Monday, December 07, 2009

Hammervision's 10 Best of the Decade: No. 3

The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-03)

3 movies. 1 slot. A bit of a cheat you might say. True, but who really wants to argue against it? And who honestly thinks they can win that argument? I guess if you're going to have to pick one, you'd have to go with the Oscar-winning third installment, Return of the King, but I'm not going to do that. Peter Jackson and company always intended for these movies to be one organic whole, filming all three at the same time. Jackson aimed for the fences with The Lord of the Rings, adapting one of the most beloved (and bedeviling) pieces of literature of all time. It was no easy task, but in many ways - he did what most movies never do: improved upon the books, streamlining the narrative, accentuating the action, and doing it all with visual sweep and style to spare. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is the gold standard of film adaptations. It was a huge risk for Jackson and New Line, and if Fellowship of the Ring had tanked, it would have ended a lot of careers. But The Lord of the Rings transcended all expectations, and can now be viewed for what it really is: a monumental achievement in filmmaking. Many complained about the dozen different endings in Return of the King, but by then, the movie had earned the right to bask in its own glory. If you've never caught the extended editions on DVD, which add about 40 minutes to each movie, you're really missing out. Sitting down for 12 hours to watch all three is one of the great pleasures you'll have in this life.

Here's the running list:

10. Mission: Impossible III
9. The Royal Tenenbaums
8. United 93
7. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
6. There Will Be Blood
5. Memento
4. Wall-E
3. The Lord of the Rings trilogy

Agree? Disagree? Think I'm cheating by putting three movies in one slot? Have you already figured out Nos. 1 and 2? Post your thoughts below, and come back soon for No. 2, as the countdown nearly finishes.

- John


At 12:51 AM, Blogger iv said...

Lame. I can think of so many better ways to spend 12 hours, and only about half involve self-harm.

At 4:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never seen it. Don't plan to. Next

At 9:15 AM, Anonymous Tina said...

Anonymous, your points are so well-researched and thought provoking. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the best movies of the decade.

At 9:32 AM, Blogger Matt said...

I love this entry on the top ten list. I also love that you decided to treat them as one rather than three distinct films. I see them more as one epic story with three acts. I can understand (kind of) people who have seen these films and don't particularly care for the type of film, but you have to respect what Peter Jackson has done here. To Anonymous, the only person you are hurting by not seeing these is yourself. Great choice and entry John. Bring on the top two!

At 11:59 AM, Blogger HVH said...


At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't fault you for lumping them all as one. One Sunday (years ago) Deanne and I watched all three (extended versions) on a Sunday. It was AWESOME. Long, but AWESOME.

But, when viewed as separate movies, the second one is the best for me. The characters gell, the battle scenes are awesome, and the movie is paced perfectly. - Brian.

At 12:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I figured out your # 1 last night. - Brian

At 11:09 PM, Blogger Hammer said...

Figured out #1, eh? I'll be interested to see your list when this is all said and done.


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