The Lord of the Rings

I somehow managed to make it to the age of 21 without watching The Lord of the Rings movies. I’m not proud of it, but that’s the truth. I can remember clearly the looks of shock and utter disappointment on people’s faces when I told them I hadn’t seen these films. But no more! I finally sat down over Christmas break and watched all three of them over a three-day period, and I must say I was impressed.

The Lord of the Rings is a fantasy film series based on novels by J. R. R. Tolkein. It tells the story of Frodo Baggins, a hobbit, and his experience with the One Ring, a powerful weapon that corrupts men and is being sought by the evil Sauron. Frodo is charged with the task of destroying the Ring before it falls into the wrong hands, but to do so, he and his friends must travel to the dangerous, far-away land of Mordor and resist the Ring’s corrupting power. Intriguing, right?

I consider myself a movie collector. For me, purchasing a movie isn’t just about getting it home so I can shove it in my Blu-ray player and watch it. It’s about the whole experience. The packaging, included materials, menus, and bonus features. It’s all important to me. And I can say with complete honesty that The Lord of the Rings set is one of the most gorgeous box sets I’ve ever seen.

The packaging is beautiful and sturdy, and it looks great on a shelf. Peter Jackson hired a documentary filmmaker to document the entire movie-making process, and those documentaries along with other featurettes were combined into The Appendices, Parts 1–6. Each of the three movies comes with two bonus discs containing two parts of The Appendices. Each movie also comes with a booklet with other information about the film. All of it comes together to form a wonderful, immersive experience that is sure to satisfy any LOTR fan.

But packaging and bonus features aside, the films themselves are incredible. I was skeptical at first. I thought, “How are they going to spread the story of a hobbit trying to destory a ring over three movies?” But by the end of The Fellowship of the Ring (the first film), I was hooked. You fall in love with the characters instantly, and the movies delve into their personalities and quirks in such a way that anyone can find at least one character to relate to. The story is so grand and spread out over the entire land of Middle Earth, but it’s cohesive and captivating at the same time.

The films are also deep. They deal with tough issues like environmental destruction and the corrupting nature of power in ways that are real and touching. LOTR entertains, but it doesn’t only do that. It’s a series that will make you think, and that’s a very good thing.

I really appreciated the fact that Peter Jackson put forth the time and effort to created extended versions of all three films. A casual viewer may only be willing to commit two hours to a movie, but some stories require more than two hours to tell completely, and Jackson recognized that hardcore fans would be happy to watch three-and-a-half hour versions of the films if they’re done right. And they are. These movies didn’t seem to drag on. In fact, I found myself wanting more.

And of course, we’re getting more. Peter Jackson returned to Middle Earth to create The Hobbit trilogy, a prequel to The Lord of the Rings, with the final installment set to release in December. I’ve seen the first one, and it’s on the same level as the original films. I’m very excited to watch the second Hobbit movie soon so that I can see the final one (most likely titled There and Back Again) when it premieres.

The Lord of the Rings is a great film series, and now is a good time to get into it. I would suggest watching the original trilogy and the first two Hobbit films before the final Hobbit film drops in December. And of course, it’s always a good idea to read the books, too. I recently purchased The Lord of the Rings book, so maybe I’ll do a write-up on it when I finish reading. That could take me a while, though, considering the fact that the book is nearly 1200 pages long. Thanks for reading my review of The Lord of the Rings films, guys, and I’ll see you Tuesday!