rewatching Lord of the Rings

Had time yesterday to re-watch The Fellowship of the Ring. I am almost speechless at just how moving and how awesome this movie was. Peter Jackson truly created a World on Film that lives and breathes like no other. Will we ever see another movie whether from a franchise or original that even comes close?

Im euphoric that I was born in a time when I got to experience the LOTR on the big screen and sad that this may be the pinnacle of such movies for my lifetime.

Now on to The Two Towers.

Just had to share.

mk
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Dioltach

Legend
Totally agree. I watched the Ralph Bakshi the day before I went to see Fellowship, and I was actually dreading it. After so much anticipation, I decided it could never live up to my expectations. That lasted until about 10 seconds into the movie.

When the Star Wars sequels were being made, there was a palpable excitement, even after the experience of the prequels. The thing, though, was that they were always bound to disappoint. One reason why the OT were such a hit was that they opened our eyes to a whole new world of cinema possibilities. But the next generation had already had that, with the LotR: those were the movies that made the world sit up and go "Whoa!"
 



I tend to re-watch it (the trilogy as a whole, possibly the extended cuts) any time when I have 9-12 hours in a row to kill in front of a screen, and don't want to have to (since I know it all practically by heart) pay attention all the time (the only semi-consistent instances of this are when I am home sick or the like).

The trilogy holds a special place in my heart with regards to cinema. The musical scoring is fantastic, perfectly capturing the epic feeling of the narrative. The visuals are overall amazing. It came out just when making Jurassic Park* level digital special effects became cheap enough to include in many-to-most shots, but still expensive enough that practical effects like forced perspective for the hobbit sizes was still considered preferable. For this reason, I think they got the usage of digital effects right, not deferring to their use when another method would work. Likewise, it came out at the tail end of when most western-culture-produced movies only included women/bipoc actors when it was plot-relevant, otherwise defaulting to white men. For that reason, I give it more of a pass than if I saw it in something made today. With that in mind, the casting is very solid. Mortensen, Lee, Serkis, and Weavings' Aragorn, Saruman, Gollum, and Elrond are definitive versions in my mind (Weaving being the standout surprise, as I expected to see bits of Agent Smith poke through, but I did not). I could see other actors of the right ages playing Frodo, Sam, Boromir, and Gandalf, but I think Wood, Astin, Bean, and McKellen's interpretations were very powerful and I doubt another matchup would have done strictly better. The rest of the cast did fine to exceptional work, often depending on whether they were given much room to act (for instance Orlando Bloom got to look unfazable and badass as Legolas, and not much else), and even my biggest complaint -- Rhys-Davies bloviating clown Gimli was in fact a very good rendition of what he was undoubtedly asked to portray.
*And, much like Jurassic Park, the effects still hold up today, which other movies of the time (like The Phantom Menace) often do not.

To that point, there are places where I would do something different. Galadriel's 'if you gave me the ring' moment looks like someone loved their photonegative filter, Shelob's webbing looks like it was made out of rubber bands, the fortifications and battle strategies are strictly rule-of-cool, and such. Certainly there are places where the film deviates from the books, and I can understand if someone asks why there needed to be elves at Helm's Deep, why Faramir and Denethor received virtuousness downgrades, or why Gimli was made into comic relief. This later critique, however, I think requires acknowledging that some changes needed to be made to make the books viable as films* and also that the films were intended to be adaptations, not perfect mirrors of the novels*. Overall, there are certainly things I would have done differently**, but nothing I consider actively objectionable.
*certainly every 'how I would have done it' posting I've seen in the nerdosphere by someone angry with these decisions either would never have been a hit movie and/or makes other changes someone else would find equally objectionable.

**and yes, we all have different ideas about how much should be changed when adapting someone else's work. Cue 50-page Starship Troopers-Watchmen-Don Quixote/Man of La Mancha tangent.
***and that goes for the novels, too. They are masterpieces of their genre, but certainly not beyond reproach and critique.

Overall, I think the LotR films stand up and will continue to be seen as masterpieces. What will get lost, especially to people who started watching cinema after their release, will be how much a departure from the norm these films truly were, both in their execution and the simple fact of treating the fantasy genre as serious cinema and blockbuster material. I'll forever defend Beastmaster and Krull and such as exceptional for their era, but LotR might be the first (Excalibur and Clash of the Titans maybe getting honorary mentions) to be truly exceptional, full-stop.
 
Last edited:

Vael

Legend
My hot take (assuming one can have a hot take for a 20+ year old trilogy) is that they're better than the books because they cut out extraneous stuff (suck it Bombadil and Glorfindel, lol jk) and do a better job of making the Ring scary. That's why I like that Faramir is initially tempted, even Aragorn has a moment. Sean Bean kinda rewrites Boromir and it works, the chemistry between the cast is so good. There's a few moments of ... cinematic excess, but overall I really would rather rewatch the trilogy over rereading the books.
 


Dausuul

Legend
The trilogy holds a special place in my heart with regards to cinema. The musical scoring is fantastic, perfectly capturing the epic feeling of the narrative. The visuals are overall amazing. It came out just when making Jurassic Park* level digital special effects became cheap enough to include in many-to-most shots, but still expensive enough that practical effects like forced perspective for the hobbit sizes was still considered preferable. For this reason, I think they got the usage of digital effects right, not deferring to their use when another method would work. Likewise, it came out at the tail end of when most western-culture-produced movies only included women/bipoc actors when it was plot-relevant, otherwise defaulting to white men. For that reason, I give it more of a pass than if I saw it in something made today. With that in mind, the casting is very solid. Mortensen, Lee, Serkis, and Weavings' Aragorn, Saruman, Gollum, and Elrond are definitive versions in my mind (Weaving being the standout surprise, as I expected to see bits of Agent Smith poke through, but I did not). I could see other actors of the right ages playing Frodo, Sam, Boromir, and Gandalf, but I think Wood, Astin, Bean, and McKellen's interpretations were very powerful and I doubt another matchup would have done strictly better. The rest of the cast did fine to exceptional work, often depending on whether they were given much room to act (for instance Orlando Bloom got to look unfazable and badass as Legolas, and not much else), and even my biggest complaint -- Rhys-Davies bloviating clown Gimli was in fact a very good rendition of what he was undoubtedly asked to portray.
*And, much like Jurassic Park, the effects still hold up today, which other movies of the time (like The Phantom Menace) often do not.

To that point, there are places where I would do something different. Galadriel's 'if you gave me the ring' moment looks like someone loved their photonegative filter, Shelob's webbing looks like it was made out of rubber bands, the fortifications and battle strategies are strictly rule-of-cool, and such. Certainly there are places where the film deviates from the books, and I can understand if someone asks why there needed to be elves at Helm's Deep, why Faramir and Denethor received virtuousness downgrades, or why Gimli was made into comic relief. This later critique, however, I think requires acknowledging that some changes needed to be made to make the books viable as films* and also that the films were intended to be adaptations, not perfect mirrors of the novels*. Overall, there are certainly things I would have done differently**, but nothing I consider actively objectionable.
*certainly every 'how I would have done it' posting I've seen in the nerdosphere by someone angry with these decisions either would never have been a hit movie and/or makes other changes someone else would find equally objectionable.

**and yes, we all have different ideas about how much should be changed when adapting someone else's work. Cue 50-page Starship Troopers-Watchmen-Don Quixote/Man of La Mancha tangent.
***and that goes for the novels, too. They are masterpieces of their genre, but certainly not beyond reproach and critique.

Overall, I think the LotR films stand up and will continue to be seen as masterpieces. What will get lost, especially to people who started watching cinema after their release, will be how much a departure from the norm these films truly were, both in their execution and the simple fact of treating the fantasy genre as serious cinema and blockbuster material. I'll forever defend Beastmaster and Krull and such as exceptional for their era, but LotR might be the first (Excalibur and Clash of the Titans maybe getting honorary mentions) to be truly exceptional, full-stop.
This is my feeling as well.

I would love a cut that trimmed out a few of the over-the-top bits -- the tipping stairway in Moria and the "shield-surfing" come to mind -- and polished up some of the CGI, toned down the effects on Galadriel's temptation scene, etc. But those are minor complaints. Overall, I consider the LotR movies to be the greatest fantasy movies ever made, and nothing else comes close.
 


R_J_K75

Legend
Fellowship is great. I can absolutely leave the next two. Feel the same about the novels.
I feel the same for the most part. I saw the LotR in the theaters when they out, I liked them well enough but they got worse as they went on. I own the DVDs and watched them when I bought them, but they just collect dust nowadays, and I can't imagine a time where I'd want to spend 9-10 hours rewatching them. The Hobbit movies sucked, and I think I only saw the first one, and walked out of the second one after less than an hour. If they're on cable I skip right by all six of them every time. Agreed, the books were hard to get through at times.
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top