Country: New Zealand
there aren’t many movie experiences that even after seven-plus hours, still leave you wanting more. i can’t wait until 3:45 tomorrow afternoon when i get to watch the conclusion. it’s just such a rich, full and epic tale. every character is appealing in some way. with film i’m a guy who values substance over style and these films have it in spades – thanks of course to the source material. the story is good and timeless in so many ways i won’t even begin to document them here. on to the execution…i’m a fan of peter jackson. i thought that dead alive and bad taste were both very well done films, but both (especially bad taste) lacked a real story. granted, they are horror films which are traditionally slim in the plot and character development departments, but i point this out as way of saying how good a match this story is for jackson. i don’t know what crazy new line executive hired jackson, whose film credits are rather limited, but they need a raise. putting jackson at the helm of what is probably a $200+ million project seems pretty gutsy to me. my only negative comments about the execution are the over-use of slow motion and that the theatrical cuts were pared back too much. the latter decision was probably made from above because releasing a movie that’s 3hours and 43minutes long is tough to do, but there were critical scenes that were cut out of both films (especially the two towers). jackson’s pacing was very good, the color coding in some of the scenes was especially efficacious, and the night scenes were shot extraordinarily well. the special effects were almost entirely seamless – gollum, especially, was a brilliant success. non-special (physical) effects were also used well. jackson incorporated a good combination of different camera lenses/angles and smart staging/editing to give the illusion that merry, pippin, frodo and gimli were much smaller that everyone else. gimli is played by the same guy who was sallah (indiana’s guide) in raiders of the lost ark – you’ll remember that in that movie he was made to appear even taller than harrison ford which makes the effect all the more impressive. i don’t know that jackson is an amazing director, but he is gifted and you can tell that he knows his shit. should be interesting to see what he does now that the world has opened up for him.