The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) Review

Here it is. This is the definitive “Lord of the Rings” as cinema has decided to depict it. No, it still isn’t faithful to the books but we’ve established this. Taken on its own or with respect to the first two parts, “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is probably the most consistently entertaining picture that spans a length of 200 or so minutes that you are ever likely to see. You know how I said “The Two Towers” was better than “Fellowship of the Ring“? Well this one dwarfs both of them.

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The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) Review

Having read Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” I knew that the Hobbits would be separate from the slightly taller members of the Fellowship for the whole film. Also, knowing a lot less of this film would be spent travelling I was confident that the Hobbits would get some of their own screen time as the unlikely heroes in a world filled with treachery. Sadly I was wrong — The Hobbits are almost nowhere to be seen for a majority of the adventure. I can’t pretend I’m not upset that they have been pushed aside like the little folk they are, but in what has been provided to replace them is certainly interesting and better in almost every way than “The Fellowship of the Ring”.

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The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) Review

“I feel thin. Sort of stretched… like butter scraped over too much bread.” — Bilbo Baggins

Bilbo Baggin’s seems to be speaking on behalf of “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” with this line. The first of the blockbuster epic franchise, and what was surely the hardest of the books to film. In Tolkien’s “The Fellowship of the Ring” the most distance is covered by the Fellowship and Frodo goes to many different locals that are each fully fleshed out and serve to establish the expansive world of Middle Earth. In this adaption of the 1954 novel, the Hobbits and their allies in the Fellowship go to far less places, and spend far less time in each. The film can’ t accommodate for the grand scope of the novels, even with the concessions made by Peter Jackson. Each location mainly serves to create some sort of action set piece that is usually very impressive, and the feeling of the start of an epic adventure is what makes the first part of Tolkien’s film trilogy truly worth your time.

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Armageddon (1998) Review

“Time to Kick Some Asteroid” — what a tagline eh? And Good luck to them. I would have thought that if you flew up into space and actually tried to kick an asteroid, you’d probably break your toes (depending on how much effort you put into it). What would be the point of kicking an asteroid anyway? Are you just trying to vent your frustration at the prospect of it destroying your planet? Maybe somebody disliked the unnatural look of the big hunk of rock, or perhaps the birds of the world will rise up to defend their Jurassic ancestors. That’s right, birds still feel the burn of their closest relatives. In “Armageddon”, it wouldn’t matter if the… “astronauts” were sent up to simply kick an asteroid, Michael Bay would still find a way for them to save the planet with a good old punt. Such is the way of it with “Armageddon”, realism itself is booted out the window faster than you can say “Shia Labouef” and it will infuriate some to no end, but it does help to create a mildly entertaining movie that unfortunately overstays its admittedly muted welcome.

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