Film and Food

Movies reviews with matching food – eat, watch, enjoy

Best Picture – The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

Starring Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Sean Astin, Andy Serkis, Viggo Morentsen, Dominic Monaghan, Billy Boyd, John Rhys-Davies, Orlando Bloom, Liv Tyler &  a thousand others

Rating 10/10

It had been all leading up to this one. This moment in time where good clashes with evil and the fate of the world (and the awesome characters) is finally decided. Gross monster against weird goodie, legendary (and very handsome) hero against ugly villain, father against son… it all happens here and that’s why it won Best Picture.

You have to watch the first two films to fully experience the highs and lows of this film. It’s awesome. Director Peter Jackson nailed this story with all the incredible special effects, gooney monster and amazing battle scenes. It really feels like the end of the world could come at any moment and all hope could be lost… BUT…

Plot time: A bunch of goodies, including Gandalf (McKellen) join a bunch of good oversized, slow-talking trees at Isengard and then return to Edoras, in Rohan, the home of the famous horsemen. After naughty Pippin (Boyd) looks into the forbidden crystal ball belonging to the evil Sauron, Gandalf deduces that his evilness is planning an attack on the friendly city of Minas Tirith, so he rides with sad old Pip to chat to the Steward of Gondor (John Noble) about defending the city. But the Steward has gone strange and sends his men out to battle the horrible orcs with no back up. Sad days indeed. He refuses to call to Rohan for help via a nifty fire beacon but Pippin disobeys his new master and lights the first one anyway and they start getting ready for battle.

Meanwhile the super handsome hero and soon-t0-be-king Aragorn discovers that his long lost elf love, Arwen (Tyler),  is dying and her dad gives our hero a special sword so he can call up the Army of the Dead to help with their battle. As the Rohirrim (they’re the Rohan people) get ready for battle, the King’s daughter Éowyn and the other hobbit, Merry (Monaghan) sneak into their ranks and ride off to battle with the rest of the soldiers.

Meanwhile, the crazy Steward starts burning up his son, believing him to be dead and Gandalf intervenes just in time which results in the Steward’s suicide, “So passes Denethor, son of Ecthelion” (Gandalf). Outside the city walls the battle rages with Orcs, flying dead kings, walking dead kings and over-sized, spiky elephants. The goodies start losing the battle when…

Meanwhile part II, Hobbits Sam (Astin) and Frodo (Wood) are making their way to Mount Doom to destroy the one rings that rules them all. Once this is done, evil will be defeated but it’s not an easy task for these little munchkins. The ring weighs heavily on Frodo and plays with his mind. Then there are the slimy orcs to deal with and the even slimier, sneakier Gollum (Serkis) who desires the ring more than anything else.

Eventually Aragorn leads his army to evil Sauron’s gates and readies themselves for the last battle. The tension rises as people are bitten, turned invisible, thrown into fire, and ultimately destroyed. Despair, joy and sadness reign as the last Lord of the Rings film draws to an emotional end.

This is a brilliant film, hence the 10/10 rating. It takes you on an emotional ride through battles, through disaster and trials of every kind. The special effects are so amazing, you feel that you’re right there sweating along with the rest of the merry gang. It is the ultimate story of good versus evil and the ending is so satisfying that it makes you want to sit through those long movies all over again.

Even if you’re not into fantasy movies, you will enjoy this one. The characters are so loveable and the storyline tantalisingly rich. You will love it!

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Trivia:

  • Budget – $94 million
  • The profit on this film for New Line Studios was an incredible 1408%!
  • All 3 movies were filmed at the same time.
  • Jackson considered Russell Crowe and Daniel Day-Lewis for Aragorn.
  • Rhys-Davies also voiced Treebeard
  • Mortensen said that in the filming of all 3 films he killed each stuntmen approximately 50 times.
  • In the 3 films they used 48,000 swords, axes, and makeup prosthetics, 20,602 extras, 19000 costumes were made, 2,400 crew members, 1,600 hobbit feet, 250 horses in one scene, 180 special effects artists used, 114 speaking parts cast, 100 real New Zealand locations,  50 wardrobe hands and 7 years spent in development.
  • Boyd composed the song in the Steward’s court to lyrics from the original book.
  • When the hobbits return home the 4 actors had a lot of trouble: Wood had trouble controlling his pony, Astin was allergic to his, Monaghan was in a bad mood and Boyd couldn’t stop laughing.
  • There’s so much trivia, if you want to know more go to and enjoy the read…
Next time we head to the boxing ring with Clint Eastwood’s incredible film Million Dollar Baby starring Clint Eastwood and Hilary Swank. See you then!


3 comments on “Best Picture – The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

  1. Susu
    August 19, 2014

    Just as Peter Jackson felt that LOTR had to be made as one large, three-part, cinematic piece, I decided to write my IMDb review of all three movies as a single, multi-part essay. Click on my screen-name and hit “Chronological” to view my reviews of the Fellowship and Two Towers. I make no guarantees about the quality and consistence of my review, but I do guarantee that these three films offer very high and very consistent quality from beginning to end. The acting, cinematography, art, and direction simply can not be beat.

    Which of the three movies is my favorite varies with my mood – and the same holds true for Tolkien’s books. When I am immersed in the story, ROTK is my favorite. When I simply want to have fun with the whole experience, I love Fellowship. And when I want something intense, evocative and thoughtful, I go for the Two Towers.

    Frodo, Sam and Golem are on their way to Mount Doom and their bodies, nerves, and relationships have borne the greatest burden on middle earth. The rest of the fellowship is rallying to the defense of Minas Tirith, and preparing for even more deadly battles to come.

    The heroism and romance are incredibly moving – when was the last time you saw an entire audience leaving a theater after a fantasy movie rubbing their eyes? The sets are breathtaking – even moreso than in the previous two films.

    The casting and acting are superb.

    The film delivers at every level and is the jewel in the trilogy’s well-earned crown.

    Return of the King offers a resolution of all of the major story arcs in LOTR. As with the classic Tolkien trilogy, however, you may be able to predict some of what will occur, but never all of it and you’ll never guess how you will get there. The same fatalistic and paradoxically unpredictable feeling of Tolkien’s grand plots is present throughout ROTK especially. The major theme in ROTK, however, is the varied ways and means of heroism – both intentional and unintended, and Tolkien’s examination of sacrifice and heroism is as inspiring as it is subtle. Amazingly, it all comes through in the films.

    Even more than the previous two films, Jackson and his writers took liberties with the story-line. Like the others, however, this serves the film better than simple adaptation from one medium to another. By reordering some of the chronology and adding scenes and plot devices which are consistent with Tolkien’s world and characterizations, the film-makers actually do a better job of preserving the concepts and themes of the story than they could have with a pure adaptation. The lengthy epilogue in Tolkien’s book is greatly reduced, reordered, and somewhat changed in order to work in the film. Some parts actually appear very early in ROTK. And some aspects of Tolkien’s epilogue are disclosed in the Two Towers, though not directly depicted. But all of the really important components of the epilogue are, at least strongly implied if not well illustrated in ROTK.

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