Discussion: The Best Scenes From Return of the King

In the final instalment of this series, we are looking at the best moments from the Return of the King. In the epic conclusion to this saga, the fellowship are faced with their biggest challenge yet as Frodo, Sam, and the villainous Gollum march closer to Mordor, and the spotlight falls on Minas Tirith, the last stronghold of Gondor. It’s a breathtaking final, one that is grounded in the last strength of the free people of Middle-earth. The Return of the King is a testament to all the hard work that went into creating this epic fantasy adventure. It’s a culmination of all the work that has gone into proving that epic fantasy is equally as compelling as any other movie genre. It paved the way for other fantasy franchises on the big and small screen and rightfully deserved the 11 Academy Awards it received in 2003. In a film that runs over 250 minutes (Extended Edition), here are the best scenes from Return of the King.

The Palantír

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In a brief reprieve following the Battle of Helms Deep, members of the fellowship are reunited with Merry and Pippin. Before departing for Edoras, Gandalf and company seek out a powerless Saurman for information on the upcoming battle. In this confrontation, we get a glimpse of the Palantir, Saruman’s direct link to Sauron. Pippin’s fixation on the Palantir would lead to the confrontational moment when he succumbs to the will of the Palantir, getting a glimpse of Sauron’s plan. This moment was so effective in luring the fellowship into a false sense of security while they regroup. Yet, with Legolas’ keen sense, that looming threat of danger slowly builds leading to Pippin succumbing to the will of the Palantir effectively crushes this lull, reminding us that they may have won the battle, but the war has yet to be resolved. Continue reading

Discussion: The Best Scenes from the Two Towers

The second instalment to the Lord of the Rings franchise, The Two Towers defies the middle movie slump as viewers are treated to an expanding universe, raised stakes, and one of the greatest battles in cinematic history. The Two Towers is an easy favourite in the franchise, as the scattered fellowship finds themselves at the heart of the conflict, and their journey becomes more perilous as they draw closer to enemy territory. Here are some of the best scenes from The Two Towers.

The Fate of Merry and Pippin

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A friendly reminder that Viggo Mortensen actually broke two toes when filming this scene. This moment showcases Aragorn’s skills as a ranger as it reveals the fate of the captured Merry and Pippin. The way the scene cuts from Aragorn’s shrewd tracking skills to Merry and Pippin’s escape was brilliant in heightening the sense of anticipation in hearing the fates of these Hobbits. Continue reading

Discussion: The Best Scenes from The Fellowship of the Ring

There is no denying the influence the Lord of the Rings franchise has had on cinema. This franchise paved the way for fantasy on both the small screen and the big screen. It proved to the world that a fantasy adventure can be both visually striking and engaging in its narrative. With a strong cast of characters and a dedicated production team, the Lord of the Rings captures the spirit of this beloved book series. The Fellowship of the Ring kick starts this journey, and these are the most memorable scenes from the first instalment of this epic franchise.

Prologue: One Ring to Rule Them All…

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The opening sequence of The Fellowship of the Ring does everything it can to successfully hook a viewer. Establishing the history and power of the one ring and his master, we are given a glimpse into the despair and destruction that once beheld Middle-Earth. The dramatic shots of war and the corruption of men did a phenomenal job at establishing a lingering threatening presence from the enemy. Pair that with the almost ethereal narration from Galadriel, and we have an opening that instantly captivates the viewers. Continue reading

Midnight Movies: Award-Winning Blockbusters, the Underdog’s Struggle, and Detective Pikachu.

With the award season coming to an end in the most delightful and surprising fashion, it’s time to spotlight the movies that have occupied most of my nights and taken us on many adventures. Here is what I’ve been watching.

The Irishman

Will an all-star cast leading Scorsese’s latest blockbuster, the Irishman is an epic gangster drama that journey’s the rise of Frank Sheeran in this crime syndicate. The Irishman focuses on the politics of this crime gang, choosing to highlight the power dynamics whilst highlighting the unspoken code of conduct between gang members. It’s about knowing your place. It’s a journey that spans a lifetime yet refuses to glamourise the violent deeds of organised gangs. The biggest criticism would bein its length, with a run time of 3 and a half hours, when 30 minutes could have easily been scrapped. Nevertheless, The Irishman is a triumph in exploring the lives of these influential men and spotlighting the consequences of their actions.  Continue reading

Midnight Movies: An Adam Driver Special

Adam Driver has easily become one of the most prolific actors of our time, displaying his range as an actor in every role he takes. He’s one of those performers that instantly captivates audiences with his nuanced performances, turning one-dimensional characters into complex and compelling individuals. Here is a small selection of films that demonstrate just how versatile of an actor Adam Driver is.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

And so we come to the end of the Skywalker saga. The final trilogy of this saga has not been as smooth sailing as they’d like, with The Last Jedi facing the scorn of fans and The Rise of Skywalker causing further divisions. However, if there is anything that we can take away from this sequel trilogy it’s the way it celebrates the legacy of this epic sci-fi saga. Continue reading

Most Anticipated Movies of 2020

2020 is shaping up to be a blockbuster of year for movies, and for some of these films, expectations are already sky-high. This list will spotlight some of the most anticipated movies of 2020, and while these blockbusters will see fans flocking to the cinema, be sure to keep an eye out for those smaller films that have the potential to move viewers.

1917

A hot contender for this years Oscars, 1917 looks like a tense war film that spotlights the struggles of two young soldiers tasked with the responsibility of hand-delivering a message to another Battalion that could save thousands of lives. With the high stakes, mounting tension, and stellar cast performance, I have no doubt that this film will be a cinematic masterpiece. Continue reading

Midnight Movies: A Musical Spectacle, Entertaining Action, and Fantastic Beasts.

As the countdown to Christmas loomed over the world, the day itself flew by. Now, we enter that stage of recovery as the merriment turns into content leading to the New Year. With that, it’s safe to say that many of us take the time to watch a slew of films that have long been on the backlist. Here is what I’ve been watching.

The Greatest Showman

I know what you’re thinking, how can someone go so long without watching this showstopper of a film. Truth be told, the soundtrack was good enough on its own and knowing the history of the real PT Barnum, I was reluctant to watch it. Now, I will admit I enjoyed the film. The musical productions were phenomenal and the cast gave a compelling performance. However, the story was weak and lacked the depth it needed to make people really invest in the story. It is clear that the film relies on its musical productions to carry the film, instead of bringing the depth needed to the topics it attempts to explore. The balancing act between the music and the multiple plot threads was poorly executed and while there is a wonder to the spectacle of the film, it’s failed to leave a lasting impression. Continue reading