Illicit Joy

So, I got to see the Lord of the Rings a whole goddamn day early (I won’t be saying how, of course, but rest assured it is both “cool” and “mysterious”). It really reaffirms in my mind that Peter Jackson is a gamer.

He’s got this attention to detail that only a fellow geek would have. Stupid shit, like when you’ve ever had any character that could shoot an arrow, and there’s this – I don’t know, drawbridge or something – and you’re like “Can I shoot at the rope holding up the drawbridge?” and you have to roll a bajillion dice and then fail and everyone laughs at you, and you vow one day to make a movie and you’ll be GOD DAMNED if the archer character doesn’t do that at a key moment – yeah, it’s got that in there. Gollum pretty much kicks ass; he’s played as a schizophrenic, but you actually feel some pity for him in his sickness. The war scenes are frenzied. The worgs kick asses. We wished the ‘Ents were bigger. Killing abounds. The plot skips right along, and I lost track of where it broke from the book and didn’t.

We realized that LoTR is what Star Wars used to be, so long ago. These days, Lucas seems content to replace his humans, his makeup, and his battles with total CGI. It looks nice, but I see the same thing in a video game. There’s something about seeing two hundred actual actors in full makeup marching on Helm’s Deep. Jackson filled this out with thousands of CGI characters; “filled out” being the key. The blending of the real and the CGI is what makes this movie so awesome.

So, go see it. I’ll be seeing it again, I’m sure. It’s not religious to the book, but great in its own right.

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