Sarah reckons that The Return of the King “was crap”. With some mitigation:

I suppose it was worth the price of admission though for the hours of entertainment I’ll get out of remembering just how bad the bad bits were. Like the “This is Your Life” scene with Frodo in bed mouthing everybody’s names as they walked in. “Gimli”…“Aragorn”…“My netball coach from Standard Four”…

Even Gryfon was not universally effusive:

While the film is flawed, the flaws are principally to do with the commercial real-world constraints under which Peter Jackson operates.

Unfortunately I can’t really comment or verify as yet (I’m still waiting to go), but I’m going to anyway. I don’t think we can be too hard on Peter Jackson. Reading this article on the role (or non-role) of women in Tolkien, there is a comment that really goes to the heart of the problems with the whole film trilogy:

The danger is that the accepted level of suspending disbelief when it comes to fantasy […] makes us less critical of the execution, but it seems to me equally wrong to demand more of the genre than it is able to give.

Between the fantasy genre itself, the failings of the source material (much as I love it and have read it tens of times) and the need for the result to be true to the fan(atic)s collective visions, it was always going to be hard to make something that stands up as great art cinema. However, like the books, I’m sure that Jackson’s adaptation will remain great entertainment and be cherished by millions in the years to come.

Some cheese can be very tasty.

later: We did manage to go at the weekend.

And it was just brilliant. I loved it. And even though Sarah’s crit is true to a degree, the overall achievement still stands out as fantastic (in both senses) cinema.

So I guess I stand revealed as just another fanboy with no critical facility worth speaking of. Nevermind. At least I came out of the theatre happy.

raoidean: media film
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