New trailer (spoiler)
- I wasn't expecting to find a new LOTR trailer tucked into a commercial
break in the Monday episode of "Angel", but there it is. The third or
fourth trailer (depending on how you're counting), this one crams the
entire story of volume 1 into about two minutes time. Now you don't even
have to see the film! <g>
Any multiple-times reader of the book will be able to identify every scene
shown. We're getting a much, much better idea of exactly what changes have
been wrought in Tolkien's creation than we ever had before. If you don't
want to know, then avert your eyes now, because I'm going to lay it
out. (Spoiler, you say? Just who is spoiling what?)
1) We are told that if the Ring is captured, its bearer will be killed. Oh
no. In the book, there is much worse than that in store for him. How
trivial, to be killed.
2) Gotta beef up those danger scenes. Nothing softly creepy in this
interpretation, nope. Frodo can't just be steathily followed by a Black
Rider on his way to the Buckleberry Ferry: no, he has to leap desperately
onto the boat just out of the Rider's clutches. Pippin doesn't just drop a
stone into the well in Moria: no, an entire skeleton, complete with
outsized cobwebs, has to fall in, in two stages. Sheesh. The real battle
scenes (the one in Moria seemed pretty accurately rendered) will be
flattened out without the proper contrast. Do the filmmakers want to make
the book seem boring in comparison?
3) It's true, it's true! Arwen, Warrior Princess, is upon us! It is at
last very clear that the rumors are correct and that Glorfindel's role has
been rolled into Arwen's; and not only that, she gets to make a big heroic
stand at the Ford in a way that will undercut whatever Frodo may do. The
biggest problem is, just what will become of the uniquely desperate quality
of Eowyn's heroism when the woods are crawling with Warrior Princesses?
4) Galadriel. This is more interesting, and subtle. In the previous
trailer, she said to Frodo, "Even the smallest person can change the course
of the future." The sentiment was awfully close to something Elrond says
at the close of the Council chapter, but the wording struck most people as
highly un-Tolkienian ... at least, nobody here demurred when it was so
called on this list. This time, she says "This task was appointed to you,
Frodo, and if you do not find a way, no one will." This is almost a dead
copy of something else Elrond says in the same scene. I don't mind the
transfer of Elrond's whole speech to Galadriel: there are probably good
dramatic structural reasons for that. But the difference in the exact
wording is telling. What Elrond says is "I think that this task is
appointed for you ..." A guess, not an order; present tense, not past; a
better choice of preposition.
5) Aragorn speaks so quietly. I'm not sure what I think of that. It would
stand out less if everybody else weren't so loud and stiffly over-acting.
6) Why, oh why, after all the technical advances in special effects in
recent years, do the big set-piece scenes (the fall of the Bridge, the
Argonath) have to look so totally fake?