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Comparing the Bakshi and Jackson LotR versions

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  • Joan Marie Verba
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 26, 2003
    • David S. Bratman
      ... This essay is a defense of the quality of Jackson s films by someone who claims to be an incurable Tolkien purist. That would make it a pretty strong
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 2, 2003
        At 08:05 PM 11/26/2003 , Joan Marie Verba wrote:

        This essay is a defense of the quality of Jackson's films by someone who
        claims to be an "incurable Tolkien purist." That would make it a pretty
        strong rebuttal to those of us who claim that Jackson's films seriously
        misrepresent Tolkien.

        But even aside from saying that Brian Tiemann, the author, is simply wrong
        in claiming that the script's new lines are perfectly suitable for
        Tolkien's characters, I think he actually reveals that in fact he doesn't
        really like Tolkien's book that much at all. Evidence:

        >Sure, some characters and plot elements are dropped. But did we really miss
        >Tom Bombadil?

        Implication that we didn't. But wait a minute here. Do I think that,
        given the constraints he was under, it was in the end a reasonable decision
        for Jackson to drop Bombadil? Yes, I do. But does that mean that I don't
        _miss_ Bombadil? Of course not. Tiemann doesn't even miss him.

        >Never mind that Aragorn doesn't spend his time reciting love stories from
        >the First Age.

        It couldn't be clearer that Tiemann isn't very interested in Aragorn doing
        this in the book, either. Anyone who can brush aside "reciting love
        stories from the First Age" this way ("reciting" - sounds boring; "love
        stories" - plural, which isn't accurate, and generic, which is unfair;
        "from the First Age" - a long time ago and therefore irrelevant) is missing
        most of what Tolkien wants you to get out of his story.

        >And that's the difference between all the fans who assumed that Tolkien's
        >original work couldn't be improved upon, and the people who weren't afraid
        >to say that it could.

        In other words, he's saying that Jackson's films aren't just true to the
        book, they're better.

        Tiemann doesn't know the book that well either:

        >When we saw the first trailers for the first movie, Tolkien fans were in
        >shock. Not nearly frightened enough! said Aragorn in one of the shots. What
        >the hell? When did he say that?

        It _is_ a paraphrase, but a very close one. Aragorn's actual words to
        Frodo about the Nazgul were, "You fear them, but you do not fear them
        enough, yet."

        - David Bratman
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