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The silly LOTR movie

Discussion in 'Whatnots' started by Ragusa, Dec 31, 2001.

  1. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    [​IMG] SPOILER WARNING! Everyone that wants to be disappointed *after* seeing the movie shouldn't read this thread. When this thread looks a little one sided it is because I just returned from the movies.

    -One thing first
    I admit that the film is visually impressive and I think that people who haven't read the books will probably like it. For people that have read the book this is a completely different story.
    My anger about the film results (a) from some *major* changes in the plot and (b) in *major* changes or brutal simplifications in characterization. The characters that underwent major "creative" changes were Frodo, Saruman, Boromir and otheres.

    *****************************************

    -Frodo
    Let's start with the main character of the film: Frodo. His wide-eyed actor reduced him to a permanently scared, whiny wimp - so considering that the really hopeless part for him is in the next two parts makes me fear the worst.
    As for whiny: In Moria, when a cave troll threatens to enter their room Frodo attacks it with sting, yelling "The Shire" - driving it away .... in the movie he's happy with: "Aragorn, please help!" while hiding under a pile of rubble ... :flaming:

    -Saruman
    I have to say I always liked Christopher Lee and his acting in LOTR is as good as in his funny old B-movies - so the only problem of this character is the plot: Saruman's role has been, using a friendly term, EXPANDED - actually I don't recognize the Saruman from the book in his character. Besides, he appears a little early in the game - he's possibly a villain too good to be used in only one part :flaming:

    -Boromir
    Considering the fact that LOTR is intended for a broad audience, including the slow witted, the makers have seemingly decided that Boromir's character is too subtle to be left unchanged. It's not the actors fault that Boromir looks so poor - at least he has a glorious end.

    -Aragorn
    Jesus with a sword I thought first. Well, I was wrong - Aragorn has a great part and his actor is playing it well - wouldn't there be the plot. When reading the book I never felt that he was actually caught in an eternal godfather conflict with his ancestor Isildur and his failure (not-destroying the ring), hesitating to accept his heritage ... :flaming:

    Especially regarding the characterization I permanently got the feeling that, maybe due to the EXCESSIVE shortening, the story writers felt that they could only explain the characters to the ignorant (non-readers) audience, by simplification or even mutilation to compensate their lack of story :flaming:

    -The orcs
    They looked as if the film company decided to economically use up the remaining masquerade from a zombie film. No further comment :flaming:

    I could go on like that but I'm sick of it already.

    [This message has been edited by Ragusa (edited December 31, 2001).]
     
  2. Tiamat Gems: 17/31
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    Well, I must say that it's possible to be dissapointed after the movie despite liking it while watching it. It's true that Tolkien's deep and complex work was somehow...simplified, to fit on the "big screen" and to conform with the expectations of those viewers who have not read the book. It was intended to be...well, visually impressive, would be the proper term. For example, the birth of the Uruk-Hai, and the temptation of Galadriel (although THAT bit was well-done) were over-dramatized. It wasn't a bad movie, and it didn't disgrace the book, but it didn't do this marvellous work CREDIT either; I must admit, it wasn't all that they could've made it. Mass-market Tolkien, anyone?
     
  3. Sniper Gems: 28/31
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    I find your 'outburst' most interesting, i ask you to go on (i'm a critic, i should be interested)

    IMHO i reckon Galadriel was not 'beautiful' enough to be put bluntly, i thought that she was ment to be a being that instantly puts a spell on those that gaze upon her ... in the film she jsut loos 'average'
     
  4. Firestorm

    Firestorm Beeep, Beeep, ERROR Veteran

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    I don't like the elf ears. Not pointy enough for my taste. Just enough to not be round.
    Haven't seen the movie yet, but in a clip I saw Arwen swinging a sword. When, in the book does she do that? I can't seem to remember it very much.

    And Sniper: You are absolutely right, not pretty enough.
     
  5. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    [​IMG] Oh yes, Arwen and Galadriel - and elfs in general:

    -pointed ears and the RPG clichè
    In fact I have found Tolkien *never* mentioning that elfs *do* have pointed ears at all - sure, I may be wrong here, so please correct me if I'm wrong - but when I am right the pointed ears seem to have been implemented to satisfy the imagination of the AD&D players - so it's a little bit as with Sherlock Holmes and his deerstalker: He's wearing his funny hat in every movie, though this is only mentioned in the Hound of the Baskervilles ... clichè rules

    -Arwen
    Arwen is cute - really - and even the fact that her part has been "fusioned" with Glorfindel's (therefor the swordplay) doesn't change that. I can only guess why the story writers summed up Glorfindel's and Arwen's role: Maybe the actress was paid too good or even to vain to accept only 5 min of screenplay :mad:

    -Galadriel
    I agree that she's not pretty enough, the temptation scene was horrid and I doubt that the actress fully understood her role. And I missed the mentioning of Nenya anyway. Her "tests" of the party were again not half as subtle as in the book, simplification for the mass-market

    -Elrond
    Agent Smith is playing pretty well as Elrond, though I have to note I hated his haircut :D The storywriters may have overlooked he's "half-elf", so is starting a funny rant like "Humans are so weak! I have seen them fail!" - yes, Isildur again ... uh :flaming:

    -Gimli
    Poor Gimly I say: as the only dwarf (for a longer part) in the film he seems to suffer from the fact the creators of the movie must have been looking for another funny minor role: He's a blustering warhorse and his aversion to elves (seen at elrond's weird council) must have been invented to explain his later liaision with Legolas easier (OHMY, HE'S CHANGED, how romantic - an interracial friendship). He's a victim of simplification just like Boromir :mad:

    -Sam
    Good old sam has the same problem as Gimly - he's a funny minor role as well. In the book he' slaying an orc, showing some spirit - in the movie he's too busy yelling "Oh master Frodo!" to fight. Generally: In this movie there doesn't seem to be much space for the hobbit's "seed of courage" Tolkien mentioned.

    -the Nazgul
    Scary indeed and they are *so* incredibly daylight resistant ...

    -leaving the Shire
    Shortening mutilated this part: The story writers skipped Buckland, the night with the elfs, the old forrest, Tom Bombadil, the Barrow-Downs and other minor events - who'd expect a logical story after that ? :flaming:

    -the breaking of the fellowship
    this part really has been crippled badly in the most pathetic way: Boromir's great scene and glorious end (btw - with so many arrows in the air, why didn't he even think about using his shield though he carried it along all the way from Elrond's house? Because it may have covered the actor's face ? Who knows ... ) Or take the grand "sacrifice" of the hobbits - Merry and Pippin are luring the dumb horde of orcs away from Frodo to allow him to escape - finally I have now the explanation *why* they got caught by orcs at all :) But why the hell to I care about this scene ? It is not worse than the scene where Legolas sees Sam and Frodo disappear at the other side of the river and Aragorn let's the pass with a stupid sentence. This whole part really got messed up :flaming:

    [This message has been edited by Ragusa (edited December 31, 2001).]
     
  6. Gash Gems: 14/31
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    OH FFS GUYS!!

    Seriosuly...get some kind of life.

    If you go and watch a film with the intention of seeing how different it is to the book, then you seriously need to get a grip.

    There are 1001 ways somone can portray a novelised character, not just the way YOU feel is best.

    Honestly.
     
  7. Turambar Gems: 13/31
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    Yeah that's right.

    You must remember that they have to make money off these movies too, they aren't just doing it to please all the die hard tolkien fans like your self.

    I missed alot from the book too, and there were some things that really annoyed me, but all in all I think it was a great movie and I'd much rather have them makie it this way than not make it at all.

    Another thing is the lenght of it. If they were going to put in al those things you said, the movie would be like 8 hours long and there's not alot of people who wpuld bother seeing that long a movie.
     
  8. Azardu Gems: 9/31
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    And no one mentions the fact that the CG people put wings on the Balrog (my pet peeve)? It's supposed to 'cast shadows like wings around it', not having actual wings, which would be pretty silly considering the fall down the chasm with Gandalf in tow.
    Apart from that, a movie will never be as good as the book it's based upon, and the sooner people realize that, the better.
    Instead of complaining about how the movie differed from the books, be amazed at how close it stayed to the book.
     
  9. Lord Moeken Gems: 13/31
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    Honestly Ragusa - the movie was already well over three hours long. To fully flesh out every character and describe everything the way it was in the book would be impossible. As far as a book adaptation goes, I thought it was pretty well done. I didn't dissect every detail from the book however, so some of the discrepancies would be lost to me.

    (Hmm, I just realized that I am grouping myself with the low IQ, bumbling masses) ;)
     
  10. Damona Silvercloud Gems: 10/31
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    Why all the negativity?

    If one examines the movie as, just that, a movie, then it is a wonderful piece of Hollywood art. They did such a good job on the settings, the casting, and the costuming, that to me, it more than makes up for some of the minor plot discrepancies. This is not a direct copy of the book- this is merely an interpretation of it. If people go to this movie expecting every little detail and delicate nuance of the book handed to them on a silver platter, they they are setting themselves up for dissapointment.

    As far as book-to movie translations go, this is one of the best I've seen. There was no gratuitous nudity, no chainmail bras, none of the usual wacky Hollywood touches.

    It's hard to bring out characters complexities when on a screen, you can't know what's going on in their mind, or feel their individual emotions, as you do with a book. People can only view their actions and reactions.

    I feel that with making this movie they were undertaking a very difficult task, both in trying to bring Tolkien's work to the masses, and trying to keep it pure, and in my opinion they succeded, without compromising too much either way.
     
  11. Vormaerin Gems: 15/31
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    Okay, Azardu, you asked for it again. Not only do you not know the D&D rules, but you don't know the LotR either. :D

    In the "Bridge of Khazad Dum" chapter, immediately after Gandalf gives his "I am a servant of the Secret Fire" speech is the following:

    "The Balrog made no answer. The fire in it seemed to die, but the darkness grew. It stepped forward slowly on to the bridge, and suddenly it drew itself up to a great height, and its *WINGS* were spread from wall to wall;" (emphasis added).

    So "Pfui!" on your pet peeve! :p

    Now, as to the original post topic;

    I disagree with most of your points. Frodo is weakened, mainly by the loss of his defiance scene at the Fords of Bruinen to Arwen. That is the one unfortunate consequence of substituting Arwen for Glorfindel. After all, in the book Glorfindel does nothing except say "Go, horsie, go!". He's an important elf, but there is no way to bring that out in the movie. He'd just be another blonde dude. Arwen, however, is critical to the plot. However, Tolkein avoids having her in the book by putting the whole romance in the appendices; that option doesn't apply to a movie.

    Saruman's role is not changed from the book whatsoever. However, Tolkein has all of his actions occur off stage. Saruman is clearly a vassal/rival of Sauron in the book and this is well known from the Council of Elrond onwards. The only thing Saruman does that isn't part of the book is call the snows on Caradhras. In the book, the mountain is malicious enough to do this on its own.

    Aragorn is being played a bit different, true. But he does have a lot of doubts and self incrimination during the whole period he is in charge of the party (ie from Gandalf's fall until reaching Meduseld). Not specifically related to Isildur, admittedly, but the same issues regardless.

    I don't understand what your comments about Boromir are based on, so I'll just ignore them for now.

    Someone also commented on the Nazgul and daylight resistance? The Nazgul have no problems riding about in the daylight. They do it all the time in the books. They are just less powerful during the day.

    Anyway, this is an excellent movie. It does turn the LotR from an "oddyssey" into an "adventure" but movies suck eggs at doing oddysseys anyway. Much better a very good movie about the events of the War of the Ring than a bad attempt to exactly duplicate the book (as would be the result of any such endeavor). You guys should read Tolkein's essay "On Faerie Stories" and see what he says about the differences between books and drama. Its seems quite pertinent to this film, IMHO.

    Aloha
    Vormaerin
     
  12. Headbanger Gems: 29/31
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    The movie isn't bad but it is a great pity that things in the story are changed without a good reason. The story could have been remained the same. The visual effects are great and the characters are also great. Well, a movie is more about how it looks... a book is totally different. A book contains much more details and you cannot put a whole story in a movie.

    I have a longer reply at home (yes I am working now). Yesterday I couldn't reach the board to post it. There is also a Letter of the master himseld (Tolkien) about that Elves really have (slightly) pointy ears and even hobbits have slightly pointy ears (id you all know that?)!
     
  13. Dark Xan Gems: 8/31
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    I liked it, although I have never read the book.
     
  14. Frog Gems: 12/31
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    [​IMG] I recommend reading the book. It's great stuff.

    As for the topic at hand,

    This movie reflects *several* somewhat minor changes and a handful of major alterations, many of which left me asking, "why in the world did they do that?" I understand that the book needed to be condensed for time purposes, and therefore scenes added to compensate for explanation. However, sections of the script were entirely unecessary. For instance, why does Frodo come up with the answer to the door's riddle that leads into the mines of Moria? Gandalf discovered it. To me this type of change alters the character's integrity from what Tolkien depicted in his writings. Several other accounts left me questioning how the director handled characterization, as these edits do not affect the length of the film nor do they enhance the plot. They were, in essence, unnecessary. Same goes for certain major scene changes/additions. For instance, did Arwen *really* need to rescue Frodo at the Ford? Did she *really* need to have a cheesy, lovey-dovey encounter with Aragorn at Rivendell? In the trilogy, she doesn't mingle with Aragorn until Return of the King. And why did they not allow Frodo to be brave and draw his sword against the Ringwraiths rather than pass out in Arwen's arms or cower away on Weathertop and be stabbed? And what's the reason behind Merry and Pippin being the so heavily portrayed as comic relief? On screen they are indistinguishable from one another.

    But please understand I did enjoy the movie. It's an excellent flick.



    [This message has been edited by Frog (edited January 02, 2002).]
     
  15. BogiTheWaverer Gems: 12/31
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    [​IMG] All I can say is: Free your mind.

    The first time I saw the movie I also wasn't really able to enjoy it. I spent the time with comparing my fantasy with the film scene by scene and, oh wonder, i wasn't satisfied.

    The second time I saw it I took it for what it is, a very good fantasy movie, actually the best one I ever have seen.

    Seperating the book from the movie in your mind has three major benefits for you, first you do not ruin your fantasy about the book, second you can enjoy the movie and third you don't have to rant about the changing in the plot. ;)
     
  16. Arabwel

    Arabwel Screaming towards Apotheosis Veteran

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    The best thing in the movie was that Legolas looked gorgeous. :)

    Ara
    (Sick and skipping the preparation lessons for finals... I am a moron...)
     
  17. Maldir Gems: 11/31
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    After watching the film, I was acutely aware that the book is just too long for a film - they cut out as much as they could, but the remainder was just cut-scenes, with little opportunity for fleshing out the characters. So while it was a good film, I don't feel it did justice to the book.
    But there were two scenes which I think must have been intended, but weren't shown (at least in my cinema). Firstly, Bilbo tells some hobbit children about the trolls turning into stone. Later we see the party camping under some stone trolls - but we never see the scared hobbits discovering them! Then in Lorien, Gimli makes a great speech about how he will not be deceived by the elven witch; and would you believe, he isn't! Which could make the friendship with Legolas more difficult to explain.
     
  18. Headbanger Gems: 29/31
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    As reply on the first 2 posts of Ragusa:

    Frodo

    Frodo didn't just stab the Cave Troll with Sting. The troll wasn't in the fight at all. What really happened: Boromor wedged the door with broken swords and wood. That's why the door couldn't be opened easily. With force the enemies tried to force the door... It opened a little bit. Only a feet and arm of the Cave Troll came through the door. Boromir slashed at the arm but he only nodged his sword. Then Frodo jumped forward and stabbed the feet of the Cave Troll. After that, the Troll disappeared and wasn't part of the fight that followed. I also missed the Orc Commander, he was the one that charged Frodo. For the rest, Tolkiens tells nothing about Frodo, he seems not te be part of the fight. Frodo wasn't used to fight after all...


    Saruman

    Not totally true Ragusa. The book doesn't describe all you see but it happens though. Before the hobbits reached Bree, Gandalf knew of Saruman's treachery. And he told it to everybody at Elrond's Council. The movie is from beginning to end... without flashbacks etc. so we see what happened at that time in Orthanc. Of course the hobbits didn't know that until they reached Rivendell, but it happened withou they knew it. The changing of Orthanc and creating of Orcs of course took time so that is what happens between the moment you see it and some further in the story. What I didn't like is that Saruman in the movie chooses to serve Sauron, his intention in the book was to rule the world by himself, for he had the power to control the ring, he wasn't less then Sauron, they are both Maiar.


    Boromir

    I agree with this. Boromir was a great fighter and no poor guy who couldn't was not mighty enough to forget the ring. It was not weakness but his love for Minas Tirith Gondor and his Father (and misunderstanding of what the ring would really do to him) that made him wanna have the ring. Boromir only in Rivendell wanted to use the ring against the enemy, after that, he didn't care for the ring much... until they where in Lothlorien, where everybody saw his own weakness better.


    Aragorn

    The Sword wasn't a super weapon. It had powers but more powers are in Aragorn himself. In the book the sword also doesn't do much more then cleave the helmet of the Orc Chieftan in Moria. Aragorn had no confict with Isildur, but his family indeed didn't solve all troubles do they had a great chance. So there was a guilt on the house of Isildur, and Aragorn wanted to pay the debt.

    A movie, even one of 3 hours.... does shorten a book much. A book contains much more details, a movie cannot show all details.


    The orcs

    Everybody has it's own imaginations. That's hard with fantasy. Some people thought the Orcs where exaclty like they thought they would be, others don't like it at all. Let's look at the Tolkiens view: The Silmarillion tells: all those of the Quendi (Elves) that came in the hands of Morgoth were put in prison and by slow arts of cruelty were corrupted and enslaved and thus did Melkhor breed the hideous race of the Orcs. Considered that they had been Elves in the past.... They also had to look like elves, but Elves that are ugly and damaged.... due to the tortures. That is good in this movie, the orcs indeed look like they where elves in the past (and not only due to the pointy ears)


    Arwen and Galadriel - and elfs in general:

    pointed ears and the RPG clichè

    This indeed isn't described in The Silmarillion. But Tolkien did write something in a letter about this when he described a hobbit:

    I picture a fairly human figure, not a kind of 'fairy' rabbit as some of my British reviewers seem to fancy: fattish in the stomach, shortish in the leg. A round, jovial face; ears only slightly pointed and 'elvish'; hair short and curling (brown). The feet from the ankles down, covered with brown hairy fur."
    - J.R.R. Tolkien (1938)


    So you can see Tolkien imagined Elves and Hobbits have pointy ears (however Hobbits only had it slightly)


    Arwen

    True, Arwen replaced Glorfindel wich is a pity. Arwen doesn't have a big part in the whole book and almost none in The Fellowship. Unfortunatly she will also in the other 2 movies get a bigger part then she deserves. The movie gives the relation between Aragorn and Arwen more attention, to gain more variety and also make the movie interesting for girls *g*


    Galadriel

    I think she was charismatic and beautiful but in a totally different way then Arwen was. Geladriel was old however that was only to be seen in her look... She is far the oldest of Middle Earth (except for Tom maybe) She was in Valinor and saw the light of the trees before the nightfall of Valinor, and before the sun and the moon shone. She was bueatiful, of course however more wise then beautiful as daughter of Finarfin, the most wise son of Finwe, who was High King of the Noldor in Valinor. And though she was beautiful, she was old, much perils she had gone through. So don't see her as a celebrity..... much of her beauty was in her inside... And who else should have played her role?


    Elrond

    Elrond was the only character that disappointed me a bit. But, Elrond is a real elf. Of course he is Half Elf (being the child of Earendil and Elwing) but he gained the choice between Human or Elve and he chose to be an Elve.... He didn't had to chose between dying and living.. he had to choose a race and chose to be an elf. And so he can also say human are weak.


    Gimli

    Gimli isn't bad in the movie. His point of view on elves isn't good in the movie. Of course he will not curse elves in the house of Elrond... but in his heart, he didn't like elves. Geladriel of Lothlorien changed Gimli... and his ideas about Elves.


    Sam

    Hobbits had much courage, but the problem was that due to the way the hobbits lived (hide, eat and drink, being a bit lazy) the courage hidden. The hobbits had no adventuring experience like the rest. The hobbits didn't know what to do in a fight (like you can read many times in LoTR). The courage existed though, but it had to be awaken. Sam's courage awoke bye the love for his master, when someone attacked his master, suddenly the courage that was hidden so deep was revealed and changed him from someone that is afraid in someone that has much courage and strength and will too.


    the Nazgul

    Nazgul aren't in the FoTR, except for the attack near the Falls of the Rauros, but Legolas shot a Nazgul. Maybe you mean the Black Riders? There is a difference between The Black Riders and the Nazgul, they where they same but as Black Riders they had horses and when their spirits returned to Morgoth, they gained flying creatures.. and sice then they where names Nazgul. Unlike Orcs, They where resistant to Daylight though. They didn't like daylight but could walk/fly at daylight though.


    leaving the Shire

    No one likes a movie of 6 hours. Compared with a book, the story is always less good, for a movie has so much less details then a story. When you wanna have a real good movie, they should have made 10 parts of 3 hours instead of 3. In that case, we would really love the movie but the people that haven't read the book wouldn't. They would think the movie is long and boring, and no-one of them would pay 10x8 dollar = 80 dollar to see a movie. Then part 1 wouldn't be a success and part 2 wouldn't even come out anymore. In the end it is always about making money.


    the breaking of the fellowship

    Totally right. I can except that some parts are different to make the movie some shorter, but this is really bad... in the book, there is nothing that tells Boromir wears a shield... he shouldn't wear it at all. A pity that they saw Frodo leaving... never happened.... They just should have let Frodo escape without being seen, together with sam, Boromir should have fallen, indeed after having slayed many Orcs.... and the hobbits should have been with him... being captured after damaging some orcs. The end is something that they should have made better then this.

    Try to watch the movie without comparing it too much with the real story and your own imaginations of things and people in the story... And also don't let your ideas be changed but the movie.
     
  19. Asmodeus Gems: 5/31
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    Go Marnix, Go Marnix, Go Marnix.
    /Me cheering, clapping ´Ricki Lake´ style.

    [This message has been edited by Asmodeus (edited January 02, 2002).]
     
  20. Viking Gems: 19/31
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    I agree with those who say: take the film for what it is!

    It is not the book, it's not intended to be the book, it's an (And I'm sure there are as many as there are fans) interpretation of the story. No more, no less.

    For those of you who found it hard to stop sitting there comparing details with the book when you saw it, go see it again!

    I did, and was even more impressed second time. Loved Moria.

    Unfortunately a lot has been lost on the editing table that was originally intended to be in I think. Time constraints must be quite a problem. The only part so far I think should have been kept in was Gimli asking for the lock of Galadriel's hair. It would have made great cinema to see the consternation of everyone else.... And would have gone some way to develop the frindship with Legolas. Still, great cinema.
     
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