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Phil’s Best To Worst: Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth Films

In our latest regular feature, coming out the first Friday of each month, Phil (of Phil’s Quick Capsule Review) breaks down a film related subject in order of his own personal enjoyment from Best To Worst.  This time out: Peter Jackson’s two Middle Earth trilogy’s ! 

Best: Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers

Gollum entered cinema lexicon in what is still an unbeatable combination of motion capture and CGI, the battle of Helms Deep still remains untouched on screen and we are now fully invested in the characters and their fates.  In short it’s epic. 


2. Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring 

Tough one this.  Fellowship of The Ring and Two Towers sit almost alongside each other in terms of quality.  A great establishing film packed full of memorable moments, it’s smaller and more intimate scale pays dividends.  It introduced fantasy to millions and set the benchmark for the film series that followed.


3. Lord Of The Rings: The Return of The King

A stunning film for sure, the action beats alone represent some of the best fantasy action ever captured on screen.  Yet the film is hampered by tough source material and a seemingly never ending series of, er, endings. The film peaks well before the credits fall.


4. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

This film remains the best Hobbit film mostly due to a few stand out sequences, not least The Riddles In The Dark scene which still stands out as a franchise high point.  The rest of the film is fine but like all the rest of the Hobbit films it’s too long at times.  I didn’t mind the singing!  


5. The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies

The Battle Of The Five Armies isn’t a bad film.  It’s just one that takes forever to get where it’s going (much like the rest of Hobbit trilogy).  Once again finding story where the book didn’t include it. Jackson struggles to make a run time out of the scant original material and instead adds pointless sequences after pointless sequence.  Also the CGI already looks dated


Worst:The Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug

Smaug is an amazing creation for sure (almost rivalling that of Gollum) but the film struggles to find pace to get there and when it does it takes too long.  The wider effects can let the film down also.  Meanwhile certain call backs to the earlier (yet timeline latter) Lord Of the Rings films just don’t work. At this point it’s hard to see WHY this had to be split into three films (other than money)

About Phil Hobden

Phil Hobden
Phil Hobden is the former Film Editor & Writer for renowned martial arts focused COMBAT MAGAZINE in the UK. He is also a filmmaker in his own right, having produced two cult Independent action films in LEFT FOR DEAD and TEN DEAD MEN. He was the host for the Filmsploitation podcast for 4 years and now writes and edits for his own site Phil's Quick Capsule Review...

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