Hein (fub) wrote,

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Return of the King

We went to see the Return of the King today, with my father. We hadn't seen it until now (neither had he).
Yes, it's a pretty cool movie, but the first part seemed very slow. The whole "despair-and-determination-in-the-face-of-impossible-odds" was a bit overdone. Or perhaps not overdone, but drawn out too long. The battles were spectacular (and they demonstrate the devastating force of a well-executed heavy cavalry charge), but ultimately not as interesting as the battle for Helm's Deep. The whole Sam&Frodo part was... dreary, which was the same feeling I got from reading that part of the books. Shelob's icky, too.

The ending was too drawn out -- and why didn't they include the whole 'Saruman dominates the Shire'-thing? The Hobbits went on their quest to protect the Shire, and that last part of the books made it clear that action is required to oppose evil. Now, people in the Shire just slept on in their little corner of the world, and nothing had changed. It also makes it less clear that Sam, Pippin and Merry would rise to the top of Hobbit society, because of their deeds during the last war of the third era.

I know a lot of people think the third movie is the best of the three, but I am going to disagree. I think I like The Two Towers best -- perhaps due to the 'middle movie in a trilogy'-phenomenon: there are no slow starts and there are no slow resolutions to be dealt with: one can jump right into the action without having to worry about tying up loose ends. That's why 'The Empire Strikes Back' is regarded as the best Star Wars movie, I think.

I wonder what would have happened if Peter Jackson had been allowed to make four movies, or maybe even five, out of the books. Yes, it is commonly sold in three parts, but that is more an artefact of bookbinding craftsmanship than any sort of story requirement. In fact, the books consist of six books -- so I guess one could have made six movies out of them. We would have met Tom Bombadil, seen the Barrow-wights and the whole business at Bree would have been more spun out. Would that have made better movies? I wonder...

A lot of people are writing slash-fic about Sam and Frodo and the rest of the Fellowship, and it's easy to see why. These are men who are not afraid to show their emotions, who are not afraid to show affection to their friends. It is a sad testament to the mentality of our times that these qualities are associated with femininity -- and men who exhibit these traits are somehow 'gay' and not 'real men'. Sauron's allies are the opposite, the 'masculin' hordes: bragging Nazgul and bickering Orcs make up the ranks there. They do not show emotion, because emotion is (perceived to be) weakness. It is precisely this friendship and honest love of people you care about, this showing of affection and camaraderie that makes the heroes heroes: they know for what their fight.
Perhaps more people should be like that. When was the last time you held a friend by the hand, and said to them that you valued them as a friend and that you would try your best to help them if they got into trouble?

So there. There are rumours floating around about a movie of The Hobbit that Jackson may or may not make in the future. We'll see whether that ever will materialise.

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