After over a year of exile from Middle-Earth, the itch was getting too strong to resist. Much too much has been said about these movies already, so here are just three thoughts: (1) If you’re going to do a marathon, I strongly recommend the theatrical versions over the extended edition. You want the epic span of the story, but you don’t want all the buttnumbing footnote scenes. Sorry, purists. (2) In retrospect, The Two Towers is the weakest of the series. Gollum is terrific and the film’s climax offers good payoff, but the subplots about Faramir, Rohan, and Treebeard just aren’t nearly as interesting as the major storylines in the other two movies. (3) Return of the King has such a wealth of incredible visuals and is pitched at such an intense level of drama that it’s bound to remain a milestone for a long time to come. It also makes King Kong seem especially pointless–everything that movie was supposed to do, Return of the King had already done much better. As epic genre film, as ensemble melodrama, as special effects extravaganza, and as literary adaptation, The Lord of the Rings still reigns supreme.

The Fellowship of the Ring. Peter Jackson, 2001. *****
The Two Towers. Peter Jackson, 2002. *****
The Return of the King. Peter Jackson, 2003. *****

[tags]the lord of the rings, fantasy, hobbits, peter jackson, viggo mortensen, sean astin, elijah wood, cate blanchett, orlando bloom, ian mckellen, tolkien, adaptation, trilogy, marathon, film, 5 stars[/tags]