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How would you rank the LOTR films?


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How would you rank the EE LOTR films (best film first)?  

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm surprised most people indicated TTT on the 3rd place. It's my favourite of the three.

Maybe some of the voters would like to motivate their choices? It would make an interesting discussion, methinks smile.gif

...if we approach others with an aim to change them rather than an aim to know them, to love them, and to exemplify a better life for them, we make ourselves ugly with arrogance in the process.

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Fellowship of the Ring is first I suppose partly because of the shock of the new affect. When I read it in my youth I couldn't believe that such a good book creating such an involving world had been waiting there for me. The other two were good but they lacked that oomph factor. Same with the film, I was, as I reckon a few people were, sceptical about the ability of a director to bring Middle Earth to life on screen. But when he did there went the ooomph factor again and it just wasn't as surprising from then on. It's still a great trilogy. All that was lacking was Devendra Banhart as Tom Bombadil.

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Very simple ordering for me. Fellowship is easily the best of the films. The linear structure means it has the most comfortable pacing and the landscape/cinematography is breathtaing (as the trilogy goes on, although it all has a beauty to it, there's an obvious shift towards small sets/CGI imagery which is always slightly distancing) The extended version also has, for me, some of the most useful additions. The front end of the movie with the Hobbiton additions, in particular, is beautifully built up when you think of it in terms of starting a whole twelve hour film, rather than just a three hour one.

Return of the King has the emotional payoff which made it the best theatrical experience of the trilogy. But on DVD it (along with Two Towers) feels a little more searlised and less cohesive. Simply because of the structure and editing together narratives which don't always have the same thematic weight. It's more a problem in Two Towers because Return of the King has the advantage of the final half hour to reunite the stories and the beautiful/devestating payoff of Frodo's journey. Two Towers is, well, neither one thing or the other. It's crucial to the story, it's often beautiful (Helms Deep is the best battle in the trilogy) but as a movie in and of itself it just isn't as strong as the others.

But as the years wear on and the individual films come to be regarded less and less as a trilogy and more as a single work (as I suspect will begin to happen when the films are transferred to HD-DVD) this discussion will become academic.

Phil.

"We live as if the world were as it should be, to show it what it can be." - Angel

"We don't do perms!" - Trevor and Simon

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Shantih, I totally agree. Particularly when it comes to the use of CGI in the movies. What there is of it in Fellowship is so well integrated that I don't even notice it, whereas in TTT and especially ROTK, the parts that use CGI are so clearly CGI that I get a little bit removed from the film with each CGI scene. (This is a little less true when it comes to Gollum, but he's special.)

Sort of related to that is my impression that the characterization is stronger in Fellowship. Maybe I just think that because Fellowship is the only one of the three that I've seen more than once, though? Repeat viewers, do you disagree?

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FWIW, in my review of TRotK, I wrote, "instead of the somewhat natural greens of the Shire and Fangorn Forest, we have a special-effects stand-off between a White City and a Black Gate". It is precisely for this reason that I was not surprised when cinematographer Andrew Lesnie won the Oscar for TFotR but wasn't even nominated for TRotK -- so much of the third film was created in a special-effects lab or on a computer that it's almost hard to say what the regular cinematographer had to do with it.

Interestingly, in his TRotK commentary, Peter Jackson admits that he was a bit miffed when he saw the Pearl Harbor trailer (which would have been in late 2000 or early 2001, right?) and saw that that film was going to have a shot of a bomb falling from a Japanese plane down to the USS Arizona -- it was EXACTLY like the shot he had already planned for TRotK, in which the camera follows a bit of stonemasonry as it flies out from Minas Tirith and lands on the field of orcs. But he figured what the heck, he'd stick with his original plan (and why not; by the time TRotK came out in late 2003, I had pretty much forgotten all about Pearl Harbor...).

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 3 years later...
Tolkien's estate getting stiffed. Apparently Hollywood bookkeeping determines that the films didn't make money.

Anybody who signs a Hollywood contract for what Eddie Murphy derisively described as monkey points (points of profit rather than the gross) can expect nothing else I'm afraid. Their only course of action is to sue, threaten to force the studios to open their books, and then extract a settlement from them. Expensive and time-consuming at best.

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Tolkien's estate getting stiffed. Apparently Hollywood bookkeeping determines that the films didn't make money.

Anybody who signs a Hollywood contract for what Eddie Murphy derisively described as monkey points (points of profit rather than the gross) can expect nothing else I'm afraid. Their only course of action is to sue, threaten to force the studios to open their books, and then extract a settlement from them. Expensive and time-consuming at best.

True, most people now get that there is no such thing as net profits in Hollywood. Except in this case, at least from reading the linked article, it appears that the Tolkien estate does have gross profit participation. And New Line's saying that by their accounting, there's not even any gross. The cajones on these cats is nothing short of astounding.

"You guys don't really know who you're dealing with."

"Oh yeah, and who exactly are we dealing with?"

"I'm the mother flippin' rhymenoceros."

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  • 6 years later...

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