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Frodo lives. Sorta.
I thought it was awesome. I thought it was wonderful. I was dazed and impressed for a good ten minutes after I came out of the theater. I needed some processing time to figure out just how amazed I was.
And then I began nit-picking.
If Pippin and Merry have drunk the Ent draughts, then why are they the same height as Frodo and Samwise at the Gray Havens? and at Elessar’s coronation?
I was deeply upset by the way that the Scouring of the Shire was handled. Specifically, that it was cut out completely. The Shire is completely unaffected by the war far away, and that seems to me to be a gross mishandling of Tolkein’s text. As Gandalf says to Frodo and Sam and Merry and Pippin – let me paraphrase — “you were brought along specifically so that you could handle this part at the end yourselves.” They return home, but there’s nothing in need of settling or handling.
The Elves who fought at Helm’s Deep seemed quite absent from Minas Tirith.
The Paths of the Dead were not particularly scary.
On the other hand, the rest of the movie ROCKED.
Shelob was terrifying. I almost chewed my own fingers off and became “Six-fingered Anselm and the Tale of Nine Fingered Frodo and the Ring of Doom.”
The Witch-King of Angmar’s death was suitably heroic and mighty. Eowyn and Meriadoc played their parts there extremely well. The King’s mace was disturbingly large and suitably awful.
Denethor’s madness was properly portrayed, even without the palantir or Beregond the Man of the Citadel. His weariness and misery were well-shown. In the DVD I hope that we will see how Denethor becomes so ruined, but I pronounce myself satisfied as is.
That’s it for now. More thoughts as I think of them.