Went with Tammy and her kids. It wasn't as crowded as we expected. Not quite full. We did have to sit up high. It wasn't bad, though.
Arrgh, I've waiting too long to write this, again. Let's see, what struck me about this movie.
One thing I noticed is that the story has moved beyond a lot of comic relief with the hobbits. That by itself gives the movie a significantly darker feeling. There is still some comic relief left between the dwarf and elf. ("That counts as one!") But not much beyond that, that I can remember.
That was really necessary, though. Those characters grew quite a bit over the course of the story.
They did a very good job of stretching Frodo's struggle right to the end. I really couldn't guess which way he was going to go.
Even having looked at the maps from the DVDs, I still felt lost. I never felt I knew where various locations were in relation to each other (ex. the fortress by Shelobe's cave.) And I didn't have a feel for when some things were happening simultaneously, when they were in close sequence, or when there were days separating some events. I mean, some were obvious, but others caught me by surprise when they mentioned that some days had passed.
They introduced a new character very late in the story. The king of Gondor. I don't know where he shows up in the books. Throwing in such an important character this late, especially one who's lost it, felt... odd. I guess I felt I needed more background to explain why people would follow him when it's so clear that he's irrational. Especially doing what he was doing.
As always, the special effects were nearly seamless. Oddly, though, I'm pretty sure I saw aliasing in several shots with Golem.
I'm not sure they really explained well enough why some characters stayed and some went at the end. Though, that's probably just me.
On my brother's Total Movie Value Scale, Full Price. A finale that lives up to the previous films. Felt like many more war scenes than the previous. But they didn't drag on. It flowed well.
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