I don't know, I mean I've always argued that The Lord of the Rings is impossible to directly translate to film. Tolkien infamous did things that writing courses at that time would directly advise you not to do. Some good example:ive been a tolkien fan since i read the lord of the rings and the silmarillion as a kid in the 80's!
the films took way too many liberties imo, and borrowed all the worst elements from the awesome bakshi cartoon. that said, the costume designs and visuals were outstanding.
i collected the toybiz line, but the scale was too big and made for awkward army building. with the number of characters in that movie, it really shouldve been done in 3 3/4.
- The Departure of Boromir is the first chapter in the The Two Towers, but that's immensely anti-climactic for cinema. I get why Jackson chose to end Fellowship of the Ring with the death rather than open the next with it. If or when you view the timeline as just one large story rather than how the books are numerically structured, it's rather trivial. Like Shelob being the climax of The Two Towers novel, Jackson isn't incorrect. It is occurring at the same time as the Siege of Mina's Tirith.
- Immensely important developments in the novels plot are told retrospectively through mere accounts and dialogue. We're told of Saruman imprisoning Gandalf at Orthanc and the Ents causing the fall of Isengard and subsequently capturing Saruman, for instance, without ever actually witnessing the events as they unfolded. Perhaps that can work in a novel, but it's incredibly unsatisfying on film. Can you imagine how disappointing it would be to go to see Isengard flooded and Merry and Pippin just say "Yeah the Ents did this" and just...that's it? That sort of thing doesn't work in a visual medium. You can't just say it happened and show the after effects, you need to show it as it's happening. It's the same with the whole film prologue, it sets up the world by showing it rather than telling it.
- I completely understand some of the omissions and alterations. I'm one of the few who seems to get the purpose of Tom Bombadil and even enjoy those segments, but even I can't deny...it's not required. Glorfindel is wonderful and adds to the world building...but he never appears again. I can understand just why they'd rather alter that role to one that's got slightly more significance, though I feel bad that he's been screwed over two times now: Legolas in the Bakshi cartoon, Arwen in the live-action. I get its thematic purpose, that war effects all lands eventually, but even I didn't really miss the Scouring of the Shire. It's just so depressing. Plus some things are really debatable as to whether or not they even are an alteration.
I never saw it as Theoden was under a literal spell from Wormtongue and Saruman. I never interpreted the Helms Deep wall breach as a "bomb," but view the description I suppose it could be. Just interpretation.
- I think, visually, they really nailed Tolkien better than any other interpretation. I'd always seen pre-movie versions of hobbits that looks so...Oompa Loompa silly. I liked seeing a more serious take, where they're proportionate...just small. Some of the films designs I will never un-see, they're so spot on for me. I had no idea how they'd pull off Ents without people laughing...but by God, they pulled it off and in a serious way.
Overall, I think the films did the best they could with what Tolkien wrote. I feel they really nail the heart and spirit of the books. But with that said, that doesn't mean there weren't things I disliked. I never cared for Galadriel going nuclear, it's too campy. I hated Faramir's temporary heel turn on Frodo, so betrays the character. Thankfully he begins to act more like book Faramir again by Return of the King. I'm not a fan of the Warg battle filler sequence. Elves at Helms Deep always irked me because this is a battle for men, it makes men look weak by proxy, as if they need help. Also was always disappointed by the omission of Eomer from the ENTIRE battle. I always argued, really, he's Boromir's "replacement," so to speak. I still hate Legolas managing to kill a Mumikil all by himself. Is he Spider-Man? These films were largely so serious, but that was the obligatory over-the-top Hollywood moment. I suppose I understand why this was done...but...I also hate that they used the Army of the Dead to just quickly wrap up the Siege of Gondor. Duex Ex Army of the Dead! I get it, how else are you gonna end it quickly considering...film...but it'll always irk me.
I mean they're not perfect, but I think they're darn fine films over-all and deserved the praise they recieved..
But as for, say, the toylines sustainability...it seems a niche audience. Perhaps it wasn't when they were coming out, but seems so now. Like if SW is the big commercial property of science-fiction, Star Trek was always sort of the second fiddle niche one. Smaller amount of collectors, smaller amount of merch. Well, it's sort of the same for Harry Potter vs. LOTR but for fantasy. I just don't think it has as much sustainability to go on and on and on and on with army builders. One issue is, when it comes to a lot of troops in the LOTR films, there's not really much uniformity. Every Mordor Orc is armored differently, a large amount of Rohirrim are armored uniquely, Gondorian Rangers are different, Haradrim are predominately individual, etc. I mean, there's even tons of different Uruks. You've got Captains, Pikeman, Crossbowman, Swordsman, Berzerkers, Amon Hen Uruk's, etc. I mean...I just don't know. I'd be IN LOVE with it, but I just can't see it being successful enough these days to ever really get that far.
I will say though, there are so many STUNNING armors in this franchise. Some of my favorites are the Prologue Elves, the Rohirrim Royal Guard, Eomer's armor, Theoden's armor...I mean it goes on and on.