Lord of the
Rings, The: Return of the King, The (Widescreen)
Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Orlando
Bloom, John Noble, Billy Boyd, Miranda Otto, Liv Tyler, William
Monaghan, Bernard Hill, Karl Urban, et al.
New Line Home Entertainment
Date: May 25, 2004
Review posted: May 24, 2004
battle for Middle-Earth has begun. As Frodo and Sam approach Mount
Doom, Aragorn and the others must fend off the hordes of Sauron.
ended, Saruman has been vanquished and Helms Deep has survived.
Frodo and Sam, led by the twisted creature Gollum, are quickly
closing in on Mordor. However, Sauron doesnít take defeat lightly
and sets his sights on the destruction of Minas Tirith, the
capital city of Gondor. Will Aragon and Rohan arrive in time to
aid Gandalf in the protection of the city? Will Frodo and Sam make
it to Mount Doom, or will they be snared in Gollumís trap? After
a point, I didnít really care.
As much as I have
enjoyed The Lord of the Rings films, this is the least of the three. By this point, weíve seen everything that Jackson has to offer us.
Weíve seen the hordes of CG monsters attacking giant stone cities. Weíve seen Gollum, who actually looks a little less convincing at
times in this film than he did in the previous one. Weíve seen it
all. This film offers us nothing that we havenít seen in the previous
films. Visually, this film is, I would say, a failure. I was never
wowed like I was in the other films. The eye candy just doesnít
have the flavor it once had.
is a full film. The story is beautifully told and the actors continue
to deliver powerful performances. While Viggo Mortensen and his
allies are good, the true stars of this film are Elijah Wood and Sean
Austen. The Frodo and Sam journey is the core of the story and filled
with the most drama. Sean Austen proves to the audience why Sam is
the true hero of these films. Samís bravery and heart are the
only things that keep Frodo going to fulfill his quest.
The filmís biggest
flaw lies in its length. The film truly goes on for far too long. Weíve seen the CG creatures fighting against CG soldiers. We really
donít need the excessively long battle scenes this time around.
Granted, the film is an epic and these are wars that will be
remembered forever, but we donít
to spend as much time on them as the filmmakers do. Does anyone
remember the film A.I. and the complaints about its ending?
Jackson does the same thing here. The ending lasts an eternity and is
filled with things that we honestly donít need to see. I
understand the emotional reasoning for it, but it is still excessive.
Return of the King is a
well crafted film. I like it, but I donít believe it is the best of
the series. Itís not an unsatisfying conclusion, just one that could
have used a little tightening.
The transfer is
beautiful, just like the films before it. The colors are vivid and
the black levels are consistent. The effects transfer, however, is
not so good. Many of the computer effects look like computer
effects and never blend in to the film. This can be distracting at
The film is
presented in Dolby Digital EX 5.1 Surround, and Stereo Surround.
Both mixes are great and use the surround to its fullest.
Fulfilled: A Directorís Vision; A Filmmakerís Journey: Making of
Return of the King; lordoftherings.net featurettes (Aragonís
Destiny, Minas Tirith: Capital of Gondor, Battle of Pelennor
Fields, Samwise the Brave, Eowyn: White Lady of Rohan, Digital
All of these
featurettes are just like the ones on the previous discs. They have
recycled interviews and, by this point, give little to no information.
These documentaries are good for those who havenít seen any of the
previous documentaries, but a waste for everyone else.
Special: Return of the King:
This special takes a look at the Lord of the Rings characters and
compares them to famous historical figures. Itís interesting for a
while, but it never seems to go anywhere.
A look at EA Gamesí
Lord of the Rings games: Gamer fans of
Lord of the Rings will be pleased to get a chance to see
the action platform Return of the King as well as the RTS
Battle for Middle Earth.
Lord of the Rings
A poorly edited 6-minute trailer for all three films in one.
Trailers and TV
The usual trailer bits.
A good film, not
a great one. A must for those who love the series. Itís a shame the
extras on this disc arenít worth your time.
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