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LOTR plot question...

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LOTR plot question...

Old 11-22-02, 08:11 AM
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The books were first published 48 years ago, and are the most widely-read books of the 20th century except for the Bible. Somehow, I don't think the public is going to be too shocked by this "spoiler."

As for the marketing, it's simply crazy not to include one of your leads in the marketing campaign. Did they cut Harrison Ford out of the commercials and promotions for Return of the Jedi? Of course not.

Last but not least, the mere fact of the "spoiler" isn't all that important. *Why* it happens is far more important, and you can't figure that out from watching the trailer.
Old 11-22-02, 08:13 AM
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Inverse, you beat me to my post, but I spent a while on it, so here:
That's what I'm getting at. What happens to them, maybe, but the fact that they exist? It's not like he comes in at the end to save the day. He's in it the whole movie for two more movies. Movies are different than books and it's hard to sell a movie and avoid showing or acknowledging a major primary character. A book, well, you just don't mention him on the book jacket. You don't know most primary characters in a book until you read it, anyway. A movie has a trailer, tv ads, posters, toys and other merchandise, etc. I can't think of any movie that completely hid the existence of a primary character, especially one based on one of the most read novels of the twentieth century and one that we know from the first movie. Physical appearance, maybe, but not existence. I'm not talking some kind of Keyser Soze mysterious presence thing or a Crying Game twist. I'm talking on screen pro active lots of screen time essential to the plot type characters. Imagine if they {spoiler for Two Towers/Return of the King}
Spoiler:
went with the cliffhanger from the book Two Towers where we think Frodo is dead, then we realize he was just poisoned, but now he's captured by the orcs. Imagine trying to sell Return of the King and having to avoid showing Frodo at all because it might be a "Spoiler" to know if he gets away from the orcs.
it would be impossible. He's the primary character. A spoiler would be what happens to him, but not that he exists at all.

I realize because of the nature of his reappearance, it is kind of a spoiler. My point is sometimes you have to be pragmatic and accept that movies are different than books and there are certain compromises by their very nature.

As for the character in question, I'm surprised people are still trying to protect it like it's a secret behind spoiler bars (not just you, lots of people). He's in the trailer, he's going to be in the tv ads. He's on the poster that people are going to see when they walk into the cinema. It is not a spoiler anymore. His cover is blown.
Old 11-22-02, 08:36 AM
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Originally posted by Blade

"[N]ot a compromise to the spirit of the story,"? Well, not the overall spirit, but certainly an aspect of it. Sure it's not touched on much in the rest of the book, but then once the danger is upon you and you've regretted that you didn't act more quickly or regretted that others were so indifferent, it's time to move on to addressing the task at hand.

I still think that the gathering clouds while people party and live thier lives is an important theme of the beginning of the tale. It can be applied to so many other real life stories and historical events. Leaving it out removes another layer of texture from the richness of the story.

Yes, taking it out is necessary for the film to be made in an entertaining fashion, and it certainly does no damage to the plot, but it's just an example of what can tend to make book to film translations a let down at times.
Although it is not as explicit, we still get it implied, especially in the EE. The new introduction showing the Hobbits going about their everyday lives much have they had for centuries and then the scene in the Green Dragon with the Gaffer talking about Strangers about. They also say, Keep your nose clean and no trouble will come to you. Then, of course, Frodo goes home to find Gandalf there and the story gets underway. It shows that the Hobbits are ostrich in the sand kind of folk and you get the same basic theme, just presented a bit more subtly.
Old 11-22-02, 03:02 PM
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When I saw
Spoiler:
Gandalf the white
inthe trailer for the Two Towers, I thought he was
Spoiler:
Gandalf's evil twin brother
.

Oh and by the way, those
Spoiler:
two towers
shown on the poster are such a major spoiler too. I wish they didn't promote the film so nothing would be spoiled for those who didn't read the book. Man! What a lack of respect from those promotion dudes.

Last edited by nice_skis; 11-22-02 at 03:05 PM.
Old 11-22-02, 06:12 PM
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Originally posted by caligulathegod
Although it is not as explicit, we still get it implied, especially in the EE. ...
That's good to hear. I've been watching the making ofs, and haven't watched the extended edition yet (I'm waiting until we get closer to the Two Towers movie debut.)

Regarding the spoiler...personally, I think there are a lot more people out there who don't know this story than some of us think. With nine members of the fellowship, that one of them would die near the end of the first film is certainly not out of the question, and certainly serves as an effective cliffhanger. Ian McKellen's name in the credits could be attributed to flashbacks.

While certainly not critical to the overall story, if this is the first time you're experiencing this story, it would be a shame to have it spoiled for you. However, given that it's in the trailer, it's a little hard to argue that we should have to treat it as a spoiler anymore, regardless of whether you think it should have been kept secret or not.
Old 11-23-02, 11:30 AM
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Yes it is too late, but I also wish they wouldn't have shown him... I have read the books and knew it wasn't the end of Gandalf but my girlfriend hasn't, she wasn't happy with Gandalf's "death" and kept pestering me to know if he really died and I have kept the secret for the last year, but now the trailer spoiled that suprise. Agreed she doesn't know the how and why of it, but it would have been nice for her to have the suprise that I had when reading the book.
Movie marketing really gets out of hand, there are so many movies that would have been more enjoyable if I didn't know what was coming from the trailer.

I also agree that time seems too compressed. While the movie is great, the building sense of impossibility and dread as the journey went on is lost and the tension doesn't build as much when everything appears to happen too fast. But I realize that it was probably too much to ask from a movie with so much in it, and everything else is done so well.

Greg
Old 11-23-02, 06:42 PM
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I think the Extended Edition helps the film seem less compressed. The theatrical version seemed too much in a hurry to get to the next thing. The EE takes its time and lets us savor the setting, know the characters, and feel the depth and expanse of the story.

As far as Gandalf, it was a "spoiler" that has been kept for most of the year. You can't fault the marketing department. This is not like Swim Fan or Regarding Henry or Castaway where the trailer tells you the whole story and spoils it. Gandalf is a major primary character. If he came in at the end to save the day, yeah, don't show him, but here he is in the majority of the film. The trailers are trying to give an idea of the story and Gandalf is a major contributor to it. The story or experience is not ruined because you know Gandalf is in it. Its not like a "Search for Spock" kind of thing where finding him is the whole point of the story. What he does moves the story along, not his presence. As I said before, Films and Books are different. Concessions have to be made since they are a visual medium. I suppose they could have done one of those abstract image kind of trailers, but that is not in keeping with LOTR. Something like a Star Wars eye candy kind of film, maybe, but LOTR is about story. The Visuals are a means of telling the story, not a reason to see the film. What would you do? Show more scenery shots and more orcs running around? Why would I want to see the same movie again? The trailer needs to show that the story is advancing. I've seen part one so the imagery is familiar already. The trailer has to compel me to find out what happens next in the story. Gandalf is a major element in that story.

Sometimes I think we worry too much about "spoilers". We expect to be hermetically sealed from every new experience. It is rare that I ever go to a film and not have at least some kind of idea what it is about or who is in it. If I didn't, then I probably wouldn't have known I'd be interested in it.

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