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Offline Iceman

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2200 on: October 26, 2022, 05:39:16 PM »
I never read the source material (except for the hobbit which I read as a kid), but fell in love with the franchise because of Jackson’s trilogy, which was released at a prime time for me, just going into high school.

I enjoyed seeing the characters referenced in some of the original movies, and learning more about how things developed prior to LoTR. The pacing was definitely a bit off, but I think a lot of that is a consequence of how modern series are portrayed, since you seemingly need to have a cliff hanger at the end of Every. Single. Episode. I didn’t really have a problem with the four isolated stories - to me it actually kind of reinforces the vastness of Tolkien’s middle earth, and the importance of everyone’s individual journeys.

I thought the finale was the primary let down of the series. It really felt like in many ways it delegitimized all the episodes into what now fees more like just an extended trailer for season 2.

Galadriel just felt a bit off to me throughout and I don’t really know why. But I feel like Honk’s detective analogy hits home.

All in all, it was enjoyable, it just feels incomplete.

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Offline Rama Set

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2201 on: October 26, 2022, 09:55:12 PM »
None of the “modern cliches” he described are particularly modern. These character archetypes have existed for literally thousands of years. If they didn’t hit home, it’s probably ultimately the actors fault with the writers maybe making their life harder than it needed to be. I thought Galadriel was one of the better characters in the show though.
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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2202 on: October 26, 2022, 10:59:06 PM »
I thought Galadriel was one of the better characters in the show though.

The hottest of hot takes... Or maybe a scathing criticism idk.

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2203 on: October 27, 2022, 01:58:41 AM »
Unpopular opinion: It was alright.
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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2204 on: October 27, 2022, 03:03:54 AM »
not sauron and not gandalf... spoilers


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Offline Roundy

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2205 on: October 27, 2022, 04:51:55 AM »
So I saw Black Adam. It's not the hopeless piece of shit the critics are making it out to be, but it's not really good either.

It relies heavily on exposition. The characters are paper-thin, the worst being Atom Smasher and Cyclone, whose little romance subplot makes no sense and feels shoehorned in. The JSA deserved a better introduction to the DCU than this.

No The Rock is not a good actor, but we love him anyway, don't we? Go figure. Anyway, this is an awful adaptation of his character from the comics, seemingly written the way it was to detract from Dwayne Johnson's limitations as an actor. He's reduced to Arnold Schwarzenegger style one-liners. And that's a shame, because I've always thought he was actually a very interesting and nuanced character.

Speaking of nuance, this movie has none. Instead of letting us figure out his anti-hero status for ourselves they hit it over our heads like a sledgehammer. Several characters, including Black Adam himself, say within the first half of the movie that he is no hero. Until the moment late in the movie that a prominent character realizes that, gee golly, maybe sometimes you have to do seemingly bad things to really accomplish change or some shit. I believe I literally rolled my eyes.

Anyway that being said, I enjoyed it. If you can ignore the flaws it's a fun romp that amazingly just flies by, even with the ridiculous Zach Snyder slo-mo that's littered through. 6/10 would recommend. But just barely.

Honk is gonna hate it. And that's reasonable.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2022, 05:01:39 AM by Roundy »
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Online honk

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2206 on: October 29, 2022, 05:50:58 PM »
I agree it’s not the tightest of writing but it’s a little confusing how you can think the subplots don’t come together. Three of them literally converge in the last episode, each providing a crucial piece to the other.

I'm exaggerating a bit, sure, but I feel like there's a difference between the characters of the various subplots meeting each other and the subplots themselves, as in the stories (or at least their overarching themes), actually tying into each other in a harmonious way. Galadriel's motivation throughout the season is to find and defeat Sauron. That's why she travels to the Southlands - but from her perspective, the trip is basically a red herring, as neither Sauron nor his allies turn out to be there. Instead, Galadriel just kind of gets roped into the separate subplot of Arondir and Bronwyn's struggle against Adar and the orcs. Later, when Galadriel brings Halbrand to the elves, she's simply doing so to save his life, and from there she, once again, just kind of gets roped into the separate subplot involving the mithril. The resolution of her own ultimate motivation of finding Sauron, in the meantime, falls into her lap accidentally. This is very frustrating writing. I feel like it's somehow violating some unwritten rules of setup and payoff to have Galadriel repeatedly just happen to be in the right place at the right time so she can resolve everyone else's subplots.

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It’s too bad you found no redeeming qualities in the storytelling. I can’t help but connect that to high expectations and shitty fan boy culture creating biases.

I think I've mentioned before that I'm not keen on the growing prominence of fanboy culture and "criticism" in today's society. The scope of their criticisms more often than not tend to be narrow and superficial, as they mainly complain about things like "plot holes" and lore accuracy, even as they lavish excessive praise on cool action scenes and badass characters they can see themselves being as a power fantasy. They've also grown increasingly reactionary in recent years, and are more and more lashing out at increased racial diversity and female characters that don't know their place (the idiot that junker linked to is an excellent example of this). Even before this show came out, I was deeply dismayed by the overwhelmingly toxic and unbelievably mask-off racist response it was receiving online, and I was determined to give it a fair chance and criticize it for substantive flaws rather than fanboy nitpicks. Like I said, I was hoping for this show to be good, and I wasn't prepared to hate it on the basis of something stupid like them daring to cast a few non-white people.

None of the “modern cliches” he described are particularly modern. These character archetypes have existed for literally thousands of years. If they didn’t hit home, it’s probably ultimately the actors fault with the writers maybe making their life harder than it needed to be. I thought Galadriel was one of the better characters in the show though.

You're right that the archetypes aren't exactly new, but what felt modern about their implementation here was just how unsubtle they were. For example, Celebrimbor in the source material is primarily characterized by his altruism rather than his ambition, and it's this desire to help others that Sauron takes advantage of for his own ends. In this show, however, right from the start he's saying ominous lines about how true creation requires sacrifice. It's so obvious, it's so blatant what they're going for, and it's clear that the main inspiration for this characterization isn't the Celebrimbor from the lore, but the more clichéd image of a mad scientist from pop culture. Isildur is the character that suffers the most, though. The show positions him as a hero, but he comes across as a selfish fuckup to me, and I have my doubts about how intentional that was.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2022, 08:49:47 PM by honk »
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Offline rooster

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2207 on: October 29, 2022, 08:16:15 PM »
Seems kinda intentional for Isildur to be a selfish fuckup. Or at the very least he's being positioned as an ambitious naive privileged turd.

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2208 on: October 29, 2022, 11:09:08 PM »
I don't think he is. I can't prove it or anything, but the framing is always centering him, so to speak. Virtually every scene he's in is told from his perspective. He is their focus, he is their main character. That's generally not how movies and TV shows frame deliberately unlikable characters. Isildur's subplot seems to be about his struggle and growth into a hero, which is fatally undercut by how unsympathetic he ends up being.
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Offline rooster

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2209 on: October 30, 2022, 02:01:26 AM »
He is their focus, he is their main character. That's generally not how movies and TV shows frame deliberately unlikable characters.
We all know him as the ass who just couldn't destroy the ring. Sure, they can build him up and make him more complicated and maybe we do want to root for the naive kid full of hope and curiosity. But I think his selfish privilege is absolutely intentional because it shows his flaws and makes his trajectory pretty obvious.

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Offline Rama Set

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2210 on: October 30, 2022, 03:15:52 AM »
He is their focus, he is their main character. That's generally not how movies and TV shows frame deliberately unlikable characters.
We all know him as the ass who just couldn't destroy the ring. Sure, they can build him up and make him more complicated and maybe we do want to root for the naive kid full of hope and curiosity. But I think his selfish privilege is absolutely intentional because it shows his flaws and makes his trajectory pretty obvious.

I sincerely hope the inability to destroy the One Ring is never portrayed as a moral failing considering no one ever showed themselves to have the strength to destroy it. The noblest characters in Tolkien’s world only had the strength to deny possession of the One Ring because they know they never could destroy it.
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Offline rooster

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2211 on: October 30, 2022, 03:56:55 AM »
And yet a lot of people hated Boromir. 🤷‍♀️

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Online honk

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2212 on: October 30, 2022, 05:16:52 AM »
To treat Isildur's refusal to destroy the Ring as a basis or justification for making him a selfish and entitled young man would be utterly unworthy of Tolkien and his themes. A point that's hammered home again and again in the text is that the Ring will corrupt anyone who touches it or is even near it for too long. Isildur didn't even have the benefit of being forewarned about the Ring's dark influence, as he was in a sense the "case study" for how it worked. As for Boromir, well, he didn't simply refuse to destroy the Ring, he tried to forcefully seize it from Frodo, in stark contrast to other characters that were shown to be able to resist the urge to try and claim it themselves.
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Offline rooster

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2213 on: October 30, 2022, 02:35:36 PM »
As for Boromir, well, he didn't simply refuse to destroy the Ring, he tried to forcefully seize it from Frodo, in stark contrast to other characters that were shown to be able to resist the urge to try and claim it themselves.
lol this is so hypocritical. Boromir was near it for a long time and he did apologize. He literally picked it up and still gave it back. He was fighting it. And no, we never see Legolas, Gimli, or the other Hobbits struggling with it in the first movie.

Personally, I have no problem whatsoever with the stories showing man's inherent selfishness and how that might tie in with why the ring has so much power over them.

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2214 on: October 30, 2022, 04:41:48 PM »
As for Boromir, well, he didn't simply refuse to destroy the Ring, he tried to forcefully seize it from Frodo, in stark contrast to other characters that were shown to be able to resist the urge to try and claim it themselves.
lol this is so hypocritical. Boromir was near it for a long time and he did apologize. He literally picked it up and still gave it back.

Isildur wasn’t instantly corrupted either, even though the film implies an instant effect of the ring. He carried it for weeks (months?) and never put it on until he was ambushed in the Gladden Fields.

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He was fighting it.

But lost. Frodo had to put the ring on to escape.

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And no, we never see Legolas, Gimli, or the other Hobbits struggling with it in the first movie.

Gimli and Legolas both instantly feel the pull of the ring at the Council of Elrond. Hobbits resistance to the ring is a trait special to them and part of the reason Gandalf chose Frodo for the mission to Mount Doom.

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Personally, I have no problem whatsoever with the stories showing man's inherent selfishness and how that might tie in with why the ring has so much power over them.

The lust for power is what Sauron preyed on to ensnare the Nine. Greed was how he drove the seven mad. But just to reiterate, Isildur took the ring, yes, but never used it until he was ambushed and had no other way to escape. He resisted it more strongly than any ringbearer, except Bilbo. Being corrupted by the ring is not a character flaw, it’s a feature of the ring, if you take it.
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Offline rooster

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2215 on: October 31, 2022, 01:05:43 AM »
Ah yes, this is why I hated the books. This is very boring.

So to reiterate, it's not a character flaw. But the audience is justified in disliking Boromir. But it's wrong to give Isildur character flaws. K

I also never got that Legolas or Gimli felt a pull during the council. Gimli went to smash it right at the start

Hobbits are very pure silly things. So again it kinda makes sense that it's most effective around selfish and/or ambitious men.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2022, 01:24:55 AM by rooster »

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Online honk

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2216 on: October 31, 2022, 04:21:33 AM »
I think it's a shame that people came out of Fellowship hating Boromir. He's a fairly shallow character in the book, but the film does an excellent job of elevating him into a far more nuanced, sympathetic, and ultimately heroic figure. Nevertheless, the scene of him turning on Frodo and trying to forcefully take the Ring from him is a harsh one and leaves a strong impact, so I can understand why people would dislike him, even if I don't agree with them. Anyway, it's fine for Isildur to have flaws. My problem is simply that the show goes too far and leaves us with nothing to root for. He's too capricious, too entitled, too selfish.
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Offline rooster

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2217 on: October 31, 2022, 12:47:27 PM »
My problem is simply that the show goes too far and leaves us with nothing to root for. He's too capricious, too entitled, too selfish.
And I agree with you but I don't think we need to root for every character. Or at least not all the time. fwiw the writer I like wrote on Breaking Bad and we certainly don't or aren't supposed to root for Walt.

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Offline Rama Set

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2218 on: October 31, 2022, 02:04:23 PM »
Ah yes, this is why I hated the books. This is very boring.

So to reiterate, it's not a character flaw. But the audience is justified in disliking Boromir. But it's wrong to give Isildur character flaws. K

I hope I didn’t give that impression. I just think lusting over the Ring I shouldn’t be construed as a character flaw.

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I also never got that Legolas or Gimli felt a pull during the council. Gimli went to smash it right at the start

Fair enough. I always took Legolas’ sitting forward in his chair and Gimli’s slight gasp to be the Ring’s influence. That the sight of it instantly provokes people.

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Hobbits are very pure silly things. So again it kinda makes sense that it's most effective around selfish and/or ambitious men.

The conceit is that the Ring is potent to all people in varying ways and degrees. We even see Gandalf and Galadriel  who are the closest beings to Sauron’s peers very nearly succumbing to it’s temptation. The Hobbit’s pastoral nature is simultaneously silly their greatest source of spiritual strength. Anyway, I think you understand what I’m saying so I will shut up but I also disliked Isildur  I think it’s fine because he needs to have an arc through the series and I hope that he gets some kind of redemption since he is meant to be a tragic figure, rather than an antagonistic one.
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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2219 on: October 31, 2022, 03:19:30 PM »
I think it’s fine because he needs to have an arc through the series and I hope that he gets some kind of redemption since he is meant to be a tragic figure, rather than an antagonistic one.
Yes, I absolutely agree with this. We see his nature isn't as noble as Aragorn's but Isildur is also a very young adult. That's what I meant by we don't need to root for them all the time. I do think it's a fair setup for an arc where he matures into a hero after already establishing a weakness that tracts. And to be fair it's a weakness a lot of people have so it's not even a moral failing really. He's just a thoughtless kid.