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shewolf85

Hello Peter Jackson

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As a die hard LOTR fan (I'm talking both the books and the movies) I'll just say that LOTR the movie is a great cinematic acheivement simply from a technical standpoint. They treated the material with respect and built their version of JRRT's world from scratch. Jackson didn't say: we're doing a fantasy movie. He said:treat this like it really happened. I'm sure you've all seen the special features so I won't bore you--but come on: they blew their own glass and forged their own swords! No one can accuse them of slacking or not caring about what they were doing. Now, did they change the script, occassionally in cringe worthy ways? Of course. No one who took on that project--a story worshipped by psychotic fans all over the world, was going to satisfy everyone. But I think it was an honest and, above all, heartfelt attempt to create something of worth. I think they genuinely wanted to please people and I think to a large extent they did.

I say this as a LOTR fan who ought to be more psychotically purist than most: LOTR is the first story I ever remember hearing--my dad read it to me when I was six years old and I've read it probably seven times since then (I'm 28). It's as influential to me as the Bible is to some people. I introduced the novel to friends who'd never read it and who then went on to be super purist about the movie. Several things the filmmakers changed are not what I personally would have done, but in the end, the book is the book. The movie is the movie. They're different things. The best a fan can hope for is that the filmmakers will respect the material and be mostly true to the storyline. Jackson was. Mostly. He also put his own funky spin on some stuff (I hate how Galadriel came out creepy and the dumb too-many-skulls motif on the Paths of the Dead)--but I think things like Legolas surfing are actually an expression of his love for the story. He's a silly fan boy too. I would have put all sorts of flashbacks of Luthien in it myself and made sure every song Sam ever sung was in there. A lot of people would have wanted to hang me.

I don't get the backlash. They got so much right. Gollumn, for one. Gandalf. Aragorn. Rivendell. Moria. Pellenor! (and how about Howard Shore's amazing score?) I think they actually improved Merry and Pippin--who were a bit interchangeable in the books. The Nazgul stepped right from the pages--as did all the sets and costumes. It looks like Middle Earth. If you didn't have at least one moment of pure awe and joy watching those films I think you need to check and make sure you aren't dead. Look at how many terrible fantasy films have come before and after this thing--and then thank your lucky Balrogs there's at least one fantasy film out there that took its shit seriously. Dungeons and Dragons it's not.

Now, is Jackson going to direct ASOIAF? Not a chance in hell. Nor should he. But the standards he set for realism, worldbuilding and authenticity (both emotional--hello Viggo!--and setting-wise) in fantasy films should certainly be used on the show. They should treat it like history. Blow their own glass. Forge their own swords. Think of how to best please the fan base and get newcomers interested. If that means Jon Snow momentarily surfs the wall in one shot then I, for one, will take it. ;)

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[quote]But I think it was an honest and, above all, heartfelt attempt to create something of worth. I think they genuinely wanted to please people and I think to a large extent they did.[/quote]

Exactly what I was thinking. Anyone who followed the development of the film trilogy when it was being made during 1999-2000 and seen the documentaries of the Extended Editions would see that Jackson and the crew had great respect for the books. Hell, the man commited 8 years of his life to get them done, and it was him, not a film studio who intially pursued the gamble. Miramax, the first studio they worked with, eventually tried to talk them into condensing the story into one film, to which he flatly refused.

They painstakingly worked to get the themes, look, languages, and other aspects correct. Gollum was a qualified success both as a character and an animation. They treated the genre seriously, more like history.

Were there changes I didn't like? Of course. But looking at the big picture, the end result after all of their blood, sweat, and tears was unprecedented. Before then, Fantasy films were basically expected to be cheesy or a joke.

Jackson films came out they way they did because he was a fan of the books. Imagine what the result would of been like if another director treated it as just another job or didn't put in the time commitment. Yes, I think any fan of the books can find things that they don't like in the films, but he got so much right and brought respect to the genre as film. without it's success, HBO would likely have not bought the rights of ASOIAF, and they're the only ones who could do it justice.

About the ending of the film trilogy: seriously I would have been pissed off if it was only 5 minutes long. It was the end of a monumental journey and experience for the characters and that needed to be conveyed. I have no complaints about it.

That said, Jackson should not be the director to handle ASOIAF. He's already very busy with his own projects and he's never done TV before. And he probably doesn't want to get tied down directing Fantasy (hence G. del Toro). Plus who knows if he read the books? Like I said, he put his heart in LOTR because he was a fan. So what the series ideally needs is a TV director who is a fan and would consider this a dream job.

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I agree with much of what was just said above. LotR was an amazing feat to pull off. I still can't forgive the Legolas surfing scene, That scene was just bad. Cheesy, phony, impossible, out of place, horrific. To be fair, it does stand out mainly because the rest of the movie was so good. If a scene like that was in AGoT I'd...well, I'd still watch the show, but the phrase "jump the shark" would keep entering my lexicon.

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yah i would never critique PJ for his work ethic, hes a horse. dont get me wrong, id still give the trilogy a 3/4 or so.

i just think hes a bit of a dork, and it shows in his movies.

FoTR was awesome, though. i remember loving that movie... maybe thats why i was disappointed by the other two.

Guillermo is a dork also (when i say dork, i mean it endearingly)

i loved pans labyrinth, but the hellboy movies had some cringe-worthy parts.

that being said, im really looking forward to the hobbit, which was my fav childhood book.

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Enough already....

I sincerely think that if LoTR movies were a bitter experience for fans of the books, they should be hoping that THIS project is not picked up by HBO or anyone else.

Taking into account that there will always be changes, mistakes, additions, etc in a book to movie translation, LoTR was as good as it gets in that department for books of such scope. Was it good enough, undoubtedly for some it was and for some it wasn't. For those in the latter group, I don't see how you will be able to enjoy any future attempts for any epic book being made into TV or movie series.

Here's something that it's a certainty to happen: this TV series will be different from the books, in all respects, for the simple reason that it is not a book anymore. And it will have mistakes. And it will have lines that some will not like. And it will have limitations.

That's the reality of book to movie (TV) translations. So each one of us either makes peace with the realitys of the world we live in, and adore the books and enjoy the adaptations, or just keep to the books, for anything else will fall short.


David

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[quote name='chessRuffian' post='1617358' date='Dec 12 2008, 17.43']and the scene at the end of RoTK when the fellowship is reunited, and the hobbits are crying and cooing and jumping around in bed together...jesus, i just wanted to vomit.

yes, this might be accurate to the book, but i think the point was a bit lost (or mutilated) in translation.[/quote]
That scene is very faithful to the feel of Tolkien so there's nothing wrong with the adaptation of it at all imo.

[quote name='chessRuffian' post='1617358' date='Dec 12 2008, 17.43']and there were the "running" scenes in the second film, where gimli is basically made a mockery of (the man is moving at a 5th of the speed that viggo and orlando are-- the actor can barely run), and the scene is reduced from something cool to just a glaring example of how PJ has a hard time interpreting a fantasy story with real-life imagery. instead of finding a clever way of making the scene work, he resorts to the "eh, whatever, itll be funny" attitude.[/quote]
The only relevant difference from the book there was that Aragorn keeps on running strong. In the book both Gimli and Aragorn are completely exhausted while Legolas is untiring and stands watch all night while they sleep. So Gimli isn't changed much in that scene since he really was slow and was complaining, it's Aragorn that has been made much more enduring.


As a general note I have always been surprised about the amount of people complaining how Jackson diverted from the book and still complained about things that were pretty much exactly as the book described them. One of the best examples are Galadriel being tempted by the ring and going through some transformation. That got a lot of criticism, even though it's very faithful to the text. Other remarkable complaints are also when Jackson included things from the appendices and people thought he was just making things up himself.

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[quote name='David H' post='1619117' date='Dec 14 2008, 20.13']Taking into account that there will always be changes, mistakes, additions, etc in a book to movie translation, LoTR was as good as it gets in that department for books of such scope. Was it good enough, undoubtedly for some it was and for some it wasn't. For those in the latter group, I don't see how you will be able to enjoy any future attempts for any epic book being made into TV or movie series.[/quote]
I agree. The LotR movies were much better than I could ever imagine a fantasy book like that turning out as a movie so I think that's about as good as it gets today. If I was one to only complain about it I would certainly never watch another fantasy book being translated to the screen again, ever. Of course there's a possibility that someone would do it more to one's liking but the way some people complain I wouldn't take that risk.

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I see Tywin's Bastard that you neglect to deal with the Legolas surf board scene. Understandable, because how do you justify that shit? I agree with you overall. Minus a few cringe worthy scenes, LOTR was a remarkable achievement and its sucess and brilliance will never be replicated, sad to say.

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[quote name='Lil' Joey Clegane' post='1623891' date='Dec 18 2008, 07.39']I see Tywin's Bastard that you neglect to deal with the Legolas surf board scene. Understandable, because how do you justify that shit? I agree with you overall. Minus a few cringe worthy scenes, LOTR was a remarkable achievement and its sucess and brilliance will never be replicated, sad to say.[/quote]
I don't like that "cool" way to show the superiority of the Elves (I don't care for the Mumakil scene either for example, although I didn't really mind the cave troll part) but that scene is approximately five seconds out of 223 minutes so that's not a major thing, thus I left that out. The Galadriel part I wrote about is of course not long either but it's a much bigger part of that character's total screen time in the series. There's of course more that I don't like, including much more important stuff than the shield surf, but when looking at it overall I think the lengths they went to in order to stay in the spirit of Tolkien far outweighs he negatives.

When some phrases didn't work at their original place in the movie they tended to reuse some in other places so there's a good deal of direct Tolkien dialog "hidden" in the movie and so much detail of the descriptions have been added to even pretty insignificant items and clothing. All things like that makes it relatively easy for me to look past the choices I didn't like. I would never have thought anyone would make LotR with that kind of fanatism towards detail etc.

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[font="Georgia"][quote name='Frank Stark' post='1600872' date='Nov 26 2008, 15.03']Nothing about any Wolfgang Peterson movie I've ever seen makes me want him involved. His specialty is hollywood summer blockbuster garbage. Full disclosure, I've never seen Das Boot, but I think I characterized his recent track record fairly.[/quote]

As you state, Wolfgang Petersen has written and directed "Das Boot" (originally produced as a TV series, released in 1985; edited as a feature film and released as such in 1981) which is one of the technically and dramatically highest achievements in the history of the war film genre. It also happens to be a successful (if partially flawed) adaptation of the novel of the same name by former war correpondent and author Lothar Guenther Bucheim, which itself is one of the greatest works on World War II in german literature.
And while his adaptation of Michael Ende's "Die unendliche Geschichte" ("The Neverending Story" (1984)) is an artistic failure, its technical innovations display Petersen's impressive skill.
He gradually degenerated into a director of "blockbuster garbage" (eg "Air Force One" (1997), "The perfect storm" (2000), "Troy" (2004)) after he went to Hollywood in the late 1980s. But even then, he was able to produce an outstanding film like "In the Line of Fire" (1993) with Clint Eastwood and John Malkovich.
Although I share your contempt for concoctions like "Troy", Petersen is a technically superb director who has produced at least one landmark film in his career.

Nevertheless, I hope and believe that HBO will hire experienced TV directors for "Game of Thrones" (if it they will produce it at all).[/font]

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[quote name='thersites' post='1624233' date='Dec 18 2008, 10.22'][font="Georgia"]

As you state, Wolfgang Peterson has written and directed "Das Boot" (originally produced as a TV series, released in 1985; edited as a feature film and released as such in 1981) which is one of the technically and dramatically highest achievements in the history of the war film gernre. It also happens to be a successful (if partially flawed) adaptation of the novel of the same name by former war correpondent and author Lothar Günther Bucheim, which itself is one of the greatest works on World War II in german literature.
And while his adaptation of Michael Ende's "Die unendliche Geschichte" ("The Neverending Story" (1984)) is an artistic failure, its technical innovations display Petersen's impressive skill.
He gradually degenerated into a director of "blockbuster garbage" (eg "Air Force One" (1997), "The perfect storm" (2000), "Troy" (2004)) after he went to Hollywood in the late 1980s. But even then, he was able to produce an outstanding film like "In the Line of Fire" (1993) with Clint Eastwood and John Malkovich.
Although I share your contempt for concoctions like "Troy", Petersen is a technically superb director who has produced at least one landmark film in his career.

Nevertheless, I hope and believe that HBO will hire experienced TV directors for "Game of Thrones" (if it they will produce it at all).[/font][/quote]


Air Force one was alright in my book yeah Hollywood blockbuster but still an overall allright film but Troy just sucked ass.

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I very much enjoyed the LOTR films, although, Tolkien purist as I am, I was dismayed at some of PJ's inventions. Elves at Helm's Deep? No Scouring of the Shire? If the ASOIAF series manages to achieve the same level of realism and reasonable book-faithfulness, I will be well pleased.


My XXVth post! I am now a freerider, worthy to be tossed on a scrawny nag, given boiled leather and a lance, and sliced to shreds by armored knights!

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[quote name='El-ahrairah' post='1624300' date='Dec 18 2008, 10.54']I very much enjoyed the LOTR films, although, Tolkien purist as I am, I was dismayed at some of PJ's inventions. Elves at Helm's Deep? No Scouring of the Shire? If the ASOIAF series manages to achieve the same level of realism and reasonable book-faithfulness, I will be well pleased.


My XXVth post! I am now a freerider, worthy to be tossed on a scrawny nag, given boiled leather and a lance, and sliced to shreds by armored knights![/quote]


I missed the San Knights the most. I love Prince Imrahil. But I also missed the scourging of the shire. Peter Jackson said that actually if he had had the time, and the money he'd have loved to have shown the battles across middle earth, but obviously couldn't so the inclusion of the Elves was to say that the battle is also being fought elsewhere. Also wished they could have had the easterlings at Palenor.

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[quote name='Peter Irving' post='1624284' date='Dec 18 2008, 08.47']Air Force one was alright in my book yeah Hollywood blockbuster but still an overall allright film but Troy just sucked ass.[/quote]

You guys do know who wrote [i]Troy[/i], right?

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[quote name='Peter Irving' post='1624406' date='Dec 18 2008, 10.20']david benioff so?[/quote]

Just thought it was funny people were concerned that Wolfgang Peterson would ruin the pilot if he was chosen as a director because of how Troy sucked, when the guy that wrote that film is writing and producing the pilot!

FWIW, based on his previous ties with Benioff, I would say Peterson has an outside chance at being the director. Much better chance than Peter Jackson, that is for sure.

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@thersites - Fair point on "In the Line of Fire," ... excellent movie. And I didn't know he did "Neverending Story" also. I've never watched it all the way through, but maybe now I'll give it a try.

I like to bash "Troy" as much as the next person (or I guess every other next person, since some on the board liked it), but it's my hope that the rest of Benioff's resume shows him very capable of getting Game of Thrones to the small screen in respectable fashion. Also, he has the endoresment of GRRM, which goes a long way to relieving my worries.

Edit to add: I don't think any of these Hollywood movie guys will be directing the pilot. I'd guess someone of long experience in the HBO or BBC stable.

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First of all, just to support everyone who is maintaining the awesomeness of the LOTR movies and the great job Jackson did.

Second, this whole discussion is kind of moot, since not only is there little to no chance that Jackson would direct, but also since TV series like these generally do not just have one director; each episode is usually directed and written by different people, who don't have much control over the overall direction of the series. The real showrunners are the executive producers, a.k.a. Weiss and Benioff.

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[quote name='Lil' Joey Clegane' post='1623891' date='Dec 18 2008, 00.39']LOTR was a remarkable achievement and its sucess and brilliance will never be replicated, sad to say.[/quote]

If you mean when it comes to Fantasy films, I'd say "never" is a strong word. If you mean films in general, I'd say there have been some successful and brilliant films equal to if not better than LOTR's achievement before and after the films were made.

I enjoyed my fair share of LOTR viewings, but them films are not [i]the[/i] peak of filmmaking excellence.

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[quote name='jousha' post='1626187' date='Dec 19 2008, 20.33']If you mean when it comes to [b]Fantasy films, I'd say "never" is a strong word. [/b]If you mean films in general, I'd say there have been some successful and brilliant films equal to if not better than LOTR's achievement before and after the films were made.[/quote]

I was talking about Fantasy films. The truth is that the vast majority of the very few Fantasy films in existence are crap, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. I can probably count the number of good fantasy films on one hand. And by fantasy, I mean taking place an alternative pre-modern world, with swords and...stuff. LOTR worked because they were both great fantasy films and great films in general (though I would not put them on the same level as most modern classics). I hope I am wrong about "never", but I doubt it. Outlook is bleak.

OK, now counting, I can find more than five, but not much more. And none have the sophistication, set design, acting quality, plot, ect.. of LOTR. Not even close.

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