View Full Version : Lord of the Rings

02-07-2002, 10:40 AM
I finally saw it yesterday. Hey, I've been busy.:rolleyes:

I have to say that I was disappointed. It just wasn't that great as a stand alone movie.

Story: It's alright I suppose. I haven't read any of the books so I'm going into this series "fresh." Most of the story is so cut and dried black and white that it gets boring. You know who is good, who is bad and there's no drama built around that. When the end came, I inadvertently blurted out "that was it?" in the middle of the theater. Not too many people were there, thankfully. I don't have any "need" or "urge" to see the next films because I already know that the good guys will succeed. There's no doubt whatsoever.

So the fun is in watching "how" the good guys win, you say?

Characters: I didn't care about any of them. Peter Jackson had the story laid out for him, but he failed to make me "care" about any of the people. I watched them move from one scene to another, but there was no concern for any of them. The wizard died (but didn't have to) but I didn't find myself caring. Jackson didn't set up the little Hobbit's "need" for the old man to be around. It was too bad, but "oh well", they managed to get along just fine without him. Besides the fact that he used his "magic" at convenient times and didn't use it when it would have been quite helpful, like when the swarms of bad guys come at them....

Bad guys: Which leads to the bad guy hordes. I haven't seen an army so ineffective since Stormtroopers. One guy (the one that got shot with the arrows) could have dispatched the entire invasion himself if it wasn't for the "supreme" bad guy with the archery practice.

I suppose I could go on if I could actually remember specifics of the story, but nothing about it was that memorable.

Basically, just a very unemotional telling of a story with very little real drama. Pretty much what we saw in The Phantom Menace. Maybe these stories are only for little kids.

02-07-2002, 10:44 AM
Different strokes for different folks I guess.

Aside from disagreeing with you on every single comment you made I really have nothing more to say, except:

Great film!

02-07-2002, 11:04 AM
Why didn't the wizard use his magic to fling that big ugly creature up against a wall in the mines?

I'll try to think of more questions that occurred to me.

master jedi
02-07-2002, 11:17 AM
The lord of the rings trilogy needs to be watched as one really long movie. None of them, I don't think, would be very good without the others.

You really should read the book. It's much better than the movie.

02-07-2002, 03:11 PM
Originally posted by stillakid
Why didn't the wizard use his magic to fling that big ugly creature up against a wall in the mines?

I'll try to think of more questions that occurred to me.

It sounds like you have more of a problem with the source material than with the movie itself. I also recommend reading the books they will give much more insight into the characters and their motivations.

And believe me, the clear boundaries between good and evil will get blurred very quickly in the next two films.

As for your question, there is a thing called magic resistance and any sorceror building an army would be smart to give his minions a certain level of magic resistance. Notice how Gandalf never actually used his magic to attack the orcs and troll? When he used his magic on the fire balrog he only used it to defend himself from the swordblow and crumble the bridge to drop the demon into the pit. Plus, in the books, Gandalf expressed pity on the creatures drafted into slavery by Saruman and Sauron. This is probably why he stays his hand when it comes to mass slaughtering orcs.

In any case, I think you are way off on criticizing the performances of the characters. I thought each character was realized brilliantly and each one of those actors deserves some recognition for the incredible work they did.

02-07-2002, 04:55 PM
I'm trying to be careful in separating out the different elements as I discuss them, but some crossover might occur.

Maybe "magic resistance" is explained fully in the books or something, but onscreen it just appears as though the guy chooses quite arbitrarily when to use his magic or not. If there is a "real" reason that he stays his hand, it should be included in the film itself. That blame belongs to the screenwriter or the editor.

I think that the actors did an adequate job portraying the characters, but I never felt any particular sympathy or empathy for any of them. Does that blame go to the actors themselves or to the director for failing to shoot and edit the sequences in such a way that would make me "feel" something for them? I don't know. Maybe both. It's a very plot driven "road movie," and as such there is a lot going on all the time. Something was missing...I'm not sure what it was exactly right now...but something that would have made me "want to" become emotionally attached to the characters. Maybe it was because there was so much plot to squeeze into 2+ hours Jackson didn't have time to linger. As it was, I didn't really care who died or when because the rest of the group would manage fine without the lost entity.

My general impression was that we were supposed to be wowed and amazed at the settings and the various creatures (elves, dwarves, fairies, etc.) and those things would sustain our interest to the end.

BB, you said that you disagreed with everything that I mentioned in post #1. What about the part when I said that we already know that they'll succeed? You disagree with that? And the ineffectiveness of the orcs? I just wrote off their poor fighting skills because they're "sub-humans" or something.

Clearly I'm missing the boat or something because so many people enjoy this story so much. Maybe they enjoy the books and transfer that to the screen. In any case, it bugs me when I don't know exactly "why" I'm not pleased with a film. Just tryin' to figure it out.

Rollo Tomassi
02-07-2002, 05:09 PM
You know for a fact they succeed? The Lord of the Rings refers to the bad guy,you know. I'm saying anything more than that because I don't want to ruin the trilogy for anyone else...

I completely agree with bigbarada to disagree with everything you said and add this to his "great film."


02-07-2002, 05:09 PM
Agreed, this trilogy unlike the Star Wars trilogy really needs to be viewed as a whole. The plotlines and everything will make much more sense when viewed as one 9-10 hour film, instead of three films running over 3 hours a piece.

Also, while the movies are quite long, they still don't explain and capture on film every aspect of the original novels. You would probably need each movie to run around 5 hours a piece to get that. The director gave us what we needed to understand the world of Middle Earth, and the next two films will flesh everything out.

Definatly read the books, they are great and help fill some stuff the movies just didnt have proper time to cover. Like the fact that Saruman wanted the ring for himself, even though he was working for Sauron. Since movies don't do well at portraying internal thinking, this and other aspects of the charecters was lost.

Fear not though LOTR's fans, DVD news is coming out slowly about this fine film. Expect the theatrical version to hit in August, and then in October/November a full blown special edition with 30 minutes more footage. :) I can't wait for these. Atleast at home I can stop the movie to run to the restroom. :D


Jar Jar Binks

02-07-2002, 06:00 PM
There's a whole other thread, but it's getting to the point where I'm just not going to see movies in the theater anymore if DVD's will have the "real" version that has all the necessary plot elements left in. No, I don't want to sit in a theater for more than 3 hours, but I want to see films on a big screen. That makes it the filmmakers responsibility to craft the story onscreen within 2 hours or so. Apparently, that task has become increasingly impossible so we're left with having to wait for the DVD down the road, but if that's what it takes to fully appreciate a story, then so be it.

02-07-2002, 06:05 PM
I think in order for the films to include everything from the books they would have had to make it into a weekly TV series with 60 minute episodes and one season (24 episodes???) devoted to each book. That would be nice, but no studio would ever agree to it.

I thought the film set up quite clearly that the Fellowship was hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned. I'm pretty sure that you will never guess at this point how Frodo's quest comes to an end, stillakid. It's not as obvious and straightforward as you seem to think.

Didn't LOTR win 2001 Best Picture for the Empire awards, Rollo? I think Elijah Wood got Best Actor for his flawless portrayal of Frodo also.

I know not all critics loved the film. Roeper, Ebert's lackey, called the movie a waste of time and recommended that people stay away from it. He also said Shallow Hal was one of the best movies of 2001.:rolleyes:

My last bit of advise would be to simply wait until all three are out so you can view the complete movie.

Rollo Tomassi
02-07-2002, 07:43 PM
"Ebert's lackey" tee hee. I guess Roeper gets kickbacks from the Farrely bros. I bet he thought Memento stank,too.:rolleyes:

Roeper's review of Memento:

Well, there was a bunch of dialogue which hurt my head. Some fool in the projection booth cut the movie together wrong, so it was very confusing. Also, nobody farted, which is the sign of sure fire comedy!:) I wondered why the Matrix chick didn't kung-fu anybody. It was a waste of her potential just to have her talking through the whole thing. I give it a great big thumbs down and eagerly await Dumb & Dumber 2..."

02-07-2002, 08:00 PM
Being from Chicago, I get weekly doses of the incompitancy of Ebert and Roeper. I never really care much for "professional" critics. (anyone whose job is to watch movies I just don't consider a real person)

I don't remember the review of Momento (you really like this movie, don't you rollo?) but I know that Ebert boasted TPM as one of the best movies of '99.

Most everyone I know thought it was an excellent film, but then again, everyone has different tastes. I think you can watch FOTR as a stand alone, but you get more out of it if you watch the whole trilogy. Whereas with Star Wars, only the first film I think is stand alone, Empire has no real conclusive ending and you need to see Empire to know what's going on in Jedi.

I agree with stillakid that today's directors are making films with the purpose of making an all inclusive DVD. Very few films are truly made for the big screen. Just look at all the DVDs coming out with "20 minutes of new Footage" or whatnot. I like DVDs but it is kind of a safteynet for movies these days.

Well, we didn't get everything we wanted to, but don't worry, we can film extra stuff for the DVD, that's all anyone cares about anyway.

02-07-2002, 08:03 PM
Ugh, I just went to Ebert & Roeper's website and listed to the review of Lord of the Rings from their TV show. I'm frightened at Roeper's comments. And it even sounds like Roger Ebert got a little upset with him and his negative comments about the film. If you wanna hear it for yourself, here is a link to the page.


It's to bad that we can't clone Gene Siskel back into existance and have him take back over as Roger Ebert's partner on the show. Since Roeper wouldn't know good films if they bit him on the backside.


Jar Jar Binks

Rollo Tomassi
02-07-2002, 08:28 PM
I wonder what David Manning thought of it?;) :D

02-07-2002, 09:27 PM
I saw that episode on TV when it first aired, Jar Jar. The thing I remember best was the look in Ebert's eyes when Roeper was going off on FOTR. Ebert was thinking, "God, I wish he would just choke on his own spittle. Why did I even hire him?"

Ummm, forgive me for asking, Rollo; but, whose David Manning?:confused:

02-07-2002, 09:36 PM
Originally posted by bigbarada
Ummm, forgive me for asking, Rollo; but, whose David Manning?:confused:

Well, you asked Rollo...but do you mind if I reply? :) Here it is, straight from E! Online. The answer to the question, who is David Manning? :crazed:

Sony Fakes a Film Critic by Josh Grossberg
Jun 4, 2001, 11:00 AM PT

Call it the case of nonexistent film critic.

Seems David Manning, the reviewer from the Ridgefield Press who raved about Heath Ledger in A Knight's Tale ("this year's hottest new star!") and gave a big thumbs up to Rob Schneider in The Animal ("another winner!"), is not another Ebert after all, but a character created to pump up Sony movies by the studio's marketing machine.

Sony studio executives are shocked--shocked!--after learning that Manning is a fake.

According to Newsweek, which broke the story in this week's issue, Manning was concocted by an unidentified Sony marketing executive last July to put a positive spin on the hit-starved studio's films.

In addition to the recent plaudits for A Knight's Tale and The Animal, Manning's manufactured blurbs appeared in print ads for Sony's Hollow Man and Vertical Limit.

Newsweek says Manning's critiques were completely fabricated and the studio has launched an internal investigation into the incident.

"It was an incredibly foolish decision, and we're horrified," Sony spokeswoman Susan Tick tells the magazine. "We are looking into it and will take appropriate action."

Tom Nash, publisher for the Ridgefield Press, the small Connecticut weekly where the mysterious Manning was supposedly employed, said he became aware of the controversy more than a year ago, but initially thought it was only a mix-up with a review service his paper uses.

"We thought it was a database error that mixed up a reviewer with our paper," Nash said Monday. "We buy our movie schedules from a company called Cinemasource and [these ads] also include reviews. "We thought [Manning] was a Long Island News Day guy."

Sony wishes that were so. In Hollywood, where movie marketeers go to great lengths to generate the ever-elusive buzz (often quoting virtually unknown critics or dubious publications), the Manning deception is getting a thumbs-down review from its own honchos.

"It's hard to believe. It's terrible. Sony has to apologize and pull the ads. That certainly does cross the line. We would never, never, never, ever do that," Revolution Studios honcho Joe Roth tells Newsweek. His company produced The Animal, which Sony is distributing. The news comes as Sony's marketing crew is taking heat for another of its recent ploys.

The studio broke a long Hollywood tradition of giving away trailers to exhibitors by paying theaters to play previews of The Animal before such blockbusters as The Mummy Returns. (The Animal placed third in its debut over the weekend behind Shrek and Pearl Harbor).

As for the Manning debacle, Sony reps say the studio is working to remove the fake blurbs from print ads across the country. However, some of Manning's quotes will still show up in newspapers that went to press over the weekend.

Calls to Manning's office were, of course, not returned.

Jar Jar Binks

02-07-2002, 10:18 PM
I think that the problem is with trying to adapt a story with such a broad scope into a standard motion-picture. Several attempts were made at committing DUNE to film, only two got to the screen and neither were particularly good. The first (with Kyle) was an abomination and not worthy of the DUNE name. Nothing at all like the book. The more recent version wisely was done as a miniseries, but fell short still on it's time limit and more importantly, it's budget.

I think that unless it's a thin paperback, most far reaching literature should be left alone unless a full scale 24 part miniseries can be implemented to properly reflect it's original purpose. Readers of LOTR can fill in the blanks by themselves if something is "missing" on the big screen. The rest of us don't have that luxury and it shouldn't be a requirement. I think maybe I'll skip the next LOTR episode and just wait until all three are out so that I can watch them in one sitting. (okay, maybe two so I can eat and stuff ;) )

Rollo Tomassi
02-08-2002, 08:17 AM
Thanks JarJar. David Manning has now become sort of a running joke in media magazines. I've seen "reviews" from him pop up in magazines like Entertainment Weekly and Total Movie. They'll take a mediocre or gawd awful film and give it this impossibly glowing review comparing it to the likes of Casablanca, Citizen kane, and Lawrence of Arabia. It's pretty funny because it could very well be a legitimate review until you notice the byline. David Manning cracks me up.

02-08-2002, 08:44 AM
Of course, now I remember....duh!:stupid:

02-08-2002, 10:32 AM
You can't always trust the "legitimate" reviews either. Awhile ago, I spoke with a reviewer from PBS about his "quote" that was attached to the movie "Striptease." The studio marketing department called him up and asked what he thought of the movie. Being cautious, as he knew he should, he declined to say anything about the movie. They kept prodding for anything from him so they asked what he thought about Demi. He said that she looked spectacular, or something to that effect. That's all they needed. When the ads ran in the newspapers, he was "quoted" as saying that Demi was spectacular in the movie.

Rollo Tomassi
02-08-2002, 11:45 AM
They could have said "The film left him speechless!" (since re refused to comment...)

Another one I always see is someone will say. "It tried to be like Citizen Kane, but failed miserably. This movie sucked!"

and the blurb will say : "...like Citizen Kane!..." Which technically is true, because the guy said that, but it is very misleading.

My opinion is to see the movie yourself and don't listen to reviewers and critics.