« Luigi, dictator | Main | My web film journalism career stumbles forward »

June 24, 2006

Ten ways to tell Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings is Bad

Sure, there are a lot of websites that are going to give you reviews of current movies or ones just coming out on video. There are even a handful of sites that'll review the classics, maybe movies you haven't heard of, or had forgotten about. But how many sites are going to give you reviews of movies that came out a couple years ago that no one really wants to talk about anymore? Just this one. I give you ten ways to tell Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings is bad.

1) Merry and Pippin are annoying.
Seriously, they are. That whole second breakfast thing? They give Jar Jar a run for his money. At least George Lucas had the common sense to give Jar Jar increasingly smaller parts, Merry and Pippin just keep on plugging.

2) Gimli almost as annoying as Merry and Pippin
Guy's got a lot of prat falls and gas jokes and stuff, I'm just sayin.

3) Villains are lame, one dies off screen.
There are two main villains in the trilogy. One is a giant eyeball that doesn't seem to do that much. The other, played by Christopher Lee, starts off by claiming that the good guys don't stand a chance, so he might as well join the bad guys. But never again do we hear anything like that and he turns into a dull, stock villain. Oh yeah, and then he dies off-screen. And don't tell me that there's some dope scene on the extra special collector's edition dvd. I paid to see the movie in the theatre once, if they can't get it together and tell a halfway coherent narrative in the three hours I gave them, I'm not going to dig through cut scene after cut scene trying to figure out what actually happened.

4) Most of the fellowship agrees with each other, except for Boromir who dies
Half of the fun of a movie isn't just the conflict between the good guys and bad guys, but the internal conflicts on each side. The fellowship, and most of the supporting characters pretty much always agree and then stoically go out to do what needs to be done. The biggest exception being Gollum, who, I'll admit, is the most entertaining part of the movies.

5) Gandalf's sacrifice in the first one means nothing when he comes back and all that's different is he has a different outfit
I'm paraphrasing here, but this is how Gandalf's return plays out:
Legolas
Gandalf, you're back!
Gandalf
I know.
Legolas
We thought you were dead!
Gandalf
Yeah, well, I'm not.

6) I can tell when they use little people to stand in for the hobbits
It's not that hard.

7) Gimli and Legolas' stupid wartime banter
"Hey Legolas, I just killed five orcs!" "Yeah, well I just killed like seven!" These guys are in the middle of a war to save the entire world, and they're barely even paying attention. Not to mention, how threatening is an entire army of orcs if these two dufuses can take out half of them without breaking a sweat?

8) Cate Blanchett's scene where she freaks out when she sees the ring
What does that have to do with anything? It's already established that the ring is addictive. Does she even do anything after that, other than delivering a few spacy monologues?

9) Frodo and Sam are blank slates, and the actors playing them are even blanker
I want to have a soft spot in my heart for Elijah Wood, just because he has a couple lines in Back to the Future 2, and same for Sean Astin, because of Goonies, but as far as actors who could turn these basically personality-free Hobbits into something remotely interesting go, they were not the guys to choose. Elijah spends the trilogy doing his wide-eyed nervous look, and Sean just looks doughy.

10) Speak friend and enter
Seriously? That was your big plan to lock that door? Saying friend out loud in Elvish opens it? Am I supposed to be impressed when they figure that out?

And a bonus:
11) Tom Bombadil
If they're going to make a boring incoherent movie, they might as well have thrown Bombadil in there just for kicks.

Posted by Will at June 24, 2006 8:04 PM

Comments

phooey

Posted by: peter jackson at June 27, 2006 9:08 AM

WOW. I feel bad now.

Posted by: Sue at June 29, 2006 6:59 PM

Don't feel bad, Sue. Peter Jackson doesn't.

Posted by: Will at June 29, 2006 7:20 PM

Everybody has a right to make his mistakes.

Posted by: Lord at July 19, 2006 3:59 AM

Lol, if you could make the LOTR movie better you should've, instead of sitting and whining about how much it sucked. Do something about it, sue Peter Jackson if you must, but then he'll just counter sue for making such a sucky list, and then you will go to jail for abusing the english language. Have a nice day now, you funny bunny.

- Peace -

Posted by: John Doe at July 27, 2006 2:48 PM

The movie wasn't bad but your list is funny anyway.

Posted by: melissa at August 16, 2006 1:23 PM

i like the movie. gollum was the most entertaining part of it. however i did like ur list regardless

Posted by: nermalz at August 22, 2006 11:51 PM

What sucks is you list. Those are the stupidest comments I have ever seen about a movie, and they hold no truth to them. I think you just like to argue, and I suggest that you learn how to do it better.

Posted by: Zack at October 20, 2006 5:52 PM

1-Claiming Merry and Pippin are annoying is legitimate. But I think only Lucas would agree that they equal Jar Jar.
2-Good point, even though Gimli doesn't make any fart jokes.
3-At this, all respect for you is lost. The point about how Saruman is killed off screen is good, but do not start on saying Sauron is a weak bad guy. Don't criticize the movies unless youve seen them, and don't criticize the inner workings of the legend unless you've read it. (and I mean the whole thing, Silmarillion and all)
4-When pitted against the second most evil thing to have ever walked the earth in the history of existence, most good guys are going to get along better than Roosevelt and Stalin.
5-Gandalf did not sacrifice himself. He just didn't do a good job at killing the balrog. And his return is also something that goes far deeper than the movies, and seeing how you haven't, shut up about it.
6-True at times.
7-Now this DOES rival Jar Jar.
8-Kate Blanchett doesn't freak out when she sees the ring. What movie were you watching?
9-Frodo has a lot of blank stares, but Sam doesn't.
10-Once again, the filmmaker's didn't come up with this. If you think its lame, don't blame Peter Jackson, blame Celimbrimbor, the grandson of the most gifted Elf ever and the Lord of Eregion when that riddle would've been written. And just so you know, it was written on the WEST side of the mountains, the orcs came in from the EAST. The riddle worked for 5500 years, so I wouldn't dump on it. (and your not supposed to be impressed when they figure it out)
11-The radio adapation of the Fellowship of the Ring is 10 hours long. They cut this into 3. Obviously, some things had to go. Bombadil was one. Sadly, Arwen couldn't have been another.

Posted by: steph at November 19, 2006 4:38 AM

Since this is the first actual critique of my critique other than "lol, this list is teh dumbest," I'm going to reply.

1) You're probably right. Consider it hyperbole.
2) I could have sworn he at least burped once. I'll take your word for it though.
3) I've heard something similar to this from a lot of people, that I need to read the books to understand it. All I can say is, a movie should be able to stand on its own.
4) Yes, but that doesn't make it interesting.
5) I'll again take your word for the Gandalf not sacrificing himself, although I'll refer back to my point that movies should be able to stand on their own. They had nine hours. If Gandalf coming back meant something more than changing the color of his outfit, they had time to fill me in.
8) I'm pretty sure I didn't make that one up. She talks about being a dark queen or something.
9) We'll agree to disagree here.
10) I'm not sure how facetious you're being here, but whoever came up with it, it's still a lame riddle.

Posted by: Will at November 19, 2006 10:18 PM

You're stupid seriously read the books!
Do you want to watch a movie that will most likely be about 6hrs long?
If you cut a few things like Tom Bombadil the movie still makes sense.
Merry and Pippin have a good reason to whinge about their meals... THEY'RE HOBBITS!
Who cares if opening the door is simply friend
What about that huge ass water beast? Then once they actually get inside there is more foem so getting through Moria still ain't that easy.
And for J.R.R Tolkien to come up with a whole elvish language is pretty damn smart.

Posted by: Lani at October 5, 2007 11:10 PM