1. Peter Ashby says

    great news for the New Zealand economy. My memory of The Hobbit is sketchy, were there any big battle scenes? iow will the boys and girls of the NZ Armed Forces be required again?

  2. doyle says

    I’ve read the LOTR more than 10 times. I always read the appendices. I’ve even read the Silmarillion, and I own the longer versions of all 3 Jackson movies. I can’t read the Hobbit. It is really poor stuff. I tried reading it to my kids to introduce them to the trilogy and came away wondering whether Tolkien wrote the Hobbit while drunk in high school.

  3. Fnord Prefect says

    My favorite part about Peter Jackson movies are the scenes in which all the characters stand around awkwardly for ten to thirty seconds after the dialogue for no purpose. Which is to say every scene in the three plus hours of the LotR series and King Kong.

  4. Ric says

    I couldn’t disagree more. The Hobbit is great reading (although I wonder how so many dwarves will translate to a movie). And yes, Peter, there is a big battle scene: the Battle of Five Armies.

  5. says

    Humph. More of Tolkien’s anti-Slav propaganda.

    We’ve watched enough bearded blonds mincing about the forest. Until they start casting swarthy men with more Zs and Js than vowels in their names as heroes and not villains, me and the rest of the Hirsute League for Civil Rights will not be attending.

  6. Peter Ashby says

    Hmmm well there is a rather large amount of Old Scandinavian mythology in Tolkein and weren’t the original Rus from Sweden? Or aren’t the Rus slavs anymore? or have you guys borrowed from the Chinese and absorbed and subverted your overlords?

  7. gary says

    Too bad. After the hack job he did on LoTR, was hoping they’d go for someone with some talent.

  8. says

    The Rus were Scandinavians who had gone a viking and stayed where they could control the trade between the Mediterranean world and the North. The were not Slavs ethnically or culturally, but soon became Slavic speakers just like the Normans became French speakers.


    The recent reports in the entertainment press were that New Line Studios would be out of business if “The Golden Compass” wasn’t a smash hit. At least the rest of the world has taken up some of the slack, with “Golden Compass” making twice as much money elsewhere than in the U.S. market.

  9. Tulse says

    Yee-haw! Our Christmas tradition is to watch the entire LotR (extended edition, natch) in one sitting with some very good friends of ours, so this is welcome news (although two more films will make that day even longer).

  10. Natasha Yar-Routh says

    Thank you Gary, I was beginning to think Lyne and I were the only ones who considered Jackson a hopeless hack. My firs thought when I heard there were going to be two movies was that the second one would be a three hour version of the Battle of The Five Armies.

    As LOTAR was the sequel to the Hobbit I’m not sure what he has planned. Maybe how the White Council drove Suaron out of Dol Guldor? I really don’t care enough to worry about it, just two more examples of bloated cinematic excess with no pacing and bad ploting.

  11. Peter Ashby says

    My only criticism of the LOTR films was that The Return of the King took soooo long to finish. I think hollywood has corrupted our Peter, he is not the same man who made Brain Dead and Meet the Feebles. BTW anyone know where I can buy a region 2 PAL DVD of Meet the Feebles? I just can’t find a copy.

  12. Chet says

    Oh, you guys are just pissed that Tolkein’s pointless, senseless Tom Bombadil nonsense didn’t make it into the film.

    Thank goodness, and thank Jackson, for recognizing that slavish adherence to the print material is the worst way to adapt a book to film.

    If anything, Tolkein’s the hack, compared to later fantasy genre writing. I give him a pass for being at the beginning, but Jackson’s a genius for adapting LOTR to include later developments in fantasy writing – like, not having the Rightful King-in-Exile come out of exile in the first book. (WTF, Jay-dub?)

  13. Fnord Prefect says

    No, Chet, I for one had no problem with what was left out of the stories. Jackson’s a hack because of the painfully slow pacing.

  14. AlanWCan says

    I was beginning to think Lyne and I were the only ones who considered Jackson a hopeless hack.
    Ahhh, but only because you haven’t seen the spectacular Bad Taste (or even braindead).
    Honestly, the worst thing about TLoTR movies was that he cast Viggo Mortensen instead of Sean Bean as Aragorn (well, that and the whole Gimli=Scrappy Doo thing). Didn’t see the point in going to see a scene-by-scene remake of King Kong–which just sounds like a film school homework project–why not just watch the old one with Fay Ray and be done with it?

  15. Robert Thille says

    I’d write that I prefer Guy Gavriel Kay’s The Fionavar Tapestry to any Tolkein, but that would make my wife divorce me. Even after I got her a signed, 1st ed. Hobbit. (She’s a ‘bit’ of a fan, and it means I don’t have to buy her presents for the rest of her life :-)

  16. Tulse says

    Jackson’s a hack because of the painfully slow pacing.

    The same could be said for Kubrick’s 2001, or Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia, or Wells’ Citizen Kane.

    For that matter, the same could be said of the source material — the movies sure seemed faster to me that the books, which for me are interminable in spots.

    So sure, the films may be a bit slow given the MTV-inspired editing of most action movies, but I think they are an appropriate reflection of the original author’s intent.

  17. Chet says

    Jackson’s a hack because of the painfully slow pacing.

    Considering the source material, is that any surprise? I love fantasy, and I’ve read a lot of the greats, but my whole life, I’ve never been able to make it past the middle of Two Towers because it’s just all so slowwwwwwwwww….

  18. natefoo says

    You peoples is brutal.

    I was initially upset by Jackson’s “adaptation” of my beloved books, but there were a lot of things that had to change for a film version to work, and a lot of people fail to realize that. I do think some things (like Haldir and the elves at Helm’s Deep) were unnecessary. All in all, I have a favorable opinion of the movies and I think he did a good job of bringing Tolkien’s world to life, even if it wasn’t 100% accurate.

    As to casting and pacing, I didn’t notice problems with either. Viggo was an awesome Aragorn, I thought? Eh. To each his own, but I’m surprised to see so many people who didn’t like the films.

  19. Marc says

    I loved Jackson’s King Kong for the barbaric islanders. Some called the depiction racist, but I saw it more as something I’ve always wanted to see here in Hawaii: Diamanda Galas directing a hula show.

  20. Peter Ashby says

    Chet I suppose you are yet another of those people who never reached the absolutely wonderful ending of Catch 22 as well? If you are not prepared to put in any effort then you will never get any decent rewards. Reminder to self: time to reread Catch 22. Pity you have just been to the damn library…

  21. Pyre says

    [clapping hands]   [squealing]   [watching the seconds crawl by until 2010]

    I think “sequel” means a two-part movie.

    Where to put the break-point?

    There’s certainly enough action before they reach the Lonely Mountain (trolls, goblins, wargs, eagles, Beorn, giant spiders, forest elves, barrel-riding, Rivertown) to make a very full film in itself… or break somewhere in there.

    Reaching the mountain, figuring out a way in (parallel to the wait outside the Walls of Moria), meeting Smaug, Smaug’s rampage, exploring the cave’s treasures, the War of Five Armies and its aftermath, could easily make another full film.

    And at that, we’ll have to wait for the extended DVDs to see all the scenes, which means 2012. Five years? Aaaaaaagghhhh!

  22. Tulse says

    It takes some of the sting out of The Golden Compass tanking.

    For me, it takes some sting out The Golden Compass being such a terribly made film.

  23. Pyre says

    Errr… not to mention one minor insignificant encounter with a cave-dwelling Gollum and his Precious Ring….

  24. CalGeorge says

    I guess I’m in a very small minortity – I gave up on the first LOTR movie after about twenty minutes – I thought the dialogue was moronic and the whole thing looked plastic.

    Never bothered with it again.


  25. says

    Peter Jackson, a hack? The genius behind Meet the Feebles?

    (… um, lest I permanently damage anyone’s sense of curiosity, let me just say that movie is probably not for the children. Ahem.)

    Am I the only one to have a moderate view of Jackson’s LOTR? I really liked some aspects, really didn’t some aspects, and appreciated his vision of how to do a movie adaptation. I would also look forward to seeing someone else’s vision. (Surely we can expect a remake every decade or so? What? Where are you all going?)

  26. Pyre says

    CalGeorge @ 31, had you read the books?

    The first two times I tried reading LOTR (having enjoyed The Hobbit), I gave up near the start because the start was so slow. The third time I persisted until the pace sped up, and after that I never had a chance to look back.

    The metaphor of a road being like flowing water — you start at a slow trickling stream, which pours into a larger one, and so forth until you’re swept away by a great swift river — very much reflects how the story itself builds up over time.

  27. Peter Ashby says

    Meet the Feebles, the Muppets meets Die Hard via Deep Throat. Sheer cinematic vision. Never has the Wellington waterfront looked seedier.

    BTW am I the only one who saw and remembers Ralph Bakshi’s animation on film version of LOTR, in one installment too? No? how about Wizards then? Fritz the Cat? actually scrub Deep Throat above, make that Fritz the Cat.

  28. BJN says

    What a bunch of grumpy wankers. And it sounds like a few have short attention spans.

    What movie would make PZ’s groupies squeal? “Cthulhu the Musical”?

  29. CalGeorge says

    CalGeorge @ 31, had you read the books?

    I loved the Hobbit. One of my favorite books from childhood. Made it a significant way into LoTR during my teens but never finished.

    I might have to revisit the books and movies again.

  30. Numad says


    There’s a difference between ‘bad pacing’ and ‘slow pacing’, and I think the former was what was emphasized by the phrase ‘painfully slow’, meaning bad pacing that’s characterized by slowness.

    I loved Jackson’s Fellowship, but I hated the rest (not to mention his King Kong) and I’m going to dread these. At least he’s only going to produce?

  31. Natasha Yar-Routh says

    Nope don’t mind Tom Bombadil being cut at all. No what I objected to the most was battle scenes going on past laughable to plain boring. That these came at the expense of what plot and character development there was just made it worse.

    Jackson confirmed his hackdom when he took a nice tightly paced film like King Kong and remade at nearly twice the length with out adding anything but excess to it. So he probably will take a short book like the Hobbit and pad it out to six to eight hours of bloated excess.

  32. Tulse says

    Bakshi’s version ends about half way through the trilogy, so I don’t really count it. And Wizards is just trippy.

  33. stogoe says

    This makes me squee. I loved Jackson’s trilogy completely. I am so glad I’m not burdened with a forced orthodoxy of the beloved like so many others here.

  34. Numad says


    ‘I am so glad I’m not burdened with a forced orthodoxy of the beloved like so many others here.’

    So this is like a reflex now? Don’t like the adaptation: orthodox mania?

  35. Pyre says

    Peter Ashby @ 34: “… Ralph Bakshi’s animation on film version of LOTR, in one installment too?”

    The halibut is, that only covered The Fellowship of the Ring (and One Tower).

    Rankin and Bass (who’d animated The Hobbit) later finished the story with their The Return of the King.

    Incidentally, I’m convinced that Jackson and company watched those animated versions, taking notes on what was done right and what was done wrong, before writing their own version. They managed to avoid most of the animations’ time-wasting and sheer cloying mawkishness (e.g. Sam). They did adapt Bakshi’s idea of a prelude showing the backstory, but without Bakshi’s cheap shadow-play way of showing it.

  36. ildi says

    (Self-disclosure – from sixth grade until gradual school I started each summer by reading the Hobbit/LOTR. I’ve also read the enitre LOTR over a three-day weekend.)

    I loved Fellowship, and saved going to see the Two Towers for Xmas eve with two friends who had not read the books. I HATED the second one! He absolutely ruined the characters of Faramir and Aragorn as far as I was concerned. As we left the theatre my friends were going on about how good the movie was, and I couldn’t help myself – I actually burst into tears in the lobby. After all, this was MY treat, MY favorite book! (OK, Xmas is an emotional time for me – I was raised a Hungarian Catholic – you know, baby Jesus and the angels bring the tree and gifts on Xmas eve…)

    That is my sad LOTR/Xmas story.

  37. Natasha Yar-Routh says

    No forced orthodoxy here, I’m not that big a fan of Tolkien I object to Jackson on the grounds he is a crappy filmmaker not because he made changes to adapt LOTAR to the screen. He is of the too much is never enough school of film making.

  38. Tulse says

    He is of the too much is never enough school of film making.

    That style seems to me to perfectly suit the material (Tolkien is nothing if not wordy). I’ll grant the movies were long, but they seemed (reasonably) faithful to the spirit of the books. Do you have some specific examples of Jackson’s “crappy filmmaking”?

  39. Pyre says

    BJN @ 35: I could see “Cthulhu the Musical” done by Stephen Sondheim.

    Just not, please not, by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

    Even if Nyarlathotep were written as the minor-keyed “Judas” character, acting at cross-purposes to the other Old Ones.

  40. Natasha Yar-Routh says

    Do you have some specific examples of Jackson’s “crappy filmmaking”?

    Actually yes, in King Kong if a fight with T.Rex is good a fight with three T. Rex must be better. It wasn’t, it was stupid and boring. The entire battle of the Pelanor Fields goes on into jaw dropping stupidity. Like I said the Too Much is Never Enough school of film making.

  41. Pyre says

    ildi @ 43: I can see your being disappointed with the second film’s Faramir: in the book he rejected the Ring immediately, but in the film it took longer.

    But as Jackson & co argued, the first way negated the dangerous seductive power of the Ring. The second way showed that power, and still let Faramir fight his way clear of the temptation.

    Meanwhile he showed the depth of his loyalty to his father — which made the scenes in the third film where his father snubbed him, and where Faramir took on a suicide mission to please him, all the more painful.

  42. Tulse says

    I certainly won’t defend King Kong, but I was OK with what he did with Pelennor Fields — it’s supposed to be a big climactic battle, so it seemed appropriate to be shown in detail. I can understand how it might not be to everyone’s taste, but I don’t think that example shows Jackson to be a hack. YMMV, of course.

  43. Angie says

    I enjoyed the movies, they brought back memories of the books which I read years ago.

    My only issue with the movies is not specific to Jackson or the movies themselves, it’s that few people will now read those books without the movies in mind. I remember creating the characters and settings in my head as I read the books, as you do without any other visual reference. It added to the experience. That’s a lot less likely now as many people see the movies, then decide to read the books. Jackson’s vision of Middle Earth will be the dominant one in their imagination which is a shame.

    This, of course, applies to many movies adapted from books. Sign of the times?

  44. Natasha Yar-Routh says

    Hm, ‘Cthullu the Musical’ by Sondheim could be very good. Still I think a version by Richard O’Brien might better capture the essential pulp essence of it all.

    I can almost picture the big production number when Cthullu rises from his tomb in R’yleh.

  45. Pyre says

    More to ildi: Actually Denethor is the one who came off much worse, in the third film, especially in that (very non-book) running away on fire, rather than firmly staying where he was. Not gripping a palantir also left unexplained how he’d become corrupted.

  46. Pyre says

    Natasha Yar[lathotep]-Routh @ 53: Mmmm, with the full depth of backstage plus forced perspective used to give the impression of an entire island city rising from the sea, the waves being “sloshed” aside by its bulk, the scent of seawater blowing over the audience, and subsonic tremors filling the theater at the “frequency of fear”….

  47. ildi says

    Pyre: The main reason I disliked what he did with the characters is that the way I saw everyone’s relationship to the ring is how they handled the seduction of power. In Faramir’s case he had always been the second son, never wanted to be the steward (much less the king), and saw what the pursuit of power had done to Boromir and to his father. In Aragorn’s case, he knew his time was coming; it wasn’t presented in the movie, but he was already the leader of his band of men and was guarding the borders of the Shire as Strider.

    Though I understand why Tom Bombadil had to be left out, the key point of his character was that the ring had no power over him (remember when he put it on and he didn’t disappear) because he had absolutely no interest in power to begin with. So, to me a main theme of the books was that if you recognize the dangers of power and have learned to resist its temptations, you are better able to handle it when it comes your way.

    I do understand in retrospect that the Two Towers was the book that was the most boring to many people, so adding the plot devices made it more interesting. I must also confess that I liked the way he ramped up the female characters in the movie, especially Arwen’s (most of her action was done by her brother in the books).

  48. Moggie says

    Owners of Jackson’s Distended Edition LOTR DVDs: have you sat through the entire end credits? I’m afraid I’m one of those anal people who needs to do this (after all, it would be disrespectful to the dolly grips and assistant carpenters not to). But, jeez: those credits were longer than some entire movies!

    Angie@#52: Although I’ve found Tolkien’s writing unsatisfactory as an adult, LOTR meant a lot to me as a teenager, and I went to see Fellowship with considerable trepidation, having watched so many lousy movie adaptations of beloved books. Before long, I found myself almost crying with relief and recognition: somehow, Jackson had seen inside my head and filmed exactly what I’d imagined. So if future readers have the movies in mind, that means they should picture things the way I did, i.e. correctly.

  49. Robert Thille says

    Peter Ashby, Oh I didn’t get any promises, the book was actually a complete surprise to her. It was on eBay and I saw her looking at it or somehow came to know she was. She even bid on it, I think, knowing she’d be outbid. Or maybe that was just me. I definitely bid once and got outbid and she saw that and said what a wonderful gesture it was, even though she knew I’d never spend that kind of money for something like that. Anway, we were going to be running an errand at the time the auction was closing, so I made an excuse to go back into the house at the last minute for my jacket and placed a bid I was pretty sure would win. We came back and she refreshes the page to see what it closed at and is staring dumbfounded at the page not refreshing because it still says I’m the high bidder :-) Turned out to be a much better investment than keeping the dot-com stock I bought it with :-)

    As for her not getting any more gifts, this year she got an iPhone for her birthday and she’s getting more presents for Winter Solstice :-) I just don’t “have to” (sure, right, I believe you). It’s a running joke in the family.

  50. Warren Terra says

    I can’t believe this isn’t upthread (and if I missed it, I apologize): Peter Jackson Has. Not. Officially. Signed. On. To. Direct.

    He’s signed on to executive-produce (link), with no official word who’s directing.

  51. C York says

    It is actually painful to read comments denigrating Tolkien and lauding Jackson. If you find Tolkien slow, then most of great literature must be closed to you. Jackson took literature, and in order to appeal to the lowest common denominator, turned it into a shallow comic book adventure. He lost all sense of depth and subtlety. Holywood adaptations are sure to dissapoint, for they cannot understand what it is that made a book great to begin with. The Hobbit is a great children’s book. It is a real shame that Jackson gets to ruin it.

  52. Natasha Yar-Routh says

    For the Pelenor Fields I would like to see it cut to a half or even a third of it’s length. Definitely lose the entire Legolas as Trazan swinging on an Oliphant scene. It would also been nice to keep Tolkien’s whole darkness breaking Rohirrim horns sounding Witch King frustrated at his moment of triumph sequence as that was a nice bit of drama. For an idea of how I would like to have seen it done watch Errol Flynn’s ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’ and Eisenstein’s ‘Aleksandr Nevskiy’. Both films climatic cavalry charges are staged with excellent drama and pacing.

  53. Natasha Yar-Routh says

    The BIG question for ‘Cthullu the Musical’ is who do you get to sing Cthullu’s part?

  54. BaldApe says

    According to this, Sam Raimi will direct.

    I am hopeful that they can avoid the silliness of the book. Tolkien criticized other authors for making elves silly, and then did so himself.

    The Dwarves too: “Chip the glasses and crack the plates… that’s what Bilbo Baggins hates.” Gimmie a break.

    Personally, I’d rather see a movie version of the story of The Children of Hurin.

  55. Ichthyic says

    And his King Kong was an abomination.

    ye elder gods yes. very worrisome if that really was what Peter’s vision of Kong is.

    hell, he even stated several times that it was his “dream project”.


    still waiting to run into someone who thought that version of Kong was well thought through.

    that said, I’m one of the ones that did enjoy the majority of his vision of LOTR.

    character development was good, and while some of the action sequences were a bit over the top, they certainly weren’t as bad as those in “Kong”.

  56. Gobaskof says

    Oh I hate the Jackson twat, I know he had to cut bits out, but he didn’t have to add in his own crap and completely change the characters and generally fuck up the whole story!

    *and breathe*

    Hopefully he will fuck the hobbit up less.

  57. windy says

    As long as we are talking movies, who has seen 1408? It’s the heartwarming tale of an atheist who gets his comeuppance for telling people that ghosts don’t exists, since ghosts give people hope, or something.

  58. Dave Empey says

    The BIG question for ‘Cthullu the Musical’ is who do you get to sing Cthullu’s part?

    Celine Dion?

  59. Ichthyic says

    As long as we are talking movies, who has seen 1408?

    which version?

    theatrical or directors cut?

    he doesn’t get much of a comeuppance in the theatrical version, but he gets snuffed in the DC.

    I thought the DC was more fitting.

    I also thought it was an OK horror/thriller that for once didn’t rely on dismemberment and marauding zombies for shock effect.

    In fact, it could have been even subtler and more insidious, IMO, to make it better. However, I don’t think hollywood is capable of “subtle” any longer.

  60. Rachel I. says

    Ichthyic, thanks for the torrent link. Meet the Feebles has legendary status at my fraternity, as something so horrible that no pledge or brother should ever be subjected to it. I got curious as a result, but someone always destroys any DVDs of it that enter the house…

    I didn’t mind Jackson’s newer movies, except for the more ludicrous fight scenes… but then, I haven’t read the books since 6th grade. *shrugs*

  61. Ichthyic says

    thanks for the torrent link.

    my pleasure, lass. there is much booty to be had in them thar waters. whip out yer eyeglass and take a gander.


  62. says

    I found I liked the Lord of the Rings when I reread it a few years ago… But in a very different way than I’d liked it as a kid. I’d loved the escapism of it then… Really did take you into another world. Had this sorta puritanical streak about it, too, which sure, is at once sorta comforting, and sorta scary. Maybe a slightly too simple sorta world, sure, and that was at once attractive and a bit seductive, and I remember thinking that even then. Right is right, the good guys mostly wear white. Life is a dire challenge. Rise to it. Right on. Gimme my straight, sharp sword, all polished and kingly, and let’s go. A bit of an indulgence, reading that, honestly. But c’mon. What’s wrong with a little of that, now and then?

    That was still there, reading it later, to a degree. But what I liked more about it was just that it was so unapologetically what it was. Yes, it had its bombastic moments, its plodding moments. You could even reasonably argue as Pullman has that it’s kinda vapid in the ethical quandaries department… Guess that might be fair, but then, I don’t think it was so much about that as it was about rising to a certain really rather well-defined challenge. Which, sure, is kinda simpleminded, if you put it that way, but you add the modest scale of tiny little rustic, relatively innocent personalities put in the path of all that power and menace, you give them a certain humanity, and yes, that’s the stuff of good drama. One of those good, old, easy themes: ordinary people (or hobbits) in extraordinary circumstances, doing what they can.

    But getting back to what really struck me about is: it’s so absolutely its own book. For better and for worse, Tolkien is Tolkien. And I’m pretty sure there’s no way in hell any publisher would let him write it like that, in this era. They’d gripe about those encyclopaedic asides. ‘C’mon, J.R.R…. who cares how Gimli’s related to the guy who reopened Moria?… And geez, this Gandalf guy does go on at this council of Elrond thing… can’t you cut that down? Maaaan…’

    Buncha whiners with too short attention spans, y’ask me. A good book is a different book. It’s its own. Far as I’m concerned, it can look self-indulgent, bizarre, quixotic, difficult, long-winded, I don’t care, so long as it stands out, and tells its story its way and makes it work, gives you reasons to care. The Lord of the Rings didn’t bore me at all, either time. You had to sit down, give it its time, sure, but that’s the rub with a book like that: it works because it’s self-indulgent, quixotic and long-winded. I don’t want authors always to get to the point… what the hell’s the point of that? If your time’s so valuable you don’t want your fiction authors to digress from their plot long enough to mention a few things they think might add texture, well geez, why are you wasting your oh-so-precious time reading fiction in the first place? Shouldn’t you, oh, I dunno, be just reading tightly condensed digests of the day’s news or somethin’, seein’ as your time’s so valuable you’ve apparently no interest in ornamentation? Life itself is wasted on people with such attitudes. There’s a lot of living in idiosyncratic digressions, planned and unplanned.

    Anyway… the movies, sure, they’re a different thing. Got some of the spirit of the books–walour and horror, heroism in the face of the overwhelming–well enough, and that’s probably why people mostly liked them, went to see them. And that, I think, speaks to a certain competence on Jackson’s part. He got that human scale right; that was important. I don’t think they’re exactly brilliant except as adaptations of such allegedly unfilmable source material. But they’re sure as hell competent storytelling, certainly generally good, if uneven, watching. Like the books, they make you care–though they got some clumsy bits in different places. Yeah, I think he lost some of that scale in the massive battles outside the white city–traded it for spectacle, but then, that was probably a pretty hard thing to help. I own the extended additions. I’ll sure as hell plunk down some more for the HD versions, soon as they’re available.

    All of which is to say: I expect he’ll pull off the Hobbit okay. Not expecting a masterpiece, but a competent adaptation of that particular work, that’s something takes a sort of judgement I can hope Jackson will still have by then…

    This notion of a second film, tho? Covering a period Tolkien didn’t much write about? Hrm. Whose idea was that, then? And where is the source story coming from? Sounds like, well, sorta asking for trouble. Hoping for his sake this isn’t as bad a call as it sounds like to me.

  63. says

    If you find Tolkien slow, then most of great literature must be closed to you.

    Most great literature doesn’t consist of an old bigot’s interminable, mournful wank over the lost cultural purity of ages past.

  64. Pyre says

    Natasha Yar-Routh@ 62: “It would also been nice to keep Tolkien’s whole darkness breaking Rohirrim horns sounding Witch King frustrated at his moment of triumph sequence as that was a nice bit of drama.”

    The Witch-King’s confronting Gandalf (and then being interrupted by the Rohirrim horns) wasn’t in the theatrical release, but it was in the extended version.

    All that was missing was the rooster crowing because sunlight was breaking through the cloud cover.

    C York @ 61: Last I checked, the books haven’t been changed at all, let alone been “ruined”, by the Jackson movies (unless you count the one-volume LOTR paperbacks’ cover art, which I don’t think you were complaining about). The books weren’t affected by the Bakshi or Rankin&Bass animations either, which in my view were much worse. The books are still the books. They still have all the poems and songs, and the full-length dialogues, and the narration, all of which the movies could not afford the time to include. The movies aren’t the books, and never could have been, nor should have been. Movies aren’t books. And Tolkien’s LOTR wasn’t a screenplay.

  65. Pyre says

    Natasha Yar-Routh @ 63:“The BIG question for ‘Cthulhu the Musical’ is who do you get to sing Cthulhu’s part?”

    Annie Lennox. That woman can sing anything, strong or weak, joyful or sad or fearful or angry, with utter conviction.

    Back her with a chorus and a deep horn section, and yes, that could be a gigantic bat-winged tentacled Old One rising triumphantly from the depths.

  66. Peter Ashby says

    Your fishiness thankee kindly for the torrent link. You are truly a member of Davy Jones’s intimate circle, Aaaarh!

  67. Pyre says

    Current (momentary) status of the poll at

    Are you willing to wait for the release of ‘The Hobbit’ films so Peter Jackson can direct?

    * YES! Of course! (75%, 2,695 Votes)
    * Yes, but no more than 1-2 years (15%, 538 Votes)
    * NO! We wantss it now, my precious! (5%, 167 Votes)
    * No, I would like to see someone else direct the films (4%, 142 Votes)
    * No opinion (1%, 41 Votes)

    Total Voters: 3,583

  68. The Ag says

    Whoah. I was going to comment, but seeing how friendly both sides are, I think I’d rather skip the anti- and pro-Tolkien/Jackson/whatever abuse and vitriol.

  69. Darwin's Minion says

    I agree with Robert at #19, though I’d pick Kay’s Tigana as the book I’d rather re-read. Tolkien’s style just doesn’t mesh with my tastes.

  70. Pyre says

    The Ag @ 80: Agreeing or disagreeing, I haven’t taken any of the comments directed at me as abusive or vitriolic, and I hope no-one’s taken my comments that way.

  71. Jenbug says

    #80 – Word. I was going to say something too but the snotty tone of a lot of these comments indicates a lot of these people have been waiting a very long time to bitch about the films and effectively rain on other people’s collective Eleventy-First Birthday Party. This apparently is their moment to shine.

    Loved the movies, loved the books, loved the cartoons when a kid, love that PJ is producing and wouldn’t be mad if he directed. A movie and a book are two very different media, and expecting the same thing out of both is just asinine.

    And the wonderful thing is–if you didn’t like LOTR, you don’t have to see the Hobbit. Yay! The even FURTHER wonderful thing is that liking or disliking the books, movies, cartoons, or anything else is based on opinion, which, the last time I checked, doesn’t require objective proof in the least. Double yay!

    I just can’t wait to see Smaug in action.

  72. says

    “The BIG question for ‘Cthullu the Musical’ is who do you get to sing Cthullu’s part?”
    Posted by: Natasha Yar-Routh

    Only Diamanda Galas could perform such a role well.

    Unless you really want it to suck; then get Celine Dion (or any of the other song-torturing so-called “divas”) to screech.