Fifteen years on...

For discussion of the upcoming films based on The Hobbit and related material, as well as previous films based on Tolkien's work
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Fifteen years on...

Post by Alatar »

Hard to believe its been fifteen years since Fellowship opened. I remember getting tickets to the Irish Premiere and the shiver of excitement that came with those opening lines of Elvish "I amar prestar aen, han mathon ne nen, han mathon ne chae, a han noston ned 'wilith". Still to my mind the best Middle-earth movie. I didn't like Nuclear Galadriel, and I wasn't as impressed with the Balrog as everyone else, but apart from that it was practically perfect for me. Of course, multiple viewings have changed some things, I don't actually think I've watched the Theatrical cut since the EE came out, and of course I've watched several Fanedits, but nothing touches that first, almost religious, experience. I think I might watch it again this year with the kids. Just Fellowship. And next year, The Two Towers. Maybe in October I'll watch the Extended Edition. :)
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Re: Fifteen years on...

Post by yovargas »

I was one who on first viewing was kinda like "uhhh....I guess that was pretty good.....right?" And then I watched it again. And again. And again. And again. And again. Until I lost count of how many times I'd seen it (at least 8 in theaters; possibly 30+ at home) and it had become, easily, the movie I've watched the most. Safe to say I came around to thinking it was more than pretty good. :)
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Re: Fifteen years on...

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

I'm not sure that I would agree that to me Fellowship is clearly the best Middle-earth film. Like all six of them, there is much that I love unequivocally about it, but also much that I dislike about it. But I can absolutely say without any hesitation that the first time I saw it in the theater was the most incredible cinematic experience that I have ever had, and I can say with almost as much certainty that it will remain so. Unlike all of the following films, I had no idea what to expect. I had not closely followed the pre-production; all I knew is that a new attempt was being made to film a piece of literature that had had already had a tremendously profound influence on my life, by a (to me) completely unknown director, and that they were making three films. To say that my expectations were low would not be accurate; they were non-existent. And then, that voice, those words, those initial images, and some of the most powerful portions of the first part of the book brought to absolute life. I was so overwhelming by what was so overwhelmingly good that I didn't even notice the things that later I would come to consider flaws. Nothing has ever remotely come close to that experience since, and I surely doubt that anything will.
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Re: Fifteen years on...

Post by Alatar »

Funnily enough, the closest experience I've had to that was at Rogue One last night. It just felt so right.
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Re: Fifteen years on...

Post by Alatar »

And who remembers downloading these in Quicktime, or Realplayer...




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Re: Fifteen years on...

Post by Anduril »

Oh it's been that long.

Well I haven't watched them in a long time. Skipped the Hobbit ones too. I don't really think about them anymore. Time heals all wounds?

Besides, the new Star Wars sequel, which disappointed me so much, put Jackson and company's jolly changes in perspective. Make Denethor a crazy comet, puff up the Hobbit, I don't care anymore. Star Wars has it worse. There's always something worse. Everyone loved it like crazy too, but they did for PJ's LOTR and Hobbit, so I'm used to it now. Used to disappointment and feeling left out.

At least the movies got me to devour all the books I could get my hands on and led me to this community, here and on TORC.

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Re: Fifteen years on...

Post by Pearly Di »

I'm sorry you've been disappointed, Anduril. :(

I loved Rogue One!!!!!!!!!!! I am very far from being a hardcore SW fan. But I saw it twice. Loved it.

Al, I can't count the number of times I watched each and every one of those trailers, and then shared the excitement online. The early days, and the high days, of the LotR film fandom was truly a Golden Age of the internet. :love:
Voronwë the Faithful wrote: ... But I can absolutely say without any hesitation that the first time I saw it in the theater was the most incredible cinematic experience that I have ever had, and I can say with almost as much certainty that it will remain so ... Nothing has ever remotely come close to that experience since, and I surely doubt that anything will.
Yep. :love:

Like you, there is much I love, and much that drives me bonkers, about all of PJ's filmic excusions into Middle-earth. But nothing has ever come close to the cinematic experience that seeing FotR for the first time was. So incredibly immersive and spellbinding, and yes, a dream come true.

I watched FotR again on UK TV recently - the theatrical version, complete with hilariously inappropriate advert breaks. I hadn't seen it for YEARS and it really has stood the test of time very well indeed. :) A splendid fantasy film, and a very good adaptation of Tolkien (with quibbles here and there, of course!)

I'm struck by how good the exposition is. The Harry Potter films, much as I love them, are made VERY much for the fans. If you don't know the books, I can't see how much sense the films would make, especially the later ones. Whereas PJ made his LotR very much for non-fans as well as fans. And that was important.

My biggest beef will always be Frodo's characterisation. Elijah's Frodo is charming and spiritual. But he doesn't begin to compare with Movie Bilbo's heroism. Alas. (Martin and Sir Ian are both SO GOOD as Bilbo.)
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Re: Fifteen years on...

Post by Sunsilver »

Oh, yes, Alatar, I downloaded one of the very first trailers in Quicktime, in the largest version. I let it download overnight, because it took FOREVER over dialup!

It wasn't the one above, because I remember the scene with Elrond commanding his Elvish troops to prepare their weapons, which they did in a wave, one after the other. That was a fantastic bit of cinema - the Elvish armour was GORGEOUS, unlike anything I'd seen before! That trailer did contain some of the same footage though - I remember the horse jumping over the log, and Peter talking about how the technology had advanced enough to allow him to realize Tolkien's word in a more accurate way.

As for the films,I remember gasping in awe at the scale of Moria, then shuddering as the swarms of orcs came climbing down the pillars. The balrog scene didn't disappoint, either, though I did roll an eye at some of those collapsing pillars that allowed the companions a miraculous escape after Gandalf fell. (That was something I learned to do quite frequently when watching PJ's movies...If LOTR was bad for that, the Hobbit was 10x worse!)

The whole lead-up to the Party was fantastic, as was the Party itself. The meeting of Frodo and Gandalf was especially wonderful, with that great bit of dialogue that starts with Frodo saying "You're late!" and Gandalf responding, "A wizard is never late, nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to," lifted right out of the book! It made my Tolkien-loving heart leap for joy! I think I actually might have shed a happy tear! I also loved Gandalf setting off some fireworks to please the hobbit children. Not in the book but yup, I can see Gandalf doing it!

I loved Pippin and Merry setting off the dragon firework, which was an awesome piece of special effects in its own right. Bilbo's line about 'Dragon? Nonsense, there hasn't been a dragon in these parts in a thousand years!" provided a wonderful laugh, and that special feeling that comes with knowing Peter had read the books, and was trying to stay true to them*

The only times the films disappointed me was when he failed to do just that... :(

*(even if it wasn't Bilbo who said that in the books. I wouldn't be a true Tolkien fan if I didn't point that out!)
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Re: Fifteen years on...

Post by eborr »

I am just going to echo everyone else, I was very nervous going into the cinema, I hadn't seen too many trailers, and I was reassured by some of the actors being used, but that beginning drew me in so much that I even forgave the loss of Bombastic. I don't think I really came down until halfway through to two towers when the horse licking, the muddy waargs and the ents really hurt. Still those first few moments in the cinema will stay with me always
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