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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Lord of the Rings: Eight Thumbs and a Big Toe UP!

George Lucas, get out your notebook and pay attention.

Peter’s Jackson’s Lord of the Rings is everything the new Star Wars films want to be. It is bold, mesmerizing fantasy; the kind of movie that makes you feel like a kid again. In fact, I haven’t felt this way since I first saw The Empire Strikes Back, and that was quite some time ago. Not since then have I felt such awe at the power of the moving image to create whole new worlds, to excite, terrify and change the viewer’s whole idea of what a movie can be. Jackson’s visual style is smooth throughout, with a keen of framing and pace that keeps the story flowing while delighting the viewer’s eyes with breath-taking images; his approach is artistic but understated. Those who know Jackson from his early work on such cult classics as Dead Alive and the more art-house oriented Heavenly Creatures, will be surprised and impressed by this innovative director’s grasp of this more straightforward form. Jackson reminds us what Hollywood movies used to be in their golden age-exquisite escapism.

Which is not to say that the film lacks depth. The deeper themes in Tolkien’s book are present here too, expressed in poetic images and in the performances that lack depth or conviction, even the smaller roles are admirably believable..Ian MacKellan’s Gandalf is nearly Shakespearean, the level of complexity and passion he brings to the role is unlikely anything I have ever seen in the fantasy genre, or rather it is one of those films that is destined to redefine the genre, breaking new ground and setting new standards (like the first Star Wars movies did so very long ago).

On every level, from his devoted attention to detail to his mastery of epic vistas, his persuasive storytelling and his stylish camerawork, not to mention the mind blowing special effects (shame on you, Industrial Lights and Magic, Shame!), Jackson succeeds in truly bringing to life the world of his film, so much so that, for this reviewer, the three hour film seemed only too short. Indeed, the only complaint I can think to make is…I want more! Luckily, the next two installments are ready and waiting (we’ll get part two next Christmas, and the final part the year after that), and if they are anything near as good as this, the Academy should start stockpiling Oscars now. I’m sorry but I can’t help but rave…this is visionary filmmaking, and we’ve been waiting (especially those of us whose dreams were shattered by the Phantom Menace debacle) for something like this for far too long. “Movie Magic?” This is it.