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Steve, Birmingham, England
Comment: I have been a lover of Tolkiens work ever since I read the Hobbit
I thought the original animated version both a nice try but an absolute
horror to actually watch.
When I first saw FOTR I was very impressed and thought the film was a fantastic
portrayal that remained faithful (as much as it could) to the book, but
I sorely missed Farmer Maggot, Tom Bombadil, the Barrow White, Glorfindel
and the time Frodo spent in the Shire before his journey began.
The extended DVD version re-addressed this somewhat (rather excellently
too!) with all the additions and I'm proud to say that FOTR is SUPERB!
Then came TTT.
We had all waited a whole year for a film that was said to be better than
FOTR. I left the cinema in awe from the cinematic excellence, but felt deeply
disappointed by the fact that the film never delivered the faithful representation
that it had promised.
The scenery WAS Middle Earth, the Gandalf/Balrog fight was superb (if not
short), the Rohan were awesome (even if Edoras seemed small at times), the
Ents were magical, the wargs were a nice touch, Arwens choice was a nice
touch, the Elves at Helms Deep was a nice touch (though maybe not faithful
to the Elven story), Eowyn was how I pictured her, Osgiliath was interesting,
Gollum was fantastic as were the flying Nazgul and Helms Deep was truly
But where was Erkenbrand? Why so little of Eomer? Theoden wanted to lead
a fight to Sauraman, not run to Helms Deep, did he not? Aragorn went with
the rest of the party to Helms Deep and didn't need to fall over a cliff!
There was no change of hearts by the Ents - they went to fight from after
the Entmoot! Where were the Ents at the borders of Helms Deep? Why didn't
we get the Aragorn/Gandalf party going to Isengard to challenge Sauraman
along with all the other events at Isengard such as the Palantir, Aragorn
revealing himself to Sauron etc etc? Where was Shelob!
My main gripes though would be the fact that Faramir was not the wise and
fair Faramir from my book and how dare Frodo try and give the Ring to the
flying Nazgul when this just would not have happened!
But I have now seen it 4 times! The 2nd time I put the book to one side
and allowed myself to be immersed in the fantasy and found it amazing. The
3rd and 4th times it just got better.
In conclusion the Books will always be Tolkiens Middle Earth and My Middle
Earth, but the films are a damn fine piece of excellence that almost takes
me there for real!!
Laurie Nord, Shoreline, WA, U.S.A.
There was a lot to like about the movie, particularly the parts about Eomer,
Eowyn, King Theoden and Rohan. The movie also treated Frodo, Sam and Gollum
(and his inner conflict) well.
I only wish that the filmmakers had kept closer to the plot and the spirit
of the original book. In the movie, Treebeard tries to send Merry and Pippin
back home to the Shire, and the two hobbits have to persuade Treebeard and
the Ents to attack Isengard. In addition, Faramir succumbs to the lure of
the Ring and foolishly takes Frodo and Sam into battle at Osgiliath. In
the book, Treebeard and the Ents attack Isengard by their own decision (prompted
by the sudden arrival of the hobbits in Fangorn), and Faramir successfully
resists the call of the Ring. Furthermore, the battle of Osgiliath never
happened in the book, since the city had already fallen some time before.
I think that the original story as found in the book is exciting enough
without the additional movie plot complications. I also think that it is
important to represent the motivations and choices of the characters in
accordance with the original. It is important to know that the Ents were
following their own destiny in attacking Isengard, and that Boromir and
Faramir, while brothers, were two very different men who made radically
different decisions in regard to the Ring.
Therefore, while I do recommend the movie, I do not feel that it is a substitute
for reading the book. It is my hope that the millions of movie-goers will
be motivated to read the Lord of the Rings and discover its
treasures for themselves.
Bob Small, Danielsville, PA, USA
I have very mixed emotions on TTT. While it is a very exciting and fast-paced
picture, it seems to have been made more for the non-Toliken reader rather
than for those familiar with JRRT's works. Too many new ideas (what were
the elves doing in Helm's Deep?) and too much attention laved upon Arwen
and Aragorn made me wonder what Jackson's next invention was going to be.
I felt Frodo and Sam's being taken to Osgiliath was needless. All that being
said, however, I must subscribe to the feeling that this is as good as it
can get on film. If I make the attempt to separate book from movie as entities
unto themselves, I can more enjoy both as what they are and can be. I will
always prefer to go back to the books and lose myself among the peoples
of Middle Earth, but thank you to Peter Jackson for providing a grand effort
in bringing visuality to the best fiction of all time.
Graham Cobley, Hinckley, UK
I thoroughly enjoyed the film version of The Two Towers. I
pretty much knew what to expect from what had been left in "FotR"
by Peter Jackson. There were two great delights for me personally: the fantastic
bringing to life of Gollum/ Smeagol with the depth of character achieved;
and the quality of the Ents.
I only had two minor reservations.
1. I'd like to have seen more of the Ents, and hopefully that'll come in
the DVD Extended Edition
2. The revision to Faramir's character disappointed me the first time I
saw the film, but not so much the second time. Again I would hope this is
expanded in the Extended Edition, but also from a film-making point of view
I could see the need for Sam & Frodo to encounter the peril of the battle
of Osgiliath, and set the scene nicely for the Siege of Minas Tirith.
With Shelob moved the RotK film (which I guess they can do
as the Scouring of the Shire is likely to be cut) the film needed a climax
for Sam & Frodo and by Faramir taking them towards Minas Tirith it was
Nothing is ever, ever going to come close to the books, but so far I've
found Peter Jackson's adaptation to be everything I could have hoped for.
In some cases more, in others less, but overall it's a tremendous achievement.
The battle for Helm's Deep was a truly inspired peice of film-making, heaven
knows how he's going to top it in RotK, but I'm keeping my fingers
crossed he hasn't peaked early! :-)
10 out of 10, can't wait for the DVD.
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