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The Red Book of Westmarch, Book V - The War of the Ring

kerr

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What is it about? The fifth of a six-part edit made to bring Peter Jackson's adaptations of "The Lord of the Rings" as close as possible to the original book by J.R.R. Tolkien, this covers the first half of "The Return of the King".
Original film name: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
New film name: J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings: Book V - The War of the Ring
Film studio name: New Line Cinema
Edit crew name: kerr
Date original film was released: 2003
Date edit was released: August 2009
Original runtime: 251 minutes
New runtime: 85 minutes
Amount of time cut/added: approx. 165 minutes cut, 1 minute added

Changes:

- The film begins with the lighting of the beacons. As the camera flies over the mountains - "The Return of the King". As in the book, Denethor has already lit the beacons before Gandalf and Pippin reach the city.
- "Book V - The War of the Ring" title added over the final shot of the ride through Minas Tirith.
- Cut to Gandalf riding with Pippin to Minas Tirith. We follow their storyline until otherwise noted.
- Pippin does not recognize the White Tree, since he never saw it in the Palantir.
- Cut Gandalf telling Pippin not to tell Denethor anything about Boromir, Aragorn, Frodo or anything at all. Parts of this was in the book, but I feel it works better without any of it.
- Parts of the audience with Denethor has been rearranged to match the book. Pippin pledging service to Denethor now comes a bit later, and thus feels less like a spur-of-the-moment-decision. Some closeups have been cut or rearranged.
- Some small cuts made to Denethor's and Gandalf's dialogue. Gandalf does not ask where Gondor's armies are, since Denethor is fully aware of the danger in this edit, having already lit the beacons.
- Cut Pippin's "Well... Minas Tirith. Very impressive. So, where are we off to next?" and Gandalf's reply.
- Gandalf does not start coughing when smoking on the balcony. Sure, smoking is bad for your health, but LotR is not the right place to point that out.
- The flashback to Weathertop has been cut.
- The lighting of the Minas Morgul beacon has been reworked so that we only see it from the gondorians' point of view. Some of the dialogue preceding it has also been rearranged.
- Cut to Aragorn spotting the beacon. We now follow his storyline.
- The orcs march into Osgiliath, and we cut to Aragorn spotting the beacon. We now follow his storyline.
- Theoden does not hesitate when hearing that Gondor calls for aid, he replies immediately that "Rohan will answer".
- Cut Theoden's VO as the Rohirrim prepare to leave Edoras.
- Cut Gimli interrupting Aragorn's vision of the King of the Dead.
- Removed any mention of Arwen dying. That subplot never made any sense.
- Changed the elvish subtitles to the translation used by Tolkien: "I gave hope to the Dúnedain, I have kept no hope for myself".
- Cut Aragorn and co. sneaking off in the middle of the night.
- Cut Legolas claiming that Isildur was "the last king of Gondor". He wasn't.
- No Gimli goofiness in the Paths of the Dead
- The Paths of the Dead sequence has been recut to make the army of the dead less threatening. The sequence ends like in the theatrical version, with Aragorn's "What say you?"
- Cut to the Rohirrim riding off to war.
- Cut to Osgiliath. We follow the Gondor storyline.
- The orc army crossing the river is only seen from the gondorians' POV.
- Gothmog's speech about the age of the orcs being at hand has been cut. I hate Gothmog as portrayed in the films.
- Cut Gandalf's line "Foreseen, and done nothing." In this edit, Denethor lit the beacons.
- Tried to lessen Denethor's craziness when meeting with Faramir. Denethor doesn't see a vision of Boromir, and doesn't stumble down the stairs.
- Cut Pippin fumbling the words when swearing allegiance to Denethor.
- Cut Pippin kissing Denethor's ring.
- The Witchking telling Gothmog to "Send forth all legions" has been moved to a later point. It now comes after Faramir's charge, and is followed by all the shots of the orc army marching towards the city.
- Gothmog's presence during the siege has been lessened. In this edit, he only appears during the Grond sequence, and has a small appearance later during the charge of the Rohirriom. All other appearances have been cut.
- Gandalf does not knock down Denethor at the siege. Why does PJ's version of Gandalf has to be such a violent brute?
- Cut Pippin's apperance in the siege until the "Pyre of Denethor"-storyline.
- Cut the archers firing at the towers before Gandalf tells them not to.
- The Siege of Gondor has been rearranged. After Grond is brought forth, we exclusively follow Pippin's storyline until Denethor locks him out, after which we return to Gandalf at the gate.
- Gandalf vs. the Witch-king has been altered. The WK does not break Gandalf's staff, and Gandalf does not fall from his horse. As in the book, they never get the chance to square off. Also, the fact that the WK defeats Gandalf the White is completely ludicrous - remember that Aragorn fought off both the Witch-king and several other Ringwraiths back in FotR.
- As the WK hears the horns of Rohan and flies off, we cut to Merry and Eowyn at the Rohirrim camp. "To battle!" they say, and we cut to the Rohirrim arriving at Pelennor. This timeline change might seem odd, but I'm going by the book, where the beginning of Chapter 5 - The Ride of the Rohirrim takes places before the horns are heard at the end of Chapter 6. We now follow the Rohirrim without cutting back to what's going on inside the city (which will come later, like in the book).
- Removed intercutting of orcs preparing for battle with Theoden's speech. It makes no sense for the Rohirrim to reveal themselves to the orcs and give them lots of time to prepare for the cavalry charge, so in this edit, we do not see the orcs responding until the Rohirrim are already charging.
- Some over-the-top stuff has been cut from the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, which plays in its entirety without cutting back to Minas Tirith.
- The character of the Black Serpent, leader of the Haradrim, has been cut. Yes, he was in the book, but I didn't really like him, and I felt the Pelennor battle had to be shortened slightly, so out he went.
- Cut the Witchkings' "Diiiieeeee...... Noooooooow.....". Merry now stabs him immediately after his line "No man can kill me."
- Eowyn says farewell to Theoden immediately after slaying the WK, after which Aragorn and co. arrive.
- Legolas vs. oliphaunt has been cut.
- The battle of the Pelennor Fields is won, and we cut to Denethor pouring oil over himself and Faramir. Again, a strange timeline change, but true to the book.
- Gandalf does not employ violence against Denethor, who stays on the pyre for the entire scene (he does not run across the length of Minas Tirith just to get a visually pleasing death scene). "Thus passes Denethor, son of Ecthelion" - and we see the sun shine on Minas Tirith once more.
- Gimli does not suggest that they keep the dead around for a while longer.
- I used the theatrical version of Pippin finding Merry, which now occurs before Eomer finds Eowyn.
- Several cuts have been made to the Last Debate. Gandalf does not say that Frodo has passed from his sight (as he earlier claimed that he had "no news of Frodo"), and all of Gimli's and Legolas' lines have been cut.
- When Aragorn challenges Sauron in the Palantir, he does not see the floating eyeball on top of Barad-Dur, but the armored Sauron holding a Palantir (taken from later on in the scene).
- I always felt that Aragorn should win the challenge, so it ends with him presenting Anduril, backed by the Gondor theme. No visions of Arwen dying, no shattered Evenstar pendant.
- Some cuts made to the Mouth of Sauron to make him less nasty.
- Some cuts made to the pre-battle sequence - the orcs do not completely surround our heroes.
- Cut Aragorn being tempted by Sauron.
- We see the battle in front of the Black Gate without cutting to Frodo and Sam. "The eagles are coming!" shouts Pippin, and we fade out: "End of Book V".

Intention for this fanedit: To separate Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy into six parts that adhere as closely as possible to the six books of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings". This is done by both restructuring the films to match the narrative structure found in Tolkien's book, and by removing as much as possible of the material that has no basis in Tolkien's vision of Middle-Earth. For Book V, this has involved removing all of Frodo and Sam's story from the film, as well as recutting and rearranging many of the remaining scenes.

Software used:
- Adobe Premiere Pro CS4
- Adobe After Effects CS4
- Adobe Photoshop CS4
- Womble MPEG Video Wizard DVD
- AutoGK

Release info:
85m. PAL XVID
640x272
2.0 stereo, 192 kbps MP3
 

white43

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Ah, I was wondering when this thread would appear.... :-D

Congrats on the release, I've got it all lined up for viewing.
 

Captain Khajiit

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I second the congratulations! You're a b****y marvel, Kerr! :D

I shall watch it tonight with a mug of the Gaffer's home brew.
 

joebshmoe

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as usual a great list of changes. interested how the time changes will play out and hoping for the best.

really looking forward to a marathon :)
 

Captain Khajiit

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I've just finished watching this, Kerr, and I must say it's astounding, even in AVI form. It's been a while since I saw Book IV, and like joebshmoe I look forward to a marathon session after VI comes out, but I must say it is amazing how differently this plays compared to the original(s).

I particularly liked the change to the Gandalf-vs-the-WK face off. I shrugged off most of the changes to the book in the films as dramatic licence, but the shattering of Gandalf's staff really annoyed me in the cinema. Like most of the annoying changes PJ made, it was annoying because it achieved nothing and was totally unnecessary.

It does create a slight continuity problem with the Denthor death scene - which was also much better than the original by the way - in that Gandalf now grabs a spear from a guard that he neither needs nor uses. I guess you must have wrestled with this one, and you've done almost all that's humanly possible, but it did strike me when watching the scene. The only thing that I suppose might potentially be done is cut in Gandalf's charge forward to the pyre just after he grabs the spear - and even rotoscope it white? It would be a massive undertaking for a small problem, I know. The sun shining on the city afterwards was a masterly touch though and I even laughed aloud with delight it was so clever! :)

I won't list all the dozens of other things I loved, or I might give things away. I shall mention one thing I might personally have wished cut, if I may. It is the lines before the attack on the city. What of the wizard? I shall break him. I know it can be read as simple determination/overconfidence on the WK's part, but it just strikes me as something written by a scriptwriter who knew what he/she intended to happen when the two faced each other in the film. It just seems to anticipate what followed originally, that's all. This is just a whim of mine though, not a criticism of the edit. :)

I shall look forward to the DVD. Now if VI were to be done by Christmas, it would be just in time for a winter session of LOTR. :smile:
 

white43

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Hmmm. Watched this yesterday and I have to say it's the first kerr edit that I've come away not feeling a sense of overall improvement. Whilst I like the changes - for example, the beacons being lit at the start of the film and goofiness removed, I feel that the rearrangement of some of the scenes has interrupted the flow of the original film.

I think in placing Denethor's death in the correct place - after the battle, the intensity of the whole thing seems to be lost, there's no feeling that everything is taking place at once, which adds to the suspense.

I could be wrong on this bit, as I can't quite remember how it happens - but the WK is disturbed from killing Gandalf by the horn of Rohan is he not? We then move straight to see the Rohirrim appearing on the hill, however, in this cut, we are presumably seing a flashback to some conversation with Merry and Eowyn. Theoden says they will ride overnight and then they appear on the hill. End result seems to be a slump in pace. For me, this doesn't work. Yes, it's true to the book - but the pace is off.

I didn't enjoy the army of the dead so much - that they were more threatening made the scene more intense.

I do like Aragorn's challenge to Sauron - and apparently winning this - good job.
Not seeing Denethor jumping to his overdramatic death was well edited as well.

So, although another decent job from Kerr - -'book cutting' this entry seems to have killed the suspence for me a bit. Others may disagree. But nonetheless, from a technical perspective - fairly solid.
 

Captain Khajiit

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white43 said:
I think in placing Denethor's death in the correct place - after the battle, the intensity of the whole thing seems to be lost, there's no feeling that everything is taking place at once, which adds to the suspense.

I could be wrong on this bit, as I can't quite remember how it happens - but the WK is disturbed from killing Gandalf by the horn of Rohan is he not? We then move straight to see the Rohirrim appearing on the hill, however, in this cut, we are presumably seing a flashback to some conversation with Merry and Eowyn. Theoden says they will ride overnight and then they appear on the hill. End result seems to be a slump in pace. For me, this doesn't work. Yes, it's true to the book - but the pace is off.

I agree. I thought this too, but since Kerr said the former was a strange cut but true to the book, I reckoned he was aware of the issue and decided following the book was more important than pace. I did wonder whether viewing this in sequence with all the other edits would alter one's perception of the events a little though.
 

jamiemark

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I'm still waiting for a DVD release of the previous edit. Can we expect for this & the previous one to be released on DVD at the same time perhaps??
 

spelledaren

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So, I sounded pretty harsh in my initial review of this, and I thought that a more in-depth comment was in place. I'll use the listed changes and just add my thoughts to each one.

- The film begins with the lighting of the beacons. As the camera flies over the mountains - "The Return of the King". As in the book, Denethor has already lit the beacons before Gandalf and Pippin reach the city.
This worked well, a nice intro with good timing for the music.

- "Book V - The War of the Ring" title added over the final shot of the ride through Minas Tirith.
Oh very nice.

- Cut to Gandalf riding with Pippin to Minas Tirith. We follow their storyline until otherwise noted.
Ok, sounds reasonable. (Should be placed before the earlier paragraph)

- Pippin does not recognize the White Tree, since he never saw it in the Palantir.
- Cut Gandalf telling Pippin not to tell Denethor anything about Boromir, Aragorn, Frodo or anything at all. Parts of this was in the book, but I feel it works better without any of it.
I liked these changes, it felt more like the beginning of a movie without those things, and with the first change of tone coming when they enter the hall.

- Parts of the audience with Denethor has been rearranged to match the book. Pippin pledging service to Denethor now comes a bit later, and thus feels less like a spur-of-the-moment-decision. Some closeups have been cut or rearranged.
- Some small cuts made to Denethor's and Gandalf's dialogue. Gandalf does not ask where Gondor's armies are, since Denethor is fully aware of the danger in this edit, having already lit the beacons.
I did like the shortened and changed dialogue. This far I seem pretty happy!

- Cut Pippin's "Well... Minas Tirith. Very impressive. So, where are we off to next?" and Gandalf's reply.
- Gandalf does not start coughing when smoking on the balcony. Sure, smoking is bad for your health, but LotR is not the right place to point that out.
Ok.

- The flashback to Weathertop has been cut.
The look on Pippin's face is quite odd. Almost a smile. Why no flashback?

- The lighting of the Minas Morgul beacon has been reworked so that we only see it from the gondorians' point of view. Some of the dialogue preceding it has also been rearranged.
The sound isn't that good for this change, and it brought me out of it. Didn't work for me.

- Cut to Aragorn spotting the beacon. We now follow his storyline.
I get that we are following one storyline at a time, but the spotting of the beacon felt a bit odd. The opening sequence had started to pass from my mind...perhaps we could see it arriving? It would be redundant...hrm. Ok change I suppose, but not perfect.

- The orcs march into Osgiliath, and we cut to Aragorn spotting the beacon. We now follow his storyline.
This doesn't happen (which is good).

- Theoden does not hesitate when hearing that Gondor calls for aid, he replies immediately that "Rohan will answer".
- Cut Theoden's VO as the Rohirrim prepare to leave Edoras.
Thank you, two excellent choices. The VO is horrible, and out of place for the movies.

- Cut Gimli interrupting Aragorn's vision of the King of the Dead.
- Removed any mention of Arwen dying. That subplot never made any sense.
- Changed the elvish subtitles to the translation used by Tolkien: "I gave hope to the Dúnedain, I have kept no hope for myself".
I have no objection to these changes.

- Cut Aragorn and co. sneaking off in the middle of the night.
- Cut Legolas claiming that Isildur was "the last king of Gondor". He wasn't.
- No Gimli goofiness in the Paths of the Dead
This works well, though one would perhaps have wanted to see them leave. How to do that with the scenes we have...tricky. This is an acceptable way to go.

- The Paths of the Dead sequence has been recut to make the army of the dead less threatening. The sequence ends like in the theatrical version, with Aragorn's "What say you?"
I totally get what the changes are supposed to do. It all just went by a little too fast! It didn't get the dramatic suspense you would wish for a scene like this.

- Cut to the Rohirrim riding off to war.
- Cut to Osgiliath. We follow the Gondor storyline.
- The orc army crossing the river is only seen from the gondorians' POV.
Good, good. Though I was annoyed at a couple of things, like we seeing the orcs sneaking across the river with lit torches and Faramir letting orcs run past them before closing the lines.

- Gothmog's speech about the age of the orcs being at hand has been cut. I hate Gothmog as portrayed in the films.
- Cut Gandalf's line "Foreseen, and done nothing." In this edit, Denethor lit the beacons.
Agreed.

- Tried to lessen Denethor's craziness when meeting with Faramir. Denethor doesn't see a vision of Boromir, and doesn't stumble down the stairs.
Denethor's last face is slightly off (as he is standing in a different position), but it works, we can feel Faramir getting through to his father in a small way. Faramir is pleased in the next scene, which is a little odd, but no great thing.

- Cut Pippin fumbling the words when swearing allegiance to Denethor.
- Cut Pippin kissing Denethor's ring.
Good ones!

- The Witchking telling Gothmog to "Send forth all legions" has been moved to a later point. It now comes after Faramir's charge, and is followed by all the shots of the orc army marching towards the city.
- Gothmog's presence during the siege has been lessened. In this edit, he only appears during the Grond sequence, and has a small appearance later during the charge of the Rohirriom. All other appearances have been cut.
The march works, but there's one thing here that always bugged me. They let the orcs set up their catapults and fire first, whilst really they should have been disrupting their ranks with their defensive catapults as soon as the orcs came into range. Good that we don't have to see Gothmog.

- Gandalf does not knock down Denethor at the siege. Why does PJ's version of Gandalf has to be such a violent brute?
I like.

- Cut Pippin's apperance in the siege until the "Pyre of Denethor"-storyline.
- Cut the archers firing at the towers before Gandalf tells them not to.
Works well, not seeing Pip. The music shifts a while in, but the perspective did not. A little odd. I do not like the small battering rams, or their "discussion" about how to break the gate.

- The Siege of Gondor has been rearranged. After Grond is brought forth, we exclusively follow Pippin's storyline until Denethor locks him out, after which we return to Gandalf at the gate.
So far so good. It really feels like Pip is left in the mess of a battle, searching for Gandalf.

- Gandalf vs. the Witch-king has been altered. The WK does not break Gandalf's staff, and Gandalf does not fall from his horse. As in the book, they never get the chance to square off. Also, the fact that the WK defeats Gandalf the White is completely ludicrous - remember that Aragorn fought off both the Witch-king and several other Ringwraiths back in FotR.
- As the WK hears the horns of Rohan and flies off, we cut to Merry and Eowyn at the Rohirrim camp. "To battle!" they say, and we cut to the Rohirrim arriving at Pelennor. This timeline change might seem odd, but I'm going by the book, where the beginning of Chapter 5 - The Ride of the Rohirrim takes places before the horns are heard at the end of Chapter 6. We now follow the Rohirrim without cutting back to what's going on inside the city (which will come later, like in the book).
Ok, good that they didn't fight, but cutting to an earlier point in time with the rohirrim really takes away from what is an awesome moment in the film. Sure it follows the structure of the book, the there we are told a rather length story about the riders avoiding orcs with the help of the old people, here the parts we are shown on-the-way have no real significance, and are rather short. Just leaving that scene out out and going straight to the riders arriving would have been better in my mind. So much else is missing, no need to include something when it takes away rom the power of the moment. But maybe someone else disagrees!

- Removed intercutting of orcs preparing for battle with Theoden's speech. It makes no sense for the Rohirrim to reveal themselves to the orcs and give them lots of time to prepare for the cavalry charge, so in this edit, we do not see the orcs responding until the Rohirrim are already charging.
I like this just because those orc orders aren't interesting, and has that Gothmog.

- Some over-the-top stuff has been cut from the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, which plays in its entirety without cutting back to Minas Tirith.
- The character of the Black Serpent, leader of the Haradrim, has been cut. Yes, he was in the book, but I didn't really like him, and I felt the Pelennor battle had to be shortened slightly, so out he went.
You left in some bad CGI (orcs running between the Oliphants), and the odd choice to storm the Oliphants on a line in a charge. Theoden should be ashamed in the presence of his fathers for that one! I would have chosen some other scenes here...

- Cut the Witchkings' "Diiiieeeee...... Noooooooow.....". Merry now stabs him immediately after his line "No man can kill me."
- Eowyn says farewell to Theoden immediately after slaying the WK, after which Aragorn and co. arrive.
Oh yes, two great cuts.

- Legolas vs. oliphaunt has been cut.
- The battle of the Pelennor Fields is won, and we cut to Denethor pouring oil over himself and Faramir. Again, a strange timeline change, but true to the book.
One obvious cut, and one that was daring. But it works! Denethor is killing himself because of what he has seen, not this battle. His line of "the power that has risen in the east" makes more sense. But aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaRAGH! The ghost army that sweeps the entire city. I'm a bit angry with you. The entire sacrifice of the riders of Rohan was pointless. Had they just waited another couple of hours none of them had needed to die. So yeah, the battle is ruined for me. But Aragorn needs his moment of triumph...hard one.

- Gandalf does not employ violence against Denethor, who stays on the pyre for the entire scene (he does not run across the length of Minas Tirith just to get a visually pleasing death scene). "Thus passes Denethor, son of Ecthelion" - and we see the sun shine on Minas Tirith once more.
Agreed, but it doesn't make a lot of sense. He snatches up a weapon, and then what? Sits idly by while Pippin does the work?

- Gimli does not suggest that they keep the dead around for a while longer.
- I used the theatrical version of Pippin finding Merry, which now occurs before Eomer finds Eowyn.
Works.

- Several cuts have been made to the Last Debate. Gandalf does not say that Frodo has passed from his sight (as he earlier claimed that he had "no news of Frodo"), and all of Gimli's and Legolas' lines have been cut.

Seems sensible, and works well.

- When Aragorn challenges Sauron in the Palantir, he does not see the floating eyeball on top of Barad-Dur, but the armored Sauron holding a Palantir (taken from later on in the scene).
- I always felt that Aragorn should win the challenge, so it ends with him presenting Anduril, backed by the Gondor theme. No visions of Arwen dying, no shattered Evenstar pendant.

Great!

- Some cuts made to the Mouth of Sauron to make him less nasty.
- Some cuts made to the pre-battle sequence - the orcs do not completely surround our heroes.
- Cut Aragorn being tempted by Sauron.
- We see the battle in front of the Black Gate without cutting to Frodo and Sam. "The eagles are coming!" shouts Pippin, and we fade out: "End of Book V".

Cuts to the parley works fine, and I appriciate that the heroes don't get completely surrounded, but we still see them in a big circle formation that is about to be surrounded. Very odd. Music changes intensity a little abruptly going into Gimlis line. We don't miss the temptation of Aragorn, but I always liked that part. And it ends on the eagles, very nice.


So, as you can see I did like many things, but for this one I feel that I had a different vision for the movie. I'm still excited for the last part of the series.

I certainly have more comments, but this was based off the listed changes, and was damn long enough!
 

kerr

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Thanks for all the reviews and ratings so far, and thanks especially to spelledaren for your in-depth critique.

I totally get what the changes are supposed to do. It all just went by a little too fast! It didn't get the dramatic suspense you would wish for a scene like this.

Yeah, I really struggled with reediting that sequence, and I'm still not entirely happy with it. I may make some changes to it for the DVD.

Good, good. Though I was annoyed at a couple of things, like we seeing the orcs sneaking across the river with lit torches and Faramir letting orcs run past them before closing the lines.

There's little I can do about the torches, but now that you mention it, I agree with your second point. I may cut that for the DVD.

They let the orcs set up their catapults and fire first, whilst really they should have been disrupting their ranks with their defensive catapults as soon as the orcs came into range.

Hmm.... Good idea. I'lll take a look at it and see if anyhting can be done.

The music shifts a while in, but the perspective did not.

Would you mind pinpointing the exact moment?

Ok, good that they didn't fight, but cutting to an earlier point in time with the rohirrim really takes away from what is an awesome moment in the film.

Yeah, I think I'll change this for the DVD. I really want that scene between Eowyn and Merry, though, and I don't want to cut to it from the battle. However, it recently occurred to me that it could possibly be placed at an earlier point, just after the "Ride now to Gondor!" scene. Hopefully I'll be able to make that work.

You left in some bad CGI (orcs running between the Oliphants), and the odd choice to storm the Oliphants on a line in a charge. Theoden should be ashamed in the presence of his fathers for that one! I would have chosen some other scenes here...

Good suggestion, I agree that at least the charge should be cut. I'll look into it.

But aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaRAGH! The ghost army that sweeps the entire city. I'm a bit angry with you.

:( I'm angry with myself for that one, too... I really wanted to make it work without the "sweep", but the cut to Denethor's pyre just feel too abrupt and wrong without it, so I decided to leave it in, even though I really hate it (for the reasons you posted). I'll take another look to see if anything can be done, but most likely, that one'll have to stay.

Agreed, but it doesn't make a lot of sense. He snatches up a weapon, and then what? Sits idly by while Pippin does the work?

Yep, it doesn't make any sense, but I don't think anything can be done, except rotoscoping out the spear, which I'm not going to attempt. Though I suppose I could just cut the shot where he grabs the spear, which might make the error a bit less obvious.

Music changes intensity a little abruptly going into Gimlis line.

Really? Unless I'm entirely mistaken, I didn't make any cuts to the music there - which is also why I included the shot of the orcs semi-surrounding our heroes, so I wouldn't have to do anything to the music.

So again, thanks for all the comments, and if there's anything else any of you would like to see changed for the DVD version, feel free to speak your minds!
 

Captain Khajiit

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So am I the only one who doesn't like the WK's line before the attack? :) It wouldn't surprise me if I were.

I thought the same about the ghost army sweeping the city, but I figured you cut it out because you didn't feel you had any choice.

Am I imagining it or did you cut some of the EE fight at the gate before Grond is brought up? Could we get some of that back? I really felt the city was overrun too easily in the original and liked the extended fight at the gate in the EE.

I agree that the Battle of the PF has to be shortened, but a did feel this edit could have been a bit longer, and as you are open to suggestions... could we have a bit of Gothmog or the Black Serpent back in? I agree with cutting some of Gothmog's bad lines out, but I feel the siege bit needs to be a bit longer.
 

spelledaren

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Wow, I'm starting to feel a little bad about giving that rating without waiting for the DVD, because if you are going to attempt those changes you just mentioned, I'm sure it would gain a score that's at least 1 higher from me. But I remember doing this before, and that time I did wait, and did raise the rating, so at least I've done it once for your edits :)

If there is significant change I will at least update my review on fe.org with another comment about it.

Thanks for your response, made a lot of sense.

/ spelledaren
 

el_silloneb

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Another fantastic edit from Kerr, I've really enjoyed his version of the series so far.

Books III & V were always going to be the most difficult to get to work but on the whole they have both come off well.

The single best improvement?

Aragorn - "Gondor calls for aid!"
Theoden - (without a seconds pause or hesitation) "And Rohan will answer!"

I always hated the massive character deviation that PJ introduced to the plot.

A few bits that may need consideration though;

Pippin's reaction to Gandalf's explanation about the Witch King (night time in Minas Tirith on the balcony) looks as though he is enjoying the reminicense of an old anecdote rather than the terror that would be more appropriate.

The moment when the Witch King breaks off his confrontation with Gandalf, shouldn't we hear the horns of the Rohirrim? As the edit stands his departure makes no sense. If the flashback technique is being used, as it is later in the pyre of Denethor scene (more on that in a moment) then including him being startled by the horns, which is in the book, is only proper.

Does anyone else think that the "Release us" line from the King of the Dead should be cut? It's not in the book. Also, the fact that he has to make this request reduces the nobility and magnanimous nature of Aragorn. In the book he knows when thier oath has been fulfilled without being prompted and releases them once Pelargir has been taken.
A shame nothing could be done about the Ghostbusters look and feel without an unthinkably large amount of work, they're supposed to be a grey mist...

The pyre of Denethor is a really difficult one. As far as the book is concerned it is exactly where it should be. However, in the book there are many other things going on which make the placement of this scene far less abrupt and apart from the rest of the story. In this edit the scene plays as an epilouge to the battle with all the emotional impact falling pretty much flat and then it jumps immediately to the aftermath on the battlefield, a transition which simply didn't work for me.
There are two possible solutions to this problem that I can think of:
After the "thus passes..." line by Gandalf use the dreaded fade to black to demonstrate the passage of some time, it would take even Gandalf an hour or two to get down from the Houses of the Dead to the Pelenor (without Shadowfax) where he is seen wandering but a few seconds later.
Or, and I know this isn't quite in keeping with the book and this is one of the only times when I would agree with compromising, placing the scene between the death of Theoden and the arrival of Aragorn and the Army of the Dead. This is the best place for the scene dramatically speaking, even if it departs from the purist's vision of this edit, because it keeps up the pace of the film (the biggest problem with an edit of this kind) allowing the final climax to be the battle which without all the subplot from the book is the natural peak before the finale.

Is there any way in which to end this edit without seeing the eagles make mincemeat of the Nazgul? It leaves us with too much sense of hope for the beleageured Army of the West in my opinion. We need to hear the line somehow but not see them turn up and take out half the Nazgul in two seconds flat rendering the enemy's most powerful servants helpless without batting an eyelid. I can't think of any way of doing this better than Kerr but it would be nice if it could be done.

That said, Kerr has done an amazing job (once again) with the material available and although this cut has it's problems it is still a far superior version to the official release.
One more to go and I think Kerr can take a well earned vacation.

Excellent stuff.
 

el_silloneb

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Good, good. Though I was annoyed at a couple of things, like we seeing the orcs sneaking across the river with lit torches and Faramir letting orcs run past them before closing the lines.


There's little I can do about the torches, but now that you mention it, I agree with your second point. I may cut that for the DVD.

Letting a small number of your enemy past you as they enter an ambush is a standard tactic. It isolates a small group from the main attacking force which can be easily eliminated whilst simultaneously creating a new perimeter against further oncoming forces.

On the face of it it may not seem to make much sense but when you think it through it actually does...

I think it should be kept personally.

I agree with you about the torches though, real dumb...
 

Captain Khajiit

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el_silloneb said:
I always hated the massive character deviation that PJ introduced to the plot.

Don't we all! :)

el_silloneb said:
The moment when the Witch King breaks off his confrontation with Gandalf, shouldn't we hear the horns of the Rohirrim? As the edit stands his departure makes no sense. If the flashback technique is being used, as it is later in the pyre of Denethor scene (more on that in a moment) then including him being startled by the horns, which is in the book, is only proper.

Agreed. This is actually one of the few places where I think we should preserve the film's order of events and cut straight to the Rohirrim hoving in to view over the horizon, as White43 said before.

el_silloneb said:
Does anyone else think that the "Release us" line from the King of the Dead should be cut? It's not in the book. Also, the fact that he has to make this request reduces the nobility and magnanimous nature of Aragorn. In the book he knows when thier oath has been fulfilled without being prompted and releases them once Pelargir has been taken.
A shame nothing could be done about the Ghostbusters look and feel without an unthinkably large amount of work, they're supposed to be a grey mist...

Well, I agree. :) The green look could be corrected, but it would indeed be an unthinkably large amount of work.


el_silloneb said:
After the "thus passes..." line by Gandalf use the dreaded fade to black to demonstrate the passage of some time, it would take even Gandalf an hour or two to get down from the Houses of the Dead to the Pelenor (without Shadowfax) where he is seen wandering but a few seconds later.
Or, and I know this isn't quite in keeping with the book and this is one of the only times when I would agree with compromising, placing the scene between the death of Theoden and the arrival of Aragorn and the Army of the Dead. This is the best place for the scene dramatically speaking, even if it departs from the purist's vision of this edit, because it keeps up the pace of the film (the biggest problem with an edit of this kind) allowing the final climax to be the battle which without all the subplot from the book is the natural peak before the finale.

I don't think the fade to black is necessary to show the passage of time at all, but the second idea is brilliant in my opinion, and would really improve the pace of the edit. Good thinking!
 

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Captain Khajiit said:
Agreed. This is actually one of the few places where I think we should preserve the film's order of events and cut straight to the Rohirrim hoving in to view over the horizon, as White43 said before.

Yeah, and we'll just ignore the fact that the sun is rising behind them, which is to the north east...

When I say north east what I really mean is north west.
I suppose if I'm going to be pedantic then I should at least be accurate...
 

Captain Khajiit

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el_silloneb said:
Captain Khajiit said:
Agreed. This is actually one of the few places where I think we should preserve the film's order of events and cut straight to the Rohirrim hoving in to view over the horizon, as White43 said before.

Yeah, and we'll just ignore the fact that the sun is rising behind them, which is to the north east...[/quote:3lubsg4z]

Wouldn't bother me. It's a film, and I'm far more interested in the story than minor quibbles like that.
 
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