I skimmed over the Return of the King movie today, and though I did not think it was possible, it’s even worse than the previous two episodes. The characters are all wrong (Denetor for instance is too young and looks like a butcher not like a high noble and the lore master of Gondor, Aragorn looks like a biker, etc.), the architecture and the costumes are all wrong (the palace of Gondor is a romanesque church, Gandalf’s staff looks like an art deco object, Pipin should have worn Gondor’s uniform with a silver winged helmet and a black vest with the silver tree, the cloak of the Nazguls’ Captain — who used to be a king and is Sauron’s most powerful servant — is in tatters, etc.), the music is awful, the directing is pompous and empty (no more birds-eye shots, please).
What a waste, thinking that these will be remembered as the Lord of the Rings movies. I may be culturally biased here, but having seen the first two Harry Potter movies, I think the LoTR should have been produced in the UK, with a british director and british staff. Or they should have hired a real director, like Ermanno Olmi (maybe a bit too gloomy to be successful, but have a look at The Profession of Arms to see what I mean). The Jackson movies look too much like a long, boring, and badly made rock videoclip.
Luckily there’s the beautiful unabridged Audiobook narrated by Rob Inglis which I am listening to these days.