James Leroy Wilson's blog

Saturday, November 05, 2005


If you ever get the chance to see the uncut version of the Lord of the Rings trilogy on the big screen (probably via DVD projector, as I saw it), go for it. I had the opportunity on these past three Friday nights. As one who did not read the source material by Tolkein, I enjoyed the theatrical releases when they came out, but there were several things I wondered about which the uncut version answered.

I think it's unfortunate that the trilogy yielded just one Oscar nomination for acting - Ian McKellen as Gandalf in Fellowship. I thought that Sean Astin as Sam was quite deserving in Return of the King. And Bernard Hill gave a very strong performance as Theodin, King of Rohan, especially in The Two Towers. I view Frodo and Aragorn as the central characters of the trilogy, but each installment also had the own most important character.

One character I like in Return of the King was the Orc general - the guy who led the attack on Gondor. He showed that Orcs were real people with intelligence and motives that, from their perspective, seemed good. I mean, who would you rather have on your side - him or the Steward of Gondor?

I'm also a fan of Gimli (the dwarf). Him and Sam. Two guys you want on your side. I'm sure fans of the novel resent Gimli being reduced to a comic-relief type character in the movies, but I don't view him that way. He's the first guy to enter the melee at personal risk, yet after Frodo and Sam went on their way with the ring, ensuring that neither elves nor men would get it, he had less to gain and the most to lose (as probably the most disinterested fellow) by sticking with the fellowship. But he stuck by Aragorn and Legolas throughout.

Reading the novels is on my to-do list so as to get the whole story, but I will go on record as saying I like the perspective of watching the movies without any preconceptions or expectations. And especially glad to see the uncut versions on the big screen.


  1. Jim - I am a big fan of the movie and the book (both in three parts). It amazes me how Peter Jackson and team took the greatest epic fantasy novel and, respectfully and creatively but not mechanically, made (what is perhaps) the greatest epic fantasy film. I only hope Jackson gets going on the film version of The Hobbit - I am just now reading it to my eldest children - The Hobbit is a good book with which to begin, before you jump into the Lord of the Rings.

  2. I agree about Sean Astin; his Sam is so likable and heroic that I found myself missing him the most when the story was over, and joyful that he "lived happily ever after." Astin's being forgotten at awards time is proof of how silly awards are; it's definitely one of the great all-time performances.

    I also agree it's worth your while to read "The Hobbit" first; it gives LOTR even more depth.