Some Thoughts on The Lord of the Rings (2001 – 2003)

I don’t think I need to do a proper review of the The Lord of the Rings. Too much has been written about it already and I assume the story is well-known but I’m still in the mood to write about a few of the aspects.

The Blu-Ray version

Never has Blu-Ray made more sense than with this movie. I’ve seen it before but watching it on Blu-Ray is really something. It has an amazing 3D effect that stunned me. The colors are amazingly intensive and all the creatures come to life much better. It’s like another movie almost. I’m not sure that if I ever watch it again I will always watch it in Blu-Ray as it’s occasionally almost too impressive and very surreal. The Blu-Ray I watched was the extended version.

The three parts

The way this movie is constructed is pure genius. While all the main characters get together in part I The Fellowship of the Ring, they are going different ways in part II The Return of the King and three The Two Towers and we have up to 4 parallel story lines. If you are like me, and have your favourite bits, then every time the story moves away from them, you eagerly await until it returns to you favourite characters.

The characters

The Lord of the Rings is action-driven but without those great characters and the “Band of Brothers” feel, it would never have been the success it is. I always liked the idea that the fellowship included not only humans but also Hobbits, Dwarves, Elves and a magician. It’s typical that of the initial group only the second human dies.

While Orcs and Uruk Hai are creatures of the dark forces, hobbits, elves and dwarves are good, only humans can choose and their decisions can be fatal for the world or – as can be seen in Gollum’s case – for themselves.

I’m not sure which was my favourite character the first time I watched it but I think – the elves in general. This time the four characters I liked best were Aragorn, Boromir, Haldir and Legolas. I’m not saying they are the most important, they are the ones I like best.

Pairing Legolas, the elf, with Gimli, the dwarf was another strike of genius and adds humour to the movie, just like the pair of silly hobbits Pippin and Merry. Pippin is particularly important as his foolish actions are the motor behind many important scenes. He triggers more than one major fight or battle.

The actors

I can’t think of any movie like The Lord of the Rings in which the actors are so well-chosen. I wouldn’t change one of them. Readers of this blog know that I’m no Orlando Bloom fan but that wasn’t always the case. The first time I saw him was as Legolas and he is amazing in this role, he is cut out for it.

My two favourite actors in the movie are Viggo Mortensen and Sean Bean. I like many of their other movies as well. Sean Bean is an actor who is famous for his dying scenes. There aren’t many movies with him in which he doesn’t die. I can’t remember that any of the scenes is as dramatic as this one here.

Another incredibly great choice was Liv Tyler as Arwen.

The special effects

I’m not too fond of special effects and CGI in war movies in general but there wouldn’t be any believable fantasy or sci-fi movies without them. The Lord of the Rings raises the bar extremely high. I didn’t even notice how high in my previous viewings. What the Blu-Ray disc manages to convey particularly well are the buildings and cities. They are stunning. The two abodes of the elves as well as Minas Tirith make you sit in front of the TV like children in front of their christmas presents.

War

I have included Lord of the Rings on this blog for a few reasons. Without the topic of “war” there would be no Lord of the Rings. The movie offers so many incredible fight and battle scenes which justify including it. The most famous and longest one The Battle of Helms Deep is usually mentioned in Top 10 battle scenes, right along battles in real wars. It is an amzing scene and I found it quite scary when I saw it for the first time. And particularly one of the deaths got to me a lot (if you’ve seen it you know who).

The message of course is clear as well. War isn’t good. The dark forces bring war and it is a battle of good versus evil. I think this also is part of the appeal. In real life, in history, it’s so rare, especially in the last decades, that good and bad can been named so easily, that a war is nothing else than the good forces fighting the bad.

What I like as well is that it is a fight for the good, mankind and other positive forces but most of all also a fight for the survival of nature. This reminds me that whenever people fight for trees in our world, they are made fun of.

Book versus Movie

It’s been a long time since I’ve read the book and I loved it at the time. I even remember that I was disappointed when I saw the movie for the first time because two scenes were more impressive in my mind but by now the movie has completely eradicated the book and I’m not even sure I could read and enjoy it again without seeing the people from the movie.

I could write much more but I’m going to leave it at that as anything else would contain too many spoilers. If you haven’t seen it yet, don’t waste anymore time. You could alos re-watch it as a warm-up for the upcoming The Hobbit.

On the Tolkien Gateway  you can find more info, on the upcoming Hobbit movies as well.

How about you? Is it one of your favourites as well? Do you prefer the book?

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17 thoughts on “Some Thoughts on The Lord of the Rings (2001 – 2003)

  1. Guy Savage says:

    I think the films were very well done indeed, but I still prefer the books.
    Holding out on the blu-ray player until I have to replace the player I’ve got.

    • I can’t say I prefer the books, it’s been too long ago and I’m not sure I could read them without seeing the people from the movie now. the thing with the blu-ray player is that the normal DVDs look better as well, on the other hand it’s not always worth buying a blu ray, some are not better at all. I’ve seen this reviewed on another blog, just can’t remember which one and it was said the blu-ray was amazing in this case. For many movies of the movies that I watch it’s not necessary.

    • Novroz says:

      I love both book and movie. If I to make top-5 movie from book, then LOTR will be in number 1 for sure. The casting was perfect, every characters are being portrayed really well…they are as I have seen them in my mind.

      I have watched the movie countless time and read the book 3 or 4 times and will read it again next year or the year after. I actually want to read it again this year but I keep reminding myself that I still have more than 20 books on my shelf.

  2. the war movie buff says:

    I am a big fan of the trilogy. The last one is one of the greatest movies ever made. I agree with everything you say. It is a very unusual trilogy in that each part is better than the last. I cannot think of any other trilogy that I can say that about. The only problem I have is a marketing one. The last thirty minutes should have been held for the DVD release. In the theater, it felt anticlimatical, but if Jackson had held it for the DVD that would have given all the fans a huge incentive to buy the DVD. I have not read any of the books, but I did read the Hobbit and greatly look forward to it. I love those group quest themes.

    P.S. I don’t like it when Sean Bean dies.

    • The funny thing is, after having watched part II this time I thought, that’s it, I can’t get any better and then it does. It truly is amazing.
      I’m looking forward to The Hobbit as well but unfortunately and logically there will be not all of the charcaters.
      It’s too bad, when he dies.

  3. the war movie buff says:

    Definitely not!

  4. […] goes very well with my previous post on Lord of the Rings in which he dies one of the more dramatic deaths of his career. Share […]

  5. Alexia says:

    I believe you made an excellent point, that without war, the trilogy would not exist. The entire basis is good versus evil, and that evil shall not prevail. The characters are portrayed beautifully, as they were cast perfectly; I feel the trilogy was necessary to fully develop the characters, except for Bilbo who has his own story yet to come. Both myself, and my friend and colleague who works with me for Dish, are huge fans of The Lord of the Rings, from a movie and book standpoint. Although neither of us has seen the Blu-Ray version, it sounds amazing, and our weekly movie night would be a perfect night to go to Dish Online, and catch the awesome CGI on my huge HDTV. Although, I have all three extended versions on DVD, which we love watching, the way you wrote about the graphics, just sounds like the perfect way to end the week.

    • It’s utterly appealing to see the good win. And the characters are are wonderful, we root for all of them .
      I’m convinced you will love it, it’s really something else on BluRay. I don’t always prefer the BluRay version, sometimes it doesn’t even change much but in this case that change is amazing. The sound was awesome as well. Really a great experience. I hope you will enjoy it.

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