My Favorite Movies #59 – The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

The Return of the King - PosterThe Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

2003

Directed by Peter Jackson

Netflix says… In this final chapter, Aragorn is revealed as the heir to the ancient kings as he, Gandalf and the other members of the broken fellowship struggle to save Gondor from Sauron’s forces. Meanwhile, Frodo and Sam bring the ring to the heart of Mordor.

  • Two out of three of the Lord of the Rings films makes it into my top 100.
  • We’ll come across The Fellowship of the Ring in just a few weeks.
  • As it is, the third and final part of the trilogy is the first we come across. I’ll see if I can bring you up to speed.
  • During the events of The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins steals a magic ring from the creature known as Gollum.
  • As Fellowship beings, Bilbo is preparing to leave the Shire and go live among the elves. Thus, he leaves his magic ring to his nephew, Frodo.
  • Gandalf suspects and soon discovers that the magic ring is actually the One Ring, forged by the ancient tyrant Sauron and must, therefore, be destroyed.
  • They put together a band of misfits (or a fellowship, if you will) to accompany Frodo to Mount Doom in the heart of Mordor, the only place the ring can be unmade.
  • The Fellowship dissolves when Gandalf dies, Boromir tries to take the ring from Frodo, and Frodo and Sam decide to take off on their own.
  • Many adventures ensue, friends become enemies, enemies become friends.
  • You know… trying to summarize this trilogy does it a disservice.
  • Trying to summarize one movie does it a disservice.
  • Can you guys just promise me that, if you haven’t seen any of these (even The Two Towers which, somehow, did not make my list), you’ll set aside a weekend sometime to watch them. They’re all quite long, so it will be a time commitment.
  • But if you’re into fantasy adventures, they’re definitely worth your time.
  • I tried reading the books years ago and I just couldn’t get into them.
  • I’ve got no problem with J.R.R. Tolkien or his writing style. But, to me, as I read The Fellowship of the Ring, it felt like reading a textbook on the history of Middle Earth.
  • I did eventually listen to the books thanks to Audible. Ironically, I have not gotten around to listening to The Return of the King yet.
  • So I apologize for not doing my usual play by play with this film. Because I know how long that would be.
  • Seriously, y’all… It’s over three hours long.
  • The extended edition? Well over four hours.
  • I will recall the first time I saw this, though.
  • It was my first experience with a midnight premiere.
  • At the time, I was still living in Bluefield, the tiny town where I went to college.
  • Of course, the Bluefield theater never did anything as cool as show movies at midnight. So I went with some friends to see it in a town that was roughly an hour and a half away.
  • That means that after the movie finally ended around 3:30 a.m., I still had to drive back to Bluefield.
  • Pretty much pulled an all-nighter for this thing.
  • I remember being relieved when the One Ring finally fell into the lava, thinking it was almost over.
  • Ha! How wrong I was!
  • This movie has roughly three separate endings.
  • Just when you think it’s over… wait, here’s another 20 minutes for you!
  • Thankfully, this was pre-Marvel Cinematic Universe, so no one had to sit through the credits.
  • Seriously, though… If you’ve never been exposed to this franchise, it’s worth sitting through The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
  • You can skip The Hobbit trilogy that came out years later. Watch the animated Hobbit from the late 70s that does a better job of telling the story in about a third of the time.

Next week, we’ll explore a more recent movie that’s a lot more grounded in reality: The Big Short.

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One thought on “My Favorite Movies #59 – The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

  1. This was such an amazing job. Peter Jackson and the entire crew (in front and behind the scenes) pulled off an incredible task.

    For me it was about as close to perfection of any series I have ever seen. The story was so tight and so well done. Every scene mattered. Just loved it.

    Well done on this and yes, I agree with your comments on The Hobbit.

    Liked by 1 person

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