Yet Another Helping of LOTR

Betamax and beyond

Postby The Vicar on Mon Jun 26, 2006 11:23 am

Chairman Kaga wrote:
Doc Holliday wrote:
Chairman Kaga wrote:It's funny how people have been down on the two DVD versions of Star Wars so far (what with that edition featuring the originals on the horizon) yet LOTR, which is no where near as old, is already up to their third version.


I have a feeling (a real bad feeling in fact ha ha ha) that the Bajillion Kagillion VHS editions of the OT may be relevant to your point.....

I can see that. Give em 20 years.


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Postby Doc Holliday on Mon Jun 26, 2006 12:26 pm

Or the warming power of tweed. Its one fine sturdy material.
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Postby The Vicar on Mon Jun 26, 2006 4:15 pm

And never really goes out of fashion.

If you're Fred MacMurray.

Or Mister Rogers.
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Postby Doc Holliday on Mon Jun 26, 2006 4:43 pm

sleepflower wrote:And no, no matter how much you wish, I did not say or mean Hobbit.


Whereas I will. Did. Am about to.


Hobbithobbithobbithobbithobbithobbithobbit
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Postby RogueScribner on Tue Jun 27, 2006 12:46 am

tapehead wrote:actually I was hoping maybe they shot it, and it would be in the deleted scenes - if included in the film it would require other scenes to be re-edited, but that's obvious, isn't it? I'm interested Rogue, have you read the books? Because if you haven't I'm a little upset that you would completely disregard my suggestion without consideration



I read them in middle school and haven't touched them since, though I do own them still. To be honest, I don't really remember much outside of the dense language of the prose and while I considered reading them again when I heard the movies were coming out, I didn't want to fall into the trap of being disappointed in the movies because of the differences with the books, so I didn't.

I didn't intend to dismiss your idea out of hand, my point was more than in the context of the films themselves such a scene is superfluous. It simply isn't needed.

tapehead wrote:...and what is a scribner?


It's a self-created bastardization of the word "scrivener" that I use because I think it sounds better (and still better than "scriber"). And it's the name of a publishing house, so it still sort of fits. :)
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Postby tapehead on Tue Jun 27, 2006 2:19 am

that's a fair point, I guess, but there's nothing that makes them superfluous but your assertion, and I can't really see what you base it on. I presumed I guess, that those who have read the book might remember that chapter like I do - I always thought it held due place as a fitting end to those characters, amongst all those other interminable endings and conclusions.
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Postby Chairman Kaga on Tue Jun 27, 2006 9:21 am

I thought it made the Ents look like morons that they not only didn't kill Saruman but they let him go.
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Postby Lady Sheridan on Tue Jun 27, 2006 3:50 pm

I'm mixed on the Scouring of the Shire. On one hand, I like it. It shows how far the evil of the Ring had spread and proved that the Ring affected not just a few, but all, and how it was the duty of all to fight against evil and preserve the good in the world. It also drives home the end of the Third Age and the realization that you can't go home again--the world was changing and the Shire had to change with it.

Yet, I also hate it for that very reason. The hobbits had been through so much, particularly Frodo and Sam, and you wanted the Shire to be the place they remembered and longed for. You wanted them to be able to go home again. The Shire had been a refuge, even Gandalf prized it for its isolation and Aragorn remarks how they had patrolled the borders to keep the hobbits in happy ignorance. So it seems like of all places, the Shire should have been left alone, like it is in the film. Plus it is an awfully political chapter--if you can call Tolkien political--a really modern invasion that really clashes with the Anglo-Saxon roots.

And so ultimately, I do prefer the "happier" ending of the film...except that I wish it was slightly tempered so that the Shire do know what has gone on and don't just regard the four of them as uppity weirdos. But I think the scene of them in the tavern where they exchange silent, serious looks captures the sense the Scouring aimed at, really.
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Postby Petri on Tue Jun 27, 2006 4:00 pm

Lady, never thought it about that but it really makes alot of sense to have it done the way it was done. It helped make the movies feel like they came full circle as it all started in the happy innocence of the shire and it ends in the happy innocence of the shire.
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Postby tapehead on Tue Jun 27, 2006 4:18 pm

These comments are true - I suppose I enjoyed it because it was such a surprise, and then enjoyable to read about our battle-hardened hobbits taking on Men and sending them packing - to include the scourge would mean re-editing the EE version drastically - but as I remember it the theatrical release kind of left it open for inclusion - something about them coming back to their beloved hobbiton and having to vanquish one last foe appealed to me.... LS is right though, the scene in the tavern is where the film evokes the fellowship, and how they are happy to be home, but will always be apart from their fellow hobbits.
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Postby RogueScribner on Wed Jun 28, 2006 4:35 am

tapehead,

See, I'm remembering the EE and not the theatrical cut that you mentioned. I can see how it was left open in the TC and so the possibility still existed for the scouring of the shire for those expecting it. However, what is the ultimate goal of that event? What did Tolkien mean to convey by that chapter? The hobbits are changed men. We get that much from the films now. Even though the Shire was untouched, even though they've been welcomed home with open arms, in a way, it's different. They're different. They've lost their innocence. Frodo felt so detached from his life in the Shire that he chose to leave forever. There was nothing there for him anymore. Did we need to see it pillaged to understand that?

Again I'll state that I haven't read the books in over 15 years. I can hardly remember anything about them. I'm not saying the event in the book is superfluous or wrong. Just that, in the films presented, I didn't miss it. I think we were given a complete emotional arc for the hobbits and everything was resolved without the scouring, so outside of some curiosity regarding what it would have looked like (and did we not get a peek in FOTR?) I don't really see how it's necessary.

What would it have added to the characters that we didn't already get? That, and it would seem very odd as the film is plunging towards its end to stop everything for an action sequence, no? The war was over. Everything we saw at the end of the film told us so. It would have seemed really gratuitous to include such a scene at the end of the movie, IMO.
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Postby tapehead on Wed Jun 28, 2006 6:41 am

Yeah man I get you
- I did miss it, and TomBombadil, and that's why I've brought them up for discussion in this thread - to see how other zoners felt about it. There's been a lot of different opinions - Tom Bombadil seems to polarise this audience to the extreme.
Someone gave the three volumes to me and I re-read them after I saw Fellowship, and that to a further extent accounts fo having details like this in my mind when I watched the second and third films. These are, in some respects, books written for children or young people, and I was surprised how much of the books I had remembered when I watched the first film.
When the Hobbits enter the forests I noticed 'Where's that old Tom Bombadil?'. Now from a book, like you, I hadn't picked up for at leat fifteen years, that strikes me as a memorable character, significant to this reader in some way. I agree their stories are completed in the EE versions of the films, and Sauroman is done away with nicely, as a Wizard should be. My contention is that the scourge might have been included, without being superflous.
The work of adapting Tolkien by Jackson and co must have taken years, and I'm sure they played things out in various ways over the course of the scripts development. I'm not even getting into the different ways the three films were edited (by three different editors). Probably my thinking is that there are other elements of the films that are kind of superflous - and some of them invented. There are also dozens of slow motion, dramatic emotional sequences, not all of them wholly succesful. But I love the movies as they are - the EE editions in particular.
I've happily conceded the point made above by LS that ROTK does have scenes that achieve the emotional resolution for the Hobbits journey, and foreshadows what the books tells us regards the rest of their lives. The Scourging of the shire, for me, also shows us the end of the Third Age very concretely - the Hobbits realm has been a haven for the likes of Gandalf and Aragorn - known only as the Strider for a good deal of the first book, and it is invaded, not by orcs, but by the petty evils of men.
It would have made for a sadder ending, but the end of the Lord of the Rings isn't all joyous and triumphant, there's great melancholy and sadness too - it's the end of Myth and these mythic characters.
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Postby mushookie on Wed Jun 28, 2006 11:40 am

Just so you guys know, there is a rumor that they're making a Hobbit film! Live action other than that crappy cartoon thing!
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Postby jgraphix on Wed Jun 28, 2006 11:44 am

mushookie wrote:Just so you guys know, there is a rumor that they're making a Hobbit film! Live action other than that crappy cartoon thing!


I don't think anyone here doesn't know. It has it's own thread somewhere in here.
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Postby mushookie on Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:56 pm

well, I haven't read it, sorry, dude
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Postby sonnyboo on Sat Aug 26, 2006 7:55 pm

Back to the DVD aspect of this topic and the DVD release this Tuesday...

I found this FAQ on Amazon to be very very enlightening.

FAQs

Still have questions about this release? Here are some Frequently Asked Questions from fans.

When Is The Lord of the Rings Going to Be Released in High Definition (Either HD-DVD or Blu-ray)?

The high definition formats that have recently launched offer exceptional picture and sound quality in addition to new interactive bonus feature capabilities. New Line Home Entertainment is committed to the high definition format and is very excited about the idea of releasing the Trilogy in the format. However, New Line is also committed to maximizing the capabilities of the technology to deliver a cutting edge high definition experience. This will take more time as well as the participation of the filmmakers to achieve. It is currently not scheduled for release until, at the earliest, 2008.

I already own both versions of each film. Why doesn’t New Line just release the documentaries?

Having unprecedented access to the cast and crew during film production inevitably means that there are some restrictions. In this case, releasing these documentaries unaccompanied by the film would be nearly impossible because of agreements that are in place with the cast and crew. We wanted to make the documentaries available while also giving the fans something they don’t have, which is why we included both versions of the film on one disc.

How are these documentaries different from the ones on the special extended DVD editions?

The in-depth documentaries on the Special Extended DVD Editions were custom made for the DVDs using new interviews from the cast and crew incorporated with the behind-the-scenes footage to tell the stories. The Costa Botes documentaries use only creatively edited behind-the-scenes footage to give you, the viewer, a feeling of "being there" in the moment while things are happening. There is no narrative to tell the story, but instead a constantly running series of clips that show the raw moments that make up the day-to-day progress on a large film production.

Do I have to flip the disc over to watch the whole movie?

Yes. Due to space capacities of the DVD format and the use of seamless branching, both the theatrical and extended versions of the film are split in the middle of disc 1, so part 1 of the film is on one side of the disc and the conclusion is on the other.




plus

Product Description

Disc 1: For the first time, the Theatrical and Extended versions of each film are on one disc! This 2-sided DVD puts both versions of the epic film on one convenient, portable disc. You can choose which version you'd like to see from the main DVD menu.

Disc 2: Each film has a new behind-the-scenes documentary created by filmmaker Costa Botes. Mr. Botes was personally selected by Peter Jackson to capture every moment during production of the trilogy. He had unprecedented access to the cast and crew during staff meetings and down time, training and rehearsals, laughter and arguments.

Mr. Botes created 3 feature-length documentaries using a raw editing style that gives the viewer a complete fly-on-the-wall experience. Here are the types of stories and moments you can expect to find throughout the 3 documentaries (one per film in the trilogy):


Billy Boyd (Pippin) and Dom Monaghan (Merry) are the ultimate comedy duo, hamming it up for the camera. Highlights of their antics include: candid descriptions of how uncomfortable Treebeard’s branches could be, hanging out in their trailer with an "inflatable" friend, and more!

When Peter Jackson loses a roll of 3-D film, it’s up to everyone to find it. See the lengths that the crew go to uncover the lost photos!

New Zealand means beautiful landscapes and... rain, snow, wind and more! See how frustrating Mother Nature can be when even the most menacing Ringwraiths must huddle under giant umbrellas.

Even the best laid plans can change and the easiest tasks can take longer than expected... cast and crew deal with scene changes, long hours, overtime and additional takes.

Pranks on set? Really? Get a good laugh from Ian McKellan in a "fancy" Gandalf wig, Andy Serkis assessing his Gollum getup, orcs and Uruk-hai doing a little between-take dancing and more!

And, of course, there are things that go wrong…a phone ringing during a scene, forgetting a line or two, and mastering a fight sequence that doesn’t even get into the final film!


This is good info and makes me feel a teensy-tiny bit better about the double dipping.
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Postby Lady Sheridan on Sat Aug 26, 2006 8:09 pm

sonnyboo wrote:
I already own both versions of each film. Why doesn’t New Line just release the documentaries?

Having unprecedented access to the cast and crew during film production inevitably means that there are some restrictions. In this case, releasing these documentaries unaccompanied by the film would be nearly impossible because of agreements that are in place with the cast and crew. We wanted to make the documentaries available while also giving the fans something they don’t have, which is why we included both versions of the film on one disc.



Color me cynical, but I just can't buy that for an instant.

Brocktune, you still have me down for a bootleg, right? ;)
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Postby Peven on Sat Aug 26, 2006 8:14 pm

Lady Sheridan wrote:
sonnyboo wrote:
I already own both versions of each film. Why doesn’t New Line just release the documentaries?

Having unprecedented access to the cast and crew during film production inevitably means that there are some restrictions. In this case, releasing these documentaries unaccompanied by the film would be nearly impossible because of agreements that are in place with the cast and crew. We wanted to make the documentaries available while also giving the fans something they don’t have, which is why we included both versions of the film on one disc.



Color me cynical, but I just can't buy that for an instant.

Brocktune, you still have me down for a bootleg, right? ;)



yeah, i am a pretty big fan of the movies, and not only own both the theatrical and EE dvd's, i made trips to Wal-mart at midnight to be there when they broke out the EE's for all three, BUT i really don't see myself spending the money for this latest set.
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Postby sonnyboo on Sat Aug 26, 2006 8:48 pm

Lady Sheridan wrote:Color me cynical, but I just can't buy that for an instant.


As a filmmaker who has had to do contracts for my own DVD's and the BEHIND THE SCENES for my own feature - yes it absolutely is true. The only way these documentaries can be released seperately is if the actors have seperate contracts and get paid seperately. It's cheaper for the studio to re-release the movie with the added documentaries than release them as their own.

That doesn't justify this triple dip because there's nothing else added to the damn movies or anything else to make them worth the extra $$, but sadly I am a nut for the BEHIND THE SCENES of these movies, so I'm shelling out my $$$. DAMN THEM ALL!!!!
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Postby austenandrews on Sat Aug 26, 2006 11:33 pm

I'm perfectly happy with my EEs. Behind the scenes extras don't do much for me past the first viewing. Wouldn't mind getting the theatrical release of the first two someday, but that's what bargain bins are for. No rush.
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Postby Chairman Kaga on Sun Aug 27, 2006 12:16 am

sonnyboo wrote:
Lady Sheridan wrote:Color me cynical, but I just can't buy that for an instant.


As a filmmaker who has had to do contracts for my own DVD's and the BEHIND THE SCENES for my own feature - yes it absolutely is true. The only way these documentaries can be released seperately is if the actors have seperate contracts and get paid seperately. It's cheaper for the studio to re-release the movie with the added documentaries than release them as their own.

That doesn't justify this triple dip because there's nothing else added to the damn movies or anything else to make them worth the extra $$, but sadly I am a nut for the BEHIND THE SCENES of these movies, so I'm shelling out my $$$. DAMN THEM ALL!!!!


I assume PJ learned his lesson thus why Kong had the "production diaries" on the web and later released as a seperate set.
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Postby Bob Samonkey on Sun Aug 27, 2006 1:10 am

Chairman Kaga wrote:
sonnyboo wrote:
Lady Sheridan wrote:Color me cynical, but I just can't buy that for an instant.


As a filmmaker who has had to do contracts for my own DVD's and the BEHIND THE SCENES for my own feature - yes it absolutely is true. The only way these documentaries can be released seperately is if the actors have seperate contracts and get paid seperately. It's cheaper for the studio to re-release the movie with the added documentaries than release them as their own.

That doesn't justify this triple dip because there's nothing else added to the damn movies or anything else to make them worth the extra $$, but sadly I am a nut for the BEHIND THE SCENES of these movies, so I'm shelling out my $$$. DAMN THEM ALL!!!!


I assume PJ learned his lesson thus why Kong had the "production diaries" on the web and later released as a seperate set.


Like there won't be a Special Extreme Limited Extended Holla Back Monkeyliscious Edition in a couple of years with both the movie the 4 and a half version and the "production diaries" on it...
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Postby happydude3 on Tue Aug 29, 2006 10:56 pm

#1. If you live in Los Angeles and are dying for these right now because you have to have everything, Amoeba has them on sale right now. I just got back. Now, I'm completely happy with my EE's and won't be buying thesebut #2: I also think the sticker on them that boasts the entire extended edition 'on one DVD!' (sic) is really underhanded and I'm someone who has no problem with Lucas' multiple releases (I must obey.) The single is one you have to flip and it seems like they were touting having a seemless edition. Anyway, that's my minor rant. About DVD's I already own. And am not buying. But examined the packaging anyway.
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Postby dimnix on Tue Aug 29, 2006 11:08 pm

I really don't understand why people seem to be constantly blaming the film-makers for double (or triple) dip dvd releases. It's the studio that owns the movie and decides to make the dvds, and is anyone really surprised that studios do sneaky things with DVD releases in order to make more money?

Only blame the film-maker if it's somebody like George Lucas, who personally owns his films and is therefore the one that makes the decision.

But in this case, and with the Kong production diaries, it's really shitty to blame Jackson.
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Postby happydude3 on Tue Aug 29, 2006 11:16 pm

Not even slightly blaming Jackson, dude. I don't think he had anything to do with it. Just saying it was underhanded marketing. And speaking of Lucas, I'm assuming he gives final say on all releases, but I also think its his marketing folks who are pushing the 'see Han shoot first' angle on that new release. Anyway in both cases, I'm not pointing fingers at one individual. Its just kind of infuriating that these kind of decisions go unchecked.
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Postby sonnyboo on Tue Aug 29, 2006 11:17 pm

Wel, luckily I only had to shell out $50 + tax for these today. I solely wanted the documentaries and I've made it through the first two...

I'm a little disappointed. I'm here to tell the masses - DON'T BOTHER BUYING THESE. These "documentaries" have no real interviews, but some small "talk to camera" things, and a few trivial bits, but there is a LOT of footage that was already in the 4 disc Extended Editions. It's worth the $$$ to me, but it won't be to most people. I haven't bothered with the movie discs, because there's nothing new to see there.

Triple Dip to the extreme. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY.
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Tom Bombadil, barrow wights

Postby rserocki on Wed Aug 30, 2006 12:18 am

I liked the Tom Bombadil chapters, in particular the Fog on the Barrow Downs one. I used to have the book of poems Tolkien wrote that had Bombadil on the cover and was a collection of poems from different sources, like "The Mewlips" and other stuff.

I really liked the skeletal wight card that was included in the '70s SPI War of the Ring wargame.Image

Although, having said that, I don't think it would've worked in the movies. Fog on the Barrow Downs and The Passage of the Marshes are two chapters that have an atmosphere of spookiness and menace that I don't think could be achieved well. I greatly appreciate the movies and have EEs of FotR and RotK, but seeing what the Dead Marshes spooky things looked like in the movie versus how they were portrayed in the book, ditto the Dead, I'm afraid the barrow wight would've been over the top. And I further acknowledge "books and movies are different," the Dead need to be really shown, we couldn't have this dim subtleness going on with the eyes reflecting torches and so-on.

I don't suppose I had anything useful to say, but I wanted to chime in since I liked the books and movies.
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Postby The Hellboy on Wed Aug 30, 2006 12:55 am

Actually, I'm really enjoying the "fly on the wall" aspect of these docs (I watched the FOTR one tonight). There's an honesty and energy that's sometime compromised by the intrusion of "talking heads."

My only complaint - and this is a purely creative note - is that I would have liked to see these cut in order of actual production (shooting FOTR one day, TT the next, etc). As it stands, they're cut in order corresponding to the events in each film. Cutting it to match the chaotic order of filming three movies at once would have been really enlightening to me.

Not for the casual fan, but worthwhile for people who want this type of look at such a massive production.
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Postby MiltonWaddams on Wed Aug 30, 2006 1:09 am

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Or the flower power of weed. Hippies love it.
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Postby sonnyboo on Wed Aug 30, 2006 9:59 am

The Hellboy wrote:My only complaint - and this is a purely creative note - is that I would have liked to see these cut in order of actual production (shooting FOTR one day, TT the next, etc). As it stands, they're cut in order corresponding to the events in each film. Cutting it to match the chaotic order of filming three movies at once would have been really enlightening to me.


I agree 100% with this. The even jump between pickup shooting years apart from one shot to the next.

My other complaint is that there is practically NO post production looks aside from some very brief looks at CGI characters and the occassional model shoot. In the Fellowship doc, there's one brief scene where Peter Jackson complains that he won't sit in editing until they get a couch. And that is the SUM TOTAL from the documentary on the editing of the film...

And now that I have seen the other two, that's ALL you get about the editing from all 3 movies...

Wow, am I disappointed. It's an interesting counter-point to the 4 DVD EE set, but it's hardly worth shelling out the extra $15.99 per disc for it.

FOR THE COMPLETIST/OBSESSIVE FAN ONLY
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Postby Fried Gold on Wed Aug 30, 2006 10:10 am

I seem to remember a fair section devoted to the editing, on one of the EE discs, as I remember Jackson talking about his choice of editor for each film.
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Postby sonnyboo on Wed Aug 30, 2006 11:12 pm

Fried Gold wrote:I seem to remember a fair section devoted to the editing, on one of the EE discs, as I remember Jackson talking about his choice of editor for each film.


And none of that or anything like it is on the new DVD's....
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