December 18th, 2003


The People Were Fair and Had Stars in Their Hair (Spoilers?)

I'm taking a mid-morning coffee break, what once would have been called elevenses and that reference more or less leads me into my review of Return of the King which I saw yesterday. Well, not review, just a series of comments.
1. A sense of disappointment hung over the film much of the time. This had nothing to do with the quality of the film as such, more the sensation that as the film continued, the closer you were getting to the end of it. I am not a particular fan of film series (Star Wars prequels, Matrix Regurgitated, even Star Wars itself), but I have really enjoyed this one. I'm neither a particular fan of Tolkien, but these films are a high cultural watermark in imaginative, mainstream cinema. That sounds lacklustre. It's great, classic filmmaking.
2. A prominent fault in the London posters is the complete absence of Eowyn. Liv Tyler has fairly minimal screen time in this one, but is on the posters. Miranda Otto deserves better. Liv Tyler just stands around looking forlorn. Admittedly, Liv Tyler doesn't have to do much else to get my attention, but you almost wish that that when she does turn up at the end of the movie, Aragorn gave her a sheepish look and said "Well, you see, it's like this, I've met..."
3. There might be one ending too many, but given it's a nine hour film in total, the time taken to wrap it up is excusable.
4. I hope Jackson doesn't make a version of The Hobbit. He should move on. I flippantly suggest St John's Revelations.
5. Having seen the battle for Minas Tirith, Wolfgang Petersen is going to have a challenge on his hands with Troy.
6. I feel a need to see it again.
7. I am looking forward to the Extended Edition.
8. I didn't miss not having Saruman.
9. That Liv Tyler is a bit of a looker.
10. I didn't really notice the CGI, a big plus in these films. They look just about believable and don't rewrite laws of physics. Legolas maybe...
11. There should have been a cheeky glance between Pippin and Merry when the bridal bouquet is caught.
12. No reaction shot between Eowyn/Aragorn/Arwen.
13. Hats off to Peter Jackson.
14. It's great to see a film in which there can be zero product placement from the modern world.
15. Have I mentioned Liv Tyler?