The X-Women

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Lord Of The Rings - One film series to rule them all....

Just got done with a Lord of the Rings movie marathon and those films are still majestic and impressive. I watched the special extended versions which added about 45 minutes to each film. They were long to begin with but to be able to watch in your home at your own leisure greatly helps. My personal favorite is the very first one, Fellowship, but I love the other two as well. Fellowship set up the story wonderfully and introduced us to the wonder that is Middle Earth. We meet all the assorted characters of hobbits, wizards, elfin princesses, dwarves, warriors, orcs, and tons more. The interaction between the hobbits and everyone else looked great and very real. The talented direction by Peter Jackson was phenomenal. The cast were equally impressive from Ian McKellan as Gandalf the Grey to Viggo Mortensen as Aragon, Elijah Wood as Frodo, Sean Astin as Sam, Orlando Bloom as Legolas, Sean Bean as Boromir, Christopher Lee as Saruman....just the entire cast rocked. The visual effects were quite simply some of the best ever captured on film. I truly love the fellowship when they had to battle the creatures in the caves before meeting the fire breathing monster that was just awesome. The final battle at the end of this film will also get your blood pumping as our heroes try to protect Frodo from being captured by the orcs, minions of Sauron.

The stage was set for part two, The Two Towers and that film did not disappoint. Everyone will remember the battle at Helms Deep, a masterful 45 minute siege that is unrelenting and very exciting. But there was also more characters that were introduced into the series including King Theoden (played by Bernard Hill, who if you remember was the captain in Titanic), Brad Dourif as Wormtongue and the burst on the screen magnificence of Miranda Otto as Eowyn. From the time she appears onscreen, she held my full attention because of her character's desire to take up arms to protect her kingdom and family. She and Legolas were my favorite characters of the entire series, which is saying a lot considering how many characters wind up involved in this massive trilogy. Otto gives probably the performance of her life in Return of the King. But back to Two Towers, more history is explained and we are introduced fully to the character of Gollum, a CGI rendered creation that is truly amazing. Actor Andy Serkis supplied the voice and all his movements and actions were captured with state of the art technology. But all that would be moot if you didn't become invested in the character of Gollum and thanks to Serkis's amazing performance, you did. To praise him any less would do his performance a huge injustice. It is his story that really drives the Lord of the rings at this point from here on end. On how he suffered with the ring and then how we suffered even more without it. How he is always at conflict with himself on to either help Frodo or kill him.

Which leads to the final thrilling chapter, Return of the King, in which Aragon takes center stage to lead the forces of good against evil in the throw down battle of all time. Viggo steps up and shows all his acting ability and then some in some tender and emotional scenes that he shares with the love of his life, the elfin princess Arwen (played by Liv Tyler) and then the heroic battle scenes he engages in. His speech to rally the troops for the final battle is very inspiring...."there will come a day when men shall fall before the forces of evil, but not this day!" I was ready to jump into battle myself. Also the burden that Frodo has carried for 3 films reaches it's stunning conclusion. As he and Sam have dealt with capture, a perilous journey, Gollum, and everything you could possibly think of to reach their destination. Wood and Astin are very good in their scenes together, being as they are apart from everyone else in the series. I have to mention also the other two hobbits Merry and Pippin who provide not only the comic relief but end becoming valiant heroes themselves. And also Gimli the master dwarf (played by John Rhys-Davies) who is always in contest with Legolas and they provide ample humor and derring do. Return of the King delivers on everything that has been building since the first film and then some. The heroes epic battle at Gondor involves flying creatures, enormous elephants, giant trolls, and scores of other creatures and warriors. And when Eowyn stands face to face with the Witch King was awesome. When the Witch King says "no man can kill me", Eowyn strikes him down and says "I'm no man!" I was like hell yeah. If that scene didn't make you want to cheer, then you must not have a pulse. So after viewing this epic series for the 4th time, it is still immeasurably enjoyable. I believe it to be my favorite film series of all time. The craftmanship involved in this undertaking and all the talented people involved turned out three of the most astonishing films you will ever see.
A ( for the entire series)

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