The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
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Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (DVD) (WS)
"One ring to rule them all. One ring to find them. One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them." In the conclusion of J.R.R. Tolkien's epic masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings, as armies mass for a final battle that will decide the fate of the world--and powerful, ancient forces of Light and Dark compete to determine the outcome--one member of the Fellowship of the Ring is revealed as the noble heir to the throne of the Kings of Men. Yet, the sole hope for triumph over evil lies with a brave hobbit, Frodo, who, accompanied only by his loyal friend Sam and the hideous, wretched Gollum, ventures deep into the very dark heart of Mordor on his seemingly impossible quest to destroy the Ring of Power.]]>
With The Return of the King, the greatest fantasy epic in film history draws to a grand and glorious conclusion. Director Peter Jackson's awe-inspiring adaptation of the Tolkien classic The Lord of the Rings could never fully satisfy those who remain exclusively loyal to Tolkien's expansive literature, but as a showcase for physical and technical craftsmanship it is unsurpassed in pure scale and ambition, setting milestone after cinematic milestone as the brave yet charmingly innocent Hobbit Frodo (Elijah Wood) continues his mission to Mordor, where he is destined to destroy the soul-corrupting One Ring of Power in the molten lava of Mount Doom. While the heir to the kingdom of Men, Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), endures the massive battle at Minas Tirith with the allegiance of the elf Legolas (Orlando Bloom), dwarf Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) and the great wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen), Frodo and stalwart companion Samwise Gamgee (Sean Astin) must survive the schizoid deceptions of Gollum, who remains utterly convincing as a hybrid of performance (by Andy Serkis) and subtly nuanced computer animation.
Jackson and cowriters Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens have much ground to cover; that they do so with intense pacing and epic sweep is impressive enough, but by investing greater depth and consequence in the actions of fellow Hobbits Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd), they ensure that Return of the King maintains the trilogy's emphasis on intimate fellowship. While several major characters appear only briefly, and one (Christopher Lee's evil wizard, Saruman) relegated entirely to the extended version on DVD, Jackson is to be commended for his editorial acumen; like Legolas the archer, his aim as a filmmaker is consistently true, and he remains faithful to Tolkien's overall vision. If Return suffers from too many endings, as some critic suggested, it's only because the epic's conclusion is so loyally inclusive of the actors--most notably Astin--who gave it such strength to begin with. By ending the LOTR trilogy with noble integrity and faith in the power of imaginative storytelling, The Return of the King, like its predecessors, will stand as an adventure for the ages. --Jeff ShannonSee all Editorial Reviews
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Lot's of Action and Great Special Effects!!!
Rarely does a trilogy come around where all three movies are amazingly good. I've seen some complaints here and there about all three movies, but mostly they are about minor things. I can't help but think to myself that if all someone can complain about is a slightly long battle scene, or too many "endings"... the movie must have been pretty darn good!
I personally thought it was OUTSTANDING. The entire thing. Yes, the ending dragged on a little bit.. but I thought it was all necessary. In fact, my one major complaint is that there wasn't MORE! I can't wait for the extended DVD simply because I am dying to see the scouring of the Shire and the final confrontation of Gandalf and Saruman!
The theatrical version though, was simply amazing. It's not often I see a movie where the entire audience is so emotionally involved that they cheer and laugh out loud with the film as much as they did during the Return of the King. There are several memorable scenes, including one particular emotionally charged scene where Pippin is singing a song while Faramir rides to an unwinnable battle with the orcs. It had me in tears, which is a rare occasion.
Sam (Sean Astin) particularly shined in this movie. Frodo tends to be thought of as the hero, but I thought Sam really stood out as the most heroic of them all. Whenever Frodo couldn't do something, Sam picked up the slack. He kept Frodo motivated, despite constantly battling with him over Gollum. Towards the end of their journey, the scenes with Sam are just incredible.
Overall, the movie was incredible. The first thing I said to myself after it was over is "I can't WAIT to see it again!" There is no other trilogy that even comes close to comparing to this. Peter Jackson did an amazing job transferring the books in to film, I don't know if anyone could have done better. I will most assuredly be seeing it again in the theater and getting the extended version DVD set when it comes out next year. GOOD JOB to all involved in making the triology!