Saturday, 19 September 2015

Film Review: The Return of the King, Part 1

All set the for the final film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy? I am. I'm not actually sure how long this is going to be. I'm aiming for six parts, like all the others, but it may wind up being a little bit longer; it's a very long film.

In this part we catch up with all the remaining members of the Fellowship, some of whom are reunited. Things seem to be going quite well for Merry, Pippin, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli and Gandalf. Things do not go so well for Saruman and Wormtongue. And things are on a definite downhill slant for Frodo, Sam and Gollum.

1. Final film in the trilogy. I still remember all the feelings sitting in the cinema watching this opening. Well, not this exact opening since I'm watching the Extended Edition, and obviously I saw the theatrical version.

2. Actually the Sméagol and Déagol bit was in the theatrical version, wasn't it? Was it?

3. I really need to rewatch the theatrical versions some time.

4. I like that we get to see Andy Serkis out of his inksuit costume.

5. I always think the perspective looks slightly off when that fish is pulling him along.

6. How different would this story have been if Déagol kept the Ring instead of Sméagol?

7. If Déagol hadn't hooked that fish, he never would've found the Ring and the pair of them would've just had a happy day fishing instead of everything that happened afterwards.

8. I like the way there's a sort of pulse in the background of this scene. It's really oppressive and stressful.

9. I imagine anyone who stumbled into the cinema not having seen the first two films would be wondering what the hell they'd walked in to!

10. Oh and I love how they do the transformation from Sméagol into Gollum.

11. Does kind of look like his face is melting though.

12. It's cool how that flashback is then sort of carried on with the way Frodo is looking at Sam and the Ring. They could almost have had big flashing words on the screen saying 'LOOKIT! IT'S THE SAME THING!"

13. Everything is very grey. And oh look, rumbly ground. This is not a pleasure trip.

14. I love that Sam is carefully conserving food so they'll have stuff for the way home. I'm not sure if he's really optimistic and just can't see the bad or just genuinely wants to be prepared for everything. I love Sam.

15. And now we get to see Théoden, Gandalf, Aragorn and the gang. They're wandering through a forest that wasn't there before.

16. Oh, and this film is called The Return of the King, just in case you weren't sure.

17. Yay! Merry and Pippin!

18. I love Billy Boyd's interview about this scene and how they did loads of different takes with them drunk, stoned, really drunk, etc.

19. Aww, half the Fellowship have been reunited.

20. Of course, at the end of the day, it all boils down to food.

21. I can't help but notice how Théoden's horse has to answer the call of nature as they all walk towards the tower of Isengard.

22. Weird fact: Word puts a squiggly red line under Theoden, but doesn't put one under Théoden.

23. No one could have done the Voice of Saruman bit as well as Christopher Lee. He's also the voice I hear in my head when I read Death in Terry Pratchett's Discworld books.

24. Gandalf is kind of the Samwise Gamgee of the Istari. He's so optimistic that he can bring Saruman back to the good side. It's too late, mate.

25. And Saruman's got a big shiny marble. Everyone's shocked by this revelation.

26. Saruman does have a fair point. Frodo has kind of been sent to his doom, especially as no one actually told him how to get into Mordor.

27. Gandalf's just like, 'oh fire, please, I did battle with a Balrog, man.'

28. He's kind of casual the way he says 'Saruman, your staff is broken'. It's not like a spell, it's just like it's something he's noticed. Gandalf has serious power!

29. Yeah, I'm not sure I'd want Gríma back. That's why I'm not King of Rohan.

30. I am kind of disappointed that we didn't get The Scouring of the Shire and I can see why Sir Christopher Lee was pissed about his death scene, but this film is neverending enough already. Cinematically it works.

31. Moment of appreciation for the fact Christopher Lee's character has been killed with a stake through his heart.

32. Oh and he's lost his marble.

33. 'S okay, Pippin's picked it up.

34. Ooh yay! Rohan music. And Éowyn's waiting.

35. I would totally live in Rohan. If I couldn't live in Bree. Actually, I think Dale would be quite nice (post-dragon eviction).

36. Théoden totally ships Aragorn and Éowyn.

37. "It's the Dwarves that go swimming with little hairy women!" O.o

38. This scene makes me wonder just how much wine the Elves in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug must have drunk to knock them out. Unless Dorwinnion wine is a lot stronger than Rohirrim ale.

39. Woo hoo! Hobbit drinking song. I'm so sad, I can't help singing along with them.

40. Aragorn is so confident that Frodo is still alive and making his way to Mordor. Gandalf isn't so sure at first, but Aragorn bolsters his spirits.

41. Bit of contrast to go from happy celebrations in Rohan to another Gollum/Sméagol conversation.

42. I like how they used the same formula from The Two Towers, but then did it with Sméagol having a conversation with his Gollum reflection. Didn't they have a bit like that in the first Hobbit film?

43. Have to add that right now my rat, Yoda, is really interested in the TV. Apparently he likes Gollum... or Sméagol. It must be the voice.

44. Uh oh, turns out Sam's heard the conversation.

45. Unfortunately Frodo's on Sméagol's side.

46. I also think that perhaps shouting the way they are isn't the best course of action when they're in enemy territory.

47. Ooh, Gollum's so evil. Poor Sam.

Check back next week when things get dramatic in Rohan. Fool of a Took!

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