Friday, August 29, 2008

Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Peter Jackson, 2003 (10*)

Best Picture (3rd) (AA,BAA,GG)
AFI Top 100

Everyone should know this fantasy trilogy by now. If not, New Zealand director Peter Jackson (Heavenly Creatures) spent nearly a decade filming the J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy trilogy novels (from the 50's), using the best available computer technology. The result is the most ambitious and well-made fantasy films of all time. Even if you were not a fan of the books (and they were pretty boring), these films should excite and amaze everyone interested. They're a little bloody and violent, kinda "old testament wrath of God" type stuff, but that's probably also what made them so popular. Cast standouts are Viggo Mortensen, as the king who returns, Elijah Wood as Frodo the Hobbitt, the bearer of the ring of power; Ian Holm as the Hobbitt, the ring's finder and former owner, Ian McKellan as Gandalf the Wizard, Cate Blanchett as an elfin queen, and Brad Dourif as Gollum, a hobbitt turned monster nearly destroyed by the ring.
The films in order are (1) The Fellowship of the Ring (2) The Two Towers (3) The Return of the King. I would watch the "extended versions", or director's cut, as they are more complete and accurate to the novels and they must be seen in order. Return of the King won all 11 Oscars it was nominated for, a first.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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