December 27, 2003

Geekin' Out In The 'Burbs

Back in Nor Cal for the holidays with the fam, the Cinecultist headed out to the suburban cineplex for a post-Christmas screening of the Lord of the Ring: Return of the King with our favorite Tolkien geek, CC's Dad. We had actually held off seeing the film at midnight on its release with some of our NYC-based geeks, so that we could continue our tradition of seeing the epic installments with the pater familias. Someone who's read the books numerous times over the years even listening to the entire trilogy on audio tape while commuting, CCD knows the stories inside out and thus makes for quite the educated screening partner and he admires the genius of director/visionary Peter Jackson nearly as much as CC.

Sign Number One that CC has been attending the movies too long in over-priced Manhattan: when we went to go purchase the tickets on Fandango we were shocked to be reminded that the 'burbs features both matinees and $6.25 ticket prices for said matinees. Cinecultist literally thought it was a typo or a glitch in the website's calculations. Arriving at the Century 12 in Redwood City, we also were overawed at the size of the parking lot in comparison to the smaller sized lines inside. In New York nearly everyone (or at least it seems this way) is at the theaters on a holiday afternoon, while in the Bay Area everyone seemed to be at the mall. Or more specifically, the Gap, the madhouse of sweater piles CC had visited earlier in the afternoon.

But anyhow, the movie. The opinion of the final installment, already slated for the top of the list this year even before viewing it, is that it rocks, of course. Examined as an 11 hour movie, it's a fearsome accomplishment. Jackson continues to out do himself, visually and emotionally, as he brings to life this deeply textured universe on screen. The battle scenes in particular blew CC away, the vastness of the fields, the intricacies of the props and the intensity of the actors in their elaborate costumes. Viggo Mortenson is wonderful, Orlando Bloom is all dreamy blondeness with kick-ass fighting skills again, and of course, Andy Selkirk as Gollum is one of the most evocative portrayals of a literary figure brought to life that could be imagined. However, the most stand-out performance had to come from Sean "Rudy" Astin whose Sam Wise Gamgee makes for a completely heartfelt platonic bond that can't help but be truly moving. And not just a little bit homosexual, although CC will leave that analysis to the experts at CS and DYFL?.

Inspired by the slang-tastic Uncle Grambo and an odd little segment we heard on NPR on the way to the movie, Cinecultist invokes a new slang word we've decided to adopt calling the Lord of the Rings completely Poppins*.

*As in entirely perfect in every way.

Posted by karen at December 27, 2003 9:53 PM