December 21, 2001
My Review and It Is Raw
Just got back from seeing LOTR, a day late, but scheduling problems made it that way.
I am not sure if it is because I had such high hopes, or maybe I am a subconscious purist, but I found the film lacking seriously in a few areas.
Keep in mind, I am not a movie producer, nor am I a movie buff, but I still believe the 3 hours could have been done better.
First of all, too much Gollum for no reason. Gandalf tells Frodo that Gollum is following them, when that should have been carried as a mystery, or at least I thought so. I found that intriguing when I first read the books, and the movie could have carried that.
OK, there was no Radagast meeting with Gandalf, I guess I can understand that, but I do NOT understand Gandalf telling Saruman everything he knows before Gandalf figures our Saruman is a traitor! Tolkien made it very precise that Gandalf had a feeling that telling Saruman everything just wasn't a good idea.
The Wizard battle?? The Wizard Battle?? I don't think I need say anymore about that do I? Let me just say, the time used up for the wizard battle would have better been spent on Radagast and the perhaps the hobbits fake out move to Cricket Hollow.
I will say they handled the farmer Maggot thing well, I always thought that would have to be cut to make the movie move along.
Butterbur was a complete joke. In fact, the whole Prancing Pony seen was pretty lame, Frodo even shows everyone the ring.
No Bill Ferny... Ummmmm OK.. I will live.. Thought it was pretty relevant in the books though.
One thing I found odd, and no matter which way you did it, it had no affect on the time issue, but WHY was it that Gandalf insisted on the mountain pass? In the Book, Gandalf wants to try Moria more than the mountain, Strider was the one against it. PJ could have really done better there, and I don't see any excuse there.
Arwen.. Hmm, actually to be honest, this really didn't bother me, or maybe my next point drove it out of my head.
The council of Elrond seemed to me to be inspired from a cross between an episode of Jerry Springer and Days of Our Lives. Considering that chapter in the book was longer than any other chapter (wasn't it?) it seemed to me a perfect place to really show the importance of the whole premise of the books. Instead, it looked like an irate PTA meeting. I think out of everything, this was the most disappointing part of the movie.
Moria itself.....AWESOME.. I think it was perfect, and contrary to what seems everyone else's thoughts, I thought the Balrog ruled! I think the whole Moria scene followed the books better than anything else, except maybe the skeleton in the well, but hey, that I can understand.
Lorien deviated quite a bit from the books but not too blatantly. I am guessing that since Sam didn't look into the mirror and see the shire getting mauled, means there probably is no scouring of the shire scenes to come, but I think that was already said before.. Sigh.. Oh well..
The ending, where the fellowship parts, was rather bogus.. It completely left the book. Aragorn tells Frodo to leave basically. In the books, the whole fact that Aragorns decisions go completely awry, was what I thought, an interesting part of the story.
In general, the whole part of whenever Frodo puts on the ring, to me seemed rather out of it. I mean, Frodo is popping that ring on and off all the time in the books (even as a joke, ala Bombadil) but in the movie, whenever he puts on the ring, he sees the eye. Heck, even Gandalf sees the eye when he almost touches the ring.
There were many great parts of the movie, the CGI was beyond anything I have ever seen. Saruman feels like Saruman, ditto for Gandalf.
The wimpatizing of Sam is kind of annoying. He just doesn't come off as Frodo's servant. I was also hoping to see the gaffer, but I can understand it.
All in all, I think they rushed through stuff they shouldn't have, and made up or spent too much time on other stuff.
I have read a few books in my time and then seen the movies. The movie is always different, it never really bothers me, but some of these points seem to bother me. It is almost as if PJ only read the books to make a movie out of them, not to enjoy them.
On a scale from 1 - 10, I will give it an 8. I am hoping that TTT will be better. I have no doubt it will be, since TTT is when the story really gets rolling along in the books.
I know this is rambling, but I just got back from the movie, and these are my first impressions, raw, unedited.
Let loose the arrows. :)