Thursday, January 14, 2010
LOTR: THE RETURN OF THE KING (2003) - revisit
For no reason I can nail down I rewatched the extended cut of the final LORD OF THE RINGS film this week over two nights. I kind of wanted to revisit it to see if it held up well and to watch a big budget spectacle that had a good story to match the visuals. I was glad to see the film holds up quite well and actually made me want to revisit all three films again pretty soon. THE TWO TOWERS was my favorite of the trilogy but FELLOWSHIP might be better. I must admit that in one area THE RETURN OF THE KING fell down a bit, though, and it was in the area of special effects. For the most part the FX in the film are excellent and I was thrilled to notice that even some stuff I thought might not age well still looks remarkably good. The various beasties and monsters are great and the giant spider battle with Sam is fantastically well realized, but there are a few spots where the usually fine attention to detail evident throughout is lacking. Several times objects have no shadow next to things that clearly do; sometimes the tricks used to shrink the hobbits to their correct size are a little sloppy; and in one instance a nicely smooth camera glide makes Frodo look as if he’s a poorly rendered videogame piece instead of a real creature. But I was pleased at the power the movie still has years later. It still has two too many endings to be considered perfect but this viewing made me less peeved about the multiple fades to black.
Maybe I’ll watch them backward? TWO TOWERS next?