Yesterday we went with Tim (bluedevilsf) to see The Return of the King. I've read the trilogy at least twenty times since my college days, plus The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, and countless other ancillary works by Tolkien and others. I love this story; it's a part of me. The previous two segments of the Peter Jackson interpretation are wonderful--very true to the books. The few divergences (e.g., Arwen's promotion from ornament on her father's side at banquets) are easily forgivable.
The Return of the King is over the top. Incrediblly faithful, even to small details. And the great climax was so thrilling I was shaking. The final resolutions--I started sobbing and just didn't stop till halfway through the credits.
All these years I've proclaimed Gone With the Wind as my favorite motion picture--another long, complex story, with the film realization being very true to the book. But it's been surpassed by Jackson's Lord of the Rings. An absolute masterpiece.
After the movie we drove to Target to get cookie cutters for the Big Cookie Bake later this week. We dropped off Tim and headed to the Lone Star for a quick drink. Stayed about an hour--saw fuzzygruf and his Steve, and a few others we know, but mostly new faces for us. Picked up a bucket from KFC on the way home and snuggled down to watch Ebert and Roeper.