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The Two Towers discussion
Oddly, I've been dealing with mikah for years, and we have had some good rows here. but whatever else he is, he's not the anti-christ you think he is.

he doesn't like a movie you like? grow the fuck up and move on.
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Quote:

Alvy Singer:
is it just me or are these guys assholes?

I don't care if they are. It's fine with me.

But here's where the test is.

If they keep responding to me in this thread, they obviously care more about showing off and not respecting the thread...the EXACT same things they accuse me of.

If we take it to private messaging, then everybody wins and we can engage or ignore each other as much as we like.

I WANT to respect this thread and discuss the film and that's EXACTLY what I was doing before the fanboy menace.

If you want to discuss WHY I characterized the LOTR film style of storytelling as "lazy," then ask me to clarify and give me the chance to do so before jumping on my case. How hard is that to fathom?

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This thread needs an enema!
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Micah, I think the reason the Fanboy Menace occurred was because of this statement you made about the viewers -- not the film itself.

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mikah912:
I'm not at all surprised at its success, because I think just like Episode One, it's a film with so much build-up behind it that fans probably believe they need to see it multiple times to love it or decide exactly how they feel about it.

It does sound condescending, especially to the n00bs. I personally didn't have a problem with it because it's actually a true observation, in my case anyway (apparently, not so with others).
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So then...back to the film.

The reason I have mixed or "faint" praise for The Two Towers is because while I do enjoy the film, I see a lot of material that doesn't seem particularly important to me.

Every second involving Faramir in any way, shape, or form.

The Warg attack and Aragorn's "fall."

The Treebeard/Merry/Pippin scenes that take a good 20 minutes to tell us that Ents are slow, they don't want to fight, and they're to take care of Merry and Pippin until more help can arrive.

More ill-defined romance scenes with Arwen and Aragorn.

In the case of Faramir, I think his character has nothin to do in this film except spark Gollum's distrust in a scene that didn't make much sense ("I'm going to kill this guy you don't know, but if you say that you know him, I'll just capture him, but not until you go down and [inadvertently?] lure him in for me?) and also to then inexplicably let them go at the end of the film. Seems like a wasted subplot to me that takes to much time.

The Warg attack does nothing to further the plot in any way and no one in the theater believes for a second that Aragorn is truly dead. Waste.

I've explained why the Treebread/Merry/Pippin stuff seems extraneous to me.

And with all of the details and subplots already stuffin these 3-hour films to the gills, is there really time for a romance that you can't really develop? They're almost never together and we never see how it developed either. If it can't be done well, scratch it. (I had the same complaint about the subplot of Denzel Washington and his wife in "Antwone Fisher."Wink

Now that's my take, but I'd be interested in hearing why other people think these scenes are very important. I respectfully ask for your takes on these.
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Jesus, it feels kinda cultish in here.

And Mikah, that UNBREAKABLE reference was brilliance.
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Quote:

voltesssss5:
It does sound condescending, especially to the n00bs. I personally didn't have a problem with it because it's actually a true observation, in my case anyway (apparently, not so with others).

I don't see the condescencion.

If you're a fan of a film that you've greatly anticipated, why else would you see a film multiple times except to:

1) Love it more and more.
2) Sort out your true feelings for it, including any problems you have.

How is that an insult?

I saw Episode One almost 10 times in the theater first because of Reason 1 and then toward the end of my run, more because of Reason 2.

There's no shame in that, and it doesn't make me a fanBOY, something I didn't call all or even most people in this thread.

But a simple call for clarification would've avoided the whole rigmarole. People are assuming too much.

(Edited for grammar and clarity's sake.)

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Quote:

mecha superior:
Jesus, it feels kinda cultish in here.

Easy for you to say, Mr. Gangs of New York fanboy! You are henceforth banished from our Peter Jackson's LOTR Elite Fan Club!
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Quote:

General Zod Vs. Ratner:
This thread needs an enema!

Hopefully it will flush out the People vs. Micah argument. This isn't heated discussion about The Two Towers. It's heated discussion about discussion, and as always, it's Micah vs. Someone.
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Quote:

Calenth:
ok. I call. Above. Show or fold.

Calenth, I think it's lazy because of the amount of "fat" in each film, which I elaborated on above.

I'd like your take on why those moments aren't fat, and I hope that you oblige me.

I think these films have steak with an unreasonable amount of indigestible excess, so I can never love the first two wholeheartedly even as I cite the steak in my critiques of each film.

But I did think TTT had less fat than FOTR, so I liked it a lot more.
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Quote:

Moses:
I mostly agree with you on Faramir. He was something of a cypher in the film, more of a facilitator than anything else, although the Forbidden Pool sequence is vital to establishing the re-emergence of Gollum within Smeagol. Transforming him into a character with a discernable "arc", whilst arguably necessary, didn't seem that convincing. However, even in the books Faramir is a bit of an oddity, so I can forgive this weakness.

The Warg Attack itself was cool - great visuals. Aragorn's fall was a bad bad joke. Terrible really. The kind of thing you would think would have gotten eliminated early on. Oh well. At least his "surprise" return to Helm's Deep is handled well.

Merry and Pippin (up until the end of that thread) was poorly edited and, judging from what Jackson has said, cut to the bone. Should be much approved for the DVD - but this is no excuse, I know.

The Arwen/Aragorn romance is somewhat awful - especially the first sequence focused on kissing. However, if I close my eyes during that sequence and pretend it isn't there, I rather like the rest - the flash forward to Elessar's funeral is powerful.

Thanks for your input. Perhaps relevance will be added with the extended editions or the last film.

I have mixed thouhts on that because if it's in the extended editions, yet Peter Jackson claims the theatrical cuts are "his" editions, how am I to react when I think his intent damages the film?
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Okay, I know this is an argument with Micah, but I have to butt-in here.

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Calenth:
Secondly, I don't think it's proper to view these films as 3 independent works. They weren't shot that way; the books they're based upon were not written that way; the actors, the authors, the directors all did not view them that way. The proper way to view the lord of the rings, movie and book both, is as a single epic work; as such, the best way to view TTT is as a single chapter or volume in that work. The proper critical viewpoint is not to view it as an independent film at all, but as one chapter in a larger work, one act in an opera. Many of the scenes you criticize -- faramir's, the ents, etc. -- are necessary to set up events in the final volume, the final act. That's not lazy storytelling at all; it's rather the opposite.

While it is true that the Lord of the Rings is one long epic and that we're just seeing it in digestable parts, I don't see how you can defend elements that are necessary to the final act when you haven't seen it. One would hope that these elements will be addressed in ROTK, but there are no guarantees.
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Quote:

Calenth:
ok, Mikah. None of that really supports your "lazy storytelling" comment, unless you're arguing that extraneous = lazy. However, some of those are valid criticisms. I'd agree with you about Aragorn's fall, for example.

</strong>

That's EXACTLY what I'm asserting. Lazy storytelling doesn't focus upon what is essential and it allows excess to creep in.

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However, many of the things you're talking about either 1) are necessary to set up moments in the third film, or 2) are necessary to reflect major events in the books.

Now, you can argue that these are movies, not books, and furthermore that they're individual movies, and should stand on their own.

However, those arguments fail.

Firstly, because these movies are largely made for fans of the book -- that was the initial and primary target audience, the idea being that there were enough tolkien fans to guarantee baseline success, if the films pleased them. It's necessary to include things like the Ents, etc., even if extraneous to what you might consider the "main plotline," simply to please those fans, to provide detail, etc. AFter all, if every plot in the world were boiled down to merely 'necessary" components, we wouldn't have movies at all; we'd have little campbellian charts, Hero is Called by Mentor and Refuses and is Forced and Death of Mentor and so forth. But we've all seen that already. What makes stories worth experiencing isn't just the simply plotline; it's the details, what we experience when travelling through that plotline. Many of the scenes you think are 'unnecessary" might be essential and central to the enjoyment of the films for some fans; some people just love ents. It's worthwhile to include those scenes for those people.

</strong>

Just to clarify...are you saying that a work in one medium MUST reflect the same work in a compltely unrelated medium even if the media have very different and sometimes contrasting strengths and weaknesses?

If that's the case, then why make a film in the first place?

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Secondly, I don't think it's proper to view these films as 3 independent works. They weren't shot that way; the books they're based upon were not written that way; the actors, the authors, the directors all did not view them that way. The proper way to view the lord of the rings, movie and book both, is as a single epic work; as such, the best way to view TTT is as a single chapter or volume in that work. The proper critical viewpoint is not to view it as an independent film at all, but as one chapter in a larger work, one act in an opera. Many of the scenes you criticize -- faramir's, the ents, etc. -- are necessary to set up events in the final volume, the final act. That's not lazy storytelling at all; it's rather the opposite.

Why can't those events then be simply ONLY in the final film? Were those scenes necessary to include in THIS film? I say no. You tell me why you think the answer is yes.
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But my question remains...do you really think that a several hundred page book and a 3-hour movie have the exact same demands and requirements when it comes to making them work?

Is there then no difference between a great author and a great screenwriter?
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Is there a rule book that says a film should shy away from excessive fat?

Movies are a subjective medium and while some may call the fat a flaw, others might regard it as a bonus. Certainly the Faramir subplot doesn't seem to add anything to the overall storyline. But he IS a character that plays a pivotal role in the third film, and it is due to his presence that another subplot can take shape in ROTK.

Same with the ents, they might be thrown in as window dressing or a deuce ex machina, but they are interesting, enigmatic creatures that ADD to the textures of Tolkiens world.

Call it bad story telling, but obviously a lot of people don't care seeing as how LOTR is one of the most critically acclaimed, widely popular books on the planet.

Different Strokes for Different folks. Mikah likes his films lean, (hell most people do.) It just so happens that this film is one fat bitch that seems to be loved by many, regardless of the spare tire that is so glaringly obvious.
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Quote:

voltesssss5:
Speaking of immortal life, I would like someone to explain this:

In FOTR, Arwen chooses "a mortal life" with Aragorn.

In TTT, Arwen's vision of a possible future with Aragorn shows that she doesn't age.

My question is: If an Elf chooses to be mortal, does his/her physical features never change? So how exactly does an Elf "age"?

During this scene, Elrond says, "... until the long years of your life are utterly spent." This, to me, seems to say that, though she will eventually die, she will still have a somewhat extended lifespan. Remember, in the book Aragorn lived to be about 200+ years old, so it's conceivable that an elf choosing a mortal life would still live quite some time.
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