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Overstating Perhaps?
December 13, 2003 3:59 PM   Subscribe

"This is frankly one of the greatest films ever made." Harry Knowles reviews "Return of the King."
posted by adrober (56 comments total)

 
...and we care why?
posted by item at 4:09 PM on December 13, 2003


RotK will be good, I think that's a given since the first two were made at the same time by the same person. I think the real story is how much Harry Knowles feels the need to hype up a movie that by all rights needs no hype. It should be able to stand on it's own at this point. As long as you're not a Lord of the Rings purist.
posted by BartFargo at 4:10 PM on December 13, 2003


omg, i'm so excited for this final movie and of course the reviews have been great. i have a friend at work who is seeing the special installment of all 3 at once on the 16th. color me jealous.
posted by poopy at 4:13 PM on December 13, 2003


why does a review of a huge, epic film on aint it cool news need to be posted here?

this isn't the first time knowles has had very eye-catching words to say about a much-anticipated movie. AICN is the national enquirer of movie review sites.
posted by oog at 4:23 PM on December 13, 2003


Don't get me wrong - I saw RotK on Monday and thought it was stunning - easily one of the best films of the year. Harry Knowles, however, can eat it (and I'm sure he'd like to do just that - eat it and everything else around it).

He's a poor writer whose reviews are 90% fanboy rantings.
posted by item at 4:24 PM on December 13, 2003


So, if I almost fell asleep during the first installment of Lord of the Rings, and was so disinterested and disgusted with the movie (not wretching-wise, but enjoyment-wise) to the point I refuse to see the second one on principle, should I make an exception for this movie?
posted by shepd at 4:26 PM on December 13, 2003


These things, I already knew.
posted by cinderful at 4:29 PM on December 13, 2003


i mean, really. did you read the sean astin bit?
posted by oog at 4:30 PM on December 13, 2003


I'm sure it's a good movie, and I enjoyed the first two, but this meme of having a giant screaming orgasm over all things Tolkien is getting really old.
posted by PrinceValium at 4:31 PM on December 13, 2003


The only review you need to read about Return of the King from AICN is this one.
posted by WolfDaddy at 4:37 PM on December 13, 2003


oog makes a good point about knowles. i've never based any judgements on a film by his reviews.

PrinceValium: Apple geeks, cyclist geeks have their say, please let us fantasy geeks have ours. This is not a meme.
posted by poopy at 4:38 PM on December 13, 2003


So, if I almost fell asleep during the first installment of Lord of the Rings, and was so disinterested and disgusted with the movie (not wretching-wise, but enjoyment-wise) to the point I refuse to see the second one on principle, should I make an exception for this movie?

I'd advise that you rent the extended editions of FotR and TTT and see if you feel differently when you see them in their 'full' spendor....
posted by anastasiav at 4:43 PM on December 13, 2003


Tolkien's grandson didn't think too much of it.

But then again, the Tolkien decendents seem to all practically define the word curmudgeon.

As for Harry Knolwes, I've never read anything he's written because his site makes my eyes hurt.
posted by boltman at 4:51 PM on December 13, 2003


In all seriousness, how could someone will such appalling taste in design possibly have good taste in film?
posted by boltman at 4:53 PM on December 13, 2003


Next time you post a link to a review like that, I'd be nice to include a spoiler's warning. Some of us have not read the books.

I've spent two years avoiding everything LOTR aside from going to see the previous two movies, so I can take the triology for all it's worth. Halfway through, Knowles begins to throw in a spoiler about how Samwise Gangee's character develops. I don't know if there are any others, since I stopped reading immedietly.
posted by tomorama at 4:58 PM on December 13, 2003


wait, so this movie is about Elvis? or Michael Jackson? ; >
posted by amberglow at 4:59 PM on December 13, 2003


Maybe Harry Knowles should join the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
posted by ed at 5:05 PM on December 13, 2003


The only review you need to read about Return of the King from AICN is this one.

Ha! That has to be the best thing I've read in AiC in years.

shepd: So you hated the first, and ignored the second? I would suspect you're not going to enjoy the third...
posted by inpHilltr8r at 5:08 PM on December 13, 2003


should I make an exception for this movie? probably not shepd.
posted by specialk420 at 5:18 PM on December 13, 2003


Without wanting to seem like an alamarist homophile, I found WolfDaddy's link incredibly offensive. Why does "faggot" not have the same connotation as "nigger"? I don't mind if it's done tongue-in-cheek---I mean I can even stomach Eminem---but that review pissed me off. So much for linking AICN.
posted by adrober at 5:21 PM on December 13, 2003


You can't have a discussion of Harry Knowles without mentioning the savaging he got from Film Threat a few years back, can you? Here are parts one , two and three of the classic "Deconstructing Harry."

They did another round after Harry's March 2001 appearance on the Ben Stein: one, two and three.

Ancient news, sure, but I bet it's still relevant. Knowles was among the first to parlay the net into mainstream acceptance, but what's the big deal about that? Being the earliest symbol of Old Media's ability to co-opt what's potentially radical about the net is hardly something to crow about.
posted by mediareport at 5:26 PM on December 13, 2003


Indeed, anastasiav; it is clear that the extended editions represent the movies as they were originally planned, and that the theatrical versions were cut down from there. All the places where the pacing felt choppy turned out to be the places "extra" footage had been cut out, and for the most part the plot points that felt like they had been glossed over in the original version got extra treatment in the extended version.

I was about to post the same question, boltman; I can't even get through a full paragraph of an AICN review.
posted by Mars Saxman at 5:29 PM on December 13, 2003


That link had more obscenities than I have ever seen in one place. Washing my eyeballs in bleach sounds like a good idea.
posted by konolia at 5:30 PM on December 13, 2003


Reenactment of Helm's Deep?
posted by homunculus at 5:49 PM on December 13, 2003


Here's a new ad for the film: Quicktime and Windows Media.
posted by homunculus at 5:54 PM on December 13, 2003


Those Film Threat pieces have to be some of the snarkiest, bitterest things I've ever skimmed through.
posted by Hildago at 6:14 PM on December 13, 2003


adrober and konolia, I certainly didn't mean to give offense; the review is vulgar enough to give offense on its own, but to be honest, I haven't heard a stream of profanity that beautiful since Bicentennial Nigger, and that's why I linked it. It's certainly better than anything Knowles has ever written, ever ever ever. My apologies if you found it less than humorous because of the language rather than moreso.
posted by WolfDaddy at 6:15 PM on December 13, 2003


Don't worry about the 'obscenity'. Your masters are making certain that you don't have to hear such things in the future.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:17 PM on December 13, 2003


Now, I know some people post comments without reading the original links or subsequent comments - and I'm partly guilty here.

In the sixties, everyone tried to get me to read Tolkien. I tried. Several times. Couldn't. (Not that I couldn't read fantasy...the Earthsea series got me, Narnia, etc.....even though PK Dick was my god as far as far as SF goes. Kafka and Murakami belong in another thread)

But, hey, the LOTR films are great. The first two I loved, Iand I'll love this one when I see it in a few weeks.

And I'll forever be indebted to Tolkien for bringing "Beowulf" bak into the ranks of serious literary criticism, long ago.

Why, for God's sake, has no one made Beowulf into an epic movie? (I'm sure I'm not the first to wonder about this!)
posted by kozad at 7:44 PM on December 13, 2003


I don't really give a shit about Knowles. However, I just saw Bad Santa tonight, and it was a fucking hoot.

FYI.
posted by thatweirdguy2 at 7:57 PM on December 13, 2003


kozad: it's been tried. It was Crichtonized a few yeas ago. Results were dire. The definitive version remains to be made.
posted by bonehead at 8:13 PM on December 13, 2003


And don't forget this stunning adaptation starring the inimitable Christopher Lambert.
posted by boltman at 8:25 PM on December 13, 2003


I get the feeling that to love the third movie, you have to actually love fantasy, and, more importantly, love the first two. For example, I loathed the original, so I'm imagining it's fair to say I wouldn't like the other two, despite not seeing them? ;-)

So, loving the third movie is loving the second movie is loving the first movie, right?
posted by wackybrit at 8:51 PM on December 13, 2003


I had the priviledge of seeing this film last weekend at Harry's birthday party, also known as Butt-Numb-A-Thon. It was the first time Harry had seen it, and after the film, he could hardly speak when he introduced Peter Jackson to the state becuase the movie was so powerful. It wasn't just him though. The entire theater was at a loss for words, myself included. This resulted in a very sub-par Q&A with Jackson, but an excellent movie going experience. Return of the King really is that good. I'll just say that if you thought the previous two weren't so great, I still think you should give this one a chance. It really ties the trilogy together and gives the first two more meaning.

As far as Harry is concerned, I think every word he wrote in that review was genuine. I talked to him a couple times during BNAT and he's a really good guy who loves movies. That's what he's about.
posted by brendoman at 9:19 PM on December 13, 2003


I can't grasp how people get so worked up about some B-movie director remaking the 1977 animated classic, The Hobbit. What gives?
posted by Eamon at 9:48 PM on December 13, 2003


Harry Knowles is to film criticism as Matt Drudge is to investigative journalism.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:58 PM on December 13, 2003


I've got my ticket for the 12:01 am Wednesday showing of RoTK... can't wait. This is as close to "night before Christmas"-type giddiness as I've been in about... 25 years. Is there a support group?

We saw The Two Towers director's cut in Baltimore tonight, and we saw Fellowship last week -- if any of my fellow Tolkien dorks have not seen these editions of the film on the big screen, holy crap, find a way to catch them if you can. Absolutely brilliant beyond description, and yeah, the dvds are great, but it just can't compare to how these movies look in the theatre. I think that the second film's narrative especially suffered damage with the cuts. Seeing it in its full form was the best Christmas present ever.
posted by kittyb at 10:10 PM on December 13, 2003


I'd advise that you rent the extended editions of FotR and TTT and see if you feel differently when you see them in their 'full' spendor....

That seems like an assbackwards suggestion. I, too, was bored by the first film and had no intention of seeing the follow-ups. So if I think the first was boring, I should watch the extra long FULL version...? Wouldn't that just bore me more (and more fully, completely)?
posted by mkn at 11:14 PM on December 13, 2003


As far as Harry is concerned, I think every word he wrote in that review was genuine. I talked to him a couple times during BNAT and he's a really good guy who loves movies. That's what he's about.

A guy that loves movies he is... but a guy that wouldn't know a good movie if it bit him in the ass. You did see his Star Wars: Episode 1 impressions, right? Quoteth: "The Best One Ever!"

Every movie he sees is the best movie ever.
posted by mkn at 11:18 PM on December 13, 2003


I met harry and talked to him (and his father) a couple of years ago when we both had bit parts (I was a fill-in for a "fat guy" character that didnt bother to show up, and Harry had a 2-line cameo as "movie reviewer guy") in a movie that a friend of mine is producing/directing.

He's very nice and friendly and not stuck up in person. We talked about running large websites (he has AICN, I have a Sun hardware-related site), things like that. Not once did I get a "I AM HARRY BOW TO ME" feeling.

I dislike his "raving fanboy" reviews, but he's a nice *person*.
posted by mrbill at 11:19 PM on December 13, 2003


I never have gotten the hatred of Harry Knowles that's out there. Is he passing himself off as a legitimate critic, or as a big fat film geek? If everyone loved something as much as he clearly loves movies, nobody would have time to bitch about whether his web site is well designed or not.
posted by Hildago at 11:21 PM on December 13, 2003


what hildago said.

if half of what the filmthreat articles say is true, then it DOES tarnish his character in my eyes, but i admire him for having a genuine love of movies. doesn't matter much to me that the dude can't write.
posted by jimmy at 11:45 PM on December 13, 2003


Awww konolia, did a widdle profanity make u upset?
posted by xmutex at 12:09 AM on December 14, 2003


Who the fuck is Harry Knowles and why should I care what he thinks?
posted by sharpener at 1:16 AM on December 14, 2003


I hope Triumph makes another appearance at a premier.
posted by CrazyJub at 5:21 AM on December 14, 2003


Hmm... The first two were ass-numbing, and now this one's 3 hours and twenty minutes long. That's a solution for success.

The books sucked. They were written by a guy whose idea of fun was to edit a section of the Oxford English Dictionary, so I guess it's to be expected, though.
posted by Veritron at 11:25 AM on December 14, 2003


"Hatred"? I hope that was't directed at me; I don't "hate" Knowles; hell, reading the Film Threat dissection years ago was the first time I spent more than ten consecutive seconds thinking about him. This is the second.

if half of what the filmthreat articles say is true, then it DOES tarnish his character in my eyes

Tarnish? Try demolish. For all the snark and bitterness, the pieces strike me as carefully documented (feel free to point out otherwise). Anyone interested should ignore Hildago's summary and read at least the first of the Film Threat bits, which does a convincing job (barely touched by Knowles' attempted rebuttals) of showing Knowles as a classic Hollywood suckup, unethical film journalist and unreliable, self-aggrandizing reviewer. Why anyone would bother to post his reviews to Metafilter's front page is beyond me.
posted by mediareport at 11:40 AM on December 14, 2003


>Why anyone would bother to post his reviews to Metafilter's front page is beyond me.

Because on the Internet human beings are outnumbered by juvenile geeks ten to one

Here's a guardian article about the triumph of geek culture.
posted by dydecker at 12:40 PM on December 14, 2003


Harry visited the LotR set in New Zealand at the studio's expense. He's in their pocket and indebted to them -- little wonder he's raving about the film which is going to go great guns at the b.o. without his dubious "help".
posted by John Shaft at 2:47 PM on December 14, 2003


Who the fuck is Harry Knowles and why should I care what he thinks?

Who the fuck are you people, and why should we care what any of you thinks?
posted by crunchland at 3:06 PM on December 14, 2003


Harry visited the LotR set in New Zealand at the studio's expense. He's in their pocket and indebted to them -- little wonder he's raving about the film which is going to go great guns at the b.o. without his dubious "help".

He's definitely been known to be "wined and dined" by movie producers and flown to premiers, and still give shitty reviews.
posted by Espoo2 at 3:31 PM on December 14, 2003


Oh, please. Let's not pretend that getting flown around the world at someone else's expense doesn't compromise a reviewer. Given that there are reviewers out there that refuse to accept that kind of bribery (Film Threat being one of them), why go to someone who's so obviously in bed with the studios?

Next you'll be telling me that pharmaceutical company graft doesn't influence doctors' prescribing behavior, or that Kucinich ripping into Koppel wasn't the reason ABC pulled its full-time reporter from his campaign. Yeesh.
posted by mediareport at 3:49 PM on December 14, 2003


I can't grasp how people get so worked up about some B-movie director remaking the 1977 animated classic, The Hobbit.

Anyone who can both write and direct the brilliant and extremely disturbing "Heavenly Creatures"--not to mention pulling off the film's casting coup of discovering both Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey--ain't no B-movie director. Low-budget director, yes. Previously.
posted by Asparagirl at 4:05 PM on December 14, 2003


Anyone interested should ignore Hildago's summary and read at least the first of the Film Threat bits, which does a convincing job ... of showing Knowles as a classic Hollywood suckup, unethical film journalist and unreliable, self-aggrandizing reviewer

I agree, you should ignore my summary and read the FilmThreat piece yourself. However, I'm confident that if you do, you'll notice that they come off as total pricks.

For instance, whenever someone types out a transcript of a conversation and includes all the pauses, "umms" and "uhhs" that someone says in order to make him sound stupid and confused, I've gotta call bullshit on their credibility. Especially considering they didn't do the same thing for Stein. What's ethical, reliable and modest about that?

I mean, if we're condemning Knowles for having less-than-transparent motives, what about the obvious axe that FilmThreat is grinding? Are attack pieces like these relevant to a movie news site, or are the editors using their soap box to insult someone they don't like?
posted by Hildago at 7:18 PM on December 14, 2003


Knowles is a shitty writer with astonishingly poor taste in website design as well as movies and is ass ugly to boot.

He is also living a film-geek's wet dream, and making a living at it.

The word that pops into my head over the FilmThreat dissing is "jealousy".

So he goes into orgasmic shudders while talking about RotK. So what?

Someone likes Knowles. Several hundred thousand someone's a day most likely. I am not one of them but hey, I don't like seafood either.

More power to him.

Wolfdaddy: that's the only page on AICN that i've actually read the entire thing. Thank you.

Also, what Hildigo said a few inches up.
posted by Ynoxas at 9:02 PM on December 14, 2003




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