TV Party Tonight! #95

TV Party Tonight! #95

Friday, 23 April 2021

Lord of the Rings Trilogy
[4K box set]

If you’ve ever wanted an example of New Zealand’s kiwi can-do attitude look no further than the Lord of the Rings. The cultural impact these movies have had on our society has been monumental. It not only brought hobbits, elves, and wizards to the mainstream, it made fantasy cool again. The nerds and jocks could be united as one (that is, until the Marvel universe completely dominated the entire stratosphere of culture). But how exactly did this happen with a movie that was an underdog from the start?

Well, it was the team that Peter Jackson put together and the bar he set for his art. There was no reason, in his eyes, why a New Zealand made movie couldn’t reach the same status of cinematography, production, special effects, and epic storytelling of a bona fide block buster. The Lord of the Rings trilogy was generally pretty low budget, but was also a gigantic success. Probably because the films succeeded in the essential task of telling an engaging story, with interesting characters, in a believable way. There was a very simple goal our hero had to accomplish, and as viewers we get to go on this journey and experience this incredible world through their eyes. The character of Frodo is as relatable and likeable as there’s ever been, and the his backstory as an isolated figure who seeks to do more with his life is both touching and endearing. You are with him every step of the way. Also brilliant is the character of Gandalf, who is the perfect character to guide us through this strange new world.

The Lord of the Rings is full of colorful, complex, and tragic characters all of whom we get to know in a somewhat intimate way, linking us to this story, and creating a world that’s a joy to inhabit. Tolkien’s writing is poetic and playful and full of masterful lines that have become engrained in our psyche. This, my friend, is what a good movie is all about. This is good storytelling.

Believe it or not, the Lord of the Rings trilogy has not been available on 4K until now and Peter Jackson has taken it upon himself to update (not change) the special effects on the original movies which would have looked a bit shoddy in 4K in their original format. Like he said himself, what this means is that the special effects look the same, but they look like they were done today, not 20 years ago when the movies were first released. Unfortunately, this box set doesn’t include any special features, as they will be included in a future box set coming out later this year. Truly a shame.

As far as epics of epic epicness, Lord of the Rings is near the very top. This is an essential movie for any film fan and most definitely deserves to be in any movie collection. And if you want the best looking version of these movies, look no further.

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