Lord of the Rings, The: Book IV - The Journey of the Ringbearers
- NTSC DVD-5
- 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.
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.
Yet another fine edit! Kerr tries to salvage certain characters traits, and also manages to convincingly cut Frodo's dismissal of Sam. I think the new implication that Gollum pushes Sam works. The Smeagol-flashback is sensibly placed and works. Everything works.
These edits are a pleasure to watch!