I read the trilogy a couple of times, and I liked it, but I didn't go nuts about it. I don't think I even finished the third book my second time through. When I found out about the movies, I shook my head, thought to myself that the movies were never as good as the books when it came to things like this, and watched as my formerly rational friends succumbed to the mania. When I saw The Fellowship of the Ring at work with the kids last summer, I thought it was okay, but I felt that the compression of the book into a couple of hours of screen time didn't do much for the slow buildup of suspense that had been one of the strong points of the book. Plus, they left out Tom Bombadil. What the fuck. And when I saw The Two Towers with my family on video a couple of days ago, I thought it was okay, but I was disappointed how they seemed to cut off the end of the movie before the book ended. Yeah, both movies were impressive and entertaining, but also somewhat disappointing. And I was thinking to myself that The Return of the King would also be disappointing, as we settled into our seats in the theater last night (in the middle, between the first pair of surrounds, as one Maya leadsynth insisted).
Ho. Ly. Shit. That was an incredible movie. Everything about it was incredible. All the details may not have been the same as in the book, but the feeling was. Better, in fact. I think I cried about ten times before it was over. (It also ended about ten times, but.) I'm sure that your friends page, over the past week, has included plenty of fanatical raving about how awesome this movie is. Well, I'll happily join the crowd because that was one hell of a movie -- take it from this cynical and jaded moviegoer who's not really a huge Tolkien fan. It was fucking incredible.
So, in honor of the movie being fucking incredible, and in honor of two months of paid account goodness (a generous gift from kamara-from-Support), and because I'm just curious how the rest of you feel, I present you with: