Fun with Franchises: The Lord of the Rings — The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), Part III — “Sean Bean Just Got AIDS”
Today we continue with another entry in our Fun with Franchises series, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Part III.
In case you don’t know how this works — a while back, I decided to rank my favorite Disney movies and rank my favorite James Bond movies. And the Disney ones were mostly straight synopses and not too much fun, but when I got to Bond, I enlisted the help of my friend Colin (whose blog is TokyoRemix.com. Fuck yeah, promotion!), who knows everything about the Bond franchise that I do not, for those articles, and along the way, learned how to have fun with it. And, by the end of the Bond articles, we were having so much fun that I said, “Man, we have to do this again with other stuff.” Because I spent about a straight month and a half putting together those articles. That’s how much time and effort actually goes into something like that. And not once did it feel like work. It was so much fun that I knew, as long as we were doing it for comedy purposes and able to riff off of each other — we could do pretty much any film and it would work.
And very quickly, the first ones you come up with are the major franchises, because those are not only the most fun, but also the most universally known. Everyone’s gonna understand all the jokes we make (well… most of them. Some of them might be limited to three people) about them. So that’s what we’re doing. And if you’re gonna have fun with franchises, it wouldn’t be right if you didn’t franchise it. Also, just so we’re clear, this is all for parody. We’re just messing with them because we love them.
And that’s Fun with Franchises. Right now, we’re doing the Lord of the Rings franchise, and today is the third part of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring:
We begin Part III with Frodo in a place of all white, with an old man in robes standing over him.
It’s a place we’ve been to before.
In every franchise so far, actually.
Look at that fucking SHIRT! It’s out of Gandalf’s “Cruising” collection.
Maybe it’s an elf child’s shirt. Do we know how elves work? Like, do they all age to like 30 and stop there?
Elrond looks older than Galadriel, even though she’s older than him. And I don’t think we get OLD looking elves, cause they don’t die naturally. But when they’re born, are they babies for a super long time? Was Elrond changing Arwen’s diapers for like 500 years? Or do they grow up like humans til they hit like 20, and then slow down and age like a year ever few hundred years or so until they look 30? I’m really unsure of how this all works. But anyway, maybe this is one of the kids’ shirts, cause you’d figure if they grew up through childhood and adolescence at normal speed, they’d need a shirt this size for like .2 percent of their lives. And so they’d have mostly unworn kids’ shirts lying around. Note to entrepreneurs: Elf Baby Gap probably wouldn’t do well. Oh right. The movie.
Isn’t that creepy, that he’s just watching him like that?
Middle Earth has October?
Also, another movie convention – “a few more hours and you’d have been dead.”
Gandalf explains why he didn’t meet them.
“I was delayed.”
Something like that.
Delayed? Delayed? You fucked all this shit up.
But I’m sure he meant to do that. Since he’s never late.
ONE OF YOUR EXCUSES IS BULLSHIT GANDALF EXPLAIN THIS SHIT
That’s a pretty fucked up thing to do to someone.
That face is the, “I’ve seen everything but Jesus no way” face.
I see The Intruder. What happened to the Hobknoblin?
Does he ever get that back?
Butterflies just be flying around and shit. You’d think that Saruman would notice this.
Moths have friends in sky places.
You never see any bald wizards, do you?
“There is one lord of the ring, only one who can bend it to his will. And he does not share power.”
Is it me, or would that line have been better without the second half of that first sentence? Isn’t the second half just redundant?
I mean, it does explain what we were talking about in Part I, but still, it’s redundant.
Eagle come and he want go home.
Come, Mr. Saruman, tally me banana.
“So you have chosen death.” Uh, no. I think he just broke out of your dumbass prison without getting killed. I’d say he’s chosen ‘fuck you.’
“Gandalf? What is it?”
“I got fucked by the eagle inside my Misty Mountain.”
Gandalf doesn’t tell him any of this, but he’s forgiven anyway, cause he’s Gandalf.
How did he get the Hobknoblin back, though?
Yeah… this one speaks for itself.
That outfit too.
Hugo Weaving. AKA Lord Elrond Hubbard of the elves.
Hugo Weaving says, “You’re welcome” with his face.
“Welcome to Rivendell…Mr. Anderson.”
This is what jigsaw puzzles look like.
So, this place looks better than Naboo. Whoa, but it looks good. It’s kinda like the place Zhang Ziyi goes to on Wudan Mountain at the end of Crouching Tiger. God, this old guy made it there in like 2 months with no trouble. You guys just fucked up. But he does look old as hell.
Elvish places have lots of waterfalls.
I approve of this.
I like how, in order to cut time down, he just puts these shots back to back. Which is cool, since, with the score, it works to set up the environment.
Why would you want to go back to that shitty ass Shire once you found THIS place? Couldn’t you just stick around and be small and amusing? Maybe the elves would let you stay.
I think the problem with Rivendell though is that it looks nice, but there’s not much shit to do in the actual place. This is more one of those places you go to every year on vacation to get away for a week. (Or a month, if you’re on Elvish time.) Otherwise, you’d get bored really fast. Not much shit going on here.
Plus, you know the elves aren’t fun.
Oh… these scenes.
Every facial expression in this shot is amazing.
I want this to be me in my old age.
Only with a swivel chair.
Somehow Bilbo had no idea Frodo was there.
Everyone in movies has a real problem with reading shit we can see.
Also, these accents — what is this shit, Mandarin?
Pretty solid skills for a 130 year old.
Ian Holm is awesome.
Boring dialogue scene that really only exists to show us that exterior on the left.
Basically Frodo realizes they did what they were supposed to do, and now it’s time to go home.
I feel like this scene includes the line, “Maybe you’re right, Sam.” Or am I just assuming because almost every goddamn scene in the first two movies includes that line?
Elrond be drinking.
Hugo Weaving was born to say words like “resilience.” Ever notice how when he has a word like that with lots of syllables, he lingers on the first syllable and then puts the emphasis on the second syllable and letting the rest of the word trail off? “That’s the sound of inEVitability…”
I want Hugo Weaving in everything.
Say that at literally any place where someone asks what you want.
Gandalf says they can’t ask anymore of Frodo.
Elrond Hubbard says that Sauron’s got armies, his eye is fixed on Rivendell, Saruman betrayed them – I don’t really see how this counters Gandalf’s point.
But we do find out that what Saurman is doing is breeding Orcs and Men (how… exactly? Through the mud? Is mud their stork?)
He said they’re breeding orcs and goblin men. But yes, the mud is their stork.
“Gandalf – the ring cannot stay here.”
So now we’re playing hot potato. These elves are supposedly noble, but every time something comes up, they’re like, “Psh, that ain’t got shit to do with me!”
What up, Boromir?
Played by Sean Bean, which means we know he’s either gonna end up evil or dead. Or both.
Elrond says the elves are leaving, so he’s gonna have to put his faith in some other race. Gandalf says men are the people they must look to. (Oh, I bet they are.)
Ah, Gandalf likes men.
Elrond says that men are weak.
FUCK you, Elrond. Yeah, I said it. I’m a man and I could kick your ass, with your hairpieces and bullshit.
“I was there, Gandalf.”
Just in case you weren’t sure if he was there or not.
That should be his headshot.
I really like this shot quite a bit.
I like how he’s actually the only other one there.
Did no one else think to come and make sure this thing got destroyed? Or is that just how it works, they’re the two ranking officers so they’re the only ones with authority to go into the volcano?
“Isildur! Cast it into the fire!”
And then dance in to the fire.
That’s a hell of a way to play the circle game.
Well, shit. I guess that’s the end of that discussion.
I also like how he says this as if it’s Isildur who failed. Motherfucker YOU could have thrown it in too! Fuck, throw HIM in. Some things are greater than people. If anyone failed that day, it’s you. Him too, but also you. You are not absolved.
Yeah, you were there 3000 years ago and all you could do was yell at him. You really made quite an effort to stop him from taking the ring home.
They’re clearly in the same space.
Gandalf says there is one person who could do it. Who could reclaim the throne of Gondor.
Elrond says “he turned from that path long ago. He has chosen exile.”
Subtle. This is like when they talk about the hidden Sith lord and cut right to Senator Palpatine.
What exactly is he in exile for?
Or is it just that he went, “I’m… gonna stick with being a ranger”? Seems like he just likes going out and doing shit. I guess the deal is he’s not ready to settle down and be a king, because he likes hanging around with the men. He’s like Burt Lancaster in From Here to Eternity. He hates officers, so he never wants to be one.
Sean Bean be looking around.
Oh, but you made sure that got saved, right, Elrond? Fuck the destruction of evil, let’s save this bust ass sword.
It was always weird to me how they immediately made him out to look like a dick. Now that I know the whole story, it’s more complex than that, but for a first timer, who knows nothing of the books, it’s weird that they start by immediately making him someone you don’t want to root for.
I also love how they have to show someone cutting themselves with a sword to show that it’s still sharp.
Sean Bean just got AIDS.
“No more than a broken heirloom.”
See, watching this – I get completely why this happens. Just, the first time you watch it, you go, “Man, Sean Bean is a DICK!”
What’s the deal? Did Aragorn sharpen it, or something?
Jesus, she’s walking around back there like the devil in The Passion of the Christ. Remember that creepy ass scene?
As long as she doesn’t walk like the Pale Man. Ugh. That shit still grosses me out and we watched it like five years ago.
Translation: I am a dick.
Basically, he’s worried that he has the same weakness as Isildur, of whom he is an heir. She’s like, “Fuck that, you’re you.” It’s a nice little conflict that plays itself out with a real nice payoff at the end of the film.
3000 years later, and you’re worried about your ancestor’s blood weakness? That’s like 100 generations. There have been like 100 people who weren’t descendents of Isildur that made the rest of your blood, and with each generation, the direct descendants like you got more and more diluted. I’m probably closer related to Sir Isaac Newton than he is to Isildur, which would explain my tendency to get hit in the head by apples and shit.
I’m still laughing at “Sean Bean Just Got AIDS”
Cause he did. You never find out cause he dies in a battle.
I think the reason this place looks so nice is because people don’t live in it.
Any place where there’s people automatically goes to shit.
It’s the smell.
We really are like a virus.
That’s a dangerous place for a gazebo.
Just in case you didn’t know they were fucking.
I don’t like how they keep switching from Elvish to English.
You never go from Elvish to English.
Also, this scene is so horribly written.
“Do you remember when we met?”
“I thought I had strayed into a dream.”
“Long years have passed. You did not have the cares you carry now. Do you remember what I told you?”
“You said you’d bind yourself to me, forsaking the immortal life of your people.”
“And to that I hold. I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone.”
Now, the last line is fine, but the rest of it – awful.
“I choose a mortal life.”
See what I mean? Like they’d randomly be having this conversation now, after all this time, and right here, or all places.
My favorite part about this is how he goes, “You cannot commit this.” And she goes, “It is mine to give to whom I will.”
Get it? That’s a vagina.
“Like my heart.”
This is kinda gross for a second when you find out that Aragorn is actually almost 90 when this stuff goes down. He’s a Numenorean, descended of some special dudes who were rewarded with remarkably long life. He lives to be about 210. But the really gross part is that Arwen is around 2,777 at the moment. There’s not enough Vaseline in the universe for these two.
But really, think about that. Aragorn met Arwen when he was 20, and she was about 2,710. Just think of all the shit she knows and has seen, compared to a 20 year old with no internet. He’d be like, “Hey, wanna watch a movie tonight?” and she’d be all, “Nah, I saw that 1500 years before you were born.” That’s just awkward. I bet that’s why Ashton finally divorced Demi.
Miranda Otto doesn’t stand a chance against this shit.
Awful scene. Writing-wise.
But Enya is playing over it, which is always a plus.
The writing is pretty Enya Face though.
Though I bet a bunch of thirteen-year-old alt chicks thought that was the most romantic shit they’d ever seen.
Only after V for Vendetta. I shit you not, I heard one girl say, “A revolution without dancing is a revolution not worth having,” in reference to the overthrowing of the Egyptian government back in 2010. Where people were risking their lives and dying for their right to vote in a new leader. And hearing her even try to joke about how there should have been more dancing in Tahrir Square, I wanted to slap her off the earth.
I love how we both have hatred for people who love that movie.
The movie’s not bad, but, when you factor people into it…
The Council of Elrond Hubbard.
Told you there’s a council in every franchise if you go far enough.
“Strangers from distant lands, friends of old, you’ve been summoned here to answer the threat of Mordor. Middle Earth stands upon the brink of destruction. None can escape it. You will unite, or you will fall. Each race is bound to this fate, this one doom. Bring forth the ring, Frodo.”
No, Elrond, tell us straight.
These next few screenshots are this entire franchise in a nutshell:
I want a pedestal in my yard to put shit on.
And a rock cliff to hold my babies out over.
Intrigued Boromir is intrigued.
Don’t trust him, he’s a Lienz Cossack.
“It is a gift.”
(Love that hand motion. So Italian.)
He then makes a speech about how his father, that bitch ass steward, kept the forces of Mordor at bay with his armies, and how they should be given the ring to keep it that way.
“Motherfucker, it only answers to him. Is you stupid?”
“And what would a ranger know of this matter?”
“This is no mere ranger. He is Aragorn, son of Arathorn.”
And Aragorn’s like, “Dude, what the fuck?! Dropping my name like that! That was DL!”
“See… what had happened was…”
He’s “heir to the throne of Gondor.”
“What kind of fucked up soap opera did I walk in on?”
Now, my question for this is – so what was that earlier scene about? Wouldn’t Boromir have said what he said and dropped the sword because he knew who Aragorn was? Or did he do it because he was acting like he was heir to shit and it’s common knowledge that he isn’t, so he was like, “All right, whatever, fuck this shit anyway, it don’t mean nothing”? Which could make sense, but it seems as though it would be more thematically relevant if he did know who Aragorn was.
Strange editing choice.
I always thought it was cause he cut himself and someone was watching. That shit’s embarrassing, man.
“Gondor has no king.”
But it does have a bitch ass steward.
That’s right, go sulk in the corner.
Now, my question about this — how come Gandalf doesn’t stand up and go, “Well, as it happens, I know some shit about this matter, and the ring only fucking answers to him. So I’m gonna make a ruling on this right now…”? It seems like all Gandalf needs to do is go, “Hey, we can’t use it, and it can only lead to bad things, so we have to destroy it,” and that’s the end of it.
This is like when Rob Schneider got pissed at the critic who wrote a bad review of his masterpiece Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo. The guy wrote that the film “was sadly overlooked at Oscar time because apparently nobody had the foresight to invent a category for Best Running Penis Joke Delivered by a Third-Rate Comic.”
And Schneider took out a full page add in Variety and the Hollywood Reporter to tell the guy “I decided to do some research to find out what awards you have won. I went online and found that you have won nothing. Absolutely nothing. No journalistic awards of any kind … Maybe you didn’t win a Pulitzer Prize because they haven’t invented a category for Best Third-Rate, Unfunny Pompous Reporter Who’s Never Been Acknowledged by His Peers.”
So Roger Ebert, in his review of Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, responds, “I went online and found that Patrick Goldstein has won a National Headliner Award, a Los Angeles Press Club Award, a RockCritics.com award, and the Publicists’ Guild award for lifetime achievement. Schneider was nominated for a 2000 Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor, but lost to Jar-Jar Binks.” And then he finishes with, “As chance would have it, I have won the Pulitzer Prize, and so I am qualified (to complain that Columbia financed his movie). Speaking in my official capacity as a Pulitzer Prize winner, Mr. Schneider, your movie sucks.” And that was the end of it.
I love that guy.
Back to business.
“You have only one choice. The ring must be destroyed.”
Elrond’s wearing Cerebro too!
It’s speaking that Hassa Hassa to him.
“Then what are we waiting for…”
This is why we love Gimli.
Too bad it didn’t work. That would have saved everyone some time.
I’m amazed nobody got fucked up by shrapnel.
Frodo’s scar is hurting.
“The ring cannot be destroyed, Gimli, son of Gloin, by any craft that we here possess. The ring was made in the fires of Mount Doom. Only there can it be unmade.”
Notice how he worked in his name and lineage.
“It must be take deep into Mordor and cast back into the fiery chasm from whence it came.”
We should start saying this about people.
Most people I hate are too big to fit back into the fiery chasms from whence they came. :(
One of them must do this.
Not anyone else. Them. Can’t call in some outside help. No bounty hunters, nothing like that.
Can’t call in an eagle, have it drop you off right there outside Mount Doom so you can go in and drop the ring off. Nothing like that. We called you fifteen people, and only you guys can do it.
You just uncovered the main plot hole. The eagles show up at two (sort of three) very opportune moments. Once for Gandalf, once for the battle, and to get the hobbits, if you consider that to be separate from the battle. But this whole franchise is about them getting the ring to Mordor and throwing the ring into the fire. Couldn’t the eagles have at least flown them to the EDGE of Mordor? Then someone could run interference at the Black Gate while they snuck through in the same way they end up doing.
“One does not simply walk into Mordor.”
“Its black gates are guarded by more than just Orcs.”
“There is evil there that does not sleep.”
“The great Eye is ever watchful.”
“It is a barren wasteland, riddled with fire and ash and dust. The very air you breathe is a poisonous fume. Not with ten thousand men could you do this. It is folly.”
But the skies are still open, right?
I call BS on the air being poisonous, cause they breathe just fine in the third film.
Remember how they got Harry out of Privet Drive? There are options.
And all the prejudices an racisms start to come out.
How great is it that this just went racist in a second?
And they just start shouting at one another like it’s a family get-together at my house.
Quite the brouhaha.
“These fucking people…”
What’s happening with Frodo and the ring right now is what it’s like for me during family get-togethers. And the ring is booze.
My favorite part is how over the din, you hear Gimli yelling, “No one trust an elf!” Cause all he cares about in this argument is making elves look bad.
“Damn, Gandalf, how you take care of that beard?”
“I will take it.”
This is really what being at Thanksgiving dinner at my house is like, though.
“I will take it!”
This is one of the most heartbreaking shots in cinema. I love this shot.
“I will take the ring to Mordor.”
This is exactly what happens when you try to speak up during one of these confrontations.
“Though, I do not know the way.”
This is how one introduces butt stuff into the relationship.
“I will help you bear this burden, Frodo Baggins, as long as it is yours to bear.”
Nobody stops him and says, “Uh, no way are we giving you the ring to take.”
“By my life, or death, if I can protect you, I will.”
“You have my sword.”
Was that a gay joke?
I think it might be.
And you have my bow.”
“And my axe!”
Well, you have a sword, a bow, an axe, and the Hobknoblin. That should be enough.
Maybe directions would help. No one said, “I can give you directions.”
“You carry the fate of us all, little one. If this is indeed the fate of the council, then Gondor will see it done.”
Oh, so now it’s like Middle Earth NATO.
“Mr. Frodo’s not going anywhere without me.”
He’s going to the Undying Lands without you.
“No, indeed. It is hardly possible to separate you two, even when he is summoned to a secret council and you are not.”
What’s secret about it? They’re having it in the outdoor conference room for everyone to see.
“Wait! We’re coming too!”
Reaction shots ____________________.
Elrond’s trying to chastise them, but he can’t help but smile, because midgets are ridiculous.
Run midgets, run.
“Anyway, you need people of intelligence on this sort of mission… quest… thing.”
“Well that rules you out, then.”
Ah, comic relief. I dislike you.
Now you know how I felt about 3PO and R2’s use.
“Nine companions. So be it. You should be the Fellowship of the Ring.”
Wait. What about the rest of the dudes that showed up? Why can’t they help too? Why must each group have one champion? You could have more than just one dude there. It also seems strange that Boromir would be sent to check up on this shit, especially since his father is pretty fond of him, would want him around, and seems totally disinterested in what goes on outside his country.
Well he’s not gonna sit home and polish the suits of armor. That’s clearly Faramir’s job.
Boromir is the son that gets to go out and represent his kingdom. That makes sense to me. Think of it this way — if you’re sending someone to represent your place for a big international meeting or whatever, and you don’t give a fuck yourself, you’re obviously gonna send your favorite son to do it. Of course, him deciding to go is something he’s choosing for himself, but him being there makes sense.
“Great! Where are we going?”
I like fall. Way better than spring.
Bilbo gives Frodo Sting, his old sword.
The blade glows blue when orcs are near.
Mithril – “as light as a feather, and as hard as dragon scales.”
Bilbo is this movie’s Q for about 30 seconds.
Too bad Q didn’t have a moment like the one we’re about to have.
“My old ring.”
“I should very much like to hold it again, one last time.”
I hope I’m saying that about my dick at that age.
What the fuck?!
Driver’s license photo.
He quite clearly grew fangs for a second there. Are we cool with that?
I like how his instinct is to put the ring away. Like, “Goddamn. It’s not that big a deal. Calm yo tits.”
“I’m sorry I brought this upon you, my boy. I’m sorry that you must carry this burden. I’m sorry for everything.”
Wow, this is a really nice, quiet moment. I never really paid much attention to it until now.
There’s nothing more pathetic than a grown midget crying.
I want to live in Rivendell.
As long as there’s internet. They probably have an aethernet hookup.
I’m imagining sitting out on one of the verandas in Rivendell. It’s like 7 at night, and quiet, and all of a sudden you hear a modem starting up echoing off the mountains, and, “You’ve got mail.”
(Dude, you’re getting a (Riven)Dell.)
But seriously. Look at this fucking place.
And there they go.
Time for the aerial montage of people walking places. Sound the trumpets.
Well all right.
Someone must have really fucked up that house attempt.
Just shot after shot after shot of nice looking shit.
And now everyone gets a close up.
Just in case you didn’t remember who was on this journey.
More helicopter shots.
Seriously, New Zealand. Give it a rest, we get it – you look good.
Oooh… that looks good.
Goddamn. That does look amazing. Meat.
I respect someone who cooks all their food in the same pan.
This was always funny to me, Boromir practicing swords with the hobbits, mostly because he’s doing it with children in these shots.
I WOULD PAY TO SWORD FIGHT WITH MIDGETS
“Move your feet.”
That’s awesome. Smoking a pipe and giving instructions. Those are always the best coaches.
Gimli says they’re taking the long way round. They could go through the mines of Moria.
John Rhys-Davies has one of the funniest voices in the world to me. No matter what the role is, I can’t help but laugh because it’s him. Gimli chopping bitches, and I’m still hearing, “That car belonged to my brother-in-law!”
“No, Gimli, I would not take the road through Moria unless I had no other choice.”
We all understand why that’s hilarious right?
Gandalf just said your family’s house was trash.
Exposition is coming.
It’s always him.
That’s clearly not a wisp of cloud. It’s probably some Spearow.
You just got tackled by midgets.
These movies go from zero to gay in like, a second.
Bats. Or whatever they are.
Those must be some crazy bats, because they just dove into rocks.
Here’s my question – those things couldn’t see them running to hide? What’s the point? Doesn’t Saruman still know where they’re going?
This is like homeless people when the cops come.
Clearly they know they’re there. They turn right the fuck around as soon as they get to this point and go back. So why hide? So they don’t swarm you?
“Spies of Saruman. The passage south is being watched.”
“We must take the path of Caradhras.”
Why does everything have a name?
Though, it’s pretty great how Saruman narrows their choices. There really are only three ways to get to Mordor from where they’re at. South is to Isengard, and then there’s over the mountain, or under it. So Saruman is basically forcing them to go the way he wants them to go.
On His Majesty’s Secret Service.
I love any wide shot of a mountain with people walking on top of it.
Way to stay upright, Frodo.
He lost the ring.
How do you fall down such a shallow slope? And how does your necklace come off?
I do like the focus of the shot, though. It’s nice.
I want to have a hat like that so I can do slow head turns to people.
“Boromir, give the ring to Frodo.”
“Is is a strange thing that we suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing.”
He’s talking about the clitoris.
“I care not.”
“Yuh huh. Whatever, motherfucker.”
See? What a dick? Don’t tousle the man’s hair like he’s a child.
You tousle his hair? Frodo’s 33.
I like how he just saunters away with the shield on his back.
That’s pretty great. He was ready to throw down.
Oh, Aragorn was about to CUT YOU SON!
The bats are back in town.
This is almost like the opening to Pee-Wee’s Playhouse.
Howard Shore is good, but…coming off Star Wars, I’m extremely conscious of how this isn’t John Williams. I like The Departed, but…John Williams.
This is a much better score than Star Wars.
Hate to say it, but it is. Culturally, it’s Star Wars, but musically, I don’t see how this isn’t the greater achievement.
Especially since you don’t really hear shades of this in all of Howard Shore’s other work.
But imagine this franchise scored by Danny Elfman. Hah. Elf.
Still, I think I prefer Star Wars cause more of the songs stick with me. This score has the main trumpet fanfare. Whatever that’s called. And the Shire flute music. And the orcs’ running music. That’s about all I’ve got other than Enya. There’s nothing here that’s like Duel of Fates. Nothing quite that epic.
I think the difference is I hear too much generic John Williams in that score. And here, it sets the mood for every environment. I agree that there’s a lot of leitmotif, but I don’t see that as a bad thing. I like when scores circle back to a theme. I nut every time a Bond score interpolates part of the title song into the score.
“Komodo Dragon”? That shit is majestic. Even before we get the shots of him pulling up to the casino.
(And there goes Colin, going to watch that scene right now.)
“So, Gandalf… you tried to lead them over Caradhras. And if that fails, where then will you go?”
Did the bats tell him that?
What’s with wizards and communicating with animals.
Wizards and Disney princesses.
So… are we fast forwarding here, or did the bats gather all that the first time?
Seems kinda snowy for a hike. Maybe wait a couple of hours.
Legolas got that superhuman hearing. He hears Saruman trying to bring the ruckus.
“There is a foul voice in the air.
Everyone else: “Fuck you, Legolas.”
WHY WOULD YOU BRING A FUCKING PONY OVER A MOUNTAIN?
“He’s trying to bring down the mountain!”
There are few things more entertaining than Christopher Lee on top of a tower, yelling at the world.
Oh he brings the ruckus.
So… if you bring down this mountain, and they’re all killed… how exactly are you going to get the ring then?
And here’s another question. I guess this is a better point for the next movie, but I thought of it now — doesn’t Sauron have enough of an army built up to take over shit without the ring? Doesn’t he come really close without it anyway? The only reason he doesn’t win is because the elves decide to be nice and Gondor calls in its one favor it has with the ghosts. Outside of that, Sauron wins.
Gandalf doesn’t want to turn back. He’s afraid of something. Something’s hidden down in the
closet mines of Moria.
They gotta figure out where to go – they could take Rohan, but that’s dangerous, since it brings them too close to Isengard, they could continue over the mountain, but Saruman’s fucking that up, or they could take Moria.
Honestly, just take Rohan. Gandalf is Friend of Trees. You’ll have security.
Saruman exposits – to whom, exactly? – that Gandalf is afraid to go into Moria.
“You know what they awoke in the darkness of Khazad-dum.”
A coloring book?
“Let the ring bearer decide.”
“We will go through the mines.”
“So be it.”
Wait, why would this go down like this? Apparently, Saruman’s attacks have stopped, and you’re all alive, so why not continue? And if you were going to veto the Mines of Moria for a good reason, why wouldn’t you make that reason known before letting Frodo make an uniformed decision?
This looks nice, but what is it, exactly? Were there just multiple entrances to Moria? Like, that was the front gate, and then there’s the downstairs one? And this one got destroyed, so this is the only entrance left? Probably because orcs don’t know the Elvish word for friend.
Then again…. this is an Elvish door. Did they just make their own door to this place? Did the dwarves know the password? Did the elves do it as a fuck you, so they can travel through there too? How does this work? Did the dwarves have to take the side entrance like black people?
Oh, but that shit looks even better. The wide shots in this movie that involve locations and not people walking look nice. (The people walking look nice too, but there are hundreds of those shots.)
That’s a lot of rocks.
Did Gandalf just get rid of the clouds like that?
I love doors that appear out of nowhere.
“Speak friend and enter.”
Vaginas should have the same tagline.
“It’s quite simple – if you are a friend, you speak the password, and the doors will open.”
So he says something to the effect of Open Sesame.
“This is embarrassing…”
This is awkward.
Now he’s just trying to push it with his shoulder.
Everyone else is so embarrassed for him right now.
This scene was always weird to me, since the second I heard that, I went, “Just say the word for friend.” It’s the simplest of riddles. And they spend like, two hours sitting outside this gate, unable to open the door.
And then this next part happens, and it felt like a cheap excuse for another action scene.
But it is funny to me that they all just gotta chill here until Gandalf figures out how to open the door.
They gotta let Bill loose.
Too bad we never met Bill before, so this is completely irrelevant.
You think he’s gonna Daniel Craig him, from Defiance?
I also love how Aragorn says, “Don’t worry, Sam. He knows the way home.”
He does, does he? You brought him over a fucking mountain, and he’s just gonna go all the way home? You think he’s gonna make it all the way home? Good job, Aragorn.
That pony was in the book, but it wasn’t with them on the mountain like a minute ago. What…happened, there? And what if Gandalf never figured out the password and they had to go back? Wouldn’t you wait to get in before sending the pony away? It’s like when you got a ride to your house as a kid. You’d always make sure someone was home or you could get the door open before letting your ride peace. That’s just how you do things.
I feel like they already tied him up and left him before the mountain and are now coming back, getting him, and are now about to let him go again. They had to have, right?
Why would you tie up a horse before climbing a mountain, knowing you were going to continue on to Mordor and not come back for months?
No, they definitely had him on the mountain. I saw it when I looked through the shots again. It’s just weird to me that you choose now to let him go. If he can handle a mountain, he can probably handle these mines.
If you can dodge a wrench…
I could swear that Gandalf says, “Oh Jesus…” right here out of frustration.
They’re in their 30s. The Middle Ages must have been REALLY boring, cause they’re acting like little children.
Well that boat’s no good.
“Gandalf, what’s the Elvish word for friend?”
Well now don’t you feel like an asshole?
Seriously though… that’s like, entry level shit right there.
This became such a thing. Whenever you come to a locked door now, you have to ask someone what the Elvish word for ‘friend’ is.
Gimli goes on about how awesome a time they’re gonna have with the dwarves. He lays it on so thick that we just know everyone in this place has already been murdered.
Possibly my favorite Rhys-Davies line ever. “Roaring fires! Malt beer! Red meat off the bone!” Plenty of rolled r’s in there.
Really nice shot, though.
He Dumbledore’s that thing.
This is what my front steps look like too.
“This is no mine. It’s a tomb.”
This looks like the Pirates of the Caribbean poster.
Never got this. They notice all these corpses that have quite obviously been there for at least a decade, and they whip out their weapons to defend against the goblins that must be nearby. This sort of thinking might get me killed one day, but I’d be pretty calm here, assuming that the killers were LONG gone.
Weird how it took turning on a light to realize you were in a tomb. You’d think stepping over the corpses would do it.
All right… one more.
This shot works perfectly at the end of all of those videos.
I love any time people pull out swords and are ready for shit to go down.
It’s amazing how prominent tentacle rape is in these franchises.
Now, my question is — was that always going to attack them? Is it because they were throwing stones? Was it because Gimli shouted? I feel like this thing chose a very opportune time to attack, scene-wise.
I like how he doesn’t even flinch. He just shoots bitches.
How many times will we see this exact same shot throughout this franchise?
Please explain to me how the necklace with the ring on it falls of when Frodo rolls down a slight incline, but it stays on when he’s held upside-down and shaken by a gargantuan tentacle-rape monster.
Remember the dwarf, Oin, from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey? He’s the nice, old one who uses an ear trumpet to hear. This monster, called the “Watcher in the Water,” killed him as he was trying to escape from the goblins. Sorry, pal.
So what stage of evolution creates that thing?
Do you have to fight that thing every time you come home from work?
That’s right, Sean Bean, you fuck that thing up.
Nice catch, Aragorn.
Legolas just shot that fucking thing in the face.
Legolas may be a fairy boy, but he’s pretty badass with the bow. I can’t wait for that moment in Two Towers when he takes down the warg rider from like 1000 yards away. That was badass.
I get that this is what makes them unable to turn back and have to go through the mines, it’s just… I don’t know… it felt excessive and unnecessary. Is it just me who thinks this?
I also love that this thing just chills around here for like, no reason.
Oh, so it causes a cave-in, too. Just in case you thought they could have gone back anyway.
Completely ruins the point of that scene.
“We have but one choice. We must face the long, dark of Moria.”
Now they’re in the mines.
Gandalf was right – this place IS shitty.
So it’s a four day journey through these mines. Which is just fascinating to me, how long it takes to go through shit in this place. The amount of work that went into designing it all and making it habitable is fantastic. And the thing that makes it work even better for me is that Gandalf says, “Let us hope our presence goes unnoticed.” I like when things are big enough that there’s the opportunity to go unnoticed. So often in movies is the universe so small that you are gonna eventually be found by whomever is looking for you. But here, there is a good chance that, if what happens in a minute doesn’t happen, they could just walk through this place completely unbothered. That’s pretty cool.
This is one of those places where, if I were playing a game like Final Fantasy, I wouldn’t want to walk around here. I learned it from Pokémon too. You don’t want to be walking around caves. You don’t know what kind of shit is in there waiting to attack you, and for some reason, it comes out way more than it would elsewhere.
Remember how you couldn’t take more than four steps in Rock Tunnel without running into a fucking Zubat?
This looks like the sets from Journey to the Center of the Earth in 1959. (Only less colorful.)
It’s also funny to think that an old man like Gandalf is hiking like this.
Also, that’s great. Three doors. Multiple paths. They really carved this shit out.
“I have no memory of this place.”
I always found this funny, since – is he supposed to? Is it sad that he’s losing his memories, or is it funny because “I have absolutely no goddamn idea where the fuck I am”?
That’s what you do when you need to think, I guess. Hang back and roll up a spliff.
I like that they all just have to sit there while he Summer Sanders.
“There’s something down there.”
Great line, great reveal. My only question – does he not hear that? What’s the echo like in this place? This goes back to that old movie thing of – sure, you two are talking, but in terms of actual location, other people will hear you, even though we’re meant to think that they can’t. In actuality, the echo I heard, there’s a decent chance Gollum knows they know he’s following them.
I’d have a problem with this if I were Frodo. He notices something, and Gandalf just tells him that it’s Gollum and that they’ve been followed for three days. If you’re cool just telling Frodo right now, why couldn’t you have been forthcoming about it earlier? I hate it when people know something like this and don’t tell you anything until you ASK.
But yeah, he escaped the dungeons of Barad-dur.
“Escaped… or set loose.”
“He hates, and loves, the ring, as he hates and loves himself.”
Watching Gollum jerk off must be hysterical.
“It’s a pity Bilbo didn’t kill him when he had the chance.”
“Pity? It is pity that stayed Bilbo’s hand. Many that live deserve death, and some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Frodo?”
Gandalf’s trying to sound all wise and shit. “Can YOU give it to them, Frodo?” He should have pulled out Sting and been like, “Shit yeah, playa.”
“I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.”
“So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”
What a quietly brilliant moment this is. And what a beautiful line that is.
“There are other forces at work in this world Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring. In which case, you were also meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.”
Aight, Gandalf, I’m getting pretty sick of your pep talks.
“Ah… it’s that way.”
This was always hilarious. Because it’s the equivalent of both the Nicholson, “And I think about this…” as well as the Trelawney hairball.
He didn’t remember, but the air doesn’t smell as foul down there.
He figured out which way to go by the smell. Obviously following the advice of the wise and powerful Toucan Sam. (OH MY GOD FRUIT LOOPS ARE BASICALLY RINGS)
“Always follow your nose,” Gandalf says.
Too bad our friend Max didn’t do the same thing.
– – – – – – – – – –
Tomorrow is Part IV, which I assure you, we shall pass.
(See the rest of the Fun with Franchises articles here.)