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Moriarty Reviews RETURN OF THE KING!

Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...

It’s over.

That’s hard to grasp right now. Intellectually, I can accept it. LORD OF THE RINGS was announced as three films. We’ve seen all three films. They’ve told the whole story. All of that makes perfect logical sense and isn’t the least bit emotional. Still, it feels like we’ve just settled into this amazing world conjured up by Peter Jackson and his collaborators, and saying goodbye at this point just doesn’t add up.

There’s no denying it, though. The ship has sailed for the Grey Havens, the Eye has gone dark, and Samwise Gamgee has returned to the Shire.

Sure, I know there’s an EXTENDED EDITION of RETURN OF THE KING coming out some time in 2004, but that doesn’t negate the strange sensation that hit me like a ton of bricks as I walked out of the DGA Theater on Thanksgiving Day. It was only amplified by my second viewing at BNAT over the weekend. As long as I’ve known Harry... as long as there’s been an AICN I’ve been involved with... there’s been the idea of LORD OF THE RINGS... the promise of the entire journey brought to life. And it was always this vague thing out there... this thing that was so much fun to speculate about and so much fun to cover and so much fun to imagine... this ridiculous notion that didn’t seem truly possible. And even with the release of FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING and THE TWO TOWERS, it still all was part of a build-up, an increasingly urgent rush towards one moment. One idea. One goal.

The destruction of the One Ring.

Just as all of the STAR WARS prequel trilogy essentially exists to service one moment, The Duel, J.R.R. Tolkien’s story is basically about the performance of this one task by Frodo Baggins. Which is not to say that the tapestry into which this story thread is woven is anything less than remarkable in terms of thematic richness and character depth. It’s just that... having seen what I’ve seen now... I find myself asking different questions about the entire series of films, sorting through a new set of reactions to the first two movies that springs from the new context I have in which to view them.

I’m actually glad circumstance kept me from writing about the film until I’d seen it a second time. It’s forced me to keep thinking about it. So often, film criticism is a quick reaction, a snap judgment, and I often wonder if critics would feel differently if they let a film set in for a while before putting pen to paper, so to speak. It’s certainly given me room to define some things that don’t sit well about the film’s construction.

It’s also fully sunk in now... these films represent a high point for genre filmmaking that will be nearly impossible to equal or surpass.

It made me laugh last week to see how every little chat room comment I made or brief remark in an intro got microanalyzed, but I understand. People have a lot emotionally invested in the films so far, and we live in an age where Hype almost always equals disappointment. I’ve been flooded with e-mail from fans who just want to know... is it good? That’s a bizarre question. I mean, you guys saw the first two films, right? You know whether or not you like those, right? There are people who are totally devoted to the books who have not been able to get past their adaptation issues. There are people who have never read the books who love the films on their own. And there are a whole spectrum of fan reactions between those extremes. I can’t speak for your experience, or your flexibility towards the original work. All I can do is discuss how the film overwhelmed me and why.

And make no mistake. It’s overwhelming. It’s incredibly powerful, with battle sequences that will sweep over you like virtual reality and emotional crescendos that would be impossible to hit in a single film. This movie has the unenviable task of summing up everything that still needs to be said about this world and these characters and the ideas behind the fantasy, and it has to do it within a certain running time. It’s a nearly-impossible juggling act, and it is to Peter Jackson’s enormous credit that he pulls it off. Truth be told, this film should be longer. No real fan would mind, but the general moviegoing public might. I can accept New Line’s decision to create a theatrical version, but that doesn’t mean I like it in this case. To my mind, FELLOWSHIP is still the best theatrical cut of the three films. I suspect that when RETURN OF THE KING is given the Extended Edition treatment in August, it will be the crowning (no pun intended) achievement of the series. For now, it comes maddeningly close, and how much you are willing to forgive the minor faults will determine how you personally rank it.

For the record... I am not a rabid book purist. In fact, I haven’t read the books since I was ten, and I don’t plan to read them again until after I see the final ROTK cut. All I care about is how they play as films.

I like the way the film draws you back into the world of Middle-Earth. Just like the wonderful opening sequence of THE TWO TOWERS, this movie assumes you’ve seen the first two movies, and it makes no apologies for dropping you right back into the midst of things. This time, we start far from the main action of the films, away from the days of war and growing shadow. In fact, we start before any of the major players of this Great Conflict are even involved, picking up with two cousins fishing a peaceful river. Smeagol (Andy Serkis) and Deagol (Thomas Robins) are just sharing a quiet afternoon until Deagol gets pulled overboard and underwater. That’s where Deagol finds a simple gold ring buried in the mud. So much of this series has to do with the impact of individual choice on the larger world, and that’s never more clear than in this film. If Deagol had never picked up that ring, then Smeagol never would have seen it. He never would have been tempted. And he never would have murdered Deagol to get hold of the ring, a decision that led to his devolution into Gollum. That sad and horrific gradual change bridges the opening scene to Sam (Sean Astin) and Frodo (Elijah Wood), perched on the edge of Mordor, true despair finally settling in. Gollum’s with them, leading them, and the entire prologue taken as a whole has an interesting effect. The hard-won sympathy we felt for Gollum by the end of THE TWO TOWERS is suddenly underscored by suspicion and disgust. That’s important, considering the journey in this final film.

One of the things that makes LORD OF THE RINGS so wonderful as a film series is the way each picture has its own feel, its own focus, even as they manage to tell one tremendous story. Although Peter Jackson shot most of his epic in one fell swoop, with the same cinematographer and the same costumers and the same designers and FX teams and stuntmen and composer. In all the major departments, only one thing changed from film to film, and I think that’s what really gives each one an individual identity. John Gilbert cut FELLOWSHIP, Michael (ONCE WERE WARRIORS) Horton cut TWO TOWERS, and Jamie Selkirk edited this final chapter. Walking into this entire enterprise, Jackson identified ROTK as the “big” picture, and he’s right. No question. This is the film that has to bring it all together. As a result, Jackson put Selkirk on this picture from the very start, keeping him focused on the climax of all things. This is, after all, one of Jackson’s oldest collaborators. Selkirk cut THE FRIGHTENERS, HEAVENLY CREATURES, BRAINDEAD, MEET THE FEEBLES, and BAD TASTE. He’s one of the guys who helped Jackson define his overall style as a filmmaker. There are a million things I’m sure I still have to learn about filmmaking, but one thing I know for sure is that if you want to succeed, you need to surround yourself with people you trust, especially when it’s important. Jackson’s been blessed with strong collaborators across the board on these films, but it’s Selkirk who has to stick this particular landing. One of the tricks in building this film is knowing when to cut from story to story, how to build the rhythms of each particular subplot, how to pay things off, and what order to do it in. There’s a stretch of about an hour and a half in the middle of this movie that is flawless, an education in action filmmaking, emotionally draining and visionary, rousing in a way that left me shaking both times I saw the film. For that section of the film alone, Selkirk and Jackson deserve Best Editing and Best Director at this year’s Oscars.

People will complain about the ending. Or, more specifically, they’ll complain about the endings. There are about five conclusions in a row, places where you could stop the movie. Each one would be dramatically satisfying for the audience. The first time I saw the film, it felt like a very long final stretch. Once the fate of the Ring is resolved, it felt like there was still a lot of movie left, and I’ll confess... I’m so fucking conditioned by Hollywood’s preferred structure that I found myself a little impatient. Some might argue that this stretch is shamelessly emotional, an excuse for Jackson to crank up the waterworks. But I think that’s backwards. What happens once the Ring’s been taken care of is essential, important, and some of the truest material in the entire trilogy. If Jackson chose to stop after the emotional celebration on top of Minas Tirith amidst that overjoyed crowd, there in the shade of the White Tree in full bloom, it would have been pure elation, the happiest of happy endings. Audiences would have floated out of the theater, drunk on it, and that would have been fine. It would have been better than fine.

But what comes after... well... that’s what matters. Tolkien went to war and came home, and he saw other young men come home, all of them changed. Remember, he fought in WWI, and most of the infantrymen who managed to survive that war felt it to be futile, a waste of life. Many of them never really fit back into their old lives again. The ones who did were typically the ones who had something to come back to, the ones who held precious pictures in their hearts, driven by them, determined. When we see The Shire in this film, it’s like coming up from underwater, just this side of drowning, and finally getting that much-needed lungful of air. It’s impossibly beautiful, unspeakably sweet. And as soon as we see familiar faces again, and we see how nothing’s changed, how it’s still pure and quiet and alive, the real importance of everything we’ve seen gets underlined. This is what was worth coming home to. This is what kept Pippin and Merry (oddly, Merry’s emphatic “We will see the Shire again” line from the trailer is nowhere to be found) and Frodo and especially Same have all been fighting for and holding on to.

More on Sam later. Remind me.

If Jackson ended the film with the scene at the Green Dragon, or even at the festivities right after, that would have been another level of meaning added, but still just as happy as the previous ending. Viewers still would have been able to leave cushioned by that happy dream, and, again, that would have been fine. Better than fine.

And it’s what comes after, Frodo’s ending, Gandalf’s ending, Bilbo’s ending... these are the moments that push this series from great to the greatest. We will discuss and debate these moments as long as we still discuss and debate movies. This is where Jackson changes the mood, shifting the film from the hazy golden joy of summer to the richer autumnal splashes of melancholy. These moments are about the ones we lose, the ones who never learn to taste the strawberries again, the ones who can’t adjust or connect. This ending makes the series. And if that’s where the film stopped, it would be a masterpiece.

So it all comes down to what comes after, the one last crane shot that starts high above a home in Hobbiton and ends with a final push-in on a door, where we finally see those words, so hard-won, so richly earned – “The End.” It’s the signature, the thumbprint that reminds us that no matter how beautiful and perfect this all is, no matter how grand the fantasy, this is ultimately a human story. The greatest art is messy around the edges, shaggy, slightly untamed. By making sure to end his films on this precise beat, Jackson lays bare his own Hobbit heart. It’s fucking beautiful, and it makes me wish for more superlatives to hurl. It is not the happy ending of childhood, in which the return to the status quo is all we desire. It is the happy ending of someone who has lived and loved and lost, someone scarred and beaten by life but unbroken. It is a happy ending we all have within our grasp. It is the happy ending of finding a place in this world that gives us peace.

I love that this film ultimately belongs to Sam. I’ll say this clearly: give Sean Astin an Oscar. If you’re reading this and you’re a voting member of the Academy, then I implore you: give Sean Astin an Oscar. Heroism wears many faces in Middle-Earth, but none more heroic than Samwise Gamgee. His powerfully good heart carries the day in every way. He doesn’t fight like Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) or Legolas (Orlando Bloom). He’s not able to make sport of battle the way they are. And he’s not a merciless machine like Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) either. The foes he faces are terrifying, but he never hesitates. In particular, his confrontation with Shelob is remarkable, a display of reward-worthy valor as great as any other single act in the trilogy, heroic and suicidal and inspirational. His sense of mounting frustration in the film’s first half is what makes his devotion to Frodo so touching. I was recently working on a project where the studio hooked me up with a military advisor, and we were talking about a combat scenario. He asked me who was braver, the first person into a room, or the second? He explained that the first person in has no real idea what they’re facing, while the second one in knows exactly what they’re facing, but goes in anyway. Samwise knows exactly what Gollum’s planning, and he knows what Mordor is, and he looks Shelob square in the eye, and he fights anyway. This movie had a number of emotional high points for me, and one of the most emphatic gut punches is a line spoken by Sam on the side of Mount Doom. “I cannot carry it for you... but I will carry you.” There’s such simple, selfless heroism in that line that it broke my heart. And at the very end, seeing Sam hold a little girl and knowing it’s really Sean’s daughter, there’s something beautiful and fitting about it, a collision between the fantasy and the real that seems particularly poignant and resonant.

But if you’re worried that this film’s going to be all about hobbits hugging and tearful goodbyes, don’t be. The big emotional beats are used as punctuation, moments of quiet grace amidst the staggering spectacle that marks the battle scenes. I love the way the siege on Minas Tirith seems to gradually heat up. There’s no formal start to things. There’s just this one creepy Orc that looks like a genetic mix between a pig and a potato, but riddled with tumors, leading a ton of other creepy Orcs right up to the gates of the city, where they toss the severed heads of the men who rode with the mortally wounded Faramir (David Wenham) over the walls to terrorize the people gathered there. Then their trolls start packing the catapults so they can just beat on the walls of the city for a while and loosen things up. The conflict continues to escalate. Day turns to night. By the end of the sequence, it turns back to day again. More and more warriors join the fight on all sides, and all sorts of incredible weaponry is brought to the fray. Oliphaunts, an Army of the Dead, the Nazgul, a Witch King, the Riders of Rohan, all sizes of trolls, a powerful white wizard and two hobbits filled with unlikely courage all play their parts in this battle. Both Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd) comes to further prominence in this film, and they both get great material to play here. The interplay between Merry and Eowyn (Miranda Otto) is lovely and wistful and, eventually, heart-poundingly exciting. Pippin and Gandalf (Ian McKellan, rounding out the trilogy with his best performance yet) prove to make a great pair, and when Gandalf explains death to Pippin, it’s as powerful a moment as you’ll see in a film this year. King Theoden (Bernard Hill) doesn’t have as much to do in this film, but every moment he’s onscreen is pure joy. He’s the revelation of this series for me. I already felt Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Ian Holm, Hugo Weaving, and Christopher Lee were great performers before this film series began. Bernard Hill was an incredible surprise in THE TWO TOWERS, and the moment where he speaks to his riders before the charge on Pelennor Fields is perhaps the single greatest call to arms I’ve ever seen in any movie.

Which brings me to one of my problems. The title of this film is THE RETURN OF THE KING. Viggo Mortensen’s performance as Aragorn is one of the lynchpins of the entire trilogy. In the first two films, I’ve been deeply impressed by his low-key naturalism. Here, though, it felt like Aragorn was a little passive, all things considered. He’s good, don’t get me wrong. But when he finally gets around to giving his big speech to stir the troops, they’re already standing on the edge of Mordor. They’ve already marched into battle. They’ve already survived Minas Tirith. Admittedly, when those black gates roll back, it’d cause even the bravest of men to clench up a bit, but still... it comes so late in the game that it feels like Aragorn is less of a leader than Gandalf or Theoden, both of whom play major roles in this film. The greatest obstacle for Aragorn to face in this film is getting the Army of the Dead to fight for him, and it’s a fairly easy thing. He just shows off his sword a bit and they sign right up. As much as I wanted to be blown away by Aragorn’s final transformation into the King of Gondor, it never really happened. It seems like something that takes place offscreen, a personal moment we don’t see. It doesn’t derail the film for me, but it’s definitely been a sticking point as I think back on it.

The handling of the Denethor (John Noble) storyline is the other big problem for me, and it’s a crying shame. One of the greatest scenes in the movie deals with Denethor, after he’s sent his son into a hopeless battle, knowing full well he’s going to be killed, listening to Pippen sing a mournful song. It’s exquisite filmmaking. Actually, most of Denethor’s individual moments are well-handled, including the operatic release of the film’s ending. The problem is that they don’t make sense in the context of these films. We don’t know enough about Denethor to explain his madness. We certainly don’t know enough about him to justify his ultimate actions towards Faramir involving the funeral pyre. More than any other storyline in the films, this one feels truncated by this theatrical running time. It ends up being frustrating because, if it makes this little sense, it might have been better to scale it back even further and make room for material regarding the stories that were working well and could have used the extra time. If there’s anything I’m looking forward to on the eventual restored DVD edition for this film, it’s seeing how Denethor was meant to be handled. I can’t imagine this is the exact story Jackson and his co-writers set out to tell, and as frustrated as I was by it, they must be doubly so.

In the end, though, even these complaints aren’t enough to subtract from what is a masterful experience, a sort of master’s class in fantasy filmmaking. I know I’ve mentioned the dreaded “O” word a few times in this piece, but I don’t really care if this film wins awards or not. I’ve had my experience with it, and I got to look Peter Jackson in the eye last weekend and say “Thank you.” That’s good enough for me. What I hope is that somewhere out there, some eight-year-old is seeing these movies with their parents, and something’s been lit inside of them... a fire as bright as any of the beacons between Gondor and Rohan... and they’re going to carry that fire with them as they grow up so that some day, they can make something equally as effective and powerful. If Peter Jackson has awoken even one future filmmaker... and I suspect he’s done a lot more than that... then these films aren’t just fantasy. They will have reached into the real world and sent someone out on a real quest, a great adventure, and we’ll all be the richer for it.

Thank you, New Line. Thank you, Peter Jackson. Thank you, Fran and Philippa and Howard Shore and Richard Taylor and Randy Cook and Joe Latteri and Alan Lee and John Howe. Thank you to each and every person who poured their blood, sweat, and tears into making these films live and breathe. Thank you to the cast. Thank you to the crew. Thank you to J.R.R. Tolkien for being an untrained writer who didn’t know how to formally structure something. Thank you to all those filmmakers who tried to make LOTR over the years and failed, because you might have kept this version from happening. One paragraph hardly seems enough to sum up how much I appreciate this reminder of what it is that we all strive for as storytellers, but it will have to do. Right now, I want to wrap it up and get to work on my own stories. I feel energized by my exposure to the LORD OF THE RINGS, as I have for the last three years, and now, I have no choice if I want this sort of feeling. I have to go out and make something of my own. I have to have my own adventures. The time has come, and it’s really sinking in...

It’s over.

But, oh... what a wonderful ride.

"Moriarty" out.

Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 13, 2003, 4:47 p.m. CST

    the best ever

    by OldManWillow

    tolkien and nobody else

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 4:47 p.m. CST

    Wee!!! I'm Second

    by George Newman

    I dont want to read anymore reviews of this movie. There have been too many already. I'm going to see the movie and leave it at that.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 4:52 p.m. CST


    by AlwaysThere

    Its has come to an end.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 5:16 p.m. CST

    mori thanks for such a great review

    by McLuvin of the better i've read in awhile from this site

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 5:18 p.m. CST

    A review worth waiting for

    by Warin

    I really enjoyed that. Now I can stop polling the site every 15 minutes.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 5:20 p.m. CST

    I'ts nice

    by Kungfumanchu

    to read a well written review for a change.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 5:28 p.m. CST

    Not gonna read Knowles' review

    by Mr. Ho Ho

    I've realized that Moriarty is the reason I come to AICN any more.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 5:42 p.m. CST

    What More Do You Want?

    by drew mcweeny

    Should I come to your house and hold your hand while you read so I can cover your eyes during the parts you don't want to see? I put a SPOILER WARNING on the article. I talk around the big spoilers more than I actually deal with them. I'm tired of people acting like babies because in a piece that is about the ENDING OF THE TRILOGY, I actually talked about the ENDING OF THE TRILOGY. Here's my personal invitation... don't read anything else I wrote if that was that big a deal to you. I'll get over it, and one day, so will you.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 5:47 p.m. CST

    I closed my eyes

    by djinnj

    and skipped ahead when the spoilers started exceeding what I already know. So, for what I read, a wonderful review! This, of course, has NOT helped my obsession. But only one thing will do that, and it's only 3 days away!

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 5:49 p.m. CST

    Anybody understand this line?

    by willdude

    "Actually, most of Denethor

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 5:49 p.m. CST

    Yes now!

    by Neon Jesus

    Damn, Moriarty, you're still the best AICN has to offer. You walk the razor's edge of geekitude and orgasmicc tendencies (Harry) and the no nonsense, straight to the point writings for Capone or Quint and it works beautifully! I don't always agree with your views (I'm sure I will with RotK) but you always make your point in a way I cannot argue against. Bravo!

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 5:53 p.m. CST

    Thanks Moriarty

    by Oin

    That was a great review. Forget about the knockers, they probably whinge about Tolkien spoiling the ending of these movies by publishing hi book... C'mon guys, the story's been out for fifty years now. No real secret in the ending. Again, Moriarty, thanks for taking the time to think about the review before you wrote it. You have trimmed a lot of the emotional baggage and left us with the passion it inspired. I knew Harry's review would be over the top (he normally is) but your reviews are usually of a high, reliable (to me) standard. Thanks :)

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 6:32 p.m. CST

    3rd paragraph spoilers

    by Kungfumanchu

    The ship has sailed,the Eye has gone dark,& Samwise has returned to the Shire.You call those spoilers? The ending isn't discussed in detail until at least 15 paragraphs in & is led up to for a minimum of 3 before that.Hmmm...if those are spoilers,tell you what,I'll give you a real spoiler for the ending of another set of movies.Ready?***SPOILER***In the next Star Wars movie,there's this guy named Anakin Skywalker & at the end of the film we find that he turns out to be none other than ....on second thought,I think I'll let it be a surprise for you.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 6:44 p.m. CST

    Thanks Moriarty

    by JAGUART

    That review just cranked me up another insane notch.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 6:55 p.m. CST

    Man oh man oh Chavez

    by Archduke_Chocula

    I need to see it NOW. oh yeah and don't forget people, Elijah Wood hosts SNL Tonight.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 7:32 p.m. CST

    Two Minutes For Cross-Checking? Ed Knew Then That Hockey Was Not

    by Ed McBain

    Sean Astin is and forever will be... Mikey.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 7:36 p.m. CST

    Is it just me, or is AICN under attack?

    by 007-11

    I've seen fewer and fewer regulars and established posters in these talkbacks lately. They all seem to be replaced by a bunch of(I hate to use computer slang, but this time i'll make an exception) "newbs" taking potshots at little things that don't matter. Not to mention none of them seem to be all that into movies. And they all bitch about things that they shouldn't bitch about(SPOILED THE ENDING OF RETURN OF THE KING???? Like someone else said, thats like bitching about someone saying that Christ dies at the end of The Passion. I mean WHAT THE FUCK???!) If I didn't know any better i'd say it's just one guy with multiple accounts and some assumed superiority. You know, historians will probably look back on the 2000 election and the Iraq War and they will all come to a concensus that the truly saddest effect of both those thigns was how it ripped apart AICN. All the conservatives decided they didn't want to hear this liberal bullshit so they packed up and moved on to parts unknown. I can't blame them, no one wants to be surrounded by the other sides opinion and to be called idiots in the process. I've noticed in the days, weeks, and months that have passed after these things that a lot of the posters I enjoyed reading have taken leave of this site as a resuult. And it's really too bad. Am I just blowing this out of purportion or what? Oh yeah, great review Moriarty.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 7:45 p.m. CST


    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, 7:46 p.m. CST


    by 007-11

    Go to rotten tomatoes and read a review for ROTK by Mark Ramsey from Moviejuice

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 7:57 p.m. CST

    God thanks, it's over!

    by Lord_Soth

    Now let's talk about some interesting projects...

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 8:28 p.m. CST

    Thanks Mori!

    by Old Darth

    Haven't seen it yet and you have nicely encapsulated my thoughts about this trilogy. I truly hope people will realize that they have just witnessed cinematic history. Here's hoping we don't have to wait another 20 years for something similar to come along.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 8:30 p.m. CST

    What a Giant Baby

    by Tigernan

    So Moriarity writes an eleganct, well-worded review of a movie, and managed to hold back from being specific on certain plot points, assuming, as he should, that not everyone has read the books, but also assuming, as makes sense, that these books have been out forever and many people probably already know -- and you're going to cry because apparently the word SPOILER wasn't in type big enough for you to notice? You're an idiot. I mean, seriously, a giant, rampaging baby. ANY time I read a movie review of ANY kind, I automatically assume I'm going to find out something about the movie that I didn't know. Caveat Emptor. Jesus, that really pisses me off to see someone put that much work into a review (and as someone else pointed out, no way am I reading Harry's after reading this one) and have some immense child cry about something that he should have been in charge of himself. You did great, M. This guy's a git.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 9:18 p.m. CST

    well said

    by sanjtsubaki

    That was probably the best review I've ever read on this site. Thanks, Moriarty. In a few more days I'll be agreeing with you, I'm sure.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 9:20 p.m. CST

    Well, it has we may return to bitching about the

    by Terry_1978

    Just sayin', is all.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 9:22 p.m. CST

    "I have to go out and make something of my own. I have to have m

    by Shit Dog

    God damn. You and Nordling are like a pair of children who just came out of Disney MGM Studios in Florida and are going, "Daddy, daddy! I want to draw cartoons when I grow up!" I don't know why you geeks are so enthusiastic to make movies all of a sudden. I hope you all realise how shit they're going to be compared to your precioussss LOTR movies. Why should we, the audience, be subjected to your crap when there are good films out there we can see? Well, luckily I doubt we ever will be subjected to your crap since it'll never hit the screen. And a critic that can't review a film without giving away key plot points is no kind of critic, regardless of spoiler warnings. It is a tendency on this site to summarise the plot and add your comments along the way: that isn't a review, it's a commentary. This one wasn't McWeeny's worst, but he's done it many times in the past and he is over-reliant on divulging spoilers.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 9:26 p.m. CST

    oh yeah, and 007-11...

    by sanjtsubaki

    Boy, no kidding about that Mark Ramsey review! As a student, I'm used to everyone I know making more money than me, but is that hump actually getting paid for what he does? If so, I'm studying the wrong thing.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 9:40 p.m. CST

    It's FROM the Grey Havens, dammit

    by Fred

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 9:41 p.m. CST


    by Movie Man

    This is without question the single best-reviewed movie of the past decade. Even a lot of the anti-LOTR people who didn't care for FOTR or TTT (Sasha over at Oscarwatch, for example) are being awed and converted by ROTK. The ones who remain and hang around messageboards like this are scrambling to find a few remaining sour grapes to throw against the rushing onslaught of ROTK exultations, and it's getting ever more difficult for them to do so. By the way, anyone who thinks that "Last Samurai" is the year's best film instantly loses a great deal of credibility with myself, and no doubt with many others.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 10:43 p.m. CST

    Splendid, my dear Moriarty

    by Quintus_Arrius

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 10:45 p.m. CST

    "If there

    by xavier masterson

    So can we accept that jackson's recent claims that the theatrical cuts are his preferred cuts of the film as spin and hyperbole for New Line's sake? Oh well, spin it all you want Mr. Jackson that the theatricals are the real cuts, you've earned the right, but the loving way the EE's are presented on dvd including the exhaustive amount of material detailing the incredible task of making these films show which cut the filmakers prefer and wish to show in the greatest of formats.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 11:40 p.m. CST

    A Hard Hobbit to Break!

    by JAGUART


  • Dec. 13, 2003, 11:42 p.m. CST


    by AICNewsHater

    Frodo decides to leave the Shire for good and go on a boat to Grey Havens.....Well thats what the last two pages of my book say.

  • Dec. 13, 2003, 11:45 p.m. CST

    who care about nerd of the rings?

    by HOB

    what everybody really wants to know is what did harry think of the Garfield trailer!!!!

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 12:05 a.m. CST

    Dick Hertz

    by LordCrispy

    Do you realize how dumb your fuckin post reads?

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 12:12 a.m. CST

    Another great one, Mori - don't mind the whiners

    by Oberon

    The nicks were about what I expected from what I've heard from others; and based on what I know was cut, I feel fairly confident they'll be largely erased on the Extended Cut. Meanwhile it's hard to have sympathy for Spoiler Whiners when the damned book has been out for 50 years. I'm sure they'll be equally upset when you mention that Hector dies at the end when you do your TROY review.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 2:04 a.m. CST

    This movie rocked so fucking hard

    by raoulkduke

    I almost peed my pants. Why do you geeks expend so much effort in attempting to actually construct declarative sentences? Everybody knows what you're going to say before you waddle into the theater.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 2:11 a.m. CST

    Nice one Mori.... thanks

    by MoratGurgeh

    Interesting little article here entitled LORD OF THE RINGS: INSIDE THE REAL-LIFE DRAMA at

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 2:22 a.m. CST

    Damn You, Dick Hertz

    by ol' painless

    Now I'm going to have that damn tune running through my head all night.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 2:23 a.m. CST

    There is no perfection

    by Messyjoe

    I can't see how Jackson could satisfy everyone's idea of how this series should have been. He made the film that satisfied his ideas, and even then with limitations and constraints he was operating under. It is therefore a real achievement that so many believe it to be a masterpiece. He has obviously listened to concerns raised after the first two parts came out, trying to get them right in the DVDs. He will do the same again. After all nobody can catch all the minor nuances, which later, after a lot of analysis by a lot of people, seem so obvious. So that is what the DVD is for. I just hope he is not so involved in Kong Kong by then, that he won't give it his full attention. This movie was the major reason for me to check AIC regularly. It will be very strange that it's no longer a focus for future expectations. I will treasure the experience.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 2:56 a.m. CST


    by paddington

    The films have been OK so far. I'll see about the last one... but by in far the series hasn't done much for me. Never has... never will... I suppose that makes me somewhat in the minority, but c'est la vie as they say.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 3:06 a.m. CST

    I'm sorry, but anyone who says LAST SAMURAI is deserving of Best

    by Nordling

    LAST SAMURAI is great for what it is, but it's sheer escapism. It's a great summer movie, moved to the fall and desperately trying to get "prestige" when there is none. It's a good movie, I agree, but it ain't no Best Picture. And I still can't get over the fact that in the real world the film would be about 30 minutes long and end with Cruise's head rolling on the forest floor, chopped off by Ken Watanabe. I liked LAST SAMURAI, but ROTK just wipes the floor with it in epic scale and sheer skill of storytelling. MASTER AND COMMANDER is the only film this fall/winter that I've seen that can hold a candle to ROTK.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 3:41 a.m. CST

    aicn boneheads are funny

    by darth unemployed

    Good review. I personally dont like reviews from people that dont share any of my tastes. If Martha Stewart was a movie reviewer she would probably hate these movies and then who really gives a crap what her review said. But Moriarity is a bigger nerd than Ive ever been so....I will be seeing this movie opening day. Half of the fun of reading reviews on AICN is reading the comments following the review. It's hard to tell though if people are kidding or being serious when they get offended because there are 'too many newbies on the website'. Also, I seriously hope people drive better than they write because damn....

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 4:02 a.m. CST

    But am I so wrong to laugh at Film-o Baggins?

    by squonk

    Jesus. The whole "Legolas is gay LOL OMG WTF BBQ!!!11!" shit is really unfunny.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 4:08 a.m. CST

    Spoiler warnings you fuckers - spoiler warnings. God damn it! I

    by TheGinger Twit

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 4:15 a.m. CST

    Beautiful Review

    by Fernwick_

    I cant wait for his review of Revolutions. Mor always find something I missed or didnt quite interpret right. Dont forget that movie Mor!!! Fernwick Keep up the great work!

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 4:35 a.m. CST

    Petition for 8 hour cut (if necessary) HELP!

    by aelfgifu

    Hi folks! Okay-we all know tons of stuff was filmed that did not end up in the theatrical cut. I am putting together a petition to plead with New line to make the extended DVD as long as it needs to be. In other words, if they FILMED it, and its in the book, and it got cut, we want to see it. All of it. We have been waiting decdes to see these things brought to life, we know Jackson will do a great job, and most of us could not bear knowing it EXISTS and yet we want see it. 40 extra minutes is not sufficient! SOOOOOO here is what I ask! I am currently compiling a list of scenes that we have some evidence WERE filmed and yet WERE cut. I want to include these in the petition-along with an idea of how important fans rate these scenes. Can you sluths help me compile? I will have the petition ready a week after ROTK is released, after we have time to digest. Please send your "I know this exists but didn't see it and I want it" suggestions to my And if anyone has sharp ideas on how to go about this, let me know. It is not so important that I be in charge (as I am a busy PhD student) that it get done, as I know many people want it. This is not a "you screwed up, man" petition - but a way to let PJ know that we will not only tolerate, but salivate over an EE DVD with ALL those scenes we have been craving for-ever. Be a good Sam and help me out! -aelfgifu P.S. If anyone knows the best place to post petitions of this sort-let me know!

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 5:20 a.m. CST

    actually, take away the special effects from LOTR...

    by sanjtsubaki

    ...and you have a few thousand visual effects shots left. I guess we can skip those, though. And PJ didn't "announce" The Hobbit. He said he'd like to do it but the rights are in limbo.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 6:12 a.m. CST

    Sauron, I mean Saruman, I mean Saddam captured.

    by Vicconius

    Ring destroyed at Mount Tikrit. Yeehaaawwww!.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 7:01 a.m. CST

    "These films represent a high point for genre filmmaking that wi

    by Commando Cody

    ...translation: "For the third year in a row and just in time for Christmas, Harry's and my checks from New Line cleared and are already deposited."

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 7:29 a.m. CST

    I guess Bush has no choice but to get the troops out of iraq now

    by TheGinger Twit

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 7:30 a.m. CST

    YES! Confirmed! U.S. Special Forces capture Saddam Hussein...

    by Commando Cody

    ...a fucking great day and kick ass emotional victory for our servicemen and women overseas, and the people of a new free Iraq. Can't wait to see the war crimes trial this fucking bastard will be put up for -- and his eventual execution, I'm sure. Meanwhile, back in the U.S, Howard Dean sits in a chair, sad and alone, nursing a drink as Al Gore calls to say "Gee, sorry about the endorsement I gave you this week. Guess I AM the kiss of death in Presidential elections. Hey, did you ever see ALIENS? To quote Bill Paxton, Game over, man. GAME OVER!"

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 8 a.m. CST

    Captured Saddam is a PLANT!

    by JAGUART

    That Body-Double has more leaves than blah-ba-blah-blah-blah. PLANT!

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 8:07 a.m. CST

    THIS JUST IN.. Howard Dean seen crying in front of bathroom mirr

    by Mully4Ever

    I guess all the hippies and others who wouldn't stand up to tyranny are saddened by the news of Saddam's capture. All the NEGATIVE party can do now is hope the economy tanks or else Bush wins 40+ states...

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 8:17 a.m. CST

    Cody: "Gore calls Dean to say "Sorry about the endorsement I gav

    by Big Dumb Ape

    LMAO!!! Gee, Cody, thanks a lot -- now I'm gonna have Bill Paxton's voice in my head all day saying that. Or worse, I'll be imagining Al Gore doing HIS immitiation of Bill Paxton...which would have to be pretty lame ass, since Paxton said the line emotionally and Gore emotes all the passion of a fucking rock. But congrats to our forces overseas, you guys rock and kick ass! Thanks for defending us and fighting the good fight. USA! Fuck yeah! We TOTALLY kick ass! Meanwhile, off in France, Chirac is cursing another Bush victory and is left once again looking like the spineless, cowardly, unprincipled cocksucker we always knew him to be...

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 8:25 a.m. CST

    Saddam Captured Watching ROTK bootleg

    by Ernie_is_evil

    AP reports Saddam was watching Peter Jackson's Return of the King when captured. 'Too many endings' he was quoted as saying before been taken away.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 8:46 a.m. CST

    Weapons of mass destruction...

    by Mully4Ever

    Dean, Clark, Gephardt, Sharpton, etc..... Remember Saddam gassed his own people. He gassed Iranians. He terrorized Kuwait. Now the only thing he'll gas is his butt-buddy cell mate...

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 8:46 a.m. CST

    7 minute Saddam capture scene cut from Fox News.

    by JAGUART

    But it should be on the Invasion of Iran: Extended Edition. "The battle for Iraq is over. The battle for Middle-East is about to begin. All our hopes now lie with two little Presidents. Somewhere in the White House."

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 9:03 a.m. CST

    Anyone who needs a reminder of how influential movies can be...

    by Aragorn II

    should just look at this whole Saddam capture thing. "Operation Red Dawn." Wolverine teams 1 and 2. Patrick Swayze's gotta be feeling pretty good this morning.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 9:07 a.m. CST

    rotk review moriarty

    by haldir

    That was trully well put you are a great lover of the films the richness and heart you put into this reveiw comes across to us great tolkien fans well it did to me anyway.I've not seen the film yet but i know what to expect but i like how jackson puts in a few new things for us lotr readers the first too films were fantastic the first was that little better i liked how he did the chracter building for people who had not read the six lotr books.Middle earth is a wonderfull,happy,sad,dark and a magnificent english myth and thats why we love it and to see it live is great.Thanks to MR.Jackson and all his team on what looks like to be the greatest films to hit the big screens ever and i'm so glad it happend in my life time once agian thanks.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 9:09 a.m. CST

    They found Satan's lover? Well, shut my mouth!

    by Terry_1978

    And here he was dressed up as a hybrid of Orson Welles and Laurence Oliver the whole time....go figure. Well, maybe now all this idiotic liberal vs. conserative bile can tone itself down and we can chill for a bit.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 9:17 a.m. CST

    Happy Saddam Hussein Capture Day!

    by joeypogi


  • Dec. 14, 2003, 9:36 a.m. CST

    Wow, great point, Aragon II...

    by Commando Cody

    I was so excited by the news, I hadn't even put the names together that way. Thanks for pointing that out. You're right, Patrick Swayze AND Charlie Sheen et al. are probably gonna be wearing some seriously wicked "eat my shit" grins today.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 10:16 a.m. CST

    Not surprised that Return of the King isn't about the return of

    by PhilConnors

    Neither is the book, actually, and I remember when reading them when I got to RotK I thought, "What king are they talking about?" Of course I knew, but it certainly struck me as an odd title. But the same could be (and is) said of The Two Towers. And it all comes down to the fact that this is one book (or one movie) called The Lord of the Rings. And, the second and third books/movies have terrible titles. Another point I wanted to make is that I always thought Viggo was miscast as Aragorn, and that along with Elijah being miscast as Frodo were two of the larger mistakes (read: dumbing down) in casting this movie. Aragorn should be middle aged and weathered like stone. Viggo is too much of a heart throb. And Elijah is too young as well.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 10:19 a.m. CST

    You mean it's not perfect!?!?!?!

    by MPJedi2

    Good christ! Thank God _somebody_ here on this New Line-bought-and-paid-for site finally let loose with some criticism. Now before the flames begin, I'm sure it's great, I expect it, but I _knew_ the crutch of the extended editions would bite them in the ass. I'm glad someone admittted that, in a roundabout way. Make your film for the theatres, period. Don't make a trunicated version for the theatres, and the "real" version for video. Cheers to Jackson, Jeers to AICN for not printing the one or two bad reviews they _must_ have gotten.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 10:20 a.m. CST

    Of course he moved his weapons to neighboring countries - that's

    by TheGinger Twit


  • Dec. 14, 2003, 10:25 a.m. CST

    Meanwhile... in Afghanistan...

    by paddington

    Osama Bin Ladin remains uncaptured.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 11:14 a.m. CST

    Coming in 2004: Return of the Bush

    by FluffyUnbound

    You know, I don't really like him. But since a libertarian candidate could never win, such joy as I can possibly experience at election time comes from watching liberals get upset. I expect to laugh and laugh this year. Oh, joy.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 11:52 a.m. CST

    There's only one thing that could have made Saddam's capture bet

    by Stormin

    If he was found hiding in a hole full of weapons of mass destruction.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 12:15 p.m. CST

    Amazing, they found Saddam

    by 007-11

    I take back some of the things I said about Bush!

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 12:17 p.m. CST

    Oh and Dolfan

    by 007-11

    You're pretty biased yourself

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 12:38 p.m. CST

    On Aragorn becoming King

    by wato

    ****Possible Spoilers. I'm not sure, I haven

  • But I think it's insane that one man can care so much for one group of people and yet won't go to bat for other countries. And I based my statement about you being biased on your description on things would be if liberals were running the show. I could go on but even though I didn't support this war this is a great day and I don't want to detract from that. Congratulations to our armed forces, and with some reservations, congratualtions to the Bush administration. Now we wait to see what happens with the WMD.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Sauronosaurus is right,rightwingers are so wrong

    by OldManWillow

    I think Viggo is good as Aragorn,but yes he could have been a bit more weather-bitten and a bit less mellow.You know who would have been better?mr.Daniel Day Lewis.He's got some force in him that fellow.Frodo could have been a bit older too,i agree.Wood looks the part but he does give that poor-defensless-deer look way too much.Gandalf,Bilbo,Pippin and Merry,and Boromir and Eomer,they were all just about perfect.And the music by Shore is a terrible bore.If only Hedningarna had done the soundtrack you would have seen how the music could really have moved the movie.Great review from Moriarty,from Harry also.----------------and its just incredible how gullible some of you people are,no wonder you get to have that genius Bush as a president.Some people actually believe that Saddam was attacked because he was a murderous tyrant?So Bush and Blair's friendship with the president of Uzbekhistan,who boils folks who doesnt agree with him,makes perfect sense right?Some people seem to enjoy being brainwashed.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 1:27 p.m. CST

    Here's something for Michael Moore and rest...

    by genro

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 1:53 p.m. CST

    From FReepers to the libs - go fuck yourselves

    by vikingkitty

    Gore once again proves to be box office poison, endorsing far left wing nut Dean at the perfect time. For if someone like Dean were in charge, Saddam would still be in power today. Bush/Chaney in 2004.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 2:13 p.m. CST

    the not so bright right

    by OldManWillow


  • Dec. 14, 2003, 2:35 p.m. CST

    Johnny Baggins?

    by OldManWillow

    Depp is great but his a bit skinny for a hobbit,isnt he? Hey Dolfan,i'm just teasing these young republicans...on the other hand,check out: you might want to read about this nice man Karimov

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 3 p.m. CST

    Johnny Elvish

    by OldManWillow

    Depp would have been a good Legolas methinks.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 3:19 p.m. CST


    by Talimon


  • Dec. 14, 2003, 3:19 p.m. CST

    Holy Shit Dolfan13

    by paddington

    Where do you get 2 million from? It was about 250000 Iraqis that were killed by the Baathist party between 1969-2001. Meanwhile... 1.5 million Iraqis were killed by US led bombing and sanctions between 1990-2001.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Has anybody seen this yet?

    by PassionPlayer

    This is some funny shit...

  • LotR, per Tolkien, was meant to be one volume devided into 7 books. Houghton Mifflin actually releases the 7-book edition, and I proudly own it. The titles are, in order: The Ring Sets Out The Ring Goes South The Treason of Isengard The Ring Goes East The War of the Ring The End of the Third Age Appendices On the EE DVD's, it is noted at several points that the original title of RotK was The War of the Ring. While they ultimately changed it to suit the fans, I think The War of the Ring is a much better title. You have to remember that Tolkien never liked the 3-book solution anyway, and his original, prefered titles are those of the 7 individual books. As such I think PJ could have made a very strong arguement to stick to those titles. But it really isn't that important in either case.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 3:30 p.m. CST

    Thank you indeed Moriarity!

    by morGoth


  • Dec. 14, 2003, 3:57 p.m. CST

    Thanx Mori.

    by tango fett

    I CANNOT WAIT FOR ROTK! AGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyway, I want a Revolutions review from Mori. That'd be nice. F*ck you Saddam!

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 4:06 p.m. CST

    Gollum Depp

    by OldManWillow

    No No,I love Depp,he's the best,but Bilbo even more than Frodo needs to be of a more portly type.Ian Holm was perfect,he could even do this with a "young" makeup as somebody said.Kenneth Brannagh might do i guess.No,Depp is like Orlando Bloom,light and elfish.He could do a cool king of Mirkwood...and i bet he would have been a pretty fine Smeagol too.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 4:31 p.m. CST

    woof woof

    by OldManWillow


  • Dec. 14, 2003, 4:41 p.m. CST

    Project for the New American Century have begun

    by FD Resurrected

    Saddam's capture is great news for the Iraqi population who suffered under the oppression and brutality of the regime, but expect U.S.'s call for the world domination as the sole superpower. The nation and world will be doomed when Bush gets re-elected so either we support him and his cronies' black-and-white vision of "our way or the highway" or we liberals, Greens, socialist libertarians, left-wing independents, etc get name-called from everywhere as traitors, commie pinkos and tyrant lovers. U.S. is the modern equivalent of the Roman Empire, and we need the real-life Aragorn who cares about the PEOPLE, the CITIZENS, not a sycophant to the higher powers-that-be and the plutocrats - to restore the dignity and liberty to the nation that's basically fucked over for power and money instead of protecting civil liberties, defending human rights, nurturing health of the economy, advocate fair trading, and the Constitution. 9/11 is a great opportunity for the U.S. to accelerate its neocon agenda and impose its warhawks' view of the foreign policy on the world while kissing right-wing Israel and Zionists' ass. The Project for a New American Empire - I mourn for the passing of the U.S. when it finally slides into fascism as prophetized by General Tommy Franks

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 5:07 p.m. CST

    Tolkien and writing

    by The Llama

    Given that Tolkien was an Oxford don and spent his life as an academic, writing articles on philology as well as his hobby of LoTR, what exactly would possess Moriarty to describe him as an untrained writer without any knowledge of how to formally structure something? I liked the review, Moriarty, but seriously--do you not know much about Tolkien the man?

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 5:07 p.m. CST

    Real life Aragorn?? Hahahah jeesus!!!

    by IAmJacksUserID

    "Yeah, I'll take 'Signs you're a big LOTR freakboy' for $200, Alex."

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 5:08 p.m. CST


    by OldManWillow

    I guess you

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 5:10 p.m. CST

    Daniel Day Louis could have quite possibly kicked ass as Aragorn

    by PhilConnors

    And I don't mean to slam Viggo, who (from the DVDs) seems to be quite a cool and unique fellow. Actually, Viggo would have made a better Faramir - sober, humble, and wise. Tolkien wrote that Faramir most closely resembled him out of all of the characters he created. A sad fact given the way Jackson & co. betrayed the character of Faramir in even more "dumbing down" of the story.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 5:27 p.m. CST

    The thing about Depp is that he's sooo weird...

    by PhilConnors

    And Frodo is more like an Everyman. He should be (or have been) played by a very average looking and acting actor. The kind of actor we don't know about because he wouldn't be a celebrity...

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 5:29 p.m. CST

    And by "average acting" I don't mean in terms of skill...

    by PhilConnors

    I mean not acting like he is high most of the time... Someone who is capable of playing the character "straight."

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 5:33 p.m. CST

    Good review, sez I.

    by PAV

    Good review, at least it was for me. Sounded objective enough and well written. Thanks for writing this up, Moriarty. ----I know this is a minor minor issue, but Elijah Wood was hired for Frodo at 18. Frodo recieved the Ring at his coming of age, i.e, Hobbit equivalent of 18. The Ring stops the aging of its bearer. So naturally an 18 year old playing a 50 year old character is the way to go if the character stopped aging at the Hobbit equivalent of 18. I'm sure it could be argued that Elijah wasn't the right Frodo, but his age is in perfect keeping with how old Frodo should appear. ----Someone said that realistically, Frodo would have kept the Ring or given it to someone else. I must argue one and leave the other alone, for the most part. The one I'll argue is giving it to someone else...only two creatures in the entirety of the history of the One Ring gave it up of their own accord, and they were Sam and Bilbo...Bilbo managed because Sauron hadn't put forth his power to find it, and that he came into his bearing of the Ring with an honorable act. Sam gave it up out of love and plain old-fashioned Hobbit sense. The whole deal, of course, is it's a magic evil ring. Of COURSE it's not going to be "realistic" since there are no magic evil rings. But given the context of the story, giving that One Ring up is *hard*. On the other hand, keeping it... (makes biting motions at her finger)... -----Now I have to wait until ~22nd to seeeeeee thiiiiiis! ARGGHH!!

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 5:37 p.m. CST

    by BCfreeB

    This is probably the best review. Logical enough to state the films flaws, but emotional enough to admit that this movie is best left without nitpicking.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 6:33 p.m. CST

    PAV: Wrong on both counts

    by PhilConnors

    First, although the hobbit "coming of age" is 33, this is a cultural difference, not a biological one. Hobbits are basically short humans, with similar lifespans, and should therefore age accordingly. A 50 year old hobbit should look roughly like a 50 year old human. Secondly, Frodo didn't use the ring until the quest began, so he would have aged until then...

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 6:40 p.m. CST

    Obviously, the equal to or greater series will be the superior N

    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, 6:47 p.m. CST

    FD Resurrected

    by Justin's_Way

    FD says : "U.S. is the modern equivalent of the Roman Empire." Ha ha ha ha ha I love ignorant and stupid fucks that make inane comments like this. Yes beware all; soon the US will invade your Country as well we do it for fun! How about we give Saddam his own private island to rule and you and Michael Moore can be its first inhabitants, then you will have the great pleasure living under his just rule and be able to perform as many rimjobs on him and Michael Moore as your little heart desires. In the meantime the US will slowly take over the rest of the world as that, as you have so cleverly discovered, is our ultimate goal (I just can't wait till Icelands is ours!). FD go back to sniffing glue, you're better at that.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 6:49 p.m. CST


    by fevriul


  • Dec. 14, 2003, 7:02 p.m. CST

    Yes, hobbits are biologically different

    by PhilConnors

    I just meant that the coming-of-age age was due to culteral differences. The Old Took only lived to 130, so assuming that is extraordinarily old for a hobbit, that is only 15 - 20 years longer than an extraordinarily old human. If we were to take the fraction of longest lived human to longest lived hobbit, we'd see that 33 hobbit years corresponds to approximately 28 human years.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 7:04 p.m. CST

    Open letter to Moriarty

    by Planck

    Hi Moriarty, as much as I appreciate your reviews in general, some comments in your latest review of ROTK left me a bit aghast. "Thank you to J.R.R. Tolkien for being an untrained writer who didn

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 7:08 p.m. CST


    by glodene

    That was a damn good review sir. I can hardly wait to see that badboy.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 7:19 p.m. CST

    Looks like Saddam got what he deserved

    by knex246

    In a hole in the ground there lived a dictator. A nasty dirty wet hole filled with the ends of worms and a oozy smell. It was Saddam

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 7:21 p.m. CST

    What planet are you on? The election is a year away...

    by PhilConnors

    Any momentum from this will be forgotten by then (for fucks sake, we've only been in Iraq for half a year).

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 7:23 p.m. CST

    Fools! Forget this Saddam drivel! The Spidey 2 trailer is only h

    by Terry_1978

    Decisions, decisions, I know....

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 7:48 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...

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 8:11 p.m. CST

    still better way better than the two matrix sequels, i swear the

    by A 30+ User

    can't see myself getting excited for fantasy films for a lon lon lon time. it reads and looks to be the best film of the year

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 8:19 p.m. CST

    Great words from Moriarty.

    by Psyclops

    I'm sure there will be many future filmmakers out there who will be inspired to make great things because of these films.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 9:01 p.m. CST

    Phantasm, you're doctor called...

    by Commando Cody

    He says you need to come in RIGHT away tomorrow because he needs to UP your shock therapy treatments. Yeah, he was surfing the web, came across your delusional posts here, and instantly realized the synapses in your pitiful ass-backwards brain aren't sparking enough juice to form an actual thought...

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 9:02 p.m. CST

    Umm Mori, Tolkien never wrote a book titled 'The Return of The K

    by Miami Mofo

    To join the Sauronosaurus/Talimon chorus, J.R.R.T. wrote a book titled 'The Lord of The Rings' which was then divided into three by the editors. And with New Line's decision to make three films there was no way that P.J. could re-name them, even though the name "Return of the King" does not fully represent the whole story. But thanks for a well written and well thought-out review. ***I thoroughly enjoyed watching 'The Two Towers-EE' on the big screen Saturday. Boromir at Osgiliath is even more awesome than on the EE-DVD. Oh yeah, the theatre was packed!

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 9:35 p.m. CST

    Show me some Bush!

    by Gere's AssGerbil

    1.5 million Iraqis, indeed! Out of whose imagination did you pluck that figure, Paddingtion? And, Phantasm, you disappoint me. You're astute observations were gradually elevating you to hero status in recent days, but now this? Letting yourself get sucked into the Democrat vs. Republican mindset is folly, although it does help sell newspapers. Anyway, I seriously doubt Bush gets reelected, but that's okay. Right now, he's the man. He has finally completed what his father began. Bush will go down in history as the dude who took down one of the world's greatest evils at the turn of the millenium. Let's just hope Howard "The Hippie" Dean isn't the Dems' nominee. What a tool! **** In regards to ROTK, I can't wait. Maybe in the EE we'll see the footage with an unkempt, bearded Sauron hiding down in hole after his ring gets melted and his orcs get bitchslapped.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 10:08 p.m. CST

    Hi, I'm American and I have *perspective*

    by Maestro_Sartori

    I M sooo proud 2BN Amerikan cuz like we found some crazy guy in a mudhole. BushRulezU! Errr... Or maybe all the dumbfuck rightwing hicks on here can start actually thinking about how this *actually matters* to anyone but the families of the Iraqis who were murdered by the old regime. (And don't bother trying to sound like you give a shit about them, 'cause none of you dirtbags seemed too concerned about the *civilian* body count (7935-9766 as of 03.12.14) due to our invasion in any of your previous posts.) Saddam was certainly a piece of shit, but to watch you turds turn this into some kind of 'victory' when ObL is still loose is like watching a puppy eat its own, steaming shit. It thinks it's great, but you know just how stupid and gross it really is being. In summary: we captured a sleep-deprived idiot. Yay. Now, how about we capture ObL? Then you can rant about hippies all you want. In the meantime, enjoy those shit-eating grins you're wearing with such pride; just don't be too surprised when you wake up hung over, embarassed and wondering whether you deleted all those incriminating .jpegs.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 10:28 p.m. CST

    1:32 to go

    by AlwaysThere

    I need to see this Spider-Man II teaser trailer.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 10:28 p.m. CST

    I do admit it is a bit ironic...

    by PAV

    ...That Elijah is the youngest actor and plays the oldest Hobbit. Anyway, my impression has always been that Hobbits matured slower (as was mentioned, about the tweens) and since they lived to a hundred as often as not, they do have numerous biological differences from Men, not all of which are as obvious as height and foot fur. ----Also, used or not, just possessing the One Ring was enough to stop (or at least slow) Frodo's aging, as the Hobbits noticed that he was following Bilbo in his showing signs of being well preserved, which was apparently Hobbit-talk for 'not aging'. Doesn't matter really, as I said, minor point...I just thought it rather interesting and a kinda neat bit that they picked an actor that would look as young as Frodo should (to me; obviously not to's on the order of filming Legolas walking on snow to me, a very minor detail that I found a delightful tidbit). One way or another, if nothing else, Elijah is very nearly the mirror of my Frodo, excepting mine has brown eyes and he isn't quite as adept at angsting theatrically. ----And I'll just blink and stare stupidly at the suggestion that the rest of the Chronicals of Narnia aren't heavily Christian, then just say that the rest simply aren't as obvious as The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Wish to tread carefully, I does...

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 10:32 p.m. CST

    USA! USA! USA!

    by vikingkitty

    With OBL dead from either having 20 tons of rock fall on his head or his kidney's finally failing (hard to get treatment in a cave, eh, dumbfuck?), and with Saddam now safely in custody, what will the new talking points of the libs be? I'm sure that idiot Michael Moore will enlighten the masses with his bullshit soon enough!

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 10:42 p.m. CST

    Narnia, LOTOR and BUSH

    by Lord HenryWotton

    ok, well first time posting, but NARINIA RULES !!! LOTOR is great too but i grew up with narnia back in europe so... and you know what, who cares about hussein ???? BRING OUR TROOPS BACK HOME !!! STOP SPENDING MILLIONS ON THIS POINTLESS WAR !!! INVEST THIS MONEY INTO THE US ECONOMY TO MAKE NEW JOBS, FEED THE POOR, PROVIDE MORE HEALTHCARE AND IMPROVE THE EDUCATION SYSTEM. thank you.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 11:26 p.m. CST

    Re: Gere's AssGerbil

    by paddington

    Ummmm... it's not an imagined figure. It's a count that has been tallied by the UN.

  • Dec. 14, 2003, 11:40 p.m. CST

    I'm looking forward to Narnia

    by djinnj

    Although not as much as I have been anticipating Lotr. LotR (book) is something I've managed to love more as I grow, understanding it better and gaining new insights on Tolkien's created universe. Narnia didn't last as long for me, unfortunately. I still love the books, but the subtexts which I could ignore as a child can't be pushed away by my adult reading mind. ---- Regarding bashing one or the other, however. Lewis wasn't attempting to do the same thing Tolkien did; he didn't want to or need to, either. He had his own reasons for writing Narnia, and we don't need to compare the two. They aren't comparable except in the broadest of terms. So let's not, except in hoping that the new films will be at least as well done as LotR. (of course, if you hate LotR, this last sentence would need to be modified. Of course, if you hate LotR, what're you doing still reading this board?)

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 12:10 a.m. CST

    Sweet Lord in heaven, that Spidey 2 trailer...

    by Terry_1978

    As Chris Rock used to say, "Good Lawd!" Octavius hurling cars and scaling buildings....they actually made the CGI tentacles look and move pretty realistic, which is a shock to me.

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 12:18 a.m. CST


    by my name is cory

    Brilliant review. Only makes me want to see the conclusion that much more(as if that was possible.) Fantastic set of movies, each and every frame of this trilogy drips with love and devotion. Tricksy little hobbitsis. Thanks to the entire crew for something magnificant. I will now read the entire set of books for the first time. Love cory

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 12:37 a.m. CST

    OrionsAngel: Shut Up

    by Ribbons

    Obviously I can't make you shut up, but y'know, shut up. Seriously. Good for you that the Matrix trilogy sucked. Now you and every other closed-minded, pompous franchist in the dark corners of the world can call me closed-minded for not porking Fran Walsh.

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 12:47 a.m. CST


    by Maestro_Sartori

    You are a rascist. You disgust me.

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 1:01 a.m. CST

    Don't you get it, Mynameisnobody?

    by Commando Cody

    That IS what the bleeding left wants (and I say bleeding because today they took a massive wound to any hope of winning in '04). They WOULD just up and leave right now -- hell, they're already ADVOCATING it. These guys don't know if they're coming or going, and THANK GOD they're not in charge. And even if Bush said "Fine, I'll do it your way. We'll leave right now", I guarantee you that in the week that followed -- when all hell broke loose and (as you said) there was no stabilization authority -- they'd instantly turn right around and say "Well, what the fuck did you listen to us for?! Now its a mess again! See, you can't do anything right! Everyone knows to not listen to us! But that's why we should be in power, because we can't make up our minds!" I mean, FUCK, the liberal left is so fucking clueless it's enough to burst your brain. Did you see Senator Biden on the news this morning? He was literally fawning all over the news -- not to congratulate the military or even grudgingly acknowledge Bush had achieved a major victory -- but instead all he was going on about was "Well NOW would be a great time for the President to go overseas and suck Jaques Chirac's dick and say he's sorry! Because we really NEED France desperately! We're nothing without them as an ally." I swear, these guys have NO FUCKING CLUE. Yeah, Bush should go over to see Chirac and whip it piss on him for being such a cocksucking, manipulative weasel who sold out the NATO alliance and tried to divide it, just to further his own grab for power.

  • But wow, golly gee, you sure showed me! If you don't want divination of character on the talkbacks, you got it: in the meantime, stop perpetuating this franchist bullshit. What the hell is the point of telling us that the Matrix came and went with its leather-bound hack a sad symbol of its feebleness? I hate that kind of behavior, and last time I checked, behavior does not mean character.

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 1:21 a.m. CST

    The Irony Is...

    by Ribbons

    "Sir PJ" probably gives less than a rat's ass about whether or not the Matrix is proportionately less deserving of the money it takes in than the movies he directed, yet the philosophy of the man who some of you think was brilliant enough to make David Lean look silly and reinvent Elijah Wood as the next Peter O'Toole goes ignored for your chance to indulge in schadenfreude.

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 1:27 a.m. CST

    Anyway! ROTK looks awesome!

    by Ribbons

    Seriously, I'm looking forward to it. And the multiple endings thing retooled: never count out the workmanship of a crew that introduced about 6 characters in 20 minutes in FotR and made it seem seamless.

  • See y'all in a couple of weeks, by which time I hope there will be a movie or two to type about...

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 2:14 a.m. CST

    I am a foul-mouthed, hard-drinking, anti-social, gun-toting, opi

    by Yossarian

    but some of you people make me blush with embarassment. Sheesh. Does the only argument you sad little shits know happen to be the strawman tactic. Why the total fucking lack of civility?

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 2:21 a.m. CST

    the merits of LOTR

    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. 15, 2003, 4:42 a.m. CST


    by sixot30

    Moriarty, your review brought me to tears. Very poignant and gratifying, to say the least. I didn't care that I read more touches of spoilers. I hung onto every word you expressed in utter awe. It was probably the most heart-felt review I've ever read (you are right that letting it 'sink in' made a world of difference). I've been trying to come to terms with the fact that ROTK is the end of the LOTR movies, and I love that you weren't afraid to show the dramatic weight this end has brought to you. I am one of those people who grew up knowing the stories (though I hadn't read them until the movies became such an obsession for me). I had this idea of what the stories were like from the animated version, as well as the animated 'Hobbit', and from my parents' glorified memory of reading the books in the 60's. It was all fun... that is until I saw FOTR. I was so moved by it, I could not grasp it. I somehow talked myself out of seeing TTT in the theatre! Once I got TTT on DVD, I finally got my head around the story with rabid obsession. With the books and multiple viewings, I now understand, and I love every minute of the films. When you said the movies 'will have reached into the real world and sent someone out on a real quest, a great adventure, and we

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 4:49 a.m. CST


    by Maestro_Sartori

    Yes, you are a rascist and I don't need to know much about you personally to see it in your manner of dropping such bilious f

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 8:04 a.m. CST

    Philippa Boyens is a hack with no respect for Tolkien's work...

    by Fudgewrangler

    ...and that video of Saddam, no matter how evil the fucker is, is a breach of the 3rd Geneva convention, especially article 13. Funny thing, since the U.S. so vigorously protested the display of their soldiers on Al Jazeera, claiming the very same reason.

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 8:37 a.m. CST

    Yeah, that's right Fudgewrangler (rolling my eyes)...

    by Commando Cody

    ...I'm sure as fuck more concerned about protecting the "rights" of a deposed despot who is actually responsible for ordering the deaths of HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of people, not to mention has the blood of American soldiers on his hands from 2 Gulf Wars AND who fiscally supported anti-western terrorist factions. And by the way, it's NOT a violation of the Geneva convention -- in fact, Saddam hasn't been categorized a prisoner of war, legally he's already been labeled a "detainee" (like the cocksucker terrorists being held in Cuba) which puts him in an entirely different category and thus rescinds certain rights. But that aside, even if you want to take the Geneva argument, there was still no violation as he wasn't "paraded" for news organizations NOR (and far more importantly) he wasn't shown as being MISTREATED the way American soldiers have previously been shown on film (which is why we raised such a stink in the past). What, you and the Geneva fucks have a problem showing Saddam receiving MEDICAL ATTENTION? Yeah, you're right -- that's soooooo evil and ominious looking! And to think he deserves so much better treatment. You know, I'd say pull your brain out of ass, but apparently you shitted it out long ago leaving you utterly clueless.

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 8:43 a.m. CST

    PS: the only thing better than parading Saddam on TV...

    by Commando Cody

    ...would be parading Bin Laden on TV too. And what would top either of those? Getting to watch both of these assholes executed on pay TV so me and some friends could get together, throw a party, scarf pizzas and beer, and then let out a loud cheer when these 2 human stains get sent to Hell where they belong.

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 9:14 a.m. CST

    Great review, definitely worth the wait.

    by minderbinder

    Just like I assume the movie will be. Hasn't this been an amazing trip?

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Nice Post.

    by xfloydx

    Nice post among some of this hate filled pig ignorant trash sixot30. (Note, not referring too any of the off topic heated political debate going on here). I know when a movie is really something special when it can affect people in the way that it has. Shame about what got cut, but I'm happy about it. I never wanted this trilogy to come to an end, and knowing I have another year to anticipate the extended box set will keep a big smile on my face. I also haven't read the books yet, so my journey into the LOTR has only just begun.

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Who supplied saddam??

    by fevriul

    You know what's amazing hering all these liberal fuckwit talkbackers going on about how the us supplied saddam and backed him etc. Yet last time I checked the biggest suppliers of military euipment to the fucker was RUSSIA, FRANCE CHINA in that order. And lets not forget that it was the frog fuckers who tried to give him anuke reactor, unitl the isrealies blew the fucker up.

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 11:11 a.m. CST

    LOTR isn't better than the original SW

    by changer624

    But it will be. When Star Wars first came out, it received incredibly mixed reviews from critics. now its considered to be one of the greatest movies ever. all of the LOTR films have been praised by the majority of critics. imagine what people will think of them 20 years from now.

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 12:27 p.m. CST

    bush lovers

    by jnickerson27

    Wow, it

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 1:17 p.m. CST

    Oh yeah? Well, Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allan W

    by minderbinder


  • Dec. 15, 2003, 1:49 p.m. CST

    Bush/Saddam: Bottom Line

    by Gere's AssGerbil

    I'm gonna sleep better at night knowing that Saddam is no longer a threat. Since Bush took all the flack for the invasion in the first place, he deserves the credit when the job is done. The good guys won for once. True, there is a cost to victory and it is still growing every day. I wish there was a way to ensure our security without the loss of innocent lives. Personally, as a selfish American I feel it is worth the cost and I know three Iraqis over here who feel the same. But I hope that the people living in Iraq also feel it is worth the cost. I'm not a Republican, I may or may not vote for Bush in 2004, but I think the man deserves credit for this victory.

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 4:52 p.m. CST

    just a small point

    by j1126

    The US is one of them "Geneva Fucks" We signed it waaaaay back.

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 5:29 p.m. CST

    no time to talk back!

    by djinnj

    packing the picnic backpack for Trilogy Tuesday! Lembas anyone?

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 5:38 p.m. CST

    mynamisnobody: you are an ass...

    by Pontsing Barset

    ... "I find the ones that make the "Best Picture" statement for ROTK blindly usually are 32 year old nerds...that eat gold fish tech support for a living...that wore a winger shirt back in high school and had pin-ups of She-Ra on their wall". WTF?! Pretty free with the stereotypes there don't you think junior? I've seen "Last Samurai": Pretty pictures and decent battle set pieces. It doesn't have ANYTHING else going for it, erm, except for the great Ken Watanabe, who is pretty much wasted in this rather imbecilic rewrite of Japanese history anyway. Cruise is good at chewing up scenery and that's about it.

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 5:53 p.m. CST

    "I'm gonna sleep better at night knowing that Saddam is no longe

    by minderbinder

    Sure, he was horrible over there, but what did your imagination dream up that he could possibly do to harm you in your warm bed in suburb outside of Cleveland? I'm glad he's gone, but if there's anyone who's a possible threat to making your life miserable it's Bush and his ilk.

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 6:13 p.m. CST


    by MaulRat

    In order to read M's review you must have seen the little pic on top of the heading that you clicked on to get here, you know the one I mean don't you?.. the one that said in white bold type "SPOILERS" on a red background.. the one that in so many words says "hey! for those of you who don't want to read a spoiler ridden review, don't click here".. Don't like the fact that you found out the ending of the film? Bad fucking luck, try paying attention next time, so you don't bitch and moan because you know the ending of a film before you see it. Eat shit and kill yourselves...

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 7:28 p.m. CST

    Saddam's best friend....

    by sal120 See the guy on the left? Look familiar?

  • Dec. 15, 2003, 10:39 p.m. CST

    Fine, you don't have to listen to me

    by Ribbons

    But if the rest of this talback community embraces you simply because you, like them, trumpet the merits of these movies, then I've lost all faith in the system. At least I'm not so overblown that I don't read responses from anyone else because I automatically assume everything that comes out of my mouth is right and that I can't learn anything from anyone. So if you think it's funny stuff that you seemingly misinterpreted what the two of us both said in the first place and are now positioning yourself to win a battle of egos in which you're the only participant, then yeah, frankly, I'd have to agree.

  • Dec. 16, 2003, 1:59 a.m. CST

    I Liked the review, I'M DISGUSTED WITH THE TALKBACK!

    by Zone Zero

    I'm sick and tired of this loosely done talkback stuff. Harry needs to get rid of it. All this is used for is endless trolling and off-topic bickering. Not to mention all the "plants" that spout about their "favorite" movie. Quite frankly the only reason why people stay away from AICN is because of this. Either get some better moderated talkbacks, get a seperate forum, or just fucking be rid of anything resembling a talkback. It serves no other purpose than to get the blood boiling of everyone here who ACTUALLY come here for reviews and news. What ever happened to the rule of "no b.s. or off topic posting?" God damn... If I had seen this stuff happening on a forum I had the misfortune of being an admin on, I would have banned 50 to 75% of the posters I see spewing their filth on the talkbacks.

  • Dec. 16, 2003, 2:48 a.m. CST

    LOTR fans rejoice!!!!

    by CrunkMaster

    This movie is beyond me. I leave it to smarter people to discuss how unbelievable it was. Let LOTR FANS RULE the world! and what do I see when I get home from my screening -- MORE friggin LOTR. I LOVE IT! Anyone see this, it's friggin hilarious LOTR FANS ARE THE THE BOMB.

  • Dec. 16, 2003, 6:52 a.m. CST

    Master and Commander will win Best Picture

    by Silver_Joo

    If Jackson has spent all these years on this trilogy to win a golden doorstop, I would be surprised. Furthermore, technically what was achieved with Master and Commander far outweighs ROTK. It is a lot more complex to make a film that relies on period detail, and stunt work. It is easier to create a fantasy world and populate it with creatures that are explicitly described in the book you are adapting. Wow, what a towering achievement. This is not Jackson's story, it is Tolkien's badly told. If this film inspires you to be creative, it has failed miserably. It should inspire you to go and buy the toys, that is why Star Wars is the still the best studio trilogy ... hahaha.

  • Dec. 16, 2003, 8:56 a.m. CST

    Well, you never know ...

    by Silver_Joo

    I think that although the LOTR Trilogy is not terrible, The Last Samurai and Master and Commander seem to reflect the kind of films the Academy like to award. They have one designated lead male, and then the peripheral characters. LOTR is based around a number of important characters and therefore its merits as a work of performance are not as immediately noteworthy. It is ensemble and it is fantasy, does that create a stigma about it as a 'masterpiece'? I don't think Jackson deserves Best Director because Peter Weir went through hell with Master and Commander, and the investment into that film was probably as big as the investment in the LOTR trilogy! The fact is that Weir has done a bloody remarkable job to create an epic at sea and have it make some money back. Edward Zwick is just a quietly consistent director, 'Glory' is a good film, as is 'The Siege'. Maybe he will make a masterpiece one day, but as it is he just makes decent films that deserve merit.

  • Dec. 16, 2003, 11:12 a.m. CST

    Pls take out Musharaff as well..

    by palebluedot7

    I am an Indian s/w professional working in the US, and as my working visa heads an yr into its validity period i fall deeper in love with this country. It has given me a decent job, respect at the workplace and the satisfaction of a reasonably yuppie lifestyle. But in many ways it is not very different frm my native land (ofcource a space age ahead), a democracy, public opinion matters, under threat from terrorism. Yes. tht is one area where i believe Americans have been mislead. We are probably in graver danger of being nuked by the islamic bomb thn Washington or even Tel-Aviv. We have evr lived under the threat of Pakistan and long have Ur governments overlooked it. My post is definitely out of topic but certainly not out of the current perspective. SADDAM has been brought to justice, but there are other despots tht enjoy ur favours and continue to harbour and perpetrate terror. Musharraf is chief among them. Al qaida operated frm Pakistan at the time of 9-11. It is STILL based there. I am not an American citizen and hence cannot give my opinion in favour of any particular presidential candidate. But i can give you an insight into what ur media and governments choose2 ignore. I hope 9-11 had never happened, I hope none of those ppl had ever lost their lives, but living with reality requires us to understand tht the current American Pres is doing wht is required for a terror free world. No matter wht the Arabs say but evry American soldier who is killed in action is a matyr in the name of democracy. The next step in this war on terrorism is taking out BIN LADEN and MUSHARAFF. I say one step bcoz ur tomahawk would probably get them snuggling up2 one another in the same room filled with burnt Israeli-Indian-American flags. Bring down the dark tower !

  • Dec. 16, 2003, 5:35 p.m. CST

    Saddam know what is funny?

    by riouxda

    It is how the US leaders were pissed off when Iraq showed US soldiers as prisoners a few months ago. They said that it is against human rights and all...But now, showing Saddam as a prisoner is no problem...So funny how they change the rules all the time when it fits them...

  • Dec. 16, 2003, 5:46 p.m. CST

    Big Dumb Ape

    by riouxda

    "Thanks for defending us and fighting the good fight. USA! Fuck yeah! We TOTALLY kick ass! Meanwhile, off in France, Chirac is cursing another Bush victory and is left once again looking like the spineless, cowardly, unprincipled cocksucker we always knew him to be..." Erm...the good fight? Of course, Saddam was a dictator but, Bush is slowly becoming one too. He wanted to do this war for Iraqi's oil...Weapons of Massive Destruction!! Hmmm...They still haven't found them!! But hey, it's like in the movies, they will find them soon because I'm sure they have specialists who know how to bring them from the US undetected and hide them somewhere in Iraq to show their point!! US leaders are all a bunch of liars...You know what? it will be ugly to live in america in a few years. Next thing we know, Bush will want to attack Canada and France because they refused to help them in their war, therefore, making them their enemies...And after that, who will be their next target? Japan? China? Germany?? Bush is about to start the third world war...Hopefully, there will be a Frodo and a Sam somewhere who will be able to bring Bush's precious to Mount Doom and destroy him!!

  • Dec. 16, 2003, 5:50 p.m. CST

    Paddington and his ilk

    by Stay_Puft

    U R on fucking crack. Quit whining and take your dick out of Moby's ass. Palebluedot is right. We won't get anywhere until we face reality and admit that some of our "friends" are downright douchebags. Wake up and smell the falafels, fellas. WOLVERINES!!

  • Dec. 16, 2003, 7:14 p.m. CST

    To Planck and Llama

    by wato

    Hopefully I won't say anything too inflammatory, but you two need to calm down about Moriarty's post. Have you two seen the extra features on the Two Towers Extended Edition? I believe that Moriarty is referring to several spots on the DVD where those being interviewed referred to the fact that Tolkien was not formally trained as a writer and that he did not structure things in a popular fiction way. None of it was said in a defamatory way. It was just being mentioned because those qualities made the work that much more unique.

  • Dec. 16, 2003, 10:05 p.m. CST

    Dear Silver_Joo

    by morGoth

    Not only have you completely contradicted yourself (wasn

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 1:16 a.m. CST

    JNickerson: "p.s. if not for the help by France in the revolutio

    by Commando Cody

    Oh puh-leeze. It's pretty fucking pathetic when someone has to try and defend France's ally status or their military record of accomplishment by going back to something 2 CENTURIES ago. You know what I say to that? Yeah, thanks for that one, France. But I think history has clearly shown that since then, the U.S. has by FAR more often than not bailed their asses out of trouble or come to their aid. So if the Revolutionary War bit is the incident you want to cite, great -- but frankly it's a debt the U.S. repaid many, many, many times over.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 3:26 a.m. CST

    To Sterling Mel, with love.

    by Zone Zero

    So, you're calling us cocksuckers? You Something Awful trolling agent? Well, takes one to know one pal. Oh, it was quite hard to read your tirade, it seemed to go in completely divergent directions with no sense of a point other than to insult your reader. As for your being the "big white hope" of the movie industry, with you poor spelling and grammar skills, God have mercy on us all. I doubt you are a hater of the whole LotR series, because you sound like 90% of all the trolls here. You fume, piss, whine, moan, and bitch, but it all amounts to nothing. You sanctimonious masturbating monkey. Do yourself and the world a favor and shoot yourself before you breed.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 6:19 a.m. CST

    Stirling Mel be in peace.

    by palebluedot7

    There will be no other version of LOTR in your lifetime. you will die an unhappy man.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 9 a.m. CST

    response to commando cody

    by jnickerson27

    Well shit Commando Cody, the United States may not exist as it does today with out aid from the French. Gee, then who would have come to their an the rest of the worlds aid. Perhaps the French have seen enough war on their soil to understand how horrible it is for all involved. The US has never experienced an event such as WWII, our perspective on war may be different had we suffered first hand. And don

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 3:09 p.m. CST

    sterling, my condolensces

    by Stay_Puft

    And you will be waiting a very, very long time. While you wait you might want to start spellchecking your posts.

  • Dec. 17, 2003, 10:05 p.m. CST

    Denethor's palantir! 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. 18, 2003, 4:47 a.m. CST

    "The US has never experienced an event such as WWII, our perspec

    by Big Dumb Ape

    Wow. I mean...WOW. Just when I think someone in a talkback thread can't say anything more FUCKING STUPID and come off dumber than a rock, someone like JNickerson does. This has to rank as one of the most pathetically naive and outright stupid statements I've EVER seen posted here. And I've been coming to AICN for quite some time. Yeah, you're right. The U.S. has never experienced "war firsthand" and unlike your illustrious France, we have no idea "what" war is like, about or means. Tell you what, asshole...go stroll through Arlington National Cemetary or any local cemetary and see the tombstones of all those that gave their lives for this country and THEN come back and be just as fucking retarded in what you say.

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 4:52 a.m. CST

    "And don

    by Big Dumb Ape

    Wait. I take back what I just said. JNickerson COULD top himself and demonstrate that he's an even BIGGER intellectual carrot than I supposed, and in the very same post. 9-11 NOT an act of war? Wow, dude, is your thinking prowess comparable to a BB pellet rolling around in an empty tuna can?

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 6:29 a.m. CST

    JNickerson - what a moron!

    by Miami Mofo

    I suppose that you've never heard of the Civil War, aka The War Between the States. All that was was a war with some of the bloodiest battles ever. The carnage was intense. JNick - you should really think before you type!

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 9:17 a.m. CST

    jnickerson response

    by jnickerson27

  • Dec. 18, 2003, 5:20 p.m. CST

    jnickerson and Sterling Mel

    by Ye-Baar

    Oklahoma's state government wasn't in cahoots with McVeigh, but the Taliban was backing Bin Laden. Also, your definition says that it's USUALLY open and declared, not always. In your interpretation then Vietnam wasn't a war either, and neither side can be held responsible for what they did. The fact that Viggo is openly anti-war doesn't bother me one bit. If it did, I'd be bothered every time I watch a movie, wouldn't I? Sterling Mel: How would you go about making a movie of these books without a big budget? I honestly do not believe it is possible. A government grant for filmmaking or all your saved up lunch money put together with mine is going to amount to even 1% of what you'd need. Hate the films if you like, you're perfectly free to. But the idea of making them without big business involved and still being true to what Tolkien wrote is more fantastical than the existence of elves. Now, on topic, Return of the King was a wonderful film. I was a doubter, and I was very satisfied with the conclusion of this trilogy. Now I need to see TTT EE and see if that helps my opinion of it. Later.

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 1:39 a.m. CST

    Great review Moriarty: Amazing film...Warning: there are petty w

    by Tarl_Cabot

    I never left a concert early or a football game in overtime. WTF is with some people? I could have sat there for 10 hours to see this thing wrapped up...

  • Dec. 20, 2003, 1:40 p.m. CST

    Haha, take this Star Wars fans... (no offense)

    by gil-galad12

    BW writes: In just two days of release many things have happened at, firstly (on the second day) ROTK shot into the top ten movies of all time list, slotting in at #8. This pushed FOTR to #9 and sent the remaining Star Wars movie to the grey havens (out of the prestigious top ten). TTT remains at #4. With the reviews ROTK has gained and the respect of the fans, its likely it could become the all time (permanent) number one motion picture of all time, dethroning The Godfather once and for all. [IMDB] (Off of the TORn website)

  • Dec. 21, 2003, 5:19 a.m. CST

    Checking out whether this talkback is hosed, too

    by Elaine

  • Dec. 21, 2003, 7:21 p.m. CST

    Ragged Editing

    by relden10

    Hi, Great movie. I loved the film, and your review, but I think the Extended DVD will be the real masterpiece. I agree with your comments about Aragorn's speech, but I remember that IMDB had for a long time listed an actor for the role of the Mouth of Sauron (I can't remember who--the cast list has been modified to fit the released film--there was an actor for Ghan-Buri-Ghan too). No telling what role the Mouth would have played, but you can kind of see the ragged edges in the plot where he was torn out. You can almost imagine seeing the scoth-tape holding the spliced film together. Aragorn's speech would have made more sense if you knew his audience had just heard what the Mouth had to say. But then, I can see why the cut him: he would have seemed kind of pointless since the audience of the film already knows so much more than Aragorn and his army. I noticed the same ragged edges around Denethor's death scene--I'm not sure why the left out the real reason he went mad--and in a few other places.

  • Dec. 22, 2003, 11:48 a.m. CST

    the endings

    by FloydGandoli

    Loved the multiple endings as well. I think that after watching all 3 films. Jackson more than earns that extended wrap-up. Many won't like. Many are idiots.

  • Dec. 22, 2003, 11:55 a.m. CST


    by FloydGandoli

    I agree with Mori -- hopefully LotR will inspire new filmmakers. I also hope that the massive ciritical and commercial success of this project also inspires more studios to respect the audience (three films over 3 hours long) and greenlight visionary projects like this one.

  • Dec. 28, 2003, 2:54 a.m. CST

    longest friggin ending in history

    by Tall_Boy

    nice individual moments but after the ring ends up in mount doom its about 25 plus minutes till the end. I was with some non-geek friends and they were freaking out by the end. "No, there's still some more" Fade to white on boat: FADE BACK IN TO THE FRIGGIN HOBBIT HOLE. Ugh. Too much crying and hugging. Cut it. for the love of god, cut it. (awesome flick through and through up to that point, though. Personally I think they should have ended it with "Its over Sam." - CUT TO BLACK, ROLL CREDITS)