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View Full Version : The other "War Of The Worlds"



Lianachan
2006-Jan-15, 12:09 PM
Has anybody seen Pendragon's "War Of The Worlds" film (http://www.pendragonpictures.com/WOTWKEY.html)?

I was much more excited about this one than Spielberg's, largely due to it being set in the proper time and place, but it doesn't seem to be available on DVD in the UK.

If anybody has seen it, is it any good?

darkhunter
2006-Jan-15, 05:28 PM
It follws the book more that the other War of the Worlds movies--with many bits of dialog and narration lifted straight from the book. The special effects were somewhat.....obvious in places. Good CGI for many things, but they were slightly "off" (i.e. horses in the background running at a different pace than they were moving, they forgot the wheels on one wagon, and some of the colour balance was off--but I think that might be for effect during certain scenes).

That said, overall I thought it was an excellent movie and the actors did a good job at showing the pchychological effects of all the destruction the Martians visited on the Earth.

Keep looking--hopefully it will be on DVD in the UK soon (I think that's where it was made!!)

Lianachan
2006-Jan-15, 08:04 PM
It follws the book more that the other War of the Worlds movies--with many bits of dialog and narration lifted straight from the book. The special effects were somewhat.....obvious in places. Good CGI for many things, but they were slightly "off" (i.e. horses in the background running at a different pace than they were moving, they forgot the wheels on one wagon, and some of the colour balance was off--but I think that might be for effect during certain scenes).

That said, overall I thought it was an excellent movie and the actors did a good job at showing the pchychological effects of all the destruction the Martians visited on the Earth.

Keep looking--hopefully it will be on DVD in the UK soon (I think that's where it was made!!)

It was the faithfulness to the book that attracted me originally. I usually think that books can be adapted to the big screen without the changes that some seem to think are unavoidable. Naria, for example, is true to the book (pedants: Yes! I know about the changes - I mean true to the meaning and spirit of the book) whereas The Lord Of The Rings films fall short of Tolkien's vision in many regards.

I've read mixed reviews of the Pendragon WotW film - I guess I'll just have to be patient and wait for my chance to see it. Likewise the Middle-earth set Ancanar.... no significant developments there, been waiting years for that film.

Gillianren
2006-Jan-15, 11:52 PM
It was the faithfulness to the book that attracted me originally. I usually think that books can be adapted to the big screen without the changes that some seem to think are unavoidable. Naria, for example, is true to the book (pedants: Yes! I know about the changes - I mean true to the meaning and spirit of the book) whereas The Lord Of The Rings films fall short of Tolkien's vision in many regards.

But did you know you spelled "Narnia" wrong? (Sorry; couldn't resist.)

Lianachan
2006-Jan-16, 12:12 AM
But did you know you spelled "Narnia" wrong? (Sorry; couldn't resist.)
I think everybody is allowed an occasional typo every now and again.

James_Digriz
2006-Jan-16, 03:59 AM
whereas The Lord Of The Rings films fall short of Tolkien's vision in many regards.

How so? I read all three books and the movies are pretty much how I pictured everything happening in my mind when I read the books for the first time.

My biggest complaint is Sam leaving Frodo in the movie. Of course he would never do that. I could have done without the Gimli comic relief in the Warg fight also. I wanted to see him kick some butt but they had to make him look like a fool.

Halcyon Dayz
2006-Jan-16, 04:21 AM
I think everybody is allowed an occasional typo every now and again.
Not when Gillianren is around.
It's kind of a compulsion with her. :D

(For all things concerning English I gracefully refer to our Lady of Letters) http://www.cosgan.de/images/midi/frech/a015.gif

Alasdhair
2006-Jan-16, 10:28 AM
I found that the CGI in the DVD I got was nowhere near as good as implied by the main picture in your link: mostly it looked like what other filmmakers would call animatics. The pace was a bit slow too.

Lianachan
2006-Jan-16, 07:21 PM
How so? I read all three books and the movies are pretty much how I pictured everything happening in my mind when I read the books for the first time.

My biggest complaint is Sam leaving Frodo in the movie. Of course he would never do that. I could have done without the Gimli comic relief in the Warg fight also. I wanted to see him kick some butt but they had to make him look like a fool.

Well, you've just mentioned two of the key problems yourself! I'm very well acquainted with the books and, in fact, almost everything Tolkien... there's just too many problems to get into with any brevity. The showing of the Ring at Osgilliath (Sam's line "We shouldn't even be here" is one of the most ironic lines in the entire trilogy); the massacre of the character of Faramir; the exagerrated role of Arwen; Aragorn's decapitation of the Mouth Of Sauron; Aragorn's fake death - in fact, that entire battle; Treebeard's mind being made up after being deceived by the Hobbits; etc, etc, etc

RickNZ
2006-Jan-16, 07:31 PM
Perhaps one day you'll grow to realise that movies are a different medium to books? I suspect that will be the day you write your own movie script.

Lianachan
2006-Jan-16, 07:35 PM
Perhaps one day you'll grow to realise that movies are a different medium to books? I suspect that will be the day you write your own movie script.
Huh? I'm perfectly aware of that, thank you very much. My only complaints are about changes that entirely fly in the face of what Tolkien would probably have liked.

(edited to add - unneccesary changes, changes that seem to be the director taking huge liberties - that sort of thing. See Narnia for how to adapt a book without doing that).

Gillianren
2006-Jan-16, 07:41 PM
Not when Gillianren is around.
It's kind of a compulsion with her. :D

(For all things concerning English I gracefully refer to our Lady of Letters) http://www.cosgan.de/images/midi/frech/a015.gif

Thanks--are you guys all aware of how many typos, grammatical errors, and spelling mistakes I ignore on a daily basis? I just thought, you know, pedantry was mentioned in a sentence with a typo; it was funny. I just don't much care for smilies.

Lianachan
2006-Jan-16, 07:43 PM
Thanks--are you guys all aware of how many typos, grammatical errors, and spelling mistakes I ignore on a daily basis? I just thought, you know, pedantry was mentioned in a sentence with a typo; it was funny. I just don't much care for smilies.
Whatever boils your kettle.

GDwarf
2006-Jan-17, 12:21 PM
Perhaps one day you'll grow to realise that movies are a different medium to books? I suspect that will be the day you write your own movie script.
Maybe someday you'll grow to realise that books can be adapted to movies without pointless changes? The two towers had many scenes that weren't in the book and served no purpose, they changed Treebeard's personality, They move Sam and Frodo all over the place for no real reason, It does seem like the director thought that he knew more about LoTR then Tolkein did.

Van Rijn
2006-Jan-17, 11:19 PM
Maybe someday you'll grow to realise that books can be adapted to movies without pointless changes? The two towers had many scenes that weren't in the book and served no purpose, they changed Treebeard's personality, They move Sam and Frodo all over the place for no real reason, It does seem like the director thought that he knew more about LoTR then Tolkein did.

Obviously there are different opinions. I loved the books and I loved the movies. In theory, I'm sure they could have done better, but I hate most movie adaptations of books I like. This was an exception.

Doodler
2006-Jan-17, 11:43 PM
Huh? I'm perfectly aware of that, thank you very much. My only complaints are about changes that entirely fly in the face of what Tolkien would probably have liked.


It might be advisable [] to let the Americans do what seems good to them as long as it was possible [] to veto anything from or influenced by the Disney studios (for all whose works I have a heartfelt loathing).

From the man himself. I think you underestimate Tolkien. Even though he died before the age of CGI, he understood that film translation would be imperfect.

Lianachan
2006-Jan-18, 12:26 AM
From the man himself. I think you underestimate Tolkien. Even though he died before the age of CGI, he understood that film translation would be imperfect.
No, I don't underestimate Tolkien at all. I can't get to my copy of Letters just now, as the room it's in is being slept in, but his views on film adaptations were more complex and detailed than you're suggesting. The CGI isn't the issue - it pretty much all looks wonderful, and there's no easy alternative - it's the changes to the themes of the story. He was pretty explicit about what he would and wouldn't like in that respect. He did, for example, suggest dropping the battle at the Hornburg from any film - because it wasn't crucial to the main plot. So changes, yes, but no footering with the important stuff.

Doodler
2006-Jan-18, 12:39 AM
No, I don't underestimate Tolkien at all. I can't get to my copy of Letters just now, as the room it's in is being slept in, but his views on film adaptations were more complex and detailed than you're suggesting. The CGI isn't the issue - it pretty much all looks wonderful, and there's no easy alternative - it's the changes to the themes of the story. He was pretty explicit about what he would and wouldn't like in that respect. He did, for example, suggest dropping the battle at the Hornburg from any film - because it wasn't crucial to the main plot. So changes, yes, but no footering with the important stuff.

The impression I came away with was that pretty much any interpretation in film wasn't going to live up to his expectations because of limitations of the media and the populism of its distribution mechanism. He didn't even seem to like the book's popularity with pop culture in its original form.

So the meaning I inferred in his letter that I was able to find was along the lines of "They're going to do what they're going to do once I turn loose the rights, so let them do what they think is best for their interests. Just stick it to Walt".

Lianachan
2006-Jan-18, 12:42 AM
The impression I came away with was that pretty much any interpretation in film wasn't going to live up to his expectations because of limitations of the media and the populism of its distribution mechanism. He didn't even seem to like the book's popularity with pop culture in its original form.

So the meaning I inferred in his letter that I was able to find was along the lines of "They're going to do what they're going to do once I turn loose the rights, so let them do what they think is best for their interests. Just stick it to Walt".

OK, I agree. But I was talking about what Tolkien would probably have liked (my original comment), not what Tolkien realised he'd probably have to put up with.

Doodler
2006-Jan-18, 12:56 AM
OK, I agree. But I was talking about what Tolkien would probably have liked (my original comment), not what Tolkien realised he'd probably have to put up with.

Some of the deeper themes in the books are a little more difficult to interpret on film than those Jackson selected. Honestly, to do justice to all the themes of the books satisfactorily to Tolkien, Jackson would have needed no less than two more movies (the Two Towers and The Return of the King being split) in order to bring the series to closure with Samwise's departure to the Gray Havens.

Lianachan
2006-Jan-18, 01:02 AM
Some of the deeper themes in the books are a little more difficult to interpret on film than those Jackson selected. Honestly, to do justice to all the themes of the books satisfactorily to Tolkien, Jackson would have needed no less than two more movies (the Two Towers and The Return of the King being split) in order to bring the series to closure with Samwise's departure to the Gray Havens.

The dropping of non-key themes was indeed an inevitable consequence of the adaptation, and I don't see that as a problem.

James_Digriz
2006-Jan-18, 01:53 AM
Well, you've just mentioned two of the key problems yourself! I'm very well acquainted with the books and, in fact, almost everything Tolkien... there's just too many problems to get into with any brevity.

Most of the stuff is little stuff though. I guess most of it does not bother me because two of my favorite books of all time (The Relic and Battlefield Earth) got butchered so badly as movies that I was amazed to get the quality we did for the LOTR's stuff.

Yes there were some big changes but overall the movies were A+. The music, the sets, the fights, the characters, all as I imagined they would look like so many years ago.

Considering we could have got Battlefield Earth I am satisfied. (By the way it was not Pipin that threw the rock into the Watchers pool, it was Borimer.)

Lianachan
2006-Jan-18, 10:48 AM
Most of the stuff is little stuff though. I guess most of it does not bother me because two of my favorite books of all time (The Relic and Battlefield Earth) got butchered so badly as movies that I was amazed to get the quality we did for the LOTR's stuff.

Yes there were some big changes but overall the movies were A+. The music, the sets, the fights, the characters, all as I imagined they would look like so many years ago.

Considering we could have got Battlefield Earth I am satisfied. (By the way it was not Pipin that threw the rock into the Watchers pool, it was Borimer.)

*cough* Boromir. I've no problem with the little changes, it's mostly the changes that seem to bow to film making cliches and (particularly) the changes to some of the characters that bothers me. Sam's abandonment of Frodo is not something the Sam of the book would ever do, under any circumstances, and Faramir is changed from somebody who wouldn't touch the Ring if he found it lying by the road to somebody who (initially) wants to take it back to do a bit of daddy bonding. Also, as said earlier, Gimli's reduction to a figure of fun leaves me cold - as does the exagerrated role of Legolas (the member of the Fellowship who Tolkien said contributed by far the least). There's not much point in continuing this debate, is there? I do like the films, but I think they fall short of what could have been achieved. Many agree with me, many disagree with me. All part of life's rich tapestry.

James_Digriz
2006-Jan-19, 12:24 AM
*cough* Boromir.

It sounds the same with either spelling! Try it! :)

Lianachan
2006-Jan-19, 12:45 AM
It sounds the same with either spelling! Try it! :)
Tried it - can't make it so! Boromir is Bo-romeer but Borimer is Bo-rimer to me (stressed parts in bold).