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JulyDiaz

The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring

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I haven't listened to the podcast yet, but I recently watched the three movies (normal cut) and I feel like talking, so scroll ahead if you want!  I have major respect though it's not my thing.  I have a friend who died and she absolutely loved the books and movies and everything related to them.  Owned every conceivable tie in product.  Named pets after characters, etc.  I strongly associate everything LOTR with her so I watched the movies as sort of a tribute to her as I'm hitting the anniversary of her death.  I had seen the first two movies in the theater with her and never saw the third one till last night on cable.  I also read the first two books more than 20 years ago and never got around to reading the third.  I actually like the second movie the best.  I gather I'm pretty much alone on that.  For one thing, the walking/talking trees are the best part of the whole series.  :D  I think Aragon should have ended up with the gutsy blond woman instead of Steven Tyler's daughter.  The elven woman is just blank.  But most importantly, and again, it's probably my particular problem, or maybe the movies just can't be watched on TV, but the makeup in the third movie completely ruined it for me.  Every time there was a close up of someone's face I was distracted that their skin looked fake.  Weird colors and texture.  And the intense eyes on everyone was creepy.  I guess it's supposed to add to the fantasy feeling but it's very off-putting.

My fourth grade teacher read The Hobbit to us in pieces over the course of a long time during the school year and I thought it was the best thing ever.  I think I was always upset that the other books were darker than that.  I wonder if I had a little grunge against the LOTR books because of that.

Also I thought Heavenly Creatures was brilliant when I saw it in the theater.   I have love for Peter Jackson for several reasons even though this particular series isn't my taste.  And I adore New Zealand.  

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14 hours ago, taylorannephoto said:

Prisoner of Azkaban. No doubt. Not only is it still extremely accurate to the book but it's beautifully shot and a perfect stand alone film from the rest of the series. There are obviously things that one would need to know from the previous films, but in this Harry Potter obsessed fan's opinion, it is by far the best of the films that was ever made and anyone can watch it with any amount of knowledge and still enjoy the movie wholeheartedly.

I wouldn't put it in a top list, but it's the best Potter movie.  Gary Oldman, David Thewlis and Timothy Spall were perfectly cast.  If I run across that movie on cable, I'll usually wind up watching half of it.

I liked the fifth book the best but I've never wanted to see that movie a second time.

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I'll preface by saying that, yes, it's really one long movie that's hard to split up and that I don't see a huge quality difference between the three entries. But as to which one I like the best . . .

After seeing them in theaters, The Two Towers was my favorite. I was amazed by the scale of the action (seriously that Helm's Deep sequence is on a Kurosawa level) and how much it expanded the world. But after having returned to the films over the years, Fellowship has become my favorite. I think I like it because it's the movie that takes the most time to stop and drink in the scenery, to give you a sense of how much the world's history informs everything (love those lingering images of ancient ruins). I also tend to love "introduction" movies because they still feel pregnant with possibility.

Fellowship also pulled off the feat of playing an Enya song in the middle of a movie and not having it distract from the proceedings or stick out as a joke. It just fits right in there. Got to give some extra points for that.

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Listening to Brett Ineson the cgi specialist was a real treat. He shows how intensive the process can be and how truly groundbreaking some of this stuff was. 

I was a bit disappointed tho that not more was made of the actual *animation* of the character. Brett's credits include the motion edit department, which puts the capture to the model before animating, texturing, effects, etc. (as he explains in the podcast), so I realize my criticism has nothing to do with anything he says.  

I don't work in the field these days, but I'm hyper-sensitive to the issue, and I would love to advocate and raise awareness of the job of the animator. Too many people still think that motion capture is some kind of fancy effects makeup, but it's not simply a kind of drag and drop feature. The actor is the clearly the foundation for the performance, but it's more symbiotic than most people think (and that includes the actors who perform it!)  

I remember it being more of a brouhaha a few years ago: https://www.cartoonbrew.com/motion-capture/lord-of-the-rings-animation-supervisor-randall-william-cook-speaks-out-on-andy-serkis-99439.html   

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I haven't listened to the episode yet because I'm soooo behind on my podcasts (just literally listened to Apocalypse Now about two hours ago) but I'm sad that I don't get as excited for LotR as a lot of others do. The movies are beautiful and I do enjoy watching them, but after seeing them I'm like okay cool those were good movies and then I move on. Generally I'm all in with movies like these, like I mentioned in my first comment in this thread I am a die hard Harry Potter fanatic, so it's not like I'm not a fan of this genre, but I just really can't get any more into LotR other than loving the actors and loving the scenery. I wouldn't take it off of the AFI list at all even with that thought process though. I think it does absolutely deserve to be there for the cultural explosion it created and for how well they are made. It's just not the fandom I'm part of.

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On 10/4/2018 at 1:25 PM, ol' eddy wrecks said:

Because I like posting the comparisons in terms of other rankings:

Fellowship of the Ring
AFI (2007) - 50th
AFI (1997) - N/A, not yet released
BFI,  Critics (2012) - 894th (1 vote)
BFI,  Director (2012) - unplaced (no votes)
IMDB* - 11th place (IMDB rating of 8.8)
Metascore - 92
They Shoot Films - (2018: 656, 2017: 770)
Oscar, Best Picture (2002) - nominated.  winner: A Beautiful Mind
Box Office Gross** - 2nd place: $313,364,114 | 1st place: $317,575,550, Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone

*: https://www.imdb.com/search/title?groups=top_250&sort=user_rating
**: According to Box Office Mojo, https://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?yr=2001&p=.htm

It looks like LOTR ranks really low on these lists but it's important to remember these other issues include foreign films. If you removed all the non-American movies, LOTR would be significantly higher.

Losing to A Beautiful Mind is straight embarrassing though. That movie is garbage.

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Excuse this for being a bit Buzzfeedian, but what LotR character are you?

I thought I was a Merry, but I've been told I'm more of a Gandalf - and not necessarily in a flattering way.

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I got 'Elf' with a picture of Galadriel via Buzzfeed there, which as I think about it is pretty accurate

Though I'd love to be a Treebeard tbh

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53 minutes ago, AlmostAGhost said:

I got 'Elf' with a picture of Galadriel via Buzzfeed there, which as I think about it is pretty accurate

Though I'd love to be a Treebeard tbh

Don’t let Buzzfeed determine your true self. I dub thee Whisper Willow the Ent ;)

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1 hour ago, AlmostAGhost said:

I got 'Elf' with a picture of Galadriel via Buzzfeed there, which as I think about it is pretty accurate

Though I'd love to be a Treebeard tbh

I got a Dwarf, but I'm disappointed in Buzzfeed that this only seems to determine your race, not your character. Might need to find a better quiz.

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A greater question: which characters are Paul and Amy?

I'll go with Aragorn for Paul, as he is leading us with insight, advice, and ability

Amy is Gandalf of course

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2 hours ago, Cameron H. said:

Excuse this for being a bit Buzzfeedian, but what LotR character are you?

I thought I was a Merry, but I've been told I'm more of a Gandalf - and not necessarily in a flattering way.

Is it your penchant for wizard hats and long beards?

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13 minutes ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

Paul is 100% a Hobbit.

I dunno, he works much harder than the leisurely Shire-folk

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4 minutes ago, grudlian. said:

Is it your penchant for wizard hats and long beards?

My wife told me it was because I was kind and wise, but analytical to the point of stagnation and full of self-doubt. :( 

I told her she was Boromir.

She was upset at first, but I explained it’s because she’s brave, caring, and would die defending the ones she cares about, but she would 100% be corrupted by the ring out of a desire to do good. She thought about it for a second and was like, “You’re totally right.” Lol 

(It’s also worth mentioning that I’m a Ravenclaw and she’s a Slytherin :P )

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I'm a total Denethor, always making people sing for me while I disgustingly eat a shitload of meat.

 

But no seriously, Gimli has always struck me as having the right amounts of bravado and insecurity.

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As long as we're dropping LotR references, this is my favorite:

 

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22 hours ago, grudlian. said:

It looks like LOTR ranks really low on these lists but it's important to remember these other issues include foreign films. If you removed all the non-American movies, LOTR would be significantly higher.

Losing to A Beautiful Mind is straight embarrassing though. That movie is garbage.

I've got plans for today, so I probably won't write much for now, but with that said.

What contributes to where things rank in these polls depends on a number of different things.

Technically, everything I listed except the AFI list do not exclude international films (though some are much more heavily biased towards American films than others).

That said, I'll see what I can do to also list their subranking compared to only American films, at least in terms of the BFI lists and the They Shoot Films list.  I'll try to get to it tomorrow (no promises).

For the BFI lists, I'm not going to be able to got through all 800-something listings before it.  But I have the top 250 critics list results and the top 100 director's list results in a spreadsheet somewhere. I should be able to flag those and do a copy/filter of them.  I think I can sort by country on They Shoot Films. I can copy that and paste into a spreadsheet.  If it turns out to be a lot of work beyond that, IDK if I'll be able to spend the energy to do it.

I don't really put much stock in the Oscar's, so in that sense, so I don't care what wins beyond if something small wins, it causes more people who normally wouldn't have watched it to watch it afterwards. But other people put stock in them (and the AFI did list them as a possible guide as to what to include). I'll write more on it tomorrow, but part of me does think about, if we went through and replaced each movie with the movie that won BP in that year, just how different the list would look.

After the most recent episode, I also kind of want the data point:

1. Is War Movie

2. Do men get emotional with each other?

Though I don't know exactly how to evaluate the latter based on Amy's criteria. And with LOTR, IDK about the former either. 

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To the question, “Is LotR a War Movie?” I would say, no, since the movie isn’t about a war but about preventing one (if that makes sense). As impressive as the battle scenes can be (particularly in the 2nd and 3rd movies) the battles aren’t about tactics or strategy, they are mostly about being under siege. In fact, the only time the good guys ever bring the fight to Sauron (in RotK) it is only done as a diversionary measure to buy Frodo and Sam time. They are essentially saying, “We’re willing to die so there *won’t* be war.”

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Is it just me or did Amy think the episode of Motive the guest was talking about was a real murder that happened on a set?

 

Also The Hobbit she saw that made her sick was the High Frame Rate version, it was 48 frames per second as opposed to the usual 24.

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On 10/5/2018 at 2:34 PM, taylorannephoto said:

I haven't listened to the episode yet because I'm soooo behind on my podcasts (just literally listened to Apocalypse Now about two hours ago) but I'm sad that I don't get as excited for LotR as a lot of others do. The movies are beautiful and I do enjoy watching them, but after seeing them I'm like okay cool those were good movies and then I move on. Generally I'm all in with movies like these, like I mentioned in my first comment in this thread I am a die hard Harry Potter fanatic, so it's not like I'm not a fan of this genre, but I just really can't get any more into LotR other than loving the actors and loving the scenery. I wouldn't take it off of the AFI list at all even with that thought process though. I think it does absolutely deserve to be there for the cultural explosion it created and for how well they are made. It's just not the fandom I'm part of.

This is exactly how I feel about the LotR movies. They're definitely well made and enjoyable, but I feel no desire to even re-watch Fellowship for this podcast. I just feel like, meh, okay. I appreciate it, but I'm not in love with it, and I don't have much to say about it beyond that. 

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1 hour ago, WatchOutForSnakes said:

This is exactly how I feel about the LotR movies. They're definitely well made and enjoyable, but I feel no desire to even re-watch Fellowship for this podcast. I just feel like, meh, okay. I appreciate it, but I'm not in love with it, and I don't have much to say about it beyond that. 

Yes exactly! One of my best friends is literally head first dived in to this fandom so she could probably quote the whole trilogy extended from start to finish and has given me lessons on the series multiple times and I love her to death but all of it literally goes in one ear and then out the other lol! I almost texted her when this got announced that I was finally gonna be in for a marathon since she's been telling me she wants to rewatch them but who knows when I'll ever have time for that lol.

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Great podcast as always, guys. I think Fellowship and Two Towers are easily the best of the trilogy and this one deserves to be on the list. 

One technical correction (yes, I'll be that guy): the issue with the Hobbit films was not that they were shot in 3D or 4k (the latter is a resolution and many many things are shot at 4k resolution nowadays), but that they were shot at 48 frames per second, not the standard 24 frames per second that most American films have been shot at for decades.  At 24 fps, the shutter speed is a bit slower, meaning there is more blur (freeze frame any blu-ray or dvd and you'll see this), making things less clear and less "realistic" - more like what we think of as "cinematic".

At 48 fps, there is less blur so things are more clear and you're seeing more clear images per second. This is what gives the footage that "soap opera" video feel. Try this out on your cell phone and shoot at 60 fps or 120 fps and watch at regular speed. This is also why the motion smoothing "feature" on so many HDTVs is a desecration of all that is good and just in the world.

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On 10/5/2018 at 2:44 PM, grudlian. said:

It looks like LOTR ranks really low on these lists but it's important to remember these other issues include foreign films. If you removed all the non-American movies, LOTR would be significantly higher.

Losing to A Beautiful Mind is straight embarrassing though. That movie is garbage.

 

On 10/6/2018 at 1:05 PM, ol' eddy wrecks said:

That said, I'll see what I can do to also list their subranking compared to only American films, at least in terms of the BFI lists and the They Shoot Films list.  I'll try to get to it tomorrow (no promises).

 

I don't really put much stock in the Oscar's, so in that sense, so I don't care what wins beyond if something small wins, it causes more people who normally wouldn't have watched it to watch it afterwards. But other people put stock in them (and the AFI did list them as a possible guide as to what to include). I'll write more on it tomorrow, but part of me does think about, if we went through and replaced each movie with the movie that won BP in that year, just how different the list would look.

So... I've got people coming over next weekend and I need to spend time cleaning up the place.  So I'll be pretty busy for the next week.  But initial notes:

BFI Critic's poll, by my count, 97 of the top 250 are American.

BFI Director's poll, by my count, 42 of the top 100 are American.

TSFDT poll: Still trying to tally it up since they only list one country per movie and a number of the UK movies on that list are on the AFI poll results, I need to go through the UK films listed and flag them as counting as Is US in terms of the AFI.

WRT the director's poll, the listing of foreign films isn't directly why it ranks so low though; it got zero votes.  No matter how many non-US films I take out of that list, it won't be on there.  However, where foreign films hurts it more is just the ballots for the BFI and the AFI are structured differently.

Also who's casting the votes.  I mean, even comparing the BFI's critic's poll and director's poll, you see a lot of variation.  e.g. comparing The Searchers to Once Upon a Time in the West (which, slipped my mind before - and also one of the few spaghetti westerns that get US listed as one of the funding countries).  The latter, is AFAICT pure movie making and people's love for Spaghetti Westerns.  In terms of content and meaning, it's pretty vacuous.  I don't know how many films on the BFI list would fall into that category though).

but, the example

The Searchers: Critics - 7th, Directors - 48th

OUaTitW: Critics - 78th, Directors - 44th

So, who's voting matters.

But the ballot - the BFI just asks its participants to submit their 10 best films, unranked.  Whatever they want, apparently.

The AFI, if I skimmed the ballot correctly, asks participants to basically list 100 films, all but 5 must come from their list of 400, and this is unranked.  They have a ranking for the voter's top 5 on the ballot to break tie breakers.

If LotR movies is in a lot of people's top 75 movies, but almost no one's top 10 movies, it'll do well on the AFI, but receive no votes on the BFI list. Obvious downside of the AFI list, it doesn't appear to be distinguishing between top 10 movies someone's 100th greatest movie in many ways (i.e. Movies on the BFI list are there because someone loves them or think they are at the very least, "truly great." At 100 slots, with the AFI, there's going to be votes of, "well, it's good, I guess.").  TSFDT's list is an aggregate of other lists, and I don't really have thoughts on that. (In this sense though, that's where the listing of international movies would probably hurt LotR more than just having having international films on the list).

But again, no list is going to be definitive, so mostly look at lists and see if they appear to produce results that appear interesting to you, and if so, then maybe use that as reference for further movies to check out.  In college I knew people who used the box office as a reference point for movies they'd probably like.  Me, that wouldn't be a good idea.

And with that said, if the Oscar's almost always pick movies you feel are wrong for BP, then would making any pick really be embarrassing or just be par for the course?  I list the winners of BP because people, in general, for some reason put stock in them (even though they never seem to agree with the results).   And I guess it's yet one more way of putting together a list of "best movies ever made." Though if we're more generous and think the AFI and the Oscar voters have similar tastes, then maybe it's more of an example of the folly of trying to assess the best picture with the myopia of recency; which seems to be a problem for any organization trying to do this, regardless of their tastes/voting habits.  Which might be a piece of evidence why people shouldn't complain as much about recent movies not being more prevalent on these all time lists.  Though, the imdb list (which is yet another means of getting a listing - everyone who's on imdb votes for every movie they've ever seen and the site just averages (mean) out the ratings), often swings the other way and ranks recent movies very high.  Or at least that's my recollection.  It doesn't produce results that interest me, so I haven't really paid much attention to it.

Just some thoughts.

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