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The Return of the King – Get an Editor!

I just returned from seeing the latest installment of the Lord of the Rings, and I have to say I just hated the hell out of it. It’s not that I’m not a fan, I am. I’ve seen the first two, and loved the books as a teenager but this one was just way, way, too long.

Peter Jackson decided to tell the story using the faces of his actors and the long, lingering close- ups go on forever. Even the battle scenes, spectacular though they may be, are ruined by achingly long shots of the actor’s faces and their vigorously furrowed brows.

The film goes on for 3 hours and 20 minutes, and at about the two-hour mark I was seriously starting to resent all the long pauses. Every director would make their films four hours long if the studios would let them, and Jackson seems to have earned a little too much clout. The film could have easily have been an hour shorter without cutting even one full scene. There’s something to be said for acting, but I would have been more emotionally invested had I not spent an hour and a half thinking let’s get on with it.

Save your nine bucks, and if you must, rent it when it comes out on DVD. That way you can watch it over the course of, say, a week.

(cross-posted on Occam’s Toothbrush)

About Moe Freedman

  • cjones

    I agree. I liked it but after awhile I kind of wish Frodo got smoked. The whole things was just too damn long.

  • brian

    Patience is a virtue. After spending almost 7 hours on Fellowship and Towers you want a Hollywood wrap-up? The same criticsm you have of The Return of the King can be applied to the first two installments. Now, I did have editing/pacing problems with the first twenty minutes or so of The Return of the King, but they rapidly disappeared.

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