Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Give These Men (and Woman) Some Oscars!

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King is the most exhilarating, most spectacular thing I've ever seen on screen. Taken collectively, the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy is a film that may well be regarded as THE greatest film ever made. And I don't say this lightly.

When Fellowship of the Ring was first shown in 2001, I did not have the chance to see it. I knew it was a good movie, but I didn't realize how good it was until I actually saw it in December of 2002. From its first showing until then, I read about how it was knocking people off their seats, blowing people away. Whilce Portacio even gave a rave review of it in my old message board. I just knew then I had to see it. But since I missed it in the theaters, I could do with the next best thing: watch it on DVD.

The pirated version of it appeared almost immediately after the movie came out, but I didn't watch it then. The original 2-Disc DVD was released August of 2002, but I didn't watch it then either. Leinil, Edgar and the guys watched it at Nil's place during one of our DVD-marathon things, but I hid in the computer room, read some Preacher and went to sleep. I wanted to watch the Extended Edition DVD of Fellowship, which was due to arrive December of that year. Even after getting the DVD Gift set, I joked that I would wait for the Extended editions of both Two Towers and Return of the King in 2004 before I watched all of it one by one in one day. I recall everyone wanted to kill me. he.he.

After watching the Extended DVDs of both Fellowship and Two Towers and after marvelling at how the filmmakers pulled off such a masterpiece, I swore we'd watch Return of the King as soon as it arrived in the country. Because of the Philippine Film Festival, all foreign films opening in December will be moved to January. There were some advanced screenings in December, but tickets were expensive. But I didn't care. I wanted to watch it and I wanted to watch it NOW! So thanks to Karen Kunawicz, we were able to see it on December 18. I had promised Gary Mayorlago to buy tickets from him for a December 22 showing, but I didnt' realize we had a family thing on that day so I had to forgo watching it for a second time. Because one time just isn't enough.

And after seeing it, I felt inspired, alive, exhilarated, sad, and driven to tears at the sheer beauty and power if it. Sean Astin's performance as Sam Gamgee needs special mention. His role as Frodo's loyal and trusting gardener is one of the most heartfelt and moving performances I've seen. Of all the performances on Return of the King, his was the one that stayed with me for a long time. Allright, I forgive him for that lameass speech at the end of Two Towers, but he more than makes up for it here. He deserves an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. At least!

But the man behind it all, Peter Jackson, deserves an Oscar for Best Director and Best Picture (all the Lord of the Rings movies collectively). He managed to pull off a near impossible task. Create a epic film of monumental proportions which hammers every single person, fan and critic alike into submission, leaving little or no room at all for the denial of this film's greatness.

And if there is an award out there for the Single Coolest Moment by A Hero Captured on Film then it has to go to Orlando Bloom as Legolas. Watch the film, you'll understand why.

Mirando Otto also deserves a special award for the Best Girl Power Booster Moment. What a powerful moment that was not only for the women in the audience but for the guys as well.

My wife insists on giving Viggo Mortensen a Viggo Mortensen Award for being so very VIGGO in the film. Can't argue with that!

Never have I been so moved to applaud as much as I did in any movie. And here I applauded many times. What an achievement this film has been and what an experience it was to watch.