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Lord of the Rings Online Forum » General Discussion » Christopher Tolkien speaks out after 40 years...

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218 posts found
  MumboJumbo

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/18/10
Posts: 3142

Veni, Vidi, Converti

12/29/12 1:43:02 PM#21
Originally posted by chelan
Originally posted by Po_gg

I'm with OP... I like Jackson's work since Braindead and Feebles, the LotR movies are great (I have all of them :) ) but they're not even close to the books in quality.

C.T.'s sadness is not about money, it's about the devaluation of his father's work. Probably OP should've inserted this from the end of the interview as well:

"Tolkien has become a monster, devoured by his own popularity and absorbed into the absurdity of our time," Christopher Tolkien observes sadly. "The chasm between the beauty and seriousness of the work, and what it has become, has overwhelmed me. The commercialization has reduced the aesthetic and philosophical impact of the creation to nothing. There is only one solution for me: to turn my head away."

And to the poster who wrote "He didn't write the books and he didn't create jack diddly squat." -  lol.  (inbetween a tag, just to make sure)

thanks. good point about the quote to use.

Honestly, it's nothing new under the sun: Entertainment taking the most basically appealing aspects to commercialise maximally.

The books were about:

1. Reinvigorating the myths and legends of W. Europe for eg a Western readership, particularly the British Isles who had lost more of their mythic heritage with Christianity (compare to the Nordic sagas).

2. Mythopoea & Philology of language - the descriptive writing is very impressive: The world is a character, even Anet quoted that for GW2 recently (Dociu the art lead)!

3. LOTRs contains ALL the major types of plots, which again is an unusual exercise and why it was for a long time considered "unfilmable".

-

The movies were great fun in many respects eg NZ was awesome for Middle Earth setting. But it was usual Hollywood action with very nice visuals but not much depth and acting of characters who always played it as "genre aware". But that is popular and sells well and in some ways suits a movie trilogy. But it's stripped of the above and is left mostly with the setting (still awesome).

  sk8chalif

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/18/10
Posts: 591

12/29/12 1:49:47 PM#22
the 3 movie are not just based on the hobbit book. we got the lord of the ring appendices in that,


~The only opinion that matters is your own.Everything else is just advice,~

  Nobadeeftw

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/11
Posts: 129

"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall". -Confucius

12/29/12 1:49:51 PM#23

What's next, is one of Lucas' kids going going to cry about whatever Disney does to Star Wars.  ha ha  It's one thing to dictate the legacy of an IP that you created yourself; but, when it's passed into the hands of others, it's an automatic free for all.  Look what happened to Star Trek, it's the epitome of how to quickly turn your IP into a farcical circus.  I can't tell you what's worse, a holocaust denier or an apologist trekkie.

 

Point is, once the creator dies or passes on their IP, it's going to evolve into something different.

  Dimsum1337

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/24/12
Posts: 60

12/29/12 1:52:11 PM#24

If the interview was with J.R.R. himself it would have merit. Otherwise I do not see how it is relevant. (Unlike Frank Herbert's son (whats his name cause I never read anything he wrote but at least he tried))

 

 

  Kalstark

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/14/12
Posts: 74

12/29/12 2:02:38 PM#25
never read the books but seen all the movies 100's of times i was just actaully watching the bonus stuff from return of the king dvd. lotr is one of my favorite movies and i actaully had a birthday party at a theatre when i was little haha, idk but even if the movies didnt do the book justice ill never forget these characters and story so for this guy to be upset is pretty rediculous. 

  kishe

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/28/04
Posts: 1961

firefighter lvl90

12/29/12 2:12:03 PM#26
Only thing "more" Peter Jackson could of done is include the songs from the books but there's so many of them that the movies would've became musicals!
  Po_gg

Elite Member

Joined: 5/12/10
Posts: 2012

12/29/12 2:13:00 PM#27
Originally posted by sk8chalif
the 3 movie are not just based on the hobbit book. we got the lord of the ring appendices in that,

Actually that is correct and leads to many interesting things (also connected to the pretty lame quote  "he didn't create jack diddly squat"). Tolkien sell the film rights of the Hobbit and LotR. C.T. during the work on the History of M-e updated and edited the Appendixes too. I wonder who has those rights? :)

  VassagoMael

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/09/12
Posts: 510

12/29/12 2:13:01 PM#28
Hello. Welcome to Earth. Movie =/= book. Now that you are up to speed, carry on enjoying the two different formats while respecting the limitations of each.

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  waynejr2

Elite Member

Joined: 4/12/11
Posts: 3733

RIP City of Heroes!

12/29/12 2:13:40 PM#29
Originally posted by Corehaven

He didn't write the books and he didn't create jack diddly squat. 

 

Personally I don't particularly like the Hobbit only because its full of artificial filler in order to split it into three movies.  But I thought the Lord of the Rings was at least fairly accurate to the books.  How the hell else were they supposed to be filmed?  I'm not really sure what the guy was expecting. 

 

How would he have improved them?  He probably wouldn't have. 

 

Yea he's a lucky guy for being a Tolkien fortune heir.  We should all be so lucky.  However if I was, I probably wouldn't run my mouth and gripe about movies that most would say, honored the Lord of the Ring books fairly well if nothing else. 

 I agree.  The guy is a punk.

  Sovrath

Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 17132

12/29/12 2:32:06 PM#30
Originally posted by Nobadeeftw

What's next, is one of Lucas' kids going going to cry about whatever Disney does to Star Wars.  ha ha  It's one thing to dictate the legacy of an IP that you created yourself; but, when it's passed into the hands of others, it's an automatic free for all.  Look what happened to Star Trek, it's the epitome of how to quickly turn your IP into a farcical circus.  I can't tell you what's worse, a holocaust denier or an apologist trekkie.

 

Point is, once the creator dies or passes on their IP, it's going to evolve into something different.

True, but I don't see him as "crying".

First of all, he's a professional in his own right. he is also responsible for compiling and editing his father's work and notes. I would think that makes him far more intimate with his father's oeuvre than many people.

Secondly, he is a member of the family and is the son of J.R.R. Tolkien. That probably means he was privy to a lot of comments, stories, complaints, wishes, etc that Tolkien had said over the course of his life. So again, he is closer to the materal and author than many people.

Third, like many people, he has an opinion and he has stated it. I can't say I disagree with him. I love Peter Jackson's movies but he sometimes makes decisions that just aren't needed or that dont' do justice to what he is working on.

I love that they are including some of the material in the appendices for the Hobbit. I don't love that they padded bits here and there such as Frodo's cameo, the white orc which doesn't quite figure into the story even if he is referenced.

Using referenced material is great. But reaching back, taking a name and including that character in a way that wasn't in the books (or essentially making up a role) isn't necessary.

He didn't need to have Bilbo cast into the deep as he did, he could have kept it just as the books. Same with The Two Towers where he makes it so the ents don't decide to go to war but ony and instantly has the ents appear when tree beard sees what Saruman has done. I understand why he does these things I just don't think it's a must for them to be done this way.

Additionally, regardless of whether Cristopher Tolkien likes what is being done to his father's work, if he and his family is owed money then he has every right to demand. More so I would say as he should make them pay and not give them a "by your leave" to do anything they want and rake up all the money.

  Orphes

Novice Member

Joined: 3/18/07
Posts: 3066

You make, you buy, you die!

12/29/12 2:45:55 PM#31

To dislike the movies compared to the books, Lord of the rings triligy and the Hobbit, is like being political correct?

Meh...

I'm so broke. I can't even pay attention.
"You have the right not to be killed"

  centrik91

Novice Member

Joined: 3/11/07
Posts: 181

Why So Serious?

12/29/12 2:50:15 PM#32
Originally posted by chelan

"Invited to meet Peter Jackson, the Tolkien family preferred not to. Why? "They eviscerated the book by making it an action movie for young people aged 15 to 25," Christopher says regretfully. "And it seems that The Hobbit will be the same kind of film."

Right, and who were the Lord of the Rings books intended for, because last I checked, most people reading Lord of the RIngs and The Hobbit for the first time can be accurately described as young people aged 15 to 25.

Granted, they are ageless books that appeal to a wide audience, but they are still books for teenagers and young adults.  

  Ginaz

Elite Member

Joined: 4/01/07
Posts: 1708

12/29/12 2:51:39 PM#33
Honestly, Tolkien's writing is very wordy and IMO Jackson did the best he could making the LoTR books into movies.  He captures the look and feel of the books well which, given the convoluted mess the books can be at times, is the probably the best we could hope for.

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Remember, I live in a world where juggalos and yugioh players are real things.

  shawn01

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/26/08
Posts: 148

12/29/12 2:51:48 PM#34
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy is terrible. Its such a slog to get through, like walking up hill through kneee deep mud. The movies are actually good.
  Giddian

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/03/06
Posts: 431

12/29/12 2:52:30 PM#35
Originally posted by chelan

did you read the article? if you had you would have understood the limitations of what you are suggesting.

you are actually being quite typical of american cynicism. it's an easy out in the world to just blast everything and everyone rather than to try to understand them.

Why are you bashing America. this Op doesn't speak for me.

I am insulted by that.

  erictlewis

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/08/08
Posts: 3058

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.

12/29/12 2:57:42 PM#36

Wow all I can say is Jackson drug the Hobbit out, I actually fell asleep twice during the movie because of how long and and useless some of the film was. I go to say Jackson took some liberties, but he did the same with the previous films. I just don't understand the need to have broken the Hobbit up into 3 films. It all comes down to money and the need to make more of it.

  Gishgeron

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/05/07
Posts: 1297

12/29/12 3:01:42 PM#37

  I dunno, I read the books a couple times.  His writing was dull to say the least.  The story was good, but the pacing was terrible.  The movies did a near perfect job of capturing what was good about LoTR and leaving out what was bad.  The only thing they left out that I WANTED to see was good old Tom Bom, but I can get why he was cut.  He was a deity-force that could sing things into submission, which was a power feared so much that the orcs were commanded to stay as far from his grove as possible.  Hard to translate that into movie without turning it into a musical that borders on silly.

  We honestly put way too much stock in Tolkiens writing.  It was good for its time because it was among the first of its kind.  Epic high fantasy just didn't exist on that level.  These days we have infinitely better authors in terms of readability and pacing.  If anything, I say Peter jackson did that property a favor.  The books could have used his pacing desperatly.

 

EDIT

 

To clarify, I read the books more than once to try and figure out who exactly started the whole "dwarves speak scottish" stuff we see as normal now.  My friends and I all thought it probably started with Tolkien since his books were probably the first to really star the race and be written more recently so that localization didn't affect it.  Turns out, his dwarves weren't written with an accent at all.  They basically spoke clean and cut english that was so neutral you couldn't really place it to anything.  Certainly no scottish "laddy this and drankin all the burrs that".  I still dont know who started that.

  Sovrath

Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 17132

12/29/12 3:12:32 PM#38
Originally posted by Gishgeron

  I dunno, I read the books a couple times.  His writing was dull to say the least.  The story was good, but the pacing was terrible.  The movies did a near perfect job of capturing what was good about LoTR and leaving out what was bad.  The only thing they left out that I WANTED to see was good old Tom Bom, but I can get why he was cut.  He was a deity-force that could sing things into submission, which was a power feared so much that the orcs were commanded to stay as far from his grove as possible.  Hard to translate that into movie without turning it into a musical that borders on silly.

  We honestly put way too much stock in Tolkiens writing.  It was good for its time because it was among the first of its kind.  Epic high fantasy just didn't exist on that level.  These days we have infinitely better authors in terms of readability and pacing.  If anything, I say Peter jackson did that property a favor.  The books could have used his pacing desperatly.

 

EDIT

 

To clarify, I read the books more than once to try and figure out who exactly started the whole "dwarves speak scottish" stuff we see as normal now.  My friends and I all thought it probably started with Tolkien since his books were probably the first to really star the race and be written more recently so that localization didn't affect it.  Turns out, his dwarves weren't written with an accent at all.  They basically spoke clean and cut english that was so neutral you couldn't really place it to anything.  Certainly no scottish "laddy this and drankin all the burrs that".  I still dont know who started that.

I dont' disagree, I do think they are a bit dry and they don't naturally lend themselves to a compelling cohesive narrative. My only beef with the movies is making changes that didn't need to be made. Adding the white orc in the hobbit wasn't necessary. In the movie, when Bilbo starts writing "There was a hole in the ground and there lived a hobbit" the scene should have immediately gone to gandalf standing before him as opposed to adding the frodo scene.

The Troll scene really didn't need to be changed the way he did it.

  rochrist

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/17/06
Posts: 84

12/29/12 3:24:18 PM#39
It wasn't his choice. His father sold the film rights in the early seventies. 
  rochrist

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/17/06
Posts: 84

12/29/12 3:25:43 PM#40
Originally posted by Panther2103
The movies had plenty of story involved in them, they had a majority of the action scenes of the books because of the fact that if they made the movie exactly how the book was page for page, it would have been 15 hours long for one book if even that short. So they take the parts of the books, explain the story in a faster manner, and have the major action scenes. I don't see the issue. It wasn't marketed as an action film. I think the hobbit had maybe 4 or 5 actual action scenes that lasted more than 30 seconds. They always have been very slow, and that turns quite a few people I know off of the films. The environments in the films, and the way all of the characters look and act are exactly how I expected them to be in movie form. 

And add crap that wasn't in the story and leave out major pieces that were. Yeah, not so much.

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