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Movie Review: Lord of the Ring: Return of the King

Alternate Title: The Ring's the Thing

Story: It is finally over. The third cycle of the trilogy by director Peter (lets give him a big hand) Jackson has come to an end. Am I glad? Yes, because Jackson can now proceed as a director and it will be interesting to see what he does with his next project -- a remake (yes, another one) of King Kong.

Where to begin. In Three hours and twenty minutes Jackson ties up all of the stories from the previous two cycles. I am not a Tolkien fan but have been told that he remained true to the book.

The outcome of Frodo, Gandalf, Sam, Merry, Pippin, Aragorn, Faramar (they are beginning to sound like reindeer names, aren't they)? Eowyn, Arwen and of course Smeagol, the Gollum are all wrapped up. I guess it takes that long to tell the tale with all of the characters in this trilogy.

I liked the battle scenes best. They were exciting to watch (although I must say when Aragorn enlists an army of the dead to help him fight the Orcs, he does not run the risk of many casualties since they are already dead). I liked the costumes, the makeup, the cinematography and the director's bravery to take on this enormous task. And any film that speaks Elvish at times can't be all bad.

I did not like the sappy score, the endless scenes between the battles and the twenty extra minutes at the end to wrap up all of the stories. I kept thinking as the screen went blank that it was over -- but then there was yet another ending. Oh my.

If you are a fan you will probably love this film. If you haven't seen the first two films, why bother with the third?

Acting: This film belongs to Ian McKellan (who seems to have had a grand time) as Gandalf and Sean Astin as Sam. Elijah Wood as Frodo seems to stare for much of the film. Miranda Otto (Eowyn) is the only female with any part at all. I think the entire cast will suffer from post-partum depression after spending the better part of the last four years working together.

Predilection: I saw the first two Rings, so I had to see the last one.

Critters: All manner of beastie.

Food: Not any food while battling (which was most of the time)- just some meager Hobbit fare.

Visual Art: The landscape of New Zealand and the Landscape of Middle Earth are breathtaking. Some of the more idyllic scenery still looks too much like a Thomas Kinkaid painting to me.

Blatant Product Placement: None.

Soundtrack: Soaring and sappy.

Opening Titles: Except for the film's title, all credits are at the end (which go on and on and on).

Theater Audience: This film is playing at 1,000,000 theaters so there were just six Hobbits and me.

Sappy Factor: 6

Quirky Meter: After seeing the other two Ring films, I no longer think Middle Earth is quirky.

Squirm Scale: If endless battles make you squirm than this would rate a 3.

Predictability Level: A Hobbit over the top -- high.

Tissue Usage: 0 - But I noticed some of the other patrons were searching for tissues.

Oscar Worthy: Peter Jackson should get some kind of an award just for taking on this task.

Nit Picking: Did I mention this film is 3 hours and 25 minutes long?

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen is a must. For some other Jackson movies try: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Frighteners, The Forgotten Silver and the most wonderful, Heavenly Creatures.

Length: The above mentioned 3 hours and 25 minutes.