Movies to see before you die

Posted on January 19, 2009. Filed under: Movies to see before you die | Tags: , , , , |

(Yes, I have that book)

There are movies which always turn up in these lists, and there are movies that should be there. Currently I’m working my way through my 1001 book and I’ll post reviews here as I go. At the same time, I’ll be writing a movies NOT to see section, a collection of what I believe are the most over-rated movies of all time.

So, to get the ball rolling, I’ll start with my favourite film (or rather, trilogy) which should be seen as part of the National Curriculum. I am, of course, talking about the Lord of The Rings Trilogy.

These films have developed a bit of a geek status now, which I hope wont put people off seeing them. It was these films which first got me really interested in movies and how they were made, with much the same effect on my generation as Star Wars had on the previous.

It’s not just the epic plotline which makes Lord of the Rings so special, its the work which went into making the troilogy which means that the story of how the movie came to be is almost as epic as the film itself. Taking nearly two years to film, (I think the longest shoot so far) and a further five years in post production, its no wonder that they came out looking as spectacular as they do. The special effects are simply awesome; especialy in Return of the King where “big” no longer even begins to describe what you are seeing.

Special effects aside, the performances by the ensemble cast are also excellent, most notably Andy Serkis as Gollum, who was robbed of an Oscar on a technicality, and Elijah Wood, who caused much wailing and gnashing of teeth amongst Tolkeinites when he was announced as the lead, but proves himself to be a very good actor. I can’t imagine anyone else as Frodo now.

I think what makes the film so powerful though, is its spectacular score penned by Howard Shore. The music is so perfectly matched to each scene that you almost don’t need the dialogue to understand the plot. The Breaking of the fellowship, the final movement of Fellowship of the Ring, remains the most beautiful piece of music I have ever heard, probably just tipping the first of the trilogy ahead of the others as my favourite film of all time.

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