It’s that time again, where I watch the entire filmography of the director of the film I’ve been assigned for Cinema 52. Unlike Tony Scott or Robert Zemeckis, however, the director of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring can’t seem to ever release just one cut of his films. So, not only am I cramming twelve movies into one exhausting weekend, but specifically the longest available version of each film. That’s right, it’s not just the complete Peter Jackson… it’s COMPLETER JACKSON. Let’s do this.
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING (2003)
IS THIS A PAINFULLY LONG PETER? FUUUUUUUUUUCK. 4 hours and 22 minutes.
This is it, the dramatic conclusion to the epic battle between good and evil. So Derek (Peter Jackson) sneaks into the villain’s base…
Wait a minute.
Oh, sorry, I was daydreaming about an entertaining Peter Jackson movie that tells its entire story in 90 minutes. What’s this one? Return something? Okay, the plot is still the thing with the ring thing.
The bad Gandalf fights the Statue of Liberty or something.
Save for Dooku up there getting Hans Grubered, I couldn’t tell the difference between this Super Mondo Mega Jumbo Edition and the movie theater version I watched three months ago. So go read that.
BIG. BOOM. EMOTIONAL. THINGS.
Also, Gimli farts.
Is this the first Academy Award winner for Best Picture with farting in it? Wait, no, there’s Rain Man. Any others? Can somebody make a database for this? The Fartcademy Awards? I’ll start it.
Get outta here, Last King of Scotland, you didn’t win.
Also, I think I noticed a visual nod to Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures, but I don’t know what section that goes in. So it’s this one.
Ah, the old Sword Through the Gut From Behind routine.
The huge CGI battle scenes look good. I’ll give them that. They don’t look as good as miniatures or practical effects, but they look good.
Look at… all that.
You know what effect is really difficult to pull off, though? Apparently, actors actually being in a place. The amount of obvious green screen is pretty shocking compared to Fellowship. Every other character seems to have a blurred edge or weird lighting.
“I am definitely in Middle-earth, saying and doing things.”
My guess is Return had to rush the most to meet the release date? It might not look as bad in still images, but trust me, in motion it gives you that queasy uncanny valley feeling. Especially with anyone on a horse.
I’m no chroma key expert, but the fuck has been blurred out of that shoulder.
Also of interest in the effects department (if you’re me), Jackson seems to have abandoned his brilliant three-dimensional ghost effects in The Frighteners for more typical see-through ghosts in Return of the King.
“We have unrendered business!”
I’m very tired. Maybe that’s what Peter Jackson was going for. I don’t know. I just plain don’t understand the appeal of the Lord of the Rings films. When Aragorn said, “You bow to no one,” I felt like he was talking directly to me, for I have made it through the extended trilogy. I BOW TO NO ONE.
I teared up a little. That’s not a joke.
UP NEXT: King Kong (2005)