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Why so much excitement over LOTR?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by MikeF, Jan 6, 2002.

  1. MikeF

    MikeF Well-Known Member

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    I realize a thread like this traditionally belongs in the Movies forum, but given that the LOTR Discussion thread there is 20+ pages long and filled with what appears to be rabid fan discussion, I thought I might pose my question here.

    Why the hell is LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring receiving such ridiculously positive reviews? The film is rated as the #1 film of all time on the IMDb (ahead of The Godfather, Schindler's List, and Citizen Kane?!) and nearly every amateur review I read gushes about how magnificient the film is and how watching the film was the reviewer's best three hours of his life.

    I've never read the LOTR trilogy, so perhaps I just don't get it. I saw the film, and it struck me as a visually impressive (though not stunning) film that dragged on WAY too long. Character development is marginal, at best. The score is overblown. The movie doesn't end -- it just stops. The plot, if you can call it that, is so simplistic as to be laughable.

    Am I out of my mind? Do people actually think this is the greatest film ever made? Is the excitement about the quality of the film as a film, or about seeing what I gather is many people's favorite literary work translated beautifully into cinematic form?

    I can understand the excitement some people obsessed (or even strongly interested) in the trilogy must feel seeing the trilogy's world translated so impressively onto the screen. Does that a good film make, however?
     
  2. Mitty

    Mitty Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm, this oughtta be good.

     
  3. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Well-Known Member

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    I went to see this opening day with a bunch of folks. One of them looked forward to this more than anything else. Afterwards he was in heaven. I told him I thought it was a good "movie", but I don't get the obsession that people have over it. I still don't get it. He tried to explain about the book and the characters and the fantasy...ok, fine it might be a good read, but come on...its not that great. Good movie, sure, but the best there ever has been? Not even close.
     
  4. Sebastian_M

    Sebastian_M Well-Known Member

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    I am a huge fan of both the book and the film and its not the best film ever but it is the best book ever. (IMO)

    Seb
     
  5. PatrickM

    PatrickM Well-Known Member

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    I too have never read the books but knew about the story a bit. Went to go see it the other day and was blown away. Very well made movie and a compelling story. The acting was excellent as well. Definitely one of the better movies I've ever seen.

    Patrick
     
  6. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Well-Known Member

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  7. Don Black

    Don Black Well-Known Member

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    I've never read the books either but I made sure I saw LOTR twice. I have only done that a handful of times in my life. It's just a terrific epic with great cinematography. Maybe I was in the mood for a quest...
     
  8. MikeF

    MikeF Well-Known Member

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    I understand that this film is but one part of a trilogy. Shouldn't, however, each film be able to stand on its own, to the extent that one has chosen, for whatever reason, to make it into three films? Star Wars is a trilogy, but each film has its own, distinct story arc. Fellowship almost undeniably does not.

    I understand that this is the way the books are written, but it's significantly more acceptable in the case of a literary trilogy than a cinematic one. I also have to imagine the literary version was a bit more artful in its closure of the first part.
     
  9. MikeF

    MikeF Well-Known Member

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  10. Ben Motley

    Ben Motley Well-Known Member

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    Mike, your thread title is "Why so much excitement over LOTR?" Okay, so right off the bat, let's get beyond the idea that so many folks have chimed in recently at IMDb to make it seem that the movie is more highly regarded than Kane or Godfather. It simply isn't true.
    What is true is that the series of books have been immensely popular with a very loyal crowd for many, many years. That crowd has been generally limited to young males. Their loyalty, dare I say obsessiveness, drives the story deeper and deeper into society's conciousness, creating new readers every day, and further cementing veteran readers. Could it be that the books are just damned good? Well, yes. But then, why doesn't any number of other good books create such a demand? Being a good book, a popular book, even an immensely popular very good book, doesn't guarantee a devout, rabid fanbase. The key, I think, is looking to the audience. LOTR knows it's audience well, and was written especially with them in mind. LOTR's general readership, young men, get much more excited about things like adventure stories than old foagies jump up and down about spy thrillers, or middle-aged women about historical fiction or romances. They go to school (where they also contact with many more peers on a daily basis than do adults, generally speaking) and spread the word about their experience with what they are reading. A well written book, specifically aimed at such an audience, spreads like wildfire under such circumstances.
    I don't think I'm entirely off base with that, but it's just a thought. I'm not saying "this is the reason" in a booming godlike voice, but rather just taking a stab at the question at hand.
    To answer this point specifically though...
     
  11. Ben Motley

    Ben Motley Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I'm back, just for a second though.
    Mike, you got in before I could post with comments I addressed so now I gotta re-address. [​IMG]
     
  12. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Well-Known Member

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    Mike, here's a simple one word answer to your question:
    hype
    I felt the same way about Titanic. Remember when everyone was running around saying it was the greatest movie ever in the universe? Now I don't even see it making any top insert-number-here lists, or hear anyone talking about it. It wasn't the greatest movie ever made then, even though lots of people sure thought so.
    So, what will happen with the conception of LOTR in short time? Simple two word answer:
    Back lash
    And, don't place any importance on polls or the like. People are silly, they'll say anything.
     
  13. RobertR

    RobertR Well-Known Member

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  14. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I could not make it a 2nd viewing of LOTR, I walked out around the half way point when I noticed I was dozing off repeatedly. I couldn't stomach the blurriness of the CGI landscape, and found myself not caring about the characters too much (knowing there's 2 more film, you sort of have a feeling that most of the live).
     
  15. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Well-Known Member

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    I loved the film and give it a solid 9/10. It is the best film of it's genre that I have seen in a long time. However, it is not the best film of all time as has been rated in the IMDB.
     
  16. Eric M Jones

    Eric M Jones Well-Known Member

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    I've been thinking about this film a lot mostly because it totally mesmerized me. For reference I've seen it 2 and 1/3 times. (Snuck in after watching another movie to catch the last hours or so.) I'm not a big fan of the books mostly because I read only the Hobbit many years ago. I've always admired the Tolkien fantasy though.
    I am a big fan of movies and I thought this film did many things just right. The closest thing I can compare it to is Star Wars. (I hesitate to bring that film into the discussion because I've already seen the threads that are pitting these films against each other.) The similarity I do see between them though is how they both completely captured my imagination.
    I'm almost 30 so when "Star Wars" came out I was at a very ripe age to be drawn into the SW saga. Those films left a big impression on me and I would say I was a "Star Wars" geek for may years. SW came out in 1979 I've seen literally thousands of films since that time and other than "SW" and "Indiana Jones" I haven't been as fascinated by a film until I saw FOTR a couple of weeks ago.
    Make no mistake this film was a major risk. It already had millions of fans that would be terribly upset if the film didn't due the books justice and the fact that it's a mid-evil story is almost box office poison. (Mid-evil films have always done poor at the BO.) Fortunately Peter Jackson is a masterful movie maker because LOTR wouldn't be as is without his loving direction.
    What PJ did was not only create a movie but he was able to put on screen a complete world with it's own races, and history and legends and deliver it with style and a sure handedness that in the wrong hands could have come across very silly. Which is exactly what I believe George Lucas did with "Star Wars". For me LOTR is a true gem that completely transports you to another time and place and even at 3 hours I was wanting it to go on. Films rarely move me in this way and I believe that many out there feel the same.
    I plan to see it at least once more in the theater and Definetly will buy it on DVD the very day it comes out.
    Now that's my purely emotional response I'd like to address some of your questions below:
     
  17. SteveGon

    SteveGon Well-Known Member

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    Well, I never read the LOTR trilogy, and I've never been into the whole fantasy thing, but I still thought Fellowship of the Ring was a good movie. It's not the best movie of all time, but it's good entertainment.
     
  18. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Well-Known Member

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    I've read the first book once (last year in prep for the movie) and listed to the audio presentation while driving cross country. I've seen the movie 5 times now, mainly because I'm so damn impressed with the thing. Because I have a vague recollection of the novel, but not a great deal of detail, I can apprecitate the movie in how well it captured the book I read. I'm impressed with how well it was paced. While reading it, I was trying to imagine what would likely need to be changed or dropped. I assumed that The Shire would be compressed to a small set of scenes, so imagine how amazed I was to see Hobbiton in all it's glory. Next I tried to imagine how the end would play out (The book ends with the betrayal of Boromir), and was also impressed with how good of a villain Lurtz had been, and how smart it was to conclude the movie with a section of the Two Towers, which gave it an exciting and poigniant ending.I was also impressed with how well that little liberty had on making it a successful movie.

    From a movie making perspective, I am always impressed with movies that incorporate real drama with effects to create a magical world. I've always loved Jackson's work, but wouldn't have ever considered him capable of this kind of result. Couldn't be happier to be surprised.

    Is it the best movie ever? No. Is it a 9.5/10 movie? Absolutely. I think it's a shining example of what Hollywood is capable of. Translating a beloved literary work into a faithful movie at the hands of a believer in the material. None of this feels false, or updated to be hip for the younger crowd. There's no inappropriate comic relief. The action is exciting, the effects are impressive. The dialogue is fitting and appropriately epic. The casting is right to a T. And finally, the movie is damn fun. I was so caught up in it that I found myself jumping and stressing over their survival in the key battles. In short, I think this is a rare movie, and one that I can't easily find the equal to - In scope, intent, substance, or enjoyability.

    From a fan of the movie, not necessarily the book (which is quite good).
     
  19. MickeS

    MickeS Well-Known Member

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    MikeF, you have a fellow wonderer in me. I saw it opening day, and thought it was a decent movie, but found the same faults with it that you do (laughably simplistic "plot", terrible ending, it was also way too compressed with too many characters, and an hour too long). It's a 6/10 for me, nothing more nothing less.
    I was completely AMAZED by all the positive reviews it got. I couldn't understand it, it seemed like reviewers had seen a different movie than I saw.
    Then I started reading Internet reviews, and that was even more amazing. People were gushing over the movie, it inexplicably has reached #1 on IMDB and I just don't get it... I feel like Mr Pitt in the Seinfeld episode where he can't see the 3-D picture that everyone else can see. To me, it's a generic fantasy adventure with a mediocre plot, to most others it's the second coming as far as movies go.
    I had expected reactions similar to what SW:TPM received. I thought that was a movie of about the same quality, but for almost the exact opposite reasons.
    Oh well, I'm glad a lot of people liked it, I just wish I understood why. [​IMG]
    /Mike
     
  20. Adil M

    Adil M Well-Known Member

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    Did someone say this thing held your attention? Please. I read the Hobbit eons ago and the picture of this film amazed me, not the story and character development. Not up to hype, but nothing usually is.
     

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