The Matrix, the SW PT, and LotR: Which Trilogy will stand the test of time?

Discussion in 'The Phantom Menace' started by ElfStar, Jul 15, 2002.

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  1. ElfStar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2001
    star 4
    Alright, this thread is repeating itself. I'm going to say what I said on page 6 concerning the idea that directors who make movies based on books are not as good as those who don't:

    I hate, hate, hate it when someone uses that argument. [happy.gif]

    Just because you base your story on a similar story in a different(or the same) medium does not mean the story is any less powerful or impressive. The Wizard of Oz was based on a book. Star Wars was based on many stories. 2001 was based on a book. Lawrence of Arabia(which I haven't yet seen but understand to be very good) was based on real life. Does that lessen in any way the stories the directors chose to tell? No! Because all good stories are based in some way off something that has happened, or has been told before. There really is no such thing as an "original" story.
  2. Darth_Tarpals Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2002
    star 4
    Since I was obviously mistaken in the meaning of my last post, let me put it this way. Nothing Jackson has done, besides Lord of the Rings, is worth the time to buy the ticket to go and see it. There is quite a difference between basing a movie OFF of a book, and making a movie OF a book.
  3. poweranger Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 21, 2002
    star 2
    tarpals, would you say time machine is[an example of]a movie based off a book and and the godfather a movie of a book? is that the type of difference you're referring to?
  4. Darth_Tarpals Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2002
    star 4
    I would say Time Machine/Jurassic Park/Lost World are based off of books, and something like LOTR is a movie of the book.
  5. Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    "Nothing Jackson has done, besides Lord of the Rings, is worth the time to buy the ticket to go and see it."

    If you're a film buff, you might appreciate Forgotten Silver. It's an inside joke, but a good one.
  6. Ulaleros Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2001
    star 2
    "Gimli is obviously between the height of the Hobbits & Legolas in Bakshi. Definately not 6 feet tall. Not even 5 feet tall!"

    no. he is as tall as boromir and aragorn in the film. he looks like a regular human.
  7. I_Am_Kit_Fisto Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2002
    star 1
    no he isn't. trust me.

    look at the scene where they have just sent Boromir over Rauros > he is obviously not as tall as Legolas. the same throughout the whole film.
  8. alfy Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 14, 2002
    star 1
    Nothing Jackson has done, besides Lord of the Rings, is worth the time to buy the ticket to go and see it.

    Heavenly Creatures is an amazing film, actually, that Jackson made years before Fellowship. It stars, among others, Kate Winslet, and was even nominated for Best Original Screenplay.

    Also, if you're a fan of splatter pictures, Jackson is the king.
  9. obhavekenobi78 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2002
    star 5
    [image=http://www.canoe.ca/JamLordOfTheRingsGalleryImages/gimli.jpg]

    Gimli's height.
  10. TadjiStation Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2001
    star 4
    Darth Tarpals

    My opinion, but I don't belive it makes you a good director if you can copy someone elses work, and throw it on a screen. As long as he sticks to the book, there's no doubt he'll nail the tone and meaning.

    This is a common misconception by the masses when it comes to book adaptation.

    Adaptation is much more than just "sticking to the book" in order to bring it to the screen. Each one of us reads a book differently, imagines characters differently, sees the locations differently in our minds. These, and many more details come about through thorough and descriptive writing. No matter how good or well written a book is, each of us will imagine it differently in our minds.

    What's paramount in an adaptation is to get the closest approximation to what the author is writing so that everyone who sees the movie (that's read the book) can draw upon a common relation to the visual material. In other words, the movie has to resonate enough with those who have read the source material that they're convinced the tone was captured correctly. For many, Jackson succeeded splendidly for a book that was considered almost un-filmmable. For others, he didn't do so well.

    An example of lousy book adaptation: Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining". While in and of itself, a great horror movie (one of my favorites), about 1/8 of the book is actually present in the film. The book of "The Shining" is a ghost story, first and foremost, yet the movie takes the story in the direction of a psychological descent into madness. Jack's inner demons are explored in the book, and it's these demons that are played upon by the hotel. These demons aren't addressed much by the film (no more than a casual hint), nor the true evil of the hotel itself, or of what happened there over the years to make it so (with the exception of the previous caretaker's killing of his family).

    Another problem with this adaptation is that the characters in the movie aren't really human. They're characatures. It's hard to relate to Jack Nicholson's descent when he looks crazy to begin with. Further, the movie was cast completely wrong (with the exception of Scatman Crothers and Danny Lloyd).

    Despite all of these problems, Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" succeeds in being a truly scary movie. This comes about through good direction, good performances (despite the casting inconsistencies) effective locations, excellent cinematography, surreal music, etc.

    The TV miniseries, by comparison - while getting the characters cast properly (except the boy - not a great actor), and the adaptation spot on (except the end) - fails completely because it's not very well excecuted. The tone of the TV miniseries was closer to that of the book, and it follows the events of the book almost to the letter, yet if fails because, in the end, it's not very scary.

    If adaptation were as easy as some of you are willing to believe, then LOTR would have been perfect for everybody, and universally praised by EVERYONE that's seen it. Obviously, this is not the case, as some devotees of the book find the certain liberties taken to be not true to the tone of the novel. Others are willing to let the changes slide for the greater story, and others still are praising Jackson for the dramatic additions or changes made to make the book more cinematic.

    In the end, what's there is there. Sit back and enjoy (or don't).

    :)

  11. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    I think everyone understands that making a great film adaptation of a book requires as much creativity, vision and talent as directing a film from an original script. Lucas is no more an auteur than any other major hollywood filmmaker. Lucas took too many ideas from prior movie sources to be considered a genius in creating original works. His genius, if you can call it that, is as a synthesist of prior cinematic achievements.
  12. obhavekenobi78 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2002
    star 5
    Also, keep in mind that LotR has a rabid fan base. Any and all cinematic "blunders" made by Peter Jackson are not received very well.

    If you think that makeing a LotR adaptation is easy, I would suggest you go and rent the animated "feature" created by Ralph Baski. I think that he cleary demonstrated how easy it is to absolutely destroy a body of work while transferring it from novel to cinema.
  13. I_Am_Kit_Fisto Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2002
    star 1
    You might also want to check out Peter Jackson's FOTR for an example of how a filmmaker can ruin something adapting it to the screen. It'll save you the trouble of renting Bakhsi's since Jackson stole so many ideas and images from him.
  14. DarthHomer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2000
    star 5
    This topic bores me.

    We all know Star Wars is the best ;)
  15. obhavekenobi78 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2002
    star 5
    IAKF,

    You think Jackson stole ideas from Baski?!!!

    I would suspect that you haven't seen the animated version then. If you have, I would love to hear the similarities that fall outside of the actual story line.
  16. Ulaleros Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2001
    star 2
    "no he isn't. trust me."

    yes, he is. trust ME.

    obhave...we're talking about gimli in the bakshi version.

    pj did actually lift some parts right from the bakshi version. an example is the hobbits hiding under that tree root when the ringwraith comes. its almost the exact same image.
  17. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    The scene with the ringwraith on horseback sniffing for the hobbits, with the hobbits hiding off the road in the ravine is framed in a very similar way in both the Bakshi and the Jackson versions.
  18. Green_Destiny_Sword Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 20, 2001
    star 4
    I dot' see what all of the in-depth analysis on the book vs. movie of a book nonsense is about. Whether you are creating a film froma screenplay or a book, there is still the task of creating an excellent THEATRICAL performance. The literal basis for this is irrelevant. The director's challenge is turning the words into visual entertainment through compelling scenes and outstanding performances. No matter what your source material is, if you cannot do this, you have failed and the movie willmost likely suck. Jackson was able to take a book that had so much context to it and bring it to life on the screen and make it enjoyable, exciting, suspenseful and entertaining. he also was able to draw out excellent performances from his actors and put them inscenes that highlighted their talents and gave tha audience the true feel and depth of their characters. He also chose the scenes from the book which could best do this and he did a great job of it.

    FOTR was a success!
  19. Lord_Hydronium Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2002
    star 5
    The scene with the ringwraith on horseback sniffing for the hobbits, with the hobbits hiding off the road in the ravine is framed in a very similar way in both the Bakshi and the Jackson versions.

    It's also very similar to a painting by John Howe, who was conceptual designer for FOTR. I'm not sure when the Howe painting was done.
  20. obhavekenobi78 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2002
    star 5
    [image=http://tolkienfiles.averi.hr/Slike/Tolkien3%20The%20Black%20Rider.JPG]

    This painting by John Howe?

    Any other similarities?
  21. ElfStar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2001
    star 4
    Not to mention they're all based on the same event from the book, so of course they're going to end up looking similarly.

    The funny thing about that John Howe painting is that he painted all four hobbits in that, yet in the book Merry is not actually there during that scene.
  22. Darth Euro Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 25, 1999
    star 4
    I believe that this John Howe painting was actually "inspired" by the Bakshi film, and then Howe of course worked as a conceptual artist on PJ's LOTR. (along with Alan Lee)

    This particular scene is the only one AFAIK where one could make a convincing case that PJ was influenced by Bakshi on a scene-to-scene basis.
  23. CeeJay Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2000
    star 4
    All I know is that I havn'e enjoyed a fantasy film as much as FOTR since watching TESB when I was 13 years old. The film runs circles around anything in its genre and is a much more well made flick than anything GL has done to date including both the PT flicks. it's simply superior in everything to my favoured SW saga and I'm speakinf as a fan! Before watching FOTR I couldn't stand LOTR, I was never interested in the books and watching that animated film as a kid scarred me for life, making me not want to watch anything to do with LOTR ever again! PJ's film is a fine adaption, it faithull to the books without being a thoughtless slave to the original text. It is fleshed out and made real, it is filled with inspired performances and simply eminates dedication and love from all involved with its creation.

    If all the three films are at the same quality of the first then it will simply be the greatest trilogy to date and if the trailers for TTT are anything to go by then that seems a very realistic possibility! For the SW PT trilogy to be this good is something of an empty dream, first; the SW PT would have to have been written "Well" not just loosely plotted and scripted until GL decides to start penning the next exciting episode. If the SW flicks had a solid plot and the actors had a decent script to engage themselves not to mention a director who can capture performances and direct decent fight scenes, then maybe it would measure up to PJ's FOTR just a little bit!
  24. Darth_Tarpals Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2002
    star 4
    DarthHomer hit the nail on the head. Let the books be books, and movies be movies; I for one am tired of hearing all this "I'm a Star Wars fan, but the the first two films are the worst ever created, and ROTJ sucks too." It gets really old, really fast.
  25. Ulaleros Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2001
    star 2
    wow, awesome cee-jay! i guarantee that if the people whining that fotr departed to much from the books had their way, we would not has as good a film as we do. a lot of the criticism of harry potter was that it stuck exactly to the book. literature and film are entirely different media...you cant translate them word for word, scene for scene because lit. has specific conventions favorable to literature that would not work in on film, and vice versa.
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