‘Lord of the Rings’: Amazon Prime series

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    I get the feeling my 15 year old TV is anything but "smart"... I don't think it even knows what the internet is

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      Originally posted by Valkrist View Post

      Very much reminiscent, you're absolutely right.

      One important distinction for me here is that beyond being a director and filmmaker, PJ was very much a fan of the source material and did his utmost to stick to it where he could, even when some might have felt it proved a detriment to the final product. Conversely, he was very much open to making changes based on early feedback, and ridding the movies of such boneheaded ideas as Arwen at Helm's Deep and Aragorn battling Sauron; things we know were filmed but ultimately (and wisely) dropped. The Hobbit movies are much worse in that regard, but there are a lot of rumors of studio interference there so make of it what you will.

      I have far less faith in this new series, especially in light of Tom Shippey's departure, and the commercialization and agenda-driven contrivances that are so pervasive in entertainment today.

      What I don't get is the passive aggressive attitude some take when faced with people like myself who voice their displeasure at such things. It doesn't come from a place of contrariness or negativity, but a deep care and concern for preserving the integrity of something we hold dear. I get this it but a rumour for now, but so was Arwen and that proved true. Having a reaction like this is akin to when we discuss preview photos of a new statue no one has seen yet. While it is entirely permissible to fawn over the piece based on a few photos, the moment someone says they don't like it and point out why, there is an immediate judgment handed down that one should only say that once they've actually seen the piece in hand. It makes no sense because to me, liking or disliking something from a photo are but opposite sides of the exact same process. Similarly, I can say that, in the face of a lack of footage to draw conclusive proof from, I freely choose to believe that the Amazon show is not giving me good vibes in terms of an even remotely faithful adaptation in light of all I have heard so far.

      Will I still watch it? Yes because ultimately I'm very much (desperately in fact) hoping to be proven wrong. I want Middle-earth on TV! Are you even kidding me? Do I think I will be proven wrong? No, I'm sorry but I just don't.

      Edit: I should add that I'm not singling out anyone on this thread or forum, for clarity's sake. I've encountered this elsewhere, and oftentimes the interactions are nowhere near as pleasant or understanding as they are here. I want folks to understand where my grumbling comes from and why.
      100% agree, Val. It's a different time now. Whereas before you had one man bringing a vision to life with minimal interference, now you have 'creative' committees, focus groups, and checklist storytelling. I highly doubt Amazon's endeavor is little more than an attempt to simply cash in on the popular wave of fantasy IPs which if you know Tolkien, calling his works fantasy in the popular sense isn't the most accurate description.

      As you mentioned, Tom Shippey's departure is highly concerning. If someone who dedicates a significant part of their life to something finds themselves at odds with a manifestation of that something, that's a huge red flag.

      Originally posted by hbw60 View Post

      I agree. Although for me, the even bigger threat is that these devices are used to track you, and collect data about your television habits that can be sold.

      That's the major reason TVs have become so inexpensive in recent years. Most TV manufacturers don't make a profit on the price of the device itself. In fact, sometimes they lose money by selling it to you. However, they immediately begin monitoring what you watch, when you watch, and how often you watch. And that data can continually be sold. Every time you use your TV, you're generating a little more profit for them.

      In some cases, this tracking can be disabled. But I prefer avoiding "smart" televisions whenever possible.
      This is why I'll never buy a Tesla. Unless they want to compensate me for all the data I'm supplying them, they can keep their rolling battery. Plus I'm not exactly okay with the idea of someone being able to remotely control my vehicle.

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        Different times, different audience, different expectations.
        Certain elements will be changed to be more inclusive of modern times and the general acceptance of what realistically may have been, which means a lot of the stereotyping at the time the original stories were written need to be changed so as not to perpetuate some of the outdated views held then.
        As long as the core story elements are there, then new characters can be introduced in a meaningful way for me. Tom Shippey may be too much of a purist to allow for the necessary updates so his departure is no big thing as I am sure he has provided a good chunk of input already.

        Looking forward to returning to ME, especially if they are sticking close to the well rounded out look created in the films.
        Last edited by Dave Mac; 14 January 2022, 23:22.

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          Ah so Tolkien's views were "outdated"? Beautiful. The disrespect continues. I thought this nonsense was only spewed at theonering.net and the "Tolkien society".

          I'm going to love watching this farce of a ME show bomb like a nuke.

          Comment


            Originally posted by Dave Mac View Post
            Different times, different audience, different expectations.
            Certain elements will be changed to be more inclusive of modern times and the general acceptance of what realistically may have been, which means a lot of the stereotyping at the time the original stories were written need to be changed so as not to perpetuate some of the outdated views held then.
            As long as the core story elements are there, then new characters can be introduced in a meaningful way for me.
            That perfectly explains what's wrong with all this garbage on TV lately.

            I really can live with orcs being portrayed as dumb and ugly sub-humans and women being underrepresented in LotR. There's enough literature to rectify the importance of women and also, to some extent, orcs that no one needs to 'better' Tolkien's works.


            Do you like books? Visit the New books, old books thread!

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              Originally posted by Dave Mac View Post
              his departure is no big thing as I am sure he has provided a good chunk of input already.
              Which has no doubt already been speedily discarded.

              Do you honestly think that he wouldn't have stayed if he hadn't read the writing on the wall? I mean, how dare a man stand up and try to protect the creative vision and artistic integrity of a body of work that is essentially timeless and should transcend all the frail sensibilities of individuals that protest about everything and anything that doesn't suit their 'enlightened' view of the world? Funny thing is, with all this talk of modernizing, inclusivity, and representation, Tolkien's work continues to enchant and delight new generations, all this in spite of the fact that it was written in the previous century by a white male with "outdated" views. Shocking. Or should I feel guilty and ashamed because I enjoy these books as is and feel zero need to inject them full of contemporary crap?

              Sadly, it is 99% in the minds of the cynical bean counters at Amazon and the entertainment industry at large today that there is this misconstrued notion that updating the hell out of everything is what everyone wants because it will make the world a better place... and if it fills their pockets at the same time, well, that's a good thing, right? How I well and truly hate writing by committee, because I think that's exactly what they're going to deliver us.

              I can't wait to see how they adapt that scene in the Silmarilion where Sauron laments to his therapist that he's really not evil, just misunderstood.
              Last edited by Valkrist; 15 January 2022, 15:05. Reason: Spelling

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                We really love to throw shit on something we know very little about, don't we?

                All I know is that Amazon Prime's other big fantasy series - The Wheel of Time - has finished its first season to favourable reviews, also among fans. I know there has been some news to worry about we could try to stay cautionary optimistic. It will never be perfect, but we can at least hope it is watchable.

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                  There's hope, and then there's faith.

                  I confessed back in post #865 that I continue to be hopeful this show will defy my expectations and be good.

                  Having said that, I have zero faith that it will be good.

                  You'll forgive me if I prefer anything to do with Middle-earth and Tolkien to be a notch (several, in fact) above merely "watchable". If it's not, why even bother?

                  Comment


                    Originally posted by Stig View Post
                    We really love to throw shit on something we know very little about, don't we?

                    All I know is that Amazon Prime's other big fantasy series - The Wheel of Time - has finished its first season to favourable reviews, also among fans. I know there has been some news to worry about we could try to stay cautionary optimistic. It will never be perfect, but we can at least hope it is watchable.
                    We know amazon pretty well by now. Have you seen Wheel of Time? This was the worst big budget show I've ever seen. A total waste of time to watch. This could have been one of their tentpole shows for many seasons. It's ugly, uninspired, storytelling is a mess, horrible acting, awful music... It's bad on every level. Even WoT-mega-fans like Daniel Greene admit it's bad. And if amazon can't even pull off distinctively American fantasy, I can't see how they would be able to do Tolkien justice (apparently they're neither willing nor able).

                    I admit I fail to understand what this hysteria of that obviously hypocritical virtue signalling in American and British media is all about. For me, this hysteria feels like going back to medieval times again. Some use it for their personal gain, others just want to troll around. When I was younger I had this naive notion of humanity growing on an intellectual level after recovering from World War 2, but as I grow older, I realised, this will take us at least another few thousand years.

                    Back to the point: amazon, Netflix, the BBC and others will churn out these crappy shows as long as people are watching and not complain about it. I need good TV shows and movies like flowers need their water, so I complain and act a wee bit toxic about it and maybe it will change one day?



                    Do you like books? Visit the New books, old books thread!

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                      Back on this site after a long absence - Just wanted advice on display cases but now I find myself sucked back into the discussion threads!!

                      Like slipping into a nice hot bath

                      I'm holding my expectations for the show until I see a trailer. With the amount of money they're spending I'm expecting similar production values of the film trilogy. As long as they can match that and it doesn't look cheap with poor CGI and constant CGI backdrops then I'll hold out hope.

                      As for Tom Shippey - They would only have needed him for Pre-Production and the writing phase. No point paying for a Tolkien scholar once they start filming - You've already got the script/actors/locations/costumes/filming schedule. Even if you allow for minor changes to the script after they've started filming, they don't need him.
                      He will have given his insight and knowledge during the writing phase and perhaps even the design phase, but once they've done that they don't need him for filming. From the looks of it he simply left once they didn't need him anymore. I expect he's currently under contract not to talk about his involvement, but from the outside it appears he fulfilled his duties and left as expected. I'm not worried about that at all.

                      He's not an artist like Alan Lee and John Howe where they continued to be of HUGE value throughout all of the production - even Post Production designing CGI creatures. I'm really hoping the Art Design is as good on this project - WETA and those artist's contributions made a HUGE impact on the success of the film trilogy. Amazon have a lot to live up to in that department!

                      So yeah - Looking forward to seeing what they've done. And if I don't like it, I can throw it on the pile of disappointing series like Game of Thrones Season 8 and The Witcher Season 2


                      But I'll still have the Trilogy


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                        Hey,
                        Beast. Nice to see you again.

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                          [Deleted]
                          Last edited by hbw60; 17 January 2022, 20:36.

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                            Many fans of the WoT who read the books were very disappointed and angry with the TV series, myself included. I defended the first three episodes but the series strayed farther and farther from the source material, breaking the rules of magic created in that series, killing characters unnecessarily, and bastardizing the plot so bad that is was unforgivable. And the worst part is that most of the changes were completely unnecessary for an adaptation to film. When you cut plot lines or characters its usually to save time, or to speed up the plot, to improve the story. Ex. Cutting the old forest and TB scenes in Fotr. WoT cuts characters and speeds up the plot so they can introduce their own made up characters.. sacrificing the actual main characters development. Or giving great moments from one character to others for no apparent reason.. the show was a train wreck on how to properly adapt a book to film and how to **** of a fan base. The only people who really seemed to like it are people who have never read the books. And only because they don't realize that they are getting a really watered down poor version of what they should have gotten. I have zero faith in Amazons LOTR, zero.

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                              There seems to be a general misconception in the American media business when it comes to fantasy stories.

                              They think elaborate worlds and stories have to be dumbed down to be entertaining and "appeal to the broadest possible audience".
                              They think the viewers need to see people like themselves in these stories, which is absolute nonsense. If the story is well told, the audience can relate to anybody. Seriously, if the audience can relate to Deadpool, then they can relate to anything else, too!

                              They think that fantasy has to be reworked into reality for the audience to understand. While this is true in a way, the American media businesses are getting it all wrong. They think of their reality.
                              When said American media businesses want to adapt some fantasy property, they basically turn it into something with Americans in funny clothing. Why? Because like hbw20 said, they want to "appeal to the broadest possible audience".
                              What's true is that a fantasy world needs strict laws to be believable and these laws are to be treated serious (like, well, laws) in an adaptation, too. That's where 99% of adaptations already fail. Funnier laws are introduced and/or later on the laws are conveniently ignored and so on.

                              The purpose of fantasy, as I see it, is to experience worlds different from ours, strange alien worlds with laws different from what we know. That's what makes theses stories interesting in the first place. That's why we read and watch them. Take the tone, the character of the setting and the language away and what reamins is yet another story with some stereotypical tropes.

                              The basics of human (and 'alien') behaviour is always the same - and when not, it makes the stories even more exciting. It doesn't matter where the story takes place and who the protagonist is, may it be shipwrecking in feudal Japan, meeting catsmurfs on planet Pandora, being a warlord on Mars, a cat, a rat or a chameleon, a toy, truckers in outer space, a policeman after the apocalypse, or a fish in the toilet. Well told human stories are universal and understandable even to village idiots. Does that mean that everything in such an adaption needs to be on village-idiot-level? No, because non-village idiots also want to be entertained (remember: "appeal to the broadest possible audience"). And intelligent people, too.

                              What I find puzzling is that we already have two very successful medieval-like fantasy-adaptations which show the exact recipe for success and yet no one manages to replicate it. One of the two even strayed away from the correct path and failed miserably in consequence - proofing further what is needed and what not.

                              Adaption means changing how to tell the story in the other medium, not what to tell. The more the screenwriters deviate from the source material and invent, the more they get in trouble - the more so when they are lesser writers, which is very likely, even more so today.
                              I think it was Peter Jackson who said something like "treat it like history". That also means preserve its originality. Not "make their dialogue sound more modern". If you want to watch the "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" then go and watch "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air", and not a story about an imaginary strange world.

                              Originally posted by hbw60 View Post
                              .. The Silmarillion is considered a challenging, complex book for only the biggest fans. Amazon needs this series to be a massive success, and that will require the tone to be adapted and simplified.
                              Nothing has to be simplified here. The Silmarillion is a challenging read because it's a collection of condensed 'history' records like the old sagas. One could say this material is already 'simplyfied'. It consists of hundreds of stories that have to be, much to the contrary, embellished to be put into a conventional narrative TV format. What an amazing chance for talented TV writers! There's so much freedom for them and the rules are clearly layed out. They just have to read and understand the source material. I read that amazon Studios have some special additional rules for them to obey, which probably won't make it easier for writers who are passionate about the source material.

                              I don't see how simplifying and village-washing this billion-$$-show would make it stand out from all the other lukewarm fantasy adaptations. If you ask me, with all the investments already sunk into it, they can't afford to dumb it down, because yet another bad, generic fantasy show it not what they want or have paid for. They want to draw in crowds, so they need something special (like 'Game of Thrones', before it stumbled). I don't see where dumbing down would achieve that. Dumbing down has yet to make a fantasy show successful! Treating it serious and with respect, preserving its edges is the way to go.
                              They paid for something special and if they can't even please the fans with the result, they might have a mild success for 1 or 2 seasons but not the equivalent to what they spent. Only pleasing people who don't care what they watch will bring amazon only so far. If they want something special, they have to make something special. It's rather simple. Otherwise spending that much money for the rights alone is stupidity (which it is anyway).

                              Am I completely wrong?
                              It's amazing and disturbing how your comment also fits perfectly to another recent American fantasy show, TMcLim, with only changing the name:

                              Originally posted by TMcLim View Post
                              Many fans of the Witcher who read the books were very disappointed and angry with the TV series, myself included. I defended the first episode of season 2 but the series strayed farther and farther from the source material, breaking the rules of magic created in that series, killing characters unnecessarily, and bastardizing the plot so bad that is was unforgivable. And the worst part is that most of the changes were completely unnecessary for an adaptation to film. When you cut plot lines or characters its usually to save time, or to speed up the plot, to improve the story. Ex. Cutting the old forest and TB scenes in Fotr. Witcher cuts characters and speeds up the plot so they can introduce their own made up characters.. sacrificing the actual main characters development. Or giving great moments from one character to others for no apparent reason.. the show was a train wreck on how to properly adapt a book to film and how to **** of a fan base. The only people who really seemed to like it are people who have never read the books. And only because they don't realize that they are getting a really watered down poor version of what they should have gotten.
                              I really hope a miracle happens and Amazon doesn't make the same mistakes again.
                              Homunculus1916
                              Flamer
                              Last edited by Homunculus1916; 16 January 2022, 14:24.
                              Do you like books? Visit the New books, old books thread!

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                                [Deleted]
                                Last edited by hbw60; 17 January 2022, 20:36.

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                                  This thread is becoming it's own novel!


                                  Boromir on seeing the teaser pictures at Elronds: “Is it not a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt for so small a thing? So small a thing! And I have seen it only for an instant in the house of Elrond! Could I not have a sight of it again?"


                                  The core story and characters cannot be ignored and I dont think they will. The story of ME itself is massive and if this series touches on other elements contained within the 2nd age portion, that's fine, but you can guarantee it will offend some and amaze others. .

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                                    hbw60, why have you deleted your posts? I thought they were very well composed thoughts that made some very good points, contributing immensely to this discussion. It always saddens me when someone is made to feel like they've regretted what they've said based on someone else's reaction to their words. We are all diminished in the process.

                                    Anyhow, this sums up how I feel about this whole thing. Foul language warning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BT_RrIobJvo
                                    Last edited by Valkrist; Yesterday, 09:50.

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                                      Originally posted by Valkrist View Post
                                      What a narrative , the guy has a great symbolic reference to all things that can go wrong, was laughing all the way through, thanks for sharing Val...it does feel a bit sad though that in reality there's more chances that the show might get messed up..

                                      I hope Amazon learns a few lessons from their GoT series and delivers something good, realistically I'm hoping we get to see some good ME content on the screen back again related to ME after almost 20 years, I do like the part that they're thinking of starting with how it all began than diving straight into fellowship but it's also a risky start...I think today's technology and knowledge of movie/tv series making is so much more advanced that there's good ammunition to deliver something epic..but no idea how many of the involved / key decision makers are truly LOTR fans or if they'd just like to have some $$ making TV show, in the end if it sticks to the originalities, it'll be a win-win for fans and Amazon..but I'd like to wait and see what their take on it is.

                                      Comment


                                        Originally posted by Darkcorner View Post
                                        What a narrative , the guy has a great symbolic reference to all things that can go wrong, was laughing all the way through, thanks for sharing Val...it does feel a bit sad though that in reality there's more chances that the show might get messed up..
                                        Yeah, his surly delivery style is deliberately over-the-top (obvious internet persona), but beneath all the grousing, his points are salient and come from a place of not only understanding the source material, but also what the inevitable low expectations are nowadays when something like this is undertaken. The established precedent is staggering, unfortunately, as are the undeniable trends all around us.

                                        If you have the time or inclination, you should check out his other videos. Much better and intelligent than the other rants by YouTube man-babies spouting toxic nonsense.

                                        BTW, GoT was not Amazon's, it was HBO's, but I get what you are saying.

                                        For me, this has become a case of not being willing to compromise on a potential bastardization/modernization/checkboxing of something I hold so dear and has been so formative in my life for 40 years. I want more ME, but not at any cost. No way.

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                                          Valkrist - Thank you for your kind words. They make me feel better about what I wrote. I decided to delete the posts because I don't want to feel too overbearing about things, especially for people who are anticipating the series.

                                          I'm upset about this series for many reasons. We know that JRR/Christopher Tolkien wouldn't have wanted it. I don't think it can possibly be a worthy adaptation under the circumstances. And I'm upset that Tolkien's story is going to be told by Amazon, a company that is the absolute antithesis of his message. I think Tolkien would be appalled to know that his descendants sold his work to a gigantic, destructive corporation, whose business model is based on impulsive consumption and exploitation. Jeff Bezos is a lot like Saruman, exploiting the working class and destroying the environment in order to further his own ambitions. Normally, it's easy enough to simply ignore a TV show I don't want to watch. But this feels like a deep insult to Tolkien's legacy, and so I get speechy about it. I wrote two lengthy posts about it this week.

                                          But the internet has too many angry rants already. I'm not going to fix anything by adding more to it. And if there are people here who are looking forward to this series, I don't want to argue with that. There's far too much of a "here's why you're wrong" attitude on the internet, and I try to avoid that. It's poisoned our society, and I don't know if we can recover from the sheer amount of anger and groupthink in our world today. As a society, we've lost the ability to politely disagree. So I thought I'd just delete them. This forum works best as a meeting place for friends, not a gloomy rant.

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