Every other month, we take a look at a movie from the Internet Movie Database’s List of the TOP 250 FILMS OF ALL-TIME. These are movies that transcend a simple “My Favorite Scene” column. These are movies that are hard to just pry five gems from, but we do and examine the film overall. We’re on our fifteenth installment in this series. Click on the link here to check out previous installments from #1 The Shawshank Redemption to #14 Inception.
In planned trilogies, middle chapters are the trickiest. They don’t have a beginning or an end. They tend to be the darkest night before the dawn of the finale, but it’s possible to go too dark. You can lose the momentum of your opening and set up narrative hurdles for the finale that are impossible to overcome. A perfect bridge movie is rare, and with the possible exception of The Empire Strikes Back, the best one ever made is The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Continue reading Top 5: Scenes from The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers (IMDB Top 250 #15)
Andy Serkis has to be given enormous credit. It isn’t many (if any other) actors who can say they invented an entirely new way to act. Serkis is the pioneer of motion capture acting, used before in film, but never to deliver the kind of performance the Serkis astounded audiences with when he brought Gollum to the big screen in The Lord of the Rings. Continuing to develop, pioneer, and teach others in the use of the technique, Serkis went on to embody King Kong, Star Wars enigma Supreme Leader Snoke, and create in Caesar for the new Planet of the Apes trilogy a character that surpassed even Gollum in emotional depth and nuance. This type of acting is becoming so common that it needs an Oscar category all its own, and Serkis long should have received a special recognition Academy Award for taking technology and using it to enhance acting not mask or diminish it. He’s one of the most exciting actors that no one gives full credit to, but nearly everyone knows the characters he brings to life, and they’ll live on as long as movies do.
Continue reading Andy Serkis’s 10 Best Movies
Since we just took a look back at the very first film in The Middle-Earth Saga (click here if you missed our look back on The Fellowship of the Ring), it’s hard to leave Tolkien’s world. CLS Videos has put together this brilliant dual retrospective at the most beautiful sights, the most memorable moments, and the most beloved characters from Peter Jackson’s six films in Middle-Earth. Drink it all in, because as long as Christopher Tolkien is alive (and granted the man is in his eighties), there is literally no chance that the rights to The Silmarillion or any of the other Middle-Earth ephemera not covered under the current rights agreement.
There is enough material in The Silmarillion for an HBO show to run for a decade, with major stories, like The Children of Hurin, are deep enough for a featured film. It’s a little bigger than The Hobbit in size, but it’s probably the densest book in terms of amount of potential story threads per page that I’ve ever read. It’s really a brief overview of Middle-Earth from it’s creation to the end of The Second Age. That’s THOUSANDS of years of stories. It’s inevitable that the family will turn over enough members that they will relent and a return to Arda will be possible. However, to make it as special as these films were to Tolkienites, it will need the same commitment and stewardship that gave us these six films. Enjoy the video, and a Happy Labor Day weekend to those in the States.
Part of what makes Tolkien’s Middle-earth such a fantastic realm are the creatures which inhabit it. The phantasmagorical seems commonplace in a land of dragons, trolls, storm giants and wizards. Looking back at just the original Lord of the Rings movies, here are my top 5 creatures (Gollum I did not count as a creature because he is literally in a class by himself).
5. The Cave Troll – The Fellowship of the Ring
4. Shelob – The Return of the King
3. The Mouth of Sauron – LOTR The Return of the King
2. The Witch King of Angmar – All three films
1. Balrog – The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring