Top Five Trilogies – #1 The Lord of the Rings

Earlier this week, I posted the fourth blog in my Movie Trilogy Series, detailing my #2 choice of all time, the Original Trilogy from Star Wars; A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.  The oldest trilogy on the list, Star Wars is a sight to behold for all generations.  To read that entry, head over to this link:

Finally, we come to today’s blog, the final in the series and the #1 choice on the list, which should be of no surprise to anyone that knows me:

#1 – The Lord of the Rings

The three films that make up The Lord of the Rings trilogy are of coursed based on the same three books written by the late J.R.R. Tolkien and published in 1954-55.  I had read these books while in Grade 8, something that was apparently quite rare to my English teacher at the time, who advised books of a lesser degree of difficulty.  That was way back in 1992, long before the movies were ever in production.

The books that I read where my Mother’s, published back in the 1970’s, and along with an illustrated coffee table version of The Hobbit, were my first introduction to the characters.

When the first trailer for The Lord of the Rings was released in January of 2001, I was completely shocked by what I was seeing.  I had been completely unaware that they were even filming a Lord of the Rings movie, let alone three, and that we were going to get them in three consecutive December’s, something that still rarely happens to this day.

The trailer literally sent a shiver down my spine, and was all I could think about after seeing it for that first time on a Sunday morning.  The show I saw it on repeated Sunday afternoons, and I had the pleasure of having my parents watch that show with no knowledge as to why, and my parents responded in an equal fashion as I had.

That December saw the release of the first film, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.  This movie blew me away, and by the end of January, I had seen it a then record four times in the theatre, including a rare family outing with my parents and my two brothers.  The sheer scope of the film was awe inspiring.

December of 2002 saw the release of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and this film raised all the standards from Fellowship with the Battle for Helm’s Deep.  Unbelievably awesome, this film garnered five trips to the theatre, the first film to hit that number for me.  Another full family jaunt accompanied Towers as well.

The climax of the series was with the release of The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King in December of 2003.  This movie also garnered five trips to the theatre, becoming just the second film to reach that number, and only one has reached that number in the nine years since.  I try not to throw around words like ‘epic’ too much, but Return of the King gets that word.  Winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, this film stands out for the Siege of Gondor and the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, simultaneously the most epic sequences I have ever seen in any film ever.

Be it the great jobs by Ian McKellan as Gandalf or Viggo Mortenson as Aragorn, to the wonderfully evil Saruman played by the incomparable Christopher Lee, or the amazing turn by Andy Serkis as Gollum, The Lord of the Rings is filled with great acting, great action, stunning visuals and wide arching panoramic shots that are copied in films today.

To understand how much I love all three of these films, you need to know that I personally have bought each movie four times over the past ten years, twice each on DVD and Blu-ray.  You also need to know that I watch them on average four times a year, and the fact that in the last couple of weeks my 4 and 6 year old sons have both asked to watch them fills me with pride that they enjoy things that I do as much as I do.

While there are no 3D releases currently planned for The Lord of the Rings series, what we are going to be getting within the next two years is a brand new trilogy of films based on The Hobbit and other information gleaned from the Appendices in The Lord of the Rings books.  I for one cannot wait for this coming December and the return to Middle Earth.

For all this and more, follow me on Twitter at @kymayer.  Cheers.