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A couple of RotK reviews

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  • Joan Marie Verba
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A3212-2003Dec15.html http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/features/20031216-9999_1c16lord.html
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 17, 2003
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    • David Bratman
      So are we going to talk more about the film? I ve noted that a number of reviewers, including Stephen Hunter for the Washington Post, who criticized the long,
      Message 2 of 4 , Dec 20, 2003
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        So are we going to talk more about the film?

        I've noted that a number of reviewers, including Stephen Hunter for the
        Washington Post, who criticized the long, drawn-out ending. All along,
        whenever I've complained about Jackson's trivialization of Tolkien, his
        apologists have said that I don't understand: movies have to appeal to a
        broader audience, there are certain conventions of movie storytelling that
        you just can't break if you want to sell the film, blah blah blah.

        Well, the most basic convention of ending an action film is this: one quick
        celebration scene and then wrap it up. Look at the "Triumph of the Will"
        ending to "Star Wars". Look at the stupid dance party that ends "Labyrinth".

        So the ending of this film is proof that Jackson has the courage to defy
        not only cinematic convention, but also the critics who enforce it. He
        carries the Tolkien fans with him, and that's actually enough: among the
        reviews I've read so far, the better they know the book the more they seem
        to have liked the film. Even Ebert, who slammed the first film, liked this
        one.

        One reviewer actually mentions the drawn-out ending as successful: Mick
        LaSalle in the San Francisco Chronicle, here:
        http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2003/12/16/DDGQ83MT8P1.DTL
        (or find it via the IMDB review page at
        http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0167260/externalreviews )

        I've had, of course, mixed feelings about this entire project from the
        start, and I was mystified by Grey Walker's comment in the Green Man
        review: "I've spent my life since the first time I heard the story read
        aloud (by my dad, when I was seven) wishing for it to be made into a movie."

        Now, why would one wish that? I was as overwhelmed by this book as Grey
        was on first reading, but it never occurred to me that I'd want it to be
        made into a movie. Partly because I was sure they'd muck it up somehow - I
        was a few years older than Grey and had actually seen some movies - and
        partly because my imagination doesn't require cinematic verification.

        (When I wrote here earlier that Jackson's Grey Havens "was a scene from the
        LOTR movie I always wanted to see," I meant the movie I always hoped they'd
        make if they made one, not one I've been pining for all these years.)

        - David Bratman
      • Jack
        ... Write her and ask. Should make for an intersting conversation that we can put in our Green Man letters column! [Non-text portions of this message have been
        Message 3 of 4 , Dec 20, 2003
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          >I've had, of course, mixed feelings about this entire project from the
          >start, and I was mystified by Grey Walker's comment in the Green Man
          >review: "I've spent my life since the first time I heard the story read
          >aloud (by my dad, when I was seven) wishing for it to be made into a movie."
          >
          >Now, why would one wish that? I was as overwhelmed by this book as Grey
          >was on first reading, but it never occurred to me that I'd want it to be
          >made into a movie. Partly because I was sure they'd muck it up somehow - I
          >was a few years older than Grey and had actually seen some movies - and
          >partly because my imagination doesn't require cinematic verification.

          Write her and ask. Should make for an intersting conversation that we can
          put in our Green Man letters column!

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Michael Martinez
          ... There is an exception to every observation: http://www.merp.com/modules.php? op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=78&mode=thread&order=1&thold=0 I liked
          Message 4 of 4 , Dec 22, 2003
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            --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, David Bratman <dbratman@e...> wrote:

            > So the ending of this film is proof that Jackson has the courage to
            > defy not only cinematic convention, but also the critics who
            > enforce it. He carries the Tolkien fans with him, and that's
            > actually enough: among the
            > reviews I've read so far, the better they know the book the more
            > they seem to have liked the film. Even Ebert, who slammed the
            > first film, liked this one.

            There is an exception to every observation:

            http://www.merp.com/modules.php?
            op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=78&mode=thread&order=1&thold=0

            I liked the first film well enough, and I enjoyed the second film
            very much. "The Return of the King" is so badly done, I'm going to
            have to force myself to watch it again.

            Faithfulness to the book really isn't an issue. The continuity
            errors are so egregious, the more I am asked about them, the less I
            want to see the movie again. People keep pressing for details.

            Well, there are so many details that got overlooked, I feel as though
            the whole thing was botched just to make the schedule. I would have
            preferred a delay so they could clean up the mess they made of their
            own story line.

            In some cases, it might have been fixable simply by adding sub-titles
            with some sort of time progression (5 hours later, 2 days after the
            Batle of the Hornburg, etc.).
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