Force of a Hobbit - TTT is even better than FotR!
I was originally supposed to see TTT at 4:00 PM, after school was over, and the whole day I found it very hard to concentrate on those annoyingly long tests called final exams. When my friends and I arrived at AMC theatres at 3:00, I couldn't have been more excited. Well...I take that back...I could have been seeing the New Line Cinema logo appearing on the movie screen...oh well. We got to theatre #15 and sat impatiently waiting for it to begin. But it didn't. An employee finally appeared and informed us that TTT was playing in theatre #5. We raced into the theatre, but it was completely full-not a seat left. We tried to sit on the steps, but they kicked us out, telling us it was a fire hazard. I had seen a mere five minutes of this wonderful movie, and I was already amazed.
The lady at the Guest Services desk offered us FREE POPCORN TICKETS until we were able to 'persuade' her into giving us tickets for the next showing of TTT at 6:15 PM. I was appeased, and we only had to wait another...hour and a half to see it. Ach. It was the longest hour and a half of my life.
Eventually we did make it in to see the movie, and let me tell you, I was in hysterics by the time it was over. Literally. It was SO GOOD!!!!! Definitely darker, bloodier, and more different from the book than the last movie. The special effects were absolutely amazing...the Ents, Gollum, the Last March of the Ents to destroy Isengard...they all left me speechless. Massive could not have worked any better. Helm's Deep was so realistic and well-filmed that, unlike the times I have read the books, I really understood what was happening and where. The actors delivered absolutely amazing performances, every last one of them. Gimli as comic relief is positively hilarious...still can't get over it. The dwarf tossing joke from FotR comes back, and there are many new ones. It is, however, a serious enough movie that the comic relief isn't overdone...it's just a welcome diversion from all the dark themes and battle and killing.
Arwen and the romance theme are definitely not overdone. In fact, the few parts she was seen in were actually quite sweet. Eowyn does not do anything other than look at Aragorn and talk with him, there is really no indication of any sort of 'love triangle' as some have suggested.
Gollum...is...indescribably well done. During his arguments with himself, and his changes from 'Gollum' to 'Smeagol' everything changes. The transformation is apparent in his facial expression, his stance, his voice...Gollum is a menacing, hateful sort of person, and Smeagol is timid, forgiving, and more concerned about how nice 'master' has been to him.
Faramir, while his part did deviate from that described in the book, was still well played. I did not particularly like what they had him do, but he did it well. Sam is wonderful. Frodo's increasing subordination by the Ring is beginning to show more than just a little, and it is heartbreaking to watch.
Theoden's transformation from old and decrepit elder who cannot even recognize his own kin, to strong, sword-wielding king is amazing. Very well played. He is a strong king who cares about his people and does not want to see any more bloodshed, who wants them safe and sound and peaceful.
Legolas, Gimli, and Aragorn all delivered excellent performances, especially Aragorn, who had the most screentime of the three. We see less of Legolas at any time other than Helm's Deep. He and Aragorn have some interaction not including Gimli, not necessarily all positive either.
Pippin, Merry, and the Ents are wonderful. Treebeard and the Ents are very well done, from voice to look to movement. Fangorn is also amazing. Pippin and Merry get to grow up a little bit, and Pippin even starts showing some signs of intelligence! Just kidding all you Pippin fans out there, he is smart, he just didn't show it very often in the last movie. Their interaction with the Ents is amazing, and funny too. Different from the book, but still funny.
Aragorn still doesn't show much sign of his decision to accept his destiny or not. The encounter with the Riders of Rohan at the beginning of the story was severely edited, one of the few things lacking in the movie. Ah well, there will always be a special extended cut, I suppose.
The Black Gate of Mordor, the Easterlings, the oliphaunts...all positively breathtaking. The Dead Marshes were well done, gave me shivers-I'm no horror movie fan. THE NAZGUL ARE BACK!!! And they're flying on these creatures that would scare anyone to death just at the sight of them! Very very scary...and cool.
Eomer's performance is good. We don't see much of him, so I can't say too much, but I liked him. Wormtongue was SUPERB. Slimy, sly, tricksy...well-played. Quite what I imagined him as. Saruman, what little we see of him, is good too.
Altogether this movie deserves every applicable award out there. It left me speechless. Everyone who has seen FotR should go see it, It does begin pretty much in the middle of the action, and switches from storyline to storyline amazingly quickly. But that merely reflects the plot of the story: fast, desperate, not enough time to think through what's going on. So while I would not recommend it for those people who hate blood, gore, dark movies, little kids, and those few people who still haven't seen FotR, otherwise it is a must-see.
Namarië! Nai tiruvantel ar varyuvantel i Valar tielyanna nu vilya! (Farewell! May the Valar protect you on your path under the sky) I'm going to see it again this afternoon!