When: Tue., June 14, 7 p.m. 2011
Area Theaters—Over the next three months, Fathom Events will screen all three extended editions of the Lord of the Rings films on the big screen. I would mock that this is a super, super long movie that's only one part of a trilogy, but dammit, I own it on DVD. And a good number of my friends, and even a few relatives, are going to want to see it on the big screen; my cousin and his boys sat through the re-releases of the first two films the same day that Return of the King came out in theaters. The sheer amount of time spent in the theater is boggling. Why does Peter Jackson's Oscar-winning adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's trilogy inspire such loyalty? After all, as Clerks 2 pointed out, it's mostly a whole lot of walkin'.
Perhaps the biggest reason is that it's sincere. The focus stays on the characters, who are genuinely likable and flawed, and the battle scenes have a real sense of horror and menace along with scale. Ian McKellen gives his Shakespearean gravitas to every Gandalf moment, especially "You – shall – not – PASS!" Andy Serkis' motion-capture work as Gollum sets a standard most films have yet to meet. And there are moments when the characters you'd least expect to take down the bad guys turn the tide.
You can mock the silly names or the run time or all the walkin'. But don't ever front on The Lord of the Rings, because it's half the reason we go to the movies. The film screens at 7 p.m. at the North Hills Stadium 14 and Regal Brier Creek Stadium 14, and includes a new introduction from Peter Jackson on the set of The Hobbit. You might want to go to the bathroom beforehand. —Zack Smith