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Christopher Tolkien speaks out after 40 years...

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  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingPosts: 2,725Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by sk8chalif
    the 3 movie are not just based on the hobbit book. we got the lord of the ring appendices in that,

    Actually that is correct and leads to many interesting things (also connected to the pretty lame quote  "he didn't create jack diddly squat"). Tolkien sell the film rights of the Hobbit and LotR. C.T. during the work on the History of M-e updated and edited the Appendixes too. I wonder who has those rights? :)

  • VassagoMaelVassagoMael Covington, LAPosts: 555Member
    Hello. Welcome to Earth. Movie =/= book. Now that you are up to speed, carry on enjoying the two different formats while respecting the limitations of each.

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  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAPosts: 4,481Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Corehaven

    He didn't write the books and he didn't create jack diddly squat. 

     

    Personally I don't particularly like the Hobbit only because its full of artificial filler in order to split it into three movies.  But I thought the Lord of the Rings was at least fairly accurate to the books.  How the hell else were they supposed to be filmed?  I'm not really sure what the guy was expecting. 

     

    How would he have improved them?  He probably wouldn't have. 

     

    Yea he's a lucky guy for being a Tolkien fortune heir.  We should all be so lucky.  However if I was, I probably wouldn't run my mouth and gripe about movies that most would say, honored the Lord of the Ring books fairly well if nothing else. 

     I agree.  The guy is a punk.

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,462Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Nobadeeftw

    What's next, is one of Lucas' kids going going to cry about whatever Disney does to Star Wars.  ha ha  It's one thing to dictate the legacy of an IP that you created yourself; but, when it's passed into the hands of others, it's an automatic free for all.  Look what happened to Star Trek, it's the epitome of how to quickly turn your IP into a farcical circus.  I can't tell you what's worse, a holocaust denier or an apologist trekkie.

     

    Point is, once the creator dies or passes on their IP, it's going to evolve into something different.

    True, but I don't see him as "crying".

    First of all, he's a professional in his own right. he is also responsible for compiling and editing his father's work and notes. I would think that makes him far more intimate with his father's oeuvre than many people.

    Secondly, he is a member of the family and is the son of J.R.R. Tolkien. That probably means he was privy to a lot of comments, stories, complaints, wishes, etc that Tolkien had said over the course of his life. So again, he is closer to the materal and author than many people.

    Third, like many people, he has an opinion and he has stated it. I can't say I disagree with him. I love Peter Jackson's movies but he sometimes makes decisions that just aren't needed or that dont' do justice to what he is working on.

    I love that they are including some of the material in the appendices for the Hobbit. I don't love that they padded bits here and there such as Frodo's cameo, the white orc which doesn't quite figure into the story even if he is referenced.

    Using referenced material is great. But reaching back, taking a name and including that character in a way that wasn't in the books (or essentially making up a role) isn't necessary.

    He didn't need to have Bilbo cast into the deep as he did, he could have kept it just as the books. Same with The Two Towers where he makes it so the ents don't decide to go to war but ony and instantly has the ents appear when tree beard sees what Saruman has done. I understand why he does these things I just don't think it's a must for them to be done this way.

    Additionally, regardless of whether Cristopher Tolkien likes what is being done to his father's work, if he and his family is owed money then he has every right to demand. More so I would say as he should make them pay and not give them a "by your leave" to do anything they want and rake up all the money.

  • OrphesOrphes TrePosts: 3,048Member

    To dislike the movies compared to the books, Lord of the rings triligy and the Hobbit, is like being political correct?

    Meh...

    I'm so broke. I can't even pay attention.
    "You have the right not to be killed"

  • centrik91centrik91 Mendham, NJPosts: 175Member
    Originally posted by chelan

    "Invited to meet Peter Jackson, the Tolkien family preferred not to. Why? "They eviscerated the book by making it an action movie for young people aged 15 to 25," Christopher says regretfully. "And it seems that The Hobbit will be the same kind of film."

    Right, and who were the Lord of the Rings books intended for, because last I checked, most people reading Lord of the RIngs and The Hobbit for the first time can be accurately described as young people aged 15 to 25.

    Granted, they are ageless books that appeal to a wide audience, but they are still books for teenagers and young adults.  

  • GinazGinaz Calgary, ABPosts: 1,731Member Uncommon
    Honestly, Tolkien's writing is very wordy and IMO Jackson did the best he could making the LoTR books into movies.  He captures the look and feel of the books well which, given the convoluted mess the books can be at times, is the probably the best we could hope for.

    image

    Is a man not entitled to the herp of his derp?

    Remember, I live in a world where juggalos and yugioh players are real things.

  • shawn01shawn01 nashua, NHPosts: 153Member Common
    The Lord of the Rings Trilogy is terrible. Its such a slog to get through, like walking up hill through kneee deep mud. The movies are actually good.
  • GiddianGiddian Livonia, MIPosts: 415Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by chelan

    did you read the article? if you had you would have understood the limitations of what you are suggesting.

    you are actually being quite typical of american cynicism. it's an easy out in the world to just blast everything and everyone rather than to try to understand them.

    Why are you bashing America. this Op doesn't speak for me.

    I am insulted by that.

    image

  • erictlewiserictlewis Cottondale, ALPosts: 3,026Member Uncommon

    Wow all I can say is Jackson drug the Hobbit out, I actually fell asleep twice during the movie because of how long and and useless some of the film was. I go to say Jackson took some liberties, but he did the same with the previous films. I just don't understand the need to have broken the Hobbit up into 3 films. It all comes down to money and the need to make more of it.

  • GishgeronGishgeron Princeton, KYPosts: 1,287Member

      I dunno, I read the books a couple times.  His writing was dull to say the least.  The story was good, but the pacing was terrible.  The movies did a near perfect job of capturing what was good about LoTR and leaving out what was bad.  The only thing they left out that I WANTED to see was good old Tom Bom, but I can get why he was cut.  He was a deity-force that could sing things into submission, which was a power feared so much that the orcs were commanded to stay as far from his grove as possible.  Hard to translate that into movie without turning it into a musical that borders on silly.

      We honestly put way too much stock in Tolkiens writing.  It was good for its time because it was among the first of its kind.  Epic high fantasy just didn't exist on that level.  These days we have infinitely better authors in terms of readability and pacing.  If anything, I say Peter jackson did that property a favor.  The books could have used his pacing desperatly.

     

    EDIT

     

    To clarify, I read the books more than once to try and figure out who exactly started the whole "dwarves speak scottish" stuff we see as normal now.  My friends and I all thought it probably started with Tolkien since his books were probably the first to really star the race and be written more recently so that localization didn't affect it.  Turns out, his dwarves weren't written with an accent at all.  They basically spoke clean and cut english that was so neutral you couldn't really place it to anything.  Certainly no scottish "laddy this and drankin all the burrs that".  I still dont know who started that.

    image

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,462Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Gishgeron

      I dunno, I read the books a couple times.  His writing was dull to say the least.  The story was good, but the pacing was terrible.  The movies did a near perfect job of capturing what was good about LoTR and leaving out what was bad.  The only thing they left out that I WANTED to see was good old Tom Bom, but I can get why he was cut.  He was a deity-force that could sing things into submission, which was a power feared so much that the orcs were commanded to stay as far from his grove as possible.  Hard to translate that into movie without turning it into a musical that borders on silly.

      We honestly put way too much stock in Tolkiens writing.  It was good for its time because it was among the first of its kind.  Epic high fantasy just didn't exist on that level.  These days we have infinitely better authors in terms of readability and pacing.  If anything, I say Peter jackson did that property a favor.  The books could have used his pacing desperatly.

     

    EDIT

     

    To clarify, I read the books more than once to try and figure out who exactly started the whole "dwarves speak scottish" stuff we see as normal now.  My friends and I all thought it probably started with Tolkien since his books were probably the first to really star the race and be written more recently so that localization didn't affect it.  Turns out, his dwarves weren't written with an accent at all.  They basically spoke clean and cut english that was so neutral you couldn't really place it to anything.  Certainly no scottish "laddy this and drankin all the burrs that".  I still dont know who started that.

    I dont' disagree, I do think they are a bit dry and they don't naturally lend themselves to a compelling cohesive narrative. My only beef with the movies is making changes that didn't need to be made. Adding the white orc in the hobbit wasn't necessary. In the movie, when Bilbo starts writing "There was a hole in the ground and there lived a hobbit" the scene should have immediately gone to gandalf standing before him as opposed to adding the frodo scene.

    The Troll scene really didn't need to be changed the way he did it.

  • rochristrochrist Harvard, MAPosts: 106Member Common
    It wasn't his choice. His father sold the film rights in the early seventies. 
  • rochristrochrist Harvard, MAPosts: 106Member Common
    Originally posted by Panther2103
    The movies had plenty of story involved in them, they had a majority of the action scenes of the books because of the fact that if they made the movie exactly how the book was page for page, it would have been 15 hours long for one book if even that short. So they take the parts of the books, explain the story in a faster manner, and have the major action scenes. I don't see the issue. It wasn't marketed as an action film. I think the hobbit had maybe 4 or 5 actual action scenes that lasted more than 30 seconds. They always have been very slow, and that turns quite a few people I know off of the films. The environments in the films, and the way all of the characters look and act are exactly how I expected them to be in movie form. 

    And add crap that wasn't in the story and leave out major pieces that were. Yeah, not so much.

  • GinazGinaz Calgary, ABPosts: 1,731Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Sovrath
    Originally posted by Gishgeron

      I dunno, I read the books a couple times.  His writing was dull to say the least.  The story was good, but the pacing was terrible.  The movies did a near perfect job of capturing what was good about LoTR and leaving out what was bad.  The only thing they left out that I WANTED to see was good old Tom Bom, but I can get why he was cut.  He was a deity-force that could sing things into submission, which was a power feared so much that the orcs were commanded to stay as far from his grove as possible.  Hard to translate that into movie without turning it into a musical that borders on silly.

      We honestly put way too much stock in Tolkiens writing.  It was good for its time because it was among the first of its kind.  Epic high fantasy just didn't exist on that level.  These days we have infinitely better authors in terms of readability and pacing.  If anything, I say Peter jackson did that property a favor.  The books could have used his pacing desperatly.

     

    EDIT

     

    To clarify, I read the books more than once to try and figure out who exactly started the whole "dwarves speak scottish" stuff we see as normal now.  My friends and I all thought it probably started with Tolkien since his books were probably the first to really star the race and be written more recently so that localization didn't affect it.  Turns out, his dwarves weren't written with an accent at all.  They basically spoke clean and cut english that was so neutral you couldn't really place it to anything.  Certainly no scottish "laddy this and drankin all the burrs that".  I still dont know who started that.

    I dont' disagree, I do think they are a bit dry and they don't naturally lend themselves to a compelling cohesive narrative. My only beef with the movies is making changes that didn't need to be made. Adding the white orc in the hobbit wasn't necessary. In the movie, when Bilbo starts writing "There was a hole in the ground and there lived a hobbit" the scene should have immediately gone to gandalf standing before him as opposed to adding the frodo scene.

    The Troll scene really didn't need to be changed the way he did it.

    I disagree about the scene with Frodo.  I think it was meant to to tie the Hobbitt in with the last three movies in the minds of the audience.

    image

    Is a man not entitled to the herp of his derp?

    Remember, I live in a world where juggalos and yugioh players are real things.

  • rochristrochrist Harvard, MAPosts: 106Member Common
    Originally posted by shawn01
    The Lord of the Rings Trilogy is terrible. Its such a slog to get through, like walking up hill through kneee deep mud. The movies are actually good.

    Thus speaks the death of literacy.

     

  • GinazGinaz Calgary, ABPosts: 1,731Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by rochrist
    Originally posted by shawn01
    The Lord of the Rings Trilogy is terrible. Its such a slog to get through, like walking up hill through kneee deep mud. The movies are actually good.

    Thus speaks the death of literacy.

     

    I wouldn't say the LoTR books were terrible, they aren't, but they are a difficult read.  No one writes or talks like that anymore just like no one writes or talks like the characters in Shakespeare.

    image

    Is a man not entitled to the herp of his derp?

    Remember, I live in a world where juggalos and yugioh players are real things.

  • NobleNerdNobleNerd Wolcott, NYPosts: 671Member Uncommon

    Read the article and I do understand Chris's desire to preserve the integrity of his father's work, but I believe sometimes people beat at the wind trying to hold back a storm. The popularity of the movies also drives up interest in the literary work. I myself have re-read the books since watching of the movies. After re-reading the books I do not see where Peter Jackson did a huge injustice to them. I marvel at the beauty and life the movies have added to my imagination of what the world Tolkien wrote about must have been. 

    One thing from the article that mad me sad was the minimal amount JRR sold the rights back in the day. It would be nice to see the family and estate get more credit from the ever expanding love of JRR's world.

    I do look forward to some day reading JRR's unfinished works.

    image

  • HluillHluill Lovingston, VAPosts: 105Member Uncommon

    Wow, some of you posters make me feel like a geriatric stick!

    "There are better writers today?"  Have you actually read these books?  I mean, read them?  The wordcraft is exquisite.  Writers today, myself included, can't even edit properly, much less understand grammar and vocabulary.  I've spent hours marveling at  sentences in those books...

    Sure, some think plastic is better than glass.  Some would rather get McD's than fresh cut.  Some would rather have a five-minute quickie than a life-long friendship.

    Peter Jackson has great vision, but his movies contain too many: "Oh that's just silly!" scenes for me.  I almost had to walk out of "Two Towers" (Horses galloping down that pitch, into a pike formation?  Really?).  "Return of the King" was even worse.  Now "Hobbit" was too long and then had twenty minutes of epic sillyness.  The last third of the movie could've been cut to three scenes and been the better for it.

    Yeah, I understand Christopher Tolkien's grief.  We live in a world that is all flash and no substance.  Professor Tolkien lived in time before American pragmatism ruled the world.  He tried to write about it.

    Hluill, a barbarian rogue, and his Warrior-daughter, Leyek
    Playing/Subscribing: TSW, LotRO, EQ2, and SWTOR
    Played: GW2, V:SoH, Neverwinter, ArchAge, EQ, UO, DAoC, WAR, DDO, AoC, MO

  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo LondonPosts: 3,221Member
    Originally posted by Sovrath
    Originally posted by Nobadeeftw

    What's next, is one of Lucas' kids going going to cry about whatever Disney does to Star Wars.  ha ha  It's one thing to dictate the legacy of an IP that you created yourself; but, when it's passed into the hands of others, it's an automatic free for all.  Look what happened to Star Trek, it's the epitome of how to quickly turn your IP into a farcical circus.  I can't tell you what's worse, a holocaust denier or an apologist trekkie.

     

    Point is, once the creator dies or passes on their IP, it's going to evolve into something different.

    True, but I don't see him as "crying".

    First of all, he's a professional in his own right. he is also responsible for compiling and editing his father's work and notes. I would think that makes him far more intimate with his father's oeuvre than many people.

    Secondly, he is a member of the family and is the son of J.R.R. Tolkien. That probably means he was privy to a lot of comments, stories, complaints, wishes, etc that Tolkien had said over the course of his life. So again, he is closer to the materal and author than many people.

    Third, like many people, he has an opinion and he has stated it. I can't say I disagree with him. I love Peter Jackson's movies but he sometimes makes decisions that just aren't needed or that dont' do justice to what he is working on.

    Christopher Tolkien has a perspective as you identify above that is worth taking into account even if you feel it is wrong-headed/irrelevant/erroneous etc. "He knows his onions" as Master Samwise might have said.

    @ShakyMo: Those often come up: (1) He's writing for a particular audience back then (2) He writes in an epic style as per the myths traditions. For eg I enjoyed "Bridget Jone's Diary", but all the way through I felt like shaking her as per Airplaine! "Sto---op panicking!!!" image

  • BarakIIIBarakIII Monroe, LAPosts: 800Member
    I felt much the same way as Christopher when I saw the LOTR movies. I still do. I seriously doubt I'll watch the Hobbit.
  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo LondonPosts: 3,221Member
    Originally posted by BarakIII
    I felt much the same way as Christopher when I saw the LOTR movies. I still do. I seriously doubt I'll watch the Hobbit.

    What I've gathered from The Hobbit so far is: The tone alternates between The Hobbit & LOTRs and can't seem to settle on the appropriate one and also it's ovelry long. Secondly the 48 frames per second fps makes the sets look really fake does not help. It's probably not a bad movie, but why oh why did they choose WoW dwarfs... image

  • MaxJacMaxJac Another Dimension, CAPosts: 185Member
    Originally posted by VassagoMael
    carry on enjoying the two different formats while respecting the limitations of each.

    Well put.

  • RedJorgeRedJorge LisbonPosts: 106Member

    I am a huge fan of J.R.R. Tolkien and I think that his universe is unique in the history of literature.

    I love all Tolkien´s books and, for me, they are a masterpiece. Actually I think J.R.R. Tolkien should have won the Literature Nobel Prize in 1961.

    Peter Jackson was the first director capable of putting in film Tolkien´s universe properly. And because of his movies millions of people bought the books and read them.

    Tolkien´s work was resurrected for the new generations because of Peter Jackson movies.

    We live in a multimedia age, most of people prefer images to books but still the movies made them go into books again.

    Christopher Tolkien comments and complains are very unfair. He has been living since ever from the royalties of his father´s work. And it was him and his family that sold the movie rights. Peter Jackson did not stole anything from anybody.

    What Christopher Tolkien keeps crying about are the royalties he missed because when he sold the rights for the LoTR movies his lawyers did not realized all the merchandising areas available and did not covered them in the contract. When they realized that a lot of money was being made in areas where they could not claim royalties he started his smearing campaign to pressure Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema. As far as I know he already closed a secret deal with New Line Cinema about those royalties but maybe they want some more now. Its a never ending story and nothing else than chasing the money.

    In my opinion, Peter Jackson made much more for J.R.R. Tolkien´s work than all his family put together. The quality of Peter Jackson movies demonstrates that he is a worthy Tolkien´s universe heir while Christopher Tolkien did nothing else than being born in the family.

    Leonard: Penny, you are on fire.
    Penny: Yes, so is Sheldon.
    [laughs]
    Sheldon: Okay, that's it. I don't know how, but she is cheating. No-one can be that attractive and this skilled at a video game.
    [walks away]
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    Sheldon: What?
    Penny: This plasma grenade.
    [explosion]
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  • FrodoFraginsFrodoFragins Manchester, NHPosts: 2,931Member Uncommon

    It wasn't a very revealing article.  He obviously lives in a bubble and doesn't see the point in any products based on his fathers writing.  He only wants the writing to be the focus and doesn't want true fans of his fathers work to play around in that world.

     

    I personally don't care for the silmarillion, the history of middle earth and everything else christopher has published.  And so I don't really feel in debt to him at all.

     

    As far as I'm aware, Christopher has refused to watch any adaptations of the Hobbit or LOTR.  The Tolkien Estate could have been influential if they were more open minded and offered their support to works that meet their standards.  A Tolkien Estate seal of approval so to speak.  He's an old man that doesn't understand why people want to play games or watch movies in that universe and if he had the power he wouldn't have allowed any of it.  Something his father wasn't nearly so adamant against unless it completely lost the point of teh books.

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