I saw Lord of the Rings: Return of the King last night. It was everything I had hoped for and then some.
It was arguably one of the most emotional, intense films I have ever seen (and considering I’m a film nut, that is really saying something). The battle scene at Minas Tirth was truly incredible, given the epic scale of the confrontation between the Orcs and Man. Some of the climaxes we’d been waiting for nearly three years – Frodo dumping the ring into Mount Doom, Gollum getting his just rewards, Aragorn being crowned the new King of Gondor – were definitely worth it. You felt just like you did at the end of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi – a tremendous sense of victory but with a bittersweet, somewhat emotional ending. It’s going to be sad to see it all end, given that it was one of those pleasures you’d look forward to over the past three Christmas seasons.
I nearly cried twice (and I never cry at movies) with the collapse of Sauron’s tower at the end of the film and with the goodbyes of Frodo and Sam. I guess it’s so affecting because director Peter Jackson managed to create film versions of characters so compelling, so rich in depth and detail, that you can’t bear to part with them. It’s amazing – three years ago, I was a fan of the books but I was admittedly nervous about film versions of LOTR due to previously poor film adaptions. Now, I can’t imagine anyone else making these films.
It’s also amazing how every actor fit their roles perfectly. I can’t imagine anyone else but Elijah Wood being Frodo, Sean Astin as Sam, Ian McKellen as Gandalf, Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn (which is all the more amazing considering Stuart Townsend was supposed to have that role before he was replaced in 1999), Orlando Bloom as Legolas, et al. It’s going to be tough to imagine the books without them in mind.
Well, that’s it for LOTR on the big screen. I haven’t gotten the DVDs of Fellowship of the Ring or Two Towers yet but I’ve heard that Peter Jackson is planning a mega-DVD, 16-disc collection on LOTR for Christmas 2004. I’ll wait for that, given that this is the best movie trilogy of all time. Go see this movie. But make sure you see FOTR and TTT before you see ROTK! (if you have to ask what those acronyms mean, you’re not a true fan!).
BECKIE SCOTT: Who says that justice is hard to come by with the International Olympic Committee? Our great x-country ski champion, Beckie Scott, was upgraded to a gold medal for her performance in Salt Lake City in 2002. Admittedly, it came with a high cost financially but the Court of Arbitration will make the I.O.C. pay for Beckie’s legal costs. It seems pretty self-evident that when someone cheats and wins a medal, they should be stripped of that medal. But in the world of the I.O.C. – hardly a place where truth, justice and equality of athletes reigns true – the Russian winner was to originally keep her medal. It’s hard to maintain your sense of fairness at the Olympics when big countries interests constantly outweigh smaller countries interests like Canada. But what’s done is done. Beckie wins the first gold medal for North American women in x-country ever! Congrats Beckie!
Okay, Christmas is only a few days away now, so I’ll make another post before Christmas but then I’ll be taking a few days away from the web. Have a great weekend!