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(Onion AV Club)   A look back at the last weird, personal, and multiple Oscar-winning film about two kids who couldn't afford air travel trekking across the country   (film.avclub.com) divider line
    More: Vintage, The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, Matrix Reloaded, The Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson, TV version of The Return Of The King, horror films, Lord Of The Rings novels, Matrix Revolutions  
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2555 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 22 Jan 2021 at 10:50 AM (12 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2021-01-22 10:54:47 AM  
Now over 17 years old.
 
2021-01-22 10:56:25 AM  
I still think The Two Towers was the best of the trilogy.
 
2021-01-22 10:57:07 AM  
Nikki Finke nailed it in her oscar predictions. The academy was scared of looking irrelevant and out of touch and the prior two movies hadn't won.

/Dnrtfa
 
2021-01-22 11:10:27 AM  

gyruss: Nikki Finke


Who?
 
2021-01-22 11:31:02 AM  

Dr Jack Badofsky: gyruss: Nikki Finke

Who?


He plays in a Mötley Crüe tribute band.
 
2021-01-22 11:36:24 AM  
...and then he farked it up by making the bloated Hobbit trilogy.
 
2021-01-22 11:47:24 AM  

Tyrone Slothrop: ...and then he farked it up by making the bloated Hobbit trilogy.


I can still quote myself after sitting in a theater watching the first one, not knowing that it was supposed to be a trilogy, because why?  The book is relatively short.   And not a trilogy.

Anyway, my exact words were "Fark you, Peter Jackson, you cock."
 
2021-01-22 11:53:08 AM  
I went to see all of them in the theater on opening weekend and loved them. There are a few scenes that almost exactly match the images I formed in my head reading the books.

And yet I've only seen them once. They're on HBOMax and I scroll right past them. I'm not sure why, but I have no interest in watching them again.
 
2021-01-22 12:06:28 PM  
"But watching the film, I always felt like I was watching tropes and archetypes, not people. (It probably doesn't help that Frodo, the ostensible hero, remains a passive figure throughout, spending the entire movie in a numb and pallid shuffle.)"

That's the whole point. Frodo isn't the hero. Sam is. Tolkien said so himself. If you take in the story knowing that, it brings all the more depth into it. Sam is one of the great heroes of literature in my opinion. Taking on the journey in stride because that's what friends do, and that's what had to be done.

Damn, now I want to read those books again (and watch the movies!)
 
2021-01-22 12:13:59 PM  

Tyrone Slothrop: ...and then he farked it up by making the bloated Hobbit trilogy.


I blame the studio more than Jackson. They saw dollar signs and wanted another trilogy. Two films would have been more than enough to tell a story that could be done in one.
But yeah, the padding in those movies is criminal. Especially coming from the same guy who nailed LotR.
 
2021-01-22 12:15:27 PM  

The Silver Mullet: "But watching the film, I always felt like I was watching tropes and archetypes, not people. (It probably doesn't help that Frodo, the ostensible hero, remains a passive figure throughout, spending the entire movie in a numb and pallid shuffle.)"

That's the whole point. Frodo isn't the hero. Sam is. Tolkien said so himself. If you take in the story knowing that, it brings all the more depth into it. Sam is one of the great heroes of literature in my opinion. Taking on the journey in stride because that's what friends do, and that's what had to be done.

Damn, now I want to read those books again (and watch the movies!)


I have a three volume delux set of LotR that I break out and read every couple of years.   It is fantastic.
 
2021-01-22 12:17:24 PM  
I was guessing "Badlands", but ok.
 
2021-01-22 12:25:11 PM  

cepson: I still think The Two Towers was the best of the trilogy.


I still don't understand why Jackson chose to change the Frodo / Faramir storyline from the book. In the book Frodo convinces Faramir  to let him go in Ithilien, while in the movie he's dragged to Osgiliath before Faramir has some sort of epiphany and sends him on his way. The change, at least in my mind, doesn't add anything to either Faramir's character development or the plot.

I get why many changes were made: Dumping Tom Bombadil was needed to save time and it didn't exactly advance the main plot even in the book. Pumping up Arwen's part was necessary to keep the suits from the studio happy. Elrond showing up in Rohan instead of his sons and a bunch of Rangers was needed for simplicity., etc. But this one (and the changed timeline at the start of Fellowship) just distracted me because it made no obvious sense and achieved nothing in terms of clarity or plot development.
 
2021-01-22 12:31:23 PM  

NOLAhd: I went to see all of them in the theater on opening weekend and loved them. There are a few scenes that almost exactly match the images I formed in my head reading the books.

And yet I've only seen them once. They're on HBOMax and I scroll right past them. I'm not sure why, but I have no interest in watching them again.


I saw them, I enjoyed them at the time. I bought the theatrical and extended cuts on DVD, then upgraded them to Blu-ray when that time came because I always felt they were ones that needed to be in the permanent library. I watched the theatrical versions as they came out and the extended versions as they originally came out and enjoyed both, however I have seen them only once and I have no desire to see them again. Even more than that, my brain immediately goes into trying to get out of watching them when someone else suggests it. Like, making up fake illnesses and whatnot. I just can't bring myself to watch them again unless Cate Blanchett is on screen. No idea why.
 
2021-01-22 12:33:30 PM  
I assumed that they would wait to award the last one as a nod toward the entire trilogy. Also, there are a bunch of British accents, and that will garner a few Oscars just on its own
 
2021-01-22 12:46:42 PM  

cepson: I still think The Two Towers was the best of the trilogy.


I know that RotK won all the Oscars, but I consider it the weakest of the three.  It's called return of the king, Aragorn shouldn't be the weakest character, being outshined multiple times, most notably by Theoden.

I consider Fellowship to be the best of the three.  Establishing the tone and feel of the world is super important.  That makes it the most challenging of the three, and IMHO it's perfect.
 
2021-01-22 12:48:42 PM  

Tyrone Slothrop: ...and then he farked it up by making the bloated Hobbit trilogy.


Google up THE HOBBIT: THE TOLKIEN EDIT. Its an excellent version which cuts out half of the 3 films bloat and makes a very watchable film.
 
2021-01-22 12:50:55 PM  

Tarl3k: cepson: I still think The Two Towers was the best of the trilogy.

I know that RotK won all the Oscars, but I consider it the weakest of the three.  It's called return of the king, Aragorn shouldn't be the weakest character, being outshined multiple times, most notably by Theoden.

I consider Fellowship to be the best of the three.  Establishing the tone and feel of the world is super important.  That makes it the most challenging of the three, and IMHO it's perfect.


I'm going with RotK, because on a great big Dolby theater on the big screen, the charge of the Rohirrim was gawdam awe inspiring.
 
wee
2021-01-22 12:57:28 PM  

NOLAhd: And yet I've only seen them once. They're on HBOMax and I scroll right past them. I'm not sure why, but I have no interest in watching them again.


I'm in the exact same boat. I tried to give LotR a rewatch, but only made it about halfway through. It just feels like it's overly long. I had a strong sense of "yes, I have seen the mountains of New Zealand, no need to dwell on them with overly-long helicopter shots yet again... yes, I know they're walking, no need to see them walking again...". I suppose I could have fast forwarded to the scenes with dialog or action or meaning, but I didn't.

They're just not something I could sit through again, though I very much liked them all.

I never saw any of The Hobbit movies. Was told by a very, very hardcore Tolkien fan whose opinion I trust not to bother. I figured they'd be on cable some day, but so far haven't seen them.
 
2021-01-22 12:59:53 PM  

The Silver Mullet: That's the whole point. Frodo isn't the hero. Sam is. Tolkien said so himself. If you take in the story knowing that, it brings all the more depth into it. Sam is one of the great heroes of literature in my opinion. Taking on the journey in stride because that's what friends do, and that's what had to be done.


encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.comView Full Size
 
2021-01-22 1:01:07 PM  

Rent Party: I'm going with RotK, because on a great big Dolby theater on the big screen, the charge of the Rohirrim was gawdam awe inspiring.


I'll agree...but the abject *thrill* of the Balrog was more impressive, IMHO.  I still remember opening night, watching the movie with about 10 friends of mine.  When the Balrog appeared I looked down the row, and everybody was literally on the edge of their seats.  After that, movies were never the same for me. :)
 
2021-01-22 1:16:13 PM  

swahnhennessy: Tyrone Slothrop: ...and then he farked it up by making the bloated Hobbit trilogy.

I blame the studio more than Jackson. They saw dollar signs and wanted another trilogy. Two films would have been more than enough to tell a story that could be done in one.
But yeah, the padding in those movies is criminal. Especially coming from the same guy who nailed LotR.


By Jackson's own admission, he had no game plan with the Hobbit trilogy. Never is this more evident that in the third movie during the Battle of the Five Armies, where we get about ten seconds of Beorn and the eagles joining the battle, which in the book, was a pivotal event. Instead, he cuts back to Thorin fighting with the same orc he had fighting with for the previous eight hours.

There was not one person who saw that movie that wouldn't have preferred watching Beorn and the eagles kicking ass.
 
2021-01-22 1:18:44 PM  
I do not believe the idea of this film being "weird" lands honestly at all.
the books and the concepts in them are old hat to middle bell fantasy land for the masses by the 1980s at the latest.
they may not have known where some of the ideas came from but they were not goign to find a lot of that stuff to be 'weird' as it was already common lay audience fantasy troupe stuff by then.

If there was weird about that film it would be the divergences from the books that bring nothig to the story except to pad out run time, while also diverging from the books by dropping book stuff that kinda just pads out run time.

but then that would only be weird for anyone in the know in the first pale. While common pop corn munchers might not know the source material, but would still find a lot of the stuff there is common fantasy land troupes to them none the less.
not weird, weird is about the last word i'd imagine describes that body work; that's all quite clearly grounded in long established fantasy troupes.
 
2021-01-22 1:26:07 PM  

Jizz Master Zero: NOLAhd: I went to see all of them in the theater on opening weekend and loved them. There are a few scenes that almost exactly match the images I formed in my head reading the books.

And yet I've only seen them once. They're on HBOMax and I scroll right past them. I'm not sure why, but I have no interest in watching them again.

I saw them, I enjoyed them at the time. I bought the theatrical and extended cuts on DVD, then upgraded them to Blu-ray when that time came because I always felt they were ones that needed to be in the permanent library. I watched the theatrical versions as they came out and the extended versions as they originally came out and enjoyed both, however I have seen them only once and I have no desire to see them again. Even more than that, my brain immediately goes into trying to get out of watching them when someone else suggests it. Like, making up fake illnesses and whatnot. I just can't bring myself to watch them again unless Cate Blanchett is on screen. No idea why.


They're really long and whispers kinda ugly, with mediocre cinematography, when there's not an epic fight happening, the scene's not in Hobbiton, or they're not just cheating by showing a crane/helicopter wide shot of mountains in New Zealand.

Also everyone talks reeaalllly sllooooowly which isn't bad the first time, but gets goofier with each re-watch.
 
2021-01-22 1:41:16 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size

?
 
2021-01-22 1:41:46 PM  
Oh and if you're at all familiar with Jackson's other work, spotting all his little quirks and preferences in the films kinda takes one out of it, and is another thing one tends to notice more on repeat viewings. Definitely doesn't improve the experience.

/ L-o-w f-r-a-m-e-r-a-t-e s-l-o-m-oooooo
// Beheading! Take a drink.
 
2021-01-22 1:45:31 PM  

Tarl3k: Rent Party: I'm going with RotK, because on a great big Dolby theater on the big screen, the charge of the Rohirrim was gawdam awe inspiring.

I'll agree...but the abject *thrill* of the Balrog was more impressive, IMHO.  I still remember opening night, watching the movie with about 10 friends of mine.  When the Balrog appeared I looked down the row, and everybody was literally on the edge of their seats.  After that, movies were never the same for me. :)


Balrog was farkin awesome, too.  My kids used to run around the house yelling "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!" every time I wanted to move.   Hilarity ensuing.
 
2021-01-22 1:57:04 PM  
I didn't want quirky references. I wanted a total hybrid of Heavenly Creatures and Meet the Feebles.
 
2021-01-22 2:33:15 PM  

Tyrone Slothrop: ...and then he farked it up by making the bloated Hobbit trilogy.


And even with with all the extra, non-cannonical material, we never got to see the Scouring of the Shire.
 
2021-01-22 2:43:22 PM  
From TFA:
"[Jackson] was trying to do something that nobody had ever done before: a stirring and straight-faced fantasy adventure, told on a Lawrence Of Arabia scale. And Jackson pulled it off."

You can fark right off. All mythologizing about TE Lawrence aside, Lawrence of Arabia is an utterly brilliant film. It will be viewed as a great work of art 100 years from now.

LOTR raised the bar for fun fanboy drivel, and that is all its really trying to do. It deserves no comparison to Lawrence of Arabia.
 
2021-01-22 2:54:54 PM  

Rent Party: Tarl3k: cepson: I still think The Two Towers was the best of the trilogy.

I know that RotK won all the Oscars, but I consider it the weakest of the three.  It's called return of the king, Aragorn shouldn't be the weakest character, being outshined multiple times, most notably by Theoden.

I consider Fellowship to be the best of the three.  Establishing the tone and feel of the world is super important.  That makes it the most challenging of the three, and IMHO it's perfect.

I'm going with RotK, because on a great big Dolby theater on the big screen, the charge of the Rohirrim was gawdam awe inspiring.


When we saw RotK in the theater the audio was scratchy throughout the whole thing. Not enough to be unwatchable but still annoying. And this wasn't some podunk backwoods theater: bigass Loews.

I finished reading TT while sitting in the theater waiting for it to start and Shelob wasn't even in it.

Apparently that's pretty nerdy.
 
2021-01-22 3:27:52 PM  

The Silver Mullet: "But watching the film, I always felt like I was watching tropes and archetypes, not people. (It probably doesn't help that Frodo, the ostensible hero, remains a passive figure throughout, spending the entire movie in a numb and pallid shuffle.)"

That's the whole point. Frodo isn't the hero. Sam is. Tolkien said so himself. If you take in the story knowing that, it brings all the more depth into it. Sam is one of the great heroes of literature in my opinion. Taking on the journey in stride because that's what friends do, and that's what had to be done.

Damn, now I want to read those books again (and watch the movies!)


Fark user imageView Full Size


Yes.

And I remember watching the Oscar's that night. It's rare that I ever watch. So excited to see them win!
 
2021-01-22 4:03:16 PM  

little red bot: From TFA:
"[Jackson] was trying to do something that nobody had ever done before: a stirring and straight-faced fantasy adventure, told on a Lawrence Of Arabia scale. And Jackson pulled it off."

You can fark right off. All mythologizing about TE Lawrence aside, Lawrence of Arabia is an utterly brilliant film. It will be viewed as a great work of art 100 years from now.

LOTR raised the bar for fun fanboy drivel, and that is all its really trying to do. It deserves no comparison to Lawrence of Arabia.


A post full of truth, right here. Lawrence of Arabia's a farking amazing film. One of the all-time greats. Comparing it to LOTR is... not really appropriate.

You're also right that it's extremely hagiographic, which is weird because Lawrence's own Seven Pillars doesn't paint him as one tenth the larger-than-life hero that the film does. Wouldn't be the same movie if they hadn't done that, though, I guess.

/ I love the part of Seven Pillars where he shoots his own camel in the back of the head and spends most of his first battle dazed on the ground, having just fallen off a dead camel.
// It's legit a good book, and has little in common with the film, which is also, but very differently, good.
 
2021-01-22 4:26:01 PM  
If you press 'skip' every time you see either Frodo or Sam you get a solid action/adventure movie.
 
2021-01-22 5:35:38 PM  

flondrix: Tyrone Slothrop: ...and then he farked it up by making the bloated Hobbit trilogy.

And even with with all the extra, non-cannonical material, we never got to see the Scouring of the Shire.


/\/\/\ This, to me, was one of the main problems with RotK. Yes, it's already too long at the end. But geez, it would have made more sense to skip over Aragorn's wedding and at least include an abbreviated version of The Scouring if the Shire. Because that's one of the main points of Tolkien's story, derived from his own painful experience of having survived World War I. The idea that such a terrible conflagration burns and destroys everything in its path, and even the "winners" of a war return home to a world that has changed utterly from all they knew before. Without seeing how Saruman exacts his final revenge on the hobbits, you are left with a banal, feel-good ending that doesn't feel true to what Tolkien wrote.
 
2021-01-22 8:45:53 PM  
Last hurrah of weird blockbusters?  What about the comic book movies? Star Wars? Star Trek?  Godzilla? Honestly, is there a not weird blockbuster?
 
2021-01-22 10:22:26 PM  

Tarl3k: cepson: I still think The Two Towers was the best of the trilogy.

I know that RotK won all the Oscars, but I consider it the weakest of the three.  It's called return of the king, Aragorn shouldn't be the weakest character, being outshined multiple times, most notably by Theoden.

I consider Fellowship to be the best of the three.  Establishing the tone and feel of the world is super important.  That makes it the most challenging of the three, and IMHO it's perfect.


Agreed - Fellowship is the best standalone film of the three, and by a wide margin. It established the tone and scope for the trilogy while introducing an incredibly large cast of characters and managed to do all of that while still keeping the story moving along at a clip that would not only keep people interested and engaged for three hours, but make them want to come back for two more rounds of that. I completely understand why all the accolades were awarded to ROTK (it's acknowledgment of the entire trilogy) but Fellowship was the superior flick.

/Two Towers is still my personal fave of the three
 
2021-01-23 1:40:04 AM  

PvtStash: I do not believe the idea of this film being "weird" lands honestly at all.
the books and the concepts in them are old hat to middle bell fantasy land for the masses by the 1980s at the latest.
they may not have known where some of the ideas came from but they were not goign to find a lot of that stuff to be 'weird' as it was already common lay audience fantasy troupe stuff by then.

If there was weird about that film it would be the divergences from the books that bring nothig to the story except to pad out run time, while also diverging from the books by dropping book stuff that kinda just pads out run time.

but then that would only be weird for anyone in the know in the first pale. While common pop corn munchers might not know the source material, but would still find a lot of the stuff there is common fantasy land troupes to them none the less.
not weird, weird is about the last word i'd imagine describes that body work; that's all quite clearly grounded in long established fantasy troupes.


Yeah, I was really confused by that as well. This certainly isn't anywhere near close to weird by either fantasy or Oscar standards. There's nothing weird about these films, period.
 
2021-01-23 6:49:02 AM  
I didn't know "Dumb and Dumber" won Oscars!
 
2021-01-23 12:09:49 PM  

EqualOpportunityEnslaver: Agreed - Fellowship is the best standalone film of the three, and by a wide margin. It established the tone and scope for the trilogy while introducing an incredibly large cast of characters and managed to do all of that while still keeping the story moving along at a clip that would not only keep people interested and engaged for three hours, but make them want to come back for two more rounds of that. I completely understand why all the accolades were awarded to ROTK (it's acknowledgment of the entire trilogy) but Fellowship was the superior flick.

/Two Towers is still my personal fave of the three


Nailed it...and not just "come back for two more rounds of that".  When my friends and I camped out for it (in Fargo, ND, in December...jeebus) we all bought tickets for the first showing and another one a couple hours after it was done.  We all grabbed dinner, then headed right back in to watch it twice in the same day.

Even after we left the second viewing, we were all still glowing about how good it was.  Just an excellent movie. :)
 
2021-01-23 12:48:54 PM  

flondrix: Tyrone Slothrop: ...and then he farked it up by making the bloated Hobbit trilogy.

And even with with all the extra, non-cannonical material, we never got to see the Scouring of the Shire.


YOU'LL GET 10 MINUTES OF SLO-MO HOBBIT PAJAMA PARTY AND LIKE IT
 
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