Mrs. Mosley and I exchanges a pair of gifts earlier this week and saved the rest for Christmas Eve. I gave her the big four disc DVD set of "Gone With the Wind", one of her favorite films. Coincidently, she gave me the four disc "The Return of the King" DVD set, which now completes my collection of all three films in the trilogy.
I won't bother to do a review of the LOTR trilogy, because they all get full tens in my book, and deserve a hallowed place in cinema history. After watching the extended cut so recently and viewing the extras, there are some comments I'd like to make about the third film and the trilogy as a whole.
* I have to say that after watching all these cast interviews, Sean Astin comes across as a bit of a jerk. This is compounded by the fact that all the other actors, without exception, were happy and nostalgic about the entire filmmaking process. Astin, on the other hand, bemoans the conditions and the makeup and the fact that he, single handedly, kept helicopters from crashing into mountains. Mrs. Mosley was also kind of perturbed when he came out with a book earlier this year on his experience doing the film called "There and Back Again". This is, of course, the title of Frodo's book in the film, and you would think that it would be better suited to Elijah Wood's ruminations, not Astin's. And from what I've heard about the book, he's not terribly nice when talking about his fellow cast members. Like I said: Jerk.
* As I stated in the "Richard III" review, I think Ian McKellen is a great actor. Furthermore, I think Gandalf is a great character. Yet, for being a Wizard, Gandalf really doesn't do much wizard-ing in the course of the three films. The biggest trick he has is the illumination from the head of his staff, which does come in handy on several occasions. Still, Harry Potter has that trick perfected by the end of his third year, for pete's sake!
* Alright. I give in. Legolas is hot.
* All three box sets had a hidden Easter Egg that showed a different clip from the MTV Movie Awards concerning the respective film. The best of these is in the "Two Towers" set where we see Andy Serkis accept an award for best villain live via satellite. We then see Gollum quickly jump into frame, grab the award, and curse up a blue streak while insulting everyone there.
* The character I liked the least out of all three films was Denethor, played by John Noble. His character seemed just a little too over the top in his nastiness towards his son Faramir and people in general. One of the most satisfying moments in the third film is when Gandalf brains him with his staff (magical or not, that damn thing is handy) and starts giving orders to the troops. Finally, (minor spoilers ahead) even Denethor's death is over the top as he staggers aaaalllllllllllll the way down that courtyard runway thingy and falls aaaaaaaallllllllll the way down to the battling armies below. Criminy, it made Mel Gibson's death in "Braveheart" look subtle and brief in comparison.
* After viewing the extended cut of the third film, I think Peter Jackson may have gone one "Gimli comic moment" too far.
* And one final tip for Peter Jackson to be used for all his future films: In the last thirty minutes of a movie, do not end every scene with a fade out of music and picture and then go to yet another scene, thus producing ending after ending after ending! It drives the audience a little bit bonkers, is all I'm saying.