Wednesday, January 28, 2004
I feel like I need to do at least one more Oscar-nominations-have-come-out-and-here's-why-I feel-LOTR-should-rack-up kind of post.
Last year was full of good movies, and I've seen most of the ones I wanted to see. I still want to catch MYSTIC RIVER and LOST IN TRANSLATION, but I'll probably have to wait on THE LAST SAMURAI and MASTER & COMMANDER on DVD later this year. For me, the hands-down favorite is LOTR:RETURN OF THE KING. I've had discussion in the past on its morality and storytelling in the use of magic and mysticism, and I don't necessarily want to re-hash any of that. But I do want to say that the three films, taken together, should be such a historical work of film-making that there should not be a contest. There will be, of course, and it might not sweep in every nominated category. But there has never been anything like it. Tolkien geeks like it because it stays fairly true to the original. I'm on a different tack though - it's a movie where the storytelling drives the action and the technology, not vice versa. THE MATRIX messed up because the technology drove the story-line, which might've been a *part* of the whole thing since it was humans vs. a matrix of computer design anyway. But in the end, I felt nothing if not cheated that there wasn't more to the story of the MATRIX universe. But here in Middle Earth - wow. To see sprawling landscapes and such incredible war on such huge canvases... you couldn't have imagined any more than was already there. The music was appropriately moving; the performances were fairly well done in making you want to know what happens next; and the story drives it all, from the beginning in the Shire to the end and the farewells. Even drawing out the ending so long in LOTR3, it felt appropriate to me given the length of the work as a whole. And that's where it will win - taken as a whole across all three films, there are very few films over the last 25 years that come close in scope, in action, in romance and in the underlying story of it all.
And FINDING NEMO needs more props, too, just in case anyone's paying attention.