A slightly better version of my paper is here,Message 1 of 6 , Jan 11, 2012View Source
For final published version, see: Croft, Janet Brennan. “Three Rings for Hollywood: Scripts for The Lord of the Rings by Zimmerman, Boorman, and Beagle.” (Book chapter) Fantasy Fiction Into Film. Ed. Leslie Stratyner and James R. Keller. McFarland, 2007. 7-20.
Janet Brennan Croft
Book Review Editor of Oklahoma Librarian http://www.oklibs.org/oklibrarian/current/index.html
"Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the rising ape meets the falling angel." -Terry Pratchett
On 1/11/2012 3:14 AM, WendellWag@... wrote:
> Thanks for this link, John. I've read things like this before about the
> Boorman film script. I think I would be less bothered by reading the
> Boorman script than by reading the scripts that Jackson or Bakshi
> actually used in their versions, even though I would never approve any
> of them actually being made into a film (as Jackson and Bakshi, alas,
> actually did do). All three of them come across as typical "Oh, I'm so
> creative that you can trust me in any changes I make." Boorman though
> seems to be brilliant but insane. After enjoying what he wrote, I would
> urge him to quit using drugs and get some psychological help.
> Wendell Wagner
C'mon, tell us what you really think. ::grin::
I think Jackson's films are helped tremendously by three things. First,
the production values are so high that one sometimes loses sight of the
liberties he is taking with the text. Second, Bakshi set the bar so
terribly, astoundingly, low that anything that follows would be hard put
not to shine by comparison. And third, whatever else one might say,
Jackson does seem to genuinely *like* Tolkien's works.
No, I am not satisfied with the end result of his re-imagining.
- He misunderstands Orcs completely (they should be average to small in
stature, dull, boring, dangerous only in groups, terrified of any "tark"
and no match for any decent human or elf warrior with odds less than
about 10 to 1).
- He gets Theoden wrong at the core, in an area dear to Tolkien's heart,
honor in the face of overwhelming odds.
- He thinks Liv Tyler (a pleasant enough looking young woman, I suppose)
to be a suitable Arwen, and that Arwen deserves a bigger slice of the
- And he butchers Gimli beyond any hope of defense. Comic relief is the
Hobbits' job. Gimli is who you want when you go in that proverbial dark
alley, where LOTS of nasty people who don't like you live. He is the
stumpy-legged guy who RUNS across Rohan, making a mockery of a marathon,
keeping up with a Dunadan and an Elf by sheer force of will, not
something to be "tossed". *ptui*
But although mountainous, island, New Zealand could not provide any
landscape suitable for the plains of Rohan (the Gothic steppes) the
scenery is wonderful. I love Hobbiton, even when I "notice things". I
like Boromir. As unimpressed as I am with Frodo, I appreciate the other
Hobbits, especially Sam. Gandalf comes across well. My opinion of
Galadriel improves with each viewing. And the visual representation of
Sauron is imaginative and *right*, especially his death throes.
And then there is Gollum. What can I say? Jackson's computer animated
creation *IS* Gollum, and I can't imagine having any mental picture of
the character that is not Jackson's, ever again.
So, "alas" that Jackson did what he did? I cannot agree. Even though his
Gondorians are not 7th Century Roman/Byzantines, as everyone knows they
ought to be....