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Re: [mythsoc] Re: "The Hunt for Gollum" movie

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  • Alana Joli Abbott
    Definitely, waiting a few days seems like a good idea. I m not anti-spoiler myself, but I don t want to step on anyone s spoiler-free toes! ;) -Alana ... --
    Message 1 of 13 , May 5, 2009
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      Definitely, waiting a few days seems like a good idea. I'm not anti-spoiler
      myself, but I don't want to step on anyone's spoiler-free toes! ;)

      -Alana

      On Tue, May 5, 2009 at 6:30 PM, Doug Kane <dougkane@...>wrote:

      > Alana, I'll wait a couple of days and then post some further thoughts if
      > no one states that that they mind. The particular point that I was referring
      > to comes almost at the very end, and while I doubt that it would seriously
      > ruin anyone's viewing experiences, I have seen some awfully strong reactions
      > to what I thought was fairly innocuous spoilers before.
      >
      > .
      >
      >
      >



      --
      Alana Joli Abbott, Freelance Writer and Editor (
      http://www.virgilandbeatrice.com)
      Author of "Nomi's Wish" (
      http://coyotewildmag.com/2008/august/abbott_nomis_wish.html), featured in
      Coyote Wild Magazine
      Contributor to Serenity Adventures: http://tinyurl.com/serenity-adventures
      Contributor to Ransom: The Anthology: http://tinyurl.com/ransombook
      --
      For updates on my writings, join my mailing list at
      http://groups.google.com/group/alanajoliabbottfans


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • John D Rateliff
      I think it s telling that they went to great lengths to reproduce the look of the Peter Jackson films, to the extent of casting actors based on their
      Message 2 of 13 , May 5, 2009
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        I think it's telling that they went to great lengths to reproduce the
        look of the Peter Jackson films, to the extent of casting actors
        based on their resemblance to Jackson's cast. I'm reminded of The
        Mamas and the Papas, who at one point fired Michelle Phillips and
        replaced her with a woman who looked like her, not one who sounded
        like her.

        I think these people spent an enormous amount of time and effort
        producing a 34-minute piece of fan-fiction; if it were in print
        rather than on film it wouldn't stand out from among thousands of
        other examples.

        An amazing piece of mimicry, though.

        __JDR


        On May 5, 2009, at 2:17 PM, David Bratman wrote:
        > It is online at <http://thehuntforgollum.s3.amazonaws.com/
        > index.html>. Anyone interested in sharing or reading reactions, or
        > would that still be spoilers at this point? (Not that the outcome
        > is a big surprise or anything like that.)
      • David Bratman
        One-line review: Don t bother. More boring than Peter Jackson at only a quarter the length. How to make a movie of The Hunt for Gollum (down below, spoiler
        Message 3 of 13 , May 7, 2009
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          One-line review: Don't bother. More boring than Peter Jackson at only a
          quarter the length.

          How to make a movie of "The Hunt for Gollum" (down below, "spoiler" alert):






















          1. Peter Jackson begins his film with a Portentious Backstory, so begin your
          film with a Portentious Backstory.

          2. Peter Jackson makes a solemn action-adventure film while minimizing
          Tolkien's moral underpinnings, so by all means make a solemn
          action-adventure film without any moral underpinnings. You've got your good
          guys and your bad guys, so leave it at that.

          3. Peter Jackson's Aragorn mumbles, so your Aragorn should mumble.

          4. Let's not even talk about the Orcs.

          5. Jackson's Gandalf was too shiny, so dress your Gandalf in an old sack.

          6. When filming an indoor conversation, take your production values from old
          Dr. Who serials, and your extras from science fiction conventions.

          7. When filming two people sneaking up on each other in the woods, take your
          mise-en-scène from the "Those We Do Not Speak Of" sequences of M. Night
          Shyamalan's The Village.

          8. When you finally show Gollum close up, show either your independence from
          Peter Jackson, or your inability to follow him closely enough, by modeling
          Gollum not on Andy Serkis, but on Anthony Hopkins playing Hannibal Lecter.

          9. Introduce a Ranger whom Aragorn has never met, and who has only vaguely
          heard of his own Chieftain.

          10. Have Aragorn carry Gollum around in a sack that Serkis's (or Tolkien's,
          for that matter) Gollum could easily have torn his way out of in one minute.
          (Tolkien's Aragorn made Gollum walk in front of him with a halter; this is
          obviously impossible if you're using a CGI Gollum and have virtually no CGI
          budget. But then, why does Gollum have to be CGI? Because Peter Jackson is
          God?)

          11. Have Gollum steal fish from the Woodsmen's windowsills instead of
          drinking blood from cradles. Stabbing orcs is one thing, but this is just
          icky. Do not ask what the Woodsmen put the raw fish on the windowsill for.
          To cool off?

          12. Foreshadowing! Have Aragorn see a Nazgul and tell Gandalf about it, even
          though neither of them should have any idea yet that the Nine are abroad.

          13. It's the beginning of a Dark Age, so film everything Really Dark.

          14. It is imperative to follow the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fight rule: if
          the hero must single-handedly defeat a troupe of bad guys, the bad guys are
          required to attack him only one at a time. Everybody else has to stand
          around and wait their turn.


          [previously posted on LiveJournal]
        • Jason Fisher
          Very nice, David; many chuckles, especially #14. _______________________________ From: David Bratman To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent:
          Message 4 of 13 , May 7, 2009
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            Very nice, David; many chuckles, especially #14.


            _______________________________
            From: David Bratman <dbratman@...>
            To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Thursday, May 7, 2009 12:20:53 PM
            Subject: Re: [mythsoc] "The Hunt for Gollum" movie


            One-line review: Don't bother. More boring than Peter Jackson at only a
            quarter the length.

            How to make a movie of "The Hunt for Gollum" (down below, "spoiler" alert):

            1. Peter Jackson begins his film with a Portentious Backstory, so begin your
            film with a Portentious Backstory.

            2. Peter Jackson makes a solemn action-adventure film while minimizing
            Tolkien's moral underpinnings, so by all means make a solemn
            action-adventure film without any moral underpinnings. You've got your good
            guys and your bad guys, so leave it at that.

            3. Peter Jackson's Aragorn mumbles, so your Aragorn should mumble.

            4. Let's not even talk about the Orcs.

            5. Jackson's Gandalf was too shiny, so dress your Gandalf in an old sack.

            6. When filming an indoor conversation, take your production values from old
            Dr. Who serials, and your extras from science fiction conventions.

            7. When filming two people sneaking up on each other in the woods, take your
            mise-en-scène from the "Those We Do Not Speak Of" sequences of M. Night
            Shyamalan's The Village.

            8. When you finally show Gollum close up, show either your independence from
            Peter Jackson, or your inability to follow him closely enough, by modeling
            Gollum not on Andy Serkis, but on Anthony Hopkins playing Hannibal Lecter.

            9. Introduce a Ranger whom Aragorn has never met, and who has only vaguely
            heard of his own Chieftain.

            10. Have Aragorn carry Gollum around in a sack that Serkis's (or Tolkien's,
            for that matter) Gollum could easily have torn his way out of in one minute.
            (Tolkien's Aragorn made Gollum walk in front of him with a halter; this is
            obviously impossible if you're using a CGI Gollum and have virtually no CGI
            budget. But then, why does Gollum have to be CGI? Because Peter Jackson is
            God?)

            11. Have Gollum steal fish from the Woodsmen's windowsills instead of
            drinking blood from cradles. Stabbing orcs is one thing, but this is just
            icky. Do not ask what the Woodsmen put the raw fish on the windowsill for.
            To cool off?

            12. Foreshadowing! Have Aragorn see a Nazgul and tell Gandalf about it, even
            though neither of them should have any idea yet that the Nine are abroad.

            13. It's the beginning of a Dark Age, so film everything Really Dark.

            14. It is imperative to follow the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fight rule: if
            the hero must single-handedly defeat a troupe of bad guys, the bad guys are
            required to attack him only one at a time. Everybody else has to stand
            around and wait their turn.

            [previously posted on LiveJournal]

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Doug Kane
            It occurs to me that I never did add my additional thoughts. David said much of what I wanted to say (in a much more entertaining fashion than I would have).
            Message 5 of 13 , May 10, 2009
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              It occurs to me that I never did add my additional thoughts. David said
              much of what I wanted to say (in a much more entertaining fashion than I
              would have). I'll add just a couple of more comments, particularly the
              specific item that I mentioned previously that I thought directly
              contradicted Tolkien in an important way. Anyone who is still trying to
              avoid spoilers don't read the final paragraph.

              Before I get to that, I'll just mention that on a number of occasions I
              noticed a number of scenes where there were either shots that mimicked shots
              from the Jackson films or characters saying fragments of lines that were
              said by other characters in the Jackson films that seemed to be done not to
              serve the film in any way but simply as some kind of homage to Jackson's
              films. I thought that was ridiculous. I'm sorry that I don't have any
              specific examples to point; I didn't write them down at the time and it was
              too long ago now and too unmemorable for me to remember any of them.

              But at the end of the film, after Gollum is finally captured, Gandalf tells
              Aragorn that Gollum's wretchedness was beyond their power to heal. That
              contradicts what Gandalf actually says in the book, that there is not much
              hope for his cure, but there is still some. And, of course, that small hope
              of Gollum's cure is of critical importance to the story. The fact that these
              filmmakers blithely contradict that (for no good reason that I can see)
              shows a real disregard for Tolkien's work. They don't even have the bad
              excuse that Jackson and company had for most of their deviations from
              Tolkien's story that in some way the deviation served the plot that they
              were telling in their movie (misguided though they might have been). This
              line didn't serve the plot of this mini film in any way. It was just thrown
              in their film as a throwaway line, I guess because they believed that in
              Jackson's story it was true that Gollum was beyond redemption (which is
              debatable in and of itself, though it still infuriates me that they left out
              the tragic scene of Gollum's near redemption at the stairs of Cirith Ungol).

              _____

              From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
              David Bratman
              Sent: Thursday, May 07, 2009 10:21 AM
              To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [mythsoc] "The Hunt for Gollum" movie





              One-line review: Don't bother. More boring than Peter Jackson at only a
              quarter the length.

              How to make a movie of "The Hunt for Gollum" (down below, "spoiler" alert):

              1. Peter Jackson begins his film with a Portentious Backstory, so begin your

              film with a Portentious Backstory.

              2. Peter Jackson makes a solemn action-adventure film while minimizing
              Tolkien's moral underpinnings, so by all means make a solemn
              action-adventure film without any moral underpinnings. You've got your good
              guys and your bad guys, so leave it at that.

              3. Peter Jackson's Aragorn mumbles, so your Aragorn should mumble.

              4. Let's not even talk about the Orcs.

              5. Jackson's Gandalf was too shiny, so dress your Gandalf in an old sack.

              6. When filming an indoor conversation, take your production values from old

              Dr. Who serials, and your extras from science fiction conventions.

              7. When filming two people sneaking up on each other in the woods, take your

              mise-en-scène from the "Those We Do Not Speak Of" sequences of M. Night
              Shyamalan's The Village.

              8. When you finally show Gollum close up, show either your independence from

              Peter Jackson, or your inability to follow him closely enough, by modeling
              Gollum not on Andy Serkis, but on Anthony Hopkins playing Hannibal Lecter.

              9. Introduce a Ranger whom Aragorn has never met, and who has only vaguely
              heard of his own Chieftain.

              10. Have Aragorn carry Gollum around in a sack that Serkis's (or Tolkien's,
              for that matter) Gollum could easily have torn his way out of in one minute.

              (Tolkien's Aragorn made Gollum walk in front of him with a halter; this is
              obviously impossible if you're using a CGI Gollum and have virtually no CGI
              budget. But then, why does Gollum have to be CGI? Because Peter Jackson is
              God?)

              11. Have Gollum steal fish from the Woodsmen's windowsills instead of
              drinking blood from cradles. Stabbing orcs is one thing, but this is just
              icky. Do not ask what the Woodsmen put the raw fish on the windowsill for.
              To cool off?

              12. Foreshadowing! Have Aragorn see a Nazgul and tell Gandalf about it, even

              though neither of them should have any idea yet that the Nine are abroad.

              13. It's the beginning of a Dark Age, so film everything Really Dark.

              14. It is imperative to follow the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fight rule: if
              the hero must single-handedly defeat a troupe of bad guys, the bad guys are
              required to attack him only one at a time. Everybody else has to stand
              around and wait their turn.

              [previously posted on LiveJournal]






              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • David Bratman
              ... I don t remember exactly what the film says, either, but I don t see those two points as contradictory. Gandalf says that there is little hope, but not no
              Message 6 of 13 , May 13, 2009
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                From: "Doug Kane" <dougkane@...> wrote:

                >But at the end of the film, after Gollum is finally captured, Gandalf tells
                >Aragorn that Gollum's wretchedness was beyond their power to heal. That
                >contradicts what Gandalf actually says in the book, that there is not much
                >hope for his cure, but there is still some.

                I don't remember exactly what the film says, either, but I don't see those
                two points as contradictory. Gandalf says that there is little hope, but
                not no hope, that the evil part of Gollum can be cured; but he doesn't say
                that he can cure him. Gollum has to do that for himself.

                I think of Frodo's comment on Saruman: "He is fallen, and his cure is beyond
                us; but I would still spare him, in the hope that he may find it."

                In the end, of course, Frodo's learning the meaning of Bilbo's pity has
                tremendous effects on Gollum; and it is tremendously misleading for
                Amateur-Film-Gandalf to say _only_ that he and Aragorn cannot heal Gollum.
                But I see this as more a sin of omission than of commission.
              • Doug Kane
                I mostly agree with you, David. It is true that Gandalf doesn t say that he specifically can cure Gollum, but he does make it clear that humane treatment of
                Message 7 of 13 , May 13, 2009
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                  I mostly agree with you, David. It is true that Gandalf doesn't say that he
                  specifically can cure Gollum, but he does make it clear that humane
                  treatment of Gollum might help facillitate his finding a cure. He tells
                  Frodo that not only did they not kill Gollum, but that the Wood-elves "treat
                  him with such kindness as they can find in their wise hearts." Later,
                  Legolas clarifies that this was partly because "Gandalf bade us hope still
                  for his cure." And, of course, Frodo takes Gandalf's words to him about
                  pitying Gollum to heart, and his kind treatment of Gollum due to his pity
                  for him was very much instrumental in Gollum's near-redemption (but for
                  Sam's failure to follow Frodo's lead in this, as Tolkien discusses in Letter
                  246). To me at least, all of this is contradicted at least in spirit by
                  Gandalf's flat statement in the "Hunt for Gollum" film that Gollum's
                  wretchedness was beyond their power to heal. It reminded me a little bit of
                  the argument between Frodo and Sam in the Jackson films in which it seems to
                  be implied that Frodo was deluded in believing that he could help Gollum,
                  and that Sam was correct in saying that there was no hope of Gollum ever
                  finding any redemption. (As an aside, the fact that in the films Frodo's
                  desire to help Gollum was actually based on his concern for himself rather
                  than actual pity for Gollum misses the point that Tolkien was making, but
                  that is another issue altogether.)

                  _____

                  From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                  David Bratman
                  Sent: Wednesday, May 13, 2009 8:30 PM
                  To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [mythsoc] "The Hunt for Gollum" movie





                  From: "Doug Kane" <dougkane@protecting
                  <mailto:dougkane%40protectingrights.net> rights.net> wrote:

                  >But at the end of the film, after Gollum is finally captured, Gandalf tells
                  >Aragorn that Gollum's wretchedness was beyond their power to heal. That
                  >contradicts what Gandalf actually says in the book, that there is not much
                  >hope for his cure, but there is still some.

                  I don't remember exactly what the film says, either, but I don't see those
                  two points as contradictory. Gandalf says that there is little hope, but
                  not no hope, that the evil part of Gollum can be cured; but he doesn't say
                  that he can cure him. Gollum has to do that for himself.

                  I think of Frodo's comment on Saruman: "He is fallen, and his cure is beyond

                  us; but I would still spare him, in the hope that he may find it."

                  In the end, of course, Frodo's learning the meaning of Bilbo's pity has
                  tremendous effects on Gollum; and it is tremendously misleading for
                  Amateur-Film-Gandalf to say _only_ that he and Aragorn cannot heal Gollum.
                  But I see this as more a sin of omission than of commission.






                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • David Bratman
                  ... It does, but I see it as more a contradiction in spirit than a change in the facts of the story. But this difference in our view of it is exceedingly
                  Message 8 of 13 , May 14, 2009
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                    "Doug Kane" <dougkane@...> wrote:

                    > I mostly agree with you, David. It is true that Gandalf doesn't say that
                    > he
                    > specifically can cure Gollum, but he does make it clear that humane
                    > treatment of Gollum might help facillitate his finding a cure. He tells
                    > Frodo that not only did they not kill Gollum, but that the Wood-elves
                    > "treat
                    > him with such kindness as they can find in their wise hearts." Later,
                    > Legolas clarifies that this was partly because "Gandalf bade us hope still
                    > for his cure." And, of course, Frodo takes Gandalf's words to him about
                    > pitying Gollum to heart, and his kind treatment of Gollum due to his pity
                    > for him was very much instrumental in Gollum's near-redemption (but for
                    > Sam's failure to follow Frodo's lead in this, as Tolkien discusses in
                    > Letter
                    > 246). To me at least, all of this is contradicted at least in spirit by
                    > Gandalf's flat statement in the "Hunt for Gollum" film that Gollum's
                    > wretchedness was beyond their power to heal.

                    It does, but I see it as more a contradiction in spirit than a change in the
                    facts of the story. But this difference in our view of it is exceedingly
                    minor, and rendered more perilous by the fact that neither of us remembers
                    the film's exact wording.

                    > It reminded me a little bit of
                    > the argument between Frodo and Sam in the Jackson films in which it seems
                    > to
                    > be implied that Frodo was deluded in believing that he could help Gollum,
                    > and that Sam was correct in saying that there was no hope of Gollum ever
                    > finding any redemption. (As an aside, the fact that in the films Frodo's
                    > desire to help Gollum was actually based on his concern for himself rather
                    > than actual pity for Gollum misses the point that Tolkien was making, but
                    > that is another issue altogether.)

                    Just one, or two, examples of Jackson's massive Not Getting It, so massive
                    as to render ludicrous any defense on the grounds that the deviations serve
                    the plot of the story he's trying to tell. If he's trying to tell a story
                    _that_ different from Tolkien's, it's a grave injury to pretend that it's
                    based on Tolkien's in any way, and an insult supreme to be as devoutly
                    copying of Tolkien as he was in more surface elements. When Tolkien had the
                    trees really march to war, he was _trying_ to thumb his nose at Shakespeare.
                    When Jackson thumbs his nose at Tolkien, and does so incompetently, he
                    doesn't have that excuse.
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