Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Confession

I have a confession to make. One that I fear may take away any shred of respect some of you have for me...

I think the Lord of the Rings (books OR movies) are really, really boring.

I mean, I respect them for being groundbreaking and all that. Tolkien was a genius. They're the forerunners of all modern fantasy.

But still...boring.

It did become funnier in my head, when I imagined all the hobbits as cannibals.

(If for no other reason, Dark Sun will forever be my favorite campaign setting for the psychotic cannibal halflings.)

15 Comments:

  • At August 23, 2009 6:46 PM, OpenID bookslide said…

    I actually feel the same way. :/ I almost walked out of the movie and I never made it halfway through Fellowship, even though I did read The Hobbit at some point.

     
  • At August 23, 2009 9:01 PM, Blogger Maddy said…

    Agreed for the most part. I initially thought the movies were fantastic, and got all the extended DVDs. But in the long run, I found the documentaries about the making of the movies to be far more entertaining.

     
  • At August 23, 2009 9:02 PM, Blogger Rob Rogers said…

    Did you know they're planning to bring back the Dark Sun setting?

     
  • At August 23, 2009 9:20 PM, Blogger The one letter wonder said…

    I never read the books. But the movies pretty boring though it was a bit more entertaining that when we saw the third one my friend kept wondering about all the gay midget porn,lol.

     
  • At August 24, 2009 12:20 AM, Blogger LurkerWithout said…

    Not really that terrible a confession. Lots of geeks don't enjoy Tolkien. And while I enjoy the core 4 books and the Jackson movies, anything beyond that knocks me right out...

     
  • At August 24, 2009 1:28 AM, OpenID Aridawnia said…

    Those words are blasphemy!

    Do not blaspheme!

     
  • At August 24, 2009 2:38 AM, Blogger K. D. Bryan said…

    I am so with you on this one. I've never read the books, to be fair, but, gah, so dull!

    I'm not one for gratuitously quoting Kevin Smith films but that monologue in Clerks 2 about how 90% of the films were just people walking? Painfully accurate. And I was genuinely disappointed that Sam and Frodo never kissed after watching the Peppermint Patty and Marcie of Fantasy Cliches romp around for six hours.

    On a related note, I'm really enjoying the Captain Atom back-up story in Action Comics just because the notion of an atomic superpowered guy waltzing into the middle of a LoTR-esque scenario tickles me. :D

     
  • At August 24, 2009 5:52 AM, Blogger Menshevik said…

    To each their own, I guess. I can understand why some people would find "The Lord of the Rings" boring, but I didn't when I read it. I wouldn't call the book "exciting" though, but more "fascinating" or "engrossing", in particular through its rich tapestry of different cultures etc. (I'm talking just about the novel, I only saw the first movie because I decided I prefer the movie in my head). But then I seem to have a taste for stories in which not a lot "happens" - my two favourite novels are Theodor Fontane's "Der Stechlin" (summed up by the author: "in the end two young people get married and an old man dies") and Rudyard Kipling's "Kim" (which fits Kevin Smith's "90 percent is just people walking" as much as "Lord of the Rings"). Both are novels that provided a rich caleidoscope of the society and culture at the end of the 19th century, one of Berlin and Prussia, the other of colonial India.

    However, I do suspect that there are two factors that rather contribute to "The Lord of the Rings" being perceived as boring these days. The first is that in the days of passenger jet travel, it is more common for people travelling from A to B and back to keep the time en route between A and B as short as possible than it was in the past. The other is that the pacing of movies, due in part to the hectic montages of commercials and the shortening of people's attention span they engendered, has become a lot faster in the past decades. It was an eye-opener for me when I recently watched "Once Upon a Time in the West" - these days it simply would be unthinkable to produce a movie that took so much time for each take to sink in etc.

     
  • At August 24, 2009 1:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yep. Snoozer. Tolkien did a great job of world-building, but his characters would have to get deeper to become two-dimensional. Story was much more absorbing in DM of the Rings.

    -- Jack of Spades

     
  • At August 24, 2009 11:34 PM, OpenID ominousduck said…

    By the algae beard of the underwater Satan Octopus! You mean I'm not the only one who finds them dull? Smashing news!

     
  • At August 25, 2009 8:29 AM, Blogger Ununnilium said…

    "these days it simply would be unthinkable to produce a movie that took so much time for each take to sink in etc."

    Yeah, not like the more relaxed and less frantic days of 2003.

     
  • At August 25, 2009 11:04 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    I love you, Ununnilium.

     
  • At August 25, 2009 11:15 AM, Blogger Menshevik said…

    Well, you got me there. Not having seen "The Return of the King" (if that is what the 2003 ref is about), I can't comment on that particular film. However, I saw "The Fellowship of the Ring", and that did not appear to me as unusually slow-paced as I would describe "Once Upon a Time in the West" or "2001".

     
  • At August 26, 2009 11:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well I found the movies really good but I couldn't get into the books. Main reason with the books is that they didn't have any women in them. . . or so I have been told since I never read them.

    -Seafire

     
  • At August 26, 2009 1:45 PM, Blogger Joe said…

    I found the books boring too, and haven't reread LotR since high school. I also share some sentiments with Michael Moorcock.

    The Hobbit was better--better pacing, more action, blissfully shorter, and I've managed to reread it a few times. Much like I find a lot of these shorter, more experimental young-adult fantasy novels to be better reads than all this Tolkien-wannabe crap (most of which misses Tolkien's point in the first place) that's supposedly for adults. Thankfully Tolkien-clones seem to be in decline after 50 years of dominating the fantasy genre.

    The movies were much better, though I found I liked Fellowship best--that had excellent pacing, a sense of urgency and terror, larger-than-life scale (I nearly cried when I saw the Mines of Moria the first time) and great acting (I did cry when Boromir died). This was an epic fantasy film that was actually "epic", and the only previous film that even comes close for me was Conan the Barbarian. The later movies tended to drag and I had less sympathy for the remaining characters, and I think the extended cuts were really long. But they were still pretty good movies.

     

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