Film: Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
Box Office Gross: $377,019,252
Awards: 11 Oscars, Best Picture, Best Director for Jackson, and many others, all technical
Actors: Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortenson, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett, Liv Tyler, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Miranda Otto, and many many more.
I'll fully admit that I enjoy the sci-fi/fantasy genre immensely. I read "The Hobbit" when I was pretty young and then right after college when I moved to Africa, I read the rest of the trilogy. I loved the final book in the series and other than the first hour of the first film, I like Return of the King the best too. I like it because, like most fantasy fiction, it can be taken or left at many levels. There are so many subplots throughout that listing them would probably make someone lash out saying I'd missed one. So I'll go with what I found most interesting rewatching it yesterday. The use of light and dark throughout really helps viewers understand the entire tone of the film. If you're not sure where someone sits on the spectrum of helpful or evil, their wardrobe, the lighting and often the music will help you out. I know I'm oversimplifying it, but it really struck me this time around, so I'm going with it. Given that the two major bad guys in the movie have virtually the same name (Sauron and Saruman - c'mon Tolkein, gimme a break), and many of the other names are so similar it's hard to keep track of exactly who fits in where. The places even sound the same - Mordor, Gondor, Rohan, etc. So I found the light and dark throughout to be really helpful in tracking the progress of the movie. It's a wonderful film with lots of well conceived action sequences that bring the diversity of Middle Earth to life much better than my imagination did when I read the words. Most of the acting is just fine for what it needs to be, with Sean Astin giving a wonderful performance as the loyal partner of Frodo. Plus, Orlando Bloom has never really been hotter than he was as an elf. Sorry guys, but that's the real reason any girl agrees to see this movie more than once. This trilogy will definitely be held up as a standard for all future mega-movies.
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