Movie Review: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

[ LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING POSTER ]The Lord of the Rings saga comes to an end with a final sound-off and salute, propelling it to becoming one of the best films of the decade and of all-time. In its honor, a bonus roommate edition!

Tim: The cast and characters that fanatics like myself had befriended and loved for the last three years return as does the king of Gondor. Aiding them in their journey is some of the best story-telling, visual effects, and musical scores ever made. A better cast could not have been made nor better characters been written. The pacing is like a trek through the most dire terrain, with metaphorical cliffs and ditches at every turn, just waiting until it erupts with the greatest splendor, whether through action scenes that scream psychedelic or the character building that plays with our emotions like a baby on a trampoline. The picturesque scenery, the voluminous battles, the suspense that drills at our inner core and then some, this is a movie like few others.

Jon: Despite my tendencies to make jokes at Lord of the Rings movies, it is one of the best movies I have seen. With every aspect, Peter Jackson got this movie right. The scenery is spectacular and it’s no surprise to me that this movie did so well in the box office and in the awards. While it is incredibly long and sometimes difficult to watch in one sitting, it is the greatest Lord of the Rings movie and one of the greatest I’ve seen in my life.

Tim: And that is where I think we’ll have to agree to disagree. The time and energy that I put into these films, just watching them, I felt I was a part of this brotherhood of heroes. I felt like one of them. This film as well as the other two instill such a strong faith in humanity, in the good of mankind, in the belief that good will always conquer evil, that how anyone could be displeased with the Lord of the Rings or view them with contempt I have not the slightest indication. It connects with its audience through its story and its characters that are portrayed so perfectly. I would go so far as to say this film lives inside you, livens you as a person, as a human being. It opens doors to your heart and gifts you with new perspectives on life. It fully envelops you in the tale like an embrace with a loved one you will not see for a long time, one that you wish could last for hours just because the moment is so precious and so heart-warming. Despite those who may complain about its length, I didn’t want the story to end. It was a piece of me. This film trilogy had contributed to my self-worth and my being. Perhaps a film series is not supposed to have such a profound effect on an individual, but The Lord of the Rings did for me. I could have watched this for six hours, as long as it meant spending more time with my dear friends.

Sam and Frodo will forever be one of the most memorable duos in cinema for me. Their friendship is the way friendships were meant to be. It also depicts the values I look for in my friends. Sam is so loyal, so trustworthy, brave and selfless, that there is no doubt in my mind he would have taken a bullet for Frodo and then some. Frodo does not always fully grasp how great a friend Sam is at times, although I attribute that to his constant battle with the Ring, but when he does, that is when you see friendship at its philosophical plateau. They won’t give up on each other, and no matter what the next desolate, seemingly hopeless predicament they wander into next is, it is already accepted they will both be going at it together. Sean Astin and Elijah Wood may be type-casted forever, but that is nothing to be ashamed of, for these performances are the ones that stick with you, the ones you will never forget despite all the years that will pass since their original release. 100 years from now, the names Sam and Frodo will be uttered by someone in a crowd, and all will turn to this person and say Lord of the Rings, because that is how monumental these characters are. And yes, I know that was overly dramatic. Shut up. I’m a guy trying to express my feelings.

Jon: Frodo also illustrates how true a friend he is to Sam when he goes to step onto the ship to leave Middle Earth, knowing that Sam would never be able to leave the family that he has. Sam will always have the book to remember the times that they went through but even Sam acknowledges at the end of the movie that Frodo needed to leave to let Sam live his life. Frodo did the most selfless thing he could think of for Sam as Sam had done for him throughout the entire series.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog,  I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.

 90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (MiracleScroogeThe Secret Life of Walter MittyThe Green Mile, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Hobbit: The Desolation of SmaugPoseidonIron ManLone SurvivorThe Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (The Usual Suspects21 Jump StreetEscape PlanCaptain America: The First AvengerDawn of the Dead)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Pacific RimThe Long Kiss GoodnightDisaster Movie)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (Along Came PollyAliensAlien ResurrectionFull Metal JacketThor)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Patriot GamesThe Great GatsbyPitch BlackAlienSerendipity)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30’s ironically define the 1930’s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (The ContractPride and PrejudiceRedemption)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The Sum of All FearsThor: The Dark World)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (Midnight CowboyDark FuryAlien 3)

My score for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King: 98.

With dialogue that furthers the plot and tugs at our inner-being and souls, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is a film for the ages, one that will stick with those who journeyed with the characters for the rest of their lives.

Also, before I bid you adieu, my roommate has finally started blogging on WordPress.

Hello, my name is Jon St. Laurent.  I am a good friend of Tim’s and his roommate at school.  I’ve been blogging for a few years now but I recently switched over to WordPress.  I’m still working on getting my blog to be fully completed, but if you’re looking for a sports blog to talk about baseball, football, hockey, and anything that is top sports news, I’m your guy! Check it out at  Feel free to read, comment, and give your thoughts and arguments; that’s what it was created for! Thanks everyone!

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