Sunday, May 15, 2005


The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (again).

I've watched this about six times over the past year or so and I think I like it more each time. A few weeks ago I watched all three movies in sequence over the course of a weekend. I think the achievement of this series is in the nature of the achievement of the original Apollo moon landing, rather than, say, the Wright brothers taking wing for the first time. It's the accumulation and application of hundreds of existing tricks and technologies to make a grand imaginative endeavor a reality. (Phew!) It's not The Matrix or Star Wars or some other jaw-dropping new vision using hot new special effects. It's the combination of many, many elements, used in the service of a specific purpose, that makes this work.

OK, spoiler alert: If the eagles were able to pluck Frodo and Sam from the fires of Mount Doom at the end, couldn't they have just dropped them there in the first place? The fellowship could've destroyed the ring in about 45 minutes, and the Hobbits would've been back to the Shire in time for second breakfast.

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