The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. The Riders of Rohan are the best. Loved’em in the book. Love’em in the movies. I think they nailed the melodrama in this one. And the build-up to the spider set-piece is pretty great. I still think the song during the closing credits is a huge misfire. Should have gone instrumental!
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. You can see the move ripping at the seams. There’s a lot of story to pack in here. Lots of it feels clipped, rushed, off-kilter. Romances are un-earned. Jarring shifts in tone. Gimli has a lot more to say. Legolas slides on a shield? It’s a mess, but may have the best landscapes of the trilogy.
Force of Destiny. In this one a sculptor gets liver cancer and falls in love. One of those sweet gentle ones, very weepy and slow. Every now and it’s intercut with trippy scenes: a heron flying with a stick; the hero with his mother as a child; scenes from Italy travel and boats; a masked ball with people in the hospital. One thing it captures well is that special sort of quite terror and anxiety of waiting in the hospital, surrounded by other people’s grief and afflictions. The autobiographical overtones here made me wonder if it’s self-indulgent, and if that’s bad, and why it matters, and why it bothers me, and what it means that it colors my reaction to the film so much. Also a little bit of a not-too-subtle organ donation promotional, and I’m on board with that. Filed under: Ebertfest.