Monday, December 26, 2022

a comprehensive review of the filmic LOTR trilogy

This guy in the video below claims not to have read the Tolkien books, so his remarks are confined almost entirely to the Peter Jackson movies (with a brief, teasing look at the Ralph Bakshi adaptation at the very beginning), but I like his overall analysis, especially because—and this is what got me firmly on his side—he thinks the extended editions of Jackson's movie are not as good at the theatrical releases. Ay-fuckin'-men to that. Honestly, I thought "The Fellowship of the Ring" benefited the most from the extended scenes because we get things like Galadriel's offering of a lock of her hair to Gimli—backstory that struck me as a significant carryover from the books, not to mention an important precursor to the evolution of Gimli's attitude toward elves in general. But by the time we reach "The Return of the King," poor Gimli doesn't seem to be more than comic relief in the scene where Aragorn tries to persuade the King of the Dead to lead his army of Oathbreakers into battle. The narrator's criticism of the extended edition boils down to: the new scenes interrupt the pacing. I think so, too. In "Fellowship," many of the new scenes added depth to the overall backstory, but I didn't get that feeling from the extended versions of "The Two Towers" or "The Return of the King." Charitably, though, it might be good to remember that an extended version is not necessarily the same thing as a director's cut. Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner" benefited greatly from having a director's cut, I thought. Maybe if Jackson were to go back and release a more streamlined director's cut of his own, and not merely an extended version, I might be more interested.

While I agree with most of this guy's analysis, I did squirm around a bit every time he made a "cracker" joke (the narrator isn't white). I'm guessing he did it for humor's sake, and I'm a tolerant guy, so whatever, but some his racial remarks felt a bit unnecessary (e.g., equating farmers to "dirty-footed crackers"—funny, but a bit harsh, and definitely something a city boy would say). Also: even though he claims not to have read the books, he does take a moment to quote from Tolkien at one point (partial description of the Balrog, I think).

Despite these bad points, I like this review overall and deem it a worthy post-Christmas watch.

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