in one blow by a scruffy orc with a rusty can-opener. And these are supposedly the finest soldiers in the lands of Men......

Need to stop now. Confused Or I'll be going on for pages. There were parts of the movie I really enjoyed, and visually, it's just stunning. I want an apartment in Minas Tirith!
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miriel361



Joined: 10 Jun 2003
Posts: 417

PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2003 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I was also a little disappointed with ROTK, but then I was also disappointed with TTT as well. I think it is impossible to put everything that went on in the book into the film and you always have to make comprimises. Peter Jackson made the film he wanted to see, I personally could have seen less of the Marmuts ( hell were they even in the book?) and I didn't need to know all that stuff about Gollum at the beginning.

One thing that I missed ( apart from the twins and Glorfindel) was the arrival of all the other peoples coming to defend Middle Earth. LOTK made it look like Gondor and The Rohan were the only good free people (menfolk) in Middle Earth. I also disliked the sailing of Frodo at the end. Somehow, I had always imagined that that ship was full of elves. I mean, who did Galadriel's washing and cooking before she left??

Oh and I didn't like the way that Arwen's fate was suddenly tied to the ring....


I have also heard from other people who haven't read the books, that they don't really understand what is going on...

Oh and Maram, I thought Legolas looked lovely in his tiara. The crown of Gondor however looked really stupid.

One of the scenes that I really loved in the books was Arwen arrriving for her wedding and the Gondorians staring at the elves. Now that I would have liked to have seen, although I understand that is is very unimportant in the long run.

One of the scenes I really liked was the bed scene, where Frodo wakes up - that was sweet.
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JennnLee



Joined: 03 Nov 2003
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Location: Orlando, FL

PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2003 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I think it is impossible to put everything that went on in the book into the film and you always have to make comprimises.


I understand that sentiment, but as someone who's never read ROTK, there wasn't anything from the book that I was missing in the film. Except for a cohesive storyline. Confused

I agree, I didn't like the crown of Gondor either. Made him look like a conehead.

And how the heck did Elrond get to the Rohirrim camp that fast? Does he have a teleporter under those robes??
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Roisin



Joined: 11 May 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2003 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only improvement I would have made would have been to take out some of the Gollum/Smeagol sequence at the front of the movie, and put the Houses of Healing back in. Also make the Last Debate a bit longer. I think those were the main omissions from which the movie suffered.

It just seemed like the Pelennor Fields battle was barely over before everyone was skipping off to the Black Gate.

Roisin
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JennnLee



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2003 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually really liked the Smeagol stuff at the beginning, because it showed me how Smeagol was before the Ring took hold of him, and showed me how there was a very real danger of that sort of thing happening to Frodo. So it made that part of the story more urgent for me...
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dolarabee
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2003 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

See, this boils down to having read the books or not. For someone who has, the Smeagol bit could have been left out in favour of other more important scenes... scenes that you anticipated mostly because of their strong emotional side or because they would have been simply majestic on a big screen. Smeagol and Deagol in a boat was just that - two boys in a boat.

But no, this is not my diatribe. Ain't ready for that yet... I feel like my head is going to explode. Damn flu!

do.

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Je sais de la vie qu'elle se termine souvent au lit,
Et que d'autres ont bien plus de chance trépassent de rire ou de jouissance,
Mais pire que la mort qui vient c'est l'amour qui ne vient jamais.
~ Daniel Bélanger
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dolarabee
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Joined: 21 Apr 2003
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2003 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

miriel361 wrote:
One of the scenes I really liked were the bed scene, where Frodo wakes up - that was sweet.

To me, I got the impression we were back in Rivendell. Frodo's laughter and the hugging that ensued was exactly the same. Maybe it's just me, but the fact that Frodo was finding out - and should have been surprised - that Gandalf was still alive was totally drowned. To me, these scenes of full on laughter, jumping and hugging, were the gagging moments. (Sam walking in got very close to how I had portrayed the scene in my mind, but then he breaks into a smile and moment's gone.) Were they even in the book? I can't remember. I always stayed with the impressionn that the victory was a bittersweet one - and more for Frodo than anyone else. Maybe I'm too much of angst whore for my own good.

do.

_________________
Je sais de la vie qu'elle se termine souvent au lit,
Et que d'autres ont bien plus de chance trépassent de rire ou de jouissance,
Mais pire que la mort qui vient c'est l'amour qui ne vient jamais.
~ Daniel Bélanger
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Kate



Joined: 12 May 2003
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2003 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In answer to do's question, that scene is sort of in the books, but from Sam's point of view (I always got the feeling that Tolkien, while writing the books, suddenly started to dislike Frodo, which is why mid-way through TTT, the emphasis switches from Frodo to Sam). It was a sweet scene, and I cried. I also thought the idea of Gandalf laughing heartily was a nice touch - "he laughs now more than he talks".

I saw it with my younger brother, and both of us are huge book fans. When we came out, we made a list of things that were left out or changed for the worse versus things that were changed for the better. They pretty much evened each other out, so I will admit that I loved the movie. But, yes, I was also disappointed.

Being a huge fan of the hobbits (except Frodo) I hated the fact that the Scouring of the Shire was completely left out! Not to mention the voice of Saruman (let it just be known here that I also like Saruman - and he didn't even make a show!). I did like Merry going into battle, if only because it meant I could see him, since Houses of Healing was to be left out.

I cried so much in Theoden's death scene, but must agree that it was very much down-played. And Eowyn did just disappear until the coronation! Where the hell was Prince Imrahil? And all of the other people that came to Gondor's aid?

I could go on for hours about the things that were wrong with it, and probably almost as long about the good things (loved Sam and Rosie's wedding, and the small cameo by "Diamond of Long Cleeve" I assume!). I will certainly be seeing it again, if not only for the beautiful scene in Minas Tirith with Billy Boyd's lovely singing!

Such a pity that all of the best scenes will have to wait too many months for the EE DVD. Perhaps we may get some answers to as to why certain scenes were cut or changed (wtf was with the Arwen's fate crap - if you will excuse my bluntness!).

- Kate

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