Review

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: RETURN OF THE KING review

Published at: Dec. 13, 2003, 3:13 p.m. CST by headgeek

I’ve already given 6 hours and 44 minutes of my life over to RETURN OF THE KING, I’ve seen it twice. On Tuesday, I’ll see it again, and after that, I imagine I’ll see it 3 more times by the end of the week.

This is frankly one of the greatest films ever made. It towers over the other so-called epics of the year in a way that one could only imagine it was like when INTOLERANCE was released 87 years ago. What was it like in 1916 to see a film on that scale? Beside all the two-reelers and three-reelers and four-reelers to see a true epic. One with spectacle and size so immense that as you watched it, you knew… you felt the screen busting at the seams to hold it all.

However, unlike INTOLERANCE, this film takes the care to tell intimate… almost private adventures and stories with all the care, love and passion that you could ever hope for. The performances burn into us. I am sitting here trying to go over the history of epics in my mind to remember one that juggled so many characters and gave us so much to care for and I’m coming up empty. There truly is no film to compare to RETURN OF THE KING.

For all it’s visual effects wizardry, the scenes and the moments that linger with me are not those moments. I remember Ian McKellen’s Gandalf telling Billy Boyd’s Pippin about the adventure beyond death amidst a battle to decide it all. There’s a serenity to Ian’s face… an impossible calm and resolute ease and anticipation to beginning that final adventure that puts Pippin at peace and calm. Billy Boyd’s face begins with sadness and in the end of the conversation… you see his nerves become calm, though the end is at hand. The scene is brilliant.

Just about every moment with Sean Astin in this film is one for the history books. Sean, bless him… He’s stunning as Samwise Gamgee and I can’t imagine the cold dark pathetic heart that doesn’t weep for him. There upon the endless steps…. Or upon the side of that cruel and desolate volcano… watching him carry the weight of Middle Earth upon those shoulders. No longer do I hear his speech at the bottom of a well, nor do I see him in football pads… Forever he will be the bravest of all cinematic characters, more noble than the The Cid of Valencia or even Boorman’s Lancelot… here you have on screen captured for all eternity as we will know it… the power of true friendship, duty and sacrifice. If somehow this performance is overlooked by those that give out baubles, then it is only their own insignificance that is illuminated, not this role, because this role will be taken into the hearts of all that see it.

Miranda Otto’s Eowyn and Bernard Hill’s Theoden… Tremendous work here. There’s a resolved sense of finality to the way Bernard plays his role in this final film. Watching him play this you get the sense that he knows what is ahead, but that he also knows the price of avoiding it. Eowyn is so good here, with so little. Watching her steal tiny moments and take on fantastic gigantic moments… Great. The spears scene with Bernard is classic.

Elijah Wood in many ways has the thankless Mark Hamill role in these films, but if he wasn’t perfect… the whole thing would topple. His eyes in this film tell such sadness and loss. You can see the innocence he had 2 films ago completely ripped from him. There is something taking seed inside his soul here that places deceit, suspicion, fear, want and spite where once was cheer, song and love. The transformation is complete and that moment where suddenly he can see again… absolutely killer.

Finally… there is Gollum and Andy Serkis… Here too you have a transformation, and to me… in this film there is truly no Gollum Visual Effects. Not once as I watched the film did I think for a second about anything other than the reality that he was there with them. Watching Gollum talk in his sleep, the conversation in the pool, where the Gollum personality is no longer a taunting jackal, but the resolute leader of the splintered remains of Smeagol. Here is a colder character, here we see the killer. In a way, while watching Gollum I was reminded of Melanie Lynskey’s Pauline Parker and Kate Winslet’s Juliet Hulme from HEAVENLY CREATURES. Melanie’s Pauline was the resolute one that was going to lead mother to the trail and kill her. Kate’s Juliet was the slightly reluctant, albeit obedient companion that went along with it. The pair were truly one by that point in the film, and both were confused lost creatures with evil taken root in their souls. Gollum is both of them… Colder and more pathetic than either. More lost, more sad and ultimately incredibly deceived by his obsession. There is an impossible subtlety at work with this character and performance that is just… impossible to imagine being created at a 24th of a second, yet it is there. Like so much in this film… that achievement has no parallel.

It is easy for many to overlook the enormity of the accomplishment in RETURN OF THE KING. It seems so effortless, but the concept that in spite of all the gigantic visual delights, that beyond all of that… above it all, the performances and the work of characters and actors and the constructed written scenes… for those things to shine above the battles and the beasts and the sets…. That this film is not swallowed up whole by the production design, that the digital effects do not make this film ring with the clunk of plastic… that the weight of what is at stake isn’t rendered mute and that the highlights of every battle are intimate personal risks of singular characters having to reach within to pull out that strength to face an evil bigger than they… well… that falls upon the shoulders of Peter Jackson and the astonishing spirit he placed into this spectacle that kept each piece of the puzzle centered on being exactly what it needed to be to create the whole.

While it seems I’m avoiding talking about the gigantic effects moments in the film, it is only because I feel words will fail me. The battle and encounter with Shelob is stunningly perfect. The coming of the Ohliphaunts, the dueling catapults of Sauron’s hordes and those of the White City of Minas Tirith. The trolls, the fell beasts, the charge of Theoden’s Rohan masses… The gaze of the EYE in Mordor, the return of the moth and all that follows. Pippin’s uncontrollable urge to look… the lighting of the signal fires atop mountains… the paths of the dead… All of this… these things must be seen to be believed. Trying to describe them… well… you would need to be Tolkien to do it justice.

This film isn’t a movie filled with “Where’s Waldo’s” leaping about for the camera’s attention. This film is always exactly what it has to be from moment to moment. I don’t know if we’ll ever see a film series to match this. That is truly a sad thing to contemplate. Ultimately it will inspire others to mount impossible productions, but will they have the support, the vision and the resolute determination to pull it off? For me, the greatest trilogies have always been subject trilogies… things like John Ford’s Cavalry trilogy or Kieslowski’s Colors trilogy or Leone’s Man with No Name trilogy. Personally, I feel the best trilogy that carries a single narrative story is probably Hiroshi Inagaki’s SAMURAI series with Toshiro Mifune. However, as much as I love that series… This series surpasses it in terms of scale, intimacy, performances and just my own personal tastes. I still love the flawed, but great, trilogies like Coppola’s GODFATHER trilogy, Lucas’ STAR WARS, Spielberg’s INDIANA JONES, Karloff’s FRANKENSTEIN trilogy, Weissmuller’s TARZAN trilogy, Arnold’s TERMINATOR trilogy and the Wachowski’s MATRIX trilogy… but Peter Jackson’s LORD OF THE RINGS… for me, it is without equal or parallel. It does not diminish the others to any degree, it is just what it is… perfect. Like when Lean did BRIDGE OF THE RIVER KWAI, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA and DR ZHIVAGO… there was just fate leaning over the shoulder and perfection was achieved. It happens rarely that a filmmaker is given a perfect run… folks like Hitchcock and Ford and Lean and Kubrick and Spielberg and many others have had their runs… never with the same story, but with a consistency of vision on multiple projects. Now we see if Jackson can move past these great tales when he takes on his personal lifelong passion of KING KONG… Spielberg didn’t fare so well when he took on his passion with Peter Pan, let’s pray that Jackson does better.

And finally… this last thought needs a SPOILER WARNING -- Do Not Read Below This Line If You Do Not Wish To Know The End Of The Film. I write about it, because so many seem to have issue with the alleged multiple ending of the film, but frankly… I feel they are completely missing the point.

THE ENDINGS are in actuality one. You see the story is THE LORD OF THE RINGS and the end of this film is about the passing of the ring bearers. We see the end of Sauron, the ultimate soul of the one ring, but we are also compelled over the course of these films to see the end of each who has carried the ring. In FELLOWSHIP we saw what became of Isildur and Boromir – both of whom carried the ring, no matter how briefly. In RETURN OF THE KING – we see the destruction of Sauron and Gollum… The passing of Bilbo, Gandalf and Frodo from the Gray Havens… and finally, the last ring bearer… Samwise Gamgee returning to his hole in the ground where the story which began in the HOBBIT started. THIS IS A SINGLE ENDING, following the narrative of the ring bearers and concluding as it began… with a hole in the ground.

Absolutely perfect.

As for me, I can not wait for Trilogy Tuesday… To watch it all play as one. What a treat!

Readers Talkback

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  • Dec. 13, 2003, 3:21 p.m. CST

    First?

    by gollumthegreat

    ROTK is an awesome film and Harry has written an awesome review. Can't wait to see it again on Wednesday.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 3:21 p.m. CST

    I scoffed and skipped out when I hit "This is frankly one of the

    by Tall_Boy

    any time somebody starts a friggin review OFF like that I'm bailing. not reading it. Game over, man, game over.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 3:27 p.m. CST

    Pretty spoiler free-actually

    by Fatboy Roberts

    This is probably the first time in AICN history that there's a spoiler warning for something that doesn't have any spoilers in it--when the opposite is usually what happens. And this is one of Harry's more restrained reviews, actually. It's still pretty overblown and overdramatic, but on the whole, it's nice and even. I can't wait to catch this on Monday, and chances are I'll end up agreeing with a lot of it.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 3:29 p.m. CST

    Harrrrrrrryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!

    by Big Stupid Troll

    You Big Redhead!

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 3:33 p.m. CST

    saw the movie last week

    by Mel

    'One of" the greatest films ever? Err, no. THE SINGLE greatest movie ever? Yes. And all the little bitching whores who'll fill this thread and who haven't seen the movie can get ready to curl up into their little balls and cry themselves to death, because this accolade and this trilogy ain't going away. Ever.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 3:37 p.m. CST

    Loki and Tallboy...

    by Von Bastard

    Can't a film actually be that good? How can you question a person's taste. I too feel this is the best trilogy/films there are, hands down. It's the emotional connection, that near impossible feeling, the link that so many of us uber geeks have been seeking all this time. Well, if you feel it, if you can tap into that- then you too will understand why so many people go crazy over these movies. Once in a way true greatness can come along. I think this is the one time when the people mean, "This is frankly one of the greatest films ever made" It is too many of us, and honestly, I am saddened for those who can't feel the way many of us do. You lose, you miss out on a profound experience.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 3:40 p.m. CST

    I don't know why everyone complains

    by spideyman1218

    Just enjoy the best cinema we've ever seen! Don't gripe about the kinds of movies you 'want' to see, and the way movies suck. A golden age in movies is happening right now!

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 3:42 p.m. CST

    $380 million tops domestically

    by AlwaysThere

    ?

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 3:42 p.m. CST

    hmm

    by BobaBackRibs

    I can't wait.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 3:44 p.m. CST

    It was that good, huh?

    by Terry_1978

    Man, if Sean Astin wins an Oscar for this thing...that would actually be pretty cool. You know he'd be going nuts over it.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 3:52 p.m. CST

    Nice review, Harry.

    by Balrog77

    Can't wait till Wednesday!!

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 3:54 p.m. CST

    HOORAY FOR LOTR!!!

    by Snake-eyes

    I got my ROTK tickets already booked for Weds 17th, Fri 19th and Sunday 21st!!! Words cannot describe what an impact these films have had on me (not forgettting the books)!!! As each day passes and more reviews pour in, my hopes are finally being realised....which are that to folk all over the world, LOTR is simply the greatest trilogy EVER made!!! ENJOY IT NOW FOR I DOUBT THERE WILL NEVER BE ITS EQUAL!!

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 3:56 p.m. CST

    Star Wars trilogy flawed?

    by GravyAkira

    I love the LOTR trilogy so far like nothing I have seen since Star Wars. And I expect that come Wednesday I will be knocked on my ass and have no problem calling the LOTR trilogy either 1 or 2 on my list. But there is no reason to call the best trilogy of films ever made "flawed". Say what you will about ROTJ, but it is a "flawed" masterpeice.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 3:56 p.m. CST

    I want to see this film.

    by WorstPoochieEver

    I want to see it badly. My heart hurts.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 4:03 p.m. CST

    Greatest Trilogy Ever?

    by LaurieMann

    Having not seen the third LOTR movie yet, I can't say for sure. Maybe in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, after attending Trilogy Tuesday for most of the previous day, I'll be able to say for sure. LOTR looks like it will be the best trilogy up to now. I'm of the age that I loved Stars Wars. It came out when my husband and I were on our honeymoon, and we went to see it anyway. Yeah, the acting and dialogue were hokey. We loved it anyway. The Indiana Jones trilogy has a surprisingly bad middle movie, but the first and third are both quite strong. The Godfather trilogy had a brilliant second movie, ground-breaking first movie and a poor third movie. Jaws or Alien - let's just not go there. One good or two good movies and other awful movies. I'm an IMDB fan, where we rate our favorite movies from 1 (for awful) to 10 (for great). I've only ever rated two movies a 10 - To Kill a Mockingbird and Schindler's List. I rated FOTR a 9 and TTT an 8. While I had some problems with TTT, it was still an extraordinarily good movie. I don't know how I'll rate ROTK yet, but I suspect I'll the three movies combined will have a symbiotic punch; the sum may well be greater than its parts.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 4:05 p.m. CST

    Argh! Curse you Harry...

    by Neon Jesus

    I was so intent on ripping apart Harry for taking his god damn sweet ass time with his review! (Come on, BNAT was a week and then some ago!) But after reading it, I'm glad he took the time. Oh...so...very good. I just want finals to finish and Wednesday to come. I still want Moriarty's review right now, but Harry, you glorious bastard. I may bitch and moan about your reviews, but god damn, they're always entertaining. I hope on Wednesday I can agree with you!

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 4:15 p.m. CST

    GravyAkira

    by mortsleam

    Uhm

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 4:15 p.m. CST

    'Frodogologolies' or whatever......

    by Snake-eyes

    The only thing Jar-Jar -"schools" Gollum in is in the Art of being a piss-poor, joke of a 'character'!!!!!!

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 4:18 p.m. CST

    Until Wednesday...

    by Neon Jesus

    It looks like I'll have the sweet, sweet voice of Annie Lennox's 'Into the West' (the BEST of the three credit songs) to tide me over. Oh, and the rest of the soundtrack, the other two extended editions and all the glorious, gushing reviews! Why isn't Wednesday upon us now?

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 4:24 p.m. CST

    Cringing at overly superlative reviews

    by Warin

    I understand why so many people blanch at (and/or flame) these reviews which have been filled with so much hyperbolae. But I think the blanchers and flamers (and some of the reviewers, certainly<g>) are missing an important point. Watching a movie (or reading a book for that matter) is almost *exactly* like being hypnotized. It requires willing participation, or at least a suspension of hostility. If you are absolutely determined to prove that these films are no big deal, and that all the rabid fans are just slobbering idiots, then that's the film experience you are going to have. Similarly, if you already know it's the greatest cinematic achievement of all time, THAT's the experience you are going to have. I would say that both sorts of people are probably cheated a bit (although the second sort is going to have a much better time). If you go in to the experience with an open mind, or at worst a modest bias in either direction, then the film has a chance to work on you. A great movie will pull you in, suspend your disbelief, give you chills and do whatever great movies do for you. A bad one will continually drop you back in your seat. In order for either of these things to happen, you need to make yourself "available" to the movie. That's what I try to do. (With these movies it's damn hard<g>.) There are always objective things you can say about the movie (I saw strings on the spaceships or whatever), but they often miss the point. One last thing I would like to touch on is that people have very different "capacities" for appreciating art in its various forms. That is partly due to upbringing and experience, and partly due to education and training. It's a bit of a mystery. I, for example, seem to be able to get much more enjoyment out of music than most people. I do not mean to imply that I am smarter or deeper or more sensitive or anything like that. Listening to music is just a very vivid experience for me for some reason. Paintings, on the other hand, leave me pretty cold. I could walk right past Van Gogh's (sp) Daisies without a second glance, while the next person could stare at it transfixed for hours or write a book abouot it. That is my loss and their gain. (Hmm, gotta work on that). My capacity to enjoy films is probably about average or a hair larger. Yikes, I am rambling. Time to close it up. My point is that a lot of the people in these forums probably have a very large "capacity" to enjoy films, so their reactions may seem very outlandish to others. I know people look at me sideways when I tell them that listening to The Magic Garden by The 5th Dimension is utterly absorbing, and the album is just as good as Sgt. Pepper, but it is. For me.

  • Anything else is a bonus. I admit it, I'm a sucker for huge battles. I still love the way the Romans are assembled in Spartacus - like elaborate pieces on a giant chessboard. I hope Jackson does something similar. We know this horde is coming but the longer it takes the more tension will build. Then it finally snaps like a rubber band...

  • ROTK is the baubles for me and doesn't fucking need any awards to validate this or any other film I admire.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 4:30 p.m. CST

    Give me a break

    by the flashlight

    I went to see ROTK a couple of nights ago, and within 5 minutes of the film's beginning I had fallen asleep. 10 minutes later the two people next to me were snoring. Then people in the first two rows started throwing popcorn and Whoppers at the screen. At least 25 people got up to go to the bathroom within another 5 minutes. 10 minutes after that, 1/2 the theater was empty, the audience having walked out. Then the guy one row down from me got up, dropped his pants and took a giant, steaming shit right there in the aisle. With an hour left in the movie I was the only one in the theater - then I fell asleep from boredom and the pimply-faced 16-year-old who came in to sweep the floor woke me up and said the movie's over. Then I went home and masturbated furiously to my twin life-size cardboard cutouts of Princess Amidala and Leia in Jabba's Palace garb.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 4:30 p.m. CST

    Jar-Jar still schools Gollum???

    by Warin

    In case we weren't absolutely positive that you were trolling for trolling's sake, that about seals it. I bet you're an LOTR fan just like everyone else. Maybe you just didn't drink the *whole* glass of Kool-Aid like the rest of us did<g>. And "from" the Grey Havens is by and large correct, although of course they had to travel *to* them before they could depart *from* them.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 4:31 p.m. CST

    LOTR is great filmmaking the problem is the films take themselve

    by Tall_Boy

    there's no joy in it, that's why I can't fully get on the bandwagon. They're amazingly technically made and a very epic story -- but its so damned serious. Peter Griffin said it best "FOR GOD'S SAKE, SOMEBODY THROW A PIE!!" I think they're really cool movies, but the whole "Greatest films ever made" praise comming from AICN every December really gets on my nerves. You can't have a movie with eleves take itself too seriously: that is my problem. All that bitching aside, I've enjoyed them all, but I can't just jump up and down and sing praises from the highest mountain about them every year.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 4:32 p.m. CST

    Warin

    by mansala

    You have cast into words my sentiments exactly regarding art appreciation. Thanks.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 4:37 p.m. CST

    Lokitard

    by john*wayne

    "I really don't see what what others do in LOTR." And why don't you see it? Because you are dumb. I see your email handle "obiwan500" or something like that. You where raised on fluffy souless eye candy. There is no deep meaning in anything Hollywood does today. This is not an American film. This is a story as told by an English Professor. Do you understand the implications of that? Tolkien was educated. He wasn't raised watching American horse shit. He wasn't interested in flashy visuals. He was interested in Story. Substanitive, purposeful Story. Not eye candy. If you don't understand why these movies are great, you need a little more education. Read a few more books. And I don't mean books that you find in the sci fi section. I don't mean Manga. These movies are wonderful on so many levels. I am surprised that they have done so well with the American audience. Usually Americans shy away from thought provoking material. "Give us Pokeman, give us Matrix, and give us cool shit to look at that doesn't make me think and make my head hurt."

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 4:43 p.m. CST

    Tolkien the creator

    by OldManWillow

    Why are these the three best movies ever made and ever to be made?Because there is no other story as good to tell.They can make "Snowcrash",they can make "Watchmen","Batman versus Judge Dredd","Lobo versus Mask" or even "The Incal"...but nothing will ever come close storywise.Just hurry up with the TROTK EE,so we can buy that extra special box-set with toys and props included.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 4:44 p.m. CST

    Sam and Frodo. Sam and Frodo!

    by djinnj

    I need to hear Sam beg Frodo not to leave and go where he can't follow. I need to see Frodo, with no hope that he will succeed, continue on. I want the battles and the other stories to be a glorious distraction. I want to both be sucked into them, and be twitching with the need to know what is happening to Sam and Frodo at the same moment. I.E. TOTALLY consumed by the film. Tuesday can't come soon enough, I'm a total OCD wreck, unable to get any work done with wondering about this film and planning for our little unofficial line party. --- Oh, and frododies, "from" is both factually and grammatically correct. At least be right about errors when holding them up in mockery. There are certainly plenty of them all over this site.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 4:51 p.m. CST

    Greatest film of all time?

    by Lost in Uranus

    Oh please...get over yourselves. I'll concede that these films are good and worthy on their own merit, but to go as far as calling them "the-greatest-films-of-all-times-so-help-me-God-infinity-plus" is way, wayyyy over the top. Its amazing how some people really let themselves get carried away by the juggernaut marketing campaign behind these films.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 5:02 p.m. CST

    Marketing....

    by Tar_Palantir

    Yeah, you know what? We WERE carried away by its juggarnaut marketing ploys and its nefarious merchandise schemes. LOTR is nothing more than Hollywood hype-a vehicle for the shit to sell. And Harry is a 90lb wuss. ITS THE FUCKING STORY RETARD. These movies have adapted something spectacular in its own right and made it visual. They are triumphs on their own right as well. Its not some overrated, overblown merchandise scheme. You fucking joking? I was shocked when i heard a studio would DO this back in 1998. I was even more shocked when I heard that they would allow 3 hour releases. New Line has kept their hands largely off and has shown what can be done when studios take make-or-break chances. Oh, and Harry man...thanks for the review. Good work. And I hate you for having seen it so much.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 5:02 p.m. CST

    Greatest Trilogy ever?! Have you all lost your minds?!

    by waylayer

    I got three words for you. Beverly. Hills. Cop. *friendswithbenefits.com*

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 5:12 p.m. CST

    Jaw Dropping Good

    by Rascal182

    I have my tickets for this wednesday and I don't know if I can wait that long. There is so much build up for the fans of this trilogy when it gets this close to the release date. It's really difficult to wait when my jaw drops every time a new commercial for the movie comes on!

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 5:15 p.m. CST

    Yes, it's true! These herb talkbackers went to Barnes&Noble to g

    by Johnson McGregor

    This movie is going to rule.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 5:24 p.m. CST

    Oh come on this is too much...

    by UberSpectre

    The movies really do kick ass, but best triology ever made? No don't think so. Most of these movies are all special effects and battle scenes, that is kool but not brilliant. The first Star Wars triology was brilliant becuase for that time when it came out no one had ever seen anything like that before. Also FOTR kicked sooo much ass and TTT did not. TTT ripped off the Army of Darkness battle scene and I was laughing when I first saw it. Editing was horrible in that film too. ROTK is good shit though I was loving every minute of it. It's just for the last three years I have heard the same thing. ROTK best movie of all time, TTT best movie of all time, FOTR bes movie of all time. Make up your mind!!! These movies are fun but not close to the great films like Paths of Glory and To Kill a Mocking Bird and others. Whatever I am going to go watch X2, now that was great movie

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 5:25 p.m. CST

    Yes, the marketing....

    by Lost in Uranus

    If not that then why all those toys and figurines I see @ the local Kay' Bee Toys store? The shirts, pogs and related paraphenilia. Let's all admit it, this movie is no less commercial than "Star Wars" or "The Cat in the Hat" for that matter. Sure they (The LOTR) are good movies, I never said they are bad films. But I just cant help but feel sorry for those that are just one step away from casting a golden statue of Peter Jackson in their front yard, and dance around naked while chanting his name.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 5:29 p.m. CST

    This is the first time I've ever cursed someone online...Harry,

    by Stirling Mel

    This film is wholly representative, not of THE truth of Tolkien's work, but rather of the most marginal of truths... profit. The fact that this work was actually sold is the only thing that ties it, in any way, to the soulless cash-whoring profiteerism taking place at New Line, through Peter Jackson's efforts, which of course will net him (current estimates) 100 million dollars... This was lowest-common-denominator filmmaking at its absolute worst. This film is miles long, and less than an inch deep. In a world that embraces Jerry Springer, Big Brother, Arnold the Governator, Dubya, and any newssource besides Democracy Now!, I guess this is to be expected... But for you to use a public forum to submit that this is the best, or even one of the best, cinematic works YOU HAVE EVER SEEN...

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 5:33 p.m. CST

    Exactly

    by Lost in Uranus

    Stirling Mel said it all...God bless him.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 5:48 p.m. CST

    Capitalism

    by Lost in Uranus

    You are 100% right BORG. It just bothers a little how some people compare these films to the second coming of Christ. These movies are good. But hardly the best ever made.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 5:56 p.m. CST

    hehe

    by djinnj

    But doesn't it strike anyone as wonderfully ironic that NOone could get ANY product placement in the films? I laugh every time I see an ad use scenes or stills or soundbytes from LotR, 'cause that's the only way they can use the films. Of course, it made financing the films more difficult than it had to be (esp. after the success of the first one), but I still laugh.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 6 p.m. CST

    Hi cutest

    by djinnj

    Glad to hear it! People will have to do without my lebkuchen this year as I'm focussed on LotR. I've my almond lembas all ready for Tuesday, and am still working on the creampuff Shelob design. I realized I could make little people creampuffs stuffed with strawberry jam and wrapped in ropes of marshmallow cream. They'd squirt red if you bit into one! :P

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 6:05 p.m. CST

    The Books??

    by Lost in Uranus

    These movies are based on books?..I'll be damned.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 6:32 p.m. CST

    What's the big deal?

    by mersault

    Having only recently been introduced to this website, I find it difficult to believe that anybody really takes this seriously. Judging from the hideous site design itself to the reviews written with all the skill of an over-excited junior-high schooler, I can't see what Harry really has to offer. It certainly is no crime to express one's passion for cinema, but this is ridiculous. The reviews themselves are practically unreadable. I find myself having to sift through all the ellipses and Caps Lock abuses to extract any meaning, which almost always ends up to be some sort of "ten thumbs up!" rave. I consider myself a fan of the Lord of the Rings series, and I'm sure this film deserves a good review, but this particular crime against language is simply masturbatory in its self-indulgence. Seriously, what's the big deal?

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 6:36 p.m. CST

    30,000 critics can't be wrong....

    by ash_2115

    Listen all you haters...this is my first post and I had to say that already at rotten tomatoes it has a 100% fresh rating, I know many of the major newspapers/media have yet to review it but even ebert & roeper agree its the best of the trilogy and of the best ever. I am a huge star wars fan, but all I can say is that compared to LOTR star wars is child's play. Even if episode III is lucas's best work(which it probably won't, that's empire) there is no doubting the fact that these three LOTR movies have redefined the way everyone including the hardcore geeks, casual moviegoers, and erudite critics look at fantasy films.... more on this later... ash

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 6:46 p.m. CST

    I'd never read the books before I saw the movies

    by 007-11

    I have to say that these movies are perhaps not as(but damn close) good as Harry would lead you to believe, but they are fantastic. These are the movies that do not dissapoint. In my opinion they do enter the Pantheon of film greatness, but whether or not they rise to the top is up for some debate. They are at least on par with the Star Wars movies. I can't wait to see Return of the King. And even though I haven't seen it yet I can say with all confidence that if the Oscars actually pass this movie over in favor of anything else then it is their own misstep. It is nothing to do with this movie. Perhaps they've earmarked this year for Tom Cruise to get an Oscar. Just like when Julia Roberts won. In any case these are instant classics on a massive scale.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 6:54 p.m. CST

    best movies?

    by no-no

    a matter of taste for sure. In the first one, they talk, they walk, they walk some more. In number 2, they run. In a couple of years, people will have calm down hopefully like they did after Titanic.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 6:55 p.m. CST

    Hey Play'Duh: Seriously I have never read the books...

    by Lost in Uranus

    It's simply not my cup of tea. To be honest with you, prior to FOTR being released I had no knowledge of "the one ring to rule them all". When I saw FOTR for the first time I had a completely unbiased mindset towards this new LOTR fad. I knew we were in for the next 2 years so I said to myself: "What the hell, let's see what this new fad is all about". My personal opinion is that these movies are entertaining, and solid films so far. But why must we declare every single one of them the greatest film of all time? Or "the greatest trilogy" for that matter. I simply dont see what the freaking big deal is. Goes to show you that when people get too attached to things their perception of reality can get pretty screwed up. But to each his own.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 7:06 p.m. CST

    Evil Dead is the Greatest Trilogy Ever!

    by Farging Bastige

    Bruce Campbell is GOD!!! Well, not really, but it isn't a Talkback without sucking on that root at least once. Star Wars vs. LotR vs. Matrix troll posts: check. One post calling Harry a fat expletive: check. Pissing and moaning from limey teabag UK liberals about our "Cowboy-In-Chief": check. I think we covered everything we're supposed to in this Talkback. Did we miss anything?

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 7:12 p.m. CST

    Play D'Oh....

    by XTheCrovvX

    Um, just to join the choir here, I've only read the first book....more specifically, I read, prior to the films, and didn't like the first book. I felt all the way through that for every beautiful place, image, character and scene Tolkien creates, there's a dozen others told in such a cold, offhand, stiff manner that becoming emotionally connected was a near impossibility. Just my opinion, but thats how I felt.....and yet, I've come out of theaters two years in a row head over fucking heels in love with this series....the point here is, I know some people, like Uranus, will always have a difference of opinion on certain films, and they'll all have different backgrounds and opinions on the material....but there's no need to pigeonhole all of them into mindless troll category. When someone pops onto this board saying "Frodo's a cocksucker who had a beer and cheeted on Samwise", that's the time for pigeonholing. Roll on Trilogy Tuesday. by the way, for those who don't know, if you have AOL, you can go to Keyword: Soundtracks and listen to the entire ROTK soundtrack. Just brace for the last 12 minutes....i started welling up just THINKING about what that bit of music goes with....

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 7:15 p.m. CST

    I'm a happy hobbit

    by Yo Yo Man

    Is anyone else seeing the trilogy over Tuesday and Wednesday, or is that a stupid question? By sheer jammy luck, those are my two days off work, so I don't even have to make up any "Yeah, I'm really ill, 48 hour virus I think" excuses. Any Glaswegians out there reading this? If there are, and you're seeing Fellowship and Two Towers at the UGC, I'll buy you a drink between them! As for Sam, he was my favourite character in the books and the movies. Everyone wishes they had a friend like Sam, that they could trust with their life even when they no longer trusted them. I wish I could be like that, but I'm probably more like Frodo, in that I think I have a friend like Sam... and I'm quite little (only 5'6!). Does anyone else have a favourite character that's different from the character they identify most with? And my favourite movies - until Wednesday, I suspect - are Leon, Grosse Pointe Blank, Rear Window, Say Anything and The Insider. I'm not putting LOTR in there until I've seen the whole thing and it can only take up one space. But I don't want to bump any of those off the top five! I've already relegated Sea of Love and Apocalypse Now. Then there's The Empire Strikes Back and L'Appartement and all the others I've left out, so let's just forget the whole thing.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 7:16 p.m. CST

    Oh Yeah...

    by Farging Bastige

    One First! poster and at least one false-First! poster who didn't hit the Post button on time (which probably made him feel green envy all day towards the true-First! poster): check and double check. ....... I can't wait to see the Return of the King! Good review, Harry.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 7:22 p.m. CST

    Frododies...

    by Yo Yo Man

    I can't help but think of your name as like the plural of "Frodody" (whatever that might be), as in, if I were to say it, I'd pronounce it "Fro-DO-dees". I don't know why. Mystery of human psychology, or perhaps just me.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 7:22 p.m. CST

    A Tale Of Deceit, The Vatican, Hairpins, And Retro-Nazi Curling

    by Ed McBain

    These films, while good, are excrement compared to OPEN RANGE.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 7:24 p.m. CST

    Maybe...

    by DocPazuzu

    ... I'm a flawed human being for judging people so harshly, but anyone who doesn't like the LOTR films sucks outrageous quantities of bovine ass. It's bad, I know, but anyone who voluntarily states they dislike or were untouched by Jackson's films needs to be given a blanket party. You heinous, malodorous bastards! Good night.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 7:31 p.m. CST

    Now there's a blast from the past Frododies.

    by Eternal

    But I do believe it should be "cheeted". The spelling is important! Had a beer and cheeted on his wife! Fuck, I remember that shit after all these years!!

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 7:35 p.m. CST

    Sam's accent...

    by Yo Yo Man

    ...Is pretty much the same as his accent in the BBC radio version of LOTR, although maybe someone who's listened to it more recently than me (maybe five years) could confirm this. I remember hearing Sean Astin's first line and thinking it was the same accent. I don't know why, because it isn't described in the book or anything, is it? Maybe Sean Astin took the radio play as inspiration. By the way, do you know who played Sam in the radio version? None other than that permanently dour, narcissistic dead-pan glam-rock wannabe Bill Nighy! That can't be right, can it? I'm sure it is, but to look at him in Love Actually and Still Crazy... he was hardly going to be typecast as the overweight, heroic midget, was he?

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 7:36 p.m. CST

    EVERYBODY NEEDS TO SEE THIS NOW!!!!!!!

    by PassionPlayer

    Oh my shit. http://homepages.nyu.edu/~scs273/01.mov

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 7:36 p.m. CST

    Bill Nighy was a Frodody!!!

    by Yo Yo Man

    That might explain it.

  • BEHOLD!! http://www.rottentomatoes.com/click/movie-1127213/reviews.php?critic=columns&sortby=default&page=1&rid=1227786

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 7:44 p.m. CST

    Okay link doesn't work

    by 007-11

    Just read the review by Mark Ramsey from Moviejuice.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 7:47 p.m. CST

    That was a short review

    by PurityOfEssence

    By Harry standards anyway...

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 7:48 p.m. CST

    Why the disrespect?

    by Lavaman

    I can accept that people think that The Lord Of The Rings is the greatest Trilogy ever, I love it as well, but why must people always disrespect Star Wars to help bolster their claim? How can Harry, or anybody, say that The Original Star Wars Trilogy is "flawed", but The Lord Of The Rings is perfect? No Harry, you are wrong, the LOTR movie Trilogy has its share of flaws in the first two movies alone, not even counting The Return Of The King. All I am saying is this. If you think Peter Jackson's The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy is Superior to Star Wars, fine, but don't forget that George Lucas is the one who made The Lord Of The Rings movie Trilogy possible. FACT!

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 7:48 p.m. CST

    Middle Earth Accents

    by Farging Bastige

    I don't have an ear for accents. To those that do, who in the LotR had good accents, and who didn't? I guess Sean Astin's was a little muddled, but did anyone except he, Elijah Woods, and Liv Tyler affect phony accents anyway? Maybe John Rhys Davies? They all sounded vaguely passable British/Irish to me, but like I said, I don't have a good ear for accents. Peter Jackson's Kiwi sounds W-A-A-Y phony to me, though.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 7:56 p.m. CST

    George Lucas responsible for Lord of the Rings?

    by Yo Yo Man

    Plans were afoot for a movie version way back in the sixties. John Boorman was involved at some point, before Star Wars, but he decided to make Excalibur instead (which I think is a terrible movie but some people love it, so fair do's). How is George Lucas responsible? If he is, then so are thousands of other film-makers, not least the fucking cast and crew of the actual LOTR trilogy!!! Lucas made the modern day blockbuster what it is, but then you'd have to hold Spielberg and Jaws responsible for that, and then you'd have to credit everyone who made Jaws and the film-makers who inspired THAT. And for LOTR's style, throw in Kurosawa, Leone and Sam Raimi as well. Oh, hang on, I forgot someone. JRR-something...

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 8:03 p.m. CST

    I think that paycheck from New Line is fatter than...

    by Lord_Soth

    You know.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 8:08 p.m. CST

    Harry thinks it's the best movie ever. Sure needed a review for

    by MyNameDoesn'tFit

    Didn't see it coming.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 8:29 p.m. CST

    regarding accents

    by djinnj

    Let's see, Gandalf, Saruman, Gimli, Legolas, Gollum/Smeagol, Merry, Pippin, Boromir, Theoden, Bilbo and the Ring had home grown accents, although there was some accent modification in their delivery as well (McKellen and Rhys-Davis both discuss this in the FotR:SEV extras). Aragon, Frodo, Sam, Arwen, and Grima are Americans with assorted regionalisms in their voices. Galadriel, Elrond, Eowyn, Denethor, Faramir, and Haldir are Australian. Eomer, Gamling, Hama, Celeborn, Rosie, Sauron, Lurtz/Witchking/Gothmog, Grimbold, and Isildur are from NZ. Many of these actors have lived in assorted countries as well. I think a lot was done to create regional accents in ME, and that diction coaching was a big part of all of their lives. It is discussed, again in the FotR:SEV extras that they had had Billy Boyd using an accent closer to the one Elijah Wood and Dom Monaghan used (Sam's was different on purpose), but it messed up his comic timing.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 8:41 p.m. CST

    Lavaman and Yo Yo Man

    by Farging Bastige

    Lavaman is engaging in hyperbole when he says Lucas made LotR possible, but I think YoYoMan was a little harsh on him. True, many others were more responsible for getting Jackson's magnum opus on screen, but you have to admit Lucas was the groundbreaker. 20th Century Fox took a huge gamble greenlighting Star Wars. No one was doing big budget sci fi in the mid 1970's, especially on Lucas' scale. You can draw many parallels with the two trilogies in terms of risk, innovative effects and vision. You cannot compare Jaws with either as easily. SW is too separated in time to say it led directly to LotR, but it did open up the genre, leading to blockbuster series like Raiders, Aliens, Terminator, etc. and therefore could be argued to be patrilineal.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 8:52 p.m. CST

    RE: Accents

    by Farging Bastige

    Wow, thanks Djinni! That was quite comprehensive. Again, not having an ear for accents, I assumed most everyone affected Shakespearian actors' British, with notable exceptions like Sam and Pippin. Viggo Mortenson is American? I saw a trailor for Hidalgo (where he plays an American cowboy) and figured, "Wow! He stuck that American accent pretty good, like Mel Gibson does!" No wonder he did. Of course Mel Gibson has lived in the US long enough to not really have an Aussie accent anymore. Speaking of which, I'm looking forward to seeing The Passion too (more accent controversy: oy!)

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 8:56 p.m. CST

    As you can plainly tell...

    by Farging Bastige

    ...my date stood me up tonight. (Miserable wench! Just see if I take you to see LotR Wednesday!) So here I am with the rest of you dateless losers (like me). Lift your glasses mates! Cheers!

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 8:59 p.m. CST

    Hmm...

    by Yo Yo Man

    Perhaps I was a little harsh in my wording... My point was that, while George Lucas did in part make LOTR possible, so did many, many others. By the time you factor in all the other influences, literary and cinematic, which affected LOTR's style, substance and selling, it becomes ridiculous to credit its success to a single person. George Lucas was a visionary, but he was still building on work done before him when he made Star Wars. For a start, he must have read Lord of the Rings. It's easy to namedrop Lucas because everyone's heard of him, but LOTR owes just as much to so many other people. Maybe in 25 years, Peter Jackson will be credited with the success of some other fantasy trilogy, to the detriment of its writer/director, because "he showed the way". But let's be fair: every film-maker stands on the shoulders of the giants who preceded them. Lucas did it then, and Jackson's doing it now. It doesn't mean they aren't giants themselves, it just means we'll need a bit of perspective to see it. Let's give credit where credit's due. Lucas and a bunch of people made the original Star Wars movies great. PJ and a bunch of people made the LOTR movies great. And now, if you'll excuse me, it's 2am and if I don't get some sleep, I'll have to punch some pedestrians tomorrow. Have fun!

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 9:06 p.m. CST

    $100 million for Peter Jackson?

    by Shit Dog

    Fucking damn. I hope he uses some of it to cut his hair. Why do so many directors insist on looking like hairy fucking bastards? Movie critics, too. WINK WINK. LOTR is not the best trilogy of films ever made, neither can any of them be called the best films ever made. They're pretty good, but year after year these fanboy idiots get suckered in by the hype and start making grand announcements that nothing will ever be the same again, yadda yadda yadda. Remember when Drew McWeeny said that we shouldn't settle for shit films anymore after FOTR came out, and he was saying how we should only love great films? Well he still found time to cream his shorts over THE REAL CANCUN, after the FOTR hype had died down. Must have been real fucking spectacular, Moriarty. Or was that just studio cash again? Let's really consider the characters: *** FRODO - Elijah Wood has big wide eyes. That's all that's required! *** SAMWISE - Are you people fucking blind? Astin is a hideous actor. I'd suggest he went behind the camera, that's if I hadn't seen his abysmal THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT film which isn't fit to wipe my arse on. *** ARAGORN - Or, "I Wish Viggo Bumchinsen Had The Charisma Of Russell Crowe". *** LEGOLAS - One line per movie. No use crowing about how fucking great Tolkien/Jackson is if this pretty boy gets better lines in a movie based on a theme park ride. Fuck your source material, fuckers. *** ARWEN - Elves... Speak... Slowly! No... other... acting... required! See also: GALADRIEL, ELROND. *** GANDALF - At fucking last we have a real actor in these films. God Bless Ian McKellen. Seems only gay men can act the part in a Tolkien movie. *** GIMLI - Jar Jar Binks' brother. *** BOROMIR - Sean Bean gets away with it because he was Major Sharpe, and he ate shit in BRAVO TWO ZERO which made me chuckle. *** FARAMIR - Or, "I Wish David Wenham Had As Much Charisma As Sean Bean." *** THEODEN - He's okay. *** EOWYN - "And you... you're too fucking BLONDE!" *** GOLLUM - Fuck yes. The best part of the films and the reason why TTT shit all over FOTR. A computer cartoon is a better actor than Sean Astin. *** MERRY - Better than Astin. *** PIPPIN - Better than Astin. *** OVERALL - These films take themselves too seriously.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 9:08 p.m. CST

    Finally

    by devanjedi

    Finally a review that doesn't put down other franchises! Thanks Harry- for not being negative about other movies so you can be positive about this one. So many other reviews have been doing that and I stop reading at that point.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 9:17 p.m. CST

    ROTK meets Lebowski!

    by HillerDiller

    http://hawktalon.homestead.com/files/frogtalk.swf trippy stuff man

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 9:18 p.m. CST

    WOW!!! FUCK HARRY, I NEED AN INDUSTRIAL SIZED MOP TO GET YOUR J

    by Rolling_Stone

    Good show Mate. Well done.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 9:31 p.m. CST

    I was only kidding about the jizz.because I knew before reading

    by Rolling_Stone

    Merry Christmas Harry. Everyone else, enjoy Jackson's Christmas present. PEACE!

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 9:33 p.m. CST

    GLUB...GLUB...GLUB...

    by Rolling_Stone

    And a Happy New Year!

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 9:39 p.m. CST

    The future of filmmaking...

    by RobTheIdiot

    Blah, blah, blah. Golden age. Whatever. We are lucky to get the great movies we get -- this is not ushering in a new era. I know, I know, I sound very pessimistic -- look at it this way. Anyone know the average number of movies released between 1998 and 2002? I'll save you the hassle. 479. 479!!! And out of those, what, two, three great movies per year? That's a pretty crappy batting average if you ask me. We can sit here and talk about it all day that movies are headed in a new direction or whatever, but when you consider that crap sells, it's hard to get all happy. For fuck's sake, Scooby-Doo made 150 million. 150 fucking million!! Who cares about box office? Not me, and not many of the other people (read: fellow geeks) here. But the STUDIOS DO! They care less about the "art" involved and more about the dollars they rake in. Okay, I'll stop that rant and leave on a message -- these movies probably will be legendary. Classics that rank up there with Kane, Casablanca, Godfather. But, do you think that you can tell that from seeing a movie twice? Don't think so. Let's check back with these guys after the 10th time they see it. Okay, I;ll stop bitching...

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 9:50 p.m. CST

    That's why I like Fellowship more than TTT...

    by RobTheIdiot

    ...for the reason that Ebert gave. The first movie is much more personal, and less of a war movie. Tolkien's books have very little to do with the battles -- it's more about the journey, the feelings, the lives that are affected by these battles. My 2 cents...

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 9:51 p.m. CST

    I must admit, however...

    by RobTheIdiot

    ...I am supremely entertained by both. I didn't really mention that, I just like Fellowship much, much more.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 9:52 p.m. CST

    Ralph Bakshi

    by exPFCWintergreen

    Right now I am watching his 1978 version of on TV. (the space channel for Canadian viewers) Any problems you might with Jackson's films, just watch Bakshi's take on LOTR and you will see the horrible bastardization of Tolkien's works we could've been watching each Christmas. I swear to god, Aragorn is wearing a dress. The nazgul resemble sandpeople from Star Wars. Instead of catching Sam spying outside Frodo's widow, in Bakshi's version Frodo and Gandalf are just walking alond some country road in the Shire, talking about Frodo's quest, then Gandalf - all of the sudden - just leans over casualy and grabs Sam out of a bush. What was Sam doing in there? I can't believe I'm watching this. I've got a fucking electronics exam to study for.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 9:55 p.m. CST

    Harry, you forgot one of the greatest, if not THE greatest trilo

    by T-MACK 1.01

    The Man With No Name trilogy, of course. BLONDIE!

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 9:59 p.m. CST

    PJ has stands to make over $200 million I believe...

    by SK909

    I heard from some reliable source, can't remember where exactly, that PJ has already netted somewhere in the neighborhood of $150 million dollars from the first two films. This would seem about right since he probably got about 7-10 percent of the gross profits. If this is true and the grosses are as high on ROTK or, even higher, than he probably stands to make about $250 million dollars off of the LOTR films. That's just fucking incredible, honestly. Lucas, however, made about $300 to $400 million on TPM alone because they were self-financed and he owns all rights. I honestly am not that into the prequels, but those movies are the biggest cash cow for one filmmaker in the history of filmmaking. It's common knowledge that Lucas has made more off of the merchandising for Star Wars than the actual movies, so you have to figure that he's made at least a billion on toys alone, though I've heard it is somewhere more in the range of $3 billion. The OT probably made Lucas about $250 million back after the release of ROTJ, the same as PJ for LOTR trilogy, but with the countless releases of Star Wars on video and laserdisc, plus the lucrative rerelease of the films into theaters in 1997, the OT has probably made Lucas more like $600 million, while the new films have probably added another $500-$600 million to that total. So, you figure that Lucas has probably made himself about $3-4 billion off of the Star Wars movies and merchandise. Fucking insane. ****** Lesson to all budding filmmakers out there - get yourself a nice franchise and MILK regularly. It's better than inventing Post-Its. Or aluminum foil. You just roll out the film every few years or some newer version of it with a completely new line of toys and you can count on at least $50 million bucks in the bank. Sick. I actually heard that Robert Rodriguez said as much when he was being asked about doing the Spy Kids films. He made them on-the-cheap, negotiated a better directing/producing/merchandising deal for himself because of it, and wound up financially independent from the studios. I saw a picture of the little castle that he lives in now. Unbelievable. He supposedly has his own HD cameras, editing facility and sound and scoring stages right on the premises of his home. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Hate to go on and on about this, but I find it amazing the amount of money that can be made shilling celluloid fantasies to us audiences. Though not half as amazing as shilling operating systems for PC's.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 10:14 p.m. CST

    No prob Farging Bastige

    by djinnj

    I know I've probably missed someone (I used character names 'cause there was less typing involved!), but I've been wondering a little myself what the breakdown is. All gleaned from imdb.com, fantastic site, that. The filmmakers really did work very hard on making Middle Earth textured. Even Pippin's alternate (home grown) accent makes sense since he belongs to a very large family in its own district (Tuckborough), and the head of the family (and titular head of the Shire in lieu of the King) is the Thain.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 10:26 p.m. CST

    LOTR rings fans still bash Matrix...

    by Judge Doom

    ...Because they know the matrix is much better. Like it was said, LOTR was based on a great material that even a Monkey could turn into a big hit.Matrix was fresh and chane the way folks made movies these day. ROTK will just be anoter TITANIC...............................And cutestofBorg...Irritating as alway!

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 10:55 p.m. CST

    JESUS CHRIST - JUST REVIEW THE FILM..

    by Hate_Speech

    Everytime Harry reviews a flick I have to stop reading it by the 5th adjective of droolage... Christ... I much prefer Moriarity. That's just me.. carry on.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 10:56 p.m. CST

    Re: Royal Tennenbaum

    by williammunny

    Actually the idea for the Ents came from MacBeth. In MacBeth there is a prophecy that MacBeth will fall when the forest moves on his Castle. ( Macbeth shall never vanquish'd be until Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill Shall come against him. Act 4, Scene 1) Tolkien was disappointed that in the play the prophecy was fulfilled by men camoflauged in tree branches and not by the actual forest attacking MacBeth's castle, so he rewrote it as the Ents attacking Saruman' Fortress

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 11:02 p.m. CST

    I imagine that the experience of seeing Intolerance for the firs

    by Blacklist

    Racist though it may be, I hear people talk about the historical significance of Birth of a Nation over and above Intolerance much more often, unless it's used in the context of 'and Griffith made Intolerance to show he wasn't a Klan sympathizer.'

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 11:15 p.m. CST

    Very poor adaption of Lord Of The Rings/A Professional's Viewpoi

    by VisibleH20

    12.13.03 I must comment on the strident and foolish assumptions by Mr. Knowles, and others, that these dreadful "versions" of the classic Ring series are in any way successful. I'm speaking of the art of cinema, the creative part that doesn't go down on the balance sheet. Money seems so small in this area. First of all, those who haven't read the books are innocently duped by the spectacle of these three Ring Films. The "money" and "event" feel is there in spades. New Line certainly deserves credit for stuffing these turkey's! First of all it doesn't take a road map, (or much smarts) to make these three films. The master, Tolkien, has it all on paper. All the screenwriter, (and I was one once, a professional, an actual writer) has to do is connect the dots to make the film work. The rest is simply bringing the energy and excitement to the screen. Sadly these "Imports" from the land really under (New Zealand)are just like the area, cold and lacking in any energy at all. It would have been a far greater trilogy if America had been the source of these films instead of New Zealand. Everyone knows that the Brit's don't know how to make fantasy or science fiction! Remember how long that British guy ran a hollywood studio! All of two months! Imagine a Lynch, Lucas, or Gus Van Sant directing these movies and then you get a feel for the true possibilities! We must remember that these three Ring films were made one after the other, which is that everything on the screen was completed in one fell swoop. That is that six or ten years ago these movies were slapped together like a ham sandwich. This means that the films have no true reflection of time or catharsis (See the Matrix Trilogy). The actors grabbed a paycheck and ran for the door. Mr. Knowles is, I'm sure, a charming enough fellow. But for anyone who has actually read The Lord Of The Rings as a child, knows, that this present version is without the magic that Tolkien so clearly shared with his readers. No, I'm afraid that these three films are just the latest in the re-occuring dullness that is the American cinema. Bandwagon films and "popular" moneymakers. I'm certain that if Mr. Tolkien were alive today he would enthusiastically agree with me. VisibleH20

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 11:23 p.m. CST

    Bakshi end me vs Universe

    by pvecu

    Well, Wintergreen is a perfect example of how not to see a movie. Only commenting at the most surface level imaginable. By the way, nazgul from PJ are quite simply copied from Bakshi, both shape and sequences in which they appear. They are clones, moron. Well, no doubt I am eager to see ROTK, and as much as I love the book, it will be worth while. Essentially, LOTR, Jackson version, is an achievement. It could have been a a master one, if Jackson had more guts and less ears for the other two female screenwriters, who almost ruined TTT and... well... the Shire untouched at the end? Gee, it

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 11:44 p.m. CST

    ROTK

    by AICNewsHater

    Frodo decides to leave the Shire for good and get on a boat headed for Grey Havens...........Thats what the last two pages of my book say

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 11:50 p.m. CST

    VisibleH20 contradicts himself

    by JimV

    VisibleH20, I don't usually use the talk back and I hate it when people flame one another but your comments just got under my skin. First you say that LOTR "would have been a far greater trilogy if America had been the source of these films instead of New Zealand." Then you close by saying that "I'm afraid that these three films are just the latest in the re-occuring dullness that is the American cinema." WHICH IS IT THEN?! If Americans had the market cornered on genre filmmaking then "American cinema" wouldn't be quite as dull as you claim, now would it? If only you could "connect the dots" in your argument as easily as you think someone could in adapting LOTR then maybe you'd still be "a professional, an actual writer."

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 12:26 a.m. CST

    wow, Harry likes it, what a surprise

    by Ryalto 3.0

    Somebody's favorite character was Aragorn: "not because Viggo is a great actor...but, because the character is a badass." --you mean in the books, right? Cause in the films, Aragorn is a total pussy. Also, I wouldn't let Ridley Scott within 1000 miles of an LOTR production, what a goddamn hack.

  • ..and some people don't react well to that. Geeks especially. Some will look for a reason to knock it just out of contrariness. Well: forget the reviews. Don't read them any more. Watch the movie on its own terms. Make your own mind up. Base don the first two films and what I hear about ROTK, however, I do think that 20 or 50 years from now, LOTR will be up there (if not beyond) Star Wars as a cinematic milestone - and a perpetual entry on most top ten lists. With time most people will come to the same conclusion - just as they eventually did with Star Wars.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 12:41 a.m. CST

    The red sea had truely been parted for this series, and so sad t

    by A 30+ User

    Can't wait to see it, but will be sad when its over, i will feel like im giving my dollar bills away again at other relases. just as haley's comet passes the earth every few decades, so does great hollywood films. its going to be sad when its over, cause i don't think ill see another great epic like this for another 10 years. The red sea had truely been parted on this series, and so sad to see it close with all the matrix and starwars fans drowning ;D

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 2:37 a.m. CST

    Worst part of LOTR triliogy

    by knex246

    Dick Hertz is right about something. The speech that Sam gives at the end of TTT is embarrassingly bad and is one of the worst pieces of dialogue ever put to film. I felt sorry for Sean Astin. Lets hope ROTK does not have any more of this corny dialogue.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 2:51 a.m. CST

    Wow, Harry can't stop flogging his dingus after watching ROTK. W

    by Durendal

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 3:01 a.m. CST

    Actually...

    by Durendal

    Take all of Harry's reviews with a grain of salt. Don't forget, this is the guy who gives obligatory rusty trombones to Hollywood execs that line the pockets of his grotesque XXXXXL pants.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 4:30 a.m. CST

    Harrys Review

    by 2LeggedFreak

    Well since the other two films have been mighty fine I might just be inclined to believe Harry's Review on this one. Lots of trolling on this review..is this because Trolls don't get treated too well in LOTR ! As Gandalf himself may put it " If you don't like LOTR then just put on your gold bikini's and fuck off!"

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 5:08 a.m. CST

    Hmm, Harry is gooshing a load over this worse then the way he li

    by Commando Cody

    ...That alone should tell you something.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 5:27 a.m. CST

    OH, another thing -- this utter bullshit that NO other movie wil

    by Commando Cody

    Look, I saw FOTR and thought it was basically all right (actually, I fell asleep twice during it. Sorry, but that movie is just plain slow) but I really got into TTT much more (least it had action)...so overall, I AM looking forward to ROTK. Hey, I even bought the DVDs and the Expanded Editions, all right? And I'm sure ROTK will probably be a slam-bang finale to the whole trilogy, making it one of the more rock-solid trilogies out there. I'm sure I'll get my money's worth (based on the first 2) and I'm sure I'll probably have an acceptable, if not outright good time at it. BUT ALL THAT SAID...Harry, quit this utter bullshit that this is the greatest thing since the invention of air. Seriously, this whole attitude of "let's blow a load over Peter Jackson and call it quits because NO FILMMAKER OF THE PAST AND IN ALL FUTURE CINEMA HISTORY WILL EVER TOP THIS" has to stop. Sorry, but even if this is a rock solid movie...even if it is the "best movie of the year" and, yes, even if it does win an Oscar like OTHER movies have won Oscars...I find it fucking hard to believe we should just stop making movies because of ROTK. FUCK YOU, HARRY, if that's your attitude, because if that IS the sentiment you're expressing then you're either a shill and sell-out for New Line doing your best to pump energy into the Internet campaign for this movie like others have long suggested OR you're no true lover of film -- because only a true lover would still look forward to tomorrow and the NEW films it brings. And if "topping" ROTK, or the trilogy as a whole is something SO insurmountable to you as an ideal, then I can assure you right here, right now, that you're going to be one FUCKING BAD MOVIE PRODUCER PUTTING OUT ONLY FUCKING SHIT MOVIES because you clearly have no artistic spine to accept a challenge or an artistic vision of your own that maybe -- just maybe -- people will one day flock to as much as a Star Wars, Harry Potter, LOTR, a Titanic, whatever. Bottom line: I'm glad you liked the movie, Harry...and I'm glad if fans of the franchise love it and have a great time too...but seriously, Harry, get a grip on reality already. And put your dick back in your pants already.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 5:36 a.m. CST

    Grey Havens - once and for all

    by milkybar

    Sorry to geek out like this but Harry and Mori have been right - "[The Grey Havens, or] Mithlond, [are] the harbours of C

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 5:47 a.m. CST

    and as a book geek

    by milkybar

    I hope the film rocks - seeing it Wednesday night after an EE fest from 8am Wednesday morning. I know there are changes, but they work for film - film and book style are different - as an example, how do you use the narrative instrument of a character seeing another character, only for them to realise 15 paragraphs later that they recognise this character? In film, when they see the character, we see them, and thus revelation is delivered immediately, not in dawning. Plus, 2 other points, that are raised each year - 1) Tolkein was a scholar of ancient North European etymology, languages and mythology, not a writer, and this was pretty much his second attempt. 2) Tolkein laid out that this was a mythology for the UK. where we do not have our own mythology due to the constant invasion and overrun we have undergone for the last 2000 years. However, Mythology gets changed in retelling from person to person over the years, so the changes that have been made by Jackson for the films would be perfectly acceptable int he eyes of Tolkein under the mythology concept and model that he set up. In fact, as one who was so insecure about his work, and who constantly went back and revised it himself, he would more than welcome "alternate takes" on his adventures, insertions that he did not include, dropping of bits he did - again, if you were telling this myth to your 5 year old in a village, you too would probably drop the scouring of the shire so that they would not get scared (after everything else before, hah.... but still, please bear with) - ergo, this dropping by Jackson would be acceptable, as well as the insertion of the Wargs and Aragorn's "Indy moment" en route to Helms Deep, the boosting of Arwen's role, the elves at Helm's Deep (again, a kid could say "where were the elves?" and the elder telling the story would amend it to insert them, again altering the mythology for ever within this tribe...) So, having totally overanalysed it, there is only one option - kick back, ignore what has been, and just enjoy your bloody preciousnesssssssss... I fear, sometimes, that we on this site sometimes forget what it is just to enjoy a film - may not be the case, but the flaming does portray this at times - If Samurai or M&C win over this, fantastic - they are both amazing films too - there are some other amazing films coming out in the US that we haven't had UK side yet that could also be amazing contenders by the sounds of things - then rejoice, for film is good right now, and there truly is something for everyone, as opposed to a pile of dross that could easily come out of the overproduced, over-studio involvement films that do exist today

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 6:36 a.m. CST

    Gotta agree with others here (like Cody's tirade above) that I'm

    by Big Dumb Ape

    I'm sure I'll like ROTK since I enjoyed the first 2 (I mean, really I DID, so don't flame me) but this whole "It'll NEVER be topped by anyone or ANY other movie in the HISTORY of all FUTURE movie making!!!" ultra-hyperbole marketing campaign that people like Harry are pushing is now REALLY becoming tiresome and like something being forced down my throat, and it's now just coming off as (1) geeks gone too long without getting laid or (2) reviewers on the payroll who are shilling for New Line and for Harvey Weinstein trying to buy himself yet another Oscar. Which only makes me wonder how loud the wailing will be come Oscar night when (as somebody above noted) the Academy says "Fuck you, Sean Astin, it's time to reward Tom Cruise for his lifetime body of work and box office to our payrolls" and thus they name HIM best actor and give Best Picture to LAST SAMURAI, arguing that it was JUST as epical and sweeping and emotional, and thus a legitimate winner over ROTK.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 7:59 a.m. CST

    Sam's Speech

    by williammunny

    Whether or not you like Sam's speech at the end of TTT is, of course, a matter of personal taste. Personally, I think it ties together the ending well, and helps to remind people of the stakes and the scale of the battle in which all the characters are involved. I think it's unfair to say it's ridiculous or silly. It's a very good adaptation of a speech that Sam actually does give in the book that is too laced with references to the larger Tolkien mythology for anyone who hasn't read the books to understand. In the book Frodo and Sam are discussing how their story will end, and Frodo points out that characters in stories never know if their story will end happily or sadly and Sam replies

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 8:17 a.m. CST

    Marketing?

    by pvecu

    Well, having said enough about Bakshi, I think these films are, considering state-of-the-cinema-now, well deseerving our atention. I have heard someone talking bout marketing. Well, if anything has been proved in cinema history, is that marketing cannot convince anyone unless the film is really convincing itself. That should be taken as a non written law in fact, and this is the case. And certainly, Sam speech is a fine example of dialogue not seen in the book but fitting perfectly with the story. One of TTT

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 8:26 a.m. CST

    Pvecu: "If anything has been proved in cinema history, is that m

    by Big Dumb Ape

    Pvecu, I love your idealism. I really do. But you ARE kidding, right?!? I mean, come on, the sad trail of crap films that were "marketed" just right to get people into the theater on an opening weekend -- or that even managed to convince people to come back for several weeks in a row and thus earn plenty of money -- is a long list indeed!

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 8:40 a.m. CST

    Look, I don't care what anyone says...

    by Ribbons

    I like the 'Lord of the Rings' movies, okay? But there is no way in hell that 'The Two Towers' is comparable to 'Lawrence of Arabia,' I don't care how these movies make you "feel."

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 8:50 a.m. CST

    "highlights of every battle"

    by Planck

    "that the highlights of every battle are intimate personal risks of singular characters having to reach within to pull out that strength to face an evil bigger than they" Which is precisely why the movie is entirely in the wrong mode for the source. For the individual, evil is not resistible. The individual strength of the character is unimportant compared to the choices he makes, the motivations for those choices, and the consequences that triggers. Frodo did NOT have the strength to throw the Ring into the fire. It was not his strength, but his weakness, if you wish to call mercy such, that led to the destruction of the Ring. Yes, Frodo DID have the strength to make the choice to go on the journey, but at that time, the scope of the perils were merely hinted at, but not known to him. By elaborating on battles, inflating physical threats beyond proportion, and not the least changing the threat of evil to a physical one (genocide) rather than a spiritual one (enslavement and suppression of free will), Jackson talks in an entirely different language than the books, far above and beyond movie necessities. Where Jackson dabbles in the physical, it is entirely unrelevant to Tolkien, compared to spiritual matters.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 9:27 a.m. CST

    after reading many spoilers...

    by BDT

    ....and the stuff about cutting Saruman, all the speculation... the thing I as most concerned about was the Battle of Pelennor Fields being an hour long. I my my expectations suddenly spiraled down as I saw epic filmmaking where you were now watching a film and no longer a part of the story. What I was treated to was a gorgeous visual unfolding of what I envisioned as I read the book. Totally engaging. Throughout the film I was never taken outside the story to notice that I was a geek getting to watch a really cool movie...I was inside the story! I am familiar of with the story, but I still had to know what was going to happen as I watched the film. Although these are my favorite films and I wanted trust PJ's vision because he had done such a good job in the first 2, nothing could have prepared me for how much I loved the 3rd film. Cannot wait to see it again.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 9:29 a.m. CST

    The problem is...

    by Lobanhaki

    ...that The internet culture nowadays amplifies a great number of differences, more than it allow us to resolve them. There seems to be an egotistical need among many to assert their way as right to the exception of all. I think that's sad, really. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I especially think so based on the fact that I've enjoyed all the recent trilogies. Though I seem oddly enough to be in the Minority, I think Matrix Revolutions was one of the best ending movies of any film trilogy out there. I just didn't go in there expect a replay of the original Matrix, because as a writer myself I know how pointless such a rehash would be. I thought Star Wars Episode One was a neutral movie. It has some pretty neat moments, and some pretty lousy moments, which all in all make me hope that Lucas does a special edition of it before letting it rest. Episode Two, however, more than made up for that, despite the stilted romance. It may just be me, but I don't mind wall to wall effects. I dream of being able to make so comprehensive of a world onscreen, and find Science fiction and Fantasies that lack that attention to detail somewhat dull. I think Lucas has vastly improved from last time, in part, due to the flexibility of the format he's using in being processed and changed. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- As for Lord of the Rings, I've enjoyed it so far, and regret that in my current economic condition, that I'm hardly able to afford the Two Towers extended version. Honestly, the movies actually have brought the books closer to home for me. As avid Reader, I read a great deal of books by the people who took up Tolkien's legacy, so when I first Read LOTR, It seemed rather basic to me. I didn't quite get it, really. The Movies, though, brought out the spirit and the drama of the work, so my opinion of it in general is pretty high now. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- But overall? I guess I can sum it up by recalling a scene in The Two Towers, the one in Osgiliath where the city is falling under siege, and Frodo is falling under the ring's influence at the same time. There is this one shot, which I think many of you can recall, where Frodo is holding up the ring as a Fell Beast rears into frame, with the burnings mountains of Mordor and the burning ruins of Osgiliath in the background. There was something about that moment that was just timeless, awe inspiring, the way the best bookcovers are for science fiction and fantasy books. Panoramic, realistic and yet almost impressionist in it's look, there was a feel to that shot that convinced me once and for all that epic fantasy and science fiction could be brought to screen with it's sense of wonder intact. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- For me, the last few years have hardly been about the supremacy of one movie or another, but instead, the wonderful renaissance of the genres that these movies represent. I don't care which is better, I just care that these movies are better than anything I've seen before on screen, and that I, with my aspirations, am not a fool for believing that the drama of movies like The English Patient, and the spectacle of movies like Independence Day, can co-exist in one film. If there anything that I have hated over the past few years, it's been all these people talking about art and spectacle, as if they could not inhabit the same space, as if entertaining, crowd pleasing, storytelling and good art had to be two separate things. For me, the past few years have been less about advances in special effects, and more about advances in the kind of storytelling I want to take part in. I just think it's sad that people have to treat all this with such cynicism, and with such a fixation on money and power, instead of experiencing the film pure of all those distractions.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 9:33 a.m. CST

    LOTR reloaded

    by christof rose

    I 've only seen the first to parts of LOTR but I guess the third will be an awful bore too, and will probably suck at the boxoffice like the third Matrix sequel. In a few years nobody will recall LOTR. p.s. Congratulation on capture of Saddam Hussein

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 9:34 a.m. CST

    LOTR reloaded

    by christof rose

    I 've only seen the first to parts of LOTR but I guess the third will be an awful bore too, and will probably suck at the boxoffice like the third Matrix sequel. In a few years nobody will recall LOTR. p.s. Congratulation on capture of Saddam Hussein

  • It's in ROTK some part in stairs of Cirith Ungol. Not verbatim but the same gist. Harry's review didn't say LOTR was the best ever. It said it >one< of the best like Lawrence of Arabia. And I totally agree. It's probably the best movies to come out since the GodfatherI and II. 10 years for this kind of quality to come again? try 20 years. Terminator II was a good action hack, but it and Robin Hood, Dances and Wolves etc. are just as good as the schamltzy Titanic. SW fans. Don't get caught up in just the video games and books without knowing the true history of the OT. Lawrence Kasdan was basically responsible for the script for SW, ESB and Raiders. Then he and Kershner who directed ESB got fired cuz Lucas was jealous and wanted to show the world he doesn't suck as a director and scriptwriter. And 20 years later? He's >still< trying to convince us with the prequels. Lucas is a masterful toy and film marketer and that's all that's big about him. SW being original? ever read some of the early scripts he draftd in only a month for Coppola to help sell to the studios? Here's a bit from "Empire Building: The Remarkable Real Life Story of Star Wars" by Gary Jenkins. p.36 'He and Gary Kurtz had, from the outset believed the story should have a sense of fairytale to it..'p.37 ' In search for elements of fantasy, Lucas read Grimm's fairy tales and C.S. Lewi's Narnia Chronicles, J.R.R.TOLKIEN'S LORD OF THE RINGS, Frazer's the Golden Bough...' 'By May 20, 1973, Lucas had completed his first thirteen-page draft. ' - Then one of ROTJ's documentarym Lucas said he wanted the Ewoks to represent the little folk's 'spirit' or something like that. Bakshi's 1973 version as flop as it was paved the way for Jackson's movies more than anything. Saul Zaentz company obtained the rights, and NL could deal with them instead of the Tolkien Estate 20+ years later. The Beatles wanted to do LOTR playing themselves as the four hobbits and asked Stanley Kubrick(2001:Space Odyssey) to direct but Kubrick declined saying "filming LOTR is impossible."

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 10:07 a.m. CST

    "...it doesn't take a road map, (or much smarts) to make these t

    by Miami Mofo

    Holy shit unclear Water! That has to be either the most ignorant or the most self-aggrandizing remark ever posted on a LotR talkback. May I remind you that for forty-five years this book has been considered to be unfilmable. Then when Peter and Company set out to try and get another studio interested after Miramax decided that two films were too risky, therefore one would be better, P.J. got turned down by EVERY STUDIO before New Line stepped up to the plate. And your assertion that because it is all laid out in the books, it should have been an easy adaptation is laughable. I'd like to see you try an adapt one of the most popular books ever. Boy are you ever the ultimate Monday morning quarterback.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 10:24 a.m. CST

    Sounds like a rental.

    by TheSumOfGod

    Just kidding, obviously. I can't wait to see this in the theater, but at three hours and twenty minutes of duration, I'll probably only see it twice at week-end matin

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Geez, people get a grip

    by babycakes

    Who cares if he thinks ROTK is the greatest movie trilogy ever made? It's only his opinion, just as it may be yours that it isn't. We all have our own opinions as it to what the greatest movie of all time is. There's no need to get upset over them. If you love the movies, great, so do I. If you don't, then don't watch, and don't go crazy when you hear someone else how they loved it.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 11:20 a.m. CST

    one of the greatest??

    by kafka07

    One of the greatest films ever made? Come on, are you sure?? I guess it could be true...but you did like Attack of the Clones. In any case, I respect (and relate to) your geeky passion. I'm sure it's good. The soundtrack is giving me goosebumps. Thanks for the review Harry.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 11:21 a.m. CST

    Miami, how about "most condescending twaddle ever posted on the

    by irritable

    Miami, my jaw dropped when I read that pompous piffle by VisibleH2O. Geez, "a professional, an actual writer" has pranced in to help us understand why people who accidentally liked these "dreadful" films were sadly mistaken. Yet so many factual errors, dumbass statements and such bizarre language, I though it was some kind of wierd troll joke. Apart from what you and others have already pointed out, what about these: **** (a) Harry's gushing *opinion* is "a strident and foolish *assumption*" WTF? *******(b) the book is a "classic ... series" WTF? *****(c) apart from the screenwriting all that had to be done was "simply bringing the energy and energy to the screen". Now WTF was *simple* about this massive project, I wonder? ******(d) people from New Zealander ("the land really under") are "Brits" WTF? ******(e) Apparently Kubrick and Ridley Scott "don't know how to make fantasy/science fiction [guess we were all "innocently duped" by "2001", "Alien" and "Blade Runner] Is there some UK genetic problem operating here so that they can write the stuff, but they can't film it?*******(f) Because a "British guy" ran a hollywood studio only briefly, this shows "Brits" are unsuited to this project but that Hollywood filmaker are suited. WTF? *******(g) "six or ten years ago these films were slapped together like a ham sandwich" so they have "no true reflection of time or catharsis" WTF?***********It's extremely difficult to believe this guy could really have earned a living as a writer. Just looking at that faux-academic prose, it's gotta be a hoax.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 11:37 a.m. CST

    Yeah, yeah

    by irritable

    .. in fact, "weird" "Zealand" "energy and excitement" etc etc etc

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 12:07 p.m. CST

    the "shot together" theory

    by kafka07

    I think it was a lot more than just that the LOTR films were shot together. The last two Matrix movies were shot together and they suck. Episode I-III were sort of shot together (sort of) and they blow. I really think they had a good team of passionate storytellers for the LOTR films, and that was what mostly prevented the films from either sucking or blowing. I don't sense that same passion coming from George Lucas or the Wachowski brothers, in their interviews or in their work. Although they are passionate about sucking and blowing, and I hear they are currently collaborating on such a project, entitled "Episode 69".

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 1:21 p.m. CST

    El Cid of Vivar ;-P

    by CuervoJones

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 1:29 p.m. CST

    Concerning Matrix

    by pvecu

    Big Dumb Ape, I guess you are right, considering Matrix phenomena. Really, Matrix Revolutions sucks at unknown levels, and the Metaphilm review obtained four times more visits than Kill Bill. That

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 1:54 p.m. CST

    Yay! The Return of Radagast the Moth!

    by morGoth

    Fair words Harry and you fill me with more excitement than I though possible. Great to hear about Astin's Sam. The Gaffer is so proud! It actually makes me smile when people think they are denigrating Sean Astin's Sam Gamgee by calling him cheesy, hokey and even, heh-heh, "fat stupid Hobbit (OK, that was Gollum)" or "Not like the book!" Are you kidding, that's Samwise Gamgee all over! Thankee kindly for keeping the flames stoked Harry! Aiya!

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 1:56 p.m. CST

    loki24...

    by morGoth

    ...Harry just explained "that (his) mentality." Weren't you paying attention? Don't worry, there will be more to tell you.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 2:01 p.m. CST

    TOLKIEN SUCKS, LORD OF THE RINGS SUCKS, HARRY SUCKS, TOLKIEN SUC

    by drudgejr

    IT'S SNOWING NO SCHOOL TOMORROW BITCHES

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 2:06 p.m. CST

    Just for the record, I think Stirling Mel is full of shit.

    by morGoth

    EVERYONE knows Jackson will rake in $150 million. C

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 2:09 p.m. CST

    TOLKIEN SUCKS, LORD OF THE RINGS SUCKS, HARRY SUCKS, TOLKIEN SUC

    by drudgejr

    OH SHIT I HOPE I DIDNT JINX IT

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 2:50 p.m. CST

    Royal Tennenbaum

    by morGoth

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 2:53 p.m. CST

    Or could it be that I just misspelled you name {[;^)

    by morGoth

    Sorry, "Tenenbaum," your Royalness.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 3:26 p.m. CST

    The thing about Jackson making $150 million is...

    by exPFCWintergreen

    I don't believe he's actually making that much. There was an article a while back that said he was making 7% of the films PROFITS not REVENUE. Sure the LOTR films have made over $2 billion - REVENUE - world wide (including DVD sales), but only a fraction of this money is actually PROFIT. If Jackson actually made a hundred million dollars off these films... well, that would be just fucking incredible. However, I doubt Newline, the owners of the films, would actually let someone else make that much money of their property.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 4 p.m. CST

    I thought all frododies were the same?

    by morGoth

    Y

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 4:12 p.m. CST

    exPFCWintergreen...

    by morGoth

    ...that figure of $150 million came from a Newsweek article a couple of weeks back. BTW, good luck on the electronics exams...we mechanical engineering wonks still think that stuff is magic or some sort of Voo Doo.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 4:25 p.m. CST

    Harry, thanks for not including your life's story in this review

    by Mr. Waturi

    God bless that funny little fucker.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 4:30 p.m. CST

    morGoth, I hate to say it

    by irritable

    ... but I'm coming around to the view that this FriedPoodlies2#!4?@;-) guy might be an original. There's been some evolution and the odd glimmer of wit - though not yet at the level of of the legendary trolls of yore. (Admittedly, it's fairly clear that at some stage a truck may have parked on his head).

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 4:38 p.m. CST

    Thanks MorGoth

    by exPFCWintergreen

    I swear, my marks over the last two years have been way lower then they would have been if these films weren't released each December.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 4:41 p.m. CST

    Visible H20, I see right through you

    by Yo Yo Man

    You are no screenwriter. You give away your deceit in the subject line by calling it an "adaption" when every screenwriter in the universe calls it what it is - an "adaptation". "Strident" and "foolish" are words more appropriate to your own vitriolic diatribe, riddled as it is with frustrated delusions about the industry of which you claim to be a part. I can only assume your one gig as a paid writer involved absolutely no contact with (or knowledge of) the film/TV set, hence your mind-bogglingly stupid "connect the dots" analogy. Producing a single, fairly simple movie with one production unit is difficult enough. Jackson et al managed to produce three movies, each of them three hours long, with multiple units working with an enormous cast, plus doubles and extras, miniatures and digital effects, all over New Zealand, and this went on every day for years. Do you understand the amount of organisation this must have taken just to get it done? Imagine, for example, having to figure out four thousand payslips every month - who worked what hours, and who did what with which unit. Imagine preparing sets literally a year in advance, and keeping them cultivated and fresh so that the camera crew could breeze in and out with no problems. Imagine shooting regular conversation scenes months apart in different locations. It's a fucking miracle these movies are even coherent, let alone good, let alone truly magnificent. "The actors grabbed a paycheck and ran for the door"??? The actors were doing pickups up until this summer, and I haven't heard one word, anywhere, about money. No actor takes on this kind of job for the money. "...Cold and lacking in any energy at all" - I guess that's why they all gave up after two months, right? These "Brits" (???) invented film-making techniques to get their work done, and they've done an amazing job. Finally, you seal your fate in Delusional Troll Hell by suggesting Gus Van Sant, George Lucas or David Lynch as alternative directors. George Lucas has enough trouble directing Lego actors; he'd probably explode if he was asked to balance the different acting styles of a two-dozen-strong principal cast spanning several nationalities and up to sixty years of experience. Gus Van Sant is an average indie director who has made two or three good movies. You could swing a dead cat in any Hollywood coffee shop and hit five of him. The only reason he receives adulation is because he casts big names (Nicole Kidman, Robin Williams, Sean Connery) in independent movies (*cough* Oscar-bait *cough*)and the mainstream audiences, attracted to the stars, think they're seeing arthouse stuff so "it must be great". David Lynch is a quality director of utter weirdness, but low-key weirdness, and Lord of the Rings was never going to be low-key. The Matrix may have been a true reflection of its time (at least, the original one was) but remember it was written ten years before it came out. Please tell me what the word "catharsis" was doing in that sentence, by the way. Do you just drop these words in for the sake of it? I'm certain that if Mr Tolkien were alive today, he would enthusiastically ignore your very existence.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 4:47 p.m. CST

    Sorry every one

    by dilbynuggets

    Harry is absolutely right. These movies are the standard to which all other films have to judge themselves. I saw the original Barf Wars trilogy and it is adequate. The third one sucked but the first two were mundanly amusing. The Matrix was somewhat good but the sequals were boring, and the writers lack of interest in the concepts of the first one is glaringly obvious. The Lord of the Rings (the movies) are fresh, free of cynisism, and wildly original. I'm afraid that all you potty mouthed morons will simply have to get used to the fact that no matter how many times you curse, or mention bodily excretions that LOTR has put all of your favourite films into the trash can of dismal repetive hack drivel. I for one am glad that Hollywood's been revealed as the pusher of unoriginal predictable claptrap and offal that it is. Please get back to waiting for Spiderman 2, I'm sure it will be just as mediocre as the first. Cheers!

  • DVD sales figures are much harder to come by. It's damn near impossible to figure out what studios even GROSS off of DVD sales, let alone what the profit margin is. At least from what I've read. Also, as a rule of thumb, you can bet that whatever figure is published for a director/actor/producer as having made off of a film, it's almost always MORE than what a magazine or source has been told. Also, I've heard that New Line's initial investment was really only $80-100 million, and the rest came from pre-selling to some kind of consortium(I assume that a lot of them are overseas distributors). Still, for a company that vowed not to finance any film over 30-40 million when AOL took over Warners, it was a huge investment. Anyway, I'm positive that PJ made a gross profit participation deal for at least 7-10% like previously stated, and the gross profits of the film ARE 1.7 billion dollars so far. Not to mention that I'm sure he's getting a piece of the other profits as well - DVD, toys, etc. Factor that in and it's probably accurate that he's made about $150 million. About $30-50 million has probably gone to bonuses for the key players in front of and behind the camera as each film continues to rake in the dough. So... there's still a ton of dough to go around. Out of all that money, $1.5 billion went back to New Line and those who put up the additional $200 million, so, you figure that everyone has made back at least four to five times their initial investment.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 5:41 p.m. CST

    $1.7 billion

    by exPFCWintergreen

    Not that I really no what I'm talking about, SK909. However, my knowledge of elementary economics tells me that revenue and profit aren't the same thing. Excluding DVD sales, the films have made $1.7 billion, as you've stated. This isn't all profit though. I don't know how much New Line actually gets, but the theatre owners get a cut, the foreign distributers get a cut and then New Line gets a cut....... I can't remeber where the fuck I read this, but there was an article - a year ago (I think) - that said Jackson stood to make $100 million off the movies and he sent an angry reply to the paper saying how their reporting was flawed and that the amount he stood to make off the movies was actually ten times less then $100mil and even that was to be spread around his production company and his fellow screenwriters.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 6:43 p.m. CST

    Well then get set Harry, The Narnian Chronicles will surpass thi

    by Sith Witch

    Isn't it a hoot how anytime the Narnian Chronicles are mentioned, everyone attacks the entire series as being Christian propaganda (even though they are only familiar with one book out of seven- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe)?. That one book is really the only one to have Christian allegory, and even then it is NOWHERE near as blatant as it is in the Matrix series! In my opinion, the Narnian series is a much stronger story, and people should not be fooled into thinking it is a mere children's series. It is as dark as Harry Potter, if not a lot darker. With all its battles, demons, and orcs, it could be depicted just as "adult" as the Lord of the Rings...

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 7:16 p.m. CST

    not entirely true, Sith Witch

    by djinnj

    Voyage of the Dawn Treader? The Last Battle? The Magician's Nephew? um, actually all of them.... While people do overstate the allegorical aspects of the texts (citing them as allegory rather than works that lend themselves to allegorical reading), there are plenty of allusions in the text to Christian figures and theology.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 7:51 p.m. CST

    ROTK is 100% on rottentomatoes through 19 reviews

    by McLuvin

    check it out

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 8 p.m. CST

    Let's NOT let the LOTR vs. Narnia flame-wars begin...

    by Sith Witch

    I love LOTR a lot. I was just stating that I think the Narnian Chronicles are better, and that I am looking forward to them that much more, after seeing what has been done with Middle Earth. Why do you have to pick one or the other, they are both great... Okay Djinnj, yes I was oversimplifying my comment, but whatever allegory one can glean from the sequels you mentioned, versus Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe, is a very wide gap in comparison. The allegory in those sequels could be seen as having religious connotations, but not necessarily Christian ones. I know this is not one you named, but A Horse and His Boy struck me as very Islamic. Any of the parallels in Dawn Treader, The Last Battle, or The Magician's Nephew are plot threads leading into or away from the first book. My point overall was, most fanboys seem to hate the idea the Narnian Chronicles share a canvas with other fantasy works, because they feel it is propaganda of some sort. But yet they ate up the Matrix allegory like there was no tomorrow. It is rather hypocritical, and a thorn to me that such an intriguing weave of characters and situations can be written off like it is by many fantasy purveyors, mostly who have not even read the books, but rather by happenstance tuned-in to that dreadful BBC movie adaptation one lazy Sunday afternoon.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 8:19 p.m. CST

    YAWN

    by TomVee

    The first two movies were sleepers in the literal sense of the word. Snoozers. Boring. Disjointed. Talky. Thin characterization. Uneven special effects. Good looking but empty spectacle. So why would anyone want to see yet a third in this snoozefest?

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 8:31 p.m. CST

    sometimes i wish that people would actually talk intelligently a

    by motionsuggests

    I have been reading this website for quite a while and the only thing that gets me down is the immaturity that ruins this community of web users. I go to the talk back everytime hoping that someone has not taking it upon themselves to make ridiculous statements completely unwarranted by the movie in question or the review itself, and I usually disappointed. I have more than once found myself wondering whether this web community really understands how disrupting these kids are, hell, i don't even read the talkback these days because their are so few thoughtful, interesting posts. I feel like that kid in class who has read the books assigned and has to listen to a bunch of jokers waste eveyones time because they thought they could just run their mouth off and not read a thing. So, cheers to all those talkback posters who waste our time, and remind me of high school, thanks for ruining another good thing with your selfishness.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 9:29 p.m. CST

    MotionSuggests: Thank you for telling us how thoughtful and inte

    by Mr. Waturi

    Here's a quick timesaver for you, Einstein: Stop visiting the site.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 9:37 p.m. CST

    sorry didn't mean it for everyone

    by motionsuggests

    just the trouble makers and those who obviously have some deep ability to know the inner workings of filmmakers' minds, and talk more about personalities than movies. anyways, sorry to offend.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 9:49 p.m. CST

    Loved the review..

    by MaulRat

    Well done Harry, I really enjoyed the review, and I like the fact that people were chiming in saying "how come Harry hasn't written his ROTK review yet.." well you delivered my son.. The only problem I really had with it was when you said in so many words that Lawrence of Arabia was perfect... Great movie don't get me wrong.. I loved it.. but it was far from perfect because it was a work of art that became unnessisarily rushed in order for it to be out for Oscar contention. Spielbergs Hook was pretty bad, but thats mostly because of the script, effects technology and time he had, personally I wished he had done the Story of a Young James Hook as a young pirate rogue (ala Orlando sex on legs Bloom in Pirates) and a Peter Pan who while he was a childish 'dickens' he was also a very bad seed who hurt alot people (given that children can be overly cruel at times), anyway I think its interesting to see the bad guy with a reason to be bad, and not a 'that's just who he is' type of jig.. It will be fun to see Spielberg look silly when PJ Hogans Peter Pan comes out.. anyway, at this point it sucks being Australian because the premiere of Return of the Kinge isn't until the 26th of December here.. hmm maybe I'll take some of that Aussie currency that's doing so well and see some friends overseas (oh yeah and catch the movie early haha) *BAMF*

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 10:01 p.m. CST

    just an opinion

    by mersault

    Do the LOTR films really deserve to be put in the pantheon of cinema's greatest acheivments? Source material aside, aren't these movies just mainstream Hollywood studio blockbusters? Peter Jackson certainly is a gifted and clever director, but he doesn't explore the full potential of the medium the way Kubrick did or David Lynch does. The visual effects in the movies are massive and the melodrama runs thick, but these films are jsut bigger servings of what audiences have come to expect as opposed to genuine innovation.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 11:21 p.m. CST

    hm, Sith Witch

    by djinnj

    I probably came off the wrong way. I didn't mean to suggest that you were wrong about the quality of the writing, or deny that it is heavily misunderstood by people fixated on the Christian parallels, or pooh-pooh the irony of people who then turn around and fawn over the 'mysticism' of The Matrix. I just was taking exception to: "That one book is really the only one to have Christian allegory...". I don't think The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is actually the most allegorical of the texts. I find The Last Battle much more so. However, I don't think Lewis wrote them as allegories (which I tried to convey in my last post, but probably didn't). I think he wrote them to have certain parallels, and I think he consciously made it possible for his readers to read them allegorically (reading them as if they were allegories, although such a reading would have gaps and inconsistencies, much like what many people insist on doing with LotR). ---- There is one other point on which I do differ, which is that I think Lewis was writing for children (not small children, school aged) in terms of the style of the writing (I've read a limited amount of his adult fantasy, and it is very different). However, this doesn't differ that much from what you expressed. I don't think he was 'writing down' to children. Certainly not in the lessons addressed and the moral questions illustrated, which is one reason his writing holds up so well. He didn't try writing pablum, but assumed that children would be able to grasp these often distressing or difficult concepts (as indeed they can).

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 12:04 a.m. CST

    Harry's fat!!!

    by fidelio17

    You know that? I think there should be a holocaust of fat people. They eat WAAAAY more food that they should, and if they went to a lesser country... the people would gut them like fish. So, I propose that a holocaust commence on the fat folk of the world (the US...its the only place where fat folk exist). They should be rounded up in camps and forced into tubs of boiling oils. This would be good for their health. They should be made to inhale all of these bubbling oils (that they love their food dipped in so greatly) and suck the scouring fluids into their lungs and down their throat until all of their being is one liquifying mess. Thanks. :)

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 12:06 a.m. CST

    ps...

    by fidelio17

    PS. If you agree with me, say "AY!"

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 12:14 a.m. CST

    motionsuggests: no need to apologize

    by Mr. Waturi

    Lighten up. Just remember that this is a talkback discussing a review of a movie nobody has even seen yet. Of course it's going to be completely absurd.

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 12:14 a.m. CST

    Please explain to me how these movies are anything but a series

    by Sea Bass

    Get over yourselves for Chrissakes. Film 1: An addictive drug (the Ring) is introduced and a 4 hour chase sequence ensues, affecting all who carry it. A war against mankind is prepared by cutting down a lot of trees. Film 2: Still taking the Ring to the volcano, picking up an addict on the way. The trees fight back (for the love of Christ, the trees fight back). Film 3: The Ring is destroyed and the main (personified) villain isn't even in it. Great trilogy.

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 12:19 a.m. CST

    Djinnj, I got it...

    by Sith Witch

    I know I should have been clearer in my response. I agree that Lewis was not purposely writing the series as allegory, but yet did not mind if audience members looked for it. I have seen members of different religions go point-by-point through all seven books, citing holy scriptural parllels for each event. I understood you, and also agree that Lewis' adult fiction is very different from his Narnian Chronicles. I agree that he wrote them for children to read, as well as for adults, just as Harry Potter books have become so popular for the same reason.I know I could not have read the LOTR as a child; Not because of a lack of patience, but because given the lengthy military descriptions, extreme geographical details, and every character having 5 names each, I would have little comprehension of it by the end at a young age.<p>The thing I was trying to say is that the books, though written on a simpler level, convey some very dark incidents. As a filmmaker and film buff, I would love to see the books portrayed with exacting detail. So in that regard, though "The Last Battle" may not talk of the hacked limbs and decapitated heads on the battefield as The Return of the King book does, that does not mean those gritty details cannot be shown on a movie version like the Middle Earth films do. Frankly I fear these film versions will be very Disney-esque, simply because they are widely regarded as children's fiction. If they turn out that way I know I will still love them just because I adore the characters and stories so very much, but what I wouldn't give to see hard PG-13 versions! I definitely think if that were the case, all the naysayers about Christian allegory (no matter how much you attribute, PAV), would shut up and gain from these rich stories, that are just as moving and epic as Lord of the Rings.

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 2:11 a.m. CST

    oh, yes, Sith Witch, I entirely agree

    by djinnj

    Can you imagine what The Last Battle would be like without the mice feeding whatsisname while he's tied up? (I can't remember his name, it's been too long since I read that one!) Or, even worse, if it were "cute!" Urg.

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 2:18 a.m. CST

    Reepacheep

    by stuntrocker

    descended from the mice that freed Aslan.

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 3:01 a.m. CST

    Frodo gives Gollum a blow job!!!

    by bioforge

    Bad mental image.Miso-horny!

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 9:12 a.m. CST

    Normally I'd be skeptical of hyperbole, but lets look at the fac

    by minderbinder

    As far as trilogies go, being the best ever isn't that much of a stretch. Godfather 3 is a big step down, and Jedi has a ton of problems - should anyone be surprised by the prequels. There have been very few true trilogies (particuarly ones in which the ending of the third movie is set up in the first), and almost all of them drop the ball in at least one movie. And in terms of the "best movie ever" thing - go look at rotten tomatoes, there are tons of reviewers who have written similar comments (so far 21 positives, no negatives). Even if you don't enjoy these movies, you have to admit that they are an amazing achievement in filmmaking. Standard setting effects combined with amazing visuals shot practically, a range of scales from huge epic to small character moments. These are movies that will go down in history, they are flawed but no work on this scale has ever been attempted, much less pulled off perfectly. When I read the bashing it reminds me of the people who complained about Wizard of Oz or Star Wars when they were first released. I expect as the years pass the current crop of bashers will be equally laughed at.

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 10:47 a.m. CST

    The chronicles of Narnia debate

    by changer624

    The whole point of the Chronicles of Narnia was to create Christian parallels. Lewis was a devout Christian who even wrote christian books(ie. The Screwtape Letters). his work has been read in countless churches, mine included. In fact he's considered by many to be the greatest Christian writer ever. Tolkien was also a Christian. While whether or not LOTR creates Christian parallels is debatable, Tolkien was a friend of Lewis & Lewis even encouraged him to write LOTR. Whether you believe in Christianity or not you cant deny the fact that it is a great basis for many stories. Both the Matrix and Star Wars have messiah-like figures and themes of faith, hope, and belief.

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 11:17 a.m. CST

    What Narnia debate? Changer624...

    by Sith Witch

    I don't really see where there is debate, other than when I said the movie versions could very well vie with the current LOTR movies. I am a Christian too, and while the church I was raised in was way too fundamentalist to recognize that Lewis was a writer of some great Christian material (like as you say, the wonderful Screwtape Letters), for they viewed the Narnian Chronicles the same as extreme churches today view Harry Potter--full of demonic creatures and magic, I still followed the series with great zeal. I do not feel that non-Christian people should avoid this series any more than they would have avoided any of movie with Christian parallels, for there are many (The Green Mile anyone?). As you say, it also makes for good structure, whether you believe that way or not. I am just sick of non-Christians ripping on a series they have not even sampled themselves, out of fear that they are reading a Sunday School tract. The series may have Christian paralles, but it is still a far cry from VeggieTales and Bible Man!

  • the first one already has Andrew Adamson on board to direct, director of the irritating Shrek movies. And the company that is producing it, Walden Media (sounds like a Bible warehouse), is responsible for such 'family fare' as Holes. Let's hope their production falls through, or at least lapses enough for an up-and-commer director to take charge of it with a different tone than what many "expect". I for one, hope to God they do not add any new scenes that are not in the book in order to "further characterization". Almost everytime a screenwriter does that with a book that is slightly less-thick than most source fiction, it somehow cheapens the original source, like say the Grinch or Cat in the Hat, or even the BBC production of this very book we speak of. Why write new scenes, when you can spend more time developing the ones that are already there. Werner Herzog would know how to expand it to feature length, but like I said, a new up-and-commer would be best, provided they did not look to this as mere 'family fare'.

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 12:26 p.m. CST

    Goddamned freakin' T-Word...

    by Skyway Moaters

    ... you keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it does. MY EYES ARE BLEEDING!. Enough already! UNCLE! Please please please please no more posts about T#*^%$@s! LOTR is NOT: a mother humpin' T#@$*&^! *** Heh, with this much hyperbole going down, you KNEW, I couldn't resist!

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 12:34 p.m. CST

    Very poor adaption of Lord Of The Rings/A Professional's Viewpoi

    by VisibleH20

    You don't see through me, fool.

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 12:40 p.m. CST

    sam

    by raker

    so many different themes in the books and the one that mattered most to me was about sam and the feeling of loss that he feels at the the Havens. That is the part i pray pj gets right. For in that moment it seems to me it is what Tolkien had spent the last thousand or so pages setting up.

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Good thoughts

    by Masher(KG)

    I think if we all think really good thoughts and tell out friends they MUST see this movie. We can dethrown that Titanic thing.

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 2:22 p.m. CST

    Visible shitstain- a professional opinion

    by Stay_Puft

    Visible likes to throw his resume into the discussion to validate his opinion. Love it when people do that. Tell us then, you literary genius you, what you have written, and we will decide whether it is anywhere near as cool as the films you are posting about. Jerk. By the way, many a "professional" writer has bussed my table. Maybe we've met.

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 3:27 p.m. CST

    Gush, Gush, Gush. Please!

    by Moppboy15

    Does anybody take this guy seriously anymore? Harry, you're wax estaticing yourself right out of the realm of credibility.

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 3:31 p.m. CST

    20/20 Hindsight

    by xuxus_petals

    Did you ever go back and read some of the reports from when this project was still just a rumor - I found myself doing that today in anticipation of Trilogy Tuesday. Here's one that remarkably shows Harry being very prescient when the whole Miramax thing was going down. From February 23, 1998: "From a brand spanking gnu (knew[new]) spy, who I'll refer to as Bombadil, we get more news on the Peter Jackson LORD OF THE RINGS. It looks like Miramax might not have the guts to make LORD OF THE RINGS!!! Shocking? You bet, I'm betting that Harvey and crew don't have a clue as to the interest on this project. I get more mail asking me about the Lord of the Rings film, than I do for the upcoming PREQUELS, and the film has just been rumored to exist. Why is that by the way? I'm betting it has to do with Miramax being afraid to come forth and announce they are working on it, because they wanted an easy out. All I can say, is if this story below is true. If the project has these people working on preproduction, then Harvey, Bob and the rest of Miramax needs to get a crowbar, pry their collective heads out of their asses and produce what could very well be the most lucrative film series made. Perhaps they are a bit afraid, undoubtedly it's an expensive project. Well if they are afraid, then give the project to a production company with the balls to make it. So far Miramax has stood for quality independent films. This would seem to signify that they stand for safe quality independent films. Perhaps they would not of had the cajones to produce a TITANIC or a STAR WARS. A project of independent vision, a vision so wide as to expand the screen itself. Hopefully I'm wrong, hopefully the below is untrue, hopefully Lord of the Rings is Peter Jackson's project that Miramax will finance ALL THE WAY. The profits from a well made Lord of the Rings would independently finance A LOT of movies. But maybe risks like these are for the Tom Rothmans and the Alan Ladd Jrs of the world." Tomorrow cannot get here quick enough...

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 3:36 p.m. CST

    Lawrence of Arabia

    by IWantMy2Dollars!

    is still the true king... and indiana jones and a ton of those flicks harry mentioned are not trilogies in the true sense of the word. All i want to know is whether or not pj got gandalf vs. the witch king right, followed by the arrival of rohan plus the mouth of saruon... if he didn't get those three moments right then he dropped the ball. Everyone chill out about sam and sean astin, we can do without the sappy over-sentimental speilberg garbage.

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 3:37 p.m. CST

    Fool???

    by Yo Yo Man

    VisibleClearNonAlcoholicLiquid, I do indeed see through you, unless you are an ingenious satirist and your entire previous post was a parody of pretentious talkbacks so perfect there was nothing to give its true intent away. However, I doubt it. You are merely so-called "professional writer" who doesn't know the word "adaptation". Of all the words you could have gotten wrong, this one gives you away the most. Every screenwriter knows this word, not least because we've all seen the movie. It's part of the screenwriter vocabulary. Am I a professional writer? Yes. I also work at a Virgin Megastore with several other professional writers on the staff. I get the train into work, perhaps driven by a professional writer. One or more of the nice girls at the bakery where I get my lunch is probably a professional writer. Finally, if you look out your window right now, you'll see half a dozen more professional writers ambling their way through life. I'm not shitting on writers, hell no. But we're everywhere, we ain't that special, and there's no reason our opinions on ROTK or any other movie are more valid than the next talkbacker's (or Harry's) just because we've filled in 120 pages between the words "Int. Bar - Night" and "Fade to black". I wasn't particularly attacking your lack of experience on a film set, merely your lack of common sense. Nobody who has ever worked on a movie, even as a lowly writer, would consider Peter Jackson's adaptation a simplistic task. But nor would anyone who has read anything about these movies in the press over the last three years. Several other things give away your non-screenwriter identity, but I can't be bothered. Fool!

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 4:44 p.m. CST

    in case you all haven't noticed...

    by boohallsmalls

    AICN is not the only place where you will find people proclaiming ROTK as one of the greatest films of all time and LOTR as films greatest trilogy. in fact it isn't even just film geeks and people who dress up in pointy ears and hats and fuzzy feet. there are a great many people, of all types, who LOVE this movie and this trilogy. someone said, where's the joy? If you can't find any joy in LOTR then i fear you live a joyless life, and i feel sad for you. technical achievements aside, these films achieve an intamacy and personal feeling with their audience that NO OTHER film of the genre ever has. and for that, and the pure joy that these films bring millions upon millions of people, they should be commended and celebrated for years to come.

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 5:27 p.m. CST

    Stay_Puft; Yo Yo Man

    by Miami Mofo

    Uh guys, I'm afraid we all owe DirtyWater an apology. My sources tell me that he is indeed a professional writer, albeit one with only ONE word to his resume. I'm sure you'll remember it from a George Lucas flick called Star Wars Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace. And the word is YIPPEEE!!!

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 5:36 p.m. CST

    VisibleH20

    by ManosTHOF

    I've never seen anyone contradict themselves so eloquently. You are magnificent. Congrats on that one. Serve us up those professional writing credits; you know, kick out a short resume of sorts to us the great uninitiated. I'm curious as to what some of your masterworks of the past have been, and secretly wonder to myself why Miramax or New Line never paid you to write a treatment or pitch your own take on LOTR. Bedazzle us please, why don't you. **Sarcasm mode off**

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 5:38 p.m. CST

    does Gollum bite off Frodo's ring-bearing finger and fall into t

    by PlantBoy!

    and does Grima kill Saruman on the DVD? I just figured I'd get right to the spoilers.

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 6:02 p.m. CST

    So if this isn't the best trilogy ever, what is?

    by minderbinder

    I'm dying to know.

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 6:10 p.m. CST

    Trilogy of Terror

    by PlantBoy!

    Yes, it's true. Think about it: THREE movies, all delivering more terror than you can shake a stick at! (OK, I've never actually *seen* "Trilogy of Terror", but it's on IFC sometimes.)

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 6:51 p.m. CST

    All your base are belong to us

    by MC Lovecraft

    Frodo lives!

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 7 p.m. CST

    "The OT is the best Trilogy ever, ya idiot...Say what you want

    by minderbinder

    OK, I will. It pretty much sucks. How can you argue that two great movies and one crappy one make a great trilogy? (and if you do argue that, at least use it to champion the Godfather, not something as lame as Jedi)

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 7:05 p.m. CST

    Thank God it is over !

    by LCD

    Saw it today. Its like TTT - just loooooooooooonger and more boring! Thank God it is over - let

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 8:26 p.m. CST

    No, IWantMy2Dollars

    by Ryalto 3.0

    The witch king confrontation and the mouth of sauron aren't even in it. so yed, PJ indeed dropped another ball. I'm not sure what the Rohan charge will be like, lets home the infamous horns of Rohan do not suck as much as Boromir's laughably bad horn in FOTR. I swear, that should have been one of the first signs that PJ was missing the important details, Boromir's horn was PATHETIC.

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 11:55 p.m. CST

    This film is shit!

    by Indiana Clones

    Shit.

  • Dec. 16, 2003, 1:24 a.m. CST

    Bored of the Rings

    by Black Rubber Dog

    Is it over yet? Oh, and all you dopes who think LOTR is great literature are proving that you don't know shit about great literature. LOTR is just really, really, really, really long (but ultimately pointless) pulp full of absurd, meandering plot devices. Both Peter Jackson and Tolkien could have greatly benefited from an EDITOR.

  • Dec. 16, 2003, 2:53 a.m. CST

    Complete index of changes between the books and the film version

    by truthseekr1488

    I enjoyed the books (read 'em about a year ago, only once, so my memory is not perfect) but I still think the films are fantastic examples of cinematic art, despite the flaws. It's a shock to read alt.fan.tolkien and notice the sometimes vitriolic abuse heaped on the films by Tolkien afficianados -- they're "fanboys" like the rest of us but they'll blow a gasket (a very proper British gasket) if you call them that. My god, the elitism! I suspect some of these people have never seen a great film. There's at least one poster there who actually believes the films _never should have been made_. This is, imo, carrying appreciation for literature too far. * * * * The list of changes is fun to read but I don't take it all too seriously. It's a bit too harsh on the filmmakers for not treating the "canon" with due respect (as if we were talking about the Bible or the Qu'ran here.) Is LOTR filmable? Apparently so. There are books that even I think may never be filmable -- "Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson" (aka All and Everything) by Gurdjieff is one such book, and "Finnegans Wake" by James Joyce is another (though FW might make an enjoyable audiobook.) * * * What bothers me most about the LOTR films is Jackson's decision to use Gimli (and to a lesser extent Legolas) as comic relief. The way Gimli is made the butt of short-people jokes is just absurd and irritating. The absolute worst scenes: Gimli trapped beneath a dead warg ... and then another...and then another; and Gimli standing behind the parapet at Helm's Deep and complaining that he can't see over the wall. Sheesh, stand on a rock for cryin' out loud! And enough with the dwarf-tossing already. Other than this, I loved the film and I hope ROTK tops it. ;)

  • Dec. 16, 2003, 4:19 a.m. CST

    Favorite Lesson of the moovie!

    by HammerMill

    No naugrahydes in Middle Earth! Yay!

  • Dec. 16, 2003, 6:34 a.m. CST

    ATTN LOTR HATERS: Give it up! You already lost..

    by TallScott

    Return Of the King Sucks you say? WELLL So far on Rotten Tomatoes it has a %100 Fresh rating..Still sucks you say? Well it got best picture on the New York Film Critics Circle. Eat it haters!

  • Dec. 16, 2003, 7:09 a.m. CST

    "YIPPEEE!!!!!"

    by Yo Yo Man

    I KNEW this guy's rhetoric sounded familiar, Miami!!! I do indeed owe this Wilder-esque bastion of great screenwriting an apology. Visible, you are indeed a gifted artisan. Here's hoping Lucas keeps your "I have a bad feeling about this" line in Episode III. And as for great trilogies, I have to side with mynameisnobody. I mean, besides LOTR, but then, I won't have seen ROTK until tomorrow. Star Wars and Empire are great (though I don't think they can quite compete with Fellowship or Two Towers in terms of great writing or acting) but Jedi was merely good, with added teddy bears. Same with the Godfather movies - part III let the side down. The only trilogy I can think of which is consistently great is the Dollars trilogy. Not only are they great stand-alone movies, but they work as a series, and they're all different - they keep reinventing themselves. Come to think of it... is this actually the first "trilogy" in movies? I mean, besides any Hammer Horror series. I can't think of an earlier example. Am I missing something? Leone's a genius.

  • Dec. 16, 2003, 7:33 a.m. CST

    It's Trilogy Tuesday, people!!!

    by Yo Yo Man

    And apparently the talkback is now working from the top down. Hmm. Anyway, in less time than it takes the Wachowski Brothers to get to the point, I shall be enjoying my two days off work by easing into a ridiculously comfortable seat, loaded with popcorn, and immersing myself in Fellowship and Two Towers back-to-back. Then tomorrow... the king will officially return!!! I know because of the time difference, you wonderful fellow fanboys in America will have another few hours to go before embarking on your own LOTR-fest, so have fun!!!

  • Dec. 16, 2003, 9:02 a.m. CST

    I'm off to the trilogy marathon

    by ATARI

    Be back tomorrow, suckers. Are you jealous? You should be.

  • Dec. 16, 2003, 10:07 a.m. CST

    You gotta be effing kidding me Ryalto...

    by Pontsing Barset

    ... are you having us on? Taking the piss? Out of all the LEGITIMATE criticism you could have proffered you came up with "Boromir's horn was pathetic"?! Give me a break. Just what in the hell was it SUPPOSED to sound like? Obviously, in your mind, like something other than the freaking ox horn sound effect, that was used because, fathom the logic, that

  • Dec. 16, 2003, 10:21 a.m. CST

    whats with the negative waves?

    by raker

    it is hard to believe that some people can be so bitter over a movie. you would think from Harry's talkback that the rotk was camel piss...but then you go over to rotten tomatoes and see 42 and 0...not just any 42 either, the critics are getting all sappy on this movie.

  • Dec. 16, 2003, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Boromir's horn

    by Ryalto 3.0

    If you've read my other posts, you'd know I had many more problems than Boromir's horn; that detail is but one small example of the kind of graceless production PJ has directed. However, Boromir's horn still fucking sucks. It is described in the novels as a booming, awe-inspiring horn, they heard the thing in freaking Gondor when Boromir fell. Hell, the Ewok horns in ROTJ were more convincing. The horn should have been really fucking loud and deafening. instead it sucked.

  • Dec. 16, 2003, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Ryalto, you had better not be going to Return of the King

    by hildebrand

    Because if you do, you will become King of Hypocrisy. That being said, you don't like the way things were done, fine, but by God, why keep saying the same thing over and over and over and over and over. Why keeping flogging the deceased equine? We get it. You didn't like the changes. Ok, you have made your point. Now go away, or else we are going to have to start thinking that all of this grousing is a front for your true feelings. Why else spend so much time on a series of talkbacks regarding a movie that you hated? We get your point, now go away.

  • Dec. 16, 2003, 11:16 a.m. CST

    Ok Ryalto, here's concept for you...

    by Pontsing Barset

    ... what do you say we agree to disagree like civilised people have done for centuries? Because I think the films are great and there's nothing you or anyone else can say that's going to change my perception. I make up my own mind about such things. Yes, they have flaws, what movie doesn't? You're presenting a "rag and bone buffet": The nits you choose to pick are so greatly outweighed by the films' achievements that they are rendered entirely inconsequential, in my opinion. And Boromir's horn, (geeze, I can't believe I'm reduced defending something as innocuous as PJ's choice of a single sound effect), sure as shit sounds like an ox horn to me...

  • Dec. 16, 2003, 12:08 p.m. CST

    "cheer, song and love"

    by ketracel

    Hahahahaha - "cheer, song and love?!!" You are SO GAY!

  • Dec. 16, 2003, 1:18 p.m. CST

    O/T: ICHI THE KILLER in Denver, uncut

    by readyoufool

    Yes, this is off topic, but i have no idea if moriarty or Harry will post my email so here it is. Takashi Miike's Ichi the Killer will be shown starting January 3rd at the Denver Mayan Theater in all its uncut glory. here's the link. http://www.landmarktheatres.com/Market/Denver/Denver_Frameset.htm again, sorry for the Offtopic nature of this post.

  • eturn of the Jedi. Back to the Future III. Jaws 3-D. Alien

  • Dec. 16, 2003, 2:30 p.m. CST

    In less than 24 hours, the King will Return!

    by Harrierthanthee

    What I wouldn't give for that much patience.

  • Dec. 16, 2003, 7:10 p.m. CST

    First rotten reviews...

    by BG

    ...http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/TheLordoftheRingsTheReturnoftheKing-1127213/reviews.php?critic=rotten

  • Dec. 16, 2003, 7:57 p.m. CST

    the real AICN

    by PlantBoy!

    http://www.somethingawful.com/isnotitcoolnews/

  • Dec. 16, 2003, 8:07 p.m. CST

    Ha!

    by BG

    This is what STEPHEN WHITTY of the Star-Ledger Wrote:

  • Dec. 16, 2003, 9:02 p.m. CST

    more reviews

    by BG

    Here is a quote from a ROTK review: "in one of two climactic battle scenes, a never-identified army of fearsome face-painted foes riding atop gigantic elephants appears on the flank of the protagonists' battalion, prompting the question, "Who the heck are these guys?""(end quote) This is exactly the sort of comment that annoys the hell out of me! Why must everything that happens on screen be explained? Do you understand everything that happens to you? Of course not, you just accept it. The number of times I've had to sit through imbecilic dialogue like: "I see you have the such-and-such, that'll come in handy latter when we meet so-and-so." Why should the average movie goer have to put up with dumbed down movies just to cater for the morons and film critics in the audience!

  • Dec. 16, 2003, 9:36 p.m. CST

    I find myself agreeing with Mr. Pontsing Barset.

    by Tinuviel70

    Mr. Ryalto 3.0 has an occasional valid point but this saying about Boromir

  • Dec. 16, 2003, 10:58 p.m. CST

    3 hours 20 minutes? Felt like an hour to me...

    by Dragonfire

    Personally I think lumping the star wars trilogy together with the Matrix trilogy is ridiculous. Star wars trilogy is right up there with Lord of the rings and both have their share of flaws. But a lot of so called 'flawless' movies that I've seen have one major flaw in that they're just plain boring. Take 'Lawrence of Arabia' for example: A perfectly crafted film, but for me bunch of guys walking through the desert isn't enough to get me emotionally, unlike the LOTR and Star wars films which may not be perfectly crafted but tell epic enough stories well enough to make them greater than any other film. Star wars has one major advantage though in that it was written for the screen. As amazing a film as I found ROTK to be I couldn't help being bothered by all the stuff they were leaving out. The stories they focused on were told brilliantly, those being the four hobbits and Gollum, but I was disappointed with Faramir being almost completely scrapped, especially since he was a character I liked far more in the movies than in the book, and I felt Aragorn didn't feature enough in this movie, considering he's 'the king' afterall. That said, the ending was pure perfection and though the middle, as I said, was ruined a bit for me because of all the stuff that was being left out, the ending was the greatest ending I've ever seen to a trilogy, or any film for that matter. I'll won't say this is the perfect film yet, not until the extended DVD comes out, hopefully with all the missing stuff restored.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 1:38 a.m. CST

    Hey TallScott, why don't you READ a few of those reviews, and qu

    by Stirling Mel

    I've read most of the reviews...like I've always said, Jackson made Tolkien into an effect-laden action trilogy, and the marketing engine has kicked in full swing... These reviewers were awed by the effects (as is everyone, noone aruges that), but most were underwhelmed by the STORY, by the characters...there are moments, but nothing consistent. The most common critique among critics who supposedly loved the films: "Good fun fare; but I'm no more of a fan now than I was three years ago" That's several reviews saying that exact thing. What does that mean? It means after the glitz, glamour and BS wear off, you'll still have your vapid, hollow, contrived action film. For me and mine, for the rest of us. well, we waited a long time for Tolkien to authentically be brought to film We wait still. Denethor kicked into the fire by a horse and dwarf comedy indeed! You can keep it! In fact, you and your have EARNED IT!

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 1:51 a.m. CST

    The reviews speak for themselves on rottentomatoes.com! So far

    by ethandarkseid

    stephen whitty of the Newark Star-Ledger is quoted as saying "....is part of a good movie, but only mediocre on its own, full of awkward pauses and redundancies" and David Elliott of the San Diego Union-Tribune (yet another hyphenated newspaper name....proof that trouble lies ahead) states in his almost unreadable review that he felt "blized bombed" again. Its a shame how people feel the need to be be different when the majority of reviwers have given a film such overwhealming acclaim as has been given for ROTK. I hate that attitude. I mean, my friend is a Star Wars loon and will stand behind the latest offerings from the Lucas camp 'till the day he dies yet still regards the LOTR movies (hes seen them both) with a certain level of respect. So this is a message to those who will always be "different" for the sake of being...well, different and want to bash these movies I say this to you: Go pee on an electric fence and melt your nuts off. LOTR RULES! The perfect trilogy has been realised in our lifetimes and we did'nt have to wait 5 or 6 years in between each one to enjoy them all. Jackson is the new king of movies. Lucas should pick up the phone and dial to New Zealand (i'm sure he can afford it as I think Lucas owns a few high power phone cable lines around the globe and does'nt pay long distance charges. lol) and Congratulate jackson on job well done. Hell, he should ask him to direct the next Star wars film and have lawrence kasden write the ENTIRE script but this will happen as soon as a flaming screaming weasel flies from my anus. :) < ethan >

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 5:52 a.m. CST

    I saw ROTK...

    by Bourne GreyElf

    and it was fucking awesome. heh, I was right the entire time, who knew?; RETURN OF THE KING FUCKING OWNED YOU MOTHER FUCKERS! thats all. Its finally over, its very sad actually, but it is. the last three years have been the best years of movies ever. I am somewhat depressed now....

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 7:57 a.m. CST

    Disappointed...

    by Lemur Master

    Just got back. I hate to say it, but I'm disappointed. I've read the books 2 or 3 times, but it's been a few years since. I loved the first film. I enjoyed the second film. I bought both extended editions. This third film was disappointed. I felt that the editing was not good. There were too many drawn out parts which felt needlessly dramatic, and there were too many other parts which seemed to skip around. Especially considering the timing of everything. So much of the story seemed to bog things down. For example (SPOILERS) Frodo and Sam having some sort of dischord. This is a lame way to put Frodo alone with Shelob. I thought this was one thing the book did right. The cliffhanging business over the lava. Egads! How many times have we seen this before? Why don't people hold onto cliff with two hands when the possibility of letting go means certain death? No no, just gonna pull a "Stallone-in-Cliffhanger" moment here and hang on with one hand for the sake of it. And other things seemed just goofy. The lidless eye, bobbing around and doing double takes. The inability of anyone besides Orcs to use bows at the appropriate time. No one's ability to use any sort of battle strategy (anyone ever heard of "attacking the flank" or taking an enemy by suprise? I don't know. There were some great moments, but there was a lot of places that I felt like I wished I was at the helm in the editing room. Missed opportunities. And a drawn out ending which is totally extraneous. I'm disappointed.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 9:15 a.m. CST

    right on, Stirling Mel

    by Ryalto 3.0

    we still wait indeed. Ever since I found out they were delaying Shelob till ROTK, I could no longer blind myself to the problems with PJs movies. They're above average action flicks, but they could have been so much more.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 10:39 a.m. CST

    fantastic movie, but you can't explain away the 5 endings...

    by General Idea

    that was my only gripe with an otherwise wonderful movie. whether Harry's reason for the 5 endings is valid or not, it's still FIVE ENDINGS. It's distracting and people are fidgeting in their seats. The battles, acting, effects, sets, everything else is really top-notch. Only other minor complaint is that the "quiet, sentimental moments" start to feel kind of overdone after 3+ hours of them. Wonderful movie-making all things considered. Can't wait for the extended DVD, I think a few things could be made even better. Thanks for these movies Mr. Jackson.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 11:26 a.m. CST

    97% Fresh at Rottentomatoes

    by runfoodrun

    Read the reviews, they don't suggest only good, they SAY IT'S GREAT.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 11:51 a.m. CST

    It's not just one ending, it's multiple endings...but the film i

    by HardcoreRocker

    Let's be serious Harry, my midnight audience of geeks laughed out loud the 4th time the film faded back in after fading to black. But the film is an epic that is incomparable and will go down as one of the greats. My review is at www.rockithardcore.com.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 12:04 p.m. CST

    LOTR Bashers

    by medevine

    Anyone with half a brain can see that Peter Jackson has created a movie that is completely without equal. (That's right, I said movie, not movies - call it a trilogy if you like, but it is still one story that's been cut into three parts.) I've seen moron after moron say that these films are over hyped and are not the greatest ever made. Have any of you actually watched these films. What movie (or trilogy) would qualify for this lofty title? Star Wars????? (All crap after the first one.) Citizen Kane???? (Boring crap.) How about Gone With the Wind? (Most offensively stench evoking pile of crap ever hyped.) Give me a break. If you can't see LOTR for all the glory that it is, go home and watch the sponge guy on cartoon network and quit bitching!!!!!

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 12:14 p.m. CST

    Majority rules.

    by xfloydx

    It's a masterpiece as voted by majority opinion. 103 POSITIVE REVIEWS, with only 3 negative. 9.3/10 average.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 12:27 p.m. CST

    nothing wrong with the multiple endings...

    by Dragonfire

    Either you care about the characters or you don't. If you don't, you shouldn't have gone to watch this movie. If you do, then the 'multiple endings' should have been no problem. I find it exaggeration to call them multiple endings anyway. After Mount Doom I was thinking to myself "Well, here comes the multiple endings everyone's complaining about". And you know what? Everyone who's complaining about them is an idiot. What, maybe people just aren't used to a movie which actually takes the care to properly conclude it's character's stories, or atleast certain character's stories, mainly the hobbits. And I'm especially surprised that some people who have read the books are complaining about the multiple endings. You should know how important that ending is. I can understand those who haven't read the book not understanding why Tolkien would choose to end LOTR the way he did and why it would be a crime to leave all of that out.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 1:09 p.m. CST

    The leaf they smoke = reference to marajuna?

    by warp11

    Get this out the way, ROTK was awesome. Now more importantly, anyone else notice that everytime the "leaf" that is smokes in the trilogy is talked about, if you were to instert "marajuana" instead it would still be on point. I mean really, LOTR smoking out watching the night sky, the extender ver or TTT had far more "leaf" references". Now in ROTK, there are even more! Always talk about "you smoke too muchof the halflings weed" Merry and Pippin always giggling and being really hungry! Come on, if it were straight tabacco would characters be making such assertions as saying the leaf has a negative affect on how people are able to perceive things. You don't equate too much tabacco with loss of cognitive function over time! I don't have a problem with it, I was just curious if anyone else saw it. www.warp11.com, www.warp11bb.com, California's Finest Star Trek Band!

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 1:31 p.m. CST

    One of the many cringeworthy parts of the LOTR films...

    by cockknocker

    In the book Denethor dies on the funeral pyre. In ROTK he pours oil on himself sets himself aflame then runs about half a kilometer before throwing himself off the top of minas tirith. They may as well have had him firing dual uzis as he jumped off then made him explode and have the bits reform into a giant dog that eats the witch king. I like the LOTR movies but they are overated. Read the books to see what LOTR is about. I find the majority of the narative alterations result in horrible cliches. One more gripe, the action was all shaky cam bullshit, what ever happened to elegant cinematography and artistic framing?

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 1:59 p.m. CST

    It should be higher than 97%.

    by exPFCWintergreen

    If you read 2 of those "rotten" reviews, they actually seem to be mostly positive. One of them, Malexandria, gave ROTK a C. Is that not a positive review? RT showed it as rotten.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 2:37 p.m. CST

    Re: gulf between internet/proffessional opinions of LOTR 3

    by Indiana Clones

    The difference is that pro reviewers are offered very hefty bribes to write glowing opinions of movies (especially films that are created to condition demgographic expectations- such as this trilogy), wheras people on the internet are not.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 2:46 p.m. CST

    All Your Box Offices Are Belong to ROTK

    by RedFiveForce

    All Your Box Offices Are Belong to ROTK

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 3:39 p.m. CST

    Star Wars is dead: long live the King!!!

    by Yo Yo Man

    I swear I saw George Lucas running for cover, just after the first boulder hits Minas Tirith. Really, look out for it next time. Also, if you watch the bit in Two Towers when the elves arrive at Helm's Deep, you can see Brian (of Monty Python's Life Of) and Jason Lee in the background, evidently pleased to see their elfin brothers. I'd love to tell you how great ROTK is, but I can't, because I've just got through watching The Lord of the Rings for the first time. I'll have to wait to see ROTK on its own. But as for one big, badass, ten hour epic, Lord of the Rings is the equal of the book: they're both long and rich in detail, with a few imperfections along the way, but ultimately the best representation of their respective media to date. I was spellbound by the book; the movie had my jaw on the floor. Thank you, Peter Jackson, you mad genius.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 4:42 p.m. CST

    emotionally void....

    by MisterGrimloch

    yes. the accolades will reign, and Jackson will be perceived as "genius". but, as far as i'm concerned, and i say this entirely without malice, Jackson blew it. having neither the time, nor the desire to sit here and rant endlessly about how this film fails, i will say only this; the LOTR films are essentially hit and miss. epic battles, over and over, are not emotionally engaging to me. maybe to the current generation, who honestly cannot relate to epic films such as Lawrence of Arabia, Godfather, or even the original Star Wars, can appreciate these films on a different level of which i am not connected to. but, the audience i saw this with, mostly 20 somethings, provided a slight smattering of "polite" applause at the finish, clearly betraying a need to prove to themselves that they thought it was "awesome". clearly, they were bored, and have yet to admit it to themselves. i was impressed for the first hour, and then realized that Jackson was patting himself on the back, over and over. the ending was attrociously edited, and the decision to snip Christopher Lee from the film was foolish. i don't care about an extended cut, as that will do nothing to tighten the moments that drag, it will serve only to lengthen a film that is already too long. yes folks, i have read the books, long before any of you existed, and these films do not impress me. unlike my previous rants about TTT, i have no energy to "quarrel" with anyone over this picture. i disliked it, and thats too bad. ultimately though, its irrelevant, as i will simply avoid it. no folks, there will be no dvd purchases here, and frankly i think its time i unloaded my unnecessary copies of the other films. perhaps i will keep the theatrical cut of FOTR, as it was a film i enjoyed immensely, but the whole concept of these films has been blown way out of proportion with the content and the execution. there is simply no dramatic tension contained in this movie to engage me. i don't care about these characters anymore, and, as with the Matrix films, there is very little to keep me immersed in the world created, because regardless of all the spectacle involved, there is only just so much "grandeur" i can endure without becoming bored stiff. by no stretch of the imagination is ROTK, or TTT, but mostly ROTK, a "great" film. it is a "big" film, but as far as i am concerned, it is empty. and that is, in many ways, ashame. perhaps i will post again on this topic, just to further detail my thoughts, but it is essentially a waste of time. if people on here truly feel they enjoyed this movie, as the immense praise seems to indicate, then they enjoyed it and good for them. i did not find it to be particularly special.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 5:09 p.m. CST

    100% agree with MisterGrimloch

    by hstbbhem

    Rotk ain't all that. I'll admit that some passages were indeed quite impressive but the ensemble is not good enough.And don't you people bring me that predictable "then why don't you do your own film". I would If I had the money. But the subject is Jackson's adaptation is not a "masterpiece". Like MisterGrimloch said, there's hits and misses.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 5:50 p.m. CST

    an opinion

    by mastar

    in several ways, it is hit and miss. the hits are impressive, the misses are regretful, a what could have been. i have no doubt the extended edition will solve some of these problems...it really was like a three hour preview for what comes out in november (maybe sooner), but to go about and say how this doesn't compare to lawrence of arabia or whatever, i mean dude, shut the fuck up. we all have imaginations for a reason. use it. the truth is that they took too much for them to handle, so they had to make shit loads of cuts, but they made it so that 1. readers could fill in the gaps (i guess even change some things around, like Homer does when he watches movies on the Simpsons) and 2. if you didn't read the books to still enjoy it, this was such a fucking hard thing to do, the fact they came this close is awesome. there were many things i didn't like about the movie, but im not complaining, if anything, im left wondering what could have been, but ultimately grateful for what i saw and the chance to escape our world. i mean, whatever man, its a fucking movie, sit back and laugh, ooh and ahh or whatever, relax, take what you want, there is so much that PJ put on the plate for any fat nitpicker to be happy about.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 6:04 p.m. CST

    mastar....

    by MisterGrimloch

    assuming (which is always dangerous) that you are speaking to me in your post, first off let me say that i am not at all fat, and i will NEVER "shut the fuck up". this film failed, badly, in my opinion. but, unlike you, i am unconcerned with convincing anyone of anything. if you loved it, regardless of flaws that YOU acknowledge, then good for you. neither this film, nor TTT drew me in emotionally. the reasons are many, and i admit without hesitation to enjoying "parts" of the films. but overall, i find them to be uninspiring, barely entertaining, and remote. its not important to me, so don't get yourself in an uproar that i have dared to speak ill of what i believe to be a fairly mediocre trilogy. when the hype dies down, and people reflect, i believe these films will be regarded with alot less praise. regardless of whether or not that occurs is irrelevant in the end, since i am concerned only with MY opinion, and it is not swayed anymore than those who loved these films. Oscar winner, or not, ROTK fails on levels that are more important to me than "visually dazzling". characters, plotting, and directorial style did not engage me, with the last two films, so therefore, to me, LOTR is a lackluster trilogy that in no way, shape or form compares with MANY other films, and i do not merely refer to its fanbase rival of SW. for me, the LOTR films are, under no circumstances, amongst my favorites, and owning them is not a priority. if you loved them, then by all means enjoy.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 6:20 p.m. CST

    After seeing it once....i think its the lesser of the three

    by Jon E Cin

    I loved it, but Fellowship is a much more emotionally involved film and Two Towers Helms deep is still the best battle sequence. This was just the icing on one of the best tasting cakes ever!

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 6:35 p.m. CST

    best movie ever, really...

    by Rupee88

    This is certainly the best movie ever and when you watch it, you will have the best experience ever! In fact, I have heard that watching LOTR will soon replace crack cocaine, heroin, and oxycottin as the drug of choice. Instead of shooting up, people will watch LOTR. Also, sadly the human race will die out because people will no longer have sex, because they'd rather sit and watch LOTR. According to Harry, and the rest of you with no perspective, it is really that good!

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 6:35 p.m. CST

    mistergrimloch

    by mastar

    assuming is dangerous, but everyone does it, so whatever; i wasn't talking to you directly, but sort of, i was speaking generally about people who want to trash these movies for a variety of reasons. it is true that i read your post and decided to put in my own opinion, but i am not trying to convince anyone; if it sounds convincing then that is fine, it is an opinion. thats what opinions do. as for these movies, what PJ has done is to create a world so full of details to draw the viewer in, in the end, it is up to the individual. like reading a book a poem or listening to music, it is the relationship between the artist and the individual. if you buy into it, then excellent, if not, oh well, move along, whatever, i do not have the energy either to debate these films. contrary to what you may think, i did not leave the theater thinking it was awesome, out of the three people i saw it with, i liked it least. yet, just like TTT, i know it will improve upon further viewings and ultimately with the extended edition. there is just so much in these films to combat what is wrong. i agree with mynameisnobody on several points, and in some ways, this was the least engaging, but as i said before; there is over an hour of footage missing, so most of the visually dazzlign stuff is left in, and the smaller moments (well, if you consider the death of saruman among other scenes small) are left out. i enjoyed the movie, forgave its faults, and look forward to jumping back into middle earth. you are entitled to your opinion. i am entitled to mine. i consider lord of the rings to be one of the finest trilogies ever made and fully expect it to be rewarded come oscar time, and when it does get its batch of oscars, i will not sit back and say "look, fuck you all, shut the fuck up now, who was right" i will just say, "as desevred" look at how much this guy put into this shit man, look how much of his life, of his time. damn, we are lucky to witness something extraordianry as this. and when the hobbit comes out, that will be fucking awesome too...(small wonder that hobbiton is one of the only set pieces remaining...someone is thinking about the future) anyway, basic point...whatever man. i dont care. say what you want, i said my piece, these movies kick ass.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 6:37 p.m. CST

    Cliche

    by Integra

    I really enjoyed the first film, really dislike the second, and this falls somewhere in between. a few questions to the more 'Tolkien Literate': Why did the witch king of the nazgul not sense the ring 20 feet below him? The first film clearly established that they were attuned to the ring, and homed in on it like a tracking beacon. In this film it completely misses him. Why didnt the eagles simply FLY FRODO WITH THE RING TO MT. DOOM in the first place? Did gandalf not think of this? huh? What exactly was so terrifying about the nazgul king that a single woman warrior, without military training, can take it down on its mount? Pure cliche. Bravery? please. cornery. I had the same problem with the first film when aragorn single handedly fights off a raiding party of Nazghul with a torch. Why again should i be afraid of these guys? Why must every good character fight beyond their ability? You lose any sense of danger when the protagonists easily dispatch their enemies and crack jokes while they are doing it. BTW the audience I saw it with started laughing quite loudly during the multiple endings. I find it pretty amusing myself. I dont need to see all that detail, its a given. I guess I just didnt care all that much about the extended fate of these characters anyhow. As for this being a 'Great' film, I dont see it as such. Very little emotional attachment. Showing Frodo frown every other scene throughout the trilogy doesnt ground me in his character any more. Just how many times must we have a 'cavalry charging over the hill' and saving the day in these films, or 'oh no hes dead'/'No hes not!'. Frodo getting stabbed by the orc in the mines. Frodo stabbed by the Nazghul. Aragorn falling over a cliff. Gandalf falling into a pit. Frodo bitten by spider. Numerous instances with merry and pippen. etc. etc. etc. Why is Gandalf an amazing warrior? I thought he was a wizard? He has a spiffy fast horse, and can cast a light spell. Some wizard. Hes more of a battle general than a wizard. Oh also he can exorcise evil spirits ala the holy spirit 'the power of christ compels you' scene in the second movie. Great effects and epic scale do not a great movie/story make.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 6:47 p.m. CST

    Arwen's peach fuzz mustache

    by GypsyTRobot

    I'm probably the only person in the theater who noticed this, but will PJ use the magic of CGI to erase Liv Tyler's little peach fuzz on her upper lip? Wax that bad mojo, stat.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 6:48 p.m. CST

    Phew! Thank god Im not the only one!

    by ANGELS-EGG

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 6:55 p.m. CST

    Phew! Thank god Im not the only one!

    by ANGELS-EGG

    I was somewhat non plussed by ROTK as well. And no im not a die hard fan of the books....And no Im not a Starwars or Matrix freak! I loved FOTR was a little dissapointed by TTT but was let down majorly by ROTK...In terms of filmmaking...there were moments of sheer brilliance spoiled by Terrible Editing choices & some creaky FX choices (Gollums death anyone?!)...I saw both ROTK & Last Samurai....LS although extremely a cruise vehicle had better pacing,Battles & emotion than ROTK. Im seeing ROTK again tomorrow (prebooked) I doubt I will be swayed the second time......Its good....but by god its FLAWED!

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 6:57 p.m. CST

    mynameisnobody

    by exPFCWintergreen

    Scotts and the Welsh are from the same island, but have completely different accents. I can see how some people don't like these movies, there are parts of them I hate - namely the battles (I can't tell what the fuck is going on during LOTR battle sequences, the editing and camera movement is way too choppy)

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 6:58 p.m. CST

    constant defensiveness...

    by MisterGrimloch

    in the posts of those who loved this film, is unnecessary. why is it that the fanbase of this trilogy cannot accept that not EVERYONE is blown away by these movies? someone recently posted to the effect that if you are not blown away by this movie, you lack perspective. this is a ludicrous suggestion. it is perspective that allows one to criticize it honestly in the first place. and to suggest, as many reviews have done, that criticism of this film is somehow invalidated by its factual greatness is also ludicrous. every opinion is subjective, and LOTR is not magically elevated beyond criticism. in the end, it is three films, or one long one, whichever you prefer, and there are clearly areas of creative choice that can come under scrutiny, and invariably disappoint someone. as i said earlier, i have no desire, nor energy to attempt to convince anyone of anything, positive or negative regarding this movie. i simply was quite underwhelmed by it, and will let it pass as that. it had MANY flaws, and more importantly, beyond simple nitpicks, i was not entertained for the majority. the multiple endings were very distracting, and the exclusion of the Saruman character was a poor choice of editing, in my opinion. it doesnt matter that it will be included in the marketing scheme of constant "extended editions". this theatrical cut should be properly edited in the first place, and it wasn't. extended cuts should improve the depth of certain concepts, not "correct" lazy editing decisions.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 7:03 p.m. CST

    3 hours + of gut-twisting, but too much was left out

    by GypsyTRobot

    took me 3+ hours to calm down. Good stuff: lighting the beacons, the Mumakil battle scene (blows At-Ats from ST:tESB out of the water!). Faramir. Theoden. Eowyn's moment of truth. Merry & Pippin all the way through. Shelob. Minas Morgul. Minas Tirith. Grey Havens looked beautiful. Gimli not making any atrocious jokes. PJ's kids not called upon to do any more acting than just standing there watching Faramir go off to his certain death. Not good: Elijah Wood is a simp. Gandalf beating up another old man with a stick. Slobbering Denethor. All that was cut out AND BETTER BE ON THE FUCKING EXTENDED EDITION - the missing romance (who gives a shit about that inbred little git, Rosie Cotton?), Sam's vision as he is tempted by the ring, the Watchers he defeats with Galadriel's phial, the bit where Frodo and Sam get caught up in the marching army, and THE FRIGGIN' MOUTH OF SAURON!!! Bruce Spence call yer agent! Holy mother of Cthulhu, the cartoon version of RotK had most of this shit. I'll laugh my ass off if Sam's temptation scene is better in the cartoon.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 7:11 p.m. CST

    aight you fuckers

    by mastar

    aight you fuckers... okay, the devil is the details. lets use some common sense. this may be hard to follow. ready? 1. how many people in your hometown have the same fucking accent? jesus, one of my friends, he sounds like he is from the deep south, his brother sounds like he is from some ghetto. same household, two very different accents 2. the army of the dead? earlier? and then what would happen later? how would they win minas tirith? the paths of the dead are south of rohan, they are to be used once, aragorn has to go through the paths of the dead to the other side to stop the corsairs. why don't the ents go to minas tirith? why the fuck would they want to go to minas tirith when they hardly want to go next door....there aren't even trees by minas tirith. and the eagles, why didnt they fly frodo in from the beginning?what the fuck kind of movie is that...if you allow me to waste five seconds of my life in answering you, the eagles are forms of manwe and all the, i forget, the valar? they are not supposed to interfere, take control, but in the end, it is like the hand of god...it is like, okay, you have proved your faith in destroyign the ring, here, lets help now. humanity passes the test, eventually they can fade into the west. same thing for gandalf, he cant go and make a huge spell to take off a million hit points off the enemy, but he can fight with humanity and give them hope. same thing with the charge, what infantry is going to stop a charge of horsemen, read your fucking history assholes, the horse was a huge bonus for those who used it, thats why the mongols under ghengis khan could take down armies five times their number you fucks, you stupid fucks, thats why when poland who had the best calvary was run over by germany because tanks, next step up, plowed right through them. horses are a step up, they would fucking cleave right through the horseless ranks of mordor, see how scared they were when they were being charged at? wouldn't you? (the horseless ranks of Mordor, who cannot get many horses because they do not have the resources or whatever, they got a few wargs, big fuckign deal) 3. the whole thing is a fantasy, the whole thing is a cliche, because when tolkien first wrote it, it got copied so much that it became a cliche. theres so much cliche anyway nowadays, whats a little more? the point of this is that there is another world here, and it has been recreated. what multiple endings too, jesus, sit down, look at the way the four of them sit down at the green dragon again, not celebrated as heroes...i liked that, they look dissillusioned to me like anyone else who has been through war and has nothign to return too (which is why they show sam again, because it is the overwhelming message about the power of love and all that is good, and it looked to me like Aragorn was about to die if the ring wasnt destroyed, so there goes your sense of danger) and yes, the editing kind of sucked. i would like to see yout ake a four plus hour movie and make it three hours long. how good will that be. considering that (yes, its their fault they got in that position int he first place) they did a pretty fucking good job. the fact that you can escape into these movies, the fact that you can cry, i didn't, but i could see it...these films are cool, they are good, and they are popular and they should be. they are well done, a lot of energy put into it, and you have to respect that. take what you want fromt hem, is it an allegory? (i would liek to think it is, high blown fantasy which translates into, hey man, get up, live your life the best you can, fight as hard as you can, and then move on) is it pure escapist pulp? (its that too) it is what it is. i know i said in one post i didn't have the energy to defend these movies, and look at what i just wrote, but honestly, shut the fuck up now. there are problems, nobodys perfect, you dont like it? great. not liek the books? read the books then again. personally, im watching this movie again, and ic ant wait till the extended version comes out, because i love these movies, i love the books, and it took me a while to see this, (like after two towers i was sorely dissapointed) but who cares, this is good theater, good shit right here. jesus, i had numbers here, i forgot what i was trying to prove or whatever here...oh well, there goes my energy...aight. later.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 7:15 p.m. CST

    Different hobbit accents

    by GypsyTRobot

    The hobbits are from different parts of the Shire. The Shire is a little country of its own; Hobbiton is just one of the villages. Frodo and Sam live in the same area, but they are from different social classes. Hence the accent difference. I love Pippen's accent.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 7:23 p.m. CST

    NO EASTERLINGS IN ROTK?? WTF!!??? (spoilers)

    by Darth Phallus

    I mean...PJ totally establishes this entire army of Easterlings going thru the gates of Mordor in TTT (the Wizard of Oz shot) and yet tho we see the Mumakil riding Haradim we don't see a single Easterling. Damn. Oh yea, and the SMEAGOL to GOLLUM sequence was gratuitous and worst of all, the make-up to CGI was completely unbelievable and made the CGI gollum seem even more fake. I bought him more before seeing Serkis in latex. Plus, I thought Serkis played Smeagol as too evil and creepy even before the ring. Serkis' Smeagol seems like he was ready to kill Deagol over anything not a happy riverfolk who got corrupted by the one ring. Plus, I thought Serkis should have brought more of Gollum's limber physicality to Smeagol...Serkis looks particularly gruesome and stiff in the shot right before they cut to CGI.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 7:47 p.m. CST

    Brilliant movie

    by Maximus21

    All the SW fanboys are gonna have to try extra hard to bring this one down. It's a little long-winded at times but never boring and really exciting and emotionally involving throughout.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 8:16 p.m. CST

    mynameisstupid

    by mastar

    wow, look at me, i can use words like hebetudinous to call someone stupid...impressive man, i'll make sure to send you a cookie so that when you cry to yourself at night, you can be sure that you are the very bestest of them all. (applause) mynameisnobody is incredibly clever, he can look through holes in a screenplay like nobody else can, wow, he can shoot down anybody...no one i know can do that. people i know like to build things, to breathe life into things, to understand things...but that is too easy. it is far harder to say this or that sucks. here you go again. i'll try to be clear and more to the point if you dont feel like re-reading my rambling post. 1. you agree with anal-na-bitchfuck who seems to have read the books. where in the books are they aware of the big showdown between good and evil? they are strictly concerned with their own skins. if it wasn't for saruman trying to take them over, they would have acted EXACTLY like they did int he movie. remember in the books? Rosie to Sam (paraphrasing)- why did you go tramping off with Frodo when so much is going on here? Furthermore, the movie doesn't end with the crowning, because it really is about the hobbits. They aren't kings or heores in their own land, yet they still fought for all of their freedom, like the rangers did, without recognition. That is the fucking point. 2. If you want to go with the accents, read my post bitch. People can have different accents living next door to each other. I know people, my own family is the same way, who sound different. Some are drastically different. Like i said, my one friend sounds from the deep south, his brother sounds completely different. We don't know why. Fuck you. 3. Do i really have to go through the Paths of the Dead again? Aragorn doesn't go during Helm's Deep, because it is far from Edoras. Also, he is informed by Elrond (pure movie physics here) what he must do. Legolas explains it further. He doesn't really know, this is not some ace up his sleeve. He is told, and he does it, and he saves Minas Tirith from its destruction. 4. The fucking eagles cannot just drop the ring into Mt. Doom. You want physics? Imagine this. Eagles take Frodo and the ring to Mt. Doom from the very beginning. (it has to be Frodo, Gandalf or someone would be tempted like shown already) Sauron is just going to sit in his tower, this big fucking yee that can see fucking far, is just going to sit there and watch eagles fly to Mt. Doom. Hello. You are fucking stupid. Listen, wanting to shoot down popular movies is pretty tempting stuff, especially someone like you who may have these notions that you could do better. You couldn't, you wouldn't. You would be ass raped by a movie studio before you could say action. What they did, took balls and courage and wits, and they did an excellent job. The eagles (pure movie phsics here) came when everythign else was going to be lost. They came to their aid, and Gandalf requistioned three of them to get Frodo when he realized Mt. Doom was exploding. He didn't know if they would find Frodo, but, corny but thanks to God, they did. 5. I could go on. I am sorry, but i am right, and you are wrong. I respect your opinion, but if you want to shoot holes, watch me path them up, as they aren't really holes. Just imagined by some abecedarian like you. Listen, and open your eyes. This movie works, this is a good movie. If you don't think so, then fine, that is your opinion, but don't use logic that simply doesn't make sense. As for the buffet, i shall enjoy myself immensely. I could have seconds, thirds, and elevensies and still be slightly smarter then you. Fuck off, and yeah, you suck at life.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 8:54 p.m. CST

    Nine cheers for Mastar

    by elanor

    You go Mastar! I am with you 100% and so are about 25 other posters I know. You are very brave (and you're managing to remain humorous, too) to take on the lame-brains who spout the same nonesense everytime one of these movies comes out. Eagles, Plot holes, wimpy crybaby characters. Oy. My favorite complaint so far is the guy who says the "climbing up the mountain scene" takes too long!!!! I have started about 10 retorts and have stopped myself each time because there is no point trying to get through to the kind of person who doesn't get the implication of the Green Dragon scene in ROTK, even though he describes to a T what the scene conveys! Whoosh! Right over his head. I just wanted you to know, Mastar, that you are being silently cheered by a whole lot of us who are just too weary to jump in right now. Good on ya!

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 9:08 p.m. CST

    Wow!!!!!!!!!

    by pvecu

    I have seen ROTK today in Barcelona where I live and... whoa... it goes far beyond my higher expectations... really amazing film. Coming from a Bakshi deffender as I am (and always be), this is much. This film takes the best from FOTR, and surpasses it, and is surprisingly loyal to the original material. I think that Mr. Kong had its mind in ROTK when he made TTT. Now you know why.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 9:59 p.m. CST

    SEAN ASTIN BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

    by twitaman

    Harry, I'm glad you singled out Sean Astin's performance. I haven't heard too many others raving about him but he has done an amazing job. And in this film, he is pitch perfect and deserves a nomination for Best Supporting Actor -- in my opinion he deserves the damn award.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 9:59 p.m. CST

    A more honest and critical review?

    by Writhe

    http://www.crosswalk.com/fun/1236239.html This reviewer actually does something other than slober all over himself after seeing RotK. Just ignore the right-wing rant about Viggo and read the rest. :)

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 10:03 p.m. CST

    Denethor's palatir! Those Kiwi muppets forgot to mention it!

    by hollycrumpets

    I thought Denethor's death in the book was much better, burning to death on the pyre the seeing stone forever cursed with the face of the dead steward in his hands. But then he could take a header off a big tower whilst on fire. But it's as much a taste thing as literary integrity.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 10:04 p.m. CST

    that was even worse than I expected

    by Ryalto 3.0

    Cure you, Jackson, you fucking hack. All I wanted was a good 'Choices of master Samwise" scene, I was resigned to the fact that the rest would suck, and you couldn't even accomplish that. Holy shit that movie sucked! The only thing keeping it from being the worst of the three are the narrative moments built in by tolkien that can't be ruined even by PJ. It was boring as hell. It takes like 2 fucking hours just to get to shelob. Why the fuck does Jackson think everyone in middle earth needs constant convincing to fight? Isn't it fucking obvious? You're getting attacked by the dark lord, why the fuck are you waiting for beacons? The gollum scene at the beginning was beyond useless. Why the fuck would anyone start a film with ugly andy serkis staring at a worm like a goddamned retard in a badly framed close-up? come to think of it, there were way too many bad close-ps. the editing was horrendously bad, the cinematography was usually only impressive in the scenes that the digital artists were directing, the rest of the time, bad angles, shitty editing, lots of shaky-cam bullshit. Did anyone else notice that through the whole trilogy, Aragorn's entire catalog of fighting moves is {slash-spin-slash}? Merry and Pippin were portrayed like complete blithering idiots. Viggo seemed flaccid the whole time, some king. Sam's strawberries and cream moment was embarrasing and Elijah wood just looked constipated the whole time. The rankn/Bass version was better. i'm not even fucking joking. Even with the cheesy songs and lame as animation, that stupid cartoon STILL nails more essential tolkien moments than the PJ film. Gandalf confronts witch king: not even in the film. Eowyn vs. witch king; sucked, and the editing was terrible, kept short-circuiting any dramatic build-up to sut to something else. 'I'm not a man, I'm a woman!" ugh! godawful! Why go with that hideous dialog when the dialog in the book for that scene is brilliant? The shelob scene sucked beyond belief. why the fuck did they even bother with the Phial when it's bright as goddamn day in the cave to begin with? Sending away sam was just retarded and counter-productive to the story. His fight with Shelob, while brave and moving in the novel, is just boring and poorly shot in the film. You don't even see him take the ring. We don't even get his climactic choice. Way to shit all over a character. That was Sam's defining moment and they fucked it. PJ fucked it all up. this movie has abot 20-25 minutes of cool battle scenes and a few glimpses of tolkien surrounded by 3 hours of incredibly bad filmmaking. This is bad filmmaking 101. Awful use of slo-mo, pathetic attempts to goad the audience into emotion the filmmakers hadn't earned. Denethor was just a complete disaster. the intercut scenes with him eating were not only totally useless, but terribly juxtaposed. Who the fuck edited this piece of shit? This has some of the worst cuts I've ever scene in a major hollywood film. ARRGHH! I can't say enough bad things abot this movie. Peter Jackson has earned my eternal enmity for what he did to a great story. FOTR is the only film that even comes close to being worthy of Tolkien, This was just a huge mess. I can't belive people are kissing this movie's ass so much. People in the audience were bored out of their minds and really started to snicker after the third false ending. Hell, PJ couldn't even get the destruction of the ring right. Does Gollum fall in while swept up in his own euphoria? nope, we get a lame ass struggle between him and frodo and an even lamer "grab my hand" moment that just sucked. There are HUGE, vast strectches of time in the film where practically nothing happens. How could you waste so much screentime when there's so much important story to tell? People like Elanor are fucking delusional if they can stomach this bullshit when they've read the books. What terrible, terrible filmmaking. We can only bitterly imagine now what the films might have been had a true cinematic artist been given the reigns and not some hack director known for b-movie schlock. the emperor has no clothes, this film is crap.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 10:06 p.m. CST

    devil's in the spelling

    by twitaman

    Hey genius, you misspelled genius -- "genious"?!?!

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 10:16 p.m. CST

    omg, some of you are so eager to find holes in the movie but you

    by Dragonfire

    Okay, the whole "why didn't the eagle fly Frodo to Mount Doom" thing, is ridiculous. Think, just think for one second and apply that "critical mind" to your own criticisms rather than jumping up and down yelling "I found a flaw! I found a flaw! whoopee!". Did you notice the orcs happen to have, uh, bows? Did you notice that there's a massive eye which, uh, might notice an eagle flying through the sky towards Mount Doom? If the eagle had flown Frodo and the ring to Mount doom you'd all be saying " why didn't the orcs just shoot the friggin eagle, It's so stupid. Surely they'd notice an eagle flying through the sky" but, you'll just conveniently ignore that, won't you? The fact is that Frodo and Sam would stand much more chance of getting to Mount Doom undetected by traveling over Rocky terrain than flying through the friggin sky on the back of a friggin eagle in plain sight of a multitude of guard towers and orcs armed with bows and arrows with the eye of Sauron watching. Bet you feel like somewhat of an idiot now, don't you? If someone was sent to assasinate Hitler, he sure as hell wouldn't fly on a plane into enemy territory, parachute down in front of Hitler and wack him over the head, would he? As for the paths of the dead, that's also pretty simple if you bother to think for a moment. I assume by "first time round" you mean at the battle of Helms deep. The thing is that Aragorn didn't think of, or want to use them until Elrond suggested it to him. And seeing as the paths of the dead lay on the road between Rohan and Gondor, it would make sense for him to go there on the way from Rohan to Gondor, not go from Rohan to the paths of the dead and then bring them back to Rohan when the orcs were about to attack Helms deep, and then take the dead to Gondor again, which he wouldn't have been able to do because after they helped him it meant they had fulfilled their oath and he would have to release them (not 'have' to, but it's the noble thing to do). So, the very thought of him using the dead at Helms deep, like the 'why didn't the eagle take Frodo to Mount doom' suggestion, is another ridiculous attempt to find plot holes just for the sake of it. Why didn't the ents help at Gondor? That's a long way for a bunch of slow trees to walk. They only attacked Saruman because he was destroying the trees of their forest. They had no motivation to help Gondor. Plus Gandalf told them to stay behind and watch Saruman anyway. The accents? Give me a break, Mississipi (sorry if I mispelt it) is not Britain. The shire is based on Britain. Merry and Pippin come from different parts of the shire to Frodo and Sam, so they'd have different accents, just like people from different parts of Britain have different accents, and though Frodo and Sam both come from Hobbiton, Frodo is from the more educated classes which is why his English is more pronounced whereas Sam has the typical English country accent. I can't believe I even need to explain this to you. What kind of thinking is "Er....all hobbits come from same country. Why not speak same, eh?" Does everyone in America speak the same? Does everyone in Britain speak the same? Why don't you JUST THINK for a second. All this aside though, I can understand people not liking these movies. It was unrealistic to ever expect the Lord of the rings films to have widespread appeal. They're just like the books, in that you get the people who love them, and the people who "just don't get what all the fuss is about". I bet it was the same when Star wars came out, and with any massive phenomenon. Oh, and one more thing: I'm glad as all hell that the scouring wasn't in the movie. I can't believe fans are still complaining about that. I've heard enough complaining about the 'multiple endings' already, especially since I thought the ending was pure perfection. Imagine what it would have been like if the scouring had been in. I like the fact that the shire was unaffected by the war. That's the whole point. It's far, far away from gondor, so it's not unrealistic for it to be unaffected, and I love that scene where the four hobbits ride past the grumply old hobbit sweeping his garden who has no idea these four guys just saved the world, himself included. The lack of the Saruman death also didn't bother me as much as I thought it would. If there was one thing which really did disappoint me though, it was the scrapping of most of Faramir's story and his romance with Eowyn. As I said in another post, Faramir was one of the characters that I liked far more in the movie than in the book. In the book I found him to be pretty one dimensional, which I think was intentional by Tolkien because he wanted Faramir to be the representation of the good in men, but David Wenham gave him a great intensity in the movie. I missed the houses of healing far more than Saruman because the houses of healing would have given a better impression of what the return of the king meant to the people of Gondor, and it would have given more depth to Faramir and Eowyn's story. Basically, and this is probably a cliched thing to say, but it would have been nice to see Faramir get the girl. Also, the movie didn't give as much of an impression of the vastness of Sauron's armies as the book did, because in the movie it seems as if Gondor was the only place Sauron was attacking, whereas in the books we know that Gondor was the focus of his attack but he was also attacking several other places as well, such as the golden wood, and keeping the bulk of his army within Mordor to avoid making the same mistake as Saruman, which is why Gondor stood a small chance of surviving because if he had committed his entire force and all his attention to Gondor it would have been obliterated. Still, guess you can't have everything.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 10:24 p.m. CST

    reply ryalto

    by Dragonfire

    Yikes. I think your post would have been even funnier if you had been standing on top of a cliff shaking your fist and yelling "I'll get you Jackson. I'll get youuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!" I'd have loved to have seen you saying all that stuff out loud. You might have suffocated from forgetting to take a breath.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 10:53 p.m. CST

    LOL daaaaamn you Jackson.

    by GypsyTRobot

    Denethor's death was bad. Denethor was pretty bad all around - I blame Jackson, not the actor. But come on, the movie wasn't a stinker. It was incredibly exciting and emotionally devastating; a 4 tissue movie (Whalerider being 5 out of 5 tissues). Although the Rankin Bass was more faithful in a few places which is pretty embarrassing. When Eowyn said "I am not a man" it made me think of Monty Python. "I am not a man, you silly billy!" The bit about Arwen dying because her lifeforce was tied to Sauron's power, that was stupid. And where was the cock crowing, I ask you?

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 10:58 p.m. CST

    Good one, Dragonfire

    by elanor

    That's the funniest thing anyone has ever written about poor, bitter Ryalto. I will keep that image in my head whenever I see one of his posts from now on.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 11:08 p.m. CST

    another problem with rotk

    by hstbbhem

    one more thing i'd like to add. What the hell was up with the extreme homo-erotic moments of rotk? Why is Jackson insisting, lingering on these fucking embarassing scenes?

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 11:21 p.m. CST

    elanor!

    by djinnj

    Regarding the previous "from whose POV is Into the West" discussion, I see why you said Gandalf, and I am now completely and utterly convinced (actually, I was convinced before I saw it, but his dialogue with Pippin cinched it). Despite (I don't recall whom, sorry)'s suggestion of Galadriel based upon the way it is presented in the soundtrack, Gandalf is definitely it. I do still hear echos of other 'speakers' in it, but I think that several characters have similar relationships and that the song can be interpreted to fit many situations (rightly). But, yes, Gandalf, definitely. Of course, his dialogue with Pippin puts a whole Varda-esque (well, Mandos-esque, but it follows from my first Varda heavy interpretation) spin on going West, doesn't it! *sniffle*

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 11:26 p.m. CST

    At my midnight showing, the girls always screamed for Legalous.

    by warp11

    I thought it was funny. First time the Elf shows, the girls all cheered. In the end, when everyone was seeing Frodo wake up, each time a diff. character came in, people would kinda cheer. But when Orland Bloom and Viggo came in the girls went nuts. Saw the movie in the South Bay. LOTR rings had some cute girls who are into it. Cross over following. Interesting.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 11:29 p.m. CST

    by shady73

    Unfortunately, I completely agree with SOME of Ryalto's criticisms. It does take too long to get going; the beginnig is a little weird; there are some parts when it seems the movie is trying too hard to manipulate your emotions (one particularly bad part I almost laughed at was when Elrond was talking all intensely to Aragorn before WHOOOSHH, he whips out the re-forged sword; it felt like people were supposed to get all giddy - but no one did. It felt kinda forced). Also, that Denethor dude was just a freak, but it was funny when Gandalf bonked him on the head with his staff! HOWEVER, other than that, the movie really kicked ass! The battles were WAY better than anything we've seen previously. There's some great humor. And the ending(s) was a real tearjerker that didn't feel forced at all. There really wasn't a dry eye in the house at the (sold out) showing I saw it at. P.S. I never read the books, and I probably never will - so you HARDCORE Tolkien fans will probably totally disregard any of my opinions on this matter ;-)

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 11:48 p.m. CST

    Speaking of droolage

    by GypsyTRobot

    has anyone seen any Faramir-related merchandise? The poor guy gets no respect.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 12:10 a.m. CST

    hey cutest!

    by djinnj

    Here's to hoping for an olog-hai free TE conversation soon. Oh, the lembas were great, actually. My group asked to take the leftovers home, which is interesting since I designed them to be suitable as a dietary staple, and not as a sweet. The creampuff Shelob turned out pretty good too, although I had some problems with the articulation of three of the legs. ---- here's a url someone posted on TORn that had me chuckling. I'd forgotten what the Bakshi RotK had looked like!: http://www.lotruk.com/imagelibrary/rotk.html

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 12:12 a.m. CST

    Harry plagiarizes from himself!

    by jmachinder

    Although it pre-dates this site, check out this review he wrote in 1985... PORKY

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 12:48 a.m. CST

    An amazing experience from start to finish.

    by Psyclops

    I've had a great time going to see these movies for the last three years, it's really sad to see it end. I really didn't think that anyone could pull this off with such success but I was glad to be proven wrong each year since December 2001. Peter Jackson, I'd like to thank you for giving us the ultimate Christmas gift three years in a row. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 1:09 a.m. CST

    No worries, mynameisnobody

    by exPFCWintergreen

    People who critisize these films have to be quick to defense. Some people are rabid in their love of these films.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 1:17 a.m. CST

    first impression

    by Messyjoe

    I have just seen it. Yes it will take several viewings to really see it and appreciate it completely. However to my surprise I was not overwhelmed. What was missing? It's hard to pin down. The battle seemed very brief compared to Helm's Keep. The early bits seemed drawn out, the later bits compressed. I didn't want to find fault, honest. The Army of the Dead, seemed a bit too 'vacuous', like green froth. I hope it grows on me. Please, please put 'everything in the DVD. I dont' care if it's 6 hrs. long. You can always pause, right? That's my first impression. By the way I like the 'multiple endings', but I miss seeing at last a glimpse of the Gray Havens, so much, it hurts!

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 1:42 a.m. CST

    Petition to put every damn thing on an uber ee dvd (sign now!)

    by aelfgifu

    Hi all! Now that many have seen ROTK, I have a petition up now to plead for Jackson to include as many of the cut scenes as possible on the ee dvd. I think you will see that the film, as magnificent as it is, is missing much that we know was filmed. In fact, if the TE of TT seemed trimmed, ROTK sems positively gutted (and it is still INCREDIBLE). Please take a second to sign and spread the word! There is also a spot to put your fav filmed scene that did not make it in the TE. here is the link!! http://www.petitiononline.com/ROTKDVD/petition.html thank you!

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 2:02 a.m. CST

    This blew me away.

    by Barbarino

    Wow. That's it. Wow. The first two movies were merely snacks compared to this 3.5 hour masterpiece. I can't believe how well done this was. The emotion was so well captured for every character. And the visual effects seemed much better than previously. It is sad that our journey has ended, but I truly feel this was the crowning chapter in the greatest series of films we will ever see.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 2:41 a.m. CST

    Uber spoilage questions on ROTK...

    by pax256

    I liked the movie but I have probs with a few story bits. What if anything does arwen's sacrifice of becoming mortal do for the whole story. Tho she had been talking about this since film 1. Other than blinding the nazgul I dont think we got a good showing of gandalfs new white class powers. I suppose the EE there. Why didnt sauron SEE frodo when his eye was on him or was the saruman bit on saurons seeing abilities in film 1 just boast? I know about voice of saruman in the ee ver so I didnt mind that. I also really have a prob with why aragorn couldnt sdeal his dead army for at least til the wars end... I suppose the book there (and I havent read it) but at least the movie could flesh that bit out a bit more and again I hope the ee might do that. I need to seee the movie a FEW more times of course to get it all in... but damn some of these story bugs really ... bug me. Flame away boys!

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 3:27 a.m. CST

    This year's best film of all time... without a doubt! (please tr

    by greenleaf

    I

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 4 a.m. CST

    David Elliott and his hatred of LOTR

    by Wonderslug

    Here's a link to a thread regarding reviewer David Elliott's hatred of the LOTR Trilogy. http://forum.uniontrib.com/upload/showthread.php?s=&threadid=21986 Unfortunately Mr. Elliott is the movie critic for the San Diego Union-Tribune, the rag we here in San Diego, CA have as a newspaper. He is in the 3 percent of people that don't like LOTR at all.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 4:10 a.m. CST

    Yes, NorCalMike

    by greenleaf

    It will "blow your mind into pieces", literally. That is what these kinds of films do.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 4:30 a.m. CST

    pax256

    by djinnj

    Gandalf isn't really permitted to do very much. Actually, what he does the most and best is rally people's hearts to hope again, and that is harder to convey. Regarding the Eye? Well, Sauron was aiming farther away, and thus didn't notice F. Something similar happens in the book, actually. F was not inside the focal range of the eye (too close). Think about it this way, if you look through a screen window at a bunch of people outside, do you see the screen?

  • I'll reserve judgement until I see the film but many of the criticisms on this talkback sound accurate to me, and relate to things that I was already concerned about. Jackson has somehow managed to "update" the book for a modern audience but lost all its magic in the process. Quite an achievement given how classic the material is. Some guy on this TB posted a URL of the Rankin/Bass ROTK (probably in an attempt to mock the cartoon), but inadvertantly proved that even the Rankin/Bass version WAS MORE FAITHFUL to Tolkien than PJ was. That is fucking embarrassing. All the best moments are there. What is PJ's excuse? He had the perfect opportunity to capture these on film and I can't believe he fucking blew it. You're right, I should wait until I see it, however, Eowyn's dialog when she faces the Witch King sounds so lame I'm having a hard time being objective. "I'm no man, I'm a woman". Indeed. The only thing missing is HEAR ME ROAR! ugh. Way to butcher a great scene.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 5:44 a.m. CST

    Movies will NEVER feel the same way again... PHEW!!!

    by workshed

    Never in my entire life have I felt so moved as watching 'The Return of the KIng'. It's like being hit over the head with a sledgehammer about 76 times. The GREATEST fantasy film of all-time - no question! I have thought about this film non-stop since I left the cinema. It is everything I had hoped it would be. It is especially sweet to see my boy Peter Jackson become King of the World right now. From my first rental of 'Bad Taste' and telling all my friends how exciting it was my faith has been wholly justified. Peter Jackson - the world will remember your name, Oscar or not, You've done it mate. Tolkien would be extremely proud of you. You have elevated 'Lord of the Rings' to an almost mythical status. And a note to Christopher Lee... you were wrong about Peter's choices for the final theatrical cut. The question remains - how does Jackson improve upon perfection for the 'Extended Edition'??? How? Why? Oh to have four discs of this BadMuvva in my collection. Roll on November 2004!!!

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 6:05 a.m. CST

    the best movie ever

    by Betur04

    In Via News you can see our impresions about this movie, one of the best movie ever? we'll see Via News www.comicvia.net/asp/news

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 6:22 a.m. CST

    "yes folks, i have read the books, long before any of you ever e

    by Miami Mofo

    I don't think so Master, SO GET OFF YOUR HIGH HORSE!!!!!!!!! [For the record, I turned fifty the day LotR:FotR opened, therefore I was born before the book was even published.]

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 6:43 a.m. CST

    Eternal, if you are going to see the movie with that attitude, j

    by CuervoJones

    save your money. By the way, great movie

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 7:45 a.m. CST

    Not a chance, CuervoJones!

    by Eternal

    I want to see the movie. And I'll probably enjoy it. But I certainly don't expect a masterpiece. On a purely visual level PJ has done a good job, besides some atrocious editing and camerawork (during battles especially). I've never been a fan of shaky-cam bullshit. Directors need to ditch this crap so we can see what the fuck's going on. What happened to a fluid camera style, one that flows with the action? OK, not Jackson's fault, he's only seen how other directors have used it and copied them. So at least I get to call him unoriginal. And why is it that 2 cartoons made over 20 years ago have superior versions of important scenes? There's no excuse for that.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 9:21 a.m. CST

    Fanboys - damn fanboys

    by darthbane2kk

    You know , some jackass made a comment that it must suck to be a Matrix or Starwars fan right now? Why? I am a massive Star Wars fan, blagged tickets to the london Attack of the Clones premiere and even met (and conversed) with George Lucas. But I enjoyed LOTR - went to see ROTK opening night - so u tell me, why must it suck to be me? Im not one of these losers who cant enjoy more than one franchise at once, but two things piss me off about the hyperbole surrounding ROTK 1) People praising Peter Jackson for his "creation" - the guy directed the film yes, but he DIDNT create shit -- Tolkin did. At least Lucas dreamt his universe up from scratch. 2)ROTK best movie ever! according to many fanboys. Lets not be ridiclious now - even I wouldent have the balls to even suggest that Starwars is the best movie ever. ROTK had too many flaws to ever be a contendener for greatest film of all time.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Whoah. Now THAT was a good film.

    by raw_bean

    Eternal, the Eowyn/WK sequence is great, and just wait until you see Frodo and Sam climbing Mount Doom. --------- Tailenders, you guys still around? Pippin, it was indeed good to hear Sam finish the film as he did the book. I'll try and catch up with all that's being going on in this rather turbulent TB, I just hope you guys are going to hang around here for a while!

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Didn't like ROTK . . . Spoilers

    by Prof. Ransom

    I saw RETURN OF THE KING yesterday, and here are my thoughts on the film: I am a long-time reader of Tolkien, and LORD OF THE RINGS has been my favorite fiction for many years. I read the book at least once a year, beginning on Our Birthday (22 September). From this, anyone reading my post can understand that I am intimately familiar with the book, and love it. ---------------------------------------------I was disappointed on my first viewing of both FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, and THE TWO TOWERS, and liked neither film the first time because I was mentally comparing the film to the book almost the whole time and noticed each deviation from the text. For the most part, I experienced the same thing with RETURN OF THE KING; however, I expected this and I will see it again (several times). This time around, the film may not get much better with subsequent viewings. --------------------------------------------I speak now from the view of movie adaptation and not from the film itself. As familiar as I am with the book, I cannot see it as anything other than an adaptation. Too many moments where excluded from the film that are simply too "cool" or powerful or meaningful for it to be a successful adaptation. SPOILERS BELOW------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1. While the scene truly belonged with the last film, the absence of the Voice of Saruman was truly missed. I was surprised to see that the film preserved Treebeard's line to Gandalf: "there is a wizard here to manage." At this point in the book, Gandalf confronts Saruman and offers him a chance to repent and work with them against the Enemy. Saruman refuses, and Gandalf casts the former Saruman the White from the order and breaks his staff; and fully assumes the role of the White Wizard. I knew, as most did, that this scene would be absent, but having Treebeard use the line that set up the scene creating a disappointed expectancy to see it. If the scene was not to be included, Treebeard's line should have been altered to avoid mentioning "a wizard to manage." ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------2. I know that the Arwen and Aragorn story is not present in the narrative of the book, and can appreciate making use of the appendicies for added drama and character developement, so I found little problem with the inclusion of the romantic conflict between the Heir of Isildur and the daughter of the High King of the Noldor (Elrond). Yet, I am baffled to explain how Arwen and the One Ring are tied together and how Arwen grew ill . . . apparently true love is not enough to warm the heart of Elrond, only the illness of his daughter. This was an out-of-left-field insertion by the film makers.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 3. The shards of Narsil reforged to become Anduril, Flame of the West. I thought it was about time Aragorn received the sword, but that was part of changing his character from the book to add more character development through the three films, so I understand and appreciate it. Anduril is a magnificently powerful weapon, and in several places in the book it shines with a flame when wielded in battle. Nowhere in the film did it shine with flame or appear to be any better or more special than any other sword.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------4. Related to the missing Voice of Saruman was the rapport the two gate wardens of Isengard, Meriadoc and Peregrin, have with Theoden King. To be fair, I didn't expect to see this at all because of the change in the way Theoden was portrayed (kindly old man in the book, somewhat bitter man in the film). In the book, the two hobbits great Theoden's entourage in grand hobbit style (hobbits love formalities) and a connection is made between the King and the hobbits. Later, because of this connection, Merry (after Pippin is taken by Gandalf to Minas Tirith) pledges fealty to Theoden King. We had seen this scene in previews and such, but it was not in the film! I suppose seeing Merry pledge to Theoden was not necessary in the film because we had not seen them establish any connection (as they did in the book).---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------5. Denethor was completely miss represented in the film. In the book, he is a lordly and powerful man that inspires respect and loyalty. In the book, Pippin remarks to himself that Denethor seems more a wizard than Gandalf, more powerful and full of dignity. Some of Denethor's lines in the book are my favorite in the entire work (Shakespearean quality), but nowhere to be found in the film. His madness in the book is caused by despair when he sees the false image that Sauron shows him through the Palantir of Minas Tirith and grief over the seeming death of the son that he did not appreciate enough. The film Denethor's madness is completely inexplicable . . . it is supposedly because of Faramir's seeming death but his extremely callous treatment of his younger son does not make it believable.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------6. Missing characters: Beregond, Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth, and the Mouth of Sauron. Each of these were present in the book, and while not major characters, add to the narrative. Beregond is a soldier of the White Tower that befriends Pippin, Prince Imrahil is a prince of Gondor that comes to defend Minas Tirith with his knightly retinue, and the Mouth of Sauron (Leautenant of Barad-dur) is a Black Numenorean (a man of Westernesse, Aragorn's race, that worshipped and followed Sauron during the time when Sauron ruled most of Middle-earth before the Dark Lord's original defeat by the King of Numenor) that comes forth from the Black Gate to give Sauron's terms to the Lords of the West and King Elessar (Aragorn).----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------7. Gondor was completely unprepared for war! In the book, the women and children of Minas Tirith have been evacuated and a call for all fighting men of the realm to come to the White City. There was no army of Minas Tirith at all! There were only a few dozen warriors to man the walls and to ride out with Faramir. Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth was supposed to be one of the lords of Gondor that heeds the call to defend Minas Tirith.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------8. The confrontation of Gandalf with the Witch-king inside the gate of Minas Tirith was not in the film! We saw this in the trailer, and I for one expected to see it in the film! This small scene would have been perfect because just as Gandalf confronts the Witch-king, a cock crows nearby, heralding a new day, unbeguilded by the unnatural darkness spread by Sauron (and it was never dark in the film!).-9. Eowyn and the Witch-king: there was no need to deviate from the scene as described by Tolkien . .. it is among the best in the whole work. The exchange between the Witch-king and Eowyn was perfect in the book, as well as Merry's action in killing the Captain of Minas Morgul (he uses a magial blade of Numenor found in the Barrow-wight mound, in the film, it is unexplained how he could harm a ringwraith at all)------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------10. There are more omissions, but I will end with this one . . . Frodo reaches the Crack of Doom, but cannot bring himself to destroy the One Ring. In the book, he says, "Now that it comes to it, I do not choose to do this thing" showing how he has no will left (I DO NOT choose to do rather than I choose NOT TO DO).

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 9:55 a.m. CST

    God Prof. Ransom, you are so lame....

    by Boris the Blade

    Look up UberNerd in the dictionary, and you're the sole source reference. "The sword didn't glow with flame", "Choose not to do, do to not, not to not"...whatever dude, get a life.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 10:22 a.m. CST

    it

    by Sabster

    but it

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Loved it but had some issues

    by Hervoyel

    I saw this yesterday afternoon and was pretty amazed at most of it. It's a good movie but I personally feel like it was not quite as tight as TTT which Jackson cut back from the book (Shelob comes to mind). This one was great but felt kind of "fat" for lack of a better word I only really had two big problems with the film. Denethor was badly done. He in nearly no way resembled the character in the book. In regards to him I can't find a single redeeming feature. He was written badly, casted badly, and acted badly. The only positive I got out of this bad incarnation of Denethor was that he also spent limited time on the screen. In TTT I wasn't thrilled with Faramir's portrayal and the changes they made to him but he got better by the end of the movie. Denethor doesn't have the time to do that. His death, at least to me was pretty welcome by the time it came. My only other gripe was that I cared little for Sean Astin's portrayal of Samwise in this film. I'm sure everyone involved was trying to do this as good as possibly but I think I heard one too many "Mr Frodo do you remember the Shire? They'd be harvesting right about now and the leaves on the trees would be falling as the first strawberries were picked" speeches on the way to Mordor. I've read those books many times and I love this stuff in the written form. Unlike many of you (and that's cool, we're all going to have a different take on these things)though I didn't think it worked as well on the screen. Astin's portrayal of Sam was nicely done but I think that this was just an area that didn't translate the way they expected it to. If it did then it just didn't make it to me (perfectly possible). I'm going again over the weekend and hopefully this one will be like the others and I'll enjoy it more on a second viewing. The two major problems I had with it (Denethor and Samwise) were livable and I hope you don't take this as an overall negative opinion. The rest was great stuff. I don't think this picture's going to be doing well at Oscar time though. Not because it isn't worthy, I just don't think they know what to do with one third of a movie.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 11 a.m. CST

    elanor, please explain yourself....

    by MisterGrimloch

    as you once again, just like most of the LOTR "fans" seem insistent upon doing, refuse to acknowledge someone's criticism of this, or any LOTR film. while i realize your post was NOT in reference to anything i had posted, i cannot help but to wonder just why you and so many other LOTR fans are constantly "worried" about this "precious" franchise you so valiantly defend. don't worry, the films are monumental successes, and the media and fanbase are singing the praises so loud that there is little room for anyone with a discenting voice to dare chime in with a comment to the contrary. its a wonder you can sleep at night.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 11:02 a.m. CST

    Great movie: 5 stars

    by ParrisSun

    What a great movie. ROTK is a great topping to a wonderful series. I have to give PJ credit as a filmmaker for bringing his vision to life. *To Matrix, SW and HP fanboys who are scraping the bottom to find something wrong with this film, I really feel sorry for you. To those fans of the books who don't like any adaptation beyond the ones the swim through their minds, get a life. Or at the least, stop dreaming and make your own film. To those who just dislike the film and have not ulterior motives, you have a right to your opinion. It is not shared by me. **I loved this film. It reminded me of those old epics like Lawrence of Arabia, Ben Hur and Spartacus. PJ did a modern day epic. ***There is so much to say about this movie. I'll have to see it again to really take it all in. The effects, sound, music, set design, and costumes were exquisite. The battle scenes were the best large battel scenes ever seen on screen. Who can honestly say they didn't get a lump in their throat when the Riders of Rohan charged the field of Minas Tirith. I also loved the way things ended. We could have easily had the Hollywood ending with Viggo and Liv, but the story was really about the Hobbits. I'm glad it ended in the Shire where it started. Anyway, people would have complained it was too Hollywood if it ended with Aragon and Arwen. Or that PJ was ripping off John Boorman's Excalibur if it ended with Frodo sailing off into the sunset. *****It would be nice if everyone could just enjoy the movie instead of going in with the mindset of junior critic. I'll critique the film the third time around. For now I'm just enjoying the memories of a great film.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 11:09 a.m. CST

    GOLDEN GLOBE NOMS FOR BEST PICTURE, DIRECTOR

    by HardcoreRocker

    The nominations are out, and you can find em at www.rockithardcore.com. I WANTED SEAN ASTIN TO GET A NOMINATION, DAMMIT! Arrrrgh. I'm rooting for Lost In Translation. www.rockithardcore.com

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 11:11 a.m. CST

    Best movie I have ever seen

    by Lost Skeleton

    period! In of fucking discusion. And I am a Matrix fan so there you go.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 11:25 a.m. CST

    Just saw ROTK.....now I am complete!!!!!

    by Snake-eyes

    Quite simply....incredible!!! Words fail me! I laughed, I mourned, I cheered, I cried, I clapped and I sat there in sheer disbelief!! Never before have a series of films had such a MONUMENTAL IMPACT on me! In my eyes, these films represent CINEMATIC PERFECTION!! So much so that it is with a profound sadness that I say I doubt we will ever see their like again! History will remember the Lord of the Rings as the greatest and most powerful epic of our time!

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 11:37 a.m. CST

    Amazing...

    by Russman

    Loved every second of it.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 11:45 a.m. CST

    Reviews of RotK

    by Achilles

    I think it really should be pointed out to Tolkien purists that this is not a movie made for you; it is a movie that has been made for the masses. There are LOTS of changes, deletions, transfers, etc. There is just too much to put into a film that stuff is going to get cut. And I'm not talking about big thing like the "scouring of the Shire". I mean little things that all purists are going to notice. Like Gandalf not facing off with the Witch King at the broken gate of Minas Tirith. Like the Rohirrim not charging in to save the day at that very moment (PJ chose instead to have 10 mins of Theoden getting his troops ready, which flabbergasted me -- it drained every ounce of excitement out of the Rohirrim). Now they have made a great film, astounding on many levels. But my point is to reiterate that this is NOT Tolkien's Lord of the Rings... it is one filmmakers interpretation of it, and Jackson and team are not the devotees that some are (Phillipa Boyens, in particular, displays a frighteningly superficial understanding of the works when interviewed). I have harmed my enjoyment of the films for three years now by expecting the book come to life on screen, when that is simply impossible. But kudos to them for a great trilogy, and shame on them for slaughtering poor Eomer as they have. Cripes, he was on screen for all of about 2 seconds this go around.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Mister Grimloch.....just leave it be!

    by Snake-eyes

    "Most of the LOTR 'fans' seem insistent upon refusing to acknowledge someone's criticism of this, or any LOTR film." .......Well why should we pay heed to any criticism, which is often ill-thought out, mindless nonsense, from some anonymous pimply, troll on what we consider to be perfection???? By the same token, do you acknowledge our views on these films? I think not!! Like me, you have your own views, right or wrong, and you will stick to them regardless. Believe me, there is LITERALLY nothing anyone here could do or say to change how I feel about these wonderful films....so why even bother???? I'm just not interested in your negative views and am certainly not worried about this "precious franchise", as you put it! Just give it up!

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Harry's overexcitement

    by Bramton1

    HARRY'S REVIEW OF FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING: "What do I think of the finished product? The film. I

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 11:52 a.m. CST

    Boris the Blade . . .

    by Prof. Ransom

    Boris the Blade: I don't pretend being a fan of LORD OF THE RINGS doesn't give me nerd credentials (and if I am an UberNerd, I KNOW I'm not the only specimen!). My reference to the look of Anduril has some "un-nerdy" basis. The FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING film seemed to establish that Narsil was a mightly weapon (could harm Sauron even when he had the Ring and "still sharp" as it cut Boromir). I mentioned the blade glowing from the book really to bring out the fact that when Aragorn does eventually get the sword in the film, it seems to be just any other sword with nothing special about it. The book shows it is special repeatedly; the film sets the viewers up to believe it is powerful, then doesn't do anything with the set up. As to the choice of words for Frodo at the Crack of Doom: this is just a part of the book I had hoped to see because of the power it had for me to convey the soul devouring nature of the One Ring (as well as the philosophical questions of free will, will domination, etc.)

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 12:11 p.m. CST

    I can't believe it. Can that really be MisterGrimloch?

    by raw_bean

    But he expressed his opinion calmly and rationally, admitted that it was just his own opinion and then tried to justify it sensibly, and most uncharacteristically of all, allowed for the possibility of other people holding opinions that differed from his without needing to personally attack them! What did you do with the real MisterGrimloch, you imposter?! On second thoughts, I hated that hypocritical, offensive git anyway so I'm just glad to see a shiny new version with a bit more maturity.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 12:17 p.m. CST

    return of the king freewill etc.

    by marquis de skid

    regarding neg vs pos reviews, i enjoyed the movie need to see it again cos it was so huge i dont think i am capapble of making a complete decision. It is a great movie, great in scale great in scope, great cos i was thirteen when i read the book and someone didnt insult this lingering childhood memory i had, (unlike some star wars movies which shall remain unnamed ok, I and II. did i mention those films were prolonged insults.) but before i digress further, i would rathe read a negative criticism cos it questions my own values and should allow room for thoughts i myself might have missed. not agreeing is one thing, ignoring cos i feel otherwise, ignorance might be bliss. I am upset that it will be sometime before i have this sort of enthusiasm before a movie, and to have not been insulted or let down by cookie cutter formulas and a diluted script marginalised for hollywood consumption made me truly happy. The idea of a younger hipper conan, or having marky mark play aragorn would have left some i just couldnt swallow. as for hype letting people make their decisions, impossible, look at the backlash of star wars I and II watered down profit makers. i felt the same sting of insult with the second matrix, refused seeing the third out of lack of interest.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 12:24 p.m. CST

    Here you go again with the purist appellation

    by GypsyTRobot

    Not all critics are Tom Bombadil- worshipping nerdamites. PJ can do no wrong??? ha ha . . . ha. So the army of the dead didn't look like an effect out of Disney's Haunted Mansion ride to you? You weren't bothered by Arwen's hokey illness? Slobbering, cliff-diving Denethor? Elijah Wood's simpering? The moment during Gollum's transformation where Serkis is wearing an unbelievable (in the bad sense) prosthetic outfit? WitchKing's lame "I'm melting" death? sheeit people get a reality check. It was a good movie but it sure wasn't 100% perfect.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 12:35 p.m. CST

    hy does Grimloch need his medicine, cutestofborg?

    by Eternal

    Because he dares to criticize ROTK? Is that not allowed? This is a forum where all opinions are welcome, good and bad. Just fuck off. I happen to agree with him despite not having seen the movie yet. I suspect that his, and many other people's opinions, will resemble my own. Why do the fanatical defenders go out of their way to trash anyone who finds fault with Jackson's films? Are they so insecure that they need to do this? Do these sycophants want everyone on earth to agree with them? Get real. The majority already agree with you, do you really need to crush the minority? Fuck off, I'm tired of you one-note bastards.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 12:37 p.m. CST

    Dragonfire

    by raw_bean

    Right on, fella. I agree with everything you had to say, and your response to Ryalto was hilarious. :)

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 12:37 p.m. CST

    huh, that's a fucker, talkback stole my W

    by Eternal

    My subject should start with WHY, of course.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 12:58 p.m. CST

    mynameisnobody,

    by raw_bean

    I feel the need to respond to some of your points. On accents, as a brit, I thought Elijah Wood did a very credible upper class English accent, and Sean Astin (most of the time) did a very good West Country (a region in, you guessed it, the south west of England) accent (Dublin?!? I can't speak for Kentucky, I'm not familiar, but do you KNOW anyone from Ireland?! They'd be insulted!), as did Merry. Merry's accent (Scottish?!? Without wanting to sound repetetive, do you KNOW anyone from Scotland?! They'd be insulted!) is slightly more refined than Sam's, and Frodo's is more refined again; this is totally in character. As for Pippin, he domes from a different part of the Shire than Sam or Frodo (as does Merry, but evidentally one with less of an accent difference). Do remember, Sam and Frodo both come from the village of Hobbiton (yet sound different because of the class divide), but Merry and Pippin come from different parts of the country (the Shire). ------------ As for an eagle flying the Ring (and Frodo, the eagle lacks hands to carry it with!) above the clouds to Mordor, sure, no problem. Just get Frodo an oxygen mask, flight suit, and some thermal underwear and he *should* be able to survive flying that high. That's assuming of course, that the EAGLE can even survive at that altitude.

  • Show a little respect for other people's opinions you cybernetic bitch.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 1:06 p.m. CST

    I'm still laughing

    by twitaman

    "Our secretaries are off until Jan. 2nd" HA! Don't you mean your mom?

  • No, from this I understand that you are rather sad, and would probably count amongst the 'deplorable cultus' that the good Prof. Tolkien so despaired of. Good god man, if you've managed to elicit this reaction from me, the kind of Tolkien geek to have not just the Silmarillion, Hobbit and LOTR, but Unfinished Tales, The History of Middle Earth, Roverandom and Tales From The Perilous Realm, you just KNOW you've gone too far. You read the book each year, starting on 'Our Birthday'? You make it sound like a religious ceremony!

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 1:10 p.m. CST

    raw bean....

    by MisterGrimloch

    your sarcasm was indeed hilarious, but i truly admit to being baffled by the mainstream critical acceptance of this film. sure, its a big project that was executed with a tremendous amount of undeniable effort, and to simply sit back and say it sucked utterly, as though no one involved even bothered to try, would be not only an injustice to the efforts afforded this movie(s), but it would also be flatly wrong, as that is most certainly NOT my opinion. but honestly, this movie is lacking in so many ways (clearly, again my opinion, but is it really necessary that i preface each of my comments with "in my opinion"? i would hope that its obviously "in my opinion", regardless of it being a negative or positive statement.) that it leaves me speechless as to the mass convoy of followers this film, and indeed the entire trilogy, seem to have. i can understand the younger crowd reigning empty praise down upon the films, as usually the frames of reference, and experiences in general for someone of that age group are far more limited (or should be) than someone older, and with a far broader range of motion picture history. it is the acceptance of this film (and TTT, although amazingly i actually preferred THAT film) as being practically without flaw. obviously it is all subjective, and in the end "unimportant", but since we are discussing the picture, lets set aside the fact that there are more important things in life. we are here to talk about ROTK, so thats that. i cannot believe how blatant the kneejerk reaction to these movies is. its remarkable, because it seems as though many people who enjoy this film do not remember, or simply don't care to seriously contemplate, the legitimate complaints that some have. for example, why is Christopher Lee excised from this film, if scenes were filmed that establish clearly his demise? yes, i know it will be included in the unnecessary "longer" version (sorry, but the need for multiple cuts of ANY motion picture has become a ridiculous marketing tool in Hollywood, and i personally am sick of it, even if i enjoy the longer version more, the practice has become completely tiresome. it should be cut "correctly", and with finality upon the first edit, when released to moviegoers who pay good money to see the finished product. two cuts of a film should only occur if the director had to go through bullshit with the studio, and years later is allowed to "finish the film the way he/she intended". otherwise, and this is definately my opinion, there is no excuse beyond studio and/or creator greed to tease viewers with a "better/longer" version.) but the removal of Saruman from the film empties the narrative of a relevant character that was given significant screen time in the previous pictures to SPECIFICALLY ESTABLISH HIM AS AN IMPORTANT THREAT. its not so much that the demise itself is an alteration of the printed material Tolkien wrote, but a misleading editorial choice on Jackson's part for including Saruman in such a significant fashion in the first two pictures. i, for one, do not accept his demise as being entirely at the hands of a bunch of talking trees (yes, the spite is my true feeling. a little of the "old" Grimloch for you there.) and seeing Christopher Lee run about wide eyed atop his tower, as chaos runs rampant across Isengard. further, if the factor was indeed one of time, then the decision to include multiple "epilogue" type conclusions over, and over, and over again, then its obvious what could have been trimmed out, in favor of the scenes with Saruman, while those various ending could be included later, on the extended edition. but the worst offence of all is not one of pace, or editing. it is the fact that due to choices of lighting, musical score, and character interplay, where the odds of the situations are ridiculously against the protagonists, and yet they overcome ludicrous odds again and again, diminishes any real opportunity for me personally to invest of what is going on. never once in this picture does it seem that the heroes will fall. and please, please don't anyone talk to me about Theoden, ok? yes, his character meets with a reasonably acted finish, but for Christ's sake, everyone else flings themselves into the crushing on-rush of thousands of orcs, and come out unscathed. we are told that the witch king is something of unbelievable significance, and yet he/it is instantly dispatched in a very "Hollywood" style action moment for the female co-star. Faramir is well acted, and his moments are decently scripted (unlike in TTT) and when he rides off to face certain doom, we feel for him. but then, Jackson cuts away, for far too long, and the impact of the moment is ruined. and Shelob? for me, this was a truly terrible portion of the film that served to offer up the single silliest scenes in the entire trilogy, as they play out on screen no better than the scenes with the giant spider in the horribly boring second Harry Potter picture. sure, it allowed for some decently acted scenes with Astin, but again, the editing ruins the drama, and continuity, as Sam is ridiculously far down the steps to realistically get back to Frodo in time, unless one assumes that Frodo fights Shelob for a few hours. again, that is an issue with editing, because earlier in the picture it is clearly established that it takes a collossal effort, and alot of time, to scale this dangerous slope. after waiting a year, i was sorry to see the scene with Shelob play out no better than most 50's sci-fi monster pictures. and Denethor was not properly realized. his madness should have been adequately explained. yes, of course he is grieved over Boromir, but that is not a reasonable explanation for the character's behaviour as scripted. add to that the fact that he is onscreen for a fairly short time, makes the character all the less relevant. there just was not a sufficient amount of believable danger to the characters that allowed me to invest myself. it was all very remote to me, and ultimately left me numb. constant battle after constant battle, coupled with a number of hurried edits and alterations, left me thoroughly discouraged with this film. am i "really pissed off"? no, its worse. i barely care at all anymore. obviously i care enough to post, but that is because i like to "discuss/argue" about things in general, but i was genuinely disappointed to find that when all was said and done, the only LOTR film i truly felt was a "good movie" (and i thought it was a "great" one) is FOTR. we all will speak more of this later, but for now, i must rest my fingers. good day.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 1:18 p.m. CST

    beats Kiddie Star Wars hands down

    by MinasTirithII

    Yeah, PJ took liberities, not everthing was perfect, and you could nit pick it to death.------------ But damn was it good. OSCARS - BEST MOVIE.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 1:21 p.m. CST

    Hey Pip.

    by raw_bean

    1. Sam Carrying, definitely. 2. Theoden rallying. 3. "For Frodo." --- Whoah, shiver down the spine ass I wrote that last one! Oh, and *_every_* *_single_* scene with you or me in it. I remember how I used to laugh when two years ago people were dismissive of the 'comic relief Hobbits', knowing as I did what was to come. PJ didn't let us down, my friend! :)

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 1:23 p.m. CST

    I see Grimsy is in "loquacious" mode today...

    by mortsleam

    Wherein he attempts to reasonably and with maximum verbiage respond to arguements against his tirade, so that the causual poster sides with him, thinking he is a fount of reason, until his medication wears off (or the Talkback falls to the Tailend) when he turns into a rabid frothing abusive asswipe. It's like our very own League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I call Huck Finn, counter-terrorist commando!

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 1:24 p.m. CST

    Eternal,

    by raw_bean

    Because Grimloch is being fairly rational and (mostly) polite here and now, I'm not going to argue with him or bash him. But if you'd seen the way he has behaved in the past, you'd understand why I find it VERY hard not to 'give him his medicine'.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 1:24 p.m. CST

    Opinions

    by Miami Mofo

    I agree that MasterGrimloch, or anyone else for that matter, has every right to express their opinion of this movie, particularly since the movie just opened. This IS a movie talkback site, where all opinions should be welcome. Therefore, I did not comment on any of his opinions. But his "I'm superior to you because..." additude definitely needs adjustment. ***As for me, I'm looking forward to my second viewing tomorrow (it's my birfday present) to see if the ambivilant feelings I have towards certain parts of the movie change. Although I definitely like the movie, and there are entire sections that I absolutely love, I do not love the entire movie as I did LotR:FotR. I wonder if that has to do with what I can only call the EE-effect. Two years ago when I first saw LotR:FotR, I did so without any expectation of a future extended edition. All I had to deal with were the changes from the book, most of which I understood. While watching LotR:TTT however, I couldn't help but wonder how much better it could be, and of course LotR:TTT-EE amplified the fact that "there's a better version just waiting to be seen." My chief complaint, interestingly enough, ties-in with LotR-TTT-EE. I thought that the Osgiliath flashback and Denethor's introduction in it were brilliant (not to mention helping Faramir's character immensly), and thus I was sorely disappointed to find this caricaturization (not characterization!) of the Steward of Gondor. Sadly, at this time I do not think that multiple viewings will temper my hatred for Comet Denethor. I also disliked Frodo's Houses of Healing scene. It just didn't work for me, I'm afraid. Hopefully some of my other problems, which are small by comparison to the Comet, will be resolved by multiple viewings, as most were with LotR:FotR and LotR:TTT.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 1:25 p.m. CST

    Thank God they recast the WitchKing of Angmar

    by GypsyTRobot

    Sounded like the Ring/Sauron voice was emanating from the head Ringwraith. Dr. Claw was doing the voice of the white tumor-laden orc general this time. "I'll get you Gaaaadget!"

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 1:29 p.m. CST

    raw_bean

    by Prof. Ransom

    Our Birthday is certainly not a religious ceremony . . . and yes, I read LORD OF THE RINGS once a year. I am not the only one who does so; Christopher Lee also reads the book once a year, and from that I think I can safely conclude that I am in good company. LORD OF THE RINGS is like an old friend that I revisit each year, and gets better every time I read it!

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 1:29 p.m. CST

    Woodbyrne, please don't embarass yourself in public like that, i

    by raw_bean

    As a raging Tolkien uber-geek I would like to give the disclaimer that Woodbyrne's badly thought out, barely legible, offensive and insulting ramblings do not represent the views of all Tolienites.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 1:38 p.m. CST

    What's the matter cutest, can't stand another person's opinion?

    by Eternal

    Fuck, you are lame. I've never tried to belittle ANYONE at AICN, LONG before you showed your ugly face here. I offer my honest opinion and that is all. What I can't stand though, is how you self-righteous freaks won't accept any opinion that challenges your own. OK, Grimloch may communicate with you on talkback as if that means anything really on a forum, but that still doesn't give your opinion more worth than anyone else's. I happen to respect people who post their true feelings despite risking their sycophantic friends. I guess you don't qualify for that. You just post what is popular. btw, you chose a great name because it identifies you perfectly. A borg. Just a follower. Get back in the hive bitch.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 1:43 p.m. CST

    raw bean, i sure hope....

    by MisterGrimloch

    you were able to find my last post, since it was long, and numbed my fingers. i have more to say, but for now, i really need to take a break.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 1:44 p.m. CST

    Things I loved (these will definitely be 'to be continued...' po

    by Miami Mofo

    To start: The start. Deagol and Smeagol fishing on a lovely afternoon. Perfect. ***Minas Tirith. Incredible! The quality and quantity of work on the 'bigature' is astounding. ***GROND - Holy shit! ***Shelob - same in CAPITALS!!!!!!!!! (with NINE excalms) ***Shore's score, for sure. [To be continued]

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 1:53 p.m. CST

    aw_bean, I've read Grimloch's posts before

    by Eternal

    They don't bother me. I'm fairly easy going and can accept anything. I read what other people say and try to understand them. Most just dismiss negative comments out of hand when it goes against what they believe. What I can't accept is some person trying to say that other opinions are wrong. LOL, as if an "opinion" can be wrong. btw, if you think Grimloch's posts are negative, you should have read my posts 5 or 6 years ago. hmm, do I need reminding of those? I don't think so. Some other talkbackers may point them out, though.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 1:53 p.m. CST

    Purist and haters don't deserve this movie

    by ParrisSun

    It's one thing to not like certain thematic elements of the film. But for some to make nonsensical points about the eagles and accents is just reaching. I'm glad some here have already shot holes through your nonsense. For the purists to keep running their pie holes about this and that being missing or the perception of characters being wrong is equally dumbfounding. What do you slap nuts want? An 8 hour movie where every character is equally treated. This isn't the book idiots. It amazes me that PJ can get a general audience to sit through a movie that is nearly 3 1/2 hours long. That is a testament to his film making. It amazes me that so many haters and purist are trying to tear him down because their dream wasn't realized. Just admit that nothing would have made you idiots happy. OH yeah, here's another news flash for some of you idiots; nothing is perfect. I've taken film classes and no movies is ever going to perfect, no matter how good it is. If you don't like the editing, dialogue or the ending of the movie; that's fine. But don't bash the movie with points that have nothing to do with movie or the book. ***For the poster who reads LOTR each year on his birthday. Get a life and get laid nerd. For the guy who hasn't even seen the movie yet. Your obviously a Harry Potter plant who needs his nuts shoved down his throat. At least see the movie before bashing it. The rest of you "purist" need to put down the Tolkein for an hour, got upstairs and give mom a hand with the dishes.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 1:56 p.m. CST

    I think my keyboard is fucked. Letters missing all the time.

    by Eternal

    Apologies raw_bean... That sure sounds better than aw-bean. hehe.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 1:58 p.m. CST

    Accents?

    by badboymason

    To go back to a point way back up this talkback - to call Boromor's accent "homegrown" is something of a stretch - Sean Bean in real life has a very thick Sheffield accent, basically sounds like a coal miner. His Boromir voice is a standard posh/Shakespearean voice, similar to his 006 in Goldeneye, that sounds as much like his real voice as Sean Astin sounds like Sam....

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 2:03 p.m. CST

    BAD CUTS

    by leisureape

    The biggest screw up in this movie was not having Sam put on the ring like he did in the book. The Mouth of Sauron would have been nice as well. The scene at Mt. Doom was rushed, in fact most of Mordor felt rushed. Otherwise jaw on the ground awsome.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 2:09 p.m. CST

    RE: Excellent film and the things that kept it from being perfec

    by Harrierthanthee

    I would first thank and congratulate Peter Jackson for what he has done. Then I would resist the temptation to slap him for what he left out or changed. I loved the films. Sam rules. Andy serkis rules! Well I won't go on because you guys all saw it and know that the movies rule. What I didn't like most (though I'm not criticizing) was the siege of Minas Thrith. What with the lack of the darkness from mordor coming, it did not feel like the great battle of the Pelannor Fields in the book. I missed the guard who befriended Pippin. What happened to Denethor's palantir? Why didn't Aragorn look into it? Where was gandalfs confrentation with the Witch King? The whole battle felt too rushed. Later i was dissapointed because of the abscence ofthe Mouth of Sauron. All this ticked me of slightly. What really could have made it better would have been seeing Aragorn arrive on the ships of the dead with the black flag of Gondor hoisted. But... It was a great film. The books were just better. If you haven't read the books and are angry at me for badmouthing LOTR, than ignore this.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 2:13 p.m. CST

    Future TV series

    by badboymason

    A thought just occurred to me. When David Lynch's Dune came out, much had to be trimmed from the book to fit it onto the screen. 20 years later, a longer miniseries promised to be more faithful to the books... it sucked. I would rather see 3 decent LOTR movies that have been trimmed, reshaped and captured the essence of the books, rather than the 3x10 hour miniseries that would have to be needed to include every detail from the books, and would end up being a rambling, boring mess. There would be 2 hours of Hobbiton, and about 5 hours of cross country travel before we meet the Fellowship. I mean even the most devout Tolkien purist must stop and think objectively. If Jackson has adapted the books wrong, what would you prefer to see? How would you have trimmed about half the material whilst still keeping the essence of the work? If you cant answer that simple question, then shut the hell up...

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 2:18 p.m. CST

    Britbuffguy=retard on crack.

    by ParrisSun

    I knew there were some dumbasses here, but you take the cake. Let me get this straight. You thought FOTR was boring, so you decided to see TTT which you weren't that thrilled with. Now you KNOW that you will hate ROTK, but instead of seeing it for free your going to pay $8.00. Riiiiiiight? Here's a suggestion. Skip the movie and check yourself into a battered women's shelter. Because your PJ's biggest bitch. I can't possibly understand why someone would keep viewing and paying for something they dislike. But then again, you'd probably enjoy being titty whipped by guys like Harry.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 2:28 p.m. CST

    You know what scene I miss the most?

    by mortsleam

    When Pippin runs to find Gandalf as Denethor prepares the pyre and says, "He's gone looney, I tellya!"

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 2:29 p.m. CST

    THIRD ONE PRETTY GOOD

    by VisibleH20

    12.18.03 I WAS RIGHT OF COURSE. MY COMMENTS ARE TO BE READ AS GOSPLE. CHECK OUT THE DAREDEVIL.COM SIGHT CATS AND KIDS. PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO THE EASTER EGG THOUGH. VISIBLEH20

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 2:46 p.m. CST

    On the Eagles Plot Hole *spoilers*

    by garfthecat

    People for some reason keep thinking that the eagles are a plothole in Return of the King. The standard argument is "Why didn't the eagles drop Frodo off at Mt. Doom and skip the journey" with the variation "just fly above cloud cover". As has already been stated here, this is easily explainable and isn't the plot hole you're suggesting it is. 1 - The eagles aren't just big friggin eagles. They're a sentient race just like dragons or hobbits or wizards. They're not just big horses. 2 - The ONLY reason the eagles ever really do anything is because Gandalf is asking them. If any of you were paying attention during the movie, you'll notice right before the eagles show up, the moth appears in front of Gandalf just as it had in Fellowship of the Ring. This was to show that Gandalf had sent for the eagles and asked their help once again. They didn't just randomly show up to save the day. 3 - As a sentient race and not a big flying horse, I'd say the eagles wouldn't be too keen on trotting into Mordor. Not the safest place in the world and as was stated, entire armies would not have been able to make it through. 4 - Any eagles would simply be too easily noticed flying into Mordor. There's no stealth there. It's a big friggin eagle. With the fell beasts in the air, orcs on the ground that could definitely knock something out of the air, and Sauron himself in control of his lands, the chances of making it halfway across Mordor are pretty slim. 5 - Concerning just "flying above the clouds", did anyone notice clouds to fly above in Mordor? Maybe I wasn't paying attention but I didn't. As far as I'm aware, Mordor is completely under Sauron's dominion. I would guess this means the land itself as well.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Rankin/Bass more faithful to Tolkien?

    by exPFCWintergreen

    One word can be used to sum up the ROTK cartoon - suck. Every aspect of that cartoon sucked. Who the fuck cares how faithful a movie is to the source material if the result is a steaming pile of shit like the Rankin/Bass ROTK?

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 3:12 p.m. CST

    "Well, I'm back"

    by Yo Yo Man

    ...I said that when I got home from the cinema. I couldn't help it. Hey, Cutest, Beany, Elanor, Miami et al. Did anyone else see George Lucas's cameo in the movie? Heh heh. I still can't fully separate ROTK from the other movies in the trilogy because I saw them back to back in one marathon session of spectacular disregard for my own health. They were giving away 3-D bookmarks with popcorn!!! I have half the set!!! Anyway, looking back, the film's even more astonishing than it was at the time I saw it. I was on the way home before I realised certain things must have been special effects, they were so well done. Gollum!!! The volcano!!! Whoa... My favourite moments of ROTK are the fight with Shelob (I'm an arachnophobe and this scared seven kinds of shit out of me), the Ride of the Rohirrim - so epic it's Biblical - and the scene near the end, when the four hobbits are home again, and they just sit in the Green Dragon and share a quiet drink. That was it for me. By this point there were embarrassed sniffles all through the audience, but of all the emotional scenes in the film, it was four heroes sitting in a pub having a drink, not able to find words for what they've just been through, while the other hobbit punters go about their business all around them, that moved me the most. I thought the beginning was a tad slow, but that was because I'd just sat through TTT and I've seen that so many times, I didn't need a recap, I just wanted to get on with it. But I think it was when Pippin is singing for Denethor, another amazing scene, my jaw hit the floor. Astounding film-making. And from then on the movie kept astonishing me. When the fight breaks out in Minas Tirith and Gandalf goes into Samurai Mode I almost couldn't breath with excitement. It just gets better and better until Sam delivers that line, "I can't carry it for you, Mr Frodo, but I can carry you" and suddenly cinema reaches the absolute pinnacle of visual, visceral and emotional brilliance. I kind of hope that the "Best Movie Ever Made" hasn't been made yet (or better yet, it'll be made by me!) but until then Return of the King is certainly up there with Lawrence of Arabia, Apocalypse Now and Casablanca. It's of a different era and a different style, but those things don't affect the way a movie makes you feel. You could take apart the Mona Lisa square-inch by square-inch and find flaws, but you'd be looking at it the wrong way. None of the human beings I love are perfect, and none of the movies I love are perfect, but some are perfect to me, and The Lord of the Rings is one of them. Sentimental? Well, yeah, but I don't care. This movie does that to you.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 3:30 p.m. CST

    Concerning eagles and accents

    by Yo Yo Man

    Just to add to a previous post: there are indeed clouds in Mordor. And they're made of fucking ash. As Boromir says in Fellowship "The very air you breathe is a poisonous fume". Almost every shot of Mordor shows that volcano spewing lava and ash into the sky. Even if you found a kamikaze eagle willing to fly through that shit in order to avoid the orcs and the wraiths, it's a long way for Frodo to hold his breath. But, as has already been stated, the idea of flying in stealth commando hobbits is bollocks to begin with. Mordor is simply too dangerous. Apparently the first screenwriter to attempt an adaptation of LOTR, back in the sixties, took exception to the eagles being the "taxis of Middle-earth". There were many times they could have helped out, but it would make for some pretty crap movies and the Eagle Equality Brigade would just end up picketing the cinemas. On the subject of accents... I'm from Glasgow, the same city as Billy Boyd, and our accents are completely different. Even a small area of Glasgow has a huge variety of accents, some unintelligible to others, and the Shire would be bigger than Glasgow. If you go half a mile in four different directions from my house, you'll encounter four noticably different accents. And although Dominic Monaghan is not Scottish, he's from Manchester, and therefore an honorary Scot, as are those from Liverpool and Newcastle.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 3:48 p.m. CST

    Catapults

    by Kaitain

    Those aren't catapults, they're trebuchets. My opinion on the film: fabulous sweep of grandeur, as before, but often not terribly engaging. Its problems are the same as the book's: barnstorming up until the end of the siege of Minas Tirith, slightly pedestrian thereafter. Few real surprises, although to be fair to Tolkien this is partly because he created a template followed by countless others. And why must Jackson play certain scenes out as though time were passing at 25% its usual rate? I'm not talking about slow-mo action shots, I'm thinking of the ponderous farewell stuff. As an aside, where did Shelob sting Frodo? Presumably not on the upper torso, as she wouldn't have been able to break through his mithril mail.

  • I understand many of the criticisms you have. I have a lot of them too. Nonetheless, it

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 4:11 p.m. CST

    shoot, after all that, I forgot! (more spoilers within)

    by djinnj

    Y'know that bit where Aragorn turns around and says "For Frodo."? Well, imagine if you will that the parlay with the Mouth of Sauron had just occurred and they'd been shown the mithril shirt. *sniffle* And then, when the ring is destroyed and they are all happy and you see Pippin's face, and then the swift change of expression when Orodruin explodes! *sniffle some more* I didn't shed a single tear when I saw it, but I expect I'll be bawling like a baby when I see it again. Too much "what are they putting in"-ness distracted me, I think.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 4:19 p.m. CST

    Lucas should just stop post-production on Episode 3 because he w

    by Lost Skeleton

    And that's the truth. ROTK shits on Star Wars and my beloved Matrix. Best triology ever!

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 4:35 p.m. CST

    Grimloch, Nobody, Ryalto = Mindless, Joyless, Masochistic Tools.

    by Pontsing Barset

    <NT>

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 4:48 p.m. CST

    Excuse me, that should have been "Sadomasochistic Tools"...

    by Pontsing Barset

    ... because they keep assaulting the rest of us with their dreck like monkeys in a cage flinging shit. So you didn't like it? Big fucking surprise, and SO WHAT? You are part of a tiny minority boys. Just accept the fact that you're never going to change anyones' opinion and find something else to piss on, like an electric fence perhaps(?), instead of boring us over and over and over and over and over and over with your pathetic rants.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 5:31 p.m. CST

    Cutest! ROTFLMAO!!!

    by Pontsing Barset

    Grond is waiting indeed! But then again, the maschistic little git just might enjoy that kind of thing....hmm, Eeeuuu! NOT a pretty picture...

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 6:03 p.m. CST

    Gimli, Trailer, Politics of John Rhys-Davis

    by pocee

    I've noticed that Gimli is never highlighted in a close up in the ROTK trailer, alone among all the major charactors. Why? I would hope it would not be due to the politics of John Rhys-Davis. He has expressed concern for his career in this regard: "I'm burying my career so substantially in these interviews that it's painful. But I think that there are some questions that demand honest answers. I think that Tolkien says that some generations will be challenged. And if they do not rise to meet that challenge, they will lose their civilization. That does have a real resonance with me... What is unconscionable is that too many of your fellow journalists do not understand how precarious Western civilization is and what a jewel it is. How did we get the sort of real democracy, how did we get the level of tolerance that allows me to propound something that may be completely alien to you around this table, and yet you will take it and you will think about it and you

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 6:16 p.m. CST

    doubt it, pocee

    by djinnj

    Gimli and Legolas are actually fairly minor major characters. And Gimli doesn't have a mass following of swoony fans. He has fans, just not the rabid drooling kind.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 6:30 p.m. CST

    The Greatest Fantasy Film Ever

    by truffle

    In MY opinion. Some of you can criticize all you want and the reality of it is...it sucks to be you. If you can't enjoy this film why ever bother going to movies at all. You'll be watching and hearing about them the rest of your lives so accept their greatness now or be an asshole forever, it's your choice.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 6:33 p.m. CST

    Pontsing Barset...

    by MisterGrimloch

    i came here to post my opinion. i did not come here to "change anyone's opinion", and popular opinion does not interest me. as for being in the minority, if you feel that it is important to be part of a large group of people who enjoy this film, to give you a sense of comfort and security, then by all means revel in the fact that here on AICN the cry is "All Hail the King". like i said in many a post. YOU Rings fanatics CANNOT accept legitimate distaste that some people have for this trilogy. frankly, your rant is the tiresome one that drones on "over and over and over and over" about how wonderful it all is. now who is being a troll? i should have realized after a few emails from an arrogant clown like you that a civilized debate is out of the question. i have nothing to defend Pontsing. i stated a mere handful of reasons why this movie failed FOR ME. it is certainly within your rights to praise it, just as it is mine to identify those scenes and directorial choices that i felt fell shy of the mark. unlike you Pontsing, i do not concern myself with online popularity contests, and your "ROFLMAO" at cutestofborg's harmless jab, is indicative of just the sort of "LOTR fan" i've been speaking of these many months. you simply can't take it when criticism, in any form, is laden upon this, a film series that you obviously cherish so dearly. spitting venom at a jackass like you would be a serious waste of time. even more than it was sitting through this very flawed motion picture. good day.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 6:55 p.m. CST

    Grimloch...You forgot something!

    by ANGELS-EGG

    ....Remember in TTT there were a army of easterlings going through the black gates.... WTF happened to then in ROTK?! Thats a little unforgivable. I agree with you on many levels with the problems of this trilogy...things are introduced then discarded for maybe use in the EE's. This is a little bit of a cop out....Ive seen it for a second time and although it improved...theres still a lot of stuff thats just not right.....& I dont think the EE is gonna change that.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 6:55 p.m. CST

    To Warin

    by Barron34

    Regarding your post early in the thread: yes, Harry is prone to superlatives and somewhat outlandish enthusiasm for films, but if you read much of his other writing, you will find that this review is actually rather more carefully written than most of his older stuff. He's just crazy about films. Also, I think that your point about the individual's subjective capacity to enjoy different art forms (films, music, paintings, etc.) is quite accurate. Films are deliberately crafted illusions and becoming engaged by them is, in fact, much like hypnosis, as you say. Just as some people are more susceptible or less susceptible to hypnosis, I am certain that some people are more or less susceptible to being drawn in by films (or paintings, or music). It is a matter of the psychology and disposition of the viewer (as well as the skill of the filmmakers, which is another matter). You are probably right that most of the people here at AICN are more susceptible to films than the average person. This is clearly a movie site BY fans FOR fans. I can understand that someone who wants a cooler, more objective review might not be thrilled with Harry's general approach, but I think it should be understood that this site is as much about PASSION for film as it is for anything else, and cool reason is often the first to go out the door when passion is involved. So, please forgive Harry and Company; they are movie junkies. They just love the stuff, and the Lord of the Rings films are sort of the apotheosis of just the sort of stuff they (and we readers) love: great genre flicks. To give them credit, I think Harry and Company are fully aware that their reactions to films are so visceral, and they are fully up front about it. It is part of the nature of this site. If you are looking for more reasoned out reviews on this site, I would suggest looking for Moriarity's reviews. Mori is sort of Harry's second-in-command here, and tends to be a cooler counter-point to Harry's more bombastic approach. To give credit to Harry, though, I have been coming to this site for several years now, and I recognize that Harry has made some real attempts to improve the quality of his writing. I think the thing to realize is that Harry and Company are fully aware of their own passion for films, and they factor that into their reviews. Anyway, those are some of my thoughts. Barron out.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 7:14 p.m. CST

    Grim.

    by Pontsing Barset

    Thank you for the civilised reply. And for what it's worth, agree with you that my last couple of posts, in particular concerning the naysayers are unnecessarily over-the-top, and vitriolic. All I can say by way of excuse/defense is that I feel absolutely driven to goad posters who go on and on about how bad these films are and how they simply cannot understand why so many people think they're so good. You have made you're point(s), repeatedly, for months now, and it just smacks of sour grapes at this point. Look, I've read the damn book at least 20 times over the last 30 years or so, I see the changes, I understand the nuances, heck I was one of the biggest skeptics around on these boards four years ago. But PJ and Co. have totally won me over. That doesn't make me stupid or arrogant any more than your despising ROTK makes you stupid or arrogant. Believe it or not, I have problems with a lot of the individual "flaws" that you speak of, but as far as I can see, the films' achievements so hugely outweigh the crap that the crap doesn't really mean that much in a well tempered evaluation of the project as whole. It's like 'throwing the baby out with the bath', or 'not seeing the forest for the trees' and it just gets to be tiring to the point of wanting to take the detractors down a peg when the criticism drones on and on. Now all this is not to say that my opinion is any more valid than anyone else

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 7:20 p.m. CST

    To Lost In Uranus Regarding "This New Lord Of The Rings Fad"

    by Barron34

    This "new Lord of the Rings fad" has been going on for fifty years, since the books were firss published. This "new fad" just happens to involve the latest development: the monumental films.The books themselves are a phenomena: they are considered the most popular books of the 20th Century after The Bible. Yes, that's God, THEN Tolkien. I can understand if Lord of the Rings is "not your cup of tea". Many people do not like epic fantasy. But, the fact is that Tolkien's books are HUGELY popular and hugely influential. The movies are just a current development of this decades-long phenomena. The Lord of the Rings is far from a "fad". Calling it such just demonstrates your ignorance of the fact that Tolkien's books are the most popular work of fiction of the 20th Century, and which will likely to continue to be influential and popular well into the 21st Century. These books will probably be well-remembered long after you and I are long gone from this Earth. This is hardly a "fad".

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 7:28 p.m. CST

    Eternal: You haven't even seen it and you're bashing?

    by Skyway Moaters

    You take the cake man, you really do.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 7:29 p.m. CST

    Pontsing, re MasterGrimloch and Richard Roeper

    by Miami Mofo

    First, and don't get angry, considering that LotR:RotK only opened yesterday, I think it only fair to let MG have his say. And as for your overall achievement comment, you're beginning to sound a lot like Richard Roeper, you know that? All he said about the overall achievement by P.J and company is that "these films deserve a THUNDERCLAP of applause." Who woulda believed he would've been so right?

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 7:29 p.m. CST

    cutestofborg, ANGELS EGG...

    by MisterGrimloch

    there are many inconsistencies, that are part of the overall disappointment i felt with this picture. and cutest, maybe you can tell me just what the hell is Pontsing Barset's problem? he goes ape on me like that, and I'M the troll? ??????? even many of the other folk who have posted contrary to my opinion on this talkback acknowledge that a difference of opinion (and opinions are all that are being swapped back and forth here) is perfectly acceptable, and then Barset shows up and very specifically refers to me in his personalized attack. is this not the very same behavior that i have been accused of? (make no mistake, i do not feel "personally" harmed by this, since online talkbacks are annonymous nonsense, as far as i'm concerned. but you hopefully see my point?) it is behavior that indeed confirms that many critiques of the LOTR fanbase i have made over the past few months indeed hold water with several individuals who post right here on AICN. anyway, regardless of the state of Trek, in my opinion, it would be fun to hook up with you and several other bozos, and simultaneously spray Jolene Blalock's, and/or Jeri Ryan's face with semen, would it not?

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 7:36 p.m. CST

    Yeah you're right Miami...

    by Pontsing Barset

    But if history is any teacher, he's [Grim] going to keep pointing out how unbelievable it is that so many people disagree with his evaluation for weeks to come. *** Comparing me to ROEPER? AWP! I better get some new material myself! Erm, I thought we was mates Miami. You trying to offend? Or do I have my head up my ass (As Grim will be happy to tell you) as usual?

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 7:37 p.m. CST

    jesus christ,Pontsing....

    by MisterGrimloch

    couldn't you have posted your reply quicker, so my comments about your comments, which you then proceeded to comment upon in a second post, thus deflating the venom we were about to spit at each other........oh fuck, i don't know what the hell i'm saying. you love ROTK, thats great. i wouldnt try to change your view, only offer an argument to hear more about what made the movie work for you, since i was disappointed. these forums really are comical, IN MY OPINION.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 7:43 p.m. CST

    Pontsing...

    by MisterGrimloch

    let us be clear about one thing, i do not "despise" ROTK. clearly, i do not like it, but despise is something i reserve for films like "Lost in Space". i didn't even "despise" the Battlestar Galactica "re-imagined" mini series, although i did feel that it was pretty awful. now, Ron Moore, the writer/producer? He, i despise.

  • But I am getting sick of how intolerant some people can be at an opinion, even when the poster in question makes a good case, just because it conflicts with their own. I've seen many such legitimate posts today which have been dismissed as irrelevant by the LOTR mob. There's no need for that. If you don't agree that's one thing, but to call the poster a dumb fuck is quite another. Not meaning you of course. You never said that. Your post was just the final straw that broke the camel's back. Anyway, I apologize. I shouldn't have attacked you like I did...

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 7:53 p.m. CST

    To Mynameisnobody

    by Barron34

    Regarding accents in the LOTR movies: Frodo and Sam are meant to have differing accents. The characters as they were conceived for the books were intended to mirror the relationship between an upper-class English country-gentleman (Frodo) and a working class guy (Sam). Tolkien was very affected by his experience of World War I, where many of his college friends died. He based the relationship of Frodo and Sam on the strong friendships between British officers and enlisted men in the trenches of WWI. You can see these parallels most clearly in the Mordor scenes with Frodo and Sam in Return of the King. This is meant to reflect the harsh experiences of WWI and the strong bonds formed between soldiers of different classes. Just as upper-class Brits and lower-class Brits have different accents even though they are from the same country, so do Frodo and Sam have different accents even though they are both from the Shire. Frodo is basically a country gentleman of the Shire, and Sam is a loyal working-class guy. Merry and Pippin are both "upper-class" type hobbits (they are both cousins of Frodo and are from different influential families in different parts of the Shire, Pippin being of the Took family and Merry being of the Brandybuck family) who should probably have accents similar to Frodo, but someone mentioned that Billy Boyd had to abandon his original "authentic" accent because it was botching up his comic timing. Anyway, Frodo and Sam are deliberately meant to have different accents, Frodo's intended to be more "upper-class", Sam's intended to be more rustic. Another note: someone writing about LOTR accents made a list of where the actors were from (America, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, etc.). The list identified Viggo Mortensen as American. I don't think he is an American by birth. I believe that he is originally Danish.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 7:54 p.m. CST

    new year's eve...

    by MisterGrimloch

    i see Jeri Ryan on all fours, and i give cutestofborg the high five over the top. on topic, i "MisterGrimloch", was personally disappointed in the final LOTR film. sadness grips my buttocks.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 8:50 p.m. CST

    what

    by Harrierthanthee

    Is everybody really talking aout accents? Com'n!

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 8:56 p.m. CST

    Mynameisnobody

    by Barron34

    I didn't mean to imply that Frodo is meant to have "an Iowa accent" (which is rather inexplicable to me; does Elijah Wood have anything resembling an Iowa accent in this movie? He seemed rather generic faux-British, but maybe I just don't have the ear to detect some sort of Iowa inflection). I meant to imply that Frodo and Sam were meant to have DIFFERENT accents. I believe that you said in a much earlier post that it didn't make sense that Frodo and Sam had different accents, being that they came from the same "country" (the Shire). I was simply saying that it does make senes, and is, in fact deliberate. Their two accents were deliberately intended to be different, the same way an upper-class British accent is different from a working-class British accent (see my prior post as to why this is; Frodo represents an upper-glass country gentleman; Sam a more rustic lower-class country type). I'm not sure what you mean by Frodo having an Iowa accent. Anyway, it is even apparent in the original books that the two characters speak in different styles representing the difference between country gentleman and country bumpkin, so this goes back well before the films. I just pointed it out because I assumed that you did not read the books, and therefore did not know of this difference. No harm meant, just trying to clarify an aspect of these two characters. I'm no especial judge of how good an actor's fake British accents are. Tolkein, being a professional linguist, would probably have a good opinion about this, but he is, unfortunately, deceased.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 9:03 p.m. CST

    Hi Barron

    by djinnj

    That was my list. I think VM was born in NYC. But he travelled A LOT as a child, living all over the place and he visits Denmark every year. In fact, a lot of the actors nominally "from" one place or another actually "grew up" in several different places. Someone else noted (sorry, I'm having real trouble keeping track of who said what, here!), Sean Bean's native accent isn't the one he uses in the film either. The point of my list was actually to draw attention to how much work the filmmakers put into making the accents reflect a continuum. I think they did a fantastic job, but people are getting sidetracked by their preconcieved notions of what the accents should sound like. It's harder to do an accent accurately than to erase all the bits that remotely sound like one's own and do an extremely fake one. Sam's more rustic accent sounds like a strange American accent to some because some of the phonemes are the same or similar to certain American regionalizations. This is normal, and doesn't mean he can't do accents. It's just that accents do that! --- All this accent talk reminds me of the story Bernard Hill tells in the DVD extras about Brad Dourif. The one about how Dourif used his English accent the entire time, on and off camera, so that when he switched back to his American accent, Hill thought it sounded like he was assuming a particularly cheesy fake American accent.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 9:18 p.m. CST

    Shouldn't that be Harry "Reviews" Return of the King?

    by Tigernan

    "Reviews" meaning makes self-evident statements while jizzing in wild hyperbole about battle scenes and multiple endings?

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 9:22 p.m. CST

    Lost In Space

    by Indiana Clones

    Lost In Space was shit, but at least it was short and entertaining unlike LOTR.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 10:22 p.m. CST

    I Liked it but...

    by JarJarIsVader

    Its hard to enjoy a movie when your bladder is about to burst. My god I was into it for about 3/4 of it then I was just twisting in my chair and wishing that I sat in the back so I could piss in a cup.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 10:40 p.m. CST

    Enough Accents Already

    by Barron34

    Who the fuck knows that Elijah Woods is from Iowa anyway, other than his mother? This point over accents has been made on both sides already. One side says that the hobbits all have mixed accents and it detracts from the acting; the other side says the Shire is a big place where different hobbits from different sections can have different accents. It seems academic at this point. Everyone has stated their position, and there seems to be some validity to both sides. Enough already. *****I also think the talkback has unneccessarily devolved into a battle between people who are completely in favor of the movies and those who are completely opposed. There seem to be only a few mixed opinions in between. My feeling is that different people have different tastes and different opinions about these movies (or any movies, for that matter). Why get worked up into a lather over different opinions? Opinions and tastes are subjective. They are not facts that can be objectively proven, so no amount of argument, either pro or con, will ever be conclusive. You have to allow that some people dislike some things that other people like (in this case a popular movie). People should try to get over it. It is fine for one person to really like a movie and another to really not like a movie. I really like Chinese food, while my friend really doesn't. It's no big deal. People prefer different stuff.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 11:16 p.m. CST

    Frhomo and sam. Rotk was too gay for my taste

    by hstbbhem

    Frodo's gayness was already quite obvious in Fotr. In TTT,Frodo's persistent gayness was even more difficult to bear. But in the Rotk, I felt more embarrassed than emerged in the story.And that's not a good sign. Did PJ asked Wood to act like this? Or is He always acting as if He was craving to suck a Hobbit's blue vein ? That scene where they all get reunited was also freaky! Legolas looked at Frodo as if He wanted to creamhole his ass and When Gimli finally showed up, I was thinking to myself 'this is it, the moment of truth!'

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 11:16 p.m. CST

    Frhomo and sam. Rotk was too gay for my taste

    by hstbbhem

    Frodo's gayness was already quite obvious in Fotr. In TTT,Frodo's persistent gayness was even more difficult to bear. But in the Rotk, I felt more embarrassed than emerged in the story.And that's not a good sign. Did PJ asked Wood to act like this? Or is He always acting as if He was craving to suck a Hobbit's blue vein ? That scene where they all get reunited was also freaky! Legolas looked at Frodo as if He wanted to creamhole his ass and When Gimli finally showed up, I was thinking to myself 'this is it, the moment of truth!'

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 12:47 a.m. CST

    Another mighty opinion

    by FatherMcGruder

    Well, I thought, why the hell not? Everyone else is posting massive opinion pieces. A disclaimer first: I think the films are a pretty amazing achievement in their own right. They could have been simply awful, and I think PJ did give us his vision of Middle Earth, and it is extraordinary. Now I'm going to try and explain why "purists" might not be so happy. Okay, here goes: The problem is that PJ, while extremely talented, is also a big fan of low-brow humor and in fact low-brow entertainment in general. Don't get me wrong, I love low-brow. Braindead is literally one of my all-time favorite films. But low-brow is by its very nature antithetical to Tolkien's work. Low-brow is obvious--Tolkien is subtle. As an example: An Elf and a Dwarf would certainly have some tension between them, but not of the "grrr, those sissy Elves," and "oh, those grimy Dwarves" variety. Think more like how a Palestinian and a Jew might interact fifty years after some kind of peace has finally come to the Middle East. These races have a long history, and it ain't pretty. When they at last become friends, it's more than "oh look, opposites attract" kitsch. As for Gimli, he's more a caricature than a character. The dwarves are not slovenly fools without any social skills. They are a race as ancient as the Elves, and Gimli is the equivalent of Dwarf royalty. What a waste to reduce him to "the oaf". PJ loves extremes; the elves are extra-ethereal, the orcs are extra-hideous, Wormtongue is extra-evil (seriously, who would ever trust this guy? He screams "I'M SHIFTY AND EVIL!" the second you see him), Aragorn is extra-reluctant, and dead spirits are extra-rotten. Thank God they nailed Gandalf. Can you imagine the travesty if they pulled a Gimli, Aragorn, Faramir, or Denethor with him? Denethor is second only to Gimli in the awfulness of his movie incarnation. Gandalf beating up the Steward of Gondor? I cringed. I cringe writing about it. PJ said in the beginning of all this that he wanted to approach the films form a realistic point of view, but his tendency toward low-brow excess negates his attention to detail. Because the fantasy elements are SO fantastical, it really removes any sense of realism. I know "tone it down" seems bad advice, but that's exactly what was needed if PJ wanted, as he claimed, to film this as historical fiction rather than an overblown Fantasy Epic. Look at Master and Commander. Do you feel like it captures a real time and place? YES! That's historical fiction. Imagine if the same principles had actually, not supposedly, been applied to LOTR. Maybe we wouldn't have had as successful a movie, but it certainly would have been less melodramatic and ultimately more stirring and satisfying.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 1:34 a.m. CST

    Hello mellyn!

    by elanor

    For anyone worried that the first time through reservations will remain, I can attest that the third time is the charm. For my third viewing I was able to relax completely and watch it as a movie, no longer minding what is missing, or not like the book (yay I still have the book!) It does indeed improve just as the other two did. The audience I saw it with clapped about a million times. I

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 1:54 a.m. CST

    Prof Ransom, About Viggo, accents and the God Damned Eagles

    by elanor

    Prof Ransom, uber geeks are particularly welcome at the tailend (not that we're there yet) but, remember, most of us know the books as well as you do. As for Minas Tirith in the movie, the filmmakers greatly changed the concept of it. I think of it this way, that the operating Tolkien phrase in the film-MT is "and the watch on Mordor slept". In FOTR Boromir says "my father's rule is failing". They deliberately made Denethor far more despairing than the book, I suppose to make everything more desperate. There is no Rammas Echor in the design at all, so no battle upon it. There would be no point introducing Beregond or Prince Imrahil into this situation, good god, I think there are enough characters to keep track of. Poor Eomer gets one good spear toss and that's it! There is no "siege" of MT, we go straight into battle. When you have this much material to squish into 3 hours, a choice like this makes sense. Well, at least to me it does.***Viggo is red blooded American all right. Born in New York. Daddy is Danish, Mom is American. Lived in Argentina and Venezuela for chunks of time too. Then bummed around Denmark for a few years. College in Canada. He gets around, that Viggo.***Elijah's regular accent sounds more California to me than Iowa. BUT, his upper class Brit accent is excellent in my opinion. Ian McKellen has praised Elijah

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 2:19 a.m. CST

    thx djinn

    by pax256

    saw it second time tonight. It went a lot better this tmie. I now dont haev a prob with the arwen becoming mortal anymore. I thought she had cast some spell on herself in roder to transfer her 'grace ' to another but it was simply the 'spirit of the eldars' who left her fro insistinhg in her own heart not to goto the west. So now her fate was that of the new spirit of the lands of middle earth which was either to be saurons spirit of death or the mortal spirit of men... At least thats how I see it now...

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 2:33 a.m. CST

    Iowan accent?

    by pip1345

    Have any of you been to Iowa? The majority of people who live there have that general "American" accent you see most characters using in American movies. So if his normal accent sounds "Californian" it's because they're the same goddamn accent.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 5:10 a.m. CST

    Eternal keep your arrogance ramblings to yourself.

    by raw_bean

    cutestofborg did not and does not demean other people for their opinions (apart from the occasional light-hearted teasing of Matrix fans, I'll admit). "I offer my honest opinion and that is all." No, you didn't! You jumped in between cutest and Grimloch, with no knowledge of their past, thinking cutest was bashing Grimloch needlessly. It was pointed out to you that it was all meant in good fun, that cutest and Grimloch have tweaked each other similarly in the past, and to mind your own business. If I'd have been in your position then I would have sincerely apologised, but you get on your high horse and start directing baseless (and hilariously inaccurate) accusations against cutest of his belittling others' opinions. As for just posting what is popular, that's just ridiculous. Another baseless, and wildly inaccurate, accusation. Kindly keep your ill-informed and abusive nonsense to yourself.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 5:19 a.m. CST

    I saw your post Grimloch.

    by raw_bean

    What can I say? I agree with much of what you said (if not all). ROTK does indeed have faults. However, you seem to focus purely on what you disliked. If I were to do that, I could easily sound as though I disliked the film almost as much as yourself, maybe even more if I let my inner Tolkien purist out. However, given that a good hour of this film affected me emotionally more strongly than any other film I've seen (at least since I was a small child, anyway), it would seem like total nitpicking to go over even the worst of the faults for me. Personally, I did not find the absent Saruman anywhere near as bad as I thought it would be. Any other problems I had were more than made up for by moments of (for me) cinematic perfection, like Theoden rallying the Rohirrim and then leading the charge, and Frodo and Sam on Mount Doom. The music I found even more wonderful and evocative connected to images than I did listening to it on the soundtrack CD, particularly at the wonderful beacon-lighting through the White Mountains moment. As for Shelob, I liked her, but what I REALLY can't wait to see is my arachnophobic sister's reaction to her!

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 5:28 a.m. CST

    Eternal: "I read what other people say and try to understand the

    by raw_bean

    Sorry Eternal, but in the case of cutest, you failed. He does not (except in jest) tell other people their opinions are wrong, in fact he's one of the most self-deprecating and humble TBers that I know, who frequently asserts that his own opinion isn't worth all that much (although I disagree with him there :) ), and gives others praise for their own. However, as you have discovered, when he is provoked he responds angrily, but I think in this case, not unjustly. Please go back and re-read what he said after Grimloch's post, how you responded, and what he said then. Use your self-attested ability to try and understand people to see why he got angry, and see if you can find the humility to accept that you made a mistake, as I believe you did. If you get a chance to get to know him, you'll find cutest is one of the warmest and funniest TBers around, and I guarantee that if you put aside your anger, he'll happily let bygones be bygones and not dream of holding a grudge. Like Tulkas (sorry, I'm re-reading the Silmarillion), he's quick to anger but also quick to laughter. :)

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 5:36 a.m. CST

    Prof.Ransom, sorry if I came across a bit strong.

    by raw_bean

    I don't have a problem with someone re-reading LOTR over and over again. Though it's nowhere near that frequently, I read it over and over again too. But do you read Tolkien's other books too? It's just the way you expressed yourself. The fact that you do it with great regularity, starting on September 22nd, year in year out sounds makes it sound less like a spontaneous desire to return to a much loved book, as some kind of obsessive idolisation of the book (not to say I believe this, it just sounds like it). Personally, I just re-read it whenever I feel like it, and personally in some ways I prefer the Silmarillion, and the mythology of the Elder days so close to Tolkien's heart throughout his life.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 5:37 a.m. CST

    who directed the last 20 minutes of this movie? Steven Spielber

    by showmethemoney

    God was that ending ridiculous. Shades of Minority Report and A.I. Blah blah blah, GET ON WITH IT! "Oh me love you Mr. Frodo. It is my story now. I'll go on and get married then and waste the audience's hard earned money for a good 20 minutes or so" says Samwise (is that his name?). And can someone tell me why those eagles couldn't have flown Frodo up to the volcano in the first place?

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 5:48 a.m. CST

    Woodbyrne

    by raw_bean

    See? It's perfectly possible for you to state your love of Tolkien's book and PJ's films without putting anybody else down. As for argument of things not happeneing in the film because they weren't in the book, how do you account for Denethor plummeting off the top of Minas Tiirith instead of burning on his pyre clutching the Palantir, or any number of other scenes invented by PJ and co? Plus, when someone says something like "Why didn't the Eagles just carry the Ring to Mount Doom?", and you respond "'Cause they didn't in the book, numbskull!", their obvious rejoinder is "So why didn't they do it in the book?". So the question is still valid (if trivial and silly). If the book had finished with Frodo turning into a giant mushroom (allow me a rather extreme example here), and the film did too, and people were baffled as to why, you couldn't just say "Because that's how it happened in the book!", that is an excuse not an explanation. I do hope these debates won't destroy our very beautiful relationship Woodbyrne, I wouldn't want to live my life regretting what could have been.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 5:52 a.m. CST

    garfthecat, some good points but..

    by raw_bean

    I thought Gandalf looked surprised when the moth turned up. I thought of the moth as amessenger of Radagast, and that HE sent the Eagles, both then and to rescue Gandalf in FOTR. As for flying above the clouds, as I already pointed out, without a flight-suit and oxygen mask, Frodo could not survive above the clouds (where the air is VERY thin and VERY cold), and that's even assuming the the EAGLE could survive that high, which I would very much doubt, even as a servant of Manwe.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 5:57 a.m. CST

    Hey YoYoMan. Sorry, I missed GL's cameo.

    by raw_bean

    Glad you liked the film. Since over here in the UK all I could get to see on Tuesday was an Extended Edition double bill (Two-Thirds-Of-A-Trilogy Tuesday! Stupid fat UK distributor/cinemas/godknowswho, it stole the precious midnight ROTK from us!), so I'm hosting my own trilogy Saturday, with EE DVD's and prebooked ROTK tickets at my local cinema!

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 6:02 a.m. CST

    And YoYoMan, you can keep your Mancunians!

    by raw_bean

    Too many of them are more like the Gallagher brothers than Dominic Monaghan or Bernard Hill. Have the Scousers too, but we're (the North of England) keeping the Geordies! Anyway, sorry for the off-topic ramble from this opinionated Yorkshireman. :)

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 6:08 a.m. CST

    Hullo djinnj!

    by raw_bean

    Whoah their lass, Cirdan didn't have a beard? Did you see someone I didn't, 'cause the film I saw didn't have Cirdan in it at all! CELEBORN certainly didn't have a beard (but why did he get on the ship?!), but Cirdan was nowhere in sight, that I noticed.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 6:15 a.m. CST

    *sigh*, Pontsing Barset,

    by raw_bean

    for God's sake man, Grimloch calmly and rationally expressed his opinion, justified it, didn't demean anyone for disagreeing with it. YOU are the one acting like a troll. I can't STAND it when LOTR fans like you troll against LOTR detractors, because it opens us sensible, tolerant LOTR fans to abuse.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 6:21 a.m. CST

    To respond to you later post, Pontsing Barset,

    by raw_bean

    if you don't want to discuss sensibly with Grimloch, don't bother. I however, am more than happy to discuss this with him, with no care in the world for either of us swaying the opnion of the other. 'Talkback' implies conversation and discussion, not simply stating your opinion and then shutting up.

  • To everyone that has already reached the epiphanies that I was arrogantly trying to guide you towards, just ignore everything I've said! Sorry folks. :)

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 6:56 a.m. CST

    mynameisnobody,

    by raw_bean

    what's your nationality? I'm guessing US (correct me if I'm wrong). Please give an Englishman credit for the ability to recognise a decent English accent, God knows I hear enough terrible ones in American films and TV. As for "Especially an Iowa and a muddled Kentucky/Dublin accent...and a Scottish accent...and a bland German accent with some Scottish", can I just reiterate how wrong you are? I know people from Ireland, from Germany, from Scotland, and from all over England, myself included (none from Iowa or Kentcuky, unfortunately). Just what are YOU comparing these accents to (as in English or other European people that you might know?), because I think I'm probably in a much better position to judge, here! :) Elijah Wood does a very passable upper class British accent, Sean Astin does a surpirsingly good WEst Country accent (which may well have some Kentucky similarities, I wouldn't know, but is NOTHING like a Dublin accent!), Billy Boyd (Pippin) only slightly adjusts his Scottish accent, because as has been said, they found that though he could do a more English accent (see Master & Commander), he lost his comic timing in the transition, and it is justified by his living far away from Frodo and Sam. Dominic Monaghan (Merry), uses his fairly neutral English accent with a hint of West Country. Bland German with a hint of Scottish?!?!? Are you mad? I have both Scottish and German relatives, I don't even know who you're referring to here (Pippin with Billy's REAL scottish accent, or Merry with Dominic's accent that bears NO RELATION WHATSOEVER to either German or Scottish)! Sorry fella, but I have spoken to people who really have the accents that the actors were aiming for, and I find them surprisingly good (if not perfect), especially given how concerned I was about this when I heard the Frodo and Sam were going to be played by Americans! :)

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 7:01 a.m. CST

    Last post, and I apologise for the vast array of shit I've poste

    by raw_bean

    Johnny Suede, don't bother seeing ROTK, you won't like it. The relationships of the Hobbits in the films accurately portrays their relationships from the books. Beyond that you can read into them whatever you want to read into them, I won't judge you for it.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 7:47 a.m. CST

    Ah, so here you are, Bean. And Djinnj. And Cutest.

    by Elaine

    And here I was, posting my opinions on the film in the "Trilogy Tuesday - Austin Line Report" talkback. Silly me. Anyway... **** YO YO MAN: I really envy you your 3-D-bookmarks-with-popcorn experience. Where I attended Trilogy Tuesday, there were no gifts to the punters; just three great films and a lot of geeks. But boy, were they great! I regularly attend film festivals, and they tend to be wonderful geek get-togethers, but I don't think I've ever come across another screening where the atmosphere was as festive as last Tuesday's trilogy session. The number of guys wearing chain-mail and girls wearing Arwen gowns was staggering, and man, did they relish the opportunity to stand out and look ridiculous with pride! And yes, it was great to see all the films back to back - a brilliant total immersion that left me with so much adrenaline that I couldn't sleep for hours afterwards, even though it was 5 a.m. by the time I went to bed. Too bad there will never be another experience like it... **** MIAMI: I somewhat agree with your disappointment with Frodo's Houses of Healing scene. For me, the expressions on Frodo's and Gandalf's faces when Frodo comes to and is re-united with Gandalf are one of the highlights of the film, but I thoroughly dislike the way the rest of the scene is handled. The cringeworthy excessive laughter that follows, and the rather lacklustre, underwhelming entry of the other members of the Fellowship... ugh. And as for the look on Sam's face when he enters the room... I'm sorry to have to say it, but it's fodder for all those trolls who have been going on for years about Sam and Frodo being gay. And you have no idea how much it hurts me to say that. (Oh, and Happy Birthday, by the way!) **** DJINNJ: I agree the Arwen life force thing is hokey, but don't you love Arwen's seeing Eldarion in the woods? My jaw dropped when I first saw that scene, and looking back upon it now (after having seen the film twice), I think it is one of the best not-in-the-book inventions of all three films. Call me a sap, but I love it. **** BEAN & CUTEST: At the risk of arousing your ever-lasting ire and enmity, I'm going to be honest and say I don't like the "Well, I'm back" ending at all. While I understand why it's there (there's no way Jackson could have left it out, is there?), to me, it completely spoils the wonderful scene that precedes it. I love, love, love the Grey Havens scene, and to me, that should have been the end. The image of that ship sailing west, with the memory of Frodo's brilliant smile and the wonderful music still fresh in one's mind, would have been the perfect ending to the film. But instead, you get a strangely unemotional and hopelessly tacked-on ending in Hobbiton, which is completely unnecessary since the viewer already KNOWS at this point that Sam is going to be quite happy with Rosie and his family. Jackson sets Sam's future family life up so nicely in the scenes PRECEDING the Grey Havens that he could easily have left out the "I'm back" ending AFTER the Grey Havens, in my opinion. Nor am I alone on this. When I saw the film again last night, with a decidedly non-geek audience, many people actually started booing when the Hobbiton ending came up; it was obvious that they thought the Grey Havens should have been the end. But to each their own, as they say. :-)

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 8:08 a.m. CST

    elanor

    by Prof. Ransom

    I understand the need to compress certain elements, and reduce characters for effeciency, but Beregond and Prince Imrahil (and the Mouth of Sauron) could have been included without overburdening the narrative. As for Minas Tirith, even if the "rule of Denethor was failing" surely the last kingdom in exile of the Numenoreans would have been better prepared for war with the Enemy. As I watched the film, the battle at Minas Tirith seemed like another Helm's Deep . . . almost the same battle actually (defenders hopelessly outnumbered inside a fortress, the fortress is breached, and the Riders of Rohan save the day!). I would have liked less battle if the Houses of Healing could have been preserved in some way . . . one would think in a film entitled RETURN OF THE KING at least one scene where Aragorn makes a connection with the people of Gondor would have been preserved (the hands of the King are the hands of a healer). The character of Denethor was just too downgraded in the film . . . his madness and death are supposed to be a tragedy, not the just desserts of a heartless, cruel, glutton.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 8:19 a.m. CST

    raw_bean: you're forgiven

    by Prof. Ransom

    I am not obsessed with LORD OF THE RINGS; I love it! And yes, I do read the other writings on Middle-earth. Each year I start with LORD OF THE RINGS, then THE HOBBIT, then THE SILMARILLION. It is not a ritual, but a revisit to material that I love. I feel pure joy when I read about Middle-earth, the kind of joy described by C.S. Lewis in "Surprised by Joy." I chose Our Birthday was a convienient date each year to begin, and to reacqaint myself with Middle-earth. Like I've said, it gets better every time I read it! I also in some ways prefer the Silmarillion, it has that thread of "Shakespearean" qualities that makes it so beautiful (and I know Tolkien hated Shakespeare, but that was a language issue).

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 8:19 a.m. CST

    re:Johnny Suede, the gay factor of the hobbits

    by hstbbhem

    Mr Suede You're not alone. I was also quite perturbed by this shit.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 8:39 a.m. CST

    Tolkien's scene: Eowyn v. Witch-king

    by Prof. Ransom

    Here's an example of how Tolkien's dialoge would have been so much better had it been preserved: Eowyn vs. the Witch-king of Angmar. . . . "Begone, foul dwimmerlaik, lord of carrion! Leave the dead in peace!" A cold voice answered: "Come not between the Nazgul and his prey! Or he will not slay thee in thy turn. He will bear thee away to the houses of lamentation, beyond all darkness, where thy flesh shall be devoured, and thy shrivelled mind be left naked to Lidless Eye." A sword rang as it was drawn. "Do what you will; but I will hinder it, if I may." "Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!" Then Merry heard of all sounds in that hour the strangest. It seemed that Dernhelm laughed, and the clear voice was like the ring of steel. "But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Eowyn I am, Eomund's daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him."

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 9:46 a.m. CST

    damn, that really would have been a great scene, ransom

    by Ryalto 3.0

    and you know what could have made it even better? if the filmmakers had made some attempt to keep dernhelm's true identity secret. Elanor, I realized that all your defenses of PJ are basically like this: "The filmmakers decided to go in a stupid direction for stupid reasons and filmmaking ineptness, so it makes sense that they would include this awful scene and change this cool detail to this really lame one."

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 9:54 a.m. CST

    Elaine, about that last line...

    by mortsleam

    If they hadn't put in "Well, I'm back." There would have been riots in the theater. Jackson would have been burned in effigy. He would never be allowed back in New Zealand again. Plus, Ryalto would have been reeeaaalllly angry. <<Ryalto shakes fist again: "JAAAACKSOOOON!!!">> Heh. Can't get enough of that.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 9:56 a.m. CST

    Just in case anyone's not completely fed up of the accent debate

    by raw_bean

    I found some stuff in the recap of LOTR articles from the past few years that Harry posted that agrees with what I said: "Hobbit speech--- they sound as though they come from Gloucestershire

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Let's See

    by Damer1

    I grew up with the books and have seen each movie at 12:01am on the day it opened, so obviously I'm a fan. This review was a bit over the top. You'd think Harry was giving a review of the second coming of Christ. It was an excellent film but it wasn't a perfect film.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 10:34 a.m. CST

    Borg: adapting to the screen 101

    by Ryalto 3.0

    You say that Eowyn scene wouldn't work in theaters? try this: EOWYN "Begone, foul dwimmerlaik, lord of carrion! Leave the dead in peace!" ----- WITCH KING "Come not between the Nazgul and his prey!" -----He draws mace/or advances on fell beast, something threatening. -----EOWYN "Do what you will; but I will hinder it if I may." ------WITCH KING "Hinder me? Thou fool! No living man may hinder me!" -----EOWYN (laughing) "But no Living man am I! You look upon a woman, Eowyn am I. You stand between me and my lord and kin. For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him!" -------- Now see, that might not be PURE tolkien, but it's a damn sight better than "I'm no man, I'm a woman!" It wouldn't take any longer, it wouldn't confuse the audience. It took me about a minute to decide how I would cut that scene down for the screen, and I'm only an amateur writer. What's PJ's excuse?

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 10:35 a.m. CST

    also, mortsleam

    by Ryalto 3.0

    see the trailer tuesday thread for my thoughts on how PJ screwed up the "well, I'm back" scene.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 10:51 a.m. CST

    Tolkien's scene: Gandalf confronts the Witch-king

    by Prof. Ransom

    In rode the Lord of the Nazgul. A great black shape against the fires beyond he loomed up, grown to a vast menace of despair. In rode the Lord of the Nazgul, under the archway that no enemy ever yet had passed, and all fled before his face. All save one. There waiting, silent and still in the space before the Gate, sat Gandalf upon Shadowfax: Shadowfax who alone among the free horses of the earth endured the terror, unmoving, steadfast as a graven image in Rath Dinen. "You cannot enther here," said Gandalf, and the huge shadow halted. "Go back to the abyss prepared for you! Go back! Fall into the nothingness that awaits you and your Master. Go!" The Black Rider flung back his hood, and behold! he had a kingly crown; and yet upon no head visible was it set. The red fires shone between it and the mantled shoulders vast and dark. From a mouth unseen there came a deadly laughter. "Old fool!" he said. "Old fool! This is my hour. Do you not know Death when you see it? Die now and curse in vain!" And wit that he lifted high is sword and flames ran down the blade. Gandalf did not move. And in that very moment, away behind in some courtyard of the City, a cock crowed. Shrill and clear he crowed, recking nothing of wizardry or war, welcoming only the morning in the sky far above the shadows of death was coming with the dawn. And as if in answer there came from far away another note. Horns, horns, horns. In dark Mindolluin's sides they dimly echoed. Great horns of the North wildly blowing. Rohan had come at last.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Some of you on this board are repugnant assholes

    by JT Styler

    The Styler is here and upon reading this talkback, some of you guys are deeply stupid. I love ROTK, I will love the extended edition even more - Voice of Saruman, Mouth of Sauron, more Denethor, Aragorn & Gandalf vs Witchking scenes included. The film is not perfect but it's fucking magnificent. What really pisses me off is the twats calling this film gay. Do you guys have no friends? A same gender friend you would take a bullet for, that you love selflessly. Why does everything have to be sexual? Some of y'all need to get laid. Oh and some of you are saying PJ screwed this up and he screwed that up. HOLD YOUR FOUL TONGUE to quote Gandalf. The front of it, the nerve to tell PJ he screwed up. He may have made some errors but last time I checked you guys weren't scriptwriters, directors or even actors, just a bunch of whining, crying, bitching and more importantly UNGRATEFUL trolls. I'm not trying to start an argument but some of you need to think before you open your mouths. Thanks for reading. I'm out. The Styler has spoken. Heed my words.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 11:05 a.m. CST

    Elaine! Bean!

    by djinnj

    I can't wait to see it again, but I'm not permitting myself until I finish at least 1 term paper. Urg. Actually, I only dislike Arwen's link to the ring conceptually. I love the way it was executed by the actors! And the vision of Eldarion is lovely. Oh boy, and that subtle change in expression on Elrond's face when Arwen turns him to face her. *sigh* Funny, the laughter at the HoH didn't bother me, although it ran a bit long. It, like so many moments, is iconographically straight out of the book. I found this film to have many more instances that (for me) captured an exact moment from the corresponding scenes in the book. I also liked Sam's ending, and I'm eager to read the last page Frodo wrote in the Red Book, because someone else noted that the word 'mayor' is there! ----- RAW BEAN! I indeed saw Cirdan at the Havens. It's not like he does anything, but a white haired elf that looks just like the one receiving Narya in Galadriel's prologue, is standing in the background in the beginning of the scene. Regarding Celeborn, they made a point in saying that this was the last ship, so he HAD to go! He does eventually, after all. It would've been awfully involved to explain why he would stay behind after his 'treasure' left. Oh, and 'nother thing 'bout eagles (as if this particular deceased equine really requires more flogging), since they are their own race possessed of free will, they would also feel the influence of the Ring, and be corruptable. ---- Dagnabit, I REALLY want to see the extended NOW! I have to see the parlay with the MoS the I KNOW precedes when Aragorn turns and says that soft "For Frodo." I entirely agree with Sam, the best stories to hear (read, watch) aren't the one's you'd want to be in, and I need the sticky end to be really sticky (at least before the happy (?) ending arrives).

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Bunch of fucking savages

    by JT Styler

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 11:12 a.m. CST

    Thank you, LemmiWinks!

    by Miami Mofo

    I was wondering where P.J.'s cameo was as I completely missed it. I did notice his/Fran's kids in a Minas Tirith street scene, so I kinda figured P.J. was in there somewhere.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 11:23 a.m. CST

    borg, you're in denial

    by Ryalto 3.0

    the scene I described wouldn't take any longer than Pj's movie scene, it would just be better, period. And if PJ's so concerned about time, then perhaps he should... tell... his... actors... to... stop... pausing... between... every... goddamn... word. That and "Hey, this ain't the theater, show me some freaking nuance and subtlety!" How to save even more screentime: cut straight from leaving edoras, to arriving at helm's deep, to a quick bit on the approaching army, then to hurried preparations, then to the battle. PJ could have saved 40 minutes easily right there if he had just follow the simple road map tolkien drew for him. there was similar stuff in ROTK. the Muster of Rohan, for example, could have been much sooner in the film. And why the hell did it take 2 hours just for Frodo and Sam to get to shelob's lair? then there's the wasted build up of faramir's suicide mission. If PJ really wanted to follow the stupid storyline he had set up, he would have had faramir return for his "punishment" (for letting the hobbits go) very early in the film, and be commanded to his suicide mission. that way we don't have to see him fighting at Osgiliath, coming back, then fighting some more. Would make Gandalf's assist more dramatic too if Faramir was wounded during it. I realize this is different from the books, but if you're going to make changes, then make them effective, at least. ...detail #1458 i missed from the novels: Theoden's Golden Shield dimming in the shadow of the Witch King. wouldn't have been hard to add, I'm just saying. The Rankin Bass version had it. I'm just sayin...

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 11:49 a.m. CST

    Elaine....

    by djinnj

    I just realized, did you at least get the Sideshow collectible at Trilogy Tuesday? I sincerely hope that you did!

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 12:04 p.m. CST

    Prof Ransom,

    by raw_bean

    Don't bother stopping with the Sil and Hobbit, Unfinished Tales and the History of Middle Earth have tons more Tolkien goodies in them for you to discover! Quick tasters: A never used epilogue for LOTR where Gandalf relates how he came to set Thorin and co. on the quest for the Lonely Mountain, and how he decided to get Bilbo involved, the tale of the Nazgul's hunt for the Ring in the Shire, the order of the Istari and the names of the two wizards never seen in LOTR or the Hobbit (all from Unfinished Tales), the origins of "Strider" as a Hobbit called "Trotter" with wooden feet (he lost his real feet when the Nazgul tortured him!) who may have been a relative of Frodo and Bilbo's, or even Bilbo himself! The origins of Sauron as Tevildo, Prince of Cats and servant of 'Melko' (later Melkor/Morgoth), Beren phasing between being a man and elf, Tolkien's notes on Treebeard ("in some ways, rather stupid"!), Frodo originally being Bilbo's son Bingo, the wonderfully structured nonsense poem 'Errantry' that became Bilbos poem about Earendil, and many beautiful pieces of work that were either never finished or never published, all in the History of Middle Earth. Next time you revisit Middle Earth, go a bit deeper into it! :)

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 12:13 p.m. CST

    Bits 'n' pieces

    by Elaine

    MORTSLEAM: I can see that leaving out the "Well, I'm back" line would have led to riots; quite frankly, I would have been pissed off, too, if it hadn't been there when I first saw the movie. I was looking forward to it, and I would have felt robbed if it hadn't been there. But having seen the film twice now, I think the ending would have worked better without Sam's return to Hobbiton. For me, anyway. So I suppose I'll have to press "stop" after the Grey Havens when the film finally comes out on DVD. Whenever that may be. **** RYALTO: I agree that the Eowyn/Witch-King scene would have been better the way you wrote it. I sorely missed the "foul dwimmerlaik, lord of carrion" line, and I think the "I'm no man, I'm a woman!" bit could have been dealt with better. That said, I love absolutely every other scene Eowyn is in. She's fabulous. **** PROF. RANSOM: I agree that it would have been nice to see Beregond (and Bergil!) in the film (particularly the scene where Aragorn pardons Beregond for slaying the guard and sends him off with Faramir, which, for reasons I can't fathom, really moves me), but Elanor is right - he would have been one character too many. Same for Imrahil. The Mouth of Sauron should have been in, though. No question about that. I can't see why they cut that scene from the theatrical cut - surely it can't last much longer than two minutes? **** DJINNJ: The laughter in the Houses of Healing bothered me less on my second viewing than it did on my first; apparently I'm already getting used to it. That said, I do think there is an awful lot of exaggerated laughter in the films. The hobbits' laughter at Rivendell when Frodo has recovered from his stabbing, Eowyn's laughter after Aragorn's beard joke in "The Two Towers", Frodo's laughter in the Houses of Healing... it all seems a little over the top to me. But as I said, I'm getting used to it. **** As for the last page of the Red Book... from the few words I caught, I got the impression it was the hobbits' story as told in the Appendices. But subsequent viewings will undoubtedly prove me wrong. **** Good luck with those term papers! I wholeheartedly sympathise. **** And no, I didn't not get any collectibles. Boohoo. Now it's your turn to sympathise with me! **** And now, off to dinner...

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 12:13 p.m. CST

    Never fear Elaine, there's no way I'll ever show any ire or enmi

    by raw_bean

    At least, not over something like this. To be honest, the whole ending sequence didn't touch me like I thought it would, not like the ascent up Orodruin. I think that might change when I see it again tomorrow. ----- GETTING tiring Pip? The emotionally retarded comments of this kind have been tiring for as long as there have been repressed emotional cripples to spout them. What is the worst thing about it to my mind is the thinly veiled (if at all) homophobic disgust that usually comes attached to these juvenile and cynical misinterpretations.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 12:28 p.m. CST

    An oddball I may be, cutest. But you're a fool of a Took! ;)

    by raw_bean

    Hullo, all my Tailender friends. ------ djinnj, I'll keep my eyes open for Cirdan tomorrow when I take my second viewing. I want to see if I recognise him from the FOTR prologue! --------- Elaine, whilst I agree about the laughter in the HoH, the Hobbits in Rivendell I thought was great, and Eowyn's laughter in TTT seemed 100% natural to me. For me, it's Frodo's laughter in the opening exchange with Gandalf in FOTR that rings a bit false. ---------- Here's a new thing to contribute: subtle book rference that you were most surprised by. Mine: Everyone in Gondor, without any self-conscious need for explanation or translation, calls Gandalf 'Mithrandir'! I grinned every time they did it. For me, that is wonderful proof that the film-makers are fans, making the film for fans. For every 'dumbed-down'/'simplified' aspect, there is one that I worry would really alienate non-Tolkienites, before I remember that such people are not worthy of my notice! ;)

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 12:31 p.m. CST

    All I can really say is...

    by UnChienAndalou

    ...THANK GOD IT'S OVER!!! Although, the rampant hyperbolic praise for ROTK will undoubtedly continue until Jacko accepts the best picture Oscar come Feb. Folks, I respect and admire these films for being visionary spectacles that demand to be viewed theatrically, but really, these films have no more depth or significance than any of the fanboy franchises that we've patronized over the course of our lives, and I'm sick as hell of people making that distinction. The LOTR films are not classic cinema and--contrary to popular belief--they did not reinvent the wheel. These films can be summed up with three magic words: EPIC EYE CANDY. Also, this might be considered heresy, but I feel strongly that Tolkien's source material feels archaic and hopelessly passe in this day and age. I'm happy that Jacko will never have to live check to check again, but I hope he doesn't abandon his splatter-gore roots for the high road. I dunno...maybe I'm not as enthusiastic about LOTR as the rest of America because the films just weren't predictable, repetitious, or homoerotic enough for my liking...

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 12:41 p.m. CST

    say it ain't so, Elaine!

    by djinnj

    Where did you see it? Is some theater selling 'em on the side? I thought every theater received enough for their seats.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 12:53 p.m. CST

    Look bean...

    by Pontsing Barset

    ... it's not a case of "stating one's opinion and shutting up". It's the ad-nauseam repetition that gets me spooled up - the 'only acknowledging the negative', over and over. You're obviously more patient than I am. I've apologized once already, but I'll say it again just for you: I'm sorry for coming off like a like a trolling jagoff. I tend to 'wear my heart on my sleeve', and my passions get me in trouble sometimes. At the risk of offending, I'll pose my honestly baffled question once more: What do the repetitive bashers get out of their visits to this forum? Do they get some sort of thrill from stirring up the fans? Why repeat yourself more than once if you're not trying to convert folks to your point of view? There's no give-and-take discussion involved with these guys; it's "I'm right and you people who like it are fools". Having said all this, philisophically, I agree that it's better to 'live and let live', my ire over this sort of pomposity just gets the better of me sometimes.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 1:01 p.m. CST

    ROTK is a visual masterpiece.

    by ParrisSun

    ROTK is clearly the best movie made in the last 20 years. If anyone misses this movie based on these reviews, then they are a fool. ****Peter Jackson is a master craftsman and deserves to be recognized in the same breath as Hitchcock, Ford, Spielberg, Kurasawa, Fellini, and Mitozoguchi. *****Don't let these homophobic Tolkien worshipping purist ruin the adventure for you. I'm talking to the general audience who may be looking to this site, for some odd reason, for movie going guidance. Don't listen to these bitteristas. They obviously have adgendas. Some are not doubt plants from the new Julia Robert's release. They are also ultra right, Pat Robertson republicans. I urge you, go see this movie and don't listen to their rhetoric.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 1:11 p.m. CST

    Pontsing....

    by MisterGrimloch

    by the same token (Tolkien? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!) why do you come here to repeatedly state "ad nauseum" the various reasons that you find the films to be spectacular? the question is valid, but the answer is no more relevant than mine is. you choose to come here, as do i. its really that simple. i think my concerns about ROTK are worthy of consideration, but i hardly expect, and certainly do not desire that i "change someone's mind". i wanted to like this film. believe that. and i will, by circumstance, be seeing it again, as there are several friends who will want to go. despite what you think, i would not be the type to stomp my feet and complain "I DON'T LIKE THAT YUCKY MOVIE!", just so i could avoid seeing it again. it had MANY MANY problems, but seeing it again, and even a third time (i saw TTT 4 times in theaters, being less "angered" with each viewing, but never convinced it was above average.) is not going to cause me stress. it will be something i can do, and then discuss it with yet more individuals, just as i have been doing here on AICN. obviously, just as on AICN, if any of my moviegoing partners dare question my opinion, i will "smash their teeth through the back of their skulls", as Skyway Moaters will confirm i am known for doing. good day.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 1:39 p.m. CST

    Forget about ROTK, what about SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMMO

    by Boneyard

    After watching the trailer for this, my buddies and I all turned to each other and said "Where the hell did this come from?!" In a world where you can find out about a movie years in advance to its release, how nice it was to be surprised by something again! If you love the Fleischer Superman cartoons, the Iron Giant or the Rocketeer, then go to www.skycaptain.com NOW!!

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 1:47 p.m. CST

    Two things that were really missing, and cheap fidelity

    by GypsyTRobot

    The dark clouds which darkened Pelennor Fields. Shafts of light breaking out when the Rohirrim came over the hill. I guess the rooster crowing would have come off as laughable, but uhge shafts of sunlight breaking through the heavy dirty clouds, that would have been beautiful. +++ Faramir and Eowyn. Could it have hurt PJ to cut a few seconds here and there from other scenes (even Faramir leaving on his suicide mission) so we could see their little love story? Really lame to leave that out. +++ BTW I have seen a play version of the Two Towers where actors spoke just about every line of dialogue from the book. It was in a tiny theater where the actors doubled or tripled up in various roles. The battle of Helm's Deep was shown by the actors moving action figures around a model of a castle. Treebeard's costume was laughable. The palantir was a glow-in-the-dark hamster ball. And for all its cheapness, it was wonderful. For people with imaginations, anyway. You can piss on the cheesy Rankin Bass cartoon all you want. The cartoon certainly wasn't more faithful than PJ's version overall, but a few of the cartoon scenes are pretty decent and are glaring omissions in PJRotK, like the Mouth of Sauron or even just showing the remaining Ringwraiths falling from the sky after the Ring is destroyed. Yes yes precious wait for the DVD:EE. which will probably disappoint as much as it pleases, given the previous two EE's.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 1:56 p.m. CST

    I saw ROTK and I'm sorry, I just don't get it...

    by Boris Grushenko

    I don't get what all the hoopla is about? Yes, the special effects are quite amazing, as are the other technical aspects (set design, costume, score, cinematography, etc.)... but this doesn't make it a good movie. The movie(s) just collapse under the weight of the one-two punch of over-the-top melodrama, and forced sentimentality. Besides that, the whole thing feels so repetitive. You've got battle after battle between people and orcs, and you've got Sam, Frodo, and Gollum trying to get rid of the ring. That's it. These two themes are repeated ad nauseum for 9 hours. Sam and Frodo have the same damn conversation over and over again. Then you've got endless shots of Frodo emoting, which basically means opening his eyes really wide and looking like he's constipated. And I don't get what Gandalf can and can't do. Seems like he can do some pretty amazing stuff when it suits the plot, and other times he is just an observer on the sidelines. Seems too random, like no rules apply. With the possible exception of Gollum, there is not one character who feels human and/or three-dimentional. The endings were a joke. I wanted to scream in agony after the third, drawn-out ending. And why did Frodo have to go in the end? I don't get it. And we've got to watch him embrace each hobbit for 60 seconds each. Meaningful looks. Tears. Fuck, I'm getting pissed off just thinking about it. It just never ever feels real. There is never any sense of peril. I just don't get it. I love movies. I see 80+ every year, and the love for this series just mystifies me. Best triolgy ever? What? Better than the Godfather? Are you kidding me? Even if part three sucked worse than it already does, it would still be miles ahead of LOTR. I'll take the Back to the Future trilogy ahead of LOTR. To me, LOTR is the quitessential case of the emporer's new clothes.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 2 p.m. CST

    Djinnj & Bean

    by Elaine

    Every trilogy-playing theatre should have handed out Sideshow collectibles to those in attendance? Well, maybe in the US, but certainly not here in Holland. Neither I in The Hague nor my friend in Amsterdam received anything. But we enjoyed the experience all the same. Oh yes, we dids! **** BEAN: I'd forgotten about Frodo's laughter at the beginning of "Fellowship", but you're right, that's another example. I've got (got! not "gotten"!) used to it now, but I remember it made me cringe the first few times I saw the film. **** Incidentally, you'll be interested to learn that when I watched "Fellowship" last Tuesday (after not having seen it for quite a while), the Bilbo freak-out scene that I criticised just a few weeks ago didn't bother me at all. I still think the scene could have been handled in a slightly more subtle manner, but it's not nearly as awful as I remembered it. Interesting, non? **** Frodo was originally conceived as a guy named Bingo? Dear God, no. I'm glad THAT got changed. And I'm glad Aragorn was changed from a wooden-footed hobbit into a tragic Dunadan, too. Just imagine the poor guy wobbling about on his wooden feet... no, that's just too awful. **** And just for the record, before everyone starts thinking I'm a RotK-basher, too - I posted a list of things I really, really like about the film in the Trilogy Tuesday talkback, in which I also said that in my opinion, this is the best of the three films. So don't let my criticism of the film in this talkback fool you into believing that I don't like it, for the opposite is true - I absolutely goddamn fucking love it, and will probably see it at least six more times before it stops playing at my local multiplex. (There. I've said it.)

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 2:08 p.m. CST

    hmm...all good arguments

    by chimp1

    For me to poop on 1. Too long, boring (You're an idiot, look up the word "subtext". Go watch sitcoms, Pornos , Vin Diesel movies...or Star Wars) 2. Gay (Go talk to a doctor who can help you, YOU are gay and if you can't learn to love yourself you can't love anything else) 3. Not enough like the book (It's PJs movie, make your own movie, I'm sure it will be great, let us all know when it's done) 4. Overated (Yes those New York Film Circle critics just love overblown, commercial spectacles like Mulholland Drive and Far from Heaven) Please bring me more inane arguments to poop on. BTW PJ appreciates you paying your $9.50 whether you hate it or not. When he makes the Hobbit you can hate that too. Go crawl in your hole now haters.

  • The phrase you're looking for is "ad nauseAm", not "ad nauseUm". "Nauseam" is the accusative of the Latin "nausea", which doesn't get a U in any declination. Sorry if I'm being pedantic here, but there are only so many times you can come across a mistake without feeling the need to correct it...

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Just leave me out of it Grim.

    by Skyway Moaters

    I still have all my teeth thank you very much, you cowardly wanking troglodyte. Shoot me an e-mail if you've got the balls to put your money where your motherfucking mouth is. I'll scrap anytime you say. *** And again: ROTK's achievments so greatly outweigh it's faults that said faults are rendered almost completely inconsequentional. IMO, any other take is just nihilistic bullshit.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 2:35 p.m. CST

    I feel your pain Boris Grushenko...You are not alone dude!

    by hstbbhem

    100% agree with what you said, "the movie just collapse under the weight of the one-two punch of over-the-top melodrama, and forced sentimentality." And yes, this film is indeed quite repetitive. And the battles (although massive and incredible) are not even enjoyable and because of the shacky cam We can't even see the mayhem.All because those films are rated pg13. BUT , apart from this,what I really hate the most are elitist guys like chimp1.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 2:40 p.m. CST

    well put UnChienAndalou... I'm glad to know I'm not the only one

    by Boris Grushenko

    Predictable. Repetitive. Homoerotic. Exactly UnChienAndalou... The Homoerotic comment isn't even a slam. I'm sorry, it's just a fact. I'm not the kind of person who notices or even cares about that kind of thing (feels so junior highish), but it just kept rearing its head time and time again throughout the movie. In the end, when Sam got married, it rang false for some reason, like when Michael Jackson married Lisa Marie Presley. There is just no depth to these movies, unless someone staring off in the distance and saying something like "there is growing evil in the east" or "the time for men to fulfill their destiny is close at hand", said in an ultra serious voice to no one in particular, even though people are standing around... if this is what passes for depth, then these are the movies for you, I guess. I think Roger Ebert summed up the movies best (and he seems to be an admirer of the overall product, if not the individual parts): that the movies are perfect for "adolescents of all ages". Truer words never were spoken. Harry, god bless him, will forever be an adolescent. To me, and this is not a slam, just the plain and simple truth, the movies are just flat out boring. I wish you LOTR lovers could just reconize that, without dismissing us as haters, or soulless, or pot-stirerers, or whatever. Best four movies of the year so far: Mystic River, Master and Commander, Lost in Translation, and American Splendor. Followed by such notable movies as Thirteen, Blue Car, Nowhere in Africa, Whale Rider, School of Rock, Matchstick Men, Shattered Glass, Open Range, The Station Agent, and yes, the flawed Last Samurai.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 3:02 p.m. CST

    ah, that's too bad Elaine

    by djinnj

    I s'pose they only made 'em for the US crowd then. Poop.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 3:03 p.m. CST

    lol, who said aicn was ahead of the game?

    by perryfarrell

    but shit it's the only movie site i go to, i can't complain. and in defense of movie piracy... it's free. yeah, that's my only defense. sorry kids, no sympathy here. cheers!

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 3:10 p.m. CST

    OK, finally seen it

    by Eternal

    I think ROTK is a great movie, but it's far from perfect... 1) Length -- The first thing that struck me was how much time was passing while very little happened. There are huge stretches when absolutely nothing takes place. Nothing of importance that is. Just very slow scenes that seem to drag on forever. These could have been trimmed and you wouldn't miss a thing. I managed to endure them knowing that the movie would improve. It did. A few people however, walked out around the 1 hour mark. ROTK was over 3 hours but when I left the theater it felt like more. The ending(s) definitely went on too long. They were nicely done though... 2) Witch King/Eowyn -- Much better than I expected. I was fearing the worst after reading these talkbacks but it actually wasn't that bad. That being said, it is still inferior to the book. The dialog is very ordinary and fails to match Tolkien's original. I don't mind that "foul Dwimmerlaik" is gone - some people would really scratch their heads hearing that one, but most of the other dialog should have been used. The WK's death was kinda weak too. I expected better. 3) Denethor -- what a thoroughly loathsome character. He had no redeeming qualities at all. Just a total loon who deserved his fate. The only problem is that we don't know enough about him or why he's going crazy. Yeah, Boromir is dead and Faramir is alive, which seems to be knawing at him but I can't accept that as a reason to abandon the city to its fate. There's also the small matter of burning Faramir alive. What, didn't he check? The Palantir would have explained all these failings but Jackson chose to omit that. Big mistake. 4) No mouth of Sauron -- This hurt the finale quite a bit. I'm sure that something could have been cut to make room. It's a mad dash from Minas Tirith to the Black Gate and this slimy dude would've been very welcome instead of more faceless Orcs pouring out. Oh well, the DVD should rectify that. 5) Gandalf/Witch King -- I think everything has been said about this classic scene so I won't dwell on it, other than to say that Jackson's alternative was decent. After Grond batters down the gate armored trolls charge in and wreak havoc. It has exciting action but still pales next to the Witch King. I miss the dialog above all, and a solitary Gandalf holding his position while the Men of Gondor flee in terror... Anyway, I'll leave it at that for now. I'm kinda drained after seeing the movie. Whether that's good or bad I'm undecided. Oh yeah, Shelob was by far the best CGI in the movie. Totally convincing. In fact some of the finest FX work I've ever seen. Gollum we already know looks good, but I was unprepared for how awesome Shelob would be...

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 3:12 p.m. CST

    Enough w/ the homoerotic Hobbits...

    by ParrisSun

    Those who continue to whine about homoerotic stares and gestures need to come out of the closet. Boris Grushenko: if you felt uneasy about Frodo and Sam's relationship then you probably need to talk to your father. Ask him why he kept his hand on your groin when you were a child. ****hstbbhem: The fact that you found the two hobbits titilating only speaks volumes about your own gayness. Accept this movie and accept your own homoerotic feelings. ****You people obviously never had a friend or a companion who has gone through rough times with you. When Frodo stares at Sam, he is not thinking about sex. He is thinking the journey and how much he appreciates a true friend. He also understands why he made the journey. I compare the relationship of Frodo and Sam to the one of David and Jonathan in the Bible. I wonder how many of you haters would call King David gay.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 3:27 p.m. CST

    Regarding hobbits

    by Yo Yo Man

    Johnny Suede and others: all the people I've met who were bothered by the potential gayness in Frodo's relationship with Sam are, no disrespect intended, emotional retards. First of all, they're not gay. Obviously. There's no sexuality in Lord of the Rings, beyond the occasional snog between Aragorn and Arwen (and that wasn't even described in the book). In a way it's the most child-like aspect of the novel, with Tolkien writing as if he's an innocent little boy who's not interested in girls, and thinks that it's all as simple as falling in love with someone, marrying them, and living happily ever after. But it's also an extremely mature way of writing, because his characters are comfortable enough with each other to be poetic and emotionally vulnerable. That takes skill and courage to write. If you don't have a friend as close as Sam is to Frodo, that's a shame. I do have a friend like that, who'd walk through the inner circles of hell with me, and I'd do the same for him. We're not gay, we're just not afraid to acknowledge a really close friendship. Being that emotionally open isn't a weakness or a sign of homosexuality, it's a sign of courage, which is one thing you'll find Tolkien - and Jackson - spend a lot of time celebrating. If this bothers you to the point where you can't watch a movie, I would suggest finding some gay friends (newsflash: they're actually normal human beings just like you!!!), and sharing some secrets with the best friend you DO have, and then you'll see the difference between sex and friendship. Or you could just grow up!!!

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 3:36 p.m. CST

    homoeroticism... sorry, it's there, and I could care less, excep

    by Boris Grushenko

    I can't remember you name... buy saying I have unresolved or latent homosexual issues is the obvious and un-original response. Whatever. Look, I couldn't care less if they are gay or not. It doesn't improve or detract from the movie. They are what they are. I just think it is fairly obvious and straigtforward, that's all. But trying to deny the kettle is red when it is black just smacks of willful ignorance. It's okay people... these Hobbits swing from both sides of the plate, it isn't that big of a deal. Just accept it and move on. Okay, sorry, low blow. But seriously, if this was a movie you all hated, you'd be pointing out the same thing. Instead you love it, and will defend it to the bitter end... even though, deep within your heart of hearts, you wished Peter Jackson had pulled back just a little on all of the Hobbit love. Many have said that Star Trek or Top Gun has homoerotic undertones... well if that is true, then LOTR is outright gay porn.

  • And why are you doing the exact same thing you accused me of? The argument was between me and cutest, so why are YOU jumping into that? Practice what you preach, bro. BTW, I'll only say this once, DON'T tell me what I can write on talkback, or who I can reply to. I'll post what I want. This is TALK BACK... Well, I'm doing that. As does everyone else. Some messages might not be to your liking but that's not my problem. Grow a thicker skin.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 3:48 p.m. CST

    hmm, that subject should have been

    by Eternal

    Hey raw_bean, you clearly weren't paying attention. If you had been you would see that I DID in fact apologize to cutestofborg...

  • I realise this might not be quite the right time to bring it up (not while we still have "The Return of the King" to discuss, what with each new viewing yielding new impressions to share with others, etc.), but someone in the PJ interview talkback just suggested that "The Silmarillion" might make a worthier screen adaptation than "The Hobbit", and that those who really like "The Lord of the Rings" would probably pay to see the myths (all right, I'll call 'em that) that form the backbone of Tolkien's universe on the silver screen, as well. What do you make of that? Could you see "The Silmarillion" (or parts of it) work as a film? Which stories would you adapt if you had your pick? Who would you cast as the Valar, Maiar, Elves and Men of Numenor? Again, I'm perfectly aware that now is not the right time to discuss all this, but it might be a good subject for a later tailend talkback, or even a Club Angband debate. Just a suggestion...

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 3:52 p.m. CST

    Elaine...

    by Yo Yo Man

    Did you at least get pictures of Gollum and Gandalf and Aragorn, etc, on the side of the popcorn boxes? I'm working constantly these days (why don't people do their Christmas shopping in September like my mum??? Or on Christmas Eve like me???) otherwise I'd be at the cinema, completing my collection of 3-D bookmarks and watching the King Return again and again. I don't really need six bookmarks, but now I have half the set, so I've got to get the rest. I'm like that. Beany: after some thought, I don't think Scotland claims Manchester in its honorary territory after all. I think I've just met a lot of Mancunians. So it looks like nobody wants them. But we might be prepared to do battle over Newcastle and Liverpool. I'm not sure why, historically - it might be a football thing.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 3:56 p.m. CST

    mixed feelings

    by Methestel

    funny how PJ managed to nail so many of the greatest moments in the Fellowship and Two Towers, but (I shudder to say it) bungled some of the best parts of Return of the King? Any complaint I make, I must say, is ultimately baseless, really, given the overall majesty of this cast and crew's accomplishment, but I still have my reservations. I don't think we will ever see a more passionate adaptaion from page to screen and I loved the third movie... but still... What ever happened to the pall over Minas Tirith - the utter darkness spewed from Mount Doom - the perpetual night only broken in that amazing standoff between the witch king and Gandalf just before the dawn, where Rohan comes at last and Aragorn returns revealed as the King, in the black ships of the corsairs - unfurling his banner at the last instant? I was shocked that PJ didn't have that scene where the witch king rides though the gates - it would have gone a long way to demonstrating his sence of invulnerability... What became of the Mouth of Sauron? That last stab of utter hopelessness and mockery of our heroes in the book is what makes the final triumph in the end so amazing! What's with this searchlight effect for the Eye of Sauron? God! What the fuck!? And why isn't Denethor's madness explained? It would have been so simple to show how Denethor (like Pippin) was trapped by the mind of Sauron through the Palantir and held under the Eye for days - driving him mad... Without an explanation, he comes off as silly and kind of gross, really. Shelob rocked (though Elijah Wood seems to dwell on being stabbed), the summons to war rocked (the green beacon from Minas Morgul), but there are supposed to be millions of orcs in Mordor - not ten thousand! You know what? Fuck it! It's an incredible movie and a truly stunning effort for everyone involved - watching even a minute of any of the 'making of' documentaries is proof enough that these people went far beyond the call of duty and really cared about what they were doing, but in the end, even with what I think is the best adapation ever, it simply goes to show that some things can never be translated. The fact that the movies are, despite their failings, so good, just proves how much a work of art the actual book truly is.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 4:05 p.m. CST

    Elaine re: Silmarillion

    by Methestel

    Yeah, I've often thought about how that one would look on screen, but if most people thought the Lord of the Rings was unfilmable, can you imagine the challenge of the Silmarillion? - battles consisting of millions, heroes so over-the-top that they would make Superman look like the comic book guy on the Simpsons (think Fingolfin) - how do you faithfully portray Morgoth? An entity that would eat Sauron at full strength for breakfast. Fat chance. I'd be happy to see someone try it, but I think the end result would be tragi-comic.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 4:17 p.m. CST

    re: gay hobbits

    by Methestel

    am I the only one here? oh yeah, hobbits... will you silly bastards relax? no, they're not gay - not that there's anything wrong with that... but they aren't - I don't need to say much to explain what's going on between Frodo and Sam (and between everyone else) - just pick up any book on what it was like in the trenches in World War I and you'll understand. You're stuck in an utter wasteland - hell on earth - and the only living thing you have to depend on and cling to is this guy next to you in the trench - it makes for some pretty strong bonding. Check, especially, the relationships that existed between British officers and their chief aides (that's Sam and Frodo) and I'm certain that, like the dead marshes, Tolkein got that from his time on the front.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 4:22 p.m. CST

    Hobbit - The Motion Picture

    by Yo Yo Man

    I'd rather see The Hobbit adapted next rather than The Silmarillion. Two reasons, one personal, one practical. The personal one: I tried to read The Silmarillion on two occasions and failed. I just couldn't get into it. It's probably the only book I own but have never read. Practical: The Hobbit is the most familiar, commercial and easily adapted, therefore it would make more money than The Silmarillion. Then hopefully New Line or whoever would use the enormous box office booty to fund The Silmarillion, plus by that point the effects would be cheaper and it could be made for the same amount of money as your average epic "event" movie. As for The Hobbit casting... I have absolutely no idea. I'd probably just go through every English stage actor, find the ones with the most booming voices and dwarf-like bloody-minded screen personalities, and cast the fuckers. Brian Cox should be in there, I think. Brian Blessed, maybe Billy Connolly? Although... those make-up problems that John Rhys Davies had, were they specific to him, or is that the make-up? Because four days off for every day dressed as a dwarf may create a bit of a scheduling problem for a movie about thirteen dwarfs.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 4:23 p.m. CST

    Yo Yo Man & Methestel

    by Elaine

    YO YO MAN: Nope, I got nothing. Nada. Niets. Even the popcorn boxes were their usual useless dull-as-dishwater (or is it "ditch water"?) selves. At first, I didn't mind the lack of gifts too much as I hugely enjoyed the trilogy-watching experience itself (despite the fact that some guy sitting behind me kept making stupid Elvis jokes every time the word "Elvish" came up), but now that I hear you and Djinnj discussing your goodies, I'm beginning to feel a tad envious. It's not fair. We wants our own precious goodies! **** As for real life interfering with more much-needed movie-watching, I share your pain. I was supposed to have seen the film three times by now, but I had to cancel yesterday's matinee screening because of a dental emergency. I can now tell you from my own personal experience that there's nothing quite so painful as undergoing a root canal treatment when you should be watching a brilliant film. The horror! The horror! **** METHESTEL: I can't quite see "The Silmarillion" being adapted to the screen, either, but I'd love to see a discussion about it all the same. In fact, I'm going to start re-reading "The Silmarillion" tonight in order to see what stories I'd pick if I were to give the project any serious thought...

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 4:32 p.m. CST

    yeah, you could film The Hobbit...

    by Methestel

    ...but it would suck goat's nuts. Honestly, it was a test-edition mess around fest for Tolkien, something he adapted from stories he told his little kiddies - compared to the epic that is the Lord of the Rings, even the best of efforts would seem pretty silly. (funny Gollum?) (itty-bitty elves?) The Hobbit simply doesn't fit - it's a story Hobbits would tell their Hobbit-kids, not the real thing. The Silmarillion, on the other hand is, I dare say, unfilmable (for one thing, it would take about 12 movies to get it done) and so beyond the suspension of disbelief on film that it would be a travesty to watch.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 4:37 p.m. CST

    god, I go on don't I?

    by Methestel

    Just wanted to say something about the Silmarillion to those who haven't read it yet... Tolkein looked around and found no pre-historic myth for England, so he wrote the Lord of the Rings. The Silmarillion is the pre-historic myth for the characters in the Lord of the Rings - it's brilliant, plain and simple.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 4:41 p.m. CST

    Still in shock.

    by Atomic_Lobster

    That wasn't just a hell of a good film. That was a mythic experience. I have *never* seen a cinema audience affected to this degree by any film (although admittedly I wasn't there at the beginning, when people allegedly ran away from the trains and ducked the gunfire). It's the power of myth that Tolkein wanted to express, without any of the things that dulled my enjoyment of the books, distilled into an epic experience that kept a packed auditorium spellbound for every minute, 12 year olds to 80 year olds. Open mouthed, misty eyed, cheering the charge of Rohan's cavalry... I'm going to see it again, but my brain wasn't evolved for this - I'm going to have to wait a few days for my amygdala to recover and the sensory overload to die down. I think I just saw a milestone in the history of cinema.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 4:49 p.m. CST

    BEST CINEMA EXPERIENCE EVER

    by DECKERS

    I felt truly honoured to behold the triumph which is ROTK. Jackson should be canonised for this. As for comparison with the souless Paystation games of SW Ep 1&2? Compare Britney's contribution to music and Beetovens.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 4:59 p.m. CST

    It is comments like that by Atomic Lobster that blow my mind!?!?

    by Boris Grushenko

    A milestone in cinema? It might be a milestone in special effects, but it is also a milestone in over-the-top melodrama and forced-down-your-throat false sentimentality. There just isn't that much there, people. The whole LOTR triology is just...(grasping for the right word)... silly.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 5:12 p.m. CST

    Methestel

    by Elaine

    Personally, I can't see "The Hobbit" making a good film, either. Admittedly, it's been years since I read the book, and to make matters worse I read a pretty bad translation of it, but I remember finding it very childish - quite a letdown after "The Lord of the Rings". So yeah, you're probably right when you say it would look silly on screen, especially compared to what people have now come to expect a film about Middle-earth to look like. Which is why I can't see "The Hobbit" becoming the kind of commercial hit "The Lord of the Rings" has been. True, it might prove popular with children (and yes, they're a financial force to be reckoned with these days!), but I can't see adults wanting to watch "The Hobbit" more than once. Whereas I personally know a few people who were willing to shell out nine euros to see "The Two Towers" in the cinema twenty times, and who probably would have seen it a few more times if it had been on release a bit longer... **** "The Silmarillion" might not be quite as famous as "The Hobbit", but most of the stories in it would appeal more to adult movie-goers than "The Hobbit", I think. The question is, which stories would you pick? For it's perfectly obvious that one couldn't film the whole thing. The Second-Age stories about Sauron might be a good tie-in with "The Lord of the Rings", but how would you go about them? And are there any other stories (First or Second Age) that would be doable, and that could, with a bit of tweaking, be made to serve as a stand-alone film? Beren and Luthien? The fall of Gondolin? The Akallabeth? There's so much to choose from. And gosh, I really have to re-read the whole thing. It's been too long.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 5:17 p.m. CST

    Hobbit/Goat's Testicle Interface

    by Yo Yo Man

    It depends how you adapt it, I suppose. I haven't read The Hobbit for years but I remember it being like a dark fairy tale, tonally very different from Lord of the Rings... but there's no reason it wouldn't work on screen if you adapted it properly. As for The Silmarillion... I might actually attempt it again because of this discussion. I remember trying to read it before, and thinking it was like the early parts of the Bible but without the familiarity I had from years of frickin' Sunday School. I'll try again, I promise. Now I want to know what all the fuss is about! Oh, and Libya's just promised to scrap all its Weapons of Mass Distruction. Three cheers for Libya!

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 5:24 p.m. CST

    Nopers Boris...

    by Skyway Moaters

    ...I'm afraid your what's silly around here, not FOTR. Just out of curiosity what is YOUR favorite film?

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 5:29 p.m. CST

    Erm, LOTR that should have been...

    by Skyway Moaters

    <NT>

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 5:46 p.m. CST

    I'd go and see The Hobbit

    by Yo Yo Man

    If I were to adapt it (you know, just in case they ask me) I'd just try and hit the tone of Indiana Jones or Star Wars or, dare I mention it, Willow. A fun, slightly dark fantasy adventure which you can fall in love with as a child but still find cool stuff about it years later. I've ditched Willow as an example by this point. There isn't the same sense of doom as LOTR because the end of the world isn't at stake... but it's really about a hobbit being taken on a wild ride by a bunch of scraggly dwarfs. So you've got heroes and villains, you've got action scenes, you've got a journey, and there'd be a sort of added weight to anything involving the Ring because... well, we all know what happens because of that. It may not be the best thing Tolkien's ever written, but I think it would make a pretty good adventure movie if it was done right. And then, once the Harry Potter/junior LOTR crowd have collected all the dwarf figurines (dammit, there were always so many Filis in the shop and you couldn't find a Kili for love nor money), and stuffed themselves full of Shire Burgers and Dragon Fries at McDonalds, there'd be enough money to make The Silmarillion. That said, I haven't actually read The Silmarillion. I'm assuming it would require the odd special effect, but it might be three people sitting in a room for all I know. I'll start reading it again tonight. I've got plenty of bookmarks now, I might as well read something!

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 5:50 p.m. CST

    What? No sharky?!?

    by Dokkalvar

    No Sharky?? No pillage of the shire?! Why spend all that time and effort in doing the books justice if you're just going to excise one of the most interesting choices Tolkien made? Now I have to wait another year for the special edition dvd to come out to see you(Jackson) get it right. Way to pussy out.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 6:05 p.m. CST

    Flashbacks

    by cockknocker

    Another annoyance in ROTK is the numerous flashbacks. I am so fucking sick of filmakers treating the audience like 2 year old ADD patients. Human beings aren't goldfish, we remember shit. LOTR being a fairly complex tale why the hell did they need flashbacks, anyone who would need them would be cluching their aching skull with both hands already. Fucking flashbacks!

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 6:06 p.m. CST

    Dokkalvar...

    by Yo Yo Man

    ...Welcome to earth, and I'm sorry to have to break it to you, but you'll be a long time waiting to see the Shire pillaged. PJ never filmed it, never intended to. We (earth) have known this from some time. Personally I think it's a no-brainer and one of many choices the LOTR screenwriters got dead right. I don't want to see an extended ending where the hobbits free Hobbiton from tyranny. It works on the page, but on the cinema it would be unwatchable for all but the most ardent Tolkien fan. Besides, with the direction the film-makers took the themes, characters and story, it's unnecessary. In place we've got a scene where Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin return from saving the world, and having thousands of big tall folks bowing down to THEM, and they sit in their old pub and have a quiet drink. That's so much more cinematic - and heartbreaking - than the Scouring of the Shire would have been. To have Hobbiton untouched by war, indeed unaware of it, is somehow more affecting. It becomes on one hand a safe haven, a home unspoiled by the outside world, and on the other hand, a place where nobody can ever understand the sacrifice made by a few locals they'd see on the street occasionally. There's a lot more depth to that than there was in the novel, I think. Summed up in one brilliant shot with the four diminutive dudes sitting at their table while the other hobbits bustle by around them. Peter Jackson is a genius.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 6:17 p.m. CST

    Still stand by my resolve

    by Dokkalvar

    Sorry, but I don't agree. I honestly think the reason it was torn from the plot was that it's not acceptable to the majority and won't make lots and lots of money in return. People will moan and cry "This can't be.." and add all there little ideas for how it should have ended.. oh wait. But there is only one true ending folks. Frankly the idea that there is no safe place to return home to is much more interesting. Maybe Jackson made the best of it but frankly it still seems like a cop out. It does seem like there is a varient of the novel ending that was shot, from the footage at the mirror in Fellowship. That and Ian McKellen said.. aww nevermind.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 6:41 p.m. CST

    Lord of the groth!!!

    by ButtonMan

    You suck you fatass!!Stupid movie!! Sucks big man!!!!Fuck offff Gamimene xontre kai esy kai o peter jackson!!Grothe!!

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 6:47 p.m. CST

    Amen, Yo Yo Man

    by Elaine

    I'm completely with you on the pub scene. As short and simple as it looks, it is the perfect coda to the adventure story - quiet, touching and very evocative. Quite honestly, I can't see how fifteen minutes of Shire-scouring (which most of the audience would have hated - the destruction of the Ring is all that matters to most non-Tolkien fanatics!) could have been anything near as powerful as that one short scene. The four hobbits' unvoiced realisation of how different (and relatively meaningless) life in the Shire is from the life they've got used to, the other hobbits' total ignorance of what the four have been through on their behalf as well as that of the rest of the world... it's all there, brilliantly captured in a nearly silent one-minute scene that makes Aragorn's "my friends, you bow to no one" all the more poignant. I don't appreciate all the changes Jackson, Walsh and Boyens have made to the story, but I certainly applaud their decision to replace the scouring by that scene. **** DOKKALVAR: Yo Yo Man is right - the scouring was never filmed. Peter Jackson has said so on many occasions. The few you shots you saw in Galadriel's mirror were all that was ever shot of that part of the book, which, as Yo Yo Man has admirably explained, was highly uncinematic. Not quite unfilmable perhaps, but definitely uncinematic.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 7:19 p.m. CST

    I'd have to vote for Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin

    by djinnj

    and also Luthien and Beren. That would give us the two unions of elves and Men that led to the royal house of Numenor. But, I don't think it can be done. Not only because it's so complicated, but because it is almost unrelievedly depressing! OK, not depressing in a bad way, but sad and full of downfalls and dooms and curses being fulfilled. Of course, Feanor would be a fantastic tragic hero.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 7:29 p.m. CST

    People WALKING out of the movie?

    by exPFCWintergreen

    On all three talkbacks after the release of each LOTR film, people go on and on about how audience members at their screening got up in the middle of the show and left. That is bullshit. Mabye for FOTR, but no one would go see ROTK and leave in the middle of the show. At the showing today, a couple guys left 5 minutes in and came back later, reeking of pipe weed and other than that, washroom breaks - certainly no one just leaving. I saw the movie for the first time today (1st chance I've had) and it was incredible - needed to be about an hour longer - the only part of me that was tired at the end of the film was my ass. 200 minutes flew by.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 7:38 p.m. CST

    FAAAAAAAAAAAAAANTASTIC!!!! This time I

    by the swede

    And thank you Ian Mckellen: You nailed Gandalf this time! You made the movie. When he takes command of the defense of Minas Thirith. And Bernard Hill: What a masterful portret of Theoden and his call to arms! And Miranda Otto! Say no more! And Sean Astins Sam! And Andy Serkis Gollum! And Eliah Wood! But most of all, of course, Peter Jackson! I can

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 8:05 p.m. CST

    Elaine, Raw Bean, Sabster, et al!

    by djinnj

    I've posted 2 pics of the Shelob on my site. Not the greatest, but you'll get the idea. The board she is standing on is 2'x2'. :P

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 8:38 p.m. CST

    Help here Please!!

    by freethinker

    Ok, this is a little off topic, but I can't figure it out. In Fellowship, Gandalf always has his hat and staff from the beginning. Saruman takes G's staff and throws him up on top of Orthanc without it and his hat. Then the eagle shows up and spirits G away. Later, he has his hat again and his staff. How the hell did he get them back? I can't remember if it was explained in the book or not, or some line in the film, but I can't figure it. Anyone know, can help out post here please...

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 8:41 p.m. CST

    I think Jackson made a mistake when filming.

    by relayer

    I think he shot this film at too high of a speed. He must have accidentally ran the camera at 36 frames per second instead of 24 because so much of the film is in slooooow motion. In the earlier films I thought it was just the elf scenes that were slow, but in this film there are tons of slowed down scenes. Just think of the scene at the end when Frodo and the others are reunited - slooooow. Many of the shots during the battles - sloooooow. All the elf scenes - slooooow. And I don't mean that the scenes are long, I mean that everyone is moving too slooooooowwww. If it had been shot at the correct spped, the film probably would have come in at about 2.5 hours.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 8:44 p.m. CST

    freethinker,

    by djinnj

    No explanation in the book, but then it's never explicit how Gandalf is imprisoned. In the film, it doesn't explain about the hat or Glamdring, but the staff is slightly different. So p'raps it's his second best staff and hat? Still no explanation for Glamdring, though....

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 10:05 p.m. CST

    Eagle Appreciation

    by daughter of time

    Still waiting for things to get a bit more civilized around here before I jump in, but yes, I did notice the gentleness of the Eagles, which was especially lovely on top of their fierceness in battle and generally convincing "eagleness." And wow! Those beacons.... That alone is worth the price of admission. By the way, where does Eowyn ever say, "I am a woman!"? Some hallucinating must be going on. She merely announces that she is not a man - and thrusts. And I was completely fine with the hobbit cuddlefest in the Houses of Healing, laughter included - it made such a nice link to happier times in Rivendell. And has no one yet truly gone on about how well Elijah Wood handles Frodo's transformation at the Crack of Doom? Dark angel, indeed! You can see his eyes change uncannily, just as Ian McKellan and others were praising a year ago.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 10:41 p.m. CST

    I did, DoT! I did!

    by elanor

    All praise to Elijah! The most perfect Frodo I could ever have imagined!***And ditto on the eagles, which is why it is my favorite moment.***Hello Swede! I am so glad to read your great praise! I'm with ya.***would love to post more but gotta go. Meeting a friend who just saw it (without me, harrrumph) and we're gonna go get loaded and get weepy over it.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 10:50 p.m. CST

    Movie-lovers/promoters: You win. We have failed. Enjoy.

    by Stirling Mel

    You know what? Having looked at this film cycle in all its glory, I must, finally, say: You win. We have failed to be (as James Baldwin describes the power of love for something or seomone) subversive and transformative. Enjoy. You have gotten EXACTLY what you deserve. Western hegemonic culture / civilization has, I mean. I mean, the entirety of the processes that turn this film cycle into the...thing, the...creature it is right now is EXACTLY what you deserve, and indeed is reflective of who you are. You are capability and possibility ABANDONED. You ARE the Dream Deferred. Enjoy. Your civilization is based upon layers and layers of mist and fog, and you are so afraid, and so hateful, and so in love, and in lust, and so arrogant, and so grasping, and so ignorant, and such geniuses that you think that it will last forever. How...true to yourself, to what you've become, that is. How true to that fear, hatefulness, love, lust, ignorance and arrogance this so-called adaptation is. I WILL absolutley purchase ROTK EE, to sit alongside FOTR EE and TTT EE. Never to watch of course. I'm abandoning my idea of a democratic filmmaking process, for this work; I no longer want a competing vision of LOTR; in understanding everything that manifest to produce and propagate these "films," let it be known that this IS the ultimate cinematic expression of your civilization, and it must be saved...Jackson's...content, it must be studied. I'm building a small "time-capsule" for this...thing, this content (can't call it "art," or even "work."), such that the anthropologists of the future (if we can escape this civilization's death throes without a nuclear-winter petulence from the newest-latest, and most child-like in its hateful ignorance, empire) can truly understand, through an analysis solely of the Jackson film cycle, what exactly was VALUED in this Pax Americana, with Planitarchis at the helm, and the rest of us calmly riding the express to a specific Circle of hell... While they'll likely be able to piece together the hopelessness of our self-delusion regarding our governmental systems, and the resultant inevitable implosion, futurists need to know that there was no hope to be sought in our ART either. Jackson's content, created in the fullness of the denouement of the Great Experiment, will elucidate this. No hope. Hope was the one thing that didn't escape Pandora's Box, right? Out of the Box flew all the Evils of the world, and in it only Hope remains... But doesn't that make Hope an Evil? Sitting around hoping, and not doing that can be evil. Well, I had HOPED for Tolkien-on-film, and that was my, our, failing. The utter contemptibility of that strategem now laid bare. Yet, like Whitman, I am large, WE are large, and contain multitudes... I go on not in hope, but in action to save (from your civilization's mass-art-whoring mores and folkways) the work of another. Let it be not hoped for; let it be done. For now, with real tears, we must say goodbye to the chance to see Tolkien on film. We're sorry, J.R.R. Tolkien, for what its worth. We unquestionably failed you. But we have grown; and we have learned. Ragnarok will come, but we will engage the role set forth for us, which is to move to the midst of the struggle... I say it again, with real pain: J.R.R. Tolkien, we failed you utterly. Yet we are kodomo gunjin, sempai...good soldiers. And the war...? It goes on, though it is redefined with each step we take, as are we. Until it both falls out from under you and crushes you from above....enjoy.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 11:43 p.m. CST

    Perhaps the Director's Cut Will Be More Cohesive

    by Starbuck1975

    I dont like how they dismissed Saruman completely in ROTK, and I sorely missed the scouring of the Shire. Jackson extended the Shelob scene too far, and fast forwarded through some fairly critical scenes as Sam and Frodo traveled through Mordor in the garb of Orks. Where was the Palantir in Minis Tirith, which caused Denethor's madness. Where was Wormtongue finally turning on Saruman and killing him. The confrontation between the witch king and Gandalf once the gates were breached at Minas Tirith. Small details perhaps, but Tolkien's writing still triumphs over Jackson's changes.

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 12:16 a.m. CST

    About this "gay hobbit" thing

    by Catbarf the 5th

    Fact: JRR Tolkien was a soldier in WW1 for a time, along with most other young Brit males of his generation. All but one of his best friends was stone cold dead by the time it was over, and he was only 25 at most. That said, it

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 1:32 a.m. CST

    Good for you, Catbarf

    by daughter of time

    They won't listen, but you made all the right points. Thank you. I just got my copy of "Tolkien and the Great War," which I'm about to get a start on.

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 1:45 a.m. CST

    Mel come on you literary genius

    by Maceox

    Wow references to both baldwin and whitman you are smart. Lord of the rings was a great set of movies and all your references to americas great writers will not change that. Instead of enjoying film you seemed pleased to blow your intellectual self importance through these talk backs, who are you kidding. Soory Tolkien, you Mel have the most to apoligize for, sticking your pseudo-intellectual charm on something that came out great. I contain multitudes indeed. Well when I saw the film I was a "Swinger of Birches" and I knew why " it all depends on a red wheel barrow" because I enjoy literature and film and am not so myoptic that I have to interprupt one artist's vision as substandard because it did not fit my paradigm of the story. Grow up emotionally and intellectually before you post another thread.

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 3:02 a.m. CST

    Good thing they this trilogy at once

    by ScreamingPenis

    Peter Jackson, more or less, took one go at this -- shooting almost everything at once. Yes, there were pick up shots and massive post production, but the gamble paid off. Rather than having a weak film in the trilogy, like Godfather 3, we have three films of consistent exceptional quality. The gauntlet has been thrown down. And someone will try to beat this. Whether its the Narnia chronicles, the Black Cauldron series, or some other fantastical epic -- somewhere in a dimly lit Hollywood back room, a studio exec sits scheming how to best LOTR. Good friggin luck!

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 3:09 a.m. CST

    hobbits = sodomites

    by hstbbhem

    don't give me that crap about 'Tolkien was a soldier in ww1 for a time..etc All but one of his best friends was stone cold dead..etc' THIS IS NOT "PURE LOVE" between comrades. What we see in the rotk is Frodo making the typical 'oh please, cream my hole dear sam' that we've seen in fotr and ttt. I have male friends too. Friends which I concider to be just as important as my own brothers. And believe me, We don't look at each others like the Hobbits do. E.Wood looks naturaly gay anyway. I don't care if anyone of you cock cravers call me a homophobic,the fact is Frodo (at least, Peter Jackson's version of Frodo) is a sodomite. And I don't like this shit you know why? cause when I go see a film like LOTR I want to escape from reality. I don't want anything that reminds me how fucked up my world is. saying frodo is not gay is like saying Michael Jackson is not a pedophile.

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 3:47 a.m. CST

    hahhaah yea that gay shit was funny as hell

    by digdig

    especially when frodo woke up and they all started jumping around in his bed like drunk playmates at a hugh heffner slumber party. but anyway this movie... i don't comprehend how people can say this movie is one of the best ever. then again i don't understand the point of awards shows or people's need to have top 10 lists for everything. As always you can have your opinion, but are you seriously looking at a movie with this many pacing and editing problems and an ending that's longer than most major surgeries and saying it's one of the best ever cause you mean it? I'd have to think maybe you just hear other people saying it and feel like parroting them. And while i'm not real famniliar with the books I'd like to know what happened to the major villain in the first two movies since i spent 10 fucking hours watch him presented as a threat. Am I wrong in assuming that the "bitch king" is the Lord of the rings version of darth maul? for such a mean looking and supposedly unkillable bad ass he sure did get his ass kicked pretty quick, and apparently by Erin Brokovich too. I can't wait for the extended version where I am woman hear me roar plays in the background. I guess it's all worth it tho cause we got to see Sam's fat ass kids running around after one of about 19 fades to black. I've enjoyed this series, and TTT is a great movie no matter what, but this was a shitty ending to the trilogy for things that have absolutely nothing to do with other movies. It just has too many flaws.

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 5:58 a.m. CST

    Opinions that matter.

    by xfloydx

    164 reviews. 9.2/10 average. Great reviews. Too much praise. I almost feel sorry for all the nobody

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 7:35 a.m. CST

    Least Favourite *spoilers*

    by TheDrunkenJedi

    Lets start by saying that this is my least favourite on initial viewing (Fellowship being the best - a film I truly love). Am I the only one who had a problem with the 'Dead'? When they turn up at Minas Tirith, I felt I was watching a cross between The Frighteners and the Gungan battle from Phantom Menace!! Coupled with Legolas' stupid 'surf down an elephants trunk thing' it totally shook me out of the story, destroying all the gritty realism and detracting from the achievement of the Rohirrim. However, I did utterly love the first hour - Pippin's song intercut with Faramiris ride to Osgiliath was perfect, as was Gollum sowing seeds of dissent between Frdo and Sam. The lighting of the watchtowers was also an incredible moment. Did anyone else fond the battle with the war-elephant thingys VERY similar to the Hoth battle in ESB? Did anyone else notice that some of Theoden's final lines mirrored those of Darth Vader's death (Eyowen 'I've got to save you. Theoden 'You already have.') Need to see it again - disappointed at the amount which was cut. My two favourite scenes never made it in (Sam and Frodo at the crossroads with the statue of the old king, and Sauron's figure of shadow reaching out to crush the army at the Black Gate before being cast aside by a wind from the West). Not a perfect trilogy - that is still something to look forward to!!

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 7:38 a.m. CST

    Djinnj & Daughter of Time

    by Elaine

    DJINNJ: You're an artistic genius. I just had a peek at your Shelob, and she looks every inch as impressive as the filmmakers' - which is a massive compliment, given that the film Shelob far exceeded my expectations. And you actually carried that with you to the cinema? Along with the lembas bread, the Dead Marshes soup and everything else? Blimey. Must have drawn quite a bit of attention, I'd guess. More than the guys in chain-mail who made my Trilogy Tuesday such a memorable experience. **** DAUGHTER OF TIME: Seconds on the beacons love. I think the beacons are my favourite part of the film - breath-takingly beautiful and intensely atmospheric. Whoever created those shots is a genius. And to think that there are people who would willingly swap that scene for more battle scenes or more exposition, or who actually chatter during the scene. Unbelievable, isn't it? I was absolutely speechless the first time I saw it. **** I agree with you and Elanor that Elijah Wood handles his transformation at the Crack of Doom extremely well. The look in his eyes when he says he'll take the ring for himself... Brrr. Scary. And the way he staggers towards Minas Morgul, and the terror on his face and the hysteria in his voice when he utters the "naked in the dark" line... Fabulous stuff. Seriously impressive. And yet, at the risk of offending all the Frodo swooners amongst you, the actor with whom I've been most impressed so far is Billy Boyd. I love absolutely every scene he is in. Of course, his work in "The Fellowship of the Ring" clearly demonstrated that he has great comic timing, but what he does in "The Return of the King" far transcends that, in my opinion. He's not only achingly funny, but also seriously impressive in the tragic bits. His facial expression when he finishes his song, and the serene, achingly beautiful dreamy resignation that settles on his face when Gandalf explains the nature of death to him... whoa. But yeah, Elijah is fantastic, too. No question about that. I can't see anyone else nailing the part of Frodo the way he has. In fact, the very thought of anyone else playing that part seems a travesty. **** OK, so maybe I didn't remember the exact words of Eowyn's exchange with the Witch-King. Whatever. I still think that scene could have been handled a bit better. More dialogue from the book would have been nice (especially the "foul dwimmerlaik" line), and there could have been slightly more drama towards the end, I think - something to indicate that it really was awfully hard to kill the Witch-King. It looks slightly too easy now. To me, anyway. But then I had exceedingly high expectations of that scene.

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 8:39 a.m. CST

    Wow..Ya know i did not see the gay thing at all

    by TallScott

    honeslty. watching all of the films it did not seem the least bit gay to me at all..I mean sure there was a gay man as Gandalf. I knew that. But the Frodo and Sam relationship just seemed like two very good freinds, as close as brothers, who went to hell and back trying to destroy the ring. I just did not see the gay connection at all.. I find it funny that the homophobes are ragging on the Lord of the rings but yet im sure they cant wait to watch two sweaty oilly men fondle each other for two hours on Smackdown..Now wrastle'in is about as gay as you can get if you ask me.

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 9:23 a.m. CST

    Heh, Elaine

    by djinnj

    Yeah, there were quite a few folk taking pictures of her. While most of my food was intended to honor the ME continuum by oblique reference (cheese, dried fruit, jerky, etc) and I packed a lot of it, she was the only outlandish bit. The lembas was quite good too (recipe available upon request :P), but it's not difficult to make, and was only remarkable in its presentation. I cut polyfoil, which is green on one side and silver on the other, into large 'beech leaves' and wrapped them individually, green side out.

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 9:26 a.m. CST

    HEY STIRLING MEL: I did read many of the reviews..And I look fo

    by TallScott

    Oh by the by Return of the King was just named Best Picture by the washington flim critcs board..I really wish all you people who thinks the films are a travesty to the books can pool all your cash together and make your own film and see how it does. I for one am a person who read the books that is MORE than happy with the Films..In fact i think they are the best films i have seen in quite some time and i thank god that we got 3 , 3 plus hour films and not the two or just one film that Marimax wanted..You people would have had a stroke if that happend. ( they even sent PJ a note saying they wanted just 2 Hobbits ) But i understand that some people are never happy and some people are just jerks wanting to piss upon anything good..I feel sorry for these people..They are WAY WAY WAY WAY more pathetic than any D&D playing, still lives in moms basement, star trek loving geek that they insult.. But the truth is that the haters lost and no matter how much they bitch and moan and jerk each other off they cant take away the fact that the Films are a modern classic to be enjoyed by many for years to come. Perhaps even after they pass away. Enjoy!

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 9:32 a.m. CST

    DoT!

    by djinnj

    I must say I don't recall Eowyn saying "I'm a woman!" either! Maybe I was distracted by the scene, though, I'll have to check when I see it again (assuming I don't get distracted by my enjoyment of the scene again!). I'm glad to see that she has to hack a few times at the Fell Beast, too. ---- Oh, I found all the acting to be excellent, but Frodo and Pippin were highlights. So speaketh a Frodo-ite, Elaine! But, then, I'm a hobbitophile. ---- Despite my criticisms and reservations, there're just too many moments that were 'perfect' for me. I can't list them all, it would take as long as the film!

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 10:37 a.m. CST

    Stirling Mel is absolutely, 100% correct...al of you lack the co

    by Overwhelming

    Listen, its very simple. LOTR, the book, is about the mythological foundations of Western civilization, specifically Britain. LOTR, the movie, in form, purpose and content, is about the authentic fall of Western civilization, specifically America and its values, from myth and idea to the baseness of "snatch-and-grab" global capitalist intent. So Stirling Mel is right, and NO amount of stabbing the messenger with diatribe about his interperable literary background, or snides about drug use, will change the fact that a any of the levels of Stirling's arguement, you cannot engage it. You've not thought enough; if you had, AND if you have the COURAGE to think critically, you'd come to the same conclusion. Of course, as folks as diverse as Cornel West and Barbara W. Tuchman have regularly submitted, in the West, it takes COURAGE TO THINK, which must be OPENLY stated, and brought out to the fore, because the West has become such an anti-intellectual civilization...profoundly so. It, like Jackson's so-called LOTR, is market-driven, obsessed with short-term gain, and places a premium on intelligence, which is nothing but a manipulative faculty...we're talking about the intellect; not the same thing. I mean, look at the VERY CRITERIA you use to talk about movie success; you don't even see that this criteria, how much MONEY a movie makes, is the criteria that's been given to you by your masters for the evaluation of everything. Right now, even if you wanted to, you could not engage Jackson's so-called LOTR with another paradigm...YOU DON'T KNOW ANY OTHER WAY OF SEEING THE WORLD. Just as you think you are in a Democracy (for those that live in America), but cannot name ANY of your local, regional, state or federal representatives, so the very FRAMEWORK of how you see, and engage, the world, i.e., global capitalism imbued with white supremacy, informs every fibre of your being. Many of us challenge that framework....and most that both do that challenging, and love LOTR the book, even with its flaws, challenge this interpretation of film, that's all. So gulp down your Haterade, but remember this: Stirling is right. And in order to engage that correctness, you'd better do you homework, speak truth to power, and finally, become, at least in America, the types of citizens you ought to be to make democracy work; then you might find ART reflective of that legacy, because art is always reflective of some legacy, and Jackson's so-called LOTR is reflective of who you are, and your place in history, right now... Next! Done with you. Jackson's LOTR is not the LOTR film that would spring from a civilization on the rise, or even in its prime. Jackson's LOTR is what all will point to when they talk about the end of the West as it was known during this epoch. ANd hey, that's okay; I hope to hasten it. Because the hypocrisy of this time, relfected in this work, is enough to turn my stomach. Hey Stirling, I tihnk that "time-capsule" idea, in reflection of insuring that the future knows not ONLY that there was "no hope in the ART" of the civilization, but, more importantly, exhibits the fact that there were always a vocal minority aware of that fact before we all let Bush, or some Bush-type, sentence us to Schell's "The Fate of the Earth," is a better idea, don't you think so?

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 10:56 a.m. CST

    Johnny Suede must have had a bad sleepover experience at one tim

    by freethinker

    Wow dude...got some issues about homosexuality? Sure seems to weigh heavily on your mind. Sure you can see them as gay if you want to (and it seems you really really do want to) just as I will admit there are parts where I can smirk and be juvenile...but I DO know that given the circumstances, it was not intended to be so by the author. It is just looking at somthing from a different time through modern day sensibilities. But wow, interesting how strongly you have to convey your disgust! Me, I personally find men revolting, and the idea of gettting on with one...bleh. But that is just ME. I don't like shellfish, so I don't eat it. Doesn't mean I think everyone who does is a sick weirdo, just my personal taste. Who the hell are you to tell others what is normal and such? Well, you are nobody. Just another loudmouth "moralist" who believes his way is the only right way. That, or you are another simpleton who lets the beliefs of ancient jews influence their own. Ah well, either way, I see that you are writing from an AOL account...pretty much explains what an unsophisticated dolt you must be. Might as well git a big black marker and write "not very bright" across your forehead.

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 10:57 a.m. CST

    xfloydx, your post belies the absolute, ultimate, failure of you

    by Overwhelming

    By your logic, xfloydx, two things would be true that are simply NOT true. Toy Story 2 would be the best film of all time (with a perfect 100% rating, from over one hundred reviews, on rotten tomatoes.com)...are you prepared to say that? Better be. In addition, to ascribe some power to some set of "critics," and sa that thye know better than us is to assume, one, some sort of transparency in their action, decisions, and behvior that allows you to see what is going on (i.e., do you actually KNOW whether or not, for example, Harry was piad - in any form - for this so-called review? Then how does Harry, or any other "critic" getceded to them some sort of special position, or special Right to do anything???), and two that you, by definition, have less rights to express than they do, in that your very expressionhas less MEANING. You cede all that you can be to those folk; enjoy your trip on the way to your state fo facsism; I for one look forward, in hope (sorry Stirling) that America and the West will...grow up, and that our popular forms of cinema will reflect that.

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 10:59 a.m. CST

    Looking forward to my pain, TallScott, reflects two things:

    by Stirling Mel

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 11:01 a.m. CST

    by Stirling Mel

    One, that that's the type of person you are; understand this. Your type is not the only type. Two, that that's the type of personal framework that, writ large, would embrace these films. Again, enjoy. Sorry Overwhelming. Hope, like optimism, is wasted on this whole system. All I can do is love those whom I come across in my cross-section of life and living...

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 12:12 p.m. CST

    Seen it twice now and I LONG for the EE already!

    by the swede

    Have you noticed how haggard Gandalf looks when he rides into the crypt to save Faramir from being burned alive? That must be because of the confrontation with The Witch King. And he no longer carries his staff. That makes sense since it got broken in two during that confrontation. I WANT TO SEE THAT SCENE NOW!!! And the Saruman death -scene too! I also noticed how gently the eagles picked up the hobbits! OH! I also want to see how Aragorn leads the army of the dead to the harbour! OH how I love this film. And please hurry with the EE, Peter Jackson! ...............And Elanor, I

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 12:16 p.m. CST

    About the alleged Homosexual undertones

    by the swede

    Hey! Why not just accept that there are none! Neither Tolkien nor Jackson ever intended it that way. So stop reading that into movies that you like so much! Stupid waste of time! (Unless it tickles you to fantasize about it, which is ok by me.) I for one have never seen or sensed it in the movies. Just very nice camaraderie. Something everyone should have.

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 12:28 p.m. CST

    Phantasm: Are you perhaps a frustrated Hollywood producer?

    by Skyway Moaters

    Because the LOTR you describe is exactly the type of dumbed down schlock that lovers of the book were fearing when this project was first announced. Thank god you didn't have anything to do with the production.

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 12:31 p.m. CST

    Stirling and Overwhelming

    by djinnj

    Hm. OK, I wasn't going to respond because Stirling, your post was rather sad, and not because I agree with you (since I don't see how this film or enjoyment of it demonstrates what you say it does). It's just, well, a very joyless way of looking at what is meant to be entertainment. Granted, there's lots of crappy entertainment, but I choose not to indulge in (most of) them, and I don't take the one's I do indulge in too seriously. I also don't need or want you to like these films. I'm commenting now because I'm starting to get irked rereading your post, and Overwhelming's recent follow-up. They are really very condescending and holier-than-thou. May I ask to whom you are referring in your general statements? I assume you do not include yourselves in them. However, if you can be outside of this 'deluded' mass, cannot others here as well? And, if others are outside of it, what actually constitutes the 'mass?' Is there such a thing, or is it perhaps more heterogeneous than that? ---- Also, I wonder at your use of the terms "subversive and transformative" to refer to Tolkien's work. I'm not exactly sure what you mean. I can only assume that you aren't going for the obvious meanings of either, and that you are referring to the work's ability to undermine comfortable assumptions about 'reality' and morality, and educate the reader in these areas through the process of 'participating' in the adventures. Of course, good as well as great art does this. It also engages interest (and thus, entertains). Nonetheless, to see this in Tolkien's writing and yet to eliminate the 'taint' of commerciality from his work is to be naive, I'm afraid. He was not a professional writer in many senses, we already know this. However, it doesn't do to forget that he was financially strapped often. He was quite keenly interested in earning money with his writing. His inability to write commercially has more to do with his inability to write for others than any lack of desire to do so. Of course, you could say that his inability to write for a larger audience was his resistance to prostituting his work. I wouldn't use such a charged term, and I don't think he considered commercial success and his vision of and for ME to be incompatible. I believe his inability to write for a larger audience (and I'm not talking huge, just bigger than his circle of family and friends) is evidence of his "amateur" status or rather his inexpertise at his craft, writing at the whim of his inspiration rather than in control of it. This is not to say that he was a poor writer, but he was not as good as he could have been had he been able to concentrate more time and energy to it, and perhaps if he had been less disdainful of literary analysis (which he could have applied to self-assessment). The Lord of the Rings was meant to be a sequel to The Hobbit, and was never meant to be so large, so dark, so adult, and so time consuming to write. I'm grateful that he was "amateur" enough not to know what he 'should' or 'should not' do in writing, but I would also have loved to see more of his work realized and published. ---- I also have to wonder at your primary idea that those of us who have enjoyed these films for what they are are somehow blindly carousing while the ship of Civilization sinks beneath us. In what way does our enjoyment of a passionately made, flawed yet nonetheless beautiful (at least for us) interpretation of a wonderful text somehow lessen our ability to assess the troubles of our social constructs? Is it the hyperbole that bothers you? The excess in expressions of approval? The frequent and indiscriminately used superlatives? Or are your evaluations based on something more than a literal deconstruction of the excited hurrahs of happy fans and the trolling of others? Enthusiam tends to be couched in terms of excess, and I have yet to find this mode of expression is in any way indicative of impared critical faculties. Please do not assume that you have achieved any particular insight into other peoples' character when you read these boards. That's a dangerous assumption to make considering the extremely limited basis for evaluation. Yes, reader response reveals more about the reader than the read, but it is also necessary to examine the response in context and, as a critic of critics, to examine your own biases.

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Love for Pippin

    by daughter of time

    Well, that Scottish accent of his just melts me every time (and I've spent a couple years of my youner life in Scotland), so I am so glad they let him keep it! It not only helps his comic timing, it adds to the poignancy of his quieter moments. And he is also one fine actor... especially if you compare ROTK with "Master and Commander" - a completely different character. And he can sing.... Without him, this movie wouldn't have half the heart it does.

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 1 p.m. CST

    Reflections on ROTK/ Seasons/ Filmaking

    by Darth Thoth

    The movie left me stunned. I walked out of the theater Wednesday night unable to fully grasp what I felt about the film. For some strange reason though, after my second viewing the following day, I was better able to comprehend my experience. I can't remember the last time I cried, period. Yet, the last 20 minutes of that movie produced tears I did not know I had. I think they symbolized acknowledgment of movie making perfection that this series embodies. The Original Star Wars Trilogy were the films of my youth. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy are the films of my young adulthood. I fully realize that it will probably be another 20 years until I see a series of movies to captivate my heart in this fashion. Yes, it will be the next stage of my life. It's a somber feeling. Yet, it is a reminder of why I love film and the incredible power it can yield. I implore all of you filmakers out there to never lose sight of this reverence and to truly strive to create works of art, for that is an honorable contribution to society.

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Ok Johnny Suede, I won't say:

    by Pontsing Barset

    "you must be a repressed homosexual". But I will say: "you must be the dumbest son of a bitch that's ever posted here".

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 1:16 p.m. CST

    Fairy tales vs. "fairy" tales

    by Catbarf the 5th

    I see the 7th Grade Fag Patrol (tm) I mentioned are alive and well, and still in 7th grade. Jeez. OK guys, if the story doesn't work for you, it would be a fair complaint to call the film's depiction of the Sam/Frodo friendship sappy and sentimental. Yes, there are a lot of wet gazes and swelling violins. It got on my nerves at times too, if only because I knew it would be taken the wrong way by some. But being sappy doesn't make it "gay". It's an archaic fantasy for crying out loud, and it was archaic even 60 years ago when it was written. The story is essentially innocent (which is part of the appeal, in case you hadn't noticed). By your logic, Snow White was "obviously" getting boinked by all seven dwarfs, because that's what the guys down at the frathouse would do...or maybe that's the version of the movie you saw. Anyway, seeing everything through orgy glasses 24-7 seems like a really tiresome way to look at things once the 7th-grade snickers get old.

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 1:25 p.m. CST

    Give me a break Underwhelming.

    by Skyway Moaters

    Mel isn't 'right', he isn't even coherent. And neither are you. What a bunch of psuedo-intellectual hogwash.

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 1:31 p.m. CST

    Stirling Mel

    by SK909

    Ok then Stirling Mel and your little buddy, what would you replace capitalism with? Please tell us. I agree that far too much importance is placed on success with money in the U.S., there's no doubt about that. Not enough is done in the U.S. to encourage scholarly thought without the promise that someone is going to make money off of you sitting there... and thinking. Or writing about what you're thinking. There is something to be said, however, for the other side of the coin as well. The side that says one must produce something for all their work and that when it fails to produce anything of value, the work ceases to have vaule. I will concede that sometimes, that value is intangible and cannot be measured in dollars, as most Americans now would want, and this non-monetary value, whatever it may be, either literary, philosophical, or revolutionary, is not nearly as important a measure as it should be in ALL of western society. I just think that you have not thought through your argument enough to include these films. The kid who's broke and yet has brilliant economic, literary, or philosophical ideas, yet his father would rather him drive a bus, get a business degree, or work in construction so that he MAKE MONEY rather than attempt some kind of scholarly pursuit? That fits into your argument and I agree with you 100%, and you're not the first to say it. The school system in this country is crumbling, and I include the universities with their growing lack of subsidization, either public of private. The cost now outweighs the benefit for both those who want to become professors and those who wish to attend their classes. Why not just be like Spielberg? Drop out and make movies? Or invent some program and be the richest man in the world, like Bill Gates? Who needs a life of scholarly thought? Where does that get you in the U.S.? I disagree with these being the only models of success that we are given, as of late, and with the shift in all parts of society towards this incredibly mind-numbing emphasis on the one question, like the one ring - How much money is/am/are it/I/you making? But let's get back to LOTR. In your system, would LOTR have been funded by the government or some kind of arts council so that it wouldn't have to worry about a return on it's investment? In this way it could have been truer to the themes of the book? I disagree that the themes of the book didn't find their way into the film, fully intact. That, by the way, is another problem. You're assuming that anyone who THOUGHTFULLY disagrees with you is just following the masses or is a total idiot, which is just as bad, if not worse, than what you are criticizing. You DO NOT WANT TO BE ENGAGED AND, IN FACT, YOU DISCOURAGE IT BY SAYING THAT YOUR ARGUMENT IS RIGHT NO MATTER WHAT? Are you God? Back to business - Doesn't it strike you as odd that using this film as an example is a bit ridiculous since it was almost entirely made by people who are not even American? Aside from that, what would be the major currency for the exchange of services and items in your society? Wompum? Buck skin? And I'm being 100% serious, I really would like to know. I'm fascinated to know what exactly you would like to have seen done with these films and how it would have been achieved and in what kind of society would such a mammoth undertaking as filming these books be completed without worry of replenishing or rewarding those resources(money, manpower, time,etc.) that were used to make it? And this just isn't with films either. Show me an example of art that is totally for art's sake anywhere in the history of mankind. If it doesn't move people in some way, nobody is paying to see it or paying to have it made. I'm sure the Medici's would like to have a word with you on this. Even novels have to prove to be popular at SOME point. Otherwise you're shouting into the wind. Or are you saying that it's the entire system that both made them and pays to see them that gives the films, in your mind, a lack of courage in the telling? To be honest, I just think you're reading far too much into this whole situation. Isn't the hyperbole both negative and positive about LOTR getting just too out of hand? Isn't the relentlessness of it a symptom of a society that IS perhaps thinking as much as you would like them to, maybe even too much? And aren't you taking part in that? Aren't you, in fact, taking it to a whole other level? I mean, come on? Here is what happened, stripped of all your bullshit and my bullshit - a series of books came out in the 1950's - Techology caught up with the imagery of said books - This enabled someone to seriously think about making them into live-action films - enter Peter Jackson - this man took the films to studios - the man got the films made all the while trying to capture the spirit of the books with, I'm sure, no intentionally malicious political or sociological subtext as even the documentaries on the DVD's talk of HOW MUCH TOLKIEN HATED THE VERY IDEA OF ALLEGORY. And that, alone, blows your whole argument, yet I've been nice enough to engage it a little more to your liking, I hope. This was an attempt to tell the stories from the books, NOTHING MORE. And it will probably be attempted again, in another twenty or thirty years, and THAT'S ALL IT IS. Nothing less, nothing more. OLIVER STONE DID NOT DIRECT LOTR, although I'm sure that would make you happy, Peter Jackson did. So shut the fuck up and get over your literary ILLusions. Here's a bone for you, what's this from -"The best books are those that tell you what you already know." Fucking jackass... and that's just cause Americans love to curse.

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 3:44 p.m. CST

    ROTK EE

    by Thing-Fish

    ... will be fantastic if the difference between the TTT TE and TTT EE (amazing that people know what this means) is anything to go by. Apart from the added subplots from the book, the inevitable chopped up limbs will make a difference because made such a difference at Helm's Deep. _____ BTW, I finally hands-down agree with an added subplot that wasn't in the book: the lighting of the beacons. That was utterly spectacular, gorgeous, undescribable by words. I'd rate that amongst the most beautiful scenes ever filmed. ______ No series tops this - but remember we're talking about a adapted, not a original screenplay, so I think it's pointless to compare it to Star Wars or the Matrix. Though seriously, depending on the way it's executed, the "Hyperion" movie series by Scorcese (assuming it'll be a series) _might_ prove to be a competitor, for the best movie series adapted from a book. But that's a long shot.

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 5:19 p.m. CST

    ...

    by SoonerSean

    I'm amazed by the comments of folks asking why the eagles didn't just fly Frodo to Mount Doom. First off... it's a fictional STORY. Secondly... assume for a second that it is real and that the eagles could fly Frodo to Mount Doom. Don't you think the Nasgul and ever Orc in Mordor would be doing everything they could to knock them out of the sky? Thirdly... being that it was a STORY... having the eagles fly Frodo to Mount Doom would have made for one helluva short movie!!! ;)

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 5:27 p.m. CST

    Trench warfare, indeed!

    by greenleaf

    This is sickening to read. Surely there are few among you who seek the truth.

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 5:55 p.m. CST

    I am underwhelmed by Overwhelming.

    by FluffyUnbound

    Blah blah blah the west. Blah blah blah global capitalism. Blah blah blah speak truth to power. Don't you realize that YOU are the problem? Have you forgotten your Hegel? It is not the powerful who have undone and unraveled human culture. It is the ironic. It doesn't matter if the West falls. It doesn't matter if capitalism falls. Critical, ironic, "subversive" pseudo "thinkers" will destroy whatever takes its place, too - or, at least, will suck the last drop of enjoyment anyone might possibly take from it and replace it with bile and a Jimmy Fallon smirk, instead. Maybe when the West falls someone will come along and put together some sort of "Sun People" culture. So what? After the first five minutes some bright worthy will begin to deconstruct it, and the avalanche, the torrent, of pointless written and spoken bilge that follows will certainly equal the tidal wave our own culture faces down every day. This is because YOU are the problem, YOU are doomed, YOUR mindset cannot escape its own logic, a logic that inexorably leads to misery and disdain. The curse of modernity is too many people talking too loudly about too narrow an existence for too jaded and ironic an audience. Can you undo this? Make it not be? You cannot. You aren't even trying to. Your solution is to pile on with more of the disease. We cannot produce a Gottfried or a Dante not because of "commercialism", but because unifying cultural icons cannot be produced under a free system where everyone gets a say. When everyone can speak at once, the result is white noise. Perversely, it was easier to produce unifying genius in preliterate or partially literate cultures where the vast majority of people were locked out of the creative process - precisely because that led to a few moments where people shut the fuck up and listened. In every field when you look back at the golden age one of its hallmarks is that it was burdened with fewer participants. But that way is closed to us now. Instead of a handful of giants, we have 100 million talkbackers. But that's not going away, and it isn't capitalism's fault - it's YOUR fault. Every one of those 100 million voices thinks that it's speaking truth to power. What it really is doing is drowning human culture in a sea of effeminate commentary. But they are doing what you suggest - what you flatter yourself is the way out. And I am no better - but at least I don't walk around thinking that it's "all capitalism's fault" or some other such community college nonsense. It's worth noting that one of the primary appeals of Tolkien is the Road, that leads to the Unknown - the idea that there is still something to see that no one has TOLD you about, hundreds of times, and somewhere to go where Chris Matthews isn't waiting to pop out to ask you your OPINION, and where no one is performing sociological studies of the economic implications of the condition of the road. One defining feature of heroism in Tolkien is that it is NOT critical, that it does NOT rationalize. Melkor himself is the principle of discordance - in the Tolkien cosmology, the first freethinker, the first PROTESTOR, is the root and core, the first cause, of all evil, everywhere, for all time. I think he was on to something there.

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 6:10 p.m. CST

    Exegesis by FluffyUnbound : Is Beelzebub among us ?

    by greenleaf

    Fortunately for us, no one here is First, despite the persistent claims.

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 6:54 p.m. CST

    thank you fluffy

    by mastar

    ive noticed a lot of people don't read the posts, they just post; the same thing over and over. no one does listen anymore, i try, but i scream along with the rest of us morons or like Gollum, put my hands to my ears, not listening, not listening. Lord of the Rings is great. The books are great, the Simarillion is great, and the movies are great, each in their own way.

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 7:38 p.m. CST

    Ending Too Long? Too Bad, Leave Then.

    by TheJon

    I went to see Return of the King for a second time last night and laughed my head off at the high schoolers who kept complaining every time they thought it ended and then another scene started up! LOL! Some of the little turds seemed down right pissed about it! I said outloud that if they didn't want to see any more, THEN LEAVE! Just like A.I., if you didn't want to see anything beyond the wheel falling onto the copter then you can simply leave! It's NOT THAT HARD to get up and walk out.

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 8:33 p.m. CST

    Elaine, cutest, et al!

    by djinnj

    may I suggest a quieter meeting place? Like Beaks first interview? It's finally fallen of the main page (where this one seems to be 'fixed'), and is also considerably shorter than this one.

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 8:44 p.m. CST

    Return of the King: Biggest dissapointment of the year?????

    by Mr.Orange

    First off, I want to make it clear that I liked the two towers and LOVED the fellowship. I have all the LOTR merchandice from the posters to popcornbuckets. I invested a hell of a lot into these movies, only to have jackson fuck it up at the last minute. Seriously though, WHAT WAS HE THINKING?!?!?! The movie had so many problems! The pacing was completely off... before I could get into the emotional scenes, it cuts to the stupid battle, which was also a big dissapointment. The green ghost army was totally fake and annoyingly reminisent of the Pirates of the Caribean ghosts. Their was so much that should have been cut out (Arwens pointless whining) and so much that should have been kept (the gandalf-witch king showdown). The first 30 minutes were unbearably slow, while the rest of the movie felt like a 3 hour trailer, never giving you enough time to absorb what was going on. There were a few scenes that REALLY irked me such as gandalf randomly killing the steward (completely out of character) and the inevitable orlando bloom immpossible moment (when he slid off the elephant he looked like fred flinstone for christs sake!!!) For all these flaws there were a few treasured moments. The part when Frodo, Same, and Gollum encountered the nazgul at Minus Morgul was absolutly terrifying. Also, the sequence where Pippin sings a lonely song whilst the movie cuts from the battle to Minus Tirith was brilliant. However, these moments were far too few. Overall, I was deeply dissapointed...

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 10 p.m. CST

    Again. Enjoy.

    by Stirling Mel

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 11:35 p.m. CST

    Simply Unbelievable

    by Itchy

    I just returned from finally seeing the film and frankly, I'm speechless. My first thought was to log on and read Harry's review (which I've been avoiding until I saw the film), and then, per usual, add some inappropriate comment about homosexual hobbit moments, or Miranda Otto's rack. Well, it's been about an hour since the film, and I really don't know what to say about it. It was breathtaking. The scope, the tone, the emotion, the technical proficiency - it was absolutely perfect. I watched the extended cut of Two Towers this morning, and boy was I glad I got around to watching it before ROTK - for the Boromir / Faramir / Denethor flashback if nothing else. I'm inclined to babble about the experience, but I think most of us feel the same way. I don't know if there will ever be anything like this again. I offer to Peter Jackson, the crew and cast and the risk taking New Line my most sincere thanks for making these films. I swear, if this does not win every Oscar it is inevitably nominated for, I will never watch the awards again. I wish I could actually read what many of you have already posted here, but since this forum is so fucked up and unreadable after 100 posts, I'll just hope everyone was as moved as I.

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 11:37 p.m. CST

    I Just Came BAck From Middle Earth....

    by delwin

    I swear I was there....like a waking dream. I FUCKING LOVED IT. I'm not going to sit here and give the good and the bad, I take it for what it did for me and I fucking loved it. That is all. :::DDD

  • Dec. 21, 2003, 1:52 a.m. CST

    my own leetle beefs

    by ande

    Gandalf did not murder Denethor and the Gondorians would never have stood for that much less let him lead them. The whole final Gambit(of the allies) is based on Aragorn's confrontation of Sauron via the Palantir and that was excluded. Theoden got all Eomer's cool lines from the book and there was no Imrahil. Also no impasse btw the witch king of Angmar and Gandalf. Still, I believe masters Jackson and company have done the best that ANYBODY would have. Much props dude, thanx for the memories. Lucas of many colors, inhale...the Ents have come for you

  • Dec. 21, 2003, 1:58 a.m. CST

    Yea I'm in San Diego, too

    by digdig

    That guy Elliot is fucking horrible. And is he the same guy that does reviews in the SD Reader? They both seem to hate every movie ever made that isn't an indie no one has seen about gay midgets learning to surf in the Ivory Coast. But going on a board to talk about movies and using critic's reviews to support your own opinion while ripping on another critic is pretty sad. Just say what you think of the movie and why.

  • Dec. 21, 2003, 5:31 a.m. CST

    I'm all for finding a quieter place, Djinnj

    by Elaine

    And 16666 seems a good place, except that it's hosed! As is every other talkback, it seems. Maybe we should wait until AICN is de-hosed and then move to 16666?

  • Dec. 21, 2003, 9:33 a.m. CST

    .

    by xfloydx

    "Comment:Toy Story 2 would be the best film of all time".----------------------------------------------------------------- The % you are looking at is the rotten/fresh rating. Which means nobody gave Toy Story 2 below a 60% score. The actual number average is 9.3 out of 10, on the right of the page.-------------------------------------------------------------------------. But anyway this isn

  • Dec. 21, 2003, 11:12 a.m. CST

    Simply masterful Fluffy...

    by Skyway Moaters

    Hit that danged nail squarely on it's head. Man I wish I had the patience to construct such an eloquent response to blowards like Mel and O-whelming. So much baffle-gab - so little time. Well done indeed Mr. Unbound.

  • Dec. 21, 2003, 12:24 p.m. CST

    mynameisnobody:

    by Skyway Moaters

    It's you that must have seen an "alternate edit" not DoT. Saw it again yesterday and the scene with the WKOA goes like this: WK: "You fool no man can kill me" (Merry crawls up and stabs him in the back of his knee, WK is staggered) Eowyn: "I am no man!" - stabs in the center of the helmet. That's it, no: "I am a woman". You're either mistaken, or are just willing the line to be there out of "sour pussedness".

  • Dec. 21, 2003, 1:03 p.m. CST

    And the reason that the Eagles...

    by Skyway Moaters

    ... didn't just fly over Mount Doom and drop the ring in is quite clearly delineated in the source material, for those who care to read carefully enough. To say you don't understand this "plot hole" is like saying you don't understand the motivations of God; in terms of Tolkien's universe. If God is indeed omnipotent and omniscient, mere humans are not even CAPABLE of understanding his motives anyway. *** Eagles are a sentient race. They occasionally "help out" either for reasons/friendships of their own, or at the bidding of Manwe. The Valar could kick Sauron's ass anytime they want but they are not permitted to, and that includes directing the Eagles to do the job of disposing of The One. It is the will of Illuvatar that the free peoples of ME make the CHOICE to attempt the deed and then accomplish the quest or not. Gandalf is not permitted to confront Sauron directly either. His assigned task is to rally the free peoples to fight the dominion of Sauron. Whether they succeed or fail is beyond the influence of the Valar, the Istari (wizards) or the Eagles. For the Eagles to just dump the Ring into Orodruin would be akin to Angles of Christian cosmology assassinating Osama Ben Laden, taking out Hitler, destroying weapons of mass destruction, etc. *** It's a question of free will. Illuvatar and the Valar have an agenda but it is up to the FREE people of Middle Earth to FREELY choose whether or not to "do the right thing". No coercion, no direct intervention by Illuvatar (god) or his "Titans" - The Valar, or THEIR servants/angles - Maiar (Gandalf, Saruman, Sauron), or the giant Eagles (servants of Manwe - chief of the Valar), no guarantee of victory or reward, only free will to try, or not.

  • Dec. 21, 2003, 1:06 p.m. CST

    ANGLES?! I, um, meant "Angels" of course...

    by Skyway Moaters

    <NT>

  • Dec. 21, 2003, 1:34 p.m. CST

    It didn't seem like the audience was having a religious experien

    by UnChienAndalou

    As a matter of fact, right after Viggo and everyone bowed to the hobbits during the New Hope ceremony, nearly the entire audience was getting their jackets on and preparing to vacate the theatre. As the film dragged on for a few more reels, lots of people were snickering and making sounds of exasperation at the pretentious length, and this was the first show of the matinee mind you, I'm not talking late at night or anything. Seriously, everything after the part when the people bow to the hobbits should've been saved for the dvd. I trust that everyone who saw it at the advance midnight screenings had a life-altering epihpany, because you would have to be a hard-core fan of these films to tolerate ROTK's interminable running time at 12:00 in the morning.

  • Dec. 21, 2003, 1:41 p.m. CST

    Merry Christmas

    by cockknocker

  • Dec. 21, 2003, 2:33 p.m. CST

    Gandalf and childhood memories ... reflections on Ians

    by the swede

    I am so grateful for Ian MacKellens Gandalf in ROTK! He really nailed the performance. In particular in all the Minas Thirith scenes. (Also in Meduseld and the ride from Rohan to Minas Thirit). Thank you so much Ian! ... When I was 10 or 12 my life was pretty tough. Not many friends and parents divorcing. I then started reading LOTR and the character of Gandalf gave me some feeling of being safe after all. He is at the same time so powerful, witty and can also be quite grim and nasty at other times. But trough it all he is very loving and thoughtful and takes care of everybody. Everybody (except the orchs and such) feel safe in his presence. Even during the hard times in Moria, the fellowship feel taken cared of by Gandalf. This is so beautifully portraied in ROTK when Pippin sleeps in his arms while riding and when they have the conversation about death when the trolls are crushing door after door. Oh how I wish I could speak with Gandalf for a while every day! But he

  • Dec. 21, 2003, 2:35 p.m. CST

    Which disappointed you more Grimloch. ROTJ or ROTK?

    by krylite

    I know you're an oldtimer. Jackson's films are the best since ESB and Godfather. They're not the best ever, but they are one of the best ever and definitely the best of this year. We had the slimy muppet show in Jabba's Palace. We thought it was all over until... Ewok shows up and pokes Leia's butt for some food. We want to move on, then we find out the Ewok crap is all for real until the end of the movie. The trailers in 1982 didn't even show the ewoks when it was blatant commerical crap by Lucas who wanted to solidify his toy swindling "empire". And don't forget the 1979 Christmas holiday special with Chewbacca singing. I remember in school that's all the kids were talking about the next day. Nice to see you finally understand LOTR has "characters". ESB's AT-AT(what a good Kenner toy name) walkers were ripped off of the Mumakil in the books even with their rotating tusk like BLASTER(another kenner toy tie-in) cannons. Ok, I admit I had ONE X-Wing fighter. Grimloch, have a merry X-mas and HNY. Ask for the books for X-mas. You'll see Jackson did the best job humanely possible in adapting the story into movies. Just imagine Spielberg, Lucas or Coppola doing it. LoA was just a Peter O'Toole vehicle where we could look endless into his blue eyes contrasted with Omar Sharif and the deserts. ROTK's benchmark epic makes Braveheart and Ran's battle scenes look like silent movies.

  • Dec. 21, 2003, 2:43 p.m. CST

    Gandalf and childhood memories ... reflections on Ians

    by the swede

    I am so grateful for Ian MacKellens Gandalf in ROTK! He really nailed the performance. In particular in all the Minas Thirith scenes. (Also in Meduseld and the ride from Rohan to Minas Thirit). Thank you so much Ian! ... When I was 10 or 12 my life was pretty tough. Not many friends and parents divorcing. I then started reading LOTR and the character of Gandalf gave me some feeling of being safe after all. He is at the same time so powerful, witty and can also be quite grim and nasty at other times. But trough it all he is very loving and thoughtful and takes care of everybody. Everybody (except the orchs and such) feel safe in his presence. Even during the hard times in Moria, the fellowship feel taken cared of by Gandalf. This is so beautifully portraied in ROTK when Pippin sleeps in his arms while riding and when they have the conversation about death when the trolls are crushing door after door. Oh how I wish I could speak with Gandalf for a while every day! But he

  • Dec. 21, 2003, 2:44 p.m. CST

    What was with that foppish,little girl fall of Frodos when the

    by xavier masterson

    Yes, It's a a good sometimes great movie but there are a few things I just have to bitch about seeing as this is a talkback and talkbackers must bitch about something...1.That shot of Eowyn standing outside the golden hall on Edoras is gorgeous until you notice the smoke coming out of the chimneys is actually going back into teh chimneys. Blatant abuse of a reversed shot and it was very noticable on my second viewing. 2. The aforementioned namsy pansy way frodo falls when saurons eyebeam falls on him 3. Didn't care for the way Gollum sunk into the Lava. Not a good effect and I don't think someone would sink into lava the same way they would sink into a giant tub of jello. 4. Legolas and the Oliphaunt...way too over the top. If he could do shit like that then the Fellowships trek through Moria would have gone off without a hitch. Oh, well theses are small nitpicks and it is a great movie despite a few problems I have with it.

  • Dec. 21, 2003, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Mr. Orange is on crack

    by chains

    I almost never talk back, but honestly, to call this film the biggest disappointment of the year? This either means that you were expecting the greatest movie of all time, or that your expectations for every other film this year were sub-zero. Good God, didn't you see Revolutions? Savor and enjoy "King." It's the best genre film you're going to get for quite some time.

  • Dec. 21, 2003, 2:53 p.m. CST

    Overwrought! People were LOL

    by flipster

    at the wrong parts like those crazy shots of Frodo's face in the end. WAY too overwrought. No excuse for not including Saruman's fate - just too many _pauses_ and such. Okay maovie, but I have no desire to see it again. Not even close as movie of the year. I tell ya there are a lot of whiners (including me) who said SW 1& 2 sucked but after repeated viewings they are much better films than given credit (esp. 2), I think SW3 is gonna set the standards for greatness. Too bad I was hoping for kick-ass badness in ROTK but instead got hokeyness. What an error. X3 where are when we need you?

  • Dec. 21, 2003, 3:23 p.m. CST

    Ha! Malexandria gave ROTK a bad review! She does this for the

    by Holly_Wight

    Check it out- AGAIN, our little mall-pixie Michelle Alendria (Malexandria- such a CLEVER screen name) has bucked the tide of good reviews to tell everybody how much she hates Lord of the Rings, and how she "didn't get it" at least a dozen times. I recall her review of "Fellowship" being tainted by the fact that she couldn't hold her bladder throughout the whole picture, and that she "didn't get it" and thought LOTR fans were being forgiving because they were fanboys/fangirls. Oh, Malexandria... I'm CERTAIN you're just the type of girl who runs around with cute Hello Kitty stickers on her backpack (or is it Togopo or Hamtaro?) and can't watch anything that requires an attention span great than that of a deer tick. So now we know that all you boys and girls with silly little mallrat girlfriends should probably go see ROTK alone, as your whining little pompom girl, who might be "cool enough" to enjoy Sailor Moon, can't hold onto the plot of a 11-hour movie because she won't "get any of that stuff" - Pathetic.

  • Dec. 21, 2003, 3:53 p.m. CST

    "as good as swept away?" course not!

    by yankovicfan

    At lest in swept away we saw Madonna in a bikini........mmmmmm......

  • Dec. 21, 2003, 4:35 p.m. CST

    TheJon, your right

    by exPFCWintergreen

    I've loved all three LOTR movies. The worst part about them though is, all three times that I went to watch these movies, the theater was packed with an equal mix of nerds who had read the books and bitched about every little change or explained the entire movie to the person sitting next to him. AND people who should not have been watching those movies (Lets face it, SOME people just won't GET a 3 hour fantasy epic). I could understand, when in FOTR, I heard people throughout the theater bitch about the movie going on forever, it was the first film and they didn't know what to expect. However, when I heard these same complaints a couple of days ago in ROTK, I nearly fucking snapped. So, in conclusion, all these people (both those who read the book and those who didn't know what the fuck was going on) who couldn't shut the fuck up, provided a background noise of whispers and comments during the entire film. This was really distracting and took me completely out of the experience. I must emphasize, I love it when an audience reacts positively to a film (laughing, crying, ooooing and awwwwing) but with the LOTR movies, much more so than any other film or films I've ever seen in theaters, there was just a constant stream of whispers and even audible comments. If there was a fourth LOTR movie, I'd wait at least a couple of weeks and then go to a matinee, fuck!

  • Dec. 21, 2003, 4:44 p.m. CST

    Holly Whight and others Malexandria did not give ROTK an negativ

    by exPFCWintergreen

    At the end of her review she gave it a C. She even said somewhere in there that Jackson deserves an Oscar. Sure she didn't like some aspects of the movie - neither did Moriarty. I don't know why rottentomatoes has her review rated "rotten". There was even another review for ROTK they rated rotten that I thought was more on the positive side.

  • Dec. 21, 2003, 6:58 p.m. CST

    kudos fluffy

    by The DoublePoster

    Very well put, FluffyUnbound. Sometimes I get so frustrated by these community college nitwits and their decrying of the society we have. They would be the naysayers in any great society. In this case, the greater the West's success, the greater their bitching. They are drawn to the power of pretending to be in a "vocal minority", so that they can validate their own pompous existence. Further, I can picture them right before submitting their posts, not admiring or checking the validity of their intellectual references (Schell, Baldwin, Whitman, etc.), but pouring over their comment to make sure it has the right degree of holier-than-thou bullshit (i.e. Overwhelming's use of phrases like "so-called", "those folk", capitalization of countless obnoxious self-aggrandizing words like "COURAGE TO THINK", and his praise of intellectuals like Cornell West, whom he cheerfully ignores actually appearing in "Reloaded" - a movie I assume he would also find "market-driven"). At some point, these college freshman will have to admit that America is not crumbling and the West is not losing its power. In fact, it is thankfully more powerful than ever before, with the accompanying yearly increases in everyone's (and yes, even most non-Westerners, believe it or not) quality-of-life, wage, and FREEDOM.

  • Dec. 21, 2003, 8:18 p.m. CST

    kudos fluffy

    by The DoublePoster

    Very well put, FluffyUnbound. Sometimes I get so frustrated by these community college nitwits and their decrying of the society we have. They would be the naysayers in any great society. In this case, the greater the West's success, the greater their bitching. They are drawn to the power of pretending to be in a "vocal minority", so that they can validate their own pompous existence. Further, I can picture them right before submitting their posts, not admiring or checking the validity of their intellectual references (Schell, Baldwin, Whitman, etc.), but pouring over their comment to make sure it has the right degree of holier-than-thou bullshit (i.e. Overwhelming's use of phrases like "so-called", "those folk", capitalization of countless obnoxious self-aggrandizing words like "COURAGE TO THINK", and his praise of intellectuals like Cornell West, whom he cheerfully ignores actually appearing in "Reloaded" - a movie I assume he would also find "market-driven"). At some point, these college freshman will have to admit that America is not crumbling and the West is not losing its power. In fact, it is thankfully more powerful than ever before, with the accompanying yearly increases in everyone's (and yes, even most non-Westerners, believe it or not) quality-of-life, wage, and FREEDOM.

  • Dec. 21, 2003, 8:42 p.m. CST

    Box Office: ROTK sinks the titanic! THANK GOD!

    by A 30+ User

    I was beggining to think that piss ant film would someday be a precursor for big budget success, at this pace ROTK will have titanics receipts in half the time: http://www.cnn.com/2003/SHOWBIZ/Movies/12/21/box.office.ap/index.html

  • Dec. 22, 2003, 12:07 a.m. CST

    Trust me...

    by TheRealMasonWood

    For the past three years I've only read AICN content about films I have already seen, and frankly I think I am a much better movie-goer because of it. In 1999 I was at the height of my Internet activity and when I saw Phantom Menace, I pretty much knew every damn thing about the film in advance, and of course the film was a disappointment. Being an educated and informed moviegoer is completely different from allowing other people to make up your mind for you about this film or that film. I know half of you post regularly because you enjoy the attention and the public opportunity to see who can bash the most creatively, but such cynicism is in no way beneficial to anyone slapping down $8.50 for the privilege of experiencing a film such at ROTK. And it IS a privilege. Staying away from these posts until you've seen a film is the best thing any of you/us can do. The movies are much better when you aren't comparing them to every other film you've ever seen. Stop being a cinemaphile...become a moviegoer again.

  • Dec. 22, 2003, 9:47 a.m. CST

    The end...

    by Dru

    I didn't start reading the books until after I'd seen the 1st movie. Then I read all 3 in time to watch TT. There is no way I care about these films, these books, this work, as much as a lot of you out there. However, I want to say that I had tears running down my face when I was watching ROTK. I don't know as much as many of you, but I know what I like. I hope you'll be happy. Out.

  • Dec. 22, 2003, 9:54 a.m. CST

    Yeah you're right Britbuff...

    by Skyway Moaters

    ... gee what a self agrandizing user ID, Good on ya! None of the films you mentioned are in the top 5 all time. So what? And did you happen to notice that TTT is #4 in the all time world wide boxoffice takes? Wanker.

  • Dec. 22, 2003, 10:12 a.m. CST

    imdb

    by raker

    how funny to see the return of the king knock star wars out of the top 10. there is symbolism there.

  • Dec. 22, 2003, 10:17 a.m. CST

    It Is No Secret That Jackson is A Lucas Fan

    by Starbuck1975

    There is no doubt that Jackson was heavily influenced as a child by many of the films George Lucas holds dear, and on the LOTR DVDs, Jackson makes several references to Star Wars with the adoring love of a true fan of the films. When I saw the Oliphants marching towards Minas Tirith, the first thought that came to my mind was the shot of the AT ATs marching in the distance towards the Rebel defenses in ESB...I dont think it is so much that Jackson ripped off the shot as he was paying homage to one of the scenes from the classic trilogy that still make fanboys drool in delight. Even with CG effects taking more and more of a prominant role, very few scenes live up to the impact of the AT ATs in ESB...and they were animated with stop action scale models. I smiled in the delight at the homage and thought it was a subtle nod to the film maker Lucas once was.

  • Dec. 22, 2003, 11:22 a.m. CST

    I like it: Stirling Mel offers a barely coherent and patheticall

    by raw_bean

    and the best he can offer in reply is "Enjoy". What's the matter fella? Surely in your bid to prove your intellectuality and critical abilities you had more than one string ready for your bow? ---------- Eternal, sorry man, but as I said, I didn't read to the bottom of the TB before I posted before, and I told you to ignore what I said. --------------- D-o-T, long time no see! Yes I too found the beacon scene to be one of my favourite ever filmic moments (you too Elaine? And some fella with a funny fish related name? Everyone I went with looked at me strangely for saying so!), such a perfect marriage of a wonderful visual depiction and a fantastically stirring musical cue.

  • Dec. 22, 2003, 11:28 a.m. CST

    It's right up there with the greatest movie trilogies of all tim

    by artsnob

    American Pie, Look Who's Talking, Beverly Hills Cop, Home Alone, Free Willy ...

  • Dec. 22, 2003, 11:57 a.m. CST

    a couple of complaints maybe someone can explain

    by palantir1

    I only had a few complaints with this extraordinary film. I have read all the books, the silmarillion and countless others regarding Lord of the Rings. 1. The Pippin Song Sequence. First of all why did they keep cutting to Denethor tearing into his food. That really annoyed me, especially when what I suppose was tomato juice running down his chin. Ok yes, Denethor was losing his mind. Did he also forget how to eat with any table manners. I guess I would have rather them cut to Denethor just staring off into space. 2. The Capatain of the Orc. Did he look like a cross between the Toxic Avenger and 'Chunk' from Goonies or was it just me. I thought the Witch King commanded the Orc Army. I think they could have left this dude out of the film and they wouldnt have lost anything. 3. I really wish we could have seen Gollum from Frodos' standpoint once he put the ring on and dissappeared. Just seeing Gollum getting jerked around on an invisible Frodo just went on for too long. Everything else I loved though. At least they mentioned Sauruman, that was good enough for me. So if anyone can respond please do. I would love to hear your thoughts.

  • Dec. 22, 2003, 12:19 p.m. CST

    head scratcher

    by raker

    what exactly are you trying to say there buffy? is a movie that makes money good or bad? and what exactly is a nerdboy?

  • Dec. 22, 2003, 1:15 p.m. CST

    Palantir

    by spideyman1218

    The gluttony scene was used to show that Denethor didn't care that he had sent his son to his death. He shovelled food into his mouth and didn't even give his son a second thought, just what he was eating.

  • Dec. 22, 2003, 1:25 p.m. CST

    I agree with your points, Palantir1

    by daughter of time

    I could even broaden some of it by saying that sometimes Jackson lets his love of the grotesque get in the way of the drama. Lurtz was the best of the bad orcs... "Lumpy," as some have named him, was downright unnecessary. And I could do without just about every close-up of someone drooling, frothing or chewing with bad teeth. But the Pippin/Faramir/Denethor montage in particular had absolutely no need of the red drool (how many grapes and tomatoes did Denethor eat to still be at it in the time it takes for a cavalry to arm, mount and charge?) when without it, it was a beautiful, tragic scene. And Ring-Vision, aside from looking much more interesting than Gollum heaving around in mid-air, would have been a nice link to the first film.

  • Dec. 22, 2003, 2:29 p.m. CST

    Yes, but Denethor's table manners....

    by daughter of time

    ...didn't have to be so over-the-top disgusting to show his indifference to Faramir's suicide mission. He could have simply continued to eat, calmly and coldly.

  • Dec. 22, 2003, 3:12 p.m. CST

    Palantir

    by The DoublePoster

    I thought the Gluttony scene showed that part of Denethor secretly did care about Faramir, and was nervously trying to eat to fool himself and get his mind off of his son (his nervousness is seen by his staring blankly outwards, and eating with his hands and not caring about the juices that spill on his face). He asks Pippin to sing for him for the same reason, to focus his mind on something else. At a symbolic level, the scene also intercuts the honor (demented as it is) of Faramir against the callous eating of Denethor (while one fights valiantly the other eats a King's meal).

  • Dec. 22, 2003, 3:13 p.m. CST

    by newbie69

  • Dec. 22, 2003, 4:12 p.m. CST

    I agree, DoublePoster

    by Elaine

    Deep down Denethor does care for Faramir, and is nervous about his fate. That's why he needs the song and the food - to keep himself from fretting and revealing his nervousness. But Daughter of Time is right - nerves are no reason why he should be slobbering his food the way he is, or to be depicted that way. There really was no need for those disgusting close-ups. Ugh.

  • Dec. 22, 2003, 5:02 p.m. CST

    More on Denethor's Table Manners

    by daughter of time

    Yes, but... Wouldn't CONCENTRATING on his meal actually do a better job of demonstrating his grand show of indifference to Faramir's mission? Aristocratic societies set enormous store by table manners... and that includes feudal ones (contrary to popular misconceptions). Anyway, whatever the rationale is, it takes me right out of the otherwise beautiful and tragic juxtaposition of Faramir's charge and Pippin's son.

  • Dec. 22, 2003, 5:39 p.m. CST

    There's always a Johnny Suede in every crowd...

    by the flashlight

    You know, the obnoxious assclown spewing homophobic vitriol in a desperate attempt to hide the fact that his most fevered desire is to be sexually dominated by a real man. NEWSFLASH! The "homoerotic subtext" trolling angle was old even before it began back in 2000 with Fellowship. The moment I see a "reviewer" mention the existence of a secret love affair between Frodo and Sam, I click that little "X" in the top right corner and delete that "reviewer's" bullshit. There is NO homoeroticism in Lord of the Rings, except what 'tards like Suede want to read into it because of their own hidden desires. Need I point out again, as so many here have before, that what Tolkien wrote about was platonic love, commitment, devotion, and loyalty, not sexual attraction or desire? What a sad, pathetic comment on modern American culture that some people can be exposed to his work and only think "fags". Then again, this is the age of Kevin Smith and South Park and their puerile college undergrad "humor", where the relentless usage of "gay", "fag" and "homo" are passed off as simple put-downs, the equivalent of "stupid" or "dumb". If shiteaters like Suede had even one friend that was willing to stand by them in times of trouble, perhaps they would feel differently. Alas, it's the dipshits like Suede that go through life with no meaningful human relationships to speak of...

  • Dec. 22, 2003, 6:46 p.m. CST

    The "lighting the beacons"-scene...

    by Thing-Fish

    ... was in the books after all. That's definitely a case of "oooops!". (except that the signal wasn't sent to Rohan, but that's a minor detail). _____ Oh, and whereas I do have some issues with movie-Denethor, which I hope the EE will solve, I must say that John Noble isn't just great, he's absolutely spot-on, perfect in that role. Brilliant. Like the rest of the casting, by the way.

  • Dec. 22, 2003, 7:26 p.m. CST

    uber ROTK EE petition is now up!

    by aelfgifu

    I posted this before I had this up-but here it is-the petition for an uber ROTK EE dvd to include anything that was filmed but not included in the theatrical. I don't care if it is 6 hours long-I want to see it all! here is the link-please sign if you want a super dvd. http://www.petitiononline.com/ROTKDVD/petition.html There is a place to put your fav cut scene that WAS filmed (not like the scouring, which never was)

  • Dec. 22, 2003, 7:31 p.m. CST

    I don't really understand brittbuffguys posts

    by Bourne GreyElf

    he seems to trash and hail lotr in his posts. anyway, rotk owned, and who give a shit if these movies didn't beat titanic. individualy, they didn't, but if you view it as one movie, like they really are since they were filmed back to back, they did beat out titanic.

  • Dec. 22, 2003, 9:28 p.m. CST

    Saw it: A very good movie, not great, with one too many endings.

    by JohnnyTremaine

    Fellowship of The Ring, is the instant classic (the theatrical cut, not the extened edition). Two Towers and Return of the King are simply very entertaining (though far too long) action pictures/faux epics. Also, my pick for best movie of the year? Master and Commander, hands down. Another instant classic and a great movie. That one will sweep the Oscars, you watch.

  • Dec. 22, 2003, 10:09 p.m. CST

    What this guy said!

    by MTC3000

    Return Of The King : The Best and Worst of Both Worlds! Comment: I've been thinking about "Return Of The King" since I had seen it and found that although I didn't like it as much as "Two Towers" I think that it is better than "Fellowship". Why do I think this?, well I have been waiting to write a review but wanted to let my thoughts percolate long enogh for me to disect it. First off I felt that the movie did not flow as well as "Towers" or "Fellowship". There was too much of a shift between moments of small drama and the action that takes place. Now "Return" does not want for action but I felt that there was a better build-up to the action in the last two movies. The suspense felt in the Mines Of Moria as the drums begin to beat or when the Orcs and Goblins hear the Balrog and scurry off and the fellowship is left alone to face it. In the battle for Helms Deep there was an overwhelming suspense to the build-up as Peter Jackson has said that "sometimes the build-up to the battle is as important as the battle itself". As for Minas Tirith.......I believe that Jackson made an error in the editing of the film overall. He shifted to many times between Aragon Gimli and Legolas/ Frodo, Sam and Gollum/ and Gandalf and company in Minus. The film should have given us a little bit of the Frodo/Sam/Gollum story at the beggining then focused on Aragon untill the "Army of the Dead" was recruited, then focus on Frodo, Sam, Gollum for a good portion of the movie untill Sam rescues Frodo from the tower, at that point the focus should have shifted to Minus Tirith and stayed there untill the end of the battle and after Aragon releases the Dead from their curse. I believe that Jackson was intercutting too much between the diverging stories thus dissapating the drama when it should have kept building and building. Now I know that a LOT of you like the "Special Editions" for all of the details that didn't make it into the finished film but I for one actually like the theatrical editions better. That's because they have a stronger pace and keep each of the stories flowing smoothly until the right time to switch to something else. The reason that "Return" is better than "Felowship" is becasue of the ACTION which I felt that was lacking in THAT movie where-as "Towers" might not have made up in scale but benifited from the "LAST STAND" feeling of it as well as the Gandalf/Riders of Rohan charge down the mountainside. One of the problems that "Return" has is that like "Fellowship" too much time is wasted on the Arwen/Aragon plot. THIS is why I don't like Fantasy. To suggest that Elves are these IMMORTAL beings yet can just give up their immortality when they feel like it smacks of someone setting up rules and discarding them when it suits them and that is Tolkiens fault. The LOGICAL ending would have had Eowyn and Aragon hook up. It just makes more sense. DID WE NOT have a scene where Elron told his daughter that eventually Aragon WILL die just like any other human and yet she will be left alone for eternity. That to me was one of the great things about "The Two Towers". It presented the idea that Arwen was torn between going to the Grey Havens or staying in Middle-earth and losing the man she loves while she must suffer forever. NOW THAT was a powerfull conflict that was TOTALLY pointless when you learn that she can give up immortality when it suits her. Anyway, as for the battles themselves I thought that they were well staged if a little sterile given that there was no bloodshed with all the impailings, decapitations and crushing. Denethor was a twat. Oh and speaking of the "Army of the Dead" I feel that was a bit of a cop-out. What I wanted was to see the people of Middle Earth fighting together. On the back of the "Return of the King" novel it says Men, Elves, Dwarves, and Ents unite to fight against Sauron and that is NOT WHAT I SAW. Better to have all the races come to the aid of Men and defeat them together rather than a bunch of GHOSTS that can't be killed and can easily overrun the enemy. To bad Aragon couldn't send them into Mordor and fuck up Saurons crew BIG TIME. But that would be a LITTLE to covinient. If they needed to use the "Army of the Dead" then why not make them into Zombies that, although can be destroyed, out number Saurons forces otherwise LEAVE OUT the supernatural BULLSHIT. Another thing that has bothered me during the course of these movie is that we have see Gandlf "THE WIZARD" do FUCK ALL with his powers other than swing his staff around, flash some light from it and slice up a few Orcs. I have seen NOTHING to suggest that GANDALF THE WHITE had anymore power than GANDALF THE GREY. I thought that the Visual Effects were FUCKING AWESOME and Gollum looked 100% better and more realistic than in "Two Towers".As for the multiple endings I really think that Jackson could have shaved off a good portion of the end and saved it for the "Special Edition". I would have greatly appreciated a more tighter end like "Two Towers". I know that he had a number of plotlines to wrap up but do we need never ending slow motion. What the fuck was with that blackout while Sam and Frodo were surrounded buy the magma. Do we need to see the Hobbits sitting in the Bar. Is it neccesary for us to see Sam get hitched to his bitch. What we needed to se was Frodo waking up with the Fellowship (less Boromire) standing around his bed with less HOMO-EROTICISM. Frodo getting on the ship with Gandalf and the Hobbits getting back to the Shire.....exactly the way they left it. NO FUCKING "SCOURING OF THE SHIRE" which was a completely depressing and unnessecary downer of an ending and thank CHRIST that Jackson didn't even film it. One thing that he SHOULD HAVE NOT CUT OUT was the end of Sarumon. The end of the film goes on and on while Jackson thought it unimportant to resolve that plot line. I think that NEW LINE should have been stronger with Jackson and forced him to make some cuts. If "The Return Of The King" had a harder edge and wasn't so concerned with slavishly following the book than it could have perfectly capped this trilogy but as is it ONLY JUST misses the mark as a masterpiece!

  • Dec. 22, 2003, 10:45 p.m. CST

    Jackson Screwed Up Gondor

    by Starbuck1975

    I think all of the Gondor characters, with the exception of Boromir, were not played out well. Faramir is a much more sympathetic and interesting character in the books...TTT extended cut makes up for Jackson's mishandling of the character in the theatrical release...similarly in ROTK, without the explanation of the Palantir causing Denethor's madness, Jackson fails to really flesh out Denethor as a character...although I do think Faramir's charge into certain death was a very well done scene...I am hoping that the extended cut does indeed make reference to Denethor being corrupted by Sauron through the Palantir...I also missed not including the fact that Eowyn and Merry get wounded in destroying the Witch King...that and the Witch King did not play as prominant or intimidating a role as he did in the books...I agree that the Toxic Avenger orc commander was distracting and a bit off...he wasnt even the largest, strongest or most intimidating of the Orks...Sauron had Uruk Hai as well, but a different breed then the superior Orks created by Saruman...I also felt the confontation between Eowyn and the Witch King was anticlimatic...the beacon lighting scene lasted entirely too long...did we really need to see every single beacon lit for nearly 5 mins of film. My last gripe is the Arwen scenes throughout all of the films...while I realize Jackson added them to perhaps attract more of a female audience, they were little more then footnotes in the actual Tolkien writings, and fleshed out as appendices...if Tolkien did not feel the Arwen/Aragorn love story belonged in the main text of his novels, I think Jackson should have followed suit...those scenes lasted entirely too long and throw off the pacing of the films.

  • Dec. 22, 2003, 11:05 p.m. CST

    Misguided view of homosexual scenes in ROTK...

    by The DoublePoster

    I hear everyone complaining about the homoerotic scenes in the movie, but they are missing the whole point of the real sexual overtones of the movie. Now, while this may not be in the books, in the movies there are definite subconscious sexual overtones going on all over the place. What scene do the women in the theater clap the most for? Eowyn as she cuts the head off a very phallic-looking fell beast. What scene is the scariest in the film? Shelob, which Freud would definitely call a vagina dentata (Freud, a nutcase if you ask me, thought all men were secretly afraid of a vagina that had teeth... i.e. urban legends of Vietnamese prostitutes using razor blades you-know-where), as she fights Frodo and spits sticky webbing out at him. And how does Sam get rid of her, not by cutting off her head like Eowyn might, but by stabbing her right in her underbelly. Not to mention Aragorn's much-larger-than-everyone-else's sword, the dullness of Merry

  • Dec. 22, 2003, 11:09 p.m. CST

    I'm Frodo and tubby here is my hetero life partner Sam...

    by Mad_Radhu

    Why do people have such trouble getting the Frodo and Sam relationship? It wasn't anthing gay, anymore than Jay and Silent Bob were gay. (Well maybe Jay was deep down inside, but they never buggered each other).

  • Dec. 23, 2003, 12:48 a.m. CST

    Matrix & Oscars

    by Darth Thoth

    Just saw on Empire Online that neither Matrix sequels received an Oscar nom. What a joke. Despite what you might have thought of either movie you must admit the sfx were pretty amazing. http://www.empireonline.co.uk/news/news.asp?story=5252

  • Dec. 23, 2003, 12:50 a.m. CST

    palantir1

    by elanor

    I hope you will hop on over to the Beaks/McKellen tb. Many of us book-readers are there conversing. You would be most welcome. Here are my comments on your post: I think anyone who has a full knowledge of Denethor's character will have a bit of trouble with his portrayal in this film, but we have to remember Jackson always meant to make his films for a mass audience. For this audience, Jackson condenses and exaggerates and shows certain visual traits to convey what the book does in two or three chapters. Indeed, a ruling Steward would have decent table manners; but when we see Denethor not wipe his chin it indicates that something is very wrong with him. He also "uses" Pippin for his amusement and worst of all, sends his son on a suicide mission. Jackson plays all this together, cutting back and forth, to make his point about the depths of Denethor's despair. Some people think it's too much. I have come to like it after three viewings.***You're right! The Captain of the Orcs does look like "a cross between the Toxic Avenger and 'Chunk' from Goonies"! And yes, The Witch King is the main commander; Gothmog was his second. But it Jackson had "left this dude out of the film" audiences would have been much more in the dark about how Sauron's army worked and fought. Gothmog serves as a bridge for the audience in these battle scenes. If, for example, you had substituted the WK for Gothmog then you run the risk of diminishing the WK by over-exposure. If you simply get rid of Gothmog without replacing him, I think the battle would be far less comprehensible.***I agree that seeing "Gollum from Frodo's standpoint once he put the ring on and dissappeared." like in "ring vision" would have been really cool! It's really interesting to me, that this is one sequence that is verbatim from the book, and people have not really reacted so well to it. I find it a little comical to see Gollum "jerked around on an invisible Frodo" too. But perhaps using Ring Vision in the heart of Sauron's realm presented other problems for the filmmakers. I hope this is addressed on the DVD documentaries. Take care

  • Dec. 23, 2003, 12:57 a.m. CST

    I agree, Darth

    by elanor

    I don't get that at all. I am a major LOTR fan but I also enjoyed all the Matrix movies. I thought the visual effects in both Reloaded and Revolutions were totally amazing, brilliantly done, unique and imaginative. It is a ridiculous snub and a terrible oversight. Stuff like this makes me really unhappy with the Oscars.

  • Dec. 23, 2003, 1:14 a.m. CST

    Sterling Mel

    by 900LBGorilla

    Wow What a long winded fart THAT was...you say a lot, yet you really say NOTHING...it's fucking amazing! Allow me to quote/school you: "We have failed to be (as James Baldwin describes the power of love for something or seomone) subversive and transformative". -Gee I assume the subject is Peter Jackson & Co. in making this film...but WE is hardly who did that...(the word would be "They" or "Jackson & CO.", you cant even start an atrgument with a truth (and it gets even better!)On to the meat (or lack thereof). Boy the Baldwin quote was pretty callow...so to love something you have to subvert and transform it? OK...I really love what you are, thus I would like you to become a LOVER and Worshiper of all things Western and American...Cause that would be like you (I guess in your yes you?) but better! ==============="You have gotten EXACTLY what you deserve"====================-Yes we have gotten EXCELLENCE, thank you for thinking we deserve so much. It is appreciated.========================"You are capability and possibility ABANDONED". - Yes because things were much better before we stopped tyrants and warlords and gave the world democracy and a higher standard of living with our inventions. Yes we now sectretly live just like the French did back in the days of the Gillotine, and the NGermans under Hitler...ABONDOMENT FOR SHAME! "You ARE the Dream Deferred".- Yeah what we theoretically have deferred is a mystery to all, including you apparently. I know there was probably a point somewhere when you started to say this, but you buried it in your own bullshit, so now it's nowhere to be found.================ "Enjoy". - Again, we have, thanks. "Your civilization is based upon layers and layers of mist and fog, and you are so afraid, and so hateful, and so in love, and in lust, and so arrogant, and so grasping, and so ignorant, and such geniuses that you think that it will last forever". - Whatever this bullshit means...If we we were sure it would last forever, we wouldn't be proactively seeking to protect "our civilization" though, so nice string of floral words...but again basically a written fart for all it's value...and BTW, WHAT CIVILIZATION do YOU live in? One that does not mimic and copy ours I hope, (Cause then you'd be a hypocrite) Maybe you live alone in the wilderness, or maybe you live under a dictator (though you would then have to BE the dicatator to enjoy it as much as you apparently do). ========================="(if we can escape this civilization's death throes without a nuclear-winter petulence from the newest-latest, and most child-like in its hateful ignorance, empire" - Well the Word "EMPIRE" is wrong, may I suggest a dictionary my infantile freind? and to understand what STOPS horrible wars, suffering, and hell... HOLOCAUSTS, maybe you should study a little history on the subject before spouting off with your silly fantasy inspired theories- go ahead, start with the best example (on every level the cause and reasons WWII happened) then, when you have some basic understanding of how the world works over here in a little place we like to call REALITY, come back and we'll chat.============== "While they'll likely be able to piece together the hopelessness of our self-delusion regarding our governmental systems, and the resultant inevitable implosion"- And again you say something, yet NOTHING! What by Thor's asscrack is the SUBJECT of your theory? ie. WHAT are we deluded about in relation to our govermnent? (Guess you skipped "basic debating for 11 year olds...a point and subject ALWAYS help) ...and BTW EVERYTHING eventually collapses or implodes (good or bad) you moron...that's another little part of reality here on earth (I can give you dirctions if you want to visit sometime).===================="Well, I had HOPED for Tolkien-on-film, and that was my, our, failing". - Again vagaries and Fog (as you would say), nice to say something IS NOT FAITHFUL, yet utterly fail to explain WHY you think this (And to contradict yourself in your own post to boot, I thought love was being "subversive and trasformative"? If that's the case (in your eyes) why did you want to see an exact replica of Tolkien??? You just Basically called told us that you are full of shit! What a hoot! You are a man without an argument (you never made even ONE, save in the negative, which an argument ain't), a man without a point, and a man without a clue! I have not had the priviledge to have read something so unintentionally funny in YEARS! All these big words, but with argunments as thick as paper...You sir are STERLING INDEED!

  • Dec. 23, 2003, 1:25 a.m. CST

    Maceox- a freindly correction

    by 900LBGorilla

    "Mel come on you literary genius Comment: Wow references to both baldwin and whitman you are smart". --Actually refereneces to baldwin and whitman make Mel Learned, or likely at least well read...they most certainly do NOT, however, make him smart. "Smartness" correlates with intelligence, which is the ability to learn, solve, and apply knowledge. And based on Mel's "argument" when you analyze it with any degree of "intellect", he fails MISERABLY to meet the criteria of "smart". Many people mistake "Learned" with "smart"...when in reality they have very little to do with one another...just wanted to clarify...

  • Dec. 23, 2003, 2:52 a.m. CST

    Underwhelming

    by 900LBGorilla

    If you think STIRLING WAS

  • Dec. 23, 2003, 3:07 a.m. CST

    TOO MUCH....

    by ryLRci

    Most of you are reading too much into the LOTR trilogy. Those talking about gay hobbits and the film mirroring the fall of western civilization are trying to find a hidden meaning in a film that doesn't really have one. The story is about the destiny of friends and how time changes people and how little people (no pun intended) can make a difference. Woven in is magic, mystery, and one of the damn best movies of our time. Both Tolkien and Jackson tell the story phenomenally. Leave it at what it is! Suck in what the film gives you and leave it at that. It really ain't that hard.

  • Dec. 23, 2003, 4:10 a.m. CST

    Titanic did big numbers because teeny-boppers saw it seven times

    by Holly_Wight

    You have to understand that every theatre was filled with 14-year-old girls with their hands down their jeans while Leo was up there on the screen.

  • Dec. 23, 2003, 4:14 a.m. CST

    DoublePoster

    by Elaine

    Just a quick post to say I very much enjoyed your summary of the subconscious sexual overtones of "The Return of the King", up there at the head of the talkback. The infinite-Anduril scene of the film certainly had me snickering. Mine's longer than anyone else's, eh? Nya, nya. I hadn't thought about the other examples you listed, but you're right, they're definitely there - as opposed to the homosexuality certain puerile posters keep bringing up. So, all you Sam-and-Frodo-bashing idiots, can you give it a rest now? Leave now and never come back. Rid us all of your stupidity. Go on. Please. We've had enough of you. Oh yes, we have!

  • Dec. 23, 2003, 3:27 p.m. CST

    5 hours?

    by raker

    i'm hearing rumours that the EE version of rotk could be around/over 5 hours. life is good.

  • Dec. 23, 2003, 6:33 p.m. CST

    Skyway, get over it....

    by MisterGrimloch

    while i realize YOUR balls are currently owned by your wife (being the good married type that you are. oh and i forgot, the proud father, and network engineer.) and you can't recognize that there are indeed those of us who are not into fawning all over Pete Jackson and his "epic trilogy", there is little reason for you to come into this talkback, and actually make threats to me. (which fall VERY flat, i'd like you to know.) but what do you care, being such a tough guy, as has been described by those "in the know". as for sending you emails, i would, but i'm afraid you would take it as some sort of offering of peace. i'd much rather sit back and dislike these films, and have you fret over it. we all have our opinions Skyway, and yours is no more relevant than mine.

  • Dec. 23, 2003, 6:50 p.m. CST

    ya know, Skyway.....

    by MisterGrimloch

    i've just gone back and actually read almost all of your posts, and i have to say you really are the quintessential LOTR fan, who gives LOTR fans a bad name. you are a true crybaby. anyone who posted negatively, you bash. not everyone is in love with these movies, and criticisms are legitimate if the person in question genuinely felt that the film suffered in certain areas. you honestly do seem like a miserable person. if you are utterly "amazed" at the LOTR films, then good for you. i, on the other hand, am sadly disappointed. its not like i wanted to wind up thinking this trilogy is sub par, but that is my true feeling. ok, now go ahead and call me a "motherfucker", or some other clever bit of nonsense that your current anger is directing you toward.

  • Dec. 23, 2003, 8:46 p.m. CST

    peter jackson's king kong

    by superman2

    where and when can we send in head shots?

  • Dec. 23, 2003, 10:19 p.m. CST

    Return of the King fails to deliver!

    by SIMPLYAWEFUL

    WOW,talk about a disappointment. I am really pissed off that I wasted 3hours and 35 minutes of my life to watch this so called ridiculous spectacle of a movie. I have both Fellowship and Two Towers with the extra 35 minutes and I love them both. This movie fell short on important key elements like Gandalf breaking saruman staff, also the battle starts precisely 2hours and 10 minutes into the movie. Everything before that is talking, nonsense, Gollum trying seduce fruito from Dave and visiting dead spirits WOW, how exciting. Even the battle to me wasn't exciting. This battle was a repeat of the Two Towers battle the only difference is that in this movie it starts during the daytime then goes to night when the trolls break in then to the next morning. If I'm not mistaken thats over 12 hours. Wouldn't everyone be dead by those trolls by then.We have Gandalf a wizard (A WIZARD) who doesn't use any type of magic at all during the movie besides the one time he lights his flashlight at the Nazguls. Then we hear the Witch King talk crap saying that he will break him just to have himself get killed by a woman who has no experience in the battlefield. Even though in the book she does kill him we have a depth and understanding that she had some skill. We have Gimli (which i think is a cool character) not doing absolutely nothing at all but groom his beard and act like a coward. Then we have Aragorn's bride riding swinging and jumping all over the elephant like spiderman and balancing himself with the cheap effects and then sliding down its nose like its supposed to be cool, come on BOOOOOOO. Then we have the ghosts from the queen to be last movie Pirates of the Caribbean come lay a spectral green trail all over the city turning it into a giant christmas tree. Then we see cry baby Dave take out 3 uruk-hai by himself what bull. Then the part that I was waiting for the Black Gate scene. This was the worst part in the whole movie because all Aragorn did was look at everyone and said,"FOR FRUITO" then runs into battle. I flipped out because I was waiting for Sauron's Leutenant the MOUTH of SAURON to come out the gates with its horse like in the book. All he fought was a troll for about 5-10 seconds and this wasn't exciting at all. Then we have a 30 minute ending that didnt want to end with no sign of Saruman and Wormtongue in the shire, and ended a very, i mean very long goodbye. Jeez it felt like it was playing in slow motion, I think that if you fast forward it it still will play at that pace. Now for those of you thought this movie was better than the last 2 read the books, and for those who read the books read it again. I will hope the extended edition of RETURN OF THE KING FILL IN THE GAPS. Until then THE #1 MOVIE OF THE YEAR IS NONE OTHER THAN THE LAST SAMURAI AND YOU CAN'T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT IT!

  • Dec. 23, 2003, 10:25 p.m. CST

    hmmm good points

    by 81666

    but i think this film shall win many GLAAD awards for sam-cheeks-wise gamgee in Lord of the Buttocks... i have yet to see the film in one setting (just many pieces, daily) so my views so far are just being a bastard at best.

  • Dec. 23, 2003, 10:36 p.m. CST

    There's a special place in hell for Mr. Jackson

    by tolkworld

    Anyone who can so fuck up this trilogy deserves to be slowly, nicely roasted in a deep, dark hole. Sure, the movies LOOK spectacular - too bad they pay very little attention to the actual books. All this attention to these movies is undeserved. When the people who flocked to the movies actually read the books, they will see just how horribly Jackson botched these movies.

  • Dec. 24, 2003, 2:09 a.m. CST

    And fanboys dressed up as Frodo and Gandalf wont see ROTK 10 tim

    by AlwaysThere

    Keep dreaming buddy. Your fellow LOTR fanatics will be/are much more crazy about pushing the box office numbers up.

  • Dec. 24, 2003, 7:28 a.m. CST

    OMG - Just breathtaking. A triumph.

    by JMYoda

    This film is extraordinary. I've often said that "The Empire Strikes Back" could never be dethroned as my all-time favorite film - or top it as the best fantasy-adventure-film ever. Well this film, at the very least equals it and I can't say how I'll feel once I see the EE. The LOTR has long been my favorite novel (it really is ONE novel) and it's a pretty close call but I think it may have toppled the original Star Wars trilogy as my favorite movie series. Forget silly little details. All the changes Jackson and co. have made make sense if you can understand the fundamental differences between print and film. It took me awhile to warm up to some of the changes - such as in Farimir's character in TTT but after the added scenes in the EE and the reasons given by the writers in the documentaries I see that it was, for the film, a change for the better. In fact I only have one real gripe concerning the trilogy and that is the Wargs. The Wargs are REALLY BIG WOLVES. They're even referred to in the novel AS WELL as the film, as the Wolves of Isengard. They even got the Wargs right in the old Rankin/Bass cartoon based on "The Hobbit", I really don't get why they look like sabertooth tigers cross-bred with hyenas. Oddly enough Jackson's Wargs look very much how I pictured the Cats who try to kill the twins in "Children of Dune"... More so then the ones in the mini-series (which I quite enjoyed BTW. Though Sci-Fi can still suck my green Muppet cock for that horrible abomination they're trying to pass off as "Battlestar Galactica"). Since I went to see ROTK on the third days it was open, there was a wonderfully mixed crowd and everyone seemed to love it. It was a little reserved... Until the Sam Vs. Shelob scene (which I've been dying to see realized since I first read the novel - my favorite moments in the books by far). When Sam took on Shelob I just HAD to yell out loud - loud enough the folks in the next screen probably heard me. It seemed to be the pebble that starts the avalanche as the crowd started cheering during every hero moment after that... And by the end I don't think their was a dry eye in the house. When it was over everyone clapped and cheered. Then left quiet as mice, as if awe-stricken (which they where). After being disappointed twice-over by Lucas' prequel trilogy (no offence to those who love them. I just think they lack emotion with only the good action and FX to support them). However with this trilogy Peter Jackson has renewed my faith that great Genre films can be made to equal anything else out there and for that I am grateful. I'm also glad he's the one who made them. For the all the book-wraiths and so-called "Tolkenists" and "purists" bitching these films have been amazingly faithful to the book's overall spirit. Not like other adaptations like Francis Ford Copolla's "Dracula" (which wouldn't bother me if he and his co. didn't swear it was faithful to Bram Stoker's vision) or Verhoven's raping of "Starship Troopers" which completely neglects EVERYTHING that made the novel so cool (no mech-battlesuits for Cripes sake!!) and makes it's own shitty characters and story. IMO Verhoven can't fucking die fast enough. Or at least get deported back to what ever shit-hole he came from. "Robocop" and "Total Recall" were nice diversions but everything after that is pure shit on celluloid. Just imagine if HE had done LOTR...

  • Dec. 24, 2003, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Bored of the Rings: Return of the Boring

    by Sro100

    Bring on Episode III!

  • Dec. 24, 2003, 1:34 p.m. CST

    Simplyawful

    by Dr. Death

    Must suck to be you then...

  • Dec. 24, 2003, 4:22 p.m. CST

    I was entertained

    by thernlund

    I thought the books painted a very vivid picture of the world Tolkien was trying to create. However, I personally found them a very difficult read for any extended length of time. The movies I also found to be effective in bringing to life Tolkiens world, but I didn't find them as hard to watch and the book were to read. They weren't dead on to the books, but did they need to be? Some things don't translate to the screen well and need to be adjusted to make the transition successful. In my opinion an example of just such a thing is American Psycho. Good read, but I feel that a bit of creative license should have been taken to make it a good movie. Whatever. I'm not a Tolkien/D&D/Fantasy freak that dresses up for movie events or anything (I did play EverQuest for the free month they offered way back when, but that was it after that). Having said that, I think they were all absolutely fantasic movies. I was definitely sufficiently entertained for my money. I'll even go as far as to say that each movie has plenty of staying power sufficiently to entertain me many more times into the future.

  • Dec. 24, 2003, 4:55 p.m. CST

    by ryLRci

  • Dec. 24, 2003, 4:58 p.m. CST

    LOTR is amazing

    by ryLRci

    I dont know why you rag on ROTK. It was absolutely amazing in every form. And "bring on Episode III"? You must be kidding me. Episodes 1 and 2 were disasterously awful and got some of the worst reviews this side of Gigli, so to say that ROTK is crap and that Episode III will be worth watching time shows your mediocre judge of movies. By the way, happy holidays!

  • Dec. 24, 2003, 5:33 p.m. CST

    theres been a few people complaining...

    by Bourne GreyElf

    ...about noise in the theater while watching a movie. here is a solution that seriously helps, I swear to god. example; when I went to the 1201 showing of rotk, people were clapping when the movie started, when the newline logo hit. I was like, thats cool, I'll clap too. then, they started clapping and chattering again when the lord of the rings words came on, I was a bit annoyed, but nothing big. but then, people KEPT talking and whispering AFTER the fucking title screen, and during the start of the whold smeagol prologue. then, I yelled," SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY!". a few people snickered, but then all was completely quiet. so the point is, DO NOT BE AFRAID TO BE BLUNT IN THE MOVIE THEATER WHEN SOMEONE IS DISRUPTING THE EXPERIANCE! tell them to shut the fuck up, I garauntee it will work. oh, and mistergrimlock is a fag. good day.

  • Dec. 24, 2003, 8:47 p.m. CST

    PETER JACKSON AND GEORGE LUCAS!

    by SIMPLYAWEFUL

    Ok now for all you so called geniuses out there. You can't put blame on George Lucas's episode 1 and 2. I know they sucked big time but that was because he let technology get the best of him. Also he waited too long to make these movies as he is still doing now. These movies weren't dark enough as they should have been and anakin should have been a very dark child, like he was living his life in misery. The problem with Lucas is that he is struggling to make these movies great to his own imagination (something Peter doesn't have)and make his last movie his best work and not a tragic ending to a 6 part series. It's very hard to do trilogies, imagine doing it with 6 movies, and from scratch and thats where Peter Jackson comes in. Peter didn't do the LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY, J.R.R. TOLKIEN DID. REMEBER THAT. All Peter did was look at the book and film it. If you dont believe me look at the extras on the dvd. Of course its going to be easy, anyone could have filmed this movie. Look at Harry Potter for instance. The only drawback was Lord of the Rings wasn't 6 or 7 books. If it was they would have broken the record for best unoriginality in movie making. Lucas on the other has to do his movies from scratch that's a very stressful job. He doesn't have the luxury to see what he wants from a book and do it. He has to write it first, then read it over, then take out what doesn't work. Unlike Peter he took out all the important stuff that held the movie and put fruity moments in it. I hope Lucas doesnt mess this last movie up I suggest that the people working with him speak up if he's doing something wrong nefore he ruins it for the rest of us. Also in the last movie he should have a post up in his Star Wars site to get help from fans on what he should put in it like that we all have a part to play in his final movie and he can use what we have written and use it. This has never been done before in movie history. Finally i will say that if Peter was to do the Lord of the Rings from scratch and film it, it would have not come out the way it did but in fact would have been much, much worse. Lucas can't remake the first 2 episodes because its too late but he still has a chance with his last. He should let us help him.

  • Dec. 24, 2003, 8:52 p.m. CST

    the cold dark pathetic heart?

    by Vision

    You pretentious twat!

  • Dec. 24, 2003, 10:37 p.m. CST

    What the hell?

    by ryLRci

    What is it with people ragging on ROTK? Besides being the best movie of the year, it has the potential to be one of the best movies of our time. And "bring on Episode III"? WHAT?! Episodes I and II are so disasterously awful and have garnered some of the worst reviews of their years. You're actually saying that Episode III in a crap trilogy is more worth your time that ROTK? I would seriously question your intellegence as a movie "fan" if that is what you can call yourself. Oh, by the way: Happy Holidays everyone!

  • Dec. 25, 2003, 12:15 a.m. CST

    Lord and Cold Mountain

    by DIRCK

    Harry, I saw Lord of The Rings today and agree with your comments. It is a masterpiece. When looked at as the conclusion of a major body of work it is awesome. I posted an opinion on Cold Mountain earlier this week after seeing a preview in Austin, which expressed my disappointment with that film. God only knows how much it cost Anthony Mingella to shoot the battle at the Crater, but it pales in comparison to the hours of battle choreography in Lord. The main problem I had with Cold Mountain is that Jude Law

  • Dec. 25, 2003, 3 a.m. CST

    Layers-spoilers

    by BDT

    Love this movie. Has layers. I read once that Shakespeare plays originally would be performed on two levels one for the standing room only crowd right under the stage and one to project to the aristocracy farther away. This movie seems to have many such layers of art and visuals, and of subtle plot and character moments. It seems like there may even be some hidden humor in buried in a moment or two or three. Seen this movie several times...I cry at many scenes... at the beacon scene, the landscapes are breathtaking and I love moving over the landscape with the message...So powerful...a single piece of communication that moves through time & space urgent, focussed, untouched...it arrives with a swiftness that no technology of our time could rival. I cry at Arwen's vision, at Pippin's departure from Edoras, at many of the things Frodo's voiceovers at the end convey. There are some touches I didn't like...the way Arwen giggles during a somewhat undignified embrace (considering the stature of the king of men and the princess who is the Evenstar of her people) in a public and solemn occassion... and the only reason I didn't like it was because it seemed out of place...even within layers. I didn't like the way Denethor comes to his demise either, only because it seems like Gandalf kills him, and I think that took something vital away from his character...like Denethor might have changed his mind...but in the books Denethor was resolute and completely blinded despair, he had given his free will over to it. Ultimately the movie and the books have a strong message about choices "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." I really hate to compare the books and the movies except that, for the most part, I think Peter Jackson did such a fantastic job conveying the message of choices while keeping us entertained and engaged within the medium of film. Nitpicking to be sure, this movie is awesome...in the truest sense of the word. Still, it is a small complaint, I will see this movie many, many times before I feel like I've caught even half of what I know is there.

  • Dec. 25, 2003, 3:03 a.m. CST

    SIMPLYAWEFUL

    by Dr. Death

    You are a fucking genius. You've got it all figured out. Why doesn't everyone else look at LOTR and Star Wars the way you do?!! You fourteen year olds fucking amaze me.

  • Dec. 25, 2003, 5:13 a.m. CST

    To Grimschlock: Poor, rapacious misanthrope,

    by Skyway Moaters

    You don't understand jack shit about jack shit. Have fun finding fault with everyone and everything. This is the last time I will acknowledge your existence, so don't bother. *** Fuck you very much, Skyway.

  • Dec. 25, 2003, 5:30 a.m. CST

    Grim

    by Pontsing Barset

    Who threatened who? Is it even beginning to dawn on you how wrong you are about everything you think you understand yet? I thought not...

  • Dec. 25, 2003, 7:59 a.m. CST

    Revolutions is better than ROTK.

    by TheSumOfGod

    The Matrix trilogy is better than the LOTR trilogy.

  • Dec. 25, 2003, 1:26 p.m. CST

    My condolences...and a Christmas wish

    by elanor

    My Christmas condolences to all of you uber-purists who have not yet been able to bring yourselves to enjoy this gift of a film. No one is a bigger fan of the book than I; if anything, this cinema adaptation has made me appreciate Tolkien's magnificent writing all the more. I want to remind you that Peter Jackson's three movies, and their Extended Editions, HAVE NOT CHANGED OR DIMINISHED ONE WORD of Tolkien's masterpiece. Peter Jackson did not make these movies as replacements for the books. He has always said "The Lord of the Rings already exists as a book." His collaborative adaptation is meant as a companion piece to the book. I would think purists, who, by definition are book lovers, might be pleased that the widespread success of the films have led so many thousands of people to discover the books; people who would not have found them otherwise. The films have also have led more thousands to return to the books, to rediscover the story they read in their teens. In these films, for every "wrong" line there are dozens of right ones. For every "wrong" scene, there are dozens of right ones. For every missed detail, there are dozens of brilliantly achieved ones. We hear Tolkien's Elvish languages beautifully spoken, we see his love of landscape and trees so stunningly filmed, we hear the names of beloved characters and places spoken by gifted actors, and we get Frodo sailing away on a white ship to Valinor. It is my fondest wish that at least a few purists will have the courage to give up their pointless bashing and ragging about what the films miss, screw up or diminish, and embrace the fact that here is a version of the story that has moved so many people so much. I wish you would reflect on the fact that this film does not end with Sam murdering Gollum, nor with a bunch of soldiers' fists in the air shouting "yes" at the Black Gate, nor Arwen in armor fighting Sauron, nor a female Pippin, nor Minas Tirith blowing up, nor 25 Nazgul, nor Gollum as a giant frog, nor Treebeard as a giant carrot, etc, etc. Yes, there are flaws. Of course there are. The films were made by humans under astonishing pressure, not the least of which was their own sustained committment to making the films as good as they could in the time they had. Gandalf says "all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us". I hope purists will consider how they spend their time, and to use it for something other than bashing and ranting. (I'm not talking about discussing/debating the "flaws"; I'm talking about bashing and ranting.)

  • Dec. 25, 2003, 4:07 p.m. CST

    This movie was MAGNIFICENT. I laughed, I cried, I went home, JER

    by ComicBookGeek77

    Nuff Said. Nothing compares to this film, nothing. It was perfect. I have ZERO criticisms. All you fucks who claim there were "homo-erotic" undertones, kiss my fat, pimply, comic book geek ASS. Those guys went to hell and back, yeah, they're close. They have a bond. GROW THE FUCK UP. Revolutions sucked by the way. The Wachowski bros are SELLOUTS. Peter Jackson is the real thing. Now, let's get started on that Hobbit movie. I will really JIZZ when I see Smog.

  • Dec. 25, 2003, 10:53 p.m. CST

    hey guess what, the paths of the dead is not a vagina

    by garbagio

    The DoublePoster's comments were ridiculous. Aragorn's sword is the biggest because he's the coolest, Shelob is a giant spider and NOTHING MORE, the Fell Beasts look like they do because that's what reptiles look like in real life (roughly at least), and for CRYING OUT LOUD, the entrance to the Paths of the Dead is NOT a vagina!! Please people, let's not be stupid. DoublePoster is quite right, though, that Frodo and Sam are not gay. Can't men show any kind of affection for each other these days without people taking it sexually? Minds in the gutter, people, minds in the gutter.

  • Dec. 25, 2003, 11:04 p.m. CST

    What the ?!?!

    by ryLRci

    What is it with people ragging on every miniscule problem of ROTK? It is, undoubtabely, the best film of the year if not one of the best of our time. And "bring on Episode III"? You must be kidding! Episode I and II were so disasterously awful and garnered some of the worst reviews of the year. And you're actually saying that the third in this crap-bomb trilogy is more worth the time than ROTK? Well, I would seriously reconsider your intellegence as a "movie fan", if that's what you can call yourself. Oh by the way, Happy Holidays everyone!

  • Dec. 26, 2003, 1:53 a.m. CST

    900lbgor

    by Maceox

    Hey gorilla it is called sarcasm i went on to quote two other author to show that book smarts do not equal intelligence. You obviously read my thread to think that I thin Mel is smart, I do not based upon his ability to quote authors. We are on the the same side Mel is an idiot.

  • Dec. 26, 2003, 3:25 a.m. CST

    Maceox

    by 900LBGorilla

    It did look like you were giving him some credit on 1st read, but either way, we were coming from the same side. What a toon he is. Merry Christmas.

  • Dec. 26, 2003, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Tolkien for the masses

    by morGoth

    Well friends, this is the end of our long and somewhat strange journey here on the AICN LoTR TB

  • Dec. 26, 2003, 1:03 p.m. CST

    Dammit Pud!

    by morGoth

    Just when I was praising your creativity AND nominating you for an AICN award (The Emperor TB), you go and do a cut n' paste job. Grr...c'mon, yer lettin' us down! You can do better...c'mon!

  • Dec. 26, 2003, 4:51 p.m. CST

    Luke I am your - Shut your mouth - talkin bout Shaft - I can dig

    by The DoublePoster

    Does anyone else get the feeling like PUD! might actually BE Billy Dee Williams? Its exciting having a celebrity around these TBs.

  • Dec. 26, 2003, 6:26 p.m. CST

    B-b-but Pud!, I'm black myself!

    by morGoth

    O yes, and what about Sauron The Eye For the Straight Black Guy? O no, no black and burning Sauron, but a RED Eye! Worse than racism...COMMUNISM!

  • Dec. 26, 2003, 9:49 p.m. CST

    who wanted the Dark Lord...question

    by nameless00

    hello, i just want to know who has the same feeling as me when they saw Return of the king, who wanted the dard lord to return ? i think would have been a great action to see the dark lord return and kick some butt for little bit. but just me.

  • Dec. 26, 2003, 10:25 p.m. CST

    Pud?

    by Methestel

    We thought we'd lost you to a brilliant new career of breaking into people's houses and pissing in their cornflakes. Don't you have anything better to do?

  • Dec. 26, 2003, 11:38 p.m. CST

    It's your fault, morG

    by elanor

    Tolkien for the Masses, I say hooray, too. We think alike, we do. You mentioned "cut n paste" and since noone seems to have seen my earlier hosed post, I hereby re-run my "Condolences and a Christmas Wish": My condolences to all of you uber-purists who have not yet been able to bring yourselves to enjoy this gift of a film. No one is a bigger fan of the book than I; if anything, this cinema adaptation has made me appreciate Tolkien's magnificent writing all the more. I want to remind you that Peter Jackson's three movies, and their Extended Editions, HAVE NOT CHANGED OR DIMINISHED ONE WORD of Tolkien's masterpiece. Peter Jackson did not make these movies as replacements for the books. He has always said "The Lord of the Rings already exists as a book." His collaborative adaptation is meant as a companion piece to the book. I would think purists, who, by definition are book lovers, might be pleased that the widespread success of the films have led so many thousands of people to discover the books; people who would not have found them otherwise. The films have also have led more thousands to return to the books, to rediscover the story they read in their teens. In these films, for every "wrong" line there are dozens of right ones. For every "wrong" scene, there are dozens of right ones. For every missed detail, there are dozens of brilliantly achieved ones. We hear Tolkien's Elvish languages beautifully spoken, we see his love of landscape and trees so stunningly filmed, we hear the names of beloved characters and places spoken by gifted actors, and we get Frodo sailing away on a white ship to Valinor. It is my fondest wish that at least a few purists will have the courage to give up their pointless bashing and ragging about what the films miss, screw up or diminish, and embrace the fact that here is a version of the story that has moved so many people so much. I wish you would reflect on the fact that this film does not end with Sam murdering Gollum, nor with a bunch of soldiers' fists in the air shouting "yes" at the Black Gate, nor Arwen in armor fighting Sauron, nor a female Pippin, nor Minas Tirith blowing up, nor 25 Nazgul, nor Gollum as a giant frog, nor Treebeard as a giant carrot, etc, etc. Yes, there are flaws. Of course there are. The films were made by humans under astonishing pressure, not the least of which was their own sustained committment to making the films as good as they could in the time they had. Gandalf says "all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us". I hope purists will consider how they spend their time, and to use it for something other than bashing and ranting. (I'm not talking about discussing/debating the "flaws"; I'm talking about bashing and ranting.)***And this is not directed at pud! because today I think he's funny. Three Cheers for Peter Jackson! Praise him with Great Praise!

  • Dec. 27, 2003, 3:34 a.m. CST

    WOW! Check it out

    by ryLRci

    Damn, Orion. You were right. The Japanese trailer for ROTK kicks ass! It made me want to see it again. But jeez, what is with the spoilers? They're so bad it completely gives away the ENTIRE film. I wonder if there is any controversy with that over there. Anyway, check it out if you haven't seen it!

  • Dec. 27, 2003, 10:18 a.m. CST

    Thankee kindly elanor-lass!

    by morGoth

    Yes, we do think alike on this matter and it

  • Dec. 27, 2003, 11:45 a.m. CST

    I quite liked it

    by Smurfette

    Will it win the Oscar though?

  • Dec. 27, 2003, 5:18 p.m. CST

    Mynameisnobody, old boy . . .

    by Garbage

    I know you posted about the eagles and arrows about a week ago, but, you know . . . some of us have slow servers. Anyway, you say that arrows don't have very large/long ranges; but medieval longbows could shoot an arrow 500 metres with relative accuracy. That's half a kilometre to we Canadians, and, roughly speaking, the distance from home plate to the centre field fence at the Skydome five times over. Or, to be more abstract, it would be the same as 250 Darth Vaders laid head to foot. Or 500 metre sticks . . . all right, I've made my point. By the way, I kind of wish one of the eagles had taken a dump on Sauron's eye . . . and by the way (2), it was funny that the good guys knew the exact moment Frodo threw the ring in the lava--it could have been that he lost the ring before he left the Shire and merely dug out the foundation of Mount Doom so that it fell.

  • Dec. 27, 2003, 6:15 p.m. CST

    The Hobbit?

    by Kiev

    Is it true they're making The Hobbit? I loved ROTK, Smeagol's prologue caught me by surprise. I found the first hour or so going by too quickly and with many chops. Can't wait to see the Extended Edition!!!

  • Dec. 27, 2003, 9:11 p.m. CST

    Haha, George Lucas finally admits it. Eat this LOTR naysayers...

    by gil-galad12

    In an interview with Christopher Lee Do you think that the Academy will recognise Lord of the Rings this time? "They'll give it to the trilogy, to the Lord Of The Rings, and to Peter Jackson as director. I remember when I was working for George Lucas not all that long ago, and George said to me "I couldn't have done that."

  • Dec. 27, 2003, 9:12 p.m. CST

    The Film

    by WoodyStiffer

    While I thought the trilogy was very well done (I've never read the books) - I wouldn't come close to calling the third installment one of the best films of all time. It was good, but not all-time great. I thought Master & Commander, The Last Samurai, and Open Range were all better films. The only truly disappointing thing about the third installment was the ending - the editing was just shoddy. You can't do fades, pauses and pullouts for four or five straight scenes. The audience I was with was laughing at this point as nobody could figure out when the final ending would occur. Regarding The Hobbit, I don't think there's any question it will be made after the tremendous success of the Rings trilogy. With regard to the boxoffice, the final installment may make it into the top five in worldwide boxoffice, but in adjusted dollars, it probably wouldn't come close to cracking the true all time boxoffice top five. It definitely won't beat Titanic, it just doesn't have the repeat watchability for all age groups that Titanic did.

  • Dec. 28, 2003, 2:19 p.m. CST

    why, gil-galad 12...

    by Bourne GreyElf

    ...thats an interesting post, but allow me to add to it by saying LORD OF THE RINGS FUCKING OWNES YOUR PUNK ASS BITCH FAGET ASSES! THIS MOVIE BENDS YOUR MOTHER OVER AND SKULL FUCKS HER WHILE SHE LICKS ITS BALLS!! LORD OF THE RINGS OWNES STARWARS, AND IT OWNES THE MATRIX, AND AGAIN, IT OWNED YOU MOTHER FUCKING NAYSAYERS. FUCK YOU HAHAHAHAHHAHAAHAHAHAHAHH!!!!! hum, that felt good....

  • Dec. 28, 2003, 11:18 p.m. CST

    ROTK - I DISAGREE WITH EVERYONE

    by KYG21

    Sorry this was not that great a movie no matter how many people try to bully you in to believing it was. I know Jackson tried his best to be true to the books but there is just too much in them to be true to every thing. This should have been the hobbits

  • Dec. 29, 2003, 12:59 a.m. CST

    Totally LAME you JERKS!

    by Davidia

    This movie was pure shit. 5 minutes in people started to fall asleep, later on popcorn and whoppers were being thrown at the screen. 30 minutes in some guy just got up and said "HOLLY SHIT! I AM SAM! LOOK AT ME!" and let out a huge fart. Afterwards me and everyone in the theatre went out for coffee and totally ragged on how bad the film was. I mean, they left out the scene where Sam eats a berry? WHAT THE FLYING FUCK! That scene represented the best of the book. Choices. Would Sam eat the berry...or would he not? And they completely fucked it up beyong redemption. This movie blew so much ass we all went back to watch Star Wars and read LotR and laugh at how the movie only grossed 15 dollars this past weekend, because everyone else hates it too. Then later on me and my movie friends went on to these talkbacks and fucked you in the eye with our stone eyed logic. WE read the books. Don't you forget that...that means our opinions are better then yours!

  • Dec. 29, 2003, 1:08 a.m. CST

    And the movie was great.

    by Davidia

    IMRO (In my right opinion). I don't care if I haven't read the books (I mean to read The Hobbit someday) or any of that jazz. I don't care if it cut out Sam's choice or a bunch of other stuff that made the book complete. I don't care. What I saw was a movie I enjoyed, while liking the first two. I went into FotR not knowing ANYTHING of the trilogy, and now I leave happy. Screw the Matrix nerds, screw the Star Wars nerds, screw the LotR "purists" who think just because they read the books and PJ didn't do some things to how they think would have been better...automatically makes them think they have a higher say. You read Lord of the Rings!? HOLY SHIT! You must get patted on the back by millions for being on a soap box of taste. Who cares? I never read the books, and honestly don't want to. Just because you read them doesn't give you a right to determine if people should like the movie or not. Let people think what they want of the movie, even if they liked the movie, not having read the books. That does not make them have less taste then you. It just makes you a pathetic jag-off for caring so much. Screw all of you basically. I mean Jebus. I can just see most of you at your computers banging your novelty hulk hands togethor and screaming "PJ HACK! HE MAKE BAD MOVIE...DEFOUL LOTR! NOW I CAN NEVER READ THEM THE SAME WAY SO I'LL HAVING SOMETHING TO COMPLAIN ABOUT!", or "HULK WAS BETTER THEN LOTR! IT HAD BIGGER TROLL GUY! HULK SMASH PUNY LOTR LOVING PEOPLE!"

  • Dec. 29, 2003, 1:20 a.m. CST

    WHAT?!

    by ryLRci

    Okay, first. A fan who has read the book is no different than a fan who hasn't. To say that you are better or more superior than someone who hasn't read the book is complete bullshit. The movie was made to provide a new interpretation of the book. That means that not every single detail will be added (Sam and the berry). The movie is DIFFERENT from the book and that IS good. Would you (as a "superior" LOTR fan) love the movie if every single word was repeated into a movie version? It would suck! Second of all, the people in you're theatre either sound really immature or the story as you told it is a lie. I have a hard time believing that when I have seen this film in 3 different theatres in 2 states. Not one thing but appreciation was presented for this film. And DON'T COMPARE THE MOVIE TO THE BOOK! That is the only thing you can do if you've read the book. The Harry Potter books are brilliant. But the movies compared to them are awful. If you don't compare the movies to the books, well the acting is still terrible in the HP movies, so never mind that. You know what I'm saying- and if you don't you're a jackass.

  • Dec. 29, 2003, 3:17 a.m. CST

    POOR PETER!!!!

    by SIMPLYAWEFUL

    I believe there is a big difference between both Star Wars and LOTR. For one, Lucas has a lot tougher job than Peter Jackson does and I will tell you why. Lucas is doing something that no director has done and that is make 6 movies. Trilogies are hard to make and no one has made a good one yet. I know episode 1 and 2 sucked badly but I give Lucas credit for originality. Even if episode 3 sucks worst than the all the others, he still gets credit for sticking to what he promised his fans and finishing his story. As for Peter, he did not do THE LORD OF THE RINGS, J.R.R. TOLKIEN DID AND REMEMBER THAT VERY WELL. If not for Tolkien there will have never been a Peter or a Lord of the Rings. Return of the King was a major letdown; there was so many things missing from the book that he failed to deliver. If Peter were to do these movies from scratch, it will have failed miserably. How can Peter be creative in making a story into 3 movies if it was already 3 books in the first place. In addition, Tolkien described in his books what each place and character looks like in very precise detail. So how can he have a unique vision if that vision was already presented in his books? You people need to wake up because as far as I know every movie from now on is going to be based on a book or a comic book. ORIGINALITY IS A THING OF THE PAST!

  • Dec. 29, 2003, 4:40 a.m. CST

    Lucas is a tool

    by pogo on my own

    How can you say it is more difficult or a bigger accomplishment to create the Star Wars trilliogy, than for Jackson to recreate the LOTR's books. People had no idea wtf a wookie looked like before starwars. Lucas was open to doing what ever he wanted. All the over the top fans of the LOTRs books would tear apart every creature that was mention in the book, and not envisioned how the geek wanted it to be. Jackson also apparently tried to get everything into the movie, being that the Extended Version DVD may very well be 5 hours long. I think the scope of the LOTRs books/movies was much larger scale that even all 6 of the star wars movies. That and Jackson also shows a much better flare for story telling.

  • Dec. 29, 2003, 8:26 a.m. CST

    a new Tolkein film?

    by thegodfather

    Just been trawling through a lot of LOTR stuff on the net and came across some info about a low budget Tolkein inspired film called "Ancanar" that takes its cue from events in the Silmarillion. It's worth checking out the following: http://www.lordotrings.com/movies/ancanor.asp I'm not too sure if this is really old news to everyone and it certainly looks as though this film will be nowhere near as epic in scale as the New Line films but it looks like it could be an interesting footnote.

  • Dec. 29, 2003, 11:28 a.m. CST

    the film has diminished and gone into the west

    by tankgirl

    i've avoided thinking about, much less writing about, ROTK since I saw it on opening night. however, sometime the poison must out. I think Jackson bungled the end and it was truly a move of snatching defe

  • Dec. 29, 2003, 12:08 p.m. CST

    the film has dimished and gone into the west - take two

    by tankgirl

    it's been a bit since I saw ROTK and I've avoided thinking, or writing, about it. But the poison must out. PJ snatched defeat from the jaws of victory on this one. Almost every fan of the books had given him, Fran, and Phillipa carte blanche to alter details from the book version. The story was played differently and we didn't care. We trusted them. Fans who hadn't read the books didn't have to worry about the difference. The execution was excellent. This is true up to the third film. Really, all that was needed was an adequate end. And ROTK fell short of even this. If the battles were going to be the focus of the movie, they should have been better and scarier. As it is, the battle at Helm's deep was far, far more interesting and frightening than the battle of Pelennor fields. It looked real, even if my authority on medieval warfare tells me it totally misunderstands the function of a sally port. Regardless. What the previous films had going for them were excellent "real" footage with well-placed digital wizardry. ROTK went megalomaniacal on the CGI, and it was uneven and not exactly so awe-inspiring. It's going to look dated in about 2 seconds. I'm sure the enormity of the battle would have been difficult to convey. However, what's actually missing are the little human scenes (or hobbit or elf scenes, and don't even try to talk to me about the George of the Jungle routine on the Mumak) Also, the hosts of Gondor are notably absent in battle and in the movie. There are what, like 60 men guarding Gondor. (And those little helmets look truly doofy. The First Age ones were far better.) So, the hosts of Rohan end up being larger, more impressive, and more noticable than the massed armies of Gondor and its allies. Ok. The line of horsemen (and women and hobbits) at dawn is great. Still, shouldn't such a big city have a bit of a standing army? And using the scooby-doo dead ghosts to solve the battle is no answer. The orcs of Mordor in the film are more pathetic than terrible. Their mutilated Porky Pig leader is amusing, but not much more. Saruman's Uruk were far scarier. Shouldn't Mordor's hosts be more bad-ass than an upstart wizard's recent muster? I mean, Sauron has been working on the project a bit longer and he is far, far more evil. I liked the white city. It was gorgeous. I thought the acting was mostly excellent, when it was allowed onscreen. The city of the ringwraiths was also fab. The witch king looked super and the scene where Eowyn kills him worked well. But really, should Eowyn and Merry be injured and then ride blithely into another battle? Even if it's expedient not to have the houses of healing in the short release? Mortensen makes a great king. It's a shame than we see so little about his assumption of kingship. I suppose we could retitle the film "return of the orcs" but even that wouldn't do justice to the better orcs of FOTR and TTT. And Arwen. I admired the attempts earlier to give her a role in the plot and maybe make her more active, even as I understood that it wouldn't work dramatically. But to make her more passive than she was written by Tolkein is well-nigh inexcusable. Why do we need a consumptive victorian-ideal of dying but beautiful maidenhood? Strider already wants to save Middle Earth, regardless of whether the withering elf princess is about to bite it or not. I say unnecessary and also more harm than good. The end was too short, or rather too much with the swelling music, too little with the actual scenes. I don't really like photo montage medley round-up endings. The one at the end of Big Fish is shorter and works better. I won't say anything about the Sam-Frodo scenes, as I thought they were mostly good to excellent. Shelob is scary. The the amount of time she's onscreen could be cut to greater effect. Mount Doom is a little dramatic at the end, but I suppose that's appropriate. I hope to see a bit more of the shire homecoming in the extended release. (secretely, I remain convinced that there must be more footage that could be cut into a different, better, stronger Six Million Dollar Man-type version of ROTK. PJ and Weta certainly have the technology.)

  • Dec. 29, 2003, 4:34 p.m. CST

    I was joking, ryLRci...

    by Davidia

    But I'm not joking about when I went to go see Revolutions. Half the audience fell asleep 2 minutes in. Later on we all started cursing and yelling at the screen. Many people even walked out 7 minutes in...they just couldn't take it. Later on all us Matrix haters went out and talked about how terrible it was. Then we blew up the theatre we saw it in to diminish the memory.

  • Dec. 29, 2003, 4:57 p.m. CST

    tankgirl

    by morGoth

  • Dec. 29, 2003, 5:59 p.m. CST

    hey morgoth

    by tankgirl

    A sally port is (borrowing from Webster's) "a gate or passage in a fortified place for use by troops in a sortie." One sallies forth from the sally port. I think my medieval authority was getting snarky abt. Aragorn et al sneaking out the side gate in TTT but I don't pretend to understand the details. In fact, I may even have that wrong. And yes, I misremembered Eowyn in front of the Black Gate. She was only in the first line-up. Merry appears in both. Still, he looks pretty deathly when Pippin finds him and promises to look out for him, and then suddenly he's riding out. But yeah, Eowyn didn't come along for the ride. She was back in the city having some offscreen bonding time with Faramir. Yesss, preciousss, we wants the DVD.

  • Dec. 29, 2003, 8:56 p.m. CST

    O yes tankgirl..the RoTK EE DVD indeedy!

    by morGoth

    On my first viewing, I thought that, of the three, Return may need the Extended Edition treatment the least. After viewing two, I'm not so sur eof that. That's it! I must see it again!

  • Dec. 29, 2003, 9:04 p.m. CST

    Gee, Angels EGG, why didn't you just copy my EASTERLING post ver

    by Darth Phallus

    It's called plagiarism, you even stole my "WTF" about it. Sheesh! Now back to the topic of no EASTERLINGS in ROTK. Upon multiple viewings, I have discovered that you indeed hear the EASTERLINGS giving their somewhat Asian marching-war chant thing when the black gates of MORDOR open however, you never see nary a one. This totally sucks because a) Jackson totally establishes them in TTT and b) I think I fought more EASTERLINGS in the ROTK video game then anything else. These guys according to the TOLKEIN NOVELS, were supposed to be the most battle-hardened and best armored in all of the enlisting armies ofMORDOR, fighting so hard that they "asked no quarter" so sayeth TOLKEIN. Not that PJ and CO. really seem to be worrying all that much about staying true to the books ( I mean, no MOUTH OF SAURON? WTF??) Plus, I always imagined the Eagles kicking wayyy more ass at the end. I thought in the book it was much more of a DEUS EX MACHINA ending (which Tolkein over-used...hey, all is lost, oh no, look over there, it's something completely else that's going to completely rescue everyone in a fraction of a second just like, Riders of Rohan, Army of dead, Eagles, Ent army which arrives immediately from nowhere. Anyway, where did all the "millions" of Mordor orcs go after Sauron was destroyed, in the books you are led to believe that a whole army of Eagles came and just gave out wholesale death to ork-kind everywhere, yet in the movie we see about six I believe, and they only attack the NAZGUL. BTW, happy holidays to AICN and all it's posters. Did anybody watch SCROOGE this year? When SCROOGE got to the GHOST OF X-MAS YET TO COME, it looked so much like the NAZGUL, I kept having to suppress a desire to say, "Give up the halfling, She-elf!" Happy 2004,all!

  • Dec. 29, 2003, 9:53 p.m. CST

    oh, uh...

    by DarkRed

    i'm so jealous. really. since i've already been to one of course. it was too long with no intermission. can't wait for the glorious invention of the dvd, that way there are breaks but no missing stuff. i had to use the bathroom soooooo badly after that, and i was starving. bad combo, GREAT MOVIE! sam was a little too frodo obsessed throughout the trilogy though, was star wars flawed? the new ones *really* are... hahahaha

  • Jan. 1, 2004, 8:17 p.m. CST

    by sparky8me2

  • Jan. 1, 2004, 8:32 p.m. CST

    Eagles and Things

    by sparky8me2

    In my own humble opinion, I loved the movie (despite the flaws and shoddy editting and poor decisions on scene cuts). I thought it was truer to the books than the others, particularly with the bastardization of Faramir's character in The Two Towers still fresh in my mind (although I wish they had filmed Denethor's death the way it had been written by Tolkien and done anything to show how he was driven mad by the planatir and not just randomly insane). His father loves Boromir more partially because of the gentler nature of Faramir (The Encyclopedia of Arda goes as far to try to translate the two names. mir means jewel, or something precious and the root far refers to something adequate or sufficient- as opposed to Boromir who's name translates to beloved or favored). But I digress. The way it was explained to me about the Eagles not delivering Frodo and the Ring to Mt Doom by people far more eloquent was basically that, it's not Gandalf's task to destroy the Ring. It's Frodo's. Gandalf's role is that of a guide and therefore since the Eagles are acting on his behalf are not permitted to aid Frodo. It'd be like a higher power removing our free will to do as we would with our lives.

  • Jan. 1, 2004, 10:34 p.m. CST

    enormity

    by picky picky

    e

  • Jan. 2, 2004, 10:28 p.m. CST

    What do you know ? It is the Best Film Ever (tm)

    by Itchy

    Okay - it's now been three weeks since I saw ROTK. In that time I have spent literally days just thinking about the movie, processing what I saw, listening to the soundtrack(s), etc. Hell, my cell phone now rings with the Rohan theme. I guess what I'm trying to say is that now, in my mid-30's, I have finally seen a movie that has affected me as no other. I can hardly wait for Nov 2004, so I can see the additional 40 minutes of footage from ROTK. I can't wait to watch these movies back to back, as they truly were meant to be seen. I have held off rereading the trilogy for the last three years so that I can appreciate the films for themselves, and now I can't wait to read them for the 10 or 15th time, fully expecting to view the books in a whole new, more glorious light. In some ways, I worry that my praise for this movie (or more accurately, this trilogy) borders on the unreasonable, but for once, I couldn't care less. I am a ridiculous fan boy at this point. Once again, thank you to all involved for this wonderful experience - it will never be forgotten.

  • Jan. 3, 2004, 4:33 a.m. CST

    My Take on ROTK

    by Fernwick_

    Awesome friggin movie. After reading the reviews on this talkback, and looking at both point of views. I think either Peter Jackson is gay, or everyone else cant stand to see someone insult a movie they like. Its like my cousin who 'loved' Phantom Menace until 4 months later once the denial ended. Im not saying the movie was bad, far from it, but to say there was no Homo-erotisim is to blind yourself to it. For crying in the milk they had a hobbit pillow fight on a bed! I was so tempted to say REALLY loud, and then those hobbits went on to do Queer eye for the straight guy! I mean lets be real, even some gay people I know say its homo erotic! So be real guys, its a awesome movie with homo-hobbit overtones. :)