Return of the King

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Posted by Siberman (17th Dec 2003, 21:22)

OK, first, and I want to make this absolutely clear, I thought that it was a good film and that i enjoyed it.

That however sums it up; it was good. If you haven't, for some reason, read the books, then it is a brilliant film, wonderfully paced until the somewhat drawn-out ending, with amazing specials and fantastic action sequences.

On the other hand, if you have read the book, and especially if, like me, you are a *fan*, the film, at least at the first viewing, is somewhat disappointing. While the basic plot is retained, many of the details that make the book so special are omitted or, sometimes worse, changed or inverted (the opposite path is taken in the film to the one in the book). I promised no spoilers, so watch it and see what I mean.

Any way, to sum up: it's a good film, go and see it (again).

Oh, by the way, its got a fabulous soundtrack, or did I mention that before? :-)

About item:

Related items:

- Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Rings: Extended Edition
- Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers: Extended Edition (widescreen)
- The Lord Of The Rings

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- Video
- Tolkien, J R R

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read biography for - Sulkyblue

 Sulkyblue ( 18th Dec 2003, 10:41, Rank: Nazgul )  reply


I think this was probably an excellent film. I really want to see it again so that I can watch it properly without comparing it to the hype and leaked 'spoilers'. A lot of it was very different to what I expected and hence I wasn't really watching it from a "how does the plot hang, what's going on with the characters" more from a "ooo look at the pretty" attitude.

My reservations would include things like
- pacing seemed a little off, some things lingered on more than I wanted, other things washed over.
- some slightly off special effects, looked like dodgy blue screening in places and some disjointed cg character work
- less of some characters than i might have liked.
Definate plusses (in a cryptic non-spoilery way)
- horses. many horses
- gollum - once again outstanding
- sam. Go Sam!
- Gandalf. Go Gandalf!
- soundtrack did indeed rock in the film, beautiful use of the various themes. I like the song much better on the end of the film than on the cd.
- end credits - stay a bit for the pretty pictures

I'll write something more coherent later on.
I can't wait til next christma.... oh no, wait a minute. Erm... Harry Potter? Damn :O(

read biography for - gaspode

 gaspode ( 18th Dec 2003, 21:36, Rank: Killer Rabbit )  reply

It sucked. It sucked mightily. It was all wrong, and bore no resemblance to the book at all.

I could sum up what was *right* with it in fewer words than I could what was wrong.

I think Peter Jackson has screwed up royally here. This may be a passable movie, but it's not Lord of the Rings. Not even slightly.

read biography for - Siberman

 Siberman ( 18th Dec 2003, 21:51, Rank: Mentat )  reply


At last I am no longer alone in critiscising this film! However I would not go so far as to say it sucked mightily.

read biography for - Sulkyblue

 Sulkyblue ( 19th Dec 2003, 15:46, Rank: Nazgul )  reply

hmm... any chance of an elaboration on what causes the suckage? I have to admit that I don't really remember very much of what happened in the books, but I'd have said that the plot was much closer to the book than the Two Towers was (especially once you've shuffled some stuff like Shelob out of one into the other).

As ever, I guess this doesn't really effect me. I never really liked the books that much; love the story, can't get on with the style. Changes don't really bother me, I tend to look at the films as entities in their own rights. I'm holding off on writing a proper review until i get a chance to see the film properly rather than watching an event. (hope that makes sense).

read biography for - Billy

 Billy ( 20th Dec 2003, 10:23, Rank: Tripod )  reply

it was a film based on the books, not the book. get over it.

anyway, i thought it was overall pretty good - there were some weirdnesses with pacing, and occasional balls ups with special effects and doubles, but the good bits made up for most of them.

so many wigs.

read biography for - Sulkyblue

 Sulkyblue ( 20th Dec 2003, 19:09, Rank: Nazgul )  reply

I note that billy has managed to say exactly what i meant in about 1/5 the space it took me to fail to say it. :)

read biography for - John Kirk

 John Kirk ( 21st Dec 2003, 01:40, Rank: Patrician )  reply

Well, I really liked it. I'll post some more detailed thoughts later, but in brief I thought that it was impressive and moving. It's been 17 years since I read the novel, so my memory's pretty hazy on that. Still, suffice it to say that the story surprised me in a few places, which I was pleased about.

Minor downsides: The ending did seem to drag a bit, but I think that was better than stopping too abruptly. And it did seem very obvious to me when they were using body doubles for the hobbits, but I think that's mainly because I think of the characters as being normal sized rather than half-sized, so it seems odd to see them "shrink".

read biography for - Siberman

 Siberman ( 21st Dec 2003, 10:35, Rank: Mentat )  reply

Well, having seen it a second time now :-)I think that it is a really cool film, spoiled in just three places by unnecessary changes. While trying to be as spoiler free as possible, those bits are: The frodo/sam bit above minas morgul; the seige of minas tirith and finally Denethor.

Having gotten over my initial disappointment, the film does seem much better, although I can still spot 90% of the changes from the book :-)

read biography for - Jakob

 Jakob ( 22nd Dec 2003, 14:03, Rank: Purple Drazi )  reply

It rocked mightily. Yes, there were pacing issues, and I'd have handled many bits differently (Denethor, Eowyn/Faramir, the final destruction of the ring, return to the Shire), but on balance it was great. I especially liked the way the Dead looked.

read biography for - dormouse

 dormouse ( 24th Dec 2003, 11:53, Rank: Jedi )  reply

I want to see it again! :)

There's a group doing research on people's reactions to RoTK - ( (news article), (

I thought it was great - largely because after Two Towers, and after hearing the Saruman rumours, I was expecting them to hack it a lot more than they did, so I was very pleasantly surprised by the amount they did right. Also after seeing the much improved extended TT, I'm hoping that many of the missing bits in RoTK will be fixed.

My reaction to TT last year was almost identical to Simon's this year (1st time bleargh, 2nd well ok it's a good *film*...). I reread the book immediately before watching TT which probably had a lot to do with it; by now, the details have faded from memory so they didn't nag at me.

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