As much as I love Star Wars (and clearly I love Star Wars a lot), I love Tolkien’s Middle-Earth even more. I was an enormous fan and sunk over a hundred hours into 2014’s Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor. It was such a great game, but it had its glitches and frustrations. The revolutionary thing in that game, and seemingly perfected in the sequel was the Nemesis System. That the orcs and other enemies you ran into, remember you, become stronger if they defeat you, bear scars from you and can be impressed into your service. It makes the world seem that much more of a living organism. The reviews for Middle-Earth: Shadow of War make it sound like they ironed out the kinks and this is my most anticipated game of 2017. It’s out today for Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC. Cheevos below courtesy of the greatest site in the land: xboxachievements.com.
Having made it through the top 10, we come to #11 on the IMDB Top 250: the opening chapter in Peter Jackson’s flawless adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. Taking Tolkien’s masterpiece from the province of literary scholars and the kids who sat alone at lunch in high school, Jackson showed the whole world the scope of Middle-Earth (to such extent that New Zealand, where both the LOTR and Hobbit films were shot, pretty much considers itself Middle-Earth). The Lord of the Rings is my favorite film, and I treat it as one 12 hour epic, not three parts, but this works out to my advantage as all three chapters are in the top 15 and I get to showcase fifteen scenes instead of just five. Continue reading Top 5: Scenes from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (IMDB Top 250 #11)→
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!
Next week, we’ll return for the final time to Middle-earth with Peter Jackson. The final installment of The Hobbit Trilogy: The Battle of the Five Armies will connect it to The Lord of the Rings and give us a 20 hour Middle-earth epic that we’ll be able to revisit for years to come. I am not sure why, at this point, the studio bothers Jackson about running time. These are long films. But in every case, the extended editions, released a year after the theatrical cut, have improved the film, sometimes dramatically so.