Victoria L'Ecuyer vlecuyer at ksu.edu
Wed, 26 Dec 2001 15:35:59 -0600

I know I'm past the 3 day limit, but I just have to chime in....

From: "Lois McMaster Bujold" <lmbujold at uswest.net>
My LOTR quick review.

[snip] Point the first: pee before you go in and sit
down.  3 hours and no intermissions.
{much snippage}
I would be most interested to know how the film works as pure film --
pacing, continuity, etc. -- for persons who aren't running a continuous
comparison-analysis in their heads with the literary template.

BTW--I'd add no drinking before hand if you have a small bladder.

I read the entire set of books about 20 years ago, so while I'm familiar
with the story, I'm not up to a side by side comparision.

The movie mostly matched what I remembered from the book plot-wise and
development wise. With one exception, I thought (ack! all I can come up
with is "The Guy from Gotorget" and that's the wrong universe!) the
not-Aragorn guy survived the battle at the end of the movie. I could
have sworn he was pared with Eowyn in The Two Towers/Return of the
King... Other than that (and I will not vow a perfect memory of the
books) I saw the movie as a faithful and loving tribute to the original

I thought Aragorn should have had longer hair, been clean-shaven and
much more brooding. The Not-Aragorn guy I remembered as less edgy and
more idealistic, which made his seduction by the ring more powerful.
From the movie point of view I can see why they did what they did with
the characters. Even with 3 hours, it takes a while to establish the
characteristics for that large a company. Most heroic leads roles number
about 3--counting the side-kicks. The overt presentation of the
characteristics that will eventually kill them or make them triumphant
was understandable from the movie genre point of view. It's hard to good
angst in movies--even when you have twice as long to do it.

The pacing was good. Action was nicely interspersed with exposition. The
summaries and voice overs of Tolkien's works were enough to keep all but
the slowest and densest up to speed without tiring the viewer. The
visual landscapes were stunning and the CGI wizards did a great job of
turning the human actors into Hobbits. (I especially liked the mountain
scene where Aragorn and Not-Aragorn were hauling the Hobbits through the
snow like so many children.) The full-face proportions of human and
Hobbit  side by side were well done. The bits about Gollum was well
handled and neatly inserted, (a la Chechov's gun) so that from now on
out we'll be looking for him in the shadows--which adds excitement and
tension to what would otherwise turn The Two Towers into a buddy-film.

I took two of my sisters with me. C. is very non-fantasy and came in
with no pre-conceptions.  P. has read the series,  laughed more than I
did at the humor in the story (she's far more jaded than I am) and had a
good time. C. feels cheated. She doesn't want to wait for the next two
installments--she wants to see them RIGHT NOW. Needless to say, she
didn't take the cliff-hanger very well.