I finally made it to see Return of the King over the weekend. It is an amazing film which makes one question paying the same price to see a lesser movie. The acting was superb, and the battle scenes were breathtaking.
All in all, I had only a few qualms. First, [SPOILER WARNING] I think that Jackson should have included the scourging of the Shire. The fact that even the Shire felt the effects of the war is an important point for Tolkien, but Jackson leaves it out, probably due to time constraints. Second, there were a few points where the emotionalism in the film got a little too sappy for me. For example, when Gandalf asks Aragorn whether or not he thinks Frodo is still alive, Aragorn replies, “What does your heart tell you?”
Aside from these small points of contention, this film raises the bar for all other movies in almost every category. Lucas’ Jar-Jar Binks has nothing on Gollum’s human-based CGI. In fact, if Andy Serkis (Gollum) doesn’t win an Academy Award®, the Academy that gave best picture to Shakespeare In Love over Saving Private Ryan will only prove itself irrelevant. Go see it.
9 out of 10