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LotR Cleans Up at AFI 304

bigdreamer writes "Looks like LOTR is a big hit even among non-nerds. this CNN article says it won the most awards, including Best Picture, at the first annual American Film Institute awards Saturday."
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LotR Cleans Up at AFI

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  • Three whole awards (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dgood ( 139443 ) on Sunday January 06, 2002 @04:40PM (#2794552) Homepage
    The CNN article only mentions 3 awards for LoTR. Were there others, or is this just a bunch of hype over a measly 3 awards?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      See http://www.theonering.net for more details on the awards. For those you too lazy to cut and paste LOTR won Best Production Designer, Best Picture, and Best Digital Effects, and lost Best Musical Score to Moulan Rouge.
    • The CNN article only mentions 3 awards for LoTR. Were there others, or is this just a bunch of hype over a measly 3 awards?

      Eh... I don't know. CNN... hype over LotR...?

      Anyway, it won best picture which is a big enough deal. And then two other awards. Assuming this is more than any other film that was up for awards this year then yeah, it is a big deal. According to the article Black Hawk Down and In the Bedroom both had the most nominations (5) and since Black Hawk Down didn't win any it stands to reason that three awards was probably the most any movie won.
    • Doesn't sound like much, but there were only two films that won more than one award. LotR got three, Moulin Rouge got two, and all the other winners got one award each.
    • It's three out of twelve possible. The three awards won (which can be found here [afi.com] for those so inclined) were:

      • AFI Movie of the Year
      • AFI Production Designer of the Year
      • AFI Digital Effects Artist of the Year

      Winning a quarter of the available awards has to be considered "cleaning up" by any standard.

      I'm a little miffed that neither Ian McKellen nor Viggo Mortensen got nominated, though; apparently the Best Movie owes nothing to its actors or its director, but rather its production design and digital f/x (which were admittedly both very good).

  • by rebug ( 520669 ) on Sunday January 06, 2002 @04:40PM (#2794553)
    First annual?

    Don't we have enough of these goons sitting around saluting themselves?
  • Of course (Score:3, Insightful)

    by eln ( 21727 ) on Sunday January 06, 2002 @04:41PM (#2794557)
    Of course it got the most awards, it's making the most money. That's how Hollywood awards work.
    • And it's making lots of money because...?

      Oh yeah.. maybe because it's a great movie. Yes, not all movies that make lots of money are great, but you can't just chalk the awards up to the money without asking why it made so much money.

      • Re:Of course (Score:2, Insightful)

        Movies make money because of effective marketing, and because there is a rather large-ish group of people out there who will go see *any* crappy Hollywood movie that comes out, as long as it's new. Money-making is, in fact, the primary barometer of "good film" in Hollywood, because it's the whole reason for Hollywood's existence, and they like to reward the good guys.
  • Just curious... I'm probably one of 4 people in the state that haven't managed to see it yet.

    How much has this movie made so far? I was reading rumours that it was going to be the biggest December release in history or something like that..

    I was just wondering if it has broken any records yet. (Aside from the "Ouch, my ass hurts after sitting for 2hr 58min" record) :-)
    • It broke a record here; I've seen it twice since it came out. The last movie I actually went to see in a theatre was "Sneakers", in 1993, I think.

      Geez, $5 for a Mountain Dew... I think I'll stick to my home theatre!
    • by inc0gnito ( 443709 ) on Sunday January 06, 2002 @04:50PM (#2794579) Homepage
      According to www.chud.com, Lord of The Rings has grossed $205,500,000 as of last Monday
      (box office totals are updated every Monday). This is over a three week period.
      Last weekend's gross was $23,000,000.

      FYI: In 8 weeks Harry Potter has grossed $300,500,000 so I don't think that LOTR has broken any records yet.
    • Lawrence of Arabia (1964). First cut was 3h42. They quickly reduced that by twenty minutes however. Still a long time to seat.
    • Check out the gross income of movies that are currently in theaters here:
      http://movies.yahoo.com/boxoffice/latest/rank.html [yahoo.com]

      You can compare these totals to the totals of the Top 100 biggest ranking movies of all time here:
      http://movies.yahoo.com/boxoffice-alltime/rank.htm l [yahoo.com]

      As you can see, even if it makes the projected estimates for this weekend, it will only be up to #34 in the rankings. However, it's also only been out for 2 weeks... :)

      Guess it's time for me to go see it again and help bump it up one more notch...

      • Keep in mind that since it's a three hour movie, it cannot be shown as often during a given day on a single screen as your typical 90 minute film. Therefore box office grosses must necessarily be smaller for any given time period. That simple fact alone will keep it from breaking too many box office records.
    • by sph ( 35491 )
      According to this [boxofficemojo.com] LotR has grossed already over $200M in the US and almost $200M elsewhere. That's way more than the budget of the whole trilogy. Four records mentioned include the biggest Christmas day gross, and some December records. There's also an interesting comparison chart [boxofficemojo.com], where the film's gross history is compared against Harry Potter, Star Wars ep 1 and Titanic.

      Some guy at Miramax is going to get his ass kicked for wanting to reduce LotR into one movie and driving Peter Jackson away to New Line Cinema, who were ready to fund three movies.
      • by Milalwi ( 134223 )

        Some guy at Miramax is going to get his ass kicked for wanting to reduce LotR into one movie and driving Peter Jackson away to New Line Cinema, who were ready to fund three movies.

        Sadly, probably not. It was a risk, a big one. They could've lost money big-time.

        Hollyweird is very risk-adverse. Fortunately this risk has paid off in a big way.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    It should have picked up more awards. I thought LOTR was good. But not the #1 movie of the year.
    • It really depends how you think of it: Memento was incredibly well-written and very, very, very thoughtfully put-together. Lord of the Rings was your typical huge, beautiful, grandoise masterpiece kind of thing. Personally, I feel Memento deserves a nod as the best picture of the year, yeah, but I think Joe Movie Nerd responds a bit better to the kind of epic visual adventure that LoTR brings.

      That is simply my opinion, though, for your reflection.
    • Both are excellent movies in their own rights. Very rarely does a movie brainfuck me; Memento did that.

      Fellowship of the Ring, however, was excellent in that it told a story very well, with stunning visuals, great special effects, and some great acting. It wasn't nearly as unconventional as Memento, but it was still an great movie.

      Also, FOTR is only one of two movies I've seen twice in the theatre (the other being The Matrix).
    • by Cynical_Dude ( 548704 ) on Sunday January 06, 2002 @05:20PM (#2794689)
      To put it bluntly: Memento [imdb.com] forced me to think, while LOTR [imdb.com] had me gaping at the screen, drooling into my popcorn.

      I think Memento beat LOTR in originality but overall the better cinematic experience was LOTR.

      Filthy sums up best what I didn't like about Memento. [bigempire.com]

      Then again, these awards aren't about how good or bad a movie is and I think we all know that.

      With 95% of new movies being the same old Hollywood gunk, I'm actually glad to see this move. That's Lobstertainment!
    • http://us.imdb.com/ReleaseDates?0209144

      Granted, it wasn't released in the US until January 20, but technically it's a 2000-movie, not a 2001-movie and thus shouldn't be competing for best 2001-picture against LotR :-)
    • I heard that Momento is an english language remake of the excellent "Winter Sleepers" (same director as "Run Lola Run"). Can anyone tell me is this is true?
  • Is it just me? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Flarners ( 458839 ) on Sunday January 06, 2002 @04:45PM (#2794565) Journal
    Am I the only one who was not at all impressed with the movie? Sure, the visual effects were stunning and the cinematography was gorgeous, but overall the movie just felt empty. The movie didn't show any real character development or other basic storytelling premises. It was just one thing happening after another over and over again for a full three hours, with little rhyme or reason applied to the events. First they find the ring then they get chased by ringwraiths then they meet Aragorn then they get chased by ringwraiths again then Frodo gets sick then they go to Rivendale then.... you get the picture. This sort of filmmaking works wonders for popcorn action movies like Mission Impossible and the Jackie Chan movie du jour, but I was honestly expecting more of the greatest fantasy works of the twentieth century.
    • Re:Is it just me? (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by Anonymous Coward
      ... didn't show any real character development or other basic storytelling premises. It was just one thing happening after another over and over again ...
      Sounds exactly like the book in this respect.
    • Me Too (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SteveM ( 11242 )

      I enjoyed the movie. As mentioned the visuals were stunning. And I thought the casting was excellent, althought I expected the hobbits to be a bit plumper.

      But I also felt that they missed the boat big time by focusing on the battles and not developing the characters.

      Two that I particularly missed included the growing friendship between Legolas and Gimli. I was disappointed that the blindfold confrontation was left out along with Gimli getting a lock of Kate's (I can't spell her characters name, and I'm too lazy to look it up) hair.

      The other was the development of Sam's loyalty especially as seen with respect to Bill the pony. (And it was pointed out to me after the fact, where did the pony come from? The only time we see it in the movie is when they are about to enter the mines of Moria.)

      By focusing only on the adventure part of the tale, they left the fellowship part out of the 'Fellowship'. I described it to a friend as if the book was written by someone who was there, while the movie was done by a 'historian' after the fact.

      And because of that I left the theater disappointed.

      Steve M

    • Re:Is it just me? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tdelaney ( 458893 )
      Personally, I agree to some extent - what I was most disappointed about was there there was little character development and interaction within the Fellowship. In particular, I missed the Gimli/Legolas relationship, and the Gimli/Galadriel relationship.

      I believe these were all part of the 3hr 40min movie PJ presented as his "I've cut it as much as I can". We have been told that these extra 30-40 mins will be on the DVD.

      However, even with the cuts, FotR was an incredible cinematic experience (Gold Class is a Good Thing(TM) - recliners, 32 people in the cinema, *no kids* - everyone must be 18+).

      For the record: I own 4 copies of LotR (including illustrated and onion-skin limited edition) and I have never advocated boycotting DVD. I simply have multi-region DVD players and watch my region 1 anime DVDs here in Australia (region 4).
      • My mother went to see it, and when she came back, she swore the movie deep into ground. She complained that the movie had compeletely ruined the story of the book, having only the fighting.

        I didn't feel exactly the same, but in my opinion, the movie did lack depth. The relationships didn't have time to develop. And what was IMHO most irritating, was the immediate decisions. Aragorn didn't have any trouble choosing whether to go to Minas Tirith first or to Mordor. Whether to follow Frodo or not. And for Christ's sake the Council of Elrond was the place to decide the fate of whole middle-earth, not some rash "me too, me too!" beach party! Nobody even suggested hiding the Ring. Nobody even doubted it's authenticity! (Gandalf uttering the Black Speech could have made a wonderful effect, if done right.)

        Add, say, 5-30 minutes more pondering to the Council of Elrond and other times of decision, as well as to the interaction between the character of the Fellowship, and you'll double the depth of the film. I hope the uncut DVD will be better - that might even be reason enough to get a DVD-player.
    • Re:Is it just me? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by domc ( 11897 )
      No, it;s not just you. It left me feeling empty as well. If I had not been with friends, I would have walked out half-way through (not something I usually do, no matter how bad the movie is).

      And there were many things that were distracting; such as:

      - blond haired evles with dark brown eyebrows
      - Orcs that looked like the Insane Clown Posse
      - Elves that seemed more human than elvish
      - lack of hobbit & elvish song made the movie bland.
      - etc

      BTW, I am a huge Tolkien fan, but I wish that I had never seen the movie.

    • Both FOTR and Oceans 11 were chocked full of characters- over 20 major characters in each. Yet I felt I new the Ocean 11 one better because the screenplay was much better and aimed at characters. FOTR had a mediocre screen play. One sign is a lead-in narative. Another is are location sub-titles. All this should have been worked into dialog.
  • by conner_bw ( 120497 ) on Sunday January 06, 2002 @04:50PM (#2794577) Journal
    Lord of the rings is a allegorically based on biblical stories. Tolkien [leaderu.com] being profoundly Catholic, will obviously have a big influence on North America's western society, most of it rooted in some sort of Christian moral basis.

    Nerds might like the fantasy aspect, but Tolkien's belief that "mythology was a means of conveying certain transcendent truths which are almost inexpressible within the factual confines of a "realistic" novel" is what LOTR is all about, i.e preaching to the choir.
    • Re:Christians Nerds (Score:2, Informative)

      by b0r0din ( 304712 )
      Actually, if you read Tolkien's forward to the second edition of his work, he specifically states that he did not intend allegory in the writing.

      Quote: "As for the inner meaning or 'message,' it has in the intention of the author none. It is neither allegorical nor topical."

      Take this for what it's worth, that he didn't intend it. However, his biographical information reveals a lot about the characters he wrote and how life affected his books. So in a way you are right, but he's not 'preaching to the choir.'

      Arguably, though, you can see a lot of ways in which his life influenced the book. World War I was very trying for Tolkien, and indeed, most of Britain. He lost all but I think one friend in the war, and you can see how the relationship between Frodo and Sam is not 'gay' as many have suggested in movie reviews and such, but merely the type of love that exists between men fighting on the same side, ie. his experiences in the war. Again, this is my own interpretation.

      As far as Catholic influences go, I think it wasn't wholly his Catholic livelihood that affected the writing, as much of what he writes is based off of pagan tales and such. His influence on Western Civilization can be attributed not only to these influences which still exist today (Easter Bunny, Santa Claus) but also the fact that he was a westerner.

      • "Actually, if you read Tolkien's forward to the second edition of his work, he specifically states that he did not intend allegory in the writing."

        To take this even further, on more than one occasion Tolkien has spelled out a rather intense hatred of allegory. To quote him in one interview: "I dislike allegory whenever I smell it."
    • In theory that sounds nice, but I think the majority of people who allow their Christian beliefs to influence their opinion of the movie at all (ie, a very small minority of people) will more than likely simply disprove of the fantasy setting in the same way they would of a Dungeons & Dragons movie. I, for one, can say I've never heard anyone express any kind of serious interest in the religious beliefs of Tolkien outside some sort of academic debate on the subject.
    • by ryants ( 310088 ) on Sunday January 06, 2002 @05:10PM (#2794655)
      Lord of the rings is a allegorically based on biblical stories.
      As pointed out by others, this was explicitly denied by Tolkein himself.

      One has to remember that the Biblical stories are not all that original. Death and resurrection, battles between Good and Evil, powerful staffs, the humble and unwilling hero, etc appear in all kinds of myths, not just in the Bible, and many pre-date the Bible.

      This interview smacks more of a co-opting of the work to further an agenda than anything else.

      • From Letter #142:
        The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision. That is why I have not put in, or have cut out, practically all references to anything like `religion', to cults or practices, in the imaginary world. For the religious element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism.

        I agree that LotR is not an allegory of anything, Tolkien did say that his Christian beliefs did influence LotR alot. You can especially see this if you read the Silm. Gandalf isn't just some guy doing magic, he is an angel clothed in flesh. Morgoth and Sauron are fallen angels.

        And yes, GvsE and stuff is quite common. However, you can see many Christian influences. The central theme of the corruption and temptation of the ring is very Christian and what sets LotR apart. In just-another-myth Frodo would be the unlikely hero who learns how to wield the ring and become powerful.

        There are many other little details, such as Gollum. Gandalf's speech about pity and not killing Gollum is VERY Christian (and actually very Catholic).

        I'm not descending into a "whose religion is better" pissing contest. I'm just saying to deny that Tolkien's faith didn't have a strong influence is wrong.

        Brian Ellenberger
        • The central theme of the corruption and temptation of the ring is very Christian
          Similar themes are seen in the stories of the Sirens in Greek mythology.

          You keep using this term "very Christian". What exactly does that mean? As though pity is not found in any other mythological structure?

          Like I said before... the book may draw on Christianity, but Christianity itself drew from many sources: there isn't much of anything original in the Bible. The themes in LOTR are as ancient as civilisation itself. Quoth Tolkein:

          The prime motive [for writing LOTR] was the desire of a tale-teller to try his hand at a really long story that would hold the attention of readers, amuse them, delight them, and times maybe excite them or deeply move them.
          I much prefer history, true or feigned, with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of readers.
          In other words, Tolkein recognised that people will judge things through their own tinted glasses. You may see Christian influence, but I see something much deeper and more fundamentally Human. Further:
          An author cannot of course remain wholly unaffected by his experience, but the ways in which a story-germ uses the soil of experiences are extremely complex, and attempts to define the process are at best guesses from evidence that is inadequate and ambiguous.
    • by Ethelred Unraed ( 32954 ) on Sunday January 06, 2002 @05:56PM (#2794797) Journal
      Lord of the rings is a allegorically based on biblical stories. Tolkien being profoundly Catholic, will obviously have a big influence on North America's western society, most of it rooted in some sort of Christian moral basis.

      As others have already pointed out, Tolkien denies any sort of intentional allgeory or historical reference in his books.

      At the same time, don't forget that many of the same right-wing Christian groups that go around burning "Harry Potter" books also tend to take a very dim view of Catholics (or "papists" as they would call them). I know, my niece's mother takes my niece to just one such church, much to my and my brother's annoyance.

      I gave her LOTR for Christmas...and "A Wrinkle in Time", which I call the "stealth bomb for eight-year-olds". >:-)

      At any rate, it's interesting to note that the "Narnia" series from C.S. Lewis is not so often objected to by these same groups -- even though Lewis and Tolkien were close friends and shared many of the same views. (Lewis had been agnostic, and Tolkien tried to convert him to Catholicism, but Lewis became an Anglican instead -- i.e. Protestant, if only barely.) However, "Narnia" is clearly an allegory, with Aslan the Lion directly representing Christ -- Lewis said so himself.



    • These are not Christian, but pagan stores from Zoraster (polarity of Good and Evil) and the Norse myths. Paganism isn't all bad as Xtian writers would make it out to be. Most religions had a core morality and a belief in a greater good.
  • We can only hope (and I'm sure the studio does, too) that this movie doesn't become another Waterworld or Pearl Harbor. Otherwise, how will the studios ever justify enough funds to create a truly realistic and engaging experience with ground-breaking special effects? We can think of LOTR:FOTR as a litmus test for the future of huge-budget movies. A year from now, the movie industry may have changed entirely based on the box-office performance of this movie.
    • Oh please. The budget's a little over $100 mil for the first movie. All three movies are coming in with less of a budget - total - than Titanic.

      It's expensive, but it's not that expensive.

  • by SuperDuG ( 134989 ) <be@nosPam.eclec.tk> on Sunday January 06, 2002 @04:52PM (#2794586) Homepage Journal
    I gather that most of you have seen the movie by now so I will warn now ... ther might be one or two spoilers in this comment.

    I think they should make a new award "Reminds me of a when I was a kid". Because the entire movie followed the book quite well IMHO. I haven't read the books for some time, but not in my wildest imagination could I have dreamed of the landscapes and characters in the film. The hobbits never wearing shoes, the magic and understanding of wizzards and elves. The hatred of elves and dwarfs and how humans are low on the totem poll of evolution.

    The visual effects drew you in and you never once thought that it was fake, but the time and dedication it would have taken to make the builsings and structures that were in the film. Also the true understanding of the power of the ring and the power of commitment.

    I did, however, confuse the story of the hobbit in the begining, but that was portrayed to me in a flashback at the begining where the stories start and begin. They were all meant to go together and they do so wonderfully. I don't think Tolkein could have understood what an impact his stories would have actually had on the world when he wrote them.

    For a bit of humor... someone who accompanied me who had not read the books didn't irst understand that the movie WAS 3 hours long and was getting a little bored by not really understanding what was happening in the movie and not getting into it. But I think we can all relate to the next quote directly when the credits started "WHAT??!!! that was it??? no WAY ... they can't just end it like that!!!" ...

    Well I will say that my X-Mas present of the LoTR book set from think geek has been confisgated for a while now :-) ... ohh well at least she'll know that the movie ended there for a reason ... hehehe the book ended :-)

    • According to the Silmarillion, Men were the second Children of Illuvatar (the creator) and were to be given a special place in His new chorus at the end of the world, an honor that even the Eldar did not receive.

      Sorry to be a Tolkien nerd, but I couldn't let that pass... =)
      • yeah .. but leave it to humans to let a good thing go bad :-)

      • To be more precise, Men were not only given a special place in Ilúvatar's chorus, but they were given the Gift of Death. This is difficult to explain (and Men had a hard time understanding it -- which is why they fell so easily under the Shadow, as many, even the Númenóreans, learned to fear Death), but the explanation goes like this:

        The Elves, if they died, went to Mandos, the Halls of Doom on Valinor. (Valinor was what LotR refers to as "the West", i.e. the "undying lands" where world-weary Elves would travel on the Straight Road from the Grey Havens, aided by Círdan the Shipwright and guided by Ëarendil.) Therefore they did not rejoin Eru Ilúvatar if they died, but rather lived for eternity on Valinor, the lands untouched by death. In other words, even if an Elf is slain, he/she is not really "dead" per se.

        But Men who died would leave Ëa, i.e. go beyond the circles of the world to return to Eru Ilúvatar, thus being nearer to him than the Eldar/Elves, who could leave Middle-Earth but not Ëa itself.

        The Elves therefore became world-weary, longing to return to Eru, but unable to do so, while Men were only on Middle-Earth a (relatively) short time, after which they came back to him.

        From one Tolkien nerd to another. ;-)



        • Re:More precisely... (Score:2, Interesting)

          by praksys ( 246544 )
          There is a link to be found here with some Catholic mythology (see Dante's Inferno for an example). The elves are like the virtuous pagans. When the pagans leave this world they continue live in very much the same way, in an idealised version of this world. Only christians get to move on to a genuinely different mode of existence.
          • There are similarities to (for example) the "Limbo of the Fathers" (which is probably what you're thinking of in Dante's work). I'm not sure if mythology is the right word or not. At any rate it is fairly widely held in some Catholic circles, but it's not defined as a Catholic doctrine per se.

            [ I should note that Dante's Inferno, though extremely culturally influential, isn't really very doctrinally accurate in general; as I understand it he wrote it shortly after his conversion, and there is the very heavy influence of e.g. Etruscan myths of the afterlife. I don't think he originated the idea of Limbo, however. ]

            It would be interesting to know what Tolkien's own beliefs were in that area and how/if they relate to his treatment of the elves in LotR -- he was, after all, Catholic. However, from what I've seen, it seems like he thought of the elves more as sort of what man would have been like had he not fallen.
        • Re:More precisely... (Score:3, Interesting)

          by revscat ( 35618 )

          This is a pretty banal bitch, but I feel it's worth mentioning, so bear with me.

          From one Tolkien nerd to another. ;-)

          I am no longer embarrased to admit that I have read the Silmarillion multiple times. I do know the difference between the Maiar and the Valar, and I know how Feanor died. I can tell you who Luthien's parents were, and why Earendil was important.

          Therefore, I personally have stopped debasing myself whenever this comes up in conversation. Tolkien has presented a rich mythology, one that Joseph Campbell would have wholeheartedly approved of. (Someone correct me if I am wrong, please.) Tolkien appeals to me more than Christianity does (although make no mistake, it is not my religion).

          My point? That I am not, goddammit, going to be embarrassed any longer about my extensive knowledge of Tolkien. I don't CARE if Julia Roberts or Tyler Durden would make fun of me. They can go fuck themselves.

          • From one Tolkien nerd to another. ;-)

            I am no longer embarrased to admit that I have read the Silmarillion multiple times.

            Good for you! Nothing to be ashamed of! ;-)

            I do know the difference between the Maiar and the Valar, and I know how Feanor died. I can tell you who Luthien's parents were, and why Earendil was important.

            Well, if you really want to gain more insight, may I suggest reading "The Book of Lost Tales" and "Unfinished Tales". "The Silmarillion" does explain a lot, but there are even more details and background information in the other books I mentioned -- more about Númenór, for example, and more about the Valar, Maiar and so on. There are also more details on the lineage of Beren, Lúthien and so on -- the stories of Túrin Turambar and Níniel are particularly tragic, but give more insight into Tolkien's worldview.

            (Túrin Turambar and Níniel were cousins of Tuor, who in turn was the father of Ëarendil the Mariner. They were cursed by Morgoth and bewitched by Glaurung the Dragon. I won't reveal the rest, if you haven't read it.)

            A word of warning -- "Unfinished Tales" is just as the name implies. Some are "unfinished" in the sense that the prose is not so polished or the story has some serious contradictions (either within themselves or with other material), which is okay if you know that in advance; but some literally stop in mid-sentence, just in a gripping part...

            There is also an account of the Fall of Númenór and how Sauron was involved in it, along with an account of the Kings of Númenór and their colonization of Middle-Earth (which led over time to the founding of the Two Kingdoms, Arnor and Gondor). Very interesting stuff.

            My point? That I am not, goddammit, going to be embarrassed any longer about my extensive knowledge of Tolkien. I don't CARE if Julia Roberts or Tyler Durden would make fun of me. They can go fuck themselves.

            My sentiments exactly. I wouldn't be caught dead watching a Julia Roberts movie anyway. Hell, I hardly watch movies...rather read a book...



    • I haven't read the books for some time, but not in my wildest imagination could I have dreamed of the landscapes and characters in the film.

      Try rereading the books - you may find the details and depth very rewarding. I did. The movie is a great 3 hour version of the FOTR story, but the book in not lacking of any detail or drama - instead it allows you to really soak up all of the minor details (and characters!) that the movie could not make room for.
      Read it again!

    • ...and understanding of wizzards and...

      Rincewind? Where?! I don't remember him in the books...did he make a cameo?

      (This is what you get when you have karma to burn. Ouch.)

  • "A Beautiful Mind" was easily the best movie of the year. It's very rare that a movie gets me really involved on an emotional level, but that one definitely did. I left the theater sort of stunned.

    None of the other movies I saw this year had anywhere near that kind of impact, FOTR included.

  • As good as The movie was(and I think it is one of the best movies I have seen), I don't think that article was worth submission due to the fact that Lotr wasn't even the main subject of the article.

    I mean the article summary mentioned "the Rings" , and the Heading of the article mentioned "The Rings", however the article was describing the awards and who won them.

    Please don't get me wrong. The movie rocked, but I feel that slashdot is feeding the LOTR Comercialism. (sp?)
  • by Henry V .009 ( 518000 ) on Sunday January 06, 2002 @04:58PM (#2794609) Journal

    The Lord of the Rings Movie didn't really make me feel much. A lot of the effects were well done, and they obviously tried hard, but the characters didn't manage to move me. There was nothing there that made my think -- in contrast to the book -- and no really grand themes that stood out in the plot -- again in contrast to the book. I think the weak points would have been much more evident if the movie hadn't had such a wonderful established fantasy world to draw from. I guess the worst thing I can say about the movie is that I wasn't really captivated by it at any point during the showing.

    • Re:Not my Favorite (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ProfKyne ( 149971 )

      I've reviewed this post and it contains SPOILERS....

      The Lord of the Rings Movie didn't really make me feel much.

      Agreed. Hear me out.

      I loved the movie, and thought that it was pretty true to the book -- mainly leaving out only the slowest/least relevant part (between the Shire and the Prancing Pony). But there's one thing that just couldn't fit into even a four-hour movie of Fellowship's scope: character development.

      Before you mod me a troll, consider this:

      1. the movie was almost three hours long
      2. the DVD is supposed to include an extra half-hour of footage that had to be removed, either for violence or because the movie was already too long.
      3. most of that footage is supposedly character development and interaction.

      For instance: Aragorn's initial hostility (which evolves into a desire to protect the hobbits)... Legolas and Gimli's distrust of each other (touched on in this film, hopefully to be expanded upon in the next)... the family relationship between the Bagginses and the rest of Hobbit culture... Sam's preoccupation with elves (touched on, yes, but not truly developed)... there's only so much that a movie can go into in any given period of time. That's why, even though a person can read faster than characters on a screen can speak or move, I don't think anyone could read the whole book in less than three hours. To get the whole book into one three-hour movie, they needed to make some sacrifices. Other movies are able to focus on character development more, because they're not simultaneously trying to fit the first 1/3 of an epic into such a short span of time.

      Basically, I think that instead of three movies, they could have made six, just like the structure of the actual printed work -- each is actually divided into two Books, with a total of six Books altogether. If the studios and producers had given the directors the ability to split it up further (and if the directors had had the inclination to do so), then both character development and the complete story could probably have fit into six two-hour movies.

      So I can see how it might not make one feel like much, beyond the elation and excitement that they bring with them into the theater.

      I have to comment that the directors did an admirable job of portraying two things that I would never have imagined anything but the book to be capable of: the respect and almost fear that Gandalf exudes over the Hobbits (the best part being in the beginning when he is chased by the child hobbits); and the complete subservience to the Ring that all of its bearers have felt. How cool was that when Bilbo's eyes nearly popped out of his skull at Rivendell -- "My precious!!" For whatever may be my criticisms, I still think the movie did an amazing job of being true to the book.

    • Really? I was moved almost to tears several times. Especially the scene after Moria where the party collapses in exhaustion, despair and grief.

      I think my mind filled in the missing characterization, having read the books so many times. Perhaps non-readers wouldn't have the same empathy for the characters...

  • Recency effect? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Sunday January 06, 2002 @05:02PM (#2794620)

    Whenever I see awards or polls for "best of the year" or "decade" or "century" or "all time", I figure you should normalize the results by multiplying each entry's rank in the list by the log of the time since it came out. The recency hype dominates awards and polls, as can be seen by look at e.g. the all-time top films [imdb.com] at IMDB. I mean c'mon, Memento as the tenth best film ever? American Beauty as the 18th???

    When you see 50-60 year old films still rated in the top 50 you have to concede that they've got some genuine enduring quality, but some of the more recent ones probably won't even be remembered a decade from now.

    So maybe LotR is great (dunno; the hype turned me off from going to see it yet), but right now the only "news" would be if it didn't win an award.

    • Re:Recency effect? (Score:5, Informative)

      by jheinen ( 82399 ) on Sunday January 06, 2002 @05:37PM (#2794743) Homepage
      FWIW, in the Waterstone poll of 25,000 readers, the LotR was voted best book of the 20th century. Not too shabby for a work that's over 50 years old.
    • Re:Recency effect? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Misha ( 21355 ) on Sunday January 06, 2002 @06:01PM (#2794812) Homepage
      there are still ONLY 17 films dating back to 1990 in the top 50. and although i disagree with some selections like The Sixth Sense, Requiem for a Dream and Shrek, in the past 11 years advances in film-making both technological (Matrix, LOTR, Toy Story, ), production-wise (Saving Private Ryan, LOTR, Titanic [thank god it didn't make top 50]), and screenplay-wise (The Usual Suspects, American Beauty, Fight Club) have raised the standard for movies.

      While it is difficult to match your first experience at the movies or the first time you saw Star Wars and Godfather, when you go to the movies you simply expect to see more. And while the audience does or does not realize it, they DO see more (Scary Movie notwithstanding :). I think that explains to some degree why over 35 percent of the IMDB is so recent, and that it is not completely undeservingly so.
      • in the past 11 years advances in film-making both technological (Matrix, LOTR, Toy Story, ), production-wise (Saving Private Ryan, LOTR, Titanic [thank god it didn't make top 50]), and screenplay-wise (The Usual Suspects, American Beauty, Fight Club) have raised the standard for movies.

        I think the plain fact of the matter is that the older a film is, with some well worn exceptions like Citizen Kane, Psycho, Gone with the Wind, Casablanca and so on, the fewer people will be around to remember seeing them and vote for them on imdb. And I'd argue that this, much more than improvements, is why newer films get a large proportion of the votes at imdb.

        This is not to argue that the best movies _don't_ necessarily get better in all the ways you suggest. It's just the mechanics of the sampling method.

    • You know, you're as much a follower by *not* seeing a movie because of what other people say, as you are by rushing off to see one... It just means you follow the "cynical goth" crowd instead of some other group.

      And you know, despite the trend of new movies getting higher ratings initially, maybe there's a reason why not a lot of old movies are on top.

      When I asked three of my movie-going friends what they liked about Citizen Kane in Gone With the Wind and they had vauge undefined answers like "classic" and "original"... Not a lot of people I know actually like these movies for what they are, they say you have to understand the art of the day, etc... I want a movie that doesn't have hackneyed actings, lousy scripts, bad timing, etc.

      IMHO for acting alone, you're a lot more likely to find a good film today when movies have existed for seventy years and people understand what works on film versus stage. In the early days you had actors from the stage, with no real idea of how to properly use the screen.

      I'm sure that 95% of movies that come out today are overly hollywood-ed crap... stuff written by committee and okayed by "focus groups", but that other 5% is still more movies than came out in a year, sixty years ago.

      A sense of history is great, and to look back and realize that people had to pioneer a lot of what we take for granted gives us an idea of the adverse conditions they worked in, but... the best movies ever. Hardly likely.

      If I see a list of the best books/movies/whatever of the century/millenium, I'm tempted to rate them somewhat opposite to you. Taking away points for the older books. Not that I think they're not good, but I think reviewers (and people in general) are more likely to laud something impressive. Anyone can read a modern novel, but to read something originally written in Russian, or in (relatively) old English. Now there's pretension value.
  • Another awards show. I guess we can look forward to posts about how LOTR did at the Golden Globes, Academy Awards, Peoples Choice, MTV Movies, Blockbuster Movie Awards, etc. etc.

    You would think all of these people in the entertainment industry would have broken arms from patting themselves on the back so much.

    When are the first anal Slashdot Awards?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    was i the only one who kept expecting sean astin (he played sam) to run on screen in a notre dame football uniform and save the day?
  • the appeal of the movie was not to nerds, ala star wars, but to people who had read the book, which applies to a vast number of americans.

    that said, i found the movie disappointing, not having read the book(s). the lack of resolution, while perhaps expected by those who had read it, left me a bit bewildered. if movies are going to be made in such a way, the next movie should come out sooner than a year later. it seems to be deliberately done to try for an unprecendented triple best picture oscar sweep.
    • Ok stupid, what exactly didn't you understand? What wasn't resolved? You do realize that the story is going to be continued in 2 more movies. Maybe you just have to wait. If you don't like it blame it on Tolkien for writing a trilogy.
      • If you don't like it blame it on Tolkien for writing a trilogy.
        Tolkien didn't write a trilogy:
        The Lord of the Rings is often erroneously called a trilogy, when it is in fact a single novel, consisting of six books plus appendices, sometimes published in three volumes.
        From Notes on the Text, written by Douglas A. Anderson in 1993.
    • I believe they said that's why they did it. I think the second movie (3rd in trilogy) is already done, but it is not yet 'timely' to release it.
      • I'd heard that they have done all the filming for the entire trilogy. However, since the entire film needs to go through the renderfarms, the remaining two episodes have not been finished yet.

  • In anticipation for the film's opening, I read Tolkien for the very first time (as a young'un I was a D&D geek, so you have thought I would have taken the time years ago to discover Tolkien's middle earth). After experiencing the Hobbit and Fellowship, I had very low expectations for the movie adaptation. And for good reason. Hollywood script writers are natorieous for completely throwing out the source material when writing a movie version. And subsequesntly the movie going audience is left with a story and characters that are barely anything like the book version (which of course, the movies always suck) As a comic fan, you see this over and over again, when comic hero's make thier way to the big screen (Batman and Robin, Spawn anyone). It's like Holywood doesn't fully trust the original authers. But lately things have been getting better... X-men wasn't turned into a corny joke, LOTR kept to Tolkien storyline, Frank Miller is writing a script for a real batman film....

    So to sum up, I hope this starts a trend in Hollywood amoung script writers. That they should stick to the orignial works more closely (although the message isn't going to get out in time for the HellBlazer movie... which they already cast Nick Cage for!!! Good god is that going to suck.)

  • They are THAT desperate for money?
  • by phobonetik ( 522196 ) <sigurd@silverEUL ... m minus math_god> on Sunday January 06, 2002 @05:32PM (#2794726) Homepage
    Re maxsox and others (who say things like the annual releases are simply to whoop up each sucessive years worth of awards);

    You -do- realise that the film was made almost wholly in a city so small it'd hardly feature on any US map ... New Zealand has a population of 3 million, and the city where it was almost completely made - Wellington (my home) - only has a tenth of that.

    LOTR is leaps and bounds larger than anything created previously in NZ and the infrastructure struggled to do even one film a year. I expect since the shooting is essentially finished, the next two films will have even better editing and computer-generated improvements.

    It is rare for such a small country to produce globally acclaimed films; generally this is done by producing offbeat cult films, although those are found more in art-house cinemas. I'm not trying to be overly patriotic or anything, I'm simply believing a large percentage of viewers probably think its yet another piece of US produce.

    I personally really enjoyed the film; I had read the first book when I was younger and I just don't think that a graphic portrayal could have been done any better. As for the characters; sure its not the character study of the century, but it sure is alot better than pretty much any standard hollywood film ... which is the genre of the movies; something which people who criticise this aspect of the film, forget.
    • for such a small country to produce globally acclaimed films

      I hate to say this, but the film wasnt really 'produced' in NZ. It was produced in the States, by NewLine. I hate the cultural domination by the US as much as any other Non-USA'ian, but I really find it surprising to see so much notice of NZ with regards to FOTR. The movie was shot in NZ (i believe the effects were done by PJ's own effects firm - they are in NZ also?) - but it is an "American Film(TM)".

      Note: I understand your pride, as you may well want to have, being Canadian we always strive to give acclaim and notice when we contribute to international culture.

      The really sad part is that it is a 'look at me - look at me' response to a world with such terrible cultural myopia.

      BTW, I loved Heavenly Creatures. :)

      • Peter Jackson called it a "New Zealand film, shot with mostly British actors, using mostly American money."
        • Great locations, great acting, great (big) budget, great source material (with attention to same) makes a great movie, apparently. :) Somebody should fax this concept to all the studios. Not that it would do any good.

          You know those guys who've queued up four months in advance for the SW EP2 premiere? Would it be too much to queue up 11 months in advance for Two Towers? What about 7 months for the DVD of FotR? :)
  • People have commented on how silly it is that this film is on top of the IMDB (www.imdb.com) listing, and how it's a bad film. While the former can be easily explained by the existance of vast hoards of "fans" in the "fanatic" sense, it may be hard to see for some why traditional awards organizations might want to honor this film.

    After all, the character development is minimal (so far in the story), the plot is fractured by being 1/3rd of a story, etc. It doesn't have any of the characteristics of a good movie, viewed standalone.

    While I think there's a reasonable possibility that these accolades will be entirely justified, even in traditional movie terms, once the entire 8-9 hour movie is complete (LotR being a single 3 volume novel, after all), I think there's something deeper going on.

    Think of it this way: LotR:FotR isn't a movie. Even viewed as 1/3 of a movie (which is a more accurate in any event), it isn't really a traditional movie.

    It's much more accurate to view this film as some kind of artistic travelogue or visual aid for the book.

    A movie is an entirely self-contained form of entertainment. The film version of LotR seems to have been developed in a completely unique manner, AFAICT.

    Look closely: half of the film is inside "jokes". That's not really accurate but it's the closest analogy I can think of. There's no explicit reason in the movie for many of the little details, but if you pay attention, you'll find that almost every off hand line by an extra, or reference to a far off place in passing is an accurate allusion to the books.

    I left the whole thing speachless, not so much because of the excellent cinematography, but because of the shear *depth* of the translation of the novel. On the surface, they had to change many things to produce a "movie" that would have a chance of selling to a mass audience and pay for it's production costs. It's the 3d quality of the interpretation that I found so mentally stunning.

    Viewed in this way, it's clear why the film is doing so well critically and in mass appeal: it's absolutely the best movie ever made in its class... and I don't mean at all to damn it with faint praise by saying that's because it's the *only* movie ever made in it's class.

    • You must have seen a different cut from me. The one I saw was a totally shallow "look at the pretty pictures" version. Even some of the pretty pictures didn't work.

      I agree that this movie is something new, however. It is the first movie, of what will be many more, that exists only to advertise its own DVD. Once the "extra" 30-40 minutes are added in it may even work as a move but it does not, and almost certainly was never intended to, work as a stand alone product. Re-read the first book - there's very little of in the film beyond the settings, which are generally well done (apart from Moria which is only "right" in a couple of places).


  • You know, the ultimate winner of the debate between HP and LOTR is AOL Time Warner: they produced both movies and are making huge sums of money from both! I think AOLTW will be playing up the "agression" between the two books for the next two years as they'll be releasing the movies a month apart.
  • by mfterman ( 2719 ) on Sunday January 06, 2002 @09:22PM (#2795450)
    I would prefer to see it done as an epic miniseries that took as many episodes as it needed to get things done right. Either that or you do it as six movies, one for each book, and you can include all the leisurely preparations that Frodo took in the book to get to Rivendell and the whole Tom Bombadil incident.

    Even so, I think Peter Jackson did some right things in taking a lot of what was related in the council debate and showing it on camera, with the capture of Gandalf and so forth. In fact, if you did the miniseries concept I would have played up that element, showing the Ringwraiths harassing the dwarves and the whole bit with Gandalf and in general the shadows gathering around the Shire while the hobbits took their time.

    The Glorfindel/Arwen substition I have mixed feelings about. Not that we ever got much of a view of Arwen in the books but she always struck me as the more domestic type and so it wasn't quite true to character. I wouldn't have minded having the whole Aragorn/Arwen meeting that was given in one of the Appendices in flashback at some point to fill the background in as an alternate way to bring her in.
  • Nerd arrogance (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Z4rd0Z ( 211373 ) <joseph at mammalia dot net> on Monday January 07, 2002 @12:15AM (#2796084) Homepage
    From the Slashdot article: Looks like LOTR is a big hit even among non-nerds.

    This is a rather arrogant attitude that I find annoying. These books were written long ago before there even was such a thing as a "nerd". My grandma, who was a tough Montana pioneer woman, liked Tolkien's books. In the 60s, the Tolkien books were very popular among college students. Where is it written that Lord of the Rings was made for nerds?

  • Both are are mountains and somewhat inhospitable. Both have big bad guys living there and are deamonized in the press. Both are southwest of Europe.
    In the European mythic memory, the southwest was a constant source of trouble- the Huns, Jihads, Mongols, Turks, etc.
  • DISCLAIMER : I did not see the movie (yet?)

    ... and I read TLoR several years ago. Anyway, the Frodo I have seen in ads as previews is quite different from the middle-class all-common-sense Mr. Baggings of the book.

    It looks much more like the heroes of the Terry Brooks' The Sword of Sahannara'.

The shortest distance between two points is under construction. -- Noelie Alito