Why Peter Jackson's 'Lord of the Rings' succeeded as an adaptation

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  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    Jan. 2, 2013 8:17 a.m.

    When adapting a book, "purists" are the last people one should try to please. When I heard that LOTR was being filmed way back in 1999, I bought the books and read them. I thought they were a lot of fun and could see why they were so beloved, but at the same time I found myself hoping that certain things would be changed, as I couldn't see them working in a mass-market film.

    In my estimation, most of the songs had to go, as they would have seemed embarassingly twee to all but the hard-core Tolkienites. Interesting yet non-essential characters like Tom Bombadil should've probably been cut, and (here I risk the ire of the purists) I was crossing my fingers that the scouring of the Shire would be omitted. I get why the faithful disagree, but as part of the story it was absolutely anti-climactic.

    To the disappointed, look at it this way . . how many people ended up reading the books after seeing the films? A lot, no? To me, that reduces your quibbles to trivia.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 8:14 p.m.

    Yeah, Jackson made some action films that were kinda cool. Could have been much, much better. Basically he made them for the very dumbed down crowd. Yeah, he tore the heart out of Tolkien's masterpiece. And it's unfortunate, because he got the look right. Tolkien for the A.D.D crowd. Oh well.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Dec. 8, 2012 5:45 a.m.

    Seriously, Jeff, you are a humanities student?? Excellent, well-written article. As insightful as any I have read about Tolkien and these amazing movie adaptations. I give you an A+.

  • TM58 Ogden, UT
    Dec. 7, 2012 10:07 a.m.

    The Lord of the Rings trilogy are the greatest films ever made. Absolutely magnificent in every way. I am in eager anticipation of the Hobbit films. As far as I am concerned, Peter Jackson as well as James Cameron are the greatest filmmakers in Hollywood. On another note, Michael Bay is the absolute worst filmmaker in Hollywood. He completely butchered the Transformers movies. He took a nostalgic toy and cartoon for those of us that grew up in the 80s and destroyed it with his film adaptations. The Transformers films (the first one is slightly okay) might by the worst films ever made and I wish that wasn't the case.

  • CWEB Orem, UT
    Dec. 7, 2012 9:52 a.m.

    Books are books, movies are movies...If Tolkien's son wanted something better, why hasn't he done it? Where are the new "finished" manuscripts? Easy to criticize success...

    Love the films...very very entertaining, they don't need to be the book. The Book is a book.

    At least Jackson didn't do to Rings, what Lucas did to Star Wars 1-3. Talk about a money grab.

  • Vince Clortho S_SPRINGS, UT
    Dec. 7, 2012 9:02 a.m.

    No stranger to the books I eagerly anticipated the LOTR films. Looking back now, there are some things that I love about the films while I loathe other aspects. I expect the same to hold true for this next trilogy, though I do think The Hobbit and its more focused storyline should translate to a screenplay better. This being PJ's second go round on a trilogy I also expect the knowledge and experience he now has will be evident in the new films, that they will be tighter and more polished.

    I don't mind changes if they make sense. I do mind if the changes are made for cheap gains i.e. cool stunt or to throw a curve ball at those who are already familiar with the story....Let the story speak for itself....