True to the Spirit of the Book - From a hard core book fan.

What I really thought? That this was a great movie. Sure, it had some weak points but overall I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Here's the kicker for me- this movie strayed from the book much more than the first but I thought it captured the spirit of the book better. It was more like "fantasy" or what I get from the books. The first movie was more like horror. For those of you about to scream about the violent battles- when you get right down to it, the books move into war. They have humor and cute and everlasting love and an odd mix of things that makes them special. The first movie to me was also dumbed down [that WWF style ending really bugged me].

This movie moved. The characters were on the go- chasing, fighting. One of the parts that struck me as odd was when they were all moving to Helm's Deep and it was like they were all going to pick flowers in the garden. It slowed down to have flirting and stuff and it just didn't fit. Same with the end scene where they are all lined up on horses and Gandalf does his little speech. It didn't look that good on camera (the fake background or was G just glowing too much? looked like it was shot through a filter).

Cinematography was better, too. They used more real location shots with real mountains, etc in the background. I also thought the acting and the editing were better.

I had no big problems with the liberties taken in the story except for the Aragorn disappearing and coming back part. Maybe I'm wrong but I didn't remember that. But in the end it was acceptable.

OK- HERE'S MY QUESTION- given what P.J. DID with the story (call it the whole Faramir as a lout segment, I suppose- that was pretty ridiculous) who agrees with me that it would have been cool for the movie to end with the Ents marching just after Treebeard said likely we go to meet our doom, the Rohan horse charge just starting after the gate caves in and then Frodo standing in front of the Nazgul (NOT fingering the ring just yet). What a cliffhanger that would have been. I felt everything after those parts was superflous and took the charge out for me.

Anybody else think that would have been a cool way to end it?

Let me know if you agree!

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