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Chen G.

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Everything posted by Chen G.

  1. Thorin actually does this a lot where, stubborn as he is, he will relent to someone's better judgement, including: Taking up Bilbo in the first place: "Very well, we'll do it your way." Admitting that they survived the Trolls thanks to Bilbo's "nous" - when Gandalf points this out, Thorin gives a kind of "okay, fair enough" nod. Taking-up Orcrist to begin with, when Gandalf points out "you could not wish for a finer blade." Agreeing to into Rivendell. "We have questions that need to be answered", points Gandalf, and Thorin gives a kind of "okay" nod. Agreeing to show the map to Elrond, which even Balin is apprehensive about. Agreeing to go into the Mountain after Bilbo to rescue him from Smaug after Balin urges him to do so. Almost agreeing to Bard's terms at the urging of Gandalf and Balin before Dain shows-up. Agreeing to Bilbo's suggestion to retreat from Ravenhill. Good luck convincing this Galadriel to change her mind like this...
  2. Every story, in a sense, has a central endeavour that the main character has to undertake, and the plot can be divided into seting out on the endeavour, the endeavour proper, and arriving at the destination at its end. That's also the idea behind the three-act structure. In some film, the characters sets-out on two "quests": Luke Skywalker sets out to look for R2, but his real quest is only when he agrees to go with Old Ben to Aldeeran. The same with Galadriel here: she's on a quest to find and destroy Sauron, but her actual endeavour for the purposes of this season - the end of the setup - is when she leaves with the Numenorean fleet to assuage the Southlands. Again, relatively speaking, its like a version of An Unexpected Journey where Bilbo only left the Shire at the point in the runtime where they leave Rivendell, instead! That's crazy long for a setup!
  3. I know you dislike that scene, but within the circumstances in which its set, I thought it felt very convincing. I do think comparing the two projects can be helpful: I always had a problem with the pacing of An Unexpected Journey: I think the other entries clip along quite nicely, but the first film moves at fits-and-stops really until we leave Rivendell. If Jackson himself recut it like he said he wants to do with King Kong (still his most glacial movie), I'd be game to watch it. But The Rings of Power takes this to a completely new level: it takes five hours and twenty minutes out of some 8.5 hours - funnily enough, the equivalent to when the company leaves Rivendell - for the plot to really be set into motion, and then the event towards which it was set into motion (thwarting an attack on the Southlands) is resolved within one episode in a skirmish that's, honestly, a little on the small side, with two episodes still to go. For all its bravura about practical effects in the marketing, I've yet to see a set of The Rings of Power that's as expansive as Laketown or Dale, and I would also contend that Khazad-Dum with its greyish colour scheme and many scenes set in dusty, squarish closed spaces, has nothing on the opulent grandeur of Erebor. Then there are our characters: for me an illustrative comparison is the way Galadriel conducts herself in Numenore compared to how Thorin conducts himself in Rivendell. Thorin has a beef with the Elves (admittedly, not these Elves but still) that Galadriel doesn't have with the Numenoreans as such; and he's tricked into going to Rivendell, whereas Galadriel is rescued by the Numenoreans; and whereas the Numenoreans don't treat Galadriel poorly from the outset, Thorin is actually proven remarkably accurate in his suspicion of Elrond when he overhears him later. Nevertheless, a few snide comments early on notwithstanding, Thorin doesn't treat Elrond with an ounch of the disdain that Galadriel exhibits in the Numenorean court, and he certainly doesn't come close to fighting with Elrond's guards or pointing knives at anyone. In fact, at Gandalf's advice, he shows Elrond the map that even the sagacious Balin doesn't want shown to the Elf. So while both characters are pigheaded, only one of them is sensible. And lastly we have how the two function as prequels: for one thing, the fact that The Hobbit is made by the same filmmakers and the same creative team counts for a lot in my book as far as references and things go: they get to reference their own work, in a way that McPayne don't. But even beyond that, there are no creation myths dramatized in The Hobbit: if it functioned like The Rings of Power does, the prologue would start with the Arkenstone being used by Thrain I to raise Erebor from the ground and an explanation on the origins of Dragons and so forth.
  4. I love the movies as-is. At worst, I may fast-forward through a grand total of some three-four minutes' worth of little beats that I don't care for. At any rate, I'm not a fan of fan-edits: I feel like they're more an outlet for budding editors than anything else, and I think there's only so much you can do without extensive access to alternate takes and trims. For instance, even though I think The Rings of Power needed to lose some storylines and to get to the point A LOT sooner, I would either watch it as-is or not at all, rather than watch someone's edit of it.
  5. I'm planning on it once the season is done, almost as a little "cleansing" ceremony.
  6. Is he not? I feel he hits a lot closer to the mark than does Clark as Galadriel. Perhaps closer to the sagacious Elrond of An Unexpected Journey rather than the grump of The Fellowship of the Ring, though.
  7. It varies. I'm not feeling Benjamin Walker as Gil-galad: too self-conscious. Also Arondir is played too stoic by Cruz-Cordova, and Galadriel too beligerent by Clark. Can't stand the Brandyfoot parents. But Elrond is a revelation! Now, if only he wasn't embroiled in a project involving getting Mithril Indoor Tanning...
  8. I can think of very few artists in general who's ouvre is marked by a general upward trend. Some of us feel Hitchcock made some of his best work later in life. Some musicians, perhaps, like Beethoven and Wagner. But otherwise? Scarce few.
  9. I think there's a different point to be made here which is that - beyond budget and time issues - artistically sometimes (not always) filmmakers are at their best when they feel like they have something to prove.
  10. I was under the impression that whatever music that had been written for that segment of the movie was just jumbled in the edit and replaced with tracked music.
  11. How is Attack of the Clones incomplete, though?
  12. By all means, do disrespect the subject matter! ...Okay, may don't, but what I mean by that is that Schindler's List and films like it shouldn't be impervious to criticism for fear of making one seem as "disrespecting the subject matter." There are things to critique in Schindler's List: the hokum of the Schindler's last moments in the film is often cited and not injustly (even if the issue is blown out of proportion, I would say). But yeah, its just a very different experience perhaps not necessarily to Jews but specifically to Israeli Jews: The Holocaust is a big thing here, and we're fed it in school, we're fed it in Holocaust memorial day, we're fed it in the IDF, some of us are fed it in our families, and so films like Schindler's List and like The Pianist sort of become...like a ceremony.
  13. Interesting. I generally think of Jaws as a much more "perfect" movie. Not that "perfect" necessarily equals "best"!
  14. I think Spielberg has made some very overt Oscar bait in the years since Schindler's List, but I never experienced that movie as particularly Oscar-bait-y. What I do experience it as is like a state memorial ceremony. I think most Israelis do. Its impossible for us to see it as a film, I'm afraid. I watched it once at school, once again to say I did it as an adult - I never want to subject myself to it ever again.
  15. Oh, I forgot that one! Stodgy is the word for it. Again, nothing overtly bad about it, but its a little tedious.
  16. Ready Player One surprised me. Like, I avoided it for a long time for thinking it looks absolutely godawful: it had this look of this totally over-the-top, overwhelming, Michael Bay-like visual chaos and cloying nostalgia. It wasn't ultimately a very succesfull film, but that aspect of it was ultimately reined-in by Spielberg. Middling for me, but not bad, particularly.
  17. I really don't think Spielberg was disinterested or dispassionate on the set of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Its inarguable that he was reticent to make it for a long time - and very, very rightly so - but its the sort of thing where once you're on the set, you don't necessarily carry that initial apprehension with you. But yeah, for a variety of reasons - most of which, I would argue, are on the page, but not all - the film ended-up uninspired, rather slow, not very appealing to the eye and hokey. It was, in some respects, a doomed enterprise. Spielberg had other less-than-reputable films. Always springs to mind. But I haven't watched a Spielberg film in a loooong time (well, The Last Crusade doesn't count: I can watch that for forever) so I can't really make a list off the top of my head. My "issue" with Schindler's List is, I think, known to all here, and needs no repeating.
  18. There are definitely connections between the themes, but they're still individual units, and their relationship with each other is (at least musically) very static. Totally different from the mature leitmotif. Its Bear's Der Fliegende Hollander to Shore's Siegfried.
  19. There isn’t in The Lord of the Rings, but there is in Song of the Lonely Mountain… and there’s Heckelphone doubling in some of Smaug’s music.
  20. That's what I'm saying, if we count how many players were used alltogether (or rather, how many people it'll take to faithfully recreate the recording ensemble across all the scores on the concert stage) its something like: 16 1st 16 2nd 12 Violas 10 Celli 8 Basses 2 Harps 8 Horns (d. Tuben) 8 Trumpets 7 Trombones 2 Tuba 3 Bassoons/contrabassoon 4 Clarinets/Bass/contrabass Clarinet 4 Flutes/Piccolo/alto flute 4 Oboes/Cor/heckelphone 3 Keyboard (piano/celesta/clavichord, synth, organ) 2 Timpanists 7 Percussionists 20 Didgeridoos 14 Gamelan 12 Stage band (cimbalom, rhaita, bagpipes, hardinfelle, nay, etc) 100 SATB 60 Boys That's A LOT of people! Not Gurre Lieder or Havergal's Gothic big, perhaps, but nonetheless very big!
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