Return of the King

I saw Return of the King [RotK] last night at mid­night. I got to bed around 4ish and was at work at 7. I am writ­ing this at approx­i­mate­ly 20 past 9 a.m. on 17 Decem­ber 2003. I am a zom­bie, so bear with if at times I sound a bit inco­her­ent. There are also prob­a­bly spoil­ers ahead.

The movie was damn good. I am most glad that I saw the extend­ed Two Tow­ers before RotK, because the extra flesh­ing it pro­vid­ed was quite help­ful. I won’t delve into the stan­dard huz­zahs for the cin­e­matog­ra­phy, CGI ren­der­ings, WETA cre­ations and all that. Every­one already knows about how sweet that shit looks. Instead I’ll just touch on the high lows and instances of ‘I got­ta think about that before I make a deci­sion.’

Char­ac­ters

In no par­tic­u­lar order:

Gan­dalf — what hap­pened to the con­fi­dent Gan­dalf from the first and sec­ond movies? He seems resigned to defeat, even though he lays the law down upon Denethor a few times, and beats the tar out of plen­ty of Orcs, he looks damn tired. Of course, he should be tired, after all the work he has done, but he nev­er inspires much hope in me.

Aragorn — Vig­go, you got it right, you always had it right. bra­vo.

E?wyn — She is hot­ter than Arwen, stronger than Arwen, and cool­er than Arwen. She beats the shit out of the Witch-king’s crit­ter, then stands before the Witch-king’s ?ber-morn­ingstar despite its crazy big­ness and despite her fear. What a woman. I hope the extend­ed ver­sion of RotK cov­ers her romance with Faramir in the Hous­es of Heal­ing. Good job Miran­da.

Arwen — Can eat my ass. Why does she have to be both horse­faced and always appar­ent­ly on the point of cry­ing? Why does she have to be in the movies at all? gah.

Pip­pin — Bil­ly Boyd nailed Pip­pin in this movie much more than in the oth­ers. That lit­tle smirk on his face at the coro­na­tion of Aragorn was per­fect. Also, his ter­ri­ble inno­cence and gen­tle­ness are much more vis­i­ble.

Mer­ry — Good job I sup­pose, although I wish he and The?den had built the friend­ship they had in the book.

The?den — Orig­i­nal­ly, in TTT, I was pissed at the way he was por­trayed. The extend­ed ver­sion changed my opin­ion of him [most­ly the bur­ial of his son]. I would fol­low his ass into bat­tle any day.

Fro­do — he is still weak and whiny, but I sup­pose that is the point. I respect the book ver­sion more.

Sam — I’m not the hugest Sean Astin fan, but this real­ly is his movie, and he real­ly is the most deserv­ing of the hap­py end­ing. He nailed the char­ac­ter just like Vig­go. THANK GOD THERE WASN’T ANOTHER SCRIPTEDWELL GET THERE MR. FRODOSPEECH.

Lego­las and Gim­li — They change as slow as forests and moun­tains. Noth­ing worth sayin’ about them that hasn’t already been said.

Flot­sam and Jet­sam

None of the changes real­ly ran­kled me that much apart from Elrond show­ing up with Nar­sil-reforged. The Shire was still pris­tine, but I expect­ed that. It fits with the clas­si­cal Hol­ly­wood nar­ra­tive for­mat : two men set across a val­ley, have many adven­tures, and return home safe­ly. All the action hap­pens in the val­ley not at home. I actu­al­ly liked the Dead com­ing to Minas Tirith. I’d always want­ed that to hap­pen in the book.

Grond was wicked awe­some, Minas Morgul was wicked awe­some, the Witch-king was ridicu­lous wicked awe­some. My only true major beef is that a lot was miss­ing from the the­atri­cal release that would have closed things off a bit bet­ter. I’m sure it will end up in the extend­ed ver­sion, but the extend­ed ver­sion will prob­a­bly push 4.5 hours if every­thing is put in. By every­thing I mean: What hap­pens to Saru­man; How does The?den make it to Gon­dor and What about the Wos­es; How do E?wyn and Faramir meet; When does Gan­dalf face the Witch-king, and prob­a­bly some oth­ers I am too tired to think of at the moment.

My favorite scene is also my favorite pas­sage in the book.

Sud­den­ly the king cried to Snow­mane and the horse sprang away. Behind him his ban­ner blew in the wind, white horse upon a field of green, but he out­paced it. After him thun­dered the knights of his house, but he was ever before them. ?omer rode there, the white horse­tail on his helm float­ing in this speed, and the front of the first ?ored roared like a break­er foam­ing to the shore, but Th?oden could not be over­tak­en. Fey he seemed, or the bat­tle-fury of his fathers ran like new fire in his veins, and he was borne up on Snow­mane like a god of old, even as Orom? the Great in the bat­tle of the Valar when the world was young. His gold­en shield was uncov­ered, and lo! it shone like an image of the Sun, and the grass flamed into green about the white feet of his steed. For morn­ing came, morn­ing and a wind from the sea; and dark­ness was removed, and the host of Mor­dor wailed, and ter­ror took them, and they fled, and died, and the hoofs of wrath rode over them. And then all the host of Rohan burst into song, and they sang as they slew, for the joy of bat­tle was on them, and the sound of their singing that was fair and ter­ri­ble came even to the City.

good god­dam those orc­ses were skeered.

there will prob­a­bly be more after I watch the flik a few more times.

One Reply

  • What I want to know is how Sloth from the Goonies became the leader of the orc dur­ing the bat­tle for Minas Tirth? I mean for God sakes the Witch King wasn’t cool enough to be the leader?

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