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[Movie] On First Seeing "The Fellowship of the Ring" {SPOILERS]

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  • Carl F. Hostetter
    I ve just returned from seeing the movie, and the following are my initial thoughts. NOTE: I m cross-posting this to several mailing-lists and newsgroups, so
    Message 1 of 8 , Dec 19, 2001
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      I've just returned from seeing the movie, and the following are my initial
      thoughts.

      NOTE: I'm cross-posting this to several mailing-lists and newsgroups, so
      please be careful with any replies.

      General comments:
      ----------------

      -- The look of the film: in many respects, they got it right; in most, they
      didn't. If you are a big fan of Alan Lee, you'll love this film's
      cinematography and design. If not, you'll be disappointed. With few
      exceptions (The Shire, Caradhras, Rivendell), the film has a washed-out,
      undercontrasted, and all too often simply _dark_ look. (Note that I didn't
      include Lothlorien in the "good" list: more on that later.) The Shire and
      Caradhras are bright and crisp; Rivendell is gauzier, but still filled with
      light and more color than in most of the film. Also, the film had a
      decidedly close-in feeling; lots of tight shots, too many "count the nose
      hairs" close-ups. This is surprising, given the glipses of gorgeous vistas
      we're afforded.

      -- The pace of the film: much too quick and abrupt. Actions seem barely
      motivated, because everyone is rushing to get on to the next action/battle
      scene. There is almost no sense of the passage of time, since there is no
      space afforded for leisure, song, reflection, or even sleep and meals. It
      seems to take only a couple of days to reach Rivendell. Gandalf says that it
      is a four-day journey through Moria, but they seem to be in it for only part
      of a day, again because there are no indications of journeying or rest. The
      total screen time in Lorien could hardly have been 10 minutes; the
      characters appear to spend only one night there. The whole journey from the
      Shire to Rauros takes about a week, for all the viewer of this movie knows.

      -- The characters: Ian McKellen as Gandalf is spot-on wonderful. He steals
      every scene he's in. Unfortunately, he isn't in every scene, and much of the
      film suffers for it. Since they changed so much about the book, they should
      have made it so that Gandalf doesn't drop out in Moria! ;) Elijah Wood as
      Frodo is also wonderful. Given the abrupt, compressed feeling of the film,
      he manages to convey a surprising amount of the inner struggle that is
      building in Frodo, and his performance gives confidence that he'll be able
      to carry this struggle off when it really gets going -- that is, if the film
      will let him. Sean Bean as Boromir gets the most poignant role in this
      movie, and is also wonderful in it. Orlando Bloom and John Rhys Davies are
      unexceptional (the latter under an absurd, pointless, and utterly fake
      looking amount of pancake makeup). Merry and Pippin, as feared, are played
      almost exclusively for comic effect. They come across as bumbling fools
      (especially Pippin).

      -- The story: seems hamfisted and unsubtle. Too much is given away right up
      front: Aragorn's kingship, Saruman's possession and use of the palantir,
      Boromir's attempt on the Ring. There is no sense of buildup, unfolding,
      suspense, or surprise (and no, this is _not_ because I've already read the
      book, it is because the viewer is simply told what will happen and what to
      expect). I got the feeling the director and/or screenwriter didn't trust the
      audience to pick up on subtleties, or to be patient in discovering the
      purpose and importance of things, events, and people.

      -- Emotional impact: greatly lacking. There are only two scenes where I
      really felt anything for these characters: 1) the Fellowship grieving the
      loss of Gandalf after they exit Moria (far too brief, of course), and 2) The
      death of Boromir.

      -- The Elvish (hey, I have a reputation to keep up!): Almost _none_ of
      Tolkien's actual Elvish dialogue is retained. I can think of only one
      instance, in fact: _half_ of the opening spell that Gandalf tries. Instead,
      we get multiple muffled, breathless tracts of entirely fabricated Elvish,
      for fabricated dialogue (such as Arwen(!) raising the Bruinen against the
      Nazgul). No Galadriel's Lament, no Hymn to Elbereth, no "Ai na vedui", not
      even "Elen sila lumenn' omentielvo". This last is particularly ironic
      because Tolkien once said that he wrote the _Lord of the Rings_ in order to
      create a world in which that would be a common greeting!

      Specific good stuff:
      -------------------

      -- Last Alliance, defeat of Sauron: This takes place in the first 10 or so
      minutes of the movie, in a prologue whizzing through the history of the
      Ring. The battle scenes, and particularly the scenes with Sauron in battle
      and his defeat, are breathtaking. Perhaps the best part of the movie, alas.

      -- Balrog: although I thought its horns were way too much, it definitely
      captured for me the awesome horror of a Demon of Fire. You could almost
      smell, taste, and feel the acrid smoke billowing from its towering, flaming
      form.

      -- The Nazgul look great.

      -- The horses in the foam of the Bruinen flood.

      -- Gandalf, Frodo, and Boromir.

      -- The Shire.

      Specific bad stuff:
      -----------------

      -- Laurel and Hardy, er, I mean Merry and Pippin.

      -- Gimli's makeup.

      -- In a scene in Moria, where the characters have to cross a crumbling
      ramp-like bridge (no, not _the_ bridge, the _other_ bridge -- don't get me
      started), it is decided that the smaller characters, including Gimli, need
      to be tossed across. Gimli says "No one tosses a Dwarf!" I thought to
      myself: no, he did _not_ just say that! The whole, extended episode,
      repetitive of the actual bridge scene, seems to have been contrived _just_
      to deliver that line; and it shows. For this, they only give Lorien 5
      minutes or so on screen. Shameful.

      -- Expansion of Saruman's role: he, not Sauron, is made to control the
      spying _crebain_, which report back to _him_. _He_, not Sauron, invokes
      Caradhras against the Fellowship. He is shown hatching orcs from membranous
      muck. We get no hint of his former greatness, he is instantly and abruptly
      insane and evil.

      -- Hugo Weaving as Elrond: his delivery is unfailingly pompous and
      overwrought. He constantly looks like he smells something.

      -- Ian Holm as Bilbo: I loved him as Frodo in the BBC radio production, but
      here he, like the film, has no subtlety, and seems not to believe what he is
      saying.

      -- The whole Lorien scene is absurdly brief and pointless. The Fellowship
      are immediately confronted by Galadriel and Celeborn (the latter looking
      disturbingly like Judd Nelson), who are both unfailingly pompous and
      annoying. Every word Galadriel utters is overly dramatic and made to sound
      sinister. The episode with the Mirror (from which, by the way, Sam is
      absent) is much too compressed. You get no sense from her dialogue that
      Galadriel is wise or even Elvish; her temptation and "transformation" upon
      being offered the Ring is entirely unmotivated and visually overblown. She
      has no Elven Ring. Lorien itself is dark and gloomy; there are no mallorns
      (excuse me, _mellyrn_) in evidence. Then the Fellowship just float away,
      given nothing but the phial (no elven cloaks, no lembas).

      -- Bomormir's horn sounds like a bus. Doesn't break in two with his
      desperate calling.


      Huh? WHY?!
      ---------

      -- Elrond claims that Aragorn has "chosen exile". Huh?

      -- Aragorn does not carry the shards of Narsil; they are on display in
      Rivendell, and then never mentioned again. Apparently, Aragorn leaves the
      broken sword behind. Huh?

      -- In the scene with Bilbo and Frodo in B.'s room at Rivendell, when B. sees
      the Ring, eyes bug out and his teeth turn into fangs, a la Gollum. Why? Way
      overdone.

      -- It is _Gandalf_ who does not want to enter Moria, not Aragorn. Then he
      lets _Frodo_ decide whether to attempt to pass through, in effect making
      Frodo responsible for the choice that leads to Gandalf's "death". Why?

      -- Sam (almost) drowns. What, you don't remember that either? Having spent
      all of 5 minutes in Lorien, the film nonetheless features several minutes of
      Sam drowning in the Anduin -- blank stare, motionless form sinking, the
      whole magilla -- as he attempts to follow Frodo across (only to be save, of
      course, by Frodo). Why?

      Conclusion:
      ----------

      Overall, I was quite disappointed. I expected much of this from what I'd
      seen, but I still expected to be at least visually captivated. In a few
      places I was, but on the whole, the film felt dark and muddy; so even that
      aspect of the movie didn't do it for me. Groans far outnumber and outweigh
      the few moments of real rightness and awe.

      I give it a C-.


      |======================================================================|
      | Carl F. Hostetter Aelfwine@... http://www.elvish.org |
      | |
      | ho bios brachys, he de techne makre. |
      | Ars longa, vita brevis. |
      | The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne. |
      | "I wish life was not so short," he thought. "Languages take |
      | such a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about." |
      |======================================================================|
    • michael_martinez2
      ... of ... one ... Actually, I heard lasto beth lammen in several sentences (including, I think, one of Arwen s lines). And she does say, Noro lim, noro
      Message 2 of 8 , Dec 19, 2001
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        --- In mythsoc@y..., "Carl F. Hostetter" <Aelfwine@e...> wrote:
        > -- The Elvish (hey, I have a reputation to keep up!): Almost _none_
        of
        > Tolkien's actual Elvish dialogue is retained. I can think of only
        one
        > instance, in fact: _half_ of the opening spell that Gandalf tries.

        Actually, I heard "lasto beth lammen" in several sentences
        (including, I think, one of Arwen's lines). And she does say, "Noro
        lim, noro lim, Asfaloth".

        > Specific good stuff:
        > -------------------
        >
        > -- Last Alliance, defeat of Sauron: This takes place in the first
        10 or so
        > minutes of the movie, in a prologue whizzing through the history of
        the
        > Ring. The battle scenes, and particularly the scenes with Sauron in
        battle
        > and his defeat, are breathtaking. Perhaps the best part of the
        movie, alas.

        I really liked the prologue. I'm glad they kept it in. :)

        >
        > Huh? WHY?!
        > ---------
        > -- Aragorn does not carry the shards of Narsil; they are on display
        in
        > Rivendell, and then never mentioned again. Apparently, Aragorn
        leaves the
        > broken sword behind. Huh?

        You may not like how he gets Anduril....

        I hope I didn't cross-post, as I only intended to reply to the
        mythsoc list. Not always sure what this Web interface wants to do.
      • David S. Bratman
        ... I _am_ a big fan of Alan Lee. I loved it, every bit. ... That s at least partly because we saw it on a biiiiiig screen. ... Especially not before
        Message 3 of 8 , Dec 19, 2001
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          At 05:06 PM 12/19/2001 , Carl Hostetter wrote:

          >-- The look of the film: in many respects, they got it right; in most, they
          >didn't. If you are a big fan of Alan Lee, you'll love this film's
          >cinematography and design. If not, you'll be disappointed.

          I _am_ a big fan of Alan Lee. I loved it, every bit.

          >Also, the film had a
          >decidedly close-in feeling; lots of tight shots, too many "count the nose
          >hairs" close-ups.

          That's at least partly because we saw it on a biiiiiig screen.

          >-- The pace of the film: much too quick and abrupt. Actions seem barely
          >motivated, because everyone is rushing to get on to the next action/battle
          >scene. There is almost no sense of the passage of time, since there is no
          >space afforded for leisure, song, reflection, or even sleep and meals.

          Especially not before Rivendell, where everything rushes like mad. This is
          partly an inherent problem in condensing a long book into a movie, and I
          could see ways in which they tried to convey the passage of time, but that
          horribly superfluous previous-bridge scene and the way overlong cave-troll
          battle could have been respectively cut entirely and trimmed by about 75%
          thereby freeing oceans of time for more worthwhile stuff.

          >It
          >seems to take only a couple of days to reach Rivendell. Gandalf says that it
          >is a four-day journey through Moria, but they seem to be in it for only part
          >of a day, again because there are no indications of journeying or rest.

          Hey, give them credit: they did put in several references to time passing.

          >-- The characters: Ian McKellen as Gandalf is spot-on wonderful. He steals
          >every scene he's in. Unfortunately, he isn't in every scene, and much of the
          >film suffers for it.

          He does make one posthumous appearance, in Frodo's memory. I agree: he did
          quite well - even the "is it safe?" line wasn't so bad in context.

          >Elijah Wood as
          >Frodo is also wonderful. Given the abrupt, compressed feeling of the film,
          >he manages to convey a surprising amount of the inner struggle that is
          >building in Frodo, and his performance gives confidence that he'll be able
          >to carry this struggle off when it really gets going -- that is, if the film
          >will let him.

          I hope so, and I also thought he was better than OK.

          >Merry and Pippin, as feared, are played
          >almost exclusively for comic effect. They come across as bumbling fools
          >(especially Pippin).

          This was very bad, but not quite so bad as I feared. Given that Merry and
          Pippin at the end sacrifice themselves (they have no way of knowing the
          orcs won't kill them) to save Frodo - a change from the book - I have
          reason to hope that their extreme juvenility at the beginning is intended
          to increase the contrast with their growth and maturity to come.

          >-- The story: seems hamfisted and unsubtle. Too much is given away right up
          >front: Aragorn's kingship, Saruman's possession and use of the palantir,
          >Boromir's attempt on the Ring. There is no sense of buildup, unfolding,
          >suspense, or surprise

          The worst aspect of this is the way events from the book are anticipated by
          previous scenes that steal their points. (As Tolkien himself predicted in
          the Zimmerman letter.) In the case of the bridge(s) of Khazad-dum, this
          fails on the level of film-as-film, as well as on the level of
          film-as-adaptation of Tolkien.

          >I got the feeling the director and/or screenwriter didn't trust the
          >audience to pick up on subtleties, or to be patient in discovering the
          >purpose and importance of things, events, and people.

          Or to allow the time for it.

          >-- Last Alliance, defeat of Sauron: This takes place in the first 10 or so
          >minutes of the movie, in a prologue whizzing through the history of the
          >Ring. The battle scenes, and particularly the scenes with Sauron in battle
          >and his defeat, are breathtaking. Perhaps the best part of the movie, alas.

          It's good because it's the first battle we see. Before we've been
          bludgeoned to death with them. Except for failing to say anything about
          the Ring's power of invisibility (an awkward point, since it apparently
          didn't make Sauron invisible), it's a marvelous exposition. The only flaw
          is the inherent one of, as Ebert notes, making this a movie about wizards
          and warriors instead of one about hobbits.

          >-- Balrog: although I thought its horns were way too much, it definitely
          >captured for me the awesome horror of a Demon of Fire. You could almost
          >smell, taste, and feel the acrid smoke billowing from its towering, flaming
          >form.

          I'd have agreed, if I hadn't already been bludgeoned to death by the
          previous battles.

          >We get no hint of [Saruman's] former greatness, he is instantly and abruptly
          >insane and evil.

          Nor do we get a real sense of why and how he went bad.

          >-- The whole Lorien scene is absurdly brief and pointless.

          Well, I have to disagree with most of what you write here. I don't know
          who Judd Nelson is; I was impressed and pleased that there's a potentially
          sinister aspect to Galadriel (Elves aren't pansies, they're _dangerous_!);
          the Mirror episode was wonderfully extended by the standards of compression
          of the film; the dialogue worked pretty well; we may not see the Fellowship
          being given their cloaks and brooches, but later on they're wearing them.

          >-- Boromir's horn sounds like a bus. Doesn't break in two with his
          >desperate calling.

          Nor was it seen or alluded to earlier, as far as I remember: a mistake,
          given its later importance.

          >-- Aragorn does not carry the shards of Narsil; they are on display in
          >Rivendell, and then never mentioned again. Apparently, Aragorn leaves the
          >broken sword behind. Huh?

          I thought it made sense to have the shards in Rivendell. Whether the sword
          Aragorn is carrying later is Anduril or not strikes me as extremely minor
          on the tone/accuracy scale.

          >-- In the scene with Bilbo and Frodo in B.'s room at Rivendell, when B. sees
          >the Ring, eyes bug out and his teeth turn into fangs, a la Gollum. Why? Way
          >overdone.

          But underdone compared to the book. "[Frodo] found himself eyeing a
          little wrinkled creature with a hungry face and bony groping
          hands." Literally? I'm glad they didn't try to replicate that, and that
          the transformation was exceedingly brief.

          >-- Sam (almost) drowns. What, you don't remember that either?

          Gee, _I_ remember Sam almost drowning. "With a cry and a splash he fell
          face downward into deep swift water. Gurgling he went under, and the River
          closed over his curly head. ... Frodo was just in time to grasp Sam by the
          hair as he came up, bubbling and struggling. Fear was staring in his round
          brown eyes. ... 'Save me, Mr. Frodo!' gasped Sam. 'I'm drownded.'"

          >Having spent
          >all of 5 minutes in Lorien, the film nonetheless features several minutes of
          >Sam drowning in the Anduin -- blank stare, motionless form sinking, the
          >whole magilla -- as he attempts to follow Frodo across (only to be save, of
          >course, by Frodo). Why?

          It's nowhere near as long as the Lorien scene (or the cave-troll scene),
          but yes, it's too long. And Sam even sees that bright white light for a
          moment: gads. Why the implied sarcasm in "only to be saved, of course, by
          Frodo"? He was saved by Frodo in the book.

          David Bratman
        • Carl F. Hostetter
          ... Amen! ... Well, not enough to convey the sense of passing time to _me_. ... Sure they are; but that element of Galadriel is about all you see of her in the
          Message 4 of 8 , Dec 20, 2001
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            On 12/20/01 1:44 AM, "David S. Bratman" <dbratman@...> wrote:

            > Especially not before Rivendell, where everything rushes like mad. This is
            > partly an inherent problem in condensing a long book into a movie, and I
            > could see ways in which they tried to convey the passage of time, but that
            > horribly superfluous previous-bridge scene and the way overlong cave-troll
            > battle could have been respectively cut entirely and trimmed by about 75%
            > thereby freeing oceans of time for more worthwhile stuff.

            Amen!

            >> It
            >> seems to take only a couple of days to reach Rivendell. Gandalf says that it
            >> is a four-day journey through Moria, but they seem to be in it for only part
            >> of a day, again because there are no indications of journeying or rest.
            >
            > Hey, give them credit: they did put in several references to time passing.

            Well, not enough to convey the sense of passing time to _me_.

            > I was impressed and pleased that there's a potentially
            > sinister aspect to Galadriel (Elves aren't pansies, they're _dangerous_!);

            Sure they are; but that element of Galadriel is about all you see of her in
            the film (until after the Mirror at least). It's way overdone.

            > the Mirror episode was wonderfully extended by the standards of compression
            > of the film; the dialogue worked pretty well; we may not see the Fellowship
            > being given their cloaks and brooches, but later on they're wearing them.

            Yeah, I missed that fact. Of course, I shouldn't have been able to miss that
            fact.

            >> -- In the scene with Bilbo and Frodo in B.'s room at Rivendell, when B. sees
            >> the Ring, eyes bug out and his teeth turn into fangs, a la Gollum. Why? Way
            >> overdone.
            >
            > But underdone compared to the book. "[Frodo] found himself eyeing a
            > little wrinkled creature with a hungry face and bony groping
            > hands." Literally? I'm glad they didn't try to replicate that, and that
            > the transformation was exceedingly brief.

            Good point. In that case, actually, I think the problem is that the
            transformation was too brief and too abrupt: it was done as if for
            horror-film shock effect.

            >> -- Sam (almost) drowns. What, you don't remember that either?
            >
            > Gee, _I_ remember Sam almost drowning. "With a cry and a splash he fell
            > face downward into deep swift water. Gurgling he went under, and the River
            > closed over his curly head. ... Frodo was just in time to grasp Sam by the
            > hair as he came up, bubbling and struggling. Fear was staring in his round
            > brown eyes. ... 'Save me, Mr. Frodo!' gasped Sam. 'I'm drownded.'"

            Granted. But did we need to see what felt like several minutes of Sam
            beneath the surface, floating lifelessly? I felt like I'd suddenly switched
            to _Titanic_ or _The Perfect Storm_!

            >> Having spent
            >> all of 5 minutes in Lorien, the film nonetheless features several minutes of
            >> Sam drowning in the Anduin -- blank stare, motionless form sinking, the
            >> whole magilla -- as he attempts to follow Frodo across (only to be save, of
            >> course, by Frodo). Why?
            >
            > It's nowhere near as long as the Lorien scene (or the cave-troll scene),
            > but yes, it's too long. And Sam even sees that bright white light for a
            > moment: gads. Why the implied sarcasm in "only to be saved, of course, by
            > Frodo"? He was saved by Frodo in the book.

            No sarcasm was intended; that you see it may be due (suitably enough) to
            compression. I just wanted to complete the "story" I was telling. The "of
            course" meant that Sam of course does not die.


            |======================================================================|
            | Carl F. Hostetter Aelfwine@... http://www.elvish.org |
            | |
            | ho bios brachys, he de techne makre. |
            | Ars longa, vita brevis. |
            | The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne. |
            | "I wish life was not so short," he thought. "Languages take |
            | such a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about." |
            |======================================================================|
          • Stolzi@aol.com
            In a message dated 12/19/2001 7:09:27 PM Central Standard Time, ... Prosthetics, not just pancake. It s interesting to see how Carl s critique on several
            Message 5 of 8 , Dec 20, 2001
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              In a message dated 12/19/2001 7:09:27 PM Central Standard Time,
              Aelfwine@... writes:

              > Orlando Bloom and John Rhys Davies are
              > unexceptional (the latter under an absurd, pointless, and utterly fake
              > looking amount of pancake makeup).

              Prosthetics, not just pancake.

              It's interesting to see how Carl's critique on several points (both for good
              or for bad) can differ diametrically from that of other reviewers I've read -
              indeed, tot homines quot sententiae, which I suppose translates (or wd have
              been translated by JRRT) "as many men, so many minds."

              >She has no Elven Ring.

              Of course not, =I've= got it. Well, at least, I like to look at my small,
              very simply set diamond ring (the stone was my grandmother's) and murmur,
              "Nenya, the Ring of Adamant." :)

              I can hardly bear to think of NOT SEEING MALLORN TREES. What good all those
              millions of dollars, if not to see a mallorn???

              Used to pass a large maple in my former neighborhood - pale gold leaves in
              the fall with silver-white undersides. It gave at least a little bit of the
              thrill.

              > -- In the scene with Bilbo and Frodo in B.'s room at Rivendell, when B. sees
              > the Ring, eyes bug out and his teeth turn into fangs, a la Gollum. Why? Way
              > overdone.

              Well, you'll remember that Frodo =did= see Bilbo like a different creature
              for a moment - like a Gollum, the text suggests.

              Diamond Proudbrook
            • michael_martinez2
              ... I liked the prologue, and of course I was probably predisposed to like it. But I think it established the context of the Third Age well enough. They
              Message 6 of 8 , Dec 20, 2001
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                --- In mythsoc@y..., "David S. Bratman" <dbratman@s...> wrote:
                > At 05:06 PM 12/19/2001 , Carl Hostetter wrote:
                > >-- Last Alliance, defeat of Sauron: This takes place in the first
                > >10 or so minutes of the movie, in a prologue whizzing through the
                > >history of the Ring. The battle scenes, and particularly the
                > >scenes with Sauron in battle and his defeat, are breathtaking.
                > >Perhaps the best part of the movie, alas.
                >
                > It's good because it's the first battle we see. Before we've been
                > bludgeoned to death with them. Except for failing to say anything
                > about the Ring's power of invisibility (an awkward point, since it
                > apparently didn't make Sauron invisible), it's a marvelous
                > exposition. The only flaw is the inherent one of, as Ebert notes,
                > making this a movie about wizards and warriors instead of one about
                > hobbits.

                I liked the prologue, and of course I was probably predisposed to
                like it. But I think it established the context of the Third Age
                well enough. They have, however, radically altered the history. I
                am guessing they did so to accommodate the compression. A lot of the
                changes also appear to cater to certain myths which are popular in
                fandom. Hence, the Rings were made for all three races, and not just
                for the Elves. And the chief purpose of the Rings (to hold back the
                effects of Time and prevent or delay the fading of the Elves) is
                lost. I think they must have decided that whole business was too
                complex to convey in the movie. The Elves talk about leaving but
                they don't explain WHY they are leaving.

                The whole Elf-Dwarf thing plays right into the popular stereotype of
                open hostility between the races, and I got no real sense of regret
                over the loss of the ancient friendship between Eregion and Khazad-
                dum. Again, I think this was due to the compression, and they may
                have decided that playing up the stereotype of Elves and Dwarves
                being constantly hostile to one another would lend greater contrast
                to the friendship which develops between Legolas and Gimli.

                In a movie which cuts a lot of dialogue from the story for the sake
                of compression, I have to miss a few favorite exchanges. I miss
                the "It was not the fault of the Dwarves..." exchange outside the
                gate of Moria.

                But, to their credit, they did show an Elvish ruin on a hilltop, and
                I thought that was a magnificent shot. It was also a nod to one of
                the many details in the book which many fans really don't notice.
                There is, on the northern border of Eregion (or near it), a place
                with such a ruin. The Fellowship halts there momentarily and Gandalf
                says something about the journey ahead.

                > >-- The whole Lorien scene is absurdly brief and pointless.
                >
                > Well, I have to disagree with most of what you write here. I don't
                > know who Judd Nelson is; I was impressed and pleased that there's a
                > potentially sinister aspect to Galadriel (Elves aren't pansies,
                > they're _dangerous_!); the Mirror episode was wonderfully extended
                > by the standards of compression of the film; the dialogue worked
                > pretty well; we may not see the Fellowship being given their cloaks
                > and brooches, but later on they're wearing them.

                It would be fair to point out that the scene where they are given the
                gifts was filmed, because it appears in one of the trailers (or
                perhaps I saw it in one of the preview specials on television). It
                should be remembered that MOST of the footage they shot will never
                mak it to the big screen.

                > >-- Boromir's horn sounds like a bus. Doesn't break in two with his
                > >desperate calling.
                >
                > Nor was it seen or alluded to earlier, as far as I remember: a
                > mistake, given its later importance.

                He was wearing the horn when he arrived in Rivendell. I wish he had
                blown it as they left. Another of the exchanges I missed was that
                between Elrond and Gimli, and Elrond's warning to Boromir about
                blowing the horn again, except at great need.
              • Janet Croft
                ... From: michael_martinez2 [mailto:michael@xenite.org] Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2001 8:56 AM To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Subject: [mythsoc] Re: [Movie] On
                Message 7 of 8 , Dec 20, 2001
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                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: michael_martinez2 [mailto:michael@...]
                  Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2001 8:56 AM
                  To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [mythsoc] Re: [Movie] On First Seeing "The Fellowship of the Ring"
                  {SPOILERS]

                  "But, to their credit, they did show an Elvish ruin on a hilltop, and
                  I thought that was a magnificent shot. It was also a nod to one of
                  the many details in the book which many fans really don't notice.
                  There is, on the northern border of Eregion (or near it), a place
                  with such a ruin. The Fellowship halts there momentarily and Gandalf
                  says something about the journey ahead."

                  I saw a lot of little details like that in the film and actually was a bit
                  offended. "Here's a sop to the true fans -- we'll show Legolas walking on
                  the snow -- than maybe they won't notice that we have Saurman call up the
                  storm." "Here's another sop to the readers -- we'll show the Company wearing
                  their elven cloaks and leaf clasps -- then maybe they won't notice we didn't
                  have the gift-giving scene." "We'll stick the troll statues in as
                  background -- then they won't notice how Arwen usurps Aragorn's role as a
                  healer." Aurgh!

                  Janet, fuming as quietly as possible



                  The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org

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                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Stolzi@aol.com
                  In a message dated 12/20/2001 12:46:07 AM Central Standard Time, ... This was praised by one reviewer as being a focus on individual reactions and human scale,
                  Message 8 of 8 , Dec 20, 2001
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                    In a message dated 12/20/2001 12:46:07 AM Central Standard Time,
                    dbratman@... writes:

                    > >Also, the film had a
                    > >decidedly close-in feeling; lots of tight shots, too many "count the nose
                    > >hairs" close-ups.
                    >
                    > That's at least partly because we saw it on a biiiiiig screen.

                    This was praised by one reviewer as being a focus on individual reactions and
                    human scale, as opposed to the usual epic type pic.

                    Can't please all of the denizens of Middle Earth all of the time!
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