With the release of the extended edition of Battle of the Five Armies, Peter Jackson’s six-film Middle Earth saga has come to a completion. The end result, as a Tolkien die-hard, is a monument to the body of work the visionary fantasy writer created and some of the best films made in the last 25 years. The Lord of the RIngs is really an 11 hour film broken into three parts, but all three are grouped fairly closely on the Top 250, so we’ll get to examine them all starting with the capper: The Return of the King. Continue reading Top 5: Scenes from Lord of the Rings – The Return of the King (IMDB Top 250 #9)→
As I head out the door to see the final Middle-earth film, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, I closed our poll on “Favorite Middle-Earth Character” and was stunned. Gandalf had the lead the entire way with no one even close, but as the poll closed, Frodo had in the same underdog way that got him up Mount Doom, passed a puzzled Ian McKellan. Frodo Baggins the gold; Gandalf the Grey the silver and Legolas Greenleaf the bronze. Thanks to all for voting; we’ll have a review up of the final film by the weekend!
Usually I try to do our polls on a monthly schedule but Middle-Earth has been up for an extra long run because, heck, we’re talking about establishing the official KT Best Character in probably minute-for-minute the best film franchise of all time!
SOMEONE throw Thorin a pity vote for crying out loud, it’s getting sad. Sauron has more votes than him.
Here’s the deal, on December 17th, we will give to the character most loved by KT a special Ring of Power that really just shoots out sparklers and the occasional cherry bomb, but Gandalf made a living doing that for centuries using a staff! From there we’re going to go to our next poll which will be the community decision of game of the year and on January 17, we’ll switch over to our most solemn of polls. Our highest calling as blogging nerds. We crown the film of 2014 and if we have as hard a time as the Golden Globes did in finding nominees, this should prove challening. Who will be the third KT Best Picture of the Year? 2013 – The Dark Knight Rises; 2014 – Argo…..2015 – ……..can we pre-vote Star Wars Episode VII? NO! Squashed that question. But for now, make sure you’ve voted in the Middle-Earth poll and get ready for a final trip to that most fantastic of escapist worlds!
Today the extended edition of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug hits the streets (look for a review later this week), adding 25 minutes back into the weakest theatrical cut of any of the Middle-Earth films in Jackson’s saga. While Smaug did a lot of things right, it also wandered farthest afield from the source material than any other previous installment. It was also the first time I left the theater that I didn’t feel like Jackson had nailed a home run (read my original review here). I’m hoping those 25 minutes will make all the connections that just make these movies the magic the magic they’ve been since 2001. With literally dozens of magical characters defining the series, even limiting the nominations list to 10 was tough. You have until days before the final installment; The Hobbit – The Battle of the Five Armies, debuts in mid-December to crown the official Killing Time Tolkien Character of Choice. Let the voting begin!
To complete my backward journey through my favorite movie of all-time, we arrive at the first installment: The Fellowship of the Ring. One of my favorite theater experience of all time was seeing this on opening night. My friends and I were such Tolkien geeks that we bought out about half of the theater, and I got to see my favorite movie begin (I really consider LOTR one film with two intermissions) with most of the people I held dear at the time. It was probably one of the best nights of my life.
One of the things we were all excited about going into the film was the Balrog. They’d kept it out of the trailers and we couldn’t wait to see what this thing was going to look like. It gets a fantastic slow-almost Jaws like-dread approach as we see thousands of goblins scatter like flies just from hearing its footsteps, the Fellowship (all 9 together for the last time) making a harrowing journey down the stairs to this slim, bare Bridge of Khazad-dum (yes I know where to put the accent marks, fellow Tolkienites but I’m too lazy to figure out where they are on the keyboard). Whatever expectation I had; whatever prior mental picture I had of the Balrog, was blown away when it bursts through a wall of stone; shadow and flame. The confrontation between Gandalf and the Balrog is one of the defining scenes, not only of LOTR, but of the last twenty years of cinema. It never fails to thrill me, nor tear me apart when Gandalf falls (or rather lets go, so as not to expose the rest of the company to incoming fire while trying to rescue him on a collapsing bridge). It’s my favorite scene in Fellowship and one of my favorite movie moments of all-time.