|The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King |
Actors: Viggo Mortensen, Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Noel Appleby, Alexandra Astin
Director: Peter Jackson
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Military & War
The final battle for Middle-earth begins. Frodo and Sam, led by Gollum, continue their dangerous mission toward the fires of Mount Doom in order to destroy the One Ring. Aragorn struggles to fulfill his legacy as he leads ... more »
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Diana L. (ptomom) from SULTAN, WA
Reviewed on 2/2/2009...
Arguably the best of the trilogy with outstanding performances by all the actors. The cinematography is downright breathtaking during several climatic scenes. The extended edition is even better, but the theatrical version is great when when you don't have four hours to watch a movie...
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Latest Details On ROTK: Extended Edition
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Not sure why there's such a vacuum of information available here on ROTK- the platinum extended edition release.Its no secret that Peter Jackson has finished the version - and that it contains a whopping 65 minutes of additional footage that was cut from the theatrical version, putting the final movie at four hours and ten minutes. Awesome!Apparently there was some rumor that New Line Cinema was going to cheap out on the special effects for the extended release version - and go with a cut-rate American outfit instead of the New Zealand firm they've worked with on the prior two films - but this was just that - a rumor, as far as I've been able to obtain.New Scenes from the book to appear in the extended release version include the following: Confrontation with Saruman at Isengaard in which the Palantir is acquired (tossed out tower by Wormtongue), Parley with the Mouth of Sauron outside the Black Gates, Merry pledging his swoord and allegiance to Theoden, Sam and Frodo, disguised in Orc garb, marching with (and then escaping from) Orc Troop in Mordor, Eowyn and Faramir meet in the Houses of Healing in Gondor, and finally, a scene in which Aragorn reveals himself to Sauron in the Palantir.All in all, good stuff. The only liberty it sounds Jackson has taken with the material is that Saruman is killed in the confrontation at Isengaard - falls to his death from the tower - rather than simply cast from the order, stripped of his power and humiliated by Gandolph, as the book. We can certainly live with that, can't we?"
A stellar climax to a truly great cinematic experience
Robert Moore | Chicago, IL USA | 01/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING should win the Oscar for best picture, and for three reasons: first, it was easily the best big-budget film of the year. The only films that I believe rival it in quality are small budget films: LOST IN TRANSLATION and AMERICAN SPLENDOUR. Sometimes independent films can pull upsets, but I really don't expect them to this year. Second, except for the independent films, there isn't a lot of competition this year, unlike the past two years. Many of the films that were expected to vie for the Oscar have been greeted with some fairly negative reviews, like COLD MOUNTAIN, or mild indifference, like THE LAST SAMURAI. One of the better-reviewed films of the fall, MASTER AND COMMANDER, is a very good adventure film that possesses no obvious advantages over THE RETURN OF THE KING. Third, the Academy has a tendency to correct past neglects. Sometimes this can lead to tragic results, such as 1940 when Jimmy Stewart received the Oscar for Best Actor for THE PHILADELPHIA STORY, to atone for his having not received one in 1939 for MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON. The tragedy lay in the fact that Stewart's best friend Henry Fonda therefore failed to win for his near legendary performance as Tom Joad in THE GRAPES OF WRATH, one of the greatest performances in the history of American cinema. But in 2004, I expect LORD OF THE RINGS to justly win not merely for the excellence of the third installment of the saga, but for the overall greatness of the three films.The LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy is unquestionably one of the most successful cinematic treatments of a beloved work of literature the movies have ever seen. I know there are purists who would not have been satisfied by any conceivable film version, and that there are others who are more justifiably bothered by the omission of Tom Bombadil or the schizophrenic treatment of Gollum, but I think anyone willing to cut the movie even the tiniest bit of slack should be able to grant to the great achievement that this movie turned out to be. Of course, ironically it was only the growth of CGI technology that made the filming of this fantasy of lost ancient past possible. Twenty years ago, it would have been inconceivable that Treebeard could have been so satisfyingly come to life. Or Gollum. Or seeing hobbits, humans, elves, dwarves, wizards, and orcs all onscreen at the same time. I can honestly say that there was not a moment that I was consciously looking at special effects rather than balrogs or giant flying eagles or gigantic walking trees. But all of this could be a kind of criticism--namely, that the success of the film depends merely on technology--if it weren't for the fact that the movie succeeds on multiple levels. The art design is the most memorable I can ever remember. I'll forever think of those beautiful pins for the capes that Frodo and Samwise wear all the way from Rivendale to Mordor. The makers of the film got more things right than they needed to, perfecting more detail than anyone could possibly have noticed. Without great acting, however, all of the technology and special effects and art and set design would be a royal place setting for junk, but fortunately the film was both marvelously cast and wonderfully acted. There might have been one or two casting decisions I might have questioned, but by and large the cast was stellar, a few so magnificently that it difficult now to see anyone else in that role. When the film was first announced, much of the debate was over who would portray Gandalf, and I remember some people being upset that not only was Sean Connery (the early favorite) not cast but an openly gay actor in the role instead. But it is now almost impossible to imagine anyone but Ian McKellan in the role. So many smaller roles made the film work, like David Wenham as Faramir (seen only a couple of years ago in the role of "Audrey" in MOULIN ROUGE), or Ian Holm as Bilbo, or Sean Bean as Boromir, or Cate Blanchett as Galadriel. The only weakness in the movie is one that probably couldn't be overcome (and one that Peter Jackson has acknowledged in interviews): Sauron. What can you do with a bad guy who is merely a giant flaming eyeball? Just not much potential to do much more than what they were able to do. Peter Jackson deserves a special academy award for serving as the creative force that turned THE LORD OF THE RINGS into one of the great experiences in the history of cinema. Most of all, he deserves enormous credit for making all the technology subservient to the story, and not the other way around. The great battle for Minas Tirith might have devolved into a mere showcase for stellar special effects, like many moments in the past two STAR WARS films have, but not once did he lose touch with the human element, not there or at any other point."
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...wow. That's all I can really say for this film. It was inspirational, beautiful, heartrenching, and captivating, making this film amazing. Jackson truly outdid himself for Return of the King. The hopelessness and pain Sam and Frodo are experiencing as they struggle to destroy the Ring is so wonderfully done that you truly feel as if you are with Sam and Frodo as they struggle to climb up the mountain. The love and friendship between the two is so moving that it seriously brought tears to my eyes, and I *rarely* cry. The acting was simply superb in this film, especially Sean Astin (Sam) and Viggo Mortenson (Aragorn). As always, Miranda Otto was wonderful as Eowyn, as were Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan as Pippin and Merry. The movie flowed exceptionally, and despite its lengthy time, there was not a moment that I wasn't captivated by Tolkien's vision of Middle-earth. One of the lines that stands out the most to me is during the moment when Sam and Frodo believe they are going to die while Mt. Doom is erupting is, "I'm glad to be with you, Sam. Here, at the end of all things." Another beautiful scene is when Aragorn, crowned as the King of Gondor, bows down to the hobbits, telling them, "You bow to no one." The heartfelt emotion expressed really does make this film the greatest of all three. As always, the everpresent rivalry between Gimli and Legolas is there, providing comic relief. Surprisingly, Merry and Pippin do not provide any humour other than at the beginning of the film, and are a very chief point in the plot. The two are separated for the first time since the triligy began and must mature, which largely develops their character. The lovable Smeagol has now once more become the treacherous Gollum; though in the beginning Smeagol pleads against his darker side, the Ring takes control of him, adding to the list of enemies.Fans of the book will happy to find that Shelob is in this movie; in the books it was originally in the second. Also, the Sword that was Broken is in the film as well, while in the book it is carried by Aragorn in all three. Peter Jackson also remains faithful to the warrior side of Eowyn, which is touched upon in the second film. Though the Houses of Healing were cut out, hopefully they will be in the extended DVD version of the film. I really can't do this movie justice. It's impossible to explain how I felt both times I saw the movie as I saw the struggle of Frodo and Sam. This movie isn't just a war-movie, or a fantasy movie; it's a movie about love and trust, finding hope in a world that has none, about companionship and fighting until the very end. All three and a half hours of this film is exceptional, and will surely be a classic for years to come."