It's not just that it is the end of the story. It is that, while The Two Towers concentrated more upon the more cinematic Aragorn storyline, the central thrust of this film is Frodo and Sam.
While the defense of Gondor is definitely gripping stuff, and is played to great advantage (I can imagine that the extended version will be awesome). The special effects were outstanding, and Merry and Pippin really manage to come into their own, just like their counterparts in the novel. Gandalf gets to kick some ass (I really dug his bitch-batting - that's bitch-slapping with a staff - of Denethor). Legolas and Gimli tend to fall a bit by the wayside, but what is there, I'm not going to complain about. Aragorn would come across as being insufferably macho were it not for Viggo Mortensen's restrained performance. Chances are that he is going to be the most fleshed out in the extended version. Éowyn was done justice, and Théoden is handled properly. Merry and Pippin rocked, and the emphasis on the Hobbits this time around (which reflects the book a lot better than I thought they would) is very rewarding.
It is the story of Frodo and Sam, alone, cold, thirsty and dirty in a strange, black land that has always been what I came away from the book with. And the movie did that right.
Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens changed some things, a bit, but what they changed ended up emphasizing the emotional connection between the two characters, and it makes the finale is outstanding. They retained most of the signature moments, but the most important element is that their relationship, and that is what The Return of the King is about.
As with the past two films, the soundtrack album was only the tip of the iceberg... and not even.
Before I saw the film, I had assumed, and I think most of my film music enthusiast brethren did as well, that this film would be edited in a manner similar to The Two Towers, in which large chunks of each storyline would alternate. In The Return of the King, because the two stories are much more interrelated, this does not happen. Cues that reviewers have been trying to make heads or tails of on the album, such as "The Black Gate Is Open," follow a narrative path that was not expected, and the eloquence of some of this material is now fully revealed.
There are also many musical sequences that had to be shortened to fit on the album. The almost impossibly grand "The White Tree" is a distillation of a breathtaking musical sequence in the film.
This CD seems to be more like the first film's soundtrack, which followed the story (more or less). It concentrates on certain thematic material at the expense of other motives. The nature/hope theme that appeared in the previous two films (it is the boy soprano heard against the Isengard march when Gandalf is atop Orthanc, when the Ents march on Isengard and just before Théoden's men charge the causeway at Helm's Deep) isn't heard at all on this album, but it is a major theme in the movie.
Happily, this is a case where I am sure to hear all of this music soon, as Shore is planning a full release of all the music from all three films, apparently to coincide with the release of the extended version of The Return of the King.
Take the Affliction Test Today!
Transmitted by direct contact with one of your infections (usually through unprotected sex), you're one nasty STD! In your initial stages, you cause sores, usually on the genitals or in the rectum, but that's only the delicious beginning. Later on, you'll cause a rash, and then slip away ... but you won't be gone. No no, my friend. You're far too cunning.
You'll still pass yourself on to anyone the poor soul you've infected has sex with (anal, vaginal or oral), and you'll start to erode their muscles and nerves! In fact, you'll eventually lead, if left untreated, to malcoordination, blindness, paralysis, dementia and then death!
And that's not all - if you infect a pregnant women, you'll also be passed to their child! A single shot of penicillin will kill you, but shhhhh .. I won't tell anyone if you won't.
Finally, somebody figured me all out!!!
Oh, and just for the record, the rule of acquisition that states "Deep down, everybody is a Ferengi" is the central focus of the World War II comedy/adventure Kelly's Heroes.
One of the ballsiest heist movies ever made, it is just a great "guy movie." Don Rickles is particularly funny, and this may be Telly Savalas' best performance.