There is no project attached to this thread but I thought it was worth discussing the merits of this fantastic set of films and their eventual remastering.
Now there is much talk about what this remaster will be or what exactly will constitute considering the theatrical and extended versions and Peter Jackson perhaps joked about a 20th Anniversary Edition or even a 25th Anniversary edition Certainly what ever that is we are all looking forward to it.
It seems it is a mastered in 2k Resolution on film which throws the question of a upscaled 4K release which still would be a upgrade from Bluray regardless it won’t be true 4k ever which is fine by me if it simply was good quality release.
There are sets of people who yearn for changes such as Martin Freeman Replacing Ian Holm in the prologue and replacing the Gollum / Smeagol in the fellowship of the ring to be the same as the CGI model in the two towers. Peter Jackson teases these things in his commentaries…
People now also complain about outdated CGI and some shots that stick out like a sore thumb which I can honestly agree with certain instances where the CGI looks dated but is forgivable for the amazing sets costumes makeup miniatures and live action which will and have stood the test of time.
Now I will start to give some personal opinions about the films and what could be done to a revised but not particularly different way to handle a eventual remaster or new version.
I personally don’t care for trying to make the Lord of the rings fit to the Hobbit as they were inferior films so no Martin Freeman as far as I am concerned. Keep Ian Holm.
As far as Updating Gollum in Fellowship of the ring goes I think it could be interesting I am not against this idea I am not attached to the Gollum in Fellowship of the ring as a different design he does look a bit more sinister. But Andy Serkis was not Gollim at this point in production. It does not bother me but in terms of an alternate version I am ok with this. PJ stated that he would never allow the originals to be made unavailable so this won’t go down like Star Wars did.
I think that some of the Blue Screen and Green screen shots could be better blended in some instances where they are clearly Chroma keyed in to a background. This would be a great thing to do for some of the truly worst offenders.
Now I come to the case of people calling for updated CGI… Here is what I think on this. When the films were shot there were always meant to be big CGI effects shots and the ones planned for a long time that were worked on meticulously and still look good to this day… Peter Jackson during editing would often order large special effects shots with little time to work on them so meticulously as the ones that look good. I feel that some of these last minute orders on shots were a problem they are the ones that really show. Should they be updated? Perhaps but if they were put in to replace a live action version of a scene then it might be better to roll it back to a live action edit with no effects than a grandiose CGI fest that was a flash in the pan and pretty last minute. I will give an example.
Helms Deep - Riding out at dawn.
This shot above is one of those bad looking shots. But there is a whole live action edit where they rode out through the set of helms Deep… Now there is a possibility that this edit contained Liv Tyler but either way there should have been enough shots of Theoden, Aragorn, Eomer and Eowyn Fighting in the caves also etc. So what I am saying is there is enough coverage in terms of the last minute CGI shots to irradicate the bad looking ones and call for a better final cut If you catch my drift. It’s replacing subtlty for grandiose CGI that now looks bad dated and was very last minute anyway.
But if you go down this route where do you stop?
I would rather actual footage than fast food cgi feasts. So that was I think the distinction shots that were last minute either put it back to live action (better) or go for an update if you really have to?
There is also calls for correcting orlando Blooms eyes when he forgot to put his Blue contact lenses in. And replacing Stunt doubles faces with the actual actors faces where it is glaringly obvious it’s a double.
But now the flip side of this…
But then I came across a shot yesterday I did a little studying on the films recently… “The fellowship of the ring” upon them leaving Lothlorien and they are in the elven canoe boats we intercut between the Uruk’s and the fellowship in boats. This sequence was a total mess eventually I figured out that it is a special effects Sarumans crows are missing. You can hear the crows and you can see Legolas and Aragorn and Boromir look at them and in the script it says a flock of Crows… But the effects for the crows are not present in the edit and it looks shuffled up and jumbled. So should the effects be finished for this shot or leave it missing?
Let us know your thoughts on a Remaster or a Final Cut edition that PJ has teased he might do something…