Sophia – We watch this series in its entirety a couple of times every year. Especially when our society is in the throes of something particularly insipid (*AHEM*twilight*), we take solace in the awesomeness that is LOtR. The word epic gets thrown around a lot, but according to Oxford Dictionary online, one of the definitions of epic is, “a long film, book or other work portraying heroic deeds and adventures or covering an extended period of time.” Now, we all know that the internets cannot lie. So, this is a true Epic Adventure story. This is one of the few series that we watch, in it’s entirety, every single year. We can quote massive portions of it and often yell, to the chagrin of whatever company we might be keeping, “Yeah! Why can’t we have some MEAT?!”
Peter Jackson’s attention to detail is pretty staggering, and if we were all die-hard fans I might regale you with stories of the artisans hired to make so much chain mail that they wore their own fingerprints off, or how Aragorn actually broke his toe when he kicked the uruk hai helmet when they were filming the scene where they were chasing after Merry and Pippen….but I won’t do that. Instead, I’ll tell you that from the impeccable casting to the intricate costumes to the breathtaking soundtrack, this movie is worth watching, in it’s extended form, on a regular basis.
- Sam carrying Frodo up Mount Doom. I weep every.single.time.
- Merry and Pippen’s feast at Isengard. I love how they can find joy and laughter even as war and destruction threaten their home.
- Boromir. He’s deeply flawed, but so desperately wishes to do what’s right that he’s willing to pay the ultimate price to redeem himself. Tell me that doesn’t hit close to home with any of you.
- The uruk hai being born. Reminds me of Arabella in the mornings.
Arabella – Let’s just start out by saying that this series is so completely awesome that not even Hiddles could make it better. This is, flat out, hands down, my absolute favourite series of movies in the whole entire history of ever. I’m going to attempt to keep my comments brief and more of an overview but we may need to break these reviews down to a movie-by-movie situation! Mainly because there are so many amazing things to talk about.
I want to start out by stating unequivocally that I am a fan of the extended editions. The more I can get of this movie, the happier I am! I’m secretly planning on breaking into Jackson’s house and making off with the entirety of the footage from the 15+ months they spent shooting. I don’t care if it’s an accidental shot of a bug crawling up the side of Gandalf’s head, I want to SEE it! I think that, when it boils down to it, I really love these movies so much because of 3 main things (and a zillion less main things). #1 – The language that is used. Not bad language, just to be clear. They don’t use any of that. But the high British terminology and poetic, descriptive language that they use. This works well when they’re talking to each other about problems (danger and sunrise sound so much cooler when you say “A red sun rises…blood has been spilled this night” than if you just uncouthly blurted out “The sun is red, y’allses! We is gonna DIE!”) and when they’re reflecting on the nature of humanity (“Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.” Yeah they can! You go, Frodo!). It also definitely helps create a world different from the one we live in today, devoid of yolos and inscrutable text speak, and rich with the sounds of the medieval. This is exactly why I have basically memorized all 12 hours of this movie and refuse to watch it without quoting along to the delicious descriptions. I swoon…#2 – The loyalty, heroism, and sacrifice. This is cheating, I know…it’s three things in one. But they’re all related so I lump them together! This reason is why I love Faramir so so so so MUCH!! He is deeply loyal to his family and city, to the point that he will ride off straight into the jaws of death at the insane whim of his father. That is impressively loyal! That and he really wants to win his father’s love. But who doesn’t? And don’t even get me started on Samwise! I mean, sacrifice, loyalty, and heroism all lumped into one precious character! Incredible.(Speaking of Samwise; there’s no time to address it here as I can already hear Sophia’s disapproving ‘tut’s at my verboseness but the Samwise/Frodo relationship is a wonderful picture of deep, masculine love completely devoid of sexual love that society today seems to think cannot exist. For further discussion, message me or leave a comment!) #3 – The detail that Jackson puts into the creation of this world is one of the clinchers for me. You have characters who walk through a set once and you can’t see anything clearly but you know Jackson had 3 master craftsmen chiseling Celtic scroll-work into the faux stone walls for 6 days before they shot that scene and it gives marvelous depth and believably not just to that scene, but to the entire Middle Earth we saw on screen. It is every inch the world that Tolkien describes in the book…that’s probably why he went over budget so much…whoops!! AND, not that you’re asking but I’ll say it anyway, this is one of the biggest beefs I have with the Hobbit movies. There’s no depth and detail to the world. They are overly-stuffed cheap video game knock off versions of the much better LOTR movies. But that’s another blog post!
So, in conclusion, please do yourself a favour and acquaint yourself with the world of Frodo and Gandalf and the one ring and the ultimate struggle between good and evil…there’s just so much to love…especially Faramir…
Favorite Line: There really are so many it’s virtually impossible to choose. But “War will make corpses of us all.” sticks in my mind every time I hear it. This line brilliantly encapsulates the toll that war takes on everyone, whether they survive the fighting or not.
Obscenities – virtually none. Definitely some name-calling, but if I were facing an army of evil, I’d probably do some name-calling.
Sex – There’s some smooching, as there should be in any epic save-the-earth story.
Audience – For the sake of the scary factor, I’d say this might not be awesome for little kids, but I’ve read the Hobbit to pretty small children, so this is definitely a did-by-did basis choice. There are bad guys, and they can be pretty scary. And there are serious consequences for those who chose evil. They can elicit some great conversations, but maybe also some nightmares.