Lord of the Rings, The: Book IV - The Journey of the Ringbearers

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Lord of the Rings, The: Book IV - The Journey of the Ringbearers
Faneditor Name:
Genre:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
2002
Original Running Time:
223
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
64
Time Cut:
180
Time Added:
20
Brief Synopsis:
The fourth 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 last half of “The Two Towers”.
Intention:
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 IV, this has meant separating Frodo and Sam’s journey from the rest of the story, to extend the story with scenes from “The Return of the King”, and drastically alter some key plot points, most notably Faramir taking the hobbits to Osgiliath and Frodo sending Sam home, events which did not take place in the book.
Additional Notes:
This fanedit primarily intended for fans of Tolkien’s work. Its intention is not to improve the films in and of themselves, and viewers unfamiliar with the book will probably be left confused and unsatisfied, and would be better off watching the originals. But if you’ve made it this far, you already know that, right?
Other Sources:
Return of the King
Release Information:
  • DVD
  • Digital
Cuts and Additions:
- New title sequence
- Removed Frodo seeing the Eye in Emyn Muil.
- Cut Frodo’s line “What food have we got left?” and Sam’s reply “Well let me see… Oh yes, lovely – lembas bread! And look… More lembas bread!” Sam’s line is just odd and unnecessary, and I think the scene works better with less talk.
- The Emyn Muil scenes have been rearranged to closer match the book, so their climb down the cliff is the last event before they encounter Gollum.
- Cut Frodo’s line “We’re not alone.” With the rearranging, the line doesn’t work (Sam says later “Who’d follow us down here?”) – and the “horrid stink” most likely emanates from the Dead Marshes, not Gollum, anyway.
- Cut Sam’s line “Boats and rope and goodness knows what… It’s not natural – none of it!” Another really strange line from Sam.
- “Book IV – The Journey of the Ringbearers” title added over Gollum climbing down to the hobbits.
- Like in the book, Frodo does not fall into the CGI waters of the Dead Marshes.
- The Smeagol flashback from RotK has been inserted into the scene in the dead marshes, after Gollum says “Smeagol…” The flashback has to be somewhere, and this is the most fitting place, since it was originally intended by PJ to be included here. Only the first part of the flashback has been used, since the narration doesn’t really fit when placed here.
- Cut Deagol being dragged by a CGI fish.
- Sam does not fall off the cliff at the Black Gate, and they do not use the elven cloaks.
- The last part of the scene with Gollum catching fish in the stream has been removed. As in the book, there is no quarreling between Frodo and Sam in this edit. It now ends with Frodo’s “I have to believe he can come back”.
- Some cuts made to the hobbits being captured by the rangers to remove repetitive actions.
- Cut mention of “the fight coming to men on both fronts” from the map scene. Saruman is old news at this point, so the line is redundant.
- Some cuts made to Faramir’s interrogation of the hobbits to make him seem a bit less threatening.
- Cut Faramir’s flashbacks.
- The rangers do not beat up Gollum.
- Cut the scene where Sam urges Frodo to use the ring, both to make Faramir less of a villain, and because the scene has a grievous continuity error regarding the barrels.
- Cut Frodo looking like a drug addict/like Elijah Wood when threatened by Faramir.
- Cut Faramir’s line “The Ring will go to Gondor”. Instead, the scene cuts to…
- … Faramir’s dream/vision of Boromir’s funeral boat. Faramir holds the Horn of Gondor, sitting in deep thought. This cuts to…
- … Faramir: “Go, Frodo. Go with the goodwill of all Men.” Frodo: “Thank you.” Sam: “Captain Faramir… You have shown your quality – the very highest.” As in the book, Faramir lets the hobbits go, instead of taking them to Osgiliath. The scene has been pieced together from recolored bits of the final Osgiliath scene.
- This cuts to Gollum leading the hobbits through Ithilien. First a shot from the beginning of RotK, then the “Songs and tales” scene from TTT.
- Some cuts made to Frodo walking towards Minas Morgul.
- Cut the closeup of the Witchking, in order to keep some mystery for his big reveal in Book V.
- Several changes have been made to the Stairs of Cirith Ungol sequence. Gollum does not steal Lembas, and Frodo does not send Sam home. Instead, Gollum separates the hobbits by pushing Sam down the stairs.
- Cut Galadriel’s cameo. Not in the book, and it feels weird – I always expect her to exclaim “Now, get up!” as she extends her hand to Frodo. :roll:
- Cut Frodo’s final encounter with Gollum. Not in the book, not needed, and it makes more sense for Frodo to continue on without Sam without the Gollum-encounter, since Shelob is now still a threat.
- Cut Frodo looking like a drug addict/like Elijah Wood when stung by Shelob.
- Sam’s fight with Shelob has been shortened somewhat.
- As Frodo is taken by the orcs, we cut to “End of Book IV”.
- Frodo answers his questions more freely, and does not lie about Gollum.
double disc cover art by kerr (DOWNLOAD HERE)
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cover art by boon23 (DOWNLOAD HERE)
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cover art by AvP (DOWNLOAD HERE)
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9.0(31)
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--This review is about all six books, not only about this one--
So, I finally got to see Kerr's vision here. In total, it's about 7 1/2 hours long and therefore around 1/3 shorter than the extended editions.
That said, I don't think the pacing of this "Red Book" series is too fast, but the events told sometimes (really only sometimes, like the fellowship's voyage from Rivendell to Moriah, Frodo's encounter with Faramir or Aragorn's meeting in the path of the dead) feel a bit rushed - but that might also be just because I knew what's been cut out...
What I like about Kerr's approach is that his Middle-Earth landscapes feel bigger, more epic and more fitting to the story - yes, even though Jackson always gos for bigger, I really always thought the movies felt small regarding the landscapes! So wonderfully, Kerr achieves to let LOTR happen in more adequate geographic surroundings. This and his use of alternative music (besides of course the well-known various themes of LOTR) give his edit a more mythical and awestruck quality.
What I do not like is (and yes, I know it's this edit's trademark) - or put better, what didn't work too well for me was Kerr's approach to tell the several story lines each by itself and without switching from one to the other.
I mean, it's okay and one might like it, but imo it's one of the original book's strenghts and tricks to achieve a certain grandeur that gets lost when ignored.
Now for the cutting itself, I think it's rather flawless - Kerr is successfull in keeping in all significant highlights in all their glory and removing much of what could be considered lenghty, inadequately blown-up or simply unnecessary. He also changes the placement of backstories (or puts them back in the original book's order) in convincing style, meaning Peter's changes for the better of the movies themselves are all "corrected", and still Kerr's cut is not suffering from that, which is quite an achievement!
All in all, his LOTR feels more serious, more mature - but then again, I must admit I haven't seen the original Extended Editions for years, maybe these are not as overloaded as I remember them?
I also want to add that I saw Kerr's edit in compressed DVD resolution which just looks not too good on today's HD TVs.
I definitely can recommend this edit, and it was a joy to watch, but it won't be my go-to-version.

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8.9
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9.0
I continue to enjoy Kerr's reworking of these movies. There's a lot of cutting and restructuring here, and for the most part it works very well.

Faramir in particular is saved. He comes across more how it seems Tolkien intended. Removing the beat down of Gollum, and taking the Hobbits to Osgiliath really helps that part of the story. Also cutting down the Frodo-as-drug-addict scene helps a lot; now you just get the sense of the toll carrying the ring is taking.

Trimming out the bickering and out of place comments in the trek through the wilds helps, especially Frodo's swim in the Dead Marshes. All the characters come out better now. My only quibble is to me a continuity issue of them getting to the Black Gate, then back into the wilds. But I can live with that considering the narrative improvement. Particularly losing the slide and use of the cloaks.

The way Kerr cut the hidden stair climb worked well, especially implying Gollum pushing Sam; again eliminating some out of place strife between the friends. The final sequence with Shelob works very well also, and the nice ending point.

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All of Kerr's LotR edits (so far, just finished Book IV) have been excellent, but this one has to be the ballsiest. Flawlessly cutting out all of the non-book segments in Dagorlad and *especially* Ithilien (and by that I mean Ithilien and Osgiliath) was exceptionally artfully done given how much the original film's narrative doesn't support it. Bravo, Kerr.

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I can only give this fanedit a perfect review since I just truly loove this version of LOTR so much more than the original cut / edit (both theatrical and EE). To me all of Kerr's 6 books are a masterpeace. Only thing distracting is that, as far as I know, there is no HD-version of it available, so when watching the Hobbit fanedit beforehand, the quality difference is noticable. Let's hope an HD version comes out someday. This will be the version I will watch from now on if I watch the LOTR. Thank you Kerr for the work you put in!

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(Updated: February 08, 2019)
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10.0
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10.0
I left a little longer review for Part III - the short version is that Kerr has fixed a horribly broken movie.

Faramir - FIXED! Jackson utterly destroyed this character. He's supposed to be like "Aragorn-lite," with a remnant of the old wisdom trickled down to "normal" men. Jackson turned him into "Boromir-lite," when he is truly supposed to be almost an antithesis of Boromir.

The cliffhanger ending - FIXED! Tolkien basically gift-wrapped and handed an edge-of-the-seat cliffhanger to Jackson, and Jackson fumbled it by putting it at the beginning of the next movie! Kerr has put it back into its rightful place and man, does it work!

Just taking care of those two egregious errors had me smiling throughout, aside from numerous other, smaller fixes.

I'll add this from my Part III review: I realize that I'm writing as someone very familiar with the books and I'm happy to finally see something close to them on the screen. It's hard to say whether someone who hasn't read them would be able to follow or not - but I rate this one superb and have been recommending it to the LOTR book lovers I know.

[EDIT: typos]

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