Tag Archives: Peter Jackson

The Set of 400: #179 – My Favorite Perambulating Tree

Today! Because what we need is a few good taters –

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

Directed by Peter Jackson (x3)

Starring Elijah Wood (x4), Ian McKellen (x4), Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, John Rhys-Davies, Andy Serkis (x3), Christopher Lee (x5), Brad Dourif (x2), Liv Tyler, Karl Urban (x2), David Wenham, Hugo Weaving (x3), Cate Blanchett (x4), Bernard Hill (x2), Miranda Otto, Craig Parker

I don’t know that there’s a middle film in a trilogy that suffers more than The Two Towers. For all the cool stuff that’s in this movie – Gollum and the Ents and Wormtongue, I guess – very little has fundamentally advanced by the time you reach the ending, to the point that you can only look forward to The Return of the King when you’re done. It’s hard to sit back and really enjoy the hours you just killed in Middle Earth. Like, I’ve watched the first movie on its own a bunch of times, without then feeling compelled to watch the others in any near future. I don’t think I’ve ever watched The Two Towers without popping in Return of the King very soon after.

Not that it’s just a bunch of standing around, but still

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The Set of 400: #258 – My Favorite Ice Skating Date (Mixed Doubles)

Today! Because there’s only one creature capable of leaving a footprint that size –

King Kong (2005)

Directed by Peter Jackson (x2)

Starring Naomi Watts, Adrien Brody (x2), Jack Black (x4), Andy Serkis (x2), Thomas Kretschmann, Colin Hanks, Jamie Bell, Kyle Chandler (x3), Evan Parke, Lobo Chan, John Sumner, Craig Hall, Geraldine Brophy

I’m rarely going to criticize a film for being long. I might say it goes on a bit, or it has some slow parts, or it’s a tad long, but for the most part, I’m not easily bored. I worked at calendar stores in August and September during college – I know from boring. All that being said, I fully agree that Peter Jackson’s King Kong is obscenely too long. I feel like Jackson came down with a case of the J.K. Rowlings in 2005 – after a period of wild success, no one was willing to step up and reign them in, and say that perhaps these stories didn’t need to be 800 pages/three-plus hours long. And so, we have to wait forever for Kong to actually appear in this movie. It’s not like I don’t enjoy all the CGI bugs and whatnot, but somewhere along the way, a little nudge from the studio or somebody to be like “Is this really necessary?” would’ve gone a long way to alleviating our collective sore ass.

Seriously, Jesus, I could’ve lived without this in the memory

All that being said – and hell, it always needs to be mentioned with this film – King Kong is a terrific movie. I was never a huge fan of the 1933 original – I recognize it for the inventive, groundbreaking effects marvel it is, but come on, it’s a bit creaky by today’s standards – and saw the cheesy 1976 version a bunch as a kid, but never had a lingering affinity. So Kong was much like Godzilla, Mothra, Gamera, and the rest of the big, silly, rubber suit monsters of weekend afternoon television. It wasn’t serious entertainment. It was cheap nonsense with cardboard sets. Continue reading

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The Set of 400: #362 – My Favorite Riddles in the Dark

Today! Because if Baggins loses, then we eats it whole –

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

Directed by Peter Jackson

Starring Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan, Richard Armitage, Ken Stott, Graham McTavish, Ian Holm, Elijah Wood, Hugo Weaving, Andy Serkis, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Lee Pace, Bret McKenzie, Benedict Cumberbatch

Now hang on a second, I know what you’re thinking – The Hobbit? Seriously? But while the unnecessarily expanded prequel trilogy was almost the definition of diminishing returns, I still think that first movie is pretty good. Is it far too much? Yes. But hell, what were Jackson and company supposed to think people wanted, when everyone was snapping up 4+ hour versions of the original films on DVD? They figured the more the better, right? So why not turn a 300 page book into nine goddamn hours of movies? And you know what, good for them. Sure, the whole trilogy doesn’t even come close to the Lord of the Rings movies, but they sure aren’t the complete troll orgies fans made them out to be.

Sexy!

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