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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still waiting for the extended version!
I LOVE the Lord of the Rings. I loved the first movie, loved the second, loved the third, but less so than the first two. I also love the extended versions of both the first two films much more so than the theatre versions. Why? They fill in the story which Tolkien wrote so beautifully. This is a very complex book and it just bothers me to see so many things changed. I...
Published on Aug. 9 2004

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Scripting/editing not up to previous standards
The virtues of this part of the trilogy are the same as the virtues of the first two parts. Superb acting, visuals, and of course Tolkien's story.
However, this last effort had too much action for action's sake. This left less time for in-depth dialogue. The interaction between characters was left to the minimum, lowest common denominator stuff. It is in this film...
Published on June 12 2004 by Eric J. Anderson


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still waiting for the extended version!, Aug. 9 2004
By A Customer
I LOVE the Lord of the Rings. I loved the first movie, loved the second, loved the third, but less so than the first two. I also love the extended versions of both the first two films much more so than the theatre versions. Why? They fill in the story which Tolkien wrote so beautifully. This is a very complex book and it just bothers me to see so many things changed. I know it is impossible to have the whole book made into a movie, but the additions in the extended version allow us to see more of the characters and understand them, just like reading the book.
Since I am a real Middle Earth junkie, I have this, but I will be first in line when the extended version (the real story) comes out. Hope it is a good one!
Return of the King is beautiful. I love Middle Earth and would enjoy any movie about Middle Earth I think. However, there are some things which are just such a stretch that it changes the book and I think what Tolkien intended. Will the extended version make things better? I hope so. I think that is why I am a bit dissapointed in this film... there are too many things I was looking forward to seeing which did not happen. I especially want to see more of Eowyn, Eomer and Faramir. The whole point in this is the age of the elves is ending and this its the age of men, so let's see a bit more about them!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The king returns, Oct. 12 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
Gandalf said it best: "I will not say: do not weep. For not all tears are an evil."

And it's of tempting to weep as the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy draws to a close, with the "Return of the King." Peter Jackson's brilliant adaptation ends the classic fantasy epic with a bang... but then quiets down to let us bid farewell to these lovable characters. Astounding direction, action, and a little pang when it's all over.

Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) are still following the treacherous Gollum (Andy Serkis) on the path to Mordor, with the increasingly strained Frodo unaware that Gollum is sowing suspicion between the two best friends. By the time he realizes his mistake, he's been dragged into the lair of Shelob, a monstrous spider, and then abducted by orcs who want the Ring he carries. Determined to find his friend, Sam heads into an orc citadel on his own.

Meanwhile, Gandalf (Ian McKellen) takes Pippin (Billy Boyd) with him to Minas Tirith, after the hobbit has a close encounter with Sauron through a palantir. \Not only is the city under siege, but the Steward Denethor is slowly going insane, even sending his one remaining son, Faramir (David Wenham), on a suicide mission to reclaim a dead city. With Minas Tirith crumbling, Aragorn's (Viggo Mortensen) only hope may to be summon an army of the dead, who will only obey the King of Gondor. But even the dead won't help him if Frodo doesn't destroy the Ring -- and its power over him is growing.

The "Lord of the Rings" trilogy is one of those once-in-a-lifetime movie experiences. There has never been anything quite like it in movie history, and there probably never will be again. It seems somehow fitting that the book that every other fantasy has to measure up to, has now become a sweeping cinematic triumph that actually stays halfway loyal to the books. Good things come to fans who wait, I guess.

And in this movie, Peter Jackson really outdoes himself. You know those battle scenes in "Two Towers" and "Fellowship of the Ring," with the swooping camera and thousands of orcs, clashing with men on a gloomy battlefield? In "Return of the King," Jackson surpasses that. There's everything from volcanic eruptions to an invasion of howling ghosts to the attack of the oliphaunts (like elephants, only bigger). Each action scene is a shattering ride, and there's no guarantee that all the beloved characters will make it out alive. Some of them don't.

But if Jackson manages the epic battles well, he does an even better job with the gentler, quieter moments. The action slows down, and the characters take a moment to support and comfort each other, such as Gandalf comforting the frightened Pippin with a description of the afterlife. Jackson and his fellow screenwriters Fran Walsh and Phillippa Boyens throw themselves into the semi-formal language of Tolkien's world, resculpting Tolkien's words into rich movie dialogue.

Elijah Wood gives an unparalleled performance as Frodo Baggins -- it's hard to imagine any young actor in recent memory who has given a performance this wrenching. Frodo's deterioration is horrifying to watch, and the climactic scene at Mount Doom displays just what the Ring can do to even the pure-hearted hobbit. Sean Astin follows up with his powerful performance as Sam, who is increasingly the "strong" hobbit, demonstrated in a tearjerking scene as they scale Mount Doom.

But all the supporting cast also give powerful performances -- Boyd and Dominic Monaghan put their characters through some intense growing pains, and the "I'm going to take care of you" scene is enough to bring tears to your eyes. Mortensen and McKellen are astounding as the kingly outcast and the kick-butt wizard, while Miranda Otto, David Wenham and Bernard Hill are brilliant on the sidelines.

Perhaps the most striking thing about "Return of the King" is the final fourth of the film. While the "multiple endings" may annoy some viewers, it seems somehow right to gently let go of these characters rather than have a sudden, splashy finale. And whether they have a happy or sad ending, Jackson never lets us forget that they all made sacrifices to battle Sauron.

"Return of the King" brings the epic "Lord of the Rings" trilogy to a close, and cements Jackson's reputation as a master filmmaker. With the outstanding cast, beautiful scripting and amazing direction, this is the best of the "Lord" films -- and that's saying something.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Extras hit and miss this time, Jan. 9 2005
By 
Ralph Fuhrmann "SF R ME" (Calgary, Alberta) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The extra scenes this time around do not always add to the movie. While as a LOTR's fan I would still recommend getting this set, just don't count on liking it better. I won't pick out specifics, everyone is going to have their favorite grips and cudos here. I would add that it is amazing what got chopped in terms of special effects. Overall, interesting, but not an improvment to the movie like the first two extended editions were.
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5.0 out of 5 stars How can people be so critical?, Aug. 26 2004
By A Customer
I don't usually write reviews, especially of such huge and widely established masterpieces like Lord of the Rings, figuring that everyone else has said it before and better ... but I was sadly disappointed here. This is without a doubt the best film in the trilogy, far surpassing The Two Towers, (which I disliked until the Extended Edition anyway), and even FotR. This was simply an awe-inspiring movie. Yes Tolkien fans like me were a little put out by some of the changes made, (like the emphasis on Arwen - but that bothered me more in the first two films), and especially how they messed with Aragorn's sword, Anduril. (How in the world did Elrond get to Aragorn so fast? And why didn't they just have Aragorn carry the sword from Rivendell? It played such a huge part in the battle for Helm's Deep.) But most of my complaints, like the lack of Eowyn, Faramir, and especially Merry will hopefully be pacified with the extended edition, and I'm sure once that is released nearly every Tolkien fan will have all their issues resolved. (Though I'm not looking forward to more Arwen sequences, useless as they are.)
But I still can't understand these criticisms over 'cliches' and 'too many endings' ... especially when the critical person can't even spell the names correctly. And for goodness SAKE please stop comparing it to Star Wars. They're completely different and made in a completely different style. I also love Star Wars and while I dislike comparing them, I must admit I think LOTR infinitely better. (But that's not the point here, is it? ^_~) These movies were greatly in keeping with what Tolkien wrote, and tried (and succeeded) to keep the spirit and pathos of those magnificent novels. And they succeeded, in spades. I simply can't praise this movie enough, and not just as a part of the whole, but as an individual movie as well. It did everything it could within the time constraints and did it well. How can you say it was 'too long' when there was so much else they could have and should have put in? (I for one think that the EE time of 4hr10min is too short.) The only explanation I have is if you don't appreciate just how great this film and this trilogy was ... well then, you just don't get it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece Beyond Description, July 19 2004
It is impossible to fairly credit the genius and masterpiece that this movie is in a few short words. Each movie in my opinion, has been better than the last, making for an epic third movie.
To begin with, the acting. People have said that the acting in each of the three movies has never been exceptionall, hence only one Oscar nomination to an actor/actress out of all three movies, (That was Ian McKellan FOTR.) However in this third installment there are several actors who must be recognized for their achievments, namely Sean Astin as Sam, and again Ian McKellan as Gandalf. Sam's incredible acting with his relationship with Frodo draws sympathy and emotion from me every time I see the movie. And Gandalf, with his several stirring speeches, both mostly to Pipin, are a a great acting performance worthy of recognition. Honorable mention must also go to Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn and Bernard Hill, who plays Theoden extremely well.
Next a look at the visual aspect of the movie. In a sense of the natural beauty of the film, it is incredible. All three films incorporate a level of beauty and grandeur hard to find in many films. New Zealands fresh and exotic landscapes are always present throught the film, and can often take ones breath away. One scene in particular is that of the lighting of the beacons, as Peter Jackson takes the viewer on a spectacular ride over snowy mountains and sweeping valleys. The shot itself is not only a testiment to the amazing cinemetography and editing of the movie, but also the amazing beauty of New Zealand that is presented through the entire film.
However as with the first two movies, The Return of the King's visual aspect relies not only on New Zelands beauty and Peter Jackson's camera moves, but also upon the amazing digital and visual effects that are integrated seamlessly throughout the movie. The Weta Digital visual effects team that brought to life such creatures as Gollem and Treebeard, have created the benchmark by which all visual effects will likely be judged from here on. Their ability to make a digital thing like Gollem who exists in a computer resonate emotion and feeling is a work of true genius. The visual effects shine not only in the obvious areas such as Gollum, but in the subtle effects that can barely be noticed; shadows formed by digital creatures that aren't there, lighting effects that create a mood in the scene that is otherwise non-existent. All of these things have been worked together so will with the real-time footage and acting, that you end up never knowing what is real and what is digital.
Everytime I watch the movie, I never am bored. Peter Jackson has made a perfect blend of drama, emotion, action, even some humor and romance, that the movie never grows old. Scenes such as Faramir's ride towards Osgiliath and death, the charge of the Rohiram upon Pelennor fields, the last battle in front of the Black gate, while Frodo and Sam struggle up Mount Doom, just to name a few, are beautifully done and are implanted in my mind forever.
The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which ended with this rousing finale, has created a pop culture phenomenon that will no doubt last for many years to come. If you haven't seen by all means must buy or rent this DVD. If you have, then I suggest the same thing, buy it. You won't be sorry you did.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The "King" saves us from the usual movie mire, July 17 2004
The only author to captivate me more or as much as Frank Herbert is that great modern creator of mythos, J.R.R. Tolkein. When I want science fiction that reads almost like Shakespeare, I turn to Herbert's Dune series. When I want the legends of noble Kings and elves, I turn to the great Tolkein.
I am very picky about the art of the motion picture. I am even more ridiculous in my standards in seeing a great work of literature adapted to the big screen. I am usually completely let down by how often Hollywood displays its talent for butchering even the most straightforward of classics.
I was surprised. Not only is this a great film on its own, it makes up for the sludge that was Peter Jackson's "Two Towers." It is obvious in viewing this that Jackson stepped up the standards for his actors and for himself. Unlike the modern Lucas films, Jackson seems to be able to learn from his mistakes. Every slight mis-step found in the earlier Tolkein films is fixed here. And it makes for grand viewing.
Thank you Peter Jackson. You have delivered the goods this time and I am appreciative. Amongst the mire of modern film, you have turned out something with impressive scenery and a royal nobility. Thanks again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Ever, July 16 2004
By 
Donald M. Saito (Oakland, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is it - for me, at any rate. I have loved JRR Tolkien's, "The Lord of the Rings" since my early adulthood (from the early '80s), and Peter Jackson's big screen translation is the one I've been waiting for for more than twenty years. I saw ROTK more than a dozen times at the theatre, and each time I was moved to tears, it was just so beautifully done! My favorite scenes include: Gandalf and Pippin riding Shadowfax to the top of Minas Tirith - the Howard Shore score, for which I can't praise enough in this review, perfectly matched my growing sense of amazement at seeing just how BIG the city really was, and how high up it got - simply majestic; one of my most favorite scenes was the one where Pippin lit the first beacon of Gondor, and watching, stunned, as the incredible score, combined with the amazing aerial cinematography, swept me up and made my spirit soar as the call for aid travelled hundreds of miles through the night across the mountaintops! The hopelessness, sorrow, and unjustified doom in the faces of the women as they threw flowers before Faramir's path through the city before he and his men set out to attempt an utterly futile retake of Osgiliath. When Theoden rode before his men, clanging his sword against theirs and their berserker cry of "DEATH!" before charging into certain doom - just thinking about it makes my eyes water! Sam's heroic climb, carrying Frodo up Mt. Doom; the expressions on Gandalf's, Aragorn's, and Merry's faces as they watch Barad-dur fall and Mt. Doom explode; the deep sense of acknowledgment as Aragorn, Arwen, and the peoples of Gondor, Rivendell, and Rohan bow to the Hobbits at Aragorn's coronation; and the deep-felt sense of loss - for an end to the beauty the elves brought to Middle-earth, and for the final ending of the Fellowship, as the last ship left the shores of Middle-earth to take all the Ring Bearers (except one - Sam, who bore the One Ring for a little while) to The Deathless Lands, never to return.
I am truly puzzled by anyone who found this film boring (???), childish (???!!!), or anything other than an instant classic and a masterpiece that will light the world's screens for decades and longer. It would be interesting to know just what kind of movies *they* liked! "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" or "2 Fast 2 Furious," perhaps. I enjoy a wide range of films, from Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, to To Kill A Mockingbird, Whale Rider, Casablanca, and even Fried Green Tomatoes - but ROTK (and FOTR and TTT) are in a class by themselves. See them. Buy them. And get as much of the collectible merchandise as possible! It's an investment in the future, I'm tellin' ya! ;-)
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Ever, July 16 2004
By 
Donald M. Saito (Oakland, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is it - for me, at any rate. I have loved JRR Tolkien's, "The Lord of the Rings" since my early adulthood (from the early '80s), and Peter Jackson's big screen translation is the one I've been waiting for for more than twenty years. I saw ROTK more than a dozen times at the theatre, and each time I was moved to tears, it was just so beautifully done! My favorite scenes include: Gandalf and Pippin riding Shadowfax to the top of Minas Tirith - the Howard Shore score, for which I can't praise enough in this review, perfectly matched my growing sense of amazement at seeing just how BIG the city really was, and how high up it got - simply majestic; one of my most favorite scenes was the one where Pippin lit the first beacon of Gondor, and watching, stunned, as the incredible score, combined with the amazing aerial cinematography, swept me up and made my spirit soar as the call for aid travelled hundreds of miles through the night across the mountaintops! When Theoden rode before his men, clanging his sword against theirs and their berserker cry of "DEATH!" before charging into certain doom - just thinking about it makes my eyes water! Sam's heroic climb, carrying Frodo up Mt. Doom; the expressions on Gandalf's, Aragorn's, and Merry's faces as they watch Barad-dur fall and Mt. Doom explode; the deep sense of acknowledgment as Aragorn, Arwen, and the peoples of Gondor, Rivendell, and Rohan bow to the Hobbits at Aragorn's coronation; and the deep-felt sense of loss - for an end to the beauty the elves brought to Middle-earth, and for the final ending of the Fellowship, as the last ship left the shores of Middle-earth to take all the Ring Bearers (except one - Sam, who bore the One Ring for a little while) to The Deathless Lands, never to return.
I am truly puzzled by anyone who found this film boring (???), childish (???!!!), or anything other than an instant classic and a masterpiece that will light the world's screens for decades and longer. It would be interesting to know just what kind of movies *they* liked! "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" or "2 Fast 2 Furious," perhaps. I enjoy a wide range of films, from Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, to To Kill A Mockingbird, Whale Rider, Casablanca, and even Fried Green Tomatoes - but ROTK (and FOTR and TTT) are in a class by themselves. See them. Buy them. And get as much of the collectible merchandise as possible! It's an investment in the future, I'm tellin' ya! ;-)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very Strong Ending to a Great Concept Movie, July 14 2004
By 
Joseph J. Slevin (Carlsbad, CA United States) - See all my reviews
I was impressed with the first two Movies especially the first and the second. However, this one shifted between scenes with the development with the Kings return and final battle for middle earth and Frodo's problems with getting the ring to its final resting place.
This movie was also a lot 'darker' than the previous two.
The battle scene for this movie was extreme, a little too contrived, yet with 'magic' what do you expect. I was very surprised how this image seemed a little like Star Wars in reverse. The groups fighting each other good versus evil were somewhat switched. For instance, all of the people on the good side were basically white (did anyone see people of color in this movie?)
Also, the creatures and humans combined to attack the city for it's final demise seemed like those fighting with the Jedi, mostly strange looking creatures. Of course that is only a thought. Gandalf seemed a lot like Obiwan and Frodo fighting the evil of the ring seemed a little like Luke fighting the evil side of the force.
For those who read the Bible, you may get a hint of some 'Biblical themes.' For instance the whole world gathers together to fight at the return of the king for the final battle of good and evil. Sounds a little like the book of Revelation. As well there is an army of dead souls for lack of a better name who come in and win the day as the city is attacked. In Revelation, the King of kings, returns with 10s of thousands of angels to fight the final battle.
Interesting that Tolkien was a friend and contemporary of CS Lewis. His themes were a story to empasize good against evil and the overall struggle that leads to goods triumph.
Yet, this trilogy was especially great in the first two episodes.
More on those later.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Jeremiah Cross is dumb, movie is great, July 13 2004
By 
T. Kopf (New York) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Great ending to a epic story. A must see. Others have touched upon the movie, about how great the effects are, how great the story is, the music, the characters. Jeremiah Cross's review is off. "A love story made up out of thin air", trying reading the appendages in the books you jackass. "Use made-up languages and subtitles to hide how boring the dialogue would be in English", Tolkien was a great studier of languages, and used his knowledge to compose 3 languages for the books, I find Elvish to be a beautiful language. Jeremiah I think you should re-evaluate your movie viewing judgements because the Matrix was an ultimate let down of a trilogy, first one was great and the 2nd and 3rd were complete blockbuster creations that you rip on LOTR being. You need consistency. Star Wars original 3 were great, the last 2 absolutely sucked and I was the biggest Star Wars fan. How many academy awards for LOTR? Yeah and they were just lucky. Ok Jeremiah.
If you love a good film see the original version movies, if you love them and want more read the books and then see the extended versions. The soundtracks are excellent, cinematography is great, characters and wardrobe are done to perfection.
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