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The Lord of the Films: The Unofficial Guide to Tolkien's Middle-Earth on the Big Screen Paperback – Sep 1 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: ECW Press (Sept. 1 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1550228900
  • ISBN-13: 978-1550228908
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 1.3 x 22.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #557,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Author J.W. Braun, an eminently qualified aficionado of the movies, offers readers a dragon's lair of information about the creation, production and marketing of the films as well as the cultural zeitgeists surrounding each theatrical release."  —Scene Magazine



"The Lord of the Films is one of those cases where the back cover bumpf is actually true . . . after reading this book, you'll go back and watch the trilogy again with a fresh pair of eyes, as if it's the first time you're watching it."  —TheOneRing



"Braun has somehow managed to capture every little additional detail you could ask for from The Lord of the Rings films every step of the way. The book is wonderful as either light reading for fans of the films looking for more LotR content and deeper appreciation, or as a companion guide while the movies play on the television."  —Buzzine

About the Author

J.W. Braun became fascinated by fantasy before he had a handle on reality. After reading The Lord of the Rings as a child in the 1980s, he became convinced that the books would one day become blockbuster films and began watching for news of potential projects. As the would-be blockbusters began to come to fruition, he followed the reports from the project from beginning to end, savouring every moment. Braun lives in Burlington, Wisconsin.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on May 16 2010
Format: Paperback
For the record, I am a mildly fanatical "Lord of the Rings" fan, both movies and books.

So unsurprisingly I was overjoyed to find out about "The Lord of the Films: The Unofficial Guide to Tolkien's Middle-Earth on the Big Screen." It wasn't quite what I expected, since it's not so much a guide as a collection of Tolkienian trivia and behind-the-scenes information about the moviemaking process -- but it's still a thoroughly enjoyable, highly informative read.

J.W. Braun gives some lavish backstory to the making of the movie trilogy and the stuff that came before it, such as Bakshi's disastrous half-finished cartoon version. He also inserts some nice interviews with people involved in production: artist Paul Lasaine, makeup artist Vance Hartwell, "Zac the Orc," and design artist Daniel Falconer.

Each of the three movies is subdivided into important scenes and stretches of the narrative, and each of these chapters is filled with fascinating facts. Every chapter starts off on a light note with "What the Big Folk Were Saying" -- in other words, the weird and funny stuff that people in the theatres said ("Someone tell that thing his comb-over isn't working"), and there are fun little side-chapters that list various stuff about the movie (the worst merchandising toys! Easter eggs! The animated versions!).
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By Detayl on Jan. 5 2011
Format: Paperback
I picked up Braun's book a couple of weeks ago - as I was feeling nostalgic for Lord of the Rings - and easily made my way through it.

I was a bit disappointed, however, as I discovered that most of Braun's facts and ancedotes derived from the information you can learn from watching the Lord of the Rings: Extended Edition DVDs. In fact, some might see it as borderline plagiarism.
Now, perhaps some people would rather read this information rather than watch the Appendices from the 4-DVD set, but Braun's sub-par writing really doesn't stand up to the excellent footage, stills and fantastic interviews with Peter Jackson and crew featured on the DVD.
The only thing mildly appreciative about this book is the activity section in the back. Some fun quizzes, crosswords, etc.

Overall, I dont believe this book was worth what I paid for it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 17 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
A "RINGER'S" DELIGHT! Aug. 22 2009
By Jacqueline Roland - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Oh, I know many people, other than "Ringers", will find this book delightful.
But for Ringers... WOW!... for us, this book is a real treasure. So much information...WONDERFUL 'behind the scenes' stuff ... hours and hours of delightful discoveries that will add to my enjoyment ( and yours, I'm sure ) each time we watch the films. J.W. Braun did his homework, and we are grateful recipients of this absolutely FUN romp through our favorite movies, the films of Middle Earth. Now, along with reading and re-reading LOTR, I'm going to be reading and re-reading Lord of the Films. Thanks, J.W.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic Must-Have! Aug. 19 2009
By M. E. Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book every fan of the LOTR films will love. I thought I knew everything about The Lord of the Rings, but Braun did his homework and the result is page after page of "Wow, that's cool, I didn't know that" info. Throw in lots of cast and crew photos and interviews, and you have the icing on the cake. While the book could be longer (it's about 220 pages), it's definitely a must have for any LOTR fan."
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Must-have for any LOTR fan! Aug. 20 2009
By N. Vanderburg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was pleasantly surprised by Lord of the Films. J.W. Braun takes you by the hand and guides you through all three films with love and a sense of humor; you can tell he loves what he does!

You'll like this book whether you're a hard-core Tolkien fan or if you've never read The Lord of the Rings but just like the films. This book is a must-have!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Fun trivia, but not enough Dec 31 2009
By Enjolras - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book after seeing the The Lord of the Rings trilogy for my fifth time and realizing, like Gollum's precious, that I needed more. The Lord of the Films: The Unofficial Guide to Tolkien's Middle-Earth on the Big Screen is a quick and fun read brimming with movie trivia. While I enjoyed reading it, I have to admit I was a bit disappointed.

First, the good. If you love the movies, you'll probably learn a few interesting tidbits from The Lord of the Films. These range from bloopers to special effects to legal disputes behind the film. For example, even after watching all of the "making of" extras on the DVDs, I never realized that Kate Winslet and Sean Connery had been asked to be in the film (as Eowyn and Gandalf, respectively). Mercifully, they both said no, allowing us to enjoy the performances of Miranda Otto and Ian McKellan. The book is written for a wide range of audiences, so even diehard LOTR fans will probably learn something. It also includes some interesting interviews (including one with Zac the Orc) and trivia games at the end.

Unfortunately, The Lord of the Films is organized more like a factoid/trivia collection than a historical narrative of the film production. Each fact only receives a sentence or two. This is unfortunate, because some of the issues merit a longer discussion. I really would have enjoyed learning more about where and why the films departed from the book. Some of the changes in the movies work well. For example, I really like how the movie incorporates the Arwen-Aragorn love story from the Appendix. Other changes proved silly. For example, whose dumb idea was it to have Denethor jump off Gondor in flames in Return of the King (in the book, he dies in a funeral pyre)? While these are mentioned in The Lord of the Films, much more could have been discussed. I certainly understand how much of a challenge it must have been to fit all of this information into 220 pages. Nonetheless, if there is a revised edition, I think there is certainly some material that could be cut (such as the comments of moviegoers) to make more room for the more important issues.

Ultimately, The Lord of the Films is a fun factoid book about the film, but it isn't a definitive account of the making of the movies. That gap remains to be filled. The book is also not a substitute for watching the bonus features on the DVDs, which are actually quite interesting. However, The Lord of the Films is worth a quick read and would probably make a nice small Christmas gift for any LOTR fan.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
LotR + Trivia + Behind-the-Scenes Goodies = FUN! Sept. 19 2009
By Carina Gunder - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a fan of both LotR and trivia, this book was right up my alley. In addition to the plethora of interesting facts about the creation and impact of the three films, Braun's writing was entertaining and humorous. Reading the book made me remember all the things I love about the LotR story (both the book and the films) and want to revisit both!


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