Tag Archives: The Lord of the Rings

Top 5: Scenes from The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers (IMDB Top 250 #15)

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

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)

The Best of The Middle-Earth Saga

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.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Smaug, Benedict Cumberbatch

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.
Middle-Earth

Top 5: Scenes from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (IMDB Top 250 #11)

Lord of the RIngs

Every month (or so…..I swear they’re coming more regularly) we take a look at a movie on 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 eleventh installment in this series.  Click on the links for The Shawshank Redemption, The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, The Dark Knight, Pulp Fiction , Schindler’s List, 12 Angry Men, The Good The Bad and The Ugly, The Return of the King, and Fight Club to check out previous installments.

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

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)

My Favorite Scene: The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) “Dol Guldur”

First, a thanks to JaidynLuke Studios for cutting together this entire epic scene from the extended version of the film into a two-parter.

I’m sure it comes as no surprise to anyone who reads this site, that I am an enormous geek.  My Star Wars geek creds go back to practically the cradle, but around middle school, I became a hardcore Tolkienite.  I read The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, The Book of Unfinished Tales.  I own the 12 volume literary examination of Tolkien’s entire body of work that his son, Christopher, edited together.  I mean, it got to the point where I not only knew what Quenya was, but nearly listed it as a second language on job applications.  No, actually I didn’t date much during high school come to think of it, why do you ask? Continue reading My Favorite Scene: The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) “Dol Guldur”

R.I.P. Christopher Lee (1922 -2015) *A Legend Leaves Us*

Saruman, Christopher Lee, The Lord of the Rings

Still on vacation, I just got word of Sir Christopher Lee’s passing during one of my brief connections with the Internet this month.  It pains me that I don’t have time to compose my thoughts on his departure, but that his legacy to generations of movie lovers is secure is beyond a shadow of a doubt.  He had perhaps the greatest career of any actor ever after the age of 80.  Dracula.  Bond Villain. Count Dooku. Saruman the White. Hundreds of other legends brought to life by one himself.  Thank you, sir.  CNN’s obit below.

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Christopher Lee, the actor, was often the villain.

He played Dracula, the bad guy in the James Bond thriller “The Man with the Golden Gun,” the deliciously evil wizard Saruman in the “Lord of the Ring” films, and the dude who fought Yoda with a lightsaber in “Star Wars: Attack of the Clones.”

But Sir Christopher Lee, the man, who died this week at the age of 93? Not an ounce of villain to be found, fans and fellow actors alike said Thursday.

“You were an icon, and a towering human being with stories for days,” “Lord of the Rings” co-star Elijah Wood tweeted Thursday. “We’ll miss you.”

Lee died Sunday, a spokesman for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea said.

He had more than 150 film credits to his name, beginning in 1948 and stretching into this decade.

Lee initially made his name in horror films. His first major horror role was as Frankenstein’s creature and then the infamous vampire Dracula in a series films for Britain’s Hammer Films studios from the 1950s until the 1970s.

KRISTANNA LOKEN and ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER in the futuristic action thriller "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines," distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. PHOTOGRAPHS TO BE USED SOLELY FOR ADVERTISING, PROMOTION, PUBLICITY OR REVIEWS OF THIS SPECIFIC MOTION PICTURE AND TO REMAIN THE PROPERTY OF THE STUDIO. NOT FOR SALE OR REDISTRIBUTION

He was often quoted as saying he had to be talked into playing in some of the Dracula films. He said he played the character silently in one film — 1965’s “House of Horrors” — because the lines were so bad.

Later, he took on the role of James Bond’s nemesis Francisco Scaramanga in 1974’s “The Man with the Golden Gun,” and was introduced to a new generation of film-goers in 2001 with “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.”

In it, he played the evil wizard Saruman, former mentor to Gandalf — the good-guy wizard’s role Lee said he once coveted but had grown too old to play.

The next year, he entered the “Star Wars” universe as the fallen Jedi knight, Count Dooku, in the “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.”

Both series brought him renewed fame and acclaim, but for Lee, two roles always stood out: His 1973 turn as Lord Summerisle in the cult classic “The Wicker Man,” and his portrayal of the founder of Pakistan, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, in the 1998 film, “Jinnah.”

“The most important thing I’ve ever done,” he said in a 2011 forum at the University College Dublin.

Lee was knighted in 2009 — fittingly on the day before Halloween — for his accomplishments in the arts. Two years later, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts awarded Lee its highest honor, the Academy Fellowship.

BAFTA CEO Amanda Berry expressed sorrow Thursday at the passing of Lee, whom she called a “truly talented and versatile actor.”

“His biography, and therefore his legacy, is one that many in the film industry can only dream of,” Berry said.

In 2011, Lee said that he always wanted to bring something unexpected to his roles.

“One thing to me is very important, if you’re playing somebody that the audience regards as, let’s say evil, try to do something they don’t expect, something that surprises the audience,” he said.

In his last few years, he did just that for many fans: he turned to a heavy metal career, releasing the holiday albums “A Heavy Metal Christmas” and “A Heavy Metal Christmas Too” in 2012 and 2013 — endearing himself to yet another group of fans, many of whom reacted to the news of his death with an outpouring of celebration and sadness.

“The great, always criminally underrated Sir Christopher Lee has left us,” actor Mark Gatiss wrote on Twitter. “A Titan of Cinema and a huge part of my youth. Farewell.”