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New Zealand critic blasts LOTR
April 8, 2004 3:55 PM   Subscribe

New Zealand critic blasts LOTR. Big budget movie special effects have overshadowed the timeless are of storytelling and character development. "..The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy is, as a work of cinematic art, ham-fisted, shallow, bombastic and laughably overrated.." [More Quotes inside]
posted by stbalbach (48 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
"..the upward spiral of special effects has yielded a downward spiral in the storytelling quality of big-budget movies.. there is no development of character. Among the characters, only Gollum comes near to having an intriguing internal life. Nor does the plot, if you can call it that, provide any real suspense."

"..Greek philosopher Aristotle listed the elements that go into a good drama. The least important, he argued, was spectacle - the staging, fancy costumes and special stage effects.. Most crucial for intense dramatic experience was an effective plot and interesting characters. Except for the technology escalation, not much has changed in 2500 years."
posted by stbalbach at 3:57 PM on April 8, 2004


..that should be "timeless art of storytelling"
posted by stbalbach at 3:58 PM on April 8, 2004


well, I suppose there will always be those who don't consider that high fantasy can also have artistic merit.
posted by kate_fairfax at 4:22 PM on April 8, 2004


METAFILTER QUARTERMASS USER BLASTS DENIS DUTON FOR NOT LIKING LORD OF THE RINGS!!

I mean, really.
posted by Quartermass at 4:29 PM on April 8, 2004


I hated, hated the Lord of the Rings books.

Then I saw the movies.

They were pretty miserable. I don't see what everyone sees in them - the plot pacing was horrid. I walked into the theatre for The Fellowship of the Rings without knowing what to expect, thought it sucked, and was horrified when I checked the reviews after I left the theatre.

I know I'm in the minority of this, but damn: I'm a pretty big nerd. I can watch hours of Star Trek back-to-back, recite Life of Brian line by line, and spend hundreds of hours playing MMORPGS like the rest of you. But I will never understand this fixation people have with Lord of the Rings - it's everything you'd expect from a book written by a man whose idea of fun was editing the Oxford English Dictionary. I can excuse the other crappy movies I watch because they have camp value, but the LOTR movies are so soporific that it's impossible to stay awake long enough to make snide remarks. I mean, hell, Blade Runner was better paced than the Two Towers, and that's saying something.
posted by Veritron at 4:58 PM on April 8, 2004


Veritron: exactly.

The Lord of the Rings movies make me fall asleep. The books are so atrociously written and uninteresting that I find it hard to understand what anyone sees in them. I'm a similar Star Trek/Monty Python/Linux/whatever else nerd (although I have to admit that I find RPGs hard to stomach, just because they so often seem to involve doing the same thing again and again for hours on end).

Anyway, anyone who hails the books or movies of LOTR as the greatest things ever created (as far too many people have been lately) earns themselves nothing but mockery and derision in my book.
posted by reklaw at 5:13 PM on April 8, 2004


Heh! This guy is going to get lynched by the NZ media & NZ Tourist Board. This is treason!

I notice that this appears on an Australian newspaper's web site & it's worth pointing out that there is no love lost between the two countries. The Oz media tries to make out that they're not bothered but I get the impression that they're jealous as hell that the Kiwi's are getting the attention at the moment.

I'm sure this article won't halt the property boom in Queenstown* just yet ;-)

I know that there's a Canterbury-based MeFite out there...any background on this guy?

*Lots of LOTR locations around the town. Self-styled capital of 'extreme' sports. Bloody expensive compared to the rest of the South Island.
posted by i_cola at 5:16 PM on April 8, 2004


The films are fantastic acheivements, but I'm not sure they'll stand up in 50 years time. We've all got a bit too much tied up in them to be objective.
posted by boneybaloney at 5:18 PM on April 8, 2004


What i_cola said...I think a lynching is in order, if this is reported in a NZ newspaper.

I was in New Zealand for the two weeks prior to the Oscars. Every nightly news report seemed to update the public on the latest odds on winning the various categories...TV was filled with documentaries on the making of the film and the involvement of New Zealanders. Even the national museum had a Lord Of The Rings room. And, for once, unlike Russel Crowe, the Finn Brothers (repeat ad nauseum), the Lord Of The Rings could never be stolen by Australia.
posted by Jimbob at 5:38 PM on April 8, 2004


i_cola, Denis Dutton is a well known conservative commentator in NZ and is also famous for founding Arts and Letter Daily.

The Australian piece is a syndication of the same piece from Dutton's regular NZ Herald column.

It is not quite a lynching but the Herald ran a defensive and sniffy op-ed the next day: Cinema Snobs Should Get Over It
posted by dydecker at 5:44 PM on April 8, 2004


I liked the LOTR books, I never saw any of the movies. I don't think the books are the greatest things created, but they are entertaining. Star Trek? Holy crap. Talk about total shit being raised to cult level...
posted by Eekacat at 6:03 PM on April 8, 2004


I'm with Veriton and reklaw. I could never understand why all my friends at school enthused over the book. I gave up on the turgid slothful wank that is LotR sometime into the first book. Dreary stuff.

I'm sure there are more than a minority who feel this way.
posted by Blue Stone at 6:08 PM on April 8, 2004


I'm sure there are more than a minority who feel this way.

I'm sure there is. I'm definitely not in that minority, however.

I couldn't even tell you now what it is about the books that makes me practically swoon from enjoyment, but they do, and I consider myself relatively well-read and appreciate good writing. I do know it's not at all about Tolkien's style (which goes from bombastic to dry) and — it's about the world he created (so maybe I can tell you what it is that makes me swoon).

The movies I find to be hit and miss — happily far more hit than miss. But, truthfully, there is no way for me to be objective about them. There are moments where my jaws drop and my eyes bug out like the thirteen year-old I was when I first read the books — and I'm not just talking about the special effect. I don't think the movies could have been any better, more true to the books.

Everyone feel free to unleash their LOTR backlash — with all the media obsession over it the past three years it's been long coming and almost well-deserved — but this all boils down to different strokes for different folks.
posted by papercake at 6:19 PM on April 8, 2004


Well, that's a big steamer that doesn't really say much more than "Why can't they make good movies like they used to in the Good Old Days?"

Some of the things he says are just laughable. Nobody will remember anything from the LotR score, which has one of the more memorable themes of recent years (but treacly crap like "We're Off To See The Wizard" is apparently good; maybe he'll be singing the praises of the Oompa-Loompa songs in a minute). Women are just an annoyance - did he somehow not notice Miranda Otto? The special effects of old movies like The Wizard of Oz were there to "push the story along," not to astonish, unlike LotR? Hogwash; I've seen few movies that were more matter-of-fact about the spectacles they were presenting.

I suppose I should note that bookwise I've never made it further than about a quarter of the way into Fellowship, because I find Tolkien's writing style horribly, tediously Dickensian-overblown. But I liked the movies.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:32 PM on April 8, 2004


I watched the first movie on first day, thought it was interesting. Read the first book, thought it was OK. Read the first half of the second book, got bored. Saw the second movie on first day. It sucked. Of course, the part where those 3 Fellows are out running in the middle of nowhere, that seemed really funny. Didn't see the third movie till a week ago. By this time, I knew what treatment to expect. The movie sucked. The problem I find, with these fantasies, is that there's a sweet period when you're being introduced to the new worlds and technologies and themes and it can be fub. If you drag it after that, it gets boring pretty quick.
posted by Gyan at 6:35 PM on April 8, 2004


"...any background on this guy?"

He's actually an american, living in the US. He's the head of the philosophy department of canterbury university, and he's my lecturer for Arts and Ideas / Art's theory. He's prone to ranting but his rants are always interesting and well thought out, and even if you don't agree with his viewpoint they usually leave you something to think about.

I asked him a while ago if he was worried about loosing his job after this article, he said yes, but I couldn't tell if he was serious or not. I guess it says something that I wouldn't have been surprised either way.

He has this interesting idea that censorship helps the development of great artistic works - that the creative talent needed to tell a good story within the bounds of the restriction of censorship encouraged greater creativity within the movie, and the industry as a whole.
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 6:36 PM on April 8, 2004


Dillonlikescookies: He has this interesting idea that censorship helps the development of great artistic works

Not censorship per se, but just restriction, in general. That restriction in general can be self-imposed or external.
posted by Gyan at 6:47 PM on April 8, 2004


Not to knock Aristotle, who was a pretty smart guy and all, but let's remember for him "spectacle" was ten guys on stage instead of two. I think if we were to suck him through time and present him with clips of the Battle of Helm's Deep from The Two Towers, it's possible he might want to make a revision of his previous statements.

I don't like the LoTR books at all, personally, but I thought the movies were excellent, and aside from the quality of the finished films themselves, there's something to be said for Jackson having managed the whole production as well as he did, and producing commercially successful films that satisfied (most) hardcore fans while being enjoyable for (most) other humans who have seen them. King's sweep at the Oscars has as much to do with the technical aspects of the production (and the not insignificant fact of just under $3 billion in grosses) as the quality of films themselves. Hey, it's a business, too.

I do expect that over time complaining about LoTR will be very much like complaining about the first Star Wars or The Ten Commandments or Gone With the Wind -- the issue of whether they are "good" films is aside the point. They are individually the height of their respective genres (High Fantasy, Space Opera, Biblical Epic and Costume Epic, respectively), independent of their other critical qualities. I mean, honestly -- Star Wars sucks: The dialogue is terrible, the acting worse, and the direction worst of all. All it has going for it is that's absolutely and perfectly what it wanted to be. The same with LoTR.
posted by jscalzi at 6:49 PM on April 8, 2004


Oh, great, now people tell me these movies sucked after I enjoyed them for three years. I'm going to have a hell of a time demanding my money back. I hate being left out of the zeitgeist.

We are still in agreement that Mike Myers' Cat in the Hat sucks, right?
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:51 PM on April 8, 2004


No way. Cat in the Hat ruled. Sorry.
posted by Quartermass at 7:40 PM on April 8, 2004


Whoops, that should have been american living in new zealand.

I think a lot of the problems evident in modern movies are a result of an addiction to novelty we have developed as a society, and the difficulty of trying to find a happy medium between art and entertainment.
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 7:50 PM on April 8, 2004


pfft, this is just tall poppy syndrome setting in. now that the hype has subsided all the frustrated director/writer/artists-of-some sort who will never rise beyond that of spectator, disguised as critics, get their chance to spew.
posted by t r a c y at 7:53 PM on April 8, 2004


Well, at least I agreed with him that Harold Arlen wrote some great songs for The Wizard of Oz. If that's how he feels about modern movies compared to older ones, I'd like to buy him a beer and ask him how he felt about Chicago or Saving Private Ryan.
posted by alumshubby at 8:10 PM on April 8, 2004


Star Wars sucks: The dialogue is terrible, the acting worse, and the direction worst of all. All it has going for it is that's absolutely and perfectly what it wanted to be. The same with LoTR.

Yes, but we have lowered our expectations so much that these movies are lauded as A-list movies. In 1977 Star Wars didn't get government sponsorship, ticker tape parades, 20 Oscars, near unanimous raves by critics, etc. Everyone knew it was for little kids and saved the statues and plaudits for filmmakers who tried, you know, to make something with real heart and spirit.

The last 30 minutes of Return of the King I've never been so bored in my life.
posted by dydecker at 8:13 PM on April 8, 2004


The problem I find, with these fantasies, is that there's a sweet period when you're being introduced to the new worlds and technologies and themes and it can be fub. If you drag it after that, it gets boring pretty quick.

I think that is a major point of his article. Most movies now are characterized by the number of minutes of special effects. It is boring and all the same.
posted by stbalbach at 10:04 PM on April 8, 2004


He has this interesting idea that censorship helps the development of great artistic works - that the creative talent needed to tell a good story within the bounds of the restriction of censorship encouraged greater creativity within the movie, and the industry as a whole.

i don't know this guy from Adam but I'd be very surprised if anyone with a brain said that. And, since I agree with much of what he said about LoTR, I think he has a brain. I think you're confusing "censorship" with "limits". i.e. The artist that is completely "free" in creating has a more difficult time than one who is not. This is something I agree with, though of course there are exceptions.

Just tonight I was watching Tranceformer, a documentary on Lars von Trier and he said (I'm paraphrasing) that he has the most difficulty when he's free to do as he pleases. Howard Hawks and many directors of his period created masterpieces with the limits provided by the Hayes Code. Their films probably would have suffered if they didn't have to be so clever as to get around it.

I think if we were to suck him through time and present him with clips of the Battle of Helm's Deep from The Two Towers, it's possible he might want to make a revision of his previous statements.

But the battle of Helm's deep, in and of itself and judged outside of the context of the rest of the film, follows Aristotles theories of storytelling. Aristotle didn't say spectacle isn't important, just that it should not be the driving force of a performance--that it should be the last thing considered, but that it should still be considered.

I couldn't agree with Dutton more about the characters in Lord of the Rings. He's right on the money as far as I'm concerned. LoTR is better than much of the geek fare (star wars, star trek, x files, buffy and the rest of the exposition first crud out there), but I agree with Dutton that it did not deserve half the praise it got.

If anything, I think it'll be a major nail in the coffin of quality films from non-majors.

The last 30 minutes of Return of the King I've never been so bored in my life.

I thought the movie was pretty shite all around but yeah, the last 30 were painful.
posted by dobbs at 10:43 PM on April 8, 2004


it's everything you'd expect from a book written by a man whose idea of fun was editing the Oxford English Dictionary

*snorts beer thru nose*

Dutton's idea that restriction improves the creative product is a worthwhile one, actually. Think about what was accomplished in and how one appreciates, respectively, the blues as a set of song structures, the height of 1960's American pop, or, for that matter, SF and fantasy.

Genre expectations provide a framework where interested consumers or creators can make relatively minor adjustments carry a lot of emotional and artistic power.

Mind you, he's ate up about JRRT and the flicks. But you don't have to be a retrograde snob to feel that way - Michael Moorcock, for example, has said he created Elric as a specific reaction against LOTR, which actually bears out the 'restriction in creativity' thesis, if you think about it.
posted by mwhybark at 10:57 PM on April 8, 2004


I'm another fantasy/sci-fi fan who's read and enjoyed the books. I thought the movies were only passable. Spectacular scale, special effects, and atmosphere in parts, but, more often than not, I was just plain bored. The ending of RotK was was so mind (and arse) numbingly boring it was actually funny. The fact that such a movie got so many rave reviews is a reminder of the power of hype, even on the most hardened critics.
posted by Onanist at 11:00 PM on April 8, 2004


Backlash is a bitch, but eminently predictable.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:37 PM on April 8, 2004


Everyone feel free to unleash their LOTR backlash

AAAAAAAAAAARRGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!

The movies weren't too bad, but dammit, do all three deserve the IMDB's top ten list? The movies have been overhyped and a legion of nerds has voted them to top ten lists everywhere. To me, LOTR has been a bit like Titanic -- the director deserves an award for effort just because it's so damn long, but the movie itself is... eh... mediocre.

Then again, I feel an immense sense of relief every time a classic work is NOT butchered (too horribly) in modern film. Hugo, Verne, Shakespeare... you could solve the energy crisis by attaching generators to their bodies, rapidly spinning in their graves. After LOTR was first announced, I was dreading the entrance of Frodo -- seven feet tall, blonde, and a secret agent for the Impossible Missions Force -- and his subsequent quest to impregnate every buxom virgin in the movie and personally stick it to Sauron with an RPG.
posted by Krrrlson at 11:43 PM on April 8, 2004


gave up on the turgid slothful wank that is LotR sometime into the first book.

That may explain why you don't understand their appeal; "Fellowship of the Ring" takes forever to get moving and barely touches on the vast sense of place, history, and imminent doom that provides most of the story's power. Really, people don't love "Lord of the Rings" for the quality of its writing; it's the world of Middle-earth, in all its sprawling glory, that sparks their imagination, and the exquisitely rendered sense of loss and fading beauty that captures their hearts.
posted by Mars Saxman at 2:33 AM on April 9, 2004 [1 favorite]


the films left such a small impression on me I can't even be bothered to join the backlash. (*wink*)
posted by dabitch at 3:14 AM on April 9, 2004


Perhaps that's the delineation, some people rate things other than quality of writing when they're reading (not me, I'm with Blue Stone on the LotR=turgid slothful wank call), different people apply different criteria to the film viewing experience, (and between what they want and expect from particular films). Personally I enjoyed the general gungho-ness of the films but thought it could have done without much of the tedious shit between Sam and Frodo. (And why Yosser Hughes charged those big elephants I don't know)
posted by biffa at 3:28 AM on April 9, 2004


people don't love "Lord of the Rings" for the quality of its writing; it's the world of Middle-earth, in all its sprawling glory, that sparks their imagination, and the exquisitely rendered sense of loss and fading beauty that captures their hearts.

I think that this is perceptive. Even as one who struggled through the Fellowship and got no further, I can see what Mars is saying. Personally though, I felt that the narrative read much like "we went here and then we did this, then we went there and did that [repeat for 1000 pages]"

I found the almost total absence of characterization off putting; loved the films though.
posted by dmt at 4:21 AM on April 9, 2004


They're three decent big-budget movies, that are occasionally excellent. (But, for the record, I feel the same way about Titanic, which is on its way to being displaced by LOTR as high culture's whipping boy.)

The only complaints I really had are that Jackson, as a director, isn't good with his actors. Actors that are great in other movies (Cate Blanchett, Ian McKellen) end up turning in mediocre performances in LOTR. This is partly because Jackson doesn't trust his actors to emote--he'd rather slather CG effects on them in post-production to enhance their performances (see Gandalf's CG growth in size in Fellowship when he's meant to look imposing, and Galadriel's freak-out when she's offered the Ring in the same movie, as examples of this). Sean Bean is the only actor in the trilogy that turns in a truly stellar performance--well, him and Gollum.

And I don't see why people like that phoned-in Howard Shore score (with themes that come near to making a reappearance in Scorsese's Gangs of New York--a few notes are changed here and there, but it still sounds suspiciously familiar). There were occasional interesting bits here and there (the waltz arrangement of the main theme that opened Return of the King was pleasant), but most of that thematic material was done better in the '80s by James Horner and John Barry. It's essentially a score that tells you how to feel, and copies the emotional tone of the visuals without adding any new information--compare it to one of the John Williams scores for any of the Star Wars movies, even Episodes I and II, where the music is constantly either foreshadowing future events, or repeating motifs that have been assigned to certain characters in a new context, or reading against the visuals to create an additional interpretive layer.

But, yeah, other than that I feel like I got my money's worth whenever I paid to see the LOTR films in the theater. I think any critical backlash isn't against the films, so much as against fanboys and fangirls.
posted by Prospero at 6:33 AM on April 9, 2004


...the Lord Of The Rings could never be stolen by Australia

Smash and grab?
posted by Tuatara at 8:04 AM on April 9, 2004


I'm surprised how few are coming to Tolkien's and Jackson's defense but I guess it's too late in the game for anybody to feel like they have anything left to prove. I agree with Mars that Tolkien's real accomplishment is the massive scale of his invention rather than the prose, but once you have accepted that he's writing in a grand heroic, epic mode (especially by book 3), you can go with it. What really dazzles, however, is the obsessive invention of detail, history, and language--Middle-Earth as a construct of the imagination is truly amazing.

The movies, as far as I'm concerned, exceed Tolkien's achievement. I found them to be satisfactory on every level--technically, visually, narratively, metaphorically, spiritually, you name it. As a literaly adaptation, Jackson, Boyens, and Welsh have actually improved on the narrative of the orginial. They're grand, sweeping, and very attentive to detail. I've seen Return of the King something like ten times now, and it still gets deeper every time. As grand adventure and genre-busting trilogy (or as one massive 12-hour movie), it stands second to none--even Coppola botched the Godfather in the third part. Don't knock it just because the genre happens to be fantasy and you associate that with geek boys.

I like all the characters and performances: I think the stuff between Frodo and Sam is refreshingly honest and un-ironic, I think McKellan's performance, all winks and sighs and shrugs, is gold. The direction makes for some of the most exciting set pieces in memory, and the soundtrack is too heavy, agreed, but the the themes grow somewhat richer and more subtle with the second and third films. The writing is nothing short of brilliant; once you realize how carefully they lifted phrases and descriptions from footnotes and appendices and moved them around to preserve Tolkien's best writing (there is some very elegant prose) while also focussing and heightening motivations, there's no denying that LOTR was a labor of love, a real stroke of luck for anybody who cares about the books.

Re: spectacle: yes, there are sights unseen in all three movies, things that nobody had been able to put on film before. And I'm glad for that. But to pick LOTR as a whipping boy for soulless special effects filmmaking is ridiculous since there are loads of well-developed, complex characters here. If Dutton wants to knock sfx flicks, there is more readily available fodder in the theaters at any given moment: Hellboy, Van Helsing, X-Men 2, Underworld, take your pick. If you watch the movies carefully, you'll notice that Jackson never makes the characters secondary to the effects, that they always serve to further the story.

And the 30 minute ending? What do you expect after a 12-hour movie? The denouement had to take that long, and each of those scenes deserved to be there.

There may be better films than "Lord of the Rings," but as far as big movie adventures are concerned, it simply doesn't get any better.
posted by muckster at 8:06 AM on April 9, 2004


I have never seen the LOTR movies or read any of the books and I have no intention of ever doing so. Yes, I am inordinately proud of this fact.

But this was nice just for the simple pleasure of seeing something venerated get knocked down a peg. Thank you, cranky Kiwi scribe.
posted by jonmc at 8:39 AM on April 9, 2004


"Oh sure," they say, "here's the inevitable backlash of people who don't understand it."

My "backlash" started even before the first movie was released. I read the first book and thought not only that the prose was dry, but that the "imaginative world of Middle Earth" was pretty cliche. I found out later that every fantasy cliche I knew basically came FROM that book, but I can't go un-familiarize myself with cliches before reading, can I?
posted by kevspace at 9:24 AM on April 9, 2004


as a huge fan of both the books and the movies, i would have to agree with those that think this fillm is overhyped. personally, the film taken as a whole exceded any of my expectations and has - at least for the moment - replaced star wars as my favorite sci-fi/fantasy. i was also happy to see a flim of this genre actually clean up at the oscars. but as much as i treasure tolkien's books i've never considered them great 'literature' nor the movies any groundbreaking feat in cinema. that jackson was able to translate them to film without completely disgracing the books was enough for me and i'm sure a lot of people.

i was surprised to see the rest of the world embrace the movies so enthusiastically, considering the type of material. i think a lot of the hype was because of a not-very-well-known but well-respected director taking on an enormous undertaking and a struggling new line placing all their hope in that one man. no matter what anyone thinks of the movies, you have to admit that was a ballsy move.
posted by poopy at 10:05 AM on April 9, 2004


Still the best review of the first film.

It generated 195 flames.

More info.
posted by stringbean at 10:10 AM on April 9, 2004


lifted phrases and descriptions from footnotes and appendices and moved them around to preserve Tolkien's best writing

could you point me in the direction of the dwarf-tossing footnote?
posted by mr.marx at 10:38 AM on April 9, 2004


Comic relief is a time-honored movie tradition, and while I don't think it's great humor, the moment tells you something about Gimli's stubbornness, so I'd chalk it up to characterization as well. I also like that there's a reprise of the joke in Two Towers, which complicates it slightly and tells you more about Gimli. As far as I'm concerned, there ain't nothing wrong with a little dwarf tossing.
posted by muckster at 11:26 AM on April 9, 2004


the books are some of my favorites, i like them because there are no heroes or bad guys in the book, even though Tolkien writes about some of the most powerful beings and wild adventures

this happened because Tolkien was not writing an adventure about a quest to destroy a ring. Tolkien was writing about language, culture, and traditions. This is where the heart of the book lies.

the movies simply took the beings out of the books and made a hero vs bad guy movie about them. I have watched the first 2 i don't think i will see the 3rd (or the hobbit).
posted by 12345 at 11:46 AM on April 9, 2004


I know it's past time to shut up about this, but I think a fascinating point about the movies (as well as the books) that is barely made is the fact that Frodo fails. There is no happy end for him: when it matters most, he is incapable of completing the quest and gives in to the temptation of the Ring. Without providence/pity/Gollum intervening, it would all have gone to hell. And Frodo is diminished for it; he is broken, and unlike Sam, he cannot return to the shire. The Lord of the Rings is really about the price of victory, about loss. I find this astounding for blockbuster movies of this size where usually, the hero wins all. Quite depressing and surprisingly honest, if you think about it.
posted by muckster at 11:57 AM on April 9, 2004


muckster: an interesting interpretation. I find it implausible, but worth thinking about it. The primary reason I disagree is that Tolkein hated hidden meaning and I don't remember Frodo expressing any grief over attempting to take the ring, only some relief that it is all over with.

I prefer the face-value interpretation that with the distruction of the ring, everyone who depended on the rings of power (including Elrond, Gandalf and Galadriel) find themselves drained and diminished. At least one of the things that I dislike about Jackson's vision is how Elrond is transformed from the leader fighing a loosing war to contain Sauron's forces in the North to an isolationist trying to take the first boat into the West.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:36 PM on April 9, 2004


But this was nice just for the simple pleasure of seeing something venerated get knocked down a peg. Thank you, cranky Kiwi scribe.

Don't start laffing just yet, a little birdie tells me that he's gunning for The Ramones next.
posted by bifter at 3:38 PM on April 9, 2004


New Zealand critic blasts LOTR.

Oh my goodness -- just in time.
posted by dhartung at 11:32 PM on April 9, 2004


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