June 25, 2001

Some Comments
Emil B.

What makes you SO SURE that Tolkien would want tiny little people with HUGE heads and hands? Have you ever seen any of Tolkien's drawings of Hobbits? Or read any of his descriptions of them? If you had, then you would realise that the casting for the films is quite true to his vision.

Though you're needlessly mean, you're almost right... almost. I think that hobbits are half our height but also necessarily stockier and swarthier, not to mention hairier, and, like in the cartoon "The Hobbit" (though not as far out), they probably do have hands and heads a little bit larger in proportion. Maybe I'm wrong on this one, but I don't see a hand that small wielding so successfully the knives and shortswords made for humans. Then again, we do have a ten year old boy from Gondor thinking that he might stand Pippin on his head, so maybe these hobbits really are mini-humans and look it. I tend to think that while they lack the height they make it up somewhat in girth, and yes, oversized hands and feet and head. I don't think, therefore, that Tolkien envisioned them exactly as the movie portrays, but there really is no way to make truly convincing hobbits just yet, so given that difficulty I love what I see done so well, for it could have been much worse.

What about sex and the R-rating? In the Lord of the Rings? I guess we need not even go there.

I don't know, there's some stuff about Aragorn and Arwen "unshod" and "plighting their troth" at some late-nite hilltop rendezvous or what not ... At any rate, Liv would do it, and I would pay to see it, my gentlehobbits.

In my opinion the only people strong enough to wield the Ring in contention with Sauron would be Saruman, Gandalf, the Balrog (same type of spirit as Sauron), or maybe one of the more powerful elves (Elrond, Galadriel, Glorfindel). Even without his Ring, Sauron was immensely powerful, and he still had 8 ringwraiths left....(what happened to the Witch King's ring I wonder? Mouth of Sauron was to get it maybe? Sauron wasn't one to waste Rings)

Sauron dreaded the possibility of Aragorn or Denethor using the Ring succesfully against him, and those elves are definitely not a "maybe" either; they're tough as nails, mean and ugly, ready to use the Ring and kill Sauron dead. The Witch-King died in a battle from which few if any crawled back to Mordor, certainly none of them bearing his ring. Tolkien simply didn't say, and we might assume that it stayed lost on the field or maybe taken somewhere to be destroyed or something. The Balrog? Now that's just silly. For some reason I've always thought of the Balrogs as mere tough-guy types, lacking the sheer wit and ambition to seriously wield the Ring. Plus they're big scaredy-cats when it really comes to it, and you can tell 'em I said that too.

This is a tough tough story to bring to life in a way that pleases the hard-core (and I'm one of them), so I'm trying to give the director room until I see the whole thing. Overall the stills and previews seem a bit lighthearted to me, but the characters will do fairly OK overall I think. I must admit to being disturbed by Arwen's purported increased role, however, I also admit that I won't be too disturbed if they leave out the evil Black Men from Far Harad, for example.
Overall, I'm anxious and overcritical, and some shots definitely look better than others, but I'm also very much looking forward to the whole movie experience, and it will have to a be truly horrendous disaster to make me see it less than five or ten times.

Bombadil? We'll miss him sorely, no doubt. And they better figure out a way to do the Ents justice.