Tuesday, December 23, 2003

The Return of Brian

I'm back, and it's good to be here.

Before I start rambling, a brief explanation. I've been slammed lately - the holidays, work, general life, flu recovery, and to top it all off, THE MAN told us at work last week that they were starting to monitor our Internet usage. Now, I'll be the first to admit that mine was probably a bit excessive, so I've decided to back off the work internet usage. Unfortunately, I had no internet access at home for several days, due to my fear of messing with the magic modem.

But now I've returned, much like a certain movie franchise, which ends this month. Many people call it THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER MADE. I thought it was very good, but not worth the pages of hyperbole that people want to crown this movie with. I speak, of course, of The Return of the King.

I saw the movie opening night - not the midnight showing, so the people in the theater were mainly second-tier geeks - they want to see the film opening night, but aren't down with the costumes. Although there were two elves in attendance.

Here's what I liked about the film: the battle sequences (with living people) were nothing short of spectacular. My one complaint here is that it was so widespread that I felt it didn't have quite the impact that Helm's Deep had in The Two Towers, but those elephants were awfully nifty.

I also really liked Ian McKellan as Gandalf. He really nailed the part in this one, and I couldn't be happier with his performance. Will he win an Oscar? Probably not? Will he be nominated even? Probably not, but he was Gandalf in all his world-saving ass-kicking glory.

However, every silver lining has its cloud - and for me, this movie had a few problems that kept it from being great. One, it was too damn long. I realize this couldn't be helped, but when you tack on 20 minutes of trailers, this film is a bladder-bursting four hours long. That's a long time to sit and watch anything. Heck, I even take a break when watching four-hour porn films at home. It's just too much. (I'm kidding; I don't watch four-hour porn films at home. Really. Seriously. No- honest! I don't!)

The movie also suffered from not having the Scouring of the Shire at the end. Now this is a curious complaint, considering I just bitched about the length, but there was nothing there showing how the characters changed over the course of their journey. This just kills Merry and Pippin's character arcs.

But overall, these are minor problems for me. It was still a very entertaining movie, and Peter Jackson deserves all the praise he gets for this film.

One question though: what was up with the hobbits frolicking in the bed at the end of the movie? Was I the only one who found this scene a little awkward?

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