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Viggo speaks the truth

Somehow I missed this Telegraph interview with Viggo Mortensen from May 2014 in which he speaks the truth about the LOTR movies (apologies if everybody else posted about it back then):

Mortensen thinks – rightly – that The Fellowship of the Ring turned out the best of the three, perhaps largely because it was shot in one go. “It was very confusing, we were going at such a pace, and they had so many units shooting, it was really insane. But it’s true that the first script was better organised,” he says. “Also, Peter was always a geek in terms of technology but, once he had the means to do it, and the evolution of the technology really took off, he never looked back. In the first movie, yes, there’s Rivendell, and Mordor, but there’s sort of an organic quality to it, actors acting with each other, and real landscapes; it’s grittier. The second movie already started ballooning, for my taste, and then by the third one, there were a lot of special effects. It was grandiose, and all that, but whatever was subtle, in the first movie, gradually got lost in the second and third. Now with The Hobbit, one and two, it’s like that to the power of 10.



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 25th, 2014 07:39 pm (UTC)
SFX-driven movies in general have become the bane of quality movie-making. I'm thinking especially of movies like the Willy Wonka remake and yea, even Jurassic Park, where the actors spend a lot of time standing around staring blankly at the spots where the CGI critters and effects weren't there yet. Mortensen is right: it really does have an effect on the acting, and it certainly shows in his own performance. In the third LOTR film in particular, he stands around muttering into his beard a lot, rather than behaving like the warrior-king of a mighty army, even in the heat of battle.
Sep. 25th, 2014 07:53 pm (UTC)
I actually thought his other main point (which I didn't quote) was equally, if not more, interesting, which is that the second two films were significantly reshot after the success of the first one because they "were a mess" and "very sloppy". The implication, to my mind, is that they had serious script problems. Well, I guess that's there in the part I did quote: "the first script was better organised." I felt Jackson really lost control of the story as he went along and followed his own vision more. More charitably: his vision just isn't very interesting to me, whether or not it succeeds on its own terms.
Sep. 25th, 2014 09:55 pm (UTC)
Well, all three movies had significant script problems as shown, but what nos. 2 and 3 were like before the reshootings, I have no idea. Except for the rumor that no. 3 was originally going to have a mano-a-mano showdown combat between Aragorn and Sauron. That would have been terrible, but no more terrible than a lot of the stuff they left in.
Sep. 25th, 2014 10:03 pm (UTC)
That would have been AWESOME!!!!!! Except more like mano-a-vulva.
Sep. 25th, 2014 11:17 pm (UTC)
Leaving that impression of Sauron is one of the worst of the movie's many, many crimes. At one point in the planning process, they evidently knew that Sauron had a humanoid body, though later on they apparently forgot it.
Sep. 26th, 2014 03:50 pm (UTC)
There's a flashback (perhaps in the prologue to the first movie) to Isildur's acquisition of the Ring, but I don't remember if they actually show him cutting the finger off. The fact that the Ring was taken from Sauron, however, would seem to imply that he could wear it.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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