Sunday, December 19, 2004

LOTR Return of the Last Movie

We went over to RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) with friends last night to watch the newly released "The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King" (Platinum Series Special Extended Edition), on DVD. We were lucky enough to be able to watch it in a screening room, on a widescreen overhead projector, for a near-cinematic experience (although we did have the advantage of being able to hit "pause" for potty breaks and when the pizza delivery guy showed up!) Now I'm a big Tolkien fan from way back, and I've absolutely loved the Peter Jackson trilogy -- like a true geek I've been following its development since long before the first movie, "The Fellowship of the Ring," came out in December 2001. (Here's a very early press release, from August 1998, though I didn't catch wind of it quite this early). But I followed along on the web -- I remember the controversies over the dropping of Tom Bombadil, the replacement of Aragorn, and the expansion of Liv Tyler's Arwen character -- oh, it seems like only yesterday). We queued with great excitement to see the first screening of "Fellowship" on opening night in Geneseo, NY; then we watched it again in Rochester, and again. "The Two Towers" followed in December 2002, which we saw at Rochester's Tinseltown. And it's now almost exactly a year since we saw the cinematic release of "The Return of the King", with the same friends, again at Tinseltown, the best place in the area for the Big Cinema Experience! Well, this year we've all been having withdrawal symptoms at the lack of a new "LOTR" adventure. This new DVD release has a wonderful 50 minutes of additional scenes, which was great, and the setting for our screening was great, but it still wasn't quite the same as having a whole new movie to look forward to. And next December there'll be ... absolutely nothing. Oh well. At least we still have plenty of DVD commentary tracks to look forward to!

But of course all hail Peter Jackson for making such a wonderful trilogy, and for making me desperate to go back to New Zealand. And yes, kudos to Bob and Harvey Weinstein at Miramax for making it happen. Now we just have to hope that Jackson can make a go of his remake of "King Kong", currently being produced by Universal Pictures and Jackson's own NZ production company, Wingnut Films. And of course there's still the chance of a Jackson production of The Hobbit.


Post a Comment

<< Home