The Lord Of The Rings

I'm writing this on Thursday 1 January 2004... so a Happy New Year!!

At long last, I went along to see the third and final part of The Lord Of The Rings - "The Return Of The King" - a couple of days ago... and what can I say about it that I haven't already said about the first two parts?

Each of those was more spectacular, more thrilling and just plain MORE of everything than anything I'd seen before... and part three was no exception!

OK, once again a lot of the book was missed out... for example, we saw no more of Saruman following the destruction of Isengard by the Ents, which was doubly a shame as Christopher Lee was so perfect in the part... and when the hobbits eventually returned to Hobbiton, it had been completely untouched by events, so there was no "Scouring Of The Shire"... but what we DID see on screen surpassed everything in the first two films of the trilogy.

The final battle for Gondor was, without a doubt, the most stunning piece of cinema I've ever seen. There was no way you could see where live action finished and CGI took over... breathtaking! And the sets were bigger, better and even more convincing than before.

We may only be four years into this millennium, but I think it'll be a few more years yet before any other film challenges this one as the finest of the century... but don't take my word for it - go and see for yourself!

This was my reaction to seeing Part 2 of The Lord Of The Rings - "The Two Towers"...

When I saw the first part, I thought it was probably one of the most spectacular films I'd ever seen... well, at the time it was...

But The Two Towers is absolutely stunning... awe-inspiring, breathtaking, marvellous, stupendous and any other superlative you can think of!

The landscapes are wonderful... and the settings are unbelievably good. For example, the appearance of Helms Deep is so utterly magnificent as to almost defy description.

OK, OK, I had a few reservations at first... Gollum wasn't quite as I'd pictured him, and nor was Treebeard... but I have to admit they kind of grew on me! And, like the first part, a lot of the subtler detail from the book was missing (and some was downright mangled!), but I can excuse that on the grounds of dramatic license and keeping the length of the film down (!!) again to only 3 hours.

And my goodness, there's a lot to pack in to that 3 hours!! The film fairly gallops along... there really is never a dull moment. I could go on and on and on about it... but I think you've probably got the idea by now... I LOVED IT!! This really is one film you just HAVE to go and see for yourself!

And if you're still interested, here's what I said a year ago about "The Fellowship Of The Ring"...

W-e-l-l... if you're a Tolkien fan, the chances are that by the time I'm writing this, (the end of December 2001) you'll have seen the Lord Of The Rings film, "The Fellowship Of The Ring"... so what did you think of it?

I have to say I think it's an absolutely spectacular film. And Mrs Ageing-Hippy, who has never read the book, says it's probably the best film she's ever seen... but I still have to ask, what happened to the hundred or so pages of the book that never made it on to the screen?

OK, so a lot of the material in the first few chapters is a little bit rambling at times and isn't exactly 100% relevant to the overall development of the plot... but I was still rather disappointed that, for example, Merry and Pippin only joined the fellowship more or less by accident in the screen version... and I was VERY disappointed that we saw nothing of Buckland, the Old Forest, Tom Bombadil and Goldberry, the Barrow Downs and the hobbits' encounter with the barrow-wight, where Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin obtained their ancient swords...

I guess I'm probably still being a bit picky when I say that the inn-keeper at The Prancing Pony in Bree was NOTHING like the Barliman Butterbur described in the book... ( is it just me, or did the inn itself owe more to the Blue Oyster Bar in the Police Academy films than it did to Tolken?) and I think it's a crying shame that we didn't get to see Frodo's rendition (of Bilbo's supposedly original version) of "Hey Diddle Diddle, The Cat And The Fiddle" just before he falls off the table, accidentally puts The Ring on his finger and vanishes.

OK, on balance I guess we can call those, and all the other little changes, poetic (or dramatic) licence... it's still an excellent film, if a bit long... I had a really numb bum after sitting in the cinema for over three hours! I suppose that's the main reason for hurrying the action along in the film... otherwise it would have been FIVE hours.

Well... now I suppose I'll have to wait for the filming of The Hobbit... and in the meantime I'll just have to be content with checking out these fine sites...

It's amazing just how many books there are now about JRR Tolkien - not just the ones he wrote, but others about him and the world he created. Then there are the videos, DVDs, music inspired by his work... the list is endless! And you'll find most of them at Amazon - go on, check it out now!