That was an enjoyable post and a nice summary of what watching the films was probably like for many of us. Your "+12 Mace of Disintegration" comment made me laugh out loud. Thanks for that! :)
----- Original Message ----
From: William Cloud Hicklin <solicitr@...
Sent: Friday, December 8, 2006 9:08:49 AM
Subject: [mythsoc] Wincing [was Re: the film]
Here's a runthrough of a moderate-purist' s "wince"
reactions, par exemplum to Jackson's Prologue.
Opening voiceover- no problems. Lifted from Treebeard,
but it's genuine Tolkien, and conveys (rarely for these
movies) the tone of time and regret.
"Nine Rings were gifted.." Minor wince. Tolkien
wouldn't have used this sort of awkward fustian, just
"....To the race of Men, who above all else desire
Power." Significant wince. In Tolkien, Men above all
else desire Immortality- and if JBW can't get that
right, the house is already off its foundations.
Clashing armies of the Last Alliance- Brilliant!
Amazing! I nearly cried that something this epic could
be realized on celluloid.
Sauron. Oops. BIG wince. What's with this +12 Mace of
Death of Elendil and taking the Ring- no wince. Not
"correct", but works in context without really
Sauron's demise. HUGE wince. He's a Maia, not a MOAB.
Gladden Fields- again, no wince. I rather liked the
Werner Herzog feel of this bit. Isildur's death (EE)
works. Purists will object that it doesn't follow "The
Disaster of the Gladden Fields;" but PJ didn't have the
rights to film UT, now, did he? To be fair, in the LR
itself Isildur was shot "as he swam."
The River, Gollum, and Bilbo. Just fine. The voiceover
here is one of the few times I thought that non-Tolkien
wrtiting in this projest was actually very good. "...and
there it consumed him. For five hundred years it
poisoned his mind." Nice work. If only they keep this
And so on for nearly twelve hours. There's a lot to like
in these movies, and still more that's at least
unobjectionable. But, dammit, then Gimli belches or
Gandalf coldcocks the Steward of Gondor, and my
suspension of disbelief does a Hindenburg. Why oh why
did JBW think that Tolkien needed "improving," or if so
that they were qualified to do it?