Tag Archives: Elijah Wood

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King rightfully ascends to the throne.

16 Dec

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The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King successfully concludes director Peter Jackson’s seven year quest to complete the J.R.R. Tolkien’s tale. He ties up all the unanswered questions while strengthen the film’s climatic struggle of good versus evil. Frodo and Sam edge closer to Mount Doom while the rest of the company prepares for the final assault from Sauron’s armies. Audiences leave the theater satisfied with the final installment, even though the film is a little too long and its multiple endings become comical by the time Sam returns to the Shire. In the end, Jackson triumphs with dynamic battle sequences, special effects, and good storytelling. His decision to introduce Smeagol before finding the ring helps give Gollum some needed depth, but it also started the whispers of a possible Hobbit film. There is no denying Jackson’s genius and passion, which is rewarded with eleven Academy Awards. The Return of the King rightfully ascends to the throne.

WORD COUNT: 160

Adam’s Grade: A-

Chuck’s Grade: A-

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers takes a while to build

15 Dec

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The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is almost as good as the first film, but for much different reasons. Director Peter Jackson honors each of the three storylines and its characters adventures, while at the same time introducing new characters. Jackson makes some tweaks to the book, which I think for the most part work, especially changing up Faramir’s character, but he also is confronted with some pacing problems with the King Theoden of Rohan and Treebeard of Fangorn forest. Both sequences seem to drag along after awhile.

The film’s main strength is the ground breaking special effects associated with Gollum and the climatic battle scene at Helm’s Deep. The execution of the CGI and the motion capture suit brings the film to another level of creativity, while the film’s ending keeps audiences at the edge of their seats.

The Two Towers takes a while to build, but in the end it sees the light.

WORD COUNT: 157

Adam’s Grade: B+

Chuck’s Grade: B+

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is precious

14 Dec

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The first installment of the blockbuster franchise, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was a success on many levels, even though the film’s special effects are beginning to look dated compared to the The Hobbit. Director Peter Jackson took on the daunting task of bringing to life J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy adventure about wizards, elves, dwarves, hobbits, man, and the fate of Middle Earth. Everyone has their favorites, but the fellowship is adeptly cast and Jackson reveals enough about each character to leave a lasting impression that inspired new audiences to read the books for the first time and old fans to revisit the “sacred” text.

This film is my favorite of the trilogy because the fellowship characters are together for most of the adventure. The balance between the light and dark moments keeps the film dynamic and the choice to film it in New Zealand was a masterful stroke. The Fellowship of the Ring is precious.

WORD COUNT: 160

Chuck’s Grade: A

Adam’s Grade: A

9 is more than just a number

14 Oct

The number 9 is not your ordinary animated film of cute characters and a simple story. It is a post-apocalyptic tale of Frankenstein-like doll characters trying to survive in a world that seems to have loss all sense of humanity.  The characters look like something you would find if Tim Burton and Trent Reznor were hanging out for a spell.  Each number signifies the order, in which they were created with 9 (Elijah Wood) being the final creation.  The numbers all have different characteristics and talents that make it easy for an audience to discern. It reminded me of Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligence theory in action.

Director and co-writer Shane Acker’s rag doll character was first introduced in 2005 with his eleven minute short film. Four years later, Burton and Timur Bekmambetov help Acker bring these characters to life with an all star cast, Wood, Martin Landau, Christopher Plummer, John C. Reilly, Crispin Glover and Jennifer Connelly. 9 is much more than a number.

WORD COUNT: 160

Chuck’s Grade: A-

Adam’s Grade: B-