Monday, January 9, 2012

Movie of the Week – The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

This week’s movie is The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003).

The adventure film is the last in the trilogy. It finds Frodo and Sam on the edge of Mordor, while Aragorn and Gandalf must unite their ranks, including Rohan to aid Gondor and save it from the armies of Mordor. Like the previous two films, this is directed, produced and co-written by Peter Jackson (and he won Oscars for each of those roles). Composer Howard Shore (who won an Oscar), cinematographer Andrew Lesnie and production designer Grant Major (who won an Oscar) all return as well. As do all the cast members (more or less). New to the cast is John Noble (though he is briefly in the extended edition of The Two Towers), brilliantly playing the Steward of Gondor. The film is four hours and twenty-three minutes long, and yet it is compelling throughout. Jackson does a great job managing the multiple character narratives, but maybe the highlight of the film is the battle for Gondor. Like the other two films, this is an absolute must-see for fans of adventure fantasies. It is one of the best. While the first two films were nominated for Oscars winning a few, The Return of the King was nominated for eleven and won eleven, including Best Picture, in 2004 (a record). Check out the trailer.

The Extended Edition is available on Blu-ray (the whole trilogy), DVD and Streaming

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