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The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Which Lord of the Rings film is best?  

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I'd rank the films the same way I rank the books: Fellowship first, then Return of the King, and, finally, The Two Towers.

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AlanW wrote:

: Theatrical releases only, of course.

Ah, well, TFotR, then. While that film did have a couple flaws of the sort that I do not believe TRotK had, it also did not leave me thinking that there were huge gaps in the story that the DVD would have to fill in.

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I don't know if it's because I never read the books but I felt out-of-the-loop during the first and last films. Personally, I think a book is a book and a movie is a movie. Even if the movie is based on a book it should be able to stand on its own apart from the book. I think Joy Luck Club is a good example of this - the book is great, the movie is great and you don't need one to fully appreciate or understand the other.

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Seems as good a place as any for this. In today's mail came a special collector's edition of Entertainment Weekly devoted to LOTR (since ROTK comes out in video tomorrow). Includes stuff on actors, plots of each film, what's in the extended editions, etc. Only ads are in or near the covers. It's basically a 76 page ad for LOTR DVDs.

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I thought that special magazine was something that was a Best Buy exclusive

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In my opinion, the magazine isn't really that great. Almost all the information in it has already been covered by the DVDs extras and the internet.

To answer Alan's question, ROTK felt a bit rushed to me, except for the Arwen parts. To me, those could have been left out altogether and I wouldn't have cared, but that's just a personal quibble. I really would have liked to have seen more between Theoden and Merry, for example. The poor hobbit was just left "dangling". I believe ROTK:EE will fix a lot of that rushed feeling though.

I really liked the extended version of FOTR. I think it helped flesh out the story even better than what it originally was. The extended version of TTT felt more like an homage to the fans--there were parts that I loved seeing, but seemed more like an indulgence, rather than actually helping the story. Pippin and Merry's discovery of the food, for instance. Great scene, but rather unnecessary for the movie, I think.

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I keep hoping they'll put the extended version of tRotK in theaters for a week or so. I'll buy it on DVD, but I'd really like to see it in on the big screen.

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I'll buy it on DVD, but I'd really like to see it in on the big screen.

I have a feeling New Line will take advantage of the opportunity to rake in more theatrical box office this fall by giving it a limited release. That's what they did here in Seattle last year.

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That was the week-long showing of the extended tFotR, then a week-long showing of the extended TTT, followed by the one-day marathon, right? (I went to the marathon, and would be sorely tempted to do so again if it were repeated. That's the way to see the trilogy!)

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Tim, that's what I did when I went to Toronto last December for the ROTK premiere. In the morning we watched the extended version of Fellowship, had an hour and a half break, then watched the extended version of Two Towers, had about an hour break, then watched the premiere of ROTK. It was fantastic, though very long.

I don't know if I could make it through another marathon, considering there's supposed to be an extra hour on the extended ROTK. But it would be very tempting.

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I'm still hoping the ee of ROTK will at least make me not hate the movie as much as I do now...

So what didn't you like about tRotK? And would be needed in the ee to improve it?

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This seems somewhat like a backhanded compliment...

http://www.theonering.net/perl/newsview/8/1086965087

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I recently spent three long evenings rewatching Peter Jackson's trilogy, and here's my revised verdict:

The Fellowship of the Ring 3.0/5

The Two Towers 2.0/5

The Return of the King 1.0/5

When I first saw The Fellowship Of The Ring and The Two Towers a few years ago, I thought that they were both four star movies, but, to my eyes, at least, these films have aged badly, and the simpering performances (particularly from the actors playing hobbits and elves) now drive me up the wall. There is an air of gayness about the whole enterprise.

Also, as someone who has never read Tolkien, I find myself a little confused by the nuances of the plot. For example, what purpose does Arwen serve exactly? Yes, she's a cutie with a rather provocative overbite, but that's hardly enough reason for Jackson to keep serving up protracted flashback scenes of her mincing about with Aragorn or her pointy-eared father - scenes that bring the narrative to a grinding halt! What exactly does she do after the exciting horse chase in part one? Anything?

And does Aragorn actually need two girlfriends? Isn't he heterosexual enough? Isn't there plot enough?

And where the hell was Christopher Lee in The Return of the King? The new dragon-riding nasty in black armour and the Elephant Man wannabe were nowhere near as scary as the artist formerly known as Drac!

A film can be badly made, or have stupid dialogue, or an illogical storyline, and still be interesting or fun to watch if we are willing to put our brain on hold (think of Land Of The Dead, Signs, or Dreamer, for example), but dullness is, for me, a film's ultimate crime, and The Return Of The King is tedious. It seems to consist of nothing but people hitting each other with swords (and this goes on for over three bloody hours!). Whenever something breathtaking occurs (e.g. the attack of the spider, the undead charging from the galleys, the eye of fire cutting through the night sky like a beacon), it is immediately derailed by yet another twenty minutes of battle, or, worse, another scene of Sam arguing with Golem, or Frodo collapsing in a big gay heap over "his burden".

And then to cap it all off, we get Annie Lennox crooning over the end credits. Hellish! lol.

Edited by The Invisible Man

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Saruman does have a big scene in the extended version of Return of the King, but I don't see any reason for you to bother with that version since you find the films so unpleasant.

Most of the stuff with Arwen was not in the novels and is, I agree, flimsy and unnecessary.

And I agree that parts of Return of the King wear on the viewer, and that's the episode that hasn't aged so well for me. But the parts of the story that Jackson got right are more than enough for me to be glad it was him who finally brought it to the screen.

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I am wondering if the excesses of The Return of the King have turned me against the first two instalments, Jeffrey. I rather enjoyed The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers upon their initial release, but now I tend to view the trilogy as one film.

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Jeffrey Overstreet wrote:

: Most of the stuff with Arwen was not in the novels and is, I agree, flimsy and unnecessary.

FWIW, my understanding was that the Arwen stuff IS in the novels, but it is in the appendices, not the main text.

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Well, Arwen didn't carry Frodo across the river in the books, and I don't think all of her premonitions about a child and turning back to help Aragorn find his true self was there either.

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Her premonitions, no, but the child, yes. And Frodo WAS carried across the river, and I don't think it matters much who actually did/does it. Minor changes like these are acceptable, I think.

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My least-favorite scene - and one of the places where he departs from Tolkien the most - the cheapo-thriller "dead" sequence. It would have been far more believeable to me if he'd stuck with the feelings of dread experienced by the characters, etc.

Too right you are! In my humble opinion, the dead should have never even spoken. It would have made them way more terrifying.

I'm gonna have to say that I'm not overly fond of TTT or ROTK ... particularily with the added backplot of Aragorn not wanting to be king. I acknowledge their strengths, I'm just not overly fond of them.

FOTR, however, I watch over and over, because it's so great. Jackson was so concerned with special effects and design that he let almost all of the Tolkien-ishness come through. In other words (because that didn't make any sense), he didn't have an agenda for the film, so Tolkien's came through almost unscathed.

On the other hand, he (or at least, the other writers) seemed to have one for TTT and ROTK.

Just like Andrew What's-his-name, director of Narnia. Only not as much so.

Grrr ... Plankton angry ...

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Agreed on all counts here. TTT and ROTK aren't "bad" movies, but my feeling is that they largely miss the boat.

I wouldn't really say that ... in terms of "missing the boat". Jackson's percentage of things he got right is way larger than the percentage of things he got wrong, in my books, but others may disagree. I simply don't like ROTK and TTT as much as FOTR, just because I enjoyed FOTR more, regardless of how true it was to the book ( though for the record, out of the three films it probably stays the most true to the book).

OTOH, for me, the books themselves seem to be on a (partly) downward slide after the company leaves Lorien - that feeling of a world that's gone forever hit me hard when I 1st read the trilogy, and it's never really left. (Not to mention that Frodo and Sam are going through their own personal hell, which makes for grim reading at times.)

Here we encounter rough territory, when we actually start assessing the BOOK (books?). :D For the most part, while I found it tough going often, I believe the book(s) to be by far superior to the films ... though, once again, some may disagree. However, that might be a topic for the "Books" forum, so I won't say much more, except ...

Also, as someone who has never read Tolkien, I find myself a little confused by the nuances of the plot.

Invisible Dude, I strongly suggest you read the books. You will find them vastly superior. Or maybe you won't, in which case the discussion is pretty much over for me.

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Invisible, there's a lot re. Boromir, Faramir and Eowyn that didn't translate well in these movies. I'd also recommend reading the books.

I think Sean Bean issued a fabulous performance as Boromir, elevating the part over Tolkien's characterization. Part of the reason why I (even I, who love all three films dearly) think the films slip a bit in 2 & 3, is that Sean Bean was killed in Part 1. What a magnificent Aragorn he would have made.

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I think Sean Bean issued a fabulous performance as Boromir, elevating the part over Tolkien's characterization.

That may very well be why FOTR remains my favourite.

What a magnificent Aragorn he would have made.

Now THERE'S an interesting thought. An actor native to the theatre (Kenneth Branaugh, or the like) would have also done a good job. Tolkien's world is a very theatrical world.

Still, Mortensen does a good job, I think. Not top notch, but a good job.

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