It’s time for another top 25 movie and also another Lord of the Rings film. This will be the last one, I swear. I’ve said most of what there is to be said about The Lord of the Rings, but let’s say it all again anyway.
The Lord of the Rings was groundbreaking both in book and film form. First J.R.R. Tolkien crafted an entire universe filled with mythical creatures, detailed locations, carefully-crafted back-stories and even its own languages. Never before had a universe that was invented by just one guy been so fully fleshed-out. It broke the boundaries of what fantasy fiction could do and basically set the bar for the entire genre. So, the task of bringing this ground-breaking series to the big screen was about as daunting as film-making challenges could get. Attempts had been made in the past, but the closest we ever got was a mediocre Ralph Bakshi cartoon. It wasn’t until the late 90’s when a relatively unknown New Zealand director named Peter Jackson said, “I want to make The Lord of the Rings into a movie!” and the world said “Why the eff not?” Then we got The Lord of the Rings movies, more action-packed and ultimately more rewarding than the books and with a lot less characters breaking out into song. Seriously, there’s a song in like every chapter. It’s crazy.
So now, on top of one of the most ground-breaking book series of all times (or just one book depending on how you want to nit-pick) we have one of the most ground-breaking film series of all time. It’s suiting. It was a daunting task, but Jackson did it and did it damn well. The Lord of the Rings films will be remembered for years and years as some of the best filmmaking ever put on screen. It’s fantasy. It’s the stuff of dreams. It’s what film was made for. I am so excited for the Hobbit movies. I can’t even tell you.
So now we get to the big one; The Return of the King. Everything built up to this point and Jackson couldn’t less us down, and guess what? He didn’t. He delivered what, in my opinion, was the best of the whole trilogy. It also won the most Oscars and made the most money, so somebody agrees with me. Everything just seems to reach its apex here. All the characters are pushed to their emotional limits, all the plots and sub-plots finally reach fruition, questions are answered, fates are revealed and epic battles are fought. So many epic battles. Awesome epic battles. I really love those battle scenes, seriously. Also, it’s one of the few movies that can make me cry, but there’s quite a few of those on this list.
That moment where Sam carries Frodo up the mountain just gets me every time. I’m tearing up a little bit just talking about it. Excuse me a minute.