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A Return Of The King Review

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the new-meaning-for-spoiler dept.


puppetman writes "Electronic Arts here in Vancouver recently did a great thing for their employees: they rented four or five theatres in a local complex, and treated their employees and guests to an advance screening of The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. I'm fortunate in that I have a friend who works for EA, and whose girlfriend couldn't make it to the screening." Read on for puppetman's impression of the film; beware of spoilers.

I must have read the trilogy three or four times since I was first introduced to it via The Hobbit back in grade-school. I am not a purist, but some of the changes Peter Jackson has made along the way weren't to my liking. For example, I didn't like the deviation in Faramir's character during the Two Towers, despite Peter Jackson's claim that he needed to create additional tension and discord beyond what Tolkien included.

The Return of the King has same flaws, but overall I thought it was a more engaging movie than the previous ones. Beware, there are a few spoilers ahead; obviously, most of the Slashdot crowd knows the story in the books, but what will follow should be considered a spoiler, as I am describing Jackson's adaptation of the book.

The movie opens at what I thought to be a strange spot - Smeagol's killing his friend for the Ring; why not put this in the first movie? I think this may have been foreshadowing one of the more prominent departures from the book: Jackson decided to increase the tension between Sam and Frodo over the Ring, with Golem playing on Frodo's Ring-induced distrust. This tension did exist in the book, but Jackson makes it more overt. Personally, I thought it was a little over the top.

Obviously, the book is too large to be made into even a three-hour movie, but I found that one large part is missing that I hoped would be covered: the Battle of Bywater. In the book, when Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin arrive back at the Shire, they discover that Saruman and his thugs have enslaved the Hobbits. I have hope that this may be added into an Extended-Edition (probably due out this time next year).

A good chunk of this movie is spent on the moments leading up to the battle, the battle itself, and the immediate aftermath. As a result, I noticed that there were a lot of speeches of the sabre-rattling kind made by principal characters that I'm sure weren't there in the book -- a kind of Holywood-ization in the Gladiator spirit. It probably makes the movie more interesting to people who haven't and won't read the book.

The humor that could be found in The Two Towers (specifically, Gimli) carries over into The Return of the King. I didn't mind the humor, though I know it's an addition that Jackson made.

Along the way, I noticed other small deviations, but I'll leave those for Tolkien fans to argue over.

Enough complaints; there were a lot of great scenes, and many of the plot lines were handled deftly by Jackson.

Shelob getting Frodo, and Sam taking him for dead, is done particularily well. Jackson didn't change much at all here, and the effects are great.

From the book, I remember a strong impression of bleakness as Sam and Frodo take the final stage of their journey to Mount Doom -- Jackson got that dead-on. Jackson does an excellent job showing the toll that the Ring is taking on Frodo.

The battle outside the walls of Minas Tirith puts the battle of Helm's Deep to shame. The high walls of the city built into the cliff, with a huge army of orcs outside the walls, have to be seen to be believed. I don't actually remember any in-depth description of the battle outside Gondor (in fact, I don't remember any great battle depictions from any of the books -- bad memory?), but Jackson does a great job of providing one. The trebuchets are particularily engaging.

Overall, I would have to say that this was my favorite of the three movies. The movie was a little more grim, a little darker, and showed some of the violence and fighting in a more disturbing fashion. I am hoping that some of what I perceived as shortcomings will be fixed in the Extended Edition (the Two Towers's Extended Edition was a much better movie that the theatre version). I can't wait to see it again.

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PENIS!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713715)

penis! yay, penis!!!

PUSSY!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713935)

Yeah, pussy! Not that I had one today (it's 3:44 in Germany now, btw).

But pussy anyway. At least I got drunk and can't sleep now.

Stupid cocksuckers.

Questionable MO (5, Funny)

Zork the Almighty (599344) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713717)

"...and whose girlfriend couldn't make it to the screening."

Because you hit her with a cinderblock ?

Re:Questionable MO (1)

The_Hooleyman (724719) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713848)

"...hit her with a cinderblock"

Fair game.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank my EA buddy who got me in. He got me and a friend (we're from a competing company) tickets and shared the LOTR love.

Re:Questionable MO (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713926)

That's one of the gayer things I've read on Slashdot today.

'Girlfriend'? (0, Offtopic)

achaudhary (461062) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713722)

Yes, he works for EA and is going to attend an advance LOTR:ROTK screening. Yes, the 'girlfriend' couldn't 'make it' :)

Re:'Girlfriend'? (1)

InfiniteWisdom (530090) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713803)

Don't make snide remaks about his preferences, ok? Its not PC

Re:'Girlfriend'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713881)

PC is T3H Sux0r.

natch! snatch. natch!

Yeah, yeah (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713725)

I'm fortunate in that I have a friend who works for EA, and whose girlfriend couldn't make it to the screening.

The sooner you and your "friend" face up to the reality of your relationship, the happier you'll both be. Vancouver is a very progressive city; it's not as if you two will have to fear for your lives when you hold hands in public.

As for the rest of your friends, the real ones will accept you as you are.

Re:Yeah, yeah (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713832)

What are you implying?
That puppetman is gay?

Re:Yeah, yeah (1)

hxnwix (652290) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713923)

best ac post ever

Advanced Screening? (4, Interesting)

Dashing Leech (688077) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713726)

How did EA get ahold of an advanced screening? Can any company get one?

Re:Advanced Screening? (5, Insightful)

Feanturi (99866) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713764)

Erm, well there are currently a couple of popular LotR video game titles EA Games has published under Jackson's license, and one or two others in production. I think that would be the key to getting this kind of preview. So go write some games, or no movie for you!

Re:Advanced Screening? (3, Interesting)

pilot1 (610480) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713773)

Not, not just anyone can get an advanced screening. New Line gave EA a screening copy because they have the rights to the LotR video games.

Re:Advanced Screening? YES! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713822)

Yes, its all about money and exposure.
I got to see it this wednesday as part of a promotion for the movie.
security was really tight,, metal detectors and two layers of ticket checkers.
A friend of mine was able to see it last wednesday and around the country there have been some special showings to "outsiders" for about 3 weeks.

Re:Advanced Screening? (4, Funny)

cubicledrone (681598) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713919)

Well, let's see. When you have obscene amounts of cash...

god dammit (4, Funny)

Jediman1138 (680354) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713728)

i cant read the spoilers for me....i havent read the, hell...Dec 17th will bring the answers for us commonfolk

Who gives a shit? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713763)

I never understand all of the dumb Lord of the Rings-related articles on this site. I think the movies are stupid. Start posting reviews for the next action thriller instead.

Re:Who gives a shit? (2, Interesting)

a55mnky (602203) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713918)

It amazes me that a slashdot reader cannot appreciate the LOTR for what it is - probably the greatest fantasy saga ever written. JRRT was a linguist - he took a language he created from scratch (elvish) and created an entire world around it - a fully original, fleshed out, maybe a bit too much by his son, but brilliant nonetheless, and has inspired several generations. I am currently reading 'the Hobbit' to my 4.5 year old daughter and she is enthralled, in fact she begs to read it nightly. She can't wait to move on to the next story and we have not even finished this one yet.

So in a nutshell - who gives a shit? - many fans including my kid, who is obviously somewhat more thoughtful and intelligent that your lame anonomous self.

Instead, at your request we can see the latest sequel of the Matrix.

Re:god dammit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713807)

.. or Dec 16th for us commonfolk who waited in lines for wristbands to see 12 straight hours of LotR ..

Re:god dammit (1)

Jediman1138 (680354) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713890)

that'd be swell if i had money...i'm unemployed and 15...parents wouldnt dare take do math

Re:god dammit (5, Funny)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713893)

You've never read LotR? That's it, hand in your geek identification card, turn in your slashdot account and go on over to Fark.

Go now, and no making sad puppy dog faces.

Re:god dammit (1)

Jediman1138 (680354) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713917)

Hey, If it's any consolation I own and have read The Hobbit..Sure, its more geared towards kids, but its a great book, nonetheless...LOTR pwns!

I cant wait! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713729)

I didn't read the review because I dont want any spoilers (i havent read the books)

I cant wait for wednesday

I've been listening to the soundtrack nonstop

You went instead of his *girlfriend* ??? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713730)

The inevitable question: what did he expect in return?

Me = not seeing ROTK. Fuck Vigo Mortenson and his America-hating ass [1]. Fuck the Gay cock-sucking Gandalf actor. And fuck making stupid dumb-ass movies that cut the story to shreds.

[1] Did you see Vigo on Charlie Rose this spring? What an asshole!

Did you see Noam Chomsky on Charlie Rose? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713746)

No, probably not becuase if you did you would have popped a blood vessel in your brain and died.

Vigo was quite mild compared to Chomsky.

Re:Did you see Noam Chomsky on Charlie Rose? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713942)

Yeah, I saw it. Even Charlie couldn't put up with his shit.

He said: "Professor Chomsky, what is it you *like* about America?" and "The things that most people think are great about America are exactly the things you think are wrong."

Lenin had a word for people like Chomsky: Useful Idiots.

Re:You went instead of his *girlfriend* ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713852)

There are 3 well known gay actors in the Rings series. All three of them are knights too :)

Of course, I understand your worries about how your rampant hetrosexuality might be suddenly changed upon viewing a film which featured gay actors....

As for America hating, dear god wake up and smell the coffee. You guys are not popular people in the rest of the world. You've invaded and bombed two countries, yet haven't caught the people responsible for 9/11, and despite all the grandstanding over WoMD North korea appears to still have their nuclear weapons.

good to see that Haliburton has already started on "profiting from the peace".

How many American soldiers dead since the "war" in Iraq was one? You'll notice that Bush hasn't had time in his busy schedule to visit the funerals, unlike Clinton.

What not to do... (5, Funny)

Gogl (125883) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713731)

...on opening night... []

Seriously, anybody who's been to any of the 12:01am showings for movies like LotR or Star Wars knows what I'm talking about. You'll get hordes of people dressed up like Gandalf (albeit some morbidly obese variant of him) trying to hit you with a broom handle that they insist on calling a quarterstaff.

On a side note, what sort of self-respecting /.er would be wary of spoilers regarding LotR?

Re:What not to do... (1)

puppetman (131489) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713739)

I didn't see one freak... well, I mean dressed in costume. 98% of the people were software developers/artists, so there were some unusual dudes.

Re:What not to do... (1)

Ark42 (522144) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713796)

12:01? Try 1:00, 5:40, and 10:00 on the 16th. Every self-respecting /.er should have at least tried to get tickets for the all-damn-day trilogy tuesday.

Sigh,,, (5, Funny)

subtillus (568832) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713826)

I have two exams on the 17th day and seeing as how I flunked the midterms for both classes, I won't be given a B.Sc in May if I go.

That being said I have tickets for 12:01.

Who cares if you flunk a couple in the long run anyways?

How to make a LOTR nerd's head explode (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713812)

... make a comment about one of the changes from the book, and how much you thought it improved the movie.

Seriously, this happened to me during TTT. Well, the guy's head didn't explode, but I had to listen to him rant loudly for about three days. (And I had to live with him.)

ya sure thats what they all say... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713733)

His girlfriend couldn't make it...ya sure that's what they all say....

Familiar phrase... (1)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713740)

This, and many other reviews are referring to RotK as the best of the three films. Yeow, that's high praise all by itself.

Can I assume that the battle at the Black Gate is left out, and that portion tightened up into the siege of Minas Tirith? I could see how that could make for another couple hours easily...

Re:Familiar phrase... (2, Informative)

jbotts (689003) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713768)

Judging from the back cover of the soundtrack, the Black Gate will be in the movie, at least.

Re:Familiar phrase... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713884)

I believe the Battle at the black gate is being replaced with the huge battle at Minas Tirith. They show the fields of Pelennor as being a major battle as well. In the book (I believe) the Pelennor fields battle was in the fields as well as the siege at Minas Tirith. Then the final battle which wasn't much detail was held at the Black Gate itself.

I think he's going to try and shift some of the darkness to greener pastures only to make the peril more dramatic at the white city itself.

A good review (1)

nordaim (162919) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713742)

from a fan standpoint. Just enough to let us know that we won't be missing much.

My only question: I read recently that there were a number of "endings" to the film, showing the fates of various characters? Is this true? Or is this going to be more for the extended edition DVD release next year, with the article I read serving as a spoiler to this?

Re:A good review (3, Informative)

Hawkxor (693408) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713774)

I assume you're referring to this AP article: AP: Final 'Rings' Has Many Endings Thu Dec 11, 2:56 PM ET By DAVID GERMAIN, AP Movie Writer With "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," Peter Jackson (news) delivers a decent ending to his fantasy trilogy -- actually, about 12 endings. Unable to settle on a finale among the many farewells and epilogues in J.R.R. Tolkien's text, director Jackson decided to use them all. The result is an endless parade of false endings that will give you a great lower back workout as you rise from your theater seat thinking things are finally over, then settle back in for the next prolonged addendum. This is the main flaw to an otherwise rousing, action-packed closing chapter that began with 2001's "The Fellowship of the Ring" and continued with last year's "The Two Towers." The nine-hour theatrical epic (more like 11 hours once the extended home-video version of all three flicks are out) winds up petering out in anticlimactic torpor. Jackson does scale back greatly on the aftermath of the final good-against-evil battle, yet he preserves the main events to keep die-hard Tolkien fans happy. So viewers are treated in some detail to such comparatively passive sequences as the survivors' return home; the ascension of human warrior Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) to the throne and his wedding to Elf hottie Arwen (Liv Tyler); the mystical fate of runty Hobbits Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Bilbo (Ian Holm), woolly wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and Elf top dogs Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) and Elrond (Hugo Weaving); and the domestic bliss of Frodo's Man Friday, Sam (Sean Astin). That baggage makes "Return of the King" the longest of the trilogy by far, clocking in at 3 hours, 20 minutes. There's far too much cool-down time for casual viewers but probably not enough to satisfy the hard-core Tolkien legions. So why not put Blanchett back in voice-over mode, let her narrate a Reader's Digest condensed montage of Jackson's interminable ending, and save the elongated conclusion for the extended home-video cut? The movie opens with a flashback explaining how Smeagol (Andy Serkis) came to possess his "precious," the nasty ring of ultimate evil, and the first dark deeds that began transforming him into wizened computer-crafted fiend Gollum. Then the action picks up where "Two Towers" left off, with Gollum plotting to regain his precious as Frodo and Sam trek toward Mount Doom, where they must destroy the ring to keep dark lord Sauron from enslaving Middle-earth. Meantime, Aragorn, Gandalf and the gang square off against Sauron's plug-ugly minions. If you're looking for bigger and better battles than the first two chapters, "Return of the King" comes through. Jackson and his New Zealand crew, which filmed all three movies simultaneously, pile computer-generated props, sets and creatures as high as a Nazgul's eye to create the colossal combat scenes. Bat-faced orcs ride gargantuan elephants into battle against humans on horseback. The adversaries engage in a very cool catapult duel that brings mountains of broken castle stone down on the warriors. Aragorn and pals Legolas the Elf (Orlando Bloom (news)) and Gimli the Dwarf (John Rhys-Davies (news)) charge into the fray at the head of a ghastly ghost army. Frodo's battle with a giant spider -- an encounter Tolkien placed at the end of "Two Towers" but which Jackson transplants to "Return of the King" -- is one of the creepiest computer-animated sequences ever produced. Like "Two Towers," "Return of the King" is more a bruising action movie than "Fellowship of the Ring," the best of the trilogy on the strength of the intimate interplay among its misfit heroes. Hobbits Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd) again play larger roles, but much of the original fellowship members are relegated to prancing in larger-than-life mode. Secondary characters step up to provide the final film's most intriguing interpersonal drama. Faramir (David Wenham), brother of the slain Boromir (Sean Bean)), vainly struggles to gain the respect of his contemptible father, Denethor (John Noble). (If you have the chance, first watch the extended version of "The Two Towers," which includes an engaging flashback that adds texture to Faramir and Boromir's relationship with dear old dad). While Tyler's Arwen and Blanchett's Galadriel again are mere window-dressing, Miranda Otto's Eowyn soars to provide the most forceful female presence in the entire trilogy and arguably the strongest single moment in "Return of the King." Christopher Lee's evil wizard Saruman unfortunately is absent, though no doubt he'll be back in the extended home-video version. Though the trilogy's done, Tolkien fans still can look forward to that precious longer cut next fall. "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," a New Line release, is rated PG-13 for intense epic battle sequences and frightening images. Running time: 200 minutes. Three stars out of four. Judge for yourself. Note, however, that one ending is absent - the scouring of the shire.

Re:A good review (1)

Hawkxor (693408) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713789)

err..sorry about the lack of line breaks...I did not realize I needed to manually code them.

Re:A good review (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713873)

So they don't literally mean 12 separate endings to the movie, like the three endings that Clue had. Instead this is a criticism that the dramatic form would be better if director restricted the scope to concentrate on just a few characters after the climax.

Well (5, Informative)

Hawkxor (693408) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713748)

Most of you already know this, but: The scouring of the shire scene will not be in the extended edition - Jackson didn't like it and never filmed it...but 10 minutes of other scenes with Saruman and Wormtongue will be back for the DVD.

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713791)

I thought they were getting blended into a short flick with Wesley Crusher, Pieces of Ate?

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713900)

So there will be 10 more minutes of Saruman and Wormtongue on the extended RotK DVD, but it will not have to do with the scouring of the shire??? Then what on earth will Jackson have them be doing --- slapstick comedy?

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Yes, bad memory (5, Informative)

laiquendi (688177) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713751)

in fact, I don't remember any great battle depictions from any of the books -- bad memory?

The ride of the Rohirrim, the chapter covering the beginning of the battle of the Pelennor fields, is an incredible passage; probably my favourite little bit of fiction ever. I suggest you re-read before claiming status as Tolkien fan.

Re:Yes, bad memory (1)

AveryT (148004) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713787)

Bad hearing, too. As well as not remembering how to spell Gollum's name (Golem?), he evidently didn't hear how it was pronounced in the movie either.

Fan = (0, Offtopic)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713837)

Fan is short for fanatic. So when you really think about it, is that something to be proud of?

Re:Yes, bad memory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713928)

It is disturbing that the reviewer doesn't remember battle depictions from the books. The battle scenes, and the speeches by Theoden, Aragorn, Gandalf, Faramir, Eowyn, etc. made up a huge fraction of The Return of the King.

Re:Yes, bad memory (5, Interesting)

TrombaMarina (712932) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713929)

The Battle of Helms Deep was also described in great detail in the Two Towers book. It was a hard chapter to read though and I had to read it with a dictionary and draw a map at the same time; a map which I refined many times while reading. He used many words from Old English that are no longer used, or have changed meaning over the years. H.P. Lovecraft used a similar technique to give an ancient air to his stories: writing in an older, more formal, style. I can't remember all the antiquated words right now, but certainly, "gore" was one which he used to mean, "A small traingular piece of land" and I have never heard anyone else use it to mean that.

Thanks for your review. I can't wait to see the movie!

Re:Yes, bad memory (1)

loucura! (247834) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713957)

It's used frequently in New England, or Maine at least, there are some small counties called whatever Gore and such.

Quick! Lets support the MPAA! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713755)

By running out and buying tickets to The Lord of the Rings. (A chunk of the ticket price goes to the MPAA.)

Then, later on, the readership of /. can go back to damning the MPAA.

Meanwhile the MPAA will keep chuckling at how the money you spent to go to The Lord of the Rings is how they will buy the next opressive set of laws.

Spoilers (4, Funny)

kriox (630423) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713758)

beware of spoilers.

Yeah, right.

I heard there's a book that tells the whole sotry of the three movies... And more!!!

And it's written by a good author, too...


Not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713784)

The books have some of the same names (places, characters, etc.) but they really don't resemble the movies all that much.

Peter Jackson stinks up the joint again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713761)

#include purist.h

As much smoke as PJ blew up our collective asses about how true to the books he was going to be, I am plain pissed at what he did to these books.

Everybody involved ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Spoilers? (5, Funny)

oGMo (379) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713762)

Spoilers? Like what? Gollum is Frodo's father? Sam tying the deflector dish to the warp drive to escape Mordor? OTOH, with what I've heard is being cut, maybe I shouldn't be suprised.

Definite spoiler (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713766)

The movie opens at what I thought to be a strange spot - Smeagol's killing his friend for the Ring

Oh man! That just ruined it for me!

The scouring of the shire (4, Interesting)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713769)

Personally, I always thought this part didn't flow well in the book either. It didn't seem to "fit". The style was different, the main plot was over, it didn't seem to matter. I am glad Jackson chose this section to cut from the movie. It will make a better movie, and IMBO (In My Blasphemous Opinion) would have made a better book too.

Most books are too big to fit in a movie, and these books are bigger than most. By big I mean big with details, plots, characters, etc, not just big in pages. If Jackson had to cut something out without changing the main plotline, Tom Bombadil and the Scouring of the Shire were the best choices.

Re:The scouring of the shire (5, Insightful)

myc (105406) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713843)

no disrespect, but I really liked the last chapters of the book. I always got the feeling that when Tolkien was writing about Great Events he used the more poetic and formal language (i.e., more like Yoda-speak with back-assward syntax); when dealing with Hobbits, he (puposely?) slipped into more "Common" speech. While I agree that the style was different, it think it was done on purpose and with great effect. It FELT like they were coming home when I read it. It also sets up the idea that, although the Shire has been rescued from Saruman, Frodo has sustained too much hurt to remain and departs over the Sea with Bilbo. It's not as bittersweet if he just gets up and leaves coming back from Gondor. Although I can understand why PJ left it out of the movie (even accounting for the fact that he is on record of hating the "Scouring" chapter).

Re:The scouring of the shire (4, Interesting)

rendler (141135) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713863)

I thought it was an outstanding part of the book. It showed just how much each of the characters had changed from their experiences throughout the books. Merry & Pipping showing their courage and valor. Frodo being much the wiser, as shown with the last confrontation with Saruman at the door step of Bag End. And the most significant change of all in Sam, where there being almost none. From start to finish Sam was always Sam, and even at the final he was the still shy, recluse and abated Sam that we knew from the very start of the book. That in my opinion finishes off his character and all the others in a way that couldn't be more complementary.

And I feel the scouring of the Shire was very much needed to show those things.

Just my 2c.

Re:The scouring of the shire (2, Insightful)

bethel (170766) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713905)

I like the last chapter a lot. Most epic have a hard ending well. Author usually brings people to the climax, and drops the reader right after that. The last chapter brings a climax to a sense of closure. It makes you fell like you are indeed reading a excerpt of these people's lives, since life to go on after the main plot...

The Scouring Of The Shire (5, Insightful)

Philmeeh (189317) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713772)

Obviously, the book is too large to be made into even a three-hour movie, but I found that one large part is missing that I hoped would be covered: the Battle of Bywater. In the book, when Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin arrive back at the Shire, they discover that Saruman and his thugs have enslaved the Hobbits. I have hope that this may be added into an Extended-Edition (probably due out this time next year).
It has been known for ages that the Scouring of The Shire would not be in this film as Jackson felt cinematically that it would be too much of an anti-climax. He did include a scene in the Fellowship where Galadriel gave Frodo a glimpse to what the world would be like if Sauron won - you saw the Hobbits (including Sam) being enslaved. The fate of Saruman was dropped from this movie very late on - that will probably be included in the EE, but it will be a departure from what is in the book.

Re:The Scouring Of The Shire (1)

chill (34294) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713907)

I can't remember where, but one site had a claim that not only did Jackson not like the Sharky bits, he didn't even bother to film any of it -- so don't look for it in the EE.

Hopefully, what I read was wrong.

Spoilers? (0, Redundant)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713776)

"beware of spoilers"?!!??!

Aren't the books spoilers enough? C'mon people, it's not like this is the new Star Wars, Star Trek or Matrix movie, these are movies made from books. The stories are already known, the only spoiler would be if Peter Jackson decided to change course and drastic alter the ending of the movie or something ridiculous like that.

Re:Spoilers? (3, Interesting)

Feanturi (99866) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713810)

The stories are already known, the only spoiler would be if Peter Jackson decided to change course and drastic alter the ending of the movie or something ridiculous like that.

Yes, that's exactly what spoilage would be in this case. I was excited while watching the extended edition of the first movie, since I hadn't read up on what missing things were included. It was more fun that way. I clapped a lot as I saw things show up that I felt should have been there to start with. So, yeah, things like the Scouring of the Shire being left out, while not exactly news at this point, is spoily.

Re:Spoilers? (0)

()vnorby() (732447) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713819)

Apparently, Star Wars is a series too...

Battle of Bywater (1)

kriox (630423) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713782)

Obviously, the book is too large to be made into even a three-hour movie, but I found that one large part is missing that I hoped would be covered: the Battle of Bywater. In the book, when Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin arrive back at the Shire, they discover that Saruman and his thugs have enslaved the Hobbits. I have hope that this may be added into an Extended-Edition.

I believe that's exactly the Saruman footage people were complaining had dispaeared from the movie.


Re:Battle of Bywater (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713829)

no...Jackson originally filmed seven minutes of footage showing the ending of the Ents March on Isengard, the "war of words" between Saruman and Wormtongue, and the Hobbits obtaining the Palantir (after Grima threw it out the window).

This is the footage of Saruman that got removed.
The Scourge was NEVER going to be in Jackson's movie(s).

Another ROTK review (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713785)

can be read here [] . The usual disclaimers about spoilers applies (hell, you read this review, another one ain't gonna kill you much).

Title (5, Funny)

bcombee (5301) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713788)

Wasn't this film originally going to be called "Revenge of the King", but they changed the name after some marketing material had already been prepared?

Re:Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713833)

Yes, they were going to rename a 60-70 year old book. Idiot.

Re:Title (2, Informative)

DingoTango (623217) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713849)

He's joking. Remember "Revenge of the Jedi?" Maybe you're too young for that.

Re:Title (5, Funny)

Philmeeh (189317) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713850)

Just had a horrible vision of the future - an ageing Jackson, having failed to get the rights to the Hobbit and having released several new editions of LoTR, including the chronological cut, Directors Birthday Cut, Special Edition and Ultimate Edition, decides to loosely base a prequel trilogy on the Silmarillion.

Starring a squeaky 8 year old boy playing Sauron, the future Evil Lord, and featuring stale dialogue, and including several characters from the original trilogy, and also one of the Lizard People whose favourite line is "Issa Dat A Ring"

Re:Title (2, Funny)

Feanturi (99866) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713859)

It was, but when Jackson decided against having Aragorn get his hand chopped off by Sauron (revealed to be Aragorn's father) in the second movie (threw him over a cliff instead), the 'Revenge' part just didn't fit.

Re:Title (1)

Jesrad (716567) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713872)

I don't think Tolkien had much marketing material done before writing his book.

NOO! (0)

crazysim (669230) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713792)

Please say spoilers first!

The downside... (-1, Troll)

Call Me Black Cloud (616282) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713793)

I'm fortunate in that I have a friend who works for EA, and whose girlfriend couldn't make it to the screening.

Unfortunately, my friend expected me to swallow.

Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week.

I hope they continued the tradition (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713808)

and kept the niggers out.

Niggers have no place in White, Western European Folklore.
One thousand years ago niggers were eating each other in Africoon and
smearing shit in their hair, just exactly like they do now, in Atlanta, and in "da muddafuggaland"..

Let's for once, have something White that's not spoiled by the appearance of sub-human negroid anthropoids.

Thank you. This has been a public service announcement from your local nigger control board.
Have a nice, nigger free day!

A Memo for EA Employees (3, Funny)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713818)

I'm guessing this means that all the EA employees that went to the film will no longer have jobs; this is probably their severance package. :)

Beware of spoilers? (2, Funny)

turg (19864) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713820)

and beware of spoilers.

Spoilers? Are there any slashdot users who haven't read the book? :-)

Re:Beware of spoilers? (1)

gangien (151940) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713862)

I haven't :'(

Re:Beware of spoilers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713925)

You're not missing much, so don't be sad. The books are excessivly long and overdrawn and oh so boring.

Re:Beware of spoilers? (4, Funny)

nhaines (622289) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713914)

Apparently the same ones who don't read the articles. :)

Changes (5, Interesting)

boobox (673856) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713834)

I think changes between any movie made from a book or books, even the beloved Tolkien trilogy, are a necessary evil as part of the media switch. I guess I'm even geek enough to rather have seen Glorfindel instead of Liv Tyler on Frodo's crossing to Rivendell. The problem, time and space notwithstanding, is the style of book, and whether or not that can be adequately expressed. Whether it's Lowry's "Under the Volcano" or Herbert's "Dune," it's difficult to transform words and thoughts into pictures and movement without some loss. As a fan, I'm willing to give the director/creative team a lot of leeway and will suspend my interior cinema of what I think the characters should look like in order to enjoy what's on the screen. So, on with the show.

Wait a minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713844)

Some dude's girlfriend doesn't show up, and is replaced by "puppetman". What seems to be the matter here...

Hobbit battle rage (5, Funny)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713846)

I don't know about anyone else, but I personally would miss the hobbit-battle at the end against the orcs. There's just something cool about little guys getting all ferocious and kicking the ass of bigger, evil types. I can just imagine a line of hobbits lined up with pitchforks and rakes, charging at half a dozen orcs, and the orcs turning to run. Good stuff. :)

I imagine that this end battle is what Lucas shaped his Endor battle after, to a degree - at least in concept. Little 'cute' guys kicking the asses of much bigger, more agressive baddies in a humorous manner.

nit (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713861)

shelob is a her /nitpicking geek mode

The Collection! (1)

dema (103780) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713865)

I can't wait for the Peter Jackson collection.

It will include the LOTR trilogy, and Peter Jackson's greatest film, Bad Taste! []

Hehe (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713871)

Look at me, I'm a slashdot hooker

Faramir (2, Interesting)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713878)

Hopefully Faramir's character is evened out a little as he becomes the more the character from the book in the course of this film.

I do understand Jackson's desire to have some character development for Faramir - I'm just hoping he provides the development that I expect.

I thought many complaints about the change were unjustified until we've seen the other half of that characters development.


Gollum != Golem. (2, Informative)

dbirchall (191839) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713886)

The dictionary [] describes a Golem as "an artificially created human supernaturally endowed with life" in Jewish folklore. Golems of the mud and rock varieties also appear prominently in WarCraft III [] , of course - what would the Jewish folklorists think of all this? Anyway, Gollum is, of course, nothing of the sort. -Dan You can't spell "pedantic" without "dan"

Scouring of the Shire (1)

LaszarusLhong (608390) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713889)

The battle for Bywater will not be in the extended edition DVD, nor will any of the scouring of the Shire.

Unfortunate, because I loved that part of the book, but Peter Jackson never filmed any of it.

This information was included in the Newsweek December 1, 2003 issue that had several articles on the Return of the King. (Page 60 in the caption box labeled "Spoilers!).



Re:Scouring of the Shire (1)

Feanturi (99866) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713938)

I'm actually kind of relieved that the Scouring of the Shire isn't in. Well, it would have been nice to have it in the extended edition, but please not the theatre. I've read the books at least 10 times and that part always makes me cry, I feel like I've dodged a bullet somehow. :)

I think it was an important chapter to the overall story, but also a huge bummer and buzzkill. It works in print, but not so well in a movie, I think.

'tis a LIE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713892)

Puppetman is the BOYFRIEND of an EA employee!

I saw it too.. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713944)

I saw it about 2 weeks ago. Peter Jackson was there afterwards with the two writers for an interview moderated by Carrie Fisher (who not only hadn't read the books, but I got the feeling she hadn't seen the previous movies either. In any event, she really had no interesting questions or comments of her own and relied on the audience to supply them.)

Okay, now that you all envy me, here's my mini-review:

It was really, really good. 3x the special effects of the last one. Spider (Shelob? or something like that) was AWESOME. Battle scenes were great. The Orlando Bloom elephant takedown will be talked about (and certainly parodied) for years. Gollum is constantly good in every scene he's in. His acting is awesome-- he gives Sam this one look look (it's in the trailer) that basically says "you're so screwed" while simultaneously kissing Frodo's ass. Sean Astin gives his best performance ever as the devoted best friend. There's a real cool "woman vs. funky snake-headed dragon" faceoff. The end battle sequence is cool, as is the volcano stuff-- flaming lava balls flying through the sky like giant comets. The sound was cranked up when I saw it, and the screaming, screeching audio was top-notch.

The bad: Some boring/slow parts, including the Liv Tyler subplot and the now-notorious "thirteen endings" featuring tons of Unexplained Stuff-- giant eagles, a mysterious boat trip to...somewhere. And at three hours and twenty minutes, you really really start to feel it at the end.

That said, I'm getting to see ANOTHER advanced screening tomorrow! It's my favorite of the three by far, and certainly one of the best movies of the year.

As far as Peter Jackson-- much of what he said at that screening has been reported widely already-- he's doing king kong (one of the films that got him interested in filmmaking in the first place), he wants to do Hobbit but there are legal challenges at the moment, and he talked a bit about making LOTR vs. "Meet the Feebles". He said LOTR was infinitely more complex, but it was just as difficult to do MTF because he didn't have all the people working on it. What else... he talked a bit about adapting the work-- the first thing he did was summarize the books into a ninety page outline-- 30 pages per book. He also talked about getting the rights to the book, working with the Weinsteins (apparently Bob didn't get the concept until he realized that the guy with the sword, axe, and arrows were "specialists") at Mirimax before switching to New Line, and how sometimes he'd be shooting four units simultaneously.

I don't know if anyone's even gonna read this, so I guess i'll finish with that. The point is, it's good. See it. You'll like it.

Scouring of the Shire (3, Informative)

Johnathon_Dough (719310) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713948)

I keep seeing many people saying "I hope this will be in the Extended Edition". However, Peter Jackson has already said that he did not even film it in it's entirety, only a bit for the dream sequence shown in Fellowship.

So, no, no scouring in the Extended, however, Christopher Lee's last moments as Sauromon will be added back in to it.

This info taken from many interview, feel free to search around, i am currently to lazy to provide links

Seeing LOTF is a treat? (-1, Troll)

craig2787 (533589) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713949)

Seeing Lord of the Fags is a treat? It looks like a shitty over-hyped movie to me, just like Star Wars, Harry Potter, et al. People that are so obsessed with a movie that they buy the limited DVD with 16 hours of "deleted scenes" and whatnot are total dorks. Go outside. Do something.

Further, what happened to "fuck the MPAA" and all that? Isn't buying every fucking little piece of merchandise is hardly "standing ground" against them.

girlfriend? vancouver? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7713950)

more like some dude offered her $100

Oy. (-1, Flamebait)

jpellino (202698) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713959)

So now there's a golem in this story? Further fule to the rumor that Jews run the movie industry!

Battle of Bywater (2)

bmac (51623) | more than 10 years ago | (#7713960)

I have hope that this may be added into an Extended-Edition (probably due out this time next year).

Unfortunately, I read that Jackson *never* liked that part of the books and never intended to film it, so I seriously doubt it will happen.

This really sours me on his understanding of the books as a major point of having hobbits in the first place (as far as I can gleam) is that they are going to have the need to have their own power in the 4th Age. That's another big part of Gandalf, many of the elves and the ring-bearers going across the water at the end. Sure, it's a melancholy ending, but it most of life doesn't end up all happy anyway, far as I've seen.

And hey, I said it first (AFAIK), how about making some scenes with Tom Bombadil with Patrick Stewart! I mean, the dude can sing and he kinda looks like a leprachaun which is always the picture I make of ol' Bombadil who is one of my favorite characters.

And, yeah, they fscked my *favorite* character *way* up: Faramir. But enough ranting, I didn't have the budget to make it better :-)

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