Return of the King (2003) - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies

Return of the King (2003)

As sad as it is to say the Lord of the Ring films are the movie equivalent of the fun friend you always forget to invite out.  When you see that friend you have a great time, you remember why you are friends and you make a promise to yourself to keep in better contact.  Then the next time rolls around when you are making plans and once again they are forgotten.  Lord of the Rings to me are films I truly love when I am watching them but never think of when talking about or thinking of favorite films.   In other words in my world, Return of the King is as they say, “always a bridesmaid and never a bride.”

Why is it that I always seem to forget these films when they are not right in front of me?  What makes them not be in the same magical realm that I hold the Die Hard, Star Wars and Indiana Jones films?  To get to the bottom of this I am going to ask and answer a string of questions about them.

Do I not love them because the experience of seeing them was not magical?  I know what a lot of people will say it isn’t the experience of seeing the film but the film itself and I agree.  I have seen many of my beloved films for the first time on VHS tape, late night cable or many other undesirable ways to experience a film for the first time.  Yet I believe that sometimes the experience can make the movie even better.  Would I love Princess Bride as much if my wife hadn’t shown it to me on our first Valentine’s together?  Would I love Terminator 2 if my dad and I hadn’t made it a guy’s night and seen it together?  Would

These characters walked, a lot.

Independence Day been as much fun if it was released in the middle of April and not near the 4th of July?  I don’t know if that would be the case but I do know that when I think of these movies I love that I also fondly remember the whole situation around them.  Lord of the Rings are the same way each film I could easily tell you who, what, where and when I went to see them.  I remember quite clearly going to see Two Towers with college friends at the midnight show mere hours before I had an 8AM final.  At none of the films did I have a bad experience and in fact they have given me fun stories to tell, so that is not the problem.

Do the films not measure up in repeat viewing?  I can answer this with a very big and resounding NO.  The films live up to the cable rule, which states that if the movie is on cable while casually flipping you will stop and watch at least part of the film.  Whenever the films are on TNT (which is often) and I happen to catch it while surfing, I can guarantee that it will be on my TV a good portion of time. I feel bad for my wife when they have a marathon viewing of all films because that day is pretty much gone.

Were there ever better more epic battles caught on film?

Are the films overrated?  Not by any stretch.  I believe that every Oscar they won was rightfully deserved.  The acting, writing, directing, music, costumes, cinematography, special effects, design and more were all top notch.  I truly believe that the movies will go down as the best fantasy series put on film and made a scoffed and ridiculed genre into an award winning and cash-making juggernaut.

Then why don’t I think of these films as often as others?  There is no simple answer.  What it came down to is that I just was older when I saw them and didn’t have the same nostalgic factor, at least not yet. This movie was made way too well so there is no little quirks or problems with the film to endear itself to you.  The film didn’t create a new genre or break any ground; it just raised the bar really high for other fantasy movies (which none since have come close to reaching).              All three Lord of the Rings films are easily some of the best films of the last decade and in the highest tier of huge studio pictures.  The films could excite, move and transport the viewer to another world.  I have nothing but praise for the films and they are proudly displayed on my shelf.  Yet like that friend who is always forgotten these qualities always slip my mind when thinking of my favorite films.  So Lord of the Rings let me give you my deepest apology for making you the forgotten sibling to many of my other favorite pictures you deserve better by me.

Posted by Ryan

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